There comes a time in every casino’s life when—even though the right palms have all been greased—a heavy boot crashes into her door and the G-men come bursting in. Tonight, the jig is up for the joint you happen to be in.
The shouts of the law enforcement agents—they don’t actually have badges or anything, they just look like the abstract idea of ‘cop’—mix with the clangs of slot machines that just won’t shut up. Adding to the chaos is the fact that nobody seems to be actually <I>doing</i> anything—just yelling a lot and milling around.
The 1920s weren’t booming for everyone. The street you stand in is filthy and crowded with litter. On top of that, it just looks… off. As places do in dreams. Anyone paying attention to the run-down tenements will notice they look copy-pasted—just the same dirty brick over and over—and somewhat warped. Some are leaning, some are only half-there, wavering in and out of view.
The passersby on the street are much the same—they’re more shapeless coats and shadowy forms than real people.
Except for one who may be coming up behind you. Unless you’re particularly alert, you may not notice little fingers reaching into your pocket for the wallet (or other valuable) you somehow have. Or maybe you will. Catch the little gremlin?
If not, seeing the kid suddenly bolting away from you may also be a dead giveaway.
It’s a gorgeous day. The details may be foggy, as they sometimes are in dreams, but the general impression is is that it’s beautiful.
But not as beautiful as the red-haired young lady strolling in front of you—at least, that’s what the dream seems to want you to think, with the way she’s glowing angelically. She smiles, and the glow brightens. The young man beside her reaches for her hand hesitantly.
1. Fear (cw: death, dismantling)
There’s a person before you; though shadows hide his face, you know who it is. A fellow traveler on the ship with you, though not someone you know very well. And why is he speaking to you at this time of night? You open your mouth to ask—
And then he places his right hand on your head.
The gesture would be innocuous, except for the fact that this is very meaningful to immortals. There’s no time to protest before everything holding your body together simply comes apart, and you can feel everything that built you flowing right into his hand.
An hour of dough-punching and (just) one oven explosion later…
The journal camera flicks on to show Mac and Firo--Firo weary and lightly dusted with flour, and Mac’s hair powdered white in places, his eyebrows clumped with sticky bits of dough and a bandaid slapped over a second degree molten cheese burn on his cheek. Isn’t the sign of a good chef a dirty chef? Or was that a dirty apron?]
So, uh… We’ve got a lotta extra food right here, if anyone wants to come and take it.
[There’s a dubious look on Firo’s face when he says “food”. You’ll see why in a moment.]
[Mac catches the expression and offers one of the handoggiest of hangdog looks. He’s good at that.] Aw,’ cmon, it really ain’t that bad...
[Firo sighs and the journal’s camera pans the kitchen--most surfaces are covered by a) flour b) burnt pizzas c) definitely undercooked pizzas d) cheese or e) some unholy combination of all of the above. Despite their best efforts, the lesson clearly isn’t going so well.]
[Mac reaches and helps himself to a soggy, sorry-looking slice of pizza as if to prove a point, gesturing to parts of it while casually talking around a mouthful of food (which he may or may not regret in a few hours.)] Y’know-- [munchmunch] if you avoid all the burnt parts it’s actually pretty good… [But with 90% of it burnt, that doesn’t leave a great deal.] ...Think it could use a little more cheese, though.
[After Mac’s lovely endorsement, Firo glances back at the camera, still skeptical.]
...Uh, sure. Either way, we don’t wanna let this go to waste. So get over here. It's the Heart building.
[Firo is a great salesman.]
[ooc: Specify in the subject line which one you’d like or if you want both! Black is Mac and green is Firo.]
[He’s known all along to be prepared to be eventually left behind, but it’s still a nasty shock when Firo realizes that both Maiza and Czes have vanished. All he really wants to do is hide right now, but he knows that won’t help and he knows that—even though they didn't ask—he has a responsibility to his friends now that they’re gone.
He makes the announcement bright and early on the morning of the 26th. There’s no introduction, he just jumps right into it:]
Maiza Avaro and Cz—Benjamin are gone, if anybody knew ‘em.
[Voice—Private to Luke Triton]
Hey. How’re you holdin’ up?
[He lingers by his journal for a little while in case anyone has any questions, much as he would like to ignore them.]
[With that done, Firo’s not quite sure what to do with himself. He’s in the mood to yell and punch things, so the Battledome seems like a good bet. But then he also doesn't want to shut himself away in one of those rooms where he can feel his loneliness more keenly.
Eventually, he settles for parking himself at one of the tables in Good Spirits, alternating between playing solitaire and and just shuffling the deck as he stares off into space. When his restlessness gets the better of him, he wanders off to the Battledome and beats on some simulated Third Party soldiers with more ferocity than usual.
He's not exactly in a chipper mood, but he wouldn't say no to some conversation.]
[In the early evening, a slightly battered Firo wakes up with his face in the dirt. He stays on the ground for a moment--long enough to curse the Malnosso and life in general--before sitting up to get his bearings. The first thing that strikes him is that he’s surrounded by trees. Wonderful. The second thing causes him more horror than annoyance.
His frustrated cursings and mutterings can probably be heard a little distance away. But anyone wandering the forest might see him before they hear him; or at least, see the cloud of sparkles that stubbornly surrounds him. He spends a good amount of time frantically swatting at the sparkles—with no effect—before finally getting to his feet and setting off. In a completely random direction. Because he has to do something.]
[Half an hour later, when he's even more lost than before, Firo resigns himself to asking for help, grudgingly grateful that his journal was dropped off with him. He sounds more grumpy than nervous when he addresses it. A lifelong city slicker, he certainly isn't comfortable being lost in a place he knows he can't survive on his own. But for the moment his anxiety over what the woods could throw at him is overridden by anger at the Malnosso for dumping him like a lost shoe and for daring to leave him in such a decidedly embarrassing state. That same state is what compels him to hold the journal out so the video only shows the sky. ]
So, um... I'm lost. Those bastards dropped me off somewhere in the woods. If there's some sorta path, could somebody tell me how to find it? All I see are trees and dirt.
[He holds the journal up to show his surroundings. His wanderings wound up taking him farther away from the village; he’s not far from the woodland New Feather watch station, but it’s hard to see thanks to the darkness and the trees.
Though he tries to keep the journal away from him, in his hurry to show the area around him the camera's view falls on him to show his sparkles for a brief moment. He doesn't notice, and keeps the journal on long enough for a glum closing.]