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File 126159543577.png - (1.45MB , 1600x1200 , nitori_hitech.png ) [iqdb]
23715 No. 23715
Light floods your eyes. You would think you're already dead, but you still feel weighed down and sore all over. You avert your gaze and allow your vision adjust while taking in your surroundings. Hearing the humming and ticking of machinery, you recognize where you are.

"Nitori?"

You call out for the kappa, hearing no reply. Did she step out?

[] Try to get up.
[] Just wait.

>> No. 23716
[X] Try to get up
-[X] 'Was I sleeping...? I guess us making out was part of the dream too, uh?'

SUDDENLY, THE FIRST CHOICE IS A WRITE-IN
>> No. 23717
[x] Try to get up.

Did we just wake up, or were we injured or what?
>> No. 23718
[x] Stand.
[x] Get up.

Appropriate for blue hair.
>> No. 23720
[X] Try to get up.
[X] "Nitori? I got hurt. Kiss it better."

Story focused on the kappa? I love me some kappa.
>> No. 23721
>sore all over
>calling out for Nitori

awww yeah
>> No. 23722
[x] Try to get up.

I approve of the Kappa getting more love.
>> No. 23725
You're compelled to get up. The aches you had been feeling intensify as you sit yourself upright. Now you're really awake.

Feeling a little constricted, you check yourself to find that you are mostly wrapped up. Not far from your feet you see a bin filled with blood-soaked bandages. Must have been your old ones.

First things first: What happened? You try to think back to the last thing you remember.

You were on your way down the mountain to get back to the village. Did you crash your bike? No way, you weren't even going that fast. The only other possibility may have been an attack by feral youkai, but you were well within kappa territory.

Before you recall any further, Nitori enters the lab.

"Oh, you're awake!" She looks rather disheveled. Her sleeves are rolled up and her hair is a mess with only one side still tied up. She doesn't even have her hat.

"So, how do you feel?" She asks, taking a seat with a notepad and pencil in hand. Before you can register the question, she drops another one on you, "Any difference?"

Maybe you misread that slight expression of relief.

"Uh, it hurts all over." You manage to respond. Nitori simply nods, continue to jot down whatever on her pad. A moment passes filled with only the droning of machines and the scratching of graphite on paper.

"Only temporary! Anything else?" You can see that twinkle in here eye. Did she do something?

"Nitori!"

"Yes?"

"What happened to me?"

"Ah," Nitori seems to deflate, laying her pencil and pad down on her lap, "a patrol team found you. Youkai attack most likely. You were barely alive."

You figure you that's all you need to know. Her demeanor earlier was a little strange though. What was that about?

"Did you," you're almost afraid to ask, "do something to me?"

This slight change of subject seems to pull her out of sobriety.

"Well, were short on time, so we helped you in the best way we could."

Wait.

"We rebuilt you! With kappa ingenuity!"

Oh crap.

"I have to go back and report to the team that you're all right. Any questions?"

She might have time for one question. What will you ask about?

[] Your bike.
[] Any other details from when you were found.
[] Just thank Nitori and let her go.
>> No. 23726
[x]'kappa ingenuity? What did you do to me?'
>> No. 23728
File 126161172493.jpg - (43.56KB , 346x259 , The_Six_Million_Dollar_Man.jpg ) [iqdb]
23728
>"We rebuilt you! With kappa ingenuity!"

[♬] "Did the rebuilding process, require six million dollars?"

[♬] Any other details from when you were found.
>> No. 23729
[x] Your bike.

Dude, where's my bike?
>> No. 23730
[X] "Hold me?"

I just want to be held by Nitori.
>> No. 23731
[x] Any other details from when you were found.

How much was "rebuilt"?
>> No. 23732
[x] Your bike.

I need that bike.
>> No. 23734
[x]'kappa ingenuity? What did you do to me?'
>> No. 23735
>"We rebuilt you! With kappa ingenuity!"
[X] "You had the technology?"

[X] "Kappa ingenuity? What did you do to me?"
>> No. 23736
[X] "Kappa ingenuity? What did you do to me?"
Inb4 Kamen Rider Kappa.
>> No. 23739
File 126163631172.jpg - (111.07KB , 605x605 , motorcycle_check.jpg ) [iqdb]
23739
Rebuilt you? You have an idea what she means, but it's almost unbelievable. Even after all the things you've seen since you started living here. You get on your feet, shuffling to one of Nitori's workbenches. Nothing on the reflective metal surface seems to indicate any significant changes. You're pretty sure the reflection you see is you, with a few bandages and some scrapes of course.

"Mind giving me the details?" You say, turning back to the kappa.

"Oh, but that will spoil the surprise!" She teases, returning to her more cheerful self. "Rest assured we didn't install any particle accelerators or antimatter cannons where you didn't need them."

You pause just as you're about to reply. That...might not be so bad, actually.

"What? You wouldn't mind having those installed?" She smirks. "Anyway, I should go. They'll be happy to know the operation was a success."

Nitori exits, leaving you to your own devices. You decide to make use of the kappa's advanced sanitation facilities. Other than that, there isn't much you can do right now while your body sorts itself out.

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

Before you know it you're awake again. You try to sit up and find it less painful than the last time. The constricting feeling remains, but you hope that will go once you can get these bandages off. You find a folded light blue boilersuit set aside for you. You get in them now to spare yourself the embarrassment of Nitori walking in on you. They're pretty comfy. It must be made of the same material as her outfit and has just as many pockets.

Upon exiting the lab, you approach a visible kappa to inquire where Nitori might be. He directs you to one of the tunnels leading outside. You find Nitori inspecting your bike just as you step into the clearing.

"Hey, you're up!" She greets you, taking a bite out of the cucumber she has in her hand.

"Up and feeling better." You report. "How is it?"

"Just replaced some cracked canisters. Otherwise, not as bad as I thought. That's good," She smiles, satisfied with herself, "I made him pretty sturdy then!"

Looking past the trees you can see about a half of the sun already behind the distant mountains. You can probably make it home before nightfall.

"Is it good to go?" You ask, making your way to your bike, giving it an inspection of your own. You really can't tell what she's done different, but you're glad it's fine all the same. This has been the only thing that has been with you since you first arrived. If not for that kappa ingenuity, you'd be stuck traveling on foot while everyone else gets to fly.

"It should be." Nitori replies, putting away her tools away in her backpack. "But what about you?"

"I think I can take it, the ride shouldn't be so bad from here." At least you hope so.

[] Head home alone.
[] Maybe Nitori can accompany you.
>> No. 23740
[x] Head home alone.
[X]Tell her you'll be back with her deliveries as usual.

Hey, why not? This guy has a bike, he might as well be the fastest non magical human messenger around.
>> No. 23742
[x] Head home alone.
[X]Tell her you'll be back with her deliveries as usual.

She said she didn't add any article accelerators or antimatter cannons where you didn't need them. She said nothing about not installing them period, so we may have some somewhere.

Were we turned into a Terminator?
>> No. 23744
[x] Head home alone.
[x]Tell her you'll be back with her deliveries as usual.

Just want to ensure we'll be back to see the Kappa sometime.
>> No. 23745
You hop on your bike, kickstarting the engine to life. Giving it a rev, you are given a satisfying growl of the engine that every motorcycle must have. Despite the more fuel-efficient system Nitori had built into it, she managed to fulfill your request to keep this feature intact.

You're about ready to ride off but Nitori calls your name. Turning you attention to her, you find she's holding your helmet out to you. You slip it on, giving Nitori a grateful smile.

"As soon as I'm a hundred percent, I'll be back with the goods as usual." You tell her, showing a thumbs up. "Thanks a lot, Nitori."

You bring your visor down and set off on your way home.

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

The rest of the ride down the mountain was rather peaceful and not as bumpy as you previously thought. You feel more at ease once you reach the long stretch in between the fields. The wind blowing against you as you speed down the path feels far more rejuvenating than just lying down all day. Glancing up, you can see the sun has nearly set and the stars are finally getting ready to take over the night. Nothing beats a good motorcycle ride.

You can see the village not too far away as you make a left down another path passing by the recently established temple. You hope no one has been too worried about you in your absence. Wait, isn't that bad?

As you approach one of the village's entrances you catch sight of a blockade with a few men standing guard. One of them you recognize as old man Tachibana. They notice your arrival as you slow to a stop. They all look rather surprised to see you.

"You're alive? 'The hell have you been, kid?!"

"Long story, Pops. I was with the kappa. Why all this?"

"Miss Kamishirasawa hasn't been well. She's left the safety of the village to the militia." He blinks hard as he speaks, his baggy eyes tell you the whole story. "Well, quit standing there, get inside already!"

You do so, killing the motor and dismounting your bike to roll it quietly inside. The usual early evening bustle that fills the air is eerily absent, save for the occasional patrol and stumbling drunkard. You weren't even gone that long and already the village feels like a different place. You pass by the schoolhouse and notice Mokou hanging around outside.

[] You need to know what's going on. Mokou might know something.
[] Your injuries have been aching since you got here. Head home and rest.
>> No. 23746
[] You need to know what's going on. Mokou might know something.
>> No. 23747
[x] You need to know what's going on. Mokou might know something.
>> No. 23748
[ø] You need to know what's going on. Mokou might know something.
>> No. 23750
[X] You need to know what's going on. Mokou might know something.

So when do we start jumping over forests in a single bound or taking on Oni in a fist fight and win?
>> No. 23751
[X] You need to know what's going on. Mokou might know something.
>> No. 23753
[x] You need to know what's going on. Mokou might know something.

I am liking this story.
>> No. 23757
File 126169221143.jpg - (180.19KB , 372x600 , mokou.jpg ) [iqdb]
23757
Mokou notices you as you come closer. You raise a hand in greeting.

"And where the hell have you been?" She asks, folding her arms and leaning by a post.

"Almost got eaten by youkai," you tell her, slipping your helmet off your head, "but I got better."

"Well that's one bit of good news for Keine."

"Is she sick?"

Mokou nods, "Her and damn near every youkai in the village."

"I take it that isn't the only reason the village is on lockdown."

"Humans getting kidnapped just a few days ago. Thought you might've been the first when you never came back."

"Youkai from the outside?" You hazard a guess.

"Looks like it, but this all seems so," she starts pacing in thought, "thought out. Something's wrong."

You don't like this either. It seems like youkai going beyond their territory isn't local to Youkai Mountain. Before you can share the details of what happened to you at the mountain, you notice several militiamen run past. There looks to be a commotion just down the street. So much for the quiet. You get your engine going, ready to head over there.

"Another one, huh?" You hear Mokou mutter.

"Not checking it out?"

"'Fraid I can't. I need to keep an eye on Keine or she might do something drastic." She says, gesturing to the inside of the schoolhouse.

You exchange goodbyes and you make your way to the militiamen gathering in front of the house. You observe a distressed woman describing what just happened to one of the men. Apparently something broke into her home and snatched her child out of bed. The investigation is cut short when a young recruit arrives at the scene, still trying to catch his breath. He reports something leaping from the rooftops heading east. A handful of the militiamen break off and head for the specified direction. With a smaller crowd, the team leader of this group calls you out.

"Hey, delivery guy! Go an' make yourself useful, would ya'?"

[] Help them out. Ride east.
[] Not in this condition. Ride home.
>> No. 23758
[x] Help them out. Ride east.

