Timeline: The day after the game "The Blair Mutant Project".
Cassie: What little light fell through the large windows was casting numerous shadows throughout the school's library, but only one of them was moving on its own. Drifting between the tall shelves, Cassandra trailed her fingertips over the rows of books she passed. "Boring, read that one already, nonsensical gibberish, boring, painfully biased..."
Cassie: "Ooh, now what do we have here?" The teenage girl stopped her silent steps to take a closer look at the books in front of her. "A section on the occult... who would have guessed I'd find treasure today..."
Hisako: Conducting her own scan through the books, another girl managed to join her on the same row. With an inaudible sigh, Hisako approached Cassandra, "Excuse me...", she asked, "...do you know where there is anything on...", she pulled up her shirt sleeve and looked at her wrist, "Roo-nick Languages?"
Cassie: With an inscrutable, easily missed smile, Cassandra gave the young woman that had appeared in front of her a brief but scrutinizing look. "I may know indeed," she replied, before partly turning to the side. "Just the other day I've found the one or other interesting book on these."
Cassie: Facing the shelf, she tapped her chin while browsing the titles lined up right ahead. "Curious about runes? An odd choice, and not what I would have expected you to be interested in."
Hisako: "What does that mean, you have expectations I don't meet?", Hisako queried, more than a little confused as to Cassandra's intent, "And yes, I am looking for this kind of book so I can help with the investigation. Maybe find out what this carvings are..."
Cassie: "Ah, yes, those carvings..." Cassandra fell silent for a moment, glancing at Hisako before focusing on the books once more. "And that's not what I meant to say. Excuse me, but you've always struck me as the focused, no-nonsense type of student. Not really the type to whom such esoteric topics appeal."
Cassie: "But that's what I get for generalizing, no?" The smile returned, before she pulled one of the books of the shelf. "This one should do the trick. A little dry for my taste, but it offers a decent overview over a wide range of runic and other lost languages."
Hisako: Accepting the book, Hisako inspected the cover, mumbling the title to herself before looking up at Cassandra again, "I think so, too. Arigatou.", she offered a small smile, starting away and pausing with her back turned for a moment.
Hisako: "...you should not assume.", she turned back, her somewhat darkened eyes fixed on Cassandra, "People mistake my coldness for cruelty, and my focusses for boundaries of thought. I have a great many interests, I just find it hard to express myself."
Cassie: "And something that comes as second nature to me." Cassandra smirked, turning around in order to step up to Hisako at a leisurely pace. "If you're looking for another role model perhaps, I'd feel honoured to add you to my list of fans."
Hisako: Cracking a slightly bigger smirk, Hisako shook her head, "I think we are too different in many ways. We would not like the same things.", she looked up, "Thank you, Cassandra. But I don't have role models."
Cassie: "So you only try to be one, yes?" Stepping past Mayday, she turned her head to reveal a fleeting yet provocative grin. "Oh, I'd place us on opposing sides of a mirror." Cassandra chuckled. "Which only means we have even more to learn from each other."
Cassie: "Runes, for example," the teenage girl added, glancing sideways to offer the other student a wink. "I just so happen to know the one or other thing about these things. You might call me... ah yes, a connoisseur of the occult."
Hisako: "I do not think this has much to do with the occult.", Hisako raised an eyebrow, still contemplating the 'mirror' analogy as she followed Cassandra's movements, "That is, unless the runes are written by some kind of cultist.", she looked down at the book - that was a good theory, actually. Provided she could find some basis of evidence, of course: Ichiki Hisako was not one to jump to conclusions.
Hisako: Tapping the book with her fingers, she murmurred, "Creepypasta much?" to herself.
Cassie: "Ooh, one of my favourites." Cassandra turned around, taking a few steps backwards and cracked an inappropriate grin. "Especially with a good heap of weirdsauce." She guided Hisako to one of the seating areas, the bright reading lamps creating a circle of light in the general dimness of this morning.
