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120811 No. 120811
"I see. So you're the new hunter. I have high expectations of you."

This is Principal Rinnosuke. A haughty silver haired man wearing high faulting clothes stands in front of you behind the rather glowy counter he resides in. He's a bit of a cerebral bore but he's not all that bad. Can't say you aren't interested in staring at that funky counter though...

"Well then, judging from your preliminary exams it seems that you've far exceeded everyone else in almost every field. You might just be the one we're looking for."

"Oh, yes. Thank you Sir." You say back to him. You don't particularly understand it, why does everyone think he's such an asshole again? Well, the higher ups anyways. He seems to be popular with the citizens at least.

"Well, while all these results look impressive on paper, I think I will want to see this exemplary skill first hand before putting you forth for this important mission I have for you. Marisa will give you the details." You nod to the Principal and take your result sheets back, turning and walking a grand total of 3 feet to your right, to another counter. Behind it is a blonde girl in a black and white professional uniform. Doesn't suit her really.

"Hey there, ze~" Oh your god instantly you already want to knock her teeth out. Is this bad? "I see you got approved by the Prin' himself. Good on ya! The mission he wants you to do is something no one else can do and is super totally important and special to you and no one else!"

"Uhh, is there any particular reason you're emphasizing this?"

"It's a hook and sinker, you know, so you don't die with regrets out there when you do."

"Wha-" Before you have a chance to react, the obnoxious brat shoves an envelope in your hands.

"Here! Show this to the guild counter and they'll let you join the hunters guild for free, no sweat!"

"W-Wait, I already paid for it with my tuition and training, didn't I?"

"Huh? O-Oh! Yeah, right, haha~" The nervous looking secretary laughs a bit uneasily for you to stomach, but you decide to ignore it for now against your better judgment. "Annnyways, just head to the right of the main teleporter and you'll find the guild counter nice and easy. The Hakurei 2's area around the teleporter is pretty small, so even someone like you couldn't possibly get lost!" What does she mean by that?

"By the way..." You start to ask the secretary while looking over at the principal. "Is he...you know...?" You look back over at Marisa giving you an unamused death glare.

"Get to work, slacker."

Yeesh. You couldn't get out the principal's office fast enough. Those eyes, man...dem eyes. Felt like they instantly bore a hole through your skull. In fact, you make a quick check of your head to make sure it is indeed in one piece. Okay, good.

The guild counter is easy enough to find. This is the gathering spot for every 'Hunter' on Hakurei 2. You see, the whole story is that basically, your home planet was diseased, killed off, made inhabitable etc by the very people on this massive spaceship/colony, the Hakurei 2. Unlike a lot of internet usernames, there was indeed a Hakurei 1. The first one reported to this one upon finding a hospitable planet to colonize, and you just so happen to be on the second one. It's a good thing too, apparently upon getting close to this new planet, dubbed Gensokyo, all contact with the first Hakurei was cut, or so it seemed. The general public doesn't know much about it, but being a Hunter, or at least, about to become one, you know better.

Speaking of which, Hunters are a group of adept fighters and researchers employed by the government as Mercenaries should, you know, worse comes to worse. It's a great paying job actually, provided you can find proper quests you can do. For years you've aspired to be a great Hunter, training and studying and it has all led up to this very day where you get your Hunter's guild license.

"Please fill out this form and we will create your license right away then!"

The lady at the guild counter is quite mystifying. In a bad way, possibly. Her dirty blonde hair is held up by red hair bobbles in short twin tails, and she's wearing a generally red dress. For some odd reason beyond you, she is wearing translucent wings. Is this a new government fashion?

"Uhh, okay then..."

You look down at the piece of paper and take a glowing pen. Funny how far technology has come, using glowing blades of light, firing bullets of light, using magic made of...light. Rails, windows, even the foundation of certain structures are made up of this glowing light people call 'photon' or something. You really don't particularly care to understand how it works though, you just know that it does.

You swear to god that flashlights are antiquated.

Oh, right, hunter's license! Working on that, let's see...the questionnaire seems simple enough, just some basic details, probably for records and to put on your ID card or something. This should be a cinch.

Your Name:
[ ] Pick one yourselves, you lazy bastards

Your Gender:
[ ] Male
[ ] Female

Your Race:
[ ] Human
[ ] Newman
[ ] Android

Your Profession:
[ ] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ ] Magic

>> No. 120812
Your Name:
[ø] Haru

Your Gender:
[ ] Male
[ø] Female

Your Race:
[ ] Human
[ ] Newman
[ø] Android

Your Profession:
[ ] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ø] Magic

Android and magic, nothing can possibly go wrong.
>> No. 120813
>>120812
actually, I wouldn't mind melee instead of magic either. A light-based melee weapon sounds pretty badass.
>> No. 120814
For anyone not in the know, Newmans are just basically pompous elves with bad fashion taste.
>> No. 120816
Your Name:
[x] Anon

Your Gender:
[x ] Male
[ ] Female

Your Race:
[ ] Human
[ ] Newman
[x] Android

Your Profession:
[x] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ ] Magic

Use knuckle dusters as a weapon
>> No. 120817
Your Name:
[x] Gordon Freeman

Your Gender:
[x ] Male
[ ] Female

Your Race:
[ ] Human
[x] Newman
[ ] Android

Your Profession:
[x] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ ] Magic
>> No. 120818
Your Gender:
[x] Male
[ ] Female

Your Race:
[x] Human
[ ] Newman
[ ] Android

Your Profession:
[x] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ ] Magic
>> No. 120819
Your Name:
[ ] Yusei

Your Gender:
[x] Male
[ ] Female

Your Race:
[x] Human
[ ] Newman
[ ] Android

Your Profession:
[x] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ ] Magic
>> No. 120820
File 12799778586.jpg - (43.15KB , 240x300 , newman.jpg ) [iqdb]
120820
>Your Race:
>[ ] Human
>[ ] Newman
>[ ] Android

>Newman

Your Gender:
[ ] Male
[x] Female

Your Race:
[x] Human
[ ] Newman
[ ] Android

Your Profession:
[x] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ ] Magic
>> No. 120821
>>120820

ALso, forgot to say, I gave no name due to me being highly uncreative. I leave it to you, Sukima.
>> No. 120824
A PSO story? Heh, I'll be keeping an eye on this.

Your Name:
[X]Eris

Gender:
[X]Female

Race:
[X]CAST (Android)

Class:
[X]HUcaseal (Melee)

I'm not too good at naming things either.
>> No. 120826
[Q] Name: Setsuna?
[Q] HUnewearl (Female, Newman, Melee)

We can use attack buff techs as a supplement, plus easily heal ourselves and our allies.
>> No. 120827
Your Gender:
[ ] Male
[x] Female

Your Race:
[x] Human
[ ] Newman
[ ] Android

Your Profession:
[x] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ ] Magic

Human female? We don't have that much around here.
>> No. 120828
[X] Female
[X] Android
[X] Melee

Need more androids.
>> No. 120830
[x] Name: loli dot'n know

[x] Male
[x] Android
[x] Ranged

fuck yes RAcast.
>> No. 120832
[X] Name: Stella
[X] Female
[X] Android
[X] Ranged

I'm in it for the mechguns. Also, please tell me we're not using that stupid Section ID drop system? Having to come up with a new name because the one you wanted gave you a crappy Section was horrible.
>> No. 120836
Your Name:
[x] Ricrist

Your Gender:
[x ] Male
[ ] Female

Your Race:
[ ] Human
[ ] Newman
[x] Android

Your Profession:
[x] Melee
[ ] Ranged
[ ] Magic
>> No. 120839
Your Name: [x] Ricrist
Your Gender: [x] Male
Your Race: [x] Android
Your Profession: [x] Melee

Voting to progress
>> No. 120843
[x] Ricrist
[x] Male
[x] Android
[x] Melee
>> No. 120852
[X]Eris
[X]Female
[X]CAST (Android)
[X]HUcaseal (Melee)
>> No. 120865
File 128001922789.jpg - (54.41KB , 449x439 , BB-DAYLIGHT_SCAR-ACTION-4.jpg ) [iqdb]
120865
So, can we decide to make our way towards a pair of Daylight Scars as our main weapon? You know they're awesome.
>> No. 120866
[x] Satoshi (Hahahaha)
[x] Male
[x] Android
[x] Melee
>> No. 120867
File 128002857420.jpg - (535.37KB , 1440x2047 , 46443d1541f2dd0d1b55ca941fcde8fe.jpg ) [iqdb]
120867
>>120866

I see what you did there.
>> No. 120870
[x] Sousha
[x] Male
[x] Newman
[x] Magic
>> No. 120905
>[x] Satoshi
>[x] Android

This will totally be the plot twist at the end of Satoshi's story. Trufax.
>> No. 120907
>>120905
I did that since he was a rather gutsy guy... so I figured why not give him a build that can back up his guts (HUcasts have no lack of HP,Att,Def)
>> No. 120908
[x] Arnold
[x] Male
[x] Android
[x] Melee
>> No. 120909
[x] Ricrist
[x] Male
[x] Android
[x] Melee
>> No. 120911
[X] ZN-O9 ProtIce
[X] Female
[X] Android
[X] Melee
>> No. 120971
File 128019245518.jpg - (115.61KB , 640x502 , hucast.jpg ) [iqdb]
120971
[x] Ricrist
[x] Male
[x] Android
[x] Melee

You are Ricrist, the upstanding HUcast with a penchant for battle. Your body isn't exactly built for the kind of buffness ranger androids are, but you think you enjoy not looking like a Gundam. Being a bit of an old style CAST however, your body lacks all this photon energy that makes up the larger majority of, well, everything now. But that's quite okay, as you displayed a heightened level of skill despite your age, so you're obviously a very special CAST. You have no clue who built you or where your origins lay, however, you do know one thing about yourself. Your currently installed personality chip is the unique one of a kind ANON K-Force 4.08.008, an exceedingly high quality chip designed by your creator, most likely, and displays the most spot on level of decision making.

Unfortunately it wears down over age very fast, so your decision making right now is better left for the snow, but you'll concentrate on that later.

"Thank you for filling out the papers, we'll have your license ready in a few minutes and then you can begin your oh so magnificent adventure out into the unknown and get yourself killed like every other hunter!"

"..."

"JUST KIDDING! Go get yourself a weapon, sport."

Wow, are all blondes like this?

You go ahead and decide to familiarize yourself with the rest of the hub around the main teleporter while your license is being processed. You consider dropping by the hospital but as you have no real reason to stop by, you decide against it. Sure, the chicks there are hot, but your penis protocol was removed off you during your training, so you no longer have any sort of sexual needs...not like an android needs any. Why were they made again?

Passing the teleporter to the Principal's Office, you stop by the bank. Let's see, you deposited some safe money for when you needed it long ago, you may as well use it now that you're a hunter, and you'll be getting tons of money from the odd jobs you'll get as a mercenary. You approach the bank lady behind the counter, she has blonde hair...you better be on your guard. Other then that though, her hair is done in a very unappealing drill-like fashion. The look on her face seems to be very unamused too. You wonder if she doesn't like her job.

"Hi, Ricrist, CAST, I believe I have ten thousand zenny in the bank?" The bank lady just stares at you with her stoic face for a good while. It kinda makes you feel uncomfortable and you consider just walking away until she pulls out what looks like a bar code scanner.

"Hold out your arm then."

This is how people get identified, normally for humans and newmans this would involve something like an ID card, but since you're a cast, it's built right into your arm. You turn over your arm while holding it out and flip open the compartment, revealing a long, convulted bar code. The bank lady scans it and looks at the display that materializes to her right. After looking over your data she opens a drawer under the counter and pulls out of it a fat stack of money.

"Here you go. I assume you wanted all of it?"

"That's right. Thanks again."

"Thank you for stopping by at the Hunter's Guild Hakurei bank."

The way she says it sounds so unenthusiastic but then...maybe that's her charm.

You walk over into the shopping district, which is about the size of a small room, nothing more. The way things can be stored these days allows for very small storage containers, so the need for large buildings to house shops is a thing of the past. A giant sword for example, could fit in a small handheld box with today's technology. Sadly you're still limited to ten monomates in your own inventory. Fucking CAST capabilities. You wonder if humans and such have to deal with this awkward problem. It'd be nice.

