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The Adjudicator's Institute for Heroics



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Mon Sep 04, 2023 8:08 pm
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KocoCoko says...



Astrid tried to think for a moment, but the surgery(?) Shiloh was performing was quite... distracting, in a way. So, instead, Dawn chipped in. "What about packaged foods? Like, chips and candy and stuff? I think we'd notice if a bag of chips or a granola bar was opened, right?" Dawn chuckled nervously, "I mean... I had some granola this morning, and it wasn't open or anything..."

Due to their experience with Evan, Shiloh was able to go through Astrid much faster. "We may want a bucket to gather all this... goo. I'd love to study it!" they said, then ripped the powder from Astrid and threw it onto the writhing pile.

Astrid screamed even louder this time, but Shiloh was able to stuff a blanket in her mouth before it got ear-bleeding. "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!" she repeated, muffled by the blanket.


Izzy spent a long while sitting on that roof. At one point, Winifred had joined her and started spouting off about how weird her brother had been acting. Izzy could only smile and agree with her. There was silence, then more meaningless conversation, then silence. Then Winifred left unannounced. It'd been almost an hour since Izzy last saw her, or anyone for that matter. At least she wasn't as ignored as before. Now she was just... lonely.
they/she or she/they




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Mon Sep 04, 2023 8:43 pm
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Ari11 says...



"Couldn't they reseal the packaging, though?" Sage asked. "I mean, it's not hard to do with, like, a hair straightener..."

"I feel like we would notice, wouldn't we?" Evan wondered. "Like if we looked for melt marks on the wrappers, maybe?"

"That's assuming they are using something like a hair straightener," Avery pointed out, molding a quick bucket out of Daya and handing it to Shiloh. "Which they may not. I mean, the Adjudicator has endless resources. She could be packaging all our food herself, for all we know."
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Mon Sep 04, 2023 11:22 pm
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KocoCoko says...



"It's the best chance we've got," Astrid said, falling back on their bed. The world was... weirder, for sure. Evan was right about that feeling of lightness. Astrid felt as if she were a feather. "What else are we gonna do? Starve?"

Shiloh wiped their knife clean and snapped their head to Dawn, awaiting her arm with a chesire grin. Dawn responded by backing further in the corner. "Haha, yeah. No," she said, her torso and lower covered entirely in thorns. They both jutted outwards and inwards, making small tears in her overalls.
they/she or she/they




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Mon Sep 04, 2023 11:37 pm
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Ari11 says...



"It's not that bad," Evan said in an effort to reassure her, flinching as Sage brushed against his arm.

"Astrid looks like she's having a good time," the botani-kinetic observed, pointing to the girl. "You'll feel better afterward, I promise."
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Mon Sep 04, 2023 11:58 pm
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KocoCoko says...



"Oh yeah," Astrid mumbled with a thumbs up. "Great. Never felt better. High as a kite. Wait, no. I'm not high. Just, hm, better? Yeah, way better." Who needs drugs when you can just get the mind-control goo yanked from you?

Shiloh sighed. "Don't worry about them. Astrid's got less body mass than Evan, so she's feeling the effects far more heavily than we would."

"Did you just call me tiny?" Astrid hummed.

"Correct."

Astrid sighed, "Aw, man..."

Dawn's brow furrowed. "God, does no ever mean no in this place!?" She snapped. "I'm not having that creep do anything to me! I'm finding another way, or I'll just wait it out! How can you promise anything? You already spit it out! It's not like you've ever been stabbed or beaten or been through half of the stuff I've been through, so I think I'm pretty justified in saying I don't want any sharp things near me! And you two of all people don't get to tell me that I'll be fine or it won't hurt that much!" Dawn crossed her arms and huffed. Only then did her expression soften. "Sorry," she whispered, "I'm not good with this stuff. I already told you that."

Oh, why'd she have to go and do that!? Why did she have to blow up just because of some stupid fear and grudge? She held her tongue to keep from saying anything else damning. It was just some stupid memories and a little bit of pain. She'd been through plenty of pain in her life, she could handle just a bit more! Well, she hoped so, at least. Why did she always have to be so... contradictory?
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Tue Sep 05, 2023 4:12 am
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Ari11 says...



"Maybe we can postpone it for a bit," Avery suggested. "We could do something else while we wait. Preparation and stuff...it might help you relax a bit beforehand."

"If we're going to do that, though, we'll have to keep Dawn separate," Sage pointed out. "Anything important that the Adjudicator could use against us would have to be kept away from her. As a precaution."

"Yeah," Avery nodded. She slung her canister over her shoulder. "Thanks for helping us, Shiloh. We'll...come back eventually."

