[21:37:04] <Marian> August 25, 2054 || 1329 hours, GMT+1 || Trans-Eurasian Magnet Train #325CW
[21:39:19] <Marian> The rain falling outside is strangely comforting, creating a soothing rythym of pitter-pattering drops on the roof and windows of the railcar. Of course, most people probably wouldn't pay attention to it, too wrapped up in their iPads or blueberrys or whatever people use nowadays.
[21:40:02] <Marian> But some people still pay attention. It's not like you need the constant knowledge - some times it's better to sit and let the world do what it does naturally.
[21:42:46] <Noire> Some people do pay attention— not among them is the excited blonde in some odd-looking academy uniform of some sort, excitedly staring out the windows in awe. In fact, she's even counting the raindrops, so perhaps one could say that's more paying attention than those who're trying to escape from the world. It doesn't help that she's counting them out loud.
[21:44:59] <Laura> From the back of the railcar, a blonde woman in a leather jacket and pants, escorted by a conductor with an annoyed look on his face. "Jeez Louise, buddy," she complains, "I was just checkin' on my hog. No need to go all gestapo on me."
[21:45:27] <Lilo> Haha just kidding on that last part. Lilo sits in her seat with her head against the wall or window or whatever there is to put her head up against, a pair of tiny future headphones in her ears. They're small, looking more like your traditional old earphones, but are sound absorbing. They almost completely block the outside world's noise, in theory. However, the music is so loud that the
[21:46:39] <Laura> The woman in the jacket shakes off the conductor's grip on her shoulder and sits down with a huff. Incidentally, right next to the girl in the academy uniform.
[21:47:36] <Marian> You'd think something that loud would blow out her eardrums. But it seems humanity has evolved to adapt to constantly listening to music that's too damn loud. Or something. The conductor gives Laura another glare before returning to the next car.
[21:47:58] <Noire> … Who scoots over with the same excited look on her face, turning to look the jacket-girl over before giggling and going back to the raindrops. "Whoopsies~!"
[21:51:43] <Laura> "Wha-?" She looks at the giggly girl as if noticing her for the first time. Laura pinches the bridge of her nose and closes her eyes, trying to fight back her irritation. This rain isn't helping her mood in the least.
[21:55:05] <Marian> *click* "Attention passengers, this is your conductor speaking. We're experiencing a bit of trouble with the tracks, so our speed will be reduced to approximately 120 kph for the next 30 minutes or so. We apologize for the delay."
[21:56:21] <Noire> "Ehehehe!" More giggly than one would first expect, at least. But in no universe is that ever a good thing. With a bit of surprising focus she pauses to look straight up during the announcement, before returning to her distracted gaze at the window. "Four thousand three hundred twenty-three, four thousand three hundred twenty-four…"
[21:57:42] <Marian> "God, I hate this shitty ass job…five thousand miles a week, and not even twenty damn euro an hour. One of these days I'm just gonna…" the voice continues over the speaker.
[21:58:01] <Noire> With utmost effort she manages to hold her numbers' place, with another look-over. "What's wrong? Didja come over here to count too? … Four thousand three hundred twenty-five…"
[21:58:24] <Laura> "Goddamnit," mutters Laura under her breath. If it wasn't raining, she would've been there already. But even in the future, biking in the rain gets miserable fast, so the train was the best option.
[21:58:53] <Lilo> Lilo, unaware of the announcement, begins to make an untz sound in her throat to the beat of the "music". Long rides like this were pretty alright. The motion of the supertrain was nice along with the music, which could be taken anywhere.
[21:59:36] <Marian> "these pigs…some days I just wanna kill them all…just not have to deal with this sh-what do you mean they can hear me?"
[22:00:14] <Marian> "The red button? There's like ten different red buttons! How am I supposed to know which one…oh here it I-"
[22:00:40] <Laura> "Count?" Laura asks, glancing at the girl she was rapidly concluding had some sort of mental deficiency. "No, I'm here to sit. Quietly." Empathsis on the last word.
[22:01:51] <Noire> "Ahaha! Okay, don't worry, I'll be quiet!" Her laughter was a bit awkward in the sense that it seemed directed at both the announcement and Laura herself. With a small breath she turned back to the window. "FOUR THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX, FOUR THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TWENTY-SEVEN~"
[22:03:47] <Marian> *click* "…" there's a whispering. All three of you swear you could hear it calling your name. Even lilo, headphones still in.
[22:04:31] <Laura> Laura runs both hands through her hair, front to back, and seriously considers pulling some of it out. Instead, she gets up to change seats. Maybe that headphone-girl…?
[22:06:07] <Laura> She stops mid-stride. Where was that coming from? Maybe the front of the railcar? Despite herself, she feels compelled to check it out.
[22:06:09] <Lilo> Lilo looks up, someone had to have yelled unbelievably loudly for her to hear. Who was it that would even know her name? She turned off her music for a moment while looking around, but didn't remove the headphones.