You go ahead and buy yourself some new armor first of all. Nothing too spectacular, just a basic protection unit. The way armor works these days is that you apply the unit to your clothing or your auxiliary slot in your chest and it provides you with state of the art photon protection without changing your appearance. Similar to this armor are barriers and shields, which you clip or hold onto your with your blocking arm. The shield itself is invisible, coming out of the small, hairpin sized unit only when necessary. However, the photon it generates offers much more strength then an armor unit, but is much harder to initialize. After getting a proper armor and shield, you fill your inventory up with basic exploration items. Mates are small pills used to restore energy. For humans and newmans, this can be taken orally, but it's a bit different for CASTs such as yourself. CASTs must apply the mate into a small compartment that the rest of the body uses to charge itself back up. The way mates work for organic life forms is that it very drastically boosts their healing rate to beyond absurd levels for a brief couple seconds, speeding up the healing of wounds by at least 5000%. CASTs were made so that they could harness this same chemical and convert it into battery life that the body uses to repair itself. There are also small packets of Fluids that work to restore mental energy but since you are a CAST, you have no need for such frivolous things.

After both scaring and impressing the item shopkeeper with your speech on how mates and fluids work, you head over the to weapons counter. The three shops appear to be headed by three sisters. The armor one was headed by this white haired girl, the item shop headed by a brunette girl, and...ugh, the weapons shop is run by another blonde. Well, the last one wasn't...too bad you guess. As you approach the weapons counter though, you feel yourself speaking too soon as you're greeted by a very familiar stoic expression.

"Another CAST? Lemme guess, a big giant sword for you, right?"

"Er...well I would like to know what else you have first." The girl blinks at you, as if not understanding at first, before she sighs and scratches her head.

"Uhh, right. Sorry I suppose. Here." She lays out a large binder full of details on various weapons. The shop has a wide selection, but being a HU, you think it'd be productive to get a weapon that suits your profession. Perhaps something you could get used to too, nothing extravagant. Well...it has to be cheap too in that case. That really narrows your selection down by a lot, but you think you still have a decent choice ahead of you. Time for that wonderful K-Force to kick in!

[ ] A simple saber will be enough
[ ] A large sword is capable for you
[ ] A partisan has great range
[ ] A pair of daggers will compliment your nimbleness
[ ] A slicer is great, who says hunters can't do ranged combat?
>> No. 120972
[x] A partisan has great range
>> No. 120973
[Q] A large sword is capable for you

Slicers were shit in PSO.
>> No. 120975
[X] A large sword is capable for you
>> No. 120976
[x] A partisan has great range

Swords are just giant plastic Photon pool noodles anyway.
>> No. 120977
[x] A partisan has great range
>> No. 120978
[x] A partisan has great range
>> No. 120979
[X] A large sword is capable for you.

If it's big enough, we won't need range.
>> No. 120980
[X] A large sword is capable for you.

Lets walk around with our detached Windmill blade. We are already a cyborg, now lets look the part.
>> No. 120981
[x] A partisan has great range
>> No. 120985
[X] A large sword is capable for you.
>> No. 120986
[x] A partisan has great range
>> No. 120988
[x] A partisan has great range

Why not.
>> No. 120992
[X] A large sword is capable for you.

Folks will want strength with HUcasts.
>> No. 120993
[x] A large sword is capable for you
If this story is faithful to PSO, Partisans are complete shit and there's no good reason to pick one over a large sword.
>> No. 121018
File 128025927830.jpg - (88.22KB , 345x500 , PSO swords.jpg ) [iqdb]
121018
>>120993
The least an author doing a game crossover can do is rebalance the items based on story value.

But, considering that "partisan" in PSO usually meant an axe-like weapon that was rarely good for thrusting (spears are high-tier in lightly armored one-on-one, axes are not), we'd be better off with something that has speed and can hit multiple opponents. It's a very standard choice, but that's for good reason. If we were with a party, the partisan would be more useful.

[x] A large sword is capable for you
>> No. 121061
File 128032086035.png - (64.98KB , 800x800 , c3b0a8a3e7fc4f9533adbbebc0750350.png ) [iqdb]
121061
[x] A large sword is capable for you

You give it a lot of considerable thought. Something that matches the strength you have. A sword sounds fitting enough. You go ahead and look over at the weapons clerk.

Uhh...she looks even more unamused now. Did she spy you looking at that sword in the catalog funny?

"...lemme guess."

"The...the big giant sword. Please." With a big sigh, the clerk walks to the back wall and takes out an orange cube, placing it on the counter in front of you.

"Try not to over compensate too hard, alright?"

"You too."

After properly paying for your massive pe-...sword, you exit the shopping district finding yourself quite short on money now. Man, battery recharges are expensive, so you better work on that budget right away. With about less then a tenth of what you started with, you head back to the hunter's guild to claim your new license.

"Here you go Mr. Ricrist! Please keep this license card with you at all times so that others will know that you are now a part of the official hunter's guild."

You take the card from the guild counter lady, the card is rather stylized in white and blue, though you wonder where they got your picture from. On it lists your race, gender, profession, rank and age. You'd think age would be negligible for CASTs but you guess it's still a necessary part of the system. Oh well, either way, you put the card safely tucked away in a small compartment located near your hip. You like to call it a 'pocket' even though every other CAST would give you funny looks every time you would call it that. They wouldn't know true class if it hit them in the face and said 'hi, I'm class.'

"Well then, Mr. Ricrist, it's nice to have you aboard! We've heard many things from the academy you were apart of before joining our ranks, do you need a briefing of how the guild works?"

"That would be nice." With a nod, the lady continues with her explanation.

"Alright~! As you probably already know, the guild is made up of lots of mercenaries that the government uses to do work that their military cannot handle. It is also a general place for other people, such as citizens, to post freelance jobs that hunters can take and get paid for. The guild serves as an aggregator for all these jobs so that hunters can find work easily and effortlessly. The more jobs you do, the higher your Hunter's guild rank will be and the more difficult jobs we will be able to provide you. This way, inexperienced hunters can enjoy jobs they have the capability to handle while the more experienced ones will get rewarded for their hard work. When you need a job, just simply ask me and I'll provide you with a list appropriate for your rank. Oh, and one more thing Mr. Ricrist, if you look at the back of your license card, you'll see a large square area of differently colored photon, this is your trading patch. If you hover this patch over the patch over another's guild license, the two of you will trade contact details and you will be able to invite them over to help participate in a job with you."

Yep, that's right. Technology, where you can have miniature contact devices in things as small as god damn cards. Of course, you are no longer surprised by this, but you figure that there's someone out there who isn't well enough aware of how far technology has gotten by now. Maybe the androids from ancient times. Maybe.

"Well then, shall we get you started on your first mission to death~?"

"...sure."

You really aren't too encouraged by this freaky dirty blonde woman's attitude, she's very quick to help you but seemingly only quick to help you die faster...

Hmm, looking at the job list the lady brings up, there isn't much. You'll just have to make do with what you have until the Principal feels the need to call you.

[ ] Sent into Battle
----- A hunter sent down into Gensokyo was
----- recently reported missing, and needs
----- urgent help! Please find him.

[ ] Resident Zoning
----- Someone went down into Gensokyo to
----- zone for some new residential areas
----- when they were attacked! Please
----- rescue them.

[ ] Moon's Magnitude
----- A new type of equipment for hunters,
----- a Mag, had a shipment lost deep down
----- down in Gensokyo. Find them.
>> No. 121063
[Q] Sent into Battle

So for the start, we're basically just doing PSO's opening missions?

I hope things branch out soon.

Also, Sunny~
>> No. 121064
>>121063

Each quest will come with a bit of story, and roughly between 2-3 decisions/choices before ending. Maybe even only 1 choice. Trust me when I say that quests will be quick. When you choose one, you'll be choosing the next one within a couple updates.
>> No. 121066
[X]Moon's Magnitude

Dohohohoho~ Sorry, couldn't help it.

Anywho, sword's not such a bad weapon type to use. Dark Flow sword. I practically drool at the thought, even if it is impossible to get in Episode 1. I'm more partial to double sabers myself, but those are Red Box items and only start showing up in... Hard mode I think? Very Hard gives you a better selection though, so that's beside the point as I don't know how difficulty works here. It's fairly obvious that we're in Normal mode though, and should stay there for the entire journey.

Also, smart-ass fairies are love~
>> No. 121069
>>121066

Wait, you could get double sabers in PSO? Damn, I really should have played more into Hard!
>> No. 121078
[X] Moon's Magnitude

Get your Mag ASAP.
>> No. 121079
[x] Moon's Magnitude
>> No. 121080
>>121069

Yeah, you can, but they're not common at all as there's one, maybe two Section IDs (Can't remember them off the top of my head) that can get that weapon type reliably. But once you get one, it's pretty easy to see why they're so hard to get.

Has a Partisan of Lightning Double Saber, and loves using it in conjuntion with his Heaven//Battle unit.

If this does go for subsequent playthroughs on higher difficulties, we should focus on getting the Red Box weapon types instead of what's already there.
>> No. 121083
Please tell me we'll have Luna shopkeeper and and Star as an identifying-person. I can never remember what they're called.
>> No. 121085
>>121083

If you paid enough attention you'd realize all the shopkeepers have someone attached to them already and Luna already has a different job.
>> No. 121087
>>121083

They're Tekkers, by the way.
>> No. 121088
>>121085

And this is what I get for only reading the first and last chunks of each update.
>> No. 121113
File 128038728587.jpg - (272.64KB , 860x1170 , 2751ef383ac01a2753777e69a3848533.jpg ) [iqdb]
121113
[x] Moon's Magnitude

"You'll begin this quest as soon as the client arrives then. Once I have confirmed your decision, I will contact the client and they will be here shortly, is that okay?" You give a short nod to affirm your choice and the guild lady gives you an uncomfortable smile back. "Alright then, thank you for applying for the hunter's guild, have a fuuuun time~"

Of course, when she says have a fun time, she means to die in despair. At least, that is what you believe.

It isn't long until two people shop up in the room you waited in, One of which is short with long blue hair, dressed in what appears to be high class garbs, with a much taller purple haired woman next to her. She looks like a ranger. The ranger decides to stand beside the door and wait while the blue haired girl walks over to you with a huffy face.

"You! Are you the hunter that took the job?"

"Er...yes, I am." You try to maintain a calm demeanor, but being shouted at by a girl almost half your size feels condescending.

"I'm Tenshi, famous trader here on the Hakurei 2! Listen, I want you to go down to Gensokyo and retrieve the items I lost. It's urgent!"

"Why is it so important?" The small girl seems to get even more huffy with you when you ask this simple question.

"It's a perfect business opportunity! I'll become a zillionaire and everyone will pay attention to me and me only when I hit it big in the market with this!" It sounds to you almost like she wants to crash the market more then anything else. "Listen, see that Ranger over there?" The girl points to the purple haired woman by the door. "She said an android took them. Go down there, find them, and teach that rustbucket a lesson! Got it?" If you could sigh, you could. No wait, you have a sighing function installed into your personality chip, so...

"Siiigh...alright then."

"Good, so just ask that stupid Ranger over there if you need any more details." It kind of pains you that one of your own would be so frivolous as to resort to petty thievery, but to each their own you guess. Even CASTs have as much variety as humans and newmans do, both good and bad.

"Tenshi's commodity? They're just mags."

The woman gives you to you up front. She doesn't look like she cares too much. In fact, it looks like this is a common occurrence for you. You almost pity her, if you could anyways.

"Mags? What are those?"

"They're a new type of equipment designed with D-Cellular cores, that make them living mini-machines, basically. They're like cyborg pets in a way I guess."

"Huh, and Tenshi lost them?"

"Well, you see, Tenshi realized a while back that you could find mags lying around on the ground down on Gensokyo, probably left over from the Hakurei 1. Tenshi told me to go hunt for some, so I went down and got a few. Once I got enough to make everyone happy though, I started thinking about it, however. The mags were developed to be protectors of Hunters, and back on the Hakurei 1, one was given to every person that became a Hunter. It was a sort of tradition. They became an essential piece of equipment for Hunters then. So as I was thinking this, an android appeared...I'm not sure what transpired after that." The woman then sighs, ending her end of the story. "Perhaps it is for the best though. Tenshi probably shouldn't use them for money."

Hmm, what an interesting story. Did they stop doing this? You know you never really got this piece of equipment called a 'mag' before. Sounds intriguing however. You might want to delve a bit into this.

After thanking the ranger for her short story, you take the main teleporter down into Gensokyo, into an area known as the Magic Forest...

One slash.

Two slashes.

One cut down. Another falls.

The monsters down here are very aggressive, which is very odd. Many of them look like they would normally be timid. However, you make short work of them with your large sword. It's massive size is a bit unwieldy, but with the armor and shield you've equipped, it's of little consequence right now. Your weapon may not be quick, but the rest of your reflexes are. Bear claws do minimal damage and the fat, overgrown flightless crows can't do a thing to your superior defenses. This is a cakewalk.

