Apocrypha Murder On The Solipsism Express

AURUM: So, there's a Phantom Train. That's a thing that happens every now and then in stories like these, isn't it?
AURUM: The shrill, piercing whistle, from far away…
AURUM: And, yes, it's slowing down as it approaches. Seems you're in luck, and this is a stop.
Ezekiel: "GHOST TRAIN BITCHES!"
Ezekiel fist pumps. "Get ready for a really stupid murder mystery!!!"
Eidolon leans over to the group and whispers. "(I don't have a ticket, but act like I do.)" He winks.
AURUM: A profound, animal brake-hiss. Enormous, black-furred paws receding back under the undercarriage of the engine. Gentle rumblings.
Nameless: "The bulter did it."
Nine just stares as the coming train
Nameless: "… A cat of nine cars?"
AURUM: It's… it stopped a little ways off.
Clarafina clicks her tongue and walks down the little tiny island towards it.
AURUM: Reluctantly, it picks itself up again - the entire train, with a sigh - and trudges the rest of the way to where you guys are.
Ezekiel: "C'mon, so close! You gotta get all the way up here, otherwise we can't get on and you can't think you cleverly tricked us onto it, ghost train!"
Ezekiel: "There ya go!"
Eidolon clears his throat as it approaches, smooths out his coat, click-clacks his way onboard.
Ezekiel climbs on into the train.
Nameless: "Cats and women will do as they please, and men and dogs had best get used to it."
Nameless‘ boards the train.
AURUM: There’s a conductor's suit, wearing a conductor's hat, but no actual conductor, and he (or the lack thereof) cheerfully ushers you aboard: "Ah, yes, yes, please enjoy your stay."
AURUM: "Er. Please enjoy the ride?"
Eidolon: "Which car's the bar?" Before the conductor can respond- "Ah-, I'll find it, don't worry." He heads back.
Ezekiel gives an exagurated wink to the conductor's hat as he moves on past.
Nine raises an eyebrow at the entire ensemble "One of the most interesting trains i've seen"
Ezekiel: "You'd think someone at the end of a world would be intoxicated more often."
Eidolon: "I don't think he stays here, per se."
Clarafina curtseys gently. "I think I shall!"
Nine: "I could not afford to be, honestly"
Nine: "Too much to do"
Eidolon: "There's -always- travel time to drink through."
Nine looks at whence Eidolon is leading "Might as well keep company" he goes along
Ezekiel: "I duno man, seems like a great excuse to not have anything to do. But anyway. crappy train murder mystery ahoy!"
Nameless: "A man is fully prepared to enjoy both a murder mystery on a train, and a glass of something to drink. Yes. But likely not in that order. No."
Nine: "Hrm… That that quite the telling title, yes"
Nine: "Not quite the best one"
AURUM: The train is, almost predictably, bigger on the inside. Luxurious, even. Plush red velvet seats, tables with the fancy little tableclothes and crystal glass. Ghosts drifting to and fro, making polite owl-noises at you as you pass by and bobbing up and down, adjusting their designer eyewear as they discuss the Secret Science.
Solberg just eyes the conductor up and down, almost in admiration. Of their dress?
Ezekiel plops himself down into one of those fancy pants luxury recliner style seats. Aww yeah.
Nine furrows his eyebrows at the ghosts, and sighs to himself. He looks out a window
Ezekiel: "Actually you probably don't wanna drink anything, stuff on ghost trains is usually, uh, bad for you. You know."
Ezekiel: "Well unless you're also a ghost I guess."
Eidolon winks.
Clarafina: "He could be faking ghostness, of course." She takes a little seat a table for now.
Nine: "I believe there was some old myth where I am from about not drinking water from the land of the dead"
Eidolon: "All of the above, maybe. Possibly? I'm not 100%, myself."
AURUM: The conductor winks at Solberg, which is peculiar, to say the least, given that the conductor doesn't have eyes..? Anyways. So, you're walking down the train cars, and you see… familiar faces. Characters from stories you remember, dimly, come to life, seated at tables, wandering the aisle.
Nine: "I am certain, however, Eidolon is perhaps a bit beyond the concept of a ghost"
AURUM: (Mostly stories from your childhood. Stories you've started to forget, or stories you never will.)
Eidolon: "Just don't call the liquor 'spirits,' unless you're looking for that sort of thing."
