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9327 No. 9327
[x] "I doubt she can even manage to speak the words 'I'm sorry'."
[x] Sigh. "I'll grant this out of compassion for you, Meiling--not for her. Compassion for her would be to put her down like the injured dog she is." Turn away and start making your way toward the servant's quarters. "You'll have to take complete responsibility for her from here on out."

“WHAT!?” You visibly flinch at Rika's outburst. “First that lying bitch! Now this freak!?” She marches towards the huddling pair. “Why am I the only one who sees the injustice of all of this!?” Whilst she continues her verbal barrage against the two, Wriggle emerges from her hiding spot, still cowering behind the corner of the stairwell end. More pressing thoughts are now arising in your head. You call out Rika's name but she just either ignores completely you, or cannot hear you over the sound of her own voice. Sakuya looks to Rika before burying herself in Meiling, her usable arm wrapping around her and gripping tightly. Meiling shushes the broken maid, placing a hand on her cheek, gently rubbing it.

“You're sick, Sakuya. You're not well, but they can cure you, they can cure us! You don't have to feel pain any more. Just please say sorry, you have to know that what you've done is wrong, horribly wrong, but you can change! Help them help you. Please do it, please.” Sakuya dully pulls herself away from Meiling and just stares down the barrel of Rika's weapon, now barely a few feet away from her. It's quite effective at putting Rika off talking. She shudders and snivels, kneeling down on both legs she places her hand to the ground; bowing low, her lips almost touching the floor. Rika looks noticeably disturbed and begins to gradually inch away from Sakuya. You seize this moment of silence and calmly call her name. Rika doesn't face away from Sakuya but you see her eyes look to you.

“Rika, where is Reisen?” Nothing. Even the low rumbling of the fires seem to die down and not a breath is heard, the silence is sickening. Rika turns to face the lounge which she was ejected from moments ago, twisting her body she tries to look through the lounge and into the dining hall, abruptly she turns to Wriggle.

“WELL WHERE IS SHE!?” Her thunder only serves to terrify the insectan centaur back into hiding. “I left her with you! Don't you dare fucking tell me, DON'T YOU DARE!” Now completely abandoning Sakuya, Rika turns her anger towards Wriggle, marching over towards where she was hiding and dragging her back out. You feel a coarse liquid flowing in your veins, bile, poison, you want to be sick. Wriggle is tugged out into the main room, by the feelers, with Rika screaming profanity into her face. The loud smashing sound of your axe cracking one of the tiles is enough to silence her though. Releasing Wriggle from her grip the bug sprints over to you with frightening speed, skidding past you she stumbles to a halt before bouncing back and leaping up onto your back, gripping holding onto your shoulders tightly. For a while Rika just stares at you, searching for something.

“You know I used to believe that you cared about justice in this world. Genuinely cared about people, that you wanted to protect them” She pauses, looking to Sakuya and Meiling. “You've thrown those values away now”

Thrown them away? They're still very much there, but they have changed, you know it yourself. Haven't they? Perhaps they were altered when you met Rika? Maybe they have always been this way and the recent trouble you had been through had offset your values. There is the possibility that both Sakuya and Meiling were both victims of a twisted fate, in more than one sense of the term. Others could be to blame, Patchouli for instance, has much explaining to do. You muse on the thought of 'explanations', as you have not been graced with many, you cringe at what could possibly be their reasoning but the vile inhabitants of this household might have some twisted form of it. Meiling pulls herself and Sakuya further away from the creature that is starting to creep further in and another explosion is heard from below.

“Head to library, all of you, I'll get Reisen” Hefting the axe from the ground you ready to leave but feel a tugging from behind. Wriggle, she doesn't want you to go. “I'll have words with you later, Wriggle” You scold her, you keep reminding yourself that she's still a child, still naïve and foolish, you have to keep telling yourself this, or else. Shaking the thoughts away you give Wriggle a gently push and she complies, dully dropping off you.

“I'll join you-” Rika begins but you give her a firm 'no' in a swift hand motion.

“I wouldn't want to risk any more people”

“She was my responsibility as well!”

“That doesn't change the fact that it's still too dangerous to split up our already weakened group, stay here with the others, you can protect them better than I can” Rika mumbles something under her breath as you turn away. You mind re-focused on the task at hand you know you can do this, the smoke and flames are meaningless, there is only one goal, a single objective; a friend in need. Your first step and you already feel yourself stumbling. The whole room jolts once and the floor becomes intensely hot, burning, the corners of the room smoke and crumble away, flame clawing its way up, digging its fiery nails into the walls. Violently you are thrown onto the stairwell, Meiling landing with Sakuya beside you, still firmly gripping your arm. The wind is knocked out of you and in your daze you twist and roll onto your back, shielding your eyes with your hands you watch the pillar of flame rise up, spiralling towards the ceiling. In stupefaction you stare, watching your world consumed in fire, amidst the roaring of fire you hear the loud and deep wails of the beast outside, retreating from the building as well as the sound of shattering glass. The spire collapses into smaller balls of fire that rain down on the room, much like droplets of water at first, but as the pillar falls the ravenous flames spread out and roll over the room, licking and biting at your bare skin, it's unendurable. A wild, primal instinct grips you as you toss and roll on the ground, desperately beating the fire with your only working hand you manage to subdue the flames after several agonisingly long seconds. Looking back to the room you see Meiling lying on top of Sakuya, shielding her, most of Meiling's back is still burning, you still can't see Rika. Hearing a familiar clicking noise behind, you turn to the top of the stairs where Wriggle managed to escape to, the fire not effecting her carapace at all, she seems more irritated at it than anything else, furiously swatting and batting at the flames, squeaking and clicking as she does.

>> No. 9328
Approaching the end of the stairs you can see now down to the very bottom of the pit, you're glad that there were so many levels the blast had to travel through else the entire building wouldn't be standing any more, it's only barely standing as it is, the stairs now crumble, their supports below falling away into the pit that used to be the main hall. You can roughly guess where each level to the building is, but the pit seems to have fallen in on itself, rubble sliding down to the centre filling over the fire, smothering it but with so many fires on so many levels of this building the chances are the building will become a simple shell, it's interior burnt away. You heave a sigh of relief when you finally see Rika, emerging from the corner of the room where the floor had not collapsed, it would seem that the corners of the room are held up by large structural pillars, the centre of it was not. Rika looks uninjured, but definitely not unscathed, parts of her clothing are still smouldering. The elation is bitter-sweet, although everyone here survived, you pause, looking deeper into the burning rubble. You know one didn't. Letting go of her grip Meiling rushes to the top of the stairs before dropping down and smothering the fires on her back. Sakuya tilts her head forward and stares into the flaming abyss, her life crumbling around her. Her expression doesn't break, an exhausted gloom hangs over her, even the warming touch of Meiling does little to stir anything in her.

“We should try the roof, master, there are a few walkways for cleaners to use we can traverse to get down to the gardens below, cleaning work up there stopped a while ago but there might be some ladders we can climb down” Meiling gently lifts Sakuya and cradles her, kissing her softly on the forehead.

“Touching,” Rika snidely remarks, throwing her weapon up onto the stairs and then climbing over the banister after it. “But don't think I have forgotten about your lies before, this could be another elaborate trap. It sounds as dangerous enough as it is. I think we should take our chances with the fire it's only at its most dangerous point here,” She thumbs across the pit towards the burning door frame leading into the servant quarters, but her speech trails off when she takes a more focused look at you, noticing your burn injuries. “Oh my God,” Stepping closer she very tenderly runs her fingertips over the burn marks, you flinch in reaction; the after pain starting to set in. Rika gives a quick glance over to Meiling; grudgingly ordering her to lead on. Rika takes your battered arm she places it over her shoulder. “Come on, you've been through enough, let me help you” You don't resist, you feel as if you could collapse any moment now, you don't have the energy, all of it flows into gripping your axe and keeping your legs steady.

Meiling takes you through the door on the right wing of the mansion, directly over the servant quarters. The corridor here seems to have seen a lot of activity recently, how recently? You don't know, a hazardous guess could put it within the past few hours, a safe bet would be at least within a week. Scattered about the floor are all manner of refuse, ranging from rotten old food to broken planks of wood and rusty worn weapons. Meiling takes the second door on the left which leads into a large storage closet, doubling up as a roof access point, a set of wide windows dominate most of this small room. Wriggle bounds up to them, leaping up and snatching hold of the handles she tugs back and the windows open up wide, a chill blows through the room as you can audibly hear the wind blow as well as something else. Strange noises. Like the explosions you heard before but only, more synthetic, unnatural. Even from here you can see the edge of the roof that you must now traverse, two feet wide with no bars to hold onto.

[ ] You and Rika should go first
[ ] Meiling and Sakuya should go first
[ ] Wriggle should go first
>> No. 9331
[x] You and Rika should go first.

Those artificial-sounding explosions are probably Alice and Patchouli. Alice's attitude with Meiling earlier seemed to be "shoot first, ask questions later"; I wouldn't want her to spot Wriggle, Meiling, or Sakuya without us being there to mediate.

Meiling and Sakuya might be too injured to fly, but Wriggle should be able to.
>> No. 9332
[x] You and Rika should go first
>> No. 9334
[X] Meiling and Sakuya should go first

Just in case it crumbles.
>> No. 9336
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9336
>The elation is bitter-sweet, although everyone here survived, you pause, looking deeper into the burning rubble. You know one didn't.

"While it has been a faithful companion, your moon rabbit cannot accompany you through the rest of the test. If she could talk—and the Scarlet Devil Mansion takes this opportunity to remind you that she cannot—she would tell you to go on without her, because she would rather die in a fire than become a burden to you."

[♨] You and Rika should go first.
>> No. 9338
[x]You and Rika go first.

While Meiling and Sakuya can backstab you, they aren't in any position to pull that off just yet.
>> No. 9351
All of Rika's bluster here leads me to that believe she knowingly left Reisen behind--browbeating Wriggle so that she can't respond to her accusations, shifting the blame for her own cruelty to Meiling, her insistence on leaving the Mansion immediately, as well as her tirade that we have forgotten "justice". Not to mention we have no idea how she "escaped" in the first place and managed to lock Meiling up in manacles.

Now that Shanghai is gone, it seems there is no one left we can fully trust.
>> No. 9359
>>9336
oh fuck i lol'd, updates coming later on today!
>> No. 9360
>>9359

Hooray!
>> No. 9381
>Now that Shanghai is gone, it seems there is no one left we can fully trust.

I've been thinking about this. Maybe Shanghai wasn't truly an independent doll, but rather the part of Alice's personality she left behind when she went into her magic coma? Would explain their diametrically opposed affect, as well as Alice's seeming disregard for the doll's existence.

If that part came back to her as a result of Shanghai being thrown into the Scarlet Devil Emergency Intelligence Incinerator, it would explain her belated "falling-out" with Patchouli.
>> No. 9384
>>9359

waitan gaems
>> No. 9408
>>9359
>oh fuck i lol'd, updates coming later on today!

Today was yesterday.

And I've had "Still Alive" stuck in my head for the last 48 hours because of that. Update, damn you.
>> No. 9418
[x] You and Rika should go first

“Lets go” You mutter and nod forward, Rika looks down to you somewhat uneasy before taking cautious steps towards the window. Stepping out onto the ledge the bitterly cold winds offer a mixture of feelings, a pleasant cool over your burnt skin and a harsh chill on the more healthy parts of your body. Rika pulls you even closer to her as she steps up onto the ledge, you can even hear her rapid breathing. You give a quick look about your immediate area and the roof works below, as Meiling had said there are several scaffolding sections set up that could be reached with great difficulty and risk, but they do seem the safest bet, as an oppose to the more direct route of climbing down the side of the building. Just as Rika is about to move forward there is a great whoosh and the gardens are illuminated in a shimmering blue glow.

The library is in chaos, the purest form of it, none of it makes sense, but it's wonderful. Out of the library's shattered roof comes a vibrant array of colours and matter, swirling above the building the colours weave into the night sky like northern lights, you marvel at the orbs of gold and silver that soar into the shimmering nebulae trailing behind them a respectively coloured mist, even Rika stands with you in awe.

“What's going on outside?” Meiling pipes up and you hear her step closer to the window.

“See for yourself” Rika replies, turning her back to the ledge she parts with you momentarily before taking your hand and leading you across the ledge, not looking down once and keeping her face firmly looking straight ahead. You hear a happy chirping sound from Wriggle and see her dive down past you, her carapace open and insect wings beating furiously she descends to the ground with an awkward landing. Stumbling around for a moment she looks back up to you and cheers, jumping up and down and waving her hands. From behind you can hear Meiling laughing, invoking the same feeling in you.

“W-What's so funny?” Rika nervously asks, which immediately strikes you as being off, Rika? Nervous?

“Wriggle just did something funny, weren't you watching?”

“No! I'm trying to focus here!” You snicker, no, you've never heard Rika like this at all.

“Don't tell me you're scared of heights? We climbed a mountain together, remember?”

“Yes. But I don't recall any sudden vertical drops and having nothing to grip or hold onto.” She replies in a huffy tone.

“You have me!” Rika stops momentarily before quickening her pace and tugging you along more aggressively, you quietly snicker to yourself some more. Arriving at the first scaffolding Rika hops off the ledge and onto the wood causing the plank to bounce a little. She lets out a yelp and grabs onto one of the support poles with one arm, clutching her weapon close to her. Imitating her you hop off the ledge onto plank, much to Rika's displeasure as it shakes again. Intentionally making the scaffolding shake as much as possible whilst climbing down makes the journey all the more enjoyable, for yourself at least, by the time she reaches the ground Rika is a nervous wreck.

The garden grounds are a lot less pleasant up close, you can see sections of hedgerow that have been cut down or crushed, a heavy stench of decay permeates the air and not solely from the dying overgrown plants.

“Meiling, you go first, lead on” You nod in the direction of the surreal building and she follows as ordered; leading you closer to the building instead of what you would have imagined being the shorter path; through the gardens. She leads you along a rather overly extended patio, several seats and tables are laid out and the menu seems to consist entirely of old weaponry and armour. Not much of a choice.

“When the mistress decided we were to prepare our defences against any would-be-invaders she had several sections of the house re-designated as combat training grounds, the garden was one of these areas” Meiling talks as if this is a guided tour, although admittedly you are still very interested in what she has to say.

“How did you possibly defend yourself against the Lunarian war machines?” You ask and Meiling shudders slightly in response.

“We didn't,” She pauses, at first you wonder why but as you look up you see why. “We're here” She nods towards the closed and barred doors. Pressing your ear against them you hear the explosions and commotion within, a voice, Alice's voice.

PUPPETEER SIGN「MAIDEN'S BUNRAKU」

Her shouts can be heard over the thunder of danmaku and other, stranger noises, low rumbling, and the sounds of harsh winds blowing, inside the building? You grin, looking back to Rika, there's no need to be subtle here.

“Get us inside!” You pound once on the door with your fist before stepping away, Rika taking the point and lowering her weapon to the door. You wonder if they'll hear you knocking? The door is not only blown off it's hinges but it shatters into splinters upon entry of the room, the shot continues through several, miraculously still standing, bookshelves, cutting them down before crashing into what you assume is the wall at the back, judging by the dust rising up in the distance. The library is staggeringly big, even the high walls are lined in bookshelves, many aflame, depositing burning books by the masses as the individual shelves burn away and break. In what you judge to be the ground in the centre of the room is a brilliant purple glow, from this point in the ground several colossal chains are attached the floor, each link larger than a man, the chains rise up and are bolted onto the walls of the room at different heights and positions.

“We have guests, my dear Alice!” You hear from above you, looking further up and towards the broken roof you see the two women floating in the air, Patchouli who stands noticeably shorter than Alice, who you recognise instantly by the tell-tale swarm of dolls surrounding her.

“Interloper!? You're alive!?” She sounds more surprised than happy or concerned for you, which Patchouli picks up on.

“My, what consideration and concern you show! I am ever so envious of your friend” She laughs loudly and twirls in the air, throwing her hand out several orbs of flame burst from her back hurtling towards Alice. Responding quickly Alice clenches her fist, swinging her hand forward sending a swarm of dolls crashing into the fireballs, sacrificing themselves on behalf of their mistress. Flicking her hand once several grey rings with arcane patterns marked across them appear and from them a bright blue glow takes the form of a tiny person, a doll emerging from each each one of the grey rings. Within seconds of loosing half her army, the losses are replenished.

“'Friend'” Alice snarls “You are NEVER to mention that word in my presence!” Swinging both her hands forward the doll army springs into action, taking up positions in front of Alice and from each one a concentrated beam of red light erupts from their chest, not entirely directed at her but rather they weave a network of death which Patchouli nimbly ducks and flies through.

“Welcomed guests!” Patchouli announces to you amidst the combat. “You are honoured that in your final hours you shall bear witness to the consequence of two unstoppable forces colliding! I, Patchouli Knowledge, of the Voile Magic Library, now ridden of her bodily afflictions and Alice Margatroid of the Great Forest, unchained and unbound, the powers of her grimoire flowing through her” She concludes her speech in a shower of gold and your group is fast on their feet, the orbs smashing into the ground harmlessly behind you but blocking the exit.
>> No. 9419
You can't do much from where you are, Rika can, although but you're unsure of whether to risk revealing yourself as you dart through the maze of bookshelves, heading towards the centre of the room, there must be something you can achieve from the ground floor there. Fire, gold, silver, water, wood, all of these rain down from the skies from Patchouli, whilst Alice returns fire with more conservative attacks of beams and sprays of danmaku shot by her army of dolls. You reach the centre of the room after a long while of running, Meiling and Sakuya lost behind you, taking a wrong turning to dodge one of the orbs also separated you from Rika, so with just Wriggle you arrive at the centre of the room, at a hole in the universe. The glow is created from a like-coloured crystal hovering, ever so slightly swaying above a conduit that falls into darkness. Within this crystal a divinely, or more accurately; a devilishly beautiful woman is encased, black bat like wings protrude from her back and the sides of her head, although they just look for 'show' as it were, you would not be surprised if the wings could indeed support her light form. Lying across shattered bookcases are more chains, presumably once attached to the roof, you count three that lie on the ground, and five still attached to the walls, all of which meet at this point in a circle around the crystal, each on separate bolts in the ground. Beside this mad construction is the only desk you've seen in here thus far, behind it is a tall-back red chair, similar to the one you saw Remilia sitting in on her portrait in the art gallery. The first thing that brings a smile to your face is the Elemental Reactor, used as a paperweight; a novelty item or worse; a trophy. Snatching it from the desk you feel a cool feeling shoot through your hand and through your body that leaves a pleasant tingling after effect. What Patchouli seems to have been studying, or creating as it would seem, is chilling, to say the least. A black and gold enamelled iron gauntlet lies palm up on the table, tightly bound in the centre of the gauntlet is a set of bright crimson eyes, twitching and moving slightly under the black hard leather bindings, as if they were trying to look at you, or at something else, you hope for the latter.

[ Defeat Patchouli Knowledge ]

Chose a weapon -
[ ] The gauntlet
[ ] The elemental reactor
[ ] Both
>> No. 9422
[x] The elemental reactor

Let's not fucking use the thing that has our DEAD FRIEND'S EYES built into it.
>> No. 9432
>>9420
>>9422

remember like before with minoriko, this is a write in, i wanna know how you're going to beat patchouli
>> No. 9440
[x] The elemental reactor
[x] Those chains look important. Destroy them.
[x] If, and only if, that fails to do anything meaningful: destroy the crystal. Have Rika use her cannon if using the reactor again so soon proves problematic.
[x] If all that fails to produce results: Hide, or at least try to stay out of the way.

This fight is way beyond us. A direct assault on Patchouli will only get our allies and possibly us killed, or distract Alice as she is forced to protect us from Patchouli.

Koakuma is a demon or devil or what have you, and given Patchouli’s obsession with Makai it’s very likely that she’s augmenting her power with that crystal. Koakuma has never done anything to hurt us, so I'd rather avoid killing her if possible, hence why we try the chains first. However, it my very well be we simply can't save everyone, and one death is better than six. In her current state death may even be considered a blessing.

Went with the reactor because, even if you disregard the moral problems involved with using a bioweapon made out of pieces of your dead friend, this isn’t really the time to be learning how to use it. We’ve used the reactor before, and we know it works. Given we found the gauntlet in Patchouli’s workspace, she probably hasn’t even completed it yet. Using it might not do anything, it might destroy what little sanity we have left, or it might make everyone in the room go (more) insane.
>> No. 9441
>Beside this mad construction is the only desk you've seen in here thus far, behind it is a tall-back red chair, similar to the one you saw Remilia sitting in on her portrait in the art gallery.

[x] Both
[x] Look deeply into the eyes of the gauntlet and then stare at the crimson chair; try to visualize Remilia sitting there like in the portrait.
[x] Try doing the same again but staring at the girl in the crystal.

Our allies will likely converge towards the center, who we need to adequately power the reactor, so it's best to stay put and wait for them instead of running out randomly into the maze. But while you're waiting, you can at least attempt something constructive. Use the hypnotic power of the eyes to try to force one of your visions. Our conversation with Remilia's ghost was cut short last time, and there's too much we do not know. Should we cut the chains? Or are they what's preventing the entire floor from falling into an abyss? What is the purpose of Patchouli's ritual?

Koakuma is apparently the focus of some immensely powerful diabolic ritual that Patchouli deems on the level of Alice's reality-shaping Grimoire. This might be permanent, or perhaps she can be awakened like we did with Alice, but regardless it's probable she was coerced into this or at least would not want Patchouli to continue. If we can communicate with her spirit through our visions, we might be able to tap into that huge amount of magical energy stored within her to fuel the elemental reactor and fire a Spark to end all Sparks—simultaneously defeating Patchouli and stopping the impending Apocalypse.
>> No. 9445
[x] Both
[x] Look deeply into the eyes of the gauntlet and then stare at the crimson chair; try to visualize Remilia sitting there like in the portrait.
[x] Try doing the same again but staring at the girl in the crystal.
>> No. 9456
[♱] Both
[♱] Look deeply into the eyes of the gauntlet and then stare at the crimson chair; try to visualize Remilia sitting there like in the portrait.
[♱] Try doing the same again but staring at the girl in the crystal.

Apparently Remi is some kind of poltergeist, because our conversation with her was definitely not a flashback (although there were flashbacks in it). Nothing came of talking with Remilia before, but it'd be too bitter to end it this way. Near the end she started identifying us as if Fate personified, so there might be an angle here.

Koakuma would probably be much more helpful, but it's less likely we'd be able to communicate with her. Still worth trying.

Even simple visions of the past events around the librarian's desk could be enlightening, especially if done in the same manner as the conversation with Remilia, with commentary.

Given that Patchouli is an elementalist, it's likely the magicks binding Koakuma are elemental in nature, and therefore should be able to be readily channeled into the mini elemental reactor. Those chains are probably a material focus rather than actually supporting anything. Destroying the material components of the spell and letting the energy loose on its own seems more likely to end in catastrophe as opposed to just siphoning it off with the reactor.
>> No. 9469
The idea of turning a Koakuma-powered Annihilation of Love upon her master is just too perfect--Patchouli done in almost entirely by her own machinations and hubris.

[x] Both
[x] Look deeply into the eyes of the gauntlet and then stare at the crimson chair; try to visualize Remilia sitting there like in the portrait.
[x] Try doing the same again but staring at the girl in the crystal.

This is actually a pretty safe strategy, as you won't draw attention to yourself until you want it, and Patchouli will hesitate to fire on the area surrounding the crystal. And I don't think you have to worry about losing your sanity for the same reason Marisa didn't worry when she stared at the true moon: You threw that away a long time ago. At the very worst, it's just time spent waiting for your companions to show.
>> No. 9517
[x] Both
[x] Look deeply into the eyes of the gauntlet and then stare at the crimson chair; try to visualize Remilia sitting there like in the portrait.
[x] Try doing the same again but staring at the girl in the crystal.

I liX this gamble of madness tbqh
>> No. 9635
An interesting plan, one that utilizes all of your abilities for the first time, but also one that depends on a number of unknown variables: Koakuma's character and state of being, whether or not your visions can be invoked in this manner, the compliance of Remilia's spirit, the non-interference from Patchouli and the others until the right moment. This could either succeed spectacularly or fail spectacularly. Regardless, using Marisa's mini-hakkero, Reisen's lunatic eyes, your own visions of the deceased, compassion for the living, the desire to mete out vengeance for the dead, all in together it lives up to the mission statement you gave to Youmu and may yet give to Patchouli:

"This is what remains of my voice and the voices of my comrades at the very end! The last of our pride from beyond the grave! Take it!"
>> No. 9716
UPDATE
>> No. 9742
[x] Both
[x] Look deeply into the eyes of the gauntlet and then stare at the crimson chair; try to visualize Remilia sitting there like in the portrait.
[x] Try doing the same again but staring at the girl in the crystal.

Those eyes. Reisen's eyes. Stretching your hand out you touch the relatively warm glove and the eyes twitch and stir under the grip, the pupils widening and shrinking at random as the bloodshot red eyes begin to shimmer and glisten; inviting, intoxicating, you must have them, there is so much to this mansion you have yet to unearth, so many riddles remain unsolved, so much knowledge yet to be discovered. Pain interrupts your thoughts, the same sensation you felt earlier, like that of a thousand needles pricking your insides. Tightening your grip on the wrist of the glove you blank out the pain and pick up the glove, its eyes instantly fix themselves upon you and you feel the touch of an otherworldly presence upon you, changing you, bending your mind, a red desert stretches out all around you and the harsh winds blow sand across your bare skin. Dotted about you are the bookshelves, half submerged in the red sand, several of the books themselves lie open on the ground, the winds turning the pages over quickly. You feel a tick in your left arm, you can move it again? Lifting it up level with your face you stare you stare into the eyes again. Instinctively you turn it away and grab hold of the gauntlet, desperately trying to pull if off, but it moves with your arm, as if it were no longer independent, as if it was part of your body. Suddenly the armour plates bulge and it feels as if your whole arm is on fire, black lines like veins on your skin start to spread out from under the gauntlet, trickling up your arm, darking the flesh as they pass over it. Your breath becomes as rapid as your heartbeat as you try to forcibly tear this abominable creation from your body, ignoring the blinding pain and the feeling that at any moment your hand could rip from your arm. The creeping growth reaches your neck and your vision turns a sepia tone, a low rumbling sound is all that can be heard all around you as your body changes; muscles bulge, your insides disentangle themselves, your body re-arranges itself, abruptly the world reverts back. The red desert remains, desolation stretches out all around you, leaving you staring at the bloodstained gauntlet that adorns your hand, the eyes missing.

A burning smell swells in the air with an accompanying crackling sound of fire as you return to your senses, swaying from side to side you stare into the eyes on the gauntlet which is now adorns your hand. Somehow, they look more normal, natural and don't hurt your head any more when you look at them. This monstrosity of a weapon is now your slave, your tool. You wonder how much more of this house you can take for your own, you'd like to have more knowledge of this place and another audience with Remilia. You know she's nearby. She's all around you. You realise now you've felt her presence here since you entered the building, in the air, on the furbishing and the very walls of this building. She is everywhere. You just have to reach out to her.

“Enough” Remilia's exhausted and submissive voice is heard like an echo inside your head. “You've probed my spirit and mind for long enough. I'm begging you, please, stop it”

“I wasn't aware I was doing it and because of that it would seem that your 'pain',” You are not familiar with the feeling of someone else's mind tapping into your own, you cannot even begin to understand what Remilia could possibly be feeling. “Is all in vain. I need to ask you directly my questions”

“If it pleases you, make it quick” She groans quietly.

“What did you do here? Did you allow Patchouli to summon these creatures to this world? Why? And how did she? How do I stop them?” In response Remilia groans even louder, it almost sounds as if she is dealing with a painful headache.

“So many questions I've already answered before. If you want to put an end to the last bastion of defence this world has against the invading xenos then so be it. Patchouli used her personal servant, Koakuma, as a connection between us and 'that which lies beyond'. If you no longer wish for us to have that connection, then you must sever it.” More killing? You came here to save people, not to slaughter them! Although one death could save many, you understand, but you have to shake away those utilitarian thoughts, there has to be another way.

“I don't believe for a moment that there is only one way to solve this, there has to be other routes we can take, at a stretch I'd like to save Patchouli from whatever malign force or disease has gripped her”

“Disease?” Her speech slows to emphasise her criticism. “No. A malign force? Please, we are not possessed monsters” She pauses and you hear soft laughter. “Well, not all of us.” Her tone returns to its normal, severe, level. “What you witness here; in these chambers and halls, outside; on the battlefield near and far, is merely what happens when people are pushed and pushed and pushed until there is nowhere left to run to, no where left to hide and no place to call sanctuary. Do you really think that I would have done all of this-”

“Yes I do. You've treated your servants and friends like they were less than dogs. You've spat in the face of all that is just and right in this world and in doing so you cast away your own humanity”

“Did you not even listen to what I just said!?” Anger is starting to seep through her broken exterior, sealing the cracks and reinforcing the barrier, you cringe, it's no wonder she acted like she did if anger was her replacement for anything she lost.

“But above all else, you took the crushing weight of all of your hardships and forced their burden onto your own sister. I would dearly love to hear your reasoning for such a disgrace” You wait for a reply, nothing comes. Idly, you look back up to the fight between Patchouli and Alice but there doesn't seem to be any change in pace, the two combatants are never tiring, there are no breaks or pauses, just a continual flow of attacks after attacks.

“I don't believe you think I have a reason” Remilia eventually replies. “You just want me to know what I've done is a horrible sin and that I should feel deeply sorry for what I have done”

“Why can't you?”

“Because I've given too much. I've given the very life force of my home and lands, my servants, I have even forced others to give their lives for this cause. I believed I was right to do so and I still do! If I were to apologise, if were to stop now, if I were to try and undo what I have done.” Her voice rises as her heart gets the better of her. “Then what would I say to all those who have died!? I can't be wrong! I can't have made a mistake! FAILURE WASN'T AN OPTION!” She lapses into silence as do you, the rhythmic blasts and explosions above merge seamlessly, either they're pacing their attacks better or your concious connection to this world is weakening.
>> No. 9743
“You're just like the Yama before, she wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, always had some more tricks and retorts up her sleeve.” Yama? You've vaguely heard of them from the villagers, describing them as divine judges. Remilia sighs in defeat. “She knew what I was thinking. She was under my skin. I hated her. But when she left I only felt weaker. The whole world was trying to drag me down, even those who needed my protection wanted me to fall. So I did. And now they're all dead.” Her last words are but hoarse whispers, the sound of someone loosing their voice. “Have I beaten them?” You admit that Remilia is indeed quite right, how can she just apologise for everything she's done? No amount of apologies could possibly right her wrongs and no one man can forgive her. Gensokyo has suffered at her hands, yes, but it is now very apparent that the Lunarians have a much larger part to play in this war than this mansion did or ever has done. If what Remilia continually professes is indeed correct and the Lunarians were the aggressors then this path leads only to more questions, mainly regarding the reasons for this invasion.

“Remilia I have but a only a few questions left, then you may rest” Remilia scoffs in irritation. “What was the reason for this war? Why did the Lunarians attack?”

“I'm not entirely sure.” She pauses for a while, as if in deep consideration and thought. “They came for Flandre. They came to take her from me!” Her pitch rises and you know where she'll go with this.

“But why?” You cut into her before she can start screaming and shouting. “They must have had a reason”

“Th-They didn't say” Remilia stumbles with her words, forcing them out. Clearly you're never going to get a straight answer from her and you're still missing the answer to your second question.

“You know, you never answered my question, I need another way to stop Patchouli without bloodshed, how can I achieve this?”

“As I thought, you don't care about this war and you don't care about us.” She spits with venom. “Fine. Patchouli is a magician after all and she has more than a few spell books, its highly likely the spell book she used to create the link between us and Makai is still around here, you could try and reverse the spell” Finding the book in this library might be slightly too difficult, on par with searching for a specific strand of hay in a haystack. With a swipe of your hand you dismiss Remilia, turning your attention to the servant bound in crystal. You step closer, a gentle pulse of light purple bathes you, relaxing you, dulling your senses. Resting your bare hand against the crystal a quick shock runs through you, an image of a fiery lit stone city, spikes adorn the landscape, mounted upon each one is a silhouette of a person and you feel a sinking realisation that you've witnessed this place before.

“Koakuma?” You call out her name, and the fiery skies die out, replaced by a thick smog which smothers the sky. The lighting slowly changes as well, darkening at first before taking on a purple hue.

“Who are you? How did you get here?” Behind you. With a startled twist you come face to face with her, she doesn't seem to be injured or suffering, but her slumped body language tells you otherwise. She seems to be chained to the ground, upright, her feet bolted to the floor and her wrists in manacles that stretch to the floor. She flashes a delightfully wicked grin at you, her eyes opening wide in anticipation. “You've not been sent here as a reward for me, have you?” She catches you off guard, thoroughly derailing your train of thought.

“Uh, n-no, not at all” Her expression falls into a coy pout “I actually came to rescue you” Her face lights up again in a less dubious manner.

“I suppose that can do!” She tilts her head and grins happily. “A book you must find! Scribed by an Arab gone out of his mind!” She cackles merrily, just how long has she been trapped here? “One of the binding spells that was translated from the original book is still around! I think she left it on her desk” What? No more rhymes? A small part of you was hoping she'd continue. You nod and step away, disengaging yourself from the conversation, from her and from this world.

[ ] Go with the plan, find the spell Patchouli used and reverse it
[ ] Change the plan, wait for your friends arrive and confront Patchouli directly
[ ] Change the plan, _________
>> No. 9750
>“A book you must find! Scribed by an Arab gone out of his mind!”

Abdul Alhazred. The Necronomicon.

[x] Go with the plan, find the spell Patchouli used and reverse it.
>> No. 9752
[X] Go with the plan, find the spell Patchouli used and reverse it
>> No. 9753
>“So many questions I've already answered before. If you want to put an end to the last bastion of defence this world has against the invading xenos then so be it.

She means the Lunarians obviously, but given her poor grasp on Eientei's motives and the fact that their installations appear to have been abandoned, this "invasion" may just be the workings of her paranoia. Still, if she thought herself the only thing standing between this world and a army of marauding aliens, it's a bit easier to see how she could convince herself to go to the extremes she did.

[x] Go with the plan, find the spell Patchouli used and reverse it.

I don't really trust Koakuma here, but if she does turn on us we can always attempt to use the glove to Geass her into submission.
>> No. 9762
>Resting your bare hand against the crystal a quick shock runs through you, an image of a fiery lit stone city, spikes adorn the landscape, mounted upon each one is a silhouette of a person and you feel a sinking realisation that you've witnessed this place before.

Makai, I'm assuming. We saw it earlier as the result of Patchouli's drug.
>> No. 9764
[x] Go with the plan, find the spell Patchouli used and reverse it.

It's going to suck massively if Remi turns out to be right, but as long as Patchy's insane we've got no other options.
>> No. 10053
update
>> No. 10218
[x] Go with the plan, find the spell Patchouli used and reverse it.
>> No. 10353
updates?
>> No. 10490
It's been almost two weeks.
>> No. 10561
>>10490

He's dead Jim.
>> No. 10707
I just finished catching up on this and FUUUUUUUUUUCK
>> No. 10752
I need my Touhou survival-horror, Desdaxis.
>> No. 10871
SUDDENLY AND WITHOUT WARNING

[x] Go with the plan, find the spell Patchouli used and reverse it

There is a bright flash and another and by the time the third flash goes off you're already shielding your eyes. Quickly gathering your senses as your vision gradually returns you find yourself lying on your back, staring up into the battle above between Patchouli and Alice. At first all you see is a single long black feather drifting through the air, the light winds from outside blow it to and fro eventually landing it on your chest. Looking up to the top of the bookshelf to your side you spot her, the same crooked smile and gleaming white teeth drawn on her face.

“We godda' stop meeting like this, you're making me feel embarrassed for you!” You try to sit but the horrible stabbing pains wrack through your body and you roll onto your side, choking and coughing up blood. “Hey! Hey don't die on me! I still want my interview!”

There is an odd buzzing sound and from behind several collapsed bookcases Wriggle leaps from, diving towards Aya. With a nimble leap from shelf to shelf Aya dodges Wriggles brutish attack and the poor insect desperately grapples onto the top of the bookshelf to stop herself falling.

“Oh fuck! What the hell is that thing?” Aya screws her face up in a mixture of disgust and confusion. “Don't tell me that thing is your friend?” She cocks a brow, looking down to you.

“Shut up.” You manage to hack out between your coughing fits.

“What what? He speaks!” She aims the metal box at you and a strong flash blasts out of it. In a daze you snatch up a book from the ground and hurl it at her. Just as your vision begins to clear you hear a thud and Aya's subsequent wail. Pulling yourself up you trudge back to Patchouli's desk ignoring the fire raining down from above, smashing to the bookcases and floor around you. You feel a tug at your leg, Wriggle, she looks so scared, she pulls harder on your leg, trying to drag you away from the centre of the library. Resting your hand on her head you smile down to her.

“Wriggle, soon all of this will be over, I promise, just endure this a bit longer” A warm smile and a few strokes on her feelers wins her over as she breaks out into chirps and excited clicks. Arriving back her desk you look over it, no books are present as the winged lady had mentioned and the desk seems to be in the exact state you left it in. Frowning you step around the desk and check the floor around it, a few books lay scattered about, you're still unsure of what you should even be looking for. What exactly is an 'Arab' anyway? You pick up a few of the books and read off the titles in your head: “The Revelations of Glaaki, III”, “Requiem for a Mad Scottish King”, “Caramelldansen”, “Encounters with the Namok Tribe” and there seems to be a large amount of completely unlabelled books here as well. Damn it, you need more information! Flicking open one of the unnamed books you find it covered in scribbles, if words are written in this book they're in a language you've never seen before, which isn't saying much. In frustration you toss the book across the floor and kick the desk.

“Is something the matter now, master? We're sorry we took so long...” You hear Meiling call out to you.

“I'm looking for a book written by 'a mad Arab', know where it is?” You shrug to her helplessly. Meiling places her index finger on her lips in thought. After a short pause she looks calmly down to Sakuya who you notice now is trying to look as small as possible shrinking further away from your gaze, behind Meiling. Meiling smiles and pulls Sakuya back around and holds her up, probably attempting to prop her pride and confidence back up as well.

“Do you know, miss?” Meiling cheerfully asks, Sakuya's expression is the first to respond, her pleading eyes water as stares imploringly at Meiling.

“S-She'll kill us...”

“I'LL kill you!” You cut in. “Tell me what you know” Sakuya winces in response.

“Necronomicon” You hear her say as she points just beside you, following her direction you see Wriggle by your side, triumphantly holding up a large tattered tomb bound in a strange leathery material. You take the book off her hands and pat her head.

“Excellent work... but how did you know?”

