Maddy In Dunderland

<Nemi> It's the afternoon, just after classes, and Mads- after getting permission to head into town- has arrived at a particular diner in search of a particular woman with a particular hat. Agent A, or whatever. Mads knew she'd forget. She /knew/ it. She knew the place, the appearance, but not the /name/. Argh. She pushes open the door after taking a deep breath and steps on inside. Her
<Nemi> nice grey fitted peacoat and floofy white scarf should hopefully help prevent her from shivering too much.
<PrinceGoldFish> It does not take anytime for Mads to spot a woman matching dream man's descriptions. She is a slim looking red head with a green hat on. The woman is wearing sunglasses and demurely drinking coffee, looking like she is too good for this crappy 50s style diner.
<Nemi> Okay. Green hat. Mads walks over, wary of who all is present while not trying to look it- being an anxious little thing helps with that- and she slips into the seat across from the woman. "Hi, um,-" Her voice is quiet. ".. Agent A?"
<PrinceGoldFish> The woman, if she is the one Madeline is supposed to talk to, is not all to pleased with Madeline. In fact the woman /slowly/ turns her head toward the girl, clearly death staring Maddy behind her glasses. "Excuse me?" She said, her voice filled with an extreme level annoyance. That goes beyond the annoyance a normal person would feel if randomly called on by some girl.
<Nemi> Mads tries to do her best to shrink into the seat, eyes getting big. She doesn't say anything for fear of putting her foot in her mouth /again/, or worse.
<Nemi> Then she finds words. Rather than try to explain herself, all that comes out is "Iiiii sorry I'll.. I'll leave you be."
<PrinceGoldFish> The woman looks on at the exit, she is considering leaving. She sighs and looks back at Madeline, seeing that she has the courage to at least take a seat. She's gonna give the girl a little break. "Do you know who sent you?" She holds her hand up, trying to get the girl to stay
<PrinceGoldFish> "And say it quietly." she says in a much calmer tone of voice.

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<Nemi> Madeline swallows air and shakes her head. Still whispering, "He um, didn't give me a name I remember but um, he seemed to be in charge and like.." Great work, Madeline. Already messing it up entirely because, put on the spot, your brain shuts down.
<PrinceGoldFish> The woman purses her lips, losing patience and losing it quickly. "Madeline," She gives a wry smile. "Explain to me." She takes a sip of her coffee. "Why do you want this."

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<Nemi> "I.. want to be able to do something to /help/ and like, make things better instead of like.. it's like they're designed to cheat and steal and lie and I can't /do it/.."
<PrinceGoldFish> The woman sighs and she looks at the exit again. "I feel generous." She gets. "Follow me." She begins walking toward the exit, leaving her coffee behind.

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<Nemi> Mads trembles where she is, taking a moment to rise and follow the woman. God, what is she /doing/? What made her think this was a good idea? Still, she follows.
<PrinceGoldFish> She swings her purse behind her back as she walks, not saying anything to Madeline. She takes odd turns, walking around, sometimes circling a block twice. Mads is not quite sure where they're going.
<Nemi> And that, on thought, is likely the entire point of the exercise. To confuse and obfuscate. It's a good way to keep secrets, especially when you're trying to do so with a nervous teenager.
<PrinceGoldFish> Anndd with a very sudden movement, Agent A changes direction and within a few seconds the two are in the forest. She still keeps up her odd movements "Madeline," She says in a calm voice. "His name is the Velvet Man. You were supposed to say that he sent you."
<Nemi> "I—" She hesitates as her tongue gets caught in her throat. ".. I knew that but I.. forgot and.. s-sorry.." She averts her eyes, just.. follow the woman's feet. Don't worry about being in the forest. You're such a /fuckup/.
<PrinceGoldFish> Agent A takes a few more turns before finally stopping /deep/ into the forest, right on the edge of the zone of control. She takes off her glasses to reveal she has no normal eyes. Her eyes are iridescent orbs that seem to reflect all the colors and swirling them around like a mixing pot. "Here is a good spot," She says facing Maddy as she begins to dig through her purse.
<Nemi> Mads stares in wonder. So /that/ is what the Velvet Man meant by eyes that reflect all you see.. She stands there, numbly, watching the woman do her thing.

