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29 December 2010 @ 06:58 pm
This is it, duckies!

The final sandbox for the game can be found at thegoldenshore, and you can start posting as soon you like~ There's a FAQ here for any questions you might have, and please let us know if we missed anything!

This has been an incredible two years of ups and downs and lots of sideways things. Modding this game has been an amazing experience, and one that will be difficult to top. I've made so many friends here, met so many talented writers and I couldn't even begin to list everything that made the boat wonderful, but you guys are pretty close to the top of the list. THANK YOU. Seriously. Please keep on heading into Ele chat to stay in touch (AIM: elegante), tagging with each other and generally being awesome. Rock on in your other games, branch out, and never forget the cracky, horrific experiences you had on the Fail Boat!

I LOVE YOU ALL!

~*~TOOT TOOT~*~
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27 December 2010 @ 05:33 pm
[Hooray! Did everyone enjoy their promptu swimming lesson?

... no?

Oh.

Well then.

At least there's land though, right? The weather's lovely too, a balmy ninety degrees with the sun shining brightly over the warm sand of the beach.

A sign is stuck at the edge of the beach. It reads "WELCOME TO THE GOLDEN SHORE! A new beginning!" There's a bloody handprint over the last word that's smeared down to the edge of the board; a pile of blood remains on the sand, but there's no body to match it.

What first appeared to be buildings lining the fringes of the beach are actually rubble.

What lies beyond them?
]
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23 December 2010 @ 09:13 pm
[After several of the passengers had broken the emergency glass panel in the Captain's command deck, the Elegante slowly, slowly begins to move again. But it's not a smooth journey. In fact, she seems to vibrate and shake as she lurches along, and with every inch further every passenger will feel more tired, more shaken and exhausted, as if their own energy is forcing the ship along. Of course, since there seems to be nothing left of the original power source, this may be exactly what is happening. At least the furious steering noises of a hundred mouths seem to be helping!

Suddenly the ship lurches forward, and then drops. Yes,
drops.

Like an elevator plummeting in a free fall, the ship hurtles down, down, down. Further and further, almost a mile down until it splashes into ... the ocean?

Oh.

Well then. This is quite nice.

A bit strange, but nice.

Anyone who ventures up onto the top deck will find the sun shining brightly over a brilliant blue sea, the weather pleasant and warm like a glorious summer's day. The ship floats in the calm water, much as a ship should, in stark contrast to the various horrors of the last few days.

The rusted, peeling shell of the M.S. Elegante, covered in blood and dried blue stuff bobs in the water as they sail peacefully and--

OH SHIT, ICEBERG!

No amount of BRRRRRRRRing will save them now!

A brutal, screeching crunch echoes through the boat as it plows right into the giant wedge of ice and ...

... begins to sink.
]
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23 December 2010 @ 06:25 pm
[TEAM A: OPERATION HOW DO I STEER THIS THING

As noted on Meth's communicator, at the end of the now unlocked crew quarters is a steel elevator. It only has one button, which takes the passengers down, down, down into the very bowels of the now silent ship.

It deposits them into a large room. On one wall there is a crayon drawing of a steering wheel just below a small shelf with button decals on it in a very cute imitation of a control panel. Another wall has a map which seems to be little more than two points with a squiggly line drawn between the two of them, with smaller interesting points highlighted along the way. There is a pin at one spot about two thirds of the way along the line. On a third wall is a glass panel with a sign that says "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, PLEASE BREAK GLASS"; beneath it is an inflatable axe hanging from a string.

TEAM B: OPERATION I WANT MY MOMMY

There is a locked post on Meth's communicator detailing the crew's attempts to heal Mother, and their decision to hold her in the Medical Bay. Or, what remains of it.
]

{{ OOC: Team A is for characters who are interested in finding the wheel.

Team B is for characters who are interested in finding Mother.

These are for those who arranged it ICly last night, or want to join now! }}
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22 December 2010 @ 11:41 pm
[The End is always weakest while consuming, while gorging itself on a world full of life or even a tiny morsel. But now, as it focuses on the single creature that it had ever truly struggled with, the only self-aware entity who had the absolute temerity to survive, it clings to Redd stubbornly, refusing to give up this prize.

The passengers' attacks do more than scratch. They do more than gouge. There is only one man, it seems, for so many people to attack, yet somehow there are no bumped elbows or heads. It's as if their target is somehow bigger than they can see, taking up more dimensional space than possible, so that even though they're striking at the Captain of the ship that has faithfully carried them so very far, there is room enough for all.

