Holes/Session 51

From Zaori

This dream is not like the others.
The Gravedigger Dreams. (26 against will)
Your name is Hieron Maranthana. You are a third-year student at Sa Karana High, well-liked, and out-going in a curt sort of way. While you are relatively athletic for your class, overall your appearance is fairly normal aside from the blue hair and the shovel you carry with you pretty much everywhere you go.
Your friends have remarked on this, and rather disapproved, but despite all their concern that having the blue hair was a bad enough sign already, and that having a shovel on top of that would only make it that much more certain that you would become some sort of protagonist, you would not be pursuaded to desist. It is your shovel, and it is important to you.
This is who you are.
Rhu Dreams. (16 against will)
Your name is Ganasi Miri. You are a second-year student at Sa Karana High, a bit awkward, but friendly and fairly well accepted, though you have no specific social circle and no close friends. For an iera, you look quite normal. So normal, in fact, that the thing people notice is how utterly unnoticeable you are. Usually you just laugh, but sometimes... sometimes it gets to you, just a little.
You put most of your energy into your studies. After all, that's what you're all here for - to prepare for your lives in full. So you do, and it works, and your grades have stayed up and then some, though while you're the top of your class, you're still not quite at the top of the school.
That unfortunate honour goes to Amaranthsi Nisholian. He looks like L.
Except that's not right. None of that is right. As far as you can recall, you were somewhere else not so long ago. Some planet called Cerris. Investigating some holes. In a hole, practically, with everything all weird and black and falling to pieces around you. You had a god with you, another one - it's getting a little hard to keep track of them all - and Radek was going to close the hole one way or another.
Whatever happened with that?
Radek Dreams. (28 against will)
Your name is Amaranthsi Nisholian. You're a fourth-year student at Sa Karana High, and yet despite the fact that you've not even graduated, you're the most competent scientist in the known worlds. Law enforcement organisations and powerful corporations alike seek out your aid on a near constant basis, and you simply have to turn most of them down. Your hair is black as Midnight, but your eyes are even blacker, sunken into deep shadows that creep out some and only entice others. Your face utterly, painfully, refuses to grow a beard.
You have no real friends, but you do have a fan club consisting of a good two thirds of the school's female population, and almost one third of its male population, and there is almost always a bit of a mob following you around on campus. When they can find you at all, that is. You do have a way of disappearing on them.
Except the gibbering in your head is telling you that none of this is true.
No, not in. The gibbering is on your head. You know it's there. You remember the cephalopod's smooth cold feeling, gripping your cranium strongly in an embrace that always came across as strangely non-threatening, except now the feeling is gone. Your head is bare, even though you know it to still be there. Wherever you really are, the cephalopod is still on your head, and it's worried for you.
And now you remember the hole. The strange light, the darkness, the vertigo. The god who surprised you, the chance to test your creations without anyone to complain... whatever happened with that? Did you even make it that far? You don't think you did.
You were just walking. And then this.
Greibel Dreams, but this is hardly unusual.
Your name is Kiesthisi Nitheriyamatha. You are a third-year student at Sa Karana High, and you are the drug King of the entire school, the height of cool, the go-to man for parties, enjoyment, and philosophical enlightenment alike. Also diet fads, for whatever reason, though you seem to know less about those than people tend to expect.
This is a little different. Normally the dreams don't come with character descriptions.
That's cool.
Amadi Dreams, too, and yet she never dreams. That's the whole point, isn't it?
Your name is Akari Sudamanshintha. You are a student of some sort at Sa Karana High, except there is no such place, and if it were, you'd not be here at all. This is clearly a dream, but it's not one of yours. And the weird thing is, the particularly weird thing that just doesn't fit anything you know, you don't even know whose it is.
Perhaps it doesn't belong to anyone? Perhaps it's something else? Would the rest of you know?
Looking at Squirrel now, you kind of doubt how helpful she's going to be, even compared to usual. There seem almost to be two of her, and she, at least, is entirely convinced of her studentiness, still looking almost exactly the same, but dressed in the uniform: short skirt, funky top, tie. Her bloody red hair sticking out in every direction.
You look down and you're in the same, though your own colours have changed...