Ezekiel: "Ba-dum dum-psh."
Clarafina didn't sit for long, of course. She nods politely to half-remembered faces as she passes.
Eidolon doubletakes at one apparition- didn't he see them… hm. Sits at the bar, at one of the corners of the car. "The usual," he orders.
Nine is certainly astonished by that, he stops a moment too long to stare at a ghost- Such a silly little story that he's heard so long ago, he had no real reason to remember it at all, but he did. But he moves on, without engaging in conversation, he sits by Eidolon "I wonder"
Nine: "Are they more akin to mirrors, or did someone put just the right ones in here"
Nameless: "A man assures you, he is certainly almost not a ghost."
Clarafina: "You know, someone once said that all the characters in stories were like stars - they could appear again and again, with different meanings, playing different parts."
Eidolon: "That'd be curious. -Are- we seeing the same images?"
AURUM: Well, right now, they haven't been described, so it'd be impossible to tell!
Nine rests his elbows in the table, and crosses his fingers, resting his chin on them "Is that how it is…"
Nine: "Who do you see, Eidolon?"
Ezekiel: "Man in a yellow rain coat and hat, right over there!" Point, point.
Eidolon: "I see a-" He glances to where Ezekiel points…
Nine looks at where Ezekiel points
Solberg folds their arms at Clarafina. "The likelihood of that happening in modern genetics … Near-impossible."
AURUM: Well, you all see a man in a yellow raincoat and hat.
AURUM: That's for sure.
Eidolon: "Man in a yellow raincoat and hat." He exhales and relaxes.
Nameless: "Genetics are over-rated when one deals in narrative fiction."
AURUM: You also continue to see other people, too, though?
Nine nods to himself "Yes, same as you see, Ezekiel"
AURUM: Well, characters. No sense jumping the gun, here.
Eidolon: "Good. Good, good."
Solberg: "Are you sure? Stories have to come from somewhere. They lose and gain bits and pieces the more and more they're retold. There's a certain entropy of information at play."
Solberg: "Genetics. The oral tradition. Errors while transcribing."
Ezekiel: Are you trying to tell me characters aren't people, Aurum? Rude.
Nine: "Hrm…" he looks at Eidolon "Say, why don't you strike up some conversation with them? I'm… Not the most social here"
AURUM: I mean, for the sake of clarity, here: it's not like you were all seeing one person, and then Eidolon collapsed the waveform and now you all just see one person. Maybe you should each describe the others you're seeing, too?
AURUM: I mean, you don
AURUM: I mean, you don't have to.
AURUM: But it would be nice.
Nine is not describing those he sees, he's doing that on purpose. First because there is little to gain in doing so- Oh, alright, if you want it so much
Eidolon laughs. "Not the most social but you're ordering me about anyway." He grins goodnaturedly and pats Nine on the shoulder as he moves to pass him, and approaches a man wearing 3/4ths overalls over a yellow…shirt…with a mesh elbow? The tanned, blonde youth seems approchable enough.
Ezekiel: Too bad it's talking time instead!
Ezekiel: "So like,"
Ezekiel: "What's the deal with the monkey anyway, dude?" Ezeliel says, to the man in yellow.
Solberg: "I'm sure there's plenty of other overweight people with wasp-stings covering their noses through stories and throughout history, sharing a common ancestor."
Eidolon: "Hi there, I'm Eidolon."
Nameless‘ looks around at the nebulous figures. He would say ’wispy' but lets be real here, nobody else came from that district. Not even the really cute girl with the axe. That had the goldfish bowl in it.
Nine looks at Ezekiel and Eidolon talking to their chosen people, he stares over at the farthest away corner of the car, a boy no older than thirteen years old, perfectly normal human, black spiky hair (normal spiky not anime spiky), some bland non-descript clothes, looking out the window. The only unusual part of him is an ancient javelin he has with him. Either way, he leaves that
Nine character of an old tale (and old tale he and his friend used to weave together with other friends, when they were teenagers) alone, and focuses on Eidolon's conversation
AURUM: It's weird…
Clarafina: Well, I mean, there's the desk-clerk looking monk in the corner, going over some paperwork. The young woman with star-shining black hair, her spear wrapped up in dark cloth, her dress uniform vaguely fascist. Off to some distant war, maybe? The kid drawing dragons on the placemat, benignly ignored by her honey-mooning parents. …You know, people. (They don't, oddly enough, seem like
Clarafina: Clarafina's kind of people.)
