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Unread 02-02-2008, 01:45 AM   #1
Toastburner B
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Default Paradox: Truth


In anger and pain
I left deep wounds behind
But I arrived
Truth might be changed by victory

-Blind Guardian, The Curse of Feanor.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~

Welcome back to the KHC Morning News,

In our top news story today, the mystery of the Hampington General Hospital disappearances has apparently been solved, but the answer has caused even more questions.

Early this morning, police and medical personnel from Vorhesburg and the army hospital at Fort Hudson arrived at Hampington General to replace the hospital staff that had apparently been afflicted with what had caused the disappearances. While no official word as been given as to what that cause is, KHC News has discovered that the HCPD has called on a team of Entomologists from Hampington University to investigate a specimen at the scene. Further unofficial reports tell tale of a previously undiscovered type of parasitic insect that apparently nested inside the skull of the hospital staff, causing disorientation, hallucinations, and eventually loss of consciousness. While exotic insects are known to lay eggs in the bodies of certain animals, this is the first report that we at KHC News could find of this happening to humans. Again, these reports are as of yet unconfirmed, but come from reliable sources from inside the investigation.

KHC has also learned that Doctor Gregory Hales and Samantha Charlestin, a nurse at Hampington General, are both missing, and that what may be human remains were found in an previously unknown location inside the hospital grounds. Police have not released any information as to the identity of the remains.

From the madness of last night comes news that two of people who disappeared were found: Nigel Rollins, 87 years old, was found, but has since passed away due to age related issues. Abigail Norton, age 9, was also found, and is reported to be in stable condition.

Hampington General Hospital has been closed for the time being, with the majority of the patients being sent to Hampington University Hospital or to Vorhesburg General Hosptial.

In other news…


================================================== ==========

Lucas Hadley was suitably full of himself.

After all, it not everyday that you get to dictate the course of an entire police investigation without being a cop…let alone when you just had the ever-loving crap scared out of you by a bunch of monsters turning into humans.

Lucas took a drink from the coffee he had in front of him. He was at a small café, not from Hampington U Hopsital. He had made sure that all of the…what did Raij call them?...”Paradoxes” had been sent there instead of Vorhesburg. While Raijin seemed to have an inkling of what was going on, the old monster had yet to enlighten Lucas on the subject. For all he knew, Paradoxism (is that the term?) could be catching, so no point in spreading it outside the city.

Another man came over, at sat at his out of the way table. “Morning, Detective,” Lucas said.

Detective Paul Nearstaph was in no mood for pleasantries. “This is what you call my problem going away?” the cop muttered.

Lucas shrugged, and met the detective’s gaze. “I’m afraid things have become…complicated,” he said, echoing Raijin’s statement from last night. “As it turns out, I’m afraid I’m going to have to bring you into this. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what?” Nearstaph asked.

“I’m afraid that I’m about to turn your world unto its ear. Follow me,” he said, standing up, “we have a meeting to attend, the person giving it is a real beast if you’re late.”


================================================== =============

Ashley Clark woke up, and when she opened her eyes, she didn’t know where she was. She was obviously in a hospital, but not in the family rooms of Hampington General.

“Welcome back to the land of the living,” a familiar voice said.

She turned her head, which proved to be a painful endeavor, and saw Isaac sitting next to her bed. However, his injuries seemed much worst from when she saw him last night. Then again, if the pain in her body was any indication, she wasn’t in very good shape either.

“Isaac?” she said, “What happened? Why do you look so bad?”

Isaac gave a wry smile. “From where I’m sitting you don’t look so hot yourself, sister.” His face went serious. “Do you remember anything from last night?”

She shook her head. “No…I just remember a really bad nightmare.”

“Nightmare? What was it about?” he asked.

Ashley smiled, and shook her head a little. “You’ll laugh. It was the weirdest thing, but it was horrible. I think all this talk about the murders and stuff is starting to wear on me. I dreamt that I turned into some kind of monster...I’m not really sure what, but I walked on four legs and had a tail with spikes on it…and I…I killed Doctor Hales…and…ate him. There were a few other monsters there too, but the big deal was this thing that looked like a guy that had bugs instead of skin, and for some reason I felt compelled to obey and protect him no matter what. Anyways, all of a sudden, this bunch of other monsters come out of nowhere, and we start to fight, because they were trying to hurt the bug guy. I fought this…”

“You fought another monster,” Isaac interrupted. “It was large. Black in color. Skin that looked and felt like armor. He had large wings that sprouted from his back,” Isaac said, “during the fight, pierced his wing with your spikes,” he added, standing and turning so that Ashley could see his back, and his freshly bandaged wounds, both the long wounds that she recognized from before, and a set of smaller, round wounds that were new, “and a large blade that seemed to come out of his right arm,” he added, sitting back down, and extending his right arm to show the wound there. Isaac lowered his arm, and took a deep breath. “Ash…it wasn’t a dream. That was me you fought.”

