/simu/ - Simulacrum

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>Trees rustle as a fall breeze cuts through the twilight sky, the sound spooking away some rabbits below, as well as a young girl, the presence of two vulpine ears and a tail indicating her Meta-Human status in a way that’s difficult to hide. Gulping, the girl calls out:

“G-guys? I’m done hiding now. . . y-you can find me now guys. . . Joshua? Hayden? Finlay. . ?”

>The girl jumps again as something jumps about through the bushes.

“I m-mean it guys. . . it’s getting dark. . .”

>Another breeze picks up, shaking the trees again.

“Mom said I’m not allowed out after dark and I don’t know the way back. . .”

>The rustling continues and another voice, with an invisible owner, joins the girl’s calls.

“C-cold. . . so cold. . .”

“W-who’s there?”

>The girl rapidly looks around, trying to find the source of the voice, with tears welling up in her eyes.

“C’mon guys. . . it’s not funny. . .”

“. . .cold. . . can you help me. . ?”


>The girl looks around again, and a small pink light flickers into existence behind one of the bushes.

“. . .you look warm. . . can you can you help. . ?”

>The girl lets out a yelp, scrambling away from the light.

“. . .I only want to be warm. . . to to leave. . .”

“I-It’s r-really not f-funny g-guys!”

“. . .not not funny? . .cold. . .”

>The girl doesn’t respond for a few minutes, and a silence descends. Then, having clearly thought something over in her head, she swallows her fear and speaks up again.

“I-if. . . If I help, can you help me get home?”

“Home. . . home? Know woods. . .”

“T-then. . .”

>The girl shuffles forward awkwardly, her tail flicking around in front of her as she gets near to the pink light.

“. . .muh-my tail is warm. . . it could warm you up?”


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>The Conservatory of Henderson Elks, South Salem, Ohio
>August 16th, 2017

“. . .of course I’d deal with it myself, but your people are just such experts on demons and if it were someone powerful doing these rituals I just wouldn’t be able to handle them.”

>A middle-aged man, the eponymous Henderson Elks of the conservatory, walks into a room, a floating book and quill following him and copying down every single one of his words.

“I understand, Mr Elks, but there’s little to suggest this is actually a fellow mage, this could be someone with no knowledge - young kids as I’m told you say in this country.”

>Henderson Elks’s conversation partner, a raven-haired teenager, Ceridwen Prydwen, steps into the room, casually picking up an item from one of the desks and looking it over, rotating it in her hand.

“No. They’re too focused for that, too targeted, besides, kids can’t overpower my golems.”

“You should have led with that, Mr Elks. . .”

>Henderson shrugs, waving his hand before a glass of whiskey pours itself, flying into his hand.

“So now you understand, you’ll help.”

“Not without some kind of payment.”

>Henderson groans, swirling his whiskey around.


“Money’s useless to me, Mr Elks, you should know that already.”

“Fine, I have a few rare specimens below, I’ll let you pick one.”

>Ceridwen thinks for a moment, then offers out her hand.

“That sounds agreeable.”


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>South Salem, Ohio

>A woman with green hair stumbles through the trees, her meta-human nature being betrayed by a set of vulpine ears on the top of her head, with one of them missing a chunk, and a tail coming out from behind her. In her hands she carries a plastic bag, a familiar red staining the bottom. As she moves along, she talks - apparently to herself.

“I know. . . I know. . . we’re nearly there. . .”

“Well I have to do it like this because the sheriff’s looking into who put those animals on main street.”

“I know they needed to be placed there but it freaks people out!”

>The woman reaches a small grove, and looks around frantically, carefully placing the bag down as she walks into the area to look ahead.

“Are you sure that this will work? W-what if it decides it doesn’t want to help you see places.”

“I-I’m sorry! Of course it’ll work.”

>The woman walks back to the bag, carefully lifting it up and taking it to the centre of the grove, placing it down with as much care as she picked it up.

“O-ok, I just needed to take it out of the bag and then. . .”

“. . .y-yes! I j-just need to take the knife and draw the p-pattern.”

“You didn’t need to shout. . .”

>The woman starts rummaging around in her pockets, finding a small army knife which she starts flicking through to find the right blade.

“You probably don’t want to do that.”

>A voice calls out from above, and the woman yelps out, dropping the knife and scrambling backwards.


“Why is everyone offering me money today? I don’t need money.”

