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Between the lines (Arc 4 Side Story)

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Post  Leivinia Birdway on Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:26 am

Ever since the arrival of Laura Stuart it had become oddly silent in that candle lit prayer hall. All parties and their conflicts had died down, much like the livelihood of the chaos that had surrounded them. And yet that girl did not openly exert the presence of a true leader, the way it would usually be done.

Instead, she would awkwardly assume the position at the centre of the altar, talking in a manner that was easily to be described as ‹clumsy›.

«This doesn't change the fact that I can get in.  But what about these screwups over here, Madame Archbishop?»

Between the lines (Arc 4 Side Story) - Page 3 Lauras11
«I…I was hoping for our friend over there to lend us a hand. For old times’ sake.»

She declared not placing herself on the proper footings of a negotiation, directing her eyes and – with them – the attention towards Leivinia Birdway who stood at the far end of the small hall. A simple, awkward but at the same time powerful gesture.

However, it wasn’t that simple. Understanding that no reply should be formed without care, Birdway took a moment to ponder before answering. After all, it was important to fully grasp what that woman was talking about at any point.

«Back then we only formed a coalition to prevent the machinery working in the shadows from achieving its final state. With the conclusion of that incident we became even.»

Whitby had been a landmark in the relationship between the Dawn-Coloured Sunlight and the Anglican Church. A once-a-life-time coalition force built to maintain the world’s order. Yes, it should have been just a single time.

«That we did. But who said it couldn’t repeat itself?»

The archbishop replied immediately with greatest nonchalance.

«You don’t mean to say…»

«This incident is transgressing to Academy City, directly into the heart of the Science Side and that under extreme conditions which do not allow for the proper methods to be applied. This situation is a tinder box by all means.»

It was happening again. Again, someone would threaten to shatter the balance of the world. The equilibrium that when broken would draw everything into a maelstrom of chaos. But should all that really be Leivinia Birdway’s concern? Should all that really be in any way worrisome for the Dawn-Coloured Sunlight?

After all, the one standing here should fully well hold the capabilities of resolving all this on their own.

There was no way the archbishop of the Anglican Church of all people would falter in the face of such a simple threat.

«Aren’t you curious? To take a peek into the enemy territory and see how even after countless of incidents the world’s stability has not yet broken down?»

That woman smiled softly, extending her hand to offer the most figurative invitation to join along. However, as she did, something just didn’t feel right. Laura Stuart wasn’t someone to act simply on kindness. She was a judge standing on both sides, good and evil. That woman wasn’t someone to simply extend their hand towards you without thinking it through to the end.

Birdway’s mind raced in an attempt to understand that woman’s actions.

She pondered, she hesitated, she took an unconscious step back.

Until…

«Besides…what if I asked reaaaaally nicely???»

She dropped the ball, facing Birdway with the eye’s of a little puppy, ultimately begging for her agreement to the request.
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Post  Atsa Tsinaajinii on Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:21 am

As all this was going on Atsa's eagle slowly cut back on its assault on the female magician that had stolen his spot until eventually leaving her alone completely. Instead the bird's eyes were now entirely focused on the Archbishop and quickly decided he didn't like her. She had come in and taken complete control of the room with seemingly no effort. The eagle didn't like it once bit and as such quickly flew down from the chandelier to land on Atsa's shoulder. From there it would continue to eye the Archbishop with suspicion and every once in awhile looking over at Hienrich with disdain. Not that any of these looks were likely to get any reaction from anyone here considered they'd have to be able to figure out a bird's facial expressions and then convince themselves a bird was actually giving them the evil eye.

This behavior and the fact that every once in awhile the eagle would bad mouth the Archbishop made it a bit difficult for Atsa to listen entirely to the conversation between the piano girl and Archbishop but he got the gist of it. It seemed the Church and the Golden Dawn had teamed up before so he couldn't see any reason why it couldn't happen again. Sure, a majority of the time they didn't exactly get along but Stella had messed with both of their organizations. Not only that their target was after a library that contained 103,000 grimoires and thus clearly was a imminent threat to both groups. Surely they could unite if only temporarily to defeat a common threat, right?

Atsa was going to join in on the attempt to convince Birdway to side with them but his train of thought was completely thrown off the rails when he saw Archbishop try to use puppy eyes on the piano girl. In fact, he'd even stumble a little in response to the Archbishop's sudden shift in tactics. Was this really how the leader of the Anglican Church acted? Was every high ranking person in this organization so relaxed? The Archbishop using puppy eyes on another cabal leader and Longroad sitting back and eating burgers even in the midst of dealing with a break in to the library. Atsa had given up on trying to understand other magicians.
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Post  Saravati Nair on Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:02 am

There were two people in that room barring the ones talking who were acutely aware of the incident the devious archbishop was speaking about. One of them was the scruffy superior who had lost his control over the meeting the moment it was intruded upon.

The other was sitting on top of the chandelier while diverting her focus away from the bird that was vying for that coveted spot for some reason.

Because no matter what, the Archbishop would act as she pleased.

Sara had underestimated the lengths to which the Archbishop would go to hold the chains of failure around their necks. Beyond simply tossing them straight into the lions’ den with no support, she was planning on tossing the group with someone who they had treated as target for elimination.

Yes, it was another chain. A sin they could use to tie down the three magicians and toss away if useless.

The usually cheerful girl snorted in retort as she watched the Archbishop play cutesy, knowing full well that not a single person in the building would ever take that act at face value.

In the end, things depended on the tiny boss’s action.

So, she looked back to the young girl, gazing in her eyes in hopes of trying to figure out what she was thinking. She was, for better or for worse, someone who was far more legible than the archbishop who never kept both feet on the denominations of good and evil.

