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Interplosion: The Third Uprising

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Post Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:44 pm

Interplosion: The Third Uprising

[[OOG Note: Interplosion: The Third Uprising is an ARS-styled series that encompasses a number of media to tell a story on a larger scale than simple text would allow. For the full experience, read this thread and read the tweets of @JackAllenFD - which, though I will not be posting them in this thread, participants should feel free to post.]]

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Post Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:27 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Jack pulls up into the parking lot of Mourningwood. It is, as he expected, completely deserted except for a few cars parked abnormally far away. Night shift nurses, he thought to himself as he opened the door and stepped out into the night air. It smelled strange. The rains of the previous week, evidence of which was all over the roads, had clearly left their scent. Wrinkling his nose slightly, he walked inside the imposing building, in which few lights were lit.

Inside he was greeted by a bubbly nurse named Alice. "Hi! I'm Alice, how can I help you?" she asked, smiling widely. What a strange disposition for a nurse at a mental institution, he observed.

"Hello. I'm Jack Allen, freelance detective. I called earlier today about setting up a meeting with the unnamed patient here?" Jack spoke in a very plain, almost monotonous voice. He was very insecure about it in most cases, but he was so absorbed in the intrigue of his case that tonight he barely noticed it.

Suddenly Alice's smile vanished. "Oh... okay." She sighed deeply before standing up, walking to the side of the desk and beckoning Jack to follow her into the main room. Jack had been in these types of facilities before, and there tended to be a large room that was usually for recreation near the front of the facility where people visited their loved ones. They were usually busy, but tonight, the room was completely empty except for a man sitting in a wheelchair staring out the window. It was a clear night outside, so even though no lights were on in the room, everything was clearly illuminated by the moonlight.

"Why aren't there any lights on?" Jack asked. Alice shot him an exasperated smile and flicked the nearby light switch. Suddenly, a dinging sound filled the room, which Jack noticed was coming from a small bell attached to the wheelchair of the man. Alice flicked the light switch once more, and the dinging stopped.

"He apparently doesn't like the light. Hence why he only comes out here at night." Alice walked over to the man. "Sir? You have a visitor." The man didn't twitch, much less turn to look at Jack. "Please sir, let's not do this tonight. He's a nice man who just wants to ask you a few questions; no delusions or anything." He continued to stare at the window. Alice sighed again.

Jack was confused. "What's wrong?"

"He only responds in certain situations. The only thing he's done since arriving here, other than typical bodily functions, is read the same book over and over again, or stare at the window."

"What book?" Alice pointed to the table near the man, where Jack saw a large paperback copy of the complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

"We assume it's part of his condition, which none of our doctors can diagnose, especially given his response patterns."

"What do you mean?"

Alice turned back to the man, and sighed deeply, as if she regretted what she was about to do. "Zaphod? You have a visitor." At last the man turned to face Jack. He was surprisingly young - Jack was expecting a much older man. He was wearing an odd overcoat that didn't look anything like the clothes Jack typically saw people wearing. His eyes were perhaps the most eye-catching feature - rather than the common blue or brown, they glowed a bright neon green.

Jack leaned over to Alice, and whispered "Is that eye color normal?" She shrugged. Jack pulled a chair over and began to talk to the man.

"Hello - er, Zaphod. I'm Jack Allen, and I'm a freelance detective. I was hired by a client to investigate your admission here as well as a strange mansion, but I'm not sure where it is. Do you think you can help me with that?" Jack was suddenly aware that he was talking to a grown man as if he were a child, and hated himself for it.

"Zaphod" stared into Jack's eyes, not saying a word. Jack tried again after a moment: "Can you tell me anything about the basement?" Nothing. "What about yourself? Where were you born, how did you get here?" Nothing.

"I'm really sorry about this. He rarely responds to us, I'm not sure why we thought he'd be able to help you." Alice seemed annoyed by Zaphod. Jack was only more intrigued. Here was a man who had seemingly appeared randomly, if the police report of him suddenly jumping in front of the cruiser despite not having been on the sidewalk before was to be believed, who only responded to the name of a character from a Douglas Adams book, and even then would only respond physically. He was excited about the rest of the case. He stood up, thanked Alice, and turned to leave, when he heard someone say something.

