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[personal profile] atma posting in [community profile] heroicrecords
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What will it be today, lucky contestant? Will you pick door number one, door number two, door number three, or trade it all away for what’s inside of the mystery box? For remember, the right choice will lead you to freedom, but the wrong choice will choke the very life out of you. You have no chance to survive make your time. Riches beyond your wildest dreams could be stretching out before your horizon and running out of reach right now, if only you would reach your damn hands out and grab destiny by the balls and shake and choke out what’s rightfully yours from its disgusting, greedy mouth, vomiting its gold and gems on the ground as you make do and fill your pockets with such and run off into the sunset to build that empire you always dreamed of.

Ayame and her girls had unlocked the boxes, and if we were any more lowbrow this would be the point to say that’s what she said, but it is literally what she said, and we won’t take kindly to your easy jokes here. We aim for a bit better quality here.

Inside lay bits and pieces of all sorts of stuff from a, well, bohemian nightmare, but they had not yet figured out yet it was Bohemian with a capital B as in you bet your tits. It was the usual menagerie of stuff one would find at My First Satanic Ritual, with a goat’s horn, a bit of a bloodied robe that had caught on a branch at some point and tore off from around some unsuspecting loon’s ankles, a corner of a paper with what appeared to be bits and pieces of ritual prayer written on it, and an empty Coke can, because hey, you get thirsty when you’re out there sacrificing yourself to the lesser good in exchange for all the power it can contaminate you with.

It really didn’t require a clue, not even a blue one, to figure out what had been going on here. Even over in Japan, the kids knew of all kinds of parties with corpses and whatnot even if they didn’t need their Oujia boards to do their dirty work to raise the spirit of the dead prom queen to like, totally get back at that bitch that stole your boyfriend. Katsuragi just knew from reading a few Wikipedia pages that the ones that America did resembled a death metal album cover more so than they did some angsty teen’s diary like she saw the other ninjas attempt sometimes. The fools, don’t they know what they could have summoned? Demons? Yoma? Demon yoma with huge tits and then Katsuragi has to go in and seduce er, she meant, subdue them all and it was so hard and she requires a gigantic paycheck and wait what was she talking about? Oh yeah. The fact this all looked like a Do It Yourself kit for making one of the covers to those CDs Atma liked so much. In fact, she’s pretty sure this was all on one of the covers. She’d have to cross-reference and double check that when she got home. Not that she disagreed with her taste in music, she had grown to love it in her own way herself, but it lacked a certain flair to it. But she was one to talk, throwing electric guitars in with shakuhachi and the like in her own battle music. Don’t ask her how she was aware of her own BGM; shinobi just worked like that.

At any rate, her and Atma began to finger through the items, clipped between their forefingers as they twirled them around and eyed them from every angle in every bit of light, pulling in a lamp and getting in as close as they could. Yup, these were definitely suspicious. But beyond spelling out a narrative that there had been some wannabes prancing about the forest pretending to dance around a Stonehenge in danger of being stomped on by a dwarf, it really didn’t say much. Like, who in this day and age goes all the way out to Bohemian Grove to do a Satantic summoning? Probably some Portland hipsters. Or maybe Marin County and its bored, rich elite. Fuck Marin County, like goddamn.

“Good work, girls.” Katsuragi finally said, putting the tense search party at ease, their posture going from rigid and cold and unmoving to almost slumped over and rubbery and warm in relief, not dissimilar to what happened to them after a long night romping around in one of the headmistress’ beds for, ah, shall we call it extra credit? We shall.

“Well, someone’s been having a bit of demonic fun without me. Though this robe feels cheap. I wonder if they have good taste in music. Maybe I can lend them some of my CDs for inspiration.” Atma laughed. “Well, I would if this apparently wasn’t our big clue as to whom may be trying to screw us over. If it winds up being a bunch of devil worshippers, I have to wonder, don’t they know I actually like metal? Or are they just mad I have better taste than them? That can’t possibly be what this is about; nobody would go through this much effort just because you insulted their band, unless it’s a bunch of teen girls mad about the time I went on a tear about boy bands...”

“Oh come on, that’s a bit sleazy and cheap and easy, even for me.” Katsuragi rolled her eyes in a rare show of any emotion beyond ‘wide-eyed adorable confidence with a dash of leering, bedroom luring seductiveness’. “If it was a bunch of teen girls we’d have heard giggling and our vision quest we had would have been a hell of a lot more interesting. And messy. And they wouldn’t have reported us to the news after.”

“You’ve been watching too much porn again.” Atma pointed, accusing her best friend of the worst of morals.

“Big talk coming from the one who self-published a bunch of original high fantasy erotica and put it on Amazon and bilked a horny and willing audience out of weed money.” Kat scoffed.