In fact there's more than room enough, it seems a struggle even now to hack and slash away at the End made flesh. There is just so very much of it; even weakened, even hurting, even just as a tiny piece of the whole, even so consumed by its hate that it doesn't notice its own imminent extinction, it is massive.

And yet, it is not. Suddenly it is small. So, so small. There's an angry burst of SOMETHING in the air and the shield around the boat shatters into tiny fragments of nothing at all. For a brief moment there is little more than a hatred and fear so intense it's blinding. And then, it's gone, like a fog dispersing in the sun.

Dark paranoia fades. The twisting wrongness in the air, the whispering voices, the burning and the pain curl in upon themselves. The embodiment of entropy, of all imaginable hatred and cruelty and sadism given a million times more power than mortally imaginable, is sliced away. The chunks of meat and puddles of goo that remain of the good Captain no longer seem immeasurably huge, just the sad remains of a great sacrifice. There isn't much left of him. Actually nothing at all; what is left burns and curls away under the dissolving patina of blue liquid, which spreads like a benevolent cleansing agent over the struggling remnants of the End.

Reality rights itself. And with a snap that seems to be the universe shaking itself loose, everything once again feels as normal as it could be on this boat of refugees. The deck is rusted and bent, stained with blood and slippery with blue stuff as the illusion remains broken. Just a rusted metal frame, floating in an enormous void.

As if sensing the death of its Captain and crew, the boat heaves a shuddering sigh of mourning, then stops.
]
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22 December 2010 @ 09:15 pm
[Bubbling and pulsing, the mass seems to be taking far, far more damage than it had at any point before.

No that's not true. It had been greatly damaged while feasting on the bodies of the crew and other creatures.

As the last of the heron's body disappears into itself, it seems to be almost melting, oozing in places and unable to hold a form as the viscous blue liquid dumped over it hisses and smokes through it. It morphs into smoke, back to liquid, to something almost solid and then to a writhing ball of vines before vanishing from sight completely.

The temperature of the air begins to rise dramatically, every breath feeling like searing hot sand in every character's lungs. It stings eyes and seeps into wounds, tearing them open and swimming in the warm blood there. The rage and paranoia and absolute torment is unbearable, desperate, a clawing sensation like sandpaper over emotions.

And then it stops.

Redd stands on the deck. His eyes are wide and his clothes have been torn in places; it appears that any remaining shred of sanity has left him. A muscle beneath his eye twitches and he begins to chuckle. It turns into a laugh, and then a hysterical shriek of something between hilarity and utter despair. He understands now. Why he couldn't defeat it before, why no one could.

This is fate. This is destiny. This is one huge cliché about fated enemies and absolute power meeting absolute power.

His arms spread wide.

The End begins to come together piece by piece high in the air, like iron filings drawn to a magnet. It seems somehow less coordinated. More clumsy, less controlled. Pieces change shape and loosen, it drips here and there and appears to struggle to hold any kind of shape. Whatever was in that blue liquid seems to have damaged it, and badly. Holes remain where passenger damage hasn't yet healed, and it swirls angrily. But everything it has, the combined millennia of absorbed worlds, of torture and agony and pain and suffering, all the hate and violence and evil of the trillions of life forms it had consumed, all its intelligence and focus is pinpointed solely on one man alone.

The one man who stood up to it, and survived. The one man who evaded it for centuries. The one man who has never given up, never bowed his head, never admitted weakness or defeat. The one man who stole its Agents and rescued its victims. The one man powerful enough to say No.

Hundreds of years of hatred and a lust for vengeance come together in one uncontrollable burst, and the End whirls around in a blood red tornado of nothingness. And then, it launches itself straight at the Captain.

Shuddering as the End slams into him, he twists his face into a grimace as it soaks into him, slowly beginning to dissolve him from the inside. Staggering to the side, he picks up a barrel and with a growl of strength, overturns it over his head, drenching himself in the stuff.

It clatters to the ground and rolls to the railings, bumping against them and dribbling a few more drops onto the deck.

Swaying unsteadily, Redd raises his gaze to the passengers amassed in front of him.

So many survivors. A misshapen group of completely different organisms with their own motivations, their own strengths and weaknesses, but all with a drive to
live. So different from any other cruise he's run, so much more defiant, so much more willing to fight.

His laugh melts away and he grins maniacally at them with a look of burning pride.

There would be no happy ending here. There was never meant to be.

This was how things were fated to end.

Eyes glassy with pain, he bears his teeth, and gives one final silent order to his ragtag passengers.