On one hand, we have no idea about our new 'modified' body.

On the other hand, riding into the east.
>> No. 23759
[x] Help them out. Ride east.
>> No. 23760
[x] Help them out. Ride east.

Does the bike have a name?
>> No. 23763
[x] Help them out. Ride east.

>>23760
Hermes.
>> No. 23770
No need to ask you twice. You give the man a nod and head on your way. Lucky for you, it's easy to pick up speed when the usual crowds aren't occupying the streets.

Arriving at the eastern edge of the village, you notice the stationed guards seem to be anticipating something. The invading youkai must not have made it out yet. Just as that thought runs through your mind you hear yelling and catch the men pointing out a lanky figure leap off a roof and across the rice paddies. Even as it carries its prey it doesn't appear to be slowed down in the slightest. That's not good, you'd better get going now. You give the throttle a few twists and begin your pursuit.

The youkai bounds across the landscape as you try to keep up. The road grows ever more bumpy and dark. Only the headlight of your bike lets you know you've long left the dirt roads. A glance at your mirror shows how far you've left the village behind. Maybe you were a bit too hasty in chasing after the youkai on your own. Bah, no time to worry about that now, keep your eyes on it, he's taking cover in the woods!

You're forced to slow down as the youkai makes a detour. Navigating around the sparsely distributed trees only serves to let it get ahead of you. Even so, you try to keep an eye on your quarry as it leaps from tree to tree.

Just when you think you've lost it you find yourself before the the gaping mouth of a cave. You can see the tracks of your youkai leading into the cave's darkness, but your headlight cannot penetrate beyond that.

With your chase coming to an abrupt halt, the rush of adrenaline begins to fade. The realization of the danger you're in creeps up on you. You're all alone out in the youkai-infested wilderness of Gensokyo. There won't be any kappa out here to save you.

You can feel an unfamiliar sensation around your waist. Did you push your body too hard?

[] Steel yourself and enter the belly of the beast.
[] Wait out here, maybe it'll come back out.
[] Turn around and head back before a wild youkai finds you.
>> No. 23771
[x] Steel yourself and enter the belly of the beast.

What kind of sensation?
>> No. 23772
>>23771
Ive been getting heavy Kamen Rider vibes since the first post so I guess it feels like a belt or something. Time to play hero.

[X] Steel yourself and enter the belly of the beast.
>> No. 23773
[x] Steel yourself and enter the belly of the beast.

Other options are obviously the coward route.
>> No. 23775
[X] Steel yourself and enter the belly of the beast.

CLENCH YOUR TEETH!
>> No. 23777
>>23772

So the protagonist is Hongo Takeshi? Oh god I can imagine Komachi as Dr.Shinigami

[X] Steel yourself and enter the belly of the beast.
>> No. 23779
[ø] See if you can figure out some of the modifications that Nitori claimed to have made.
[ø] Steel yourself and enter the belly of the beast.
>> No. 23781
You've come too far now, and turning back ensures that captive won't be returning home alive or even in one piece. You stare into the blackness. Leaving your motorcycle outside isn't an option as you've got no other source of light. You roll in slowly and, to your surprise, find that your descent isn't as steep as you thought it would be. It still doesn't change the fact it's damn dark down here and the only sound you hear is the puttering of your motor.

The terrain appears to have leveled as you progress through the cave but now you suddenly feel like you're being watched. There's probably some kind of trap or ambush waiting for you. Remembering what Mokou told you when you returned to the village, you can't deny this possibility.

You soon find yourself in a dimly lit area. You look up to find a hole in the ceiling allowing a bit of moonlight in.

"Only one human? How unusual!" A girlish voice speaks. "Don't you normally travel in groups into a cave?"

You stop dead in your tracks.

[] Stay quiet, try and find the source of the voice.
[] Respond to the voice.
[] Turn around, maybe you can still get away.
>> No. 23782
[ø] Respond to the voice.
>> No. 23783
[x] Respond to the voice.

Have at you, fiend.
>> No. 23784
[x] Stay quiet, try and find the source of the voice.
Let's try not giving away our position.
>> No. 23786
>>23784
We are using our motorcycle as the source of light. Your idea has two problems: the bright headlamp and the puttering of the engine both of which give our position away easily.
>> No. 23788
[ℤℯ] Respond to the voice.
>> No. 23790
>>23786
Not to mention that we have already been found.

[x] Respond to the voice.
>> No. 23801
"They sent me ahead. Don't worry, they'll be here soon." You know it's not true, but maybe you can keep it occupied by talking.

"Come now, even we have eyes, human!" So much for your bluff. It sounded like it was coming from your left and turn your head.

Something descends just at the edge of the light. You can barely distinguish an outline, but it seems to be hanging upside down from the ceiling. It doesn't look like the one you chased down here. Is this one helping? It can speak, maybe it's the leader.

"You can't even fly!" It continues, sounding amused, "What makes you think you stand a chance?"

There's that feeling again, that uncomfortable sense of constriction. Coupled with your rising anxiety, this is certainly becoming an unpleasant experience. You may be some kind of modified human, but you're still overwhelmed in terms of power and numbers. They could all be gathering at the edge of the light, ready to pounce on you and rip you pieces.

"I don't suppose you'll give me one last chance to run away, will you?"

"Not at all."

How blunt.

You hear shuffling behind you and you're suddenly on the ground, grimacing in pain with your helmet knocked off. You feel a growing heat at your body's center as the prickling around your waist returns, stronger than when you were standing at the entrance of the cave. Scrambling to your feet, you stay within the light while looking in several directions at once. Whatever hit you retreated behind the veil of darkness.

[] Fight!
[] Flight!
>> No. 23803
[x] Fight!

It is the only way.
>> No. 23804
[x] Fight!
>> No. 23805
[x] Faito!
>> No. 23806
[ø] Fight!

Kappa-made antimatter cannon to the assailant's face would be glorious.
>> No. 23810
You stand your ground. Nitori would likely advise against doing this but she probably wouldn't want you dead either.

You shift your balance as you continue to check all directions for any sign of the enemy's next move. Unfortunately, the change in angle of your fallen bike's headlight doesn't do much beyond extend the lit area. At least you have a bit of room to move around.

They may be invisible, but you can tell they're there, watching your every move, ready to get you when your guard slips. Maybe they won't even do anything and just watch you succumb to fatigue. You're already in their territory, escape would be nothing short of a miracle.

Suddenly, something lunges at you from the dark. You spot it in time and quickly step aside. Okay, that was good! Another one jumps out, but you see it in time to avoid it. The third does the same and you nimbly dodge it again. This might not be so hard after all, you think to yourself, bouncing on your heels.

You soon realize how far you seem to be from the general center of the lit area. Looking down at your feet shows you how close you are to the edge of the light's reach. You're about to reposition yourself but it's too late, you're on the ground again with the back of your head smarting. You crawl back toward the center quickly.

Now back on your feet, they waste no time repeating the same strategy. When the third one comes, you try to take a swing at it. It's poorly timed, and you're knocked off your feet again.

It comes to you that they've only been toying with you. You could have been dead twice by now. The tingling and the heat seemed to have stopped. Worried, you quickly check yourself and find...a belt? How long has this been on you? You keep your eyes on your surroundings as your hands try to feel for a way to remove this. No luck. You can't even take a glance at it under this lighting.

Suddenly, you feel a faint pulsing around your belt. It is soon followed by a compulsion in the back of your mind, slowing growing. You can't ignore it. It tells you what you must do.

[ ] Transform!
[ ] Transform!
[ ] Transform!
>> No. 23811
[ ] Transform!
[ø] Transform!
[ ] Transform!
>> No. 23813
[x]Henshin!
>> No. 23814
[x] Head home and rest.
[x] TRANSFORM
>> No. 23815
[x] "TRANSFORM!"
[x] "TRANSFORM!"
[x] "TRANSFORM!"

Say it three times for emphasis.
>> No. 23816
[x] HENSHIN!
>> No. 23817
[x] Henshin!
>> No. 23818
[X] "Henshin-a-gogo, baby!"
>> No. 23820
File 126187101385.png - (481.39KB , 1270x720 , 126159543777.png ) [iqdb]
23820
Your arms move, influenced by a will not your own, following a motion you would not think to do by yourself.

With the final thrust of your arm, you feel something click. Immediately that feeling of constriction vanishes and you almost feel like a new man. You're still sore, but it doesn't feel like it's going to hold you back. You return your attention to your assailants. The four of them stand a good distance all around you. They also look very confused.

Wait, you can see them?! It seems your fortune is just starting to turn around! Whatever the kappa have done to you, you're damn thankful right now. You'd like to see how much you've changed but now is not the time, the youkai seemed to have recovered from the shock.

One of them leaps at you like before. They don't know you can see it coming now. You snatch the youkai right out of the air, using its momentum to slam it into the ground. That's one down.

You turn to the remaining three, causing them to flinch at your gaze.

[ ] Offensive approach, take them all on!
[ ] Offensive approach, divide and conquer.
[ ] Defensive approach, lure them in and punish their carelessness.
>> No. 23821
[X] Offensive approach, take them all on!
-[X]make a mental note to ask Nitori exactly what the kappa did to you, this is great!
>> No. 23823
[X] Offensive approach, take them all on!

This is awesome
>> No. 23824
[ø] Offensive approach, divide and conquer.
-[ø]make a mental note to ask Nitori exactly what the kappa did to you, this is great!
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Despite our success with the first youkai, we still are not aware our abilities and limitations.
>> No. 23826
[x] Offensive approach, divide and conquer.
-[x] Make a mental note to ask Nitori exactly what the kappa did to you, this is great!

Bitchin'.
>> No. 23827
[X] Offensive approach, take them all on!
-[X]make a mental note to ask Nitori exactly what the kappa did to you, this is great!
>> No. 23828
[X] Offensive approach, take them all on!
-[X]make a mental note to ask Nitori exactly what the kappa did to you, this is great!
Taking them on sounds like a solid choice, seeing how we decked the first one. Sure, it was a surprise attack but it gives me some confidence.
>> No. 23829
[x] Offensive approach, divide and conquer.
-[x]make a mental note to ask Nitori exactly what the kappa did to you, this is great!
>> No. 23837
You took down a youkai! With your bare hands! Granted, it was your bare hands powered by kappa technology, but your enemies don't have to know that. You keep in mind you need to stop by Nitori's when you have the time and get the details on what exactly you've become. For now, you've got some beatings to evenly distribute.

Watching a fellow youkai painfully eat dirt must have dealt a blow to their morale. No doubt this could be disrupting their coordination. It's a good time to press your attack.

"Toh!" You bellow, jumping right at the biggest of the three. As soon as you land, it tries to grab you. Managing to avoid its grasp when you crouch. You drive a hook right hook into its side, knocking it off balance. You hear the other two coming up behind and, suddenly, you get your face planted into the floor.

Damn, they got you! Maybe you were too wreckless. No, you can't worry about that now. One of them is whaling on your back and it needs to get off.

You roll to your side just in time to see his hoof come down on where your head was. You grab a leg, throwing it off its feet. An attempt to get back up is met with its partner grabbing you by the shoulders. You struggle, but it manages to pin you into a wall. Your attempts to grab the youkai are easily shaken off as it starts slamming your back against the craggy surface again and again.

