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My mouth drops open in shock as I watch the only other human in sight bolt like a startled baby gazelle and leave me to stew in my imminent doom. 

"Did they just--?" I can't help but rasp, but that's as far as I get in my self-indulgent rant.

A hand shoots out from my left and secures my flailing left arm in place; the motion is echoed on my right. Instead of feeling alarmed, I feel a sense of rightness and belonging wash over me, like I'm among my kin, among the Host. The grip on my wrists coaxes my hands together in supplication, and I readily submit to the act, bowing toward the figure sitting on the throne before us, resplendent in Her chains. I feel the twin grips on my arms release, but feel no desire to shift from my new position, beyond the need to catalogue the subtle feeling of being watched.

My eyes drift towards the rafters, where shadows are made thicker there by countless quivers-worth of black feathers. With a certainty I can't quite place, I know the sharp beaks I can hear clicking there above me will rend me apart relentlessly until I am nothing but bone, spent carrion, if I stir again, if I am out of order. I can feel their judgment hanging thickly from my outburst earlier and it makes me curl into myself with shame, feeling utterly useless -- a burden to my Brothers and Sisters. An irritating mote in the eye of my god.

We stay bent and hushed for some time until She is sated with our subservience, and then we are summarily dismissed, rising as one. We leave the cathedral in an orderly train, no lantern-bearers flanking us as we make our exit, nothing to light the way. 

Edited by Beewolf

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Safe in the courtyard, I stop in front of the bleeding fountain to catch my breath. My hands curl into fists around the collar of my shirt and I can’t help but throw wary glances back at the looming structure. The cathedral had given me more questions than answers. I knew I wasn’t alone now. I wished I was.

I dug out the compass from my pocket and watched the needle spin for a moment. Nothing made sense here. I looked up at the clock tower. What time is it? 

I hear the cathedral doors open again and my blood freezes. Without thinking, I dash towards the butcher shop, praying the door is unlocked. I need a place to hide, a weapon, anything at all.

Edited by AngryCacti
(You’re doing great! If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.)

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10 hours ago, Beewolf said:

 

We stay bent and hushed for some time until She is sated with our subservience, and then we are summarily dismissed, rising as one. We leave the cathedral in an orderly train, no lantern-bearers flanking us as we make our exit, nothing to light the way. 

The gaggle of your brothers and sisters step down the stairs of the cathedral,passing through the courtyard and past the other person. You have a choice now,to stay here and talk to the other person or to continue down to the steps with your brothers and sisters. To gain answers and be labelled a traitor? Hunted down by Saviors and Loves and Apathy itself? Or to continue on with your duty,for you are Uselessness and you must reach the boat at the bottom of the steps.

Edited by Slime Mother

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9 hours ago, AngryCacti said:

Nothing made sense here. I looked up at the clock tower. What time is it? 

I hear the cathedral doors open again and my blood freezes. Without thinking, I dash towards the butcher shop, praying the door is unlocked. I need a place to hide, a weapon, anything at all.

It's 4 o clock. The 12 on the clock face seems recently painted on,like the clock wasint originally made with a 12.

 

the butcher shop was very very small, the sign a bright red.the inside is full of cases of human and other humanoid beings flesh,organs and body parts. a small bell was on top of the counter and a fish tank off to the side

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The desire for total obeisance dampens the further and further we get from the doors of the cathedral and the direct gaze of that -- that Thing in chains.

Blinking until I feel fully-aware again, I take in my position in line as my former de facto brothers and sisters heading the group file towards a large boat at the bottom of another set of steps.

Scanning around, I take in the haunting architecture, and the details of the peculiar statuary standing in the courtyard, their glittering objects attracting my gaze. I also note the figure loping towards a rather cede-looking butcher shop, and sigh internally. 

I feel torn, because every instinct I own is saying to split off and hide for when the others inevitably come to hunt me down and return me to the fold, or worse. Then again, the only other person I've seen here looks like they're about to stumble into more eminent peril. 

If I catch them in time, maybe I can head them off, and we can run to shelter together. But where is shelter? Where is safety in this place?

Chances are, between the cultists, and the butcher's, and who knows what else lurks here, I'm just going to triple our chances of a joint and grisly death without having some time to get my bearings. They're just going to have to tread lightly and fend for themselves a little while longer. 