Granted, it was unlikely that someone of Birdway’s stature would remember someone like Sara from the incident in Whitby.
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Post  Leivinia Birdway on Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:07 am

Ever since the arrival of Laura Stuart it had become oddly silent in that candle lit prayer hall. All parties and their conflicts had died down, much like the livelihood of the chaos that had surrounded them. And yet that girl did not openly exert the presence of a true leader, the way it would usually be done.

Instead, she would awkwardly assume the position at the centre of the altar, talking in a manner that was easily to be described as ‹clumsy›.

«This doesn't change the fact that I can get in.  But what about these screwups over here, Madame Archbishop?»

Between the lines (Arc 4 Side Story) - Page 3 Lauras11
After what was a lengthy period of awkward silence, invoked by her ultimate secret art, Laura Stuart would clap her hands to announce success.

«That settles it!»

There was no need to hear a proper response leaving Leivinia Birdway’s mouth had it remained wide open for at least 60 seconds. That was how deep the shock had hit. So, why not simply act like a shady business man and use it to seal the deal?

«I’m sure you will appreciate this opportunity, Leivinia Birdway.»

Gears had shifted once more. This time to an openly polite facade, only little reminiscent of the childish ploy she had used to checkmate even one of the greatest leaders in the world of Magic.

And yet she’d shift again, as she commenced to explain the truly important matters.

«Atsa, Sara, Vita and Heinrich. Your mission will be as follows: Track down and capture Stella Dellinger di Ariana alive before Academy City can lay their hands on her. The secrets she may have seen throughout the years she worked with the Anglican Church alongside the ones she may have obtained last night are not to fall into the enemy’s hands. In fact, I would like to confirm these personally before we dispose of her.»

It was rare for a traitor to not meet execution on the spot. Especially in a scenario like this where one crossed enemy territory while holding onto critical intel, not immediately going for the kill before any damage could be done may have seemed crazy. However, that woman obviously did not mind. She did not care. As such, something more pressing must have overruled that common sense action.

«In the meantime Longroad will remain in London to investigate the presence of traitors within our ranks. He will do so independently from the organisation.»

That was all. Those were the archbishop’s orders.

Between the lines (Arc 4 Side Story) - Page 3 Longro10
«Consider it done. I’ll grab Stiyl, as I’m sure we can trust him, and then we’ll snuff out the rats.»

The burger munching poncho wearing priest would naturally be the first to reply to these orders, keeping his laid back demeanour even in face of his absolute superior. And yet, he’d act oddly sharp as he did.

To conclude this professional meeting, however, it was necessary to turn towards the other participants as well.

«I won’t be having your backs this time. So if there’s any questions, ask them now.»

A smile on his lips was his tool to underline this brotherly gesture. Brotherly enough to be primarily geared at his favourite little, of course. Not to exclude the others, though.
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Post  Leivinia Birdway on Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:00 pm

August 21st, 10:27 A.M.

Secret escapes are a fundamental aspect of modern elevated life. As long as you have the money to put on the table, you can afford any hideout no matter how out in the open it actually might be. Thus, the idea of shabby hut in the woods or an abandoned bunker left over from the cold war, is just an afterimage of a cheap man’s possibilities. Think big and you will realise that hideouts can be truly comfortable, right at the centre of a large city and stuffed to the brink with all kinds of spoils such as well aged wine.

«Mhmhm~♫ What a marvellous vintage ♫ Fruity and yet there is an unmistakable hint of cedar. What an intriguing bouquet ♫»

Humming in the highest notes of bliss, the woman in the gaudy victorian dress split in the middle between black and white and embroidered by red was dancing across the vast space of the room. A glass of swaying red wine in hand, of course. Her face was beautifully ornamented by skilfully executed make up, her shiny golden coloured hair glossy due to the right care and her ever lingering scent born from an aggressive brand of perfume strongly present in the air, bewitching all those allowing in so much as a hint of it.

Between the lines (Arc 4 Side Story) - Page 3 Stella10
«Wonderful ♫ Marvellous ♫ Perfect ♫»

The scenery, entirely soothed by the melodies of an old Italian opera, was a penthouse in the 31st floor of a high rise Tokyo sky scraper. By nature of these places the room was entirely surrounded by gigantic glass windows reaching from roof to floor, while filled with all kinds of designer furniture, originating from the golden age of the craft – not the modern days. All bore a majestic, no longer chic but slightly overloaded appeal. One too far removed from the European standards of tastefulness.

«Isn’t it about time to focus on that which lies ahead, madame~?»

A man’s voice cut in, addressing the gorgeous lady lost in teenage enjoyment.

«Never assume I don’t, will you? Everything is going according the plan. Down to the tiniest detail, in fact. Even this is part of it, you see. Mhmhm ♫»

There was no gravity in her words, not even as they were meant to become sharper in self defence. No, the humming accompanying any of her speech did not allow for that. It never would.

«I understand, madame. However, as a loyal herald I have to ensure that my master’s investments are not in vain~ He did undergo great risk, enabling your flight from London.»

«Mhmhmhm ♫ And I will not disappoint. Not towards someone who sponsored this good vintage. Deep red as it is, I’m sure there is no need for me to confirm its age with a glance at the bottle. Truly, such a wonderful gift ♫»

Perfectly well contained calm opposed to a daydreamer’s carefree joy.

Silence would be the ultimate outcome of the two clashing.

«I will not fail your expectations, my dear. Believe me, I am not like that failure you unleashed on Valentine’s Day. After all, this is my moment of glory.»

The result born were truly sharp words. Not sugar coated. Not lost in the ecstasy of the moment.