You time your next move carefully. Just as it pulls you in, you kick off the rock wall, propelling you forward. The sudden force knocks your attacker on its back, with you on top. You take this chance to pound its snout in before hopping back to your feet.

You find the single remaining youkai, and it has taken your bike while you were busy. It looks intent on throwing it at you.

[ ] Let him throw it, you can probably evade it and beat the crap out of him while he's open.
[ ] Tackle him, before he breaks your bike!
>> No. 23838
[X] Let him throw it, you can probably evade it and beat the crap out of him while he's open.
>> No. 23839
[X] Let him throw it, you can probably evade it and beat the crap out of him while he's open.
I can't come up with a witty one-liner righ now.
>> No. 23848
[x] Catch the bike.

YEAH
>> No. 23849
[x] Catch the bike.
>> No. 23850
[ø] Gently catch the bike
- [ø] Beat the living daylight out of that lowlife.
>> No. 23851
[x] Gently catch the bike
- [x] Beat the living shit outta that lowlife.
- [x]'Lights out, motherfucker'
>> No. 23853
[x] Gently catch the bike
- [x] Beat the living shit outta that lowlife.
- [x]'Lights out, motherfucker'

Too bad our bike isn't a type that can be used as a weapon without wrecking it.
>> No. 23854
Bike-catching confirmed.

Update is preparing...
>> No. 23859
You just got that damn thing fixed today! This monster is clearly asking for some extra attention, and you're more than willing to oblige. Before that, you'll need to make sure your bike suffers minimal damage.

You stay put, adjusting your stance just as the youkai catapults the motorcycle at a low arc. You brace yourself in time to catch it with your whole upper body, knocking you back a few steps backwards. That went better than expected. Your bike seems mostly okay and the damages are likely within your ability to fix. The youkai squeals in a rage at its failed desperation move.

You mount your bike and start it up. This fight must end with next attack, there's still some rescuing to be done. You give the handle a few twists and your bike's growls echo through out the cavern. It's time to show this beast how to properly fight with a motorcycle.

With that, you charge forward. Left with no other option, the youkai does the same. As the distance between you shrink, you clench your fist. It vaults off a stone right at you, but you intercept it mid-air.

Rider Punch!!

Only moments after your fist connects, you find yourself riding out of a small-scale explosion. You hit the brakes and come to a stop, trying to make sense of what just happened. An inspection of your smoldering hand indicates no visible damage of any kind. You wonder for the third time tonight what exactly the kappa have rebuilt you into. You put it in the back of your mind for now as you (hopefully) still have some rescuing to do.

With your enhanced sight, navigating the cave becomes a lot easier. You're surprised it's not as riddled with pitfalls as you had feared. You pick up speed, wondering if the one who spoke to you earlier had gone deeper into the cave.

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

You finally arrive in a large chamber flooded in moonlight. Along its walls seem to be massive webs with long threads strung across the entire room. In a far corner you spot cocoon-like objects gathered together. A few of them are squirming around. You get off your bike and make your way to them, taking more cautious steps as you get closer.

[ ] Check out the cocoons.
[ ] Examine the rest of the area.
>> No. 23860
>>23859
>Rider Punch!!
>Only moments after your fist connects, you find yourself riding out of a small-scale explosion.

That was glorious.

[ø] Check out the cocoons.
-[ø] Be cautious of possible ambush.
>> No. 23861
[x] Check out the cocoons.
-[x] Be cautious of possible ambush.
>> No. 23864
[x] Check out the cocoons.
-[x] Be cautious of possible ambush.
>> No. 23865
[x] Check out the cocoons.
-[x] Be cautious of possible ambush.
The first enemy always has to be a spider. This fight will be fun.
>> No. 23867
[x] Check out the cocoons.
-[x] Be cautious of possible ambush.
-[x] Then the rest of the area.

So we're Kamen rider?
>> No. 23873
[x] Check out the cocoons.
-[x] Be on your guard against possible ambush.

Hoping we aren't going to have to fight Yamame.
>> No. 23876
[x] Check out the cocoons.
-[x] Be cautious of possible ambush.
-[x] Then the rest of the area.

Oh great, now everything we defeat will explode. That's gotta be bad for the environment.
>> No. 23877
File 126199276628.jpg - (430.30KB , 627x591 , The Spider.jpg ) [iqdb]
23877
You crouch down to get a better look, checking over your shoulders first. You might be okay for a while, but you have to be quick.

These cocoons look human-shaped. At the very least, you can identify where the head, shoulders, and feet are by the contour. The web wrapped around the head appear to be done loosely. A relief, it seems they're allowed to breathe, and whatever it is they're being kidnapped for, they're needed alive.

You don't waste any more time and begin tearing into the webbing around the head. You uncover the eyes and it seems their owner is very much surprised to see you. You hear a muffled scream. Wait, why is this person freaking out? Shouldn't they be glad to see the face of another human being? You touch your own face. It's not soft. What the hell is this? No! Focus, worry about your looks later. You return your attention to the captive.

"Hey, keep it down!" You urge, keeping your voice low. "Just relax, I'm here to help."

The person's expression appears...skeptical, you think. It's hard to tell with webbing wrapped around most of the facial features. At least the screaming stopped. You continue getting the the webbing off when the eyes suddenly go wide and appear to look past you. You know what's coming next. You roll to the side, whatever it was, you managed to avoid it.

"I am impressed, human." It's that voice again. "You made it here, that must mean you dispatched those brutes."

You get back up on your feet, dusting your shoulders off. Taking a look at the where you had been a second ago, you find an adolescent girl hanging upside down. At least it looks like an adolescent girl. The expression betrays the tone of voice, her eyes look dead. Her dress looks odd, to say the least, something you've come to expect from most of the population in Gensokyo.

"Actually, are you even human?" She descends to the ground and approaches you slowly.

"I'd like to know that myself." You chuckle, shrugging your shoulders.

The girl stops walking. "I suppose it won't matter in the end. You'll just be a corpse when we're through."

[ ] Rush her down.
[ ] Maintain your distance and observe.
[ ] Back away from her.
>> No. 23878
>>23873 here.
Goddammit.

>The expression betrays the tone of voice, her eyes look dead.
I can only hope this means she is hypnotized or mind-controlled, and like all good Japanese things, beating her up will break her out of that, for some reason.

[x] Maintain your distance and observe.

She's probably got a few nasty close-in techniques, being a spider, and webbing for a distance attack. We'll have to be careful of that.

God only knows how the disease thing will factor in.
>> No. 23882
[x] Maintain your distance and observe.
Middle distance is fine.
>> No. 23885
[ø] Maintain your distance and observe.

Dang, it couldn't be another nameless youkai... Yamame ;_;
>> No. 23887
[x] Maintain your distance and observe.

I think we've really become a sort of cyborg if not Kamen Rider.
>> No. 23891
>>23887

The Rider Punch!! didn't give it away?
>> No. 23892
You don't advance, staying right where you are. When she moves, you move, keeping roughly the same distance. Your enemy may look like a little girl, but she had feral youkai under her command.

You observe your surroundings. The thick threads of web running across the cavern might get in the way of your jumping. They look to be bunching up the higher they go. They're probably not strong enough to hold you though, you hope. Patches of the floor seem to be covered in web as well. You take note to avoid them if you can. It seems your movement will be limited in here if you want to avoid getting snagged by webbing.

You're also becoming aware of a very faint, continuous tone. Even stranger is that your hearing isn't picking this up. You're feeling it in your head, somehow. You try not to let it bother you, keeping your focus on the fight.

"What's the matter?" The girl asks mockingly, "Having second thoughts? Do I frighten you?"

[ ] Close in and begin your attack.
[ ] Don't move, let her come to you.
>> No. 23893
[x] Don't move, let her come to you.

With his heightened senses reading and evading the attack of such a confident fool will be a walk in the park
>> No. 23894
[ø] Don't move, let her come to you.
-[ø] Taunt
>> No. 23895
[X] Close in and begin your attack.
>> No. 23896
[x] Don't move, let her come to you.
>> No. 23897
[x] Don't move, let her come to you.

She has the terrain advantage, so we could try to set where we fight her off.

But I do hope it's not really Yamame (it's quite out of character of her to do something like that)
>> No. 23902
File 126206351014.jpg - (371.47KB , 800x600 , yamame.jpg ) [iqdb]
23902
"You talk too much." You reply, standing your ground. You glance at the area you're standing in and find it's largely void of webs on the floor. You have enough room to move around, you think. All that's left is to let her come your way.

"Why do you stay away?" She asks, as her lips broaden into an eerie smile, "We can't play together like this!"

You see it coming and quickly hop backwards. Her attempt to sling a web at you falls short. Before she can disengage herself from it you snatch it up and pull hard. She yelps as you catch her off guard, stumbling toward you. You whirl her around and throw her on the ground, pinning down her back with your knee.

"I-it hurts," you hear her sob, "please stop, it hurts!"

You reflexively let yourself off her, then knocked backwards with your head hitting the ground. You hear unrestrained laughter above you.

"You actually fell for it!" It takes some effort for her to get those words out in her fit of laughter. "What an idiot!"

With no time to be hating your gullible self, you get back on your feet, finding that the girl is now floating above you. She's way out of reach. Damn! You were hoping she wasn't a flyer. She dives right at you. Unable to evade in time, you're sent tumbling, landing on your back. You try to stand up, but something pulls you down. You realize you're caught in a web.

Crap, this is what you were trying to avoid! You struggle to free yourself. Escaping isn't impossible, but it proves difficult. You can't get out fast enough, and the girl notices you're in trouble. Now you find yourself in a hurry. You forget your other limbs for the moment and put all your effort in getting your one arm out. You take a glance at your enemy and see that she has picked up a massive rock with her web and is taking it to you. With your forearm free and you continue pulling the rest of it out. She starts swinging it back and forth, gathering momentum. You get your shoulder out and reach over to get your other arm out. She swings forward and lets it go. No time. You strike with the back of your fist. The rock shatters upon impact and its pieces scatter around you.

Buying yourself more time you finally escape after tearing away the rest of the web with your free hands. Your eyes search above for her. You find her expertly weaving through, under, and over the webs that adorn the cavern. Something else catches your eye as you look up. At the hole at the top of the cave you spot something blinking wrapped up under webs. The faint tone you were hearing earlier seems to grow stronger.

[ ] Stay down here and wait for the girl.
[ ] Knock her out of the air.
[ ] What is that thing?
>> No. 23903
[ ] What is that thing?
>> No. 23905
[x] What is that thing?
Free the thing.
>> No. 23911
[x] What is that thing?

ooooooh shiny
>> No. 23912
[x] What is that thing?
>> No. 23915
[x] What is that thing?

Our spidey sense is tingling. No, wait...
>> No. 23923
>>23915
Doho.
>> No. 23926
[x] What is that thing?

It calls out to us.
>> No. 23929
That looks too suspicious, you think. You might be able to reach whatever that blinking object is with your jump, but you've got to do something about the flying spider girl. Just as soon as your mind starts formulating a plan you find yourself getting strangled and picked up off the ground.

"Hey now," she giggles mockingly, "you're supposed to be paying attention to me!"