DO IT.
]
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22 December 2010 @ 07:05 pm
[Too many saw through the End's illusion. Or perhaps it had been too weakened by Redd's brutal attacks.

Its influence wasn't affecting the passengers nearly enough, and apparently new tactics are called for. The Great Man himself is bleeding but still grinning furiously. And yet with so much of
his magic directed to that shield, the End itself cannot expand to its full capabilities. It will have to get creative.

The End maintains its mental attack on the passengers -- the trauma is pleasing to it, and it keeps them somewhat busy -- and suddenly appears behind the wounded Captain, the hands of That Person reaching for his throat with a furious snarl.

There's a flurry of white feathers and an undignified squawk, and the Heron appears between the two, flapping her undamaged wing towards the mass. What does she see, if anything at all?

It steps back with a hiss of pain.

A clack of her beak, and the Heron advances, spreading both wings, dripping blood onto the deck. She seems to glow slightly, the air around her warping and shimmering until she morphs, shifting once again into her human form.

Auksararpoq, the proud and powerful Admiral of the End's fleet of Agents and dedicated spy for Captain Redd. Her left hand has been sliced off at the wrist and bleeds profusely, but she ignores this, her eyes dark and focused purely on the End.

The body language of the illusion relaxes completely, seemingly curious to see exactly what might be coming. Exactly how does one defeat a god, even one by self-definition?

Jaw setting, Auksararpoq forces herself past the pain and fear, past the terror of the moment and this final desperate battle. Her mind reaches out, spreading far and wide. How do you invade the thoughts of a creature with no body to speak of? It must be possible; she refuses to accept that it isn't. And yet a very large part of her is afraid to see what might be in that mind.

She finds it, a seething ball of hate and rage like a thousand maggots writhing over the corpse of a dog in a frenzy of blind hunger. And she forces her way in, pulling and stretching the edges, diluting the emotion and whittling it down.

The End SCREAMS. Or more accurately, that person does. It clutches its head and staggers backwards with a howl of pain as those passengers who refuse to see the illusion continue to fire on it.

Auksararpoq advances. If she can keep it subdued for long enough, then they can break it down. This could work. Where one had failed for so long, many may be victorious.

Squirming around on the floor, the person rolls over onto its back and doesn't move. Its eyes stare blankly up, then slowly its head turns to fix on Auksararpoq. It vanishes, then reappears behind her, hands wrapped around her throat.
]

Bitch. I gave you those powers. You cannot defeat me with a gift I bestowed upon you.

You had everything and gave it up for him. Why?

He cannot win. You know this.


[Teeth bared, she snarls at it.]

He's stronger than-- you.

[Redd's eyes are bulging with fury, and the entire ship begins to rumble as he hisses and his fists clench, the shield crackling in places.

The hands around her throat tighten.
]

Ah but he is not. He has a weakness.

[Suddenly it's gone. That person has vanished.

And then Auksararpoq screams.

The skin on her fingers begins to peel back, the nails dropping to the ground like acrylics as her epidermis shrinks away. Her hair sheds and scatters around her shoulders as her scalp peels off slowly, her eyes rolling back as her lips shed like bad sunburn. Blood soaks her clothes as muscle disintegrates and melts away, her screams dying off as her lungs flop wetly to the deck and she collapses into a messy heap of blood, organs, bone and a once proud crew uniform.

A thick red liquid pools around her, but it can't be blood; blood doesn't pulse and move by itself. It slurps and gurgles its way over her body and forms a seal, crunching and chewing through the sloppy mess.

The ship thunders hard enough to throw every single person off their feet. Everyone except Redd, that is.

He makes no sound. His eyes are darker and more full of undiluted cruelty than they have ever been through any punishment, any invasion, any disobedience. Spit foams at the corners of his mouth, and his voice is so quiet it can barely be heard, and yet so loud and all-encompassing that no one can miss his orders.
]

KILL IT.

[He disappears.]
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21 December 2010 @ 11:00 pm
[As Redd orders his crew to throw themselves to whatever fate awaits them in that evil red fog, he holds his breath, eyes bright and wide.

Curling around in much the same way it did for the other creatures it had been offered, the mass pulsates, but more excitedly this time, swelling and gorging itself on the sacrifices. Bones snap and blood squelches over tortured screams in a horrible cacophony of murder.

Redd raises his arms to the heavens and throws his head back.
]

NOW! FIRE!

[As the multitude of passenger weapons fire against the End, something strange happens. The hissing, gaping holes caused by the ammunition are wider, deeper. They smoke more and the mass seems to rumble and twist in pain -- if it even feels pain at all -- but it doesn't defend itself.

