Beyond Friends in Amalgama | World Anvil

Beyond Friends

Planae played by Orange, Leonor played by Leng
The sun was setting over the camp. It was quiet and peaceful. The soft sounds of newly starting rain pattered down on the tents. The adventurers would be up soon, ready to start a new day in the Beyond.   Or.. normally they would. Tonight was different though. No one moved from their travlecoons or sleeping bags as the sun set. They wouldn't be waking up again.   The only movement in the camp was a stranger, swaying oddly between the tents, staring vaguely out into the distance.   Platae was accompanied by a small rolling robot, talking to it quietly as he strolled along. The sun was just about setting, as he entered a slightly more wooded area, his wide-brimmed hat protecting his face and shoulders from the gentles rain. His lusus was asleep around his shoulders, enjoying the weather, as the distance between Platae and the cities grew longer.   He didn't know what had happened, or why new aliens had suddenly... invaded? It seemed like they had invaded. Either way, it all seemed like bad news, and he'd ended up abandoning his hive in the great shaking. Now he was just trying to get away, beyond the reach of the Empire and whoever else might want to kill him. It was all he could think to do, really. The landscapes were unfamiliar and otherworldly, but at least he had a couple of his smaller drones to help scout out the land, and for company. And no one to hold him back.   Well, besides his pupil, at least, the young goldblood who was so eager to learn-- but he was sure that many trolls must have died in the shaking, and lowbloods must have been the most susceptible. Especially if the Empress herself had come back. None of that mattered, though. Forget the cities, forget the Empire, forget Sestle, there was something out in the distance. A camp? Oh, no, there were others out here. Could he even risk going to see if they were hostile?   The lone troll turned slowly, hearing a sound in the not to far distance. Her head lulled loosely on her neck and flopped forward. She took a step toward the sound of living creatures. As she walked her long heavy hair dragged the ground, pulling her head back up into a simi-normal position. Her steps were slow and shuffly, as if she couldn't manage to fully lift her feet.   "Hello." She whispered in greeting, way to far away from anyone to be heard.   Oh, what was that out there? Could one of the camp members be awake already? The setting sun was still high enough that it would make Platae's skin tingle, if not for the rain. What could be the best course of action... He remembered that he was, rather tall, and crouched down. He could send his little patrol bot out to look around, despite the near-certainty that it would get destroyed. Oh, well, if it came down to its life or his, he was definitely choosing his own.   So, off the thing puttered, growing closer to the cluster of tents, and the single mysterious figure in the distance. It was only a couple feet tall, and anyone familiar with human space programs would find it strikingly similar to a rover. All it was really built for was looking around, and maneuvering the difficult terrains of the Beyond.   As the cute little box cam rumbling into camp Leonor paid it no mind. It made a good bit of noise, but not any sort that she registered past her visions.   She didn't get a hello back so she wondered if she was just imaging the drumming, of someone whispering her to follow. She would ignore it, but what if it was a way out of this nightmare? So she shuffled in that direction, what else had she to do anyway? She was dead after all.   The rover quickly targeted onto Leonor, following her in an incredibly obvious way. In doing so, it managed to miss just about everything else in the camp, including the worrying amount of dead bodies inside the tents. Hey, it wasn't programmed for critical thought, just for looking at things.   Platae, meanwhile, watched as the figure started lurching in his direction, absolutely sure he'd been caught. Well, no one else seemed to be up in the camp anyway, and if he could quiet down this troll-- who must be some kind of scout, or day guard?-- then maybe he'd be let by peacefully. She wasn't bothering the robot, at least, so she probably wasn't hostile. His mind was made up. He stood up straight again, and strode out towards her.   Most of the distance between them had to be covered by Platae, as Leonor was much too slow in her shuffling. The drums were getting louder, she hadn't misheard. That was comforting to know. The whispering was now a murmuring, she couldn't make it out, but it was undeniably there.