With your oxygen getting cut off, you struggle to tear off your web noose while flailing around in mid-air. Your leg hits one of the hanging threads. Surprisingly, it doesn't snag you. It looks like they're not as sticky up here than down there. You grip the web above your head and brace yourself. You're coming up on another hanging thread. You hook your legs and catch it, yanking on your noose hard. The girl is surprised by your web-pulling trick for a second time, causing her grip to go slack. You take this chance to pull her down, getting her caught in one the orb webs. You pull yourself up onto the hardened web "beam."

Hoping she'll be occupied for now, you turn your attention back to the blinking object. You determine you won't have any problems getting to it from here. The tone is louder than before. You have no doubt now that whatever that object is, it's the cause of this noise. You jump and grab on to it. The webbing manages to hold up despite the sudden weight. Suspended in the air, the tone reaches unbearable volume. It's drowning out your thoughts. You reach up with one hand to try and tear out one of think strands holding it up, but you're interrupted by a sharp pain in your side. You look down and find the girl latched on and digging her fingers into you.

She speaks, giving you that dead smile of hers. You can't hear a word. You try shaking her off, but she does not relent. You can feel her twisting her hand. You almost lose your grip. She's reaching up to your face. Getting desperate, you put put you straighten out your hand. It's now or never!

Rider Chop!!

Your hand cleaves into the object, instantly killing the signal and causing the inner circuitry to pop and sizzle. Your grip slips and you're plummeting downward. Just it time to avoid the machine blow up. The webs below manage to slow your fall a little, but it still hurts when you land on your back. You let out a groan. No doubt your recovery has been set back a day or so. You try to get up but remember someone came down with you. Looking down, you find the spider girl unconscious.

[ ] Deal with this girl first.
[ ] Free those villagers first.
>> No. 23931
[x] Free those villagers first.

Did we in our haste to see what that device was, sacrificed it? If so, what a way to kick ourselves in the pants.

I think we should save the villages first.
>> No. 23950
[x] Free those villagers first.

Yamame can wait for a bit.
>> No. 23951
[x] Free those villagers first.
>> No. 23952
>>23931
FUCK

[x] Free those villagers first.
>> No. 23953
You figure it will be a while before this girl comes to. You finally get up and put her down where you can keep an eye on her. Helping these villagers out is your current priority. You resume your work with the first cocoon, finally freeing a young woman.

"You can thank me later," you cut off the woman before she even speaks, "help me get the rest of them out first."

You get to work, eventually freeing a two more. One of them was asleep when you let him out. When you finally wake him he tells you some of the others had been put in some kind of short-term hibernation. As you free more villagers, the process goes a little faster with more helping out. You only realize now that you can't possibly bring these people back all at once. You'll have to head back to the village by yourself and bring a rescue party over.

"I'll keep an eye on them." Suggests a familiar voice, but it sounds so meek. You doubt for a moment who it was before you finally turn to face her.

You're not sure when, but the spider girl had become conscious again. Her creepy, doll-like expression had changed into a remorseful one. She won't even look you in the eye.

"You expect me to trust you just like that?" You finally respond, still a little confused by this change in personality. Some of the villagers seem to share your sentiments. "For all I know you'll wrap 'em up again and take them somewhere else."

"I was not myself." She goes quiet, probably thinking how to put her next words. "I know what I did was deplorable, but I'd like to make amends, if you'd let me."

Not herself, she says. Was she under some kind of mind control? If so, what made it stop?

"How do I know you won't switch back?" You ask.

"You destroyed it, didn't you?" She says, pointing up.

So, that explains it. The noise must have some kind of influence over youkai. You're still not sure you trust her though.

[ ] Go back to the village yourself and bring back a rescue party.
[ ] Have the girl fly back to the village instead. You'll stay with these people.
>> No. 23955
[ ] Go back to the village yourself and bring back a rescue party.
>> No. 23956
[ø] The device might become functional again while you're gone. You could destroy it with rider kick, but you have some people in mind who may know more about it: you should bring it with you to the village
[ø] Go back to the village yourself and bring back a rescue party.
>> No. 23958
[x] The device might become functional again while you're gone. Bring it with you to the village, and don't let it out of your sight.
[x] Go back to the village yourself and bring back a rescue party.

HUZZAH, YAMAME ISN'T TRULY EVIL
>> No. 23959
>>23956

I doubt it will be functional again; the damn thing blew up after getting Rider Chopped.

So that's what it was... I guess then it was a good thing it got blown up.

[x] Go back to the village yourself and bring back a rescue party.

I think we can trust her. She's not Rumia after all.
>> No. 23963
[x] Go back to the village yourself and bring back a rescue party.
>> No. 23964
[x] The device might become functional again while you're gone. Bring it with you to the village, and don't let it out of your sight.
[x] Go back to the village yourself and bring back a rescue party.
>> No. 23970
She seems trustworthy enough. You decide to let her keep an eye on the villagers until you can come back with some help. As you mount your bike, the girl approaches you.

"My apologies, I never introduced myself," she bows, "I am Yamame Kurodani. And you, sir?"

You return a hasty bow, caught off guard by this sudden formality. You hear a few chuckles from the observers, "Uh, hmm, I might have to get back to you on that."

"You don't have a name?" She tilts her head. She certainly looks a little more comfortable now.

"Not yet, I might think of one along the way though." You reply, kickstarting your bike. "I'll count on you to look after them then, Miss Kurodani."

"It's the least I could do after what I've done." She nods, seeing you off as you ride back the way you came.

The rest of your evening proceeds without incident. The rescue party finds the missing villagers, taking them back home to be reunited with their families. Yamame still feels she owes you but returns to the underground for the time being. You finally revert to human form and head back to the village. When asked what happened in your chase with the youkai, you tell them you lost track of it and had to find your way out of a forest.

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

The irritating morning light seeps in, urging your eyes to open. You should be sleeping in because of your injuries but you can't shake off these morning habits of yours. Simply sitting up proves to be quite a task, it feels like you got worse. Well, it did. You took quite a beating yesterday. You're surprised you're even alive and breathing.

You finally get up, leaving your futon in the middle of the office space. You're not working today anyway, right? You make your way to the front door, picking up your old bandages off the floor to put them in the waste bin properly. Once you get the door open, you find the Bunbunmaru already on the front steps. Normally you'd leave it alone to be used as toilet reading later in the day but the headline this morning catches your eye:

A Mysterious Masked Rider Appears!
Human Village Kidnappings End!


You read through the article during breakfast. Most descriptions of their liberator came from the kidnapped villagers: alien bugman, youkai-robot hybrid, weirdo, it goes on. While some were quite amusing, your eyes can't help but wander back up to the headline. Those two words just feel right.

Masked Rider of Gensokyo The Prologue complete!
>> No. 23972
nice though we do need to check in with Nitori just to see what she did to us... and thank her for it!
>> No. 23973
awesome. Let's go find Nitori now.
>> No. 23976
AWESOMESAUCE
>> No. 23979
>Yamame still feels she owes you

I'm thinking she could be our Spider Sidekick.
>> No. 23980
>>23979

She's our Tackle. Maybe.
>> No. 23990
If we can do that with basic upgrades, we should get Nitori to add more stuff.

A Kappa-made Plasma Launcher would be a nice addition.

And I think we should also see how Keine is fairing and find a way to deal with it, because when the full moon come out...
>> No. 24000
Looking forward to more, Hop.
>> No. 24027
File 126254924862.jpg - (345.96KB , 800x1131 , nitori black box.jpg ) [iqdb]
24027
"Ah! This is great!" You hear Nitori exclaim as she types away into a console right by your head.

"How much longer?" You ask. The least you she could do is acknowledge your attempt to communicate, but you can't even get a "Shh!" out of her.

You came by with your periodic delivery to the kappa labs hoping to get some answers in regards to your modified body. She didn't even give you a chance to greet her and just dragged you off to her labs, forcing you to strip down to your underwear, and sticking all sort of wires on you.

Now here you are lying on a cold table. It doesn't help that Nitori isn't at all phased by your near-nakedness. She continues muttering jargon you'd prefer to be ignorant of.

"And done! You can get up now." She instructs, and you do so.

"Would it kill you to say hello first?" You speak up, removing all the wires stuck on all over your body and head.

"I thought I did say hello."

"Dragging me here first thing and telling me to strip down is how you say hello?" You mock a sheepish look, "Why, Nitori, I didn't know we've taken it to that level..."

"Wha-" She quickly turns away from you, no doubt hiding her rising blush. "Just put your clothes on!"

You chuckle to yourself, getting back into your clothes. It's impossible to resist sometimes. You'd better take it easy for now, you wouldn't want her running additional "tests."

"So, mind spilling the details? What'd you do to me?" You think about what you said for a moment. "Uh, in layman's terms."

It's been about a week since your unfortunate run-in with youkai, enough time to get used to the little kinks that came with your modified body. Thankfully no situation has arisen to make use of your transforming function again. For the most part, your daily rituals and tendencies have suffered no major change.

She removes her hat to scratch her head. "'Cyborg' would be the best word for it."

"That much I figured, but I'm talking about that belt thing." You get off the table to stretch. "What's it even for?"

"Oh, that!" She puts her hands on her hips, looking triumphant with her eyes gleaming. "A small pet project I was developing. I didn't think I'd get a chance to actually use it, so when the opportunity came, I couldn't help myself! You'd understand, right?"

"You usually get permission for that, don't you?"

"You were out cold, I didn't think you'd mind." She leans a little close, "You don't, right?"

"Nitori, it's not like my answer would make a difference," you reply, shrugging your shoulders. "I get the feeling this is one of those things you can't take back."

"The transformation sequence worked out better than I thought." She says leafing through her notes. "I actually calculated a 30% chance of success."

"And if I failed?"

"Overload, probably followed by an explosion." You feel a cold chill run down your spine. How the hell can she say that so casually? "It's acclimated to you now, so it'll function properly from now on!"

You check your watch. You've got a bit of time before you get going for your next delivery.

So, what else will you ask?

① ???
② ???
>> No. 24028
② ???
>> No. 24032
>① ???
>② ???

Is this a "coin-flip" option as the previous votes seem to have assumed, or are you asking us to think of two questions?
>> No. 24033
>>24032
>So, what else will you ask?
Clearly asking for a write in here.
>> No. 24035
[①] "I destroyed a strange blinking object when I was fighting Yamame. It was making noise, and she claims it's what caused her to act aggressive and kidnap the villagers. Got any ideas on what it may have been?"
[②] "Any additional 'features' I should know about with my 'upgrades'? Things like laser eyes, super speed, loss of memory, constipation, prolonged erections, or a limit on those transformations would be nice to know in advance. Wait, on that note you didn't change anything in my... masculine regions, did you?"
>> No. 24037
>>24036
>ask about perks and the device

>>24035 here, saying "Get out of my head Charles."


>[x] And ask if she has any projects involving something like your bike.

