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According to old posts on abandoned rumour boards, gates to another world exist in Cyberspace that can only be opened with a certain key.

You lay in your bed, awake, but not making an attempt to get up, simply content to lay there staring at your glasses on your desk, facing you. You're still troubled by what you've heard the night before, about Cirno. You don't know what to think, a 'fairy', a completely digital being, carrying the face of a dead girl. Not just any girl either, a girl that died around the same time Cirno supposedly 'awoke'. The implications are less than pleasant, a thought that would have never crossed your mind. Are all the 'fairies'... dead? You'd heard rumours, from years back, that people that die suddenly while wearing cyberglasses can find their souls trapped in the 'Other Side', but that was all rumours. There was never official acknowledgement of the fact, but on the other hand it had never been debunked either. Megamass was entirely tight-lipped on ever touching the subject. Are they hiding something? Is it these fairies?

If that was the case though, why would they let them leave and wander around? Or do they just not have control over their own... you hate to think of the term 'creations', but that's all you can think of. It would be too risky to let the dead wander the country where their friends and family could recognize them. What would they have to gain anyway? It couldn't be their responsibility, but then whose? It's questions like this that have kept you in your bed all night the day before, after receiving the news from Katsumi. You'd spent the rest of the night trying to dig up any information, and news you possibly could. Searching out any scrap of evidence you could find that could prove or disprove the theory that the fairies are dead girls, but you get nothing. After frustrating hours of work, you had given up and gone to sleep, only to find yourself now hesitant to put your glasses back on, for the first time ever. Just what are you getting yourself into with this? What are these fairies, no, girls. It's pretty clear they're not really fairies anymore, but something else entirely. Some kind of... sick joke, maybe? You have really no idea how you're going to handle all of this. With a sigh, you slide to the edge of your bed and grab your glasses, sliding them onto your face. You're somewhat relieved to find that the girls are nowhere to be found in your room. You don't want to think about dealing with them for now, but you still can't get them off your mind.

Maybe you should get a hold of someone, either to share your troubles or try to forget them.

[] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.
[] Katsumi's the one that dropped this bomb on you, should enlist her help in information gathering.
[] It's been a few days, maybe you could call Renee and set up a visit. You could do with a distraction.
[] You could get ahold of Saki and Ai for a meeting with Maggie, before they get into anything else.
[] Madoka is your best bet. You could do with some laughs, just clear your mind of the issue for now.
[] Maybe someone else... [Write In]
[] You'd rather just go out on your own for a bit.


So, turns out that barbecuing shit all the time as a method to eat more than just what can fit in the microwave burns through propane pretty quickly. However, with the stove fixed for a few days now and a few actual fucking meals in my body beyond soup, I'm feeling right enough to get back to my stories. Soup and sandwiches are not something I can live on, I end up just drinking an assload of water to make myself feel full.

Of course, first day I got it fixed, I ate myself sick, but it was worth it.

Deleted and reposted because I realized I forgot an option and title.
[x] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.

Then if time allows,

[x] You could get ahold of Saki and Ai for a meeting with Maggie, before they get into anything else.

This is a way to give Aya a scoop that isn't related to Kourin's double identity, and perhaps some time hanging out possibly afterwards is a nice way to relax.
[x] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.
Better food for everyone
[x] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.
[x] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.
[X] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.

The most sensible course of action. Honestly, I think we need our protagonist to spend some time with the faeries, and remind himself that they are essentially real girls no matter what their origin might be, but...

Well, perhaps we had best wait until night for that. Not sure how well he would do tracking them down in this state.
that implies he thought of them as less than real beings before; it's just that now things are going to have a different edge to them.
[x] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.
[x] Katsumi's the one that dropped this bomb on you, should enlist her help in information gathering.

The first thing we need to know is how Yukiko Hayama died. Perhaps Katsumi remembers, and if not, Aya can find out.
[x] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.
[x] You could get ahold of Saki and Ai for a meeting with Maggie, before they get into anything else.
Or just the first one if multivotes are not allowed.
[x] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.
[x] Aya should probably hear about this. She could have resources to help your search in some way.

There's only one person that comes to mind that you could really talk to about this, someone that could both understand your concern and maybe even help you. You signal for your phone, and the dial tone rings from your thumb. A quick flick of the finger through your address book, and the number connected to Aya is dialed. It only rings once before the other end is picked up.

“Hello hello, Aya speaking,” Aya says cheerfully.

“Hello Aya,” you reply, trying to sound a little cheery yourself.

“Ah, Takeo, how are you? Got something interesting for me?” she hops right into questioning you, as if she can predict what's coming.

“I'm alright, I suppose, and I do have something for you,” you say, taking a moment to swallow the lump in your throat, “I got some... information on the fairies.”

“Whaaat? Really!?” Aya practically shouts down the line, “well, let's hear it!” she exclaims, eagerly awaiting the bombshell you're about to deliver. Before you can even start, however, she cuts you off again. “Oh, wait, maybe it would be better talking face to face, that way I can get notes easier.”

You're not really sure it would be necessary, but you would like to get out of the house for a while. You need to get this turn of events off your mind, and lingering around home isn't going to help towards that end much.

[] You can just tell her over the phone.
[] Tell her you'll go meet her first.


And now I'm going to try to get into the habit of writing two of my stories at once for a while.
[X] Tell her you'll go meet her first.

No point in moping around the house all day.
[x] Tell her you'll go meet her first.
[x] Tell her you'll go meet her first.

Nice to see this updated.
[X] Tell her you'll go meet her first.

Somehow, I'm wary of talking about this over the phone.
[X] Tell her you'll go meet her first.
[x] Tell her you'll go meet her first.

Agreed. We know some things have powers over the net that we don't understand... but if this is the case, won't searching for information about Yukiko Hayama also attract attention?
[x] Tell her you'll go meet her first.

“That's fine, I can leave pretty much instantly,” you say, already starting to get together your personal effects you might want on you.

“Great, I'm close to downtown, so... how about we meet up at a restaurant or something and get some early lunch too?” Aya asks.

“Alright, sounds good,” you reply.

“How about we meet up...” Aya pauses, and after a few seconds, you get an incoming file transfer for map data. You accept. “Here seems good, it's pretty close to where we already are,” she says as your city map opens up, and a location flashes. Some fast food place, pretty close by off the main road you'd take to get downtown. One thing catches your attention, however...

“We?” you ask, a little curious as to who she could be with.

“Oh, that's right, you don't know my sister,” Aya responds, “well, you'll get to meet her too then!”

“Oh, well, I suppose I'll look forward to that,” you reply with a joking tone.

“Right, see you soon then!” Aya says.

“Yeah,” you say in turn, and Aya hangs up. You disconnect as well, and finish getting ready, leaving soon afterwards. Along the way, you already start thinking of what you know and how you can explain it. You want to give her as many details as you know, because anything might help.

It takes you a while to get to where you're going, but thankfully the place isn't too crowded, so you don't have to spend too long looking for Aya. A quick scan of the place shows that she's not here yet anyway, so you head back outside to wait at the main entrance. You hadn't felt it at home, but it's been a while since you've had breakfast, and it was fairly light, so you're getting hungry again. Another few minutes pass, and you hear your name called out. Looking down the street, you see Aya walking quickly ahead of another girl, a nearly perfect spitting image of Aya herself. You don't doubt for a second it's her sister. Twins for sure, the only things different about them you can tell are their clothes, hairstyle, and glasses.

“Takeo, hey, I didn't think you'd get here first,” Aya says, slowing to a stop near you while her sister catches up the small gap between them.

“I was pretty much ready to go before I even got off the phone,” you say, “in fact, I left immediately afterwards.” Aya gives a short chuckle in response.

“You must have been really eager to meet my sister, huh?” Aya teases, which causes you a slight amount of embarrassment. A quick glance at the new girl's face shows that she's more annoyed at her sister's behaviour, though.

“Please, I'm not anything special,” the girl complains, then turns her eyes on you, “I'm Kaede, nice to meet you.”

“Takeo Kourin,” you respond, “nice to meet you as well.”

“Now let's go eat!” Aya cheers, pushing past you and into the building. Kaede follows after her, and you enter last. You follow them to the counter, where Aya immediately starts to order. You take your turn to order afterwards, and have a few minutes afterwards to talk.

“I hope I'm not really interfering with anything by coming out here like this,” you say, looking between Aya and her sister, “I didn't realize you were out with family.”