[OOC] Nine: I am certain that Clarafina would not read stories about her own people
[OOC] Nine: Not a very good princess
AURUM: You're talking to him, but… it's like you're not even there? (LIKE YOU'RE A GHOST???? :OOOO)
AURUM: A woman's voice.
Ezekiel: "Well this has been a hoot but I think talking to phantom time is over."
Eidolon sighs through his nose and turns back to the party. "Not very social."
Nameless: "Well. They are busy with their own journeys. Mostly."
Nine nods "I figured…"
AURUM: "He won't react, you know. He's…" She laughs. "In his own little world." Brown skin, luxurious blonde hair, nearly reaching down to the floor; a golden dress woven with garnets like blood-flecks, ever-fresh. She's got an entire decanter of ruby-red wine in one hand, and one of those fancy cigarette holders in the other.
Nine: "I suppose they're not unlike-" he halts whe she speaks
Clarafina: "You."
Eidolon: "Aren't we all. But it's not bad to share."
AURUM: "Me."
Nine looks at the woman as she approaches "Hello, ma'am. Seems like Clarafina knows you"
Clarafina: "…Only briefly." She smiles.
AURUM: She snatches a wineglass from a table as she walks by, pours a glass of wine, offers it to Eidolon as she approaches, almost offhandedly.
AURUM: She raises an eyebrow at Clarafina, tilts her head to the side. "Can't… say we've met, my dear, although it's a pleasure."
Eidolon accepts it, on-handedly, and nods in thanks. He also says: "Thank you. I am Eidolon."
Nine: "I suppose you are but another passenger?"
Ezekiel: "Awkward."
Clarafina tilts her head back, in the opposite direction. "Am I mistaken…? My apologies, then."
Clarafina: "The Princess Clarafina Rosemont. A pleasure, one suspects."
AURUM: "I mean, it's possible that I'm mistaken. Always consider the possibility that one might be wrong. Do that twice if you're knees-deep in the secret science."
Nine: "I see, a form of researcher are you?"
Eidolon: "I prefer fieldwork to the lab. But even then I'm not sure what you speak of."
Nine: "Rather uninformative name of your field, however"
Nameless: "Well. Not neccesarily."
AURUM: She does… something elegant that isn't quite a curtsy. "Elhaym Somna. Hm. They haven't got the secret science where you're from?"
Nine: "I can attest they do not"
Ezekiel: "Is that like when you smoke a bowl and understanding the meaning of life and then forget it when you sober up"
AURUM: "How do you even get by?" She drifts past you, opens a few window shutters, lets in the light of the white void, turns to Ezekiel, highlighted in that light. "…that's…"
AURUM: "That's close."
Nine: "We get by with what we have, of course"
Nine: "Isn't that what we all do?"
Nine: "Not like that's ended up too well for me"
Nameless: "Why would you smoke a bowl, Ezekiel? Then you can no longer store anything in it."
Ezekiel takes a small white cylinder-like paper object out of a pocket, tosses it to Nine. "Bam. secret science."
Nine grabs the object "No, sorry" he tosses it back
Ezekiel: "Uhhh it's a figure of speech."
Ezekiel catches it after a bit of juggling from not-qwuite-catching-it-right initially.
Nameless: "Ah."
AURUM: "It's a story that never ends. A journey that never finishes. That loops in on itself, like a snake eating its own tail. Every so often we get an initiate, stoned out of his mind." She smiles, warmly. "I like them, they've seen the face of God. They -know- there's more to this."
Nine: "A story that loops in on itself"
Clarafina: "But can it cure a sickness…? Some of my sisters have read your texts, you know."
Clarafina: "They treat it like poetry, giggle about it, and, eventually, discover boys."
Nine: "Sounds kind of annoying"
Nine: "Much like giving a mouse a cookie"
Solberg: "A user story that never gets resolved. A ticket that just won't die."
AURUM: "I mean, there's as many paths as there are walkers." She half-turns to Clarafina. "Mmmm. And they don't cure the sickness, do they?"
AURUM: "It's tempting, really."
Ezekiel: "Oh man,"
Nameless‘ writes on a napkin and passes it to Nine. it says ’Turn me over for further instructions'.
Ezekiel: "They still had that book at the end of the world? Wicked."
