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The Adjudicator's Institute for Heroics



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Wed Nov 08, 2023 3:30 am
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KocoCoko says...



Winifred hummed. "Yeah, she's right," she stated, "I'd hunt you down if you ruined one of my shirt, too." Winifred shrugged nonchalantly, thinking nothing of her threats. Izzy said them all the time, after all. "So don't ruin my shirt. I like my shirts. They're cozy." That was the end of that. Small talk and basic human interaction was something yet to be developed in Winifred's brain. She didn't want it, anyways.

"But she doesn't hate you. You'd know if she hates you. She just... has a weird vocabulary." Winifred squinted and repeated the last word several times, messing it up quite a bit. "Vo-cab-u-lary. Yeah. I learned that word a few days ago. It means the words someone uses, I think."


Astrid awkwardly scratched her look, glancing at both Izzy and Sage. "Well, alright then. Who wants to go up to him, then? He kinda scares me... I don't like how serious he is."
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Sat Nov 11, 2023 8:44 pm
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Ari11 says...



Sage plucked a bit of Semavry out of her hair. It was still creeping up her back, and she wasn't entirely sure why, but it didn't seem to be posing any immediate threat so she pushed the problem out of her mind. At least the vines weren't thorny.

"Maybe we can all go together," she suggested. "That way none of us has to go up to him by herself. Yay teamwork?"

She gave the others a cheesy grin, hoping they wouldn't pick up on how weirdly shaky she was. Seriously, what was up with her? Why couldn't she control herself all of a sudden?



Evan blinked at Winifred. He wasn't quite sure he understood all of what she just said, but he thought he got the gist of it.

"Yeah, that's right," he nodded after she defined 'vocabulary'. "At least, I think so. What you're saying is that Izzy has a narrow vocabulary, right? Like she doesn't always know the words to say to show how she feels?"
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Wed Nov 29, 2023 5:06 am
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KocoCoko says...



Izzy tilted her head and stared at Sage for a moment, then went around Sage to pick Semarvy off her shirt. "Is that... normal?" she said, inspecting the leaves. She watched Sage's face carefully, observing her features for any signs that could lead to the strange growth. "You ain't looking too good, Sage."

"A-Alright, that sounds..." Astrid trailed off, nodding their head and sighing lightly. "Teamwork. Love teamwork." She was completely uncomfortable, rubbing her shoulder and messing with her spikey hair. "Totally not scared of Dr. Emily. Tots." The recent murder only added onto her anxiety.



Winifred nodded, squeezing her teddy's hand tighter. "Yeah. She's just weird. She'll be nice but she uses mean words. I'm like her. She gets me, too. Don't be mean to her, please. She's pretty cool once you understand what she says isn't what she means. I like her a lot. Better than Powder," she said, shrugging nonchalantly. "That's not saying much, though."

Winifred stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the one of the hallways packed with students moving up and down and chatting between themselves. "Where are we going? I dunno where Powder is," she whispered. As her eyes scanned over the people ahead of her, her lip started to quiver and her legs wobbled like jelly on a plate.
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Sat Dec 02, 2023 6:47 am
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Ari11 says...



"I haven't been mean to her," Evan protested. "At least, not since the whole Sam incident. She's the one who keeps seeking me out! But maybe I've been stuck on playing the victim..."

He paused at the edge of the busy hallway, glancing at Winifred. It seemed her composure was starting to evaporate as she watched all the students go by, hugging her teddy tight.

"Where would you say he hangs out the most?" Evan asked in as soothing a voice as he could muster. "Like, does he stay in his dorm room most of the time? The cafeteria, perhaps?"



"I'm fine," Sage shook her head, leaves falling out of her hair. "It's just a little extra growth. Nothing to worry about."

As she said it, vines started curling around her knuckles, winding up her fingers like tiny snakes. She stuffed her hands into her pockets, taking a slow breath. That helped the shaking.

