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[SS] Curfew Carnival

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Post  Aoki Aiko Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:11 pm

«You, too~!»

It took a lot of effort mentally for Aiko to keep herself from jumping at the site of the boy pulling out a gun. She was still very new to this whole Dark Side business and she'd never had anyone directly threaten her like that before. Aiko was fairly confident that she could dodge a shot or two if she made it dark or blinded the boy, but then she couldn't fight back and she didn't want to get into a conflict to begin with.

«I wouldn’t recommend waiting for orders. Otherwise you might wait a loooo~ng while! Right now nothing leaves this room. Not people. Not light. Not information.»

Risking a quick glance at her phone Aiko could tell that the boy wasn't lying to her. Her message had failed to send, and unlike the times when she had forgotten to take her field off jamming mode before sending a message, something she had done numerous times in the past, she was 100% sure she was in attack mode. That train of thought led her to notice something though that she had been too caught up in the moment of this interaction to notice before. Everything was off in this room. There were normally a lot of electrical signals in hospital rooms what with all the equipment in them, but this was different. It was like the whole room was wired up to monitor who came in and was outputting lots of microwaves.  

«I told ya. Nishi-yan and I are not gonna die alone anymore~! Cause that’s all we’re left to do in this death trap, nya~!»

Aiko let out a sigh and slid her laser pointer back into her pocket. This was no situation to be fighting.

"Do you know what happens if we step back out through the door?" Aiko asked the boy "I can feel the trap set up in this room and I just came from one exploding building and that is more than enough for one day."

If the actual trap itself was triggered by all the microwaves that the door was giving off, Aiko was fairly certain she could fool the sensors with her ability. Perhaps if that was the case, she could even barter some information from the boy in exchange for his freedom from the death trap.

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Post  Kinoshita Nori Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:21 pm

"Where's the alpaca?! I'm going to kill him!"

The kick had worked like a charm. A split second after the impact to his side Nori would rapidly sit up though his brain still lagged behind for the first few moments. Instead of registering the chaos around him his brain had entirely focused itself on his fight with the alpaca. Fortunately, it wouldn't take long for the sound of explosions, yelling, and the sight of mascots and people running around everywhere to snap him out of his haze. Along with that the pain from the kick would start to register and he'd turned to see the two people next to him.

"Kisaragi-san? What are you doing here? Why does my side hurt?"

Nori would quickly get to his feet and than begin looking around the mall. It really had become quite a mess since he had been knocked out. It seemed that they had managed to turn the sprinklers on. Since he got knocked out only a moment after announcing his plan though he doubted it had been useful in anyway. After all his plan had been to use the sprinklers to give him greater use of his power.

Speaking of, he wondered where his comrades from that fight were. Had they run off somewhere? He was honestly a bit offended they had just left him unconscious on the ground. Then again, it looked like everything went to hell after he was knocked out.

"Well this place became a mess after I got knocked out."
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Post  Kisaragi Anko Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:55 am

[SS] Curfew Carnival - Page 5 Tsuchi10
«So you noticed only now, nya~? And even without looking. Does that mean your power gives you scanning capabilities? Very interesting!»

That sunglasses delinquent was a sharp one. Not only had he easily seen through some of the key aspects of that girl’s powers just from her naive choice of words, but on top of that used the very fact that he had acquired this knowledge against her. Yes, he was openly bragging about having glimpsed at a fatal secret no ability user in this situation would wish to let surface. After all, understanding the enemy was a victory condition in a battle against Espers.

Still, he wasn’t hostile at all.

«No clue about what the trap is meant to be exactly, but I spotted the mechanism when I was walking right past it. Dumb luck, if you ask me. Since that’s exactly the type usually built into proximity mines the purpose should be pretty much the same. These people working for PHARMACY are all quite obsessed with their clean up work, making it completely normal for them to go overboard on the small details like this.»

He did not move his finger away from the trigger, but that was all. Even with toothy grin and sunglasses forming a perfect poker face, his words were quite cooperative.

«I’d say they wouldn’t pick a dirty method like an explosive or a flame thrower, but what do we know? Maybe it’ll roast our brains using the microwaves? Maybe it’ll fire a tiny poison dart into our necks? Or maybe it’s really just an alert system? Who knows. Who even wants to find out?»

The true nature of the trap did not matter. It existing was enough of a problem to deal with.

«You don’t look like a hard baked professional. And I don’t exactly know a means to get myself out of here. But given that you detected the trap with your ability, maybe said ability could help us both out? I mean, our objectives align either way, don’t they?»


Faced with the blue tracksuit boy’s outburst, all Kisaragi did was keep face. That stone cold and scary eyes facade would not crumble, even in the face of what she herself would label as ‹unprofessional stupidity›. Normally, there wouldn’t have been any need to understand any of these crazy sounding mumblings. This time, however, she would still listen. And what she had listened to she would absorb into her thoughts.

Only to be actually disappointed in the end.

«Don’t tell me you got taken out by one of those mascot freaks…»

If that was all she could expect from the fellow members of TASK then maybe this city really tried its most to insult her degree of professionally.

However, right now was not the time to go down that route.

«You fought with them? Why? What is going on in this mall? Tell me everything you know.»

Instead, as the one and only true expert she was, she would enter full interrogation mode, ignoring any other obstacles such as the boy’s own questions, the dizzy state he had been in or the chaos of the surroundings. She needed answers. Now.
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Post  Aoki Aiko Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:16 pm

«So you noticed only now, nya~? And even without looking. Does that mean your power gives you scanning capabilities? Very interesting!»

The boy was quick on the uptake. A small slip up in her word choice had allowed him to figure out that much. She was capable of scanning, however, do to the amount of constant electromagnetic waves that surround everything everyday, unless it's something like a powerful laser or a fast moving object, Aiko unconsciously tunes them out. Only when actively searching did she notice the trap.

«No clue about what the trap is meant to be exactly, but I spotted the mechanism when I was walking right past it. Dumb luck, if you ask me. Since that’s exactly the type usually built into proximity mines the purpose should be pretty much the same. These people working for PHARMACY are all quite obsessed with their clean up work, making it completely normal for them to go overboard on the small details like this. I’d say they wouldn’t pick a dirty method like an explosive or a flame thrower, but what do we know? Maybe it’ll roast our brains using the microwaves? Maybe it’ll fire a tiny poison dart into our necks? Or maybe it’s really just an alert system? Who knows. Who even wants to find out? You don’t look like a hard baked professional. And I don’t exactly know a means to get myself out of here. But given that you detected the trap with your ability, maybe said ability could help us both out? I mean, our objectives align either way, don’t they?»

The boy was right about their objectives being the same. Getting out of this room alive was rather high on Aiko's priority list in fact. Though she didn't need the boy to be able to leave, the fact that he still had the gun pointed at her was enough to warrant concern about trying to leave without him. She couldn't pass back through the door, interfering with its scanning, and make it hard for him to shoot her at the same time. Aiko thought for a moment, analyzing the waves being emitted from the door frame. With her ability she should be able to trick them into thinking that no one was passing through.

"Well, it seems we'd both rather get out of this room alive. Your guess is correct, I can get us out of here with my ability. Although I will require a deal. I will help you get out of here, but in return hand over the gun. You can have it back if we encounter resistance when leaving or once we're outside. Also I want everything you know about our unconscious friend here. Though you'd better stand right next to me, I won't be able to protect you if you're far away."

