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RPG Hybrid Vigor [PG-LV]


James
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Lucas sat on the edge of his four-poster bed, reading [i]the letter[/i]. If this had been any other time in his life, he might have considered that it was a trick played by one of his University buddies. But waking up in an enormous bed, inside a room with walls punctuated by art neauvou tapestries and sculptures somehow lent weight to the strange letter.

He was wearing the same clothes as the day before, but he was definitely in an alien environment. [i]Perhaps someone spiked a drink[/i], he thought to himself. But that didn't make much sense, considering that he had been studying alone the night before. As he sat on the edge of the bed, pondering his situation, there came a swift knock on the door.

"Come in," said Lucas weakly. The door lazily swung open to reveal a small, plump elderly woman. She was curiously dressed, wearing a strange all-grey dress that appeared to be made of a material that Lucas could not immediately identify. There were large, gold-rimmed glasses atop her nose and she wore a small hat with several feathers protruding from the side. Her clothing appeared somewhat intimidating, but Lucas could see that she wore a warm face. She smiled and quietly pushed the door shut. As soon as she did this, she began busying herself around the room, opening closets and removing all sorts of odd clothing.

For a moment, Lucas simply stared at the woman. Just as he was about to open his mouth to speak, she paused and looked up at him.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said. Her cheeks flushed slightly. "I have been doing this so many times today that I almost forgot to introduce myself."

The woman outstretched her hand and grinned. Lucas shook it weakly, as he still wondered when the dream was going to end.

"I understand," said the woman as she withdrew her hand and continued busying herself with the clothing, which she was now laying out across the bed. "I can't imagine it being easy, waking up from a coma and finding yourself in a strange place."

Lucas's eyes widened. He had so many questions, so many things he wanted to say, but as he opened his mouth he could only manage one question. "A coma?"

The woman paused. "I should begin again," she said slowly. "My name is Anne. I work here. I'm here to take care of you and all the others. The Supreme Chancellor is holding a ball tonight to welcome you. You [i]did[/i] read the letter, did you not?"

Lucas paused before responding; Anne's tone now seemed slightly sharper, as though she were irritated. If she had indeed met with many others like Lucas, it was perhaps understandable that she was becoming tired of repeating herself.

"I read the letter," said Lucas, as he stood up for the first time. He walked over to the window and leaned against the sill. The world beyond was like nothing he'd seen before. At first glance, the scene before him looked like Paris at night. But something was different. Most noteably, the Eiffel Tower seemed to be surrounded by several walls at its base. It also had an odd silhouette sitting at its apex, which was unidentifiable at night. The surrounding city, at least from where Lucas was standing, was far darker than he remembered. There were less lights and there was less noise than usual. Odd shapes sat among the familiar buildings, strange silhouettes rose up over the horizon, like giant angry beasts sitting on their haunches. It was certainly not the romantic, starry Paris that Lucas was used to. It was something entirely different. It was cold and bleak.

"I imagine it doesn't look familiar," said Anne in the background. Lucas simply shook his head.

"There have been many improvements since your time," said Anne with a slight chuckle.

Lucas turned back into the room and saw Anne standing by the bed, gesturing towards it. She had laid out several pairs of clothing, all of which looked disctinctly alien to Lucas.

"The ball will begin at eight. You only have an hour to get ready and I need to see several others before I'm finished tonight. Once you have chosen an outfit and you are ready, just go over and touch that panel on the wall," Anne gestured toward a small white panel, which sat next to the door. "It will let you know where to go."

And with that, Anne smiled once more and abruptly left the room, leaving Lucas alone.

Lucas began pacing back and forth. [i]This is too vivid to be a dream[/i], he thought. But how else could it be explained? At the very least, Lucas felt that he was likely to receive some answers if he followed Anne's instructions.
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[size=1]The letter shook with the minute involuntary twitches of Alexander?s hand, which trembled with fear. A gripping panic enveloped his mind, sending his thought processes into shock. The thought of his family dead, the notion of his nation erased, the mere idea of the world being wiped out was too much to fathom at once. He fought to deny it, choosing not to accept the sick twist that fate had dealt him.

The reality was disquieting. He was in his business suit that he had been wearing when he walked back into his house, and from glancing out the window, he could see a dark, silent Paris 2. Perhaps the British government ordered an evacuation of the entire population, and it required the sedating of all citizens. Yes, that was certainly it, he frantically reasoned; Julia and Sarah would be in a similar room, and it would only be a matter of time before being reunited. And then the humans would defeat the Second Fac?.

A quiet rapping was heard upon the door. He stared at it for several seconds, then directly back at the letter he was given. He gave no answer.

?Sir, may I enter?? The voice was official and stale. There was silence. ?Sir? I?m coming in.? The door creaked with her entrance as Alex glanced up to meet her gaze.

?Very sorry, ma?am. I?m just? I?,? he fumbled mid-sentence, and sighed in defeat. He averted his eyes from the woman, who was in an uninviting grey dress with an equally stiff headdress.

?Quite alright. I can?t imagine how shocked you are to be waking up in a completely different country with no idea how you got here.?

?It?s fine,? he lied, ?but will there be someone to answer our questions? some sort of formal debriefing??

?I have no idea, to be honest. However, my duty is only to tell those awakening from the coma that there is a ball that the Supreme Chancellor is holding tonight to welcome you.? Alex choked at the words [I]coma[/I] and [I]Supreme Chancellor[/I]. [I]Hitler was the Chancellor of the Third Reich[/I], he bitterly thought.

?Is there a time I?m expected, and what do I wear?? the most he could do was feign interest and attempt to mask his confusion. He wanted more than anything for this woman to leave him alone, for her to tell her it was all a horrible joke and he could return to his life. There was no such relief, only a continuance of the nightmare.

?Oh, you can pick something out of the closet here, and be there by eight. When you?re ready, please touch that white panel,? she gestured towards the door ?to indicate you?re ready. Be ready in an hour. Thank you for your patience,? she weakly smiled at him with pale interest and strolled out of the door once more. He gave no further attempt interact with the woman, and lay back down on the bed. His hand massaged his eyes. Perhaps they were broken, or he was hallucinating, or he was just dreaming.

There was no such relief, only a continuance of the nightmare. Reluctantly, he examined the contents of the closet and settled upon what resembled a traditional suit, which granted him some small degree of comfort. He set it on the bed, and let his eyes probe the dark cityscape.

[I]So this is Paris 2.[/I][/size]
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[SIZE=1][FONT=Verdana]Dawns eyes fluttered open, they immediately started to shift and look in every possible direction. This was definitely not her bedroom that she went to sleep in last night, where in hell was she? Dawn kicked off the silk red covers that she had been neatly tucked into. She threw her feet over the edge of the bed and propped herself upright.

The room was gorgeous! It seemed as though she was in a room from some English castle, she had always loved them and visited them frequently. Statues, paintings, and floral arrangements were cleverly scattered across the room. Dawn walked up to a statue of a mans head, his head was slightly tilted to the left, as if to make him look more magnificent. Dawn ran her fingers across the small gold plaque on the edge of the column holding up the white stone head.

Supreme Chancellor: Dominique Villette

[B]?Fine looking man isn?t he??[/B]

Dawn spun around almost knocking down the sculpture. There stood a short, rather rotund, woman dressed in a plain looking gray dress. The odd woman was smiling, eyes slightly closed and her arms crossed carrying a dress. Dawn proceeded to stare at the woman who had entered her room unannounced.

[B]?I?m so very sorry! Did I frighten you? Well once again I do apologize. Come now! Get dressed, you mustn?t miss the ball!?[/B]

Dawn lifted an eyebrow trying to process all the stuff that was going on through her mind, she had woken up in a random room, she had no idea where she was, and a fat woman had just barged into the room and nearly scared the hell out of her!

[B]?Um,?[/B] Dawn started, [B]?who are you? And, where am I??[/B]

The woman?s eyes narrowed, she seemed to get irritated quickly. She place the clothes gently on top of the bed, and scurried toward the ornate night stand that sat next to the bed. She then picked up a cream coloured letter and turned toward Dawn.

[B]?I suppose you didn?t take the time to read this letter did you now??[/B]

Dawn nodded, her eyes focussed on the paper the woman had in her hands. She nodded her head hesitantly, still drowsy from her long sleep. The woman sighed and walked toward Dawn, who stepped back as she did so.

[B]?Oh don?t be so ridiculous! To answer your first question, my name is Anne. And I just so happen to work here, I am to look after you and make sure you get to the ball along with the others.? [/B]

[B]?Others? What others? Please, I really don?t understand this..?[/B]

Dawn was cut off by the woman, now known as Anne, handing her the letter. Dawn retrieved the letter and opened it up. Her eyes quickly ran across the letters imprinted upon the paper, it was starting to make sense now. The man she had seen in the sculpture was the man who had written the letter she was reading.

