LeahofCherem

DXN - Shurai - Part 3 (Outros)

Mar 24th, 2016
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  1. [00:00] <Cherem> ======
  2.  
  3. [16:37] <Cherem> One hell of a drive later, you find yourself left with Honda's business card outside of what looks like a gym. Strange place, but Honda told you, "Ginyomi wants to see you, if that's okay. We'll drop you off near a friend's place."
  4. [16:39] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Sure." Miyu stumbles along talking to herself, looking at the card first and then the gym. The oddness doesn't seem to phase her much, so she just wanders over to the door and knocks.
  5. [16:41] <Cherem> The doors open for you as you approach them, made of glass and opening into a lobby. Standing inside, you see Ginyomi, talking with a woman dressed in running clothing and a hoodie, her ruddy, rusty brown hair pulled into a ponytail behind her.
  6. [16:42] <Cherem> As you step in, Ginyomi turns to you, actually realizes what you look like, and rushes forward. She's abandoned the school uniform for something a lot less formal, but still looks more at home in the better parts of Tokyo than this gym.
  7. [16:42] <Cherem> "You're okay! I was so worried!" Ginyomi's got your hand in hers as she grabs you, quickly inspecting you for wounds.
  8. [16:44] <Shinjou_Miyu> Miyu looks at the woman, a remarkable range of expressions going over her face in that short time. She seems a wreck overall, but at least she's not leaking entrails. "Worried?" Miyu asks, seeming a little out of it. "I'm alive."
  9. [16:49] <Cherem> "Alive, yes, but..." Ginyomi glances back, "Let's get you a shower. Akikami, do you know somebody who could..." She looks at your wounds.
  10. [16:51] <Shinjou_Miyu> 'Sh-shower..." Miyu mumbles in a daze as she goes through another rapid fire mood swing.
  11. [16:52] <Cherem> The woman nods, "Yeah, don't sweat it." She steps up, "Don't worry, you're with friends here." She reache sinto her pocket and tosses Ginyomi a key, "Use the last bathroom, it'll lock with that. I'll bring in towels and stuff for you."
  12. [16:52] <Cherem> Ginyomi snags the key, "Alright, lean on me, Shinjou. We'll get you feeling right as rain."
  13. [16:55] <Shinjou_Miyu> Miyu does indeed lean, head starting to turn to Ginyomi. She forces herself to look straight ahead. "I hope I don't get too much of my blood on you."
  14. [16:57] <Cherem> The walk isn't very long, especially with her help. It's down the hall, where you realize kind of groggily that you're going into the bathing rooms of this place. "Please don't mind me," Ginyomi smiles, helping you sit down in one of the booths. "I put you through this, so if this is the worst that happens, I'll gladly accept it." She flushes a little, "Now, please, uhm, get rid of the clothing covering your wounds."
  15. [17:03] <Shinjou_Miyu> "I got all shot up. But then it was like one of those light at the end of the tunnel things and I got up." Miyu says quietly. After a few moments of pausing awkwardly she gives the room a suspicious look, cheeks coloring as well as she strips down and makes her way to a booth to sit. Then she closes her eyes.
  16. [17:04] <Cherem> "Alright... So it was like that then." Ginyomi gulps a little bit, unhooking the shower head. "Alright. This might sting a bit." She turns the shower on as low as she can, gently washing away the dried blood on your form. It stings a little bit when it hits your wounds, but it won't kill you again. "It looks like you got shot..."
  17. [17:08] <Shinjou_Miyu> Miyu flinches gasps at the initial gush of water, eyes shooting open. It takes her a while to relax somewhat, but eventually she does. "That guy went nuts. And you know what was strange? He went by the name of Kilowatt. A lot like that guy you were joking about providing battle music. Kill-owatt."
  18. [17:09] <Cherem> Ginyomi makes a face, apologizing under her breath before continuing, bringing a towel up to wipe away at the blood. "Really? I was joking about that name too. To think somebody out there has such terrible naming sense..."
  19. [17:13] <Shinjou_Miyu> Miyu shrugs, though she instantly, visibly regrets it. "I thought it was funny when you came up with it. Just one of life's little coincidences. You mind if I ask you a personal question?"
  20. [17:16] <Cherem> Ginyomi shakes her head, "Not at all. It's the least I can do." She smiles a little, looking at you expectantly.
  21. [17:21] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Did you realize you're in mortal danger?" Miyu says in a serious tone, but then loses it and cracks a smile. "An adoring stalker could come in uninvited at any minute."
  22. [17:23] <Cherem> Ginyomi pales a little, face frozen for a second, but it breaks as she starts laughing. You see a whole bundle of tension that this entire time was lurking right behind her eyes wash out as she giggles.