Such were the true colours of the madwoman that had dared to oppose the entire United Kingdom and gotten away with it.

Stella Dellinger di Ariana.

«Pardon~ I did not mean to provoke you, dear madame.»

The man bowed before the lady, implying a sense of hierarchy between the two.

To put it bluntly, their relationship could be described as that of an actress and her stage hand.

«To match your faith in me, I will wholeheartedly believe that, much like this mouth-blown glass in my hand to the true vintage, you will become the ideal vessel to call upon the full richness of my inner taste. The grande plan which I have forged ♫»
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Post  Leivinia Birdway on Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:01 pm

August 21st, 12:20 P.M.

Among the many Districts Academy City harboured there was one many didn’t see as that eventful: District 23. Obviously not because of the sciences that resided here, but because it simply wasn’t that exciting a place for students. Or rather, it wasn’t one where the 80% of the population that were students would go frequently. Simply for the fact that its main focus was dead set on space travel and aviation. Essentially this meant that District 23’s most well known landmark was Academy City’s international airport.

Leivinia Birdway allowed for an annoyed sigh to escape her lips as she sat alone on a bench so comfortable it should be named a couch instead. Right now the blonde twelve years old in white dress and black stockings sat in a space dedicated to arriving passengers. However, the area she sat in was separated from the common folk by a see-through barrier made from slightly smoky fortified glass. It was a lounge guarded by extensive security mechanisms, solely dedicated to the very few first class passengers there normally were.

Yes, she was that kind of girl.

The kind so spoiled and rich she hadn’t ever flown anything below business class ever since birth.

And yet she also was a great leader. Meaning, she knew how to cut short spendings by sending her underlings to the cramped confinement of the economy class.

Right now she waited for exactly those, who – unlike her – didn’t have the privilege to go through immigration on the express way.

Ultimately, this was what her plan for infiltrating Academy City had come down to. She had organised the necessary papers and booked a flight to Academy City itself. Officially their visit had been declared to be for business purposes, which required Leivinia Birdway, head of not only one of the world’s most dangerous magic cabals but also some high rise enterprises closely woven into its domain, to travel to Japan in the company of some of her associates.

These associated were, of course, needed to represent themselves accordingly. Therefore, each member of the small party had received wardrobe change alongside other cliched business goods such as fake business cards and documents to carry around.

As a result, all clad in black business suits, they should certainly stick out and not attract any unwanted attention simultaneously.

So much so that Birdway herself had to keep a close eye on the passersby to not accidentally have them slip past her.
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Post  Atsa Tsinaajinii on Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:26 am

The plan made sense, they entered the city under the guise of Birdway's employees. As long as they didn't get themselves outed as magician they would be able to avoid creating any conflict between the two sides while also saving their own skins. With that in mind it made sense they would have to stay as inconspicuous as possible so wearing the business suits made perfect sense, however, Atsa was hating every second of it. His usually clothing was far more comfortable and more importantly he had to leave his eagle behind. After all, a normal businessman wouldn't grab anyone's attention but a businessman with a large eagle on his shoulder or following him around definitely would.

Needless to say his eagle didn't take having to stay behind very well. It had quite a few choice words to say to him about this decision and even more to say about his choice of companions. If there was any silver lining to the whole situation it was that no one else could understand what the bird said besides him. He was fairly certain that if they could Birdway would've blown him up and then blown up his corpse for good measure while Vita would surely join in on the fun. Sara seemed to be the most stable of the group but since the bird has the most to say about her it was still a relief she couldn't speak the language of the birds either.

When it came to the flight itself being stuck in economy class didn't really bother Atsa. In fact, he spent a majority of the flight sleeping with his arms wrapped around his backpack since it had various ingredients for his spell work packed inside. Even as he slept though he was nervous how the self proclaimed empress was going to take being sent to economy class while Birdway relaxed up in first class.

Once the flight arrived in the airport he'd immediately make his way to baggage claim to grab his suit case he had packed his masks, bow and arrow, and other materials he couldn't fit in his bag or couldn't bring directly on the plane due to legal reasons. It wasn't until after he retrieved these bags that he'd go looking for Sara, Vita, and Birdway in the crowd.
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Post  Vita Vesta Caesar on Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:32 pm

Academy City. Not Rome, not London; Academy City. Vita had arrived.

Stepping off the plane in a freshly tailored suit, Vita found herself questioning the sensibilities of their illustrious guide for not the first time since they'd departed on the flight. Not because of their seats, no. Although it had been rather selfish of Birdway to stuff them all in economy while she enjoyed the high class seats, this was a mission. She wouldn't complain (aloud, or to anyone her superiors might hear from) even if she were stuffed in a box and mailed as a mode of transport. For this mission which they conducted under Birdway's dubious auspices, that was just a fact of life, not anything to question.

What she questioned was the choice of disguise.

Vita's appearance was, of course, eye-catching. A disguise is meant to assist in the avoiding of attention. But the disguise which Birdway had insisted upon was a set of black business suits for the four of them. For Heinrich, it was perhaps passable. It was true that suits suited a wide variety of people without discrimination; that being the reason for its position as formalwear. Whoever you were, wherever you were, if you wore a suit, your appearance would meet a minimum standard. And so Heinrich, at least, did not particularly stand out in the suit.

But that was because he was an adult. The rest of them, well... They weren't even of the age of majority, and Vita herself was in particular young. It could be potentially be excused if any of them were alone, but together, the visual effect was quite outstanding. Lanky, awkward Atsa, with his unique heritage, had been fated to stand out in uniform Japan, but the effect was further highlighted by his dress. Saravati, alone, might have been able to get away with the suit, but in their company her youth stood out where it might otherwise be assumed she simply looked young. And Vita herself, of course, would be in her second year of middle school were she enrolled in Academy City's school system. And she was wearing a suit. The effect that Birdway had presumably desired was completely lost on them.