“What the fuck! That was my fucking book! I was going to fucking give it to him! You fucking stole it! For fucks sake!” You hear Aya shouting loudly above you, raining books down on you and Wriggle. Wriggle holds her arms up against the books and chirps in great amusement. You flick open the book and shield it with your back against the falling books as you flick through the pages trying to focus on key words or some drawings that you recognise but none of the book seems to make any sense, its not like anything you've read before, you know the characters written are words but you can't read them, they don't make sense, none of this book makes sense, you can't make this book make sense, turning the pages of book makes little sense, a stream of flowing text is what you desire, the words need to flow, flow off the pages, become real, manifest, they need to manifest, you need the words to manifest. Placing your palm onto the book you claw at the words and watch as they flake and peel off the pages and dance about you, tiny vibrant lights cover the words as they land on your body and crawl over your skin, you can't help but giggle softly to yourself. The glow fades and the words take a softer tone slowly fading into your skin. Into your body. You quickly try to grab them but they have already buried themselves into your flesh, flowing into your blood and latching onto your muscles you feel their hungry presence inside you. Dropping the book you stumble away, furiously digging your nails into your skin in a desperate bid to rid yourself of invading entities. You feel outside forces take hold of you, but you fight against them, the need to destroy the creatures dwelling deep within you is overpowering.

As suddenly as the attack had begun it ends, leaving you cold, and vulnerable. Wriggle and Aya stand over you both with worried and pained looks across their faces. Leaning up and ignoring their questions you stretch out for the book, batting it open with one hand. The words written within; they make sense. Your mind is filled with beautiful pictures and the fabric of this reality is your canvas. With a smug all-knowing smile you pick yourself and the book up, holding it open in your hand you run your fingertips across the page and begin to paint.

“Iyae nyealth wngrnna'hn nragl xahlf!” The words roll of your tongue as you begin your chant, turning your attention towards the spirit within the crystal. You slam the palm of your hand against the crystal and take great pleasure in watching the breaking lines slowly spread out from under your hand. A great commotion kicks up behind you threatening to disturb your thoughts, but relentlessly you chant, louder still, your own voice rings in your ears as the crystal cracks and falls apart.

The initial blast is less painful than the landing, as the collapsed bookshelf breaks your fall, as well as many of your bones. You hear laughter nearby, Koakumas, it sounds like. She sounds happy. You feel happy too. You feel yourself smiling, no reason in particular, some wild possession has taken you, but this feeling is wonderful. You giggle happily to yourself as you feel the others lift you up, it feels like you're flying! You laugh more. Waking up from this illusion couldn't have been any sharper. Your scream out before you can even feel any pain, the mere understanding of the agony to come is enough warrant for the outburst.
>> No. 10872
“Shit! Do we have anything to calm him!?”

“I tried to fucking stop him! Don't fucking blame me!”

“The book ... Where is the book?”

Meaningless voices all around you, like a swarm of angry wasps, your body feels as if its enveloped in one, the sound and pain is too unbearable. You feel a gentle touch upon you, amidst the chaos. Opening your eyes you stare dumbly down at your chest which Shanghai now sits upon, her same impassive stare that fills your heart with warmth. The pain subsides as does the noise, everything becomes clearer. It's still just a dream, a nice one though. Shanghai flitters up and lands on the top of your head and ruffles the front of your hair, you try to look up at her but give up and just relax back instead. 'You're not mad at me are you?' You think of asking. But you wouldn't want to spoil the mood.

“Great job Shanghai! He wouldn't listen to us...” As before, you are sharply woken from your dreams. Or not, as the case would be. This is real?
“Please stay here with him, we'll put a stop to this” You hear your group sprint away.

In a painfully slow pace you force your hand up and hold it in front of Shanghai who leaps onto it. Lowering your hand level with your face you stare in disbelief at Shanghai.

“S-Shanghai!?” You stammer. “I though you...” Shanghai tilts her head in question. Without waiting a second longer bring her close to your chest, kissing her on the forehead. Her face lights up in red as she relaxes more in your grip. Breaking away from her you stare back to the battleground before you; your group is still ground based with Rika taking the offence wildly firing up at Patchouli and you notice a distinct lack of projectiles being thrown about the room. Did destroying that crystal actually work?

“What exactly do you seek to accomplish here!? By destroying that crystal you've killed us all, you know!” Patchouli shouts down at the group amidst the fighting.
You can win? It would seem not.

“We have to stop this senseless struggle and flee! Don't you care about your precious lives!?

Looking down to Shanghai you smile softly, of course you can't win.

“That's it! It's over! Death and oblivion is all that awaits you here! You have disturbed the very essence of Makai, your souls shall be utterly destroyed! Your mind torn into tiny pieces! Raped by terror, forever!

WE can win, together. For what feels like the final time you rise. Letting go of Shanghai she flitters up beside you. Gripping the elemental reactor you step forward, the first link of energy is created between you and Shanghai, your second step forms a bright red link between it and a dazed Koakuma, a few steps more and a spike of green energy links Meiling to the reactor and at the same time a link is formed between Rika. The two briefly cease their barrage in shock as you stride past them up a mound of broken wood and then, onto several bookshelves that have fallen against each other. Reaching the top of debris you point the reactor to the open skies.

“MILITIA SIGN!”

You bellow out, two links of light blue and black immediately attach themselves onto the reactor.

“「UNITED AS ONE」”

Aiming the reactor roughly where Patchouli is air born you feel an incredible surge of energy flow through you and your body and very mind quakes in awe, the power of your new comrades is immense! With a scream of determination the room is filled in a bright white light, the blast scatters the broken wood around you to the far edges of the room as well as knocking the remaining bookshelves to the ground. You see Patchouli. How!? Gaining speed she surges towards you, breaking through the blast and nearing you. She raises her hand in a spell gesture and a giant orb of flame is summoned in the palm of her hand. Fear shoots through you for a brief moment. Her arm drags through the blast, shaking as she tries to meet your power.

“FIRE...!”

You grin wildly as you see her edge slowly away from you.

“SIGN...!

Your laughter subsides as her movement stops and the flame inching closer now also increases in size.

“AGNI...!”

No. This can't happen. You can't allow this to happen! Springing from your shoulder Shanghai flies in front of the elemental reactor and you feel a great weight lifted off your shoulders as the stress of the spell is split between you and Shanghai. The ultimate unification of companions. You inwardly grin to yourself.

“SHI-...!” Her card fails and the flame harmlessly trails and burns away. “WHAT... IS THIS!?” You grin in response.

“ MILITIA SIGN「ULTIMATE UNIFICATION」"

The explosion is tremendous and you feel the bright light burning your eyes as you stare wide-eyed in glee at Patchouli. Her clothing and body breaks and in one swift motion she breaks apart and dissolves, the ashes blown away in the blast.

Your heavy sigh does little to convey your utter exhaustion. You silently stare out into the night sky, the strange lights having long since disappeared. The faint sound of rubble falling to the ground and your own breathing is all that you are aware of. A while passes and you begin to realise that your body seems fixed to this spot and any attempt to move would most likely end in your body giving way. You try to make the best of the adrenaline you have left and enjoy the view, Shanghai seems to feel the same way after all as she sits on your shoulder, slumping against your neck. There is another long pause before the calm is disturbed by a white flash.

“Hey! Do you mind!? Show some respect!” Rika immediately kicks off.

“What? I'm just taking a fucking picture, geeze, I'm sorry to disturb you doing absolutely nothing to help him” Rika explodes into a torrent of abuse and rage and the peaceful moment is broken. Not that you're bothered that they've snapped out of their daze, but you really wish they would come and help you. Alice is unexpectedly the first to join you, but as her custom, she says nothing.

“Sorry” Is the first and only word you manage. She doesn't respond. You twist your neck to get a better look at her; she seems to just be standing and staring up at the sky, something glistens on her skin.

“Alice?” She breaks a smile, which normally would be enough make you stand slack-jawed but in this surreal moment you enjoy it while it lasts.

“Don't worry. It's just the rain” Her smile curls up to a happy grin as she turns away from you, the rain follows after her as if on cue and the room is filled with the gentle patter of the raindrops splashing onto the scattered wood and concrete. You stand for a while longer before making your descent down the rubble pile into the waiting arms of Rika, where you collapse and black out.

[ ] Mind over matter
[ ] Matter over mind
>> No. 10874
[X] Mind over matter

This guy has broken damn near everything in his body over the course of this story. His mind is the only thing that he has been able to preserve, I think. Torture didn't break him and he fought through overwhelming despair. I could be wrong, you always seem to throw us a curve ball when things begin to come together.

Shanghai!/

>Caramelldansen

Nice
>> No. 10875
[X] Mind over matter

hooray
>> No. 10876
[x] Mind over matter
>> No. 10877
[x] Mind over matter

Nice.
>> No. 10878
[x] Mind Anti Matter
>> No. 10879
[x] Mind over matter
>> No. 10880
Short update is short! D:

[x] Mind over matter

Your body aches and burns, yet your head feels so clear, this journey is coming to an end and you feel a sweet bliss flow through you from your head and the aches and pains fade. You begin to wander, visions of the great forest flood into your mind, become tangible, you feel the cool grass beneath your feet and a breeze blowing through the forest.

“C'mon! Time is money, ze~!” She calls from behind, breaking you from your trance.

“Don't mention money” Reimu groans, you hear a small group laughing. Turning back to the path you follow after Reimu, Marisa and their new companions, Lunarians? Reisen!? Amidst the group of similarly clothed Lunarian rabbits in suits Reisen stands laughing.

“You really don't have to worry about money any more Miss Hakurei, if we are right then it shall benefit both of us. The problems with the gap will be solved and my mistress' work will be complete and you can get your pay for helping us”

“Yah' know yah' really shouldn't be askin' for money, we're supposed to be the good girls right?” Marisa sarcastically remarks

“Says the thief~” Reimu brushes her off with a wave of her hand and turns up her nose.

“Hey! I steal from the rich and ...” She pauses in mid sentence, zoning out completely. “Oh.” She finally says looking upset. “I'm not a bad person! Really!” Reisen and her group exchange grimaces and come to a stop.

“We're here!” Reisen proudly announces.

“This doesn't look like Eientei” Reimu and Marisa glance about peering through the trees. Reisen chuckles to herself, in a rather unnerving manner, before lazily pointing up into the sky; a sky dominated by a single huge bulky square metal tower, shaped like a two pointed prong or skewer.

“Lunarian stealth technology at its best” Reisen proudly begins as she strides off towards the metal tower, through the forest. You, Marisa and Reimu follow in awe; each of you staring up at the dark super structure and watch as stretched dome machines travel between the top and bottom of the structure pausing at various points on the structure, some even flying to and from the whole building, you assume back to Eientei but many of the vessels seem to be going the wrong way. You all duck a little as one of the machines passes low, over head, pausing above you, you look up shielding your eyes as powerful jets of wind blast out from its underbelly. Over the roar of the machine you hear a gritty voice being projected from several cone like objects dotted about the machine's roof.

“Beware of the Red Menace! Report any suspicious activities to your local civil protection officer immediately. A vigilant citizen is a good citizen!”

A man in a blue and black jumpsuit leans over the edge, a strange blue lens attached over his right eye. He stares down at your group for a few moments before the vessel speeds away towards the tower, the shadow it created around you vanishing and swallowing your world in a bright white light.
The bright light dims quickly and is blotted out by a beaming Wriggle. Chirping excitedly she lavishes your face with her tongue.

“Hey hey! Leave him alone!” Rika shouts to Wriggle as she scuttles away, out of vision. Memories return to you, you remember fighting Patchouli and beating her, but you also remember collapsing afterwards...

“I'm not dead?” You manage to groan out

“Sorry to disappoint you, if that's what you wanted” Rika laughs softly, leaning over you and taking a dirty oil covered rag she starts to aggressively wipe Wriggles gob off your face, which is substantially more unpleasant than having it put on. Like a child refusing to stay clean you screw your face up and lean away from her as she tries to clean you.

“Damn it! Stay still!” She orders and applies more pressure to her wiping, unable to really speak you opt for making displeased moaning noises and continue to try to lean away from her.

“I'm not interrupting anything, am I?” Alice's cold voice trails through the air and stabs into both of you. Rika, reacting first, leaps away from you and hides the cloth behind her back.

“No! What are you doing in here!?” Alice frowns and looks away from Rika, turning her attention to you.

“I wanted to speak with him”

[ ] Make an excuse and talk to her later
[ ] Talk to her now
>> No. 10881
[X] Talk to her now

Sure
>> No. 10885
[X] Talk to her now
>> No. 10887
[ ] Talk to her now

why that's not like you Alice

sure I'll talk
>> No. 10933
[x] Talk to her now

“Uh, sure, I'm still a little weary but what's on your mind Alice?” Tilting her head a little in further inspection of you before relaxing, smiling warmly to you. The tension of yesterdays exertions have faded and her sudden and abrupt change in attitude is starting to become more unsettling.

“Sorry ...” You look away and lie back down. “I didn't want to kill her” You trail off, mumbling to yourself, she wont believe you, and as these thoughts slowly arise as does a creeping sense of guilt. Just who was Patchouli? Rather, who was she to Alice? You killed her friend, why is she still smiling!?

“Actually, I came to talk to you about -how- you killed her.” You don't want to hear it from her, and as you begin to remember it more clearly you become even more adamant about not talking it. Trying to turn away from Alice you find that not only do you find moving extremely difficult but there is a heavy weight on your left arm. With a startled gasp you freeze up. That damnable gauntlet is still attached to you, although the palm of your hand seems to have bandages wrapped over it, blocking out the eyes.
“Yes I wish to talk about that as well” Alice casually puts it. “Interesting device, I'm not quite sure how she did it”

“Let's not interrogate him just yet Alice” Rinnosuke jabs at her as he enters the room, accompanied by Asakura. “I thought we'd let a professional handle it” He grins and thumbs back over his shoulder into the nexus but you can't see who he's pointing at.

“I highly doubt she'd seek the same knowledge I do” Says in her more pretentious of tones. “Besides, he's already agreed to speak with me, haven't you?” She looks over her shoulder to you with a certain glint in her eye that even if you had not of agreed to previously would have probably made you now. Nodding your head in submission you reluctantly slump back down on the sickbed.

“Excellent!” Alice chimes “I do love it when my playthings are obedient” She smirks and looms over you, you'd feel pretty intimidated if you weren't so aroused. “Now first things first,” She begins, pulling up one of the soft padded chairs from a nearby desk. “How did you do it? How did you beat her?” As simple as the question might be you find yourself searching in a metaphysical haystack for the answer.

“I honestly don't know, I just ...” You trail off, it's ridiculous but true as you recall, you just simply wished for it, you didn't want your friends to die, you refused to let it happen. Just as you wished for it, it happened.

“You just ... ?” Alice raises her voice in question, the others now gather around all waiting for your answer.

“I wished for it” As the last syllable leaves your mouth you regret saying even speaking. Asakura frowns heavily, folding her arms almost in disapproval, Alice's expression sours as if you were insulting her and Rika raises a brow of contempt at you. The only one still smiling is Rinnosuke.

“What are you all lookin' at him like that for?” Rinnosuke asks, noticing everyone else's look. “I thought that's basically how danmaku works anyway?” Alice gives a quick glance back to him.

“Yes, true, but only in the hands of extremely skilled and powerful users can something akin to what he created be done” She turns her eye of scrutiny back to you. “Which makes you,” She leans in closer to you, taking your armoured hand and lifting it up, inspecting it. “All the more interesting”

“Is he well enough to move, Asakura?” Alice turns back to the group, leaving you to further inspect the dark gauntlet, it seems that the face traces of the dark liquid that coat it have also stained the bandages that cover the eyes, you also start to become more aware of it's weight, and how heavy it feels all of a sudden even with Alice still holding onto it.

“About that...” Your attention is immediately switched to Asakura and her grave tone. “As the old line goes; I've got some good news and I've got some bad news. Which do you want first?”
“I don't care, just tell me what's wrong!” You feel fine! Nothing seems wrong with you, but that just agitates you even even more.

“Well the bad news is that your body is quite crippled. Irreparably so. You can walk, but seems to be about as good as it gets. You won't even be able lift that gauntlet” She nods towards it and Alice lets go of the gauntlet and the thing just falls down onto the bed with a dull thud on the padding. You tug on it. Nothing. You can't lift it up. “I can put it in a sling for you, so it isn't such a heavy burden but I'm sorry. I did all I could” Her voice lapses into guilt and shame.

“I'm still here aren't I?” You grin, giving her a thumbs up and she smiles softly to you, bowing her head.

“And that's the good news, along with you being quite alive I also managed to cure the disease you were afflicted with, but that was probably the easiest of things to do.” She pauses for a moment before bowing her head to you again. “I truly am sorry I could not do better to heal you, but I can prescribe some medical supplies to alleviate any pain and discomfort, it might even bring back your strength for a while” She smiles, pulling out a small transparent orange cup with a white lid which she shakes, rattling the pills inside. “They're like the pills you had when you first came here, 'cept better” She grins a little and places them on the edge of the desk by you.

“With that over with,” Rika begins, taking a seat on the desk beside you. “I think we should fill you in on what's been happening this past week” Week!? You speak out as soon as the thought enters your head. Rika laughs and starts to swing her legs back and forth under the desk. “Yeah ... You've been out for a week, only a small amount of it you were actually being operated on. But anyway, a lot has changed since you were out”

“For a start,” Asakura takes over Rika's speech. “The emissions have returned again, only stronger, much stronger” She emphasises. “To put it simply we're getting the same readings as when we found Alice nearby, but this time we can't even detect where the emissions are coming from!”

“Basically we're back to square one” Rika nods once and smiles in sarcastic summary.

“In many ways yes, but there have been other changes, right Rika?”

“Oh. Them” Rika frowns a little and looks down in a delay of thought “That's a pretty big topic, should we discuss it later? We're probably overloading his brain” She grins at Asakura and thumbs to you. Asakura laughs softly and turns away.

“It's probably for the best we leave him for now he might be away but his body needs more rest” Rinnosuke tails after her, stopping when she does. “Oh, one last thing, if you don't mind I wouldn't mind talking to you about ... Wriggle is it?” You nod in affirmation. “Well, I'd like to talk to you later about her, if it's okay?” The question is rhetorical, it's not as if you're in a position to deny her so you smile and nod and she leaves with Rinnosuke. Heaving a sigh you lie back in the bed. Asakura was right, this is all a bit too much.

“Well, interloper, it would seem you have a lot to consider but I trust I won't be troubling you with a request of my own?” Not even pausing for your reply she continues. “I simply want to hold a discussion with you, to understand your powers better and then to ultimately teach you the art Danmaku. Although if you're anything like she was, I doubt there's much of an art to it”
>> No. 10934
“And if you get bored of that,” Rika interjects. “Then you can come and spend time with me in my workshop” Surprisingly Alice doesn't respond as badly as you had expected, rolling her eyes in irritation is all Rika gets out of her. “Anyway~ I'm going back to my workshop,” Before she hops off the table she flashes you a grin. “There's a certain someone in there that I'm sure you'd love to meet” She winks and casually strolls out the room singing loudly to herself.

“Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I've got the feeling that somethin' ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall of my chair!
And I'm wonderin' how I'll get down the stairs,”

She leaves the room swaying her arms from side to side in a mock dance. Alice and you exchange nervous looks as her voice echoes out from the nexus.

“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right!
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you~”

Alice clears her throat, centring your attention back to her.

“She's not the type that could understand the importance of magic, you however, seem a lot more open minded and able. A pity really, so few of us can use it. Asakura has quite a large disdain for it, to the point of insanity, disbelieving it's very existence. 'Science will explain all!' She says,” Alice scoffs “Pathetic really. Rinnosuke, as kind as he may be, is lame to magic, unable to perform it. I can't imagine I could teach that insect friend of yours much, and as for the other ...” Taking her cue the room is filled with a bright flash of light.

“Ayayaya~ I have arrived!” Aya proudly announces herself, hopping onto one of the wheeled chairs and shoving herself across the floor towards you. Alice makes no attempt to stop her and the chair crashes into the side of your bed. “Oh how I long for the day where we meet eye to eye” She mocks, emphasising her point by standing up on her chair and leaning over you.

“She's a complete idiot” Alice finishes, smiling to you in the same way a mother smiles to the daft antics of her child.

“Rinnosuke said you were all done in here and I could at long last get my interview with you” You look to Alice in a desperate plea for help. Laughing softly Alice rises, waving her hand lazily towards Aya; several grey arcane rings materialise behind her, summoning forth a host of doll maids that latch onto her back, hoisting her up into the air and away from you.

“Yes, but Asakura said to leave him alone for the time being so he can rest. He'll come out when he's ready”

Ignoring her protests Alice escorts Aya out of the door. Closing the door behind her seems to work well against dampening Aya's whining, leaving you in peaceful consideration of all that has happened, and what you plan to do later on this evening.

[ ] Talk to Asakura about Wriggle
[ ] Ask Alice for lessons
[ ] Go to Rika's workshop
[ ] Find Meiling
[ ] Begrudgingly grant Aya her interview
[ ] Playtime with Wriggle
>> No. 10935
[X] Go to Rika's workshop

I'd like to know who this certain someone is.
>> No. 10936
[x] Ask Alice for lessons
[x] Go to Rika's workshop

I like both.
>> No. 10938
[x] Shanghai?
[x] Talk to Asakura about Wriggle
[x] Find Meiling (and Sakuya)
[x] Go to Rika's workshop

>Before she hops off the table she flashes you a grin. “There's a certain someone in there that I'm sure you'd love to meet” She winks and casually strolls out the room singing loudly to herself.

Given Rika's innuendo, the "certain someone" is probably Koakuma. Accounting for the missing members of your team should be the number one priority; we don't want a repeat of what happened to Reisen.
>> No. 10940
[x] Shanghai?
[x] Talk to Asakura about Wriggle
[x] Find Meiling (and Sakuya)
[x] Go to Rika's workshop

So we're irreversibly fucked and can't be healed, huh?

Fuck. That sucks.
>> No. 10941
[x] Shanghai?
[x] Talk to Asakura about Wriggle
[x] Find Meiling (and Sakuya)
[x] Go to Rika's workshop
>> No. 10942
>>10940

This is GRIMDARK territory we're in, Anon. Asakura isn't a real doctor, and she probably did kill those Lunarians on purpose. Rika and many of the others would probably prefer you to stay bed-bound: Rika so she can dote on you and prevent you from asking too many questions about Reisen's demise, as well as to keep you from interacting with Meiling and Wriggle unsupervised (who as we've seen, she is keen on torturing). And Alice appears more interested in studying you than having you study under her.

Probably most important is that you now apparently wield an immense amount of power, which you are unable to fully control, along with being unpredictable and mentally unstable. Understandably, this is going to be some cause for worry among the other survivors. Expect them to treat you with kid gloves in the future, as well as limiting how much information they share with you.

Asakura probably has Kourin wrapped around her thumb by now, and is in Alice's confidence as well. What's more is the (slight) possibility he wants revenge on your involvement in Reimu's disappearance and Marisa's death.

Meiling, Wriggle, and Sakuya have probably been threatened constantly while you've been out, so we shouldn't expect them to tell us everything that's been going on.

Honestly, Aya (and possibly Koakuma) seem to be the most trustworthy here, since they are shameless and open in their desires, and do not harbor strong resentment or attachment to other members of the group.

Shanghai is, of course, our rock.

I'd be careful about that medicine, rely on Shanghai to help you out, and make learning to fly your first priority under Alice.
>> No. 10943
[x] Shanghai?
[x] Talk to Asakura about Wriggle
[x] Find Meiling (and Sakuya)
[x] Go to Rika's workshop
>> No. 10944
[x] Shanghai?
[x] Talk to Asakura about Wriggle
[x] Find Meiling (and Sakuya)
[x] Go to Rika's workshop
>> No. 10957
[X] Shanghai?
[X] Talk to Asakura about Wriggle
[X] Find Meiling (and Sakuya)
[X] Go to Rika's workshop
>> No. 10967
[x] Shanghai?
[x] Talk to Asakura about Wriggle
[x] Find Meiling (and Sakuya)
[x] Go to Rika's workshop

“Shanghai” You recline further into your bed. It was all so sudden, but you know you saw and felt her. It couldn't possibly have been an illusion. You resign to silent, thoughtless, rest. The whirring of the machines in the nexus blending seamlessly with the faint murmur of chatter in the other rooms, the occasional raise in voices followed by a roar of laughter. You space out staring at the white ceiling, unable to escape the feeling of isolation. What happened after you collapsed? What became of Meiling, Sakuya and Koakuma? Your head pains as you think. “Damn it Shanghai, where are you?” You try talking to yourself to better collect your thoughts and calm yourself. “What should I do?” About what? There's so much to give thought to. Should you trust Meiling any more? Why is Alice acting so different now? What about Wriggle? The headache returns and you groan out, giving up on thought you close your eyes and rest, within moments falling asleep.

You awake to what feels like the next day, completely refreshed. Leaning forward makes you quite light headed at first but the feeling soon wears off. It seems Rika woke you up and is busy setting your meal down beside you; a bowl of ramen and beef.

“You can sit up, right?” Rika grins to you, turning some switch of some sort below you and the head of the bed is pushed forward, sitting you up right. “Now ya' can” She winks and places the tray of food on your lap. “Asakura says you need to eat up to get some of your strength back” Nodding sagely she turns to leave.

“Wait, where is everyone else? Shanghai, Meiling and Koakuma?” Rika pauses, humming in thought.

“Well Meiling desperately wanted to help us and do something useful, we made the mistake of asking her what her skills were. She was practically begging us to let her do her job here,” Rika sighs indifferently “In the end we caved in and put her on watch duty outside. Shanghai is with Alice at the moment, they just beat the crap out of Aya in a Danmaku duel, shame you missed it” Danmaku duel? Surely they didn't try to kill each other. “That ... weird lady with wings has spent the most of her time wandering about outside, she didn't even come home on Wednesday, stayed out the whole night” Rika pauses and shudders a little, putting on a creepy voice “Maybe she is waiting for you?” You do remember her asking if you were a reward for her. Rika lingers by you, hesitant about leaving. “Uh, you'll be coming to my workshop later, right?” You smile and nod once. “Great, I'll see ya' then! Enjoy your food” Out of the blue she suddenly leans over you kisses you quickly on the forehead “Once again, it's good to see you're all right” She leaves, giggling softly to herself. Pushing certain thoughts away for the time being you decide to tend to your food while its still very hot. The noodles themselves are somewhat bland but the texture of the beef and seasoning in the soup is incredible. You take time to savour this delicious meal, astounded to find that it just keeps getting better and better with each mouthful.

With loud sigh of satisfaction you decide to get up, crossing your legs and sitting up straight you leave the tray at the foot of the bed. Letting your legs hang off the bed is quite unpleasant as you begin to realise just how light and weak your body feels. Taking in a quick breath you brace yourself, placing your bare feet down on the surprisingly warm floor you lift yourself off the bed. The fall is short and painful as your legs completely give way and you hit the floor with a thud. Wincing in pain you grab onto a desk and drag yourself back up to your feet. Moving from desk to desk, or bed to bed sometimes, you head straight for the two long walking sticks by the door. Shoving one under each arm you heave yourself out of the room. Moving like this is incredibly awkward and you find yourself having to constantly lean to one side as the gauntlet weighs you down. Now, where would Alice and Shanghai be? The nexus only houses an oblivious and hard at work scientist and a sleeping shopkeeper. Passing them by you head towards the bedrooms only to find that just outside the corridor are three mattresses, complete with sheets and a pillow, they also look as if they've been used recently.

Leaning your head into the kitchen you find Aya busy hammering on strange sloped metal box, the side facing is covered with many large pins and a page of paper juts out of the top of the machine, you watch mesmerised as a large bar on the top of the machine continually nudges itself towards the edge of the box only for Aya to slap it back into place each time. You shove open the door to your own personal dorm to find Alice sitting upright on a chair against the opposite wall with an open book on her lap, her head slightly moving right to left as she silently reads. Shanghai, who was previously perched on Alice's shoots from her to you, softly batting into your chest in an attempt to hug you.

“Here for the lesson?” Alice closes her book and smiles politely to you.

“Uh, not just yet no, I just came here to see Shanghai for now, why didn't you tell me she was fine earlier?” Alice seems to ponder this for a few moments

“It didn't seem relevant at the time” You frown lightly in disapproval, gently stroking Shanghai on the head with your finger.

“In case you haven't realised, Shanghai is quite important to me, I'd like to be aware if she is at risk. Speaking of which, what happened with Shanghai? She was with me when I was knocked out.”
“Yes,” Alice reclines more into the chair, musing to herself. “She came to me in the middle of 'talking' to Patchouli. She told me about what happened to you all. In fact, you have Shanghai to thank in many ways. I will admit, I had not intended to attack Patchouli at first, but when I found out she had in fact struck the first blow against me ... Hmph! I would not stand for it” Of course, you realise, what other reason would she have for defending you, she was just defending her honour. God damn it Alice, is there anything inside you that is remotely human? You think of giving her a piece of your mind but somehow you don't feel it would be really worth it.

“With regards to Reisen; well, she simply didn't last long against Patchouli. And I will also admit it was my fault I failed to spot her missing until she was long gone. I assume Sakuya actually had something to do with that” It seems to make sense to you, although you could be kidding yourself again, she might have just not thought it a productive expenditure of her time to save Reisen. You feel a twinge in your heart. Reisen. The whole team let her down. Abandoned her.
>> No. 10968
“How can I repay my debt to her?” Alice bluntly asks, she can't possibly be talking about Reisen, she makes it seem as if she lost all of Reisens money.

“Excuse me?”

“Reisen's death. I want to atone myself. Is there anything I can do?” You curl your lips back in anger.

“That's not the point. She's dead Alice. She's not coming back. She's gone. Forever” You practically spit at Alice. With little emotion, merely frustration.

“Exactly, and I feel an immense guilt for allowing that to happen, I need to alleviate myself of it”

“Don't you get it!?” You raise your weakening voice “This isn't about how YOU feel. How YOU feel is irrelevant, meaningless!” Calming yourself somewhat you continue. “I can't answer your question. But that's probably because there is no answer for it.” You turn and leave, Shanghai still firmly attached to you. “Look into your heart, find out for yourself” You finish, leaving her alone in the room. In the kitchen before you Aya stands ready to talk, smiling brightly. You're really not in the mood. With a cold stare you shake your head once and step past her, her expression drops and she doesn't say anything as you leave the communal area.

“Asakura!” You call as you enter the nexus. Snapping out of her work she adjusts her glasses in surprise and confusion, looking back and forth between the medical wing and the entrance to the communal hall where you stand.

“I have mastered the path of the Shinobi, now about Wriggle?”

“Oh right, yes yes, come and have a seat” She beckons you closer and moves to another screen patting the chair next to her. You sit down beside her and she points to the a black screen filled with grey text. It's in your native English tongue that you woke up here understanding but the words still mean nothing to you.

“I want to talk to you about your friend, but first everything will be a lot more clearer if I explain to you what I have found out about mutations and such.”

“I thought the mansion was the cause of them?”

“Not exactly, they produced an army of demoniacally possessed creatures as I understand, or something equally as daft. What has been happening locally however, is not of any of the Scarlet Devil's doing. I know this is hard to accept, originally I too refused to believe that it was anything other than some horrible plague they had unleashed upon the world. There was always something that never made sense. There was no transmission. None at all. Be it 'magical' through a spell or biological through some sort airborne or water-borne agent. The natural wildlife was spontaneously mutating through no outside interference.” The look of shock on your face is evident. This is insane, the Scarlet Devil wasn't responsible for all of this? Who's to blame then!? “What my point is, is that this is a completely normal and natural occurrence. It's evolution” You don't understand what her one word conclusion means but know enough to understand that's no simple solution to this, if there is one at all.

“But Wriggle isn't like that, right? Patchouli did something to her, it wasn't natural, right!?” Asakura almost looks completely away from you, her face forlorn.

“It's worse than that” What!? “It seems that Patchouli tried to replicate the natural phenomenon that is happening here, but on a much grander scale, some kind of super mutation. But it only half worked, Wriggle was forcefully evolved but Patchouli's growth accelerator failed horrifically, she was too simple minded, all the accelerator did was induce rapid uncontrolled cell growth leading to countless instances of malignant neoplasm” What? What does that mean? You don't understand any of this!

“What are you talking about!? What's wrong with her!?” The agitation and stress is getting to you.

“Wriggle's body is riddled with cancer. She's going to die,” Asakura hangs her head in shame. “There's really nothing I can do to help her”


-------
Second part coming tomorrow but we all know what that means
>> No. 10974
>“Reisen's death. I want to atone myself. Is there anything I can do?”

It's hard to know if she's truly remorseful or if she's just clumsily affecting remorse in an attempt to garner sympathy.

>“Not exactly, they produced an army of demoniacally possessed creatures as I understand, or something equally as daft. What has been happening locally however, is not of any of the Scarlet Devil's doing. I know this is hard to accept, originally I too refused to believe that it was anything other than some horrible plague they had unleashed upon the world. There was always something that never made sense. There was no transmission. None at all. Be it 'magical' through a spell or biological through some sort airborne or water-borne agent. The natural wildlife was spontaneously mutating through no outside interference.”

These "emissions" must be some form of magical radiation, causing progressive physical mutation and personality changes in youkai.

>“Wriggle's body is riddled with cancer. She's going to die,” Asakura hangs her head in shame. “There's really nothing I can do to help her”

Asakura has admitted that there's nothing that can be done to save Wriggle, so she shouldn't have any reason for future "examinations" or "treatments". We should keep Wriggle away from her, lest she be turned into a research project, and be especially suspicious if anyone suggests euthanasia. Thus far Wriggle's mutations have been disturbing but not completely deleterious in the sense that cancer normally is.
>> No. 11012
You slump back into the chair, defeated. Wriggle is sentenced to death, and you don't even understand what is killing her. You both sit in silence for a short while until Rinnosuke wakes up from snoozing, offering some coffee for everyone snaps you both out of the states you were in. Asakura goes back to her terminal and works quietly and you decide to go and meet Meiling outside while the water boils.

You pass by the suit storage to find Wriggle wearing one of the helmets and spacing out, staring in wonder through the visor as if she was looking through the looking-glass into another world. You're glad she doesn't turn to see who passed her by, you blame the horrible lump in your throat, you refuse to accept that you have no idea what to say to her. The airlock door to the outside swings open with a metallic groan and Meiling pops her head around the side of it. From surprise to a warm smile Meiling greets you with a cheerful 'Hello!'

“Hey Meiling, it's good to see you're all right” Meiling steps around the door and stands to attention.

“All is clear on the watch, Master!” She smiles with pride “I trust you are here to inspect the grounds, having been long asleep for so long?

“Uh, no, actually, I just wanted to see how you were” Caught completely off guard Meiling just stares at you smiling for a moment before giving you a queer look and tilting her head.

“I am quite fine, Master, should I not be?” A faint quiver of worry shakes through the woman's voice.

“Oh, no no! You've not done anything wrong, I just wondered if were happy” You give her a positive smile and a pat on the shoulder, a friend is what she needs, not an overseer. You can't imagine what she's been through under Sakuya's regime but you hope that the conditioning will fade in time, you don't think you have what it takes to 'force it out of her'. Continuing that trail of thought.

“Sakuya is with Rika, I assume?” Meiling smiles and nods. Idiot! Why did you leave her with Rika!? You could have at least asked to hold responsibility over her, or SOMETHING. You heave a sigh, both at Meilings naivety and at the likely condition Sakuya will be in. “Look, just take it easy, okay? I don't want you standing out here all day and night, in fact Rinnosuke is making some of that coffee stuff inside, go and have a cup of it” Meiling looks to her post and back to you in worry. “Just do it” You order, turning around and heading back in yourself.

The two of you re-enter the nexus, passing by the discarded helmet lying in the hallway, Wriggle must have lost interest in it. Rinnosuke is busy stirring the various cups of coffee on a platter, four cups in total.

“Oh, something the matter miss Meiling?” Rinnosuke inquires, the look on Meiling's face tells you that simple question is already too much for her, she looks to you to help but you manage to glance down and fake investigating your gauntlet before her eyes meet you.

“I, uhm, uh, m-may I have some coffee, please?” A grin of satisfaction creeps onto your lips.

“Oh. Sure! I'll just put some more water on”

“N-no! You don't ha-” Leaning heavily on your left crutch, swing your right one sharply inbetween her buttocks and she lets out a quick yelp. Rinnosuke pauses for a moment in surprise, before giving you an understanding smirk and heading towards the kitchen chuckling to himself.

“You seem awfully alive, I take it those pills are working?” Asakura continues to work at her terminal occasionally glancing up at you.

“No, sorry, I haven't taken any yet” Asakura shoots you a quick glare before returning to her work.

“Those pills are for your health, if you don't take them it will take longer for your body to regain its strength, or what's left of it. I'll put that sling on you tomorrow but you really should take your medicine.” Her tone reminds of you of some stern maternal figure. Not a pleasant thought. Hobbling towards the sealed workshop wing you tap on the door with your right stick, the clanging sound is enough to rouse Rika from whatever 'work' she might be on. The wheel set into the centre of the door rotates and the door swings outwards a little and Rika pokes her head out.

“Ah, I knew you'd come. Come in, come in!” She pushes the door slightly ajar and steps back, quite clearly trying to make sure that no one else sees inside the room. Rika helps you in and closes the door behind you. The room is dimly lit, the main light has been switched off and posted at several desks covered in mechanic clutter are small lamps of various shapes and sizes.

“I've got a few thinks to talk to you about, but first!” Rika leads you over to a chair, giving you a light push you fall down into it, Shanghai flying off your shoulder in reaction and deciding to take a seat on the edge of the nearby workbench. Rika steps away from you into the darkness, a click of a switch and a bright light burns brightly down on Sakuya. You stare in stupefaction at the new depths to which Rika's depravity has sunk to, knowing that she would have taken great pleasure in being Sakuya's jailer you had expected the worst but, this ... you feel your meal from earlier churn in your stomach. The battered form of Sakuya twitches weakly under the light, she seems to be manacled to some macabre re-creation of the chairs that existed in the mansion, her head hung low, hair draping down over her face in clumps she sits silently. Her maid dress is ripped and torn exposing the more sensitive parts of her body. Rika pulls up a wooden chair and slams it down beside Sakuya causing her to twitch. Taking her by the hair Rika tugs Sakuyas head up, you barely recognise her, her mouth is coated in dried blood and her teeth seem to be stained red. Her cheeks and face are so horribly swollen up you can barely see her eyes. You feel a faint grip on your shoulder; Shanghai. She's as terrified as you are. Rika looks back to you completely straight faced, registering your disgust, you hope.

“Let me tell you about justice” She speaks, letting go of Sakuya, her head lulling forward. “Justice is not forgiveness. Justice is the creation of order in an otherwise chaotic system” Her expression sours heavily as she regards Sakuya with a feeling beyond that of abhorrence. “Even if we have to choke it out of it” Rika leans closer to Sakuya, her lips almost touching Sakuya's ears. “Can you remember what you told me?” Sakuya remains silent. “Come on now, you can talk to me, you can trust me” Her words are soft and compassionate, a sweet perfume on a sinister undertone. “You told me that my friends hate me. And that they hate each other. You told me that my life was of no consequence. You told me you were God. You told me lies. Lies are what separate us from honour” Rika rises up and standing over Sakuya. From her pocket she pulls out a small metal object, four rings merged into one curve, sliding them slowly onto her right hand she gently runs her hand through Sakuya's hair, triggering some sort of response; Sakuya instantly hunches her back, bracing for pain, cowering away from Rika.