EXT. Commons Green - day
It's a bright, sunny morning. Students - most of the school, in fact - are milling about on the green, the spires of the castle rising behind, with a general air of anticipation about them. Small groups are chattering excitedly. Others are milling around, some going from group to group, others hugging their tablets, others still just standing about, waiting, content to take in the free break.
Among them, scattered about, are Hieron Maranthana, Ganasi Miri, Amaranthsi Nisholian, Akari and Adidstha Sudamanshintha, and Kieshisi Nitheriyamatha.
Some of the students stand out. There is a girl with a tutu on her head, but she's otherwise acting normal enough. Hieron, with his blue hair, is digging a hole, with his friends standing around him in a mix of exasperation and cheering him on, though this is hardly new. Akari and Adidstha, clearly twins, one red-haired and one black, are looking about a bit worriedly, though the red-haired one, Adidstha, just seems to be copying Akari more than anything else. And everyone knows Kiesthisi - the drug King of the school. He's standing there now in a haze of drugs, oddly alone, looking all the more impressive for it.
Ganelon (Radek): "Drug King" sounds more criminal than the reality of it.
The Prince Amaranthsi Fan Club is of course out in force, too, though there's no sign of the prince himself.
The two new girls, Volshikana and Midoriki Hano, are nearby too, standing on something of a hill vaguely in front of the crowd. They're a bit of a mystery - nobody's really sure where they came from, or if they're even iera - they might even be deresi, the whispers go. Whatever the case, they're both beautiful, with incredibly ornate hair, ridiculous accessories, and huge eyes. The huge eyes are key, somehow.
And they won't tell anyone anything.
Amidst the hubbub, Midoriki Hano and Volshikana whisper to each other.
Akari looks around, keeping an eye on Adidstha, watching for anything meaningful, any changes. (rolled 19 perception)
Hieron, with his friends, dispenses various bits of hole-related wisdom while he digs. His friends all seem a bit tired of this, but humour him regardless.
(after a bit)
Hieron, when will you be done with that?
Never! But Even great works can be suspended.
Ganasi's off with his... no, her friends too, doing some sort of dance practice. Or something. She abruptly stops and sidles off to leave.
(turning quickly back to them)
I'll be back in a bit.
Ganasi heads over to Hieron the hole digger.
(to Hieron)
Psst, it's me. I mean, it's Rhu. How did we get here?
Hello, friend! We come here every day through that gate over there.
Hieron indicates the main school gate.
Ah, gotcha.
(she nods)
I'll go look for our... classmates, then.
Of course!

EXT. Fence; Commons Green - day
Slightly off to the side of the crowd, Amaranthsi is hiding behind a fence. He still has a decent view of things, but for the moment nobody - especially his fan club - seems to realise he's there.
He instinctively attempts to stroke his beard, but finds none. His dismay is intense.
When the dismay from this realisation passes, he turns it into an inferior ponderous chin-rubbing, mumbling theories at himself.