"Bye!" Evan waved giddily to them, shepherding Astrid out of the room. Sage held open the door as the group filed out.

"Oh, and Dawn--" she said as the redhead passed by. "You're not the only one who knows pain."
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Tue Sep 05, 2023 4:22 am
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KocoCoko says...



Astrid held Evan's hand as they filed out. "Man, I kinda wanna do that again. I feel really good right now."

Shiloh rolled their eyes. "That's a terrible idea, Astrid." They turned to Avery and Dawn, "You better come back very soon. I don't keep interest in things for too long." Shiloh glared at Dawn for a moment, then went to the bucket to collect the schlop of goo on the ground. "In the meantime, I'll be studying this. You better hope I don't burn through discoveries on this."

Dawn kept her eyes to the floor, trying to avoid Sage, but of course she had to hold the door. Dawn's features tightened. "That's not-" she sighed and shook her head. "Nevermind. You're wouldn't care, anyways."
Dawn scratched some of the dead skin that traveled from her elbow to her shoulder. There was a reason she always wore sweaters and long sleeves.
So began the walk of shame.
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Tue Sep 05, 2023 4:49 am
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Ari11 says...



Sage boiled with anger as she trailed after the group, Dawn's words echoing in the back of her head.

"You wouldn't care, anyways.

She cared! She cared a lot! Why else would she be here?

I could've left them all behind weeks ago, she thought, eyes fixed on the others' retreating backs. I could've left them in the dirt to fend for themselves. I could've found a way to escape on my own. I'd be far, far away from here if that was the case! But no, I stayed to help them, and now they're saying that I don't care.

Tendrils of Semavry trailed behind her, poisonous red berries sprouting along their stems.

And what have they done for me in return? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! All they've done is weigh me down with their stupid bickering. Evan and his whining, Dawn and her whimpering incompetence. And now this! Endangering the security of our very lives because she doesn't want to get cut! Bullshit. Sure, I didn't get cut, but I was the first to offer myself up! Take one for the team! It's not my fault she's a blibbering baby! It was a selfish thought, and Sage knew it. But she was so fed up that she didn't care. All I've done is help, help, help while she whines and complains about her mommy issues. At least you have a mom, you little brat. You know what?

She stopped dead, watching as the group continued on without her. Maybe she's right. Maybe I don't care. Why should I? I've been on my own before--I can fend for myself, can't I? Why do I even need their help? Why should I give a flying hell about what happens to them? Just a bunch of morons, traipsing along to their doom. They'll pull me down with them eventually.

She nodded decidedly, turning on her heel and marching the other way. Soon she came upon the door to the gardens, which she pulled open and started up the stairs. I'd rather not get caught up in their mess.
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Tue Sep 05, 2023 5:12 am
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KocoCoko says...



Dawn's thoughts were a complete mess. Multiple inner dialouge's happened at once, and none of them made any sort of sense. Some berated, some accused, some comforted, some...

Dawn walked ahead of the group. Any conversation made with her now would only add to the noise in her head. What was she supposed to do? She knew the moment she'd be put against that knife the pain of a blade in her shoulder would reemerge and she'd be screaming and clawing at the door. If anything, that would've been a bigger mess than this was! Especially considering all the blood she'd be spilling... A shiver crawled up her spine.

What was she even doing? She couldn't face one of her tramuas, could she face any of them? The only thing she ever did to stand up to her mother was unplug a random student and give her a papercut. Every other time she was too scared to disobey. She was their most valuable ally, being so close to their enemy, and she's blown it every time! Dawn walked faster and faster as kudzu grew around her ears and her neck.
She was upset she lost her hair! What kind of pain was that, Dawn!?

Astrid rubbed her eyes and looked behind her. Evan kept ahold of her hand, but Astrid came to a stop. "Sage?" they called, calmly, "where ya goin'?" they clearly weren't fully aware of their surroundings or circumstances.

Dawn turned around and saw just a glimpse of Sage go to the stairs. There was no point in calling out for her. Sage wasn't one to easily persuade. Dawn simply turned and kept walking, entering the dorm and hiding in the bathroom as soon as she got inside.


Izzy was pulled from her tranquil thoughts by a slamming door. She gripped the railing to make sure she wouldn't slip off. When Izzy looked over, about to yell at them for scaring her, she saw who it was: a very pissed off Sage. "Well, shit. What did I do this time?" Izzy grumbled.
they/she or she/they




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Tue Sep 05, 2023 5:28 am
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Ari11 says...



Sage blinked. Of all the people to see, the speedster was probably the last on her 'expected' list. "Oh, Izzy. Um, hi. It's not you I'm mad at."

