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85995 No. 85995
"--Check the probability drive."

It's the most likely source of the issue, so perhaps it might be able to give you a bit of insight. The data it's logged automatically may prove invaluable.

That is, of course, if it had anything to do with this mess in the first place.

"So, deck two it is, then." Your other self seems annoyed by the undeniable prospect of walking all the way back to the elevator. You, on the other hand, will use this blessing to your full advantage. Before this, you could barely stand on your own, and now you're nearly running down the halls.

"Hey!" She calls out to you, now a little ways behind. You don't want to stop for her, but you do. It's frustrating, and the feeling only gets worse when you remember that this is you--your own clone--in question.

Soon enough, you stand before the set of heavy metal doors guarding the drive core. Imposing as they may be, it's a fairly regular sight for you. You punch in the code.

Here's to hoping you don't meet any women in red on the other side.

It's clear--a little bit dustier than you remember, but clear. A panel on the almost spherical outer wall has been removed, and several circuit boards have been laid out on a cloth on the walkway just below it. Green and grey on an otherwise completely white background.

The core sits at the center of the room--appearing as little more than a tower or support beam of slate-grey metal. A computer terminal stands just before it. You access it.

RECENT ACTIVITY REPORTS

5346-04-27 04:30:23a - Automated cleaning process interrupted
5346-04-27 04:31:16a - System force reboot by (ADM)KICH4564
5346-04-27 04:31:17a - Error: Code 80070103
5346-04-27 04:32:00a - DriverUpdate failed to connect
5346-04-27 04:32:31a - Error: LocalNet detection failed
5346-04-27 04:32:31a - Error: Cannot identify with IPC host
5346-04-27 04:44:13a - System force reboot by (ADM)KICH4564
5346-04-27 04:44:13a - Safe boot startup enabled (Networking disabled)
5346-04-27 04:44:59a - Startup exiting normally
5346-06-21 01:00:09p - Automatic update failed
5346-09-11 03:14:59a - Error: Code 35246598
5346-09-11 03:14:59a - Alarm
5346-09-11 03:14:59a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
5346-09-11 03:14:59a - Error: Automated repair failure
5346-09-11 03:15:00a - Scanning system...
5346-09-11 03:17:00a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
5346-09-11 03:17:00a - Error: Automated repair failure
5346-09-11 03:17:00a - Scanning system...
5346-09-11 03:18:01a - System force reboot by (ADM)OKYU4563
5346-09-11 03:19:13a - Safe boot startup enabled (Networking disabled)
5346-09-11 03:19:13a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
5346-09-11 03:19:13a - Error: Automated repair failure
5346-09-11 03:19:14a - Scanning system...
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Error: Code 23452775
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Automated repair success
5346-09-11 03:20:30a - Scanning system...
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - VP: Alarm
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: Manual shutdown
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: 96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
5346-09-11 03:22:07a - System automatic shutdown


What the hell is that number? You've never seen anything like this! But the logs show this as happening several weeks ago.. So it's unlikely that it corresponds to you being thrown into this world.

Damn..

But the lack of logs after that date bring something else to your attention. The gentle humming of the drive's electronics, and the incessant clicking it makes during heavy calculation--none of it is present. The room is dead silent. The drive core is powered off, as stated in the log.

You turn to your other self, standing, looking just as beleaguered as you feel.

"I take it you haven't tried powering the thing back on?" You ask.

"Every time I do, it'll hang up before the operating system boots." She sighs, looking off towards the mess of circuitry just hanging out of the wall. "And any attempts at repairing it are slow and unproductive. I've tried all I can think of.."

She looks to you, as if looking for your help.

"Sorry, I've never seen anything like this before."

Her reaction is as expected. Her shoulders sink, she lowers her head..

"I suppose we each have our own problems.." You get attacked by a series of monsters and can hardly stand on your own, and she finds herself with a broken ship and no way to get home.

"Indeed." She slowly starts to regain her former zeal. "I've tried changing out the circuitry, but that didn't seem to do much. And I'm afraid that without the hardware or software to perform a software restore..."

She trails off, knowing full well what'll happen if she can't fix the machine.

"Oh, hey! There ya are!" Chiyuri walks in, hands full of junk, smiling as is usual for her. "I've been lookin' all over for ya... And by all over, I mean I just came up here from below." She immediately gets to work on that bit of exposed machinery. "I think I found a part that might fit this, here."

She shoves some bit of metal into the open slot where the circuitry should go. She's pretty rough with it, but seems to know full well what she's doing.

"You broke the pin in the first place, Chiyuri." Your other self scolds her. "I don't think you should act so proud of yourself."

"Meh." Chiyuri shrugs, getting back to work without taking a passing glance.

[ ] Excuse yourself, search elsewhere
-[ ] Labs
-[ ] Ship
[ ] Offer to help them.
[ ] Stay and watch.

>> No. 86011
[x] Offer to help them.
>> No. 86012
[x] Offer to help them.
>> No. 86017
[x] Offer to help them.
>> No. 86025
[z] Offer to help them.
[e] Wait, something is out of place...

>5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Error: Code 23452775
>5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Automated repair success
>5346-09-11 03:20:30a - Scanning system...
>5346-09-11 03:20:04a - VP: Alarm
>5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Alarm: Manual shutdown

...That's mighty odd.
(Unless it's a typo.)
>> No. 86038
>>86025

~
>> No. 86077
>>86038
...
Okay. That does not bode well.

Adding the following to my vote at >>86025 :

[x] ...wait, what the hell's up with that timestamp?
>> No. 86090
[x] Offer to help them.
[x] Wait, something is out of place...

Now if you'll look out the right side of the aircraft, you'll see the other side of the aircraft. Oh wow, that is fucked up.
>> No. 86091
[x] Offer to help them.
[x] Wait, something is out of place...
>> No. 86099
[x] Offer to help them.
[x] Wait, something is out of place...

Okay.
>> No. 86265
"Take your job more seriously, why don't you?!" Your other self starts to get angry.

"I am, I am." Chiyui answers nonchalantly, waving her hand in dismissal. "Trust me."

"You are not!"

"Hey, uhh.." You cut in, trying to keep the situation from getting ugly. When Chiyuri digs her heels in, things always get ugly. "Anything I can do to help?"

"Did you find anything in the logs?" You're asked, your twin self taking a moment of time away from glaring at Chiyuri to look at you.

"Err, actually.." You scan them again, just briefly. "I don't know if you noticed this, but.."

She walks over. You point to one of the timestamps near the end of the list.

"This date is off by twenty-six seconds, then it just goes back to normal."

"Well I'll be.." She seems intrigued. Stumped, befuddled, but intrigued nonetheless. "I hadn't noticed that."

"It pays to be observant." You find it laughable that you've suddenly started talking down to yourself. And until a second ago it was just Chiyuri you did that to.. "I suspect it might have something to do with this mess.."

"Certainly something to do with the previous mess." She rubs her jaw, deep in thought. "That was the day our little Chiyuri clone showed up."

"Is she still around?"

"Nope."

"So, you sent her back, then?" She's not being very informative. Then again, you never do try to explain things to others if the facts seem apparent..

"Somehow." A shrug, a rolling of the eyes. "She just up and disappeared one day, never to be seen again. The drive had long since been deactivated when that happened."

"I bet it was a pain.."

"Hmm?"

"You know," You laugh quietly, speaking softly to keep the third party in the room from listening in. "Having two of her around."

"Hah! Like you wouldn't believe!" Your other self laughs. Finally, something that proves she's not a frigid bitch! There's no doubt in your mind that she's every bit the same as the person you were before that sudden attack. "God, I'm so fed up with her right now.."

"Really? I've always kinda liked having her around."

"And maybe in your world pigs fly, cats land on their backs, and toast falls butter side up?"

"Nope." You're not sure how to respond to that one. An honest answer is best, you figure. "I guess she started to grow on my after a while."

"Like a fungus?" Another laugh stifled.

"Possibly. I'd think it'd be more akin to mind conditioning."

"Heeey~!" Chiyuri interrupts the two of you, calling from the other side of the room. "Any 'a you folks wanna gimme a hand here?"

"Ugh."

"I'll do it." You volunteer.

"Be my guest." She really seems absolutely and completely fed up with Chiyuri, for some reason.

You walk over, and lean down over Chiyuri's shoulder. She looks up at you, blushing slightly.

"Uh, err.."

"So what's the trouble?" You kneel down, taking a look at what little work she seems to have accomplished already.

Silence. Chiyuri looks away.

"Couldja.."

"Hmm?" You can't hear her.

"Maybe not lean so close?"

"Why not?" You ask smiling, watching her start to fidget.

"GAAAHH!" She suddenly yells out in frustration, clutching her head in her hands, shaking up her hair with her fingers. She stands, stepping away from you in the process.

"I can't tell who's who!" She continues yelling, no care for how loud her voice seems in this small, round room. "Are you the normal one, or the weird one?!"

[ ] The normal one.
[ ] The weird one.

==========

I'm having so much fun with this right now.
>> No. 86266
>"I guess she started to grow on my after a while."
>my

Me. ME! FFFFFFFFFFFF
>> No. 86269
[x] The weird one.

I've always wanted to be my evil twin.
>> No. 86271
[x] Depends on your defenition of weird.
>> No. 86275
[X] The normal one.
>> No. 86276
[+] To Chiyuri: "You're the weird one."
>> No. 86281
[x] To Chiyuri: "You're the weird one."
>> No. 86284
[ze] "I've always been normal."
>> No. 86289
[x] No matter what your reply, make sure to argue with your twin for comic effect.

No, you're the most brilliant.
>> No. 86290
[x] To Chiyuri: "You're the weird one."
>> No. 86425
[x] To Chiyuri: "You're the weird one."
>> No. 86439
"You're the weird one."

"Huh?" So she'd expected a straight answer? Perhaps you'd proven to her beyond a doubt that you are, in fact, the weird one. The way she narrows her eyes when she's confused is no different from what you can remember.

"I said,"

"I know what you said." She pretends to be angry. "How the hell'm I the weird one?"

"You just are." You state, turning around to face your other self for some sort of confirmation on her part. "She is weird, isn't she?"

"Without a doubt." She smiles and nods, supreme confidence in her answer.

"Hey, fuck you guys!" Chiyuri turns away, defensively returning to her work. She whispers to herself, "I'll do it my own goddamn self.."

"Pouting, already?" You can't--won't leave her to work by herself. But that doesn't mean you can't have a little more fun at her expense. "C'mon, I'll give you a hand."

"Fuck off!" Chiyuri takes just enough pause to give you the finger.

"Are you sure?" You look at all the machinery lying around the room. You point to the largest piece. "That one looks a little heavy.."

"I'll manage." She continues to drive you away.

"Alright, I get the picture." You know how she works--you can play this game, too. You turn across the room another time, "C'mon, me. Let's get outta here."

"Uhm.." She doesn't seem to know where you're going with this. Then again, neither do you. It's all made up on the spot, fueled only by your limited knowledge of how Chiyuri's mind works.

"If you need us," You turn to Chiyuri just before heading out. "We'll be in our office."

"My office." Your twin corrects you.

"Excuse me," You give her a sour look. "Her office."

"Fine, go then. I don't care." Chiyuri really sounds serious all of a sudden..

But you've already committed. You take yourself by the arm and drag her out of the core room.

Once you're back in the elevator..

"What the hell was that for?" She asks, frustrated. "I didn't think I could be so impulsive.."

"News to all of us, I guess." You shrug. "I figure she'll get lonely in there, all by herself. So eventually she'll come looking for us."

"Aaaand.. You did it, why?"

"I'm not sure.." Why did you? There was certainly no need for it, nor does it put you any closer to the answers you seek..

"You're not sure.." She sighs heavily with aggravation, rubbing her eyes as she urns away.

"Nope."

"Well, I guess that settles it."

What?

She turns around, facing you straight-faced. You notice something in her hand. A gun, pointed at you.

"Who are you, really?"

"What do yo--" What is this madness?! It's so sudden, you don't even--

"You're clearly not me, save for the outward appearance. Nor are you anything like me." She steps to the side, stopping the elevator before it can reach the top level. "Chiyuri's twin was no different from the real one. Her actions, her speech, her thoughts.." She steps closer, holding the gun to your chest. "They were all the same. So, why are you so different?"

[ ] ?
>> No. 86447
[X] "That's easy enough. I'm different because I actually formed a meaningful relationship with another human being."
[X] "Remind me to tell Chiyuri she was right when I get back, by the way. I really do need to get laid. I mean, damn, really. It's good to know I'll have her around to give me some help on that front."
>> No. 86449
[X] "That's easy enough. I'm different because I actually formed a meaningful relationship with another human being."
[X] "Remind me to tell Chiyuri she was right when I get back, by the way. I really do need to get laid. I mean, damn, really. It's good to know I'll have her around to give me some help on that front."
>> No. 86451
>>86447
>>86449
So we're trying to squick our way out of this confrontation? I'll jump on this:

[+] "That's easy enough. I'm different because I actually formed a meaningful relationship with another human being."
[+] "Remind me to tell Chiyuri she was right when I get back, by the way. I really do need to get laid. I mean, damn, really. It's good to know I'll have her around to give me some help on that front."
>> No. 86453
[~] "That's easy enough. I'm different because I actually formed a meaningful relationship with another human being."
[z] "Remind me to tell Chiyuri she was right when I get back, by the way. I really do need to get laid. I mean, damn, really. It's good to know I'll have her around to give me some help on that front."
[e] "You ought to try it."
>[x] "Like right now. Don't want to be at a loss when you're with Chiyuri, right?"

Yumemi selfcest is a delicious mental image.
>> No. 86454
>"You're clearly not me, save for the outward appearance. Nor are you anything like me." She steps to the side, stopping the elevator before it can reach the top level. "Chiyuri's twin was no different from the real one. Her actions, her speech, her thoughts.." She steps closer, holding the gun to your chest. "They were all the same. So, why are you so different?"

The villain is keeping you alive only out of curiosity, and your best idea is to disgust her?

