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[X] Force myself to not panic NO MATTER WHAT
I feel nauseous. This shouldn't be happening. Why is this happening? I'm vaguely aware of bullets flying around on the edge of my vision. Yeah, I must be losing it if I can't even keep that suppressed. I think Yuzuki is saying something to me, but I can't focus on it. This is really bad. That portal is our only way back to the moon, and we can't fix it. We only used the portal to get here, we don't know how it was set up. It's closed now. How are we going to go home?!
I feel like screaming, maybe fainting. Anything really. I thought I was close to panicking earlier in the day, but this is so much worse. I just know I'm going to freak out.
"Seiran." I feel a hand on my shoulder. I guess Ringo moved up to me, which is weird because I don't know what I was looking at if it wasn't her. What was I doing besides freaking out? Why am I like this? I need to calm down before I lose it. Now. My jaw hurts. Oh I'm clenching my teeth. My hands are also in pain. I'm gripping my hammer way too hard. Okay, stop. Breathe.
Yuzuki puts her hand on my other shoulder as I'm trying to get a hold on my breathing. I think having both of them here is helping actually. I know they're both worried about this as well, but they're not freaking out. I can do that too. I can not freak out. It would probably be a lot easier if I did, this is a pretty bad situation, but I know it's not going to be helpful or productive to panic. I just need to breathe.
"Let's... Let's go have a meeting." I suggest after another couple of minutes of just breathing. Ringo looks relieved and nods, which makes me realize she may have been more concerned about my reaction than she was about the portal actually being down. She's probably worried about both things though. I think. It'd be kind of weird if she wasn't.
Yuzuki lets go of my shoulder and takes my hand in both of hers. She pulls me slightly, which I appreciate, because my legs weren't very willing to move just because my brain was telling them to. As I turn around Ringo puts her other hand on my other shoulder and follows me out, just pushing me along a little bit. By the time I get to the small ladder to climb out of the bunker, I think I'm mostly back in control of myself, or at least my legs. Once all three of us have climbed out, I even help Yuzuki cover the entrance back up. We definitely don't want anybody making off with any of the parts that make up the base of the portal before it comes back on. Which is a thing that it's definitely going to do. Eventually.
Nobody says anything as we go back to center table and sit in normal seats. It feels a little awkward because the other side of the table is usually Sumi and Chiyo, while Ringo sits on the side, so Yuzuki and I are currently sitting next to each other with nobody across from us. Yuzuki doesn't seem to mind it though, which is odd. I guess she finds it more important to sit in her usual chair than to keep things symmetrical.
Ringo stretches her fingers to make them crack as she sits down. "Alright, let's calm it down a bit and get started then," She says, taking charge like normal. She'd usually have snacks set out at the table, but I guess she was too distracted by something HORRIBLE happening to get them ready for this one. "Yuzuki, I think I'll let you go up first."
Yuzuki nods just slightly, apparently prepared for this. "Chiyo and I... Left camp earlier today." She starts plainly. "In our defense, we wouldn't have made a difference to what happened, and it was also her idea. I do apologize for leaving without asking first, but when Chiyo left, I felt like I had to keep track of her as best as I could."
Ringo waves her hand dismissively to cut off the apologies and explanations. "Discipline and punishment and stuff will wait until we've got everybody back here. I'd rather just hear what happened so we can keep things going. Where'd you guys go, and why isn't she with you now?"
Yuzuki flinches just slightly at the mention of discipline, but nods again and continues. "I'm not quite sure what Chiyo's reason was, but she told me she was only going to be out for a bit. We all know that for her, 'a bit' doesn't mean anything, so I wanted to keep track of her. We seemed to just be walking around the mountain. I don't know if she had an actual destination, but it didn't matter. We got attacked by some youkai for no reason and she ran off while I was dodging danmaku."
"And you spent the rest of the day out looking." Ringo finishes for her.
