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Stepping over to him, you put your hands under Rinnosuke's arms and help him to his feet. He steadies himself by holding onto your shoulders for a moment, then nods his thanks and takes a deep breath, letting go of you. "You okay?" You ask him. He nods. "I think so, just a little dizzy." "You're lucky it didn't break your spine." Youmu spits out. Rinnosuke looks down, but then notices the carcass of the monster. His eyes go a little wide and his mouth drops open. "Is ... is that it?" He asks. Youmu just nods. "I've never seen one close up like this before." He gulps. "Just remember that sight, next time you're going to do something stupid." Youmu says.
Now you've finally got a moment to think, your mind regains its focus, your thoughts turning back to towards one thing. "Where's Satori?" You demand. Youmu and Rinnosuke both look at you. Youmu steps around you, towards the gap in the barrier. "She's down below." Rinnosuke says. "She's fine," he holds his hands out in front of him, trying to reassure you. "What she told you on the phone was a lie, she's fine, I promise." You nod. "I gathered that. What's this about 'down below'? I want to see Satori." You nod at the gap in the barricade. Youmu raises her chin, glancing at Rinnosuke. "We'll show you, it's sort of ... home away from home." Rinnosuke tries to smile.
"Not so fast." Youmu says. Rinnosuke frowns at her. "Oh come on Youmu! Look at him!" "I'm still not sure." She says, placing her sword in front of her, tip-down. "He helped you fight off the first wave, right?" Rinnosuke asks. "How many did he kill?" Youmu frowns in thought. "Two." "There you go." Rinnosuke says. "And he could have led that ... thing into you just now, but he didn't." Youmu looks at you, staring into your eyes. "Satori thinks he's real, she's-" "She has been mistaken before." Youmu says, voice going hard. "Then we test him!" Rinnosuke says. "Properly, foolproof. You know Rika can do that now." "What if he's intended to just get inside and kill Satori?" Youmu says. "What if he's a living bomb?" "Hey!" You exclaim. "I'm not anything! I helped you!" You frown at Youmu as well. "Still not convinced." Youmu says through her teeth.
"Don't make me say it." Rinnosuke says, putting his face in his hands. "Say what?" Youmu's voice takes on a dangerous edge. Rinnosuke steps up to her. "Youmu." He starts, voice softening. "What happened to Youki is not going to happen a second time. Let him inside." Youmu's face contorts with rage and she slaps Rinnosuke so hard he stumbles a little.
She turns and stomps through the gap in the barricade. "Fine!" She shouts back.
Rinnosuke spits blood onto the floor, wiping his split lip on the back of his hand.
[ ] Thank him. [ ] Tell him that wasn't necessary. [ ] Ask him who 'Youki' is. What was that about? [ ] Leave it for now. You just want to see Satori as soon as possible.
>You should be flattered, because apparently Youmu thinks you're the Terminator.
No, not the Terminator. Does anyone remember that other science fiction movie? Kind of mediocre? It had the guy who plays that character on Criminal Intent who messes with the perps' minds all the time.
Rinnosuke swallows and straightens back up. "Uhh." You notice that his casual clothes are just as plain as the school uniform, he's wearing a lot of grey. "So, I can come inside now?" You ask. "She's not going to attack me again?" Rinnosuke shakes his head. "She'll stick to her word, she's just paranoid. We all are." He says, stepping towards the barricade. "Follow me, I'll take you inside." You step in after him and he rolls a sheet of tin over the entrance-way. "Looks flimsy." You say. Rinnosuke glances at you and laughs. "This is just the cover, come on."
Behind the barricade are rolls of barbed wire, bits of old boarding and sheet metal, scrap and junk piled high. A little pathway weaves off between the mess, twisting and turning. Your mind is working on overtime as Rinnosuke leads you through. Is this a bottleneck? For holding off greater numbers with only a small group of people?
Eventually the pathway leads to a doorway, which Youmu has left ajar behind her. Rinnosuke pushes it open and turns to you. "No sudden movements, okay?" You nod and follow him through. The room you find yourself in is a wide corridor, painted a sickly-yellow. A trio of surveillance cameras are mounted above the door you just entered, and another three above the door at the other end of the corridor.
In the middle of the corridor are three much more worrying things.