[22:06:44] <Marian> *click* "…" there it is again! Someone calling your name, for…something.
[22:07:55] <Noire> "Huh?" Suddenly stopping the loud-ass counting, Noire tilts her head to the side and turns back to where Laura used to be sitting. "Hey, that was really loud, didjya hear that t-" … Aaaand nobody's there. "Oh… that's weird. FOUR THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED THIR- … FOUR- … aww no, I forgot where I was at!"
[22:08:47] <Lilo> Seriously, couldn't they just say what they wanted or something? Calling out her name told Lilo nothing. She looked around for anyone to have responded to the moron calling for her, or just whoever was actually DOING it.
[22:08:58] <Marian> Several people are looking at Noire funny.
[22:10:05] <Noire> They'd better be, because Noire comically conks herself on the head with her fists multiple times. "Crap crap crap crap crap crap! I was doing so much better than I usually do too!"
[22:10:11] <Marian> *click* "…" again, it called. From the intercom, you assumed. Whatever it is, you have someone shooting dirty looks at you - someone might have called to have you booted or something.
[22:11:43] <Laura> Laura isn't one of the ones watching Noire. She's made her way to the front of the railcar, where the door presumably leading to the next passenger car is. "Probably that damn conductor," she mutters to herself, making to open the door.
[22:12:21] <Noire> "Now there's noooooothing to do~!" Spinning around, she looks at all the passengers, almost sure one of them was talking to her. But then a pout. "… But that's reaaaaally weird."
[22:12:29] <Marian> Laura tries to open the door…but it doesn't seem to want to open easily.
[22:12:31] <Lilo> Oh! It was the intercom? That makes sense. Lilo hadn't heard it at all before, anyway, with her loud music. So that's WHO it was, but she went to find… Whoever was in charge of the intercom to find out WHY they wanted her.
[22:13:58] <Marian> As lilo approaches, Laura is able to get the door open justa crack…but something feels wrong. Lilo can feel it too. Hell, even Noire feels somethong isnt right…
[22:14:42] <Noire> "Ohhhh…! I know, maybe they need me up there!" Loudly declaring her thoughts, the blonde slams a fist against her open palm while standing up amidst the crowd. "Okay then!" And, goofily marching to where the other two are.
[22:16:21] <Lilo> "Oh, heya. Were you the one calling me? That's just electric and all, but I'm busy. Busy, see?" Lilo taps her headphones as she talks at Laura rather loudly
[22:16:51] <Laura> "Er, you two hear that too?" Laura glances from one to the other. The feeling of wrongness - like a knot in her stomach - hasn't gone away, but she forces herself to ignore it. "Help me get this door open, wouldja? 's jammed or somesuch."
[22:17:29] <Lilo> "What's that now? I'm sorry, I can't hear you. Something wrong with the floor?"
[22:17:32] <Noire> "Huuuuh?" Noire brings a finger to her cheek, tilting her head to the side while approaching. "Isn't that kinda, y'know, illegal?"
[22:17:36] <Marian> The door seems a bit less stuck now…one good shove or whack ought to open it all the way…but you all feel that sense. There is something very eerie at work.
[22:19:23] <Laura> "Ille- no no, it's def legit." Laura nods convincingly. "Look, I'll get my shoulder in it like so… just give me a push."
[22:21:10] <Noire> "Um… okay!" The super-dense-looking girl only gives a huge nod with a big smile. "Whenever you're ready!"
[22:22:02] <Lilo> From Laura's actions, Lilo expertly deduces that she called her here to help open the door. "No problem, step right back. I know karate, I've got this. Clear out, ladies!"
[22:22:08] <Marian> Click. Griiiiiiiind.
[22:23:55] <Marian> The three girls feel…falling. And blackness. It's like someone pushed the power button on the world. A deafening silence swallowed up any thoughts or sounds they could come up with, falling through the nothingness.
[22:24:46] <Lilo> Wrong. Button.
[22:25:07] <Noire> "…!" Opening her mouth to say something in the last moment she feels, nothing comes out. Instead, Noire spends this moment hearing only her own thoughts— four thousand three hundred twenty-six… four thousand three hundred twenty-seven…
[22:26:51] <Laura> Laura flails for a handhold, to no avail. She tumbles head over heels toward whatever fate awaits them.
[22:27:43] <Marian> Vwoop. When the lights come back on, the three girls find themselves in a very odd place. Staircases going every which way, arches leading to doorways shaped like arches…it's like there's no respect for the laws of gravity. Or physics for that matter.
[22:28:31] <Noire> "… nd three hundred twenty-eight…" Mumble, mumble. Assuming she isn't standing up and fully-awake at the time of arrival, Noire's awakening is something like that.
