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A Certain Missing Esper (Arc 4 Main Story)

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Post  Aleister Crowley on Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:04 am

Previously:

Academy City's strongest Esper, Accelerator has been defeated and the cruel experiment known as Level 6 Shift has been halted thanks to the efforts of Misaka Mikoto and her friends. A tragedy has been averted and life has returned to normal.

"Stay away?" He forced a weak laugh. "You've gotta be kidding. I've got him right where I want him."

"I told you..." Guy's voice sounded cold and analytical and completely without pride. "I've figured you out.

He only caught a glimpse of Guy's right hand roaring towards his face, the fingers coiling into a fist at just the right moment, knuckles grinding into flesh and crunching against bone. He could taste blood, unconscious before he hit the ground.

Guy's hand shattered, his fractured arm breaking under the force of his punch. A split second later and the unconscious Esper's fist collided with his own head. Without the force of Accelerator's Vector Control driving it the blow had all the impact of a regular teenager's punch.

The boy who remained standing wasn't moving.

In fact, though his body remained upright, his expression was blank. His eyes were glassy.

He was unconscious. As though even now he was unwilling to accept the reality that his body has far surpassed is limits.

But that is not the end of the Science Side's sinister machinations. Countless other experiments are taking place throughout the city's dark underbelly.

In a room that was far more secluded than any other experimental ground Shinobu had ever known of, the source of that error laid peacefully dormant within the orange liquid-filled incubator tank it was connected to...

It was a small girl who appeared to be ten years old, though was in full likeliness only a few months old. This girl resembled quite strongly what Misaka Mikoto herself would have looked at her age.

Out of the mass-produced 20,000 Sisters, her serial number was 20,001.

But while the dark side of Academy City continues, a new threat lurks.

“Hey boss.” Itsuki sat atop the empty shipping container, swinging one leg over the side as he spoke into the cellphone. “I've got my report. Everything went as planned.”

Deep beneath the surface, in a place even the dark side cannot reach, an unknown enemy makes its first move.

This is the tale of when Magic and Science collide...

A Certain Missing Esper (Arc 4 Main Story) Arc_4_10


Last edited by Aleister Crowley on Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post  Aleister Crowley on Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:05 am

August 20th, 7:30 AM

Yamazaki Reina ran.

She ran even though her bare feet were aching and sore.

She ran even though her pounding heart and burning lungs begged her to stop.

She ran even though she was no longer sure if she was being pursued. The dread that chilled her veins like ice water kept her moving and she somehow felt that every glance over her shoulder might slow her down.

The thin, plastic-feeling hospital gown offered her little modesty and there was no chance she could blend into a crowd wearing it. Not that there were any crowds to blend in with here, anyway. She couldn't tell what was worse, the possibility of finding someone or the possibility of not finding anyone at all. It was chancing the possibility of safety against the very real risk of getting caught.

Where was she?

Why had she been taken?

Reina's chest gave out before her legs did and she slowed to a stop at the mouth of the alleyway and reached out to rest her weight against the rough concrete wall while she caught her breath. Even the dizziness wasn't enough to dull her fear completely though. She looked about with the quick, harried stare of a hunted rabbit.

She could hear people nearby.

The confusion rattling her mind spilled over and she dove into the light like taking a plunge into an ice cold swimming pool on a hot day. Without caring who she ran into Reina burst into the open street.

***

“Come on!”

“You're really asking for an arm wrestling match against someone with a broken arm?” Guy sighed, casting a sideways glance at the small girl at the edge of his desk. Rachel was grinning at him with a confident gleam in her eye, her elbow propped on the surface of the cluttered desk as she flexed her fingers.

“You can still use your other arm.”

“So you want me to use my weak side? You're really going all out, aren't you?” He lowered his eyelids in a wry look, as if to say 'are you kidding me?'

“If you're too chicken you can just admit defeat now and get it over with.” Rachel flicked the long tail of blonde hair over her shoulder with a haughty expression of pride and folded her arms. It seemed she had already embraced victory. That smug look seemed to spur something in Guy, or perhaps it was more accurate to say that it dissolved any remaining reservations he had.

“Fine. This side, though.” He tapped on the other side of his desk, nearest the wall to his small corner of the office. Rachel's beaming grin widened and she eagerly hopped around him, setting her elbow on the desk again. Guy opened a textbook in front of him and without taking his eyes off of it he offered his own hand for her to grasp.

“You're going to keep reading?”

“You got a problem with that, runt?”

“No, just don't go making excuses about 'being distracted' or whatever when I kick your ass.”

“Just start already...” He said impatiently. Guy felt her slender fingers clasp his hand tightly and her palm press against his. She was really giving it all she had but he was resisting easily.

“What gives!?” Rachel was grunting and groaning but his arm didn't budge as she leveraged her weight against it. In desperation, she grabbed hold with her other hand.

“That's cheating.” Guy told her, still not lifting his eyes from the book in front of him. “If you want I can just use one finger.” He waggled his index finger tauntingly in front of her face. Rachel puffed her cheeks and stepped back, releasing his hand.

“I don't need your charity. I'll beat you fair and square one of these days.” She pouted. “It's a trick, I know it is.”

“Trick, technique, it's the same thing, right?” The older boy rolled his wrist as he spoke in a disinterested tone. “It's not about how strong you are, it's about how you use it.”

“How's that any different from cheating?”

“It's only cheating if you get caught.” He spared her another quick glance as his lips peeled back in a mocking grin.

The blonde girl marched to the door and whirled, pointing accusingly at the young teacher sitting at a cramped desk by the back wall of the teacher's office. “I'll beat you one of these days! I'll figure out your tricks and crush you!”

“Sure, sure. Just don't let it go to your head when you do...” Guy waved her away with his good hand as he returned to his reading material.

Of all his students at the elementary school, Rachel Niwa was the one who most fit the category of 'problem child'. She was disruptive, barely paid attention in class and didn't get along with the other students. Truth be told, most of the other teachers had written the girl off as a lost cause.

She was also very bright.

Rachel excelled at English, among other subjects. Not surprising, given that her father was American. Though from what Guy could gather she rarely saw the man these days. She was another one of the city's infamous 'Child Errors'.

Perhaps that was why she spent so much time around Guy. It must have been reassuring to be able to speak her first language with someone else. He didn't mind. He found her particular brand of bratty behaviour kind of amusing. There was definitely some truth in the adage that teachers tended to prefer troublemakers.

Rachel wasn't a bad kid, he thought. She was definitely cheeky and maybe a little lazy, but she had a good heart and a sharp wit.

***

Index opened her emerald eyes to the rays of warm sunlight crossing her face. She groaned, blinking hazily and turning over in the futon. Her head of silver hair disappeared below the covers as she dragged them over herself and buried her face into the pillow.

An appetizing aroma reached her nostrils even through the sheets, however. Not just one, in fact. It was two. The delicate scent of macha green tea that was nearly overpowered by the far stronger smell of rich, dark coffee. Strange, it was rare that Touko woke up before her. And she hadn't heard the tell tale creak of the bathroom door opening.

Come to think of it, Touko didn't drink macha or coffee.

So where were those aromas coming from? Index sat up and wiped the sleeve of her pajamas across her eyes with a yawn before scanning her bleary eyes around the room. She blinked.

Once.

Twice.

Three times.

The nun's shrill scream resonated through the thin-walled apartment at such a frequency there was a risk that the windows and even the bathroom mirror might break.