>A raven flies down, landing between the woman and the bag, and then shifts into the form of Ceridwen. . .


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“Anyway, like I said, you probably don’t want to do that.”

“D-do what? I wasn’t doing anything. . . ha. . . ha. . .”

>The woman awkwardly scratches the back of her head and gives Ceridwen a strained smile, which only gets an eye roll in response.

“Well, it looked to me like you were trying to summon a demon - all wrong though.”

>Ceridwen nudges the bag with her foot.

“There are rituals to summon them, although they wouldn’t be too happy with you, from what I’ve read, they like to keep to themselves. This, though, is a fake that was made a few centuries back.”

“A f-fake? Haha, I mean, I don’t know what you meeeean?!”

>The woman finds herself flying upside down in the air as Ceridwen takes out a rock and throws it to the ground in front of her.

“P-please don’t hurt me! I r-really don’t have any money! Isweartogod!”

“I already said I don’t want any money, I’m just trying to find out who’s been. . .”

>Ceridwen trails off as she looks over the woman again.

“Oh that’s interesting. . .”

“I-interesting? No there’s n-nothing interesting about me. . .”

“Why don’t we come out now, little one?”

>Ceridwen bites down into her finger, drawing blood, and beckons at the woman, her eyes turning black as she does.

>As Ceridwen beckons, a trail of pink energy starts to leave the woman’s body, slowly heading towards the finger for a few seconds before suddenly snapping back and retreating into the woman again.

“No! I’m not leaving her! She needs me and I need her! We’re going to see the world! You can’t pull us apart!”

“Y-you can t-talk using my m-mouth?”

“Fine, if we’re playing it like that. . .”

>Ceridwen snaps her finger, causing the woman to fall down to the ground, and walks over to her, taking out a pinch of powder and blowing it into the woman’s face, causing her to fall unconscious.


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>Location: The Axiom - Nexus of Magic

>A portal rips open a hole in the space of a regal lobby area, draped in ornate architecture. After a few seconds, the form of the woman flies through the portal, landing inelegantly but safely on the ground in front of the portal. Then, Ceridwen walks through, the portal closing behind her.

>Looking around the room for a moment, Ceridwen lets out a sigh.

“Stephanie? I need some help. . .”


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>Standing near-by Stephanie places a book back into it's spot on a shelf. She's wearing her uniform, indicating that she's been working.

"What's wrong?"

>She turns around, taking immediate notice of the unconscious woman.

"Oh. I see."


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>Ceridwen follows Stephanie's gaze to the unconscious woman and then shakes her head.

"She's not dead, I just put her to sleep. She's perfectly healthy. Well. . ."

>Ceridwen pauses for a moment.

"Except for the fact that she's got another soul in her body - you could say a ghost. I tried to remove it but its mind is too entwined around her mind. . ."

>Ceridwen coughs.

"So I thought you could untangle it. . ."


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>Stephanie studies the unconscious woman for a few more moments, before turning her gaze on Ceridwen.

"That is unusual. I'm a little busy at the moment, but I know someone else who might be able to help you. Might be nice for both of you to get out and do something anyway."

>A shining door frame suddenly rises from the floor near the pair, before transforming into what appears to be a perfectly normal doorway with nothing but a normal looking closed door attached to it's frame.

"My brother, Orion. He should be able to help you. And in the process maybe you'll both learn something. Consider it another part of your training."

>Her eyes slowly move towards the door.

"The door leads to his home. I've already let him know you're coming."


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"Your brother? Why can't you, I could just wait-"

>Ceridwen stops and sighs when Stephanie says to consider it part of her training.

"Yes. . . master. . ."

>Kneeling down, Ceridwen lifts the small woman up and walks over to the door, opening it and throwing the woman through it. Looking back, she adds:

"I'll talk to your brother. . ."

>Ceridwen steps through the door.


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>Stephanie waves Ceri off, before the door vanishes.


>The woman's unconscious body lands on a soft couch, Stephanie thankfully having anticipated Ceridwen would throw her again.

>Sitting in a chair close-by, Orion stares at the woman. He lets out a sigh, grumbling.

"Why me? Why today?"

>He waits until he sees Ceridwen. He remains seated.

"Hi. You're… Care-Ser-Ceriwi-Ceridwin, right?"


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>Ceridwen looks around the room.

"Ceridwen. Like it's spelt with a k. Got it, Or-ee-on?"

>Ceridwen dusts herself off.

