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 [HC Event] Nightmare

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Jasper
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   31st January 2018, 1:41 pm

After a few more moments of thought, Shadow approached Somnus and the senshi who had favored sticking with their original plan of action. It had not been an easy choice to make, considering that Jasper had hastily assumed his experience with Leviathan's rescue would have better prepared him to make such judgment calls in the future.

If he made a hundred successful choices, then perhaps he'd be slightly more prepared.

Shadow's eyes crossed over to Aegle, having noted the clenched fists at the ends of her arms. She had brought up the concerns of the trapped dreamers, which raised the necessity of voting on their collective action. While the man in black didn't like the idea of leaving anyone behind, a nagging sense of concern had contributed to his own choice - they couldn't afford to get bogged down if there were multiple dreams like this one that were keeping sailor soldiers trapped in a comatose state. If one group was saved, would they have to ignore the rest? Where would such a line be drawn? It was also quite possible that their enemy could be using tricks and traps to ensnare the altruistic.

Rather than let Aegle go unanswered, Shadow replied to her faultering voice with a conciliatory warmth in his own words. Who was he to tell her she was wrong? In the past, both distant and recent, the man had been burned for attempting to do what he thought was the right thing.

"You're right, Aegle; it doesn't feel good at all. I can't speak for your feelings, but I think this is an attempt at misdirection or a blatant attack on our collective confidence."
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   31st January 2018, 2:54 pm

Somnus
Despite Aegle's reaction, the vote was clear, and Somnus had started to gather her powers again. She didn't begin to know what to say to the blonde girl in pink, so she returned to what the other blonde had said as she channeled her abilities. "There are different... pathways? to travel - before I tried to get into one person's dream in particular, using that one consciousness as a conduit; in here, we're breaking into the dreamworlds themselves - it's like entering a room by passing through the walls rather than through a door, and, apparently, whatever is running the place has the doors barricaded but not so much the walls. They may already know we are here, but my bet is that if they did, they'd be throwing whatever they had at us to get us out rather than run the risk." She paused, thinking, and shrugged, "Unless they're crazy. I can see no reason why they'd let us continue examining their trap, especially if they're offing so many in such a short period of time."

A portal formed on the back of the tombstone ahead of her, and she strode towards it. 



Shadow made his decision to join the other side. She didn't blame him. She appreciated his attempt but his words didn't resonate with her at all. Her feelings were for those poor girls facing - facing whatever this was, whatever was born out of this creepy scene, whatever made that spine-chilling howl, whatever caused that girl to scream and reduce their number from four to three. For whatever frightening thing they were facing and whatever awaited them when her group abandoned them to their fate. Their dream would end in fear, or panic, or even worse. They'd end up comatose, like the others. She hated wondering whether the coma would be a relief or even more of a nightmare for them. She hated leaving them. Nothing they did now guaranteed they would wake up from that coma, and if they went through all this and the victims stayed out cold...  Would those girls forgive them for leaving when they had a chance to save them? 

Would they forgive themselves?

She didn't care if this was misdirection. It didn't bother her that it could be an attack on their "collective confidence." Somnus sensed three dreamers out there and they were choosing to abandon them in hopes that what they did might maybe wake them up when they fell; if anything was attacking their confidence, it was their own decision. She was confident that they could convince them that it was a dream, and now she was confident that she wouldn't even get to try, and they would be hunted down until three became two, two became one, and the dreamworld itself faded away like Hadley's had.

"It's Crysdal," she corrected, as she had a hundred times to a hundred different people, only this time it wasn't with a smile and a handshake.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   31st January 2018, 5:22 pm



Hadley still had yet to look up from staring at the ground beneath her feet. Her chest ached at the conversation going on around her, and the emotions welling up inside her.

She longed to help those senshi. Leaving them to fend off an enemy they were clearly failing against... it was cruel. And she was cruel to be part of such a decision. Hearing Crysdal's words made the guilt tear through her like wildfire. She almost took back her vote, the words nearly on her lips.