Maybe the murder messed me up a little more than I thought, she suggested to herself. Baby's first dead body...not something you recover from easily.

She took another breath, scrunching the muscles in her face until they hopefully resembled a confident smile. She was not showing weakness, not now. Not in front of Izzy, or when so much was at stake. She didn't want to turn out like Dawn.

Just as the thought crossed her mind, the redhead herself came down the stairs, holding Avery's hand.

"Oh good, you're back," Sage said shakily. Dawn and Avery approached slowly, the former smiling strangely. Between the still-red tear tracks on her cheeks, the bloodshot eyes, and the vacantly pleasant expression, something was definitely off. But it seemed like she had finally gotten herself together, so Sage told her what was going on. "You've arrived just in time to help us find Dr. Emily."
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Mon Dec 04, 2023 7:52 am
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KocoCoko says...



Dawn squeezed Avery's hand momentarily, only to have her grip on her palm go limp. "Oh," she sighed, "I see." Her expression disappeared for a moment, her head flooding with white noise at the thought of talking about her mother again. Just the word made the hair on the back of her neck prickle. "I'd rather not. You can go enjoy that without me," Dawn sighed, looking down at her shoes. All she could hear in her mind's ear was static, barely able to give the next command to her body. "Is there anywhere else I'm needed?"

Astrid refused to take her eyes off of Sage, squinting at them when she told such an obvious lie. She could barely keep herself still, for God's sake! Izzy did the same, though her glare was much more accusatory. "I don't believe a single word that just came out of your mouth," she said, sternly, "But as you said, now's not the time to be sappy. As long as you can keep some composure. If not, I'm gonna be dragging you somewhere else. So just, like, breathe a moment. 'Kay?"

Astrid nodded, although they weren't much of fan of Izzy lightly threatening Sage into 'getting it together or else,' but she probably meant well. Probably. "You said something about lollipops once?" they mumbled, "I can scan for a vending machine or something..."


Winifred looked at Evan, then chuckled. "Izzy thinks everyone's out to get her. All the time. No matter what. She's like... like a snapping turtle," she explained, her features tensing up as she thought hard about her words. "Because... 'cuz even when you're feeding a snapping turtle, they can still bite your hand off. Just because that's how they are. They wanna bite everything because everything might be after them." Winifred blinked and looked up at Evan. "But they can be friendly to some people. Eventually. I think. I hope so. I actually dunno if they do, but I can imagine an old turtle thing taking a leaf really slowly, so it probably can."

Then, suddenly, humanoid figures appeared in her eyesight. They were speaking, laughing... They were loud. It was horrifying. Even with a soothing voice near her. Winifred didn't spare Evan a glance. Her poor teddy looked as if it could suffocate, though, being her devout subject, it didn't seem to mind all that much. "Um, um... yeah. Cafeteria. His dorm. That's where he'd be," she stuttered, digging her fingernails into her palms to try and stop the shaking. "Um. Yeah. Cafeteria. Try the cafeteria."
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Mon Dec 04, 2023 7:22 pm
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Ari11 says...



"Gotcha," Evan took Winifred by the shoulder, steering her down into an emptier hallway. "We can take a quieter route, okay? That way you won't have to deal with all those people."



"Oh, yes!" Avery perked up as she remembered. "Watermelon-flavored, right? Here!"

She held out a bag of green-wrapped lollipops from her canister. Sage took it slowly, pulling open the seal with shaky hands. She peeled the paper off the candy before popping it in her mouth, shoving the rest in her pocket.

"Yeah. That's better," she mumbled around the small white stick. "Thanks."

"You guys should probably get going," Avery said, glancing around for a clock. "I don't know what time it is, but we've stalled long enough. Dawn and I will wait here while you guys find Dr. Emily. Maybe we can stock up some extra supplies or something in case we have to go down into the sewers again."

"Sounds good," Sage nodded, waving as she turned down the hallway. "Meet you in the dorm room!"
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Thu Dec 07, 2023 6:33 am
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KocoCoko says...