“Oh no, it's fine,” Aya says, looking at her sister, “you don't mind, right?”

“I'm fine with it,” Kaede answers, “I know it's about some news business, so it's my business as well.”

“You're into news and reporting too?” you ask, not actually all that surprised.

“I'm the admin for Aya's site,” Kaede replies plainly, “I keep everything working, post her articles and news bits, all that while I manage my own site,” she explains. “I cover different topics though, so rumours and urban legends aren't really my 'field',” Kaede adds after a few seconds of pause.

“I see, at least I'm not interrupting any plans,” you state. The sisters' order comes up, and Kaede takes the tray and starts to head towards a table. Aya lingers behind, but your order comes up soon after, and you carry yours towards the same table. Once everyone gets seated at a table, the sisters on one side, and you on the other, you think it's time to start getting to the purpose you came out here for.

“Now then, about this news you have,” Aya starts, apparently on the same track you are. She's already pulled out her notepad and gotten a pen ready. Kaede's already getting onto eating her meal, but seems attentive as well.

“It's about the fairies, like I said,” you say, picking at your fries somewhat.

“Oh, so that's you?” Kaede interrupts, asking somewhat quietly, “you're their keeper?” You nod in response.

“Takeo here's a practical gold mine of information,” Aya boasts, “information and goods. He helps run the store I bought that awesome camera from too.” Kaede looks fairly impressed at that too. You can't help but feel a slight amount of pride at seeming to have such an impression on a girl you've just met, though you also can't help but feel annoyed similarly at Aya's posturing with you as a stepping stone to boost herself at the same time. Not that what she's saying isn't true, but still.

“Anyway...” you start, and already you're having a hard time bringing yourself to say it. There was a nice little mood built, this would surely wreck it, but it's also why you agreed to come talk to her in the first place. “I've found something fairly... disturbing about the fairies,” you say, getting a noticeable reaction from both girls. You take a slow breath. “I think... the fairies might be based on dead girls”

Both the sisters freeze up, wearing the same expressions. They exchange looks, then look back at you.

“Are you sure about this?” Aya asks, setting down her notepad.

“It's too much to be a coincidence, I think,” you reply. Aya looks a little concerned.

“I want to believe you, because I don't think you'd lie to me like this after all you've said before, but...” Aya trails off, “I think this is a little bit of a stretch. Do you have any proof?”

“It might not be proof to you, since you might not have seen the fairy,” you say, opening up your folder system to find the picture Katsumi sent you. You find the picture, and open it up. “A friend of mine met one particular fairy I've seen, not one of the ones that stays with me, and later sent me this picture. It looks just like her,” you explain, handing the window over to Aya. Her jaw drops instantly, as does Kaede's when she sees it. You just hit something big.

“This girl? You've seen a fairy that looks like this?” Aya asks, clearly shocked.

“She goes by the name Cirno. Looks just like that, except she's got blue hair,” you say, looking at the sisters.

“You've got to show us,” Kaede says, reacting before even Aya does.

“You know the girl,” you state the obvious, and both girls nod, and you sigh. “I wish I could, actually, but like I said, she's not... one of 'mine', I don't know where she is most of the time.”

“Then your fairies should know, right?” Aya asks.

“They should, yeah,” you answer.

“We'll put off the news things for now,” Aya says, stowing her notepad, “this all requires a lot more investigation before we go on with it.”

“I could imagine,” you say, unwrapping your burger.

“Yukiko...” Aya says quietly, lingering on the picture, “this is unbelievable.” Now you're starting to feel bad, having brought up something that seems like a bit of a sore point. You eat in silence, everyone taking their meal in an air of discomfort. Yeah, you really ruined the mood. Afterwards, it takes a few seconds for anyone to say anything.

“I know it might be a little sudden, but would you mind coming back home with us?” Aya asks. Kaede seems a little reluctant, but doesn't speak up.

“Got something in mind?” you ask, not really sure what to expect.

[] Accept
[] Decline

Let's go then.
[x] Accept

There's no reason not to.
[x] Accept
[x] Accept

Kaede is another word for maple. I see what you did there...
[x] Accept

We need a way to kill time and Maddie hasn't suggested an adventure and Katsumi's busy at work.
[x] Accept

“I've got some stuff at home, pictures and the like. Plus,” Aya says, looking around, “you probably don't want to be ordering around the fairies in public.”

“Yeah, good point,” you reply, looking down at your tray, “here, I'll take these, you two get ready to go.” The sisters slide out of their seat as you gather the trays and carry them towards the trash. After clearing them off, you join the two at one of the doors, and they leave ahead of you, and you stay on their heels. Another silence hangs in the air, though both girls are walking with an air of determination. You must have dug something personal up for these two, and while you do feel somewhat bad for it, you're also a little relieved. You can at least hope to get a little bit more information on all this, and it could very well help to reach the truth about all this. You can't keep taking this silence though, the awkward tension. “So, you two knew Yukiko?”

“Yes,” Aya says, without looking back, “though I have to admit I wasn't really the one closest to her.” Aya looks over at Kaede, who looks back at you over her shoulder.

“She was a friend of mine at school, back in junior high,” Kaede says, “we were both interested in photography. We were all going to go to the same high school, but...” Kaede drops off. You can guess what happened, though. “We're close to home,” Kaede says. You expect to reach the place soon after, but it turned out to still be a little less than two blocks away. A fair sized house, actually a little bigger than yours, but not by much. Aya opens the door and ushers you in. You step inside, and find yourself looking at a place that no doubt houses one, or possibly two, very messy people. You glance over at Aya, who is wearing a sort of apologetic expression.

“We don't exactly keep the house clean, I'm afraid,” Aya says as Kaede walks past and starts picking up some of the stuff laying around.

“So, what do you intend to do?” you ask, now wondering what exactly Aya had in mind.

“We have some things, pictures and a few small mementos of Yukiko's, we were allowed to take them... afterwards,” Aya says, sounding a bit uncomfortable, “I was thinking if it was her, we could talk to her again, see if... she's okay, I guess.”

“We still need to find Cirno, first, before we try to find out if Yukiko is 'in there',” you state.

“The other fairies should be able to do that easily, right?” Aya replies with a question. They should be able to, you imagine it couldn't be too hard, but who would you ask?

[] Luna
[] Lily
[] Sunny
[] Star
[x] Lily

Being a bit more of a free roamer might give her a better idea.
[x] Lily
[x] Lily
[X] Star

Since her whole ability is sensing other living things, and all. Insofar as Cirno counts as a living thing.

But she doesn't know Cirno's habits and hang outs.
[x] Lily

[X] Star
[x] Sunny
[x] Lily

Lily comes to mind. Being one of the two that can speak makes it easy to communicate, and Lily is older as well. She'd be more likely to know how to find other fairies easier.

“Let me get one of them,” you say, opening your console and flipping through folders until you reach Lily's. Then, a quick search of processes and a cross-reference later, and you connect a link between space to where she is and where you are, opening a large, pale green portal. Lily steps through a second later and starts looking around until her eyes fall on the girls, both of whom are equally impressed with the sight. Lily looks back at you.

“So... what's up?” she asks, sounding curious.

“I was wondering if you could help us find a particular fairy,” you get right to the point, “Cirno, actually. These girls want to talk to her.” You gesture to the sisters. Aya's busy taking pictures of Lily with her cyberglasses.

“Oh? Why Cirno?” Lily asks next. You were kind of hoping she wouldn't ask. You don't know what to expect if you tell a fairy that you think another one is a dead human.

“These girls... we all think she might be... based on someone,” you stammer, trying to avoid outright saying 'I think she's a dead girl'. Nevertheless, Lily looks a little suspicious about something.

“I can call her here, actually,” Lily says, looking around the room, “I'd need to be outside though so I could give better directions.”

“Oh, well, that works fine,” you say, allowing yourself to smile a bit.

“Of course, you've got to come with me, to help act as a beacon,” Lily follows up, scanning the room for an exit, “is there a back door here?”

“Around here,” Aya says, taking the lead through the house. You and Lily are lead to a door at the side of the house that opens to a small area that opens into an alley. This works, it's outside, and not very public, so you don't have to worry about too many other people seeing you with a fairy. Aya starts to come outside as well, but Lily stops quickly.

