Your Best Friend: Are you alright, actually?

CoolGuy97: I feel weird.

Your Best Friend: Are you going to sleepover?

CoolGuy97: Yeah.


The first statue of many appears.


CoolGuy97: Goddamn, has that always been there?

Your Best Friend: Yes; it just moved into your line of sight.

CoolGuy97: I wish it had not done that.

Your Best Friend: Light's ahead.


Light is ahead, at the center of the ruins. It comes from a single gaslamp, burning brightly enough to cast shadows some 30 ft. Statues surround it by practically every degree. Their ivory faces are illuminated so that every crack and imperfection is as plain as day. Despite this, it takes them a second to notice the living among them.


CoolGuy97: Ah!   


She turns on her heel to face the center, coming all the way out from behind the effigy. CoolGuy97 pulls his fists to his body as if to protect himself, but the initial shock wears off and is replaced with recognition. It's Mädchen, equally shocked to see them. She recovers quickly.


Mädchen: I'm here every night, so don't ask.

Your Best Friend: Didn't ask.

Mädchen: I'm here because there's no light pollution and it's a great place to use the telescope. I'll have a whole sky map soon.

Your Best Friend: I don't care.

Mädchen: I wasn't talking to you.   


Four eyes scan towards CoolGuy97. He's on the verge of tears, but it isn't immediately obvious, and their attention is more focused on the silence than the cause.


Your Best Friend: He's freaking out. Had a moment down by the geyser.

Mädchen: Recently?

Your Best Friend: Yeah.

Mädchen: I felt that too. The waking up sensation?

CoolGuy97: Yes! What's the deal with that?

Mädchen: I don't know. It didn't...feel good. It was as if I'd been waterboarded, actually. Dread dripping off me. But I'm sure there's a pretty mundane reason for it.

CoolGuy97: Like what?

Mädchen: Sixpence just rolled in tonight.

Your Best Friend: No shit? Straight out of the psyche ward?

Mädchen: They weren't inpatient. I think they were just on extended vacation.

Your Best Friend: Fuck.

Mädchen: Yeah. Tread carefully, okay?   


CoolGuy97 feels once again that the conversation has lead away from him and turns back inwards. He'd have no way of knowing about Sixpence's return. It isn't an adequate explanation. But Mädchen's dread may be onto something. The future is tipping its hand; there's going to be excitement, in any form. The night air is still alive with it and maybe that's what stirs him.



CoolGuy97: Can you stand by the statue?

Mädchen: Hm?

CoolGuy97: Yeah. The composition is really good, I can get the moon in the shot too.

Mädchen: Don't.

CoolGuy97: But you look good.

Mädchen: How is that what you're focusing on? I'm covered in liquid dread.

Mädchen: You heard Sixpence is back, right? Your Best Friend is out here unarmed.

CoolGuy97: Okay?

Mädchen: So I don't want you to take my picture. I don't really appreciate being treated like a prop.

Mädchen: But I guess that's the only way you know how to treat anybody.

CoolGuy97: You're being weird as shit right now. We're friends. Obviously I care about you beyond appearances. I just thought the shot would look cool. I don't understand why you have to come straight for my neck out of nowhere. Where do you get the self righteousness? Why do you take every chance you get to put me down?

Mädchen: Because it's annoying and your weird Protagonist Complex is all I can see when I look at you. I don't want you to take my picture, okay?

CoolGuy97: I do not have a Protagonist Complex.

Mädchen: You absolutely do. That's why you drop anyone as soon as they stop being useful.

CoolGuy97: That's normal.

Mädchen: Grow up.

CoolGuy97: You grow up! No, whatever, I just remembered why I was avoiding you. Goodnight.