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Past is Prologue: Shiki Misaki
(2013-08-13 - 2013-08-13)
The past is prologue. All else is chicanry and nonsense. Until it's not.
Oathkeeper Castle Oblivion.

A long way and a hard road and very near to perilous concentrations of the heartless, yet there are no immediate signs of lingering darkness in the surrounding countryside. There is not much in the way of landscape here. A long and narrow passage that juts crookedly in several haphazard directions ends in a broad clearing in the middle of a murky abyss from which the castle juts from the turf like a dragon's tooth.

It's in fact the right term for the castle and it's pointed, angular green towers which poke every which way like the hands of a demented clock. It's less of a full castle and more a structure folded roughly over on itself multiple times by the inexpert hand.

There is a vague feeling of unreality here as well, the faint smearing of the edges and a slight blurring of colors like a slightly off kilter watercolor painting. No melting clocks certainly, but enough to frame the boundaries of this silent space in an unusual way. Another thing to discover is this place has little in the way of natural sounds.

Even footsteps of approach seem to be muffled.

Yet here you are.

The gates are open.

And you are expected.
Shiki Misaki Well, its been an interesting journey getting here, to be certain. Its definitely not something like anything Miss Misaki has ever done before. Down that beaten track through the grass...

But nothing could have prepared her for this place.

Seeing the ominously named Castle Oblivion for the first time is an experience and a half for Shiki before we even get to the creeping sense of weirdness. Once its close enough for her to look at, she is boggled by it- the haphazardness, the erratic- this CANT be designed this way, its like something in the dream-

And the silence. Shiki is made even more tense by that. Theres not even whistling wind... for someone whos recently been surrounded by the bustle of Fluorgis, and is used to the sound of the city, this is almost painful. Its so quiet she can hear the sound of her own breathing...

And the sound of her heartbeat.

Slowly, not trusting the ground itself, she walks along the pale blue path, past the crags and towers... blinking furiously as she does so. Within a few moments shes at the front door, compelled to go in. She runs her finger across the wayfinder pin, before knocking on the door.
Oathkeeper The searing white continues into the distance. The sound of the knock falls into the silence. Geometric designs march along the insides, ridged columns and delicate artwork all crafted in the same white material. The shear blank whiteness is broken only by the ceiling where diamonds of light blue against a darker background strolled into the distance. The sense of distance is distorted and there are traces of darkness like echoing footprints coming and going through this space.

The corridor stretches, or seems to stretch for much longer than it should without any visual cues that should have it stretching towards the horizon.

There are a number of closed doors with symbols above them. They are engraved neatly in a foreign and slightly eye-defeating series of glyphs that seem to shimmer slightly out of focus when any attempt is made to read it.

Eventually though the hallway does end, a small staircase leading up to a platform where a trio of white archways are inset into the walls. One goes forwards, another to the left and a third to the right. The one going forwards is closed. A small and well appointed study can be seen through the open door to the right. Strangely enough, the glyph on the left door is similar to the wayfinder that was the only thing to come from the dream.

There is even less hint of noise than the outside. Footsteps make no sound. Even the ringing that ears ring in silence has been stolen, making this place seem utterly abandoned.
Shiki Misaki Shiki is both intimidated and, simultaneously, fascinated by what lurks behind the door. Well, actually, she was fascinated by what was outside the door as well. Even though this place is bizarre, it has a certain beauty to it. It could almost be relaxing, but theres just TOO much peacefulness, too much silence.

As she walks inside and looks around, she slowly becomes aware of the fact that even the noises she herself makes are disappearing. Its a strange feeling, like her ears are being plugged, and as she walks onward, trying to make sense of this weird building.

And yet, despite all of the strangeness, she cant help but feel excited, for some reason. Shes doing something she would never have thought of doing just a little while ago. Before, when she was meek and jealous and clung to others...

She wants to see that mysterious man again. She feels as if its rude to go walking around what might be someones home without looking for someone that owns it. And she wants to know who he is, as well... so, although she takes note of the doors- especially the one with the wayfinder- she makes her way towards the study, hoping someone else will greet her.

"Is anyone there?"
Oathkeeper The inside of the room is completely different than how the castle hallway is appointed. There is a faint aura of pressure around the door somewhat familiar from the dreams if the threshold is passed.