[22:30:05] <Marian> Well, not exactly standing. More like laying on your rump, with a sore butt. But hey, at least she isn't like Laura and Lilo, who fell on top of each other
[22:31:01] <Lilo> Lilo releases a huge breath, she'd been holding it in during the darkness. She stared at the girl she landed tangled up with "…Was that door supposed to do that? Some kind of VR or AR sim? Geez. Well, are you okay?"
[22:31:04] <Noire> "Ahh.. mmm…" The ditzy blonde rubs her head a bit. "Did… did the train always look like this?"
[22:31:41] <Laura> In situations like this, Laura reverts to her standard response: "Oof." Followed by: "Shut up and get off me, kid."
[22:32:41] <Laura> Once she has a look around, though, her eyes go wide. "Um… no, I don't think so."
[22:33:22] <Noire> … … No really, that's is. Ellipsis. More ellipses. They can even hear the ellipses, until all of a sudden Noire's eyes go wide. "Oh no! W-We've been kidnapped!"
[22:33:35] <Marian> "Train? What train?"
[22:33:42] <Lilo> Headphones still on. Lilo doesn't move, "Sorry, you're gonna have to talk louder, please."
[22:35:11] <Laura> Laura glares at her before plucking one of the headphones out of the girl's ear and enunciating with exaggerated slowness: "Get. Off. Me."
[22:35:35] <Marian> Plop! The headphones pop out of Lilo's ears, as if pulled out by ghostly hands. Out of the shadows appears a short girl, no more than 14 years old. "What did you say about a train?"
[22:37:38] <Lilo> "Oh, why didn't you say so?" The teen drags herself to her feet, off of Laura. "You should consider a job as a pilloh, hey! Give'emback!" Lilo reaches after her headphones intently.
[22:38:01] <Marian> They're floating away~
[22:38:34] <Noire> A loud gasp. "Ack! Uh…. I said this is a really weird-looking train. I mean, we ARE in the train, right? Because if we fell out or something…" A shiver.
[22:39:07] <Laura> "Who the… what are…" Laura stares at the girl, then rises to her feet and brushes herself off. "You there. Start talking. Where are we?"
[22:39:29] <Marian> "I…I didn't…you weren't supposed to be…" tears well up in the girl's eyes. "oh no… Nonononono…"
[22:39:49] <Lilo> No time to talk, Lilo chases after her headphones furiously, "No, come back! They're my favorite pair!"
[22:40:57] <Noire> "Ack! Whoa, calm down, it's okay!" The blonde rushes over and tries to pat the little girl on the back, if applicable. "Just tell us what's wrong, 'kay?"
[22:41:12] <Marian> They keep going up and up…only to slam down into the ground once the girl starts crying
[22:41:27] <Laura> "H-hey…" Damnit, she didn't mean to make the little runt CRY or anything. Laura's tone softens. "Er, sorry. Would you happen to know what's going on here?"
[22:42:32] <Noire> Noire even pouts at Laura after comfort-time begins. "You didn't have to be so mean in the first place! It's okay…" After a turn back. "Well, uh, I hope it'll be okay…"
[22:42:32] <Marian> "I…I tried to bring my friends here…because they said there was going to be…a train accident, so they didn't wantto come…ohnoohnohwhatifsomethinghappenedohno"
[22:43:46] <Noire> "An acc-" With a gasp, she seriouses up. "So we did…! But that… n-no way!" Headshake headskahe headshake.
[22:44:06] <Lilo> Lilo picks up her headphoneshopefully they weren't brokenand returned to the others. "Oh, don't worry about it! We were on a train, but now we're… Here, I guess. Didn't see any accident, though!"
[22:44:33] <Laura> "A train acci-" Oh shit. "My ride's on that train! Er, and a bunch of innocent people, too." She glances around quickly to see if anyone noticed that.
[22:45:02] <Marian> "But…butbutbut…if you're here…then…then…oh no!" yep, now she starts crying.
[22:45:16] <Marian> Anyone who wants to can roll sharp to spot check
[22:46:42] <Lilo> 2d6+5
[22:46:43] <DiceMaid-9001> Lilo, 2d6+5: 12 [2d6=1,6]
[22:47:14] <Laura> 2d6+3 oblivious
[22:47:15] <DiceMaid-9001> Laura, oblivious: 11 [2d6=2,6]
[22:47:20] <Lilo> Explode or no?
[22:47:29] <Laura> (thought no, but…)
[22:47:31] <@Ulphia> 2d6+6 fitting in
[22:47:32] <DiceMaid-9001> Ulphia, fitting in: 11 [2d6=3,2]
[22:47:54] <Marian> No explod on normal checks.
[22:46:29] <Lilo> "Where are we? It's not like this is… What do those people call the place where you go when you die? Heaven. Or whatever. Right?"
[22:46:31] <Noire> "No, it's gotta be a mistake! It… has to, right?" Her eyes almost have tears in them as well, but she tries hard to appear like a mature adult here.