EXT. Commons Green - day
All at once, the crowd begins the quiet, the general roar of excitement calming down.
On the hill, the two possibly alien new girls are now joined by the class presidents - all five of them - and the headmaster.
Students of Sa Karana High!
Today is an auspicious day, for today we welcome two of our own.
Ganasi looks over, paying careful attention. For all she knows, the headmaster might be Radek. The others, too, listen from their various vantages.
Blah blah blah stuff reckoning blah stuff!
One of the class presidents steps forward and confiscates the megaphone, giving him an irritated look.
But seriously, folks, we've planned this festival for months, and we're having a festival! Having two newcomers makes it that much better, but they're not the only reason we're here!
They're just a slightly better excuse than what we had before.
Which was nothing?
Come on, let's give them a hearty welcome!
Immediately the students start cheering, and Volshikana and Midoriki Hano start arguing with each other.
Yay! Woooo!
The headmaster throws his arms in the air surprisingly anticlimactically and casts a spell thing, and suddenly a whole lot of festival stuff, complete with snack booths, rides, and a very large rhino, appears behind him.
Then he turns and flees in the opposite direction.
Danaitai gives his back a suspicious look. Two other presidents giggle about something.
(back to the assembled students, loudly)
Uh, yeah, PAAARTY.
The assembled students cheer again and move in a huge wave over toward the festival stuff.
Akari goes over to ask Hieron what the aliens were saying, a bit against the tide of bodies, Adidstha following.
Hieron waves.
(indicating the aliens)
Those two, what were they saying?
Ganasi and Amaranthsi wind up with them as well, Amaranthsi somehow evading his stalkers.
Hieron good-naturedly relays that the alien girls were apparently arguing about the reality of all of this. Midoriki Hano was saying they need to stop it, that it's bad and stuff. Volshikana, on the other hand, was saying they should maybe play it out. (rolled 31 perception)
Meanwhile the Prince Amaranthsi Fan club suddenly notices that their prince is right there and start crowding around, eeirily silent.
Amaranthsi grumbles.
...I am trapped in a horrid nimbus of juvenile adoration. Please tell me at least one of you still has their senses intact.
(he hesitates)
Or whatever passes for them among you, considering.
I have two Squirrels. The likelyhood of insanity is substantial.
This is all not real! Real insanity!
Hieron nods at them all and heads off to rejoin his friends and check out the festival stuff.
The others start to trail after, lagging behind.
Um, yes. Nimbus. Right. Is that a rhino?
(eyeing the aliens)
...I'm going to talk. To... those things.
Don't get too lost.
The drug King, Kiesthisi, comes up as if out of nowhere and offers Akari a toke. She puts the bong in her hair and heads over toward the aliens.
Ganasi, Amaranthsi, Kiesthisi, and Adidstha all sort of follow her for lack of any better ideas.
On the way, Kiesthisi hums a strange tune, oddly familiar, and very, very out of place.
Amaranthsi attempts magic, just to see if it works right. (rolled 26 arcana) But it doesn't, not exactly. It could just be a thing with the... this. But he could just adjust for it without too much trouble. The cephalopod is very clear on this.
He has a go at identifying what this even is, and finds it to be a dream. (rolled 31 arcana) Sort of. A bit more like a virtual environment than a dream itself, something they've been hijacked into, and there's no indication of what by at all.
Normally there'd be an interface.

EXT. Festival stuff - day
Hieron and his friends wind up in the thick of the festival. Almost immediately one of the others gets distracted by a girl he has a crush on and runs off after her.
The other friends yell encouragement.
You get her, Darietsu!
The rest of them wind up at the rhino. It seems very unhappy, and people are trying to ride it, though most of them just fall off almost immediately after. This makes it even more unhappy.
PLease leave the poor thing alone. It's not happy.
Some of the surrounding students voice their disappointment at this, but others are a bit more supportive. Either way, Hieron is ushered up to the thing, his friends trying to get him to ride it.
Hieron takes the opportunity to examine it. (rolled 17 nature) It looks like a very large specimin of its species, and is apparently not real.
Okay, who put the fake Rhino here? If you're going to make a fake Rhino, at least make it a happy one!
You need to ride it to make it happy!
Hieron narrows his eyes at the handlerman. (rolled 14 insight) The guy is a nerd from the second year, he seems to mean well enough. It's not clear what he was actually thinking with any of this, aside from 'giant rhinos are cool'.

Hieron stomps off in disgust, holding his shovel prominently.

Two of his friends follow, including Leaf.