Hmm... I hadn't thought of that. If we're not limited to two questions I'll re-do my vote and add something along those lines.
>> No. 24041
[ℤℯ] >>24036

No penis jokes just yet.
>> No. 24044
[①] "I destroyed a strange blinking object when I was fighting Yamame. It was making noise, and she claims it's what caused her to act aggressive and kidnap the villagers. Got any ideas on what it may have been?"
[②] "Any additional 'features' I should know about with my 'upgrades'? Things like laser eyes, super speed, loss of memory, constipation, prolonged erections, or a limit on those transformations would be nice to know in advance. Wait, on that note you didn't change anything in my... masculine regions, did you?"
>> No. 24045
>>24037

Good question; are you limited to two questions or not.
>> No. 24051
[①] "I destroyed a strange blinking object when I was fighting Yamame. It was making noise, and she claims it's what caused her to act aggressive and kidnap the villagers. Got any ideas on what it may have been?"
[②] "Any additional 'features' I should know about with my 'upgrades'? Things like laser eyes, super speed, loss of memory, constipation, prolonged erections, or a limit on those transformations would be nice to know in advance. Wait, on that note you didn't change anything in my... masculine regions, did you?"
>> No. 24052
[①] "I destroyed a strange blinking object when I was fighting Yamame. It was making noise, and she claims it's what caused her to act aggressive and kidnap the villagers. Got any ideas on what it may have been?"
[②] "Any additional 'features' I should know about with my 'upgrades'? Things like laser eyes, super speed, loss of memory, constipation, prolonged erections, or a limit on those transformations would be nice to know in advance. Wait, on that note you didn't change anything in my... masculine regions, did you?"
>> No. 24053
[①] "I destroyed a strange blinking object when I was fighting Yamame. It was making noise, and she claims it's what caused her to act aggressive and kidnap the villagers. Got any ideas on what it may have been?"
[②] "Any additional 'features' I should know about with my 'upgrades'? Things like laser eyes, super speed, loss of memory, constipation, prolonged erections, or a limit on those transformations would be nice to know in advance. Wait, on that note you didn't change anything in my... masculine regions, did you?"
>> No. 24060
My apologies if my intentions weren't clear.

>>24033 is right. This is a write-in for questions to ask. You're also limited to just two.

I'll give you some time to adjust your votes.
>> No. 24061
[x] Ask about the other perks you have as a result of her modifications
[x] Explain what happened recently, remarking on a device that manipulated youkai. Perhaps she might have an idea of who might have made such a thing.
-[x] and thank her since it's due to those modifications

And something of a mental note:
[x] Ask her next time if she might have a project concerning your bike.


Too bad the write in with the lame penis joke is going to win. Yeah that's a real why to show gratitude to the shy kappa that saved us and turned us into a kickass cybrog: Making penis jokes to her face.
>> No. 24062
[x] Ask about the other perks you have as a result of her modifications
[x] Explain what happened recently, remarking on a device that manipulated youkai. Perhaps she might have an idea of who might have made such a thing.
-[x] and thank her since it's due to those modifications

And something of a mental note:
[x] Ask her next time if she might have a project concerning your bike.
>> No. 24065
>>24061
>Too bad the write in with the lame penis joke is going to win. Yeah that's a real why to show gratitude to the shy kappa that saved us and turned us into a kickass cybrog: Making penis jokes to her face.

While the write-in was meant to be humorous, it's not without purpose. Important points in bold for your convenience:
>[②] "Any additional 'features' I should know about with my 'upgrades'? Things like laser eyes, super speed, loss of memory, constipation, prolonged erections, or a limit on those transformations would be nice to know in advance. Wait, on that note you didn't change anything in my... masculine regions, did you?"

The prolonged erections thing was added in an attempt to sound like the general list of side effects they ramble off on ads for medication. Also as a transition to the last line which, while humorous to us, would likely be a genuine question from any man who just underwent major reconstructive surgery of which he doesn't know all the details.

I think my over-use of single quotes in the first part may have given it a tone I wasn't aiming for. It's supposed to be asking about any real changes she may have made without telling us, while maintaining a tone of skepticism due to the fact that she told us the transformation had a 70% chance of blowing up in our face. My apologies for any confusion caused by my inability to properly convey that in the write-in.

tl;dr Both write-ins are asking essentially the same things, my so-called "penis joke" one is just supposed to be a bit sillier.
>> No. 24066
"Anything else I should know about before I do something that'll actually make me blow up?"

"Like I said, your body should have made the proper adjustments by now." Nitori responds, wheeling some of her equipment into a nearby closet. "You should be fine. You still have a need to go to the toilet, don't you?"

"Well, yeah, no problems there."

"Good."

You follow her out of the lab, walking alongside her.

"Know anything about machines that can manipulate youkai?" You ask.

"How much manipulation are we talking about here?"

"Increased aggression, probably. Maybe even complete change of personality."

"We've experimented with some form of mind control at one time or another," she taps her lips with a finger, no doubt trying to think a long way back, "but then we realized enslaving youkai wouldn't do us any good, so we scrapped the project."

"Did you leave devices like that lying around? What if someone took them?" You suggest.

"No, we destroyed any traces of those, even the blueprints." She replies. "Why do you ask?"

"It's about the kidnappings in the village last week. I think the youkai involved might have been under control."

Nitori stops walking and turns to you, looking serious.

"What makes you so sure they're being controlled?"

"I was picking up some kind of signal. It didn't do anything to me but it was damn annoying." Your mind begins to recollect that overwhelming noise you were hearing in the cave, you shake it off.

"What about the youkai?"

"They were being led by a spider girl named Kurodani."

"Yamame?!" Nitori almost shouts. She seems to realize this and holds her hands to her mouth. "Yamame Kurodani the tsuchigumo?"

"You know her?"

"We met some time ago, back when we went underground." She looks down in thought. "You're saying she was being manipulated?"

"Seemed so." you recall the dead expression on Yamame's face, feeling a chill run down your spine. "I broke the machine that was doing it."

"You did what?!" She raises her voice, catching herself again. "How badly? Did you destroy it completely?"

"Uh, I'm not sure." You feel Nitori's eyes boring into you. "It exploded, but I didn't check if it left any pieces lying around."

Nitori clicks her tongue.

"Sorry, I was out of options!" You add.

The two of you make it back outside where your bike waits. Nitori had been muttering to herself all this time about search parties and scraps. You hop on, getting ready to head back to work.

"Oh, I almost forgot!" She hands over to you what looks like a flare gun modified to have a slightly longer barrel. "This goes in that empty holster on your belt."

"And this is...?"

"Think of it as an extension of your eyesight. You'll see when you fire these into the air." She fishes out three small tubes from her pocket. "I've only got three rounds for now, so don't use them up too quickly."

"All right. Thanks, Nitori." You say, sliding your helmet on. You exchange goodbyes before riding off back to the village thinking about what Nitori told you about your abilities during the check up and your talk about manipulation devices. Strange things are going on, and you're not liking it.

===Intermission===

Here's a look at your known abilities.

Rider Kick - Your strongest attack. Power builds up in your foot and is discharged upon impact. Best used as a finishing move.

Rider Punch - Your alternative to the Rider Kick. It works in the same way, but uses your fist.

Rider Chop - Lacks the lethal power of the Rider Kick and Punch. Better used for severing appendages and the like, weakening your enemy.

Focus Eyes - They uncover what normally can't be seen, allowing you to see in the dark or find invisible foes. They might even be able to find a vulnerable point on an enemy.

Sky Hopper - A miniature surveillance device shot up into the air. It transmits what it sees directly back to you through your antennae.

The story continues in the next post.
>> No. 24068
File 126265461658.jpg - (911.25KB , 1068x800 , things in the woods.jpg ) [iqdb]
24068
After securing the package on the back of your bike, you depart from the textile shop, weaving slowly around the streets of the village. It's busier than usual, young men lugging around planks of wood and tools, carts filled with what the young men can't carry on their own, colorful lanterns strung along across the buildings, and shopkeepers fancying up their storefronts. All signs that a festival is drawing nearer.

This is among the busier times in the year for you. The last few days before a festival see you riding around town taking any and all shortcuts helping your patrons with last minute preparations. You can't really complain, it pays you well enough.

You make your way out of the village for your last run of the day. Apparently one Ms. Alice Margatroid needs an emergency shipment from one of the village's high quality textile shops, and you'll need to enter the Forest of Magic to get it to her. It's been a while since you've had to go there. Usually, it's a pickup from Kourindou, but you've never had to go any deeper into the forest. Normally you'd be worried about making a delivery after hearing the stories surrounding the Forest of Magic, but, after last week, you're confident you can take on what these forbidden woods can throw at you. Hopefully, you won't have to. You slow down as you enter the trees, navigating around them like you would a crowded street.

You wander the woods for a while and still find no sign of some kind of human dwelling. How deep in this forest does this woman live? Looking up past the tree branches you can see the sky has become that orange that indicates the middle of afternoon. You stop for a moment to check where your package is addressed to. "Forest of Magic" is all it says. You frown. Heaving a sigh, you lift your visor up and look around. Suddenly, you become aware of very jovial humming.

[ ] Keep moving, before you run into a youkai.
[ ] Investigate the source of the humming.
>> No. 24069
[x] Investigate the source of the humming.
>> No. 24070
[x] Keep moving, before you run into a youkai.

Best to avoid any entanglements for now.
>> No. 24071
[ø] Investigate the source of the humming.
It could be Marisa picking mushrooms. If it indeed is her, we can ask for directions.
>> No. 24073
[X] Investigate the source of the humming.
>> No. 24077
[x] Keep moving, before you run into a youkai.

This seems more sensible, although maybe not the one that should be picked.
>> No. 24080
File 126267263811.jpg - (505.41KB , 2004x2103 , Marisa in the forest.jpg ) [iqdb]
24080
You're feeling a little courageous. Stepping off your ride, you head toward the direction you hear the humming. Turning right, you spot a black, pointed hat popping up from behind some shrubs. You accidentally step on a fallen branch, producing a loud crunch.

"Alright, who's there?" Calls a voice. "You fairies better not be screwin' with me again!"

You open your mouth to respond when something slams into the side of your helmet. You stagger sideways but manage to latch onto a tree before falling over. You curse as you get your helmet back on straight. Looking at where you saw the pointed hat you now find a golden-eyed blonde grasping a broom. That's probably what hit you.

"Whoa, take it easy," you quickly speak, "I'm not a fairy or anything!"

"Ooh, sorry, sorry, my bad." She laughs and eases her stance, lowering her broom. "Reflex, you know? Can't be too careful 'round this forest."

You groan, slipping the helmet off your head. It didn't hurt too bad, but catching you off guard like that might as well have been as bad as a direct hit.

"Never seen you before. You from the village?" She asks, hopping over the bush with a basket full of mushrooms. "What's a human doing out in the Forest of Magic?"

"Just making a delivery." You reply, looking back her her. You pause to think, she seems like an oddball who might live out in the woods by herself. You decide to ask, "Are you Alice Margatroid?"

She snorts before letting out a hearty laugh. Okay, that's probably a no. Still, you can't help but feel a little embarrassed. The young woman laughs some more before finally needing to breathe.

"Oh, wow, I never imagined anyone would ever mistake me for her!" She says, straightening her hat.

"Uh, do you happen to know where she is in this forest then?" You ask.

"Hmm," she places a finger on her chin in thought, "she shouldn't be too far from here, actually."

[ ] Ask if she can point you in the direction to Alice Margatroid's house.
[ ] Ask if she can lead you to Alice Margatroid's house.
>> No. 24083
[x] Ask if she can lead you to Alice Margatroid's house.

Company is always nice, and chances are, Marisa's dying for an excuse like this.
>> No. 24084
[X] Ask if she can lead you to Alice Margatroid's house.

She'll be able to help if needed.
>> No. 24092
>>24083
True dat


[x] Ask if she can lead you to Alice Margatroid's house.
>> No. 24097
[x] Ask if she can lead you to Alice Margatroid's house.

