[20:27:00] <~Oxford> The early-morning storms promised by a layer of creeping gray cloud never materialized, leaving Henriette a chance to escape the confines of her room and walk through the gardens for a few brief hours after the others have left for school. The air is warm, thick, and pregnant with moisture, and reeks lightly of the beach at low tide.
[20:31:51] <Henriette> Relishing in the reminders of the outside world, Henriette can't help but be distracted by the ever-present shadow of the mansion, long and faded as a pale sun behind dark clouds produces a dull glow. Her eyes dart back to the front door to the mansion, and then to her bedroom window, open wide on the second story. Far from pleasant, her walk is tense and offers only the slightest relief
[20:31:51] <Henriette> from the Reaper in his blue job inside.
[20:39:57] <~Oxford> She has seen very little sign of the Colonel since her escapade to Dirk's house. Further ahead, over a low ridge, she comes upon an orchard of twisted peach trees, their pale pink blossoms just beginning to open after the unusually harsh winter.
[20:45:12] <Henriette> The call of a bullfinch from the tree draws her attention. Lips pursed, she temporarily tries to forget her troubles by mimicking the feet-feet-two-feet of the little bulbous avian. The muggy atmosphere should have facilitated her. Perhaps she's bad at bird calls.
[20:48:19] <~Oxford> The low ridge seperating the orchard from the more open ground around Wightshead marks the southern edge of their property. Henriette is at least a mile out from the mansion, perhaps a bit more. Through the rows of trees, she can see a smaller house with a blue slate roof and a long shed. The orchard-keeper's home, presumably.
[20:52:21] <~Oxford> And there, making her way between the swaying branches of the peach trees, is a girl just about her own age. Without a school uniform on, and instead a simple floral-pattern dress and white apron, Henriette almost didn't recognize Angela Caraway.
[20:52:44] <Henriette> This far from the mansion, the natural mounds of loam provide Henriette the blessing of being unable to see any trace of the grandiose building. A warm feeling in her heart boils into her throat at the sight of a quaint little house. Her path leads there, tracing natural ridges and tree roots. Being amongst the beauty of nature is nice. "Ce doit être comment Lily se sent," she mutters.
[20:54:35] <Henriette> Truth be told, Henriette is hard-pressed to put a name to the face she finds so familiar. Having been missing from school some two and a half weeks now, her memory of the students save Dirk is reduced primarily to facial recognition. Her wings, strangely enough, aren't tied down. She hadn't expected to wander so far, and certainly not into anyone else!
[21:00:21] <~Oxford> Her classmate catches sight of her, and pushes aside a low-hanging branch to wave a greeting. A few loose peach-petals, still wet with dew, stick in her long hair. "Well hi," she says, smiling. "Didn't expect to run into you on the way."
[21:05:02] <Henriette> Struggling to call a smile to her face, Henriette's expression is a strange grimace. "You are… ah… it began with an A, non?" she says, struggling. "Désolé… I am not trying to offend."
[21:07:19] <~Oxford> "Angela," the girl provides, seeing Henriette falter. "Has it really been that long? Well, don't worry; I'm sure you'll learn all our names soon enough."
[21:10:55] <Henriette> Angela's strange graciousness causes Henriette's mouth to gape openly. "Angela… Je… You know I do not have interest in Kevin, non?" she finally forces out. "Je serais heureux- err… I would be happy if I had not made such an impression on you."
[21:17:12] <~Oxford> Angie brushes at her long brown hair unselfconsciously, shedding some of the less determined petals. "Oh, that was just a misunderstanding. You're going with Dirk now, of course, so everything works out fine." She puts one hand on her hip and dries the other against her apron. "My Kevin's a good man, but, well, boys! Always so predictable, aren't they?"
[21:20:28] <Henriette> "Err… oui, I suppose?" The certainty that Angela has isn't enough for the two of them. "H-how did you know about Dirk and myself, Angela?"
[21:22:43] <~Oxford> She looks confused by the question. "He told me, of course," she says, smiling a little. "Well, in a town this small, you can't really expect to keep secrets, can you?"
[21:32:28] <~Oxford> Angie raises a hand to her mouth, but doesn't try very hard to stifle a light, high laugh. "Well nothing /bad/, dear!" she exclaims, picking up on Henriette's expression instantly. "He's very taken with you! But not seeing you for weeks, that's hard on him, and it's normal that he'd try to talk about it with a friend."
[21:42:08] <Henriette> Henriette's vision blurs as tears form in her eyes, Angela's form turning to a vague blob. "Je… I had not meant to make him wait. I… I have not been allowed to see him… They hound me at every turn!" The glassy feathers on her wings shrivel in her frustration, plastering the strange hovering appendages against the back of her white blouse.
[21:43:09] <Henriette> The feeling of their cold touch causes her to gasp. "I… I have said too much! Je…" Her face strains, and her fists ball up as she tries to compress the wings into her back, to make them disappear somehow, even if it means causing herself pain.
[21:47:07] <~Oxford> All around them, the branches sag with damp. The bark of the peaches is a shade darker than usual, and where the petals have been soaked through the blossoms take on a deep ruby hue. "Hey, relax a little," Angela says quickly, putting a hand on Henriette's shoulder. "You seem like you've got a lot on your mind, but bottling it up won't help anything."
[21:49:05] <Henriette> "I c-can't tell you…" she says, though the wings aren't disappearing. Surely Angela has noticed? Should she say something? Explain them? Explain how? Make her swear to secrecy? Another one in secrecy? "I'd put you in danger," is her answer.
[21:53:42] <~Oxford> "Danger? Dear, he's just a boy. No need to be so melodramatic about it." She looks over at Henriette and cocks her head. "Unless you mean… you're not worried about me and Dirk, are you?"
[21:57:30] <Henriette> "N-no! I don't think that." Is she avoiding the question? Is she just dense? "I wasn't talking about Dirk… je suis heureux he has been so patient. If I could simply abandon… non, I shall not say." She stares into Angela's eyes firmly and says, "Have you not noticed them?"
[21:58:25] <~Oxford> "What? Your wings?"
[21:58:47] <~Oxford> A beat passes. "Why would I care about those?"
[22:01:22] <Henriette> What. "What." Her eyelids flutter in disbelief. "Because they are… Non, it is not whether you will care or not. It is whether you will tell others… No one can know! I have already put Dirk at risk, and now…"
[22:05:02] <~Oxford> "Know that you're one of the Air Force's angels, you mean?" She wrinkles her brow as if she, too, were trying to understand, and then shakes her head in amazement. "Well duh, sweetheart. I mean, it's kind of obvious, isn't it?"
[22:07:21] <Henriette> More blinking. "But… they told us no one must know! We must be… I was told Dirk would be in danger because I told him…" It is kind of obvious, isn't it? They're not very good at their job.
[22:09:38] <~Oxford> "Five girls from all over the country show up all the sudden with this bogus evacuation story, and it's just a coincidence that enemy planes start getting shot down left and right?" Angie sighs. "I don't know who was in charge of your cover, but they're clearly used to dealing with soldiers who'll believe whatever you tell them."
[22:11:22] <~Oxford> "Though…" she adds, pausing, "I was really surprised the 'angels' had actual wings. That seemed sort of far-fetched, but now I've seen it for myself."
[22:12:09] <Henriette> "Oui… they are un peu incompétent, non?" A refreshing laugh comes to her voice. It is obvious, so why worry? "They are… a curse from overusing my abilties… I did not desire them."
[22:14:04] <~Oxford> "Ah, so the other girls don't have them at all? You're missing school because they couldn't figure out a way to hide it, then?"
[22:17:54] <Henriette> "Oui… well… Marina has something like wings. Il n'est pas simple, vous savez?" A long pause. "Et… oui, because they believe there is a spy amongst the town, telling the Novgoraadi our location. They…" Tears well up again. "I mean… our superior officer, not the other filles, believes me to be the spy."
[22:18:05] <Henriette> "Mais non! I would never betray Albaea!"
[22:25:43] <~Oxford> Angela nods quickly, and leans in closer. "Oh, I believe you. No offense, but you're probably the first person someone would suspect, so you'd be an awful spy." Her next words come quickly, with a note of conspiratorial excitement to them. "I've lived here my whole life, and I don't think there's any of the regular townfolk who'd want to betray you, either. They're good people, and loyal. But…"
[22:28:44] <Henriette> … Vaughn must be really fucking dumb. Or a devout believer in Occam's Razor. "So is the spy fictif? Er… not actual?" Henriette's eyes turn to Angela's hopefully, and her body tenses, as if any moment she might jump at Angela, arms outstretched. It's a distinct possibility, even.
[22:34:19] <~Oxford> Angela frowns and shakes her head distractedly. "Lately, I've been seeing this strange guy hanging around town. He never talks to anyone, and nobody knows his name or anything." Her hands rise to her chest as she speaks, clenched in excitement. "People say he's a tourist or something, but he comes in the middle of the work-week and he's been here at least three times in the last month."
[22:35:54] <~Oxford> "And! I bumped into him once intentionally, and when he said 'excuse me'," she pauses, for dramatic effect, "he had a Nov accent!"
[22:37:15] <Henriette> "Really?" A hopeful and naive grin attaches itself to her face. "And this- That must be him!" And in that moment, Henriette's arms are firmly entrenched around Angela's shoulders, nose buried in the crook of her neck. "Merci, madame! Merci! If… if I could get into the Colonel's good graces, perhaps the wheels would begin to spin in my direction!"
[22:41:06] <~Oxford> "I…don't think that's a real idiom…" Angie says to herself, muffled by Henriette's embrace. "If it'd help you out, I'll come get you next time I see him." She does her best to gently pry Henriette off of her.
[22:45:03] <Henriette> Henriette isn't budging. "Oui! Oui! Merci, Angela!" Her right hand flexes instinctively. "Ma main droite… I will find a way to make it up to you!" Finally, her embrace is released as she looks over Angela's clothes. "A dress? I could make one for you! You could impress Kevin, ma belle~"
[22:49:24] <~Oxford> "I'd like that," she says, once she can get enough air to take a breath. "Er, that reminds me, I have something for you," she says before another squeeze renders her speechless again.
[22:51:04] <Henriette> "Oui?" Henriette allows Angela her space, though a large part of her wants to hang on and not let go.
[22:56:19] <~Oxford> "Of course. I wasn't walking over to your house just for exercise." The peach blossoms glint golden as a ray of sunlight manages to make it down through the clouds and dance across the orchard. "When I told Dirk I was skipping today, he asked me to bring this to you."
[22:56:31] <~Oxford> She pulls out a thick envelop from the fold of her apron, staring at it with undisguised curiosity and x-ray intensity. "He seemed embarassed about something…"
[23:01:29] <Henriette> The golden light shines behind Angela, and for a moment, Henriette is convinced she has been greeted by an actual angel. "Mon ange…" she murmurs, awed. "Merci!" Excitedly, she takes the envelope, and, without much patience, begins to open it across the top with a nail.
[23:09:59] <~Oxford> Henriette unfolds the letter, and two more pieces of paper - her own previous letter, and the one of his that she sent with it - fall out. As her gaze follows them, it catches Angie, staring unabashedly over Henriette's shoulder. She flushes suddenly. The peach blossoms glow like a thousand pink candleflames against the dull gray sky.
[23:10:52] <~Oxford> "Ah! Heh…" she exclaims, laughing nervously. "I should let you go, then. Take care!"
[23:11:53] <Henriette> Henriette, of course, is likely as beet red as Angela is, though not out of embarrassment at having her mail read so much as having read her own mail. "O-oui… take care, ma belle… Come soon so I can take measurements?"
[23:18:49] <~Oxford> "Ah. Oui," Angie says quietly, backing away. She steps back through the nearest row of peach trees, passing behind a veil of orange-pink flowers, stained dark by the dew. The air is hot and wet and close, like a fever, or a lover's embrace beneath an umbrella.
[23:19:13] <~Oxford> /mini
[15:05:08] * Oxford changes topic to '…to Full Alert - All personnel to Full Alert - All…'
[15:11:54] <~Oxford> After a long, restless night of dripping rain and muffled gunfire, dawn at last breaks on the camp at the edge of the Cremmwale Zone. In their dull green tent, two youths wake up in adjacent cots, to the sound of the temporary headquarters going through its normal morning routines.
[15:16:40] * Dan wakes up, stretches, and whistles as he goes about doing his own morning routine. Having literal happy magic is liable to make someone very happy indeed, so he doesn't complain about the shitty camp environment, and he slept right through the gunfire without care or concern, so he's had a ~good night's sleep~.
[15:18:30] <Dan> There'd probably be ~screaming~ or at least yelling if there was actual danger nearby, after all. Man, that'd be a nice alarm clock~
[15:18:57] <Lina> LecLina…Asami. Sure. Why not. Lina Asami, the STRANGE LOOKING HORROR MONSTERrather, little girl with freaky shifting circuit tattoos with a HUMANOID WAR PLANE called…Lina Asami at her side. She's gotten used to it. Morning routine! With vigor!
