With temperatures rising over 143°C (289.40°F) in most areas, the only relief is during the nights when it is much cooler. All travelers are advised to keep to the local towns on the desert's outskirts and avoid traveling too far from civilization. (+3 Endurance, +2 Defense)

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Heard It on the Radio [P, Atoli & I | M: V, G]

Postby Mousen Heath » 08/29/2016 5:04 AM

Image

Sometimes she drifted, from place to place, one thing to the next. Train journeys that took her from places with green fields to places with sand and nothing on the horizon but the milky way. Sometimes, the train journeys took her the other way, and she would travel from desert heat to leafy suburbs. Purpose, and a sense of time and scale slipped through her hands like water. At times, she felt like she was running from something, but rather than pursuing her, it was stationary and fixed. She simply needed to put down enough miles until it faded from view.

She walked along the dusty verge at the side of a dessert road, looking down at her feet. It was night time, and the clumps of dead grass were the perfect hiding places for scorpions out on their midnight hunts. It wouldn't matter, of course, if she was stung. Tonya was certain that she was dead, and had been for some time. But, avoiding pain was human nature, and she didn't feel like collapsing on the roadside.

Some other time, perhaps.

When she wasn't drifting, Tonya was travelling. As much as she was running away, she was looking, trying to finding answers. She had seen other ghosts, repeating their days until they faded from sight, pale and shimmering, or else, she had seen them like dark clouds, unfinished business heavy round their necks. They had all refused to speak to her.  She knew she was dead like them, she knew it in the same way she knew that the sun would rise tomorrow and that there was sand beneath her feet. And yet, she wasn't like the ghosts she'd met, by all accounts, Tonya Finkelmeier seemed to be living.

In the distance, but coming closer, she could hear a car. Tonya swung her bag off of her shoulder and gestured with her thumb. Hopefully, the next car wouldn't be apposed to picking up hitchhikers. Particularly when she'd come all the way out here to see them.
I look out the window somedays, I see a million ways, and that's fine.
I didn't dance how I wanted to dance, I did a bit of prance, and that's fine.

Take your guess, spurious at best.
Can't you see its all just chaos?

I breathe in and then I breathe out, I've got a trillion doubts, and that's fine.
I took a road that wasn't a road but it was something I chose, and that's fine.

Take your guess, spurious at best.
Can't you see its all just chaos?


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Re: Heard It on the Radio [P, Atoli & I | M: V, G]

Postby Atoli01 » 11/06/2016 6:37 AM

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Nikolai Nossek | Avery
#B18E72 | #46B1B1


He saw them in the store. He saw them at the public bath. He saw them outside his window. He saw them even when he was asleep, though maybe those were just sleep-paralysis induced hallucinations. They didn't just stay at the shack like good little puppies now. No, they were drawn to him like moths to a flame. It was reflected in the heavy bags under his eyes. Maybe he was just becoming more paranoid these days.

The feel of the seatbelt cutting into his cheek had failed to phase him for a while now. The brunette needed all the sleep he could get. Not to make it sound like that, but the only time he could get decent shut-eye as of late was with Avery by his side. The forty-minute ride out to his radio shack every night offered the perfect opportunity.

"What's wrong, man? You've looked even more dead than usual recently. What, cat got your tongue? Or can you not keep your mind off that ghost kid from yesterday?" Avery teased.

Nikolai huffed. "Keep your eyes on the goddamn road, Avery. And don't remind me of her. You know things like that hit too close to home for comfort sometimes. Just let me sleep a little..."

Nikolai pulled his hood over his head and sunk lower into his friend's cushioned seat. Just a little...

<--->

He knew time passed by quickly when you were asleep, but hell, it felt like he barely had time to shut his eyes before Avery was yelling in his ear again. "Hey Nick? Nick. Eeeeeeeearth to Nick!" Nikolai shot him a glare. "Pretty weird, but there's some hitchhiker chick on the side of the road. I'm pulling over, cap.

Nikolai shot up. "What are you a moron?! Who in their right mind is out here at one in the morning?! You're going to get us murdered or something, do you have no sense of self-preservation?!" Maybe it was the fatigue speaking, or his growing paranoia. Nikolai was confident he could take on almost any man who tried anything--skinny as he was, perhaps his confidence was inflated--yet a lone girl looking for a ride on the side of the road was raising all his flags. Still, Avery could see her, so that must mean the girl was at least flesh and bone.

