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Persona: Philosophy of Man [IC/PG-16/No Longer Accepting]

A Dad RP Fantasy Slice of Life Action Co-hosted by Saiku

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#81
Dad

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Paul was in a better mood.  He was excited for Jason now, and he wanted to attend his tryouts.  He wasn't sure he would be able to, however.  Paul's mind drifted back to the island for just a moment, until his phone vibrated in his right hand.  He had gotten a text message from an unknown number. 

 

FROM: 918-807-5555

TIME: 7:05:35 AM

This is tyler. When i picked up my car from in front of your buddys house, someone had keyed the hell out of it. Any idea who?

 

Tyler.  Tyler Beckett, that is.  Paul had forgotten he shared a class with this guy.  His car got keyed, huh?  Kevin's folks had cameras on the side of their property, but considering the party, they were probably already wiped by Kevin anyway.  Paul quickly added Tyler's number to his contacts before replying.

 

FROM: 504-202-6759

TIME:  7:07:30 AM

No idea.  Kevin's got cameras but after the party, he prolly wiped them to keep his folks from finding out about what happened.  I'll ask around about people who went to the party.

 

...btw.  U going back?

 

Paul sent his message, then nudged Jason in his side.  Paul discreetly slid his phone into his left hand beneath his desk and showed Jason the message.  Then, Paul pointed to the last line, as if to ask Jason the same question he asked Tyler.


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#82
Hälō

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Piper sighed as she idly scrolled through her social media feed with a disinterested expression. Ever since the night at the island, nothing seemed to be able to get fired up anymore. Even her art felt unexpired and forced, leaving her with a subtle melancholy about her.  

 

The young artist had glided through the her first class of the day without even feeling she had done anything, and now as Piper slowly strolled through the walkway towards the school's exit, she wondered if maybe she should reach out the others about going back.

 

I do have Paul's number... but maybe I should just wait till I see him in class...

 

"I hope Quinn is alright..." Her thoughts drifted to boy as she switched to her phone's camera and raised it up to her face to adjust her hair. He hadn't returned any of her texts, and it was beginning to grow worrisome. "Maybe I should ask someone in the drama club," Piper spoke clearly to herself just as she usually did. 

 

"..." Suddenly her eyebrows arched as she caught a glimpse of a familiar face a few paces behind her in the crowd. It was girl with the glasses, again. Lowering her phone casually, Piper slid the device into her back pocket and began to speed up her stride ever so slightly. This wasn't the first time she'd caught a glimpse of the other girl behind her, and though most people would think she was nuts, Piper had been plagued with the sensation of being watched for most of the day... 

 

My Piper senses are tingling...

 

Without breaking the air of casualness, Piper turned the first corner she encountered as if she intended to go deeper in building. Though instead of proceeding, she quickly spun around and stood against the wall with her arms crossed. When Avery inevitable followed, Piper would quickly reach out and grab her shoulder. 

 

Welp, I wasss just thinking about seeing more of these people...

 

"Hiya!" Piper's tone was light hearted but it didn't match her gaze, which quickly became sharp and analytical. "We doing a lil stalking? Skulking perhaps?" 


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#83
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Jason was at least trying to get things ready for class, keyword being "trying". With the whole conversation/intervention happening about getting him to try out for the basketball team again, his mind was just still wandering about that and all the possible outcomes that could produce. Of course...nine out of ten of them ending badly.

 

Jeez Garrett...you need to stop... he thought, letting out a soft sigh before shaking his head. Go and at least try...no harm in trying, except for the harm it'll probably do on your self-confidence...but that's easily redeemable. Still have the Video Game Club...

 

Letting out another sigh, Jason then felt his side being nudge. He quickly looked and saw it was Paul and he was obviously nonchalantly showing off his phone...specifically one message:

 

...btw.  U going back?

 

He looked at the phone and it's message for a long period of time, before looking away and pulling out his own phone. Best text him his answer, rather than just play charades or blurting it out loud.

 

"May as well. Like you and Kev said...don't really want to go home. Anytime away from it is perfectly fine." Jason texted, sending it immediately to Paul before turning and nodding at the young man.


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#84
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As the girl continued to walk through the halls, she looked up from her book, seeing a corner coming up. Making note of it, the girl went back to looking at her book as she continued her steady pace. As she turned the corner, however- 

 

"AAH!" The girl yelped as she tossed her book into the air in shock, standing there with a surprised expression on her face as she looked at the face of who had surprised her. A girl with long, somewhat messy hair, that she had recognized as one of the people both at the island, and someone who she had seen around school. The girl seemed to still be paused in surprise as the girl made her comment, only for her expression to change as the book fell down onto her head. "Ow."

 

The girl in glasses rubbed her head, as she picked the book back up. Looking to the other girl before her, she looked with a confused expression that seemed to be weirded out by the other girl's greeting, saying, "um, hello to you too?" Picking herself back up, the girl cocked her head to side as she asked, "um, were you expecting someone different?" Her expression turning a bit more worried, the girl said, "are - are you being stalked?" The girl looked down the hall she had just come from, as if searching for someone suspicious looking. 


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#85
Hakima

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FROM: Paul (Class)

TIME:  7:07:30 AM

No idea.  Kevin's got cameras but after the party, he prolly wiped them to keep his folks from finding out about what happened.  I'll ask around about people who went to the party.

 

...btw.  U going back?

 

Tyler wasn’t happy to discover that Paul didn’t know who was responsible either. His temper flared up for a moment and he took a deep breath, slowly exhaling through his nose to calm himself. It was whatever. Whoever had done it would eventually get cocky and claim it.

