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[personal profile] azetidine_plays
So this is the freeform session that kicked off a spate of similar "dreams", as Sophira called them, over the next weekend in the #dw-dnd sidechannel. I did take direct inspiration from dreams I've had, which comes up for discussion later on in a part of the log that I didn't post because it's not directly part of a game. This is the first part of a three-part log.

Part two here.
Part three here.

(08:46:32 PM)
 You become aware that you're in a park. The neighborhood seems familiar to you. Wide, flat streets paved with new gray asphalt. Large leafy trees dot the lawns. Most of the houses are one-story ranches. The park has a chain-link fence, a softball diamond, some aging play equipment. What do you do?
(08:47:55 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Try to gauge the time of day by sun position, street traffic, others in park
(08:48:37 PM) V_PauAmma_V: (or check watch, if I have one_
(08:48:37 PM) me: There's negligible street traffic. Mostly parked cars.
(08:49:05 PM) me: The sky is overcast.
(08:49:14 PM) me: You don't see anyone else in the park.
(08:50:32 PM) me: You become aware of a feeling that you are being pursued.
(08:51:06 PM) Rainne entered the room.
(08:52:35 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Does that feeling have a distance/direction component?
(08:52:37 PM) me: You look at your wrist. It's the same time as when you left the house for an important appointment you had earlier this week.
(08:53:03 PM) Rainne: (dammit! Am I missing a game?)
(08:53:16 PM) me: (just started rainne)
(08:54:05 PM) me: The feeling of being pursued seems to originate in the low brick school-ish building situated across a large field, on the other side of the same block the park fills.
(08:54:17 PM) Rainne: (i wanna play!)
(08:54:19 PM) me: You have the feeling that you have done something that might have alerted someone.
(08:54:30 PM) me: Who or what, you are unsure.
(08:54:42 PM) me: (you can jointly control the player if you wish)
(08:55:02 PM) Rainne: (oh, is it a one-person thing? I can just watch, then)
(08:55:28 PM) V_PauAmma_V: (to Rainne) I'll turn in soon.
(08:55:41 PM) me: (feel free to collaborate on what the POV is doing.)
(08:57:11 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Where's the park relative to appointment location?
(08:58:33 PM) me: It just happens to be the same time. You remember going to the appointment at this time a couple days ago. The appointment was downtown. Downtown is located to the northeast, through this and another residential neighborhood.
(09:00:23 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Are deserted streets and park normal for that day and time?
(09:01:01 PM) V_PauAmma_V: (the day and time my memories and watch say it is.)
(09:01:19 PM) me: This neighborhood is pretty quiet, all the time. It's not unusual for there to be no traffic.
(09:02:43 PM) me: You hear, very faintly, sirens.
(09:03:05 PM) me: You have the sinking feeling that they are coming for you.
(09:03:13 PM) Rainne: (yikes!)
(09:03:28 PM) Mr_Rat: (what kind of sirens)
(09:03:45 PM) me: Police car, maybe.
(09:03:55 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Do I feel hungry? Thirsty? Tired?
(09:04:06 PM) Rainne: (Are the sirens approaching, or going in another direction?)
(09:04:08 PM) me: No. In fact, you feel oddly ennervated.
(09:04:26 PM) me: The sirens are slowly getting louder.
(09:04:35 PM) Rainne: (Is there anywhere to hide?)
(09:05:23 PM) me: Trees. Empty houses. There's a wilderness area down by the river that runs through downtown. There's also a "safe" house another neighborhood over to the east, but how safe it would be if they saw you running that way, you're not sure.
(09:05:41 PM) Mr_Rat: (and suddenly the player has voices is his or her head)
(09:05:43 PM) me: You remember it being rather run-down and nasty. 
(09:06:37 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Is there a pond or something I coulduse as a mirror?
(09:07:08 PM) me: There's a small creek that runs through this neighborhood. Not still enough to use as a pond. Maybe one of the parked cars would give you a reflection. 
(09:07:19 PM) Rainne: (rearview mirror)
(09:07:47 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Any car right outside the fence?
(09:08:03 PM) me: Yes. A dark blue 2001 Kia Sephia.
(09:08:21 PM) me: The quickest way to get there is to go up and over.
(09:08:41 PM) V_PauAmma_V: up and over... the fence?
(09:08:50 PM) me: Indeed.
(09:09:15 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Hmm. Is the fence electrified?
(09:09:18 PM) me: There are gaps where one can enter the field about equidistant either direction, but they're both about 200 feet away.
(09:09:23 PM) me: No, it's just a regular chain link fence.
(09:09:35 PM) me: The sirens are getting distinct. They may or may not be rounding corners nearby.
(09:10:02 PM) V_PauAmma_V: OK, I go to the car to look at myself.
(09:10:35 PM) me: You go up and over the fence with an interesting ease. You feel, if not athletic, at least slightly muscular.
(09:11:01 PM) V_PauAmma_V: More than I remember being?
(09:12:25 PM) me: It only seems slightly unusual. At one point in your life you weren't athletic at all, or remember wishing to be more athletic. The fact that you are able to scale the fence now is very welcome, in light of the circumstances. Perhaps it's tied up *in* the circumstances. You feel... different than you were before.
(09:12:40 PM) Rainne: (how close are the sirens now?)
(09:13:22 PM) me: Near enough to start being loud. You hear the sound of tires squealing around corners.
(09:13:32 PM) me: The car window shows you a funhouse reflection. You look like this:
(09:14:48 PM) me: Long light brown hair, loose down to your armpits, a sort of gender-indeterminate face with rosy cheeks. You wear glasses. Your shirt is a blue plaid button-down worn open over a light blue comfortable cotton T with a faded logo on it, something from the 80s.
(09:15:09 PM) me: You're wearing jeans and sneakers.
(09:15:31 PM) V_PauAmma_V: How many vehicles and what kinds, if I can tell?
(09:16:20 PM) me: About half the parking on this side of the street is occupied, and 1/4 on the other side. Mostly four-door sedans. One house has a red truck parked in front of it.
(09:16:37 PM) me: You hear the sound of gravel crunching and car doors slamming open. You don't see them, but they must be on the other side of the school.
(09:16:37 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Is that what I remember looking like?
(09:16:50 PM) me: It's not unexpected, no. 
(09:17:01 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Sorry, I meant the ones approaching
(09:17:36 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Well, the ones that got here.
(09:17:46 PM) me: The ones approaching are definitely cop cars. You caught a glimpse of one at the intersection down the road towards the school. This one had amber stripes on the sides, like the state police.
(09:18:02 PM) me: Your body tenses up. Flight or fight.