When the spiky-haired girl emerged from her substitute bedroom she was met with the sight of two strangers in her apartment living room. One, a tall and elegant looking girl with long, silky black hair and porcelain skin was perched atop her kitchen worktop with her legs crossed daintily. She resembled the kind of supermodel Idols one saw plastered across advertising billboards for high-end products. Across from her, with her legs stuffed under the low table of the kotatsu was a foreign girl with blonde hair and an expressive face with wide blue eyes. The way she smiled seemed at once mischievous and playful as she took a long sip of the cheap instant coffee sat in front of her.

“Good morning, Imagine Breaker.” The girl with sleek black hair and cunning look in her eyes spoke to Touko with a cool, husky voice. “We would have words with you.”
Aleister Crowley
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Post  Kamijou Touko on Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:16 am

Oh, what a beautiful world. The skies were blue. The grass green. The flowers were blooming in a mandala of hundreds if not thousands of shining colours. It was warm, but not too warm. The wind was soft as it blew past the girl’s delicate legs, making her pure white summer dress dance. And the scent in the air was a truly wonderful one. Not only for the countless sensations offered by nature, but because his smell was perfectly mixed in.

Even now she had her arms wrapped around his torso, letting her right cheeks sink into his sturdy back. Closing her large and round eyes she would take in a deep breath of his wonderful scent, then only sighing in relief.

What a perfect moment it was.

And then the first shrill scream would create cracks.

The second would spread them.

The third would shatter the illusion entirely.

Torn out of her dream and pulled back into reality, ordinary highschool girl Kamijou Touko would find herself back in the comfortable makeshift bed that was her bathtub. However, she was not given any time to complain about the fact that this had been the very first time she had overcome the painful stiff back the usually uncomfortable bathtub had given her, thus actually allowing for her to sleep comfily and have a dream for the first time in over a week, as the nature of the screams would immediately force her heart into a racing state.

Grabbing the first thing her dizzy head identified as a functioning weapon, she would immediately storm the living room to protect a certain nun from whatever hideous threat had invoked these three cries of panic.

«HIYAAAAAA!»

But what our battle cry screaming spiky haired heroine would find before her eyes wasn’t the oversized spider or 40+ years old panty thief she had expected. No, when the mixed aroma of macha and black coffee dug into her nose, she found two highly attractive women – who clearly both served as high-grade specimen of their respective niches – making themselves quite comfortable in her living room. However, that didn’t really change the fact that they had forced their way in in the first place.

Faced with these two threats of unknown nature, Kamijou Touko with her messier than usual spiky hair in her teddy bear ornamented pyjamas holding a nail clipper as though it was the most formidable katana forged by some ancient swords smith, was trying her hardest to appear like the head of the household one shouldn’t mess with.

Until, reality would find its way back to her.

«Good morning, Imagine Breaker. We would have words with you.»

This wasn’t going to end well, experience told her.
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Post  Guy Li on Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:41 pm

"You can relax. We aren't here to start trouble." The girl with long dark hair gave a disarming smile and delicately sipped her green tea.

"Hey, Hana, are you sure she's the one? I mean..." The foreign girl gestured towards Touko as though asking her friend to take a look at the specimen in front of her. "She doesn't look that tough." She quickly turned her face towards her spiky-haired host and added; "No offense."

"It's not about her skill as a fighter." Hana corrected her friend. "Though from what I hear she's capable of holding her own." She set the cup of tea down on the kitchen worktop and bowed formally. "Please forgive my friend, she can be a little blunt." The blonde girl gave a cheerful, if slightly apologetic, wave from across the room. "My name is Tanimoto Hana and this is Alice Jacobs. I must apologise for our intrusion, we only wish to talk." She spoke with a confident, articulate manner to match her appearance.

Index meanwhile had been turning her head back and forth with saucer-wide eyes while the conversation unfolded around her. Fear had turned to confusion, which in turn had given way to irritation. Who were these people barging into her home? What gave them the right? Now they'd clearly indicated that they were not a threat she felt emboldened to say something.

***

Today was shaping up to be an easy day for Guy. He had a few classes and plenty of downtime to prepare for them. The 1st graders were easy enough to deal with. They were bubbly and playful and easy to please. The 2nd graders were a bit more of a handful, being noisy and excitable. He didn't have to worry about his 3rd of 4th grade classes this week and the 6th graders were on a field trip. That left the 5th grade, who were preparing for an end of unit presentation.

This meant that most of the class he'd just be answering questions about vocabulary and sentence construction while the students made their posters. In the meantime he entertained himself by playing target practice with folded paper airplanes and wadded cuttings from the posters.

His target was the blonde girl sat at the back of the class, gently snoring as she sprawled out in her seat. A ball of crumpled paper bounced off her nose onto the ground. The impact caused the girl to stir and she mumbled something and opened her eyes. Guy lazily plucked the next airplane in his salvo and tossed it with unerring precision. It sailed through the air and hit her in the forehead.

"What the hell?" She grumbled, still dazed from her nap.

"Ah. It's a moving target now. Things just got harder." Guy flicked a small wad of paper at her.

"I'm not an it, you jackass!" Rachel pouted.

"Careful with your language." Guy reprimanded her.

"You be careful where you're aiming! Besides, it's not like they can understand us." It was true enough, the other students were looking back and forth between them, muttering amongst one another as they tried to decipher what the two were saying in English.

"I'm aiming exactly where I intend to." Guy was already preparing his next projectile. Rachel clearly wasn't going to take this lying down because she picked up one of his spent munitions and launched it back at him with a smile. Guy deflected it with his hand and it hit one of the boys in the front row, sparking a cascade of mayhem that quickly spread through the classroom.

Not much studying got done that day.
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Post  Kamijou Touko on Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:06 pm

It took Kamijou a while to adjust to the new situation. Her ‹demon sword› still in her hands, she would, however, eventually let her guard down – if only slightly – to listen what those two had to say.

«You say that, but first of all, you broke into my house! Second, what you’re saying clearly implies trouble no matter how much you sugar coat it! And third, you broke into my house and made yourself at home!»

She may have been an idiot, but not stupid. Words and phrases like ‹Imagine Breaker›, ‹she doesn’t look that tough› or ‹she's capable of holding her own› in combination with the fact that at least one of them was an obvious foreigner just didn’t signal any good developments in her world. In fact, experience immediately told her which road this was going to go down.

«Look, today is not the day! I don’t want to be thrown in another zombie apocalypse, gang war, evil Magician trying to capture a vampire, high profile assassin operation or angry mob chasing after an innocent cat type of incident! So, whatever it is! Find another person!!»

By the workings of these types of scenarios Kamijou Touko’s common mistake was getting caught up in the middle of it by letting it get to her in one way or the other. However, if she would slam the door shut before anything would happen, she hoped to – for once – prevent the point of getting deeply invested only to be thrown down a hellish roller coaster that’d eventually cost her the already brittle hope at passing the school year.

Oh right…

«Besides! I have make up classes to attend! So excuse me!»
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Post  Guy Li on Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:38 pm

"Eeeeeh?" Alice cocked her head incredulously. "Hana, are you really sure it's her? Really, really sure?" Touko's reluctance was clearly defying her expectations.

"You haven't heard what we have to say and you're already dismissing us?" Hana combed her fingers through her hair and flicked the strands over her shoulder. "This isn't what I expected from you, Imagine Breaker." She shook her head. "Would you really turn your back on us if you knew it meant someone was in danger just out of your sight because of it?" The tilt of her face and the way her eyes were lidded made it seem as though she was looking down on Touko. In reality she was scrutinizing the girl's reaction, reading the play of emotions on Touko's face.

This was Tanimoto Hana's way. She would not use threats or coercion. Those were brute force tools employed by thugs and the dim-witted. Her tools were more subtle. If she wanted someone to do something she would direct their will towards it, and in that way make it appear as though their wants coincided with her own. She would make them want to help her.


