Phantasmagoria: A Realm of Nightmares and Dreams
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Chapter Zero: Meetings

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Chapter Zero: Meetings

Post by spaceyjdjames on 2011-01-24, 13:05

In-character posts will be normal-colored; if I am posting as GM I will make the post in all red to avoid confusion.

* * *

Sybil had arrived at the room where the study group she had organized would meet a full hour before the meeting began. She would have shown up earlier but the room reservation at the library wouldn’t let her reserve it any earlier than that, and the fear that another group might already be meeting there and she would barge in on them terrified her. Now she was in the room, wondering when the first peer would show up, hoping she had typed the right room in the email she had sent out, paranoid about everything that could go wrong. To say that this was hard for Sybil would be an understatement of epic proportions. The part that was hard for her was admitting that she needed help in the first place, organizing and meeting a bunch of strangers Sybil didn’t even know how she had done. Part of her was convinced that she had been possessed typing out the individual emails to each group member.

Waiting for the others, Sybil had to continually prevent herself from scripting her introduction. She wanted it to feel natural and friendly, but her innate desire for preparedness was a strong force. After doing some research on group dynamics and interpersonal conflict, she had begrudgingly accepted that this first meeting should be spent on getting to know each other, and that the actual studying wouldn’t start until next week. Sybil just hoped that it wouldn’t be too late by then to save her four-point. Once a day over the past week, Sybil had looked to today with her auger’s eye to make sure everything was going well, but of course she also knew that once she had seen a future, it would interfere with the future itself, preventing her exact vision from ever coming true. Still, it was comforting that not once in the seven occurrences of this meeting she had seen was there a major argument or disagreement. The weird thing about her abilities was that the visions were actually visual. If she focused carefully snippets of conversation could be picked up, but mostly she saw a third-person overview of the event in muffled tones. Something inside her took joy in knowing that she, the blind one of the group, was as of yet the only one who had seen every member of the group.

Sybil heard the door handle turning and desperately fought the urge to feel her watch and check the time. She didn’t want to give the impression she had been waiting long. She tried to focus her eyes to the desk, or somewhere down at least, so that whoever was coming in wouldn’t feel stared at. It was at times like these that Sybil was almost grateful for being blind, because she could sit there silently with nobody able to gape her into submitting to a conversation. To fill the space, Sybil arranged her notes and her computer, shuffling some of the papers loudly. A little background noise was soothing to her. Normally when she was nervous like this, she would play some of Beethoven’s later works. Listening to the beautiful creations of a deaf composer was her greatest escape from her disability. She enjoyed the parallel between a deaf songwriter and a blind clairvoyant. If Beethoven could write such songs without ever hearing them, surely Sybil’s own inability to see would not impede her from achieving greatness as well.

Sybil’s watch was set to beep at 6:30 when the meeting would begin. Until then, she felt no obligation to start a conversation herself, though if whoever was entering right now spoke to her, she would not rudely ignore them. Sybil waited for them to come through the doorway so she could listen to their footfalls and breathing and try to figure out who it was. Her earlier scrying of this meeting always began after her watch beeped, and the pyropath, Zkar, was always late. Other than knowing he would be late, Sybil had intentionally avoided seeing who would be the first to show up. She quieted, listening for the graceful steps that would denote Aurora, the hortiphile, the confidant stride of Munroe, the hex witch, or the bigger thumps of the shapeshifter Marcas’ feet.

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Re: Chapter Zero: Meetings

Post by AngelicDemonsCreeds on 2011-01-24, 21:20

As Marcas approached the door, he slowed down, his footsteps quieting from the hastened shuffle/run from before, when he had feared being late. Now they were almost a whisper as he slid beside the door jam, peering through the crack between the door and wall to see who was inside. He had been afraid of being late, but he also didn’t want to be the first one there. Thankfully, only one person was inside. He stared for a second, trying to match what he had read in the emails about everyone to the woman inside.