Izzy followed closely after Sage, still examining her with a judgmental glint in her eyes. "Lollipops, huh?" she said, walking at Sage's side. "Never thought you to be the candy-type, but I get it. If you put a bag of sour gummies in front of me, it's gone in seconds." Hopefully light chatter would brighten the situation. There was no real way to brighten up a death, but still... They could pretend to be normal, right?

Astrid followed slightly behind Sage, grumbling to herself about not getting a lollipop. Still, Astrid kept up with the pair as best they could, despite gnawing fear of the grown-ups building in her stomach.


Dawn watched the group leave with a placid expression, not even blinking much as they walked off. It took a few short moments for Dawn to speak her next thought. "We should ransack her office soon," she whispered. "There might be some information in there. And... keepsakes." Her eyes darted to the floor, then back to the thousands of yards beyond her.

She wasn't very responsive after that, her arms tight against her side. "Where to next?" she said, not sparing Avery a glance.


Winifred gazed up at Evan, blinking rapidly in disbelief. Her eyes bounced between his hand and face. Instead of flinching away, she gently dislodged her shoulder from his grip. "Yeah... m'kay. Thanks." She stuck to his side quite closely after that, only a few inches away from Evan.
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Sat Dec 09, 2023 12:00 am
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Ari11 says...



"Dr. Emily must have an office around here, right?" Sage wondered aloud, taking the lead. Now that they were actually moving, she realized she had no idea where to find this guy. "He can't just materialize out of nowhere..."


Avery gave Dawn a careful glance. The redhead's whole demeanor had shifted, like all the emotion she'd had boiling to the surface had suddenly been walled off. She felt...distant, like the real Dawn was somewhere else. But Avery didn't blame her. She'd felt much the same after her father attacked her family...sometimes building barriers was the only thing you could do to protect yourself. She just hoped the real Dawn would come back soon.

"If the office is where you want to go," Avery offered, touching her hand. It was just as cold as the rest of her. "Doesn't matter to me."
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Wed Dec 13, 2023 7:13 am
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KocoCoko says...



Dawn felt a shudder travel from her palm to her shoulder, causing her to glance over at Avery for just a spilt second. When she did, her mouth twitched into a smile, only to be gone a second later. "Thank you," she whispered. "If you... If you would like to help me find things, I'd enjoy the company. Documents, records... anything, I guess. I'd like some keepsakes, too." Dawn stood up slowly, keeping Avery's warm hand in her own. She felt just a bit more alive when she felt Avery's fingers in hers, a tangle of ivy connecting the two. Dawn motioned in the direction of the office. "Maybe we can destroy this place from the inside."


"I dunno, I'm pretty sure he can. He's like a ghost sometimes," Astrid mumbled. Just then, at the end of the hallway, stood two adults, one in a nice dress and the other in a vest and slacks. Dr. Emily stared down at the floor, his hand covering his mouth while his foot tapped incessantly. Darcy Lane was next to him, barely keeping herself together and other staff members tended to the body of the Adjudicator. Astrid was frozen solid, only moving to anxiously rub her foot into the floor.

When Dr. Emily glanced over, his arm dropped and he glanced at Darcy nervously. They whispered, then Darcy Lane swatted her hand in the group's general direction. The doctor seemed a bit hesitant at first, but he quickly approached them, standing in the center of the hallway to block their view of the scene ahead as best he could.

"Well," he spoke, going silent for a moment shortly after. His usually sophisticated and baritone voice trembled just slightly. Not enough to break his composure, but enough to be noticed. "You seem to have caught us at an... unfortunate time." He glanced behind him often, barely registering the individuals of the group in front of him. "I... I'm going to have to ask you to go back the way you came. There's a, hm, situation we must handle. If there's any questions about assignments, I'm afraid those will have to wait. This is... of utmost urgency. My apologies." He kept trying to play it off, handle everything with respect and professionalism, but the way he readjusted the ends of his jet black hair and how he fidgeted with his glasses' chain said otherwise.
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Mon Dec 18, 2023 11:31 pm
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Ari11 says...



