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Old 06-24-2017, 07:13 PM   #15
Raves
...try a little harder.
 
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Life and love make fools of us all. Gods reject the existence of love and life.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Admiral Insane View Post
(Hey Madlin. Redecorating? *Dead Ratta on desk says nothing.* Where did you find so many toy skulls? They look pretty real though.)

~Please reply in Slategray~

The Park

The Ghost Train
Fishyfool:
You leave the train on your terms, not wanting to hold up a fight with the undead in your current state. You mutter a few words, a question. "...where in hell...am I...?"

You had taken your first step outside of the engine room when you saw the scenery – and with it an answer to your question - reveal itself to you. The same old darkness permeated the area to instil the familiar sense of being lost, with the landscape being marred this time by recognisable, earthly objects.

“Dah,” you heard the walking corpse utter behind you. He continued his muttering, “Youth nowadays getting themselves in trouble like this, diving in headfirst.”

“Are you really telling me you had no idea what you were doing? Move along and I’ll explain when we’re outside.”

Somehow you manage to lower yourself down onto the death-grey silt. You take a few steps further into the unknown to find your environment, though resembling much in the ways of earth, felt alien to you. The walking corpse followed close behind - seemingly more interested in the other carriages than you - and left his Houndoom to guard you. Other decaying figures clad in similar uniforms descended from the single remaining carriage and conversed with the one you had met previously. “…no one…find…”

The giant grey wall you had bashed into rose behind the train into the abyss above where thick purple mists made up the sky – a s sight similar to one you saw on Phantom Isle. Immeasurable forests of both living and dead tress dotted the remaining three cardinal horizons between which the darkness poured its vast presence. The train, oddly enough, found itself on train tracks leading up to what appeared to be a mid-nineteenth century station built of obsidian metal and opaque glass. The tracks continued on into the distance where they would eventually meet up with the horizon’s forest and who-knows-what. To add to the bizarreness of the situation, various clouds of fogs – akin to will-o-wisps - emitted light as they drifted gently above the ground with organic patterns and speeds.

The Houndoom kept its eyes on you as you turned continuously to take in your new surroundings. Your decaying captor strolled back after finishing the briefing with his co-deceased. Each one of his kin shambled along and passed him to continue on to the revolving door of the train station, each in a separate state of decay ranging from fresh and human to skeletal, each providing you a new look of concern, distrust or suspicion. Their eyes strangely enough never seemed to be affected by the decay, though this only added to the haunting image of the march of dead stares they gave.

“Right,” your captor approached you, rubbing the top of his hair with his hand as he thought over how to start, dropping tufts of hair while he did. “So, names first I suppose. The name’s Virgil, though most call me Virg.” He waited for you to respond first before continuing.

“As for where you are, it’ll be hard to describe if you didn’t come here on your own accord. Some might think of this place as limbo, though that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. You’ve passed limbo and moved on even further. You see, if a soul dies it has to pass to the afterlife but how do you think that happens?” He stalls for a few seconds to see if you’ll answer.

“So,” he continues. “It’s never straightforward. Souls have to be carried, moved, from oneplace to another and first obtain a confirmation of being deceased before moving on. It’s very important the realm of the living and the dead are separated which is why there are almost no direct connections – you need a bridge, a connector, something to divide the two worlds. This is where you are; it is one of such places that exist between the realm of the living and the dead. Understood so far?” He waits for your response (if any) before moving on.

“These places are shaped by the beliefs of the souls and mirror their worlds as close as possible. In the old days they believed you had to cross a river, or walk through a labyrinth. Those places still exist as well I suppose though the idea sounds ridiculous if you ask me. Nowadays people lnow of trains and imagine trains. Who knows what new world wil be created in the future. Either way, I’m getting off track…”

He anxiously rubs his hands as he prepares for what to say next. Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem to be easy for him to say. “To move on to your situation…well…you’re dead. I’m sorry, there’s no easy way to put this but this land is meant for those who moved on from the living world. Once you’re here you become part of the dead. And there’s no turning back so don’t even ask,” he stress the importance of this last part. “The worlds are meant to be separate. The moment you crossed the threshold you sentenced yourself to this place for eternity.”