[15:19:14] * Elsa is waiting outside their tent as she sits on an empty ammo box and eating a slice of chees on a piece of bread. She is groggy and in a bad mood of having to wake up so early. She bites down on it and sighs, hopefull this will go alright.
[15:21:33] * Dan gets dressed in whatever uniform magical boys get before they go all-out-magical, and finds himself some breakfast. He's not in his magical form, so it's dulled, but the camp just seems a little more tranquil and pleasant with him around - even if most of the mundanes forget he's actually there.
[15:22:42] <Elsa> As soon as either of the two (three?) walk outside they will notice a the orange-haired six-winged girl staring at them, calling them over.
[15:24:11] * Dan goes over to her, saying "Good morning" with a smile~
[15:25:38] <Lina> LeLina. Liina. No e. No c. An n. Lina could only dream of not having presence. Once she's all dressed up (the…other one doesn't need to change, though sometimes it pretends to be another plane when she wakes up), out she goes! …And out she goes, to the (assumably) Elsa! With the murderbot at her side. "Morning~" Cheerful as always. Better be always, because god forbid if she's
[15:25:38] <Lina> anything else.
[15:29:43] * Elsa lets out a yawn,"Oh you're awake." She looks athe the two identical girls, remembering something like this happened to Cait, or at least thats what she told her. "Anyways, we're moving out on a mission against the pendant monster thats at the middle of the zone." She says handing her one of two folders.
[15:30:30] <Elsa> "Basically we try to kill it or lure it away from Cremmwale."
[15:32:26] <Lina> Well, the clearly deadly one dresses in some kind of plane cosplay and has light blue tattoos. Hair is a much brighter purple, too! "So…kill it without letting it get closer!" Nod nod! Dat vigor.
[15:32:53] <Dan> "Do you have intel on it?"
[15:34:33] <Elsa> "Its big and silver, machines just stop working in there and it might eat magic. If we can't kill it we draw it away from Cremmwal and if we can't draw it away we just…leave it there."
[15:34:59] <Dan> "Is it alive?"
[15:36:28] <Lina> "Well, it's not dead, so unless it's actually some kind of superweapon being controlled by someone, it has self-awareness, so ot
[15:36:37] <Lina> it's probably alive!" Fuck you, enter key.
[15:37:45] <Dan> "Then it can die," he happily points out the obvious!
[15:38:57] <Elsa> "Maybe, the one over Gaulia is still stopping people from fighting last I hear of it." She crosses her arms and kicks one of the pack on the floor beside her, 2 day rations basically. "And we're going to go kill it now, so grab one of these and move out."
[15:39:30] <Dan> "The one in Gaulia?"
[15:40:08] * Dan grabs shit and otherwise gets ready to move out.
[15:42:01] <Lina> Grab! …The plane-girl grabs it. Lina doesn't need to carry anything! Just…Lina. …Maybe she's Lina, and the other one is Asami. You know what, that's what we're doing. Asami grabs it! "Gonna be a long trip, but what's it matter~"
[15:42:31] <Dan> "Any chance of hostiles along the way?"
[15:43:13] <Elsa> "I'll explain on the way what these things are, you'll see." She grabs her own pack. "We'll fly part of the way, then walk to the cam thats inside the zone to rest before we attack. And there shouldnt be that would hurt us on our way there."
[15:44:06] <Dan> "Aw. I was hoping for some practice."
[15:45:40] <Elsa> "Any other questions?"
[15:47:42] <Dan> "How about some introductions? I'm Dan Xiao."
[15:47:51] <Dan> "My specialties are peace and death."
[15:49:32] <Lina> "Flying's no problem for me~" A grin! The Asami suddenly sprouts plane wings. POSITIVE ATTITUDE FOREVER. Even in the face of death, apparently. "Oh, I'm Lina Asami! I create metals and work with technology!" …Tick, tick. Oh. "…I'm hoping that it won't stop me cold with the whole 'not letting machines work' thing. It's all magical, so it should be alright!"
[15:50:23] <Elsa> "Oh right! MY name is Elsa and I am very good at using fire. Looks like we're going to have some tough times ahead of us." She says
[15:50:24] <Lina> Small plane wings, mind you. Not as big as an actual plane's, but not small enough to make you wonder how they could be used to fly.
[15:51:15] <Dan> "It should be fine. Magic usually cancels other magic out - I could kill any non-mage in an instant, but if only it were that easy to kill other magicians~"
[15:51:36] <Lina> "Adversity is to be overcome!" Exclamation points! "…And it'll be burnt, shot at, and then it'll die~" Scary scary.
[15:54:01] <Elsa> "It'll be scarier than that I'm sure, since I already fought one of them."
[15:54:48] <Dan> "Good! I've been getting bored of ordinary skirmishes."
[15:55:17] <~Oxford> As they speak, a squad of soldiers in forest camo jogs by, led by a fearsome sergeant in a black beret. The forest around the camp glistens with glimmering dew in the rising sun
[15:55:21] <~Oxford> .
[15:57:38] * Elsa glances at the man but doesn't really pay much attention its not as if he's going to talk to her.
[15:59:17] <Lina> And ASAMI probably sticks out like what the fuck. So does Lina. Mostly the whole COVERED IN MOVING CIRCUIT BOARD TATTOOS thing. …And Asami's plane wings. Probably like the opposite of…Dan. Right. It was Dan. Stick to it, memory. "…So when do we leave?"
[15:59:57] * Dan is pretty ordinary looking in that regard. It'd be easy to forget he's even there.
[16:01:13] * Dan is, in fact, probably dressed as an officer or something, so it's probably extra easy to forget he's not actually a mundane.
[16:01:22] <Dan> Not to mention he's a boy in a magical girl world.
[16:01:57] * Elsa stands out a lot with her wings.
[16:02:55] <Dan> "Now sounds good."
[16:02:59] <Lina> If she wasn't focused on the mission at hand, he'd probably get a curious look. But the combination of no presence and excitement that most of the curious looks end up at Elsa instead. Huuuuuh~. …It also helps that she asked her a question, so staring is kind of the norm for that.
[16:03:15] * Dan TO THE PLANES
[16:04:41] * Elsa transforms and gets ready to leave, "We're leaving now, we'll fly first then walk the rest of the way."
[16:06:52] * Dan will transform when he NEEDS to. It's more fun that way.
[16:08:11] * Elsa flies upwards and waits for the others to follow.
[16:08:26] <Dan> Besides, he's found that with his lack of presence, the right uniform lets him basically go wherever he wants without any hassle. It's like those stories where people beat up uniformed workers, steal their uniforms, and sneak in - except it acutally works for him.
[16:08:46] * Dan needs an actual plane though, probably. He doesn't have wings or an alteregoplane. :c
[16:10:43] <Lina> "Gonna need a bit of room~" Back away, get some space, and ASAMI BECOMES A PLANE. Lina gets in that plane. and lifts off with all the manuverability that would be expected of a magical girl. None of this airway shit. It still has those circuit boards, for the record. "Rrrready to fly! …You can ride with me if you want, Dan! There's room!" This can't possibly end badly!
[16:11:23] <Dan> "Sure!"
[16:12:25] * Dan gets inside of a magical girl. this isn't at ALL suggestive.
[16:12:33] <~Oxford> They take off into the early morning haze, still pink and orange above them. Below, the forest stretches out like a sea of billowing green clouds, their rolling waves hinting at the hilly country hidden beneath.
[16:12:37] <~Oxford> ------
[16:17:11] <~Oxford> They reach the forest camp later that day. It comes into view all at once; one moment they are walking along a narrow dirt path in single file with the forest looming above them, the next it suddenly retreats to reveal a clearing filled with soldiers.
[16:21:27] * Dan probably spent flight-time asking Lina how 2xLina worked and other silly things instead of asking about the impending horror they're about to face.
[16:22:04] <~Oxford> There is a rough split-rail fence encircling the encampment, and the same standard military tents set up inside as at the headquarters camp on the forest's edge. The biggest difference between them is in the soldiers themselves. The men here wear thick, dark beards, and their faces are weathered as bootleather. In place of rifles, they carry sturdy spears and large fighting knives.
[16:22:34] * Kraken is now known as Tights
[16:23:15] <Elsa> "Alright, we're here." She stretches, "Pretty much what I expeced since they cant use technology."
[16:23:36] * Lina was happy to answer! Turns out Lina herself is mostly powerless. The other Lina, which she calls Asami, is always around, pendants be damned. …And please don't mind the markings. They just sorta popped up. …Or her attitude. And please don't make her mad.
[16:25:24] <Lina> And they're here! The Asami lands with the grace of a magical girl, and the body of a plane! Lina gets out, and it would be nice if Dan did the same!
[16:25:52] * Dan does~
[16:28:04] <~Oxford> The soldiers seem to have been aware of the three focus-users' approach well in advance. One of them approaches with a wave, and though his uniform is missing any rank insignia, he bears a distinct aura of command about him.
[16:28:23] <Elsa> THey had stopped to walk part of the way and then ended up flying again.
[16:29:49] <Elsa> Elsa walks up to him, "Hello! We'll be stopping here to rest before we hit the center of the area."
[16:30:01] <Lina> The Asami transforms into a normal sized magical girlish plane thing! Who knows what would have happened if you were inside?
[16:30:32] * Dan would probably be up for finding out, but maybe AFTER they save the world, or whatever they're here to do. Kill things. That's it.
[16:30:51] <Lina> Kill THING, Dan.
[16:30:53] <Lina> Geez.
[16:34:26] <Dan> oh, there are lots of other things to kill~
[16:35:35] <~Oxford> The officer nods to Elsa. "Right," he says, barely above a grunt. "Tent's over there, then." He gestures to one of the many low, triangular sleeping tents that circle the area. Behind the row, two men use shovels with rough-hewn handles to dig a grave in the loam.
[16:36:53] * Dan goes to the directed location~
[16:38:20] * Elsa looks at the grave and then asks the man, "Have you seen any silver things coming out of the center?" Might as well ask in case they have to kill or draw away more than one. Or if theres a lot of enemies.
[16:39:10] <Lina> Lina…decides to stick with Elsa. In fact, she's wholly unaware that Dan left first. Listening to the answers of questions!
[16:40:05] <Dan> oh, his companions are talking. time to pause before he gets out of earshot, and turn around to listen to INFORMATION.
[16:40:17] <~Oxford> "No'am," he says brusquely. "Just the wolves. Got one man last night, and three more the previous." He squints out into the imposing forest gloom. "Evil creatures, those."
[16:42:22] * Elsa grimaces, "I might be able to help you out with that. I could make your lothes really tough, though it might only last for a few days at most."
[16:44:22] <~Oxford> He frowns at her, but nods. "If it won't stop you resting, ma'am. Sooner you finish your mission, sooner we finish ours."
[16:49:59] * Elsa 's eyes looks around the camp, "It might take some time, you're right I should just make sure that we're rested enough to kill eat easy. Be careful out there."
[16:50:33] <Dan> "I'll make sure to kill any wolves we come across~"
[16:51:41] <~Oxford> The grizzled mountaineer nods. "Wicked creatures, and these more than others. Be mindful of them if you're on the ground; the centre is their territory."
[16:52:40] <Dan> "I wonder if that's an omen!"
[16:53:29] <Lina> "It feels like an omen. …And the practice you were looking for, as well!" FOCUS ON POSITIVE. NO FOCUSING ON THE BAD KIND OF DEATH. It's unhealthy
[16:53:30] <Lina> .
[16:54:00] <Elsa> "That doesn't sound good, at all." Elsa moves to shake his hand, "Thank you sir, I'll make sure to come back after we've killed the center to hel you out."
[16:54:40] <Dan> No death is bad~
[16:55:16] <Lina> CLEARLY, WE'RE AT ODDS HERE.
[16:56:00] <~Oxford> He nods, and touches his bent hand to his eyebrow in a stripped-down version of a salute. "Good luck then, ma'am," he grunts, before turning to attend to his men.
[16:57:32] * Elsa heads to the tent he signaled, "Alright lets rest and we'll hit the center at dawn." She tells the others.
[16:59:07] <Elsa> "Or we can rest until we feel ready."
[17:00:03] * Dan takes the time to eat and stuff~
[17:00:13] <Lina> "…Maybe a small break is OK. We did do a lot of flying." OR AT LEAST SOMEONE DID.
[17:00:20] <Lina> Rest mode is go! Or something.
[17:00:25] <Dan> "I'm fine whenever you're ready."
[17:01:49] <Elsa> "We'll rest for an hour or two then we leave then." Elsa looks at the tent and crawls inside, falling asleep almost instantly.
[17:03:24] <~Oxford> It is still early afternoon. With only a few hours' rest, they can begin the attack and still have several hours before sunset. Glancing at the mountaineers guarding the small camp, it is clear the night is a time of terror. One fewer nights spent in this place would be counted as a blessing.