Sage stopped. Like hers, Dr. Emily's hands were shaking. She clenched her fists, unable to keep the vines from tangling in her hair.

"We know who did it," she blurted.



Avery followed Dawn into the Adjudicator's office. While she hadn't seen it while Dawn's mother was alive, Avery could definitely tell that something was missing. The whole place felt...still. Stiff. Like the movement of the air had stopped as soon as the Adjudicator breathed her last.

Avery clutched Dawn's hand tightly in her own as they approached the desk, still stacked with neat columns of papers. They stood patiently, waiting for the Adjudicator to come wheeling back through the door to sort them away. Avery wondered how long they'd been standing there now.

"Is there anything in particular that you want to look for?" she asked the redhead, tearing her eyes away from the desk. She was starting to feel the effects of the Adjudicator's death now. She hoped Evan and Winifred would be okay...
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Mon Jan 08, 2024 5:33 am
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KocoCoko says...



Dawn didn't give an immediate reaction to what Avery had said. The first thing Dawn reached for was the picture frame on the Adjudicator's desk. Why is it only now she realized all the small things about her mother? Why only now did she wonder why there was a portrait of her older brother displayed, but not one of her? Why did her heartbreak try to shatter when she remembered just how insignificant she was in the eyes of the woman who created her?

No, she'd stay strong. She had to. Even if it was all a facade, she had to believe she was strong, convince herself that she could handle the crushing weight in her chest. "Look for any blueprints, renovation plans, food deliveries... any way for us to get out of this hellhole," she said. Then, with a blank expression, she put the frame face down and went off to dig through the metal cabinets. "Oh, and, um, if you want, we can look for some documents that might have to do with expulsion. I wanna know where Sam and the others could've gone. It wouldn't be like my mom to just let them go home, I think."


Izzy slapped her hand over Sage's mouth. "Haha!" she laughed, digging her nails into the side of Sage's jaw so hard some of the electrics blue paint chipped off. "Sorry about my friend. She says weird things when she's nervous. Isn't that right, Sage?" Izzy was staring daggers at the girl.

Astrid glanced between the pair and Dr. Emily. He didn't look all too convinced about Izzy's statement. "Just give it up, he knows," they sighed.

Dr. Emily's kneading of the golden chain connected to his glasses grew rougher. "Really?" he questioned. His frantic tone had grown much more suspicious. "Does that mean you're the ones who tampered with the crime scene, or was it already as such? Or sis one of you in that little friend group of yours' commit the crime?" he accused. There was clearly an apprehension about his mannerisms, refusing to do more than simply squint at the trio. "Tell me, how do you even know of this? Why shouldn't I take all three of you into a temporary holding place until we figure this out?" Finally, the teacher takes a breath, wiping the sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief from inside his vest pocket. "The real question is why haven't I already?" he mumbled to himself.

Izzy removed her hand from Sage, only to slap her shoulder. "Thanks a lot, idiot. You better get us outta trouble." Despite her harsh words, Izzy wore concern on her face. It wasn't like Sage to be nervous, in the short time she'd known her.


Winifred scanned the cafeteria, but her short height did nothing to aid her. The room was full of sleepy students, yawning and chatting with their friends. A few were completely energetic, but many simply ate their food and once finished, laid their head and arms on the table for a quick and groggy nap. "Go on," Winifred said, nudging her teddy bear, "Go find Powder. He always gets breakfast."

