Welcome to Refurbished Writing, a series where I revise and polish the old web stories that I originally worked on for this website (two years ago).
The following story was originally created for Enchoseon.wordpress.com from late 2016 to really early 2018 and it was re-discovered and polished over the span of a few days.
I tried to keep it as close to the original as possible while removing a lot of junk. (I kept the original cringe chapter names).
If you are one of the 1,129 people who read the series on my old WordPress, I congratulate you on sticking with me for so long.
About Project 11
Project 11 was a placeholder name for the main web serial I wrote on Enchoseon.wordpress.com. Unfortunately, I tore it down when I changed gears and began writing blog posts on Enchoseon.com instead.
It has a fond place in my heart, but its still very messy and lacking coherency.
This web serial was created back when I was playing Va-11 Hall-A, an awesome VN that you should go play right the fuck now.
I used a lot of characters and things from Ysbryd Games’ stuff (eg Read-Only Memories) because of how much I love them.
This story was NOT created as fanfiction and does NOT fit into the plot of Va-11 Hall-A or any of the worldbuilding. I built the entire world from scratch and threw in things I liked as a reminder of what got me started.
I still haven’t completed Va-11 Hall-A. I hope I get the free time to play it again soon. It’s been about two years since I stopped playing. I really want to play it again and actually reach a single goddamn ending. However, I haven’t found any time in the past two years for me to fully chill and enjoy playing it. I really shouldn’t hold this off for much longer, because I guess its only downhill from here ;C
This is chapter 1 of 4. I have yet to finish going through Chapter 2, so for now this is Chapter 1, and Chapter 1 only.
Chapter 1: Glimmering City
December 20, 2998
The slow patter of rain echoed through the city. Every drop glistened and sparkled in the night air before hitting the pavement. The fiercely bright city lights illuminated the sky in a plethora of bursting colors. A thick blanket of multi-colored clouds blocked the moon.
Sparkling with the rain, damp concrete became a meaningless grey blur. The wet ground created a phantasmic reflection of the sky.
Light fog enveloped the streets and bitter winds blew. It was silent. The thin haze played with distance and light—Twisting it, blocking it.
Footsteps echoed. The figure took a shuddering breath as he stepped out of an alley and onto an empty street.
He took an apprehensive step forward followed by a shaky gasp. Shuddering, he leaned against a wall. A billowing gray cloud of vapor left his hood. Shrouded in the dim streetlamp, he spun around slowly, gazing in awe of the vibrant colors far above his head.
He wasn’t sure of many things at that moment, but he knew one thing for certain: My hands are about to freeze off.
He smiled, and began down the street.
As he walked, the pitter-patter of the rain grew louder. Neon signs flickered and shook.
He increased his stride.
Raindrops collided with the ground, forming a low monotonous ring that vibrated the air with power. The vibrations reached deep into his chest.
The rain grew into a downpour, and the vibrations deafening. The man continued, faster and faster. His shoes clicked with the concrete with each step. His ragged breath became more erratic and clumsy.
His thin shoes were soaked. Their cloth changed to a darker shade in the rain. The rain sparkled with the sky and slid around the edges before splattering against the floor.
Thump. The noise reverberated through the street. The figure stopped and lost his footing, both of his feet skidding forwards a few inches.
He slowly spun around, searching for the source of the thump.
Thump thump. On the other side of the street was a small window. The sign above it read out in bright red, “Dana’s Eatery and Bar”. The sign had nearly gone out, it was dim and slowly flickered, buzzing louder than the rain.
A girl sat by the semi-circle window wearing a small blue bow. She waved at him.
Something about her struck the man as peculiar. She waved at him through the glass before pointing to her right—At the entrance. She beckoned eagerly and sat down, watching intently. Her hazel eyes sparkled with the rain.
She got up again. Thump thump thump.
“Alright, fine” he mumbled.
The man went over to the entrance. The rain pelted him with heavy stinging drops. The large metal door towered above him. Rust covered most of the door and the paint was peeling, or was it the metal?
He groped around in the darkness for a latch or lever, but couldn’t find one. Crouching down, he tried feeling around in the shadows near the bottom of the door.
He stood up, but tripped and slammed his face against the metal. The door budged and began sliding slowly to the right. It screeching and clanked, creating a cacophonous ring. A warm beam of light flowed out of the doorway and welcomed him.
Without thinking, he dashed in.
Better than the rain, he thought.
Once inside, he pulled down his hood and peeled off his jacket before hanging it around his arm.
He was in his twenties. Black-framed glasses were perched on his nose, they had tiny water droplets on them. He took them off and wiped them with the inner part of his jacket. He carefully surveyed the bar, but could only see dimly lit shapes and patterns.
He put his glasses back on.
There were a few people sitting at the front, but they were busy talking among one another and hadn’t noticed him enter. The door, without warning, slid shut with a loud clang, closing off much faster than it had opened. Startled, he stepped forward instinctively.
A jukebox in the corner of the room softly played, drowning out the muffled sound of rain.
To his far-right sat the girl who had been waving at him through the window. She was sitting at a table by the window. She waved at him frantically, mouthing something excitedly.