“Ah, sorry... uh... whatever your name was, I only need Takeo,” Lily sputters suddenly, catching Aya by surprise, “too many people around will interfere with the signal.”

“Oh...” Aya trails off, stepping back into the house, “then, I'll wait inside?”

“Yes, thank you,” Lily says happily before heading off into the alley. Definitely suspicious. Aya closes the door as you enter the alley as well, to find Lily with a new serious expression. You don't even get a chance to start questioning her. “So, what's the real reason?” Lily asks, folding her arms over her chest.

“Like I said, we think she's based on someone these girls know,” you repeat, adamant in not revealing what you really think.

“So why would it concern them? Just because she might look like the girl doesn't mean she is. They want to talk to their friend, they can just call her,” Lily says. You break eye contact for a second, knowing full well that Aya and Kaede couldn't even if they wanted to. Seems Lily can read your expression. “It's not that simple though, is it?”

“No,” you reply simply.

“Then how much do you really know?” Lily asks, a question that makes your stomach feel heavy. You can't avoid the issue any more, it seems.

“We... think she's based on a dead friend of theirs,” you admit, and Lily sighs heavily.

“Then it's for the best that you don't do this to her,” Lily states, catching your attention.

“Do this?” you repeat.

“Try to force her memories to return,” Lily responds calmly, “it's a horrible thing to bear. We all do fine 'living' as fairies, having a carefree life in the Fairyland with our new friends and family. Every once in a while though, a fairy will meet someone completely by accident, and their entire world starts to fall apart.” You get another chill hearing this, practically an admission that it's not just an isolated incident.

“Then, you too?” you ask Lily. She takes on a mournful expression as she nods.

“One of my sisters came to me one day, saying she saw me in a part of town I wasn't in, and so I got curious and went looking,” Lily pauses for a moment dropping her eyes to the street, “it took a couple days of waiting and hanging around, but I saw her, a girl that looked just like me. Long story short, I ended up talking to her when I could get her alone a week later. She was my sister, and she started crying when she saw me.”

“You had no idea?” you ask. Lily shakes her head.

“I don't know why we fairies don't retain memories of our lives before, but if we have something to remind us, it all comes back way too easily, and my sister's locket was just the thing,” Lily recounts.

“So what about those two in there?” you ask next, gesturing back towards the house. You notice Aya peeking out a second floor window overlooking the alley. She quickly ducks out of sight when you notice her.

“You could always just tell them we couldn't reach her, and then find some way to put them off trying,” Lily says, “though since they already know who they're looking for, I suppose it would be a lot easier for them to know the truth, why they shouldn't try. If they really cared about their friend, they won't press the matter.” You can't help but feel bad for Aya and Kaede. You were also hoping to get some kind of information out of all this, but knowing now just how much of a problem it causes for the fairies that learn, you can't even consider doing it.

“One last question,” you say, “are all the fairies... dead?”

“I don't know,” Lily answers, “all I know is that all the fairies that have learned they were living humans once have had one of two things happen to them. They either learn to accept the pain and act as silent guardians to protect their siblings from learning the truth or... they just vanish.”

“Vanish? Entirely?” you ask, not sure what to make of such information. Lily doesn't either, it seems, shrugging in response.

“It's not an instant thing. They find out about themselves, go into shock, and then slowly they withdraw more and more until they fall asleep, then just fade away,” Lily explains.

“Think they could just be passing on? To a proper afterlife?” you ask. Lily sighs again, and then takes on a more aggressive tone.

“I don't know about all these things. I only know what I've seen from experience. Big Sister won't tell me anything other than admit that I was 'saved' from my sleep when I was woken up,” Lily snaps at you, “in any case, how are you going to end this problem?” she asks.

[] You're going to give them a diversion for now.
[] End the attempt by telling them the situation.


Funny how I spent so long thinking about all this stuff, planning and researching for this storyline idea and looking forward to it. Then, once I get there, I stop updating.
[x] You're going to give them a diversion for now.
You are on a roll today.
[X] End the attempt by telling them the situation.
-[X] Have Aya and Kaede swear to keep this secret and not press Cirno to remember her previous life. It's not worth the risk of losing their friend a second time.

Subvote is there just in case the sisters focus on the "could recover her memories" bit and miss "may disappear forever".

Looks like the previous choice was the best one. The three fairies wouldn't have known about this problem, since they didn't go through it. Poor Lily (both of them).
[X] End the attempt by telling them the situation.
-[X] Have Aya and Kaede swear to keep this secret and not press Cirno to remember her previous life. It's not worth the risk of losing their friend a second time.

The truth hurts, but...
[x] End the attempt by telling them the situation.
-[x] Have Aya and Kaede swear to keep this secret and not press Cirno to remember her previous life. It's not worth the risk of losing their friend a second time.
[x] End the attempt by telling them the situation.
-[x] Have Aya and Kaede swear to keep this secret and not press Cirno to remember her previous life. It's not worth the risk of losing their friend a second time.

This is probably the best option available, since the sisters already suspect something's up and keeping the truth from them would only set of a delayed fuse to deliver it's payload further down the line.

Now, lets hope that telling them the truth won't result in them doing anything stupid.
[x] End the attempt by telling them the situation.
-[x] Have Aya and Kaede swear to keep this secret and not press Cirno to remember her previous life. It's not worth the risk of losing their friend a second time.

“I'm going to tell them the truth,” you say, looking back at the house, “it's probably for the best that they know so that they don't do anything careless.”

“Yeah,” Lily says, seeming to appreciate this choice. No doubt she'd want to avoid having this kind of knowledge spread to other fairies.

“So, this is the real last question,” you say, moving your attention back to Lily. “Do you know your real name?”

“Yuri Ishihara,” Lily replies, with a bit of a smirk. You can't help but smile a bit yourself.

“Do you know if your 'fairy name' was a coincidence or not?” you ask.

“Probably not,” Lily sighs.

“Well, let's go deliver the bad news,” you say, taking the lead.

“Actually, I'm going to go,” Lily says, not moving from the alley, “it'll just be awkward for me to be there when you tell them. It wouldn't be too big of a stretch for them to connect this info to me and realize it's the same.”

“They can make the connection regardless if you're there or not though,” you comment, but Lily simply waves it off.

“Yeah, but I won't be there for them to stare at me,” she responds, “and that's fine enough for me.”

“Alright then, I suppose I'll see you at home later,” you say, and then proceed alone. You head back up to the house and let yourself in through the back. Aya appears shortly afterwards, and Kaede soon after that.

“Well?” Aya asks, sounding a little confused, “any luck? Where'd the fairy go?”

“She had to leave,” you say, “she was kind of nervous, and I've learned something pretty important you two need to hear.” Aya and Kaede exchange worried looks at the sound of this. You don't blame them. “You cannot talk to Yukiko again.”

“Why not?” Kaede asks, sounding a little irritated.

“I've learned that there are indeed fairies that are born from the dead,” you begin, getting a pair of slightly surprised expressions in return. “These fairies, for whatever reason, don't remember their lives as humans until something reminds them, and when that happens, the effects can be very bad,” you pause for a second to allow the girls time to grasp what you're saying, “it's invariably traumatic for the fairy in question, and many of them vanish in the aftermath. There are no indications of what happens to a fairy when they disappear either.” There's a heavy silence for a few seconds after you finish.

“That fairy just now was one of the 'lucky' ones that didn't vanish, wasn't she?” Aya proceeds to ask. She made the connection pretty quickly. Lily was right to leave in that case. You simply nod.

“The only ones that know the truth are the ones that haven't vanished, and they take it upon themselves to guard the secret from others,” you state.

“That sounds so sad,” Kaede says, “but I can see why they would want to protect that kind of information.”

“I'm sorry you couldn't talk to your friend again,” you say, but Kaede shakes her head.

“It's okay. I wouldn't want to hurt her by doing this to her,” she says, sounding upset regardless, “I can get a little bit of relief knowing that she's probably living happily somewhere outside of the real world.” She seems accepting enough of the situation that you feel a little more relieved, but now you don't really have any more reason to stick around here at the moment.

“I think I'll be leaving then, since there's no more need for me here,” you say, heading back towards the back door.

“I suppose, it would probably be awkward if we tried to hang out after all this today anyway,” Aya says.

“Yeah, no doubt. This entire thing was weird and a bit uncomfortable,” you admit, “though we both got some pretty good information I suppose.”