"Find the rest."

They both turned and looked back at Zaphod, who had spoken the words. "What did you say, Zaphod?"

He stared at Jack as he said, "Find the rest." With that, he wheeled himself away, down the hallway and into a room on the right side.

"What do you reckon that means?" Jack asked Alice.

"I actually think I know exactly what he means. Come this way," she said, running back to the computer desk she was seated at when Jack arrived. She pulled up a few files and printed copies. "These are the records of seven other psychiatric admissions all within a week of Zaphod's arrival here, with the exact same symptoms and refusal to respond to anything but an odd nickname."

Jack was excited again. "Where are they located if not here?"

Alice, getting excited simply from Jack's energy, shook her head. "That's the weird thing, Mr. Allen. They're all located in separate facilities." Jack's eyes widened.

"Do you have a map?" Alice nodded and pulled up the map on her computer, printed it, and began to circle the locations. She handed the sheet to Jack. At a quick glance, it looked like they were all located within around 50 miles or so. He wondered briefly why so many mental institutions were in so small a region, but pushed that thought aside quickly as he noticed something of greater intrigue.

"Can I borrow that marker quickly?" he asked. Alice nodded and handed it to him, intrigued. Jack began to connect the circled facilities - and saw that they formed a large arrow, pointing to a large, empty plot of land about ten miles from his current location.

"What the - what does it mean?"

Jack had a pretty good idea of what it meant. "That's where the mansion is. I'm going there right now. I'll be back. Thanks for your help!" Alice was taken aback as Jack quickly pulled her into a hug and then ran out of the building, dripping with excitement. She smiled embarrassedly as she cleaned her desk area.

"You shouldn't have done that."

Alice turned quickly, and saw a figure garbed in a mysterious black cloak standing against the wall at the back of the room. "Who are you?"

"Heh. I COULD tell you my name, and you could memorize it. But that'd be a waste of what little time you have left."

Before she could open her mouth to respond, a bullet penetrated her skull and entered her brain. She was dead before she hit the ground.
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Post Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:37 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

This sounds asesome already. Does it follow on from the second uprising though?
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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:57 am

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Wow, you did put quite a bit of effort into this. Eagerly awaiting the next part.
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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:54 am

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Interesting tweet from https://twitter.com/JackAllenFD

I'll be going to the mansion around 10:00, should be arriving around 10:30 this evening. I'll live tweet it.
CHEEZBURGERS
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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:54 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

@JackAllenFD: Leaving now. It's raining, so the drive may take a little while longer.
@JackAllenFD: Goddamn it. Tire blew out around a mile away from the mansion. Guess I'll have to go the rest of the way on foot.
@JackAllenFD: Whoever lived in this mansion was really cut off from the world. These woods are dense and creepy.
@JackAllenFD: At the mansion now.
@JackAllenFD: The key that was labeled "in case of failure" doesn't fit the door. Doesn't matter, though, because it's unlocked.
@JackAllenFD: Long hallway. Looks like it goes straight back to the other end of the house. Two doors here.
@JackAllenFD: Door on the left is locked. Door on the right is open, leads into an open sitting room. Walls covered in a bizarre sticky substance.
@JackAllenFD: Further down the hall. It intersects with a shorter hall, with a room at either end. One room looks like a kitchen. Smells awful. Bad cooks.
@JackAllenFD: Appears that there are four elevators surrounding the intersection of the halls. Floor plans suggest they each access all four floors.
@JackAllenFD: Sign on elevators: "Do not use in case of fire. But since there are no stairs, if you're not on the ground floor, sucks to be you. :troll:"
@JackAllenFD: End of hall. Room on either side. One looks like a home theater, the other has a bunch of computers. Power is dead though.
@JackAllenFD: Going to cut through the theater to see if I can circle around and get into that locked room.
@JackAllenFD: These bedrooms are massive. I don't want to know why anyone would need four beds in a single room.
@JackAllenFD: Room is locked from this side too. Damn it. Oh well. Heading up to the second floor now.
@JackAllenFD: Elevator doors open easily. The shaft is a nightmare though. If I fall while climbing...
@JackAllenFD: Made it. Looks roughly identical up here. Going to do a quick sweep of the bedrooms.
@JackAllenFD: Hearing noises. Probably nothing, just spooking myself out. It's so dark in here I keep expecting my light will shine on something scary.
@JackAllenFD: Someone has a suit hanging up against their closet door. When my light ran over it I nearly had a heart attack. Asshole.
@JackAllenFD: Still hearing noises. Starting to get psyched out.
@JackAllenFD: There's someone else here.
@JackAllenFD: He's standing in front of the window at the end of the hall. I ducked into a room for cover.
@JackAllenFD: There's a weird light coming from that end of the hall now. Gonna sneak a peek.
@JackAllenFD: Fire