[x] "The question is likely not so much why am I so different as it is when. You've traveled to alternate worlds. You're familiar with the butterfly effect and deterministic chaos. Why can't you figure this one out, smart girl?"
[x] "Anyway, you don't want to shoot me because of our differences; you want to shoot me because of what you are afraid we may have in common."
[x] "Besides, different or not, I'd have disposed of me anyway. We know ourselves that much. We simply cannot be trusted." Nod at the gun, "Res ipsa loquitur."
[x] "It makes a sick sort of sense, really. I've already committed academic suicide, so I may as well literally kill myself. Be glad that you won't be around to read the obituary: 'Crank Dies on Fool's Errand, Talking to Herself.'"
[x] "Now that I've answered you, at length, here's my question: What's up with the strawberries?"
[x] "Alright I've listened to myself drone on long enough. Smite me under the fifth rib, and let's be done with it."

You love the sound of your own voice, so let yourself gab away, and hope that at the end the other you pulls the 'I'm nothing like you!' card.
>> No. 86458
[x] "The question is likely not so much why am I so different as it is when. You've traveled to alternate worlds. You're familiar with the butterfly effect and deterministic chaos. Why can't you figure this one out, smart girl?"
[x] "Anyway, you don't want to shoot me because of our differences; you want to shoot me because of what you are afraid we may have in common."
[x] "Besides, different or not, I'd have disposed of me anyway. We know ourselves that much. We simply cannot be trusted." Nod at the gun, "Res ipsa loquitur."
[x] "It makes a sick sort of sense, really. I've already committed academic suicide, so I may as well literally kill myself. Be glad that you won't be around to read the obituary: 'Crank Dies on Fool's Errand, Talking to Herself.'"
[x] "Now that I've answered you, at length, here's my question: What's up with the strawberries?"
[x] "Alright I've listened to myself drone on long enough. Smite me under the fifth rib, and let's be done with it."
>> No. 86471
[+] "That's easy enough. I'm different because I actually formed a meaningful relationship with another human being."
[+] "Remind me to tell Chiyuri she was right when I get back, by the way. I really do need to get laid. I mean, damn, really. It's good to know I'll have her around to give me some help on that front."
>> No. 86472
[B] "The question is likely not so much why am I so different as it is when. You've traveled to alternate worlds. You're familiar with the butterfly effect and deterministic chaos. Why can't you figure this one out, smart girl?"
[B] "Anyway, you don't want to shoot me because of our differences; you want to shoot me because of what you are afraid we may have in common."
[B] "Besides, different or not, I'd have disposed of me anyway. We know ourselves that much. We simply cannot be trusted." Nod at the gun, "Res ipsa loquitur."
[B] "It makes a sick sort of sense, really. I've already committed academic suicide, so I may as well literally kill myself. Be glad that you won't be around to read the obituary: 'Crank Dies on Fool's Errand, Talking to Herself.'"
[B] "Now that I've answered you, at length, here's my question: What's up with the strawberries?"
[B] "Alright I've listened to myself drone on long enough. Smite me under the fifth rib, and let's be done with it."
>> No. 86473
[X] "The question is likely not so much why am I so different as it is when. You've traveled to alternate worlds. You're familiar with the butterfly effect and deterministic chaos. Why can't you figure this one out, smart girl?"
[X] "Anyway, you don't want to shoot me because of our differences; you want to shoot me because of what you are afraid we may have in common."
[X] "Besides, different or not, I'd have disposed of me anyway. We know ourselves that much. We simply cannot be trusted." Nod at the gun, "Res ipsa loquitur."
[X] "It makes a sick sort of sense, really. I've already committed academic suicide, so I may as well literally kill myself. Be glad that you won't be around to read the obituary: 'Crank Dies on Fool's Errand, Talking to Herself.'"
[X] "Now that I've answered you, at length, here's my question: What's up with the strawberries?"
[X] "Alright I've listened to myself drone on long enough. Smite me under the fifth rib, and let's be done with it."

Pissing yourself off when you have a gun to your head is probably not in your best interest. It's far better to ramble like this, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are the boring, verbose academe you think you are.
>> No. 86474
>>86473
>proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are the boring, verbose academe you think you are.

But we're not. We're better now.
>> No. 86476
[x] "That's easy enough. I'm different because I actually formed a meaningful relationship with another human being."
[x] "Remind me to tell Chiyuri she was right when I get back, by the way. I really do need to get laid. I mean, damn, really. It's good to know I'll have her around to give me some help on that front."
>> No. 86478
>>86474

If we're 'better' then why is she the one holding the gun?
>> No. 86495
[X] "The question is likely not so much why am I so different as it is when. You've traveled to alternate worlds. You're familiar with the butterfly effect and deterministic chaos. Why can't you figure this one out, smart girl?"
[X] "Anyway, you don't want to shoot me because of our differences; you want to shoot me because of what you are afraid we may have in common."
[X] "Besides, different or not, I'd have disposed of me anyway. We know ourselves that much. We simply cannot be trusted." Nod at the gun, "Res ipsa loquitur."
[X] "It makes a sick sort of sense, really. I've already committed academic suicide, so I may as well literally kill myself. Be glad that you won't be around to read the obituary: 'Crank Dies on Fool's Errand, Talking to Herself.'"
[X] "Now that I've answered you, at length, here's my question: What's up with the strawberries?"
[X] "Alright I've listened to myself drone on long enough. Smite me under the fifth rib, and let's be done with it."
>> No. 86497
>>86478

Aiming weapons at the innocent? We're better than that.
>> No. 86500
>>86497
That's right. We have Chiyuri around to do it for us.
>Reimu: What's with this all of a sudden!?
>Chiyuri: This may be small, but it's a very powerful weapon. You'd better do what I say if you know what's good for you.
>> No. 86506
>>86497

We're far from innocent. We were probably planning on disposing of her anyway.
>> No. 86602
Snake just combine them.

Maybe only start with raunchy bits after the strawberry mindfuck.
>> No. 86624
>>86602
>strawberry mindfuck

This is now my favorite mixed-drink.
>> No. 86657
>>86602
>strawberry mindfuck

I like this.

Also, a bit of bad news. Seeing as I'm starting a 7-month long IT training program for network security, updates are likely to be on the slow side for the duration. The program is full-time, 9-5, and a lot like college. I can't say for certain how much free time I'll have, so yeah. Definitely not quitting writing or anything. First class is tomorrow, and if all goes according to plan, I'll have something up later then. At the very least, this'll prove to be very, very interesting.
>> No. 86667
>>86657

Hooray!

And good luck!
>> No. 86668
>>86667

Thanks. I'll need lots of luck in order to pay off all of the student loans I've taken out.

Though, on the bright side, the classes have a few breaks in between. I might be able to put a few updates together during those times, provided they aren't too short. The first several weeks are going to be a bit easier, seeing as they start with operating systems and hardware components, so I'll shoot for tomorrow.

Wish me luck on that~
>> No. 86829
You stare down at the firearm. Coldly, without fear. It may be disbelief. You doubt that you could so easily point a weapon at another human like this. But..

Come to think of it..

She's nothing like you after all. At least, not the woman in front of you now. There's a strange look in her eye. Something like bloodlust--you're not sure. You can only see the desire in her eye. She wants to shoot you.

And for all it's worth, you're glad you're not afraid. This way, you have a clear mind. No blubbering or begging to live--not if you can reason with her.

"You're familiar with chaos theory, correct?" You ask, knowing her answer. You're fairly familiar with it, and as your duplicate, she should be as well. "Perhaps this could all be explained through the butterfly effect. A slight variation of the starting point can and usually does result in divergence."

"That still doesn't explain how you got here." Her eyes narrow, disbelieving. "The machine is down--was down. It's simply not possible."

"Yes, yes. It's not possible. Not probable et cetera. Ever stop to think that it wasn't your drive that might've caused this? Because I sure as hell didn't." You only wish you'd thought of it sooner--before there was a gun in your face. You try to step back, only to be pushed by her into the plexiglass elevator wall.

The gun raises to your face as she holds you up.

"Okay, point taken." You raise your hands nervously, staring down the barrel. Something immediately seems off to you. Something wrong with the weapon itself.

The barrel..

A projectile weapon? Strange.. It's nothing like the beam weapons you normally prefer..

You want to ask her about it. But to do that, you need to first concentrate on not getting shot.

"Now, if I swear that I mean you absolutely no harm, will you put the gun down?"

"I can't trust you to mean that. Not that it matters at this point." She won't be budged. Her intent seems to be nothing other than to dispose of you here.

Still, you don't feel frightened. You hardly feel anything at all. Just a faint disbelief and nervousness.

"You can't trust anybody at all, can you." You say, feeling her grip tighten around your throat. Her nails dig painfully into your skin.

"So what?" She practically pushed the weapon into your teeth. You can feel the cold steel of the barrel pressing against your lips.

It doesn't frighten you.

"I know myself like the back of my hand." You turn your head to speak, only to feel the weapon pushed into your cheek. "Granted, I may not be you, but you're still me through-and-through."

"What do you mean?!" She seems to be growing impatient. The weapon vibrates slightly in her hands as she raises her voice. "I'm asking you why you're so different! I don't need a lecture on things I already know!"

"I already answered that as best I can. I don't know why."

"Then you're of no use to me. I have enough other problems as it is. This one can be solved much more easily."

"You'll ruin the dress I borrowed."

"I have more."

"Damn shame." The situation seems to have degraded beyond reconciliation. Beyond repair. "Go ahead and shoot me then, if it'll make you feel better."

"It will." The weapon steadies. You brace yourself. You're not afraid.

"She'll be sa--

==========

▜BA░D E▒N▓█D

==========

...

==========

The floor is cold.

...

You're alive.

...

Why are you alive? For all intents and purposes, you should be dead.

...

You were shot in the head. There shouldn't be anything left above your neck, not with a gun like that.

Your arms move to your cheek--to your face and head. You breathe a painful sigh of relief.

No gaping holes in your head, and no blood on your hands. Everything still seems to be there, so long as it relates to your head being intact. There seems to be no sign of your twin.

The gentle humming of the probability core ahead alerts you to your surroundings. You're laying on the floor just beside it. You can faintly feel it's warmth. You wonder how you got here..

[ ] ?
>> No. 86830
[x] Get your bearings. Explore your surroundings.
>> No. 86838
[X] Get your bearings. Explore your surroundings.
>> No. 86848
[z] Get your bearings. Explore your surroundings.
[e] Wait. That fucking error log. Does the drive in your world-- or at worst, this world --have such a similar inconsistency in the report? Check that son of a bitch.
>> No. 86945
No matter. You're here, though grasping just where here really is seems beyond you. Is this your own world? Or that of the woman who shot you? At least you're dressed for this go around.

You pull yourself to your feet, but a pain in your hip seeks to keep you on the ground. You can stand despite it, though your mind focuses on it regardless. You hadn't felt this sort of pain in that other world--nor any pain at all, for that matter. Perhaps you really are home..

Now that the pain is back, you find yourself struggling to do so much as find the door.

But it finds you first--as you crash arms-first into it.

Your balance is shot. You'll at least need to lean on something to get out. Sadly, there's nothing to grab hold of on the smooth metal surface of the blast doors, and you drag yourself to the door controls.

It acts as a decent handhold as you punch in the code to open the door, which swings open a moment later. The mechanisms opening the door vibrate the walls..

Causing you to lose your grip. You fall flat on your back, and the cold metal floor flies up for a painful welcome.

The pain passes quickly, but you can't find the strength to pick yourself up just yet.

Dazed, you look to the ceiling. The lights seem to be growing dimmer..

...

"My, you're having a bad day." An unfamiliar voice greets you. The tone is soft, seemingly sympathetic, and most certainly female.

The lights flicker, remaining at half-brightness for a while longer. At least it's not a trick your eyes are playing on you.

"Ugh.."

"If you're so terribly injured, shouldn't you be in bed?"

"I was, just a little while ago." Your voice breaks, sounding and feeling as if you hadn't used it in years.

"But you're not, now." The voice chuckles at your expense.

You look around the room from your place on the floor, looking for the woman speaking to you. The room is empty..

"Who--" You sit up, feeling little resistance from the muscles in your legs. "Where.. are you?"

"Here, there." The lights come back on. "Everywhere. Yet nowhere at the same time, though that may be a bit pretentious."

"I've had enough contact with people like you for one lifetime. Mind talking to me face-to-face?" You ask, annoyed.

"I would, but I can't. I doubt even someone so bright as yourself could understand."

"Chalk it up to magic and I'm satisfied." You still don't like the feeling of talking to a faceless disembodied voice. It makes you feel crazy, and you don't like to think yourself as crazy.

"If it makes it easier for you, but that's not the reason I'm here.."

That much should be obvious. This disembodied voice didn't come all the way out from where-the-hell-ever just to sympathize and make idle chit-chat with an injured woman. Of course she's going to want something from you! Though that certainly doesn't make you feel any better.

"Technically speaking, you're really not here at all."

"It would seem that way, wouldn't it?"

"It would seem to be a lot of things, but this still isn't a good time." You don't even know if you're home yet! Shouldn't you figure that much out, first?

[ ] Ask what she wants.
[ ] Find out where you are.
>> No. 86954
[ ] Ask what she wants.
[ ] Where is our god damn wheel chair!
[ ] That fucking error log. Does the drive in your world-- or at worst, this world --have such a similar inconsistency in the report? Check that son of a bitch.
>> No. 86956
[X] Find out where you are.
>> No. 86961
1. Furthering the plot!
2. We need better mobility than just serpentine belly crawling.
3. This may be a seriously big issue and while it would be mildly entertaining to see a youkai yumemi, (No guarantees) I think we should fix it if it is indeed broken.
>> No. 86973
[~] Ask what she wants, but look around and get a better look at the area as she talks.
[z] Where is our god damn wheel chair!
[e] (At the next available and practical opportunity) That fucking error log. Does the drive in your world-- or at worst, this world, if it isn't yours, either --have such a similar inconsistency in the report? Check that son of a bitch.

>>86961
So, is this a vote for >>86954 , or are you just going over what's there and why it should be voted for?
>> No. 86992
Just clarifying my reasoning.
>> No. 87004
[x] Ask what she wants, but look around and get a better look at the area as she talks.
[x] Where is our god damn wheel chair!
[x] (At the next available and practical opportunity) That fucking error log. Does the drive in your world-- or at worst, this world, if it isn't yours, either --have such a similar inconsistency in the report? Check that son of a bitch.
>> No. 87632
Too long have I waited.

==========

"So what do you want?" Best not to mix words. Ask her outright and you may be lucky enough to quicken the conversation. Staying around chatting it up with a disembodied voice isn't something you plan to do.

