May 22 13:06:46 <Maddy> Hikaru is hanging out in the post office. She knocks on Deni's door.
May 22 13:08:37 <WalrusKing> There's silence from inside.
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May 22 13:11:17 <Maddy> "Mr. Cregson, are you awake? I was wondering if you were hungry."
May 22 13:13:02 <WalrusKing> After a moment, a muffled voice emerges from within. "Oh god that was not a pleasant way to wake up. I am slightly hungry, yes."
May 22 13:15:19 <Maddy> "I can get you some food, do you have any dietary restrictions?"
May 22 13:16:37 <WalrusKing> "I do not."
May 22 13:20:05 <Maddy> "I'll returns shortly then." she wanders off to find, 1) food, and 2) someone with a kkey to the room.
May 22 13:22:43 <Echo> Mitchell's not too far away. I'll say he's been dicking around in the makeshift armory.
May 22 13:27:35 <Maddy> "Mitchell, do you have a moment?"
May 22 13:31:29 <Echo> "Huh? Yeah, what's up?"
May 22 13:32:48 <Maddy> "Mr. Cregson is awake and I thought to bring him some food but I don't have the key."
May 22 13:36:06 <Echo> "Uhhhh, you know where we keep the edibles, right? I'll wait here for ya to come back. I'd rather not see anybody go in there alone, especially armed, in case he managed to snatch some shit. Last thing we need to do is give a guy we know nothin' about a gun an' a hostage."
May 22 13:37:38 <Maddy> "Right. I'll be back in a moment." she goes off to the food house, putting together some canned soup breakfast thing.
May 22 13:38:21 <Maddy> Eventually she returns with warmed up soup and some lime water.
May 22 13:40:56 <Echo> Mitchell removes most of his LBE and hangs it on a nail recently pounded into the wall at the rear of the post office box back office, takes one of the old 9mm handguns, and tucks it behind his belt at the small of his back. He starts over toward the locked office with Deni, and stops. "… no shit." *After* locking the armory…
May 22 13:41:05 <Echo> … he goes over to the door, keys in hand.
May 22 13:42:31 <Maddy> "Should I put away my weapon also?"
May 22 13:42:43 <MonkeyBomb> Brock is around here somewhere, doing something.
May 22 13:42:47 <Echo> "Yes, please." It takes him a few moments to sort through the keys for the ones that look like they go to doors with this kinda lock, and a few more to find exactly the right one, but he gets there eventually. Before unlocking it, he raps on the door a couple times.
May 22 13:44:01 <WalrusKing> "Who is there?"
May 22 13:44:07 <Echo> "Mr. Cregson? This is Sergeant Mitchell. We're gonna bring some food in to ya, and hopefully have a few words. For both your safety an' ours, I'm gonna ask you to stand against the wall on the far side of the room, opposite this door, hands in view as we step inside. Do you understand my request?"
May 22 13:44:13 <Maddy> She pulls her gun of her weird magic harnes thing and puts it…somewhere safe?
May 22 13:46:52 <WalrusKing> You hear shuffling behind the door. "I am in position."
May 22 13:50:27 <Echo> "Very well. If you are not in the location I asked you to stand, we're gonna back right the hell out, and we can try it again about 24 hours from now." Mitchell elbows Hikaru, gives a little nod, unlocks the door, and then quickly shoves the keys down into a buttoned-up cargo pocket.
May 22 13:51:15 <Maddy> Hikaru goes in with le food. "Afternoon."
May 22 13:57:37 <WalrusKing> He is standing up against the back wall as instructed. "Is it already?"
May 22 13:58:00 <Maddy> "Almost two oclock if the oven clock is to be trusted."
May 22 13:58:51 <Echo> "Howdy, Mr. Cregson. Or was it Doctor? I thought I heard somebody mention you was the professional sort."
May 22 13:59:30 <Echo> "You can relax, by the way, just make my life easier an' don't make no real quick movements in our direction, if ya please."
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May 22 14:00:59 <PaulS_laptop> Matt is dinking about, and finishes reassembling Deni's rifle
May 22 14:01:19 <PaulS_laptop> all in all, he's happier with his own, so he opts not to Claim it
May 22 14:03:50 <Maddy> "It's not much in the way of a breakfast, but here is some tomato soup and lime water.
May 22 14:03:51 <Maddy> "
May 22 14:05:23 <WalrusKing> "I'm no doctor, and have never held claim to a rank higher than sergeant actually. Though I suppose all of that is irrelevant now. Thank you for the breakfast. It's sometimes hard to believe food exists in any form but dried packets anymore."