Really, they should have just found some school uniforms to wear. Heinrich didn't look that old.
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Post  Furuhashi Gou on Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:43 am

A double cheese burger with extra bacon and a fried egg, alongside freshly fried steakhouse fries and a can of an energy drink released by a brand, using a racoon as their logo, called Beast. The typical meal of a single man on a Saturday evening. Only that today wasn’t Saturday and the time of day lunch. In fact, the place was as far removed from a single man’s apartment as it could. It was a small food court situated right in the middle of Academy City’s international airport.

The one this meal belonged to was Furuhashi Gou. He was a boy in the prime of his youth, being both tall and bulky. His stern face and shortly cut grey hair gave him the appeal of run the mill ruffian. However, that dangerous demeanour was actually rejected by the green band he wore pinned to his white shirt’s sleeve. That boy was a member of Judgement. A quite diligent one to be precise. Rules had been his passion. Rarely would one find anyone as dedicated to them as him all over the city.

Naturally, there were of course other things he had been dedicated to. For example his direct superior, Konori Mii. But that should only suffice to explain part of his motivation behind coming here today.

An emergency request from Anti-Skill had reached Judgement this morning, asking for additional support in a tricky matter. Of course, always being the first to enter the office, Furuhashi had taken the opportunity without hesitation. And now he was sitting here, alongside other Judgement colleagues who had answered that call.

Apparently word about a possible terror attack staged at the airport had reached the officials. However, as long as they hadn’t been able to confirm the intel Anti-Skill hadn’t been willing to offer up too many of their forces, resulting in a need to involve Judgement. Judgement, here, was asked to provide additional eyes and ears that would help monitor the situation at the airport and help with the evacuation of civilians if necessary. If any of the suspicions should be confirmed, however, they were asked to immediately call in Anti-Skill and pull out, so that the adults could take over, while the children would evacuate alongside the remaining children.

A simple scheme of operation following standard protocol.

However, it wasn’t any of this that had kept him from taking a bite off of his royal meal. No, what had written concern all over his face was something else.

«This time I won’t screw up.»
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Post  Hitotsumi Futaba on Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:55 pm

If ever there were a person in Academy City who would match this fellow's dedication to rules and order, then that person would also be at the Academy City Airport. Said person would probably be the total opposite to him, though: Perky and upbeat, with an unrelenting supply of energy to dedicate to her work. Said person was a middle school girl by the given name of Futaba, though professionally she was usually referred to by her family name, Hitotsumi. Or perhaps the epithet given by certain researchers, 'Doubler'. In any situation, or more specifically this situation, she was a beacon of honest cheer in this most serious of times.

To many, this might be seen as strange, since she was a Judgement officer, and not many people ascribed the virtues of jubilation to their various police forces, even if those police were students. Even more so, she was presently tasked with surveilling the Airport for no other reason than a terrorist threat had been issued. She was from a different branch than her compeer in the force, but they were united under the banner of justice, so there was nothing standing in the way of her friendliness and tendency to act overly familiar with people.

Plus, in her defense, acting particularly surly while wearing a bunny bow on her head at all times, categorically, without exception, would likely drag down the atmosphere anywhere. It was up to her to make sure normal civilians weren't particularly on edge, lest it make their job a whole lot harder than it already was. After all, people who were nervous were a whole lot more suspicious than people who weren't. That's a fact.

Of course, it wasn't helping that her compatriot was being particularly stern and pensive, as though he was being weighed down by a guilty conscience or something. If anybody in this Airport was being suspicious, it was probably the guy who had been staring at a perfectly good burger without taking a bite in several minutes. In Academy City, you learn to let certain behaviors slide for some people, but first you have to know those people. If he was an object reading esper who was getting to know the cow his burger originated from, maybe she'd have let it slide, but she didn't know anything about him, because was from a different branch. Anything about him, except for his name:

"What's with the long face, Furuhashi-san? War flashbacks?" she joked, with her trademark smile, looking at him for only long enough to ask the question before returning her gaze vigilantly towards the variety of people passing through the airport, though keeping an ear turned to her peer, listening to whether or not he'd snap out of it. After all, his lunch break wasn't particularly long, and her's was due soon, not that she was going to remind him of it. While she was only a back-up for the actual security force that was already present in the airport, it wasn't something she was going to slack on even for a moment.
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Post  Heinrich Steinmann on Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:44 am

Heinrich stepped off the plane and cracked his neck. The plane ride had been an uncomfortable one, cramped into economy class. He was a big guy, and he was pretty sure Birdway had intentionally gotten him the worst seat. He had even considered originally getting off the plane and purchasing his own ticket, meeting the group at the destination. But ultimately, he just shrugged and took the seat. Taking a deep breath, he set off to meet the others at the baggage claim. He was a man who had no need for luggage of his own, but even then, he wouldn't necessarily be bringing items allowed on a plane. As he walked, Heinrich began to think to himself.

Academy City, the heart of science. Heinrich was no stranger to this place, having been many times for work. And he knew just how dangerous a place it was. He had personally seen what goes on in the dark, what happened to those who strayed off the beaten path and were swallowed by the city. They would have to be careful here. One wrong move and they could all be staring down the business end of a gun, or even worse, facing off against the strange pseudo-scientific powers the denizens of the city wielded.