"Are those machine guns?" You ask Rinnosuke as he steps forward. "Yes, they're automatically triggered, linked up to the cameras." You just gawk as you pass them, all matt black steel and cold mechanisms. Wires trail from them, off through the door at the far end. They give off a quiet humming noise. The next room is small, the wires from the machine guns leading into a switch-box on the wall. Youmu stands by another door, waiting for you with her arms folded. "Don't try anything." She says. "Understand?" You nod. Youmu produces a key-card from her pocket and passes it through a reader next to the door handle. She opens it and you follow her through.
The noise of the next room hits you before the sight does. The humming of a bank of computers, the gentle, almost inaudible sound emitted by dozens of computer monitors and television screens. The room is big, a circle of computers and screens, print-outs and hand-written notes, junk and food wrappers on one side. A large circle of chairs is on the other side. A lone swivel-chair in the middle of all the computers turns to face you. "Ha!" The girl sitting there points at you triumphantly. You almost recoil, it's the one who tried to kill you on the roof. "I told you he wasn't a skin puppet!" She squeaks excitedly at Youmu, grinning in a vaguely insane sort of way.
Youmu just crosses the room and collapses into one of the more comfortable looking chairs, placing her sword over her knees. "Shut up Tewi." She says. Rinnosuke heads over to the nest of computers and rubs his eyes.
[ ] "Who are you people?" [ ] "What the fuck is this place?" [ ] "What the hell is going on?" [ ] "You tired to kill me! Twice!" [ ] "Where. Is. Satori?"
[X] "Who are you people?" [X] "You tried to kill me! Twice!" [X] "What the hell is going on?" [X] "YOU TRIED TO KILL ME. TWICE!"
While I understand wanting to see and comfort poor Satori as soon as possible, there are some slightly more pressing issues to address, now that we're in some strange command center with the two people who have tried to kill us today. Namely, the whole "why they tried to kill us" thing.
>>79863 I agree. We have to know their reasons and what the hell is going on here or else it's running in circles with people who want to kill us. They probably have their reasons to be paranoid, but that has to end NOW. Talk some sense into them or beat some sense into them if they don't want to understand. I get the impression everytime we beat one girl up all problems get solved.
Right, so now it's looking pretty much confirmed that Satori, Tewi and Rinnosuke are our three yes votes with Youmu, Momizi and four unknowns (Nitori likely to be be one, or at least playing some role. If she isn't a part of this, then it also casts some doubt on Rinnosuke.)
Also, [x] "Who are you people?" [x] "What the fuck is this place?" [x] "What the hell is going on?" [x] "You tried to kill me! Twice!" [x] "Where. Is. Satori?"
Hmm wait, forgot about Rika... So we're down to three unknowns, one of which might be Nitori. Then again, depending on how they're set up, that would put two engineers in the 9 council. Eh, judging by the amount of work put outside, they might actually need all that skill.
You just stand there for a moment as the door behind you swings shut, the lock clicking into place. "Who are you people?" You ask. This is too much to deal with. Tewi hops down off her chair. No longer dressed in a school uniform, now she's wearing an old white tshirt and a pair of shorts. It makes her no less threatening as she walks towards you with that grin plastered across her face.
"You've met Rinnosuke, and Youmu." She says. "My name is Tewi, but you can call me your little lucky charm~" She bows theatrically in front of you. Youmu sighs and closes her eyes. "We're a collection of like-minded individuals who have noticed something is not quite right about this town we live in." Tewi rounds on her. "Say the name!" "No." "Oh, go on! Say the name!" Youmu grits her teeth. "We are the society for the breaking of the border between dreams and reality." She says, practically spitting the words out. "Don't use the name, it is utterly superfluous." "I like the name." Tewi says, sounding vaguely offended.
Rinnosuke clears his throat, looking at you. "What Youmu means to say is that ... well, you've seen what's going on in Gensokyo, you saw things tonight that you wouldn't have believed a few days ago?" You nod. "Yeah, and I want some answers." Rinnosuke shrugs. "It's a very long story ... I er ... " He trails off, glancing at Youmu.
