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File 149621174671.jpg - (163.87KB, 850x1511, ProTag.jpg) [iqdb]
Every city has rules. Not the Law, that's different. The Law is for the drek, the everyday common man or woman who's a part of the system. It's good for most people, ya know - don't kill no one, don't steal from nobody, report suspicious behavior, don't turn off your RFID, and all that shit. You break the Law, the Corp sends a few police to straighten you out; sometimes it's a beatin', sometimes its jailtime, usually though, it's a fine. 'Course, the got damn fines are so high for most of us that you can't pay it, then they beat you and throw you in jail anyway, rottin away in a hole while the rest of the shit floats on by.

But I ain't talking about the Law; I'm talking about the Rules. The Rules are different in every city. Gensokyo ain't no exception to that either. The City don't get many visitors that are mundane - that don't got a bit of magic in them - so all the rules are about what ya do with your magic. Human, youkai, whatever, you follow the rules or you get shitcanned. I ain't talkin' about the police, naw; Gensokyo PD is lazy and corrupt, worse than all the rest. What you gotta worry about here is the security, but if you know the rules you can avoid that too. There's a few big ones you gotta watch out for, but after that you're golden.

The first rule: There's a balance of power, don't fuck with it. You can play your games here, you can mess around with things, but at the end of the day, there's a status quo that the people here expect and want to keep. That is, there are two big factions that work in tandem to keep the peace, and we wanna keep it that way. On one side, you got Eientei Corp. On the other, you have the Yakumo Clan. Sometimes one side or the other gets it in their head they wanna take over and they gotta be beat down, but don't you worry about that. We got our own enforcers for that shit. Now every human and youkai is on one side or the other of that particular can of shit, but my advice to you is to stay out of it. I don't care what you came here for; business, pleasure, both, neither, I couldn't give a shit - but we worked hard to keep this balance. It's the only thing that everyone here can agree on.

The second rule: Watch your back. A lot of youkai remember what humans taste like, and if you're reading this, you're human cause this can only be accessed by other humans. Nowadays youkai are just as hungry for human meat as they always have been, but now they come with fully loaded assault rifles. Assume everyone is packing heat. Even the fairies; hell, especially the fairies. Cutest suicide bombers on Earth, those. Even the mages will have a few backup guns. If you're in Gensokyo, you better learn how to shoot, stab, or spellsling, and that's all there is to it.

The third rule, and this one is the most important: Never, ever, cut a deal with a Hakurei.


You smirk. Of course she'd say that. It's only fair, after the last job went south, you suppose. You finish off your canned coffee and toss it into the bin as you walk by, pulling your hood up as the drizzle upgrades itself to a light rain, pouring endlessly from the gray clouds pockmarked by neon lights. It's ten o' clock at night but with this much light pollution it could be the middle of the day; it's been hard to tell lately. A few fairies flitter by, their feet hanging above the dirty sidewalk as you make your way. One of them stops to wave at you, and you nod back in return. Sweet kids, fairies, most of the time. They still don't get how time has passed them by so, but being immortal and basically terminally stupid, at least they'll be happy no matter what. It would be cute if it weren't so tragic. Every day on the news you hear about another fairy rescued from being used for snuff films or some pervert pretending they're children. Joke's on them cause they ain't fooling anybody.

You jerk your head sideways; the music player switches tracks. Soothing music fills your ears. Across your vision you get bombarded with another series of silent ads, all of them tailored to their viewer. Sometimes it's kinda creepy, but you've had your entire life to get used to it.

"You've only had half of today's recommended caloric intake!" Exclaims a digitized fairy. "Come down to Mystia's today!" Skip.

"Hey baby, science says you're still a virgin," says a clearly fake Oni with a clearly CGI dick. "Hit the comm on your AR now and I'll come give you a-" Skip.

"Your 2072 tax form shows that you make 65% under the median income," claims a worried-looking Earth Rabbit. "Come get a job now at Eientei Corp. or you'll be sorry!" Sigh. Skip.

You'd turn the damn thing off, but that fucking sentry bot has been staring at you for five minutes and you don't really feel like hearing it drone on for an hour about why it's illegal to deactivate your comm and AugReal visor unless you're asleep. You just shrug off the excess and continue your walk. Home is just a block away. Should have known that the job offer would be for something stupid. No one is willing to hire people under the table anymore; too dangerous since the Yakumo Clan declared that anyone caught doing business illegally (that is, illegal business not through them) would find their loved ones kissing the pavement after a leap from the top of a cloudpiercer.

Whatever. You know why Yukari declared that stupid shit. She wants you to work for her. Always has, since you were a kid growing up in the sprawl with your folks. Back then you just thought she wanted to pimp you out like all the other girls she hires, another cock holster for some rich CEO, but she always said you were somethin' special. You can't help but snort at the thought. If you were so special you wouldn't be so goddamn poor. If you were special your folks would be alive. If you were special your best friend wouldn't be a fucking bitch.

You reach into your pocket and mentally slap yourself. No, goddamnit, you're trying to quit smoking, but damn if thinking about the Yakumos doesn't make you want to smoke the whole pack. Instead you reach into another pocket and take out some gum. Yukari is right about you in one way, though; your magic ain't like the others you've seen. It's not that good cause you don't have the time to develop it, but it's always been helpful. A little healing here, a little miracle there, and you can brighten up someone's day. Make the City a little less shitty for someone. That's worth it, most of the time. Other times, you just wish you had enough to eat real food once in a while, but this artificial Soy crap.

You reach the entrance to your apartment complex and look up at the flickering neon sign. The damn thing is so old the AugReal doesn't register it, not that it ever has. You wonder if any of the Corps actually know where you live. Better if they don't. In this part of town the Corps never visit and you'd rather keep it that way. You walk in to no one in the lobby. Completely unsurprising; you've never even see your landlord unless the rest is due, and lately she's been stuck up her own ass in one of those sims that make you think you're someone else. She was supposed to come get the rent two weeks ago and no sign of her. Maybe she's dead. Maybe not.

The elevator is still busted so you start heading up the stairs. You got enough put back to last you till the end of next month, but you're gonna need cash eventually. Hopefully something will break your way soon. Or maybe you'll hit Yukari up on her offer... you know, about the same time you decide to eat a bullet. Your stomach whines as you make it up to the sixth floor. "Yeah, yeah, I'm hungry," you drone. You slip the keycard to your apartment through the reader; it opens with a snap. The lights automatically come on.

"Welcome home," a digital female voice says. "It has been six hours since you have left. Would you like to-"

"Yeah whatever," you answer. Your computer flickers to life as your Smart TV powers on, straight to the official Corp-sponsored news station. You turn your comm and AugReal and set them down on a table, followed by your earbuds. The hoodie gets tossed onto the couch. The shirt follows a second later. As an afterthought you reach under your coffee table and turn on a small cylindrical object; a spoofer, makes the Corp police think you're just a normal citizen who keeps all your shit on and definitely never deactivates her AugReal when she's awake. It also keeps them from realizing you ripped all the internal cameras in your apartment out and pipe the signal to the spoofer, making it look like you just sit on the couch and do VR all day. Fun stuff.

You find some soy paste and throw it in the microwave for five minutes. Should turn into fake food after that. You stretch and make your way to your computer. Sure, monitors are out of style, but you never were able to get the money to get the Jack drilled into your skull, so monitors it is. You go through the motions as you wait; logging on, heading to the news sites and forums, looking out for any sort of news. Same shit, different day. Nothing exciting has happened in Gensokyo in months. Normally the people like it that way, but you make money because shit happens. People pay you when shit happens because you're the only one who can fix said shit from happening.

You lean back in your chair and sigh. The microwave dings. But before you get up, you open a separate email account; one that is safe and secure, hidden behind enough encryption that even if the Corps knew it existed it'd take them long enough to crack it. That said, you're surprised to see three emails pop up.


From: <MKULTRA@mindcontrol.co.kr>
Subject: Yo

You heard about this new family that just moved in? People saying that the Clan and the Corp. are pissed. HMU if you wanna investigate.


From: <KinginYellow@Cthulhu.co.hk>
Subject: Eientei

Heads up, looks like Eientei is gonna crack down on us vigilantes starting in a day or two. We need to change up our strats if we're gonna continue to be the only defense the people have against Eientei. I don't want to end up in a Lunar prison and neither do you. Lemme know.


From: <KillerSwarm@Kamikaze.co.jp>
Subject: Do You Wanna Practice? xD

Hey baby. You were looking fine in those tight pants last night.

I'm kidding. You mentioned wanting to get better at the whole magic thing. I'm back home now but I left you my address; look in the pants you wore last night, I slipped it in your butt pocket :D . Don't worry about how I got your email.


[ ] Reply to <MKULTRA>
[ ] Reply to <KinginYellow>
[ ] Reply to <KillerSwarm>
[x] Reply to <MKULTRA>

Let's do business first.
Just a note before I read, this would probably be a better fit for /others/ since it's AU. Cheers.
What do you think the odds are that KillerSwarm isn't kidding?
Man I can not figure out who any of the emails might be.

KingInYellow might be Kosuzu. Maybe?
KillerSwarm Nightbug? Sanae? Suwako is sort of like a fresh water cthulhu.
[X] Reply to <KillerSwarm>

Almost voted for one of the others. But I've not shaken off my habits from QQ.
>Your 2072 tax form shows that you make 65% under the median income,
It might even all be Original the Characters, relatives of past touhous, at least for the human ones. Not enough information to make any inference either way yet, I think.

[x] Reply to <KillerSwarm>
[X] Reply to <KillerSwarm>

Ok let's see where this goes.
[X] Reply to <KillerSwarm>

I'm loving this already for combining two of my favorite things. Anyways, I think it's best we choose an option that gives us an idea of our capabilities before we go jumping into action like an idiot.
[X] Reply to <KinginYellow>

Sounds like the kind of issue that causes problems if ignored.
[x] Reply to <KillerSwarm>
Yeah better improve our skills before we start sticking it to the (wo) man
[X] Reply to <KinginYellow>

This one might be Marisa, or an OC that serves a similar role.
[x] Reply to <KinginYellow>

If this is a crossover with something, it's gone right over my head.
File 14962316909.png - (155.20KB, 700x280, Shadowrun-5-Logo.png) [iqdb]
The names are intentionally non-indicative of who they are. MKULTRA has zero mind control powers for example. That said, each name has a clue to their identity, mostly so I can keep track of who is who easier.

Refer to the image on the left.

It's not really a true crossover in the traditional sense. Most of the setting's established characters live in America and deal with problems over there. Also in true Shadowrun part of the story is that The Magic Came Back, but in Touhou/Shadowrun The Magic Never Left.

That's about all I can say without being too detailed. Anyone here who's played the original RPG (or even the game that came out a few years ago) will probably have a better idea of what's going to happen than someone who hasn't, but by no means will they have a major advantage or anything like that.
Vote called for <KillerSwarm>
Damn, too late to get in the first vote. Nonetheless this looks pretty promising, I'll definitely be watching this thread. I'm guessing MK is Marisa, no idea who the others could be.
Seconded on thinking MKULTRA's Marisa. I have a very out-there guess that KinginYellow might be Miko but the language doesn't really sound like her.

Anyway, looks like you're off to a good start, OP. I'd been kicking around the idea of a Shadowrun/Touhou crossover for a while, but am content and interested to see where this goes.
File 14962936816.png - (147.96KB, 220x769, ProTagII.png) [iqdb]
You weigh your options. You like King, they're good people, but holy shit sometimes you wish you could smack them around a bit. King is notoriously paranoid compared to yourself or anyone else, which is completely hilarious to you when you consider that for their entire life, King has kept off the radar. Not even someone such as yourself, who has worked with them before on several "Robin Hood" runs to help the drek, has seen their face. They dress up like a hero from those old Toku shows, calling themselves "Zero" and using a voice scrambler to mask themselves. Somehow, they also lack an internal RFID, which can only mean they were born outside of the normal channels, meaning that King has pulled the impossible; in the modern era, King is a ghost. You don't even think its King who emails you directly, but a surrogate they use, probably a decker they pay off.

As for MKULTRA... you love her to death, but she's always looking to get into some sort of trouble. Some new kids moving into town is exactly the kind of trouble she'd want to get into as well. Hell, she's probably already done some decking and found out everything about their lives... before they moved into town. But trouble isn't really what you're up for, at least not now. It's always fun to go on a run with MKULTRA, but lately you've been more curious about your magical capability, and you'd like to see how hard you can push it. Purifying water so kids can drink it or causing a flower to bloom to please a youkai is fun and all, but you think if you could harness this energy you could put even those tree-hugging psychopaths in Ireland to shame.

You set your fingers on the desk and a holographic keyboard comes to life. You send off message received missives to King and MKULTRA, just so they don't think you died in a ditch somewhere. You reopen the email that Swarm sent you and read it again, trying to figure out just what the hell to say. It's hard for you to talk with others - an unfortunate consequence of growing up the way you did made you hate most humans, which is probably why you hang out with youkai more - but there are some people you think are worth it. You think Swarm is worth it.


From: <RaisingHeart@nanoha.co.np>
Subject: Re:

Hey, I got your message. I'll drop by in the morning if that's cool. I'm beat for now.


That should be good. You go to flip off the monitor, but before you can do so, Swarm replies instantly.


From: <KillerSwarm@Kamikaze.co.jp>
Subject: Re: Re:

Great! I get up with the sun so I'll be ready before you even arrive. Be careful cutie <3


Well, at least Swarm is pleasant. Hard to find a nice kid nowadays. Course, it could still be a ruse, and she's just a front for someone or other. You've been wrong about people before; not always, but it's happened. Still, Rule #4 in the runners' rulebook is never go into a new situation unprepared. You flip your monitor off and with another motion flick a manual switch underneath it, one the blends into the fake wood. A false panel slides open, and you pull out a light handgun, a Model 75 Light Fire. Nine millimeter, 16 shots, semi-auto, and small enough to fit under your hoodie. This thing has saved your ass on many runs, and probably will for many more.

You inspect the weapon, ensuring its clean, then set it to the side. Firearms are illegal for citizens to carry in Japan, as they always have been, but you found a way around it. It helps when you know all the gunrunners in Gensokyo, including, but not limited to, the Yakumos. Hopefully you won't even need it - you prefer to not shoot people in the face - but against humans a bullet is just as good as slinging a spell. Speaking of, you stand up and make your way to an old box you've had since you were a child and open it. Inside is a bunch of stuff of What Could Have Been. Talismans, Purification Needles, these weird orbs with the symbol of Yin Yang on them, and a Shrine Maiden's attire. You mom passed all of this on to you, but you never got the chance.

Your mom... you pick up the red-white outfit and stare at it. She and your dad always had a strong sense of right and wrong; how would they look at you now? When you think of them, you can only ever see their brains splattered across the room, witnesses to a murder that they never meant to see. You can still recall the smell of gunpowder, the regretful look the Lunar Rabbit gave you when she saw you cowering under the kitchen table. You recall the Eientei emblem on her blazer, splattered with flecks of your dad's blood because he refused to die so she had to stab him fifteen more times, just to make sure.

Whatever. Crying about the past doesn't make them come back. You toss the outfit back into the box and pull out the talismans. You've never used these particular ones, but you remember enough lessons from your mom that you can copy them. They're way weaker than what these probably are, but they're effective enough when dealing with low-level youkai, should they prove to be a problem. And it's usually the weaker ones who want to start shit; the older ones have more restraint and are more willing to create centuries-long plans and wait for pieces to fall into place. It's rare that a long-lived youkai wants to start shit all the time. Anyway, copying the talismans takes no effort on your part. A quick word of power and a wave of your hand and its done. Still, it takes energy, so you head back to the microwave, grab your cold soy, and sit on the couch to eat.