"I'd like to arrange a meeting. Between you and I. There's much to be discussed between the two of us, and I'd rather we stand face-to-face."

"Yeah, I hear that." So, she doesn't like this either? Maybe she's somewhat different than the others with whom you've met under similar circumstances. Thankfully, this isn't so exhausting as a forced meeting in your dreams every single night. "Alright, then. Where at?"

"If you can manage, I'd like for you to head towards Hakurei shrine."

"Easier said than done.."

"It would appear so. I'll have someone there to meet you tomorrow, provided you can make it before nightfall. If not, I suppose we'll have to make rearrangements in this unsightly sort of fashion."

"I'd like to avoid that, if possible." But you can't forget, just yet.. Are you even in your own world? Nothing here can confirm or deny it. It seems entirely too ordinary.

You prefer ordinary. Ordinary means familiarity. This room is familiar to you. But you should leave it. Wrap up this conversation and get out of here.

"Outside worlders aren't exactly used to the voices in their head having a mind of their own, are they?" She asks, chuckling in a rather playful manner.

"No. And I'd prefer it if you didn't refer to yourself as the 'voice in my head'. It makes me feel like I'm going crazy."

"Trust me, you're not."

"You're not all that's leading me to think that." All things considered, you should be dead right about now with a gaping hole punched through your skull. Was all that just a hallucination..?

"The feeling should pass shortly." The woman's voice says plainly, "I believe I can explain it better once we meet."

"I hope so." You manage to pull yourself to your feet, ignoring your aching muscles pleas to stay down. "The pain I feel simply standing is almost unbearable. It had best be worth it."

"All depending on what you deem to be worthy, miss Okazaki."

"Wha--?" She knows your name. You didn't tell her your name, so how can she know it? Why the hell does everyone in this God-awful world seem to know your name by heart?! Dammit!

"Hey!" You call out..

No answer.

The voice stays silent, though you don't wait long for a response. The door to the elevator is open, and you begin to traverse the long hallway standing in your way.

It takes far too long for you to walk just a few meters. It's almost sad, the state you're in. It only seems to have worsened thanks to your being pain-free in that alternate world.

You wonder what the voice hopes to explain to you.

Magic?

This world?

So much you want to learn, yet so little of it can be studied. After a year spent in this place with no leads, you're willing to take what you can get. At least, she doesn't seem to mean you any harm. You'll be prepared for a fight, regardless.

Though can you really fight? Certainly not. Not when you're so concentrated just on fighting off the pain in your own body.

God, it hurts.

The elevator.

You finally make in inside. Shut the door behind you.

There's a comms panel just below the floor buttons. You try to contact Chiyuri.

You dial the number--the only other one programmed into this ship's systems aside from your own. It's easy to remember. You've used it so many times before when you needed something from her.

Funny, how so little has changed.

"B-Boss?!" She seems surprised, her face appearing on the screen a moment after you hear her voice. "Where the hell are you?! I've been looking all over!"

"You don't wanna know.." You can't explain what you've been through. Trying to in this state would only exhaust you further. "Just head to the elevator. I'm on my way up."

"I'm on the top floor." She says hurriedly, running off-screen. "Be right there!" Her voice grows faint.

You reach up, pressing the button labeled with a big '3'. Funny how the floor designations are backwards, at least in your mind. The top floor always felt like the first floor to you. Maybe because you're always there..

The elevator responds instantaneously, rising up and screeching to a halt moments later.

The door opens.

Chiyuri runs in, smothering you. Throwing her arms around you. She mutters something made incomprehensible by her sobbing.

[ ] ?
>> No. 87666
Somebody fucking vote something good already.
>[x] Hug her and comfort her
is the best I can do and that shit simply does not cut it.
>> No. 87669
[X] "C-chyuri... Too... tight!..."
[X] Once she lets go, bonk her on the head playfully and hug her back while stating that you're glad to see her again. Then request a wheelchair, because you're running on raw willpower right now.
>> No. 87670
[x] "I know, I've been scared too. I love you."
[x] When she's cried herself out, food and painkillers.
[x] Find out exactly what's wrong with you medically, when you can expect to be fully mobile again, and whether you've suffered any kind of brain trauma.
[x] You want to sort out exactly what's been happening on Chiyuri's side, since your personal account is less than reliable. Between the two of you, you should be able to figure out what's real, what's a just dream, and what may be more than just a dream.
-[x] You want the present status and location of the ship, as well as the current date.
-[x] Tell Chiyuri about all that's happened on your end.
-[x] Ask Chiyuri to check security logs find out who is and has been on board and exactly when they came and went (this includes the yourself and Chiyuri, the monster in the holding tank, the monster with the green hair, the little girl, the robot maid, and anything else. You want to establish a timeline.
-[x] Check the log of the probability drive for anomalies.

Even if we cannot complete all of this in one update, they're all things that have to be done. The story has become highly fragmented, with great disparity in Chiyuri's and your own accounts of what has happened. That's why we need to recap and find some solid groud.
>> No. 87677
[x]87670
>> No. 87680
[x]>>87670
>> No. 87699
[ze] >>87670

Now, that... that is what I had in mind when said I wanted something good.

Thank you.
>> No. 87700
[x] >>87670
>> No. 87726
You can't help but embrace her. This is the first time you've ever seen her like this. Truly crying. She seems so weak, so small. But still so strong. Her arms seek to squeeze the breath out of you.

"I know, I know." You try to calm her, but she seems inconsolable. "It's good to see you, too."

Her blonde hair blocks your vision. The elevator sounds a warning beep before closing the door.

The tight space seems to amplify the sound of her crying. It's deafening. Painful.

"Goddammit.." Words come out between sobs. "Don't.. Goddammit..!"

"I'm here, it's okay."

You can't even put your arms around her, thanks to the way she's holding you. It feels..

Horrible. Like you can't do anything at all. You feel useless to calm her.

"Don't do that again!" She yells over herself.

"Sorry.." All you can do is apologize for the pain you've caused her. "I'm sorry."

Sorry..

It's not enough. For her, maybe. You only wish you could have said something more meaningful. Something to make you feel like less of a burden. It's not enough..

"You scared the hell outta me." She says, sobbing. Finally leaning back, eyes still reddened.

"I was scared, too." You say, meeting her eyes. "I don't know what happened."

"You look like shit."

"You too."

She smiles, hiding her pain. Pushing it back, trying to stay strong for you. It's not convincing. Not with her still sobbing. It's only amplified as the elevator falls silent.

...

"I shouldn't have done that.. I wasn't thinking, and--" She pauses, looking for a second like she's going to start crying again.

"I won't stop you from crying, Chiyuri."

"But still.."

"I love you. I don't want you to hide your feelings from me. You can cry if you want to."

"It'll take some getting used to.." She chuckles nervously, rubbing her eyes. Still trying to hide the redness.

"Same with my new-found insanity." You say, "Now be a dear and help an old lady up?"

"I brought the chair.."

"Even better." You smile, thankful for her thoughtfulness. Even after being worried sick, she hasn't forgotten about your needs. Sometimes you wish she wasn't so selfless. It stands in stark contrast to how she normally acts.

Once you're seated, Chiyuri opens the elevator doors.

In silence, she pushes you forward. She doesn't speak, and you've nothing to reply to thanks to it. There's little on your mind aside from her and her needs.

After a while..

"Where are we going?" You ask.

"To get you a bath." She replies plainly, normally. "You still haven't had one, remember?"

[ ] Let her have her way.
[ ] There's more important things to do.
>> No. 87728
[X] Let her have her way.

More important than Chiyuri?

Yeah, right.
>> No. 87730
[x] Let her have her way.
>> No. 87740
[ze] "I need to check the Probability Drive first, and the diagnostics log. Something... something very weird happened, where I went. I want to make sure everything's all right with it, first, to put my mind at ease. Then I'll be happy to hop in that bath."
>> No. 87746
[x] Let her have her way.
[x] But who said you can't hold a conversation in the bath? You have have questions, and she may have answers.
>> No. 87757
[X] Let her have her way.
>> No. 88015
[x] "I need to check the story first, and the updates. Something... something very weird happened, where I went. I want to make sure everything's all right with it, first, to put my mind at ease. Then I'll be happy to hop in that bath."
>> No. 88114
[x] "I need to check the Probability Drive first, and the diagnostics log. Something... something very weird happened, where I went. I want to make sure everything's all right with it, first, to put my mind at ease. Then I'll be happy to hop in that bath."
>> No. 88171
Been feeling pretty shitty lately. Updates whenever this damn cold goes away.
>> No. 88387
Everything will be back up and running by the end of this week. Or at the latest the beginning of next week. You all can now rest easy knowing that I'm still alive and kicking, and that I haven't died by vomiting guts or something. Shameless self-bump due to this having fallen so far.
>> No. 88400
[x] "I need to check the Probability Drive first, and the diagnostics log. Something... something very weird happened, where I went. I want to make sure everything's all right with it, first, to put my mind at ease. Then I'll be happy to hop in that bath."

One vote for this before that then.
>> No. 88450
Your mind is swimming--enough thoughts about the probability drive to cloud your vision, if only in a metaphorical sense. Your vision is fine, thankfully.

But Chiyuri isn't likely to be talked out of this one. She's been worried sick about you, and it doesn't seem right to push her away so soon after your reunion. It'll have to wait until after you're bathed, but you make a mental note to yourself not to forget to check this ship's logs for errors.

You find yourself being pushed forward. Out the elevator and into the halls. A familiar route, this. She'll make a left at the next turn, follow the hallway to the end, and head to the left where it splits off.

Like clockwork, she does exactly that. Every so often, she stops in an attempt to make idle conversation or ask a question, but never makes it past the first few words.

"Hey, uhh..", "Where did..", "Oh, nevermind."

She never does manage to tell you what she has on her mind, not even after you've bathed and dressed yourself. She simply stands silently, watching and helping on occasion as you wash yourself.

It proves to be less difficult than you remember. The pain, though stronger than before, proves to be much less restrictive. Perhaps it's proof that your body is healing..

Her silence proves only to make things more stressful for you, and after a while..

"You want to ask me something?" You finally say.

The wheelchair stops as she jerks back with surprise.

"Uhh, err.." She regains her composure, pushing you forward as if she hadn't reacted at all. "I'm wondering what you were doing in the elevator, but.."

Silence.

"...But what?" You ask, craning your neck to get a look at her.

"..." She looks troubled, but tries to hide it. You wonder why, but keep any further questions to yourself.

"But I'm not sure I'm gonna like what you tell me." She says finally, after several long minutes of nothing.

"I don't think I could explain it, either way." Alternate worlds? Murdered by a copy of yourself? You're not too sure you understand it yourself.. At least, maybe when you get a look at those records...

On that note, she's pushing you in the wrong direction..

"I'd like to go back to the elevator.." You say.

"What for? You really need to rest.." Her troubled tone hints at her worry for your safety.

"This is important."

"Alright, alright. I'll take ya back. But in the meantime could you at least try to be a bit more talkative?"

"And what would I talk about?" You ask, curious. Maybe feeling a bit annoyed with her sudden demanding tone.

"I dunno. Something, anything. Tell me how beautiful I am, I don't care." She turns you around, laughing all the way. "This silence is gonna drive me batty if ya don't."

[ ] ?

==========

A little sooner than the weekend, but hey. I'm feeling pretty good right about now. Write-in some sort of conversation piece or something, will ya?
>> No. 88454
[x] "Okay. Well, if we're going to be driven insane anyways, let us pretend we're foils in a romantic sitcom. I'll start us off."
[x] "'Honey, you haven't been keeping other women in the house have you?'"
[x] "'No, huh? Then... does this face remind you of anyone? Huh?'"
[x] "See, it doesn't work without the laugh track. Ruukoto is never around when you need her; where is she?"
>> No. 88478
[ze] Tell her about where you've been and what you've done. At this point you don't care if she believes you, you're too damn relieved to be back where you belong.

Should have some thoughtful reflection on just how bad her life could have been, if she'd never really gotten into it, let alone gotten into an intimate relationship with Chiyuri.
>> No. 88489
[x] Tell her about where you've been and what you've done. At this point you don't care if she believes you, you're too damn relieved to be back where you belong
>> No. 88490
[X] Tell her about where you've been and what you've done. At this point you don't care if she believes you, you're too damn relieved to be back where you belong
>> No. 88585
"Alright, then..." You think to yourself--what would be best to discuss.. "But telling you that you're beautiful would hardly pass any time at all."

"I didn't say you had to talk about that." She replies, sounding a bit disappointed. "Just giving an example, 's all."

"I'd figured that part out already.." You sigh, trying to avoid becoming frustrated with her having stated the obvious. A change in subject seems to be in order, and the one thing you have on your mind should suffice.

"So you'd like to know where I've been these past few hours?" You phrase it as a question, allowing her room to opt out of what should prove to be a long and confusing conversation.

"Well, yeah." She answers, her tone making it seem like you'd just made the dumbest, most obvious observation in history. Well, almost.

"To be honest I'm not quite sure myself.." You start, more musing to yourself aloud rather than trying to explain it to her. "If I had to say, I figure it would be some sort of alternate reality.."

She tries to interject, but the words just flow right out of your mouth, showing no signs of stopping. "I saw myself... And you. I'm not quite sure what to make of it even now, or if there was even a point to me even being sent there." You rest your head in your hands, covering your eyes as the images start flooding back. The inside of the tank, Ruukoto releasing you, kissing yourself, and the barrel of a gun..

"No.. It doesn't seem to have a point. Probably just some sort of hallucination.. If it were real I'd certainly be dead.." No way to survive a bullet to the head, and you wake up from it without so much as a scratch. "Funny.. It didn't feel like a dream. It seemed... I should say real, but now that I think about it.."

You remember showing little emotion.. Or none at all. There was none of this pain, but then again, you hardly felt anything at all.. The more you think about it, the less real it seems. Perhaps your brain is imply trying to rationalize it--substituting facts where convenient to support this conviction. You can't possible explain it, but that won't stop you from trying.

"I can't say I really know at all anymore. I know what I saw, but I--"

"We're here, boss." Chiyuri says.

"Hmm?" You look up, seeing the protective blast doors to the drive's central core beginning to open. The pneumatics controlling the movement emit a short hissing as gas is vented, and the doors come to a halt a moment later.

Chiyuri wheels you forward.