EXT. Commons Green - day
Akari stops before the aliens.
Uh... hi.
(to Volshikana)
Don't talk to them, you fool!
Why should you not talk to me?
(to Amadi)
You're... not real.
Yes, we know.
Midoriki Hano looks at Ganasi and frowns curiously.
You... you look familiar.
Volshikana smacks Midoriki.
...Don't listen to him. We are not constructs of this simulation.
I assume neither are the two of you.
Yeah. Not really sure what happened there. You all all right?
...In some ways.
Amaranthsi silently mourns his beard.
It is very strange. I'd ask if this is what dreaming is like for other people, but of course it isn't.
The others are recognizable enough. Under the circumstances... I take it you are the god? One of you?
Yeah. Hi.
(to Volshikana)
What did you do?
I didn't do anything. Did I?
...Troubling that you couldn't escape this.
(indicating Hano)
More troubling that she's here, really.
This is not my dream.
Akari stares hard at Hano to try to figure out who she is. (rolled 21 religion) She is immediately disappointed to find Hano to be Hazz'ridan.
(to Hano)
Well, of course it isn't. If it was yours it would've been boring.
Midoriki Hano gives Akari a long, unimpressed look.
Where'd the Gravedigger run off to? He looks like a protagonist.
(to Radek)
Also, nice gaggle.
Akari nods in agreement.
Yes, it is very persistent.
The fan club is crowding around, watching intently, still silent, but now oddly excited. Rarely are they actually aknowledged.
(to a random/prettiest member of gaggle)
So you guys are like, his fans or something?
Oh, please.
Midoriki Hano stomps forward toward them, then suddenly explodes in a mass of tentacles shooting out in every direction, reaching toward all of them, all at once.
The fan club scatters in utter horror.
Ganasi screams.
Amaranthsi jumps a bit, admittedly.
A moment later all the tentacls are gone and Hano is just standing there looking big-boobed and grumpy.
Not really.
I... but.. that... you...
Boob! Boobs!
Adidstha jumps on Hano and starts fondling her boobs.
It's you. You're here! You... hey, get off my god!
Akari smirks.
Midoriki Hano twitches angrily and then pushes Adidstha away with one hand, holding her back while the girl tries to swipe at her with too-short arms.
(to Amaranthsi)
You don't have a camera or something, do you? I'd like to take a picture of this.
Amaranthsi sighs and gets out his tablet. It's different from his real one, but he obliges and takes a few pictures regardless, scowling the whole way through.
Volshikana wraps an arm around Hano and poses for the picture, putting up bunny ears behind the other's head.
Midoriki Hano hisses irritably.

EXT. Festival stuff - day
Hieron and his two friends, Leaf and Tatsuoi, go around gathering up and devouring various random foods. There are a lot of foods around, festival and all.
At some point they all wind up taking part in a pie eating contest against the girl with the tutu on her head.
Frezak (Gravy): Gravy is certain in his dominion over pies.
The first round of pies disappears without incident. Some sort of berry.
The second round of pies... it's uncertain what they are. (rolled 17 nature) They might be some sort of meat.
Tutu girl eats hers almost immediately, but Tatsuoi balks at the meat and drops out.
Hieron and Leaf eat theirs as well.
The third round appears in front of them: pies stacked on top of each other. They each get a piepiepie.

Ext. Commons green - day
Oh, cheer up. This isn't the end of the world.
You're certain of that?
There'd be more bunnies if it was.
Akari looks around warily, as if afraid that bunnies might spring from nowhere.
This is literally the end of the world, you fool! You call yourself King, part of the Dark Sister's elaborate network, and then you just sit back and party?!
(eyeing Hano flatly)
I'm pretty certain, yes.
Aside from the lack of bunnies, there would also be, well... hmm.
(she looks around)
Well, something, anyway.
(rolled 30 religion (natural 20))
The Dark Sister...
Apheori (GM): The Dark Sister, also known as the Founder and the Architect, is the one who created the (local) network of named universes. Hazz'ridan is not a part of it, but he does interact with them on a fairly regular basis due to a bit of an overlap.
Ganelon (Radek): He probably read it on a wiki-surf starting with Hazz'ridan.
Then what is this?
Radek, what is this?
To my understanding, we have been forced inside a simulation.
(she nods)
Constructed as some form of dream form, I'd suppose. I have experience with similar, though that is both more... and less.
It possesses dreamlike qualities, yes, but of course it is not one. I do not dream.
Akari suppresses a laugh into a sort of snort.
Amaranthsi narrows his eyes, though not at anyone in particular.
The lack of an interface is concerning. It may be intended to keep us here indefinitely.
Not necessarily. In the Book, there isn't really an interface either, normally.
Except why we would even be here... perhaps it is trying to stop us from reaching the hole?
What would an interface look like?
What hole?
Then, of course.
Then how...
Volshikana grins slowly and then pokes Hano in the boob.
You are enjoying this entirely too much.
(to Midoriki)
Oh, you're such a boob.
Isn't she?
Amaranthsi rolls his eyes.