"They've made a mockery of science in pursuit of knowledge. The people here are willing to step on anyone to pursue their goals, to throw away countless young lives in the name of their research. A true tragedy has befallen the people of this city, yet at the same time, its honestly beautiful in a way. I wonder what Mother thought about this place."As Heinrich approached the luggage claim, his thoughts began to stray from his musings about this strange yet wonderful city. His thoughts strayed, for he got a good glimpse of his comrades against the crowd.

Birdway had chosen the suits. She assumed that they provided an excellent way to blend into the faceless crowds. And she would have been right, had not overlooked one crucial detail. The magicians of Necessarius were all far too young to be wearing suits. At 23, Heinrich was able to pull the look off, yet it still looked far from ideal. He could easily fix this quickly by finding another disguise or sculpting his flesh. But the Roman, the Shaman, the Bird; the look didn't suit them at all. Heinrich thought to himself.

"I'll have to take them shopping. Birdway's a miser though, so I guess its coming out of my pocket. Oh well, group bonding I guess."
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Post  Saravati Nair on Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:24 pm

Each step of the way, as they moved out of the plane and into the airport terminal, Sara stretched her arms and legs as far as she could without losing pace. A pull here. A crack of the neck there. It was all subtle, so nobody would notice unless they put full attention on her.

The cramped feeling of an economy class cabin on a flight to Academy City was nothing short of onerous to the girl who hated being restricted more than anything. Then again, economy class on a flight was never fun regardless of how long the flight took, even with the fortune of having a window seat to her side.

Her legs and arms were nothing short of sore and aching when they had finally landed. Being in a full suit didn’t help though she could count her blessings that she was wearing women’s slacks instead of restrictive business skirt.

Needless to say, it was far from ideal. But, she knew better than to mess up a facade by acting too abnormal when she was on the job. So, she walked in lockstep with the rest of the group, relishing in the freedom from an annoying bird of prey pecking at her head. Contrary to the assumptions of Heinrich, Sara was perfectly capable of walking the walk and not coming of as conspicuous when need be, even if her skin was a dead give-away of her foreign nature in the city.

As she walked, she let her eyes wander wherever they could. It was highly unlikely that the target was in this airport, but it was best to get the lay of the land as soon as she could. There was no telling what could happen, after all. Ascertaining all possible escape routes and obstacles was a necessity.



Between the lines (Arc 4 Side Story) - Page 3 Kuroko10

Yes, it was important to understand he lay of the land as best she could. Ascertaining all possible escape routes and obstacles was vitally important, especially in a situation where there was a threat of a terrorist attack. There was no way of knowing whether an evacuation route would become unusable during an event so, it was best to keep all eyes open.

“Don’t worry about the stuck-up idiot there.” Shirai Kuroko said before taking a sip of the milk she had  in one hand to wash down the taste of some of the anpan in her other hand. One could question why she was walking with such stereotypical stake-out food, but the image of originality didn’t really matter that much for the twintailed girl in a Tokiwadai uniform and a Judgement armband.

“It’s better to just do your own thing and let him stick to his tight little protocol.”

As a girl known for not really sticking to protocol when it was an inconvenience, Kuroko simply sighed as she directed her words to the more bubbly girl. She simply stuck to biting off pieces of her anpan, sipping milk, and questioning what they were really supposed to be looking for with such vague instructions.
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Post  Leivinia Birdway on Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:24 pm

While it did not apply to higher class citizens such as Leivinia Birdway with her cup of a Japanese milk tea knock-off, the mood at the airport had been unusually tense. It had not been the passengers themselves, but the air lingering around them. Surveillance had been fortified, security officers were patrolling more frequently and security checks were performed more rigorously than usual. Such things, even if not directly visible, did have their influence on the surroundings. The Magicians must have felt it, too.

And yet they had been able to cross through the administrative processes with relative ease.

Picking up their baggage and leaving into the public segment of the arrivals’ area, they had essentially overcome the most difficult portion. Here awaited them countless shops – the majority being brand ones –, a food court and information desks. A small paradise for anyone with a thick enough purse. The last hurdle before the exit into the actual city.

There was only one problem: Without Birdway they couldn’t continue.

And there was neither a trace of her nor had they agreed on a rendezvous point.
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Post  Furuhashi Gou on Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:25 pm

Right, he wasn’t alone. Completely sunken into his ‹war flashbacks› Furuhashi Gou had completely forgotten the two other Judgement members who had been assigned to the arrivals lobby.

«What’s with the long face, Furuhashi-san? War flashbacks?»

Hitosumi Futaba, A shrill and lively girl, he couldn’t quite categorise yet. But somehow she reminded him of a modern day brand of idols he’d often seen and admired on TV.

«Don’t worry about the stuck-up idiot there. It’s better to just do your own thing and let him stick to his tight little protocol.»

And Shirai Kuroko. Of all people it had to be her, he had been stuck with.

«I-it’s nothing. Really.»

He’d respond in a hardly believable tough guy act. Surely, with their timing they had caught him entirely off guard. To an extent that thick beads of sweat had formed on his forehead while he attempted to rectify his posture.

«Right, right! Shouldn’t we focus on the job? It’s not good to slack off in the act of duty.»

Still not finding the way back to any of his characteristic behaviour of being little talkative, he nervously attempted to stir the conversation onto a different path. And what better topic to pick than the work they were actually meant to do?

Absorbing the idea of a hard worker, Gou from his seated position would scan the entire area for anything that stood out. And – much to his own surprise – his gaze landed upon someone actually standing out. Immediately after making that realisation for himself, he’d nod to divert the attention of his fellow Judgement members towards a group of four obvious outsiders in classic business wear. Specifically, one of them had managed to attract his attention for how much they diverted from the overall image of their group.