You flip channels to a music show and leave it there. You half focus on the screen as boys and girls dance around onstage, turning your thoughts inward instead. You should take a shower tonight instead of in the morning. You also need to find that address Swarm left for you. You consider what kind of person she must be to write something down on paper. You didn't even know people still used paper, but from what you could tell she's still fairly traditional. Hell, she's practicing Shinto! People following religion in the 2070s? Perish the thought!

The meal is cold and bland, just like everything else made out of soy these days. You question whether or not it's even soy. It could be artificial soy, which is basically maximum recursion when it comes to fake processed food. Would fake, fake food recurve into real food? Would it be twice as fake? Is wasting your time on pointless question how you want to waste your life? No, of course not, there are far more pleasant things to waste your life on. Like eating real food. You stand up and walk into the kitchen, tossing the soy container into the trash, and step into your tiny washroom. All that's really in here is a pile of laundry and a washer-dryer, but even with those two things it's cramped as fuck in here. Claustrophobes need not apply.

At any rate, your pants from last night are easy enough to find sitting at the top of the pile. Skinny jeans courtesy the nutjob you call a friend. At least they looked good on you, although you prefer more functional wear normally. But hey, it's not every night you get invited to the most expensive nightclub in Gensokyo. Sure, you'll probably owe someone down the line, but a little enjoyment every now and again won't kill you, and besides, you might have made a new point of contact. Of course, there's little a kid fresh out of high school could possibly know, but if she really works at a Shrine, all sorts of people go to places like that to ask for forgiveness. She might be useful down the road.

She also has that burning heart like you did at that age, with the difference being that she might have the magic to back it up. Time will tell. Anyhow, you find the card with the address to the Shrine and set it down next to your talismans. There was the problem of how the fuck you're gonna get there but you figure things like this have a way of working out, mostly because it's so completely inconsequential that the Universe probably won't fuck you on this one. You take your clothes off and walk into your bathroom, or rather the hole in the wall that has a toilet, sink, and standing shower.

The water pressure blows because of course it does. It takes a solid minute for the hot water to kick in, and then you get to play shower tag with the hot/cold knobs until it falls into that golden zone between Actually Antarctica and Literally Boiling. You get about five minutes of furious scrubbing and soaping before the hot water kicks off, but by now you have that down pat. You get out of the shower cleaner, but of course when you're hooked up to the city water, it can't ever be truly that clean. The only source of clean water is the lake in the middle of the city and the fairies sure as hell aren't giving that up. They've seen what happens to clean water in this day and age.

Oh well. You double check to make sure your windows are barred and locked and that your door is secure. You kill the lights and lay down on the couch. You pull the blanket off the back of it and cover up, staring blankly at the ceiling above you. "It's cold tonight," you say to no one in particular. You wish the heating system would work more than a third the time, but the only people who get good working central heat also make six figures a year in this city. The drek don't get that kind of luxury. You're not bitter about that, though; it's not yourself your worried about. Your mind wanders to the people who still live on the streets, human and youkai. If you had a place to call your own that wasn't this ratty as fuck apartment, you'd definitely take some of them in. You feel like it's the Right Thing To Do.

Fuckin Eientei. Fuckin Yakumos.


You wake up with a start. You don't really dream much, but you had a vivid one this time around. You dreamt of yourself, wearing that Maiden outfit in your box, living at a Shrine on the edge of the world. It was nice. It was peaceful. Even your psycopath of a friend was there, and the two of you were sitting on the steps, drinking tea and watching the fairies play. You smile at the fading dream for a few minutes, wondering if that kind of life would even be possible for someone like you. Maybe not this life, but another one.

A peal of thunder brings you back to reality. You toss the blanket aside and sit up, stretching. If only reality was half as pleasant as that peaceful dream, but at the same time, there's no sense in dwelling on things that cannot be. Next to the couch is a basket of clean laundry. You'd put it up if you had anywhere to put it, but since you don't, the basket next to the couch does fine. You fish out a pair of denims, some underwear and a bra, and a red plaid shirt you're pretty certain was in style never. You don't even know where it came from. You throw it all on.

A beanie sits on the arm of your couch. You throw that on, too, since otherwise you'd have to mess with your hair, which is gonna fuck up in the rain anyways. You put your hoodie on and grab a satchel propped up on the back of your couch. Carefully, you put in the talismans, your keycard, and the address to Swarm. A holster hanging off a lamp straps your Light Fire to the small of your back, hidden under your hoodie. Finally, you put your AugReal and earbuds on, grab a few credsticks, and head out. The door seals behind you, and its time to go. You step out into the rainy streets of Gensokyo.

Fuck, you forgot to brush your teeth. You grumble silently. Whatever, it's fine, there's a convenience store outside that sells some of that gums that brushes your teeth for you. You begin down the stairs and activate your AugReal, patching into all the required networks. Universal wi-fi ensures that everyone has a solid connection to all of the Corp-backed music and video channels. All the comforts of home while being out on the road, or, in your case, down a flight of stairs. You tap into a livestream of lofi music and head out the front door. A quick jaunt down the road a bit brings you to the convenience store... although that might be too kind. In reality, it's a vending machine attended to by a fairy. Inside the vending machine are all the essentials - mostly beer, but in your case some morning-fresh gum designed to hide the smell of alcohol on your breath. It's overpriced to shit but when you're in a hurry, anything works.

"Good morning Hakurei," chirps the fairy as you jam the credstick in its slot. You tap the glass where the gum is, watching it fall to the slot. "Still looking for work?"

"Not right now," you reply, pulling out an earbud. "I'm heading across town today to meet a friend. Say, does the maglev still head to Suwa District or did it finally shut down?"

"Uhhh...." you watch the stupid little creature attempt to process what you said. She blinks a few times then brightens up. "Oh, yeah, it died. Mmhmm. The tengu took it out for some reason. It's safe, though, they cut the power to it. Eientei says they'll fix it soon tee-em," you nod. "The kappa have been working on it, though, they're all over Magtown right now."

"Thanks little bit," you pat the fairy on the head and walk toward the maglev, a rail line some thirty feet off the ground. Magtown is a homeless slum that sprung up under the maglev rail system. There's several, but the one here in this district was the first and biggest. It's mostly youkai who couldn't adapt to the modern world, but you find it's also a good play to lay low. Most of the youkai are friendly enough, and the community leader keeps them from eating too many humans.

But it's fine. Magtown likes you most of the time. You keep Eientei off their backs mostly by existing, and besides, Corp. police rarely come by here anyway; instead they throw sentries at this part of town, which inevitably get torn apart by the kappa after a few days. In any event, it's at least as safe as the purely human districts are for other humans. There's only one human that you know they're not a fan of, and she's nowhere to be-

"Yoooo!!!" a voice calls.

Oh, goddamnit.


Marisa Kirisame, AKA "MKULTRA".

MK was born in America, grew up in the sprawl that is Seattle. Her dad was a decker, her mom a vigilante. Both of them fought bravely for the little guy, and like your own parents, they got gunned down when a Corp decided they didn't like them. A legendary decker called The Fox took her under his wing, cultivated her, shaped her personality... and probably drove her nuts.

When she was with The Fox, she spent more time in Cyberspace than she did in real life. A few forced dumps too many caused her to suffer from Dump Shock, and growing up she alternated between babbling nonsense in Binary and becoming one of the best goddamn deckers on the planet. Too bad Fox wanted her for criminal reasons, so when she was still a teenager, MK used her skills to steal Corp. secrets just to turn around and sell them to another Corp. Went against everything she believed in, caused her downward spiral into being a fucking nutbar.

Somehow, though, she managed to get away and made her way to Gensokyo. The two of you met while your folks were still alive. You helped her get set up here, taught her the rules of the City, and in return, her crazy ass was your bedrock when your parents were killed. As time went on, the two of you forged a deep fucking friendship. She became your information source; it's said there's not a terminal in Gensokyo that doesn't have the phrase "mindcontrol" written in its code somewhere. And she did it on her own, too; no one helped her, the Corp resisted her, and you're pretty sure that the only reason the Yakumos didn't come after her was because of her connection to you.

She's the smartest woman in real life and in Cyberspace. She's the best goddamn decker you know, and you've met some good ones. Too bad she runs on Internet logic, which makes her certifiably insane most of the time.

It's fine. You love her to death. Hell, you're probably crazy too anyway.


MK saunters up to you and puts an arm around you. "I was wondering when you'd make your way over here," she says. "Been waiting all morning."

"Of course you have," you sigh. "How'd you know I was gonna go check out this new kid?"

"Ever since the other night when she was flirtin with you," Marisa laughs. You blush a bit and look away. "Hey, it was cute, 'sall I'm sayin!" She pats your back. "Oh, you're still bein' cautious, I see."

"Well, yeah, I don't know this girl's family. What if they're nutty like you?" you answer, smirking. Marisa chuckles again, and you see that gleam in her eyes that says she's up to no good. But sometimes, someone who's No Good is exactly what you need.

[ ] Invite Marisa along.
[ ] Go it alone.


I was gonna have this update go all the way to the Shrine but it was getting to be a bit much, so I introduced MK a bit earlier than I expected to.
[X] Invite Marisa along.

Could use the backup if things go south. And if her presence is what makes things go south, well hey, more entertaining that way, right?
Just nonchalantly bust out 3 thousand words in 2 days, why don't you. I don't feel bad enough about my own update rate yet. >:C

[x] Invite Marisa along.
[X] Invite Marisa along.

I like how despite the dystopic nature of the world, Reimu remains a genuinely good person inside. Shit warms my heart.
[x] Invite Marisa along.

Your update speed and quality makes me feel like ass. Well done.
[X] Invite Marisa along.

I already need more. Stop hooking up your writing with Hyper and Kamikaze, dammit.
[X] Invite Marisa along.

Keep this up and this story may be classified as a class II drug.
[x] Invite Marisa along.
File 149632458130.jpg - (710.10KB, 900x1200, probably king.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Invite Marisa along.

>They dress up like a hero from those old Toku shows, calling themselves "Zero" and using a voice scrambler to mask themselves.
Heh. This should be an amusing take on KinginYellow. And there's enough hints that we can be pretty sure who KillerSwarm is now, looking forward to seeing her and her "family".

Marisa as a decker felt a bit odd at first but strikes me as fitting, now. For those who aren't as familiar with the Shadowrun setting, magic isn't something a person with no innate powers can learn, so Marisa's "Ordinary Magician" shtick wouldn't really be possible. Still, we should be sure to get her a high-firepower weapon if she doesn't have one already. Maybe an assault cannon?

> >:C
We tend to avoid emoticons here, FYI.
Actually, forget that image... Given the seeming pattern of handles and real names, there's a much likelier possibility for KiY, and one that's hinted at in a non-meme way in the last post. Guess we'll see.
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Ah, fuck it, yeah? "So you coming or what?" You ask the blonde. Marisa laughs again and takes your hand.

"Sure thing, let's get outta here," she replies, beaming. "Where we going, anyway? I can't deck a piece of paper." You reach into your satchel with your free hand and pull out the white card the girl gave you.

"Says here the Grand Shrine in Suwa," you tell MK. "That's too far away on foot so I figure I'd see if the kappa got a maglev running, was gonna ask them if I could use it."

"Aw hell yeah," Marisa pockets your card. "Yeah, that'd work. I know a few kappa pretty good. One of their engineers helped build my new deck in return for cracking some encryption for her, so we might be able to get her to vouch for us, yeah?" You nod; you don't have much of an in with the kappa themselves except for the ones who live in Magtown, so this could be helpful. Partnerships are better than money with certain things. As the two of you "enter" Magtown, Marisa's grip on your hand gets a bit tighter, and you remember that she doesn't do well in situations with large groups of people, especially in this case when the last time you interacted with this particular group of people was when you accidentally blew up a watering hole.

Which, in Marisa's defense, it was either blow up the watering hole or get eaten by a werewolf. On the one hand, Imaizumi finally calmed down after having a few tons of rubble drop on her face and ultimately she forgave Marisa. On the other hand, it took weeks to clear that same rubble up, even though a few Oni lived among the youkai of Magtown, including their leader. Nowadays they look at Marisa with a bit of reserved resentment, though fortunately she doesn't come around very often.

That said, your presence doesn't go unnoticed. A long time ago, before pollution overrode the senses half the time, youkai could smell a human from miles away. Nowadays not so much, but the two of you are still easily recognizeable as being human. Most of them give the two of you wary looks but keep their distance. You try not to stare. Magtown is better than other slums; at least there's enough scrap metal and concrete lying around that they were able to create the bare essentials for survival - that is, tin roofs and huts to sleep in at night. But there's little food to go around, since humans don't come by here unless they're you or Marisa, and fewer still have any sort of job. As the town's "mayor" sits up from her bonfire, you wonder, briefly, if people, even youkai, have to suffer like this, then maybe Gensokyo was a mistake.

"Hakurei, Kirisame," greets the tall Oni mayor. She sticks her hand out. "Sorry about the mess," she continues in jest.

"Hoshiguma," you greet, shaking her hand. "Sorry about the disturbance, chummer, just trying to get on top of the maglev. Heard the kappa were working on something and I need to get off a way down the rail," Yuugi nods in understanding.

"I got ya," she answers. "There's a ladder they made on the other side of that support column," she jerks her thumb over her shoulder to the column deeper into Magtown. "It's a long way up, though, so be careful. Also," she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a data crystal. "Here, someone sent me this last night. Said it was for the first human we came across, and you two are the only humans that live in this part of town on purpose. Gotta be for one of you," she hands it to you and you pass it to Marisa. She inspects it for a second then puts it in her pocket. "You got any idea?"

"Not a fraggin' clue," Marisa answers. Around you, you two can hear the sound of some agressive (or maybe just hungry) youkai taking more notice of the two humans in their presence. Yuugi growls at them and they back down... a bit. "Heh, Reimu, I can't take you anywhere."

"Fuck off," you reply. You look at Yuugi. "Are we gonna be safe all the way or are we gonna get followed?"

"I got your back, Hakurei," Yuugi promises, patting you on the shoulder. "They won't mess with an Oni. Although you'll owe me one down the road."

"You know I'm good for it," you reply, nodding. Usually Yuugi's cash-ins on your favors are just food or money runs, since being a small human you can get into places she can't. She's also the only reason you've ever seriously considered working for Yukari; the Yakumos have promised that if you work for them, they'll provide food and shelter for Magtown. It sounds awesome, but you're for certain that there's a catch - with the Yakumos, there's always a catch, and at least in this state they aren't slaves to a crime family. That's gotta count for something in this day and age. "How's the family going, anyway?"

"Ah, you know," Yuugi rubs the back of her head and chuckles, beckoning the two of you to follow her toward the support column. "Parsee hasn't been right for a while now; I think the lack of jealousy to feed off of is startin' to get to her. Suika got a construction job for Eientei, heard she's making bank right now, but she's not due back for a month or two. Orin got hired on as a maid for the Komeijis. She told me the work is hard but she's finally got a roof over her head, so I'm proud of her for that."

"That's good, real good," you say. Komeiji Power Company is one of the only reasonable companies there are. They've never bothered to expand beyond Gensokyo and have always charged based off of income. Zoning laws prevent them from just giving Magtown power, but when they tapped into the maglev power grid several months ago, they conveniently looked away. Eientei has been trying to buy them for years but the company president has been holding them off. Unfortunately nowadays he's in bad health, and their oldest daughter is looking to be take over, and word on the street is that she's much less kind than Dear Old Dad. But time will tell.

