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Cloudsea - The Chronicle of Alice Van Vaugen
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NotABear
 Cloudsea - The Chronicle of Alice Van Vaugen
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The two airships swept through the storm, carried by the ferocious winds that threatened to tear them to pieces, the hulls creaking and warping with every sharp turn put on them to avoid striking a chunk of stone.
It was amazing that the plan had even worked, but the Tendencies to Disaster was a sturdy boat and was powerful enough to steer both lumps through the dark stormwall, held together by the anchor chains they had fired at their opponent before dragging them down with them.

Steer was a bit of an overestimate, really. Sascha would do what she could, which more or less was just hauling back and forth on the control yoke and hoping the Luckë would hold out just a bit longer.

Happenstance, on the other hand, was really just hoping his sword arm would hold out. Also his legs. He was perfectly fine with fighting in unusual and dangerous situations. Hell, most of those times were his fault! So why was it every time he stuck his neck out for William, it ended up like this? Standing on one of the grapple chains, now wet with rain- chill enough that it was probably going to start forming thin layers of ice- locked in combat with an enemy, with Happenstance being the only thing between them and the failure of their mission.

None of this mattered to William. That is not to say that he did not care for the lives of his crew, who were essentially family. That's why he left them behind before embarking on this journey. It was a stupid idea, of course. That's why Sascha and Happenstance insisted on coming. One, essentially a lover, the other, essentially a blood sibling... William sometimes wondered what he had done to deserve such-

The Die came up a 1. William felt something inside himself sting, and he could taste blood on his tongue. For a brief moment, he thought of the past, where a pain like this would make him lose sight of his goals. Instead he palmed at the deck of the airship, picking up the ethereal die and rolling once more. 14. A more favorable roll. A crackle, a roar in the clouds. He could feel Sascha hauling the ship to the side as a chunk of rock threatened to crash into them- only for it to vaporize in a flash of searing hot lightning.

The airships continued to dance through the storm, through the field of debris, onward to their destination... Their destination... which will be revealed in the next book!?

AUGH. Damn Histicians! They always do this! Always! A cliffhanger! You want to know what happened! Your grip tightening, you briefly consider chucking this book across the room with all your might... But you wouldn't do that to a book, right?

( TOSSING THIS HERE WHERE IT WILL BE SEEN IF ANYBODY GOES BACK TO REREAD OR IS A NEW READER: There is now a Q&A Section over in the Discussion Zone, which can be found -->Here! Okay that's all I had. Editor's Note End! )
(This post was last modified: 07-10-2017 01:34 PM by NotABear.)
06-12-2017 10:49 PM
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Tuesday
 RE: Cloudsea
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Books are friends, not food.

>Gently put it down and take a deep breath, shit's getting too real
06-12-2017 11:08 PM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #3
The Goddamn Pacman

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Guess you may as well check when they're putting the next book out. Or maybe read something else in the meantime?

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
06-12-2017 11:51 PM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #4
nerd lord supreme

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> At least it was better than the spinoff. The spinoff was terrible. They totally ruined Happenstance's character!

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
06-13-2017 01:18 AM
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NotABear
 RE: Cloudsea
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Oh. No. Of course not. You look at the book. You're not really sure what- Well you know EXACTLY what came over you. You get right to what seems like the climax of a good story and it ends abruptly. Good way to get money out of people, you suppose. You close the book and gently place it down on your bedside table, in the 'read' stack. Reaching out to grab one from the 'unread' stack... Maybe one of the Jade Mantis stories? Supposedly, William was quite fond of them. You always found them a bit too slow when you were younger, but you have learned to better appreciate a slow buildup.

Certainly better than the Burgundy Von Happenstance series. They were hilarious, but you get the feeling that the Histicions were always writing less than they really could... and they felt like they were playing him off as a gag character, instead of the mysterious spy he really was... Oh! Or maybe you could read-

*GRORBLBML*

... But! Books aren't food. Not for your stomach at least. You quickly come to an agreement with yourself. Wash up. Then put on some proper clothes then...