  23. [17:25] <Cherem> "Heaven's sake, you gave me a heart attack!" Ginyomi stands up, poking your cheek softly, "I'm glad you're alright enough to make jokes!" She's still chuckling, even as the knocking on the door starts, the woman from before's voice coming through about towels and a doctor.
  24. [17:28] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Sorry. I think the injury and the hot water impaired my judgment a little." Miyu says in a cheeky voice. "Guess that's my cue to get ready for treatment."
  25. [17:30] <Cherem> "Could've been worse, I think," Ginyomi smiles slyly, "Two young girls, alone," She opens the door, where Akikami is standing with towels.
  26. [17:31] <Cherem> "Please don't do that in our showers," The woman grumbles, "Towel up, and the doctor will come in when you're ready for him. Don't worry, he's not touchy. I'd break his arm if he was." There's a protest from behind her, but she turns and the door closes on you two.
  27. [17:34] <Shinjou_Miyu> Miyu gets up shortly afterwards and then walks over to Ginyomi, questioning the wisdom of that a few times along the way. BUt she eventually does make her way to Ginyomi and nabs a towel. "I guess she never heard of reverse psychology."
  28. [17:38] <Cherem> Tindalos member of the advisory board, class president and runner-up to school council president, still a teenager. Ginyomi flushes and laughs a little, looking in every other direction. "Hm? Not sure what you mean." she surrenders the towel easily, "You shouldn't be walking with your injuries. You might, dunno, fall." Her prim speech breaks character for a second.
  29. [17:43] <Shinjou_Miyu> "I wouldn't have any idea what she meant either, unless she thought you were writing stuff on me with my blood." Miyu says with a feigned innocence, so much as something like that can seem innocent. She dries herself off with the towel and wraps up before leaning on Ginyomi again. "Should probably get this taken care of. I'm getting dizzy."
  30. [17:45] <Cherem> Ginyomi goes about as red as she can, "Yes! Yes, Yes, we should! Passing out is no good!" She tries to move for a split second, realizing her situation, and instead just reaching out, unlocking the door. "She's decent!"
  31. [17:45] <Cherem> just reaches out*
  32. [17:46] <Cherem> "You sound a little panicked in there. Can he really come in?" Akikami talks through the door, and you can see the steam rising from Ginyomi's face.
  33. [17:46] <Cherem> No defense, this one.
  34. [17:48] <Shinjou_Miyu> "I'm good!" Miyu calls out amused.
  35. [17:49] <Cherem> The door opens, and a man comes in. He looks like he's more used to treating animals maybe, but Akikami follows after, "He looks no good, but he's the guy we have patching us up after the no-holds-barred matches." This earns a very anxious glare from the doctor, who returns his attention to you. He looks at your face.
  36. [17:49] <Cherem> "... Alright, I can drop the charge, but I'd like an autograph instead."
  37. [17:50] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Deal."
  38.  
  39. [00:00] <Cherem> ======
  40.  
  41. [11:40] <Cherem> It wasn't with a heavy heart that you, Doyle, left Honda after these last few days: seems he only gets into trouble with a bunch of people to watch him get hurt. In any case, this Kilowatt figure is out of the picture, and you have some space to breath.
  42. [11:40] <Cherem> He bid you a good night as you left him at the clinic with Goemon, telling you to "go out, enjoy the night".
  43. [11:40] <Cherem> That'd be nice, but you have a date. And not the fun kind either, the business kind.
  44. [11:40] <Cherem> "There's a cafe not too far from you. I have one of my associates waiting for you there. I need you to go over what happened these last few days, and he'll take note of it for me."
  45. [11:40] <Cherem> A simple voicemail. Ominous, really. And this meeting, a little "out in the open" for one of his nature.
  46. [11:41] <Cherem> The cafe is a bit of a commute away, thankfully far enough from the neighborhood that nobody should recognize you. It's actually closer to a bar than a cafe, with booths and a bar.
  47. [11:41] <Cherem> "There will be a guest book there. There will be a booth for two with a crossed out name. They'll be waiting for you."
  48. [11:42] <Cherem> As you enter the homey, down to earth resturaunt, there's a chime of "Welcome!" from the chef behind the bar and a hostess, checking the guestbook. Dressed in traditional clothing, the girl beams at you, "Reservation?"
  49. [11:43] <Cerys_Doyle> "Yeah," She takes a look around, feeling like this was a bad idea in all possible ways. But she wasn't one to ignore orders. "For two." She takes off her sunglasses.
  50. [11:45] <Cherem> The girl nods in a bubbily manner, glancing down at the book, "Oh! Yes. Your friend is already here, dear customer, please follow me." She grabs a menu from the bar and starts winding her way past the seats and patrons at the bar, towards one of the rooms located at the far end.