"So we are.." It seems all too sudden to you, but everything does when you fall so deep in thought. The world passes you by and you couldn't be more oblivious to it as long as the ideas keep coming. Thankfully, you never seem to lose sight of your objectives.

...For long.

"I'd like to start with the core's logs, if you don't mind." You say to Chiyuri, keeping your eyes pasted on the computer terminal ahead as it slowly begins to draw closer. It lowers to your level, thanks to some considerate adjustments by Chiyuri, and you immediately get to work....

RECENT ACTIVITY REPORTS

5346-04-27 04:30:23a - Automated cleaning process interrupted
5346-04-27 04:31:16a - System force reboot by (ADM)KICH4564
5346-04-27 04:31:17a - Error: Code 80070103
5346-04-27 04:32:00a - DriverUpdate failed to connect
5346-04-27 04:32:31a - Error: LocalNet detection failed
5346-04-27 04:32:31a - Error: Cannot identify with IPC host
5346-04-27 04:44:13a - System force reboot by (ADM)KICH4564
5346-04-27 04:44:13a - Safe boot startup enabled (Networking disabled)
5346-04-27 04:44:59a - Startup exiting normally
5346-06-21 01:00:09p - Automatic update failed
5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Warning: Shock detection (Minus 3600g threshold)
5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Warning: Halting processes
5346-08-08 01:02:54p - Notice: Resuming
5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Notice: Service host 4044 failed to resume
5346-08-08 01:01:40p - Forcing reboot
5346-08-08 01:01:41p - POST returned no errors
5346-08-08 01:01:41p - Starting normally
5346-08-08 01:01:44p - Error: Service host 4044 corruption detected
--5346-08-08 01:01:44p - Value should be: bfa0883cd523a1c267f1fbef79369f47e00bf4e9
--5346-08-08 01:01:44p - Returned value is: ffee762e3d1d5f83f4f29e52793d1911f2bd3e14
--5346-08-08 01:01:44p - Recommend COA: Reinstall netdrv_protocol, SECINTRCTRL.SYS
5346-08-09 05:03:23p - netdrv package installation (RT)GLM108
5346-08-09 05:03:26p - Installation returned no errors
5346-08-09 05:03:27p - Rebooting normally...
5346-08-09 05:03:29p - Notice: Service host 4044 has been installed
5346-08-09 05:03:29p - Exiting boot sequence
5346-08-11 03:14:59a - Error: Code 35246598
5346-08-11 03:14:59a - Alarm
5346-08-11 03:14:59a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
5346-08-11 03:14:59a - Error: Automated repair failure
5346-08-11 03:15:00a - Scanning system...
5346-08-11 03:17:00a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
5346-08-11 03:17:00a - Error: Automated repair failure
5346-08-11 03:17:00a - Scanning system...
5346-08-11 03:18:01a - System force reboot by (RT)GLM108
5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Safe boot startup enabled (Networking disabled)
5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Critical: Sector 0 corrupted
5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Notice: Attempting to repair...
5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Error: Automated repair failure
5346-08-11 03:19:14a - Scanning system...
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Error: Code 23452775
5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Automated repair success
5346-08-11 03:20:04a - Scanning system...
5346-08-11 03:20:04a - Alarm
5346-06-13 12:00:00a - Critical: 102, 103
①㍠㊇6-⓪⒍-⒔ ⒓:〇⁰:⓿0ⓐ - Critical: 102, 103⌫
①㍠㊇6-⓪⒍-⒔ ⒓:〇⁰:⓿0ⓐ - Notice: ㏊∇☷ℹℿ⅁ ªℬ☴Åⅅ ㍲ℽ‽
①㍠㊇6-⓪⒍-⒔ ⒓:〇⁰:⓿0ⓐ - Notice⌘: ®ⅇℑ☶± ∀∽⑀µ℈☷ⅆ¸ ⅈ⒯ Щ⎋☶⑁ℸ ⅁⼹+ ⅿµℂℍ βɝƫʇɚʳˌ
①㍠㊇6-⓪⒍-⒔ ⒓:〇⁰:⓿0ⓐ - N⌥⏏e: γᴓ☳ ʂħ∅⋓⣇∂ ℒℇɐ☳√∑ ʈɦɨ∽ ƥ₤⎁⠯∃➠⎋␛
5346-08-11 03:19:15a - Starting normally⏎


...

[ ] ?
>> No. 88587
>5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Warning: Halting processes
>5346-08-08 01:02:54p - Notice: Resuming
>5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Notice: Service host 4044 failed to resume

I'm sure this means something.
>> No. 88591
Our universe, 4/27 & 6/21:
>5346-04-27 04:30:23a - Automated cleaning process interrupted
>5346-04-27 04:31:16a - System force reboot by (ADM)KICH4564
>5346-04-27 04:31:17a - Error: Code 80070103
>5346-04-27 04:32:00a - DriverUpdate failed to connect
>5346-04-27 04:32:31a - Error: LocalNet detection failed
>5346-04-27 04:32:31a - Error: Cannot identify with IPC host
>5346-04-27 04:44:13a - System force reboot by (ADM)KICH4564
>5346-04-27 04:44:13a - Safe boot startup enabled (Networking disabled)
>5346-04-27 04:44:59a - Startup exiting normally
>5346-06-21 01:00:09p - Automatic update failed


Alternate universe, 4/27 & 6/21:
>5346-04-27 04:30:23a - Automated cleaning process interrupted
>5346-04-27 04:31:16a - System force reboot by (ADM)KICH4564
>5346-04-27 04:31:17a - Error: Code 80070103
>5346-04-27 04:32:00a - DriverUpdate failed to connect
>5346-04-27 04:32:31a - Error: LocalNet detection failed
>5346-04-27 04:32:31a - Error: Cannot identify with IPC host
>5346-04-27 04:44:13a - System force reboot by (ADM)KICH4564
>5346-04-27 04:44:13a - Safe boot startup enabled (Networking disabled)
>5346-04-27 04:44:59a - Startup exiting normally
>5346-06-21 01:00:09p - Automatic update failed

No divergence. No anomalies.

The next entries on 8/8, 8/9, and 8/11 do not exist in the alternate universe log:
>5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Warning: Shock detection (Minus 3600g threshold)
>5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Warning: Halting processes
>5346-08-08 01:02:54p - Notice: Resuming
>5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Notice: Service host 4044 failed to resume

Notice the few seconds?

>5346-08-08 01:01:40p - Forcing reboot
>5346-08-08 01:01:41p - POST returned no errors
>5346-08-08 01:01:41p - Starting normally
>5346-08-08 01:01:44p - Error: Service host 4044 corruption detected
>--5346-08-08 01:01:44p - Value should be: bfa0883cd523a1c267f1fbef79369f47e00bf4e9
>--5346-08-08 01:01:44p - Returned value is: ffee762e3d1d5f83f4f29e52793d1911f2bd3e14
>--5346-08-08 01:01:44p - Recommend COA: Reinstall netdrv_protocol, SECINTRCTRL.SYS
>5346-08-09 05:03:23p - netdrv package installation (RT)GLM108
>5346-08-09 05:03:26p - Installation returned no errors
>5346-08-09 05:03:27p - Rebooting normally...
>5346-08-09 05:03:29p - Notice: Service host 4044 has been installed
>5346-08-09 05:03:29p - Exiting boot sequence

>5346-08-11 03:14:59a - Error: Code 35246598
>5346-08-11 03:14:59a - Alarm
>5346-08-11 03:14:59a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
>5346-08-11 03:14:59a - Error: Automated repair failure
>5346-08-11 03:15:00a - Scanning system...
>5346-08-11 03:17:00a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
>5346-08-11 03:17:00a - Error: Automated repair failure
>5346-08-11 03:17:00a - Scanning system...
>5346-08-11 03:18:01a - System force reboot by (RT)GLM108
>5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Safe boot startup enabled (Networking disabled)
>5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Error: Anomaly detected in MBR
>5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Critical: Sector 0 corrupted
>5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Notice: Attempting to repair...
>5346-08-11 03:19:13a - Error: Automated repair failure
>5346-08-11 03:19:14a - Scanning system...

This is where it gets weird. We skip ahead a month.

>5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Error: Code 23452775
>5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Automated repair success

This is matched by the timestamp and error codes in the alternate universe at this future date. After this we move back a month again.

>5346-08-11 03:20:04a - Scanning system...
>5346-08-11 03:20:04a - Alarm
>5346-06-13 12:00:00a - Critical: 102, 103

Two months this time.

Then it becomes garbled:

>①㍠㊇6-⓪⒍-⒔ ⒓:〇⁰:⓿0ⓐ - Critical: 102, 103⌫
>[...]

As far as I can tell this translates to:
>1886-06-13 12:00:00a - Critical: 102, 103
>1886-06-13 12:00:00a - Notice: "Having a bad day?"
>1886-06-13 12:00:00a - Notice: "Rest assured it won't get much better"
>1886-06-13 12:00:00a - Notice: "You should leave this place"

Then back to normal.

>5346-08-11 03:19:15a

[x] Confirm the current time and date with Chiyuri.
[x] Tell Chiyuri it looks like your alternate reality experience was likely one month into the future, as they had full logs for 9/11.
[x] Read the message aloud to make sure Chiyuri grasps it: From "having a bad day" and on.
[x] Ask Chiyuri if she can think of anything of significance that would've happened on 6/13 or 8/8 that would account for the time anomalies?
[x] Determine the present location of the ship, and where it was on the dates of the anomalies.
[x] Determine who is presently onboard the ship, as well as who was onboard the ship during the timestamps of the anomalies.
>> No. 88595
[X] Confirm the current time and date with Chiyuri.
[X] Tell Chiyuri it looks like your alternate reality experience was likely one month into the future, as they had full logs for 9/11.
[X] Read the message aloud to make sure Chiyuri grasps it: From "having a bad day" and on.
[X] Ask Chiyuri if she can think of anything of significance that would've happened on 6/13 or 8/8 that would account for the time anomalies?
[X] Determine the present location of the ship, and where it was on the dates of the anomalies.
[X] Determine who is presently onboard the ship, as well as who was onboard the ship during the timestamps of the anomalies.
>> No. 88596
[x] Confirm the current time and date with Chiyuri.
[x] Tell Chiyuri it looks like your alternate reality experience was likely one month into the future, as they had full logs for 9/11.
[x] Read the message aloud to make sure Chiyuri grasps it: From "having a bad day" and on.
[x] Ask Chiyuri if she can think of anything of significance that would've happened on 6/13 or 8/8 that would account for the time anomalies?
[x] Determine the present location of the ship, and where it was on the dates of the anomalies.
[x] Determine who is presently onboard the ship, as well as who was onboard the ship during the timestamps of the anomalies.
>> No. 88605
[M] Confirm the current time and date with Chiyuri.
[a] Tell Chiyuri it looks like your alternate reality experience was likely one month into the future, as they had full logs for 9/11.
[r] Read the message aloud to make sure Chiyuri grasps it: From "having a bad day" and on.
[​i] Ask Chiyuri if she can think of anything of significance that would've happened on 6/13 or 8/8 that would account for the time anomalies?
[​s] Determine the present location of the ship, and where it was on the dates of the anomalies.
[a] Determine who is presently onboard the ship, as well as who was onboard the ship during the timestamps of the anomalies.
[~] Wait, didn't it just start a scan? Wait around, and look at the fresh results.

Added one more thing on; explained below.

>>88591
Thank god you wrote this out so I didn't have to. I was way too tired to do this last night, and you did a cleaner, more precise job of it. Thank you.

Also, I noticed one other odd bit. Two of the timeslips shift the date but not the time, or not by much:
>5346-06-21 01:00:09p - Automatic update failed
>5346-08-08 01:01:39p - Warning: Shock detection (Minus 3600g threshold)
Within 90 seconds after a timeslip.

And then...
>5346-08-11 03:19:14a - Scanning system...
>5346-09-11 03:20:04a - Error: Code 23452775
This time, a 50-second gap. And that's followed by the screwing about of and Yukari THE MYSTERY PRANKSTER and their Nancy-Drew-esque "Get off the case, gumshoe." style of threat, albeit one done in a more freaky way.
And after that, there's another slip, to just one second after the system scan started.

By the way, we should see what it finds, this time.


Another point: the tangrams scattered throughout the message smack strongly of Yukari (as if the raping of the fabric of time and space didn't do that plenty loud enough on their own).

>96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
>bfa0883cd523a1c267f1fbef79369f47e00bf4e9
>ffee762e3d1d5f83f4f29e52793d1911f2bd3e14
I see what was done here. Cute.

>03:14:59a
And here

And finally-lastly:
>Critical: 102, 103
It probably means nothing, but "102, 103" is two letters off of "HI" in ASCII (a la CoMN.), which would be 104, 105.
As I said, it probably means nothing, but if there were a point to say "hi," it would be right where that's placed. Plus, it looks like Yukari The Mystery Prankster doesn't exactly have such delicate familiarity with the computer system so as to be able to leave a clean, concise note instead of smashing an ugly, crudely-inserted threat into the logs.

I think I did something bad with grammar there.
>> No. 88611
>96313448481e4903486d95a71d36b1069cd3e7a7
>bfa0883cd523a1c267f1fbef79369f47e00bf4e9
>ffee762e3d1d5f83f4f29e52793d1911f2bd3e14
>I see what was done here. Cute.


>> No. 88627
"...What?" You find yourself at a loss for words. You'd expected an anomaly, but some of this.. It's just..

It's all wrong. The dates, the times, and certainly the bit at the end.. Most of the minor discrepancies that had avoided detection on your first read-through stand out like a sore thumb once you re-read it..

"Chiyuri..?" You turn to the girl behind you, now leaning over your shoulder to read along with you. She nods on occasion at first, but seems to notice something immediately as you scroll down the list.

"Okay, I remember the driver error on the eighth..." She points to a line on the screen from her place behind you. "Says here Ruukoto fixed it like I asked her to, then.." She pauses.

"Ruukoto has root access to the system?" You ask, curious about the RT designation next to the user Chiyuri points out as being Ruukoto.

"Standard SNS procedure." She explains, "Each ship is assigned an android to assist the crew and perform maintenance to the ship's more hazardous areas.." She notices something about the way you look at her, and switches gears, "Same goes for research vessels, military or otherwise. That isn't anything out of the ordinary, but.. Scroll down for a sec." She instructs, you comply. Much of this is beyond your level of expertise.