"Hello." She whispered again, not wanting to scare off whoever was trying to communicate with her.   As he approached, he realized that she was dressed in tatters, and seemed... well, definitely sick. At least. He ignored what was very likely remnants of blood on her clothing and skin, choosing to believe it was just the rain playing tricks on him. She seemed to say something? He couldn't quite hear, but, that didn't matter. The bot rattled on back to him, as he spoke. "ɧɛƖƖơ?"   The word seemed to have an effect on her. She paused and put in the effort to lift her head on her own. The rain hit her face, causing the colors dried on her mouth to run a bit.
"Do I hear.... Hello?"   "ųɱ-- ყɛʂ, ı, ı ɖıɖ. ı ɠཞɛɛɬɛɖ ყơų." Platae faltered. That sure did look like blood. No, no, it couldn't be. This was all fine. The rain seemed to be growing stronger, as is pattered onto his hat, the sun must have been nearly fully set by then.   A bit of life flickered in her aimlessly staring eyes and she slowly raised her arms to clasp her hands together in delight. Something like a smile spreading over her face.
"Greeting. Joyous. Its been... So long? Time. Confusing."   Oh this was weird. Platae stood at a short distance, in case she decided to suddenly attack, while weighing his options. His eyes didn't seem to be deceiving him, her eyes looked remarkably blank. "ყơų'۷ɛ, ცɛɛŋ ơųɬ ɧɛཞɛ ą Ɩơŋɠ ɬıɱɛ, ɬɧɛŋ? ყơų ƈɛཞɬąıŋƖყ ɖơ Ɩơơƙ, ąɧ, ῳơཞʂɛ ʄơཞ ῳɛąཞ." It would probably pay to be polite, and he was perfectly willing to oblige. Oh, what was he saying, he didn't even ask for her name! "ῳơųƖɖ ყơų ɱıŋɖ ɬɛƖƖıŋɠ ɱɛ ყơųཞ... ŋąɱɛ?"   "Yes. Long. My name is..." He paused a while on that, trying to recall it. "Leonor?" Yes that was right.
"Name. Give." She demanded the voice's name in return. It was so lovely to hear a real voice that she could understand. The drumming and whispering seemed to be coming from that direction too, but she could ignore it just for a bit of blessed conversation.   "ɱყ ŋąɱɛ ıʂ ℘Ɩąɬąɛ," he said pleasantly, though notes of fear were creeping into his voice. This sure was a strange troll he'd come across, in a strange land, at a strange camp. Everything was pretty strange, all around. "ɖơ ყơų... Ɩı۷ɛ ơųɬ ɧɛཞɛ?" He was somewhat reluctant to divulge information about himself, without knowing more about Leonor.   She shook he head slowly.
She was very clearly not dead, unless ghosts could get wet in the rain and be covered in very real dirt, of course. Leonor either hadn't noticed these facts, or didn't know much about ghosts. Or perhaps she was lying, but she didn't seem very alive either, to be fair.
"Platae. Pretty name. Do you... Live?"   "ı ɧą۷ɛ, ųɧ, ཞɛƈɛŋɬƖყ ƈơɱɛ ɬơ Ɩı۷ɛ ıŋ ɬɧɛʂɛ ℘ąཞɬʂ, ąʂ ą ʂơཞɬ ơʄ ŋơɱąɖ. ɛ۷ɛཞ ʂıŋƈɛ ɬɧąɬ ɠཞɛąɬ ʂɧąƙıŋɠ, ıɬ ʂɛɛɱʂ ɬơ ɧą۷ɛ ɠơɬɬɛŋ ɱơཞɛ ɖąŋɠɛཞơųʂ ŋɛąཞɛཞ ɬơ ɬɧɛ ƈıɬıɛʂ..." only then did he process the 'dead' comment. "ɖɛąɖ? ყơų ƈɛཞɬąıŋƖყ ʂɛɛɱ ۷ɛཞყ ɱųƈɧ ąƖı۷ɛ, ɬɧơųɠɧ ıŋ ℘ơơཞ ʂɧą℘ɛ. ῳɛཞɛ ყơų ąɬɬąƈƙɛɖ ơųɬ ɧɛཞɛ?"   To himself, he muttered,
"ƈơųƖɖ ɬɧɛཞɛ ცɛ ɱơŋʂɬɛཞʂ ῳıɬɧ ℘ʂıơŋıƈ ɛʄʄɛƈɬʂ? ɬɧąɬ ƈơųƖɖ ɱąƙɛ ყơų ცɛƖıɛ۷ɛ ყơųཞʂɛƖʄ ɬơ ცɛ ɖɛąɖ?"