Jack shoved his phone in his pocket after sending the tweet and started running. Thank god for symmetry, he said, the fear of getting lost in the mansion as the fire spread crossing his mind. He ran down the hallway and reached for the doorknob, but thought better of it. Instead, he tapped it gently, and the searing heat his finger felt told him that way was not much of an option. He turned around to see the figure in black standing at the end of the hall. He was no longer hooded, however, and Jack could see his eyes very clearly - just like Zaphod, his eyes were the most distinctive feature of his face. They glowed a vibrant, neon cyan color. They were so bright they distracted from the scowl on the figure's face.

Jack snapped out of the trance, and noticed a beam from above was about to fall. He shielded himself just in time as the beam came tumbling to the ground, making a large hole in the floor and causing the figure to stumble backward. He seized his chance and jumped down the newly created hole, rolled as he landed and got back to his feet in a single swift motion, and started running for the door.

He noticed as he did that the previously locked door was now wide open. Looking back at the fire, he knew he was going to regret it, but ran into the newly available room anyway. Inside the room he saw a bunch of files strewn about the floor. There was one that had been placed on top of the stack recently, and was labeled "Roster". Desiring to save as many of the files as he could, he started scooping them into one of the bins nearby, racing against the encroaching fire. Unfortunately he didn't notice the figure looming behind him. Fortunately the figure had awful aim and missed Jack in a stab attempt, instead catching the knife on some of the files. Jack reacted quickly, elbowing the figure in the crotch and grabbing the Roster folder before running back out the door. Unfortunately he didn't notice a second beam fall from the ceiling, which knocked him to the ground. He got back up to his feet, and saw that the Roster file had caught fire. Stamping it out with his boot, he scooped it up and ran out the door as fast as he could.

He finally got to safety and back to his car with the blown out tire about ten minutes later, with no sign of the figure tailing him. He put the spare on and drove back to headquarters, content to review the file the next day.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:07 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Pleased that the staff had opted to allow Jack to visit Zaphod during the day, he drove up to Mourningwood and opened the door to his car, accidentally hitting the side of the car next to him with it. He looked at the spot and made sure there was no dent or scratch, and then stood to go inside when he noticed that the car in question was a police vehicle. Ominous, he thought to himself.

He arrived inside and saw a large crime scene had been established. The desk had been moved to the side where a new nurse was sitting as a cop stood to one side, questioning a second nurse. Jack approached the nurse seated behind the desk.

"Hey, what happened here?"

The nurse's face turned decidedly grave. "One of our night shift nurses was found dead yesterday morning, a bullet through her head. Security footage had been erased, so the cops are interviewing all the staff here. Tragic." Jack looked back at the crime scene and saw the white outline on the ground, and knew immediately what had happened.

"Alice..." he said. The nurse seemed surprised that he knew who it was, and even a little bit suspicious. As Jack turned back to face her, he answered her look of confusion, saying, "She assisted me when I visited a patient two nights ago. She was the only nurse here, so I just assumed." The nurse nodded, still not entirely sure of his innocence.

Jack was paranoid now. Was it a random murder? Or was it because she had helped him? Who would have killed it, and what did they have to do with the mansion file? He brushed these thoughts aside and opted to focus on his meeting with Zaphod. He told the nurse, and the nurse directed him to Zaphod's room.

"Hello, Zaphod, it's Jack again." A turn and nod of recognition, but no words. "I found the others, and was directed to a mansion near the county line. Do you know anything about it?"

Jack could have sworn he saw a twinge of recognition pass over Zaphod's face, but as if it were a difficult memory, one he was having to reach for. He was getting somewhere.

