This is a archived version of Magical Girl Noir Quest(linky) that only contains Decultures posts and the posts he replied to. You can choose to only display Deculture's posts by checking "Deculture Posts Only." While this is on, you can see the replies by clicking on the quote links. It also supports inline image expansion. Location and settings are saved.

Please note that this is a work in progress. You can send suggestions/bug reports my way at @JustKiri on twitter.
All posts were fetched with a script, please let me know if I missed anything as I have not had a chance to go through this post by post.

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You fell asleep in your costume again.

It might have mattered, long ago. Long ago you might have been relieved to transform out of it after a hard day's work. You might have been relieved to get back to your normal life, as a normal girl, with normal problems.

After a while you just stopped caring. The costume stays on. You don't even sleep much anymore, only in the times when your body finally decides to shut down. Or at least until you realize that you've gone for so long without rest that you were only shooting up hallucinations. Days aren't that much important, anymore. You keep asking for the assigments, even the horrible ones. The ones that even that pocky-fellating bitch wouldn't take.

You look like shit, you feel like shit, and for the second time this week, you've forgotten what your name was. It's at the tip of your tongue, if your mouth didn't taste like blood and stale alcohol at the moment.

What do you call yourself? Hopefully not something stupid again. Mami never really got over how you started calling yourself that name again.

(First quest, a bit of an experiment. I'll delete this right away if there's no interest.)
Chiaki Matsuda?

I'm interested but I don't know if anyone else is...
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Chiaki Matsuda...? That kinda sounds stylish. A bit too cute for you, but hell, you've called yourself worse before. Other people have called you worse before.

The other names that floated up sounded a bit too silly. Maybe next time, if you wake up forgetting everything again.

You try to smile at yourself. Not much of an improvement, but it'll do.

What next?
[]Check your inventory.
[]Check the heavy circular shield thing clamped onto your right arm.
>[x]Check the heavy circular shield thing clamped onto your right arm.
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Your shield...thing. You don't really know what to call it, but you know it's heavy, and you could probably do some damage with it if you smash someone over the head with it. It's constantly clicking inside, like a bomb, but you're not too worried about it exploding.

Upon closer inspection, it looks like it's seen better days. There's a large gash in the middle, like someone had taken an industrial saw to it and tried to cut it in half. The jewel in the center is cracked, and it's showing some of the clicking gears inside.

What are you, Captain America or something?

[]Check inventory.
[]Try to see if it comes off.
[]Stars and Stripes.
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What? Stars and Stripes? You're not Captain America. You're not even American. Stop mucking around. You'd probably hurt yourself trying to.

You jiggle with it a bit. It turns slightly, but the gears clicking relentlessly within start to protest loudly, so you leave it alone. You know it'll go away if you cancel your transformation, but you don't feel like it at the moment.

[]Mess around with it a bit more.
[]Check your inventory.
[]Think about how Iron Man is way cooler as a superhero.
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You think about how much more awesome Iron Man is than Captain America. The alcoholism isn't too hot, but hey, you're already down that road anyway.

You check your inventory. You have two small canisters of regular painkillers, enough for four doses. An opened pack of cigarettes, two of which has already been smoked. A metal zippo lighter, which you manage to light after nearly dropping it. Curiously, two crumpled-up 100 dollar bills. Your trusty combat knife, still strapped to your ankle.

Oh, and your clamshell cellphone. It seems to be fully charged and in an annoying pink color. From the screen, you could see that you have two messages.

[]Take a dose.
[]Read your messages.
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You light up one first before reading. It doesn't help the horrible taste in your mouth much, but it calms you down, at least. If there were any laser traps to avoid, this'd be handy, too.

You open up your message inbox. The first message comes from a sender registered to your contacts as QB. The other is from an unregistered number.

Strangely enough, your phone is devoid of anything except these two new messages and what appears to be five contacts. There is a diary function, but it's kept locked away by a five-letter password. You leave it alone for now.

[]Read the message from QB.
[]Read the message from the unregistered number.
[]Try and call one of your contacts, as follows: [Kaname Madoka] [Sakura Kyoko] [Tomoe Mami] [QB] [???]
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You read the messages.

The message from QB reads:

"Make your way to Mami's apartment as soon as you wake up."

Short, terse, commanding. Annoying little parasite, you remember not liking it, and even in your slightly confused state, you don't think that's going to change anytime soon.

The message from the unregistered number is stranger:

"Let it go. Seriously. It's time to move on."

You have no idea what they're talking about, or who's it from. Maybe it's just spam, or a message wrongly sent to your number. Nothing significant, you decide.

[] Go to Mami's Apartment posthaste.
[] Call someone from your contacts list.
[] Stab out an angry reply containing various and less-than-eloquent profanities.
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Biting into the filter of your nearly-spent cigarette, you stab out a couple of choice expletives from your admittedly limited repertoire as a reply to QB. Quickly accessing the 'draw' function of your phone, you scrawl out something offensive and send it as an attachment.

It's immature and puerile, but you're not in the best of moods. It felt good sending it, in any case.

After a while, you call one of the registered numbers in your contact list. The other end of the line rings a few times, before it is picked up.

"Hello...? Who is this?" A warm, familiar voice comes on, slightly hesitant. "I don't have your number on my contact list, I'm sorry...may I know who's on the line?"

She seems to be alright, much to your relief.

[]Answer as Chiaki.
[]Keep quiet. Breathe loudly.
[]Tell her to get the hell out of her apartment and stay away from QB.
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It's great to hear her voice, even if it sounds like she's hesitant to receive your call.

You manage to murmur your new name after a few unsuccessfull tries - your throat is dry, and painfully so - and there's silence at the other end for a few moments before Mami's voice comes on again, all warmth and honey now.

"Chiaki...? That's a...surprisingly pretty name, and I think it's much better than your last one. Murderface doesn't really suit you," she giggles slightly, before concern seeps into her voice. "Are you sure you're alright, er, Chiaki-san...? You sound a bit hoarse..."

She pauses as a muffled voice speaks in the background.

"Oh, um. Kyuubey says to come on over, so we can give you your assignment for today. He sounds a bit grumpy today, for some reason...although, you can never really tell with him, can you?"

Another pause. "Chiaki-san, have you had breakfast yet? I'll set an extra place if you haven't."

What do you reply?
"An extra-place ? With whom are you ?"

There is maybe some people with whom we don't want to eat.
"I don't think I have´┐Ż can't really remember. That'd be great."
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"...That's no answer, Chiaki-san. You should eat better." Mami's voice becomes chiding as always. "You shouldn't be drinking so much, and the pills you've been taking...I know you're getting all the tough assignments, but please take care of yourself."

You mumble something resembling an assent. If it was someone else, you'd tell them to take a long walk off a pier wearing cement shoes, but it's Mami. Can't do that to her.

"I'll make sure there's enough left for you when you get here, then. And no, I'm alone here with Kyuubey. Why did you ask, Chiaki-san?"

You mumble something else, and try to end the call there. Mami lets out a sigh, before she bids you goodbye.

"I'll wait for you then, Chiaki-san. See you."

The call ends, and you stash your cellphone back into your inventory. That went better than you expected it to.

What do you do?
[] Go to Mami's apartment.
[] Arm yourself first before leaving.
[] Call someone else on your contact list.
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You decide to get yourself ready, just in case. It doesn't hurt to prepare, and you know you're absolute shit with your knife at any capacity.

As if responding to your thoughts, the heavy shield clamped to your arm clicks a few times, before turning a couple of dozen degrees, locking into place with a clack of metal, before reverting back to its old position.

Automatically, you reach behind it, and feel the handle of an oversized gun fall heavily into your grip. It's a heavy son of a bitch, and you draw it out.

It's not a gun, it's a handcannon. It's seen better days, sure, but it looks functional. The shield doesn't give you a reload, but at least the chambers are full. Eight shots worth.

You remember then that the Shield has always given you strange things to work with. Sometimes it gives you hardware that's easily familiar, other times it's given you strangely-shaped ones that nearly break your wrist after every discharge and have prayer papers affixed to every available surface.

In any case, you have a gun, now. You stash it into your inventory, and make your way to Mami's apartment. At least you remember the way, even if you can't remember what the hell your real name is.

Even before you approach the front door, you realize that something is wrong. The sound of screaming inside is muffled, but clear, interrupted by the dulled thump of what sounds like concussive blasts of force. You can also hear breaking furniture and glass inside.

What do you do?
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Things sure went from nice to fucked in a hurry.

Wasting no time, you draw your pistol from your inventory, before rearing up with one heeled foot and smashing it into the locked front door. The wood immediately gives way, splintering under the force, and you immediately grasp your firearm with both hands, one steadying the other, accommodating its weight.

With trigger discipline, of course.

As you enter, the apartment is dimly lit. Strange, because you remember that Mami never closes her blinds - she likes the sunlight to come in from the windows, and she isn't too well with the dark. The sharp stench of blood is all over, and as you step forward cautiously, you become increasingly aware that you're stepping in Incubator flesh.

You call out Mami's name, feeling increasingly horrified at every passing moment. The entire apartment is now deathly silent, and totally dark.

There is no response.

What do you do?
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You remind yourself that yelling out Mami's name over and over again isn't going to help, and you bite down on the impulse to do so. Venturing further into the apartment - both hands gripping the oversized gun tightly - you will yourself to move as silently as possible. At the very least, you'll hear the hypothetical knife before it's slid into your back.

Your eyes beginning to adjust to the darkness, you can somewhat make out shapes now, and avoid walking into walls or stubbing your toes into furniture. Keeping your pistol aimed forward, you spy a huddled shape near the doorway leading to the kitchen, while you hear more scuffling and more screaming above you. Upstairs, where Mami's room is.

What do you do?
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There's no time to waste on the huddled shape by the kitchen, and you're not going to damage more of Mami's apartment if you can help it.

You move as quickly and as quietly you can upstairs, nearly slipping on a few steps but managing to keep your footing. You realize that whatever's got Mami in her room has left a blood trail - or worse, it's actually hers to begin with.

As you approach the door to Mami's room, only at the last second do you sense someone just about to stab you in the back, the gleam of a knife catching your glasses in the dim light.

What do you do?
1/ deculture fucked up and posted twice
2/ homu just died and gone back in time
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Yeah, sorry about that. Network's a bit spotty at the moment.

Someday, someone will manage to kill you. Put a bullet in your head, shove ten inches of tempered steel right through your spine, you're not particularly concerned how.

All you know is that it will not be today.

Letting your left hand come away with the gun, you spin around to smash your shield into the knife. You feel the blade skitter across the jagged scar of the otherwise-smooth surface of the device, sparks flying at the contact, and it's with a clatter that you hear the sharp implement fall to the floor. Immediately you lunge forward, right hand managing to grab a handful of garment, and you drag whoever it is to the floor with you. A moment's worth of mutual cursing, kicking and struggling, and you end up on top, gun firmly nudging your captive's chest.

"Ugh. G-get off! You smell like booze! Get off, god dammit!"

You recognize that voice, and it's suddenly clear that you've grabbed someone's cape. White, long and somewhat bloody.

"It's Sayaka, you stupid bitch! Get off of me! Mami-san's in danger! And point that thing somewhere else, for fuck's sake!"

What do you do?
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Your blood up at this unexpected, adrenalin-filled altercation, you resist the temptation of pistol-whipping her across the face, and instead settle for calling her a cunt under your breath for nearly stabbing you in the back. You ask, in a louder voice, just what's happening, as you both stand up and compose yourselves.

"I heard that! And no, I don't have any fucking clue! I just..." Sayaka gulps audibly as she looks at the door to Mami's room, before shaking her head. "I just stopped by because QB was going to give me another assignment! It was like this when I got here, and I tried to get to Mami, but something was--hey, wait! Wait a second!"

You've heard enough. Turning your back on your fellow magical girl, you immediately make to force Mami's door open. "Wait a second, you fucking boozehead! We don't know what's in there!"

You tell her to fuck off. You've always wanted to do that.

The door comes away in your second kick, and light floods your eyes. Bright, blinding light--

--coming from the muzzle flash of Mami's rifles, at the far corner of the room. She's clamping one bloody hand at her side, slumped against the wall, firing off and discarding the rifles erected in front of her. Discharging them at something from across the room.

You immediately recognize it for what it was.

A witch. A freshly-turned monstrosity, still humanoid in form. A witch hat jauntily perched on its darkened skull, its flamboyant outfit dripping ichor. Two oversized pistols of strange origin jutting out from its clawed hands.

Its head snaps up at your approach, and it smiles at you.


You feel the shield heat up at its attention, and the muted clicking inside the device seem to grow louder.

What do you do?
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Quickly springing forward and interposing yourself between Mami and the Witch, you aim the handcannon one-handedly at the warp-touched figure. It repeats the name with much more relish, seemingly cackling at you.


You can barely hear Mami from the deafening report of her rifles, but even if you could, you definitely wouldn't have followed that order. This witch needed to die, and if it had to take you breaking its face with the gun after you've emptied all eight rounds into it, then so be it.

At this, the clicking inside your shield stops, and it turns a complete 180 degrees - locking into place with a crunching of gears and the slap of metal upon metal.

The world immediately turns gray. Stopping completely, utterly. A dull iron-cast covering everything. Freezing everything in time.

Including the Witch.

But instead of the twisted evil being you saw shambling towards Mami, you see only a young woman, with her blonde hair tied into twintails. Holding onto two pistols, scared out of her wits. Staring at you as if you were death itself. Silently pleading to be saved.

The witch's mark engraved brightly on her forehead.

What do you do?
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Your eyes narrow behind your glasses as you glare at the Witch's Mark. It meant that this was no mere accident or turning - someone had planned this. A setup that pretty much resulted in Mami bleeding out and you without the breakfast you've been promised.

Stepping forward, you press the mouth of your gun directly upon the mark, right at the center of the twintailed girl's forehead. You could almost hear her whimper at this, tears welling up in her eyes and falling out, only to be frozen in the air moments later, glistening. Long ago, you probably would have hesitated. You'd have cared to ask who sent her, or tried to find some way to help.

You were looking forward to pancakes, you murmur instead, before pulling the trigger.

The gun kicks in your hand as the hammer blasts forward, igniting the powder, sending the round careening through the barrel, punching through skin, bone, and brain. The entry wound is insultingly small for such a caliber, but the exit wound is a blossoming flower of flesh and blood at the back of the girl's head, frozen in time.

The world resumes its pace, the gray filter lifting, and you close your eyes from the sight of the witch eroding into nothing from the feet up.

Leaving behind a single Grief Seed, its spine embedded into the floor.
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"Chiaki...san?" Mami's voice comes around, and you turn to glance at her. She's still bleeding, but it seems that Sayaka's tending to her injuries at the moment. "I...I'm sorry, I didn't..."

You shake your head, and make to stash your weapon away, when you hear a familiar voice. Not in your ear, but in your mind, like a splinter in your brain. Interrupting your thoughts.

"You're late. What's your excuse?" The white furry creature - or rather, a horde of it - scampers into the room, fourteen pairs of eyes swiveling to look up at you. They all seem to be chewing something. "Also, what is this curious creature you drew a picture of? Dickbutt?"

". . ." You're suddenly very tired.

What do you do?
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You let the Incubator stew in silence as you sharply nudge up the Grief Seed into the air with the toe of your shoe, catching it with your free hand and pressing it against the Soul Gem on the back of your hand. Purifying the roiling darkness inside it, before tossing the bauble aside, where it's caught by one of the Kyuubeys milling around. Asshole.

The Incubators look up at you, before giving a collective shake of their heads, in perfect syncronization. "Silent as always. I don't know what goes on in your head, but your tardiness almost got Tomoe Mami killed. I do hope you reflect on that."
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"N-no, it's not her fault, we didn't know..." Mami protests, wincing at Sayaka's crude application of bandages. It sees that whatever it was had clawed her side open, but thankfully they were merely flesh wounds and nothing more. "S-Sayaka-chan, it's okay. I'll keep. Thank you."

"You shouldn't coddle a junior like her, you know," Kyuubey now chides the blonde magical girl. "We found her in the middle of nowhere with no memory of who she was. She should at least learn to be disciplined."

"She's a good girl," Mami insists, wincing as she now stood up. "And...and she's going to help me clean up, and after that, I'll get her the breakfast she came here for. Right, Chiaki-san?" She smiles at you, bright despite the bloodstains on her face, and the state of her own apartment.

Sayaka glowers at you as you return that smile as best you can (which isn't much, even by your standards).

Kyuubey lets out a sigh. "Very well. Go and do your things. You," the mass of crimson eyes swivel back to focus at you, "Get your assignment dossier from Sayaka afterwards. And please, try not to kill anyone important this time. I'll...I'll go look and see what caused this."

Stupid dickbutt rodent bastard. You'll kill him permanently one of these days.
Shoot one of the QBs to vent. It won't make a damndest bit of diference but we may feel better.

One of the Kyuubeys suddenly bursts into bloody chunks following a deafening pistol report - and you blink as Mami, Sayaka and the remaining Incubators turn to look at you - while you're surreptitiously stashing your gun back into your inventory.

You shrug. You have an apartment to clean, all of a sudden, and a reward of pancakes to earn.

= =

And that's that for the first thread. Er, I didn't know this would get any interest at all, but thank you for those who did! also, I'm sorry I ran out of drawings. The next thread will have more original illustrations, hopefully!

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You are a Magical GIrl.

In the past, you seem to have referred to yourself as Murderface.

Your memory isn't the best. You remember something things faintly, like viewing them through smoked glass. Others you remember startlingly clearly, as if you're there, watching them unfold, replaying over and over again.

One of them being shooting a smiling pink-haired girl in the face, moments after she tore your still-beating heart out from your chest with clawed hands.

You are Chiaki Matsuda, and you are in the seedy bar that's just a few blocks away from your own apartment.

You're not too sure how you ended up here.
Well, you're not exactly sure, but you have an idea. After what had happened in Mami's apartment - and having spent a good chunk of the day helping her clean up - you had decided to step out for a moment.

Maybe you didn't want to stick around too much. Sure, the food was good, and it felt nice to be around the blonde. But you didn't quite care for the company - namely, the blue-haired bitch glaring at you after every bite. Or the lectures that little rat bastard kept spouting.

You wanted some fresh air, and you ended up where you normally tried your level best to kill your liver.

It's funny how things work out.
Check inventory, check physical condition, assess drunkenness, try to remember if we had a job to do, order another drink.
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The bar doesn't really have a name. It's just a bar, built there to give people a place to try and drown whatever sorrows they have. It's staffed by a tall, dark-skinned man with the biggest afro you've ever seen, and sharp facial hair you swear is tailored to make his furious scowl look like it's taking up 90% of his face.

You check your inventory. Everything's pretty much there, same as the last time. Well, except the money. You already gave that to Charles, the Bartender.

Oh. You have that envelope Sayaka tossed your way. You haven't opened it yet. It's supposed to be your next assignment.

You're...well, you're not drunk. You could be drunk a bit more, though.
Get another drink and make it a double, stuff two cigarettes in our mouth and light them up, head to a private table instead of the bar and open up the envelope.
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You've already drunk your money's worth, but you do have a tab, and Charles still owes you for that time when you solved a particularly nasty problem involving a couple of Yakuzas trying to shoot up the joint. You order a double whisky, and are mere seconds from lighting the cigarettes when you hear the bar doors open behind you, a cheerfully grating voice ringing out.

"Hey! If it isn't ol' Murderface! Still trying to take yourself out the slow way, huh? Alcohol and pills?" The cigarettes end up on the bar, thankfully not into your double, as a hearty slap slams into your back with resounding force. "Heard you actually took out a Witch this time without killing anyone by accident! You're improving!"

Sakura Kyoko. This night just turned out a whole lot worse.

What is your reply?
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Trying to look as if that slap hadn't almost knocked the lungs out of your body, you grab your glass and drain it of whisky, not caring if it burned like hell on the way down. Motioning to Charles for another refill, you place the cigarettes back into your mouth, lighting them simultaneously, before giving her the most withering look you could ever muster.

She only looks back at you, blankly, somewhat confused, and partly waiting for something to happen.

Grumbling about one-eyed idiots, you tuck the envelope underneath one arm and grab your drink. You slide off the bar stool and trod off to a private table at the corner, but to your increasing ire, she follows suit. Just like some sort of one-eyed puppy with a Pocky addiction.

"Well, I guess some things never change. You're still the most rousing conversation partner anyone could get." Kyoko chimes as she annoyingly seats herself from across you, waving at Charles and ordering her own drink. "Come on, don't be sulky. I came around to see how you were doing, after all! Isn't that what friends do?"

[]Kyoko, please, this is not the time.
[]Friends don't set other friends on fire.
[]Your girlfriend almost made a pincushion out my kidneys. Leave me to drink in peace.
>[X]Your girlfriend almost made a pincushion out my kidneys. Leave me to drink in peace.
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The forced fake laughter would've been disturbing anyone else in the bar, if there had been anyone else in the damn bar besides you and Charles. After a few moments' more of fresh denial, she hunkers down and hisses at you, her one good eye glaring.

"I swear, Murderface, make a crack like that again and I'll ambush you myself one of these days." And then, like a switch had been flipped, she grins again just as the bartender brings her drink over. Some sort of red girly drink, you're not sure what it's exactly called. Smells a bit fruity, though.

"But, uh, sorry about that. We're kind of going through a rough patch." Kyoko says, managing to look sheepish as she cautiously sips her drink. You shoot her a look, shake your head, and make to open the envelope. You've ignored it long enough.

"So, uh, what really happened? In Mami's apartment, I mean. One of the Kyuubeys said it was a particularly strong one. How'd you manage that?"

How do you reply?
Magic corruption, yeah.

The same way you kill any other witch, you cause enough brute trauma to a vulnerable location.

It tried to interrupt my breakfast, and I do not take kindly to anyone getting between me and pancakes.

Give her a cigarette and light up another one.
You know QBs, always talk too much. That's the trait I really hate.

As for that thing in Mami's flat, was not really a Witch, just someone given "the kiss", it was too late to save her, so I had to do it the starighforward way. Shoot it 'til it died. Didn't even take that long, really.

How comes you are not chewing anything right now? You always do.
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"Huh. Nothing really special, then, I guess." It seems that she's strangely relieved about that, but with your odd one-eyed acquaintance, you can't be too sure. "That's pretty bad luck, though, having one pop up right there. When you're just about to arrive and all."

You glance up at her, before shaking your head again as you unravel the string lock on the envelope, sucking down greedily on the two cigarettes currently occupying your lips.

After a moment of continuing to ruin your lungs and voice, you grumble out your question around your cigarettes, and the girl sitting in front of you reddens somewhat.

"Y-yeah, I guess. I've been trying to quit. Too much sweets and all, costume's getting a bit...tight. " It's then that she brightens up, again. "Hey, give me one of those things. They help make you lose weight, right?"

You shrug, and give her a cigarette from your box, letting her light it up with one of your already-spent ones. As she smokes her first cigarette - coughing and hacking loudly after the very first puff, you pull out the papers inside the envelope. There are two, with a photograph of what looks like a young female idol. You're not into that sort of music, but she does look stupid and two-dimensional enough to be one.

Kyuubey has loaned you out as security. Perfect.
Just make up with your girlfriend. Then the weight will fall off, stress makes people fat after all

Read our instructions while she simultaneously ponders the effectiveness of our advice and gets mad at it
Fucking security detail.

What are the details on the job? Who is after her? How long are we on security? Why the fuck should we care about what happens to her? Where are we protecting her, home, work, both? What enemies does she have?
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"Huh? Really? W-well, I guess that sort of makes sense..." Kyoko's voice trails off as she thoughtfully nibbles on her cigarette's filter, not exactly breathing in the smoke. You ignore her and look at the assignment Kyuubey has already signed you up for in advance.

The client's name is Minase Iori. Age 16. Apparently, a group of otakus have declared their undying love for her, and had promised to take her away sometime before her upcoming concert. You've been contracted to assist as her personal security detail until she goes to America for the next stage of her world tour. It seems to be a lot of money, and Kyuubey had promised you two grief seeds in return for it.

Not the most challenging of jobs, you suppose. Just another babysitting job. Otakus aren't the most threatening sort, either. You'd think a normal security detail would have sufficed, but her studio seemed adamant that special measures were taken.

Of course, you know that whatever Kyuubey sends your way, it usually turns out to be more than you bargained for.

You're asked to report, as soon as you can, to the hotel where she's staying. You know where it is, and you can get there quickly enough.

"Huh. Babysitting job, huh? That sucks." Kyoko manages to blow smoke right into your face as she offers her unneeded opinion. "Yeah, good luck there. The guys you're watching out for are serious perverts."

[]Ask Kyoko more about these perverts.
[]Call Kyuubey and tell him to get you another assignment, this one reeks.
[]Get another drink before leaving for the hotel.
>Ask about the perverts, and if she's one of them.
[X]Ask Kyoko more about these perverts.

We need to know the threat these people pose, we're a professional.
Ask Kyoko about the perverts and acquire more booze
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Charles just places the bottle of whisky in front of you and leaves you to refill your glass at your own pace, just like every night. Kyoko frowns at your question and perhaps veiled insult, but seems to give it some serious thought (which is rare, considering she's now biting into cigarette filter like it's pocky).

"Well, one of her fellow idols got targeted last month by these losers, some girl named Yayoi or something or other. They didn't really think much about them, just put up the usual security detail, couple of armed gorillas in shades, you know what I mean."

She finally notices that she's chewing on filter, and hastily spits it out. "Bleah! Anyway, turns out they'd been planning it for the longest time. They disguised themselves as hotel staff and locked her in that very room. Security detail didn't even hear a peep out of that place, and you can bet they took their time with her. No one got caught, but the footage hit every pay for porn site there the night after." Kyoko shakes her head. "Girl went into hiding after that. Heard she went insane or somethin'."

Rapists. Wonderful, you think as you drain your third...or fourth glass, you can't remember. All you know is that you've dealt with such folk before, and you usually ended up wasting too much ammo.

"Well, are you gonna take it or what? I wouldn't." The eyepatched girl grumbles. "Two grief seeds, but then again, you're not exactly the type to play white knight. I mean, look at you." She laughs. "It's barely dinnertime and you already smell like booze."
"Shooting rapists is a reward on itself"

"yeah, I'll take it"
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Kyoko blinks at your reply, before grinning. "Yeah, things never do change. I knew you'd say that, even though this isn't really your type of thing." Stubbing out her cigarette on the table as she sips her drink. "At least this way something exciting'll be in the news. Hey, you think you can execute one of them on camera? That's always good TV, you know. Gives us a bit more exposure."

You start to reply that you'd think about it, but it's then that you freeze as you see Kyoko's face blur in front of you. Not a migraine, she's not going in and out of focus, and it's certainly not your glasses, either. And you're not quite that drunk. Not yet. It must be...it must be...

You stare as Kyoko is suddenly replaced by a hallucination. The pink-haired girl in your dreams. The one that you shot right in the face, just before she tore your still-beating heart out of your chest with her bare hands.

"Hello, Homura-chan." She says, beaming. Her voice, like Kyuubey's, bypasses your ears, heard directly in your mind. Her lips aren't even moving.

You're not Homura. You're Chiaki. Chiaki Matsuda.

How do you react?

"Do you know why I drink?", take a shot, "Some people drink to remember, but not me. I drink to forget. And it works. I've forgotten my name, the day of the week, the faces of my parents, even what I did last night. But you? Your stupid face? The thing that drove me to the bottle in the first place? Clear as crystal, every fucking time.