(09:18:21 PM) V_PauAmma_V: State, not city/county?
(09:18:54 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Anything in shirt/jeans pockets?
(09:18:58 PM) me: At least one state car. Possibly multiple jurisdictions. Probably definitely multiple jurisdictions. It's unjust, really, but there's not much you can do about it now.
(09:19:17 PM) me: The shirt has a pocket protector in it, and a pen.
(09:19:32 PM) me: The pants have change, a wallet. No keys.
(09:20:34 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Hmm. Probably not the best time to look through the wallet.
(09:20:47 PM) me: You think it just has cash in it anyway.
(09:21:25 PM) me: There's shouting and radio crackles coming from the other side of the school. You should seriously either skedaddle or prepare for capture.
(09:21:50 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Any indication that there are K9 teams?
(09:21:54 PM) me: None.
(09:24:19 PM) V_PauAmma_V: OK. I walk unhurriedly away from the voices, and try to remember about public transit layout and schedule.
(09:25:21 PM) me: This town is too small to have anything but a half-assed bus system, and that is organized mostly radially, going to and from the bus station downtown to major destinations like the mall and the university town adjacent to the west.
(09:26:01 PM) me: The neighborhood you're in doesn't have any bus lines running through it.
(09:26:43 PM) me: You are walking east.
(09:27:46 PM) me: You are the only pedestrian you see.
(09:29:09 PM) me: (brb bio)
(09:29:49 PM) V_PauAmma_V: I look for a street to turn into, preferrably one going NS, to get away from direct LOS of school and try to make my way NE to the bus terminal.
(09:31:53 PM) Rainne: (someone give me the background before Aze gets back? I came in about the time Pau checked the time.)
(09:32:13 PM) me: You're approaching one now. Turning right takes you along the backside of the field. Turning left takes you across the street and down a shady block.
(09:32:46 PM) me: (not much. We started in a field next to a school, with a sense of having been inside it recently and being pursued.)
(09:32:59 PM) Rainne: (ok)
(09:35:11 PM) me: A cop rounds the corner of the school. You hear the radio static. Then a shout. "Hey!" she shouts. "Halt! Police!" She then keys the radio and says some code into it.
(09:36:30 PM) V_PauAmma_V: I turn left, to go north.
(09:37:00 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Still walking unhurriedly,
(09:38:08 PM) me: She pulls out a gun, says something into the radio, then starts sprinting down the block towards you. "Stop right there!" she shouts.
(09:38:19 PM) me: On the other side of the school, car doors slam shut and motors rev.
(09:38:26 PM) Rainne: (uh oh)
(09:38:32 PM) Rainne: (better hoof it)
(09:39:11 PM) V_PauAmma_V: What's ahead of me in the street going north?
(09:40:24 PM) me: You are now across the street. The cop is halfway down the block. Ahead of you is a sidewalk with jumbled concrete where tree roots push it up. Most of the trees are a foot or more in diameter in the trunk, reaching 40-60' high. The houses alternate between fenced and unfenced yards, with kitschy little statuary or small plantings in the yards.
(09:40:43 PM) me: The sky looks inviting.
(09:41:19 PM) me: One of the yards has a kid's bike in it. Training wheels still on.
(09:41:35 PM) Rainne: (inviting as in pretty and blue or inviting as in gee i'd like to be up there, perhaps I should fly?)
(09:41:36 PM) me: Pink tassels on the handlebars.
(09:41:53 PM) me: (the latter, mostly. The overcast grey swirling clouds have a kind of plodding beauty, you suppose.)
(09:42:20 PM) Rainne: (any chance we actually CAN fly?)
(09:42:33 PM) me: (Well, you feel like it's not unreasonable to try.)
(09:42:57 PM) Rainne: (hmm.)
(09:43:05 PM) V_PauAmma_V: OK, I duck behind a tree and think uplifting thoughts.
(09:43:50 PM) me: The cop pounds down the sidewalk. As she gets closer you can hear male voices calling codes in the radio.
(09:44:06 PM) me: The uplifting thoughts don't seem to be working. Maybe if you took a running start?
(09:44:11 PM) Rainne: (maybe a jump to get started?)
(09:44:32 PM) ***V_PauAmma_V jumps.
(09:44:34 PM) me: Also it's a bit hard to think uplifting thoughts, given the situation.
(09:45:20 PM) me: You jump higher than gravity would dictate, but it's not enough to start flying. You feel a peculiar frustration in your arms.
(09:45:33 PM) Rainne: (i suggest running, then jumping and flapping your arms.)
(09:46:11 PM) me: The cop rounds the corner. You're two houses down from her. She's walking carefully, gun pointed up in the "alert" position you remember seeing on TV.
(09:46:16 PM) me: She doesn't see you at first.
(09:47:39 PM) ***V_PauAmma_V jumps againand flaps his arms this time.
(09:47:54 PM) me: No dice.
(09:47:54 PM) me: What this really requires, if you remember correctly, is momentum. And even then, you're not guaranteed to stay aloft or go very high
(09:48:04 PM) Rainne: (I told you to run.)
(09:48:18 PM) me: . A whipping tree branch could do it. Or a good little sprint.
(09:48:44 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Any branch within reach?
(09:48:46 PM) me: A car rounds the corner north of you, while one goes down the road east.
(09:49:02 PM) me: One is hanging low, but it's thick. Not very whippy. You'd have to climb up a bit.
(09:49:22 PM) me: In fact, jumping, you almost knocked your head against it.
(09:49:24 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Ok, I climb.
(09:50:24 PM) me: You are ridiculously fast at this. Like you do it every day. You use all four limbs and wind up using your legs to hook over branches above you, and making some daring reaches. Soon you are about 3/4 of the way up the tree. Lots of whippy branches up here.
(09:50:42 PM) me: Unfortunately, the cop heard you. She's positioned herself under the tree and has the gun pointed up, but doesn't shoot for lack of a clear shot.
(09:50:43 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Rounds the corner which way?
(09:50:49 PM) me: Towards you.
(09:51:48 PM) V_PauAmma_V: OK, I try catapulting myself up and away from the tree using one of those, then flap my arms again.
(09:53:59 PM) me: You run out on a thin little branch, arms outstretched. The branch bends down ridiculously far, but you are surefooted and feeling somewhat fey. You take a leap like you would on a diving board, plant your feet on the two-inch-thick limb, and stay perfectly balanced on it as it bends down far enough for the leaves to brush a car roof then springs up.
(09:53:59 PM) me: You are launched.
(09:54:20 PM) Rainne: (whee!)
(09:54:50 PM) me: Flapping is a good idea. It provides a little bit of loft, for some ridiculous reason. It feels like you're getting away with something.
