Driver Seat

OOC: Joint post - Turk & Blitzen

Death was certainly an interesting experience for London. She had expected pain, after all, an arrow through the head should have prompted as much. But she felt nothing and could only watch as shadow and arrow both hurdled in her direction. From there it had been darkness and quiet, to a near numbing degree as perhaps even her mind accepted death as the inevitable outcome of the stimuli it had been exposed to. But that was the thing as well, she knew it was dark and quiet. She might not have had some advanced medical knowledge like Sirah might have thought but that sure as hell didn’t mean that she didn’t know the difference between feeling alive and being dead...she thought.

She had lost track of time, or perhaps to some degree she had stopped caring seeing as she was now dead. But that was the thing wasn't it? If she was dead then why could she still feel anything? And why did this enrapturing darkness feel more like a headache the more she thought about it. Around this point, she started to become more aware of her body, and eventually she realized the reason her head was starting to hurt was because she was still flinching incredibly hard. Slowly her eyes opened to a bright white light around her. A seemingly endless void surrounded her as she picked up her head to survey the area. In the distance, though something broke the pure white, a furniture set in the distance and what looked like a figure waving over at her.

She wasn’t the theological sort - the concept of heaven/hell wasn’t something that rolled easily around her mind, but now - being dead - the fact that there was an afterlife was intriguing, as was the curiosity of who was waving her over. A lost grandparent maybe? Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of rainbow bridge so she’d get to see Gordie Howe, her old Tabby cat again? She moved towards the waving figure.

With a few steps forward the figure they lowered their arm and put it to their side. With London’s next step she felt the space between the two of them be pulled together in a near instant and she was now only three feet away from the stranger. They stood an equal height but she couldn’t see much of them as they were covered in various bits of black clothing. She didn’t have much time to consider their appearance as a familiar voice came from behind the mask, “Hey London Calling, glad to finally meet you face to face...alright more like face to mask, but you get my point.” the figure extended a black gloved hand toward her.

How much worse could it be? She was already dead. “Have we… met?” She asked, extending her hand to shake its.

The grip is surprisingly loose considering the tightening of leather around her hand that she can hear. A small exhale came from the figure, “I suppose technically no, but we have spoken. I’m that voice you were hearing, we had a nice chat in the infirmary just yesterday?” He released her hand and motioned over to the furniture, a variety of metal pipe supported and black leather encoated seating options were available, “Please, I think this next part would best be taken sitting down. If you’d prefer some other arrangement I can figure that out for you as well.” And with an instant one of the more sleek modern chairs had faded and was replaced by a colorful beach chair, and then again by an old wooden rocking chair. “Please do sit.” The figure offered, settling back into what appeared to be a chair more fit for a modern video game streamer than some mysterious stranger in a void.

“Th… thanks?” She said, sitting down in the sleek chair. Being dead, you got to do some pretty cool stuff it looked like.

"So I have to check, what do you remember?" The figure leaned in his chair and crossed gloved hands through one another. "Believe me it's actually really important you tell me everything"

London looked up, because everyone knows that’s the key to remembering things. “I remember Jack Norworth was being a dick and hitting baseballs into the parking lot. I remember the sports equipment being trashed. I know I went to the infirmary and Chuck - I saw Chuck was beat up and he said about the bats. And you said about the sports lockers. I remember going and there was a shadow, a hand and it crept inside the locker room, and there was an arm and a bat and it killed the Janitor. I tried to warn him. He was looking for someone named Tommy. I couldn’t help him though, I couldn’t do anything so I just hid while the whole thing happened. He said he’d kill me - well, not me, but whoever was in the room and then another voice said they were looking for an artifact, and they would have to call the vulture about any witnesses. And then Sirah texted and she came and got me and -- Sirah!!! Is Sirah okay? Is she here too? She saved… or.. Meant to save my life!”

The figure leaned back pensively, “Okay… that’s good, you still remember a lot of what’s happened recently from what I know of. Hold onto those memories. I don’t know how you’re resisting the Vulture but maybe I got lucky and grabbed you first, locked in your thoughts. Sirah was your roommate right? I’m…” There was a pause that told too much and she heard the figure sigh, “Look, not everyone has the ability that you have and I’m sorry but it doesn’t seem that Sirah was one of those people.”

