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 The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)

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PostSubject: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:29 pm

Noise. It was overpowering. Music, conversation, the deafening roar of the crowd, screaming, yelling, and all manners of ruckus filled the air waves. The streets were intimate, little more than widened walking paths on this end of the district. Rambunctious and eager people flowed in toward the Tokyo Strip, expecting a show or piling out from it, schooling in like energetic pods of fish. Unfortunately for Ritsuko she had to go against the grain and schools of fish quickly turned into being packed in like a can of sardines. The daily festival didn't work to her benefit, although her six-string gave her a little leeway. Lugging around a large object on your back had that effect with people, most people didn't want to be bumped or smacked in the nose by a heavy instrument. That didn't stop her from being jostled around in the turbulent waves, however. With every lane of foot traffic she crossed Ritz was shoved and pushed and touched. Shoulders running into hers, loose hands brushing her guitar case, moving bodies bumping into her path and the awkwardness of needing to move at little quicker than slow motion. It made her want to scream. She wanted to tear her ears off so she wouldn't need to put up with the cacophony of fireworks and obnoxious shrieking children and the overwhelming racket of the breathing sacks of skin around her. She wanted to take every appendage that so much as hovered near her and fold it in eight, rip it off, and throw it away for daring to enter her personal space.

Over time these minor slights would snowball and pile until they became all-encompassing. Even in the subtle chill of the night she could feel her temperature rising from the surrounding warm bodies trespassing inside of her personal bubble and the blood boiling within her veins. Ritsuko's face had already started painting itself a lighter shade of scarlet and her breath became more ragged and strained as she suffocated within the mob of people. Distress started to set in, her frazzled mind urging her to fight or run, whichever would magically remove herself from the flowing troupes of strangers threatening to overtake here. But before too long she was on the opposite side of the street, where she was intending to go in the first place. The bars were on this side of the street. It had nearly escaped her just how difficult it was to travel around Little Tokyo with the festival foot traffic even as she encountered the same when she left for the Backlight District for smokes. Yet even the liquor flowing through her light head couldn't calm her down, she'd had time to process it and come down a little. Which meant she needed more of it. The anger was still there when she drank but the anxiety wasn't, nerves couldn't flare up if you doused'em in cheap vodka. One of the bigger reasons she drank, it was fucking exhausting to feel like you're on the verge of a heart attack for most of the day.

Little Tokyo was small and compact, difficult to veer off the main path if you weren't familiar with the area. Typical of a tourist trap. But Ritz knew the streets frontwards, backwards, upside-down and blindfolded. And usually three sheets to the wind. There was a network of alleys that lead to more unsavory crowds within, dive bars, acupuncturists, "massage" parlors, and all manners of less-than-fortunate lines of business. Not where she was headed quite yet, but the alleys were what she was gunning for. The anxious musician managed to duck into a side street by some weeb shop that sold figurines and junk, "Woah!Taku" or some shit. Not that she ever went in or ever cared. It was the breather she needed. The tiny alcoholic was panting and out of breath by the time she could retreat into the dark overhangs of the off-street. Her lungs wavered, stuttered, and halted to draw in more air in her panicky state. Fucking lord it was toasty...

"*hiii-hiii...! haah huh- hiiiii-i-iiiiii...! haaaaaaa...*" hyperventilated Ritz as she shakily unwound her guitar strap off her head and undid her vest. She'd chuck her gear on the ground in a heap between her in the wall to get some more air, hastily pulling up her long sleeves to expose more skin to the breeze. Fumbling around in her case Ritsuko would produce a cheap, outdated, "well loved" music player and throw a bud in one of her ears. Anything to drown out the noise.

Killing the Sound:
 

It wasn't a perfect solution and her heart still felt like exploding to pieces in her chest but it was one of the few things available to her. Squeezing her eyes shut to filter out the world around her, the emotional musician pulled out a menthol crutch to burn away the anxiety, puffing on it feverishly as she shivered with the adrenaline dumping itself into her system. Maaaaaaybe she'd wait until the crowd thinned out to move, it'd depend on how she felt. As long as it didn't feel like dying.

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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:44 am

"WOW! You sure talk a lot for an unregistered, man you guys are getting more and more common these days..." Chirped a happy voice JUST loud enough to be heard over the music bumping from Ritsuko's earbuds. If she noticed or even began to care, she would quickly find out that she was not quite as alone as she thought she was. For you see, sitting right next to her, in a spot that had been completely vacant mere moments before mind you, sat everyone's favorite giant lanky clown, 8D. He chuckled and toyed with his own death stick, taking a quick puff before continuing."Ehehe, hey, hows it going? Got a light?"