Last edited by Guy Li on Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Watabe Tsubasa on Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:45 pm

The alarm clock started ringing. A hand lazily reached out to shut it down for the 5th time this morning. After mumbling under her breath, face flat on top of the pillow, the reality struck Watabe like a jolt of lightning.

“Oh fuck! This is baaaaaaad. I’m late to the final rehearsing.”

Watabe shot up from the bed, took a quick shower, brushed her teeth, hastily wore a pair of jeans, converse shoes, a tank top, and a biker jacket.

As per usual, she forgot to brush her dark brown hair.

Nonetheless, before leaving the house, no matter how in a hurry she was, she had a daily ritual she had to do.

She sat in a corner of the dining room, in front of a picture of a certain someone, and gave her prayers.

As she got up and was about to exit the apartment---

Take care Tsu-chan. Today is going to be hectic.

...

...

...

She could swear she heard a voice talking to her… his voice.

“Heh… I’m going nuts...”, she chastised herself as she ruffled her already messy hair.

She glanced at her clock one last time.

“AAAAH! The coach is gonna tear me a new one!”

She quickly put her helmet and gloves on, rode her bike and accelerated. She was dashing between the cars. The wind was hitting her face, playing with her hair, and she let herself enjoy the feeling of freedom for a moment.

A huge grin unintentionally found its way to her lips.

She was enjoying her moments of bliss when a silhouette suddenly emerged from the shadows of a dark alleyway.

Caught by surprise, she didn’t have many options. Had she been driving slowly, she probably would have handled this better. But alas, Watabe wasn’t the careful type of driver.

Immediately hitting the breaks at her speed would result in a big crush and certain death, either hers or whoever was in her way. She was wiser than to do that. So instead, she swiftly avoided the obstacle in front of her, by changing directory completely, and then stopping. Thankfully, there were no cars coming from the opposite way.

The tires did leave marks on the road though. A black arc. The stinking odor of burnt rubber could be smelt in the air.

That was so close!, She couldn’t help but scream internally.

But such instances weren’t something new to her. And she prided herself on her ability to adapt to abrupt situations like this on the road.

She was curious however, to see who would be throwing themselves ahead like this without checking the road.

They were either suicidal or complete morons.

Or maybe both.

She hopped down from her motorbike, and headed towards the person, who, once getting closer, noticed is actually a girl who seemed to be around her age.

But there were many odd things about her.

To begin with, she was in a hospital gown?! Besides, she was so pale, and breathing so heavily, as if she had been running from a ghost. Her eyes weren't focusing, she seemed distracted by something. But the biker girl had no way of knowing what exactly.

It was still morning, and the day was already starting to smell of trouble and weirdness. However, Watabe couldn’t let the uneasiness affect the first impression she had to give. She decided to head towards the girl with confident and steady steps. Also she felt kind of guilty. What happened just now was probably going to traumatize the poor kid for a while.

She started speaking while removing her helmet, and smiling in her usual charming way, as a way to reassure the girl in front of her:

“Heyyyyy, sorry about that, should’ve been more careful. You okay?”

A Certain Missing Esper (Arc 4 Main Story) TAWVTmt


Last edited by Watabe Tsubasa on Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Saito Hirashi on Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:49 pm

It was morning, the sun was up in the sky and its radiance beamed down towards the earth, through a window, and between the curtains of a certain esper, stabbing his eyes with far too many rays of light to remain comfortably in bed. Hirashi rolled sideways off his bed and probed around his desk for his glasses while simultaneously moving his feet around to locate his slippers. The rest of the usual morning activities, teeth brushing, body washing, and breakfast eating, shortly followed.

Whilst munching away on some toast, Hirashi thought about his plan for the day. He had nothing of importance to do today, that gave Hirashi an odd feeling, like a cold shard lodged in his chest. The violent and strange events which had happened a few days prior was still fresh in his mind and stranger still is his cold indifference to it all, a feeling of disconnect between Hirashi and the emotions he should be feeling. Was it because of his brain is still attempting to acknowledge all that has happened? Or was it because he wanted all this from the start?

Hirashi closed his eyes and finished the rest of his toast with a giant bite. His thoughts were getting far too heavy for his liking, Hirashi loved investigating the mysteries of the world, but he felt delving too deep into his own head will not be a pleasant experience, and should be left to another day. Hirashi glanced out the window, it was bright and the sun was burning with the utmost enthusiasm.

“A walk would be nice…”

Hirashi decided that catching some sunlight may help chase away the dark clouds lingering over his head and headed on out. The pavement was radiating heat despite it being early in the morning. Hirashi enjoyed the warmth as he made his way down the street towards the park but the heat on his skin did little to chase away the cold feeling in his chest. Perhaps he will spend a few hours watching the customers of the convenience store across the road from it and practise his deduction, maybe that will take his mind off of things.

The roar of a motorcycle above the usual hum of traffic caught Hirashi’s ear and his eyes flicked to it, the sight of someone, hair absolutely ruffled by the wind and grinning like a mad person on their bike, rushed down the road. Inexplicably drawn to this peculiar sight, Hirashi’s eyes followed this strange biker and observed their near collision with a strange girl who, with little regard for her safety, lept out of an alleyway just a few meters in front of him.

The girl looked younger, and was dressed in a flimsy hospital gown, no shoes. Her breathing was erratic and her muscles were tensed. Her eyes were darting all over the place, and she was as pale as a sheet. It did not take a Sherlock Holmes to deduce that she was being pursued.
“But by who? Her hospital gown should be a dead tell, it was not something which one can pick up from a shopping trip at Seventh Mist. Most likely she was already once captured and escaped during or shortly after transit to a secondary location…”

The spark of curiosity, as usual, overpowered any notion of self preservation within Hirashi and he made his way towards the crazy biker and the pale girl. The allure of a mystery, the promise of a chase to unveil the truth. The cold feeling in his chest dissipated, replaced by an electrifying sense of anticipation. Hirashi smiled, and for the first time after the events in that impoundment lot.

He felt alive.



“Aah, oh my word! Are the two of you alright?”

Putting on a worried looking face, Hirashi jogged towards the mad biker and the pursued girl.
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Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:44 pm

«See! That’s exactly what I am talking about!!!»

Now that those two had revealed their true colours, Kamijou Touko’s fears had been confirmed once more. Not only did they stop hiding the real reason for their coming, but instead they had immediately jumped right to the next main point of the agenda. And the way they did it was by nature the meanest one imaginable. Maidens in distress? Those two – especially that Tanimoto woman – were like sketchy business men. And sadly they had picked exactly the dialogue options necessary to corner one spiky haired idiot.

«Why can’t you people just pick another idiot for your world saving stuff?! At least once! Education is important, too, you know?!»

Still trying to resist with whatever little hope at making it out of this situation she had left, Kamijou slowly but surely became aware that all support she may have felt behind her, had become a rock wall robbing her of any and all hope of escaping.

Therefore, in the very end she couldn’t help it.

«Fine…what do you want, Tanimoto-san, Alice-san?»

Yes, once more that completely normal highschool girl would be torn from her ordinary world right into the heart of a conflict involving the fates of countless innocent. Not that it could have been averted in the first place.
Kamijou Touko
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Post  Aoki Aiko on Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:12 am

Aiko slowly sipped on cool glass of lemonade during the warm summer morning. TASK had given her no mission for the time being so she was enjoying her free time. Given that she had no mission, Aiko was wearing her normal Tokiwadai winter uniform. She was seated on a tall bar stool in a small cafe she had found in her exploration of the city. It was relatively unknown so even on a nice day like today there weren't really any other customers. It was one of her person favorite locations as their prices were closer to Aiko's price range of usually broke and the quality of their food was still quite good. Aiko's legs swung back and forth leisurely as she passed her lazy day reading some articles she found online and playing games on her phone. It was a rare moment of bliss. Of course, these moments can't last forever, and this one in particular was suddenly interrupted by the screeching of tires on asphalt.