After walking for a short while, you come a small clearing where you see someone. They appear to be a part of the Hunter's guild too, it seems. Maybe a Ranger. Long black thigh highs ending up just short of the red metallic skirt with the steel bow near the top. Their long purple hair is done up in a ponytail. You can assume by now that this is a CAST like yourself, as her hair fades into a metallic casing of black and red. Her torso seems to be majority of red, white and black as well. They're facing away from you, you don't think she's noticed you yet.

"Hmm...one's still missing..." You can hear the android talking to herself as you approach her from behind. She gasps a bit when she turns around to your visage. "Oh! Jeez...you surprised me."

She has a simple enough looking face. It emulates that of a human face very accurately, even displaying subtle emotions, such as the surprise, and then relief, after she discovered you. The purple hair making up her bangs and going around her hair up into the metal ponytail looks fairly convincing too. While you're examining her though, she poses you a quick question.

"Oh, uhm...excuse me, but while you're here, could you tell me if you've seen any Mags?" Hmm, this sounds peculiar to say the least.

"No, though I am searching for some at this moment." The android blinks for a moment, a little surprised.

"Huh? You came down here to look for some too...?" Something in her little steel mind clicks suddenly, and she shakes her hands. "A-Ah! I didn't mean to take those Mags from that Ranger really!" Mrh, this girl sounds far too innocent to be some petty thief. You may as well listen to her story. "It's just, they all looked pretty sad, so I just started talking to them...they looked happy when I came to them. I just wanted to say hello really. So they all followed me and before I knew it, they all returned to their master's place. They're all gone now, except one that wanted to come with me, but I lost it..." The android closes her eyes and bows her head lightly apologetically. "I'm sorry." Well, don't that just beat all? You wonder what you're going to tell Tenshi. You would activate your sighing function right now, but you don't quite feel like it's time for that at the moment. Oh well.

"Well, I came down here looking for Mags. You said one is still missing, correct? I'll find it." The girlbot looks up at you a bit surprised that you would suggest such a thing.

"Uh? Really?" Her surprise turns to a kind smile of happiness realizing her changed luck. "Ah, thank you. Let me join you then. It shouldn't have strayed too far from me. My name is Reisen, Reisen Inaba, female CAST. You are?"

"Ricrist. It is nice to meet you, Reisen."

"Likewise." You always felt better around members of your own 'race,' if you could call it that. There's something that bugs you though.

"Before we go though, there's something I want to ask."

"Hm? What is it?"

[ ] "You can talk to Mags?"
[ ] "What are Mags exactly?"
[ ] "Who is this Tenshi girl?"
[ ] "Did you know how pretty you look for an android?"
>> No. 121115
[x] "You can talk to Mags?"
>> No. 121119
[ ] "Did you know how pretty you look for an android?"
Penis.dll Missing. Selection Unavailable.

[x] "You can talk to Mags?"
>> No. 121124
[Q] "Did you know how pretty you look for an android?"
[Q] "You can talk to Mags?"

Chemical digital castration won't stop us!
>> No. 121127
[X]You can talk to mags?


Huh, so Ricrist didn't get one at the start? Not what I was expecting, but okay.
>> No. 121140
[X] "Did you know how pretty you look for an android?"
[X] "You can talk to Mags?"

Charming Reisen is always worth a shot.
>> No. 121142
[x] "Did you know how pretty you look for an android?"
[x] "You can talk to Mags?"
>> No. 121144
[x]You can talk to mags?
>> No. 121153
[X] "Did you know how pretty you look for an android?"
[X] "You can talk to Mags?"
>> No. 121276
[x] "Did you know how pretty you look for an android?"
[x] "You can talk to Mags?"

This story should actually be in /others/.
>> No. 121278
>>121276

I was actually unsure of where to put it myself...I was originally gonna put it in /blue/ but someone suggested /th/

If it fits better in /others/ then I have no qualms with that, just gotta get a mod to move it if it's no problem.
>> No. 121295
[x] "Did you know how pretty you look?"
[x] "You can talk to Mags?"

What's with "for an android"? Is she only pretty compared to other robots?
>> No. 121863
[x] "Did you know how pretty you look for an android?"

[x] "You can talk to Mags?"


Bah, who needs a dick protocol, your personality chip still has charm and charisma and you'll be damned if you're going to let that go to waste.

"Hmm, well for starters, are you aware of just how pretty you look as an android?" Reisen seems quite surprised by this gesture before smiling softly with a hint of embarrassment. Not only is the face eeriely life-like, but she's even capable of modesty. You find this extremely attractive, on a totally platonic sense due to your missing courtship circuitry.

"Ah~ How charming of you to say that, Ricrist. Although I am really only as pretty as my creator intended me to be."

"I must say then that whoever built you has very fine taste." Reisen seems to display more modesty at your excellent charm. You may be old but you're not going to rust anytime soon.

"Hee, thank you Ricrist. It is rare to see such a social android these days. I fear many of the best ones were lost aboard the Hakurei 1." Hmm, yes, a lot of the greater represenatives of the cast race were on that ship. Such a shame.

"Speaking of which," you start off saying, using a segue that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, "it seems that you can take to these mag things. Are they not just pieces of equipment?" In a stark contrast from her earlier charmed attitude, she snips back at you suddenly a little enraged.

"Ah! They're a lot more then just equipment! They have feelings!" Well, maybe you could've deduced that on your own on the basis that they can apparently talk back to her, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms you'll let lie for a while longer. "A lot of people think they're just machines, but they are actually living, breathing beings. They're D-Cellular cores wrapped in a small mechanical cast that interfaces with them. Though they are D-Cellular in nature, they're still much like children, following and taking after their master."

"Oh, so they are indeed living. Excuse me then." Reisen just seems to sigh, which strikes you as odd, do androids need to sigh? Oh wait, sigh functions, right.

"It is alright, I suppose. You haven't been much aware of mags it seems. They were an important part of hunters on the Hakurei 1 though...they were a partner to each one that was on the ship. Mags can even be fed and grow accordingly to how you feed them, they're so adaptive..." Reisen seems to be getting lost in her own thought now, you're satisfied however as you've gotten your proper explaination. The things are alive, just as the earlier ranger told you, so obviously that's how she talks with them. They're sentient, like you and her are. Yep, that's all you need to know, nothing more is necessary.

"Well then, let's not waste any time in finding the one you lost then. You will know if you see it, correct?" Reisen gives a quick nod of approval.

"Yes, I'm sure it hasn't gone far. I will help." She then holds her hands out as if carrying something large, and it's not long after that a decent sized rifle materializes out of the box in her hand. "Let's go then," she says with a small smile. Technology!

As if the monsters weren't much of a challenge before, with Reisen by your side it's practically a curbstomping as the both of you walk all over anything stupid enough to aggressively attack you. Even with the unwieldy size of your sword, Reisen provides perfect cover shots to keep you safe.

"Hyahh!" One slash.

"Gyargh!" Two slashes.

"Nyuuhh!!" One cut down. Another falls. You're not sure why you're shouting, it's just reflexive, or rather, in your case, just seems to be a part of your programming, even though as an android, you honestly have no reason to shout the way you do while attacking. You just do.

"Behind you!" Reisen calls out to you from a distance, you instantly see her scope raised and you duck down quickly enough to dodge the incoming bullet blast that drills right through the chest of one of the beasts that nearly drove it's claws into you. After standing back up, you look back at your supposed savior.

"If I hadn't acted so fast, you would have shot me instead." Reisen just smiles as she walks over to you.

"I would have shot past you and missed you even if you hadn't moved, rangers have exceptional aim." Well, you won't deny that much. Even barring her dexterity, she has amazing reaction time, befitting of an android designed to sharpshoot. Though there is one thing about her that bugs you a little. "Ah, I'm really worried about the other mags too, I hope they're alright..." For an android, she's quite emotional.

"Where exactly did the rest of them go? That ranger had more then one, I'm sure."

"Well, they were mags picked up from the supposedly dead hunters of the Hakurei 1. Odds are they were to try and find their masters. Even if they are dead, they will diligently await at their master's grave for them to rise again...it's so sad." It is quite sad. But hell will sooner freeze over before a tear stains that metal face of yours. "One of them said they wanted a new master however, but they wandered off before I could help them..."

"That is the one we are searching for, correct?" Reisen nods.

"Yes. I don't want the poor thing to feel lonely, so I would like to find it a new master."

"...it really is living then..." They're...like pets. You find it a little hard to believe, but they seem more like pets then equipment, but the government created these things, didn't they? As mere pieces of equipment? What the hell is wrong with them?

"I know it might sound a little far fetched, but mags are truly as living as any human being. They even have emotions, contains within their small cores."

"Is that right though? To drag them around like they're a piece of armor?"

"The mags follow their master because they want to. They make a close bond with the hunter they associate themselves with and have a strong desire to protect and be by their side. You could say they pretty much love their master."

"Even though they look like machines, right...?"

"Hm? You do not believe machines are capable of feeling emotion?" Well, it'd be pretty out there to say they could, given that they can only feel the kinds of emotion that they are programmed with.

"It is rather implausible to say that even we casts could have developing, evolving emotions the way humans do." Reisen closes her eyes, before turning her head while reopening them, looking away.

"I've wondered about that. I've heard tell stories from my own creator that casts have indeed felt things such as love before. Due to how I was raised I can't say I do not believe it." She then returns her serious looking gaze back towards you. "You're a cast too, how do you feel about it? I'm curious."

This is a little problematic, you honestly just want to get this quest over with for now, and slaughter some crows along the way, and get paid after all is said and done. But your damnable programming is getting in the way, you don't think you could avoid giving this girl-droid a serious answer. Might as well get it out of the way.

[ ] Well, you guess androids could feel a little like humans do
[ ] All those emotions are fabricated and don't truly grow
[ ] It all really depends on the cast
[ ] Any sort of notion towards this is silly and irrelevant
>> No. 121867
[Q] Well, you guess androids could feel a little like humans do
[Q] It all really depends on the cast

These go well together, if it's no trouble.
>> No. 121872
[x] Well, you guess androids could feel a little like humans do
[x] It all really depends on the cast
>> No. 121874
[x] Well, you guess androids could feel a little like humans do
[x] It all really depends on the cast
- [x] TSUNDERE MODE: Blush and stutter as you acknowledge that okay, maybe it's possible, b-but really, is it the time to be thinking about such things? Jeez! I-I've got a mission to focus on!
>> No. 121877
[X] Well, you guess androids could feel a little like humans do.
[X] It all really depends on the cast.
>> No. 123981
File 128572729130.jpg - (52.56KB , 800x600 , 1280464872574.jpg ) [iqdb]
123981
[x] Well, you guess androids could feel a little like humans do
[x] It all really depends on the cast

"I suppose it is possible, with the right programming, that even androids could have developing feelings. It is only as far as their circuitry allows however."

"Do you really think so?"

"It's logical. So it truly depends on the cast themselves on whether or not they have emotions." Reisen seems to stare at you for a moment before you decide to finally ask. "So are you one of those androids?" She blinks a bit, as if taken off guard by your question somewhat, which is a bit weird.

"Eh? Ah, well, I suppose you could say that." She then takes on a bit more of a submissive look as she talks about her creator. "My master is a very compassionate woman. She is very scientific, but at the same time, she deeply cares about the world around her. Though she is a bit...eccentric."

You can't tell if you're jealous or not. You have no memory left inside you of who made you, and anyone associated with them. You've merely imprinted upon yourself this whole time. This girl has someone who she can follow though, an example she can trace. It must be a lot easier for her, castsstrive to be independant but in the end, their programming is limited to what their makers give them, thus they can never truly become a true individual.

Isn't it sad, Reisen?

"Your master sounds interesting, to say the least."

"She is, perhaps one day you could meet her." Reisen seems happy to introduce you to her creator. She truly does display much more emotion then your typical cast. This should be interesting...

As the two of you fight through the rest of the forest, your thoughts turn to the mags once more. You suppose that since they actually living beings, they could definitely feel emotions. They're not restricted to their programming like casts are, inside is a living, beating heart, even if it's an eldritch abomination. They imprint on their masters and follow them around like a little child, even going as far as protecting them...you guess you could say you feel jealousy. But you weren't made to feel things like that, so it doesn't bug you as much as it would a person with real emotions.

Then again, they wouldn't have to feel jealous because they'd have what they'd be jealous of, right?

The two of you come at a dead end somewhere in middle of the forest. Reisen seems lost.