An old radio sits on a wooden bookcase. It's jarring and immediate because passing that faint pressure returns life and sound again to the world. Something familiar, like the echoes of a song from her shattered home drones with a faint crackle from that radio on the bookcase. Bookshelves line the small and comfortable space, the wood varnished to a dull sheen. There is a small reading lamp on a small table and several comfortable chairs tucked into the space.

A tall black haired man in a white great coat and vest with a red lining sits in one of the comfortable looking chairs, looking up from a book. "Ah. There you are.." The voice is the same as the dream except this time grounded in reality rather than dreamlike fiction. There is still that faint sense of changing tone and inflection underneath the surface of the calm precision as he looks up at her.

He gestures with a hand, putting the book aside. "Come in. It is good to see you have safely made your way here. I was beginning to become faintly concerned. Take a seat, Ms. Misaki if you will. I'm sure you have many questions."
Shiki Misaki "Ooh!"

Its like passing through a bubble, or perhaps the opposite of going out of a loud music-filled room into the quiet corridor. Shiki is pleasantly surprised by the experience, which puts a smile on her face. Thats a good way to greet the person shes found!

"Wow. Hi again!" she says to him, walking over, eyes darting this way and that, especially at the old radio. Shes never seen anything like that before. "You have a really cool house!"

She puts her hands behind her back for a minute, then almost skips over to the chair and sits down. "Thank you. This place is so strange! It was an adventure just getting here. Oh, it is nice to meet you properly, you know, in person and that."

She surreptitiously glances to see if she can see the title of the book hes reading.

Shiki puts a finger on her chin. "Is this your house? It feels like... something different. Like a phenomenon, or something supernatural."

"Oh! I, uh, I dont know your name still.. itd be nice to know so, like, Im not just saying you all the time. It seems kinda rude!"
Oathkeeper The man smiles with obvious pleasure and amusement, eyes following her as she looks around and then comes to rest on one of the chairs like a curious bird. The title isn't anything as obvious and full of chicanery as a title like 'How to Serve Man' but is rather '10,000 leagues under the sea' by Jules Verne. "No, my dear. I hold no claim to this place save perhaps this one room, which itself is only thinly connected.

This is rather the long standing project of a research associate of mine who has taken an interest in the strange properties of this location." He closes the book and sets it on a small table beside a chair. "Forgive the secrecy and my poor manners also, but there are those who.. meddle in the ways and means of my work and I did not want to give them much to work from. My name is Lucas Sheridan, and it is a pleasure to meet you at last." he stands up.

"Will you come with me on a tour of the safer parts of these grounds? We have time enough for that, I think." He walks to a door at the far end of the study, opening it onto another blank white corridor with a fine blue strip running down one side.
Shiki Misaki Shiki remembers she cant read english very well. Well, shes sure its pretty good anyway. And why would it contain chicanery? If nothing else... she doesnt feel suspicious about any of this. No, Shikis excited. She knows that shes on the cusp of being able to do something incredible.

"Oh, OK," she replies. "Its good to meet you too, Lucas!"

She hmms."Its OK! Im used to weird and secret stuff. Theres a lot of stuff going on in the world... worlds. All kinds of groups of people with agendas." She sounds a little unhappy about it. "If you can show me around... uh, but would we need to take something to write on, maybe, if we need to talk to one another? Everything got real quiet when I came in, so... talking... I guess might be hard?"

Theres surely something to write on in a study! She gets up, ready to follow. but she is looking for something in case they need to take it.
Oathkeeper "Over there, on the lower shelf." Lucas advises, guiding her to where a small notebook and pen has been placed. The pages are blank and it is unused as if he anticipated her need. "And we may talk freely in these corridors beyond. My associate has tamed at least a bit of the strangeness surrounding this location, if only slightly. Mind the blue line as you walk, Ms. Misaki. It is a lifeline of safety. If you should find yourself... misplaced at any time, look for it and it will eventually leads you back to the main foyer."