[B]?Um, so where am I??[/B]

Anne sighed again, ?I don?t have all day. There are others to attend and I am pretty sure are already awake.? With that said, she walked over to the curtain and pulled a rope, parting the curtain into two pieces, and revealing the city of Paris2. Dawn walked slowly toward the large window, she placed a hand slowly on the glass. She wasn?t sure if that was going to fall out, this place was a fun house already.

[B]?What the hell? Is that the Eiffel Tower? Why is it blocked off at the bottom like that? Why are there so many walls??[/B]

Anne giggled, [B]?It?s probably different than what you might have remembered my dear. But you will learn in time. You will, I promise. Now, get into your dress and be ready. You have less than an hour to get ready and attend the ball. When you?re done, just click that white panel over there.?[/B]

Anne gestured toward a white panel, just as she had said, next to the door.

[B]?That?ll tell you where you need to go. Welcome to Paris2.?[/B]

With a small smile, Anne walked out of the room and closed the door making an echo within the room. Dawn sighed and turned toward the window once more and looked down into the dim lighted city called Paris2.

Then, she had remembered the needed to get ready for the ball. She made her way to wear the dress was placed. Her hand slowly traced the dress before she put it on.


Standing before a mirror, Dawn studied herself in the new apparel. She forced a small smile, and ran her hand down her hip.

[B]?This is so weird, it?s probably a dream. Perhaps a hallucination, yes that?s right. A hallucination. Tomorrow I will wake up, and go to the office. No more crying. Now, let?s see what this whole thing is about.?[/B][/FONT][/SIZE]
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[FONT=Palatino Linotype]Bellerophon Adrianopoulos stood in front of the only window in the room. He gazed outside to the nocturne city.

"Paris... 2", he whispered to himself. He then turned his eyes to the brief letter he had left on the bedside table. It was written on the letter that he was now in Paris 2.

His mind went through all the other things that was written on the letter: Second Faction, hybrids, Supreme Chancellor,... [I]coma[/I]. He had read the letter at least a dozen times after waking up, but he still couldn't believe a word it had said.

He knew he'd eventually have to, though.

Then his eyes moved onto the bed, on which was a [url=http://www.minskytux.com/images/photo/cb751.jpg][b]full-white tuxedo[/b][/url] folded neatly. However, the suit had a peculiar, futuristic cut, even though Bellerophon was no expert on tuxedos, or [I]any[/I] type of clothes for that matter.

The hassling woman, Anne, had pulled it out of the cabin, saying that it would look [I]perfect[/I] on him when he went to the ball.

"Perfect..." he sniffed. He looked back to the window, now focusing on his reflection from the glass. He was still wearing a simple blue tanktop and stained white shorts he had worn when he had gone to bed last night. Or was it a thousand years ago?

Bellerophon looked at his serious face, his hard aquamarine eyes, his pouty lips, his oval cheek. Ice cold beauty...

The last thing he needed right now was a bunch of horny teenage girls swarming around him at the ball. He had had enough of [I]that[/I] treatment back home in Athens...

Then he shook his head in frustration, making his dark locks sway.

"My parents should've named me Narcissus instead", he huffed and spun around. He walked to the tuxedo and began undressing.[/FONT]
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[COLOR=Sienna]When Darren came too at first all he could do was stare stupidly at the room he was in. Sculptures, rich tapestries and a bed far softer than anything he had ever slept in just added to his confusion. [I]I must be dreaming[/I], he thought. But as he lay there he became aware of the feel of air circulating through the room as a soft whisper of air tugged at his hair. The feel of silk covers touching his skin, and the soft perfume of flowers coming from a vase that was filled with flowers sitting on a dresser against one of the walls. With a sigh he threw the silk covers off and sat on the edge of the bed.

Next to the bed there was a letter sitting on the small lamp table. Darren picked up the letter and began to read. Shocked he read it a second time and then a third. [I]I was in a coma and now I?m in France[/I]? He wondered. All of this was just too confusing for him. He had never really followed politics or what was going on in other countries. Still, he didn?t remember anything that indicated warning signs about the changes the letter mentioned.

Still clutching the letter he got up and went over to the window and opened the curtains. The night view though pretty was not the one of downtown Salt Lake City Utah that he was use to seeing. The only thing he recognized was the Eiffel Tower having seen it many times on television and in tour guides. Though he didn?t remember seeing any walls at the base of the tower. Was that new? Disconcerted Darren turned his back on the window. [I]This has to be a dream[/I]! He thought. How could any of this be real?

Just as Darren felt the first stirrings of fear and panic a knock at the door startled him. To stunned to say anything he just stared at the door. The knock came again, this time sounding impatient.

?[B]Uh come in[/B]?? Darren said. The door opened and a small elderly woman entered. She seemed like an ordinary woman with her slightly plump stature, gold-rimmed glasses and small hat. Though her all gray dress did seem to have a weird look to it.

The woman glanced at the letter in his hand and smiled. ?[B]Good you?ve already read the letter, that makes things easier[/B],? she said. Without another word she went to the closet next to the dresser and opened it. She pulled out some clothing and laid them out on the bed.

?[B]Excuse me[/B],? Darren asked, ?[B]But who are you[/B]??

The woman smiled, ?[B]My name is Anne. Since the Supreme Chancellor is holding a ball to welcome you tonight I am here to help you get ready[/B].? She paused and then continued. ?[B]I know this is confusing, but you?re not the only one I need to help get ready and I don?t have the time to explain things to you. The ball begins at eight and if you are to get ready in time you need to get started[/B].?

?[B]Get ready[/B]?? Darren asked, still confused.

Anne sighed, ?[B]You can?t possibly attend wearing those clothes[/B].?

Darren looked to see that he was still wearing the worn jeans and t-shirt that he had been studying in the night before. Though comfortable, they didn?t look anything like the tuxedo she had laid out for him. Darren sighed he hated wearing formal clothing.

?[B]Once you are ready just touch this panel[/B],? Anne indicated a small white panel next to the door. ?[B]It will instruct you on where to go[/B].? With that she turned and left the room.

Darren looked at the small clock next to the small white panel. He still had an hour to get ready. There was another small door next to the bed; it looked like it lead to a bathroom. Darren walked over and took a look. Though very different there were thick white towels and small containers next to the sink that appeared to be different shampoo?s and soaps. Darren closed the door behind him. If nothing else a quick shower might make him feel better. [/COLOR]
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[SIZE=1]Liane's forlorn features stared back at her from the dark reflections of the window she now stood before, overlooking the unfamiliar Parisian landscape. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she trailed her fingers across the glass. The room she had woken up in resembled nothing of her home and for a small moment panic had overwhelmed her as she sought to gain baring amongst her surroundings. Sense had prevailed over momentary weakness, however and Liane had composed herself to take proper stock.

The room was decadent yet confusing in a most unusual manner. The drapes and bed-linen were made of the most luxurious materials and the bed was a large four-poster remeniscent of the style favoured during the reign of Louis XIV. The wallpaper was styled towards the late 19th century and the art which adorned it was a haphazard mix of nouveaux art, rennaissance and pre-raphaelite. Though most likely designed to illustrate the cultural and artistic diversity of this Paris 2 to her the visitor, all it served was to remind Liane of the thoroughly alien situation in which she had landed.

Moving away from the window she sat heavily upon the edge of the bed, her face buried in her hands, her short locks sticking out at odd angles from previous, stress related ministrations.

[B]"Mon Dieu. What have they done?" [/B]

The small, pained whisper did little to convey the despairing feeling welling deep within her chest. A single tear sought desperately to escape, tracking its way down a cheek devoid of make-up. The salty drop fell from her chin to stain the letter she held between quivering fingers. The ink became smudged there, obliterating several words upon the delicate page. This matter little, however, the letter had been read several times over with varying degrees of disbelief and horror. A rather impatient and irritating woman named Anne had come and gone, apparently with the premise to check on her well being though Liane surmised that it was to make sure she complied and attended this ball or whatever it was her hosts had so graciously provided for them.

[I]Them...[/I] Liane's mind dwelt upon that idea. She was not alone as a stranger in this unfamiliar world, there would be others like her, torn from their time, confused and afraid. In this she found solace and regained a measurment of courage. Approaching the wardrobe Liane began to set about selecting her outfit for the function.

[B]"No sense in letting style go to waste, this is afterall still Paris."[/B] A soft smile brightened her, up until now, forlorn features as she gazed upon the gorgeous attire her hosts had provided.