[17:03:45] <~Oxford> ----—
[17:08:01] <~Oxford> When they awaken a few hours later, the shadows have shifted to the other side of the clearing, making it look for one disorienting moment as if they were carried while they slept to a different camp. Outside, there is a fresh tombstone in place of the hole, but aside from that the same weary soldiers are going about the same wearisome duties as before.
[17:09:57] * Elsa wakes slowly, not really wanting to face this thing, but she doesn't have a choice, she has to fight it and hopefully kill it." She wakes the other and helps them get ready for the last leg of the trip.
[17:10:15] <Dan> It certainly wouldn't be the first time Dan's woken up somewhere different, but the presence of strange girls tells him that he's at least in the right company, if not the right place.
[17:11:51] <Lina> Lina wakes up a lot faster. She definitely rested, more tired than one would imagine, but now she is awake! "Nnng…ah. Alright!" REV UP THE HOTBLOOD. GONNA TAKE YOU ON A WILD RIDE.
[17:13:18] * Dan is, on the other hand, too consumed with excitement to be tired - even if he actually had a REASON to be tired.
[17:13:27] <Elsa> "Alright lets move out. We have a monster to kill."
[17:14:32] <Lina> Oh, she's definitely consumed with excitement. Still was tired from all that MAGICAL FLYING, but the rest fixed this. "Right!" A salute! "Lead the way~"
[17:15:17] <Dan> "After you~"
[17:15:27] * Dan LADIES FIRST IS BASIC MANNERS
[17:16:29] * Elsa transforms into her usual jester outfit, with a white cape draped against her wings and takes off almost explosively, "Time to fight back against these things!"
[17:17:07] <Dan> "She's excitable~"
[17:17:16] <~Oxford> Their target is a sprawling sawmill, isolated in a wooded valley to their west. Elsa has looked over the maps a thousand times, and can find her way there from the air. The others will have to follow her lead.
[17:18:05] <Lina> "Right!" Asami, with some room, becomes a plane, which Lina gets in! "Let's blow a monster to hell!" Rah, rah!
[17:20:09] <Elsa> "Alright! HEres the plan! We go in, hit it as hard as we can and then go out!" She yells to the other as when she gets closer to them, "See if we hurt it, if not we try to draw it away from cremmwall so the factories aren't inside its zone!"
[17:21:55] <Dan> It becomes a mystery whether Dan rides with Lina/Asami again, or goes full costume for once!
[17:22:10] <Dan> but it's probably the latter if they're CLOSE to the monster finally!
[17:22:55] <~Oxford> They shoot upward, through the looming oak and maple around them. The camp disappears the moment they clear the forest, lost between the dense mass of trees like a child's toy thrown into a hedrerow.
[17:25:42] <Lina> Lina begins to hum. THE HUNT IS ON.
[17:27:59] * Elsa heads straight towards the sawmill, looking for the pendantmonster.
[17:28:36] * Dan follows Elsa, wearing his ceremonial-y battle robes. He always was awkward about flying, but he was never really good with magic that involved breaking the laws of physics - just people and other living things.
[17:40:12] <Elsa> (Pause~)
[20:12:44] <~Oxford> Suddenly, Elsa catches sight of a string of tan, cutting through the forest below. It is a logging road, little more than two dirt ruts winding along the hillside. And where there are logging roads…
[20:16:12] <Lina> …Something different! Shock and awe!
[20:17:28] <~Oxford> The sawmill isn't far behind. The cleared area is instantly visible from the air, though around its edges Dan can make out how the forest is already growing to fill in the gap, like a wound healing.
[20:18:57] <Dan> Such is the nature of life and death~
[20:19:13] <Dan> Except, of course, in the case of extinction, but that's a little beyond his power. …maybe.
[20:19:58] <Lina> Genocide is the killing of a race. You don't do that every day.
[20:20:35] <~Oxford> The building itself is still standing, and there is no sign of the abomination within. Built of corrugated steel and wrapped in vines, it is a striking image of nature overtaking industry. A canvas of silver steel, red rust, and lush green growth, and on it writ the end of mankind.
[20:23:43] <Lina> "…Ehhhh, this place doesn't feel right. It's definitely here. …Somewhere." She shivers. Really doesn't like it!
[20:23:55] <Dan> "It's supposed to be here?"
[20:26:41] <~Oxford> Even circling the location from the air, Lina can taste bile rising in the back of her mouth. Something about the building below - or its contents - makes her nauseous, dizzy. Glancing over, she can see that Dan and Elsa are similarly affected.
[20:27:27] <Lina> "Everything looks different than what we passed over and the place is creepy. It's here! …You…you can feel it too, right? It's not just me?"
[20:29:49] <Dan> "Now that you mention it…"
[20:31:54] * Elsa keeps circling around the building, "Its definetely there." She says and readies a firball to launch it, no way everyone's going down there.
[20:32:07] <Dan> Though Dan was in full magic mode, and he was very thoroughly under his own spell, even if it didn't seem to be protecting his companions as much.
[20:32:14] <Lina> "…You think it would be wrong if we blew up the building?"
[20:32:32] <Dan> "No one's using it."
[20:32:35] <Lina> "I mean, it can't hide here if there's nothing left of it."
[20:33:06] <Dan> "Except the enemy, I guess - but we're here to kill it anyway, right?"
[20:33:34] <Elsa> "I'm sure no one will complain." SHe says as she spins once and and the fireball is launched straight onto the building.
[20:34:59] <Lina> Let's be sure we're not in the building, of course! If they are, the production of a fireball is a good reason to leave, posthaste. If not…well, stand back.
[20:37:36] <Elsa> Everyone's flying above it so thers no problem
[20:38:35] <Lina> Fly back.
[20:38:45] <Lina> THAT LOOKS LIKE A SCARY FIREBALL.
[20:43:30] <~Oxford> The fireball darts down at the building from above. It strikes the steel roof and melts through, burning a clean round hole ringed with a dull red glow. For a moment, nothing happens.
[20:44:46] <Elsa> "Just give it time! It'll burn down to cinders in no time."
[20:44:53] <Lina> "Nice shot!" Like, seriously, them be some firepower. Get it? Firepower? Haaaaaa.
[20:46:37] <~Oxford> Then, with a deafening roar of tortured metal, the building explodes outward. Girders and crossbeams tumble through the air like giant pick-up-sticks hurled by an angry god.
[20:51:14] <Lina> "Great shot!" Back the fuck up. At about this time, a mini-plane (still about as big as a person) appears to the left of Asami/Lina. It's happening.
[20:53:18] <Elsa> Elsa dodges the pieces of cinder as they approach and burns right through a couple of the pieces of debree which she couldnt dodge.
[20:54:15] * Dan is the sword that the leaf avoids. He just floats there in the center of chaos, untouched and unharmed as he casually draws his sword.
[20:55:18] <Lina> Oh, Lina totally DID avoid that by managing to BACK THE FUCK UP. That was totally a dodge! That and some micrododging. The hitbox is smaller than the plane.
[20:56:36] <~Oxford> The three fliers move swoop and turn through the air, gracefully avoiding the deadly debris. Where the building once stood, a rippling pool of undulating metal thirty metres wide pulses under the glow of the sinking sun.
[20:58:44] <Elsa> "There it is!" Hit it as hard as you can!
[20:58:45] <Elsa> "
[21:00:43] <Lina> "See! I didn't like the place! So…alright, I'm in a support mood. You cover me, and I'll cover you, and together, we'll give it hell!"
[21:01:32] <Dan> "You're an interesting thing, aren't you," Dan proceeds to TALK to the thing, not really expecting an answer.
[21:10:50] <~Oxford> The thing's surface ripples menacingly, like a sea of silver beneath a stiff breeze. On the surface, they can vaguely make out shapes: tentacles, blinking eyes, and mouths full of fangs, all molding and reforming from the same reflective metal ooze.
[21:13:46] * Elsa ignores Dan and Lina as she head right above the pendant monster and begins a steep dive towards it while covered in flames. A huge pillar of fire forms between Elsa and the pendant monster, spreading any fire that didn't hit spills outwards like a sea towards the sorrounding forest. Before the pillar dissapears, Elsa leaps out of it and smiles at the others, seemingly giving
[21:13:46] * Elsa them the signal to go all out on this thing.
[21:15:25] <Lina> …Christ, is there anything left on it after she went to town on the damned thing?
[21:17:01] <~Oxford> The fiery attack rips into the gibbering metallic sphere like a stone into a bowl of oatmeal. It sends up a huge spout of silvery fluid, which spatters across the forest and the abandoned millyard. Where the seperated spray lands, it sends up thick plumes of smoke as it burns through the dirt and trees like acid.
[21:18:32] * Dan grins back to Elsa, apparently acknowledging the signal. Unfortunately, his own magic was a bit - okay, a lot more subtle than the winged girls', but it would have to do!
[21:20:50] <~Oxford> The horrible blob begins to bubble outward in response to the attack, growing and pulsing with a strange rhythm.
[21:25:39] * Dan moves down to try and CUT IT WITH HIS SWORD, like, a long cut of DEATH across the whole thing!
[21:29:48] <~Oxford> He swoops down toward the surface of the horrible pool, only for it to suddenly lurch back towards him. Dan is forced to pull up rapidly just to avoid being swallowed up by the thing, but not before getting a good look at its surface. From up close, he can make out animals and parts of animals beyond count, all made of the same silver.
[21:31:20] <Dan> Do they look like things that could reasonably be local?
[21:31:44] <~Oxford> A twisted stag's head, a horde of scurrying rats, and the beating heart and ribcage of some mammoth creature loom up at him. His stomach wrenches, though whether at the sight or because of some other effect of the creature's presence is impossible to tell.
[21:31:57] <Dan> Probably the latter.
[21:32:15] <Dan> He gets off on this stuff, after all!
[21:32:16] <Lina> Lina decides that the party is clearly good enough at beating up this sick and nasty thing in their own right. So, if they run out of steam…what happens then? The answer is, of course, PREPARE TO CARRY ON THE ASSAULT IN THEIR STEAD. +2 to the Support OC, as another small plane appears! While the writer questions why it had to be Support stat only when she can't swap arrays without
[21:32:16] <Lina> losing a bonus, the first plane proceeds to fire at the blasted thing, even if it won't do anything in particular.
[21:34:37] <Lina> Harassment shots are fun!
[21:36:22] <~Oxford> As the three focus-users turn their powers against the monster, small vortexes appear in its gleaming surface. Then twirl a moment, and then invert suddenly and shoot outward, a hail of twisting cones of liquid metal.
[21:55:08] <Lina> The nice thing about planes is that they're large, compared to magical girls. So her and her wingmen weave through the storm and GET IN THE GOD DAMNED WAY of a particularly INCREDIBLY DENSE portion of it. The wingmen take little tinks of the hits Lina herself takes for absolutely nothing, and this totally helps out. Lina herself responds in kind, by shooting the thing a bit as it shoots
[21:55:08] <Lina> them. But hey, it saved Dan! Or at least helped him out.
[21:57:24] * Elsa stretches her hand out and a fire arrow, which splits off and hits every single piece of bubbling metal that is heading towards her, no way in hell she is letting that thing touch her.
[21:57:42] <~Oxford> As the drill-shaped cones of metal impact Lina's defensive layer, they shudder and shift, morphing suddenly into snaking vines or tentacles. Lina acts quickly, sweeping the tiny parasites away before they have a chance to latch onto her.
[21:58:56] <Lina> HO SHIT, NOPE. "T-the hell was that!? Everyone, be careful! These things do more than hit you! …Probably linked to that awful feeling we had, earlier."
[21:59:55] <~Oxford> Below them, the shining slime bulges and bubbles. Streams of metal jet across the gouges left by their attacks, healing and repairing it even as they turn to renew their assault.
[22:00:15] <Dan> "This is definitely more interesting than soldiers!"
[22:08:27] * Elsa spreads her arms out and two spouts of fire come out of her palms. The fire curves outwards and heads towards the silvery body. And her attack hits the, it just changed its body to dodge the attack! "Damn it, now its being cocky!" Elsa yells out.
[22:11:58] * Oxford changes topic to 'ROUND 2: 83%'
[22:12:45] <Dan> "We're running, now."
[22:12:55] * Dan says this after the fluff
[22:12:58] * Dan that will happen at some point
[22:13:05] * Dan I dunno if Oxy should start or I should start.
[22:13:50] <Lina> "E-eh? It's healing? So much for that initial offense!"
[22:17:17] * Dan reaches into the sleeve of his robe, taking out a sharp looking dagger. Hovering above the monster of mercury, his adrenaline and excitement overcome his cloud nine for just ONE MOMENT, as he throws the dagger down at the alien beast, a shimmer of red light following, seeming to (at least initially) pin the creature to the earth.
[22:20:34] * Dan now makes the "We're running, now" comment. Because he just pinned the thing to the earth, and probably only long enough for them to get a head start.