What do you want."
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Despite the horror of something from your recurring nightmares coming out into reality and actually talking to you, you manage to say this perfectly, even managing not to spill any whisky down the front of your costume as you drain your glass.

The illusion's smiles merely grow wider as she opens her eyes. Revealing two orbs of pure midnight black, as if her irises had bled out to her sclera in the most horrible way possible.

"Of course your memory's going to be unreliable. Fakes will never be as good as the original, so a few flaws here and there are going to be par for the course. But at the very least, you still remember how to slowly self-destruct. That's something the original was very good at."

She lets out a sigh, and you smell her breath, pungent and sweet with decay and corruption.

"I'm just here to wish you good luck. You have a thirty percent chance of dying on this particular undertaking. Try not to get yourself killed too early, Homura-chan. I mean, I want a rematch, but I'm in no hurry. I like it better when you die slowly."

[] Bullshit. You're just another hallucination. I haven't been sleeping right. Besides, I killed you. You're already dead.
[] No. Let's go right now. You, me, outside.
>[X] Bullshit. You're just another hallucination. I haven't been sleeping right. Besides, I killed you. You're already dead.

"You died a long time ago. You not a Ghost. You're not even a memory. A memory of a memory. And a bad one at that.
She would have never said something like that."

Music for that scene:
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The phantasm seems to slightly frown at your words, brow quirking as if this reaction was entirely unexpected - but her expression smoothens out to her previous one, her dark eyes glittering. It's then that she leans forward, smiling once more, her small tongue darting out to lick her lips.

"Maybe, Homura-chan. But I can still kill you."

And it's then that you feel it. Crippling, numbing pain, crunching into sensation at the back of your head and then stabbing forward. You grasp at your own head, fingers curling into your hair, as you grit your teeth against the pain. It's familiar, but at the same time something you had hoped never to experience again.

"Hey. Hey! Murderface! MURDERFACE!"

And as suddenly as it came, as soon as you hear Kyoko's voice over the sharp whine ringing in your ears - the pain disappears, taking with it the hallucination. You look up, cautiously, to check if Kyoko is still her ugly, one-eyed self.

She is. For the first time, you seem particularly relieved to see her.

There's a first time for everything, you suppose.

"Hey, hey, you alright? Come on, Murderface, don't scare me like that." Kyoko amusingly almost seems concerned about you. "Look, I-I don't know what sort of shit you're taking, but you gotta cut down. Really. Maybe we can even get you some of them patches for the smokes--"

You shrug her off, murmur an apology, and frown as you realize that you've knocked the whisky bottle off the table and into the floor in this particular episode. You glance apologetically at Charles, and he merely nods. It'll be on your tab.
You murmur something to Kyoko and make to leave, but she grabs your hand.

"Murderface? Murderface, talk to me. What the hell was that about? What happened there?"

You remind her, as politely as you can, that you have a name and it's Chiaki Matsuda.

"I don't give a shit! What was that?! Why did you suddenly blank out on me and started growling all of that strange stuff?! Whatever you're taking, you have to cut down. It's not good."

You're fine. ...Wait, what did she say? You ask her what you said.

"...Something about...something about 'the flesh of fallen angels'. Y-yeah. I mean, I've heard weirder from you, but..."

You stare at her, suddenly feeling cold, and it's then that you roughly pull your hand out of her grasp, grabbing the assignment papers with your other and making to leave.

This shit, you remind yourself, is why you work alone.

And you've apparently just confirmed that God exists, and she wants you dead.

"M-Murderface...? Murderface, get the fuck back here! That is some crazy shit, and--" Kyoko's voice rises the moment you step through the bar doors. "GOD DAMMIT! YOU ALWAYS DO THIS! ALRIGHT, FINE! SEE IF I CARE! SEE IF ANYONE CARES, MURDERFACE! YOU'LL GET YOURSELF KILLED AND EVERYONE YOU LOVE WITH THAT KIND OF ATTITUDE!"

As if you needed reminding.

You stomp off towards the direction you remember that particular Hotel is. Time to get to that job.


Sorry about my absence, everyone. The cloudflare issues kinda stopped me from updating. I wanted to end it neatly here, though, so the next thread will be able to start better. It'll be at the same time.

Thank you for everyone who participated.

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You are a Magical Girl. That's the one thing you're quite sure of.

You were drunk earlier. Well, you were almost drunk, at least. Probably a few more glasses and you could have had that pleasant warm buzz that just softened everything. Dulled the pain to tolerable levels, turned down the volume some.

Of course, that went down the entire fucking drain when the crazed pink-haired bitch from your dreams popped up just a few inches from your face and told you just how much of a turn-on she found you bleeding slowly to death on the ground.

Now you're sober, and irritatingly so. Four hours of drinking, gone to pot, just like that.

Well, no matter. At least it helped you get to the Hotel quicker. It's no Ritz, but a night's stay here is definitely out of your pay bracket. The in-room peanuts probably cost more than a typical salaryman's monthly wages.

Surprisingly, the front of the hotel is devoid of guards, as is the lobby, and the elevators. You make a mental note of this as you ride one up to the penthouse, where you're supposed to be reporting.

As you get out, it's only then that you do see security. The entire corridor leading to the penthouse suite is dotted with black suits bulging at all the wrong places. You're immediately stopped by a towering brute in an ill-fitting pinstripe, one meaty arm barring your way.

"Excuse me, but this is a private area for the meantime. Please leave immediately."

He wrinkles his nose as he smells the reek of whisky on you.

How do you react?

[]Show proper identification, state name and purpose.
[]Tear his arm off and beat him to death with it.
[]Light up a cigarette, puff the smoke in his face, and tell him that their idol boss needs to see you right away.

You're not in a very good mood.
[X]Show proper identification, state name and purpose.

Do this while staring right into his eyes. Thousand yard stare, complete monotone. Light up two cigarettes.

You look up at him, past the mirror-like surface of his obviously expensive shades, and manage to pin him with a glare that makes him stop in his tracks. Without breaking eye contact, you hand him a copy of Kyuubey's contract with the idol, Minase Iori - the document directly identifying you as her temporary personal bodyguard, your own smirking photo at the very top of the paper.

You give the armed gorilla the name that you remember, but just to play things safe, you add "Murderface" as an alias. At the same time, you nonchalantly stick two cigarettes between your lips and light them in the same sharp movement.

Despite the large No Smoking sign behind him, the guard looks over your papers carefully and nods, stepping slightly back. "Everything seems to be in order. My apologies, Miss Matsuda. As you can see, we're on high alert at the moment. We're taking the threat on Miss Minase's life very seriously."

Seriously, he says. A bum with a hard-on for idol pussy could have snuck in here.

[]Tell him about the lack of security in the lobby, and advise him politely on how it should be secured.
[]Push past him. You have an idol to visit and tie down to the bed, just so she doesn't get any bright ideas of sneaking away and getting herself killed. You don't talk to the help.
>[X]Tell him about the lack of security in the lobby, and advise him politely on how it should be secured.

Insult him a bit: "if you really were on 'high alert', you'd have already done this."
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You take a moment to savor the freshly-lit cigarettes before replying around them, all while giving the head gorilla the usual look you give future gunshot victims. You tell him, in no uncertain terms, that if they were taking it seriously, then they'd have locked up the place tighter than a virgin idol's second input hole. The rest of the armed suits visibly bristle at this comment, as do the one you're talking to, but to his credit, he doesn't automatically break your jaw like you were expecting him to.

"That was what we thought about when we got here, but that kind of security attracts attention, and no doubt those after Miss Minase would be looking out for such a hotel. We thought it would be better to simply focus our efforts here, right at the only entrance to the penthouse. If they try anything, we'll be there to stop them." The guard nods. "And Miss Minase can count on us for that."

Idiots. Where do they get these types from?

[]Insist on the security detail. Use force if you have to.
[]Merely shake your head, sigh, and ask to be let by to personally talk to Minase Iori.
[x]Insist on the security detail. Use force if you have to.
And they only secured the most obvious avenues of attack, and have completely ignored the windows and other floors where an attack could be staged from.
These otaku have shown that they are quite capable, far more than the pathetic excuse for security was that got that other idol raped.

There's really no way around it. You don't like doing this - well, you actually DO - but you don't relish it. Lives are at stake, after all, and if these idiots mess up, it's no doubt that they'll be the ones paying for it - as well as their boss.

You reach up slowly as the gorilla in front of you continues to drone on about their security contingencies - he seems to be caught up in his detailing of what they'd do in case anything happened that he misses you taking hold of his tie. You cinch your fingers around the silky velvet and tug back. He gives off a choked grunt, his face turning completely red, as he tips forward, off-balance, both hands flying out to steady himself.

You grab one arm and let him step past you as you shift aside. Twisting the man's meaty arm behind him and slamming him, face first, into the elevator doors behind you.

You plainly ignore the sound of twenty firearms having their safeties disengaged and aimed at you from behind as you calmly reiterate your request. You don't mean to disparage his team, of course, but you have to insist. Their boss hired you for a reason, after all, and you're simply here to do the job you're paid for. You enumerate the many ways you yourself could have infiltrated the building and the penthouse - and you don't skimp on the details on what you might have done with their bodies and Iori's if YOU were the one behind all this.

You punctuate each possible scenario with a friendly twist of his arm, making him twitch with every one.

"A-alright. Alright, Miss Matsuda!" The guard groans. "I'll...I'll call in another team. We'll cover all the floors, especially the entrance. Rotating patrols, armed with deadly force. J-just don't break my arm, please."

[]Break his arm anyway. It's the principle of the thing. Then visit Iori.
[]Let him up without any further incident, and ask to be led to Iori's penthouse suite. You've had enough of these goons.
[]Stub one of your cigarettes on his face.
Add to this, "There we go! That's the spirit! Now, I look forward to working with you all!"
[X]Let him up without any further incident, and ask to be led to Iori's penthouse suite. You've had enough of these goons.

Give him a cigarette, light it, and pat him on the head like a retarded puppy.

Then get to Iori.

You let go of his arm and grab a fistful of his jacket instead, pulling him from his faceplant on the elevator doors and back onto his feet.

You pull a cigarette from your rapidly-dwindling box of smokes, stick it it between his lips, and light it with one of your own. Patting him on the head as you do so.

You force your lips into what you remember as a smile, and speak a few encouraging words at him, much for his and his team's benefit. You'd just humiliated their leader by manhandling him while being a skinny, frail-looking young girl - what's a couple more stabs to the ego?

He seems to be completely stunned at this, the lit cigarette barely hanging onto his lower lip, before you finally push past him and make your way to Iori's suite. Blatantly ignoring the stony glares from the gorillas lining the corridor.

You're not exactly confident with Iori's chances with them, but at least they could say that they tried. If anything, the full-building lockout should delay the worst case scenario.

You stand in front of Iori's suite door. It being night time, there's a potential for a surprise event.

How do you make your entrance?

*Knock-knock* "Mutant Cat Protection Agency....your extra security is here, Miss Iori." Flippant yet cool and professional is the order of the day.
Knock on the door.
"I'm here from the stupid freak cat."

Enter the room in 10 seconds regardless of the answer. Be ready to kill someone.
We don't know if the room has been compromised already or not.

You lift up your right arm - the one with the shield clamped tightly onto it - and you rap your knuckles smartly on the polished wood, introducing yourself plainly as the extra security sent in by the stupid freak cat. You wonder if Kyuubey actually had a name for his little agency. Maybe you'll ask Mami when you call her again, later.

". . ."

Approximately ten seconds has passed since you knocked. You turn to one of the gorillas nearest you, and he merely shrugs. Sheer incompetence, you think, as you turn back to the door. Pressing your ear against it.

There's a faint noise coming from behind the door itself. A continued rustling, maybe the static of a TV, maybe something else. You can't tell.

Shit, is the suite already compromised? Is this another repeat of what happened in Mami's flat?
Taking a deep breath, you take hold of the elaborate brass door handle and give it a twist, before shoving it forward and bursting right into the room. Your hand straying to your shield, ready to slam it into position and have it dispense the firearm of the day, just in case it's needed NOW.

It's...well. The room is nice. Soft, warm. Costs a lot of money. Smells really nice, too. Like a faint hint of lavender and sandalwood. And fresh soap. The expensive kind.

After a few moments, it's only then that you realize that the smell is coming from the idol standing across the room from you, right at the entrance to the suite's bathroom, her entire form naked except for a towel. She seems like she'd just finished showering for the night. The noise you heard must've been running water.

She looks at you with an icy expression, carefully blank despite the obvious compromising position you've caught her in.

"Guards," she calls out, probably to the gorillas outside. "Take this pungent little urchin out of my suite and out into the street. What kinds of guards are you, that you can't even stop the riffraff from coming into my very own room?!"

Yep. This was going to be a cakewalk, alright. God dammit, Kyuubey.

[]Introduce yourself again. Politely, as always. State what you're there for and what's the current situation, and what you're about to do.
[]Stand there, puffing stubbornly at your cigarettes, and wait for one of the gorillas to introduce you to the client. You don't have to keep repeating yourself.
[]Shut her up, tie her down, raid the wine cabinet and wait for sunrise.
Walk inside, Close the door and introduce yourself again
Then if she refuses to stay out tie her to the bed and raid the wine cabinet
[X] Introduce yourself again. Politely, as always. State what you're there for and what's the current situation, and what you're about to do.
"I /am/ the brute squad."
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You hear the guards outside seemingly rushing forward in an attempt to be the first to get into the room and explain the situation to a half-naked sixteen year old idol - and you thwart that attempt by kicking the teak door shut with the heel of your boot, the heavy portal slamming closed with an ominous metal click.

You then take the moment of brief silence to introduce yourself to the principal. You're Chiaki Matsuda, one of QB's...security specialists. You try to avoid any instance of 'magical girls' in your introduction, as you remember that it's still a bit of a kayfabe term. You tell her about the security measures you've already taken and those you plan on undertaking. Most of this seems to go over the idol's head completely, but her expression seems to smoothen at the mention of your boss.

"Ah, so you're one of QB-san's agents? That changes things, then." She steps forward, bringing that intoxicating cloud of scent with her, and you see her looking you up and down. "You're shorter than I thought, but I suppose you look capable enough." She reaches forward and plucks your cigarettes from your lips with one hand, before taking your right hand with her other and stubbing the smokes out on your shield.
"I will not tolerate smoking in my presence. I'm thankful for QB-san's concern for my safety, but anyone under my employ must follow a set of rules. Including you, Matsuda-san." It's then that she sniffs, her nose screwing up. "Since...since when did you last bathe? You smell like a bar." She steps back, hands gingerly letting yours go,
and gestures towards the bathroom she just left. "Please. If not for your hygiene, then for my sake. Use the complimentary toiletries, don't touch any of mine."

. . .Unbelievable. You haven't been treated like this since...well, since six hours ago, by Sayaka nonetheless. You'd think you'd already gotten used to it, but it still sorta stings.

What do you do?

[]Agree grudgingly and take the shower.
[]Decline, say you're not here to make her comfortable, but to guard her from rapists.
"Unless you're going to dress me up like a china doll or i doing my guarding in my birthday suit, the smell will come back when i dress.

Neither of those things is going to happen, so let's just skip the pleasantries."

Pray that the shield doesn't start spitting out clean outfits and ruin the grimy hardboiledness.
[x]Decline, say you're not here to make her comfortable, but to guard her from rapists.
She can go and get herself raped and tortured when she's in America, and no longer our problem.
But as long as she's here, she's OUR problem, and keeping her safe is more important than her delicate sensibilities.
Or would she rather end up like Miss Yayoi, half-insane with her career in tatters.
It's disgusting, but there are more important things to worry about.
Unless we can keep an eye on her from the bath, in which case, >Accept
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You respectfully decline the offer, stating your reasons curtly and clearly. You apologize for, as she said, "smelling like a bar", but your top priority here is her continued safety, not her comfort, and if she's offended about a little alcohol breath, then it was well out of your hands.

"...At the very least, brush your teeth," Iori insists, seemingly adamant to prove that she can order you around. "This is not about my comfort, this is about you taking care of yourself! Just how long have you been drinking today, anyway?!"

This was going to end up a screaming match, so you agree to it. At least you'll be able to do so with the door open - with the bathroom mirror and sink facing the door, you can easily get a cursory look at the room behind you while you brush. And it's not like you're going to take forever.

You grumble something about uppity idol bitches underneath your breath and step into the steamy, fragrant bathroom, Iori's freshly-bathed scent filling your nostrils. Unwrapping a complimentary toothbrush and slathering complimentary toothpaste onto the bristles, you rinse your mouth out first before starting the brushing process.

Behind you, reflected by the mirror, you see Iori drop her towel on the floor and get dressed for bed, in an outfit girls of her age should probably not be wearing.

You shrug. It's probably an idol thing, you say, as you continue brushing your teeth.

Yep. Easiest job in the whole world.

[]Hum a song while you're brushing. Keeping an eye on Iori all the while.
[]Look around the bathroom and see if there's anything of note.
[x]Look around the bathroom and see if there's anything of note.
Don't take too long, though, and quickly switch back to watching Iori. Knowing QB, there's probably going to be some magic involved with these otaku.
Quickly look around
Don't take our eyes off her for too long but make sure there are no ways in from here
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You hum tunelessly while you continue the delicate task of oral hygiene maintenance and idol voyeurism. After a moment, you decide to glance around the bathroom, which looks like it could easily fit your own apartment. Twice over.

As you look around, there doesn't seem to be any glaring security issues you could see. The vents seem to be securely grilled, the windows small and barred. The only thing you can note here is that Iori doesn't seem to be the neatest of people, with her used panties just lying there, a couple of feet away, on the marble floor. It's frilly, black and expensive.

You glance quickly back at Iori - she seems to be brushing her hair. All good so far.

What do you do?

[]Pick up panties, stash in inventory. You can get a LOT of painkillers for this one.
[]Finish up brushing teeth and go check the suite for anything the otakus might use as a secondary point of entry.
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You blink at glance at yourself in the mirror, before laughing slightly. Have you really sunk so low that you were actually considering it? No, no, of course not. You may have lost your own self-respect down the line, but it's back. It's back now, and you're going to be a complete and utter professional about this sort of thing. You're not selling your client's panties on the Internet.

Giving your mouth a final rinse, you finish brushing, and a cursory inspection reveals that you've done an alright job. Rinsing the brush, you place it down on the sink, and then you step out of the bathroom and back into the suite proper. You ignore Iori sitting primly in her nightgown in front of the dresser, brushing her hair out, and proceed with the canvassing.

There's obvious tension in the room between the both of you, but it's just you being generally annoyed at being sober in this time of the day. On Iori's part, however, you can't help but notice that she seems to be wanting to ask something, but can't find the way to ask it properly.

You leave it at this. You're not here to make the principal comfortable, like you said. You're here to make sure they don't end up on a porn site.

"This...this is about what happened to Yayoi-san, is it?" It's the first words you hear from the idol that doesn't sound like she's talking from high up on a goddamn throne. "They think it's going to happen to me too?"

You glare at the windows. Possible security risk, but they seem to have deadbolts, and they're bulletproof. They also keep the air conditioning in.

[] Answer honestly. Don't sugarcoat it.
[] Try to reassure her. She's not getting raped, not on your watch.
You're never really one for security detail. If you remember correctly, that's Sayaka's expertise - she may be a totally prickly bitch to you, but to her principals, they can't seem to praise her enough, especially when the principal in question is a little kid that needed protecting. You had asked QB about this, and he mentioned something about Sayaka trying to emulate Mami when dealing with clients. Something about being maternal, he had said, or being a big sister.

You're not Sayaka, you're not Mami. You are not in your element.

But as you hear Iori's confident voice tremble slightly now that the reality seems to have settled in with your presence, you can't help but understand them a little bit.
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In any other event, you would have been brutally honest and not at all that optimistic about the chances of her surviving this, but instead you try your best to reassure her. Yes, her security and QB do think that there might be a risk, but it's a negligible one at best, and your presence is simply to make sure she was safe until she on the plane to America. She shouldn't think about getting raped - or being touched - by those otaku at all, because that will never happen on your watch.

You do this without looking at her, instead opening closets, looking underneath the massive bed, checking out the suite for any hidden passages, trapdoors or such. None so far.

The only other point of entry would be the skyroof, but it's too high up that it's a complete moot point.

As you look back at her, you see that it's worked, albeit slightly. She seems calmer than before, and is looking at you directly. At least she's not crying or anything.

"I...I see." Iori says after a moment. "I...suppose I shouldn't think about it too much. Everyone seems to be doing the worrying for me, so I won't let that go to waste. Thank you, Matsuda-san."

[]Shake your head, and ask if you could get a bottle from the wine cabinet. You're pretty thirsty, and a drink would be nice right about now.
[]Ask about Yayoi. She seems bothered about it...
Ask about Yayoi
The more we can both gather intel and reassure her the better and drinking on the job is unprofessional
[]Ask about Yayoi. She seems bothered about it...

Moar intel is good, drinking on the job is bad. We can get piss-drunk after the job.
>[x]Ask about Yayoi. She seems bothered about it...

If it would be only us at the witch, we could drink until we can barely stand and still kick it's ass. But when we're supposed to protect someone drinking seems likea bad idea. Even Murderface would know that.

And Pancakes for the Pancake-god.

You try and distract yourself from just how dry your throat is - and how nice it would be to have some expensive whisky right about now - by continuing this conversation with the client. It'd be unprofessional, after all, if she saw you drinking on the job. She'd already had to try and get you to take a shower, you didn't need to damage your reputation further by stealing her panties or making an utter fool of yourself with alcohol.

You ask her about Yayoi. By the way she said her name, it seems as though they were pretty close. They were from the same studio after all, right?

She looks up at you from her seat in front of the dresser, before turning back to her reflection and nodding. "Y-yes, Yayoi-san, I...we're friends. We started out being idols together. Same line during the auditions, in fact." She seems to smile at the memory. "I was a bit more...irritable, back then. Yayoi-san, on the other hand, was nothing but energy and kindness. She came from a destitute background, but you wouldn't know it just by talking to her, or meeting her face to face. She loved everyone."

It's then that her smile falls, and she looks down. "When that happened to her, she...she changed, Matsuda-san. She's not the Yayoi I knew. I can't hold it against her, of course, this is not her fault at all. But she's..." Iori falters here, and you realize that you've made her cry. "...I can't even recognize my friend anymore. I hate it, Matsuda-san. I hate what they've done to her, and what they've made her become."
You apologize quietly, not really knowing what to do. You are not Mami, you are not Sayaka. You're not good at this touchy-feely stuff.

[]Walk over to her and initiate awkward physical contact.
[]Give her something to blow her nose on.
[]Suck it up. Shit happens. Your friend's alive at least.

[X] Give her something to blow her nose on.

Find a box of Kleenex and give it to her..or a handkerchief if we have one that doesn't smell. Tell her we know firsthand how Fate and this crapsack world can change a person.

>There had to be a time we weren't a jaded, boozing, smoking, pill-popping magical hobo-girl, right?
[x]Give her something to blow her nose on.

That seems suitably hardboiled.
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The sight of tears, you remember, once struck you hard enough that you yourself would easily be reduced to them. Not that you weren't already a crybaby back then, but seeing someone cry always had that effect on you.

Now, it's different. Markedly. But you do the thing expected of you anyway - you walk over to the lounge table just across the room, pick up the open box of tissues on top of it, and place it on the dresser table in front of the tearful idol. You don't do physical contact, but you're not someone to tell them that they can't cry because it's inconvenient.

"O-oh. Thank...thank you, Matsuda-san." Iori manages to say after a moment, sniffling. "I thought...I thought you were going to just stand there and watch the waterworks. See the idol bawl her eyes out and everything." She blows her nose, delicately, into a wad of tissues. "I wouldn't have held it against you. Idols are curiosities, after all."

You shake your head at this. You tell her that you've seen and heard more horrible things, and you know how the world can suddenly just turn on you like that, no questions asked, no quarter given. People change, and there's no helping it. We just move on the best we can.

Iori wipes at her eyes, before smiling. "...Matsuda-san, I...I apologize for being harsh on you, earlier. I think it's clear now that you really are focused on my safety. I thought you were just like the other guards posted outside. I had to fire three of them already for stealing my panties." She shakes her head. "You really can't find good help these days.

[]Panties. What...what perverts. It's a good thing you fired them, I would have. Out of a cannon.
[]Where's Yayoi now?
It's not an overreaction for you to say something like that (and do it just as readily) but somehow, the deadpan way you said it seems to have made it sound all the funnier to the idol, and she bursts into relieved, tearful laughter immediately after. You're relieved too - at least the serious, heavy air between the both of you had been lifted somewhat, and you didn't really need a client who seemed more than eager to mope around feeling sorry for themselves while a firefight's going on. That said, your opinion of the idiots outside lowered to a couple more notches. It's not the panties, really, you think to yourself. It's how they could be so unprofessional as to do that AND get caught.

Embarrassing. A total embarrassment.

"H-haha! Ah...um...whew. That...that wasn't really funny at all, Matsuda-san," Iori manages after a moment, a tired smile on her face as she tries to get her breath back. "But how you said it...thank you. I...I needed that. More than I'm willing to admit."

You hold up a hand, shaking your head. It's not part of your responsibilities, you tell her, and was simply an observation. She sours slightly at that, but her mood seems to have massively improved, at least.

It's then that a knocking issues from the door, followed by the voice of the guard from earlier.
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"Miss Matsuda? I apologize for the interruption, but Miss Minase has a visitor. It's important."

You blink at Iori, who shrugs, before moving to the door. You reply that there seems to be no company being expected that night, especially with the recent state of things.

"No, it's a...surprise visit of sorts. Yes." Gorilla's voice is distracted, as if he's listening to someone from another source. "Miss Minase, Miss Takatsuki Yayoi is here to see you."

Takatsuki Yayoi...? Wait, the girl who was raped before? What is she doing here?

"A-ah! Yayoi-san!" As if suddenly animated, Iori stands up from the dresser seat, checking her reflection slightly as she made a beeline to the door. "This...w-we talked about visiting each other one last time before I went to America, so...this probably may be the last time we'd ever be able to do it. Matsuda-san, please let her in."

[]Disallow it. No visitors, period.
[]It's her best friend. What could go wrong?
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I think this is a good place to pause. Mainly because I need to sleep. I've kept track of the responses though, and we'll begin the next thread with Chiaki's decision.

Thank you for everyone who participated. I leave you with Oyassan Chiaki.

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You are a Magical Girl. You wish you were something else, but them's the breaks.

It's nighttime. You're in the penthouse suite of a fancy upscale hotel, which is a real trade up from the dingy apartment you call a home. Normally, this would be cause for celebration, and at this time of night you'd either be dead drunk or well on your way being - but unfortunately, you're ass deep in a job you really weren't sure you wanted to take. So right now, you're sober. The most you've been in...well, as far as you can remember.

The assignment: security. The principal: a sixteen-year-old idol by the name of Minase Iori. She's been targeted by a group of hardcore otaku that seem to have a penchant for kidnapping and rape. It's already happened to her best friend, and it's your job to make sure it doesn't happen to her.

Your mood hasn't improved much, but at least you're being professional about it.
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Right now, the guards outside had notified the both of you that Takatsuki Yayoi, one of the otaku group's previous victims and the principal's best friend, is currently outside the penthouse suite, awaiting entry. She's not exactly expected, but Iori says that they've talked about her visiting.

You're understandably paranoid, and you're not exactly eager to let anyone in, including the guards outside. But the Principal seems to be adamant that it's perfectly all right.