Hopefully Aiko could use this opportunity to  further her goals as well. Seeing as this boy was already here with the target, he was bound to know something about what was going on. Also if he was as quick on the uptake as she thought, she wanted to send some false info about her capabilities to throw him off a bit. She was more than capable of protecting him from a bit of a distance, but any misinformation he had was better for her.

"Well, do we have a deal?"

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Post  Kinoshita Nori Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:44 pm

"That mascot freak happened to be the captain of a fencing team and had some kind of shockwave ability. I also may have pushed a few too many of his buttons. Also who's this guy with you?"

Kisaragi had ignored all of his questions but he guessed he'd figure out a majority of them pretty soon. After all she had come to the mall and was now shooting questions at him even though he had just regained consciousness. His teammate was looking for something and he doubted he be kept in the dark too much longer. So for now he just tried to recall everything that had happened before he got a sword slammed over his head though at the same time part of his mind was always focusing on how he could get his revenge on the alpaca.

"Well the boss sent me here to get her some kind of plushie but while I was doing that I heard two people nearby talking about that ambulance you were after. So I went over to talk to them and it seems these mascot were secretly taking over the mall while all that was going down. They made an announcement about their take over, everyone went crazy, and then we got in a fight with that pirate alpaca. Speaking of have you seen a spiky haired girl named Kamijou and a thug like guy named Adachi? They were the people I was talking to and were helping me fight the alpaca but they seem to have vanished while I was unconscious."
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Post  Kisaragi Anko Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:05 pm

[SS] Curfew Carnival - Page 5 Tsuchi10
A negotiation at gun point surely didn’t help to ease the situation. Especially given that both sides did have a point of interest in striking a deal. However, that crossdresser had taken this situation and attempted to increase the gains she’d take from it. Essentially her hand may have truly been stronger, but at the same time she still was at the mercy of the boy who was clearly more experienced.

And that boy fell silent for a long moment, furrowing his brows.

He was thinking. Weighing his options. Clearly, though, with the gun in his hands he had the upper hand in terms of raw power. Something neither of them could deny. So how likely was he to give in, in the first place? The demand list was pretty long, after all.

«Sounds good~!»

Unhesitatingly the boy flushed another of his toothy grins and tossed the gun over with a comedic lack of care. He’d thrown away his lifeline and the tenseness of the situation. But what for?

«Sooo where do I start~? Nishi-nyan over there seems to be a regular ambulance driver. As you probably know that was all but a front to sneak PHARMACY’s goods through the city. That’s all there is making the guy interesting. All I wanted to know is the route he took that night. We know he wanted to return here, but where did he come from? Finding that out might lead us to PHARMACY’s lair. That’s what I want. And what you want, isn’t it, nya~?»

Tsuchimikado Motoharu was a strange specimen. He was both entirely cheerful and yet sharp as a knife. There was no telling if that was really everything he knew, but that’s all he’d given up on a whim. And yet, this carelessness stood in stark contrast with the fact that the gun he’d been pointing at his now-partner-in-crime was fully loaded.

«Now can we go~?»


A heavy sigh, such as the one Kisaragi let escape, was the only reply she found to the explanation Kinoshita offered her. The events that had unfolded in this mall had an absurd tone to them, but their aftertaste felt quite grim given all of the ongoings she had been able to absorb upon arrival.

Still, she had listened carefully enough to immediately jump at the most important cue.

«Kamijou? Kamijou Touko? Did you see what happened to her? Is there anything she could be doing now? Anything?»

There was no time to waste on unimportant noise such as the other boy or the origin of the mascot characters. They may have been variables in this messy formula, but unless they would actually pose a danger or in anyway influence the outcome of their current campaign, experienced professional Kisaragi Anko couldn’t care less about them.

«This is important, Kinoshita. We need to find this Kamijou Touko. There is someone truly dangerous after her. Someone I need to take care of.»

Again, there was no time to waste. This situation had to be handled as quickly and swiftly as possible. The girl was the key. If they could find her, they might be able to find the Vicious Cycle as well. And with that turn the tables.
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Post  Aoki Aiko Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:13 am

«Sounds good~!»

Aiko was caught a bit off guard by how quickly the boy accepted her proposal and even more so by him so casually tossing the gun to her. Aiko managed to catch the firearm, although with a slight fumble that gave away her surprise. Aiko didn't know much about guns outside of what she'd read in books and seen in games and movies, but she could tell it was real just holding it. Aiko concentration was brought away from the gun and back to the boy as he started talking once more.

«Sooo where do I start~? Nishi-nyan over there seems to be a regular ambulance driver. As you probably know that was all but a front to sneak PHARMACY’s goods through the city. That’s all there is making the guy interesting. All I wanted to know is the route he took that night. We know he wanted to return here, but where did he come from? Finding that out might lead us to PHARMACY’s lair. That’s what I want. And what you want, isn’t it, nya~? Now can we go~?»

Aiko had know way of telling if the boy was telling the whole truth or any truth at all. Aiko silently wished Kisaragi was her for this, she probably had some kind of ninja lie detection skills or something. For now all she could do was take it at face value. As someone prone to telling lies herself, Aiko knew that couldn't really be worth much. She had a feeling that this boy knew more than he was letting on, he'd beaten them to the hospital after all. Aiko wanted to press him for more info, but she was starting to feel on edge staying in this room rigger with who knows what kind of mechanism.

"I'll except that for now, though I don't believe you're telling me everything. Regardless, this room is starting to make me feel uncomfortable, I'm not a fan of hospitals to begin with. I'm going to leave the room now, I won't wait for you to follow so keep close if you don't want to set off the sensors. Maybe while we're walking out you can tell me anything you forgot to mention just now."

Aiko began walking out of the room, using her ability to mask her presence from the scanners. As long as the boy stuck close to her, he'd be fine as well. As she crossed the doorway into the hall, she couldn't help but notice the awkward  weight of the gun in her hand. It was a bit large for her, but what she was thinking about more than anything was how this boy looked to be high school age and was carrying a real gun with him. She'd joined the dark side but each new experience brought to the forefront just how different of a world it was that she'd stepped into.

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Post  Saito Hirashi Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:25 pm

Aside from a disappointingly vague description of the ability that a “pirate alpaca” (?) has, Blue Tracksuit provided no other useful information. As none of the questions that the other boy asked was directed at him, like Miss Scary Eyes, Hirashi also disregarded them and focused on other matters.

It seemed now that his companion had come closer to finding her target, she had forgotten a little about the presence of Hirashi. As much as he would like to give her the slip, two major problems presented themselves: A, Hirashi will most likely be caught whilst doing so and B, even if he did escape, it probably would not be difficult for someone with Kisaragi’s resources to track him down. Hirashi would prefer a life where he is not looking over his shoulder everyday. This means if they are to part, it will be important for the two of them to do it on good terms. Thus it is important to leave a good impression.