"Ah, you know, this reminds me, I used to have a pair of mags of my own a while ago, they were twins...but one of them wandered off and I lost it while it was still a baby, so I feel really guilty about that..."

"Are you trying to find this other mag because of that lingering guilt?" Reisen looks back at you with a solemn smile.

"You could say that. I'm sure it's doing fine though! Master said that it's likely doing well, but...still...I often wonder what it's like now, all grown up." Grown up, huh? You guess as a living being, it could grow just as well too. As an android, your growth is limited to your programming and memory potential, you can only learn as much as you were built to learn.

Man, what's with this chick and making you all philosophical about your race? It's really unlike you.

"Ah, Ricrist, over there!" Reisen diverts your attention to something shining in the distance. You walk over with her and discover a small blue machine with a big yellow eye. Is this a mag? "Oh, I'm so glad it's alright..." The cast with a heart beside you kneels down and picks it up with her small delicate hands. It's something out of a motherly scene, with Reisen holding it gently and the...thing staring back at her with it's...big yellow eye. Okay, maybe it's not THAT motherly...

"So is that the mag?" Reisen looks back over at you and smiles.

"Yes. It seems it wanted to visit it's old master and say farewell...now it wants a new master. Ah, but I already have one back home..."

You were fearing this, but it seems to have come a conclusion. Reisen is looking at you expectantly with the mag in her hands. If you could sigh, you could breathe a heavy one right now.

"I suppose I'll take care of it then, as I lack one anyhow." Reisen smiles cheerfully as she hoped you would say something like that.

"Thank you Ricrist!" She then lets go of the mag and it floats over in front of you. You can't say you're not somehow creeped out whenever it stares at you with that big spotlight looking eye. "Ricrist, please take care of your mag. Even if you can't hear it's voice, know that it understands you."

Well, what an interesting development this turned out to be...

The two of you then return to the Hakurei 2, though Reisen makes a point to avoid the guild as she's probably wanted by your client. Somewhere near the warp down to Gensokyo, the two of you decide to part ways.

"Thank you for accompanying me, Ricrist. It was nice to meet you."

"As well, thank you for helping me with my mission."

"You're welcome~ Oh, we should probably exchange guild card numbers, huh?" Oh, right, that trading patch thing that stupid blonde told you about. You dig your card out of your pocket, and Reisen takes her's out. The two cards face each other, patch first, and what seems like freefloating photon is exchanged between the two patches. When it finishes, both cards contain a new list item next to the patch. Reisen Inaba, RAcaseal...your first contact. Reisen's list is somewhat populated, but not much, you don't get to see who's on it though. "I hope to hear from you again, Ricrist~"

You got Reisen's Guild Card Number!

---

An explaination on contact exchange

Congratulations on your first guild card trade! With the contact details of your new partner stored in your card, you are able to get in touch with them at anytime while on the Hakurei 2. With this, you may add them to what's called a party. This party must contain somewhere between one to four people, and this party is who you take down with you into Gensokyo on quests and missions. Since you yourself are included in this number, you'll always have at least one person in your party, allowing you to invite up to three others together with you to explore Gensokyo.

With a party, quests and missions will not only be made easier, but their story will change too. Who you take with you can affect the outcome of not only the quest but the story behind it too. You always have the chance of succeeding in a quest even alone, but your chances of success rise with each party member you add, unless they only end up being dead weight of course, so you should choose your members carefully later on. As well, who you take along with you changes how the story of each quest unfolds and may reveal more or less things about it. Along the way, you can even develop relationships with your comrads and maybe write your own story with them...

When choosing a quest from the guild counter, you will see an extra bit of information below the description, often read like this:

Req. Members: 1~4

This is the allowed party quota when you undertake this quest. The first number is the minimum requirement to play this quest. As stated, since you yourself count as one, a minimum requirement of 1 will always be met (and therefore can be taken alone) but any higher then that requires you to invite other people. The second number is the maximum allowed party size. If you have more party members then what the quest allows, then you will have to reduce the size of your party by removing members in order to take the quest.

When selecting a quest, you will be notified of your current party structure. To add a party member when selecting a quest, post [x] Add xxxxx to party while replacing the xxxxx with the name of the person you want to invite. Removing party members works the same way, you use Remove instead of Add. Before undertaking the quest, you will be asked to confirm the party set up. If a party member cannot join you for some reason, you will be treated to a small scene explaining why before continuing.

If you ever need a reminder as to who's on your contact list, simply post something like "Check guild card" or simply ask and the list of your current contacts will be posted. As a note, your guild card starts out empty; your new partner is the only one on your list currently. The more missions you undertake, the more people you will meet, and more cards you will exchange.

That should be about it. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

---

"Whaaat?" You're not entirely ecstatic to hear Tenshi's loud whining voice but you suppose it was inevitable. "What do you mean that's the only one?" You go ahead and give her the story, carefully omitting Reisen out of any sort of suspicious behaviour. Tenshi actually seems to believe you, most surprising. "So they are all went to see their masters?" The expression on her face seems to cloud over as she continues. "Their masters were...already dead. So..." After a little hesitation, she gives off a big sigh. What shocks you most is that it looks like she's actually learned that she was doing a bad thing. Maybe she's not all that horrible of a person after all. "Alright, alright. You can get your zenny at the counter. Your job is finished." You walk over to the counter contemplating that maybe it's worth being a little more social, up until you hear Tenshi walking out of the guild. "I could've been a zillionaire! So much zenny..."

...people never change.

"I see you completed your mission, good job!" The guild counter lady sounds enthusiastic, but you get this nagging feeling she's disappointed you didn't get yourself killed out there so soon. "Here is your reward, thank you for using the Hunter's Guild Service~"

You recieved 300 zenny as your reward

...

A while passes. It's the next day. Some people lose track of time though due to the way the ship is build. Sunlight is exceedingly rare, all of it is normally lit up by city lights a large majority of the time. After recieving your reward yesterday, you decided to kick back and relax the rest of the day, and admire your big plastic penis you call a sword. The photon is what makes it deadly, but without it, it looks rather...harmless. Not that any other weapon has it any better, looking like nothing more then a handle, but the sword just looks goofy without it's damaging blade.

The reward you got was paltry, and you're still short on the budget. The mag that's been following you around has been awfully hungry, and you've had to feed it some of your own supplies to keep it from being too erratic. So the first thing you do come the next day is head to the hunter's guild and look for more jobs posted. Most of all, the dirty blonde seems very eager to send you to your untimely demise...

Looking at the job list, looks like nothing new has been posted. What a disappointment. You guess demand isn't all that high right now. You'll just have to make do.

Current Party:
1: Ricrist
2: --------
3: --------
4: --------

[ ] Sent into Battle
----- A hunter sent down into Gensokyo was
----- recently reported missing, and needs
----- urgent help! Please find him.
---Req. Members: 1~1

[ ] Resident Zoning
----- Someone went down into Gensokyo to
----- zone for some new residential areas
----- when they were attacked! Please
----- rescue them.
---Req. Members: 1~4
>> No. 123983
[X] Sent into Battle

Find some more potential party members before tackling the bigger missions.
>> No. 123984
[X] Sent into Battle

I never really played PSO, but this does seem like the logical choice.

Also yay update!
>> No. 123986
[X] Sent into Battle

>big spotlight looking eye

I shall call you Mini Eye Sigma.
>> No. 123989
[X] Sent into Battle

> Req. Members: 1~1

I'm guessing these sort of missions will always advance the main plot?
>> No. 123990
>>123989
In PSO, solo quests were sidequests. Main quests were more about working your way to a new area and having a party was practically manditory for some of those.
>> No. 123992
[X] Sent into Battle

I got a bit more enthused about playing PS0 just by reading this update.

Let me tell ya they overdid it with that tower, 101 floors.
>> No. 124069
File 128581766883.jpg - (7.19KB , 235x141 , yellowdevil.jpg ) [iqdb]
124069
>>123986
I saw "yellow" and "big spotlight eye," and thought of this instead.

Completely missed the part about it being small and blue the first few times, which ruins it. Oh well.
>> No. 124151
File 128592862121.jpg - (646.74KB , 680x961 , 55e0bd6f0461cb029e1612a022338ee2.jpg ) [iqdb]
124151
[X] Sent into Battle

You give the guild lady the heads up on the quest you want to take, and as usual, she calls up the client and wishes you luck. In other words, hopes you die in a blaze of fire. Preferably without glory.

Your client appears to be a short, purple haired civilian. She wears a constant unamused expression similar to that of the weapons dealer. A bit unnerving, however, she is not blonde, so you give her a chance. She wears a hairband with a heart on it, most amusingly.

"Ricrist, was it? I'm Satori. I asked a young hunter, Rin, to do some research on Gensokyo for me. She should have been done by now, however..." Satori, your client, looks down a bit. Her expression doesn't really change, but you can still sense some worry in it, somehow. "I'm afraid she might have gotten into some trouble." She then looks back up at you, her stoic gaze unchanging. "That is where you come in. I want you to go down there and rescue her." Sounds simple enough. You should have this done in n- "Not alone however. Could you bring that hunter over here, standing by the door?"

You hesitate for a moment. You look behind you, further off by the entrance is a big, buff looking cast, class and build seems to be that of a HUcaseal. She is tall, and her armor is very bulky, if a bit old fashioned. She looks taller then even you. A bored look sits on her intimidating looking face, and her 'hair' is red, dolled up into two twintails with bright red hair bobbles.

What is the point in a cast having hair again? You'll never understand.

"Alright." You agree, a bit reluctantly, but he is your client. You need the money. You walk over to the large android. "Excuse me." The mammoth pauses it's bored stare into space to look over at you.

"Oh, are you Ricrist? This is the first time I've had a partner." You didn't notice at first, but she was leaning against the wall just then. She stands up straight, and sure enough, you find yourself looking up at this giant. "I was the first one Satori asked to do this job. She told me I'd have to work with someone else though, out of the blue...hah, I had to say yes as she is my client." Looks like you both are in the same boat then. This Satori girl seems a little shifty, or at least haphazard. You do as you're told and bring this hulking behemoth to your client though.

"Hello again, Ricrist. I see you've now properly met Komachi. She's a pro at things like this." Satori then looks over at your new partner, her expression still hasn't budged an inch. "Komachi, I know you're unhappy with this, but bear with me, as I need two hunters for this, one to retrieve the disk I sent Rin for, and one to help Rin return here should she be injured." She then closes her eyes. "This is my personal agenda, it has nothing to do with business. Rin is a precious cousin of mine, I don't want to lose her...please understand."

"....." Komachi herself seems quite unamused, but after a while, she sighs and gives in. "I have no choice then. Let's get going."

This quest is going to be a rather awkward one.

The two of you head down to Gensokyo, into the Magic Forest once more. The two of you walk silently through the forest path, neither of you leading. This is how you prefer things though, no talk, no delays, just getting the quest done and over with. No chopping heads off though. Yet.

You end up thinking too soon when Komachi stops suddenly, prompting you to halt as well.

"Are you ready Ricrist?" You're almost confused by her words until she suddenly materializes a large, deathly scythe in her hands. The weapon is about as big as she is, and probably just as deadly. "Here they come."

You brandish your sword just in time. About facing as fast as you can and pulling up your guard with your sword, you intercept a fast strike aimed at you from a bear-like creature using it's claws. Looking around, you see they have you surrounded. Normally even this amount all around you would be no sweat, but you'd hate to think of what might've happened had thaat ambush succeeded.

Komachi wins. This time.

The two of you deal with wave after wave of bears that come rampaging in, attempting to take your lives. You take down everything in your path, but you don't overpower everything nearly as well as Komachi does. Holy crap, she outclasses you tenfold, it seems as if all she has to do is breathe on the monsters and they disintergrate into dust. Which is staggering, because androids don't even need to breathe.

After felling the last of the mobs, a loud mechanical sound roars through the room. You look over at your partner to see that the sound was coming from the door she's nearby, unlocking itself. Was that door always there?

...come to think of it, who the hell puts doors in a forest anyways?

"A little protip," Komachi starts as you approach her, "certain doors will only open after all the enemies in the room have been cleared out. Maybe it's a security reason..." Komachi seems to understand just as much as you do. "In any case, other doors can be opened via switches. Let's move on, shall we?" She goes ahead and goes through the now opened door, which clears a path for her. The way she walks is very laid back, as if this is nothing but a cakewalk.

The way she slaughtered those poor creatures earlier, it very well might be.

The two of you continue further, deeper into the forest, you killing as much as you can while Komachi just curbstomps everything simply by looking at them funny. You feel extremely miniscule compared to her sheer power, she'd probably drop you in one hit. After what seems like the forth room of pure, unadulterated rape, Komachi stops, sighing a bit.