He would let the two of them sit in silence for a moment, waiting for the one proper reaction to seeing a clown pop out of nowhere. A scream... If Ritsuko screamed then the gag was on... 8D would respond by screaming himself and jumping back a few feet, dropping the grape sucker from his mouth in the process, "AAAAAAH WHY ARE WE YELLING!?" As if to answer his own question, the three lights on his hat would flash like strobe lights in panic before going out completely as he noticed the lack of grapey goodness in his mouth."Awww my lollipop..." -Heh, sorry Friendo but Jack here won't be responding with such a LONG response as you have, mostly cus he's a lazy shit but hey... Least he responded in less then a month! EHehehehe!-

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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:49 pm

Nicotine from the coffin nail began to soothe her frayed nerves, dulling her alert mind and bringing the powerful drum beat within her chest to a softer, snapping snare. Ritsuko's breathing came in quiet and ragged as she closed her eyes and tried to forget exactly where she was and in what circumstances, to gain a semblance of control over how she felt about being surrounded and accosted by hordes of people. The music helped with that... but not perfectly. She could still hear conversations over her headphones to keep her grounded in her situation. As good as she was at escaping the guitarist couldn't stop existing in a crowd. At least not as often as she would have liked. Opening her eyes she would find... a warm body. A jester just a few feet from her, sprawled out along the ground and smoking a cigarette of his own. Her shuddering and shivering would still as Ritsuko inhaled deeply, taking in an involuntary lungful of ash while her eyes widened.
"Wh-! *ack hack hack!*" sputtered the young woman as she attempted to take a step backward. She soon felt herself floating as Ritsuko tripped over her own feet. On pure conditioned reflex she spun her guitar on its strap in front of her, landing hard on her butt.

"*hack hack cough!* Y...! YOU SCARED THE FUCKING SHIT OUT OF ME!" shrieked the raven-haired woman as she choked out a cloud of smoke. In that moment she swore she could've felt her heart stop. Her face was a rosier shade of red than ever as the heat filtered to her face.
"The hell is wrong with you?! Freak! You c-can't sneak u-u-! *huuh hii-ii-i![i]* ...u-up on people like tha-a- *[i]haaaa! hmmmm!* that...! You almost gave me- *eeeiiii huuuuuh! ...gulp* ...a f-fucking har-heart attack...!" The turbulent musician would hunch on the ground hacking and sputtering as she began to relapse back into hyperventilation. Her chest and throat tightened, threatening to strangle her with nothing as she sought to move past the panic of being caught off guard and not being able to breathe. She scrambled to her feet, shuffling backward a few steps and almost exiting the alleyway to be swept away within the crowd. However, she caught herself with a tentative look backward toward the moving crowd. This wasn't a place she wanted to be, blocked into a dead-end with some weirdo but the prospect of needing to lay down in a crowd as she attempted to keep herself from being smothered by proximity wasn't pleasing either.

Ritsuko doubled-over, supporting herself with her hand on the hard brick as she hacked and wheezed in shallow breaths. Light-headed from standing up so quickly and reeling from a lack of oxygen, it would take a moment to remember that the jaded young woman had dropped her fag over by the crazy clown guy. Experiencing a strange mixture of frustration and misguided anger, the woman wore a pained grimace as she pounded her clenched fist against the wall. The entirety of her body was trembling as her heart threatened to burst through her ribcage. And so, having no other methods to quiet this uncomfortable feeling of dying a death that never came, Ritz shakily drew another cigarette to puff on desperately as her chest rose and fell. The damn clown could wait a fucking second for her to keep herself from fainting, she'd deal with him in a bit. Freak show. Seriously, who the fuck just stalks up an- oh. Clowns. Clowns do that. Son of a bitch...
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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:19 am

"Ehehehe! Sorry there pallo, honestly didn't mean to startle you. You just seemed a little lonely so I decided to pop in and give you someone to talk to." 8D's eyes glowed with a happy mischief through the thin slits of this mask as his thin smile grew a bit to wide for his face. For an instant, 8D's face would seem to distort and grow sinister. This would only last for a moment however, could be a trick of the light, or maybe an after shock of the sudden jump... Surely it was nothing. As soon as it came, it was gone, replaced with a joyful smile and happy pep in his step!"After all, I am if nothing else and entertainer and if I come across one with a sour puss face as yours I gatta pop in and try and make em smile! Ehehe"

8D's smile would waver slightly however upon noticing exactly how much Rits seemed to not enjoy his gag,-Relax! It's just a prank bro, It's just a prank....- "E-Ehehe, Sorry there, are you alright? I didn't mean to startle you that much! Ehehe, Let's just start over then huh?" 8D's small laugh would be slightly overshadowed by the chatter of the crowd behind her, but if she cared to she could hear him shake off his awkwardness with a jolly chuckle. "I'm 8D, traveling clown extraordinaire, and you might be?" His smirk would grow into a wide toothy grin as he held out a hand to the grim faced lady.