 

He texted a quick response to Paul. His eyes were glued to the front of the classroom the entire time, so the fact that he was able to text without looking was probably impressive.

 

FROM: Tyler Beckett

TIME:  7:10:48 AM

aright thanks. if you find anything out just tell me and steer clear. you aint gonna want to be involved with what goes down once i find that sorry sonnuvabitch.

 

Idk. depends on the when and who you already got coming. who all you talked to so far? make a group txt.

 

He hit send and put his phone down, shoving his hands into his pockets and reclining into his chair. This class was going by slow as hell.


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#86
Yui

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"Sports aren't my thing. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they aren't yours either."

 

"I'll watch if nothing else is going on, but I'm not about to try out for any teams."

 

"So what will you being doing this week? I personally... might be exploring..."

 

"Exploring", eh? He probably meant that weird island Haruka didn't like. Heading off for the island would probably be easy, come to think of it. Just tell uncle Ayumu that she's staying at a friend's house to study. He was always pretty lax about Haruka doing things as long as she didn't end up in trouble doing it. And the island was only going to be there for so long... but did she really want to go there? Not particularly.

 

At the same time, if I'm there, I'm not here. And I can't let Paul be the only person walking around with some special snowflake Stand. Who does he think he is, just doing that out of nowhere and being the only one to do it? I'll show him!

 

"I'm also exploring some this week," Haruka decided. She was definitely able to say she was going out for research now. With that, Haruka got her phone. There was something she had to do. A group text with the rest of the Ded. Fiction Club.

 

I won't be able to make it to the club today. The rest of the week is also a bit iffy; I might make it, but don't assume anything. There's something I have to look into, and it's probably going to be really time-consuming, so I'll do the reading at home with my downtime.

 

This was Haruka's new priority.


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#87
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"Hurry and get your shit.  We're already late," Hensley said as Christina jumped out of the car.

 

Christina ran up the stairs to her father's home and knocked on the door.  "I'll be right back.  I just need to freshen up and change."

 

Mr. Drake opened up the door, a scowl on his face at the sight of his daughter returning home after two days.  Christina waved sheepishly to her father with one hand before he stood aside to let her in.  "We're going to have a long talk, young lady," he could be overheard saying before Christina slipped inside and the door closed.

 

"And who is that woman outside of my home?  She looks like trouble," Mr. Drake said as Christina was about to dart upstairs to her temporary room.

 

"She's a friend of Nate's.  Her name is Hensley.  Look, I gotta freshen up and get ready for class, so--"

 

"You're right.  You do.  Nathan is already at school.  You'd better hurry and get your things.  I'll drop you off," Mr. Drake replied.

 

"Hensley will get me there, dad.  She goes to Greater Orleans High too," Christina called now from the top of the balcony.

 

Mr. Drake sighed.  "Make it quick, Christina.  And we'll continue this conversation tonight.  I'll let your brother know you're home."

 

"Thanks, dad," Christina called down.

 

 

FROM: Dad

TIME: 7:55 A.M.

 

She's home.  Make sure she comes back home tonight.  And do not allow your sister to associate with hooligans.  I won't have it.

 

Nathan shook his head.  Hensley wasn't a hooligan.  She was more of a free spirit than his old man.  But he knew he couldn't say that back to his father, so he just replied with two words.

 

Yes, sir.

 

Nathan closed out the message to his father and opened up a text to Tyler.

 

FROM: Nathan

TIME: 7:56 A.M.

 

Chris made it home.  I'm not surprised you lost her, tbh.  She loves to party and Kevin's parties are big.  Let me look at your ride later.  I wanna see the damage.  I've asked around and heard a few people giggling about a keyed car.  I'll keep digging.

 

 

FROM: Tyler Beckett

TIME: 7:10 A.M.

 

aright thanks. if you find anything out just tell me and steer clear. you aint gonna want to be involved with what goes down once i find that sorry sonnuvabitch.
 
Idk. depends on the when and who you already got coming. who all you talked to so far? make a group txt.

 

Paul finally got around to checking his phone again only to realize the message was almost more than forty minutes old.  Tyler was right, of course.  Paul should start a group text.  He began adding the few contacts he had into one conversation.  They included Piper, Jason, Tyler, and Haruka.  

 

Paul began to wonder how to start the conversation.  He had to choose his words wisely.  

 

FROM: Paul Brown

TIME: 8:02 A.M.

 

I've only added the ppl whose contact info I have.

 

I'll be going "on vacation" tomorrow after school.  I'll go back "on vacation" this Friday, same time frame.  You're welcome to join me.

 

He hoped that the message was clear enough.  But why did he choose to be cryptic about it?  And the quotation marks didn't help much.  Sure, he didn't want other people to discover what was going on, but he had probably made this message awkward.  It was too late now.  He'd already sent the text.


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#88
Hakima

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FROM: Paul Brown

TIME: 8:02 A.M.

 

I've only added the ppl whose contact info I have.

 

I'll be going "on vacation" tomorrow after school.  I'll go back "on vacation" this Friday, same time frame.  You're welcome to join me.

 

Tyler’s phone didn’t alert him to any new messages until a few minutes into his next class. Paul had taken him up on his suggestion to start a group chat, apparently, but not everyone from that awful night was in. He counted maybe six numbers at a glance.

 

He leaned back and started texting his response. He was much less discreet than he had been in American History; the Biology instructor was much more laid back and his fellow students knew better than to pester him at this point.

 

FROM: Tyler Beckett

TIME: 8:06 A.M.