The teddy bear soon wandered off into the crowd while Winifred stayed with Evan, joined at his hip. Her gaze floated for a while, only to land on the menu for today. For breakfast there was cereal, for lunch there was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and dinner was spaghetti. Winifred's stomach grumbled, but she forced the pang of hunger down. She zoned out for a moment, focusing on what she could see from Teddy's perspective. People were a lot taller, but she'd grown accustomed to that. What made her real body's head tilt was the fact that she found Powder sitting with people. People other than Izzy. Jonathan and a few other people sat and chatted with him, laughing on cue with any bad puns and jokes. Powder seemed so... happy. Everyone's attention seemed to solely be on him, too. Weird. Winifred blinked back to reality, rubbing freshly dried eyes after staring into space for so long. "Over there, by the corner," she said, pointing to a table just barely blocked by a group of taller teens. The blonde hair was easy to spot from anywhere, though.
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Mon Jan 08, 2024 7:01 am
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Ari11 says...



Evan's eyes followed Winnie's pointing finger, locking on to the pale, blue-eyed boy sitting at a table near the cafeteria wall. He was surrounded by other people, laughing and chatting.

Since when did Powder have friends? Evan wondered. He touched Winifred's shoulder lightly.

"Okay," he said quietly, keeping his voice low so the other students in the cafeteria wouldn't hear. "You know what Izzy said, right? Powder will talk more to you than anyone else about the...the murder. Do you think you can go up to him? I'll be right here, invisible, in case anything goes wrong."
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Mon Jan 08, 2024 7:34 am
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KocoCoko says...



Winifred gazed at Evan, nervous, but eventually nodded. It was for the greater good. More importantly, for Izzy. She sighed as she let go on Evan's hand and went off into the crowds of nameless faces.

It terrified her- how loud and touchy they could be. They were so strange, fascinating almost, but mainly scary. Especially the group at Powder's table. They all looked slightly... entranced. If Powder wasn't speaking to them, they sort of just stared off into nowhere.

"Powder?" Winifred called. With all the people nearby, she felt even more tiny than she was.

"Winnie!" he exclaimed, looking down at. She had her teddy, there was a sort of terror back in her eyes, she looked... alive. His mind raced with thoughts. In response on of the kids his age at the table groaned and grabbed their head. Powder squinted for a moment, and the kid returned to position. Winifred took a step back. "Is everything alright? Did you-"

"Did you kill the Adjudicator?" Thankfully, Winifred was quiet enough to the point that no one could hear her but Powder. That didn't stop Powder's eyes from darting around the room, scanning for anything out of the ordinary. Once he figured no one was looking, Powder grabbed Winifred's arms and yankes her close. She yelped.

"Don't you dare ever say that in public," he said, their noses just inches apart. Winifred kept trying to pull away, only for his grip to tighten. "I did it for you, Winnie, so be a little more thankful. Got that?" Powder didn't wait for a response, instead pushing her away. She tumbled back, just barely catching herself.

Just as he was about to turn back to his 'friends,' a wicked glint went through Powder's eyes. "Wait a second- what am I doing? Winnie! C'mere! Let's catch up." With a friendly smile he reached out to Winifred.

For a moment, Winifred stood still, glancing in Evan's direction as a plea for help. Unfortunately... soon after that, Winifred's anxious stance faded away. She gazed at her brother, then smiled.

Just like that, she climbed up onto her big brother's lap, cuddling her teddy bear close. Strangely enough, her teddy bear didn't seem all too thrilled, fighting against Winifred's grasp and slipping under the table as fast as it could. It ran, albeit hardly considering it's stubby, cotton-filled legs, right in Evan's direction, flailing it's arms about.

While one part of Winifred's mind was gone. The other lived. Her toys had their own consciousness, sure, but they were extensions of her mind. A part of her was in there, able to take the reigns at any time. And it's not like Teddy would've eaten anything lately.
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Mon Jan 08, 2024 7:56 am
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Ari11 says...



Evan leaned down, snatching the teddy off the ground as it came sprinting toward him. His chameleon colors leaked onto the toy like paint had been spilled over it, rendering it practically invisible in a matter of seconds. Then Evan looked up at Winifred.