"Well that's okay. I also found this file," he said, pulling it out and handing it to Zaphod, who took it willingly. "Most of it's burned, sorry, but the line at the top appears to say 'Random N'; what does that mean?"

Now he had done it. Zaphod's face lit up, memories flooding back to him. "Randoman."

Jack wasn't sure what the meant, but he was excited about this breakthrough. "Randoman? What's that?"

"Not what, who. He designed the mansion and was the landlord, so to speak. We all lived there... all... all eight - no, wait, eleven - agh." He was still having some difficulty remembering things. Only part of the memories had returned. "I can't remember. There were a bunch of us, and we lived in the house together... there was something... something about a coup... I don't remember it all yet."

Jack was still enthused by the breakthrough; loose evidence was starting to connect. "Okay, what about this?" he asked, drawing the "in case of failure" key from his pocket and handing it to Zaphod. "Ring any bells?"
Zaphod studied the key for a few moments, and then handed it back to Jack. "Never seen it before in my life." Jack frowned for a moment, a little disappointed that the enigmatic key remained a complete unknown.

"Okay, so. How do we proceed here? Should we go try and get the other seven on board? I have their names and locations." Jack was mostly thinking aloud - though he liked having somebody else in on the case. Now he understood the buddy cop genre.

"That's really the only choice we have. Maybe one of them will remember, or even trigger more memories for me." Zaphod rubbed his temples. "God, this whole 'getting memories back' thing really blows. My head is killing me."
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

And now I jump down from the rafters with my nunchucks
All I can remember after I closed my eyes, was that first, it got real loud; then, it got real hot; then it got real slimy; then it got quiet; then it got.... unspeakable. And when I opened my eyes, the pool was empty, and three days had passed.
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Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Jack sat in the lobby of Calmtree, one of the seven mental hospitals of which Zaphod's companions were patients. The nurse had gone back into the ward to retrieve the man known as "Messer Tod"; though at first Jack had found the nicknames bizarre, he had come to just accept it for the good of the case. The room was eerily similar to the lobby at Mourningwood, which made his thoughts drift to Alice, the nurse who had been murdered for simply helping him.

Fortunately the nurse returned with Tod in a wheelchair, turning Jack's thoughts elsewhere. She wheeled Tod in front of Jack and then left, giving Jack a look as if to say "good luck" in an unnecessarily snarky way. Tod stared at Jack. His pale red eyes were unnerving. Jack cleared his throat.

"Uh, hello, Tod. I'm Jack Allen, and I've been investigating a few strange documents I was sent. I've found a patient very similar to yourself in Mourningwood - he calls himself Zaphod?"

Jack saw that flash of recognition that he had seen in Zaphod come over Tod's eyes. He was struggling, trying to break the barrier and get to the memories that were trying to resurface. A good sign.

"I did some digging and I eventually found a mansion on the outskirts of the county line... and a folder inside, labeled "Roster", with only one name: "Randoman." Does that mean anything to you?" Jack saw the flash again, and suddenly Tod sprung into action.

He jumped out of his wheelchair and in a single, swift, fluid motion, pulled two pistols from concealed places on his wheelchair and shoved them into his gown. He reached up to his neck, tore the gown strings, and tossed it aside, revealing a rather badass black leather battlesuit with holsters for his pistols. He started walking toward the door. "We're going to the mansion. Tonight."

Jack was stunned. "Are those Rugers?"

"Tonight, Jack. Let's go." He kept walking, not even turning around.

"We still have six other people to pick up!"

Tod finally turned around and looked at Jack. "Well then we'd better get going."
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Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:34 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Zaphod's new cell phone started vibrating in his pocket. He let it ring for a few moments, letting out a very soft and quiet moan in the lobby, before retrieving it and answering it. "Yeah?"

"Change of plans. Tod remembers, so that's good. But he insists on going to the mansion tonight. And he has pistols, so I'm inclined to do what he wants."

"Well we can do that. I'll swing around and pick up Mari and roast after I get bob here. You go get Deimos and McWeird."

"How are you gonna get there? You don't have a car."

"I'll get a cab. Now go. Losing daylight here." He closed the flip phone, feeling awesomely retro in the process, and noticed that the nurse was wheeling bob out to him. He slipped the phone back into his pocket, hoping it would vibrate again soon.