 

he means he’s going back to the islands tomorrow afternoon and we can come. dunno why he put it so weird. no point in being secretive because no one would believe it anyway.

 

anyway this is tyler beckett aka the car guy. i’m sure you’ve heard of me and i’m sure whatever you heard was super flattering. IDK if i can go yet. depends on what the rest of you decide.


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#89
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FROM: Paul Brown

TIME: 8:02 A.M.

I've only added the ppl whose contact info I have.

I'll be going "on vacation" tomorrow after school.  I'll go back "on vacation" this Friday, same time frame.  You're welcome to join me.

 

FROM: Tyler Beckett

TIME: 8:06 A.M.

he means he’s going back to the islands tomorrow afternoon and we can come. dunno why he put it so weird. no point in being secretive because no one would believe it anyway.

anyway this is tyler beckett aka the car guy. i’m sure you’ve heard of me and i’m sure whatever you heard was super flattering. IDK if i can go yet. depends on what the rest of you decide.

 

These were the most recent messages Jason had received, apparently from a group message text, spearheaded by Paul and seconded by Tyler. Jason leaned back in his chair as class was ending, looking at the phone and then sighing before texting up a response.

 

FROM: Jason Garrett

Time: 8:10 A.M.

We got Tyler in here too? How'd ya manage that, Paul? lol

It's Jason Garrett. I'm down to head back. Like i told Paul earlier...anything to get me the hell away from home for a while.

 

With that quick message out of the way, there was only one other thing to do right now: text the Video Game Club leader and let them know he wouldn't make it. Oh man...I really hope she doesn't freak out... Jason thought, looking through his contact list and seeing Lace's number being highlighted as he scrolled down. With a small sigh, he started to text Lace. "Hey Lace. Hate to spring this up on you today like this, but I don't know if I'll be able to make it to the meeting today. I soooooooooooorta got wrangled into maybe...possibly...trying out for the team again."

 

There was a long gap of time that spanned a couple of minutes before Jason got a response...and it was quite a long one.

 

"..."

"..."

"...it was Kevin, wasn't it?"

"Don't answer that. I know it was Kevin. -sigh- It's okay. I knew Kevin was going."

"Just didn't think he'd rope you in too."

"Well, if it goes well, I just hope your practices won't be at the same time, haha."

"Sorry for not sending one long message."

"I hate sending one long message."

"Good luck!"

 

Well...least she's truthful about the long message thing... Jason thought, chuckling lightly before sending another text back: "Thanks for understanding. Don't worry tho...I'll make up for it."

 

"Yeah, you can totally make up for it."

"Next meeting, you owe me three games of Mortal Kombat. "

"If you lose, you have to write an essay on the game!"

">:)"

 

"Yikes...well, I suppose that's the price I pay then xD"

 

He honestly couldn't tell if this girl was serious or not about the essay, but hey...least Jason could tell she had a sense of humor...even if it was a dark one. Making the loser write an essay on the game. Pure...pure evil. With a sigh of relief, Jason put his phone back in his pocket to head to his next class...while also mentally preparing himself for the tryouts.

 

iU8EggM.png

 

The Lion's Den

 

It was time. Jason could feel his heart pounding as he made his way to the gymnasium. Even though he was mentally preparing himself for this exact moment, he knew it wouldn't work...this was something that made him grow quite nervous. But...Paul and Kevin believe he could do this...and hell, Lace was cheering him on as well. Maybe he could do this.

 

This single file line straight to the gym though...this made it feel like things were gonna be loooooong and dragged out, especially since he was the tenth person in this line. Upside, Kevin was waiting for him to get into the gym, no doubt to give him some advice before walking in. Nevertheless, when the line of students finally walked into the gym, Jason could hear a distinguishable sigh coming from one person when he walked in: Coach Overton.

 

The moment he stepped foot into the gym, there was an abrupt silence, before whispers and murmurs were heard. His name was being whispered throughout...he knew this was going to happen. Oh boy...spotlight...or magnifying glass...is right on top of you now, Garrett...what have you gotten yourself into?

 

"They're gonna give you shit," Kevin whispered to Jason from his right shoulder. "You know that already. Don't let it get to you."

 

Jason heard Kevin whisper this, but it really didn't make him feel any better...especially with the first person to say anything being...

 

"Come back to embarrass us?" asked Ivan from across the gym.

 

"Shut the hell up, Louis. Tryouts are for everyone," Coach Overton said quickly.

 

"Coach, I'm with Ivan on this. We can't afford our playmakers to suddenly break their ankles too," Brock added.

 

"Keep it up and you'll be benched before tryouts start," Coach Overton spat. "Garrett!" Coach Overton nodded. "You'll get no special treatment. You know the drill. Shirts and skins practice game. Five on five. "

 

"Y-Yes sir, coach." Jason said quickly, his voice shaking right now. It was obvious he was nervous...but he needed to get through this.

 

"Okay boys, listen up. Game is to twenty-one or when I call time. This is just a warm-up and will not affect your tryout. Afterward, we'll do some light conditioning and we'll expand to a full game of eight on eight with the senior players. This is where you will be scored and observed most carefully. That will be your real tryout. I want to see effort, start to finish. Everyone clear?" Coach Overton stated.

 

Same rules as the first time he went to try-out for the team. Even down to the shirts and skins being how teams were decided. Jason remembered that it was back then he actually chose shirts, cause he didn't want to be shirtless. Was sort of a dumb reason...but still. It wasn't long before Jason noticed a hand shooting up beside him.

 

"Harper, speak. I'm not your Calculus teacher," Coach Overton said.

 

"Uh, sorry. So, how do we decide teams?" K. Harper asked.