(09:55:09 PM) me: But, you feel yourself drifting down again, towards a tree on the other side of the street.
(09:55:27 PM) me: Not very fast, and a good wind would give you a boost. But the air is kind of heavy and still.
(09:55:32 PM) Rainne: (Superjump!)
(09:55:41 PM) V_PauAmma_V: I flap harder.
(09:56:03 PM) me: You get a little bit of loft with each flap, but not enough for a net gain.
(09:56:25 PM) me: Flapping harder just makes you hot and a little out of breath.
(09:56:42 PM) Rainne: (Hit the next tree and jump off again?)
(09:56:58 PM) V_PauAmma_V: OK. How high will I be when I get to the other tree, if I stop flapping now?
(09:57:08 PM) me: The cop car on the street below stops slowly. Beneath the windshield glare a sunglasses'd face looks up incredulously.
(09:57:43 PM) me: In the upper quarter again, enough to repeat the trick.
(09:58:07 PM) me: The lady cop with the gun runs across the street beneath you. She has something attached to her belt not unlike a dogcatcher's noose.
(09:58:20 PM) me: This may or may not explain why she's been reluctant to shoot.
(09:58:42 PM) Rainne: (Oh, they're trying to capture. Not good. I sense government experimentation ahoy.)
(10:00:20 PM) V_PauAmma_V: (to Rainne) Doubt it. They wouldn't have telegraphed their arrival in that case, unless they're really inept. They were planning to drive me somewhere.
(10:01:00 PM) V_PauAmma_V: Can I see the roofs from where I am?
(10:01:02 PM) me: Well, you definitely were doing *something* in the school.
(10:01:31 PM) me: Yes you can. You are just about to touch down in the tree branches. It's an easy leap to a nearby roof, but most are single-storey, not as tall as the trees.
(10:02:57 PM) V_PauAmma_V: (to azetidine) Doing what? What did I do since the appointment until I found myself in the park?
(10:03:29 PM) V_PauAmma_V: I repeat the process, trying to keep going north.
(10:03:45 PM) V_PauAmma_V: (from tree to tree)
(10:03:46 PM) me: It's kind of vague. You've been running on an emotional high. If you really stop to think about it you could remember, but right now isn't a good time for that.
(10:04:44 PM) me: You do so, the leaves swishing.
(10:05:17 PM) V_PauAmma_V: And I really need to sleep. :-(
(10:05:34 PM) me: (thanks for playing! Rainne is now controlling the POV.)
(10:05:37 PM) Rainne: (I can take over, unless you want to save it for later)
(10:06:15 PM) Rainne: (Can I make my way down the street by jumping from tree to tree?)
(10:06:20 PM) V_PauAmma_V: (to Rainne) Go shead.
(10:06:55 PM) me: It's almost heart-stopping every time you whip a tree branch, and you don't expect every one will be nicely springy. You're lucky for the first three, but the limb you grab in the fourth tree cracks as you fall.
(10:07:27 PM) Rainne: I'll try to catch myself on the way down
(10:07:34 PM) me: Just across the street is a grand old tree that, if climbed, could get you into an above-ground wind.
(10:07:54 PM) Rainne: How far away from me are the police now?
(10:07:57 PM) me: You land on the ground a bit hard but otherwise unhurt. 
(10:08:44 PM) me: the car is stopped, and the fatty who was driving is standing in the open door, watching with jaw slightly slack, expression vacuous behind the aviator sunglasses. 
(10:09:09 PM) me: A younger, narrow-headed guy was in the passenger seat, and he is lurking behind the parked cars, waiting with gun in hand.
(10:09:22 PM) Rainne: Excellent. I haul tail across the street and start up that big old tree as fast as I can without hurting myself.
(10:09:36 PM) me: The lady cop is on the radio, maybe 100 feet behind you. South.
(10:09:52 PM) me: The narrow-headed guy sprints behind you. You are just barely faster than he is.
(10:10:15 PM) me: The big old tree does not have any low limbs, but for some reason you are able to grab the bark and fling yourself up it until you reach a branching.
(10:10:26 PM) Rainne: Once I get to the top of the tree, I'll take a second to check the wind so I know which direction to jump in, and then JUMP and FLAP as hard as I can.
(10:10:33 PM) me: Most of the low branches were cut off to allow the power lines to run unhindered.
(10:11:07 PM) me: The fitful breeze is coming from the east-southeast. 
(10:11:25 PM) me: This is a bad omen, as the weather usually comes from the west. A storm is brewing.
(10:11:50 PM) Rainne: Yeah but storm winds will be stronger and carry me farther. I'm okay with that, for right now.
(10:11:56 PM) Rainne: JUMP AND FLAP
(10:11:57 PM) me: Jumping into the breeze gives you a push upwards. You are now 30' above the tree.
(10:12:21 PM) Rainne: I'll head north-northwest to let the breeze carry me
(10:12:22 PM) me: The sound of a gunshot echoes off the houses below.
(10:12:28 PM) Rainne: Am I hit?
(10:12:30 PM) me: No.
(10:12:33 PM) me: The shot went wild.
(10:12:34 PM) Rainne: Good
(10:12:54 PM) Rainne: What do I see as I fly?
(10:13:20 PM) me: The breeze is anything but steady, requiring judicious application of flapping and gliding to keep catching it, but you can generally stay aloft.
(10:14:01 PM) me: The houses below are transitioning from the single-story ranch style to one-and-a-half storeys, and there's a slightly larger road ahead. Another tall tree is on a corner ahead should you need it-- and you might.
(10:14:18 PM) Rainne: I'll angle toward it just in case
(10:14:32 PM) me: A state police car is attempting to tail you, although they have to go on the rectilinear streets, and you're going diagonal.
(10:15:05 PM) me: You do, sacrificing a little of the breeze's pushiness to tack across it.
(10:15:28 PM) me: Continuing to head north will get you into downtown. There are exactly three buildings there taller than five storeys.
(10:15:44 PM) Rainne: Do I see anyplace nearby that looks like I could set down safely, without being immediately captured?
(10:16:59 PM) me: Off to your right, the east, you see the aforementioned creek running through backyards and, on one block, a floodplain park. It would certainly be more difficult for the cops to pursue you on foot there, but the creek drains into the river downtown eventually.
(10:17:21 PM) me: There are also small bridges over it on the residential streets that would present something of a danger.
(10:17:44 PM) Rainne: Hmm. Okay, but if I go downtown there are tall buildings and more people to hide among. I think I'll try heading that way.
(10:19:53 PM) me: Okay.
