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File 136487386067.png - (209.54KB , 512x383 , once more into the breach lads.png ) [iqdb]
166200 No. 166200
Loneliness is a terrible thing. To be separated from those about you, your friends, your kinfolk, your fellow human beings, is one of the worse punishments a man can receive. To be ostracized from others and forced to stand alone can do great harm.

When faced with that adversity, what would one do? Would one's head be held up high, chin strong and mouth set as they brace themselves for the solitude imposed onto them? Or would the muscles not be strong enough, and the back too flexible? Instead of taking the weight of the burden on the shoulders, would the load be cast aside so that eyes could weep and hearts could pray that this would be over soon?

Not many can, or will, risk that which comes from being alone. It is too easy to fail, succumbing to the sweet madness. The natural desire for company, for the comfort of another's presence, can drive a man insane. Too long without the warmth of even mere amicable relationships and the mind tries to twist to cope. Humanizing objects, seeing hallucinations, hearing that little sweet whispering in the back of the head, telling you of great things that may come… All that and more. So much more.

Still, all experiences this from time to time. But, what if someone must experience this all of the time? Cut off from the rest of the world either by choice or action, they are alone even when surrounded by the throngs of this world. A disconnect emerges between the one and the many. They are different, too different. Even if they are close enough to feel the breath of a fellow, worlds still manage to separate. Some of those who suffer from this affliction are normal, mere men with mundane troubles that stress their minds and bodies.

Others, though, have other things to worry about. Those others are the ones that know. They have been cursed with the knowledge, the most terribly affliction ever to be known. Separated not by some foul spell or iron chains, they find themselves alone simply because others cannot ― or will not ― comprehend.

Can a man even consider himself among others, when he knows what lies are lived by the crowd? Would one even consider him among equals when unknown wonders and horrors that are waiting in the wings, waiting to take advantage of the blissfully ignorant the moment they turn their backs?

That is true loneliness. Being unable to speak of your knowledge without being branded a lunatic or a madman, a man instead has to watch and wait as the world passes him by. Even the loudest of screams and exultations are ignored, leaving them alone.

At least that man can take comfort in the reality that surrounds him. It may be twisting and changing, but it accepts everything that such a man would know. But… But. What if reality itself rejects one? What if the very universe casts its eyes upon one, and says that they don't exist?

Some men would bow down and accept the inevitable. Some men would shun that which makes them nonexistent, and allow creation to make them one with the world. Still more would whisper in the darkness, complaining about it, but never taking a stand.

A fair few instead laugh in the face of reality and dare it to come after them.

Stepping off the train, a blonde girl adjusts the backpack on her shoulders before casting her eyes about. Head bobbing gently to the beat of the music in her headphones, she slowly steps onto the platform, letting the rest of the passengers disembark the carriage.

Ignoring the throng of people that surrounds her, she slips through the crowd, continuing to cast her eyes on all that she sees. A small smile crosses her lips as she steps through the terminal. "Fairly normal so far. Nothing that seems too out of place."

Still, she continues to look around, taking in every inch of the building. Her eyes miss not an inch of the building, from the waxed floor tiles to the dusty rafters. It looks the same as every other train station in the newer cities. Concrete columns hold up a roof of metal and glass, none of it in too good of a shape. Even if it is unimpressive, she nods to herself and heads out the front door of the building.

Once out on the concrete sidewalk, she walks down the street for a few minutes. Gold eyes cut to every person who seems slightly out of place, but none of them arouse more than a tad bit of suspicion. "Everything here is so mundane… Perhaps I'll be lucky, and there won't be much of an infestation. It'll be easy to scope out the trails then."

The buildings begin to grow larger as she strolls down the city streets, approaching the center of town. Still not seeing anything with her eyes, she eventually stops her constant scanning, and instead reaches for her pocket. Pulling out a small, flat object from her jacket's pocket, she holds it up to her face. "First step: start scanning. What would we do without that tank girl…"

Humming to life, the object's screen flickers on, and a multitude of various icons floating patiently upon it. Tapping one of the icons with her middle finger, the blonde holds the object out as an image of the city streets appears on the camera.

"You know, it's so easy to play the tourist. I bet these folks are wondering why I'm even bothering to 'take a picture' of their buildings." The blonde chuckles as she spins around slowly, looking at everything around her with the small tablet. "Not that they even are paying attention to me as it is. Such a dull city…"

After a few revolutions, the blonde stops in her tracks, all joviality disappearing from her face. "So there is a trail… It wasn't a hoax. Not like Reimu is ever wrong, but still… I had been hoping I didn't have to do another job." Sighing, she lowers the phone and turns down another city street.

It doesn't take her long to find her destination. On a sidewalk next to a few apartment complexes, the concrete has been shattered as if an enormous weight had landed on it. Taking a moment to scan it once more with the tablet, she sighs and puts it away before walking up to the impact crater.

Even though the sidewalk is fairly crowded, the blonde notices that no one is bothering to walk over the damaged sidewalk. Some people are even stepping into the street so as to avoid the damage. "Damn idiots… All of them, tempting fate. …But not their fault, I suppose." Laughing softly in spite of herself, she kneels down and reaches forward with one hand.

A few strands of white light flow from her fingers and into the ground, just as a sparkling mist follows soon afterwards. No one even notices as she stares at the crate on the sidewalk, tilting her head curiously as if examining it.

"Let's see… Odd origin. Not a Changeling. …But not a true Youkai either." Her forehead creases as she leans closer. "That's not good. Not at all. This one has some strength behind it. …Good thing that this glamour is too weak to be intentional. Perhaps I'll be lucky, and I won't have to play hide and seek. Again."

Frowning, she clenches the hand, pulling the stained, white light back up into her hand. Pausing for a moment, she leans down and sniffs at the ball of light that coagulating on her palm. She nods after a few seconds. "A beast. Well, this won't be too difficult then. Not an elemental or a fairest, at the very least. Annoying buggers."

"Still, I should get rid of the glamour. Even if they think it's somebody else's problem, someone will notice. I doubt a pothole will cause a problem…" Raising her hands up toward the center of the hole, she pauses and smacks herself in the head. "Right. Need to get proof. Don't want Rika to go and lecture me again."

Pulling out the tablet, she brings up the same menu as before. The blonde fiddles with it for a few seconds before putting it back into her pocket, satisfied that she had done her job. "You know, I should go downtown and fleece the mayor for a little bit of cash. Surely this is worth half the job of fixing the thing…"

Holding her hands up, she stares at the hole in the ground before clenching her hand, causing the air around her to pop and sizzle quietly. Quickly standing up, she slips into the crowd, leaving before anyone else can notice her. One of her hands goes up to try and pull the brim of her hat down, and she nearly curses when she realizes she doesn't have it on.

After walking a few blocks, satisfying her need to escape the scene of the cleansing, the blonde glances up at the skyscrapers surrounding her. "Alright. Time to get to the chase. Let's see where this little monster decided to go."

[ ] Get the tablet back out. Search for any clues that way.
[ ] Feel out the magic of the beast and follow it.
[ ] Get on the horn. Maybe Rika has something that could help you.

------------

So, I just made a liar out of myself.

No. 166202
[X] Feel out the magic of the beast and follow it.
No. 166206
[x ] Feel out the magic of the beast and follow it

Time is off the essense, gentlemen.


I've been waiting on this story. This is going to be fun.
No. 166211
[x ] Feel out the magic of the beast and follow it
No. 166215
[X] Feel out the magic of the beast and follow it.

Works for me~!
No. 166216
[x] Get the tablet back out. Search for any clues that way.

I want a techno-wizard.
No. 166218
[X] Feel out the magic of the beast and follow it.
No. 166226
[X] Feel out the magic of the beast and follow it.

Oh man, I've been waiting for this. Chapter 2, go!
No. 166230
File 136494683696.jpg - (706.75KB , 800x1114 , just a quick investigation.jpg ) [iqdb]
166230
[-a-] Feel out the magic of the beast and follow it.

------------

Her hand dangling near the pocket, the blonde pauses. "Wait, what am I doing? Don't need the gadgets to keep following her. I can just use some good old, ordinary magic to find this one. Be good to keep it in practice."

A stranger that is passing by the girl gives her an odd look, wondering what in the world she is mumbling about. He doesn't ask, though, instead just shaking his head and continuing onward when she shoots him a cheesy grin. However, the grin fades as she nurses a twinge in the back of her head. "Sheesh, you're picky today, aren't ya? Not like he even believed me."

Walking down the street once more, she turns her eyes up, searching for that invisible trace of magic. "Let's see… Where is that wild feeling closest to?" Ignoring the passerby just as much as they ignore her, she turns her head up to the sky and keeps looking about.

Unseen to anyone else, the faint sparkles of the creature's magic become visible. "There we go. I was starting to wonder if I'd ever find it. At least in the first minute or so." Still, she can't help but to grumble as she follows the city streets some more, weaving in and out of the various men and women that seem to be idly wandering along.

"I suppose we are dealing with a bird, then. Or a bat, I suppose. One bugger that can fly at least." Chuckling, she grins at her own words. "Not to narrow it down or anything, no. But it'd be one of those. I doubt that it's strong that it could fly without wings… Then I'd be in trouble."

After walking for a few blocks, the blonde notices the trail of sparkles disappear. Her grin widens as she notices where exactly it had ended. "Some sort of supermarket, was it? Probably could smell all the humans in there and couldn't resist. There's no panic, so I guess it hasn't started to eat them yet…" Her hands inch closer to her jacket as she walks into the store.

Casting her sharp eyes in every direction as she walks in, the girl freezes in place. "Oh, my… That looks valuable, there." Sticky hands wiggle automatically as the blonde fixes her gaze upon a few bobbles in a nearby glass case. "If I wasn't on the clock… Too bad that they all look fake. Too new. …Might be able to trade it for a trinket that has some age to it, though." Mentally ticking off a box on a checklist, she pulls her eyes from the tempting sight before continuing on.

Now that premeditated theft is taking a backseat to the task at hand, the blonde continues to walk through the store. "Now, if I was an abomination with a desire to eat humans and steal their souls, where would I be…" Turning to looks down at the women's section, she lets out a bark of laughter. "Well, that's where they'd probably be. There's none of the magic, down that way though…"

Slowly turning about, the blonde eventually gets a hold on the trail once again. "Interesting, interesting." Following the erstwhile invisible magic of the beast, she finds herself heading deeper and deeper inside the store.

"…This is odd." Frowning, she looks at her surroundings. "Ended up in a clothing section? Granted, I suppose this place would be a bit too hoity-toity to have a section for food, or that many customers…" Frowning, she continues along. "Still, why would it ignore the chance to cause a ruckus? It almost seems as if it wants to hide out."

The trail eventually comes to an end, leaving off around one rack that contained a whole slew of oversized coats. "Well, now… Seems like I have been assuming." Spotting the one empty hanger on the entire rack, the blonde grimaces. "Strange one. It wants to hide out. But is to hide out and try and fit back in, or hiding out until the opportune moment comes to strike?"

As nobody is there to answer her rather rhetorical question, she instead begins to dig around the area. She searches for anything that has that wild magic of the beast on it. She has to drop to her hands and knees, but she eventually does come up with a result: one feather as long as her forearm and mottled black and white.

"Well now, this will certainly prove to be useful. Just need to sneak up on Reimu, and I'd be able to get her real good. And I'd be too far away for her to hit me!" Laughing out loud, the girl eventually does calm down. "That is if I manage to keep it intact. Probably need to break it down for a potion proper… Then I could track him everywhere he may go." She pauses before tilting her head to the side. "Well, Most likely a him at least. Could be a girl who has a fondness for humongous trench coats… Which I suppose I can approve of."

Laughing to herself, she pockets the enormous feather in yet another pocket on her jacket before looking around some more. "He had to escape somewhere, though. And if he wasn't walking…" Trailing off, she heads to the back of the store.

Sure enough, there was a door that was open, swinging in the light breeze blowing in from the outside. The handle of the door is crushed in the grip, and claw marks mar the edge of the door. "…At least a class three beastie, then. I suppose a two could have done that, but it seems too deep." Shaking her head, she glances back at the rest of the room. "Well, I should go ahead and remove these minor glamours before I leave. But first, I'm going to go and help myself to a few little things…"

------------

Humming to herself as she strolls along the sidewalk, the blonde grins. "Not too bad. Not much I liked back there, but I'm sure the cufflinks can be pawned off for a little bit. Or maybe I can melt them down and do a little transmuting." Shrugging, she continues along the sidewalk, idly thinking of a place to go to perform her work.

As she walks along, she feels something vibrate in yet another of her pockets. Frowning, she peels off the headphones from her head and wraps them about her neck before pulling out a phone. Smiling a bit, she flips it open. "Howdy hi there, Rika. What're you up to today?"

"Not that much today, Marisa." The voice on the other end has a petulant whine to it, which is soon confirmed by her words. "Just wondering why I didn't hear from you. Reimu had to call and tell me what you were up to."

Pausing for a second, the blonde rolls her eyes. "Really, now? This is the same Reimu who didn't want me to get you involved. She seemed afraid that we'd be having tanks rolling down the streets if I so much as spoke a word."

An awkward laugh echoes on the other end. "Well, she did make it perfectly clear that I was not to get involved in such a manner. …Multiple times. Emphatically."

"That's what I had imagined." Grinning widely, Marisa turns down a side street and heads down the alley, getting out of earshot of anyone who might be listening. "So, what's it that you're calling about? Sad about being left out?"

"Well, that, and I wanted to make sure you were getting all the data. How much do you know about this one?" A few bangs ring out from the other end of the line as something heavy and metal falls into place. "I have here that you did record its signature. Doesn't look too odd."

Marisa just shakes her head, still grinning to herself. "That's why you got to be able to feel the magic, Rika. It feels quite odd, even if the readouts are fairly normal." Sighing, she winces as the shrill whine of a drill echoes in her ear. "You're working on one of your tanks right now, aren't you?"

"Of course!" Insulted, the voice on the other end becomes rather sardonic. "What else would I be working on? I do have to make sure the old Flower Tank is ready, just in case."

Chuckling, Marisa responds. "Never change. I may need you to go and check the monitor sometime. I doubt I'll need it now, but those orbiting observation posts that the lunarians have might be useful."

"…I'm not my sister, Marisa." The voice is quiet for a few seconds as more metal clangs ring out. "Even if we could get them to agree, they might not even be in position to help you."

"That's why I said may. I've got a piece of the beast already. Just need to break it down and brew a little potion. I'll do it the old fashioned way."

Rika pauses, seemingly setting down whatever she was working on. "…Just be careful with that. You never know if it'll have a bad reaction."

The smile falling from her face, Marisa slowly nods. "I know. I know. But I do know what I am doing. Just trust me on this." When no one responds, the blonde sighs. "I'm probably going to grab something to eat and let it brew. Then I'll go ahead and head out once it is nightfall. At least I can fly then." A cocky grin appears on her face. "There isn't anyone who can outrun me when I'm in the air."

"I suppose that is true." Pausing, Rika grabs whatever she is doing and continues to hammer on the clanging metal. "…So, do you need anything else? Or you just gonna go on ahead and start brewing?"

[ ] "Nah, nothing else. Take care, Rika."
[ ] "Just get something in place once you're free. I wouldn't mind another set of eyes helping to look."
[ ] "…How's your sister doing? It's been a while since I asked."
No. 166231
[x] "…How's your sister doing? It's been a while since I asked."

Sister?
No. 166233
[x] "…How's your sister doing? It's been a while since I asked."

Rikako?
No. 166234
[x] "…How's your sister doing? It's been a while since I asked."
No. 166239
[X] "Just get something in place once you're free. I wouldn't mind another set of eyes helping to look."

You, yes you author, I love you so much right now.
No. 166245
[X] "…How's your sister doing? It's been a while since I asked."

Well, now... I've been looking forward to this for awhile now! I knewyou would eventually do it, Begi! Definitely look forward to this~
No. 166247
[x] "…How's your sister doing? It's been a while since I asked."

>>166239
Took the words right out of my mouth.
No. 166249
File 136497245071.jpg - (173.05KB , 500x500 , a tank girls nightmare.jpg ) [iqdb]
166249
[-b-] "…How's your sister doing? It's been a while since I asked."

------------

Shaking her head at the girl who could not see her, Marisa answers. "Don't need anything in particular. Pretty good on that front. …How's your sister doing? It's been a while since I asked."

The voice on the other end of the phone is silent for a few seconds, causing Marisa to frown. "Not that good right now. She had been doing so well, recently. I even was able to pull her out of her room for a little bit…"

A hesitant smile crosses Marisa's face. "Well, that sounds rather good. Usually you have trouble even pulling her away from that ramshackle workbench. …Or getting her to eat."

"…That's the good part." Rika's voice begins to get a bit shaky as she speaks. "But… I found her trying to… trying to…"

"Shh, calm down." Glancing from side to side, Marisa drops her backpack before sliding down a wall, sitting down and leaning against it. "Just take your time. What is it that she tried to do?"

"She…" Taking a deep breath, the warbling voice of the girl finally begins to explain. "I found her mutilating herself again." The girl sobs quietly, her voice choking up again. "Yelling out. Screaming. Wanting the magic out of her. It's tainting her, tainting her work. She can't build anything pure until it's… it's gone."

"Of all the times…" Clenching the hem of her jacket, Marisa does her best to calm the hysterical girl. "Rika, listen to me. Take a deep breath and just calm down." As the girl does not respond at first, she continues to speak. "Listen to me. You managed to keep Rikako from going too far, right? She didn't hurt herself too badly…"

The silence on the other end answers her before the girl does. "She managed to get down to the stomach this time. I was too slow. Didn't even realize that she was having a spell. It's been months since the last time she's fallen so far."

"That's why the others are there with you, right?" While she tried to keep her voice cheery, the blonde had an intense desire to let out and start cursing at everything she could see. "She didn't lose too much blood, did she?"

"No." At that, Marisa lets out a sigh of relief. "I managed to get a hold of them and put her back together. If I was too slow… She could have been spilling out all over the floor…"

Sensing the opportunity to strike, Marisa cuts in. "But she didn't, because you were there. Don't blame yourself for this, Rika." Before the girl responds, Marisa cuts her off once more. "I know you are. But it's not your fault. Just like it's not your fault that the ryuunosukian kappa managed to get a hold on her."

"I know that, but damn it!" Rika nearly shouts into the phone, causing Marisa to pull it away from her ear. "Ever since then, she can't help but stand the mere mention of magic! I can't help her at all! She was the one that could use it, and now… Now she is trying to kill herself over it!"

Glancing up the alleyway, Marisa can see a shadow pass by. Reminded that others could possibly hear what was being said, Marisa bites her lips and tries to calm her down. "Rika, that's why you're there. Maybe we'll be able to break her of the compulsion one day, but we don't know enough. And none of us are strong enough." Knowing that it wouldn't be well received, she tries to think of something else to say. "…Listen. I'll be coming that way once I'm done with this job. I can see if I can do anything then."

The girl on the other end sniffs, eventually responding. "It didn't work the last few times. Why would this time be any different?"

"I don't know. But I sure will be trying. Besides, you're both my friends." Marisa automatically smiles, even though there is no way Rika could see it. "I couldn't not try and help you. So just be strong. If not for yourself, be strong for her."

"…Thanks." The girl is silent for a few seconds before letting out a weak, watery laugh. "Sometimes I wish I was like you. Nothing ever phases you, does it?"

"Of course they don't!" Putting on a cocky air, Marisa can't help but wince at the blatant falsehood. "After all, I am Marisa Kirisame, a perfectly ordinary magician! Nothing can get through this thick skull!" Pausing, she tries to amend her rather abrupt proclamation. "That didn't quite come out right…"

Still, the lies and jokes have their intended effect. "Are you sure? Maybe Reimu's lectures have finally made their impact." A bit of that earlier cheer comes back, but it is strained. "Still, you should take care of that job. I'll manage…" Rika's voice suddenly peppy, as fake and obnoxious as she can make it. "After all, she's just sedated. I'll head up there in a little bit once it wears off. Then I'll see if she can manage without putting her back in her white jacket. …I hate seeing her when she can't tinker…"

"I know, Rika. I know." Taking a moment to stand back up, Marisa hoists the backpack on one shoulder once more. "Are you going to be alright?"

"No. But I… we'll survive." Sniffing one last time, Marisa hears the rustling of fabric as she moves about. "You need to get going, don't you? Well, I'll be here. Just take care, alright? Don't get captured and taken…" A few more words whisper out, almost too quiet to hear. "Not you too."

"I won't, Rika." Waiting to see if there was anything else, she speaks. "Just take care. If there's anything that you need, go ahead and call. I can't promise that I'll answer, but I'll try to."

"Thanks, Marisa. Take care." At that, Rika finally hangs up, leaving Marisa in the quiet of the alleyway. The blonde looks from side to side, still curious if anyone had caught wind of the conversation. Satisfied that no one had, she pockets the phone and walks out, not putting her headphones back on once more.

Coming out onto the city streets proper, she looks about, the earlier air of joviality gone like a leaf on the wind. "Poor girl. If only we could do anything about it." Finally allowing herself to curse softly under her breath, Marisa turns out on the streets proper and begins to walk down, shoulders hunched and hands hidden inside her pockets.

For a moment, she feels an odd kinship with the others walking down the streets, every one of them avoiding contact with others. "Heh. Maybe if I weren't so pathetic, I'd be strong enough to help. If I didn't have to worry about going insane with such a power…" Sighing, she turns down another corner, wandering aimlessly down the city streets. "Not quite in the mood for food now, though. Just have to figure out what to do now."

[ ] Find someplace to start the brew. It's fortunate this one is nonvolatile.
[ ] Head to the restaurant anyways. Not like you have to eat immediately.

------------

>>166239
>>166247
Getting a bit creepy there… Not sure if ya'll will feel the same way now, though.
No. 166250
[X] Head to the restaurant anyways. Not like you have to eat immediately. Maybe pocket some silverware.

You sure haven't tarnished in skill~ Never expected that sort of thing from her sister, though.
No. 166257
[X] Head to the restaurant anyways. Not like you have to eat immediately.
No. 166260
[X] Find someplace to start the brew. It's fortunate this one is nonvolatile.

Might as well get to work. This is turning out to be an interesting chapter.
No. 166267
[x] Head to the restaurant anyways. Not like you have to eat immediately.

Pick up a little something just in case. Hard to fight supernatural beings on an empty stomach.

The situation with Rikako was alot . . . darker than I was expecting.
No. 166270
>>166267

You're probably going to want to read the first 'chapter' to this. It's over in /forest/, No Such Things As Fairy Tails.

Luminous' stories get pretty dark, but that's why I love 'em.
No. 166272
>>166270

No, I've read No Such Thing as Fairy Tales. I honestly should not have been surprised in retrospect.
No. 166280
[x] Find someplace to start the brew. It's fortunate this one is nonvolatile.

Might as well start on that brew now.
No. 166302
[x] Find someplace to start the brew. It's fortunate this one is nonvolatile.

Can't say I fancy procrastination.

Upon seeing this story I'm very glad, very glad indeed. Welcome back. Earlier the author expressed regret at not being able to portray Lucas's mindset, thought it might be nearly as poignant inferred. I'm dreading the notion of raising a hand against someone who's experience and infernal hardship we've witnessed first hand. Not going to draw that one out against the grain of the story, though. There are also bound to be other complications.

>>166272
Similar sentiments are shared. Alliteration unintended.
No. 166307
Unless anyone has any problems, I'm going to call for the first vote. I had the update mostly written by the time I reloaded and saw it tied
No. 166308
File 136513172248.png - (205.88KB , 707x596 , a little bit of privacy.png ) [iqdb]
166308
[-c-] Head to the restaurant anyways. Not like you have to eat immediately.

------------

Shaking her head, Marisa resists the urge to sigh once more as she continues down the streets. "Well. I can grab some grub, I suppose. Will need time for it to stew anyways." That in mind, she continues to turn her head from side to side, looking for a place that she can slip inside and grab a small bite.

Sadly, it seems that the majority of the places to eat are not particularly ones to her taste. Frowning at all of the western food joints, Marisa keeps walking past them. "Hardly worth it if what I'd be eating was a bunch of garbage."

As she walks, she couldn't help but drift back onto the conversation before. "…Damnit all. Why would she suddenly do such a thing? I thought that she had forgotten about the magic. I guess a techno like her wouldn't be able to forget it easily." Shoving her hands in her pockets, Marisa keeps on heading down the street, ignoring the passerby. "Still, it could have been worse. If the beast kappa had gotten to her…"

Shivering, Marisa doesn't finish her thought, instead weaving about another man. Glancing back up, she looks over the crowd. "…Seems a bit more lively than before. I was beginning to wonder if this whole down was so depressing. Must have been my imagination." Chuckling, she steps across a street, ignoring the cars approaching the sidewalk.

Once on the other side, she looks around once more. Her head pausing in the midst of her searching, Marisa suddenly grins. "Well, now. I was wondering if there was a place that was a bit closer to home… This looks like it will do." Crossing yet another street, ignoring the sign blaring 'Don't Walk' at her, she pushes the doors open to the restaurant.

Marisa has to squint a bit in order to see in the rather dim lighting of the interior. The establishment seems to have been set up to cater to the local clientele, as every seat is either that of a booth or a chair. Shrugging it off, Marisa walks past the sign that informs her that she should wait to be seated and heads to the back, walking past a few tables and finding a nice corner to hunker down in.

Taking the moment of quiet to set her pack to the side, she reaches into it and starts pulling out a few pieces of equipment. The feather and an old wooden box follow a few old glass beakers, much thicker than any sort of normal glassware.

Before she can start putting it all together, though, she is interrupted by low, intense speech. Glancing up, Marisa quickly pushes everything to the side, hiding it behind her bag. The blonde continues to watch as the voices grow. Two figures walk over to hers, a shorter one staring up at the taller.

"I've about had it to here with you, Kurenai!" The shorter figure pokes her in the chest as they get out of earshot of anyone else. "Such poor performance all of this time! I shouldn't expect anything different from one of your kind, but you are pushing me to my limit!"

The taller figure sighs, shaking her head. "What is it this time? Is Hitome complaining again? It wouldn't be the first time for her."

"Yes, it is she." Crossing his arms, the man stares up at the taller woman. "Taking over your tables because you're doing such a poor job in serving them! You should be more attentive in your duties! How are we going to keep customers coming if we do not perform at our utmost to take care of them?"

Sighing, the woman shakes her head. "If you haven't noticed, they don't like to be hovered over here. Especially by one as simpering as her. Haven't you noticed that when she takes them over, they always leave as quickly as possible?"

"Shifting blame aren't you? Just like one of your kind, Kurenai." The woman twitches at the name, her brow knitting. "I shouldn't expect any less…"

As the man starts ranting, Marisa raises an eyebrow. "I wonder… she's not one of them, is she?" Frowning, she narrows her eyes and stares at them both. "Neither of them seems to be unnatural." Squeezing her hand, she tries to draw in any sort of energy that the two would have, but no trails of light or motes of dust are attracted to her fingertips.

"Could be a strong glamour. Those things are impossible to see through." Grimacing slightly at the voracity of some of the man's words, Marisa reaches into her pocket. "Not a friendly folk. Good thing they're talking in Japanese. Most of the folks here wouldn't know a thing that's being said."

Pulling out the small tablet, she turns it on once again. Making sure to aim it surreptitiously at the two people having a lovely conversation, she begins to cycle through every single setting available. "Damn. …Damn. And double damn." Every single one comes up negative. "So either she's the strongest thing imaginable, or they're both human. …I doubt a Youkai would let herself be lectured like that, though."

Glancing over, the man spots the blonde looking at them. "And look here. Seems like we've another visitor who hasn't yet been served. Really, Kurenai, are you trying to get yourself fired now? You're doing a very good job of that."

The taller woman resists the urge to growl, just shaking her head and sending her long, black hair everywhere. "I've told you enough times that that is not my name!"

"That's what it says on the sheet. But if you're so insistent, we'll just go back to calling you China." Huffing, he spins around and walks away. "Just go ahead and get to work. We'll be talking again tomorrow."

Huffing to herself, the woman waits for him to get out of earshot before she mutters under her breath. "Illiterate bastard…" Taking a deep breath, she turns around and plants a smile on her face, switching to the local tongue as she speaks. "Hello, and welcome to Uesegi Japanese Restaurant. Sorry about the wait, as the two of us were just discussing expansion and marketing plans. How may I help you?"