Aiko looked away from her phone an out the window. The table she was sitting at was facing the street so the had a pretty good view of the events that were unfolding outside. It looked as if someone on a motorcycle had narrowly avoided colliding with a girl in the middle of the street. Luckily it didn't seem like anyone was injured, but the fact that the girl in the street was dressed in a hospital gown was somewhat concerning.

"What is someone in a hospital gown doing in the middle of the street," Aiko thought to herself. "And for that matter, which hospital did they come from to end up here?"

Aiko was about to get up from her seat to observe the scene and make sure everyone was okay, but as she stood up, something caught her eye. A young boy, probably high school age, was jogging out to the center of the street to check on the two almost crash participants. The fact that someone was already heading to help wasn't what cause her to hesitate, however the person themselves that was running over. The boy was someone she already knew, although just from a brief encounter. It was the very boy who had interrupted their expedition at the impound lot. It seems that Kisaragi saw fit not to dispose of him after all.

Aiko stepped out of the cafe and onto the sidewalk, quickly hiding herself behind a small tree on the side of the street.

"Maybe I'll just listen from here for a bit."

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Post  Guy Li on Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:54 am

Reina had thrown herself into the street out of desperation at the sound of the approaching vehicle to beg for help, but her response to seeing the motorcycle approaching at high speed had been instinctive and immediate.  Like stepping off an unexpected drop, a sudden, primal fear had caused her thoughts to reset in panic and the girl had frozen at the lurching feeling of her heart seeming to stop in her chest. The only thought remaining was to brace herself for the collision.

She remained rigid even as the bike swerved around her with the screech of brake pads locking against spinning wheels and the acrid smell of burning rubber. Instinct relinquished control of her body to Reina and she turned her already pale face towards the motorcycle and its rider with a slow, shuddering movement.

Events had outpaced her thoughts by a mile and now her mind reeled to pluck her from her confused state by seeking an answer to the most important question first. Was this person friend or foe?

“Heyyyyy, sorry about that, should’ve been more careful. You okay?” She barely heard the actual words.

She didn't recognize their voice or their appearance. Nor could she detect anything from their body language. Reina's body tensed as if preparing to run once more. The stranger removed their helmet and they were smiling. But why? Were they smiling to reassure the frightened girl after a narrow miss? Or were they smiling from satisfaction after finally cornering their prey?

Reina couldn't tell

“Aah, oh my word! Are the two of you alright?”

Someone else was approaching from behind. Indecision caused Reina to take a step back towards the edge of the street so that she could see them both. She clutched her gown to her body, feeling suddenly very exposed. Did she run or did she beg for help? Her erratic breaths and frenzied, darting eyes searched for a sign.

***

«Why can’t you people just pick another idiot for your world saving stuff?! At least once! Education is important, too, you know?!»

«Fine…what do you want, Tanimoto-san, Alice-san?»

Hana's cool gaze melted into a soft smile that held a proud, motherly warmth. She clearly approved of the girl's change of heart.

"Believe me, if there were another way of handling this... A more delicate way of handling this... then I would have chosen it without hesitation." Hana's laugh was gentle and humble sounding, as though she were chiding herself for a failure that had led to this point. "However this matter is complicated, and it requires an unconventional approach." The kindness faded from Hana's expression. The time for pleasantries had passed.

A peculiar sense had been building in the back of Index's head as the girls spoke. A feeling of creeping tension like an approaching storm building in the air.

"Someone somewhere in this city is selling Espers." She stated it so bluntly that it could have been the punchline to a joke. But if it was, that joke was in horribly poor taste. "You are aware of the treaty between Magic and Science, are you not?" It was a rhetorical question. "And you know how closely Academy City guards the secrets of it's Esper development program." Once more Hana was leading Touko to the answer that she had provided for her. "Can you imagine the results if the wrong individual or organization were to get their hands on a living sample of the Science Side's most prized secrets?"
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Post  Watabe Tsubasa on Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:07 am

It was blatantly clear that Watabe had only made the girl tense even more by approaching her like that.

Oops. It seems like I messed up big time.

Although she made that mental note in what seems to be a carefree way, she genuinely didn’t want to cause the girl in front of her any more troubles. Sure, Watabe wasn’t exactly the selfless kind, but she wasn’t the kind to unnecessarily disturb people either. Well... to be fair she does, but at least, not to those with whom she didn’t have a conflict of interest.

Just as she was about to say something, she heard the following words coming from nearby:

“Aah, oh my word! Are the two of you alright?”

She turned around only to see a boy, a high schooler as well. His face looked somehow familiar, but she couldn’t pinpoint where she saw him before. Maybe at school? Maybe during one of her concerts? Maybe during a sports event? She couldn’t tell for certain.

However, something else was way more blatant right now.

Fake.

She was no expert in body language, but her instinct screamed to her that he didn’t truly mean these words, that he was just pretending to care. And one of the only things she trusted in this world is her gut feeling.

For this reason, he already rubbed her the wrong way.

The corner of her smiling mouth twitched slightly in frustration.

The boy probably noticed but she didn’t give a damn. Because she was about to make it very clear to him how she felt about the whole "fake friendly behavior" thing of his.

Cut the bullshit, she wanted to say. But that would only escalate things right now and risk making the girl uneasy. For that reason, she silently looked him straight in the eyes and smiled, as a way to send him a hint, a message, that she saw through him. It was a cold mocking smile, unlike the charming one meant for the girl earlier.

Oh the girl! She had completely forgotten about her for a second.

But when she looked her way, she was shocked to see the girl had gotten dangerously close to the edge of the street. She was now clutching her gown as if her dear life depended on it. The blood circulation her fingers probably stopped because they started to turn blue from the pressure. She was breathing erratically, clearly feeling very frightened and exposed and uncomfortable.

The biker let out a big sigh. While this was good for Watabe, because it means that the girl had been so busy feeling afraid and lacking in concentration that she probably missed all the signals about the unfriendly discreet exchange of looks that just took place, but it also meant that this girl seriously needed big help to relax.

“Hey you!!”, yelled Watabe, in hopes to finally snap the girl out of her confusion.

“I get that you are scared out of your mind right now. I mean, it’s pretty obvious. And I can’t imagine it’s just the almost-crush that did this to you, I get the feeling like something more ominous is going on here. But, dude, trust me, you’re okay”, she then softened her voice, in a way that surprised even Watabe herself, “Whatever it is you’re afraid of, it’s not here. Not right now, at least. I won’t tell you that everything is gonna be okay or that kind of crap, because I don’t know your situation. But, the gist of it, what I wanna say is: at least for now, you can relax. I truly mean no harm. And as unpleasant as the dude next to me is, I can tell he’s not after you either. Just take deep breaths. Okay?”

Watabe had spoken in a gentle way. Weirdly enough, she had found herself actually meaning those words, genuinely, trying to make the girl loosen up. While her mind was working to understand what was going on right now, her body muscles decided to draw a big warm grin on her face, probably the most sincere and friendliest one she could muster since that time. It felt as if, for the first time in years…

“I’m Watabe Tsubasa, by the way”, she finally added while extending her hand to the girl, as a token of peace.

… for the first time in years, her icy walls started to crack a bit, it seems.

Maybe letting herself be just a little bit vulnerable would convey the sincerety of her emotions to the girl.