She sighs. "Give him the basics, don't go into detail. He's had enough shocks for one night and I am not reviving him if he passes out." "Ooooh, I love this part." Tewi bounces on the balls of her feet and hurtles over to a chair, perching on the arm. "Maybe you should sit down for this." Rinnosuke says. You glance around the room, not really feeling safe yet. "Okay, but firstly, what the fuck is this place?" You ask. "My home." Tewi says. "This is our base of operations." Rinnosuke says. "But yes, it's also Tewi's home." "You live here?" You ask Tewi. She nods. "Keeps me out of sight." She says. "The Queen of Hearts doesn't look in some corners, especially when they're guarded with machine guns." She grins. "So ... are you really a student?" You ask Tewi. She shakes her head. "But I bet'cha liked the sight of me in uniform, eh?" She winks at you, licking her lips. You do your best to ignore her.
"So what the hell is going on in this town?" You ask. "I think you should sit down first." Rinnosuke says. "This is complicated and er," he wipes his glasses. "Sort of shocking." You shrug. "I've just seen some sort of fucking monster outside and earlier I left a dent in concrete with my bare fist, I don't think anything is going to shock me now." "You'd be surprised." Tewi grins, patting the seat next to her.
[ ] Sit down, listen to what they have to say. [ ] Not yet. Satori. Now.
What is wrong with you people? You can't wait for the backstory long enough to find and comfort one of the only people in this group who cared for you, after she was reduced to a tearful, distraught mess, because she thought that she had sent you to your fucking death. Every second that you don't spend getting to her is another second for her anxiety, distress, and despair to grow larger. Fucking let her know you're alright, damn.
We DID ask them to explain. Besides that, we're in the presence of at least two people who had no qualms about trying to kill us together, one of which still seems she'd have no qualms about it and the other one clearly off her rocker, and now they have machine guns. Considering one of them seems suspicious that you might be acting and wish to harm Satori, I would think it would be in your best interest to help them NOT think that anymore.
Somehow, displaying a single-minded obsession with seeing her doesn't seem like the ideal way to do that.
"Wait." You say. "First I want to see Satori, where is she?" "She's in the back." Tewi points a thumb over her shoulder, at a pair of doors on the right side of the room. "Want me to go get her?" "I think she'd finally fallen asleep." Rinnosuke says. "I still want to see her, I mean it." If you can see Satori then you'll know she's safe, you'll know there's some secure ground here. "I'll go get her." Rinnosuke says, crossing the room and heading through the second of the two doors.
An uncomfortable silence descends. Youmu just stares at you, Tewi grins and fidgets. "So," Tewi says. "You and Satori got a little thing going on? Nudge nudge wink wink?" "Huh?" You frown. Is it really time for that? "Tewi." Youmu suddenly says. "Who else is around?" "Oh, just us." Tewi says. "And Rika's in the basement talking to the thing." A visible shudder passes through Youmu's shoulders. "He gets tested, soon." She says. "After we-"
The door that Rinnosuke went through flies open with a crash. Satori stands there for a long moment, staring at you, bunching her pastel-blue skirt in her hands. Her eyes are red and raw, but she's not crying now, just biting her lip. "Hey." You say, sudden relief flooding your thoughts. She squeaks something inaudible and crosses the room at a run, almost knocking you off your feet as she wraps her arms around your middle. Youmu sits up in her chair. "Satori, don't! He could be-" "Shhh." Tewi hushes Youmu. "He's fine, relax~"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Satori burbles into your chest, not meeting your eyes. You place your hand on her head. Youmu looks away, a little embarrassed by the spectacle, Tewi just grins. Rinnosuke emerges from the door, glasses askew.
Satori turns her head and frowns at Youmu. "I told you he was real!" She almost shouts. "You've been wrong before." Youmu says, perfectly calm. "Humph." Satori makes a frustrated noise and finally looks up at you. Her bottom lip wobbles.
[ ] Hug her back. [ ] "Are you okay? Seriously? They didn't hurt you?" [ ] "Sorry if I woke you." [ ] "You lied to me." [ ] "Satori, what's going on?"
Just let em know we are worried about her and perhaps they could make it quick is all. Rinnosuke did tell us Satori was fine but at least someone in the group (Rinnosuke if he is not too busy explaining) should tell her that we are fine too.
[x] Look at her with disinterest. [x] "You lied to me." [x] Place a hand on her head. [x] "I was worried sick about you" [x] Smile "That wasn't a very nice thing to do" [x] "And tomorrow, you'll be making it up to me by having lunch together" [x] Hug her.
[x] Flip off Youmu. [x] "Satori, what's going on?"