Ganelon (Radek): Radek holds the gods to a very high standard. Such as being responsible. It's therefore unsurprising that he doesn't like any of them.

Ganelon (Radek): Well... that he knows.
Volshikana does an impression of the teacher in DearS, fondling and juggling her own boobs, complete with 'ooing' and squeaking noises.
Amaranthsi crosses his arms and turns his back. How crass.
Volshikana stops and bursts out laughing.
Oh, come on. It's anime! Live a little.
...I wonder what sleep would be like here. Anime dreams aren't pretty, in my experience.
I wouldn't advise it. There might be tentacles.
(grinning a little)
Some of you should try. Just to make sure.
Midoriki Hano wraps a surreptitious tentacle around Volshikana's shoulders.
(swatting away the tentacle)
Okay, yes, you're right. We do need to sort this out.
(shouting very suddenly)
This carnival is not well-oiled!
Ganasi jumps.
Akari decides to ignore the others and turns and runs towards the festival in the direction of Hieron.

EXT. Festival stuff - day
The stacked pies have been eaten, aside from Leaf's. Leaf has also dropped out at this point, so he and the other are both cheering Hieron on against tutu girl.
The next pie is a fried chicken. The pie guy slaps one each down in front of Hieron and the tutu girl.
Excuse me! This isn't a pie! I can tell!
You have a problem with that?
Tutu girl just eats her chicken and watches.
Yes. It's a pie eating contest. If someone asks you to bury a body, you don't dump a corpse in a cannon, fire it, and call it a day. Who is the manager here? I have rights!
Would you like to bury the chicken?
No! This is a contest! I am contesting! There are rules, you know! You can't get away by breaking the rules!
And when rules are broken, bad things happen to bad people!
Hieron's eyes are becoming slightly unfocussed.
(leaning forward at Hieron)
The rules... are what I make them.
So eat your pie. Or conceeeeeed.
This issssn't a p-p-pie.
Hieron jerks upright in his chair.
Akari and Kiesthisi show up behind Hieron.
Kiesthisi blows a cloud of drug smoke on Hieron.
Go with the flloooow, man.
Hieron grabs the table and tries to smash the pie guy.
The table flips, flies into the pie guy, and sends bits of pie plate everywhere. Several stuffed animals also go flying.
Akari cheers loudly.
Hieron's friends also cheer.
Kiesthisi starts choking and wanders off.
Hieron leaps at the pie guy and winds up on top of both pie guy and table, the table pinning the pie guy down.
Hieron grabs the pie guy's face and starts bashing the guy's head against the floor over and over again while babbling on the theme of Bad THings and Bad People.
(chanting in time to the bashing)
Consequences! Consequences!
People around are starting to notice, and they're screaming, yet none of them actually do anything. It doesn't occur to anyone else that this is not the correct response.

Ext. Commons green - day
They hear a bit of a commotion from the direction of the festival.
Amaranthsi glances off in the direction of the commotion, which just happens to be the direction Akari went. He doesn't even need to see the chaos to know that it's going to happen.
Ganasi just runs toward it.
Well. Shall we see how this plays out?
Time is still advancing in the real world.
The squid gibbers.
Amaranthsi mentally prods at the squid. (rolled 36 arcana (natural 20)) The response comes with a sense of thoughts, the time, the worry.
Ganelon (Radek): You're a good friend, squiddie. I'm glad I didn't turn you into magic dust.
Amaranthsi nods to himself and follows as Volshikana heads off to check out the commotion of Hieron. Midoriki Hano also follows.
Mm. I am still in contact with my cephalopod companion.