“About that...” Aya says, taking off her glasses, “I don't think I'll report any of this anywhere.”

“Oh?” you reply, lacking any other response.

“It's a personal matter, not something really fit for a wider audience. Plus, the readers of my site like mystery and the unexplained with a nice, upbeat feel,” Aya says, “putting out something like this would just ruin the intrigue, and it would probably cause a lot of problems in the long run. Imagine what would happen if some of the more dedicated urban legend hunters found fairies and tried to force them to remember a past life.”

“Yeah, very good point,” you say, nodding in thought. You suppose you'll need to keep the truth under wraps to yourself as well, most definitely from the other fairies. Knowing what you know now though, it will definitely colour your thoughts and approach to learning the origins of these fairies. “I'm going to get going now.”

“Alright,” Aya says, “maybe I'll give you a call or something some other time and we can have some fun.”

“I'll look forward to it,” you say, opening the door to a pair of farewells. You exit the house and head back into the alley, where it's just a short trip to a nearby street. That all turned out differently than you had expected, though having your suspicions mostly confirmed by Lily regarding the nature of the fairies has eased you a little bit, you find yourself a little worried about how accepting you are of the fact that for all intents and purposes, the fairies you've encountered are all digital remains of dead people. You definitely need to do something to take your mind off all of this for now.

[] Head home first, you'll figure it out from there.
[] Walk around on your own, see if you can't find a distraction.
[] Call someone up. [Write-in]
[x] Head home first, you'll figure it out from there.

No problem with stopping at home before anything.

I wonder if this'll be a big adventure before the beach trip (with Katsumi!)
[x] Head home first, you'll figure it out from there.
[x] Head home first, you'll figure it out from there.
[x] Head home first, you'll figure it out from there.

You'll head home first at least, since you'll have to pass pretty close to home in order to reach anyone else you know anyway. You want to take some time to settle down a bit more anyway, you're still a little worked up over all of this fairy business, and you'd rather keep it all under wraps as long as possible. You push the whole thing out of mind for now and find yourself mentally going over what you remember of your coding just to keep yourself occupied for the rest of the walk.

A surprise is waiting for you when you reach your home though, a trio of girls standing outside your door, two blondes and a brunette. They seem to be waiting for someone to answer the door, but give up as you get close, only to turn around and see you approaching. It's Yuko, Saki and Ai after all.

“Oh! We're in luck after all,” Yuko says with a smile. You notice that only Saki is wearing her cyberglasses, the other two are without.

“What are you three doing here?” you ask, a little confused as to why they would just show up unannounced.

“I wanted to surprise you,” Yuko says, “but it didn't really work as planned, which is why it's lucky you came home before we left.”

“Surprise me?” you repeat, not really getting where she's going with this.

“You said you wanted to get us together the other day to meet someone, right? We got back last night, and we decided to spend the night together, then come here,” Yuko explains happily.

“Why not just send me a message? I'd still need to call my friend and see if she's ready,” you state, though Yuko seems suddenly distracted by something in the sky. You look up and don't see anything. When you return to the girls, Saki's smirking.

“Their glasses are broken,” Saki says, tapping hers, “mine are the only that survived the night.”

“Something happen?” you ask of Yuko. She sighs with defeat.

“They burnt out, mine and Ai's,” Yuko explains, though she quickly gets fired up, “but they didn't die in vain! I burnt out one of the opposing team before they got me!”

“Yeah, you're going to need to explain this,” you comment, not really getting what she's talking about.

“Cyberwarfare,” Ai responds, “it's a bit of a 'game' we play, a group of us.”

“And that's what you were doing visiting someone else last night,” you remark, connecting the dots.

“And drinking,” Yuko adds, “that tends to happen too.”

“Yeah...” you say, with no further comment, “I suppose I should probably call Margaret then,” you continue, getting a bit of a surprised reaction from the girls, Yuko in particular.

“A foreigner?” she asks. You realize you didn't tell her a whole lot about Maggie.

“Ah, yeah, though she speaks Japanese fine, she's lived here for a few years now,” you say, scratching your head, “so, lets-” you start, then pause, as you were about to suggest going inside to wait, until you remembered the fairies. It then occurs to you that only Saki has a working pair of cyberglasses, but even then it might be troublesome.

[] You can deal with any problems if they arise. Saki seems reasonable enough.
[] Better not risk it. Find somewhere else to go in the meantime while you wait.
[x] You can deal with any problems if they arise. Saki seems reasonable enough.
[x] You can deal with any problems if they arise. Saki seems reasonable enough.
[x] You can deal with any problems if they arise. Saki seems reasonable enough.
[x] You can deal with any problems if they arise. Saki seems reasonable enough.

You hope you're making a good call trusting Saki to not make a scene if she sees something unusual.

“Let's go inside and wait, I'll get in touch with my friend,” you say, walking past the girls and heading up to your door. You quickly unlock it and step inside, quickly scanning for signs of intelligent cyberlife. Nothing in sight so far, a good thing as the girls come in and start taking off their shoes behind you.

“Nice looking place,” Ai mentions, looking around, “unusually clean too.”

“Just because the store is a mess doesn't mean my home is too,” you say with a shrug, “anyway, make yourselves comfortable over here on the seats, I'm not sure how long we'll have to wait around here.” The group all seems to be fine with that, though you notice Saki stops to look at something, her gaze caught on something in the stairs. You glance over to see Star peeking around, looking down at the lot of you. Looking back at Saki, you note that she's raised her glasses, and is now turning to you with a very curious expression.

“Could I get something to drink?” Saki asks rather off-handedly.

“Uh, sure,” you respond, definitely not expecting that question. You start to move towards the kitchen, “I'll get you something.” You head off into your kitchen, and collect a cup for some juice, when you hear someone enter the room behind you. You look over your shoulder to see Saki. She quickly raises a finger to her lips.

“What was that I saw?” she asks quietly, making a small gesture towards the stairs with her hand in front of her. You feel a little relieved in trusting Saki not to make a scene, though you can't exactly play it off as nothing. You just have to decide how much you want to tell her.

[] Be basic. “It's a fairy.”
[] Tell her the short version.
[] Tell her in explicit detail.
[] “It's a ghost.” Technically not lying...
[x] Be basic. “It's a fairy.”
[x] Be basic. “It's a fairy.”
[x] Be basic. “It's a fairy.”
[X] Be basic. “It's a fairy.”
[x] Be basic. “It's a fairy.”

“It's a fairy,” you say with a straight face. Saki's face cracks a bit as she is clearly holding back a smile.

“A fairy, you say,” she repeats, adjusting her glasses, “is that what you call it?”

“I'm being serious, there's some news articles about them online,” you bluff.

“You mean rumours, right?” Saki calls it. “Why do you have one?” You simply shrug. Saki sighs a little, and then helps you gather glasses and juice for everyone, and then carries it back out into the living room area. No one seems to be particularly curious as to why Saki went along with you, which is a good thing at least.

“I'll call my friend now,” you say as everyone starts pouring drinks, and pull up your contact list. You select Maggie and step away from the girls, who have begun chattering about something. You get a few rings before she picks up.

“Hello?” Maggie asks from her end.

“Hey Maggie, you know those girls I wanted to introduce you to the other day?” you ask, looking over at the group. “Well, they're here now and they still want to meet you.”

“Oh? I kind of wish I had a little bit of a heads up beforehand,” Maggie says, sounding a little disappointed.

“Yeah, well they kind of showed up on my doorstep without warning as well, so I'm not really any better off,” you say, complaining a bit.

“I suppose I can head over there in a few minutes,” Maggie says, “I'll see you then.”

“Alright, see you,” you reply, and Maggie disconnects her end. You head back over to the couch and take a seat at the end.

“So, what the situation?” Yuko asks.

“She's on her way over soon,” you answer.

“I'm interested in seeing what this girl can do,” Saki says. You told Yuko that your friend was also into graphical design, and that was the reason you wanted her to meet Saki and Ai.

“She's pretty good at clothing design and such like that,” you say. Saki nods in understanding.

“She have any plans to follow that as a career?” she asks, but you can only shrug again.

“Not really sure, though I guess we'll find out,” you say. Saki leaves the conversation at that point for now, and rejoins Yuko and Ai's conversation. You decide to find some way to kill time while waiting.

[] Television is fine for wasting time.
[] Get in some game time.
-[] Something single player.
-[] Get out your fighting game.
[] Go see if the fairies are around.