(10:21:49 PM) Rainne: the three tall buildings you mentioned, what are they?
(10:22:13 PM) me: After about ten blocks, you come to a neighborhood with slightly denser streets, where they start orienting to run along/perpendicular to the river, which runs northwest-southeast. A section of this neighborhood runs down a hill to meet a divided highway, one of the ones that has a section running on risers that's full-speed and another section on ground level with stoplights.
(10:22:30 PM) me: a small updraft lofts you over this easily.
(10:22:53 PM) me: The three tall buildings are: a hotel, 80's style architecture.
(10:23:16 PM) me: A high-rise business-groundfloor and apartments-upperstoreys structure from the early 20th century.
(10:23:23 PM) me: And an office building.
(10:23:41 PM) me: There are other tallish buildings but these three go above 10 storeys.
(10:23:44 PM) Rainne: i think I'd like to aim for the hotel first.
(10:23:51 PM) Rainne: Also, are the cops still on my tail>
(10:23:52 PM) Rainne: ?
(10:24:54 PM) me: Okay, hotel first. And yes. The state police car is still tailing you, a bit easier now that the roads are running the direction you want to go. And other police cars are starting to dart across the highway, using their sirens and lights to game the stoplights and pull ahead of you.
(10:25:00 PM) me: You remember that the cop shop is downtown as well.
(10:25:18 PM) Rainne: ergh.
(10:27:13 PM) Rainne: (this would be easier if I had a map, LOL)
(10:27:24 PM) me: Hm.
(10:27:37 PM) Rainne: If I go down, say into the creek area, can I easily get back up again?
(10:28:22 PM) me: You would have to find more trees, and although the creek has plenty of them, it's also lower than the surrounding land.
(10:28:36 PM) Rainne: No good.
(10:28:46 PM) me: If you spot a sheet on someone's clothesline, it might help you out.
(10:28:56 PM) Rainne: Okay. Downtown is north; creek is west (I think you said?) South is where I just came from, what's east?
(10:30:27 PM) me: The highway curves around to head southeast and eventually runs east of the mall, so that first. The river does the same general curve. Between the highway and the river are some older, run-down houses, a railroad line, and a scrap heap.
(10:30:45 PM) me: While you think you lose a bit of altitude.
(10:31:54 PM) me: (As for a map, it has the same general layout as this: )
(10:32:01 PM) me: (The specifics are different.)
(10:32:20 PM) Rainne: (one sec while i look at this)
(10:37:25 PM) me: don't look too closely.
(10:41:00 PM) Rainne: (so sorry, the phone has rung, I will be a minute or two, SO SORRY)
(10:41:07 PM) me: (lol don't stress)
(10:43:34 PM) me: (brb bio again)
(10:49:30 PM) me: back, ready when you are
(10:54:45 PM) Rainne: (Back, so sorry. I sent my nephew a pogo stick for his birthday and they wanted to be on the video chat so I could see him open it.)
(10:55:55 PM) me: (OMG yes, was it awesome?)
(10:55:58 PM) Rainne: okay, so I've already crossed over the four lane highway toward downtown; where am I in relation to that big green park area?
(10:56:02 PM) Rainne: (Yes, it was terrific XD)
(10:57:03 PM) me: The park area is across the river and east of you.
(10:57:44 PM) Rainne: how is that possible? I'm heading north and the park is west of the river
(10:58:44 PM) me: Because the map is not exactly like the game.
(10:58:59 PM) pineapple: perhaps a better question is
(10:59:02 PM) Rainne: (LOL the map has only served to make me more confused.) I keep heading north and aim to land on top of the hotel building. If nothing else I can always jump off there and catch another head-wind
(10:59:02 PM) pineapple: what did you do?
(10:59:47 PM) Rainne: (Am I high enough up to do that?)
(10:59:51 PM) me: You come in towards the hotel, but since you're tacking across the wind you lose more altitude. You may have to find a handhold a couple storeys below the roof level.
(11:00:10 PM) Rainne: Okay, do I see anything useful for that? Or maybe a balcony with an open door?
(11:00:35 PM) me: No balconies, just windows.
(11:00:52 PM) me: Most are closed. One is open but has a screen.
(11:00:59 PM) Rainne: what about those things the window washers use?
(11:01:12 PM) me: The windows are not being washed at the moment.
(11:01:27 PM) me: There are little architectural features you can possibly cling to and climb up if you're brave.
(11:01:42 PM) me: (Pineapple, that is indeed an important question.(
(11:02:01 PM) Rainne: Oh, the things don't stay? Shows how much I know. At this point, I don't have a choice but to be brave, so I think I'll do that, and get up to the top of the building. If nothing else, it gives me breathing space and a minute to think.
(11:03:06 PM) me: You cling to the side of the building. It's going to be hard work to get to the top, although not without its exhilarating moments.
(11:03:06 PM) me: Horns honk below as pedestrians stop in the middle of the street to gape.
(11:03:21 PM) Rainne: of course. Climb!
(11:05:14 PM) me: You have clombed. You lever yourself over the top ledge with a grunt and a puff.
(11:05:35 PM) me: The roof is lined with a gravel bed. Various pipes stick out of it. To your left is the top of an elevator shaft.
(11:05:36 PM) Rainne: Okay. Deep breath. Now think. Why the hell are the cops after me, and why the hell can I fly?!
(11:06:18 PM) me: They're after you because you violated their worldview. It's an offense against reality.
(11:06:30 PM) Rainne: Ah. I assume that would be the flying?
(11:06:44 PM) me: Yes, partially.
(11:06:56 PM) Rainne: Do I know the other part of the partially?
(11:07:23 PM) me: You sense other capabilities lying in wait, for the right moment to reveal themselves to your conscious mind.
(11:07:35 PM) Rainne: excellent. So. What was I doing in the school?
(11:08:17 PM) me: You also remember meeting some smallish number of people sympathetic to you and willing to believe you. You have a sense that others in your situation may have established these friends in the recent past.
(11:08:31 PM) Rainne: (That was my next question, LOL)
(11:09:15 PM) me: It's hard to remember why specifically you were in the school, but...
(11:09:25 PM) me: you remember going into a teacher's office.
(11:09:46 PM) Rainne: Hmm. Did I take anything, see anything, speak to anyone?
(11:10:10 PM) me: You picked the lock somehow, maybe by just touching your finger to it. The brushed stainless steel knob felt cool beneath your hand.
(11:10:18 PM) me: You looked in a file.
(11:10:33 PM) me: It was just lying on the desk in the cramped office. A manila folder.
(11:10:54 PM) Rainne: was it anything interesting or useful?