It was certainly an interesting idea.   "Shaking. Dangerous." She hadn't noticed any shaking or dangers, no more than she did normally.
She blushed at the alive comment and moved her hands slowly to her face, rocking side to side slightly. "You think I'm... Alive?" What a sweet compliment! Was the voice flirting with her? Gosh she didn't even know how to react to that.
"Attack free. Safe here."   "ყơų, ɖɛʄıŋıɬɛƖყ ą℘℘ɛąཞ ɬơ ცɛ! ʝųʂɬ ąʂ ąƖı۷ɛ ąʂ ɱɛ, ąɬ Ɩɛąʂɬ, ąŋɖ ı'ɱ զųıɬɛ ʂųཞɛ ı ąɱ." Platae smiled a little wider. She seemed to be nice enough, at least, ignoring the definitely-not-blood that stained her face, and the tattered clothes that barely clinged to her skin. "ıɬ ıʂ ɠơơɖ ɬơ ƙŋơῳ ɬɧɛཞɛ ıʂŋ'ɬ ɖąŋɠɛཞ ɧɛཞɛ, ɬɧơųɠɧ ɬɧɛཞɛ ąཞɛ ąƖƖ ɬɧɛʂɛ ɬɛŋɬʂ! ı ῳơųƖɖ ɛҳ℘ɛƈɬ ɬɧɛཞɛ ɬơ ცɛ ơɬɧɛཞ ɬཞơƖƖʂ..."   "Kindness. Thankyou." She covered her face in embarrassment. She hadn't noticed any tents, or other trolls. Aside from the voice.
"No tents. No trolls. Only drums. Only whispers. But they are... Gone now?"   "ɖཞųɱʂ, ąŋɖ... ῳɧıʂ℘ɛཞʂ?" She certainly seemed affected by something, could she be sick? Hallucinating? Platae was beginning to forget most of his other inhibitions, for the sake of wanting to help her out. "ı ɧą۷ɛ ɧɛąཞɖ ŋơ ɖཞųɱʂ, ŋơཞ ῳɧıʂ℘ɛཞʂ, ơųɬ ɧɛཞɛ-- ɬɧơųɠɧ ıɬ ıʂ ཞąıŋıŋɠ, ɱąყცɛ ɬɧąɬ'ʂ ῳɧąɬ ყơų ɧɛąཞ? ąŋɖ, ɖơ ყơų ŋơɬ ʂɛɛ ɬɧɛ ɬɛŋɬʂ? ῳɛ'ཞɛ ℘ཞąƈɬıƈąƖƖყ ʂųཞཞơųŋɖɛɖ ცყ ɬɧɛɱ, ცųɬ ı ąʂʂųɱɛ ŋơῳ ɬɧɛყ ɱıɠɧɬ ცɛ ąცąŋɖơŋɛɖ... ŋơ ơŋɛ ɛƖʂɛ ɧąʂ ƈơɱɛ ơųɬ ąʄɬɛཞ ąƖƖ." He was blissfully oblivious to the fact that everyone who was once here was still here, just considerably less alive than before.   "Rain. Perhaps."
Leonor lowered her hands and tried to see past the horror visions and into the world around her. Vaguely, through the rainbow fog, she could make out a figure before her. Blurry but there, and dark shapes that must be the tents. She squinted hard, trying to make out the features on a voice that was so kind to her, but there was a fine line on her focus. Not enough and she was in the nightmare, too much and she was in the nightmare.