I sure have a funny idea of what constitutes a day.
[x] Go see if the fairies are around.
[x] Go see if the fairies are around.
Can we have a status update on who is supposed to be which Touhou again? Because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who is getting confused about who's supposed to be who after the 1 month Haitus.
[X] Go see if the fairies are around.

Of the currently relevant characters, we're Rinnosuke, [Marga]ret 'Maggie' [Troy] is Alice [Margatroid], Saki is Yukari, Ai is Ran, [Yuko] is Yu[yuko], and the fairies are exactly who their names would suggest.

Daiyousei is the "Big Sister" of the fairies.

Our virus buster group consists of us, Alice, Marisa, Koakuma, Patchouli, and Myon.

Youmu is Myon's twin sister, and they are the younger siblings of Yuyuko, and who we speculate to be Kana Anaberal. (PC-98)

Our sister may or may not be Eirin, but either way, excepting Tewi, our resident shoplifter, we haven't met most of the Eintei cast yet, due to them apparently being plot relevant. Mokou and Keine are part of the 'Human Village' grouping, but we haven't met them yet.

Rumia and Mystia are our currently out-of-commission rivals, and Wriggle is a loose acquaintance of theirs.

Katsumi, the current love interest, is Komachi, and her roommate is Shikieiki. They're both friends of our sister, as is Nezumi/Nazrin, who we haven't seen since her introduction in thread 1(?).

Renee and Francine Écarlate, who we have agreed to tutor, are obviously the Scarlet sisters, and their actual tutor seems to be Sakuya.

Aya is self explanatory, but I'm not sure if her friend is supposed to be Momiji or Hatate. Probably Momiji. Cirno's the fairy reincarnation of one of their dead friends.

Sanae is also self explanatory, and her sister, Sawako, is obvious.

I don't believe that we have met Reimu (who I presume would've been us if we chose to be a girl), Meiling, Letty, Chen, Lily White (We have met Black however, her dead sister), the Prismrivers, Suika, Keine, Reisen, maybe Eirin, Kaguya, Mokou, Medicine, the Aki sisters, Hina, Nitori, Momiji/Hatate, Kanako (Sanae and Sawako's mother, presumably), Iku, Tenshi, pretty much everyone from SA, everyone from UFO except Nazrin, and most of the supplementary characters (with the exception of the fairies and Rinnosuke/us).

I'm too lazy to check to see what most of their names are in this story. Feel free to correct anything I got wrong.

Spoiler tags are for characters that I've so far come up with a name and a place for, but have yet to reveal in story.

Represented so far-
Hakugyokuro: Youmu (Yuki and Mio Shiroutou as Youmu and Myon), Yuyuko (Yuko Shiroutou)

Mayohiga: Yukari (Saki Koizumi), Ran (Ai Koizumi), Chen (Kiyoko Koizumi - Unmet)

Higan: Komachi (Katsumi Funatabi), Shikieiki (Noriko Watanabe)

Scarlet Devil Mansion: Remilia (Renee Écarlate), Flandre (Francine Écarlate), Sakuya (Sakura Samejima - Unnamed in story so far I believe), Patchouli (Chie Kokoroe), Koakuma (Mana Kumotsu)

Youkai Mountain: Aya (Aya Izumi), Momiji (Kaede Izumi), Hina (Kimiko Kunieda), Sanae (Sanae Kotiya), Suwako (Sawako Kotiya), Nitori (Midori Gensai)

Forest of Magic: Marisa (Madoka Risako), Alice (Margaret Troy), Three Mischevious Fairies Star, Sunny and Luna.

Eientei: Tewi (Usagi Inken), Kaguya (Eiko Moriie)

Human Village: Mokou (Gina Kuzuhara), Akyu (Haruhi Akimari)

Palanquin: Nazrin (Nezumi Serizawa), Shou (Tora Sugiyama)

Hakurei Shrine: Reimu (Reiko Hinawa)

Prismrivers: Lyrica (Yui Saito), Merlin (Naoko Hideki), Lunasa (Asaka Ito)

Misc: Cirno ('Cirno'/Yukiko Hayama - Deceased), Lily Black ('Lily'/Yuri Ishihara - Deceased), Wriggle (Kayo Tsuyoimushi - Should probably change that last name), Mystia (Suzume Mitsuda), Kogasa (Akane Totsujo), Rumia (Rin Hikari), Minoriko (Akiko Mitsuru - Background character mostly), Medicine (Hanako Shimabara - Background character, accidentally 'doublebilled' as the thankfully unmet and now scrapped Marianne Gekizai), Kana Anaberal (Kana Shirotou), Rinnosuke (Takeo Kourin - You), Kasen (Keiko Ibaragi),Yuugi (Makie Yamauchi).

Yumiko, your older sister, was initially going to be Eirin, but I scrapped that idea when I finalized the idea for the fairies. Eirin and Reisen are named, but because they're plot relevant, I'm keeping those secret, along with the three fairies real names. The others that haven't been met so far are generally just there for more interactions and other minor story paths.

I doubt I will cover the entire cast of all the games, since there's already a ton of girls as is. At this point, any I'll add in past the already unmet/planned ones will be taken from my favourite characters yet to appear, which is basically only Suika and Keine by this point, since everyone else is accounted for.

Fucking spoiler tags, how do they work?
File 128579969489.png - (343.28KB, 746x706 , NOPE.png) [iqdb]

>Suzume Mitsuda
Matsuda. I'll be fucked if I'm deleting the post again to correct a typo. Especially bad since I have a list of the characters and names right here in front of me I was consulting and I still managed to fuck it up.

I need more sleep and less Civ 5.

>mfw I actually think about sleeping and not playing Civ 5
Keine doesn't have a role yet? C'mon man, the main characters all go to school. It shouldn't be that hard to give her a role.

And Kaguya's not plot-relevant? That's surprising, considering she's the head of Eintei, and master of Eirin and Reisen.

Keine, I haven't been able to come up with a name I like for her. I'd rather not have her as an actual teacher either, have her more as a student like Noriko, learning to become a teacher.

It's not as if the characters are entirely true to their source in the first place. Patchy/Koa not knowing Remi/Flan for example.

There's a reason for it, to be sure. I think it's a fairly decent one.

Anyway, I'll update tomorrow sometime. I slept like 3 hours earlier today and have been in a daze pretty much since I woke up.
[x] Go see if the fairies are around.
And then I get my hands on Dead Rising 2 and was never heard from again.
[x] Go see if the fairies are around.

The girls seem perfectly content to carry on conversations without you, so you let them carry on for now. You'll get more active when Maggie gets here at least, so until then you're going to have to wait. You excuse yourself during a short lull in their conversation and head towards the stairs, ascending up to your room. You might as well check in on the fairies to pass the time. You find Star in your room, of course, alongside Luna, the two of them lounging on your bed by the window. Sunny and Lily are both absent.

“Just you two here?” you ask Luna. Luna nods.

“Lily is still out on her own, and Sunny went to see Cirno,” Luna says.

“Cirno,” you repeat, curious, “any particular reason?”

“She was in the area apparently, and Sunny really wanted to go play,” Luna explains.

“So why are you two here?” you ask.

“Well, I'm not feeling all that good,” Luna admits. You're a bit worried what that could mean, considering what you know about the fairies now, but you suppress your urge to pry. You have to come to terms with the fact that Luna very well be a dead girl too, and she doesn't know. Sunny and Star too.

“Is... that so?” you ask casually. “I didn't know fairies could get sick.”

“I don't think I'm sick, I'm just ugh,” Luna complains, slumping her shoulders. “Star wanted to stay with me because she didn't want me to be lonely and feeling crappy.”

“That's pretty nice, Star,” you comment to the mute girl. She smiles at you, with a flutter of her wings.

“She says 'thanks',” Luna says, and smiles a little herself. You start to feel a little sad, looking at these two girls on your bed. Who were they? How did they... “Something up?” Luna asks, and you snap back to the present. You must have let your emotions show too much.

“No, not really, I was just remembering something,” you bluff. Luna shrugs it off pretty easily.

“Well, alright. I just didn't want you worrying about me, not like you could do anything to help anyway,” Luna says. Somehow, that just makes you feel a little worse. You're already considering leaving the fairies on their own when you hear a faint knocking from downstairs.