Grinning in spite of herself, Marisa rests her head on her first. "Worked on that one a while, didn't ya?"

"I'm afraid I don't know what you mean, Miss." Keeping her face straight, her weary eyes are the only things that show emotion. "We here are committed to providing the best service, and are sorry that we may have disregarded you."

Her smirk widening, the blonde eventually responds. "You know, you're not the only one here that understands Japanese." The girl pales at her words, and Marisa can't help but to laugh a bit. "Illiterate bastard, you say? Sounds about like the type."

Breathing out slowly, the facade drops from the woman's face. "Great. Now I'm definitely going to get fired." Looking down at Marisa, the woman brings her hands together. "Don't go and tell him, please. As much as I dislike him, I need this job. I'm close enough to getting kicked out as it is…"

"Relax, I'm not going to tell." Grinning, Marisa finally leans back. "Besides, not like I was in a hurry anyways. Got some rather bad news from a friend that put me off, and I needed time for it to settle before I could think about eating." Shrugging, Marisa looks down at where the Man had gone. "Besides, I could hear him, and he was being just a little bit annoying. I wouldn't sell you out based on that."

"…Thank you." Sighing in relief, the woman's shoulders slump. "I have enough to put up with him and his daughter… She can't do any wrong in his eyes." Staying quiet for a moment, the woman eventually shakes her head to remove stray thoughts. "Sorry. Well, if there is anything you need right now, please tell me. We aren't busy, so you can take all the time that you need."

"Well, I would like to know why a Chinese girl is working in a Japanese restaurant." Marisa grins at the woman as her ears turn red. "But as that would be a long story, why don't I just settle for a name? You don't have a name tag, and I doubt you want me to call you China."

Emphatically shaking her head, the woman responds. "Of course not. I'm Hong Meiling." Pausing, she automatically corrects. "Given name Meiling… but you knew that." Chuckling awkwardly, she reaches up and rubs the back of her head. "The waitress, I suppose. At least right now."

[ ] "I'm Marisa Kirisame. Ordinary magician. I exterminate evil spirits."
[ ] "Reimu Hakurei. Shrine Maiden. Like to beat people on the head with sticks."
[ ] "Just call me Rika. Have I mentioned that I like tanks? …Because I do."
[ ] "I'm… Rikako. Currently developing a more efficient jetpack.
[ ] "Kaguya Houraisan. You might have heard of me."

------------

Just realized I made an accidental LoZ reference.
No. 166310
That's a Meiling.

I am 100% okay with having a Meiling around.

[x] "I'm Marisa Kirisame. Ordinary magician. I exterminate evil spirits."

Marisa lies casually, except when she's done nothing wrong and gets to gloat a bit. Sometimes she lies even when she /hasn't/ done anything. But really, is there reason to lie now?

Not especially.

(Besides, that dude might just be racist or something.)
No. 166311
[x] "I'm Marisa Kirisame. Ordinary magician. I exterminate evil spirits."
No. 166314
[X] "I'm Marisa Kirisame. Ordinary magician. I exterminate evil spirits."

Heh, you always make the most interesting of events happen... Didn't expect to meet Meiling in such a place!
No. 166317
[x] "I'm Marisa Kirisame. Ordinary magician. I exterminate evil spirits."

The best lie is the truth, in this case.
No. 166323
File 136517438691.jpg - (77.88KB , 427x550 , pleasant looking isnt it.jpg ) [iqdb]
166323
[-d-] "I'm Marisa Kirisame. Ordinary magician. I exterminate evil spirits."

------------

"Good to hear. I'm Marisa Kirisame." Grinning widely, Marisa can't help but to strike a bit of a pose. "A perfectly ordinary magician. You might say that I exterminate evil spirits."

"…Right." Snorting, Meiling shakes her head and crosses her arms. "A magician. You one of those street performers that tries to eek out money from those who do actual work?"

Chuckling, Marisa shakes her head. "Nah. I could do those things, but it's not flashy enough for my own tastes." Relaxing a bit, she puts her head on her knuckles as she speaks. "Card tricks and bits of slight of hand? Sure, those are easy enough. But they're not the fun part."

"Then what is that supposed to be? The one where you guess the person's age?"

"I'm not a carnie. There is a difference." Feigning insult, Marisa sits up straight. "Now, you see, the good part is when you get to the finale. Everyone is so bored of the little cheap invisible things, and then bam!" Clapping her hands together, she nearly makes the girl jump. "That's when you put on the light show. It really knocks them out. All the small things are just to ease the target… audience into position, so that they can fully appreciate its majesty."

Nodding idly, Meiling can't help but to laugh a bit at the end. "You're a good storyteller, that much is obvious. How many times have you practiced that one?"

"Oh… A few… dozen… hundred times. Maybe?" The look on her face as cheeky as possible, Marisa just leans closer. "Of course, it gets different every time, so I may have told it more or less. It's really hard to keep track of, to be honest."

"I'm sure it is." Sighing, Meiling looks over towards the front of the restaurant. "Listen. As nice as it might be to chat, I need to go work on some other things. Just wave me down once you decide you want to eat, alright?"

"Gotcha gotcha. Will do." Idly waving at the retreating girl, Marisa looks down at the pile of stuff that she had hidden behind her. Once the coast was clear, she retrieved them all and set them on the table. "Now, let's see. A potion to track…"

Nodding to herself, she places the beakers back onto the table. "Alright. Well, the feather will go last. Where's my sack. Need a mushroom or three." Turning her bag around, she reaches inside of it. Her arm continues to reach until it is in much too deep to fit inside a bag so small. Even so, she continues searching around, biting her tongue as she reaches in so far that her shoulder meets the side of the bag.

"Need a mushroom for a fairy ring, a mushroom to kill, and another that tastes good." Pausing in her search, she grins and pulls out a small brown one. "A pine mushroom will do for the first. That will do well. As for the second…" Not even hesitating, she reaches back in and pulls another out. "Destroying angels sounds like a good idea. Even a little bit of symbolism would help."

Not waiting any longer, she plops that mushroom in the second of the beakers. "Gonna need a counteragent. Let's hope I had one. But as for the taste… A couple of shiitakes will do." Groping in her bag for a little bit longer, she pulls out another two white mushrooms that look slightly different than the second. "That'll do it. But let's see… Sulfur for the search, and salt for the kill. Prepare the spirit and prepare the body."

Continuing to dig around in her bag, she eventually pulls out an awful smelling substance. Putting it in the empty beaker, she takes another glance around to see if she is still alone. Satisfied that she is, she waves her fingers about, and the smell soon vanishes. "Alright. Counteragent for death… What was it, now?" Closing her eyes, she begins to think. "Counter for the angel of death… counter for that destroying angel. What was it that the old book said? Almost makes me wish that there were still alchemists around."

Snapping her fingers, she suddenly grins. "That's right. Virgin thistle with leaves as white as milk. Right, right." With one last lunge into the seemingly bottomless bag, Marisa retrieves a rather prickly looking flower. "That'll do it, I do believe."

Setting the flower into the jar with the mushroom, Marisa pushes it gently to the side before grabbing the other beaker. "Where's a fenny snake when you need one. Don't really need it, but it usually helps when you use a classic ingredient." Taking the brown mushroom and one of the other white ones, she places both into the beaker with the sulfur. "Feel like I'm forgetting something… Oh, right. The solvent." Reaching into her pocket, she retrieves a tiny dropper. Placing it above the beaker, she lets one drop fall in.

Everything the drop touches begins to melt. First the mushrooms and then the very sulfur all dissolved into one disgusting looking mess. Not even wincing at the thought of drinking such a brown and yellow concoction, she lets it melt for a bit longer before doing the same with the other beaker. "Alright. Just need some salt and I'll be good."

Unfortunately, there was no salt on the table, and a quick search of her bag proved her to be unprepared just a little bit. Shaking her head at the ridiculousness of it, she glances up. Marisa puts a hand in the air and tries to wave the girl down once more.

She is successful, and Meiling quickly heads over to meet her. "You decided yet…?" Glancing down curiously, she looks at the two beakers full of nasty looking fluids. "Are those some kind of health drink? Makes me sick just looking at them."

"Nah. They're potions. I did say that I was a magician, didn't I?" Laughing at the exasperated look on Meiling's face, Marisa shrugs. "Don't worry. Nothing flashy here. Just part of a later show, if you want to put it like that."

"Yeah. I figure I better not ask." Rolling her eyes, Meiling crosses her arms. "So, was there something you wanted? Or you just stealing some more of my time?"

"Well, I was going to order. But if you put it like that…" Snickering, Marisa continues before the woman does something drastic. "I'd just like a bowl of udon. Warm. Don't really care about anything else."

"Udon…" Mentally doing the translation, Meiling nods. "Right, right. But warm? It's hardly the season for something like that."

Marisa just shrugs. "Don't particularly care. Gonna be out for a long time tonight. Even a little something to keep me warm would be appreciated." Jerking her thumb at the bag, Marisa keeps speaking. "This thing may have a bunch of stuff in it, but a space heater isn't one of the things I managed to cram inside."

"Right, right. Might have to cost you extra, but we do have the stuff to do it. …Only problem is convincing the cook to actually make it." Shaking her head, Meiling continues. "Anything else?"

"Just some tea, that's all." Raising an eyebrow Marisa can't help but to say, "You don't really have the temperament for a waitress, you know. You look like you'd rather be doing something else."

Meiling shrugs. "I said just as much as earlier that this is a paying job. What I'm good at is not exactly needed around here." Nodding, she turns and starts to walk away. "I'll get it out as soon as I can."

"Alright." Blinking, Marisa remembers the reason she finally did order. "Wait! Meiling, there was one other thing." At the tall woman's curious glance, the blonde quickly explains. "Just need a bit of salt, if you get the chance. 'Fraid I didn't have any on me."

"Right. For the… potion." Quietly laughing, Meiling turns and walks away, heading away from Marisa once more.

"…Be glad that you don't know, Meiling. Be very glad." Sighing, Marisa looks down at the two. "Well, I need to start steeping them both. Only question is which one I leave longer. Can take one before and one after I eat, and it'll probably take a goodly while from the sound of it."

[ ] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.
[ ] Start the potion to kill. Once she finds it, she'll want to put that Youkai down as soon as possible.
No. 166324
[x] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.

Finding the Youkai is more important at this point than making a way to kill it.
No. 166327
[X] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.
No. 166328
[x] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.

Locate first. Gather information. Kill comes later.
No. 166330
[x] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.
No. 166331
[x] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.

I sure hope she fails to kill it.
No. 166332
[X] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.

Track, investigate, and then kill.
No. 166333
[x] Start the potion to kill. Once she finds it, she'll want to put that Youkai down as soon as possible.

Kill it, kill the youkai!
No. 166334
[x] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.

Considering who the Youkai is, I'd really rather have him survive!
No. 166335
[x] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.

In the words of Panther:

"It's find the bad guys, kill the bad guys. It doesn't work real well the other way around."
No. 166340
[X] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.
No. 166345
[x] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.

I hope this doesn't end up as sad as the last one did...
No. 166346
Well, it's kinda our own fault that it became as sad as it was. The simple answer would have saved the day, but we kept on trying to go the complex route as much as was possible. So, while it was a sad story, I for one believe that it would have been far less sad had we allowed it to be.
No. 166348
File 136522507822.jpg - (61.88KB , 500x281 , just a quick change of scenery.jpg ) [iqdb]
166348
[-e-] Start the potion to track. The sooner the Youkai is found, the sooner she can be done.

------------

Without hesitating, she sets the beaker with the poisonous mushroom to the side before setting the second beaker on the little wooden box. Leaning in closely to the eight-sided trinket, she brushes her fingers over its edge. A moment later, the concoction starts to bubble, even thought there is no visible source of heat.

"All well and good. Let it simmer for a bit, and I can add the final ingredient." As she speaks, she lays the feather on the table and looks at it. "Still wish I knew what these feathers were from. Don't know if I'm dealing with some kind of vulture, or a bird of prey…" Suddenly pausing, Marisa bursts out laughing. "It could be an ostrich! That would explain why it's running. Wanting to go stick its head in the sand."

Snorting again, Marisa ignores the annoyed look of a customer that managed to overhear her. "Alright. Let me take a few pictures of it so that I at least have it documented for Rika and the others. …Not like I'm going to be short of these feathers once I'm done, but I guess some will be a bit singed." Reaching into her pocket, she retrieves the small tablet and hovers it over the feather, taking a few pictures.

Once done with her work, and after pocketing the brick of a tool, she picks the feather up and holds it over the beaker. "Goodbye, feather from an evil creature. It is a shame that I never was able to annoy Reimu by tickling her with you." Grinning like a madman, she drops the feather in and watches its entire length dissolve into the potion. "…Well, that's done. Now to wait."

Putting her headphones back on her head, Marisa closes her eyes and leans back. The minutes quickly go by as she rests her eyes, tapping her foot to the beat that is unheard of. Eventually, though, she is roused when her nose smells something that is not horrid and bubbly.

Peeking her eyes open once more, Marisa sees Meiling standing there, having slid a bowl onto the table. Peering down at it, the blonde leans closer. "Seems a bit thick for udon, you know? Almost like a stew."

"Well, you did want something warm, and you didn't care the specifics." Meiling pauses before rubbing the back of her head. "Of course, if you don't mind, I can go find something else. Just thought that would be best if that was what you were after."

"Nah, it's all good. Thanks, Meiling." Marisa looks up, seeing that she was holding a shaker. "Oh, the salt. Thanks. I'll need that…"

"Just don't hurt yourself, alright? That stuff looks like it'd make you throw up."

"Oh, it would make you throw up. But I've got a thicker stomach than most. I've done this plenty of times, so don't worry about me." Chuckling, she waves her off. "Of course, a magician can't reveal her secrets, right?"

Meiling rolls her eyes. "Sure, sure. But if I come back and you're high, I'll toss you out of this place myself. …Just wave me over if you do need anything, though." At that, Meiling turns about and walks away once more.

Relieved that she wouldn't have to see this, Marisa grits her teeth and picks up the beaker. "Right. First one down the hatch. Second one later." Pinching her nose, she tips her head back and drains the entire beaker in one large drag.

Slamming the beaker back down on the table, Marisa sits there and stares at the opposite booth, breathing heavily. A few seconds later, she feels a twitch in the side of her head. "Right. Where is he…" Lifting her eyes up, she stares into the distance, and she feels the twinge in her brain yet again. "Right, right. Good distance. Definitely couldn't have caught up by foot."

Taking a deep breath, Marisa leans back down, ignoring the occasional twitch she receives due to the potions effects. "Yeah, yeah, I know he's thattaway. Just let me eat." After making sure to set the other beaker on the wooden box and tossing the salt and the final mushroom in, she leaves it to brew.

The next few minutes are spent shoveling in the bowl of udon. While thick, it doesn't seem quite as heavy as it had appeared, and she easily destroys the entire bowl. Once it is done and shoved to the side, she begins to stir the beaker with one stick, waiting for it to brew long enough to have a positive effect. "After all, I'd rather not drink it too early and poison myself."

Marisa chuckles to herself as Meiling walks up again, raising her eyebrow. "I didn't think you'd be finished that fast. You don't look like you're big enough to eat all of that."

"Oh, that wasn't much at all. I can't eat too much, though. Wouldn't want my stomach to get upset tonight." Chuckling, she reaches down into her pocket. "Now, I suppose I do owe ya now, don't I?"

"Yes, you do." Reaching down into her apron, Meiling pulls out a piece of paper. "Let's see. The total would be-" She is cut off as a rather large bill is shoved into her hands. "…It's not nearly this much. …You don't have anything smaller?"

"I do, but I don't mind. Sounds like you need it more than I do." Grinning at her, Marisa reaches down for the second beaker. "Well, now for the final act I do suppose. Thank ya much for the meal." With that, she raises her glass before tipping it back, draining it as well.

Meiling winces as she watches the viscous fluid slide down into her mouth. "You know, that is really nasty. What in the world is even in that thing?"

"Just a few little mushrooms. And a little bit of magic." Gripping the beaker tightly, Marisa grins up at Meiling, a manic look growing on her face. "Oh, that is a rush…"

Gritting her teeth, Meiling drops a foot back. "Now, remember what I said. If you're going to get high off some drugs in the back of this restaurant, I'll throw you out myself."

"Not getting high. Just think of it as caffeine. Or a sugar rush. Same thing." Chuckling, Marisa shoves both all of her equipment back in her sack before slinging it around and onto her shoulders. "But I feel it's time to go and get to work. What time is it about?"

Glancing up at a distant clock, Meiling answers. "It's half past seven." Feeling a need to elaborate, the woman awkwardly continues to speak. "Starting to get a bit dark outside. Did you say something about needing to do something at night?"

"That I did. Thanks." Standing up, Marisa starts to walk away quickly. "Looks like it's just about time. Just need to get my hat and my broom…" Muttering to herself, she opens the top of the backpack and automatically reaches in before stopping herself. "Right, right. Gotta wait on that."

Standing there, feeling quite a bit out of place, Meiling eventually asks, "Are you alright? You look a bit out of it…"

"Nah, I'm fine. Just talking to myself." The chipper look on her face vanishes as she glances back. "Oh, and one last thing, Meiling. I'll probably never see you again, but if you ever come across something unnatural. Anything that looks like it might be alien and hostile, or anything that looks like a fairy… Just run the other way."

"…Right." Pinching her nose, Meiling just shakes her head. "I'll keep that in mind. Have a good night, I suppose."

"That I will. That I will." Her grin back on her face, Marisa spins on her feet and marches out the door. Slipping into the crowd, she disappears from sight, leaving little evidence she had ever been there.

------------

Walking along the road, you pull your coat over your arms tighter as you stare up at the setting sun. "Is it already that late? Didn't think I had managed to walk that far since I left town." Your right hand twitches in your pocket, and you can't help but wish you had a few cents so that you could have at least put some distance between you and that fetch, not to mention Wriggle.

"…Was she even real? Or was my mind just screwing with me? If I'm out here, it should have been real. Then again, what is real and what is false now? She's probably coming, and I need to keep moving and try to find some safety." Looking about, you raise your gloved left hand up and pull your hat down further on your head. "Somewhere that I don't have to be worried about being called some sort of monster. I'd rather not have to do anything drastic."

As you lower your hand, you notice that one of your joints has managed to grip the inside, tearing the thin leather. The frown on your face deepening, you shove it back inside your coat pocket. As you continue to walk down the street, you can't help but to snort at the reactions of the passerby. While you had always been ignored before, nobody had ever been so obvious about avoiding you.

With the wings on your back folded and constrained as best that you could, you managed to look larger and quite a bit more menacing than you had ever. It is fortunate that they could not see the claws on your right hand nor the sharp canines in your mouth. "At least I have the perfect Halloween costume if I ever gave a damn."

As the sky grows darker, you can't help but to turn and look again. "…Just hope I stumble across a way back. I need to find them. I have to make sure that they're ok. Lost all of the others… I don't want to lose them, too." Sighing, you kick a nearby rock, sending it careening across the road. "I doubt shouting would help, either. There's nothing here so magical. Everything's so drab and dull…" Ignoring the small urge to do something about that problem, you try to think of another way. "Maybe once I go back to sleep, I can find a way? Then again, I've slept over there and I didn't end up back here before. There must be another reason."

"Not that standing here will help." Nodding, you look back up to the sky. Deep inside of you, the beast roars slightly, wishing to rise high above into the air. "Should I take the risk? I'm not going to get anywhere at this rate. Nearest town is probably miles away."

[ ] Take the risk and start flying. Who'd believe that they saw some sort of shadow in the dark, anyways?
[ ] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.
No. 166349
[x] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.

Better to not attract attention to ourselves, no matter how small.
No. 166350
We be Lucas now.

[X] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.
No. 166351
[X] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.
No. 166355
[x] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.

Not yet. Need to get used to our new state of being, and see how invisible to people we really are.
No. 166357
[X] Take the risk and start flying. Who'd believe that they saw some sort of shadow in the dark, anyways?

Let the beast free.
No. 166358
[X] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.

I sure hope that he will be able to one day go back for the others.
No. 166359
>>166346
I just wish I had been around before the story was over so I could have voted. Still, it was a great read.

[x] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.

Lucas! We need to get him back to Tokiko and Amsterdam! And hopefully not get him roasted by Marisa...
No. 166360
[X] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.

It's clear what the chosen route will be, but I'm voting for the heck of it, along with the fact that I feel that we can't take risks with this story.

I've seen a few posts from Luminous in No Such Thing as Fairytales, and I'm guessing that this will be just as dark based on the first few posts of this story.
No. 166361
>>166346
I disagree. The stakes where too high the enemy too powerful and the writer was (is) somewhat sadistic in his behavior. In fact, I actually thought the first 'victory' was a red herring (he later said that it was due to an fortuitous and unlikely coincidence in several choices)

As for the 'complex route' thing... for 90% of the story, the hard was the only right way. The majority vote only failed (as in, we choose the wrong option when the right one was actually predictable) three times.
No. 166362
[x] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.
As Dwight would say, we can't let the beast out.
No. 166363
>>166361
Would you prefer that I make it easier? Give you better odds in some way? Tell me, how would I be able to make this story good making it a definite possibility that you could fail? If I removed all sacrifice from the story, and allowed all the characters to survive in the end through actions offscreen, would what you had managed to achieve be fulfilling?
No. 166365
[x] Search her feelings. You know them to be true.

Hmm, may as well see what's left.
No. 166366
File 136530394871.png - (580.31KB , 623x805 , calm down wont you.png ) [iqdb]
166366
[-f-] This hasn't failed you yet. Keep walking, and find someplace nearby to hunker down.

------------

"…Walking it is." Shoving your hands back down into your pockets, you fall silent, merely deciding to stroll through the dark night as calmly as you can. The sun eventually does fade above the rooftops, leaving you to see only by the light of the occasional streetlamp. The moon high above was hidden behind the clouds, obscured completely by their dark and lofty heights.

Still, that is another worry that is completely nullified by the events that took place a short eternity beforehand. Barely noticing any change at all, you are able to see the path before you nearly as easily as you had at midday. Still, as nice a benefit as that might be, it is merely ancillary to the other parts of your transformation.

Shaking the thought from your head, you instead look ahead at the path before you. A few miles away, you can see the outskirts of the nearest city. The windows of the houses far off are just starting to brighten as the residents come home and settle in after spending the day away, busy with either work or play.

You can't help but to let out a small laugh. The thought seems so quaint. Sitting at home and doing nothing, not having to worry about how you're going to feed yourself. "They don't know how lucky they are."

Trudging along, the minutes pass by as your foots strike the hard concrete, barely making a sound as they do. There aren't many people out this late at night, as far from the city center as you are. Save for the few who are running to their vehicles to drive off and fetch some little good, you see very few that are present.

The reaction every one has to you is the same, though. They look at you one second before turning away, ignoring you completely. It isn't as if they are unable to see you, though. They pointedly step away, giving you space. If you try to say a word, they glance back before muttering an apology and wandering off even quicker. You can't tell if it is just due to the way you're dressed, or something more primal that you don't understand.

"Would it be better to be invisible, though?" Pondering the question, you continue along, passing yet another lamppost that casts your shadow over the dirty cement and asphalt.

"Still, I should find someplace to stay for the night. Even if it's an old rundown shack." Granted, such a place would not be preferable, but having a roof over your head would be better than sleeping in the woods. Knowing your luck, someone would stumble across you and run off, telling everyone about the monster they had found. "…I suppose I should look on the bright side. I don't look big and hairy."

Another thirty minutes slowly pass by as your mind idly wanders. You can't help but wonder what the two will do the moment they wake up and notice that you are gone? Would the silent doll even be able to act with the crazy ibis? Normally you would say yes, but sometimes that bird makes you wonder. "…Doesn't help that she could just turn into an ibis and fly away. Although I doubt she would do that, especially after all we've accomplished in freeing herself from Wriggle."

As you mention the name, you feel an odd chill, and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Stopping in your tracks, you raise your right hand up as you block out the noise about you automatically, searching instead for the clicking and whirring inside your throat.

You stand there for a few minutes, slowly combing the area about you. You check every nook and cranny for even the slightest hint of antennae or green hair and eyes. Still searching, you try to find even the barest hint of large mandibles or transparent wings.

Nothing can be seen. No long hard legs are near you, hairy and trying to caress you. There is no proboscis that slides over your neck as her mouth clamps down on your head, preventing you from moving. Nothing grabbing at your body as you slowly lose the will and the ability to fight back and toss that monster off of you.

It takes you a few moments to realize that your heart is pounding and that your breath has quickened. Your eyes dart every which way, never staying in place as you turn about slowly. You don't stop until you find yourself backed up against a telephone pole. "Not going… Not going… Dammit." Digging your hand into the soft wood, you don't even notice as it tilts just slightly while you try and calm yourself down. "Don't do this. Not now. She's not coming back. Just seeing things…"

You know it's a lie consciously, and it seems your subconscious knows it as well. However, as minutes tick by and you remain stock still under that creaking pole, the fear starts to dissipate and you manage to relax.

"…That was… unpleasant." Taking deep breaths, you slowly let go of the pole, eventually placing your hand back in your pocket to hide it from anyone who might look out and see. "…I need to move along. Stop thinking about what has happened, and start thinking about a way back."

Eventually you manage to start walking away, your composure shaken noticeably. "I haven't the slightest idea of how to get back. Or anything about what I am, to be honest." As you walk along, you shake your head ruefully. "This is about what I needed Margatroid for. She may have been abrasive, but at least she seemed to know what she was doing…"

After a couple of blocks, you pause again. "…Maybe there is something that she left behind. I know that I still have some of her memories… Just not sure how far they go on." Looking about, you see that you are alone still, as your antics have not raised the attention of anybody in the nearby homes. "Perhaps I should try and see if there was anything left behind."

[ ] Search her memories. You know them to be true.
[ ] Resist the thought. You're just being too impatient.

------------

Sorry. noticed I fudged a word in the vote options.
No. 166367
[X] Search her memories. You know them to be true
No. 166368
Do we actually know them to be true or would that be an assumption?
No. 166369
>>166368
Need I answer that?
No. 166371
>>166369
Yes. Maybe. It's clear the answer is obvious, but it's not clear which one it is.
>>27264 from the previous story's true end shows that this Lucas deep down, is sure of himself. That doesn't extend to his memories, so this is an assumption.

What is Lucas being impatient about? It's not knowing, not being in the know. "I don't know, give me answers!", is the feeling I get from this. To oversimplify, that's the mentality of a beast. The resourceful human of Lucas would weight out his options and then act, like he did in the burrow. His beast side has appeared during and been the cause of times of sorrow. Plus you're in the middle of the street, dude. Better places than that to soul search.

[x] Resist the thought. You're just being too impatient.
No. 166372
[x] Search her memories. You know them to be true.
Is this a modified star wars quote?
No. 166374
[X] Search her memories. You know them to be true.
No. 166375
[] Search her memories. You know them to be true

We've seen her memories already and have gotten more than enough confirmation from the girl herself after we spoke to her just after the fact. In fact...

[X] Search her memories. Try to find the piece of her you were searching for before.

This is only if you're alright with write ins. If not, assume I voted for the original searching your memories option.
No. 166376
[x] Search her memories. You know them to be true.

Mainly because I'm interested in the said memories
No. 166377
[x] Resist the thought. You're just being too impatient.

While her memories are useful, accessing them while wandering down a road is a bad idea. Besides, the last time Lucas got this right, he almost hit Identity Death!
No. 166388
File 136538040089.jpg - (124.59KB , 1024x768 , an inopportune stroll innit?.jpg ) [iqdb]
166388
[-g-] Search her memories. You know them to be true.

------------

Closing your eyes, you take a deep breath. You try to banish as much of your conscious thought as you can. The smell of the air, the hum of a nearby transformer, the feeling of cracked concrete beneath your feet… You try to banish it all. Instead, you focus inward, searching out those memories trapped in the corner of your mind.

Initially, they do not come, as they seem to have been locked away, deep within. However, you slowly begin to feel the foreign presence once more. As you continue to slowly breathe in and out, the gears in your throat whir, clicking and clacking noticeably as the rest of the world grows silent.

"Come on… Come on out…" Raising your left hand up, you grip the side of your head. "I need the answers…" The foreign memories start to slink away the moment you try to touch them, but you continue to chase after them, heading through the depths of your mind.