[B]"[I]Merveilleux[/I]."[/B][/SIZE]
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[color=dimgray][size=1]

Miguel sat at the end of his bed, shaking his foot impatiently as he read the letter within his shaky hands. [b] ?God damn it....?[/b] he growled under his breath as he finished up reading. He quickly stood, balled up the letter and tossed it to the floor. A slight feeling of fear was creeping into his mind, but he had learned not to panic in situation such as this, where he was not fully aware of his surroundings. He tried his best to shrug it off and get down to the bottom of things, like the proffesional he was. With that, he began scanning the room, surveying his surroundings for something to help himself feel secure. The strange, artistic living space felt unusual and discomforting to him, which caused him to act cautious in his search.

He began looking through the drawers of one of the night stands at the side of the bed, finding a gold-bladed letter opener with a fine ivory handle. Miguel gave a gruff laugh to himself as he felt it?s edges with his fingers. Suddenly a soft knocking came to the door of the room, causing him to quickly conceal the letter opener into his back pocket. Standing up, Miguel looked to the door intensely, his hand hovering over the handle of the hidden weapon. Another faint knocking came. Then after a few seconds the door opened at the hands of a stout, yet strange looking old woman, dressed in a boring grey suit.

Miguel tensed for a moment, then relaxed as the woman came into the room calmly, a pleasant look upon her face. Her presence, however, didn?t stop Miguel?s assertive mind set. [b] ?Good evening, dear. My name is Anne.?[/b] the woman said with a kind smile and a slight bow. This disarmed Miguel?s hostile mind for a moment. He noticed as the woman?s gaze drifted towards the floor and looked upon the balled up paper on the ground. [b] ?I assume you have read the letter...?[/b]

Miguel gained back his anger once he noticed the woman?s nonchalant personality in a situation were he had no clue what was going on. [b] ?One minute... where the hell am I lady??[/b] he growled to her with a forceful tone.

[b] ?Hohoho... my dear. You are in Paris2. Where else would you be??[/b] she seemed to laugh at his attempt to be intimidating, something which only fueled Miguel?s hostility.

[b] ?How did I get here then? Huh?! Tell Me!?[/b] he yelled to her, his fingers itching to grasp and use the letter opener in his pocket. His military training urging him to take offensive action.

[b] ?My dear, I only work for this group, I have no say or clue about their dealings. You shall only have to wait for the Ball tonight...? [/b] she replied to him again in a calm, undisturbed tone. She then drifted over to the closet of the room and removed a sharp grey suit made of a material similar to that of her own dress. She brought it to the bed and laid it down as Miguel simply watched and thought to himself. [b] ?This suit is for you to wear tonight. I do say it is very fitting of you.?[/b] the woman said, eyeing Miguel from head to toe for a moment.

Miguel looked her in the eyes and gritted his teeth. [b] ?Whatever... I had better get some answers...?[/b] he said with a scowl. The woman simply gave another soft smile to him.

[b] ?From what I understand, you?ll most likely have more.?[/b] she seemed to be laughing to herself inwardly. Miguel gritted his teeth once more as she exited the room. [b] ?Oh, I almost forgot.?[/b] she spoke with her head sticking through the door, [b] ?Once you are prepared, please press the panel.?[/b] she gestured towards the white panel beside the door. [b] ?It shall point you in the right direction. Good day, dear.?[/b] Then she was gone. Miguel gripped his fist in frustration and turned to eyeball the clothes placed out for him. He shook his head in disapproval. He didn?t trust anything about the situation and didn?t feel safe conforming to it.

[b] ?Forget that noise...?[/b] he laughed to himself as he made his way for the panel. He stood for a moment in hesitation. Slicking his hair back, he pressed the panel, ready for answers and keeping his hand hovering around his pocket, were he kept his only security.

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[b]OOC:[/b] Do hope this is alright. Miguel doesn't feel safe about the clothes and his military training causes him to be paranoid about the situation, so he ascertains some form of makeshift weapon just in case, though I don't plan on using it (unless it is needed...). [/color][/size]
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[COLOR=#af992f][SIZE=1][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Zoraki slowly opened his eyes once more, looking back at the ceiling after coming out of another one of his [I]?deep thought? [/I] moments. It was obvious why he did so. One moment he was just another ordinary person, in an ordinary world. The next?He wakes up in a completely different world from the one that he remembered. His home country was gone to a group named the Second faction. All these things caused a swirling torrent in his mind. Had he gone insane somehow? Moreover, was this all some kind of story to make sure he hadn?t tried to do something horrific... No I couldn?t be.

?[B]Maybe I am drugged up? And this is all some kind of dream, or a hallucination caused by the drugs?? [/B] He took a moment to consider if this was actually a possibility; it isn?t every day that this happened to the average person. The contents of the letter, could they be false? [I]No that can?t be right, I can?t be on anything. The last thing I remember doing was working on something, then passing out from exhaustion.[/I]

He continued to think on the subject though. Theories after theories passed through his mind and they all came at a dead end. He even smacked himself to try to see if this really was a dream. Yet, once more, it came out to be false. After he eventually got too frustrated to even think of the subject anymore. He gently propped himself up onto the bed and sat on the edge. If this was, some kind of dream or even some person?s sick and twisted idea of a game. Now he had no other choice but to play it. Not to long after he sat up he heard a light knock at the door.

[B]?Enter?[/B] he said halfheartedly and sprawled back out onto the bed looking up at the ceiling once more, as he heard the woman enter. He didn?t even want to move or get a look at her face. He just wanted to. Wake up.

[B]?I see you?re awake??[/B] the figure said as she moved inward into his room and closed the door behind her. Zoraki got an interesting though in his mind as he heard her voice. It wasn?t somehow warped. Otherwise. As he looked at her and her dull looking features and noticed, she was indeed a human, not some kind of a monster or alien from another planet. That at least ruled out some of his other theories, yet there still were many more that stood.[B] ?Now then? Just whe-..? [/B]

?[B]You?re in the city of Paris 2 sir.? [/B] She interrupted him in mid speech and blink as Zoraki could only wonder. How did she know did she know what he was tying to ask? [B]?Why are yo-..?[/B]

[B]?I am here to make sure you?re prepared for tonight?s Ball that Supreme Chancellor: Dominique Villette it hosting for all those who have just woken up from their Coma.? [/B] He could only help but blink at the word coma. So he was in a coma. This couldn?t be real, how was he put in a coma when the day before he was just fine? Yet he knew he had to stop. This could just have well been some kind of a game, and as with all games, he had to play it until the end.

[b]?Just wait a moment though..? Zoraki said looking at the woman in a questionable glance. ?How do you already know the answers to all of my questions..Hm??[/b]

?[B]Its simple really, all of you who are waking up from your coma always have the same questions almost. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you, my name is Anne and I am sorry for not introducing myself earlier. There are a change of clothes here on the desk for you to change into once you go to the ball. Once you are ready to go the ball, which is in roughly an hour from now, just go over and touch the panel on the wall. Yet I really must be going. So for now sir, I bid you Adieu.?[/B] In addition, with that she disappeared behind the door once more.

All Zoraki did was just shrug and decided to play along. He took notice to how she said the others who had woken up from their coma. Either this was some interesting twist to the game, or he was not the only one who was in such a confused state like this. He slid over to where the clothes were and after putting them on, examined them roughly. They looked almost like the clothes from... where he was yet they were somehow different he didn?t want to really think about it now anyways. He turned to the panel and sighed once more.

[B]?So much for wonderland??[/B] and with that he outstretched his arm and touched the panel.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[color=darkblue][size=1]?Okay, so I?m in a new city,? Allisa mumbled to herself as she sat on the window ledge of the room she had awoken in, staring down into the new cit y that lay before her. ?An ocean away from where I laid down when I went to sleep last. And while I was asleep, a war happened and a race of ?hybrids? tried to go and take over the world or somethin?.?

She rose and began pacing around the room, looking down at the letter where she had gotten her information, but not really rereading it. More like looking at it just to look. ?And now there?s something called the ?Second Faction? that I?m currently being ?protected? from. In a country that was rebuilt from another country because the country was destroyed in said war, far away from my family and my friends who might not even be alive.?

Allisa scoffed at herself.

??Might?? Who am I kiddin? with some ?might?? They dead as all hell and I know it.?

A wave of depression suddenly came over her and she sat down hard on the plush bed. Right on top of a particularly uncomfortable pile of cover, but at this moment, Allisa didn?t really care.

?This is some craziness. What the hell is goin???

A knock on the door interrupted her mid-sentence. Confusion, remorse and reason quickly gave way to panic as she looked around for a place to hide. For all she knew, it was someone ready to take her away to some unknown place for some unknown reason. Of course, someone who wanted to do that really wouldn?t knock on the door, but, as has been already been confirmed, when panic arrives on the scene, reason is usually among the first ones to go.

Just as Allisa made to try and scramble under the bed, the door opened, revealing a kindly-looking old woman. At least, she probably would have looked kind if she hadn?t looked slightly confused after having come in to see a woman trying to pull herself under a bed from on top of it. A woman who?s not good at tumbling, at that.

