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 Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]

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Shadow

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PostSubject: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Thu May 11, 2017 11:07 pm

At least Beth had had a good night's rest. Now she was more confused than ever. She had awoken after a blackout in a strange new place she was positive wasn't actually real, found out that she had a room in a random building in the town she popped into, and ran into people who felt... awkward. Not like 'I don't want to talk to you, girl' awkward, but almost as unreal as the scenery around her. After sleeping the night away in her depressing one-room apartment and snacking on a roll she found, she decided that she was going to try to explore some more and see what she could come up with. Maybe she could meet someone who could explain what the hell was going on.

As she made her way through the city, the terrain turned from urban territory to large fields which soon gave way to a vast expanse of valley. So far so good. She had made sure to mark or note where she came from in each small village she came across so she knew her way back, and before she knew it, the valley morphed into a marsh. Well this certainly was different. It also looked a little... creepy. However, she continued on her journey, pushing through to find... something. She wasn't entirely sure. She just needed answers.

"Ugh..." she groaned as she pushed through the marsh, her boot squishing through the mud and the tall grass. Of course, she had no clue where this outfit had come from but it didn't look awful. In fact, it looked very fantasy-esque. The problem was it was not very conventional and it made her trek harder. Hopefully it was going to get easier soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Thu May 11, 2017 11:15 pm

It was the darkest place in the first level. Rory sharpened her dagger on a stick, whittling away at the outer layers of the bark, turning it chestnut to beige to white, looking over the path. What they needed was newbies. Beside her was Mackenzie, her... she wasn't sure how to finish that sentence. Every now and again she would look over at the girl, as if she forgot who she was or that she was here. An accomplice? She supposed that was a good word for it. She was the only other ranger she knew, and they were supposed to be stealthy, right?

"We're not going to kill them," Rory looked down from her woodwork, her eyes unfocusing in an empty blur, the words boomeranging more to her own ears than they did moving to Mackenzie's. There was morality in this. This was a ruthless world. It was take or be taken from. This happened all the time in MMORPGs.

The figure in the distance almost approached them unseen. Rory focused her gaze and, upon seeing the girl, ducked away from the path quickly, evading the bracken and putting a finger to her lips. She had already dropped the stick, kicking it under the bushes. There was someone coming. She just hoped they weren't too strong.

"Draw your bow." She lipped it to her accomplice, and focused her eyes again on the path, waiting for the stranger to pass. Her eyes maintained a shade of darkness, her free hand flexing over and over.

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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Sat May 13, 2017 10:32 pm

The first level. Forested terrain with crisp, fresh spring air. It made Mackenzie wonder if that was how it was in the real world - out of Aubade. Was it spring in the Northern Hemisphere? Was it Autumn? Heck, what season even was it? Did Aubade function on the same seasonal schedule as the outer world? It wouldn't come as a shock to Mackenzie if it didn't. There was almost a sense of jet lag the Ranger had experienced from being thrown into this world. It was a strange feeling that seemed to constantly reside in the bit of her stomach that had yet to go away. A perfect blend of nausea and drowsiness that she could never shake.

Here they were though, in the near-pitch terrain of what her UI had told her was the Wicken's Depths. Trees to the scale of what Mackenzie related to redwoods at home towered over them, and the area had almost a marsh-like feel beneath her feet. Many small bridges connected dryer areas that weren't pools of water. Mackenzie would've sworn there should be a thick fog blanketing the area around them in response to the humidity, however the chill in the air negated her point to complete foolishness.

Even in the dark area though, her features made her stand out rather poorly. Vibrant blonde hair, pale skin, bright eyes. The grace of her outfit covered part of this, the hood of her black cloak at least covering most of the blonde locks that cascaded down her back otherwise. At the words spoken by her fellow ranger, partner in crime almost, she gave a curt nod. There had never once been a mention of what players couldn't do to each other - and in this world, one had to do what they could to survive. Being a pacifist wouldn't allow anyone to survive for long. They had to take another approach.

The split second that Rory dived from the bracken for shelter, Mackenzie herself made a quick dive for cover. She slipped just yards away from the other girl, refraining from an eyeroll that would commence in response to her obvious actions. Of course she would be silent, there would be no purpose in being loud when trying to be sneaky, would there?

A quick glance was given to check out their target. She didn't get much information, but from what her brain had processed they didn't seem to keen on this location. Of course, not many people had to be fans of marsh. It was mud, something that even the guys within Aubade didn't seem to favor very well. Catching the beginning of Rory's instruction with her peripheral vision, another nod signaled her acknowledgement.