[22:46:43] <Laura> Laura goes quiet. "Hey, 'phones," she whispers to Lilo, "we've gotta get back to the train. Warn someone, or something."
[22:47:40] <Marian> Lilo spies a bundled up stack of…paper. There's a giant sentence on top of it.
[22:48:38] <Marian> "MAGLEV TRAGEDY KILLS 452"
[22:49:09] <Marian> After a few seconds, Lilo reads it again. "MAGLEV TRAGEDY KILLS 449"
[22:49:39] <Noire> And of course, ditzy Noire continues comforting the girl with a few false-sounding words every now and then.
[22:49:51] <Lilo> Lilo whispers back, "I agree, Pillow, but who do I warn what?" Quick check on her supergenius phone before spying the papers. Oh boy. "452… 449? I think we just survived an accident."
[22:50:16] <Lilo> She nudges Laura and points to the stack
[22:50:33] <Marian> No reception with the phone. And the girl keeps crying…"why…whywhywhywhywhywhy…"
[22:51:58] <Noire> "Um… no use crying over spilt holomilk!" She nods at herself before standing up and trying to force the girl to her feet as well. "You can at least tell us who you are, right? Um, I'm Noire! A lot of people still pronounce it wrong, though."
[22:52:30] <Laura> For the second time today, Laura's eyes go wide. "Oh shit." She runs over to Noire. "Send us back! H-hey, tell her to send us back!"
[22:52:35] <Marian> "I…*sniff*…I'm marian…b-b-b-but why…why did…"
[22:53:30] <Lilo> "Noire? Who in the world can't pronounce THAT?" Her pronunciation was spot on for the color, but if the girl had her own way, it was probably off.
[22:54:53] <Noire> She didn't, though it was kind of exaggerated. When you're called 'Nor' all the time in a world where one language is more popular than all the rest, it gets kind of annoying. "Well um… I dunno! Maybe we can all look for a way out?"
[22:55:59] <Marian> The girl tries to pull back her dirty brown hair, before looking up "I…only me and my friends can get in or out…that's why…I couldn't…"
[22:56:11] <Laura> Laura examines the Escheresque surroundings. "Where the hell do we start?"
[22:56:52] <Lilo> "Okay. Maryanne, tell us all you can and we'll tell you everything we can, 'kay? We were on a train, Laura asked us to help open a door, these two superstrong girls right here busted it down, and then we were here. Your turn!"
[22:56:54] <Noire> A small giggle. "So that makes us friends then, huh?"
[22:58:10] <Marian> "I…I was going to talk to my friends…but something musthave happened…because now you're here…imsorryimsosorryididntmeantoeraseyouimsosorry"
[22:59:21] <Noire> "Haha! It's alright, we didn't mean to erase you ei-" Her hand flings up to her mouth. "Wait, whaaaaaat?!"
[22:59:30] <Laura> Somehow, only one word in that jumble catches Laura's ear. "E-erase? What the hell do you mean, erase?!"
[22:59:30] <Lilo> "You raced us? Was it through the dark place?"
[23:00:08] <Marian> "I…I…I…" she breaks down crying again. But hers soon isn't the only voice around.
[23:00:59] <Marian> "I…am truly sorry for what happened…I suppose it can't be helped, though."
[23:01:02] <Noire> "Umm… d-don't worry! The world was really boring anyway! But then, that means we're…" Almost seriously, she looks down at the palms of her own hands, before doing another ditzy head-tilt afterward.
[23:01:48] <Laura> "…dead." Laura finishes darkly.
[23:02:35] <Lilo> Breathe in. Breathe out. "Nope, still rockin' it."
[23:02:36] <Marian> The owner of the calmer voice belongs to a woman who seems to be in her late 40's at the least, wearing a white coat and a red blouse underneath. "That's not tue most…accurate word for it, Miss Ingram."
[23:03:27] <Noire> Head-tilt #2. "Hallucinating? Crazy? Dreaming? Really, really bored?"
[23:04:23] <Laura> Laura's too worked up to be surprised by the new arrival. "What would you call it, Doc? Passed on? Bought the farm? Gone to a better place?"
[23:05:27] <Marian> "I'd call it, being taken out of the equation. Because that's basically what happened. Of course, if you'd rather be dead…I'm sure such can be arranged…"
[23:06:02] <Lilo> "Where do we fit back in to the equality?"
[23:06:08] <Noire> "… But we're in a dream-world, right? So wouldn't you call it dreaming?"
[23:06:52] <Marian> "…in a sense, I suppose…but the world you knew…no longer recognizes you. That's what Marian meant."
[23:07:34] <Marian> "If you do return to the world, it will be one without any record of your existence or life having ever occured."
[23:07:53] <Noire> Nod along, pretending to understand. "Yeah! But it will when we wake up, right?"