"Please, Matsuda-san. Yayoi, even in her state right now...she's of no threat to anyone. I should be insulted by you thinking that one of my best friends should be worthy of suspicion, but..." Iori shakes her head. "Yayoi couldn't hurt a fly then, what more now? She flinches whenever someone comes close to her, she jumps at shadows. She is even averse to hugs, when she gave them freely the last I remember her."

Iori places a hand on your shield. "Please, Matsuda-san. Don't think ill of my friend. She has suffered enough."

How do you respond?

Stop time, open the door, see what's going on outside, close door, resume time. Further actions depend on status of the outside.
If we don't let her get this one she'll become stubborn and overly disobedient which could make our job harder.

We will first survey the scene outside the door, then scan Yayoi for magic. Then put Iori as far away from the door as possible, and let Yayoi, and only Yayoi, in. The visit shall be limited to ten minutes before we politely but firmly get her to leave.
>How do you respond?

It seems like we have some confused ideas about this bodyguard thing. It's not really sustainable to enforce hermitage on the client.

A bodyguard should give advice to their client on security, and a smart client should listen to the person they're paying to think about their safety, but "don't ever let your friends into your house" isn't good or reasonable advice.
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You glance down at the dainty, perfectly-manicured hand gracing the scarred surface of your shield - and then back up at Iori's face, her expression pleading. Maybe if you were just a little bit sauced, you could have dealt with this much more easily. You're not, though, and your harsh denial for her appeal gets stuck in your throat.

It's her rape victim of a friend. Maybe you're laying the professional bodyguard thing a bit too heavy-like. They're about to say goodbye to each other before the other has to leave for another continent.

She has someone she cares about. She may be a vapid, hypersexualized pop icon that exemplifies everything that is wrong with today's society, but she wants to see her broken friend one last time.

You swallow painfully, before shrugging her hand off your shield. You direct her to move well away from the door, to stay behind you, while you check out the situation outside the door. You'll let her unexpected visitor in, but she shouldn't expect too much.

"...Thank you, Matsuda-san. This means a lot to me."
You ignore her heartfelt thanks as you move forward, closing your hand over the door's handle. The door, for all its ornate design, doesn't have a peephole, and you're forced to peer around the door itself as you pull it open the smallest crack.

The situation outside seems to be normal. The guards are still standing guard, and the gorilla you'd roughed up earlier is standing directly in front of the door, with what you assume is Yayoi standing next to him, being completely dwarfed by his frame. She's...got a haunted look to her, which is sad as you can see that she was once one of the more popular idols. Her hair, dark auburn and tied into curly pigtails, seem somewhat flat and disheveled, and her clothes are dark-colored and loose - a far cry from the usually form-fitting and colorful clothes an idol usually wears.

A shadow of her former self. You're quite familiar with that sort of thing.

What do you do?
Guards be extra alert.

We don't want Yayoi to go all WE'RE GOING TO SUFFER TOGETHER RPAE SQUAD ADVANCE or some shit.

Check her for anything suspicious. I mean It.
Ok she looks haunted and is alone. She is to be allowed a 10 minute visit.

We open the door, step away from it prepared to take down any threat that tries to pass through, allow her to pass, close the door and keep a very close eye on her. Make sure she doesn't set off any of our freaky magic shit radars. Her interaction with the Principal will be closely monitored and after the allotted time she will be asked to leave.

You're satisfied with what you see, and you increase the gap between the door and the door jamb just a bit more, enough for your hand to slip through - and for both Yayoi and the Guard to get a good look at you. Yayoi seems to be almost alarmed at the sight of your glowering stare, and shrinks back slightly. The guard simply scowls.

You point at Yayoi, and wave her closer. The former idol glances up at the guard, seemingly uncertain, before looking back at you and gingerly stepping forward. You click your tongue impatiently and reach forward just a bit more - and Yayoi seems to whimper as you grab her by the wrist.

She feels frail underneath her bulky, loose jacket. It was as if you could easily crush her wrist in your grasp by increasing pressure the slightest, smallest bit.

Yayoi shivers in your grasp, an expression of tearful hurt on her face, but you ignore this, merely glaring at the guard who seems all too ready to protest.

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You tell him to shut up and stay back, before roughly pulling Yayoi into the room just as you throw the door open. You tug her hard enough to cause her to stumble, a feeble cry of surprise and alarm issuing from her lips. In the same movement, you slam the door close with your other hand, while still keeping hold on Yayoi's wrist. You immediately slap the locks back in place, and shove the deadbolt secure.

"M-Matsuda-san! Please! You're hurting Yayoi!" Iori protests, clearly alarmed at this kind of treatment. You ignore this too. You've already conceded this to her - you're not about to compromise now.

Still keeping a grip on Yayoi's hand, you pat her down with your other. The girl's eyes clearly wide, staring and tearful as you pat her down for weapons. You get to her lower body, completely focused on finding hidden weapons - causing you to completely miss Iori's hand slapping you hard across the cheek.

The slap isn't that strong, but it stuns you long enough that you step back, your eyes wide behind your own glasses.

"MATSUDA-SAN! PLEASE! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!" Iori screeches at you, pulling a positively-crying Yayoi into her arms, shielding her from you. "Weren't you listening a while ago?! I thought we agreed on--!!"

[]We didn't agree on anything. I'm letting you see her, but that's it. We still follow my rules. All we agreed upon is that I'm here for your protection.
[]. . .I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure.
[]Stay quiet, move to a chair at the far end of the room, and smoke.

As we are an inherently asocial and completely broken magical girl with drug problems, i think creepiness is hardwired into our system. Though on second thought,
>[x]. . .I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure.
is probably better.

>[X]. . .I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure.

going for the least destructive option.
>will end in blood/tears/both.
>[x]. . .I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure.
Sometimes people just won't like what's best for them, no matter how you explain it.
>>. . .I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure.

Your cheek still burning at the spot where Iori's palm had solidly connected with your face, you glance towards the locked door - then back at the idol and the girl sobbing into her nightgown. You murmur what could be the lamest apology in the entire world, and with your voice hoarse from thirst and cigarettes, it probably doesn't sound all that good.

At least your breath is minty-fresh.

"D-don't you think I know that you're doing this for my safety?! I'm just as scared as anyone else! But you didn't need to manhandle her like some piece of meat, Matsuda-san!" Iori snaps at you over Yayoi's feeble sobs. "I thought...I thought you'd be different than those idiots outside! I suppose I was wrong after all - you're the same, and all you're probably thinking about is the paycheck you get after this, aren't you?!"

You stay silent, not really having a reply to this tirade. Shaking your head, you merely cross your arms. A drink would be good right about now...

Iori glares at you for a few more moments, before focusing her entire attention towards Yayoi, trying to comfort the girl, whispering directly into her ear. She leads the tearful former idol to the bed, making her sit down, and carefully wipes her tears away with her own fingers. It'd almost look romantic, if it weren't for the fact that you caused it.
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You stand there for a while, slightly unsure of what you're actually doing there, before shaking your head and making for one of the chairs placed across the room. Might as well start that bedside watch--

"Get out of my room, Matsuda-san."

Iori's voice is chilly, imperious, the same as your first meeting. "You've checked my room for security gaps, right? If you've found none, then get out. You may stand guard outside, just like the rest of the hired help."

She's standing in front of you, now, and it looks like she's not going to take no for an answer.

God DAMMIT, Kyuubey.

How do you defuse this situation?
"I can't, and I won't. I'm here to provide you with close security, and that means keeping you in sight. I can't do that if I'm outside the room, and can't hear or see what's going on."
"I can't do that, Iori-san. If I leave, then it's the same as never having been here. I'm here to keep you safe where they can't, and I can't do that if I'm not here. For what it's worth, I AM sorry for mistreating Yayoi-san, it was a bit over zealous of me."
I am not here for your happiness, I am here for your safety.

If you want to yell and scream at me for my behavior go ahead, if you feel the need to slap me more I will accept it if that what is what it will take to keep depraved men from doing horrific things to you.

"You...you just don't get it, do you?" Iori is still enraged, but she seems to be getting a handle on her temper. "Yes, you've made it abundantly clear that you're here for MY SAFETY, and that if I wanted someone to make me feel like a human being even under such circumstances, I should look elsewhere. I realize, right now, what you truly mean by that." Her words dripping with indignation and venom, she turns her back on you, as if loathe to even recognize your existence by looking at you while the both of you talked.

"You may earn your paycheck until tomorrow morning, Matsuda-san, but I'd better not see hide or hair of you when I wake up. I will contact Kyuubey then and have him send me another agent. Someone who hasn't forgotten how to be a decent human being." She points towards a single desolate chair at the far corner of the room. "You may do your guarding there. Far away from Yayoi, and far away from me. She'll be staying over until tomorrow morning, so it'll be better if she doesn't see you looming over us while we slept."

This just gets better and better, doesn't it? At least you're not going to leave.

[]Quietly agree, but stop by the wine closet before going to said seat. You'd earned it, at least, and it looks like it's going to be a long night.
[]Refuse. You need to be close to them. Bedside watch is not up for debate.
[]Refuse. You need to be close to them. Bedside watch is not up for debate.
[x] Refuse.
An angry idol is still better than a raped idol. And it's not like we'll see her again after she leaves, anyway.
>[]Refuse. You need to be close to them. Bedside watch is not up for debate.
Fuck it, she's already pissed, let's go for broke.

Though, working in >>19580216 would be good.
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You may have apologized for earlier, but you're not about to make any more concessions. You tell her - or rather, the back of her head - that sitting from across the suite isn't really optimal to what you were paid to do. A bedside watch is what is going to happen. Both of them would simply have to just ignore your presence.

". . .I hate you, Matsuda-san. No, I think I've gone past that." She murmurs, turning slightly to look at you from the corner of her eye. "I pity you. You've allowed yourself to get to this state that you don't even fully comprehend why I'm angry at you, and why I need to be as far away from you as possible." She looks away, crossing her arms. "Now I don't know who to be more frightened of - the otaku trying to kidnap and rape me, or the girl I'm paying to protect me."

She lets out a sigh, and shakes her head. "If you're going to sit beside the bed, sit on the side where I'll be sleeping. I don't want you anywhere near Yayoi."

She stalks off, quietly fuming, leaving you there to...well, you're not sure. Probably feel stupid, since that's what you've been doing.

You glance at them, and they seem to be getting ready for bed, chatting with hushed voices. You turn towards the door leading out of the suite.

[]Ask one of the gorillas outside for a transceiver tuned to their frequency, so you could get updates on their patrols.
[]Wait for them to fall asleep, and then move to bedside watch position.
[]Call a friend.
>[x]Ask one of the gorillas outside for a transceiver tuned to their frequency, so you could get updates on their patrols.
Then the second option
[X]Ask one of the gorillas outside for a transceiver tuned to their frequency, so you could get updates on their patrols
[x]Ask one of the gorillas outside for a transceiver tuned to their frequency, so you could get updates on their patrols.
If there's going to be an attack, we may as well get some advance warning.

You leave the girls alone and make for the door, slowly and carefully undoing each lock so as not to make too much noise while Iori and Yayoi are talking. You pull the door open a few inches, and you call out for one of the guards. He seems to smirk at you, but he quickly smartens up at seeing your trademark glare. You ask for a transceiver, or something to help you hear the details about their patrols - and he hands you a foldable headset, withdrawn from his own coat pocket. It seems to be his.

You don't thank him as you snatch it out of his grasp, and slam the door shut before he could react. You swiftly engage the locks again, studiously ignoring the glare Iori's shooting at you.

You're not exactly doing things right, but you're doing them how you've always done it. So it works out somewhat. Maybe. You don't know.

You unfold the headset and slip it on, the single earbud sitting comfortably in your ear. You turn it on with a tap, and immediately you hear the clipped chatter of the guards as they make their patrols. Nothing of note, but you do hear them grumble about some whisky-reeking little cunt ordering them around.

You smile slightly at this, glancing back towards the two girls. They're already in bed, buried underneath the covers, and they seem to be...


Well. The painting in the completely opposite direction is suddenly interesting.

[]Look away. This isn't a peep show.
[]Look. They're not paying attention to you, that's for sure.
[x]Look away. This isn't a peep show.
She already thinks we are just another gorila. Don't make her think we are also one of the otakus.
>[]Look away. This isn't a peep show.
>[]Look away. This isn't a peep show.
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You give the two girls the privacy they need - at least, as much of it as you can give them, what with still being in the same room and being in plain sight and all. Long ago, you probably would've been flustered at the sight of them, but now it's not really embarrassment over what they're doing but more of being there while they're doing it.

You lean against the wall next to the door, studiously keeping your eyes away from them, and wait for them to...finish, so to speak. You fiddle with your phone while doing so. Tempting as it is to call Mami, doing so may ruin the current mood.

It takes them the best part of an hour before you see that they've finally fallen asleep in each other's arms, huddled close together. Iori being the big spoon, Yayoi being the small one.

You're...you're a bit jelly, but you have a job to do.

You quietly make your way towards the bed, and take your seat at Iori's side. Careful not to make any sudden moves that could make a noise and disturb them.

At least the chair is comfortable. It seems like it's been used for this exact purpose. Actually, it's a bit too comfortable - it's more of a lazy boy chair than anything else, and you feel your eyelids getting droopy as you unconsciously let yourself sink into the soft cushions.

You haven't been sleeping well. Time to stop yourself from falling asleep.

[]Send a message to Mami. Maybe texting her will do you good.
[]Get coffee from the suite refrigerator. They probably have some sort of coffee, but it's at the other end of the suite.
Check Gem.
Text something rude to QB.
Listen to the talk on bodyguards' radio.
Regret the promise not to drink.

Do _not_ take picture(s).
>[x]Send a message to Mami. Maybe texting her will do you good.
This. Leaving room is bad.
Draw another dickbutt for QB
[X]Send a message to Mami. Maybe texting her will do you good.
[x]Send a message to Mami. Maybe texting her will do you good.
And put our cellphone on silent mode; don't want to wake the two girls.

This is bad. You've been moving about ever since you woke up today, and you haven't really slept a wink since then. You're starting to feel the fatigue slowly seep in, your body somewhat giving in to this unusual level of comfort. Compared to your futon, you're sitting in a chair made out of goddamn clouds.

Shaking your head, you try as focus as much as you can. You pull out your cellphone and start to type out a message to Mami. Talking to her should perk you up some, even if it's just through text.

Iori, fast asleep, pulls Yayoi closer to her, murmuring her name.

". . ."

What message do you send Mami?
Ask if she's better now.
Lay out our current situation with Iori and ask for advice: should we try to patch things up (how?), or gracefully accept that we're getting pulled from this assignment in the morning?

After sending the message, stop time, grab coffee, return to chair, release time.
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There's only so much room allowed in a single text message, so you break it up into parts that hopefully Mami won't mind reading. You ask her first if she's alright, then segue into what you're doing at the moment - that is, guard duty. You ask her what to do in your current situation with Iori, and what you can to try and fix things. You end the series of messages with an apology of how late it is.

Your phone beeps quietly as it notifies you that you've successfully sent the messages through, and you stuff it back into your inventory.

Now, the hard part. You need to get to the refrigerator and the caffeine it contains. You've decided to...use what you have in a somewhat creative manner. You don't like doing this at all, stopping time itself for things like this - but this could end up being a matter of life and death.

You stand up, somewhat unsteadily from the chair, and slowly - carefully - turn the shield clockwise, thirty degrees. Careful not to let the gears grind too much, or the locks slap into place too loudly.

The world turns gray. Time stopping all around you, freezing everything into stasis.

Everything except for the pink-haired girl now standing at the very center of the suite, looking at you with midnight black eyes.

And she's smiling.

You suddenly find yourself no longer needing any coffee whatsoever.

What do you do?
Can we stop the timestop? If so, do so and turn around and make sure that Iori is still safe.
Guess we won't be needing that coffee now.
The appearance of the smiling girl with the pink hair and dark eyes doesn't exactly surprise you, but it doesn't comfort you either. The entire world rippling in its dull cast-iron shade, you glance back at the bed, where your Principal and her friend lay sleeping.

...She's still there, still asleep, frozen in time but safe. Everything's alright, except for this sudden reunion.

You turn back towards the apparition, who is still standing there, quietly, smiling at you like an idiot. You make to cancel the time stop - your left hand closing over the rim of your shield - but it's then that she slowly waves at you, as if trying to make you come closer.

You're not crazy, of course.

You pull your shield back to its original position, and time resumes its normal flow. The phantasm disappears along with the time stop, as if it never were.

Christ. You don't really need this, do you?

[]Make the trip to the refrigerator and get the damn coffee.
[]Go back to the chair, sit, and wait it out. You're no longer sleepy anycase.
[x]Go back to the chair, sit, and wait it out. You're no longer sleepy anycase.

No need for coffee now, and leaving these lesbians alone is asking for trouble.
Go back to the chair. Coffee is unnecessary now.
Getting coffee means walking close to where that thing was standing. Screw that, sit back down.
[x]Go back to the chair, sit, and wait it out. You're no longer sleepy anycase.
That little burst of adrenaline should see us till morning.
You sink back into the comfortable grasp of the miraculous lazyboy chair, letting yourself get enveloped once more in its cozy embrace. The sleep's been driven out of your body by that little encounter, but it doesn't change the fact that your body's nearing its limits. You'll probably last for a few more hours, at best.

As you mull over the appearance of the pink-haired bitch, you hear the soft beep notifying you of a message received.

It must be Mami's reply, you think as you make to pull your phone out of your inventory. Flipping the clamshell device open, you squint at your phone's screen.

It's not Mami's reply. The number is the same one as the sender of that message where you were told to move on, to get on with your life.

It reads:

"Wake up."

[]This is obviously some stupid joke. You're awake. Delete it and keep waiting.
[]Try and call the number back, see who answers.
>[x]Try and call the number back, see who answers.
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Call back.
Nah, we've plenty of time yet.

>Try and call the number back, see who answers.

>[X]Try and call the number back, see who answers.

we are already asleep aren't we?
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Alright, you're not really digging the cryptic messages sent in a vaguely passive-aggressive ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/life partner way, so you call the sender back. You hold the device up to your ear, and immediately you hear ringing.

One, twice, three times, and then it picks up.

What you hear is...not what you expected. You hear someone, female, screaming for help. You hear laughing, high-pitched, shrill, each gasp of hilarity interlaced with unintelligible syllables. You hear gunshots in the background - lots of it, high caliber.

A few moments, and the line goes dead.

". . ." Well. That was strange.

But not as strange as Takatsuki Yayoi, standing in front of you, wearing nothing but her birthday suit. Her eyes half-lidded, glazed over.

She murmurs Iori's name, and all too suddenly, clambers onto your lap. Straddling your stocking-clad hips, pressing her body against yours.

You're...not exactly sure how to deal with this right now.
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Alright, I think this is a good place to hold. I'll start the new thread the same time over the weekend, I need to wake up in four hours.

Thank you once again for participating.

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You are a Magical Girl, and you really, really, need a drink.

You have been volunteered by Kyuubey to work as personal security detail to popular idol Minase Iori, who is currently staying in the penthouse of the fanciest Hotel in the city. After a small altercation with the idol's existing security detail and an unexpected visit from her damaged goods of a best friend, you're now trying to stay awake in order to do what you're being paid to do. A string of some rather peculiar events have certainly made sleep a far-off worry, however.

One of these events being that mysterious message from an unknown number, asking you to wake up.

Another being the aforementioned former idol, smelling faintly of the activities she'd been doing with your client and wearing nothing but the hair on her head, is currently straddling your lap while you sit in the most comfortable chair in the world.

Another, still, is the girl from your dreams that you killed, haunting the one place no one can follow you into.

Your principal is safe on her bed and sleeping deeply, but you've got the nagging feeling that you're missing something.

What do you do?
Return Yayoi to the bed.
And it may be necessary to stop time and ask our hallucination if she's here to wake us up.
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The former idol's half-asleep proposition - and considering it one is stretching it a bit too far already, at least to you - while sweet, is not proper at the moment. Besides, it never paid to get involved with clients or the girlfriend of clients, and you're not about to start THAT habit now. No, you'll stick to the painkillers and alcohol. Those vices, at least you can handle.

You make to rise from the chair, to lift her off of you and bring her back to Iori's side, where she belongs - when suddenly you realize that you are physically unable to. Your arms, your legs, your entire body seems to have been frozen stiff, your muscles filled with lead, your veins pumping coagulated ice. Even the smallest movement involving your neck seems to take all your strength, and your eyes widen at this rather surprising development.

It's then that Yayoi, still on your lap, starts to giggle. Giggling in a way you've already heard before, in that call you made to that strange number earlier. The shrill laughing that was punctuated with gunshots.

"As expected of a magical girl," Yayoi whispers into your ear. "I was wondering how long before you found out, Matsuda-san. It's almost commendable how quickly you did. I thought I was going to be disappointed" She reaches up with a hand, tracing a line down your cheek.

"You might as well stop trying to get up. By the moment you wake up, they'll be finished with Iori." Yayoi smiles. "Oh, they won't touch you, I made them promise. Call it a courtesy being extended from one professional to another."

How do you react?
Interesting, this is sleep paralysis, if I am not mistaken.

Try to time stop if possible. That might throw it off. Struggle mentally as well, anything to shake the damn thing off
This bitch is gonna die. Turn on time stop, see if that releases some level of the hold, blow her full of holes. KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL.
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So much for being prepared. So much for being thorough. So much for actually hoping that things would go right this time, that things would finally go your way after so many times of it being the complete and utterly crushing contrary. You thought that this would be different than your previous assignments, but life is rarely so kind.

Of course, you find this funny, somehow. It's hilarious, the way you were so endearingly optimistic.

You manage a smile, a feeble laugh, and Yayoi blinks at this, seemingly taken aback by this. She blinks again as your laugh becomes just a little bit louder, despite how vulnerable you are right now, despite how even breathing took so much effort, so much focus.

You are still laughing as the gears in your shield crunch together, the device turning itself a complete 180 degrees, hard enough that the impact claws sparks into the air.

The pink-haired girl, once more, manifests into view. Now beside you, both gloved hands on her slim waist, looking down at you with her midnight black eyes and an expression that could be considered as amusement.

"Well, I'm glad you find everything funny, Homura-chan." The girl says after a moment. "You always had a weird sense of humor, even when you're just about to die."

She doesn't seem to be going for the kill, strangely enough. And you still can't move, despite the time stop.

[]Ask her for help in waking you up.
[]Tell her to go away, and try to wake yourself up.
Hate to admit it but I could really use a hand here.

If not, at least give me a minute, I've got something important to take care of.
[x] ask for her help
Offer her Iori's panties as payment.
I'd rather not ask for her help, but don't dismiss her yet.

Start by trying to wake ourself up, if it works flip her the bird as we leave, if not then ask for help.

To wake ourself up summon up our determination, our hate, our pure seething raw hatred for the pink haired girl, for Kyubey, for everything about this world that we detest. The hate that we cover in alcohol and cigarettes to keep from burning too hot. HATE.
>>19619584 >>19619578 >>19619573
You do your level best to ignore the sweet, cloying scent of the pink-haired girl from your nightmares as you close your eyes and try to concentrate. You've never been one to ask help from anyone - not even when the rapidly-approaching alternative was making peace with whatever god was there and hoping your remains don't make that much of a bloody mess. No, you try not to rely on others.

For a moment, you try to will yourself awake. Forcing everything you've got into it. Your anger. Your dissatisfaction. Surely you've got lots of that, somewhere. Your want to simply...well, simply be happy again, even if you know full well you don't deserve it. Your hatred of mimes and the little bastards that insist to use the words 'utilize' instead of use.

In your mind, you try to fan a single ember into a flame - but you fail utterly as you realize that this could be your way out. Of course you'll be sorry about Iori, but...hey, at least you tried, right?

You open your eyes, and look towards the magical girl with the dead eyes.

You murmur the two words that you've never said to anyone else except a certain blonde girl with the exceedingly large endowments.
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She hears them, and her smile widens.

"Ah, ah...this is strange. This is new. Homura-chan, asking for MY help? After all we've done together, after you shot me here--" she touches the center of her forehead with a finger. "--and killed me even before I'd barely started?"

She raises her left hand, and a replica of your shield - sans the gash on the center gem, of course - manifests in a purple flash of light onto her forearm. All three orbs trailing black smoke. "Well, just for once, I can switch sides. I can help the protagonist a few times, since this predicament you've clumsily stumbled into rather spoils the ending a bit, if you die here." The shield clacks into position, and she draws a golden Desert Eagle from it. "I'll help you, Homura-chan, and in the way you'd appreciate more. And don't worry - consider this a freebie. You won't owe me anything."

It's then that she places the barrel mouth of the oversized handcannon against your temple.

"I assure you that this is in no way foreshadowing or being symbolic or anything," She giggles. "But it's certainly cute. Any last words?"

What do you say before she wakes you up?
Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.
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You spit out the invective before gritting your teeth and closing your eyes. Too many times you've found yourself in the exact same situation, most of those times the hand holding the gun your own. It's not that you're afraid of the pain, or scared of what waited for you afterwards. Hell, if Pinky here had given you the gun and you could move enough to pull the trigger, you'd have done it.

All you're bracing for, really, is waking up and finding out that you've failed someone who willingly put their life in your hands once again.

A heavy metallic click. A blinding explosion. A crunching pain blossoming in from the side of your head for a split second before being numbed by something cold that slowly spreads throughout your entire body.

The last thing you think of before you die, funnily enough, is the word 'Pancakes'.

Sometimes you surprise even yourself.
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You wake up to the sound of Iori screaming your name. Again and again and again, her voice already hoarse from panic and fear and desperation. She is screaming your name, pleading for you to wake up, right before the gloved hand of the heavyset man in dark military fatigues on top of her gags her with a pair of her own panties.

You wake up with everything hurting. You're on the floor, sprawled on your stomach. Beside you is Yayoi, on all fours, busy throwing up what looks to be blood in between foul language that you're sure the real Yayoi probably wouldn't utter in her own lifetime. You're sure of this because the girl in the black sweater isn't Yayoi at all, but a magical girl with brilliant green hair and crimson eyes.

There are four other men besides the one on top of Iori, and they seem to be wearing some very serious gear. Flak jackets, grenades, AK-47s, everything. You move slightly and see that the circular skylight has been shattered from the outside, rappelling rope trailing down from it.

A video camera, set on a tripod, is beside the bed, aimed at the pair.

They seem to have not realized that you've waken up.

What do you do?
Grin like a madman, I do believe we get to have some fun here.

Time stop, pump a few magazines of ammo into the magical girl, confirm the kill as much as possible. We might be able to take her without the time stop but she might hit us with something or use a large magical attack that endangers the Principal.

Then we have to decide if we're going to have fun with the soldiers or not, I like the idea of crippling them, unarming them and letting them feel all the pain Iori and Yayoi did before we finish them, but I think Iori would be rather freaked out by us torturing people in front of her so we would have to do it outside which we can not do, therefore we have to make it quick. We probably don't need time stop for these chumps after the Magical Girl is dead, but if we can keep it going easily than just double tap them all in the head, if not then turn it off after killing the Magical Girl and then slaughter them efficiently.
Time-stop, shoot them at all major joints, and pulverize their hands and legs. Completely immobilize them. We need entertainment later.

Then shoot witch bitch in the head with all remaining bullets.

Prep a new gun. With the luck were having, this plan will not work.

Use the camera to record the wholesale slaughter. Time to earn the name Murderface
Time Stop.
Shoot two of the thugs in the head, doubletap.
Shoot the other two thugs in both knees, and through both hands.
Shoot the magical girl in the knees and hands as well.
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"Hey, Midori, are you okay over there?" The man right on top of Iori, nearly covering the skinny idol in his bulk and girth, casts the still-vomiting Magical Girl a concerned look through his mask.