“Rika stop” You manage to muster up a commanding voice. She obeys, but only to turn her attention to you. “Rika, I understand how you feel. You're angry, we're all angry. But channelling our anger this way against a helpless and defeated foe is not benefiting any of us, except you and your own amusement of course” You snidely stab at her.

“Amusement” She repeats you, her burning sardonic hatred now being directed at you. “The enjoyment I receive of this is nothing compared to her time with us. I take pleasure in the knowledge that her suffering might eventually atone for the damage she has inflicted on this world. I doubt I can ever quite make her grasp just how much agony and grief she caused the world. My only remorse is that I cannot fittingly punish her” She lifts her fist up above Sakuya's head. “An eye for an eye”
>> No. 11013
“Makes the whole world blind” You finish her sentence. She stalls, fist raised high above Sakuya, poised to strike. For a long moment she hangs in still motion. Waiting for you to continue? Or fighting some inner turmoil? The latter. She lowers her fist slowly.

“Fine. See yourself out. I'll speak with you again tomorrow. We're got a mission to do” She orders, without even turning back to face you. You should leave, but a small part of you struggles against such a thought. You're still not satisfied here. Rika slips off the piece of metal, tossing it to the floor and pulling the chain on the light, plunging them both into darkness. “Happy?” The darkness asks. You don't answer, you don't need to. Your arms tremble as you pick yourself up from the chair, pulling yourself onto the the sticks you quickly leave the room.

[ ] Go to sleep in the medical room
[ ] Go to sleep in your own bunk
[ ] Go and talk to _______ about Rika or Sakuya
>> No. 11018
[X] Go to sleep in the medical room

Rika's a little screwy.
>> No. 11020
[x] Go and talk to everyone about Rika and Sakuya

Rika is currently a danger to herself and everyone around her. We need to make it clear that this kind of shit is not going to fly while we're around. Also, Sakuya seems to need medical attention.
>> No. 11021
>>11020

If you want to get her medical attention you should talk to Asakura. I don't think talking to Meiling about it would be a good idea, Wriggle certainly won't be any help, it's quite clear where Shanghai stands on this matter, Alice may not care, and Rinnosuke couldn't do much.
>> No. 11023
>>11021
I think we need to find out who, if anyone, is aware that Rika has been torturing someone. We also need to make sure everyone is aware that Rika might not be safe to be around right now.

It's true that Meiling is not going to be pleased to hear it, but I think she's going to notice something happened when she sees Sakuya all fucked up. It might be better if she hears it from us and knows that we don't approve of it. In any case, I doubt she'll do anything too rash in her current mental state.

With Wriggle, I figure it would be kind of untrusting to leave her out. Plus, for all we know Rika might want to mess with her a bit. Remember how mad she was at her back when we left Reisen behind?
>> No. 11024
>>11023

I'm sure Rika is safe to be around, unless you happen to be Sakuya. I don't approve of her actions, but I don't think we should tell everyone that she is dangerous. Rika betrayed Meiling's trust by abusing her best friend, so I don't think telling Meiling at this point would be beneficial in any way. Telling her now would only add another problem on top of the current one; you'll have a pissed off Meiling, a pissed off Rika, and a beat up Sakuya. Rika does need some type of talking to, preferably by the anon, Asakura and Rinnosuke. I choose these people because they are her closest friends and would be more inclined to listen to them.

She isn't any threat to Wriggle.
>> No. 11033
[x] Find Koakuma
[x] Go and talk to everyone about Rika and Sakuya

Rika enjoyed torturing Meiling as well as Sakuya, and probably left Reisen behind on purpose. As far as I'm concerned, she is the least trustworthy member of our party. At the very least we can make a property claim with Sakuya as we had with Meiling, considering it was we who were most tortured and we (and our servant) who disarmed and defeated her. We need to talk to Wriggle to get the truth about what happened to Reisen, and to learn whether Rika has been abusing her as well. Rika will probably not listen to reason; humbling her in front of the others may be the only way.
>> No. 11034
>>11033

Wriggle was the one who forgot Reisen.
>> No. 11035
[x] Go and talk to Asakura and Rinnosuke about Rika and Sakuya

I think it makes more sense to talk to her friends rather than people she doesn't care a whole lot about.
>> No. 11040
>>11034

That's what Rika claimed, at least until you actually attempted to go back and get her.
>> No. 11041
>>11035

I don't think Rika really considers Rikako her friend. Remember how she reacted when we told her that Rikako sent us after her? It was as if she was thought of as expendable. More importantly, this isn't about convincing Rika that she's doing something wrong; it's more that the other survivors deserve to know about her alarming behavior.
>> No. 11069
[x] Go and talk to someone about Rika and Sakuya

Leaving the room Shanghai quickly closes the door behind you. The others are still standing about the nexus, Asakura looks back with an expectant smile on her face and your entrance seems to have disturbed a conversation between Meiling and Rinnosuke.

“Well, what did she have to show you~?” Asakura asks in a childish sing-song voice, leaning on her elbows and making an arch with her hands which she rests her chin on. A look into your haunted eyes is all the answer Asakura needs, the feeling spreads to her, worried she rises. “What happened? Is Rika is all right!?”

“This door,” You gently place your hand onto the wheel. “Has been shut since she and the maid entered, I understand? And no one else has seen the maid leave or even tried to enter the room?” With cold and precise accuracy your words shatter the bubbles of those in the room. All but one.

“No, that's n-not true!” Meiling sounds as if she's pleading with you and the others have noticed as well, their worried looks now turn to Meiling. “I have entered a few times, at night, just to make sure everything is okay ... I'm sorry. I should have respected her wishes” She makes a formal bow to you all “I am deeply sorry! Please forgive me!” Rinnosuke softly rests his hands on her shoulders.

“Easy now, no one is blaming anyone yet” He gently guides her down onto a chair and draws out a small metal canteen and hands it to her. She takes it but just holds it in her hands, unsure of what to do with it.

“Meiling, what did you see in there?” She looks to you in same way she looked to you when begging you to spare Sakuya.

“Nothing! I saw nothing ... it was dark ... and ...” Her voice trembles under the presence of the judges that stand around her and she quickly takes a swing of the canteen, apparently disagreeing with the taste as much as you did when you first tried it. “It burns my throat...” She meekly says gently cuddling the flask.

“Yeah, it does that at first, you just get used to the flavour” Rinnosuke chuckles patting her on the back slightly.

“No. Not the drink,” She hunches forward and looks to the floor, speaking as quiet as a mouse. “Lying. I don't like it” Taking another swing of the bottle she now holds close to her bosom. You shamble towards Meiling, even after a week of being here she is no different than when you last saw her in the library. You kneel down in front of her.

“Meiling,” You want her full undivided attention. Gently holding your index finger under he chin you tilt her face up so that her moist eyes are level with your own. “What did you see in that room?” Her lips tremble more and she desperately tries to look away from you, her eyes keep forcing themselves back to you.

“I ... haven't ... been inside” She whispers. Satisfied you leave her be, turning to Asakura and Rinnosuke.

“What did Rika tell you two?” Asakura looks to Rinnosuke in turn simply shrugs to you.

“She said nothing to me, friend ...” You turn your attention firmly to Asakura who nervously rubs her shoulder, taking her seat again.

“She said she had a surprise for you, and that it was pretty important. She said the maid and Meiling were people you'd saved from the mansion”

“She didn't specify who they were exactly?”

“Fellow survivors, I assume?” Asakura's tone changes, a tense concern evident.

“Not entirely, the beaten maid chained up Rika's workshop was responsible for a great deal of ... problems. I intend to make her see what she has done” Both Rinnosuke and Asakura stare at you in shock before their eyes drift towards Meiling. “Meiling has suffered and endured, she has a good heart, it was just in the wrong place” You push yourself back up on your sticks. Asakura now looks to Rika's workshop door, still in a stunned state.

“I can't believe ... Why? Why wouldn't she tell us!?” Her anger rises as does her voice. Rinnosuke is quick to shush her, stepping closer to her he whispers something in her ear, nodding she walks away from the nexus towards Rika's workshop. Rinnosuke takes a couple of paces back to you.

“I told her to just have a word with Rika, a friendly chat or something” You're highly sceptical about such an act and the notion that she could be talked out of whatever has possessed her.

“So what other lies have you spun, green-snake?” Alice's voice chills the room, you haven't heard her speak like this for a while, you've forgotten how deeply unsettling the woman can be at times. Unexpectedly for Meiling a very rapid wave of anger flows over her and as she clenches her fists and jaw.

“Shut up, witch” She spits through clenched teeth.

“Meiling! Alice!” You and Rinnosuke plead to respectively.

“Alice?” Rinnosuke's voice wavers as he steps in front of Meiling. “Alice, stop”

Several grey arcane rings face you, rotating slowly in the air a faint blue glow emanating from the centre of each one.

“Choose your next words wisely, snake, they'll likely be your last” This pointless fighting is nauseating you are about to tell them to just take their pathetic squabbles elsewhere when Meiling kicks her chair back, flicking a card up into the air.

The card falls harmlessly to the floor, as you all are jolted into silence, a horrible screeching sound echoes throughout the building, the lighting dims and red lights suddenly flash on and off.

“DAMN IT WHAT THE FUCK RIKA!?” Asakura yells, pounding on the workshop door. The floor below you rumbles slightly and you watch Alice descend below you, or more accurately, you ascend above her. The central machine block at the centre of the nexus lifts up out of the ground and you have to duck a little as it reaches near the ceiling.

“Warning. Biological containment malfunction in room three. Internal ventilation shut down has failed. All external ventilation systems and exits have now been sealed. All personnel must proceed immediately to the designated safety area and await instructions from security officers” A calm female voice speaks through the building around you, repeating her message. A panic stricken Wriggle and a curious Aya come rushing into the room from the kitchen.

“Woah! Wow! What's going on!?” Aya rushes about the room with her metal box the red flashing lights now occasionally being interrupted by white. You'd answer her if you knew.

Meiling and Rinnosuke clamber off the raised platform but Shanghai is happy to stay with you, Rinnosuke joins Alice and Meiling holds her arms out for you. You feel a bit pathetic and helpless but you really don't think you could manage the drop. Setting your sticks beside you, you drop off the edge and into Meiling's waiting arms, Shanghai carrying the sticks down after you. Instead of helping you to your feet as you expected she instead just carries you over to Alice and Rinnosuke, surely you're not THAT light!? Alice hesitates for but a moment before walking headstrong down the stairs into an equally dimly lit corridor, several dolls already summoned beside her. Rinnosuke, Meiling and Wriggle look to you for some kind of approval and you just shrug lightly.

“Well, I'd be shocked if you weren't going down there yourself” Rinnosuke remarks, opening up his belt pouch he hands you your elemental reactor. “Don't tell Asakura I gave you this” The two of you grin like mischievous schoolboys. A nearby bright flash of light causes the both of you to wince.

“And so the brave team of adventurers, lead by none other than the great Alice Margatroid strike out into the unknown! What peril will await them in the depths of this abandoned place!?” She continues her ramblings, even pausing at times to write it down, you'd laugh and wave her off if she wasn't so horribly right. You really don't know what to expect to find in the depths of this place, the unknown is as haunting as ever.

[ ] Stay here
[ Pick a team and head downstairs ]
>> No. 11071
[x] Everybody

Us survivors have to stick together.
>> No. 11072
[x] Everybody


Sounds like a plan.
>> No. 11075
[x] Everybody

You know what happens when you split up.
>> No. 11115
I wonder if this was a ploy by Rika to get us away from where Sakuya's being held so she can grab her and go.
>> No. 11116
>>11115

To me every situation where we are alone with Rika or lose a member other than her is going Keikaku Doori for her.
Yes, I am paranoid.
>> No. 11117
>>11115

"Everybody" means everybody. We'll hack that door down with our hatchet if we have to. No matter what wrongs she has committed, as long as she draws breath she is a fellow survivor and that makes her a precious commodity. And the same goes for Sakuya.
>> No. 11204
[Everyone]

“On second thought, you can hold onto this for a while longer,” You grin and pass the reactor back to a confused Rinnosuke. “Because we're all leaving together” You look past Rinnosuke to Asakura who continues to fruitlessly bang on the door with her fist.

“Open up Rika, please! I'm sorry! I don't understand what's wrong with you but if I did anything ... anything at all ... I'm sorry for it!” Asakura's voice struggles to compete against the ringing noises and repeating message of evacuation but she still tries. Stirred somewhat by her determination you nod Meiling in that direction, after Rinnosuke as he approaches Asakura.

“Rika we're not mad at you! We-!” Rinnosuke gently places his hands on her shoulders, offering the embrace of affection and she accepts, leaning back into Rinnosuke she wraps his arms around herself further, putting up a shield. Rinnosuke takes a step backward and Asakura moves with him, stepping down from the negotiations.

“Asakura, I take it you told her about the entryway?” She glares at you, her face red with mixed high emotions.

“Of course I did!” She glares and snaps. Rinnosuke shushes her, holding her a bit tighter.

“Any way of just forcing her out? There's got to be some way of just forcing this door open” Asakura mumbles something that is drown out in the alarm.

“If you wanted to force this door open you'd need something like, oh I don't know, a power tool” She glares at you again, for probably the same reasons as before.

“We have one” You cheerfully reply, looking up to Meiling. She blinks in astonishment.

“Me?” She asks. You're confident that Meiling of all your companions is by far the superior choice in dealing with matters of brawn and pure strength. Pointing at the door you give the orders.

“Meiling! That chunk of metal is your obstacle! Remove it!” You jeer her on. Politely setting you down she strides up to the door, planting her hands on the wheel. No sooner had she started to try to turn the wheel she lets out a yelp and staggers back, startled.

“W-What!?” She huffs and puffs. “Stupid door!” She shouts at it, grabbing onto the handle you see her muscles tense up as she tries to force the door open. A thin cloud of smoke trails out from under her hands and she lets go of the door, her skin ripping free as she does. She waves her hands about, trying to cool them down, as if she just lightly burnt herself on a hot surface. “What's with this door!? I can't open it!” She growls, her suppressed anger is evident. After a few moments of trying to cool her hands down she cracks her neck and knuckles, bracing for another try.

“Meiling, we don't have time for this” Asakura cuts in, unfortunately stating what everyone else was thinking “If Rika wants this so badly she can have it. We should lock her in from the outside, somehow” Asakura seems more intent on punishing Rika than comprehending the consequence of locking Rika up in there with Sakuya.

“That's not the point,” You try to grab her attention by tugging her lab coat. “I really don't think it's safe for Sakuya to be in there with Rika.” You hear the sounds of someone rushing down the stairs behind you and the occasional white flashes in the room stop. Looking over your shoulder you see Wriggle at the top of the stairs looking nervously down them. Feeling your eyes upon her she turns to you, but you look away and to the blue dressed doll that shoots over Wriggles head and straight up to you. Flinching a little in shock you lean away from the small doll, it holds out its hands and beckons to you.

“I think Alice has found something” You report back to the others who are far too engrossed in the study of the door to heed you any attention, even Meiling stands to one side tenderly blowing on her burnt hands. You heave a sigh and look to Shanghai for your walking sticks. Dropping one and holding the other upright you pull yourself up onto it, Shanghai turns to fetch the other when she finds the other blue doll already propping the stick up next to you. Do her dolls have a mind of their own, like Shanghai? Or is Alice making it help you? The latter seems more ridiculous but you accept the help gratefully all the same.

“Sealing Rika in there is a bad idea,” You speak louder and the others turn to face you. “But it seems the lesser of evils”

“Right.” Asakura nods in agreement. “There should be some junk around here we could use to jam the wheel from spinning, I'm sure even the automated locking systems still require the wheel to be operational” Your group works quickly and in great humour as you all pick through the various small junk piles Rika had left about the main room, cobbling together a loose barricade you successfully jam the door shut. Unfortunately the barricade has taken precious time and has prompted the return of the blue dressed doll, this time with a message scrawled on a scrap of paper.

“I asked for you. You sent Aya. WHY?”

You shudder at the prospect of having to face the now irate Alice. The blue dressed doll is trying to make a point of making you leave now by tugging on you, much to the displeasure of Shanghai who flitters down and tries to shove the other doll away. You marvel stare at the two things slap and tug each other, neither showing any signs of backing down.

“Let's get going, Alice is starting to get annoyed, heaven forbid we let that happen” You grumble shuffling into action, the blue doll taking its cue and zipping away down the stairs. Swiftly you feel yourself taken from your feet and staring at the ceiling. Meiling ... !

“Apologies master, I couldn't leave you to walk down the stairs in your condition!” She cradles you down the steps, setting you down on your crutches at the bottom, a nagging feeling of pathetic nudges you, despite how pleasant it was to be carried by Meiling.

The lower levels of this building were clearly not meant for use, or prolonged exposure at the least, the once warm feeling this building held is now distant behind you as you step further into this dank and dark tunnel. The concrete walls are cracked and large water stains seep from the wounds marking the floors and walls. The floor is littered with discarded science paraphernalia and battered smaller versions of the machines upstairs, as well as large metal chests each bearing the gold Lunarian moon crest. You pass by a room on your left, a closed bulkhead door prevents you from entering and the rooms window seems to be covered in some kind of dark grime, you'd rather not find out but you're confident that the layer of grime seems to be on the other side of the window. The room doesn't seem to be disturbed and the blue doll beckons you onwards, drawing you away from the room.

You arrive at a similar door system as the one at the entrance upstairs, except both the doors here seem to have collapsed towards you, allowing free access through to the junction ahead. Three signs are mounted on the wall, two pointing to the right and one to the left, unfortunately each of them are written in moon runes and you're unable to make any sense of them. Unlike the other two the single sign pointing to the left has a symbol next to it; a jagged horizontal black line on a yellow background. The blue doll floats off to the right and your group follows it.
>> No. 11205
“All this equipment ... perhaps I was wrong about this place being evacuated” Asakura mulls over in thought. If she was wrong, then the alternative would be that nobody left at all. You shudder at the prospect. The blue doll leads you into a larger room which you seem to be standing at the top of. Directly in front of you is Alice, seated in front of a long machine. To her left and right are stairwells that curve along the walls and lead into the darkened lower level of this room which contains four long machines that stretch across the room and two doors on the left and right sides of the room, other than that you can't make out much in the low red light. You all gather around Alice as she stares up at a single large green screen, displayed on it is quite obviously a map of the local area but, all these markings? What are they? Dotted about the local forest area are two kinds of symbols, one being a trio of cylinders and the other being a cog. There are two cogs on this map, one which is obviously this building, but the other is right beside the Hakurei mountain. A white flash startles everyone and Aya suddenly appears beside Alice, slamming her hand down on her shoulder causing her to flinch again.

“How goes the investigation!?” She hollers, hanging her metal box on her belt and drawing out her pad of paper and scribe. Alice looks away from her and to you, shifting her eyes to the right and grimacing. Uttering a slight shudder she stands up, turning the seat to face Asakura.

“You are the most adept at the operation of these machines, the task of understanding what this place is must fall to you” Alice commands. Asakura gives her a suspicious glance, taking her words with a pinch of salt she steps over to the chair and seats herself.

“How did you activate this?” Asakura asks, looking about the array of buttons and switches.

“I pressed this button” Alice gestures to a seemingly mundane grey key with a single rune on it, amidst many other similarly marked keys. Asakura presses the button and unsurprisingly nothing happens.

“This will take some time” Asakura grumbles, peering closer at the keys.

“It's a command console and it's purpose is to manage this entire facility,” Rinnosuke speaks up “That should give you a head start on figuring out what specifically it can do, and how it works”

“Marvellous, Rinnosuke, useful as ever” Alice smiles sweetly to Rinnosuke, embarrassing him slightly, bashfully he rubs the back of his neck and tries to laugh it off. Asakura doesn't react quite the same way, giving Alice a look between anger and contempt.

You head down the right stairs, giving one of your crutches to Shanghai you use a railing to lean on. Unlike the previous rooms this one shows signs of activity of some sort. Several parts of the long desk machines are gutted, their mechanical innards laid strew out on the floor, several of the chairs have been knocked aside and discarded near the steps; a weapon. It seems to be in a sorry state, the wood that makes up a good half of the entire weapon is rotted and something that seemed to be once attached to the end of the weapon has been snapped off, leaving two short prongs of jagged metal remaining. Wriggle scuttles past you, looking up and around in wonder, Meiling and Alice seem to be following you as well. You head for the back wall where some normal tables are roughly laid out, pale objects scattered about on them along with some other smaller machines. A scan in between each of the rows of machines reveals little, other than how the machines don't look as if they'll be up and running any time soon. The tables at the back wall ultimately yield nothing other than empty coffee cups and a dispenser that had long ran out of coffee, what documents you did find scattered about were either incomprehensible charts and graphs or just written in runes. Since you're close to it you decide to take the door on the right hand side of the room, ordering Meiling and Wriggle to return to the others, surprisingly Meiling makes more protest than Wriggle does but leaves all the same under the premise you have Alice and Shanghai with you and that you'll be back in a moment. A classic last line you think as you leave the room with Alice.

This long corridor stretches on into darkness, the area here becoming even more cluttered, at parts seeming as if this junk was placed here intentionally. It doesn't take long before you come across a door left ajar on your right. Alice pulls it open lightly with a cringe worthy loud groan she steps in and you follow quickly after. To the right of you, along the back wall, is a line of lockers, all of them open and empty, many small and thin objects are scattered about on the floor, like fat needles, slightly blunted at the end. On the other side of the room is a divider; a single large viewing window and a bulkhead door. Beyond that, a woman!? Both you and Alice hurry to the viewing window and peer in. The woman is like one of those Lunarian rabbits you had seen Reisen with, just outside the superstructure. This one must be a guard, her crumpled ears protrude out of a large white helmet that covers most of her head, showing only her face. She hasn't noticed you yet, it's no wonder, the woman sits in the far corner of the completely empty room, her arms wrapped around her weapon; one of those half wooden contraptions you saw moments ago.

“We should get the others before trying to make contact with her” Alice whispers to you. She can't possibly be serious.

“What!? She needs help, we should get her out now while we still have the chance!” You try your best to keep your voice to a whisper.

[ ] Follow Alice's advice, head back to the others and inform them
[ ] Get the woman's attention and try to free her
>> No. 11206
[x] Get the woman's attention and try to free her

We left one Lunarian behind, not doing it again.
>> No. 11212
[x] Get the woman's attention and try to free her

She's dead, Jim.
>> No. 11218
[x] Get the woman's attention and try to free her.
In the off-chance she's not dead, Alice, you, and Shanghai are more than a match for a single moon rabbit in case she attacks you. More important is that if Meiling is with you, she may assume you're part of Scarlet's army. And I'm still suspicious of what Asakura did to those Lunarians who came in with Reisen.
>> No. 11282
[x] Get the woman's attention and try to free her.
>> No. 11295
[x] Get the woman's attention and try to free her
>> No. 11855
[x] Get the writefag's attention and beg for updates.
>> No. 12095
Are we going to experience one of our halcyon hallucinations, with the reality only being a rotting corpse? Will it rise up to attack us like zombie? Did the magic radiation kill them or was it a rogue bioweapon developed to fight Scarlet? Did Flandre truly escape, or is she trapped, still, in a basement? Whatever hit them was sudden; Reisen and her cohorts were shocked when they discovered the place abandoned.

UPDATE
>> No. 12232
Dammit, Desdaxis. Get back to this.
>> No. 12493
It's been a full month.
>> No. 12531
He's just preparing the "feel good" Christmas special.
>> No. 12754
Merry Christmas, Desdaxis!

BUT UPDATE ALREADY
>> No. 12945
Abandoned?
>> No. 14001
Will you please update this, Desdaxis? I need my horror fix.
>> No. 16420
This isn't dead
>> No. 16422
>>16420

Undead perhaps.

RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE.
>> No. 20787
Is it safe to assume that this is dead?
>> No. 20788
File 12449525737.jpg - (98.13KB , 600x450 , HURR.jpg ) [iqdb]
20788
>>20787
>> No. 20794
>>20787

As much as I prefer it wasn't.

Puttering around in old threads won't bring RAN back either.
>> No. 21942
File 125236069753.png - (1.11MB , 1440x900 , epic wriggle.png ) [iqdb]
21942
N-N-N-NERCO REVIVAL!

You slowly reach out your hand and feel your body gravitate towards the window, seemingly by itself. The girl beyond the window, you see now, shudders; gripping her weapon as she rocks back and forth, a rhythmic grinding of metal creeps in all around you. Alice backs away from the mirror and glances about at the battered ceiling, peering into the darkness where panels have splintered away. The grinding whine intensifies more as you reach the window, the girl locked inside curls up, trying to tuck her head away into her legs, you can hear her whimpering from here even over the harsh metallic noise around you. You feel Shanghai's presence on your arm, gripping it tightly as the glass visibly shudders in tempo akin to footsteps. Leaning against the window the shuddering transfers to you; quaking over your body. Raising your now free hand up you rest it on the glass. The noise is abruptly cut off by a startled gasp.

The girl's head twitches up and she quickly points her weapon at you.

“Who are you!? What are you doing here!?” She barks.

In peaceful reaction you lean back off the window and onto your spare crutch, waving the other hand in peaceful greeting.

“Hello, we're not here to hurt you, we're from the su-” The woman practically throws her weapon aside, standing up and rushing over to the window. The poor girl doesn't look particularly old but her chopped up short matted white hair says otherwise, it's quite odd to look at. She leans up close to the glass, staring straight into your eyes. A moment passes. Then another. She's so still, she doesn't even look like she's breathing, she just stands there, studying you. After a long and uncomfortable silence she steps away from the window.

“Enough” She whispers, turning away. “Just kill me already”

“Enough of what? Who's keeping you here? Why are you special enough to have been left alive?” Alice quickly fires out questions. You shoot her a quick glare and look back to the girl.

“Ignore her we're here to help you. I'm going to open this door for you, okay? I'm coming in” You move towards the door, she stops you.

“You won't” She turns about to face you again, a look of scrutiny on her. “The door requires power to open and the glass?” She snatches her rifle up and fires a fling shot off at the glass window, there is a loud bang and a tiny shatter mark appears in the glass, like a small spiders web. “Bullet proof. Why do you think I locked myself away in her?”

“You haven't answered my questions” Alice dryly reminds her

“What you gonna do? Make me?” The girl snorts with laughter and steps away, slumping back down against the wall, wiping away some of the grime and tear stains off her face she throws her weapon back down the floor with a clatter.
“I'm not in the mood to talk all right? The power unit is on the left as you enter the underground. Just get me out of here” She looks down to the ground again, holding her arms around her legs. “I just want to go home” In a plaintive gesture she dully drops her head forward onto her knees. Her helmet drops off and rolls away. Those ears, were fake? She looks like a regular human.

“Your name? I never got it” You ask gently, hoping not to stress her further.

“Eirin Yagokoro” Her response is quiet and meek. Alice's is not.

“Eirin!? Pfft, your lies more wretched than you are” She scoffs. “Am I seriously expected to believe the grand genius of the moon has been reduced to THIS” She sneers and waves her hand at the girl. “Snivelling wreck of a person? Come now, out with it. What is your real name, toy soldier?”

Frankly you'd rather Alice didn't grill her like this but, this is a most confusing turn of events. Yes, you have indeed heard of the people of the moon and their legendary minds, also how one of them resides here, in Gensokyo. There was a rather large incident long before you arrived involving some kind of potential Lunar invasion, or disturbance, you aren't entirely sure of the details but you know the cause was this Yagokoro person and her arrogant princess; Kaguya. The former being a medical genius that granted the latter immortality.

“I told you once,” Eirin speaks “I shan't tell you again, let me out and I'll give you information”

“Or attempt to kill us” Alice provides Eirin with another possible outcome to which Eirin does not respond to. Stepping away from the window Alice beckons you over.

“If I may be as so rude as to be blunt; I fear that I distrust her even more now than I had before. If she really is indeed who she says she is then this woman is extremely dangerous and whilst is a wonderful doctor who I have the fullest confidence in purchasing medical goods from, once tried to lock this world away in a metaphysical box” Alice smiles a little in smug satisfaction “I had the great pleasure of wrecking her plans with the aid of many of Gensokyo's other heroes; so I have a feeling she might harbour some kind of a grudge against me” Her lips curl up into a snide grin, the sarcasm evident oh so plainly.

Both of you opt to leave the room for now. The corridor continues on. You are unsure of what to do next.

-==-

Well fuck. I guess explanations are in dire order. Basically my net was down for about a week or two all the fucking way back at the end of last year, when it came back up I was suddenly unable to connect to this site at all, even though it was still live. Flash forward to yesterday when I just happen upon this thread http://desuchan.net/touhou/res/4197.html in ye olde desuchan and holy FFUUUUU- I can fucking connect. Sadly it was midnight and I had work the next fucking morning so I had to save this shit for tonight. I'd like to extend a big apology to those who waited on my sorry ass to turn up and left empty handed. ;_; Manly tears were shed, I assure you. Rest assured the show must go on and that the curtains have not fallen yet! So I hope that interest is still here and that we can continue. We? Ah yes, time to do away with the old rail road methinks. From now on you're free to do as you please, I won't give any more options or prompts any more I'll simply pick from popular consensus. With that said, I hope you enjoy your wanderings into the mouth of madness! Enjoy!
>> No. 21943
>>21942

Oh my fucking god, you're alive. I missed this story so goddamn much you beautiful bastard.
>> No. 21944
>>21943
IT GOOD TO BE BACK. DA?

So what the fuck up? What ever happened to Scorn's Capt. Anon and his tales of magical forests? I've noticed HY god damn everywhere, guy still writes like a beast, i've yet to read any of it. Has YAF finally transcended the mortal coil and arrived in Gensokyo yet?
>> No. 21945
>>21944

Scorn's been on hiatus for who the fuck know's how long.

HY's been busy doing lots of stories but also has the bad habit of losing interest in them at point's and starting up new ones. I'd recommend you read Involuntary Pedagogic Fantasy which he said he'd be starting back up.

As for YAF, as far as I know he's left the site for good. I spoiler this because I believe that writing it out in the open will call him back like some kind of demon.
>> No. 21947
Scorn's still around and still not writing. Tetro, same. YAF is probably gone, but everyone still sees his shadow everywhere. HY is HY and will forever be HY, IPF is good stuff but he didn't like where it was going and shut it down like ADP. He said he was going to restart the fairy maid story in /sdm/ but hasn't done so yet. Blankfag's still gone. Patchwork finished HLA 1 and started HLA 2. Klaymen finished Science and is writing I, Youkai in /forest/. SHAG is still going. Not too much changed really.
>> No. 22001
Desdaxis

I love you as much as one man can heterosexually love another.
>> No. 22002
[x] Try talking with the woman some more. Maybe you can verify if she is indeed the famed doctor?

Wow, Eirin certainly is different when she isn't holding all of the cards (if it is her, that is).

Also, you're back! FUCK YEAH! I love this new site and everybody on it!

Okay, not everybody, but hooray anyway!
>> No. 22006
[X] Attempt to regroup with the others
>> No. 22017
Fucking awesome.

[x] Tell Alice to let the others know who you've found. You don't see her as a threat, as she seems wracked by despair and apathy, as well as frightened enough to have locked herself in there in the first place.
- [x] Ask if she can tell the others to try to get the equipment back on line. Like the controls to the door.
- [x] Ask her to look for Koakuma
[x] Go back and tell Eirin your friends are working on getting her out; until then you can fill her in on what's been happening.
- [x] How the inhabitants of SDM had gone insane: Patchouli was a megalomaniac trying to open a gate to Hell, but got herself killed herself in the process. Remilia is nothing but a spectre now, still pretending she's at war with the moon. Meiling was an adverse party but she's now swore allegiance to you personally, and is taking care of a maimed Sakuya, whose arm you hacked off. Flandre is nowhere to be found, although you've seen memories of her here. You did manage to free Koakuma, the demon, from being sacrificed by halting the ritual.
- [x] As for the members of your party, Alice has shed the last remnants of her humanity as the result of some ritual. Wriggle Nightbug has been horribly mutated by the tortures inflicted upon her in the Mansion, where you yourself were maimed, but she has nonetheless been trustworthy and loyal. Asakura is the chief scientist here, researching the disease and trying to get this bunker in working order. Reisen was the kindest of the group and had her eyes plucked out by Patchouli for use in her mind control gauntlet, which you still have. She died in an explosion in the mansion. Rika, another human scientist, has become increasingly unstable, and it appears she's barricaded herself in her room where she has apparently been torturing Sakuya.
- [x] Human village is overrun by beasts. The refugees were headed toward youkai mountain, and you know at least Keine and Aya are alive. That's where you and Rinnosuke were originally headed before you found this citadel.
- [x] You personally woke up under a pile of corpses with memory loss. You yourself have some connection to all of this, as you were the last person seen before the Shrine Maiden disappeared. Moreover, you have a lot of hallucinations and flashbacks in certain places. You are followed by Shanghai, who had been disowned by the dollmaker.
- [x] From a distance, the only thing left of Eientei is a hole in the ground.
- [x] The only other confirmed deaths you know about are the Aki goddesses, Nitori, a kappa scientist, and two Lunarians who were with Reisen.
[x] If it turns out nothing can be done about the door, tell Eirin to step away from it, and blast open it with the mini-hakkero.

Let the rest of them try to open the chamber, you've got a lot of things to get off your chest to one of the few sane people left in this world. Alice is from Makai, so she might be able to exert more of an influence on Koakuma.

Eirin said she won't answer our questions, but we can still get a reaction out of her by telling her things she doesn't know about. We'll need to use that big brain of hers, so we want to get her up to snuff on current events.

The other members might not want Eirin free, but that's not because she's dangerous, but because she's canny enough to figure out some inconvenient truths, like the deaths of the two Lunarians, or fraudulence in their research on the disease. Eirin's genius might be able to reverse Wriggle's mutation, who has been our closest and most trustworthy ally apart from Shanghai.
>> No. 22021
[x] Tell Alice to let the others know who you've found. You don't see her as a threat, as she seems wracked by despair and apathy, as well as frightened enough to have locked herself in there in the first place.
- [x] Ask if she can tell the others to try to get the equipment back on line. Like the controls to the door.
- [x] Ask her to look for Koakuma
[x] Go back and tell Eirin your friends are working on getting her out; until then you can fill her in on what's been happening.
- [x] How the inhabitants of SDM had gone insane: Patchouli was a megalomaniac trying to open a gate to Hell, but got herself killed herself in the process. Remilia is nothing but a spectre now, still pretending she's at war with the moon. Meiling was an adverse party but she's now swore allegiance to you personally, and is taking care of a maimed Sakuya, whose arm you hacked off. Flandre is nowhere to be found, although you've seen memories of her here. You did manage to free Koakuma, the demon, from being sacrificed by halting the ritual.
- [x] As for the members of your party, Alice has shed the last remnants of her humanity as the result of some ritual. Wriggle Nightbug has been horribly mutated by the tortures inflicted upon her in the Mansion, where you yourself were maimed, but she has nonetheless been trustworthy and loyal. Asakura is the chief scientist here, researching the disease and trying to get this bunker in working order. Reisen was the kindest of the group and had her eyes plucked out by Patchouli for use in her mind control gauntlet, which you still have. She died in an explosion in the mansion. Rika, another human scientist, has become increasingly unstable, and it appears she's barricaded herself in her room where she has apparently been torturing Sakuya.
- [x] Human village is overrun by beasts. The refugees were headed toward youkai mountain, and you know at least Keine and Aya are alive. That's where you and Rinnosuke were originally headed before you found this citadel.
- [x] You personally woke up under a pile of corpses with memory loss. You yourself have some connection to all of this, as you were the last person seen before the Shrine Maiden disappeared. Moreover, you have a lot of hallucinations and flashbacks in certain places. You are followed by Shanghai, who had been disowned by the dollmaker.
- [x] From a distance, the only thing left of Eientei is a hole in the ground.
- [x] The only other confirmed deaths you know about are the Aki goddesses, Nitori, a kappa scientist, and two Lunarians who were with Reisen.
[x] If it turns out nothing can be done about the door, tell Eirin to step away from it, and blast open it with the mini-hakkero.
>> No. 22026
[x] Just continue walking down the corridor in silence.
[x] Try talking with the woman some more. Maybe you can verify if she is indeed the famed doctor?
[X] Attempt to regroup with the others
[x] Holy shit explanations


Yes. That was quite a lot to take in. Perhaps some time in reflection is needed?

“Let's head onwards” You gesture down the corridor and Alice nods in agreement.

“A wise move” She compliments and follows in your suit.

Clak. Clak. Clak.

So much has happened. Rika. Why? She always came across as a bit headstrong but to sink to this level ... It's not like her. Has she changed? Or was it something you've always missed? No. No she's changed. She has to have. Else that means you can't change her back. Sakuya. Your thoughts of her just fly by, you're not in the mood to be bothered by her. But Meiling? Did Meiling really know what Rika was doing to her friend? Naive stupid girl. Love does that, you guess. Your thoughts meander, a font of conciousness cracked open.

Clak. Clak. Clak.

You become suddenly aware of yours and Alices out of sync footsteps, and how it's irritating you. As you make the decision to slow down you find the footsteps have evened themselves out already and Alice has slowed down to your pace.

“You shouldn't think too hard, you'll hurt yourself” She remarks, smirking at you. You shrug her off and look away.

“...Whatever”

Further down the corridor you arrive at what seems to be a crude barricade, built up of metal desks, chairs, bits of shelf, some other stranger metal instruments and more desperate measures of defence; refuge waste. It's almost as if this was never supposed to be a fortified position, more like a plug. You're not entirely sure which way it's supposed to be facing though. Alice winces a little, the stench obviously getting the better of her demeanour. She waves her hand towards the barricade and two dolls glide over to it and tug free a strange T shaped bar of metal.

“It's a locking device, I think” The dolls hold it in front of Alice for inspection. “I used a much smaller one like this for my tool shed” You look back to the plug and up to it's top, it's not entirely filling the corridor up, somebody might be able to crawl through the gap.
Dead end then. You heave a sigh and mid turn you spy something. Lying in the left corner of this plug is very rotten wooden board with paper tacked onto it. One of which is written in Japanese. Tearing it off the notice board you hand it over to Alice for translation.

'To those it concerns,

This is just a general note for the re-appropriation of rooms 3A, 3B and 3C it is for obvious reasons we have chosen these rooms for the disassembly of the new test subject.

Thank you,
Dr Tanaka

Addendum in response to growing concerns; The main body and brain are still connected and the subject will, at times, appear to be active. Please disregard any cerebral activity or increase in heart rate. It is all part of the treatment. However should the subject move at any time, immediately contact security. Do not attempt to make contact with or otherwise disturb the subject should it become active.'

Alice furrows her brow in thought as she finishes reciting the letter, in almost the same clinical tone you'd expect the letter to be in.