[22:21:17] <~Oxford> The entire, building-sized mass contorts and writhes as the tiny blade strikes true. It strains to roil after the retreating boy, but can do little more than flop ineffectually on the dry, packed earth.
[22:22:14] <Lina> "…We've probably made it mad, if anything, so yeah, now sounds like a good time to split. Since it'll chase us. Probably quickly."
[22:22:49] <Elsa> "Lets draw it away from Cremmwalle! If we do that we win!" She says as she darts off in the direction she wants to draw the monster away. "Follow me and cover each other."
[22:23:55] * Dan was trying his hardest to contain the explosion of magical fury that was about to happen. Maybe he could… just get far enough away from the girls to keep it from affecting them?!
[22:25:22] <Lina> "I can do that!" Got you guys covered! She creates another wingman to affirm this. "We'll all cover you guys! We can do that! As we run."
[22:30:19] <~Oxford> The three young airmen flee south, following Elsa's lead. Behind them, the creature recedes into the distance as it pauses to extricate itself from Dan's vexing dagger.
[22:31:42] * Dan could definitely just murder the two girls where they stood, but there was no chance of him surviving that creature if he did. He had to stay calm. No, more importantly, he wanted to be the one to end its life - even if it wasn't here or now. He would have to be patient.
[22:32:03] <Dan> He could contain this.
[22:32:38] <Dan> No more anger for today. None.
[22:37:32] <~Oxford> He can contain this. He can contain - are those deer? Fleeing through the forest, white tails raised in alarm, an entire herd of deer are bounding and leaping through the underbrush. Their exposed backs practically beg to be split by his sword. No, in fact, it would be pitiable not to kill such beautiful creatures.
[22:38:48] <Dan> MURDER POWER GO
[22:39:27] <Dan> being able to kill things magically is very convenient. He just sort of… wills their gruesome demise, one after another!
[22:42:49] <Lina> The plane suddenly breaks down. Or rather, becomes humanoid once again. Lina hangs on for deal life as she continues to avoid being WRECKED. Plane needs minor adjustments!
[22:45:20] * Elsa keeps her eyes looking behind her, in case the pendant monster is faster than them, its just a few kilometers until this mission is a success. "We just need tro draw him away for a bit longer!
[22:45:33] * Dan lands somewhere near the deer, which is probably KIND OF WEIRD to see for Lina/Elsa.
[22:45:36] * Oxford changes topic to 'ROUND 3: 83%, 1km south'
[22:45:58] * Dan places his sword in the ground infront of him, and clasps his hands together as if in prayer.
[22:46:06] * Elsa would give Lina a hand but she is quite literally too hot too touch right now.
[22:47:15] <Dan> The front-most deer's head is suddenly torn open by an invisible force, sending it flying to the side - and likely confusing/fucking up the other deer in the process.
[22:48:55] <Dan> Another nearby deer just sort of dies, likely of mysterious internal damage. One minute, it's leaping forward, and the next, it doesn't quite land right, falling in a deceased slump.
[22:49:20] <~Oxford> Behind them, the throbbing flood of silver moves southward in fits and spurts. Its strange locomotion belies its speed, but with the delay caused by Dan's dagger, it cannot get close enough to the two remaining girls to continue its attack.
[22:49:35] <Dan> The rest of the deer die, some one-by-one, some in small groups. Some grusomely, some a little less - a few even age instantly, or turn to skeletons.
[22:50:04] * Elsa is too busy to notice the deer dying
[22:50:11] <Dan> The only common factor is that each death is mercifully quick. Dan isn't attacking them, he's just killing them.
[22:50:30] <Elsa> especially with the whole silver pendant monster
[22:51:11] <Dan> Also, there's probably tendrils of RED ENERGY coming out of Dan, making it pretty fuckin' obvious he's doing crazy magic shit.
[22:51:46] <Lina> Lina doesn't even notice Dan is busy being sidetracked with MURDERING DEER, due to hanging on for deer life (ha). Hopefully the monster doesn't either.
[22:55:54] <~Oxford> The final deer to die is a mewling fawn, still speckled with white spots. There's a gleam in Dan's eye as its back suddenly snaps backward, folding the little creature in half like a beach-chair. He gazes down happily at the sunlight reflecting in the pooling blood, only for a shadow to fall across him.
[22:56:18] <~Oxford> Turning to find its source, he is suddenly dwarfed by the massive, shapeless form of the monster towering like a silver wall above him.
[22:56:55] <Dan> "Ah… you."
[22:57:42] * Oxford changes topic to 'ROUND 4: 83%, 1km south'
[22:58:13] <Lina> "…Did that thing just slow down a little?"
[22:59:27] * Elsa looks back, ready to intercept anythign the pendant monster gives throws at her or anyone else. She keeps running because the thing isn't going to go down anytime soon.
[22:59:52] * Dan is standing, staring down the giant silver wall.
[23:00:35] * Dan has a calm smile on his face. Having expended (quite literally!) all of his anger on it already, it's about all he can manage.
[23:01:47] <Lina> Lina has time to look back! …Oh shit, where'd Dan go? "….Dan! Where are you?!"
[23:02:06] * Dan is right in front of the thing. How can you miss him?!
[23:02:42] <Lina> We're running through a forest. Dan has no presence. IMAGINATION.
[23:03:12] <Dan> fair point (I personally imagined the no-presence thing to not-really-work on magicals, but I guess that's Oxers's caling rather than mine).
[23:03:58] <Lina> Though the murder thing would do a great job of getting it normally, she doesn't exactly stare at the thing any longer than she has to. She does stop moving, though. I suppose that's a held action!
[23:06:41] * Dan does the prayer thing a bit. He's far from an actual priest, but it helps him focus a bit.
[23:07:02] <Dan> And then, even Lina and Elsa can apparently feel the aura of pure tranquil peace come from him.
[23:07:44] * Elsa 's tranquil peace is quickly overriden by panic
[23:08:40] <Dan> "Now then, please follow me."
[23:08:54] <Dan> "You're unwelcome here, so we'll be finding you a new home."
[23:09:12] * Dan grabs his sword, and resumes flight!
[23:10:15] <Lina> …Peace? ….Ooooooh, peace. …Ah, there he is! No problems here. Let's keep moving.
[23:10:38] <~Oxford> The pulsing monster slows as it gets closer to Dan, until he is almost touching its shifting metal surface. Faces appear in the goo, their eyes and mouths empty voids like masks. When he takes off, their expressions turn to sudden anger, and then smear together until they are unrecognizable.
[23:11:08] <Dan> "Come on, now!" he yells at the thing.
[23:12:02] * Oxford changes topic to 'ROUND 5: 85%, 2km south'
[23:13:10] <Elsa> "What the hell are you guys doing, get the hell away from there!"
[23:13:25] <Dan> "Yes. Keep running! I can't keep it subdued indefinitely."
[23:13:40] <Lina> …She actually has time to watch it! "…This thing…oooh, scary stuff. I'm no good at this whole using my anger thing. …I mean, if I do get mad, I do get mad, but that doesn't translate into bullets that well." Her pace could be faster, blame BEING PEACEFUL. "…Wait, what were you doing over there, anyway?"
[23:14:08] <~Oxford> Obligingly, it follows with terrifying speed. Rather than move over or around the trees that block its path, the motile pool pushes through them. Those that make it out the other side are twisted horrifically into hideous mockeries of their natural forms.
[23:15:32] <Lina> …OK, peace or not, that thing is fast. As a plane, she proceeds to go faster.
[23:16:04] <Dan> "How far do we have to take it?"
[23:20:00] <Elsa> "Just a little bit longer! Lets hope it gets tired of us!" She yells out
[23:20:24] <Elsa> "Lets just keep running!"
[23:21:45] <Lina> Asami replanes! Lina somehow ends up in the seat when it's all said and done!
[23:24:40] <Dan> "I can keep it at bay for now, but when we get there, we'll need a way of getting away."
[23:25:18] <Elsa> "We'll think of something!"
[23:25:36] <Elsa> "Maybe burning the forest stops it? I don't know!"
[23:26:07] <Lina> "…Catch it in a fire, wounding it as it chases us."
[23:26:12] <Lina> "That sounds good on paper!"
[23:31:15] <Lina> Now that she's in a plane, she can take a good look while she flies herself.
[23:36:30] <~Oxford> She looks down into the monstrosity, only to see it, in turn, looking up into her. The bulging gaze of its many eyes, which appear, stare for a moment, and then pop in a shower of bilious droplets, cuts into her like a psychic lance. She is filled with a dread realization: It knows.
[23:38:35] <~Oxford> She, too, knows. The thing hates industry the way fire hates wood, and thrives on the things of nature.
[23:41:07] <Lina> "…It…knows…" THIS IS NOT SITTING WELL WITH HER MIND RIGHT NOW. "…It…it really hates machines! A lot! Likes nature. Elsa, once we're far away enough to avoid any danger that would result from burning this forest down, BURN THIS FOREST DOWN!"
[23:41:58] <Dan> "Knows what?"
[23:43:16] <~Oxford> Knows their objective. Like a wave hitting a breakwater, the pool of silver suddenly stops in its tracks. And then, it begins to move north. Back towards Cremmwale.
[23:43:44] <Elsa> "I'll do just that-wait what?" Its turning back!"
[23:44:31] <Dan> "Do it now."
[23:44:37] <Lina> "…It knows what we're doing, so let's skip to the burning! Dan, you pinned it down once, do it again! I'll make sure you guys don't get too hurt!"
[23:45:36] <Dan> "I'll try."
[23:47:32] * Dan retrieves another blade from his robe, imbuing it with red energy, before throwing it at the silver monster!
[23:50:34] * Elsa moves around on a big circle, raining down lots of fire down to the forest. The flames stick to the trees whcih quikly begin burning with a surprising intensity.
[23:53:16] * Dan does, in fact, retrieve another blade from his robe, but… the red energy doesn't quite come.
[23:53:23] <Dan> He already used it all before.
[23:53:29] <Dan> So, he'll just have to do this the old fashion way!
[23:54:05] * Dan flies after it. If he manages to catch up or outpace it, he'll try to get ahead of it to stop it - otherwise, he'll have to settle for long-ranged knife throws.
[23:54:31] * Dan has a sword and plenty of knives to fight the beast with, even if they AREN'T magical!
[23:55:02] <Dan> By the way, Dan is only suicidal, not stupid.
[23:55:37] <Dan> His objective is to keep it from running, or to make it chase him, or ideally tap into its alien consciousness and somehow scare it into retreating south.
[23:55:59] <Dan> Not actually trade blows with it using non-magical weapons.
Session Time: Sun Sep 01 00:00:04 2013
[00:01:07] <~Oxford> The thing slows as Dan sets down in front of it, sword at the ready. The single, massive eye of a deep ocean squid appears and stares him down. Scare it? Keep it from running? A massive, silvery human fist erupts from the eye in a shower of metallic droplets and pounds down on Dan, as if to show what a ridiculous notion that is.
[00:04:48] * Dan does not avoid the fist, in spite of his BEST EFFORT, and expending a fuck ton of magical energy in the process.
[00:05:23] * Dan DOES manage to parry it between his sword and dagger though, and though they're not capable of dealing magical damage, they're still inherently magical items. As are his robes, and arguably he himself. In short, he blocks that fuckin' fist.
[00:07:51] <Lina> Lina doesn't want to try hitting this thing anymore as things currently stand. MORE ANALYZING. In a more numbers efficient way.
[00:08:30] <Lina> …Oh god, that thing is fucking terrifying.
[00:12:02] <Lina> 9/10 analysis, it's okay — ign
[00:13:04] * Elsa tries to gauge the monster's reaction but its too busy trying to kill Dan
[00:16:46] <~Oxford> The fires rage, reflected across the shining surface of the beast. Hundred-year-old trees crackle and explode from the heat, sending daggers of splintered wood flying in all directions. The monster's body blisters and cracks in the blaze, but its progress is unabated.
[00:22:54] * Elsa can't hold the magic any longer as her body forcefully spills everything out. Her immediate sorroundings are turned into a burning inferno of flowing flames while the things that are further out are peppered by countless fireballs that strike the trees even more.
[00:24:07] <Lina> Lina glancesoooooooh shit, metal wall this motherfucker
[00:30:09] <~Oxford> The violent outburst of magic tears a hole in the silver abomination like a soap-bubble bursting. It leaves behind a massive cavity, which drips and fills slowly with goo. The creature is noticably slow to move afterwards.
[00:32:59] * Oxford changes topic to 'ROUND 7: 71%, 1km south'
[00:36:14] * Elsa loses her transformation and begins falling. It isn't long before she forces her transformation to kick in again. and with a burst of fire Elsa is back in action.
[00:39:09] <Lina> "H-HEY! …W-wait, that…that worked out! …It's now or never!"
[00:41:25] <Lina> "…Now or never! I've got your backs! Tell me when you've got nothing left, guys!"
[00:41:45] <Lina> Lina SCANS THE TARGET again. Let's not fuck up this time.