"Yes," Yuzuki says apologetically. "I managed to avoid the spell cards until the youkai ran out of them, but it took a while.I had no idea where Chiyo went afterwards. She was way out of my range."
"Good job on beating that youkai though." I offer, trying to give her something to feel good about. I'm a bit surprised that she more or less won a danmaku duel. She doesn't even look like she had been in a fight. Her short ponytail isn't loose and the yukata that she always wears (for some reason) looks completely in order too. I guess she wouldn't let it be any other way though.
Yuzuki smiles slightly, but still tries to downplay it a bit. "Well I think it was just lucky how our powers matched up. She could flip things upside down or left and right quickly, but it wasn't instant or random, so I could still comprehend a pattern out of it even if my perspective was different. Her danmaku also weren't incredibly fast, which helped with the patterns as well."
Yeah, I didn't quite get that, but that's how it always is with Yuzuki's power. Yuzuki has a form of extrasensory perception. Her ESP gives her an understanding of every entity that's physically within an area, even without her other senses interacting with that entity. The more familiar she is with an area the larger that area can grow, but even when she's in new locations it's still very useful for information gathering. I've tried to get her to explain how it works to me a couple of times, and most of the time her explanations involve her "just knowing the patterns of everything around her," which doesn't really explain it at all.
Ringo isn't too concerned. "Well it sounds like you're not too at fault at least. Youkai are going to be a problem from here on out. You should've said something over comms though, I'm pretty sure they were still up at the time. We could have tried to help you after we lost here." Yuzuki looks down sadly.
Well that's a good enough reason for why she was gone, but it could have also just been Yuzuki trying to avoid conflict that she knew was coming here. There's kind of a problem with most rabbits in general, and Yuzuki is a good example of it. A lot of us rabbits are simply not the best soldiers. A lot of us are skittish, impulsive, and somewhat lacking in loyalty to a cause. Lunarian science and magic being way ahead of anything on earth can only make up for that so much.
I think Yuzuki is a great friend, and I like having her around. I've also known her for years, so I have some basis for making this assessment. Her power offsets a lot her problems by making her really useful in information gathering, but she is probably the worst soldier in the unit.
"Anyway, Seiran and I had quite a day, so let's move on and talk about that." Ringo continues. "So, you don't know Reisen right?"
Yuzuki shakes her head. "No, I only heard about her after she left the moon. Didn't she go through basic training at the same time as you guys?" She asks. Yuzuki is actually older than us by a few years, which makes her the oldest rabbit in the unit as well.
"Right, well, Seiran didn't say it over the comms, but it turns out that it was Reisen that beat her and was coming to camp..."
Ringo summarizes the events earlier in the day, how both of us lost to Reisen, how Reisen went through the portal for a while then came back out, how we found out that our stuff was missing, and how we got it back from fairies. I notice that she left out the part where she took a nap and I had to wake her up to make her get back to work, but otherwise Ringo does a pretty good job of bringing Yuzuki up to speed.
For Yuzuki's part, she mostly stays quiet and motionless, just listening. That's perfectly normal for Yuzuki. She tends to only move if the person she's talking to moves. She only interrupts in the middle to express annoyance when Ringo mentions that the fairies made a mess of the equipment tent. I would guess she plans to clean it up later, or at least do her definition of cleaning, which nobody else understands completely. It's something to do with patterns though, I'm sure.
"After that we decided to split up and search for you guys, though apparently we didn't find anybody and you knew to come back on your own. We did find other stuff though. Seiran, go ahead." Ringo gestures to me. I guess it's my turn before hers.
"I was looking around the lower areas of the mountain for you and Chiyo when I randomly met a goddess," I start explain to Ringo and Yuzuki. I'm not as good at talking through everything as Ringo is, so Ringo occasionally needs to clarify something or ask a question, but I do eventually get through it.
Once I finish with all the information that Hina gave me, Yuzuki speaks up. "I think I was near that hermit's house that you mentioned. There was a short time when I felt my powers acting weird, so that may have been the magic that makes people get lost if they try to go there."