“How good a doctor is Eirin?” You ask, starting a train of thought. Alice folds the paper down quickly and gives a look of contempt. “... Fine, would she likely be in charge of medical work here?”

“Yes” Alice hisses at you “How daft are you? She grants lesser beings immortality, you doubt she'd be in charge of this place if she were here?”

“Well then you don't think she'd be out of here pretty sharpish if anything went wrong? Why would the people here just lock away someone of value like her” Alice turns to you, handing the crumpled note to you which Shanghai takes.

“You're beginning to see it from perspective, good work little peasant!” She smiles condescendingly and gives you a quick pat on the head. “Since we have been inside this stone shell of a building I have not once found any imagery or information linking its ownership to Eientei now whilst we might be wrong there are high chances that this building is not built by Eientei hands, but rather from the Lunarians themselves, that would be a safe assumption yes?”

“So why did Reisen come here then?” Your question provokes a twitch of thought in Alice.

“Honestly, I don't know. Likely for the same reason Eirin is here, or perhaps they're more directly related. She may of come to save Eirin”

“But you don't think she's Eirin” You remind Alice, she looks away in slight annoyance and though.

“No” She sighs out. “Maybe if you'd met her, you'd know. But ...” She trails off loosing her words. “Look. When you fight someone in a Danmaku duel it isn't just flashy spell names and big bangs. A person's Danmaku is inextricably linked to you, in a sense Danmaku is attuned to your soul. Some people ... Agh” She trails off again in a moan of frustration. She's obviously having a hard time explaining it.

“You're not forgetting what you said to me a few moments ago, right?” You grin to her and she just frowns to you, very unimpressed. You smile and wave a hand dismissively. She sighs and shrugs it off.

“Of course. I'd rather not try to educate you in such a vile pit as this anyway” She turns about and heads back down the corridor and you tail after her.

Passing by Eirin's door you both stall.

“I think we should try and get her to prove her identity. Somehow” Alice nods in agreement with you and you both head back in. The room hasn't changed and Eirin still remains on the other side of the glass. She looks up in surprise.

“There still is no power, what are you doing back here?”

“We came for proof” Alice steals your thunder, asking before you

“Of?”

“Your identity” You get in before Alice, you feel a certain good inquisitor bad inquisitor vibe starting up.

“I already told you, let me out and I'll give you your information”

“As you seem to be blissfully unaware of your place at this present moment in time, allow me to remind you: You are sealed away in a confined room with no water or food available with no other way out other than for us to unlock that door for you” Alice pauses to let her words sink into Eirin “Now perhaps you wish to choose your words more carefully perhaps?”

“I am not trapped here” Eirin deftly responds

“We're not here for all of your secrets ...” You counter “We just want you to prove that you are who you say you are”

“And how exactly does a genius mind intend to prove itself without sharing its secrets?”

“Anything please, any tiny little bit of information you might have, this is for your own sake more than ours” You try to reason with her. Alice doesn't add anything but just stares disapprovingly at Eirin.

“In the control room. Inside the old coffee machine. I stuffed my ID card and professional effects in there. But you should know that now, shouldn't you? I am done with pandering to your questions. Get me out of here and we'll talk” She makes a point of concluding this conversation by shuffling over to her corner and facing it. Alice nods slightly to you, she seems to have taken Eirin's answer positively. You head back out to the corridor.

The corridor has changed.

Refuse from the plug at the de facto 'end' of the corridor has been dragged through the corridor, past this door. One of Alice's dolls floats down to the refuse picking something from it. As it passes by you to show it to Alice you catch a glimpse; a human nail, a whole one. Alice winces in disgust and the doll tosses it away. You both agree to head back to the group.

The trail dries up and stops before it reaches the entrance to the command room. The first sight to greet you as you enter though is a flash of white as Aya halts your entrance.
>> No. 22027
File 125262209383.png - (64.21KB , 360x360 , Under Bunker.png ) [iqdb]
22027
“My my, you two sneaking off like that? I wonder, I wonder ... What ever could you two of been up to?” Aya lets out a mock haughty laugh. “Did your knight offer to protect you?” She glides up beside you, hooking her arm around your crutch-arm whilst smirking at Alice. “Or did the goddess of intelligence deign it fit to protect the little boy?” She cackles a little, getting out her notepad, waiting for your answer.

Alice walks silently past Aya, a red mist of anger following in her wake. Aya snickers again and steps up closer to you, whispering in your ear; “So how was she~?” Aya's head jerks to the side as Shanghai grabs onto her ear, tugging her away from you. Taking your cue you hobble after Alice to the coffee table at the back wall. Rinnosuke waves and calls his greetings down to you. You wave a crutch in the air in response and call up to him; asking if anything has happened at all. He just shrugs. You get no response from anyone else.

Alice gives the front of the dispenser a little tug and feels along the seems on the front of the machine. She gestures to one of her dolls which latches onto the side of the machine, another one holds the machine at the back and the two pull. With a loud DUNK the front pops off and little shower of tiny brown pellet-like objects scatter to the floor. Stuffed in with the pellets is a white card and small bag. Alice reaches in and snatches the white card and a tiny green rope comes out attached to it, her doll aid picks up the bag and hands it to you.

As Alice holds up the card to the light you look down into the bag. Inside the bad is a strange silver padded wrap which is cold to the touch. Gently taking it out the wrap, leaving the bag in the hands of the doll, you unravel the silver padding. Wrapped up is a tiny, thin, glass tube filled with a light green liquid.

Alice faces the card to you, Eirin's face is clear on the left side of the card, the right taken up by four black lines and a tiny line of moon runes below it.

“It looks quite legitimate” You admit and hold up the tiny phial of liquid. Alice tilts her head in question and holds her hand out for it. A sharp yell from above startles you both.

“GUYS” Asakura shouts out, wildly waving her hands over for people to gather. You press the phial into Alice's hand and you hobble as fast as you can over to the stairs where Meiling meets you, helping you up the stairs again. When you reach the command console it's quite evident the reason why she called you all.

On the display screen is obviously some sort of viewing screen for upstairs, it is currently showing the nexus room. It's quite populated. The entrance to the underground has sealed itself up as you expected it would. At the command desk, where Asakura usually sits, is a young woman who lazily slouches in the chair, flicking through one of Asakura's note pads and looking back to the monitors occasionally. She is dressed in a very casual white blouse with a red overdress strapped over her right shoulder and has her hair back in a large pony tail. Beside her is a man, made of metal. Humanoid but with absolutely zero distinguishing features, simply an image of the human form. Dotted about its body are various blue lines that seem to be highlighting areas of some significance. On the side of the metal man's head is plainly written “007” in red.

There are mixed reactions all around. Asakura looks the most intense as the woman reads through her notes and files. Rinnosuke looks back and forth between the screen and Asakura, obviously concerned for her reaction. Meiling, Aya and Wriggle just stare dumbly at the screen, not really taking much more than the obvious in. Alice has a single brow arched and a look of contempt. There is a clunk and the group turn to face Alice, where her dolls had just dropped the metal T bar.

“We can use it to unlock doors” She curtly responds. Everyone turns back to the screen. Asakura reaches over the console and taps a button. The screen switches perspective, now viewing the entire of the room, from the back wall, above the medical wing. There are a few gasps, yourself included.

“Shit.” Asakura blurts out

From this new perspective you can see two groups of metal men. One of which is by the entrance. The other is surrounding the door to Rika's room. One of which is running his hand incredibly slowly down the door and strikes of light are flying everywhere from the end of his hand. The other two stand beside each side of the door, looking ready to burst in at a moments notice.

“Is there anything you can do from here?” Asks Alice. Kick-starting Asakura into wild action striking out buttons left right and centre. Screens and strings of Japanese flash up. You barely get chance to read them as they appear, 'Sub Route-47 A' 'Camera Route 47' 'Camera Command' Then a list appears and holds whilst Asakura lingers over the options; News, Mining Log, Mining Stock, Order Form, Order Maintenance, Camera Control, Safety Control, Safety Control Log, Medical Main, Medical Stock, Sensory Deprivation Systems. She blasts through more screens before sighing out in defeat.

“There's nothing I can do from here. The command for evacuation overrules any orders given from this post. Even if I were the very manager of this place, in the flesh, I could do nothing” She slams her hands down on the edge of the console in frustration. “Fuck, I hate this convoluted toy box of a science post. All I can do is just monitor the situation” She looks over her shoulder to everyone. “I need all of you to find some way of releasing the lock down so we can get up there”

Alice coughs slightly, drawing Asakura's attention to her.

“And why would we be wanting to do that? There are no friends of ours up there” Asakura's movement is fluid and without error; a single twist, push, a step and a stretch. The impact rings out for a few seconds as everyone stares in silence. Alice stares off at the floor in stupefaction, slowly raising her hand up and touching the red mark on the side of her face.

Asakuras actions have spoken and she stares at Alice through teary eyes, awaiting her retaliation. Rinnosuke steps forward quickly taking a hold of Asakura, you curse these crutches, the best you can do is stand in between Asakura and Alice. Shanghai floats up besides Alice and very gently tugs on her shoulder away from the group.

This is going to hell, you've got to get people moving along before they tear each other to pieces.

-==-
Added a mental map of the local area.
>> No. 22032
>Well fuck. I guess explanations are in dire order. Basically my net was down for about a week or two all the fucking way back at the end of last year, when it came back up I was suddenly unable to connect to this site at all, even though it was still live. Flash forward to yesterday when I just happen upon this thread http://desuchan.net/touhou/res/4197.html in ye olde desuchan and holy FFUUUUU- I can fucking connect. Sadly it was midnight and I had work the next fucking morning so I had to save this shit for tonight. I'd like to extend a big apology to those who waited on my sorry ass to turn up and left empty handed. ;_; Manly tears were shed, I assure you. Rest assured the show must go on and that the curtains have not fallen yet! So I hope that interest is still here and that we can continue. We? Ah yes, time to do away with the old rail road methinks. From now on you're free to do as you please, I won't give any more options or prompts any more I'll simply pick from popular consensus. With that said, I hope you enjoy your wanderings into the mouth of madness! Enjoy!

This fills me with hope for some reason.
>> No. 22037
>>22029
Edited because I'm an idiot who can't read.

[x] Rinnosuke and Asakura should be able to reactivate the power, by going to the power station. They might have trouble so go with them, just in case you need to as Eirin what to do.

[x] Meiling should use the bar Alice had and try to open the door to Eirin's room, power or no power.
-[x] Meiling should assure her that she is no longer the servant of an enemy

[x] Ask Shanghai to scout through the plug aperture. Ask her for confirmation if the passage leads to the upper level.

[x] Alice and Wriggle should stay in the command room.
-[x] Ask if Wriggle can harry the metal men with insects by directing them to go where the camera feed is broadcasting, especially to one trying to cut the door.
-[x] If Shanghai finds a path, ask Alice if she can likewise direct her dolls to harass them.

[x] Once power is restored, meet up with Eirin to ask her how to open the door, if Meiling can't get it open.
-[x] If you're still unable to open the door, use the mini-hakkero.
-[x] When she's freed, ask for her firearm first. Rinnosuke should be able to use it.
-[x] Give her the ID card back. If she asks about the vial, say you'll talk about it later.
-[x] Bring Eirin to the control room and explain your friend is crazed and trapped in the room the metal men are cutting open. Ask her if they're enemies, and ask how to open to entrance to the upper level.
-[x] Tell Aya she can interrogate Eirin only once the danger has passed.
-[x] You want to make sure you're that the one who will confront Rika, not anybody else.

[x] Prepare for combat before opening the way.

>“I need all of you to find some way of releasing the lock down so we can get up there”

First and foremost, we have to get above ground, before those robots cut open Rika's door and kill her and likely Sakuya as well.

>The power unit is on the left as you enter the underground. Just get me out of here

Eirin keeps telling you to let her out, and pointing the way to do it.

>“It's a locking device, I think” The dolls hold it in front of Alice for inspection. “I used a much smaller one like this for my tool shed”

This, I don't know what this is.

>There is a clunk and the group turn to face Alice, where her dolls had just dropped the metal T bar.
>“We can use it to unlock doors”

Some kind of jimmy. Could open Eirin's door.

>You look back to the plug and up to it's top, it's not entirely filling the corridor up, somebody might be able to crawl through the gap.

Possibly Wriggle or even Shanghai could fit though. Who knows where it goes.

Eirin can make a valid claim of not being trapped there for a few reasons: 1) She is safe from the purported pathogen while sealed in there. 2) She doesn't seem to need food or water, which means it's very likely she has taken the Hourai Elixer, in which case the confiscated tube is probably either the Elixir or the antidote. 3) She's not trapped, but imprisoned. If she herself used the Hourai Elixir at a later point in the crisis, presumably to prevent the disease, that would explain why she'd been imprisoned by the other Lunarians, despite having an ID card.
>> No. 22039
[X] >>22037

k
>> No. 22040
[X] >>22037

big ass write in
>> No. 22041
[X] >>22037
>> No. 22055
Glancing over your shoulder you quickly order Rinnosuke and Asakura to go get the power online, Rinnosuke nods and escorts Asakura away.

“Meiling” She twitches a little at the mention of her name. “Take that metal T-bar and go down through the door on the right, then the following next door on the right. In there is a woman locked up. Open her door with that bar. If it don't work, do what you do best and guard the damn door, nothing gets in the to her and she doesn't get out until I'm there. Got that?” She cracks off a salute. “Oh and, talk to her.” Meiling slows and turns looking confused. “You heard me, talk to her, have a one-way conversation with her. She'll probably hate you at first, you have about fifteen minutes to change that. Move” She salutes a second time, hefting the bar up she rushes off with it.

“Shanghai” You smile sweetly to her “I have a big favour to ask of you could-” Alice snaps back into reality, grey arcane marks appear around her as she stares down the back of Asakura. In a fit of desperation you lunge from your crutches and crash into her, holding on. Whatever unspeakable thing Alice was about to do is abruptly stopped as she crashes to the floor with you. She blinks in surprise and shock and looks down at you, lying on top of her. It's quite awkward, for her that is, your head is perfectly nestled upon her soft breasts. Alice glows redder by the second as her expression grows more severe.

“Human.” She coldly speaks, your heart immediately doubles in pace. “You would do well to remove yourself from my person” Oh gods. No. Not now. You ... You can't, you physically can't lift yourself up from her. Dropping to the floor has done you in, your stunned strength isn't enough, you tremble and strain attempting to lift yourself up but it comes across as you looming over her in some fetish dominance. You see briefly the whites of her knuckles as she grips you by front of your shirt and rises, lifting you up. Your expression doesn't lie to her, this is quickly becoming quite terrifying.

“A-Alice I'm s-sorry I didn't want you to do-” She grips you tighter still and draws you closer to her face.

“Do what?” She draws her words out slowly, you can feel her breath on your face. It's not actually as sweet as you'd hoped it'd be.

“Something stupid” The words fall out of your mouth and you immediately bite down on your tongue. You hope she doesn't take this-. She sets you down on your crutches, her doll aids hold them up for you as you adjust yourself into their rests. Alice then leaves you, walking away her two aides remain by your side. You stumble with your words for a moment, but Alice has already stormed off down the stairs. Shambling over to the console you look over the edge you see her quickly summon up a few more dolls before heading through the door on the left. Your worry for her safety comes after your worry for her inflamed temper. You feel a gentle pat on your head, rolling your eyes up you see Shanghai sitting atop your head petting you with both hands. You sigh in slight relief, breaking into a smile.

“Shanghai, sorry to send you away so soon but, could you perhaps investigate the other side of that barricade? You should be able to get through right?” She flitters up and nods vigorously. You grin and give her an awkward thumbs up. “Don't endanger yourself. If you get scared you come back right away, all right?” She returns your thumbs up with both hands and shoots off. You suddenly feel a slight prickle on the back of your neck, your genre-savvy senses are kicking in and you feel eyes upon you. Glancing to your right you see Aya who is just smirking very deeply at you. She begins to tap her fingertip lightly on her camera. You quickly recall what just happened in the past few seconds. You let out a groan as she squeals in delight. A hop, step and a jump and Aya stands before you beaming with joy.

“Oh this cover will be perfect~!” She ballets about you pausing to gently run her index finger down your spine causing a reactive shudder. Wrapping her arms around your chest from behind, she whispers into your ear: “How 'bout I get some photos of us, hm~?” This is very uncomfortable. On many levels. You stutter out stupidities for a second but she giggles again. A tender bite on your ear and she glides away, her arm gently trails over the back of your neck. “I'll be with Alice, I have some pictures to show her!” She giggles, skipping down the stairs.

You exhale. What now? There is a tug on your leg, looking down you spy Wriggle. She clicks loudly at your attention and hugs onto your legs. Giving her a quick pet you kneel down in front of her.

“Fancy a bit of fun, Wriggle?” You smirk and look back to the screen, she tilts her head in question, also looking at the screen. You lead her over to the screen and point at the lady and the metal men. “Wriggle I want you to, uh, cover them in bugs?” You give a shrug of your shoulders, hoping she understands you. She looks back and forth between the screen and you before finally resting her eyes on the screen, slowly she creeps up to it and quickly snaps her hand out pointing at the screen opening her mouth wide but no sound comes out. You spot a spider descend from his web and latch onto the screen, followed by a few flies and a large beetle like critter that crawls up and latches onto the screen. Wriggle looks proudly back at you.

Face-palm.

“No, uh, oh forget it, the room we just came from, upstairs?” You tilt your head back towards the way you first came in. Wriggle looks past you then nods quickly. “Flood it with bugs” She clicks loudly, pressing her hands into the ground her carapace opens up and her wings buzz for a second. You spy a result on the screen ...

The woman is still reclining in the chair and the metal men are still at work on the door, but something has quite obviously distracted the woman. She stares off at the insect sitting on top of the console she is sitting at. This staring contest goes on for a whole minute before another insect scuttles up beside the first, prompting her action. Closing the book shut with a dull thud she leans forward and swats both critters with the book. With a look of smug satisfaction the woman leans back, dropping the book to floor and picking up another from Asakuras pile. That's when the third strikes, dropping down from above it lands on her lap, she lets out a startled gasp and bats it away with her hand. More drop in about the room, some even scuttle out from within the console itself.

“A..Ahh.. Argh! What, what!?” The woman bawls, standing upright as the insects scuttle all over the console. She furiously attacks the insects as they crawl all over her. Not a very good introduction if she does happen to be a nice person but this is pretty damn amusing, Wriggle is enjoying it more than enough, she bounces up and down excitedly clapping and clicking. You sit down beside her and laugh along with her as the metal men desperately try to kill off the insects as they swarm over them, even better still is when more arrive through the front entrance furiously clawing hordes of them off their bodies, letting even more of the insects crawling in from the forest outside, the floodgate has opened. Oh the shenanigans!
>> No. 22056
A low electronic hum kicks in which turns up in pitch as lighting fills the room and you wince, holding your hand up to your eyes. It's not that bright really, but you had got used to this dim lighting. Other than the lighting, not much really ha-. There is a sudden whirring noise from the console and a piece of paper starts to slowly slide out of the console. You nod to it and Wriggle heads over, holding her hands patiently under the paper as it rolls out of the machine and flops out into the palms of her hands.

The paper that came from the machine is of an image, but it's hard to see of what. It's an eye. You think. It's in black and white but the eye seems to have a solid colour and a cat pupil. It seems to be suspended in something, all manner of wires and metal ropes connect into it. About the image is heavy with Lunarian text but dotted about are small reference drawings of bits of machinery, some gears or mechanisms, or -something-. They're incredibly intricate and you can't even work out what purpose they could even serve.

With the help of Alice's dolls you stand back up on your crutches, stuffing the paper into your pocket. You congratulate Wriggle on an excellent job well done just as Shanghai flies back into the room. She doesn't seem to stop and shoots right into you, latching onto your chest, almost knocking you down for a second time.

“Wh-What's wrong? What's through there Shanghai?” She just looks up to you and shakes her head, burying it back into your chest. Freeing a hand you gently hold her to your chest hushing her into comfort.

Asakura and Rinnosuke are taking their time getting back. It's been five minutes since the lights came on. Shanghai seems to have calmed down now and plays with Wriggle, or rather Wriggle is attempting to play with Shanghai but she just keeps flying away from her. At least it's amusing her, you feel a bit depressed having to break up their fun.

“Shanghai, could you go check on Asakura and Rinnosuke? Wriggle, just stay here okay? If any of the metal men or that woman come down here just run away and tell one of us. Okay?” You smile in hope she understands you, the reply is positive as she clicks happily and scuttles up to the bug ridden screen and watches it. Shanghai also curtseys to you and flies away for a second time. You put your own self into motion as well, heading towards Eirin.

You can hear Meiling shouting at Eirin from down the corridor.

“How DARE you! You LIAR! FILTHY LIAR! ” She screams. This isn't exactly what you told her to do. “We were scared, all of us were, we just did what we were told to do else we'd be killed”

“So you took the option of just doing as you were told, and killing innocents? To save your own dream land? You people are truly monolithic in your stupidity. Watching your little castle burn to the ground was truly a wonderful show.”

“YOU FUCKING PIG” There is a dull thud and a crack, as you arrive at the doorway you see Meilings fist against the window, a large crack splitting out from it. “You watched and did NOTHING?!”

“A poor and confused animal such as yourself usually would garner some sympathy from me. Unfortunately you have grown feral over time. We were glad to put you down”

“It was OVER. You had WON. You had won.. Why.. Why did you?” She breaks up, tears forming in her eyes. “All of my friends.. gone.. away..” She sobs and slumps up against the window.

“Yes. Your friends. Your home. Your possessions. You. You You. YOU YOU YOU YOU” Eirin slams her hands against the window in rhythm with her rants, causing Meiling to stagger away in shock. “THAT'S WHY I HATE YOU. ALL OF YOU. SELFISH TRIVIAL PARASITES. LIVING OFF MY HARD WORK. MINE.” She rakes her nails down the glass making a horrific noise. “The only reason why you're all still alive is thanks to me” She turns away and heads back to the corner picking up her weapon. “Well guess what?” She takes a hold the blade yanking it off. “That deal is OFF.” You lurch forward in some desperate gesture to tell her to stop. She drives the blade straight into her neck then rips it out; her neck splitting wide open, a fountain of blood sprays out and she slumps backwards to the ground.

.

.

.


The light humming of the now active lighting eventually breaks the five minute silent trance of staring at her body. Meiling. You. FUCKING. IDIOT. You clench your teeth so hard even Meiling can hear them grind. She covers her mouth up. She's aware of what she's done, shrinking down to the floor, bowing down to you, bracing herself.
>> No. 22064
Oh GODDAMN.

That was...something.
>> No. 22065
Fuck yes I love this story.
>> No. 22086
Hope she took the Elixir.
>> No. 22110
Well, it never would have worked out anyway. We've got two of her enemies in our little group, and I don't think she would have taken kindly to our Gauntlet.
>> No. 22113
>>22086
>That deal is OFF.
That wouldn't have been a very effective way of cancelling the deal if she had taken the elixar.
>> No. 22128
[x] Search Eirin's corpse, disarming her of the blade
[x] Give the gun to Rinnosuke
[x] Leave Shanghai to watch over the body; you never know.

[x] Asakura should remain in the control room to keep watch on the situation on the upper level.
[x] Rinnosuke should keep guard there.
[x] Wriggle should keep harassing the metal men with insects.

[x] You, Alice, and Meiling are going to attempt to clear the wreckage that Shanghai had scouted out before.

Whatever is back there, it ain't pretty. Still, it might be our only way out.
>> No. 22144
>>22113

She may just be waiting for the group to assume she's dead and leave. The power has been restored now, after all.
>> No. 22177
You can't believe this has happened. All she had to do was talk and apologise. You can't change what happened. You want to move on, but this is beyond- Fuck it. It's done. It can't be changed. Your thoughts race back and forth between anger and acceptance. Blanking all thoughts out for a moment you look over Eirin's door for a way in, but there doesn't seem to be any feasible way to open it. The metal T-bar is discarded beside it, hopefully after Meiling tried and failed.

“The T-bar, did it work?” Meiling makes a muffled noise, next to a whimper. “MEILING. The T-BAR. Did it work!?” She looks up, shaking her head. Shuffling over to the door you look it up and down. The door is essentially a large chunk of metal with bars across it. There is some kind of a panel on the side which hums with activity. You hesitantly wave your hand over it but nothing happens.

You nod to Shanghai and ask her to stay around here and watch the body, just in case. Turning back to Meiling you order her up.

“Meiling, you and I are going to clear the barricade away. Alice will be helping should she deign to grace us with her presence again” As if on prompt her doll servants let go of you and shoot on over to the metal T-Bar, hefting it up and floating out of the door with it. With a huff you head on out of the room.

In the hallway is Rinnosuke, stepping backwards, still looking at the dolls rounding the corner, he turns back to you and gives a nervous wave.

“Hello, uh, Asakura and I found someone in the power room. Literally.” He rubs the back of his neck “She was inside the machine. A young lady. She said she wanted to speak to you personally.” He pauses again. “We never even said there was anyone else but us in the building, let alone mention you specifically”

Without much pause you call Meiling to you and ask Rinnosuke to lead on.

Out of spite you decline Meiling's offer for help, determined to keep up with them. The command room; it's very quiet here, not even the idle chattering of Wriggle can be heard. You hustle by as fast as possible but catch on the screen the activities above, it looks dire; the metal men are now working on wrenching the door away, thankfully it doesn't budge much but you're feeling the pressure mount up on you. Pressing on, you head after Meiling and Rinnosuke.

You wander dumbly in the vague direction you saw Rinnosuke and Meiling go in and pass by a small metal shutter only a couple of feet up from the ground. The shutter has a symbol of a helmet in black, against a yellow circle background painted on the wall beside it. Above the shutter is some kind of socket. You hurry on none-the-less, time is against you as always and you arrive at a fairly simple double-door two viewing portholes are available and you catch a glimpse of the room beyond, there's a lot to see.

Shoving open the doors you manage to get yourself in despite the awkwardness of the crutches. A single massive machine dominates this room, cylindrical in shape its lower part spreads out into more smaller machines that all seem connected up to it. The upper half of the machine is entirely glass, dotted about inside are many thin glass tubes that lead from the roof to the base of the glass section. Peering out from behind one of the poles is a girl, her teal dress hangs loosely over her covering up her arms entirely. The left wing of this room is taken up by a rack of very heavy looking lockers as well as few strange looking machines that contain two spinning grey disks entwined with a thin black cable. You notice one of the heavy lockers has some sort of tiny metal box attached to the handle. To the right of the room is a small elevated section of the room, with many consoles and machines in, it is where Asakura and Rinnosuke are standing, staring out at the machine. Meiling stands by the steps, looking back to you expectantly.

The girl creeps closer to the glass wall and stares down at you.

“Hello there~” Her would-be-gentle voice comes across over a mechanical voice system. “My voice comes from various voice boxes about this facility, yes” Wait, what? I didn't even ask-

“You don't need to” She continues. You admit she's pretty good at this mind reading ga-

“You want me to prove it?” ... As if that wasn't proof enou-

“Very well, then it's settled” You can't see it, but you can practically hear her smirk from here.

“All right, enough with the one sided conversation” You demand. She nods, obviously not interrupting you this time because she had read your mind and accepted you wanted to have a civil conversation with her before you had even asked her verbally. This is going to-

“Hurt your head. Yes I have that effect on people” She chuckles lightly her laughter doesn't sound like she's laughing with you. You have some questions for her.

“Go ahead, your friends have not asked me much thus far, apart from the obvious. So shall we get that out of the way first, hm~? My name is Komeiji. Welcome to my home.” She bows her head courteously. Time to cover the basics.

This might be your home, but are you in charge here?
“Yes, I am in complete control of this 98% of this facility”

The other 2%?

“I am not” She simply answers.

Eirin. Who is she?

“She was a prisoner of war at this facility. She served as an aid here.”

...

“What is the matter?”

Can you read memories?

“No, I merely detect surface thoughts”

I have not once thought of Eirin's death since I left her suicide room. How did you know she was dead? The question has caught her, she tilts her head and creases her forehead in confusion.

“Eirin has not died in this facility”

What?

“Eirin was present in this facility for no longer than two days. That was a week ago. She has left the building in good health. She did not die in here”

... Who owns this building?

“Me”

You know what I mean

“No I do not”

Who built this place?

“The Lunarians”

But you own it now? Why?

“They gave it to me” A wicked smirk spreads across her lips from ear to ear revealing a row of yellow rotten teeth.

Who is the woman upstairs?

“Commander Yorihime”

Why is she here?

“I do not know”

You look back to your group and find them already staring expectantly back at you.
Well what now? What other questions should I ask?
>> No. 22221
[x]"Is Yorihime dead?"
[x]"Can you open the pathway to Rika?"
>> No. 22229
[x] "Is Yorihime dead?"
[x] "Can you open the pathway to Rika?"
[x] "Are there any currently functioning communications networks still working?"
>> No. 22232
That was a bit of a dud update, let's press on, this update would of been here an hour earlier if I hadn't of had a fucking power cut.

---

[x] "Is Yorihime dead?"
[x] "Can you open the pathway to Rika?"
[x] "Are there any currently functioning communications networks still working?"

This Yorihime woman, is she dead?

“No, she is quite alive” Komeiji regards you queerly, tilting her head.

Is there any way of using these machines to communicate with the outside world? Or anywhere where there might have people for that matter.

“Yes. Communications are surface level. Long range communications however are long dead”

Is there some way to reactivate them?

“...The problem is not ours. There are no longer any signals out there to tune into”

Liar.

“An obvious response. Unfortunately you're wrong. We have had no communication with the outside world for some time now.”

Is there no way to fix it?

“To fix something there first must be something broken, no?”

... Rika. There is a woman upstairs sealed away, can you open a pathway to her?

With a polite nod there is a grinding noise of stone on stone, presumably the nexus entrance parting. There comes another sound though, a very loud metallic thud as something heavy crashes to the floor.

“The pathway is open”

Did she jus- Leaping into action at the sudden realisation the group surge towards the exit only to find it abruptly blocked off. A massive security door crashes down to the ground, blocking entrance or exit.

“And now you shall help me.” Turning back the group lets out a barrage of noise directed at her causing her to physically recoil.

“We have to get up there NOW if you just let her out like that! The people upstairs will kill her!”
“In time, perhaps, not now” Komeiji replies. “I will let you see them in a moment, but first I wish a promise from you to return this favour”

You know I don't have time for this. Stop playing with me. The satori smirks.

“I shan't be denied my wish, human” There is a faint whirring noise and Asakura glances back to the terminal she was using. “On level B2 there is a door. That disk is the key. I trust the more technologically enlightened member your entourage will be able to handle it. Just insert it into the machine and my wish will be complete”

“What level are we on?” Pipes up Asakura.

“B1. Your objective is almost directly below your feet” She lightly chuckles. The massive doors begin to roll back up and Asakura picks up the shining star object and pockets it, the large door slowly retreats back up.

Meiling darts out first, obviously faster than the rest of the group as they assemble to help you out in greater haste. By the time you have left the room she has cleared the corridor and hangs a right towards the entrance. You hear a voice, completely synthetic and flat; “t a n g o , t a n g o” it says before a mechanical whir kicks in. There is a loud smashing sound followed by cries of pain and another, heavier, bashing noise.

You finally arrive, rounding the corner with your group and see sprawled out in front of you one of the metal men, his head no more than a husk of broken metal, a thick teal liquid spills out of his head all over the ground. Meiling has the second pinned up against the wall by his throat. With her spare hand she firmly grips his face, digging her fingers in wrenches the front of his face off and drives her fist through the innards of his head. Dropping the limp machine to the ground she winces in pain and holds her side as crimson slowly seeps in over her green dress.

She winces in pain but presses on anyway, dashing up the stairs and your group does their best to follow. Meiling lets roar and leaps from the last few steps up into the nexus and there is a loud clanging noise followed swiftly by another metallic thud. You reach the top of the stairs to see two of the metal men either side of the stairs, facing away from you and to the man Meiling just tackled to the ground. The two men snap into action, thrusting their right arms out, their hands literally fold down into their body and short metal bar jut out from their wrist. There is a high pitched noise as darts fire from their arms, striking into Meilings back. Rinnosuke abandons your shoulder and dives forward into the man on the right, knocking him to the ground. You wildly gesture to the man on the left as he turns to face you and Shanghai launches forth crackling balls of white light that smash into the man spraying tiny shards of metal about the room and exploding his inners quite thoroughly out.

Asakura lets you to the ground as gently as she can in the time she has and dashes up and above you, onto the control nexus. In your haze of taking everything in you see Meiling quite comfortably sitting atop one of the metal men repeatedly pounding him with her fist, which seems to be bleeding now, quite a lot. Rinnosuke is struggling, the metal man is back up and pushing him away, attempting to level his wrist weapon at him, in a desperate bid Rinnosuke lashes out with his fist, striking the man straight in the head only to recoil back in pain, clutching his hand and stumbling towards the stairs. The man readies his aim and

-thunk-

Protruding from the mans head now is a small yet intensely bright red fire, it does not grow, yet does not fade and maintains its constant flame. The man swiftly turns his attention towards it, in a vain attempt to remove it which is met with an explosion and he is sent to the ground in an arc of flame and metal. Asakura drops down in front of you, tossing away a more primitive looking weapon similar to Reisens.

“Rinnosuke! Are you okay!?” She grabs onto Rinnosuke, pushing his hair away from his face and gives him a look over, he opens his mouth to speak but she quickly silences him by locking her own lips with his. You turn your attention back to Shanghai who floats in front of you, also inspecting you. You have a certain incredibly creepy passing thought about her, luckily it goes as fast as it arrived and you settle for a completely platonic and friendly stroke of her hair and a pat on her head.

Meiling cries out, staggering back from Rikas room, looking distraught. She staggers into a sprint, heading for the front door when the room is flooded with a roaring loud noise, the kind you expect a dragon to make. Staggering to your feet you find Asakura pressing something into your chest before she takes off with Rinnosuke after Meiling. Taking the object away you see it is a bottle similar to the one Rinnosuke had taken from your home town, the bottle that can kill pain. After several frustratingly long precious seconds you manage to twist the lid off and toss out a couple into the palm of your hands. Not sure of any other feasible way to use them you bite down of them, the taste is nauseatingly disgusting but you swallow them down fine. You drag yourself up to your feet and manage to stumble forward without the aid of the crutches, it's quite liberating actually, the weight of the gauntlet is still unbearable.
>> No. 22233
You arrive at the entrance with the others, above you, a sleek silver box with wings of a bird mounted upon either side. The front, or back, you can't quite tell, is wide open, the ramp down on the ground. Looking right into the interior of the vessel you see a what looks to be a metal coffin at the far back, sitting beside it are two of the metal men, beside them sits Rika and beside the ramp stands Yorihime. Rika looks positively terrified, her jaw slack and her eyes wide open, obviously more scared to see you all here rather than to actually be in the company of the Lunarians.

“Crawl back to your hole, humans. It's safer” She sneers as the ramp begins to close. Meiling charges forward, desperately crying Sakuyas name out. Immediately Yorihime's expression sours and she draws out her weapon. There is the familiar bang but the flash from the weapon is different; blue, and its effect is instant. Meiling gasps out in agony and shock, stumbling and collapsing to the floor. Yorihime turns her attention to your group and raises her weapon up, too late thankfully as the ramp finally closes up, her smirk disappearing behind it. With a great roar the machine kicks into life, lifting straight up into the air, the trees and bushes all around tremor and shake, leaves flying everywhere, a single great light snaps on and focuses on you dazzling the group before sweeping away, leaving.

The noise of the machine fades and dies as the sobs and moans of Meiling take its place.
>> No. 22234
[x]Check on Meiling, apply first aid.
[x]Get the disk and return to Satori, ask where Yorihime went off to.
>> No. 22235
[x]Check on Meiling, apply first aid.
[x]Get the disk and return to Satori, ask where Yorihime went off to.
>> No. 22237
[~] Check on Meiling, apply first aid.
[ℤ] Get the disk and return to Satori, ask where Yorihime went off to.
[ℯ] Ask what the disk will do.
>> No. 22313
God damn, sorry for the slow update, work has been beating the shit out of me, hopefully I should be able to return to a more regular schedule now, ~ze

[~] Check on Meiling, apply first aid.
[ℤ] Get the disk and return to Satori, ask where Yorihime went off to.
[ℯ] Ask what the disk will do.

You quickly shuffle over to Meiling but she quickly holds up a hand, a halting motion, and sits up drawing her hand closer to her chest where she was struck. There's not a lot of blood, surprisingly, but a horrible burning smell comes from the wound, accompanied by a very thin trail of smoke. In a sudden horrible recollection you remember the crossbow you used to own, and the thrice blessed bolts that were used in conjuction with them. It could be entirely possible the Lunarians have created some sort of technological version of the spiritual weapons you had used. In truth, that very notion makes you feel quite disgusted.

You had somehow expected her to do this, but it still doesn't fail to make you feel suddenly nauseous. She has lowered her hand down to her chest and slowly works driving her middle and index fingers into her wound, opening it up and causing a lot of thick dark blood to ooze out. With a horrible cracking sound she reaches her ribs and shudders, pausing for a moment before the final tug and gasp, pulling the bullet clean from her body. Even as she holds it briefly in her hands you see the blood on her hand boil and bubble.

Throwing the bullet to the ground she whimpers Sakuyas name more, holding her arms across her chest. Gesturing Asakura over you approach Meiling.

“Step one foot out of line and you'll become the centre piece of my lab” Asakura calls out behind you. Quickly turning back to her she registers your look of disgust rapidly, blinking in shock and confusion, holding up the palms of her hands in the same gesture.

“You are a poor servant, unfit for even a Lunarian dog” The haughty and pompus voice of Remilia whispers from the forests all around you. In oblivious panic you glance about the forest, searching for someone, anything that would be toying with you.

“You are alive because those who I love wish it so.” Rika's voice descends from the heavens which darken with surreal haste. “If they'd of ... If YOU'D of ... I can't even begin to describe how I'd of fuckin' broken you.”

“Sakuya~! Sakuya~!” Meiling's own cheerful voice can be heard. You head is starting to hurt now, you can't see straight. “Sakuya! All of the garden is prepared, is the envoy on its way?”

“Yes, yes they should be here any min- Ooh~ You really have outdone yourself. It looks beautiful” Meiling's giggle echoes out of your head, out into the forest, bouncing off the trees as it goes. You feel your weightless body drop back into the air. There is a pitter patter of footsteps around you and the laughter of a child.

“Me~irin! Me~irin! Let's play danmaku!” Flandres voice. There is a lot of abrupt shouting. It's painful to listen to. You can no longer see at all, the world falls into darkness. The voices merge into one. A single mouth speaks hate filled words and the others repeat them.

The stone is cold to the touch and the noise from above is slowly dying away. This nightmarish party is in full swing, all of the hells damnations are playing their wicked tunes and the blind dance merrily along. Come dawn your heart shall be bled out and your body shall run cold with icy water. Such a fate you can accept on your own self, your own inadequacies and failure to act have brought ruination upon your self. But to think that you share the same fate with Flandre? Completely unacceptable.