Still, you are faster. They have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. You are a master of your own dominion, and you will not let them escape. You know what you are, and there is nowhere that these memories can slip away and make themselves part of you. They are distinct and separate. They are hers.

No matter how slippery they prove, you do find them. Your mind may not be the quickest, but it is by no means slow. Eventually your thoughts race fast enough and they catch up to those stray thoughts, allowing you to wrap yourself with the memories.

As you fade away into the light, you feel a cold hand grip your shoulder.

------------

Opening your eyes, you smile at the sun high above you. It is so pretty, escaping from London for a day or two at a time. The cobbled streets are home, but it is so much prettier out here where the light of the sun is clear and unaffected by the soot and the smoke of the factories.

Batting your feet in the water, you cling to dolly as you lie up and stare at the sky. "I wanna live out here someday, Dolly. Maybe we can get a place for ourselves!" Giggling, you lay there, enjoying the cool water as it passed between your toes.

Idly sitting there, she pulls out a piece of grass and waves it about as if it were a baton. "Too bad we have to spend it here at sister's… She's no fun at all. Always wanting to chat about strangers and go on and on… Stupid. She don't even know how to read!" Pouting, you turn to Dolly, looking down at her cloth face. "I'm no good at reading either, but at least I want to learn! They don't even seem to care…"

Placing the grass down on the back of the dolls head, you can't help but laugh some more. "We should probably go, though. Mamaw is probably worried to the dickens. We don't want to make her think we've caught a cold by staying out too long." Smiling, you pick your shoes and stockings up and pull your feet out of the creek. Standing up, you turn around and start walking back.

Opening the door, you look down at Mamaw. "What was it that you needed, Mamaw?"

"Close the door, Margaret." Nodding and doing as told, you sit down opposite of her as she folds her hands in her lap. "So, tell me, have you given thought to your future prospects? You didn't bother to answer me the last time, so I am asking you once again."

Frowning, your one hand goes to your pocket, where your favorite doll always remains. "I am still not too sure, Mamaw. I could see myself working as a seamstress, but not in London. I am not nearly proficient enough right now to match others in their quality. I cannot even approach you." The comment earns you a small smile, but Mamaw stays silent as you speak. "I'd probably have to move to the countryside to find a place where I could do such a thing."

"Indeed. But what about working as a schoolmarm or a tutor? You're well enough educated, even if it is mostly through my work and some of your father's." Tilting her head, she continues to think out loud. "Even if it was just to school young children before they enter their education proper, or tutoring those who can afford such a service…"

"I know, Mamaw. But I'm not making a decision until I know what he is doing."

Sighing at your abstinence, Mamaw purses her lips. "Why does that little alley rat always factor in to your equations, Margaret? You follow him around like a lovesick puppy."

Ears burning at the remark, you cross your arms over you chest. "I do not! He's my best friend, though. What else would I do without him?"

"There would be plenty of things, Margaret. Although I doubt you would care for them." Sighing, Mamaw pinches her nose. "I will look around and see if there is a sewing group your age you can join. Perhaps then you might meet some proper ladies and learn how much you enjoy sewing at the same time."

"…Yes, Mamaw." Sighing, you close your eyes. Opening them back up, you grin widely. "Ten! Ready or not, here I come!" Dashing out from behind the trees, you giggle as you hadn't done in what feels like years. When was the last time you played a game like this? It had been too long. You had been forced to act the adult so much recently… It was nice to be a child, even if for a little bit.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are, Alice!" Smiling, you bob and weave between the trees on the forest's edge, skirting by mossy stones and the occasional fairy ring as you go. "I'll have to remember to be careful here. Might want to pin the horseshoes above my doors…" Frowning at the thought, you shake it out and resume to chasing about that child.

Surely enough, you find the little girl hiding behind an old rotten log, from where she giggles up at you. "Aww. I thought I had you this time…" Grinning, she reaches for your hand. "Come on, I want to show you something."

Frowning a bit, you glance up through the thick limbs of the forest above you. "I don't know if I should. I need to head home soon. It's getting late…"

"It will only take a little bit." Her smile innocent, she motions for you to take her hand. "Besides, once you find it, you'll never want to leave…"

Not having any desire to do otherwise, you reach forward and take her hand. "Alright then. But only a little bit more."

He squeezes your hand as you shake, and he pulls you closer once more. "Shh, calm down. I'll be back soon enough. You know that I will be."

"…Still doesn't make me feel any better. Why do you have to go all the way over there? Fighting the Russians for no reason at all?"

"That's not my job to take care of. I'm just a soldier now. I fight for the empire." Leaning down, he kisses your forehead. "Don't worry . Hopefully I'll have enough pay after this so that I can leave. It should only be a few years…"

"You know that's wishful thinking, right?" Chuckling weakly, you wipe something damp from your eye. "I mean, I'll do as much as I can to help. Then we can do something, maybe…"

Nodding, he pulls you tighter. "That's right. Then we can settle down out of here, by ourselves. …Won't be a little urchin taking up bread from the poorhouse then." He falls silent for a few seconds, and you remain quiet as well, merely listening to the beat of his heart. "We have tonight, though. Let's make the most of it."

Smiling a little bit, you nod at him. "Alright, love."

------------

Blinking rapidly, you finally return to reality. Although, you find yourself staring at an odd stone pathway, quite unlike any you've seen before. "Wait a second, why is it strange? All roads are dirt or stone, so they have to be…" You shake your head, wondering what is going on. "No, this can't be… Why am I here? This… This is a strange town. The country but… not?"

You suddenly burst out laughing, your voice shattering the relative silence of the streets as your mirthful barks echo along the darks houses surrounding you. "Why am I surprised, this happened last time… Wait. What happened last time?" You don't recall there being a last time. You've never even seen a town like this before, so why would you have expected it?

"Maybe I should find a stranger and ask for directions." Blinking, you shake your head. "No, no. I know where I'm going. Looking for Tokiko and Amsterdam…"

"…Who are they?" Frowning at the odd names, you are reminded of something. "Wait, where's Dolly? I don't feel her in my pocket…" Eyes widening in alarm, you begin to comb your pockets, searching for where she might be. "…No, no. I am not Margaret. …Well, who else would I be? That is the name my mother… Damn it. I am I, not her… Not me? Not her…"

"I think he's lost it, Robert." You don't even react as two people walk up behind you, the sound of their steps barely intruding on your gibbering. "Either escaped from the madhouse or high."

"Probably the latter. Nearest asylum's a hundred miles from here. Although the bastard does seem like he's walked a bit." You hear the sound of wood smacking flesh as they both walk up behind you. "Go ahead and cuff him, Dewey. We'll take him down to the station and stick him in a cell. Good thing we got the call from one of the neighbors here."

"Definitely. I'd be worried if a man started freaking out on the sidewalk, too." As you begin to curl up, both of your hands now on your head as you try to shake the conflicting lines of thought out of your head, he reaches forward and tries to pull your hands down. "Damn, strong bastard. You want to help me here, Robert?"

A second later, the second man grabs your hands and tries to pull them down. "…Wait a second. Have you taken a look at this guy?" They finally yank your hands down, as you are still trying to get your head straight. "Look at his hands… …That can't be normal."

"They're both probably just some sort of Halloween costume. Some sick thing he thought of to try and scare some kids." Sighing, the first man places a cuff on one of your wrists. "Maybe we should ship him to the mental hospital once we're done. Just to let the men in the white suits check him out."

"Don't the inmates wear the white suits?" The other casually forces your left hand down and slaps the cuff on that wrist as well. "Still… This isn't fake, Dewey. I can see through the joints on this wooden hand."

"Then how can he move it? You must be seeing things." Grumbling, he grabs the scruff of your neck. "Now, let's get the crazy man in the back so we can call it a night."

"…I'm… I'm not crazy."

[ ] Break out, now. You don't have the time for this.
[ ] You still have your music box, right? Although, you're not sure if that will work.
[ ] Try to make them believe that you're not crazy.
[ ] Obligatory Write-In Option.

------------

>>166371
Well, there was a right one and wrong one. I'm just asking if I have to tell you whether to assume or not. Also, if you want to cross post to another board, I'm pretty sure you have to put in the name first. As such: >>/forest/27264

Write-ins are allowed at any time, but I reserve the right to throw one out for any reason.
No. 166391
Well, shit.

The first two options would likely draw unwanted attention if they work, but the third option seems unlikely to succeed, and I can't make a write-in to save my life...

Damn it.

Sage for non-vote. Will wait for further discussion.
No. 166392
Breaking out would be just like asking Marisa to have a reason to roast us later, not to mention the scene it would cause. Right out the window with that one.

If you feel like scaring the hell out of them you could try the music box, but I think it only works on the more magically inclined. On the other hand now would be a good time to test that since they plan on dragging us off anyways.

Making them believe we're not crazy is about as likely as those two taking us back to Tokiko and Amsterdam.

Well, my thoughts lead towards trying to talk them down even if it won't work. Failing that we have ways.

[X] Speak with the men, try to convince them you aren't some loon freaking out on the sidewalk. Failing that, we have to get away, but without hurting anyone. Try to use the music box to your advantage.

What I wouldn't give for Lucas to have some skill with ventriloquism. Combining that with the music box would be pretty fun.
No. 166400
>>166388 Ah... alright, thanks. I've seen cross-board links before, but I couldn't find instructions anywhere obvious.

I almost think a trip to the asylum would help him. Stay out of view, with some medical care, at least a place to get a good night's sleep. If there's one place where a meeting with Marisa would have the least chance of ending with lasers and death, it would between the gates of an vistor's booth. This is modern day, is it not? The conditions for the insane are not inhumane. A short term asylum can keep you for a maximum of 3 months.

[x] Apologize, calmly state you aren't crazy, but cooperate with them. Ask what's going to happen to you.
-[x] If it comes to a physical search or something that would give us away, I guess we have no choice but to bust out, but only then.
-[x] We are a young man who has lost an arm in a traumatic incident that we'd like not to discuss. We are wandering because our accursed family pretended like we didn't exist after the incident, when we were acting distraught(PTSD). Tokiko and Amsterdam are good friends that I had, but lost all contact with. The wooden arm was some custom made prosthetic that has some basic mechanics and wiring in it. Again, please, don't touch.
No. 166401
[x] Apologize, calmly state you aren't crazy, but cooperate with them. Ask what's going to happen to you.
-[x] If it comes to a physical search or something that would give us away, I guess we have no choice but to bust out, but only then.
-[x] We are a young man who has lost an arm in a traumatic incident that we'd like not to discuss. We are wandering because our accursed family pretended like we didn't exist after the incident, when we were acting distraught(PTSD). Tokiko and Amsterdam are good friends that I had, but lost all contact with. The wooden arm was some custom made prosthetic that has some basic mechanics and wiring in it. Again, please, don't touch.

Thank you, was about to write something simmilar but pressed F5 before starting writing.
No. 166406
[X] Speak with the men, try to convince them you aren't some loon freaking out on the sidewalk. Failing that, we have to get away, but without hurting anyone. Try to use the music box to your advantage.

Seems like the best option, if I do say so myself...
No. 166443
We're missing something. Why are these cops able to see us, even when other people can't? If they're able to rationalize the weird, then it loses power over them.

Right now, we can't have that happen.

[x] WRITE IN! There must be something that can hide us from their awareness. Something that we can do, but don't realize it yet. The border of reality and fantasy is more malleable than it might seem- give it a little tug, and vanish from their eyes.

Because we're magic, damnit.
No. 166444
>>166443
Other people can't see us? Are you sure? Then why is he hiding his claw?
No. 166451
>>166444

Probably because he hasn't completely noticed. As far as I can tell, it all operates as a modified SEP (somebody else's problem) field. People don't want to see him, so they act like he doesn't exist. It's like Koishi's psychological invisibility, except more generalized.

There's also a rather major risk of calcification- of losing what makes Lucas magic- if too many people begin to rationalize his existance as something mundane. We run a fine line, here. We must avoid being believed as something that is 'normal' or else lose a great deal, including the possible use of our voice, hand, and the chance to see Tokiko again.

We must not be thought of as 'normal' but we must also not be thought of as a monster, else we will become one. Belief is the power by which humanity shapes the world and imprisons itself. We can override some belief- but not the belief of many.
No. 166455
>>166406 What are we going to do with the voicebox, emulate a lion roaring and then run off, and then going beast mode and breaking off the handcuffs later?(assuming we can even do that at our whim and without consequences). Even that's going to lead a rumor trail.

>>166451 A good point, but by that logic, all the people we shocked earlier by falling onto the pavement, believe that we are something "else". Many more people than we are going to interact with for a quite some time.
No. 166457
>>166455

That was also a one-time thing. They saw us, then forgot. These are cops. There will be reports, possibly investigations. Worse still if we're brought in. People will begin remembering, and -that- is the real risk.

Also, you limit yourself to animals and natural noises. Lucas is not so pidgin holed. Temporarily blind them with an ultra high frequency screech. Bellow the dread Brown Note to incapacitate them, and then vanish as if you were never there. Render them unconscious with sensory overload or eardrum concussion.

Think big, my friend.
No. 166460
>>166457 I am satisfied with either choice (but am attached to my write-in), someone tiebreak.
No. 166468
To be fair, we pretty much are crazy.

[x] "Give me a minute and I'll figure out who I am. And yes, the hands are real. ... right, the hands. That means I must be Lucas. Right. ... I slipped off in the middle of the sidewalk, didn't I."
- [x] Try to convince them you're just a narcoleptic. Hallucinations on waking are part of the package. You'll be fine in a bit. Sorry about the trouble.
No. 166477
[x] Apologize, calmly state you aren't crazy, but cooperate with them. Ask what's going to happen to you.
-[x] If it comes to a physical search or something that would give us away, I guess we have no choice but to bust out, but only then.
-[x] We are a young man who has lost an arm in a traumatic incident that we'd like not to discuss. We are wandering because our accursed family pretended like we didn't exist after the incident, when we were acting distraught(PTSD). Tokiko and Amsterdam are good friends that I had, but lost all contact with. The wooden arm was some custom made prosthetic that has some basic mechanics and wiring in it. Again, please, don't touch.
No. 166518
Gonna go ahead and call, as with it this close, I fully expect someone to tie it back up by the time I finish the update.
No. 166521
[-h-] Apologize, calmly state you aren't crazy, but cooperate with them. Ask what's going to happen to you.
-[-h-] If it comes to a physical search or something that would give us away, I guess we have no choice but to bust out, but only then.
-[-h-] We are a young man who has lost an arm in a traumatic incident that we'd like not to discuss. We are wandering because our accursed family pretended like we didn't exist after the incident, when we were acting distraught(PTSD). Tokiko and Amsterdam are good friends that I had, but lost all contact with. The wooden arm was some custom made prosthetic that has some basic mechanics and wiring in it. Again, please, don't touch.

------------

"I'm not crazy." Shaking your head, you wait for the one cop to remove it before continuing. "Just… I had a very traumatic incident that I still haven't… Recovered from." You shake the cuffed wooden hand to emphasize. "I'd rather not talk about it, if you can't imagine."

"…Well, still, son, it doesn't matter. Making all sorts of ruckus up and down the street." Frowning, one of the cops walks around and looks you in the eye. "Frankly, that makes me want to take you in even more. You don't look all that well, and I doubt you have a place to go to."

Thinking fast, you only take a few seconds to try and think up a cover story. "No, not really. …Family kicked me out after the accident. They never really cared for me before, but putting up with a deformed cripple was too much for them."

Pausing, the second one comes around. "Sounds like a rather sad story. Still, doesn't change what you've done." Crossing his arms, he stares you straight in the eye. "And based on what you've said, that makes you a vagrant, straight up. Do you have a place that you can go, son?"

Bristling a bit at the continued usage of the word, you shake your head. "Not in particular. …Was just looking for somewhere to spend the night. Probably would have ended up on a park bench or something." You doubt that you would have been relegated to such a thing, as you would have been able to walk quite a ways before you would have run out of energy.

The answer merely causes the first cop to frown. "Definitely acting like a vagrant. Well, Dewey, looks like we'll be bringing him in anyway. Jail cell might not be the comfiest place, but it beats being stuck on a bed. And then maybe we can point you to the homeless shelter sometime in the morning." Frowning, he looks pointedly at you. "Now, you don't mind this, as we are not going to leave you on the streets like this."

Sighing, you try to think of some way to get out of this. "I'm not going to have another episode, not like that. It only happens when I bring up…" Trailing off, you leave the thought hanging, not particularly knowing how to say it. "Those memories. As long as I don't think about them too hard, I won't be any bit of a bother."

Frowning, the second cop leans in. "You go something to hide, son? I wouldn't doubt that there's something tucked underneath that giant coat of yours. No reason to be wearing something this heavy in the summer."

""Now, calm down, Dewey. We don't know whether he's a poor bastard or just a plain old one." Turning back to you, he frowns and lifts up his baton before smacking it into his hand. "Still, my partner makes an excellent point. Why else would you be wearing a coat that heavy in the summer? It makes a body wonder."

Gritting your teeth just slightly, you try to explain. "Don't like being seen, much. Not just my hands that have been mutilated." Both of them just raise an eyebrow, and you hasten to explain. "I'd… I'd rather not show off. I don't do well with being touched, either, so if you don't mind."

"Robert…"

"I know, Dewey." Stepping forward, the cop lowers his grip on the baton. "Sorry, son, but seems like we're going to have to search you now. Mighty convenient of you, it seems." Pausing, he looks you in the eye. "Unless you have the papers on you to prove that you have these conditions?"

Looking back, you eventually sigh. "No, I do not."

"What I figured." Walking behind you, the cop checks your cuffs to ensure they are still locked one. "Now, you just stand there and we'll go ahead and check you out. If you've nothing dangerous on you, we'll take you into the station and drop you off at the shelter as planned."

"I have no doubt. I don't have anything illegal on me, though." However, you do have something that is much worse, and would draw way too much attention.

[ ] Run. Get out of there now.
[ ] Fly off. They can't follow you then.
[ ] Knock them out.
[ ] Submit. Not like you're in a hurry.
No. 166543
Well the delivery turned out slightly more heavy handed that I intended. Not the fault of the writer, mind you. Fair enough for it being on thought up on the spot, though.

Running is out of the question. Despite almost doing nothing, the situation has changed from the last vote, namely what the impressions the two cops have of us are.

Knocking them out, at least with conventional means. Either of these two is going to lead to two angry rather than confused cops, which is going to make too much noise.
[ ] Try to knock them out using your music box. (specify type of sound)
[ ] Fly off. They can't follow you then.
[ ] Submit. Not like you're in a hurry.

I wouldn't mind them seeing us, as long as they don't propagate the news and drop us off at a shelter.

[x] Right after they remove your jacket: "Officers, know this: I spoke no lies. I'm sorry for the trouble." Fly off.

Lucas is wearing handcuffs, so his coat can't be removed fully, only the point where his wings are exposed and the coat hangs from his arms. I hope that the officers back away from us on reflex upon seeing our wings, and then hesitate in drawing their guns long enough for us to fly away. If we can leave no physical evidence, and without much ill will, the chances of those two remaining silent are good. This would also satisfy our theoretical need to be the target of supernatural belief.
No. 166544
>>166543
[x] Right after they remove your jacket: "Officers, know this: I spoke no lies. I'm sorry for the trouble." Fly off.

This seems like a better option than any I could come up with, and seems possible enough. Hopefully it won't impede us terribly to have the coat just hanging there.
No. 166550
[x] Right after they remove your jacket: "Officers, know this: I spoke no lies. I'm sorry for the trouble." Fly off.
-[x] Hopefully try to snatch your jacket while they're stunned, DNA is pesky at times.
No. 166551
[x] Right after they remove your jacket: "Officers, know this: I spoke no lies. I'm sorry for the trouble." Fly off.
No. 166564
File 136569073954.jpg - (1.12MB , 1500x1000 , at least it doesnt hurt as bad as a spark.jpg ) [iqdb]
166564
[-i-] Right after they remove your jacket: "Officers, know this: I spoke no lies. I'm sorry for the trouble." Fly off.

------------

The one officer behind you makes sure you are making no sudden moves before starting the pat down. "Still, those hands are mighty messed up. Sure you couldn't afford to have them fixed? Looks like they're a mighty pain to do anything tetchy with them."

"They are. …And I have a wooden hand instead of a proper prosthetic for a reason, you know." Granted, it's not a reason that has anything to do with why you hadn't the other one fixed, but there is a reason you have it, anyways.

The one cop in front of you just nods as he looks at the one still behind you. "I had wondered that…" Shrugging, he continues to look over your shoulder. "You want to start on it, Robert?"

Before he starts, though, you feel his gaze burn into the back of your head. "What in the name of… What happened to your ears, son? And the rest of your hair? None of this looks halfway close to natural."

Grumbling, you resist the urge to reach up and pull the hat down. "The same thing that changed most of me. The only part that wasn't from that incident is the left hand." You stand there for a good fifteen seconds or so, just staring into the dark night lit only by the fading streetlights before you speak up. "Well, are you going to stare, or are you going to go ahead and get this over with?"

"Right, sorry." Sighing, he squats down behind you, reaching forward to begin patting your trousered legs. "Still, was mighty odd. Your hair didn't look quite right, either. Bout the oddest thing I've seen in a while."

"I do not doubt it." You would be worried if they had seen something so odd, to be honest. If they had, that might be your ticket back into that land. Then again, such an encounter would probably prove to be less than friendly, unless it was someone else in your position.

Still, you need to save such thoughts for later. It would hardly help the case for your sanity if you started to speak to yourself right here. So, instead, you keep your mouth shut as he continues up your legs, still apparently unable to find anything.

"Alright, Dewey. Keep an eye on him. Going to have to take that jacket off of him." Before he begins, the cop speaks to you. "Now, just stay still and calm. We won't have to resort to anything extreme as long as you stay collected and make no sudden moves toward either of us. Alright?"

"I understand." Still, you tense up, as that means one last thing is going to be exposed. The action does not seem to go unnoticed by either of the cops, and you can see the one in front of you placing his hand on his side. Gritting your teeth, you merely wait as he pulls the collar back and hits your wing."

Pausing in the motion, the one behind you leans closer. "Now what have we here… What you got under here, son, a baseball bat?" He reaches forward and grips the bone of the wing, and you can't help but twitch under his touch. "…No. This is something alive. You got someone else stowed under that coat? Or something?"

Moving before you can answer, he reaches up and pulls the collar of the coat down. With the heavy leather cover off of you, hanging from your elbows and over the handcuffs, you are now free to spread your wings to their full span. "What… Mary, Mother of God…"

The one in front of you seems almost as stunned, and isn't moving at all. Taking one moment to glance behind you, you look at the one cop and shrug. "I spoke no lies, officers. Sorry for the trouble." With that you move your shoulders to try to pull the coat back on, and you flap your wings to take to the sky.

The rush of the air thrills you as you leave the pavement, and you can't help the small smile that crosses over your face. "Shouldn't be enjoying this so much. Just need to get on out of here." Flapping your wings once again, you begin to rise up, still not above the power lines and gutters that surround you.

Before you rise too far, though, you feel the air shift behind you. You lean to the side and glance back, barely avoiding one silver object that streaks in front of you. You manage to see the second cop, Dewey, with something small and black pointing at you.

A second later, something else hits you in the back.

Lightning arcs across your vision as every muscle in your body contracts, each one reeling from the pain of thousands of volts. A roar leaves your mouth as your longs expel their air automatically, and you find that you cannot breathe in, no matter how dearly you want. Though gears churn in your throat, no more noise and no more notes leave your tongue. For a moment, you are helpless, and you begin to fall.

As Earth approaches, you attempt to force your body to act as you desire. For an eternity, you cannot control whether or not you blink your eyes or move your arms and legs. The only thing you can see is blue electricity over your eyelids, just as the only thing you can smell is burnt flesh.

The instant passes, and you hear a small metal snap, and your arms fly forward. Bracing yourself for impact, you hold your hands in front of you as you meet the pavement. Skidding for a few feet, you eventually come to a stop on your hands and knees, gasping for every last drop of breath that you can suck into your empty lungs.

Still, you know that now is not the time to rest. Once you have caught enough breath, you stand back up, taking a moment to pull your hands out of the small trench you had carved in the asphalt. You try to ignore the stench of your burnt flesh that is wafting over the air, although your sensitive nose makes such a task quite difficult.

Glancing back, you stare back at the two cops, who seem to be quite shaken by now. Whether its due to the rather short fall, to how quickly you managed to recover, or just due to the sight that you know that you are, they seem to be at a loss for actions.

For a moment, you think about going back to return them the favor. They have drawn blood, metaphorically at least, and a not so insignificant part of you wishes to return the favor. Besides, you would have done the same thing if it would only have been possible with Wriggle, so why not now when you have the opportunity and the ability to do so.

Grimacing, you shake the thought out of your head. "Stop that now. I'm the one in charge here." Instead, you continue to stare at them, eventually deciding to give them one choice word to part by. Seeking out that mechanical part of your mind, you let the cool gears speak for you. "F̢ar̡͢e̴̢͘w̸e҉͠l͏l͢.̶"

The two widen their eyes at the unholy sound, but they do not seem stunned as the others had when you spoke in that voice. Giving it no thought for the moment, you spread your wings again and take to the sky, this time hurrying as much as possible to avoid so that you can get out of range of their weapons, should they try to fire once more.

Fortunately, they do not, and you escape without any event. As you are already in the air, you decide to keep on flying, hoping that no one will see you against the dim, and dismal night sky.

Flying for a good fifteen minutes without interruption, you look down at the land below you as you slowly approach the next city. "…Just… It seems so different. At least the forest there seemed alive. But there was nothing in it save for the Youkai and the rest of us." Frowning, you shake your head. "Just… How can something so alive seem so void of life at the same time?"

Shrugging it off, knowing that such musings would get you nowhere at the moment, you continue to fly along until you see a shimmer on the edge of your vision. "…Looks like we're getting near to the shore. Maybe there'll be an old warehouse on the docks that no one is using."

As you land in the middle of a street with not streetlights to brighten the darkness, you take a look around. Old brick buildings surround you, their sides pale from decades of exposure to the sun. The street itself is narrow, a concrete slab that seems to have more cracks and potholes than it has a level surface. Fences surround every single building, each one topped with a rather hefty amount of barbed wire. "…Well, I hope no one's home. Just glad I won't have to climb on over them if I do stay."

Looking down at yourself, you finally realize that your hands are hanging by your sides once more. "Wait a second. What about the cuffs?" Raising both of your hands up, you examine your wrists. The chain holding the handcuffs together seems to have snapped clean in two, leaving you with two thick metal bracelets on your wrists. "Odd. These are steel, right? Then why aren't they hurting?"

You place one of your good fingers against the cuff and feel it. Sure enough, there is no burning sensation. "…Maybe it has to be iron. Seems oddly specific. But everything that was in the burrow that hurt Wriggle was iron." Sighing, you drop your hands and walk forward, only to feel a tug from your back.

Looking behind you, you see a silver string extending out from your back, right where you had been struck. "I guess they did hit me with a taser. Hurt like a son of a gun, that's for sure." Gritting your teeth, you yank the barb out of your back, only letting out a small grunt of pain in the process. Once the pain fades away from your mind, you begin to reel the wire in, knowing that you should keep it on you, just in case.

After a minute, after which you have a large spool of wire along with the stun gun itself in your hands, look back at the surrounding buildings. "Bout the best I can do. Just hope that no one saw me as I flew. I don't need anyone following me, that's for sure."

[ ] Keep walking anyways. Head towards the city proper. They probably couldn't find you out of all that live there.
[ ] Bunker down here and wait until morning. You have to sleep sometime.
[ ] Double back some. Maybe that will throw them off your tail.
[ ] Fly down the shore a good ways. You'll come across a deserted locale soon enough.

------------

And before you ask, he does not smell like chicken.

>>166543
If you were still Marisa, you could have gotten away with it. She's much more of a natural liar than Lucas. That, plus the whole part of forgetting who he was screwed him up quite a lot.
No. 166565
[X] Bunker down here and wait until morning. You have to sleep sometime.
No. 166573
Based on what just happened, we need to put as much distance from the scene of the incident in order to prevent the cops from finding us. I'll wait until people come up with logical courses of action, but as for now, hunkering down would probably leave us well within the search perimeter when the cops call backup to apprehend us.
No. 166574
[X] Double back some to find a safe place to rest. We do need sleep, but abandoned or usually empty places would be the first checked. Someplace we can sleep uninterrupted would be much better.
No. 166577
[X] Double back some to find a safe place to rest. We do need sleep, but abandoned or usually empty places would be the first checked. Someplace we can sleep uninterrupted would be much better.

