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>You awake in a small office
>The calendar behind you says it's July 25th. You don't see a clock.
>You can't seem to remember a single thing after that.
>It says "Arcadia Police" with a badge number of 6594.
>You see a city that looks quite familiar. There are tall buildings as far as you can see, and looking down to the streets below you see a bustling metropolis. This is not Vitae, that's for sure. Suddenly, the name comes back to you. Of course! This is Arcadia City. Your old home. The place you... had to leave...
As your memory starts to return, you put on your glasses and find some papers in the desk. You see a lot of old case files. You open another drawer and find a black file, but before you can grab it a knock is heard from the door. "Hey, partner, you in?"
>You quickly stash the black file. "C-come in!!" you shout. The door slowly opens. A man sticks his head in the door. Suddenly, memories come rushing back to you. It's Ashton, your partner since you first joined the Arcadia Police!
"Hey, Kyou, get your coat. The Chief just got word from the squad over in Jianti Heights that there's been another..."
>"...Am I interupting something. Why do you have a file hidden under your shirt? ...poorly."
>"I don't think I'll ever get your sense of humor, man." Ashton closes the door behind him as you quickly put the file back in the desk, you'll have to remember to take a peek later. "Kyou," he starts, "I've got some bad news." He takes a second to collect his thoughts before solomly stating "There was another murder at Jianti Heights."
Some memories start to come back. Jianti Heights is the upper class district of Arcadia City. Recently, there's been a series of killings in and around the area, trademarked by their gruesomely bloody scenes. Although no body has been recovered from any of these killings, there was always a mural drawn in blood on the wall of the murder scene. We haven't been able to make sense of any of them, but we have been able to confirm that it is the missing person's blood. We are treating this as one serial killer, as all the murder scenes follow a specific pattern. "This time it was at the Jianti Chatteu. Two woman this time. Blood all over the place, some weird painting on the wall, it all matches up."
You think for a minute. Ashton sees you hesitate. "Want to head to the scene now or stop by Taya's desk and see if any new info is in?"
>You suggest you go see what Taya knows first, and follow Ashton down the hall. The Arcadia Police station is vast. If you wern't following Ashton it'd be pretty easy to get lost in here. You let your eyes wander and quickly glance over the window. As your gaze passes by them you notice strange looking clouds in the sky, but looking back they're gone. It must have been your imagination.
>You enter Taya's office, she is busy at her desk reading a report. "Oh, hey guys, what's up?" You ask if there's any new information about the killing at the Jianti Chateau. "I haven't heard anything. I've seen a couple people come and go that said they've had tips but I don't think anything substantial came out of it. The chief might know something, but I doubt it. I'll keep my ears open and see if I can help you guys out, though. Anything else?"
>You thank Taya and turn to leave with Ashton. As you begin to leave, you catch sight of a man opening a door. As your gaze catches him, your mind begins to race. Your heart beats faster. You break out in a cold sweat. You fall to your knees and your vision begins to fade and distort...
>A hellscape of shadows and nonsense dance in front of you. You struggle to make sense of anything, but as suddenly as it began...
"Hello? I asked if you wanted to take the rail or go by foot."
>You are unsure what happened, but decide that you don't need to worry about it right now. "We'll take the rail there," you reply to Ashton. Ashton nods and starts heading east. You turn your head slightly to follow him and notice the twelve story high rail terminal right next to you. Frankly you're amazed you didn't notice it before. Then you see the stairs. "A...awww."
>As you pass the halfway point, you spot a cloaked person sitting on the ground at the landing up ahead. "Don't give him any money," Ashton whispers to you, "You might want to help these lost souls, but some of them can be dangerous." You heed his advice and keep moving.
>The man shuffles and mutters to himself as you pass by. "He's keeping them from you..." This raspy voice sounds like it's coming from every direction. Ashton continues up the stairs, he must not have heard it. Do you turn back and investigate or keep up with Ashton?
>You hurry back down the stairs towards the vagrant. "Hello magic hobo!" you say with a smile and wave. The man shuffles back and looks down, ignoring you. "Hey, you started talking to me!" This hobo does not respond to your mighty logic. Annoyed, you start heading back up the stairs."The golden door..." the magic hobo starts. Finally, you think. You turn around and your gaze meets the hobo's. The world around you seems to fade away, leaving just the two of you. It feels like he is staring right through you.
>"So you finally feel like talking?" you manage to get out."The wolf attacks, the hawk unseen. They wish you harm. They do as he wishes. Here you will learn. The key to it all is here. The reason you returned is here. What you most desire... he is keeping them from you." the man replies, his voice coming from every direction. This... is getting kind of weird. You get the feeling this guy isn't just any crazy street prophet.