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<PrinceGoldFish> Agent A takes out a clear glass vial filled with a dark that seemingly reflects colors just like the woman's eyes. "So, here you are. Once you drink this it will start you on the path. It will begin to eat away at your afflicti-" She's done this many times and practice has made her fumble. "Your power."
<Nemi> ".. feels like an affliction to me so." She doesn't continue that thought, instead staring at the vial. Mads bites at her lower lip and nods.
<PrinceGoldFish> "Once you drink this vial, you will enter the dreamscape. It will begin to pull things from your mind and arrange them in unique ways…. It's sorta like a bad trip."
<Nemi> Mads had interdimensional weed with Kat before! It was bad. This can't be /too/ bad, can it? She swallows air again and nods. "Okay. I can- do that."
<PrinceGoldFish> "I'll allow you to drink up, but please remember this is your last time to turn back. If you need a moment to think I will allow it."
<Nemi> Mads nods. What /did/ her power do? It was simultaneously the best thing to happen to her— the one shot of it, anyway- and yet the worst. It's why she had to be taken away from her old life, and yet it gave her the new one. But its time has passed. What more can it do for her, beyond hurt? She doesn't take long. She reaches for the vial.
<PrinceGoldFish> The woman, without argument allows Madeline to take the vial. "Good luck."
<Nemi> Mads nods, shuts her eyes- clamps them shut, even- and drinks the vial down.
<PrinceGoldFish> The drink taste heavy like she is drinking some sorta sweetly flavored liquid metal. It takes awhile to get it all done, but she manges. Instantly things feel wrong her stomach seems to drop a little and her heart skips a beat. The world around her begins to fade to black as she is forced to her knees.

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<Nemi> And to her knees Mads goes. Uuuuah. Drinking /mercury/. Mads, always prone to nausea, is on the verge of retching as she tries to steady herself with her palms to the forest floor.
<PrinceGoldFish> And that's not a forest floor anymore, it's a pastel green floor made of some sorta metal. In fact, if she looks up, she's in a small ten by ten by ten green room. It smells like cherries.
<Nemi> A green metal room, a big metal box, that smells like /cherries/. Mads is, at least presently, just /confused/. She rolls over to flomp onto her butt, wondering what happens next and trying desperately to contain her innards.
<PrinceGoldFish> She begins to hear a droning hum as she looks around. In a few minutes, just behind her, a black metal hatch appears. The room begins to smell like bad eggs and sulfur.
<Nemi> That's not a good smell. That's a /things are going to catch fire/ or /things are full of natural gas and you're gonna die from carbon monoxide poisoning/ smell. Mads scrabbles across the floor to the hatch and tries to wrangle it open.
<PrinceGoldFish> Annddd nothing. The door leads to a black abyss of nothingness. She looks down she sees nothing, up nothing, forward nothing. It's all blackened. Her Nausea gets worse, the humming gets louder, and the smell changes to something more similar to burning coal.
<Nemi> It's either sit in the green room and presumably die of smoke inhalation or go forward. Mads wonders why she ever put herself up to this. Was it really that bad to make this kind of risk? Still.. She shuts her eyes again and flings herself blindly into the abyss.
<PrinceGoldFish> Welp, Mads is currently falling in a black abyss of nothingness. The only sensation she has is air hitting her face. There is seemingly no end to this giant abyss. Her nausea somehow gets /worse/
<Nemi> Falling does strange things when you have nothing to reference your fall. Sure, the feeling's there, and her stomach's trying to creep up her throat, but without the disorientation and terror it's more like… just floating in freefall with a greater urge to vomit. Is this it? .. Is she dead? Mads deeply hopes not.

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<PrinceGoldFish> Within a few minutes, a familiar and warm figure appears next to Madeline. Falling with her. "Hello Madeline." It's the Velvet Man from the Sandara Fundament. Wearing his hokey looking Victorian get that flaps as she falls as well.
<Nemi> "Um, um." Mads opens one eye and shuts the other, one hand to her mouth and the other arm about her abdomen. She looks about as sick as she feels falling through the void. ".. hi."
<PrinceGoldFish> "Doing well? I see we're falling through a abyss." He says in a totally calm voice. Like it was something super casual and only somewhat interesting.
<Nemi> "Um.. nnno I feel really sick and.. yes.. falling, abyss."
<PrinceGoldFish> She chuckles. "You're doing well Madeline. You've shown your bravery by drinking the elixir of dreams and uh.." He looks down and up, doing a solid 360 spin. "Falling."
<Nemi> ".. oh. So like, what's this part? The um, test of .. patience? .. stomach?"
<PrinceGoldFish> "No, it is not like that, Madeline. This is all just a part of the process of becoming one of the dreamweavers, being infused with the dreamscape. You shall see the fruits of your efforts soon. I must be going soon so if you have any questions please ask before you're on your own again."
<Nemi> "How long am I gonna be in here? I feel /sick/." Straight to the point, this one.
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<PrinceGoldFish> "Hmm you see it should be-" He is cut abruptly as he disappears in smoke and it seems there will be soon be an end to our deer Madeline's falling conundrum. She falls through a hole filled with light in the abyss and she begins to slow down, becoming light as a feather. She feels oddly limp, still able to move her body but not as easily. She is laying on what seems to be a pile of empty bodies that all look
<PrinceGoldFish> like previous iterations of Madeline, including when she went by Maddox. There are other fallen husk bodies on the floor that look like students. If she looks around she's on a giant bed in a giant generic looking dorm room.