[00:42:35] * Dan still has a dagger in his hand. "This is all I've got left," he answers the pilot, pouring the last of his (not-terrible) magic into it.
[00:47:38] <~Oxford> This time, its attention seems to be elsewhere. Lina gets away with a clear peek into the mind of the monster, understanding at an instinctive level its alien intentions.
[00:53:06] * Elsa doesn't look good at all, she seems to be holding on by a thread to her transformation, One more hit and she's out. She doesn't yell this out because the pendant monster might hear her.
[00:53:44] <~Oxford> The shuddering, slurping pool is an outsider, confused and hatefully aware of its own existence for the first time. It longs unspeakably for the fiery oblivion of its origins, and these petty passions thrust upon it - industry, nature, growth, decay - rend its obsessed mind and leave it torn between the conscious desires of its mind and the subconscious yearning in its soul.
[00:54:48] <~Oxford> With a sudden blink, Lina is back outside of the creature's mind. Below her, she can see Dan charging in for his final attack.
[01:00:50] <Lina> "….Has…has anyone…" Whoa, that's a doozy.
[01:04:38] <Lina> "…L-let's just give this thing the peace of death!" Lina has mobilized!
[01:07:52] * Dan 's last little bit of magic turns out to be a lot more than just a little bit.
[01:08:30] <Dan> Not unlike last time, the dagger fucking impales the beast, a thick trail of red energy following it almost like a spear.
[01:08:45] <Dan> However, unlike last time, Dan threw it from the ground rather than the sky.
[01:09:08] <Dan> So the dagger/energy spear sends the thing flying a couple feet/meters, before arcing to the ground, pinning it once more.
[01:10:32] <Dan> As this happens, though, the source of the magic becomes clear.
[01:11:16] <Dan> Almost as if drawing the magic from Dan's own life force, the more red light generated by the attack, the more of him dissipates.
[01:11:43] <Dan> His robes are untouched, but skin, flesh, and muscle all vanish, leaving behind a skeleton.
[01:14:37] <Dan> The skeleton does not crumble - eerily, it remains standing in pose, as if it still had just thrown its dagger, the sword still in its other hand. The grass at its feet probably begins to wilt as well.
[01:18:56] * Elsa sees it and simply turns around and runs away as fast as she can, she can ust feel it. "I'm not dealing with this. I'll die if I try! Lina get the hell out of there!"
[01:19:34] <~Oxford> The monster is pinned, wounded, and bellowing through some hidden organ. The person known as Dan Xiao is gone forever, and Elsa and Lina have both expended more than their share of energy.
[01:19:43] <Lina> "Whoa! I di…" Oh this does NOT look right. "Going! Going!" DAMNED RIGHT SHE'S GOING.
[01:20:15] <Lina> "I looked into an abyss, it looked back, and now the abyss is dead and THERE'S ANOTHER DEAD ABYSS and I am not looking in that one!
[01:20:16] <Lina> "
[01:20:21] <Lina> GONE. GONE GONE GONE.
[01:23:31] <Elsa> If lina is faster than Elsa, she's going to hold on to one of th plane wing to get the hell out of there faster.
[01:25:39] <Lina> She is! …Let's recap. They went on to fight some kind of horror that got slapped with themes of decay, and created the problem of some kind of horror slapped with themes of DEATH INCARNATE.
[01:26:00] * Dan is left behind, unmovingly watching the writhing monster. Maybe he- it? Maybe it's amused by the creature's agony. Maybe it's incapable of moving. Maybe it's waiting for something. It's hard to tell, but the red energy, Dan's last spell, continues to bind the monster to the ground infront of it, as a fell aura of tranquil, eternal stillness sweeps out, slowly killing what little survived the flames and explosions.
[01:26:11] <Lina> To do so, they burned down a forest.
[01:26:23] <Lina> …This is going to escalate quickly, isn't it?
[01:27:48] <~Oxford> /session
[13:10:17] * Oxford changes topic to 'All personnel to report to Flight Stand-By Positions - consult chart below'
[13:16:11] <~Oxford> It is the morning of the big operation. The sunrise is red over the eastern horizon, while above wispy gray clouds stretch like pulled wool over the pale pink sky. The girls - sans Marina - are assembled in the entrance hall, with radios and headsets already on. Colonel Vaughn is somewhere upstairs, giving them a moment to converse before the briefing begins.
[13:18:00] <Henriette> Henriette afixes her radio carefully, even though it won't matter since the thing will meld with her costume upon transformation anyway.
[13:19:45] <Lily> Lily is fiddling with her radio, her dress, her everything~
[13:19:50] <Lily> fiddle fiddle
[13:20:12] <Loewin> Loewin seems to be spacing out something fierce.
[13:24:33] <~Oxford> They stand in awkward silence, each absorbed, perhaps, in her own thoughts on recent events. The sudden news of her father's condition for Loewin, the letter from Dirk for Henriette. What's troubling Lily is unclear.
[13:25:23] <Lily> Not really so much troubling her, as she just can't stand still to begin with! Lily IS worried about the spy and shit, at least.
[13:26:42] <Henriette> The uneasiness of a big operation is showing on Henriette's face. Despite all her typical tribulations, the Gaulian's face remains immaculate, not a worry line in sight, and yet today reveals a startling number of creases between her brows. "Oh, je ne peux pas gérer l'attente," she mutters. Her troubles are more related to doing her best during the mission so that she can resume a life
[13:26:42] <Henriette> of defying her superiors and1,1 getting jiggy with the boy down the street.
[13:29:00] <Loewin> Loewin's head seems to swivel slightly toward Henriette in response to her utterance as a sunflower seeks the sun, though her gaze remain miles away.
[13:29:10] <Loewin> Or…kilometers probably.
[13:30:35] <~Oxford> Even Bridget is strangely quiet. While being up this early isn't especially rare now that Colonel Vaughn is in charge, it feels particularly cruel on a weekend.
[13:31:06] <Henriette> Noticing Loewin's movement, an eyebrow raises. "Loewin, ma chérie, is something the matter? Other than l'évident, of course."
[13:32:37] <Loewin> Loewin's trance breaks as her eyes turn to Henri's, though it doesn't seem as if she truly sees the girl. "Ah…no…tired I suppose…"
[13:35:41] <Henriette> "Did you not sleep?" The creases between her brows grow as she steps a few feet towards Loewin, hand resting on the shorter girl's shoulder. "It will not do for you to be unable to fight at
[13:35:42] <Henriette> votre pleine capacité, ma belle."
[13:37:46] <Loewin> "Do not worry. I can fight…for I must."
[13:40:29] <Lily> "Cloral, Marina and I have chamomile tea if you need help sleeping~!"
[13:42:27] <Lily> "Or maybe you need a hot meal to help wake you up with lots of nice mint and maybe some meat for energy and then some salad with the Gaulian dressing and…" She starts going on and on~
[13:43:08] <Loewin> Recalling happier times with her father as a child involving late night tea, and the slightly traumatizing nighttime accidents that occasionally accompanied them, Loewin finds her voice catching in her throat and is unable to respond.
[13:43:53] <Bridget> "….maet." Bridget groans, the horns she normally covers up with ribbons are uncovered today, her golden eyes glaring balefully at the assembled. She's not got really big fangs but they might be present. "Ae want meat!"
[13:44:53] <Henriette> The response certainly isn't satisfactory for the Gaulian girl. Her frown says that much. "Loewin, do not make me worry during the battle," she chastises, but she makes a mental note to track Loewin's health during the fight. It wouldn't be good for her to falter. Why can't any of these missions go smoothly?
[13:49:04] <Loewin> "I said do not worry. I shall steel myself for any fighting."
[13:49:28] <Lily> "How do you steal yourself away from yourself? Are you a master thief?"
[13:50:12] <Henriette> "A-are your sure?"
[13:51:13] <Loewin> "I have said not to worry, I wish to hear no more of it." Though her voice becomes quite stern, her expression hardly reciprocates.
[13:55:04] <Henriette> "V-very well, ma belle. I shall keep my eye on you, however." If she really didn't want to be watched, she should have slept.
[13:55:42] <Lily> "I'll always have your back and your front and your top and your bottom and maybe even your middle too!"
[13:56:18] <~Oxford> As they speak, Col. Vaughn appears at the top of the stairs. His uniform is still impeccably pressed, but he isn't wearing any of his pins or medals. He descends the staircase with his arms clasped behind his back.
[13:56:35] * Lily SHUTS UP and awaits orders!
[13:59:59] * Bridget salutes smartly. IT's hard with her horns.
[14:00:48] * Henriette stands at attention like a good soldier, but the animosity towards the Colonel issues from her eyes like concussive beams from a comic book character that has yet to be invested.
[14:01:43] <~Oxford> "Attention, Wightshead Flight," he begins, after clearing his throat. "We have an important mission today, so I need everyone on their very best. Warrant Martel will be unable to participate, so everyone will have work hard and pick up the slack."
[14:02:37] <Lily> "Yessir!" Salute~
[14:03:58] <Loewin> Loewin's head bobs up and down slightly in some combination of a greeting and an affirmation.
[14:04:04] <Henriette> No nod. Just staring.
[14:06:15] <~Oxford> "As you all know, a mission to deal with the threat in the Cremmwale Zone has been planned for some time now. That mission, using some of our strongest Focus Pendant Users," Col. Vaughn says, pausing to build anticipation, "will be executed today."
[14:06:51] <Lily> Nodnod!
[14:06:57] <Bridget> "Yessir!"
[14:09:21] <~Oxford> "Our role in this operation is straightforward," he continues. "We will be taking up a position on the periphery of the affected zone and ensure mission security while the insertion team completes their mission."
[14:10:55] <Henriette> "What concerns are there on the periphery?" Henriette asks, accent stymied as much as possible, but the distrust in her eyes is equally discernable in her voice.
[14:24:44] <~Oxford> "To be clear, we don't anticipate any external resistance," Col. Vaughn says with a nod to the girl, "but as the situation may be known to Novgoraadi intelligence, the possibility does exist. Our main concern, however, will be threats originating from within the zone itself."
[14:25:35] <Loewin> "There's…more than the original…abomination?"
[14:29:33] <~Oxford> "The original…" he begins, pausing to decide on a term, "threat is still considered the greatest. While we are unclear as to its mobility or intentions, any attempts to escape the Zone or spread beyond it must be resisted."
[14:30:13] <Bridget> "Aye?" Bridget shivers a little.
[14:30:31] <Henriette> "Very well. When do we leave?" Henriette's gaze burns with determination. She let this monster go once. It won't happen again.
[14:30:36] <Loewin> Loewin smiles a little.
[14:32:09] <Lily> "Got it, let's hop to it!"
[14:32:52] <Bridget> The girl nods, though she doesn't look that enthusiastic. She hated being eaten…
[14:33:02] <~Oxford> "We'll be departing directly. If there are no further questions, we'll dismiss to the automobile."
[14:38:26] <Henriette> Remaining silent, Henriette waits for dismissal. The less time spent talking to Vaughn, the better.
[14:40:31] <~Oxford> With nobody speaking up, the bald colonel sends them off with a wave. Of course, in this case, the gesture is prefunctory; he'll be the one driving the car, so he's heading for the garage just like they are.
[14:42:32] <Loewin> Loewin follows along obediently, much too distracted to remember she's supposed to maintain a healthy dose of ire for the man.
[14:42:42] <Lily> Off she goes!
[14:42:50] <~Oxford> ---------
[14:46:46] <~Oxford> The ride is a brief one. With the Zone centered so close to Ternwald, the main delay in getting to the headquarters is finding a route around the edge of the quarantined area.
[14:50:11] <Lily> Lily is happy to be stationed at a forest! Although it's that forest.
[14:50:37] <~Oxford> Once there, the Colonel drops the four girls off by a plain-looking military tent. "Now, wait here and keep your eyes open. If the alert goes up, you'll need to be ready to transform and engage immediately. I have a meeting with General Arundale, so I'll be back to check on you once it's over."
[14:50:54] <Lily> "Yessir!"
[14:51:01] <Lily> Another goofy salute, with a goofy smile
[14:52:30] <Henriette> "What are we to look for?" Henriette works out begrudgingly, her need for information greater than her dislike for interacting with Vaughn.
[14:53:05] <Lily> Lily's looking up and down the visible forest, trying to see if there's anything unusual, like a lack of animals, a bunch of wilted flowers or leaves, something like that.
[14:55:55] <~Oxford> "Anything indicative of emergency," replies Vaughn. Seeing that hasn't answered her question, he helpfully contiues, "screaming, cries for help, that sort of thing."
[14:57:25] <Loewin> "Pools of silver sludge."
[14:57:49] <~Oxford> Far from looking dead or wilted, the forest actually seems to be unusually thick and green. Even here at the edges of the Zone, the trees are wrapped thick with creeping ivies, and even plants that are out of season are bursting wit brightly-colored blooms.
[14:58:14] <Lily> Neat! Maybe this thing isn't so bad, if it's actually improving the forest~
[14:58:15] <Henriette> "Pools of… qoui?"