Not ready to be deredere with Satori yet. Yea shes nice and all but our involvement with her seems to have gotten us into this situation. She is on our side but we don't even know what battle we are fighting or if we even want a part in it. At least we can stand up to Youmu for her.
I don't see anyone getting TOO worked up. Just people getting into the story. Nothin wrong with discussing the course of action. If anything its a tribute to the writer's ability to draw out a response from the readers.
Not wanting to make Satori cry again, you wrap your arms around her shoulders and hug her to your chest. She feels small and frail, but she doesn't start crying, just makes a soft whimpering sound. "I'm just glad you aren't hurt or anything." You say. "I was really worried." Satori just nods into your chest, sniffing a little. You look over the top of her head, at Tewi staring at you, Youmu and Rinnosuke both looking away. "Okay." You say. "Guess I better sit down." Satori pulls away from you, untangling herself from your arms. "You're going to tell him about the town?" She asks. Rinnosuke shrugs. "He wants to know. He ... he has a right to know." "It's not like we're just going to send him on his way after he's seen this place." Youmu says, then looks over at you. "You do understand that, yes?" "Understand what?" You ask as Satori takes you by the hand, leading you over to a chair and nodding at you to sit down.
Youmu sighs. "You're curious now, aren't you?" She says, not waiting for a reply. "You've seen that things here aren't normal, you're going to start digging, perhaps even taking risks. You do that alone and Yukari will kill you before you even start." You sit down in the chair and Satori perches on the arm next to you, placing a slim hand on your shoulder. You frown at Youmu. "Okay, first thing then, who's Yukari?" Rinnosuke clears his throat, but Tewi gets there first. "The Queen of Hearts!" She spreads her arms wide. "The one and only monarch, the biggest and hungriest of cats, the Alpha and the Om-" "Thank you, Tewi." Rinnosuke cuts across her. "Yukari is ... well we didn't actually discover her until rather recently, perhaps we should start at the beginning?" He glances at Youmu, obviously deferring to her.
She nods. "From the start. Go ahead." "Shall I ... er ... you know?" Youmu blinks. "No, he's had enough shocks for one day. Just the basics." "What are you keeping from me this time?" You ask, feeling sardonic. Satori squeezes your shoulder and you look up at her. She just shakes her head, looking sort of sad. "One step at a time." She says quietly.
[ ] Okay, one step at a time. Let them speak. [ ] No, what are they holding back?
You nod to Satori. "Okay, I ... I trust you." You say to her quietly. Her cheeks turn a little red, but it's true. She's the only voice you have any real belief in right now, she warned you not to go out at night that first day, she was trying to protect you.
Rinnosuke takes a deep breath. "I suppose the very beginning would be last year. Youmu's father, Youki, discovered that after sundown, nobody walked the streets of the town. When he questioned people about this, a few others expressed the same worry." "But most," Youmu chimes in. "Most didn't seem to notice, like they were blind to it." "Indeed." Rinnosuke says, sitting down in a chair across from you, leaning forward and putting his hands together in front of him. "He was-" "Is." Youmu says through her teeth. "He is," Rinnosuke corrects himself. "A very competent swordsman and so he decided to find out what was going on at night. He was the first to discover the hive's activity and live to speak about it. There were probably others before him, but none that we know of, and undoubtedly there are some people in the town independently aware of it. Other than those in Yukari's pay, I mean." You just listen intently, questions already forming in your mind.
"Youki told Youmu about what was going on." Rinnosuke says. "And eventually they learned that the hive was digging something up, in the forest to the north of the town. Why they controlled the streets at night he had no idea." Rinnosuke pauses for a moment, frowning with thought. "We brought other people in." Youmu says. "Mostly through the school, people I knew who were curious, intelligent, capable." Rinnosuke nods. "It gets complicated here, you're going to have to bear with me. Eventually we found out what they were digging up and decided to get there first." "Why didn't you tell ..." You shrug. "The police, the government?" You ask. Youmu and Rinnosuke look at each other. Satori's hand tightens on your shoulder.
Tewi bursts out laughing.