«That tall foreigner over there. Don’t you think he’s suspicious?»
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Post  Hitotsumi Futaba on Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:22 am

Futaba was in good company today. The people posted with her were a fellow law-abiding student worthy of respect, and a somewhat rebellious compeer who made up for her occasional misconduct with many accolades. The vibes were good today — to hell with any terrorist threats — and this particular member of Judgement was ready to ride those good vibes all the way to the end of the shift. After all, there was no reason to worry about a threat until it happens, asides the diligence due to keep people safe in case it isn't just bluster. Being stressed wasn't good for her hair, either, so she had at least, like, double the reason to chill out, and simply keep vigilance.

When Shirai-san chimed in with her opinions on Furuhashi's uptightness, Futaba got a confused or possibly just disappointed expres​sion(it was difficult to tell with her), tilting her head against her index finger, asking in response, "What's so uptight about not eating during a lunch break? Furuhashi-san, are you fasting or something?"

The topic was swiftly deflected by the diligent mention that slacking off was no good in times like this. "An astute analysis, my dear Furuhashi-san! In that case, which suspect is holding your attention so?" she spoke in a joking tone of intelligence, the sort one practiced when either issuing tongue-in-cheek sarcasm or piling onto somebody else's smart lines.

It happened that Furuhashi-san did have a suspicious person in his sights though. A tall foreigner clad in businesswear, surrounded my many underaged yet similarly-dressed foreigners of various sorts. "I see," the young lady replied, perking up a bit if that was even possible. Her lips curled into a sly, playful grin, "They do look pretty suspect dressed like that. Good eye, Furuhashi-san, good eye. Let's go give him the business!"

Without any further explanation, Futaba would playfully lock the crook of her arm around his, and escort her observant coworker in the same direction of the tall gentleman and his posse of youths. "Hell-ooo~!" she exclaimed in sing-song accented English, taking large, exaggerated steps towards the group making it very clear that they were being accosted by this high-energy, bunny-bow wearing local youth. "You're looking pretty coordinated for such an uncoordinated bunch of folks. Where're ya guys from?" she asked, with a smile, arriving as quickly as her large steps would imply she would, at least one Furuhashi-san in tow, though he did have two arms and thusly if a similarly playful Kuroko was feeling up to it, she could have joined along the trip.

Before giving the opportunity to answer, practically as soon as she punctuated the sentence, she would gesture to her armband, and mention, "I'm Hitotsumi, and this is Furuhashi-san. We're from Judgement, a student police force, here in Academy City. We've been given orders to bolster security by keeping an eye out for anything and anyone that stands out in the arrivals lobby. So in the interest of security, we're just gonna need you to come aside and subject yourself to the third degree." Her voice leveled out so that nobody who wasn't already eavesdropping would not feel inclined to do so. "Ain't that right, Furuhashi-san?" she gave him a stiff pat on the back, giving away the fact that she was only being so forthright to support her goodly coworker.

Of course by doing all the talking it might've been a wonder why she'd bothered bringing Gou this way at all.
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Post  Furuhashi Gou on Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:06 pm

Hitotsumi Futaba was simply overpowering. Even for a tall grown boy like Furuhashi, that bundle of energy was too much to handle. Or maybe that very nature of hers was the reason for why he couldn’t find a way to even resist. Whichever it was, within a moment she had tucked her arm around his, pulling him along right into the heart of the storm.

That wasn’t what they had been supposed to do in the slightest, but this level of proximity to a girl – especially a cute one – made his head go all red, extinguishing any other instinct mercilessly. Defeat on the first hit.

In the end that meant he’d find himself standing before the even taller foreigner amidst the group of obvious youngsters. Silently nodding as Hitotsumi committed wholeheartedly to her over the top introduction, spoken in a familiar but at the same time very foreign language to an ordinary Japanese boy like him.

«I am Furuhashi!»

Jerking on the back-pat’s impact, he spoke the only actual English sentence he had memorised, in what was the most awkward pronunciation you’d hear in any Japanese high school classroom.
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Post  Heinrich Steinmann on Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:45 am

Heinrich's heart sank when the three youths in armbands approached. He knew that the disguises Birdway had chosen were ineffective, but he didn't expect their merry band to be caught before even making it into the city. Worse, he knew what those armbands meant- Judgement, an organization of Esper student police. The freaks had walked right up to him and begun questioning the group in a mixture of decent and broken English.

Whe'red you come from?... Come aside and subject yourself to the third degree." The girl was telling them to go be searched, but Heinrich figured he could turn her attention to just him. He rapidly thought of what he would say, and then opened his mouth.

"Please, you can relax. I speak Japanese, there's no need to strain yourselves my friends. I can explain this whole suspicious matter of my group. You're wondering why a lad my age, 23 mind you, is traveling with a group of teenaged children? It's a rather simple matter of course. You see, the company I work for currently has some business here in Academy City, business being attended to by our head. I'm simply traveling here as an aid to help her in negotiations. But our company also runs an internship program for unfortunate, impoverished orphans around the world, which also explains our multinational composition you see. The lot of them have been alone since their parents died or abandoned them at very young ages (the Italian girl, poor thing, was abandoned as an infant), and they're just searching to experience the love and family that they've never had. The boss decided to have me escort said interns to the city so that they could witness the deals being made first hand. Now, I'll come along and subject myself to a search, but the children have a car waiting and I simply do not trust them on public transit like I do myself, so they'll need to run along and pick up their possessions to meet the driver. Children, run along now- the Mistress is waiting for you. Also, officers, please, a quick request before you drag me away. I lost one of the children in the rush of the crowd and my boss will kill me if they don't all arrive together. So if we could just make a quick call over the intercom, and tell a young Miss Levinia Birdway to please meet the internship group at baggage claim, that would be absolutely wonderful. Now please, lead me away and I'll answer any questions you may have.