Lucas leads them out into the main corridor. "This place is rather curious, like an entire city or an entire kingdom's worth of space folded and then folded again to make this one castle. There are many rooms, hundreds perhaps and many ways to get lost. And it does not abide intruders fondly, as my associate Xemnas has discovered. But many things are lost within it as well and waiting to the found, including the memories which he and his disciples have sought to study."

There is a turn in the corridor and then a sharp feeling of disorientation as if the perspective has radically shifted. The corridor seems the same, but two steps takes them to a small contained garden courtyard. The flowers are a riot of color in this stark white maze, and this place seems almost completely disjointed from the rest of the castle. A small island like the study. Everything is made of stained glass, including the butterflies that flutter from petal to petal with a sound of wind chimes.
Shiki Misaki "Oh! OK. Well, I'll bring it anyway, in case I need to take notes. I could have used some paper while I was in the mall. Rememberin' where the shops were, and stuff."

She actually feels a little embarrased- is she being too inquisitive?- but shes not going to not bother with it, either. If nothing else maybe she can draw pictures of some of the stuff, for when memories arent enough. She nods, though, when the blue line is mentioned. Clutching some paper, she nods and follows Lucas.

She bites her lip when the nature of Castle Oblivion is speculated on. Remembering something from school years ago, she taps her lips with the pen. "Is it something like those rocks that change and get frozen in place by heat? Did the Heartless squash this all together instead of breaking it into bits?" She dearly hopes that there are no people here, for once- if a world was crushed into this strange melange, it could do something terrible to a person.

"How awful, that a world itself could become hostile to people..."

But her dismay is blown away when they turn the corner. Shiki gasps and drops the pen! Shes never seen anything like this before in her life, and she takes a few quick steps forward ahead of Lucas as she- oh wow, look at all the colours! And are those-

She just stands there with the butterflies around her, the colours sparkling in her eyes.

"This is beautiful!"
Oathkeeper "That is part of what he is studying. This place is full of memories and secrets. Amongst them the trials one must undergo in order to be considered worthy of a keyblade. A fundamentally important artifact hidden away in such a place." Lucas looks through the guardian and smiles with slight indulgence, shaking his head.

"Yes. Often this place is a delicate balance between beauty and danger. Be mindful of the doors you open on this tour. They may not always go to the places you expect them to go." he moves back into the corridors again. The distorted landscape becomes increasingly esoteric as they move along.

There is a time or two in which the gravity seems to be inverted with no actual change of perspective wrenching around. This usually results in a slightly escher-esque portrayal of white on blue. There are windows that look into other spaces than the dark abyss of the outside.

An endless black field cracked by rivers of lava flowing underneath the surface. Another looks out onto Scramble Crossing, people passing in a mute bustle through the intersection while signs and electronic billboards run through their automated courses.
Shiki Misaki "What a strange assortment..."

Shiki nods, though. Even though shes seen a lot recently, and many, many strange things, this tops them all- and she knows that if you let your guard down even in the most unassuming of places (and they dont come much more unassuming than these plain corridors) then you could be taken by surprise.

For example, when Lucas shows off a rather unpleasant burning lavascape. Shiki shies away from that quite readily, and Mr. Mew- who, before this point has been rather sedate- dives right under her hat to hide. Hes much more flammable!

He peeks his head out again when they see... Scramble Crossing. Shiki realises quickly that this may be one of HER memories- or that of someone from her world. She briefly considers what it would mean to step into one of Shos memories, and that thought makes her shudder... but what about Rhyme? Or Beat?

Or Neku?

"So... to find a keyblade. A keyblade of my own... I have to search through the rooms here... and the memories, too." She looks to him. "Is that right?"
Oathkeeper "Indeed. Whether you step through them is ultimately up to you." A long painting up against a blank white wall. It looks like rolling hills but the view is sideways and it is snowing heavily, everything blanketed in a sheer sheet of white blizzard.

A suddenly, abrupt flash of red streaks across the window while Lucas continues. "-- And here we are. The beginning, as many worlds have beginnings." He stands in front of a double sided door, white and featureless save for the engraving.

"This is where you start, should you be of the mind to do so. There are trials beyond these doors. And you may face them or not as you wish, but you must do so yourself. I.. would regretably be unable to follow your journey, though it interests me." he makes a gesture to the notepad. "..perhaps you will take note?" An amused smile.
Shiki Misaki Shiki certainly hopes she wont have to visit all of these! Some of them make her shudder. And some... just make her jump out of her skin. She was quite fascinated by that sideways blizzard! And then that happens, like a screamer on the internet. Shes sort of pouting after that.