“Kisaragi-san, I suggest someone follow the sounds of the explosions whilst the others check on the exits of this mall. If that girl is at the center of all this, all this commotion has got to be surrounding her, and the exits are likely to be the first place she will go if she is on the run.” Hirashi stated this is a professionally respectful and concise way, he gave a small pause to guage Miss Scary-Eyes’ response before continuing, “Naturally you may suspect me of using this as an opportunity to escape, but I can assure you I will not be parting with you, at least not unannounced. There is no doubt in my mind of your abilities and I have to say I find your company, although exhausting, is undeniably productive”

“Given the number of students still in this mall despite the chaos, it would be very likely that the exits are obstructed, either by locks or by more of these… costumed aggressors. It is still important to check if that assumption is true, and to determine which type of obstacle awaits us there.”
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Post  Kinoshita Nori Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:50 pm

I told you I got knocked out by the alpaca didn't I? Definitely didn't see what happened to her but she seemed like the heroic and had a bone to pick with the people who took over the mall. So it wouldn't surprise me if she was still here trying to take care of the problem."

Nori would begin look around the mall again, his head still hurt but at least he was thinking far more clearly now. His eyes would continued to scan until he found what he was looking for and a grin would spread across his face. He was going to finish his mission and get himself something to fight with. Two birds with one stone but before that he'd finish his explanation to Kisaragi.

"With that in mind, my best guess is she either went for the security room since that would allow her to quickly figure out where all her enemies are or she somehow figured out who the leader is and is going after them. If not that then she is probably looking for that girl she was worrying about. Had something to do with that ambulance you were going after and how the news said it crashed in a different area than it actually did. Something about District 19."

With that said Nori would begin quickly running off towards a sports store not to far away. He had one goal in mind, getting himself a bat. Sure, he had powers but if his fight with the alpaca had taught him anything it was that it was always a good idea to have a back up plan. After all his ability had been practically useless that whole fight since he was never given a moment to finish any of his calculations. You didn't need to do any calculations to swing a bat.

"I'll be back in a moment. I need to grab something if we are going to try hunting that girl down.

With that said Nori would head into the sports store and come out with a baseball bat unless someone stop him. Once he was back he'd look back at the group with an even bigger smile on his face before walking over to his greatest enemy, the claw machine. The horrible contraption that he gotten him into this mess. He'd quickly do some calculations to rapidly lower the temperature of the class and swing the bat shattering the glass inward. With that done he'd reach into the machine and grab his prize, a bunny plushie.

"Mission accomplished! It was a stupid mission but it has been accomplished nonetheless. Anyways, lets get going. The faster we find the girl the better, right? Though I'm still wondering who this hostage of yours is. You kidnap yourself a boyfriend or something?"
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Post  Kisaragi Anko Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:03 am

[SS] Curfew Carnival - Page 5 Tsuchi10
In the end, Tsuchimikado followed the crossdresser’s request to stay close to complete their escape – of course overdoing the close part. Still, that way they easily made it past the door and its hidden mechanism of unknown doom, avoiding any unwanted harm in the progress.

To call this a reclaim of freedom, however, was by far an understatement. Leaving the room hadn’t been equivalent to any escape after all.

What lay before them now were the hospital’s hallways. Entirely dyed in marble white, the floor, walls and ceiling left no room to any impurity. There were neon lights lined up above them, dispensing white daylight upon them, only adding to the sterile atmosphere.

And it was silent. So silent that any step’s impact echoed throughout the hallways’ desolation. As it was, each and every sound – even the drop of a needle – would travel throughout the entire hospital, not making a difference between the most clumsy or careful movements. There was no telling whom or what these noises could possibly invoke.

«Well what do you wanna know~? How am I supposed to know what you wanna find out, if all you do is ask for a full summary? One I already gave you, nya~!»

But that sun glasses and gold chain delinquent didn’t mind.

Completely unaffected he’d march forward as though this eerie hospital was nothing but an ordinary school building.

«Maybe you care about the security this hospital might have? Hmmm! PHARMACY is a pretty big shot in the underworld. So of course he should have some of his goons deployed here. From what I know he’s been using the Vicious Cycle quite a lot~! You know that infamous assassin guy~!»

Not holding back his jolly voice one bit, its loud echo reverberated throughout the entire hospital.

But that was fine. He could tell. They were being watched the entire time. While not visible to the outside, there clearly had been more sensors and cameras installed underneath the disguise of the pure white marble.

Eyes and ears had been everywhere. Tracing each and every of their steps. Yet that wouldn’t stop him.

«So what’s next? We’re here to find info, so where to start on that?»


Both, the suggestion for a strategy offered by Saito and the added information from Kinoshita, entered Kisaragi’s mind for a short moment of consideration. This Kamijou person sounded like someone she didn’t wish to bother with, but ultimately had no other choice but to. Whoever they were, playing the hero under these circumstances felt only suicidal. However, knowing that removed some of the necessary groundwork of the proposed course of action.

So once more, the tracksuit kunoichi sighed loudly, disregarding the unnecessary noise.

«If Kinoshita’s assessment is true, then it’s doubtful that girl would aim for any of the exits. She wants to engage the mascot faction, while on her own. Entirely outnumbered the ideal method of achieving that is making a break for the snake’s head. It’s daring, but still the best course of action.»

These eyes weren’t simply there to scare innocent kids. No, what made them this scary was their capability to see through any and all situations with the fierceness of a battle hardened professional.

Right now was not the time to hold that back.

«Let’s adjust your plan, Saito. We need to investigate the explosions, I agree with that. But we should also go after the mascot faction’s core. If this Kamijou Touko is truly intending to pick a fight with them, we could intercept them there.»

She declared, yet as she did, blue tracksuit decided to break off from the group for unknown business. A business that should have remained unknown. However, it didn’t. Not only did he openly pick a baseball bat to smash in a machine close by, but on top of that he was daring enough to return like a happy little boy bragging with the price of an oversized plushie – that, admittedly, was pretty cute – clearly undermining and underestimating the seriousness of the situation.

However, that wasn’t the end of it.

«Though I'm still wondering who this hostage of yours is. You kidnap yourself a boyfriend or something?»

«…»

Have you ever felt as though you were only one step away from the grave or rather speeding there at light speed? Making one feel this way, too, was a characteristic of these scary eyes. Especially when they were framed by a peachy red like that very moment.

Naturally, her cold professional side would overweigh the girlish embarrassment. Or wouldn’t it?

A single strike was all it’d take for Kisaragi Anko to take a life. That’s what had made her infamous as the ‹Killing Blow› artist. A monicker which’s ownership she’d make sure to prove by piercing a certain bunny’s chest with her bare hand, ripping its figurative heart out and spilling the white polyesters fillings all over.

With that done, she’d turn away her face to hide the still lingering peachy red.

«O…Ok. Le-let’s go and find this Kamijou Touko.»

All they’d hear was the stuttering voice of an ice-cold killer.
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Post  Kamijou Touko Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:49 pm

With each and every step Kamijou Touko’s legs hurt more and more. Whatever energy the adrenaline rush had given her, was depleted. She could no longer run. But each and every time she was about to give up a black shadow shot past her at immense speed, pierced through the building and was then followed by an explosion she could barely escape.

It had always come from behind. Always perfectly timed so that she could barely evade it. However, as long as she didn’t stop moving, it wouldn’t get to her. That had been the single condition to which her survival had been tied. She needed to move. If she stopped, she’d die. However, it wasn’t like she could continue on like this eternally.

A vicious cycle.

«I…cannot…give up…! I need…to…stop the MissFits…and save…Akirin!»

Yet, instead of falling into despair she clung to the resolution she had carved into her soul the previous night. As long as she held that, she wouldn’t stop. She wouldn’t falter. She would move on. She would find a way out of this infinite loop.