The girl laughed, “You’re kidding right?” she said. Then she noticed that Isaac’s face remained serious. “You’re not kidding.”

Isaac pulled an object from the table next to her bed. It was a long spike…one that looked all too familiar. “I’m sorry, Ash,” Isaac said. “I really wish you didn’t have to go through this, too.”

Ashley fought a wave of panic. “You mean that…that wasn’t a dream. That I actually turned into a monster. Oh…oh no…you mean that I…Doctor Hales…”

“If it comes as any comfort,” Isaac said softly, “The guy that found us said that you weren’t in control of yourself...at all. The bug-guy was real, too. According to the guy, he said his name was Lucas, that was a monster named Legion. He uses insects to take control of people. He took control of you, and discovered that you were…that you could turn into a monster, so he made you turn. He was in control, not you…not even the monster in you. Me,” Isaac said, standing back up, “I don’t have that excuse. My lights were on when I first turned…and I…I killed Steve.”

Ashley let a little gasp escape. “That’s why you stopped coming out,” she said, “why you didn’t come to the funeral.” Then she gave a weak little laugh. “I don’t suppose this is part of the nightmare, too?”

“I’m afraid not,” Isaac said. “Come on, we’ve got a meeting to go to. I’ve got a wheelchair for you.”

“Meeting?” Ashley said.

“Yup,” Isaac said. “Someone is finally going to give us some answers.”


((OOC: Alright, if you were at the hospital battle, you are now at the University hospital, which is a smaller facility, but on the upside, isn’t infested by evil bug men. Lucas, the summoner, has asked everyone to come to a meeting room inside the hospital, and has promised answers.

For those of you who weren’t at the hospital…carry on. Don’t worry, I have a way of bringing you into the group, which will develop later ::cackles evilly::
))
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Unread 02-02-2008, 02:08 AM   #2
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Becca quietly eased herself out of the hospital bed, taking care not to make any sharp movements. Stitches and bandages zigzagged across all of her appendages and a plethora of colorful bruises decorated her chest and torso. Shapeshifting and monster battles really took something out of you.

She couldn't stay here, however. That Lucas guy was going to give her some answers about this... thing... she had become. And that kind of information was worth the risk of reopening wounds and jarring bruised ribs.

Becca quietly opened the door and snuck down the hallway to the place the "meeting" was supposed to take place. Time to find out what was going on.
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Unread 02-02-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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David stared at his bruises, and then he was glaring at them. After a short time his gaze shifted to the massive cuts, now bandaged, and he sighed. David shook his head and, being careful not to put any pressure on his bandaged arm, lifted himself out of bed. He yawned deeply and rubbed his eyes, then headed towards the meeting.

David just hoped that this would be over quickly enough that he could get to his new job.
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Unread 02-02-2008, 12:49 PM   #4
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Jason, as much as he hated it, was bandaged up to what felt like an extreme. The only parts of him that wasn't bandaged were his legs going down from the knees, his face, and most of his head. This was mostly because there were just too many burns, and his hands were particularly amusing to look at with how much they were bandaged up. Hell, he could probably walk around without a shirt and people wouldn't notice too much of a difference.

"I swear, I'm gonna kill that thing in me if it starts laughing one of these days..." Jason mumbled angrily as he walked down the hall, one the way to the meeting.

But Jason knew that, despite this embarrassment, it would all be worth it in the end. Getting to that meeting room would provide the answers that he--as well as everyone else--needed and wanted so badly. This was the opportunity of a lifetime and he wouldn't miss it for the world.
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Unread 02-02-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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"Really, I'm fine", James spoke into the reciever, "got into a bit of a fight, but I'm alive."

"A fight? What happened? I waited for you but you never came out,and then all of a sudden the police and army personel were turning up and I didn't know what to do so I just got out of there," Sarah replied in a rush.

"You did the right thing, probably best you don't get involved in this any more than you already are", James told her reasuringly.

"But what happened?!"