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May 22 14:07:48 <WalrusKing> He seems to relax a bit, but mostly just seems haggard.
May 22 14:08:32 <Maddy> "So what happened to your home? I mean if you don't mind me asking."
May 22 14:12:08 <WalrusKing> "He rubs his eyes. I've already told you some of the gist of it, but the gist is all I have. We grew too confident in ourselves, got too good at the game. Made the mistake of thinking that even if something could come along that would trump us, we'd see it coming."
May 22 14:12:52 <Echo> "You're good at bein' vague."
May 22 14:13:12 <Echo> "None'a that explains why the bird lady wanted to kill yer ass."
May 22 14:13:33 <Echo> "And why you was tellin' us to steer clear of 'er if we knew better."
May 22 14:14:05 <Echo> "Look at it from where we're at. I'll tell the chain of events as we saw it."
May 22 14:14:19 <WalrusKing> He gives a small, tired laugh. "That I am. I will try to be less so."
May 22 14:15:33 <Echo> "We're sittin' here in town, we see a bigass firefight up north, find Chirrik, the bird lady shot to pieces, and assholes with knockoff guns all over the place. An' not to mention that weird-ass Door. I don't know what you call it, or how familiar ya are with 'em, but we've seen more than a few in the past couple months, an' we got a lady that might as well
May 22 14:15:39 <Echo> have a doctorate in the things."
May 22 14:16:17 <Echo> "Except there's somethin' weird about this one. It's all fucked up. An' the survivor we brought back with Chirrik was all fucked up too. Had somethin' inside his head that apparently wanted to surf over to somebody else."
May 22 14:17:32 <Echo> "Couple days later, we come back to the Door, find out it can't be closed through no means *we* know of, which is fuckin' odd as ya might say, an we find *another* person pointin' guns as us, that bein' you, an' now we got you and the birdlady, two people that might as well just magically appeared, that don't trust each other."
May 22 14:17:59 <Echo> "We can't even speak her language, and we ain't got nothin' forthcomin' from you yet, so you can understand the confusion."
May 22 14:18:07 <Echo> "Why don't ya go ahead an' help us understand."
May 22 14:22:12 <WalrusKing> "The whole thing goes back to the Doors, as you put them. We had some sort of official name, but we called them mostly the same thing. Don't know how long we've known about them, they were need to know and all that for a while. Recently, some clever kid figured out how to make them do what we want, at least a little."
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May 22 14:25:06 <WalrusKing> "Can't remember how long ago that was. Not anymore. Anyways, I don't know how that part of it works, and don't think I ever did. Maybe it's for the best that way. There was only one problem: the Doors have a knock, as you seem to know. Having instant transport from one place to another is nice, but is less nice when you need to keep track of the knock for each one, not to mention getting ones that have nice, easy knocks."
May 22 14:25:55 <Echo> "So, the idea being, I'm guessin', control the knocks, or get rid of 'em completely. Or… was that part unintentional."
May 22 14:28:08 <WalrusKing> "Getting rid of the knocks would have made the Doors useful beyond compare. That's what the project, The Yellow Tower, was supposed to do, at least at first. I don't know what the idea was towards the end."
May 22 14:28:55 <Echo> "You keep mentionin' that. The Yellow Tower."
May 22 14:30:42 <WalrusKing> "Maybe we were doomed from the moment we started fucking around with those damned Doors. But I think that was the thing that ruined it all." He sounds bitter.
May 22 14:31:43 <Maddy> "Perhaps the Yellow Tower was the place we entered wth Chirrik, with the many Doors?"
May 22 14:31:50 <WalrusKing> He gives a tired laugh. "You know, after a little bit they noticed that some of the stuff that we had contained around it broke or stopped being a problem. And they thought it was a good thing, at first."
May 22 14:32:31 <WalrusKing> He pales a little. "I do not think the pilot would be stupid enough to bring you there. That sounds like The Atrium."
May 22 14:33:25 <Echo> "Yeah, when we went through the Door, we made it through a little way. Might, uh, might go back in with hazmat suits next time. Chirrik was wearin' a respirator. Buncha shit floatin' around through the air. Like, uh, little black puffs'a burnt shit."
May 22 14:34:10 <Echo> "We made it in a little ways across a rooftop to an interior area. Had to what, Hikaru, knock on the door to open it? Couldn't kick the damn thing open. Well, Chirrik couldn't, and she looks sturdy enough."
May 22 14:34:20 <Echo> "She saw somethin' she didn't like, and we got the fuck out."