She relaxed a bit, deciding the vague figure was enough. Certainly better than the melting toothy eye filled maw she's seen when trying to focus.
"Many. Tents. I see... you?"   Something was definitely up with this troll. She didn't seem to be able to see clearly, and was apparently hearing things? Platae sincerely doubted his ability to help her, he was no doctor, but it would be worth a shot, right? Friends seemed like a good thing to have all the way out here, in the middle of practically nowhere. "ɖơ ყơų ɧą۷ɛ ɱųƈɧ ɬཞơųცƖɛ ʂɛɛıŋɠ? ı ɱıɠɧɬ ცɛ ąცƖɛ ɬơ ɧɛƖ℘, ɬɧɛཞɛ, ɱყ ơῳŋ ɛყɛʂ ɧą۷ɛ ცɛɛŋ, ɱơɖıʄıɛɖ, ɱąŋყ ɬıɱɛʂ." He wasn't explaining anything clearly, there, was he. The point is he had robot eyes.   "Trouble. Yes. I see... Too much?" She tried to explain. She didn't really understand what the voice.. no, troll.. meant by modified. Perhaps they had glasses? Oh she just loved people with glasses, she wished she could see them.   Too much, she said. Could she be a mutant, like himself? Maybe not bloodwise, but perhaps she simply had more eye cones-- he'd tried experiments like that on himself, to see in infrared, and it was more of a hassle than anything. "ɬơơ ɱųƈɧ?" Maybe he could help, though replacing someone's eyes was no easy task, especially not out here in the Beyond. But maybe, maybe...   "Too. Much. Horrors. Terrors. Pain. Pain. Pain." She hugged herself and rocked a bit as she repeated pain a few more times. Finally she managed to get herself under control and flush with embarrassment.
"I see... Too much?"   Platae took a second to consider what she meant, and decided to just spitball. "ყơų ʂɛɛ... ɠɧơʂɬʂ?" He'd heard of people who could, of those who heard the screams of the soon-deceased, of those who claimed to see trolls long past. He'd never taken it all too seriously, but anything seemed possible right then. After all, ghosts would certainly qualify to him as 'too much.'   Leonor thought for a moment, her brain chugging along as she struggled to get her thoughts into words. "Perhaps. Others. They don't... Say?"   Platae was entirely blanking. Her speech was understandable enough most of the time, but the conversation seemed to be taking some kind of toll. He was suddenly awash with a sense of dramatic irony, though he couldn't fathom why. After all, he was no mute! He was plenty talkative, even, he loved talking. Yeah. He couldn't think of a set of (mossy) circumstances that might lead him to become a true hermit! But he still had to answer her, even if he wasn't sure what she was trying to get across. "ɠɧơʂɬʂ, ąŋɖ... ơɬɧɛཞ ɬɧıŋɠʂ? ɧơŋɛʂɬƖყ, ı ɖơŋ'ɬ ƙŋơῳ ῳɧąɬ ɬɧɛყ ƈơųƖɖ ცɛ, ɛıɬɧɛཞ. ɖơ ყơų ʂɛɛ ɬɧɛɱ ąƖƖ ɬɧɛ ɬıɱɛ?" The rain was picking up even more, now, almost in sheets. It was considerably darker.   "Yes. Constant. So many... Things?" She waved her hand to show she meant everywhere, but she was so slow that it took a while for her to finish. Her arm hung limply once she done, like she forgot it was there.   "Do you... See them?" He could see her, was he a ghost finder? Oh that sounded exciting! If she was alive she might have found it scary, but ghosts weren't nearly as terrifying when you where one.   "ơɧ, ŋơ, ı ɧą۷ɛŋ'ɬ ʂɛɛŋ ąŋყ ʂơཞɬ ơʄ ʂ℘ıཞıɬʂ. ıŋ ɱყ ῳɧơƖɛ Ɩıʄɛ, ąƈɬųąƖƖყ, ı'۷ɛ ŋɛ۷ɛཞ ʂɛɛŋ ąŋყ... ɠɧơʂɬʂ." Platae managed to sound almost regretful, mostly to appease her, in some way. He wasn't sure why, but that not-blood on her face probably factored in a little. He also wasn't sure what to ask next, because he was half-sure Leonor was poisoned somehow and hallucinating.   Now that the sun was down the glow emanating off of Leonor was visible, even through the increasingly heavy rain.