Drawing strength from her own conviction the girl would accelerate her walk.

As she did, her clouded vision would fall onto something. From seemingly nowhere a shadow had appeared right at the centre of her path.

It was a small figure with what seemed like an oversized head. However, the closer she came the more visible its features became. What she had originally believed to be a part of its head actually was a balloon like object floating above the real head. Its body on the other hand was covered by a shiny and slimy looking darkish silver material with round metallic scales on top giving them an otherworldly appeal.

«An…alien…?»

No matter how strange that entity appeared, its presence here seemed highly intended. They were blocking the path. Not by accident. No, they had predicted for her to take this exact route. There was no doubt, their presence was connected to the hailstorm of black death.

«Damn…it…»

Their right hand had been pointed straight at Kamijou. It was holding onto something she immediately assumed was some sort of gun. Another bizarre shape, more reminiscent of a water pistol than an actual weapon.

However, she wouldn’t let that deceive her, did she fully well understand the circumstances.

Another lethal condition had been added to that cycle of despair.

If she stoped she’d die. If she kept running she’d collapse eventually and then die. If she closed in to them, she’d die.

«…such misfortune…»
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Kamijou Touko
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Post  Aoki Aiko Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:03 pm

Aiko let out a small sigh as they managed to pass back out of the room safely. She'd been a bit nervous about the whole thing to the point that she didn't realize Tsuchimikado was practically on top of her until the were out of the room. Aiko gave the boy a small push to reclaim her personal space.

The hospital was too quiet. With the whir of the machines in the patient's room, Aiko had forgotten about just how eerie the rest of the hospital was. The bright white of every surface certainly didn't help with its unearthly atmosphere. Then there was the case of Natsumi. Aiko could have sworn Natsumi had be right next to her when they were walking into the room and now was nowhere to be seen. Aiko hopped that this was just her playing a mean prank but with the world she had gotten into, it could be worse.

«Well what do you wanna know~? How am I supposed to know what you wanna find out, if all you do is ask for a full summary? One I already gave you, nya~! Maybe you care about the security this hospital might have? Hmmm! PHARMACY is a pretty big shot in the underworld. So of course he should have some of his goons deployed here. From what I know he’s been using the Vicious Cycle quite a lot~! You know that infamous assassin guy~!»

"For one thing, where did you get your get your information from, since you beat us here it must be from an 'In the know' source."

Tsuchimikado seemed just as jovial out here in the utter silence of the hospital halls as he was in the relative "safety" of the patient's room. Even after mentioning the fact that this place could be full of PHARMACY goons. It was probably fine though. After not noticing the sensors until after Tsuchimikado pointed them out before, Aiko wasn't taking any chances with dropping her shell until they were out of this place and could feel that there were countless sensors still watching them. Being a bit loud wouldn't change anything. As they walked down the halls, Aiko had shifted her shell to block outgoing light so if anyone approached them or was trying to spy on them with normal cameras, all they'd see is darkness. There was another problem with all this though. Tsuchimikado had mention someone, Vicious Cycle. At least, she assumed it was a someone from the context.

«So what’s next? We’re here to find info, so where to start on that?»

"Since we're trying to track the route of the ambulance, the dispatch records might be somewhere on the computers here. If we find one and access it we might be able to get those records and if we're lucky they GPS data from it might be on the system as well. By the way, you mentioned a 'Vicious Cycle'. I've heard the name before, but who exactly are they?"

Aiko had not heard the name before. Though she'd like to seem at least a little more in the know then she actually was. Unfortunately for her, being a new denizen of the dark side, she was severely lacking knowledge on who were major players in this world and realizing how little she know about it frustrated her a bit. Aiko decided to talk to Ai-Chan about this later, once this whole indecent was over.

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Post  Saito Hirashi Fri May 01, 2020 2:37 pm

«Let’s adjust your plan, Saito. We need to investigate the explosions, I agree with that. But we should also go after the mascot faction’s core. If this Kamijou Touko is truly intending to pick a fight with them, we could intercept them there.»

So it seems Blue Tracksuit had some useful information afterall. If this Kamijou Touko girl was the type to play hero, it’d make tracking her that much easier. After all, heroes tend to stand out.

And speaking of people who stood out, Hirashi observed as Blue Tracksuit jogged off disappeared around a corner, and following a crashing sound, emerged with a baseball bat and a soft toy of some sort.

«Though I'm still wondering who this hostage of yours is. You kidnap yourself a boyfriend or something?»

«…»

The scene that followed only served to reinforce Hirashi’s desire to stay on the “useful enough to keep around” side of Miss Scary Eyes.

«O…Ok. Le-let’s go and find this Kamijou Touko.»

“I must be tired,” thought Hirashi as he eyed the sad remains of what was a stuffed rabbit. “I am even hearing double.”

“I don’t believe I’ll be much of a threat in a fight against these people if they can take over and somewhat control an entire mall. I think I’d be better off investigating the explosions, at least there will be the off-chance I’ll sneak up on them by pretending to be a lost student.”

Hirashi voiced his desire to be part of the more investigative portion of the operation, believing head on confrontations should be best left to professionals.
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Post  Kinoshita Nori Mon May 04, 2020 7:38 am

Nori's life would flash before his eyes as Kisaragi wrath unveiled itself. His eyes would close as he prepared for the sharp pain that would be dealt from the ninja's stabbing through his ribcage but the pain never came. Instead he would open his eyes to find an even greater horror. The plushie had been eviscerated, a wound opened in his chests and its inside spilled on the floor in front of him. How cruel fate was to take his prize the moment he had finally achieved it. His heart dropped into his stomach as he realized that all his efforts had been for naught. His wallet had been fatally wounded for nothing. The pain from his robbed victory would spread across the villain's face as he looked from the plushie to Kisaragi, to the plushie, and back again.

"You b-"

Nori thought better than to finish that sentence. He had suffered the loss of the plushie already. He wouldn't be able to get another one and complete his mission of Kisaragi actually murdered him. Maybe she wouldn't even murder him, there were fates far worse than death she could probably inflict on him.

"Was that really necessary? You could've just said no. There was no need to kill the boss's bunny."

The masked villain would sigh, walked over to the collection of plushies he had gathered before he had been knocked out, take off the ribbon that had been holding them all together, and tie it around his head. His eyes looking through the two holes that had been made into the red ribbon. Despite the loss of the bunny it was time to get to business. Apparently, Kisaragi needed to find the girl he had been working with earlier and since he was hear it meant it was now his job as well. At the very least, he was relieved he no longer had to act like some good samaritan hero. That whole act had been exhausting.

"Well then, lets go find this heroine before she ends up getting killed by a bunch of mascots. You wouldn't happen to know who the core of this faction of freaks would be, do you?"
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Post  Kisaragi Anko Sat May 09, 2020 11:35 pm

[SS] Curfew Carnival - Page 5 Tsuchi10
Mysteries were only exciting as long as the majority of what they surrounded was kept in the dark. True to that idea Tsuchimikado Motoharu would block out any attempt to peek at his cards.

«Call it professional secrets or something like that, but nobody in this line of business would ever reveal their sources openly. Not unless they wanna die, nya~! But I guess I can admit that I dug out most of the stuff by myself. It’s not that difficult with the trail they left behind.»