[14:58:52] <Henriette> Henriette is also enamored by the blooms and wildlife springing up. It's a pleasant change from the drab grey of industrial factories nearby.
[15:00:06] <Loewin> "Things you shouldn't expect to see in a forest…or anywhere." Loewin places the radio on her head, though it would appear she's struggling to lift even that small weight.
[15:01:10] <~Oxford> Vaughn gives Loewin a sharp nod and pulls away in the car. With the headquarters camp at their backs, they gaze across the edge of the Cremmwale Zone, past whatever imaginary line seperates the natural world from within.
[15:03:01] * Bridget looks around, trying to relax a little.
[15:04:08] <Henriette> Watching Loewin carefully, Henriette trails around, looking for signs of danger. The plant life is actually refreshing, and more than once she spends time delicately cupping a rose or marigold.
[15:04:39] <Bridget> Bridget is very oddly quiet. She's looking almost pensive.
[15:04:39] <Lily> Lily inspects the new flora carefully! She's not supposed to go IN the forest, but she can go inspect the border of it~!
[15:07:58] <Henriette> "Lily, what is cette fleur?" Henriette says, gesturing at a large, twisting vine covered in fuchsia and gold blooms.
[15:10:02] <Lily> "I've never seen this one before, is it a new species!?" She runs in and leeeeeans in, getting a close view of it!
[15:10:31] <Bridget> Bridget follows, staring. She's got her claymore with her. "Ae haet thaaes place."
[15:11:22] <Henriette> The flowers seem to twist towards Henriette and Lily's hands, as if they were the life-giving entity instead of the sun. "They are quite beautiful, non?"
[15:12:01] <~Oxford> There appear to be more of the strange flower, further in. The deeper they go, the larger and more exotic the flora becomes.
[15:12:22] <Lily> "I love this place so many pretty flowers flourishing I wish I had a garden full of all of these so I could see them every day!" She starts running between flowers, spouting taxonomical gibberish that nobody but an actual botanist would understand!
[15:12:26] <Loewin> Loewin slumps against a tree, never acknowledging the beauty of the bizarre forest.
[15:13:27] <Lily> Lily looks at the path ahead
[15:13:32] <Lily> Lily looks back at the camp
[15:14:00] <Lily> She looks back and forth before sitting down on the ground and spontaneously pouting because she can't just go in on her own. :/
[15:14:27] * Henriette actually responds with a remarkable understanding of the floral life. "Mais non! We should not see stamen this large here, right?" She's keeping up well with the other girl.
[15:15:57] * Bridget looks for a nice place to sit down, right by Loewin.
[15:16:11] <Lily> "Ah, yes, and look how elaborate these carpels are! They're rather lovely, I'd say!"
[15:17:11] <Lily> "My guess would be that they've become so elaborate and large so as to aid in attracting bees to exchange pollen!"
[15:18:59] <~Oxford> Overhead, a pair of squirrels chitters noisily in the branches above. Upon closer inspection, they're unusually large - almost cat-sized - and have strangely pointed fangs for an herbivore.
[15:19:19] <Henriette> Henriette makes buzzing noises at the flowers, like a bee would. She hasn't noticed the squirrels yet.
[15:23:48] <Lily> Lily hmmms at the squirrels. "Hmm, unusual…"
[15:24:12] <Henriette> "Quoi? Oh! Oh my!"
[15:24:25] <Loewin> Loewin stares at the sky, hardly cognizant of Bridget's presence.
[15:25:57] <~Oxford> One of them glares back at her curiously. Then, as if by some unspoken word, they lope off together down the branch, retreating further into the dense forest.
[15:26:44] <Lily> "There's been some rather rapid mutation in these forests, this is pretty cool!"
[15:27:38] <Henriette> "Isn't that a bad thing?" Henriette argues. "If the animaux de la forêt have grown large, et écureuils are that big, then what of… lions?"
[15:32:57] <Lily> "Hard to say!"
[15:33:45] <Loewin> "Lions…? In a forest?"
[15:34:47] <Bridget> "….nae. Tha saembal aes a lion. But naen 'ere"
[15:35:00] <Bridget> the country's*
[15:35:33] <Lily> "There are cats here, and they might have grown into big lions if the squirrels grew that big! It's a real possibility!"
[15:36:54] <~Oxford> The squirrels stop after they've gotten a little deeper in. Hoping to the soft ground, they begin to dig, throwing up a spray of dark loam.
[15:36:54] <Loewin> "Something does not grow into a lion. It either is or is not a lion, regardless of size."
[15:37:34] <Lily> Lily watches with interest~
[15:39:35] <Henriette> "Are squirrels supposed to dig?"
[15:41:21] <Lily> "They dig to hide their acorns! And then the acorns sprout int he dirt!"
[15:41:34] <Lily> "And that's how a tree is made~!"
[15:41:49] <Bridget> Bridget concentrates on the squirrels, looking at them. Fangs. Claws. Huge size. Smart. Fluffy. They're perfect for her. Try and make them not pissed…to come over here and, well, not frolic, she's not that sort of girl, but you get the idea. She may glow slightly crimson, maybe concentrated on her horns.
[15:43:47] <Henriette> "But… shouldn't they just store them in a tree?"
[15:44:24] <Lily> "That's when they're storing them for winter! but trees are the obvious place to look, so of course other squirrels are gonna' try to steal from there!"
[15:45:06] <Henriette> "Oh, of course!" Henriette replies. "But then if they know they are in the ground, they will look there?"
[15:45:32] <Lily> "It's random chance! It's hard to just FIND underground acorns!"
[15:46:42] <Henriette> "But then they can just see where the other squirrels dug!" Henriette feels there are a lot of flaws in Lily's squirrel knowledge. Maybe the girl doesn't know as much as she seems to.
[15:47:00] <~Oxford> One of the squirrels looks up at Bridget and tilts its head questioningly. The other continues to dig, using both of its short arms to throw soil behind it.
[15:47:11] <Lily> "But maybe its sprouted by now, and it's not really all that good for eating!"
[15:47:21] <Lily> She's the daughter of a botanist, not a biologist~
[15:47:42] <Bridget> Bridget tries to motion it over. Pointing at the other one as if to drag it. She's got some food with her. Sausage in fact. She pulls it out and smiles at the thing.
[15:47:46] <Bridget> Squirrel*
[15:50:42] <~Oxford> The furry creature takes a few experimental hops over towards the four girls, but then stops. It stands up and twitches its ear, glancing around sharply. The other one has stopped too, and crouches, low and still.
[15:51:20] <Lily> "Seems like they've heard something!"
[15:51:40] <~Oxford> Then, together, the two animals dart up the nearest tree, moving so fast the leaves sway in their wake.
[15:51:42] <Bridget> "Caem 'aen, ae'v gate faed!" smiling. She's trying her best "come on" voice, sweetly as she can.
[15:51:48] <Bridget> "…oh."
[15:51:55] <Bridget> She stands and hefts her claymore
[15:52:55] <Lily> Lily stands up! She studies the path, wondering if something's going to JUMP INTO VIEW all scary-like!
[15:55:27] <Henriette> "I-is something there, ma belle?"
[15:57:43] <Lily> "I dunno'!"
[15:58:08] <~Oxford> She hears it before she sees it. A low rumbling, so close she can feel it echoing in her chest. Freezing, Lily can just make out the hulking black shape in her peripheral vision, hidden until just a moment ago behind the tree. The wolf, huge and deadly, growls softly, its eyes locked on her throat.
[15:58:58] * Bridget was waiting for this. No battle cry. Just leaping up and slicing down with her claymore. FURY ATTACK, HOOOO!
[15:59:03] <Bridget> Er, Aggro*
[15:59:24] <Henriette> A shocked look sweeps over Henriette's face as she backs the fuck up, scooting along the ground even though it's getting dirt on her dress.
[16:00:30] <Lily> "A…wolf?" She blinks. Here's this wolf, threatening her when she's not even wounded! That's unusual, wolves only want to attack things that are already wounded, that they can smell blood on!
[16:02:35] <Loewin> Loewin staggers to her feet as she hears what kind of creature. "Just…one?"
[16:02:45] <~Oxford> Or things that are much smaller than them. Given the unusual size of this wolf, that certainly includes her. Meanwhile, Henriette feels her back touch something rough and unyielding. She turns quickly, but it's just the bark of a twisted tree. Then, on the back of her neck, she feels the warm breath of something huge and predatory, and she remembers that wolves hunt in packs.
[16:03:03] <Lily> "There are probably more!"
[16:03:19] <Lily> Says Lily as Henriette gets ambushed
[16:03:39] * Henriette screams bloody murder. Her mind locks up as she forgets she can simply transform.
[16:05:03] <Lily> Lily concentrates and attempts to make the plants, specifically the ivy, near Henriette lash out at the wolf behind her!
[16:05:13] <Henriette> Henriette tries to seem less and less like food. Maybe… a rock? Wolves don't eat rocks.
[16:05:26] <Bridget> And then a loud skunk…and a head falls on the floor, blood spraying everywhere, coating the Highlander girl in it. She seems to look almost demonic now, grinning with far too broad of one, white fangs gleaming out of a crimson colored face, golden eyes glowing as her hair takes on a bloody sheen. Not magical this one, purely mortal, the girl's claymore having carved through the first wolf with no problems. "YAE WANNA FAEGHT! CAEM
[16:05:27] <Bridget> AEN!" she laughs as she licks the blood off of her face.
[16:10:37] <~Oxford> The slain wolf slumps against the side of the tree, blood still spurting intermittently from its stump. Its fellows, their ambush sprung, loom out of the dense forest like black nightmares, each as tall as a horse and drooling between jagged fangs. A dozen of the creatures are suddenly all around the girls, their eyes bright and intent on slaughter.
[16:14:41] <Loewin> The scream pulls Loewin from her funk as she conjures her armor, which flares into existence with a roar. A vicious glare regards the pack befitting the king of beasts.
[16:18:26] <~Oxford> As so many times before, Loewin grips her pendant and wills the magical transformation to envelop her. But this time, of all times, nothing happens. Instead of a flare of power, all she feels is a dull clink from the pendant, and a plummeting feeling in her stomach.
[16:20:37] <Lily> Lily tosses off her (barely on, and she didn't even have socks on!) shoes, letting her feet feel the earth and grass and trying to concentrate on working her magic. Whether she can transform wtihout a pendant or not she has no idea, but she's definitely going to focus her energies to try to do -something-.
[16:32:37] <~Oxford> The pendant hangs loosely around her neck. As she concentrates her powers, the crystal at the center of the silver medallion begins to glow, and all at once her long green hair and flowing clothes appear around her. They flicker once, like a movie film with blank panels spliced in, before holding steady. Still, she can feel the transformation is unstable, and incomplete.
[16:32:59] <Henriette> At least there are no longer a BAKER'S dozen of these wolves. Since Bridget killed one. All the same, Henriette is paralyzed with fear and thus cannot move. She simply sits in the dirt, trembling, tears welling to her eyes. Seeing Lily's attempt to transform wills her to action and she calls upon her own internal magics to try and transform. At least it would let her get out of range.
[16:37:40] <Henriette> With magic flooding out of Lily, Henriette feels a stirring within herself, and a gleaming light surrounds her from underground. A shimmering glass-like surface covers the rocks and trees nearby, reflecting a blinding white light from the sun onto Henriette's skin. When it finally clears, her costume surrounds her, a blinding dress of white and dark green ribbons in her hair and on her
[16:37:40] <Henriette> waist. She's floating about ten feet off the ground now, energies swirling around her.
[16:43:02] <Loewin> Loewin scoffs at the pendant and attempts to recall her feelings of focus magic. While the full-blown ceremonial armor fails to materialize, a knight's tunic with the same crest takes form alongside her sword.
[16:45:07] <Bridget> Discretion, for once, wins over valor. Scrambling up the nearest tree she tries to channel the rage of the wolves into a sword…and get them to fall amonst themselves. YEAH! KILL EACH OTHER! FIGHT FOR HER OWN AMUSEMENT! And other such things.
[16:53:40] <~Oxford> A short leap and a moment of furious struggle places her up in the branches of a swollen oak tree. Her focused rage invades the wolves, and they snap and turn on the nearest target. Some snap and wrestle with one another, and one sinks his jagged teeth into his fellow's throat. Unfortunately, for some of the wolves, the nearest target is still one of the girls.
[17:03:48] <Loewin> Already quite prepared to wreak havoc upon something to release her anger, Bridget's rage power more than allows her to give-in. Unfortunately, her fury blinds her as she strikes forth in a crazed torrent of sword slashes, assured that the wolf she's targetting is to be ripped to shreds. Too late does she realize her onslaught was delivered upon Lily.
[17:04:12] <Bridget> "…FOOKIN' 'ELL!"
[17:05:07] <Lily> Lily sees the oncoming torrent of rage and knows all too well that there's nothing that can stop it. She puts up a hairbarrier but doesn't expect it to hold.