She walked to the railing, fingers curling around the cold metal as more vines grew behind her. They spread over the garden, choking out the plants and climbing the trellises in their place.

"It's those dithering idiots," she growled, squeezing the railing as she gritted her teeth. "They don't know what's good for them. And I've been telling them over and over to just get it over with, but do they listen to me? No! They'd rather risk it all to avoid a little medical procedure! A procedure that would guarantee us security for the rest of the year! But instead it's 'Oooh knives' and 'Ahhh blood' and get over yourself!"



"She's just going to take a break," Evan told Astrid, pulling her away. To be honest, he wasn't in any hurry to call out for Sage. He was tired of her constant criticism, her jabbing remarks. Maybe it would be better if she went away for a bit.

"Dawn, are you okay?" Avery asked gently. "I heard what you said to Sage. Do you want to talk about it?"

But Dawn didn't respond, locking herself in the bathroom instead.
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Tue Sep 05, 2023 5:42 am
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KocoCoko says...



"Wow," Izzy laughed, "That's new." Izzy leaned back and saw as weird berries sprouted on every plant, and soon her expression turned to thinly veiled concern. "Dithering?" Izzy coughed, "Dithering. You really just said dithering out loud? Christ, you're almost as bad as Evan. Nobody talks like that nowadays."

From then, Izzy listened carefully (if a bit fearful for her own safety). Izzy kicked her legs back and forth on the railing as she dug one of her hands into her blue hoodie's pocket. "Okay, so I know we hate each other, but do you want advice or do you want support? I feel like if I say the wrong thing, you're gonna push me over, so how about we put our differences aside for now and you tell me what's up? Because as of now, it just seems like you're pushing someone beyond their boundaries and you don't look like a good guy like that. Sure, I've done that, too, but I've realized it now."


No, Avery, she didn't. Well, actually she did. It was a bit confusing. Everything was confusing. Nothing made sense and Dawn simply wanted to cry for a bit. She was always crying! She could do anything but that, and sure, she might've been a bit pathetic for that! She had to be, certainly! There was no other excuse. Dawn Louise Whitlock was a pathetic crybaby who couldn't face anything too scary. That felt much better to the redhead.

She sat against the door with her head in her heads, unable to move another inch. What was she supposed to do? She was right, mostly! Sage hadn't been stabbed by her own parents! She never had to call her parents evil or twisted! Sage knew nothing about her! Dawn knew nothing about Sage, but...

What was she saying!? Dawn didn't know Sage's past! How could she talk like she knew everything? Other kids were abused all the time! What made Dawn special?
Nothing.

Dawn Louise Whitlock was a pathetic crybaby who thought she suffered more than everyone in the world and couldn't face anything too scary. She choked back a sob. Yeah, that sounded right.
they/she or she/they




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Tue Sep 05, 2023 6:11 am
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Ari11 says...



"What if those boundaries are stupid?" Sage demanded. But as she said it, the gnawing thoughts in the back of her head finally busted through her wall of self-affirmation. She didn't know why Dawn was having a hard time. There could be something going on that Sage didn't know about, much like Dawn didn't know about Sage's past. But Dawn had never called her a blibbering baby for not wanting to go near fire.

She took a step back, the realization hitting her like a cannonball to the stomach. She stared at Izzy. "I've been a total dick, haven't I?"
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Tue Sep 05, 2023 10:47 am
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KocoCoko says...



"Just a little," Izzy replied. "You aren't wrong, though. Some boundaries are really stupid. I was talking to Winifred earlier, and she said she's never talked to any kids her age since she got here. I have no clue how she gets away with that, but she always freezes up. It's so dumb."

Izzy scratched her head. Sparks flew from her head as she rubbed so fast. "I'm not the best person to come to when you think people are acting stupid, because usually they are, but I feel like something really weird is happening here."
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Tue Sep 05, 2023 6:02 pm
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Ari11 says...



Sage regarded the speedster with a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. "What do you mean?"
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Tue Sep 05, 2023 10:17 pm
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KocoCoko says...



"I dunno," Izzy said, staring off the edge, "It just seems like everyone... isn't happy anymore. Powder's lost it, your little group is always bickering about something, and Winifred- Well, she's always had that terrified look in her eyes."

It was quiet for a long while. Izzy didn't feel like seeing anything, so natural silence floated in the air. For once, it didn't feel awkward. "... we could leave now," Izzy mumbled, staring at ground below her. She pointed to a manhole covering near the concrete wall that trapped them. "Sewers. I checked them. They have to lead out of here. Us two, we could leave right now, and nobody would know." It was clear she had sat with this revealtion for a while.
they/she or she/they







Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
— George Santayana