?Not to be rude, miss,? the older woman began, ?but what exactly are you doing??

Allisa quickly pulled her head out from under the bedding, her already messy hair flying and fuzzing forward and landing right in her eyes. She quickly tried to straighten herself up and look presentable and stepped off the bed, partly rigid from apprehension. The other part was from embarrassment.

?Um, I saw a...a? a mouse! Yeah, a mouse!? she exclaimed, pointing the bed. ?And it ran up under there! And I was trying to see? if it was still there?so I could kill it. And stuff.?

The woman fixed her with a slightly confused look before coming closer and beginning to take a look under the bed herself.

?In all my time here, I?ve not once seen a mouse, but??

?Oh, it?s not there now. It?s gone. I guess it?ran away or something. I don?t know.?

Turning and looking at Allisa again, the woman straightened and cleared her throat.

?Well, as I?ve said, I?ve never once seen a mouse in this house, but I?ll look into it later. Now then, I presume you?ve read the letter??

?Letter? What let?Oh! You mean that letter saying that I?m in Paris2 and all that other stuff? Yeah, I read that. And I had some questions, too??

?I?m sure you do. You?ll have those answered at the ball this evening.?

?Ball? What ball??

?The ball that?s being held by the Supreme Chancellor. Now, you?re to be there at 8 p.m??

?Hold up, so you can?t tell me anything??

?I?m afraid not.?

?Well, that?s kinda stupid.?

The woman?s look of patience was quickly beginning to fade. She cleared her throat slightly and folded her hands firmly in front of her.

?As I was saying, you are to be at the ball at 8 p.m. There are clothes provided for you in the wardrobe.?

?Wardrobe? ?It?s not gonna start talking, is it? Or take me to a forest in some other country??

??I don?t believe so,? the woman said, raising her eyebrow a second time att Allisa. ?Are you feeling all right, miss???

?Never mind. It was supposed to be a joke??

Looking to the large oak wardrobe that the woman was indicating, and thinking how her attempts at humour were even more wasted in this place, Allisa went over and opened the doors, revealing a very nice-looking?.

?That?s a dress.?

?Yes. It is.?

?Um, Miss Lady??

?My name is Anne.?

?Miss Anne. Um, don?t get me wrong. I really appreciate this and everything. It?s real pretty. But, uh, I don?t usually wear dresses.?

?Well, I?m afraid that?s the only thing we have for you.?

??You?re serious. I?m really gonna have to wear this thing.?

?Yes.?

With a sigh, Allisa took out the off-white number. She had to look at the bright side. It was pretty. A fairly simple design, but still elegant-looking somehow.

?And the only way I?m going to get my questions answered is to go to this ball thing??

?That?s correct.?

??Fine. I?ll be there at eight like you said.?

?Very good. Touch the white panel next to the door when you?re ready.?

With that, the older woman took her leave. Allisa stared at the dress and began walking across the room with it, setting it on a chair when she looked out the window again to the spectacular view of the city.

?Paris2, huh? Well? I always told Ma that I wanted to travel. She?d trip if she ever heard about somethin? like this, though??[/color][/size]
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Emilio sat perfectly still in the unfamilar bed. The letter still clutched lightly in his let hand. He then started to look about the room, thinking of how this couldn't be possible. This room was unlike any other he had known before. It was nothing like the ones of his village back home. This made the story about coma and all those lost years all the more believeable. But whenever he started to believe it he either comforted himself with the the thought that he had simply fallen asleep reading again and was just dreaming about his book, or he would begin to cry for the loss of his family.

By the time he finally botherd to rise from the bed he was both physicaly and emotionally drained. He went to the dark window on the far end of the room. He stepped toward it with caution, as if he were anticipating a fall. Beyond the black film of the window was a forest of lights. Emilio had only seen pictures of such places, but to actually be there left him breathless. He then looked down the face and saw the black tar street below and was struck by vertigo. He felt dizzy and nauseaus. He stumbled backwards a bit then fell to the ground. He then heard a voice from behind him [B]"Oh my, are we not used to heights?"[/B]

Emilio turned with a jump to see a round, older woman standing in the doorway. An odd looking woman, dressed in a terribly drab grey garment. She seemed to almost waddle over to him with a warm smile spread across her face. She set a hand out to him and helped him to his feet. She was surprisingly strong for a woman of her age and stature. She pat him on the shoulder [B]"Are you feeling better?"[/B]

Emilio's face was still red and streaked from the crying fits he had been having. Emilio rubbed his eyes again and then gave his head a quick shake [B]"Yes, I'm alright."[/B]

The look on her face told Emilio that she was on to the fact that he had lied to her. The woman turned and went to the small closet on the other end of the room and began to file through the clothes inside. She came back out with a few pairs of pants, jackets and shirts [B]"The supreme chancellor has requested that you and the others come to the celebration of your arrival. Please pick from the clothes I have out for you and come out whenever your ready."[/B]

She gave a quick bow to him and walked out of the room. Emilio stood perfectly still for a moment and gazed back to the window only a few feet behind him. He couldn't see the stars in the sky. He had dreamed of seeing such a place someday, but now it felt so hollow and empty. His mind started to wander again until he found himself thinking of Maria and Riza again. He closed his eyes and walked back to the foot of the bed. He wasn't sure if he was still sad anymore, but the tears still wouldn't stop falling.

Emilio looked back to the right side of the bed, where the clothes had been set out for him [B]"I want to go home."[/B]
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[COLOR=Navy]Julia lay there, dead to the world until she was suddenly awoken by a sharp insistent wrapping on the door. Her eyes fluttered open and she quickly sat up, not recognising her surroundings. Her hand flew to rest on her forehead as she took in the room; with the large bed, the thick velvet drapes framing the windows, the elegantly décored room. She heard the knocking again and hurriedly ran to it, pulling it open to see the slightly irritated face of a woman.

[B]"I'm so sorry to keep you waiting, please, come in."[/B] Julia stood to the side of the doorway and admit her entrance, hoping she would tell her something about where she was, what happened to her little apartment in Sydney?

The small plump woman walked through briskly and immediately went to the large wooden wardrobe that was standing against the wall, flinging the doors open and sifting through the clothes hanging from hangers.

[B]"Um...excuse me....Who are you? And where am I?"[/B]

[B]"Oh, sorry, I always forget to introduce myself. I'm Anne, and I've been appointed to take care of you and the others. You are in Paris 2. It must be a lot to take in, but the letter will explain more, it's ok to feel disoriented after waking from a coma."[/B]

Julia stood there shocked. 'Others'? Paris 2? Coma? She looked over to the desk in the room and saw an envelope sitting there, waiting for her to open it. She walked to the desk and picked it up, flipping it over and pulling out the thick sheet of paper from within. As she read it, her eyes widened and her whole body began to tremble.

Anne pulled a few beautiful evening gowns of unknown material from the wardrobe and laid them out on her bed, turning to speak to her.

[B]"The Supreme Chancellor has invited you to attend the ball he is holding tonight to welcome you. The ball begins at eight so you have less than an hour to get ready. When you're done getting ready just touch that white panel on the wall and it'll tell you where you're to go."[/B] Anne pointed to the white square on the wall near the door.

She smiled at Julia and left the room, closing the door behind her and leaving Julia to think on her own. She re-read the letter and walked to the window, propping her elbows on the sill she looked at Paris 2, it looked a lot different from the Paris of their time. Her mind drifted back to her home in Sydney, she started to think about what her colleagues were thinking had happened to her, and she wanted to know what happened to Kero and Ginger. She quickly realised she had let 7 minutes tick by and quickly chose out a gown and started to get herself ready. Still not believing that what was happening was reality.[/COLOR]
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[COLOR=SeaGreen]Bethany was just staring at the ceiling while she woke up. Something she often did until the haze of sleep receded. And then she stared at it even more; this was not the ceiling from her bedroom! Alarmed she sat up quickly and looked around. Rich velvet drapes covered the single window and the bed and furnishing were all of a much more expensive and refined taste than she was use to. She had never really studied art but it looked like some expensive renaissance styled hotel or bedroom in a mansion.

[I]How did I get here[/I]? She thought. The last thing she could remember was watching a TV program before going to bed. Bethany went over to the curtains and opened them to take a look.

?[B]What the hell[/B]?? she muttered to herself. Wherever she was, it wasn?t Salt Lake City, Utah! Nothing out there even closely resembled how the city looked at night. A tall tower caught her eye and with a start she realized that it was the Eiffel Tower! [I]I?m in France[/I]? She thought. [I]How in the world did I get to France[/I]! At that precise moment someone knocked at the door to her room. Startled, Bethany turned around and backed up against the window, her heart in her throat. Once again someone knocked at the door, but Bethany was too flustered to move.