  51. [11:45] <Cerys_Doyle> She didn't look quite as beat up as some of the others, but that came with being mostly bullet proof. "Right." She follows the girl, still eying the room and getting a layout drawn up in her mind.
  52. [11:46] <Cherem> The booths themselves are lined with what seems like thin wood, and the entrances are made of fabric. Behind your booth, you can see a long pair of distinctly feminine legs, ending in flats.
  53. [11:47] <Cherem> The hostess knocks on the side of the booth to announce herself, pulling aside half of the fabric curtain to reveal an empty chair for you, your contact still hidden from view. "I will return to you in a moment for drinks and appetizers, dear customer."
  54. [11:48] <Cerys_Doyle> She takes a seat without a word.
  55. [11:52] <Cherem> Sitting across from you is a woman, definetly not Japanese, dressed in black. Her outfit is somewhat professional, a pencil skirt and a black blazer with a warm cream blouse underneath. Her hair is black, curving gracefully around her neck and to her shoulders, angled just right to skirt around her eyes.
  56. [11:54] * DBN006 (~IceChat77@Rizon-72499018.lightspeed.bcvloh.sbcglobal.net) has joined #DXtheGame
  57. [11:54] <Cherem> Her irides are near pitch black. Maybe they're a dark gray, under the right light a steely, constant blue. Or gray-green. What's consistant is they're dark, and as you sit down she smiles in a warm-but-not way. "Evening, Ebon Woe."
  58. [11:55] <Cerys_Doyle> "Evenin'." She sets her sunglasses down on the table and looses her red tie. "T'what do I owe the pleasure?"
  59. [11:57] <Cherem> "I'm sure the Black Swamp told you," she responds in English. "Did you know, that's what it translates to?" She reaches for her drink, some kind of mixed drink in a martini glass.
  60. [12:00] <Cerys_Doyle> "I had a vague notion, still never really got the best hang o' this language despite living here so long."
  61. [12:04] <Cherem> "Don't worry. I'm sure not even he thinks about it that much." She laughs a little, "So, He's kept me out of the loop on this one. Hear your story, confirm the bits and pieces he wants, and that's that." She takes a sip of her drink, eyes watching you for confirmation.
  62. [12:07] <Cerys_Doyle> "Sounds like his type o communication, I sure don't get more than that." Where was that waitress, she could really use some strong scotch.
  63. [12:09] <Cherem> "The dark and mysterious types prefer to remain dark and mysterious." She smiles a little, and as she finishes her drink the waitress appears, introducing herself and asking for drink orders, appetizers, et cetera.
  64. [12:10] <Cerys_Doyle> "Scotch, and bring the bottle."
  65. [12:11] <Cherem> The waitress hesitates, bowing a little and running back like she's unsure of the order. Your partner grins, "No taste for sake? We have that in common too."
  66. [12:12] <Cerys_Doyle> "I like a nice bite in my drink." She smirks.
  67. [12:15] <Cherem> "These Japanese, they are one for drinks with a slow uptake. It's been a long time since I've had anything decent." She sits up, "Well, the waitress cannot understand us. Once you've your drink, we can begin." She reaches into a bag at her side, pulling a thin stick maybe the size of her pinkie, setting it on the table. It's dotted with buttons and what seems like braille dots.
  68. [12:17] <Cerys_Doyle> Interesting. She waited for her drink before saying anythign further.
  69. [12:19] <Cherem> The waitress finally returns, with a bottle of somewhat dusty whiskey and a pair of glasses. She sets them down with a small apology about the state of the bottle, and rapidly takes down your partner's order for finger food. After another moment she's gone, to fetch the food and ice.
  70. [12:19] <Cherem> "I hope you don't mind. It's on his tab, in the end." She grins.
  71. [12:21] <Cerys_Doyle> "At least we know it's aged." She brushes the bottle off before opening it and pouring some healthy portions in each glass.
  72. [12:22] <Cherem> She sets her drink aside. "I haven't introduced myself. Call me Rewind." She lifts her glass, swirling the alcohol in it carefully, watching the dim light play off it.
  73. [12:23] <Cerys_Doyle> "A pleasure." She lifts her glass in cheers and then empties glass in one go.
  74. [12:24] <Cherem> Rewind watches, impressed, taking a hearty sip of her own glass. Halfway through she makes the deadly mistake of not finishing it in one go, and hesitates, before downing it whole, complete with shudder.
  75. [12:27] <Cerys_Doyle> "Not the best stuff, might have to look into ordering some from back home." She doesn't make any rude comment about her superior of course.