>You really don't have time to be doing this, you're on the clock after all. You turn to go back up the stairs. ...Huh. You could have sworn there were stairs here a minute ago. Glancing over each shoulder you see nothing but darkness in every direction. You start to panic. "Where are we? Why are you doing this?!" you yell at the prophet. He doesn't respond. You begin to get angry. You grab the prophet by his collar and lift him to his feet, knocking off his hood in the process. "Let me out of here!"
"I am not the one in control here," he finally mutters in an emotionless voice, staring ahead.
"Well then who is?"
"You are." You're taken aback by this, and let him go.
"Why can't I leave, then?"
"I do not know that. There is possibly something that you know you need to ask." Well then....
>"Okay then. What's this about a wolf and a hawk wanting to hurt me? What is it I most desire? Why did I black out when I saw Lightreaper in the police station? And on that note, why am I seeing people from Vitae in Arcadia? What is going on here?!" The prophet remains silent for a moment, unblinking. You open your mouth to ask again but he begins talking.
"The golden door. The Wolf and Hawk wish to impede you. You are a threat to him. You are the one he can't control. He has told you this."
"But wh-" you begin, but are interupted as the prophet continues talking.
"You do not know what you desire. And as such, I do not know. You are the creator of this memory world. You came back here to discover for yourself what you need to know. What information is needed to save Vitae, I do not know. The events of five years ago shall continue as they did that day. What you most desire is at the end. The answer to your questions is there. He is there, at the end.'
You really, really wish this guy would talk more clearly, but you think you are beginning to get what's going on here. You seem to be reliving your life five years earlier. Somehow recovering your memories in the process. Is that it, or is it something else? For some reason you get the feeling your time with the prophet is about to end. You'll probably only get one or two more questions in...
>"The golden door? The golden door?" the prophet begins to shuffle around strangely, laughing to himself. "The golden door is... the golden door!" You hear a loud crack. You see the world around you start to warp and fade. "The golden door is his end goal, it's what leads to what he wants...."
"Yeah, about that," you say, uncomfortably watching the prophet ramble and stammer about, "Who is 'he'?" The prophet stops, and begins chuckling. "He? You want to know about him? The one who wishes you dead? Well, simply put, he's..."
>"The Halcyon King."
>As these words escape his mouth, the entire world around you bursts and shatters. Arcadia slowly fades back. You look around but can find no trace of the magic hobo, and aren't sure what to make of what just happened. You think about what the prophet said, about this being a world of memory. You think about the wolf, and the hawk, and all these people who apparently want you dead. And what should you make of this "Halcyon King"? Can you even trust what just happened? Is everything the prophet said even true?
>A lot has happened to you in the last two days. From waking up in a snowfield, to stumbling on the city of Vitae. You recall being guided the mysterious hotel where a room was already rented, and awakening to being drafted into a murder case. The day cumulated in a violent attack on the city by a mysterious woman calling herself the Insect Princess. That's when you awoke here, in Arcadia. From what you can gather, you've returned here to find a clue in your past that will help you in Vitae.
"He is there, at the end." That's what the prophet said. The whole memory world seems to be leading up to something. What answers lie at the end of this road? There's probably only one way to find out...
>Still trying to make sense of everything, you decide the best thing to do is continue on with your day as normal. You finish heading up the final six stories of stairs. Exhausted to the point that your pretty sure you might actually die, you look around the train platform for Ashton. You both spot each other at the same time. "Hey Kyou!" Ashton says, jogging up, "Where have you been?"
>You and Ashton have a good laugh. "Well that certainly sounds interesting," Ashton replies, "I've been GUAAAAAAAAAAAGHUGHGHGHGH!!" Ashton explodes into a flurry of light and horror. My god, what have you done! You should have known better than to mess around with the past! A temporal anomaly has consumed Ashton's body and continues to grow!
>The unspeakable horror that you, specifically, are responsible for grows and begins to decimate the city. You hear the screams and cries of millions as their lives are devoured into the black infinity. The mistress of time is a cruel master. For you, who have broken her solemn rule, have doomed all forever. There shall never be light or happiness again, time itself collapses and reality becomes a bleak void of despair continuing forever in every direction. Way to go.
>"This is why I told you not to talk to the homeless, did he slip you something?" Ashton replies with a laugh. "Well, it's no matter. I got the tickets, but the next rail isn't going to be here for about fifteen minutes. Do you want to get a bite to eat or just wait on the bench?" Hmm.
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