Cassie: "I know we've already had it with generalizations and assumptions, and at the risk of adding another stigma about my own subculture, but I'm just going go ahead and say that anyone with an interest in runic signs and a taste for human flesh will have at least a passing interest in the occult."
Cassie: Cassandra frowned, blinking as she considered what she had said. "Which doesn't mean I like human flesh," she quickly added.
Hisako: Hisako was still blushing at the fact she'd been caught out as being a possible 4Channer, "I-I....am sure you don't.", she stammered, for no real reason, "A-anyway...", following Casandra, she sat down, "You think that it's a good basis for theory? Runes, cannibals, means cultists?"
Cassie: "Good enough to consider and build upon, anyway." Cassandra nodded, pulling back a chair to sit down on, pulling up her legs in order to cross them on the seat. "I mean, we have to start somewhere, no? As for an actual cult... well, a thoroughly deranged mind aside, I'd say it takes more than one person to... do the things we've seen."
Cassie: She glanced up at Hisako. "Unless you think it's another mutant, of course..."
Hisako: Hisako nodded back, "Foolish to rule it out yet.", she agreed, placing the book down on the table between them and sliding her arms free of her bag. She rummaged within it, drawing forth a notepad adorned with various Manga character stickers in bright, loud colours - a huge leap in difference between her no-nonsense shirt and shorts atire, complete with a long red tie and black coat.
Hisako: Removing a pen from her shirt pocket, she opened the notebook and started jotting down a few notes on a blank page in Japanese.
Cassie: "Whoever did this not only managed to overpower all these mutants, but they also mangled and moved the bodies, without never being seen." Leaning forward, Cassandra propped up her elbows on the table and rested her chin on the palm of her hands. "Not to mention laying several traps and carving countless trees right under out nose."
Cassie: Her brow furrowed, as she sidled slightly closer to Hisako. "Speaking of, have you heard that apparently this isn't the first time something like this happened around here? I've listened to the others say this is not the first time they encounter suspicious traps in these woods."
Hisako: "Ah...hai.", Hisako nodded, looking up from her notes momentarilly, "We share school with known criminals and murderers who feel little or no remorse for their actions, though.", she shrugged, "Not to be so...'non-chan-lant' but it was not surprising. Super heroes and disasters going hand in hand."
Hisako: Tapping her pen against her forehead, Hisako leaned back, folding her arms, "The traps, the carvings, the fact they entered and exited so quick. This...possibly shows prior mapping of the ground here. Or suggests personal skills of the 'per-prior-tor'...? Is...this the word?"
Cassie: "Perpetrator," Cassandra corrected Hisako, showing the other girl a small smile. "Oh, I knew about the promise of danger before deciding to come here, of course. As you can imagine, there are quite the collection of rumours surrounding the school and its students already. Even though I never imagined this place to be such a magnet for weirdness."
Cassie: "What can I say, I'm pleasantly surprised!" She grinned, briefly holding out her hands. "Then again, I'm no stranger to dangerous situations myself." Her smile faded as she leaned back. "Being stalked by cannibals, however, now that's new even to me. And I think you're right - we're not looking for the average psycho you read of in the news, but someone who knows what they're doing."
Cassie: Glancing to either side, her voice dropped in volume, gaze fixing on the girl sitting across from her. "That night out there in the woods... I can't shake the feeling we haven't been alone."
Hisako: Hisako fixed her eyes on Cassandra, "....'haven't'....past tense, impying...someone may have been watching for a long time?", unconciously, she gripped her pen tighter, looking away a little with unease clear on her features, "...or inside information..."
Cassie: "I know it's merely a gut feeling, but I already had to learn it can be quite foolish to dismiss such insight," Cassandra said, raising her finger. "I tell you there was someone out there... watching and playing with us." A frown slipped onto her features. "And yet, we couldn't find anything that they didn't want us to find."