Right now the odd couple was moving in the enemy’s lair. If anything, this place was a perfect manifestation of the grime world they had been cast into. Eyes and ears were everywhere. The possibility of death ever present – with just a tiny slip-up sufficing to invoke it.

True to that idea the sunglasses and gold chain boy was carefully avoiding any problematic topic, which effectively led him to – even not openly visible – reduce conversation to a bare minimum. As such he signalled his agreement to the proposed plan by staying entirely quiet about it.

«By the way, you mentioned a 'Vicious Cycle'. I've heard the name before, but who exactly are they?»

«If you’ve heard that name before, you’d know who they are, nya~! They’re one of Academy City’s most infamous assassins. All of the bad things you can imagine is just good enough to describe him. He’s a crazy dangerous sadist who kills people only after driving them into a corner where no matter what they do, death is the only way out. The victims’ despair in the face of death is what he gets off on, nya~!»

No matter how grime the topic, he’d flash a toothy grin to overshadow any of that seriousness.

«You prolly already saw what there is to see at that impound lot.»

And yet around any possible corner, he’d find an opportunity to add further fabric to the mystery he’d coated himself with. Just how long and how deep had he been involved?

Yet before, Aoki Aiko could find the time to ponder the questions raised by her strange comrade’s casual explanations, her alarm bells would be rung.

Something had entered the domain of her sphere. Something had arrived there and was crossing right through. On that brightly lit, white, eerie silent hallway something had closed in onto them nearly perfectly unnoticed up until now. That something was a human, at least at the very baseline of its shape. They wore an armour or body suit of some kind, equipped to the brim with unknown technology. They had come from behind. Slowly. Target-oriented.

However, what stuck out the most was the one metre long blade they held in their right hand. That blade which they had raised and taken aim with.


«You don’t understand anything, do you, you idiot?»

Muttering these words under her breath, Kisaragi ended the conversation regarding the bunny doll she had just sent to the pet cemetery. While she didn’t expect her fellow TASK member to see through what she had discovered just yet, that truth didn’t matter in any way at the current stage of things.

It was time to be serious once more. Therefore, she’d suck up the childish embarrassment and return to her usual facade of ice cold eyes.

«Fine. Go and investigate the explosions, Saito. But only investigate. If there should be any danger, stay away from it and call us in.»

With these words, she’d once more remove a flip phone with a charm from a certain male idol‘s most recent merchandise collection attached from her track pants’s pocket, press a few buttons and then toss it over to the boy.

«Just dial the last number. It’ll connect you to Kinoshita.»

There had been no better way to approach this situation. While the explosions were a noticeable land mark, chasing after that Kamijou Touko’s objective and intercepting them there seemed to bear the best chances. Besides, Kinoshita had already faced defeat at the hands of those mascots, leaving her very little to trust in there. She couldn't let him dare another round by himself, but she couldn't entrust him with the investigation road either. And ultimately, if she compared both of the boys, Saito appeared to be a far more reliable choice, looking back at the incident at the impound lot. Thus, this choice of strategy had been the only one she'd feel kind of relaxed about.

«Our best bet should be the back areas where the management offices and the security room are. At least that’s what I’d pick as a base of operations if I did a take over like this.»

Still, leaving Saito Hirashi by himself certainly wasn’t her ideal choice, but the only one she had. All she could do was hope he had an inherent understanding of where his best chances for survival were.

Therefore, with no further words, Kisaragi would take off into the direction where she assumed one of those entrances to the employees only area to be.


The two paths ahead were very different.

On one side remained the continuous orchestra of explosions which currently occurred on an upper level balcony. From the distance it seemed as though someone was running up there, being chased by occasionally fired black projectiles emerging from an upside down ferries wheel hanging down from the roof at the very centre of the mall.

On the other, stood a reinforced door with an electronic lock of unknown purpose, guarded by a tall olive rhinoceros in a pink tutu armed with a purple hula hoop and a below average-height yellow teddy bear in a wrestling suit.
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Post  Aoki Aiko Wed May 13, 2020 4:08 pm

«Call it professional secrets or something like that, but nobody in this line of business would ever reveal their sources openly. Not unless they wanna die, nya~! But I guess I can admit that I dug out most of the stuff by myself. It’s not that difficult with the trail they left behind.»

Hmm, seems like he did most of the investigation himself if I believe what he's saying. That doesn't mean there isn't someone behind him though. In fact, it would be weird if there wasn't.

«If you’ve heard that name before, you’d know who they are, nya~! They’re one of Academy City’s most infamous assassins. All of the bad things you can imagine is just good enough to describe him. He’s a crazy dangerous sadist who kills people only after driving them into a corner where no matter what they do, death is the only way out. The victims’ despair in the face of death is what he gets off on, nya~! You prolly already saw what there is to see at that impound lot.»

Wait how does he...

Before she could finish that thought, something had entered the radius of her sphere from behind them. Aiko spun around in place facing the individual she had noticed and the same time, passing the gun back to Tsuchimikado. It was basically useless in her hands anyway, she didn't know how to shoot. The person was decked out in body armor and Aiko could feel the flow of electrons throughout it, clearly it was covered in all sorts of technology and not knowing what it did was a bit troubling. More troubling was the giant blade the person wielded.

"Quick take this back," Aiko explained to accompany the motion of her returning the gun.  

The person had closed in on them now and was poised to strike with their weapon. There wasn't time to retract her shell to allow her to fire lasers at this distance so she had to try something else. Aiko amplified the light that entered the shell from all around them to create a blinding light to try and throw off the attacker's swing. At the same time she jumped backwards and began pulling the laser pointer out her pocket. With any luck she could condense the shell and be prepared for a counter attack before the attacker recovered. Aiko glanced over to Tsuchimikado to see if he had taken any defensive actions in that time. She hadn't warned him about the flash, there wasn't quite enough time, so hopefully he was doing okay.

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Post  Kinoshita Nori Thu May 14, 2020 4:24 am

Idiot? Sure, getting the plushie was definitely not the most professional thing to do but he had been given a task. He couldn't just leave the mall without getting the boss's plushie and the chaos of the mall alongside their proximity to the claw machine provided the perfect opportunity to accomplish that task. Maybe the boyfriend comment had been a push too far? Regardless there was no point in picking a fight with the ninja right now. They had a new mission to complete and he preferred his heart remaining inside the safety of his ribcage.

The masked villain wasn't so sure how he felt about letting this new guy going of on his own. He had a feeling that Saito wasn't in this mall with ninja girl entirely of his own free will. The chaos of this situation would give him the perfect opportunity to escape if he went off on his own. Then again, Kisaragi seemed to trust him to investigate the explosions and not run off so maybe he was just being too distrusting.

"Makes sense to me. We're probably going to have to go through a few of these mascots to get their and they aren't exactly the weakest lot. Then again, I've only met one of them. Well, I'm sure we can manage. So lets go save this heroine! Have fun with the explosions Saito~"

With that Nori would give Saito a salute and then run after Kisaragi. He had learned not to underestimate these mascot freaks but that didn't mean he had less desire for revenge. Losing to the alpaca pirate had hurt his pride and he was fairly certain it had damaged Kisaragi's expectations of him. So needless to say when two mascots guarding a door came into view the masked villain was completely set on getting his revenge in the most brutal way he could think of and who knows maybe if he was lucky he'd knock the door in as well.