(11:11:59 PM) me: There was an info sheet with a picture of you on it. You had dark brunette hair, swept back into a bun, a delicate face with very red lips and doelike eyes. Definitely feminine. But it was certainly you.
(11:12:15 PM) me: There were other sheets with other pictures on them, stapled together.
(11:12:28 PM) me: There was also an old computer on the desk. One of those fruity-colored iMacs.
(11:12:30 PM) Rainne: Anyone I know or recognize?
(11:13:40 PM) me: Your heart went out to some of them, as though you met them in a dream a few times, or in a past life. It was not the name or the face that made you recognize them, but some attachment of identity to the paper that left an indelible link to these few people. These outcasts like you.
(11:14:25 PM) me: You remember looking at the computer.
(11:14:32 PM) Rainne: Did I find anything?
(11:15:38 PM) me: An icon clicked; a ssh terminal opened. Your hands moved of their own accord, typing in a name and password.
(11:16:34 PM) me: You waited while it dialed; then, you were in!
(11:16:43 PM) Rainne: in what?
(11:16:49 PM) me: Some sort of database.
(11:17:37 PM) Rainne: okay. What did I do there?
(11:18:02 PM) me: A timer counted down in the corner. "LOGAUTH: 32", number decreasing one by one with the seconds.
(11:18:14 PM) me: You navigated frantically to a particular menu.
(11:19:15 PM) me: It looked just like all those old government / hospital interfaces. Almost like the school's own student database.
(11:19:17 PM) me: Subtly different.
(11:20:10 PM) me: Words in all caps jumped out at you. "THREAT ASSMT". "LAST LOC".
(11:21:00 PM) me: The database, you think, was tracking your cohort. The few of you who survived... becoming.
(11:21:21 PM) me: There was a record you were trying to delete.
(11:21:32 PM) me: Rochelle.
(11:21:57 PM) Rainne: My record, or someone else's?
(11:22:02 PM) me: They were on her tail. You had to protect her. You... cared for her.
(11:22:28 PM) Rainne: ah
(11:22:49 PM) me: F9, DEL. Confirmation dialog. Enter password.
(11:22:49 PM) me: This one you didn't know.
(11:23:27 PM) me: The timer ran out, and the terminal closed itself. You knew the cops were coming. So you left. But you had to change first.
(11:24:15 PM) me: It's always somewhat confusing, changing. It's why you came to yourself in the field. It takes a little bit to... integrate.
(11:24:32 PM) me: In the present, you hear a rhythmic whopping.
(11:25:04 PM) Rainne: helicopter, obvs. Is there any building access besides the elevator shaft?
(11:25:20 PM) me: There's a fire escape on the narrow end of the building to your right.
(11:25:44 PM) Rainne: external or internal?
(11:25:50 PM) me: External.
(11:26:02 PM) me: It empties into an alley next to a bosnian nightclub.
(11:26:21 PM) Rainne: is there anyone at the bottom?
(11:27:02 PM) me: Cars and trashcans and a cat.
(11:27:19 PM) me: The whopping gets louder.
(11:27:28 PM) Rainne: I'll head down the fire escape, then
(11:27:56 PM) me: You start pounding down it. You are terribly exposed. You also have a great view of the county jail, two blocks east.
(11:28:07 PM) me: It may not be fast enough.
(11:29:01 PM) Rainne: fabulous. I'll jump off and fly down, and head for the nearest thing that looks like it'll hide me from above.
(11:29:17 PM) me: You jump. The cat freezes, staring at you.
(11:29:29 PM) Rainne: Do I have any way of getting in contact with those people who might be sympathetic to me?
(11:30:15 PM) me: You accelerate at nearly the normal speed, only a little trace of feather-lightness slowing you.
(11:30:32 PM) Rainne: ouch.
(11:32:18 PM) Rainne: am i hurt?
(11:32:20 PM) me: The people sympathetic to you are... spread out. Thin on the ground. You have a phone number memorized that you can call exactly once. If you call, you are not guaranteed any help.
(11:32:23 PM) me: You are still falling.
(11:32:28 PM) Rainne: oh, fabulous.
(11:32:29 PM) me: You might be able to slow yourself down on something.
(11:32:40 PM) Rainne: can I grab the side of te building, or the fire escape?
(11:33:04 PM) me: There's the fire escape, yes, and an old tattered plastic awning hanging over the side of the nightclub.
(11:33:14 PM) me: The cat is still staring.
(11:33:15 PM) Rainne: Aim for that
(11:33:27 PM) Rainne: Can the cat help? LOL
(11:33:32 PM) Rainne: (brb bio emergency)
(11:34:21 PM) me: You frog-kick in midair, which somehow is enough to change direction. Grabbing the awning does slow you down, but the plastic fabric rips. You cling to it and bounce on the end, feet swinging a bare foot from the ground.
(11:34:26 PM) me: The cat blinks.
(11:34:38 PM) me: You know, it might be able to. Or you could help it be able to.
(11:34:48 PM) me: You sense its intelligence.
(11:36:37 PM) Rainne: (back, sorry. I suddenly have an Upset Tummy.)
(11:37:01 PM) me: ( D: I know the feeling and it sucks. I've been having Stomach Issues this week, due to lactose hate.)
(11:37:07 PM) Rainne: Okay, drop to the ground, focus hard on the cat and ask it for help, both mentally and verbally
(11:37:33 PM) Rainne: "I need to hide. They want to hurt me. Can you help me?"
(11:37:41 PM) me: You purr at it. It slinks around your legs, marking you with its scent.
(11:37:56 PM) me: Your hand itches.
(11:38:10 PM) Rainne: Reach down and touch the cat, petting its head. "Good kitty. Please help me."
(11:39:02 PM) me: the cat halts its slinking and sits, eyes slowly closing, then opening. It purrs back at you. You sense that it doesn't know what help means yet.
(11:39:21 PM) Rainne: "I need to hide."
(11:40:05 PM) me: it cocks its head to the side.
(11:40:05 PM) me: The helicopter is nearing the north side of the hotel.
(11:41:03 PM) Rainne: I send it a mental picture of someone in a helicopter shooting at me and hurting me, then another one of me hiding in a little space while feet run by without stopping. Hopefully that will do the job.
(11:43:02 PM) me: The cat doesn't understand the first image, but it does the second. It thinks about it and another cat slinking behind a dumpster, then looks at you with its lime green eyes again.
(11:43:36 PM) Rainne: Great idea! I check to see if there is space behind the dumpster where I can hide; if there is, I slide back there.
(11:44:04 PM) me: The door to the back of the nightclub opens around the corner from the alley, to your back/right and south. The cat becomes skittish and runs under a parked car.
