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File 154959903996.png - (44.60KB, 400x400, Lost_Bees_Fanart.png) [iqdb]
200251 No. 200251
>>200245
Reposting due to bump limit.

---

[ ] Stay behind to buy time
[ ] Make a straight run for the Youkai Mountain border
[ ] Run for Eirin’s field (Clamshell)
[ ] Run for the Yamanba zone (Clamshell)
[ ] Aki Farm
[ ] Call Ran
[ ] Other?

---

Image created by Mibiya
If anyone wants to provide feedback or chat with me, I'm on the THP discord.
Expand all images
>> No. 200253
[X] Run for Eirin’s field (Clamshell)

while i dislike moon people with a passion, Eirin is a good option
>> No. 200254
[X] Run for the Yamanba zone (Clamshell)

shoot I should have voted last time to ask if she could help ruukoto
>> No. 200257
[x] Aki Farm

Have some faith!
>> No. 200258
2 for Eirin's field
2 for the Yamanba zone
1 for the Aki's farm
>> No. 200259
Protecc Ruu-chan
>> No. 200260
>>200259
very important
>> No. 200262
[X] Run for Eirin’s field (Clamshell)
-[x] protecc ruu-chan
>> No. 200263
X] Run for Eirin’s field (Clamshell)
-[x] protecc ruu-chan

P R O T E C C
>> No. 200270
[X] Run for Eirin’s field (Clamshell)
-[x] protecc ruu-chan
>> No. 200271
I'm >>200254
add
-[x] protecc ruu-chan
To the end of this vote
>> No. 200273
File 155053678082.jpg - (1.42MB, 1454x1441, __inubashiri_momiji_touhou_drawn_by_moyazou_kitagu.jpg) [iqdb]
200273
[X] Eirin’s field (Clamshell)
[X] Protecc Ruukoto

---

You secure what’s left of Ruukoto’s chassis to your back. “I’m going to head for Eirin’s field.”

“With Ruukoto strapped to you?” Caleb asks.

It’s still dark out, but the faint glow of sunrise is creeping over the horizon. You need to get moving soon. Ruukoto must be kept safe.

If it comes down to it, will you choose her or her data? Could you bring yourself to pull the trigger on Ruukoto after all she’s endured?

“Our other options aren’t good.” Junko says. Mimi makes a distressed cry as Junko picks her up.

“UNAUTHORIZED-” She blares.

“I’m getting you to safety!” Junko chastises her as she also fastens Mimi to her armor. “Right. I think I’ve got the best shot of actually getting past the border on my own, so this way we won’t have both assets stuck on the mountain.”

“Sounds good.” Caleb says, conjuring floating spheres of blood in both hands. “I’ll run for the Yamanba territory. Hold still and close your eyes.”

He sprays the blood over you and Junko like mist. The iron tang quickly fades to nothing, and you open your eyes to find no visible residue.

“This’ll make it harder for them to pick up a scent.” He explains while spraying himself.

You take Mimi’s hand in yours and squeeze it. “We’re all going to make it.” You promise.

She squeezes back, her mechanical eyes never leaving yours. “AFFIRMATIVE.”

Junko’s head jerks towards the hills. Her eyes narrow at some unseen threat. “We need to move. Go!”

The three of you split off, each flying in separate directions.

---

Roving patrols force you to go to ground a few times. Your experience with sneaking past werewolves helped, but the Tengu are disciplined and know their own land. Transylvania wasn’t as stressful as this; at least back then you always had the option of going loud.

“No problems so far.” You ping from the concealment of a bush. “You guys good?”

“I’m alright.” Caleb responds. “I spotted Momiji at a vantage point. She’s forcing me to move slow, but her position should keep her from spotting you guys. Junko, how about you?”

Silence. “Junko?” You try to raise her.

“I think Aya’s on my tail.” Junko pings back. “Gotta shake her before I run for it.”

Seems like you lucked out if the Tengu haven’t sent heavy hitters in your direction.