"Oh come on, when's the last time you heard about some little girl murdering two grown men like us? Just roll down your window and talk to her," Avery laughed, but Nikolai could tell it was a cover for the unease he felt. "Well someone's being a misogynistic asshole tonight, huh? If I were to get my head chopped off, funeral costs would go to you! Just keep driving." And so Avery did, unable to disobey Nikolai's will. He knew his friend's senses were much more keen that his own, and Nikolai knew something was wrong.

Something was wrong. That feeling was amplified as he locked eyes with the girl as they drove past. It was another ten minute drive to the shack, and that feeling still didn't dissipate as they stepped out of Avery's car. "I doubt I need to tell you for the five hundred and seventy-first time, but make yourself at home as you always do. I'm heading in. Nikolai said, rolling up the sleeves of his brown jumpsuit. It was time to get to work for the night. Time to forget about that weird girl.

He'd never admit it, but Nikolai was thankful Avery didn't bring the girl up again. It was likely he was just as shaken up by her. Instead Avery followed him into the shack, wordless, and went to tidying up the little twin bed in the corner of the shack. Nikolai was busying himself with all the dials and switches on his radio, trying to find the perfect frequency. It was sort of funny-- that "perfect" frequency changed every night.


A beautiful moon shines above again tonight,
And it sheds light happily over the world.
As for me, I'm just worthless, good for nothing,
Dreaming at daybreak, creeping at dawn.

Still I'll scream into the sky, hoping that somebody will find me.
I want to run, but there's no way out--
No bright future in sight.
But I still fly up like a butterfly, hoping that you'll find me.
A crescent moon, ugly children of the stars, flying with broken wings...!


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Re: Heard It on the Radio [P, Atoli & I | M: V, G]

Postby Mousen Heath » 11/06/2016 5:51 PM

She watched as the car slowed down a little, and briefly, Tonya made eye contact with the two men in the vehicle. She didn't shy away from them, even as the car sped up, leaving her behind on the roadside. She stepped out into the middle of the road behind them, eyes following the red glow from the taillights as it slipped round the next corner. Once the car had gone, all was still. Having no other option, Tonya continued walking.

The desert night was cooler than she remembered, she was wrapped up in her old leather jacket, hands shoved into her pockets, rucksack swinging from one shoulder. She paused and dug around in it for a moment or two, then, into her pockets. One lighter and  a slightly crushed packet of cigarettes appeared. She lit her last one and inhaled deeply, smoke tumbling back out of her mouth.

The ten minute drive was a good forty minutes on foot, but Tonya didn't mind. There was so little here, out in this particular part of nowhere, less so than usual. The endless distance the dessert was perfect for hiding things, it would be so easy to get lost in the magnitude of the place. It was a game of needles and haystacks. You could go out looking for the strange and never find it, not in all those miles. (Lucky for some.) Once the strange had found you, though, (because that too was playing its own game of needles and haystacks) it would never quite leave.

Tonya... Tonya didn't quite know what had started first, the weirdness or the wandering. The further back she got, the hazier things became. She was left impressions of dark nights, long winding roads, and the low roar of cars on country roads. It seemed like it had been like that forever, but change, slow though it was, was inevitable. Tonya had a plan.

She'd heard about it on the radio, first of all. A strange boy, telling the stories of ghosts at their request. When she first stumbled across it, she couldn't quite believe her luck. Finally, there was someone who could speak to the ghosts for her. She would find out why they refused to speak. She'd get her answers.

The radio station was a blinking light ahead, and the only car around was the one that had passed her by earlier. She smiled, a flash of white against her red lips. She'd come back to that later, but for now, the station. She slipped into the building, the door was unlocked. She moved from the tiny green room, to the office, passing in front of the window of the recording booth. She wasn't sure where the other guy was, but the host was right where she expected him to be. She winked at him, giving him a wave as she opened the back door (also unlocked) and slipped outside into the cool night air. She really felt like a ghost now, she'd never thought about haunting anyone before. There was something quite enjoyable about it.
I look out the window somedays, I see a million ways, and that's fine.
I didn't dance how I wanted to dance, I did a bit of prance, and that's fine.

Take your guess, spurious at best.
Can't you see its all just chaos?

I breathe in and then I breathe out, I've got a trillion doubts, and that's fine.
I took a road that wasn't a road but it was something I chose, and that's fine.

Take your guess, spurious at best.
Can't you see its all just chaos?