The longbow was already in her hand, the quiver of arrows residing on her back. It would be much quieter if they resided there versus their usual secure place by her thigh. All she needed would be the chime of arrows to give away her position. Reaching behind her and grabbing an arrow, slowly as to minimize the sound it made, she drew. The wood and string wanted to screech under the tension, but speed decreased the scream to a near whisper. It was beautiful, the wood that had gone into shaping her bow. Mackenzie had spent time carving out a design with the tip of one of her arrows.

Listening quietly for the sound of footsteps chiming closer, or to be more precise, the cringe worthy squish of mud, she could tell they were definitely heading this way.

Her gaze honed in on the would-be location, craning her neck to get a view. When the shadow of the frame cast visible, her head snapped to the other ranger. Her lips formed into a single word.

Now.
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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Sun May 21, 2017 8:46 pm

"Stupid mud, stupid place, stupid stupid..." Beth grumbled to herself as she continued to push through the muck of the marsh. Ultimately, she was regretting her journey here, but she wanted to see what was around. She needed to know where she was and if there was a way back home. She knew something was different about this place. Most likely a bad different, but she was doing her best to make the best of it. However, with the circumstances, she was having a hard time keeping up her cheerful attitude.

The sudden sound of bushes rustling in the distance, Beth paused, trying to look for its source. However, after a few seconds of finding nothing, she gave herself an unamused and somewhat unnerved laugh. "Now you'we w-wowied about animals... Good going." Fixing her glasses, she huffed and continued to move, not worrying about the bushes. However, her hand instinctively moved to her pocket where she had found a cross of some sort. She wasn't the super religious type, but knowing that she had something in her possession to use as a blunt object was nice. As she continued through the trees, her hand tightened around it inside of her pocket, her eyes darting every which direction as she tried to convince herself that there was nothing out there.
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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Sun May 21, 2017 8:51 pm

And out of one of the bushes, from the leaves and mossy tree trunks, Rory walked out, having watched the girl pass. She hadn't heard much of her voice, but knew she was a girl-- and small. She eyed the back of her features, her bow drawn, pointing the sharp tip of her arrow towards her head. "Don't move," she barked, glancing over at Mackenzie and then back, taking short, shotgun breaths. "Hands up, don't touch your UI." Last thing they needed was her drawing a weapon of her own, or worse; teleporting away from them.

Rory angled her chin upwards, exposing the mole on her neck, looking up to the trees had rustled, but nothing was there. It was probably some betaflies. The ranger glanced back down and moved forward, putting away her bow and retrieving her dagger. "You're going to give us all your bits, noob." It tasted sour on her tongue, making the words come out with a frailty, a hesitance. She hadn't played much video games in the real world. She wasn't sure that's what people even said anymore...

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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Sun May 21, 2017 9:14 pm

When the girl had passed, Mackenzie's blue eyes seemed honed on Rory for the signal. When she left the bushes, so did Mackenzie. Her longbow was in hand, arrow pulled just as dangerously sharp as Rory's. The string of the bow willed so hard to project the weapon she concealed, yet Mackenzie held it back. This was honestly the most she had heard her companion talk, aside from short plans. When the girl didn't seem to move quick enough, Kenzie's blue eyes narrowed, her grip tightening on the projectile. "Now." It was short, but had the edge to it like a blade.

At Rory's advance, Mackenzie was quick to follow. However, in her own way. She kept her bow drawn, without the dagger Rory had, this was what she could use. "If you don't, you may just lose a precious life." Her voice was hostile. The words were sour on her tongue, but she had enough of this shit. She couldn't survive doing la-la-land quests and getting lucky by finding a few bits on the ground. This was basically warfare. "I'd hate to see one go so quickly~" There was almost a cheerful hum to her voice as the words gracefully danced from her tongue. Any waver in her facade was fixed. The cloak that covered her face made it so only her nose and mouth barely peeked out from the otherwise pitch black appearance.
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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Sun May 21, 2017 9:35 pm

The sound of the rustling bushes as Beth passed made her skin crawl, but it was the voice that made her jump with a yelp. Instantly, the girl froze, not even bothering to turn around. Just her luck to be jumped on her first journey. Of course, thinking back on it, she was surprised it hadn't happened sooner. Slowly but surely, Beth released her cross and very slowly put her hands up above her head, the sudden feeling of sweat rolling down her back. At first, it nearly scared her as bad as the person showing up and threatening her, but soon, the girl was left more confused than scared. Actually, it was a lot of both. "Don-Don't touch my what?" She asked, her voice shrill. By the sound of the voice, Beth could tell that whoever was trying to mug her was a girl. What was she supposed to give? Beth didn't have anything except that stupid cross.