"I'll...I'll be fine," The green-haired girl manages to choke out. "J-just...kinda overworked I guess," she adds after wiping her mouth with a sleeve. "W-what was that? Girl with pink hair and...black eyes? How'd she get into my illusion?"

"Well, er, if you're okay, can you stop getting sick in here? It's kind of ruining the mood, here." The otaku complains weedily, prompting his armed companions to snigger and laugh. "I mean, can't you do it outside or something--"

His sentence dies in his throat - as do all other noise inside the room - as you stagger slightly unsteadily back to your feet. Your shield is clicking, clicking fast, clicking erratically, its two remaining gems burning crimson. You must have been smiling rather terribly as you see both the magical girl and Iori look upon you in horror as you spread both your arms to the side - each hand gripping a fully-loaded Ingram Mac 10, fingers already carressing the triggers.

You don't need time stop with what you're about to do. The otakus seem to be frozen in place, completely in shock, and you hear one of them whimper, a puddle of yellow forming underneath one of his booted feet.

Everyone in this room - barring you, barring your principal, and barring the magical girl who gave you enough professional courtesy not to have you raped - is going to die.

Stopping time is your gimmick. It's your neat little trick, being a Magical girl. It's the same with being able to, say, pull an unlimited number of swords out of your cape. Or doing the same with gigantic spears that break apart into multi-sectioned staves. Or having a D-cup when you've barely seventeen.

You wish you could have stopped time right now. Not because you wanted to have that edge over these bastards who thought raping idols at the peak of their careers were good fun. Not because you thought they had a chance, even when you're grossly outnumbered and have a magical girl working against you.

No, you wished you could stop time so you could savor this moment for as long as you want.

It's when they snap themselves into desperate action that you start murdering them. Your fingers strumming the triggers, letting off precise bursts in tight, impeccable groupings. The first one, from across the room, dies with his face reduced to hamburger, painting the window behind him a lumpy crimson. He falls backward, his feet kicking out at the camera tripod, making it wobble and lean back against the wall, the recording not simply focusing on the bed itself.
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The second one dies with half his face shorn away as you give him a prolonged burst from both guns, each one kicking futilely in your iron grip, their stream of death tight and confined as they send him crashing through one of the plate-glass windows - not shattering it, but merely knocking the pane out of its frame through the sheer weight of his slack corpse and the amount of hardware piled on it. He doesn't scream on the way down - but the third does.

The fourth, you're not even looking at as you kill him, a snapshot that buries a .45 round into his skull and making a rather grotesque exit wound flower at the back of his head. He drops to the floor like a sack of limp things you usually put in a sack and throw into a lake.

You save the would-be rapist for last. It's then that you recognize him as the guard you manhandled earlier.

His skull explodes from the massive soft-tipped round, sent from the golden desert eagle that had suddenly replaced the Mac 10 in your right hand. The right hand that bore your shield.

And during this, both Iori and the Magical Girl is still screaming.

What do you do?
The Golden Desert Eagle makes you stop and wonder for a moment, before you look down at yourself, in case you find yourself in another body. Nope, you seem to be in the same one you've always remembered yourself being. At the very least you still really need a drink.

Later. You'll have a drink later. Right now, there's work to do.

Tossing the other Ingram to a far corner of the room - it was nearly empty anyway - you step forward, advancing on the still-screaming, green-haired magical girl. She shrinks at your approach, babbling almost incoherently, her crimson eyes mere dots that focus on you, then on the gun in your hand, and back at you again. Clearly hysterical, clearly traumatized at seeing someone reduce five living, breathing human beings into nothing but meat in the span of ten seconds.

Strange. She seemed just being in the same room where a brutal rape was about to take place.

You thank her for her professionalism by shooting her kneecaps out. Two angry, blinding reports from the gaudy handcannon, and her legs are reduced to bloody stumps at the knee. She screams harder and louder than she ever did since the debacle started, before passing out promptly.

You tug the rappelling rope from the skylight and use it to truss the now-disabled Magical Girl up, making sure she's gagged. Her soul gem, a red one affixed to her choker, is safely deposited in your inventory.

Iori is still screaming, looking at everything in pure horror, tears in her eyes. She is literally naked, and a corpse is on top of her. The corpse you could deal with easily enough, but what about her?

How do you handle this situation?

[]Do what you can to comfort her. Apologize for your shortcomings.
[]Call Mami. She knows how to handle this. You're not...equipped to handle such delicate things.
[X]Call Mami. She knows how to handle this. You're not...equipped to handle such delicate things.

We can blunder our way through being a good person when things are going fairly okay. More or less. This is beyond us, we'll just make it worse.
Both. Tell Mami we need her help here, and apologize for our shortcomings while she's on her way.
[X]Do what you can to comfort her. Apologize for your shortcomings.

We'll get Mami's advice as soon as we can, but this requires immediate action. Remove the body, untie her, get her some clothing, get her into the shower and try to be comforting. Offer her a cigarette, it's our way of being kind. Once we have done immediate damage control call Mami.

Poor girl. She never deserved any of this. For the briefest moment, you consider putting her out of her misery - no doubt something like this will haunt her for the rest of her life, more than having her best friend raped. No one needs to carry a burden like that. Not even you, but it's not as if you had any choice on the matter.

Shaking your head, surprised at yourself, you immediately move to help the idol. You pull the corpse off of her - grunting slightly in satisfaction as you take heart in such a clean shot - and deposit him neatly out the window, no doubt giving a street cleaner below a bad start to his day. Thankfully Iori doesn't seem to notice this, as she seems to have curled into a fetal position, crying hard into a blood-flecked pillow, her sobs muffled by the gag tied crudely at the back of her head.

Life isn't so kind. It really isn't.

You hesitate for the briefest of moments, before clambering onto the bed, beside Iori, and pulling her into your arms.

Letting the girl sob into your costume's front as you slowly and carefully untie her. Wiping the flecks of blood and gore away from her with your sleeves, or the edge of the covers, whatever you can get your hands on at the moment. All the while apologizing to her, your voice barely below a whisper.

You're sorry, you say. You're sorry for not being there where it counted the most. You're sorry for being a failure as a bodyguard.

Seemingly angered at this, she beats her small fists at your chest, each blow weak and feeble, her crying seemingly draining her of strength - before she curls her fingers into your shoulders, clinging into you, holding you close. As if she never wanted to let go.

You let her cry as much as she want as you draw your cellphone out of your inventory. Speed-dialing Mami's number. You glance at the gold-plated Desert Eagle you've placed on the bed beside you, and you shake your head as your phone rings.

"Yes, Tomoe Mami here. Chiaki-san, what can I do for you today?"

You tell her what has happened quickly, glossing over the less important details. Mami is quiet throughout the entire thing, and only speaks up after you say that you're done.

"I'll get over there as soon as I can. Ten minutes at the most. Don't let her out of your sight, Chiaki-san, whatever you do. Shock and Trauma can do a lot to people."

You thank for her advice, tell her to hurry, and end the call.

You still have a shivering, crying Iori in your arms.

[]Get her into the shower and help her clean up. It's the least you can do.
[] Wait for Mami. Smoking or drinking is probably out of the question, though.
If she's going to be showered off, we should see if she wants to first. She was almost raped and just saw a good four or five people brutally murderized. Reminding her that she is still in charge of some part of the situation might be more comforting her than (gently) forcing her to do some stuff.
[X]Get her into the shower and help her clean up. It's the least you can do.
>[x]Get her into the shower and help her clean up. It's the least you can do.
Shower with her (dressed) if you have to, this outfit is ruined anyway.

You look down at Iori, then at the bathroom, and then back to her again. After a moment, you clear your throat quietly and then gently ask her if she wants you to help her get cleaned up in the shower.

She seems to whimper at the suggestion, but after a while she nods weakly, still clinging to your shoulders. Still burying her face into your chest, curled up against you.

You inwardly think that ten minutes seems such a long time, but nevertheless, you did ask. You slip an arm under her knees, the other supporting her back, and you carry her slowly and carefully to the bathroom - nudging Midori's unconscious form away from your path as you do so.

You step into the spacious bathroom, kicking off your heels at the treshold - you don't exactly want to slip on a damp tile and injure yourselves. Now treading on stockings, you have a bit more traction as you get her to the suite's extravagant shower, and you gently let her down on her feet right underneath the showerhead itself.

What a sight both of you must make. A grimy magical girl and her bloody, shellshocked client.

You turn the shower on after a moment's confusion, adjust the temperature to a lukewarm level, and let the stream of water wash the blood and gore off of Iori. The runoff splashes at you, drenching your costume, but it's not like you care.

She weakly murmurs something about soap and washing her hair out, and you seem to all but jump to comply - looking about for anything that might resemble soap and shampoo in the rather extravagantly-stocked shower. You find two brands you're familiar with, and you decide to go with the shampoo first. Turning off the water, you squeeze a moderate amount onto your hand, work it into a thick lather with both hands, and then massage the suds into her scalp. Knowing the idol, there's probably some sort of ritual to her showers, but you're doing it the way you do it to yourself at the moment. She can't complain, anyway.

After that, the soaping. This...could get a bit dicey, here. You've never soaped up anyone else before, certainly not someone who almost got brutally taken advantage of. You lather the soap in your hands as Iori somewhat looks at you, expectantly.

[]...Mami can do this. You can't. Let's just wash her hair and wait for Mami to arrive.
[] Wash her yourself. Just be careful doing so.

[x] Ask her if she wants us to do this... or if she wants to handle the whole washing stuff...?

Mention that we're not real 100% on the whole washing another person part. Hell, we're not even 100% on washing ourselves properly, as she commented earlier. We're getting better on brushing our teeth though, we swear.
Ask her if she wants you to wash her. Give her control over the situation.
Ask, fucking ask. Make sure that she is completely okay with us soaping her up before we do so. If she confirms that it is fine soap her up, be gentle, be professional, don't grope her.

You stop working up a lather with your hands and ask Iori quietly if she wanted you to do the washing up for her. A ghost of a smile curls her lips, and she nods slightly, before turning her back to you. Gathering her now-soaked hair with both hands and pulling it over her shoulder, so that you could wash her back without worrying about accidentally soaping her hair.

You take this as a good sign, and start soaping her back. Really careful-like. Slow, but not slow enough that it looks like you're taking advantage of the situation. Not fast enough to look lazy, either - you're trying to wash off blood and gore stains.

One thing's for sure, they certainly don't make idols the way the used to. Iori certainly has her rough edges, but you could see why otaku would want to go for her and her ilk.

"...Thank you, Chiaki-san." Iori murmurs, suddenly out of the blue.

You pause for a moment, before shaking your head. She didn't need to thank someone on her own payroll. And she was going to fire you the next day, anyway.

"N-no, you saved me...I...I'm grateful for that. I really am." Iori's voice echoes around the spacious bathroom. "But...but how did you manage to kill them so quickly...? Is this how QB trains his agents? Are all of them like that?"

[]Lie. Focus on getting her clean.
[]Tell the truth.
[x]Selectively tell the truth.
Not everyone on QB's payroll is like us. We all have different specialties.
Ours just happens to be combat, and...retiring operatives who've gone rogue.
[]Tell the truth.
I'm an elite, others would have done it flashier, I do it more efficiently
Just tell her a half truth. All of QB's agents specialize in something, and MURDER is something we're good at.

You think about Iori's question in silence as you continue to wash her. You're no longer as hesitant or as flustered about this activity as you were earlier, but you're still being careful.

You finally reply with a half-truth. QB takes girls of your age or younger, those who have nothing much else to live for, and gives them another chance to use what they have that would benefit other people. It's a bit more complicated than that, of course, but you do say that you are very well-trained, and everyone in QB's payroll has a role they must fulfill. Yours is just...well, you're the brute squad, to be completely honest.

You don't sound all that convincing, but she seems to buy it, turning around to face you. And your hands, which were busy washing the spots near her shoulderblades, end up...

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"Still, Chiaki-san. I...I thank you. I shouldn't be saying that right now. You saved me, and I don't think I'd have survived that."

You open your mouth to reply but there's a cough near the doorway to the bathroom, and you see Mami in her costume, looking away politely, a gloved hand to her chest.

You hastily step back to cease this particular scene, and Mami takes over quickly, radiating that air of confidence and assurance and maternal concern that you immediately feel unworthy of her presence. Iori seems puzzled at this, glancing at you and then at the approaching Mami, before you tell her that she's here to take care of Iori and what happened.

"Yes. I'll be taking over from here. Chiaki-san no doubt needs her own rest." Mami says politely, and you nudge the naked idol towards the blonde. "Chiaki-san, please get back to headquarters for your debriefing. Kyuubey is waiting for your complete report."

Iori seems to be concerned, but you smile weakly at her and wave her goodbye. It's been fun. No, well, it wasn't. But it was certainly entertaining.

You remind Mami of the unconscious magical girl outside, and that you want to interrogate her after your debriefing.

"Of course, Chiaki-san. I'll make sure to get her comfortable in the Silent Room before your debriefing wraps up. You can interrogate her there, if you like. I'll go finish washing Minase-san up. You missed a few spots."

"Chiaki-san?" Iori asks, suddenly fearful. "Are you leaving...? Right now?"

Well. Dammit. What are we going to do now?
Tell her you'll stay if she wants you to, but you need a drink and some sleep.
Do you want me to stay? If so I will stay for longer and watch over you.

You blink at Iori's question through your glasses. Well, you were planning on leaving right now, but you'll probably stop by over at Charles' for a drink. Maybe two. Three if you're feeling generous, but...

You glance at Mami, and she seems to be trying hard not to smile. She nods as you catch her eye, however. Still genuinely puzzled, you shrug your shoulders, and say that if she wants you to stay, you will. It's just that you need a drink first, and then some sleep.

"A-alright." Iori nods, clearly relieved. "Please...please don't leave without at least giving me your cellphone number, okay? Chiaki-san, please don't forget."

You promise her you won't, before you step out and let Mami do her thing. It was a strange request, but certainly harmless.

Heading back out into the suite proper, you sit down at the lip of the bed, propping one wet stocking-clad foot on the unconscious magical girl's back. You light a cigarette - no, you make it two - and breathe in the smoke that you've been deprived of for a while.

There's something to be said about smoking in a room full of dead bodies.

You'd say something for it, but you're just too busy enjoying the moment.
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And that's it for this thread, everyone. Thank you for participating again!

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You are a Magical Girl, and you're currently drinking yourself to death in your own shithole of an aparment.

Well, not death, but somewhere close to it. As close as two bottles of whisky and an entire bottle of pills will get you.

It has been exactly forty-eight hours since you saved your client from being raped by a heavily-armed, heavily-equipped group of otakus and having the whole sordid thing recorded and put on some paysite on the Internet. To their credit, they almost got through with it - thanks to the magical girl that had you trapped in some sort of living nightmare.

Thanks to the pink-haired demon in your own nightmares, you managed to wake up just in time. It wasn't your best job by your standards, but hey, at least the client got what she paid for.

Five kills. The Magical Girl permanently disabled, kept in stasis and locked in the safest room in the city. Her Soul Gem is with you - actually, it's in front of you, dunked in a glass of room-temperature whisky. Not the one you're currently drinking from, of course, that would be unhygienic. It's the one you pour out every time you go drinking, in remembrance of memories too painful to actually remember.

You hear a knock on the door, barely audible from the television currently blasting out old fuzzy reruns of Baseball Bat Boy. You glance blearily at the solitary clock that adorns the nigh-empty wall of your apartment. It's late afternoon, and you're not expecting visitors. Well, you are, but nothing important.

The golden Desert Eagle, loaded with a fresh magazine, glints beside your half-empty bottle of whisky.

What do you do?
Get our stuff together, we should probably do a good interrogation of Emi.

See if she is a freelancer, whether she did this for kicks, how long she'd been a magical girl, who recruited her. That sort of thing. It'll also be a good chance for us to work out our frustrations.
Addendum, get our stuff together, we'll do the interrogation later if we get a chance. First we get our gun, hold it behind our back, see who it is through the door, and then decide whether to let them in or not.
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You glance at the door, and then at the gaudy, blocky firearm sitting on your side table - and it's then that you murmur a curse underneath your breath as you lever yourself off of your very comfortable and very expensive-looking green chair. You're not one for furniture, but after the debacle at the Hotel Suite, you thought you'd take a little souvenir, something to remember that particular assignment by.

It took a while to get the huge chair into your inventory, but it was worth it. Really, really worth it.

You drain your glass of whisky, before placing it back onto the side table to pick up the gun Pinky had been kind enough to give you. You wipe your lips with the back of your other hand as you make your way toward the door, your bare feet making no noise on the unadorned, cold tile floor.

It's worth noting here that you've actually taken a shower right after that assignment. You didn't transform right after, of course, so you're not really decent right now. Just a sports bra and your usual panties.

You flip up the peephole lid and peer through the small lens.

There's no one there.

"Down here," a voice speaks unbidden in your mind.

You squint downwards, and see a familiar white mutant cat with startlingly-bright crimson eyes, fastidiously licking the back of its paw.

Well. It seems that it's time for your debriefing.

You kind of skipped that.

What do you do?

And then sit back down in our luxurious new chair before popping a painkiller, just because there's bound to be a catch to Kyubey's visit and we're going to need it.
Open up, let him in.

"Sorry I missed the debriefing. I was too busy being passed-out-drunk."

You lower the lid of the peephole, before undoing the three locks that kept your door secure enough from being broken into: two deadbolts, one at the top, one at the bottom, and a chain lock near the doorknob. You pull the door open just a little bit, enough to let the white furry creature pass through - and as he does so, you contemplate suddenly kicking the door shut, crushing your employer between door and door jamb.

It's a delightfully puerile thought, and one you don't go through as the Incubator finally manages to squeeze his way into your sparsely-decorated apartment.

If you count crates of stolen alcohol and explosives laying about as sparse, of course. Oh, and don't forget that strange heavy rifle with the chainsaw bayonet stashed near your umbrella stand.

"As usual, you never fail to impress upon me how little you care about your own comfort or that of your guest's, Matsuda." Kyuubey says, glancing at the television, where Baseball Bat Boy seems to be in a heated debate with Bicycle Helmet Girl about cooties. You shut the door behind him, engage the locks once more, and make a beeline back to your new chair, dropping down onto it with a whumpf. "I'd ask you why you didn't go directly to HQ for your debriefing, but I suppose I could guess why."

You say nothing, pouring yourself another finger or two of whisky.

"...Right. Your debriefing, then. Let's hear your version of what actually happened."

How do you recount the previous events?
Went to the hotel, convinced the security to shape up.

Was in the room with the principal when what at the time seemed to be her friend showed up.

Did pat down, clear of weapons, nothing seemed overly strange.

Sat by bed as they went to sleep. Strangeness occured, stuck in dreamlike state, her "friend" was with me, said that goons were raping principal.

Broke out of dream through sheer grit, killed rapists, one of whom was the head of security, before anything major happened, blew off the legs of the magical girl, whose name was revealed to be Midori. I'll get more information on the assailants after interrogation.

Comforted principal, called Mami, stayed there at principal's request for some time.

Returned home, drank like a fish, didn't bother seeing you.

Where's my payment?
Security team useless
Principal nearly raped
Magical girl present
I blew her legs off
Killed otaku's
Where's my money

You give him the truncated version of events, like you always do in debriefings. The little bastard doesn't really need to do this, of course - knowing him and his connections, he probably had everything on videotape. This is just him checking to see if anything is amiss about you - or at least that's what you think.

You avoid mentioning Pinky. He doesn't need to know. No one needs to know.

"That sounds about right, yes." The Incubator says after you finish, once more licking the back of its paw and then wiping it all over its face in that way cats usually do. "As it turns out, the leader of Minase Iori's security detail was a member of the same group that raped Takatsuki Yayoi. The rest of the security detail were innocent, but they were gunned down in a protracted firefight."

The white mutant cat pauses for a bit to glance at the golden Desert Eagle you've placed back on your side table before continuing. "As... as for the Magical Girl, we've stabilized her for now in the Silent Room, but since her Soul Gem is in your custody, she's just a warm body for now. Should you choose to interrogate her, try and find out who she's working for. Someone like her may be in the same situation as you, which means there's another incubator lurking about."

You sip at your drink, glowering at the television. He likes hearing himself talk.

"...I think a stern lecture here about not falling so easily to magical traps is in order here, but since your client is strangely satisfied with your performance, I've decided to forgo that." It places a forepaw on the floor before it, forming a shadow on the bare white tile - and from that shadow, two grief seeds pop out, rolling on the floor momentarily before balancing themselves on their spines. "Your payment, as agreed upon. Your salary has been wired to your own account, and I do hope you remember how to access it."

It seems to hesitate at first, before letting out a sigh. "Try to do better next time. In any case, you have two assignments lined up. Since they're priority, pick one, and Kyoko will take the other."

You're not really listening right now. You're busy strangely thinking about a brown-haired idol with crimson eyes.

You drain your glass, and pour yourself another, as the Incubator starts to babble.

[]Ask about the assignments.
[]Ask about how Iori's doing.
[X]Ask about the assignments.

We can find how Iori is doing through calling her ourself or talking to Mami. Letting this miserable fuck know that we still have vague hints of emotion will do us no good and simply reveal a lever for him to use, a weak point to capitalize on.
[x]Ask about the assignments
[x]Ask about the assignments.

We'll call up Iori later to ask how she's doing, or ask Mami. No need to let the little freak know that we might actually care about someone, and use it against us.
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Kyuubey nods, seemingly impressed at how professionally you seem to be asking. No back talk, no sass, just going right to the point.

It clears its throat before continuing.

"Alright. The first one comes from one of our older customer. He's paid upfront for a hit on the Inagawa-kai Yakuza's overboss, Shinobu Tsukasa." Kyuubey pauses for a moment. "We don't usually take contracts out for Yakuza members, especially for high-ranking ones, but I'm considering it a part of our social service policy."

You smirk at this as you chase a couple of painkillers with a gulp of whisky, letting the bitter taste of the medication blossom on your tongue before drowning them in the heat of the alcohol.

"The second is a retirement one. Kirika Kure's...she's killed both of her principals in two assignments already. I believe it's time we end her relationship with our firm."

Retirement. Decommission. A pretty way of saying that the pressure's finally gotten to you, and you need to be dealt with cleanly, before you make the firm lose more revenue.

"One grief seed for the first assignment, and a bonus to your salary for the second. You can keep any salvage you get from Kirika, too. As always, you get your detailed dossier about the assignment you pick in a day or so."

Bastard little asshole cat.

[]Pick the first assignment.
[]Pick the second assignment.

He has hundreds of bodies, we just take advantage of that fact to show our displeasure at having to put up with him
[X]Pick the second assignment.

We've got two grief seeds. We can afford to forego getting one for a bit. This would also be a chance to salvage something should we kill the rogue Magical Girl.

"The second assignment? Very well. I'll have Sakura Kyoko take the first one. You'll get your dossier via secured courier by noon tomorrow." Kyuubey nods again, his crimson eyes staring up at you intently. "To be honest, I was expecting you to pick the Yakuza one, but then again, there's bad blood between you and Kure, isn't there?"

You drain your glass of its remaining amber liquid and refill it just as quickly. Bad blood wouldn't be the term you'd use to describe your association with Kirika Kure - it was closer, really, to all-out antagonistic. You hated each other, not even in that rival kind of way where you respected each other's professionalism grudgingly. You just didn't like her, she didn't like you, and more than once it almost came to both of you trying to kill each other. Kyuubey had always done the smart thing to never pair you up in a difficult assignment, because nothing would ever get done.

You knew she was sort of...crazy, but she was the best close-combat specialist in the firm. Not even Kyoko or Sayaka could ever hope to come close to Kure in a fair fight, and it usually never was.

You idly wonder, then, who would be sent to retire you when the day comes.

"Do you have any other questions, Matsuda? If not, I have other things to do. Places to go, people to see, and another Magical Girl to recruit - seeing as a slot will be opening up soon."

It seems Kyuubey is all too ready to leave.

What do you do?
This and call Iori. Tell her to kill any demented cat mutants that come near her.
We get the dossier in a day or two.

I'm cool with launching him out a window or booting him out the door, but I want to know who he is going after next.
Who are you planning on recruiting?

You sit up from your reclined position, turning towards Kyuubey. This new recruit...it can't possibly be someone you're familiar with, right? No one with a future deserves to be reduced to something like you.

You ask the question, trying very hard not to sound like you care.

"I've a few prospects, but nothing final as of the moment. There's one very potential candidate I'm interested in, however, as she's got quite the gift for it." The incubator tilts its head slightly to side. "Why the sudden curiosity? Either way, you'll know about who she is in the next all hands meeting anyway, right?"

Typical answer from the little creep. Vague as hell and laden with innocence, trying to make you feel stupid for even asking it even WHEN it should be asked.

"If there's nothing else, then I'll go ahead and leave you to your...activities. Whatever they are." The white-furred creature scampers across the room, hopping up onto a windowsill. "And for goodness' sake, Matsuda, try and clean up your apartment. It's supposed to be a living space, not an armory.
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You make to stand up and grab him by the tail, frowning at that last comment - but unfortunately he's gone before you could even pull yourself away from your chair's comfy, comfy grasp. Just as well, making another kickball out of the little bastard probably wasn't worth getting up anyway.

Man, you really like this chair. This chair, it's the best. It really is.

You spend a moment of leaning back and closing your eyes to the sound of Baseball Bat Boy cracking a criminal's face open with the butt of his bat, before you reach out to take your cellphone from your side table, nearly knocking over the glass containing Midori's Soul Gem over. Flipping it open, you search your contacts list for a certain idol's number and call it.

It takes her three rings before she picks up. And when she does, her voice sounds a bit...breathy? As if she's nervous about something.

"Y-yes? This is Minase Iori. Is...is this Chiaki -san?"

Strange, but she seems to be sounding alright.

[]Ask her how she's doing.
[]Ask her what she's wearing.
[X]Ask her how she's doing.

[x] Ask her how she's doing.

Nervousness can't be good.
[X]Ask her how she's doing.

Also tell her that if a strange white cat thing offers her anything to refuse, no matter what it offers, no matter how badly you want it to decline. Tell it to go to hell.
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You're currently sauced at the moment, so you're in a bit of a better mood than before, and it kind of shows when you ask her how she's doing. It's a bit unprecedented, you asking about a principal after the assignment - much more you actually calling them up. Iori sounds a bit surprised and pleased, in any case.

"O-oh. I'm fine, Chiaki-san. I've...my producer has convinced me to postpone my tour for a few months. He says that it's for me to lay low for a while, since the media somehow caught wind of what happened, but I think it's really him just wanting to give me a break." She giggles, slightly. "A-anyway, Mami Tomoe-san is here escorting me to a safehouse I'll be staying in for the duration. She told me it's the--" hasty voices and giggling in the background, not Iori for sure, but someone you recognize by their voice. "--it's the safest place in the city at the moment."

Well. The giggling's a bit weird, but that's a good thing, right? And she's with Mami, so she's safe. The safehouse, though...you wonder where it is.

You ask as nonchalantly as you can.

"Huh? Where is it? Um...er..." More giggling. More voices. "M-Mami-san says you're really familiar with it, so you don't need to know. Anyway, it seems we're here...ah, alright, Mami-san, I'm going to knock."

You furrow your eyebrows, and make to ask again, when suddenly someone knocks at your door again. Three times, just like how Iori knocked on the door on her end three times.

". . ."