She was smiling, placid, sitting in her brother's lap with a vacantly happy expression. It was eerily similar to that of the other people around the table, laughing and chatting with Powder like his own personal posse of people-pleasing robots. Evan's eyes landed on one in particular, an older black-haired boy with a deep scar over one of his electric-green eyes. Evan noticed him because, even more so than the others, the empty smile Powder put on his face seemed forced. It didn't suit him at all. The corners of his sharp face angled downward, pressing his lips into a frown, but Powder jerked them up again as if they were on strings. It made Evan shiver.

He looked down as the teddy squirmed in his hand. It seemed to be trying to get him to do something, jerking toward Winifred and the others. He considered running back to Avery and Sage to ask for help, but Izzy would kill him if he returned without Winnie, even if it was her plan to begin with.

In the end, Evan decided to creep closer, still invisible. He took a position near the end of the table, muscles tense. Maybe he could find a moment to snatch Winnie away at some point, break the grip Powder had over her mind. While he waited for the opportunity to come, he listened to the group's conversation.

He didn't like what they were saying.
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Mon Jan 08, 2024 8:37 am
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KocoCoko says...



Out of all the people at the table, only one of them looked alive. While Powder sat at one side of the table, surrounded by still dolls of his liking, there was a girl on the other. Her eyes were thin and knowing, a sharo golden color. She wore a yellow sweater and a black skirt, with matching socks and white sneakers. Her hair was jet-black, like Jonathan's, but her's glistened in the light. Her hands were tied together and rested on the table as if she were in complete control. There was a strange allure around the girl who looked just between Powder and Dawn's age. Of course, Powder still had dominance over almost everyone at the school, but she watched him like a cunning fox. Almost everyone at school would've recognized her by now, if not for Powder's 'mental suggestions' and her mother's ability to wipe an entire person from the world's memory. The girl, formerly plugged to a table in the Adjudicator's lab, smirked at Powder.

"I could reverse time, back to when no one knew it was in food," she said, unmoving. She had to play along, after all. "When everyone still had your power inside them. That way, you can kill the Adjudicator and get those others under your control."

"That wouldn't work," he refuted, leaning on the table in interest. "I hadn't spiked the teachers yet. Plus, Evan's sister would've already spit it out by then."

"Then we kill her, too. Or, I can take it early, so you have time to spike the staff and not waste your mind-control on Avery that instance," she responded, entirelt unphased by the conversation. Bored, she pushed back some of her long hair behind her ear. "Personally, I think we kill the entire group. Dawn, Avery, add that blind little gremlin in for good measure. Why even take the risk?"

Powder chuckled sheepishly. "Seems a bit much, doesn't it?"

"We're supervillians, Powder. It's what we do. We need to start off strong, send a message. Take out our biggest liabilites, and we're home free. Onto the next hero to ruin. Besides, who doesn't want to kill someone's daughter in front of their mother?" she giggled, "All it takes is a snap, Powder."

Powder glanced to the side, met with an unresponsive stare. "You're twisted, Thyme."

"I know. I get it from my parents," she said, moving her hair to one of her shoulders and stroking it. "That reminds me, what ever happened between you and Rinstone?"

"I dunno... I can't tell if she's on my side anynore or not," he said, rubbing his hand up and down Winifred's back. It was moreso to soothe himself.

Thyme gave him a chesire grin. "You should get her back! Oh, how good would that be? How poetic?" she sighed dreamily, "Isack Rinstone tried to kill the Adjudicator in a fight many years ago, but failed. In the end, he ended up killing her son and living her paralyzed. Now, Izzy Rinstone finishes the job her father couldn't all those years ago. Incredible, right?"

Powder chuckled. He didn't seem all to uncomfortable with how evil she seemed to be. He shook his head. "Everything's just some story, huh? Guess that should be expected from a time-bender."

Thyme simply giggled once again, chittering like a scheming little fox. "Blame Shadowblight. My mom always liked making things come back around in the end. Though, I'd say my eccentricity is more on my dad's side."
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There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.
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