[23:08:41] <Laura> Laura ignored what sounded suspiciously like a threat. "Wait, so there's a way to go back! How?"
[23:09:16] <Marian> "Well…" the woman fidgets a bit. "Even if I told you, I'm not sure you'd really believe it."
[23:10:11] <Noire> Nodnodnod. "Okay! Take your time, I kinda wanna see if I can count all these stairs. One, two, three…"
[23:10:28] <Lilo> "So we, like, slipped through the cracks of society?"
[23:10:42] <Laura> "It can't be more unbelievable than what's already happened. Spit it out, Doc, I'm begging you."
[23:11:16] <Marian> "Well…you'd need…magic. That's pretty much it."
[23:11:43] <Lilo> "Oh. Yeah. I don't have any. What else can we do?"
[23:12:09] <Laura> "…" Laura isn't sure whether she's being made fun of or not, so she just raises one eyebrow and waits for Labcoat to continue.
[23:12:26] <Marian> "Well…nothing. That's literally the only possible way out."
[23:12:58] <Noire> Headtilt #3. "So couldjya like, give us some? Four, five, six…"
[23:13:22] <Lilo> "We need magic to get out, and even then we're people who never existed? You're setting us up to fail, here!"
[23:14:10] <Marian> "You act like I have a choice in the matter, Miss Devereux. Fate has saved you from what I'm pretty sure would have been a grisly death."
[23:14:29] <Laura> "Wait, maybe Counter's got the right idea. Doc, can you give us the power to get back home?"
[23:15:38] <Marian> "…" The woman just stares at Laura. Searching for…something. The girl can't tell what exactly.
[23:16:28] <Lilo> "I'm sorry, Ma'am, but you gotta realize what you're telling us, here! We aren't about to say 'Oh, alright, we'll stay here forever.'"
[23:16:56] <Noire> "Well, if there're a lotta stairs, there could be something to DO for that long… Twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four…"
[23:17:43] <Marian> "I wouldn't ask you to. Marian only uses her plane for meetings and the like - it's much to small to have permanent residents."
[23:18:20] <Lilo> "I thought she was looking for a train?"
[23:18:52] <Noire> "She seems nice! We could all be friends and just relax all the time if we stayed here, right?"
[23:20:11] <Lilo> "No. I'll run out of music."
[23:20:14] <Marian> "I…ohno…what can I do, Julie? I mean…I don't even know where they were?" Marian tries (and fails) to keep composed. The woman in the coat just facepalms and sighs.
[23:21:39] <Marian> "I do apologize for her…naïveté. But perhaps I can help you…that is, if that is what you wish."
[23:23:30] <Lilo> "Yes, please! I don't know about Metronome, but… What was your name…? Probably has stuff to get back to, too!"
[23:23:41] <Lilo> "Oh yeah! Pillow."
[23:24:31] <Marian> The woman looks at Lilo with one eyebrow raised.
[23:25:00] <Laura> "I DO have stuff to get back to!" Laura blurts out. "Please help us!" And mentally: "Pillow…?"
[23:27:03] <Noire> "Teehee! If you want to, that'd be nice! But I DO kinda wanna see if I can get into the billions with all these…"
[23:27:08] <Marian> "I…I cant return you to your former lives. But…if you can help me, I just might be able to give you new ones."
[23:28:03] <Lilo> "Absolutely anything's better than living on the Train of Stairs."
[23:28:37] <Noire> "That sounds kinda familiar…" Head-tilt as she does the finger-cheek thing again. "Don't the movies do that a lot? Like, stuff like this happens to people and then they turn into superheroes or something? I always wanted to be a superhero! One hundred fifteen, one hundred sixteen…"
[23:29:20] <Laura> "As long as it's the same world we're going back to, I'm in. Nothing's gonna keep me away from…" She trails off.
[23:30:12] <Marian> "Oh…your bike. Well, if you three have the ability to go back, then I'll make sure that's taken care of." the woman waves dismissively.
[23:30:36] <Noire> And suddenly she stops counting, for a big curious stare. "… If?"
[23:31:25] <Marian> Sweatdrop. "Well…I'm unsure how you got here but I'm pretty sure you will need another method to exit."
[23:31:29] <Lilo> "She's just covering legal stuff, probably has to say that even though we'll be fine. Like an autodoctor!"
[23:31:53] <Lilo> "Well, how do YOU get out?"
[23:32:06] <Noire> She claps her hands together. "Oh, okay! That makes sense!"
[23:32:10] <Marian> "Same way you will, if you can. By using magic."
[23:33:41] <Marian> "contrary to the cliche, people aren't 'chosen' to be able to wield magic. You just have to wrap your mind around the fact that there is power that goes against five thousand years of theory and precedent."
[23:34:21] <Noire> Another head-tilt as she holds the stair count in place, before pepping back up. "Okay, done! What next?"