You wonder about Suika taking a job for Eientei. Construction nowadays usually means letting machines do the heavy lifting, but as an Oni, Suika is uniquely suited to that. Most likely, it's more to do with her ability to manipulate matter density. Even the best machines can't match what she can do with matter... at least, not yet. You set the thought aside as the three of you reach the ladder. "Well, here it is," Yuugi gestures toward the ladder. It looks older than you and about as sturdy as if it were made out of toothpicks, but kappa engineering always looks shady as fuck.

"Thanks, Hoshiguma," you smile. Yuugi grins back and pats you on the head.

"Be careful you two," she says. You and Marisa nod, and Yuugi leaves.

"I forgot how nice she is," Marisa quips.

"Yeah, she's always been really cool," you reply. The two of you stare at the ladder. "...it's certainly a long way up. So... you first?" You hate heights.

"So you can see up my skirt?" MK grabs onto a rung.

"First off, you're wearing pants," you sigh. Marisa just laughs and begins the ascent. "Secondly, I've seen you naked. You're at least as unimpressive as I am!"

"Harsh, but true," Marisa laughs again and continues the climb. You take a deep breath, grab the ladder, and start up it. You make it a point to stare at Marisa's blonde hair as she climbs above you. You wonder how she can keep it that long and pretty, despite spending 18 hours a day jacked into Cyberspace normally. "Say, what d'you think is on this data cryst that she gave us?"

"Fuck if I know," you answer. "Zero, maybe? Probably not but it's the only person I can think of who knows we go to Magtown."

"Yeah, but," Marisa grunts with effort. "Zero would just contact you directly. Besides, we're the only two humans that live in the Barrens, Reimu. Not hard to figure out you'd stop by there eventually."

"But to give it to her last night?" You ask.

"True that," the two of you aren't even halfway up. "Could be that new family I was telling you about."

"Yeah, what's up with that anyway?" You look down and feel like puking. You swallow the thought.

"Well I did some research as soon as I heard about them," MK answers. Of course she did. "They're an old vampire family outta Europe. They bought one of the old mansions in the rich part of the city, already got it cleaned up and shit. I decked the cameras around that particular spot a few years ago so it was easy to get back in. They already bought up a buncha sentry drones and they got a gatekeeper posted out front all day."

"You said it pissed everyone off in your email," you point out. You look down. You're almost halfway. Oh dear.

"Yeah, apparently they're starting up their own little shitshow up there in Rich People Town," Marisa jokes. "But for real, they been hiring up some lower-level youkai and some humans like whoa. They gotta be planning something, dunno what though. I tried decking the mansion but they cut it off from the grid and are using only intranet."

"I thought that was illegal," you say.

"It's seven different kinds of illegal cause it basically says you're up to some shit," Marisa says. "But every time Eientei sends a police officer down there, the fucker gets eaten or some shit cause they never come back out. The Corp. has too much pride to let that sit for too long, but the fact that the new kids are brazenly ignoring Rule #1 is pissing off the Yakumos supposedly."

"... an incident?" You don't mean to sound excited, but incidents usually mean runs, and runs mean credsticks, which means Reimu can pay the rent and eat real food.

"Oh yes," Marisa affirms. "I already got my runners' gear out. Only thing I'm missing is my shotgun and I'm good to go."

"How in the fuck do you misplace a shotgun?"
"Don't worry about it."
"Don't be an ass when I ask you a question."
"Beer tonight?"
"Fuck yeah."


After what seems like decades of climbing, you finally make it to the top of the ladder. An open hatch is at the top. Marisa pokes her head through, climbs out, then reaches down for you, pulling you up. You find yourselves behind an older model maglev that's been stripped of everything but its shell. You go to move around it but Marisa pulls you back. "Hold on a sec," she says. "You hear that?"

"Hear... what?" You ask.
"Exactly," Marisa nods. "Kappa are loud as fuck. Why is it so quiet?" She's right; you can always tell when the kappa are hard at work because they're extremely loud. Between the chanting and the banging and the sparks, you know when there are youkai doing youkai things, but this time, it's notoriously quiet. The two of you exchange glances. This didn't bode well. You poke your head around the train. "What do you see?"

"Just a few Eientei quads," you answer. Eientei quadrotors were drones that the Corp. mostly used as scouts and light fire support. They usually had underslung SMGs attached with a large box mag, but once it ran out they had to buzz off back to HQ to reload. Granted, it was a large box mag somewhere in the range of a hundred rounds, but even the slowest SMG could burn through that in a matter of seconds. And besides, quadrotors wouldn't drive off the kappa. They have enough deckers between them that any drone stupid enough to fly into their airspace becomes owned by the kappa.

As for yourself... well, you have Marisa. "What do you think happened here?" you ask her.

"Dunno, but let's find out," she answers, pulling her cyberdeck out of its satchel. She pulls a wire out from the bottom and plugs it into the datajack in the back of her head. "I'll be online in just a few," she tells you. Her own AugReal forms an opaque visor across her eyes. "Uh... Reimu, I'm getting interference; one of those quads is trying to scramble pirate signals. Get rid of the trash for me, would you?"

Watching Marisa go into decker mode is pretty intense when you think about it. After the visor becomes opaque, a metal "spider" comes out of her satchel, crawls up to her datajack, and clamps down on it. The "legs" flare out and metal plates start to converge around her head. Her body goes slack after that; at this point, she's in Cyberspace. A second later, your AugReal glitches, and you hear Marisa's voice in your head.

"Yeah, there's a big ball of static over those quads," you hear her say. "Poke your head around and stare at them."

You see four drones, arranged in a triangle formation with one in the middle. "That's pretty obvious," you say.

"Yeah," Marisa's voice says. "A little too obvious or is Eientei just stupid?"

"A little of Column A, a little of Column B," you answer. Marisa's laugh echoes in your head. "Alright, decker, how do you wanna play this?"

"Just like every other run," Marisa answers. "You handle the physical, I handle to digital. I have a feeling that once we wake up whatever actually drove the kappa off, those quads will be the last thing on our minds."

You nod in agreement. "There's two ways to do this. We sneak up close and take them out one by one-"

"Which they might expect," Marisa mentions.

"Or I go full assault mode and try to take them all out at once," you pull the talismans out of your satchel. "Either way, I have eight of these so I have to make each one count. I don't think quads handle explosions well."

"If you can take out the jammer, I can hijack one of the other quads," Marisa tells you. You nod again.

"Alright, let's do this..."

[ ] Quiet.
[ ] Loud.


Think of this as an intro to how combat works in this 'verse.
[x] Quiet

Noo Remi, why you gotta be like that? I was gearing up to help them take down Eientei.

They way, even if they go Metropolitan and turn out worse, Reimu's vendetta would be fulfilled.

Well, probably. Anyone can find an angry employee and hire him to put the blame on the lunatics.
[x] Quiet.

I wonder if we'll have a red mist parallel or if it'll veer off in a totally different direction. Might be fun.

So which factions are we missing? At this rate we might end up seeing them all, which would make for a pretty hefty story.
-Keine and human village
-Byakuren's playpen
-The spooky ghost crew
-Heaven and afterlife
-The tengu
and lunarians? I guess. But nobody likes lunarians.
[x] Quiet

The loud option always goes south, I tell you.
[x] Quiet.

Best not to go loud until you have to.
[x] Quiet.

It's easy to go from quiet to loud. It's not so easy to do the opposite.
[X] Quiet.

Nothing like a good surprise.
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[x] Quiet

If I've learned anything from actually playing Shadowrun, it's that you only want to go as loud as you have to. (But plan B is automatically twice as much explosives as plan A.)

Also, anyone else thinking of "The Wizard's Shotgun" when Marisa mentioned that she misplaced hers?
[x] Quiet.

Having only played the recent Shadowrun games, getting as far as possible without shooting anything is usually good practice.
Plus you can only be quiet at the start. You can go loud whenever.
[x] Quiet.


...derrrrrp. For some reason the OP had me thinking it was spidergirl. I need to brush up on my 2hus.
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"...let's go null."

"Ugh, I hate doing that, but alright," Marisa grumbles. "I'll start heating up the hijack program. Just make sure they don't find me."

"Oh, like I'd let anything happen to you," you pat Marisa on the head. She can't feel it, but it's not like you can reassure her physically while she's in Cyberspace. "Okay, going null."

Going "null" isn't as easy as just being really sneaky anymore. In an era of complete connectedness, it requires you to unplug everything. AugReals, comms, decks, all have to be turned off. Smart guns (guns with computerized fire control systems that link directly to your AugReal or cybernetic enhancements) have to be disabled, and any Cyberware has to be dialed down to just its motorized components. Mages typically add invis spells on top, and some lucky people who have thermoptic camo can use that as well, although both of those can be ineffective if your target uses infrared imaging.

It's essentially like becoming a ninja in the modern day. It's hard, but when done successfully, first strikes can be devastating. Fortunately every runner worth their weight in credsticks knows how to go null effectively, although of course some are better than others (Zero, for example, is a master of going null). Marisa hates it because when going quiet, you can't deck (hardwiring aside, but even that's risky), so she's fairly worthless as far as she's concerned. Either way, you usually take point on these anyway.

You reach onto your back and unholster your weapon as you slowly make your way down the side of the maglev. The train is long enough to put you past the quads, and in your head you already have a plan to sneak up "behind" them. In their formation they have almost 360 degrees of vision, which is really weird. Normally Eientei wouldn't keep something like a quad floating around with no fire support. It reeks of a trap. Gripping the Light Fire tightly in both hands, you keep low and make your way closer. Quads are quiet, so you can't hear their rotors spinning, but you recall their position in your mind easily.

You stop several cars from where you started. You peek between cars and see one them; at this close distance, you can see that their underslung machine guns aren't deployed. Yeah, this is definitely a trap. Something is under them, looking like a pile of scrap from here. Whatever that is, that's the trap, or the bait, or the bait and the trap. Eientei tactics are stupid when it comes to drones, you decide. But first thing's first, let's get rid of the jammer drone, the one in the middle. You pull out a talisman and channel energy into it, slowly. Loud bursts of magic are enough to get the attention of sensors normally equipped in things like quadrotors, so you have to dial it back. Fortunately your magic kind of sucks, so you have no problems keeping it low power.

You let the talisman go. It floats as if in the wind, twisting and turning. Something like a quadrotor has too much armor for you to stick it to its body and blow it up, but their rotors are extremely vulnerable; a flaw that's been in the design since quads existed. Being knocked down to 3 makes them immoble but active. Knocking out 2 rotors is usually a death sentence, but if you want to be sure, you need to take out at least 3 rotors in total. You activate another talisman and let it drift, followed by a third. You're down to 5.

The talismans look like paper, and once so enchanted they're basically just normal pieces of paper until you activate the magic within. You watch from around the corner of the lev car as they attach to the quadrotor in the center, one per blade. You nod to yourself, but you don't activate them yet. Going null is just as much about gathering information as it is about getting the surprise attack. You move on past the drones, toward the end of the entire train.

Back here you find quite a bit of kappa tech. It always looks the same; cobbled together out of various pieces of metal and circuit boards with quite a bit of duct tape and kappa magic, they never look like they should be functional, but somehow, they manage to get their equipment to work. You go through it, finding bits and pieces of half-finished objects they pulled from the maglev. On another rail, you see what amounts to an actual car stuck on the rail. That's probably what they were working on. It's small, probably very fast... it could easily get you to your destination, assuming it works of course.

The clanking and hissing of metal causes you to fall back a bit. Around the corner a bipedal machine walks by you; a police drone, unaware of your presence. Normally not a problem if taken solo - their head armor is notoriously weak, and even something as simple as your Light Fire can pierce its torso in a few shots. Eientei developed them to be cheap and mass-produced; cannon fodder with a badge, essentially. Either way, you need to keep quiet for now, so you pull out another talisman and let it loose. It drifts until it attaches itself to the drone's back. It'll knock it down, giving you time to finish it off.

The drone turns to walk toward the vehicle. A camera opens up from a shoulder compartment and stares at the makeshift car. Perhaps that was the cause of this. Eientei usually tries stealing kappa tech and making it their own, usually giving it some extra pieces to make it "uniquely" Lunarian, so you wouldn't put it past them. You continue your silent watch. If what you're thinking is true, then you only have a few minutes before actual Eientei security shows up, and they usually have something more difficult to handle than submachine guns; assault rifles and shotguns are usually their weapon of choice.

Satisfied with your amount of information gathering, you decide its time to drop null. You briefly set your pistol down. With one hand, you reactivate your AugReal. "Marisa, it's time," you whisper. A whoop of joy fills your head as you clench your fist.

Activating your AugReal causes all five drones to turn and face your position. "Citizen, identify yourself!" The police drone intones. As your fist closes, the talismans explode. They're not great explosions, and the rain diluted some of their power, but it's more than enough. The jammer quad in the middle loses its functionality instantly as 3 of its 4 rotors turn into shrapnel while the police drone in front of you staggers forward, falling to its knees. You quickly grab your pistol and fire off three rounds in quick succession. The first two catch its torso but the third rings true, blowing its head off. At the same time, one of the 3 remaining quadrotors turns on the other two, deploying its SMG and opening fire. The surprise attack catches the other two unaware; they go down in flames.

You get out of cover and rip the machine gun out of the police drone's hands. You look down the way to see Marisa running up, cyberdeck in hand. The quad follows her obediently. You run up to the "car" and open the door, which, oddly enough, causes both to open. You and Marsia get in the contraption. "Think you can activate it?"

"Yeah, probably, sure," Marisa replies. She pulls our her cyberdeck's wire, but instead of jacking in, she instead connects to the weird-looking computer in the space between the two of you. A bunch of computer code jumps onto her screen. "Okay, this might take me a minute."

"I'll cover you," you tell her, getting back out of the vehicle. You pull the mag out of the SMG, ensuring it's loaded, then put it back in. In the distance, you hear rotors, those of an actual helicopter. Eientei is definitely on its way. You chamber a round. Going null won't be an option this time, if you choose to fight. Fortunately, Eientei teams usually only amount to 4. You and Marisa can probably take four.

[ ] Engage
[ ] Run

{Current Gear}
Ares Light Fire (13 shots)
Colt TZ-120E (35 shots)
Ofuda (4 remaining)


Short update because I like giving choices during combat.
[X] Run

No need to waste unnecessary ammunition on goons.
I'd normally agree, but I feel like the scene of the crime (as it were) warrants further investigation. If something funky did go down, we could even find some goodies.

[x] Engage
[X] Run

Be better to get out.
[X] Run

We could maybe not start the campaign by wasting cops from one of the two superpowers.
[x] Engage
We need to clear this place and find what happened to the kappa
I was going to vote for running, but upon rereading I think you have a point. Could be a plot hook worth investigating.

This is also a very good point, but it does seem to be implied that it wouldn't be Reimu's first time killing Eientei goons, for what that's worth.

[x] Engage
[x] Run

I don't know enough about the setting to make much of an informed decision, but my first instinct is always hit-and-run when outnumbered. Even if it is implied that the local cops are quantity over quality.
[X] Engage

Might as well see what our Shadowrunners can figure from all this.

Does this fusion have some of the issues with magic and cosmology of Shadowrun, like how putting in more cybernetics lowers your ability to do magic or the whole thing about magic being on a sine curve and all that?

It's definitely not her first rodeo with Eientei Corp.