Then... What? You stare at your door for a moment.

Have- Have you ever had a moment where something interrupts your thoughts, and it's like everything has just slid out of your head? You can't even remember where you were planning on eating... Was it...

The kitchen of your home? Or maybe the boarding house cafeteria? Or was it the barracks mess hall? A shop down the street? Why is it so hard to think?
(This post was last modified: 06-13-2017 01:29 AM by NotABear.)
06-13-2017 01:28 AM
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Schazer
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #6
Patron Saint of Normcore

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go to the shop, a walk should clear your head hopefully

peace to the unsung peace to the martyrs | i'm johnny rotten appleseed
clouds is shaky love | broke as hell but i got a bunch of ringtones
eyes blood red bruise aubergine | Sue took something now Sue doesn't sleep | saint average, day in the life of
woke up in the noon smelling doom and death | out the house, great outdoors
staying warm in arctic blizzard | that's my battle 'til I get inanimate | still up in the same clothes living like a gameshow
06-13-2017 01:43 AM
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NotABear
 RE: Cloudsea
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R-Right! You were going to head to one of the shops. Of course. You... live alone. Not like that's a bad thing. It gives you a lot of time to read, and to pursue your studies and hobbies.

You stare into your mirror as you dry your hair.

... You don't MIND living alone, really! But you wish the reason was something reasonable like-

... ... ...

You count through your funds. Maybe you'll head down to the bakery and get yourself something nice. You have a good amount saved up... How much should you take? A little? A bit? A lot? All of it? How hungry are you, anyway? Peckish? Starved? Ravenous?

Why DO you live alone, anyway? It's been so long, you've just forgotten. It was at least one of these things...

Were you born under the Aspect of the Geode? Do you have problems communicating with others? Were your parents someone famous? Someone infamous? Maybe you just took TOO well to a life of solitary study... Maybe you were studying one of the six forms of obscure arte through machinations of mystical design?

Or maybe this has something to do with you being absolutely sure you've met one of the Legendary Ten before. Or maybe it was a combination. Or all of the above? Or something else...?
06-13-2017 03:27 AM
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Tuesday
 RE: Cloudsea
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>you're socially inept due to a sheltered upbringing. It hobbled your social skills during your formative years and led to an adulthood of lonely pursuits. Your parents were, in fact, famous—and the attention nearly destroyed your family. They thought it best if you were spared from the public eye.
06-13-2017 07:06 AM
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typeandkey
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #9
 

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>Every time you get a potential flat mate, some bizarre circumstance scares them away. Last time it was a yodeling walrus with wings that made a nest in the pantry.

Noise Lights: A Text Adventure
06-13-2017 06:45 PM
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NotABear
 RE: Cloudsea
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Yodeling, flying walrus. You remember that. It makes you smile a little to think about it. Your parents were famous- Are famous? Presumably ARE, since you're still receiving money every week. They could have a fund for that sort of thing, but unless they paid an exorbitant amount to keep it secure, that seems unlikely. If they were lost to the Cloudsea or passed, you haven't been told about it- (That you know of.) and considering you never go to the bank, it would probably be really easy to just... make that money disappear?

You pass by the large chroniker in your living room. Third Champsday under the Epelle moon. Almost 20th chime. The bakery will be closing up soon. But that means you can likely pick up something slightly stale for a little cheap- Whoops! You bump into your dust devil, and get a little dirt on the floor. It whistles at you in an annoyed tone and swirls around, picking the dirt back up and dusting off your clothes. Sorry.

Truth of it is, you've gotten really good at making people stay away. Books are easier to deal with. They're full of words- and you're REALLY good with words. Any attempts to send you tutors or guardians were quickly dissuaded with a harrowing series of pranks. Harmless though, honest!