May 22 14:35:18 <Maddy> "More like heard I think. She kept shushin us."
May 22 14:35:37 <WalrusKing> He nods. "The Atrium isn't safe anymore, I don't think. Then again, nowhere really is over there, anymore. The burning was her, I think. A few weeks ago. She's been a busy bee, as her people tend to be."
May 22 14:36:22 <Maddy> "So the building on fire is the Tower?"
May 22 14:37:46 <WalrusKing> He shakes his head. "Nonono. If you had seen the Tower, you would have known. I don't recommend looking at it. The thing has a way of sticking in the mind. I can't remember what they did there anymore, but they did something very very wrong."
May 22 14:38:12 <WalrusKing> "Or maybe the Tower itself was the wrong thing. I don't know anymore. I just don't know." He seems agitated.
May 22 14:38:19 <Maddy> "Mmm, is there anyone left alive in your home?"
May 22 14:39:50 <WalrusKing> "I'm not sure. You have to understand, that place is rotten to the core. Even if I saw someone, I could not tell you if they were alive, or even real."
May 22 14:41:02 <WalrusKing> "You see someone you can be relatively certain every once in a while, but it's rarer all the time. The pilot and the major are the only two I've seen this past month, as far as I can remember."
May 22 14:41:11 <WalrusKing> *relatively certain of
May 22 14:41:31 <Maddy> Hikaru seems pensive. "There's another? Or was that on the other sied?"
May 22 14:43:24 <WalrusKing> "I doubt he would leave his spot. He seems to believe in safety through entrenching. Comandeered a bunker, has only one approach left open, and even that is trapped and covered like you wouldn't believe. Don't know if it would help though."
May 22 14:44:39 <Maddy> "So what are our options here? Our world is broken enough without yours spilling in."
May 22 14:45:05 <WalrusKing> "That place rots the mind. You lose time, and find yourself struggling to remember things that you barely laid aside, mentally. Shapes on the horizion, or in distant windows sometimes, but I couldn't tell you if they were actually there. But the worst is the knocking."
May 22 14:46:02 <WalrusKing> "I… I don't know. I know the pilot has a plan, I've learnt at least that much through observation. I think she intends to strike the tower down."
May 22 14:47:00 <Echo> "You keep callin' her the pilot. What's she the pilot *of*? She seemed like she was, uh, hell, I dunno, infantry maybe. Or at least knew enough to act like she knew what she was doin'."
May 22 14:47:51 <Maddy> "But is this plan feaible?" she looks at Mitchell. "If it is, we should help her. Even if all it does is stop the unknocked doors, that would be much safer for everyone I think."
May 22 14:51:00 <WalrusKing> "She's what we call a flutter. Another of our mistakes, but this one from years ago. We had an object at one point that eased genetic recombination. It broke eventually, but we managed to produce a few viable strains before it did. One of the results was her people. They're the only ones we kept around though, the others all died out."
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May 22 14:53:12 <WalrusKing> "We went public a few years back. Eight maybe? Their genetic stock kept getting out into the civilian public, and that was one of the reasons. Currently, they mostly live on a contractual basis. We raise them to adulthood, they work for us for a few years, then they do as they wish. I assumed she was a pilot from the suit, though her contract is up if I had to guess."
May 22 14:53:57 <Echo> "Wait, what? A flutter? And what, they bred with humans?"
May 22 14:55:42 <WalrusKing> "That's just our name for their race. They're the result of an animal human recombination we did a few years back. Not dead sure how the mechanics worked, but there was an anomalous object involved, which is probably the only reason it succeeded. Well sort of succeeded. Their median life span is around 40 years shorter than a person from what I can remember."
May 22 14:56:37 <WalrusKing> "I've always admired them. They're fiercely loyal to the Bureau, on a whole. Who knows, maybe one of our mistakes can correct another."
May 22 14:56:49 <Maddy> "That's nice and all but I think the heard fo the issue here is the Tower and whatever you have coming through the doors."
May 22 14:56:55 <Maddy> *heart of
May 22 14:57:38 <WalrusKing> He shakes his head. "I don't know how much or even if your world is in danger. All I know is that she and I must see this thing to the end, no matter how that is."
May 22 14:57:39 <Echo> "Yeah. What made the guy we brought back go nuts? He said there was somethin' inside that wanted out, and wanted in one of *us*. Like, that was more or less his words."
May 22 14:58:07 <Echo> "Somethin' tried gettin' inside one'a our people's heads, and uh… well, we put a stop to it."
