I L I V E O N C E A G A I N
F E A R M E M O R T A L S
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The rocks don't seem to have many gaps between them, but several of the unreasonably close-together passages dotting the nearby walls may lead past them. You hope. If Utsuho were concerned, she probably wouldn't hesitate to melt a hole through them, so you can only assume she's, for once, not reacting to fear with immediate, disproportionate panic.
Many of the smaller passages are obscured by flames, which you have no intention of touching, so you choose a particularly large one that isn't completely blocked and fly through. On the other side is a now familiar sight, that is to say, wildlife that has no business being wildlife in the first place, in a vastly inappropriate environment. You think you see a few bears.
After a storm of bullets aimed nowhere in particular, your way is mostly clear of potential hazard. It's not as satisfying as it would have been if they were fairies, but that's mostly because fairies explode more spectacularly.
A short flight later, you find that the end of the tunnel had a doorway (or a door-shaped hole, at least) in it. Which is now exactly aligned with the normal way into the reactor. This is completely unsurprising to you at this point.
The door is totally covered in threatening-looking trefoils and yellow tape, with bold text promising nothing short of dying at least fifteen different ways, simultaneously, within ten seconds of entry. The original, plain black and white "do not enter" notice is almost completely obscured, as is the original orange of the door. You think there are a few more "HAZARD"s on here than last time, even.
You push it, and after a second (and with a slightly concerning groan) it recedes slightly inward, then slides to the side with a hiss, granting you a view of the reactor room itself and a wave of heat to hit you. It so happens that one of the reactor's walls has given out (how? You don't know, you don't want to try to at this point) and given way to another cave.
This cave is filled with water, and as a large, blindingly-bright sphere floating slowly over the underground lake's surface reveals, Utsuho as well. The miniature star shrinks slightly as it travels, vaporizing water within an area around it, until it eventually meets.
Should you even think it, or would that make it sprout legs and run away?
A giant blue whale in a sailor costume.
Needless to say, when a whale decides to ram into a star, the star wins, but in a turn of events that you weren't far from guessing, the whale simply bounces off, shrinking significantly as it spins in a low, smoking arc backwards until it hits the water again. You see it flip onto its front and dive under the surface, apparently subdued.
Truly, mother nature is a terrifying thing. You proceed across the reactor room into the lake-cave-place-thing-can't-think-of-a-unique-word to meet up with Utsuho. Seconds after you enter, she rushes up to you and grabs you in a hug. A very very hot hug she just used her control rod it's still hot help
Thankfully, she releases you after a few seconds. She opens her mouth to talk, then stops and looks like she's focusing intently. You train your pets to think, not talk, and you're happy to see she's still remembering to.
Apparently, she kept on tending to the reactor straight through the drop, and only really bothered to do anything about the breach in the wall once the whale you saw earlier made an attempt at blasting some water through. The reactor seemed stable, surprisingly enough, so she figured she had a few free moments. Then proceeded to engage the giant blue whale.
Naturally, she also has some questions. Not about the whale, or the outfit it was wearing, or the giant earthquake. No, that's not concerning at all. She wants to know why she saw a bird she didn't know earlier.
You don't have an answer for that. Which means you just tell her you'll explain later, and then to follow you. You need firepower. Not in the noun-noun sense but the verb-noun sense. Not that you know you'll need it, but because as far as you know you could be impaled on a pastry wielded by giant robot made of kittens within any given ten seconds.
Frankly, it's comforting to think that you'll have someone more traditionally imposing than yourself standing near you for the moment.
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Some time later, you have a particularly helpful pet joined up with you as well, sniffing its way down a cave it picked out, following a scent you hope is that of your sister. You aren't totally sure; it seems fairly sure of where it's going, but the smell is shaky. Another aspect of Koishi erasing itself with each passing second. You think she'll just come home if she gets bored, but you can't help worrying.
You emerge into a larger, much brigher cavern. This one is filled with crystals and small pockets of precious-looking metal embedded in an odd, purple stone. You fly up, to get a look around. And then, even as you fail to notice, a presence leaves you and the area, not so much moving away but dissipating.
= = = = = =
You pop out of the castle in a bottle-- er, bubble. It glows a little, but then the outer shell turns a little less see-through and grays slightly. Somehow, you get the idea you could go back in later, but not now.
You wonder what that was all about. It was... new. You remember a lot about the person you were in there.
Will it happen again if you fly into another--
Suddenly, your vision dims. Then goes to black. For whatever reason, though, you begin hearing things, from all directions. You think you can still get places, you just have to follow a sound instead of an image.
Notice: Sounds are based upon destination, not the piece of Gensokyo that was sent there.
[ ] You hear punching and yelling. Mostly feminine yelling. And a few insults being thrown around. And some wordplay.
[ ] krrzt Fede... zzt.vessel. ...o you read? This is Zol- ksssht -atrol number bzzzzt, please resp...
[ ] You hear a lot of static. Bad interference, maybe? You do manage to pick out a promise of money and a very long disclaimer about non-liabilities, including loss of property and... person?
The direction the underground castle was in just sounds entirely like static.Recharging. Ready after you've been 2 other places.
[ ] You hear an incomprehensible din of explosions, what sounds like blood spattering everywhere, screaming, and typing.
[ ] This-this-this- is an automateded distrressess signnnnnal coming from the vesesessel U-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-SKREEEEEEEE[b] ...activ-activ-activated after 48 hooooours-hours-hours-hours-hours of inactivity undunder heavy damamage. Await-it-iting-g-g recover-overy. Coordinates are [b]KLKLKLKLKKLKLKLK. This isisis an automated...
[ ] You hear the sound of rustling papers, small talk, and dying souls. You won't go there. You think.
[ ] You hear the sound of screaming, and gasping, and squishing. Sounds disturbing.
[ ] You don't hear much in this direction. Some birds chirping, other assorted sounds of wildlife, and the sounds of what seems to be a small, slightly dated village.
[ ] This is agent bzzzzzt. reporting on status of anomalous area Theta-7573. Only thing out of the ordinary so far is the five hundred god damn little girls with wings I've shot so far. All of them exploded, for the record. Have proceeded in chosen direction for one hour. No end in sight. Will report again in 10 minutes or upon new development. Over.
[No write ins, for fear that I won't know it and/or it will spoil it for someone else.]
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Don't you just love how I can't stay dead?
I could make up a writer excuse or something, but that would be rude. I fucked up, plain and simple. Sorry.