What do you do?
"Hold on a bit, someone's at the door."

Answer door in underwear, booze in hand, phone wedged between shoulder and chin. Swig booze. Continue talking to Iori via phone, and act like there is nothing unusual about this.

She and Mami are having fun pulling a surprise on us. Let's fuck with her in a fun manner in return.
Tell her to hold on for just one moment, take few sheets, blankets and similar objects and throw them over the crates of weapons, clear off a few extra chairs around the table and open the door. We're in our underwear, but we don't give a fuck as it's our home and we're off the clock.

Go to the door, open it partway, check that it's them. Then open it fully and invite them inside.
Hahahahahaha trolling
Our apartment is gonna make Iori flip her shit

Answer the door still mostly naked, be totally unperturbed

You narrow your eyes at the door, then at the phone, before letting out a small sigh - even as a small smile curls the corners of your lips. This is exactly why you don't let coworkers know where you live, you tell yourself. You thought Mami would be an exception, but she did save you from an overdose the last time, so it was really more of a favor to yourself.

"Hold on. Someone's at the door." You say this to Iori in your usual deadpan manner.

Well, if they're playing it that way...

You place your glass back onto the side table and then grab the bottle of Kong Whisky you've been trying to kill for a while now by the neck. Rising from your ridiculously comfortable chair, you make your way towards the door - not bothering for a last minute clean up, and certainly not throwing something decent on. If this is Mami's ploy to get at you, then this is you returning fire.

You wedge your phone between ear and shoulder to free up the hand that undoes the locks and pulls the door a tiny crack.

Well, it's them all right. Both of them trying to keep straight faces. Mami in particular, although she's got the best poker face in the business.

May change soon enough, that.

You pull the door enough for them to see you. All of you.

All of your sports bra wearing, white panties styling, booze-swigging self. And you're still talking to Iori on the phone, who is coincidentally right in front of you.
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Both girls' eyes widen at your appearance, and both of them redden at the same time. You get the most reaction out of Iori, however, while Mami only smiles sheepishly, knowing that she's outdone.

Iori's holding her phone in a death grip, like she's about to crush it.

You smile slightly at them, before ending the call and folding your phone close.

"Chiaki-chan, sorry for the short notice." Mami breaks the awkward silence with a smile and a stifled giggle. "I'm here with Minase-san to escort her to her safehouse. She'll be staying here for a month or so. Can we come in?"

"C-Chiaki-san..." Iori is mumbling, cheeks burning. "S-s-so...daring..."

You smirk triumphantly at yourself. You sure showed them.

. . .

Wait, what? Did she just say here? She's staying here?

[]Staunchly refuse.
[]Stammer in disbelief and astonishment, swig from bottle. Stammer some more.
[]Curse the name of the Incubator.
[]Play it cool.
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[x]Play it cool.
"What is?" in a deadpan manner, hold the door open for them, close/lock and sit in the comfy chair (anything is fucking comy when you are drunk)
[X]Play it cool.

Give Iori a cigarette and light it.

Tell Mami that she owes us pancakes, she owes us pancakes whenever we want them for the next month.

Then invite Iori in to our abode, tell her not to worry about the crates of weapons and booze, the umbrella stand with a giant rifle with a chain bayonet and so on.
>[]Play it cool.
But under your breath
>[]Curse the name of the Incubator.
Play it cool.
>>19649001 >>19648973 >>19648961

You manage not to make that much of a fool out of yourself at your complete surprise at this development. Actually, you're playing it very cool, only raising an eyebrow as Mami steps over the threshold of your apartment, while Iori meekly bows her head, still red as a tomato. Of course, she's still staring, but not for lack of trying to avert her eyes.

"Oh, don't make that face, Chiaki-chan. It's only going to be a month or so. Two months, at the most. She needs somewhere that's secure and away from the media, so we chose your apartment."

You close the door behind them and slap the locks on. You take a swig from your bottle of Kong, before asking Mami why the hell didn't they just put her in the HQ living quarters instead?

"She can't very well stay there for a month, Chiaki-chan. We all have homes of our own, and do you think she'll be able to sleep with the racket some of us make at night? Be serious, here, please." Mami seems to have found a can of Febreze in your kitchen and spraying it into the apartment - trying to get the smell of alcohol and cigarette smoke, no doubt. Meanwhile Iori seems to be busy...standing around, uncertain of what to do. You point her towards the chair you stole, and she obediently sits there, as if scared to upset you.

You turn to Mami again, bringing up the fact that no one will be around to protect her when you're away on assignments.

"That's easy. Whenever you're on duty, one of us back at the HQ will come over and keep her company. Us being Sayaka, Kyoko and yours truly." Mami smiles, before walking over and pulling up the garter of your panties just a bit, before snapping it back painfully. "And we'll do it with most of our clothes on, we promise."

[]What are you implying, flaxen-haired wench?
[]No sir, I don't like it.
[]Well, what does Iori think about it?
>[]What are you implying, flaxen-haired wench?
>[]Well, what does Iori think about it?
[x]What are you implying, flaxen-haired wench?
[x]Well, what does Iori think about it?

No, seriously, we should really mention that the guns and peels are not good for touching.

No good. Just like Mami to know all the answers to the questions you've even yet to ask. You're so outclassed here it's not even fair, and you only shake your head and take another swig from the bottle of Kong in your hand.

After a moment, you grumble something at Mami's direction, and she nods, seemingly pleased with herself.

"Is that all you want, Chiaki-chan? Well, certainly! I'll make you a batch right now, and just because you're being such a good sport about this, I'll even stock your kitchen for you, so you don't have to order out every night!"

You didn't...ask that, but okay. You open your mouth to reiterate your original sentence, but Mami suddenly comes up close, talking in low, conspiratorial tones.

"I'm not supposed to tell you this, Chiaki-chan, but she came up with the idea herself. Actually, she insisted that we make her stay at your place, and put it across as our idea."

She quickly steps back and smiles. "And I'm not implying anything that needs to be implied right now." She clears her throat, before speaking in a louder voice. "O-oh! I'll work on those pancakes right away, Chiaki-sama, please don't glare at me so much!"

Giggling, she scurries off towards the kitchen, glancing back at you and Iori every so often. A moment, and you hear the familiar hum of the refrigerator being switched on. You don't really use it much, so you keep it deactivated.

Now it's just you and Iori in the...living room. Alone, for the most part. And she's looking at you expectantly.


[]Might as well lay some ground rules. Pills, guns, the whole thing.
[]Ask her if she's really comfortable about staying with you. You're not exactly the sort of person anyone else would like to live with.
Both. Start with asking if she's comfortable with the arrangements, etc.

No need to be a dick about it, but be firm when telling her about gun safety and peels. Try to set aside a day when you can teach her about fire arms so she isn't afraid of them, respects what they can do, and she defend herself if we're not around.
[x]Ask her if she's really comfortable about staying with you. You're not exactly the sort of person anyone else would like to live with.

Then if she's sure she wants to stay here, this.
[x]Might as well lay some ground rules. Pills, guns, the whole thing.
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The awkwardness lasts for a good while before you move towards the chair you fell asleep in and almost got the idol now sitting on it raped. You place the now nearly-empty bottle back onto the side table, before turning around and sitting on the chair's soft armrest. Your back to Iori's side.

You let out a small sigh, before ask her the one question that needed to be asked before anything else.

She answers almost too quickly.

"Y-yes. Yes, I'm alright with living here with you, Chiaki-san. It's...I know you probably think of me as some sort of primadonna that's used to luxury, b-but I'm not, I promise." She smiles at you as you turn towards her. "I'll keep, and I will do my best not to be a burden."

You're silent for a moment, before you nod and stand up from the armrest, turning fully to face her. It's then that you give her a few simple rules about your apartment - how not to handle the guns until you've taught her to, how to treat every gun she sees as loaded and dangerous (even if it's apparent to the contrary) and that to never do anything with your pills or your alcohol. You tell her that you'll be teaching her how to handle basic firearms one day, when you're free.

She takes all this surprisingly well, eagerly nodding, hanging on to your every word. You notice this and you can't help but redden.

"I understand completely, Chiaki-san." Iori nods after you finish, smiling. 'I hope we get along well. Please take care of me."

Great. Really great.

Well, at least Mami seems to be doing some good in your unused kitchen. You're already smelling some very nice pancakes being made, even if it's nearing evening.

You're tempted to ask her if she has an ulterior motive to all this. You know, besides already seeing you in your underwear.

What do you do?
"So, why here? I mean, besides the charming company and stunningly upscale decor, I can't think what reason you'd be happy to be dumped in a hole like this."

Then grin broadly and go about rummaging for something a bit more decent while she answers.
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You see her pale slightly at this question, even though you've tried your best to say it in a casual tone. You don't stick around to see why, having moved to the small dresser at the corner of the apartment, where you keep a scant few clothes (and a good amount of clean underwear). after a moment, you pull on a white shirt and black spats. That'll do for now.

She seems to have her answer prepared as you walk back to her, straightening your clothes. "I...Mami-san and I helped me look into where the real Yayoi is. As it turns out, she never really recovered. She...killed herself a few weeks after that incident, but it was covered up. I should've known, because when Yayoi started calling me, she seemed to be really different. I thought it was just something related to what happened to her, but now I realize that I'd been talking and comforting and encouraging someone who never needed it in the first place." Iori smiles sadly at you. "I'm here, Chiaki-san, because you're the only person I know, here. Yayoi was the only one I knew in this city. With her gone, it's...it's just you. I'm sorry."

She's slightly tearful at this, but she gamely wipes them away from the corner of her eyes with the back of her hand. After a moment, she giggles, even if it sounds forced.

She watches you refill the empty glass, as if enraptured by the dark amber liquid.

"Do...do you really need to drink that much, Chiaki-san...?"

You pick up the glass, drain it, and say yes. Passing her the remote, you tell her to surf the channels a bit to pass the time - you've got something to ask Mami.

You step into the kitchen, where an apron-wearing blonde is humming a pleasant tune while fixing you your pancakes. You're like a child, really.

You stop and stare at the skirt-clad bottom swaying to the tune's beat, distracting you more than the scent of fluffy pancakes.

You shake your head, and ask quietly about Kyuubey and the replacement about to take Kirika's place.

"...I'm not sure if it's Minase-san or not," Mami says after a moment. "She's not anything like us, is she? She's got a future. Plus, she's still at the peak of her career. People will notice when she's gone." She shakes her head, drills bobbing softly from side to side. "We're nobodies. People are already if we die, so long as we take out as many monsters of them as we do it."

Well. That's a relief. Of sorts.

"Don't worry too much about it, Matsuda-san. Kyuubey means well, even if his methods are a bit suspect at times." She piles on two freshly-made pancakes onto your plate, which already has a few pancakes drowning in syrup already. "Here. Share with her if you want. The sugar should perk you both up."

What do you do?
Share them with Iori. Mumble an apology and try to comfort her. We may be an alcoholic, pill-popping and slightly sociopathic magical girl, but we still have some humanity left.

Still should warn her though. Cleopatra and Joan of Arc were both magical girls, so it's not too far fetched to imagine QB recruiting her.
>"The sugar should perk you both up."
Smile and utter "it sure worked for you."

Anyway - Pancakes!!! It's pretty much the best thing you can have in this world that doesn't somehow harm others or your own body... stuff one in your mouth right away, go back o Iori, offer her some.
Chewing is good enough excuse for not talking and you still need some time to think and sort out all the news.
Go back out with two forks, sit on the armrest of the chair and hand Iori a fork.

"Well, I guess you can stay here a while if you need to. Don't expect any special treatment, though. This isn't a work obligation or anything, got it?"

You immediately take a fork from the paltry amount of plastic utensils you've collected from the various food deliveries you've paid for, ad immediately stab it into the top pancake, cramming the syrup-soaked goodness into your mouth. It's still hot, but you don't care. For a mouth used to tasting whisky and painkillers, Mami's soft, feather-light pancakes tasted like food literally from the gods.

So good, it's almost illegal.

Your mouth still full, you mumble thanks, give her a small pat on the bottom, before walking out with the plate and another fork. You sit back down on the armrest, and unable to talk, you push the plate towards Iori - who blinks, before smiling and taking you up on your offer. She discovers the miracle that is food made by Mami with gusto, and you let her. The blonde's still making a batch, anyway.

You glance at the TV, which Iori had flipped to the news. No mention yet of what happened to the Hotel, but there has been a spate of brutal killings of powerful politicians. You know Kirika must be involved somehow - only she could transform a murder scene into a charnel house.

You've got an idol living with you, now. And you're basically being paid to kill a colleague. A hated colleague, sure, but still...

You swallow, and pat Iori's shoulder. She blinks up at you, innocently.

You tell her, in no uncertain terms, not to listen or talk to any white cats with crimson eyes. Or cats that talk. Cats don't really talk, not when you're sober.

She nearly chokes as she giggles at this, asking you if you're trying to make her laugh.

You tell her no, and make her promise.

"Y-yes, Chiaki-san. I promise. No mutant cats telling me what to do. Really."

Good. At least that's one thing sorted out of this mess.
And I think that's it for this thread.

Thank you for participating!

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You are a Magical Girl, and you're not exactly sure how to deal with things at the moment.

'Things' being another girl, in your sparsely-furnished gun rack of an apartment, wearing a nigh-transparent nightgown over lingerie. Her arms around you, all warm-like and cuddly and soft. Her long brown hair pooling on the cheap, thin pillows that came with the two-person futon you stole from a department store you were engaged in a heated firefight in (they were practically giving it away anyway, at half price).

You're not a physically intimate person. Physical intimacy is not you. The extent of physical intimacy you're willing to go with someone other than you is when you're doing your level best to shove a gun barrel into their mouth so the discharge won't make as much noise.

Through the dull pain of your familiar hangover - a soft, prickling throbbing at your temples that cried out for, well, a glass full of whiskey and a couple of painkillers - you try to remember just what happened last night. And what led to it.

Kyuubey. Debriefing. Retiring Kirika Kure. Minase Iori. A few months. Safehouse. Mami Tomoe. Pancakes.

The words flash by as your alcohol-addled mind connects each of them slowly, with painful progress, and you wince as they finally come together.

For some reason, it was agreed upon that Minase Iori, your principal from your last assignment, would be using your apartment as a safehouse for a few months. This meant, of course, that certain standards would have to be maintained, and certain habits would have to be curbed. Certain changes would have to be...tolerated.

These changes seem to include, of course, waking up in the morning with an overly-clingy idol hugging you like you're some kind of full-body pillow with a cheap 2D girl printed on its case.

You grope around for your glasses, and you find them underneath your own pillow. Squinting blearily at the blinds covering the windows of your apartment, you realize that it's already late morning, in fact. Mami, who had slept over, seems to have already left - and she'd already made you a stack of pancakes, dripping with syrup, placed on the side table near your stolen recliner.

The dossier of your next assignment seems to have come in early today, as it's there with the pancakes, placed right beside it.

Time to get to work, you surmise. How?

[]Push Iori off and stagger to your favorite chair in the whole wide world.
[]Gently extricate yourself from Iori's grasp and quietly make your way to the dossier.
>[]Gently extricate yourself from Iori's grasp and quietly make your way to the dossier.
Then go to the favorite chair
[X]Gently extricate yourself from Iori's grasp and quietly make your way to the dossier.
[x]Gently extricate yourself from Iori's grasp and quietly make your way to the dossier.
No need to wake her. Let's get this job out of the way quickly.
It's never easy, retiring a colleague, even a hated one.
Especially when they're considered the top CQC specialist in the firm.
>>19671803 >>19671793 >>19671790
The temptation to simply push Iori off of you and shove her back to HER side of the futon is enough to make you consider it, but...she's sleeping much too peacefully for that. So peacefully and so deeply that you can't help but feel envious for just a bit. And Mami did tell you that the idol hadn't been sleeping right at all since the attack at the Hotel, so...

You shake your head slightly, before letting out a sigh.

Fine. Fine. Maybe you'll give the gracious, polite houseguest routine a fair shot. Just for today.

You inch your way out of the futon and out of Iori's grasp, careful not to disturb her too much. The process is painstakingly slow and it's not really doing you any favors, making a few regular complaints here and there flare up. But you manage it anyway, as evidenced by the idol's still-deep breathing. You've replaced the vaccuum you left in her arms with your own pillow, and she seems to be hugging it REALLY tight now.

Standing up, you glance down at the idol, before shaking your head again. You make your way to the dossier, as quietly as bare feet on bare tile would allow. Picking up the fork with your hand, you stab it into the pancake at the top of the pile, lifting the entire syrup-soaked thing up to your face as you snatch up the dossier envelope with your other hand.

You hear Iori murmur your first name in her sleep, making you blink in surprise. That's...weird. Probably an idol thing, you think as you shrug it off.

You cram the pancake into your own mouth without a second thought, place the fork down, and then pull the dossier open.

...Huh. Well. This is a bit more detailed of a dossier than you're used to. Dossiers have always been tissue-thin, with scant information that would invariably get you almost killed. This...this was Kirika Kure's life, printed in neat A4 paper, 12-point Verdana, double-spaced, totalling twenty sheets all in all.

You sink into your favorite chair just as you light your first cigarette of the day. A puff of smoke escaping your frowning lips.

Why can't Kyuubey's dossiers be this detailed for EVERYTHING?

[]Read Kirika Kure's official record.
[]Read Kirika Kure's Persons Of Importance list.
[]Read Kirika Kure's Projected Schedule of Activity.
Start at the top and work down
We might have to use things such as persons of importance to get us leverage against her and see if we can glean any weaknesses from her past
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>[x]Read Kirika Kure's official record.
>[x]Read Kirika Kure's Persons Of Importance list.
>[x]Read Kirika Kure's Projected Schedule of Activity.

[x]Read Kirika Kure's official record.
[x]Read Kirika Kure's Persons Of Importance list.
[x]Read Kirika Kure's Projected Schedule of Activity.

Read everything. We're going to retire a fellow Magical Girl, and someone who we recognize as a highly dangerous opponent.
We need to know everything we can in order to plan this. Kirika probably already knows that she's going to be retired, and won't go down without a fight.
>>19672108 >>19672042 >>19672060

You lift the ceramic plate stacked high with pancakes - the crockery still warm - and place it on your lap as you begin to read Kirika Kure's dossier in its entirety, spearing pancakes with your fork and devouring them with every page.

It's after you do put away the last page - your pile of pancakes polished off at the particular section where Kirika Kure's impressive kill tally is eclipsed by her impressive tally of innocent casualties - that you wonder if you'll ever come back from this assignment at all.
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Kirika Kure. Seventeen years old. Three years into the service, contracted by Kyuubey personally. Her wish - to be strong enough to protect someone she loves, or something like that. As you remember, she's a beast in close quarters, able to outfight Sayaka and Kyouko (even both of them, at the same time). 120 missions. 400 hostiles killed, Witches included.

Retired five Magical Girls personally. Uses her personal weapon, a single katana, more often than she uses the psychic claws she'd been famous for. Her attack plans usually involve direct assaults, forgoing stealth and surprise for sheer force of strength. Not a very big fan of firearms - you heard her ruefully remark about them being cowardly weapons. She usually makes those comments when you're in the vicinity, too, but never with Mami around. Has the same kind of time dilation power as you, albeit in a reduced capacity and effectivity. She uses it mainly to dodge and appear to be inhumanly fast, but she already is without it.

People of importance - there's the usual list of classmates and friends, but you know only one or two are of real significance. In fact, you've heard about her before - Mikuni Oriko, a girl in Kirika's class. Someone from the outside who doesn't know about her best friend's true line of work. You heard Kirika warn Kyouko loudly about keeping her hands off of Oriko, unless she wanted them torn off and shoved into her anus.

Projected Schedule of Activity is where you laughed at Kyuubey's kind of cunning. The little mutant cat had actually sent Kirika on a fake assignment, taking place later tonight.

Kyuubey may be annoying, but he seems to know what he's doing.

You stub out your spent cigarette on your now-empty plate as you place the dossier back on the side table. The plate itself you leave on top of the envelope, and you recline back on your seat as you try to gather your thoughts.

You can probably call either Kyoko or Sayaka to know more about Kirika and possible gaps in her defense. Mami...she tries to be nice to everyone, but she hasn't really been in an altercation with Kirika to help enough.

There's also Mikuni Oriko to consider. It's not your style, but you could use her closeness to Kirika to your advantage. A simple abduction job, get her in a clearing, wait for Kirika to show, and snipe her from as far away as possible.

The plan's attractive, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

What do you do?
See about a possible opening during her fake assignment but if one doesn't seem to present itself then we will use her friend as a fallback plan

Realistically we want to get a high caliber rifle and disable her from a distance then we can get her soul gem from her. I would say stop time and fire about a dozen shots into her arms and legs so that we are sure of making her incapacitated. Then quickly and cleanly finish the job, we might fucking despise her but we should at least give her the respect of dying quickly
Read up on the fake assignment that Kirika has been sent on.
Maybe we can find an opportunity to snipe her in the mission details.

As it is, I don't like talking about retiring a colleague with another fellow Magical Girl. It just hits too close to home, since we could be sent after them next, or them after us.
But, we might need to speak with Kyoko about Kirika's defense against long-range attacks.
The fake assignment.

What is It?

You light another cigarette as you turn things over in your head. Kyuubey's little goose chase for Kirika is pretty much a run-of-the-mill assassination one - a politician, a typical corrupt blowhard with his own helicopter and a vested interest in some shady dealings you yourself have been sent to 'mediate' some time back. Normally, political targets would be something Kyuubey would leave well alone, as most of your customers ARE politicians, but sometimes they needed pruning. Needed to be shown who really controlled the city.

The hit would take place on Mitakihara Tower One, the first skyscraper built on the city. The politician would be arriving via helicopter as always, the helipad at the very top floor (which is sixty stories up). Kirika would no doubt wait for the target to disembark from the helicopter before moving in and making a gruesome mess of things. She'd probably use the helicopter rotor to dismember the guy.

Fortunately for you, there are nearby skyscrapers, all taller than Tower One, which would give you a nice line of sight. You probably just need a good rifle for it.

Behind you, Iori murmurs your name, just a little bit louder this time.
Iori is calling our name
We should check on her
glance back, check to make sure she's still asleep.

Anyways, i think plan "snipe the bitch" is a go.

Considering it for a few more moments, you actually feel better about doing it in a more...traditional manner. You're no pugilist like Kyoko or Sayaka, after all. You make do with what you've got, and what you've got is a steady hand and the ability tailor-made for long-distance murder.

You hear Iori mewl your name again, and you crane your neck to glance at her. She seems to be turned on her side, away from you, and her hand seems to be moving underneath the futon covers.

. . .

You turn away slowly and take a drag off of your cigarette. Yes. She's still asleep. She's just sleeping, doing nothing else.

This was going to be a strange two months.

[]Finalize plans, start putting them into action.
[]Call Sayaka or Kyoko for advice regarding Kirika, just in case.
[]Think up a new plan?
[x] Call Kyoko about Kirika
[x] Finalize Plans, start putting them into action

When we call Kyoko, ask about Kirika. Say that our next assignment from QB is cleanup after her or something. Find out how Kirika has been acting lately, if she's become erratic or making moves to go rogue.
Don't give out details of the plan. They don't need to know this is about retiring Kirika.

As for the plan:
1. we rig the entire rooftop of Tower One with explosives, remote-triggered, and make sure to hide them.
2. we get up on a neighboring tower, set up a sniping position. Get a parachute in case we need to jump. Set up claymores on the stairs leading up to the rooftop in order to protect our back.
Call them, feed them fake information about our plan in case this really is a setup.
>>19673087 >>19673030

It's taking you a few moments - and your first drink of the morning - to ignore what's happening behind you and focusing more on what needs to be done. You drain your glass, pick up your cellphone, and speed-dial the lesser of the two evils (although really, you could do without calling either of them at all).

It takes four rings for Kyoko Sakura to get her ass off of bed and pick up her landline. The girl doesn't exactly take care of her own cellphone much, any case.

"What the...? Murderface, do you have any idea what the time is? You're calling me up NOW?" Comes Kyoko's incredulous, still sleep-addled voice, clearly offended at being woken up from a nice sleep. There's a muffled voice in the background, as well as the rustling of cloth, but Kyoko seems to ignore it. "Look, if you're calling to trade assignments, no deal. You know I've been jonesing for a Yakuza target for two months now!" Her voice reaches a plaintive note. "It's not even fair that you got to pick, but since you did, you're stuck with that escort assignment of yours, and there's nothing you can do to change my mind!"

Escort assignment...? So Kyuubey didn't tell her or Sayaka about it. If Sayaka had been told beforehand, Kyoko would have been immediately notified as well.

You apologize for it being...oh, 10 in the morning, before going right into the heart of the matter. Kirika Kure. As soon as you say the name, Kyoko's voice seems to...stiffen.

"Kirika Kure-san? What about her?" Kyoko snaps, suddenly irritable. "The hell should I know about that crazy bitch? Rather, the hell do you want to know?"

Obviously some deep-seated aggression, here.

"You're damn right it's deep-seated! IT cannot be seated any deeper." Kyoko seems to be growing more incensed by the moment. "It gets re-seated every time I put on this fucking eyepatch."

Really? And for all this time you thought it was a character trait or something.

[]Ask her about Kirika's current behavior.
[]Ask her about Kirika's fighting style as of late.
[]Reveal the true purpose of your call and ask for Kirika Kure's weakness.
We do that when we set the bombs not all the way up

current behaviour if it checks out then go into the Real reason, if kyuubey didn't tell her then she obviously wants to keep it quiet and we like fucking with his plans. Then we go into fighting style
>[]Ask her about Kirika's current behavior.
>[]Ask her about Kirika's fighting style as of late.

If she wonders why we're asking say our current job is going to run into hers. QB was nice enough to notify us about it but we want to be prepared. It's true enough.

Even if she does hold that much animosity we can't let anything slip about our true job. However we should give her a courtesy call once the deed is done.
[x]Ask her about Kirika's current behavior.
[x]Ask her about Kirika's fighting style as of late.

So we're on an escort assignment.
Say that the principal is tangentially related to Kirika via a shared Person of Importance.
[]Ask her about Kirika's fighting style as of late.
>>19673442 >>19673437 >>19673417

"Huh? Her behavior? You mean, how she's been acting and such?" Kyoko asks, sounding a bit more awake now, and a bit more irritated. "Well, er, how do I say this...she's still a bloodthirsty bitch who thinks I'm trying to steal her goddamn 'childhood friend', that's how her 'behavior as of late' has been." Venom coats her words like the chocolate coating of a pocky stick, hardening into a shell of brutal confectionary delight. "Although, erm...I guess there's something new, but..." A surprising amount of sudden hesitation. "...I did notice something, but it was only after we met at that bar near your place a couple of days back. You remember it?"

Of course you do. That was the first time Pinky made her appearance. What about it?

"Well, it was something you said. I...I was saddled with recovering her from a hot zone last week, and she was screaming something out while I was dragging her back into the extraction point. Kicking and screaming and biting."

. . .You tell her to go on.

"I thought it was just some sorta crazy battle cry, or something, you know? Metal and all that. But now that I heard it from you, and I know you've never been in another mission with her since the last time..."

You remind Kyoko to focus. Or at least get to the chase.

"She was screaming out 'the flesh of fallen angels', Murderface. Same way you did at the bar when you were trying to rip your hair out and all."

Well. That's...you didn't expect that.

"I dunno. It must've been something else, but...they were kinda similar, the things you've been saying. A-although I'm not saying you're as crazy as her, you know! We're friends, right? Even if you do leave me with your goddamn tab now and then."