"Hey bob, long time no see." Bob didn't seem to recognize him. "It's me, Zaphod." His eyes, a bright red, flashed with recognition like the others'. Zaphod was in.

"Rando and a bunch of the other members have gone missing, and the rest of us are in mental hospitals. We need to get to the bottom of this - and I think you and I know who is behind this, seeing as we've exposed their bullshit before." He knew this would trigger it.

He was correct - bob stood still for a moment before standing up, walking calmly to the wall, and punching a hole into it. "Goddamn it. We should have killed those two when we had the chance."

Zaphod smiled. "We'll get 'em this time buddy. Come on, we gotta go get Mari now." He wrapped his arm around bob's shoulder, and they walked out of the building, Zaphod's phone vibrating as they did.
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Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:45 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Zaphod finally picked up his phone. "Yeah?"

Jack looked back into the lobby where Deimos had been wheeled out to talk to him and Tod. "Yeah, we have a problem. Deimos doesn't remember, and he won't even respond to his name. He's just staring out the window like you were until we called you Zaphod."

"Wait, what's his name?"

"Deimos..."

"You're pronouncing it wrong."

"What?"

"Yeah, you're saying 'Dee-mos', but it's 'Day-moss'. Try that and call me back if you have problems."

"But that's ridiculous."

"Just trust me on this. I gotta go."

The line went dead. Jack pocketed his phone and walked back over to where Deimos was sitting. He turned to Tod. "Apparently we're pronouncing his name wrong."

Tod gave him a strange look. "I've always said it this way... how is it supposed to be said?"

He turned to Deimos. "Hey, 'day-moss'," he said, and was shocked when he saw Deimos turn to face them. In that moment he felt like an idiot, but it passed quickly. "Well that worked. Take it away, Tod."

Tod cleared his throat. "Rando is missing. Come help us fuck up the assholes who kidnapped him. You can bring your knives." Deimos suddenly jumped out of his chair and ran back to his room quickly. Jack and Tod glanced at each other, confused, until they saw Deimos come running back, wearing a badass hat, cape, and bandolier filled with an assortment of knives.

"Let's kick some ass."
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Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:56 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Zaphod and bob arrived at the next hospital, talked to the nurse, and waited for roast to be rolled out. bob turned to Zaphod.

"So what's the deal with this Jack character?"

Zaphod was confused. "What do you mean?"

"Guy just shows up out of the blue knowing about eight strange patients that even leading psychiatrists had dismissed? We're nobodies as far as the world is concerned; why is he suddenly interested?"

"Well someone sent him a bunch of stuff about the mansion and about us, and then someone burned it down and attacked him when he went there."

"Did you see evidence of that? I mean who's to say he didn't just make it all up? I have no idea how we all ended up in mental hospitals - but what if it was to stay away from this guy? And now he's back to finish the job?"

"I think you're just paranoid - we know it was likely Xicon and Azog behind this. They've tried it before."

"I don't know, something just feels off." At this point, roast was wheeled out into the lobby.

Zaphod tossed a bag into his lap. "Here you go, roast. Now come with us. We've gotta find Rando." roast recognized the names, but seemed a bit short of full memory. He opened the bag and pulled out something wrapped in foil. He tore off the foil and saw an Arby's sandwich. He smiled, took a huge bite of the sandwich, then stood up, swallowed the food, and gave Zaphod a high five.

"Fuck yeah, let's do this."
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Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:07 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

"I still don't understand the significance of this. Why exactly did we have to stop and buy these?"

"Just trust me, they're necessary. Also, we've lived on fucking hospital food for a while. We needed something real to drink." Tod drank more of his bizarre fountain beverage which was in fact a mixture of several of them, as Deimos drank deeply from the bottle of bourbon he had purchased. Jack meanwhile held two other drinks in his hand.

"I sure hope so." The nurse finally came back, wheeling McWeird out to see them. It didn't take long for the three men to see his eyes suddenly widen with recognition.

"SLURPEE."

Jack was stunned. Tod and Deimos smirked. McWeird reached out. Jack handed him one of the Slurpees, and within seconds all of the solid-liquid substance in the container had been sucked through the straw. McWeird stood up.