Watabe was aware of this small change in her heart. A change so small and unnoticeable to others, yet it would be the catalyst of a chain of reactions whithin herself.

It’s all the hospital gown’s fault. That must be it, she told herself, trying to forget the existance of a certain memory.


Last edited by Watabe Tsubasa on Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:19 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post  Saito Hirashi on Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:59 pm

The warm glow in the mad biker’s eyes disappeared as they met Hirashi’s gaze, instead of the comforting smile meant for gown girl, it was cold and sharp, almost as if they were baring their fangs. Undisguised hostility radiated from the mad biker’s greeting, Hirashi took note of the beginnings of a possibly troublesome relationship and moved on. The fact that Hirashi was unable to identify the sex of the mad biker even from up close was mildly irratating, but he had more interesting subjects to study.

Approaching gown girl outright seemed to only put her more on edge, however, it really could not have been avoided on his part. In order to take part in this event as a “helper” instead of a possible “pursuer” he had to be one of the first people on scene. It was vital to let gown girl see that he was on her side before a clear division between “us” and “them” formed.

“Whatever it is you’re afraid of, it’s not here. Not right now, at least. I won’t tell you that everything is gonna be okay or that kind of crap, because I don’t know your situation. But, the gist of it, what I wanna say is: at least for now, you can relax. I truly mean no harm. And as unpleasant as the dude next to me is, I can tell he’s not after you either. Just take deep breaths. Okay?”

At least the mad biker was kind enough to not introduce him as a threat, and was surprisingly adept at delivering a calming speech.

“I’m Watabe Tsubasa, by the way”

Aaand of course the mad biker has a unisex name.


“Just as Biker-san said, I am not here to harm ya. Whatever’s troubling ya, nothing is gonna happen right here and right now. if you can tell me what is going on, I’ll see if I can’t take care of that for ya, yeah?”


As the mad biker had already offered gown girl a hand, he could hardly do the same. Besides, jumpy as the girl is right now, physical contact may not be the best idea. Hirashi instead directed his attention on the alleyway which the girl had burst from, despite his reassurances, he had an unsettling feeling that this could all go very pear-shaped very quickly.
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Post  Aoki Aiko on Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:23 pm

Aiko listened intently from her hiding spot behind the tree. It seemed that the biker's name was Watabe Tsubasa. From the tone of their voice, it sounded as if they were trying to calm down the panicked girl in the hospital gown, but from her hiding spot Aiko could only catch bits and pieces of what they were saying. After it sounded like Watabe had finished talking, they reached their hand out to the scared girl. The other boy then said something and started approaching as well. Aiko instinctively reached for her laser pointer. Something about this situation was making her feel uneasy. Especially since everything had gone wrong at the impound lot after the boy had shown up. His presence here certainly didn't help.

The girl in the gown still didn't look like she had calmed down much, so Aiko decided not to try an approach the group yet. She'd rather not have to reveal herself to the boy yet anyway. In order to be more in earshot of the three of them though, Aiko followed the sidewalk a bit closer to their position, and hid herself in between two parked cars. Here her view was much better and she should be able to hear them better. Aiko activated her ability to surround herself in a small electron shell, setting it up to reduce, but not completely block out, the light that was leaving its interior. This gave the effect of making it seem like the area was a bit darker or had deeper shadows then it should. Hidden in the relative darkness, Aiko crouched down and continued to observe, ready to intervene at a moment's notice.  If the girl calmed down, then Aiko could approach without spooking her anymore than she already was.

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Post  Guy Li on Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:37 am

“I get that you are scared out of your mind right now. I mean, it’s pretty obvious. And I can’t imagine it’s just the almost-crush that did this to you, I get the feeling like something more ominous is going on here. But, dude, trust me, you’re okay”

Was she okay? She couldn't tell. Her panicked and confused mind was spinning in circles. Always arriving back at the same conclusion. They're still after me. They're going to take me again. She needed someone to trust, but who? She could run again, try to find someone else, but then she'd find herself back at this point. Anyone, even Antiskill, could just be one of them. Who could she trust?

“Whatever it is you’re afraid of, it’s not here. Not right now, at least. I won’t tell you that everything is gonna be okay or that kind of crap, because I don’t know your situation. But, the gist of it, what I wanna say is: at least for now, you can relax. I truly mean no harm. And as unpleasant as the dude next to me is, I can tell he’s not after you either. Just take deep breaths. Okay?"

It was all too much. The pale waif of a girl in the hospital gown shivered. Her fragile state could only take so much. She had been driven to her wits end and had finally reached her limit. If she had nowhere safe to run then what was the point of running?

“I’m Watabe Tsubasa, by the way”

“Just as Biker-san said, I am not here to harm ya. Whatever’s troubling ya, nothing is gonna happen right here and right now. if you can tell me what is going on, I’ll see if I can’t take care of that for ya, yeah?”

In the end that had been all it took. Something as small and sincere as sharing a name. A simple, humanising act that broke the barriers of indecision and fear. Tears of relief welled up and the girl with long, snow-white hair took a long, ungainly step forward, throwing herself at the one who had offered their name and their hand. She wrapped her arms around Tsubasa's shoulders with a strength that should have been impossible for her small frame.

"Help me!" She cried between sobs. "Please help me! I don't know what's going on..." She was still shivering as she buried her face in Tsubasa's leather jacket.

At the far end of the street, a grey coloured van slowed to a stop.

"Yep. Got 'em. She didn't get far after all."

Within moments more plain-looking vehicles pulled across the road, screeching to a halt to block both ends of the street. Reina's eyes snapped open, her pupils dilating and quivering as her mouth opened and closed silently like she was drowning.

"Oi oi oi! Reina-chan, exercise time is over. Hope you enjoyed your morning stroll." The youth who spoke from the back of the van stepped out onto the road with a heavy sounding boot. He was dressed head to toe in leather biker gear and held a metal pipe in his hand that he taped across the concrete. The pole had been heavily customized to the point it hardly resembled a piece construction material. Nails, bolts, jagged, torn metal and even what looked like a large mechanical gear had been welded and hammered into it. Clearly this was not just a tool of intimidation. This was a weapon meant for savagery.

"Oh? It looks like our Reina-chan made some new friends." One of the other thugs left the van to stand behind their comrade. A thick chain with a large, angular weight was slung across the wiry shoulders beneath his tank top.

"Hey, we've come to pick up that girl. Just hand her over and it'll be a lot less trouble for everyone." The first Skill Out pointed the end of his makeshift weapon toward the trio.
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Post  Watabe Tsubasa on Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:24 am

The white-haired girl suddenly threw herself into Watabe’s arms. She started sobbing hysterically. The taller girl was taken aback by this unexpected action, especially that Reina had seemed to be trying to keep a distance away from both of her saviors just moments ago.

"Help me! Please help me! I don't know what's going on..."

The cries of help echoed painfully, and brought Watabe back from her daze. She could feel the petite girl shiver against her body. The despair in her cries tore Watabe’s heart apart.

This cruel city has made yet another pure soul go through hell.

She wrapped her arms around the shivering girl in an attempt to sooth her pain a little. But she was far from hopeful, she knew better than to be at ease. It was probably a matter of minutes before whoever it was caught up to the girl.

The culprits came sooner than Watabe even imagined. The peace didn’t last for long. Just a few moments later, the road was blocked from both ends by vans. A young man, clearly a thug, stepped out, later followed by his comrade.

‘Damn those Skill Outs. Can’t they stop their shenanigans for one day? What are they up to, now?’


It was obvious that those weapons were bad news. She had to do something about them.

Watabe quickly stepped in front of Reina protectively, and handed her the helmet.

“Here. For safety. If you get hit on the head with those, you’re dead.”