James paused a moment before answering, looking around to make sure no one was listening to his conversation. "I found them Sarah, others like me. I don't know much more than that really, but I'm about to, there's someone here who seems to know things, I should have answers soon. How are things at work?" He was of course, reffering to the elephant carcass and the general destruction of the zoo which would have undoubtedly been found by now.

"Police have arrived, whole place is cordoned off and the zoo is closed. They haven't started interviewing most of the staff yet, but I think they will soon." She sounded worried of that possibility.

"Just remember, you left work as usual, you went home, you know nothing more than that, right?"

"Of course."

A few more words of reasurance from both sides and the two said goodbye. After hanging up, James made his way to the meeting. He just hoped he would now get his answers.
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Unread 02-02-2008, 10:39 PM   #6
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Cael stared at the TV in his Hospital room, the news about what happened at the hospital seemed to play in a constant loop. When he checked the clock in the room he realized it was about he left to get to the meeting. When Cael stood up he realized how much pain he was in, it was a bearable pain, but like a paper cut it was always there. The doctors said much worse could have happened but for some reason it didn’t, and to that Cael thanked his own armored hide…..though the damage from the transformation hurt enough. As he walked toward the meeting place Cael started to think of a few questions to ask this person who seemed to know all.
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Unread 02-02-2008, 10:47 PM   #7
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Nalin was in his bed again, watching the news on the TV in his room; a useful luxury, especially now. "So...it was parasitic insects." Nalin finished making notes in the small journal one the news report.

"Almost seems too far fetched to believe..." But, he knew that the best lies had grains of truth in them, and the more bizarre the lie, the less likely it was to be a lie. "After all, if someone is going to lie, it may as well be believable."

"The only question is...what isn't being said?" He had a pretty good idea. The monster senses from the previous evening made it more then likely that whatever happened had involved monsters.

"Which means...it's a pretty safe bet that one of those monsters in the hospital was related to those insects." It was unfortunate that he had lost focus when that winged one had attacked, because by the time he had a few moments to refocus, the strongest sensation had vanished. Although, a different one had taken its place.

But he hadn't decided to stick around and get a better idea of what was happening. He wasn't anywhere near ready to be alone at night if he was going to get mixed up in this. Not when his only real defense was something he couldn’t control.

"…yet" He added silently, a smile on his face.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 01:16 AM   #8
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Outside the strip mall that served as Spearmint Forest studios, the police department conducted the crime scene. Yellow tape sectioned off the parking lot. Officers canvassed the area. One detective held up the firearm and dropped it a evidence bag. The news van pulled alongside the scene, and Chris got out followed by Billie with the backup cam. Chris conducted the interview as if this was just another human interest piece. Compared to the nightmare they had escaped from, this seemed routine.

"There was an attempt on Mr. Wrightman's life earlier this morning," said the officer on the scene, officiously much like the cop at the HG, "Mr. Wrightman was shot when he asked a knock from the door. The shot was not lethal, and he was in stable condition when he left with the paramedics. At this time there are no suspects."

"Would you know which hospital he was taken?" Hopefully not Hampington General, Billie wished silently.

"University"

"Thank you," she said. " Pack up Billie, we're going to University." Chris waved him towards the van. They hopped back into the news van their brief interview concluded.

"Wait, what time is it" Billie asked as the car turned over.

Chris checked her cellphone, "8:15."

Billie pulled the key out of the ignition, "We've been out here for fourteen hours, just for one story. Come on why are you doing this?" Up 'til this poin the had calmly taken his shot from her, never questioning why she was doing this, "It's never been clear to me why you do things like this. You're so damn wild." It was like this in Mid-maria. Chris pursued that story in a rather reckless manner. But Billie was pretty sure if she had been actually seen the murder, she would've back off.

"Ralph's missing," Her hands went to her lap, and her head tiled down, "He's stopped answering his phone, and he hasn't been at his apartment." She remembered the broken glass in his bathroom. "At first I thought he was one of those missing patients from Hampington. But I couldn't find him there. Then like you I saw those monsters, and those people who could change into monsters. I just can't shake the feeling Ralph maybe involved."

"Can you hear yourself?" Images of last night flashed through Billie's head, "What if we find more of those paradoxical things in University. As far as we know they're in Vorhesburg as well

She looked that in his eyes, "If you don't want to come, I'll dropped you off at the station and I'll go on my own."