"Right, I'm suppose to teach you about aiming reticules and such here, I suppose..."

"...aiming reticules?" Komachi leans back a bit. She looks like doesn't really care enough.

"Yeah, I'm far too lazy to break the forth wall for it though, besides, this ain't no video game."

"..."

"Something about the color of cursors, the palette of some sort, something like that. I dunno what painting even has to do with this to be honest." The amount of sense she's making suddenly delves deeper into the far reaches of...well, none. "Listen, all that doesn't really apply to you, so I'll just ask; are you having a hard time hitting things?"

Well that's a bit unexpected. You wonder if she's saying this because she's been watching you. Have you been faulting with your sword? It is a little unwieldy, but...

[ ] Yes, I am...
[ ] No problem.
>> No. 124170
[X] Yes, I am...

Innuendo laden dialogue ahoy.
>> No. 124180
[X] Yes, I am...

Please help me Ms Exposition.
>> No. 124286
[x] Yes, I am...
>> No. 124552
[x] No problem.

It's perfectly fiiiiiine.


>Reticules
argh

>forth room
>forth wall
ARGH
>> No. 132038
[x] Yes, I am...

"Ahh...alright then." Komachi, seeing your plight, decides to take a break from her readiness to cut off the nearest bird's head and take on a more casual pose as she helps you with your troubles. "Well, I'm more of a fan of partisans myself, but swords can be handled in a similar manner. Though with a partisan you don't have to worry about it's weight like you do with a sword. Even if you're strong enough to wield one, it's size, girth and weight will make it handle a lot differently when you swing it." She then takes her scythe, and quite surprisingly, points it straight out at you, the blade just barely inches from your face. "Most importantly though is that you keep the weapon's range in mind. If you strike with the tip of your sword, you'll usually do more damage then if you hit closer to the base, assuming you aren't just barely tapping the enemy." She pulls her scythe back, resuming her laid back stance. "Not only that, but striking from a distance gives you more leeway to dodge your opponent's attacks, since you're farther away. That's especially important for swords, since that big hunk of metal will keep you from being as mobile as you normally would be."

"Swords sound like the most difficult weapon to use."

"They are, barring except maybe slicers. Anyone who uses a slicer is a fag." She's really blunt in saying it, but maybe she's right. Slicers didn't exactly appeal to you when you saw them. "Anyways, that should be all the tips I got for ya. I shouldn't have to teach you the basics, they taught you all that in the hunter's school. But at least now you should have a bit of an easier time fighting, eh?" You hesitate a little before actually answering, for some reason.

"Hm, thank you." You really don't know how to express gratitude to this kind of...android. Nor do you really feel fit to. You're thankful, sure, but in what way you can't be positive about. She is as mysterious as they come.

After a bit more walking, the two of you come upon a small grove, foliage surrounds you from every side. It's the perfect den for monsters...

"W-Who's there?!"

You hear a voice from somewhere. Komachi does too, apparently, and has already tracked the source of it. This woman is sharp, no more then a second after hearing it, she's already approaching a small indentation in the surrounding land and pushing aside some plant life to reveal a red haired hunter, holding a broken saber. Her bright orange clothes are a mess, and she looks badly injured to boot. That can't be good.

"Are you Rin?" You ask the hunter as you approach yourself, Komachi has already knelt down and begun examining her wounds.

"Ugghh...I don't know who you guys are...but be careful...they're...still hiding around somewhere..." Judging from how much difficulty the hunter has in speaking, it seems like she's pretty drained on all her energy. Komachi realizes this, it seems.

"Ricrist, the disk should be up ahead. I will attend to her injuries, you go on ahead." You give a quick nod and walk forward deeper into the grove...

The grove is a little dark. The trees from every which way even block out the sun's natural light for the most part, but it's nothing too serious to where you have to switch on night vision or anything. You see a small shining object in the stream, reflecting one of the rare beams of light that shines through the leaves. You approach it with caution, and slowly pick it up. It's certainly not rigg-

"Ricrist!"

You turn around just in time to watch Komachi's scythe dismantle a large white wolf's head from it's shoulders, just as it was about to pounce you from behind.

You look around. You're surrounded. Not by trees, but by wolves. Wolves thirsty for blood...well, battle you guess. Or something like that. Not like you or Komachi have blood to begin with. Either way, the angry slobber dripping from the mouths of each wolf is unsightly and makes you aware of their inherent danger.

"Ricrist, are you prepared?" Komachi asks you, her back to yours as the both of you cover each other's blind spots with the wolves slowly circling you, waiting for an opening.

"I am ready." You tell her. It's time for a little extermination.

Without much warning, the wolves attack.

Slash.

Smash.

Crash.

Blood flies everywhere, the small stream the disk was idling in slowly becomes stained with the flowing of native blood everywhere. Many wolves attack but they are all slain. While you are subject to some damage, it's nothing you can't shrug off. Komachi, following the trend she set the moment she set foot in this forest, handles all of her own monsters with incredible ease and the wolves can't seem to make so much of a scratch on her. The insane power she displays is almost mesmerizing...

After all the wolves are dispatched, the two of you return to the hunter, who you assume is Rin. She seems to be doing a lot better now. Did Komachi heal her somehow?

"Whew, thanks...I thought I was a goner." You decide yourself that you're going to be the one to say it.

"You're Rin, right? Satori sent us down here to rescue you." Rin blinks for a moment, looking at you in disbelief.

"Wha...? S-Satori?" After a brief sigh, Rin puts one of her hands to her forehead. "Now I know why you guys are here...jeez, she always treats me like a kid..." She then looks off towards the grove, continuing her explanation. "I had completed the quest and retrieved the disk, but those wolves suddenly got me. I was hit with a surprise attack and I ended up dropping the disk...I couldn't do anything." Another quest, another corny excuse. This hunter looks very inexperienced. But such is life. Komachi then looks at you, eager to get this job done.

"I'll take this girl with me, you deliver that disk to the client. Make sure it's the right one. Then we can finish this job." In a strange move, Komachi turns her back to you, looking towards the exit. "Ricrist...train yourself, and become stronger. Next time I see you, I want you to impress me..."

Hm Hm Hm...

The subtle laugh of that huge, bulky android stays in your electronic mind for a while, for some reason. You can't shake it no matter what you do.

Komachi goes on ahead together with Rin. You find yourself alone in the grove once more. You check to make sure that the disk is still in good condition. It certainly seems that way, thankfully. There's nothing left here though, not even anymore monsters. So, it's time to pack up and head back.

...

"Komachi already left, claiming her zenny."

After returning the disk to your client, you can't help but notice that she seems a bit uneasy.

"I don't think I have ever met such an intimidating android...it was as if she was built for battle." Be it as it may, she might be right. There was definitely something about Komachi that struck you as odd. "In any case, thank you for returning the disk that I had Rin go out to find." She looks over further to the side, where Rin seems to be staring out a window into space, looking a little anxious. "She is enduring the pain, since she refuses to go see a doctor. You can get your reward at the guild counter. Again, thank you." You welcome your client, as is proper etiquette. But before claiming your prize, you decide one more time to bug Rin.

"Your wounds were rather serious, are you sure you don't want to go to the hospital?" Rin turns to you, a bit surprised that you walked up to her to ask her such a thing.

"Huh? I'm fine! A hunter can't progress without being tough about it, right? No pain, no gain!" She sounds rather enthused about herself, until she looks down with a bit of a frightful look on her face. "That android though, it was like hell coming back...she just butchered those monsters, so much blood..." You guess you shouldn't blame such an inexperienced and new hunter for being traumatized by such an intimidating an- "There were so many corpses, it was so cool! I want to be just like her!"

...right. Reward. You should claim it now.

"Good job on completing another quest!" The guild lady says with a bright smile, before looking off to the side with a snarky expression, and a tone that's quite far from under her breath. "Though it would've been more keen if that big fella just left you for dead..." Regardless of her insatiable desire to see you as a rotting corpse, she hands you your reward for another job well done.

You received 500 zenny as your reward

...

The next day. Your mag is becoming increasingly needy. You're still quite short on funds as a result. Another day, another time to check the quest board...

"The principal has sent you a specific request, I've marked it down on the board for you. Hopefully it's not some boring job that you could just die from, right~?"

You wonder how much creepier the guild lady could become at this point.

"Oh, but before you take it, the principal has sent regards that you should take it during your own time and prepare enough for the challenges the lie ahead of you. Or some bull like that anyways. It just means that if you want to die on a different job you're welcome to do so~"

The lack of limits on it are quite astounding indeed. Perhaps the broad is right though, you're still short on money. You might need some for whatever the principal has in store for you. On the other hand, you want to get whatever he has for you done and out of the way, so it doesn't bother you later.

Oh well, you take a look at the quest board anyways and see what you got.

Current Party:
1: Ricrist
2: --------
3: --------
4: --------

[ ] Resident Zoning
----- Someone went down into Gensokyo to
----- zone for some new residential areas
----- when they were attacked! Please
----- rescue them.
---Req. Members: 1~4

[ ] Torrential Woods
----- Please eliminate the hostile wildlife
----- that plagues the immediate area around
----- the Central Dome.
---Req. Members: 1~4
>> No. 132040
[X] Resident Zoning
[X] Add Reisen to party

>You received 500 zenny as your reward
Payouts are usually crap, but the real reward is the equipment drops. Which we haven't been getting. Fuck.

>"Though it would've been more keen if that big fella just left you for dead..."
Way to boost hunter morale, Sunny. Honestly, how did you get this job? Nobody else wanted it?
>> No. 132042
[x] Resident Zoning
[x] Add Reisen to party

I don't know why Komachi and Orin never occurred to me before, but it does make an awful lot of sense, given that both are in the business of transporting dead people, have red hair that is split off into two parts, and use "atai."

...You know, when I started writing that, I only had thought of the first item. Now I'm kind of worried.
>> No. 132048
File 129289334749.png - (383.50KB , 400x1250 , 8b15654544fae82b5758617e1fe1e88e.png ) [iqdb]
132048
>>132042
>> No. 132050
[X] Resident Zoning
[X] Add Reisen to party
>> No. 132063
[x] Resident Zoning
[x] Add Reisen to party

You know, it's been years since I played PSO, but wasn't there a character similar to this story's Komachi in it? You fight him a few times.
>> No. 132078
>>132048
Oh good, I'm not the first person to notice this, then.

...hadn't even thought about penultimate boss-ness, though.
>> No. 132107
File 12929711955.jpg - (368.13KB , 1000x1000 , ce993420f26a6b68d46083bdf75d7214.jpg ) [iqdb]
132107
[x] Resident Zoning
[x] Add Reisen to party

You decide to invite good ol' Reisen to help you on this next quest. For a reason beyond yourself, it seems as if this next task might be a lot less time consuming if two people did it then one. Maybe Satori's logic from the previous request has gotten to you. Now if you could just figure out how to operate this damn thing...

Riiing...riiing...click!

"Hello? Ricrist?"

"Oh, hello Reisen. I called to ask if you wanted to help with a new job I'm taking on. We can split the reward."

"Oh, that would be nice actually! Master has been busy lately so I haven't had much to do. I'm sure she would be happy to know I'm doing something productive. I'll see you at the guild lobby then!"

Click! Beep beep beep...

Do these things have caller ID or something? How did she know she was calling you?

Further more...why the outdated dial tones?

Reisen was added to the current party.

...

"So, we meet again."

It's...it's that purple haired ranger. The one that was with...oh cripes.

"Ah! You're-"

"Hey, aren't you that android that ran off with those mags?" Reisen seems rather nervous, or well, as nervous as a machine could get, but the ranger doesn't seem too worried. "Ah, don't look so tense. Tenshi has probably long forgotten it by now."

"Based on deduction, I'm going to assume that..."

"Yes, Tenshi went down in her latest grand scheme for money to 'claim a stake of land' or whatever. It's too early for that..." Before continuing on, the ranger properly introduces herself. "Oh, sorry, where are my manners? My name is Iku. Tenshi is a close...friend of mine. I would go down to rescue her myself but all my weapons are being repaired and looked into at the moment...while it disgusts me that Tenshi would do this, I still need her around. Could you please go down and rescue her for me?"

If you were a human or any other sort of intelligent organic lifeform, you are quite positive it would be right here that you would sustain a headache.

"...alright. Let's go Reisen." The smaller robotic ranger beside you nods silently in affirmation and the two of you are off on an exciting...thrilling adventure. Certainly not the smartest one, however.