Heinrich fidgeted with his ring and gloves as he talked, unsure if the boy and 2 girls would buy the story. He thought to himself that perhaps he should ready himself to retrieve a knife and his arrow if things went south in the interrogation.
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Post  Saravati Nair on Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:57 pm

Sara wanted to say she was startled, but the fact that they had quickly been picked out from the crowd by a group of teenagers who held some level of authority in the city was not the least surprising. They were, despite their near-uniform business-like attire, a suspicious group. So, it was far from abnormal that they ended up being stopped.

Hell, even the sudden attempt at English from the young man didn’t even phase her. Though it did bring to mind the possibility of seduction. Given her outfit and figure, she could probably enact an effective attempt at seduction. But, she dared not bring out that idea. She had a professional image she had to keep.

Spoiler:
Between the lines (Arc 4 Side Story) - Page 3 FHFaqfU

On the other hand, Heinrich’s sudden shift into fluent Japanese did catch her off-guard. Suffice to say, he and probably none of the others expected it given the quizzical look of the girl in chestnut colored twintails.

It didn’t take long for Sara to figure out what route he was going when he said the words “children, run along now”. As much as she wasn’t a fan of this current course of action, the dice had already been rolled so she needed to work through this as calmly and efficiently as possible. The sooner they were out of sight from the group calling themselves Judgement, the better.

“In that case, I’ll take care of questioning and searching him.” The twintailed girl interjected as she pointed towards Heinrich. “You two keep an eye on them and make the lost child announcement.”

Even if one of them could speak Japanese, there was no guarantee to that the rest of them would. As such, keeping someone who could speak English with the others was probably to their benefit.

Sara sighed, crossed her arms, and looked towards Futaba. “Sorry about all of this.”
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Post  Atsa Tsinaajinii on Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:21 am

Shopping, now that sounded fun. It also meant he could get out of this formal business suit as quickly as possible and into some more casual clothing. More importantly, now that the group had gathered all together it was very clear how suspicious they looked. Why had Birdway thought putting them all in business suits was a good idea? Heinrich might've been able to pull off the look but in the company of the rest of the group he just looked suspicious.

Unfortunately, it seemed the idea to change outfits had been brought up to late as the group got accosted by a group of three all wearing green armbands. Atsa didn't know much about Academy City so while other members of the group may have been able to realize the trouble they were in he didn't until the energetic girl finished her introduction. Caught by a student police force before even getting out of the airport, for a group that was supposed to be sneaking into the city, completing their mission, and then getting out without getting noticed this was just pathetic.

In fact, it was so pathetic that Atsa was wondering if it had been Birdway's plan all along. Have them get grab in the airport and then deal with the issue by herself while they had to deal with the authorities. I mean she had seemingly vanished before any of the trouble began. Then again, she couldn't be so spiteful that she'd sabotage her own allies to get back at them for the King's Cross station incident right?

For now he'd push those thoughts to the back of his mind as he moved his focus back to the problem at hand. Heinrich had taken the lead and created a backstory to justify the current situation. While he kind of wanted to object to being called a unfortunate, impoverished orphan it was actually kind of accurate and trying to fight the story would only make them more suspicious. So for now he'd simply play along and see if he could put some pressure on these judgement officers to make this quick.

"How much trouble do you think he's going to get in if we're late? I heard the last time someone made the boss lady wait she fired them on the spot without even giving them a chance to try to explain themselves."

While this sentence was focused at Vita and Sara at a lower volume then his normal speaking voice he made sure that it was still just loud enough that Futaba would be able to overhear him.

As the four magicians dealt with the Judgement, a stowaway hiding in the cargo hold of the plane was preparing to make his great escape after spending the entire flight contemplating how they would get their revenge. Revenge on who? Every single magician that had just gotten off the plane. Why? Because they were all traitors that deserved to be punished for their arrogance. How dare they chose to leave him behind?! Atsa decided to go to Academy City with the blonde explosion brat and the wannabe bird girl but not his most trusted partner! He was the golden eagle Charlemagne self proclaimed king of all birds, this dishonor would simply not stand!

The moment the first set of baggage handlers grab their luggage and turned their back to head off the plane the golden eagle made a break for it causing a few of handlers to let out a startled cried as he suddenly appeared behind them before shooting off into the sky. Now all he had to due was figure out where exactly that group of traitors had gone.

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Post  Furuhashi Gou on Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:52 pm

These people were just too suspicious. Furuhashi Gou arrived at that conclusion when the tall foreigner had unleashed his top of the notch Japanese skills upon them. And much like the tenacious dog of law enforcement that he was, he would not find himself fazed in the slightest by that long overly detailed explanation.

While that had left him stone cold, Shirai’s interference naturally didn’t.

«In that case, I’ll take care of questioning and searching him. You two keep an eye on them and make the lost child announcement.»

In an act of petty spite, the boy would shift towards even higher working spirits than usual, fully intent on performing his job not only well but correctly. There were rules and paradigms any member of Judgement was supposed to follow. Their main objective in any situation would be serving as a supporting hand to Anti-Skill. This situation had not been an exception from that either. As such, he’d use his earpiece to access the private channel of the airport security team.

«Yomikawa-sensei, we have encountered a group worth investigating. Shirai is proceeding to question their leader, while we watch over the others. Assistance is necessary.»

Yet, while acting out his supporting role was his top priority, he did not allow himself to slip off on the other task he had before him: Until the requested personnel would arrive, he would carefully monitor this odd group of foreigners.