Ezekiel: "OH MAN NINE DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY LICKS IT TAKES TO GET TO THE CENTER???"
AURUM: "To think that… because the path you're on seems like it'll go on forever, to decide that there's nothing waiting for you at the end, and to stray." She sips, straight from the decanter.
Nine looks at the napkin, raises an eyebrow, turns it over
The back side also says 'turn me over for further instructions'.
Nine looks at Ezekiel "Not within my area of expertise, sadly"
Ezekiel: "Hum okay."
Eidolon: "Is it a perception problem, or an actual problem?"
AURUM: "Yes."
Nine unfolds the napkin, in case it is one of those that is folded in about a fourth of it's size
Solberg just gives Ezekiel a flat stare. "That's all you're after?"
AURUM: She smiles, awkwardly. "Koans. What can you do about them?"
Ezekiel: "No way!"
Eidolon takes a sip of the wine.
Nine will just otherwise fold it, neatly into a square, until only the word "Further" is visible, then pocket it
Ezekiel: "I'm planning on grabbing a sports almenac while we're here, too."
AURUM: It's delicious.
Ezekiel: "Gunna get stupid rich, yo."
Clarafina: "Why follow a path…? Solve the problem. Simple as that."
Nameless‘ somehow wrote ’And that is how you make the story more interesting. Well done.' on a folded-inside part.
Nine smiles at Nameless, then looks back at their host "There is always something at the end. You just need to keep going"
Nine: "There are no stray paths, only winding ones"
AURUM: "Mmm. Are you familiar with the concept of an 'outside context problem'?"
Eidolon: "Is this another koan?"
Nine: "Yes"
AURUM: "This one's a little more straightforward."
Clarafina smiles sweetly. "I can't say I am." …But, I mean, she's probably lying, right? Something about her eyes.
AURUM: "But, like…"
Nine: "One could say I am looking for an 'outside context solution' at the moment"
Nameless: "Koan and tell me another."
AURUM: …she giggles, at Nameless. Straight up giggles, sips some wine.
Eidolon fingerguns at Peregrine.
Ezekiel: "'eeeeeeeey."
Solberg: "Ugh."
AURUM: "Imagine there's a sickness you can't cure. Not only can you not cure it, but it just… doesn't make any goddamn sense, nothing about it fits your model of reality."
Nameless‘ chortles. "A man is out of practice, but will get better."
Clarafina: "How dreadful."
Eidolon: "Are you sure, because it sounds like you’re really practiced at bad jokes."
AURUM: "You can't… you can't update your model of reality the right way from within the system itself, applying straightforward rules. Ticky box, ticky box."
Ezekiel: "It's a bomb!"
Nine: "Honestly"
Clarafina: "It has to climb inside the system to come get me, though."
Clarafina: "…There, it has to play by my rules."
Nine: "No, Clarafina"
Nine: "The definition of an 'outside context problem' is, in essence, a problem that does not exists by the rules at all"
Nine: "Thus can only be solved… Outside of them"
Solberg nods at the woman. "I think I get what you mean. We were talking about higher and higher tiers of laws just a bit ago."
Solberg: "Weren't we, Nine?"
Nine nods at Solberg
AURUM: Elhaym grins. "I've seen too many absurd wisp-sala acts of heroism in my life to discount that out of hand. Although that sort of thing usually requires a Pure Heart, but, I mean, here you all are, so."
Nameless‘ grins at Eidolon. "A man never said the jokes would get better…"
Eidolon chuckles.
Clarafina: "A problem that does not exist…" She folds her fingers to her collar, and laughs. "That’s no problem at all, of course."
Eidolon: "That's three for three."
AURUM: "But, I mean…"
Nine: "If you possess the wisdom to expand the rules to envelop said problem, even if it means changing the very rules themselves"
Nine: "That is all you need"
Nine: "Because there is no such thing as a problem that does not follows the rules of reality"
Eidolon: "'Pure heart' is a bad trait from some of the areas I'm from, but yet, it carries a different… gravitas, here, it seems."
Nine: "Merely you not understanding said rules in their entirety"
Ezekiel: "Tee hee, gravitas."
AURUM: "No matter what… consider the possibility that you might be wrong. I mean… you wound up here, that by itself speaks volumes." She chuckles. "Heh. 'volumes'."
Nine: "Everything here seems to be fairly focused on the theme of storytelling, yes"
Ezekiel: "OH THAT'S A BOOK PUN!"
