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The White Elephant in the Room Playground

IFBench

Rescue Team Member
Location
Pokemon Paradise
Partner
saltriv
He appreciated their comfort, though.
 

Tanuki

Friend of All Chu
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
"Stick with us, son. Ignore that guy, he ain't even old enough to be a dad."
“I totally could be a dad!” Zeke shouted. “Just because he wasn’t impressed by my paper doesn’t—or—because I haven’t wanted to go out with anyone yet, all right? I’m busy with school, so obviously it’d be irresponsible—my mom says I’m plenty handso—”

His eyes went wide before desperately trying to pretend to look normal again. “Work, I, right, the... math.” He opened his binder back up and tried to start writing. He sunk deeper and deeper into his seat and discreetly, repeatedly slapped himself in the face. “I don’t even want to be a dad,” he grumbled to himself.
 

Fusion

Exploring The Infinite
Pronouns
Him/His
“I totally could be a dad!” Zeke shouted. “Just because he wasn’t impressed by my paper doesn’t—or—because I haven’t wanted to go out with anyone yet, all right? I’m busy with school, so obviously it’d be irresponsible—my mom says I’m plenty handso—”
Lee chuckled and shook his head. "Keep telling yourself that, kid."
 

Tanuki

Friend of All Chu
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
Those sentences... Were the single greatest clusterfuck of pronouns she'd ever heard. In her world, it would've been an insult to refer to a deity as either mortal gender, or like an object. Yet Rally had done all three. In only two sentences.

All things considered, it was hardly the weirdest thing about this world. Or even the weirdest thing about Rally. Abigail just rolled with it.

"I see."

She really hoped the lift reached the top soon. And that it wasn't far to the summit from there. And that there was indeed something of value in this. Turning in the ski lift had been a complicated process requiring wrangling a number of sub-tasks. Logically, that didn't mean it needed to have some payoff, after all, many things were complicated and multi-step for no conceivable benefit, like dancing the macarena in rollerblades on a tightrope. Being complex and multi-step did not make something inherently worthwhile... Emotionally, she expected a payoff anyways, logic be damned.
They met the mountain's summit, and Rally gently lifted Abigail off the lift and up to the sky as he kneeled, offering up the human turned ralts as... something. He was holding her in the air. While he remained silent, his spirit filled the air. Warmth filled the air around them, even melting the gilded surface of the snow. For just a moment, it seemed the sky shined brighter, and then he stood. "Amen, baby," he said.

He stored Abigail under his arm and walked—with his skis on—over the tip of the mount. While several slopes slurried down the face of the mount, with plenty of signs marking their difficulty level, the opposite side had but one marked slope. He set Abigail down to stare in awe at the one massive double-black diamond marking the near vertical slope, peppered with trees, rocks, ice, and soul. Indeed, the sign's beauty was too much for Rally to gaze at directly, and he had to use his hand to block its Immense Glory.

"Baby doll," he started, kneeling down in front of her once more. "I ain't seen a soul with 's many slopes 's yours. Ain't no heartbeat streak down the mount like yours. You grabbed those skis and you went." He tore his eyes off her to stare into the Immense Glory of the Double Black Diamond long enough to shed tears. "I tell ya, I could teach any of those slips down there for years, and not one of them would touch your Inner Strength. Your spunk." He looked down to wipe tears off his eyes. "Your funky, groovin' bass pullin' the band of your arms and hands into the harmony, rhythm and rhyme of the song that is this slope."

He held both her shoulders like the last time a father would touch his child before sending them out into the cold, hard world. "You're gonna fly, baby doll." With that, he put her parallel to the slope and let gravity take her down. "You're gonna fly."

On a whim, Zeke looked to the top of the mountain and saw Rally standing alone. "Hm," he hummed. "Well, she's dead." He clicked his tongue a few times and went back to writing.
 

Tanuki

Friend of All Chu
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
"Gaaaawwwwds I fuckin' hate this universe."
Zeke nodded. "Yeah. Rally'll do that to you," he mumbled. He looked up to the sky and nibbled on his pen. "Y'know, nobody actually knows when his shop showed up. The resort's pretty young, but he's the only one that's ever run his shop. It's not even included in the blue-prints of the mountain." He tapped the pen against his temple. "My guess is the resort came to him." He shrugged and went back to work. "But hey, what do I know."
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partner
sylveon
Abigail stared at the slope, examining it. Under normal circumstances, she would, as a second time skier, never touch a slope of such difficulty. On the other hand, Rally had made it sound like the slope itself was based on her soul, so maybe it was safe, and worst case scenario she died, which meant she didn't have to worry about this anymore and therefore wasn't that bad of an alternative.