Cassie: Cassandra's eyes narrowed. "And I assure you - it's not easy to hide in the dark from me..." She glanced sideways, fidgeting with a strand of her hair. "I feel like we're the mice in this game, and there's a very savvy cat out there."
Hisako: Nodding, Hisako bit the inside of her bottom lip, going back to writing for a few moments. A little later, she circled a few points and turned the page to Cassandra, having translated the odd bit of kanji in small - though easilly read - English, "A list of possible hypotheses...we should work on evidence for each."
Cassie: A faint smirk brightened Cassandra's gloomy expression. "Are you suggesting we should team up," she asked, raising an eyebrow. "Like one of these odd detective duos, who have to overcome their obvious differences and instead use them to their advantage to solve the case?"
Hisako: "...w-well...maybe.", Hisako nodded, fiddling with her pen, "Not that I need help or anything...", she mumbled to herself, "...b-but other perspective is good, yes?"
Cassie: "Oh, having another can never hurt," Cassandra agreed, her eyes lighting up with a hint of excitement as she nodded, leaning onto the table again. "Especially if it's one like mine." She flashed Hisako a grin. "You'll find that the ability to think outside the box is one of my biggest strengths - and just what you may need."
Hisako: With a hum of agreement, Hisako's eyes fell to the notepad page again, "So....we should work on one of these first...", she tapped the page with her pen, "Ichi: an insider who is possibly betraying, Nii: a previous enemy, someone who knows this place.", she tapped another part of the page, "They may be cults, maybe group..."
Hisako: She looked up to Cassandra, "We should check the runes first for clues, then find someone who may fit this Modus Operandi."
Cassie: "Sounds like you've already planned through each and every step," Cassandra remarked, the edge of her mouth forming a smirk. "See? With your sense for sober logic and my knack for the unconventional, what's there to stop us from solving this mystery? Oh, we'll make such a fine duo!"
Hisako: Hisako giggled a little, winking at the girl across from her, "Elementary, Watson-chan!", she joked, blushing a little, but happy all the same, "So, we split up and look for clues?"
Cassie: "An excellent plan!" The raven-haired girl gave a determined nod. "We should report back regularly to compare notes, which of course means we'll need a suitable location to gather and pore over evidence, not to mention where we can focus our combined ingenuity."
Cassie: Cassandra looked around, letting her gaze wander across the tall shelves that surrounded them, each packed with books of all sizes. "I think the library should suffice for now," she said, tapping her chin.
Hisako: "Agreed.", Hisako smiled, standing up and tapping the pad, "You find out about possible foes from the past, and I will look into possible traitors in the ranks for now. Meet up again to look at runes and discuss notes."
Cassie: "As if I needed another reason to delve into the bewildering history of this school" Cassandra exclaimed, clapping her hands together. "This has all the signs of an intriguing mystery, and I just can't keep my curious little nose out of those." With a grin on her lips, she hopped out of her chair. "I almost feel like being part of a proper X-Men investigation already."
Hisako: Closing her notepad and returning it to her bag along with her book on occult runes, Hisako pocketed her pen and waved a little farewell to Cassandra before turning to leave, stopping and turning back, "Oh, you should take my number too.", withdrawing her phone she unlocked its keypad.
Cassie: "That might be a good idea," Cassandra commented, reaching into her black coat to pull out her own phone. "We should remain in contact, just in case we come across something noteworthy." She glancing up at the other girl and offered a wry smile. "Or unexpected."
Hisako: After making sure they both had the correct numbers down, Hisako slid her phone back into her pocket, winking at her new commerade with a little smile, "Thanks again for the book, and stay safe, Cassandra."
Cassie: "Ah, don't worry about me," Cassandra assured her new teammate in crime-fighting. "I may be curious like a cat, but I also got their nine lives. Plus, I always land on my feet, just like they do. Mostly, anyway." She waved at Hisako. "I'll see you around, partner." The next moment, she already drifted back into the labyrinth of book shelves.
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