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Mousen Heath
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Re: Heard It on the Radio [P, Atoli & I | M: V, G]

Postby Atoli01 » 11/06/2016 9:19 PM

It was a slow night. It was only 2:07am, but there was usually someone crying at his door before he even stepped foot out Avery's car. He wondered if the little girl from last night would visit again. She had come several times over the past month, and every night, he prayed her absence was a sign that she had moved on. Alas, her family had not heard her message, and he doubted they would if they hadn't heard it by now. It was really only those whose relatives, boyfriends, friends, what have you, were superstitious who found peace through his radio. For the others, he tried his best to find other avenues to help them move on. He'd scour phone books for family addresses, buy children's books from the library, hand them paintbrushes so they could paint one last time, that sort of thing. Avery was usually his errand boy.

There were a few he had been forced to turn down though. Nikolai would never help a ghost who was violent. He was still made of flesh and blood. To him it didn't matter if the "experts" assured innocent folk that no true harm could be done at the hands of a specter; he had heard stories and, true or not, he wasn't about to take such a risk with his own body. Despite his best efforts, sometimes he had to throw in the towel. Sometimes the ghost asked for too much. Sometimes nothing he did seemed to help. Hell, some of those wandering spirit themselves had no clue what they wanted. He wasn't a therapist; he was merely a bridge between the spiritual and physical world.

So when the heard the front door of his shack creak open, he wondered what category tonight's guest would find themselves in. He knew it wasn't Avery. If it was Avery, Nikolai would have seen him pass in front of the recording booth. The brunette stiffened in his seat, listening carefully to the approaching footsteps. Something was wrong. Footsteps? What he saw next spooked him in a way few ghosts had been privileged to do.

She was a human. She winked at him. She winked, she waved, and she left. It was the girl who they drove past earlier. At the time he didn't pay much attention to her appearance, but those eyes. He recognized the eyes. It was though she was teasing him. Avery could see her. He could see her, right? He saw her earlier. Color drained from Nikolai's face as he scrambled up from the table and out of the recording booth.

"Avery, she's out in the back! That hitchhiker girl from earlier! Nikolai exclaimed, bracing himself against one of the shack's shelves for support. He watched as his now groggy friend crawled out of bed, and for a second Nikolai felt bad for him. His worry was for naught however, as Avery bolted out the shack before Nikolai could even regain even footing. What the hell was going on here? It was as if the strange hunted him down. Maybe he'd put it for early retirement.

"What are you here for? We drove past you earlier because we can't give you a ride. We have a telephone in the shack if that's what you need, but we're busy. I don't know what more we can do to help you." Nikolai heard Avery snarl. Nikolai leaned against the frame of the back door, still glancing nervously back toward the booth. They didn't have time to deal with this. What if someone showed up?


A beautiful moon shines above again tonight,
And it sheds light happily over the world.
As for me, I'm just worthless, good for nothing,
Dreaming at daybreak, creeping at dawn.

Still I'll scream into the sky, hoping that somebody will find me.
I want to run, but there's no way out--
No bright future in sight.
But I still fly up like a butterfly, hoping that you'll find me.
A crescent moon, ugly children of the stars, flying with broken wings...!


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Re: Heard It on the Radio [P, Atoli & I | M: V, G]

Postby Mousen Heath » 12/27/2016 4:06 PM

She was sat, cross-legged, on the hood of their car. The single streetlight that illuminated the radio station's tiny parking lot caught her hair, the red dye glimmered unnaturally. She was already lighting herself another cigarette as Avery ran out of the door to snarl at her. It almost seemed as she didn't hear him. She inhaled deeply, the cigarette held loosely between two of her fingers. If Avery had had the patience to look at the packet she'd taken it from, he'd have found that it was from brand that had gone out of business several years previously.

She smiled. "Look, pal," her accent was a little difficult to place, not foreign, but with a strange lilt to her words. "I'm here precisely because you can help me."

She took another drag from her cigarette, blowing a neat smoke ring. "Well, your friend hiding back in the station can. He's the one I'm here to see."

Tonya slipped from the hood of the car towards Avery. "Don't you know a ghost when you see one?"
I look out the window somedays, I see a million ways, and that's fine.
I didn't dance how I wanted to dance, I did a bit of prance, and that's fine.

Take your guess, spurious at best.
Can't you see its all just chaos?

I breathe in and then I breathe out, I've got a trillion doubts, and that's fine.
I took a road that wasn't a road but it was something I chose, and that's fine.

Take your guess, spurious at best.
Can't you see its all just chaos?


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Mousen Heath
Bat Country Survivor
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Keystones: 70
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