"Tenshi huh? The same one who was gathering those mags who followed me..." Reisen fails to mention that she more or less stole them after the two of you have touched down into the magic forest. "Hopefully she doesn't recognize me, but she is a very greedy person, isn't she?"

"Yes, it does seem that way. Odd senses in the back of my head are telling me that we'll be seeing more of her in the future." There's a short silence that follows until you look at Reisen and notice she's giving you an odd stare. "...what?"

"Are you sure you didn't just hit your head and knock a circuit loose back there?"

Sigh. Women.

It only takes a couple quick rooms of fighting before you find you and your new partner in crime in a decently sized open expanse. You hadn't paid much attention to it before, but there's a lot of broken and otherwise destroyed hoverbikes littering the forest. It definitely would seem the Hakurei 1 had been here for a while before something clearly happened. You only take notice now however, because two of them are directly interfering with your mission...

"...isn't that Tenshi huddled in between two bikes?" Reisen points out. The blue haired girl is cowering quite pitifully in between two of the aforementioned hoverbikes as if they created a little fortress for her. She's scared out of her wits.

"Er...hello?"

"GAH! IT'S A MONSTER!"

You're really caught off guard suddenly, when Tenshi somehow manages to pick up one of the hoverbikes in sheer terror and flings it right at you! Luckily, you're able to pull your sword up just in time to take the brunt of the blow, but the sheer weight and momentum knock you back a decent length, and send you right into the ground.

"R-Ricrist!"

"...I'm fine." You reassure the smaller android that you're tough and can eat hits like that for breakfast. After a little struggling to pick your disoriented body back up, you decide to try one more time with Tenshi, before lopping her head clean off. "We're here...to rescue y-"

"Then what the hell are you doing sneaking up on me like that?!" The greedy pig is quite angry, but a small part of you keeps you from slamming your blade into her gullet for the fact that she seems to be embarrassed that she hit you like that, and thus at least acknowledges that it was a mistake. "There's so many monsters here! What are they doing here?!"

"It is kind of strange that the wildlife here is so adamantly aggressive..." Reisen's note causes you to remember that there a report that the natives here were actually quite docile and preferred not to bother any other kinds of life. Quite mysterious.

"It's insane is what it is! How can I raise the price of the land if the monsters are killing my clients left and right?!" You really do not like where this conversation is going, so you decide to put a premature end to it and get this job done and over with.

"Iku sent us down here to retrieve you. Come on, we're leaving."

"H-Huh?" Tenshi looks really bemused all of a sudden. "Iku asked you to take me back to the Hakurei 2...?" After a short bout with her own confusion, Tenshi gets her...priorities straight and clears her throat. You don't like where this is going. "Ahem! Well of course, I'll go back with you...if you do me a little favor first, of course."

...just who the hell does she think she is? You're the one saving her god damn life! Despite your metal body you can feel Reisen's hand on your shoulder trying to calm you down out of the inherent rage you feel right at this very moment. It's really hard to contain.

"You see," Tenshi starts off with, "I left three capsules down on prime land locations that I scouted a while ago, so once you go ahead and recall all of them, then I will go back with you. Simple, right?"

"...and tell me why we have to get them for you?" Tenshi looks at you like that was a stupid question, and then bluntly misses the point.

"Huh? Because they're expensive. Capsules aren't cheap. Come on now, chop chop, the capsules are this way and that way."

You could swear that this girl was itching for you to spill her blood in the most gratuitous way possible, but thankfully Reisen is there to convince you otherwise.

"So, we have a good idea on where the capsules are now..." Reisen tells you, after receiving some very arrogant and haphazard directions from Tenshi. "So Ricrist, how should we handle this?"

[ ] You'll grab the capsules, Reisen stays with Tenshi
[ ] You'll keep Tenshi "company" while Reisen gets the capsules
[ ] You'll fetch two capsules and Reisen can get the last one
[ ] You'll get one of the farthest capsules while Reisen gets the other two
>> No. 132127
[x] You'll fetch two capsules and Reisen can get the last one.

Not as sexist as it seems; Reisen will go back to keeping an eye on Tenshi after the capsule she's after is retrieved. It's still 4 separate jobs (though I'm betting that's no guarantee of equality between jobs, which kind of pokes a hole in that. Oh well).
>> No. 132142
[x] You'll fetch two capsules and Reisen can get the last one

Time paradox! How was the quest up if she was on the ship when we took the mag quest?
>> No. 132144
[x] You'll fetch two capsules and Reisen can get the last one.
>> No. 132149
>>132142

I don't think there was any indication of that
>> No. 132201
[x] You'll fetch two capsules and Reisen can get the last one.

"It would most likely be faster if we split up and each retrieved the capsules." You think it's a good plan. It'll get the job done faster, that's for sure. "There are probably still plenty of monsters towards the grove where one of the capsules lay. Since another capsule is on the way, I'll pick that one up as well. You should get the last one." After explaining the plan to her, Reisen seems to be looking at you a bit...inquisitively?

"Do you think I can't handle a few beasts on my own? Is it because I'm a female?"

"Not at all, after all, gender or not, you're still an android." You say with a little pride, demonstrating your impeccable racism, not to mention your blatant ignorance for the fact that there's little difference between 'male' and 'female' androids. Nonetheless, being a member of said race, Reisen seems somewhat amused by it.

"Well alright then, whatever you say. I'll meet you back up with Tenshi where we found her after I've retrieved it, okay?"

"It's decided then."

You go ahead on your own towards the thicker part of the forest. As you expected, monsters are at every turn. They're no match for your sword, however. Especially after having gained some experience from your past questing. You feel that after this, you'll be much better prepared for the oncoming mission from the principal. On your way to the grove, you go a bit out of your way to pick up one of the capsules. It's not very well guarded, thankfully, so you retrieve it with relative ease.

Further in, you reach the grove, and it's quite packed full of wolves, just like last time. All traces of the blood from your previous encounter here are all gone...come to think of it, every time you come down here, the blood from all the monsters of the day before has all but vanished without the slightest stain. While, yes, a full day had passed, there's still something about it that strikes you as odd. Perhaps you're reading too far into it though. There's too much conspiracy, and not enough mindless slaughter.

Your sword quickly fixes that.

After having retrieved the second capsule, and feeling better about your physical strength, even though that in itself comes down strictly to how you were made, you decide it's time to head back. As much fighting as you did, this was a little uneventful. It's just more of the same...although that prompts you to think, where are all these monsters coming from? There's such a massive abundance of them, it's as if there's an infinite number of them, and that there's a computer program just remaking and respawning them over and over each time someone comes down here.

But that defies any sort of real life logic and couldn't be feasibly possible. Such an absurd thought.

You eventually come back to the area where you found Tenshi, and there she sits, together with Reisen. Apparently the two have been chatting. Such a strange activity. You will never understand the whole meaning of 'conversation' deep down. Even though that thought is and of itself hypocritical since you are positive you have had a few 'conversations' with Reisen before, but that's passable as she is a fellow android.

"Ah, Ricrist!" Reisen shouts out to you once she notices you're arrival. She stands up from her sitting position on one of the grounded hoverbikes and walks over to you, handing you the leftov-...er...capsule...

"...Reisen, this..."

"It's the capsule...it's just...well a huge moth nest swallowed it and I kinda had to get it out from there!"

It's covered in a horrifying mixture of blood and...some sort of slime that you're unfamiliar with. You look back at Reisen, who seems almost embarrassed about it, for some reason. But there's something else on your mind.

"So why did you hand it to me?"

"Because Tenshi doesn't want to touch it."

"I'm not holding onto something that could give me a hundred and one diseases!" You hear the blue haired girl shout out from behind Reisen.

You...guess you can wash it back on the Hakurei 2...?

...

"Thank you for getting Tenshi back here safe and sound." Iku gives you her condolences for having to put up with the spoiled brat. You're almost kind of glad you went with Reisen. Had you come alone you're afraid Tenshi might have indeed not come back quite so unscathed. "Since you came back so quite I'll reward you a bit extra. The less people worry about her, the better." As soon as she says that, she grabs the pouting Tenshi's ear beside her, with an unnerving smile on her face. "Come on now Tenshi, how would you like to tell you father that you're okay now?"

"W-W-What?! You told me you wouldn't tell Daddy! No, stop, ow ow! Nooo!"

If you had any sort of pity circuitry in your body, you would surely try very hard not to sympathize with her. Luckily you don't have to.

"Thank you for inviting me along Ricrist. You offered to split the reward money right? Master will be proud of me for having completed my first external job~"

"You've never taken a posted job by yourself before?" You ask her this, thinking this is how it was meant to be interpreted.

"Yes, I've always followed my Master around very often, so I don't do many things on my own...last time I did something on my own, well, that's how we ended up meeting."

You can vaguely see why this girl never does anything alone now. You're thankful her retrieval of the last capsule went so smoothly. Well, as smoothly as it possibly could have went you guess...

You received 300 zenny as your reward

...

The last job still gave out rather paltry money. Your mag has been...depressed, you guess? It's stopped eating as much. Which is a bit of a relief on your budget, but you wonder what's wrong with it. Reisen said they have feelings too. Is it upset because you're not feeding it well? You can't tell. The damn thing doesn't even talk for crying out loud. Much less make any discernible noises. It just flutters about aimlessly, though lately it's been a lot more...lethargic, you guess?

Mags are confusing.

You decide that since your budget is still in dire of need of straightening out, you head down to the hunter's guild once more the day after and find yourself in a bit of a sticky situation.

"Hmm, sorry there haven't been any new jobs lately..." For once the guild counter lady is a little sympathetic with you, but if you had to guess this is because there's no chance of you dying in a terrifying as a result. "The principal's request is still open though. If you wish to take it I will notify him of your arrival~" She seems to put on a happy face again, but if you had to guess this is because that means you'd have a chance of being killed mercilessly. Again.

Well, you don't see any reason not to take it. You don't have much else to do. While you've been assured that you can take the principal's requests at your leisure, since there's clearly no rush in figuring out what happened to the previous colony, you think you're good and prepared for whatever the principal might throw at you. Although there's still the matter of your recent new partner, Reisen. Should you take her along? You're afraid of being surrounded and ambushed again, which Reisen could easily remedy, but you're unsure if the principal would allow it. You'd also have to explain the situation to her, you haven't told her that you're a 'chosen one' to the principal.

You give yourself a bit of time to manage your party before going to the principal's office for his request.

Current Party:
1: Ricrist
2: Reisen
3: --------
4: --------

[ ] Torrential Woods
----- Please eliminate the hostile wildlife
----- that plagues the immediate area around
----- the Central Dome.
---Req. Members: 1~4
>> No. 132202
Nice and all, but you may mention him salvaging stuff off-screen so that he doesn't seem to be a step away from 'starvation' between each mission.

Also, are you going to show the boss battle as a quest when it will be time to move to the next area? Then again, you probably got that covered anyway.
>> No. 132203
>>132202

Hey, when you got two mouths to feed on a very piss poor budget (300 meseta isn't even enough to cover a full stack of monomates) then things can get very tight.

Even if one of said mouths doesn't actually "eat." All in all, it's just supposed to be a parody-style story. Relax and if something bothers you, apply the MST3K mantra to it.
>> No. 132204
>>132203
Fair enough.

Other suggestion then. Are we going to see any character interaction outside missions sometimes? Like, say, after a boss fight as officials and soldiers investigate the new area after discovery befroe allowing hunters?
>> No. 132205
>>132204

I guess we could do that. I wasn't intended on this story being overly long and indepth (it's a parody) but I suppose that could be done. I'll try and think of good places within updates to stuff that kind of interaction in.
>> No. 132222
>>132203
Yeah and whatever one star weapons you find might not even bring in that much money; though up to a certain point, they make decent mag food.
>> No. 132373
...Would you like us to actually vote on this, or what?
>> No. 132389
I was giving the chance to adjust your party, half way into waiting on this I realized I probably should've been more specific about that but I've been a little sidetracked.

I'll just continue with the updates if no votes come in for that of course, whenever I get back.
>> No. 132406
>>132389
What other allies can we call on? Last time we checked only Reisen was the only one.
>> No. 132409
>>132406
He's basically giving us a chance to take Reisen out of the party.
>> No. 136053
"It's good to see you again, Hunter Ricrist. I see you brought along company to assist you in this mission."

You found yourself in front of the Principal in short order, without realizing it. You also happened to bring Reisen with you, who's just behind you, without thinking much of it. You don't know how difficult these missions might be, but having backup is always a good idea.

"Yes, I hope you don't mind, I expect these missions from you to be very difficult."