The two stand before the door. They laugh and shake their heads, “No” They say. “That which lies locked away shall remain evermore” They spit their curses upon her name and give praise to their mistress for the strength that allows them to carry the cause and give good service. The demonstration is short, their twisted and broken bodies cry out her name and draw their terminal breath.

She says nothing as we leave, I carry her through the crypt and out of the mansion in silence. Upon a grassy gnoll I tell her how proud I am of her. I tell her how big a girl she is now. I tell her when I see her next she can play danmaku with me as long as she wants. She asks for the monochrome witch. I tell her she'll be there too. My tears then speak what words cannot.

You awake with your body in motion, Rinnosuke and Asakura are carrying you along by your armpits and feet.

“Wait, he's coming to” Asakura pauses “Are you all right? Can you hear my voice?” You give a nod and groan out a yes. They gently set you upright.

“Flandre” Speaking her name sends an immediate twitch of shock to Meiling. “Where is she?” You ask, making a point of making eye contact with Meiling. She averts away for a moment before replying.

“I ... I already said, we do not know, she lef-”

“Alice has already warned you about lying to us, has she not?”

“Wh-what? It is the truth! None of us-” She protests

“You know she's alive at least?” She nods once in determination.

“I refuse to accept otherwise”

“Of course you do. You know because you let her out.” Meiling opens her mouth and quickly closes it again, looking downcast. There is a long and drawn out silence.“That garden looked beautiful as well” She doesn't give you a reply, silently looking down to her wound instead. Deciding to give her some time you turn away, heading back into the building with the others.

The mood quickly changes when you return to Komeiji.

“What the hell were you thinking!?” Screams Asakura at the smirking girl.

“What in the heavens could you possibly be talking about? I did exactly as you wished”

“This is NOT what we asked for”

“It is almost explicitly what you asked for” Komeiji corrects

“My friend is inbound to a fucking death camp. Which is exactly what WE DID NOT WANT” She shouts

“That wasn't mentioned in the specifications of the contract”

Wait, contract?

“This isn't about specifications, you knew damn well what we wanted! You cheating little bitch!” Asakura draws out the disk and holds it up. “Well look what I have! Want me to snap your precious little key in two? There's godda' be a reason why you can't do it remotely, you need us!”

“And that is where you are in error” Komeiji's mood darkens “You have the key to hasten my plans by many, many years. I on the other hand, have your lives. Whilst your friend has taken it upon herself to damage the surface bunker my control here remains uncontested. I assure you, the deaths I can inflict upon you here are most agonising” After smugly watching Asakura's courage sharply deflate she turns her attention to you. “Yes. The contract. I aid you, you aid me.”

“This key, what exactly will it unlock?”

“The door to freedom” she sighs in fake dreamy pleasure “I have been here for far too long and wish to leave. Whilst I could wait for my pets minions to arrive and destroy the door and release me that way, I'm sure you can plainly see that this easier for the both of us. Do not worry, I am a fair person. Should you aid me, I should have no warrant to harbour any bad feelings about you. You will be free to leave once I have departed”

“Then perhaps ... for ease of our minds, could you tell us where they have taken Rika?” She smiles and politely nods

“For common decency I shall oblige, they will have taken her to The Spire. Their vessel has no means of returning to their home by its power alone”

“I guess the obvious next question is how would we get there?” Asakura asks

“They have special technology for rapid transportation in emergency circumstances I shall gladly activate them upon my leave.”

Well then I guess the plans are now in motion. Where shall I start?
>> No. 22321
After Meiling pulled out the bullet, I had no goddamn clue what started happening until you cut to the waking up.

Also, evil Satori is interesting. I'm not exactly so sure it's smart to release that genie from her bottle (that comparison is a bit more accurate than I'm at ease with), but it seems we've got no choice.

I mean, seriously. Just imagine what this story's Orin and Utsuho are like.

I wouldn't want to meet them in a brightly lit main street, let alone a dark alley.

One more thing...
>“If they'd of ... If YOU'D of ... I can't even begin to describe how I'd of fuckin' broken you.”
*have, not "of"
>> No. 22331
We've lost party members; we have to slots to fill:

[x] To everyone: "I'd like to talk to her alone for a moment."
-[x] "Wait a sec Shanghai." Whisper, asking her to comfort Meiling.
[x] "If you want it, I can promise I'll get you out of here, regardless of any offers you make. It won't matter who or what you are, or what you did to put you here in the first place. It wouldn't be the first time, and you can read my mind so you can know that's true. But have you thought of the cost? I've sprung the cage for a lot of people, both those more and less deserving of freedom than you, but not much good has come from any of it--Alice got revived but with her insides hollowed out; Sakuya was probably tortured to death; Reisen had her eyes plucked out and was left to die in a fire; Meiling lost the one she loved; Wriggle... just look at her; Rika lost her humanity and now maybe her life; and I'm falling apart at the seams, both physically and mentally. It doesn't make a lick of difference how tough, or smart, or connected, or capable you are: Chances are real good, you go out there, you'll die a dog's death. So when I ask you if you really want freedom, think before you answer. Think. I have to round up everyone and debrief them. I'll be back in a few minutes, and then maybe you can explain how to get you out of here to me again, or not."

Round up your posse. Time for a group huddle:
[x] "Where is Aya?"
[x] "And where the hell is Koakuma?"
[x] "That woman in the locked room, who was she if she wasn't Yagokoro? Why was she imprisoned?"
-[x] "Maybe we could ask this Satori woman to open the door for us?"
[x] "The Lunarians: Why would they take Rika alive and Sakuya dead?"
-[x] "Which begs the question, who killed her, Yorihime? Or Rika? I mean, I know we have to help her and all, but we also have to be careful for our own sakes; she tortured Sakuya and she left Reisen to die."
-[x] "What the hell are those metal men? Animated statues?"
-[x] "Do we have any idea what they were here for? Because it certainly wasn't for bubble girl or the whackjob suicide."
[x] "Asakura, if there is no disease, why did the Lunarians panic and abandon this place in a huff?"
[x] Inventory all the weapons, painkillers, medical gauze & tape, emergency rations, and potable cateens you can scrounge.
[x] Ask Asakura to come with you when you see Satori.
-[x] On the way, mention that you're happy to see her and Rinnosuke getting along so nicely; it gives you hope for the future of this land.
-[x] Promise her you'll save Rika from the Lunarians--and herself. She's you're friend, too.
>> No. 22343
[ℤℯ] >>22331
>> No. 22344
[x] >>22331
>> No. 22345
“I'd like everyone to leave for a moment, if you don't mind?” Turning to face Asakura and Rinnosuke who both give you a quizzical look. Giving you a quick frown of contempt they both head out, Meiling tails after them. As Shanghai floats by you grab her by the tip of her dress. “Could you do something for Meiling? Cheer her up or something.” Normally you'd be able to say something like 'I can't image what she's feeling right now' but ...

As Shanghai leaves you turn back and take in a deep breath.

"If you want it, I can promise I'll get you out of here, regardless of any offers you make. It won't matter who or what you are, or what you did to put you here in the first place. It wouldn't be the first time, and you can read my mind so you can know that's true. But have you thought of the cost? I've sprung the cage for a lot of people, both those more and less deserving of freedom than you, but not much good has come from any of it--Alice got revived but with her insides hollowed out; Sakuya was probably tortured to death; Reisen had her eyes plucked out and was left to die in a fire; Meiling lost the one she loved; Wriggle... just look at her; Rika lost her humanity and now maybe her life; and I'm falling apart at the seams, both physically and mentally. It doesn't make a lick of difference how tough, or smart, or connected, or capable you are: Chances are real good, you go out there, you'll die a dog's death. So when I ask you if you really want freedom, think before you answer. Think.”

It felt both good and bad to get that off your chest. The sad fact is that you're right. Everyone you try to help-

“I am not in danger” She responds after some delay.

What?

“You seem to believe that I am in peril? I am not, and I have no intention of placing myself in any danger. You mention this 'out there'? I have no intention of leaving this building. Perhaps I shall wander far below the earth but I shan't be the one to conquer these lands. That warrior has already chosen herself”

“And that warrior is?”

“2%” Her toothy grin reappears

“... I have to round up everyone and debrief them. I'll be back in a few minutes, and then maybe you can explain how to get you out of here to me again, or not."

“Likely not, speaking requires too much effort for me, I fear I shall decline” She smiles and bows her head. “I wholeheartedly wish you good well on releasing me. Perhaps when this is over, you could visit my palace once in a while?” She smiles again and returns to the centre of the glass cylinder.

Meeting back up in the central room with everyone, it seems during your speech Alice and Aya have returned, you begin to assess the situation; starting with pressing questions first.

“First of all, where is Koakuma?” There are shrugs all round.

“Likely outside still, we did say she spent most of her time outside” Asakura reminds you.

“Alice, could you please send some dolls to retrieve her?” You ask, expecting a flat out 'no'. You are quite surprised when she nods and sends off a couple out the exit. You thank her and move on.

“That woman in the locked room, who was she if she wasn't Yagokoro? Why was she imprisoned?"

“She wasn't imprisoned” Alice scoffs “She was telling the truth. She locked herself away in there. To think that starvation or suicide was the lesser evil choice, I am uncomfortable to think what the greater evil might have been.”

“That still doesn't answer the question of who she is” Asakura adds

“I can't imagine she's anyone important” Aya chips in “'cus if she was she'd not still be here” She grins

“Maybe Satori could open her door for us?”

“Yes I can” Another synthetic voice!? It can be heard all around you. “It would seem that the announcement system is still functioning. This is Komeiji, yes. I now have a voice for my eyes and ears. I have unlocked the security booth where the body lies.”

“Going forward; the Lunarians. Why would they take Rika alive but kill Sakuya?

“Shut up! You don't know anything!” You hear Meiling's hoarse voice shout from the steps where she has decided to isolate herself.

“But we saw the coff-”

“The green snake is right” Alice nods sagely, in her know-it-all tone. “The Lunarians are a very proud people, they would not settle for anything other than a public execution of her.” You hear a groaning of metal. Looking past your group you see Meiling at the top of the stairs, lying slumped up against the railing, holding onto it and crushing it slowly with her hand, boiling over in anger. “They would also not have kept Rika alive for no reason, let alone rescue her.”

“So we all actually think she's alive?” You raise the question, looking about the group is seems fairly positive that everyone thinks Sakuya is still alive, despite what you saw earlier. You accept it and move on.

“Those metal men, who or what are they?”

“Hollow people.” Meiling quietly responds. “Spiritless and without chi. They are an abomination.”

“Uneducated minds at work are a wonder to behold” Asakura jeers at Meiling. “They are just androids, machines, whatever you want to call them. They're just chunks of metal that can be ordered about”

“We still don't even know why they were here do we?” Aya steals your next question. The group looks to each other before unanimously drawing a blank.

“Perhaps they always knew we were here?” Alice grimly suggests. “Perhaps they have been watching for a very long time. Perhaps they were waiting for something like this”

“Well I saw them looking over my notes. They could have been monitoring us monitoring the emissions.” Asakuras face suddenly lights up. “Shit this could have been a trap. They could have been causing new emissions to keep us here” She curses more and steps away from the group, sitting down at the large machine.

“Asakura, before you start anything, this base; why was it abandoned? Especially if there is no disease” She glances back to you and ever so lightly frowns, in concern for you.

“Don't tell me you guys haven't figured it out yet?” She pauses momentarily as everyone looks to her. “Nobody left. Satori made sure of it. She already admitted control over the rapid transportation system so she would of just disabled it and sealed the bunker up.”

“Now perhaps you understand the graveness of the situation you will do exactly as I say, yes?” The mechanical announcer speaks. “Now go. I am grow weary of your delay. My pets and the inhabitants of this place shall avoid you, but should you stray; I cannot be responsible for their actions”

“I am not in the knowledge of this new person you have encountered, but she seems most distasteful” Alice remarks. The irony is practically suffocating you. You restrain yourself.
>> No. 22346
“Where have you been anyway Alice?” She nods to a group of dolls behind her that are carrying the T-bar. “I have been trying to find a use for this. I have also located new rooms.” She clears her throat. “To the far left of this building is the worker rest room. It has abundant rotten food and the rats have already eaten most of it. To the north is labelled as room 3C. Inside is a large machine. I am not best sure how to describe it. Its centrepiece is an eye. It is still functioning as far as I can tell.”

Machine? Eye? Maybe ... You draw out the diagram which came from the command machine and show it to Alice.

“Something like this?” She takes it from you and raises a brow, looking over it.

“Yes, this is it. Where did you get this?” You gesture to the large machine and Alice just sighs.

“Well where now? We have to get moving, right?!” Aya energetically kicks up, glancing between the members of the group. Well, she's right. With Komeiji now on our backs it's time to get moving again. First we take a quick itinerary check:

We have no weapons to speak of, we are our own weapons. Unless we take the weapon Eirin was holding when she killed herself. I have the bottle of special pills Asakura gave me. I don't understand a lot of it but is written in bold “Codeine” on the front. Other than the elemental reactor I have nothing else on my person. Aya has her camera, her note book and pen but little else. Alice has her army of dolls, as well as Eirin's card and phial. Asakura has some some medical apparatus and a spare bottle of the same pills she gave me. Rinnosuke has his bottle of water which burns to drink, as well as a block of tiny simple spell cards from his store. Meiling has her fists.

It seems we're pretty much ready to go, we just need a destination now.
>> No. 22347
File 125398114596.png - (66.59KB , 360x360 , Under Bunker updated.png ) [iqdb]
22347
Whoops, forgot mah updated map. Also;

>>22321
>is ignoring the other, highly mentally unstable character in SA

and

>*have, not "of"
yeah I always make that fucking mistake D:
>> No. 22348
>>22347
>>is ignoring the other, highly mentally unstable character in SA

Speaking of Koishi, I'm assuming that's what the '2%' Satori had mentioned is.

>Inside is a large machine. I am not best sure how to describe it. Its centrepiece is an eye. It is still functioning as far as I can tell.

It's probably some form of retinal scanner, I'm thinking we can interact with this using the glove.

>“Don't tell me you guys haven't figured it out yet?” She pauses momentarily as everyone looks to her. “Nobody left. Satori made sure of it. She already admitted control over the rapid transportation system so she would of just disabled it and sealed the bunker up.”

The inhabitants didn't abandon the place. Rather, they were eaten by the experiment:

>'To those it concerns,
>This is just a general note for the re-appropriation of rooms 3A, 3B and 3C it is for obvious reasons we have chosen these rooms for the disassembly of the new test subject.
>Thank you,
>Dr Tanaka
>Addendum in response to growing concerns; The main body and brain are still connected and the subject will, at times, appear to be active. Please disregard any cerebral activity or increase in heart rate. It is all part of the treatment. However should the subject move at any time, immediately contact security. Do not attempt to make contact with or otherwise disturb the subject should it become active.'

[x] Hand the disk Satori gave you to Asakura. Tell her the controller, Satori, wanted it inserted into a door on level B2, which is just below this floor.
[x] While you wait for Koakuma to arrive, tell Rinnosuke to take the weapon from the woman's corpse and to check her for anything else of interest, like her actual ID; among all of you, he'd know best how to use her weapon.
[x] Ask Wriggle to pick through the supplies in the rest room for anything usable. Send Shanghai watch her back. When they're done searching, they should head to the command room.
[x] Everyone besides Wriggle and Shanghai should go to room 3C, and prepare themselves while you try to activate the eye machine using the eye of the glove. If that doesn't work, try using the eye from the Lunarian corpse.

It Koishi is in the complex and controlling the hearts of people, then it would explain Flandre's sudden personality shift in our dream, as well as the reason why in the flashback, why the man was suited and already terrified even before Flan had made her escape, and why people she noted that people were missing.

>“What happened to everyone else? Where are they?” A female voice echoes out in the room and you can’t even recognise it, the voice resonates inside your skull and still nothing, the very words themselves seem to loose all meaning. You feel the same liquid drip down from above as you see it coat and flow over the entire room, at impossible angles the blood consumes this room and you wade through it. The medical wing doors slam shut, the words “Are they all gone?” carved into the metal doors over and over again. The lights begin to falter and fail. A tall man, pale, wearing a strange black and dark blue jumpsuit arrives at the door on the opposite side. His terrified complexion has no effect on you, your de-voided mind remains the same; hallow and empty. You approach the door and thrust your arm into the door, the metal warps on impact and the glass bursts, the shards slowly float away as the door shatters off its hinges and is sent back, crushing the man underneath. You arms, they were not yours, they looked female, smooth pale skin. You force yourself to look down your body but as you do your vision focuses more on the man you crushed and his resemblance of yourself. Time seems to return to its normal state and the doors skid and crash away, your body slumping forward as you black out.
>> No. 22351
>>22348

sure I'll go with this.
>> No. 22352
>>22348
Ah, shit.

[ℤℯ] >>22348
>> No. 22402
Depending on how this (presumed) Koishi business gets handled, I'd think Satori would be sympathetic to our goal of tracking down Flandre for Remilia
>> No. 22469
Jesus christ last week was fucking terrible and just when i'm getting over it i go ahead and read ASSM. I can remember seeing that story ages back when i was starting up here. Regretfully i never spent as much time reading it than i should of, i enjoyed the ending but... that epilogue ;_; Excellent story at any rate. Cirnos last stand was particularly awesome as well.
---

[x] Give DISK to ASAKURA
>The massive doors begin to roll back up and Asakura picks up the shining star object and pockets it

Asakura already has the disk!

[x] While you wait for Koakuma to arrive, tell Rinnosuke to take the weapon from the woman's corpse and to check her for anything else of interest, like her actual ID; among all of you, he'd know best how to use her weapon.
[x] Ask Wriggle to pick through the supplies in the rest room for anything usable. Send Shanghai watch her back. When they're done searching, they should head to the command room.
[x] Everyone besides Wriggle and Shanghai should go to room 3C, and prepare themselves while you try to activate the eye machine using the eye of the glove. If that doesn't work, try using the eye from the Lunarian corpse.

“Rinnosuke. Wriggle. Shanghai.” Each look over to you. “I need you all to perform some tasks for me while we wait for Koakuma” They each nod. “Good. Rinnosuke, if you take the door on the right down there and then take the next door on the right you'll find yourself in the security room where a woman has decided she'd rather not help us any more. Take whatever she has and come back here. Okay?” Rinnosuke looks hesitant but agrees any way, taking a swig of his drink he strides off.

“Shanghai, can you lead Wriggle down the corridor and guard her?” Shanghai curtseys in affirmation. “Wriggle. Follow Shanghai, when you get to the room can you search for some food or anything that looks good in there, please?” She chirps happily and follows after Shanghai.

Several minutes pass and still nothing from the outside. Asakura is looking over the large machine and inserts the disk into it, browsing over the new options presented to her.

“Well it's all still in Lunarian but I can see some of the fundamentals within this. I think this bit is a dead give away” She gestures to a single rune that is repeated fairly frequently and then points to the same rune on the console. She presses down on it and there is a faint clicking noise from the desk below and a panel opens up revealing some of the machines innards. She presses the button again and the panel closes up.

“This does look fairly legit” She deduces, turning back to the group.

“What does?” Rinnosuke asks, arriving at the top of the stairs, the weapon slung over his shoulder on the strap and the womans helmet in his hand. “And what happened to that woman? All I found was of what I assume is hers, is this helmet and rifle” Alice and you exchange a quick glance before marching past Rinnosuke, telling the others to stay behind.

The room is largely as you left it. Both doors being now open you are free to explore inside, it turns up little though, there is blood where she collapsed and you find the blade she had used on herself and it is not until you attempt to leave the suicide room that you notice it. The blood and dark lighting had obscured it but now the lighting is on you can plainly make out that several of the panels of the wall in this room are a different hue to the rest of the room. Giving it a light tap you hear an echo on the other side. Alice gently pushes you to one side and runs her fingers across the seams of the panel before several dolls latch onto it and drag it free from the wall with surprisingly little resistance.

The first thing that hits you is the smell. No sooner had the plate of metal come away you and Alice instantly recoil and stagger away, holding your hands over your nose and mouth. A thick miasmal stench waves out reeking of excrement and decay. The passageway is very dark, and is lit up only by cracks in the walls where light trickles in from other rooms. You can make out figures lying about the narrow corridor, some propped up against the wall, others crumpled up into a heap on the floor. Each of them wear the same helmet and jutting out of each helmet is a pair of shrivelled rabbit ears. Alice gestures to one of the dolls and it removes the helmet from one, the ears stay attached to his head. Painted on the inside of the helmet are the numbers “4781”.

“This place is, thankfully, not going anywhere, we shouldn't explore on by ourselves. Let's head back for now.” Alice agrees and retreats with you, leaving behind two dolls as watchers.

“Frankly I'd rather not go into that room again” Alice remarks as the two of you head back the command room. The room here has not changed much, there is still no sign of Koakuma. Rinnosuke waves down to you, beckoning you up. As you arrive Asakura gestures to the screen. Displayed is a bust image of a lady with long silver hair tied back in a single massive braid. Beside her is a large paragraph of Lunarian runes, but above them is plainly written Eirin Yagokoro in Japanese and Lunarian.

“We have found some sort of secrete passage Komeiji, do you have any other secrets up your sleeve we should know about?” A faint laughter is heard over the announcer.

“You could say that” Komeiji replies. “But no, I was not aware of any secret passageways”

“2%?” You ask

“If I am not aware of something, then I cannot say whether I have control over it or not. The 2% is something in this base I am fully aware I no longer have control over. I cannot be expected to control things that I cannot see, right?” Her retort is even more condescending than usual. Wriggle and Shanghai make their presence known with jingling and clattering. Wriggle is holding a whole bunch of metal cans as well as storing some under her carapace, some spilling out down the stairs as she clambers up. You give her a round of applause and congratulate her on a job well done. The rest of the party eye the cans with a measure of unease. You are busy packing the food away into some of Rinnosukes pouches when Koakuma returns with her doll entourage.

“My~ My~ You've certainly been a busy bunch, haven't you?” She says in a very nonchalant voice, tossing her hair back. “Thank you for these,” She gestures to the doll aids “You flatter me too much” She tenderly plants her hand on her cheek and giggles softly. The dolls around her grey and dissolve into a hazy mist. Koakuma looks directly at Alice and grins devilishly, swaggering over to her she coyly wraps her arms around her chest; squeezing gently. You hear her whisper something into Alice's ear. Alice looks decidedly uncomfortable, fidgeting in Koakumas arms. Rinnosuke interrupts the two with a polite cough.

“Maybe later~?” Alice doesn't reply to Koakumas coaxing.

“L-Let's move on.” There are a few snickers about the room, yourself included. A bright red Alice leads the way towards the new room without a word. You hope she's not too angry, it's nice to see her human side once in a while.

Room 3C. Even from the outset it looks as if nobody was supposed to get in or out. Two sliding doors block your progress temporarily before Komeiji opens them, or rather, in whatever capacity they can open. The left door opens with no issue, the right however grinds across the floor before a loud thud decrees it shall go no further.

Inside the room is quite clean and neatly laid out; a small lab or workshop has been set up in the south of the room and to the north ... You remind yourself that for the most part whatever Alice says is usually quite literal.

The machine dominates the back wall, a uniformed network of tightly packed pipes bend and turn, all eventually linking up to centrepiece; a crimson eye set into the machine. Its black slit expands and contracts in some desperate attempt to focus on everything in the room at once. The floor around the machine is covered in wires of all shapes and sizes leading into the base and walls around it.
>> No. 22470
Asakura looks the most notably disturbed, shrinking behind Rinnosuke. Aya makes the first move, white flashes fill the room as she approaches the machine. Koakuma follows shortly after Alice, keeping but a single step behind her. The two head up to the machine where Koakuma breaks away and approaches the eye. Asakura gently pushes Rinnosuke in and stays close to him. Something draws you towards the desks.

Laid out across the desks are all manner of small instruments ranging in size and what can only be perceived as lethality. Some of these tools look as if they were only ever designed to injure or wound. Scattered about the desk are piece of paper, runes are madly scribbled all over them, arrows linking them up to bits of machinery. Underneath them is a single large parchment that has a large sketch drawn onto it. It's clearly human but some of these devices ... They're part of the body? To the east of the room is a table taken up by a large glass box. Inside this box is an eye, or rather an iconic model, there is no possible way it could fit into a human skull, it's about the same size as your fist. Protruding out of this eye are several tubes which are neatly clipped onto the base-

crack

The burning sensation on your chest is swiftly ranked second upon the realisation that this thing has struck itself into your chest and is burying deeper. You stand in stupefaction, raising your hand up you grasp onto the tube and give it a sharp tug, feeling as if you had almost just ripped your heart out you let go and scream out as it launches another tube into your left wrist. You step away as a third tube shoots towards you, it never reaches; instantly burnt away by a blast of Danmaku. The shock wave of its destruction quakes your body, dropping to your knees you hold out your hand calling for your allies to stop. You feel one of the tubes enter the side of your head, scraping against bone, its tendrils spreading out across your skull. Everything is becoming so much more clearer.

The others rush to you, Asakura grabs onto you. White-out.

“Yeah that's not surprising to be honest, I've seen a whole bunch of people wander by. They keep blabbin' on about how it's safe up in the mountains. Normally I like solace and all but it really wasn't pleasant to have those idiots just flat out ignore me and leave, but whatever, those villagers can do what they want” Upstairs. The nexus. Asakura's voice. Boxes. The picture comes into focus. The nexus looks very barren, but against the front wall are large piles of metal boxes of varying sizes. Rika cracks one open with a hooked bar of metal and draws out another, smaller, box. Lots of small white objects flutter everywhere as she pulls it up.

“Hey, careful with that! It's fragile, full of circuitry” Rika gives you a look, cocking a brow to you.

“You told me you were a scientist, not a technician” She remarks as you rise up from the seat.
“Come on, don't tell me you didn't read the mission circular again?” Another voice. A mans. Rounding the corner into the room a male rabbit enters, carrying a box, followed by several others also carrying boxes. Setting them down he dusts himself off.

Blacking out your senses dull and wane. His voice means nothing now and the pictures disappear into a shroud of darkness.

“Just cut it off him before it can do any more damage!” Alices voice.

“I can't! It's attached to his fucking brain or something, it could kill him!” Asakura. You come to. Above you stands Alice, staring down at you, looking in a mix between shock, disgust and worry. Asakura leans over you, inspecting every inch of you, careful to not physically move you much. You raise your hand, giving some signal that you're alive.

“How do you feel? What hurts? How does your head feel?” You blink and splutter incoherently. Looking over yourself you see the eye resting on your chest, firmly latched in place. You feel fine though. Nothing hurts. The others are not quite so convinced. Asakura helps you to your feet anyway. You notice that Koakuma has not paid you one moment of attention and stands fixated on the machine.

“What... Have you done?” The announcement voice speaks. “That's... Impossible... Unless... N-No! I want it back! It's mine! Return to me, now!”

“We shouldn't” Asakura suggests “She'll only try and remove it from him”

“NO! I will kill ALL of you if you don't! Don't forget your place here!” She desperately cries out.

“Enough” Alice turns to face the box where the voice projects from. “We shall hand none of our members over to you. You've already given yourself away, idiot. If you decide to break our deal,” She holds her hand out to you and a small mist of grey floats about it. “Then I shall destroy it”

“Very well” A long delay later she replies. “But know this; there are those who dwell within your ranks whose agendas are not in your best interests” There is a notable silence as the intercom switches off.

“So she can read minds, so what? She can lie too” Asakura speaks up, trying to raise spirits. As much as it is on the tip of your tongue you decide that asking her about her previous contact with the Lunarians is an incredibly unwise move to make. “What the hell is this anyway?” She gestures to your newly obtained 'eye'. You explain that you can feel its presence on you. Subtle, but there. You add that you cannot actually see out of it. Aya suggests poking it.

With surprisingly little more to say you all return your somewhat shaken attention back to the machine and Koakuma. She notices eyes upon her and breaks her fixation on the machine. Smiling a little she gestures to it.
“This is ever so slightly demonic” She begins, only to be interrupted.
“Yeah I can fucking see that” Asakura snidely remarks, Koakuma smiles to her, brushing the insult aside she continues.

“But it is not part of a Youkai, nor is it even from part of any creature I know of native to Gensokyo. Normally I'd just say it's from a little devil or so” She giggles a little, leaning closer to the eye. “But this is not of Makai” Glancing back to the group she tosses up hands up in a care free shrug.

“Lunarian?” You guess

“Unlikely, if they had anything as remotely bizarre as this I'd of seen it when I dealt with them the first time.” Alice responds “But times do change” She adds.

Asakura glances about the room and inspects some of the machines whilst the others turn their attention back to you and your parasite. Aya shamelessly takes a few photos of you, you don't object but it's not exactly helping. In the background Asakura heaves a sigh.

“This is ridiculous! I can't find any machine or anything to get any information about what exactly this thing is. All I can find are these chart readings which due to their consistency must be some sort of life support readout. I'm going to hazard a guess that any info on this can be obtained from the nexus machine”

A short trip back to the nexus reveals nothing. Asakura says that any links or pages of would be information are all redacted or just completely unavailable. Dead end it is. Only one more place to go now.
>> No. 22471
Despite the forewarnings the rest of the group recoil as they approach the panel entrance. Choking they hold their hands close to their mouths, as do you. The walkway is very swiftly traversed and with great care to not as much touch the corpses as you pass by. The walkway abruptly ends. Motioning for you all to stand back Meiling swings her leg up and delivers a swift boot to the panel and it collapses into the next room. The sight is not unlike where you are still standing. Across the room are bones all scattered out, the floor and ceiling broken and smashed in and an even worse stench permeates the air. From the corner you hear a shuffling sound. Alice and Meiling are quick to act, hustling into the room followed by yourself. Standing in it the room actually looks more like a battlefield, tables have been erected on the eastern side of the room that seemed to serve little purpose other than to corner off this impromptu graveyard. Scattered about the floor are broken weapons and crushed hollow thin cylinders. Sending Shanghai to explore the entrance on the left your group continue on to the right.

Stepping around the immediate turn left you see an open window, dirtied, but you can still see beyond and it instantly reminds you of Asakuras workplace above. All about the room are dotted long tables accompanied by smaller tables piled with surgical tools. As you draw closer you spy somebody in the room. You then spy the missing body of Eirin. You strain to comprehend the sight. The woman standing above Eirins corpse is patchwork. Her body riddled with stitches, skin hangs off her in varying sickly hues and her hair is a horrific multitude of colours stapled onto her bloodied scalp. You watch as the woman methodically strips the body of skin, occasionally lining it up against her own body before discarding it, like it had failed some requirement. You hear a faint beeping noise and a shutter on the inside of the window starts to roll down, immediately catching the attention of the woman beyond, who jumps in shock, holding up her cutting blade in defence against any would be attackers. The shutters near closing as you hear her approaching, bashing the tables out of the way and making an almighty ruckus in her attempt to get to you in time. You see her hands land on the glass as the shutters close.

“Wandering eyes are a dangerous thing. Move along” Komeiji has regained her composure. Shanghai returns, holding up the palm of her hand she mimics legs walking towards it with index and middle finger, when the legs bump into the palm of her hand she shakes her head.

The corridor continues north for a short while leading up to some downward stairs. You are uneasy using the steps; each one is nought but a plank of wood and they are quite spaced out. You can see below the original staircase as it seems to have been quite methodically pulled apart, there was no rash decision made here. You are not sure who would of put these planks here though.

The lower regions of this building are laid out more like a catacomb than anything else. A network of corridors leading up to tiny chambers usually filled with all manner of weird objects ranging from bits of machinery to suits of armour that look to have been scavenged from your own village. The dim orange lighting isn't helping much as you try and traverse this hive of corridors. After a while of moaning and complaining about wrong turns your group eventually exit out into a much larger room which seems to be split up into three distinct sections; the high rise where you are at this moment, a much lower section housing a tall machine, its wiring going high up into the ceiling, level with you. Beyond that is a large smouldering hole, you can make out various forms of half ruined machines but for the most part the entire room has been disintegrated, save a few of the machines and the back doors. Following the smooth edges of the blast you can even make out the distinct hole from the explosion.

Asakura approaches the edge of the rise, leaning over. The floor jolts and she yelps in shock, falling backwards as the floor begins to descend slowly.

“Alice. About what you said earlier,” You whisper “Do you have some kind of plan? She's not going to just let us walk out of here with this... thing attached to me.” Alice pauses, looking a little worried.

“I can't think of much” She admits “Perhaps we could convince her to active the transportation before we complete our end of the deal. That way she can't double cross us”

“That exit is our only life line, we can't realistically turn back, especially now that we're this far in” Rinnosuke adds.

The floor connects back to the ground with a low thud. The central machine looks a lot bigger up close, it even has a small flight of steps which curl up to the face of the machine. Which on closer inspection appears to have been damaged. The front of the machine leans over what would have been a viewing port hole but the entire wall has been ruptured open from in the inside out. Staring in you can see a bed latched up against the wall, all its manacles lying scattered on the floor or in tatters still attached to it. Aya's flash box goes off a few times as she wanders about in and out of the machine. Asakura and Rinnosuke stare at at the hole in the next room, you hear them talking but not what they are saying.

Alice cocks her head to the side briefly and hops off the top of the steps to the ground. As you near the third room you Asakura and Rinnosuke break off, heading around each side of the hole, looking about where some of the machines are still standing. Looking into the hole when you arrive you see ... Nothing. Absolutely is left but ash and dirt. Whatever was here is gone forever now.

Pushing open the double doors they swing out, Rinnosuke and Asakura follow after saying they turned up little other than bits of burnt illegible paper, all useless. Rinnosuke however does confirm that the machine was a prison for somebody, if that wasn't already obvious.

The next room is not in any uniform like the others, the walls are only half finished and the rest is actually bare cavern rock. Three predominant lights light up the room revealing two major features; a control post up against the far wall and a single massive drill, like the kind you saw the carpenters use the village, but on a slightly grander scale. Standing before the drill are the massive gates. Painted over it in white are various sentences in Lunarian, but there is one written in Japanese even you can read: 'DO NOT OPEN'. Several crude skulls have also been painted onto the door. The message is pretty clear.

“I do not see any means of us leaving this place” Alice shouts out “Where is our promised vessel?”

There is a clunk of several locks opening and the wall to your immediate left opens up revealing within a dais, several screens dotted about the room on either side.

“The rapid evacuation chamber” Komeiji names it “It was supposed to be used in the event of an imminent tunnel collapse but I believe it will serve your purpose” Asakura approaches it and the door starts to close.

“I want to inspect it, I want to see if it is still functioning” Asakura tries to reason.

“Those are faculties of sight, not touch. You shall go no further” Asakura hesitates, taking Komeiji up on her offer she intently stares and examines the machine from afar before nodding once and stepping away. “Run along now. Uphold you end of the deal” Komeiji presses you on. You have the sudden unnerving feeling of many eyes watching you. As you begin your slow approach to the control room Asakura slides up beside you, whispering as you both walk.

“She's not telling the entire truth.” She begins, making every effort to stare straight ahead and to not rouse any suspicion that she may be speaking, especially limiting her lip movement. “We do not need her to switch on that machine. I could do it myself” The others glance back to you both as they move.

“Then give me ten seconds and I'll have that door down” Adds Meiling.
>> No. 22472
You have a rather large decision to make here. While you could turn on your heels right now and bullrush the door whatever trap Komeiji has prepared will be sprung on you. Another option would be to go ahead and open the gates, perhaps giving you enough distraction to actually make a break for the door. It seems your choices are limited down by several important facts: this deal was already off long ago when that damn eye latched onto you, you no longer need to uphold your deal and Komeiji wants to get her third eye back which in doing so will undoubtedly kill you. There is likely a lot of bloodshed to happen in a very short amount of time. What the hell are you going to do?
>> No. 22474
How close to the end is this story? I can't see an end in the near future with all of these problems stacking up.
>> No. 22475
File 12550971436.jpg - (139.62KB , 850x602 , sample-9f31d1b121dc8b1ee7d1947c29f259bb.jpg ) [iqdb]
22475
>>22474
You're approaching the last quarter of the story. Hopefully the third eye should of answered a lot more questions than it raised. Also bear in mind that some questions may simply not be answered due to the kind of ending you're heading towards. Anyway, plan formulating games!
>> No. 22476
Could you give us a map of what this area looks like? I'm having a hard time visualizing what has been laid out before us.

>bear in mind that some questions may simply not be answered due to the kind of ending you're heading towards

This story never felt like it was destined to end well. The protagonist has been turned into an unsightly monster and his friends end up dead, kidnapped, or mutated. Death would be mercy at this point.
>> No. 22477
>>22476

Oh, and Rinnosuke and Asakura have seemed indifferent to the situations they're being put in. Everyone else gets screwed over while they manage to avoid serious harm.
>> No. 22478
File 125511008421.png - (9.02KB , 400x400 , QUALITY MAPPING.png ) [iqdb]
22478
>>22476
Righto chum, enjoy my toils of over 9000 hours in MS Paint.

>This story never felt like it was destined to end well.

I don't know what could have POSSIBLY given you that idea! Look what you've achieved so far; you've managed to escape your village where everyone had died. You've saved practically everyone you've met who wasn't out to kill you (and even still you decide to save them anyway!) You've prevented an evil regime from rising up again and stopped a deluded sorceress and her apocalypse machine. Now you're working on saving a friend from not only her captors but herself.

So no Anon, no. You've done fucking well.
>> No. 22479
>>22478

I agree; we're trying to make the absolute best of an absolute shit situation, so far doing pretty well, all things considering.

The big question is what's next?
>> No. 22485
I've got no plans, but a few observations.

-Who the fuck was the skinwalker stripping down not-Eirin's corpse for spare parts? Koishi? Either way, THANKS FOR THE WARNING, SATORI.

-On that note: Keep in mind that "Satori" has never once referred to herself by that name. Only "Komeiji," which could refer to either sister. She is identified as being a satori-- as in, the type of creature-- but we're the ones who actually started using that as a name, and both sisters are satori to boot.
To reinforce this: Desdaxis only ever says Komeiji, and Komeiji has only ever said Komeiji, and the narrative only names her Komeiji. On the other hand, we have we, the voters, assuming she's Satori, and calling her that, and through us, the main character calls her that.
Admittedly, she mentioned having pets, but given the way things in this story go down, there's nothing that says it's exclusive to Satori anymore. For all we know, Koishi finally opened up her third eye and got busy. In fact, that would have to have happened, as Mysterious Tube Girl Komeiji can read minds. No idea if altering minds is still among Koishi's powers if she indeed finally opened her third eye once again.
The short version is: we don't know for certain which sister we're dealing with.

-The funny part: I don't know if knowing which sister it is would make too much of a difference. But the fact that there is a very clear, if quiet, distinction being made worries me.

-I don't know whether to attribute Asakura's mini-flashback to the eye (which would make it Satori's, probably) or whatever power has been granting us visions and memories belonging to others since before then, whenever we're asleep or knocked out, in which case, the matter of which-sister-is-it is still up in the air.