But the decision was made, and the portal was beginning to open once more. Even if she had changed her vote, the outcome would still have favored moving onwards. The right decision, her mind attempted to convince her.

Then why was that decision crushing her under its razor sharp edge?

She clutched at her woven box of plants, feeling their energy trying to reach out and comfort her, but even their tingling kindness wasn't enough to reach her right now. A part of her wanted to look to Crysdal, to see if she was okay. To ask forgiveness, maybe.

But Hadley knew she was not worthy of such a request. Not anymore.

Despite it all, however, she didn't necessarily regret her decision. She needed to remain strong in this, and in all things. This mission had yet to truly begin, and now was not the time to crumble.

Perhaps one day she'd be able to look Crysdal in the eye again.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   31st January 2018, 7:10 pm

Sailor Roshar

Roshar let out a loud resigned sigh. This had been a waste. She didn't resent the others for their choice for all she knew they were choosing the right one while she, Aegle--Crysdal, as she had noted her correct Shadow--and Hemera had picked the wrong one. Despite that, she was proud that they had at least spoken out, chose what they felt was right. She shrugged as she watched Somnus open another portal to leave the dream. She hated that she had to leave the senshi in this dreamscape suffering much like her friends. They all had someone they cared for lost in this mess.

What if one of the senshi in this dream had been one of their friends? Was that something Somnus would be able to tell? Was it possible it was something she wasn't telling them in order to get them to move on? Roshar frowned at that thought.

She decided to wait until the others went through the portal before following. It felt like a betrayal to her feelings if she were to walk in straight away. Instead, having noted on how passionate Crysdal was, noting the strain in her. She had done well keeping her emotions in check.

She gently laid a hand on the girl, shorter than Roshar by barely a knuckle's length, hoping to comfort her somewhat. Though, that wasn't exactly her strong point.

"You are right. Walking away isn't what being a Senshi is about," Roshar consoled Crsydal, feeling her heart tighten at her own words. That was exactly what she had done to her planet, wasn't it? She swallowed before continuing, "I only hope that we save them all at the end of this. We have to."

She gave a small smirk to Crsydal, "It's Rai, by the way. Since we're giving out civilian names it seems.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   1st February 2018, 12:26 pm



The continuing conversation resonated with discord within Xtal-Diamante's crystal core. She watched, silent as ever, as Somnus summoned another portal. The details of this scene, and the scream that they had heard, did little to influence the rocky teenager in a new direction. Her mind remained fixed on the few that remained, and whatever was holding them captive here. In the months following her initial conscription, she had been in a variety of scenarios—some that wavered and others that went forward towards a specific target. She always preferred the latter. In this dream, time seemed to matter. For that reason, she was ready to move forward and follow Sailor Somnus when the soldier of dreams led them on.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   2nd February 2018, 10:54 am



She was not surprised by her sister's decision. She would usually follow her heart while Nyx would listen to the mind - not that one proved to be always better than the other. She was not sure her decision was the right one, it just felt more logical at the time.

She did not feel Crysdal's words were fair. There were always screams they didn't hear... This time it was different. They weren't there for all battles of this war. But those screams were literally at the dream "next door". To choose them over the others, just because they simply happened to listen to those ones, and blissfully abandon the others... Was that right? But she would not argue. She understood this made her emotional.

Either way, it seems like they made their decision. She stepped closer to the portal, though she did not want to make the first move. Hopefully their would be no strife within the group over this.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   2nd February 2018, 1:13 pm

Somnus
The portal made and trusting in the belief in a diplomatic vote, Somnus strode out of the portal and moved outward, staring back at the cloud's surface critically. "Look for strings," she redirected as the others joined her, changing her motion to almost orbit the cloud as she looked. "It should lead outward - or look for other dream clouds around here; if I'm right, they should be connected with the string."