In a word: sorta. I'm taking liberties here and there since none of the books I have cover youkai in the slightest. But the basic rule of More Cyberware = less ESS = less magic does apply more or less.
[X] Run
aight I'm calling it now for [x]Run Run Run.
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Eientei Corporation.

As long as you've been alive, Eientei has been there. They've never had anything like a slogan or a jingle to make you notice them, but it doesn't matter. Nearly everything in Gensokyo is manufactured by Eientei. Medicine, food, electronics, vehicles, construction... their reach is massive. Their products stretch from Gensokyo all the way to America, Europe, and so on. Internationally, their biggest claim to fame otherwise is their established facility on the Moon, one of only 3 corporations to be able to claim as such.

No one really knows how it began. The company President is notoriously private, and people wonder if she even exists. The CEO, one Eirin Yagokoro, seems to make all of the important business decisions. Other than that, not much is known about the leadership. They mostly operate through intermediaries; primarily Lunar Rabbits. Even in their dealings with the Yakumo Clan, the leadership never leaves their White Tower, the massive cloudpiercer in the middle of the city. Compared to the seemingly basic yet elegant home of Yukari Yakumo, it's arrogant and loud, a show of power in a place that recognizes them as one of the biggest corporations to ever exist.

But if they stopped there, they would be an effective if enigmatic organization. What truly makes them infamous are their well known Eientei Security Force. The ESF is a paramility organization that often sells its services to the highest bidder. Although known for quantity over quality, their use of advanced weaponry and technology often gives them the advantage. Anyone can join the ESF, and many criminals often do because Eientei purges your record if you join. If the thought didn't make you sick, you might consider it.

But for you, personally, the biggest issue with Eientei isn't their ESF, or their corporate bullshit. It's the fact that they murdered your family. Despite most of them looking similar, you'll never forget the Lunar Rabbit that did the deed. You've seen her since, but never while in a position to take her out. She always wears the same thing: high heels, a short skirt, and a black blazer. Violet hair and red eyes. She would be gorgeous if you didn't hate her guts.

You might die fighting both Eientei and the Yakumos. In fact, you're certain you will. But when you do... oh, when you do... then as sure as the day is long, you will kill Reisen Udongein Inaba, and you will have vengeance.


"How long?"

"Give me... I dunno, two minutes," Marisa answers. "Kappa code is actually the dumbest thing to exist. It doesn't make any sense!" You bite your lip. You don't really have enough ammo to take on a full squad of Eientei goons, but you can hold them off to run. Maybe if you pick your shots carefully...?

No, the best option is to get out of here. "We should go," you decide. "Pack it up, we'll try again later."

"No, no, I got this!" Marisa whines. "Come ON, you stupid piece of drek! Just fucking WORK for me or I swear Imma kill all the kappa!" You hear a thud and the vehicle rattles a bit.

"Don't be violent to the tech," you joke. "But seriously, let's go."

"... god damnit!" Marisa unplugs her deck and gets out of the vehicle. "I don't want to just give them this! Wait, hold on!" She sets her deck on top and reaches into the vehicle. You hear the sounds of a power drill.

"Marisa, we need to go!" you shout at her. You can see the helicopter now, rapidly gaining on your position. It comes from around a few buildings. Even at this distance you can see a couple of goons hanging off the side, armed with machine guns. Definitely not here to say hi. Marisa's shout catches your attention, and the center console of the vehicle goes flying out of the door. Marisa stands up and walks over to you.

"Gimme that," she says, taking the SMG from your hands. She flicks off the safety and unloads a few shots into the computer,then walks around and puts a few more in the hood of the car. "Okay, now let's go." The two of you break and run, going back to the ladder that got you up here in the first place. You use the original maglev shell as cover, darting toward the hatch next to the cars, but it's quickly becoming more obvious you aren't going to make it. You're going to get spotted if you keep running like this.

"We need to hide," you say. Marisa nods agreement. You stop at one of the cars and climb up between two of them. You kick open the door, then reach down and help Marisa up. You shut the door. "Go null," you whisper, turning your AugReal back off. You hear Marisa do the same, and the two of you hide among the seats. The helicopter buzzes overhead, doing a sweep of the area, before hovering over the vehicle. Four ropes fall from it, and four armored security troops slide down them. One of them immediately walks over to the downed police drone, another to the quads. Marisa curses as they grab the hijacked one, left floating idly next to the vehicle.

"I really wanted to keep that, too," she whispers. At this distance, you can't hear the troops, but they quickly gather up around the vehicle. They inspect the shot up computer and engine to it, but again, you have no idea whats going through their heads. One of them looks up at the helicopter and waves. A fifth figure slides down the rope, and your eyes go red. "Aw, fuck," you sorta hear Marisa whisper.

Its her. Its her. You move to get up but Marisa grabs you and pulls you back down. The two of you struggle in the car, but Marisa keeps you down. You seriously consider shooting her. "Let me go," you growl. "Let me go, Marisa!" She slaps you. Twice.

"Get over it," she whispers. "Do you want to die?"
"She's. Right. There," you say. "I can kill her now."
"No, you can't. Stop," you struggle a bit more and open your mouth, but she slaps you again and covers your mouth before you can speak. "Chill the fuck out, Reimu."

You stop moving. Rationality slowly creeps back into your brain. She's right. You'll do no good if you engage her now. You might kill her, but more likely, her security will fill you full of holes before you can get the first shot off. She's too strong for your talismans to kill her, and besides, Lunar Rabbits are very sensitive to magic. She'll smell it before it even leaves your hand. You weigh your options, but there isn't really any. You have to hide. Your arms go slack and you feel your face heat up. No, you're getting emotional. You try to swallow it.

You blink away a tear and push Marisa off. She offers no resistance this time. You sit on the floor of the maglev and sigh. "Good girl," Marisa says. "Look, they're already leaving. We can get out of here."

You nod. "Yeah, sure," you whisper. You sit up and look out the window. Sure enough, the security forces are reattaching themselves to their ropes. The helicopter starts pulling them back up, and soon enough only the girl is left. She walks around slowly, looking at every piece of machinery you and Marisa destroyed, talking to herself. She moves aside the scrap that the drones were originally watching and you wince as you see several dead kappa piled up. It only arises more questions, though, like how they were killed. Mere drones couldn't take them out, so it had to be something much worse.

She reaches down and goes through their backpacks, pulling out several destroyed pieces of equipment. What is she looking for? It's hard to tell from this distance. Fucking hell you wish you brought some binoculars. Whatever it is, it must be important, as she gets increasingly agitated when she can't find whatever it is she's looking for. Finally, after several moments of searching, she gives up, kicking one of the kappa for good measure. She goes toward the helicopter... then pauses... and turns around, staring.

Staring right at you.

"Oh fuck," Marisa groans. You start to reply, but Reisen vanishes. You hear a thud, and she's at the door, kicking it open, a pistol in each hand.

"Who's there? Identify yourself!" She commands.

"Run. Run!" you shout to Marisa. Both of you stand up. You draw your pistol and for one brief second wish it would be this easy. You open fire. The bullets... pass through Reisen, like she's not even there. She cocks her head sideways, her face curious. She moves in, and you feel like cursing. Normal bullets don't do shit to Lunar Rabbits. Only magic bullets or ones laced with silver can damage them, which really calls into question your previous emotional outburst. Reisen raises her pistols.

"I'm giving you till 3," she says. Marisa is already on the other end of the train car, kicking it open. You look at her and nod. Marisa looks worried, but jumps out. "1, 2-"

You've had enough. She's close. You jump Reisen.

Fighting like an animal is probably the least heroic way to fight, but you don't even care. This isn't about winning, it's about survival. You push her arms aside and headbutt the shit out of her. The pain is staggering, and both of you recoil. Reisen drops her pistols, but before you can react, she says something in a weird language and throws you out of the car.

You rebound off of another one and hit the ground, coughing, trying to catch your breath. That's definitely going to bruise. You struggle to stand, but a high heel digs into your back. You groan as the heel digs in, then lifts up and smashes your face into the gravel. "How rude," you hear her say. "I just wanted to talk and you try to shoot me! Why would you want to piss off Eientei?" She reaches down and grabs you by the collar, lifting you back up to your feet. You grab her arm but another word from her and your entire body goes slack as if numb.

And you feel it. You feel foreign magic coursing through your body, and a distant part of you realizes that this is why your parents didn't fight back. She disabled them the same way. You struggle to look her in her glowing red eyes. "Who are you?" she asks again, then shakes her head. "It doesn't matter. I'm sorry, but an example must be made out of people who dare to fight us. Maybe in the next life, friend."

You feel your feet lift off the ground, and it takes a second to register. You're flying. Or rather, she's flying, and you're being dragged along. Higher and higher, soon reaching the bottoms of the clouds. Rain pecks at the both of you, and Reisen looks despondant. "Why does everyone try to fight us? So sick of this... but you wouldn't understand, human."

You open your mouth to speak, but it comes out garbled. Reisen sighs again. "Well, hopefully this will be message enough. Goodbye." Reisen tosses you like so much trash.

...is this it? Is this how you die? You regain control of your body long enough to watch her fly into the clouds. That... that bitch! Doesn't she know who you are? ...no, probably not. She never even gave you a thought. She's... she's so much stronger than you.

You look down; the ground is quickly rushing up to you. Any second now and you'll never feel anything again.


Let go.


Listen to me. Let go. I believe in you. Just open your mind to the magic, and let go.

Who the fuck are you?

Don't worry about it. Just let go.

The voice in your head is calm and soothing. But letting go? Letting go of what?

Let go of your fear. Let go of your pain. Embrace the magic of the gods, and it will embrace you, Reimu. Let go.

Letting go of pain? Here? Now? Are you fucking serious?

...damnit, woman, just do what I say.


You take a deep breath. The wind whips around you, and you ignore it. You swallow the rage you feel, the hurt. The nagging feeling of your impending demise eats at you, but either out of desperation or curiosity, or both, you let it go. You feel your magic in your body, and you feel its warmth. Well, if you're going to die, maybe you'll die in a very magical way, right? You close your eyes.

What happens next can only be described as an awakening. The magic gets hot, so hot it almost burns. It feels like it's coming out of every pore, every breath becomes hard, as if its squeezing you, but you focus on that. This new pain, this focused pain, becomes your rock, and you grasp on to it.

Open your eyes.

You do as the voice says... and you gasp. "I'm... I'm floating!"

No, Reimu, you're flying.

But... but this is actually impossible, isn't it?

Not for you. You have a gift. I can show you that gift, just like I showed someone very precious to me. Come to me.

Who... who are you?

We will meet, Reimu. But come to me. You know where I am.

The address! The card!

Good girl. Come to me.

[ ] Go toward the voice.
[ ] Check on Marisa first.


Welcome, one and all, to ShadowMaiden.
[X] Check on Marisa first.

Hoes before mysterious disjointed voice hoes.
[X] Check on Marisa first.

Don't leave your friends behind. A good ally is something to be valued.

Also, if trying to run went that badly, how much worse would it have went against all of them and not just Reisen? Likely not well.
File 14965261208.jpg - (908.81KB, 1000x709, lowlight_kirilenko.jpg) [iqdb]
Oh shiiiiiitt. It just got real.

Anyway, as for the vote, there's no real choice here. I just hope the opportunity isn't lost because leaving Marisa to the mercy of the lunatics is far too heavy of a price.

[x] Check on Marisa
[X] Check on Marisa first.
[X] Check on Marisa first.

Obvious choice
[X] Check on Marisa first.
[X] Check on Marisa first.
[x] Check on Marisa first.

Leaving behind a friend like that would leave a poor taste in my mouth.

Also I would like to express my dissatisfaction at Reisen being a bad guy like that. Best bunny deserves better.
[X] Check on Marisa first.
[x] Check on Marisa first.

Reisen did nothing wrong! Expect for that time when she did everything wrong.

Also, this is a Good™ story.
[x] Check on Marisa first.

Damn dude, you don't fuck around.
[X] Check on Marisa first.

No one gets left behind. Also, that's one of the best prologues I've ever seen.
This story looks like it is going places, keep it up OP I haven't read a good running story since twodee.
File 149660798980.jpg - (112.78KB, 850x478, take_flight.jpg) [iqdb]
You float downward ever so slowly. Fortunately, no one is looking up. Not that it matters, you think; there are more than a few youkai around you can fly, but most of them don't. Apparently it takes quite a bit of energy and youkai often don't have much to spare, except for the fairies, who fly more often than walk. But, surprisingly... this feels good. You like this feeling. This weightlessness. You feel like you could stay up here forever, honestly. You feel a smile creeping onto your face. You could get used to-

You start falling. You don't realize it for a quick second, but then it hits you. You start flailing in the air as your descent rapidly climbs, and only through stupid luck do you manage to regain control a scant second before your face meets the concrete. You gasp in fear and surprise, then swallow it... then faceplant the ground. You groan in pain but regain your composure, pushing yourself off the ground to a standing position. You rub your forehead and look around. From what you can tell you're quite a few blocks from Magtown, further still from your home.

You click your tongue as you realize all of your equipment is gone. That could be problematic if you get into a fight, but you're not terribly worried. The youkai who live here are pretty timid. You set off toward Magtown, intent on checking on and for Marisa. As you walk, you turn your thoughts inward, only listening to the rain. You focus the magic again, reaching into your soul, and jump. You manage to take back to the air for a few seconds, but slowly you descend and land on your feet.

So you try it again. You manage to stick to the air longer, but you can't change direction. You land again and sigh. This is... kind of hard, actually. Getting back into the air is proving to be quite the issue. But, if you can really fly, you need to get good at it, right? So you try again. Again, you take to the air, but this time only for about a second before the magic gives out entirely and you hit the ground hard.

You grit your teeth. "Come on, this shouldn't be that hard!" you say to yourself. This time you stop, focus, and do a standing jump. The magic takes hold and you start floating... but quickly, it's too much, and you hit the ground again. "God, damnit!" You stomp the ground. "I can do this!"

"You're trying too hard," a voice says behind you. You whirl around to see a few fairies standing behind you, staring at you curiously. One of them steps forward. "You're way too focused."

"If I don't focus then I lose it," you reply. You sit down on the sidewalk. You need to get moving, but fairies are natural fliers. You should be able to learn something from them. The lead fairy stands in front of you as the others disperse to other areas, all of them watching you from various heights and angles. "I was told to 'let go', but if I 'let go' then I can't concentrate."

"That sounds like a very human way to fly," giggles the fairy. She easily starts to float. "Try instead, the fairy way of flying. Find a positive emotion that you're full of, like happiness, or love, or warmth, and use that to fly! That's how we do it!"

You chuckle. That sounds very fairy-ish, but you suppose it can't hurt. You put your hands on your knees and start concentrating, digging deep for-

"No, no no no no," the fairy waves her hands in front of her. "You're still wayyyyyy too focused. You don't need to focus at all to fly! Just fill yourself up with positive emotions then just... imagine yourself flying! Works every time!"

"Uh-huh," you stare at the fairy. She stares back, then walks up to you, then gives you a hug. You blush. Fairies sure are strange. "W-what are you..."

"Feel my love, flying human!" shouts the fairy, and you burst into laughter. Stupid little creatures but at least they're entertaining. You pat the fairy on the back, and much to your surprise, you start floating. Just a bit, but you're definitely floating a few inches off the ground. The fairy lets go of you and smiles triumphantly, and you right yourself into a standing position. You look down and, among all the "oooooohhhhh"s of the other fairies watching, you find that you are, in fact, floating. You smile brightly. This is pretty damn awesome!