He waves his hand in protest. “Even if you wanted to, the path is blocked for now. You mentioned the word ‘banshee’ earlier? I’m guessing that means you ran into that blasted white wretch?” Again he allows you to answer first.

“That damn howling woman is the whole reason everything here is at a standstill. We haven’t been able to move any souls to the realm of the dead for years because of her. Worse yet, souls from the living realm can’t be transported here. No train can move in or out. No train safe for this one,” he pointed towards the skull train you had brought along. “Strange thing is, it’s not one of ours. We have no idea where it came from, what it’s purpose is or where it goes - but it keeps showing up. This is the first time we’ve found a passenger on it though,” he gives you a curious sneer as he said that, clearly still distrustful of you. “Still, I wonder how the other realm is fairing. Spirits can become restless if they remain in the living world for too long. All that build-up of souls, I can’t imagine what it would be like.” Something tells you you didn’t have to imagine to know what it was like. You had seen parts of the aftermath first-hand. One of the will-o-wisps, you notice, had inched its way closer to you plaguing you and Virgil by skipping between the two of you. “Go,” Virgil tries to shoo the creature away.

“So that leaves the last part you need to be informed on. I’m sure you’ve noticed the will-o-wisps floating around. In case you haven’t guessed yet; these are the spirits that are waiting to be transported to the next realm. The ones here outside are those of Pokémon most likely; shy spirits tend to hide their form after all. However,” his voice turns grave. “This leaves the question of what that makes you. You see, when a creature’s time is up they earn their passage and stay to the next realm. You cheated on life and passed on to the next realm on your own – before it was your time. Sadly, you don’t get to skip life and move on to paradise just like that. Like every soul before you, you have to earn your place first. Since you didn’t earn your place while in the realm of the living, you know have to earn it here before being allowed to move on. This is reflected in your state; you’re a corpse and not a spirit, and trust me when I say that working off your debt here takes a lot longer than it does in the realm of the living – it’s a punishment for trying to cheat after all. Considering you’re young I think you’re looking at centuries of work.”

“Oh, and since you’re dead, be ready for your body to start decomposing. That’s right buddy, look at my rotting face; this is what your future will look like pretty soon. By the time you’re done here I’m sure there’ll be nothing left of you than bone and eye. You still have some time before it starts though. You might not have noticed but I bet your heart has started beating slower.” You hadn’t noticed it until now but your heart was beating at a drastically low rate. Your pain had started to subside as well. If you asked about this you would get the confirmation that death here goes smooth and painless. Soon you wouldn’t feel any of your broken ribs anymore.

Virgil places a comforting hand on your shoulder. “I’m very sorry for this. I’ll leave you to your thoughts for now. Come see me in my office when you’re ready. We can get you a uniform so you can start work soon.” And with that, he and his Houndoom left you.

(Since this update contained a lot of explanation, I’m giving you the time to respond to this first before continuing to your character’s next choice/action.)

What do you do?/How do you react?

Stumbling off the train revealed to Alex exactly where he was.

The all too familiar darkness surrounded him, though this time with earthly objects he recognised vagely, as the corpse urged him off the train, muttering about the folly of youth, asking almost rhetorically he he had any clue what he was doing. The ground below was grey, much like ash, but coarser, and the alien environment around him left him unnerved through the pain, yet unusually he felt almost at home for some reason. Another cough, more blood on hand, and the zombie left for the other carriages, leaving the Houndoom by Alex to guard him. He couldn't help but notice the pokemon seemed much livelier than the man, in the sense of being fleshy.

Other walking corpses emerged from the carriage, giving the message he knew: nobody else was found. Right, that Austin kid fell off...looking at the great wall the train crashed into, he followed it up and found himself gazing mesmerised slightly at the fog, familiar and purple...just like Phantom Isle. Turning slowly, a vast forest of living and dead trees surrounded the place, the train's tracks led to an ornate obsidian station, architecture similar to ninteenth century structures, with the tracks continuing through the forest into oblivion. Even then, there were wisps of sorts, clouds of fog luminant and erratic, and he had the feeling that more than just the eyes of the Houndoom were on him.