Suddenly, a second voice chimed in, mentioning something about losing a life. A life? Didn't she mean her life? She only had one... Oh God, was she going to die over empty pockets? However, the way the second girl talked, she sounded so casual as if the group of them had multiple chances at life. There was no way. Nope, just one life for this poor confused Beth. "W-What do you mean by 'one?' I... You got it all wong--wrong! I don't have anything! I can do whatever y-you want! Just... Don't kill me!" Beth cursed at herself for her awful stuttering and impediment, but her irritation didn't last long as it was drowned out by fear and tears that started to stream down her face despite her best efforts to keep herself composed.
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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Sun May 21, 2017 9:47 pm

Mackenzie's tone even surprised Rory. She watched the girl speak through her cloak, the words that came off her tongue with such confidence. She seemed to be having fun. Rory tensed, flexing her jaw. All they had to do was take her money, and be gone. As their victim cried, Rory kept her emotions at a minimal. She grabbed the girl's shoulder, and whipped her around, keeping the dagger in front of her.

"Open your UI and go to--"

Her face struck her. Rory paused, lips open, her mouth arid as a desert. She looked down at her knife as if framed for a murder, as if it was a horror inflicted by someone other than herself. She dropped it. This couldn't be. He couldn't have gotten away with it again.

"Beth."

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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Mon May 22, 2017 9:14 am

Mackenzie could only raise an eyebrow at her stuttering, but was taken completely aback when she started to cry. Nope, she was a total weakling. Undrawing her bow and putting everything away, she let Rory handle this. She backed up. No, she couldn't do this anymore. Her facade was fractured in half. It would've been easier if they were just in a state of shock. But crying and in an emotional breakdown? No. Mackenzie couldn't do that to someone.

Looking at her companion who seemed in a frozen state of shock, suddenly knowing who they were mugging, Mackenzie kept her hood up. There was no way she was flipping it down now. "H-How do you know her?" Hidden eyebrows narrowed in curiosity, almost defense. She kept her distance, her UI opened and ready for her to teleport to Roslare at any given moment. "I-Should I go?" Her words were directed purely at her ranger accomplice. She was frozen. What should she do? She couldn't continue mugging someone that Rory knew. It'd be like mugging her brother! Or Wolfgang! Or Ca- Well, she could see herself mugging Callum. He did seem to carry quite a bit of bits on him...
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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Mon May 22, 2017 8:08 pm

A sharp gasp closed up her throat as she whirled around to face her attacker. Immediately, she closed her eyes to keep from seeing her fate, her glasses nearly flying off of her face until suddenly everything stopped. There was no weapon sticking through her gut or limbs. Instead, she was met by silence before the dagger landed on the ground with a rather loud thump. Then there was the voice. "Beth." How did this girl know her name? The first girl in the first town uncertainly knew her name too, but this voice was filled with a familiar sadness and seriousness. Opening her eyes and blinking through the tears, Beth took a moment two wipe the tears from her eyes and fixing the glasses on her face before she got a good look at her mugger.

Instantly, everything changed. Eyes widening, Beth couldn't believe it. "Woy-- Rowy--" She huffed. "Rory?!" There it was, finally. No matter how many times she tried, though, the surprise in her voice did not change. Then, without even thinking, the girl leaped towards her cousin, embracing her tighter than she ever had before. Man, was Rory a sight for sore eyes. "What are you doing here? A-And who is your... friend?" Beth asked, not even letting go.
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PostSubject: Re: Aimless Wandering [closed-ish]   Tue May 23, 2017 1:29 pm

The hug surprised Rory. She hated being touched. Even back when she was a child, her father would play with her, would raise his hands and try to poke her sides, and it would sometimes make her cry. When strangers patted her shoulder or back, she always flinched and shrunk away. But this was different. This was Beth. Her voice almost made the girl want to cry. Their situation never seemed so real, so scary, until that moment.

"I..." The first question left her before she had time to reply. She couldn't reply. Not then. "This is Mackenzie, she's just someone, I--...how did you get here?
What do you remember?"
She hoped it wasn't synonymous to her experience, but the coincidence was too strong. The dark-eyed girl's lips were open, her teeth coming down on each other, over and over in strong clamps.

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