(11:44:33 PM) me: There is space behind the dumpster, small enough for a cat to hide.
(11:44:47 PM) Rainne: Shit. Not enough room for me. Can I duck into the nightclub itself?
(11:45:40 PM) me: You might. It's late afternoon, they might be opening for happy hour.
(11:46:09 PM) Rainne: Are there any other options?
(11:46:10 PM) me: The man has a red shirt, and a very close-cropped head. He's mixed-race. He's holding a cell phone to his ear and gesticulating at the sky, obviously frustrated. His back is to you.
(11:46:45 PM) Rainne: Can I slip through the door behind him?
(11:46:49 PM) me: There is a street to your left / north. Across from it is a parking ramp. Beyond that is the river.
(11:46:55 PM) me: The door is just swinging closed. You have a chance.
(11:46:59 PM) Rainne: Go for it
(11:47:20 PM) me: He turns around just as you duck in. He looks surprised.
(11:47:50 PM) Rainne: Where am I now?
(11:48:56 PM) me: In a dark hallway. A red EXIT sign glows sullenly above your head. To your left is a custodial closet. You are facing the door.
(11:48:56 PM) me: The latch snicks. The guy's probably going to open the door.
(11:49:21 PM) Rainne: can I duck into the closet?
(11:50:12 PM) me: You could.
(11:50:12 PM) me: Your hands are on the push-bar. It connects to the latch mechanism. You can almost feel the metal pulsing under your hands, as though alive.
(11:50:22 PM) Rainne: Lock the door.
(11:50:33 PM) Rainne: (that's the outside door, I assume)
(11:50:38 PM) me: (yes.)
(11:50:42 PM) Rainne: Yeah, Lock that.
(11:52:16 PM) me: A jolt of ... something ... exits your palms. You now know the latch to be fused in the closed position.
(11:52:16 PM) me: There is a deadbolt above that. Hands shaking, you rotate that closed too. For good measure.
(11:52:55 PM) me: The guy tries the door again, then a thump sounds as he pounds his fist on it. You can hear muffled cursing in another language.
(11:53:24 PM) Rainne: that won't hold anyone out for long. I gotta get out of here. Start searching for another exit, as well as anything I could possibly take with me that might be useful.
(11:54:15 PM) me: The mop in the closet strikes you as funny, if only because of its association with a popular TV show.
(11:55:27 PM) Rainne: yeah, that's not gonna be very helpful. (Am I actually in the closet? I got confused by accidentally talking over you and now am not sure.)
(11:56:01 PM) me: you are not in the closet, but the door is slightly ajar, as though the guy had been in it before he decided to go outside, possibly to get better reception.
(11:56:07 PM) me: So you can see into it.
(11:56:37 PM) Rainne: okay. Is there anything besides the mop that could be useful?
(11:56:50 PM) me: There are some bathrooms off the hallway, and then it opens up into a large dancefloor with a stage off to the right. Further towards the front is a seating area, and on the left wall is a bar area. They might have knives.
(11:57:06 PM) Rainne: any people?
(11:57:08 PM) me: No.
(11:57:49 PM) Rainne: Hm.
(11:58:00 PM) me: The glass door at the front lets in sullen washed-out daylight.
(11:58:19 PM) Rainne: I don't think a knife is going to do me much good in a gunfight. Where does that glass door let out? The same street I was on before, or a different street?
(11:59:10 PM) me: The glass door lets out onto Commercial Street, which is perpendicular to the alley you were in before.
(11:59:17 PM) me: It runs parallel to the river.
(11:59:44 PM) Rainne: I go look out the glass and see what the street looks like.
(12:04:19 AM) me: There's a parking ramp across the street. To your left is a skywalk from the hotel to the parking ramp, then on the corner next to the parking ramp is a small office building. There is a street with a crosswalk, then on the next block a building with metal panels on its upper storeys and on your side of the street a gigantic brick building. The convention center. To your right is another small building, then another road. Across the road on your side is the second tall building, the Black's building. It has a restaurant on the lowest floor that serves mediocre Italian food. Across from it is a Wells Fargo Bank.
(12:04:19 AM) me: The guy in the red shirt comes around from the left side / alley, looking at a set of keys he has in his left hand, phone still held to his right ear.
(12:04:57 AM) Rainne: Can I make it across to the parking ramp without being spotted by the po-po?
(12:05:30 AM) me: The helicopter is whopping somewhere above, and it may spot you.
(12:05:30 AM) me: The guy looks up at the door, which is somewhat tinted. He has a key out to unlock it.
(12:05:50 AM) Rainne: Get back behind the bar and hide
(12:07:29 AM) me: You duck behind the bar just as the lock turns. You hear the guy in the shirt step inside, pause, and go "hnf". He then talks quietly into his phone in another language. It sounds Slavic.
(12:07:42 AM) Rainne: Do I understand him?
(12:08:25 AM) Rainne: And if not the language, can I use whatever mental ability I have to read his thinking?
(12:08:49 AM) me: You didn't think you did understand the language, but after a second you find yourself reading a subtitle in your head.
(12:08:58 AM) Rainne: what's he talking about?
(12:10:00 AM) me: "The strange girl is not visible. I think she is hiding." Pause. "No, the door was locked, she did not run out." 
(12:10:30 AM) Rainne: I keep listening
(12:12:42 AM) me: Footsteps on cheap carpet. Mood lighting comes on in the seating area, mixing sickly with fluorescent lamps over the dance floor. "Yes yes, I will find her." Pause. "No, I am not stupid. But the cops are busy. Probably chasing some gang leader or something, you know this crazy town." Recessed lights come on over the bar.
(12:13:40 AM) Rainne: Any chance I can make myself invisible? Or turn myself into a cat?
(12:13:50 AM) me: "Yes, helicopter. Must be the news."
(12:14:19 AM) me: You're not sure. You don't think you've tried either, so far.
(12:14:39 AM) Rainne: okay. Invisible sounds good. I'll focus on that, using whatever method I used earlier to 'change'
(12:17:10 AM) me: The hair on your arms stands up. An electric tingle comes down your spine. You don't know if it's working. It doesn't feel like "changing". You feel less noticeable, but if you look you can still see your own limbs and hair.
(12:17:35 AM) Rainne: Oh, am I covered in a someone-else's-problem field?
(12:18:01 AM) me: If you want to think of it as that, you can.
(12:18:19 AM) Rainne: All right. I'm going to think very, very hard at that guy that he cannot see me, and I am not here, and I am not anything for him to worry about. Then I'm going to slowly stand up
(12:18:46 AM) me: The guy is walking towards the bar as you stand. He doesn't seem to see you.