“Oh, gotta go,” you say, leaving your room and heading back downstairs. Yuko's already on her feet, heading towards the front door, though she does await your arrival so you can open the door. On the other side is Maggie, who gives a small wave to the unfamiliar girl already peeking past you.

“Hello,” Maggie says, bowing slightly.

“Whoa, she's even blonde,” Yuko says. By now, Saki and Ai have gotten up to come greet Maggie.

“Hello Maggie,” you say, stepping back and gesturing towards the group gathering behind you, “these are the girls I was telling you about, Yuko, Saki and Ai,” you explain, pointing out each girl in turn. Maggie greets them all in turn as well. You all clear out as you let Maggie in, and then the lot of you proceed back to the living room.

“So, Takeo says you're into graphical design,” Saki starts before they even sit down.

“Ah, yes, more or less,” Maggie agrees, and opens up a window in her interface. She selects a few options, and several of her doll-like pets flicker into view in mid air. Saki actually seems pretty impressed. She even passes her glasses to Ai and Yuko so they can see too, being without functioning pairs of their own.

“She's pretty into this kind of thing, as you can see,” you state, and Saki nods in agreement.

“You're pretty good, Maggie,” Saki says, reaching out to one of the little dolls and pulling it closer. “Very nice detail in the design.”

“Thank you,” Maggie gushes, “though I can't take all the credit. These are all based on actual dolls or clothing designs I've seen, built from references.”

“Oh, that's fine,” Saki says, waving her hand, “you still manage to turn something you can see into a digital representation. A lot of people start off by duplicating physical styles in graphical design,” Saki continues on, and Ai pitches in as well. The two of them and Maggie start a three way conversation about graphical design, fashion styles, even some avatar design and photography.

“You have any future plans for your work so far?” Saki asks Maggie.

“I was thinking of maybe getting into fashion design if I couldn't handle being a graphic artist, but I'd like to be able to make something full-sized like Takeo's Luna,” Maggie says cheerfully. A few seconds later, her words sink in and you freeze up when Yuko and Ai's faces read confusion and Saki doesn't, instead she looks like she's trying to suppress a smile. Maggie seems to realize she's slipped, since she looks back at you with a mix of surprise and regret.

“Luna?” Yuko asks. You reflexively look towards the stairs in case Luna heard her name and may be coming. You instantly regret it. “Is she over there?” Yuko asks next, turning to Saki and gesturing for the glasses. Damn it.

[] Make excuses.
[] No regrets.


And now I'm back to writing again. I'm thinking I should choose one story, put the other two on temporary hiatus, and then focus all my attention on just working on one story for a thread or two instead of pissing away energy and suffering schedule slippage.
[x] No regrets.

Only path.

I read Library and I did read Flight religiously, but this story I really like. It's cute.
[X] No regrets.

If we can trust Yukari's expy with this secret, we can trust Yuyuko's and Ran's.
[x] No regrets.
[X] No regrets.
Hiatus end ;_;

I'd better say this now or I'll forget. I'd like to see more Rin. I've been expecting her to spring some retaliation on Madoka for almost the entire story, maybe form a rival magical girl squad or something. And there might be a chance to introduce her to Cirno and see whether Cirno explodes or not.

I'm going to be returning soon to work on my stories again. Going to formally put the thing in Others on hiatus until some other time, or maybe shift it to a non-CYOA format, then pick up one of my unused ideas like Warlord or something just for the sake of having something new.

I've been having a bit of a hard time with my life over the last few months. The 2010 holiday season wasn't that great for me, but I've managed to recover, everything has stabilized again. All I need to do is get my ass back to writing.
Waiting warmly, etc.

To the upcoming world/Gensokyo-conquest as a Human Warlord. Huzzah.
[x] No regrets.

It's your own fault that this happened, through having these people in your house and your own knee-jerk reaction. You made this road, so you're going to walk it, metaphorically.

“No, she's not, though let me get her,” you say, standing up from the couch and heading towards the stairs, giving Maggie a glance as you pass. You can see the apology in her eyes. You pass on to the stairs. “Luna, can you come down here for a second?” you call out up the stairs. A few seconds later and Luna pops her head out around the corner and comes part way down the stairs.

“Yeah?” she asks, sounding curious as she looks over you to the group of girls sitting around, passing the one pair of cyberglasses between them and chattering quietly.

“Some people would like to meet you,” you say casually, gesturing towards the girls.

“... So?” Luna replies, not looking too keen on the idea.

“Why not come down and say hi?” you ask. Luna sighs and continues down the stairs, and walks past you. You follow up behind her, while Yuko hogs the glasses.

“Oh wow!” Yuko exclaims before Ai confiscates the glasses from her.

“That's pretty impressive,” Ai says as Saki claims her glasses once more.

“It is quite impressive,” Saki repeats, and Yuko takes the glasses once more to complete the circle.

“What's with these girls,” Luna complains, looking exasperated already.

“Omigod she talks!” Yuko exclaims, and Ai takes the glasses again.

“What, really!" Say something!” Ai presses, and Luna just sighs and turns back to you.

“I'm not doing this, these girls are weird,” Luna complains. Maggie's looking back at you too, over the couch.

“Just humour them, Luna, I'll find some way to repay you,” you say, pre-emptively regretting it once you realize you have no idea how you'd begin to repay a favour to a fairy. Luna doesn't seem any more pleased, but she doesn't leave. She turns back to the trio of girls and presents herself as the three of them cycle turns with the cyberglasses. They're distracted enough at the moment, so Maggie catches your attention.

“I'm so sorry, Takeo!” Maggie apologizes, “it just kind of slipped out.”

“Yeah, well, I don't think any harm would come of it for now,” you admit as the girls all spend their time looking over Luna, who seems to slowly be warming up to the attention in a way. You take your seat again, and eventually the attention shifts towards you from Yuko, while Saki and Ai have the glasses.

“Did you make this?” Yuko asks. You shake your head.

“No, I kind of found her. Pretty neat AI on it though, wish I knew where to find more,” you say, telling the truth with a tinge of lie. You glance at Saki, still trying to suppress her grin at your expense.

“I want one,” Yuko says, taking the glasses from Ai. “She's so cute! And she'd probably be a perfect model for cyberclothes and avatar modification,” she continues, looking over the fairy. “She looks about the same size as my sisters.”

“If you had anymore things like this, you would tell us, right Takeo?” Saki asks, causing you a tinge of dread.

“Yeah, sure. This is the only one I've found though,” you lie through your teeth as Saki's composure slips a little.

“Now that I think of it though, it's kind of suspect that a teenage boy would keep around a virtual girl like this around,” Saki continues, “and as a secret of all things. Makes me wond-”

“Jeez, will you shut up!” Luna complains, but her outburst is unheard, considering Ai is in possession of the cyberglasses, though she reacts to it.

“Uh, Saki, Luna's yelling at you,” Ai says, passing over the glasses to her sister. Saki looks to Luna, who is quite visible upset.

“Problem, Luna?” Saki asks with a smirk.

“Stop teasing Takeo over this. He takes pretty good care of us, and doesn-” Luna reprimands Saki, though your attention cuts off at the 'us', and that seems to be where Saki stops paying attention.

“Did you say, 'us'?” Saki asks Luna, who stops her ranting for a second in confusion, then looks at you. Your expression is a combination of annoyance and despair, Luna obviously realizes she made a mistake too, and you quickly sink your head into your hands.

“There are more?” Yuko and Ai ask.

“There are another three that stay here, but only two are here right now,” you admit, looking to Luna, “call down Star.”

“Sunny came back too not too long ago,” Luna adds, “you-”

“Yeah, sure, why not,” you grumble. Luna's wings buzz for a second, and you look over to see the other two coming downstairs. The three human girls are exchanging glasses again to see the three fairy girls, and their chatter starts up all over again. This continues for some time, with Yuko and Ai expressing their amazement with the way the three fairies look, with Star and Sunny enjoying the attention more than Luna did. All the while Saki smirks at your despair while Maggie sits silently at your side.

“You're pretty funny to screw with, Takeo,” Saki comments while the other two are busy fawning over Sunny.

“I'm sure,” you respond, with audible annoyance. Saki gets out of her chair and walks towards you, motioning for you to move aside. You don't respond, but Maggie does, moving aside. Saki walks past and takes a seat next to you.