"This, here." She points to the following code.. "This error message, code three-five-et cetera, should only come up if the core can't find a boot drive.. Which means..." She pauses, falling deep into thought..

"Fuck it, I don't know what it means." She scratches her head, straining her back to lean farther over you. "Ergh-- The rest of this indicates a total system failure, file system corruption all across the board, and.. And then there's all this garbage at the--"

...

"What's wrong, Chiyuri?" She's fallen silent. Something about her expression worries you..

"Having.. a bad.. day..?" She says.

"What?"

"That's what it says, at the bottom.." She pulls herself back away from the console, a confused and worried look in her eye. "Shit, man. This's giving me the creeps.."

...

"We really oughta get the hell out of Dodge while we still have all our fingers and toes.. I'm not liking this at all!"

"Chiyuri, what's--"

"The fucking core just threatened us is what's the fucking matter!" She begins falling into a panic, but drags her mind away from it.

"Don't panic.. Okay, don't panic..." She takes up the keypad next to the screen, and immediately types up a storm. "I'll just run a quick, little--" Her fingers dart across the keyboard like lighting.

...

"A-HA!"

"What?" You ask, now utterly confused. She laughs almost maniacally, having seen the results of whatever she'd typed in..

"Damn! I shoulda though of that!" She turns to you for a second, amiling victoriously before typing something else.. "Looks like some sort of virus found it's way into the system." She sighs heavily, letting out all that pent-up worry she was holding from the initial shock. "Haah... So I've set the system to S&D mode. It should all work itself out in a few hours."

"S-and--?"

"Search-and-Destroy? The most basic of basics for virus termination software?" She sighs again, holding a hand to her head. "Really, you make me feel like I'm the brains of this operation. Aren't you supposed to be some kind of scientist?"

"I'm a physicist, not a computer nerd." You reply, finding yourself annoyed by her tone. But the feeling passes quickly, and you make an attempt to explain your situation. "I hardly know what half of this mess here means, let alone what to do with it."

"Makes you happy to have me around, huh?" Again, she starts to smile triumphantly..

[ ] "Whatever, kid. Don't get cocky now."
[ ] "Sure, among.. other things."
>> No. 88628
[X] "Whatever, kid. Don't get cocky now."
>> No. 88629
>>88611
Are those image file names?
>> No. 88630
>>88629

Hash values. From some torrent files most of us are very, very familiar with.
>> No. 88633
[X] "Sure, among.. other things."
>> No. 88637
>"Standard SNS procedure." She explains, "Each ship is assigned an android to assist the crew and perform maintenance to the ship's more hazardous areas.." She notices something about the way you look at her, and switches gears, "Same goes for research vessels, military or otherwise. That isn't anything out of the ordinary, but.. Scroll down for a sec."

'Hey, Bishop! Do the thing with the knife!'

[x] "Sure, among.. other things."
[x] "A humble question for your expertise: If Koto logged into the system while it was infected with a virus, there isn't a possibility of her own systems becoming corrupted, right?"
>> No. 88641
>>88637
FFFFFFFFFFF

[z] "Sure, among... other things."
[e] "A humble question for your expertise: If Koto logged into the system while it was infected with a virus, there isn't a possibility of her own systems becoming corrupted, right
>> No. 88669
"Sure, among.. other things."
>> No. 88670
[x] "Sure, among.. other things."
[x] "A humble question for your expertise: If Koto logged into the system while it was infected with a virus, there isn't a possibility of her own systems becoming corrupted, right?"
>> No. 88754
"Sure.. Among other things." You calmly hint, "But while we're on the subject, supposing Ruukoto were to access the infected system.."

"It's possible the virus may have transferred to her own onboard memory.." Chiyuri frowns. "But until I know exactly what the virus is, there's not a whole lot I can do about it.."

"But what about--"

"The drive core is a powerful and very expensive machine." Chiyuri nods proudly for some reason or another. "It's protection systems are gonna be a wee bit more robust that the ones loaded onto a mass-produced android."

"Soo.." You can understand this level of techno-babble perfectly. Or, at least, your understanding of the situation is made clearer by Chiyuri's dumbing-down of all the acronyms and abbreviations that make up the world of computers. "You're saying there's nothing we can do.."

"Until the system isolates and identifies the virus, no."

"And if Ruukoto goes haywire in the meantime..?" You can see where this is going, but your hope that Chiyuri might have a better solution...

"You have a gun on you, right?" ...is dashed in an instant.

"Well, let's just hope we won't have to resort to that." You sigh, slump back into the wheelchair and take a deep breath. "This day just keeps on getting better and better.." You add, with sarcasm.

"Maybe the bug in the system's right, then. Shit's only gonna get worse before it gets better.."

"I really hope it doesn't.."

"Well, I don't think it could get any worse for you, as it stands.."

"It could." You think quietly to yourself..

"Whaddaya mean by that?" She looks at you curiously.

[ ] Tell her you plan on visiting the shrine tomorrow.
[ ] Wait.
>> No. 88756
[x] Tell her you plan on visiting the shrine tomorrow.

~
>> No. 88761
[X] Tell her you plan on visiting the shrine tomorrow.
>> No. 88762
[x] Tell her you plan on visiting the shrine tomorrow.

hahaha
>> No. 88770
[ze] Tell her you plan on visiting the shrine tomorrow.

Gee, I only suggested doing this how long ago?
>> No. 88774
>>88770

There's been a lot of plans we've made that we haven't carried out.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact we constantly face hospitalization and sudden jaunts into seperate worlds and timelines, as well as a Chiyuri who stonewalls us half the time we actually attempt to do something.
>> No. 88818
"I've made plans to visit the shrine tomorrow." You may as well tell her. No, you need to tell her. If it concerns you, it concerns her as well. Even if she's not directly involved. You're planning on sticking your neck out, and whatever happens to you is going to have an impact on her as well.

"What?" Her eyes widen. Strangely, a little more fearfully than you were expecting. "No!"

"Chiyuri.." You frown, hoping to avoid this same argument again.. Her immediate objection was expected, but you had still hoped she'd simply agree to it.

"You're in no condition to leave the ship. You know that, right?" She folds her arms, trying to make it obvious that she has no intention of backing down. She never has the intention to begin with, but she'll normally relent in the long run so long as you do things her way.

"It's important.. I think." The voice was a bit sketchy on the details, having told you what amounts to nothing at all. You're a little angry for it, though you still find the need to make the trip. Why is that..?

"You think?" Chiyuri almost sounds bitter.

"I'm not sure why, but it's absolutely imperative that I be there by sundown tomorrow." You hope that explaining your situation might coax her out of this. Yelling at her certainly doesn't do any good, not that you have the energy to do so.

"You're not sure.." She cocks her head. "Well, I'm not so sure you're telling me the whole truth."

"You sound like my mother.." You grumble, shaking your head. "I doubt you'd believe it, regardless."

"After that bit about you shooting yourself?" She lowers her arms to her side, placing her hands in her pockets and easing her stance just enough to show that you're getting through to her. She's more willing to talk things through than usual. "I think I'll believe just about anything."

Maybe she's growing tired of this constant arguing as well.

"So you'd be willing to believe that right after I woke up from that mess, a voice spoke to me?" You laugh at the thought, or maybe the fact that it sounds so utterly stupid when put to words.

"Don't be getting all religious on my, boss.." Chiyuri sighs, rubbing out an itch in her left eye.

"You said you'd believe anything.."

"Just about anything. You'll have to pardon me if I'm a little skeptical of the voices in your head offering you suggestions.." She grins. You feel like she's just mocking you now..

"But that's almost exactly what happened, unless it really is all in my head and that I've just gone insane." If you make fun of yourself now, there's nothing she'll be able to use against you later. "So, maybe.. If I go to the shrine, and there's actually someone there waiting for me... Well, at least I'll know I'm not crazy."

"You've been a bit crazy from the start, sorry to disappoint ya." She laughs.

"Knowing that, do you still want to stop me?" You smile, almost pleading with her to concede.

"Na'ah." She shrugs, but immediately straightens herself out a moment later. "But you're gonna have to do things my way, 'kay?"

"Your way being..?" You wonder about her, sometimes..

"If I think it's too tough for you, we turn back. If it means you run the risk of making your injuries worse, the voice in your head can go fuck itself for all I care."

[ ] Agree.
[ ] Offer your own terms. (Specify)
>> No. 88832
[x] Offer your own terms. (Specify)
-[x] Alright, but you'll be bringing Ruukoto along as well. If there's a chance she might be infected with the virus, there's no way you can allow her free run of the ship unsupervised.
>> No. 88902
needs more votes
>> No. 88907
[x] Offer your own terms. (Specify)
-[x] Alright, but you'll be bringing Ruukoto along as well. If there's a chance she might be infected with the virus, there's no way you can allow her free run of the ship unsupervised.

That's one author's trap defused...
>> No. 88912
[X] Offer your own terms. (Specify)
-[X] Alright, but you'll be bringing Ruukoto along as well. If there's a chance she might be infected with the virus, there's no way you can allow her free run of the ship unsupervised.
>> No. 88914
Are Alice and Yuka still on the ship?
>> No. 88931
>>88914
That's, uh...
...an excellent question.

[d] Offer your own terms. (Specify)
-[a] Alright, but you'll be bringing Ruukoto along as well. If there's a chance she might be infected with the virus, there's no way you can allow her free run of the ship unsupervised.
[z] Are the girl and the nasty green-haired woman still on this ship?
[e] How about the tube lady... monster... thing?
>> No. 88991
[x] Offer your own terms. (Specify)
-[x] Alright, but you'll be bringing Ruukoto along as well. If there's a chance she might be infected with the virus, there's no way you can allow her free run of the ship unsupervised.
[x] Are the girl and the nasty green-haired woman still on this ship?
[x] How about the tube lady... monster... thing?
>> No. 88993
I won't beat around the bush. Lack of updates due to me being a fuck-off. Well, and the occasional (mostly self-inflicted) computer trouble. Expect something soon. How soon only depends on how much of a lazy bastard I end up being.
>> No. 89688
"Agreed, but Ruukoto comes with us." You say. Chiyuri looks to be in the mood to protest the idea. "If she does happen to have some sort of virus, I can't have her running around the ship without some kind of countermeasure in place."

"We could always turn her off, if it comes down to it."

A sensible alternative to your idea, but something about it doesn't sit right with you. You decide to go with your gut instinct on this one, despite the logic in Chiyuri's solution.

"I'd rather not. Besides, we might need an extra set of hands for the trip."

"Oh, the trip won't be a problem. Not with this baby." Chiyuri taps the metal shell around the core. "Provided I can get it working in time, I can easily write a tunneling program to send us right to the top of the hill."

"And.. That's it?" It sounds simple. So simple that you wonder if that's all there is to it.

"Yep, unless you believe that some sort of divine intervention might prevent the wormhole from opening." She snickers, punching something into the console beside you. "We got into this world using the same technology, though that was on a much larger scale. This kind of thing is child's play."

"For you, it is."

"Mmmhmm." She doesn't seem to be paying attention anymore, now that she's turned her attention to the console. Every so often she'll smile and laugh, but for the most part the room remains deathly silent save for the clicking of the keyboard.

You sigh, watching her work from where you're stuck sitting. You could leave, sure, but you really don't want to.

"Hey, you." She says all of a sudden.

"Hmm?" You realize she's been looking at you for a while now..

"Shouldn't we do something about the lady in the tank?" She asks.

"I'd rather not think about it." You've been consciously avoiding the issue for the last few days. For her to suddenly bring it up and make those efforts go to waste, makes you feel a little angry at her.

"Yeah, right." Chiyuri seems to notice. "Probably shouldn't have asked. I'll figure something out."

"No, it's my responsibility, too." You'll just have to get over yourself and find a solution. "But I wonder if we should do anything at all. She doesn't seem to require food and water to live.. Keeping her in the tank is most important." Maybe if you petition a request to the university for a second android-- No, that'd take far too long. At least a couple of weeks before the board even reviews it, and even then it's not likely they'll approve..

You wrack your brain but can't seem to find any suitable solution to it. You could always leave her unattended, hope that she doesn't find a way out. Linking the ship's security systems to your wristwatch might ease the pain a little. Thinking about it makes you wish this old ship still had it's self-defense systems operating.

Or, you could leave Ruukoto behind, though that idea doesn't seem much better considering the virus situation. What if Ruukoto goes on the fritz and opens the cage? Then you'll have two problems on the loose!

[ ] You'll have to leave the cage unattended.
[ ] Have Ruukoto guard it, hope nothing happens.
>> No. 89690
[X] Have Ruukoto guard it, hope nothing happens.
>> No. 89714
[x] You'll have to leave the cage unattended.
>> No. 89716
We are a scientist. We would do this scientifically.

[x] Run a 'behavioral' test on Ruukoto before deciding: Retinal & voice-print ID matching, ennumeration of her prime directives, threat-level identification, correct response to appropriate and inappropriate commands, her semantic capacity, response to command override and interrupt.
-[x] If she displays any aberrant behavior, she should come with you (while running a full self-diagnostic).
-[x] Otherwise, you can trust her with the security of the ship and to guard that monster.
>> No. 89724
[ ] You'll have to leave the cage unattended.
>> No. 89737
[~] Run a 'behavioral' test on Ruukoto before deciding: Retinal & voice-print ID matching, ennumeration of her prime directives, threat-level identification, correct response to appropriate and inappropriate commands, her semantic capacity, response to command override and interrupt.
-[z] If she displays any aberrant behavior, she should come with you (while running a full self-diagnostic).
-[e] Otherwise, you can trust her with the security of the ship and to guard that monster.
>> No. 90200
Shitty past few weeks. Pardon my absence as I unfuck myself. If all goes accordingly, updates this weekend. This message will self-destruct.
>> No. 90306
But there's a right way and a wrong way to handle this. You won't make an uninformed decision, not with something so important. You'll need to know first what sort of condition Ruukoto is in before you decide.

From here, it's a simple matter of calling her down. Or, rather, having Chiyuri call her down. She's the only one with access at the moment, as you realize you're not wearing your wristwatch. Damn, must've left it in the shower. Might as well kill two birds with one stone and have Ruukoto bring it to you.

Chiyuri is way ahead of you, and is in the midst of communicating with Ruukoto when you speak up. All you're required to say is "And have her bring my watch down, too." when the opportunity presents itself.

When all is said and done, you say, "So how is she? Anything seem strange?"