[23:34:25] <Lilo> "Emohemekat. Or do you have a spell for us?"
[23:36:21] <Laura> "Just have to wrap my mind…" A look of intense concentration crosses Laura's face. Then her eyes open and she glances around, half expecting rainbows or butterflies or something. "Sorry, I got nothing."
[23:37:28] <Marian> "Something like that. I can try to help your mind get everything in order, but being able to pull out your true power…well that's on you. If you need a moment to calm down and prepare…take your time."
[23:38:20] <Lilo> "Don't touch my brain if you don't have to! Might mess up my musical talent or my hearing or something."
[23:38:34] <Noire> "Nope! What do we gotta do?" A big smile, while whispering the stair-count to herself now.
[23:39:23] <Marian> "you're the only one touching your mind. I'm just gonna make that a touch simpler…now, all three of you. Close your eyes and try to relax.
[23:39:47] <Laura> "I… thanks. It's just weird, you know?" Laura takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Well, I'm as relaxed as I'm gonna get. What now?"
[23:40:02] <Marian> "Trust me, if you can be calm then I'll be able to help a lot more. Close your eyes and I'll get working."
[23:40:29] <Lilo> Lilo closes her eyes. This sounds kinda like hypnosis or whatever. That stuff isn't magic though, right?
[23:40:38] <Noire> "Oh, 'kay! Lemme remember… okay, I was on that one." With a point at one of the staircases, Noire's smile widens as she clamps her eyes shut.
[23:40:59] <Laura> Eyes closed. Laura prepares herself for… something.
[23:42:27] <Marian> The elder woman takes a deep breath, before the three of you feel a heavy weight setting itself into your mind. A knot forms in your chest as the power so tightly pent up tries to find a way out, raging against the confines of your unwilling souls…
[23:44:48] <Marian> The seconds tick by as the weight becomes unbearable, the knot pulls tighter and tighter…your breath gets short, it's as if you…can't…take…any…mo*click*
[23:45:52] <Marian> It all makes sense now…you aren't sure how. But you can "see" it. The power is there, waiting for you to shape it to your whims. All you have to do is reach out for it…
[23:48:46] <Noire> Noire's hand certainly moves itself forward, reaching for SOMETHING. The first thing she finds is a splitting headache as she blinks, then blinks and blinks some more. Her brown eyes, after the seventeenth blink, suddenly don't feel the need to blink anymore because they emerge as an unusual, bright purple color. Then exploding clothes; oh boy, here we go.
[23:51:11] <Noire> Exploding underwear rears its ugly - just kidding it's beautiful - head as Noire's sequence leads to her being imposed on a background that looks like… well, the moon. Lunar light shines on her fairly-complexed body as she looks around frantically, before softly smiling and placing both hands to her chest. Almost instantaneously, a length of black…
[23:51:36] <Noire> … ribbon phases from seemingly nowhere and wraps itself around her neck, as the rest of her torso is enveloped in silver light emerging from it.
[23:53:00] <Noire> Spreading her arms out, a detached (obviously) sleeve forms on each one, black with white lace at the edges. But of course, they come in the form of silver light before completely phasing into material— what covers her torso is almost leathery in appearance, before it gets smothered by another large black/white ribbon on her back. On the front?
[23:54:12] <Noire> Well, that's why she's a magical girl. White lengths of some fabric shoot out in innumerable length from the now apparent leotard on her torso, forming a skirt separated into strands that reaches her knees. Of course, that's only behind her and at her sides— that's explained enough when silver light forms some zettai ryouiki stockings on her legs.
[23:54:24] <Lilo> A loud untz echoes through the air, or at least Lilo's mind. The sound quickly changes to an upbeat, synthesized tune. As the music intensifies, a train of musical notes manifest around the girl, wrapping around her form like a mummy. With a flash, they form her costume. A black skirt with multicolored notes similar to before printed on it with dark leggings, a very futuristic looking silver pair of headphones, shiny matching bo
[23:57:02] <Noire> Hat? Nope, no hat, only a silver headband keeping her bangs out of her eyes, despite the fact that she's wearing a ponytail… oh, whatever, being magic works that way. As she smiles and twirls around, a lengthy staff phases in the air as well, as a burst of lunar light— with another burst its head is also formed, a small sickle which would effectively…
[23:57:03] <Lilo> …Matching boots, and a rather bulky microphone. Two little stereos appear on her shoulders.
[23:58:04] <Noire> … make her be holding a scythe if it didn't blatantly have a chain attached to it. With a final twirl she spins it around a few times before kneeling; the chain returns to the head of the staff. "Moon… grant me strength! Lunar Princess Noire is here~!" Big smile.
[00:01:50] <Noire> Oh yeah, her hair gets streaks of silver in it too, that sounds like a benevolent plan.