"I need your help to help this woman, Stephanie sent me."

>Ceridwen walks over to the woman, confirming that she's ok.

"You can enter minds, right?"


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>Orion stares at Ceri in silence for a moment, still looking tired.


>He looks down at the still unconscious woman.

"What happened to her?"


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"She got possessed by. . . I suppose you would call it a ghost, at some point, tried to a summon a demon by killing small animals, and when I found her I tried to remove the ghost I couldn't because it's latched onto her. . ."

>Ceridwen pauses to think for a moment.

". . .onto? Around? Whatever the correct term is for it being linked to her mind. Then I put her to sleep and took it to Stephanie, who said she was busy and that I should ask you."

>Ceridwen let's Orion process everything she's said.

"For the record I was willing to wait."


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"I can tell."

>He adjusts himself in his seat, now beginning to straighten up his posture.

"Do you want to enter with me or are you fine with waiting?"


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"Can you stop me being eaten by some kind of psionic monster or something?"


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"I don't think there's any kind of monsters in her head like that. But yeah, I can."

"If you're fine with that and want to join, you should sit down. Sometimes when this happens people who are standing fall over."


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>Ceri looks around, taking in the quality of Orion's couch.

"I should be fine, I have excellent balance."

>Ceri folds her arms.

"I'm ready whenever you are."


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"If you say so, kid."

>Orion turns to look at the unconscious girl on the floor.

"Being separated from your body is going to feel really strange at first. So if anything feels odd, don't worry about it."

>Orion then begins to focus on the unconscious girl's mind. Almost immediately, his and Ceri's own are whisked away from their bodies, entering the girl's inner world.


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"I'm not that much young-"

>Ceri is cut off as her mind is pulled out of her body and her body crumples.

>Orion and Ceri are "deposited" in an endless forest, the rows of beech trees indicating that the woodland is in Southern Ohio. A thick layer of fog covers the area, preventing any visibility beyond the immediate area.

>Looking around, Ceri seems confused for a second before speaking up.

"So. . . how does this usually-"

>As Ceri speaks, a set of prominent canines is visible in her mouth, and she seems to catch herself on something.

"Oh that's not meant to be visible. . ."

>Ceri brings a hand up to her mouth and clicks near it, clearly trying to trigger something, getting visibly annoyed when it doesn't work.

>With the first trick not working, she moves on to the next thing bothering her, trying to hide away several streaks of white hair, also failing at that.

"Is it always like this?"


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"I don't know how any of your magic stuff works so it beats me."

>Orion shrugs, and then looks around at the woodland. He seems mildly annoyed.

"You know the last time I did something like this it involved an evil screaming tree. I hope there aren't any more of those here."

>He begins to take a step forward, appearing to have at least a vague sense of where to go.


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"Well, it's not my magic, it's to do with my heritage. . ."

>Ceri starts following Orion, assuming he knows his way.

". . .have you ever heard about how Merlin was the child of an incubus and a mortal woman? Well, he's my. . ."

>Ceri takes a breath.

"Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather."

>Ceri takes another breath as the pair pass by some more foggy trees.

"And that sticks around in bloodlines, so it makes my family perfect for our role in guarding the Rift of Merddyn. We can activate that side of our bloodline to make us better guardians - at the cost of our humanity. . ."

>Ceri grimaces.

". . .eventually."

"Which is what the white hair, and the fangs, are. Eventually I'll probably develop horns too, like what you imagine when you hear the word 'demon'."


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>Orion stares at Ceri in silence, his reaction being hard to gauge as he doesn't show much emotion. After several moments of this he finally breaks the silence.

"Merlin sounds like something you would name a cat."

>He turns his attention back on the path ahead of them.

"Well, that's all… unusual. But I was born in a glass tube so I guess I can't say much about that. The horns sound pretty cool though."


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"People have odd naming conventions for animals in the modern world - or perhaps you just do."

>Ceri shrugs.

"The arrangement is unusual, however, so you needn't worry about acting like it isn't.There's very few like me around - even among my own family."

>The path ahead seems to curve around, as if trying to turn Ceri and Orion in a different direction to where they're going.


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>Orion stops for a moment, noticing the curve. His eyes follow along it for a moment, going until the path becomes obscured by the landscape.

"It's trying to lead us away. Ignore the curve and just keep heading forward. But be careful, it's likely going to start getting more aggressive now."

>Orion continues walking forward, exiting the path and walking onto the unkempt forest floor.