“Wait -- who… what’s the vulture? And what ability? Is Sirah dead too?” She didn’t like this turn of events, it felt like a rope tightening around her stomach with each word. Her voice lowered to barely above a whisper. “What’s going on?”

As her thoughts grew more distraught the edges of the world began to blur. Noticing this the seated figure quickly got up and in a worried tone and flurry of arm waves, "Oh shit, please call down, please this really only works if you're relaxed and asleep. Otherwise it'll get all foggy and I kinda need you to pay attention."

“Asleep?” Of course! I’m sleeping! This is all a crazy dream stemming from that asshole Jack, subconscious nonsense. I’ll wake up with the alarm and Sirah will be sleeping on the bunk across from me. “All right…” She said, ready to indulge a lucid dream. “I’m paying attention.”

The figure’s arms stopped in front of them as they processed the situation, clearly more confused now than London. For a moment they stood there, the figure in a black helmet looking on blankly at London who looked on eager to indulge what must be a strange dream. After a while though the figure finally seemed to snap back to life, “Well alright then, so doing this piece meal clearly isn’t going to work so let’s just rip that bandaid off right?” He walked back and sat back into his chair.

“Alright so from the top...actually no that’d take too long. Let me just get to the parts that matter to you.” He went into thought for a second, “So you’re not dead, and you’re right you’re in a dream it’s just...a bit more complicated than that.” He got up and a small podium phased in as he leaned onto it, “Basically, you have a certain kind of…” he chopt his hands in a circular motion as he searched for the right word, “spirit? Spirit is probably the best word I have for this. Now I don’t know who’s bright idea it was for them to hit you with the arrow, but basically rather than outright killing you, y’know like an arrow should’ve, it awakened this spirit into a Stand.”

“Hold up, hold up, so I have a spirit, like that flakey kid who says her spirit animal is a dolphin? And what’s a Stand?”

The helmet of the figure was pressed into the podium, “Hooo boy, sorry. Sometimes I forget not everyone’s up on the lingo.” He picked his head back up and rested it on a hand, “Alright, sorry full bandaid time.” The figure now stood to his full height and put both hands on the bottom of his biker helmet. As the helmet was removed London could see nothing but black wisps spill forth and leave an empty spot where a head, neck, and most of anything that would constitute a normal body would be. But the voice continued, “So a stand is a...god the philosophy department probably put this better, it’s basically you’re will and spirit manifest as a physical force. Right now you’re not actually talking to me, but my stand. Everyone’s got different...powers feels a bit too superhero-ish doesn’t it but...abilities that they have.”

The figure fixed the helmet back onto his head with a twist and continued on, stepping to the side of the podium, “So my ability lets me talk to people through their brain when they’re asleep...or tired...or kinda drowsy...honestly it just works better the more relaxed you are and sleep lets me have this whole setup which I think we can both agree, is pretty freakin awesome.” He gave a sweeping gesture to the expanse.

“It’s… impressive.” She agreed. “So my--” She used her fingers to generate air quotes “Stand’ is taking arrows to the head and surviving? Sounds like I got the shit end of the stick, if this is what you got.”

“Hey everyone’s got their uses, and if surviving arrows was your power then hey you had it at the perfect time. But no, I have no idea what your abilities are unfortunately that’s not in my repertoire of skills.” He manifested a golden arrow in his hand, a beautiful and intricate design emblazoned both sides and lines of gold flew down the sides to a near immaculate fletching. “So this is what hit you, given how you’re not dead. It’s what they were looking for and...well I guess in your case fortunately they found it and felt like testing it out.”

“That’s the “artifact?” And wait - fortunate? What’s it supposed to do, besides… impale someone? “

“Well yeah duh, that’s what arrows do.” The figure’s posture slumped a bit on the podium and gave the arrow a spin in his hand, “but this one is different, if someone..someone like you, has a strong enough spirit, then instead of killing them it’ll awaken their stand. Which is why we’re still talking.”

“So Jack was… why would it work for me and noe Sirah?” Was ge planning on shooting people until someone lived, and why? Why would he care?”

“Alright so I can definitely answer one of those things, Sirah didn’t apparently have a strong enough spirit to manifest a stand, meaning the arrow...the arrow worked just like an arrow. I’m really sorry about that. As to why? Well they attacked you because you tried to stop them and that’s what they do, but I don’t know why they would use the arrow.” He looked down to the arrow in his hand, puzzling over it.