«They also reported a missing child: A young miss Leivinia Birdway. They want to pick her up at the baggage claim.»

Concise and quick, that was what he saw himself as. That’s what he imagined to be the ideal Judgement member to be like. Not a moody screwup who’d take the law into their own hands while their twin-tails dangled in the wind. He would prove his capability to match that ideal today!

Having renewed his conviction internally, the stern boy faced the group of ‹interns› with a gaze reminiscent of a military drill instructor. But when he opened his mouth…

«Japanese speak do you?»

…his terrible english surfaced once more.


Anti-Skill hadn’t had an easy time with today’s ongoings. Ever since word of the possible terror attack had surfaced, the internal organisation had been in disarray. Paired with another event happening in another District, the possibility of an incident occurring at this airport would set them under heavy pressure. As such the unit sent to the airport had been terribly understaffed. Fortunately, due to there not being any confirmation to the suspicions it was still somewhat safe to involve Judgement in the handling of the situation. Still, not every officer took a liking to that turn of events. After all, Anti-Skill was a police force made up from teachers who were meant to protect the well-being of the students.

One of the teachers highly concerned over said well-being was Yomikawa Aiho.

Normally she was the type of PE teacher that, even though she wore a tracksuit nearly all of the time, was highly popular with the male student crowd. Today, though, she was fully clad in the bullet proof armour you would normally only see members of a SWAT team boasting, the basic equipment any Anti-Skill officer was meant to wear. Her hip length pony tail of black hair swayed behind her as she rushed through the corridors of the airport’s employees only area.

Between the lines (Arc 4 Side Story) - Page 3 Yomika10
«Copy that, Furuhashi. I’m on my way.»

She had been under visible stress.

Following an entirely eventless morning, suddenly new intel had kept coming in one after the other, urging for a fast reaction.

«Tessou-sensei, take care of the missing child announcement.»

But even under these circumstances, she would not fall out of her role as the one in charge. No, Yomikawa Aiho was too strong willed not to keep up in moments like these.

«What’s that supposed to mean: Something escaped from a plane’s luggage room?! Put all baggage handling on halt until we’ve investigated! Saigo-sensei, head there immediately!»

Even if the madness kept piling.
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Post  Hitotsumi Futaba on Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:04 pm

All it took was a fair push and now everybody was doing their jobs. Judgement was a student police force, whose purpose was to enforce the laws of Academy City, and Futaba was keen on seeing their duties accomplished. It wasn't just a matter of 'what they were given orders to do' but also 'what they were supposed to do'. Kuroko and Furuhashi were two sides of a coin that they didn't need to be on. A person could follow protocol and orders while acting in their best judgement to maintain the safety.

Futaba might have come across as airheaded, but a lot of this was to their benefit and that of public safety, and the people they were questioning. After all, she'd seen some of the Anti-Skill members earlier, and they were decked out in full ballistic regalia, prepared for a war in the streets on this day. Somebody with an appearance comparable to a riot squad would probably result in significantly warier individuals than a handful of middle schoolers would. Anti-Skill was scary, y'know?

Since everyone was now kicked into gear and starting to do their jobs, Futaba had essentially jumpstarted the more professional side of everyone involved. It turned out that at least one member of the 'international suit brigade', as Officer Hitotsumi was now thinking of them as, was also quite fluent in Japanese, to the benefit of mutual understanding. Of course, as would any suspicious person, he used this ability of his to spin a mid-length tale regarding the origins of himself and his variety of 'interns'.

The rosy-cheeked esper would nod along with his speech, since she was only accosting him to begin with because he was suspicious – not guilty – and thusly she needed to at least pay lip service to his story. After all, if his story checked out, even if only by a margin of a hair, it would be embarassing to apologize later for being rude and not believing him. That said, the others in her little cluster of Judgement officers would take to their tasks like the well-trained worker drones that they were. Futaba was no queen, but there wasn't much a point in doubling up on what they were doing, so she would play bilingual diplomat here, and try to keep the young ones calm.

As a purple-haired young lady would shrug and apologize, Futaba would reply with all smiles: "Oh it's nothing!" Speaking and understanding English was barely worth calling a skill of hers, it was part of the school curriculum and a part of her life while she was growing up before Academy City. It wasn't a strain on her like it was for some Judgement members.

As she watched Gou call for back-up over the radio, and then poorly attempt an english sentence in frail hopes of inciting a common language between himself and the interns, she took a moment to correct him, "It's 'Do you speak Japanese?'*!" She casually shifted between Japanese and English like an English teacher might. Perhaps it was a decent career prospect if law enforcement fell through.

At the same time, she overheard the young white-haired male from the foreign group mention that their boss was particularly unreasonable, and this event was probably going to result in the adult's termination of employment. It always hurt when law enforcement was inconvenient, but she assumed with proper corroboration from the interns, the boss would be forced to ease up, if only in the interest of keeping an adult on staff. Plus, once Shirai had been set on the loose, there wasn't much in the way of getting her to adjust on account of others.

Futaba would use simple hand-gestures to compel the group to move towards the baggage claim area, going along with them. "We're having an announcement made for your missing companion, young Ms... Birdway? Anyways, we'll be meeting her at baggage claim, which is... Over this way~☆!" her voice was full of sunshine and rainbows.

Of course, Futaba didn't mention that since there was the threat of a terrorist attack present, they had to treat a missing person issue with extreme prejudice. If Ms. Birdway didn't show up, they would probably have to assume the two incidents were interrelated somehow, and perform a deeper investigation into the group and their missing person. Such was the nature of their circumstances and poor timing.
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