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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:03 am

The incorrigible woman's brow furrowed even if she wasn't looking at him, more intent on her coffin nail than anything else. It stood to reason that someone like a clown would seek out the grumpiest and most sullen looking individual to bother in order to liven up wherever they happened to be. Pretty typical, honestly, and she was certain she wasn't the only unhappy person being harassed by jesters as the festival filtered out... or kicked on... she honestly wasn't sure if it was starting or ending, she wasn't paying attention when she left Salamander's. The loud annoying fervor and buzzing energy kept her away from it. But she was far from being in the right sort of mood for "cheering up". The only sort of help she'd get there came in bottles, she was specifically attempting to avoid everyone else's good time as she made an effort to forget her bad one. At this point fun and merriment were things to dangle in front of her face as a taunt, to be honest the excitement of the festival just around the corner was beginning to make her sick with contempt. She'd done some thinking over it and the connotations behind it were absolutely disgusting if the government was as corrupt as she knew it to really be. Endymion had a large storied entertainment district, a dedicated media network, and these festivals that run nearly every day, all filtered carefully for content. Let them eat cake. Distracted people didn't rebel, spoon-fed children couldn't feed themselves. It was a nice diversion to turn off your mind once in a while but it was a way of life in this city.

Just go about your life, try not to think about it. Busy yourself with fairs and concerts and believe everything you hear, it's easier that way. You don't need to think, let the Queen take care of that! Fucking pathetic.

A mention of being a sour puss would elicit a frosty glare from the bitter woman. He made her want to smack that goofy little smirk off his grinning mug, but she wouldn't. He was just doing his job. It took a small amount of time but her breath and mood were a lot more stable. At the very least her chest wasn't going to cave in under pressure. He was just a fool. Literally. Nothing to get worked up over, although she'd had her fair share of entertainers for the night with that creep at the gas station. Feeling a bit more intrepid, Ritsuko stepped away from the brick, blowing a cloud of smoke into the air out of her nose after he'd introduced himself and held forth his hand. She was sure it was a bit. Too bad Ritz didn't play those kinds of games. She wasn't a very touchy person anyway, at least not to people she just met.
"No one who's about to give her name out to strangers," answered the miserable alcoholic to the jester's introduction. Her name was something she didn't like to give out. It wasn't a very good idea to be too liberal with it while people might still be looking for her. She took the time to shift Aoide back around behind her with a free hand as she took another heady drag off her cancer stick.
"*tzzzzzzzzzzz... phewwwww...* ...and I don't get lonely. Shouldn't you be out there or something?"

Ritsuko gestured out to the people passing by. She was but one tired soul off in an alley, his japes would probably be a little more appreciated by others more willing to be entertained than she would. The woman's arm would fall back at her side limply and she'd return to her wall again, this time with her focus on "Ate Dee". What the hell even was that? Weren't clowns supposed to be named Chuckles or Bozo or some shit? Maybe it was a play on words? Was it "Eighty"? Whatever, not important. He was probably just slacking off back here, she thought, it was the only way she could really explain it. Not that she could blame him. With arms folded the feisty young lady would give the fool a bored expression. There weren't any smiles to be had from her tonight, it wasn't a good night for it.
"You're wasting your time here, I don't wanna play. Go bug someone else," she'd remark. As cold as she was acting, her statement was more matter-of-fact than a threat or warning or complaint. The games were beginning to wear her down.
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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:00 am

"No one who's about to give her name out to strangers? My my my! What an odd name that is! Ehehehe! How big do you make your checks? Ehehehe! Well I guess I could call you that, but let's shorten it shall we? Hrm... No... one... None! I'll call you None! Which is about how much you can seem to care about this conversation dear Unlisted, Ehehehe!" 8D's smile grew sharper as None puffed on her cigarette. She was clearly not one for pleasantries, much less one for the kind of joy that he was intent on spreading tonight. Perhaps she was right and he should move on, after all she wasn't going to join in on his fun jokey jokes at all... Yet, something compelled him to stay put, this one had a bit of fire to them... interesting...