It occurred to her that she wasn't sure if she checked the summit, which was her original plan. She prepared to take on that task at right about the moment Rally pushed her. Great.

The slope started with a steep, steep drop. She wasn't sure if she was technically 'skiing' or 'falling.' Luckily, her new ralts body afforded her a lower mass, and with it a lower terminal velocity. Hopefully, that would be enough that she wouldn't end up offing herself as she hurled down what was debatably a 'slope,' and more aptly described as a 'cliff.'

She really wished she'd thought to ask Gen if she could borrow his reunion cape in case she needed to extract herself, but in her defence, she hadn't been expecting Rally to push her onto this assassination attempt of a ski hill.

Thoughts of Gen and his reunion cape were quickly squashed by a sudden g-force as she went from the steep cliff to a more reasonable grade. It looked like the designer of SkiFree had a night of hard drugs and decided to add way too fucking many trees. It occurred to Abigail that there may not be a ski trail here at all. Perhaps it was just a normal forest, and someone just stuck a double black diamond sign at the edge of a the cliff in order to see if anyone was stupid enough to try it.

It really was a shame that her family's life insurance company had gone bankrupt.

Eventually, though, something that was recognizable as a trail emerged. Someone had been kind enough to clear enough of the trees that she'd be able to see that she would hurtle straight off another cliff if she continued straight, and that the trees down one side of the cliffs edge had been cleared.

This was about when Abigail realized she'd forgotten how to turn properly. She pushed one leg out, but it did nothing more than widen her stance. In a better moment, she might've remembered that she needed to angle the ski in the direction she wanted to go, but such rational thought was beyond her at this speed.

Instead, she relied on the same thing she used to approach most problems: Trying to find a way to avoid having to solve them in the first place. Instead of working on learning how to turn, she grabbed as much snow as she could with her mental reach and shaped it into something that, if you squinted enough, looked like a half-pipe making a quarter turn. As her skis hit it, physics determined that it would be a lot easier to turn than to go over the mound she'd created, and kindly sent her in the correct direction.

When she landed, her skis were askew in a way that resembled how one would properly turn. While this conveniently reminded her of how one was supposed to ski, it also sent her turning too far, back uphill towards the forest. (Which, once her inertia ran out, would really just send her back downhill towards the cliff, but this time facing the wrong way.)

She did manage to correct the mistake. It might have involved a bit of cheating and reshaping the snow with her mind to guide her skis, but she had larger concerns than integrity on hand at the moment, and cheating worked.

She wondered how many times over she'd have died by now as a human. Enough that it would drive her life insurance company bankrupt all over again, she was sure. Still, acceleration and inertia was forgiving to the small, and telekinesis made things much easier. The end almost in sight, she was almost expecting to survive, until she turned a corner to see a tree fallen across the entirety of the trail. It was, for all functional intents and purposes... a dead end. She could see the bottom now, just on the other side of the tree. What a stupid spot to die.

Though her visit with Yveltal might just have to wait, for there was more cheating to be done. She formed the snow in front of her into a ramp, jump over the tree, and... couldn't resist the instinct to flail her limbs. In doing so, she managed to dig the tip of one of her skis into the ground, snapping off the front. This caused her to uncontrollably turn until she'd gone sideways, which incidentally was how she was supposed to stop anyways.

Inexplicably alive despite everything, she took off her three-quarters of a set of skis, plunged them into the ground in such a way that they stood up like the skier's equivalent of a head on a stake, and promptly collapsed, gasping for air to replace the breath she hadn't noticed she'd been holding.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partner
purrloin-salem
"Well, string me up. Holy shit, Abigail. Colour me fuckin' impressed."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partner
purrloin-salem
Jesse stretched out each part of his body, letting the smallest bit of tension out after gradually building up to a breaking point before he witnessed Abigail's feat of improvised skiing.

"We still gotta get a grip on this thing, y'all. Zeke, y'got a timeframe fer those calculations of yers? And Elbert, how are we feelin' on this 'Santa did it' theory we've been battin' about?"
 

Tanuki

Friend of All Chu
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
Abigail stared at the slope, examining it. Under normal circumstances, she would, as a second time skier, never touch a slope of such difficulty. On the other hand, Rally had made it sound like the slope itself was based on her soul, so maybe it was safe, and worst case scenario she died, which meant she didn't have to worry about this anymore and therefore wasn't that bad of an alternative.

It occurred to her that she wasn't sure if she checked the summit, which was her original plan. She prepared to take on that task at right about the moment Rally pushed her. Great.