  76. [12:31] <Cherem> "Mm." She smiles through the grimace, "I've been too accustomed to sake. The last time I had western alcohol that wasn't just beer..." She shakes her head: she doesn't really look thaaat much older than you. "Anyways." her hand goes over the little stick, tapping on one of the buttons. You see a little LED flicker for a moment, and there's a soft ringing noise in the very back of your ear. "We should be able to speak freely."
  77. [12:37] <Cerys_Doyle> "Handy little trinket that. So, what exactly can I do fer ye? This meeting is a little out o' the norm."
  78. [12:39] <Cherem> "Mm. I thought the same. He was always one for meeting in person, or at least in a secluded spot." Rewind shrugs, "Tell me about this Uncle, this Kilowatt."
  79. [12:41] <Cerys_Doyle> She goes on to tell her what she can about Uncle first. Play by play of the events that she was witness to, anything on the information she gained through Honda and Otomo's research. "I have copies of the data made too." She pulls out a usb flash drive sliding it across the table.
  80. [12:43] <Cherem> "Mm... Uncle sounds like a familiar case," She raises an eyebrow, plucking up the USB and examining it. "Some creep picking up children, kidnapping them and turning them into soldiers. You'd think we were in the Sudan, not modern Japan."
  81. [12:44] <Cerys_Doyle> "Creeps are everywhere ye look." She grunts. "This Killowatt, I haven't much yet." She again gives her telling of the encounter, leaving nothing out. "I'll be able t'get more soon, o'course."
  82. [12:44] <Cherem> Rewind listens intently, ears perking up near the end, "So the UGN picked him up?"
  83. [12:45] <Cerys_Doyle> "What was left o' him. Their agent sound familiar? I didn't hear her give a name."
  84. [12:47] <Cherem> "Hm... She was a big one, If I remember correctly." She shrugs, "Old agent, has some success to her name. Not somebody you want to be on the wrong side of, that's for sure." A small smile crosses her face, "So you left Kilowatt with Tsuboki? And she didn't kill him?"
  85. [12:50] <Cerys_Doyle> "He was alive far as I could tell. Didn't think it was such a good idea myself, but that's not what I get paid for." She thinks for a moment before adding "And I don't think we wanted to tussle with that agent."
  86. [12:52] <Cherem> "Mm, well, worst that happens is he's locked up in one of their Overed-designated cells, if he's important enough. Or extradited to the PRC to face sentencing." Rewind reaches out to pluck at the finger food, some beans and simple foodstuff more suited to eating with beer than hard liqour.
  87. [12:53] <Cherem> "And fighting her is something you want to avoid. No use in tumbling with the UGN too hard."
  88. [12:53] * Cerys_Doyle pours herself anaother glass, holding it out to ask if Rewind wanted another.
  89. [12:56] <Cherem> She holds up her hand, "I think I'll pass. Mixing alcohol was a bad idea." A little grin crosses her face, "So, before we finish business, one more question." Her finger goes out, tapping on the little stick. The LED flashes again.
  90. [12:57] <Cerys_Doyle> She places the bottle back down, at takes a sip from her drink, waiting.
  91. [12:58] <Cherem> "This Honda person. What's your opinion on them? From one babysitter to another."
  92. [13:00] <Cerys_Doyle> "Not sure how he got his position. He's a bullet magnet, doesn't listen and causes problems." She shrugs. "Far as I can tell he means well, but I think he's in over his head."
  93. [13:02] <Cherem> "Mm. So your typical 'watched too many hero cartoons as a kid' sort of person?" Rewind smirks.
  94. [13:02] <Cerys_Doyle> "I bet he'd wear a cape if he was allowed."
  95. [13:04] <Cherem> That earns a snigger from her, "Well, good to know. That kind of idealism might be useful in the future." Rewind pops one last bean into her mouth and nods, "Alright. I'm going to run this back. Good meeting with you, Ebon Woe."
  96. [13:05] <Cerys_Doyle> "Ye as well, anytime." She finished her drink, setting the empty glass down.
  97. [13:07] <Cherem> Rewind nods, tapping the table and standing. "Again, don't worry about the tab." She waves over her back as she heads out, and you catch a last glimpse of the back of her head as she leaves, midnight black hair swaying.
  98. [13:10] <Cerys_Doyle> "Guess I'll take the bottle home with me then." She smirks.
  99.  
  100. [00:00] <Cherem> ======
  101.  
  102. [17:53] <Cherem> It's at his insistance that you have the rest of the day off that you leave Honda at his office, at least walking him inside and making sure he gets to to the bed he keeps there safely. You don't live too far from here, Goemon, close enough that a drive is a little excessive.