[]Apologize for that, and ask about Kirika's fighting style.
[]Apologize, and reveal the real reason for your call. Ask about Kirika's main weakness.
Wait... We were pulling our hair while saying that stuff?
This could be bad.

Quick 'Sorry 'bout that', ask how she's been doing in battle lately.
[x]Apologize for that, and ask about Kirika's fighting style.
It's entirely possible that Kirika's getting visits from Pinky, and that's what's been causing her to fail her missions.
Laugh, I actually seem to be less crazy now then I was before. Maybe losing my memory helped.
>[]Apologize for that, and ask about Kirika's fighting style.
Apologize and ask about her fighting style
I think revealing might be useful but we need to get as much info as we can on how she fights

>flesh of fallen angels
Max Payne references all day

You murmur a hasty but hopefully sincere-sounding apology before asking Kyoko about how Kirika actually fights. Sure, you've seen footage of her fighting, but it doesn't really work if all you see recorded is one black blur flitting from freshly-murdered corpse to corpse.

"Ah, forget about it. Water under the bridge, far as I'm concerned. Just don't drink too much and we can consider the tab settled." She clears her throat. "Anyway, uh, fighting style, is it? Well...she's been favoring that sword of hers a whole lot ever since she got it. I don't know where she did get it, but the blade's pretty expensive looking. Not sure how you can forge gold that strong, so maybe it's plated, but I'm not sure..."

Some mumbling in the background. "No, it's Murderface. Asking about...stuff." You hear Kyoko's muffled voice. More mumbling. "Anyway, she's been using that sword a lot. She's always going for those draw-strike scenarios, I think. Iajutsu or something. I kind of miss the more direct Kirika who uses her claws, though. Then she'd go all velociraptor style on you, jumpin' and chargin' right into your face to claw your eyes out."

You could hear her shrug over the line.

"But using a pig sticker like that seems to work out for her, so I guess. If you disarm her somehow, that'd probably shock her long enough for a good hit. Why are you asking, anyway?"

[]Our assignments might end up overlapping. Just wanted to make sure.
[]It's classified, Kyoko. Sorry.
[]I've been asked to retire her.
>[x]Our assignments might end up overlapping. Just wanted to make sure.

Also "By the way - guess you've aready heard that someone should be looking after my place when I'm gone. You know, in case the alcohol fumes spontaneously combust or some such... Mami payed a visit yesterday and I assume you'll be on mission too, so it's up to Sayaka. So in case you ... " pause "coincidently happen to um..." pause "come across her today, could you let her know, please?"

Give her couple second to process it, then add "no pun intended." in dead serious tone.

Interesting. Favoring a gold-plated sword over her usual claws, and a completely different fighting style. Perhaps the golden gun we just got is somehow connected to the witch we exterminated at Mami's place who is now showing up in our dreams? Prolonged usage of the golden gun might provide Pinky some way to intrude into our thoughts or even usurp control of our body.

[x] Our assignments might end up overlapping. Messy would not even begin describe what could happen if we ran into each other.
>[]Our assignments might end up overlapping. Just wanted to make sure.

Mmhm. Seems she's been in touch with Pinky as well.
>[]Our assignments might end up overlapping. Just wanted to make sure.

>gold katana
we should also check our soul gem and see if we need to top off before we fight
>>19674242 >>19674131 >>19674120 >>19674112

There's a moment of silence between the both of you before it's broken by none other than Kyoko herself. "Oh, well. That's fine, then. Just make sure to steer clear from her when you hear her coming - it's not that hard. Simply go in the opposite direction of the screams and such."

Kyoko's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but such a thing has come in handy in quite a number of occasions. So you don't point it out in this particular instance, as she did just help you get some crucial information about your new target.

You start to thank her, and it's then that a fey mood catches onto you all of a sudden, despite the somewhat strained air between the two of you. Speaking in that same, deadpan tone, you remind her of the duty split up between her, Sayaka and Mami - complete with the pause, and everything.

You swear you could hear Kyoko's cheeks go beet red at such an audacity.

"Y-yeah. I'll...I'll make sure she gets that, Murderface. I'm sure she'll be happy to see it."

You thank her for that, and gently remind her that your name is now Chiaki Matsuda, not that nickname.

"Murderface is Murderface, what's the difference? Anyway, I gotta cook breakfast. Later, and tell me how it goes when it's done, alright?"

Sure. Sure you will, you promise Kyoko.

She bids you goodbye and ends the call. You fold your phone close, massage the bridge of your nose with two fingers, and then sigh.

That was the easiest part. Now came the hard part. You're somewhat back at Square One, but where would the fun in that be?

[]Finalize plans, go into action.
[]Think of another plan, quick.
[]Call Sayaka and get her point of view. Heh.
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Sorry, guys, but I'm a bit sleep deprived so I I'll pause this for now. We'll pick it up next thread!

Thank you for your participation!

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You are a Magical Girl, and you are certainly not on the long, slow, downward spiral into slavering madness.

Well, no. You're not really sure about that.

Your current assignment, picked from a choice of two, is to send a fellow Magical Girl into the great Deli Heal Agency in the sky. It's nothing personal, but you know the target well enough that it very well could get to that point. Your employer has simply decided that she has become more trouble than she's worth - a unfortunate and regretful liability that must be dealt in the quickest way possible to preserve inter-client relations and revenue stream integrity in a going-forward paradigm.

It's not the killing that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It's the fact that you have to.

You are in your apartment, with a former client still snoozing in your futon behind you. You're currently sitting in your new favorite chair, and you're planning about how to kill Kirika Kure.

In a move typical of the cunning little rat, Kyuubey has sent Kirika on a dummy assignment, to take place around nine hours from now, night time. A straight assassination mission involving some forgettable politician, on the Helipad of Mitakihara Tower One. You've entertained the idea of rigging the entire helipad with explosives and sniping her from a neighboring skyscraper, but a call to Sakura Kyoko is making you second-guess that plan.

Namely, the fact about her having gone somewhat rogue after getting a mysterious gold-bladed katana. Similar to the golden Desert Eagle a certain pink-haired nightmare had given you.

You examine the gun itself in your hands, turning it around, looking for cursed symbols or rot like that. It weighs like a typical gun of its make, it doesn't necessarily shoot more accurately or harder than a regular version Desert Eagle. It certainly doesn't have unlimited ammunition, which you feel would be handy.

What do you do?
Fuck this noise, call Stabby, state that we heard she had a gold katana and were wondering if she acquired it the same way we got our shiny new gold DEagle.

You decide to call Kirika Kure. It's not your worst idea ever - calling up not only someone you've had a lot of enmity with, but also someone you've been appointed to put down - but it's certainly up there.

You get her number from Mami through a text message, with her slightly puzzled as to why you would want to talk to someone like Kirika. You leave the question unanswered, and you dial the target's number digit by digit.

You initiate the call, and it takes Kirika three rings before she picks up.

"Kirika Kure. Who is this?" Your target's is silky-smooth, properly pronounced, with a bit of purr at the end. You've forgotten that, all told, Kirika has a very nice voice, the type you'd want to hear welcoming you back home and insisting that bed should be the next immediate item on the itinerary. You don't forget, of course, that she has an almost fetish-like penchant of ripping open her target's stomach and watching their intestines flop out.

"Hello?" She tries again. "If this is a prank call, remember that there exists phone tracking technology, and I will triangulate your position and kill you in your sleep."

Lovely. How do you proceed with your call?

[]Introduce yourself, and ask about her golden katana.
[]End the call, proceed as originally planned.
[x]Introduce yourself, and ask about her golden katana.
If she seems reluctant to discuss it (which she will be) bring up the gold DEagle. She'll put together the same pair of twos that we did.
Introduce ourself.
Mention the katana and that we have a deagle much the same and see if we can compare notes on a certain pink haired nightmare
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You clear your throat and keep your voice low as you introduce yourself.

"Chiaki Matsuda...? I'm afraid I don't..." Kirika pauses for a moment, seemingly confused, before laughing softly. "Oh. Wait. I recognize your voice. The damage to your voice with all that drinking and smoking makes you unmistakable, Murderface. You should really do away with those dreadful habits of yours, they're not doing you any favors."

...This is surprising too. You're actually carrying on a normal-sounding conversation with a known mass murderer. You're not sure, but you certainly don't hear the same amount of vitriol and layer-thick venom in her voice that you usually hear. You thank her for her concern, and go right to the point - about her new little golden toy she's been shanking people with.

"...You mean Muramasa? I'm surprised you've been sober enough to actually see and remember it, Murderface. Yes, it's quite the fine blade, isn't it? The gold is a bit too gaudy or me, but it's got an exquisitely sharp edge that doesn't seem to dull no matter what I cut. I even managed to cut through a European broadsword with it, like butter with a warm knife. Can you believe it?"

Ah, there it was. That none-too-subtle dig. Fine, very funny. You ignore it, and ask about where she got it.

"...Before I answer that question, I must ask about this sudden interest in my worktools. I'd have expected this call from Sayaka, or that one-eyed idiot that keeps bumbling about with her spear - but I certainly wouldn't have expected it from someone who ascribes to such a cowardly, impersonal way of combat."

Now you're reminded why you hate her again.

How do you reply?


OH, and describe the technical details of the DEagle in minute detail. Like, caliber, production history, stopping power, range, firerate. Just to spite her a bit.
I noticed you just seemed to get it recently and I have had a similar experience.
I recently got a golden pistol that while it is not outright magical is very effective and very well made.
May in ask, have you noticed anything strange when using your powers? Like a pink haired girl appearing

Your jimmies certainly aren't that rustled, but that doesn't certainly close the option of you rustling hers in return for her attempt. It's then that you talk about getting your own golden weapon, a fine specimen of the Magnum Research Mark XIX Desert Eagle. You talk briefly about its specifications, how good it feels in your hand, and how you think you could accurately put one of its .50 Action Express rounds into the ass of a flea from 200 meters away. You could hear her growling underneath her breath and trying to interrupt you after every paragraph or so, but you gamely forge on, cutting her off and continuing in your tirade.

It's only after you mention a certain pink-haired girl with black eyes that she falls silent. After a few moments, she speaks again.

"I don't feel comfortable talking about her over the phone, Murderface. Tell you what - there's a bar that serves Chang'aa at this time of day, downtown. Yakuza bar by the name of Tatsumi's, but it's decent. I'll meet you there in one hour."

There's a click as the connection goes dead.

Apparently, Kirika had just asked you out on a date. You know where the bar is, of course. You've tried to drink yourself stupid there before.

What do you do?
Go in armed to the teeth. Anything easily concealed that packs a punch. Perhaps something in .45 ACP such as a Tommy gun? Or an Obrez. Nothing says Punch like a bolt action handgun that spits out 10 feet of flame and a 7.62x54r bullet each shot.

Go in, get the info, keep heavily armed, go out. Then kill her afterwards, fufill the contract. Don't do anything stupid like give her "fair warning", she'd likely try to fight then and there at close quarters.

Also, finally managed to be on in time for this. (Been reading the archives. Good stuff.)
You glance at the phone in your hand, then at the golden Desert Eagle in your lap - before you sigh and finally make your decision. This is not how you originally planned to go about with retiring her, but certain developments did come to play that convinced you that this wasn't going to be as simple as waiting in a skyscraper rooftop and pulling the trigger as soon as you had the target in your sights.

Nothing is ever that simple, although you wish they could be.

Levering yourself off of your favorite chair, you immediately call Mami up. She already seems to be up and about, and you hear the voices of children calling her name and generally being kids. You've apparently called her in the middle of her part-time job as a daycare center teacher. You apologize quickly, and tell her about where you're going, and you'll need someone to tag in to watch Iori while you're gone.

"Yes, I'll send Kyoko-chan right over. I'll join her as soon as I'm done with my shift. But...is it really wise, Chiaki-san? You're not exactly at talking terms with Kirika-san..."

You assure her that it's okay. Still, just in case, you make her promise to take care of Iori should anything happen to you.

"Don't say such scary things, Chiaki-san. Whatever it is, you'll pull through. But...I promise."

You thank her and end the call right away. Glancing at Iori, you step towards the window of your apartment as you toss your cellphone onto the seat of your vacated chair - and it's then that you transform, your soul gem sparking into life onto the back of your right hand, a purple diamond gilded in bronze.

The entire apartment rumbles slightly as brief flashes of light explode on your form, your costume manifesting directly onto your body. The familiar weight of your shield a heavy, reassuring presence on your right arm.

The costume's clean and new, just like how it is with every transformation. You wince and fidget a bit - the damn pantyhose that comes with the entire outfit hitching just a bit too high for comfort.

You stash the Desert Eagle and an extra magazine into your inventory. You figure that if things were to turn badly, you could rely on the shield giving you something useful.

You decide that you're well and ready, and make to leave the apartment - when you hear something that you thought you'd never hear in your lifetime.

"Chiaki-san? Where are you going?"

Iori's woken up, it seems. You turn around and stand awkwardly in your magical girl costume as the idol sits up, clutching the futon covers up to her chest.

"O-oh. It's that time already? You have to go to work?" She looks around. "Have...have you had breakfast already? I can cook you something..."

How do you reply? You're on the clock, here.
[spoiler]don't kill us kind quest master[/spoiler]

yeah, she's working both of us. Doesn't mean we have to help her by making a buffet.

I just looked up the Anzio, holy shit can you say overkill. 7 foot long rifle.

kindly let her down

offer her the pancakes if we didn't scarf all of them down

take a case of grenades before we go
Apologise, say your mission's been pushed forward. Mami should have stocked up the fridge with pancakes-in-waiting, and if she hasn't someone will be here soon to look after her.

Then ruffle her hair and head out.
"I did. Running late as is. Please remain in the apartment. Make yourself something to eat."
That. Maybe add that a ... comrade of yours is going to come to watch over her. And, if Kyoko is who i think she is (the one eyed one?), warn her not to do anything naughty. If Kyoko is someone else, disregard this.
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>>19693873 >>19693863 >>19693853 >>19693880

You say that you've already had breakfast, and if she's hungry, she can either see what Mami left in the fridge or have the agent that's coming along in a few moments to get her something to eat while she's en route. You give her Kyoko's number, partly because you don't want her to leave the apartment to get something to eat, and partly because you're amused of making a delivery girl out of your one-eyed comrade.

"Ah. Alright. Thank you, Chiaki-san." She smiles at you, seemingly grateful that you seem to know what you're doing. "You will be coming home later tonight, right...? I mean, what you're doing right now, it's not that dangerous...?"

She asks you this as you remember to grab some grenades from the case you've stashed at the far corner of the room. You look back at her as you stuff four of the pineapples into your inventory, her eyes widening in concern at the sight of such explosives.

How do you reply? Do you lie to her, or tell the truth?
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Also other ideas for weapons, including prototypes
>H&R SPIW (Basically a larger, flechette firing OICW)
>TKB-059 (3 Barrels o' fun!)
>76mm HIWS (Shoulder fired mortar. Need I say more?)
>H&K OICW (Grenades, because fuck you, and fuck everyone next to you as well)
>H&K G11 (Leaves no cases, so good for assassination missions that still need firepower)
>Winchester/Olin Double-FAL (SALVO)
>ASh-12 (Bullpup .50 room clearan beast)
>VSK/VSSK "Vychlop" (.50 subsonic sniper rifle)
>DSR-50 (pic related)
>MG-81Z (Twin machine gun, 1700 RPM each)

"My work is always dangerous, yet I'm still alive." (mumbling: "somehow...")
"We're just talking to someone, so don't worry, we'll come back with all of our limbs."
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.... would this even fit in the shield?


about as dangerous as guarding her was, but we won that one
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>>19693967 >>19693959 >>19693951

You're not too sure how to proceed with such a line of questioning. You've never really considered if a certain situation you've been sent into is more dangerous than the other - you tend to deal with things as they go along. It certainly won't be any picnic, and meeting Kirika in a yakuza bar certainly won't be comparable to frolicking in a field of daisies - but you're confident enough with your abilities and considerate enough to be the least bit optimistic with your reply.

You tell her that you'll simply be meeting up with a co-worker to talk about certain work-related things, and that you're pretty sure you'll be coming home later that night, or perhaps early morning the next day. Iori is still concerned, but she seems to be convinced, and asks you to take care.

You briefly wonder about this treatment you're getting from the idol. It's a bit strange, isn't it? She's only met you for barely a day or so, maybe two if you consider yesterday.

You shrug at this and leave, telling her to lock the door behind you and only open it for Kyoko. You catch a cab going to Tatsumi's - you're not too big on public transportation that doesn't let you smoke while you travel. You don't mind paying extra.

The driver drops you off directly in front of the bar. It's a small place, not that glitzy as compared to the other bars you know yakuza frequent. You step inside, and the bartender gruffly greets you. It being barely noon, there are only a handful of people inside, typical yakuza in their loud shirts and talking in equally loud, belligerent tones.

You sit in the bar and very nearly order a double whiskey. You remind yourself that you have to be sober for this.

You order a cold glass of soda instead.

What do you do? It'll be twenty minutes before Kirika arrives.

Yep. Memorise the floor plan, the exits and places of cover, have plan to kill everyone in the room. Or run away, if that's the case.

Don't sit where your back can be stabbed through the wall.
Look around for anything too conspicuous either by it's absence or presence. Kirika may have a reason for calling us down here. Find a booth to sit so we can watch the door as well

The bartender seems confused about your choice of drink, but you find it in front of you nonetheless. You nod at the man, before casually giving the place a once-over.

There are six people in Tatsumi's besides you and the bartender. Three are sitting in one booth, two in another, and one on a bar seat, approximately four seats away from you to your left. There's a fire exit at the far corner of the bar, and the door that leads probably to the bar's kitchen or whatever they have behind the wall of liquor bottles. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be much that's off here.

Talking with the yakuza here is probably a bad idea. The three seem to be arguing heatedly about a gambling debt, the second group playing cards, and the guy at the bar with you seems to be busy crying into his beer. You doubt Kirika takes assignments or deals with these sort of people.

You however ask the bartender about Kirika, and he nods, recognizing the name.

"Cute classy girl with the violet eyes? Yeah, she comes around here often. Orders changaa each time. Sophisticated girl like her, I don't know why she wastes her time here." He shrugs as he cleans a glass. "She's alright, except for that sword she keeps on her wherever she goes. I bet it's to stop these yaks from hitting on her. Happens a lot."

Yeah. That's her, alright.
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You sip at your soda again when it's then that your shield clicks faintly. Not loud enough for everyone to hear, but it's certainly audible. You glance at it for a moment, before turning back - and it's then that you see Kirika, sitting on the stool next to yours, where she hadn't been a moment ago. Looking as if she'd been there the entire time, leaning forward, her elbows on the bartop. She's wearing casual clothes, you note, and her sword is hanging from a belt loosely tied around her waist.

"Tatsumi-san. My usual, please." She purrs at the bartender, who nods and gets her drink - a tall glass of an evil-smelling liquid that reminds you of jet fuel and nightmares.

"You've got some nerve, really, Murderface, but I suppose that's your one redeeming quality." She says, smiling, but not looking at you. "Now, while we're still being nice to each other, let's cut to the quick. What do you know of the pink-haired girl with the black eyes? Add to that, how did you meet her?"

How do you respond to this?
She approached me while I was doing my best to kill myself with whiskey.
"Ah. I see. A pity you didn't succeed in doing so, but we can't have everything." She sips her awful-smelling drink delicately, as if it's the finest wine and she's drinking from one of those classy snifters. "Well, it's strange, but I met her the same way. Here, in this bar, while I was having my nightly restorative." She slides the tip of a finger on the rim of her glass, deep in thought. "Eerily beautiful, except for those eyes of hers. I admit I was taken by her a bit. She smells quite nice, too."

She takes another sip of her drink. "She knew my name right off. I tried asking for hers, but she never did give it. She said it was of no consequence." Kirika glances your way, before patting the sword at her side. "She gave me Muramasa after that, and disappeared, just like a ghost. She appears from time to time, and we talk a fair bit."

Well. It's a bit heartening to know that you're not crazy. That someone else is being pestered by the pink-haired bitch.

"Your firearm," Kirika suddenly says, the word making her frown. "May I see it? I'd like to find out if it is the same kind of gold that Muramasa has. If what you're saying is true, then they should be somewhat similar."

What do you do?
Make a show of unloading it, then hand it over. And keep our timestop warmed up in case she decides to flip out.
Hand it to her empty.
Ask if we can examine muramasa while she does to see if we can find any similar markings anywhere

Handing over your firearm to the Magical Girl you're supposed to kill. You're on a roll, yes you are. Bad Idea Train, Choo Choo, the last stop is you being lowered to the ground while Iori cries and Kyoko lays claim to all of your alcohol.

You pull the golden Desert Eagle surreptitiously out from your inventory so as not to alarm anyone - the bartender casting you a wary eye but not saying anything about it - and you slide out the magazine, placing it on the bar a slight distance away from Kirika's reach. You pull the slide back, the chambered round flying out (which you immediately catch). You pass the now empty gun to Kirika, who receives it with a surprising amount of reverence and a not-so-surprising amount of disgust.

"Hnh. The tone and texture is certainly similar, and the lustre is definitely the same." It's then that she dips a finger into her drink and rubs the bit of alcohol into that engraved logo on the center of the grip. You smell something burning - and it's as Kirika wipes off the residue that you see a completely new symbol underneath the previous one, carved into the metal.

The roman numeral VIII. Eight.

Immediately, Kirika seems to change subtly at this discovery. A small sad smile on her face, as if disappointed at what had just been confirmed. At the same time, the tension between the two of you feels as if it's increased, somehow. Like something about to happen.

"One and the same, then. Muramasa has the same kind of symbol, although a different number." She gives you back the pistol before pulling up her own sword, thumbing the guard and unsheathing the weapon the smallest bit - and you could see 'XX' hewn into the brilliant golden blade.

That's certainly strange. But how did she find out, you ask?

"The girl with the sunless eyes told me," Kirika murmurs, sipping her drink again. "She also told me that someone with a golden gun bearing the number VIII will be the one to kill me. Coincidentally, the gun you've just shown me has the same exact characteristics."

She continues to sip her drink, calmly.

"The idea of you killing me, however, is laughable. I can't even contemplate it happening in any universe or timeline, with any amount of probability."

It's to note here that she has one hand on her sword, and the other on her drink.

How do you react?
Ask her if she believes Pinky can see the future AND was telling her the truth, and not just fucking with us both for shits and giggles.
And she can keep the gun if she wants. That way, the only person that can kill her is herself.

Reassure her that you're not here to kill her (Certainly not at this exact moment, anyway), and try to swing the conversation back to the pink-haired girl. If we start panicking or suddenly changing our course, she's going to see something is up. Stay nonchalant.
Please, if I wanted to kill you I would have wired explosives to the building you lived. Despite the fact that we hate each other we're coworkers.

I'm just here to talk.

Very carefully reload the pistol and prepare to pull timestop off at a moments notice, we got what we wanted from her, this is a good opportunity to off her.
Stay calm.
"As much as we have our differences, I'm not about to go rogue and start killing co-workers.
"So, did Pinky ever tell you why she's giving out those gold weapons? And if you've got Number XX, how many other people have them?"
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>>19694427 >>19694415 >>19694407

Kirika seems to laugh at this. "Oh, yes, of course. You see why I don't really believe her. You're not the sort, I'm afraid, to actually respect the very notion of ending someone's life by doing it properly and professionally." The raven-haired Magical Girl smiles at you, her eyes hooded. "You kill from a distance, safe from any danger, much too far away to see the life dying out of your victim's eyes or hearing their final words. You don't even see how beautifully they bleed out as they pass from this world to the next." She lets out a sigh. "Honestly, Murderface, I'd like you a lot better if you weren't so proud of being such a filthy degenerate."

She frowns slightly as you offer to give her the firearm - which you've just loaded yourself, the magazine sliding neatly into its slot and clicking firmly into place. "No, no, keep it. Really. I've no interest in it, or the prophecy the girl with the black eyes has for those she gifts these weapons to. I'm not sure if there are any other recipients of these, at that. I hardly care. All I do care about is how finely this one cuts. Nothing else."

You shrug at this, before putting the Desert Eagle back in your inventory. If she says you can keep it, then you are. You're strangely feeling attached to it, in any case.

With your gun put away and her letting go of her sword, the tension seems to be done away with for now. You take out your pack of cigarettes, stick one between your lips, and wordlessly offer Kirika one.

"Ah. Another disgusting habit of yours. Thank you, Murderface, but I don't smoke."

You shrug again, before making to light your cigarette. You hold up your zippo to your face, peering at the reflection on the polished metal - and you swear you could see Pinky behind you, smiling.

You turn around. No one is there.

You turn back around - and it's then that you notice Kirika is gone. You glance around for her, and you see her heading out the door...while the six men who'd been in the bar with you suddenly stand up, drawing guns from inside their coats.

"I don't believe in prophecies, Murderface. I do believe a little blue bird that told me about someone volunteering to retire me."

Six firearms click noisily as they're aimed at you. The bartender is strangely absent.

"You're not going to retire me, Murderface. You're not good enough to." She turns her head, slightly, to grin at you. "Take care of her,gentlemen. You can have what's left."

She disappears, and the Yakuza start to open fire.

Yes. Yes, this is exactly how you planned things to turn out. Fantastic.

How do you react?
Flip over the bar to get cover, throwing grenades towards the Yakuza.
Timestop as needed.

Also, looks like she was already aware that the hit job she got was a trap already.
>6 Yakuzas
Can handle them without wasting Timestop, I guess.

Well we actually figured out that Kirika can see Pinky as well, the same pinky as we we do, but doens't really care either way as long as she can carry on with killing.
And she didn't try to chop us apart in melee right ways.

That's two strong pluses.
Getting shot at any 6 normal guys is just small downsdie.

Invoke Time Stop. Shoot the yakuza and then go after Kirika. Be CAREFUL; I knew meeting Kirika was a bad idea.
retreat to cover, avoid timestop if we can, kill the minions. keep an eye out for bullettime sword to the face
>>19694679 >>19694748 >>19694895 >>19694929

The first round to be spat out in the ensuing bulletstorm hasn't even made it out of its barrel when you've already vaulted over the bar itself, landing neatly behind it and hunkering down for cover. The perfume of so many high-quality alcohol start to thicken the air - mixing with the scent of gunpowder - as the spray of gunfire above you reduces the entire stock of the bar into nothing but broken glass and fumes. You would have cried at the sight of such folly, had you not rescued a bottle of whiskey a moment before the impromptu firing squad started shooting up the place. You take a leisurely swig from it, before racking your shield twenty degrees counterclockwise, twice - dispensing two grenades into your right hand, the pineapples clinking heavily in anticipation.

You take another swig, before arming the two explosives with a simple tug of their safety rings - and then casually toss them over your shoulder and over the bar. You almost snort whiskey out of your nose as you hear one of the yaks actually curse in pain following a rather nasty cracking sound - one of the grenades must have hit someone in the face. Lucky.

You're already out the back door - the inside of the bar also strangely empty. The bartender must have been warned by Kirika in advance, by the way the back door itself seemed to be ajar. You glance around - the back door leads out to an alley, with a busy road visible at the nearby exit.

You start walking just as the bar behind you explodes in a firey inferno, both grenades detonating at the same time.

Someone ratted you out. You're not surprised of this happening, but you do wonder who did it. You have suspects in mind, but nothing really tangible for now. It could have been the mutant cat for all you know. But what's certain is that Kirika now knows you're out to kill her.