The slope started with a steep, steep drop. She wasn't sure if she was technically 'skiing' or 'falling.' Luckily, her new ralts body afforded her a lower mass, and with it a lower terminal velocity. Hopefully, that would be enough that she wouldn't end up offing herself as she hurled down what was debatably a 'slope,' and more aptly described as a 'cliff.'

She really wished she'd thought to ask Gen if she could borrow his reunion cape in case she needed to extract herself, but in her defence, she hadn't been expecting Rally to push her onto this assassination attempt of a ski hill.

Thoughts of Gen and his reunion cape were quickly squashed by a sudden g-force as she went from the steep cliff to a more reasonable grade. It looked like the designer of SkiFree had a night of hard drugs and decided to add way too fucking many trees. It occurred to Abigail that there may not be a ski trail here at all. Perhaps it was just a normal forest, and someone just stuck a double black diamond sign at the edge of a the cliff in order to see if anyone was stupid enough to try it.

It really was a shame that her family's life insurance company had gone bankrupt.

Eventually, though, something that was recognizable as a trail emerged. Someone had been kind enough to clear enough of the trees that she'd be able to see that she would hurtle straight off another cliff if she continued straight, and that the trees down one side of the cliffs edge had been cleared.

This was about when Abigail realized she'd forgotten how to turn properly. She pushed one leg out, but it did nothing more than widen her stance. In a better moment, she might've remembered that she needed to angle the ski in the direction she wanted to go, but such rational thought was beyond her at this speed.

Instead, she relied on the same thing she used to approach most problems: Trying to find a way to avoid having to solve them in the first place. Instead of working on learning how to turn, she grabbed as much snow as she could with her mental reach and shaped it into something that, if you squinted enough, looked like a half-pipe making a quarter turn. As her skis hit it, physics determined that it would be a lot easier to turn than to go over the mound she'd created, and kindly sent her in the correct direction.

When she landed, her skis were askew in a way that resembled how one would properly turn. While this conveniently reminded her of how one was supposed to ski, it also sent her turning too far, back uphill towards the forest. (Which, once her inertia ran out, would really just send her back downhill towards the cliff, but this time facing the wrong way.)

She did manage to correct the mistake. It might have involved a bit of cheating and reshaping the snow with her mind to guide her skis, but she had larger concerns than integrity on hand at the moment, and cheating worked.

She wondered how many times over she'd have died by now as a human. Enough that it would drive her life insurance company bankrupt all over again, she was sure. Still, acceleration and inertia was forgiving to the small, and telekinesis made things much easier. The end almost in sight, she was almost expecting to survive, until she turned a corner to see a tree fallen across the entirety of the trail. It was, for all functional intents and purposes... a dead end. She could see the bottom now, just on the other side of the tree. What a stupid spot to die.

Though her visit with Yveltal might just have to wait, for there was more cheating to be done. She formed the snow in front of her into a ramp, jump over the tree, and... couldn't resist the instinct to flail her limbs. In doing so, she managed to dig the tip of one of her skis into the ground, snapping off the front. This caused her to uncontrollably turn until she'd gone sideways, which incidentally was how she was supposed to stop anyways.

Inexplicably alive despite everything, she took off her three-quarters of a set of skis, plunged them into the ground in such a way that they stood up like the skier's equivalent of a head on a stake, and promptly collapsed, gasping for air to replace the breath she hadn't noticed she'd been holding.
A chiseled statue shot down the slope behind her, changing poses without even an afterimage of the transitions between them. As it rocketed closer, it was in fact Rally flexing every single muscle on his body while flawlessly slipping down the slope. He leapt over ever obstacle Abigail dodged with uncountable flips while airborne.

He finally (and flawlessly) made it to the bottom of the slope while his delts threatened to burst from his ski-skin. It took a mountain of uprooted snow (that all covered Abigail) to slow him to a stop. Once he stopped, he started to applaud, slow at first, but faster and faster until it certainly had to be more than just him clapping and a minor avalanche started on the slope they'd just completed. The sound waves from his applause kept the avalanche from trapping them beneath, it instead forming a neat circle around them.

Tears welled from his eyes. "Doll, that was the crammiest, crommiest, most utterly bodacious performance under the sun. I ain't seen skiing that cromulent since my pa invented the four-sixty footless ski-shed." He knelt before her, head bowed, and placed an arm on (where) her shoulder (would be if she wasn't covered in a mini mountain of snow). "If anyone deserves this, it's you," he said, presenting a... crown? It was shaped like a crown, certainly, but made of gummy worms knit together, gummy bears acting as the gemstones bedazzling its surface.

Zeke stared wide eyed at her in abject terror. He couldn't manage a word even though his mouth hung open. "Kids," he finally mumbled.
Jesse stretched out each part of his body, letting the smallest bit of tension out after gradually building up to a breaking point before he witnessed Abigail's feat of improvised skiing.