At least the cop didn't shoot us with a real gun. Let's hope they think they were overworked and started daydreaming or we'll have a new pair of hunters in town
No. 166578
[X] Bunker down here and wait until morning. You have to sleep sometime.

How does doubling back help find somewhere safe? This is an abandoned warehouse, surrounding by fences and barbed wire. About as good as it gets. We flew for a good 15 minutes, that's at least 7 kilometers. No cop is going to be following us tonight.
No. 166582
>>166578
Unless these cops are horribly inept at their duty, I doubt that they'll simply look dully at each other and walk away from the area without calling in backup to search the general vicinity. Yes, we may be in an area with barbed wire houses, but arrogantly relying on the cops' incompetence is essentially asinine; it is their duty to enforce the peace by apprehending troublemakers, and based on what we're doing is essentially trouble in their eyes.

They have no reason not to try to find us. Let's not give them a chance to do so.
No. 166587
>I doubt that they'll simply look dully at each other and walk away from the area

Yes, they'll be present near the area where we escaped, but they shouldn't have enough information to find even our general present location, unless multiple people saw us during our flight to the bank and called the cops, giving them enough of a trail to pin a guess as to our vicinity. When I said no one is going to be searching for us tonight, I meant the previous, and that there wouldn't be a search of the sufficient breadth to find us.

>Fences surround every single building, each one topped with a rather hefty amount of barbed wire.
> "…Well, I hope no one's home. Just glad I won't have to climb on over them if I do stay."

>>166582 oops I failed at reading comprehension, these are houses surrounded by barbed wire, not necessarily abandoned, definitely not a warehouse.

Honestly, my fear is that there's like a military or illegal body is working here. Since it's so dark, the buildings are in such a state of disrepair and there's no vehicles, I don't think there's a current military force. Probably people who have same idea as us: people doing shady things who don't want to be bothered. I don't think the holing up will be a problem, merely what will you do when day breaks (and you can't fly undetected anymore). A real reason for flying back to the city or double backing, is that in the morning we will be back in the main part of the city without having to walk so far (and risk drawing attention on the ground). But then what? How are we getting any close to a) finding a freehold, assuming those exist b)finding Tokiko and Amsterdam? The story will probably provide the structure later on and this is getting to the point of over-thinking it. Forgive the vomit of unorganized thoughts.

Googled and couldn't find anything about tasers nor handcuffs with embedded gps' so we can rest easy on that.
No. 166589
>>166587
One thing that doesn't help is my poor writing. The first quoted sentence is vague enough to imply that the barbed wire is on top of the houses and not the fences as I had intended. Secondly, when he says he hopes that no one is home, he doesn't necessarily imply that the buildings are houses. Lucas is merely speaking in the vernacular.

Eh. I've got an update written out (took a stab at which vote I thought you all would pick in the end) but I fear I should go over the next post to ensure there are none of these vague sentences created by inept wordsmithing.

Either way, tiebreaker is needed.
No. 166590
>>166589

I haven't voted yet, so:

[X] Double back some to find a safe place to rest. We do need sleep, but abandoned or usually empty places would be the first checked. Someplace we can sleep uninterrupted would be much better.
No. 166592
Alright. I'll call it there.

...Should only be a fair bit that needs to be rewritten.
No. 166594
File 136575241979.jpg - (489.12KB , 700x1000 , i wonder who we are.jpg ) [iqdb]
166594
[-j-] Bunker down here and wait until morning. You have to sleep sometime.

------------

Taking one last look around to ensure that you have left no sign of your passage, you flap your wings and take to the air again. Although tempting to merely remain where you are, you feel that it would be disadvantageous to do as such. After all, if those two cops decide to put out a bulletin or issue an arrest warrant, the entire city might be crawling with cops. Maybe. "Knowing my luck, some random person saw me and decided to phone in his sighting to the cops. Not that I'm exactly being subtle right now."

Still, it is good to be back in the air, and you can't help but to let the worries slip away as you flap your wings. Deciding against traveling further from the scene of the crime, as it were, you instead head back in the direction from whence you came. Taking care to fly higher this time, just in case, you continue along for a few minutes before eventually descending.

Landing in the midst of a development full of roughhouses, you frown. "…This place is probably more likely to be inhabited…" Looking around, you don't see lights shining out from any of the dark windows, which is soon followed by the realization that some of these buildings are still under construction. "I take that back. Maybe I'll be lucky enough and nobody will be here."

Looking back and forth between a few of the houses, you shrug before walking towards one that is half completed. "Worse to worse, I'll make it out of here by morning's first light. Or whenever they come to finish construction." Taking a moment to walk around the completed front of the house, you instead walk around until you find the skeletal frame of the unfinished back.

Slipping inside, you sneak around towards the front, looking for a room that may have been finished enough to give you some privacy. While the rear of the house is still a skeleton, a few in the front seem to have had their drywall and ceilings installed. Sighing in relief, you quietly enter through the doorframe, idly wishing that there actually was a door that you could use.

Looking around, you notice that there are a few power tools in one of the corner, all of them disconnected from a nearby power strip. A toolbar lays discarded next to them, nearly overturned and spilling out from their bag. Other than that, the room is empty, although the entire ground is covered with sawdust.

Not wanting to deal with that, you spread your wings wide and begin flapping. For lack of a broom, and lack of the dexterity to reliably manipulate one, you clear out the dust in the best way that you can. Your efforts are only marginally successful, though, as of the dust that is kicked up, most of it is thrown into the air and into your lungs. "Shi―" You begin to hack out loud, trying to clear yourself of the excess dust. "Stupid idea. Shouldn't have done it."

Still, the floor isn't quite as bad as it was before, so you decide to make do. Before you lay down, you remove your stolen long coat and fold it neatly. After placing your hat by your side, you lay your head down on the coat and stare up at the ceiling. "…Not the worst place I've slept, I imagine. …Almost worth seeing if I could try and turn into a bird, though. Don't know if I'll be able to turn back." As you're not particularly enthused with such a prospect, you just shake your head and close your eyes. Your worries slip away one by one until you finally calm down and fall to sleep.

------------

Flinging open the door, Meiling stalks outside as she leaves the restaurant. Her brow knitted and her fists balled and shaking, she quickly strides down the streets as she tries to maintain her cool. "Damn fat…" Taking a deep breath, she resists the urge to punch a nearby wall, and instead takes a deep breath. "I will not let him get to me. Not like this."

As she walks along the streets, which thankfully by now are empty, she begins to mutter. "Idiot still can't learn to speak my name correctly. Oh, sure, it may look like that in his language. But it isn't Japanese! I don't go around and pointedly pronounce his name wrong." Letting out a small growl, she turns a corner and heads towards her apartment. "Trying to pass off my work as his daughter's…"

Sighing, she shakes her head. "It's pointless. Gives me twice the work as anybody else, and I'm the lazy one. …Bout should just show him what I'm actually good at. Too bad I'd probably get arrested if I did." Pausing, she grins a bit. "It'd be worth it, though."

As the girl talks to herself, she doesn't notice the crack in the sidewalk that is hidden by the dark. One foot gets stuck inside of it, causing her to trip and fall over on the ground. "What the…" Tucking her chin, she turns the fall into a tumble and rolls back to her feet. "Since when was there a pothole there?" Receiving no answer from the pavement, she shrugs. "Probably some idiot tossed a chair or something out of the tenth floor."

Ignoring it, the woman heads inside the building, heading straight towards the elevator even if she knows that she should take the stairs instead. "Won't need the exercise at the rate it’s going. …Maybe I should just move to another town. Then I could find someplace I could teach." Once the doors open, she slides inside and hits the button labeled fourteen. "I'll need to check soon. I've almost had it."

Slowly the elevator rises, depositing Meiling on her floor. "Just get to wake up early and do it tomorrow again." Walking to the door, the woman pauses as she gets out the key. "Although, at least I meet some interesting people working at that job. Even if they are a bit mad…" Snorting, she puts the key in the knob and turns it. "Magic doesn't exist. Would be nice if it did. But I have to deal with the real world. Not fantasies."

Once inside, Meiling shuts the door, latching it with an audible click. Turning around, she pauses as she sees someone in her apartment, staring at her from the shadows. Not in the mood for this, she drops low, bending her knees just slightly. "Who are you and what are you doing in my home?"

"Funny thing, little human…" The figure steps forward into light of a small lamp, and Meiling gasps as she sees her mirror image grinning back at her. "I was about to ask you the same question.

------------

Turbulent waves are all that you can see as you slowly are rocked back to conscious. Clinging to every scrap of wood or rope that you can find purchase, you pull yourself up and out of the white water. The undertow is dragging you back down, but you do not yield as you hang on tightly to the raft. Your efforts are rewarded as the dark storm eventually dissipates and the sun peeks over the horizon.

The moment the light touches you, you wake up.

Breathing heavily, you glance around, trying to find your bearings in the sparse locale. "Where… Where am I?" Holding your hands up to your bosom, you try to catch your breath as you fight off the panic attack. "That… That girl. She was leading me into the woods. And then… Nothing."

Still, you do not move as you sit there, catching your bearings. "Just… Out near the edge of Combe Fields. Wasn't I? Yes, that's where my new… new home is." Taking a deep breath, you look down at yourself. "Was that girl luring me away? Or was she leading me into a trap?"

The cuffs that are on your wrists seem to answer your question, even as you still hold your hands to your breasts. "A trap… was I cuffed? Hanged in the process? No, if I were to be hanged, I'd be dead right now. …Truly, that might be for the best. Least then I could see him…" Taking a moment to snap yourself out of your depression, you shake your head. "Still… How'd I get like this?"

Raising a hand up, you notice something peculiar. "…These bonds are much too large. They don't fit me in the slightest." Frowning, you slip them off of your hands easily before casting them to the side. "Curious metal. Is this steel? Looks more like tin, but it is much too hard." Intrigued, you retrieve one of the metal rings and look at them. "So odd. Wouldn't iron be cheaper? It isn't like I'd be able to get out of either…"

Pausing in your pondering, you look around your current locale. "Wait a second. If I am gaoled, then shouldn't I have a gaoler?" Glancing about, you try to see any motion or form that might be indicative of a fellow man. However, there is none in sight in the rather dark room that smells of fresh pine. "Odd…"

Deciding that you are feeling well enough to go and check elsewhere, you stand up, brushing your dress off as you do. You stop halfway through the familiar, idle motion, as you spot something rather peculiar. "Has someone fixed my petticoat? I'm quite certain that I ripped it when I was chasing Alice." The implications hit you after a moment. "Oh dear… I hope no one saw me in my bloomers. 'Twould be a most embarrassing of occurrences." You automatically cross your fingers, hoping that such a thing had never happened and you are merely mistaken.

Still, there's nothing more to dust off of your own body. Even if the room you are in is rather sparse and covered in grit, none of it is on you. Taking a moment to glance around, you notice a collection of oddly shaped equipment in the corner, only some of them familiar in the slightest. Turning your head, you are barely able to make out the doorframe that curiously lacks a door. "Funny. What kind of gaol is this if I am not even prevented from even leaving the room? Just more questions…"

As you continue to look around, trying to get your bearings, your right hand falls into the pocket of your dress. However, the familiar security blanket that keeps you safe is nowhere to be found. "Where is she?" Your hand begins digging in your pocket, trying to find her. "Where is Dolly… Don't tell me that I lost her. Oh no…"

[ ] Start searching for Dolly. You need to find her.
[ ] Hold off for a moment. You need to find out where you are.
[ ] It's… It's time to throw away those things. Forget about her.
No. 166595
You see this? This is exactly why I said that I love you author. Your writing just draws me in despite the grimdark-ness to it. I have to leave for work, but poor Meiling, and is that Margatroid? Because I... I don't know what to say if it is...
No. 166596
>>166595
Not Margatroid. That part is truly dead. Think of which memories that have been seen stuck in Lucas's head.
No. 166598
It's little Margaret. The poor girl. Lucas seems to have a copy of an adolescent Margatroid trapped in his head.

This is going to be interesting and/or weird

[x] Hold off for a moment. You need to find out where you are.
No. 166599
[x ] Start searching for Dolly. You need to find her.

Where oh where is our little companion?

From here attitude, unless she is REALLY immature for her age, I wouldn't put Margaret past 13 at the most.

A 13 year old girl sharing a body with a 20 something year old man. . . oh man that doesn't sound right at ALL.

I wonder Meiling meant by wanting to teach someone?

Also one last thing, can this Meiling effectively punch things if worse comes to worse?
No. 166600
To nip this in the bud, it's not the adolescent. It's the adult (technically older than Lucas). The Dolly is her safety net, and is the one constant she still has. That is why she seems to revert to such an attitude when she realizes the doll is missing.

Should I give a refresher of her mindset, though?
No. 166601
[x] Start searching for Dolly. You need to find her.
In a world where good-hearted people die permanently and evil monsters are immortal, I'd need a safety blanket too
No. 166602
>>166600

Okay, so is this the girl before or after she was taken into the magical world?
No. 166603
>>166602
Beforehand. Last thing she'll recall is Alice leading her into a mysterious wood.
No. 166611
[x] Start searching for Dolly. You need to find her.
No. 166615
[x] Start searching for Dolly. You need to find her.
No. 166646
File 136595046325.jpg - (1.03MB , 850x1062 , a dark and placid night.jpg ) [iqdb]
166646
[-k-] Start searching for Dolly. You need to find her.

------------

Nodding to yourself automatically, you pull yourself to your feet and begin to look about the dark room. "She must be here somewhere. I hope that I hadn't lost her. Not on top of everybody else…" Taking a deep breath, you search all of the pockets of your dress, before patting down every single fold to ensure she hadn't merely become tangled up in the petticoat or had fallen beneath the hem. However, you are quite unsuccessful, and she is nowhere to be found.

Instead, you take a closer look at the room you find yourself in. Just as you had initially thought, there is nothing in the majority of the room. The small pile of equipment being the only place where the doll could be hidden, you approach it and kneel by its side. "…I doubt she'd be in here though. It hardly seems to be ancillary to my placement here." Squatting down at the side of the pile, you open up the bag on top of it and begin to search through the contents.

Everything within it is quite odd, with parts of the equipment seemingly covered in expensive rubber, while other pieces of metal were encased in a hard, translucent substance. "Curious. Never seen anything like that, before. Almost seems excessive how much these are molded as well. Certainly a straight handle is cheaper and not much poorer than all of these?" Even as you speak to yourself, you eventually come to the expected realization that there is nothing to be found in here.

Instead, you move the bag to the side, and instead look through the rest of the tools, as you have come to identify them. Taking care not to stab yourself on the boxes of nails that are the base of the pile, you take a moment to look at a curious object. "Almost imagine it looks like a revolver, what with the trigger. Much too unwieldy. I wonder…"

As you dig through the pile, one of your hands brushes against something that burns you quite severely. You leap back, clutching your left hand against your check as you attempt to find what burned you. "There was nothing hot in there… Dear me. What could have caused that?"

Cautiously, you step forward, wondering if there was some sort of fire beneath all of the debris. However, as you shove it to the side, you find nothing beneath it all save a single iron crowbar. Frowning, you wave your hand over it all, but there is no heat to be felt. "…I should leave it alone. I'd rather not know what sort of trickery is needed to make a cold iron feel hot."

Leaving it be, you give the room one more look about, attempting to find something that might contain your doll. That is when you notice one last pair of dark forms lying in the middle of the floor, right where you had been sleeping. Frowning, you bend down to take a closer look.

One of them seems to be a rather cheap knit hat. Picking it up, you take one look at it to ensure that Dolly isn't in it before tossing the hat to the side. "Expensive looking tools and a cheap hat made with some sort of paper. Guess the man valued his occupation more than his covering for his head."

Turning your gaze to the last piece of paraphernalia, you take a moment to examine it. A thicker leather coat, folded up. From the indentation on the top, this had been where you lay before you woke up rather abruptly. "Of course, can't be helped in that regard. Woke to quickly to even notice."

Still, the jacket might contain something of use. You pick it up and unfold it to its whole length, revealing it to be nearly half a foot longer than you are tall. Once it is unfurled, you slip your hand into the pockets, searching for anything that might be of use. However, neither Dolly nor any sort of identification may be found. Instead, you are left with a jacket with pockets turned out and nothing to show for your efforts.

"There's nothing in here… Where could they have put you?" It might be childish, but you needed to find her. Having at least one constant would be comforting. "Although… Don't tell me that Alice took her, and somehow left me here. Would she be that cruel? A mischievous child, yes, but not a bad sort by all reckoning." That is the only explanation that you can dredge up for now, though, and that's what you will have to work with.

Giving the black room one last look-see, you turn and head through the door. The state of the building you are in further confounds you, seeing as the frame is all that remains of the back of it. "How odd. …Something tells me I wasn't to be gaoled, considering the environs. Perhaps I instead was merely left behind? Not the best of answers, but it is an answer which I do not have otherwise." Frowning, you do your best to navigate the mess, lifting your skirt with one hand so as to not get caught up while stepping through the framework. "I suppose I should be thankful that they left me my boots. My feet would be dreadful if I had to trudge through all this without a proper covering."

Once outside the building, you circle about its edges until you come out onto the road. A curious road it was, but also placed in a curious town. "I wonder what sort of city this might be? Surely isn't like London…" Sniffing the air as you glance at the houses that are neither packed tightly nor scattered about as those in the country are wont, you can't help but to smell something familiar. "Salt. Near the ocean, I suppose? Funny. I wonder if I am closer to Dover or Brighton."

Leaving the thought there, you glance up at the night sky. "Too cloudily. Don't know many, but I could have just walked opposite of the North Star to find my way back south. Or to the ocean, depending on my estimates." A frown mars your face as a black objects crosses a moonlit cloud, almost the shape of a person. "Get it together, Margaret. We're seeing things. Isn't that right, Dolly…?"

It takes you a moment to realize that she isn't there. "…Right. Not that she would have answered in the first place…" Feeling a bit more alone all the same, you pull down your shawl a little bit to cover your arms as you try and think of what to do.

[ ] You are sure that a bobby is patrolling. Go and find one.
[ ] Surely a stranger might give direction to some lost soul?
[ ] …Go and follow that figure. Not like you'll become lost any further by doing such.

------------

Just to say: I know where the doll is. I'm curious to see if any of you have figured it out already.
No. 166648
Well at this point I've got to ask: does everyone in this world talk to themselves?
No. 166649
>>166648

You're talking to yourself right now. We're all a figment of your imagination while you're rotting away in an insane asylum.

You are now taking your crazy medicine rectally from the doc.
No. 166650
>>166649
5spooky3me
No. 166651
Oh lawdy I don't even know what to do... Anyone want to start discussing the best possible path to keep us alive/turn us back into Lucas?
No. 166652
>>166651
All options given could go badly for us and I doubt Luminous will accept a "Stay still/wait and gamble on reverting to Lucas in due time" as a valid choice.

[] Follow that figure
High risk high reward.

Are the typos intentional to show Margaret's childlike state?
No. 166653
Got nothing.
No. 166655
[ ] y p g [ ] y g g g [ ] g y y y g J y y y g y y ( ) p g y y ( ) g y g g y g y g y y g y y y y ( ) p yy ( ) y y g p p p y ( ) p g g y p y g g [] g g g yp g y ( ) g [ g y ] [ y g ] [ ] [ y ]

Blotter updated: 2013-04-02 Show/Hide Show All
No. 166657
[X] …Go and follow that figure. Not like you'll become lost any further by doing such.

I believe that this choice would be the most interesting. Rather simple reasoning, but when you're faced with choices like these, there's scant little reason not to pick based in part on that. The other part being that it seems a safer choice than the bobby.
No. 166712
[X] …Go and follow that figure. Not like you'll become lost any further by doing such.
No. 166722
[x] Surely a stranger might give direction to some lost soul?

Please, don't tell me it's the doll hand or something like that.
No. 166803
[-l-] …Go and follow that figure. Not like you'll become lost any further by doing such.

------------

You don't have anywhere to go, and there is a small feeling lurking in the back of your mind telling you that the people who live here might not be friendly enough to take in a stranger such as yourself. Instead, you turn your head back to the sky, staring at the place that the object flew.

It was assuredly not a bird. That much you know. Too large for something that flies naturally, unless they had discovered some animal in the New World that they managed to bring back home to the isles. "…Why not? 'Tis curious, and I'd not be in any more danger."

Hiking your dress, you immediately begin to walk down the streets, following after the dark form. Thought you are hardly able to see in the dim light, you are just able to separate the lighter shades of black that form the clouds from the blur. It easily begins to outrun you, though, flying far faster than you could have run even if you were wearing something appropriate for the act. Eventually, it disappears, leaving you standing alone on the sidewalk on yet another long street.

Sighing, you look about once more, trying to find anything that stands out. However, there is nothing that stands out, just more houses that are lining the dim road. Momentarily, you think about heading back to the place you woke up, but you discard that thought immediately. You spent at least five minutes trying to chase after the form, and you doubt you could retrace your steps all of the way back.

Instead, you start walking towards the city. Perhaps there you'd be able to barter some passage back to your home. You've not much on you, so you'd have no idea how to accomplish such a thing. It's what you've got at the moment, though, so you continue to follow it through silently.

After walking past a few blocks, you start to realize how big the city is. The buildings are much taller than the ones you recall even London having, with some extending what appears to be ten stories tall. "Where have I ended up? This does not look anyplace like home. Perhaps I was taken to another country." As the thought sinks in, you cannot help but to grow more worried at the prospect. "But why would they do that? This entire situation is not making sense."

As you continue down the sidewalk, though, you finally hear something aside from the rustling of leaves as a midnight wind blows. Immediately stopping, you listen to their words, trying to make sense. However, anything that is said is much too quite, and all you can hear is a feminine voice talking to herself in a rather heated tone.

Relieved that it wasn't some man, knowing that could spell trouble, you still approach the source of the voice cautiously. The ramblings do not sound like the slurs of a madwoman, and seem quite focused. Finally, you edge around the sidewalk, skirting the edge of a nearby house to take a peek.

You are quite befuddled when you finally get a glance of the woman. The rather short girl is leaning against a streetlamp, muttering under her breath as she continues to pound away at a shiny piece of slate in her hands. She looks to be a year or two younger than you, perhaps in her late teens.

However, that is the least of your concerns. Perched on top of the girl's head is a pointy hat that is much too large for her head. Black as the night itself, the hat matches the color of her dress perfectly, and you have the feeling that without a light source she would sink into the inky darkness. "…Stupid… Why did it disappear? That one didn't have a glamour sufficient of hiding itself completely. Where did it get such strength?"

Huffing under her breath, the figure continues to tap at the slate, and your eyes trail down to what is propped up beside her against the pole. A rather old broomstick stands at her side, not moving at all even when the girl accidentally hits it with her knobby elbows. Frowning, you can't help but wonder if your eyes are deceiving you, as the sight before you can't possibly be what you think it is.

Still, the bristles tell their own story. Not as worn as those on a broom that saw use, they are. You know that either this broom had new bristles just lashed to its handle, or the broom was not used for sweeping. With the attire of its owner, you can't help but to quietly whisper, "Witch…?"

Said girl that you reference apparently has ears like a dog, and immediately raises her head up. She slowly looks around the area, her odd yellow eyes scanning everything in sight. Fortunately, you are able to pull your head back fast enough so that she can't see you. Standing there against the side of the house, you try to still your heart, which had begun beating quite quickly.

Somewhat worried that this witch may actually be real, you slowly slink away from her, doing your best to sneak through the shadows. Old habits from following him come to the fore, even if you are years out of practice. Once you manage to traverse an entire block, you get back onto the sidewalks and scurry away as quickly as possible, pointedly stepping quietly so your boots do not make much sound.

By the time you get past another row of houses, you begin to slow down. Granted, you do not know why you are running from the girl, but this whole night has you on edge. That one she mentioned about glamour makes you wonder if you were stolen away by fairies. Such a thing is so preposterous, but what else could it mean? "…She could be insane, I suppose."

Letting those thoughts trail off, you take one glance back to make sure that you aren't followed. Sighing heavily in relief, you turn back around and take a step. In the process, you end up running into someone.

You let out a small yelp as you stare at the short blonde that had crossed your path. She merely grins at your reaction before leaning forward, planting her broom on the ground so that she can rest her chin atop it. "So, what you doing out here so late, miss? Not quite the time for a girl to be out and about."

[ ] Just enjoying the evening air. Quite nice this time of year, isn't it?
[ ] Last I checked, you're a girl too. It's not time for you to be out either.
[ ] W-w-w-witch!
[ ] It's a long story. The last thing I know, I was in a forest…
[ ] Write-in

------------

Sorry for the wait. I'll try to get another up tonight, so long as I get the votes/don't fall asleep beforehand.
No. 166806
[X] Last I checked, you're a girl too. It's not time for you to be out either.
No. 166808
[X] Last I checked, you're a girl too. It's not time for you to be out either.

This'll do.
No. 166809
[X] Last I checked, you're a girl too. It's not time for you to be out either.

When caught, go on the offensive.
No. 166810
[x] Last I checked, you're a girl too. It's not time for you to be out either.

Sure why not?

Oh this is going to go well, I can tell. Marisa's target is literally right under her nose.
No. 166811
File 13664131672.jpg - (343.31KB , 755x1700 , care to dance in the pale moonlight?.jpg ) [iqdb]
166811
[-m-] Last I checked, you're a girl too. It's not time for you to be out either.

------------

Leveling your stare at her, you try and draw up all the gumption that you currently possess as you reply. "Pardon me, but as far as I can tell, you're a girl too. Is this the time for you to be out, either?" Crossing your arms across your chest, you raise your nose just slightly, copying a motion you have seen your sisters perform many a time. "Although, I do say that you appear to be a bit of a tomboy. Is it the case that you’re smuggling a few sausages over from Hannover under that gown of yours? In that case, I'd remind you to make sure that they are still edible. The smell is, how you say, quite ripe."

The eyebrow over the girl's right golden eye twitches, but she still maintains a smile on her face. "Oh, pardon me. I did not know that a lady like you had such a tongue. Why Hannover, though? Not that I care much for western foods, but I hear that Poland would be a much better place get some of that."

Snorting to yourself, you lower your head to stare at the shorter girl again. "That seems rather curious, as Poland no longer exists. It was partitioned for the last time over sixty years ago."

"Really now? Where have you been, then, miss?" Chuckling a bit, the blonde stands up to her full, if unimpressive, height, and begins to walk towards you. "I'm not particularly up to date on my geography, as that is the expertise of some of my friends, but they were spat out about… fifteen years ago?" Pausing, the girl shrugs. "Eh, close enough. But still, you sound a mite bite suspicious."

Frowning, you try to think of an explanation for such an error. However, it seems to be that the girl is just trying to goad you into backing down, so you decide to not give her that satisfaction. "And what you say raises my curiosity as well. After all, you could be the one that is orchestrating the lie, and the one far more likely to do as such than I."

"Really? I don't have a reason to lie. Although, I am told it's a bad habit of mine." Shrugging, the girl manages to shoot you a rather bright grin. "Still, what are you doing out so late at night?"

Pausing for just a moment, you do your best to call an explanation to mind. "Just spent too much time gossiping with some of my acquaintances." Heaven knows that your sisters did that all the time. As much as it pains you to pretend to be such a busybody, it is easy to imitate. "Mostly speaking of the Queen, as you are well to know. After all, a queen with so many children does make one wonder, even if it is her job to provide as many heirs to the house as possible."

"Actually, I don't know. I've more important stuff to worry about." As she grins a bit wider, you feel the hairs on the back of your neck begin to rise. "You might say that I deal with suspicious folk. And you, miss, are certainly suspicious enough to warrant my attention."

Taking a step back automatically, you try not to let her come any closer. "Why am I the suspicious one? I'm not the one dressed as a witch and gallivanting about in the moonlight. I might think that you are out here trying to cast some sort of dark spell." As you take another step, you feel your back hit something quite solid. However, when you turn around, there is nothing there. Putting your hands against the immovable object, you begin to shake just slightly. "W-what is this…"

"Well, you're not too far off. Although, I don't deal with dark spells. I prefer light ones, to be honest." You feel the girl's eyes on you as she steps closer, grabbing you by one arm to turn you about. "Just be still for a second. I need to see whether you're actually a target, though. You're… curious."