"Meh." Chiyuri shrugs. "Seems okay to me. I'll have to run a few more tests when she gets here.. Or.." She looks behind her. "Maybe it'd be better to do it somewhere else. Can't have her going nuts and blowing apart the drive core, after all."

"That much should be obvious." You sigh, hanging your head in disappointment for not having thought of that first.

"I wonder, sometimes. With you in this slump I find it a little hard to tell if you're even thinking at all.."

"Isn't that a little rude?" You wonder if she'd seen through your previous lie.

She ignores you for a moment, concluding her business in the room. Shortly thereafter, she pushes you out of the room. The heavy doors close behind the two of you automatically, and she continues onward to the elevator.

"Figure we can meet her halfway." She says, starting the elevator towards the to level.

A silent pause, followed by, "Are you sure you want to do this?"

"No, I'm not." You choose to be forthcoming with her. After all, she's willing to stick her neck out for you in a fucked-up situation like this one. "But I'm going through with it regardless."

"Figure you might learn something?"

"I'd hope so. At least then this would all be worthwhile."

The elevator door finally opens. She pushes you forward into the halls.

"Don't like getting beat up for no good reason?"

"I'd like to meet a person that does. Personally, I had hoped that our endeavor would be a little more uneventful than this."

"You're preaching to the choir, Boss." She suddenly becomes irritated, "Where the hell is she?!"

"Here I am~!" Ruukoto walks out of a doorway just ahead of you. She hands you the wristwatch and begins walking alongside you and Chiyuri. Outwardly, nothing seems to be noticeably wrong with her. Her appearance is as prim and proper as ever, though she seems to have begun to favor her blue workman's jumpsuit over the maid outfit she had initially come with.

"In here." Chiyuri heads through a door at the end of the hall--one of two doors you recognize as leading into the ship's holds. She sits Ruukoto down in an empty seat by the door, and pushes you so that you're able to face her directly.

"To make things simple," Chiyuri says to Ruukoto, "There's a chance you've been infected with a virus."

"Oh dear." Ruukoto's initial reaction is one of worry. Maybe a bit forced on her part, but that could easily be attributed to the programmer's overzealousness.

"So I'd like you to run some quick diagnostics." Chiyuri continues. "All of them."

"All..?" Ruukoto turns to surprise. "If I may, that could take all night."

"Fine by me. Go ahead and run through a surface scan, first. Check all basic memory and behavioral systems."

A brief pause. Ruukoto shuts her eyes for a moment.

"Done. Zero errors returned. Though if I may, there seems to be a slight malfunction when I try to initialize weapons diagnostics."

"Oh?" Chiyuri leans forward. "Since when did I authorize you to scan that subsystem?"

"You didn't?" Ruukoto seems oblivious.

"No, I didn't." Chiyuri pulls up a chair next to you. "But while I'm still thinking about it, gimme a rundown of everything you'd scanned just now."

"Of course." Ruukoto nods, eager to please. "Last scan date, October 15th, year 5346. Scanned subsystems. Memory: sensory, cognitive, hardware. Behavior: all. Weapons: internal motive pseudomusculature, internal reactive-based, internal null exception, external manipulated. Scan completed, one error."

"So what went wrong, then?" You ask.

"Weapons subsystem error 0xE1. I'm afraid I cannot give a better explanation. I will continue scanning in the meantime."

"Good, good." Chiyuri pulls you aside, pushing your chair outside the room.

"This doesn't look good." You say. "An error in her weapons systems?"

"My thoughts exactly. Personally, I think it's better if she came with us. I'd shut her down for the time we're gone, but there's no telling if the virus might be able to start her up again." Chiyuri tries to explain her thoughts.

"I'll go ahead and make the call now, then."

[ ] Leave the cage unattended.
[ ] Have Ruukoto guard the cage.
[ ] Wait to see what the other scans show.
>> No. 90308
[X] Wait to see what the other scans show.
>> No. 90413
[X] Wait to see what the other scans show.
>> No. 90434
[x] Leave the cage unattended.
[x] Have Chiyuri lock down the ship before you go, along with manual shutdown of most of the inessential systems--everything except for security and information logs.
[x] Ask Chiyuri if she can program the holding tank such that containment failure or otherwise unauthorized access seals the bulkhead to the specimen room, and triggers the emitters flood the room to maximal levels of ionizing radiation, and if it would also be possible to release supercoolant from the ship's fire-protection system, and finally to forcefully depressurize the room, even if these measures would destroy the equipment and render the room permanently unusable. A remote alarm to alert us would help as well.
[x] Ruukoto can continue running her diagnostics in the meanwhile.

If 'Koto's weapons systems are non-functional, then she wouldn't be of any use in guarding the monster anyway. When we do go, we'll need to make tracks as quickly as possible.

This way, in case Yuka or someone tries to breech the tank by force, they and the specimen will be bathed in supra-lethal levels of radiation. We don't know about Yuka, but it defintely works against the monster. Other noxious materials and suffocation may be enough to stop whatever is trying to free her as well.
>> No. 90440
[x] Leave the cage unattended.
[x] Have Chiyuri lock down the ship before you go, along with manual shutdown of most of the inessential systems--everything except for security and information logs.
[x] Ask Chiyuri if she can program the holding tank such that containment failure or otherwise unauthorized access seals the bulkhead to the specimen room, and triggers the emitters flood the room to maximal levels of ionizing radiation, and if it would also be possible to release supercoolant from the ship's fire-protection system, and finally to forcefully depressurize the room, even if these measures would destroy the equipment and render the room permanently unusable. A remote alarm to alert us would help as well.
[x] Ruukoto can continue running her diagnostics in the meanwhile.
>> No. 90446
x] Leave the cage unattended.
[x] Have Chiyuri lock down the ship before you go, along with manual shutdown of most of the inessential systems--everything except for security and information logs.
[x] Ask Chiyuri if she can program the holding tank such that containment failure or otherwise unauthorized access seals the bulkhead to the specimen room, and triggers the emitters flood the room to maximal levels of ionizing radiation, and if it would also be possible to release supercoolant from the ship's fire-protection system, and finally to forcefully depressurize the room, even if these measures would destroy the equipment and render the room permanently unusable. A remote alarm to alert us would help as well.
[x] Ruukoto can continue running her diagnostics in the meanwhile.
>> No. 91063
One day behind schedule. But it's a little more than usual.

==========

"We'll have to take her with us. I'm not liking the idea of leaving an android with a faulty weapons system behind to guard.." You lose your train of thought for a moment as you peer inside through the doorway. Ruukoto sits idly where you left her, seemingly innocent and unaware of her own troublesome situation. A virus could very well be running amok in her weapons and combat systems and she couldn't be more oblivious to it.

"..Well, pretty much anything. The least of which being a monster that's capable of god knows what."

You then ask Chiyuri if she has any thoughts, to which she simply replies, "I think we're fucked either way."

You nod, letting out a nervous laugh. It would certainly seem as such, though you have a good few ideas that just might save your skins. Setting up a controlled radiation leak in the labs could work to contain the creature were she to somehow remove herself from the cage. Sealing the doors would act to shield the rest of the ship from the radiation, as well as create a physical barrier in case something didn't work quite right.

Anything else that comes to mind, being activating the emergency fire retardant system to flooding the labs with engine coolant would prove too impractical or ineffective to be a viable solution. Chiyuri seems to show more interest in the radiation emitters than for anything else, though she brings up the possibility of adding a motion sensor outside the cage rather than simply leaving it on the whole time. It's not long before the two of you have formulated a plan and begin to put it into action.

Chiyuri takes care of the emitters and doors via remote access, as well as shutting down a few of the ship's unnecessary functions. A quick glance down at your watch tells you it's nearly midnight, so you decide to head over to your room for a rest, hoping everything holds together while you're out.

You keep Ruukoto close at hand, never taking your eye off her for a moment as Chiyuri takes you back to your room. A little small talk along the way helps to ease your tension. She tells you about her newest little gadget, you complain about how crappy you feel. Hardly a change from the usual sort of talk, though your mind never quite wanders from the knowledge that tomorrow won't be normal at all.

Before long you find yourself back in your bed--where all this mess started. Hopefully, this time you'll fall asleep and have no dreams at all. The latest string of nightmares and fucked-up premonitions have caused enough strain on you this past week. From one hellish nightmare to the next, you've somehow managed to pull through. Hopefully you'll be able to put an end to it tomorrow. The sooner the better.

Chiyuri lays beside you, fast asleep. You don't even remember her getting in bed, let alone when she fell asleep. This day must've been harder on her than you'd thought. She must've been hiding her exhaustion, like she usually does. Here's a girl who'll work from dawn to dusk on an hour of sleep, yet never make a peep about how tired she feels. You wonder how she does it.. Just looking at her is making you feel sleepy, too..

...

A loud noise--an alarm. Your wrist vibrates as your watch goes off like a siren. The noise is grating and unbearably annoying, though in all likelihood it was programmed that way on purpose.

Needless to say, it works like a charm. You're up, out of bed. On your feet for a change. Sure, you feel a little sore, but the pain is less than yesterday. It hurts a little when you walk, though as you head down to the showers it doesn't seem to be growing any worse. You head in through the door, strip down, and turn the water on in the usual stall. Chiyuri is, of course, in the one next to you.

"Strange coincidence we seem to meet up in here day in and day out.." You say, wondering if she waits for you on purpose.

"I guess.." She replies, seeming a bit out of it. "You seem happy, though."

"I'm up and walking for once. What's not to like?"

"You sure you're okay to do that?" She pulls her hair back to wash her face.

"I'd best get used to it if I'm not. I can't have you pushing me around in a wheelchair the entire time while we're out." You smile, leaning over the divider into her stall.

"Still, you seem a little too happy." She frowns slightly. "Especially considering what we went through yesterday."

"I'm trying not to think about it, though I am hoping I might find some way to resolve that little issue while we're out." You finally figure to ask the important questions, ditching the giddy sort of feeling you had waking up today. "Is everything ready?"

"Yep." She nods, stepping away from you to rinse herself off. "All we need to do is take a walk down to the core room."

"Mmmhmm.." You nod as you finish washing yourself. You take a bit of time to watch Chiyuri for a moment longer before heading into the next room to towel off and get dressed. Chiyuri lags behind by a couple of minutes, but it doesn't take her long to catch up.

Finally, when all preparations are complete, you call for Ruukoto to join you and head off towards the elevator room with Chiyuri in tow.

"Got your gun?" You ask her, slowing to let her match your pace.

She grins, stepping up alongside. "Never leave home without 'em. You?"

"Both of them." You double-check the holsters at your hips just to be safe. Both the modified and unmodified one are in their proper place.

"I brought some snacks~!" Ruukoto waves, meeting you just past the next hallway. "So where are we going?"

"The shrine. Didn't we tell you?" You can't remember telling her, but have a vague feeling you might have done so already. Ruukoto shakes her head.

"Guess not. In any case, we're-- Ah!" Something catches your foot just as you reach the elevator. You start to fall forward, grabbing ahold of Chiyuri unconsciously for support. It's no good, and all it manages to do is take her with you.

"Ah--!" You hear a somewhat annoyed-sounding voice, and taste dirt.

When did the elevator floor suddenly turn to gravel?

You pick yourself up, only to be blinded by an intense light. You hear birds chirping in the distance, feel a slight breeze. And notice somebody standing over you.

"You again?" The girl, Reimu says. "Where the hell did you come from?"

"And hello to you, too." You pick yourself up and dust yourself off, helping Chiyuri up a moment later as you try to ignore the biting tone to the shrine maiden's words.

"Shoulda told you to watch that first step.." Chiyuri groans as she rubs her shoulder.

"Whatever you're here for, now is certainly not a good time." Reimu says bluntly, ignoring your tone in exchange.

[ ] Ask her what she means.
[ ] Tell her you're here to meet somebody.
>> No. 91246
No votes~ Bumping to front page for good measure.
>> No. 91247
[ ] Tell her you're here to meet somebody.
>> No. 91254
[X] Tell her you're here to meet somebody.
>> No. 91296
>[ ] Tell her you're here to meet somebody.

I dunno. This makes it sound like we're complicit with whoever might be causing her own troubles.

[ ] "I have a feeling our troubles stem from the same source. At least for me, a pushy but disembodied voice told me to go here to meet with her in person. Meanwhile the terrifying monster who nearly killed me is sitting in a holding tank in my ship relatively unguarded, mostly because I haven't figured out how to kill it yet. So you're certainly right about that--this is definitely not a good time."
>> No. 91392
[ze] >>91296
>> No. 91441
[x] Ask her what she means.
>> No. 91914
"Seems we all have our problems, then. Don't pay me any mind, I'm just here to meet somebody."

"Hmmph.." Reimu grunts, expressing an emotion somewhere along the lines of disinterest and frustration and making it abundantly clear that she's trying in all her power to ignore you. She turns to walk away. "Do what you will, but try to stay out of my way. I've had it up to here with upstarts like you running around they own the place."

...

"I could blast her, if ya want." Chiyuri whispers to you with a grin a mile wide. She probably thinks it's amusing.

You ignore the both of them, pulling Chiyuri by the collar as you make a round of the outside of the building. You let her go after a few feet, just long enough to get the point across that you'd prefer it if she would just shut the hell up.

"Hmm..." Your round complete, you think next to head inside. The grounds are deserted save the two of you. And one angry shrine maiden, of course. You last see Reimu headed for the woods behind the shrine.

You kick off your shoes and head in through the back door. A dark-haired woman in blue greets you from a nearby table on the floor.

"Heya." She says, waving and smiling--the friendly sort of greeting you'd more hoped to have received from Reimu. "Looks like Reimu gave you the cold shoulder, too."

"Are you...?" You wonder if this is the one you're supposed to be meeting.

"Am I... what?" It wouldn't seem that way, judging by her reaction after having seen you. The woman motions for you to take a seat. "Sit down, will you? You standing there like a stick in the mud is really starting to get on my nerves. C'mon, c'mon! I'm not gonna kill you."

Might as well.. You sit across from her, letting Chiyuri squeeze in next to you. The woman in blue offers you a drink--some kind of tea, by the looks of it. It's bitter.

"So I take it you're here for the party?" She asks, never showing you anything but a smile. "Maaan, Reimu really knows how to pick 'em." She pauses for a moment, refilling your cup despite you not really wanting a second. "So if you don't mind me asking, what's with the cape?"