The door opened and an elderly woman dressed in gray came in. At first she seemed irritated but then her expression softened when she saw Bethany?s panicked look.

?[B]I?m sorry child, I didn?t mean to frighten you[/B],? she said with a soft smile. ?[B]My name is Anne and I?m here to help you get ready for a ball tonight being held by The Supreme Chancellor to welcome you[/B].? Anne picked up a letter that was sitting on a small desk next to the bed and handed it to Bethany. ?[B]Here this will explain things, at least initially[/B].?

Bethany opened the letter and read it while the elderly woman went over to a closet and opened it. She was so absorbed in reading the letter that she didn?t notice that the woman had laid out several dresses on the bed for Bethany to choose from. She finished the letter and looked up just as the woman was finishing. Although the letter had been informative, it left her with even more questions, like her family. Was she the only one who had survived? She started to ask Anne but she shook her head.

?[B]I know what you want to ask me but I really don?t have any answers for you. I?m sorry if I seem abrupt but there are others I need to help. You only have about forty-five minutes to get ready for the ball. Once you have gotten dressed just touch this panel here[/B].? Anne pointed to a small white panel. ?[B]It will tell you what to do next[/B].?

Anne turned to leave, stopped and turned back, ?[B]I almost forgot, if you wish to do something about your hair, you?ll find what you need in the other room[/B].? With that she turned again and left.

Once the door was shut Bethany walked over to the bed and sat down. She did her best to fight the tears but a few still escaped. She looked at the dresses the woman had laid out. All of them were beautiful and further examination showed that each one of them was exactly her size. [I]I?ve just woken up from a coma, I don?t even know if my family is alive and some idiot wants me to attend a ball[/I]? She thought. Bethany picked up the dresses intending to toss them on the floor but stopped. [I]Maybe I?ll get some answers there[/I]. She thought.

Taking the green dress with her she went into the other room the woman mentioned to change. True to what Anne had said there were all sorts of clasps and assorted combs in a basket for her to use in her hair. Bethany hurried to get ready, Anne had said there were others she had to help, perhaps one of them was her family.[/COLOR]
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[FONT=Palatino Linotype]Bellerophon glanced at the clock on the wall. Like the rest of the furniture, the clock was made in an old, tacky style. Bellerophon tried to remember a word for it, but in his line of work he had concentrated on a much more ancient styles. He certainly knew his Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles.

More importantly than the way it looked, the clock's hands were almost at eight now. The ball would commence soon. Bellerophon took a one final look to the full-body mirror to see if his outfit was alright. One final tuck on the bowtie, and he walked to the door with long steps.

He remembered that the portly woman had adviced to push the white panel next to the door when he was ready.

"I don't know if I'll ever be ready, but here goes nothing" he said to himself and pushed the panel.

A serene but mechanic female voice spoke: "[I]Please exit the room and follow the corridor to the right to reach the ball room. S'il vous plaît sors de la salle et[/I]..."

Bellerophon didn't stay to listen to the voice but opened the door and entered the corridor. There were two women there, both dressed in luxurious gowns, standing in front of their doors and gazing around uncertainly. The three of them looked at each others.

"Um..." Bellerophon started. "Do you happen to know what the hell's going on?"[/FONT]
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[SIZE=1]After pressing the white panel and listening to its instructions Liane hear a soft click, indicating that the door was now unlocked and ready to be opened. With hesitant fingers she reached out and clasped the handle, opening the door cautiously and placing one foot out of the doorway to step out into the hall. The rather nasal sounding recording had directed her to turn right down the hallway and Liane was preparing to do so when her attention was caught by a a rather statuesque looking gentleman emerging from his room also. Rationalising that two heads were certaintly better than one under their current, unfamiliar circumstances Liane approached him.

[B]"Bonsoir monsieur,"[/B] Liane greeted the man, boy if she was honest with herself. His tanned good looks made for the youthful appearance of a man who could be no older than 24, most likely younger. He was dressed for the occasion, his suit freshly pressed and his shirt crisp. Looking down at herself Liane was pleased to note that she was not overdressed as she had previously feared, stepping out of her room. Dressed as she was in a sleek burgundy evening dress, a single shoulder strap complimented by a high choker of a slightly darker shade blended with her tanned skin. Her short hair, which had been a birds nest when she had awoken, she had tamed with cream and a simple clip. Running a nervous hand down her arm she admited to herself that she did look quite good.

[B]"Um..."[/B] The young man started. [B]"Do you happen to know what the hell's going on?"[/B] His accent was odd to place, Turkish prehaps.

Liane smiled at him slightly. She was oddly reassured by his unease, something that she felt so keenly reflected within herself.

[B]"I can assure you monsieur that I do not. Prehaps we should stick together in order to find out the answer, oui?[/B]

The man nodded eagerly, his dark curls bobbing with the movement. Holding out his hand he bowed slightly, something he probably felt appropriate for the situation.

[B]"I am Bellerophon, it is a pleasure."[/B]

Chuckling softly Liane took his hand and inclined her head in acknowledgement.

[B]"My name is Liane, the pleasure, of course, is all mine. An interesting name you have, Bellerophon slayed the Chimera in Greek myth did he not?"[/B]

The man nodded, a red tinge colouring his ruddy cheeks.

[B]"My parents..." [/B]

[B]"Arrete, say no more,"[/B] Liane stopped him, resting a gentle hand upon his arm [B]"I believe it is time we made are way to this 'ball'" [/B]

Bellerophon nodded and they both began to make their way down the hall.[/SIZE]
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[color=dimgray][size=1]

Upon pressing the large white panel, a slightly stuffy female voice came over an intercom and instructed Miguel of how to locate the ballroom. With that, the door lock clicked and opened slightly. Miguel looked to it and rose his eyebrow in question. Stepping over to the door, he touched it lightly with his fingers. Giving a final look back to the strange clothes on the bed, Miguel smirked and slowly pressed on the door. The hinges gave an irritating squeak as the door edged open. Miguel gave a peak out the door as he stepped out. Looking down towards the direction he was told of first. The corridor was in similar style to his room, decorated in fine art and fancy architecture. He then looked back down the corridor to see two finely dressed individuals stepping down the hall way together. A man and a woman, seemingly a couple.

The two gave Miguel a strange look as they continued towards him. The man, appareled in a normal looking full-white tuxedo, separated himself from the woman, who seemed young and attractive, albeit strange in her unique dress. Miguel was edgy, but the foreign man?s demeanor wasn?t hostile. [b] ?Hello.?[/b] he spoke in a fine baritone and in an unfamiliar accent. He stuck out his hand to shake with Miguel, who removed his right hand from the handle of the letter opener in his back pocket and shook with the man. [b] ?My name is Bellerophon. You seemed to be just as confused as I am....?[/b] he said with a smile. The man was slightly younger than Miguel, but they were similar in stature.

Miguel gave him a look from head to toe and noticed his fine suit, created of the same material as that old woman, Anne. [b] ?I wouldn?t be able to tell by looking at ya...?[/b] Miguel joked with the man. Bellerephon gave him a sense of trust with his personality. [b] ?My name is Miguel... and ugh, excuse my frankness but where the hell am I and why am I here??[/b]

[b] ?Your guess is as good as mine...?[/b] Bellerophon replied with a sigh, giving a look back to the woman who had approached closer. [b] ?This is Liane. I met up with her not to long ago.?[/b] he gestured towards her.

[b] ?Pleased to meet you, monsieur...?[/b] Liane said with a smooth, cultured voice. Her appearance and demeanor were highly unfamiliar to Miguel, who gave her an interested look. She took out her hand, which Miguel grasped at the finger with both hands and gave a nod.

[b] ?Good to meet you aswell. I?m Miguel. Miguel Del Rios...?[/b] Miguel replied, exemplifying his last name with an accent. Then releasing her hand, he went back into his former mood. [b] ?I take it you don?t have much of a clue either??[/b] he attempted to place his words in the kindest way he could for the woman, whom by a better look, seemed to be about his age.

[b] ?I?m sorry, but I have not...?[/b] she replied hesitantly. She rose an eyebrow to Miguel?s general demeanor, which was obviously a bit gruff. Miguel began feeling a tad regretful about not changing his clothes, but that hardly mattered at this time.

With a sigh, Miguel then gave another look to Bellerophon. [b]?Alright then, Bel... Belle... Be...?[/b]

[b] ?Bel-le-ro-phon....? [/b]

[b] ?Right. Heh.?[/b] Miguel smirked uncomfortably. [b] ?I think we should try and find this Chancellor guy. Off to the ballroom I suppose?? [/b]

Bellerophon and Liane gave a nod and the three started off down the long corridor. As they walked, Miguel payed close attention to his surroundings, noticing the art collected around them. Several paintings and busts, all of which seemed to feature the great French Emperor and General, Napoleon Bonaparte. There seemed to be a bit of an elitist feel to it. It became apparent to Miguel that Bonaparte was an important figure to the Chancellor. Miguel began to lose doubt of where he was. Maybe this really was Paris2....