"Is this... Your camp?" She asked, taking another gander at the tent now that she was getting used to seeing them. "Intruding. Rude. I am... Sorry?"   "ơɧ, ŋơ, ɬɧıʂ ıʂŋ'ɬ ɱყ ƈąɱ℘! ı ῳąʂ ῳơŋɖɛཞıŋɠ ıʄ ıɬ ῳąʂ ყơųཞʂ, ąƈɬųąƖƖყ, ɬɧơųɠɧ ŋơῳ ıɬ ʂɛɛɱʂ ɱơཞɛ ąცąŋɖơŋɛɖ. ı ąɱ ʝųʂɬ ą ɬཞą۷ɛƖɛཞ, ąɬ Ɩɛąʂɬ ʄơཞ ŋơῳ." Was this troll... glowing? Could it be an effect of the poison they were definitely being affected by? Maybe she didn't know. He should probably tell her. So he did. "℘ąཞɖơŋ ɬɧɛ զųɛʂɬıơŋ ცųɬ, ɧą۷ɛ ყơų ŋơɬıƈɛɖ ɬɧąɬ ყơų'ཞɛ... ɠƖơῳıŋɠ?"   "Traveler. Exciting." She did another slow sway and let her hands drop limply at her sides. "Yes. Glowing. I am a... Ghost?"   "ą... ɠɧơʂɬ." She certainly looked material enough, if only barely alive. Maybe it wasn't best to press the issue, but it's not like Platae knew when to stop talking anyway. "ąཞɛ ყơų ʂųཞɛ?"   She blushed and slowly clasped her hands behind her bashfully. "Tee. Hee. Very. Kind. You think... I'm alive?"   "ı ɱɛąŋ--" It's not like Platae was an expert on the subject, after all. "ყơų Ɩơơƙ ąƖı۷ɛ, ɬơ ɱɛ." If glowing meant she was alive. Did ghosts glow? Was she really a ghost? But the rain seemed to hit her well enough, and ghosts were immaterial, so she couldn't be. Maybe? If only Platae had studied the afterlife instead of robots.   "You. Too." Oh no. She couldn't think of how to respond so she just said 'you too'. Why did she always do that? Talking to people in person was so hard some times. She couldn't even really see them!   All these complements where too much, she had to change the subject. Okay she could do this! "You like... Tents?" Oh no that was silly. "Travel. Adventure."   Well, that was... somewhat comforting, he guessed. At least it meant he probably wasn't dead and hadn't realized it, that was good. He hoped it was good. Yeah.   "ı ɖơŋ'ɬ, ŋɛƈɛʂʂąཞıƖყ-- ῳɛƖƖ, ı ɖơ Ɩıƙɛ ɬཞą۷ɛƖƖıŋɠ. ı ąɱ, ɧơῳɛ۷ɛཞ, ŋơɬ ơųɬ ɧɛཞɛ ცყ ŋąɬųཞɛ. ı'ɱ, ųɧ, ŋơɬ ῳɛƖƈơɱɛ, ıŋ ơɬɧɛཞ ℘ąཞɬʂ." He wasn't sure he trusted this troll enough to go on about being a mutant, especially considering how he was only days away from the cities. And this was a camp! Trolls clearly lived out here! Oh, speaking of the tents.