[00:02:09] <Laura> Without conscious thought, Laura springs into the air, turning a forward flip with her knees straight and her legs bent forward at the hips. A fireball explodes behind her, reeking of gasoline and leaving Laura a black outline against the blaze. As she comes down, her outfit has changed: the worn jacket has been replaced by a sleek leather jumpsuit, solid black with bright red hems. Her hair gains a solid foot in length - far more
[00:02:09] <Laura> than her helmet would comfortably allow. As she turns in mid-air, a far-off engine revs, getting louder and louder while she falls. A motorcycle comes into view - jet black with red flames, to match her outfit. With a screech of brakes and the smell of burned rubber, it skids to a halt beneath her, and she lands standing on the seat, helmet tucked under one arm.
[00:03:51] <Marian> "…looks like the three of you are pretty well off, now that you know how that works."
[00:05:11] <Noire> "Whoaaaa! This is awesome! We… we really are superheroes, huh?" With a lot of admiration, she stares at her staff. By explosions of lunar light, the blade grows and shrinks seemingly at-will, changing between a small sickle and a giant animu scythe.
[00:05:11] <Lilo> "…" Lilo's mouth moves but no sound comes out. After a moment of thought, she turns the dial on her stereo, and her voice booms, "What a ride!" Another turn returns her voice to normal, "…And since when are you a princess, Blackie?"
[00:05:40] <Laura> Laura wobbles slightly as the effects of…whatever that was… wear off. She hops down lightly and admires her new ride.
[00:06:18] <Noire> "Ahmm… since now, I guess!" A giggle makes its way out of her vocals.
[00:07:13] <Marian> "In any case…that's magic for you. Of course…I'm going to need the three of you to help me if I'm to give you all a new life."
[00:08:14] <Lilo> "Want me to write you a song?"
[00:08:52] <Laura> "Er, yeah, I'm with Phones. How exactly do you need our help?"
[00:09:30] <Lilo> She holds the microphone up to Laura, "Alright, Pillow. Start us off!"
[00:09:33] <Noire> "Want me to… um, what does the moon do?" A head-tilt. "Why is it the moon anyway? I-I mean, I think the moon's crisp and everything! But… well actually, now that I think about it, the moon IS really crisp, I kinda like it."
[00:09:35] <Marian> "I want to hire the three of you."
[00:10:58] <Laura> Laura has started to hum the first few chords of "Don't Stop Believing," but she stops to glance at Marian. "Hire us for what?"
[00:11:32] <Noire> "To fight evil, right? Right right right right~?"
[00:12:39] <Marian> "…at times, yes. But there will also be more mundane tasks. It's not exactly a dream job…but it pays more than enough to cover almost any expenses you would need. A decent benefits package too."
[00:13:59] <Noire> "You already got me!" An interrupt after the first sentence. "'Kay, sign me up!"
[00:14:32] <Lilo> Lilo's eyes widen, "Pillow, I can tell already you've got an awesome singing voice! You and me'll start a band when we get home, okay?" The teenager's pleading eagerly.
[00:15:19] <Laura> Laura smiles and nods. Whether that's to Lilo or Julie is unclear. Both, probably.
[00:16:20] <Noire> "Ooh ooh! What kinda band? It's not Empathetic, right?" A glance of mixed emotions. Nobody likes emp, they really don't; only children listen to emp.
[00:17:16] <Lilo> "We'll figure that out. Gotta decide on our… Artistic direction! Style! Theme!"
[00:18:21] <Marian> The older woman chuckles. Marian just looks in awe. "Well, I do suppose I can arrange a few things for you to start. But for now, I suppose the three of you need to take everything in, yes?"
[00:19:17] <Noire> Her smile only becomes more big. "No!" And of course, she stares at Julie without a blink. "So we get to beat bad guys up now, right?"
[00:19:35] <Laura> "More or less, yeah. Can we go back to the Real World now? And if so, how're you gonna contact us when it's Evil Fightin' Time."
[00:19:50] <Lilo> "I haven't even begun to take this all in. I don't really want to right now, either!"
[00:21:51] <Marian> "I have my ways. Now, I'm going to need you to be near headquarters, so that's where Im gonna let you off. Take a few days to acclimate yourselves, then we will start your Orientation."
[00:22:41] <Noire> A big pout. "A few days before we get to do superhero stuff. Boooo."
[00:24:29] <Laura> "Sounds good." Laura turns to her two compatriots. "Let's meet up on the other side, then. Wouldn't do to lose track of you kids."
[00:24:58] <Lilo> "Yeah, don't run off before our first show!"
[00:25:02] <Noire> Then another pout. "Hey! I just graduated, y'know!"
[00:25:02] <Noire> Then another pout. "Hey! I just graduated, y'know!"
[00:26:11] <Marian> "Well then…safe travels, my dears. I shall contact you in a few days time. In a blink, the three girls are pulled back into the void, but for a much shorter duration.
