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[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