"T-this isn't p-possible…" Pressing against the wall, you try to move it. "You can't do such a thing. Magic doesn't exist!" With every sentence that you speak, you notice the girl wince slightly, as if pained by your speech. Still, it doesn't seem to dissuade her. Desiring for a way out, you try to dodge around her, only to find the invisible walls there as well.

Frowning a bit, the girl stares at you. A light dances in her eyes as she stares at you, her gaze piercing deeply into your soul. She stays that way for a few moments before sighing. "A tough one, ain't ya? Well, glamour may be strong, but I have something that can get through it."

As she reaches down into her pocket, eventually pulling out that slate once more, you can't help but to stammer a reply. "G-glamour…" Eyes widening, it finally clicks. "Fairies… You're… You're working with fair folk? Using their power to steal my soul or spirit me away?"

Pausing in midst of her actions, Marisa suddenly bursts out laughing. "Working with those devils? Hardly at all. I've never met a full Youkai that is even halfway what you could call good." Snorting in her laughter, she taps on the slate a few times before pressing the end against your stomach. "I thank you for being so calm, so I'll tell you this much. This will sting."

Before you can ask, you feel something sharp and metallic prick your gut, tearing a hole in your dress. You immediately double over at the pain, but you are composed enough to not cry out in pain. "What in the world was that for? If you're going to stab me, at least do it with something proper. That way I won't be agonizing as I bleed out."

"Oh, I would have, but sadly I do need to confirm you are the monster that I know you are." Staring at the slate, the girl continues to frown, the expression on her face darkening by the second. "That I know… This is odd. Very odd."

Standing back up, you let out a rather dark laugh. "Not liking what you find? No idea what sort of devilry you've got there, but I assure you, I am no monster."

"Well, now…" The girl looks up, still smiling. This time, though, she appears quite chagrined. "I was so sure… I know there is one in this area, and the odds of finding one who had been touched by a Youkai…" Grumbling, her expression darkens once more. "Unless they let you out to distract me… Dammit. This one's smarter than I thought. Concealing himself with a glamour long enough to get away, and using you as bait?"

While you have no idea what she is talking about, she doesn't seem as hostile as she was moments before. Taking another step away while cradling your throbbing stomach, you discover that the wall that was there moments before was gone. Now that she is distracted, this might be your chance to get away.

[ ] Get out of there. Let her worry about her own stuff. Madwoman.
[ ] Excuse yourself. No need to be impolite, but you want nothing to do with her.
[ ] Ask her for help to the nearest town. Tell her that she owes you.
[ ] Question her. She knows about this sort of thing? Might she know why you are here?
No. 166812
[X] Question her. She knows about this sort of thing? Might she know why you are here?
No. 166813
[x] Get out of there. Let her worry about her own stuff. Madwoman.

This girl is scaring Margaret. We should probably get out of here.

I'm trying to vote without using any metaknowledge.
No. 166827
>Just to say: I know where the doll is. I'm curious to see if any of you have figured it out already.
Oh I get it.
Margatroid, the fragment, is manifesting herself in the real world, present day and so Dolly is Amsterdam back in Gensokyo.
No. 166828
[x] Ask her for help to the nearest town. Tell her that she owes you.

I like this more. Marisa will probably say no, but it distracts her suspicions.
No. 166830
[x] Get out of there. Let her worry about her own stuff. Madwoman.
No. 166836
>>166827
I'll go ahead and say that you're right. Nothing important at the moment, but it will come into play later.
Although, it is kinda funny, as I never expected Amsterdam to be a main character at the start of Fairytales.
No. 166888
[-n-] Get out of there. Let her worry about her own stuff. Madwoman.

------------

You're going to take it. This woman… You've no idea what it is that she desires from you, as she no longer seems keen on taking your life, but you're not about to wait around and find out. Backing away, you turn about at the first opportunity and dash off, heading into the dimly lit streets behind you.

For just a moment, you think that she hasn't bothered to follow you. Soon enough, though, you hear footsteps behind you as the shorter girl runs after you, doing her best to catch up.

Your heart begins to pump just a bit faster as you reach another corner, around which you turn and run down. You've never been one for running so quickly, and you are hardly dressed for such a thing. The dress tugs at your legs with every step you take, preventing you from breaking into full stride and dashing away. It only compounds to make the girl behind you begin to catch up ever so slowly.

As you glance downwards during your mad dash, you notice something strange. For a moment, you swear you see your legs emerge from the front of your dress as if it wasn't there to impede you at all. Frowning at the happenings, you nevertheless decline to wonder about it as you continue to run away.

Continuing through the seemingly never-ending streets, you finally hear the footsteps of the other girl cease. Making sure to run a good way farther, you finally look back to see if she is there. Fortunately, there is no one in sight once more, and the only thing moving is an old newspaper through the night wind.

Sighing in relief, you take a moment to catch your breath and turn around. The street ahead of you is empty, and the panic begins to fade just slightly. A flicker of movement above your head draws your attention, and you feel your breath hitch as you slowly raise your head.

Floating there among the clouds is that same girl in a witch's hat. Sitting sidesaddle on that old broom, which seems rather civilized for a witch, now that you think about it, she stares down at you from the moonlit sky. The two of you remain there, staring at each other, before she finally begins to float down from the sky. Once five feet from the ground, she slides off of the broom and lands on the hard concrete, her boots audibly hitting the ground as she does.

If there was any doubt in your mind before, it is gone now. "You… you are a witch." Immediately, you begin to back away, although you know you can't get away from the girl if she can fly. "I… Why are you still following me? It is obvious that whatever you thought me to be originally, I am not what you seek out." Shaking a bit, you glance for a way out, although you do take notice that there are no invisible walls about you this time. "What is it you want with me?"

Curiously enough, you spot a bit of red on her face. "Well, starters, I should apologize first. I thought you were one of them. Grumbling, she rubs the back of her head. "There was one about this locale earlier. However, I lost track of the bugger about half an hour ago, give or take. You had a bit of that magic on you…" She frowns and eventually shrugs. "As far as I can tell, it's just residue or something like that. You were in that realm."

"…I've no idea what you're talking about." Staring at the girl you shake your head. "You mutter about witchcraft, talk about fairies, and steal my blood. Are you trying to do invoke some kind of occult spell to seal my soul and torment me for eternity?"

"No no no…" Shaking her head, the girl holds up her hands. "Listen, it's nothing like that. I can explain, since you’re not what I’m hunting. Heck, I could probably help. If I wasn’t on this high right now…" She curses loudly under her breath before meeting your eyes square. "Alright, I screwed up. Just give me a chance to explain. Second impressions and all that." At your continued silence, she grumbles and shakes her head quite violently, likely scattering about some portion of her brain. "Alright. Let's start over. I'm Marisa." She suddenly sticks her hand out towards you. "You are?"

[ ] "I'm Margaret, if you must ask."
[ ] "If you must know, I'm Miss Spaans."
[ ] "…"
[ ] "I'm out of here."
No. 166895
[x] "I'm Margaret, if you must ask."
Diplomacy! While we're talking and can't leave, might as well.

It's kinda weird seeing this story below the top of the board.
No. 166898
[X] "I'm Margaret, if you must ask."

Ok, let's try to talk about this.
No. 166899
[x] "I'm Margaret, if you must ask."
No. 166903
[x] "I'm out of here."
Not the best option, but the most hilarious.

Good update by the way!
No. 166914
[x] "I'm Margaret, if you must ask."

Okay. Playing along with witch-girl for now.
No. 166915
File 136665403152.jpg - (92.34KB , 850x614 , maybe not much of a choice but it is your decision.jpg ) [iqdb]
166915
[-o-] "I'm Margaret, if you must ask."

------------

Sighing, you finally answer after weighing your options. "I am Margaret, if you must ask." You take a minute to try and divine something else you wish to say, as the conversation options that come to mind are quite limited. "I am trying to find my way back home. I fear that I may be somewhere far afield from it, though."

"Probably are. There is the question of if your home is still standing, though." Shrugging, Marisa shakes her head. "But still, we need to get introductions out of the way still. Words and labels do have their own power, after all." Grinning, she reaches up and tips her hat pointedly. "As you have said many times already, I am indeed a witch. Although, I do prefer to be called a magician. A tad bit more accurate, I do believe."

You shake your head at the very thought, wanting to dismiss it out of hand. Considering what you've seen, though, you've not much of an explanation. "Lovely. Since you do not appear to desire to stab me at the moment, once more…" Pausing for a moment, you raise an eyebrow at the small wince she makes. "I do not have much of a profession, at the moment. Was spending what was left of my family’s money to get out of the city and set myself up. Perhaps become a local seamstress or a tutor for those children that so desired."

"Probably could get the latter easily with that accent you have." The witch grins at you, seemingly amused at your words. "Still, I doubt you'll have much luck. Do you even know where you are? Or what continent you're on, for that matter? You'd not be the first one I've found that returned from Gensokyo half a world away from where they entered."

"…Let's start at square one. What is it that you're even talking about?" Pausing for a second, something rather more pressing comes to mind. "Besides that, shouldn't you tell me what is it that you plan for me? Or at least planned? Do you need some sort of devilish sacrifice to give sustenance for your powers?"

The witch stares at you for a second before snickering. "Eloquence and long-winded words do not banish magicians, I'll have you know. The answer to your question is no, though. As you appear to be a human, but only touched a bit magically…" She suddenly pauses, the joviality falling from her face. "A bit like Rika's sister in that regard. At least you're not touched in the head."

Sighing, you pinch your nose before responding. "I must be going crazy, as I am out here near midnight chatting with a woman who admits herself to be a witch."

"It could be worse. Those Youkai could come back for you, whatever they are." Marisa glances about all of a sudden, slowly scanning the area. "Speaking of them, we should get you to someplace safe. I would rather not one of them run across the two of us."

"And why would that be the case?" Friendly she may be, but you are not going anywhere with her, as she seems to be offering. "You keep on mentioning these Youkai, but who are they supposed to be? A bunch of criminals you're on the run from?" Although you do your best to communicate your disbelief, your mind drifts back to the few times she mentioned the fairies.

Before you can sink too deeply into thought, the witch rolls her eyes. "Hardly. Criminals and other humans I can take care of easily. But them… I'd rather not have another human around. That way I wouldn't have to worry about protecting you, especially if they manage to get the upper hand. Plus, if you're around, you might actually manage to hurt me enough for it to succeed." At that, she holds her hand out. "We should get out of here before whatever it is decides to show up."

Folding your arms, you just stare at the girl. "Not yet. I want answers. What is it that you're doing, and what is it that you are so worried about?"

The girl grits her teeth for a moment before painting a false smile on her face. "I am exterminating these Youkai. They are… well, to put it simply, they are monsters that wear a human's face. Beasts and brutes and wretches… Think of any fairytale creature that has come to life, but ten times worse."

"Really?" Quirking your eyebrow once again, you let a small grin cross your face. "Well, what about you? I know the witch that ate poor Hansel and Gretel up after she led them to her house. Tell me, are you ten times worse than even that?"

Marisa's smile widens just a bit, although you can't tell if it's honest or not. "Much, much worse, I do admit. Why, I like to dine on the fingers of a birth-strangled babe. Sadly, women don't deliver them in ditches any longer, so it is a delicacy I haven't had in decades."

You stare at her for a few seconds longer, digesting her words, before you let out a sigh. "It's hard to tell whether or not you're being serious, or just butchering Shakespeare."

"It's the latter. Mind you, I do believe that potion would work. But some of the ingredients are a bit too… much." She shivers a moment later. "Besides, pretending that I liked such a thing made me throw up a little in my mouth."

"Good to know. Although, I've yet to see what you mean about these creatures you are pursuing. Something so monstrous sounds like it'd be easy to find."

The witch shrugs before looking away once more, tossing her broomstick over her shoulder. "It is. You've to remember that the glamour they cast hides one well. To use the thing you have accused me of so many times, would the devil himself come after you with a forked tongue and wearing red skin, or would he appear with blonde hair and blue eyes?"

"I guess you―" The grin on her face grows wider as you realize what she means. "Why you… If anyone here is the devil, it'd be you, witch." Resisting the urge to knock her upside the head, you instead shake yours and sigh. "Now, if you just bother to answer me instead of dancing around the questions…"

"Haven't I answered them all? It's just not in the way you'd like." Chuckling, she offers a hand once again. "Mind you, I will answer as much as I can. But since you've asked so many questions, let me return one of my own. What year was it, last that you recall?"

Frowning, it takes you but a second to answer. "Spring of eighteen fifty four. I take it some time has passed since I was… Away? Asleep? It feels like I was just chasing that girl hours ago…"

"Hrm. Two answers for one question." Smiling a little bit, Marisa looks you straight in the eye before frowning herself. "It's been a long time for you. Longest I've seen for a human to come out unscathed. Welcome to the twenty-first century, Miss Margaret."

As you mentally calculate how many years that'd be, your eyes widen. "Wait. You mean it's been a hundred and fifty years?"

"Fifty two, not that anyone is counting." Taking one more time to scan the area, she sighs in both relief and disappointment before turning her head back towards you. "I doubt there'd be anyone to take you in, or anybody that would believe your tale. You're lucky that I found you. So, will you come with me, or will you not?"

[ ] Yes
[ ] No
[ ] …But what about Dolly?
No. 166916
[x] …But what about Dolly?
Obviously.
No. 166919
[x] Yes

Bad end? Good end? Who knows! Marisa sure doesn't.
No. 166926
[x] …But what about Dolly?
We can't forget about dolly
No. 166927
[X] …But what about Dolly?
No. 166928
[x] …But what about Dolly?

Hesitation on Alice's part. Also, to see if there is actually a way to access Gensokyo and pull someone through.
No. 166943
[x] …But what about Dolly?

We can't possibly leave until we find our companion!
No. 166950
[x] …But what about Dolly?

Can't leave a dear friend behind.
No. 166958
File 136668132334.jpg - (371.27KB , 669x925 , it is a pleasant to find to discover all of these.jpg ) [iqdb]
166958
[-p-] …But what about Dolly?

------------

There is something important that you'd rather not forget, even if you would consider her deal. "…I've something of mine that I've lost, and cannot find. It is… precious to me. I'd rather not leave here while there is still the chance that I could find it."

Marisa raises an eyebrow before lowering her hand. "Really now? Well, I don't think you'd have much luck. Do you remember where you were once you were dumped out here?"

"…Not particularly." Sighing, you turn your head back in the general direction of the house you woke up in, although you can't be sure it actually is in that direction, considering how much you've turned yourself around in your wandering. "I searched all about when I woke up, but I couldn't find it. I always keep her in my pocket when I don't actually have her out."

"Her, huh?" Chuckling, Marisa nods. "I suppose you're talking about a little doll of yours? If you're this worried, though, I doubt that it's just any old doll." The witch follows your gaze, searching with those oddly bright eyes of hers. "It'll be impossible to find anything that small out here, though. I may have good eyes, but they're not that good."

"I figured." Resisting the urge to let out yet another sigh, you turn back to her and shove your hands in your pockets. "I suppose I should have figured that would happen. I already lost the others. Why else…"

The witch’s eyes dart down for a moment before she shrugs. "That's how life is, I suppose. Chin up. At least you're alive. They don't have you." Reaching forward, she pats you on the shoulder. "How about this. I'll find us someplace to stay. You can tell all of what happened and I'll fill you in on everything. Then when I go back out on my search, I can keep an eye out for it while you stay safe. Win-win, right?"

After taking a moment to parse her words, you nod. "I suppose so. But how could you find her in the dark?"

"Like this." Reaching forward, she plucks a hair from your head, making you wince in the process. "I've a piece of you, and if that doll is so special, I'll be able to sense it. Granted, it won't pinpoint it, but at least I'll be able to know the general location." Smiling, she puts the hair in her pocket before speaking once more. "So, you've agreed to come along?"

"I suppose I have. Not that I've much elsewhere to go." As one, the two of you begin to walk, and you can't help but to ponder the surrealism of your situation. "Never thought I'd be walking down the street with a witch when I woke up this morning. Or yesterday morning, or whatever it may have been."

Laughing softly, Marisa just nods. "Aye. The odds are pretty long, aren't they?" Turning to look at you, she punches you in the arm. "So, tell me, who was the one who took you? I think you mentioned some girl…"

"Right, right." Looking towards the sky as you walk, you begin to recount what had happened. "The last thing I remembered was when this little girl named Alice took me into the forest for a game of tag…"

------------

A groan passes Meiling's lips as she finally regains consciousness. "Uggh… What the hell was it that hit me? Did someone get the number of that truck?" Laughing softly, she winces as a pain shoots through the side of her chest. "Oh dear. That… hurt. Must have bruised a rib." Taking a deep breath, you feel the pain again. "That or I broke it. Ow. That woman sure packed a punch…"

Slowly, she sits up, taking a look about the room. "…Where in the world am I, though? This place is rather… very fancy." Her eyes trail along the decor, white papered walls with elegant patterns that seem to include any and every sort of design imaginable. "Overly so." Her eyes start to water as she stares at the confusing pattern, and instead she focuses on the stark white sheets that are overtop her. "Odd. This silk? Hadn't seen so much since I left home… Can't be home, though."

Now that her head has stopped spinning, she begins to look around the room. It seems rather stark, as almost everything in sight is a stark black or white. The curtains on what she assumes to be a window are that pure black, laced with small white threads around the edges. The bed she is laying on, while having stark white sheets, is actually the darkest of ebony. That alone makes it one of the warmest sights in the room, as it isn't as black as everything else.

Lined against the wall are a few pieces of furniture, both ornate and with clawed feet. One is a rather ornate wardrobe, and the other a vanity, both of which are opposite of the supposed window. There are no lights or even candles to light the room, but she has no problem actually seeing anything in the room. Curiously enough, though, there is no door in sight, which doesn't quite register to her still-waking mind. "This is… Who brought me here? This surely isn't the cheap apartment I was before."

Sliding her feet of the edge of the bed, Meiling winces as she cautiously walks over to the vanity. With every second step, she feels a pain shoot through her side. "Definitely at least cracked a rib. But I think breaking that bitch's arm was a good enough tradeoff."

Once at the window, she stares at herself, looking at her mirror image. "Well, I look like crap." Both of her eyes are black, and the left side of her jaw is puffy. Most of her upper left arm is bruised, and there is no longer a sleeve on that side. "Wait a sec… Did she actually do that, now?" Frowning, she looks closer at her left arm, noting the bite mark. "That's right! She did try to… Good thing that woman didn't have rabies. Still, I don't know how she was strong enough to knock me out after breaking her arm."

Sighing, she looks down, already wanting having recriminations come to mind. "Got too cocky, I guess. Most people what actually feel pain when I break their arm. That woman didn't even care…" Grumbling, she leans closer to examine her wounds. "Bah. I don't have time for this. I lost. I won't lose again."

Forcing herself to look away from the mirror, Meiling looks around the room once more. This time, she spots the door that is on the wall between the furniture and the curtain, opposite of the end of the bed. "Wait a minute. Was that there originally?" As nothing answers, she winces. "Right. Not like anyone can hear me." She slowly idles away from the furniture and approaches the door, reaching out to grip the rather ornate handle, which is as white as the door is black. She pulls down on the handle, and the door easily opens up.

Letting it open, Meiling slowly walks forward and into the room beyond. Upon further examination, the room is actually a long hallway, one that is covered in that same paper with the maddeningly intricate designs. Pointedly looking at either the ebony flooring or the white molding, Meiling looks up and down the hallway. Oddly enough, there seems to be no end in sight, with the hallways proceeding into eternity. There is nothing to light the hallway here, either, but she still has no problem seeing in the hallway.

"This is… How big is this building? This place must be huge." Even more oddly, there are no doors in sight, no matter which way she looks. "Well, if someone brought me here, they probably don't mean me harm. I'll just wait in that room." Turning about, she sees that the observation about doors still holds true. "Oh dear. I'm going mad. I just came out of there…" Thoughts about this being a dream come to mind, but she shrugs it off while trying to decide where to go.

[ ] Left
[ ] Right
[ ] Nowhere
[ ] Through the wall Would be funny, but no.

------------

>>166928
You know it's not going to be that easy.
No. 166959
Oh. Oh no.

That's the Scarlet Devil Mansion, isn't it?

Oh, poor Meiling.

[x] Forward... Through time/Nowhere
No. 166965
Oh shit.

[X] Nowhere

I wonder what this'll do.

...and I wonder if the short at the end of NSTAF applies...
No. 166968
[x ] Nowhere

Trying all these doors ain't working. Waiting and thinking might be our best choice.

Ladies and Gentlemen of THP, this is where the fun begins.
No. 167007
[x] Right

Never have I felt such a even mix of curiosity, interest, and dread.
No. 167015
File 13667270292.jpg - (120.35KB , 500x674 , and walking and walking and walking and walking an.jpg ) [iqdb]
167015
[-q-] Nowhere

------------

It doesn't take much at all for her to see what this is. It is just a trick, something playing with her head. Whether she had some psychoactive drug injected into her before she woke up, or if she is simply dreaming, as must be the case otherwise, she understands the riddle.

"Not as if I've anywhere to go. And if the door behind me disappears, there should be another that appears before me soon enough." Shrugging a bit, Meiling takes a look around, trying to see if there is someone there to answer her. Finding no other warm body, or even peepholes, she just sighs and shakes her head. "I'd like to think I'm not that dumb, after all."

Again, no one answers, making her feel more the fool. So she quiets herself and settles into her plan. Instead of traipsing to the left or slinking to the right, she stays firmly in place, standing against the wall where once a door had been. As she stares across the hall, her mind begins to drift off as the wonderfully complex patterns fill her mind. Wonderfully complex lines twist and turn on each other, growing and shrinking at the same time. The further she falls into a stupor, the more they seem to reach out, as if to touch her. The patterns undulate and approach as if to wrap about her and rope her in, dragging her inside the walls with them to make an even lovelier pattern.

The spell is broken, though, when the walls vanishes in an instant, revealing another hallway. Blinking rabidly, Meiling shakes her head, trying to clear the cobwebs out. "What… What the― Why am I in the middle of the room?" Looking down, she finds that she has moved forward from her position on the wall, and was in the middle of a stride towards the opposite side. Her right hand seemingly had a mind of its own, and was reaching outwards where the wall had once been. "Calm down, Meiling. You're not going crazy. No, you're not…"

Grabbing her hand and forcing it down to the side, Meiling slowly begins to walk down the new hallway, curious as to where it would lead. Staring far into the distance, she notices once more that there is no end in sight, with the patterns spiraling around until they finally reach a singularity an eternity away from her. Still, she knows there must be a purpose to this third route, so she continues to walk.

And continues to walk.

And continues to walk.

And continues to walk.

After trudging for an unearthly amount of time, she steps on something that is not hard and ebony. Shaken out of her vacant state of mind, she looks down, discovering that she is standing on a pane of glass in what appears to be a window. "…Why is it blocked out like that? Looks like one of the sides has been painted over… Someone has an obsession with the color white." Kneeling down on the glass, ignoring the pain that this causes, she touches it with one of panes. "Mustn’t be this side then. This is just odd now."

Now that she thinks about it, it is odd to have a window of any description on the floor. Meiling looks around, curious to see if there is a mate, or whether or not she has gone mad. As she glances up, she sees another window above her, identical to the one below. "…Don't even say anything, Meiling, don't even…"

The moment she thinks that this is not possible, she notices that the wall to her left is actually constructed from that same ebon wood she had been walking on. The moment she realizes that, gravity decides to assert itself. Instead of being pulled to the window, the new floor that was a wall attracts her to it, causing her to fall all of five feet and land on her injured rib.

Meiling has to bite her lip to keep herself from screaming out in pain. Instead, she curls up into a ball and lies there for a few seconds, waiting for the pain to pass. "Got to… Got to keep moving. Need to find someone who can fix this…" Grunting, she forces herself to her feet, hissing as she bites her lip again. The wet coppery taste begins to flood into her mouth as she finally pierces the skin. "Great. Just great."

As she regains her bearings, she finally notices that the hallway is not nearly as insane as the one before. The walls now are a pure white, with only solid black chair rails and molding to break up the start color. The floor is the same ebon as before, and the high, vaulted ceiling above her matches it perfectly. The windows that she can see are still that same white, with only a minimum of light managing to trickle in from the outside. Still, this is the first time she has even seen a shadow in this place. Now that she thinks about it, she hasn't even seen her own, yet.

However, the sight before her is what is most encouraging. At the end of the hallway is actually a door, not an endless void for which she attempts to reach but never comes close. In front of that door are two little end tables, with one bearing a small feather duster that has seemingly never been dirtied.

What draws her attention most, though, is a young girl standing in front of the table. She stares at the wall, her body still and her blue dress and apron unmoving. Her hands hang by her side, limp and not even moving. Meiling tries to see if her face is just as lax, but the short blonde hair effectively covers it from this angle.

Still, she sighs in relief. "At least I'm not alone. Although, awfully young to be a maid…" Dragging her wounded body forward, Meiling tries to get close to the girl. After a few seconds, another, rather odd detail causes Meiling to stop in her tracks.

On the girl's back is a pair of wings. Freakishly large bat wings, the leathery skin seemingly tattered, as worn as the girl's skin is fair. At first glance they appear to be props, but they twitch in place, small jerks causing ripples to echo across what remains of the wing's membrane. The rest of the girl is yet still, and she has not even reacted to either Meiling's voice or her heavy footsteps.

[ ] Get her attention. Meiling needs help.
[ ] Back away slowly, and go the other way. This corridor has two ends. …Right?
[ ] Walk past her and leave her be. She seems too mad to be of any use.

------------

>>166959
The Scarlet Devil should be the least of your worries. For now, anyways.
No. 167016
[X] Get her attention. Meiling needs help.
-[X] Call out to her from a distance, just in case.
No. 167021
[X] Get her attention. Meiling needs help.
-[X] Call out to her from a distance, just in case.
No. 167028
[X] Get her attention. Meiling needs help.

Oh dear. Flandre, I presume. And quite possibly a Malkavian, at that.
No. 167066
File 136681531368.jpg - (68.82KB , 400x600 , welcome to an alabaster devil mansion.jpg ) [iqdb]
167066
[-r-] Get her attention. Meiling needs help.
-[-r-] Call out to her from a distance, just in case.

------------

Meiling stands there for a few seconds, trying to think of what would be best to do. There is something that is decidedly off about this girl, but the pain in her side helps to remind her that there is something in particular that needs care. Deciding what to do after a few more moments, she clears her throat and calls out to the girl. "Erm, hello there? Can you possibly help me?"

The girl does not answer at all, instead continuing to stare into the paint on the wall. Seconds tick by, and she still does not move, instead letting the silence weight heavy on Meiling's shoulders. As the worry starts to mount in her mind, she calls out once again. "Oi. Miss? Can you hear me? I'd like some help… Hurting quite a bit here." Again there is no answer, and Meiling starts to get frustrated. Stepping closer, she sees if there is a response. Receiving none, she walks closer and closer until she is five feet from her. "Hey, you, would you listen to me…"

Her voice trails off as the hair suddenly shifts. Meiling sucks in her breath as the girl's face is revealed. A young girl stares at her, stares through her, with eyes filled with boiling blood. No white or black breaks up the hellish fires that are trapped in those orbs. Unable to keep from whimpering a little, Meiling slowly backs away automatically, knowing she should fear what is in them. "L-listen, I just wanted help. I'm hurting bad, and I don't know where I am, and will you please stop staring at me like that…"

The girl doesn't answer the tall woman's question, and continues to do just as is aggravating her. Meiling fidgets nervously, staring at the unmoving girl. Finally, she blinks as her eyes start to water.

When the tall woman opens her eyes back up, the girl is standing scant inches from her. Letting out a short scream, Meiling tries to leap away, only to find the girl's strong grip on her arm. Eyes widening in fear, Meiling stares at the girl, afraid that she may be able to do something that the copycat hadn't.

The stalemate continues for a long while as the girl seems to judge Meiling. Burning eyes never blink nor tear up, constantly searching. Every time Meiling meets those eyes, she is forced to look away, avoiding the hellish light as it tries to burn away her skin and stare into her soul.

"Another pawn. Just like the rest. A pawn of wheat and noodles and blood, but a pawn none the less." It takes Meiling a moment to realize the girl is speaking, as she is barely moving her lips. Still, with how eerily calm the voice is, she can almost imagine it being project straight into her mind. "Always chess. Why must it be chess? So accurate. So typical. All pawns. Doesn't matter if the board is two or five dimensional. The game is always same when the pieces never change."