That's not to say you don't have friends thought! Hardly! You know all three bookstore keepers in the city. You know most of the restaurant owners on this and nearby streets? Are those friends? You think so. Sometimes the bookstore keepers send you lists of upcoming books, if you haven't been out lately, and at one point you were pen pals with one of their children. Something glitters in the distance. Something tickles your nose. There's a ringing sound.

Occasionally people will come to your house to ask you things. Everything has to be submitted in writing though, and they have to stay in the parlor while you do your research and- Oof. The baker must be having a bad day, it smells like they burned the morning... rolls.

The bakery is on fire. The buildings are on fire. The city. There are ships floating overhead, the 'windbags' of Their Imperial Majesty's Gentlemen locked in combat with ships of some strange design you've never seen... They're so... Mechanical? Natural? Biological? How would you describe them?

. . . Did you remember to grab your weapon before you left home? Every citizen of the Imperial Sphere is trained in some form of combat. Your parents made sure of that, even if it was self taught.
06-13-2017 10:48 PM
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Tuesday
 RE: Cloudsea
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>Them ships look biological, and it's gross. Ew. What the hell, why are these even a thing? Nasty.
>Your weapon is always on hand! It's collapsible.
06-14-2017 12:02 AM
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typeandkey
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #12
 

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>The ships are bio-mechanical, semi-living whale like beasts fitted with clockwork, sails, cabins, weapons, the works.

>'Course you remembered to bring a weapon. The streets haven't been safe for a long time. Your trusty blunderbuss, it can blast a man-sized hole in a solid brick wall like it's nothing. Watch the kickback, though, it'll send you flying.

Noise Lights: A Text Adventure
(This post was last modified: 06-14-2017 06:30 AM by typeandkey.)
06-14-2017 01:02 AM
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NotABear
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #13
 

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Watching the 'ships' pass overhead... Is that a whale? You're not sure how you would describe it anymore. It's getting late, but the moon is still high and bright in the sky, and the flames of the burning city help to illuminate that... thing. Even from down here, you can see the way it moves. Flesh and Bone. Wires and Gears. Gasoline and Electricity and Sinew and Sails and Nerves and it is STARING down at you with what feel like a HUNDRED TINY LITTLE EYES and you're starting to remember why you hate going outside.

The sky whale, the skyship, the sky beast- beastship! That's- not a very clever name, to be fair. The beastship seems largely ignorant of the smaller airships flying around it, pelting it with weaponry. It seems to be largely ignorant of everything, really. The destruction is being carried out by much smaller fish-shaped bio-mechanical monstrosities floating overhead, flying in and out of the beastship's constantly open maw...

You aim up at it. The chances of you hitting it from here are not impossibly small, and you have been trained well in the handling and aiming of both siege weapons and firearms, coming together in a single handy unit of the Portable Artillery Rifle- An odd military weapon that resembles a blunderbuss with a barrel that collapses down in on itself when not in use. The sight lines up right on one of those invisible eyes you can feel staring at you. Standard ammunition for the PAR is a long range contact explosive. If you aim up a little- You really have no sense of scale. This is ridiculous. The gun feels a little heavy. The kick on this thing is horrendous. You're supposed to brace it, or use the screw-on stick...

You're starting to feel sick. Be honest with yourself. This is a dream, isn't it? You have read at least a few books on the science and mysticism of sleeping and that means you have at least a basic understanding of all this. Maybe. Never have you read anything about things like this! The fish-like creatures zipping through the air, spewing fire and lightning, the massive... flagship? Mother? Father? Gender-less progenitor? Gaze descending, you spy something else, emerging from the burning bakery. More flesh and artifice, metallic muscle and meaty gears, a large beast resembling some form of werewolf, but much larger than the standard werewolf and- of course- much more horrific.

Maybe you're just having a hallucinatory episode? This kind of thing only happens in books- of course! It's obviously a dream! It steps towards you. You instinctively step back. The gun is still loaded. You can't possibly miss. You were reading one of the Amethyst Wolf series! Her stories are full of the occult, terrible, imaginary creatures that couldn't possibly be real! But what if it is real?