And, eventually, they come to the big ol double-sided door. Is it the one with the Wayfinder?

"Its OK," Shiki says. "I figured Id be going in on my own eventually." She actually looks a little bit embarrassed when the notepads pointed out, but! "Yeah, maybe itll come in handy somehow?!"

Everything happens for a reason! Shiki looks at the door, and... pauses.

Shes about to go into a fantastic situation, completely on her own. Adrenaline has taken her so far- thats not to say that she hasnt had her fears or doubts before this, but this is really a threshold moment, isnt it? She left for Castle Oblivion without even leaving a note or an indication to her friends- it was just too urgent! She had to get out of bed and go straight there! But...

Shiki looks at Lucas. "When I go in here... will the things inside be able to hurt me? If something bad happens to me, what, like..."

"I left without saying goodbye to anyone. Is anything... gonna make me regret that?"
Oathkeeper "Oh yes." Lucas says very softly. "There is danger within." he looks at the double doors with mild curiosity and then back at Shiki. "..For I believe it is said that no calamity wounds more deeply than the ones we inflict on ourselves. I would not be concerned about not saying goodbye, however. I have faith that you will return. Although perhaps not the same as you left." a long pause and a shrug of one shoulder. "Who is to say."
Shiki Misaki "Alright," Shiki says. She takes a deep breath.

She thinks, for a moment, before she heads through the door. She thinks of the terrible things that have happened to her friends recently. She thinks about Neku, who she lost without being able to say goodbye to. She vows that wont happen again...

And she places her hand on the door, and opens it.
Oathkeeper There is another feeling of distortion and perspective shift on going through the doors. Lucas says nothing but simply watches Shiki pass him into the next room. Beyond the white double doors is.. a perfect copy of the corridor (sans one Lucas Sheridan) and since there is no longer anybody on THIS side as well it is an even more perfect reflection. --Which turns out to be an accurate wording as the pillars, the blue markings, everything is a mirrored reverse.

There are the doors she came through and several doors down the corridor that they passed on the way here. There is also the mural, although this time it's a cracked and close up picture of a howling snowfield, the livid fissures in the glacier crackling. The cold can almost be felt seeping from the moving picture.

Although there is no blue line on the floor, there is one cutting it's way across the ceiling. It ends in front of a door on the far left those symbol is similar to that on the wayfinder from the dream.

There are in total four doors not including the way she came in, and more further down the corridor, but this is where the blue line ends.
Shiki Misaki No blue. Hmm. Thats probably not a good sign when it was supposed to- oh, wait, its on the ceiling! Ha ha, ok, crisis averted. Shiki was worried for a second there.

She finds this out in her examination of all of the corridor- behind, left and right, top and bottom. Shes now on her own, notably- not even with a voice to guide her, this time.

Once again, she thinks of that statement that comes back time and again to haunt her- she will have to be on her own, one day. Well, maybe today is this day...

Mr. Mew is here, at least. He glances for longer at the image of the snowfield than Shiki- shes partially thinking its not going to fool her twice, and so she walks far more briskly past it. She looks back just in case there was anything she missed, but nothing seems unusual, so she looks away before it does something to shock her.

If the blue line on one side of the door led to safety, perhaps the line on this side leads her to where she needs to go? But, on the other hand, she had options before, and options now- so she decides to make sure whether or not the other four doors have anything notable about them before she checks out the obvious one.
Oathkeeper Each of them are quick and startling.

A white flash.

An endless ocean held back by some thin barrier. A luminescent fish swims across the viewpoint.

Another, a single lidless red eyes peers at her with mild and inhuman curiosity. The third? Another white room. The builder was very fond of white rooms as well. Searing. Blank. Empty. Each image, each place would only exist for a second before dissolving into another blank white room.

It's only when entering the one with the wayfinder that there is any change. Several heart shaped symbols, the bottom edges almost jagged, that dot the walls. At the top of the next flight of stairs?

City noises.



The sounds of life.