I weigh my options, and decide to stick with the group. They seem to, at a bare minimum, at least tolerate me as long as I fall in line, and that might suffice to ward off any other threat that may consider hunting me here if I remain unprotected. Saftey in numbers, and all that. The courtyard has proven too dangerous already, and I'm curious to see whether any other place further down river might be more inviting, or at least less hostile, to human life.

I shoot one last lingering look at the figure now standing before the butcher's, but lightly shake my head in regret and carry onward.  

Edited by Beewolf

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10 minutes ago, Beewolf said:

The courtyard has proven too dangerous already, and I'm curious to see whether any other place further down river might be more inviting, or at least less hostile, to human life.

 

You reach the bottom of the steps,the boatman Charon and his skiff waiting for you to board.he offers a Look at you,without your veil and the normal wounds of a Uselessness but doesint bother to comment. He has his duty as do you. For you are Uselessness and you must board the boat...this might be your last chance to perhaps seperate yourself from the others,who are walki bg towards the ultimate duty of all Uselessness,the reason you were created in the first place.

 

For they are Uselessness and they must drown.

 

(You guys can work together, i just qanted to warn you what the others are doing since i would hate to kill a characther off without consent,thats just rude)

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The smell eminating from the inside of the shop was enough to make me gag. I stopped in my tracks, momentum lost, my goals gone from my mind. The hair on the back of my neck bristled. I felt behind me, my hand slipping on the door handle. This was a mistake. I shouldn’t be here. This was the cathedral all over again.

Something moved in the glass of the fish tank. My reflection looked back at me from across the shop. My hair was longer than I remembered. Was that scruff always there? I raised a hand to my face and my reflection mirrored the action. My reflection winked. 

I left very quickly.

The last of the veiled congregation filtered through the courtyard. I stand quietly in the doorway until they disappear down the stairs. Keeping towards the edge of the courtyard, I creep slowly after them, staying out of sight. I would rather take my chances in the streets than with whatever lurked inside these buildings. Maybe the veiled figures knew a way out. At the very least, if I knew where they went, I could avoid them in the future.

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They all head down to a river,a boatman with terribly diseased skin gestures them aboard.one of the figures,blessedly normal and without a veil is on the bank still,waiting.they  are the one actually normal thing in this hellscape so far

Edited by Slime Mother

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I am having regrets.

I stand gawking before the skeletally thin and diseased figure patiently poling the boat closer to shoreline for us to board. The nearer I had come to making out his features in the gloom, the surer I became that his presence couldn't portend anything good. I am holding up the line, and I can see the others behind me crooking their necks and reaching out experimentally to examine the sudden impasse in front of them. If empty eye sockets could look questioning and a bit perturbed, I'm sure theirs would.

I have to make a break for it, and soon. I'm afraid to run towards the clock tower, in case it is peopled by more horrors. But I can see nothing beyond the buildings laying before me, and I don't know what may be in store in the expanse beyond them. I don't even know if my potential persuers can see me to give chase, or if they will only grab blindly for me once I break from formation. 

But I begin to feel fingers twining in the fabric of my hoodie, and shaking them off, I make a break for it.

I dodge left and note that I can't make out whether the other person has returned to the courtyard, and their fate remains an unsettling mystery to me. Still, if they yet survive, I feel dubious about possibly leading the cultist's entourage right to them, so I branch off and run into the great unknown, behind the cathedral.

Hopefully, I can lose them there, if they are, in fact, chasing me. I can't hear anyone else's footfalls over the sound of the wind and the rushing of my own blood in my ears, and so risk a glance backwards to see if I am actively hunted or alone.

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9 hours ago, Beewolf said:

 so I branch off and run into the great unknown, behind the cathedral.

Hopefully, I can lose them there, if they are, in fact, chasing me. I can't hear anyone else's footfalls over the sound of the wind and the rushing of my own blood in my ears, and so risk a glance backwards to see if I am actively hunted or alone.

You are not  tracked,thank gooodness. Your brothers and sisters are more preocupied with their final duty.  Behind the Cathedral is a clear devide between elegant garden and wasteland.....the wasteland will do you no good.thats where Uselessness are created...you would just repeat the cycle all over again. the sun,with its crayon smile shines brightly upon this world,as it always does. The sun never stops shining here. Nothing changes here, just as the martyr desires

Edited by Slime Mother

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The skeletal man leads the veiled congregation onto his boat. I watch from afar, hidden behind a corner. Only my face shows as I peek at the procession. There’s a disturbance in the line and another face catches my eye. I stare in astonishment as another human breaks through the lines.