************

As they group continued down the corridor, they came to a large doorway. It seemed to be made of a form of hardwood, decorated with a similar marble which decorated the letter opener in Miguel?s pocket. A dim light shined through the crevices in the door.

[b] ?Here we are...?[/b] Bellerophon chimed.

[b] ?It would seem so...?[/b] Liane replied.

[b] ?Alright then.... Let?s see what we got.?[/b] Miguel huffed out as he pushed on the heavy door, slowly opening it. The door?s hinges groaned as he pushed. Bellerophon joined in and pushed on the other large door.

When the door was finally opened, Liane stood mesmerized by grandeur. [b] ?Amazing...?[/b] she whispered to herself. Bellerophon and Miguel looked out aswell and were amazed. The ballroom was monolithic in it?s size. The sheer span of the room intimidated the group. It was constructed what seemed to be a single, massive piece of white marble. Enormous rafters and pillars were beautifully carved. The floor was polished finely with a bright sheen. Statues of what seemed to be the Supreme Chancellor guarded the massive doorway. On the other side of the large room appeared to be a high pulpit. Possibly where the Chancellor would reveal himself.

Miguel took the first step into the room and looked around. [b] ?Wow... this is... this is something...?[/b] he laughed to himself as his words echoed through the room. He then looked back down towards Liane and Bellerophon. He put confused look on his face. Looking back into the massive room, he asked [b] ?Do ya think there?ll be more people??[/b]


[center]------------------------------------------------[/center]

[b]OOC:[/b] I hope this was alright. I wanted to have a small group enter the Ballroom, so I took the first people in the corridor. Do tell if I made any mistakes in the description of the hallways or the ballroom. Maybe Napoleon Bonaparte is something to be added to the Artifacts or Revelations later on. Hm.....? [/color][/size]
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=#333333]Rhodesia awoke in a hazy daze and felt as if her head had split in two, her fingers and toes also felt cold and strangely foreign to the rest of her body. As she rose from her long slumber, she gazed down at her feet which she noticed her skin had gotten gradually lighter whereas it use to be a caramel chocolate brown as usual in the summertime. She rubbed her eyes straining as the light from the window seemed to become overpowering, until she heard a doorknob turn and the creak of a door opening. "[i]Good Morning[/i]" came a plain monotone voice from a plump woman in a silver dress as she made her way over to her bed.

"[i]Let me guess, you didn't read the letter did you?[/i]" she said with a fake kindness, although it was clear to see she was irritated and not suprised at what she probably thought of as something of a routine. "[i]Yes. I did. Thank you.[/i]" Rin applied to the woman only to have her taken aback by her calm and monotone anwser. "[i]Oh you poor dear, you must have been exhausted if you went back to sleep. I must imagine that you have a lot of questions, your only but a child it seems.[/i]" the woman stated trying to give a sense of sympathy towards the girl.

"[i]I'm actually 25. It's okay I get that a lot. I have no questions either.[/i]" She replied to the older woman blankly, neither hoping for an anwser or for an explanation. The woman seemed midly disturbed by this and began muttering under her breath before speaking out cheerfully, "[i]Alright then. My name is Anne, I was sent here to help you prepare for the ball tonight that will be run by the Supreme Chancellor to welcome you to Paris 2. Be ready by eight, there is a gown in the closet and beauty supplies on the desk. Don't be late and when your ready, please press the white panel on the wall and it will give you proper instructions.[/i]" She quoted from her memory, and stiffly gave Rhodesia an awkward smile. It was clear she found Rin to be distant and strange and quickly scuttled out of the room before anymore conversation could be had.

Rin got up slowly, glancing at the golden dress that hung on her closet, and out into the scenery of Paris 2. She pondered at the feeling in her chest, and felt her heart began to pace wildly. It was an emotion she could not put her finger on, but the closest she could come to was [i]freedom[/i]. She had tried to contain herself, but before she knew it a twisted smile had crept on her face. [/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[size=1][B]OOC:[/B] Pardon the pitiful post.
Getting dressed into an extremely expensive tuxedo granted him temporary respite from the overwhelming fear and grief that threatened to overthrow his mind. He stood in front of the full-body mirror and scrutinized his outfit before touching the button. He waited before the door in complete silence. His insecurities flooded back into his consciousness.

[I]Where julia sarah dead am i lost england france? ridiculous paris 2 gestapo nonsense bad 1984 dream joke third reich ?.[/I]

?Sir, please exit your room and?? he drowned out the rest of the message as he struggled to maintain rationality. The door slid open and he walked through it slowly, quietly. His body moved automatically, completely independent of his brain?s commands to stop, to assume the fetal position and scream. His brain did not register any sensory input; no sounds, no amazing sights, no delicious smells coming from the ballroom. His world was completely black and he continued his march.

Upon his arrival to the ballroom, he was greeted by several warm faces. He raised his eyes from the floor just enough to snatch brief glances of them, then returned to his sleepwalk.

?Pardon my poor manners, I?m just feeling rather down at the moment,? he said while walking away from them. He did not attempt so much as to put up a façade of happiness. Rather, he let his despair show on his face as he collapsed into the nearest chair.

?Waiter,? he called pitifully, ?could you spare me a scotch on the rocks? I need a drink.?[/size]
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[COLOR=Sienna]Darren sighed as he looked at himself in the mirror. Taking a shower and getting ready had done nothing to make him feel better. Cleaner maybe, but not better. It just didn?t seem real. The expensive surroundings just reinforced the feeling of displacement. Bethany would have known what to do. Though that thought just made him want to curl up and cry. He looked over at the clock near the small white panel, it was already a few minutes past eight. [I]I?d better get going before who ever is in charge gets angry[/I]. He thought. At the very least the ball would give him something to think about besides believing any of this was real. And that meant he could still believe that both Bethany and Mom were still alive. [I]I wish this nightmare would end[/I]. He thought as he pressed the small white panel.

He ignored the voice telling him what to do when it started to repeat the message in different languages. The hallway was empty as he moved towards the ballroom. His steps echoed as he walked making him feel even more alone and out of place. When he finally reached a set of huge doors that looked like hardwood with decorative marble trim and molds, he felt the urge to just turn around and run back to his room.

The room the doors lead to was massive beyond belief. Darren took a few steps inside and stopped. There were a handful of people already there. Darren felt himself blush when most of them turned and looked at him with inquisitive eyes. He wasn?t use to any form of attention from well dressed ladies, even if it was only curiosity.

?[B]Um[/B],? he stammered. ?[B]I don?t suppose that one of you know what?s going on[/B]?? To his disappointment several negative shakes of the head indicated that they too did not know what was going on. Darren stammered out his thanks and quickly moved on to explore the room. He wouldn?t even know how to associate with the others. Checking out the construction of the room was at least something he did understand. The whole room was impressive and in spite of looking closely at some of the pillars and statues; there were elements to their construction that he had never seen before.

Darren looked around the room again but there didn?t seem to be any sign of the chancellor mentioned in the letter. In fact other than the other people and a couple of waiters he didn?t see anyone who could shed some light on the situation. Darren sighed. [I]I wonder if I can just go back to my room[/I]. He thought. [/COLOR]
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[FONT=Palatino Linotype]Bellerophon's eyes widened as he stepped into the ballroom with the American guy and the French woman he had encountered in the hallway. The room was certainly something he wasn't used to. Gold, crystal and velvet [I]everywhere[/I], with warmly-smiling waiters and waitresses walking around just [I]waiting[/I] to get a chance to serve them.

"Mon dieu!" the French woman gasped in awe. The American man, Bellerophon remembered his name was Miguel, aimed instantly to the buffet table filled with luxurious treats. Bellerophon didn't feel hungry, so he headed to the soft cushioned armchairs that were placed along all four walls. The French woman followed him.

"This is all very exciting, n'est-ce-pas?" she asked him as they sat down.

"I don't know, I still have a hard time to believe all this", Bellerophon replied with disbelief. He felt uncomfortably tense and he kept squeezing his hands into fists and opening them again.

Other people started pouring in, all dressed for the occasion. Bellerophon was actually quite surprised by the amount of people. Had they all been in a coma?

"Listen", Bellerophon said to the woman sitting next to her. "Did you...?"

But he didn't have the chance to finish because suddenly music started playing. It was some old waltz, Bellerophon didn't really know it's name. But the French woman got excited and immediately bounced up.

"Ah, musique! Come on, pretty boy! Let's dance!" the woman said laughing and grabbed Bellerophon's arm, almost lifting him up.

"Wait! Uh..." Bellerophon tried to resist, but in vain because they were already in the middle of the ballroom, hands in hands, bodies close to each other, [I]waltzing[/I].