"It's fine, in fact this operation is open to all hunters. It is just you that is the beneficiary to this group." Beneficiary? What does he mean by that? Before you can ask though, the Principal continues on with the briefing. "Allow me to get straight to the point, however. A way to the Central Dome was opened by our military recently, however upon investigating our research crew was reportedly attacked by large groups of hostile wildlife. There has already been numerous casualties amongst the military to these violent beasts...so I would like you to head the expedition to exterminate the enemy party waiting there."

"So what is it that you need us to do?"

"Simply clear out the surrounding area of aggressive wildlife and our teams will take care of the rest. It is something we need to leave up to you Hunters." You're quite curious about that notion. An entire army can't handle a pack of vicious animals so they send two lone mercenaries out there instead? Sounds fishy to you. You'll wait and see, however. "My secretary, Marisa, will brief you on the rest of the details." With a short pause after closing his eyes, the principal says one last thing to you. "...I'm counting on you."

He's counting on you, he says. He sounds so serious and forlorn when he says it.

Silly humans.

You turn around and look at Reisen, who was standing away from you and the principal behind you. You motion her to come over to the secretary desk with you and she obliges. There, Marisa fills you in on the mission details.

"Right, I'll brief you on the mission the principal wishes to give you. It's quite simple, orders are to exterminate the giant wild animals that are running rampant in front of the central dome. They are unlike anything else where on the surface and are highly dangerous." Marisa looks almost as if she's lecturing you on this. You feel a little undermined. But at the same time, it feels totally different to how she greeted you last time. Something must be on her mind. Or maybe it's just her being a dumb blonde. "Well, I'm sure 'great' and 'excellent' hunters such as yourselves are well equipped for such battles. Just take the teleporter and break a leg. Just don't do that literally." Yeah, just her being blonde. God you hate blondes.

"Right. Reisen, let's go then." Your partner nods softly and turns towards the exit. You're about to head down the same path until Marisa gets your attention once more.

"Uh, hold on. Do you know about the Hunter named Reimu?"

"...not that I can recall. Why?"

"Well...if you find her whereabouts, please report to me immediately. Got it, ze?"

"...sure thing."

Reimu...strange, you've never heard that name before. Yet, it sounds so important...you better keep an ear out for this. Well, figuratively.

You carry on with Reisen down to the surface level of Gensokyo. The part of the forest you're sent to with her is vastly different. The geography is quite rugged, and the foliage is much thicker. You must be much deeper into the Magic Forest then your previous jobs have sent you. Shortly after beaming down, you look up at the sky. A dark, thick overcast hangs overhead. The color of water vaguely visible within the folds of the clouds covering the sky.

It's going to rain soon.

"Ricrist..."

"What is it, Reisen? You're not getting cold feet now, are you?" You ask her, noticing she is holding her rifle a little differently. The emotion on her face is quite real, but you still have a hard time reading it. It's common thing amongst Androids, even such as real as Reisen. However, you can tell the look she gives you when she turns over to you. She looks rather serious.

"Are you fully aware of the story behind the Hakurei 1?"

"I believe it was a colony departed from our previous home planet to scout out for a new habitat for the humans who built us." Your wording, as you already know, isn't any more or less correct in a political sense of the term, but even though Reisen is asking you seriously, she is a member of your own 'race' so to speak, so you believe she knows what you're saying. "The second ship that we just left carried most of the civilians and population, while the majority of the government and military was on the first one."

"That is correct," Reisen starts saying as she nods. "The Hakurei 1 was built in such a way that it could be easily dismantled. It was used to build what we know as the Central Dome, set up right here in this forest. It was meant to be the base of operations for the government, as it carried the entire military, most of our colony's scientists and many, many politicians." When she finishes telling you this, something strikes you suddenly.

"The entire military...so what you are saying, is that the current fighting force the government on the Hakurei 2 has right now..."

"They are all draftees. Inexperienced in the ways of combat. It is as such why we're here, as Hunters."

"So we're basically pawns to the government now, doing all their dirty work for them..." Reisen closes her eyes a bit regretfully.

"So be it as it may, we are all they have at their disposal at the moment." Part of you no long feels like going on. The rebellious side of you, that little piece of programming that tells you right from wrong, is saying that something is fishy, and that the Principal isn't telling you the whole truth. However, a job is a job and your programming inherent to your working habits overpowers this suspicion. You can't help though, to continue speculating.

"So the Hakurei 1 was designed to be our preliminary migration vessel. But no one from the Hakurei 2 has been able to contact anyone from the first ship since it landed and built the dome."

"Yes, it was intended to be the first populated colony here on Gensokyo. But as no confirmation could come in from it shortly after it arrived, the Hakurei 2 could not land." Reisen then looks at you again, opening her eyes once more. "If there is no one inside the Hakurei 1, then there is no doubt that there are no survivors here on Gensokyo, especially with these wild animals about...don't you agree?"

If that's the case, then...why are you down here in the first place? Although, something else does strike you as a bit odd. Reisen has been looking at you quite intently, and confidently.

"Before we go on, may I ask how you know all of this? You seem to know a lot about the Hakurei 1, despite obviously not having been on it." Choosing to ignore you and instead, brush off your question, she readies her weapon, looking outward towards the goal.

"If you must ask, that is classified information. But if you were going to take missions from the Principal himself, I wanted you to be sure of what you were getting yourself into before it was too late." Your own sword in hand, you believe now would be ample time to get the mission started.

"In that case, there is no need to say anything more. I know what's coming to me. I've known for a long time."

Yes, there was a time where you believed everyday would be the same mundane job over and over again. Then when you got older, you stopped. Now, in your guild of Hunters, you knew that was death lurking around every corner.

"There! Ricrist, behind you!"

Slash.

"Reisen, nine o'clock!"

Blam.

"Cover me!"

"I'm on it!"

Despite your differences as androids, the two of you make a good team of short ranged power and long ranged skill. Before long, most of the aggressive animals have bit the dust. You can see the Central Dome now. The large building is certainly huge. Thought not as big as you expected it to be. Perhaps the Hakurei 1 wasn't quite as big as the Hakurei 2. You think however, you've cleared a path here.

"I think we're done now. That was quite simple."

"Don't say that, Ricrist. You'll jinx us."

"I believe in no such thing."

As if right on cue, you feel the storm coming in. The light drizzle that started when you began fighting monsters has now turned into pouring rain. Due to your age, it dulls some of your senses a bit. Not by much though. Reisen, who appears to be a much newer model, is probably much more immune to the rain.

Which is just what you're about to be thankful for.

"Ah...Ricrist. Do you see it?"

"See...what?"

"It's coming..." Then, she practically snaps. "...! Get away!!"

Just as you're about to move, she grabs your wrist and high tails it out of there. The speed of her escape is just barely enough to keep both of you from being flattened by a massive beast, easily three times your size. The behemoth would easily dwarf a racast. With two small glowing eyes and two utterly gigantic horns, you can see that it's no ordinary animal. It's head looks as if it has merged with it's shoulders, bringing them out of proportion along with it's arms. The mighty limbs attached to said shoulders looks as if they could heave boulders four times it's size.

This is going to be no pushover.

"Ugh, Ricrist-"

"No time!"

With a swift movement, you get back up and pick up your sword, and take a swing at the monster as it flings it's hardy fist at you. Your blade meets it's knuckles with a terrifying clash. Despite putting all your strength into your swing, you nearly feel your arms snapping in two. Due to this, you're not quite ready for another attack. But while you only have one sword, the beast has two arms, and it's second arm is ready to lay it's meat into you.

"RICRIST!"

You don't have any time to react to the fist flying into you, but Reisen in meantime had her rifle ready. Just as you look to see the fingers curled up and ready to bear into you, you feel a sharp damage point enter into your upper back, causing you fall face first into the ground and barely dodging the knuckle sandwich you were about to eat. While you're trying to get back up, you hear a couple more gunshots and the behemoth above you growling very angrily. By the time you get up, you see that it's walked over you and started tumbling over towards your frightened partner. You can't save her though, as your weakened state causes you to get up and reclaim your weapon far too slowly. You have no choice but to watch as Reisen is backed into a wall, shooting the beast randomly in a panic before she is quite literally swatted into the wall like a poor defenseless fly.

"Urgh...!"

"Reisen! Dammit!"

If there's one thing you can't stand for, it's seeing one of your own comrades taking a brutal bullet for you. That should have been you that got bench pressed. Now, you're about to return the favor.

With your sword now drawn again and the monster's back turned to you, you give it one more go. You lay the sword down edge first straight through the giant's back. You cut a long gash down it that'll permanently disfigure it's rear side. Despite howling in pain, it still has enough attention span to swiftly turn around and take another swipe at you. However, you're much better prepared as you deftly block it with your sword planted into the ground. The two of you exchange a few more blows until you manage to roll under it's feet for one ending execution. Before it can turn around, you leap up into the air and onto it's back, plunging your weapon down into it's flesh. Even from your position, you can see your sword grotesquely vomit out the beast's bloodied mouth. After removing your sword and stepping back onto the ground, the massive animal flops onto the ground lifeless. The threat is dead.

All things considered, you took it's hits rather well. Of course, this is likely because it was sufficiently weakened by you and Reisen before you even took one it's bulging fists to the face. Your dear partner on the other hand, wasn't so lucky.

You prop her back up, sitting against the wall she was flattened against. She appears to be 'unconscious' for the most part. Although not really 'unconscious' more then her systems having an emergency shut down. The likely case is that she took such an intense amount of damage all at once that her systems shut itself down in fear of important circuitry receiving shock damage and permanently destroying her system, or her 'heart' if you will.

It's a bit less comparable to being 'unconscious' when put that way, but compromises have to made when comparing two totally different species.

Her body is lifeless. But upon closer examination, she still has power coursing through her. It should be safe, but on the other hand, you also don't know her all that well yet.

[ ] Attempt to turn Reisen back on
[ ] Take her back as-is
>> No. 136065
Just to make sure: Is the mission done or we go back after we bring back Reisen if that choice is taken?
>> No. 136070
[X] Attempt to turn Reisen back on

I'm going to overlook the fact that she shot us, since it saved us from being flattened. And if we're walking back instead of using a telepipe, might as well have some conversation.
>> No. 136129
[X] Attempt to turn Reisen back on
>> No. 136130
>>136065

Mission is more or less over with.
Actual spoilers: If you need more clarification, taking Reisen back as she is will have you bring her to the Hospital to be taken care of and you will leave her there while you report back in. Turning her back on will eventually result in both of you reporting in and finishing together.
>> No. 136137
If this is anything like PSO, Reisen might have a secret.

[x] Take her back as-is

Though I think the reason Ricrist took the hits better was that generally Cast Hunters are tougher than Cast Rangers.
>> No. 136389
[X] Attempt to turn Reisen back on
>> No. 136566
[x] Attempt to turn Reisen on

This is not the time for such things.

[x] Attempt to turn Reisen back on
>> No. 136740
File 130011366460.png - (1.34MB , 800x1024 , b34f666d44ea33ed219dff8eab62c837.png ) [iqdb]
136740
[x] Attempt to turn Reisen back on

You don't know what people would say if they saw you carrying a non-functioning cast into the Hakurei 2, much less what her 'master' would say. You look up briefly, it's still pouring down on the both of you. Were either of you human, you would be worried about the potential health risks involved in staying out in the rain like this, but as both of you are water and rust proof, there is not much to worry about, unless one of you were left out in the rain for, oh you don't know, a few years. Straight.

Still though, you can't leave her down here with dangerous wildlife teeming about, nor do you think you could handle hauling her back. You must resuscitate her. On most androids, there is a special switch usually used in emergency that directly controls the power output. By pressing it, you should be able to reboot her. Question remains however; where is it? Looking her over, she is quite a lot different from most models you've laid eyes upon, more then that, she is quite different from you, even barring the fact that the two of you are of different 'genders' so to speak.

You have yet to figure out why it is that casts have genders. You will never know, you feel.

She is much newer then you, you can tell. She is younger by at least 20 years. If not more. She is quite young in fact...actually, she appears to be very recently made! It shocks you as this realization hits you like a ton of bricks, mainly because she seemed so knowledgeable and skilled and yet, this is without much time to have 'broken' in her frame. You would think that with such intelligence, emotion and skill that it would take years, maybe even decades of adjustment to achieve the kind of level she reaches. Her creator...yes, her creator is a very skilled one indeed, and this must be a special, one of a kind model.

How you can determine this all by yourself you yourself aren't even aware of, it just sort of comes naturally you suppose. Although the longer you sit here examining her, the more you look like some sort of pervert with glimmering eyes, although it isn't as if there's anybody down here to see you...