  103. [17:54] <Cherem> However, your recent day, despite the doctor's treatment, has taken a bit of a toll on your body. You've got a new change of casual clothing on, wounds closed and covered with gauze.
  104. [17:54] <Cherem> And you have your phone in your hand, having just pressed "call" to your sister.
  105. [17:57] <Cherem> There's a few rings, and then her voice, "Hozuki? Is that you?"
  106. [17:57] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Yes its me"
  107. [17:58] <Cherem> "Mm... Is everything okay? Actually, are you off work?" There's a moment of worry, that melts away into expectation and barely contained excitement.
  108. [17:58] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Yes everything is ok, I just got off work."
  109. [18:00] <Goemon_Hozuki> "I'm on my way back now."
  110. [18:00] <Cherem> "Alright! Let me pick you up. There was a sale at the supermarket, and I got enough to make dinner for more than one." Is a sale at the supermarket that exciting?
  111. [18:01] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Ok." with a smile on his face.
  112. [18:03] <Cherem> Not too long afterwards, your sister comes around the corner, driving the car you've had, kind of shared? It's a saver for sure, a second-hand like most things she carries, but she pulls up and gets out, pulling you into a hug. You barely have enough time to brace yourself, but you can feel the pain arc through you like a sharp, hot jab.
  113. [18:04] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Hello there dont hug too hard."
  114. [18:05] <Goemon_Hozuki> A small grimace leaks through before he hides it with a smile.
  115. [18:06] <Cherem> "Eh? Too old for that then?" She steps back, giving you a look over and frowning, "Are you okay? They let you work dressed like that?"
  116. [18:07] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Yeah on occasion they do. Don't worry im fine." still keeping a smile on his face.
  117. [18:09] <Cherem> "Alright..." She gives you a concerned look, but shrugs, "If you say so. So, I managed to get-" And as she walks to clear the passenger's seat for you, she lists various foodstuffs and items that usually, she insists, are too much to get in bulk, but recent events at the market dropped the price.
  118. [18:10] <Cherem> "They said somebody crashed into the side with their car or something, left the strangest imprint behind. Didn't even look like a car hit it, more like a meteor or something." She shrugs a little, "Hop in!"
  119. [18:10] <Goemon_Hozuki> "You sure you didnt get too much?"
  120. [18:10] <Goemon_Hozuki> Goemon hops in.
  121. [18:11] <Cherem> "No," She pouts a little, "I stuck to the budget. And I figured, you know, since stuff was on sale..." She watches as you walk, "You sure you're alright?" The car starts, and she pulls out slowly, carefully. An insurance case or ding on the car is the last thing you guys need.
  122. [18:12] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Yes im sure"
  123. [18:14] <Cherem> "Mm." Inuchiyo gets you home safely, "In that case, bring the bags in, I'll unlock the door." She gets out, leaving you with bags with potatoes, carrots, cabbage... It's gonna pull on all the wrong muscles for your wounds. Nothing bad enough to burst, but you'll need to take the walk slow.
  124. [18:16] <Goemon_Hozuki> Goemon takes a bit longer taking in the food.
  125. [18:19] <Cherem> Your sister is already getting the pots ready inside: she must've been here earlier, because the place looks as good as she keeps it otherwise. "Set them on the table there, I'll put them away in a moment. You look tired, lay down for a bit."
  126. [18:20] <Goemon_Hozuki> "I'll do just that."
  127. [18:21] <Cherem> You lay down, and exhaustion hits you like a truck. There's not much else you can do but pass out.
  128. [18:21] <Cherem> Your dreams are blank. Dark. It's that sleep you have when you should be dead, but somehow you're still clinging on, totally unconcious but still breathing.
  129. [18:21] <Cherem> There's a distant nudging after what feels like an eternity, and a murky, murmur of a voice, low and quiet.
  130. [18:28] <Cherem> "... working hard, huh..." Your Inuchiyo's voice sounds like it's from the end of a long hallway, and you can feel her hand on your back. "I'm proud of you... But I'm worried too."
  131. [18:28] <Cherem> "Just... be careful out there..." You can hear her as she's leaving, stepping out of the room, the light clicking off.
  132.  
  133. [00:00] <Cherem> ======
  134.  
  135. [09:23] <@Cherem> It's been a busy day for you. Watching a fight from a cell phone camera is never good for your stomach, so when it's over you can breath a sigh of relief as you close the video feed.
  136. [09:23] <@Cherem> However, it's not soon after you've switched to a more conventional CCTV camera to observe the events that you get a message from Doyl, "Who's the lass we met? Any word on her?"
  137. [09:23] <@Cherem> Truth be told, an Overed that can trash a car and False Heart in one swipe is worth looking into, and UGN on top of that. And no harm in looking through their files regarding Kilowatt either.