With that in mind, he'd reach toward his side and remove one of the CO2 canisters from his side. It would only take a moment for him to target it with Atomic Restraint and for the pressured gas molecules inside to begin condensing as a result. The pressure in the container would drop rapidly as the gas begin to quickly change into dry ice. As this process was occurring Nori would flick the canister into the air a few feet out in front of him without stopping his run towards the door. His hand would move back to join his other hand at the handle of the bat and then in one fluid motion he'd pull the bat back before swinging as hard as he could.

"I'd suggest staying back a bit Kisaragi"

If there was no interference the bat would collide with the free falling canister denting its side before being set flying from the impact of the swing. His target wasn't either of the mascots but the door that stood between them. As the canister left the range of Nori's ability the dry ice would rapidly begin sublimating at an ever faster rate then usual due to the reduced pressure inside of the canister. With the canister integrity compromised and the pressure rapidly increasing inside there was no telling what could happen to it now that it was outside Nori's control. The rising pressure could beat out the compromised container and explode outward in a pressure explosion or even now the container would have enough durability to container the rapidly increasing pressure.

It was the later option that Nori was hoping for, at the very least he wanted to the container to last until its durability was compromised again through its collision with the door. The plan was a simple though incredibly dangerous gamble due to the unpredictable nature of dry ice bombs. If things went exactly as Nori wanted them to the canister would hit the door, explode sending shrapnel flying into the nearby mascots, cloak the entire area around them in a cloud of carbon dioxide, and if he was really lucky possibly even blow the door open. Without any guarantee of any of that though the mask villain would slow his charge and wait to see the result of his attack.
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Post  Kisaragi Anko Thu May 14, 2020 1:00 pm

[SS] Curfew Carnival - Page 5 Tsuchi10
As fluent the crossdressers actions may have been, she had carelessly overlooked one fine detail that may cost them everything.

Caught by surprise at the sudden return of the gun into his hands, Tsuchimikado Motoharu needed only a split second to connect the dots and adjust. Someone possibly hostile had snuck on them. In response he’d turn towards them and put a hole in them.

Or so he would have done.

But when he had tilted his body to face them all there was was that empty corridor of endless white, followed by a blinding flash that had snuck its way beyond those sunglasses.

«Shit!»

Flinching backwards by reflex, he felt cold steel making contact with his flesh. If only ever so slightly.

Still, with how quickly he had reacted, the full extent of damage had only been a minor cut on the underarm that was far from life threatening or worrisome. Not that it stopped him from being on guard as he already leapt backwards to increase the distance.

«I cannot see them. I couldn’t even hear or smell them!»

Usually he wouldn’t have shared impressions like these verbally, but given that he was cooperating with someone here, communication was mandatory.

He had understood immediately. This enemy was different. There hadn’t been any cues indicating their arrival when they had snuck in on the crossdresser and him. No sound. No sight. No smell. This alone should have sufficed to understand one baseline of their capabilities. However, hardly enough to fight back just yet.

«Run!»

Thus, following his own command, he chose to increase the distance.


The flash of light had done only little to the unknown attacker. Possibly due to the nature of the gear they wore to cover their face. However, they still had pulled back – although slowly – the moment their prey had taken note of them, leaving the very first hit to only be of such minor nature.

And the moment their body would leave the girl’s shell, their presence would disappear entirely.

No one could hear. No one could see. No one could smell.

And with those eyes no one could hope to escape either.


Naturally, someone would stay in their way. That fact alone proved they had chosen the right path.

However, would that stop them from getting there? While the costumed guardians were of only little concern to the kunoichi hardened by experience, the reinforced door standing behind them was different. With as little as she understood about Academy City technology, there was only hoping that the mechanism behind it was of some kind of standard nature. Key cards, chips or whatever had always been among the favourites for establishments like a shopping mall. It gave her more to ponder than how she’d dismantle the two figures who had caught onto their arrival.

«I’d suggest staying back a bit Kisaragi»

And yet to her own surprise, her partner in crime took over the reigns, using his newly acquired baseball bat to launch an object straight between the mascots to hit the door.

The explosion was loud, but not loud enough to shake her.

Instead, she’d treat it as a starting shot.

Thus she set off into a charge.

While its two gatekeepers had been knocked aside, the door had taken the full brunt of the explosion, but not taken enough damage. It had dented to the inside, but the mounts had still been intact. However, only somewhat. She was sure: A strong enough impact would knock them over. One she was set to deliver.

Everything would go smoothly from here on out.

That’s what she thought until she noticed the thing that had slipped her attention.

The yellow teddy wrestler and the olive pink tutu rhinoceros were returning onto their legs a tad too quickly. Even worse: The explosion and the shower of shrapnels had left them perfectly unharmed. No scrapes or damages had been left on these fluffy costumes.

«Don’t tell me…? That’s Shed Shell?!»

Much like the tracksuit she wore, those mascot costumes were likely manufactured from that incredibly bouncy material that could even stop a bullet from tearing through. On top, looking at how easily they had taken an explosion powerful enough to break a reinforced door, they must have had some other protectives added into the obviously thick filling, easily making these strange getups  equivalent to advanced combat armours. The kind that’d make them highly resistant to any physical damage. Surely, fighting them could turn out very tiring.

«Follow after me, Kinoshita! Run!»

If one thought this new discovery would slow Kisaragi Anko down, they were wrong. She had increased the speed behind her charge, easily slipped past the hostiles and launched her body against the reinforced metal, only to then tear it from the remains of its mounts, clearing the path.

Now, with the path before them open, there was no need to hold back. Not even falling to her knees she’d use the door as a makeshift surf board until she’d bounce off of it to immediately use the momentum to break off into another sprint.

Down into the boring looking maze that were the corridors of the employees only area.

Here, what awaited was a landscape quite opposite to the rest of the mall. With a focus on offices and delivery facilities, the countless doors found here would either lead into small working spaces, storage areas or outside delivery entrances for trucks. In fact, with how lazy some staff are, parts of the hallways had also been used to store boxes, unneeded furniture and the like.
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Post  Aoki Aiko Sat May 16, 2020 5:36 pm

«Shit!»

Glancing over, Aiko saw Tsuchimikado get caught on the arm by the assailant's blade. Luckily it seems like he had instinctively moved out of the way so the damage didn't look too severe.

"Are you okay!?!"

«I cannot see them. I couldn’t even hear or smell them!»

Hearing this, Aiko glanced back in the direction of the attacker. She had reduced the site of her shell to try and fight back, but with them no longer within its radious, Aiko found herself unable to even feel them anymore.

«Run!»

Tsuchimikado turned and began to run down the hall. Since her shell was already in personal size, Aiko drew a line across the hallway hoping for a lucky hit. Without sustained contact, it wouldn't do much, but maybe if it damaged a small part of it, Tsuchimikado would be able to notice them. Aiko then expanded her shell back to it max size while turning and running after Tsuchimikado. She wouldn't be able to attack while running anyway, so might as well make sure she can feel them coming.

"I'm able to sense them with my ability, do you want me to try taking a shot at them?"