London ran a hand through her hair, and absently kicked the ground. Sirah was weird and quirky, but this - it was all London’s fault. Her need to know was what got Sirah killed. Sirah and her weird experiments and rules and super cold room. The more he talked, the more it dawned on her that this likely wasn’t a dream. It - he- whatever it was could be telling the truth. It was a lot to wrap her head around. And it didn’t make sense - why Jack would use the arrow - he could have killed her easily - with a bat, like he did the janitor, like he tried to do with Chuck. “So what do I do? Jack can’t just keep getting away with this, not what he did to Chuck or the janitor or… or Sirah. Are there a lot of arrows? Is he coming back for that one?”

“Well I doubt they left the arrow with you, Vutlure would have seen to clean up so you’re probably going to wake up and...” the arrow disappeared in his hands and he made his way back to his chair and his voice dropped, “so the Vulture is going to have erased Sirah from everyone’s memory. Like she never existed, which means that you holding onto everything you know about her is as important as ever.”

He leaned forward again, “What we do is keep trying to figure out where they’re going to be, what their plans are, and doing everything we can to mess them up. We don’t have the numbers to do any serious damage, but if we can pick them off or just be a pain in the ass we might be able to get you your answers, and some justice if you care about that sort of thing.”

“ But… who are [i]they?[/i[] What do [i]they?[/i[] want? They can’t just erase Sirah! Why are they even here?”

“When you wake up you’re going to see, no roommate, no records, no one else will probably remember beyond the two of us; and that’s only because you remember and I’ve been exposed to your memories. That’s what the Vulture does. As to who they are,” The figure leaned back again and his hands sat crossed over his lap, “they don’t actually have a formal name, but they’re a group that is trying to completely control the school. As to why? I have no idea, but they’re willing to do nearly anything to achieve their goal. They’re merciless, ruthless, moralless, generally assholes, and it’s downright impossible to know who is a member of the group unless they tell you but they’re all likely stand users as well.”

“So I have to watch out for -- everybody?” She asked, frowning. “Or wait until they show me their ‘spirit animal’ so to speak?”

“At the moment? Yeah, we can’t know exactly who is in the group and who isn’t. So for the time being you need to be careful of everyone.” The figure exhaled, their helmet slightly fogging now, “In regards to this Jack guy, I’d recommend not doing anything directly confrontational, there’s going to be very little you can really do to him in the open and behind closed doors ‘they’ll’ be watching his back. We need to be careful, so for the moment you need to let me do my work and you keep on doing whatever you can to pretend like you can’t remember what happened.”

“Pretend I don’t remember Sirah or the attacks?” She asked. “What if -- what if they come after me again?”

The figure got up and put a hand on London’s shoulder, "Then you’ll be ready for them. And I’ll keep a look out for you as best I can."

“Right.” She said dryly. “If I’m calm or asleep, I should have nothing to worry about.”

“Hey now, I can also see what other people are thinking and report that back to you, that’s gotta count for something right?” The figure seemed a bit hurt by what she said, “Give me a day or two and let’s put our ears to the ground, stand users tend to find each other so you’re bound to run into someone. “

“How will I know if it’s one of us, or one of them?”

The figure was silent for a bit as they moved a step back, “If they’re not you or me, then they’re not with us. It’s a bit bleak right now but...I think we can at the very least make a difference. That’s why I reached out to you, because I know you’re someone who wants to make a difference.” He sat back down, “I really wish I could give you more, but with everyone just getting back on campus there’s a lot of moving parts and well...lots of things up in the air.”

“I do want to make a difference. I want Jack to pay for what he did to Sirah and the others. I want… I will make sure of it. We will. Right now, we’re the underdogs and -- “ She stopped suddenly realizing something important. “I don’t even know who you are. What’s your name? How do I find you?”

“Oh jeez, did I really not give you my name? Sorry I was kinda focusing on the whole ‘bandaid’ bit too much.” He rubbed at the back of his helmet in embarrassment. “You won’t find me, but I’ll be in touch. Just trust me, it's a lot easier that way. As for my name.” He put a hand to the bottom of the helmet as if it might have been a chin, “Well...you can call me Driver Seat.”

< Prev : The Drop: Brought to the Light