“I'm curious about these things though, they're too advanced for simply being programs,” Saki whispers to you. “Even cyberpets don't have this kind of AI, and they're the most advanced virtual life we have, which you should understand causes quite some questions for someone with their hands into programming.”

“What are you talking about over there, Saki?” Yuko asks during her 'downtime' without the glasses.

“I'm striking up a deal to borrow one of these girls for some modeling,” Saki replies quickly, appeasing Yuko's curiosity for now. She's back to you afterwards. “Which is partially true, at the least. They can't be too different from cyberpets if they're virtual life. They've got to have a link to something somewhere, and I'd like to know where, so I want to 'borrow' one so I can study it.”

“I've looked into them a bit, and I couldn't find a whole lot about them,” you respond once Saki gives you some time. “I don't know how much more you could possibly find out.” Saki gives you a sly grin.

“You probably didn't try to trace the route of their connection, did you? They have to have some connection to a computer source at all times, after all,” Saki says.

“Well, they run off a part of my system I set aside for them,” you say, hoping to cut the chase short, but Saki clicks her tounge.

“You really think it'll just stop there? There has to be some kind of log of their past connections, and there's nothing saying they can't just be routing their connection through you. If I can find something like that, I could trace them to an origin,” Saki says, and you feel your heart jump in your chest a bit. Could she really be able to find the actual source? That would answer a lot of questions about their origin, and might even lead you to be able to find their legendary 'Fairyland' even. You do have a bit of worry over giving up one of the fairies though, even if it's for something that could lead you to find a true answer for their reason for being, but part of you feels that you'd rather not know more than you do already about them.

[] You don't want to go through with this.
[] This could answer all your questions.
-[] Lend out Sunny
-[] Lend out Star


And now I'm back again. Pretty telling how much better I'm feeling and how much I want to get back to work when I literally stop playing a game in the middle of an intense battle to hammer out a few pages because the desire to write is so strong.
[x] You don't want to go through with this.

Yeah... no. Let's tell her about the dead little girl thing.
Lending? He thinks he owns them now? Fuck that.

[x] Ask for a volunteer.
>the desire to write is so strong.

[x] You don't want to go through with this.
You don't lend them out.
[X] You don't want to go through with this.

They may be programs, but they're not just objects for us to lend out. They are, in their way, living things. And they certainly are people. I just don't like the tone that Saki is taking while talking about them. No deal.
[x] You don't want to go through with this.
[X] You don't want to go through with this.

This isn't his right to decide. He may technically 'own' them, but they're not his slaves.

Sage because this is the third time I posted this. Goddamn typos.
[x] You don't want to go through with this.

Nothing against Saki, but it just doesn't feel right just to hand one of those two out. Luna maybe as she can voice her issues, but not one of those two.
Needs less outright refusal, more inviting Saki into his house whenever she wants.
[x] You don't want to go through with this.

You shake your head in denial. Saki frowns a bit.

“I can't do that, sorry,” you say.

“That's unfortunate,” Saki says, resting her head in one of her hands. “The only other option is for me to spend a lot of time here otherwise,” she continues with a grin. “Though I'm somewhat wary of the idea of staying with a guy known to keep virtual pet girls, he could be some kind of weirdo pervert.”

“Yeah, okay, that's not happening either,” you grumble, leaning away from Saki afterwards. Yuko and Ai are just starting to wind down from their exposure to the fairies, and Maggie just watches on.

“Ai, my glasses please,” Saki says, holding out her hand to her sister. Ai hands over the glasses and Saki puts them on, then shifts her position to turn to Maggie. “We should exchange contact info so we can meet on our own time,” she says.

“Oh, yes,” Maggie agrees, and the two go about providing each other with their contacts. They lapse into another conversation about fashion design, which Yuko and Ai get in on, leaving you out of the loop again. You use the opportunity to lead the fairies off, their wings fluttering intently as they exchange glances. Probably communicating with each other as usual. You send them off back upstairs, and soon enough afterwards, Saki, Ai and Yuko all get up and make their preparations to leave.

“We've got to go,” Yuko says, “stuff to do, can't sit around all day playing with fairies and talking about computers!”

“It was interesting to see those fairies,” Ai says, “I didn't know that there was something so incredible around. I wonder if I'll find any of my own.”

“We can only hope,” Saki says, heading off to the door first to retrieve her shoes. “Thanks for having us, and it was nice to meet you, Margaret.”

“Nice to meet you three as well,” Maggie says, joining you in seeing the other three off. Seems she's not leaving at the same time. The trio leave, and you and Maggie are alone, which is when you decide to ask her why she's still left.

“So, what now?” you ask. Maggie looks towards the stairs, then back to you, looking a little embarrassed about something.

“I was kind of hoping I would get some time to look over the girls too, get some reference shots so I could make some new outfits for my pets, and, well, I was kind of wondering if I could see about making new outfits for them too,” Maggie says.

“Oh? Well, that's fine,” you say, heading towards the stairs, intending to call them down, but Maggie starts up the stairs ahead of you. Sure, why not. You go upstairs after her, and enter your room, where the three fairies are sitting around on your bed, looking out the window.

“Hello girls,” Maggie says, approaching the bed and opening a few programs. “I just want to take some pictures of you, alright?” The fairies exchange looks, but don't seem to object to the idea too much. Maggie gives each of them some instruction on how to pose so she can get a good shot of various angles from each in turn, then takes a moment to organize the photos before thanking the fairies, then turning back towards the door, where you've been standing. You move aside as Maggie exits and makes for the stairs, and follow after her.

“Well, now what've you got in mind?” you ask as you head back downstairs.

“Nothing, really,” Maggie says, continuing towards the front door, “I was going to go home and get on with some designing. How about you?” she asks in return.

[] Suggest the two of you go out and find something to do.
[] You'll stay home and keep yourself occupied.
[] You were thinking of calling someone else. [Write-in]


I can't remember if Mag ever knew about the other fairies besides Luna, and I don't really want to go back and read 190+ pages to try to find what could amount to a small paragraph, so I'm operating on the assumption that she was clued in at some point, retroactively if need be.
[x] You were thinking of calling Madoka.

I miss her.

Since we apparently don't care about investigating the fairies origins, how about getting someone to crack their communication? That seems like a useful fairy-related goal that won't bother anyone.
[x] You were thinking of calling Madoka.

same here, though I wonder how the upcoming beach trip will turn out, other than eye popping (Katsumi in a swimsuit, nuff said)
>Since we apparently don't care about investigating the fairies origins

It's not that. Rather, it seems like something we can find out in due time by gaining their trust. But there's no great impetus just yet to do so.

[x] You were thinking of calling Madoka.
[x] You were thinking of calling Madoka.

Can't think of anyone better to talk to.
Give Sunny and Star their voices please.

They will get their voices eventually, depending on how active you are in story, with or without them involved.
[x] You were thinking of calling Madoka.

“I've got some other plans,” you lie.

“Alright then,” Maggie says, slipping on her shoes, “see you later, Takeo,” she says as you open the door for her and see her off. You close the door and head towards the couch, dropping onto it when you reach it. You don't really have anything else in mind to do, so you pop open your contact list and scroll through the list of names. You stop on Madoka's number, thinking about it for a second. Your entire day has been kind of busy so far, what with going out to meet Aya and Kaede, then coming home to find Yuko and the others waiting for you. You could really use a bit of a break, but you're already calling Madoka before you know it. After a few rings, she picks up.

“Hello Mad-” you start.

“Oh. My. God, Takeo perfect timing!” Madoka shouts down the line at you, cutting you off entirely, “I was just about to call you! I found something incredible!”

“Is that s-” you try to say, only to get cut off by a transfer request. You accept, and a few seconds later a picture winks into view. In it, you see a trio of girls apparently fighting some large illegal in the middle of the street. It looks like a shot from some kind of live action magical girl show, and that right there makes your stomach sink, because you think you know what's coming. “Wha-”

“We have rival glory hogs!” Madoka practically shouts, as well as actually admitting the intent behind the whole magical girl thing she promoted in the first place.

“Sure,” you blurt, the only thing short enough you can be sure to get out before being cut off again. “So what?”

“So what!" I'm coming over, we need to plan!” Madoka declares, then disconnects. You regret the call now, as you're pretty much guaranteed to be kept busy until midnight, at the least. You remain on the couch where you lay until a knock comes to your door. You don't even get up to answer, since Madoka lets herself in immediately anyway.