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"Ah, that would make sense. They didn't want to be separated before, so of course they'd try to stop us now."

>As the two exit the path, an obvious obstacle makes itself known as a row of trees appear from seemingly nowhere, blocking the way forward and trying to force the pair back to the path.

>The fog around the pair builds itself up as the trees appear.


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>Orion simply looks towards the row of trees, causing them to be ripped out of the way, carrying along roots and chunks of dirt with them. Orion casually steps past them, as if they weren't there in the first place.

"So what's it like being taught by my sister? Is she an alright teacher?"

>Orion continues to casually walk forward, uprooting more trees that attempt to block his path.

"I was kind of surprised when she told me about you. I didn't expect her to start teaching someone else so soon. Although from what I've heard you were already pretty good at what you do anyway."


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"I wouldn't have much reference for teachers, my first one was my mum, and she. . . died when I was five. After that, my dad and uncle helped, but I mostly taught myself."

>Ceri manages to catch a branch forming in front of the two and bats it out of the way before it can attempt to trip them over.

"Stepahnie though. . . she does teach me at my own pace, most of the time. Sometimes she forces me to do things I don't want to though, like bringing in a third party to handle a situation that wasn't that important."

>As Ceri talks, the fog draws in closer.


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"Oh. Yeah. I heard about that. Stephanie was fuming for days."

>Orion casually ducks under a branch.

"Aiden is supposed to be my friend, I guess. That's what he tells me at least."

>He pauses for a moment.

"He can be a real pain to deal with, honestly. So it's best if you just avoid him. And if for some reason he makes that difficult, tell Stephanie. She'll get rid of him."


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"Oh. . ."

>Ceri looks a little thrown off as the concept of Stephanie fuming over her is mentioned, as if she's unused to the idea of someone caring that much about her safety.

"Well, if he means to continue in magic as he is, I have an obligation to not ignore him, he could be a threat to the Rift, potentially, and have to keep an eye on all of those."

>As Ceri finishes, the pair steps out of the woods, arriving in a cleared area, a tiny settlement lying in the distance.

>As the two look out on the view ahead, the small vulpine-featured woman runs up to the two, having to stop to catch her breath at several points, including as she arrives.

"P-please don't take her away. . ."


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>Orion stares at the woman.

"The ghost? Why do you want a ghost living in your head?"


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>The woman seems to crumble away under Orion's gaze, as light as it is.

"W-well i-it. . . you see. . . ummm. . . w-well. . . umm. . . uhhh. . . s-she's my only friend. . ."

>Ceri glares at the woman.

"No. It needs to go, the dead can't cling onto the land of the living."

>The woman looks down, disappointed.

"O-oh. . ."


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"Yeah, this isn't my wheelhouse. I'll just let you two talk about what should be done."

>Orion's feet leave the floor and he slowly hovers a bit to the side, appearing to be in a sitting position.


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>The woman looks over at Orion for a moment, clearly hoping for a chance for support from him, and shrinks away at him removing himself from the argument.

"B-but she never hurt. . ."

"She's hurting you."

"I. . . uhhhh. . . I don't, um, matter."

>Ceri sighs.

"Whether you've convinced yourself of that or not, it doesn't change the fact that your 'friend' needs to be removed before they hurt others."

"O-oh b-but. . ."

"'She' might not want to, but 'she' will, eventually."

"O-oh. . ."

>Ceri sighs again, going to put a hand on the woman's shoulder before realising that there's nothing physical there.

"Look, if you take us to your 'friend', I promise we won't hurt 'her', ok?"

>Ceri looks at Orion for a moment.

"That's agreeable, right?"


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>Ceri looks back at the woman.

"Do we have a deal then?"

"O-ok. . ."

>The woman appears visibly deflated, but nods.

"T-this way. . ."

>Turning around, the woman starts leading the pair over to an old, battered house.

>As the group arrives at the house, the sounds of someone's voice can be heard drifting out of one of the rooms.

". . .and that's what we're talking about! Totally rad!"

>A little bit more walking reveals the owner of the voice, a woman, clearly still in her teens, sitting in front of an old television set, watching what appears to be some form of anime.

>At the sound of others entering the room, the woman starts speaking to the fox woman in particular.

"Oh Lucy, you're back, you got rid of them then? Cool cool, now you gotta watch this, it's a classic!"

>The ghost woman leans back, looking backwards at the entrance of the room, and scrambles to stand up as she notices Orion and Ceri.