You test it out. You fly forward, backward, a bit sideways. You have to concentrate, but not too much. It's weird but it makes a sort of twisted sense. Even so, you can't keep it up for long and you drift back to the ground. You turn to thank the fairy for her help... but she's gone. The whisper of a happy laugh drifts by you. You snort. Fairies, man...


By the time you make it back to Magtown, it's mid afternoon. You attempt to ping her on her AugReal again, but it's silent. She normally does this after a botched run; going null, that is. The only way you're going to find her is if you look around, and Magtown was the last place she was spotted. You ask a few of the locals if they've seen her, but they give you a negative. Even Yuugi hasn't seen her, meaning she never dropped off the ladder or, if she did, she ensured she wasn't spotted. Either way, she's not here, or if she is, she's hiding from you as well.

You head back toward the kappa ladder going up. The hatch has been shut, meaning Marisa at least shut it behind her, you hope. You decide that maybe she's went back to her place. That's when you notice the bullet holes. All on the ground, as if fired from above. You bend down and take a nervous breath. There's no blood, but that doesn't mean anything. If Marisa was shot at, even if they missed, she'd definitely spend time nulled out in the local area, if not further. Marisa has been known to wander clear to the other end of the city to ensure no one follows her home.

That said, if you were Marisa, and you thought your best friend was in trouble... would you head to Eientei? No, too risky. The Yakumos? Possible but unlikely. Marisa isn't a big fan of the clan either, although she has admitted more readily to working for them in a pinch unlike yourself.

...the new kids in town?

Shit, she just might. Make a friend now to gain an information source later. But she didn't say just where they were, just that they lived in one of the older mansions in the rich part of the city, which is quite a ways from here and basically the opposite direction of where you want to go. You click your tongue. No, you need to check on her. If she's hurt or scared, she's not thinking clearly, and she'll be making a choice she regrets down the road. You break out into a run and run into an alleyway. You're not ready to let anyone see you fly yet, so when you turn your magic inward, as soon as you feel yourself lift off the ground, you push against the building before you and "climb" up the side of it.

Once up top, you have a great vantage point for the neighborhood. The buildings here are much shorter than the ones in the main commercial district, more similar to buildings built around the turn of the century than the massive cloudpiercers that were erected when you were a child, but for the low-income areas it's perfect for some running. Normally, runners don't like to get on top of buildings because of their exposure and, while it looks awesome, just makes for easy targets. However, when searching for someone who's gone null, it's useful. You head in the general direction of the high-income district, occasionally looking down to see if Marisa is among the crowd. At this hour the streets in this area are relatively calm, so spotting a dirty blonde human wouldn't be too hard.

Still... you shake the thought. You decided to find Marisa, so you're gonna do it. It's just a matter of patience. Even if she beelines for the upper-class district, you won't be able to find her if she doesn't want you to. You slow down to a pause, putting a finger up to your chin and thinking. There are dozens of routes throughout the city that can take you anywhere without getting spotted, and a good runner will know most of them, as well as their advantages and flaws. For example, several routes to the rich district cut through the Yakumo's "Absolute Border" - a local area where Yukari becomes instantly aware of new presences. It's dangerous, but generally speaking, you and Marisa can pass through unharmed and its quicker; however, sometimes, she'll ask for a favor in return.

Marisa probably wouldn't go that way, though. More likely, she'd pass through the Human District, named so because it's where the majority of humans in the city live. A long time ago, before Gensokyo became the biggest city in the prefecture, humans maintained a small trading village to and from the more major cities in the area like Suwa to the west and Nagano to the north. As the youkai banded together and formed a city of their own, the outpost absorbed into Gensokyo and became part of it.

History lesson aside, it's not really helping you find Marisa. Right now with the advantage of being temporarily "dead" as far as Eientei is concerned, you could head directly there. If Reisen has reported that she pitched you to your demise, not only will they ignore a supposedly dead runner, but they won't be scanning for your AugReal every time you enter an area that isn't a slum. Of course... they could also disable your AugReal and send a team out to take it, but you doubt they'd go through the trouble of doing that. However-

Your face goes pale. If they think you're dead, they might know where you live(d). If that's true, then they'll have no qualms about breaking into the house of a dead shadowrunner and taking all her shit. If all you had in there was just some credsticks and your furniture, you wouldn't care. But what you do have is a computer that has the names of several prominent anti-corporate, anti-clan criminals in the city. Gun runners, fences, counterfeiters and straight up assassins. It also has a lot of Marisa's information. And if they crack your encrypted email, they'll have the ability to access every runner in the city.


What do you do? You can turn around now and head back to your apartment to retreive all of your important shit. You can't carry all of it, but if you can at least get your computer and some other important bits out before Eientei decides it's curious about the head Hakurei runner, you can save not only your information but the lives of a lot of people who will otherwise be very dead and very angry at you for getting them killed. But... Eientei might not even care, and go about their business like they always do, and your stuff will remain perfectly safe.

But, there's Marisa. If she's doing what you think she's doing (and you have some pretty spot-on intuition), she could get herself into a load of trouble... but, what if she's not? What if she just wandered around the city for an hour and went home? Or better yet, what if she's crashing on your couch?

But what if she's not?

[ ] Continue to pursue Marisa.

[ ] Go back to your apartment.


Short update is short, but this one might have more serious consequences. Or it might be a red herring.
[x] Continue to pursue Marisa.

As I said in the previous update, no sacrifice is worth leaving our friend into the dust.

This should be a hard choice but it really isn't.
[ ] Go back to your apartment.

We're going to have to trust Marisa here, because if Eientei manage to get all our sensitive info then we'll probably be royally screwed down the line. It might end up putting us at odds with the other runners and our contacts as well since they'll be unlikely to trust us again depending on the contents.
[X] Go back to your apartment.

Marisa's a capable girl, and we almost certainly have more pressing matters right now. Protecting our shit from criminals.
[x] Continue to pursue Marisa.

I'm glad faeries are still cute and not grimdark.
[X] Go back to your apartment.

You guys really have no faith in Marisa. She can handle herself. Imagine how many more people would get fucked over in the worst case scenario, and possibly mad at Reimu if the source of the leak gets found out.
[X] Go back to your apartment.

Usually I'm all for the "bros before x" choices, but right now preventing a data-leak that will endanger everyone we know is a bit more pressing than finding a lost companion.
[X] Go back to your apartment.

If Eientei gets there, Marisa is in going to be in trouble anyways.
[x] Continue to pursue Marisa.

We could delete everything and pick the safe option OR we could stop our partner from doing something exceedingly freaking stupid after watching us get bloody murdered and set up an ambush at our home afterwards if we're lucky.
[X] Go back to your apartment.
[X] Go back to your apartment.
Calling it for returning to your apartment.

I was gonna have the update tonight but i'm a lot more tired than i thought i would be, unfortunately.
File 149668180188.jpg - (331.73KB, 850x1235, __original_drawn_by_pippi_pixiv_1922055__sample-95.jpg) [iqdb]
Marisa can take care of herself. She's evaded you for this long, she can evade Eientei for longer. You need to head back. Stupid of you to not even consider this in the first place, but you can't dwell on your mistakes. Marisa will be fine, but there's a lot of people who decidedly won't be fine if you don't retrieve your computer. You turn away from your original destination and start sprinting, using a combination of magic and sheer physical power to push your way across the rooftops. Instead of outright flying, you use your new knowledge to propel yourself faster than you had before. The magic through your veins still burns, but in this moment, you need to get going.

You slow down as you approach the old maglev line. Your apartment is on the other side, but far enough away that you can't tell what's going on. A little bit of worry tears at you a bit. What if you get there and Eientei is already swarming the place? You can't let them get their hands on your stuff but, if you go in blind, you're going to get your shit pushed in. No, you need a weapon. The nearest gun dealer is too far away and besides, your ass can't afford a new weapon. You glance at the maglev rail and snap your fingers. Reisen didn't come back for her pistols! ...hopefully.

You take some steps backward and stare at it. With a combination of flight magic and sprinting, you can make it, right? Maybe. You go for it, letting the magic in and, to quote a fairy, filling yourself with positive emotions. You smirk, hit the edge of the roof, and leap. The magic takes hold, and you feel a certain weightlessness that can't be described accurately. The magic burns, but the rail quickly gets closer. Just to be sure, you reach out for it, but it's not necessary. You clear the soccer-field sized gap between the building and the maglev rail easily, landing and rolling onto the structure. Sitting up, you scan your surroundings; you're not far from your fight with Reisen.

Running toward the original fight, you notice that the kappa bodies have been removed, as have the police drones. You file it away for future consideration as you turn your attention to which car the fight happened in. You find it easily enough; it's the only one where the door has been ripped from the train car and tossed aside like paper. Your body winces. Hopping inside, you look between each seat before you find what you're looking for; Reisen's pistols. You pick them up, grimacing; they're Ultras, heavy pistols that pack a massive punch. However, they're a bit too much for you, which is why you've always focused on lighter pistols. However, in a pinch like this, you'll take them. You holster one on your back (it barely fits) and keep the other one drawn.

Briefly you wonder if Reisen just forgot these or if she has access to so many that she can just leave them lying around without consequence. You wouldn't be able to just leave gear behind; hell, it bothers you that you can't find your own Light Fire, which you lost in the struggle. Either way, it's time to go. You hop out of the maglev, weighing your options. Going in high is probably out of the question, so you decide to go low. You open the hatch leading down and jump through it, not bothering with the ladder. Instead, you feel the magic again, and before you splat the ground you feel it activate, and you slow your descent to harmlessly land on the concrete.

You ignore the looks that some of the more aware denizens of Magtown give you and head off into another run, darting into a back alley that will carry you all the way to your apartment complex. You weave between wandering youkai, a few fairies, and piles of trash, slowing only to let a particularly old and weak youkai pass by. The ancient crone pets you on the head and you smile politely, then you're off again. You recognize the back of your complex because of its broken fire escape - the ladder is nonexistent and it lacks rails, like always. You hit the building opposite of it, run up the side, and push off, landing on the fire escape and managing to not trip off the other side.

From here it's a short climb to the sixth floor. The window was knocked out of it ages ago because it was in your way, so you just climb in. You listen and hear nothing, but you're not letting your guard down just yet. You hold the Ultra-Power in both hands and sneak toward your door. It's still shut, but you're not taking any chances. You put your ear to the door and listen; still nothing. You click your tongue when you realize your keycard is gone.

"Well... not like I'm coming back here," you decide. You flip off the safety and put the barrel of the Ultra-Power up to the door, and pull the trigger.

The gunshot is loud enough that you recoil from both the power and the sound. Your ears ring and your hands hurt from the power, but on the bright side, the card reader was completely obliterated. How the fuck Reisen dual wields these is beyond you. To the side a youkai sticks her head out the door of her apartment. "What the fuck are you doing?!" she screeches at you.

"Shut the fuck up, Wriggle!" you shout back, kicking your door open. Without the magnetic lock it swings wide open for you. You run in; without the keycard reader, the automated voice doesn't kick on and the lights don't come on, but you don't really have time to care. You get into your washroom and pull down a backpack, tip it over, and dump everything in it out. Cigarettes, lots of beer, and a few empty credsticks fall to the floor. You head over to your laundry basket and stuff it with a few spare sets of clothing, toss in the second Ultra-Power, and grab your remaining full credsticks off the coffee table. It all goes in. You toss the backpack onto the couch and stand up.

The sound of a helicopter suddenly fills your ears. You push aside the security curtain and look out the window. Sure enough, a team of Eientei goons has formed a peremeter around it. That bitch walks out of the chopper next, this time with an Earth Rabbit in tow. You don't have time for this. You head over to your desk and unplug your computer. In the modern day, it's light and thin enough you can tuck it under your arm, despite all the information it holds.

You head to leave, then pause. You look back at your box. Slinging your backpack over your shoulder, you set the computer down and open the box. You stare at the contents within. The box itself is too big to take with you, but you might be able to fit most of this stuff. You take the backpack off and empty the clothes out, deciding that all of this is more important somehow. You put in your mom's Shrine Maiden outfit, the box of needles, the orbs, and the original talismans. You zip up the backpack, but the spare Ultra-Power on your back holster, shove the credsticks in your pocket, grab the computer, and leave.

On your way back to the window, you glance over your shoulder. No one is up here yet, but with the door to the stairwell open, you can hear footsteps. You smirk and hop out of the window. You toss the AugReal and its pieces to the ground, then hop down after it. You land on the tech and smash it underfoot, then walk away. As you walk, you take your beanie off, shake your hair loose, and zip up your hoodie. A group of laughing youkai wander past you; one of them recognizes your face and offers you a place in the group. You eagerly join, blending into the crowd and walking away.


"Alright, later," you wave at the youkai as they leave you at the ramen stand. "Be careful out there, Rumia!"

"You know us!" Rumia waves back, and soon her group is gone. You take a sip of your canned coffee. It feels weird being without your visor, and it's kind of making you nervous. Thanks to the help of your youkai friends, you were able to keep sentries from noticing you, but they couldn't stay with you forever, so you agreed to stop at this ramen stand. They hung out with you while you ordered some food, but then they had their own lives to live.

You assess your situation as you eat. You had to ditch one of the Ultra-Powers since you had no way to store it, so you're down to one with only a few shots in it. Your computer sits comfortably on your lap, and in your backpack is your entire family legacy, as far as you know. You have no idea what any of that stuff does, but you're willing to bet all of it is magical to some extent, just dormant. You need to get it checked out.

On the other hand, Marisa is still missing, but if Reisen was searching your place - well, not your place, you suppose you won't be able to go back - but it probably means they either haven't found her or her place. You need a base of operations. Runners without homes don't stay runners for long.

You could stay at Marisa's place, but she lives in a particularly hostile part of the Barrens that wouldn't take kindly to your presence, and only the fact she lives with a particularly powerful magician youkai is the only thing that keeps the locals in that area from eating her. They might be a little nicer to you, or maybe Alice will just show mercy, but you can never tell.

You could also head to the shrine that keeps asking for you. They could help you with refining your magic, which you may need in the near future. However, like always, you know nothing about them, and without backup you think it might be dangerous. Or it might not, hell, you don't know right now. You finish your ramen and push the bowl off to the side.

There's also Zero. They've been silent, but they always show up when you need them. Also, they've been able to keep off of the radar this long. That said, at the same time there's really not a lot Zero can really do for you. You don't need a bodyguard, you need a place to crash... however, they also might know some safe spaces to hide in. Hard to tell with that one.

You consider you standing with the various factions. Eientei Corp. by now probably thinks your dead. If they can't find your body, and they won't for obvious reasons, they'll probably just assume that youkai ate you. You could go to Yukari and ask for help, but then you'll owe Yukari, which doesn't really make you feel better. However, you would be protected there, and she'll help you reestablish your life as a runner. No, fuck that, you won't...


[ ] Crash at Marisa's place.
[ ] Head out for the Shrine.
[ ] Seek out Zero.
[ ] Ask Yukari for help.
[ ] Continue to persue Marisa.


Current Gear:

Browning Ulta-Power (5 shots)
4 Yin-Yang Orbs (Inactive)
2 Ofuda (Inactive)
1 box of 12 Purification Needles (Inactive)
9 Credsticks worth 1000/stick.
[x] Continue to pursue Marisa

It's either this or going with the Shrine, but going as we are would mean that refusing them is not an option.

No, we need to crash at Marisa's and we can't get past Alice if the first words out of our mouth are "We abandoned her"

Also, did Reimu threw away the full pistol and kept the used one? She fired one shot and Bunny fired zero, how come it has five rounds left?