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   2nd February 2018, 1:28 pm



She did not need to be told a second time. Xtal-Diamante had been ready well before the portal was, and now she wanted to waste no time in moving forward. Somnus's comment about the strings and looking for dream clouds vibrated softly in her core as she focused on it. As she stepped towards and through the mysterious doorway, leaving the eerie graveyard behind, she could only wonder what they might find in the next dream. Sailor Xtal-Diamante expected to see the void stretching out around them; her Sailor Wings fluttered slightly as she moved, remembering what she had seen before.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   2nd February 2018, 8:59 pm

Steeling himself with a deep breath, Shadow proceeded through the portal. Now that their choice was made, Somnus directed the senshi to seek out other dream clouds or the strings tethering them within the vast emptiness. Having naught but willpower to carry him through the void, Shadow floated near the group while searching for links that they could follow to their primary target.

Focus on the end goal, the man in black thought to himself. Aegle- no, Crysdal's insistence that they go after the terrified dreamers wasn't without merit, but how many times could exceptions be made when they were ostensibly attempting to free all of the comatose senshi? That was the real danger of allowing their initiative to be hijacked.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   4th February 2018, 3:19 am



She didn't look at anyone and followed the group out of the portal, trying to mentally block the memory of the scream they had heard. She had no idea how the others could harden their hearts like this. What if it had been her voice there, could Nyx make the same choice? Would she want to? The question rose in her mind unbidden, and she hoped the answer was no, but she didn't dare ask it out loud. She and Nyx had been having a bit of a disconnect lately after the whole death thing and how to move on from there, and she didn't want to enlarge that gap between them because they were useless if they weren't in sync.

She prayed for the safety of those senshi trapped in here, the ones they were abandoning, and tried to focus on Somnus' instructions to look for strings or clouds connected with them.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   4th February 2018, 8:47 am



Hadley was glad for the hopeful words of the orange-clad senshi -- Rai, it seemed her name was. Even though it seemed little consolation for Crysdal's despair, she hoped maybe they would help soften the blow.

As the group began to make their way to the portal, Hadley followed in suit, eyes still trained on the ground. She didn't want to look at anyone, didn't want to see their faces.

Her hands still clutched the little box of plants, for all the good it did her. Regardless, she sent a small thought of appreciation for the plants' consideration all the same.

She tried to focus on the task at hand, instead of letting herself become weighed down by it all. She wondered, suddenly, what Ari would have thought of this situation. Would she be disappointed that Hadley hadn't voted the other way?

Cold spread throughout her chest at the very thought, and her face tightened as she envisioned an upset Ari who no longer wished to speak to her.

Hadley forced those thoughts aside. She couldn't let the fear of her friend's hatred stop her from this. Even Ari's own condemnation wouldn't be quite enough to stop her from trying to save the other girl. Hadley wanted to make sure her greatest friend walked away from all of this alive, and she'd do whatever she could to achieve it.

Even if it meant losing the only bright pieces she'd found amongst this dark and depressing puzzle of a war.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   4th February 2018, 5:10 pm


Rosher's hand on her shoulder immediately started to drain some of her tension away, the familiar sort of touch that was so common back home immediately giving comfort, even in the face of what was going on. She looked at the other girl as she spoke - at Rai - and nodded her agreement in small, quiet motions. The others were leaving, and as she forced the decision behind her she placed her focus ahead of them. Find the strings, undo whatever is holding them together and wake everyone up. 

"Rai," she replied, obviously committing it to memory before explaining. "Thinking in titles just - " she shrugged, "It makes it harder for me to heal. My version of healing, anyway." She offered a small smile, "Thank you for trying. We should probably catch up before we're made to," she jested without much energy behind it, lifting up the pinky with the string that now led out through the portal. 


DM wrote:

The harder they looked...

Another dream cloud was oriented below and to the left of the portal, still some ways off; connecting them was a dark burgundy string. 


In another direction another burgundy string led away, though what it was attached to was either hidden or so far away they could not see it.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   5th February 2018, 11:15 am



Eventually, they were all out of the portal once again, leaving that haunting scenery behind. They would save them all, right? That's why they left. Because everyone needed their help.

It was the right decision, no doubt. She had to believe that.