"Lucy! You said you'd get rid of them! Why didn't you get rid of them?!"

>The fox woman, Lucy, shrinks back at the shouting.

"I-I triiiiieeed. . ."

"I'm not an expert, but I believe you're meant to treat your friends nicer than that."

"Ugh, shut it random girl."

>The ghost flicks her wrist and Ceri is sent flying into a wall.

"And I don't even wanna talk to you, blonde dude."

>The ghost tries the same trick, getting no response.

"Wooooaaah, cool, you like, Groku or something?"


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>Orion stares at the ghost girl, visibly annoyed. His eyes look like they're about to roll into the back of his skull for a moment before he regains his composure.

"Oh great. The ghost is a shonen weeb."

>Orion doesn't make a move, gently pulling Ceri out of the wall and back onto her feet.

"Listen, ghost girl. If you're hurting this friend here then you need to work something out and stop."

>He eyes Ceri for a moment before turning his gaze back towards the ghost.

"I don't really care if you stay or go. But you can't be hurting people."


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>The ghost looks confused.

"What's a shonen weeb? I was just asking if you're like Groku from Dragon Pearl. Or are you more like Aeronaut Moon?"

>The ghost does a mock magical girl pose and then spins around, throwing her hand forward to try and remotely push Orion away, only managing to cause his clothing to ripple slightly as if there were a heavy wind hitting him.

"Also I'm not hurting anyone! Lucy let's me stay here for free!"

>Picking herself up, Ceri interjects.

"You're hurting her by-"

"I said shut it random girl!"

>The ghost spins and does the same move as she tried to pull on Orion, this time finding purchase to knock her target over.

"I'm not hurting you, right Lucy?"

"W-well. . . not umm. . . intentionally, but. . . um. . . she says you, um, are hurting me by, um, possessing me. . ."

>The ghost rolls her eyes.

"So they got to you too! They're probably some weird government people or something, sent to lock me up!"

>The ghost thinks for a moment.

"Uuuuuugh, this is so booooring! Fine! I'll go somewhere else, there's nothing in Salem anyway!"

"T-there's the disc golf. . ."

"No one cares about disc golf, Lucy!"

>The ghost shouts the woman down, causing her to shrink even further away, and then starts pacing.

"Yeah fine, I'll leave! But you!"

>The ghost points at Orion.

"You gotta fight me! Like, with transformations and everything! Or else I'm just gonna stay here!"

>The ghost sits down suddenly, rooting herself in place.


File: 1703025223239.png (273.97 KB, 448x418, Orion105.png)

"Yeah, no. I'm good."

>Orion this time exerts his own force on the ghost, throwing her back and headfirst into a wall. He then turns and looks at the girl with fox-like features.

"I don't think this is someone you should be thinking of as a friend. You can do better."


File: 1703025553633.jpg (584.66 KB, 850x1200, Ghost-3.jpg)

>Lucy emerges slightly from her shell to respond to Orion

"N-no I can't!"

"Yeah she can't, there's no one else in Salem for her!"

>The ghost keeps on trying to struggle against Orion's force.

"Anyway, what you got to lose if you fight me? I'll leave nicely if you do."


File: 1703025760660.jpg (165.23 KB, 658x811, Orion4.jpg)

"Then she can try somewhere else. That's not a good enough reason to let someone hurt her."

>Orion's tone lowers, as he's starting to become noticeably annoyed.

"I don't care if you want to fight me. Leave. Now."


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>The ghost gives Orion a well-practised look.

"Make me."


File: 1703026075090.jpg (30.39 KB, 320x599, Orion24.jpg)

>Orion clenches his fist in response, creating a crushing sensation that begins forcing the ghost's body to fall to the floor and take on an almost fetal position.


>The floor begins to buckle under the crushing force, causing the ghost to be pulled down and into the dirt and broken tile. In an instant the direction of the force is changed, throwing the ghost straight through the ceiling.


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>After a few moments, the ghost crawls back through the ceiling, backwards, and then drops down to the floor, having to put her arm back in place in the process.

"Hahah yes! Like that! Oh, I should transform!"

>The ghost's clothes change and she shifts into a poorly constructed battle stance.

"Come on then, fight me!"

>As the ghost finishes her line, a set of explosions hit her right side, bringing attention to Ceri.

"Orion, I know you're being really careful right now, but unless you can get her to leave willingly, the best shot is to 'kill' her, got it?"