How do you proceed from here?
We need to reequip to take her on. A deagle and two nades isn't going to cut it.
Report to the cat that the bitch knew we were coming for her. Then bring out the big guns.
I believe it is time to track down that bitch and turn her head into a substance that most closely resembles chunky salsa.

First get the fuck away from here before the fuzz shows up.

Call people up, get information on where she is likely to go in times of danger, make sure that the people at our home are prepared for an attack.

Find Oriko, she will probably go to her.

I believe Nice Magical Girl time is over, we take her out from as long a distance as possible with the largest caliber rifle we can acquire.

You step out casually into the sidewalk amidst the now-approaching sirens, reaching up with your left hand to straighten your glasses and pat your skirt down. People don't seem to notice you, instead looking towards the now-raging inferno that was once a bar called Tatsumi's. You hail another cab, and the driver murmurs something about terrorists as he drives you to a location you say out of rote memory. You'll need bigger guns to deal with this, you decide. Two grenades and a Desert Eagle certainly won't be enough for Kirika. For this, you need a little sister's help.

It'll be a while before you get to where you're supposed to. You need to make a few calls, though, right away.

You dial Kyuubey's number. After two rings, he picks up.

"Yes, Matsuda? Can you be helped?"

How do you report what happened?
"Seen any little blue birds around lately? Apparently one of them informed Kirika of her impending retirement."
"Kirika was tipped, off. Knew my mission, wanted to talk. Tried to kill me with yakuza, blew up the bar."

"She knew!"
You have a leak in your organization somewhere asshole.
I just ran into Kirika who told me she knew someone volunteered to retire her and tried to get a bunch of goons to kill me.
The plan is a bust you have anything as a back up?
>>19695254 >>19695250 >>19695249

You blow Kyuubey an irritated raspberry through the phone, which admittedly loses a bit of its impact simply because 1) he's not hear to see it and 2) it doesn't translate well into cellphone audio, by the way he seems to be confused about it. "I think I'm losing you, Matsuda, you're breaking up. Are you going through a tunnel or...?"

You cut him off by reporting, as curtly and as quickly as you can, that Kirika knew about her impending retirement. You tell him about the altercation that resulted in a bar getting blown up, and six yakuza members presumably being roasted into cinders as you speak. You leave out the thing about the weapons, of course.

"...Impossible. No one was supposed to know, except you. You did receive the dossier personally, didn't you? It can't be the courier, he's explicitly instructed not to open them under any circumstances."

You're silent at this. You didn't...receive the dossier personally, no. It was already there on the side table, with the pancakes Mami made.

A moment more, and Kyuubey lets out a frustrated sigh. "I'll see what I can do from here. In the meantime, I suppose you're headed to that place to rearm? If you need it, you can ask her to back you up. I'll authorize it. In the meantime, I'll send Mami over to your place. Knowing Kirika, she might get it into her head to wait for you there, and you have a principal to take care of."

That's certainly...considerate of the little bastard.

You thank him, and end the call, just as a couple of fire trucks blaze past you, evidently sent to confine the fire you just made.

What do you do next?
No, our GM does.

Anyway. Call Mami. "I know you sold me out. I'll hunt you down along with her. Since I considered you my friend, I'll allow you this warning."

No more than that. Let's see what she does with that bluff.
So...Mami may have sold us out.
No sir I don't like it.
Call Kyoko, ask if she's at our place protecting the idol.
Good enough. Rearm. Get her as backup, if she could be useful.
I have no idea who "she" is, by the way.
>>19695459 >>19695452 >>19695431

Still in the cab, thoughts of betrayal and friends selling you out running rampant in your head, you dial another number. It's Kyoko's, this time, her cellphone at least. You need to check up on her and Iori.

She picks up on the second ring. "P-pause, pause! Don't unpause it, that's cheating, I gotta take this call!" Kyoko seems to be excited about something, and a voice in the background is audible. "Yeah, Murderface, what's up? I'm just giving Iori-chan here a lesson in pain, and why she should learn how not to be a total scrub in Street Puncher 4."

Ah. Videogames. Kyoko must have brought her Polystation or Okama Game Sphere during her visit. That's nice, you suppose. At least Iori won't be bored.

How do you warn her about Kirika?
Everything seems in order.

Does Kyoko know about our mission? Tell her we ran into knives and she tried to off us. DON'T LET ANYONE IN.
"Don't shock Iori. Kiriko may be near you, waiting for me to return."

"Keep an eye out, your bestest sword-wielding friend might be coming in."
Kyoko didn't know about the retirement, though. Would be better to just say our assignments overlapped like we thought and she tried to kill us.
>>19695627 >>19695632 >>19695634

You speak quickly and quietly, telling her about how your assignment did overlap with Kirika's, and how the sword-wielding lunatic suddenly went berserk and nearly killed you with her Yakuza friends. You tell her to watch out for Kirika, not to let anyone else in, and not to scare Iori.

"...Alright. Okay. I understand. B-but Mami's already been here, she just stepped out for a second to buy us snacks...wait, she's here right now." A clatter and some static, and you hear Kyoko telling Mami to lock the door and close the windows.

Another burst of static, and Kyoko comes back on. "Place is buttoned up. If she comes around with her party, we'll be ready. H-hey, maybe I should call Sayaka back here, too? She can help, right?"

You open your mouth to answer when an entire meter of solid gold steel punches through the roof, heading straight down, stabbing right into your cellphone as you're holding it. You manage to let go just before it gets skewered, but the edge cuts into your cheek, causing blood to drip down from the superficial cut. You glance upward, the golden desert eagle snapping automatically into your hand, as you hear footsteps on the roof. The driver, an elderly old man, screams at the sight of the blade as it slices through the roof neatly, sawing up and down - and you see Kirika's face peering at you from the gash, grinning the grin the Grim Reaper usually has as a perennial facial expression.

And her eyes, shining all black, empty and soulless. Radiating pure madness.


She shrieks down at you, cackling. The sword noisily withdraws, disappearing upwards, before it's stabbed again, downwards, this time right into the driver's skull.

The driver dies with a pathetic death rattle as his hands fall from the steering wheel. The car starting to swerve. With a cackle, Kirika hops off, and she disappears before you could even draw a bead on her.

What do you do?

Stop time, shove the dead driver over & jump into the front seat. Start time, grab the wheel and apply brakes. Get out & head for home while staying on our guard for ambush by Psycho-Kirika.
Too close. We really need to greet pinky here or we die. Period. She's too fast otherwise.
Push the old mans corpse out of the way and get moving.
If we see the bitch stop time and ram the card into her before we unload everything into her
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>>19695832 >>19695829 >>19695820

The car gives a horrible lurch as it goes out of control. Getting knocked around the car, you stash the Desert Eagle back into your inventory before racking your shield a complete 180 degrees - the gears inside crunching loudly, the two remaining jewels sliding open and shining with bright purple light.

A click, and the world stops, cast in a dull iron gray. Immediately, you take hold of the driver's corpse - the color returning to him briefly as you touch him - and you shove him out of the driver side door that you force open with a kick.

He freezes in mid-drop, and you slip in between the passenger and driver seats to replace him. You take a moment to light another cigarette, before closing the door properly and putting on your seatbelt. You take this moment to look around, too - it seems that Kirika has indeed made her getaway.

"She's a fast one. She's out of your hair for now, really." A voice says beside you, preceded by the sweet, floral scent of corruption and decay.

You turn slightly to look at Pinky sitting - no, reclining - on the passenger seat, pulling the seatbelt over her and latching it into place. "Safety first," she giggles.

How do you react?
Cut the bullshit. No snippy remarks. No time to be snarky. Ask what the hell has happened to Kirika. Ask about the weapons. WHo is the leak? Hell, ask what the hell we're supposed to do if it comes to it.
So two timing on me Pinky? I thought we had something special.

What's the deal with the flashy weapons anyway? Overcompensating or some crap like that?

"So many questions, Homura-chan!" Pinky exclaims, a pair of fetching and expensive-looking shades materializing in her gloved hands. She puts them on carefully, smiling all the while. "I'm afraid I can't answer all of them right now, but what I can tell you is that the golden toys are important. They really really are, so you shouldn't throw them away! It's ideal if you collect as many of them, actually!"

She giggles. "If you do, then I'll give you a special prize! It can be anything you want. Maybe...I can give you your old memories back, if you want them! Anything that I feel like giving, really."

You grumble something about pink-haired idiots, and ask your questions again. A bit more forcefully, this time.

"Yes, yes. Clearly, your best friend has gone crazy. I don't know how, really, but I'm pretty sure it's not the pretty golden letter opener's fault! I mean, it's just a sword, when you get down to it!"

Your shield is starting to grow just a bit warm, its inner gears protesting loudly. You'll have to undo the time stop soon.

"Sounds like our time's up, Homura-chan! Try not to get yourself killed, alright? You have a 50/50 chance of getting the dirt nap you deserve!"

A click, and a loud grinding of gears, and your shield resets itself - the time stop disengaging, taking with it Pinky's existence.

The car screeches as you slam on the brakes, and through some clever (and albeit impromptu countersteering) you manage to pull the car back onto the road. You're still bleeding from your cheek, and your cellphone's been sliced apart, but otherwise you're fine.

You take another puff of your cigarette before punching it towards your rearming safehouse, and your potential backup. At least Iori's safe.

The leak can wait. You have to take care of Kirika first.
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I think this is a good place to pause.

Thank you for participating everyone!
For someone who doesn't really know Madoka, how does our shield thing work? I mean, is there a limit to the number of times, or anything?
Clarification would be great.

Oh dear. I only just got here.
Thanks and stuff anyway, always love these quests.
Thanks for questing!
thanks for writing!

don't make our pancake dealer a double-crosser please

But man, your threads sure are irregular

Ah, sorry about that. I started earlier.


Thank you for participating! I'm glad you enjoyed it!


I can't guarantee that!


Yeah, I try to make this quest when there's not many quests being active at the moment. Sorry about that.
Hey Deculture, where can I drop you a line? I wish to make a dark pact with you.
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A what?

I...guess? Email in email field, I suppose.

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You are a Magical Girl, and someone clearly wants you dead.

You're currently driving a taxi cab with the roof half-torn off by another Magical Girl with a golden pig-sticker, all while rambling about the flesh of fallen angels. You were there in the back seat when she skewered the driver's head through the car roof, and you had to throw his corpse out so that you could grab the wheel and stop the cab from crashing headlong into oncoming traffic.

You could use a drink, but it's probably a good idea to remain sober right now, as you punch it to the nearest safehouse.

You light another cigarette with the smouldering stub gripped between your lips, before you spit said stub out and replace it with the newly-lit one. Burning nearly half of the fresh cigarette with one deep inhalation.

Rearming yourself with much more serious hardware than your golden Desert Eagle and two grenades is of course your priority right now, but you can't help but think back to just what happened. What was supposed to be a relatively calm yet scathing conversation with Kirika Kure in a Yakuza bar resulted in said Yakuza bar being shot up by the yaks themselves, and you having to resolve the situation with two primed grenades. That in itself isn't bad, as your social interactions usually turn out like that in some way or another, but what Kirika said just before she left you to get shot up...it's making you rethink your relationships a bit. What little you have of them, anyway.

You raise a hand and scratch the itchy cut Kirika had scored you on your cheek with - an unlucky wound after she tried to skewer you from above. She managed to skewer your cellphone instead, which is now a pile of useless pink-encased electronics on the back seat. You'll have to requisition another one later, you think to yourself as your fingers come away with bloody flakes. At least the wound's dried and stopped bleeding.
You finally arrive at your destination. It's been exactly an hour and a half since your disastrous date with Kirika Kure, which makes it around early afternoon. You've stopped directly in front of an abandoned-looking warehouse in a lot full of warehouses, just a few ways near the docks. Warehouse #0069, to be exact, clumsily spray-painted onto the rusty sliding doors. You turn off the taxi's engine and step out.

You suppress a smile at the number. Grow up, will you?

You step up to the main doorway and bang the heel of your hand into it a couple of times. You hear the noise echo dully inside, and strangely enough, there doesn't seem to be anything going on beyond the metal gate. Strange, considering that the person you're supposed to meet is known for endlessly tinkering with stuff that's considered far and away more dangerous than firearms. Explosions and other disturbing noises are usually expected.

...Kirika couldn't have gotten to her already, has she?

What do you do?
Reading the setup brought some serious Black Lagoon nostalgia on. As such, I'd like to ask if we're Magical Girl Revy Two Hands or not.

If the answer to that is yes, then obviously it's time to go in guns blazing, as that always seems to work out the best for Revy.

If not, steath. See if there are any grimy windows to peer through, or check for roof access and see if there are any skylights. Batman always lucks out and gets skylights.
Bang on the door again and if there is no response then blow the lock off the door
It's entirely possible.

Is there a secondary entrance or some way of performing reconnaissance on the interior of the building before entering it?
>>19707706 >>19707669 >>19707664

Burning through the rest of your cigarette as you glower at the dark, soundless warehouse, you let the smoldering filter fall from your lips before grinding it out with the heel of your shoe. Normally you'd put this strange behavior down to the girl's admittedly quirky personality, but under current circumstances, a bit of paranoia is justified.

You draw the golden Desert Eagle from your inventory and make your way around the warehouse, quietly, looking for any signs of forced entry. The building itself doesn't have a skylight, and what windows you find doesn't seem to be broken. Trying to peer through them doesn't help, as the occupant has them boarded up.

You walk back right where you started, muttering curses under your breath. You'll have to go in the only way through, and you know how well that's going to work out.

Taking a deep breath, you kick the sliding gate open - it takes a few to do so - and you immediately rush in, firearm held with both hands in front of you, ready to shoot.

All you see is darkness - and what looks to be a pair of narrowed crimson slits, blazing with light, at the very center of the unlit warehouse. It's...maybe seven, eight feet off the ground. You hear the deafening whine of machine joints and servos as it turns to face you.

It's then that you hear whatever it is talk - and it sounds like someone roaring into a massive loudspeaker with the bass turned up.


It takes one single step, preceded by the chainsaw-pitch whine of its joints, and the entire ground shakes.

You're...well. You have no idea what it is, and you have no memory of pissing off an eight-foot tall robot.

What do you do?
Nice robot. You're not dead, good.

I'm here for ordinance.
Holster weapon.
"Oh good, Kirika hasn't killed and butchered you and scattered your body parts over a square mile. Yet."

You let out the breath you've been holding and stand a bit more easily, stashing your firearm back into your inventory. You admonish the silhouetted giant in front of you, shaking your head all the while.

You could've shot her, you say.

"But this one was counting on it!" The giant speaks in a completely different voice this time, no longer twisted into a bassy rumble through speaker corruption and more feminine-sounding. "This one was hoping to at least test armor integrity against normal gunfire!" More frustrated grumbling. "Lights on!"

The warehouse lights immediately snap into existence, and for a moment you shield your eyes at the sudden harsh illumination from the lamps above. As your eyes adjust, you realize that you've been talking to a gargantuan being in armor - its large shoulderpads nearly forming 70% of its massive bulk, with the rest formed by tree trunk-like legs and arms twice as thick, ending in clawed fists. Its snouted face with the slitted crimson eyes reminding you of some sort of robot elephant, with tusks growing on either side of its maws. Painted in terrifying black and covered in bronze symbols and skulls...you're not sure what to think of it.
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It's then that pressure seals around the grotesque helmet hiss out, and is lifted up and over by two gloved hands sprouting out from the hole it's been covering. The helm falls to the ground in a heavy thunk, and from its vacated spot, you see a familiar brown-haired girl with sleepy umber eyes.

She smiles at you like a pleasant dream.

"Murderface! You have not visited this one for a while! Look, I have almost restored full functionality on this suit of armor you took out from your shield!"

Ah. Yes, you remember now. You were trying out what else you could pull out of your shield, once, and instead of a firearm, it gave you a large metal container fifteen feet wide and just as tall. The container had strange symbols inscribed upon it, and it crushed a nearby car underneath its weight.

You gave it to this girl to investigate. Turned out to be mobile power armor of some sort, and she's been hard at work at making it battle-ready for you ever since.

You forgot what her real name actually was, but she likes to be called Misaka for some reason.

"So! This one has been called by our favorite boss! You are having trouble with Kirika-san, yes? Need better hardware, yes?" She says as the front of the armor opens at the chest, and you see her scrunched up into a sitting position, her arms and legs clamped tight with machinery. Probably the controls for the limbs and such. With clicks and hisses, she unlatches herself from the interface and hops out, wearing her usual work clothes - a blue mechanic's jumpsuit, with grease stains here and there. "Just tell this one what you need, and she will supply you! "

Well, if you say it like that...

What do you ask her to get for you? You can ask her for two long firearms and one extra sidearm. Grenades and explosives should be alright.
> suit of armor you took out from your shield!
Oh fuck, what were we drinking that night?

> two long firearms
Milkor MGL 6-shot grenade launcher. Frag, teargas and WP/napalm rounds. Supression?
Browning .50cal machinegun. Incendiary, M23 rounds. For long-range "sniping".

> one extra sidearm
PPSh-41, 71 round drum mags. High rate of fire.

Smoke grenades, tear gas grenades, flashbang rounds.
Gas mask, spare filters, NVG goggles.

A Shotgun just in case, I'm thinking an AA-12.

A sniper rifle in a high caliber, I'm not too picky on this one though I'd like an Arctic Warfare.

For a sidearm an Obrez would be fun. But we might want something more versatile and go for a glock or a machine pistol.
Make it a sniper rifle. And maybe a submachine gun for backup, in case we have to go up close with anyone.
>>19708224 >>19708163 >>19708151

You give her what you think sounds like a nice list of tools that might be able to give Kirika pause, and Misaka's eyes light up as you rattle off the list. In contrast to the katana-wiedling psycho killer, you've always agreed with the arms dealer-slash-tinkerer - she not only adores the gun and all of its permutations, but reveres it to the point of worship, sometimes. You've heard her gush about how this triggering mechanism is so sublime that it's comparable to making love, and how the sight of a properly field-stripped AK-47 is enough to send her into paroxysms of delight.

...You hang out with the strangest people.

"Yes, yes, something long range! Something that strikes from afar, so far that Kirika-san would not be able to figure out where the round that reduces her face into goulash came from! Haha! Oh, have waited for long time for this!"

You also remember that Kirika's earned the ire of Misaka once or twice. One of the times being Kirika slashing a particularly-cherished piece of the arms dealer's into pieces - an antique Chicago Typewriter that Misaka had spent three month's salary on.

Needless to say, Misaka was livid then.

"Ah! Just the thing!" The brown-haired girl scrambles toward what you see is a pile of large instrument carrying cases - cellos, guitars, the sort you need two hands to carry around - and she pulls out from the pile a rather underwhelming clarinet case, four feet long, two feet high, and around half a foot thick. It looks undersized, even.

"Anzio 20mm Takedown Rifle! Misaka just received it from great land of Americas! Customized it a bit so recoil is not so much!" She grins as she tosses the case at you, and you are nearly knocked down by how heavy it is. Well, you weren't expecting it to be that heavy. "Is disassembled, but is easy to put together! Misaka has incendiary rounds prepared for that, too, so is okay!"

Well, you know how to put a rifle together, so you can manage with that at least. You watch as Misaka gets you the rest of the things you requested - an FN P90 with three extra magazines, and four flashbangs and grenades each.

"Ah, of course, there is question of backup," Misaka says as she piles your equipment into your arms, a thoughtful expression on her face. "Kyuubey-san says is not really compulsory, but if Murderface wants, Misaka can come along and take up sniper duty. Murderface can then engage Kirika-san up-close, lure her into kill-zone, and then Misaka will take the shot!"

That's...actually not a bad idea, and you're the expert on bad ideas.

How do you reply?

No... Kirika has time dilation. Is Mikasa badass enough to snipe the driver of a speeding car?

We have time stop.

But I have a cunning plan. We lure Kirika in an maze-like plaza. The plaza is packed with upwards-facing Claymores. Mikasa is hidden far away on machinegun duty.

We are the lure. When Kirika appears, she gets sprayed with Hitler's buzzsaw while we try to shoot her too. She's distracted, then the plaza explodes while she's busy dodging bullets and not the claymores.

we're taking her help. Swordbitch is hopped up on crazyflesh++ and we're not dying here

be sure to get deagle ammo too
"Alright. You're in. But you better not try any funny business on me."
>>19708456 >>19708441 >>19708427

You consider her suggestion for a moment, before nodding. You might as well get her help to even things out. While you certainly prefer working alone, there's definitely some merit to having the best sniper in Kyuubey's agency giving you overwatch. Taking Kirika out on your own is certainly attractive, but as there's quite the high risk of having a meter or so of gold steel shoved into your spine, you'd need all the help you can get..

She takes the rifle off your hands, as she'll be the one in sniper duty. Misaka then rummages a bit more in the overstocked warehouse for a fitting replacement for your arsenal, when you bring up the idea of setting up a claymore trap or two for Kirika. She blinks at this, and nods.

"Well, Misaka has considered that too. Kirika-san is very fast, and has time dilation, yes? Luring her into claymore trap will be challenging a bit. She is very canny, that one, and she will not enter any place that she knows would be rigged - unless, of course, we have really good lure." She shrugs. "Is attractive plan, though! Misaka has enough claymores to start war!"

Your tinkerer friend has a good point. Even in her crazed state, right now, Kirika has excellent nerves - you could call her the most paranoid of the agency if you weren't trying to get that title for your own, too.

"Misaka does not think Kirika-san will just enter plaza like that with sole purpose of hunting Murderface. But...is Murderface suggesting we use Kirika-san's friend as lure?" Misaka puts on her own night vision goggles, three slits of green light replacing her glowing brown eyes. "Kidnapping is reprehensible, Misaka admonishes."

Kidnapping has always been an option, but it's not something you'd really entertain unless it was needed. Mikuni Oriko...even if she was friends with Kirika, you're loathe to involve a civilian in Magical Girl business.

It's then that a beeping sound cuts the silence, and Misaka blinks as she rummages in her pockets, pulling out a battered analog model. She holds it up to her ear, and pales immediately at what she hears.

"Is Kyuubey," She says. "Calling Misaka just in case you are here, already. Says that Kirika did attack Murderface's apartment. Kirika-san...Kirika-san took Mami-san."

This just gets better and better.

How do you proceed?
Kidnapping is reprehensible, but a murderous rampaging magical girl is worst. We won't do anything bad to her. We just want to scare our little brute.

I'm not sure at all. Even a friendly walk in a park put whatever "friend" we have in a big risk. If he is found, he will only hopes to die quickly.

Agreed. Mami is suspicious. She's maybe innocent of wrongdoing, but having been kidnapped just after we suspect her to be a traitor is a little convenient, isn't it ?
Right. Get the other two to get Iori somewhere safe AWAY from the little mutant fucker so he doesn't pull his "you can save her" shtick on Iori.

Get Oriko take her to Kirika with a gun to her head and trade her for Mami. When Kirika drops her guard to make sure her friend is safe we get Misaka to out a 20mm fuck you to her head
That murderwhorebitchcuntfuckfaceslut, she took my pancake supplier.

We don't actually need to kidnap Oriko at this point, have one of our "friends" take her out to the amusement park, a cafe or some shit like that and tell Kirika that we have her friend and she's struggling to hold a brick of explosives at arms reach because letting it drop means it goes kaboom.

We use this for leverage while tracking down her location, lure her into a trap and kill her.
>>19708761 >>19708740 >>19708716

You finish stuffing the P90, the set of grenades and flashbangs and the extra ammunition into your inventory - before you grab Misaka's cellphone. The arms dealer gives you a sour look, but shakes her head and continues to look for a suitable shotgun you could use as you interrupt Kyuubey in mid-sentence, asking him what the hell happened.

"Matsuda...? I've been trying to call you the entire time. What happened to your cellphone?"

You tell him.

"Take better care of your things. I'll have to requisition another one for you." A sigh, before the Incubator resumes, all business and yet carrying none of the urgency of the situation whatsoever. "Sakura Kyoko called around ten minutes ago. She said that Mami had locked her in with Iori in your apartment while she stayed outside to guard the entrance, saying something about taking care of Kirika if she decided to do something foolish."

A pause. "Kyoko then heard an altercation taking place outside your apartment door. She heard several rifle shots, and Kirika screeching something about...she didn't specify, but she said that you know exactly what she'd be screeching about. I don't know what that is, but if you'd like to clarify, I'm all ears."

You tell him that you'll explain later.

"Right. In any case, Kyoko rushed out to help, but Kirika seems to have fled the scene with Mami. What she found was Mami's discarded rifles and bloodstains. I think it's reasonable to assume that this was an abduction."

No shit.

How do you reply? Do you tell Kyuubey of your suspicions? What do you request?
Don't bother with the old plan, we have to go to her now, she has Miami.

It's likely Krika's trying to turn Miami into some Valkyr shit, flesh of fallen angels, whatever. We have to get her back before that happens.

If we find her, we use Oriko as a bargaining chip if Kirika doesn't want us.

Ask Kyoko if we still have the captured soul gem in the glass of whiskey in our apartment. Kyoko is to hide Iori somewhere unknown, don't call directly, Kirika can trace calls.

"Were there any demands? Assemble a killteam to recover Miami, time is of essence. Kirika's likely to convert Miami to some screeching psycho. Kirika can track down locations of phonecalls, don't tell her that.

She probably wants me, too. I'll call her from one of our locations known that's her. It'll a trap for her if she investigates. Track down Kirika and Oriko when I make the call."

Rig the location to be watched and with claymores, Kirika's likely to look for us. Never mention to Kirika we found out how she found our apartment.

"Yes, in fact." There seems to be a bit of hesitation in Kyuubey's voice as he continues. "I got the call from Kirika herself after Kyoko's. She wants you to meet her alone in Mitakihara Tower One's Helipad. Something about finally settling a very old score between the both of you. Mami will be with her, no doubt as a lure."

The Incubator clears his throat. "Now, I'm not too sure how you're going to handle this, Matsuda, but I will impress upon you that Mami Tomoe is an important part of this agency. If you can, please try to ensure her safety. As for Kirika, your assignment still stands. She needs to be retired, and the actions she's taken thus far should prove that it's justified."

Yes. Of course. Consider your ass covered, you bastard mutant cat.

"I've asked Sayaka to get to your place and provide overwatch just in case Kirika tries anything else. I would also suggest not involving Mikuni Oriko in this situation - she'd probably just complicate things at this point, and you don't want another civilian getting caught up in this."

Misaka interrupts your conversation by raising what appears to be an AA-12 Shotgun and two of its drum magazines. You nod at her and turn away slightly, missing the arms dealer's gleeful grin as she lovingly rubs the gun's barrel on her cheek.

"I'll leave you to your plans, then, Matsuda. In the meantime I'll see what I can do about this leak. Good luck, and good hunting."

There's a click as Kyuubey severs the connection, and you glower down at the cellphone.

This wasn't the way you envisioned things to go at all.

How do you proceed from here?
Send Misaka off to find a sniper nest, but not a blaringly obvious one. And tell her to keep an eye on Mami as well as Kirika; fuck the cat, if Mami tries anything stupid, she loses a leg.
Ok, we'll want to set up Misaka at a good sniping post to give overwatch on the helipad. We'll obviously not want to take the first couple obvious choices as Kirika isn't dumb enough to leave those unattended. Once Misaka is set up and can give us a sitrep we can make our next move.

Kyubey has a point, this is already enough of a clusterfuck without turning it into a double hostage mexican magical girl standoff. I'm willing to bluff that we have Oriko or hold her in an offsite location, but we are not going to bring her to the meet.
Get Oriko. We need a hostage to ensure she doesn't just kill Mami. Ask Kyoko to go with us to hold onto Oriko.

