lowreaches: (Stop)
The Low Reaches ([personal profile] lowreaches) wrote in [community profile] the_low_reaches2017-01-13 07:38 am

The beginning

Who: The cast
Where: The Belfry's front yard and parking lot
When: Morning
What: A bus has arrived, empty, causing quite the stir.

The storm fell over the town like a pall, and with it came the fog.  
It was a hungry, curious thing.  So thick and wet it licked at your clothes and skin when you stepped out into it, tasting you, and stealing sight and color from the world, leaving it slick and oily.  Shadows festered in its recesses, coiling and dancing beneath it like living things, greedy in the low light.  Above was no better:  the angry thunderheads hung mountainous over the city, spitting rain and blooming with lightning.  Storms were fierce in Sinjoh, and this was no exception, booming and growling its discontent, threatening to shake the bones from bodies.  The rain fell in heavy sheets, gutters and creeks swollen and fast with it.  Little rivers streamed across Blackbell.  It choked the city.  It blinded it.  
Maybe that's why no one noticed until it was too late.  
Out of that grey, pitiless gloom rose the old (new) crooked Belfry, and beneath it, a mass of children and their beleaguered teachers, their rain slickers and jackets shiny in the rain, whispering and sharing glances among themselves -- those who weren't transfixed on the cloudbursts of red and blues in the fog and the occasional ghostlight that meandered clumsily through it.  Police sirens chirped, sharp against the dull grey fog, and sometimes a walkie would crackle to life.  
Worse still were the keen wails as whoever stumbled out of their car up to the police barricade were turned aside, told the news, and lost themselves.
Because everyone remembered the cargo ship.
Everyone remembered what washed up to shore, only a short few weeks ago.  There were pictures all over the internet:  strange, pale figures.  Motionless.  Their mouths toothless gapes.  Their eyes worse.  Empty.  Nothing staring at nothing.  They were human shaped, but too slack, too soggy, too translucent.  They would burst if they tried to move.  Some had when the authorities had gone to collect them.
The bus was submerged in the fog, its bright yellow coloring strange and forbidding now.  Nearly twenty minutes ago it had lurched into the parking lot, and died.  It went still, lights and engines snapping off, and no one had noticed anything amiss -- the steady beat of the rain and growl of thunder drowned out everything else the fog didn't cover -- until a few minutes had gone past and no one had stepped off.  The door had remained shut.  Eventually someone investigated.  Called out and knocked on the side door, frowned into the empty inside.  They managed the door open, and a gentle rush of fetid, dark water spilled out.  Inside, the rows and rows of bus seats were empty.  Just backpacks and toys, even a few pokeballs, sat lonely and abandoned.
When the authorities arrived, they found the teachers trying to shoo the children away from the bus, many of them lifting on to tiptoe to try and get a glance inside at the back door, or smashing their faces into the side door.  The first cop car was soon joined by another, and another.  EMTs were called:  a child had fainted.  A barricade was constructed, and some order was restored.
Until the first parent arrived.  
And then the press.
The Belfry hunched over the small circus forming on its parking lot, bell toning with the start of the school day.  Its crooked arches and spindly lengths, occasionally thrown into fierce shadows from a lightning strike, were skeletal in the gloom.  School had been cancelled for the day.   Parents were being called to pick up children.  A line was queuing near the western port of the parking lot.

sail_away: (8)

[personal profile] sail_away 2017-01-13 11:57 pm (UTC)(link)
It got maybe a little more chilled after a moment as one of the other kids drew nearer. Shizuka's Amaura was out in the open, the girl having it walking next to her right about then like an old family friend. It was an unspoken sign of just how nervous she was that it was out unless one of the adults told her to put it away. She didn't have it out at school almost ever, knowing that they were still too young to really be out on their own. But, it was comforting to have the pokemon close...

Even if it was basically like having the refrigerator door open near you.

She walked up closer, looking at Anastasia and frowning. "Are you alright. Is anyone missing from class?" she asked, keeping her voice from sounding as nervous as possible. Of course, she didn't mean whatever was going on with the bus. She was talking about the other people in their class, of course, not the bus up ahead. She didn't want to sound callous, but she was a bit more concerned about their immediate classmates.
pay_day: (um?)

[personal profile] pay_day 2017-01-14 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
A particularly vigorous shiver arrested Anastasia's back-and-forthing, and no sooner had she finished giving her arms another brisk rub-down (tucking her umbrella between her arm and torso to keep it more-or-less in place) than Shizuka was upon her. "Oh, um..." the girl's Amaura got a somewhat perplexed look, but Ana quickly returned to the question. "I don't think so?" And, at that, she glanced around, looking for familiar faces... though not really to the point of trying to tally them up.

"Though I haven't actually checked. Oh, and yeah, I'm, um. I'm doing fine. A bit cold, but..." she shrugs, and forces an almost-smile... and promptly spoils it by gnawing at her lip. "Are you? Doing alright, that is?"

She kept her volume on the low side of conversational, hushed out of a sense of... well, really nothing in particular. It just would have felt somehow wrong not to, what with the overall... atmosphere.
sail_away: (6)

[personal profile] sail_away 2017-01-14 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
They totally needed a class president, someone to take roll at times like this. It felt almost silly not to have one. After all, if someone wandered off, there could be all kinds of trouble tracking them down. Still, the teachers were here, so there shouldn't be a problem.

"Cold never bothers me much. But Peanut's kind of like a portable air conditioner, so I'm used to it," she said, grinning away. "Just be glad she has Refrigerate. If she had snow warning, we'd be in the middle of a hail storm right now." Always a chance to offer 'wisdom.' Frankly, though, she liked that ability on her pokemon so much better anyway. She thought the Snow Warning Blizzard combo was such a cheap trick.

Her voice was a bit more subdued than usual. It was, perhaps, louder than Anastasia's, but it wasn't exactly loud. This place was somber enough that it felt wrong to draw too much attention. And, besides, there was a possibility there were kids missing, right? Better to lighten the mood, but not too much. Otherwise, people might break down, and that wouldn't do anyone any good.
pay_day: (um?)

[personal profile] pay_day 2017-01-14 05:37 am (UTC)(link)
Anastasia's eyes didn't quite glass over when Shizuka went into the finer details of variations within members of a particular pokemon species... but the abrupt change of topic did leave her at a loss for words for a few seconds. "Oh. Um. Well..."

"...Couldn't be that much worse than this weather," she eventually went with, what was meant to be a bit of levity coming out almost as a complaint instead. With a shiver, she pulled her sweater against herself a bit more snugly.

"So... um..." her attention was, inevitably, drawn back to that bus that just... loomed there, its door open like a--
She gave an almost-imperceptible shake of her head, swallowed heavily, and forced her attention away from that. Dwelling on it was only going to make it bother her more, so instead,

"...Do you wanna get under my umbrella while we wait?" True, that might mean the invitation was de-facto extended to Shizuka's amaura (brrrr), and the girl had a rain coat, but... still.