Nyx squinted her eyes, trying to locate other strings as instructed. There was another cloud over there and... she could barely make out another string leading to... something? somewhere? maybe?

"Over there..." she pointed. "Should we follow that?"

What exactly awaited them at the end of that string? They would probably have to find out, whether they wanted or not.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   5th February 2018, 11:56 am

Sailor Roshar


Nodding in agreement and understanding, Roshar made her way through the portal, checking back over her shoulder to make sure the blonde had followed her. As she regrouped with the others, she did her best to push this issue to the back of her mind. It wasn't important, for the time being, as much as she hated to think that--hated having to even leave those Senshi to begin with. She steeled herself and forced a smirk back on her face.

Nyx pointed to another string, suggesting they follow it. Roshar did notice another cloud, but...wanting to avoid a similar situation from the last dream cloud, she figured it would be best to move on with the first.

"Might as well. We have no other leads," she summoned her wings, started in the direction of the string Nyx had pointed out, "Let's not waste any time talking about it either."

She grit her teeth trying to keep a smile on her face. She was finding it harder to keep up appearances.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   5th February 2018, 6:39 pm

After a moment of thorough searching, a second cloud was located near their original discovery. It was another dream, certain to be filled with perils and pitfalls for dreaming senshi who were ensnared by the unidentified weaver of nightmares. Whether or not the individual was even human didn't matter much to Shadow; they would need to be defeated or driven away to break the sleeping spell.

Nyx identified the cloud and signaled its location to the other senshi. Shadow continued his hunt for signs of strings, while Roshar suggested that they follow the burgundy thread from the visible cloud. No visual clues were offered with the second string, so the proper course of action was clear.

"This looks exactly like what we need," Shadow spoke in agreement of Roshar's suggestion to follow the first burgundy link away from the dream cloud. Regardless of where the second one was going, the cloud offered them a precious reference on where to continue their search.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   10th February 2018, 7:27 am

DM wrote:
Inactivity Warning to all of us. XD leave me behind if I fall behind, guys!

Roshar: The string seemed to go on for eternity, without any changes made to the space before her. Nothing came into focus. 

Everyone Else: Roshar's form became smaller and smaller as she followed the string, soon her form disappearing from sight of the rest of them.

 Roshar is incredibly far from the group, but is still connected to them by the two strings on her pinkies.

[Somnus]
No one had moved to follow Roshar... despite another of them suggesting the direction and yet another agreeing that that direction was the best choice. Somnus kept her quiet, waiting for them to move - she was a guide, her role to offer advice and backup if needed, to make suggestions and walk them through, but she hadn't agreed to be a leader and didn't want the job. As the seconds stretched to minutes of silence, she kept her face a mask that seemed to be perplexed at why no one else was moving, while deep down she was almost laughing at the circumstances. She wasn't going to be the first to move, though if this was how it ended she would be a little disappointed.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   10th February 2018, 7:27 am


She followed Roshar out of the dream, the guilt she felt as she passed through the portal making her want to shudder. She crossed her arms tight to her chest, keeping her gaze anywhere but on the others; she had entered just as Nyx pointed out another string. Roshar was for following it, and though her agreement hadn't been exactly passionate, she nevertheless flew off to follow it with a remark on not wasting time. The temptation to fly off with her immediately was there, but to so quickly abandon the other dreamers, and then to head off first while she had fought to remain...? They didn't agree with her or her thoughts on the prior matter; she had no right to step up as a leader now, especially with how she still felt.

Shadow agreed with Nyx and Roshar, and then... something peculiar happened.

Nobody moved.

Nobody spoke. 

Silence and inaction seemed to have overcome them all, the notion that they should hurry and save everyone instead of focusing on the few they had just abandoned apparently lost. The longer it stretched on the more agitated Crysdal became, until finally she looked up, saw that there was no sign of Roshar anymore, even along the length of string, and exhaled quickly and loudly in frustration before racing off after Roshar, intent to catch up with her. That the two who were most reluctant to leave would be the ones leading the charge was ridiculous to her, but on the bright side she could cry it out a little on the way there and clean herself up without anyone noticing if she were in front of them. 