After her protective gesture, the man with the spiky bat spoke: "Hey, we've come to pick up that girl. Just hand her over and it'll be a lot less trouble for everyone."

“As if we’d ever do that, jackass. What do you want from her exactly? Why are you after her?”


Usually she’d take her bike and run for it, but this time the street is blocked. So she had to stall for time until she either could form a good plan in her head to deal with those weapons while she’s barehanded, or until something miraculous happens to save them. And she could maybe extract some useful info about the current situation. If she could avoid conflict here it would be perfect. Otherwise, being hasty would be their death. The savior duo needed to come up wth a plan very soon.

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Post  Saito Hirashi on Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:43 am

"Help me! Please help me! I don't know what's going on..."
The girl’s sobs offered no additional information, and thus Hirashi tuned her out to focus on a more pressing issue.

Nondescript vans blocked both ends of the street as two thugs stepped out. One was dressed in biker leather and the other a tank top. They carried heavy and poorly-balanced weapons which were modified to be more for show than for practicality.

"Hey, we've come to pick up that girl. Just hand her over and it'll be a lot less trouble for everyone."

Hirashi could turn and leave now and just track the girl after the handover, the likelihood of these simpletons pulling off any fancy tricks was minimal. However, if he did that, he doubted the Gown Girl will ever speak to him again, also, the Mad Biker did not seem like the type to just roll over in a situation like this.

“As if we’d ever do that, jackass. What do you want from her exactly? Why are you after her?”


Ahh, there it was, the Mad Biker’s challenge. Hirashi took inventory of himself, his allies, and his adversaries. Hirashi had five of his nails in his wallet and a pair of running shoes on his feet, the Mad Biker was wearing some biker gear with no visible weapons, and Gown Girl had one borrowed helmet.

The situation was pretty bleak, and there was currently nothing stopping the thugs from just walking up and dealing out some blunt trauma. That means Hirashi would need something to hold them back in order to buy time.

Hirashi reached out with his power and defined the shape and position of the hair on the pipe-carrying thug’s head whilst the thug stood nice and still pointing his weapon at them. By applying shearing force with two anti-parallel forces with minimal space in between them, Hirashi’s telekinesis gave his target a surprise haircut.

“That. Was a warning shot.”

Hirashi shed his happy and friendly facade. The voice directed to the thugs was cold, filled with disdain and malice. He drew the nail from his wallet and twirled it around his fingers as he continued.

“Now I know you might be thinking that  I will not be able to take all of you at once. You would be right, but…”

Hirashi sent the nail flying through the air and into one of the vans behind him, the nail collided with one of the side panels and passed clean through into the van.

Hirashi masked the strain from peaking his power sending that nail through the van, and hid his faltering speech with a dramatic pause.

“... are you willing to be one of the unlucky few to be sacrificed?”


Last edited by Saito Hirashi on Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos!)
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Post  Kamijou Touko on Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:55 pm

This matter was worrisome to say the least. Even though she was just an ordinary – if not below average – high school girl Kamijou Touko was well aware of what means Academy City took to ensure the security of its precious data, not to forget the meaning behind terrible concepts such as ‹selling people›. Furthermore, while she admittedly wasn’t able to recall the exact details of the Magic Science Treaty, she at least understood the weight behind it. So, by nature she was no longer able to put herself into the position of someone uninvolved.

However, none of that meant she understood her own place on the game board.

«So what do you want from me then? Shouldn’t you just tell the city’s higher ups and have them deal with this? I don’t exactly see how I am supposed fit into all this…»

From what this sounded like, the matter behind everything was far too complicated for someone with her specs to handle. Neither was she an expert negotiator nor a professional fighting asset in any sense. All she was was a girl in teddy bear pyjamas armed with a nail clipper and a right hand that hardly gave her any advantage in life. Weren’t there better suited people for this type of task? Even thinking about it momentarily made quite a number of faces appear in the spiky haired girl’s imagination.

And yet, she would take a step forward.

«Tell me, Tanimoto-san, what is it that you really want from me?»
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Post  Kisaragi Anko on Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:04 pm

August 20th, 8:00 AM

Academy City had surprisingly many hospitals for a place that was overrun by students of which the large majority was underage. Still, most of said hospitals didn’t have the reputation to be places you would want to go to. Creepy rumours tainted nearly any of these places’ reputation. However, some would actually profit from said rumours. One such place being located in District 7. It was said that the place was run by a frog faced doctor with the infamous ability of keeping people attached to this world even after all hope had been lost. So to say, there was a miracle worker who would never forfeit a patient, no matter how desperate the situation.

One of these patients was a girl named Kisargi Anko.

Actually, today – just like the previous days of her stay – her name would not be Kisaragi Anko but Hasagawa Yumemi. Hasagawa Yumemi, according to the files serving as the foundation to her existence, was an elite student enrolled at Kirigaoka Girl’s Academy who – natural for that school – was blessed with a unique and high level branch of hydrokinesis which apparently allowed her to manipulate the internal motions of the human body. Her hobbies were bowling, dancing and painting. The number of friends and acquaintances, however, were little and mostly tied to other schools, except for that one pink haired Harajuku type visiting her rather frequently.

In summary a large chunk of information had been provided about her. Yet, while large it was not too much and not too little, it was the amount of information you would hear about any other person out there. That’s why it was so believable.

«Mhmm…another day, huh?»

Lying on her bed, Kisaragi…no…Hasagawa Yumemi would begin her day just like it had ended. She had bene awake for a while, but only now spoken out her thoughts as her glance met the ceiling. Dressed in the usual hospital gown and buried underneath a blanket that had the perfect thickness for summer days, that black haired, black eyed average girl wearing a fashionable yet lethal collar around her neck had spent the past few days confined to a bed.

While people had come from time to time, overall she had spent most of her stay alone. Not that it mattered. But eventually it had become pretty boring to say the least. She wasn’t the type to toy around with a smart phone or watch TV. All she could have done was read, sleep or ponder. All of which she had done too over extensively at this point. So what did that leave her with?

One could argue these circumstances were her very own fault, had she gone against all warnings spoken out towards her and even common sense at that. But in the end she couldn’t have helped herself but to face the category of ‹one of Academy City’s most threatening assassins› all on her own. And this was the outcome. A bunch of scars, bruises and, most importantly, a strong poisoning. In fact, with the latter being of the degree it was, the hospital staff had spoken of a miracle when they confirmed her survival. Still, given that she was still lying where she was, she couldn’t celebrate that fact.

«And I thought that prison cell was the end of it all.»

Chained down once more, that average girl was counting each and every second hoping to finally be put out of her misery.

And exactly that would happen as her room’s door was pushed open.

«Good morning, Hasagawa-san.»

A tall man wearing an oddly tight nurse’s outfit stepped into the room. She did not know what it was that put her at edge right away. Maybe his unusually well-trained body, the fact that he was an obvious foreigner, the scrapes and scars ornamenting his fingers, arms and neck, a clear lack of hygiene, the smell of smoke and blood or simply his glance that was devoid of any innocence.

«It’s time for your check-up.»

No, it wasn’t. It wouldn’t be for another hour or so. And it wouldn’t be performed by him either way. Not to forget that he obviously had none of the necessary equipment with him.

«Oh? The other girl can’t make it today? That’s sad. But OK. Please hurry, though, OK? I wanna go back to sleep…»

She spoke with naive carelessness, allowing the man to approach her. He had to fulfil his duty, after all. That was the only way.

While she wasn’t able to confirm it herself, it was obvious that there was at least another one waiting in front of the room’s door, serving as the look out guy. And given that the place was a public hospital frequented by plenty of patients and staff it would be quite necessary to keep a low profile, so whatever he was planning, it would not be executed entirely without care.