>Rider Kick - Your strongest attack. Power builds up in your foot and is discharged upon impact. Best used as a finishing move.
>Rider Punch - Your alternative to the Rider Kick. It works in the same way, but uses your fist.

Ah fuck, i just need to vote in this story.
>> No. 24098
[X] Ask if she can lead you to Alice Margatroid's house.
>> No. 24100
[x] Ask if she can lead you to Alice Margatroid's house.

I like a nice dollitician.
>> No. 24103
[ø] Ask if she can lead you to Alice Margatroid's house.
>> No. 24109
File 126274398658.jpg - (942.65KB , 1500x581 , A cozy little home in the woods.jpg ) [iqdb]
24109
"Could you lead me there?" You ask.

"Sure, I guess," she pulls out pocket watch from out of her apron pocket, "Yeah, I got some time. C'mon!"

The two of you get going. You pull your bike along while the witch girl leads the way, occasionally making stops to inspect mushrooms. Realizing you don't even know her name, you decide to introduce yourself.

"I'm Marisa Kirisame," she replies, "Feel free to call me 'Marisa.'"

"'Kirisame?' Are you related to the owner of the Kirisa-"

"Yeah, I am. It's my parents'." Marisa sighs, looking irritated and scratching the back of her head. She gets up from her mushroom picking and keeps walking.

All right, you'd better not pry. Try another topic. Make it quick, before that awkward silence sets in!

"I take it you live in these woods too?" You finally ask.

"I do." She turns to face you walking backwards with her broom slung over her shoulders. "No better place to do my research. Way better than stuffy old libraries and my ingredients are just a few steps outside my doorstep."

"Still, it's pretty daring for a human to live alone out here."

"That's why I'm not just any human!" She says so quite proudly. "Speaking of daring, you make deliveries but can't fly. How are you still in business?"

"Well, they don't call me the fastest land courier in Gensokyo for nothing!" you answer, patting your motorcycle, "People learn to work around their weaknesses."

"Agreed, agreed!" Marisa nods knowingly with a smile. You have a feeling she's faced similar hardships before.

Time passes as the two of you carry on with your conversation walking under the trees. You soon spot a cozy little cottage just past some trees up ahead.

"Well, there it is." She points out, stopping in her tracks. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be off to borrow some books from a friend."

"Sure, and thanks again, Marisa. You've saved me some time!"

"Don't mention it," she tips her hat, "Nice meetin' you, and, hey, maybe you can make some deliveries for my shop sometime."

"Oh, sure, not a problem." You nod. "See you 'round then."

You see her off as she rises up past the trees on her broom. All by yourself again, you make your way to the clearing with the cottage. Glancing at the package fabrics again, you can't help but wonder if this Alice Margatroid is some kind of eccentric Western fashion designer. The chimney looks to be producing smoke, so someone's at home. You park your bike right by the porch and step up to the front door. You give the door a few knocks, but no one seems to be answering, you don't even hear hurried footsteps.

[ ] Knock louder.
[ ] Look through the windows.
[ ] Check for a back door and knock there.
[ ] Break in.
>> No. 24110
[x] Break in.
Fuck it.
>> No. 24111
[x] Knock louder.
>> No. 24112
[x] Knock louder.

Delivering goods.
>> No. 24113
[X] Knock louder.

>>24110
We break in, we get an army of dolls to the face. Plus Alice will not be very happy.

And her dolls can fly, remember? So of course there won't be any sound of one of them coming to the door.
>> No. 24114
[X] Knock louder.
>> No. 24116
>>24113
But technically our guy doesn't know any of that, given that he's never met Alice or heard anything about her it seems.

Even though not breaking in is still common sense.
>> No. 24117
[x] Knock louder.
>> No. 24122
File 126277394961.jpg - (164.13KB , 486x800 , shanghai.jpg ) [iqdb]
24122
Maybe she didn't hear you. You knock a bit louder.

There still doesn't seem to be a response of any kind. Rather than stand around you head over to your bike to untie the package off the back of your bike. Just then, you hear a door opening behind you. Turning around with the package in hand, you find a small girl floating at the doorway. Just when you thought you'd seen all the strangeness this land has to offer.

As you approach the door, it becomes apparent that this small girl is more like a doll. A pretty well-made one at that. The long blonde hair could easily pass for real hair and she's even in a cute blue dress with a huge red ribbon. The doll seems to sense your wonder and does a twirl followed by a mid-air curtsy. You snap out of your awe, realized you're supposed to be working.

"Uh, good afternoon!" You greet the doll with a nod of your head. "Might you be Miss Alice Margatroid?"

The doll shakes her head. The way she turns her head left and right would look exaggerated if done by a person of normal size, but it seems to work for her. The doll then assumes a pose of gesturing you inside.

"Excuse me, then." You bow your head, stepping across the threshold and into the house.

The doll shuts the door behind you then beckons you to follow her further inside. She leads you to what you assume to be a sitting room. Stepping inside, you get the feeling plenty of these decorations have been embroidered with careful hands. In there you find similar looking dolls pouring some tea into a cup. You're a little surprised, and a bit intimidated. It's certainly quite the welcome for a mere courier. You look over at the doll for some kind of direction and she points to one of the seats. You settle yourself at the table, leaving the package by your feet. You're unable to help yourself from sitting ramrod straight. The doll lands on the table, taking a teaspoon in both her arms. She makes her way to a small container of sugar and looks up at you expectantly.

[ ] It's Tea Time!
[ ] This feels too weird, just drop off the package and head home.
>> No. 24123
[X] It's Tea Time!

Cant turn down the hospitality.
>> No. 24124
[X] It's Tea Time!

Dollitician, I will have it. Her.
>> No. 24125
[X] It's Tea Time!
>> No. 24126
[X] It's Tea Time!

Are we suddenly going to ride around in a big golden invincible robot while wearing the most magnificent suit ever and be called The Gentleman?'
>> No. 24127
[ø] It's Tea Time!
>> No. 24128
[x] It's Tea Time!
>> No. 24129
[X] It's Tea Time!
Real men, etc etc
>> No. 24130
[x] It's Tea Time!

It's polite, and it's going to get weirder from here.
>> No. 24132
[x] It's "Teh-ah-tim-eh!"
Wait, wrong pocket dimension.

[x] It's Tea Time!
>> No. 24133
File 126283457511.jpg - (96.64KB , 650x578 , afternoon tea time.jpg ) [iqdb]
24133
You bear with it. Still, it's hard to feel relaxed in this situation. You look down at the doll holding the teaspoon. It finally dawns on you that she's asking for how many teaspoons of sugar should go in your tea. It takes some thought but you finally hold up a single finger. She gives you a nod, expertly taking the right amount of sugar and bringing it over to your cup. With the task done, she places the spoon back on the saucer and takes a seat right next to the cup of tea across from you.

"Is the lady of the house home?" You ask, taking your cup and saucer.

The doll replies with just a nod. It's too bad she can't tell you exactly where Alice Margatroid might be. You wait it out, taking sips of your tea.

"Good afternoon." You hear a greeting. At first your eyes lock onto the doll, but you quickly realize someone has entered the room. Taking a look at this new person, she looks like she stepped out of some kind of story book. She almost resembles the dolls you've seen, but with much shorter hair and more frills on her dress. She sets a large book on the table as she takes a seat across from you.

"You're-"

"Alice Margatroid? Indeed, I am." She cuts you off as she takes her own cup of tea to take a sip.

"I have your supplies." You say, blurting out the first thing to come to mind.

"So you do." She puts down her cup. "Thank you for pulling through on such short notice. You came in time for my afternoon tea, so I thought it polite to let you join. It must not have been easy finding this place."

No kidding! is what you would have said, but you manage to hold that back.

"I got a bit lost, yeah." You admit. "I'd prefer to have directions given to me along with the request."

"Yes, my apologies. I should have considered that when I realized you were incapable of flight." She gives you a small bow from across the table.

"It's fine." You assure her. "I ran into a friend of yours and she helped me find your place."

"I see."

The conversation grows silent again. She must not be the talkative type. Time to take the initiative here, you suppose.

"So, what's all the fabric for, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Ah, yes." Her eyes seem to light up. Maybe she wanted an end to the silence as much as you did. "I'm preparing a new set of dolls for the festival."

"You putting them on display?"

"You could say that. I'm a puppeteer, you see." She raises a hand and with a flick of her index finger, the little doll on the table stands to attention, giving you a little salute. "This is Shanghai."

The doll walks along the table toward you, holding a small hand out. You offer a finger and a thumb in what you can only describe as a strangely cute handshake. You can't help but laugh a little, impressed.

"This is great!" You look back up at Alice. "But why haven't I heard of you until now?"

Alice lets out a sigh, "That's the problem. The people who come to watch my shows seem to dwindle with each passing festival."

"Oh."

"I thought I could try something new and more elaborate for this next one, but even for me there's a limit to the dolls I can control at once." She continues. "I think I've found a way to get around that, so I've been in my workshop getting things ready all this time. Of course, I lost track rehearsing all this time that I forgot to make my girls some costumes."

She's dedicated, even in the face of decreasing popularity. "Well, I can guarantee you at least one person will watch your show." You say, finally relaxing in your seat.

"Ah, thank you." She looks a little surprised, but happy. "Actually, I must admit, I do have an ulterior motive to having you join me for tea."

Wait, what? "What might that be?" You ask.

"Could I," she pauses, looking out her window as if she can find her words out there, "Ask you lend me your assistance?"

"Huh?" This surprise request feels like it came from nowhere.

"I'd like for you to help me prepare for the festival." She leans forward in her seat, looking right at you. "You'll be compensated accordingly, of course. All I ask is for your time in these two days before the festival."

"Couldn't you ask your friend Marisa to help you?" You suggest, keeping your cool and not allowing the awkwardness of this situation get to you.

"I could, but I know she won't take this seriously." She lets out a sigh. "I just know she'll be a distraction. Please, you're the only person I can turn to right now!"

[ ] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.
[ ] Refuse. You've only just met.
>> No. 24134
[ ] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.
>> No. 24135
[x] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.
>> No. 24138
[x] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.

It's just another job, that and it's the heroic thing to do to help fair maidens.
>> No. 24139
File 126283907914.jpg - (134.90KB , 650x843 , 4e905fb788e8c834bf186e35880d0fd9.jpg ) [iqdb]
24139
[x] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.

as if I can resist Alice?
>> No. 24140
[x] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.

I don't see why not.
>> No. 24143
[ø] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.
Alice I cannot resist.
>> No. 24144
[X] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.
>> No. 24148
[x] Help Alice out. She seems desperate.

I shall not ignore you, plot hook.
Especially since it is an Alice-flavored hook.
>> No. 24150
It would have been easier to say no to this woman if you didn't just hear about her troubles. As it is now, it's not easy to turn her down.

"Okay, I'll help you out." You answer.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you so much!" Alice exclaims, appearing very relieved. She seems to realize her own rising enthusiasm as she holds a hand over her mouth and sits back down. She exhales and clears her throat. "You have my gratitude. Normally I wouldn't ask for the help of a stranger, but my circumstances give me very few options."

This makes you wonder how many friends this woman has outside of Marisa, if at all. Now may not be the time to worry about that though. Just think of this as another job. As such, it's about time you introduced yourself properly. After the formal exchanges you ask for the details of what exactly you'll be doing.