 

"Garrett," Overton said, looking to Jason. "Shirts or skins?"

 

"Skins. I chose shirts when I first tried out..." Jason said quickly, his voice shaking still but he tried his best to hide it.

 

"Okay. Four of you with Garrett. The rest of you play shirts. Then we'll take to center court and--"

 

There was a sudden ruckus behind Coach Overton in the gymnasium stands. It began to fill with roughly fifty students, that majority of which were female. "Good luck, Kayden!" screamed one girl from across the gym.

 

"And look, you've already got cheerleaders," Overton said, rolling his eyes. Kevin snorted behind him. "You're gonna need to get used to playing a full regulation court, but we'll start with a half court since this is a five on five. And if you pay too much attention to the crowd and not the game, you're gonna be outta here fast," Overton said as he spotted the wandering eyes of two players.

 

Jason noticed the majority of the spectators being girls and he remembered when he first started his try-out. He was so self-conscious about him not wearing a shirt in front of them...but now? He was already taking his shirt off and putting on the sidelines, preparing to play. Least like this...he needed to show off something for the ladies...even if most of them hated his guts just because of everything. Still...who knows...

 

Jason was joined by Kayden Harper, Joshua Battle, Parson James, and Cash Sanders.

His other five opponents are unidentified as of yet.

 

"Let's go, center court," Overton said with several claps as he received a ball from the sidelines. The senior players sat out and grabbed seats court-side.

 

"I'm not gonna assign you positions. I'm not gonna tell you how to play. This is a simple warm-up game. Play like you would if nobody was watching. Rules still apply and I will call you on them. Fouls will result in passing the ball to the opposing team. Everyone understand?" Coach Overton asked.

 

Jason gave a simple nod to Coach Overton. He knew what to expect from the guy back when he played for him, but he wasn't sure what he'd want now that he was re-trying out. He just prayed everything would go smoothly.

 

"Give me two players. Garrett. Yards. Center court," Coach Overton demanded.

 

Jason's first look at Talon Yards would make him realize he was at a two inch height disadvantage. He muttered quietly to himself a small curse under his breath at noticing this. Height disadvantage...great... he thought, taking a deep breath.

 

"On toss-up," Overton said as he stooped just slightly with a basketball in his hands. Then, he tossed it into the air and took a jog backward. Both players went for the ball...this would set the game into motion.


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#90
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"I'm also exploring some this week," Haruka stated. Reno nodded in understanding. It was a whole new world, somewhere no one has even been! Who knows what could they find there? He couldn't talk about it with Haruka, but his mind was just racing. What would they find there? Would they all get something to stand by them... a Persona... were they called? He vaguely remembered the thing saying that word. That was something he wanted. Would they be able to summon it here, in this world? That could really cool. You could become something like a superhero... something more than what they were... how neat would that be? 

"Sounds good," was the short answer. He looked ahead, folding his arms. "Do you think we'll all get something to stand by us? Like Paul did?" He hoped saying it like that made it sound... not like he was crazy, maybe people would think he was talking about a relationship or something. He only hoped he didn't sound crazy.

 

 

At the end of the school day, Reno sighed to himself as he walked towards the video game club, thinking to himself. He had Paul's number from when he Bluetoothed it to everyone it. With a shrug, he began to text the number. 

"Hey, it's Reno... the big scary guy from the party. If you're heading back to the place, count me in," He paused, thinking to himself. His dad could steal his phone and look through his texts at any time... especially since he never texted anyone else, so this would be the only texts he would look through. He better make this sound like... something not like going to some other world to do cool shit. "Here's hoping we'll get to do some cool shit,"

Nailed it. 

He hit send before he walked into the club, quietly taking a seat. He wasn't sure what they were doing today, but he was kinda looking forward to it.


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#91
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"..." Confusion caused Piper's brow to furrow as she stared blankly at Avery whilst the girl began peering down the hallway as if she were looking for someone more suspicious than herself. 
 
I can't tell if she's screwing around or not...
 
She watched her for another moment, trying to discern how genuine Avery was being but ultimately failing due to the fact that she knew nothing about the her. Nothing besides that fact that she had also seen the island.
 
"I guess everything that happened the other night still has me a little on edge..."  Sighing defeatedly, Piper released her grip on Avery's shoulder and shrugged before placing her back against the wall. "Sorry about that."  Though she was still unsure of the girl's true nature, there was one thing that Piper knew that they had in common...
 
You wanna to go back too don't you, girl? 
 
"Avery, right?" Piper was never one to beat around the bush. "Listen, in all honesty something about you sort of gives me the heebeegeebees, but I can't  really put my finger on it..." She flashed the girl a joking smile as she felt her phone begin to vibrate. "But I don't think it was just  coincidence that we bumped into each other like this! I've been thinking about going back over to "that" place again this week... you wouldn't be down to join me, would ya?" 
 
Glancing down at her screen, Piper's eyes suddenly widened as she realized she had been added to a group chat. It was almost too perfect. As she quickly scrolled through the messages from the boys, her lips curled into a grin that grew larger and larger as she read each word.
 
"Looks like it wouldn't be just us either!" Piper's spark returned in an instant as she moved closer and brought her phone up to show Avery whilst her fingers quickly danced across the keyboard to formulate a response. Once it was complete, she quickly swiped up to her camera app flashed a silly smirk before snapping a picture of her and Avery.
 
FROM: Piper O'reilly
TIME: 8:16 A.M.
Attached: IMG_2823
 
Guess who I bumped into :). Lol was just trying to convince her to go back with me! Crazy coincidence... Sign me up for both days. But we should definitely try to see if we can find some gear... can't just rely on Paul's friend with the hammer if we're for real about this.
 