«Plans have changed. I was sent, because they need you to receive a new antidote, which my colleague isn’t allowed to administer. Just sit up and still for a moment, will you?»

His rough tone was plagued by forced politeness, as though he was giving his best to muster child friendly speech. It wasn’t a bad performance overall. At least good enough for the large majority to fall for – especially after a long sedative-heavy hospital stay. However, only a large majority.

It may have worked with Hasagawa Yumemi as well, but not with Kisaragi Anko.

«Like this?»

Sitting up like the innocent high schooler she was meant to impersonate, that girl would set a trap of her own. A trap any unknowing fool believing they had the upper hand could potentially fall for. All she had to do was to wait for him to prepare the syringe and come closer…


«In position.»

«Me, too.»

«Bradley should be ready about now, as well.»

On the outside of the room things had been exactly as that dexterous average girl had predicted. Another man in way too tight nurse clothes had been positioned by the door, while a third one – this time a woman – was sitting by the entrance pretending to be reading patient files all the while keeping a close eye on the blind spots of her comrade.

«Time to snatch another.»

«Shhhhh. Keep your voice lower than that, idiot.»
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Post  Aoki Aiko on Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:34 pm

For now everything seems to have calmed down. The girl in the hospital gown had, while not calmed down herself, seemed to trust the biker, throwing herself into their arms. "Help me! Please help me! I don't know what's going on..." The girls sobs carried over to Aiko's hiding place, but it seemed like the biker might have this under control. Maybe she wouldn't need to get involved after all...

As if the universe had conspired against that very thought, suddenly both ends of the street were blocked off by grey vans. Out of those vans stepped a number of what could only be described as thugs. Two of them, one in biker gear and the other in a tank top spoke up.

"Yep. Got 'em. She didn't get far after all. Oi oi oi! Reina-chan, exercise time is over. Hope you enjoyed your morning stroll. Oh? It looks like our Reina-chan made some new friends. Hey, we've come to pick up that girl. Just hand her over and it'll be a lot less trouble for everyone."

The need for Aiko's intervention seemed to be increasing by the second.

“As if we’d ever do that, jackass. What do you want from her exactly? Why are you after her?”

The biker spoke up. Aiko had no idea if they had the capacity to fight these guys off, maybe they were a strong esper or some kind of weird ninja like Kisaragi.

The boy from the impound lot then stood up and held his arm out towards the thugs.

“That. Was a warning shot.”

Aiko couldn't quite see what the boy had done to them from her hiding spot, but she definitely knew he was an esper, how strong though... that was still unknown.

“Now I know you might be thinking that  I will not be able to take all of you at once. You would be right, but…”

The boy paused for a moment here, seeming to launch something at the thugs. The loud 'THUNK' it made when hitting the side of the van was clearly audible.

“... are you willing to be one of the unlucky few to be sacrificed?”

Aiko had to stifle laughter at these words. It seemed that boy was much more in his element while not being man handled by 3 girls in an exploding building. Before the thugs had a chance to recover from whatever surprise they might be feeling from the boy's assault, Aiko decided that this would be the perfect time to finally make her entrance. She cursed under her breath at the fact that she was getting involved while broadcasting what school she was from, but there wasn't any time to go home and change. Aiko stepped out from her hiding spot between the cars and walked confidently over to where the group of would be saviors was standing. As she walked the electron shell shifting from blocking light from leaving, to amping up the heat that left it. Aiko held her arm up towards the thug in the tank top, her laser pointer already in hand. Clicking it on, she drew a diagonal line up across the thug's chest. The fabric along the laser's path burst into flames in the intense heat. As she aproached the group would feel a slight tingling as they entered the shell, a familiar feeling for one of them. Aiko stopped next to the group and gestured to her acquaintance from the impound lot.

"Maybe he can't stop you all by himself, but us together, you don't stand a chance."

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Post  Guy Li on Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:28 pm

«So what do you want from me then? Shouldn’t you just tell the city’s higher ups and have them deal with this? I don’t exactly see how I am supposed fit into all this…»

Hana stroked fingers through her silky black hair with a thoughtful expression. It appeared that despite being the owner of that extraordinary ability, this girl in front of her was labouring under the delusion of being 'just a normal highschooler'. Could it be that she did not fully understand the extent of the power she held, or what it represented? Hana herself did not know the full story behind the power known as Imagine Breaker, but she knew enough to realise its importance in the balance of things.

«Tell me, Tanimoto-san, what is it that you really want from me?»

"Exactly as I have said. I humbly request your help in resolving this matter. No more, no less." Hana bowed formally again. "I realise you have no reason to take me at my word, but please believe me when I say that I am not here to deceive you. I would like it if we could reach a conclusion in which everyone involved walked away satisfied." Behind Hana, Index and Alice were matching intense gazes in something akin to a staring contest. The way they warily locked eyes from a distance resembled the cautious approach of two unfamiliar felines meeting in the street.

"But to answer your first question, I'm afraid as I mentioned, the matter at hand is complicated. I have reason to believe that elements within Academy City's regime may be involved. A level of secrecy must be maintained if we are to avoid making things more difficult for ourselves. Or perhaps you haven't noticed, but this city is far from harmonious. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if your next door neighbour were a spy, even." Hana's refined features allowed a slight twitch of a smile.

***

“Here. For safety. If you get hit on the head with those, you’re dead.”

Reina took the helmet that was thrust into her arms obediently.

“As if we’d ever do that, jackass. What do you want from her exactly? Why are you after her?”

The Skill Out dressed in leather rolled his neck with a sigh of boredom, or perhaps irritation and carried on walking forward.

"Ugh. Looks like we've got a couple of wannabe heroes here." He stopped when the stray strands of his hair drifted in front of his eyes.

“That. Was a warning shot. Now I know you might be thinking that I will not be able to take all of you at once. You would be right, but… are you willing to be one of the unlucky few to be sacrificed?”

The thug cocked his head as if to question Saito's sanity.

"What sort of moron fires a warning shot in a streetfight?" He lunged forward into a sprint.

"Maybe he can't stop you all by himself, but us together, you don't stand a chance." The second thug's clothing lit on fire with the passing laser pointer, prompting him to quickly turn his attention from the group to pat himself down to put out the flames before they could spread.

Skill Outs were those without the extraordinary edge of Esper powers. Ordinary people who faced the very real threat of those overwhelming power each and every day. Someone who was so easily cowed into submission by such simple displays would not have lasted long in such a group. Whether one called it suicidal recklessness or nerves of steel, that kind of resolve was a requirement of all Skill Outs.

But Skill Outs did not survive solely on their grit alone. They had developed a number of methods for levelling the playing field when confronted with 'superhuman abilities'. Weapons, tactics, low cunning and even cheating were considered fair game in the pursuit of survival. But one thing above all else made them such a formidable threat.

They had numbers.

Like a pack of hunters facing down a fierce beast, they would overwhelm their foes with sheer numbers.

While the first assailant rushed the trio from the front, others were already approaching from the vans behind, and more spilled from the mouth of the alleyway Reina had appeared from. There was no telling how many would follow. A pair of makeshift brass knuckles shot towards Aiko's jaw from the side as the group from the alleyway crossed the short distance between them. Another attacker targetted Tsubasa with a thick-soled boot stamping at her ribs. The leather clad delinquent and was close to reaching Saito now, the jagged metal pole sweeping downwards to dash his skull open.
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Post  Kira Kohaku on Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:13 pm

August 20th, 8:00 AM
There were many questions one could be asking in this situation. For starters, one would probably ask why she was here? While Kohaku was, for all intents and purposes, a nut when it came to the medical sciences, she was hardly the type to spend her mornings during her summer vacation in a hospital. She should have been spending her time with friends or doing things that one would normally consider relaxing—like shopping or shenanigans at a pool. The not-so-sterile environment of an inpatient center should not have been that place.