"Nothing elaborate," she replies, "I considered tailoring may not be part of your skill set. For the most part you can deal with what I or my dolls cannot do such as retrieving more materials if we need it. Of course I would not mind an extra pair of hands helping out at the workshop. Surely you've had to make minor repairs on you own clothes, yes?"

"A bit, yeah." You say.

"Good. The simple tasks shouldn't be too difficult then." Alice stands up from her seat. "Ah, I'm quite bad at keeping track of time. I really should return to the workshop."

Other dolls enter the room ready to help Shanghai put away the teaware.

[ ] Ask if you can check out the workshop.
[ ] You'll be here for the next to days, right? Ask where you'll be sleeping.
[ ] Help the dolls clean up.
>> No. 24151
[ø] Ask if you can check out the workshop.

>[ ] You'll be here for the next to days, right? Ask where you'll be sleeping.
oho?
>> No. 24152
[x] Ask if you can check out the workshop.
>> No. 24153
[x] Help the dolls clean up.
Hourai~
>> No. 24154
[X] Ask if you can check out the workshop.
>> No. 24155
[x] Help the dolls clean up.
>> No. 24200
File 126307902162.jpg - (254.35KB , 700x990 , strings.jpg ) [iqdb]
24200
"Actually, Miss Margatroid," you call her before she leaves the room, "Would it be all right if I went with you?"

"I suppose you can." She turns to you with a mild expression of embarrassment. "Though it's, um, little cluttered at the moment. Did you want to started tonight?"

[ ] No, you just wanted to look around.
[ ] Actually, you do want to start helping tonight.
>> No. 24201
[x] Actually, you do want to start helping tonight.

I don't like leaving things that can be done today for tomorrow.
>> No. 24202
File 126308183068.png - (57.32KB , 222x328 , 222px-The_Simpsons-Jeff_Albertson.png ) [iqdb]
24202
Shortest. Update. Ever.

[x] Actually, you do want to start helping tonight.
>> No. 24203
[x] Actually, you do want to start helping tonight.

Sure why not.
>> No. 24204
[ø] Actually, you do want to start helping tonight.
>> No. 24205
[x] Actually, you wanted to get started tonight.

>>24202
I see somebody here was not around for WUIG.
>> No. 24211
[x] Actually, you do want to start helping tonight.
>> No. 24230
"Better to get it done right away, don't you think?" You suggest.

She looks at you for a moment and then nods. "Indeed." She beckons you to follow, "Come, it's this way."

You exit the sitting room following after Alice out into the hallway. The hall feels oddly wide, mostly due to the lack of anything adorning its walls. Turning right at the end of the hallway, you find Alice stopped right in front of a heavy-looking door. She's holding a key in her hand but she seems hesitant to use it.

"What's wrong?" You ask, sounding a bit concerned.

"Ah, no, nothing wrong. It's just," she turns back to you, shaking her head, "I don't usually let people in here."

"Hey, if it really makes you that uncomfortable, I don't have to work in there." You say. "I'll understand, people need their space."

"I appreciate it, but," she starts, taking a deep breath and approaching the door with keys ready, "It'll be much easier to relay instructions to you if we're both in here, wouldn't it?"

You hear the audible metallic clicks of a door unlocking followed by the creaking of hinges. You haven't stepped inside yet but you can see the room is cluttered with dolls, both finished and unfinished, some missing limbs and even heads. All manner of miniature clothing is scattered all over one of the tables with a few fully clothed dolls lying down among them. One side of the room is occupied by mannequins wearing all sorts of fancy dresses.

"You keep yourself pretty busy." You say. "You do these all yourself?"

"It's a good distraction from my research." She replies, setting her book down on one of the chairs.

You stop right next to her in front of a table with a sheet over it. There seems to be something human shaped underneath. You suddenly feel a little nervous.

"Uh, what's this?" You almost wish you didn't ask.

"It's the solution to my problem!" She answers with a hint of pride in her voice.

Alice removes the sheet, revealing a doll about the size and proportions of the average person with wavy gold locks. It's even wearing a camisole and a pair of bloomers. If it wasn't for the obvious doll joints you could have mistaken this for someone sleeping peacefully. Alice helps the doll up into a sitting position at the edge of the table. At that moment, Shanghai and her fellow dolls enter the workshop carrying the package of fabric you delivered.

"Isn't it great, Carroll? We can make you a lovely dress now." Alice speaks to the doll affectionately, brushing the hair of its face. If you didn't know any better, it's almost like observing a mother and daughter or a pair of sisters.

"So what part will she play in your performance?" You ask, going over to the dolls to help them with the package they've been having difficulty opening.

"A second puppeteer of sorts." Alice says as she sets a large box onto the table, no doubt it's her sewing kit. "She's more like a larger doll to control the smaller ones, but she won't need a tremendous amount of input from me. I think we've rehearsed enough that she can perform properly."

Easy enough to understand, you think. You'd rather not get into the technicalities of it. "It-- She can think on her own?"

"Not entirely. It's just basic memorization but it's worked surprisingly well." Alice speaks as she continues rifling through her kit. "I might expand on it after the festival is over."

After tearing the package open the dolls move in to take out the sheets one at a time, laying them flat across an unused table. Alice finally gets herself ready and begins instructing you on your tasks, handing you a piece of paper with measurements and shapes on how to cut out the pieces of fabric. The task isn't exactly difficult but there's a lot of cutting to be done. Luckily you have one of the small dolls around to help you work around some of your minor errors.

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

You're not sure how long it's been since you started working, but your body seems to be aware of it. You find yourself blinking hard and correcting the position of your scissors more often. You've managed to keep yourself awake before just talking to Alice, telling her about the recent goings-on in the village or a little about yourself and your arrival into Gensokyo. You think she probably didn't hear a lot of it, but it didn't matter since it was helping you stay awake. Right now you feel like you've run out of steam and the drowsiness had finally caught up to you.

[ ] Try and stay awake, you can probably cut some more clothe out before calling it a night.
[ ] It's no use, just sleep for the night. You'll make up for it when you wake up in the morning.
>> No. 24231
[x] It's no use, just sleep for the night. You'll make up for it when you wake up in the morning.
>> No. 24232
[x] Try and stay awake, you can probably cut some more clothe out before calling it a night.
>> No. 24234
[x] Try and stay awake, you can probably cut some more clothes out before calling it a night.

>Carroll
Oho. Very clever.

I look forward to this interesting development.
>> No. 24235
>Carroll
It escapes me at the moment, little help?

[x] It's no use, just sleep for the night. You'll make up for it when you wake up in the morning.
>> No. 24236
[ø] It's no use, just sleep for the night. You'll make up for it when you wake up in the morning.
Don't want screw up badly, do we?
>> No. 24237
[x] It's no use, just sleep for the night. You'll make up for it when you wake up in the morning.

We have limits and we should follow them lest the quality or our work suffers.
>> No. 24240
[x] It's no use, just sleep for the night. You'll make up for it when you wake up in the morning.

>>24235
Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, author of Alice in Wonderland, and I have to agree with >>24234, it's a nice touch on Hopper's part.
>> No. 24249
[X] It's no use, just sleep for the night. You'll make up for it when you wake up in the morning.
>> No. 24254
You can't fight it. Even a modified human needs his sleep. Setting the scissors down, you let out a yawn.

"Can't stay awake anymore?" You hear Alice ask behind you.

"Not really, no." You respond, turning around to face her. "What about you? Have you been getting sleep while getting any of these done?"

"Truth be told, no." She lets out a yawn too, stopping her sewing momentarily to cover her mouth with the back of her hand. "Maybe I ought to get an hour or two of sleep at least."

"Well, I'll go ahead then." You stifle another yawn as you get up from your seat and make your way to the door. "Will you mind if I use your couch for the night?"

"Ah, wait!" Alice calls you to stop for a moment, and a doll with a fur cap flies in front of you, bowing in greeting. "You can follow Russia to the extra bedroom. You can at least have a soft mattress and blankets there."

"Will you be all right on your own?" You ask, your voice nearly slurring.

"Don't worry, I'll just finish this up and get to bed myself."

"Okay. Good night, Miss Margatroid." You say.

"Good night."

You follow the doll called Russia out into the hallway. She stops every few steps or so to look back at you, probably making sure you don't suddenly make the hallway floor your bed. It reaches a door and descends toward the doorknob, using both its tiny arms to turn and push it open. Russia flies in as you barely make your way through the threshold. She pulls back the blankets and you slide right in, already feeling cozy. Russia pats you on your forehead before finally flying out of the room, shutting the door behind her. You relax your body and shut your eyes.

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

You wake up to the sound of chirping birds. Looks like it's morning. You rub your eyes as you sit up in bed. You eventually remember you're at Alice Margatroid's house, staying over for two days to help get her puppet show ready for the village's festival. Getting your thoughts straightened out, you hop out of bed, fixing it as best you can. First things first, time to freshen up in the nearest bathroom before you resume your work.

Finally wide awake, you make your way back to the workshop. To your surprise, Alice is there, working.

"Good morning." You greet her.

"Ah, good morning. Did you sleep all right?" She asks.

"Yeah, no problems." You say, stretching your arms over your head. "What about you? Did you even sleep?"

"Hmm, it would probably be more accurate to call it a nap." She bites at the thread, cutting it with her teeth.

You're impressed with her drive to work and get back to your own task. About ten cut pieces of fabric later, you feel your stomach rumble.

[ ] Ignore it, keep working for now. You're almost done.
[ ] You're hungry, get up and make yourself something. Alice wouldn't want to be interrupted.
[ ] You're hungry, get up and make some breakfast for you and Alice.
>> No. 24255
{X} Ignore it, keep working for now. You're almost done.
>> No. 24259
[ø] Ignore it, keep working for now. You're almost done.
>> No. 24262
[ ] You're hungry, get up and make some breakfast for you and Alice.
>> No. 24263
[x] You're hungry, get up and make some breakfast for you and Alice.
-[x] Try to make something simple yet doesn't need to be eaten right away; just in case Alice doesn't notice at first.
>> No. 24264
[X] Ignore it, keep working for now. You're almost done.

Little extra effort wouldn't hurt
>> No. 24265
[X] Ignore it, keep working for now. You're almost done.

We will be able to relax once work is done.
>> No. 24266
[x] Ignore it, keep working for now. You're almost done.
>> No. 24267
And you think our stomach growling wouldn't mess up Alice's work?
>> No. 24269
>>24267
Not as much as falling asleep while working and possibly stabbing ourselves with the scissors, bleeding furiously onto the fabric.
>> No. 24277
File 126332427614.jpg - (206.88KB , 600x848 , Alice and Shanghai.jpg ) [iqdb]
24277
You put your stomach's protests aside, focusing on finishing this task. You'll be fine for now.

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

You make the last snip, putting the last piece of fabric and your scissors aside.

"Oh, good, you've finished!" You hear Alice behind you. She sets down a plate of egg and toast. "I'm afraid this is the quickest meal I could prepare at the moment."

Well, this is quite a surprise. You didn't even notice her get up and leave the workshop.

"Oh, no, no, that's fine." You reassure her. "Thanks a lot! What about you, though, did you eat anything?"

"I had the same thing." She replies, back to working on Carroll's dress.