For the moment she didn't consider what everyone else was thinking. She didn't consider their struggles or emotions, didn't consider if anything had affected them - if there were some sort of magic at play, something they had been infected with while they were in the other dream. Those thoughts would come later; for now, all she seemed to focus on was the apparent injustice of the decision.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   10th February 2018, 7:55 am



Roshar agreed with the notion to follow that string into the unknown, and flew off on her own. The male companion of the group also agreed but... Nothing happened? She was quite surprised than not even her sister jumped into action. Nyx was hesitant to move - she would often take on the role of the 'reason' of the group, but she was never quite a 'leader'. She expected some guidance, comment, anything from Somnus too - is this what they are looking for? Surely she must know something more than them...

Eventually and as Roshar was getting too far away, Aegle flew off towards her, and Nyx followed right behind, glancing to the group one last time. If the senshi of dreams had no objection or other remark towards her suggestion... They might as well go for it and see what it is. They had no other direction in here.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   10th February 2018, 8:10 am

When it finally became apparent to Shadow that the only individual pursuing the string was Roshar, he cursed inwardly and started moving forward after her. The perception of time here was sketchy at best, but in the last few moments that he could recall, it seemed to have stopped in its entirety. Nyx and Aegle also realized what had happened, sparing no efforts to catch back up to their ally.

You can do better than this, his conscience whispered in soft tones of chastisement. He didn't want to see what would happen if the group's own tethers continued to stretch and stretch to a theoretical breaking point.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   11th February 2018, 5:23 am



As the dreamworld they'd just left began to close behind them, the severity of the decision that had been made caught up to her. It felt as though a brick sat heavily in the pit of her stomach, weighing her down, stopping all thought in the process.

Hadley blanked out, her mind unable to quite come to terms with her own selfishness and the decision she'd help make. The fact that she'd agree to damn those senshi to their fate kept her in a loop of self-loathing that made it difficult to focus on anything else.

She still felt confident, in a way, with the decision, but she hated it all the same. Hated herself for it all the same.

Caught up in her own turmoil, she didn't quite notice anything else going on around her. She didn't notice anything until the plants inside the woven box alerted her to the movement of her allies. The plants were worried for her, didn't want her to be left behind. Their concern was touching, but Hadley pulled her hand away from the box, not worthy of such concern.

Pulling herself out of the darkness, at least enough to actually function, Hadley focused on the moving forms ahead of her and began to move with them without a word.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   11th February 2018, 5:40 am



She waited for the others to move as Roshar pointed out the way, but for a few moments, nobody did. Still thinking about the senshi trapped in the nightmare they just left, she didn't notice it much, her mind full of possibilities about what kind of things they would be dealing with there. She'd been there for five minutes and she'd been terrified. Meanwhile, they...

She balled her fists in annoyance, trying not to direct her resentment to the group, and finally moved when Aegle and Nyx did, following Roshar's trail that was indicated by the string.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   12th February 2018, 5:24 am



Roshar took the lead, Aegle followed, and as the others did, so did Xtal-Diamante. The strings made little sense to her. So far their travels in this unknown place had involved too much of the waiting, discussion, and decision-making that did not serve as strengths of the rocky teenager. A clear path and obvious target would have been infinitely preferred, or at least a leader who could create that direction where the situation lacked it. She noticed the absence of the drive from within her crystal core, and it made her think of her home world. Although she had been summoned outside and ultimately had volunteered for this mission, Xtal-Diamante felt reminded of how unfamiliar all of this ultimately was.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   12th February 2018, 5:48 pm

DM wrote:
The string ended suddenly. Attached to nothing, it seemed, and yet pulled tight as though there were something there that they could not see.