[00:26:54] <Lilo> "Bye byyyyyeeeeee"
[00:27:03] <Noire> "Wh-"
[00:27:10] <Marian> August 25, 2054 || 1619 hours, GMT+2 || Outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland
[00:27:18] <Laura> Laura was ready for it, this time. Wherever she ended up, she intended to land standing up.
[00:27:55] <Marian> And land standing she did. With her little scooter in tow. But the magical outfit was gone. Same applied for the other two.
[00:28:21] <Noire> The only difference is that Noire's landing was flat on her face, with a loud "Oof!"
[00:29:09] <Lilo> Lilo's landing might have been more graceful than last time, but the transition was still rather jarring without a Pillow to land on.
[00:29:50] <Marian> Each of them feels a bit more weight on them. A quick search of pockets shows why.
[00:30:12] <Noire> "Owwww ow ow ow!" With a stand, the blonde brushes herself off. "Come on, that was mean!"
[00:30:54] <Laura> Sc-scooter! What impertinence! Laura hops on and gives the engine a few revs. Then she checks her pockets.
[00:31:01] <Marian> Each of them has a keycard to a "Hôtel Olympique", and about €500 in Various denominations. Certainly enough for more than a few day's worth of food.
[00:31:43] <Lilo> Lilo feels around her head and pockets to find her mp5 and headphones. Hopefully they made it back!
[00:31:54] <Noire> A grin at them, after pulling them out. "… But that was kind of nice."
[00:32:34] <Marian> They did. Along with a note.
[00:34:03] <Marian> "Consider this a signing bonus. I hope to see you all when the time comes. Until then, do not use your magic in front of others. I will contact you when it's time to start."
[00:34:18] <Laura> "Hotel Olympic, eh?" Laura glances around for the hotel, then turns back to the other two girls. "Looks like we've got a room. Or rooms, hopefully…"
[00:34:51] <Noire> Unsurprisingly, Noire peeks over at it unless there's another note for her separately. Let's assume there isn't. "Aaawww! But that doesn't sound fun at aaaaall~!"
[00:34:56] <Marian> It's signed, "Julie D. Rodderick - founder and CEO, Rodderick Investigations. Est. 1787"
[00:37:06] <Lilo> Right then. Lilo hurries off to L'Hôtel Olympique, hoping to find her new bandmate and their… Mascot?
[00:37:52] <Noire> Manager? Imagine the horrors. Regardless, it doesn't seem like Noire's ever going to stop clinging now, especially from the exaggeratedly cheerful look on her face. She follows, of course.
[00:38:24] <Laura> Suddenly, Laura feels exhausted. This has been quite a day. She makes sure her bike is parked legally, and then heads into the hotel as well.
[00:42:36] <Marian> As it is, the keys are for two adjoining 2-bed suites. So rooming up shouldn't be too big an issue.
[00:43:32] <Noire> "… Huh." A stare at the rooms. "Huh…" More staring. "Huh!"
[00:45:03] <Laura> "Welp, looks like this one's mine!" says Laura, claiming the first suite for herself. "You gals knock if you need anything!" The door slams shut.
[00:46:32] <Noire> "Ah-!" … Pause. "…. Oh." Suddenly, she gives the girl next to her a big hug. "Yay~! I couldn't stand to be alone, that'd have to be SOOOOO boring! Let's be new best friends, okay? I'm Noire, who'd you say you were again?"
[00:47:09] <Noire> … And as she does so, Lilo would probably notice that her aggressor is extremely heavy. So much so that both of them probably fall over.
[00:48:27] <Lilo> Boom, dropping to the floor. "Whoa there, Metronome. It's Lilo, but you could call me Phones. Isn't it a cute nickname?"
[00:50:15] <Noire> "Whoa! I didn't mean to do that! You alright?" Suddenly feeling a lot lighter, she jumps up and extends a really wobbly hand.
[00:50:50] <Noire> "Hmm… both are really adoracute, though. Maybe I could call you… Phonelo? Liphones? Li… Lines"
[00:51:04] <Noire> And then she jumps up. "Lines! Okay, I like that one a lot!"
[00:51:37] <Lilo> Lilo gets up under her own power, "You're too strong! Be gentle, you'll break me in two if you're so rough like that… But Lines is fine!"
[00:52:21] <Noire> "Well… I dunno what that was! Normally something like that couldn't knock someone over… weird."
[00:55:15] <Lilo> "Maybe I'm just tired! Don't worry about it too much."
[00:55:17] <Noire> "Alright! In we go!" Card shoved, energetic Noire hops into the room.
[00:55:49] <Marian> It was weird. But magic was weird. So there were plenty of possible causes for it. The problem is that there isn't too much time to figure things out. After all…you three have a job to do. More important than any of them may know…
[21:37:04] <Marian> August 25, 2054 || 1329 hours, GMT+1 || Trans-Eurasian Magnet Train #325CW