Soon after that exchange, you notice the trees giving way to a fence and ordered rows of various flowers behind it.

Despite the garden’s meticulous beauty, there’s something sterile about it. It’s more like Higan than the fields of the Villagers or Yuuka. For all that might be said about its mistress, the Garden of the Sun is still a place of life. Eirin’s field, by contrast, feels as clinical as her office.

Of course, the immediate tactical consideration is that Eirin’s field doesn’t provide good cover from aerial observers. There’s a shed on the premises, but it’s also locked and too obvious of a hiding spot.

“I’m at the rendezvous.” You ping, scanning the area for any sign of company. You’ve come too far to blunder now and lose the objective of the entire expedition to the Tengu.

“Good. I’m still approaching mine.” Caleb pings back. “Junko got out of ping range a while ago.”

“She can take care of herself.” You reply. You bring out your phone and inform Clamshell you’re waiting.

“The drainage grate connects to the Underground. The marks on the wall point to a safehouse. I’ll meet you there.”

You spot the round metal grate near the center of the field. It’s going to be a tight fit, especially with Ruukoto, but you think you can squeeze through.

After a last check for concealed hostiles, you drop over the fence and creep towards the manhole.

You squat down and lift the grate, taking care to not disturb the nearby gravel and give yourself away. It’s surprisingly light, but that would make sense if Eirin has rabbits working here-

A rustling from the trees. Movement at the edge of your vision. The Tengu are here!

You bring the grate around and cover behind it while drawing a pistol with your free hand. Peeking over your makeshift shield, you see...

Tengu patrols in the distance flying to another position. They haven’t even noticed you.

“Caleb, status?” You ping.

“All clear.” He replies, cautious. “They’re not converging on me... Shit. Junko.”

---

[ ] Go to Clamshell’s safehouse
[ ] Run with Ruukoto towards Junko’s position
[ ] Leave Ruukoto at the safehouse, run towards Junko’s position
[ ] Create a distraction
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 200274
[X] Hide Ruukoto underground -- in the safehouse, if it isn't far. Then...
- [X] Make your way towards Junko (and Mimi)
>> No. 200275
File 155053926821.png - (0.96MB, 1047x1000, mimichan.png) [iqdb]
200275
[x] Leave Ruukoto at the safehouse, run towards Junko’s position

It's dangerous to leave her alone, but it'd be even worse to carry her to danger. And fuck if we're not going against danger.

We might be biting more than we can chew, but it doesn't matter. No one gets left behind.
>> No. 200276
[x] Leave Ruukoto at the safehouse, run towards Junko’s position

Ruu-chan must always be protecc
>> No. 200277
hmmmm
I dunno what option would be best.
All I can offer is
[X] Protecc Ruukoto
>> No. 200278
[x] Leave Ruukoto at the safehouse, run towards Junko’s position
>> No. 200280
>>200277
a valuable and worthwhile contribution

More seriously, though, I am a bit worried about leaving Ruukoto behind... Now that I think about it, it might be better to ping Caleb to check on Junko, and investigate this "Clamshell" more thoroughly. Ruukoto is in a bad place; and while Hatate this mysterious stranger has seemingly given us helpful advice so far, I still don't trust them enough to leave Ruukoto alone with them. Junko, on the other hand, is more than capable of fending for herself — and even with a robot of her own to protecc, Caleb's help should be able to get her through.

Another thing to note is that the Tengu may only be searching for a single group, so Caleb (and/or Char, if we also go to help) could have the element of surprise if the confrontation turns into a fight.

tl dr: anon >>200274 officially changing their vote to
[X] Go to Clamshell’s safehouse
>> No. 200281
[z] Go to Clamshell’s safehouse
tide pissan'
>> No. 200282
anon >>200276 here, gonna change my vote to
[X] Go to Clamshell’s safehouse

Proteccting Ruu-chan is my main priority
>> No. 200283
4 for leaving Ruukoto in the safehouse then responding
3 for going to the safehouse as planned
>> No. 200284
>>200274 and >>200276 changed their votes, though...? so it'd be 2 to 3, not 4 to 3...
>> No. 200409
File 156256758416.png - (200.81KB, 928x981, tumblr_nzimk9Fvnb1r2hxu1o1_1280.png) [iqdb]
200409
[X] Go to the safehouse

---

“Junko can handle herself.” You answer. “She’ll figure something out. All I can do is get Ruukoto out.”