The walking dead soon returned, his captor standing by him as the others, from fleshy like Alex to skeletal shambled through the revolving door, eyes staring at him with mostly negative emotions, be it suspicion, distrust, concern, or even pity. He made a mental note that the eyes hadn't decayed, thinking to the old adage that the eyes are windows to the soul, until his uniformed captor spoke up, breaking his thoughts as the corpse rubbed his head, thinking on how to begin.

"Right, so names first I suppose. The name's Virgil, though most call me Virg," the corpse started. The trainer took a slow breath, slightly gurgling at inhalation, then responded. "Alex."

"As for where you are, it'll be hard to describe if you didn't come here of your own accord." Virgil began. "Some might think of this place as limbo, though that wouldn't be entirely accurate. You've passed limbo and moved on even further. You see, if a soul dies it has to pass through to the afterlife but how do you think that happens?" The way the undead spoke began to set off thoughts in the young man's head. Past limbo? Then was this Purgatory, and if so, was he in the land of the dead? It seemed to be the case, but he'd have to confirm it. "Afterlife? Th...that'd be through some sort of gateway of sorts..."

"So, it's never straightforward. Souls have to be carried, moved, from one place to another and first obtain confirmation of being deceased before moving on." On hearing this, Alex had a bad feeling about being in this place. "It's very important the realms of the living and the dead are seperated which is why are almost no direct connections - you need a bridge, a connector, something to divide the two worlds. This is where you are; it is one of such places that exists between the realm of the living and the dead. Understood so far?"

"...right, so it's kinda like...Purgatory, where the dead await Judgment from the gods in the days of old?"

"These places are shaped by the beliefs of the souls and mirror their worlds as close as possible. In the old days they believed you had to cross a river, or walk through a labyrinth. Those places still exist as well I suppose though the idea sounds ridiculous if you ask me. Nowadays people know of trains and imagine trains. Who knows what new world wil be created in the future. Either way, I'm getting off track..." Virgil continued, before pausing as though to let it sink in to Alex.

"Yeah, kinda like that...though in the future if technology's anything to go by we'll be using teleporters or something...what's this have to do with me being here?" Alex asked, and judging by the way Virg was rubbing his hands, he had a grim feeling on what was coming, given the fact he was still walking after that impact...oh no. Oh Arceus above, light of the sun and moon, let it not be what I think it is...

"To move onto your situation...well..."

"...you're dead."

Two words hit him with a force an unimaginable volume of magnitudes more than the train crash, what colour on his face drained. Impossible, he thought, until Virgil continued. "I’m sorry, there’s no easy way to put this but this land is meant for those who moved on from the living world. Once you’re here you become part of the dead. And there’s no turning back so don’t even ask. The worlds are meant to be separate. The moment you crossed the threshold you sentenced yourself to this place for eternity."

Alex was in a state of numb shock, only capable of giving a slow nod as his mind attempted to process what he had heard, trying to figure how he could have expired so to say. The zombie's wave of arms in protest caught his wandering attention, "even if you wanted tothe path is blocked for now. You mentioned the word ‘banshee’ earlier? I’m guessing that means you ran into that blasted white wretch?"

"Y-yeah...it torched most of the train, but I managed to repel it twice..."

"That damn howling woman is the whole reason everything here is at a standstill. We haven’t been able to move any souls to the realm of the dead for years because of her. Worse yet, souls from the living realm can’t be transported here. No train can move in or out. No train safe for this one," he grumbled, motioning to the skull train. The very same one from Phantom Isle. "Strange thing is, it’s not one of ours. We have no idea where it came from, what it’s purpose is or where it goes - but it keeps showing up. This is the first time we’ve found a passenger on it though."

The sneer directed at Alex reinforced the suspicion Virgil had upon him, but Alex continued to listen, seeking as much information as possible as he tried to come to terms with the prior bombshell regarding his mortality. "Still, I wonder how the other realm is fairing. Spirits can become restless if they remain in the living world for too long. All that build-up of souls, I can’t imagine what it would be like." Despite knowing, Alex remained silent, until one of the wisps came up and began to pester the two, forcing the undead to shoo it away.