EXT. Festival stuff - darkening twilight
Ganasi arrives to find Hieron still smashing the pie guy.
Covered in blood and brain stuff, Hieron finally stops and looks down to find he's holding mush.
Hieron yanks at the body, winding up with a large chunk of torso and an arm, and starts to run away with it. (rolled 24 strength)
Akari follows Hieron, now silent, but he doesn't look back. He doesn't look at anyone.
Don'ttelldon'ttell make it up
Volshikana, Amaranthsi, and Midoriki Hano show up as well.
(to Radek)
Your bodies are still there. Mine isn't, which I suppose might make sense considering it's just a manifestation anyway. Theirs is, though. (indicating Amadi and Squirrel)
Hano Grabs Hieron before he can run away entirely.
Akari tries to bat Hano away.
Hieron responds by attempting to Gore Midoriki Hano, but lacking horns this winds up as a headbutt instead. (rolled 26 vs AC)
This doesn't do much.
Akari tries to punch Hano's nose, but misses. (rolled 20 vs AC)
...What's wrong with him?
Perhaps it's a reaction to the dream? Tried to push him in a direction contrary to his nature...
Or perhaps it simply was his nature all along.
Hieron, still holding the remains of the corpse in one hand, uses his other to try to grab Hano by the head/throat, gibbering all the while.
(To Hano)
Do you have this under control?
Midoriki Hano attempts to bring Hieron under control by grabbing his head right back.
Akari kicks Hano on the shin - probably not very hard, if not for lack of trying.
(to Amadi)
Hey, not now. We need to calm him down somehow.
And I'm a little concerned about using my... usual methods in a place like this.
Akari blinks at Volshikana.
We do?
...And this is the best way?
Akari looks very doubtful.
Well, no. I think he's just trying to keep him put for now. Or... something?
Hieron finally drops the corpse and grabs Hano by the leg and lurches backwards, trying to toss her over his back. (rolled 21) This doesn't entirely work, though she loses most of her hold as a result.
Oh, please.
(she rolls her eyes)
How about just letting him dig it off?
Hieron grabs the corpse and tries to run off again.
He's not digging. Quite the opposite
(in an oddly booming voice)
Everything stops, aside from Akari, Amaranthsi, Hano, and Volshikana. It is as thought the entire world-dream is just frozen mid-whatever.
Akari huffs and taps her foot. Crossed arms. All that stuff.
Midoriki Hano walks over to where Gravy had gotten (a few feet away) and then pushes him over.
Okay, I don't know about you guys, but I am having serious difficulty concentrating. On anything.
Midoriki Hano gestures vaguely at Ganasi and suddenly she resumes moving as well.
Ganasi steps up to try to stop Hieron escaping, but is surprised to find him lying on the ground.
...That's unusual. My thoughts are largely unobstructed.
(he indicates Gravy)
...Distractions aside.
(to Volshikana)
I feel the same, and it is very... aggravating.
Akari grins gleefully.
Ganelon (Radek): Are your thoughts hitting a DEAD. END? HMMMMM?
Midoriki Hano gives Amaranthsi a withering look.
Volshikana runs and grabs Hieron's shovel.
Hieron suddenly scrambles up and grabs the remains of the pie guy corpse.
Midoriki Hano wraps Hieron in black tentacles before he can run off again, with only his head poking out.
Hieron gibbers and thrashes about.
Shut. Up.
Midoriki Hano squeezes a bit.
Volshikana hands Amadi the shovel and pushes her toward Hano and Hieron.
Akari bonks Hieron lightly on the head with his shovel, accidentially poking Hano with the shovel as well.
Hey. HEY! Gravy! You in there? HELLOOOOO?
Volshikana holds out a hand and seems to be doing some sort of magic.
Midoriki Hano sticks a tentacle in Hieron's head. Hieron goes completely rigid and still.
That's a little excessive, don't you think?
He will not be silent!
Volshikana stops what she was doing and comes over as well.
Hey, hey, calm down.
I take it he's not thinking rationally anymore.