(12:19:08 AM) Rainne: excellent. Keeping with the thinking-hard part, I'll move toward the door.
(12:20:08 AM) me: He hesitates.
(12:20:26 AM) Rainne: I stand still
(12:20:35 AM) me: The bar is open on both ends, so no problems there, you can go out the other end.
(12:21:11 AM) me: He blinks, and says the Bosnian equivalent of "huh". Are you still thinking hard?
(12:21:17 AM) Rainne: oh, yes
(12:21:30 AM) Rainne: I won't stop thinking hard until I tell you I've stopped thinking hard :)
(12:21:40 AM) me: He squints. You feel a little more noticeable the harder you think about him not noticing you.
(12:22:00 AM) Rainne: not good, not good. Focus on being invisible
(12:22:49 AM) me: as soon as you stop thinking about him specifically, he turns and goes down the small hallway, ducking his head into the bathrooms. "Must have been some dust hanging in the air," he mutters into the phone. 
(12:23:05 AM) Rainne: *whew* Out the door, still focusing on being invisible
(12:23:37 AM) me: It's not a matter of focusing so much as just assuming, in a peculiar way.
(12:23:41 AM) me: You are now on the street.
(12:24:10 AM) Rainne: Okay. Well, I'll continue peculiarly assuming that I am invisible, and try to figure out what the hell to do now
(12:24:28 AM) Rainne: What is around me?
(12:25:08 AM) me: There is a parking ramp across from you. It's relatively high. Behind that, you think there is a building and a small park, then the river. The parking ramp bends around to abut the river also. There are parking meters and parked cars along the street, and a small amount of traffic.
(12:25:22 AM) Rainne: cops?
(12:25:29 AM) me: The helicopter noise seems to have gone further away. 
(12:25:36 AM) Rainne: that's good news
(12:25:57 AM) me: A cop car slowly patrols down the street to your right.
(12:27:19 AM) Rainne: I will stand still and be invisible and see what happens
(12:27:48 AM) me: The cop car patrols past, heading south. You weren't spotted.
(12:27:54 AM) Rainne: nice!
(12:28:19 AM) Rainne: Now, I need to think for a second: Where can I go to be safe?
(12:28:27 AM) me: The street is, for the moment, empty. You feel your luck running out.
(12:29:28 AM) me: In the city, there are perhaps one or two safehouses. How safe they are now that the local authorities are on the lookout for you is not certain.
(12:29:38 AM) me: In any case they are not anything like a permanent solution.
(12:29:54 AM) Rainne: No, I probably need to get out of town. But the safe houses would be a start, maybe?
(12:30:03 AM) Rainne: Is there anywhere reasonably close to where I am?
(12:30:46 AM) me: Well, they're primarily abandoned houses. There may or may not be food or supplies there. Extremely uncertain. Mostly they're good as meeting places or drop sites.
(12:31:06 AM) Rainne: Any chance someone might be at one of them that can help me?
(12:31:11 AM) me: Unlikely.
(12:31:14 AM) me: They're empty most of the time.
(12:31:34 AM) me: You know there is a farm several miles north of town.
(12:31:42 AM) Rainne: okay. Oh. I know. Cross the way and into the parking garage.
(12:31:53 AM) me: Parking garage get.
(12:32:07 AM) me: You don't see anyone in here. The hairs on your arms begin to flop.
(12:32:28 AM) Rainne: okay. I need a car. Not too flashy, but reliable. Maybe one that looks like it's been sitting there for awhile, something that might not be missed right away. Is there anything like that?
(12:33:02 AM) me: The first floor is mostly nice cars, people who can afford permanent parking spots downtown. You'll have to go up a few levels. The parking ramp is five storeys tall.
(12:33:17 AM) me: The river, you remember, is navigable all the way to the Mississippi.
(12:33:50 AM) Rainne: Is it, now.
(12:33:52 AM) me: There may also still be a couple friendly families near the university in the town to the west.
(12:34:26 AM) Rainne: And in thinking about said river, do I come across any odd 'feelings' that might make me think I could, say, float myself down it?
(12:34:27 AM) me: Maybe even a professor who was asked to be a local contact for the headhunters but is something of a turncoat to your side.
(12:34:42 AM) me: Eh, floating is too visible. Someone might try to rescue you.
(12:35:01 AM) Rainne: Ohh, good point. But I could swim underwater, if I could breathe. Is that something I think I could do?
(12:35:10 AM) me: However, the river is fairly murky. Breathing the water is something you think you could do.
(12:35:31 AM) Rainne: Fabulous. That sounds like an excellent plan, then. And where is the river relative to me right now?
(12:35:55 AM) me: You should be able, with a running start, to jump into it from the top of the parking ramp.
(12:36:22 AM) Rainne: Okay. And can I go west via the river, toward the aforementioned university town?
(12:37:06 AM) me: That would be swimming upstream, somewhat effort-ful. 
(12:37:09 AM) pineapple: (this sounds rather interesting, but it's hard to follow)
(12:37:28 AM) Rainne: okay. if I go downstream instead, is there anyone that direction who can help me?
(12:37:28 AM) me: (pineapple, in what way?)
(12:37:50 AM) pineapple: i missed the beginning because of the netsplit; also, wall of text
(12:37:58 AM) me: There is a city somewhere to the east. On a coast or Great Lake, you think. You don't remember the name.
(12:38:19 AM) me: It would be far. You'd have to fly most of the way.
(12:38:39 AM) Rainne: Would I be safe there?
(12:39:13 AM) ***vlion peers about
(12:39:42 AM) me: You've heard of a group of yours that's taken over a warehouse or something, established a secure holding.
(12:39:52 AM) Rainne: okay, that sounds good.
(12:39:54 AM) me: They might have access to someone who has Answers.
(12:39:59 AM) Rainne: Up to the top and over into the water.
(12:41:07 AM) me: The staircases are located at the opposite corners of the parking ramp. Taking the one next to the river affords you a view for every half-storey. The helicopter is hovering over buildings on the other side of the river for now.
(12:41:26 AM) Rainne: okay. Just before hitting the top, I'll do the invisibility thing again
(12:41:29 AM) me: Reaching the top, you remember watching the 4th of July fireworks from this vantage point when you were young.
(12:42:06 AM) me: You sense that the invisibility trick is wearing thin, and that you might have to change the way you approach it before using it again.
(12:42:23 AM) Rainne: will it work long enough to get me into the water without being seen?
(12:42:36 AM) me: Barely. The splash may still draw attention.
(12:42:50 AM) Rainne: That's okay. I'll be long gone before anyone can get there to investigate.
(12:42:56 AM) me: Good thinking.