No, no I'll go with you. A friend wouldn't let you go it alone." He started the van and drove to University.
***
Ralph had been hurt badly. He was pretty sure he his back was broken. The doctors called it a hair line crack, but lying on it even on the thin white medical sheets, it felt more akin to a knife in his back. Wearing a back brace, the most he could do without pain was hold the remote to the television in one hand. While flipping through the channels, Ralph got a clip of the hospital story on the KHC Morning News.

The confrontation last night wasn't too far away from HG. On a office building, Carnot had challenged that angel. The morning after, Ralph had discovered himself transported by a good Samaritan, a man by the name of Mr. Steward, who happened to be working late when he found Ralph collapsed in the lobby without any clothes. But by the time emergency medical services arrived, they had started diverting patients to other facilities than the closest, HG.

So there he was in University Hospital, UH, sharing a room with this sleeping little girl. At the moment her eyes were shut but her cute face pocked out under the same white sheets as him, her hair long dark spilling around her head in a halo. "Chris must be so worried about me," Ralph thought to himself. Considering all the people going missing, and all those showing up in hospital with these injuries, Ralph pondered whose little girl she was and if her loved ones were worrying over her.
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Unread 02-05-2008, 09:47 PM   #9
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((OOC: Alright…the first section is mainly for Teal…this is my way of getting him with the rest of the group. The other two sections are plot set-ups…not really need to read if you don’t want to. Third part is also plot set-up, but will have a more immediate effect, so you may want to read that, but you don’t have to. The fourth section is the part that everyone should read.))

It seemed to be a pretty pointless job at first. After all, the entirety to the Hampington General night shift had vanished overnight only to reappear after apparently having been possessed by some kind of previously unknown parasitic bug, and a few of them were still missing.

Somehow, investigating a breaking-and-entering of an office building didn’t seem to impressive compared to that.

However, when someone pointed out that the roof of the office building just so happened to have an excellent view of the hospital, and what where the chances of a random break-in…with apparently nothing stolen…and the FUBAR at the hospital happening on at the same time, independently of each other?

So it was that the manager of the building found himself reviewing the security tapes of the previous night with a couple of police officers. The roof itself had no security camera…as such; the actual break in itself wasn’t recorded. What was recorded, however, was a young man climbing down the fire escape at around the same time the authorities got word that something was wrong at the hospital.

It could just be a giant coincidence, but with the pressure on and clues in short supply, nothing was to small to overlook.

Thus it was than a “be on the lookout” order for someone who looked exactly like Nalin Alruse was put out, and the local news promised to run the security tape footage with a story that asked the young man to come in to answer a few questions…or, barring that, to ask the general public for tips on the young man’s location.

Nalin was now a person of interest in Hampington General Hospital mystery.

((OOC: See what breaking and entering gets you, Teal? Anyways, feel free to come forward yourself…or to make the cops come pick you up, either way.))

---------------------------------------------------------------


Unsurprisingly, since the massacre on the train just a day or so before, Hampington Station hadn’t exactly been the most populated place in the city. After being closed for a while, the station had re-opened, since the train was one of the few mass transit options for getting into the city as it was too small to have an airport. The only other choice being bus, the train was an understandably popular way to travel to Hampington.

Or had been.

Douglas Hindes had been a conductor on this section of track for going on twenty years, and he had never liked Hampington Station. Now, given that a train-full of souls had meet their end here made him like it even less. The fact that the station was all but empty save for the few hardy souls who still decided to take the train this early in spite of the massacre…and despite the fact that the police had reported no leads, and as such, the killer was still very much at large…made the station just that much more eerie.

Despite this, Hindes had never been more happy to see Hampington Station in his entire life.

As he hopped off the train, walking the platform to make sure it was clear, the reasoning behind his relief got off the train.

On the surface, they were the consummate passengers: polite, good tippers, and they hadn’t caused a single problem. That said, the had freaked old Douglas Hindes right the heck out. Something in the way they carried themselves, the way they talked about things that people who looked to be in their early 30s had no reason to know as if they were old, jolly memories…heck, even the way they talked was enough to put old Hindes on edge.

Even as the man in the front of their group handed him a more than generous tip, Hindes have to fight to suppress a shudder.

It was the eyes, he decided. Old, old eyes on young faces…eyes that held no warmth whatsoever.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Across town, another individual entered Hampington…but in a less popular way.

He walked in along the main road. Not an unimpressive feat considering that the nearest town was a good twenty miles away. He looked like hadn’t shaved or bathed in a few days, was carrying an old military-issue duffle bag on his back and a long, cloth covered bundle in his hand.