Bellerophon felt more and more uncomfortable, and at that moment he didn't wish anything more than that he wouldn't know how to dance waltz.[/FONT]
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[SIZE=1]The band striking up the waltz suddenly had Liane on her feet. It was a tune she knew well, she had danced to Chopin's Minute Waltz ever since she was a small girl, stepping along with her father. With the insertion of something so familiar into a situation fraught with chaos and confusion Liane grasped it with both hands, or more specifically she grasped Bellerophon with both hands, dragging him onto the dance floor.

Caught up in the music she was initially unaware of the young man's discomfort, leading as she was. She often lead when she danced with her partners. A small smile crept upon her face as she remembered her former lover, Danielle's, discomfort with the dance and as such Liane did not get to participate as much as she had liked.

Liane was brought back to the present with a yelp as Bellerophon misjudged a forward step, crushing her sandal clad toes beneath his leather shoes.

[B]"I..I'm sorry."[/B] The boy stuttered as he attempted to correct his step.

Liane chuckled and rested a small hand upon his arm.

"Non, it is my fault. I became caught up in the music and did not even ask you permission in the dance." Seeing his hesitant glance back towards the comfortable seats they previously occupied Liane smiled and ushered him forwards. [B]"Oui, I am finished. We may retourné la, s'il vous plait I insist."[/B]

Bellerophon gave her a small, grateful smile as they returned to their seats.

[B]"Thankyou, I...I'm not really familiar with that sort of dance."[/B]

Liane nodded and looked around the hall. The room was starting to fill now, both with guests whom she assumed were in the same predicament as she and with waiters and servants, eager to cater the needs and whims of those same guests.

[B]"It seems there are more here than I first anticipated."[/B][/SIZE]
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[COLOR=SeaGreen]It had taken her a couple of minutes to figure out how the dress was suppose to be worn, but once she did, Bethany found she liked how it looked. With the single shoulder strap on her right side, the form fitting dress until about her knees where it then gradually flared out and the strange cape/sash? That started at the top of her right shoulder and ended where it fastened to her left wrist. Well, it made her look far more grown up and elegant than her usual girlish look due to her short stature and slim figure. The hair clasp which she had used to pull part of her hair back with, looked equally as elegant with the small cluster of what appeared to be pearls nested in silver trim. There had even been matching pearl earrings to go with the hair clasp.

?[B]If these pearls are real[/B],? She muttered to herself. ?[B]Then this whole outfit probably costs more than what I?ve spent on the last two years of college[/B]!?

She turned from the mirror and reached to touch the small white panel only to realize with a guilty start that it was already ten minutes after eight. Bethany winced.[I] I hope no one?s upset that I?m late[/I]. She thought as she pressed the panel.

?Please be advised that you are late for the ball being held by The Supreme Chancellor. Please exit the room and follow the corridor to the right to reach the ball room.? The voice continued in several different languages. Bethany winced when she heard the statement advising her that she was late.

?[B]I hope they aren?t too cross with me[/B].? She said to herself as she left the room and started walking down the corridor. ?[B]It?s not everyday you wake up from a coma only to be expected to attend some stupid ball[/B].? She continued down the hall muttering to herself until she came to a set of huge hardwood doors that were open. Bethany stopped just before entering the room to take a look.

There were people dancing to a waltz, others checking out a huge buffet and waiters and waitress seemed to be everywhere hovering around the guests anticipating their every need. She couldn?t see everyone?s faces but for those that she could, none of them looked familiar. [I]So it?s true[/I]. She thought with despair, [I]I?ve been in a coma for God knows how long, I really am in France and Darren and Mom really are dead[/I]. In an instant she was crushed with overwhelming grief and would have turned and fled back to her room but a waiter saw her standing there and came over.

?[B]Can I get you anything[/B]?? He asked her with a small bow.

Bethany choked back her grief and answered, ?[B]Ah, no I?m fine thank you[/B].?

?[B]If you need anything don?t hesitate to ask[/B].? He said with a friendly smile before wandering off to attend to other guests.

Gathering her resolve Bethany walked further into the ball room, she wouldn?t learn anything if she ran back to her room. If this was a ball to welcome them, surely the Supreme Chancellor would be making an appearance, even if only to give them a welcome speech. Perhaps she would get some answers then. [/COLOR]
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Emilio finally decended into the dazzling ball room after an hour of trying to pick something to wear, then actually putting it on. He was wearing a blue jacket, black vest, blue pants, red tie, and white undershirt. The cuff links were red, and looked quite a bit like rubies. Seeing the suit and then the ball room made him suspect that the clothes he was wearing were worth more then his yearly wages. This made him feel a little uptight about the whole situation. He wasn't use to such up scale living. He was a tailor, and in his life he had never even seen clothes like these before, let alone wear them. He looked about the room seeing many dressed in equally impressive attire. He felt like he was out of his class, or possibly his mind. Either way it was all very akward.

Not wanting to stand out, he quickly tried to make himself appear preoccupied. moving around the tables, trying to look like he belonged. He saw chefs come into the hall with carts of food in every variety. Fine cuts of beef, fresh fish and poultry, crab, lobster, cakes and other treats, bottles of fine wine decorated every corner. All this food made him realize how hungry he was, but he didn't want to make a glutton of himself, so he waited for the others to make there move. Plus, he was sorried about making a mess of the fine clothes he had dressed himself in. God knows he couldn't afford to replace them if they should get stained.

He rememberd that the old woman who came to his room said something about the 'others'. Maybe they were already here. It was hard to tell since everyone was so well dressed. He felt like the only one sticking out, but everyone else seemed to blend in so well. The cheffs were going about there business putting the tables together, so Emilio tryed to keep himself amused with other things. Thought sadly, he didn't know with what he would amuse himself. He felt like was very different from the others there.

Suddenly a tall man came up behind him [B]"May I help you, sir?"[/B]

Emilio turned with a jump, he sure was jumpy today. He only now realized he had placed himself in front of one of the tables that had been set. He wasn't used to being referred to as a sir, and the whole thing only made him a little less comfortable. He looked at the table before him [B]"May I have some of the chicken?"[/B]

The man bowed humbly, making Emilio feel even odder. He put a few pieces of meat on a plate then handed it to Emilio [B]"Will that be all? Perhaps a drink as well?"[/B]

Emilio nodded slowly and the man poured him a glass of red wine from a dark bottle, with a fine gold leaf on it. All this formality was making him feel like he should leave, but he knew that it would be rude to the host to just leave like that. Emilio took the plate and the glass and left quickly, afraid the man might ask him more questions.

The music in the hall was elegant and pleasing to the ears. All the people dancing made it feel like a scene from a movie or a play. Emilio then noticed a few others as well who were not dancing. Perhaps these were the 'others' he had heard mention of. Did she mean others like him? Now he wished he had asked her then. Emilio just stood there eating and taking a few sips of his wine every few seconds, unsure of what he should do. He rememberd that the note mentioned the chancellor would be appearing. Surly he would have some kind of answer for Emilio and these others. That fact was perhaps the only thing grounding Emilio at the party, which was making him feel increasingly uneasy.

It was killing Emilio inside that he didn't know anyone here. He was used to living in small communities where everybody knew everybody. All these unfamilar faces, living in such extravagance is perhaps the most troubling. Emilio went toward a nearby wall and stood off to the side [B]"I want to go home."[/B]
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[SIZE=1]Eyes fluttering open, Neil Gratzner saw three things wrong with his situation, one, this was not the bed he had gone to sleep in last night, two, this was not the room he had gone to sleep in last night, and three, he could see these things clearly without the need of his glasses. His fingers instinctively moved their way over towards the bedside locker, any other day his fingers would feel the cold metal frames of his glasses, now however there was only the soft sensation of paper. Tentatively he slid the page, letter, whatever it was off the locker and began to read it, hopefully it would tell him he?d merely been sick and this was a hospital he was not familiar with somewhere in Ireland, unfortunately he had the distinct feeling this would not be the case.

?[i]Dominique Villette, Supreme Chancellor, West France[/i]?. Well that answers some questions he supposed, obviously he?d been in this coma a considerable period of time for all the letters contents to have occurred, while not a scientist he had performed well enough in secondary school science to know that genetic alteration on such a scale was technologically impossible in the early twenty-first century, the very fact that the entire globe had once again been plunged into war concerned him. What of Ireland ? What of the Vatican ? What of the Church ?! Obviously this letter had not been written directly to Neil, but rather as a generic message to be read by all those who had arrived in Paris 2, to give them some semblance of understanding in a very alien milieu. He cast back the covers of his bed, he was wearing some kind of full length sleeping gown, unisex by the design appearance, although given the time differential between his period and this, it was equally possible this was the height of masculinity. Either way Neil felt the need to wash himself, the cold sweat beads accumulating around his forehead.