Amaranthsi is still looking in the crowds' direction. They're in panic. The teachers and whatnot, at least, seemed to be trying to coordinate things, though it doesn't look right.
They've also started moving again.
The others won't bother us, for a while. I still recommend we resolve the problem soon, or relocate.
(a bit more calmly)
He doesn't seem to be thinking at all.
Can you tell what's wrong with him? Exactly?
Well, he's stuck, ain't he?
The madness, the corruption that entered him so innocuously from the first hole, it has finally taken hold.
You need to GET HIM OUT OF HERE.
We need to get all of us out of here.
Before we lose ourselves.
Some of us did that a long time ago. It's not so bad.
(he shoots a glare at Akari)
(giving Akari a worried look)
You did not think that at the time.
Akari shrugs.
Am I not allowed to change?
(pointing to Hieron)
He did. He should again.
(wiggling the tentacle about)
Yes, he does need to change.
Hieron jiggles a bit in response.
Akari glares at Hano.
Not your sort.
How did we even get here?
Didn't we leave Dave behind as an anchor? Can't we use that somehow?
That was the anchor from the time and place at Sanessee, but that was for our bodies, not our minds.
Yes. Okay. Good. Next time we should remember to leave a mind anchor behind too. Brilliant. Don't know why we didn't think of that.
...Would you perhaps be able to use a mad squid?
I don't know about squids. Maybe?
We need ideas. There are things I could do, but I fear to actually try them now, because once done, they will not likely work again.
We should... wake him.
(she shudders a little)
I'm not sure I know how to.
Using the squid, can you communicate?
In a limited fashion.
It is difficult to relate concepts to the creature, though I suspect it does possess intelligence.
(she nods slowly)
Hazz'ridan. Kill him.
Excuse me?!
Are you... sure?
No. But he is already as good as gone. And maybe that will get him out while we work on the rest of us.
Hano eyes Volshikana curiously, but waits for the time being.
If it doesn't work, I'll - I'll kill you right back. Or worse! I can do worse.
Wouldn't it be enough to just bury him?
Akari mumbles to herself, sort of as an afterthought,
I could do worse...
Bury him in what, the dream?
Whose dream is this anyway? Can we convince them to let us go somehow, and then try to treat Gravy in the real world?
It's not mine.
I mean... it's not even a dream. Not a proper one.
It's a lot darker out now. The sky has gone overcast, grey clouds hanging low with the promise of rain. Pretty much everyone else is gone now, and it's not clear when this actually happened.
...Wait. Tell me about this "book". Is it responsible for our circumstances?
Maybe if... if there was more of me... I mean...
Akari trails off, looking anxious, and then suddenly looking panic-stricken around for the two Squirrels. There is no sign of any.
The Book of Dreams...
You had a copy, once. But with that, the way I came to use it, I would open it, and it would take me... places...
(straining to remember)
But at first, all it was was words. Words take you places, too. There may be a connection. If I just could think straight!
What would happen if we tried to open a Hole in here?
One Squirrel suddenly appears and stares Amadi in the face.
Akari calms immediately and starts digging through her pockets, throwing out... sandwiches, of course; but also a stuffed wyvern, several sporks, butterfly jewellery, a microphone, some anime DvDs, a long letter to Sandy Claws, a shorter letter to Santa Claus, some broken glasses, a bowl of cereal, a glob of porridge which looks suspiciously like Rasputin and bounces up onto her shoulder, two stale cookies, and an entirely blank book.
Akari pounces on the book and just looks at it for a bit.
(muttering under her breath)
Please be useful.
She opens the book to a random page. (rolled 13 reality)
Words appear on the page, slowly, as though the ink is coming up through many layers.
They say, "mw.loader.state('the_pope_is_an_atheist_woman_alien', 'missing');"