Hmm, she’s early, seems like the quiet type, and is a fidgeter. I would guess Sybil, he thought, comparing what he could see to a few other Oracle friends he had and what had been in the email. Well, since she probably already knows I’m here, it would be rude to just stand here watching her. He straightened his jacket, gripped his books more firmly in his hand, then opened the door, all attempts at stealth he had previously shown gone.

“Hello,” Mac said nervously, scratching the back of his head with the hand that had opened the door. He looked at her eyes, ignoring the fact that she was blind and approaching her like he would anyone else; that is, when he would actually approach someone since he preferred disappearing into the background. He kicked the door closed behind him absentmindedly, then offered his hand.

“Sorry I’m a little late,” he said, glancing down at his watch. It’s only 3 after, idiot, he thought to himself, which increased his nerves. He struggled past them in hopes of making a good first impression. “I’m Marcas Zietzel, but you can just call me Mac. Everyone else does.” He immediately grabbed a seat near her, searching frantically for topics of conversation.

“Um, in case you don’t remember, I’m the shapeshifter freshman. I, uh, actually had a couple oracle friends back in high school. Nice to meet someone who I can sorta relate to, I guess. I-I mean, my roommate is a nonmagic person, and it’s n-nice to meet someone who has magic and…” He broke off, going red with embarrassment and looking away at the floor. Nice one, you screw-up. He busied himself instead with placing out his notes and starting up his laptop.

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Re: Chapter Zero: Meetings

Post by βεℓℓαdoηηα on 2011-02-05, 16:29

There was a lightness to Aurora's graceful steps as she moved down the hall and towards the room in which the study group had been scheduled to have it's first meeting. She wasn't in a rush, her strides smooth and without hurry as her long legs carried her towards the room. The meeting wasn't supposed to begin for another twenty-seven minutes so what was the point in rushing? She wondered who was already waiting within the room as she neared the closed door, running a hand through her chestnut colored curls as she gripped the strap of her messenger bag with her free hand. While the whole purpose of this was to improve her grades, she was also excited that it provided an opportunity to meet people that were like her...in a sense.

Stepping into the room with a soft smile passing over her full lips, Ro's ever green irises moved over the two figures within the room before speaking. "Hi." She murmured, setting her bag down on the chair nearest to her. "I'm Aurora. But everyone calls me Ro." She introduced herself with a warm smile, taking in the two before her with a curious intrest. The girl, she knew instantly, was Sybil, the oracle. And the shapeshifter. She'd read over the descriptions in their emails enough to be able to spot them out immediately. Always the one prepared.

The boy, Marcus, she was sure his name was, seemed nervous as he tried to distract himself with his belongings, the obvious blush coloring his cheeks. "You must be Marcas, right? And Sybil?" There was no shyness when Aurora spoke, a confidence to her outgoing demeanor, a desire to get to know people. They were after all, going to be spending quite some time together.

Taking her seat as she waited for the others to reply, Ro removed the earbud that had been in her ear, putting her iTouch away before removing her own laptop and notebook, both decorated with an intricate pattern of art on the covers. So the oracle and the shapeshifter were here, that left out the Pyropath and the Hexwitch.

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Re: Chapter Zero: Meetings

Post by remedy on 2011-02-05, 20:06

Munroe Irelyn Romanci was born to a mother with multiple mental illnesses in the asylum set outside of town and outside of sight for the benefit of those who were normal. For the first seven years of her life the little girl lived among those that called the institution home and considered them to be her family, by the time she was adopted after her mother's death she would never be able to see the world as what most would considered normal, but who knows if it was growing up with the crazies or hereditary genes that made her the way she is now. Plagued by bouts of happiness, shining moments of spontaneity blossoming from the sheer air itself and highlighted with an ever present urge of obsession. It was once assumed that Munroe had inherited the bipolar disorder her mother was famous for having not only herself, but as her three other personalities too. However, the assumption was squashed when this fit of "mania" never seemed to flip the other direction. Instead the girl's obsession with old things became apparent when she turned fifteen and instead of bringing home tutus from the shops she frequently begged to go into she brought other people's old journals, books, trinkets... pieces that made them who they were while they were alive. No, Munroe wasn't bipolar, she was simply looking for her dad.