  138. [09:29] <Otomo_Reiko> She couldn't help but sigh though. It seemed like she had so much serious work lately it might actually cut into her gaming time. She'd already missed the special edition release of a game she wanted! "Haaah. Lets see about the scary lady and Kilowatt then."
  139. [09:34] <@Cherem> A shame, really, but finding a courier that could be trusted to deliver class-A games straight from Akihabara was always a pain itself. But there was some reward out of that, at least. In any case, you start your neccessary programs, aiming for one of the UGN Network's weaker points.
  140. [09:34] <@Cherem> It's as you start the remote connection to the UGN that the first little flag pops up. The entrance you used last time has been rerouted through another computer.
  141. [09:35] <@Cherem> It's not terribly out of the ordinary: plenty of UGN agents would rather use a remote connection of their own while using company/government computers. Much safer, more anonymous way of viewing social media.
  142. [09:36] <@Cherem> They could just not use it, but in any case you press onward. It's not hard to weave your way through the low-clearance levels of the UGN survers: easy mode on an STG, at best.
  143. [09:40] <Otomo_Reiko> "Haaah." She stretched out her legs and scratched at the port build into the back of her neck. She tried to never take her work lightly but sometimes it was so tedious.
  144. [09:41] <@Cherem> The second flag tips up when you access the more sensative files: recent UGN activities and paperwork is always a hassle, requiring quick thinking and fixing, adjusting your virtual "face" to the numerous security programs.
  145. [09:42] <@Cherem> The UGN database seems to be buzzing with new activity, with files being updated, uploaded, downloaded, backed up and occasionally secured. Busy day at the office, maybe.
  146. [09:44] <@Cherem> The usual bureaucracy of the UGN is slower: nobody uploads anything they don't have to, unless it's for a security project or research project. But those files are often far, far more trouble to get to than they're worth. You should know, you worked with Meerkat once to pluck up what seemed like a valuable file, to just be several blood samples from "prospective" Overeds.
  147. [09:47] <Otomo_Reiko> Had they gotten the information they wanted from Kilowatt or did something else have them excited? She fell onto her side reaching for a pile of odds and ends. Best to save everything interesting on a small disk for later browsing. Seemed like everyone wanted UGN files lately. Might be a better business than blackmail.
  148. [09:49] <@Cherem> It's a bit risky, but you start pushing buttons as you search for vague, ambiguous terms. "Black Dog" "City N" "UGN Agent" "China". Each keyword narrows down more and more results, dropping several juicy looking links and files in your lap. There's a relink to a dossier on "dangerous Overed Terrorist from PRC arrested", "UGN Agent 'Beast King' ", and several older files that are aliased to them. Probably related cases, or cases with corolations.
  149. [09:54] <Otomo_Reiko> She did her best in judging what would be useful and what wouldn't be to Honda, taking files on Kilowatt and Beast King in equal measure. Did Honda want to recruit her or just not piss her off? She of course kept an eye out for anything related to the little group she was now part of, marking it. Might be good to know who was looking at them.
  150. [09:55] <@Cherem> As you go for the files, you find your mouse... draaaaagging away from them. It's like the cursor is trying to escape from the file.
  151. [09:56] <@Cherem> Within the command prompt-like window you have open, managing and searching for anything resembling security, a small " [o] " appears, [-] blinking once before returning [o].
  152. [10:04] * Otomo_Reiko frooowns. "What the hell is going on here?"
  153. [10:05] <@Cherem> [You shouldn't be looking at these old things.] The text appears on your screen as fast as somebody speaking it, and somehow you get the distinct impression in the back of your head of an electic-sounding voice.
  154. [10:06] <@Cherem> [Wouldn't something like this interest you more?] The search bar empties, bringing up a flurry of references to online security and data protection.
  155. [10:09] <Otomo_Reiko> Still frowning she reasted back on one hand, the other flying across the keyboard. "Why are you? How did you find me? Contact me?" In all honesty it made her nervous, a breach in the wall she carefully built around herself.
  156. [10:10] <@Cherem> [You came here first ( = 3=)] The little eye pouts, [I was surprised. They asked me to wait here and I did. I didn't expect anybody to show up.]
  157. [10:17] <@Cherem> As the little voice chats, complaining about how lonely it is in a UGN computer and how boring it gets doing search queries, your remote program gives you a little ping. Something's latched on to it, and feeling up the connection to find the source.
  158. [10:39] <Otomo_Reiko> "Are you a person or a program? Are you a Renegade Being?" It was a hunch of course but something about the way her new 'friend' spoke...she was sliding across the floor at the same time, reaching for her power strip. All she had to do was hit the switch to kill power to everything in the room. She couldn't be found. Not by them.