Only a single thin doorway away.
Shiki Misaki Shiki looks at the eye.

She is out of there SO FAST her hat is left in mid-air for a moment, spinning in place. Her hat reaches in from off-camera to grab it.

It comes back to grab Mr. Mew.

Shiki is through the doorway like a flash, her pace slowing to a walk then a stop before she hugs Mr. Mew and Hat, breathing slowly normalising. She puts her hat back on and adjusts it, looking for something reflective- and in the process, seeing the strange symbols on the walls.

Huh. These... mean nothing to her.

So she files it away for later and climbs the staircase, because thats a pleasant and familiar sound.
Oathkeeper Shibuya lay beyond the doorway. Not a shattered mirror like before but alive and present, everything accounted for. The buildings are bright, billboards gleaming in the rain that falls down, no more than a mist from the dark sky.

People are moving through the square. Shopping bags, backpacks and briefcases. Everyone in a great hurry to get somewhere. In the middle of the 104 building is a gigantic digital readout, it's bare red numbers and letters spelling out an advertisement rather than an ominous and flashing 12:00.

What she might also discover is that nobody is looking in her direction and in fact, someone walks through her in their way to get out of the rain as if she were a phantom.
Shiki Misaki Well, this is... nice.

Shiki cant say she didnt expect this- she knew that a memory of Shibuya would be something shed find eventually. She takes a moment to stop and look around- the moment, in fact, when someone walks through her. She doesnt even mind that its raining.

Much like the image of her true self she saw in those phantasmal mirrors, this is a pleasant, welcome reminder of her world- but what is she doing here? What purpose does it serve?

Checking to make sure she knows where she came in- in case she needs to leave- she just chooses to meander for the time being, until something interesting happens.
Oathkeeper The world keeps moving on around her without her. Shibuya stops for nobody. There's a commercial for new pins on the screen, quickly followed by one for a new Anime that is airing soon! Shiki will note that the anime is an older one. Truly, a moment from the past. People continue walking around her through the real world while she seems to be stuck in the UG.

She'll note that there where she came in from is now... nothing. There had been a door in the middle of the Scramble Crossing, and now it's... just gone. But gazing in that direction she notices something else instead. A stand, with Neku standing near it with his earphones on like usual.

The stand, just outside building 104, is offering a wide variety of pins, keychains and other little things. The person behind it however stands out a little. Dressed in black, with a hood over their head. They look like a fortune teller of some sorts! There's even a blue orb in front of them that they're holding their lanky fingers over; wearing all kinds of rather gaudy looking jewels and that sorts of mess.
Shiki Misaki Shiki thinks for a moment, trying to remember exactly what year this was based on the date. She watched anime! She should know this one. Maybe if she remembers she'll get some conte-Neku.

She always manages to spot him in a crowd. Irony, there, considering how much he loved to blend into it. She walks- eventually she realises she can just walk THROUGH the crowd to get to him.

He doesn't notice her, of course. She walks right up in his face- and pokes his hair. Naturally, finger goes right through.

Shiki sighs, and puts her hand on the side of the stand- then jumps, because she knows she'll fall through-

Except she doesn't. It's real! And so is that person, apparently.

"Oh! Hello. Sorry."
Oathkeeper The Fortune Teller doesn't react at first. They continue to move their hands over the orb in front of them, slowly calling forth... well... who knows what. Neku soon walks away. And only when this occurs does the Fortune Teller speak. "Are you here to buy?" Their voice is hard to place between male and female. But they're old.

They wave their right hand over the table, to call attention to the variety of items present. One of them stands out a little, as it's a keychain that looks like the pin she'd just seen in the commercials. It's certainly new and shiny. But since when do people attach pins to Keychains?

That's when something odd occurs. There's the sound of... music. No, not music. Something is interupting this world. It's like the world is growing a strange haze. Like a television that is having trouble getting its signal. Then, behind her, Noise! She can see it, a massive Swing Shark is diving through the pavement circling people. Slowly circling towards /her/.
Shiki Misaki Shiki realises, memory stirred, that in fact she /does/ have Yen pins in her pockets somewhere. She picked them up from... there's sand in the pocket, so it must have been the desert outside of Fluorgis.