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"…Right. Ghost. I forgot. No need to worry about killing her."

>Orion once again pushes the ghost to the floor, this time exerting many times more pressure than before. It almost seems like the light itself is buckling under the pressure, as it bends and curves around in weird ways making the ghost woman harder to see.

>Purple lights begin to envelop the ghost, scorching the air around, before suddenly detonating in a contained explosion - only giving the building a mild shake despite sounding like a massive nuclear weapon going off.

>Orion releases the hold he has on the ghost, allowing the smoke and fire to settle down.


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>As the dust settles, the ghost's body is gone, and only a pink flame remains, hovering in the air in the middle of the room.

>Despite the lack of a body, however, the flame is still be able speak.

"That's no fair! It was supposed to look like something out of Dragon Pearl or Rurouni Henshin! You cheated, I'm gonna-"

"Oh shut up."

>Ceri holds out her hand and the flame is dragged into a small idol in her hand.

"I have no idea what those names were, but I couldn't take any more words from her."

>The fox woman carefully peaks out into the scene.

"Is it. . . is it over. . ."

"It should be, can you detect anything Orion?"

>Before Orion can answer, the woman stumbles slightly.

"O-oh. . . good. . ."

>The woman faints.


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"No. It seems like you got it all in your little thing there."

>Orion points at the small idol. He then looks at the unconscious woman.

"She'll be fine, I'm pretty sure you can't actually fall unconscious within your own mind. We can talk to her back in the real world now that the ghost is gone."


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"Then my work here is done, I can leave when we get out of here."

>Ceri pockets the idol.

"Also you're more of an expert than I am, but I'm guessing it's just she doesn't really have enough energy to maintain any sort of focused image of herself in this space."

>Ceri pokes the body with her stick.

"She's even more asleep than I made her, essentially."


File: 1703617355457.png (1.74 MB, 1240x1460, Orion122.png)

>Orion shrugs at Ceri.

"I don't know. I'm not a psychiatrist or anything like that."

>The surroundings suddenly shift, as the pair leave the woman's mind. Aware of his surroundings again, Orion stares at Ceri on the floor.

"I told you to sit."


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"Ow. . ."

>Ceri picks herself off the floor.

"You said 'sometimes' people fall over, not that I would fall over, I should have been fine under that logic."

>After dusting herself, Ceri looks over at the unconscious woman still in the room.

"Well, I should leave, good luck handling her."


File: 1703618702948.png (313.36 KB, 588x855, Orion25.png)

>Orion furrows his brow.

"The fuck you mean good luck handling her? You're the one who brought her here. She's your responsibility."


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>Ceri shakes her head.

"The ghost was my responsibility, so that's where my involvement ends, how the people of the modern world handle things is outside of my role."

>Ceri turns to start leaving, clearly intending to win the argument through distance.


File: 1703619144167.jpg (794.95 KB, 991x1402, Orion28.jpg)

>Orion remotely pulls Ceri back into her former place.

"You brought her here. You take her with you."


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>Ceri sighs, having to look up to look Orion in the eyes

"She's one of your people though, so she's clearly your problem."

"I wouldn't ask you to resolve an issue involving magicians, so it's only fair that I'm not asked to resolve issues involving Meat a Humans."


File: 1703619433081.png (273.97 KB, 448x418, Orion105.png)

"One of my people? I don't even know her. You brought her here. So you take her with you."

>Orion pauses for a moment, only just realizing what Ceri said. He looks puzzled.

"It's Meta-Humans, not Meat a Humans. Anyway take her with you."


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"And take her where? Home? I don't exactly have any reservation space for regular humans, let alone Meta-Humans. I don't even exactly know where she was from, I travelled to a fellow magician's home through a portal. All I remember is he mentioned that it was in somewhere called an Ohio - there's one near you, right?"

>Ceri nods along to her logic.

"So clearly you should take her to the nearest Ohio. I don't even have any way of travelling to that normally."

>A small cough comes from behind Orion's couch.

"E-excuse me, where am I. . ?"


File: 1703620849716.jpg (40.22 KB, 480x600, Orion129.jpg)

"What makes you think I have space for her either? And no Ohio isn't close by. But she's your responsibility. It's not my problem."

>Orion suddenly stops upon hearing the woman's voice, he turns his head towards the voice.

"You're in my house in Sanctuary City."