...I am not perfectly sure that's "useful".
The words disappear, and are replaced by a diagram of utter madness. It literally seems to be mapping out madness. Madly.
Now we're getting somewhere! Squirrel, have a look at this.
Amaranthsi tries to read over her shoulder. (rolled 24 arcana) The map is moving, but mapping it to anything is harder.
Squirrel looks and then almost immediately points at a spot on the map, but the spot keeps moving.
This. No, this. No, it keeps moving! This!
Akari nods vigorously and stares hard at the point Squirrel is trying to pinpoint.
Radek has a go at relaying what he sees of the map to the squid. (rolled 32 arcana) The squid doesn't like it. At all. It reacts the same way as it does when something tries to attack him/it.
Then the squid shows Radek a bit of what it sees: Their bodies unconscious on the ground. Greibel standing over the Gravedigger, plying his unconscious body with drugs and acting very, very worried. The darkness whispering.
Amadi pulls at a point on the map, and everything starts moving around it. (rolled 19 reality, 21 arcana) The rest is being pulled, too, but not so much as the point, like pulling a point up on a sheet.
The world-dream shivers. And then it starts raining.
Akari grabs Squirrel's hand and stares harder, frowning in a terribly anime-y fashion.
...The book. Of course!
Amaranthsi tries to figure out where they are on the map, but while this doesn't work, he does manage to make out several discrete points on the map that seem to be moving. (rolled 19 arcana) It's unclear what's what.
Amaranthsi gives a point, any old point, or maybe it's not even a point, but it's definitely at least something, a big ol' yank. (rolled 18, 19 arcana)
At the same time, Midoriki Hano kills Hieron.
Everything lurches horribly.
Hieron just flickers a bit and then disappears, (rolled 1 reality) and the tentacles fall away as well, leaving only Midoriki Hano looking like an anime schoolgirl.
(to Hano)
Did you do it? Did you save him? Is he awake?
Midoriki Hano just looks surprised.
I... don't know.
Oh dear.
Okay, that's it. I don't even care anymore. Radek! Bombs!
Volshikana hands Amaranthsi a pair of large bombs. He takes one and considers the map.
I'm going after him.
Akari sidesteps into nothing, stepping outside the cloth of the world-dream, outside of the thin veneer of stuff happening, and simply disappears. (rolled 22 arcana)
Ganasi just looks around at everybody with a mix of confusion and panic in his face.
(to Volshikana)
Go after him! Find him!
(to Hano)
Keep them safe?
Take me with you! I can help!
Volshikana shakes her head at Ganasi and disappears.
Radek directs the bomb beneath the map of madness, and sets it off, pushing the explosion into the book, and out the other side. (rolled 20 reality)

Ganelon (Radek): And he points it away from himself. Because obvious safety precautions ought to be observed.

Ganelon (Radek): And subtle ones like "don't set off bombs within their blast radius" ignored.
The explosion is immediate and horrifying, but also decidedly elsewhere.
The world-dream just shreds.
Welcome to the true dead end. An illusion.

EXT. Midnight
Akari finds herself in Midnight, but almost immediately 'Akari' falls away and she's Amadi once more.
Except this time she is alone. This time, she has brought only herself, only the idea of Amadi, the notion, the need. She's here to find him. Yes. The one.
Akari starts searching frantically and calling for Gravy in many, many voices. (rolled 12, 16, 13 reality)
He's here. Somewhere. She just can't find him, and as she searches, the vastness only broadens, for there is too much, too much. But she's not lost. She knows where she's going, searching the black between universes, the sheer nothing that is the everything of Midnight, and she gets the sense, even, that she's done this before.
Or perhaps after.
And so she continues on, search, searching, not giving up on the one known as Gravedigger. He is here. Somewhere.