You start eating, observing Shanghai and the other dolls taking the pieces of cloth you've cut out and creating small articles of clothing from them. You're impressed with how precisely they're all working, even more when you remember they're all being directed by Alice. You can't comprehend how such dexterity is even possible.

"Alright, what should I take care of next?" You ask, after finally swallowing your last piece of toast.

Your next set of tasks have a bit more variety. You still have to cut some cloth but you're also doing some basic stitching and even dressing up some of the naked dolls.

"This is good." Alice says. "At this rate we'll be done and have enough time to head to the village to set our stage."

"Will it even be built in time?" You ask, a little concerned, especially with the festival occurring the day after tomorrow.

"That shouldn't be a problem. I'll bring Goliath along."

Goliath? Well, no need for further explanation there.

"It's a much larger stage than before. It will surely draw some interest while we're setting it up." She says, a hint of excitement in her voice.

"Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves, yeah? These costumes have to be done first."

"You're right. Let's keep at it then." She agrees with a chuckle.

Alice is pretty cheerful today, you think. Even more reason not to let her down. You pick up the pace.

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

The next few hours had been uneventful, dotted by the occasional question from you asking how to do a particular stitch or cut and either of you getting up to briefly step out of the workshop. The table you've been working at is occupied by plenty of dolls, many dressed to look like knights armored in cloth, others like members of a court of royalty. The dolls helping out have gotten into costume as well with Shanghai standing out from the rest with her incredibly long red cape.

"Doesn't she look heroic?" Asks Alice, having Shanghai turn slowly in the air as she inspects her costume.

"The cape's a little long, isn't it?" You comment.

"Nonsense, a hero needs a cape." She says matter-of-factly. "It will look more dramatic in the windy scenes!"

Alice demonstrates, setting Shanghai down and putting her into a dramatic standing pose. She conjures up a bit of wind, allowing Shanghai's cape to billow upward. The effect is indeed impressive, and you admit to it.

Looking out of one of the high windows, you see it's the middle of afternoon now.

[ ] Remind Alice it's time for tea.
[ ] Get back to work.
>> No. 24278
[x] Get back to work.

Russia is the adorablest.
>> No. 24279
[X] Remind Alice it's time for tea.
-[x]Beyond the construction of the stage, ask about what will be needed, props/supplies etc for the performance.

Never know what else Alice may need help on the most minute of details.
>> No. 24280
>Goliath? Well, no need for further explanation there.

yeah it's a BIG doll, so this story is post TH12.3?

>"Nonsense, a hero needs a cape." She says matter-of-factly. "It will look more dramatic in the windy scenes!"

And I can imagine once Alice finds out about our heroic adventure she'll make us one.

[X] Remind Alice it's time for tea.
-[x]Beyond the construction of the stage, ask about what will be needed, props/supplies etc for the performance.

I think Alice would appreciate the reminder, since she does get too into it, and if she doesn't want Tea, well there was the good intentions.
>> No. 24281
>>24280

It's got to be a scarf if you're a Kamen Rider.
>> No. 24283
[ø] Remind Alice it's time for tea.
-[ø]Beyond the construction of the stage, ask about what will be needed, props/supplies etc for the performance.
>> No. 24284
[x] Remind Alice it's time for tea.
-[x]Beyond the construction of the stage, ask about what will be needed, props/supplies etc for the performance.

He might have to ride off somewhere far so the sooner he knows the better to aid Alice.
>> No. 24285
[x] Remind Alice it's time for tea.
-[x]Beyond the construction of the stage, ask about what will be needed, props/supplies etc for the performance.
>> No. 24320
"Actually, Miss Margatroid, isn't it about time for tea?" You speak.

"Oh, so it is!" Alice gently flexes her fingers and a few of the dolls take off out of the workshop. "I could use a break."

You agree, your hands really need it. The dolls return bringing with them all the necessary tea ware, setting them all down on an unused workbench.

"Is there anything else we might need just in case?" You ask. "I can make another run back to the village if you need me to."

Alice thinks for a moment.

"I don't think that will be necessary." She finally speaks. "I thought we might need more cloth but I have just enough left to make Carroll's dress."

With the tea now ready, the dolls pour cups you and Alice. A whiff of the tea's sweet aroma is enough to help you relax. Alice has hers while getting Carroll to move, making the doll kick her legs in her seat or flex her fingers. Her movements are quite smooth and nearly life-like. You watch as she turns her head at you and gives you a wave. You can't help but laugh a little and play along, returning the wave.

"Would you like to see a bit of her performance?" Alice asks. "Think of it as tea time entertainment of sorts."

"Sure, why not?" You reply. Besides, Alice looks eager to show-off a little.

She positions the fingers of her one free hand and Carroll raises her own hands, fanning out her fingers, as if the keys of a piano were before her. A few dolls move into position on the table pairing up. You start to hear the distinguishing crackle of old vinyl records. An upbeat piano tune begins to play and you watch as the dolls bow before their partner then take their hand. They begin to move in time with the music. They all move in perfect sync, with dolls in the outer circle stepping and spinning in a clockwise direction and the inner circle going the opposite direction. It makes a near hypnotic effect. You take a glance at Carroll seeing her move her hands as if conducting this music.

The piece sounds like it's nearing its end when suddenly one pair of dolls breaks out of line and bumps into a few other dolls while the rest just stop dancing. You hear Alice get up.

"Carroll?" She walks up to the doll whose hands appear to be stuck in their current position.

"What happened?" You put your cup down. You'd get up too, but you have no idea what you can do to help in this situation.

"I haven't the slightest idea." She says, helping Carroll bring her arms down. "Her rehearsals have been fine before. Looks like we might have to do a few more tonight."

"It's not going to slow us down, is it?"

"It shouldn't." She assures you. "We'll be all right. Sorry our tea time had to be cut short. You can have a longer break, I'll try to figure out what the problem is in the meantime."

"Sure." You nod, making your way out of the workshop with your cup of tea.

[ ] Check on your bike.
[ ] Take a nap.
[ ] Go to the kitchen.
>> No. 24321
[x] Check on your bike.
>> No. 24322
[ø] Check on your bike.
>> No. 24323
[X] Check on your bike.
Don't need it suddenly stolen when needed the most.
>> No. 24324
[X] Check on your bike.

I'm suddenly getting a bad feeling about Carroll. An outside force way be trying to take control of her.
>> No. 24325
[x] Check on your bike.

Best to be safe than sorry; that and we might flush out whoever might be plotting something.
>> No. 24326
[x] Check on your bike.

I really hope we don't have to trash Carroll later. Or sooner.

...At all, really.
>> No. 24328
[x] Check on your bike.

Can't possibly go wrong~!
>> No. 24329
[x] Check on your bike.
>> No. 24335
You gulp down the rest of your tea and make your way to the front door of the house. It wouldn't hurt to go check on your bike.

Stepping outside, you find your bike still parked right in front of Alice's porch. It appears untouched. The surrounding forest seems quiet. If you didn't know any better you probably would have enjoyed time to think by yourself in these woods. You're about to head back inside when you hear an unnerving rattling sound. That certainly didn't sound like it was coming from your bike. You hear it again. It sounds like it's coming from above, maybe on Alice's roof. Carefully you move away from the porch to get a better view of what might be up there.

You can see something is on the roof, but the low afternoon sun strikes it from behind, giving you only a silhouette. The bulky shape looks somewhat humanoid wearing what could be a very wide-brimmed hat. It's hard to tell if it's looking at you.

[ ] Throw a rock at it.
[ ] Call to it.
[ ] Go back inside.
>> No. 24336
[x] Call to it.

Fun.
>> No. 24338
[X] Throw a rock at it.

inb4 Master Spark
>> No. 24339
[ø] Go back inside.
-[ø] "Any idea why Marisa is on your roof right now?"
>> No. 24341
[x] Call to it.
-[x] If it doesn't respond, go inside and ask Alice if she knows anyone wearing widebrimmed hats.

Not sure if our lead knows Marisa or not.
>> No. 24342
[x] Call to it.
-[x] If it doesn't respond, go inside and ask Alice if she knows anyone wearing widebrimmed hats.

yes we've met marisa
>> No. 24345
[x] Go back inside.
-[x] "Any idea why Marisa is on your roof right now?"
>> No. 24349
Wide-brimmed hat? It must be her.

"Hey, Marisa!" You raise an arm to wave. "What are you doing up there?"

"Sha-a-a-a-a!!"

What? That didn't sound like any noise a person would make. So that's what the weird rattling was. Squinting your eyes for some kind of better view of this "person," you can see it's arms are rather thick with little bulges all over. Yeah, this thing is looking less and less like the witch girl. You see the figure begin to walk toward the edge of the roof.

Suddenly the shadow is in the air, coming down at you. You just barely dive sideways to avoid its abnormally massive arm coming down at you. You scramble back on your feet. The creature makes its shrill cry once more. Now with a better look at this monster, you can see it almost resembles a freakish human mushroom. The wide-brimmed hat you saw was its massive cap. It's arms are just huge club-like appendages with fungi growing all over. It's coming at you again.

"Sha-a-a-a-a!!"

[ ] Fight it right here.
[ ] Lure it away from Alice's house.
>> No. 24350
[x] Fight it right here.

Bring it you giant shroom.
>> No. 24357
[X] Lure it away from Alice's house.
I think we should avoid putting Alice's house in the crossfire
>> No. 24358
[X] Lure it away from Alice's house.
>> No. 24361
[ø] Fight it right here.
>> No. 24363
[x] Lure it away from Alice's house.
>> No. 24364
[x] Fight it right here.
No time for wandering around.
>> No. 24365
[x] Fight it right here.
>> No. 24366
[x] Lure it away from Alice's house.

I have a feeling that sticking near Alice's house will result in the destruction of her project.
>> No. 24367
[x] Lure it away from Alice's house.
-[x] Try calling out Alice before doing so as to perhaps get her assistance.
>> No. 24369
[X] Lure it away from Alice's house.

Can't allow it to wreck all the work that been done over two days in a few seconds!
>> No. 24373
You barely evade the mushroom-man's charge, causing him to nearly stumble. Keeping your eye on him, you slowly back up away from the clearing and into the forest. You'll try not to get very far, but you need to keep it away from Alice's house, especially when you'll be making your counterattack shortly.

You get it to follow you into the woods. It seems quite mindful of its distance as it makes careful steps toward you. You make slow backward steps, wary of any sudden movements it might make. Suddenly, your heel trips a little and you realize you've bumped into a tree. The monster sees its chance and comes at you again, shrieking.

Damn, you can't get away in time! You're knocked into the air.

Transform!

You land on your feet. If it hit you any further you might have to deal with a tree limb slamming into your back. You turn to face your assailant who now seems very cautious of your new form.

"You picked a bad time, friend." You say, pointing at the creature. "Let a man have his break at least!"

[ ] Goad him into striking first.
[ ] Land the first blow.
>> No. 24377
[x] Land the first blow.
>> No. 24378
[X] Goad him into striking first.
Counterstrikes are most effective
>> No. 24379
>"Let a man have his break at least!"
Fuck you mushroom, you are our breakfast.

[ø] Goad him into striking first.
>> No. 24382
[x] Goad him into striking first.

Yeah.
>> No. 24383
[X] Goad him into striking first.
>> No. 24384
[x] Goad him into striking first.
>> No. 24385
[x] Goad him into striking first.
>> No. 24386
new thread plz due to autosage