"ąཞɛ ყơų ʂųཞɛ ɬɧɛཞɛ ıʂ ŋơ ơŋɛ ɛƖʂɛ ɧɛཞɛ? ɱąყცɛ ῳɛ ƈơųƖɖ... Ɩơơƙ ıŋɬơ ɬɧɛʂɛ ɬɛŋɬʂ."   "Unwelcome. Unnatural. Are you... Dangerous?" Not that it would matter to her really, she couldn't be hurt by them at all, she was dead! But some habits from life were hard to shake.   "Tents. Investigate. Should we... Knock?" She wasn't so rude as to phase through a tent and peep on anyone living inside.   Platae laughed, almost too loudly. It was slightly scratchy, though pleasant enough, because describing how characters laugh is important character development and I'm trying to run some juxtaposition here. "ɖąŋɠɛཞơųʂ ɱıɠɧɬ ცɛ ą ცıɬ ɱųƈɧ, ɬơ ɖɛʂƈཞıცɛ ɱɛ. ı'ɱ ɧąཞɖƖყ ą ɖąŋɠɛཞ ɬơ ɬɧɛ ɱơŋʂɬɛཞʂ!"   He also didn't particularly care for the privacy of others, after all, this camp looked pretty much abandoned. Weird, definitely weird, but if there were an ambush, wouldn't it have happened by now? So he just walked on over and realized none of the tents seemed to be secured closed in any way. Also weird. Only one thing left to do, lift one of the tent flaps and see what was inside!   Which was, of course, a dead body.   The troll inside looked like it had been killed in its sleep, there were little to no signs of struggle. Other than a large bite on the neck, they seemed to be undamaged. It wasn't a wild animal attack, no flesh had been torn away or consumed. But they did seem rather shriveled, lacking in some bodily fluids to a large degree.   Leonor waited to hear what her new friend had discovered in the tent. Maybe some more friends? Maybe a treasure or mystery! Hopefully no one would jump out an attack. She wouldn't want to loose her new friend so soon, or so horribly. She hadn't spoken with anyone in so long, and she'd hate if they ended up a ghost as well, it was a dreadful existence.   Platae immediately sprung back, being not incredibly used to seeing what was effectively a raisin of a troll, especially not in a tent in the middle of nowhere. It must be some kind of wild animal! Or monster! It wouldn't surprise him to learn that some of them had a taste for troll blood, after all.   Realizing he was just sitting on the ground, he got a hold of himself. "ῳɛ ɱąყ ŋɛɛɖ ɬơ Ɩɛą۷ɛ ɧɛཞɛ. ɖơŋ'ɬ ℘ąŋıƈ." What if the monster was still nearby? It couldn't be safe here. Maybe it only attacked during the day? The troll was still in one of those traveuperacoons (an incredibly inconvenient word, of course,) so they must have been asleep.   He was entirely forgetting about the blood still rinsing off of Leonor's face, dripping down in the ever-strengthening rain.   Leonor let out something like a gasp and slowly put her hands to her face. "Something. Terrible. What did... You see?" She normally wouldn't have been worried, but she had such a nice person to think about now. She would be so sad if her keeping them talking here would some how lead to their end. "Leave. Quickly. Can you... Run?"   Oh, right, she couldn't see. Not very well, at least. "ɬɧɛཞɛ'ʂ ą ɬཞơƖƖ ıŋ ɬɧɛཞɛ, ąŋɖ, ɬɧɛყ'ཞɛ ɖɛąɖ. Ɩơơƙʂ Ɩıƙɛ ɬɧɛყ ῳɛཞɛ ʂųƈƙɛɖ ɖཞყ, ʂơɱɛɧơῳ. ɬɧɛཞɛ ɱųʂɬ ცɛ ʂơɱɛ ʂơཞɬ ơʄ ɱơŋʂɬɛཞ ơųɬ ɧɛཞɛ." He was keeping his voice as steady as possible, while in reality he wanted to just straight up skedaddle. But this troll couldn't fend for herself! At least, he doubted it. She seemed pretty out of it.   "Sucked. Dry. That is how... I died? Spider. Death." She didn't seem to be taking the news very well. "Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain."   Oh, she seemed much less in it now. Even more out of it than before. But... well, this was ample distraction from the body and the issue of where the monster could be now. "ʂųƈƙɛɖ ɖཞყ? ცųɬ... ყơų ʂɛɛɱ... ąƖཞıɠɧɬ." He couldn't think of any human beasts that could suck a troll dry, much less like that. It had to be one of those new monsters. But those bite marks didn't look very animal, what could that mean? Everything sure was confusing all of a sudden.   "Kill. Spider. End. Suffering. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain." She rocked back and forth, lost in her nightmare for a moment. She had to push through it, she had a new friend to protect! She couldn't let them be eaten by the spider. It was the worst way to die. Or, well it was the only one she'd experienced, so she could be wrong. But it wasn't pleasant for sure!