This same impulse is what drove her into the antique shop just off of campus, her petite frame moving into the building to the sound of the bell above the door. The shopkeeper didn't even bother to turn around as they both looked at the display of clocks toward the back of the room.

"I thought you had that study thing today, shouldn't you be avoiding this distraction?"

"I have another ten minutes, and besides... I feel like something is here today." Munroe stated, her red locks still curled wildly around her shoulders from the photo shoot she had just escaped. This one would bring in some money for a while she hoped, but then again her modeling shoots usually did and so she didn't really worry. She already had all of her books for the semester, things she needed for sure were covered and food was something she could go without every once in a while if a bill needed the funding instead so for Munroe things felt pretty good... especially today.

Her grey eyes scanned the spines of the books in front of her, lined up on the shelves until she found the one she had known would be there today of all days. It was tattered, black leather worn from being opened and reopened again and again by the woman who had once written in it nightly... Hannah had been her mother once though most days even she didn't know it and the now self sufficient college student could only hope that the journal before her held more lucid moments with Hannah than it did with Lucille, Audra, or Betty. "Hey, ten bucks on my tab?" she asked, holding the book up in delicate fingers only to get a soft nod before she was out once again in the wet weather of the season. She needed to get to that study session after all.

Tucking the worn book into her bag and pulling her coat around her Munroe moved down the block and back onto campus, her pace brisk through the squares and courtyards leading to the library where the e-mail had suggested their first meeting would take place. A look at her phone told her she would be a few minutes late and that showing up in high fashion as she was probably wouldn't go over well with these people, but today had been busy like the rest and as she ran up the stairs of one of the school's first buildings she couldn't help but wonder if this one would ever end. Yes, she needed the study group to make sure she stayed here through this semester and the next, but she needed her mother's words to lead her to the missing puzzle piece of her own crazy life.

Her confident stride led her through the stacks and down the hall toward the meeting room, eyes scanning the three people who already sat at the table before she tossed her bag down on the hard wooden top. "Hey, I'm Munroe... hex witch." she told them, short and sweet and to the point as she took a seat in one of the chairs. "This is the right study group, right?"

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Re: Chapter Zero: Meetings

Post by spaceyjdjames on 2011-02-19, 11:10

As the shapeshifter introduced himself, (Mac, he goes by Mac, Sybil made mental note) Sybil waited politely for her chance to talk. It came when Mac trailed off, his inflection making it obvious that he thought he had dug himself in a bit of a hole. His rambling had been no worse than most of Sybil’s own attempts at introduction, but she also knew that most people hold themselves to higher standard than they hold everyone else.

“Hi Mac,” said Sybil finally, smiling slightly. Sybil wasn’t quite sure what smiles looked like, or how well her replication of them came, so she always kept her grins subdued. “It’s nice to meet you too. I’m Sybil. Some people call me Syb, because I guess two syllables is too much for them.” She waited to see if he would respond to her joke. It wasn’t a very good one considering two things: one, her parents were the only ones who called her Syb and two, Mac was also a monosyllabic abbreviation for a two-syllable name. She noticed her eyes had started drifting so she pulled them back down somewhere in the direction of the ground or the papers in front of her.

Fortunately, they were interrupted before Mac could respond. Sybil’s perceptive ear could catch some grainy music coming out of headphones on the other side of the door just before it swung open smoothly and Aurora entered. Sybil marvelled at the fluidity of Ro’s introductions; nothing like the bumbling half-conversation that had just occurred between Sybil and Mac. She breathed a little relief. It was already obvious that Ro was the leader type, that she was the kind to take charge and keep things rolling. Sybil was not that type at all. Sure, she had gotten this group together, but that effort represented weeks of careful research, planning, and nervousness. Once things got rolling, Sybil would be glad to step back and let someone else take head.

The three made light conversation for the twenty minutes remaining until her watch timer went off, signalling that the meeting was scheduled to start, just after which Sybil heard the door open again, allowing the hex witch Munroe through.