He walked over to her and pulled out the chair opposite from hers. The rain pounded against the glass silently. He picked his jacket off his arm and draped it around the back of his chair. The tension in his shoulders eased as he let out a long sigh. His hands were numb and ached, but he was glad to be out of the cold.
The girl looked at him for a few seconds with a blank stare.
A multitude of worries flashed through his mind at lightning speed. But, before he could finish, she began speaking.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Lilly!”
The man stumbled over his thoughts before replying. “I’m Brand”.
She leaned across the table and gave him a small tablet.
Brand looked at the text and discovered he couldn’t read it. Shit.
Lilly shyly took the tablet back, “Um, so… you weren’t looking for this?”
He replied, unsure, “Yeah.”
She fell back into her chair for some time. “I’ll get you a drink to make up for this.”
He pushed his chair back and stood up. “No—I’m sorry. I’ll be going now.”
“It’s fine! It’s on me!”
A flash of lightning briefly filled the room with blinding white light.
A rumble of thunder followed in quick succession. The floor shook violently, throwing Brand off-balance. He stumbled over his chair in surprise and landed flat on his back. Black dots filled his vision. He blinked a few times.
Glass clinked and liquid sloshed. Brand glanced through the window and saw yellow sparks.
“Look’s like the storm is really picking up out there” stated one of the men sitting at the bar. He had been in the middle of a sip, his white t-shirt was stained dirty yellow.
A black sheet of metal slowly descended over the entrance door, whirring loudly.
“Attention all customers, we are currently going into lockdown due to the thunderstorm” Jill announced.
“They didn’t tell us there was going to be lightning!” complained one of the men sitting at the bar.
“Hey Jill, how long is the storm gonna last?” Lilly asked.
Jill wiped some spilled lemon zest into her hands, “I reckon it’ll be a few hours, the ones that creep up on you always are,” she threw the zest into a bin and wiped her hands on her apron, “You want anything?”
“Yup! Two Sugar Rushes please!”
Brand exhaled sharply, not realizing he had been holding his breath. He stood up and sat back down on his chair.
“Do you know a place I can stay for the night?” he asked.
He waited for her to elaborate on this, but got nothing.
Lilly stood up and walked over to the bar and returned with two highball glasses.
“Try some, it’s good!” She handed him a glass.
Brand stared at the glass. It was filled with a pink slush.
Lilly watched him intently through her glass.
Feeling pressured, he took a small sip and discovered it tasted like strawberries. He couldn’t hide his interest and took another, realizing that it tasted like sugar. He took another, and another.
Feeling a small hint of relief, he took a final refreshing gulp and rested his head on his arm, staring at his reflection in the glass. Lilly followed suit, and they stared at the rain streaking down the glass.
Brand felt waves of drowsiness wash over him. The ethereal rain slowed with the music and the lights began to dim. His eyelids became heavier and heavier, until he finally closed his eyes.
Soon he was fast asleep with his face on the table. The rain outside slowly dissipated and the metal barricade began to roll up. The storm was over.
Lilly curled her hands into a small fist and lightly knocked on Brand’s unconscious head. When that didn’t work she clenched her fist and applied moderate force.
He sprung up. “What the—”
“You wouldn’t wake up.”
Holding back a grimace, Brand reached around his head, “Wait, where are my glasses?”
Lilly gave him his glasses. “From the way you were turning, you almost crushed them.”
He put them on, “Thanks.” He blinked a few times and looked through the glass pane, “Hey, the rain stopped!”
The clouds outside had thinned out and a tiny bit of sunlight streamed through. It was still early, but the city was coming to life as people churned through the streets.
Lilly burst out of her chair, “Oh, I know!”
“Let’s go get something for breakfast!”
I don’t have any money.
Lilly grabbed his arm and dragged him out the front door, “Bye Jill!”
It wasn’t bright outside, but Brand still held up his hands to shield his eyes from the sun. Lilly weaved through the crowd as he stumbled after her, desperately trying to catch up.
Why am I following her? I should just run.
Lilly turned around and smiled, “Over here!”
She took a sharp right and began dashing down the street even faster than before.
Lilly quickly came to a stop in front of a door. “Here!”
The door was a plastic shell that mimicked wood and had dull green paint. A brass plate above it read, “Pastries & Confectionery Emporium.”
Lilly stepped behind Brand and propelled him into the bakery, “C’mon slowpoke.”
The spongy cake bounced around on Brand’s spoon as he tried to take a bite. It jumped off his spoon just before he could take a bite and dove onto his pants. He picked it up with his thumb and forefinger before popping it into his mouth.
Lilly lifted her fork and pointed at him, “That’s gonna leave a stain.”
Surely enough, there was a small brown stain on his black slacks. He grabbed a napkin and rubbed furiously.
Lilly giggled, “I told you to get the pancakes. But did you listen? Nooooooo.”
“Yeah, but those cost more” Brand replied, still vigorously wiping.
Lilly took a big bite of her blueberry pancake, “What’s the point of treating you to breakfast if you’re not even gonna eat? Jeez, I’ll just do it for you.”
She raised her hand, a waitress came over. “Excuse me, I’d like a plate of chocolate waffles.”
The waitress nodded, took a questioning glance at Brand and looked at Lilly with raised eyebrows, received no response, shrugged, and walked away.