Clarafina smiles softly. "Oh, we're talking past eachother, weren't we? I suppose we're in agreement."
Nine: "I admit it is a little… Disconcerting"
Eidolon chuckles some more.
Ezekiel leans out of his chair towards Eidolon. "A book pun. Because we're in a book(s)!"
AURUM: "Have you met Glasyalabolas yet, by the way?"
Ezekiel: "Wh -"
Eidolon: "I geeeeeet it." He winks, exaggeratedly.
Solberg: "Gesundheit."
Nine: "Not yet, no"
AURUM: "He's the…"
AURUM: "Hm."
Eidolon: "The train?"
Nameless: "Might have. A man is… not so good with names, at the moment."
AURUM: "if this were a Garden, he'd be the obscenely rich, creepy jowly god-knows-what in the basement, you read me?"
AURUM: "But it's a train, so…"
Solberg: "In a more broad sense, storytelling fits into the more broad category of information transmission. And that covers a very broad area."
AURUM: Elhaym beams at Solberg.
Ezekiel: "I uh. What kind of garden's have basements…? It's usually just flowers and vegatables."
Ezekiel: "Are you high too?"
Eidolon: "I lost this conversation like four lines ago."
AURUM: "Patron!"
AURUM: "That's the word I'm looking for."
Eidolon: "But I guessed the train, so- does he like being pet behind the smokestack?"
AURUM: "Patron, prince, demiurge."
AURUM: "One of those things. I was just on my way to say hello. Care to join me?"
Eidolon: "Lead on."
Nine: "Ah…"
Eidolon falls into formation, sipping some more wine.
Nine: "So I see who we are to meet right now"
Nine: "Much like the previous two"
Ezekiel gets up, shuffles closer to the lady.
Nine stands up "Shall we, then?"
Ezekiel: "(Are you the one that's gunna get mystery'd?)"
Nine: "Hopefully this one is not as… Incensed with bloodlust as the other two"
Nameless: "Perhaps. Different in ways that matter, a man suspects."
AURUM: "(It's a mystery.)" She pats Ezekiel on the shoulder, then heads up the train towards and past where you got on, nodding congenially to the conductor.
Ezekiel nods. "I'll act surprised."
AURUM: "Hm. You've met others? I suppose you would have."
Ezekiel: "Nine once killed a prince, just to watch him bleed."
Eidolon: "Met, killed."
Nameless‘ gets a glass of… something, he doesnt even really care what it is. "To be fair, the prince had it coming. And didnt even bleed all that much."
Ezekiel: "Well yeah."
Nine: "We have not in fact killed either of them, Eidolon" he has no energy to contest Ezekiel
AURUM: "Salamander and… Aura?" She opens a door between cars, holds it open for the rest of you. "Everyone who spends enough time here shatters Prospero into fragments at least once."
AURUM: "You just… there’s only so much of that particular Backpfeifengesicht a woman can handle."
Eidolon: "Bless you."
Nine: "Said prince has, in fact, brought the entire world around us and missed so badly we ended up here in the process"
AURUM: "Yeah, that was on purpose."
Nine: "But he was in fact still standing strong"
AURUM: "Hah! Nice."
Eidolon: "I figured it wasn't an actual word."
Nine: "As for Aura, you are incorrect"
Nine: "It was a jester, actually"
Solberg: "Umm. Hm."
Ezekiel: "That totally wasn't a word."
Nine: "I believe you may be able to surmise who it was"
AURUM: She opens windows, sort-of randomly, as you go along.
Nine: "That was a few words, Ezekiel. Germanic languages have a certain hathred of spaces in phrases"
Ezekiel: "Fuck Germanic Language."
Solberg: "Not sure I'm in shape to shatter anyone at the moment."
AURUM: "I read a story once about a world made of a song. First there was one voice, then there were two, and they brought in a third, and the harmony just begged for a fourth, the counterpoint was all screwed up!"
AURUM: "But whenever they brought the fourth singer in, everything just went to hell."
AURUM: "I mean, eventually they solved the problem? It was a pretty weird story, honestly? But, I mean-"
Clarafina: "There's advantages to sticking with a pair, no? Even a trio is stretching it."
AURUM: "That fourth singer, that had to be there, but couldn't? Kinda got the same thing going on as that jester, as far as I can tell. I don't know his deal."