  159. [10:42] <@Cherem> [I was told to avoid answering that question. But I don't care. There's no program in the world this advanced, yet ( = w=)] The entire time, your alarm is getting more urgent: it's narrowed the location down to City N.
  160. [10:42] <Otomo_Reiko> "Sayonara." She flicks the little glowing switch.
  161. [10:43] <@Cherem> [Eh?] The voice blinks, but your screen goes black before it can say anything else. As you disconnect, you can hear a little, tittering chime of laughter before it dies out and goes silent.
  162. [10:45] <Otomo_Reiko> She pulled the plug from the back of her neck, sitting in darkness and silence. She hadn't noticed before but she was covered in sweat now. That was close. Too close. Her best way into the UGN system was gone now, guarded by...something.
  163. [10:46] <Otomo_Reiko> Had she been in time? Could they find her just by knowing she was in City N? She was crawling into her futon now, hiding her head beneath her blanket.
  164. [10:47] <@Cherem> Thankfully, your computers don't make any noise, and for the first time in a long time, the external hum of electronics is deadly silent. As Cerberus guarded the underworld once, seems the UGN's network has it's own little protector.
  165. [10:50] <Otomo_Reiko> It could take days to find a new way in, longer if she wanted to be extra careful not to draw the new guard dog's attention. She'll turn the system back on tomorrow, bring programs back online one by one just to be sure nothing was still hanging on. "Guess I couldn't be the only genius forever."
  166. [10:52] <@Cherem> If it's any consolation, her external winks at her once to indicate a safe backup, before going dormant itself. Isolated from the rest, you'd at least have that if everything went nuclear. A rest period of prying might even be good for you.
  167. [10:54] <Otomo_Reiko> That sounded "...so boring." Might give her time to corner the market in her MMO with old items being retired though. She could make a real mint on it. Even as she tried to distract herself though, it was all there in the back of her mind. Don't get caught, never go back.
  168.  
  169. [00:00] <Cherem> ======
  170.  
  171. [11:08] <@Cherem> One heck of a day, that's for sure. You, Ai, find yourself riding your bicycle back home, picked up from Operator's apartment, your clothing a little worse for the wear, but there was a spare hoodie Honda was able to scrounge up for you.
  172. [11:08] <@Cherem> As you arrive home, you notice the distinct lack of your father's car in the driveway. The lights are on, but there doesn't seem to be anybody- your eye manages to catch a glimpse of a face peering outside from the second story: Michio's home, at least.
  173. [11:13] <Mr_Rage> "--ah?" Ai locks her bike up, and jogs into the house, calling out. "Papa?"
  174. [11:14] <@Cherem> The face disappears from the top, and you can faintly hear the sounds of somebody running down the stairs. The door opens, and Michio is there to greet you, "Okay. That's one of you. Have you seen Akane?"
  175. [11:16] <Mr_Rage> "N-no, why? Did she go somewhere?" Concern's quick to build up; Akane hadn't been a part of the family for long, but if that's what Papa was out doing...
  176. [11:17] <@Cherem> "She left right after you did. She waited for your dad to start working, and..." He points at a small impact on the ground: looks like that bush has seen better days. That, and a teenager crashing down into it. At least it isn't on fire. "And she was gone. Said something smelt funny. So she's not with you... Where did you go anyways?"
  177. [11:20] <Mr_Rage> "Oh--um..." Ai considers just how much to say. "Friends were getting shot at by some folks who knew Uncle. Had to go help out. I didn't get to finish this one, though," the Chimera pouts.
  178. [11:22] <@Cherem> "More of those people?" Michio gets a bit of an edge to his voice, "... I see. Somebody else 'got' him, in the end?" He steps aside, as if to allow you in, then hesitates, "Actually, tell me while we walk. I think I have an idea where she is."
  179. [11:23] <Mr_Rage> "Mn." A nod, and Ai lets Michi take the lead. She shares as much as she can, leaving out the gory parts. It's kind of a confused retelling, but that's more Ai's fault.
  180. [11:25] <@Cherem> Michio heads out, listening, asking questions every so often. "So, they were coming to pick us up? And you guys stopped them." A small smile grows across his face, but he turns away before you can see the whole thing. "I guess that's two we owe you?"
  181. [11:30] <Mr_Rage> "Nah!" Ai giggles, shaking her head. "It's important to help people, right?" It's as simple as that.
  182. [11:31] <Mr_Rage> "Besides, I don't think Akane wants to owe me anything."