"She probably thinks it makes her look like a superhe--" Chiyuri speaks up, but is quickly silenced by the power of your fist.

"Er, was that really..." The woman points to Chiyuri, now nursing a brand new lump on her head.

Dammit, that hurt!" She protests.

"You'll live." You say with a smile, avoiding saying more than absolutely necessary. You look back across the table, "But capes really are cool, aren't they?"

"Agreed, one-hundred percent." The woman laughs. "It's only a shame mine was torn to shreds after that little Makai incident." She reaches her hand out, suddenly. "I'm Mima, by the way."

"Yumemi Okazaki. This is my assistant, Chi--" You take her hand, but recoil slightly when you feel how cold it is--like shaking the hand of a corpse.

"I get that a lot." She laughs it off.

"I.. suppose I've encountered stranger things in this world."

"It only gets stranger, I tell you." She smiles, pouring you and Chiyuri a third cup. "This one time about two years back, some folks from the outside had this little battle royale outside of some ruins, and.. Wait." She leans over the table, narrowing her eyes.

"Hah!" She sits back, laughing. "Now I remember you!"

You sit silently and nod.

"You were a lot more mouthy back then, so I didn't quite recognize you at first. So you're still here, huh? So I take it you still haven't discovered the secret of magic?" Even after remembering who you are, her demeanor hasn't seemed to have changed at all.

"I wish I could say that I have, but no."

She leans forward again, intently. "You.. Think you could do that thing with the night again?"

"That sort of thing puts an unnecessary strain on the machines, so no. I'm afraid I can't."

"Damn shame, that. Never could find a proper magic that could freeze the night like that."

"Hey, uh.." Chiyuri pokes your shoulder. "Sorry to butt in, but weren't we looking for someone?"

"Hmm?" Chiyuri seems to have caught Mima's attention. "Looking for someone, you say?"

"Yes, I am." You nod, "At first I though it was you, but I'm sure that isn't the case now." You get up to leave, are about to excuse yourself, when Mima grabs you by the hand.

"Hey, where are you going?" She grins, trying to pull you back into your seat. "I didn't say you could leave?"

"I'd rather not miss my meeting." You say, trying not to let her intimidate you back down. Her cold hand on your wrist only seems to be growing colder..

"Alright, alright." She lets you go. "But at least let me come with. The boredom is killing me~!"

You first look to Chiyuri, who doesn't seem to object in any way, shape, or form.

"If you really want to.." You see no problem with her accompanying you for a ways. She's shown you nothing but kindness so far, and her motives only seem to be purely to stay entertained. "I doubt there'll be much interesting about it, though."

"Hmph! You'd be surprised." She stands, eyeballing you haughtily. A smile indicates that this all may be little more than a jest. "If you don't make the best of things your life will be miserable! Take it from somebody who's already dead."

"Already..." Chiyuri's eyes widen slightly. "Dead?"

"It's a joke, it's a joke!" Mima laughs as Chiyuri grabs onto your arm. "Try not to take me too seriously, okay?"

"But you're not really joking, are you?" You say, watching Mima as she tries her best to keep Chiyuri from freaking out.

"Well, saying that something is 'dead' would indicate that it was alive in the first place." Mima smiles, still trying to draw Chiyuri out from under your cape. "C'mon, I won't bite~ I have no such recollection of being alive in the first place, so it's hard to say. I'm not gonna hurt you, honest~ For the time being, it's better if you think of me as just a spirit, or preferably the God of Hakurei." She seems to go back and forth from talking to you to talking to Chiyuri, and you find it a bit difficult to tell who exactly she's addressing.

"That's a bit of a jump, from spirit to God. Don't you think?" Chiyuri eventually steps out, but keeps her meek demeanor, shrinking back ever so often when her eyes meet Mima's.

"You'd think that, huh?" Mima's grin widens. "She have a problem with ghosts or something?"

"G-g-g-ghosts?" Chiyuri stutters, but tries not to look intimidated. "Of course not! Why would I ever be scared of something silly like ghosts?"

==========

More next post.
>> No. 91915
"There you have it." You smile, patting Chiyuri on the head.

"Told you this'd be interesting." Mima laughs. "So, tell me about this person you're supposed to meet."

"I would, but I don't know anything aside from the fact that I'm supposed to meet somebody here."

"Hmm? That's a little.."

"Strange, yes, I know. If you knew all of the details it would only seem stranger. I'd rather not discuss such matters as it would take far too much time, so let's just get to searching, shall we?"

"Pushy, pushy~" Mima chides, never falling short of the half-serious atmosphere that surrounds her. "But I suppose you've got a point. I've wasted enough of your time as it is." She seems to notice something on the other side of the room. Her eyes turn to Ruukoto, standing by the doorway. "Oh? So I see you've got this one moving again?"

"I got her moving again." Chiyuri declares rather forcefully, suddenly yelling for some reason or another. "Yumemi knows nothing about sophisticated electronics, I'll have you know! She can't even put together a simple FM Transmitter!"

You give her a mildly more gentle whack on the head, this time around. Not nearly enough to cause her pain, but just enough to shut her up.

"Yes, she's up and running again, thanks wholly due to my loud-mouthed assistant here." You decide to keep the more little details--namely about the virus--to yourself.

"Hmm.." Mima circles around Ruukoto once or twice. "Some kind of autonomous doll?" She knocks Ruukoto gently on the head, who smiles kindly in return. If it were you, you'd have probably gotten angry by now. If Ruukoto has even a shred of human emotion, she's better at concealing it than any person you've ever met. "I know someone who'd just love you!"

"Every person I've met who's said that only wanted to open me up and take me apart, though.." Ruukoto speaks up suddenly, saying something wholly unexpected.

"Quite a mouth on this one, huh?" Mima looks over to you, though all you can do is shrug. You wonder if it has something to do with the virus. You figure another scan may be in order sooner than expected. "I like her, can I take her home?" Mima thumbs at Ruukoto, smiling childishly.

"No." Chiyuri says in your stead, sharing your sentiments though voicing them a little more forcefully. You figure after all the work Chiyuri put into Ruukoto, she should have the most say in the matter.

"Chi's got quite a mouth on her, too." Mima laughs.

"Chiyuri!"

"Sorry, sorry." You butt in, whacking Chiyuri on the head for a third time. "I was a little distracted earlier. Her name's Chiyuri, not Chi."

"I like Chi better." Mima adamantly declares, seeming to suddenly want to get under Chiyuri's skin. All for the sake of making things interesting, you guess.. "Woah!" Mima's eyes dart outside through the open door. "Here comes trouble!"

As if on cue, Reimu storms into the room. She eyeballs Mima with a strange suspicion, and turns to you a moment later.

"Your friend is here." She says, storming past you into the next room.

"I'm going with her~!" Mima yells through the paper-thin walls.

"Do what you want!" You hear Reimu's voice yell back.

"There ya have it." Mima looks back to you, grinning again. No matter how you look at it, she's always grinning. "She's a little high-strung what with this little thing going on in town.."

"I feel like I could sympathize.."

"Yeah, well.." Mima seems eager to get on the move, putting on a hat bearing resemblance to what a stereotypical wizard would wear.

"Let's go." Chiyuri pulls on your arm.

Outside, the grounds seem as bare and abandoned as you had left them. You slip your shoes back on and follow Mima around to the front gate. A woman in white you feel you should recognize waits under the torii marking the entrance to the shrine.

Mima is the first to greet her, rushing--almost floating, as it looks--over to her. The woman receives an awfully warm welcome from the spirit, and is unable to push Mima away.

"Seems we meet again." The woman says, trying to stay composed as she tries to throw Mima's arms off of her. "I'll be your guide for-- Will you let go?!"

"Aww.." Mima relents, allowing the woman to speak.

"I'm Luize, in case you may not remember. It isn't my place to know why, but our--Makai's resident Goddess, Shinki, has requested to speak with you. It is a great honor that many are not given."

A Goddess?

"I see. Though I'm not too clear on the details either, as it stands."

"See? See?" Mima might as well be jumping for joy. "I told you this'd get interesting!"

"I'm loathe to ask it, but why are you here?" Luize asks, her tone much more aggressive when speaking to Mima. You wonder if the two might have some history..

"For the laughs." Mima smiles as she answers honestly and truthfully. Luize sighs, rubbing her brow.

"Fine. I won't stop you so long as you don't cause any trouble."

"Can do." Mima agrees to Luize's terms without a second thought.

"Shall we go, then?" Luize turns back to you, gesturing to the stairwell behind her.

"Lead the way." You don't want to put this off any longer. Goddess or no, the sooner you're done with it, the sooner you can go back to your ship.

The stairs do a number on you right off the bat. Your sore leg protests no later than twenty steps down, throbbing, aching, and causing you no small measure of discomfort. You're glad to reach the bottom, and stop for a short rest. Luize eyes you with caution, seeming to understand that something more is wrong than your excuse of being 'out of breath'. Mima continues to pester Chiyuri until you decide to get moving again.

A short distance down the dirt path, you spot a trail you don't remember being present the last time you came through. Strangely enough, Luize chooses to take it, leading you further into the forest that seems to cover this entire portion of land. Not a clearing in sight, and the foliage begins to grow thicker. Overhead, the tree cover blocks out more and more light, and you begin to grow uneasy. You instinctively thumb at the pistol on your hip, and though you realize the action to be unnecessary it makes you feel safer knowing your weapon is there.

After a while longer--likely several kilometers down the line--you stop for another break. Luize asks you if something is wrong, and you just give the same excuse. Chiyuri, seeing all of this, pulls her aside for a moment. You don't try to stop her immediately, though you realize her intention is to tell her about your injury. You wonder if it may be for the better, and you decide to--

[ ] Stop Chiyuri.
[ ] Let her talk.

==========

Leaving a long one for now. I've a vacation planned starting Friday and going through to the end of the following week. I'm unsure of what to expect regarding internet connectivity though I'll be bringing my laptop regardless, so if I do happen to get connected, I'll probably have an update or two in the coming week.
>> No. 91916
[y] Let her talk.

I don't see why not.
>> No. 91931
[x] Let her talk.

Stiff upper lip and all, but don't be bullheaded about it.
>> No. 91990
[X] Let her talk.
>> No. 92815
--let her talk. No sense in stopping her. Maybe it's for the better.

Mima, loathe to be left by her lonesome, takes a seat beside you. She smiles cheerfully, seemingly usual behavior for her.

"You know," she says, resting her head in her hands. "I don't think we're headed in the right direction. Shouldn't be a damn thing out this far. 'Specially nothing fancy like a gate to Makai."

"And why would you say that?" You decide to strike up conversation. Maybe it'll take your mind off of Chiyuri--stop you from tearing your hair out worrying about what she might say next. "I take it you know the area?"

"Not particularly. The only way into Makai I've ever seen is about a day's walk over that way." She points off in some direction. You don't know what's there, or how she knows it's in that particular direction for that matter. "So, provided you're not being lured into some sort of trap by blondie over there, I figure we're either lost or using some sort of back door."

"I can assure you that this is no trap, nor am I lost." Luize calls out, nearly yelling despite being only a few meters away. Her and Chiyuri walk over a moment later.

"You heard that?" Caught, Mima laughs.

"With the way you talk, even the deaf could hear you." Luize gives her a cross look, suddenly turning to you and smiling a second later. "Perhaps we should slow the pace a bit?"

In the background, Chiyuri gives you an apologetic wave. Maybe she expects you to be angry..

"Sure, fine by me. I'm in no hurry." You stand, eager to get on the move. You've rested long enough. Any longer and you'll run the risk of becoming a burden on the others. Though, why you're caught worrying about the others when the situation concerns only yourself is beyond you.

"Then, shall we go?" Luize pushes--literally, pushes--Mima from the rock she was sitting on while talking to you, grabs her by the collar and half drags her onto the path. No doubt about it, these two share some history.

You pull Chiyuri back beside you as you follow the two quarreling women just ahead.

"What did you tell her?" You ask,finding no reason within yourself to beat around the bush.

"I- err.. I just asked her to slow it up a bit. Didn't say nothin' about--" She grins nervously, her head bowed as though preparing for some manner of physical attack.

But you just don't have it in you to hit her. You see no reason to, either. She did nothing wrong, as far as you can tell.

"To be honest, I don't think she's slowed down at all.." You sigh, watching the two squabble and argue ahead. You hear a few particulars mentioned, a few names named, but nothing you can put together to get an idea of what they're actually arguing about. "Not that I mind, really. I doubt it'd make much difference in the long run."

"Really.." Chiyuri sighs too, putting a hand to her face. "All that wasted effort.."

"Ah, we're almost there!" Luize exclaims proudly, pointing to some horrifically ugly sculpture of some kind of demon carved from a dead tree stump. "It's just in the next clearing!"

"What bad taste.." Chiyuri says, finally removing her hand from her nose and eyes. "I'm gettin' a reeeal bad feeling about this one."

"I don't recognize the styling at all.." You look over the statue as you pass by. Though it seems to act as some sort of marker or waypoint, it does seem awfully symbolic. The style of art is of no country or culture you've ever seen before.

Mima starts to hang back for the rest of the way, explaining the specifics of some sort of magic spell to you. It's interesting enough, if only to keep your mind preoccupied with something other than the dull throbbing pain in your leg.

Finally, the forest opens up. Though, it would be better to say that it just simply stops. The 'clearing', as Luize called it, is little more than an age-old lava flow, barren of trees and plants only because it provides no way for them to grow. Ahead, a rock wall juts out of the ground at an almost exact ninety-degree angle. It would appear as though the land ahead had simply been pulled straight out of the earth.

"Don't tell me.." You'll have to climb it..?

"It's just over this way." Luize leads you around the rock face, through a small patch of trees growing from where the solid lava rock hasn't touched, and into another, much larger clearing. To your right stands the rock wall, on your left, the forest. Ahead, carved into the face of the rock stands some sort of insignia. Your experience with occult magics tells you it's some kind of magic circle. Inside it, the rock has been polished to a mirror sheen. You can touch it--see your reflection in the black wall of stone, though the circle doesn't seem to be active.

"Oh, flashy~!" Mima stares wondrously at the magic insignia, possibly reading the language written into the wall. It all seems alien to you. "So how do we open it?"

"You don't." Luize says flatly, still seemingly annoyed with even so much as Mima's presence. "It has to be opened from the other side. Though I should've expected as much.." She turns to you. "I apologize, but it would seem we may have to wait."