Stop that! Nope! Nope! This is a dream! Gonna prove it. You're going to wake up right now! Right NOW! Gonna wake up and THEN gonna get something to eat and forget this whole thing over a nice cookie and some tea and maybe you should shoot it. It's seen you. It's big. But it looks slow. You could run. You could run and get help. But you have to pick one. Wake up, Run, or Fire?
06-14-2017 09:34 AM
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wiltingMyosotis
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #14
Too Busy Reading

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> Wake up.

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(This post was last modified: 06-14-2017 09:52 AM by wiltingMyosotis.)
06-14-2017 09:52 AM
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Tuesday
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #15
 

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>FIYAH
06-14-2017 10:02 AM
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typeandkey
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #16
 

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>This is no dream, kiddo. You better run, something's after you now...
or
>This is no dream, buckaroo. You better pull the trigger and do some damage... Oh wait, shooting it just made it angry.

Noise Lights: A Text Adventure
(This post was last modified: 06-14-2017 12:02 PM by typeandkey.)
06-14-2017 12:01 PM
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Myeth
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #17
WHO NEEDS SLEEP WHEN U HAVE ORT

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>WAKE UP

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Me army of waddlers
06-14-2017 02:09 PM
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NotABear
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #18
 

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Wake up. Wake up! C'mon, C'mon. You can do this! Just wake up!

It moves closer. It's movements are unnatural, like someone designed this creature without a clear understanding of how muscle worked. Everything it does cause it's entire body to creak and clank and you could almost believe that it's going to shake itself apart with the next step, but never does.

A sharp, searing, hot light, and suddenly you're being lifted off your feet, stumbling backwards as your hearing dims out not from firing your weapon, but being incredibly close to the point of impact as the shell explodes against the shambling horror. Thankfully enough, you land on your feet, and you stop. RUN. You stare into the flames as you shakily slip another shell out of your jacket, loading it into the weapon...

With a screech of metal against metal, a limb flails out and crushes your weapon in it's grasp, threatening to pull you into the fire as it pulls itself out of the fire... Well, most of it, anyway. You've managed to destroy it's legs, and the closer you look, it appears to be leaking oil that is making the fire worse. You stare at it and find yourself oddly drawn to it's terrifying structure, wishing you had brought a sketch pad or-

Oh yeah. You should probably run, huh.

You turn away and start to move, when something- probably the creature- strikes you on the back, knocking you flat and sending you sliding down the cobblestones. In the books, this would be the point where you roll over onto your back, and the beast will be RIGHT THERE. You might scream or like, back away, or brandish your broken weapon in a useless gesture.. Or if you're lucky, you'll be saved, or even better- maybe you'll discover some deep secret power within yourself and-

Okay, if this is a dream, it's a pretty good one, because now you're pretty sure you're falling unconscious...

Mnmn... Hm. hMnhm? Mnm... Nnn. ..

AH.

You're... awake. You did it! You woke up! Great! WHERE are you? Is this your bed? Someone's bed? Prison bed? Hospital bed? The ground? Where are we?
06-15-2017 11:45 AM
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wiltingMyosotis
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #19
Too Busy Reading

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> Afterlife. It's the afterlife, bud

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06-15-2017 01:29 PM
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Myeth
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #20
WHO NEEDS SLEEP WHEN U HAVE ORT

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You're dead, pal.

Beef Squad: Bird cops n' robos woah
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Me army of waddlers
06-15-2017 06:10 PM
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typeandkey
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #21
 

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>Oh my, you appear to be strapped down. You're in an interrogation chamber... Is it too late to go back to sleep?

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06-15-2017 08:13 PM
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Tuesday
 RE: Cloudsea
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(06-15-2017 08:13 PM)typeandkey Wrote:  >Oh my, you appear to be strapped down. You're in an interrogation chamber... Is it too late to go back to sleep?
06-15-2017 10:51 PM
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NotABear
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #23
 

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"That's ridiculous! The concept of an afterlife is, as far as we know, largely a literary concept given that the unknown lay beyond the veil of death and- o-oh."