Where they like me? Where had they been hiding? Why were they with the congregation? A memory of an echo chills me. If it was no echo that I heard inside the twisted cathedral, then I had unknowingly left a human- another person- to their fate. 

I risk a glance at the cult. Their masses have not moved in pursuit of the other person. I grit my teeth and run after the human. I cut through the courtyard, hoping to intersect their path, and staying away from the sides of the buildings. Charging headfirst around this hellscape had brought me nothing but trouble, but I was desperate. I couldn’t let the first “normal” person I saw get away.

Unless I am stopped, I run behind the cathedral. The wasteland beats down around me, but I am focused on the other person. 

“Person-“ I hiss, too wary to yell, but unwilling to get close enough to easily speak softly. I don’t know who this person is. I’m aware I look insane; I’m gasping for breath, eyes wild, my red-brown hair is matted and grown past my chin, there are patches of unkempt scruff along my jawline, and my white collared shirt had a smattering of blood around the bottom edge from the fountain. “-Human- are you human? What the hell is happening?”

Edited by AngryCacti

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5 hours ago, AngryCacti said:

“Person-“

I see that, reassuringly, no cultists have broken off to follow me when I glance back. I think I may hear something to the side of me, but I can't pick out distinct words. My heart races, spurring me on, until a figure manages to overtake me and block my path. I stop short, my arms windmilling to keep my balance.

I have to blink a few times to adjust to the direct sunlight beating down here so I can drink in the worrying details I see on their person. 

They look wild, their facial hair unkept and clothing splattered with blood. I cringe, and worry about its source. I'm on my guard immediately. 

5 hours ago, AngryCacti said:

 “-Human- are you human? What the hell is happening?”

I bite back a hysterical giggle. I have no answer to that last point, obviously, so I counter with my own interrogation:

"W-Who are you? Whose blood is that?" I gesture to their shirtfront. I smoothe my hair back in a nervous gesture, and my hand brushes against greasy caramel-colored strands. I cringe in disgust, wondering if I look as bedraggled as they do. I pass a hand over my leg where my capris cut off at the knee, and notice some hair growth there. I could swear I had shaved that morning.

Keeping an eye on them, I scan the periphery for more useful details, noting the landscape is particularly strange and unreal here. Something in the sky catches my eye, and I do a doubletake that nearly gives me whiplash. The sun looks like a cartoon depiction, like a child's bad fridge drawing. I point dumbly at it with a flat, "What."

Edited by Beewolf
Added some detail to indicate my gender as female, just in case you want to use a pronoun other than "they." ;)

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22 minutes ago, Beewolf said:

W-Who are you? Whose blood is that?"

“I’m-“ I pause, an unfamiliar emptiness sitting on my tongue where a name should be. My brows scrunch as I think for longer than I should for an answer. It was a short name. I had a short name with a sharp end- something you could say quickly. “...Jack?” I said with reasonable certainty. “I’m normal, I swear. The blood isn’t mine.”

I see the other person cringe and I put my hands out in a gesture of peace, though I stay my ground. She hasn’t told me anything about herself and for all I know, she could be the reason for all the bloody horrors I’d seen today. 

26 minutes ago, Beewolf said:

I point dumbly at it with a flat, "What."

I follow her gaze. “What,” I echo. I drop my guard and rub my eyes. I was hallucinating. I had to be. I pull the compass out of my pocket and look at it again. Was the needle still spinning? “What the hell,” I breathe.

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10 minutes ago, AngryCacti said:

 

I follow her gaze. “What,” I echo. I drop my guard and rub my eyes. I was hallucinating. I had to be. I pull the compass out of my pocket and look at it again. Was the needle still spinning? “What the hell,” I breathe.

The needle was pointing back to the cathedral while you were thinking about who did all of this but then stopped,returning to lazilly spinning...perhaps this compass pointed to whatever you were thinking about or needed. It would be pretty cool.

Unfortunetly,you werent hallucinating.the both of you were still stuck here in this place with no way out,no recollection of how you got here  and no idea what to do next.

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