"Vamanos," he said.

Tod leaned over to Jack. "Told you to get more than two."
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Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:13 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

"I don't really know Mari that well... she tended to hang out in that weird caveish thing -"

"Grotto," bob corrected. roast nodded.

"Yeah that, and whenever she did come into the mansion itself she smelled like it. All that chlorine and shit. It was weird, man."

Zaphod shook his head. "Nah she's cool, don't worry. Although for whatever reason I don't have any recollection of the sex grotto... what happened to it? Did it cave in or something?"

Before anybody could answer his question, the nurse wheeled Mari out to see them. All three, however, were stumped as far as what to say to awaken her memories.

"Uh... hi, Mari... we need to go find Rando... will you come with us?" Zaphod managed. No response.

bob was thinking. roast went back to his sandwich, hoping someone else would figure it out first. Suddenly bob figured it out.

"Mari, the sex grotto caved in and we need to go dig it out to make it function again."

"Oh HELL no," she suddenly yelled, jumping out of her chair and running out the door.

bob made a small fist pump motion accompanied by a quiet "Yes!", before he too ran out the door, Zaphod and roast not far behind.
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Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:26 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

"Alright, we've got Mari now. Is that everyone?"

"No, we still need to get Dawn," Jack reminded Zaphod. Zaphod wasn't happy to hear this, however.

"I watched her die, man. I don't think I can do this."

"Yes you can. Meet me there, we'll all do this."

Not long after, they were all assembled at the hospital. After a brief reunion (during which Zaphod was tossed into a wall after stepping on Deimos' toe in an attempt to hug him), they went inside to see Dawn.

bob turned to Zaphod. "I forgot to compliment you on your shirt. Those dark circles underneath your arms are very sporting." Zaphod looked and noticed that large circles of sweat had formed under his armpits.

"Fuck, man, I'm just too nervous. I mean, she was DEAD, dude." He started looking around frantically, and saw the nurse backing out into the lobby, pulling a wheelchair. "Fuck, I gotta get out of here." He ran into the nearby restroom. bob rolled his eyes as everybody crowded around Dawn.

"Hey Dawn? It's us. We have to go find Rando. Come on, let's get out of here." Dawn looked up at her name, but showed no recognition of anything else. Mari's attempt hadn't worked.

"Let me try." Tod stepped forward. "Dawn? Look at these." He pulled a pair of 3D glasses out of his pocket. "ii2 thii2 riingiing any bell2?" Ignoring Mari's choking sounds at the mention of Homestuck, everybody awaited Dawn's memory. But nothing happened.

"This is senseless," bob said. "There's only one thing that will trigger her memories, and it's currently pissing its pants in that bathroom over there."

"I'm on it," Deimos said. He ran off into the bathroom and came back a moment later, pulling Zaphod by the collar. He tossed him into the center of the circle, right in front of Dawn. With great trepidation, Zaphod slowly turned to face Dawn.

"Oh, hey there Dawn." Dawn looked up at Zaphod, and smiled.

"Zaphod." She stood up and pulled him into a huge embrace, which Zaphod quickly reciprocated. Everybody d'awwed pretty hard.
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Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:35 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

Jack drove along the dark, deserted roads, a strange silence pervading the crowded van. With nine people in the same car, some noise is to be expected - but things were dead silent. Zaphod sat in the passenger seat, carefully studying a map, ensuring that they were traveling to the right spot. Despite Jack's repeated assurances that he knew the way, Zaphod wanted to make sure things went the right way.

In the center sat Tod, Mari, Deimos and Dawn. Dawn was leaning forward, one hand on Zaphod's shoulder, and reading the map Zaphod was holding as he traced their route with his finger. Tod was vigorously cleaning one of his two .480 Rugers with a cloth. Mari was sitting mostly still, carefully nursing a flask of what appeared to be rum. Deimos was twirling a knife in between his fingers, absentmindedly, with a shocking degree of finesse that would astound even the most skilled knife throwers. In the far backseat sat Bob, McWeird, and Roast. McWeird was softly flailing his arms around as if dancing to unheard music. Bob was completely still and appeared shaken. Roast sipped on a large container of Sprite from Arby's, a stop Jack was not happy to have made.