They look up at you, strapped down into their chair, at a small table in a room enclosed only by the ever-stretching walls of the void. You regard them with disconnected interest. Barely a formed thought, much less a character. Function, but no form. Thoughts, but no ideas. Alive, but without life. They shift nervously. This happens a lot. You've been told before that you have a strange, alien form. You've been told that your idea of a waiting room is more like an interrogation room. You've been told a lot of things.

"So, I'm dead?"

That term is incorrect.

"Oh. Um-" You watch them with idle curiosity now. They fidget again. You back away ever so slightly. Now, and again, you will see if they are adequate. You've been told, not by these things- but by your 'peers', as the mortals like to refer to equals as- that your requirements for an avatar are outside your station. Your job is to create, observe, then collect.

You find that boring. You are quickly finding this thing boring. If you wanted, you could just let them think what it is that you want to hear. But receiving placation without substance will not nourish you. They wriggle in their seat. You wonder. Is it Fear? Denial? Hate? Bargaining? Sorrow? You reach out towards this thing. Speak.

"Oh! . . . Really?" . . . "Well- I mean, I understand. I'm not real. Anymore. I think." Does it now. "Either I was some sort of pawn, being used... or I'm some sort of construct. A thought. Not even fully formed though- look at me." They look down at themselves. Indeed, their form was already hazy to begin with, and now, they are beginning to dissolve, as the edges of perception eats away at their remaining consciousness. Does this make you angry?

"Angry? Why?" They look at you. Even without a face, you can read everything. They're actually looking at you. Fascinating. "I mean. Let's presume I'm just a pawn. There would have been nothing I could have done about it. I don't have the understanding to even really parse what happened... I think I was- killed? By some terrifying creature. It was." They touch their chin. "Unnatural. If this was some weird chance, I'm not sure I would have survived an encounter with it anyway. Now, let us consider the alternative: That I'm some form of construct given form by your perception. That would be even weirder to be angry about, right? I mean- you created me. If anything, I should be thankful. I guess. But, none of that matters because I died, right?" Talkative, this one, when left alone to their own thoughts.

"I mean..." They rub their cheek, and look at themselves again. "I don't even have a name, do I? That means I'm at best, a background character. That's a little depressing, but it's alright!" You stare back at them. They don't fidget anymore. "I mean, if I 'm a background character, and I died- then that means I did my job, right? Either I was dressing for a scene- or maybe, if I'm lucky, I get to be the motivation for a hero! That means that nothing I did was useless, and that's what a lot of people want out of life, right?" Their face flickers, and suddenly- they smile at you. You see lips and teeth and they smile in a way you would describe as the smile of a pupil to a mentor after being told that they had done everything perfectly. "I was useful. I don't mind ending everything here and-"

You point at them. The movement of your body, your arm, thrusting into their face. They silence immediately. Your finger slowly points down to the table that they are sitting at, brushing the table with your fingertip, and bringing a piece of paper, an inkwell, and a pen into existence. Your name.

"But-... I don't have one."

Then make one. Who are you?
(This post was last modified: 06-15-2017 11:14 PM by NotABear.)
06-15-2017 11:13 PM
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typeandkey
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #24
 

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>Alice Van Vaugen

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06-16-2017 12:19 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 RE: Cloudsea
Post: #25
The Goddamn Pacman

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Seconding that one.

There's no reason for this | Or this | Death is inevitable | You can't challenge fate | The smallest change | I'm overwhelmed
I'm serious | It makes perfect sense | Easy as ABC! | I can't even explain it | Cleaning up someone else's mess
I suck | I rule | I've got it made | Really, I'm serious | This bugs me | It's all lies | I want to believe | Beauty is a curse
06-16-2017 04:16 AM
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