<Nemi> There's .. quite a lot of bodies there. If it's what Mads thinks it is, these must be.. All different hers-that-once-were. Mads is disgusted and horrified both- both at herself for doing such a thing to people, just copying, stealing.. and at the fact that she's trying to climb out of the heap of bodies. She wants to throw up. She nearly does, once she manages to wriggle free and
<Nemi> reach the edge of the bed.
<PrinceGoldFish> There are other miscellaneous people, students, strewn about on the bed. It takes a few seconds for a figure to come into the room. It's Katlyn! And she's giant! Well, normal sized compared to the rest of the room. mads and the other empty bodies are just tiny and doll-sized. The giant!Kat Currently does not notice Mads as she just entered.
<Nemi> What. Is the room itself recognizable as being anyone in particular's? Where she is, Mads tries to get Giant Kat's attention, hopping in place and making little shouts. That she loses her balance and trips over with dry heaves is a little sad side effect.

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<PrinceGoldFish> Nope, it's just a generic room clearly not Kat's. Giant Kat turns around and looks at at the poor fallen Madeline with curious eyes. Her mannerisms and movements are a odd caricature of Katlyn's.
<PrinceGoldFish> Giant Kat pokes Madeline, crushing her a little bit under the thing's weight.
<Nemi> ".. aaagh oww don't " Mads is pressed down into the mattress surface, and actually /does/ near throw up. "Please! Don't do that!" She cries as loudly as she can.
<PrinceGoldFish> Giant Katlyn tilts her head and picks up Madeline, with both hands, staring at the girl intently and getting a odd and sinister looking smile on her face.
<Nemi> Giant Katlyn did look strange. And the Katlyn Mads knew wouldn't do that sort of thing
wouldn't have that look. Would she? Mads squirms uselessly in the grip.

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<PrinceGoldFish> Katlyn brings Madeline over to a drawer, still holding her tightly. Within a matter of moments, Madeline finds herself wearing a long flowing white princess cut dress uncomfortably over her normal clothes she's wearing. She is placed atop while Giant Kat is rummaging through her drawer, presumably looking for more clothes to put on Mads. The door to the outside is cracked open. Madeline does not have a
<PrinceGoldFish> straight shot, especially because of the small fall she has to endure, jumping from the drawer onto the floor, but it's possible.
<Nemi> Mads spends a few moments getting her breath once Giant Katlyn puts her down. Okay. Princess dress over her coat and scarf. Not so good. Small fall.. Also not good. Hopefully she'll fall like a small thing does and not get hurt too much. With Giant Kat so distracted, she'll jump off the edge, trying to land in a roll so as to diffuse any impact force, and run for the hallway.

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<SirGoldFish> Madeline, manages to get down without much of a hitch. Her smallness and extra cushioning from the dress allows her to only suffer from some mildly shocked knees. Beyond the door there is a long normal sized hallway that branches out. It is similar to the green room with it's odd metal structure except it's a pastel blue that occasionally flips to purple. The room smells like the cafeteria.
<Nemi> Mads's knees hurt and she still feels sick, both at seeing those bodies- her /discard/ pile, to be cruel and simple- and at the sight of the grotesque Katlyn parody. All there is now is the desire to /go/. She plods forward, soft shoes quiet on the multicoloured metallic floors. Cafeteria. She has no appetite, not now.
<SirGoldFish> There are two hatches Mads can go through. One on the left branch of the hallway and the one on the right.
<Nemi> Do they correspond to any colour in particular?
<SirGoldFish> No, they're both black like the previous hatch.
<Nemi> Mads goes for the left. She's left-handed. Good enough logic, right? May as well. May as well…