"Err…" Not knowing what to say, Meiling gulps and tries to jerk away. "That's nice, but do you think you could let me go? Please…?"

"What would it help? Be a pawn ready to be butchered. A prawn ready to be boiled. A brahman ready to be slaughtered. And you bring more… More for this game. Three more pawns that look like two. Yet the two have blood while the one does not. Nothing helps in this game though. Nothing. Nothingnothingnothingnothing…" The girl begins to trail off as she finally glances away, avoiding Meiling's eyes as she seems to calm down. "Nothing…"

A few seconds later, the girl's eyes snap back open. This time, they seem quite normal, save for the red hue in the irises that is obviously unnatural. "What in the… I am… Oh dear." The girl's eyes widen as she looks over Meiling. "What, did I… Don't tell me I― Not again." As she speaks, the insane girl lets go of Meiling's hands, almost as if she was scared that she'd break her.

The tall woman is unable to think of anything to say before the girl launches into a diatribe. "Always doing this. I hurt… Why did I hurt you? Cannot control, can't stop, too hard to think too hard to keep straight never straight turning in my head nail in my brain down to my gut―"

As the girl continues, Meiling eventually cannot take any more of it. This girl may be dangerous, but whatever she saw before was gone, at least for the moment. Leaning forward, she grabs the girl by the arms and holds her tight, trying to calm her down. "Shh, quiet down, alright? Calm down. You didn't hurt me. This was… somebody else."

"Are you sure? Could have been easy. So many times. Could have been me, but you didn't see. Did you see at all? A monster, whispering in the darkness, in the head?" The girl cradles her own head in her hands, trying unsuccessfully to shut out her demons. "Always so hard… Can never think straight. Not with all of us in here. Not with it in here. A sack too heavy with lead, about to burst and split the seams."

Not knowing what else to do, Meiling just keeps her hold on the girl's shoulders. So long as she doesn't make a move, the older woman sees no need to be aggressive. "It wasn't you. I am sure. It looked like someone who was exactly like me. Not that I have a twin or anything." As the strange event comes to mind, her frown grows larger. "It was rather odd."

At Meiling's explanation, the girl snaps her head up. "Really? Another you? Two of a kind… No. You aren't cursed. Aren't turned. Lucky. Be thankful. Not going to suffer, not from this, not from anything. You don't have Flandre or Flandre or Flandre whispering and whimpering and shouting and cowering with me."

Wincing at the girl's continued mad speech, Meiling tries to calm her once more. "What is… Stop thinking about this. What is this curse you're talking about? Could you tell me about that? How could I help you?"

"No helping. Curse is eternal. In the blood, in the soul, in ever scar that has been seared into my flesh." The girl's speech stops for a second as she remembers something. "Better than it used to be. Was gibbering consciously. Body with no mind, shattered, destroyed. Now we have enough to remember. Makes some of them wish we were back to normal. Can't go back, though. Can't go back to then."

Gritting her teeth, the woman thinks of something that might be of use. Anything that can calm the tortured girl's mind. She may have been frightening earlier, but the one before Meiling now seems just as lost as she is. Even if it is only to help her in the long run, it is almost painful to see her like this.

[ ] Her thought is what is bothering her. Try to get her to stop thinking.
[ ] Her memories are what is bothering her.Try to get her to forget.
[ ] Her curse is the true cause. …Not that she even believes in them.
[ ] Her problems are not Meiling's. Just leave her to her madness before she attacks.
[ ] Write-in

------------

Will be able to promise another update today, so long as I get enough votes.
No. 167067
[x] Her curse is the true cause. …Not that she even believes in them.
Her mind makes it real(tm)
No. 167069
[X] Her curse is the true cause. …Not that she even believes in them.
No. 167072
[X] Her curse is the true cause. …Not that she even believes in them.

This seems like the best way to help her in the long term, I hope...
No. 167077
[X] Her curse is the true cause. …Not that she even believes in them.

This seems better than forgetting or not thinking... I think.
No. 167089
[x] Her thought is what is bothering her. Try to get her to stop thinking.

Yeah, the multiple voices in a fragmented personality, overthinking sends them in overdrive till theyare on a multi-track mind race against the others. The problem is simmilar to the YOU'RE BREATHING MANUALLY NOW AND NOW YOU REALIZE YOUR TONGUE DOESN'T QUITE FIT INSIDE YOUR MOUTH situation. Get the minds unaware of each other and one can quite regain the main control. Which "one" is a different problem altoghether.

Malkavian Flandre? This story is going places, I like it.
No. 167093
File 136686123084.jpg - (715.43KB , 600x2000 , you know its what she wants.jpg ) [iqdb]
167093
[-s-] Her curse is the true cause. …Not that she even believes in them.

------------

"Calm down, now. It can't be some sort of curse." Frowning, Meiling kneels down in front of the girl, looking into her eyes. "Those things don't exist, you know that?" Of course, girls shouldn't have giant bat wings either, but she is sure that there is some sort of explanation for that. They could be fake, after all. "Just… listen. Help me find out why I'm here, and I am sure that we can find someone who can help you…"

The girl in front of her blinks her eyes before frowning. "You don't know, do you? There's no leaving… No leaving here. No living, no leaving, no loving, no anything. You will be cursed soon enough. They all are. They all end up the same… All end up going mad."

"What do you mean there's no leaving?" Frowning, Meiling stares at the girl, tempted to shake her a bit to emphasize her point. "Certainly there's a front door. A way out of here. You almost make it sound like it's a prison."

"Not a prison. No Bastille. Dungeon, deeper. Trapped in a mansion. Trapped in your own mind. They torment with screws and racks and potions and poisons and…" She blinks again, and you see something shift in her eyes. "Pitiful, isn't it? Too blind to see, and too dumb to comprehend. Just like the rest of your kind, aren't you?"

Immediately letting go, the tall woman stares at the girl in shock. "Miss? You're… you're not making sense." Eyeing her wings once more, Meiling stomach drops slightly. "Last I checked, I'm human, and aren't you human as well? What else could you be."

"Something much better. So long as I keep…" Her eyes fade again, losing their focus as she starts to shiver. "Can't keep anything straight. Not with all of us here. Not with five voices shouting. Need four for harmony. Instead, we have a cacophony. Loud monstrous devil's notes…. What other notes would we make though? What other notes could we…"

Sighing, Meiling shakes her head. "Miss, please, can you focus? Say that there is this curse. But if it's the curse doing it, you need to think of something else. I… don't think I can do anything about that. But just ignore the curse for now. Just ignore everything. Just try to calm down. Find something to focus on. Anything that can help…"

The girl sniffs a bit, but she does shut her mouth. Still, Meiling can see her eyes start to dart everywhere, and she clutches at her head tightly once more. "Focus… Focus. Don't let it rule us, we rule it…" Still, her whimpering just gets louder and louder as she clings to her face, and Meiling can see the claw-like nails on the ends of her fingers start to tear at her skin. "Focusfocusfocus―"

Just as she begins to hyperventilate, the girl freezes. The pupils in her eyes shrink into pinpricks as she stares at your face, looking quite intently at Meiling's face. Curiously enough, though, she pays no attention to the top of her face, instead looking down at the woman's mouth. Seconds tick by as the winged girl stands, still as a statue, and Meiling eventually tries to draw her attention. "Err… Do I have something on me? Miss…?"

A few seconds later, a small and childish voice replies. "You're bleeding…" The girl's face grows lax as she continues to stare, and her arms start to rise mere seconds later. "Bleeding. Smell it, sense it, see it, want to taste it. Just a little taste…"

Immediately standing up, Meiling backs away from the girl. "Wait now, blood? Why do you want blood? Why would anybody want…" Her eyes dart back to the girl's wings, and something clicks in her head. "Don't tell me, you're some sort of western jiang-shi…"

"Cursed, I said. Cursed with death that lives, both unending. Killed me… And bore us. Monster… But a monster that wants to feed." Still focused on her bleeding lips, the girl slowly stalks forward, her wings beginning to flex for the first time, stretching themselves out for eventual use. "Just… stay still for a minute. It won't hurt much…"

[ ] Acquiesce
[ ] Refuse
[ ] Run
No. 167100
She will take her no matter what happens because that's how things work.

Still, it might be useful for something. A symbolic gesture?

[x] Refuse
No. 167102
[X] Acquiesce

Tough choice, but it doesn't look like Meiling will be able to get away. Guess I'll hope Flan won't lose control...
No. 167112
[x] Refuse
No. 167119
Time to make things difficult!

[x] Acquiesce

Why? Because one way or another, Flan's probably going to get her hands on Meiling. But in the end, I've got a feel that it's better her than Sakuya.
No. 167120
[x] Acquiesce
Have to agree with some of the others if we refuse Flandre might do something drastic but we can probably earn points with her if we let her.
No. 167122
[x] Refuse

Seems a tad like a bad idea to me to let a vampire such as her feed upon you.
No. 167123
Hrm. Well. Interesting.

Next vote wins if it breaks the tie.
No. 167124
[x] Acquiesce
I want to refuse but Flandre used Dominate. (Is that even a discipline Malkavians can use?)
No. 167126
File 136695893525.jpg - (532.30KB , 700x700 , you arent gonna be eaten that easily.jpg ) [iqdb]
167126
[-t-] Acquiesce

------------

Every instinct in the woman's body is yelling at her to run away. Do something. Even some sort of resistance against the girl would help. After all, doesn't she hate this? …Or at least, doesn't part of her hate this curse? Instead of doing anything, though, Meiling just stands there, not even backing up against the wall. "What… You plan on eating me?" The words leave her mouth rather calmly as she resigns herself to the situation.

"Not eat. Just a little drink. Little teensy drink. Hadn't had one in long time. Sister sometimes let me have the used ones. Same with the Youkai. Never new ones…" The girl's eyes cloud over as she walks up next to Meiling before grabbing her by the arms and pulling her down. "Just give me a moment, and I can take a little sip, little slip, little strip, and rip and tear…" The girl's hands clamp down on Meiling's arms, making her wince at the pain caused by the excessive amount of force that she is using.

Another thought of trying to run floats through Meiling's head, but she has the feeling that it would be pointless. While that woman from before was inordinately strong, this girl is something else. Her small size easily belies the strength that she possesses. Still, there is nothing to do but to stand there as the winged girl pulls her down. The closer that Meiling gets, the more she can see the girl's mouth opening up, two fangs slowly growing from the front.

Before she can get any closer, Meiling hears the quiet whine of gears and time stops for the briefest moment. By the time the brief sound had passed, the girl was gone. Nothing was left of her to even mark her passing, not even a speck of dust that had been upturned. Stepping forward curiously, Meiling looks around. "…I must be going insane. She was right here, wasn't she? Just right here…"

"Oh, she was. But I can hardly have furniture attempting to break the guests, can I?"

Heart leaping into her throat again, Meiling jumps into the air and spinning around. Her landing painfully reminds her that she shouldn't be doing such things, as her broken rib digs just a little bit deeper into her side. Still, she manages to look up at the source of the voice and see whom it is that is speaking now.

A white-haired lady that is just shorter than Meiling stares back, a small frown on her face. "Such an interesting sort. Fight off the one I sent for you, and yet you stand there while a little vampire tries to eat you up? Keep that up and you won't be long for my home. Although, I am sure it would be very entertaining."

Frowning, Meiling pulls herself to her full height and stares down at the woman. "So, you sent her? That woman that looked like me? Why did you even do it?"

"Trying to intimidate me with your size? My, even if you could do such a thing, you already seem so prone to just giving up. And I am much stronger than that lovely little end table that you nearly gave your life to." The frown begins to rise until she is smirking at Meiling. "Just think of her reaction once she comes to her senses. Mind you, I don't think she has them anymore. But still, just think."

As that sinks in, Meiling crosses her arms, not moving from her spot and continuing to stare the other woman down. "I don't even know who she is. She just looked like a girl that needed some serious help… Not that there weren't the other problems…"

Pausing in the midst of her stride, the lady spins about to speak to Meiling. "Oh, yes. There are plenty of problems. Plenty indeed. You should have seen the two of them when I had first sought out them. The other had her beauty, but that one was little better than a savage. You shouldn't be worried for her. Instead of a stark raving mad vampire, she is a slightly bothersome piece of furniture, one of two in my favorite set."

Grumbling a bit, Meiling balls her hands into fists before letting them open slowly. "I… see? Why do you keep talking about them being furniture? Last I checked, they're nothing of the sort."

"Why do you talk about her as if you actually care? You're confused, but leaping to her defense because I call her something that isn't flattering. Would you rather I say that they are maids? Servants? Pets?" Still smiling, she begins to walk towards the door at the end of the hall. "It isn't as if you care, do you? After all, if I hadn't have shown, you would be dead."

"Well, why would you intervene? Who are you, and why am I here?" Taking a deep breath to keep her calm, Meiling patiently waits for an answer, not really feeling well enough to play word games until this woman becomes bored.

Fortunately, said woman seems eager to provide an answer. "Simple, human. I am the mistress of this mansion. And you, for now, are my guest. Pray tell that you are an interesting enough one to remain that way." Pausing, she turns back around to look at her. "And speaking of such matters… Dinner is in precisely one hour and seven minutes. Needless to say, guests are to attend dinner and be on time unless they have a legitimate reason to be late. A reason that, as a new guest, you would not possess."

"You are aware that I had a job back at home? I have to take care of my own business, whoever you are."

The woman laughs a little bit, quite amused at the thought. "Really? A job that you hate, parents who have disowned you, and a little brother that took your place? Is that something worth going back to?"

As she speaks, Meiling growls softly, dearly wishing to make her pay for the words but still too injured to do so. "Now, listen here. It wasn't anything like that. I don't know how you found out about any of that…"

"The same way I know everything about you, guest. I have been watching." Chuckling lightly, she smirks at her one last time. "Always have to make sure I find interesting guests. So far, I've seen middling. I hope that you can do better than that."

Shaking her head in disbelief, Meiling can only think of one thing to say. "Just, who, what are you?"

"I've told you the latter and the former. But if a guest needs a name…" Her smile suddenly becomes innocent as she finishes. "You may call me Sakuya. One hour and four minutes, guest. Remember that." At that, you hear the gears again, and the woman vanishes from sight.

"…What did I just stumble into?" Still shaking her head in disbelief, Meiling continues to look around, trying to find where that woman might have gone. After all, there is no way she could have vanished like that. Just as there was no way for that first girl to have vanished. The cursory inspection reveals what she knew subconsciously but didn't want to admit. There is no one left in this hallway. "An hour and so many minutes? …Great. Should I even listen?"

[ ] Door ahead of her.
[ ] Door behind her.
[ ] Nowhere once more.

------------

About those relationship points...
No. 167128
[x] Door behind her.

We were going this way in the first place, right?

>Time wizard sakuya, malk flandre and toreador/ventrue remi
Welp, this is a new spin.
No. 167134
>>167128
She's no mage
No. 167135
[X] Door behind her.

So Sakuya's the mistress now? Poor Remi
No. 167139
>About those relationship points...
If you're talking about Flandre, that had to earn some points with her; if you're talking about Sakuya, it doesn't really matter: she's the 'Youkai' of this thread and her being dead or as close as it can get is the new objective.
This time, however, China doesn't even have allies. Troublesome.

[x] Door at the end of the hallway.
The one we were going before talking to Flandre. I really don't know if it's ahead or behind Meiling but she should.
No. 167142
>>167139
Tell me why that doing such a thing would earn her points, then.
No. 167143
[X] Door behind her.

>>167139

I have to wonder something... Do you even realize that she doesn't want to be mad? To feed? How in the world would we have gained anything from something she didn't want...? It has been stated in several places now that she didn't want it. One of which being the beginning of the most recent post, plain as day. At least before there the excuse of not being able to realize that- it was well hidden at that time.
No. 167145
Incidentally, it occurred to me that the 'fifth' voice in Flandre's head is something that most Vampire fan would find very obvious, given that she's apparently starved for blood.

Could it be The Beast?

Also:
[x] Door behind her

We should probably get to the dining room as soon as possible. I have a feeling that being late is... A bad idea.
No. 167148
[-u-] Door behind her

------------

Sighing, Meiling shrugs her shoulders and turns around. "Fine, fine, we can play this. Just wait until I'm feeling better, then we'll see what you think." Limping just a little bit, she approaches the door that was behind her and opens it up, stepping into the room beyond. "Of course, some directions would be nice."

Closing the door behind her, Meiling takes a quick look around. Instead of an actual room, this seems to be yet another hallway leading to nowhere, with just a bunch of doors on each side. Nothing seems special about the hall, save for the fact that it was identical to the one previous. "You know, I'm starting to get the feeling that whoever made this place wanted it to be a maze."

Fortunately, the right side of the hall had the closer end, so Meiling heads there first. She checks every corner of that end of the hall, jiggling the handle of ever door. Her search is fruitless, though, as none of the door handles so much as budge under her grip.

She grumbles under her breath as she limps back the other way, going down the empty, quiet hall. With every step she takes her footfalls echo in her ears. The sound of every step is the only thing to break up the eerie silence, save for her own quiet, somewhat labored breathing.

She continues to check the doors along the side of the hallway, but each one is just the same. Every one is locked, with a handle that won't so much as budge under her grip. Even more annoyingly, the doors are all identical, so she can't even tell if there is something important inside them. "Well, if she locks me out of the dining room, I can hardly be late, can I?" Snorting at her logic, Meiling continues to trudge along, eventually making it to a split in the hall.

There are three paths, all of which seem identical with nothing to tell them apart. Unlike the earlier door that the mad girl had been in front of, there are no end tables that might break up the stark black and white corridors. Three black doors wait at the end of each path, each with a white handle on the front, with nothing else that would tell her the way forward.

[ ] Left
[ ] Right
[ ] Straight
[ ] Back the way she came.

------------

Will be able to get one to two more out tonight, all things depending.
No. 167150
[x] Left

No ulterior logic here. Just random.
No. 167151
[X] Straight
No. 167152
[ x] Straight

Well shoot, I going with my gut on this one. Meiling is a straightfoward person, so maybe this will work.
No. 167154
[x] Straight

I wonder where this is going?
No. 167163
File 136703133434.jpg - (33.94KB , 1400x1050 , i wonder whats inside.jpg ) [iqdb]
167163
[-v-] Straight

------------

Ignoring the two side paths, Meiling strides forward as much as she can, although she is still favoring the one side quite noticeably. The woman steps up to the door, taking a deep breath before turning the handle open.

On the other side of the door is complete darkness, enveloping whatever may lie beyond completely. The light behind her manages to snake its way into the depths of the abyss, but it disappears after twenty feet, and only reveals that same pitch-black ebony that covers every floor in this mansion. "Why is this the first room like this? I've not seen any with a lamp or a light yet…" Growing curious just as much as she is fearful, she steps into the beyond.

The darkness seeps into her eyes, nearly blinding her as soon as she steps inside. She cautiously begins to walk around the edge of the room, feeling for anything that might be a light switch, or even a piece of furniture. Nothing is found in her search; although she finds one wall soon enough, having gone no more than fifty feet.

As she turns back, continuing to feel her way around the room, the woman can't help but to wonder what purpose that such a place has. As she has yet to know the exactly reason why she is here, or what anything in this place is, though, she merely lets it go. "Now, I'll check the other side, and if there's nothing I'll leave. No point in staying."

Quickly copying her actions on the opposite corner of the room, Meiling quickly establishes that there is nothing there. Having no idea why such a large room is otherwise so empty, she turns back to the door, preparing to leave and head ace into the light.

As she walks closer to the door, though, it suddenly slams shut, eliminating the beacon of light that was guiding her. Meiling jumps in shock at the sudden noise, looking desperately and futilely around for the one who did it. As she has no chance of finding anyone who could have done it, she begins to shake her head. "Right. M-must be seeing ghosts. Maybe that girl came and saw the girl open and had to close it, because it wouldn't be good to have it open. Y-yeah. We'll go with that. Nothing else."

Taking a deep gulp, Meiling feels her way back to where the door was, nearly jumping in joy once she realizes that the door is still there, and hadn't disappeared like all the others. "Right. Silly me. She just had to shut it. No other reason. Not at all." As she feels around for the handle, Meiling suddenly hears something behind her. A small, quiet whimper, almost too soft to hear. In the silence of the mansion, though, she manages to do as much.

Freezing up, Meiling begins to sweat as her hand finds the handle. A quick experiment turns successful as the handle opens up and the door unlatches. Still, her mind races as she tries to think of what to do.

[ ] Leave. No point in staying, is there? It's probably nothing.
[ ] Go find whoever that is. Maybe she can follow the sound?

------------

Another short one. Should have time for another, all things depending.
No. 167166
[X] Go find whoever that is. Maybe she can follow the sound? However, caution is wish when dealing with the unknown.

Good to know just who, or what, is around. If it also happens to be cautious of you? All the more reason to investigate.
No. 167167
[X] Leave. No point in staying, is there? It's probably nothing.

If it was any other setting and author, I would risk it.
No. 167174
[X] Go find whoever that is. Maybe she can follow the sound?

I guess we should.
No. 167179
[x] Go find whoever that is. Maybe she can follow the sound?

What have we here?
No. 167201
[-w-] Go find whoever that is. Maybe she can follow the sound?

------------

Against all of her better judgment at this point, Meiling turns around and looks at the darkness. Waiting a bit longer, she hears that quiet whimpering once more, causing her to sigh in resignation. "I can't just leave whoever that is there…" Hoping dearly it wasn't that mad girl with bat wings once more, she begins to limp into the darkness, listening for the source of the crying.

Frustratingly, the sounds of her steps managed to block out the creature's cries, whatever they were. Meiling resists the urge to complain about it, as that would make it even less likely to find her target. Instead, she continues to trudge along into the darkness, doing her best to walk in a straight line.

After a few minutes of walking, she starts to have the feeling that this was a bad idea. "Maybe I should turn around and head back. …Be hard to find the exit now, but I don't think I'll find it." The moment she finishes talking to herself, naturally, she hears the voice whimpering yet again. "…Alright, I'll come and find you. Just give me a second."

Taking another step forward, Meiling makes contact with a metal shelf of some kind. Before she can reach out and grab it, it topples over, spilling whatever might have been on it over the floor. "Crap… There's nothing else in here. Why is there a table in the middle of the floor?" Grumbling some more, she tries to walk past the table, her feet kicking some heavy objects to the side as she walks forward.

The noise seems to have attracted the attention of the one she has been looking for, as a weak, scratchy voice rises above the silent room. "W-who's… there? Is that… you, m-mage…?"

"Mage? I'm just Meiling." Glad that there was a louder voice to follow, Meiling starts walking towards the source. "I don't know who you are talking about. But what are you doing in this room?"

"Not a-allowed out. Y-you don't s-sound like… m-mage…" The voice gets louder as the woman gets closer, and she begins to hear ragged breaths. "Just… D-don't know why. E-enjoys her w-work, as she c-calls it. Damned work, i-it must be."

As the other person talks, Meiling's hands finally find another table, one far more solid and secure than the one she had knocked over. "What kind of work could one do in here? I can't even see my hands in front of my face…"

"That's t-the point. Otherwise, it'd hurt w-way too much. The light is s-so painful, and she shines… she s-shines it on m-me." The voice is much louder than it was before, now that Meiling seems to have found the origin, but it is still rather soft. With every tortured breath, it becomes evident that this person is even more injured than she. "Shines… h-hate the light. Can stand a l-little. She shines… S-he shines a-all…"

Frowning, Meiling lets go of the table, confident that she had found the target. "If y-you are the one in charge of the light, can you turn it on? I can't see anything at all. …How injured are you? Is there anyway that I can help?"

"…N-no light. In charge of d-darkness. I'm keeping it dark. N-no one will c-come to help. Lied so m-many times, and w-was just the mage. S-same as always. S-she'd come and hurt… Shine t-that burning light on my skin, o-on my f-face, everywhere."

[ ] Ask her to only lighten it a bit. Tell her to go slow, to minimize the possibility.
[ ] Forget about it. See if there is anything else that Meiling can do, what little can be done in the dark.
[ ] Just leave her here. Has anything in this mansion ended up going well for her?
No. 167203
[x] Forget about it. See if there is anything else that Meiling can do, what little can be done in the dark.

She is the dark. She is the night. But is she batman? ...Or is it a he? Knowing this world, it is most likely a she. Sorry, that just popped into my head after I read this.
No. 167204
[x] Forget about it. See if there is anything else that Meiling can do, what little can be done in the dark.

Maybe some things can be kept hidden in this darkness. This choice felt a lot more makeable then all those left-right corridor ones. Those were a bit maddening.
No. 167205
[x] Forget about it. See if there is anything else that Meiling can do, what little can be done in the dark.

>>167204
Hope that we didn't miss out on important information due to chance, like we did in the drawers part of the previous story.
No. 167207
Oh hey, it's Rumia!

...

I'm terrified to think of what happened to Cirno.
No. 167364
File 136729054938.jpg - (457.91KB , 689x947 , i wish this was her situation.jpg ) [iqdb]
167364
[-x-] Forget about it. See if there is anything else that Meiling can do, what little can be done in the dark.

------------

There's nothing that Meiling can do. If the person in front of her won't lift this darkness, she can't do much at all to help her. And considering the fear said girl has for the light, there is little chance of her lifting it. Instead, the woman does what little she can. "Well, I can get you out of here, maybe? Someplace else that you can heal. Once I can get you out of here…"

"N-no." Stopping Meiling in the middle of her spiel, the voice rasps at her. "Can't l-leave. Strapped t-to this table. Not leather or c-cloth. Metal. Not i-iron, but I c-can't break it…"

"Dammit. Then there has to be a way to unlock it. Let me check real quick." Slowly and carefully, she begins to feel her way around the table, trying to find one of the person's limbs. "Just… tell me what I find…" After a few seconds, she grabs hold of what feels like an arm, but is hairless and bumpy, the skin being much too smooth and slick to be normal. "W-what happened to…"

"Never mind. T-that's my leg. Chained b-below your h-hand." Even though her grip is light, every touch earns a soft moan of pain from what was more and more obviously a girl. "Hurts…"

"I'll be careful." Immediately pulling away the hand, Meiling moves it down its length until she finds a piece of round metal. "Your leg felt like it was small, though. Didn't feel as big as mine… although I suppose I'm pretty abnormal."

The remark does earn a small, pained laugh from the. "I'm p-pretty small, at l-least I think." Laying her head back, the girl waits for Meiling to examine the bonds. "A-any luck?"

"None." Frowning, Meiling does her best to find any joint or lock, or for that matter a screw or a bolt to hold the metal loop onto the table. To her best judgment, the table and the metallic loop are one and the same, and seem to have been molded around the girl. "There's no way out that I can tell. …I'm sorry."

The girl is quiet for a moment before sighing. "I f-f-figured that w-was the c-case. H-haven't b-been able to c-check m-myself in f-forev-ver." Meiling hears her lower her head back to the table, causing a solid thunk to echo across the room. "C-can I ask f-for something else, then…?"

Wanting to help the poor girl, Meiling immediately answers. "Of course. What would that be?"

"S-something to eat. N-nice and fresh. A lamb… Or a-a cow. Or a h-human, if you could f-find one…"

Meiling stares at the invisible figure, trying to find a good response to the insane request. "A what? You want me to bring you a human to eat? Why?"

"They taste g-g-good." The girl pauses for a second before continuing. "Why are you s-so shocked? Y-you know w-what I a-am? Or are y-you one of the n-new changel-l-lings…?"

Before Meiling can answer, a door slams open into the room. The light from the outside frames a short figure for a split second before it closes once more. Meiling freezes at the sudden intrusion as thoughts of being caught where she shouldn't be race through her head. However she might want to go and hide, she knows subconsciously that there'd be no place to hide, and that the silence of the room would give her away with her loud, clunky footsteps.

Instead, she merely stands there, hoping beyond hope that the darkness will hide her well enough. Curiously enough, though, the figure in front of her makes no sound, as if she is merely standing at the entrance of the room. Not even the softest of footsteps echo across the room, making her wonder where the woman had gone. Granted, whoever it is could be padding their way across the room in soft soles, but even then, she knows she should hear some scraping.