A few moments later it whirls and spins in a frenzy of anger, then curls its entire mass into one compact, swirling red flurry. Whipping around itself to force the air into a sound much like a shriek of rage, it dives towards Redd and sharpens itself into an enormous, ephemeral blade. A flash of red, and blood splashes against the top deck. Redd drops to one knee, clutching his side, blood pouring from between his fingers as the Heron stands over him protectively, clacking her beak and flapping her wings, one of which is now missing a large chunk from the tip.

Redd's teeth bare in a laugh, and his eyes are wild and crazy as he fixes his gaze on the swirling mass which now expands and contracts questioningly. It spreads itself tall and wide, but seems to hit some kind of invisible wall around the ship itself, a shimmering force field that wasn't there before. Something rings through the minds of everyone on board -- not quite a voice, but an innate understanding of some projected idea.
]

You will not survive. The longer you prolong your demise, the more my hunger grows.

[Lurching to his feet, Redd grins maniacally.]

We'll all die here. But even if we do, you won't get away. You're trapped here, just like the rest of us.

[Compressing once more into a small, solid ball no larger than a truck, the mass suddenly vibrates and melts away from view. In its place is that person. That person. You know the one. The one person your character loves and respects more than anyone else in the world. That person they fight for, the one they think of, the one they worry about. And that person is looking right at them with frightened, mournful eyes, a look of shock and disbelief. It is that person, such a perfect replica that it is impossible to see any kind of flaw.

It ... might be a trick, right? Just an illusion.

But the person next to them is cocking their gun. There's a look of determination in their eyes.

Wait, are they aiming at that loved one, or another innocent? What are they doing, firing on their own side; have they gone crazy? And it's not just them, everyone can feel it. That edge of paranoia, that fear. Distrust. Anger. Head-spinning nausea and the realization that it's every passenger for themselves.

Someone fires the first shot.
]
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21 December 2010 @ 09:25 pm
[The battle is underway, but the field is too even. There are casualties on both sides (well, if you can count casualties with an enormous mass of something utterly indefinable), but unfortunately for the denizens of the M.S. Elegante, their opposition adjusts with every new blow, growing more agile and dodging a little better with each shot that hits.

With a snarl of fury, Redd jumps down from his perch and marches over to the assorted creatures assembled along the deck. Pacing back and forth, he thrusts a finger at them accusatorily.
]

You have served your Captain well.

Now, off you go!

[With a low grunt and a nod, the sushi bears reach down to the their feet and pull on bright blue scuba gear -- including bear sized flippers. They waddle to the aft of the boat and with one mournful roar, leap over the edge to their deaths.

The mass retracts and the tentacles release their captives, jerking back to protect themselves.

Redd laughs maniacally.
]

More! MORE!

[Without a word of argument against their Captain's orders, the crew feed cups of blue liquid to the creatures, dousing it on those who refuse to drink. Some need to be thrown overboard, dragged callously without any regard for their screams of protest or pleas for mercy.

The mass immediately pulls itself in, releasing the ship and wrapping around the offered creatures. It pulses and there are horrible wet crunching, slurping noises. Suddenly it shudders and there's a high pitched screech from everywhere at once. The mass hisses and smokes, swirling and growing excited. With a rumble and thunderous roar, it suddenly expands and shudders forward several feet along the boat, far, far closer to the passengers than it was before and yet far less eager to grab at them.

Redd's expression is one of sadistic triumph, but he tilts his chin up and frowns as the End continues to worms its way closer. Turning on his heel, he settles his gaze on his passengers, damp with blue stuff and smeared with red blood.

Clucking his tongue, he looks sideways at the crew.
]

WELL? And what are you waiting for?
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21 December 2010 @ 08:21 pm
[With all passengers fully armed and ready, Redd resumes his position at the aft of the boat, standing atop the escalator with his arms spread.

He faces the red mass headon.
]

FIRE, YOU BASTARDS!

[The mass contracts, then releases thousands of spiny tentacle-like appendages aimed directly at the passengers.

One slices through the side of Yuna's cheek, exposing her teeth and the inside of her jaw, another winding around her upper arm and crushing tightly.

Talia is too close to escape, and three vines twirl around her chest to break her ribs.

Xanxus is not so lucky. One particularly barbed length closes around his throat while another wraps around his leg and pulls sharply at an unnatural angle until his hip snaps.

The rest dive straight for the other passengers.
]
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