FROM: Piper O'reilly
TIME: 8:17 A.M.
 
Oh yea lol It's Piper
 
When she turned back to Avery, the flames of Pipers passion burned brightly in her eyes as they twinkled with excitement. "So are you in?!"  
 

 


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#92
Alaina

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As Piper stared at Avery, the girl stared back looking similarly confused. However, as this just amounted in Piper's apology Avery warily shook her head. "It's uh, no problem really. I should've been paying better attention to where I was going." While Avery seemed ready to leave the current situation behind, Piper spoke up yet again. As she further implicated that there was something more than just happenstance that the two ran into each other, and brought up the island they had been to, Avery gulped a bit before saying, "oh right, yeah. That place. Well um," the girl began to scratch the back of her head as an uncomfortable expression crossed her face, looking in different directions from the girl. 

 

Before she could answer fully, however, Piper seemed to be engrossed in her phone and, before she really knew what was going on the girl shoved the phone in her face to show the ongoing conversation. Avery could barely read what was written on it before she suddenly heard a shutter snapping noise from the phone. The text was replaced with a picture of a confused looking Avery and smiling Piper next to each other. "Um, uh, what are you- " as Piper continued to rapidly text to whatever group message was there Avery could only look stunned as the eccentric girl asked if she was in. 

 

Looking as if she had been cornered, Avery stammered out, "y-yeah. Sure...I guess I'm in." She gave another nod to Piper before pulling out her phone saying, "I guess uh, just text me whatever you can about it. Here." The girl showed Piper her number on the screen, though the girl might've had some trouble reading it as Avery's hand seemed to be trembling. After getting that out of the way, she said, "I'm...going to get going now, so uh yeah. Sorry, er, thanks or yeah. See you later." With that, Avery pocketed her phone and tried to make a mad speed walk down the hall. 


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#93
Dad

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Lunchtime

 

Paul had actually been pretty busy in his second class and hadn't had any time to respond to the numerous vibrations his phone was giving off.  He finally checked his phone as he sat down in the cafeteria with a tray of food.  There were messages in the group conversation.  A lot of them.  Paul opened up the group chat to see quite a bit of activity.  For some reason, it pleased and excited Paul.  He quickly calmed down and read the messages in the group chat.  The messages all showed up with individual names and messages included with the corresponding phone number.  He would have to better manage his phone's messaging later.

 

TYLER

he means he’s going back to the islands tomorrow afternoon and we can come. dunno why he put it so weird. no point in being secretive because no one would believe it anyway.
 
anyway this is tyler beckett aka the car guy. i’m sure you’ve heard of me and i’m sure whatever you heard was super flattering. IDK if i can go yet. depends on what the rest of you decide.

 

 

 

Paul silently narrowed his eyes.  He was gonna get Tyler for that sly remark.  Not really.  That guy was twice his size.  

 

 

JASON

We got Tyler in here too? How'd ya manage that, Paul? lol
 
It's Jason Garrett. I'm down to head back. Like i told Paul earlier...anything to get me the hell away from home for a while.

 

 

 

 

Then just below this, Piper joined the conversation at last.  And she was with someone.

 

PIPER

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Guess who I bumped into :). Lol was just trying to convince her to go back with me! Crazy coincidence... Sign me up for both days. But we should definitely try to see if we can find some gear... can't just rely on Paul's friend with the hammer if we're for real about this.

 

Oh yea lol It's Piper

 

 

Oh, that was Avery.  She must've been taken by surprise judging from the look on her face.  This was quite a strange group of people but Paul was secretly enjoying every minute of it.

PAUL

Sounds like we'll have a lot of us going then.  I'll prep 2nite.  Remember.  Tmrw after school.  Let's meet at the Dial Point.  If anyone forgets where it is, you have my number.

 

 

That should do it.  Paul slid his phone back into his pocket and began to eat his food.  While he was excited Paul was also very nervous.  This whole island thing was dangerous.  There was no telling if he would be able to reach out to Shango again.  His Persona.  Still, Paul had a lot of questions that needed answering.  He could only get those answers from that island.

 

 

Miserable Mondays

 

The next day, Quinn spent his morning in silence.  He didn't even bother speaking to his sister as he somehow managed to get out of bed.  He didn't want to be bothered with his sister's nonsense and so he forced himself to leave home for school.  He approached the bus stop with his head hanging low and his fare already prepared in his right hand.

 

As the bus pulled away, he flopped down into a vacant seat and stared out of the window.  How did he get wrapped up in all of this shit?

 

And this guy... Paul?  What did he think this was?  Some kind of fucking vacation?  They almost died!  To monsters!  This wasn't some God damn game.  And Quinn was sick of people playing with his life.  He was angry that he even had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting that asshole.  This guy must've believed that if he handed out his phone number Quinn would oblige cheerily and vote to return for an extended say.  Fucking idiot.

 

And his sister.  She had some damn nerve.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Something happened.  She made the situation about herself.  That was unacceptable.  And he hated it.

 

He couldn't go home.  He really didn't even want to go to school.  He wanted to avoid everyone who was involved.  Especially Paul.  This was just the God damn pits.

 

Quinn pulled the bell on the bus a few stops early and elected to swing by Starbucks.  Hopefully, Terry was working today.  At least Terry wouldn't push his own bullshit on Quinn.  Right?

 

As the chime over the door rang and Quinn stepped inside, he sighed and tried to put on a fake smile.  Terry was working today.  He gathered his composure and straightened up.  Quinn knew he was better than all the shit he had been through.  As Terry's short brown hair turned around, their eyes met.