May 22 14:58:26 <Maddy> "If destroying the Tower fixes the Doors, perhaps you could rebuild with who's left. If not, you could move here I suppose?"
May 22 15:00:42 <WalrusKing> "It's nothing sentient, at least, I don't think." He seems unsure for a second. "Something about what we did is fundamentally toxic. I don't know if its The Tower itself, or what we did with it. All I know is that some knowledge mixed in here is poison."
May 22 15:01:42 <WalrusKing> He shakes his head. "Our world is dead, or worse. There is nothing left for us, but to try to vindicate ourselves in the end, and if this thing is dangerous to other places, try to kill the horror at the root."
May 22 15:02:34 <Maddy> "So we destroy ths tower, then whoever is not invarriably tainted could shift here. We could ue the people, and you could use a home?"
May 22 15:03:15 <WalrusKing> He sighs. "We can try."
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May 22 15:08:09 <Maddy> "Our world is on life support, from a similar situation, but it's better than nothing." she laughs. "The only question left is can we get you and Chirrik working together?"
May 22 15:11:39 <WalrusKing> He shrugs. "If she knows that the dialog is between you and her, she'll probably listen. She's already gotten the only thing she trusts from me."
May 22 15:12:38 <WalrusKing> "She nicked my map yesterday."
May 22 15:13:26 <Echo> "That's why she was ready to shoot your ass to death? She stole your map?"
May 22 15:17:01 <WalrusKing> "No, she was ready to shoot me to death because, well…" He pales a bit. "Let me paint you a picture. You haven't seen anyone for DAYS. You lost half of yesterday, outright can't remember what it was you did. You're about to turn in for the night, when you see someone a long ways away. You shrug and lock all the doors, settle in to get some sleep. And thats when it starts. The knocking."
May 22 15:18:49 <Echo> "Okaaayyy…"
May 22 15:19:30 <WalrusKing> "You take a look at the guy from your window. You usually can't see much. They don't seem to show up when you could. And they keep knocking, and asking for you to let them in. HOURS of intermittent pleading to be let in, all the while, trying the door, knocking over and over."
May 22 15:20:00 <Maddy> "Sounds like a horror story, to be sure."
May 22 15:22:17 <WalrusKing> "Between the isolation, the loss of sleep, and every /fucking/ thing else, you start to doubt people. You see someone, but are they real? You want to trust them, but you can't. And the further you go along, the more logical it seems not to trust them. To some extent, we can't trust each other, lest it turn out it's just another turn of the screw, another twist in the nightmare."
May 22 15:23:20 <Echo> "An' that's how it is on the other side of the Door?"
May 22 15:23:23 <Maddy> "I don't suppose Shisai's abilities to…do whatever it is she does, would waylay these fears?
May 22 15:23:38 <Echo> "So, what, you saw each other and started shootin'?"
May 22 15:29:20 <WalrusKing> "It's safer than the alternative."
May 22 15:31:37 <Echo> Mitchell throws a glance over at Hikaru. "Might be. Hell, maybe bring her in next time. Might be useful."
May 22 15:32:45 <Maddy> "She doesn't liek like she's much of a fighter, I meant more that she could check Mr. Cregson to show Chirrik he is real, and weve already done the same for her."
May 22 15:34:00 <Echo> "Oooooh. That's prob'ly a good idea."
May 22 15:37:55 <Maddy> "I think at the very least we should see if we can make it so we don't havee to keep anyone locked up."
May 22 15:41:12 <Echo> "Yeah. I ain't a fan'a the concept of throwin' somebody in jail that ain't done nothin' to us." Mitchell glances back over at Deni. "'Til we can try the idea with Haeata, this is more for your protection now than anything."
May 22 15:43:20 <Maddy> "We'll need you to translate anyways.:
May 22 15:44:26 <WalrusKing> He shakes his head. "I appreciate the intention, but doubt theres anything you can do. She won't kill me if you don't want her to, at least I don't think, but she won't like me no matter what you do."
May 22 15:45:43 <Maddy> "That's fair, I suppose."
May 22 15:49:51 <Maddy> "So what now, Mitchell?"
May 22 15:53:37 <Echo> "Well hell. You figure on lettin' him out? Now, I mean?"
May 22 15:54:36 <Maddy> "He has no weapons, and I feel good about him not trying anything. I also trust Chirrik to do the same."
May 22 15:57:02 <Echo> "So how's about it, Deni?"
May 22 15:57:38 <Echo> "We'll try to talkin' to Chirrik later, an' get your gun back to ya. Hate to see ya unarmed if some shit came down on us. That Door ain't the only thing we've got bad around here."