(Oreola) Mystery Death 02

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Important: __AngelHype_// is doing a limited edition mystery lure drop.

Oreola is cool about it, but also highly focused. She's hanging out in an alcove by Forensics, taking selfies and waiting for the countdown on her screen to reach 0. She just needs to be one of the first 69 people to complete the quiz and upload a selfie in order to enter her UBI in the queue for the announcement of the drop. She cut out of Digital Lock-picking class early to prep and prepare for this, and now she's already late to Victimology class, but there's important brand interactions potentially happening, you have to do a cost/benefit analysis.

From what they've been teasing on the TL it'll easily be more than worth it. If the rumor is true that this drop will contain a sneaker collab with Raminashi, then she actually medically needs to participate in it. Just, ugh. Ahhh. Ahhhhh.

The countdown is at 22 and Oreola's angles are ridiculously popping when she hears: something. A scream, shouting. Not the horror movie kind of well- delineated shriek but the deeper, gravely sound of someone experiencing horrific trauma.

She looks away from her screen, unsure if she really heard what she heard, and then there's another scream, a string of vowels that sounds like they want to be words, and then desks crashing and a low, heavy, thud. Something being thrown, something heavy and wet falling to the floor. It's close by and then she's up, running. There's nothing telling her what to do except her brain sensing something bad about those sounds, her skin immediately registering the sudden little mood shift that says things are different.

She rounds the corner and there are other people standing around, looking at each other, at their screens, just as confused. Then someone emerges from a classroom and immediately bends over, throwing up, and that's the direction. Oreola runs past them, into the classroom.

She can feel a weird heat, an energy, a deep well of fear/broken/incorrect before she even fully enters the room and see how completely covered in blood the walls and floor are, how there there's a boy, most of a boy, lying on the floor in a rapidly widening pool of blood, how there's a smell she doesn't recognize that maybe is the smell of new crime scene but feels like something different, something foreign. She shouldn't enter, she should stop and walk out and wait for the zonnys to prep the scene, but the boy blinks, the body on the floor is still alive, and then she's across the room in two steps and crouched down beside him, the blood welling around her Hysteralyne heels.

"Hey I'm here, talk to me, say something," she says, putting her hand on his face, trying to get his attention, trying to get him to look at her. She tilts his head, or it just moves with her hand, and a stream of blood spills from his mouth, through her fingers.

"What happened, please, tell me, you have to tell me what happened," Oreola says. "What's your name."

The boy's eyes move to meet hers and he tries to inhale, tries to speak, but nothing happens.

This is what happens: Oreola sees the giant, sucking wound on the boys chest. Part of his torso is missing, bitten, torn at. She sees deep, jagged teeth marks on his body, on his torn clothes, on his arms and what's left of one of his legs. She sees the body-shaped blood splotches on the wall and understands that something picked him up, in its teeth, and threw him around the room, as it was taking pieces of out him. She sees that he is still holding his screen. There are zonnys gathering on the ceiling. There are people crowded outside the door. There are zonnys gathered to watch her and more zonnys gathered to watch the people yelling, shouting things behind her. There are footprints that she doesn't recognize, blood tracked through the room in inhuman shapes. She can hear the blood coming out of him. She hears noises that she did not know bodies could make, nothing about this ever taught in any of her classes. Nothing about what to do in the moment before death, only after, only ever how to act afterward.

"I'm here," Oreola says. "Stay with me, help is on the way." She must have taken off her TrendsKill top because it's wadded up in her hands, she's pressing it against the wound on his side, and it's already blood-soaked, useless and impure in her hands. Blood is always so much deeper, darker, sticker IRL than it looks on screens.

She doesn't know what to do. She looks at the boy, whose eyes are everywhere, his body shaking, convulsing. He looks vaguely familiar, from somewhere. A show, a team, a class, a look in the hallway, it's something, he's someone.

"Please," Oreola says. "Tell me what happened."

And the boy's eyes move, and for the first time since she got there, he sees her, realizes she's there. "Monster," he says, and then his eyes are still looking rather but he's gone, the rest of him escapes his body and her arms are wrapped around a thing that used to be a person.

She looks around, not sure what to do with her eyes, aware on some level that she is seeing nothing, that she is seeing none of this, and on some other level that she's seeing too much, things she won't be able to unsee, things she'll regret seeing forever.

She places his head gently back down on the floor and looks at him. She's not coming back to this.

The zonnys are streaming into the room, closing off the scene. Oreola stands and the crowd parts for her, filming her as she walks out of the room and down the hall.

Maliquent & Dorkidoria are just walking up to the end of the line that's already forming to view the scene. Dorkidoria sees Oreola steps out of the line and and waves and says "Yooo I was texting you?" before actually seeing Oreola, in leggings and heels and bra, covered in blood, blood even on her neck and face and forehead, everything about her distant, gone, in a daze.

"omg Oreola what the hell."

Oreola only half registers her friends' presence. "Can you just," she waves back at the scene, at the line. "I'm," she motions to herself.

"Yes, it's fine," Maliquent says. "Just go. We can handle this."

Oreola nods, pauses, nods some more, and then keeps walking, away from the scene. Multiple zonnys are following her. She's mad and she's not sure why. Something about not wanting everyone looking at her. She's not even sure where she's going.

///

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