"Can you.. Run?" Maybe the spider was full. She felt so bad for the troll they had found. Was it forever stuck in the nightmare too? She hoped not.   "ı ƈąŋ ཞųŋ, ცųɬ. ῳɛ ɖơŋ'ɬ ʂɛɛɱ ɬơ ცɛ ıŋ ąŋყ ɖąŋɠɛཞ, ཞıɠɧɬ ɬɧıʂ ʂɛƈơŋɖ..." She needed to calm down. Something was clearly wrong, though he was still operating under the assumption that she was under the effects of some kind of poison. The hallucinations, or whatever they were, must be getting worse. Or something like that. Platae wasn't a medic, he was a roboticist. A fact that seemed woefully useless right then.   "Spider. Danger. Is it... Gone?" She dropped her hands to her sides again and sagged a bit. "Kill. Spider. Dream. End. I can... Rest?" Despite all her panic before, wasn't making an attempt to flee herself.   What did any of that mean. Who had even brought up spiders, if not herself? Maybe the thing that poisoned her was some kind of spider. That made sense, venom could make you hallucinate, right? That sounded likely. He wondered when it would wear off. Right then, he decided he might as well just go along with it, and keep her from freaking out. "ყɛąɧ, ɬɧɛ ʂ℘ıɖɛཞ'ʂ ɠơŋɛ. ŋơ ʂ℘ıɖɛཞ ąཞơųŋɖ ɧɛཞɛ, ɬɧąɬ ı'۷ɛ ʂɛɛŋ."   She sagged a bit more and started shuffling forward. She would find that darn spider some day and kill it. That was why she had come back as a ghost, she was sure of that. Then maybe she could finally be free or the nightmares and rest.
"Next. Time."
She told herself. "Are you... Leaving?"   "ı, ųɧ, ɠųɛʂʂ ʂơ. ʂơơŋ, ąɬ Ɩɛąʂɬ. ɖơ ყơų Ɩı۷ɛ ąŋყῳɧɛཞɛ ʂ℘ɛƈıʄıƈ? ƈąŋ ı ʂɛɛ ყơų ąɠąıŋ?" It would probably be best to leave-- his rover began rolling away, in search of the camp monster he was entirely sure existed. But leaving Leonor alone? Maybe that wasn't the best idea. He needed at least some insurance that she wouldn't get herself killed in the next couple hours. However much she seemed to believe she was dead already.   "Dead. Drift. Do you... Want to?" She blushed again, how nice it was to meet a person who wasn't afraid. "Yes. Please."   "ῳɛƖƖ, ơʄ ƈơųཞʂɛ! ῳɛ'ཞɛ ʄཞıɛŋɖʂ, ąཞɛŋ'ɬ ῳɛ?" Were they friends? He wasn't sure what kind of grip on reality she even had, but she at least seemed kind. He also hadn't seen what could happen if anyone crossed her, either. The moon would have risen by then, if it weren't for the rain. It sure was coming down, wasn't it? He was going to have a long night ahead of him.   Friends, the most magical of words! Her eyes sparked with life and she seemed to focus on Platae for the first time.
"Friends. Of Course. We are... Aren't we?"


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