“Hi,” said Sybil to Munroe. “We were just about to get started, though we are still missing one... I am sure he will be here soon, though.” It was truer than the expression was generally intended, as Sybil had glanced at seven different versions of this future and in all of them he arrived no more than fifteen minutes past. “Anyway, I was just going to say that for tonight, we should probably get to know each other a little, and we can start the actual studying next week, if that’s okay with everyone?” The consensus seemed to be in the affirmative, though it was a bit delayed, presumably because they had initially nodded and shrugged, then soon realized that Sybil’s blindness prevented that from being an adequate response. “So I guess we can just go around and say a little about ourselves.

“I’ll start. I’m Sybil Malone, an oracle, and I’ve been blind since birth. Which you probably noticed.” Sybil always hoped someone would laugh at that, but nobody ever did. “Um, I’ve always worked really hard in school, but now that I am studying magic I am having a little trouble wrapping my head around some of these other schools, which is why I made this group.” She stopped and waited for the next introduction, breathing in deeply. Sybil wasn’t agoraphobic, but taking charge of people always stressed her out a little. In her lap, her hands fidgeted and sweat. She was just glad her turn was over. Hopefully from here things would start rolling more naturally.

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Re: Chapter Zero: Meetings

Post by AngelicDemonsCreeds on 2011-02-19, 21:45

Mac listened intently as Sybil spoke, starting to laugh a little then fading off when no one else responded to her little joke. He knew what it was like to be ignored, and although he was used to it he wasn’t sure if she was so he tried his best to hold on to every word. Realizing she was done, he decided to go next because he got here second. Why do you have such odd reasoning? said the voice. He pushed it away as he started speaking.

“Hello, I’m Marcas Zietzel, the shapeshifter. You can call me Mac; just about everyone else I know does. Uh, I’m here because I’m not all that good with magic. It’s actually pretty good this study group popped up when it did, or I would have been screwed. So, uh, thanks Syb. And, uh, if anyone has any issues with academic classes, then I’d be happy to help. Otherwise, I think I’ll just, you know, um, sit here and take notes. Nice to meet you all.” He nodded to the room in general and sat down, embarrassed. Then he almost immediately went back into his observer “mode,” making him almost fade into the background. That’s right. Hide your shame. Mac angrily shoved the idea from his forethoughts, instead forcing himself to focus on the room in general as he waited from the next person to introduce themselves.

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Re: Chapter Zero: Meetings

Post by βεℓℓαdoηηα on 2011-02-23, 04:18

Aurora listened intently to the introductions as each member went around summing up themselves best they could and giving reasons for joining the group, some similar to her own. Sybil seemed to be a very sweet girl, though nervous. It was clear to tell she was uncomfortable speaking towards the group when she was on the spot and Ro could tell she was relieved when her turn was over. The little joke of her being blind since birth was amusing soley because Ro knew she was only using it to make light of the situation to avoid awkwardness that most people had when speaking to someone with a 'disability' but she didn't want to laugh, even if thats what the girl was hoping for. It just seemed...disrespectful. And when the shapeshifter...Mac, she remembered, faded off with his laughter, she sent him a small smile. It was blatantly obvious he was just as nervous and uncomfortable as Sybil.

When it was her turn to speak, Ro rose to her feet and wrapped her slender arms around her dainty midsection, taking a moment to collect her thoughts before speaking. Unlike the other two, she had no problem speaking in front of people. It just wasn't in her character to be shy and it showed with the way she carried herself as she introduced herself to those within the room. "Well, my name is Aurora but I prefer Ro." She began with a friendly smile. "I'm a hortiphile, means I can control plants and the like. I've been pretty good with my...talents, I suppose. But theres always room for improvement, right?" She teased before continuing. "I basically joined this group for the same reasons as the rest of you, to improve my grades seeing as how I tend to lose intrest in things rather quickly, including in schoolwork. But despite that, I'm a major history buff so if anyone needs help with anything concerning that topic, I'd be happy to help."

With that, the fiery brunette took her seat once more, one leg tucked beneath the other as she rested her cheek in the palm of her hand, watching the others with a faint smile of interest on her lips. As far as first impressions go, they all seemed to be genuinely interesting people. People she wouldn't mind having to spend a large amount of time with.

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