You imagine Caleb sighing as he prepares his nerve. “Roger that. I’ll go cover her.”

Next, you pry open the drain and slip into the tunnel. It’s even more cramped than the Kappa vents, but at least it’s another layer of safety between you and the Tengu.

The next few minutes are spent squeezing through the rough-hewn and dank passage. You try to keep Ruukoto from scraping against the rock while keeping an eye out for the promised safehouse.

A trail of identical gouges left on the walls leads you to an otherwise inconspicuous patch of wall that rings hollow when you rap your knuckles against it.

Silence persists for a moment before the false wall shakes and slides backwards to reveal a mousy Tengu waving at you.

“Come on in, Charlotte.” She says with an eager smile. “I’m ‘Clamshell’.”

“How’d you know it was me before opening the wall?” You ask, sizing her up.

She takes a flip phone from a pouch and proudly holds it up for you to see. “I have a talent for scrying. Of course I checked to see who it was!” It’s outdated but clearly well cared for and cherished, with a number of charms dangling from it.

Well, that explains her pseudonym. Anyways, it doesn’t look like there are any electronic or heat signatures unaccounted for in the room, and Clamshell doesn’t strike you as much of a physical threat. You shimmy through the doorway and allow her to close it.

There’s not much in this room aside from two vaguely seat-ish rocks and a trapdoor that you would guess leads to the Underground. The only source of light is an electric lantern of Kappa make.

“I’m so happy to finally meet you.” She enthuses. “I mean, I’d have preferred meeting all three of you at once, and in nicer conditions than this hole in the ground, but this is big either way. I’m Hatate, by the way.”


“Right. You know, Hatate, you haven’t mentioned why you were so eager to help us and Nitori’s crew break into that bunker.” You say, not returning her enthusiasm.

“Well, obviously I couldn’t just thoughtograph what was inside, or else I would have been able to blow the lid on the robotics project myself. Unlike Aya, I can just boss around a few wolves to do the grunt work whenever-

“Hatate.” You interrupt, taking a deep breath. “I’ve had a very long day. Please, what did you want to accomplish by looking in that facility, and why should I trust you any further?”

“Hey, I could have just snitched you out to Aya, but I went out of my way to keep her away.” She replies, taken aback. “I didn’t know what the Kappa were doing there, but if they went through all that trouble to bury it, I knew I needed to figure out what it was.”

“I’ve seen that attitude cause a lot of damage in the Outside world.” You say, lowering your voice. “Did you have a plan if the Kappa were right to seal the place?”

She shrugs. “I knew that was a risk, but I figured that meant you guys were the right people to send in.”

“You weren’t wrong.” You sit back and sigh. “So, why are you going behind the back of the rest of the Tengu to help us trespass? If you say newspaper material I might actually barbeque you.”

“Well, yeah, but not just for newspaper stuff.” She admits somewhat sheepishly before recovering her bravado. “I’m committed to finding the truth and making it known.”

“Oh?” You raise an eyebrow.

Hatate nods. “If something would be destroyed by revealing the truth, then it should be destroyed, no matter what. That’s what I believe in, above all else. Besides, everything turned out alright, didn’t it? Nitori and her team all made it out, and so did you.”

“What we did today-.” You sigh. “There’s going to be consequences. I don’t know what, exactly, but I’m not looking forward to it.”

“Can you elaborate?”

“No.” Even referencing Yukari seems unwise.

Fortunately, Hatate doesn’t press the issue despite her obvious disappointment.