"There is no authority here!" She says, hopping off her seat and stepping forward. "Just her." "Tewi, don't." Satori says. "Nothing but the Queen of Hearts, keeping us all in place inside her perfectly ordered Wonder Land!" Tewi spreads her arms and grins at you. "You go to the police? She'll know. The government? Same. Why? That's what you're thinking, isn't it?" She leans forward. "Sit down." Youmu orders Tewi, her voice dripping with anger. Tewi rolls her eyes and stomps back to her seat. "We're going to have to explain it eventually!" She says. "Can't we get the screaming and sobbing out of the way first?" "Shut up and let Rinnosuke explain." Youmu says. You look over your shoulder at Satori. She smiles gently in reassurance. "It's okay." She says. "Just listen."
"So, they were digging up something and we got there first and took it from under their noses." Rinnosuke says. "It's hard to explain what it is, so we'll show you to it in a bit." Wait. Show you to it? "Damn right we will." Youmu says. "After that, we started to have a number of set-backs. Yukari, this woman, confronted us and nearly killed Youki. We think she controls the hive, but we're not sure. She wanted the thing they were digging up." Rinnosuke continues. Youmu looks down, hiding her expression. "She sent people after ... well, Tewi and Youki mainly, as the only ones who didn't have a plausible cover as students." Rinnosuke sighs. "So we learned there were people working for her, against anybody curious enough to investigate the town, or stay out after dark, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time." Rinnosuke glances at Youmu, obviously worried. "We learned she could hollow people out, make fake humans." "But why?" You ask. "Who is she?"
Youmu and Rinnosuke look at each other and an evil grin creeps across Tewi's face. "This is the difficult part." Rinnosuke says. "This is going to be a shock for you, I ... I don't even know how to start this." "I'll do it." Satori says in a small voice. Everyone looks at her. "I'll do it." "Do what?" You ask. She just looks at you, biting her lip. "Wait." Youmu says. "We should show him to the ... thing, first."
[ ] The thing? Yes, do that first. You don't like the sound of more shocks. [ ] Talk to Satori, you trust her. [ ] No, make them all explain, don't leave a burden on Satori alone. [ ] Wait! You have a question about what you've heard. [input]
You ignore Youmu, turning to Satori and nodding to her. "Okay, go on then." She actually smiles, putting her hand to her mouth and cocking her head at you. "You're so full of resolve." She says. "I ... am?" You hadn't thought about it until now. How could she see that? She climbs off the arm of the chair and kneels down a little way in front of you. She smiles and pats the floor in front of her. "Come, sit here, with me." You get up and sit down in front of her. The floor is surprisingly warm, but this is all a little eccentric. Satori reaches over and puts her hands on your shoulders. Everyone else looks away, but the tension in the room is palpable.
"Don't be afraid." Satori says. "Just look into my eyes, focus on me." You shake your head. "I'm not afraid." She frowns, looking sad. "I know, but you might be." "Go ahead." You say. "I'm fine." "How many people live in Gensokyo?" She asks. "Um ... a few thousand?" You try a guess. She nods. "About five thousand people." She pauses. "Okay, so?" You frown.
"Less than a hundred are real." She says.
"What?" You say, unable to stop yourself shaking your head. "Nonsense, what about all the people at the school, or in the streets?" "Everyone else is a puppet." She says, then bites her lip. "Don't be afraid." You shake your head. "I'm not, I'm just having a hard time believing this. Why would everyone be a 'puppet'?" You're starting to worry inside. Are they just crazy? A cult? No, those monsters outside were real enough. Satori takes deep breath and shifts her hands, holding your face, cupping your cheeks. "Because the town is a prison." She says. "You can't leave." You frown. "This is nonsense." You say. "This is just silly." Satori's expression starts to drop, unable to stay calm. "It's a prison, we can't leave. Those placed here have their memories sealed off." "So I'm a prisoner?" You ask. "I moved here! Last week!" "You didn't." Satori says, voice full of sorrow. You take her hands off your face. "Prove it."