"Do you know where it is? Could you get there again?" Ringo asks before I can respond. Yuzuki nods to her. "Alright, good to know just in case. Anything else Seiran?"
I decide to leave out talking about how I went to pray at Hina's shrine for now. I'm not sure if the others would think it was weird or not, and I didn't exactly get anything from it. It's not that I'm embarrassed about my sudden interest in a religion. It just doesn't seem that relevant to what we're talking about. "No, not really." I finish somewhat awkwardly.
Ringo nods, satisfied with that. "Well that's a lot of places to check out at least. Good job. I guess it's my turn now then," Ringo leans back comfortably as she starts explaining her evening. "I went and looked further up the mountain, toward where Seiran first fought Reisen. We know that Sumi at least started going that way when she left camp, though she could have gone anywhere after that. I came across the kappa first, and Seiran and I agreed that I should at least check on them, even if it was unlikely they had captured anyone. As expected, I didn't notice Sumi, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing going on there. I think a lot of their homes and stuff are hidden underwater, but from what I could catch while sneaking around, some of them are pretty active and excited today."
"More than usual?" I ask. "From what we've seen, they seem to always be building something or other that they're excited about." Not that we've ever seen them actually testing any machines that work.
"Yeah... Well, no point in building suspense. I'm pretty sure they stole the drone," I guess I should have seen that coming, just based on how things have been going today. "After I checked them out, I took a quick look at the last known location of the drone and couldn't find it. The kappa are interested in technology, and had to know about the drone when it started moving around. It adds up in my mind that they'd be tracking it and would want to check it out once it stopped purifying things. We're probably going to have to get it back from them. Command would pitch a fit if we let lunarian tech get captured by random Earth youkai."
I try not to groan. She's completely right, command would hate it if they knew we didn't recover the drone as soon as it was broken. I was the last person who saw it, and it was working then, but it must have been broken by somebody shortly after that, because Reisen wouldn't have been able to see me if it was still intact. The drone was supposed to both cloak us from Earth youkai, as well as purify the environment, but other than that, I don't know anything about how it works. It could actually be dangerous if the kappa start messing with it.
"So that's what we've found out before coming back tonight," Ringo concludes. "Which just leaves us with what we were all present for." She looks awkwardly at me.
I still feel discomfort in the pit of my stomach. I kind of want to go to bed even though it's way too early to do that. "The portal." I say plainly. The portal was something that was set up before we came here. None of us know how it works or why it's closed now.
Ringo nods and reaches for some dango before remembering that there isn't any there. "I dunno what to do on that one. We don't know what happened after Reisen went in there, or why it stopped working after she came out, or even when exactly it stopped working. There just isn't enough information, and we can't get any from the moon without comms. The only thing I can think of is talking to Reisen, but we have no idea where she is either."
"What if we just left it alone?" Yuzuki asks. "I'm sure that command will fix things on their end eventually. Once we have comms back we can figure out what happened and what we need to do to fix the portal."
That's pretty optimistic, but I kind of want to think that way as well. Ringo shrugs her shoulders before responding. "Well, we don't have many other options anyway... Unless we could get to the moon ourselves." Ringo laughs at the idea. "I think we should stay in camp for tonight though, we don't know how much of a threat youkai are going to be through the night now that we're visible. We're not exactly camped in the safest place either. Tomorrow we'll get up and focus on... I dunno, any suggestions?" She asks. As usual, she tries to get our opinions before making the decisions.
[ ] Let's investigate the kappa and try to find the spider drone
[ ] Let's try to find the other rabbits
- [ ] (specify where to search)
[ ] Let's try to find Reisen and investigate what happened with the portal
[ ] Other suggestion (Write-in)
And for the evening
[ ] Spend time with Ringo
[ ] Spend time with Yuzuki
[ ] Spend time alone and try to calm down