"And Phewy to that. It's dull out there,"  8D would say, the lights on his hat drooping slightly,"Tonight's festival is a bit dry if you ask me, mostly loud music and drinking, not conducive to a party clown Ehehehe! I'd rather keep it a LITTLE bit more LOW-KEYO! Ehehehehe! Oh I slay me!" Yeah, that pun on little Tokyo was a bit of a stretch but 8D felt like he made it work. 8D's lights would flash quickly as he brought a finger to his lip and thought for a moment before continuing."Honestly I'm more surprised YOU'RE here all by yourself. I mean, this kind of party seems to be right up your ally None! Music, drinking, smoking... Yet you're here instead of out there Grooving And Shaking with the other puppets... Why is that? Ehehe" -Now to see if you're worth the time Miss.Ritsuko...-  8D's grin would once again grow a bit wider, and a little bit thinner.

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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:36 pm

Y'know, it was a damn shame that people didn't funnel their energy spent rom trying to play nice with Ritsuko into something actually productive. She'd been giving clear signals that she didn't wanna talk or hang out or be friends, yet he still kept on it. A lot of folks were like that recently and she didn't quite get it. She knew it was socially acceptable to at least pretend to be approachable and put up with conversations that you didn't want any part of, but screw that noise. The chatter wore her thin, she just wanted to be left alone.
"You're quick, so you're not as much of an idiot than you dress like, yeah?" she'd answer the clown with a slight smirk. He was pretty perceptive but painfully persistent, much to the musician's chagrin. One of his jokes had actually pierced through her sour armor, and the "idiot" wisecrack was an attempt at humor itself even if a little esoteric and not that funny. She'd liked the name "None", nonsensical observations like that were one of the rare forms of comedy she enjoyed. That and laughing at dumbasses. Of course that's not to be said for his Little Tokyo pun, Ritz was bemused that there wasn't a form of corporal punishment for jokes that lame. The bitter woman's frown quickly returned once she'd realized that her subtle smile was what he was angling to get out of her.

The lonely guitarist shifted her weight on the wall casually, flicking her cowboy killer with her thumb to rid it of ash.
"If this isn't a place you belong, just leave. Nothin' keepin' you here," stated Ritsuko in a condescending manner. If there wasn't a reason for him to be there why would he choose to be there in the first place? If you're not having fun just go where fun is. So much unnecessary boredom, discomfort, and time wasted could all be done away with if people just knew that they could do whatever the fuck they wanted to. As much as she didn't look it, the tiny Japanese woman had been guarded and perceptive for their entire conversation, even if a little more than usual. Something was off here. The sudden appearance of a clown where he didn't belong coupled with his subtly creepy behavior and strange hidden meanings peppered into his jokes were more than a red flag, more like a fucking lighthouse. At least to her they were. She was one to pay attention to that shit.

Relevant Strength:
 

Her countenance slowly changed from one of dull agitation to a more hostile glare as she drew smoke from her cigarette.
"*...phewwwwww..* ...I don't like people, and I'm nobody's puppet. What the fuck do you mean by Unlisted, anyway?!" she spat. The air around her tensed as she suddenly became degrees more fiery than her icy behavior earlier. Her question was almost rhetorical. Almost. She couldn't understand exactly what he meant, but she got the gist of it already and that's all that mattered. "Unlisted" was a label, but not just a label, a designation. A category of something. And someone who referred to people as "puppets" was either the marionettist or understood that this was going on. It all boiled down to a simple, teeny tiny little detail:

The clown knew things.

Secret things. Dangerous things that other people shouldn't know. Like what was going on in the city. Maybe so, maybe not, but nothing else added up. The answer was a mystery because it was supposed to be, it was her job to glean the answer. She'd need to be careful, but she already knew the type. He was the kind who played mind games and lyrical puzzles, who answered questions with other questions. And it was very fortunate that Ritsuko knew how to read questions. These types weren't so interested in doing you harm if they didn't have to, that wasn't their goal, but knowledge was power and power was deadly in the right hands. They preferred to hang you with your own rope, trickery over ability. She'd be alright as long as she could play his little games. But there was a very important factor involved in the stakes at play...