Despite his appearance, he entered the lobby of one of Hampington’s better hotels. The desk manager resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the appearance of the man, and desperately tried to come up with a polite way to tell him to get lost.

…That was before the man asked for a room for a week, and put down enough cash to cover on the desk.

The manager quickly recovered, and moved to summon a bellboy, but the man declined. Handing the man a key, the manager couldn’t help but notice the man’s eyes…they seemed old beyond their years. Old and sad and a little menacing...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“Legion was defeated,” Azirael said…more of statement than a question.

The figure nodded.

“But he still lives?”

“Indeed he does,” the figure answered. “While he lost his hive-body, he did survive. However, it will be sometime before he is of use to us again.”

The angel-like monster scoffed. “We should’ve of known better than to use him,” Azirael muttered. “His tactics always attract attention, and now we have a bunch of summoners and their pets in town.”

“Ah, but that’s the interesting part,” the figure said. “It wasn’t summoners that defeated Legion…it was Paradoxes.”

Azirael’s eyes widened. “Paradoxes? You don’t mean-“

“Indeed he does,” another voice said. Both Azirael and the man he was talking with turned towards the voice, and went to their knees.

“My lord,” Azirael said. “We are honored by your arrival.”

“Arise, my servants,” the figure said. Behind him walked in a number of other people. All of them looked human. The figure with Azirael stood, but the angel-like monster remained kneeling.

“My lord,” Azirael continued, “if the creatures that defeated Legion were indeed Paradoxes, then I cannot guarantee your safety as I once could…my senses would not be able to detect them until it was too late…”

“Fear not, Azirael,” the man said, “The awakening of the Paradoxes was forseen…in fact, it was inevitable. It serves as a sign that now is indeed the time for us to act.”

The figure stepped forward, and stood before Azirael. “Azirael…long have you served in me the cause, and now, the time has come for you to play your part.” The man took a book from one of his companions, and held it before Azirael. “I give unto thee the Book of Angels…and grant thee dominion over thy brethren.”

“My lord,” Azirael said, “I know of the Book…but I cannot use it…”

“Azirael,” the man chided, “Are you telling me that you have been idle in your time here?”

Azirael was silent for a second, then nodded. “I understand, my lord. You’re will be done.”

“Go,” the man said. The angel-like monster stood.

“To end the curse,” the monster whispered, then departed.

For a time, the room was silent, then the figure who was in the room with Azirael spoke. “He has served you for many years,” he said, “You would sacrifice him so simply?”

The man shrugged. “He has no part in the final act. Besides…what are pawns good for if not to sacrificed when needed?


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


((OOC: HERE is where you want to start to read if you just want the character stuff))


As Isaac pushed a wheelchair bound Ashley into the room Lucas told them to meet in, he wasn’t surprised to see that Lucas was there…he was surprised to see another man there, though.

“Isaac, wasn’t it? I assume that means that you are Ashley…a pleasure.” Lucas said. He noted the direction of Isaac’s look. “Oh, forgive me. This is Detective Paul Nearstaph, of the HPD…I asked him to come. Please, take a seat…you look like you need one. We just have to wait for the others to arrive."

Isaac nodded, and pushed Ashley over to where a few folding chairs had been set up, and slowly sat down. He noted that other than Lucas and Nearstaph, they'd been the first ones in the room.

"Do you know how many others there are?" Ashley asked.

Isaac shook his head. "I don't," he said. "Things moved fast last night...heck, I only know of name of one of them."


((OOC: Due to the already ludicrous length of this post, I’ll start the actual meeting either tomorrow or the day after. In the meantime, this would be a good chance to get some character interaction going...not much of that has been going on so far. You might want to at least know who you just fought alongside of.))
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Unread 02-06-2008, 01:26 PM   #10
Bailey
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Location: Potsdam, NY
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David entered the room quietly and nodded to Detective Nearstaph, then sat down without a word, worried that he would be in trouble for suffocating the hospital staff, and worried further that he would be fired from his new job at the magic shop. "This isn't going to take too long, is it? I just got a new job and I don't want to be fired for not arriving on time for my first day of work."
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Originally Posted by POS Industries View Post
I mean, I'm happy to play normal chess when that's the game. But in this case, we've been asked to play chess by someone who then proceeds to hand us a pair of water pistols, tells us the player with the most touchdowns wins, and you're still busy trying to capture my bishop.
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