 

"Morning, Quinn," Terry said with a smile.  "Your usual today?"

 

Quinn nodded.  "You know me so well," he joked.

 

"I know my favorites.  I got you, coming right up," Terry said as he stepped away quickly.  The store was unusually empty this morning, so Quinn followed around the counter and waited in the lobby and chatted with Terry as he fixed Quinn's order.  "How's things going?  You doing okay?" Terry asked.

 

"Well, you know me.  Ups and downs.  But I always bounce back," Quinn said confidently.

 

Terry nodded as he turned around with Quinn's order.  "That's what I like to hear.  But hey, we're only human.  If you need an ear, the best barista in town is right here."

 

Quinn's smile became genuine at last.  "Thanks, Terry.  I might have to take you up on that."  Quinn gathered his things and paid for his order before trotting out of the door.  "See you after school," he said, waving to Terry.

 

"Have a good day!" Terry replied.

 

 

Afterschool

 

Paul sent a quick text to Amanda as he made his way to the gym.  He wasn't going to be able to attend the club meeting today.  He had to go and see how Jason was doing in his tryouts.  Funnily enough, Amanda was outside of the gym walking by.  "Oh, hey.  Club's cancelled today.  I was just coming to notify the Coach, but he's having tryouts.  I was literally sending you all a group text," Amanda said just as she pressed send.

 

Paul breathed a sigh of relief.  "Well, I don't feel so bad now.  I wasn't gonna come anyway," he joked.

 

Amanda was jogging away but stopped to jab Paul in the ribs.  "Why the hell not?"

 

Paul rubbed his side.  "Gonna go see my boy in tryouts.  What about you, where you headed?"

 

"Work called," Amanda said, jogging away.  "I gotta show up," she shrugged.  "Sorry."

 

Paul shrugged, watching Amanda jog away.  He finally got Amanda's text just as she was out of sight.

 

FROM: Amanda

TIME: 3:54 P.M.

CC: Haruka, Paulie, Janet, Leo

 

Sorry yall.  Club's cancelled today.  Have an emergency at work.  See you Wednesday!

 

 

He stepped inside the gym where tryouts were already underway.  He quickly ran over to the bleachers and climbed up.  He could see Jason and a few other potential basketball prospects in the center of the court.

 

"Let's go, Jason!" he cheered.

 

 

Thankfully, Quinn's day was mostly uneventful.  He had made it to his art class, but he couldn't even look Piper in the eyes.  He simply didn't want to think about the island, and when he glanced past her, its all he could think of.  When class ended, Quinn wasted no time bolting out of the door and making his way to the next period.  He couldn't wait for the day to just be over with.


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#94
Yui

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FROM: Paul Brown

TIME: 8:02 A.M.

 

I've only added the ppl whose contact info I have.

 

I'll be going "on vacation" tomorrow after school.  I'll go back "on vacation" this Friday, same time frame.  You're welcome to join me.

 

"On vacation"? Was there any reason Paul had to be so cryptic about it? All the people he sent this to had been to the island, right? Haruka took some time to think about how she should even reply to that, then got to work on typing up a response. Only for another text to come in as she was about to send her own text. And another. Dammit. Now Haruka had to redo hers.

 

FROM: Tyler Beckett

TIME: 8:06 A.M.

 

he means he’s going back to the islands tomorrow afternoon and we can come. dunno why he put it so weird. no point in being secretive because no one would believe it anyway.

 

anyway this is tyler beckett aka the car guy. i’m sure you’ve heard of me and i’m sure whatever you heard was super flattering. IDK if i can go yet. depends on what the rest of you decide.

 

FROM: Jason Garrett

Time: 8:10 A.M.

We got Tyler in here too? How'd ya manage that, Paul? lol

It's Jason Garrett. I'm down to head back. Like i told Paul earlier...anything to get me the hell away from home for a while.

 

Time to send her own reply.

 

FROM: Haruka Hirasawa

TIME: 8:12 AM

Even if he's being cryptic, what sort of person calls this going "on vacation"? "Going out" or even just "exploring" works just fine too. Could it be that he's a masochist and actually does consider that place a vacation spot? Anyway, I'm heading there today after school, and probably every day for the week. If anyone wants to tag along, try not to do anything stupid while we're there.

 

Was Paul a masochist? Come to think of it, it made sense. Even if he was using it as some sort of weird keyword, what kind of person would ever consider going to that place as being "on vacation"? "I'm exploring" would have worked just as well. Even Reno knew that, and Haruka was pretty sure he wasn't some sort of hidden genius or something. Not to mention Paul went to and enjoyed the ded. fiction club despite its other members, and wanted to go to that big party. Even if there wasn't necessarily any proof that he enjoyed pain on a physical level, the more Haruka thought about it, the more Paul was definitely a masochist on some level.

 

I knew a guy in Japan who would love to meet you. Maybe I should arrange for them to be pen-pals or something?

 

The rest of the school day proceeded rather uneventfully for Haruka, bar the idea of setting Paul up with a guy that'd be just perfect for him. Neither of them were really her type anyway. Also, Piper had texted the group a couple of times. More names and faces to remember. Greeeeeeeeat.

Afterschool

After school was over, however, things were... well, probably not gonna be much better. Haruka was planning to visit that freakish island again today. By herself if need be. As soon as school was over, she briefly went home to gather some things, then made for the spot where she'd accessed the island last time. It seemed the club was being cancelled today anyway; Amanda had some sort of emergency. Fine by Haruka. She wasn't going to show up today anyway, and had given the club plenty of advance warning.