-We never did take down that barricade, did we? You know, the one we sent Shanghai to go scout behind, and that held something that freaked her right the fuck out? I wonder what was behind there. As far as I can tell, Rinnosuke dragged us away to go meet Tubegirl, first, and she sent us off on our quest for the eye.

-It's probably a good bet that Koakuma was asking Alice if she (Alice) would like to make Koakuma her familiar, seeing as how the little devil has no master, now. Judging by the reactions, it seems like it's a sexy contract. Maybe.
That or she suggested the two of them go find new uses for the nearest supply closet.
Or both. It's Koakuma, after all.

-Still no idea what the big enormous fucking eye is. I'd have said it was evil Eye Sigma, but who knows. I'd have then suggested maybe it's from Hell (still demonic, but not Makai, after all.) and maybe it's the Yuugen Magan, but when I double-checked on that, it turns out YM was from the Makai route, so... back to square one, I guess.
>> No. 22487
>>22478
>I don't know what could have POSSIBLY given you that idea! Look what you've achieved so far; you've managed to escape your village where everyone had died. You've saved practically everyone you've met who wasn't out to kill you (and even still you decide to save them anyway!) You've prevented an evil regime from rising up again and stopped a deluded sorceress and her apocalypse machine. Now you're working on saving a friend from not only her captors but herself.
Holy fuck anon did that? The same anon that on all other, slice of life, stories manage to get horribly murdered while making breakfast?
Desdaxis, you've earned a '+1 reader' card. I gotta see this.
>> No. 22489
>>22487

Anon can be smart and perceptive, it's just that I suspect most have the notion of doing stupid things in the name of being 'awesome' (A bit of a bad habit from the early days, out of place in an age where stories have plot, and mere anons trying out stunts without powering up end up dead.)

But this is a sign that the voters are very well directed if they make pretty good choices consistantly.
>> No. 22523
Come on people think of something. I don't want this thread to sit and die.
>> No. 22528
[X] Go ahead and open the gates.
- [x] Ask if Alice can try opening them with any spare dolls
>> No. 22529
[X] Go ahead and open the gates.
- [x] Ask if Alice can try opening them with any spare dolls
>> No. 22533
File 125564424273.jpg - (44.80KB , 512x128 , touhou persona marisa.jpg ) [iqdb]
22533
>>22528
>>22529

Oh ho~ He who dares; wins, right?

Calling an early vote, it's been too long since last update anyway. This may be another large update. I really don't know. That's never a comforting thing to hear, is it?
>> No. 22542
[X] Go ahead and open the gates.
- [x] Ask if Alice can try opening them with any spare dolls

Your group slows to a halt. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. Scarce feet away is freedom. All you have to do is take it.

“Every man is wise when attacked by a mad dog.” Komeiji's metallic voice slowly speaks out, “Only the truly wise survive when attacked by a mad notion”

“Is that the best you have? The last line to convince us otherwise?” Aya stumbles out with, quite uncharacteristically nervous.

“I never doubted for a second you'd listen to reason. Thankfully I have other ways of-”

“NOW!” Meiling quite literally leaps into action, springing off Aya's back she hurls herself towards the quickly shutting door driving her fist at full force into it. You cry out Alices name in the most commanding voice you can muster and wildly throw out your hand to the door. A hurricane of dolls surge over your head and into the gate, bashing slashing and piercing their way through. Your King has been moved, exposed, you await Komijis counter attack with trepidation.

It comes swiftly and without error. Dropping down from the ceiling and leaping from the walls the beasts attack, pale creatures, their lower half distinctly snake like in appearance although the texture resembles more of a worm or a maggot. Their upper bodies are covered in bloats and bruised growths, you catch glimpses of some of them bursting; shrivelled human heads twist and scream as they emerge from the wounds.

Your group instinctively huddles closer, Aya immediately uses her flash box, the bright light causes the creatures to recoil screeching, their skin visibly being burnt by the bright light. A loud noise, like that of an Oni slamming a door, blasts out from your side. Rinnosuke stands with his weapon that now has line of smoke trailing from the end, it looks to you like a rather ridiculous pipe but it seems to have done the trick marvellously. You watch as he closes his hand together again and the weapon discharges, you spy a glitter of something flying out of the contraption. It hurts your head to even think how this weapon can feasibly do anything useful.

“Cycle Sign「 Reincarnated Tibetan Dolls 」"
Alice's calm voice is captured by the passing moment of silence. A group of servant dolls take up positions in a cordon around you. Dully they turn, once facing outwards they begin to hum with life. As soon as the enemy lurch forward to attack the room explodes into rings and ring of golden light that bursts outward cutting a swathe through their ranks; crumpled bodies slump the floor, their growths bursting and their bodies shrivelling up into withered husks.

The stragglers retreat, recouping with their reinforcements. Just how many of them are there!? You ready the elemental reactor with great unease, causing collateral damage underground is obviously a poor choice of action. So what else do you have? You reach out to Rinnosuke, about to grab some of his spell cards when you remember.

'A person's Danmaku is inextricably linked to you, in a sense Danmaku is attuned to your soul.'

Perhaps now would be an opportune time to try something new. The beasts have gathered again and begin their second surge. You strike out your hand and hold your palm flat against the air.

“Militia Sign「 Militant Levy 」”

A heavy mist swirls up from the ground, quickly enveloping the floor. As the beasts reach you they appear; gleaming shields that tower over you and behind them; the dead of ages past, men of unjust death or those who have longed for battle but were never granted it. The collision rocks you like a loud gong being struck, the group stumbles afoot. The beasts are sent sprawling back, withering and dying where they land. The ghosts break their phalanx and arch back clasping tendrils of air they throw their arms forward and cast out their spears towards the second line of beasts. As before their effect is immediate, the spears burst into mist on contact causing the target to collapse, its body speeds through decay at tenfold rate.

Suffice to say, surprise is most prevalent look upon your allies faces.

“I-I just did what you said Alice” You dumbly stammer out. She gives you a sly grin.

“Then well done. I guess that's stage two complete” Stage two...? Oh, right. She's cast a card, so have you in theory. She does mean it like that, right?

“Guys...!” Rinnosuke alerts you all, readying his weapon up again and staring dead ahead. The floor. The metal plates shift and shake in a line heading straight for you. Rinnosuke aims to the ground and end of the his weapon ignites thrice before a loud pinging noise can be heard, similar to a coin loudly striking metal. His weapon ceases to work, cursing he throws it to the ground and reaches for his belt pouch. More spew from the cavities in the walls, glancing back you see Meiling folding the whole section of wall up and away. Asakura makes her break, darting through the new entrance, Meiling tears the panel back further more and heads in after her.

“Curse "Eerily Lumino-” The floor takes off, panels erupting into the air as the ground tears itself up from below. Your group is scattered and as the dirt falls the monsters descend in their relentless assault. Within moments you're toe to toe with one, rising up above you it arches back, each one of the heads letting out a high pitched scream as it throws itself towards you.

Several white flashes go off but this time it does little to deter them, other than set their attacks off balance. You take this opportunity to yell for the others to follow you and you head after Meiling. You are joined only by Aya, Wriggle and Shanghai. Glancing behind you can see Alice and Koakuma quite clearly and they do seem to be heading your way, retreating after firing line after line of Danmaku at the aggressors. You can't see him though. You stop. You can't see him. Turning on your heels you head back, reactor now in hand, you still can't see him. You can hear him though. Above the din is his pained screams. You catch a glimpse as he sluggishly peels himself off the beast. You can't make out anything at all. There's nothing to make out. There's nothing at all. Nothing. Nothing. NOTHING! You scream out in despair as you feel the air against your face, then the cold of the ground. Twisting your head back to Alice you plead her to stop, ignoring you, looking away, she hauls you across the floor with her wires. You watch on as Rinnosuke's bloodied form stumbles away from the twitching maws that bite out at the air. He solemnly looks at his hands and then down at himself, more of them begin to surround him. Trembling he reaches into his satchel and draws out his bottle and brings it close to his lips. They explode. Their upper bodies burst open spraying a thick viscus pus that latches onto anything it touches instantly burning it away, the metal plates begin to bubble and corrode. Rinnosuke ... vanishes. More of them burst, the room quickly becoming coated in this substance. Alice and Koakuma haul you to your feet and drag you away through the hole.
>> No. 22543
The building groans, rocks falling free as large sections of the supporting walls fall free. You glance about in this new room, you see Meiling carrying Asakura's prone form, her lab suit dyed in red. Meiling looks just as bad, from the machine you see a single metal barb driven from the machine outwards, it's soaked in blood. A purple shimmering wall surrounds the dais and you hear what you vaguely associate with the crashing of symbols.

Blinking your eyes in confusion you find yourself in a new room, you quickly ascertain that everyone else is with you and that you're defiantly in still inside some Lunarian building of sorts, the architecture is the same for a start. The room itself is rather mundane, the chamber you're in is attached to a slightly larger room with a line of desks on the opposite wall to you, mounted on said wall is a rather long and thin black object. To the left of the room is a similar heavy door with a wheel to the ones that were in Asakura's base. Scattered about these desks are small bits of machinery, some quite obviously have been pulled apart. Wasting no time Meiling and Koakuma pick up Asakura and head over to the tables, sweeping everything off one to the floor they place her down on it. The fact that she makes no noise and is completely unresponsive is far more horrible than any amount screaming she should be making.

“What were you thinking?!” In a rapid recall to your senses you lash out at Alice. “Why didn't you grab him? Why?” You hold your head in your hands, you can't even begin to feel the full weight of this. Alice remains silent, looking away from you.

A unpleasant noise interrupts your thoughts, the black slate has come to life, a woman wearily stares back at you.

“H-Hello? Is anybody down there?” She leans closer and a lock of silver hair drapes down. You and Alice glance to each other momentarily. You can hear a voice from behind her and she turns back to it speaking something in what you presume to be Lunarian, you identify that there were two sentences though.

A second face joins the portal, a man, he looks quite elderly.

“If you can hear me and understand me then you need to know that this place isn't safe anymore, the place is crawling with Youkai. You need to head further up the spire. To command, where we are. The main elevators are offline so you'll have to use the express service elevators on the outside of the building. Operations should be easily findable, just follow the sign posts. It's the shape of an octagon. These lines can't stay open for long. We'll be in contact soon” With that the screen switches back to blackness. Your group looks to each other in confusion. An 'elevator'? It elevates something, it can elevate people. That's still not much to go on.

There is a clunk and you see the door to the left of the room open up. You barely have time to breath before those horrible screams begin again. Haunting visages of your village return to you. You swallow it all back. You have to get to the top of this tower. This is the closest you've been to some shred of civilisation in a long time.

Aya is naturally first out the door, her head snaps left to right before she bolts off to the right, making a wild gesture to follow. Meiling lifts Asakura back up, the clattering and shouting drawing closer to you. Leaving the room makes you regret doing just that, the walls have been bashed in, there are debris strewn across the floor this place is no different from whence you came from. There are quite a few doors down the corridor; some open some not. Aya leads the group away from the screeching and up a stairwell, before you yourself ascend you take note of the plaque; whilst being in Lunarian you can ascertain that there are many symbols down the side of the plaque, each one corresponding to a line of moon runes, you spot the octagon shape and try your best to memorise the line of Lunarian beside it. Quickly cross checking it with where you are, as shown at the top of the plaque, you find yourself 4 lines away from operations. You have no idea how many floors this could possibly translate to.

You reach the floor above and Aya continues up further still. Sprawled out across the large open room is a thick mucus covering up whatever objects were in this large room, you think you can make out some large boxes or desks. From the other side of the room figures dart out of holes in the wall, charging towards you.

“You're really just going to sprint to the top!?” You shout up at Aya.

“Unless you have a better plan!” She sounds as if she's almost to the next floor beyond.

“They said we should head outwards, not upwards!” Meiling huffs, still cradling Asakura's limp form.

“Will you all shut up! You'll just be drawing more of them!” Alice is ironically louder than the others. You feel something lightly touch your shoulder; Shanghai grips onto your shoulder with one arm, lazily drifting along beside you whilst facing behind you. Having eyes in the back of your head will certainly be an advantage.

“Wriggle, can you do anything to distract these things?” She slows for a brief moment, looking back to you before uttering her tell-tale cackle. Grappling onto the wall to which this stairwell is backed against she begins to clamber up. The effect is delayed by a few moments but slowly and surely insects start to crawl out from behind the panels in her wake intensifying the further she is away. The Youkai hit the stairs, the meagre amount of insects do nothing to deter their blind charge, stamping on them or otherwise ignoring them as they bury their way into the body of the Youkai swarm.

“Aya! We can't keep up with you like this!” Meiling voices the most immediate concern of the group. You're already feeling the burn and it's only been a few minutes, it's stress more than anything.

“Aw' what's the matter, China? Can't take a little physical exercise?” Aya mocks, apparently not even winded yet she continues to bolt up the stairs.

“No! It's just that they're faster than US not YOU and if you don't slow down they'll only be a YOU left!” That seemed to do the trick, you see Aya slow drastically to a jog and look over the railings down to us.

“Well I don't have any other plan!” It seems Meilings words have sunk in, her usual courage has been wiped. She sounds actually concerned for once, like this has been a joke this entire time. In many ways you envy her. “They're not that fast, come on! Just put some back into it, you just have to out run them, not me!” Meiling pauses on the next floor, you almost run into her back. The next floor is an open plan hall, small walled off areas with desks about the room and windows line the walls, most are broken and dirt lies blown in on the floor before each one.

“These 'elevators' or whatever they are, are on the outside of this building?” Meiling looks back to you, a crazed look of determination in her eyes. A deep sense of dread fills you, Meiling notices. “Look we don't have much of a choice, Aya can carry her” She nods down to Asakura whose breathing is becoming a bit stronger.

“We're still talking about scaling the side of this building. Is there anything to hold onto?” The Youkai below grow louder, arriving on the floor below you can hear their feet stamp on the floor in full pelt. Make or break. Decision time.
>> No. 22545
>Dropping down from the ceiling and leaping from the walls the beasts attack
>Scale the building

I wonder how fast the creatures can climb.
>> No. 22546
>>22545

They certainly seem to be able to run faster than us. The question is, whether or not they can climb faster than us too.
My bet is yes, they can, but running alone will not help for long either.

No vote since I cannot think of anything, as usual here.
>> No. 22547
[x]Climb.
[x]Ask Aya to stay behind and buy us some time with her camera. She's the fastest of the group, she should have no problems catching up to us.

Poor brosuke.
>> No. 22558
[X] Get climbing

I cannot think of a damn thing.

Is there even light outside of the building?
>> No. 22559
>>22558

Who needs light, when you can have an Aya flashing for you?
>> No. 22560
>>22558
[X] Stay together

Might as well add this.

Getting separated in this situation would be bad.
>> No. 22575
[x] Up the walls and stick together!

“AYA! HERE! NOW!” You shout up to her, turning back briefly to wildly wave the rest of your team over to you but as you turn back you see Meiling has left Asakura behind and is charging full pelt towards the open window. Pointing to her prone form you rush past her, ordering someone to carry her. As you reach half way across the office Meiling leaps up from the window, grabbing onto the top bar setting the glass in place and scrambles up a floor. Aya returns in her usual haste, sweeping up Asakura from the floor as she passes you she dives from the window without even breaking pace. Alice and Koakuma follow up along with Wriggle who drags behind.

Staring out the shattered window you can see the forest laid out all around you. You'd guess the time to be late afternoon, the sun is setting over the Hakurei mountain covering the land in a warm orange glow. Slapped back into your senses by Alice she instructs you to get moving. You peer over the edge, a definite mistake; you can make out the ground around the base of the building but even still vertigo begins to kick in, a chill running up your spine. Taking in a deep breath of the cool air you grapple onto the metal barring which holds the windows in place and scramble up.

Alice's approach is somewhat unorthodox, stepping backwards out of the window she tosses up a cluster dolls high up the building which stab their weapons into more solid parts of the building and begin to glow blue slightly. Swinging from them for a moment by the wires she places her boots against the glass wall of the building and begins to scale it, dragging herself up by the tight clump of wires. Koakuma surprisingly doesn't join Aya in flight, ripping a split in her dress she clambers up after you.

The climbing isn't as bad as you expected, there are plenty of little holes and damaged sections of walls for you to place your feet and hands into, if it weren't for the damn gauntlet you'd be up with Meiling by now. There is a buzzing noise from below and you spy Wriggle settling for scaling the building too, after an uncoordinated attempt at flight. The glass blows out below in a cacophony that echoes out over the forest. Youkai pile out latching onto the building and clawing their way up, some even stumbling from the initial charge and falling from the building. Their screams take a while to die down before the inevitable silence. Shanghai commences her barrage from your shoulder, raining Danmaku down on the Youkai below, you decide against viewing the results and focus on just climbing the building.

“I see it! That's gotta' be it!” Meiling calls out, pausing for the briefest of time you look up to Meiling and then to where she is pointing; up at a half cylinder which is latched onto the side of the building. That's too far away! Cursing your slow speed you endeavour to pick up the pace, taking risks and making small jumps where careful stepping proves too cumbersome. Aya soars past you in a gust of wind, arriving at the elevator in moments she sets Asakura down on top of the elevator. Unable to spare any limbs for flailing you settle for screaming out her name to cease and stick together. Evidently it worked too late, just as Aya lifts up Asakura more of the beasts burst from the windows above, diving straight off they hurtle towards us. Alice spares an arm to launch out interception dolls but it halts her progress entirely. Aya swoops down beside them blasting them with her flash-box. Staring down death you lift the gauntlet up and open your palm up; unleashing the madness.

The weapon is a lot more direct in it's method than you had expected, a thin but solid shaft of red light bursts from the eyes and strikes into the first airborne assailant disintegrating it on contact. You sweep your weapon across, the beam striking more of them and turning them to ash that is carried immediately away by the wind. Two of them hurtle past you and latch onto Alice clawing and biting down on her. Screaming out in pain she wildly lashes out with more of the dolls, stabbing and cutting away at the Youkai she struggles against their grip. The others fair no better, Meiling repeatedly kicks at one which has latched onto her leg and you catch Wriggle aborting an attack on another, flying free and clutching back onto the building.

You'd thank your luck for pulling you through the attack but it seems to have run out. Your body is suddenly becoming quite hot and the gauntlet won't move, your other arm begins to shake under the strain of holding on. The medicine is wearing off. You cry out to your companions but hear no response. You feel your body relax and calm all the tension flowing away from your muscles as your mind screams in terror. Silently you fall from both the wall and conciousness. Your body is jolted, funny, you'd never thought it would be this painless. You can still feel though, are you a ghost? Forcing your eyes back open you see Shanghai above you, her wings a blur as she desperately tries to slow your descent. You think you mumble 'save yourself, forget me', this numbness is more than comforting, you wish you could wrap your arms around it. There is a rather solid impact against your body, it hurts but you still feel. With eyes wide your expression flows from shock to surprise and back to shock again.

Alice swings you like a pendulum, a host of dolls latched onto your body hold you in place and Alice struggles to hold onto the wires, the Youkai gorge themselves on her now vulnerable body. A blur whizzes past Alice and one of the beasts collapses, breaking off in two it falls away. Aya floats up beside Alice, holding Asakura against her chest and a leafed fan in her right hand. The remaining Youkai twists about and lunges at Aya. In what has to have been inches away from contact Aya dives backwards and the beast drops towards the ground. After dispatching the last Youkai Aya swoops down to you and picks you up.

Within seconds you find yourself dropped on top of the elevator with Asakura and Aya speeds back down for the others. Looking about where you are you can't see any entrance to the elevator from here, other than the obvious, which is what you settle for in this time of confusion. Tapping on the glass and a grunt of 'break!' is all you can muster to Shanghai who thankfully understands the command, blowing the glass inwards with a single orb she aids you in your fumbling attempt to clamber in.

Glass isn't exactly the most comfortable of things to rest on but you feel somewhat safer inside than you do out. Above your head you can see some kind of control unit mounted on the wall. Summoning as much strength as you can you stand up in front of it. A lot of it makes no sense but you can see all the icons down the side along with a button beside each panel. You press in the button beside the Octagon and the elevator whirs into action. Above the unit a panel folds out another one of those black slates. It comes to life, the 'real' Eirin you saw on Asakura's machine stares coldly down at you.

“Do not think I am unaware of your presence here, human, your kind darken whatever skies you wander under. This is MY home, MY work and MY problem to deal with. I have already made arrangements with Yorihime. She's taken quite a shine to you all after she managed to get Rika to spit out the truth” You let out a long slur of insults and drop your head into the screen, cracking it.

“I could never hear you, but I can still see you” She laughs quietly. “...Watch out” The elevator shakes once as a Youkai lands onto the side, holding onto floor it dangles off the edge. As soon as it pulls it's upper body up Shanghai fires and it launches off, trailing gore behind it as it falls.
>> No. 22576
Whilst you still stare out the window you see Aya approaching you with Alice and Meiling. You try to sweep the glass away with your sleeve before they arrive. Aya sets them both down beside you, Alice looks badly injured when you look at her this close, her dress has been torn open and her porcelain white legs are drenched in blood. Aya deposits Asakura inside next before heading back for Koakuma. Wriggle seems to be fine by her own, perfectly weaving between the Youkai and making good speed towards the climbing elevator.

Asakura murmurs something and looks to be coming around. Staring around with weary eyes she stares out over the open view of Gensokyo and then to the side of the building.

“Here... again?” It's only a faint noise but she said that you're sure. You take her by the shoulder and draw her closer.

“Not exactly, the Adjutant will be with you at ground zero for a short time to instruct the crew and oversee the operation. She shan't be there longer than a day or two. After that you will be in charge” This scene is only slightly different. You are still in the elevator but it's going down and nothing seems to be out of the ordinary, the outdoors are lit up under a bright blue sky and ships float through the sky, glancing down below where you stand you can see a hive of activity below. You return your gaze to Reisen.

“And how will my personal equipment be delivered?” You ask

“Naturally we already have that covered; we've hired a local driver for it. Apologies for being unable to supply you with our own transport but we're quite tied now that we've begun exploration and expansion. We're hoping there'll be a new load of trucks in but it's probably best not to bank on it.”

Blinking you find yourself back, Asakura laid out on your lap. She looks so pale, her lower half is red, not a speck of white remains.

“You knew what was down there, didn't you?” First there is confusion, 'does he mean what I think he means?' after your nod there comes denial 'no you can't possibly know'. “I know and you know I know” The terror crawls closer in on her. You lean down on her just so you know she can hear you.

“I know you lied to us. What exactly were you trying to do down there?” She shakes her head and mouths words you can't make out. “I'll find out for myself” You mutter, placing your free hand on her forehead you try and calm yourself, when you tune into people so abruptly it's hard to get a feel of how you 'open their door' so to speak. You understand the feeling and state of mind when you have these visions except it's hard to emulate it. Meiling looks over you nervously and Alice has noticed you too. They don't matter any more though, all that matters is the truth.

The room is a lot brighter now, the lights are no longer dim and the room is exposed for what it really is. You are standing before the great machine, a host of rabbit guards nervously stand about you. Within the machine a woman is strapped into the upright bed, struggling against the restraints. Her right arm is blackened and shrivelled and from a chest cavity a red eye stares down at you.

“How much power does it supply?” You speak into a metal grill upon a small metal box.

“Nothing” A voice crackles out from the box “Once detached it's useless” You curse.

“Fine. Take the eye out and try that. If that fails too we'll just have to ask her nicely if she'll work with us” The woman in the machine spits against the window and screams muffled abuse at you. Switching a button down on the machine you continue the conversation with the woman. “Or we'll start with your fellow pet”

The transition is jarring, you almost feel your own body jolt as you land back in the chair.

“NO! Wipe NOTHING! I don't care about your stupid bureaucratic procedures, you will not remove ANY of my work! She's still viable, you just have to catch her! Aren't you supposed to be the best of the best!?” You shout at the image of a man on the control nexus machine. This is a familiar room. The scene behind the man is in chaos though, you can make out fires and rabbit men and women rushing about in the background armed with those wooden and metal weapons.

“We can! Just please, dear God, open up the surface access or the miners extraction point!” The man pleads and begs.

“No! Absolutely not! The place is sealed off for a reason and I WILL NOT allow these things into the surface and have another enemy attacking us. The war with the red witch goes poorly already! Eirin will execute every single last one of us if we let them out. So shut up and do your fucking job!” You slam your fist down on the console and the feed cuts off.

You are back. Asakura looks notably disturbed and struggles weakly against you. You drape your gauntlet over her wound and she gasps out in pain.

“Traitor” Your voice has more effect than the gauntlet sinking into her wound. She looks up to you, wide eyed and completely delirious, shaking her head spluttering out denial after denial. You push her head aside and lean in so your lips are nearly touching her ear. “What were you trying to power?” Your armoured hand has now completely sunk into her body. You gently roll her face back towards you, tears roll down it and a trickle of blood runs from her corner of her mouth. You tilt your head very slowly and lower your ear to her mouth.

“thh..thhthh..tuhh..luhh..luhh..lii..linkkh” She barely draws it out, her speech breathless and spluttered.

“The Link?” You ask in confirmation and she nods very weakly. “Thank you, Asakura.” You smile and let go of her head with you spare hand and calmly pick up a shard of glass from the floor.

“Calm down,” You hush her. “There are some things that shouldn't be rushed” Coldly you begin to cut, the skin parts easily but you have add more force in order to break the arteries and muscle, a shard ends up breaking off inside her but the cut is otherwise straight and simple. You hold her gently still until she stops moving completely.

A few minutes pass, blood now drains out of the gap in the glass off the edge of the elevator. Fishing about in her pockets you draw out the bottle of pills and pop the cap open tossing the last few that remained down your throat. As you lift the body you look up. Meiling looks the most notably effected, her back is solid against the door with her hands clasped against her mouth, still in shock. Alice just stares at you in some deep state of thought, Koakuma hides behind her. Aya is beside the edge and stares directly at you, completely on edge. Wriggle just stands there looking confused. You turn about and without a word you drop the body out of the elevator. There is another pause before Alice asks in the most deadpan tone “Why?”

You explain what you saw down to the smallest detail, covering everything thoroughly. Everyone is silent during your explanation and remains silent until the elevator stops. Alice rises and gestures to the door. “You go first” She orders. In silence you walk through the open door into the open room beyond. Around the room is a walk way that surrounds the centre, with entrance points at each point on the compass. The centre itself is largely an open area with a single desk in the middle. The pattern on the floor you make out is a simplified half moon in a circle. By the time you spot her emerging from the darkness that trap has already been sprung. No sooner had your team mates arrived in the centre they are pinned in, those metal men surround the outside of the room pointing their weapons inwards. Yorihime emerges from the shadows, a long blade held at her side.

“My my~ If you were going to just hand yourself over like this then I wouldn't of bothered trying to shoot you back then” She laughs to herself softly. “But now you're here why don't we all play along nicely? I have Rika and I am willing to part with her in exchange for Alice.” She smiles sweetly over to Alice. “Assuming she still wishes to see Marisa” A quick glance back reveals Alice dangerously close to loosing her cool.

Your reply?
>> No. 22577
Where's that one guy who makes all of the long write-ins for this story?

He needs get to work.
>> No. 22581
Fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK.
>> No. 22584
[x] Remember what you came here for; even now--in the village, at the shrine, in the mansion--the ground cries out for blood. Here you have one of the chief architects of this nightmare, daring you to take vengeance.
[x] "Alice, there's nothing we can get from her that we wouldn't otherwise be able to get from Eirin."
[x] "Same goes for you, Meiling; if Eirin is holding Sakuya hostage, we have no reason to make our demands through an intermediary. The Genius of the Moon certainly isn't going to put any of her cards in hand of a lesser mind. This one is only a diversion."
[x] Grasp the mini-elemental reactor in the gauntlet (supporting it with your other arm if you haven't the strength), and channel its, and your own, antipathy through the hakkero.
[x] "You, Moon-bitch. I have a little something for you. A going-away present, prepared by the last of the Scarlet hold-outs, in cooperation with Eirin's real apprentice. Just first... could you answer me a question? What day of the week is today?"
-[] Sunday: Total Eclipse 「Arc Eye」
-[] Monday: Lunacy Sign 「Two Moons; One End」
-[] Tuesday: Red Eye 「Delusion Inferno」
-[] Wednesday: Illusory Water Sign 「Mare Crisium」
-[] Thursday: Bamboo Sign 「Pitfall Spike Waveform」
-[] Friday: Fool's Gold 「Illusion of Prosperity」
-[] Saturday: Earthen Hubris 「Crumbling Edifice」

We know from SSiB that if Yorihime learns fast, so whatever trick you're going to pull, it better be one that takes her down in one blow.

The hakkero amplifies magical power, and it can draw from various sources. Your group now however is emotionally fragmented, both from your recent losses, and that you just murdered Asakura in cold blood. Just as well that you can't rely on the living to fulfill a debt to the dead.

Remember that the gauntlet was meant to be a superweapon to use against the Lunarians, so I think we'll do best with Patchouli and a Reisen chaser to trip up the antagonist. The days of the week are of course a Patchouli reference, but leaving it up to the writefag gives him the choice of picking what he likes best, whether it be a spark-a-like, total blowing away of the antagonist, or some kind of delicious mindfuck.

>Aya shamelessly takes a few photos of you, you don't object but it's not exactly helping. In the background Asakura heaves a sigh.

I need to see some drawfag's interpretation of the protagonist. Oh Dae-su at his worst with a metal claw and a third eye attached by fucking surgical tubing?

>“Militia Sign「 Militant Levy 」”

"When the Levy Breaks" is now playing in your head manually.

Well, we know Marisa was a Zeppelin fan.

>He solemnly looks at his hands and then down at himself, more of them begin to surround him. Trembling he reaches into his satchel and draws out his bottle and brings it close to his lips. They explode. Their upper bodies burst open spraying a thick viscus pus that latches onto anything it touches instantly burning it away, the metal plates begin to bubble and corrode. Rinnosuke ... vanishes. More of them burst, the room quickly becoming coated in this substance. Alice and Koakuma haul you to your feet and drag you away through the hole.

RIP BROSUKE

>“Calm down,” You hush her. “There are some things that shouldn't be rushed” Coldly you begin to cut, the skin parts easily but you have add more force in order to break the arteries and muscle, a shard ends up breaking off inside her but the cut is otherwise straight and simple. You hold her gently still until she stops moving completely.

That's right. We didn't set out to make things right or preserve lives. We didn't set out to rebuild or rectify. Remember our fortune? Retribution.
>> No. 22585
>You are standing before the great machine, a host of rabbit guards nervously stand about you. Within the machine a woman is strapped into the upright bed, struggling against the restraints. Her right arm is blackened and shrivelled and from a chest cavity a red eye stares down at you.

What was contained down here was Okuu, not Flandre, as first suspected.

>“How much power does it supply?” You speak into a metal grill upon a small metal box.
>“Nothing” A voice crackles out from the box “Once detached it's useless” You curse.

Asakura talking to either Okuu herself or Satori. Probably about the detached arm.

>“Fine. Take the eye out and try that. If that fails too we'll just have to ask her nicely if she'll work with us” The woman in the machine spits against the window and screams muffled abuse at you. Switching a button down on the machine you continue the conversation with the woman. “Or we'll start with your fellow pet”

'Fellow pet' would have to be a reference to Orin. Obviously, Satori and the Lunarians were in an adverse relationship if they were experimenting on her pets and holding them hostage. It's easy to see why she would later sabotage their designs.

This also explains the patchwork woman we saw before: Either Orin or Okuu after she had been dissected by the Lunarians. Her actions seemed rather basal, but being turned into a living machine and back, you'd expect would do a number on someone's mind. Either that, or she had been 'wiped' as Asakura ordered against. This would explain why Satori told us that she could wait for her servants to come get her, but that the process would probably take years.

>“NO! Wipe NOTHING! I don't care about your stupid bureaucratic procedures, you will not remove ANY of my work! She's still viable, you just have to catch her! Aren't you supposed to be the best of the best!?” You shout at the image of a man on the control nexus machine. This is a familiar room. The scene behind the man is in chaos though, you can make out fires and rabbit men and women rushing about in the background armed with those wooden and metal weapons.

Asakura is relaying commands to the Lunarians inside the facility, after whatever the hell happened happened. Presumably, she's referring to Okuu or Flandre or someone else she had been experimenting on. It's unlikely to be Satori herself, since she seems to be rather stationary.

>“We can! Just please, dear God, open up the surface access or the miners extraction point!” The man pleads and begs.
>“No! Absolutely not! The place is sealed off for a reason and I WILL NOT allow these things into the surface and have another enemy attacking us. The war with the red witch goes poorly already! Eirin will execute every single last one of us if we let them out. So shut up and do your fucking job!” You slam your fist down on the console and the feed cuts off.

Then we timeskip to presumably a day or so before the slaughter of the village.

We can construct a plausible hypothesis now, to how this nightmare happened. The 'things'--which are youkai as she calls them--were probably specifically bioengineered for the purposes of war. Given their number and that Satori was able to exert some form of control over them, they're able to reproduce rapidly, or there are facilities there to create them.

We can understand now that very likely Satori had unleashed these things in order to get revenge and/or to retrieve her servants. They overran the Lunarian garrison, and Asakura kept a lid on it so that she wouldn't have to answer for the havoc she caused. However, while she sealed off the bunker from the sublevel, the youkai were able to get out through the rapid transit system, escaping from the Lunarian Spire (where we are now) and were loosed on the countryside. Given how the they killed an entire company of crack Lunarian troops ("best of the best") we can see how they could have completely overrun the Village, and most of Gensokyo. This was likely incidental to Satori's aims (i.e., to attack the Lunarians), or her dominance over the creatures could simply be limited.

The greatest indictment against Asakura is that she didn't tell anyone. That's why only she and Rika were left at the post, why she killed the two Lunarians that sought sanctuary there with Reisen, and why she sealed herself in with you when Yorihime came to find out what had happened. It's also why Reisen was taken by surprise that the Bunker was vacant, and why she didn't know how the Village got destroyed. Of course, by the time we found her, she very well might have been 'trained' in what to say--we know neither Asakura nor Rika were strangers to torture.

However that she was acting on self-preservation (the fear of execution) is the result of the policies of her commanders, Yorihime, and ultimately, Eirin. That's why the protagonist is justified in going after them now as well.

Rika's complicity in Asakura's schemes could well have meant she was the one who handed Reisen over to Sakuya & Co., and this would explain why she left her to die in that basement, which she had rigged to explode, and how she had already 'escaped' on her own when we found her. Reisen at that point was simply too great an information risk to be allowed to live.

Finally, we have the source of that bizarre youkai-killing goop in the forest, that stuff that did in the Aki sister and was making Rinnosuke sick. Eirin claims to be dealing with 'her problem', so it's conceivable she used one of her flying vessels to carpet the forests a biological warfare agent that targets youkai in particular. Too little, too late for the Village, but as she conceivably sees things in the (very) long term, being immortal, she really might be doing her best to remedy things.

>“Do not think I am unaware of your presence here, human, your kind darken whatever skies you wander under. This is MY home, MY work and MY problem to deal with. I have already made arrangements with Yorihime. She's taken quite a shine to you all after she managed to get Rika to spit out the truth” You let out a long slur of insults and drop your head into the screen, cracking it.

But you know what? Fuck her and fuck her tower. Even if she is immortal, she is going to pay in spades for the collateral damage of this war she started.
>> No. 22586
[x] >>22584

>>22584
>>22585
Also, I really, really, really, really, really like readers like you who know how to look at the big picture, connect the dots, and make inferences and shit. It helps the rest of us who only see a little at a time.

You are a good and observant person.
Thank you.
>> No. 22587
[x] >>22584

But I do think while our main goal is revenge, that doesn't rule out other things.

>>22585


Wonder if Gensokyo is ever going to recover from this (so far it has a nice chance seeing how it hasn't imploded)

But if it did in that Aki sister, it means it's effective against goddesses as well.

But we will unleash hell on her for the hell she unleashed upon an otherwise peaceful area.
>> No. 22588
>>22584
>>22585
This is all very very awesome. Keep plugging at it, you're almost there.

Apologies for the lapse in quality for this update, there was no way in hell I was about to miss a Halloween update.
------

You hold your free hand up to Alice.

“"Alice, there's nothing we can get from her that we wouldn't otherwise be able to get from Eirin.” You don't break eye contact with Yorihime but Alice's murmured reply is a positive indication she has understood you. “The same goes for you too, Meiling, If Eirin is holding Sakuya hostage-”

“Which she isn't” Yorihime cuts in. “I hold Sakuya and I do not answer to Eirin. She answers to ME.”

“Yes, that is what she would want you to think,” Alice speaks up. “You know Eirin more than I do, you know you can never control her. She left you before and she'll do it again, please do not be as naïve as to think otherwise” Yorihime slowly begins to simmer over in anger, her weapon quivering under her strained grip.

“The Genius of the Moon certainly isn't going to put any of her cards in hand of a lesser mind. This one is only a diversion.” You smirk and play your final stab at her, placing the reactor betwixt your armoured fingers, you slowly force it up, supported by your other arm. Yorihime's sour expression switches instantly to a look of hellish delight.

“You're going to use that on me?” She scoffs and laughs, flicking her blade up she holds it diagonally across her body and braces herself. “All units hold fire, I shall eliminate these beasts in one fell swoop”

Wires land about your arm and quickly snap it into alignment; facing Yorihime dead on.

“You, Moon-bitch. I have a little something for you. A going-away present, prepared by the last of the Scarlet hold-outs, in cooperation with Eirin's real apprentice.”

“More Scarlet witchcraft?” Yorihime chortles. “I'll make you swallow your own hell fire, warlock” She spits.

“Just first... could you answer me a question? What day of the week is today?” As expected, this catches her off guard a little, the slither of shock that skulked past her twists into another large grin.

“Friday. End of the working week.” She sarcastically replies.

“Fool's Gold 「Illusion of Prosperity」” You mutter quietly to yourself. Cautiously Yorihime leans backwards and digs her heels into the ground, golden light flows from the chinks in the armour and from each member a link strikes into the reactor. The air around the end of the reactor ripples and warps, distorting reality itself and then abruptly this metaphysical bubble bursts outwards towards Yorihime.

Her body is jolted once and she freezes up, her weapon completely locked in place. A few seconds pass before you notice her blink and look intently about the room. Ever so slowly she lowers her weapon, her gaze now returning to you. Before her creeping smile can spread the object falls from the ceiling; landing atop her head and bouncing off onto the ground. Everyone looks down to it, a dull iron bolt it looks to be, the kind you've seen in some of the larger buildings in the village. Swiftly snatching it up from the ground she strikes her arm out; pointing her blade at you.

“You dare seek to bribe a general!?” She barks at you. Your allies look to you in slight confusion, they must not of heard you. “I'm going to cut you down where you ...” She snarls, only to drift off, as if something has taken a hold of her attention.