If Tsuchimikado couldn't see them, then the gun might be just as useless in his hands. unfortunately for Aiko, she'd met and opponent almost perfectly suited to fight against her. She couldn't fire lasers while they were within the sphere, the laser needed to pass through the edge to get the boost needed to cause any harm, but if she contracted it to the point that she could hit them, then she could no longer sense their position. If the gun was given back to her however, she could have a method of attack that worked while she could sense them. Although... Aiko had never handled a gun so there was no guarantee she would be any more useful.

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Post  Saito Hirashi Sun May 17, 2020 7:11 pm

«Fine. Go and investigate the explosions, Saito. But only investigate. If there should be any danger, stay away from it and call us in.»

"Understood."

Hirashi replied as he barely caught the mobile phone thrown his way. The boy neither recognised or was interested in the charm attached to it, the world of pop music and idols rarely crossed his areas of research, and thus he was uncharacteristically ignorant about it.

«Just dial the last number. It’ll connect you to Kinoshita.»

Hirashi really did not need to be told to call in the cavalry if things turned pear shaped, he had no intention of fighting after all. His strength lies in investigation, where he was the hunter seeking his prey, where the battle of wits prevailed over physical strength or power level.

Whilst Red Tracksuit and Blue Tracksuit ran off into the action, Hirashi stood his ground and took a moment to carefully analyse his situation:

My original target was to investigate the mystery of the ambulances
However, may it be planned or just coincidence, I encountered another group of investigators, powerful, and backed by some central command. And was then attacked by a third party.
This third party has access to heavy firepower, as well as a formidable network of human resources, as seen by the impressive array of hardware in the impoundment lot and the Antiskill uniform.
This new threat is dangerous and threatens to compromise the safety of my life and the ability for me to return to my normal routine.
Thus this creates my new objective: Determine the identity and eliminate the threat posed by this newcomer.
From what Miss Scary Eyes’ contact had given, the third party is likely to be connected to some girl named “Kamijou Touko” who is inside this mall.
Incidentally, this mall is under attack from a group of costumed assalants of unknown origin.
His objective now is to investigate one of two major leads which may allow them to capture and question this Kamijou Touko.
This means…

Hirashi looked up at the upper balconies, where the silhouette of a person, being chased by some device, could be seen.

Hirashi made his way up the stairwell back to the top floor of the mall. His target was moving exceedingly quickly, it will be hard for him to keep pace, and will be flat out impossible to stay unnoticed whilst doing so. So Hirashi opted to get a bird’s eye view of the commotion below. Spotting the running figure and the strage machinery giving chase from his new vantage point, Hirashi could see the device was circular, and the source of the explosions seemed to be the occasional black projectile it spat out. Hirashi attempted to identify the person, but was unable to do so due to all the twists and turns they were making. Sighing at the prospect of another round of physical exertion, Hirashi shifted into a light jog, whilst mentally mapping a straight line route to most efficiently gain ground on his target, giving chase to the duo several floors above them.
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Post  Kinoshita Nori Mon May 18, 2020 6:32 am

The dry ice plan had gone off even better than Nori had expected. Sure, his plan had always been for the canister to blow up damage the door and take the mascots out of the equation but with the unpredictability of the explosive he had used part of him had been expecting some kind of major backlash. After all, he had been plagued with nothing but bad luck until now. Maybe his luck had finally turned around? A confident grin would spread across the villain's face at the thought. After this was all over he'd go find a poker game somewhere and test out just how much his luck had turned.

As Kisaragi took off towards the door Nori would quickly follow after her and as he did so he'd make the same observations she did. The mascots he had intended to take out where already starting to get back to their feet. They had been also at point black range of the explosions, at the very least the shockwave should've taken them out. Yet there they were, rising to their feet without even a scratch of damage from shrapnel on them. Their enemies bizarre resilience was really starting to get on Nori's nerves but there wasn't really anything he could do about it now. If an explosion couldn't do it, his bat surely wasn't going to accomplish the task and more importantly they had a mission to accomplish.

"I'm already running! What's Shed Shell? Is it why these mascots from hell won't die?"

The masked villain would followed the Kisaragi into the cloud of CO2 left behind by the dry ice explosion and watch as she flawless took the door down without losing any of her momentum. Nori made a mental note to himself to ask Kisaragi how to do that one of these days but before quickly turning around to back in the direction they just came from. Rapidly he run a series of thermodynamic equations in his head before reaching out with his power towards the gas surrounding the door. Within a moment the gas would rapidly begin solidifying creating a barrier around the doorway where the gas had once been. Nori hoped the two mascots outside got trapped in the solidifying CO2, their armor could take an explosion for sure but that didn't necessarily mean it had protection from the cold. Even if their suits did thermal regulation or they didn't get caught the villain expected the wall of dry ice would buy him and Kisaragi a little more time.

"Okay, so where to now? You seem to have some kind of plan in mind."
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Post  Kamijou Touko Mon May 18, 2020 8:16 pm

From head to toe they were covered in strange looking technology. Much like the balloon like object and the oddly coloured bodysuit the breathing mask and goggles on their face must have had some specific meaning and purpose, no matter how jumbled together everything actually appeared. However, it was technology a completely normal high school student couldn’t understand.

Her life was in this person’s hands. They were her enemy. They were standing perfectly well in her path. That’s what she understood. That’s all she needed to understand.

Kamijou Touko had to escape this situation at all costs.

As she closed in on that otherworldly figure, she’d unleash a battlecry at the top of her lungs while pulling back her right hand clenched to a fist. A straight charge meant to conclude in a momentum filled punch. Right from the books and quite simple to read. As would be expected of a normal high school girl you can find anywhere.

The explosions chasing from behind. The enemy’s finger pressing down on the trigger.

She waited for the right moment, the perfect timing, a split second that’d allow her to make the move.

And she slipped, stumbled and fell face first onto the rubble.

«Ehhhhhhh…???»

A static mechanic voice resounded. Visibly confused by the unexpected turn of events as the black shot he had fired went off into thin air, the assailant took a careless step backwards.

He didn’t understand. He couldn’t process the abnormality that had entered his perfectly elaborate scheme.

The girl should have died that very moment. Yet she hadn’t. Why? How could this have happened? He didn’t understand. It drove him crazy. So crazy his entire body shook.

That was when his chin was struck by her fist.

You see, Kamijou’s strategy had been quite simple from top to bottom. She knew there was no way for her to avoid certain death if she had continued to follow that set pattern. She understood that there was a pattern at the baseline of everything. She had run the same way the entire time. Everything had followed the same calculated structure. So what if she broke the flow of that fluent process?

That’s why she had slipped intentionally, used the seemingly clumsy fall to reduce the distance, caught herself on the landing and translated the remaining momentum coupled with the moment of surprise into her true attack.

As her fist connected, the foreign figure’s defenceless body was launched a few centimetres into the air, only to then drop heavily onto the floor a bit away.

Such was the power of one who learned to weaponise their 15 years of experience in misfortune.

Silence would fall right after.

The hailstorm of projectiles had come to a halt.

Entirely drained of energy that bout’s supposed winner fell onto her knees, succumbing to her own heavy breath.

«…got…cha…»
Kamijou Touko
Kamijou Touko
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Post  Kisaragi Anko Tue May 19, 2020 8:54 pm

«Shed Shell is a type of body armour disguised as an ordinary fabric. Like my tracksuit. It may appear completely normal, but it is bouncy and extremely tear resistant. Essentially it’s bullet proof. However, under normal circumstances Shed Shell still isn’t able to absorb shock. So even when it blocks the bullet, you still have to endure the impact. These people probably increased its defensive capabilities by adding in some special filling, so there is no saying how robust it actually is.»