"What do you think it is?" Crysdal asked quietly, staring at the abrupt end to the string. She felt an eeriness emanating from the space beyond the end of the string, but knew it could just be her nerves or any other number of factors. "Do you think it actually just ends here, like a decoy?" She glanced over to Roshar, sensing the arrival of everyone else but not wanting to meet their gaze yet, despite her question being open for anyone to respond to.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   13th February 2018, 2:17 pm



They followed the seemingly never-ending string to its source, which seemed to be... nothing? It was stretched as if it was attached to something, but there was nothing there that they could see... A decoy? She considered Crysdal's thoughts, but made no comments of her own. Should they go back?

Should they have stayed and helped those girls instead? Maybe that was the only way to gather some clues too, after all...

Could this string really have no purpose at all? Nyx attempted to examine the string, move past it and touch its edge. Was it solid? Was it really starting here?

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   13th February 2018, 2:38 pm

Quote :
Nyx reaches to touch the string's edge, and is immediately pulled forward, disappearing out of sight.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   13th February 2018, 3:46 pm

Sailor Roshar


At some point Roshar had noticed she had been traveling alone and was about to fly back and bonk everyone on the heads when finally she cause sight of Crysdal and then others starting to follow her. Following the string led them to...nothing? But it had to be something, the string was definitely still pulled taught.

Roshar glanced back at Crysdal, beginning to open her mouth to reply when Nyx reached out to touch the string. As soon as she did, she was pulled away faster than Roshar could think to reach.

"Storms! We have to go after her!" Roshar cried and without another thought she touched the string's edge as well.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   13th February 2018, 11:25 pm

How could the string just end without a trace?

Crysdal alerted the approaching senshi and their associate to the curious terminus, which hung in the air with a certain tension that would have indicated the presence of a counterweight. Shadow could barely grasp at the underlying reasons for the obfuscation, but the problem seemed real enough to warrant concern. "Something's there," asserted the darkly dressed brunet in a mild monotone which only began to crack once he spared a glance towards Sailor Nyx.

There was no longer a cautious and thoughtful senshi hovering there, only a fading motion blur. This sudden development erased the fleeting thought of consulting their dream expert about the hanging string's nature. If their previous experience with the string had proven true, they'd soon be yanked after Nyx as if each of them were kites.

"Let's go! She disappeared near the string." Shadow floated towards the dream tether after Sailor Roshar, reaching his hand out to the edge.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   14th February 2018, 12:37 am



She wasn't paying attention much to what they were doing, and as the group paused again at the end of the string, she didn't even bother joining the discussion, her mind still back with the senshi they had abandoned and left behind.

However, when Nyx suddenly disappeared past the string's edge, that snapped her out of it. "Amaya!" she called out, and without thinking, she rushed forward to follow her sister to the spot where she'd disappeared.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   14th February 2018, 5:45 am



The journey alongside the string went by in a blur of motion and quiet. No one said much of anything to each other, and Hadley continued to stay within her own thoughts.

She did notice when everyone in front of her stopped. There was talk about the string's sudden ending but Hadley had no real information to give. She glanced to Somnus, expecting the other girl to give an explanation, but so far Somnus had remained silent.

Hadley turned back towards the front just in time to see Nyx disappear right at the string's end. Eyes widening in surprise, it didn't take much time at all as others voluntarily threw themselves at the string as well.

Hadley hesitated, unable to throw herself forward with quite the blind trust as the others. But at the same time, advice from an elderly lady with kind eyes replayed from a memory. Together we're stronger.

With a quick half-glance towards Crysdal, Hadley moved forward and followed to where the others had disappeared to, heart racing. She could only hope this would bring them a step closer to completing their mission.

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] Nightmare   14th February 2018, 6:20 am



Xtal-Diamante observed that several others in the group intended to follow Sailor Nyx's example and vanish. The stony young woman certainly had no reason to object to that particular course of action. The cloud of pale hair hovered around her in this strange space they floated in, and she moved closer to the string that had been touched and now more hands reached for. Her own hand, wrapped in the soft plush fabric of her rusty-hued uniform, did the same. If this was the course the group had selected, so be it. She did not even wonder what might await them, if Nyx was there at all.
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