AURUM: "But I mean, I know who you're talkin' about."
Nine: "A badly written character"
Nine: "Or, perhaps"
Nine: "A character written by a different author?"
Eidolon: "Sounds like a real henhouse of problems."
Nine: "I really hope that isn't hte case"
Ezekiel: "Dude you were suppose to just leave it at the first line so I could go " OH SHIT "."
AURUM: She giggles, again.
AURUM: "So, anyways."
Nameless: "Its like Crosby, Stills, and Nash as opposed to Crosy, Stills, Nash, and Young."
Ezekiel: "No one knows what that is man."
Solberg: "Any chance we could rest for a spell, by the way? I'm sure we've got time to spare on this trip."
AURUM: "Mm, sure thing. All the best rooms are up on that end of the train, though, so I mean, we'd be heading that way anyways."
AURUM: "Now that you mention it, though, where -are- you guys headed?"
Eidolon: "To hell if we don't change our ways."
Nine looks at Solberg, nods "I could use the time too" he looks at their guest "Honestly, for now simply forward"
Eidolon: "I mean, to the next story."
Nine: "Searching whatever the world throws at us for knowledge"
Ezekiel: "We were following you!'
Eidolon: "Yeah you were… taking us to meet the train."
Eidolon: "That we're riding on? And is a cat?"
AURUM: "I mean, like… in general. Unless you're just… along for the ride? Very Undine of you."
AURUM: "You don't, uh. You don't see that a lot, I guess."
Eidolon: "Well it's not like we're in a library browsing the tomes."
Clarafina wags a finger.
Clarafina: "Let's just say we're not spoiling it."
AURUM: "Fair enough."
Ezekiel: "Well I mean stuff mostly just keeps happening, no reaons to not let it keep doing it."
Eidolon looks like he wants to continue, but stops at Clarafina's finger wag.
AURUM: "Y'know, it's funny. You've got one palace that's just, rooms and rooms and rooms stretching infinitely in either direction, you've got this actual, literal train."
AURUM: "Everyone's gotta be somewhere, you know? Always moving along. Rushing to the end of the story. I suppose it does help to keep up momentum, though?"
Eidolon: "Oh, well I don't know about -rushing-, but."
Nameless: "I would not say a man is rushing. More of a fast walk, at best."
Eidolon: "Split the party though and you've got one writer, but more plotlines, and only one set of eyes…"
AURUM: "Ugh, never split the party."
Eidolon: "So, really, it's being polite."
AURUM: She opens another door, holds it open. The train cars are getting bigger and bigger - to the point of ludicrousness - and more and more opulent. You're pretty sure this one has a maze of twisty, hidden passageways hidden away behind screens and the like.
Eidolon: "(Not actually a train, is it?)" It's… like a question?
Nine looks at each car as they pass by "It's like every room is trying to jump the shark harder and harder"
Solberg: "I don't think you're using that phrase correctly."
Nine: "Not healthy"
Nine: "Not using it correctly at all, yes"
AURUM: "It is, and it isn't. It's going somewhere."
Nine: "But somehow, I feel it shows my intent better"
Ezekiel: "Burb."
Eidolon: "It's a beautiful make, all the same."
Ezekiel dives into an opening in the hidden passageway maze, goes exploring while walking towards the next room.
AURUM: "It's… always heading in the same direction. Like a satellite in orbit, always falling, but falling so fast -sideways- that it doesn't hit."
AURUM: "Like throwing a rock at the ground and missing."
AURUM: "THAT… that's the secret science."
Nine: "That's orbital mechanics"
Nine: "But I suppose I understand what the 'secret science' is about"
Solberg: "The gate to the next car is down."
Nine of course went through the door, that is likely uncescessary to mention
AURUM: She laughs again, grins at Solberg, crouches down and opens a trapdoor.
AURUM: Turns out they were right?
Ezekiel looks up. "IT'S ME, EZEKIEL."
AURUM: "Thanks, by the way. I would have missed that." It's a little cramped, but eventually it opens onto another train car.
Ezekiel rolls backwards to clear up some space.
Solberg just tips their hat.
AURUM: She's about to climb down, too, and then Ezekiel pops up, and she needs -several- moments to recover from hysterical giggles.
Nine stares at Ezekiel with a flat stare, and goes down the trapdoor
Eidolon drinks some more. "How did you even…ahahaha."