“Oh shut the fuck up, you bought them all, printed them out, and made me autograph them for you all. As Siofra. And addressed to your cleavage.” Atma growled. “How much self-insert fanfiction do you have of her and you now?”

“Guys! I, uh, mean girls! I mean uh, crap, um, teachers? Headmistresses? Can we please focus?” plead Ayame, one anime cutscene away from having a giant sweat drop forming on her forehead.
The two stopped just short of reaching their fists out to each other, not to punch the other, but to grab the other in the tit. You know, where it hurt and shamed the most. Both loved to reach out and grab some woman when they were happy, but these tendencies also came out when angry. Sometimes a boob is just a boob, but when you need it the most, it doesn’t matter what kind of desperation it comes out of. Sex calmed both of them down, even if they wound up bending each other over the war table in frustration and grinding it out, but this is not that kind of story, and that did not happen. At least, not in this tale. It probably did at least a few times in other stories, but if you came here looking for a place to say you came here, you can take your hat and coat and leave. Sorry to disappoint a potential audience, but gee you sure are patient if you’ve come almost twenty thousand words just to come. Surely your time and money and effort are better spent anywhere else. Porn’s as cheap as free, last any of us checked in on it.

“At any rate, these were found pretty goshdarn close to where we were camping out. You two do know where we happened to be last when you decided to relax a bit too much, drink whatever was in that tea, and started worshiping me as a giant mountain cat, right?” Ayame huffed.

“Well, uh, that’s not quite the kind of cougar I had in mind...” Katsuragi whispered under her breath before speaking clearer. “But, what is it? Where were we?”

Ayame turned to Atma, knowing she was from this area, raised and lived there most of her life, and quite well educated on all of her local lore. She had a deep and abiding love and loyalty for where she was, enjoying its bizarre culture and mishmash of stereotypes from poor to redneck to stoner, because hey, at least it was unique and it was pretty to look at. And she could confuse literally anyone else in the world if she started using Boontling, which had become almost a New Hanzo standard in shinobi codespeak. She knew it was serious of Ayame wasn’t consulting Kat, her more true beloved, first and foremost. She took this as a sign shit might be getting a little serious. Not that Ayame also wasn’t coming to love Atma in her own unique way, but she knew Katsuragi would always be a few levels above her in that rank every way. Not that she particularly cared, Ayame was a sweet girl, pretty adorable, and had a nice rack, but she wasn’t the kind of girl Atma would date long term. A kiss or a lay here with breakfast after now and again, definitely, but she was a bit too young and a bit too naive for the samurai.

“Hey, kid, what’s up?” asked Atma, fully aware that Ayame was legal but still. “You can answer Kat’s question, you know.”

“You know your stuff about this area, right?” Ayame began.

Atma nodded. “Well, yeah, it behooves one to learn about their home area, especially if they’re using it as a military base of sorts now, and are now also the official governing and ruling body of it.” She sighed a bit before continuing. “Enough, though. Out with it. You know I hate it when anyone beats around the bush, unless it’s, ah, the other kind.”

“...Yes, ma’am. We were camping by what you know as Bohemian Grove. I hadn’t ever really heard of it myself, maybe seen its name a couple times in local publications since I moved here, but I don’t know anything about it. But something tells me if anyone can shed light as to what that is or what these things might have in relation to it or why someone would bring that stuff there, it’d be you.”

Atma’s face went from curious and concerned to stern and just a slightest hint of frustrated. This was going to be a long and exhausting and daunting task, she knew it well, before she told them or anyone anything so many potential causes and situations began to swim about in her brain and none of them were anything particularly anything she’d want to face anytime soon, but it looked like they would have to if they’d want to retain their regal titles.

“Sit down, Katsuragi. Sit down, Ayame. Other girls, one of you bring us tea. The others can stay or not, but this is going to be something.” Atma began, pulling up a chair and leaning her chin against her hands, elbows on the table, fingers rubbing her jawline and temples a bit in contemplation.

“Bohemian Grove, or just the Grove, is one of the more legendary things we have hiding around where I was born. Most people know of it, but had no idea it was tucked away up there in the forests where the vineyards end and the river that waters them all begins. It’s a place of infamous renown and immense mystery, a lot of it still not known and can only be guessed at what went on there, and nowadays regulated to a pregnant quiet and intrigue that only something California born can really create.” Atma took a cup of tea from one of the girls and sipped, continuing. “In one of the deeper ends it lays, waiting, for someone to decipher what it’s all about. If someone’s been prowling around there, chances are it is very much for political reasons and I can only immediately assume it’s because of our status as the state’s new primary rulers. For you see, it was founded by our country’s greatest politicians and their well-to-do friends, a place where men could be men but none of that gay stuff, and plot and do whatever it was they wanted to do. There was a lot of secrecy and hush hush about what went on in it, and the list of members has many very recognizable names, though few of them are worthy of any respect from people like us nowadays.”