"We still gotta get a grip on this thing, y'all. Zeke, y'got a timeframe fer those calculations of yers? And Elbert, how are we feelin' on this 'Santa did it' theory we've been battin' about?"
"Heh?" Zeke gasped. "Oh, right, no." He knelt down and pulled up an apparently hinged floorboard. He tossed a can of "Pop-Star" at Jesse, "You look tired, drink this," and pulled out a stick of chalk. "I still have a lot to figure out, but this should help us a bit." He started writing gibberish on the floor, now using much more punctuation. Right as he finished, the text digitized and started rapidly changing itself. "Right, there we go. Good, completely indecipherable. Mr. President, can you read this?" https://www.timeanddate.com/countdo...=1440&msg=End+of+the+Seventh+Day&font=cursive

"I'm not—whatever, yes. It's a clock," Elbert grumbled.

"Perfect, Mr. President, thanks for your service," Zeke said. "Good, it seems that fail-safe made it to this iteration. It's gibberish to us, but it looks like a clock to anyone outside of the space. If I had to guess, we have about...," he counted on his claws a few times. "A day, nineteen hours, and two minutes until nighttime, give or take." He tossed the chalk back into the compartment and returned to his binder. "It should feel like a normal day to us, but don't be surprised if you start feeling tired after twelve hours. Anyone got a watch?"
 

Fusion

Exploring The Infinite
Pronouns
Him/His
"Nope. None of the things I usually carry inside me is inside me. And I don't wear watches," Lee shrugged, although he was paying more attention to the grass gorilla speeding down the mountain side. "Who has the time to learn to ski properly..? Just fall down the mountain, it saves more time..."
 

Tanuki

Friend of All Chu
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
Zeke squinted at Lee for a moment before a nod of realization. "Right, you deal with children. Of course," he mumbled before going back to work.
And Elbert, how are we feelin' on this 'Santa did it' theory we've been battin' about?
"Well, so," Elbert mumbled. "There's a few problems. For one, as far as we can tell, Santa is definitely dead. He might be the most able, but not when he's dead. The North Pole still has his uniform, so clearly the Santa Clause has yet to be fulfilled. Even if Santa were somehow still alive, there's no motive. Also, just think of how ridiculous what you just said is, no matter how true it may be." He tapped his fingers against his desk. "Anyways, the Wii turned itself on, and it's complaining about how lonely it is with nobody to date."

Zeke silently capped his pen. Rubbing his temples did nothing to translate that last sentence into coherency, so he looked at Jesse, desperate for an explanation. "Did he just say that the Wii is lonely?"
 

IFBench

Rescue Team Member
Location
Pokemon Paradise
Partner
saltriv
Gen gripped tightly onto his Reunion Cape. So choosing Santa wouldn't be the right option...

He tensed up, as the Wii and its dating minigames were brought up.
 

Tanuki

Friend of All Chu
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
Zeke regretted having his back to the entrance. He yelped and hid underneath the table the second he heard Abigail’s voice. The table bolted to the floor, he couldn’t push it over to make it adequate cover—he fled behind Palkia. It might not be Pallister, but surely any palkia would be strong enough to defeat them. He told himself as much, if only to comfort himself.

These kids were everywhere, with no familiar face to defend him. How could he possibly get any work done with these abominations roaming freely? Maybe he could room with Sevanna. She would keep him safe.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partner
purrloin-salem
Jesse downed the energy drink with a grimace. It wouldn't help with the temporal bullshit, but whatever.

"Hey, thanks pal. Anyway, uh, hate to break it to ya, Zeke, but that clock thing ya got sure looks like a regular countdown timer t'me. Got about a day and six hours left on it."
 

Tanuki

Friend of All Chu
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
Jesse downed the energy drink with a grimace. It wouldn't help with the temporal bullshit, but whatever.

"Hey, thanks pal. Anyway, uh, hate to break it to ya, Zeke, but that clock thing ya got sure looks like a regular countdown timer t'me. Got about a day and six hours left on it."
“Yes, it may sometimes look like a normal clock,” Zeke said, still hiding safe behind Palkia. “But it’s only been a few minutes since I said we had nineteen hours and a day left. It’s a quantum link, changing every time and point in time we observe it.” Indeed, the next time Jesse looked at it, the “clock” was completely random gibberish that changed too fast to discern any pattern at all.

“It is always normal clock, but not while we look at it. You know,” he twirled his claws like he was explaining why two twos made four. “Standard ‘things change when observed,” basic kinda stuff. Elbert can see it without observing it, though, so it always looks like a clock to him.”
 
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