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"You at least have methods of reaching 'Ohio'. . ."

>Ceri trails off as the woman speaks up.

"Yes, what he said, his house, Sanctuary City. . ."

>The small woman lets out a nervous sounding squeak.

"S-S-S-Sanctuary? Didyoukidnapme? W-wait. . . you were in my dream. . . You're dream burglars! I don't have anything worth stealing!"

>Ceri raises an eyebrow, then looks at Orion.

"Are dream burglars a concept in the modern day?"


File: 1703622120099.jpg (165.23 KB, 658x811, Orion4.jpg)

"Hey, I didn't kidnap you."

>Orion points at Ceri.

"She did."


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"I did not, I just had to temporarily relocate you-"

"So you could steal things using my dreams!"

>Ceri sighs.

". . .because I needed to end your possession, even if you were friends with it, the ghost was. . ."



"Friends with her."

>Ceri sighs again.

"Even if you were friends with her, the ghost was sapping your life force. At the rate it was going, you would have died in a few months at most."

"Oh. . ."

". . .and now we're trying to resolve where we should send you, all I know is you were in a place called Ohio."

"Oh. . . yeah. . ."

>The woman awkwardly shuffles for a moment.

"C-could I s-stay here. . . InSanctuaryIMean."


File: 1703623129559.png (313.36 KB, 588x855, Orion25.png)

>Orion slouches, staring blankly at the pair.


>Suddenly he turns around, loudly mumbling and grumbling curses to himself. After a few moments of this he turns back around, and clears his throat.

"If you're an adult you can live anywhere you want. You don't need my permission to live in the city."

>His eyes shift towards Ceri for a moment, narrowing before he turns his attention back towards the woman.

"What exactly is your name?"


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"Lucy. . . Lucy Stone. . . You see, Lauren. . . Lauren w-was the ghost. . . Lauren always wanted to travel outside of South Salem and would tell me about all these different places she found online so I was thinking I could use this as a chance to. . ."

>Lucy nervously gulps.

"To. . . well. . . s-see new places. So please don't send me back to Salem just yet. . ."

>Ceri gives Orion a smug grin, making sure Lucy can't see it.

"Well, I don't see any issue with that, in fact, Orion was just telling me how I should make sure to help you. . ."

>Ceri thinks for a moment.

"It's dole-ares in this country, right? Do you have one of those little devices that everyone is obsessed with, the ones you touch?"

>Lucy looks confused for a moment.

"D-do you mean a phone?"

"Yes yes one of those, and does that have the ability to check your money?"

"I-I have a bank app. . ."

"Ok then hand it over."

>Lucy blinks for a moment and then tentatively gives Ceri her phone.

>With the phone in hand, Ceri closes her eyes and whispers something under her breath, then hands it back to Lucy.

"There you go, a whole load of dole-ares."


"I added some dole-ares to your savings."

>Lucy blinks, then opens an app on her phone, then blinks again, then shows the phone to Orion so that he can verify the number on screen.


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>Orion stares at the phone, and then stares at Ceri.

"I'm not even going to ask where you got all that."

>He looks at Lucy again, and then lets out a pained sigh.

"If you don't want to go back to where you're from that's fine. I can help you find a place in the city."


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"Just a little bit of trickery, I don't know why Stephanie's partner bothers with the whole company thing, really. Besides. . ."

>Ceri shrugs.

"I won't pretend to understand how your system of dole-ares works, but if gold is still valuable, I likely have access to more than that, vaguely."

>While Ceri has been talking, Lucy appears to be looking over things on her phone in the background, her ears perking up at Orion's comment towards her.

"O-oh. . . thank you. . . I just need a hotel. . . or something. . . I don't want to stay in Sanctuary City forever."

>Sensing an opportunity, Ceri starts to step away again.

"I suppose you don't need me for this, so I'll be leaving now. . ."


File: 1703624548803.png (691.25 KB, 565x1109, Orion31.png)

"Yeah. I can show you where a hotel is."

>Orion watches Ceri as she starts to turn away.



File: 1703625135856.png (466.16 KB, 588x1000, 782e0b1356728b85324fcbd424….png)

>Giving Orion one last grin, Ceri steps through the door, taking a moment to process the noise of the city outside of his home.

>After a few moments, she reaches into one of her pockets and takes out a trinket of some kind, looking it over before putting it back away and taking a step forward.

"Well, I suppose I should collect my payment now. . ."

[The End]

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