Moments later, she hears metal screech as it is pushed across the wood floor. "…Hrm. Someone has been here. I wonder…" The voice is as quiet as the other girl's, but its volume bellies the authority that lies under every syllable. "Not one of the other subjects. They know better. Nor is it one of the Youkai's playthings… We have a guest, though, don't we?"

The girl next to Meiling whimpers at the sound of her voice, clearly afraid. For her part, Meiling is amazed at how quickly she has been found out, but continues to wait, hoping that she isn't found. "Subject #57, please lift your curtain of darkness. I need to ascertain the damage that my testing equipment has taken." The girl continues to whimper, causing the voice to continue, harsher. "Subject, #57, lift your curtain of darkness. Or I will include the higher frequencies in today's tests."

Silently, Meiling pleads in the general direction of the girl, hoping that she doesn't do what is being asked of her. The hope instantly diminishes as the edges of the room start to lighten, revealing the edges of the room for the first time. Just as she had initially thought, there is nothing on the sides of the room, as they are the same white and black that the rest of the mansion is.

Soon enough, the light pulls in to reveal the newest intruder. A rather small girl with a dower face, chalky thin skin and lanky hair stands there, seemingly devoid of any emotion. At her feet lies a small metal cart that is spilled to the side, its handle curiously twisted and bent by someone's extremely strong grip.

In front of the girl, though, are a multitude of crystals in a variety of colors, all of them dull. Even when the light from the unknown light source shines on them, they do not spark even though they are cut cleanly and are translucent.

Finally, the darkness retreats completely, leaving the whole room exposed to a rather dim light. The intruder glances straight at you the moment she can see you, her lips pursing. Still, she says nothing as she turns down, touching down to the ground as she kneels to retrieve the crystals.

Meiling never notices the fact that the intruder was floating as she finally turns and looks at the girl. Her stomach immediately leaps into her throat as bile begins to tickle the back of her mouth at the sight. Whatever is left of the girl is burned almost beyond recognition. What skin isn't covered by the remains of a ragged, black dress is charred horribly, with only a few parts shiny and healing.

However, that isn't the worst part. The girl's head seems to have taken the most damage, as no hair remains on that scorched scalp. Her lips are nearly burnt away, and the nose and ears have been tortured horribly, the cartilage peeking through the thin, burnt skin. Still, both seem to have lasted better than her eyes, though, as none remain in her eye sockets. Meiling continues to stare at her face as the girl looks blankly into space, unable to see anything. "W-what in the… How could you survive that…?"

"She is not a human. She can survive quite a lot." Meiling finally manages to tear herself away from the horrifying sight, and instead looks at the pallid girl in a purple gown. "Of course, you wouldn't know this. In fact, you are probably feeling pity for this creature. You wish to alleviate her pain, to heal her and make her whole."

Immediately nodding, Meiling looks at her rather furiously. "Why wouldn't I? Look at the shape she is in! Why aren't you helping her? Can't we call an ambulance and take her to a hospital? Something instead of sitting here!"

"Because there'd be no point. Do you know what this girl would like to do to a human such as you? Such as us?" Pointedly looking at Meiling, the pale girl then glances at the charred body. "She is a hunter. A killer. She would sooner devour you whole and pick the flesh from her teeth with your bones."

Turning back to the restrained figure, Meiling just shakes her head. "How can that be? She looks like a little girl. A little girl that has tortured beyond recognition…" Realization strikes Meiling as she forces her eyes away once more. "No… You were the one that did this to her? She spoke of someone else, and she listened to your voice almost immediately."

"This subject is stubborn, but she does learn eventually." Before Meiling can launch into a tirade, the girl cuts her off. "I have no need to justify myself to you. I have been alive for much longer, and have seen much more. My work does not need to be critiqued by ignorant, weak-minded fools." Turning away from Meiling, the girl takes a few crystals from the table that was righted just a few minutes ago and begins to walk around the restrained girl. She places each of the crystals into the air, every one hovering in place as she lets go. "So, why is it that you are in this subject's room? You are obviously human, and not one of mine. You must be the Youkai's newest guest."

"…That I am." While shocked by the girl's disdain for the other's wellbeing, Meiling sees no choice but to answer. "She had informed me that I should go to the dinner table within an hour, but I do not know which way that is…"

The other girl nods. "Simple. You will be joining us at mealtimes, it seems." Pausing for a second, she shoos Meiling away. "Now, be gone with you. Wait outside, and I will lead you there."

Still not seeing much of a choice, Meiling looks over at the blind girl. While she as no way to actually see, she is staring in the direction of Meiling's voice, just watching, her face far more intently than a small girl without eyes should be able to.

[ ] Say something to her.
-[ ] (What do you say?)
[ ] Say nothing.

------------

I have a feeling you all will hate me by the time this is over.
No. 167374
>>167364
It's all over, isn't it? Because I hate you now. Auugh.
No. 167383
[x] Say nothing.

I wonder if you scared off everyone, or if they are just taking their sweet time, Begi? Definitely an interesting update.
No. 167389
[X] Say something to her.
-[X] Human or not, what exactly are you hoping to achieve, torturing someone like that?

Somehow I feel like I spent too long thinking about this.
No. 167391
We need to be smart about this. Clearly, there's more going on here than Meiling (or the audience) is presently aware of. Patchy wouldn't just spill her secrets- and probably would take offense to being questioned. She said she would lead us to dinner, and, despite her awful actions, will probably keep her word.

Besides, Rumia just confirmed she eats humans. Soooo.


[X] Say something to her.
-[X] If she's not human, then what exactly is she? And that other girl I ran into earlier?

Because, while we shouldn't critique her work, I get the feeling that Patchy would be at least accommodating enough to give us an answer as to what these people are.

Even if it's just to mess with Meiling's head.
No. 167425
Well, while I would call it for say something, the write-in options are different enough that the choice would diverge. So I suppose I need more votes still. If it helps, this is the last one with Meiling before we head back to the real world.

Barring unforeseen write-in shenanigans, granted.
No. 167440
[X] Say something to her. -[X] If she's not human, then what exactly is she? And that other girl I ran into earlier?
No. 167449
[X] Say something to her.
-[X] If she's not human, then what exactly is she? And that other girl I ran into earlier?
Knowledge saves lives. Whoops, that wasn't intentional.
No. 167473
[X] Lucas
No. 167474
>>167473
Sir/Madam, the vote is two part. Just FYI.
No. 167478
[x] Dig in the backpack. Find anything out about the girl.

[x] Lucas

Because this will be one hell of an awakening.
No. 167488
[X] Explore the house. You're restless.
[X] Lucas
No. 167495
[X] Explore the house. You're restless.

[X] Marisa.

You know, if we control Marisa we just might be able to stay her hand.
No. 167514
File 136753750285.jpg - (166.98KB , 850x1114 , anyone up for blackened trout?.jpg ) [iqdb]
167514
[-y-] Say something to her.
-[-y-] If she's not human, then what exactly is she? And that other girl I ran into earlier?

------------

There is nothing that Meiling can really do for the girl, so Meiling turns away from the grievously injured captive, ignoring the sick feeling that was in the bottom of the stomach. Turning to face the less nauseating face of the pale girl, she asks, "Not human? What exactly is she then?" Pausing, she thinks back to the other girl she had met earlier. "And what was that girl with the bat wings? That can't have been natural."

"Natural it is, although it is as unnatural as it is natural." Raising an eyebrow, she finishes playing the crystals around the girl before walking in front of Meiling. "This one here is a darkling. Youkai. Fae. Many cultures have many names, but they are creatures of the mind come to life. Beings from an alternate world that possess powers unlike that of even magic."

Not giving a chance for Meiling to comprehend, the girl begins to lecture. "Take this one. From my initial examination, this girl was once a human. She was changed by whatever Youkai brought her into this realm. Whether by hook or by crook, she was forced into this form, her mind twisted until she finally broke."

Wincing at the very thought, Meiling tries to reconcile the various thoughts. "Magic… Wait, are you trying to tell me―"

"Yes, it is real, do keep up." Frowning a bit, she twinges at the insinuation that there is no such thing. "Although, my magic is different from hers. However, ever since magic was purged from the outside world, I imagine that it has a much subtler quality."

"Still, you're saying this girl isn't human." Pausing in the middle of her spiel, Meiling remembers what she asked for. "What if you are wrong? What if she is just a little girl that can use this… this magic?"

Sighing, the pallid girl pinches her nose. "Ignoring the very idea that I could be wrong, there are many factors that would indicate that she is not human, although you are unable to see most of them, as you are quite mundane." The girl smiles as an indignant looks flashes over Meiling's face. "But there is some proof… Subject #57-D, open up your mouth."

The girl whimpers for a second before doing as such, baring her teeth. "It is hard to see, what with the damage she has sustained during testing, but this one's dental structure is hardly that of a humans." Without approaching, she shines a small beam of light on the girl's mouth, causing her to whimper in pain. "Note the increased number of canines, which have replaced nearly all of the bicuspids and molars of a normal human. Also, the incisors are much sharper than they seem otherwise."

Meiling hardly takes any of that in, though, as she has her attention focused on the pain that the one is causing. "Stop that, will you? That's hurting her!" Reaching forward to grab at the offending girls hand and pull aside the source of light, Meiling finds herself being struck by a wave of hot, intense air that bodily forces her back.

As she recovers from yet another assault on her wounded body, the girl whirls about to face her. "You will not touch me." Once she is satisfied that Meiling is far enough away, she clears her throat. "Enough of that. I will continue this discussion later, over dinner. Now, though, I will set up the experiment so that it can run."

Holding up the crystal, and ignoring both of the others in the room, the girl begins to speak. "Experiment number 1207 with Subject 57-D. Standard Spectrum Analysis, modified slightly due to subject's cooperation. Excluding gamma radiation from tonight's test. Begin now, starting with sub-low frequency radiation." The moment she finishes speaking, one of the crystals that is floating in midair begins to spin and glow.

While Meiling and the girl do not seem to react, the girl on the table immediately stiffens, even if she shows no sign of pain yet. "Why? Why are you doing this to her? Whatever you are trying to accomplish, what good does it do to torture her?"

"Because her power is anathema to the normal laws of physics that your world operates under, as well as any magic that I have command over. As darkness normally is the absence of light, her power makes light the absence of darkness. The dark is a physical quantity, and something that can be measured, and perhaps reproduced." Shrugging it off, she begins walking to the door. "Follow me, if you wish for me to lead you to the dining hall, and if you don't want to be tanned quite heavily in the upcoming minute."

The moment she begins to float over to the door, a second crystal comes to life, spinning around and lighting up. The girl whimpers again at the sound, causing Meiling to look back at her one last time. "…I'm… I'm sorry. I couldn't help…" While the girl may have implied she had done monstrous things, did she deserve this? "I'm sorry that I'm so useless." Unsure if the girl even heard her, Meiling turns around and walks to the door.

Looking back one last time, Meiling sees the bubble of darkness begin to expand, attempting to protect her from whatever the crystals were emitting. However, a third crystal activates and the darkness is driven all the way back, revealing her body once more. A second later, the girl screams loudly, the shrill cries nearly deafening Meiling.

Before she can stare any longer at the sickening sight, the door closes by itself, locking the horrid sights and sounds inside completely and utterly. Meiling stares at the blank door for a few seconds, her mind reeling in shock at the sight. "Come along now. We need to hurry along. That Youkai waits for no one, I'll have you know."

"But… That girl, are you just going to―"

"Yes, and forget it. Forget her. You will be better off, unless you want to become like her." The girl waits there for a few seconds, floating next to Meiling. "We are both her guests, and the only ones that retain a semblance of their humanity are the ones that entertain her. Do remember that."

Silently, Meiling does nod and slowly begin to shuffle down the hall, following the girl's lead. "You don't seem very human, though."

"Relative to yourself, or to the others?" Shrugging, she immediately moves on, distracting Meiling from the matter at hand. "However, I suppose you spoke of the vampires, earlier? Take care around those. They belong directly to the Youkai that runs this place." Pausing, she sends Meiling a very steely glance. "Take care around them. Neither is stable, and both were once powerful, even if they were young for fifth generation. If I were you, I would keep my distance as much as possible."

"…Is any place here safe? Or anybody?" So far, the friendliest person that she has met was the one strapped to the table and that liked to eat humans. Meiling had to know if she would be on her guard the whole time in this place, not that it would do much good in her current state.

Shaking her head, the girl turns a corner into another hall. "No, there isn't. But as long as you stay on the Youkai's good side, you will remain taken care of, and you will be fed, clothed and watered." Falling into the silence, the girl that had not yet even given her name leads Meiling on further into the mansion, even as that sick dread remains weighing her down the entire time.

------------

"I have to say, I never expected you to be able to take care of that problem!" Marisa grins at you before spinning about the abandoned room, looking over ever facet of it. "Looks like a nice place. Shame that we're only staying till sunup. Who knows when the owners will be back?"

"Why are you asking me?" Rolling your eyes, you walk past the girl, feeling a bit safer now that you are in the confines of a home, even if you are not there legally. "I'm the last person to know that. Just don't go and steal anything, as I don't want to make the residents of this place more worried than we have to."

The blonde grins back before coming to a halt next to you. "Who, me, steal? What gives you that idea?" Her hands slip into her pockets before you can answer. "Besides, not like I'm going to be here long. We're just leaving you here so that you'll be safe, remember? Don't want that Youkai finding you."

Sighing, you raise an eyebrow. "I did break in here fairly easily. If they are as dangerous as you explained, I think that a door that can be opened with a hairpin will not stop them from coming in for me."

"Relax, will ya?" Marisa pats you on the shoulder while sporting a wide grin on her face. "I'll know that you're alright so long as I have that hair that you want me to keep track of that doll of yours. If anything happens, I'll come right back for you." She steers you into a side room where a rather fluffy couch takes up the center of the room. "Besides, how could I not protect a fellow woman of ill repute? One after my own heart…"

You can't help but to snort at the girl. "You do know that actually means something else, right? And I'm hardly as crooked as you are. I just know a few tricks from my childhood."

"At least you know the good ones." The smile fades a bit as Marisa drops her bag to the floor. "Just take care of yourself, alright? I'll be back soon enough, and then we'll see about helping you."

Giving her a weak smile, you nod at her. "I will. Just don't stab me in the gut when you come back. Once was enough, I do believe."

Wincing, the girl rubs the back of her head. "Still on about that, aren't ya?" She smiles and grabs her broom along with a small block from her sack. "Seeya later, Margaret." At that, he walks back out the door, making sure to lock it shut as she leaves.

You follow her to the door and make sure the bolt is tripped, giving you a few more seconds if anything happens. Wandering back to the room with the sack in it, you sit down and stare at the wall for a few minutes, trying to think of something to do until morning's light.

[ ] Look at the slate. She seemed to use it a lot.
[ ] Dig in the backpack. Find anything out about the girl.
[ ] Explore the house. You're restless.
[ ] Just sleep until morning, and Marisa comes back.
&
[ ] Marisa
[ ] Lucas

------------

Reposted due to a small error I spotted that is plot-important.

Technically, the last vote was to say something to calm Rumia down. But that worked too.

>>167449
I just got that about five minutes ago, sadly enough.
No. 167515
File 136753781286.jpg - (137.09KB , 900x500 , enjoy your rest while you can.jpg ) [iqdb]
167515
[-z-] Explore the house. You're restless.
[-z-] Lucas

------------

Sighing, you eventually stand up, unable to simply sit there and wait. There has been too much that has gone on tonight for you to just fall asleep. You need to get up and do something, anything. Even if it is to just wander about randomly, you have to do something.

For a moment, you consider whether to mess with any of her possessions. She may or may not notice, but it would most likely be prudent to learn as much as possible about your new benefactor before you decide to trust her. However, as impulsive and brash as she has shown herself to be, you do not wish to violate her privacy that much.

Instead, you stand up and walk through the one story house. You keep your feet moving and just wander around for a long while, not really paying attention to where you go. "Fairies. A bunch of fairies, and they supposedly exist." Sighing, you look out a dark window into the night beyond. "Kidnapping me and letting me out when it's the right time and place to amuse them the most. Probably watching me now and having a big old laugh." Looking up, you wait for a second, almost expecting a tinkling laugh to echo in over the silence. "At least I found a… an ally. Maybe. Good thing I have nothing of value, or I'd be fleeced when I wake, most likely."

"…Not like I have anything else to do. Or anyone else to trust." Resigning yourself to the fact that you have to trust the mad witch, you continue walking about. "And magic… Magic. Still doubt that's the case… I mean. A nice witch that wants to help me? That's about as honest as a hatter that wants six pence for a topper." Rubbing her forehead, she begins to look about the house, curious as to what is in it.

Sadly, the house seems to be rather haphazardly strung together. There are no intricate designs on any of the furniture and walls, as everything is completely plain. A cursory glance at much of the wooden furniture reveals it to be well made, although there is no character for most of the designs. It reminds you more of the metal that comes from the ironworks than it does from a craftsman's shop. While well built, the furniture lacks the wooden locks that you are accustomed to seeing, and instead keeps itself together with nails. "These must constantly be falling apart, from the looks of it."

Sighing, you ignore your cursory inspection and head back, pointedly stepping over the wires that litter the floor. "Why are there these things lying everywhere? Seems like some sort of pointless hazard." Walking back to the first room, you stare at the pile of her stuff before shaking your head. "Nope. I'll leave it alone. Just going to wait for her to get back."

For the next few hours, you continue to wait, idly wandering around and inspecting the house and thinking. Eventually, after managing to figure out the curiously oil-less lamps, you start to feel tired. Heading back to the first room, you sit down on the overstuffed couch once more and lay your head on its back, slowly falling to sleep to the dead silence of the long night.

------------

Waking up, you hold one clawed hand up to cover your eyes from the burning light of the morning sun that is beating down on your face. Slowly bringing yourself back to consciousness, you sit up from where you otherwise were lying.

Still rather sleepy, you slowly stretch your bones, popping a few of your joints in your right arm. For a second, you wonder why your left arm didn't make a sound, but a quick glance reminds you of the why. "Right. Keep forgetting that arm is wood now…" Chuckling weakly, you pull up your sleeve and examine the joints for anything that might have been caught. "Certifiably insane. But I suppose it could be worse." Slowly rotating the elbow and wrist joints, you sigh in relief. "That's clean at least. Not that I've had a problem yet. I wonder if the magic keeps it operating."

After thinking on it for a few seconds, you put it out of mind and stretch once more. As you do, you finally take a look at your surrounds. You freeze moments later. "Wait. This isn't where I fell asleep. Unless they built the house around me…" Glancing about, you look for anything that is familiar. However, nothing comes to mind, as the entire room is foreign. "Great. Don't tell me… Wriggle isn't here, is she? She wouldn't come again…"

Standing up, you automatically spread your wings as wide as possible as you look around. Your one right hand is out and ready to strike should the insect decide to pop up out of the shadows, or should your copycat make its appearance. Minutes tick by as you warily circle the room, checking every nook and cranny. Every cushion is upturned and every cabinet is opened. No matter how hard you look, though, nothing is found.

Eventually, your heart starts to beat slower and you calm down. "Maybe… Someone decided to move me? But why would someone take an apparently homeless man away from a house, and just leave him alone in their home?" Not understanding the problem, you continue to look around for anything out of place.

Your eyes come to rest on the bag that is lying in front of the couch you had apparently been sleeping on. "…Maybe that is something that person left for me? Sounds too good to be true." Cautiously, you approach the bag and kneel next to it. Your wooden hand reaches out and unzips the top so that you can look at the contents inside.

The bag is a terrible mess, as there is a bunch of ancient chemistry paraphernalia along with a few pieces of cloth. While you don't put your hand inside, you recognize women's clothing stuffed around a few vials, cushioning them from any jarring impact they could receive. "…Not for me then. I don't think a blind man could have gotten my gender mixed up." Still reluctant to intrude further, you look in another pocket, finding a rather shiny electronic gadget poking out the top.

"This… This is a computer, isn't it? Much smaller than the ones I've seen." Ever so carefully picking it up, you look at the screen on the rather thing tablet. "Seen a few laptops that could do this, but they're much too clunky. Has there been some sort of revolution in computer sciences in the few days I was gone?" Granted, you never bothered to keep up with them, so it is perfectly reasonable that it was something you had simply missed, or not cared for.

Before you can attempt to divine a method to turn it on, you hear the door shake as someone bangs their fist on it. Immediately dropping the computer back inside the bag, you hurriedly zip it up and make it so it looks just the same as it was when you first messed with it. One quick check reveals that your disguise is nowhere in sight, and must have been left behind or put away when you were moved.

As you contemplate escape, the person outside bangs on the door once more. The knocks are even more urgent, and you find yourself reluctant to check. As you gauge whether or not it would be worthwhile to break open a window and make your escape that way, the person at the front stops knocking at all.

The silence is momentary, as the door explodes off of its hinges, being thrown all the way down the hall and crashing at the very end, knocking a few small tables full of knickknacks to the floor. As you step back, automatically preparing yourself to fight, a small girl walks through the door, clad into a witch’s hat and wielding a broom whose bristles were still glowing.

Turning to look at you, she wipes a stream of blood from her left eye and stares at you. As she takes in your monstrous form, from the clawed hand pointed towards her to the wings that were wide open and ready for flight, she growls. She raises up a block of wood, pointing the center of it at your chest. The center of it begins to glow a brilliant yellow, the exact same as her eyes. She breaks the silence after a few seconds, her voice a bare whisper that strains itself to reach your ears.

"Where. Is. She?"

[ ] What do you do?
No. 167517
Aaaand now we see why I thought it wise to play as Marisa.
No. 167520
[x] I don't have a goddamned clue who you're talking about. Who are YOU, and why did you bring me here?
No. 167522
[x]Raise your hands slowly and in a nonthreatening manner, while being alert for danger. Ask who she's talking about and what's going on? Convey confusion about the situation. Be honest. You haven't seen anyone else.
No. 167523
Ahahaha. Here's the confrontation.

[x] Woah- woah. I don't even know where this is. I just woke up five minutes ago-- Who's 'she?' And who're you? And why am I in this old hut?
[x] Indicate where you had just gotten up.
[x] Have you seen my trench coat lying around anywahere?
No. 167524
Forgot to mention that it's time for the [z] question. Do I need to explain the purpose of it, or would it be safe to assume that you know what I speak of?
No. 167525
[x] I don't have a clue who you're talking about. Who are YOU, and why did you bring me here?

My original vote was going to be, "There was no 'her.'" However, I realized it would be meta-gaming.
No. 167537
[x] I don't have a clue who you're talking about. Who are YOU, and why did you bring me here?
No. 167544
You do realize how horrible of an idea it is to speak to her like that, right...? At this rate, she just might kill us!
No. 167551
Yeah, I'm pretty sure being accusatory and confrontational with the angry lady holding up a potentially dangerous thing is a very bad idea, guys.

Rule number one in Luminous stories: Err on the side of caution unless you know you have to go for broke. Otherwise, be cautious, be diplomatic and be smart.

Being all yell-y and accusatory and stuff won't help matters.
No. 167555
[X] Raise your hands slowly and in a nonthreatening manner, while being alert for danger. Ask who she's talking about and what's going on? Convey confusion about the situation. Be honest. You haven't seen anyone else.
No. 167569
>>167523 here.

Adding >>167522's vote to mine from my phone.


Someone's gotta make the right choice here.
No. 167572
[x]Raise your hands slowly and in a nonthreatening manner, while being alert for danger. Ask who she's talking about and what's going on? Convey confusion about the situation. Be honest. You haven't seen anyone else.
No. 167573
Already voted, but have some thoughts on the z question since no one has addressed it yet. Don't want to form one yet, but I'm curious about two things. For one, I wonder about Maggie, I bet, don't want to assume, that never worked out for us, this is happening because of our connection from the previous story, especially taking into account Amsterdam's comments about a part of her living on. If this is so will we be able to split her off, basically bring her back to life, even if it's not fully Margaretroid, it would be nice to give our friend another chance at life. Also if so how, don't want to know everything, need to earn it ourselves, but some hints on what to look for, or some guidance would be nice.
The second is simple, would like to know more about our magic, don't think we ever got any definite answers that I can remember.
No. 167574
[x] Raise your hands slowly and in a nonthreatening manner, while being alert for danger. Ask who she's talking about and what's going on? Convey confusion about the situation. Be honest. You haven't seen anyone else.
No. 167576
File 136762932388.jpg - (498.88KB , 1250x1250 , she will make the ticking stop.jpg ) [iqdb]
167576
[-a-] Raise your hands slowly and in a nonthreatening manner, while being alert for danger. Ask who she's talking about and what's going on? Convey confusion about the situation. Be honest. You haven't seen anyone else.

------------

The initial impulse of the beast is to lash out at the girl, to demand recompense for the slight on your character. You restrain yourself from giving into your instincts, and instead you slowly hold up both of your hands. This girl is not surprised at all from your appearance, so she knows at least something about your predicament. Hopefully. "I have no idea who you are talking about. Where is who? And why am I here?"

Snorting at your reaction, the girl slowly marches forward, her fingers about the wooden block twitching. "Of course you don't know what is going on, Youkai. Your kind is always the same. Shifting the blame and never owning up save for when it suits you." A grin grows on her face, stretching wide over her mouth as she staggers forward. "But I've got you where I want you. Right where I do…"

You automatically take a few steps backwards, keeping space between you and the girl. "I'm not lying, and I am no Youkai. I am… I was just a human until I was taken. The one who took me did all of this to me. I'm not looking for trouble. I'm just looking for a way back into Gensokyo."

The girl starts at the mention of the name, but she narrows her eyes even further. As close as she is now, you can see the dark shadows under her eyes and the slight sway when she stands still. "That's a piss-poor lie, and you should know it. You're much too strong to be a simple Changeling. You've accepted your new nature; that much I can tell."

"I may have done that, but it doesn't mean I desired to become one of them." You innately know what it is that she is referring to, which makes you all the more confused about how she can tell. "But who is it that you are looking for? I've no idea what is going on. Far as I know, I woke up here, which is not where I fell asleep."

She softly laughs as you back up against the wall, your wings knocking a lamp to the floor as you try to remove yourself from her presence. "My friend is who I am looking for. She was touched by your kind. I could smell the stench of their glamour all over her body." Narrowing her eyes, she stares at you. "The stench of your glamour. You did something to her, and I want her back before I send you to your grave."

By now the block of wood had been lowered as the girl stares at you. You almost let your hands fall, but you feel such a reaction would only encourage her to threaten you once more. "I don't know who you're talking about. I've not so muted as talked to any girl since I've been back. The only ones I have spoken to were a couple of cops that tried to bring me in for loitering…"

"So, you were waiting for someone." Her eyes snap up, and any fog that may have been building in her eyes clears away. "Waiting for her, were you? Did you manage to escape? Or were you using her to lure in bait for a new victim?" She growls as she meets your gaze, her golden eyes shining with madness. "Tell me, beast. Or is it too much for you to comprehend?"

"I don't know!" As much as you'd like to tell her what she wants, there is no way you could actually know that which she desires to know. "Can you at least tell me her name? Maybe then…"

The angry girl glowers before shaking her head. "Do you want to invoke that? Take her true name and twist her so that she serves your every desire?" The witch shakes her head. "But… If she's yours, you already know this. Taunting me. Tell me where Margaret is now, Youkai, or I will kill you where you stand."

"Margaret?" That's a name you hadn't expected to hear. "She's dead. I saw her die…" The moment the words leave your mouth, you realize that they were the wrong things to say. The woman twitches and raises her left hand, pointing it straight at your stomach.

You don't even have time to react as a beam of energy leaps from her finger, impacting your belly and throwing you bodily through the wall. You barely notice the rain that is falling onto your face as you are ejected from the house. Plaster and drywall dig into your shirt as you fly through the air, while the rest of the wall collapses behind you.

Even though you subconsciously attempt to spread your wings and take to the sky, you cannot manage to turn yourself over, and instead you once more are flung over the hard tarmac of the streets outside. Pain shoots through your back as you slide to a stop, although you manage to shut it out as you look back at the house you were in.

Slowly, the apparent witch floats out, perched on her broom. In the one hand is the wooden block, while in the other are a few vials laced between her fingers. All along the street, you can see people sticking their heads out of their windows, staring at the commotion that the two of you are causing. You give them no heed as you use the scant seconds of reprieve to try and think of a plan.

[ ] Fight
-[ ] How
[ ] Flight
-[ ] Where

------------

Still waiting on the z question. And before anyone asks, If you had chosen the other, you would have taken a Master Spark in the face right off the bat.
No. 167586
[X] Flight
-[X] Somewhere less public, maybe the woods.