?[b]Excuse me sir ?[/b]?

The language was English, but there was a Parisian tang to the accent. Perhaps Neil would be as well off to converse to her in her own language, if French was still spoken here, or if the dialect of French he was fluent in was still spoken here.

?[b]Yes Madame ?[/b]?

?[b]You speak French ?[/b]?

He merely nodded back, he hoped that by conversing with her in French she might take a better liking to him, and maybe even tell him more about what had gone on while he had been in this... coma.

?[b]Good, far too little of today has been spent conversing in my native tongue. There are so many non-French people here today that is it relaxing to simply slip back into my normal language, however my good sir, you are clearly not French. I might call you English but I do not think I would be right.[/b]?

Neil shook his head, more instinctively than anything else, he would need to control his normal behavioural pattern to better communicate with this woman. He was so used to allowing part of his conversational replies to be made up through body language that it would require him to will himself to speak fully.

?[b]Thankfully your perceptions are keen Madame, I am not English, I am Irish. Father Neil Gratzner at your service.[/b]?

?[b]Ah, Father, I was wondering when I would have the pleasure of meeting you. You are the first man of the cloth we have had here in a considerable period of time. I am Anne, and I am here to help you adjust after the coma you have just awakened from, as well as that I am here to inform you of the ball you are invited to attend at 8 PM sharp. The Supreme Chancellor is eager to meet you all.[/b]?

?[b]Sumpreme Chancellor Villette will meet us at this ball ?[/b]?

?[b]Oh yes, I am sure he will be able to answer your questions far more fully than I would be able to. In the wardrobe near just to your right you will find a selection of clothing from which you may choose to wear to the ball.[/b]?

?[b]Ah Madame ? I do not wish to sound ungrateful for you have been truly kind to me on this very strange morning. However I am as you correctly pointed out a man of the cloth, and it would be inappropriate for me not to wear the robes of my order.[/b]?

She simply smiled back at him, like a mother who?s child had just asked a question she knew was coming.

?[b]Of course Father, there are several clerical cassocks of a Roman Catholic priest among the other items of clothing, we had a feeling you would prefer to wear the robes of your order so they were commissioned for your use tonight. When you are washed and dressed, you simply touch this panel and it will guide you to the ball. I must say Father that you are one of the longer sleeping ones I?ve had today, the ball is in just under forty-five minutes so you will have to be quick. Adieu, we may or may not speak again, but I sincerely hope we do.[/b]?

?[b]Adieu Anne, and again thank you for your kindness. May the protection of the Lord be ever with you.[/b]?

The French woman merely bowed as she left the room, leaving Neil to assimilate all the information he had just acquired, piecing it along with the information garnered from the letter to fill in the ever expanding jigsaw puzzle of what had occurred. Moving into the bathroom he found what appeared to be a shower, there were cleansing materials provided and the hot water helped to calm his somewhat unsettled nerves. Looking into the mirror, the twenty-seven year old priest saw just how different he looked without his glasses, his eyes were considerable bigger looking and the dark patches below his eyes from too few nights sleep had all but disappeared, he looked refreshed and truth be told he felt refreshed.

The clothing closet was larger than the woman had described, or perhaps Neil has simply grown comfortable with his own Spartan possessions to realise how meagre they might compare to a person of wealth. There were indeed ?several? cassocks from which he could choose, any one of fourteen, each tailored with a slightly different cut, but all of his size and in keeping with the dictations of the Church. He chose one that was most similar to his normal robes, the material however was noticeably more expensive, it slipped over his frame with ease and very more smooth against his skin than anything Neil had ever worn before. His shoes and collar were presented on nearby racks and quickly he found himself fully ready to attend the Supreme Chancellor?s ball. Gently he pushed against the white panel Anne has indicated and a soft feminine voice emanated giving him the directions he required to find his way to the ball.

?[b]Well my Lord, all things are as You will them, and I Your humble servant will do my best to serve you here.[/b]?

The ballroom was far larger than he could ever have imagine, he could not help but to admire it craftsmanship and elegance. As he was admiring it however, he did not realise another person had come over to speak with him.[/SIZE]
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[font=palatino linotype]Bellerophon didn't feel comfortable that he had already lied to the French woman about not knowing how to waltz when they had just met. But in this case, he assured himself, the end justified the means.

It's not that the woman wasn't attractive, on the contrary she was very beautiful. Bellerophon was just so dazzled by everything that he had seen and learned during the last hour that he didn't feel like socializing with the woman. He even felt his forehead starting to ache.

He looked at the woman again, and she smiled at him. "Would you like something to drink? I could ask a waiter to bring us something..."

"No thanks, mademoiselle", Bellerophon replied with phony politeness as he couldn't bring himself to remember the woman's name. She wasn't really his type, either, although he didn't really know [I]what[/I] was his type. Subconsciously he knew, but he didn't want to jump on [I]that[/I] train of thought.

"Oh, just call me Liane", the woman said and giggled in a sophisticated way, gently pressing her palm against her mouth.

Another wave of pain went through Bellerophon's head, forcing him to close his eyes. To his amazement, he still sensed Liane's presence as if he could see her. He even sensed her putting her hand down, although it didn't make any sound. He opened his eyes, and saw Liane looking at him with a worried expression on her elegant face, [I]with both hands down[/I].

"[I]Ti[/I]...?!" Bellerophon asked out loud in Greek. He felt like his head was spinning.

Suddenly he became very aware of everybody in the room, although his eyes were still fixed to Liane. The music on the background was suddenly very loud, as were all the hubbub of discussion, and his mind pictured every person and piece of furniture in the huge ballroom.

Then it suddenly stopped. Liane had stood up and placed her hand on Bellerophon's shoulder.

"Uh, I think I could use a glass of water, thank you", he said to Liane weakly.[/font]

[size=1][B]OoC:[/B] Hopefully it's alright to start showing off some of my character's skills at this point.[/size]
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[COLOR=#af992f][SIZE=1][FONT=Comic Sans MS]After the feminine voice from the panel spoke the location of the ball, Zoraki shrugged his shoulders and blankly headed out of the room and walked down the long hallway, which seemed to be encased in nothing but beauty. Such elegant craftwork, it was like none he had ever seen before. For the moment, he couldn?t stop looking at the hallway. Such decoration he hadn?t even been able to see during his own time.

It was then he had actually took a chance to wonder out of all the people in the world. Why was chosen to be sent here? There must have been a great number of people who could have been put here instead of him. He shook his head ravenously and just sighed. [I]Stop beating yourself up for things you couldn?t control. You?re here now, and that?s all that matters so just get over it.[/I] He quickly snapped out of it and found himself looking back at what seemed to look like a rather large and imposing looking door. [B]?Well I guess this must be it. There aren?t any other doors around that look as grand as this one.?[/B] With that being said, he pressed against the door and let his body drift inside before he was able to get a good chance to actually see the ballroom. [B]?What a sight for sore eyes.?[/B]

This had to be the ballroom; there was no other explanation for it. He had though the hallways were something to admire, yet this room was in a league of its own! Gentle music, an amazing assortment of objects littered the walls and the ceiling. As he walked into the ballroom he took a moment to look at the people who were already there doing whatever, some were dancing, some looked as if they were reminiscing about what had happened.

If what Anne said was true, then all of these people were to have been in a coma for who knows how long. Many of them probably lost their love ones, yet Zoraki didn?t he really didn?t have any people close enough to him to even call family. In his case, his life had hit a restart button that never needed to be there in the first place. Yet maybe he could make this new life a little bit different from his last? Just as he let this though cross his mind, he suddenly noticed some movement in the corner of his eye and quickly turned only to see a waiter.

[B]?Can I help you?? [/B] Zoraki muttered slipping his hands into his black tuxedo looking outfit. He didn?t really know what else to call this thing. Even though it looked much like a Tuxedo, he was in a different time and now it could be known as just about anything.

[B]?I am here for your service sir, is there anything that you need?? [/B] The waiter asked looking back at Zoraki, while he just shrugged and pretended to be looking at something that was more important that the conversation. [B]?I don?t know for now, just get me some water.?[/B]

The waiter bowed halfheartedly and gently poured him a glass of water as Zoraki continued to look around at the people already here. They all were a rather interesting bunch, yet akin to being Zoraki, he wasn?t that much of a social person he just wanted to get through this whole ball and just explore this world for what it was. It?s not everyday that a person wakes up to a completely different world and is almost oblivious to everything that is happening inside of it. [B]?I wonder just what all of these other people?s reactions where when they had found out that they were in a world that they didn?t know, with everything that had changed so much. That is though, if this isn?t? some kind of a dream or something like that.?[/B]

After speaking such words, Zoraki continued his casual walk around the ballroom and let his eyes survey some of the art works that it held within.
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