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Aug 22, 2019 6:06 PM
Ariadne in Lucidity
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It flickers to a shimmering platform of force far above her head, laughing, and there's a bloom of searing heat behind her back - 

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And suddenly she's there but she's not, tears beginning to leak from her eyes in strong, steady streams of fear and pain. Ariadne is trying to place reality, but she's struggling terribly, her ears beginning to hear the whispers of latin. 'Vade, satana, inventor et magister omnis fallaciae, hostis humanae salutis...'

"No, please, it burns, ple-"

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And then the fire goes away, and there's a flash of golden light, and a familiar voice booming, "Hisrane! I've warned you before!" and the scream of the spider-being she'd been fighting.

"This isn't your territory, princess!" the spider snarls.

"Leave," is Lianne's only response, and there's another flare, another shriek - 

"I won't bow to you - " and there's a clattering rush - 

"Fine." And the light flares brighter - 

And silence.

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"I promise I'm not bad, I promise I'm not bad, I promise I'm not bad..." Ariadne isn't quite paying any attention, mumbling the same sentence over and over, continuing to cry.

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The glow moves before her, and the burns on her heal. Nobody touches her.

"Hey," a voice says, gently. "Do you know where you are?"

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She doesn't respond for a moment, other than going completely silent and still. Then another sob breaks from her mouth.

"I'm sorry Sister, I promise I'll be better."

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"You're in the Dreamlands. You're not there. There is past. No one here is mad at you."

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She blinks a little, cloudiness seeming to clear from her teary eyes, and immediately starts to hiccup violently. She takes a minute to get her diaphragm and breathing back under control before actually making eye contact with her saviour. Immediately, she recognises the familiarity of Lianne, not only visually, albeit vaguely due to the glowing yellow difference, but her essence and aura are familiar. Realising she's left a little too much out in the open, Ariadne immediately snaps up from her position curled up on the ground, dusting herself off and backing away.

"Thanks. I, uh... I don't do fire."

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"A lot of people don't. Are you okay to return to the ground?"

She is, perhaps a bit notably, currently floating in mid-air, not even on Ariadne's root-platform.

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She looks down in mild surprise.

"Oh! Sure." The roots sink, taking Ari with them back down to the ground.

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She floats down to the ground - 

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And then the glow folds in on itself, and Lianne looks fully human again. "I'm guessing you want an explanation," she says, voice a bit wry.

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"Please. If you could be a smidge more helpful than spider-lady, I would be ever so thankful." She feels the need to snark to regain her emotional distance from this stranger, sneering as politely as she can at the woman.

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"Earth's not the only reality. Dreams occur in this one, the 'Dreamlands.' It's possible to move between realities - or be moved. You were probably caught by a fallen thread from damage to a higher reality's fabric, and pulled one step closer to that reality - the entanglement with a reality thread gives powers, though they're only usable outside of Earth. The spider-lady's shape was her Ideal Form, which is something everyone outside of Earth can take - it's individualized to the person. What you fundamentally want to look like. There's... A lot more, too. It's a complicated world."

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"Ok... I'm following. Is that why I have the ability to manipulate and communicate with shadows now? It used to be just plants in my dreams, this place seemed so familiar. She mentioned the Ideal Form thing, I'm guessing that's why you were all 'shine bright like a diamond' or whatever. Can I... Would it be considered abnormal to wander around not in my Ideal Form?"

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"Staying in your Earthen form is perfectly normal. Most people in the Dreamlands do. It's... Odd, that you'd have had a power like that prior to getting entangled, but I suppose not impossible. And 'shadow manipulation' would be an example, yes - my power is I can manipulate and somewhat communicate with light. There's also assorted magics all entangled can use - the platform the spider woman used and the healing magic I have are examples of that."

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"Magic? As in... bippity-boppity-boo? Who am I kidding, we're in a Dreamland, of course there's magic. I've been here before, though it... seemed different before. Everytime I dreamt, I showed up here, and the plants were very... I guess the way you would describe them as like a nagging motherly figure. Once I started actively communicating, they calmed down, and the shadow thing seems to be very similar so I just instinctually do it I guess? It's... What do we do from here, is it... Do I go home? Or should I... God damn it I need another cigarette." Stressed beyond belief, Ariadne begins to rummage through her duffle again.

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"Most everyone on Earth comes here when they dream, as phantoms of themselves. I can teach you how to return to Earth, yes, or you can come with me to the city I live in, or I can try and teach you enough for you to make your own way."

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"I... I don't have anywhere to go..."

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"Chthani - the city - has housing available, and I can arrange something."

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"Why are you so nice to me? I mean, you don't know anything about me, yet you're so willing to help... Why?"

Defensively, Ari wraps her arms around her own waist, it showcases how thin and practically malnourished she is under the baggy clothes.

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"I can help people, so, I do, and I have enough resources helping costs me little."

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"That's... You are so weird, lady. But, like, good weird, y'know?"

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"Thanks. I try to be good weird."

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An out of place giggle escapes her. 

"So this Cthulu? No Chthani place. Mind leading the way oh great beacon of the good weird?"

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