Tactical Retreat!
No. 167588
She's got a broom and she's /Marisa./ She can probably catch us. She's also hopped up on mushrooms, so it's not like we can exactly beat her in one on one combat.

More importantly, neither of these things are a plan. They're responses. They're instinct. Lucas is more than that.

So, a plan.

[x] Cover, first thing's first. Get under something sturdy. Keep moving, don't stop. Stay in the shadows. She's angry, use that- have her start chewing at the scenery.
[x] Combat negotiations.
-[x] What are you even doing, firing that kind of stuff in the suburbs.
--[x] Margaret and I were-- I would never kill her. What do I have to do to convince you? Do you want my name? If that's so powerful, then you'd be able to tell if I'm telling the truth.
No. 167590
[x] Cover, first thing's first. Get under something sturdy. Keep moving, don't stop. Stay in the shadows. She's angry, use that- have her start chewing at the scenery.
[x] Combat negotiations.
-[x] What are you even doing, firing that kind of stuff in the suburbs.
--[x] Margaret and I were-- I would never kill her. What do I have to do to convince you? Do you want my name? If that's so powerful, then you'd be able to tell if I'm telling the truth.

I like this option quite a bit more than my own! It's nice to see a smart voter about for a change. Recently we have been a bit... lacking in them.
No. 167592
[x] Cover, first thing's first. Get under something sturdy. Keep moving, don't stop. Stay in the shadows. She's angry, use that- have her start chewing at the scenery.
[x] Combat negotiations.
-[x] What are you even doing, firing that kind of stuff in the suburbs.
--[x] Margaret and I were-- I would never kill her. What do I have to do to convince you? Do you want my name? If that's so powerful, then you'd be able to tell if I'm telling the truth.

This option seems as the best fight have to agree fleeing or beating marisa right now sems unlikely our best bet is to make her less hostile towards lucas.
No. 167606
[x] Cover, first thing's first. Get under something sturdy. Keep moving, don't stop. Stay in the shadows. She's angry, use that- have her start chewing at the scenery.
[x] Combat negotiations.
-[x] What are you even doing, firing that kind of stuff in the suburbs.
--[x] Maggie and I were-- I would never kill her. What do I have to do to convince you? Do you want my name? If that's so powerful, then you'd be able to tell if I'm telling the truth.

Don't like promising our true name, but can't think of a better idea to calm her down. Changed Margaret to Maggie because not only does it imply he knew her well, but that's what he usually calls her and in a stressful situation I think he'd fall back on that out of habit.
No. 167607
>>167590 here.
Changing to Maggie. Great point, >>167606
No. 167610
As for our [z] question, I was thinking either:
[ ] What exactly is this network that Marisa belongs to? It's really interesting, but we haven't really heard or seen much about it at all.
[ ] How does magic work, and why does Marisa's sort of sorcery seem so much more direct than everything out of Mage?
No. 167612
File 136772537040.jpg - (459.88KB , 600x622 , that was your choice after all.jpg ) [iqdb]
167612
[-b+1-] Cover, first thing's first. Get under something sturdy. Keep moving, don't stop. Stay in the shadows. She's angry, use that- have her start chewing at the scenery.
[-b+1-] Combat negotiations
-[-b+1-] What are you even doing, firing that kind of stuff in the suburbs.
--[-b+1-] Maggie and I were-- I would never kill her. What do I have to do to convince you? Do you want my name? If that's so powerful, then you'd be able to tell if I'm telling the truth.

------------

You immediately skedaddle, getting out of the middle of the street as quickly as possible. You need to get under cover, and quickly. While you could run, this girl could probably shoot you down just as easily, and you don't have any desire to fight her. The beast in you might still be angry for her attack, but you will not succumb and let it rule.

Instead, you immediately pull yourself to your feet and dash between two nearby houses, doing your best to scramble out of sight. Another small beam of light scars the dirt at your feet, but you manage to make it away before you take any more damage. Once at the end of the yard, you leap over the fence, using your wings to gain enough height to clear the white pickets. No matter what you do, you don't stop running, and instead you duck into a nearby alleyway.

Sadly, this does little to slow down the witch. Spurred on by her anger and not impeded by the obstacles you have to traverse, she swoops low and speeds after you. While you never look back, you can feel her gaze on the back of your neck, threatening to turn you into a salt should you hesitate and check where she is.

Twisting and turning through the alleyways, you eventually come out into a small clearing, one that has a few trees but nothing else to break up the landscape. Cursing quietly, you turn and run parallel to the houses, looking for some place that you can take cover.

Eventually, you manage to come across a large back yard that is covered with old rusting automobiles along with other antique equipment. Hoping that it'd be enough to protect you, you leap behind a truly ancient truck, wincing as the old metal burns your right hand as you glide over. Once on the ground, you drop and shimmy under the truck, doing your best to keep your wings away from the iron beast's belly.

As you get to the other side, you see the shadow of the girl pass over. Sighing quietly in relief, you get out on the other side of the vehicle and slowly stand up, making sure to find the girl in the sky as she circles around. Eventually, you spot her as she slowly loops back around, seemingly headed back straight at you. Before she flies over the vehicle and finds you, though, you sneak around to another one, and wait for her to fly over once more.

The two of you continue to play cat and mouse in that yard, as you are quick enough to make your way from car to truck to old shed and back again, while she seems to magically know your position know matter where you go. Eventually, the girl seems to grow tired of the chase and falls to the ground as you huddle behind yet another rust bucket. "Dammit, now. The only reason you aren't dead is I want to know why you killed her, and what you did with the body. If you don't tell me, though, I will make you wish you had."

You take a moment to sigh, relieved that she had decided to pause the hunt, if just for now. "I didn't kill her, whoever you are. Maggie and I… I would never have killed her. Never" Gritting your teeth, you shake your head and peek over once more, checking where she was. "Besides, what do you think you were doing? That beam you shot me with would have easily killed someone if I hadn't taken the blast."

"Do you think I would have been that careless?" The girl whirls about to face you, and you catch for just a second the sight of blood streaming down her face. "There was no one to be hit. Save for the first time, every other attack was aimed at the ground." Gnashing her teeth, she nearly yells at you. "Besides, what do you care for us humans? Did one of them catch your eye while you ate Maggie…" Pausing for a second, your use of that particular form of her name is finally recognized. "Wait. How did you know her?"

Glad for at least some semblance of sanity, you do your best to explain. "I knew a Youkai named Margatroid on the other side. Cold as ice, but she retained enough of her humanity to help me out. She helped me retain what sanity I still have." You have no idea how sane you are, as you certainly aren't completely. "She… She was killed by another of her master's dolls as many of us tried to escape."

The girl is silent for a few seconds, thinking furiously about your words. While you could look back to see her reaction, you decide to not do as such, fearful that you'd provoke her into firing once more. "Still, that's a pretty story, but your kind are liars. The best way to tell is to just have it extracted straight from your mind. Then, maybe you can tell me the truth." At that, the girl faces you, and the hairs on the back of your neck rise.

Before you can even think of running again, a burst of light appears in front of your face. It immediately expands, rippling across you and the vehicle you are using as shelter. The metal of the car groans as its axle bends and its roof collapses upon itself, crushed under an invisible force.

Said force immediately pulls you to the ground as well. Your bones burn in pain as an unseen weight is applied to every square inch, yanking them into the dirt and sod below you. For a second you try to spread your wings and fly, but the pressure is so immense that you believe that they are about to snap in two. The rippling field that surrounds you prevents you from even thinking about moving your limbs.

Forced to your hands and knees, you barely manage to turn your head and look at the girl. She looks even more terrible than before as blood flows down her face from both her eyes and nose, and she is visibly shaking. Still, such pain does not hinder her nor does it wipe the anger from her face as she approaches.

Fearing for the worst, you begin to quickly speak. "W-what do I have to do to c-convince you? Do you want my name?" Such an offer actually stops her in her tracks for a second, and you take that as a yes. "If such a thing would work… I am Lucas Adler. I used to live in apartment eight on the tenth floor of the old Peddington Building. I worked at―"

"Enough." Frowning, she stands there for a few seconds, watching you struggle against whatever witchcraft she has worked upon you. "Lucas A-adler, hrm?" Frowning, she closes her eyes and presses her hand to her head. "What was the invocation? R-Rinnosuke drilled it into my head, but it's hard t-to…" After a few seconds of squinting her eyes, she opens them back up and stares at you. "That's it. Got it."

Seconds later, you hear her speak. At the same time, you feel her speak, and you know she speaks. A language you have never spoken but one you have read flows forth from her mouth and into your head. Each impossible letter slowly morphs as your vision waters, turning into chains of iron and dreams.

Dread fills your stomach as the links begin to grow, encircling your mind as she continues to speak. For the first time in a long while, you feel the music box spin up on its own, the chiming sounds echoing against her words, trying to brush aside the binds that are threatening to tie you down. However, you lack the will or the desire to hinder her efforts, and the notes prove ineffectual against the arcane tongue.

A minute later, she speaks your names and the chains become solid. Immediately thereafter, the ripples fade and the force on your body is lifted. You remain on the ground as you try to catch your breath, waiting for her to say something.

Eventually, she does. "Now, Youkai, stand up and tell me the truth."

[ ] Obey
No. 167613
Hm!

[x] Obey
No. 167614
[x ] Obey

Well that went well!
No. 167615
[X] Obey
No. 167616
[Obey]
I hope this doesn't bite us in the ass. At least it will allow us to explain ourselves and hopeful gain Marissa as an ally.
I don't want to right now cause I want her to believe us, but...
[z] How can we break the bonds formed by someone possessing our true name?
No. 167627
[X] Obey.

Not like we can do anything else at this point, and besides, we have been telling the truth the whole time.
No. 167633
[X] Obey.
No. 167642
>>167616

I thought about it and figured I should change my [z] question to something that might get us a little more information.

[z] What are the mechanics of someone having our true name?
I'm looking for general information along the lines of how does it work, does it only work if we give the name or can the person we give it to, pass it to someone else, and are there loopholes or any ways out of the bonds. Also curious it if will work a little different for Lucas, because of I am I.
If someone likes the question, but can think of a better way to phrase it, I'm all for it, I think it might be a little broad for a [z] question.
No. 167646
[-c+1-] Obey

------------

Slowly, your body responds to her even though you do not attempt to move. Your muscles ache from the powerful restraining spell, but you cannot halt them. They contract and force your legs straight before your torso slowly rises afterwards.

For a moment you wonder if you should attempt to break the geas placed upon you, but you realize that to do so would alienate her further, even if you could accomplish this. Maybe, just maybe, you would be able to persuade her that you're telling the truth.

The paranoid girl stamps her foot to the ground as she waits for you to answer. "Are you going to speak? Or are you taking all day to figure out what truth you can twist. Tell me the truth, Youkai. And tell me now."

The magic wells up in the back of your head, pushing against your throat and forcing air up from your lungs. However, you begin to speak before you are forced to exhale whatever crosses your mind. "I have told you the truth. I did not kill her. I never did harm her. In fact, she did more harm to me, although I suppose it was a good thing in the end." Looking down at your wooden hand, you hold it up to show it off. "This was partly an object lesson, and partly a gift from her." Although you have grown used to it, part of you still wishes that you had said no to her.

Internal musing aside, you wait patiently for the witch to ask for more answers. She has fallen silent for a moment, and is busy thinking hard on what you said. "But… Margaret seemed as real… Everything said she was real. A human. How could the glamour have fooled even a blood reading?" Frowning, she scratches the bottom of her chin as she thinks. "…You say she was a Youkai. Was she your Master? No, that can't be right. Doll… Must be have been an elemental…"

Before she can speak any further, you volunteer an answer. "She was the servant of another one, a particularly childlike one named Alice. The latter seemed… secluded, and used the former to conduct her business." Pausing, you close your eyes and look down as the memories come back. "…My former Master was a beast named Wriggle." At the very mention of her name, you shiver a bit and can't help but to glance around, worried that she would appear just because you spoke her name.

"…Interesting." Frowning, the girl sighs a bit before plopping to the ground. "So, tell me. Were you the Youkai that crashed into the ground the city over? Don't lie to me, now. I'd rather not have to hurt you."

Frowning at her tone, you immediately nod your head. "Yes. We… I had thought that I had escaped from her. We killed her, and three of us made it out of her burrow. …It's a bit of a story, but I woke up, just as a normal human. Or… Or so it seemed. Then the dead beast appeared and threw me out the window." Rubbing the back of your head with your left hand, you continue to speak. "I've just been on the run since. I needed to find somewhere that I could take shelter, and to find some way back inside."

"You want to go back?" The girl stares at you somewhat incredulously, although you see the gears ticking in her mind. "Wait. Others. You left others behind." Nodding to herself, she looks down, staring at her lap. "You want to risk going back for them?"

"The moment you thought I had harmed Margaret, you blasted me with that laser." A small grin crosses your face as a thought strikes you. "Seems that we aren't that dissimilar. If the same thing had occurred, but our positions had been switched, I might have reacted similarly." Looking down at your clawed hand once more, you flex your fingers and sigh. "Although, I don't think it would have been quite as painful for you."

Laughing softly, she finally looks back up at you. "Yup. Well, I wouldn't have created a paradox with something that didn't hurt. After all, a giant laser is one thing, but a giant laser that does no damage is even more ridiculous." Falling silent once more, she wipes more blood from her face. "…I can't believe I'm believing you, though. A Youkai always lies."

Sighing, you try to join her and sit down on the ground, but your legs don't move. "They tend to tell the truth, from what I've seen. But they always leave out pertinent information."

"So, they lie." Snorting, she grins ruefully. "Usually I'm good at sniffing them out. Been a bit hyped up on mushroom juice at the moment… Ready to go ahead and kill anything."

"I've noticed." Looking down at her, you ask, "What now? Do you believe me when I say that I don't want to harm you?" The girl shrugs to herself and just looks at the ground, not answering you. "I don't, really. Other than knocking a bit of sense into you. I'd rather not have anyone else's blood on my hands…"

The girl pauses and glances up at you quickly, her blonde hair bobbing as her head stills. "Who have you killed? If you're so innocent, then you wouldn't have done anything."

The spell she has put on you forces you to answer immediately. "Wriggle, for one. …Hatate was payment for the operation that Margatroid performed. I crushed a few of the dolls into china dust. If I hadn't been so slow, I could have saved Mystia…" You ball your fists at how you poorly you had performed then. "The last one was one of the good ones that had been changed. And she was the only one that asked for nothing in return."

The girl averts her eyes from you, a small blessing that you are glad to have. Taking a moment to compose yourself, you look down at her. There seems to be nothing you can do here at the moment. While you probably could leave, she could order you to stay just as easily as she made you stand up.

[ ] What do you do?

------------

I'll list the [z] questions here, for those who haven't bothered to vote/choose.
[ ] Margaret >>167573
[ ] Lucas' Powers >>167573
[ ] Marisa's Group >>167610
[ ] True Name >>167642

I'll answer the one about Marisa's magic later tonight. Hoping to make one more before bed.
No. 167649
[X]Stay.
-[X]Ask about the power she has over you.
No. 167651
>>167646
[x] She's gotten plenty of answers from us; it would be polite if she offered us some in turn. Who is she, and what is she up to here? What does she even want?

It would be nice if we could convince her to release the bind, but pushing for that before she's calmed down a little might be moving a bit fast.

Anyway, she's got magical powers and certainly found us with no trouble- maybe they're something we could use to find Amsterdam and Tokiko. Certainly it's the best potential lead we've found thus far.
No. 167652
Let's not overstep things just yet.

[x] Stay
-[x] So, the Maggie you met, could you tell me about her? How'd you find her?
--[x] And how about you? What's with all this... Witchy-stuff?
No. 167653
[x] She's gotten plenty of answers from us; it would be polite if she offered us some in turn. Who is she, and what is she up to here? What does she even want?

[x] Lucas' Powers
No. 167655
[x] Stay
-[x] So, the Maggie you met, could you tell me about her? How'd you find her?
--[x] And how about you? What's with all this... Witchy-stuff?

I like this option, exchange information about Maggie, don't want to get her in trouble with Marissa when we later switch back to her. The second part is vague enough to not put her on edge, but still hopefully get her talking about herself, so we can learn more, not so sure about the phrasing "witchy stuff" sounds slightly out of character, but can't think of anything better.

Already voted for the z question.
No. 167656
[x] She's gotten plenty of answers from us; it would be polite if she offered us some in turn. Who is she, and what is she up to here? What does she even want?

[z] Lucas's powers

we need to use our abilities to the fullest extent. Also, we're not really in a position to harm Marisa, and we've gained a bit of her trust. What could go wrong?

please don't answer that
No. 167661
[X] Stay
-[X] So, the Maggie you met, could you tell me about her? How'd you find her?
--[X] And how about you? What's with all this... Witchy-stuff?

Sounds good.
No. 167662
Well, crap. Had almost finished an update, and saw the vote was tied.

Should I wait to see if the other wins and rewrite it? Or go ahead and finish with what I have and post no matter what?
No. 167663
[X] POST THE UPDATE
No. 167664
[x] She's gotten plenty of answers from us; it would be polite if she offered us some in turn. Who is she, and what is she up to here? What does she even want?
No. 167667
File 136782567617.jpg - (85.51KB , 450x630 , yet another deal that you may choose to accept.jpg ) [iqdb]
167667
[-d+1-] She's gotten plenty of answers from us; it would be polite if she offered us some in turn. Who is she, and what is she up to here? What does she even want?

------------

This girl seems to have calmed down quite a bit from earlier, and doesn't seem quite so inclined to incinerate you yet again. While such a thing may be rather impertinent, you should probably go ahead and ask as many questions as you can while she is not in the shooting mood. "I've offered you quite a lot. Is there anything that you'd be willing to tell me? You know I'm quite a bit more lost than you."

"Huh?" Turning back, she tilts her head to look at you. "Wasn't I interrogating you? It kinda defeats the purpose if I start giving you answers, you know."

"If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm quite lost. I don't have a clue what is going on, and I need help if I can save the others who may or may not be still alive." Looking down, you can't help but to remark, "It might be a bit easier if you allow me to sit down. Or perhaps you could stand up. It's a bit awkward talking to you like this."

Startling a bit, the girl looks up at you. "Right… I told you to stand up, didn't I? Eheh…" Rubbing the back of her head, she shrugs. "Sure, you can sit down. Just don't get within arm's length of me. I can just see those claws tearing my arm off."

"Since they can scratch rock, that is not a bad presumption." As you wonder whether you are channeling Margaret or not, you sprawl out on the ground, letting your tortured legs finally have some rest. "Can you at least tell me why you're around here? Unless I'm missing some grand conspiracy, the majority of the people I know are not capable of flinging beams of light about as if it were nothing. Why would you be right there, waiting for me?"

Shrugging, the girl leans back, tipping up her hat. "Because I was searching for a youkai. There's a small group of us that try and keep an eye out for Youkai crossing over from that world. Our leader of this little group is in tune with the border between the two planes, and we do our best to try and stop those that do cross over from causing too much damage."

"Do you feel it when those creatures cross over? Or their servants, like the doppelganger?" Pausing for a moment, you shake your head. "I guess they're not many of you. You don't exactly look very professional."

"Course not. I'm a nasty little reality deviant." Grinning something wicked, she stretches her arms out. "I hear that they've posters circulating with my name on them, not that they can keep up with me in the slightest." The girl finally relaxes as the smirk leaves her face. "But we can't keep up for the most part. Don't have the resources. Think of us as exterminators, and your kind are growing to be a larger infestation every day."

You bristle at the insinuation, and your wings flare out on their own accord. "They are not my kind. I am who I am. Do not lump me in with those monsters."

She doesn't seem fazed at all from your display, and merely points out, "You are rather monstrous yourself. Humans don't have claws, after all. Or so many sharp teeth. They do have ears, though." Frowning, she scratches her chin. "I've never noticed that beasts like you don't have their ears. Odd."

"I can't say I've seen a bird with human ears. Have you?" Sighing, you look down and towards the ground once more. "Still, you haven't told me anything about yourself. Or about why you are after me, specifically."

"The latter's easy. Got a call that one was in the area. Had to take a train ride to get to this city, as it's a bad idea to fly a broom in the daylight." Patting said broom at her side, she continues explaining. "From there, I just followed your trail. You left a feather behind, you know. Should have cleaned that up."

"Wasn't expecting to be followed." Still, she answered that question readily enough. "So, I was just another routine stop, I take it. At least that I can understand…" Waiting for a few seconds, you sigh. "Could I at least have a pseudonym? It's somewhat frustrating, not being able to address you directly."

The girl pushes her hat to the side before shrugging. "Just call me Marisa. 'Swat everyone else does." At that, she leaps to her feet. "Perfectly Ordinary Magician, in case you were wondering."

"I had been wondering if your general… witchyness was just a show, or if there was something to it." Sighing, you stand up as well. "So, a bloody witch is going around hunting down Youkai. …Makes more sense than it would for a bunch of men in suits to do it."

"Exactly. Witches do all sorts of supernatural stuff. Kick ass, steal the treasure, save the damsel and the day while coming out financially ahead." Snickering under her breath, she fixes a cocky grin on her face, one which slides on much too easily. "After all, I could have easily killed you. …And probably leveled the whole lot while I was at it. Seems that it wouldn't have saved said damsel, though."

Grumbling, you shake your head. "How can you be so upbeat about this thing? Ten minutes ago, you were ready to blast me into oblivion. Now you're just laughing it off as if the whole ordeal was nothing."

"Someone has to keep an eye on the positive side of things. …The others aren't so good at it. Especially not after Ri- one of our friends was taken as well."

Wincing, you look down. "I'm sorry. Do you know what happened to her? Or him, as the case may be?"

"We eventually found 'em. Twisted her mind badly, though." Marisa seems to want to go on, but she shakes her head. "But that's… besides the point. I'm not gonna give all of our secrets away so easily." Grinning once more, she steps away. "Now, the question is what to do with you."

Sighing, you cross your arms and look her straight in the eye. "Preferably, I would rather you end this… binding that is in my mind. I didn't come back to trade one master for another."

"Eh, I'm sure I wouldn't be too terrible." The witch grins a bit and nearly starts to speak, but she checks herself beforehand. "…Granted, I've no idea what your old master did to you, so it'd probably be best not to make assumptions of what I could make you do."

You can't help but smile a bit. "Margatroid would be proud…"

Marisa blinks, but keeps speaking. "However, I want you to make a deal. Help me with finding Margaret, and I'll see if I can send you back to Gensokyo. That way you can keep looking for those others, and I'll be able to save that one human, or punish her if she isn't."

Frowning, you hesitate before asking, "When you spoke with her, did she have any memory of Gensokyo? Or was it just of this world?"

"She remembered everything up to when she was taken away, and when she woke up."

As the witch watches you closely, curious as to why you ask, you slowly explain. "I have… A lot of her memories are in my head. Maybe all of them. I've pushed them to the side. Maybe, somehow, she was able to manifest herself…"

"…Oh." Pausing, Marisa looks down. "That… That would be a problem. Hrm…" Slowly, she taps the side of her head. "Would explain why she disappeared from my search radius instantly. It was as if she ceased to exist. Sorta like you existed the moment she disappeared." Suddenly, she hits her forehead with her palm. "Obvious, Marisa. Should have figured that one out."

"You are aware of how odd it would be to immediately assume that one is the same person due to that? There are probably other explanations that are a bit saner than that."

Snorting, the witch shoots you a scornful look. "It isn't as if I deal with stuff that most would consider sane, you know?" Sighing, she shakes her head. "We can argue semantics. She's nowhere near here, and we need to get out of here before we attract attention. Thanks for handling that, by the way."

"…Handling what?" You've no idea what she means by that, but when you look around, you see that no one had bothered following you even though the trail of destruction behind the two of you was rather obvious. "I haven't done anything."

Marisa stares at you for a few seconds before smiling in satisfaction. "Well, at least something I supposed was correct. You are doing it unconsciously." Shaking her head, she walks closer, coming within arm's reach for the first time. You immediately back up as you try to follow the order she had given. "Stop that. I need to know the answer. Will you take that deal, or no?"

[ ] Yes
[ ] No
[ ] On this/these condition(s)

------------

One more post before I call [z].

As for Marisa being much more direct in combat, she is using vulgar magic on purpose. Coincidental magic is not her style. I'm only willing to corrupt the original characters so much, which leaves flashy, sparking Marisa in a bit of a bind.

Of course, when you have someone who laughs in the face of reality and dares the paradox to come and wipe her out, what else should she use save for spells that violate all of the laws of reality as we know them?
No. 167682
[X] Yes
-[X] Some assurance you would not simply exterminate me when my back is turned would be nice.

I wanted pick some conditions, but had trouble figuring just what exactly we should ask, so I'll try this option.
No. 167695
Pretty sure there's no resisting this kind of magic, short of changing our name. Besides, we've traded a bit of freedom to someone who doesn't actually seem that bad, so.

[x] Yes
-[x] But please, don't pass that name around. I'd rather not have to deal with multiple people knowing how to get me to do whatever they want.
--[x] And, treat me like you would any other person. If you don't mind, you're about the first person out here I've been able to have a decent conversation with.
---[x] And, if it looks like I'll do something truly monstrous, stop me, somehow. With words, preferably.

That should be fine.
No. 167704
[x] Yes...I'll do it to help Margaret, I owe her a debt, I appreciate you asking instead of just ordering me to.
-[x] Just please, don't pass that name around. I'd rather not have to deal with multiple people knowing how to get me to do whatever they want.
--[x] And, treat me like you would any other person. If you don't mind, you're about the first person out here I've been able to have a decent conversation with.
---[x] And, please if I start to act strange, just, don't overreact, I haven't been this way long and I'm still getting used this, it's...different. just talk me out of it first it shouldn't be a problem.

Some slight modifications, didn't really like some of the wording especially the last condition, almost just cut it out, but get the tone of it. Figure Marisa would react quickly to put us down if we were a danger anyways, but and we're trying to get her to use words to talk us down first. Just didn't like the tone, thought it would set her more on edge, may just be over thinking this. Also modified the first part to show courtesy, fine with the other if no one likes my changes.
No. 167707
[x] Yes...I'll do it to help Margaret, I owe her a debt, I appreciate you asking instead of just ordering me to.
-[x] Just please, don't pass that name around. I'd rather not have to deal with multiple people knowing how to get me to do whatever they want.
--[x] And, treat me like you would any other person. If you don't mind, you're about the first person out here I've been able to have a decent conversation with.
---[x] And, please if I start to act strange, just, don't overreact, I haven't been this way long and I'm still getting used this, it's...different. just talk me out of it first it shouldn't be a problem.

cautious! Just as we should be when dealing with mushroom witches.
No. 167710
>Help me with finding Margaret, and I'll see if I can send you back to Gensokyo.
Nice of her to offer, but this isn't actually the deal we want. We want "help Marisa with finding Margaret, and she helps us with finding our friends".

We don't know if Amsterdam and Tokiko are still in Gensokyo, and even if they are, Gensokyo isn't a small place, and it's full of hostiles. Simply going back there could leave us aimlessly wandering for a huge amount of time. Contrast that with Marisa's demonstrated ability to pinpoint a single changeling from hundreds of miles away and track them down in a matter of hours, whether via her own abilities or her contacts. Why go for the intermediary bargain here?

So...

[x] How about I help you find Margaret, and you help me find my friends?
No. 167714
[x] How about I help you find Margaret, and you help me find my friends?
-[x] And please, don't pass that name around. I'd rather not have to deal with multiple people knowing how to get me to do whatever they want.
--[x] And, treat me like you would any other person. If you don't mind, you're about the first person out here I've been able to have a decent conversation with.
---[x] And, please if I start to act strange, just, don't overreact, I haven't been this way long and I'm still getting used this, it's...different. just talk me out of it first and it shouldn't be a problem.

This is growing to be a tad hilarious...
No. 167722
Changing my vote
>>167704
to
>>167714
Agree we should probably see if we can get her to help find Amsterdam and Tokiko, even if I doubt she'll agree right now and we should help her even if she won't. Hadn't even thought of that.
No. 167727
Also if anyone hasn't voted for one of the [z] options you probably should that way there's more of a consensus
No. 167738
>>167707 here, also swapping my vote for
[x] >>167714
No. 167740
Part Two: >>167739