“So...What’s that got to do with demon summoning equipment?” Katsuragi pondered. “Like, it’s not any surprise to me this exists. Guys are guys. This is why I don’t care for them, despite the whole, you know, part where I’m gay. But even in Japan they’re like this and act like anything a woman touches is tainted for life now. So you had a bunch of bigwigs fucking around in your forest for man time. Like gee, that doesn’t sound gay at all to me nope nope.”

“Your sarcasm’s noted, Kat.” Atma smirked. “Well, the answer’s simple. Many believe a lot of what went on in secret there had to be Satanic or otherwise supernatural or paranormal in course. Demon summonings, Satantic worship, sacrifice, blood ritual, dark prayers and chanting. People then and now believed it to be a center of a lot of the world’s conspiracies, and a potential home place for the all time classic organizations that seem to crop up whenever these things occur, like the Illuminati or the Knights Templar. You get whacked out theories about this place ranging back from when people figured out it existed and why it did and then now with what possibly went on in there. Though nowadays we have more fun flavors of stuff to choose from to add to the mix, even if some of it couldn’t possibly exist back then, like chemtrails. Everything from aliens to lizard people to other notable Californian cryptocelebrity Bigfoot has had potential ties to this. The list goes on and on and on and it itself could support its own Snopes like site for quite some time.”

Atma chugged her cup and set it down nearby. “Honestly, I find it all amusing, probably for the wrong reasons, and now I’m wondering if what’s going on in part is because I never took it seriously beyond the fact it was amusing it existed so close to me most of my life. You know me, I tend to be unafraid of men of all sorts, especially those that benefit most from our central governments, even though the world tells me I should. They’re mortal, like me, and bleed the same as I do if it comes down to it, but perhaps, at least until this is cleared up, I should take it with a bit more earnestness, if even as just a potential battleground.”

“So you’re telling me just because some idiot rich white American guys played around in a treehouse scared of women for a while that every nutjob with an ability to type, not even form a coherent sentence out of it, thinks its some den of evil?” Katsuragi groaned. “I’m sorry, but that’s pretty goddamn stupid. Any veracity to it? There can’t possibly be.”

“Nobody’s ever proven anything, but this at least proves someone’s been playing around in that area believing this must be true and is trying to harness it for...whatever they’re attempting, and it involves us and they want us gone and to do so they need to...lie to the news and play around in forces they know not what they are, or at least with goats.” Atma slumped over, face resting in her arms.

“Well, on the plus side, we have something to do about this now.” Ayame tried to reassure the other two, patting Atma on the head this time for a change. “Come on, we have a starting point. Let’s see what we can find out about the items used, what possible ritual it’s connected to, and then confront the villains with proof so we can clear our names. The sooner, the better. You know I don’t like it when you two are down for long.”

“Alright, yeah, kid’s got a point.” Kat sighed.

“Scrolls with local information, especially pertaining to the demonic and otherwise supernatural are on the shelf to the left. I wrote it all myself so you all better be damn happy I took the time to do so before now.” Atma pointed and kicked back in her chair. “We’re gonna need food. I’m calling the girls to let them know what’s up and see if they’ll swing dinner on by. I’m fucking starving.”

“You always are, though. But yeah, I agree. Can we get ramen?” Kat beamed.

“You always do, so why not?

Phone in hand and one call to Hikage later, complete with potential dinner order and bank account information (it would be run up on the school’s tab, as it usually was), they found themselves circling the wagon, so to speak, and a few of the girls from the search party stayed behind to help as they gathered the books and scrolls and began to find out just what in the fuck was going on.

There wasn’t much time they could waste, and they were just happy they kept a few secret stashes of their favorite goods in place here just in case they were going to pull an all nighter like this. Porn, drugs, you name it, they were good to go. The floor became quickly lined with a pile of people in various layers of blankets and pillows and other things just to make sure their asses didn’t get too numb, or they had a place to crash once their brains couldn’t take a minute more of studying. If anyone didn’t know better, they would think this was a downright adorable, if albeit admittedly but honestly sapphic in nature, slumber party between besties.

“Hey Atma.” Kat beamed up as she rolled out a rather sizable scroll edged in red and gold leaf. She had the look of someone slowly getting a headache as she squinted. “Can I tell you something? Promise you won’t get offended.”

“Huh? Out with it, bimbo.” Atma leered over, peering darkly from the edge of the scroll she had.

Ayame stayed quiet, letting the two hash it out themselves. She didn’t always need to play emergency referee, after all.

“Your handwriting sucks.”

“Not as much as you do, lover girl. Not as much as you.”

It was going to be a very, very long night before the next dawn.
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