Finally, a question for the savvy: can guns have trackers? Asking for a friend here.
Whoops, I swapped the accuracy and ammo count tables when I was reading the Ultra-Power's stat block.

Disregard that, she's got 10 shots left.
[X] Continue to pursue Marisa.

Gonna have to agree, we already did the thinking for this and we'll likely get somewhere even if we don't find Marisa while searching. Toss-up between this and Zero, at any rate.
[X] Continue to persue Marisa.

Shouldn't keep this loose end a loose end for too long.

Also, I just want to let you know that I'm really enjoying this story so far. It's always nice seeing new stories with so much potential.
[X] Continue to persue Marisa.
File 149669395466.png - (213.79KB, 400x399, frodo.png) [iqdb]
If eientei crew already knew where Reimu lived before (thinking they) killed her, why didn't they just go there before? She doesn't seem to have much in the way of defenses.
[x] Continue to pursue Marisa
Yukari, mostly.

There are ramifications that aren't immediately apparently with everyone thinking Reimu is dead. Don't worry about it for now though.
File 149669977319.png - (660.48KB, 588x548, frodo2.png) [iqdb]
>If reimu knew who was hr feather kiler why didnt she tread to krill her before tday.

>if yukar wntd reimo two work for her wy dindt she premised retibuton for fathers mulderers

>if hieda no turst yippie yi kay so munch why would she recommendedred you stay out of way ov youkuai-run megafictions?

>if rle 4 of renners is 2 always b prepard, y doenst her lapcop hve rmte picnic baton 3 wdipe the drivé?

Sitrep it up, sempai
File 149670173670.png - (358.75KB, 613x560, BRODO.png) [iqdb]
those are all valid questions

>why didnt ressen just shoot reimu instead of using a silly and contrived way to kill her

>wont the rabbits reliilze something is wrong when theres a big bullethole on remu's door and her shit is gone

>if yuggari is what kept enteis from killing remu, why did reisenb just try 2 kill her anyway? didnt she rellize it was reimbu? if thats the case how did thgey know to go to reimus apartment?
Thank you for translating that because I have no idea what any of that was.

To be as vague as possible, some of it is planned, some of it isn't, and one of it is a gaping plot hole I just fucked up on.
If you want a more detailed answer I'm on the thp IRC a lot.
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Relax, we're just poking fun atcha.
[X] Continue to pursue Marisa.

Finding a new home can wait. Best to tell our one good friend that we aren't dead.
File 149672084474.jpg - (89.64KB, 900x900, 1470677359971.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Continue to peruse Marisa.

OP made a typo, what an idiot!
[x] Continue to pursue Marisa.
Calling it for going after Marisa. Update will be out sometime tomorrow (it's 321am here). In the meantime, here's Reimu's statblock if you want to add her to your own RPG. Be warned I'm doing a copy/paste so I have no idea if the formatting will hold.


== Personal Data ==
Street Name: Hakurei Reimu
Name: Reimu Hakurei
Movement: 6/12 (2m/hit) Swim: 4 (1m/hit)
Karma: 29
Street Cred: 2
Notoriety: 0
Public Awareness: 0
Human Female Age 24
Height 155cm Weight 50kg
Composure: 11
Judge Intentions: 10
Lift/Carry: 4 (30 kg/20 kg)
Memory: 8
Nuyen: 380¥

== Priorities ==
Metatype: A,4
Attributes: B,3
Special: C,2
Skills: D,1
Resources: E,0

== Attributes ==
BOD: 2
AGI: 3
REA: 3
STR: 2
CHA: 6
INT: 4
LOG: 3
WIL: 5
EDG: 7
MAG: 6

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence: 6
Initiative: 7 +1d6
Rigger Initiative: 7 +1d6
Astral Initiative: 8 +3d6
Matrix AR: 7 +1d6
Matrix Cold: 4 + DP +3d6
Matrix Hot: 4 + DP +4d6
Physical Damage Track: 9
Stun Damage Track: 11

== Limits ==
Physical: 3
Mental: 5
Social: 8
Astral: 8

== Active Skills ==
Alchemy Base: 0 Pool: 9
Arcana Base: 2 Pool: 5
Artificing Base: 0 Pool: 9
Counterspelling Base: 0 Pool: 7
Disenchanting Base: 0 Pool: 9
Escape Artist Base: 2 Pool: 5
Etiquette Base: 2 Pool: 8
Leadership Base: 3 Pool: 9
Negotiation Base: 2 Pool: 8
Perception Base: 2 Pool: 6
Pistols Base: 4 Pool: 7
Ritual Spellcasting Base: 0 Pool: 7
Sneaking Base: 3 Pool: 6
Spellcasting (Detection) Base: 0 Pool: 7 (9)
Unarmed Combat Base: 2 Pool: 5

== Knowledge Skills ==
Area Knowledge: Gensokyo Base: 3 Pool: 7
Corporation: Eientei Base: 3 Pool: 6
Crime Family: The Yakumo ClanBase: 3 Pool: 7
Magic Traditions: Shinto Base: 2 Pool: 5
Street Gangs Base: 3 Pool: 7

== Contacts ==
Himekaidou Hatate; Gensokyo Barrens; Fixer (4, 2)
Hoshiguma Yuugi; Magtown; Slumlord (4, 3)
Nazrin; Gensokyo Barrens; Fence (2, 3)

== Qualities ==
Code of Honor (Will Not Kill Non-Corp,Non-Clan Opponents)
Mystic Adept
The Magician's Way

== Tradition ==
Shinto, Resist Drain with: WIL + CHA (11)

== Spells ==
Cure Disease DV: F-4
Detox DV: F-6
Levitate DV: F-2
Powerbolt DV: F-3
Shatter DV: F-6

== Lifestyle ==
Low ("Low") 5 Months

== Armor ==
Armor Clothing 6
Good Pants 0
Good Shirt 0
Good Shoes 0
Good Socks 0
Good Undergarments 0
Hat 0

== Weapons ==
Browning Ultra-Power
+ Laser Sight
Pool: 7 Accuracy: 6 DV: 8P AP: -1 RC: 2
Unarmed Attack
Pool: 5 Accuracy: 3 DV: 2S AP: - RC: 2
>Mystic Adept
>The Magician's Way

Free use of all metamagics? Yes, please.
Neat. I probably would have swapped Reimu's Intuition and Charisma, canonically she's not the most socially adept, but from what I remember INT isn't that useful mechanically. And this is a different universe's take on her. Mystic Adept certainly seems fitting, anyway, we ought to teach her some adept powers when the opportunity arises.

Her CHA stat is a bit mix-maxey from me since I wanted her to have a large drain resistance (since in Shadowrun the Shinto tradition uses charisma and willpower), but it can also make sense from a canon (har) standpoint; Charisma ties into force of personality and slightly less to physical appearance. I'm assuming Reimu is conventionally attractive, and in the games she certainly has a force of personality... that she uses like a sledgehammer. Her skill points devoted to Etiquette and Leadership can simply be knowledge and use of Japanese social customs and the fact she has to boss Marisa around to get her to do things. Negotiation is a bit out of place, though, I'll give you that.

As for Mystic Adept; fun fact, Reimu actually has a Power Point, but since she lacks training she hasn't used it yet.

But enough from me, this update isn't going to write itself.
File 149681515275.png - (111.79KB, 484x1000, hatatatatatatatatate.png) [iqdb]
HeavenlyHost@godlike.co.jp AKA Hatate Himekaidou

What Aya Shameimaru is to the Yakumo clan, Hatate is to the slums: a fixer. Fixers are people who know things: where to get a job, what the Corps are doing next, who you can buy off and who you can just buy. They "fix you up" with information or a job. Course, they're not the only fixers around, but they're among the best.

You don't know much about Hatate. She's [i]very
young for a Tengu at the age of 50, and rumor has it she's the wayward daughter of a tengu lord, but it's something she's never confirmed or denied (not that she would anyway). She has a unique gift of gathering information from the safety of her base of operations in the Barrens; some say its magic, others claim she has a vast network of informants. You don't know and you don't care. She's never intentionally done you wrong, and you can respect that.

One thing about her that's always stuck out to you is how human she looks. Most tengu have some sort of identifying feature. Usually its the wings, or a long nose, or a streak of feral instinct. But if you met Hatate in the commercial district, you could easily mistake her for a high school student, which is something she's taken advantage of before, or so she claims. Word on the street is that she used to seduce men from the upper districts then eat them mid-coitus, but that seems a bit much for her.

Somehow, you think she would find it gross.[/i]


It's midnight by the time you make it to your destination, a hangout for tengu on the edge of Yakumo territory. Tengu are active whenever they feel like, so you're not surprised to see that there are dozens of people here at this hour. You pull your jacket tighter and walk into view of the neon lights. In front of the door is a big one almost a meter taller than you with massive muscles to boot. The shotgun on his back looks tiny in comparison. Normally this wouldn't be a problem since you know most of the door guards, but this one is new.

"Get lost, human," he growls at you. "Unless you want to end up dinner," you swallow the urge to roll your eyes and stand closer to him. "Hey, I said get outta here."

"Shut it down," you reply. "I'm here for Heavenly. She knows me. Hell, this whole place knows me."

"I don't know you," says the big tengu. "You got any proof?" You sigh. "Proof" nowadays has many markers, usually in the form of any kind of identifying mark or action. The oni gangs just require you to beat someone up, for example. Tengu gangs are a bit more serious about it, and go for the time-tested tradition of getting a tattoo. In their case, it requires a special magical ink that can move, usually a wing of some sort. Once you got in good with Hatate, she put you under the pen as well. Of course, being the massive troll she is, she made sure it was embarrassing for you to have to reveal it.

You pull up your shirt. Underneath your right breast is a tattoo of a crow's wing; it's just high enough that from your back it looks like you're exposing yourself to the door guard, which many of the tengu who were previously not paying attention to you take the opportunity to catcall you about. The wing does a slow-motion flap. "Is this good enough for you?" You ask bluntly. The tengu guard grins and pretends to leer at you for a second, then steps aside.

"Human skin is only good for meat," he grunts. "Get in. She's in the main room," he's kind enough to open the door for you, but also perverted enough to slap your ass on the way in. You decide it's appropriate to roll your eyes.

"Hey, Hakurei!" shouts a much friendlier voice. You've hung out here enough that several regulars know you by name. Of course none of them would step in on your behalf (it's much funnier to watch a human embarrass themselves after all), but once you're in they're all friendly enough. Despite the obnoxious guy out front, most tengu don't find humans appealing in any way except as food. You nod your head in greeting and head across the big main room, walking around the arcade machines and tables toward the back.

She has her back to you, but Hatate is easy to spot. She always has her hair up in twintails, and tonight she's wearing a gray top with denim shorts. She's engaged in an animated discussion with a white-haired wolf tengu as you approach her.

"Which is why we do not pull out swords on innocent people!" she shouting. "I swear, all you had to do was look menacing! We don't want Eientei or the Yakumos showing up and causing a scene!"

"Yes, ma'am," nods the wolf. "In my defense, he pulled a gun on me. I had no idea if he had regular bullets or not."

"He's a slummer, no way he had anything worse than normal rounds," Hatate steps back a second, then sighs. "Look, I'm sorry. I know being demoted to this hellhole probably sucks, Momiji, but you gotta do better than that."

"Yes, ma'am," repeats the wolf. "I won't let it happen again," she peers over Hatate's shoulder. "You... have a disgruntled looking human behind you." She bows and walks off.

"What?" Hatate turns around and her mood swings wildly. "Oh, hey, Reimu!" she gives you a big hug. You sigh again. "I heard you were playing dead! Good job evading those Corp fucks."

"Yeah, well, I wish I could be happy about it," you reply. "I need some information, Hatate."

"Well duh, that's what I'm here for!" exclaims the tengu. "Come to my parlor."

Hatate's "parlor" is an upstairs bedroom decked out with about fifteen different computers running absurd amounts of encryption, a small bed in the corner, and a security window. The faint scent of cigarette smoke and alcohol fills your nostrils. "Sorry, had some friends over," Hatate apologizes, clearing some stray bullets off of a seat. "Here, sit, sit."

You sit at the chair and Hatate lays down on her bed, smiling. She's always been a weird character, especially with you; she loves pushing your buttons, and the quickest way of doing that is acting lewd or invading your personal space, which Hatate does both of in abundance. "So tell me, what's it like being off the grid? As a human, anyway."

"Not as fun as you think it is," you sigh. "I had a lot to think about on the way over here, but I also need to find Marisa. I'm sure you know the details of earlier today by now," Hatate nods in agreement. "Right, I'll spare you the details. Marisa's missing and I'm afraid she's going to do something incredibly stupid. You know how she is when she gets emotional."

"Yeah, that usually doesn't end well," Hatate replies, opening a cyberdeck. "Alright, shoot."

"Eientei knew where I lived," you began. "I was under the impression that they didn't, but I got a wild thought that they might have figured it out. Know anything about that?"

"Yeah, sure do," Hatate answers. "I did some digging the moment I heard about the maglev incident. Turns out, you've been under the Yakumos' protection for quite a while now. The balance dictates that Eientei can't openly engage someone under their protection unless they attack first," a holographic keyboard pops up on Hatate's lap as she sits up and she starts "typing". "However, since you've attacked first, it gave Eientei free reign to go after you. According to a friend of mine, they've known where you've been for months, and they were waiting for you to make a move against them to strike at you."

"How did they find out?"

"Dunno, but if I were to guess, they probably bought the info. You know how desperate people can be in the Barrens."

"Yeah," you sigh. "I've been there."

"Odd that today is the first time you've actually shot at Reisen. Hell..." Hatate grimaces, thinking. "It's kind of weird that she showed up at all."

"It is kinda suspect," you agree. "Normally I never see her more than a few feet away from their CEO nowadays, so to be within shooting distance was definitely new. The only thing I can think of is that whatever the kappa were doing up there was serious enough that she needed to be there. Any ideas?"

"Hmm, not yet," Hatate answers after a few seconds. "I've heard whispers that they're planning something big, but I have no idea what it is yet."

You nod, sighing again. You feel sleep pushing at the back of your eyes. "What's wrong?"

"...she didn't know who I was," you say. "Reisen had no idea who I was. All this time, all that anger I had toward her... and she doesn't even remember me."

"She's Eientei's top assassin," Hatate replies. "Your family was probably just another target to her. I'm sorry, Reimu, but I warned you about this before, when you first asked me about her."

"You're right... it just sucks," you pull your legs up and hug your knees. "Everything today just made things worse for me. I lost almost everything today, Hatate," you groan. "And it pisses me off so fucking much. Fucking hell I hate this place."

"Join the party, baby," Hatate laughs.

"She could have just shot me," you point out. "Like, she went out of her way to not shoot me."

"Probably not worth her time, besides," Hatate "types" a bit more. "Lately it seems Reisen has acquired a taste for the dramatic. Dropping people off buildings, throwing them in the middle of the ocean, she's ejected at least 3 people into space. Looks like the game is growing old for her."

"Guess so," you yawn. "Fuck... how about Marisa?"

"Well... when Kirisame flies off the radar, she becomes good at hiding," more "typing". "Give me a few hours and I can probably track her down. I'll get a few deckers on the job."

"Thanks," you say gratefully and yawn again.

"Get some sleep Reimu," Hatate shuts down her cyberdeck and stands, offering her bed.

"Can't sleep, need to get Marisa," you mumble. Hatate pulls you up and lays you down on her bed. "Lewd ass bitch," you say into the pillow.

"You're not going anywhere till you get some sleep. I'll wake you up when you find something."