After she was sure the pursuers were both not able to catch up and had moved too far away, Kisaragi began to slow down again.

«What matters most is that we find a security room or their base of operations. Since we don’t know this area’s layout, all we can do is scout and explore.»

The tracksuit kunoichi explained as she carefully read the signs on the various doors all around. With the majority being unimportant offices or smaller storage areas she paid them no further heed. After all, what was there to hide in some mini space cabinet.

«But we shouldn’t forget that it’s not going to take long until they catch up with us. Those two probably warned their comrades  already. We need to hurry.»

Logically speaking they had invaded and were now roaming about in the enemy’s castle. A threat could await around any corner. What form or shape it could take, however, was barely possible to predict. Especially if she took into account the nature of this group. The Shed Shell armours disguised as colourful mascot costumes, the idea that one of them had singlehandedly incapacitated a high level Esper and the fact that they had been capable of overtaking an entire shopping mall all by themselves all painted a worrisome picture.

Pondering these conditions, she couldn’t help but wonder about what their next step might be.

But only silence followed.

That alone sufficed to put her on edge.

So on edge she could have sworn she had heard someone chuckle.

So on edge she could have sworn she had a door being opened.

So on edge she could have sworn they were completely surrounded.

So on edge…

Hold on. She quickly turned to find a door she had just checked was being opened.

Out stepped another mascot character.

And it didn’t end there.

Not too far away another door opened. Another, a bit behind. Another, just ahead. And another, another, another and another. They all opened with more of the costumed emerging.

Sometimes it was just a single one, sometimes it was two, other times it were more.

Countless of them had appeared.

They were everywhere. All over the narrow hallway. Mascot characters in all kinds of colours, animal shapes and get-ups. Chuckling like mischievous children.


The laser made contact, if only momentarily, grazing surface of something invisible as it passed through the hallway. That was all.

Before they could confirm anything else the two of them had set off into their sprint to increase the distance. At least here, the two of them had accomplished a temporary victory was there no trace of the attacker any longer. They hadn’t crossed the shell again.

Where exactly they were, however, remained a mystery given their state of invisibility and soundlessness.

[SS] Curfew Carnival - Page 5 Tsuchi10
Their acquired safety was both a plus point and yet not worth celebrating. Tsuchimikado Motoharu understood as much as that. Whoever their enemy was, they were an obvious professional in the area of assassination, relying on either an Esper ability or technology.

«I’m able to sense them with my ability, do you want me to try taking a shot at them?»

«If you can detect them, then they’re not toying with our mind to make us overlook their presence. And since they’re able to erase their own smell and sound as well, it’s likely a power isn’t involved. How much of them did you sense?»

As long as they hadn’t come back for another round, the two of them could at least use the break they were given to form a counter strategy. One that went beyond pointing fingers. Therefore, any minor detail could help them develop it.

With an audible clatter the gun in the sunglasses boy’s hand dropped to the floor all of a sudden.

Pearls of sweat had formed on his forehead as he faced his partner in crime.

«Shit. I can’t feel my hand anymore…don’t tell me…?»

His entire arm had grown dull over the course of only a minute. All feeling had left it. He couldn’t even twitch with one of his fingers anymore.

«That blade must have been covered in some kind of poison or sedative. That bastard didn’t screw up his attack. He didn’t go for the kill in the first place.»

There was no telling whether or not this condition would spread beyond his arm. However, he was sure that if he had been hit elsewhere he may have very well died. Not that it was unexpected when facing an assassin working in Academy City’s darkness.

The bad news wouldn’t stop there, however.

A static sound echoing throughout the empty corridor signalled an announcement coming from the speakers.

«Ohohoho~! So you figured it out already~? My my my. Good aren’t we~? But it'd be boring if you hadn't~! Edge-chan likes it when his prey knows what’s coming~!!!»

Even though the voice spoke in a very high pitch tone its owner was clearly male.

Not that any of that would stop them from talking like they were enjoying their favourite movie play out for the 500th time.

«It’s show time~!»
Kisaragi Anko
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Post  Aoki Aiko Thu May 21, 2020 5:15 pm

Her laser had done nothing. It seemed like it might have glanced off of something for a moment, but if it did, there was no evidence of that. It seemed like a glancing pass wouldn't be enough to cause any damage to their pursuer's armor

«If you can detect them, then they’re not toying with our mind to make us overlook their presence. And since they’re able to erase their own smell and sound as well, it’s likely a power isn’t involved. How much of them did you sense?»

"I could tell it's a person... or at least person shaped. They're wearing armor or a suit of some kind that is covered in tech. They're also wielding a blade but I'm sure you realized that already yourself."

Unfortunately Aiko couldn't make out any fine details, her ability only gave her a vague shape, though the high concentration of electrons in their tech stood out much more clearly, though that didn't tell her what it did.

«Shit. I can’t feel my hand anymore…don’t tell me…? That blade must have been covered in some kind of poison or sedative. That bastard didn’t screw up his attack. He didn’t go for the kill in the first place.»

«Ohohoho~! So you figured it out already~? My my my. Good aren’t we~? But it'd be boring if you hadn't~! Edge-chan likes it when his prey knows what’s coming~!!! It’s show time~!»

It looks like their attacker had decided to reveal themselves... or rather, introduce themselves.  Aiko reached down and picked up the gun that Tsuchimikado dropped. If he wasn't able to hold it, it would be difficult for him to shoot it. Aiko then leaned over and whisper to her ally.

"It from the way he reacted he can definitely hear us from where he is. I'm not sure if he's in a monitor room watching us or just outside of the range of my perception and just speaking through the speakers. We should try and get out of here as fast as possible so that your arm can get looked at before it might spread. Let's head for the stairs, the elevator is probably the wrong choice if he is in a control room of sorts. "

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Post  Kinoshita Nori Sat May 23, 2020 7:14 am

Why did a bunch of freaks have something like Shed Shell? This was Nori's first question upon hearing Kisaragi's explanation. His second question was why didn't he get anything cool like that? He was running around with a metal bat and some carbon dioxide while his teammate had a bullet proof vest. His last and more important question was how the hell they were going to deal with an army of mascots protected by battle armor even more advanced than Shed Shell? The masked villain was starting to think he was cursed. It was always one problem after another in this awful mall.

"Sounds like a plan. The dry ice wall should hold them-"

Nori never even got to finish his sentence before he watched in horror as the office doors began to open. The childish laughter filling the hallways as the mascots began to emerge and the masked villain was having none of it. There were too many of them to try to freeze them inside their suits and if a bomb didn't work his bat definitely wasn't going to. How were they suppose to take out these freaks? It seemed impossible. Yet the spiky haired girl and thug had somehow taken out the alpaca, didn't they? How did they do it? If he could somehow figure that out maybe he could figure out what to do about this army of freaks.

There was no time for that now though so now all he could do was hope that Kisaragi had some idea of what to do in a situation like this because right now he only had one plan. He'd reach out in an attempt to grab the ninja's hand and then start running down the hallway as the doors continued to open. If they couldn't beat them then they'd simply have to outrun them.

"If you have any idea on how to beat an army of mascots in Shed Shell now would be the time to share."
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