[17:07:02] <Henriette> "Filles!" Henriette shouts. What the absolute hell has gotten into them? "What is wrong with you?"
[17:07:31] <Lily> Her clothing rips to shreds, but still manages to cover her up and make her decent, and her hair is ragged and torn, her body covered in cuts and scratches, small amounts of blood leaking from all of the cuts. "I'm…I'm fine! No problem here!"
[17:09:33] <Henriette> "W-was that from Bridget?" Henriette shouts. Shaking her head, she gets her shit in order and pulls a glowing light from the mirror-surfaced rocks below, blasting out at 3 of the wolves with her magic!
[17:15:22] <~Oxford> The three wolves nearest Henriette snarl and leap towards her, trails of drool streaming behind their gaping mouths. With a swift gesture, Henriette sends the beams of light lancing out, catching the beasts in mid-air. There is a flash, and the acrid smell of burning fur. All that reaches Henriette is a thin cloud of coal-black dust, the creatures vaporized on the spot.
[17:17:19] <Lily> Lily concentrates, ignoring the pain from Cloral's attack, and concentrates on the flora in the area. "Strike back, aid me!" she cries, willing the vines to lash, the blades of grass to pierce, the leaves to bombard!
[17:25:58] <~Oxford> Three more wolves are torn apart, the vines wrapping around their limbs and open jaws. The chunks fly through the air in bloody arcs, some still shuddering and twitching as they land among the other wolves. With a feral howl, the beasts, distracted momentarily, tear into the warm flesh of their slain packmates.
[17:27:08] <Lily> "This isn't right…"
[17:27:25] <Lily> She cringes a bit at th ewolves devouring one another.
[17:27:34] <Bridget> ((most of this is Bridget's fault :D
[17:28:38] <Bridget> Bridget shall stay in the trees!
[17:28:58] <Henriette> "They attacked us! It is the natural order of things!" Henriette replies.
[17:29:50] <Lily> "No, I mean these wolves aren't acting right, even if they ARE being affected by Bridget's magic!"
[17:31:04] <Henriette> "It must be the Nymph, non?"
[17:39:00] <~Oxford> As Bridget waits in the trees, the wolves continue their grisly feast, clustering around the hunks of meat in twos and threes. They appear wholly absorbed by the meal, not even paying attention to the four girls.
[17:39:09] <Lily> "Well, the Nymph isn't really a thing anymore…is she? I mean, now it's a different monster."
[17:39:22] <Lily> "…supposedly!"
[17:40:22] <Henriette> "She is? Why was I not aware of this change?"
[17:41:12] <Lily> "What? No, that was the first thing we talked about after that night I thought!"
[17:41:36] <Lily> "Well, you weren't up yet…but I believe Marina said she informed you…"
[17:42:21] <Henriette> "Did she?" She must have blocked it out because trauma.
[17:47:14] <Lily> "Well, she could've said she did and then didn't!"
[17:47:49] <Loewin> Dropping her sword in realization of what she's done, Loewin redirects her hatred upon the remaining wolves, tears swelling in her eyes for the pain she needlessly delivered upon Lily. She heaves in a heavy breath and lets out a tremendous shout. To a non-beast it sounds akin to a lion's roar, but the wolves have their Pride snuffed out by the primal nature of the bestial decree of
[17:47:49] <Loewin> Loewin's superiority.
[17:48:41] <~Oxford> With their pack's numbers cut in half, the wolves, gigantic as they are, have had enough. Yelping, they tuck their tails between their legs and scurry from the clearing.
[17:48:54] <Henriette> "I must have forgetten! Beaucoup de choses ont eu lieu!" Henriette shouts back. Her hands are shaking profusely.
[18:00:51] <Loewin> Satisfied that their foes are gone, Loewin is forced to address what she's done to Lily. Confused by the lingering effects of Bridget's rage manipulation, she searches for whomever caused her to lose control. Unable to identify an acceptable cause, the girl is unable to contain her rage, releasing another roar, this time the roar floods the area with a primal instinct drawing out the
[18:00:51] <Loewin> bloodthirst in those in the area, heightened by the pleasant coppery smell from the nearby wolves. Loewin herself releases the call with a suspicious eye to Lily and Henriette as she picks her sword back up and tightens her grip.
[18:02:24] <Bridget> A ROAR of Anger as Bridget seems to grow redder and redder, the beginnings of claws and a tail starting to make themselves known as the magic inside of her seems to search for an exit….and, with a loud pop, she faints, any changes fading a second later as the girl falls, landing lightly on the corpse of the wolf she decapitated, snoring faintly.
[18:03:57] <Henriette> Feeling a surge of irritation at Loewin for attacking Lily and Lily for just shrugging it off, Henriette's mirrors nearby glow a deep red and flash up into their creator, imbuing her with an uncontrollable rage. Her green waist sash comes loose into her right hand which she holds up before her. The ribbon glows a brilliant white, like heated metal, and shapes into a long blade. "Why
[18:03:57] <Henriette> can't our battles simply go smoothly? You always mangle it!"
[18:06:55] <Lily> Lily fights off the rising tide of anger, keeping herself levelheaded shaking her head. Not this shit again.
[18:14:36] <Loewin> Loewin sets upon Henri with a pounce, striking her sword forth as though as though it were a natural appendage.
[18:15:26] <Henriette> Whipping her own not-quite-formed blade up to parry and strike back, Loewin's sword passes right through the saber of light and into her body.
[18:16:03] <Lily> "No stop! Stop right now!" She calls upon the plants, to grab onto Henriette and Cloral and chain them down, to at least pull them off each other, and make it harder to do anything to each other!
[18:19:52] <Lily> …and they don't manage to catch either of the two.
[18:21:47] <Henriette> "Stay out of this, Lily! She messes up every single mission we take! What is wrong with you, Loewin? I asked if something was wrong today, and you shrugged me off! Ne cachez pas de moi!" Henriette's sash finally turns into a shimmering metal blade.
[18:27:25] <Loewin> Fortunately for Lily, Loewin's ability to evade the plants leaves her gaze fixed on Henri. In response to Henri's question, it is clear that she's mouthing a response, though all that comes out is a series of growls. She dashes at Henri, intended to deliver a decisive impale.
[18:30:27] <Henriette> Henriette's light flares from within, taking the shape of a massive lion and shrinking down to match Loewin's own armor. Her blade sweeps out and slaps Loewin's weapon aside and drives in deep. Up close, Henriette grabs Loewin's chin-plate forcibly, shouting at her as her blade goes in deeper. "What is the matter with you?"
[18:31:26] <Lily> Lily decides that words aren't going to do anything, and vines are just going to make them angrier, so she decides to do the most subtle thing she can, and increases the sunlight subtly, its rays stitching closed wounds on all of the girls.
[18:51:18] <Loewin> Eyeing Henri's pendant, Loewin nimbly rushes the taller girl, feinting an attack only to swiftly rip the trinket from her and retreats back to a safe distance.
[18:57:45] <Henriette> Without warning, the magic flees from Henriette's body and the girl is returned to her base state, her light blade rippling into nothingness. Unfortunately, she is still some distance above the ground, and falls several feet to land on her right leg, resulting in a painful sound from it. She struggles to try and get up to attack again, but the pain keeps her stationary.
[18:58:51] <Lily> Lily's eyes widen! That's not good! She focuses on healing the wounds of those around her again, intensifying the gentle sunlight.
[19:08:37] <Loewin> Henriette's pendant drops to the ground and a rather serene smile takes over Loewin's face. She advances upon Henri, prepared to deliver the felling blow to the detransformed girl, and lunges forth with her sword.
[19:08:51] * Henriette gasps!
[19:15:44] <Lily> Lily gets in the way, dashing in and taking the sword RIGHT TO THE GUT, managing to bullwark herself with her hair so as not to make the sword pierce through it! She hunches over in agony from the blow to her stomach, lurching a few times, before making one final lurch in which 1,1cat ears and a tail sprout on her body and she coughs up a hairball onto Cloral's face.
[19:16:38] <Lily> "You…you…stop this right meow!"
[19:18:16] <Lily> "I cat believe you would ruin a purrfect chance for all of us to turn tail and get out with our paws unscathed!"
[19:19:02] <Lily> She points a finger right in Cloral's face, baring her fangs
[19:21:47] <Loewin> Loewin's return to her senses is considerably confounded by the hairball to the face. Wiping it away in disgust, she quickly enjoys the fact that her hair's returned to its normal coloring, although a mite thick. "I…I don't…" It's not long before she recalls the events that just transpired and has nothing to offer Lily and Henriette but a flurry of tears and the wag of a lion tail
[19:21:47] <Loewin> she's not yet taken heed of. "I didn't mean…I thought…there were wolves!"
[19:21:59] <Lily> "So let's stop this right meow and make sure that everyone is purrfectly okay before we catch ourselves in another annyaing purrdicament!" Lily is the most legitimately mad she has ever been, her face scrunched up and red!
[19:22:37] <Lily> *anyather
[19:23:25] * Bridget is still snoring. Zzzzzzz.
[19:23:38] <Lily> Her tail sways back and forth
[19:25:20] <Henriette> The mirrors from below Henriette reflect a brilliant beam of sunlight poking through the trees above, and suddenly a soft yellow glow coalesces around Henriette, manifesting atop her head as a golden circle as her hair turns the stark blonde of her transformed state, and tears well to her face. "A-all I wanted was…. was to help!" she says as the tears flow like a river down her cheeks.
[19:26:09] <Lily> She lets out a breath. "Are the both of mew feline nyat crazy meow?"
[19:26:57] <Bridget> "Maaaaariiiiiina. S-Stooooooop~ <3"
[19:27:03] <Bridget> ….Damnit Bridget. What are you saying?!
[19:28:26] <Loewin> Still sniffling, she looks around in confusion. "…you…you…you have cat parts…"
[19:29:15] <Lily> Blink, blink. Her ears twitch in time with her blinking. "What do mew mean?"
[19:32:12] <Lily> Her human ears are completely gone, replaced with thicker hair on her head.
[19:32:54] <Bridget> A groan as, once the magic's gone, Bridget wakes up, blinking a few times. "Wazgoinon?"
[19:33:58] <Loewin> Loewin puts her hands up behind her head to show Lily. "…ears?" Still confused sniffling.
[19:33:58] <Lily> "Ah, Bridget, are mew okay?" She flips around to make sure Bridget didn't break anything when she fell!
[19:34:04] * Henriette continues to bawl.
[19:34:35] <Bridget> Bridget looks up. And looks at Lily. And begins petting. Kitty. "Daed Ae faell?"
[19:36:13] <Lily> Lily squinches her eyes closed, an involuntary purr coming from her lips. "Ny-nyaaaa, stop, it felis too good!" She's trying not to lose her coordination and fall over from it.
[19:36:39] <Lily> *throat not lips
[19:37:21] <Loewin> Loewin hastens to Henriette's side to make sure she has not mortally wounded the girl and they're all just ignoring her as she bleeds to death.
[19:37:59] * Bridget yawns and realizes that she's not dreaming or concussed. "….Wut haeppaened?"
[19:38:44] <Lily> She shakes her head. "W-we have to myake sure that Henriette is feline!" She turns around to Henri to make sure she's not BLEEDING from her fall or anything, or if her leg is broken, or whatever.
[19:40:05] <Henriette> Actually, except for the tears that are pouring from her eyes, Henriette is actually fine! She falls into Loewin's arms, eyes red and puffy. "Quelque chose ne va! Something is wrong with you, and I just wanted to help. Why wouldn't you tell me, Loewin?"
[19:40:37] <Henriette> Since the halo is intangible, when it passes through Loewin, she can feel a surge of positive energy from its touch.
[19:42:00] <Lily> Looking over Henri's body to make sure there's nothing broken, she nods. "Let's go back to camp meow! C'mon, I think we all need a catnap after all of cat!"
[19:43:04] <Bridget> "Aye~" brightly, following. Man, she wants a tail.
[19:43:18] <Lily> Swish swish swish~
[19:43:48] <Lily> "Nyao, what were mew saying, Cloral?"
[19:44:53] * Loewin squeezes Henri. "I didn't…I thought…" The positive feelings don't aid in her mood but they certainly steel her confidence. "It was because uh…my father's in the hospital…and he doesn't seem to be…I thought I could…handle it fine."
[19:46:23] <Lily> "Mew…meowr dad is in mewdical care?" Gasp! "Cat hiss awful!"
[19:47:03] * Henriette squeezes back. "Y-you just had to say tha-ha-hat!" She struggles to get the words out past the crying.
[19:47:44] <Lily> "S-shouldn't the mew of mew do hiss somewhere else?"
[19:48:18] <Lily> "What if more wolves came!?"
[19:49:56] <Loewin> Wiping the tears and snot from her face, she nods at Lily. "She's right, we need to…regroup. But…we can't abandon post."