"Huh," Shiki says, picking up the thread, and picking up the pin, fingertips on the back of it. "Maybe?"

She looks back at the fortune teller.

And then her ears pop, or something like it.

Shiki turns around quickly, seeing- it's familiar, yes, very familiar. And not welcome, either. A Noise.

A shock goes through her brain as she looks at Mr. Mew- in a memory of Shibuya, against a Noise, would she be able to fight it alone, as she has been able to before? Or not? More importantly...

"You should move," she says to the fortune teller. "This could be dangerous."
Oathkeeper Tzzzt.


The world seems to have trouble focussing as the Shark comes closer. The Fortune Teller simply steeples his fingers and looks at her as she takes the keychained pin. There's a strange feeling about this keychain. The moment it lays in her hand, there's this feeling like she 'knows' this. That she 'knows this feeling' she has as she holds it. It's very similar to something she'd feel on occassion in combat.

Almost... like that moment before Fusion.

Only there isn't another person here!? So why would this simply item in her hand feel like that? Of course, Mr. Mew looks back at Shiki, then looks at the Shark. But instead of being nhis normal brave self, the bear moves behind her, hugging against her leg.

Then on the screen on Building 104 - there's suddenly a flicker. An image that appears similar to the image of a crown... then... there's the fortune teller. There's complete silence as the fortune teller speaks a word. Yet she can't hear the word.

The shark comes closer and closer. Faster and faster. It'll be here any second now. Will she stand her ground, or will she flee while she tries to recall the man's word?
Shiki Misaki He's not a pig!
I mean, not a bear!

The hairs on the back of Shiki's neck stand up, as she touches the pin. She doesn't even realise she's plucked it off the stand as she whipped around, the metal disc stuck between her index and middle fingers. Something about it does feel quite comforting...

Which is good, because she needs a little comfort in a situation like this. Noise incoming!

And you're not helping very much, Mr. Mew. Shiki thinks... and in her peripheral vision as she watches the shark's movements, she sees the big board flicker.

What was that word...? Shiki better be good at lipreading!

She doesn't know how to fight this, so first step is to figure out if she can interact with it--

Well, no, the first step is to run! But the second step is to fling a yen pin at it as she goes. And then go she sure does! She's got to make sure it follows her so it doesn't attack the only other real person here. If it hits at all, maybe she can use her mythril rod... agh! More run less think!
Oathkeeper The Yen Pin flicks into its head... and bounces right back onto the Fortune Teller's table. The man takes the yen pin and pockets it. And in that very moment she recalls his word. 'Harmonize'. Harmonize with whom? Or with /what/!?

The Shark chases her, but at least she is staying her distance. She can outrun it for now! But each time this world seems to 'flicker', the more tired she grows. And the Noise seems unaffected. And then the worst thing happens.

Just as she rounds a corner and enters an alleyway, she comes across an almost invisible barrier. Besides it stands a Reaper who seems to be ignoring her entirely, looking impatiently at his watch.
Shiki Misaki SPLAT
Is the only word that can be used to describe this situation, in keeping with the earlier moment of cartoon comicry. The comicry is there because Shiki is, by contrast, in /deep <GOOSEHONK>/.

This is definitely a problem. On the other hand, that slam jolted her brain! 'Harmonize'. That's definitely what he was saying. Or she.

Shiki realises this doesn't exactly help her, or does it? She looks at the Reaper, warily- "Can you see me?" she asks, before noticing that the shark is getting closer.

Harmonize. Somewhere in this world, there's music, isn't there? There's a sound of life. Even an echo of music is still music.

If she can't harmonize with a person, then maybe...

Shiki closes her eyes. There is a rhythm on the street, a vibration somewhere. She tries to reach out- to find the chords, to listen to the music of Shibuya. If she can't harmonize with a person, maybe she can do it with everything else...
Oathkeeper Shiki has the gist of it. She needs to harmonize with something in her surroundings. With a sound. A song. There is a rhythm on the street, people marching, but each time there's that annoying 'tzzzzzt' of the world being mixed up, she seems to lose it. That is to say, she loses all but one thing. The rhythm of the keychain. As she tries to move to the rhymth of the street, the keychain garners its own. Within moments she realizes that she is harmonizing with the little item... and the world is slowly restoring as she does so.