Nameless: "Nicely done."
Nameless‘ climbs down the ladder.
Ezekiel: "Hidden pathways!"
Solberg: "Graph theory in lieu of euclidean geometry."
AURUM: Eventually she gets ahold of herself, follows you down. "There’s… some stupid particular path you have to take to avoid going around in a circle indefinitely. Because of course Euclidean geometry is for suckers and chumps."
AURUM: She gesticulates in Solberg's direction with an exasperated nod.
Solberg: "I used to be a travelling salesman, you see."
Ezekiel: "What did you sell?"
Nameless: "Discount injuries."
Ezekiel: "Doesn't sound very marketable."
Nameless‘ grins. "Depends on who pays."
Clarafina: "Everyone loves a bargain!"
Solberg: "Software. A security suite."
Ezekiel: "You can sell that door to door?"
Nine: "You never heard of portable storage devices, Ezekiel?"
Ezekiel: "It just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you'd sell door to door!"
AURUM: "Haha, I -like- you guys." Finally, after a preposterous math puzzle train car, a final door comes open like the door to a secure vault, or something. "Okay, sorry about that. It's been a while."
Solberg: "It's not a literal title."
Ezekiel: "But… it is a literal title! You can't be a door to door salesman if you don't go door to door!"
Ezekiel: "Well. Maybe if you worked in a retail store that bought and sold used doors…"
Solberg: "I just said 'travelling.'"
Nine: "Solberg starting to sound like a spam-sender at this point"
Ezekiel: "OR DID YOU?"
AURUM: "Oh, man."
AURUM: "You went there."
Solberg: "Trust me, my signal-to-noise ratio was impeccable compared to most messages around my time."
Ezekiel: "We'll see about that."
AURUM: "Bayesian filtering got real good in your timeline?"
Solberg: "One hundred percent political efficacy. Had to."
Ezekiel: "Bayesian?"
AURUM: "Yikes."
Clarafina quietly, without a word, puts on her gas mask.
Nameless: "A man once new a debt collector named Naal the Healer. He would go from door to door and say 'I see you have an unbroken skull. I can heal that for you.'"
Ezekiel: "You know some weird people."
Nine: "That sounds like a strange definition of a healer"
Nameless: "A man knew many, many strange people once."
Nameless: "A lifetime ago."
AURUM: Anyways, there's a dark corridor, that opens up onto… a fairly normal-seeming train car, with sleeping compartments, and a dining car staffed by a ghost bartender. At the end of these cars, there's another door, this one made of obsidian, and without a handle.
Eidolon frowns.
AURUM: "D- don't worry about it. He's got… abysmal taste, but he's a decent person!"
Eidolon: "Uh-huh."
Clarafina: "What are the magical materials, again…?"
Nine looks at the door, shrugs "I would be more worried if it was more mundane looking"
Ezekiel hands the joint he offered to Nine earlier to Clara.
AURUM: "Wine and ink. Crystal and brass. Mud and shell. Venom and root. Stone and light."
AURUM: "Obsidian's… not on the list. It's rather tacky. Although for a train, he keeps the wine cellar adequately stocked, so I can't complain."
Clarafina giggles, refusing the smoke politely.
Ezekiel shrugs.
AURUM: "Anyways, you can rest here, for a while."
Eidolon: "The eleven elements, huh."
Nine: "I'm not a fan of calling anything in particular magical stuff, it's a deep lack of understanding of the workings of the materials"
Nine: "Although I will grant, crystal and light can make interesting creations"
AURUM: "Not that anything ominous is going to happen on the other side of the door, just, you look a bit peaked."
Nine: "I am always tired, sadly"
Nine: "But I could use a little time to recompose myself"
Eidolon: "I think obsidian goes well with the white void we've got going on outside, don't you think?" He pulls back the curtain to one of the sleeping compartments, opens that window to the white void.
Clarafina: "Naturally. Thank you vrey much, of course."
Ezekiel: "Black omen etc etc something."
AURUM: She raises an eyebrow at Eidolon, smiles enigmatically.
AURUM: -
AURUM: …you know, there was going to be a terribly ominous cliffhanger here.
Ezekiel: Oops!
AURUM: But instead of that, I think…
AURUM: We're just going to go with a title card, then cut to black.
AURUM: <混乱大闇ヘン : Murder on the Solipsism Express>

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