The canopy of trees overhead made even the little moonlight that the night granted virtually useless; outside the range of the car's headlights was an expanse of pitch blackness. After what felt like hours, they approached the mansion that Jack had been told was the seat of Interplosion, a cult-like organization. He pulled up onto the massive lawn, and everybody quickly filed out of the car.

The mansion, burned during Jack's previous expedition, was in terrible shape. The top floor (what looked like four stories up) had been entirely burned, leaving remnants of the supports exposed to the night air. The third floor was badly singed, with windows missing and a few collapsed hallways. The second floor was mostly intact, but was far worse for the wear than was the first floor.

"Well, this is it." Jack was pessimistic that the drive out here would yield anything.

"Yeah," Zaphod added, "this is definitely it. But something feels... off."

"Maybe it's the fact that the place is burned down," Deimos interjected with scathing sarcasm.

"Licked," McWeird noted.

"Yeah, like I said - when I came investigating here and found the book labeled "Roster", there was another man in the house. I didn't see much of him, but he looked like he had black robes on. At any rate, the hallway he walked out of was on fire, and it was spreading quickly. I was lucky to get out alive."

"Did he say anything? Did you hear his voice at all?" Tod asked as he loaded his handgun.

"Well, the entire time I was there I thought I was hearing -"

"LOOK!" Dawn shouted.

They did, and they saw the mansion shimmer an odd, otherworldly glow for a few moments. A ghostly layer fell over the mansion, an image of its former glory suspended over the burned ruins. After a brief moment, a small pulse of light emanated from the mansion, and where there once stood a burned building there now stood an almost brand new one, untouched by flame.

"Okay, what the fuck just happened?" Deimos asked, drawing a knife from his belt instinctively.

"That... that didn't happen last time I was here..." Jack stood in amazement at the newly reformed mansion.

"No, you arrived a few moments too late to see it last time."

A voice that none of them recognized had spoken from behind them. They all turned quickly to see a man in a black robe, hood drawn over his face and thus obscuring it completely in the darkness. The man walked forward, up near the steps to the door of the mansion. He turned to face them.

"However I can assure you, that this has happened before and will happen again."

Tod aimed his gun at the man. "Who are you, and what the hell is going on here?"

The man in the robe chuckled. "My name is Azazel. A-Z-A-Z-E-L. Got it memorized?"

Zaphod wasn't amused. "Don't be coy. Answer the question."

The man held up his hands as if to say "oh, look out, we got a badass here," before responding. " The mansion is restoring itself because that is the universe's way of compensating for... glitches, let's call them."

"Glitches? Stop being cryptic. I mean, we're used to that shit, but give us a break," roast demanded.

"Something is missing here, and the universe is compensating for that. I have come to prevent the universe from doing that, as if we allow it to compensate, bad things will happen."

"Bad for who - you, or us?" Mari asked.

The man didn't respond; he simply chuckled, and turned back to the mansion. He leaned down at the door, and suddenly the entrance exploded into flames, spreading up the walls of the house with frightening speed.

"We can't let him destroy the house!" Tod shouted as he raised his gun and squeezed the trigger.

The bullet fired, but halfway to its destination, a swirling mass of purple and green energy erupted into being. The bullet vanished into its depths. The mass grew larger, and after a moment, three people slid out from the vortex onto the ground beneath it. The man had turned around and was very close to the crowd of people. He raised his hand, and Tod saw very briefly that there was a gun in his hand, concealed by the long sleeves. His eyes widened as he saw the muzzle flash, a bullet leaving the barrel and embedding itself squarely in Tod's forehead. He fell backward with a grim finality, his body making a chilling thump as it hit the ground, lifeless.

"Don't. Fuck. With me." Azazel turned back to the house, and walked inside as it burned to the ground.

The stunned group stood and watched as the mansion burned to the ground for the second time. The three people who had fallen out of the rift - SHG, N7, and The Slender Man - all seemed to be suffering the same memory loss that the rest of the patients had. They loaded them into the now-cramped van and drove in silence back to the headquarters, after giving Tod a resting place beneath six feet of dirt, a thin layer of ash resting on top.
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Post Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Interplosion: The Third Uprising

This is glorious. Proceed.
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