She bites her lip, then nods, obviously terrified of the impact she's going to have. "Where did you move from?" She asks, voice shaking. "My old town." You say. "What was it called?" She asks. You frown. You know this, right? The name, where you grew up. Just a name. "I ... " You trail off, feeling your heart rate increasing, your mind starting to spin. "I don't remember. Why don't I remember?" "Did you have any friends there?" Satori asks. "Of course I did!" You say, starting to panic inside. You had friends! You remember them! "What were their names?" Satori asks gently, reaching over and putting a hand on your knee. "They were ... " Your mind draws a blank. "I don't ... I don't remember." You stare at Satori. "What ... why don't I remember?" You ask, eyes wide. You blink, you can feel your vision going fuzzy, your mouth going dry. Why can't you remember your friends? "When did you last talk to your parents?" Satori asks. "Today!" You say. "Earlier today, at dinner." "What did you talk to them about?" She asks. "About the usual, just ... stuff ... oh gods, I don't remember." Your hands are shaking. "What are your parent's names?" Satori asks. You put your hands to your face. You don't remember, you don't remember your parent's names. You don't remember. "What do they look like?" Satori asks. "Stop." You mutter, weakly. "Don't." Satori leans forwards, taking your face in her hands and making you look at her.
"What's your name?" She asks.
You just stare into her eyes, starting to hyperventilate. "My name ... ?" You manage to say. "I ... I don't-"
You don't know your own name.
[ ] Scream. [ ] Panic. [ ] Pass out. [ ] "I don't know my own name, do I?" Focus, focus. [ ] Just fucking cling to Satori, she's real, right?
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Just staring into Satori's eyes, huge pale pools of understanding. She knows, she's real. "I don't know my own name." You mutter, not to yourself, but to her. Talk to her, keep that connection open. "Do I?" Satori just nods gently. "It's okay, don't be afraid." She says, cradling your head in her hands. "I don't know my own name." You repeat. "I don't know my own name." You can feel yourself slipping, your mind spinning, a veil of insanity starting to descend. You pull your knees up to your chest, wrapping your arms around them. You don't know your own name.
"He's going under." Somebody says. You think it's Rinnosuke, but you're too confused, your mind spinning. "I'll get-"
"Satori." Youmu steps behind her. '"Let me talk to him." "Okay." Satori nods and scoots to the side, but keeps her hands on you, one arm over your back, other palm cool against your forehead. Youmu crouches down in front of you. "Look at me." Youmu says. You glance up at her. Her face is clear, expressionless. Hard and cold. Solid. Real? "Who are you?" Youmu asks. "I ... I don't know. I don't remember my nam-" "No. You know who you are." She cuts you off, jabbing a finger at you. "A name is only a marker. Who are you?" You blink. "I ... I'm a person." "And?" Youmu prompts. You blink. "I'm a student at the school." "And? Who are you? Tell me about yourself." "I ... " You gulp, trying to focus. "I believe in honesty. And truth. I don't like lies." "Go on." Satori says, excitement in her voice now. "I believe in ... giving people fair chances before resorting to violence. I don't like being controlled, I like a challenge, I like video games, I like-"
You keep talking, stuff just pouring out of you, your own words reassuring yourself of your personal reality. By the time you finish, words tumbling from your lips, Satori is hugging your shoulders and Youmu has a small, devious smile on her face. "Well done." Youmu says. "How you do feel?" You gulp. "A ... a little better, I guess." You wipe the cold sweat from your forehead, savouring the warmth of Satori against your back. "Good." Youmu nods. "It's a shock, I know." "I still don't know my own name." The realisation sends a wave of horror and nausea through you, but you don't feel like you're on the brink of madness any more.
Satori brings her lips to your ear. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." She whispers. You would blush, if you weren't in such a state of shock. You just reach over and put your hand on hers.
"We can fix the problem of your name." Youmu says. "It's just locked away inside your head, to control you." You nod. "Okay, okay I think I can deal with that." You say, rubbing your forehead. "I'm still the same person." "He made it!" Tewi leaps around over to your right. "Well done! Rinnosuke spent three days as a twitching mess. Didn't'cha?" Rinnosuke glances at you and scowls uncomfortably. "I was more affected by the revelation of not knowing my own name, yes. Congratulations, well done." "You all had to do this?" You ask, feeling somewhat numb. "Well, not all of us." Youmu says. "Whatever is used to damage our memories isn't perfect. For most people it leaks through within a couple of months. You've just ... moved very fast."
"Okay, yeah." You rub your eyes and swallow. "I think I need-"
[ ] A time-out. A rest, seriously. [ ] To know what your name is. [ ] To hear the rest of their story. [ ] A hug. Hug Satori.
The guy just ran across town, fought Youmu and a pair of scouts, ran some more, fought a combat drone, and had his reality shattered, resulting in a minor panic attack. I'd say his mouth is pretty dry.