"You don't have to keep apologizing to me, you know. I'll wait if I have to." You take a seat on a nearby rock. The others, save Mima, start to crowd around.

[ ] Try to strike up a conversation. (Specify)
[ ] Let one of the others start talking.

==========

Finally, updates! GiG maybe later.
>> No. 92828
[x] "You said to meet your Goddess is a great honor, one that many are not given; I must assume your Goddess is a very busy woman then, and so I fear for whoever is responsible for this apparent delay--a 'gate technician' or some such?"
[x] "The Goddess of Makai wishes to see me immediately for unspecified reasons. Maybe this is just my paranoia, but the whole affair feels very much like one that ends in 'life imprisonment' or 'summary execution'. Luize, how often do you escort visitors to Miss Shinki? And how often do you escort them back?"
-[x] "I'll tell you right now that if there are halberds--or pikes--waiting for us on the other side of this gate, I will hold you personally accountable."
-[x] "Mima, I'm suddenly very glad you're here, in the off chance we are in need of rapid... extradition."
>> No. 92893
>>92828
Yumemi doesn't sound like an overly articulate ponce.
>> No. 92909
>>92893

You can't be 'overly articulate' because 'articulate' as an adjective is one that has decidedly positive connotations. You can 'over-articulate', a verb, in which case the adjective you were looking for could be either 'verbose' or, simply, 'loud', by differing usages of the word.

Yumemi however is a villainess, which is a type of character which lends itself readily to threatening monologue and maniacal laughter, but also probably not the kind of person who uses the word 'ponce'. That kind of person is either British, a faggot, or both.
>> No. 92915
[B] Let one of the others start talking.
>> No. 92958
>>92909
Thank you for further emphasizing the point I was making. You're really outdoing yourself.

Also:
>villainess
>ess
FUCK YEAH, RETARDED PHRASING
>> No. 92962
[X] Let one of the others start talking.
>> No. 93122
>>92958

It's been a word for about five centuries now. Grow up.
>> No. 93268
>>93122
And it's been retarded for six of those five centuries.
>> No. 93275
Too much time has passed. Writing begins~
>> No. 93284
You keep to yourself, wondering what the others might have to say. For a long while they stay silent. Chiyuri, bored out of her skull after the first five minutes, quickly takes to searching the area. There's probably no rhyme or reason to it; just something to take her mind off things.

"So," Mima is the first to break the silence, "Who or what is it we're waiting for, exactly?"

"We're early, to put it bluntly." Luize shifts her weight, crossing her legs. Sitting on solid rock isn't exactly comfortable.. "I was expecting a few delays on the way, but I'm pleased to say that the trip went off without incident."

"You were expecting trouble?" You find yourself amazed that she's so calm about it. Or rather, does she ever stop smiling?

"Of a sort, yes. Though nothing particularly difficult to handle."

Easy for her to say.

"Hey, hey!" Chiyuri calls from the edge of the forest, waving at you. "Over here!" She seems to be leaning over something, though you have to get closer to see what it is.

"What? What'd you find?" You say, leaning over her shoulder. There's a glint of what looks to be polished metal in the tall grasses. But once she picks it up, it's only a piece of broken glass.

"This stuff seems to be everywhere around here.." Chiyuri studies the piece carefully. "My first guess is that it might be volcanic, but it looks man-made."

"Huh. Stuff like that falls through the border all the time." Mima doesn't seem to be impressed. "It's really not strange at all to find things like pagers and cell phones out in the middle of the forest, despite what common sense might dictate."

"There seems to be an awful lack of common sense in this world.." Luize sighs, picking the shard of glass from Chiyuri's hands. "But I suppose some things can be explained, once a trained eye has a look-see."

She holds it up to her face, hardly inches from her nose. Mima smiles for reasons unknown, watching Luize's movements maybe a little too carefully. But whatever she was planning never comes to fruition. Luize chucks the shard back into the grass with a flick of her wrist.

"Boredom really is a force to be reckoned with." She smiles. "What you're seeing is merely the remains from the reconstruction of one of Makai's older cities."

"And here I though we might've been on to the find of a century.." Chiyuri chuckles derisively.

"Now, now." Mima also lets out a laugh, though a far more cheerful one than your sailor-girl parter could manage. "At least it's something to do."

"But all I'm seeing is bits of glass.. If this is all from a city, wouldn't there be.. Like, bricks or something?" Even the glass seems to be sparsely dispersed.

"There is a lot of rubble deposited by the gateway on the other side being sorted for recycling, so I suppose it's simply a matter of a few bits and pieces making it out of the dark space." Luize explains, heading back in the direction of the gate.

"Dark space..?" Mima raises an eyebrow. "Ooooh! You mean that place!?"

"Yes." Luize suddenly seems a whole lot less cheerful after having been addressed by Mima. "Where you and I first met."

Mima steps around beside her, a single swift movement allowing her to block Luize from moving forward.

"You sure it's safe for them?"

"So long as I'm with them, yes."

"Then what about those creepy-crawlies? I take it you've got a plan to keep them off our backs?"

"I suppose you can act as bait." Luize laughs quietly. "But in the presence of a demon, those creatures are nothing but cowards. They won't come near so long as I stay close by." She gives you a nod as if asking, 'did you get all that?'.

You nod, but keep silent. The conflict seems to resolve itself, with Mima being somewhat less pushy for a while afterwards. The four of you go about whatever business you have, trying to keep from dying of boredom. Luize keeps her distance for some time, standing still by the gate carved into the rock face.

A few hours pass with you trying to keep Mima and Chiyuri busy. Both seem the type to cause all sorts of havoc when allowed to linger about. Mima especially.

A relatively lackluster flash of light interrupts whatever conversation you were having at the time. You forget the topic of discussion only because it was so incredibly mundane and unimportant to you. Turning towards the source of the light, you find Luize talking with yet another individual who seems to have appeared out of nowhere.

Two others, actually. The first, a blonde dressed mostly in black seems plain by comaprison to the other--a frosty-haired girl about the same size as the first, dressed in blue and sporting a magnificent pair of white wings on her back.

You have to get a better look.

Along with Mima and Chiyuri, you rush over to see what's happening.

"Oh, shit." Says the blonde, "Here comes the idiot brigade.."

The other one in white stays silent, though her eyes seem disapproving of the other girl's words.

"Ready to go?" Luize asks.

[ ] "Yeah, sure."
[ ] "Wait, who the hell are they?"
>> No. 93288
[X] "Wait, who the hell are they?"
>> No. 93292
[X] "Wait, who the hell are they?"
>> No. 93294
[ ] "Wait, who the hell are they?"
>> No. 93298
[x]Yeah, sure.

LET'S BURN
>> No. 93323
[ze] "Wait, who the hell are they?"

Mai & Yuki?
>> No. 93930
File 125263590080.jpg - (1.74MB , 1050x1500 , makai.jpg ) [iqdb]
93930
"Sure.. But first," You point to the two newcomers to the group, "Who the hell are they?"

"Us?!" The blonde overhears, turning to you with an enormous grin. "Yuki!"

"..Mai." Says the other. You assume they're giving their names..

"Together we are--!!" Says the blonde, Yuki, with ever increasing fervor..

..Until the one named Mai smacks her.

"Shut it, you." She speaks just as softly as before, though her actions betray a certain annoyance with the other.

"That huuurt~!"

"..."

"..Can we get going now?" You'd rather not incite further violence between the two, though it seems likely to happen regardless of whether you intervene or not.

"Buncha crazies, 'f ya ask me.." Chiyuri mutters softly in your ear.

"Perhaps.."

"..." Luize holds firm for a moment before speaking, "No, if you'd kindly stand over here.."

You move to the ground she'd gestured to--a small circle carved into the lava rock just to your left. It certainly seems harmless eno--

A sudden blackness envelops you. You feel yourself being catapulted forward, and in an instant your sight and senses return, bringing with them a new-found nausea. Your first urge is to vomit, though you manage to suppress it.

Chiyuri, sadly, is not so fortunate. From her mouth springs forth the most awful of guttural sounds, among a few other unmentionables. You give her a pat on the back and try to look away. The mere sight of it might cause you to lose the control you've exercised over yourself.

"Gah, bleh.." She stands, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand. "The fuck was that?!"

"Seems passing through the gateway has that sort of effect on humans, y'see." Says Mai, seemingly unfazed. "So, yeah. Welcome to Hell."

"He-Hell?!" As in, the world of fire and brimstone from the Bible?! It doesn't seem possible!

You immediately look up, eyes scanning the horizon. Before you lies a world much like your own, though certainly not. A mighty archway stands high over you, allowing you a view of only a small portion of the world. The sky is dark, choked black with the smog and soot of heavy industry. Lights of an incredible walled city dot the horizon, with buildings nearly as tall as the ones back home. A walkway extends under the arch, into the city beyond.

"A.." You find yourself at a loss for words. "Amazing.."

"Just wait 'til you see the capitol!" You hear Mima cry with laughter in the background. "The place is huge I tell ya! HUGE!"

"So we're all here." Luize pulls your attention back to the group. "From here, the palace is only a short walk away. This is a small world, as you can see, so our people have had to build the city up instead of across."

"You ain't kiddin'.." Chiyuri stands just beside you, hardly breathing from the excitement. "Hey, Yumemi, this place looks just like home!"

"Indeed, it does." You're surprised at the similarities, and especially the stark contrast it holds to the whole of Earth. It's no less than otherworldly, though far from the Hell you would have envisioned.

From here, you merely follow Luize into the city. The main road you follow in breaks off into much smaller alleyways once past the city walls. You could easily find yourself getting lost, if it wasn't for Luize. You're more than thankful to have her around, at this point. Her cordiality is no less a boon.

The city seems to go on for miles and miles. Luize pushes her way through crowds and crowds of what could only be considered monsters--for lack of a better term--on her way to the center of the city. The roads are flat. Paved, thankfully, though the material used gives off an iridescent metallic sheen. The buildings too, seem to have been built from the same material.

As you get farther in, the crowds thin. Occasionally, you pass by a building that had been broken down. These broken spires seem to only increase in number, until almost nothing but ruins remain. Luize presses onward as though it's nothing.

[ ] Ask about the broken buildings.
[ ] Keep quiet.
>> No. 93931
>>93930
>"No, if you'd kindly stand over here.."

There's supposed to be a "w" in there somewhere. Like in the first word. Sadly, neither my eyes nor my spellchecker can cure me of this disease. That's what I get for typing in dim light.
>> No. 93936
[X] Ask about the broken buildings.
>> No. 93969
[x] Ask about the broken buildings.

>>93930
>The roads are flat. Paved, thankfully, though the material used gives off an iridescent metallic sheen.
Holy shit, did you just make a Master of Magic reference?
>> No. 93970
[X] Ask about the broken buildings.
>> No. 94159
File 125290510654.jpg - (295.19KB , 1000x1000 , 3d5b79f0eb5523f463bdc67a86dbd091.jpg ) [iqdb]
94159
Though it hardly seems something one would normally overlook. You find yourself wondering what sort of disaster caused this level of devastation.

"What happened here..?" You wonder aloud, hoping someone might hear you and answer.

"Yeah, about that.." Yuki says, smiling as she floats around beside you. And to think, she's the one without a honking pair of wings.. Hiding your disbelief proves to be next to impossible, and she giggles upon seeing your reaction.

Though as she tries to think up a way to explain to you the circumstances that caused all of this devastation, her expression begins to grow puzzled and distraught.

"Meh, I can't really explain it.. People show up at our doorstep and piss off our god. This is pretty much the aftermath of that."

"That.. really doesn't explain much.." You shake your head, unable to make heads or tails of what she just said. The fact that God is real and does, in fact, exist is more than you can wrap your head around..

"Well, here we are." Luize says with a sort of finality, stopping in the middle of the road.

"Huh?" You look around, seeing nothing ahead or behind that could dictate where exactly 'here' could possibly be. Broken building after broken building line the streets; the enormous palace you've been heading towards the entire way still seems so far off.

"Well, you two have a safe trip, then~" Yuki giggles, taking a step away from you.

"I don't like where this is headed.." Chiyuri grumbles, scratching her head and looking to you. "They're gonna do that thing with the bla--"

Again, you feel yourself being thrown forward. You find yourself on your hands and knees, coughing and sputtering when your senses return.

"Ugh.." Chiyuri lays flat on her back beside you. "Luckily, I don't have anything left to throw up.."

"Easy for you.. *urp* ..to say.." Oh God, it's worse this time!

"Oh dear." A voice from above. Must have something to do with the pair of shoes just ahead in the corner of your vision. "Are you unhurt?"

"Listen.." You pull yourself to your feet by sheer willpower alone, leaning on this mystery woman for support. The room spinning circles around you doesn't much help your sense of balance. "You really need to find a less sickening mode of transportation.."

"Ah, yes, well.." The woman--who appears to be some sort of maid--smiles at you but falls silent otherwise.

"I think we oughta walk back, boss. Whaddaya say?" Chiyuri, still laying on the floor, gives you a thumbs up.

"I'd normally say you need to stand up.." Another wave of nausea fights it's way up from the pit of your stomach. "..But I really think I should sit down.." You look to the strange maid, pleading for her help.

"Right this way." She leads you, along with the bedraggled Chiyuri into a sort of guest room.

You take a seat at a nearby table, holding your head in your arms and waiting for the feeling to pass. You groan, finally ridding yourself of the misery after a few minutes time.

"Whoa.. Hey, get a load of this place, boss! It's huge!" Chiyuri says, standing behind you.

"It certainly is.." Says the maid, with a lament in her voice almost undetectable by any measure. "Would you care for a drink? The master is awfully busy at this time.."

[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.
>> No. 94166
[x] Yes. And keep them coming.

Yet more waiting. This kind of thing drives you to drink.
>> No. 94185
[X] Yes.

I hope they're colorful drinks.

Yumemi will spew rainbows.
>> No. 94186
[ze] No.
We can get sloshed with Chiyuri after we're out of Makai.

>>94159
>"Meh, I can't really explain it.. People show up at our doorstep and piss off our god. This is pretty much the aftermath of that."
Beautiful and simple. I love it.
>> No. 94189
[X] Yes.
>> No. 94412
[X] Wait here.
>> No. 94511
Autosage, new thread. And here I was wondering why my latest post didn't bump the thread.