[19:51:51] <Henriette> Henriette doesn't have the will to respond. Instead she just continues to cry into Loewin's chest. She'll get up if they decide to move, but the tears just won't stop flowing.
[19:52:18] <Lily> "Myokay, I'll cover for all of mew, and keep a lookout!"
[19:53:14] <Lily> She takes a few steps forward and then gets on all fours, circles a bit, and then curls up, laying on the ground. The plants around and under her start growing more lush, as if to accomodate her like a pillow.
[20:06:03] <~Oxford> Though exhausted from the struggle, she knows in her heart that she can't rest here, where wolves and worse may dwell. Eventually, she rises to follow her friends, as they find their way out from the twisting green halls of the enchanted forest, and back into the sunlit realms of men.
[20:06:09] <~Oxford> /session
[18:25:50] * Oxford changes topic to 'Barricades to be maintained in Cremmwale area - Military still mute on causes of quarantine'
[18:33:39] <~Oxford> The room is musty, smokey, and empty except for a long table and seven folding aluminium chairs. Five of the chairs are behind the table; at them are seated the five ranking generals in charge of the Albaean Air Force's Focus Pendant Programme. In the other two, set in the middle of the dust-filled boardroom, sit Lina and Elsa, called before the infamous Brass to give an account of their mission.
[18:36:23] <Lina> This is…hrm. Is it more or less comfortable than the battlefield?
[18:37:00] * Elsa taps her foot impatiently, these generals dont usually believe what she has to say. Her being rude isnt really helping.
[18:39:38] <~Oxford> Though it is past noontime, the only light slips in between the half-slitted slats of the blinds. Brigadier General Arundale, seated at the left wing of the table, clears his voice and speaks first. "While we have read your official report," he wheezes, "it is in the interest of this body to hear a direct report on your recent operation into the Cremmwale region."
[18:41:43] <Elsa> Her wings twitch impatiently, "Like I said lots of times, it was too strong for us, a whole wing might have done the trick, but it might not anymore…especially after that."
[18:45:23] * Elsa isnt very specific, at all.
[18:46:09] <~Oxford> The fourth general in the line, so tall and wide his upper torso is shrouded in shadow, speaks up sharply. "This is not the context to shift blame," he spits, his fists clenching on the table in front of him. "Report to us the exact details of your mission, beginning with your initial engagement of the central entity."
[18:48:48] <Lina> …L-let's let Elsa take care of most of this. She's most definitely better at this whole 'talking to scary superiors' than she is, partly because she just…feels higher up. Though, directly, she might be better because her voice might kick in and turn something into orders…so maybe it's better she doesn't talk to BEGIN WITH. Unless she ought to, mostly in the case of THAT WEIRD STUFF
[18:48:49] <Lina> that happened when investigating the enemy.
[18:49:42] * Elsa sighs, "We didnt see it at first, I threw a fireball into the sawmill to draw it out and make it focus on us. We hit it hard, hurt it and then it started healing itself."
[18:52:03] <~Oxford> "How did you ascertain that it was repairing itself?" asks the smooth, cool voice of the dignified-looking man sitting directly next to Arundale.
[18:52:31] <Elsa> "We were hurt and with too much magic buildup at that point so we drew it away from cremmwale. Then it suddenly started running back to Cremmwale out of nowhere. Then that suicidal boy tried to stop it even in our condition."
[18:53:50] <Elsa> "We it seemed to get bigger again after we hurt it, like it was putting itself back together."
[18:56:46] <~Oxford> From the far end of the table, a nasally voice chimes in. "The 'suicidal boy' in question would be Warrant Officer Xiao, would it not?"
[18:59:53] <Elsa> "Yes, Dan, he tried to stop it and then turned into this other monster, me and lLina couldnt fight anymore so we ran away." She says gritting her teeth. "Now we have another monster, or a scarier one if the pendant monster ate Dan too.
[19:00:40] * Kraken is now known as Melons
[19:03:14] <~Oxford> "When you say 'tried to stop it'," the smooth-voiced general asks, with a pleasant tone, "could you be more specific?"
[19:04:22] <Elsa> "He attacked it and stopped it from moving somehow." She says, not really aware of that power.
[19:07:34] <~Oxford> "Perhaps Warrant Officer Asami had a clearer view?" he offers, smiling encouragingly.
[19:11:38] <Lina> WELP. Have to talk now. "Well…we were all definitely fighting it, and he could slow the thing by pinning it down with his magic, but this was…a lot bigger. I'm sure he overexterted himself out there."
[19:15:56] <~Oxford> Arundale begins to ask a follow-up, but is stopped by a fit of coughing. The nasal-voiced general on the opposite end asks instead: "What happened when he over-extended himself? Based on your experience as a Pendant User."
[19:16:11] <Elsa> "I think it might have been magic overcharge that turned him, like the monster someone decided to stick a pendant into, like cremmwalle report said."
[19:16:59] <Elsa> "Magic overcharge has some, strange effects most times."
[19:17:14] * Elsa flaps her wings for emphasis
[19:20:03] <Lina> The Asami (Lina's double) stretches. The shifting tattoos on both are apparent!
[19:22:00] <~Oxford> "Nonsense!" says the hulking general, his broad shoulders rocking forward as he slams an open palm against the table-top. He looks ready to say more, but a more sonorous voice speaks up to cut him off. "When this has happened in the past, the pendant user was unharmed by the generation of a… 'monster'."
[19:25:28] * Elsa slams her hands on the table,"Shut up! You weren't there, Dan became that thing. A skeleton that moves! Even if he was alive we would still have another monster. Think about it, three, almost four in as many months!"
[19:29:32] <Lina> "…Maybe it's because he intentionally overexterted himself. And with his magic being death related, perhaps he just…died…sort of?"
[19:29:48] <Lina> "Magic is weird like that." Asami nods.
[19:31:13] <Elsa> Old farts dont get that, she'll give both lina's a high five after theyre out.
[19:32:27] <~Oxford> The huge general just right of center stands up, his chair clattering to the ground, but a word from the man to his left stops him cold. The previously-silent fifth member of the Brass speaks, barely above a hoarse whisper. "Intentionally over-exerted himself. In other words, he committed suicide."
[19:35:42] <Lina> Lina almost gets smart-alecky, but decides to leave that to the expert. The suicidal boy committed suicide, yes.
[19:37:10] <Elsa> "Yes, like I said like 3 times uncluding the report."
[19:39:06] <~Oxford> The general at the end of the table carefully sets his neighbor's chair back up, sweat glistening over the liver-spots on his bald head, and the hulky man next to him reluctantly sits. "What were your orders to Warrant Officer Xiao immediately before his…transformation?" continues the dulcet-toned man on the other side.
[19:41:45] <Elsa> "To kill the monster and if we couldnt to draw it away from Cremwalle." She says, "we were already drawing it away when he killed himself." She says, not sure what he is tring to get at.
[19:42:50] <~Oxford> "Would you say he 'killed himself' while carrying out your orders?"
[19:45:46] <Elsa> "No, I told him and Lina to run away, we couldnt fight anymore." She narrows her eyes at the general,"Lina can vouch for me. If you dont believe me."
[19:47:27] <~Oxford> He raises his eyebrows and turns to Lina, making an offering gesture in her direction.
[19:49:31] <Lina> "It was too strong to handle, despite our best efforts. I believe we were luring it away at the time, but it has enough intelligence to know what we were doing, so running away was our only option." Nod nod! As in, they both nod. Both of her.
[19:52:24] <~Oxford> "And at what point did Acting Chief Warrant Officer Elsa give the order to retreat?"
[20:00:11] <Lina> WELP. She knows where this is going, but… "It shifted from luring it away while drawing back to full on retreat after he did it and it became aware that we were luring it away."
[20:04:25] <~Oxford> "So, for the sake of clarity, then, you understand," he says, and a glint gathers in his eye, "she had not, in fact, ordered a retreat at that point?"
[20:07:30] * Elsa gulps, "I did say that you guys should sta alive no matter what, right?" She turns to Lina "Right?" Her voive cracks a bit from the nervousness
[20:11:34] <Lina> LINA HAS ENOUGH. This is clearly a pot shot at Elsa herself based on people that weren't at the scene. "…Get to the point already. You're trying to imply that his death was Elsa's fault, and not his own will, right?
[20:13:03] <Lina> "If he, on his own will, decided that he wanted to overextert himself to damage or kill the thing while the objective was luring it away, that was hardly close enough to Elsa's orders!"
[20:14:06] <~Oxford> He smiles, but not at her. "I'll take that as a yes, then."
[20:15:47] * Elsa rgains some of her confidence after Lina's speech and then goes back at glaring at the general.
[20:20:48] <~Oxford> She isn't the only one glaring. Nasal-voice is also shooting nasty looks at the the general with the voice of a radio host. "Are there any recommendations you'd make, regarding future operations in the Cremmwale area?" Arundale asks, coming in to offer an out to the uncomfortable silence.
[20:25:35] <Elsa> "If it wasnt for the thing Dan became I would reccomend a full wing, now, much much more. Dan's powers included death, so whatever monster came from of him must have it too. " she gulps, "and thats if the pendant hasnt absorbed him." Her voice trembles at the end, she soesnt want to imagine that.
[20:27:26] <Lina> "Maybe if it consumed him, it'll be possible to kill it. Since he's all about death. …Maybe we should keep closer eyes on people that get death magic. Since they probably have affinities towards death. And killing themselves."
[20:28:37] <~Oxford> "We have no credible evidence that that absorption is a possibility," the general at the center says, with a very flat affect.
[20:29:46] <~Oxford> "More importantly," Brigadier Arundale adds, "we don't have a wing of non-pendant Users lying around. We need to make better use of the resources we have." Radio-voice smirks at this.
[20:30:22] <Elsa> "The cremmwalle report said that the pendant ate the monster the girls were fighting. I think its the same thing."
[20:31:37] <Elsa> "If we can't fight it right now then we need to get more non-pendant magic users." She slams her hand on the table, as if that was the obvious answer.
[20:32:40] <~Oxford> "Not even close!" shouts the giant. "It got a pendant stuck into it! Nothing close to being eaten," he finishes at a growl.
[20:34:53] * Elsa slams her hands on the table again "What do you know, i've seen pendants almost eat two people alive."
[20:36:42] <~Oxford> "Then maybe you're the problem here!" howls the hulk, only for a raised hand from Center to reduce him back into simmering silence.
[20:36:49] <~Oxford> "And nobody has brought us a clear plan for training these non-pendant users," whines the general on the end, "and your vaunted 'academy' has been remarkably unsuccessful in creating them."
[20:39:03] <Lina> …The monster, borne from a pendant. Pendants, eating people alive. And yet the non user is a problem, for that reason? How did these people get their seats? She's not the clearest on the situation that's risen up, so it's back to the background for her.
[20:39:12] <Lina> Selves.
[20:42:08] <Elsa> "i don't make them, weren't you the one that agreed to lock us up a few months ago? Whats got you all wanting more? ". She crosses her arms and glares some more. "How did we end up talking about this anyways!"
[20:42:57] <Lina> "It's because they wanna talk to you. That's why they decided to get a verbal report too, right?" Right or wrong, it's an amusing guess. She can get away with that, right?
[20:43:43] * Elsa gives Lina a very confused look.
[20:44:54] <Lina> "…What? We drifted this way in the conversation because they wanted to talk to you. About you. …Am I wrong?"
[20:45:20] <~Oxford> The Center clears his throat, and the other four generals sit a bit straighter in their seats. "Quite right. The renewal of the Academy Pilot-programme is another matter - and one which will not be discussed further at this gathering."
[20:47:18] <~Oxford> The handsome face of the general seated next to Arundale beams. "In that case, I believe we've answered all the pertinent questions. Anything further can certainly be inquired through written correspondence."
[20:50:15] <Lina> …Lina is pretty sure she did SOMETHING. Probably good. "So…we're being in this stuffy room, then~?"
[20:51:18] <Elsa> "Bloody finally." She thought she was going to burn somebody. "So whats going to happen to the Cremmwalle area?
[20:51:34] <Lina> *done being
[20:53:11] <~Oxford> They turn to quietly confer amongst themselves, and it is clear that the opinions of the two girls in front of them are entirely irrelevant to the contents of the discussion. At last, Arundale turns back, nods dismissively, and then hacks a gooey orb of mucus into his handkerchief, signalling they are free to go.
[20:54:14] * Elsa shrugs and leaves the tent, they are going to get many angry letters, especially that asshole.
[20:55:34] <Lina> Lina follows, posthaste! God, that was a terrible room, full of nice seats but horrible people sitting on them.
[20:59:34] <~Oxford> Emerging from the darkened room feels like having a spotlight shone on them, and they squint blearily until their eyes adjust. Outside, it is a beautiful spring day. The sky above is a perfect cloudless blue, the air is fresh and sweet, and the revolting room-full of vipers behind them is a rapidly fading memory, like a nightmare upon waking.
[20:59:44] <~Oxford> /mini