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<SirGoldFish> The left door opens to a vast white desert in the midsts of a sandstorm. It is similar to the one she saw while visiting the Sandara Fundament.
<Nemi> Well. At least Mads is unlikely to burn in the sun, much, now. Still, it doesn't hurt to see what choices are available. She'll look over her shoulder, to make sure the Giant Kat isn't following, and hurry over- stumbling on the way over the stupid dress and stupid skirts and her own shaking knees- to try the /right/ door.
<SirGoldFish> The hallway is too small for giant Kat to follow in. The right door opens up to a prison cell. Filled with a shity bed, shity toilet. The only thing interesting here is the fact that the cell door is open.
<Nemi> Hmm. Hopeless desert remniscent of the Fundament, or a prison cell wide open and leading.. where? Curiosity draws Mads onward. She climbs into the right door, and will peer on outside the open door as she does.
<SirGoldFish> Rows of cells and a door labeled "EXIT" The cells are all filled with various students from Sunnybrook. Some she knows personally, other she's only seen passing by. Regardless, they all look miserable as they meander around their cells. None have noticed the girl since she's not yet walked out to the hall.
<Nemi> Do the doors have locks? For that matter, when Mads peers into the hall, does she see keys- or better, a control panel to control the whole cell block? Because if she's gonna make a jailbreak, she'll at least try to take her friends with her.
<SirGoldFish> All the cell doors have locks on them, she sees no sorta control panel or way to free her friends. Just one straight /long/ miserable hall to the exit
<Nemi> Mads thus shuts her eyes a moment to compose herself. It's not real, all the things she's seeing. Just bad dreams. Trials. She was sick to her stomach, sure, her knees ached, yes, but.. that's the point. She steps out into the hall and starts to walk, eyes forward, marching bravely on.
<SirGoldFish> And it is at that moment as the brave Mads walks down the hall that /all/ of the prisoner's vision. "Why are you here?" One students mutters, just loud enough for Mads to hear. "You should not be here." Another student says, clearly dead on the inside. "You're awful." One of the prisoner's says. "You're just putting on a show." Someone says, disconcertingly close to Madeline's ear. It is at this point where
<SirGoldFish> Mads will notice the hall is getting longer and longer as she walks. Like she was on some hellish treadmill.
<Nemi> Just echoes of the rumours she endured for her first month in a half. They're hollow and empty. Like her stomach. Just focus on the things that are tangible. The ache. The nausea. Not the false hall, not the glowering faces. You can do this, Madeline. You just need.. DETERMINATION.

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<SirGoldFish> Mad's DETERMINATION seems to be working as she is able to make some progress through the hall, but the words persist like the beating of some awful drum. "What, couldn't get someone to love you without changing everything about yourself?" "Is anything about you even real?!"One shouts out as the voices begin to become angrier and angrier. "Do your parents know about any of this? "Taking advantage of a mute
<SirGoldFish> French girl whose fucked in the head? Really?" "Do your friends even know the real you?"
<Nemi> She keeps walking. "/I/'m real. I'm /me/. And I took advantage of /nobody/. And if you can't understand that, you don't /deserve/ me." If anything, one could argue that, at first, Kat took advantage of /Madeline/.
<SirGoldFish> The more she speaks the closer and closer she gets to the exit. "Why do you even bother?" The twisted versions of Sunnybrook kids all hiss at the girl to make some final last ditch effort. She'll have to answer to continue on.
<Nemi> "Because I've come too far to /give up/!" Even if it seemed she had no future of her own— that wasn't the way. She had her friends. She had her family. Her future might be in the hands of the GWU, but it's still /hers/.
<SirGoldFish> The prisoners all nod and well, they drop to the floor, to sleep. Mads won. She has won against the creatures that took the form of her friends. She makes it to the exit door.
<Nemi> And there, Mads will step on out, into… Where? Somewhere? Some time?
<SirGoldFish> And, she jiggles the door. It's locked and she hears something similar to an intercom coming on. "Hello, hello." It's Agent A.
<Nemi> Darnit. Mads turns around. ".. Hello?" She calls into the corridor.

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<SirGoldFish> "Yes, this next part… you'll need some help here. I want you to dream your way to the solution."
<Nemi> ".. Okay." Mads isn't really sure how to go about this. Like lucid dreaming, then? So.. just gently guiding things so perspective zooms out from herself and things get weird and she walks through the keyhole like it's a door itself and basically have it all get weird due to /dreams/.

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-Global- [Network Notice] Azhure (Nymphetamine) - send We apologize for the netsplits! Everything should be back to normal now.
<SirGoldFish> And then, there lays Madeline. In the real world. She is laying against the great sunnybrook wall. Sunglasses over her new set of iridescent dream eyes, a feather boa around her neck, and some strange black liquid coming out her mouth.
<Nemi> "… oooouuugh /god/."

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