"Nnnh" is all you get out. Hatate is right; you're sleepy as hell. You feel your eyes close before you can do anything about it.


Once you wake up you're going to...

[ ] Head straight for Marisa's position. You have a feeling you need to pull her ass out of a fire right now.
[ ] Get prepared first. Instead of charging headlong, you need to get some supplies together first.
whoops, formatting fail. Whatever, it's not a big deal.
[X] Get prepared first. Instead of charging headlong, you need to get some supplies together first.

Saying we're underprepared is a bit of an understatement. It may just depend on how deep of a pile of shit Marisa's in, but I'd prefer to go into a hot situation with more than a single pistol and some magic.
[X] Get prepared first. Instead of charging headlong, you need to get some supplies together first.
[x] Prepare yourself first

Being always prepared is a rule for runners, right? Specially now that she doesn't even have a pad.
[x] Prepare yourself first
[X] Get prepared first. Instead of charging headlong, you need to get some supplies together first.

Always have a Plan A, even if it never works.
File 149690341920.jpg - (232.22KB, 850x1039, Chill.jpg) [iqdb]
"Hey, whatcha doin?"

You sigh. It's just like Marisa to come barging in the Shrine without your permission. Of course, you should be used to it by now, but her attitude just bugs the hell out of you, especially when you're in the middle of a very important project. You absently wave as you focus on the paper talismans in front of you, half finished. Next to them is a bowl filled with red ink and a brush.

Marisa brazenly opening the door has allowed the smell of summer to fill the room. That's right, you meant to check the small garden the fairies planted for you during the early spring. Well, it'll be there later. You turn back to the matter at hand. "I'm making some charms," you explain.

"Ooh, cool!" Marisa plops down next to you. "I've never seen you do this!"

"Normally that's because I wait till you're doing something else, but something tells me I'm going to need them soon," you reply. You pull your sleeves off. "Here, hold these," Marisa watches as you draw the writings necessary to complete the seal on the talismans, then place your hands over them. Magic flows from your body into the objects with practiced ease. You stand up, cracking your knuckles, placing one hand over the seals and another in front of you. You wave your outstretched hand.

With an audible gasp from Marisa, the seals rapidly multiply, going from four to forty in an instant. "Wow," breathes the witch. "That's so cool!" You suppress a haughty smirk as you extend your arms to your sides, then pull them in close to your body, palms up. The seals organize themselves into stacks and collect in your hands. You push the stacks together; their magic flares, and the talismans fly out, absorbing into the two yin-yang orbs and vanishing. You bring your hands together, all but your index fingers touching, and exhale slowly, extending your magic aura. The two orbs begin to spin and converge on you, do a lazy spin about, and come to a rest on the table.

You sigh, nodding, and sit back down. "Wait, so then why do you still have to make them?" Marisa interjects.

"The seals I create here on the table are extremely powerful, but unstable," you explain. "They can't contain their magic for long, so I learned how to copy them and divide their magic into pseudo-real seals - present but immaterial in this world. It's kind of hard to explain, actually," you shrug. "I dunno, it's always worked for me."

"That's so neat, I need to learn how to do that," Marisa grins at you.

"... you literally shoot stars out of your hands, Marisa," you reply. "I don't think you need to learn how to copy that."

"Yeah, but there's so much else I can do!"


You wake up with a start, the dream still fresh in your mind. Without considering anything else, you reach for your backpack, open it, and tip it over. Everything in it comes out; the box of needles, the maiden outfit, and the orbs. You pick up the orbs, push a clear spot on Hatate's desk, and set them there. Turning about, you walk to the other end of the room. Mimicking the same hand symbol you saw in the dream, you reach out to the orbs by expanding what magic you know.

At first, nothing happens, and you grow increasingly frustrated. Before it can boil over, though, you consider how you felt within the dream. You relax, releasing all of your tension and anger, and focus on the orbs instead. You close your eyes, but in your mind you can still see the orbs sitting on the table. You see them begin to spin in place before lifting up and floating towards you. As they reach your body, they separate and begin to spin in opposing circles around your waist. You grin.

"Yo, hey, I heard you stomping around," Hatate opens the door to her room. "I did some digging and- what are you doing?"

"Shh," you reply. The orbs rise, fall, reverse their spin, change arcs and direction repeatedly. As if you've done this millions of times, you feel the orbs' own energy coming back to you, then out, then back in again, like waves on a beach. It puts you at ease, and you sigh. However, you realize quickly that you can't keep this up forever. You stretch out your hands, and an orb lands in each one. Slowly, you open your eyes. Hatate stands at the door, looking amused. You walk back to your backpack and set the orbs within.

"Feel better?"

"I feel like... like I definitely learned something," you answer. Hatate holds up a plate in one hand and a cyberdeck in the other.

"Hungry?" she offers. You nod and take the soy-based food, sitting on her bed. The tengu sits across from you and activates the cyberdeck. "Alright, so I might have found Marisa, and maybe not. I managed to track her movements up till about 3 hours ago when she went null again."

"Tell me," you say. Hatate nods.

"After your little tiff on the rail, Marisa made a run toward Yakumo territory, doubled back and contacted runner 'Zero'. Together, the two made their way to Marisa' place, where she loaded up a shotgun and some anti-youkai shells, then hit up her landlord, Alice Margatroid," she types a few keys. "From there, she went towards your place - I'm not sure where Zero went at this point - but had to double back. From what you told me, she may have almost run into the Eientei goons you ran from, so she decided to do something else. She was last tracked in the sewer system accompanied by... reports say a couple of fairies... and was heading in-city toward the middle-class district."

"She's probably going to hit up those new kids she's been talking about," you explain. "She's keen on investigating them."

"Well, information is the best currency, and I expect information as payment for my services," Hatate mentions. You nod. "I want to know who lives in that mansion as well. For Marisa to keep pushing the issue - from what you've told me and her subsequent actions - she thinks it has to be good, and so do I. I want names, ages, what they like to eat, what gets them off, you know the drill."

"Yep, you want life stories," you answer. It's been a while since you went on an info run for Hatate, but you'll grant her this favor easily; after all, she kept you safe for... looks like 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Nice. "I got you covered there. But first, I need to get Marisa and keep her from doing something stupid, and to do that," you reach into your backpack and pull out some credsticks. "I need gear."

"What are you looking for?" asks the tengu.

[ ] Stealth Option. Gear to make you sneakier. It's what you're best at. (-4000 credits)
[ ] Magic Option. That dream and what you just did with those orbs has you more confident in your magical ability. You want to put it to the test. (-5500 credits)

[ ] Hybrid Option. Why limit your options? It'll cost all you got, but you should be able to handle... most situations. (-9000 credits)


[ ] Put on the Shrine Maiden outfit.
[ ] No don't.


Okay, this is key, guys.

Money is very important in Shadowrun. I'll say it again.

Money is very important in Shadowrun.

In the base setting, your gear has just as much impact on how effective you are as your skills do. A rich idiot with a heat-seeking rocket launcher is a hard matchup for a street samurai with a pea shooter. Sometimes, it's okay to spend all your money on the best gadgets; other times, it's wise to save money for a larger set of purchases in the long run.

There is no wrong answer here. You're not gonna be punished for favoring a singular style or favoring the hybrid style. Some things will be harder, other things will be easier. Going hybrid makes a lot of things a little easier, but not as much as specializing in one option will make some things a snap.

This is also a character marker. Whichever option you choose will be Reimu's favored method of action for quite a while. There will be points when you can change that option, so that leaves you room to experiment! Don't be afraid to, or if you're more inclined, stick with what you know works! Part of the fun is finding a style for Reimu that's entertaining for you guys. I can write whichever, or I wouldn't offer the option.
[x] Stealth Option. Gear to make you sneakier. It's what you're best at. (-4000 credits)
[x] No don't.

This sounds like a sneaking mission. Maybe magic once we've made it to the shrine. I assume that'll be one of the points we can switch it up?
[X] Hybrid Option.
[X] Put on the Shrine Maiden outfit.

Reimu needs to learn what it means to be a Hakurei. Uh, maybe let's keep the stealth option around though.
[x] Nothing.
[X] Don't.

I'm not sure what you expected after that speech about money. We are Reimu after all.

Too bad we wasted our time here, but I guess learning the mechanics was worth something... Any chance we can go back to the previous option? This is stuff Reimu already knew after all.

>This is also a character marker. Whichever option you choose will be Reimu's favored method of action for quite a while.

Shoot. Well, let me make a different vote,
just in case we must pick something for specialization purposes:

[X] Magic
[X] Put on the Shrine maiden outfit

Being untrained and about to enter unknown territory, this is the worst option over stealth by far. But, since it will have far reaching consequences... it's better to specialize in direct combat. We are not going to kill Reisen and her master by sneaking around-she saw her right away the last time.

I didn't want to pick the outfit in the original vote because it will send a message we are not ready to make. Now, however, we are being trust into a confrontation with the SDM. So, we REALLY need all the help we can get, specially if we can't sneak past Flandre (fate has a particular way to put the two blondes togheter, regardless of the setting... Here's hoping she's reasonable)

I have faith though. Reimu is, above all, a peacemaker so we might be able to not fight everyone just yet.
[X] Magic Option
[X] Put on the Shrine Maiden outfit.
[X] Magic Option
[X] No, don't

Usually I'd be all for the traditional getup, but it'll kind of leave us sticking out like a sore thumb in a lot of situations. That, and I kind of want to see this story more being Shadowrun with Touhou, and not Shadowrun setting with Reimu just beating everyone up in her usual getup.
[X] Magic Option
[X] No, don't

Besides the fact that I like Shadowrunny-styled clothes, picking the outfit would send a clear message. And even though most people in the city probably wouldn't get it, I have no doubt the Yakumos and Eientei would understand. Better leave the statu quo as it is for now - that way, if we ever decide we need to upset the balance, we can make our first punch really count.
We can only dream of being like the traditional Reimu. She's way too strong.

But one day...

[x] Stealth Option. Gear to make you sneakier. It's what you're best at. (-4000 credits)
[x] No don't.

Wearing the uniform while going stealth would probably be counter productive. Plus I have a feeling when we out that uniform on, shit is going to get REAL. People will see the outfit and take us serious and bring all the heat. No real reason why I think that, just a gut feeling.
[x] Magic Option. That dream and what you just did with those orbs has you more confident in your magical ability. You want to put it to the test. (-5500 credits)

[x] Put on the Shrine Maiden outfit.

[X] Magic Option
[X] Put on the Shrine Maiden outfit.

The Corps better brace themselves, looks like The Law is coming for them.
[x] Magic Option. That dream and what you just did with those orbs has you more confident in your magical ability. You want to put it to the test. (-5500 credits)
[x] No don't.

Save the Traditional Garb for when we set out to put Reisens blood on the walls in the finale.
[X] Magic Option
[X] No, don't
Okay, I'm locking the vote now. Looks like Magic and No are a go.
We need practice with it first. Practice we won't be getting for now, apparently.
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Talismongers are the kind of people you've always appreciated but never had a use for. Specializing in selling equipment only useful for people who can channel magic, you never cared to bother them about things as your own magical ability had been weak. But thanks to recent events, like your brief stint with flying and your newfound ability to at least sort of control your the orbs you inhereted, you've decided that maybe you should start taking this magic thing a bit more seriously.

After a cold shower and a new set of clothes courtesy Hatate ("don't worry about it, I have a million like this"), you head down the road away from Yakumo territory. The distinct impression that you're being watched crawls up your back as you walk away from the tengu club, backpack slung over your shoulder. You look around and see nothing, but you know someone is near. Being this sneaky in broad daylight (the rain finally ended) usually means the work of magic. And this close to Yakumo territory, you have a good idea of who it is.

But instead of calling her out, you decide to continue your detour. The nearest talismonger is a block over, operating out of a condemned building that Eientei never bothered to go back and actually tear down. You don't know much about them, but according to Hatate, it's the same one that Alice visits, so they can't be too terrible; or at least, they're probably not likely to eat you. You think this with full knowledge that the monger could still eat you.

As you cross the quiet streets to the block over, you notice a black cat following you at a distance. You turn your head to look at it, but it darts behind a trash can. You knew this would happen if you got too close to Yakumo territory; after all, Yukari loves keeping tabs on you, but never directly, and despite how much Hatate's gang doesn't like the Yakumos, she's not about to let that stop her from sending her agents to keep watch on you. Given this one's easy to keep low profile, you suspect that she's followed you around more often than not. At any rate, you know that this one is harmless, if nosey.

The broken down building is easy enough to find, and you prepare to step inside. You hate having to talk to people unprepared; unlike doing a run, you actually have to interact with whoever's in there, and in this part of town, even if they know you, they're just as likely to be hostile as they are friendly. It really doesn't matter in the short run, since money talks better than you ever could. You look around, spot the cat again, and head inside.

The first thing that hits you is the strong smell that lingers. It's not a bad smell, just old. Musty. You look around. Scrolls, books, and various talismans from all sorts of ancient traditions line the shelves. Boxes, some of them glowing, are piled around. In the center of the building, surrounded by a circular table, a bored-looking blonde-haired youkai sits in a chair, reading a book. "What do you want?" she asks. You walk up to the table and open your backpack.

"I need some items," you tell her. "I need red ink, paper that's designed for enchanting, and something that'll help me fly a bit better."

The girl scoffs. "You can fly? Hardly," she closes her book and looks up at you. "Oh, it's you. Since when have you been a mage?"

You recognize the youkai. She was on the receiving end of a silver bullet last you recall, working for Eientei when they tried abusing an underground thermal vent (colloquially called "Hell" but you seriously doubt it) for energy. Thanks to some quick thinking and some help from an older, veteran youkai runner named Yuuka, you were able to put a stop to that mess. The payout was pretty nice, but you always felt like you were cheated.

At least, this one doesn't seem to hold a grudge against you. "It's not important," you answer. "Do you have these items or not?"

"Yeah, hold on," the girl hops over the table and walks to a stack of boxes. She pulls out a small red one from the middle of the stack, leaving the rest to float in the air briefly, slowly lowering themselves to keep the other boxes from tumbling. "Sounds like Shinto stuff; I got some of what you're looking for right here," she opens the box, revealing a bottle of red ink and a large brush. "Enchanted ink to make magic more potent," she explains as she opens a box at her feet and pulls out a stack of what looks like printer paper. "This paper has been dusted with the essence of magic, it'll also help keep whatever spell you imprint onto it from fading over time."

You nod as she walks over to a jewelry case and pushes it open. You hear some items moving around before she pulls out a multicolored necklace. She tosses it to you. "Flight charms," she explains. "They only work when you have flight magic on your own; makes you faster, therefore harder to hit. If you have shit control you're in for a bad time, though."

You drop a couple of credsticks on the table. The youkai sweeps them up. "You got ammo?" you ask, shaking the ink bottle a bit, hearing the ink within splash around.

"Yeah, that's what most people come in for," replies the magician as she hops back over the table. She picks up a newer-looking box and opens it. "Caliber?"

You unstrap the pistol off of your back and set it on the table. The youkai unloads the weapon and stares at the bullets. "These are Eientei manufactured," she muses.

"Yeah, I stole it," you reply. "Got anything that big?" You pick up the brush and inkbottle, putting them in a pocket on the side of your backpack. The girl sifts through the loose shells and pulls up a small box of ammunition. She opens it and sets it down.

"Silver, magical, and basic rounds," she explains. "You can have the whole box for a thousand," you set another stick down and start putting the necklace on. "What are you planning on doing?"