 

Alright, Isle O' Freaks, let's see what you've got for me today.

 

And with that, Haruka dialed in. She wasn't looking forward to this, but it was what she was certain she had to do. However, her time there proved to be ultimately useless. She didn't learn anything, didn't get any answers about what a Persona was or how to get one, and worst of all, she'd gotten rained on again near the end of her visit. Haruka had just about had it with this island's shitty weather.

Tuesday

Afterschool

"It's our stupid club's fault I'm visiting this stupid island to begin with," Haruka grumbled, completely ignoring the fact that locking herself out of her house was the real reason she went to the party, and therefore to the island. Today, she was heading to the island once again, and she knew that at least one other person would be joining her. Paul. Who was ultimately the reason Haruka was suddenly so committed to figuring out this Persona stuff to begin with.

 

Unlike her previous visits to the island, however, Haruka was bringing some parts of her wardrobe she would have preferred stay forgotten forever. Fed up with getting rained on, Haruka opted to wear a pink raincoat and black boots alongside her usual types of clothes; dark t-shirts and short skirts. Uncle Ayumu had bought the raincoat and boots - along with a pair of overalls that Haruka absolutely loathed - for her as part of surprising her by taking her out fishing. None of that prissy "fishing rod and a canoe" business either; when Uncle Ayumu said "fishing", he meant "fishing", with big nets and the ocean and everything. Haruka hadn't even touched a boat since. For once, she was almost grateful that she had the coat and boots. But she was still visibly upset, more so than usual.

 

If he's not here soon I'll just go ahead on my own.


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#95
Chaos Sonic

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Just a Bit of a Warm-Up

 

-BGM-

 

The ball was tipped by Yards and quickly snatched up by his teammate, Justin Hills. Hills wasn't very tall, standing at only 5'7. However, he was quick on his feet and had great handling. He took the ball outside of the three point line and analyzed the playing field.

 

Jason was matched with Yards, Harper was matched with Hills, Battle was matched with Hiley, Parson was matched to Evans, and Sanders was matched to Filmore. Hills leaned in and faked a pass to Hills, which Harper fell for. Harper stumbled left and Hills made right, catching the ball and pushing in to the goal.

 

Right...these guys are still a little new to this. Jason thought, watching Harper stumbling to the left. "Harper! Try not to to fall that much." he said, trying to encourage Harper, moving to keep himself matched with Yards.

 

Yards took off behind Hills trying to keep ahead of Jason, but he was met with a pick by Parson and he stumbled backward, creating chaos. This left Evans free to pursue Jason, but he was coming from the three point line behind Jason. As Hills neared the goal, Filmore ran interference with Sanders right on his heels. The goal was secured by Hills for 2 points, thanks to Filmore preventing Sanders from blocking the layup.

 

The ball was passed to Jason to take out from the sidelines to his player of choice. Jason got the ball, weighing his options. There was Harper, Battle, Parson and Sanders. He glanced a bit, before making a pass towards Harper, giving him a moment and a chance to redeem himself.

 

Harper received the ball with a nod and applied pressure to Hills. Hills was fast, but his defense was equally matched to Harpers. The result was a quick pump fake back to Jason, followed by a mad dash to the goal. But Harper was met by Filmore and Evans who slipped past Parson and Sanders. This forced Harper to stop in his tracks and back pass to Jason.

 

"Good work Harper." Jason chuckled, getting the ball back from the back pass. He made his move towards the hoop, before taking a quick shot for it. C'mon...swish, baby!!

 

An easy two points as Jason broke past Yards' defense and made the shot. The ball was handed to Yards who scoffed with disappointment at his own mistake.

 

Yards passed the ball to Evans, but it was intercepted mid-flight by the quick thinking Parson who rolled to the right side of the court and took a fast three-point shot. Nothing but net.

 

"Check your man!" Yards barked.

 

"Check your pass!" Evans replied.

 

The ball was given to Evans to take out from the left side of the court as the stands filled with cheering. Evans moved the ball to Jason's hands before Yards could react.

 

Jason got the ball and made his move once more, before glancing over in the direction of Harper again, but immediately passed the ball to Sanders. "You're up, Sanders."

 

"I see that!" Yards snapped and swatted the ball down before Sanders could catch it. He quickly snatched it up and spun around with the ball in his hands. The next thing anyone realized was that Filmore was in the air with the ball in his hands. There was a roar of cheering as he dunked the ball into the goal thanks to the quick handles of Yards, with a snazzy pass.

 

5-4 with Skins in the lead. The ball was given to Sanders to take out from the sidelines. He looked hesitatingly at Jason before wising up to Yards' quick movements. Instead, Sanders got the ball to Harper who spun away from Hills successfully and delivered a clean layup.

 

7-4 Skins. Hills took the ball out and passed it to Yards. It was time for some one on one with Jason. "Heard about that wrist," Yards taunted, dribbling the ball carefully. "I'm gonna break your ankles instead," said the brunette boy as he quickly cut left.

 

Jason looked hard at Yards for a hard moment, watching him quickly cutting left as he began to grit his teeth. He knew the guy was goading him, but he needed to do this. Why are you indulging him like this? Especially after that threat?! he thought, shaking his head slightly.

 

Yards took no hesitation in slipping past Jason and slamming into an intercepting Harper. With one hand he dunked the ball and toppled past Harper. Harper was furious that he was crashed into. "Dude!" he snapped at Yards.

 

7-6 Skins. "Sorry man. You got in my way," Yards said sarcastically as he stomped past Harper.