The shark comes. It comes faster. This chain - this PIN - she can use it. For in that moment, there's a sudden flash of white around her, the world around her inverts its colors, and then returns again. The Reaper suddenly looks up in confusion - but seems unable to see her. The shark comes - it jumps at her.

And then! Fusion! She fuses her rhythm with the item, and the chain shines with a brilliant light that resonates with her heart. But can this light truly shine bright enough to defeat this shark Noise!?
Shiki Misaki The world slows down for Shiki.

It has to be somewhere. Somewhere in the world, a pure and meaningful sound, a rhythm. But everything's so full of dissonance...

Narrower and narrower it gets. There's a sound here, a sound there. Soon, the only thing she can hear loud and clear is the sound of--

Wait. Is that...?

It's only then that Shiki realises she is still clutching the pin between her fingers, and it's the one thing in the world- of the world- that seems crystal clear. It's picked up everything, and the rhythm she's been clutching at is all here.

The shark gets closer and closer. It's mere feet away from her...

And Shiki reaches out, breathes in time with the beat.


Shiki whips her mythril staff out and does exactly what you're supposed to do when you're confronted with a shark, you smash it in the snout to assert dominance! She drives it forward, then skids!
Oathkeeper The Fusion is even more potent than she'd imagined. For a moment, the Mythril Staff glows and becomes wrapped in brilliant white light, smacking against the Shark's nose, which immediately evaporates in its forwards momentum - as if there was a dome protecting Shiki in that moment. She can feel it. A very familiar light within her hand. It's herself. She's holding a piece of herself in her hand. But what's more, there's a strange thing that appears in that moment. As the shark Noise disappates, a red heart floats up into the skies from it.

That never happened before when she beat Heartless or Noise out in the real world!

Then, there's a jump of a moment, for the Fortune Teller is standing right behind where the Shark was, holding out the orb towards her. "I see you found what you were looking for." They say. They point at her staff, which seems to have changed and merged with the keychain, which now dangles from the bottom of what was once a staff. Now, the staff ends differently - in the shape of two five-pointed stars that overlap one-another. And it has gained a handle of sorts. The material is entirely different as well. A metal unlike anything she's ever seen - with a sheen unlike anything she ever imagined. It lays in her hands, weighted rather strangely. And hanging from its end is that little pin on the end of a silver keychain. She realizes now what the pin's picture was. It's Mr. Mew.

"Surely you wish to know more?" The Fortune Teller asks for her, and then slowly moves one hand to the the side, pointing at the Reaper, who is pressing something on his phone. And the wall that'd stopped her earlier slowly fades away like... a door.
Shiki Misaki Shiki strikes. She feels perfectly in tune with herself, all of a sudden. She has gotten used to the feel of her weapon, she knows its weight and its movements exactly, but this- this is entirely different. This feels /perfect/.

And as she flies, she's amazed to see ... that is definitely a heart. Her eyes widen as it flies up, and she flies forward- and she slows down and watches it fly.

Yes, she thinks, that felt Right.

She watches and looks up until she can't see it any more, as it disappears up into the clouds- she doesn't even care if there's rain on her face.

When she finally looks down, there's that fortune teller in front of her- and moreover, there is something else. A shining weapon, resplendant in aquamarine and champagne pink. Shiki takes in every detail from pin to tooth.

She doesn't need to even say it. She knows what this is.

Shiki trembles. She's amazed by what's happened, and yet she knows nothing more than when she started. So many questions, nothing but questions. So she nods to the fortune teller
Oathkeeper "There will be much more for you to learn. Carry on." The Fortune teller motions towards the 'door' once more. "After all... one must come to know the 'truth'." The Fortune Teller then drops their hand and waits patiently for Shiki to carry on, continueing to hold that sphere in their hand.
Shiki Misaki "That's good," Shiki says. "I've got so many things to ask..."

She smiles. "I'm standing on my own. I hope you can all see me again, soon..." she says wistfully, calling out to absent friends... a wish that may go further than she thinks.

She walks through the next door, hoping to find more people to talk to and bond with.

This scene contained 36 poses. The players who were present were: Oathkeeper, Shiki Misaki