"It's not your concern," you answer, and the magician shrugs. After you attach the necklace, you look down at the other items in your backpack. "Can you identify magic in items?" you ask. The girl nods, and you read in and pull out the box of needles. "My m... the person who gave these to me never was able to explain what they did. Can you give it a shot?"

"Sure," replies the magician, opening the box. "Ah, this is nice. Persuasion Needles."

"What do they do?" you ask.

"They 'persuade' youkai from attacking people, mostly by being extremely painful," she explains. "To humans, being stabbed by one of these hurts like a needle, but if you stab a youkai with one, it sends magic into their nervous system. It's very disruptive and hurts like a fucker; feels like you're being set on fire."

"You've had experience?"

"Naw, but a friend of mine has," replies the magician. "Described it to me in great detail. I can't even touch them out of the box, either, so here," she shoves the box back towards you.

"Okay, then, what about this?" You pull out the Shrine Maiden outfit. The youkai's eyes light up.

"Oh, man, I can feel the magic coming outta this thing," you hand it over. The magician holds it gently, turning the old clothes over. "Sleeveless?"

"Those were lost a long time ago, I was told," you answer. "So what's it do, exactly?"

"I... I have no idea," replies the youkai. "Give me a few days with it, though, I can tell you all about it," your wary glance at her tells her your suspicions. "No, I'm not gonna rip it apart or anything; hell, I doubt i could. Wouldn't sell it either, this thing is an artifact. Probably... I'm gonna guess it's at least a few centuries old. It's help up remarkably well; probably has some sort of anti-wear enchantment on it. Too bad about the sleeves, though... yeah, I can tell," she flips it around and shows you where the stitching has come slightly undone. "See here? Took a lot of magic to pull these sleeves off. I'm guessing a previous owner probably got into a fight with a youkai and lost her sleeves during the battle," she sets it off to the side. "Yeah, I can identify it, but it'll take time and, of course, not for free."

You toss her another cred stick. "Say, you want something else that might help?" she asks. "If you're going for the whole miko thing, anyway... which is really weird, cause I remember you being an atheist."

"What is it?" you ignore the jab. The girl goes back to the pile she pulled the ink out of. She pulls out a cylinder of some sort. She walks back to you and opens the cap, pulling out a long stick.

"This is a gohei," she explains. "Enchanted to bust up youkai pretty good. You can split someone's head like a watermelon with this thing," she hands it over. "I can't sell it, so you can have it."

"Why not?" you ask.

"Bad vibes, allegedly," she replies. "They say this thing was last used to knock Ran Yakumo around a bit, so no one will touch it. Besides, Shinto stuff like this really isn't the thing of most people around here; they're more interested in the protective seals and shit."

"What about those?" you twirl the gohei around a bit. It doesn't seem that strong at all. Another trip to the pile and she brings you a stack of paper talismans.

"These things are used for protection," she explains, holding one up. "You put up 3 or 4 or however many you want and it forms a barrier. Depending on how good you are with magic, it can stop everything from a hard kick to a rocket explosion. Change a few characters," she waves the paper, and the symbols on it change. "And they make you impossible to detect with magic. Doesn't do shit about electronics, but you could walk under Yukari Yakumo's nose and she wouldn't be able to detect you... allegedly."

"Allegedly?" you repeat.

"Again, it depends on how strong you are innately with magic," the magician replies. "A powerful magician like myself or Miss Margatroid would have no problems concealing themselves. A fairy? Ehh, even if it was smart enough to figure it out she'd still light up to everyone who can detect astral power."

You nod and take the entire box, handing her yet another credstick. "Could be useful," you say, placing the box in your backpack. "I guess I'm done here, then."

"I appreciate your patronage," the magician says calmly. "If you want to make those talismans now, you can head upstairs. There's an enchantment room I have up there; most of the stuff is useless to you anyway. Come on, I'll lead you up."

You calmly follow the magician upstairs. She seems harmless enough, but you're still a bit suspect. "I'm surprised you're so helpful," you begin. "Last time we met, I recall shooting you. Several times."

"Eh, I was doing a job," she answers. "Eientei was paying well at the time, you know. Nowadays they have too many magicians so the jobs dried up. Good thing I saved every scroll and book and text I got, learned how to make my enchanting top-notch," she gives you a wry grin. "I'd rather be doing this than fighting you, honestly. I wasn't equipped really back then, and youkai don't improve like humans do. You'd probably wreck my shit," she giggles, opening a door. "Here, I'll check on you if you need help."

"Thanks," you reply. The magician walks off, leaving you alone in a room that looks quite similar to the one downstairs. You look around, finding a square table, and set the box and paper on it. You reach into your backback and pull out the twin orbs, also setting them on the table. Finding a chair, you open the ink bottle, dip the brush and...

...and what? How do you make those same letters?

You think about it, recalling the dream, but the symbols refuse to come. Maybe you're trying to hard?

You close your eyes, unfocusing yourself. Maybe it'll come naturally, like flying is supposed to? Perhaps?

Maybe this is going to be harder than you think.


A few hours pass. By the time noon rolls around, however, you've finished. It all came to you after some intense unfocusing, and the rest slipped by like a blur. You cut the paper in half, drew the proper symbols, even recalled how to split their magic into not-quite-real magical talismans that absorbed into the yin-yang orbs, just like the dream-you did. And during the whole process, you let your mind wander. You could still smell the mid-summer's air, feel the warmth of your friend Marisa next to you... you could feel it as if you were there.

Maybe you were? Magic is weird.

It's no matter now. You place the orbs back in the backpack (this time with focus and magic!) and walk downstairs. The magician is nowhere to be found, and your miko clothing sits still on the table. Maybe she went out for lunch. You head outside, considering your next move.

A black two-tailed cat sits in front of you, staring. You stare back at her, your mouth twisted into one of annoyance.

[ ] Confront Chen.
[ ] Ignore her.
[X] Confront Chen.

Out in the open like this, she probably has some sort of message to convey. Whether we're glad to hear it or not, it may be of some help. Otherwise I'd rather just keep one major corporate faction pissed off for now, instead of two. Cooperating with Yukari's a whole other ball park.
[x] Confront

So she's nosy? Guess who just volunteered to help us? What better way to get the info she wants?

It'd be even better if she came to offer a job taking the newcomers out. They've annoyed both Yakumo Corp and Eientei after all. We do what we were going to do and get paid for it. Everyone wins!

She is probably an annoying version of Chen though, but here's hoping I'm wrong.
Also, I'm really happy getting the outfit didn't win. We don't want to show our hand this early.
[X] Confront Chen.

May as well deal with Chen now and hopefully get it out of the way. I hope later on when Reimu is about to storm an enemy stronghold we'll get the option to wear the miko outfit. It'll be nice and dramatic.
[X] Confront Chen.

Let's see how she is before deciding to ignore her forever.
[x] Confront Chen.
[x] Confront Chen.
What does the nosy cat want?

>veteran youkai runner named Yuuka
She sure sounds scary.
[x] Confront Chen.

Yuki, is that you? I only just barely caught the Mystic Square reference - at least I'm assuming that's what it is. This story just keeps getting better.
Calling the vote for Chen. Update will show up tonight or in the morning, depending on how meatspace goes today.
>She sure sounds scary.

In a job where the young die, beware the old ones.
File 149723593479.jpg - (225.95KB, 600x847, chen.jpg) [iqdb]
Out of all the Yakumo clan, Chen is probably the one you hate the least. Being the youngest of the clan basically gives her no say-so in any of the Yakumo operations, so she's normally just along for the ride. Mostly, she's used to deliver and receive messages, and for spying. Because of that, she's always been super nosey, though you wonder briefly if that's because she is, after all, a cat.

She's also a foul-mouthed little shit, but that's usually not relevant.

"What do you want, Chen?" you greet the cat. "I have stuff to do, so if you have something to say, hurry it up," the cat tilts her head sideways as she looks up at you.

"I have a message from Master Yukari," she begins voicelessly; her words go straight through to your mind. "Do not undertake your current course of action, Reimu," you roll your eyes and snort. "If you continue to do so, then- hey, wait, where are you going!" You've already started walking off. The cat catches up to you. "You can't just walk off when I'm relaying something important!"

"There's nothing you can say that I would find important," you reply. "In fact, anything you say is probably the opposite of important."

"But it's about your safety! Master Yukari says-"
"Master Yukari is full of shit," you interrupt. "She doesn't even know what I'm about to do."
"She's sensed your growth of magic, and knows you will seek to learn more," Chen explains. "Master Yukari understands the power you must be feeling, and encourages you to come with me, and she will train you in the proper use of magic."

"I think I have it under control," you reply. "Now beat it."
"..." the cat snarls at you. "Look, you don't have to like it, you nasty fucking human, but that's what the Master wants, and that's what she should get, don't you agree?"

You bristle a bit. "No, I really don't. Besides, I might have a teacher soon anyway. Even if she's just a normal person, she's miles better than Yukari will be."

"I doubt that."
"It doesn't matter. I've made my choice," you glower down at her. "Now back off, tell Yukari that I'm not going to give her a visit, and then fuck off," you walk ahead of the cat, fuming.

"If you want to know where your friend is, you will stop in your tracks right now."

To your credit, you do stop moving forward. You look down at Chen, fury welling up in your heart, and you act. You grab the feline, ignoring her protests as you throw her into the wall of the nearest building. Before she can get up, you pick her up and do it again for good measure, then throw her into a pile of garbage. You backpack opens on its own and your two yin-yang orbs come out, rotating around you as you glare down at the cat youkai. Your pistol is in your hand before she gets up.

"You have 3 seconds to speak before I blow your goddamn head off," you tell her. The only thing you hate as much as Eientei are the Yakumos, and Chen cowers at the sheer rage she feels coming off of you. "One,"

"Okay, okay, shit!" The small creature puts her hand over her ears. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Please, I'm supposed to keep you from doing anything rash!"

"Master Yukari said so! She said that you must not intervene with the Scarlets! They have your friend and they plan on using her to advance some sort of plot, and Master Yukari wants to see what it is! She says she has a plan!"

You flip the safety off. "I'm not convinced," you say. You zero in on the cat's head.

"Look, everyone knows what you're planning on doing. Master Yukari was watching when you learned to fly, and she knows that you are quickly gaining power. Master Yukari doesn't want you getting hurt pointlessly fighting the Scarlets. If you back off, we will retreive your friend after she does whatever it is she's going to do!"

"In Yakumo speak, that means that A: Whether or not she's dead or alive matters, and B," you fire a bullet into the sidewalk next to Chen's head, causing her to yelp in fear. "I'll owe Yukari. No thanks."

You walk off. You let your anger subside. "Yukari will hear about this!" you hear in your head, but you ignore it. Nothing will come of it. As the cat demon falls in behind you again, you consider kicking her, but decide against it. Yukari wouldn't care, but Ran might, and she's a bitch to deal with.

"Uh, Miss Hakurei,"
In any event, Yukari tries not to make you mad too much. Now that you realize you have magical power within you, perhaps substantial magical power, you can see why. The orbs fall back into your backpack as you consider that maybe Yukari knows just how powerful you can be.

"Miss Hakurei..."
You rub your eyes. Did... did Yukari train your mother? No... no, your mom hated the Yakumos almost as much as you did. Maybe instead she just observed her from afar? Actually... who was your mom's teacher anyway? And if she's always known who you were, why didn't Yukari keep your parents from being killed if she cares about you so much, supposedly? Was it a ruse? Maybe Yukari is just guessing? No... but she is known to mess with people.

What if she helped?

"Miss Hakurei!"

"The sky is red."

You look up. "Well, I'll be damned," you whisper.

As far as you can see, the sky has turned a deep blood red. Across the entire city, the same color blankets the sky, blotting out the sun and causing streetlights and signs to light up as if it were night. "What's... going on?" you wonder. You look down at Chen. "Is this what those people were planning?"

"I don't know, I don't have that information," admits the cat.

"Unfortunate," you look back up. "Most unfortunate."

[ ] Your intuition tells you to head straight for the "Scarlet" mansion.
[ ] You should gather some allies first. Hatate or Zero, or both?


[ ] Chen is coming whether she wants to or not.
[ ] Let her go. She's more trouble than she's worth.


Apologies. I lost half of the update. Next one starts this world's version of EoSD.
[X] You should gather some allies first. Hatate or Zero, or both?
[X] Let her go. She's more trouble than she's worth.

It'd be good to have someone watching her back, or relaying info.
[x] Your intuition tells you to head straight for the "Scarlet" mansion.
[x] Chen is coming whether she wants to or not.

Hakurei intuition, hint hint.

Also this is what they were planing. Now that Yukari knows it, Chen has no reason not to do her best to help us.
[x] Your intuition tells you to head straight for the "Scarlet" mansion.
[x] Chen is coming whether she wants to or not.

We don't have a choice given that, one, if we don't rush in then we are (along with Marisa) at the mercy of Yukari's plan, two, Yukari would get super pissed at us if she found out what happened through either Chen, Hatate or Zero, three, Reimu intuition.

We also have a chance of getting an element of surprise on the Scarlets given that we only got our magic recently - if they somehow get more intel on us with time, then not going in as soon as possible is significantly worse.
> red sky
> "Most unfortunate."


[x] Your intuition tells you to head straight for the "Scarlet" mansion.
[x] Chen is coming whether she wants to or not.

Time to get our vampire hunter on. And if Chen wants to stop us doing anything rash she's gonna have to come along for the ride.
[X] You should gather some allies first. Hatate or Zero, or both?
[X] Let her go. She's more trouble than she's worth.

Always have someone to watch your 6, and trusted allies are better than goons. If Yukari feels like she can resolve the situation with her own leisurely time and resources, then Marisa probably isn't in super-immediate-take-action-now danger.
That's a lot of trust for someone who was established as a selfish piece of shit.

Forget about canon, taking the leader of a megacorp at face value is just asking for trouble.
True, but even disregarding that it's better to arrive later and prepared than rush in unprepared and bite the bullet.
[x] Your intuition tells you to head straight for the "Scarlet" mansion.
[x] Chen is coming whether she wants to or not.
[x] Your intuition tells you to head straight for the "Scarlet" mansion.
[x] Chen is coming whether she wants to or not.
-[x] Chen, you're our spy today.
[x] You should gather some allies first. Hatate or Zero, or both?
[x] Chen is coming whether she wants to or not.

Reimu's intuition is one thing, but I think people are overestimating how much she can do on her own. Shadowrun's not like Touhou where you can just solo everything with sufficient danmaku skill. There's a need for different skillsets, and one person can't be good at all of them.

Hatate looked like she had some decking skill beyond being a Fixer. I have a strong suspicion Zero's an adept or street sam, but she was at least described at being good at stealth. Chen's...probably not the most reliable and definitely not the most loyal, but having her is better than Reimu going alone. Probably.
Also, since I think the "Hatate or Zero" option may have been an actual choice we've sort of overlooked:

[x] You should gather some allies first. Hatate or Zero, or both?
-[x] Both.
[x] You should gather some allies first. Hatate or Zero, or both?
-[x] Both.

Strength in numbers.
[x] You should gather some allies first. Hatate or Zero, or both?
-[x] Both.
[X] Let her go. She's more trouble than she's worth.
So I thought there was a tie. Turns out I've been miscounting the votes this whole time. Apologies, updating now.
File 149786577730.png - (296.61KB, 600x627, eb3.png) [iqdb]
>the previously blistering update pace suddenly stops

I know you're probably working on it, but it still scares me. Love the story so far.
Also completely vanished from the IRC. Either he decided "man, fuck that shit, writing's too much work, I'm out," or, less likely, something terrible has happened.
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