 

The whistle was blown and a foul was called on Yards. Coach Overton stood up on the side of the court and called out to the boys. "That shit won't fly! Play like an adult, not a brat!"

 

"Shut up and let 'em play, Coach!" someone called from the stands.

 

The ball was given to Harper from the sidelines and found its way back to Jason with Yards once more staring him down.

 

Jason stared at Yards again, just shaking his head. "Ya know...you aren't the first one to use that line on me..." he said, glancing over towards the stands, quickly making eye-contact with some of his former teammates (minus Kevin). With nothing else to say, he started going right, goading Yards to move in that direction before faking and moving to his left as he moved past Yards in a fast manner.

 

Yards was suckered into going right and stumbled over his own two feet. Hills clamored to make up for Yards' mistake but he was picked by Harper. Jason was free to move to the goal.

 

Jason kept moving towards the hoop, positioning himself in a manner to try for a three-point shot, as he tossed the ball into the air. Another swish...c'mon...we got this.

 

The ball slid off the backboard and right into the net. The shot was good. 10-6 Skins. Yards was not happy as he snarled as he stood up. The stand erupted again with cheers when Kevin called from the sidelines. "Nice shot, J!"

 

"Shut up, Garcia!" Brock called from the other end of the sideline.

 

"Both of you, shut the hell up!" Coach Overton said.

 

The ball was given to Evans to take out from the sideline and it was passed down Hills with lightning speed. Hills spun around Harper and back passed the ball to Filmore who took a long 3 point shot. A spin around the rim and into the net, shirts were closing in. 10-9 Skins. Sanders received the ball and got it out to Battle who had been all but invisible during this game. Battle was checked by Hiley, but slipped up and had the ball tipped out of his hands flying in Jason's direction.

 

Jason got the ball and made his way towards the hoop again, before stopping to pass it to Battle, giving him another try.

 

Battle received the ball with grace and faked an inside shot. Hiley took the bait and Battle stepped up. But Yards' height allowed him to jump and swat the ball out of the air with ferocity. The rebound was picked up by Hills and returned for two points. 11-10 Shirts. The ball was given to Harper to take out and passed to Parson. Parson was set up by Sanders with a quick pick and he was allowed to drain another shot. Just like that, the game was back in Skins favor. 12-11 skins. This time, Hiley took the ball out of bounds with Battle checking him. The ball slipped past Battle and into Yards' hands at the three point line. This time, Yards was silent. His eyes quickly glanced left and landed on Hills, then he returned his gaze to Jason.

 

Jason's gaze met Yards, as he saw what he was going for. He exhaled, trying his best to give a hand signal to Harper to be ready. "Alright...let's see how far this gets me." he muttered, as he made a move towards Yards, preparing to snag the ball if he could. All he could hope for, was Harper to stop it if Yards threw it.

 

Yards went left with his pass but the ball was tipped by Jason's fingertips. Harper made a break for the ball and snatched it out of the air past Hills' reach. He circled the right side of the court and passed the ball down to Parson at the edge of the free throw line. An easy three points.

 

YES!!! Jason thought, getting really happy right now...hell, even his adrenaline was pumping at this point.

 

There was another uproar of applause followed by several whistle blows. "Alright, alright, I've seen enough," Coach Overton said as he stepped up. And just in time to, as Yards had begun to argue with Hills. "Hey! Knock it off! Because you need to learn to work with one another and cover your teammates weaknesses!" Overton barked.

 

"Yards. You're aggressive. You've got great ball handling. But you're selfish and reckless. You saw Garrett as bait. You got baited," Overton said. Yards stepped back and dismissed Coach Overton's concerns.

 

"Please. I could run circles around this dude. He got a lucky tip on the ball. That's it. Give me a one on one and I'll dest--" Yards taunted.

 

"That's your problem, Yards. You can win one on one but you can't win as a team. Sit your ass out," Coach Overton demanded.

 

Yards ripped off his shirt and tossed it at Overton's feet. "Screw this and screw you," Yards said, storming out of the gym.

 

"That's one," Coach Overton said as the doors to the gym slammed behind him. "Anybody else feeling cocky and wanna join him?"

 

The other players were silent. "Good. Then it's time for game two."

 

-BGM-

 

"Since you're short a player, I'll give you one of mine," Coach Overton said as he turned to the stands. "Garcia! Get over here!" he called to Kevin. Kevin jogged over and joined Coach Overton's side. "You're gonna play with the rookies in a five on five exhibition match."

 

Kevin scratched his heads. "How's that gonna work?"

 

Coach Overton grinned. "Like I said, You're gonna play with the rookies. Against your teammates."

 

"What!? That's B.S., Coach!" Kevin snapped back

 

Overton shook his head. "You'll be fine. You've got two vets. Now just get your three teammates. Harper, Sanders, and Hills."

 

Kevin still was only counting four people. "But Coach, who's the fi--"

 

"It's Garrett, you dumbass!" Coach Overton barked again. "Now get yourselves together for game two!" Overton said as he walked over to the bleachers. "The rest of you, come sit on the sidelines!"

 

Jason looked at the whole situation he now found himself in. Not only was it just him and the rookies...but with the help of Kevin...they needed to beat the others on the team: his former teammates. His adrenaline was pumping and he felt his heart racing immensely. Honestly, he didn't remember this being a thing his last joining...

 

I have to face...the team? Jason thought, looking at the team in the stands, all of them looking like they were grinning from ear to ear like damn clowns. He felt a lump in his throat as he slowly started holding his left wrist some. Jason...what the hell did you just get yourself into...?


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