Ritsuko was one of those types too.
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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:03 am

"I'm not sure whether or not to take that compliment Dear None. After all I am a Fool. Being and idiot is kinda my job, Ehehehe. Though I will thank you for the comment on my garments, the stupider they look the better I am at my job, Ehehehe!" 8D would laugh jollily as the lights on his hat flashed and his eyes would light from behind his mask. It was obvious, however, that his jokes were not quite landing with the serious faced woman, though mayhaps something else was. His laughter would die down slowly and his lights would fade as Ritz asked her question and-oh my... You have a strength for this very situation? We'll I'll have to keep on my toes lest you figure out my ever secret... OOOOH WOE is me!.. Ehehehe-

"Nobody's puppet you say?... Hrm..... Hmhmhm... EHEHEHEHEHEHEHE! OH! And I thought I was the jokester! OH You simply must teach me your material Dear None!" 8D Laughed long and hard at the absurdity of it all and how deliciously right this conversation was unfolding! Mid laugh be would take a standing leap and land on top of one of the nearby dumpsters, striking a pose as he did so. "To society, to the law, to fate, or to your own fear! You and all you see Here...are merely Puppets... None my dear! Yes! In the great Endymion City... Take heed, take note, take Pity! For those who have the gift of free will and agency are long gone! Replaced by puppets oh so pretty! I to the Embodiment of Childhood, and you to an unlisted... What dose that mean? Well dear None, it means you've been untested! Unlike the rest did, and have yet to be bested...."


"In this city of Endymion... Where the puppeteers have manifested..."

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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:25 pm

Her teeth would bare in a tired snarl at the fool. Nobody enjoyed being laughed at, especially Ritsuko when she was trying to be serious... though she was aware he wasn't laughing at her. More about her comeback and what lay behind it. It was a knowing laugh, humor at the circumstance of it all. Like at child and their innocent, naïve quips. The chuckling hadn't bothered her at all, as much as her face belied it. The fact she didn't know did. Endymion was a deadly place to play in if you didn't have the right answers should you wander into its darker side and the guitarist would be damned if she went in unarmed. Her unamused glare gave way to a desperate wrathful grimace as the clown vaulted into the air, shooting her hand to the neck of her Demon Weapon cradled in the case on her back. But as he gave his rambling rhyme she would relax... and listen. She'd been very familiar with the rules of the game, and this was no time to be as resistant as she always was. There would be nothing to gain here by refusing or denying or being difficult.

The loner chewed pensively on the inside of her own cheek as she processed the cryptic message. The gears spun inside her own mind... but found little teeth to catch to kickstart the engine. So much information was missing. There was quite a lot she didn't know in order to understand what the jester was on about. But there were bits and pieces, and to a hungering curiosity these were every bit as treasured as the full message. Yet she wanted for more. Ritz knew the score. She wouldn't get the full message up front, it was her job to work it around in her mind and piece it together herself. All of it might not even make sense immediately, but in time. Which was honestly quite frustrating but there was little she could do about it. God damn it sucked to be the player of the game and not the game master throwing out nibbles of information and waiting to land a bite.

So everyone's a puppet... is that right? Everyone bows to something, that's the nature of the machine. Sum of all experiences and all that, goals and drives and motivations. I'm... driven by circumstances... but that's not what he means. Something more than that, "puppets" don't get any say in why they act the way they do, they're... at someone else's strings. So an organization? Some, like, actor behind the scenes pushing everyone to a goal? He's a puppet too, he said so, but puppets don't typically know they're puppets, that's why they're how they are.

...we've been replaced by puppets. I used to be a person, so did he, but we've all been replaced by puppets. ...this has something to do with the forces at play, I'm sure of it. The Queen, and how some call her "God". And those who rebel against God, is she the "puppeteer"? She's the one who "manifested"... and the demons... but there's more than one of'em... *sigh* I don't know enough of this shit to figure it out, let's change lanes.


"Alright Pinocchio..." began the upstart, dropping her burning cigarette onto the ground to grind it underfoot, "What kind of test did you undergo?" She thought he'd be happy with that answer, all the elements were there. She hadn't freaked out and asked who the puppet masters were, didn't deny that she was a puppet again. The tiny Japanese woman would let on that she knew that he too was a puppet and not some sort of enlightened being above them both. Not only that, but she hadn't even insinuated that he passed the test he spoke of, by how he was speaking she assumed he'd failed. But she was yet to be challenged by this, which only meant it was coming if he was speaking to her about it. The guitarist knew he wouldn't desire to hear some half-cocked answer or futile opinion because she herself wouldn't if the roles were reversed. So she gave him what her ears would like to hear should she be the one with the knowledge: a sign of comprehension and a pointed return question.
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PostSubject: Re: The Best Medicine (SL) [Night] (8D)   Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:41 pm

-....Damn it... This one was fun....-

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