No, wait, you uninstalled that protocol ages ago. Besides, what need is there for sexual activity between two robots? None, that's what. With that settled, you proceed to look for the switch.

However, after much fondling, feeling around and generally molesting Reisen, you completely fail in finding anywhere that would even subtly hide the switch. You find numerous compartments for plug ins and upgrades and the like, but nothing that actually controls her power output. Except...

...no. No one in their right mind would put it there. They would have to be crazy. It makes sense to just put nothing there because...

...maybe. Just maybe.

Against your better judgement, despite there being absolutely nothing wrong with it, you move aside one of her limbs and reach in between her legs. Sure enough, you feel a very small and subtle tab that you can push downwards, sliding a door out of the way. It's small and indented, but you have every right to believe it's the switch that'll turn her on. It's given away by how protected it is.

Just...just who is her creator?!

You unsheath a small pin concealed in your left thumb for purposes such as this. With a gentle thrust, you insert yourself into Reisen.

...

You hear a whirring after holding the button down for a few moments. That's the cue to let go of it. You pull the pin back into your thumb and close her back up, then proceed to watch as she reboots. You hear a few beeps, which is likely meant to say something akin to 'BOOT OK; STARTING SYSTEM' and the whirring soon stops as her mechanics resume silent mode. About a minute later, her face twinges a little before she slowly opens her eyes. Finally, she is 'awake' again.

"Uhn...ah, R-Ricrist? What happened...?"

"You were damaged by the hideous beast that attacked us. You were merely offline for a bit, your body seems to be fine."

"Oh...I see. Di-Did you turn me back on?"

"...no. You came to naturally."

You think that it's in your best interests that you forget what transpired here, and that no one evers know about it.

"Alright then. Although I have an abnormally low amount of power...could you help me up?"

"Sure thing." As Reisen tries to pick herself back up, you assist her in standing, with her arm over your shoulder to hold her up. It seems that while she didn't take much exterior damage, it drained her of a large portion of her power to repair her internal structure. You will have to take note in the future that she is a little fragile. "I should be fine by the time we get back to the teleporter...thank you, Ricrist."

"Think nothing of it. I will pay you your share of the reward next time I see you, is that okay? You should head back to your resting place as soon as possible."

"Ah, don't worry too much about it. I still have my master's support. I'll just have to be more careful next time."

"If you insist."

You walk back with Reisen, eventually reaching the teleport back to the Hakurei 2. Upon beaming back into the ship, the two of you part ways, as you fear for Reisen's well being and ability to make it back on her low amount of power. She reassures you that it's fine however, and so you proceed to forget about it for now and head back to the principal's office.

"Congratulations on a job well done." Thank you words from the principal are what you get after reporting back to him. That's not really what you want at this point though. "With the dangerous wildlife taken care of, our investigations team can continue searching through the forest. You have my deepest gratitude on behalf of the Hakurei 2."

"I was just doing my job, Sir." You feel a little small calling him sir, but you're really looking forward to a hefty reward here.

"Well then, please take to my secretary for any further details. Again, thank you for your cooperation." You go ahead and walk about a few steps over to your side so unnecessarily to the blonde freak you hate talking to so much.

"Wow, was so sure you'd get yourself killed like the rest of 'em..." You hear her say as you approach her, looking at her papers. She then notices you, and proceeds to act as if it didn't even bother you. "Well then, was everything you reported to Rinno all you had to report?"

"Yes, I exterminated the beasts and made sure there was no longer any aggressive wildlife left."

"Great! We'll keep you posted on any future jobs at the guild then." Then, as if that was it, she continues about her business. After a little hesitation, you have to say something.

"Er...are you forgetting something?"

"Hm? What would that be?"

"...my reward?"

"Oh, right, I guess I do hafta give ya that don't I?" You're about to facepalm until Marisa tilts her upper body a bit and with her arms over her head and great big smile, she exclaims, "WE APPRECIATE YOU, ZE~!"

It would have been too soon to facepalm right then and there.

"...what?"

"That was your reward. Happy now? Go on, we're busy people here ya know!"

...blondes...

...

A few days have passed. Despite no new jobs having appeared in a while, you've somehow kept up on feeding your mag, until it suddenly 'evolved' one day. You thought someone had stolen yours and left you a different one, until a quick call to Reisen informed you that your mag had merely grown into a new form, telling you that it grows as much as you do. Supposedly. You don't think you 'grow' much less as learn but whatever floats her boat you suppose. The mag only looks marginally different; it has a bit of a pointed 'nose' now, and the back seems to have opened up a bit. You're not sure if the inside is it's 'core' so to speak but you decided that it would be best not to think about it too hard. What you should think about it how much hungrier it has gotten as a result...time to check by the guild counter.

"Oh...I could've swore you died out there or something." The blonde counter lady gives you the expected response you've come to have already gotten used to. "Well, never mind that then. Welcome to the Hunter's Guild, please select a job you would like to die to--I mean, take upon yourself~"

Looking at the list she presents to you, it would seem you're in luck; the new order of posted jobs has finally arrived. Maybe you can make some smooth cash now.

Note: Principal Mission passed, party automatically cleared.
Current Party:
1: Ricrist
2: --------
3: --------
4: --------

[ ] False Black
----- A biologist, crazy about
----- Gensokyo's wildlife, has
----- went missing. Find them!
---Req. Members: 1~4

[ ] A Need To Report
----- It's my duty to give
----- the public a report on
----- what's going on.
----- Please, take me to Gensokyo!
---Req. Members: 1~3

[ ] The Great Gale
----- A cruise ship that departed
----- the Hakurei 2 crash landed
----- down in Gensokyo. Help
----- search for survivors!
---Req. Members: 1~2

[ ] Wildlife Examination
----- We're studying what makes
----- the native species on Gensokyo
----- so aggressive. Please assist
----- us in collecting data.
---Req. Members: 1~4
>> No. 136741
[X] The Great Gale
-[X] Add Reisen

>On most androids, there is a special switch usually used in emergency that directly controls the power output.
As soon as I read this, I knew it was going to be a reenactment of that scene in Chobits. Poor Reisen.
>> No. 136767
Did we just get screwed out of our reward?

[X] The Great Gale
-[X] Add Reisen

Hope that she's alright and that we get more party members soon.
>> No. 136782
>>136767
>Did we just get screwed out of our reward?
Well...
>You don't particularly understand it, why does everyone think he's such an asshole again?
I think we got the answer.
>> No. 136784
>>136782
goddamn, not even PS0's Mayor was that much of a jerk. Sure he sends you on a crazy quest or two just to cures for his hair loss, but he has the decency to give you a reward in the end
>> No. 136798
[X] The Great Gale
-[X] Add Reisen

And then Reisen was a chobit.
>> No. 136835
>>136784

And that reward was great for leveling up Rangers.
>> No. 136898
[x] The Great Gale
-[x] Add Reisen to party

Riiing...riiing...click!

"Hello Ricrist."

"Hey, you feeling better after that run in with that massive bear?"

"Yes, I've told you that I am in good hands, so you don't need to worry."

"Well in that case, I got a new job that looks like it pays well. Would you like to join me?"

"Sure thing. I'll meet you at the guild lobby then."

Click! Beep beep beep...

You can't help but feel a little worried about the poor thing. But she says she's in good hands...you honestly wonder about that.

Reisen was added to the current party.

...

"There you are."

Oh. Great. You failed to check who the client was before taking it. Long blue hair, peaches in her hairclips, expensive looking outfit, could only be one person...

"Oh...Tenshi." The squirt looks at Reisen as she states the obvious.

"Hwah! You got some nerve, bringing her along!"

"Get to the point, what's the job you posted for?" You feel a little impatient with the girl, which is easy to do given her demeanor.

"Well as you might know, I work for a travel agency." She did? Since when? You thought she was a realtor or something? "The Great Gale is a pleasure boat, departed for Gensokyo before we received news about the explosion. Communications with the ship have been lost." Oh, wonderful. You think you know what this entails.

"So you're having us go down and fetch you some capsules-"

"No you idiot! There's a huge search going on down there and you're invited! There's already some other Hunters down there looking for survivors, and any sort of clue would be fine. I expect some results from you, so if you find anything, and I do mean anything, you report it to me, got it?" Such an arrogant broad. You get this feeling this won't be the last time you see her though.

"Yes, yes, I got it, Let's go."

"Oh, and one more thing." Tenshi catches your attention with an unamused look. "Don't talk to other Hunters about this. We don't want rumors to spread, 'kay?"

"...got it."

You and Reisen take the teleporter down to the Magic Forest. It's in a familiar spot. You guess the survivors could be anywhere, if there are any. It's the beginning of a long day.

"What kind of clues do you think we should look for?" Reisen asks you as the two of you walk through the thick foliage.

"Any signs of life, I suppose."

"Well, aren't there other people, Hunters included, searching for clues too? Do you think we'll really find anything?"

"No." You decide to go ahead and just be blunt with her this time. "But if we get paid for doing nothing but walking around, then I'm not about to argue."

"I guess you're right..."

There's a few hostile animals here and there still left, that you and Reisen dispatch with relative ease. The forest feels quite empty barring the random people you see left and right however. It's probably due to both your earlier extermination mission and the fact that there's an unusual amount of Hunters down here. Disobeying orders, you do talk to a few a them. They all end up having no leads, and nothing interesting to say however. Up until you come across a dead end, with a peculiar woman holding a giant shotgun in it.

"Oh, hey. Are you two looking for that pleasure boat too? Do you really believe the story about it?" It sounds like such an odd question to open up with. You look at Reisen, who just looks back at you like you're the one that's supposed to answer her, as you were the one she was talking to. So you go ahead and give her your answer.

"I suppose I do, why?" With that, the woman stares at you for a brief moment before bursting out into laughter.

"....pfffhahaha! Really, are you serious? You're pretty interesting, mister. Hehehe!" After calming herself down, she looks back at you with a better, less degrading face. "Ah, sorry 'bout my rudeness. Say, can I come with you two? I can give you some good info~"

"Alright." You briefly notice that Reisen is looking at you funny, probably because you just freely decided to disobey orders like that so quickly. You couldn't really care too much however. It's Tenshi.

"Utsuho. You?" The woman tells you her name as she extends a hand out to you. While you love disobeying Tenshi, disobeying your own manner circuitry is something you simply cannot do.

"Ricrist. This is Reisen." You shake her hand while introducing yourself and your partner. Reisen bows her head lightly.

"Nice to meet you."

"Hey, you two are alright. Well, let's get goin' then."

With that, a new member of the party is introduced. Boy, what a member she is too. Her body build is almost as bulky as you, but from the looks of it, she appears to be human. A skilled ranger too, much like your other friend. Instead of accuracy however, she focuses on pure power. A single fiery shot from her massive gun incinerates and melts a good majority of enemies that stand in your way. With the combined skill of Reisen and the control of your sword, the three of you make quite short work of anything that even dares to attack you. It's a good thing too, Utsuho seems to be leading you into a more dangerous part of the forest. You remember this path; it's the one you took to get to the objective area in the mission the Principal set you up with. Along the way, Utsuho says something a little peculiar.

"Hey, don't you think it's weird, the quest that is? I mean, a pleasure boat that departed before the council made first contact?" Reisen ponders a bit about that herself after it's mentioned.

"Come to think of it, the story does seem a little strange..."

"I know, right? There's no way! I really doubt that it actually just fell to the ground." The conversation halts suddenly when the three of you come across a door that, unlike all the others, doesn't open automatically. "Oh, huh. Won't open? I guess the mechanism is broke. Lemme take care of it." As Utsuho walks over to the door to supposedly fix it, Reisen gets your attention.

"Hey, Ricrist. This job we took on, it doesn't sound like what it looks like, does it?"

"No, it doesn't, if so, then..."

"Do you think that..."

[ ] They're telling half truths
[ ] It has to be a cover up
[ ] We're looking too hard into this
[ ] Let's just trust them on their word for now
>> No. 136903
[X] They're telling half truths

They're searching for something, but it's not a pleasure boat. Why else would they want information on whatever people find, ship or not?

>"Well as you might know, I work for a travel agency."
Really? Because you act like a rich idiot with no day job.
>> No. 136928
[X] They're telling half truths.
>> No. 136949
[X] They're telling half truths
>> No. 136967
[X] They're telling half truths
>> No. 136979
[x] It has to be a cover up

TENSHI DID HAKUREI I
>> No. 137361
Due to a lack of interest (from both readers and myself) I'm putting this story on hiatus until further notice.

Hopefully, if I do ever feel like continuing this story, it won't have fallen off the boards entirely by the time I do so.