(12:43:06 AM) me: (hi Vlion. :D)
(12:43:32 AM) Rainne: All the same, I'll try to dive neatly if I can, to minimize the splash
(12:45:02 AM) me: Oh yes. We must do these things with style.
(12:45:02 AM) me: You take a deep breath, and, gathering your strength, bound to the concrete railing and push off with one leg. You run in midair briefly, arcing over the bike trail and small green strip next to the river, then you plummet. Lacing your hands above your head as you were taught one summer at the municipal pool, you tuck your head in and make a neat dive. It stings your hands.
(12:45:36 AM) me: The bottom of the river reaches you a bit too soon.
(12:45:44 AM) Rainne: Ouch. Am I hurt?
(12:46:06 AM) me: No, you transform some of the downward momentum into sideways.
(12:46:13 AM) Rainne: oh, go me
(12:46:20 AM) me: You may have a gash on one hand though from something sharp at the bottom.
(12:46:34 AM) me: You should see about that water breathing thing.
(12:46:34 AM) Rainne: Can I see how bad it's cut?
(12:46:43 AM) me: Not really. It's murky in here.
(12:46:48 AM) Rainne: (Yeah, I keep trying to get to that and you keep adding stuff LOL)
(12:46:55 AM) me: (;p)
(12:46:55 AM) Rainne: I take a second to work out the mechanics of breathing
(12:47:29 AM) me: Well, you could Change a bit so that you have gills. This might take long enough that you run a risk of asphyxiation before you can finish it.
(12:47:45 AM) Rainne: What other options do I have?
(12:48:30 AM) me: You are feeling an urge to just breathe the water. If you don't think about it too hard, it seems like child's play to establish some kind of extractive field or membrane across your nose and mouth.
(12:48:41 AM) Rainne: That sounds like a good plan. Let's do that.
(12:48:51 AM) me: Indeed. The current starts to carry you southeast.
(12:49:05 AM) Rainne: I let it, only swimming enough to stay relatively near the bottom
(12:49:22 AM) Rainne: What do I know about the river? Hazards, etc? Fishing? Dams?
(12:51:53 AM) me: You're past the only dam you know about in this city. Catfish fishers tend to cast from the banks of the river downtown. Further past that dikes border the river on both sides, and bike trails run on top of / on the other sides of them. Past that, there are maybe a couple businesses abutting, then a recreational area that may have boats.
(12:52:41 AM) Rainne: But a relatively clear path, then. Can I hear anything? Do I need to make any Changes to hear better?
(12:53:56 AM) me: Relatively. You hear gurgling and underwater noises. You can hear okay; the real issue is seeing, because of all the mud in the water. Human eyes aren't good for this.
(12:54:16 AM) Rainne: Right. I should probably do something about that. Fish eyes?
(12:54:17 AM) me: You remember being a dolphin once, in a dream maybe.
(12:54:56 AM) Rainne: That... sounds like a good idea. I'll try to make that adjustment. Not an actual dolphin; that would attract way too much attention. But the eyes, for sure.
(12:55:53 AM) me: The sonar would feel good too. The eyes wouldn't be that great in the murk anyway.
(12:56:07 AM) me: Echolocation, that's the word.
(12:56:17 AM) Rainne: yes! Great idea. I'll do that. :D
(12:58:48 AM) me: You concentrate on the odd feeling you get sometimes when someone points at your forehead, when your sinuses twinge. You feel pressure on your forehead, and you realize it's bulging a little. You feel the small bones inside your nose shifting. It surprises you enough that some water gets through your breathing filter.
(12:59:15 AM) Rainne: swallow rather than drown
(01:01:22 AM) me: It tastes like crap. The river is not recommended drinking water.
(01:01:37 AM) Rainne: no, but neither is drowning :) Put the filter back
(01:02:14 AM) me: It occurs to you that you could have simply spit it out. But anyway. Filter back. Forehead bulging.
(01:02:31 AM) Rainne: eh well. mental note for next time. sonar boop.
(01:02:46 AM) me: Soon enough, your head feels more natural. You feel another flap, like the one between your mouth and nose, establish itself between your nasal chambers and this new expanded forehead sinus. If you were to flip it the right way it would prevent air from flowing out your nose and instead pressurize the cavity... well okay. Suffice it to say that you can make the clicks.
(01:03:01 AM) me: You get a jumbled picture at first.
(01:03:07 AM) Rainne: excellent. I'll take a second to get used to it.
(01:04:22 AM) me: You have to store up a little breath between each round, but soon you feel the rhythm of it.
(01:04:44 AM) Rainne: whee. clickity-swimming down the riiiiiverrrrrr alllll the live long daaaaaayyyyyyyy
(01:04:53 AM) me: The pictures start to resolve themselves into slices, like bad 3D on action movies.
(01:05:22 AM) Rainne: I swim along, keeping an ear out for obstructions and dangers.
(01:05:23 AM) me: You think after a couple more hours you could become reasonably accurate at constructing mental images, especially if you get into clearer water.
(01:06:51 AM) me: The floods that happen every so often have dragged uprooted trees and branches into the river, but these are easy enough to dodge, and the smaller branches have been cleared away by humans anyway. They like to keep things navigable for entertainment purposes.
(01:07:16 AM) Rainne: this is good for me. I like this.
(01:07:30 AM) me: It's kind of fun, actually.
(01:07:46 AM) Rainne: yeah but i dont want to get too distracted
(01:07:49 AM) me: I mean, if you weren't fleeing for your life, you could get around to enjoying it.
(01:08:03 AM) Rainne: i need to stay focused; if I have too much fun I'll do something stupid and get hurt or captureed
(01:08:05 AM) Rainne: captured*
(01:08:13 AM) me: It seems like the more you just relax, though, the better your abilities work.
(01:08:30 AM) Rainne: I mean I need to focus on what's around me and where I'm going
(01:08:34 AM) me: Ah yes.
(01:08:53 AM) Rainne: otherwise I'm the idiot who starts trying to slalom and ends up tangled in a fishing net
(01:09:34 AM) me: The river flows through farmland and lowland woods for a long ways. Fishing is fairly casual on this river; it's not a terribly major one.
(01:09:53 AM) Rainne: Famous last words. That being said, swim, fishie!
(01:09:54 AM) me: The next major town is an hour's drive by pseudo-freeway.
(01:10:15 AM) me: It would probably take somewhat longer by river.
(01:10:26 AM) Rainne: *nod*
(01:11:55 AM) me: You figure half a day of drifting.
(01:12:10 AM) me: (speaking of, time to sleep I think.)
(01:12:25 AM) Rainne: aww