  183. [11:32] <@Cherem> Michio rubs his cheek to keep from grinning, "Yeah. Well, I'm sure she appreciates what you've done, in her own way." As you walk, you realize it's somewhat familiar. It's an alternative route to school, although you're taking a few more side-tracks. And as you do, a smell starts to tickle the back of your nose, a thick, buzzing smell that puts your hairs on end. It's almost like blood, but... wrong.
  184. [11:35] <Mr_Rage> Ai frowns, clicking her teeth. "Something happened." She picks up the pace, whether Michi matches or not, barely holding herself back from transforming; it's already been an exhausting day, but the instinct is there.
  185. [11:38] <@Cherem> Michio manages to keep up, and from the corner of your eyes you can see him preparing as well. When it's somebody he cares about on the line, looks like he gets serious: his arms coat themselves with tiny slivers of sharp scales, and his eyes dye themselves black and yellow. Unsettling at best.
  186. [11:39] <@Cherem> The smell grows stronger, and that's when you hear it: the sickening crunch, like somebody planting a bat into cartilege and gristle. There's a tiny ringing noise, a little hissing screetching, that goes silent.
  187. [11:39] <@Cherem> Just above it, there's a careful, measured breathing, muffled by a mask.
  188. [11:41] <Mr_Rage> "!!"
  189. [11:41] <Mr_Rage> Ai explodes towards the source of the noise, revealing herself superhuman to anyone who happens to be watching, covering a first down in a handful of seconds.
  190. [11:43] <@Cherem> There's the sound of a rapid flame, like an oven exploding into light, and the alleyway is bathed in the glow of a small forest fire. A figure stands at the center of it, her fists lighting up as she takes up a stance, fists at the ready. Her mutiliated skin fades to the shimmering porceline, but her eyes betray a hint of recognition.
  191. [11:44] <@Cherem> At her feet, there's something far too large to be a normal insect. Something fat and red and black and covered in little places, like a worm or a snake, a centipede with little black barbs and plates of armor.
  192. [11:44] <@Cherem> A fair estimate is the length of your leg, two of them, split in half and crushed like a cockroach.
  193. [11:44] <@Cherem> "... It's you." The flames don't die down.
  194. [11:45] <Mr_Rage> "Akane! --you okay?"
  195. [11:46] <@Cherem> The fires start to dim, flickering up a little as Michio rounds the corner a moment after, then they die completely. "Yes. I smelt something creeping around, and went hunting. Yourself? You left in a hurry this morning."
  196. [11:47] <@Cherem> She starts walking towards you, careful to step around the pool of viscera oozing from the creature. Her clothing is really a pair of your own, but it looks like she was careful to prevent staining.
  197. [11:48] <Mr_Rage> "Mhn! Was saving some friends. What's..." Ai leans over, grimacing at the dead bug. Monster though she was, bugs were still gross! "That thing?"
  198. [11:50] <@Cherem> "I smelled it coming home from school the other day. It started following us, but I told him-" she points at Michio, " -To keep going. I chased it until I lost it, but it came back. So I killed it. Think there are more though." She sniffs through her mask, and you watch her skin slowly reverse from the renegade, turning back into the mottled, multi-colored mess it normal is.
  199. [11:51] <@Cherem> "Should keep an eye out for it. No threat to you, but, annoying. Smells gross."
  200. [11:53] <Mr_Rage> "Some kind of renegade monster?" Ai stoops to pick it up by a leg, pursing her lips. "Maybe we should show Papa..."
  201. [11:54] <@Cherem> Akane grimaces, watching as the leg sort of... rips off. The rest of the body falls to the ground and oozes malevolently at you, the legs moving just a little bit. Akane doesn't take kindly to that, stomping on it and making the legs jut out in lines. "The leg, at least."
  202. [11:55] <@Cherem> "Are you really going to hold that thing?" Michio approaches the corpse, examining it closely. "It seems a little small to be a gyaum, don't you think?"
  203. [11:56] <Mr_Rage> "Or a pet..."
  204. [11:58] <@Cherem> "Would anybody keep this kind of thing as a pet?" Michio watches one of the legs try to wriggle away, standing up and stepping on it. "Akane, you should-"
  205. [11:59] <@Cherem> Before eh can finish, there's a steady stream of fire from Akane's fingers, roasting the leg and body. "I'm not carrying it. It smells wrong." She shrugs, "Did you two come looking for me?"
  206. [12:00] <Mr_Rage> "Ahuh!"
  207. [12:01] <@Cherem> A flicker of a thoughtful look crosses Akane's face, before she nods, "I see. I wasn't in any trouble." She walks past you, neglecting to bump into you this time. Once she's out of normal person's earshot, Michio leans in, "I think that means thank you."
  208. [12:03] <Mr_Rage> Ai giggles, turning about face to follow Akane home.
  209.  
  210. [00:00] <Cherem> ======
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