“Tell you what.” You offer. “I’ll give you whatever non-sensitive information I can, and you figure out how to get my friends and I out of the Mountain.”

“I don’t suppose that robot has any recordings or other data I could have?” She asks, indicating Ruukoto.

“I’ll see what there is.” You say, plugging into the least-melted port you can find. “In the meanwhile, could you figure out what’s going on with my buddies?”

“Yeah. I actually have some pics already, but the thing about thoughtography is that it takes a while to develop.” Hatate explains. “There’s a time lag, basically.”

“Right. So what did you see?”

“Uh...” She consults her phone. “The lady in green- Junko was facing down Aya and a security wolfpack, but she seems pretty calm. It doesn’t look like things are going to get violent. She’s got another robot strapped to her as well.”

You curse as you try to parse useable files from the corrupt memory banks. “Playing with people’s expectations is her thing.”

At least she still has Mimi. “What are her chances of getting away?”

“Pretty low.” Hatate replies. “Aya uses the newspaper thing mostly as a cover for her intelligence work. She’s pretty high up on the hierarchy.”

“Great. I kind of got the feeling there was more to her than that... How about Caleb? The guy with the rifle and gasmask?”

“Looks like he was watching from some distance away. Too far to directly intervene, but the wolves make it too risky to get closer.”

You steady your breathing. You know Junko and Caleb. Each of you have come out on top of worse odds. They can figure something out.

A particularly intact file catches your attention, and a cursory inspection reveals no sensitive data.

“Hey, Hatate. I found something you might like.” You call her over. “Take a look.”

She pockets her own phone as you both settle down to observe the recording.

---

>>1763

---

“I... I didn’t think...” Hatate is at a loss for words. She gulps. “How did she even end up down there? Poor thing...”

“Ask Nitori.” You answer, your voice a little too calm. “It seems like she passed Ruukoto to the other Kappa.”

Hatate dwells on the scene as she copies the files to her phone. “People should see this. Those Kappa sowed the seeds of their own failure and tried to flee rather than face the harvest.” Her face hardens. “Well, they’ve finally run out of excuses to cower behind-”

Her soliloquy is interrupted by a buzz from her phone. “Ah, another thoughtograph developed.” She says, opening the image. Let me take a look- oh. Uhhhhhhh...”

You cautiously lean over.

Yuuka is standing off against a group of Tengu at least three times the size of the force surrounding Junko, and from their body language, the guards aren’t comforted by the numbers advantage. She’s holding a gleaming scythe in a relaxed, familiar stance. Her hair now comes down to her shoulders instead of her chin, and she’s smiling at the Tengu in her way. Even through Hatate’s phone screen, the expression chills you to your bones.

---

[ ] Head to the Underground
[ ] Deal with Yuuka
[ ] Other
>> No. 200411
[x] Deal with Yuuka

Oh shit oh fuck
>> No. 200412
link broke
[x] protecc ruu-chan
[x] Head to the Underground
>> No. 200413
...Is Yuuka about to play a "game" with the Tengu? Is that even something we can deal with?
>> No. 200415
[x] Head to the Underground

Time to boldly flee where no woman's fled before.
>> No. 200416
>>200413
She's about to do what's called a pro gamer move.
>> No. 200418
File 156277276510.jpg - (69.84KB, 512x384, doomumbrella.jpg) [iqdb]
200418
[x] protecc ruu-chan
[x] Deal with Yuuka

the youkai moe strikes back
>> No. 200419
[X] Other:
- [x] DemandKindly request that [Hatate]: protecc ruu-chan
- [x] Make a mental note to ping the others with the "new" intel as soon as you get the chance, then...
[x] Deal with Yuuka

... so where's >>1763 actually supposed to lead, anyways?
>> No. 200420
[x] Deal with Yuuka

If we ingratiate ourselves with the Tengu by giving them an excuse to not start a fight they can't finish, we might have some leeway to get our friends out. And if we have to sell out the kappa... well, their secrecy is not really our concern.
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