“That was a total failure.”

The girl scratched at her head as she walked through the hallways that made up the inpatient units in the hospital. Though she was hardly supposed to be in that area at this time, she had walked in there with an almost gung-ho attitude.

Walk into their office with a resume and emphatically ask for a position and it shall be yours. Such was the wisdom of many elder people. As such, by some crazy epiphany, Kohaku had decided to try that with regards to a research position at the hospital.

But, the results were quite plain to see. The girl, walking with the bitter imprint of failure could say without a hint of regret that said ‘wisdom’ was utterly outdated.

“Granted, I don’t really have much of a resume to start with,” she muttered as she kept her hand to her chin and looked off to the side.

Dropping her hands and crossing her arms, she continued to walk until she noticed something odd. The floor seemed oddly quiet. Even in the mornings, a hospital floor would still be quite busy. Nurses would be mulling about trying to get blood draws and vitals done. Doctors would be rounding with their teams.

But, none of that seemed to be happening.

If anything, there seemed to be something far weirder. A strange pair of nurses that seemed to be mulling about. Between the fact that one of them was standing around, wearing a uniform for nurses that was far tighter than it should be and the other one...well, the other one was just sitting at her computer and going over charts, so she really didn’t stick out much.

It was strange, even if Kohaku was a non-judgemental girl. However, that didn’t mean it was something she could really question, even if it was nagging at her.

And so, she continued to walk as all three were in eyeshot of each other, her eyes continuing to dart towards the man standing by the door to the isolation room.
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Post  Watabe Tsubasa on Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:22 pm

“That. Was a warning shot. Now I know you might be thinking that  I will not be able to take all of you at once. You would be right, but... are you willing to be one of the unlucky few to be sacrificed?”

The succession of events was very quick. The high schooler boy fired a warning shot, in a somewhat cool manner. Watabe’s impression of him improved considerably. Not long after, a smaller girl suddenly stepped out from the shadows after putting one of the thugs' clothes on flames. Somehow none of the people present on the scene had noticed her before, which proved her high stealth abilities. Besides, looking at her uniform, Watabe noted that she was one of those high-class students attending the prestigious Tokiwadai middle school.

"Maybe he can't stop you all by himself, but us together, you don't stand a chance."

“Oi, don’t lump me together with the both of you! I’m a mere level zero!”, she pleaded while shrugging her shoulders, as if in defeat, and looked downwards while sighing. Although in reality she was enjoying herself and this whole situation. As the smirk on her face showed, the earlier display was but an act, her usual silliness.

Even after the warnings issued by the other two teenagers, the assailants didn’t seem to take a hint, and suddenly an attacker got close enough to stamp at Watabe’s ribs.

Just before the sole of his boot touched her body, she caught his foot firmly in her hand.

With her face still hidden by her bangs, she started speaking:

“Say…”, she then looked briefly at Reina while grinning, “I think it’s time for some dance moves, don’t you agree?”

To the thug, it probably looked as if she suddenly disappeared. In reality, she swiftly dropped to the ground, supporting herself with only her arms.

‘Hmmm, a Windmill followed by a Double Suicide as a finishing touch would do~’

While the guy’s brain was still trying to catch up to what had just happened, and before he could attack again, she started spinning, kicking him multiple times on the torso and head respectively. Time seemed to slow down ten times. She could swear he was falling in slow motion. This was her opportunity. She propelled herself, spinning like a drill, effectively hitting him right on the chin with her extended legs.

As she laid down on the ground, she yelled, hints of frustration in her voice: “You bastards never leaaaaaarn!!!”

Going by first impressions, the other two youngsters should be able to handle themselves just fine, probably better than Watabe herself. So she had to focus on protecting Reina and herself, she decided while getting up.

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Post  Saito Hirashi on Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:09 am

"Maybe he can't stop you all by himself, but us together, you don't stand a chance."

A familiar voice, followed by a familiar face, materialised from behind Hirashi, they belonged to Ridiculus Hoodie Girl, now with 100% less hoodie.

As No More Hoodie Girl seared one of the thug’s chest to a sizzling medium-rare, Hirashi was annoyed that he was unable to sense her presence before she chose to reveal herself.

Despite Hirashi’s threat and the smell of pork roast in the air, the thugs brandished their weapons charged them.

“Perhaps mere threats are not enough to stop them.” Hirashi thought as he readied another nail, “Then maybe something with more substance and mass will do the trick.”


Hirashi quickly sent a nail towards the approaching thug’s foot and leapt to the side. The weapon looked heavy and the Skill Out was doing an overhead swing, between throwing him off balance with the nail and Hirashi’s movement, Hirashi should have created a big enough margin of error to avoid the attack.

As Hirashi tumbled to a halt, he thought of his next moves. They were boxed in and out-numbered. Brute-force, even if he had any to muster, will not be the ideal path to take. That leaves either trickery or a more persuasive attempt at coercion. Hirashi had an idea for both, but they were all highly unpleasant.

Not willing to show his final hand before all the cards had been revealed, Hirashi glanced towards No More Hoodie Girl and waited for her card to be dealt.


Last edited by Saito Hirashi on Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Aoki Aiko on Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:05 am

“Oi, don’t lump me together with the both of you! I’m a mere level zero!”

"Hmm, It's unfortunate that the biker doesn't have an ability that can help us here," Aiko thought to herself, letting out a small sigh. "Hopefully they know how to fight though, because the thugs there don't seem all that phased..."

Just as Aiko had finished that thought, the thugs rushed them. For now the one that she had lit on fire was hanging back. Aiko was glad to see her laser had at least that much of an impact. In truth, she probably could have burned his skin off where the laser hit, but Aiko didn't have much experience in combat and was reluctant to really hurt anyone. The other two defenders next to her seemed to have no such reservations, quickly stopping the two attacker that came at them. As the thug from the alley entered the area of her shell, she immediately noticed. With advanced notice, Aiko had just enough time to throw herself out of the way of the punch aimed at her head.

If Aiko were alone, she would be fleeing right now. Her ability, while able to produce some powerful effects, was extremely unsuited for melee combat. Even with her lasers, the beams needed to pass through the edge of her shell in order to gain any kind of benefit, so getting in close was a perfect counter. Her ability to manipulate the light level inside the shell was useful for crowd control to an extent, but would effect everyone, and her allies without the ability she had to sense things inside the bubble, would be left just as defenseless. In the brief moments she had after avoiding the strike, Aiko's mind raced to think of something she could do. Should she just make it pitch black and leave? No, Aiko wasn't in the business of abandoning someone in such great need of help. At this point Aiko decided she didn't really have many good options and would need to take a risk.

Aiko backpedaled to get as close to the other three as she could.

"When I say 'Now', close your eyes for 1 second." Aiko said in hushed tones.

With that, Aiko expanded her shell to it's maximum radius, a good 10 meters. With that set she let out a scream...

"NOW!"

Aiko shifted her shell to now magnify the intensity of all incoming and exiting visible light. The effect of which was extremely blinding light throughout the interior of the shell. Everyone inside the radius would be blinded by the flash of light and likely be dazed until their eyes could readjust. For those on the outside of the shell, keeping their eyes on the area would be like staring into the sun. Aiko only kept this effect going for 1 second, after which the light level immediately returned to normal as she put her shell back to "laser mode". It was her hope that her allies could somehow use this to turn the tides, if they had closed their eyes that is.

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