"So that leaves the last part you need to be informed on. I’m sure you’ve noticed the will-o-wisps floating around. In case you haven’t guessed yet; these are the spirits that are waiting to be transported to the next realm. The ones here outside are those of Pokémon most likely; shy spirits tend to hide their form after all." He had the feeling this was the case, which could also explain the Houndoom by Virgil's side, with no fears it could assume a natural form.

"However," the zombie's voice becoming graver. "This leaves the question of what that makes you. You see, when a creature’s time is up they earn their passage and stay to the next realm. You cheated on life and passed on to the next realm on your own – before it was your time." He tried to open his mouth to protest, but Virgil continued. "Sadly, you don’t get to skip life and move on to paradise just like that. Like every soul before you, you have to earn your place first. Since you didn’t earn your place while in the realm of the living, you now have to earn it here before being allowed to move on. This is reflected in your state; you’re a corpse and not a spirit, and trust me when I say that working off your debt here takes a lot longer than it does in the realm of the living – it’s a punishment for trying to cheat after all. Considering you’re young I think you’re looking at centuries of work."

As if the prior whammy didn't hit hard enough, he wasn't finished. "Oh, and since you’re dead, be ready for your body to start decomposing. That’s right buddy, look at my rotting face; this is what your future will look like pretty soon. By the time you’re done here I’m sure there’ll be nothing left of you than bone and eye." Alex was crestfallen, yet as he made the next statement, any doubts Alex had about his demise were put to the sword. "You still have some time before it starts though. You might not have noticed but I bet your heart has started beating slower." Raising a trembling hand to chest, he indeed felt his heart beating very slow, the pain in his chest now a dull ache rather than agony.

The hand on the shoulder from Virgil had some air of reassurance as he apologised, before leaving Alex to his thoughts after asking him to head to his office when ready. In the decaying ash of the deadlands, Alex looked around forlorn, slowly trudging towards a wall and laying down by it, hand over eyes, partly to give the impression of thought, but also to veil the stem of fluid streaming from eyes. No if, and or buts about it. He was dead.

And then Alex gave a small chuckle, which then grew into an ironic cackle. "Haaaah...what an undignified way to go!"

Deep inside, he put together his understanding of what he learned. Phantom Isle's ghost train serves as a connection between this land of the dead and the land of the living. Virg said I became one with the dead on entry, which means the moment that we entered the darkness, our lives ended...both mine and Austin...and if the entry didn't kill me, that impact did. I woulda drowned in my own blood...what a way to die.

That aside, what I know of the land above and what he said about souls...there's no damn way the ghost train fire and the lack of souls flowing isn't connected, and I'll be damned even more than I am already if the banshee isn't connected either. It'd also explain the many ghosts in the park unable to move on, if this was the only train going. I really should clear up some of the things I know of the land above with Virgil, and admit I wasn't alone...oh gods, would this mean I brought Paine, Mjolnir and Tantalia to their doom too? Surely not...

...but one thing's clear to me. There's definitely ways back from death to life, and even if it takes me a millenium, I'll find a way back. Shuppet and Banette come from somewhere after all, and I think Yamask were once human too. Have to admit, didn't mean to come here, just wanted to find out what caused the fire in the first place...I can't just sit here dour all eternity. I'll see what this Virgil guy's got planned for me, explain how I managed to survive the banshee, tell him about that kid who fell off, and then...try and find some way to end the suffering of everything here. If it means I end up a psychopomp, well...at least I know someone with a reputation as one.


Climbing to his feet and dusting himself off, Alex continued to breathe, raspy gurgle with each breath out of natural habit, and started towards the office, defeated but not broken in spirit as he ensured his pokeballs were in check, whispering apologies to his team. He had no idea how he'd break it to the squad he'd died, but he at least had to make them see the funny side. And well, if he ever did find a way back to the land of the living, he'd get them to perhaps give him a proper burial.
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Unruly Premonition.
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