You feel the building shudder in close proximity, a few small clouds of dust drop from the roof as bits of plaster drop in. Yorihime snatches a handful of the stuff from the ground and stares at it intently. “Where are you getting this from?” She snaps back to you, her face straight and deathly serious. You elect to say nothing, to let the spell take its hold of her. More clumps of the roof fall in, this time a small bar drops down beside her with a clatter, she gasps not of shock but awe. Abandoning her weapon entirely she drives her hands into the small pile of rubble clutching two fistfuls of it, staring with child-like wonder into them.

You feel a faint touch on your arm as one of Alice's strings wraps itself around it. Turning to face her you find your group several feet away from you, still edging towards the elevator, they gesture to the metal men who are still aiming at you but not firing. Must they still be following Yorihime's last order? Turning back you meet eyes with Yorihime. She is lost, utterly entranced in this imaginary gold, her eyes glazed over. Holding her hands up to the roof she begins to laugh as more parts start to drop in. Your party finally makes their move when the very ground begins to split open, the desk slumping down into a small pit. Reaching the elevator in seconds Aya slams her hand repeatedly into the console, apparently to the top level of the building.

“What the fuck did you do!?” Aya practically shouts at you, her voice tenuously quietened. Staring back into the room as the interior elevator doors close you see Yorihime staggering about the centre of the room laughing loudly, her arms still outstretched to the debris falling in all around her. Even as the elevator begins to ascend you can still hear her laughter, growing in fact, even as the metal ceiling collapses in all around her. Her laughter echoes up the building and through the small air ducts you see in the elevator, clashing fiercely against the ever growing roar of the building falling to pieces.

The elevator jolts and groans, the building itself cries out in pain, you feel its monstrous body shake and a huge gout of smoke bursts out from below you. Abruptly the rumbling ceases and is replaced with a roar of destruction as a massive section of the building falls out below you, collapsing and falling away in a neat curve leaving a dent in the side of the building. You can make out little below amidst the smoke other than large silhouetted objects dropping away from the building.

Alice clears her throat and adjusts her mantle a little.

“Well, I think that went quite well” She smugly concurs.

“Yes. Yes it did” You smile quite contently and the group exchanges some thumbs up and relieved laughter. Aya, ironically, is the only one who rolls her eyes; still recovering, apparently, from hyperventilation. Although with the speed she speaks and acts you'd expect her normal breathing to border on hyperventilation anyway.

“So where are we heading to?” Meiling asks, looking over to the console Aya is standing beside still.

“I dunno I just mashed the top button. It's only one above the operations deck anyway” The icon is the same except inside the octagon is a single Lunarian rune. Your team takes time out to relax, the glass has been largely cleared away from the floor so you, Aya, Koakuma and Wriggle sit down whilst Meiling and Alice stand beside the door in a vigil.
>> No. 22589
After a short while the elevator comes to a stop. The lull of rest rudely interrupted by shouting. Alice and Meiling are quick to the jump, bailing out of the elevator as soon as the doors begin to open and forming a wall of dolls they advance. No sooner have you risen to your feet that you hear the first of the loud blasts. The dolls part and Alice's wires launch out to the two hapless rabbit guards, wrapping around their weapons she yanks them free from their hands, dropping them neatly into hers and Meilings waiting hands. The two male rabbits glance to each other in panic before their desperate bid for retreat. Meiling and Alice raise up the weapons like Rinnosuke had before and give the end of the weapon a squeeze, dropping the two guardsmen to the ground. Meiling and Alice smirk to each other, gesturing the rest of you onwards down the corridor.

Before the end of the corridor you pass a room with a large window and an open door. Inside is a very grisly sight, a lot bodies, fresh, slumped across the machines that are lined in three rows in the middle of the room. A faint smell identical to what is made by the weapons the Lunarians carry is abound the air as well. Against the far wall is a large image projected against the back wall, you cannot make out much from the darkness of bodies the individual is surrounded by but that rotten grin is all you need to see to know who it is.

“Suicides,” Aya deduces, glancing into the room as you pass. “Some at least” She adds, pointing out the female rabbit slumped in the corner, her hand still locked on the blade driven into her throat. Many of the others simply have bloodied holes in their backs.

“This has to be it” Alice vocalises what you were already thinking. This room is quite large, like the command room in Asakura's building. It's size is not the only likeness, it is almost identically planned out, a high rise command area with a single machine and a lower section with two doors on the left and right with machines that-

“DUCK!” You shout out, crouching down as a volley of invisible arrows strike out at your team. There is a very quick whizzing noise beside you and a sickening crunch. You turn as you duck to see Koakuma's body silently drop backwards, the back of her head opening up like a rose. She slams into the ground less gracefully than she had fell and stops moving. Those wicked invisible arrows scream through the air striking fire into the roof and machine making a horrible noise as they do. You feel something pushed into you. Alice stares coldly at you, pressing the weapon flat into your chest. Wriggle scurries up to you and grips onto your leg, quaking in terror.

You vainly try to calm yourself. Control your breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Alice. She's moving. Throwing her hand up those grey arcane marks in the air signal your attack. Shouting your order to Wriggle to flood them you swing your body up, resting the Lunarian weapon on your armoured hand you point it down towards the guardsmen. They're scattered loosely out behind the row of machines closest to the far wall. They don't pause for you and continue their barrage. You return fire. Once. Collapsing back you feel blood trickle down into your mouth. You haven't been hit by anything other than your own weapon. Cursing at how much it hurts you're just glad you went down when you did as you spy Meiling breathing in and out very quickly, clutching onto heavily bleeding arm.

“Get up!” Alice shouts down to you both. “You're not done yet!” Her casting is complete and a roar of Danmaku rips from the wall of dolls she had summoned smashing down into the Lunarian lines with a scatter of explosions. Snatching the weapon back up you return to your firing position. The scene below is a lot more chaotic thankfully, their lines are overrun with fire, insects and anyone attempting to flee is blasted back into the chaos by a now active Aya. You push your weapon into your shoulder and crook your head awkwardly. Taking aim at one of the immolated rabbit guardsmen you pull back the trigger and the weapon shoves you backwards, tilting upwards as it does. Looking down you see the same man dabbing off the last of the fire still quite alive. Hurling the weapon away in frustration you lift up your gauntlet and fire down at him, striking him twice his withered husk of a body collapses to the ground. There is a massive strike of flame upon your armour that lasts a second but jolts your arm like a white tiger had just tugged on it. The second barrage launches from the dolls and churns up more of the ground, some of it even collapsing into the room below, a couple of the men dropping in shortly after.

Meiling casts aside her weapon as well and leaps from the command machine down onto the ground below. Aya follows in suit and dives into combat with the guardsmen. You and Alice watch from above as the men retreat back through the door on the left of the room. Aya dashes into them speeding up their inevitable route whilst Meiling flanks them, herding them through the left door. You call out for them to hold together but your voice is lost to them as they intensely concentrate. Wriggle bounds after them as Aya bursts through their line, cutting into one man with her fan and throwing herself into the rabbit leaving by the left door, knocking him through. Meiling flushes them through the door in a charge, striking down the first with a well placed kick and the second with a combination of swift blows to the gut and one to the head.

Behind you is a loud metal clunk. Whirling your bodies around you and Alice find a new opening. A long corridor stretches out, at the end a woman in red and blue stands.

“Eirin!” You both cry out, surging towards her you charge, the woman calmly steps around the corner. A simple trap had never worked so easily before. With clap of thunder a barrier is created. Behind it you see Wriggle pounding on it and clicking wildly. You thank the Gods at least Shanghai is with you. She looks between you and barrier, unsure of what to do.

“Let's go. I'm not going to let her little plan delay us in the slightest. I have bested her before and I shall do it again” Alice marches onwards and you helplessly tag along. The long corridor ends in a smallish elevator, designed for a single person, but big enough for three. You and Alice step on and the elevator rises up to a rather well furbished corridor, blue carpet, white plastered walls, and a wooden door on the opposite end. You glance to each other before bursting into the room.

The room is very neatly laid out, oddly reminiscent of the Scarlet mansion, you cringe at that irony. Eirin's large and very western desk is the centrepiece of the room, covered with open books and empty bottles. To the right is a line of filled book cases and another wooden door. To the left is an obviously well used drinks cabinet, glasses and empty bottles lie scattered about it and there is also a long metal table containing various medical paraphernalia and open books. Eirin beckons you over, pouring three glasses full from an unlabelled bottle of, what you assume is, alcohol. She gestures to the single small seat in front of her.

“I'm sure you have plenty of questions for me, but bear in mind that some of the most pertinent ones you have may also be the most irrelevant”

What do you plan to say or ask? And should anyone take that single seat?
>> No. 22595
Oh no, Koakuma! Well, given that Patchouli's gone, it's probably for the best.

[x]"I trust you know what we're here for."
[x]"Explain. Everything."
[x]We'll stand, thanks.
>> No. 22610
We heard Remilia out. We should give Eirin the time of day too.

[x] Sit down. Drink, once she has done so herself. And put on a big smile, knowing fully how hideous you must look.
[x] "I see things sometimes. Bit and scraps from others' pasts. So if I start wandering mid-conversation, don't be alarmed. I only act on these hallucinations if they are truly compelling."
[x] "A nice pile of corpses out there. Reminds me of the one I woke up in. Your handiwork?"
[x] "Remilia had her sister as an excuse, but how did they rope you of all people into something as absurd and self-destructive as war?"
[x] "You said you were dealing with 'your' problem; how are you doing that exactly? Both Scarlet's and the Lunarians' capacity for war is crippled, but Asakura's monsters roam the countryside, both Yakumo and the Hakurei shrine maiden are missing and presumably dead, the village is in ruins, Reisen is dead, if that means anything to you..."
-[x] If it does, be sure to establish you had no complicity in it, in spite what has attached itself to your hand.
[x] "Asakura mentioned she was trying to power a 'link'; taking a wild guess here, but is this 'link' at all similar to what Patchouli had been trying to establish through her ritual: A path for reinforcements? Or some other way to wage war on a grander scale?"
[x] "I think you can guess as to our personal motives in this..."
-[x] "Meiling wants Sakuya back, broken as she may be."
-[x] "Aya is in it for the scoop, or possibly to protect her mountain."
-[x] "I'm in it for revenge, to a point, although must I admit, disposing of your paper-tiger general just now is going to be hard to top!"
-[x] "Rika is probably a budding sociopath, but it would be too cold of me to say you can just keep her."
-[x] "Wriggle would probably like to stop the progression of her cancer. Maybe that is something you could help her with?"
[x] "As far parties I don't represent..."
-[x] "Remilia, or her ghost, is still looking for Flandre, mistakenly believing it was the Lunarians who first took her from her."
-[x] "Komeiji probably wants her eye back, which I would gladly part with if the process doesn't involve dying."
-[x] "Youmu? Hell if I knew what her problem was!"
[x] "Everyone else I think is dead, leaving... Alice, darling?"

Surely there's some kind of mutually beneficial agreement that can be reached here?

(Ha ha ha.)
>> No. 22612
[x] Sit down. Drink, once she has done so herself. And put on a big smile, knowing fully how hideous you must look.
[x] "I see things sometimes. Bit and scraps from others' pasts. So if I start wandering mid-conversation, don't be alarmed. I only act on these hallucinations if they are truly compelling."
[x] "A nice pile of corpses out there. Reminds me of the one I woke up in. Your handiwork?"
[x] "Remilia had her sister as an excuse, but how did they rope you of all people into something as absurd and self-destructive as war?"
[x] "You said you were dealing with 'your' problem; how are you doing that exactly? Both Scarlet's and the Lunarians' capacity for war is crippled, but Asakura's monsters roam the countryside, both Yakumo and the Hakurei shrine maiden are missing and presumably dead, the village is in ruins, Reisen is dead, if that means anything to you..."
-[x] If it does, be sure to establish you had no complicity in it, in spite what has attached itself to your hand.
[x] "Asakura mentioned she was trying to power a 'link'; taking a wild guess here, but is this 'link' at all similar to what Patchouli had been trying to establish through her ritual: A path for reinforcements? Or some other way to wage war on a grander scale?"
[x] "I think you can guess as to our personal motives in this..."
-[x] "Meiling wants Sakuya back, broken as she may be."
-[x] "Aya is in it for the scoop, or possibly to protect her mountain."
-[x] "I'm in it for revenge, to a point, although must I admit, disposing of your paper-tiger general just now is going to be hard to top!"
-[x] "Rika is probably a budding sociopath, but it would be too cold of me to say you can just keep her."
-[x] "Wriggle would probably like to stop the progression of her cancer. Maybe that is something you could help her with?"
[x] "As far parties I don't represent..."
-[x] "Remilia, or her ghost, is still looking for Flandre, mistakenly believing it was the Lunarians who first took her from her."
-[x] "Komeiji probably wants her eye back, which I would gladly part with if the process doesn't involve dying."
-[x] "Youmu? Hell if I knew what her problem was!"
[x] "Everyone else I think is dead, leaving... Alice, darling?"
>> No. 22614
>[x] "Rika is probably a budding sociopath, but it would be too cold of me to say you can just keep her."

I don't like the way this part sounds. Rika is not an enemy.
>> No. 22615
[X] Sit down. Drink, once she has done so herself. And put on a big smile, knowing fully how hideous you must look.
[X] "I see things sometimes. Bit and scraps from others' pasts. So if I start wandering mid-conversation, don't be alarmed. I only act on these hallucinations if they are truly compelling."
[X] "A nice pile of corpses out there. Reminds me of the one I woke up in. Your handiwork?"
[X] "Remilia had her sister as an excuse, but how did they rope you of all people into something as absurd and self-destructive as war?"
[X] "You said you were dealing with 'your' problem; how are you doing that exactly? Both Scarlet's and the Lunarians' capacity for war is crippled, but Asakura's monsters roam the countryside, both Yakumo and the Hakurei shrine maiden are missing and presumably dead, the village is in ruins, Reisen is dead, if that means anything to you..."
-[X] If it does, be sure to establish you had no complicity in it, in spite what has attached itself to your hand.
[X] "Asakura mentioned she was trying to power a 'link'; taking a wild guess here, but is this 'link' at all similar to what Patchouli had been trying to establish through her ritual: A path for reinforcements? Or some other way to wage war on a grander scale?"
[X] "I think you can guess as to our personal motives in this..."
-[X] "Meiling wants Sakuya back, broken as she may be."
-[X] "Aya is in it for the scoop, or possibly to protect her mountain."
-[X] "I'm in it for revenge, to a point, although must I admit, disposing of your paper-tiger general just now is going to be hard to top!"
-[X] "Rika is probably a budding sociopath, but it would be too cold of me to say you can just keep her."
-[X] "Wriggle would probably like to stop the progression of her cancer. Maybe that is something you could help her with?"
[X] "As far parties I don't represent..."
-[X] "Remilia, or her ghost, is still looking for Flandre, mistakenly believing it was the Lunarians who first took her from her."
-[X] "Komeiji probably wants her eye back, which I would gladly part with if the process doesn't involve dying."
-[X] "Youmu? Hell if I knew what her problem was!"
[X] "Everyone else I think is dead, leaving... Alice, darling?"

Epic write-in is epic.
>> No. 22616
Koa... ;_;
>> No. 22617
>>22610
I kind of like this, but I'm a little worried the others may be getting screwed while we chat away. Hopefully this can be said mostly all in one go.
>> No. 22618
>>22610

IF the Hakurei and/or Yukari are dead chances are there would be no Gensokyo. But nice vote regardless.
>> No. 22631
>I don't like the way this part sounds. Rika is not an enemy.

It's not so much as she's an enemy as that she poses a danger to the few true friends you do have left.

She did leave Reisen to die, shouldering the blame on Wriggle (who as I recall got dragged into a corner by her antennae and beaten for it) and launching into some unintelligible diatribe on justice. This is after we had found her wasting her time torturing Meiling while we ourselves had presumably been in chains. Then, after all that was settled, she shows us how she was torturing Sakuya while we were in traction, for shits & giggles, like it was something she was proud of!

She was also complicit in Asakura's scheming from the get-go. Asakura got what she deserved as far as I'm concerned; maybe if Rinnosuke hadn't died I'd have felt differently, but that goes in line with the protagonist's treatment of other 'enemies': Sakuya was given pardon solely for Meiling's sake. Remilia was given compassion for her sister's sake. As Rika seems to harbor some kind of obsessive, twisted love for the protagonist, she too should be probably be given another chance.

But goddamn if she so much as touches a hair on the head of another person who means anything, there will be dire fucking consequences.

>I kind of like this, but I'm a little worried the others may be getting screwed while we chat away. Hopefully this can be said mostly all in one go.

Meiling and Aya seemed to have the matter well in hand, given how they were last seen herding the rabbits down the building like cattle. Although, given the stacked bodies of the suicides and deserters, Eirin may have already done a good amount of the work for them.

Yorihime it seems really was top-dog here, which presumably meant she took most of her 'metal men' with her, so I doubt this 'trap' is designed so much to kill any of our party as much as it is a desperate attempt to entertain terms on a more level terrain.

>IF the Hakurei and/or Yukari are dead chances are there would be no Gensokyo. But nice vote regardless.

That's why you put it out there. If Eirin has evidence to the contrary, we'd probably like to hear it. Same thing goes with Youmu.

If there's something unresolved in the plot you want to know about, I strongly suggest voicing it now, because apart from a surprise appearance from Yukari or a direct revelation from the writefag, Eirin now is probably the best you're going to get as far as answers are concerned.
>> No. 22633
>>22631

Rika torturing Sakuya and Meiling was somewhat justifiable, especially Sakuya. Despite her withering mental state, I still believe she is a perfectly trustworthy party member.

>Rika seems to harbor some kind of obsessive, twisted love for the protagonist

Did you forget that Rika was the closest thing to a target that this story had?

>she too should be probably be given another chance

She doesn't need a chance, she needs to be helped. Don't forget that she was mentally broken to some degree after Sakuya's torture.

Also, the vote has the protagonist referring to Rika in a rather harsh way. I feel it's out of character because not once has he been that cold towards her.
>> No. 22640
[x] Sit down. Drink, once she has done so herself. And put on a big smile, knowing fully how hideous you must look.
[x] "I see things sometimes. Bit and scraps from others' pasts. So if I start wandering mid-conversation, don't be alarmed. I only act on these hallucinations if they are truly compelling."
[x] "A nice pile of corpses out there. Reminds me of the one I woke up in. Your handiwork?"
[x] "Remilia had her sister as an excuse, but how did they rope you of all people into something as absurd and self-destructive as war?"
[x] "You said you were dealing with 'your' problem; how are you doing that exactly? Both Scarlet's and the Lunarians' capacity for war is crippled, but Asakura's monsters roam the countryside, both Yakumo and the Hakurei shrine maiden are missing and presumably dead, the village is in ruins, Reisen is dead, if that means anything to you..."
-[x] If it does, be sure to establish you had no complicity in it, in spite what has attached itself to your hand.
[x] "Asakura mentioned she was trying to power a 'link'; taking a wild guess here, but is this 'link' at all similar to what Patchouli had been trying to establish through her ritual: A path for reinforcements? Or some other way to wage war on a grander scale?"
[x] "I think you can guess as to our personal motives in this..."
-[x] "Meiling wants Sakuya back, broken as she may be."
-[x] "Aya is in it for the scoop, or possibly to protect her mountain."
-[x] "I'm in it for revenge, to a point, although must I admit, disposing of your paper-tiger general just now is going to be hard to top!"
-[x] "Rika is in it for the curiosity of things, for better or for worse."
-[x] "Wriggle would probably like to stop the progression of her cancer. Maybe that is something you could help her with?"
[x] "As far parties I don't represent..."
-[x] "Remilia, or her ghost, is still looking for Flandre, mistakenly believing it was the Lunarians who first took her from her."
-[x] "Komeiji probably wants her eye back, which I would gladly part with if the process doesn't involve dying."
-[x] "Youmu? Hell if I knew what her problem was!"
[x] "Everyone else I think is dead, leaving... Alice, darling?"

I wonder if this sounds better.
>> No. 22646
You and Alice look to each other for a brief while before she glances back towards the desk, you assume she's prepared to talk so you step towards it, she follows and joins you by the seat, standing to your side when you sit. Eirin's calm façade lessens and she smiles, rising one of the glasses to you. You nervously take one for yourself and raise your glass to hers.

“What to?” You ask, regarding the toast.

“The future” She smiles deeply and draws the glass to her lips knocking the drink back in on. You linger, in case she suddenly drops dead, satisfied that she at least isn't trying to kill you all in a cult fashion you bring the glass to your own lips. You fingers clasp at air as Alice snatches the glass from your hand and knocks it back.

“Yes. It's not poison.” Eirin jeers after waiting a short while. “I can see how you've survived so long.” She adds, pouring another glass for herself. You snatch up the third glass and knock it back. Rinnosuke... Whilst the taste is the same it leaves a very bitter after taste.

“How I've survived so far is partially due to my visions. Bit's and scraps from other's pasts.” Noting Eirin's serious expression returning you decide to push it a bit further. “So if I start wandering mid-conversation, don't be alarmed. I only act on these hallucinations if they're truly compelling” You put on a huge grin and Eirin looks to the bottle she'd been pouring for everyone.

“I was certain I had not poisoned this...” She sarcastically remarks. “Or are you just another one of those human drug induced 'spiritualists'?” You twinge a little at the insult.

“I could try and devour some of your secrets if you wish to test me”

“I fear your little mind could never comprehend what is inside mine, let alone correlate it and form concepts from it. But I doubt we're here to trade insults. You've come so far and destroyed so much. What exactly are you trying to accomplish?” You open your mouth but she cuts you off, adding: “Please bear in mind that I already have my theories and opinions of you and your entourage” Gods this woman is vexing.

“As have I of you; those bodies out there, your handiwork? It rather reminds me of the pyre I woke up in.”

“Which bodies?” She answers in the most dead pan and cold voice you've heard since you last spoke to Sakuya. It's shockingly similar. Come to think of it, Sakuya has unusual silver hair too. “Not that it matters, every death here is easily drawn back to me”

“We are not here for your tears and petty excuses” Alice bluntly stabs at Eirin.

“No we're not,” You join in “Remilia had her sister as an excuse, but did they rope you into something as absurd and self destructive as war?”

Eirin cocks a brow and leans back a little on her chair, resting her folded her arms across her ample chest. “Implied I was an advocate of this war? The only combat I was interested in was battling the damage that moron of an 'intellectual' at the scarlet mansion caused and of course killing anything that would threaten this building. I'm a doctor. That still has some weight to my decisions.” She adds as a stress of point.

“Yes about that; 'your' problems. What could they possibly be? Both Scarlet's and the Lunarians' capacity for war is crippled, Asakura's monsters roam the countryside, both Yakumo and the Hakurei shrine maiden are missing and presumably dead, the village is in ruins, Reisen is dead, if that means anything to you.” She opened her mouth when you mentioned Asakura but otherwise stays silent throughout the list before she calmly states;

“None of those are 'my' problems, nor are they problems I have any vested interest in. As for Reisen ... I had thought she was dead a long time ago.” A slight cringe crosses her face. “My regrets are that I was, once again, ignorant and unaware.” She chokes a little, reaching for the bottle. “I could of used her help...” She skips on the glass and draws the bottle to her lips tipping it back. You try in vain to somehow conceal the hideous thing attached to your arm.

“Asakura had mentioned something called The Link” You decide to move this conversation on. “I had assumed that this was something akin to Patchouli's ritual, but if you're trying to fix that then, what is the Link? Some other way to wage war on a grander scale?”

“Tch. Comparing the beauty of The Link to some archaic contraption of death and chaos.” She glares at you very sternly. “I could see your miss understanding though. Assuming this place was run by Lunarians.”

“Well it's clearly not built from bamboo so the Lunarians must have had something to do with it” Alice remarks

“Yes. I said they never ran it, not that they never built it. I was given a temporary full pardon from the Lunarian courts when I presented them with the problems Gensokyo was facing and the possible solution to it. They then set about building this place and put me in provisional charge, I just had to answer to their hound, and my student, Yorihime.”

“Wait, what? Yorihime was your student? She's a violent murderous woman with an incredible contempt for life, how was she ever a doctor!?” Unbelievable, the woman who had lead this genocide was once a doctor?

“No.” Eirin replies in a matter-of-fact tone. “She was a poor student. I'd never of made her a doctor. She hated me for that. So she went her own way to become a genius. War.” Eirin spits out the last word. “She probably did it to spite me” She adds in melancholy.

“We've spoken for a while now and neither of us have answered each others questions” Alice says with an amused grin.

“We're good at it, aren't we?” Eirin returns the grin. Just how long have these two known each other?

“Well we're your guests, why don't you start?” You retort.

“Very well. I shall show you.” She rises from her seat and heads over to her mini lab in the corner, picking up a small box and an apple. Returning to her desk she closes up some of her books and pushes them aside to make room for her box and apple. “At the beginning of this year I was involved in a little incident” Eirin looks up to Alice and grins a little. “Yes. That one. You see, I have had a rather large falling out with the Lunarian people, I shan't bore you with the details but suffice to say I abandoned my people for the sake of a single princess. At first the Lunarians were angry, they fiercely debated how I should be punished. There was even talk of my death, although few were bold enough to openly demand my execution. While they argued I had time to plan. After nearly a month of study into the very nature of Gensokyo I devised a devilishly clever plan to thwart the idiots back on Luna. This may be hard for you to understand, yes even you Alice,” She adds, turning to grin again at Alice, who dusts off with a scoff of indignation. “But I decided to seal the world away in a metaphysical box.” She lifts up the apple and plops it into the little box and folds the lid over. You scratch the back of your neck in thought of just how in the hells this could possible work, or even make sense at the most fundamental of levels.

“You hid Gensokyo?” You vaguely deduce.

“Yes!” Eirin lights up with a spark of delight. “Very good, you win a star! Only three hundred and ninety nine billion of them left to go.” She adds snidely and with a crooked grin. “Yes, I hid Gensokyo from our pursuers. It worked. They gave up the hunt and left us alone. I was in exalted happiness, not only had to deceived those idiots but I had bent the very fabrics of this world to my whim to do so. This place, Gensokyo, is literally a playground for manipulation and scientific pursuit.”

“This world was not built for your amusement” Alice speaks after a long bout of silence, evidently quite moved by Eirin's tactless description of this place.
>> No. 22647
“No, it was built for Yukari's, not mine, but of course you already know that. You helped her ruin everything” While her words are heavy she still retains a tone of indifference, almost nostalgia. She turns back to you. “You see, the creators and rulers of this place had taken a sour displeasure to my activities and presence.”

“You stole our sun!” Alice snaps at Eirin, her anger rising and demeanour breaking.

“Ah. A side effect, I had apologised. If you'd of just asked me I'd of fixed it or found some alternative.” She turns back to you again, this time making a point of blanking out Alice. “However they, wrongfully, decided action would weigh heavier than words on me and decided to assault our home. Naturally I panicked, actually believing that my plan had failed and we were under assault by Lunarian assassins, I despatched my aides to stop them but to no avail. By the time I realised that they were not who I thought they were they were enraged and hell bent on stopping us, no matter the cost. I had to defend myself.” She gestures down to the box. “Now. Inside this box is an apple. This apple is Gensokyo. The box is, obviously, hiding the apple. I want you to reveal the apple to me” She pushes the box towards you. Dumbly you stare at it, surely this is some kind of trick question. You decide to play along anyway, not having much of a choice. You carefully slip open the lid and draw out the apple by the stalk, placing it down beside the box.

“Good! Another star for you.” She smiles and puts the apple back in the box. “Allow me to demonstrate how the shrine maiden and her companions did it.” She pulls the box a little closer to her and abruptly slams her fist down into the table, exploding the apple over you and crushing the box flat, bursting it open. Both you and Alice flinch. Eirin drags her fist slowly towards herself, smearing apple and crushed cardboard over the table. She flicks out a small cloth from a drawer and wipes her hand on it, tossing it aside when she is finished.

“Perhaps you now understand a little better the true gravity of the situation. This is not something you can fight with might or intellect, nor is it something that can be reasoned with. Do you understand why I don't care for this pointless war now?” You and Alice nod, Alice seems as notably disturbed as you are, evidently this is news to her as well. “Now to the crux of the matter; The Link. The Link is what I designed to repair the damage you caused-”

“Us?” Alice snarls at Eirin.

“...We” She begrudgingly corrects herself. “The damage we caused. The damage itself is hard to explain, the best way to put is that there are rather large holes in the fabric of Gensokyo. It has been bleeding out its magical essence ever since that incident. I regretfully only noticed and developed this plan a month or so ago. By then the damage was extensive, but not irreparable. Essentially what The Link does is sew shut the holes using the raw magical ether of the soul.” Eirin stops, grimacing. “Or at least, I found that out. Originally I had designed it to run off the mental fortitude of the person, essentially the pure conciousness we all have.” She picks up a pencil and scribbles down an image of stick man with three lines coming out of his head. Above the first she writes the word 'Body' on the second 'Mind' and the third 'Soul'.

“Originally I had planned for it to draw power off the Mind. But it doesn't, in fact it doesn't even recognise the Mind. It was supposed to draw off the Mind first, then the Soul and then the Body. What it actually did was to completely skip the Mind and head straight for the Soul. At first I had not thought this as much of a problem. If for one lethal flaw. My Hourai elixier. The Hourai elixir essentially merges the Soul with the Body, creating an ever present bastard body. Are you still with me?”

This is quite a bit to follow but you nod your head all the same.

“Well then you should understand the implications of putting my Hourai-immortal princess Kaguya in the machine as a test subject. The machine skipped her Mind, but could not find her Soul, so it attacked her Body. Immortality to a human, what does that mean to you? That you can survive lethal lacerations, burn wounds and complete destruction of the body through trauma?”

Again, you're not too sure on the terminology but you get she's talking about the most brutal of deaths.

“The machine doesn't 'kill' you. It destroys you. Completely, utterly and totally irreversibly. That machine tore my beautiful princess to pieces. It pulled her body apart and consumed it down to the last nanoangstrom.” Eirin hisses, self loathing swelling within her. “That was two weeks ago. I can count the hours I have slept since then on one hand.” The long silence that follows is excruciatingly painful. Alice mumbles something which catches Eirin's ire and your own attention.

“I...” Alice stumbles a little with her words, speaking quietly. “I'm very sorry to hear that. I feel to blame.” She hangs her head very plaintively. “I'm sorry” She ever so quietly whispers. Shanghai finally makes her presence known, drifting from your side up to Alice she gently rests on her shoulder, patting her. Without looking Alice holds her hand over to Shanghai and gently strokes her hair with her index finger. Is... is Alice copying you? Alice turns and smiles to Shanghai.

“How about we tell you about us?” You smile hopefully.

“That would be pleasant” Eirin leans back in her chair letting some of the tension flow out of her.

“Well, I was here to find the ones responsible for the massacre of my village and everyone else. That's changed however. In fact I fear that there might be nobody left to blame. Disposing of that paper-tiger general was probably the last rotten apple. In a sea of foetid water, regretfully. I also want my friend back, Rika, Meiling and Alice are also here for friends.” Eirin's expression ever so slightly shifts from wallowing to pity.

“Rika and Sakuya, who Meiling is undoubtedly here for, are no longer with us” She bows her head in apology. No longer with us? What the hell does she mean by that?!

“Wh-What!? What do you mean? Are they dead!?” You raise your voice and almost yourself from the chair. Eirin holds her hand up, telling you you to calm.
“No. Not let at least. They are both currently on board the INS Night Unbroken, en route to Luna. Sakuya will be summarily executed, likely in public.” Eirin studies your unflinching expression for a moment. “Rika will not suffer that fate, in fact, she will be treated to quite the opposite. She's going to be hailed as a war hero.”

What.

“What.” You splutter out in disgust and stupefaction. Eirin nods slowly.

“Do not dwell on it, there is nothing we can do to stop it now. Don't worry. You might get an honourary mention. Respect for the dead and the such. I cannot speak for you both but I'd rather be forgotten than to be remembered and praised by blind idiots”

“How are they going to spin it?” You have to ask.

“It's not like I care, but I heard Yorihime giving a small brief on how Rika and a crack team of Lunarians destroyed the scarlet mansion and single-handedly thwarted their evil plans. Or something asinine like that” You want to claw your own brain out after hearing this drivel. A liar to the very bloody core and now a traitor. You clench your fists tightly and try to pass this by. It's not working.

“I did say not to linger on it, do go on, I know you have other members in your team. Tell me about them”

“You mean like Koakuma? The one you had shot?” You snap this time. Eirin looks a little downcast.

“I was defending myself. I thought you were here to destroy my machine. I am sorry.” You sigh.
>> No. 22648
“Yeah, I can understand, I find it hard to forgive. Wriggle however, needs your help. Asakura had told me she has some lethal dise-”

“She does not.” Eirin cuts you off. “The creature that follows you is fine, physically, I cannot say the same for it's mental health. It is likely it is heavily brain damaged. There is nothing I can cure.”

“Then I guess there is Aya. I'm not exactly sure of her real reasons for joining us, other than chronicling our struggle, she does help though, she's not exactly useless. She saved my life actually, I still need to thank her.”

“Aya? Caring for others?” Eirin chuckles softly. “No, I jest, she was always kind at heart” She smiles warmly to herself. You finally turn to face Alice.

“Everyone else I've encountered is dead, leaving... Alice, darling?” Smiling, you cue her in. She looks over to you and a flicker of shocking embarrassment shoots across her face before she turns her attention back to Eirin. Eirin breaks out into a large genuine smile.

“So does love really bloom on the battlefield?” Eirin giggles smugly at Alice.

“He was just being his usual stupid self, right?” She glares at you, her embarrassment still clearly showing through. You grin and say nothing. She rolls her eyes.

“I am here for Marisa. I know she is still alive, so where is she?”

“Yes, you are quite right” Eirin nods “I suppose this would be a good enough time to move on to The Link itself. After my first failure I decided to reach out to others for help. Reimu and Marisa unsurprisingly answered my cause when I started throwing words around like 'incident' and 'money'. Unfortunately the war got to them before they got to me. In fact I had started it less than an hour before they were due to arrive.” What did she just say? You and Alice both blink and lean in as if to say, 'I didn't quite hear that, mind saying it again?' Eirin smiles and nods.

“Yes. I started the war. If you can blame someone who cuts the last thread holding an old rotten bridge up then you are free to blame me.”

“Actually, I do” You bluntly speak. “You cannot deny responsibility, saying it was 'about to happen' or 'it was inevitable' is irrelevant. What about our lives? Most of us are destined to die, what does that make us in your eyes? You said you were a doctor! You're supposed to care!” Eirin is visibly struck, she averts her eyes from your gaze.

“Hmph, that's what the Yama said. Look, the tensions were already high. The Scarlet Devil was already blaming us for stealing Flandre before she'd even showed up here. Remilia was also building an army even before we had even landed any soldiers here.” Flandre fled from the Scarlet Mansion... To here? Why?

“Flandre showed up here? Why?” You pry.

“I was getting to that. I don't know though. She must of gotten lost. It didn't matter. We had within our hands the very apex of the scarlet armies destructive power.” Eirin fills up another glass and offers you one. You decline. “I did what I had to do to protect this place. She was delirious and constantly crying. I lead her up here and put her in The Link with little protest from her. I think she just wanted to go to bed.” Eirin knocks back her second glass. “Turns out my theory was right about Vampires. They really don't have a soul.” She slumps back into her chair. “In answer to your question, Marisa is here. So is Reimu. Marisa was wounded and I patched her up. Determination got the better of me though, with someone with such raw power as Kirisame, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. There was no reason for anything to go wrong. For once I was right. I put Marisa in The Link and the machine began to finally work, slowly repairing the damage to this world. That's when Reimu found out. I was never going to risk a fight inside the very chamber of The Link so I told her I'd remove Marisa. I had one of the guards shoot her on the way out. I patched her up and put her in The Link as well. Productivity sky-rocketed; it was actively repairing the damage, almost on par with the holes spreading.”

“This is a lot to take in” Alice speaks up in the lull of the talk. “But I understand. This was all necessary. I think that frustrates me more”

“I understand how you feel, I am not happy with how things went, you can believe that or not, but I cannot argue with results. The bottom line is that they're both alive and healthy. I suppose the inevitable question is, 'Can I remove them?' A simple answer would be to say 'No' but I'm assuming you'd never accept that would you, Alice?”

She shakes her head before adding; “I do not see an alternative”

“You don't?” Eirin emphasises her surprise. “Come now, Alice, I would of thought it obvious. I cannot remove someone, no, but I can swap them or add you to them. Why do you think I thought you came here? I knew you wanted her and I'd be willing to swap either one or put you let you join them in their rest. In fact, if you joined them, we may see this place restored in no time.” Both you and Alice perk up at this prospect.

“Yes, that got you, didn't it?” Eirin grins “Why do you think I stopped to speak with you both? Those guards were never meant to kill you, just distract you all enough for me to steal one or two of you away in a, admittedly, desperate attempt in reasoning. I'm glad it paid off. Thank you” She bows her head gracefully and smiles. “Come, I'll solidify this deal, allow me to show you it.” She raises up and heads over to the door on the right, beckoning you to follow.

The door leads into a small elevator, after waiting for you two to enter she presses the single silver button set into a gold plaque. Even the elevator even has gaudy carpet in it like her office.

The elevator chimes, announcing it's arrival into a very dark room, illuminated by the green lighting coming from pods linked up to a central machine. The machine is designed like the spokes of a wheel, the pods stuck in circle around the central pillar of the machine, their lids made of a green glass, or so you think, it's hard to tell whether it's just the light inside. Alice rushes over to the closest of the pods, in which resides Marisa. She presses her face close to the glass and whispers to her.

“Marisa? Marisa? Can you hear me? I'm so glad to see you at last! It took me long enough didn't it?” She giggles softly to herself “I'll be with you real soon, okay? Oh geez, I'm blushing already. I'm just so excited. Sorry” She continues like this, babbling on to the unconscious girl. Eirin was right though, Marisa does look quite content in her sleep, not in pain at all. You peer over to Reimu and see much of the same. You cringe a little at the bandage across her stomach though. Eirin pats you gently on the shoulder, obviously noticing where you were looking. “Sorry you had to see her like this” She whispers. You wave it off with a smile, she did the right thing in the end, even if she did have to be convinced with a bullet. You chuckle to yourself, Eirin, unable to read your thoughts regards you queerly for a moment.

“All right. I'll let you have your moments but I need to prepare. What do you want to do?” You shrug a little.

“Give Alice a bit longer. I think she's already made her decision in case you haven't heard her already” You both chuckle, Alice doesn't even hear you both. It's so surreal to see Alice like this, you think of pointing it out but opt not to, for fear of Alice overhearing. “I do have one question though.” Eirin raises her brows. Hm? “Well, if Reimu and Marisa were almost enough why didn't you just plug yourself in? I'm a little apprehensive about how you've never tried the machine for yourself” You add with a nervous laugh. Eirin smiles a little and pats you on your head.
>> No. 22649
“I should deduct a star for that question. How am I supposed to put myself in? Only I know the functioning of this machine. Why do you think I am still alive? The Lunarians would of executed me should they ever of discovered my secrets. I'd teach you, but it would take many years and you may not even ever understand it. Alice might though. It still would take many years though. Sadly we don't have the time.”