“Hello Madoka,” you drone from the couch, pulling yourself to a sitting position.

“I can't believe someone else is going out and doing this kind of thing, and openly in public too!” Madoka whines, picking right up from where she left off. “This has to be a challenge!”

“Or it could just be some kids doing this kind of thing for fun after hearing about, well, our little adventure,” you counterpoint with actual sanity and reason, resources entirely wasted on Madoka.

“No way, they're a rival team, look at them!” Madoka cries, opening the picture she sent you and pushing it towards your face, then pointing to one girl. A black-dressed girl with long blonde hair and a single red ribbon on the side of her head, firing two beams from her two hands. Backing her up is a winged girl with an elaborate looking dress surrounded by what look like flaming birds, and a third girl carrying what looks like a caricature of a karakasa that doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot. “If that doesn't scream 'the anti-hero rivals' to you, I don't know how much louder I'll have to do it.”

“Yeah, yeah, I get it,” you sigh, closing the picture, “but what do you want to do about it?”

“We have to meet them, of course!” Madoka states, as if it was the most logical conclusion.

“And how do we do that?” you ask.

“Propose a challenge to them, naturally,” Madoka continues with her statements.

“I'm guessing you want to get everyone in on this too, right?” you ask, even though you know it's rhetorical.

“For sure! We've got twice as many people, we can impose on them with numbers!” Madoka says excitedly. “We should call everyone together right now!” Madoka declares, opening her own contact list.

“No, hold on,” you say, swiping your hand through her display. “What would be the point, do you really think we can call out these other... magical girls, tonight?” you ask, trying to get some reason across to Madoka.

“Sure we can,” Madoka replies casually, taking up her contact list again and dialing Chie before you can stop her. You slump back onto the couch in defeat. You just let Madoka go through and call everyone. When she's done, she drops onto the couch next to you, contented. “They're all on their way,” she says happily. Oh man.

The rest of the 'team' shows up over the next forty minutes, with Maggie arriving first with a laughing smile. She hadn't even managed to sit down before Madoka called her back to your house, as you find out. Chie and Mana arrive together, and Mio shows up last, having been spending some time training with her sister when she got called. Your living room is at capacity, and Madoka takes charge of the situation.

“Ladies and Takeo, we have a serious situation on hand,” she announces, bringing up the picture of the 'rivals' again and blowing it up so everyone can see at once. “We are not the only people out there donning avatars and fighting illegals in public!”

“A rival group of heroes!” Mio chimes in, and Madoka jumps right on the comment.

“Exactly, Mio! Good to see someone that understands the situation!” Madoka comments, glancing at you in the meantime.

“So someone else went playing dress up in public to fight some illegals,” Chie says plainly, “and you want to do something about it?”

“We're going to fight them!” Madoka cheers, “Have a showdown to see who is worthy of being this town's true protectors!”

“Right, I'm not doing this,” Chie says, standing up and heading for the door, but Madoka pounces on her from behind and restrains her.

“No! Chie, please work with us here!” Madoka whines to the struggling Chie. Mana doesn't seem to troubled by the situation, and sits by giggling at the struggle.

“If you're too embarrassed to do it Chie, you could always just hide and let us take care of it,” Mana comments. Chie stops struggling and Madoka releases her, but she doesn't seem too keen on following this idea quite yet.

“This is just ridiculous,” Chie complains, “what purpose is there to going out and having a 'battle' with these people?”

“Well, I thought it'd be fun,” Madoka says, sounding a little hurt by being shot down in such a way. Chie seems both annoyed and sorry that she apparently hurt Madoka's feelings, and softens up a little.

“What can we even do to find them,” Chie asks.

“Maybe we could go around making a show of ourselves,” Mana suggests.

“Or make a public announcement in person, spread our name to the people as their protectors,” Mio suggests in turn. Madoka's already bouncing back from her sulk.

“Excellent ideas!” Madoka declares, returning to the situation. “What else?” You start thinking that perhaps if you interject now, you might be able to take control of this situation and make it slightly less manic, if mostly to save the remainder of your day.

[] Take a shot to seize control of the situation.
[] Sit back and just ride it out.
[] Announce your intent to sit out of this whole thing.
An update! Awesome.

[x] Take a shot to seize control of the situation.

Those ideas all sound like walking around randomly... maybe we can come up with something a bit more structured? At least something easier on the feet.
[x] Take a shot to seize control of the situation.

Let me guess Rumia, Mokou and Kogasa.
[x] Take a shot to seize control of the situation.
[x] Take a shot to seize control of the situation.

I have no helpful commentary to make. I'm sorry.
[X] Take a shot to seize control of the situation.

I'm not sure about Rumia because we already have a Rumia (or should I say Rin?).

I agree about Mokou (though I am a little iffy about it) and Kogasa though.
[x] Take a shot to seize control of the situation.

Right. If you're going to keep this from getting out of hand, you're going to have to step up now and take a chance at getting control of the entire process. You slide forward on the couch and clear your throat.

“Madoka, if you don't mind, I have a suggestion to make on a course of action,” you state, getting the attention of the girls gathered. “While we can all come up with ideas on how to approach this other group or get their attention, I seriously doubt anything needs to be put into action tonight.”

“Why's that?” Madoka asks, sounding a bit indignant.

“Think of it this way,” you begin, standing up from your seat, “no matter what we come up with, we're still going to need preparation, and some kind of way to ensure that these 'rivals' notice our actions.” Madoka smiles a bit at your use of 'rivals'. “Though there's no way to guarantee that they'll see it tonight, or even by tomorrow if we were to go out and start making a scene right now. What we need to do is figure out what we're going to do to draw their attention, and then work on finding a way to ensure it's as successful as possible.”

“If we go out with our avatars and start making a scene and make sure someone gets some snaps of us though, they'll hear about it no matter what,” Madoka counters, “obviously they follow rumour sites, so we can just do whatever in heavily populated areas and we're almost guaranteed to show up on a news forum.” Damn it, she's right, really. You're going to regret it, but you're going to need to appeal to her sense of showmanship.

“Think about how much more impact it would have to organize something before hand. Spread rumours and news ourselves to ensure that newshounds are out looking for us, and then we make a show when we turn up. We could even probably rig up some kind of virtual special effects to really make a spectacle,” you explain. Madoka is completely silent, and the rest of the group seems mixed between utter disbelief and barely-contained glee.

“We absolutely have to do that!” Mio gushes, totally buying into it right off the bat. She's got as much a flair for show as Madoka, it seems.

“That's a pretty awesome idea, Takeo,” Madoka admits, though her smirk is more arrogant than proud, “and here I was thinking that you felt you were too good for this kind of thing, you're really getting into it.” Ah hell.

“You're as bad as she is!” Chie complains, looking ready to stomp off again.

“But still, we'll need the time to set up and let things build up. If we're lucky, the others will be there waiting for us by the time we come out publicly, saving us the trouble of having to wander around making a scene first,” you wrap up.

“I suppose that is the best way then,” Madoka agrees, looking over the other girls gathered, “any disagreements?” she asks.

“Yes!” Chie whines, “this is ridiculous! I don't want to go parading around in public pretending to be a magical girl. What if someone who knows us actually sees us, or finds out about it? No one would ever shut up about it!”

“So?” Madoka replies bluntly, with a wide grin, “we'll just do it more often then if the secret breaks, and then merge the Hero personas with our day to day lives.” Chie fusses a bit more, but ultimately gives up when she looks around and sees everyone else watching her.

“I'll be sure to blame you all for forcing me into this if we all become laughing stocks for this,” Chie grumbles.

“So, what now then?” Madoka asks after the hissyfit is over, “want to get to work on planning our show, or start spreading news?”

[] Get on with the planning. *
[] Start with the rumourmongering. *
[] Split into two groups and do both. *
*- [] But get everyone out of your house first.


Sub-option can be attached to all three options.
Regular updates! Huzzah!

[x] Split into two groups and do both.

Giving the others a choice should improve cohesion.
[x] Start with the rumourmongering. *
*- [x] But get everyone out of your house first.

Time to give Aya an call as she'd be able to help out nicely
[x] Split into two groups and do both.
- [x] But get everyone out of your house first.

Everyone who sucks at special effects can work on rumors.
[x] Split into two groups and do both.
- [x] But get everyone out of your house first.

Thread Watcher x