“What about Shanghai? Could she go into the machine too?” Eirin studies the doll, humming to herself.

“It depends, I'd have to study her. I don't believe she has a soul. I certainly wouldn't want to risk it” Eirin affectionately rubs her little finger under Shanghai's chin. “I could still use an assistant though. Up for it?” She smiles to the little doll, it turns and looks between you and Eirin.

“You probably should Shanghai, I don't think you have a choice” You grin, although you're sad that it is quite true. “You ready to help Aunty Eirin?” Shanghai curtseys and floats over to Eirin by her head.

“Rub my age in, why don't you?” Eirin pouts. You don't even know her age, just how old is she anyway? “Anyway, let's go. What do you want to do? Remember I only really need one of you. But two will get the job done in a fraction of the time. Oh and I'm not taking Reimu out there. Sorry. She'd cause too much hassle and I'd probably never see her again if she left in rage. Too much risk. I'd rather she stay in there until all of this done so she can have her little strop then.”

Well. This is it. The final choice. The culmination of all your work, and you might end up sleeping through it. You laugh inwardly. Eirin was right, the future is bright. For the past and to the future. This is what it is to live.

[ ] Take a pod. Tell Alice to stay out.
[ ] Let Alice take a pod. Stay out yourself
[ ] Take Marisa's pod. Allow Alice to stay out
[ ] Suggest to Alice to take Marisa's pod
[ ] Both you and Alice take individual pods.
[x] Any further questions you wish to ask Eirin.

---

So I lied. When I said you were 1/4 of the way to finish I actually meant 'one or two posts away from the finish' Didn't exactly want to just come out with that at the time. I've already highlighted the last option because I'm going to allow you to blitz Eirin with any last questions you might have regarding the new info. Other than that, this really is the last vote. This journey is coming to an end, but I'll save all of this until the final post. Oh and unless you haven't guessed, there is no write in for this. This is the 'ending' I had mentioned at the very start, and as the protagonist had mentioned; the culmination of all of your(his?) work. I don't have much more to say for now, enjoy!
>> No. 22650
I'm not completely understanding this.

Even with everything completely restored it's impossible to be removed from the machine?
>> No. 22653
>>22650

It sounds really fishy to me. Sure, Eirin seems like she's always had the future in mind but something about this smells of possible sabotage. I have a sinking suspicion that if we both got in the pods that she'd kill us off somehow while we're trying to do whatever it is she wants us to do.

Of course that is just my rampant paranoia speaking. She could be on the level and truly want to fix all this.
>> No. 22654
>“...We” She begrudgingly corrects herself. “The damage we caused. The damage itself is hard to explain, the best way to put is that there are rather large holes in the fabric of Gensokyo. It has been bleeding out its magical essence ever since that incident. I regretfully only noticed and developed this plan a month or so ago. By then the damage was extensive, but not irreparable. Essentially what The Link does is sew shut the holes using the raw magical ether of the soul.” Eirin stops, grimacing. “Or at least, I found that out. Originally I had designed it to run off the mental fortitude of the person, essentially the pure conciousness we all have.” She picks up a pencil and scribbles down an image of stick man with three lines coming out of his head. Above the first she writes the word 'Body' on the second 'Mind' and the third 'Soul'.

We've seen the damage ourselves. At the shrine.

>A cold blast of air hits your body and you are jolted awake. All around you snow falls and you look down the mountain and across the entire of Gensokyo, which now seems to have frozen over, the fires doused and the whole world rests in an icy tomb. You feel a feral and primal terror grip you as you slowly begin to turn. Your mind is assaulted by fear, distress and a horrid feeling that the very nature of this world is being toyed with. The hairs on the back of your neck stand up rigid as you begin to face whatever it is behind you. Your heart immediately switches to an overdrive and with little regard to the weather you begin to heavily perspire, perceiving through the mind of a third person medium, its thoughts planted directly into your head and it tells you that something is so very wrong with this place. You see the very fabric of time and space laid out before you yet as you regard the mound of rubble that has buried the Hakurei shrine you see a deep and black hole in this fabric. You can’t look away. This is impossible. Such things cannot be. Wrong. No. Impossible. No. Not right. No. No. I can’t look away. I can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. Please. Please Stop. Pleasepleasepleaseplease …

[x] "I've seen what you're talking about, near the shrine. Horror beyond description. But what makes you think Reimu is better served as a living battery for your machine, rather than in fulfilling her hereditary duty of upholding the border as a shrine maiden? Gensokyo has been a self-contained environment for longer than you've been here; she should have the training to restore the barrier."

[x] Ask Eirin about that gigantic eye in Satori's lab was filled with power, which Asakura herself claimed could power the link. There were even corresponding printouts using it this way. If Komeiji could be convinced to part with it, as in trade for her own eye--attached to your chest--or if it were taken by force then the machine might not even need any of your friends to power it.
-[x] There's legions of monsters down there, but they have to be dealt with eventually, and if Reimu and Marisa were unsealed to bolster our ranks, it could be done. It's what they're best at, after all.
-[x] Secondly, the vial which we found in the compound along with your ID, presumably for the purpose of making whatever was going to power the Link immortal... If you drank that, it wouldn't matter how many waves of youkai were sent against you, would it?

[x] "Am I correct in assuming what happened to Flandre was the same as had happened to your princess?"

[x] "If Sakuya and Rika are still in transit, can't you send out some emergency distress signal to the INS Night Unbroken? Commander Yorihime has been killed in action, and security of this installation has been compromised; you need immediate reinforcements to re-secure this facility. Blame it on the youkai infestation. It's mostly truth."
-[x] "Hell, you'd even want to request the great 'war hero' Rika's ship specifically--who else would be more familiar with the terrain and the enemy."
-[x] "While the Lunarian troops are busy cleaning house, Meiling can infiltrate and recover what is dear to her. Rika, too."

Ultimately,
[x] Suggest to Alice to take Marisa's pod

This way at least we'll know if people put in the machine can truly be reanimated. Besides, I still have the hope that the protagonist might go out in a blaze of glory.
>> No. 22655
>It sounds really fishy to me. Sure, Eirin seems like she's always had the future in mind but something about this smells of possible sabotage. I have a sinking suspicion that if we both got in the pods that she'd kill us off somehow while we're trying to do whatever it is she wants us to do.

Or Kaguya wasn't actually killed by the machine, but rather Eirin needs someone to take her place.

Or the Lunarians still have the Princess in their clutches and are extorting Eirin.

I assume that with the eye now, however, the protagonist can detect deceptions, which explains why here's no option provided that involves going against her.
>> No. 22661
[x] >>22654

But I don't quite feel right letting Alice get in there.
>> No. 22662
>>22661

Alice was doing something weird when we first met her, right?

I hope it wasn't something that messed with her soul.
>> No. 22663
Alice could have a bad soul, and only humans have been able to use the machine unharmed.
so this:
>>22654

but [x]Take Marisa's pod, Alice stays outside.
[x]Wait till Marisa is reanimated to take her place.
>> No. 22665
[X] Take Marisa's pod, Alice stays outside.
[X] If Eirin gets the chance, have her apologize to Rika for us.

Rika got pretty fucked over. Taken away from her friends and being forced to live a lie.
>> No. 22668
I don't know what to choose.
>> No. 22680
>>22665

Her friends are almost all dead, some at the hands of creature she and Rikako were working on, others at the hands of each other.

And it's not really a lie, since she did take part in the battle that finally crippled the SDM.
>> No. 22707
[x] >>22654
>> No. 22772
File 125789983796.jpg - (62.73KB , 640x300 , nine nines.jpg ) [iqdb]
22772
Whoops, sorry for the delay I hadn't realised >>22661 had voted

Dohoho~ aren't I retarded?

Getting to work now. Sorry for the unnecessary delay.
>> No. 22774
>>22772

If the word 'hooray' could carry the heart-heavy sentiments of one advancing toward their own impending doom and ruination, then, "Hooray!"

I admit it's been a hell of a trip.
>> No. 22778
Gentlemen.

[x]Suggest to Alice to take Marisa's pod

“Before I make my decision, I wish to ask a few questions” Eirin shrugs lightly in indifference and gestures for you to go ahead, moving over towards the machine by herself.

“Well, first, I'd like to ask you about something I saw at the summit of the Hakurei mountain. Or rather what I didn't see. It's impossible to explain, it was horror beyond description.”

“Then that's all you need to say” Eirin interrupts “No eyes can comprehend it. What you saw there was a hole in the Hakurei barrier as a result of the wounds to Gensokyo”

“Well don't you think Reimu would be better out of that machine and fixing the barrier? Gensokyo has been a self-contained environment for longer than you've been here; she should have the training to restore the barrier.”

“What is the sense in repairing the walls of a castle if the keep is already aflame? The barrier is part of the problem, but not the core. Besides, in fixing the gaps in Gensokyo fabric might just fix the barrier itself. If not,” She shrugs, quite carefree. “Then we'll just send Reimu out to fix it when our job here is done”

You're not entirely content with the explanation but the 'no' is pretty clear. You have another idea, producing the piece of paper detailing Asakura's eye-machine you show it to Eirin.

“I saw this machine, in Asakura's lab.” Eirin snatches the paper, eyeing it with scrutiny. “She was attempting to gain some kind of power off it, enough to power this machine. Do you think it would work?” You sound hopeful, but going back there for it might be a bit of an issue. Eirin sighs after studying for a while, shaking her head and tossing the paper to the floor.

“Even if we could get back there there's no way I'd willingly hook that thing into my machine. I highly doubt the likelihood of that thing having a soul.” Hm. She seems adamant about doing things 'her way'.

"Am I correct in assuming what happened to Flandre was the same as had happened to your princess?" Eirin scowls in reply before answering yes, now completely turning away from you and back to the machine she begins to work on one of the empty pods, fiddling about with it's innards.

"If Sakuya and Rika are still in transit, can't you send out some emergency distress signal to the INS Night Unbroken? Commander Yorihime has been killed in action, and security of this installation has been compromised; you need immediate reinforcements to re-secure this facility. Blame it on the youkai infestation. It's mostly truth." Eirin chuckles dryly.

“You have a strong spirit, I have to admire you, human.” She laughs a little louder this time, leaning further into the machine. “They're never coming back, you hear? The war is over. They won. Even if my communication staff were about to operate the comms room they'd only blank our signal. They certainly wouldn't care about Yorihimes demise or even blink about the loss of this base. Yorihime chose to stay behind. She knew this war was not over. She wanted to protect The Link with me. She wanted to help.” You feel an ever so faint twinge of guilt. Yorhime, no matter how vicious, was, in the end, only in this to help Eirin?

“You two hated each other, why did she stay behind?” Alice asks, braking away from her sweet talk with Marisa.


“Because, believe it or not, there are some matters which go beyond personal interest. Yorihime was not about to abandon this world to it's fate. Though I fear her zeal may of brought about her own undoing” May of? You try your best not to scoff, it's quite hard.

“Alice. Now that you're done I have one last thing to ask of you” Alice regards you with a slight flicker of caution before asking what. “I want you to take Marisa's place”

“No” She unflinchingly responds. Eirin removes herself from one of the machines, quite shocked.

“Alice I need to know whether people can be brought back out from the machine”

“What!?” Both Alice and Eirin cry out.

“Is that what I am to you? A pawn?” You are quick to restrain yourself from retaliating to Alice's double standards.

“And after all I've said to you, you still think of me like that?” You can't tell if Eirin is faking that hurt look and voice, or if she genuinely means it.

“Look, sorry, I just-” Eirin and Alice freeze up and you spin on your heels as the doors behind you are flung open. Aya has made herself known.

“Right! Where's that old bitch?!” She stomps a few steps into the room, eyeing the place. “Eh? After all this ya' havin' a tea party? You're both quick to change sides aren't ya?” She cocks a crooked grin to you and Alice.

“We've had a revelation” You reply grimly, grinning lazily at the same time. It puts a halt to Aya, she nervously takes a step back.

“Shut up, you” Eirin bumps past you “Aya. I'm sorry for what happened out there I had no idea you were not here to kill me” Aya tilts her head a little, looking back to you and Alice.

“We aren't? Meiling wouldn't shut up about how she-” Aya stops as the bell announcing the arrival of the elevator is struck. Aya turns, her eyes growing wide. “NO!” She barely manages to get out as Meiling tears past her in but a few steps, her fist held high and crackling with a bright light. You think you hear Eirin say something, drown out in Meiling's primal roar of hatred. Eirin is thrown over you, the heavy impact behind you ringing out in the room. You and Alice go against all survival instinct, violently struck into stupefaction you turn towards to where Eirin had landed; the machine. The destruction is obvious and widespread, the main bulk of the machine is distended and broken, burst outwards from Eirin's impact. Eirin twists as she drops, you and Alice stare on in horror, unable to act, paralysed with shock. The cacophony of shattering glass silences all. Eirin slumps off Marisa's casket writhing limply on the floor. The effect is instant, Marisa surges up from the pod gasping out, clawing out at thin-air. The building shudders, the lights flickering and the very world lets out an aged groan. Marisa lies limp, unmoving, totally still. Like death.

The silence is broken by the fast clunking of Meiling heading towards Eirin. With a cold glare enough to turn the Gods to ice Alice strikes out her hand, a writhing mass of wires shoot out from her skin. Whirling about she strikes Meiling, tightly binding the wires around her, dropping her to the ground.

“STOP! STOP!” Aya screams out in desperation, waving her hands at Alice and Meiling.

Lifting Meiling up into the air the girl screams and pushes on her bindings, her efforts are rewarded with agony as the wires saw into her flesh.

“Green Snake.” Alice snarls, all trace of her former human self lost. “I should of took you apart when I first laid eyes upon you”

“THEN TRY IT!” Meiling wrenches her arm free from the close bindings, shredding her arm to ribbons she flings out a fan of blades. Alice jerks back, unable to block them in time several of them strike her. Swinging her arm down at full force she brutalises Meiling into the ground, the floor shatters and the metal plating bends upwards. Aya darts into the fray, joined with Wriggle, swinging her fan up she slices through some of the wires, freeing Meiling from half of the grip. Alice is quick to respond, launching an assault of drone dolls crashing into the ground where Aya stood an instant ago.
>> No. 22779
Your mind finally catches up with you and you lurch towards Alice in an attempt to pin and stop her from causing any more damage to this room. Shanghai struggles to pull you backwards and it is only when you reach Alice you find why; Aya has changed direction and is heading for you. Is she...? Oh Gods NO! Aya turns towards you at the last second, seeing you moving, she must of thought you were heading to defend Alice? All these pointless thoughts leave your mind upon the moment of impact. It feels as if the full might of an Oni had struck you. The air around you feels so cold and your mouth is overflowing with a bitter taste. You need to rest, now. Collapsing down beside Eirin you land against the spare pod she had been working on. Your head is spinning and your chest feels incredibly tight, like it's on fire. Your vision is becoming a little blurry too, Shanghai is here with you too. Tenderly touching your chest you feel it sink faintly cracking. Turning slowly back to the fight you see Wriggle atop of Aya, biting into her, viciously assaulting the tengu with her claws and mandibles. Alice takes a few cautious steps to the side, you see she's missing her spare arm, the other still holds up a struggling Meiling. Scattered about her torso are the brightly coloured blades Meiling had thrown, still in place. With one flick of the wrist she swings Meiling at breakneck speed into the other two; driving them into the far side of the machine. That begins the first of the explosions, the machine starts to tear itself apart, fire and great flares of light spray from the machine and the lights fail temporarily. Your chests slowly begins to seize up. Darkness falls all around you.

You faintly hear muffled voices. Your chest has grown so tight you can barely breath. You keep slipping in and out of conciousness, their conversation is barely audible.

“And so it ends, Green Snake.” 'Alice' speaks, not Alice any more though. “I must congratulate you, you have done exceedingly well to have survived this long, last person standing in this war.” You manage to twist your head enough to see them. Alice holds Meiling up in the air, at the centre of the room now. Her body though ... from her severed arm you see a writhing mass of those wires growing from her bloodied stump, also from the various wounds in her body you see more of the wires grow; twisting and turning, licking the air.

“Y..youhh.. wrrronng..” Meiling dribbles out through a bloody gargle “Flahnn..duhh.”

Alice lets out a haughty laugh tossing her hair back and puffing out her chest.

“She's dead you know? Gone! Never to return. There is nothing left for you here any more.” Meiling whimpers weakly, shaking her head as best as she can. “Deny it all you want. Cry for her, she deserves your tears. Whoever let her out here doomed her. You were right to hate Eirin. She killed her. Burnt her little body to-” Meiling lets out a guttural wail, trashing against her binds. Alice exhales in pleasure and reaches out to Meiling with her abominable 'limb'.

“And now, at the apex of your despair, you die.” Closing her eyes in a tranquil state of blissful she wraps her second arm around Meiling and wires begin to saw, twisting and cutting into Meiling they bury their way through her. Meiling screams out in a horrible noise, not like human agony, far worse. You feel another grip on your body; your arm. Looking down with just your eyes you see Shanghai gripping onto you tightly, terrified. Blood rains from the air as Meiling's body shreds to tiny bloody pieces strewn out on the floor, cracking up and eventually breaking apart there is little left when Alice finishes, her body is displaced across the room. Alice exhales in relief. It's all over. With no further word she merrily turns on her heals and heads for the elevator.

There is a string of loud explosions right beside you and Alice falls face first to the ground. Painfully twisting your neck about you see Eirin, her arm outstretched with one of Reisen's weapons. Weakly she sways, barely holding herself up, she looks to you and mouths something, slumping forward she draws her terminal breath. You feel Shanghai's presence lift itself from you, dully she drops into your lap. It all breaks down. In but a minute everything is over. Nobody is left. You gently slip your fingers under Shanghai and lift her up, staring into her glassy eyes, knowing there is nothing there. Drawing her closer you plant a kiss upon her forehead. Mumbled thanks is all you can spare, the tears can cover the rest. This is your limit. Stretching out you reach for Eirin's weapon. This ends tonight. No more pain. Tugging the weapon free from Eirin's grasp you push it against your head. All life is born to die. Pain is only temporary.

No. This is not your limit. This is our limit and everything ends tonight. So stand! Rise and put this world to the sword. With a great push you lift yourself up. Everything blurs, dissolving the world away. You can still see her from here; the figure still resides within the pod. The final blast will signal the end to it all. You draw Shanghai to your lips and whisper your apologies, squeezing the trigger.

That crushing feeling of suffocation instantly lifts and you feel a pleasant numbness flow throughout your mind, you can't even feel your body any more. A white glow slowly breaks through the cover of darkness revealing the silhouette of a person, slowly coming into focus through the blur of hot white. For a while she stands there, unmoving and silent.

“Are you ready to pass judgement?” You hear a very stern woman speak, who you assume to be the figure. You try to shield your eyes from the intense light but you find nothing moves, your whole body feel eerily weightless.

“Judgement?” You can speak, or at least, when you think of the words they come out, you do not feel your mouth move though. “What is this place?”

“Not the world you know of” The figure responds.

“Am I dead?”

“Quite. As is the rest of Gensokyo.” Your fragmented memory allows for little remembrance of the last few moments of your life, but you remember the intention. Whatever you had done had worked. It was finally over. The others, though? What of them? Oh Gods, Shanghai.

“Shanghai” You splutter out her name

“Gone” The woman twists the knife further into you, your chest even begins to physically hurt. You want to cry. You want to scream. You want to lash out in anger. None of this is possible.

“Why am I not dead!? The others are gone! Why am I not? Why am I here!?” You cry out in stressed protest.

“Because you are not like them. You are like me.” She answers. “You are a Yama” Recoiling for but a moment your mind then explodes into a uproar of questions, denials, abuse. You speak none of it though. Your mind quietly burns. There is a long silence that follows, you feel time pass, but it seems so arbitrary.

“Why?” Is the best you can come up with to break the silence.

“Why are you a Yama?” The woman asks in slight confusion, as if the answer should be self-evident. “The why of your existence is simple; You were created to pass judgement where I could not.”

“You have not answered my question” You reply, your mind recollecting itself and your patience wearing thin.

“Have I not? What more would you like to know?” So calmly she replies.

“If you are so powerful, able enough to create life on a whim, then what skills could you possibly lack that I have?”

“I did not create you” She quickly responds. “I do not have the power to do so. I merely pass judgement on those who have been created.” Then it follows, you suppose, that you are to be judged by someone.

“You did not create me, ergo I have been created by someone else. You judge the creations of others. So I feel I must ask; am I to be judged?” You ask

“Not in this life, no. You have been set aside.”

“This brings us back to my first question. Why? Why me?”

“Were you not satisfied with my first answer?” The last shred of patience burns up quickly.
>> No. 22780
“No! I am not! You want me to pass judgement? On who? My friends? My enemies? Everyone!? No! How could I!? I can't judge people like that!”

“But you must.”

“I won't! The people there were ...” You trail off groaning out in frustration. “This isn't something that can be neatly summed up! This isn't black and white!”

“Which is exactly why you were created.”

“I am not a beast to do your bidding or bear your burden.”

“Perhaps you will change your mind if I sent you back there. To the beginning. To watch all of your friends die, again. Perhaps you will be more inclined to answer my question then.” There is not a drop of anger in her voice, nothing she says is a bluff.

“Monster,” You snarl. “If that kind of evil is what you are capable of, I have no interest in helping you.”

“You truly have fitted in quite well with the populace. Even they did not listen to my advice.”

“Your advice? You were the Yama Remilia and Eirin spoke of?” The figure nods once.

“Yes. Although then I was referred to as to Shikieik. We are digressing. I wish to hear your verdict.” Does she not understand 'no'?

“I already told you, I shall not pass judgement. Even more so now that you have told me you are capable of a greater evil than what they have suffered already!”

“You believe they have all suffered? Not one of them is the true criminal?” She pries, with a sudden interest.

“Well... Some yes, some no. I don't know! But inflicting infinite punishment on somebody who has caused finite crimes is not something I can do! Nearly everybody I met had a darker side, some worse than others, but there was always a good intention, or a more beautiful mirror to them. Remilia was an emotional wreck trying to save her sister. Alice, although monstrously cold and calculating, was trying to find her loved one. Eirin was trying to save the damn world, even though she caused this in the first place. Asakura is on that side as well, her outrageous actions were only ever in the interest of the saving the world, she also had shown she could still love and care for others. To that effect so was Yorihime innocent, in some twisted way, she gave her life to save Eirin and The Link, even forfeiting the opportunity to flee.” You spy out the corner of your eye a smile faintly forming on the Yama. “The worst of them all, Sakuya, was completely broken and so unlike her real self, I cannot hold her responsible for her actions. Meiling only ever acted out of love. As did Rika. I never knew much about Aya, but Eirin was right, she had a good heart, to the very end. This entire catastrophe was exactly that, something that is so completely broken and out of control that no one person could possibly be to blame. It's all a series of horrible misunderstandings and accidents.” You pause trying to collect your thoughts. The Yama is grinning ear to ear. “So no. If they are guilty they are guilty for committing evil on good intentions. I abhor the notion that they should be punished for simply being 'wrong'.”

The Yama remains silent for a while longer, still grinning. She holds her hands together.

“You are ready to pass judgement” She proudly announces

“What!? Did you not listen to a word I just said?!”

“Yes I did. And you are ready. So pass judgement.”

“No! These people do not need to suffer any more! It is over! Done! Everyone is dead! Beyond that, even! You want me to inflict more suffering on them!? They were all misguided! None of them really wanted this to happen! None of them deserved this. They were all innocent victims... Every single last one of them.” The Yama brings her hands apart. “Not guilty.” Her hands collide with a loud crash and you are alone in darkness again.

Did you do the right thing? You don't know. You guess you'll never know. An eye opens up in front of you, a pure white iris and a black pupil where the normal whites of the eye would be is darkness, the shape of the eye however is by purple silk and ribbon. Strangely this sight does not frighten you, it's oddly comforting to behold.

You feel a gentle silken feminine hand rest itself upon your shoulder. Many more of those eyes open up of all different sizes they scatter about your vision.

“Thank you” The woman whispers in your ear, stepping about in front of you. You recognise this woman but cannot place from where, her very western attire should be enough to hazard a guess, but still. “You did the best could and could ever do.” She leans in closer and gently kisses you on your forehead. Her long golden locks gently brush against your cheeks. You blink at the sudden realisation you have your body back.

“Yes, it's good to be back all in once piece” She laughs softly, folding her hands into her lap she leans back into one of the eyes, dipping into it. It is beginning to irritate you now, you recognise this woman. Her very slender body and graceful movements, her mature face; high cheek bones, slightly gaunt cheeks and narrow jawline. “Are you through studying me?” She laughs again and flicks out a white fan, fanning her face. Youmu.

“Youmu had that” You speak openly and without even realising. She stops fanning herself and smiles a little, handing it over to you.

“Then you can give it to her when you see her next” You slowly reach out and gingerly take it from her.

“Who are you?” You ask after staring down at fan for a short while. The woman smiles again.

“Yukari, my dearest, and if Gensokyo is my creation then you are my son” She bows her head and her cheeks redden a little.

“I was not made to serve...?” You ask, remembering what the Yama had said. Her expression drops to a plaintive one.

“Never think that. You were born to feel joy. This time it was cruelly taken away from you.” She grows more gloomy by the second. “I built this world, all of it, with my bare hands. I sculpted the mountains and painted the skies. I never wanted to rule. I wanted to live. I wanted others to live too. So I made them. I don't know whether that is selfish or not. I just wanted everyone to be happy. The paradigm of human existence is the experience of happiness, is it not?” She looks to you for an answer. You nod lightly.

“Not everything is over though” You speak “What about my hardships? Everything I've been through. Was it not worth it in the end? The world ended. All my friends along with it. I failed.” You hang your head, apologising to her. You feel her body warmth against your own. Running her fingers through your hair she gently caresses you.

“No. You did it. You stopped it all. That world was gone, I needed to be free to build a new one. I assure you, when you did what you did, nobody felt any pain. There was a beautiful bright light and then it was all gone. I understand how heavy your heart must be now but I want to assure you with my fullest sincerity that I can and will make this up to you all. For all the horrible pain you felt here I shall create you ten thousand lives to live each beautiful and unique” Wh-What!? To be pawned off like that. It's hard to accept. It should make things up. It doesn't feel right though.

“I don't think I like that” You mumble into her chest and she holds you tighter, levelling her face with yours she kisses you on the lips. It tastes like ambrosia.

“We have a very, very, very long time to talk about this. All the time in the world, in fact” She smiles cheerfully “But I have made it my duty to grant you at least one life. After that we can talk again and you can choose your own path. Please. I beg, please let me try and make you smile again” You are starting to feel your heart strings tugging on you. You could decline. You could say no. But where would that lead to? Endless nothingness? Permanent death? The other hand is to trust Yukari, to grant her wish. What could she possibly do? Send you back to whence you came? You cast your fears aside.
>> No. 22781
“If you wish it so, then fine” Yukari breaks away from you, leaning back she smiles and claps her hands together.

“Now just relax, I'm going to give you something you have yet to own” Her smile spreads as she leans in, whispering in your ear again. “Innocence.”

There is a loud roar of air blasting by you and in an instant you blink and find yourself standing in a muddy path with forests flanking either side of it. Your eye-level seems to be a lot shorter than usual. With a loud yelp someone crashes into your side and you tumble to the floor.

“Oi! Whydya' stop?!” The boy picks himself up off you and the ground, hauling you up with him. Another boy and a girl hurry behind him, the boy carrying a small wicker basket full of eggs. “That new shrine won't egg itself! Get movin'!” The boy shoves past you and charges off down the path followed by the other two. Dumbly you stand there, taking everything in. Your head feels a bit funny. Weird that you blanked out just like that and why are you holding this white fan? You really should keep up with Rin and the others, that stupid Moriya shrine won't know what hit 'em! You hear a creaking behind you. Oh no! Youkai!? You jump up and spin about, landing facing a very startled young woman. Oh it's that creepy puppeteer. She passes you by singing softly to herself. Hey one of her dolls fell out!

Even for a stupid girls toy you can't help but be captivated by it, stepping quickly over to it you gently pick it up off the ground. It's clothes are rather plain, blue dress with a white apron and pretty red ribbon in its golden hair. It's a lot larger now that it's in your hands! It's a real pretty doll. You can't bare the thought of it being abandoned. You turn and call out to the lady. She stops and cranes her neck around the side of her cart, spying you and her doll she gasps and sets the cart down.

“Did I drop that?” She asks walking towards you. You gently brush off some of the dust and flecks of mud and hold it out to her. She kneels down to your level and looks the doll. After a short inspection she grins. “I think she likes you” The woman taps your right hand and where you thought the dolls hand was resting, it was actually holding onto you. The woman kisses her index finger and taps the doll on the forehead, springing it to life. You gasp as a flurry of spectral wings carry it up into the air just above you. It slowly floats down to your level, landing on your head it ruffles your hair.

“Oi! Stop that!” You swat at the doll and it flitters up above you, holding both hands over its mouth in mock laughter. “It's making fun of me miss!” You pout.

The woman laughs softly and stands up.

“No, I think it just likes you, and it's Alice not just Miss to you, sir!” She wags her finger at you. You apologise and hang your head. “Now run along, I think your friends are still waiting for you.”

“Ah! Miss!” You stop her as she turns, she doesn't look best pleased though. “What's her name?” Alice pauses for a moment in muse, tapping her finger off her chin.

“Good question, I think I had a name lined up for her. Named after a city I think” She thinks aloud

“It was Shanghai” You answer definitively. It gives Alice good pause, without moving her head she looks down to you and frowns.

“How did you...” She pauses, a crooked grin slowly appearing. “I'm going to have to keep my eye on you, young man” She smiles and turns away, heading back to the cart.

“Wait! Miss!” She stops again, turning on the spot she folds her arms across her chest. “Is... Shanghai mine?” Alice looks to Shanghai who replies by hovering closer to you. Alice takes this as her answer and nods once.

“Of course. Please do visit for some tea and biscuits though, she was a wonder to work on. I really loved how she came out.” You nod and Alice takes her leave, waving and picking up the cart again, travelling off into the distance.

You return your gaze to Shanghai and smile. You feel the doll smile back.




The End
>> No. 22782
I'm not really sure how I feel about this.
>> No. 22786
I don't see what was supposed to be accomplished by making Alice and Marisa switch places. That doesn't help Alice out one bit.
>> No. 22789
It's pretty sad to realize that in the end it was all for nothing.
>> No. 22790
the last decision might have been pointless, but it seems Gensokyo has a fresh start as does our lead. Hopefully everyone else has nice fresh starts as well.
>> No. 22792
Good, but it begs for a true end.
>> No. 22794
File 125795969951.jpg - (81.65KB , 720x479 , MAGIC.jpg ) [iqdb]
22794
Q&A time I guess, starting with the most obvious one

>>22790
Ultimately no, but that's only because Meiling was still alive. If she was dead then you'd of just got the pod end.

>>22789
ಠ_ಠ

Basically from the very start this world was doomed, protagonist had to end it, or find Yukari to create a new one. Now there were three ways he could of gone about doing this. The first is the grimdark SCIENCE! route which you took, leading you over the battlefields in an attempt to stop the fighting, ultimately resulting in finding Eirins machine. After that there would be two endings either you get in or the machine is destroyed. Getting in would of resulted in a very sombre ending in which the narration would of switched to Keine wandering in the village musing about you and what has become of you.

The second path to the end would of been to head up into the Youkai mountain with Rinnosuke at the start. Once up there the story would of shifted to something akin to The Village + Cosmic Horror.

The third path would of had you killed by Youmu near enough at the start and you would of spend the rest of the story as a ghost tripping balls around Hakugyokurou in some quest to save your soul.

Of course the other two ideas were never really expanded on any further when you set out towards the Scarlet Mansion. /shrug

Other than the ending and the start everything in the middle was largely totally unplanned I was effectively writing as you were voting. So please don't think this has been one massive railroad, it really wasn't.

So yeah, throw any questions you want my way and ill try and answer them. I do have two questions of my own for you chaps though. Does anybody here know how to play DND or Call of Cthulhu or any other gaming system? As I could always run some campaign set in Gensokyo. My second question, has anyone here played Phantom Crash? As I wouldn't mind doing a Gensokyo adaptation of it. Another CYOA of course, this time I'd start off with free option to do what you want straight from the start and it would be largely lolcharacterdevelopment and chilling out, which only ever seemed to bog down this story.

In the end though what >>22774
said is the truth, it's been a hell of a ride and I've loved writing here for you guys. At the very least it's be a blast, at it's best I've learnt a shit load from writing here. Thank you for your time!
>> No. 22797
>>22794

So Meiling's interference prevented a mere pod end and started the chain of events that lead to Gensokyo being rebooted?
>> No. 22799
What was behind the barricade that freaked Shanghai out?
>> No. 22800
>>22797

I believe you're right. Meiling saved everyone.
>> No. 22801
>>22799
All those rotten rabbit corpses. The side panel route you took just bypassed the barricade and the turning to the left when you entered the room simply took you back to the other side of the barricade.
>> No. 22802
Is the reboot a perfect reboot before things began to remotely go down?

And does the lead live a happier life now with his new Shanghai doll?
>> No. 22803
What was the scale of the destruction when the machine was destroyed? Was it limited to Gensokyo, or did it affect the Lunarians as well?

If it was limited to Gensokyo, was the INS Night Unbroken still close enough to be caught up in it?

If the ship did get away, what happened to Sakuya and Rika? I assume Sakuya would be executed, but that would have occurred after the destruction and subsequent judgment of everyone, which seems problematic.
>> No. 22804
>>22802
It's a clean slate, back to normal Gensokyo with it's wacky (now non-lethal) danmaku. Bluntly though, it could all happen again, Yukari promised you a life of innocence so you have her assurance that at least this life is going to be perfect. Slice of life deathtrap kitchens aside, the main character will likely live a very happy life with Shangahai, who knows, he may even grow up to be a Magician Youkai if he lives long enough and hangs around Alice a lot.

>>22803
You know how a black hole works, right? Well that.

With regards to the Lunarians ... Luna is not Gensokyo. Gensokyo was reset. It's not a stretch to imagine that they got the shitty end of the stick, much to Yukari's amusement of course.

With regards to the INS Night Unbroken. Remember this wasn't SPECIFICALLY a reset. The destruction of the machine removed Gensokyo from existance. Yukari then re-created it. So for the time being, in theory, there are two Rikas and Sakuyas in existence at the same time.

God damn it Yukari.
>> No. 22805
>>22804

I think Shiki will be saying that when there happens to be a soul of Sakuya waiting judgement in addition to the living one.

I think seeing how it's happened once I think Yukari might have some safeguards next time as to prevent something like that.
>> No. 22806
>>22804
>So for the time being, in theory, there are two Rikas and Sakuyas in existence at the same time.
Dude.

Trippy.

Also, I would totally love to see how that turns out.

>>22801
Oh. Yuck.
>> No. 22815
File 125808513326.jpg - (459.53KB , 800x600 , 125476231385.jpg ) [iqdb]
22815
>the main character will likely live a very happy life with Shangahai, who knows, he may even grow up to be a Magician Youkai if he lives long enough and hangs around Alice a lot.
I want this to be a story.
>> No. 22816
>>22815

I'd like such a story just to see how our reborn lead interacts with various Touhous in better circumstances. Since it'd be interesting how he'd get along with Wriggle.

Thinking on it, it's very gutsy for kids to try egging the Moriya shrine (since isn't Youkai Mountain a no-human land for the most part?)
>> No. 22819
>>22815
>>22816

'Blue Skies Over Gensokyo'?

Hmm. Pardon my ignorance, is there even a CYOA where the protagonist is a kid? I THINK there is it, I ain't sure though.
>> No. 22820
>>22819

There was, but Giddy stopped writing it for some reason.
>> No. 22827
>>22819

Sounds great and it'd be a nice change of pace from SoG.
>> No. 22828
>>22819
Mikio was pretty young at the start of Fragmentation of Memories. And I guess I, Youkai would count.
>> No. 22846
Questions:

What happened to the other Aki sister? The character had at least one flashback about them.

Was Shanghai truly an autonomous doll, or was she a splinter aspect of Alice's personality?

What was in the vial that we found Eirin's ID card with?

What would have happened if the protagonist had decided to fulfill Satori's requests, instead of making a break for it? What was the 2%, was it behind the "DO NOT OPEN" doors?

Did either Wriggle or Rika have complicity in Reisen's death, or was it simply an accident?

Was it possible to revive those interned in the pods, say if Meiling hadn't intervened?

Koakuma seemed pretty accessory to the plot, and absent for much of it. She also seemed to have lost her ability to fly, given that she opted to scale the building instead of doing so. What would have happened if Patchouli's ritual were allowed to take place?

What was the significance of the broken pocket watch, which was part of the 'left at sea' riddle? Immersing it in port wine revealed a numeric message that never came up again.
>> No. 22848
>What happened to the other Aki sister? The character had at least one flashback about them.

Dead. I never wrote a flashback about her? Which one are you referring to?

>Was Shanghai truly an autonomous doll, or was she a splinter aspect of Alice's personality?

Both. She was autonomous in the sense she had her own free will, but she was powered by Alice. Hence she only came alive when you got closer to Alice, and why she died when Alice died.

>What was in the vial that we found Eirin's ID card with?

Hourai Elixir. I'm surprised nobody decided to ask Eirin what it was. It was a potential alternative ending I threw in at the 'last minute'

>What would have happened if the protagonist had decided to fulfill Satori's requests, instead of making a break for it? What was the 2%, was it behind the "DO NOT OPEN" doors?

That would of resulted in Gensokyo's first nuclear winter. (Which I had planned an end for)

>Did either Wriggle or Rika have complicity in Reisen's death, or was it simply an accident?

Rika was telling the truth. She had genuinely forgotten. keikaku doori

>Was it possible to revive those interned in the pods, say if Meiling hadn't intervened?

Yup, letting Marisa out and taking her place would of added mega ++++love from Alice

>Koakuma seemed pretty accessory to the plot, and absent for much of it. She also seemed to have lost her ability to fly, given that she opted to scale the building instead of doing so. What would have happened if Patchouli's ritual were allowed to take place?

I never thought of Koakuma's wings to be capable of actual flight, so personal opinion/decision on my part to be honest. It was no big deal. I'm not gonna lie, i had no big ideas for Koakuma she was, as you said, just an accessory in which if you had invested interest in her, i'd of developed her more. As for the ritual itself, it wasn't so much a single BIG BANG job, it was just Patchouli's connection to bringing critters from Makai into Gensokyo to cause havoc, shutting it down completely killed any chance of the SDM ever winning the war.

>What was the significance of the broken pocket watch, which was part of the 'left at sea' riddle? Immersing it in port wine revealed a numeric message that never came up again.

You had completed the first part of the riddle which was the Port thing, the second set of numbers were a reference to the jail cell numbers in the SDM, on the floor you never visited once you broke free. The number on it corresponded to Flandre's jail cell. Going there would of rewarded you with the flashback you had much later on of Meiling freeing Flandre and escorting her out of the mansion.