Get Misaka set up with a side on shot of the helipad and have her ready to turn Kirika's head into mince the moment it is clear
>>19709091 >>19709074 >>19709068

You give Misaka her cellphone back just as you take the AA-12 and both its ammo drums off of her hands. You tell her to call Sayaka and have her meet the both of you on the way to Mitakihara Tower One. You figure Kyoko would be enough to secure Iori - and at the very least, you'll be able to get a few last-minute pointers from the agency's sword expert.

Misaka eagerly obeys as you do your best to cram the fully-automatic shotgun and the spare ammo into your inventory. You glance at the now-deactivated suit of armor in the middle of the warehouse, and you ask Misaka if it's at all serviceable now.

"Ah, no, will not be for a few more weeks, or so," Misaka replies as she pulls her phone away from her ear - and you could faintly hear Sayaka spitting out some of the foulest language you've ever heard her say. Probably didn't like the fact that she was going along for the ride. "Still have to scrub systems and hook up armaments! On its own, still useless!"

You let out a sigh. Could've been handy, but you have to make do with what you've got.

You're ten minutes into the hour before you're supposed to confront Kirika on top of the Helipad as you and Misaka finally make your way out of the warehouse. The arms dealer replacing the fallen helm onto the suit of armor and giving it a small kiss goodbye as she does so. Both of you pile into the taxi cab you've procured, and Misaka secures her seatbelt just as she cuddles the case containing the Anzio to her chest.

"Is adventure! Misaka cannot wait to shoot people!"

You hang out with the strangest people, but they sure can be nice even when they're weird.

You start up the car and peel off back into the main road.

Twenty minutes into the hour, and you reach Mitakihara's Business District. You spot a blue-haired girl in her magical girl uniform sitting despondently on a bus stop bench, chin propped up on her gloved hands. You pull up in front of her and screech to a halt, jerking your thumb in the direction of the back seat. She shoots you a dirty look, before getting in through the passenger door - and as she pulls the door close, it's then that she gives the back of your seat a kick as you drive back into the main road.

"This. Is. All. Your. Fucking. FAULT, Murderface. If anything happens to Mami, I'll gut you like the pig you are."

"Ah! Language please, Sayaka-san! We do not appreciate such words? Right, Murderface?"

"Shut up, nerd, I wasn't talking to you!"

Sayaka's understandably upset. Besides Kyoko, she's been quite taken with Mami, to the point that she often consults the blonde about anything and everything.

"If you hadn't fucked up wasting Kirika just like you were fucking TOLD to, Mami wouldn't have been involved! CAN'T YOU DO ANYTHING RIGHT, YOU DRUNKEN PIECE OF SHIT?"

How do you react?

She is awfully accusing when not even Misaka knows the full details of the situation.

Pop the question, Matsuda. The voices in your head demand it!
"If someone hadn't informed Kirika she was up for retirement everything would have gone a lot smoother."
>>19709452 >>19709345

As she kicks the back of your seat again, it's then that you realize that no glib reply or deadpan snap will get her to stop. You're already not in the best of moods with how badly your conversation with Kirika at the bar went - now with a possible mole in your agency AND one of the few friends you have left in this godforsaken world in mortal danger, you are dangerously close to snapping.

You stomp hard on the brakes - causing Misaka to squeal in alarm, clutching the Anzio's case to her tightly, and Sayaka to hit the head rest of your seat with her face, getting some choice expletives out from the blue-haired girl - and it's then that you storm out of the beaten-up cab. It takes you only a split second to throw the passenger door open and grab Sayaka by the brooch securing her cape around her neck. It takes another to tug her out of the car and onto the sidewalk.

The golden Desert Eagle is already in your free hand at this point, and you have the mouth of its barrel kissing Sayaka's forehead even before she'd pulled herself up to a sitting position, a sword already in her hand.

"A-ah, Murderface, Sayaka-san, maybe this is not the time--" Misaka calls hesitantly, feebly.

You interrupt her by asking Sayaka through gritted teeth - the frustration welling over and clearly evident in your face, the most emotion you've displayed ever since you realized Iori was staying with you for two months - how she found out about the exact details of Kirika's retirement.

She looks up defiantly at you, then at the gun pointed right at her face, and a small drop of sweat makes its way down her cheek. She remains silent.

You continue by telling her that in no uncertain terms are you more than willing to pull the trigger and decorate the sidewalk with her brains if she does not tell you posthaste. Misaka tries to dissuade you again, clearly disturbed at how this fragile camaraderie between Magical Girls is already falling apart - when Sayaka's eyes widen up at you.

"M-Murderface. Your eyes...what the fuck is wrong with your eyes? Why are they going black?"

How do you respond?

"It means i'm in twitching distance of turning your brain case into a soup bowl. Answer the fucking question."

Stand up and put the deagle back in the shield. No need to provoke what is obviously serious shit.
Stop, lower the gun, and take a deep breath.
Pull the gun away from her head and turn away and start walking. This shit will not happen, we will not lose control and we will not give that pink haired whore the satisfaction of making us into her puppet.
Tell Sayaka and Misaka to get going and set up in a good sniping position. We will discuss how she found out the exact details of our assignment after we finish dealing with the threat to our best friend and pancake supplier
Drop the gun.
Walk away.
Right now.
>>19709594 >>19709571 >>19709568

You blink at this sudden revelation from Sayaka, and you slowly pull the gun from her forehead - before lifting the firearm itself up to your face, peering at your own reflection on the Desert Eagle's polished slide.

Your face is a bit distorted, but there's no mistaking it - your eyes have been getting darker. Not just the iris itself - which you had always seen as light purple - but the sclera, too. Sinking slowly into a uniform black, just like Kirika's.

You blink, and it's then that you see your eyes go back to their normal color. As if the change had never happened.

You turn away from Sayaka as you shove the golden Desert Eagle back into your inventory. You then lift up your now slightly-shaky hand and cover your own eyes with it, trying to calm yourself down. Taking slow, deep breaths.

You're not turning into Kirika.

You're not turning into a monster.

You are not cut out for that kind of psycho bullshit.

You're not...right?

"It was Mami," Sayaka says quietly, obviously shaken as well. "She got your dossier. She didn't want to wake you because you were getting all chummy with that idol of yours. She thought she could help you with your assignment. Didn't know it was a retirement one, and she panicked." She shakes her head.

"Called me up right away and asks what to do. Says she doesn't want either of you killing each other. Mami...you know how she is, right? She likes everybody. She likes you, most of all, although I can't even fathom WHY." Sayaka shoots you a dirty look as she gets back to her feet. "She has a history with Kirika too, long before we found your ass in that Witch's Barrier. She thought that if she could tell Kirika beforehand and convince her to get away, maybe you won't pursue her, and no one gets hurt."

The blue-haired girl smiles sadly at this. "Obviously wasn't counting on you - and her - being so fucked up that you couldn't let it go. Now all this has happened, and you'll have to forgive me if I say that it's still your own fucking fault, Murderface."

Well. Now you know.

And you're not all that happy about it.

How do you react?

Apologize for the FLIPPING THE FUCK OUT.

We need to get Mami quickly and safely away from Krikirwhatsherface. Despite all of the general bitchiness between us and Sayaka, we can agree on that much at least. To do this, we need to initiate the first omen of the End Times and put aside our differences and work together; propose a (temporary) truce with Sayaka for this purpose.

We need to go over the plan with her anyway and see where she fits in with all of this. If she can offer any insight on Kirika or what she might be doing with Mami or how we could better execute this plan, that would be a good step forward.
This isn't all my fault but more than enough of it is.
Let's go. You help Misaka set up to take the shot I will get Mami safe and kill this whore. I know we mutually dislike each other here but there is someone we both care about here so how about we call a truce for the time being and just sort this massive fucking mess out
Cold like a damn professional.

Let's save some Mamies and deal with It later
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>>19709754 >>19709731 >>19709728

You let your hand drop from your face, letting out a sigh as you digest what Sayaka had just said. Taking one of the Grief Seeds that Kyuubey had given you in payment for protecting Iori, you press the black thorny bauble against your own Soul Gem, purging the inky darkness already roiling inside the jewel. You replace the Grief Seed back into your Inventory - Kyuubey will want to get it afterwards.

So it was Mami, all along. You weren't expecting it, but at the back of your mind, you knew she was the only one who could've done it. Because she was that nice, that uncorrupted, that kind - that believing of the good in other people. Believing in you to let Kirika go. Believing in Kirika to simply leave the city and never come back.

You'll have to set her expectations of you straight after you rescue her from Kirika.

You turn around slowly and apologize to Sayaka, who blinks in complete surprise and shock at the entire thing. You shock her even further when you suggest a truce between the both of you, at least for now; about how you and her have to work together and get Mami. You'll sort out the details of just what happened later - right now the three of you have a crazy Magical Girl to kill, and the nicest person in your pathetic little lives to save.

Sayaka narrows her eyes at you, as if suspecting a trick of some sort, but shrugs. "S-sure, I guess. If Mami's going to be saved, then I'm in." It's then that she grins. "At the very least, it'll give me some practice for the time when I have to retire you."

That's a very good joke. You laugh at it as the both of you go back into the cab. Misaka seems to be relieved that everything is settled.

How do you proceed now? You have thirty minutes until the meeting takes place.
Reconnaissance of the meeting site.
Learn the most we can on the layout, how to keep crazycunt at distance, entry and exit points, etc.
Most important point is not to get spotted doing so of course.
We have to stash Misaka in her perch at least.

Are we leaving Sayaka to guard her?
We'll need to find some way to drop Misaka off without alerting anyone who might be watching. After that, park a few minutes walk away from the meet and hoof it.
>>19709994 >>19709935 >>19709930

As you take the long way to Mitakihara Tower One - trying not to look as conspicuous as three girls in a cab with its roof nearly shorn off - you try to come up with an impromptu plan with both Misaka and Sayaka and how to approach the meeting.

"We go with original plan this one suggested earlier at warehouse, yes?" Misaka pipes up, raising her goggles off her face and onto her forehead to look at you directly. "Drop me off in adjacent skyscraper, probably two or three blocks away, with clear line of sight. Sayaka-san here will be my spotter and guard in case we are detected. Murderface will be lure - you keep Kirika-san busy and preferably stationary! Just give this one three seconds, will ventilate her good!"

"Nice plan, except for Murderface being the lure part." Sayaka scoffs. "Let's face it, you won't last two seconds with Kirika. Your best bet is to clinch and lock up with her somehow, or stun her long enough for nerd here to take the shot."

You remind Sayaka mildly of Misaka's name.

"...Fine. Misaka it is, Murderface."

You let out a sigh. You ask Sayaka, then, if she has any advice for you.

"For you?" The blue-haired girl blinks, before laughing and taking out a sword from her cape - and tossing it on the cab's dashboard. "I'd say shove this into your gut and spare Kirika the trouble. But as we're working to save Mami here..." She narrows her eyes. "...Watch out when she puts her left foot forward. She wears her sword at her left, right?" Sayaka mimes gripping a sword by her waist. "That's when she'll do her charging move. It'll only last a second, she doesn't telegraph her moves that much, but when you see that, get ready to fucking jump out of the way. Don't even try to block it or anything."

You blink and thank her for that tip, while Misaka seems to hop up and down as you pass by a particularly tall skyscraper - one that is two blocks away from Mitakihara Tower One. "Here! Here! This is good spot! This is good nest! Drop off Misaka and Sayaka-san here!"

You glance at Sayaka, and she shrugs. "This is good as place as any. This is kind of the tallest, I think. If you want her as overwatch, then she'll have the best seat in the house."

You nod, and kill the engine as all three of you step out. Misaka seems to be really eager at the prospect of setting up the Anzio, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet as Sayaka lazily stretches her arms. You take off your glasses and polish them on the hem of your costume, putting them back on as you're satisfied.

It's then that Misaka hands the both of you headsets. "Ah, before Misaka forgets! Communications, for all three of us! Well, Misaka already has hers here--" She taps her goggles. "--so is for your benefit! Put them on!"

The both of you do so, and test them, murmuring expletives to each other quietly.

Yeah, they're good. You thank Misaka.

"Misaka will establish overwatch at top floor! Sayaka-san, hurry!" The arms dealer squeals as she runs towards the entrance of the building, and you see Sayaka sigh before shaking her head.

"Nerds." She says, before turning towards you. "You'll be alright, then, Murderface?"

You're quiet for a moment, before nodding.

"Not that I give a shit about you, of course." Sayaka smiles thinly. "But let's go save Mami." She holds out her hand to you.

You return the smile, and reach out with your free hand - clasping Sayaka by the wrist, as she does yours.

You both let go after a moment before turning your backs on each other. Sayaka following Misaka up into the building, and you making your way towards Tower One on foot.

"The flesh of fallen angels," You find yourself murmuring.
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And I think this is a good spot to pause.

Sorry about the delays and lack of art. The desktop I draw on has been compromised, and it'll be a while until I can get it back into shape.

Thank you for participating!

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You are a Magical Girl.

And as you glance at your own pathetic reflection on the brushed metal walls of the Mitakihara Tower One elevator - you realize that you are slowly going insane.

It's a bit ironic, in a way. You'd always thought all the drinking and painkiller abuse would do you in, finally send you over the brink. All those chemicals and alcohol, burning out synapses, nerves and brain cells, combined with a terminal sleep debt that you only pay by installments - or whenever your body just shuts down and refuses to move. The hallucinations you've learned to tolerate, until one of them started talking back, smiling with dead eyes, bearing golden gifts that drove their recipients bloodthirsty and hungry for flesh.

You're in bad shape, and it could only get worse from here. Whatever god or deity that picks up dead Magical Girls after they've kicked the bucket is going to have an awful start to their workweek when you finally expire. Closed casket burial only - you don't want your friends, what few of them are left, to turn away in disgust at your funeral.

You let out a sigh. You've never really considered that something like this would happen. If you did, you'd probably have turned the gun on yourself a long time ago.

Of course, that's only if you had the guts to pull the trigger in the first place.

30, 31, 32. The electronic floor display ticking away the floors as you ascend. The elevator is taking its own sweet time, but you're not exactly worried.

You are, after all, in no hurry.

No one about to die usually is.
It's already rapidly approaching sunset. You've lost count of the hours, but it's been definitely four or five hours since this all started. Assigned to kill a fellow Magical Girl that's been declared as a liability, you decided to talk to them, in person, at a place of their choosing. That turned out just as well as you'd hoped. A secondary murder attempt and a haphazard rearming later, you find out that your target has taken someone close to you - someone who, while you were asleep, told your would-be murderer that you were gunning for her.

And now you're here, to carry out what you've been told to do. A decommission. A retirement. Fancy-sounding words for an ugly job. Sure, you hated the person you're going to do it to, but it never fails to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Because one day, it will happen to you. Not a question of if, but when, and who is sent after you.

Despite the fact that you're currently in a fiberglass-and-steel vertical tunnel heading to the roof of a skyscraper in ear-popping altitudes, you hear the faint chatter of both Sayaka and Misaka, in the building a couple of blocks away from the one you're in. They don't seem to be encountering any resistance, and you hear Sayaka cheerfully introduce Misaka as her younger sister. Cover story, probably. That's the thing you admire most about Sayaka - she can act like no one's business.

58, 59, 60. You feel the elevator slowly come to a halt as it reaches the top floor - the floor where the helipad should be. And if you played your cards right today, the place where a Magical Girl finally dies. You or Kirika, you're not particularly concerned who at the moment.

One of you. It's just the way it has to be.

The golden Desert Eagle snaps into your hand like it's the most natural thing in the world as the doors slide open.

You step out into the Helipad, your heels making sharp noises on the hard tarmac. You immediately see two people, right at the very center of the pad itself: Mami, bloodied but standing, a firm and resolute expression on her tearful face; and Kirika, behind her, arms crossed, a small smile on her face, pleased at some personal joke.

Her eyes are the darkest black you've ever seen. Darker than Pinky's.

And her smile is bloody.

"Salutations, Murderface." She calls as you approach. "It's nice of you to join us."

How do you respond? How do you react?
This. Oh, and check discreetly if Sayaka and Misaka are in position.

Keep our grip tight on the weapon and step forward, ready to meet our foe. We need to trust now that Misaka and Sayaka will be in position and ready to do their part when the opening comes. It's our job to create that opening. Kirika will be ready for us, so we should expect to be at the disadvantage. However, it's very possible that Kirika, given her particular contempt for us and our style of fighting, will indulge in some self-serving monologuing before attacking. We should draw it out as long as possible to give Misaka time to set up her shot.

Walk out cautiously and purposefully, and assess our surroundings as quickly as possible. We need to know exactly where and how to maneuver Kirika so that there won't be any obstruction between her cranium and the armor-piercing round coming to greet it.
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You step forward, slowly, deliberately, the Desert Eagle glinting heavily in your left hand as you make your way over to them - stopping just ten paces away from Mami, and twelve paces from Kirika. You realize with a small smile on your face that you could, in one moment, shoot the both of them before they could react. The range is short enough that their skulls will be pulped with the impact, their faces rendered unrecognizable.

Mami is the first to speak, and when she does, she is pleading. Begging.

"Chiaki-san, please."

She is in her Magical Girl costume - a costume that you've always thought looked especially nice on her, accentuating her curves, complimenting her colors. Her Soul Gem gleaming by her ear,pinned next to her beret.

Her voice is quivering as she begs you to do the impossible.

"You don't have to do this. L-let Kirika-san go, please. She won't hurt anyone else. Just let her go - Kyuubey doesn't need to know. He won't find out. He'll never find out. I'll...I'll take full responsibility for it! No one has to die here, Chiaki-san! Please! Let Kirika go! For me!"

The Desert Eagle seems to twitch in your grasp. Or is it your own hand twitching?
"Give it up, Mami-chan. It's impossible." Kirika says from behind the blonde, smiling her shark's smile. "Do you think she'll actually listen? We don't know if she's even sober enough to actually comprehend what you're saying. Look at her." She gestures to you. "She probably doesn't even know where she is, right now. Do you really think someone like her could understand?"

"N-no," Mami murmurs, seemingly rooted to the spot, unable to turn towards Kirika. "I...I trust Chiaki-san. With my life. She'll listen to me..."

You watch this play out in silence, before murmuring quietly into your headset's microphone.

"Misaka is ready," You hear the arms dealer whisper, a tinny voice in your ear. "Misaka has Kirika in her sights, but Mami-san is too close. You have to get her away from Kirika-san..."

A crackle. "Jesus Christ, Murderface. You should see how big this goddamn thing is. It's--"

"Chiaki-san? Are you listening?" Mami is crying now. "I...I told Kirika. I told her when I saw your dossier. I didn't want to lose either of you, and...j-just please, let her go. She's not going to bother anyone else. Please..."

"Kill them." Another voice, a third voice, whispers in your ear, hissing like a snake. "Kill them, Homura-chan. Make this easier on yourself. Kill them both."

You're not sure if it's Pinky, or just your imagination, picking out words in the static. Either way...

How do you proceed?
Check Mami.

"Mami, are you alright?"

Focus on Kirika. Keep the golden desert eagle and get ready toss a flashbang and equip the AA-12.

"Let her go.".
Toss the fucking deagle either in the shield or off the roof but either way get it out of our hand.

Tell Mami to go. We can't have her hurt due to us, then turn to Kirika and ask if she is sure she wants to go this way because we aren't dying here today

Stop listening to Pinky. It's the booze talking. It's a fallen angel. It's the final revenge of painkillers. We are our own woman. We fight on our own terms. We /kill/ on our own terms.

Reach down, reach for our bottomless ewer of antipathy and rage. Every slight and every wrong, every person we had to see die, by the hands of another or our own. Feel out the insinuating influence. Then drown it.

Drop. That. Fucking. Gun.
>>19721662 >>19722005 >>19722041

You glance down at the Desert Eagle in your hand. You're gripping it tightly enough for the grip's texture to imprint itself onto your palm, tight enough for your knuckles to burn white with the strain. Your index finger impatiently tapping against the trigger, like a persistent spasm.

You close your eyes briefly.

One by one, you feel your fingers uncurling from the grip. Each one relaxing.

Nothing is compelling you to hold it, you tell yourself. Nothing. No one. Not even the pink-haired girl from your nightmares.

You open your eyes as you hear the dull thud - followed by a sharp clatter - as the
Desert Eagle falls from your hand.

"Murderface, did you just--" You hear Sayaka snap at you from your headset.

"I can't."

It's the first words you utter ever since you've stepped into this nightmare. You are slightly horrified to hear how dry your throat is, and how gravelly your voice sounds like in this eerie silence. Mami blinks at you, eyes widening, tears streaking down her cheeks as you refuse her the one thing you cannot give her. You would give everything else for her, you know - just as she would have.

"Why?" Is all she asks, tearful, heartbroken. Disappointed in you. As if you could have said anything else. As if you could have been anything else than worthless.
You could answer her. You could convince her. That her friend behind her is unstable, a danger to herself and others. She is unpredictable, a maniac psycho-killer that kills as easily as she breathes. She does not care who she kills, so long as she does. Being paid for it is a bonus.

You could make that case against Kirika.

Knowing full well, of course, that you've made that same case against yourself, too.

"I told you, Mami-chan." Kirika's smile grows wider. "See? She refuses, but she can't tell you why. Why so, indeed? Is it simply your dedication to your job, Murderface - or Chiaki Matsuda, whatever the hell you call yourself now? Is it loyalty to the Incubator, who sends girls to do his own dirty work for him?" Kirika one-handedly draws her weapon - a brilliant, shining blade of gold, gleaming where the dying sunlight hits it. "Or is it simply because you cannot bear to let someone like yourself live and have her own happy ending? Like some sort of misguided penance, like you don't deserve it."

Kirika cackles at this. In a voice not entirely of her own. A harsh, grating cackle, not at all like her smooth, dulcet tones.

"No. No, I don't...no, Chiaki-san. You wouldn't do that." Mami shakes her head weakly. "I know you. You're...you're better than this! Just let her go, please--"

Mami's eyes grow wide, suddenly, as a brilliant crimson lower erupts right in the middle of her chest. A sliver of golden light stabbing forth from the rapidly-expanding flower of blood, piercing her uniform's ribbon at the very center, undoing it, letting the length of yellow cloth fall downwards.


There's a liquid sound - and blood hissing as it splatters on the hot tarmac - as Kirika tears her sword away from Mami, the sunlight on the blade turning the bloodstains an ugly black. Mami's own form jerks back at the sudden movement, before crumpling into the floor, limp, a puppet with its strings cut.

"No more babbling." Kirika laughs as she licks Mami's blood from the sword. "Come on, Murderface. Time for that retirement."

Your entire being screams at you to pick up your gun. This you ignore.

You're much too angry for that, now.

The loaded AA-12's bulk falls heavily in your hands just as Kirika charges you.

What do you do?

Sayaka warned us about this, didn't she, when Kirika would try to charge us? Let reason and reflex kick in for now, there will be time to grieve and rage later. Step aside, to her main-hand side in order to avoid both the impaling charge and any swing she might take at us. Get out of her way. Misaka has a split second to lead her and blow a new cavity through her chest if we're lucky. If not, open up on Kirika as she recovers from her momentum and put her down for good.
Time Stop.
Empty an entire drum magazine in front of Kirika.
Throw in a flashbang for good measure.

Then go and pick up Mami's body and her Soul Gem, and get them to cover and safety.
"Nobody messes with my pancakes, Bitch."

Circlestrafe, keep firing the shotgun at her, don't let her get close.
>>19722411 >>19722390 >>19722385

The shield on your arm - the device that stops time itself around you - is behaving strangely. It's clicking, as always, and you feel it grow warmer with each passing second - but there's something strange in the way it clicks. Like the gears are catching against something, unable to function.

You'd have thought this strange, of course, if you weren't busy at the moment, snarling an oath at the cackling, black-garbed form of Kirika Kure as you roll to the side to dodge her just as she comes charging past - and it's then, on one knee, you start unloading at her general direction. Pulling the trigger far enough and hard enough that you're pressing it into the grip.

The first shot takes Kirika by complete surprise as it slams right into her back, tearing into her uniform, tearing into flesh, and blasting her across the helipad. She manages to right herself in mid-air a split-second after, and you're shown just how quick and slippery the cackling bitch can get with her time dilation ability as you try to track her, firing all the while.

It's difficult. She phases out of reality one moment, phasing in the next. Like an animation with some of its frames missing in between, her motion is incomplete, jumping and then landing in two places while being non-existent in between.It's her time dilation ability, working to her favor. Kirika is not giving you any time to activate your Time Stop, either - she's sticking close to you, making you move, making you dodge, making you react instantly just as you strive to blast her full of holes. She cackles as she hears your drum magazine click empty, and you curse as you let it drop and shove the other one in.

You roll to the side once more as she lunges toward you in mid-reload, barely dodging a golden pig-sticker aiming to seperate your head from your shoulders. You scramble to your feet, desperate to increase the distance between the both of you. Kirika laughs again, a demon's laugh, as she saunters slowly toward your direction.

Her eyes shining wetly with black, tarry blood.

"I have tasted the flesh of fallen angels, Murderface." She grins, licking her bloody teeth. "I've tasted the Devil's sweet blood. It runs in my veins."

She steps over Mami's prone body, on top of the puddle of scarlet expanding underneath the girl who smiled at you and baked you pancakes whenever you asked her to.

"I've seen beyond the world of skin and flesh, the architecture of blood and bone marrow. Death...death is coming, Murderface, and hell follows with her."

Shut up, you scream at her. Shut up, you crazy, murdering bitch. The words have barely left your own lips as you raise your shotgun again, intent on ventilating her - when you feel a horrifically cold sensation on your right arm.

You look down, and realize you don't have a right arm anymore. Cut neatly above the elbow, your shield clattering on the ground. Joining your dismembered limb on the tarmac, your soul gem still firmly planted on the back of your hand.

Dimly, you hear Sayaka and Misaka arguing over the headset, panicking, the faint patter of gunshots in the background. At the same time, you feel your own blood dripping down your side, your skirt, into your stockings.

You fall forward. First on your knees, and then on your one remaining hand. The AA-12 falling around your feet in two distinct pieces.

You never even saw her coming.

"This is the twilight winter, Murderface. I am ready to be her herald." Kirika's voice is the only thing you can hear now, above your own pounding heartbeat. "Her time is now, and all who stands in her way...must die."

You feel shock settling in, with adrenalin pumping hard in your veins.

The Golden Desert Eagle glowing brightly, on the tarmac, no more than six paces away from you. Kirika is approaching from behind, evidently moving for the kill.

What do you do?
Wait for her to strike, then grab the hand holding the blade and call for Misaka to snipe the fucker while she's disabled.

Six paces is too far for us to crawl before Kirika, unwinded as she is, merely lunges forward and finishes us. Sayaka and Misaka seem to have problems of their own now, with nothing to stop Kirika's inevitable advance towards us. But we do have a weapon even without our shield, don't we?

Draw the knife from our boot, flip over, and throw it straight for her heart.
We still have our knife in our ankle holster.

Draw it, and throw it at Kirika. Tell Misaka to take the shot.

i really do not want to pick up the GDeagle, do we have any other options?
>>19722932 >>19722930 >>19722928

You find yourself being strangely calm and peaceful as you continue to bleed out on the tarmac. The Golden Desert Eagle still calling out to you, begging you to use it, to save yourself.

You ignore it. It's not worth it, not even now.

You're still angry, of course. You're still angry at just how badly you've screwed this one up. You're angry that an uppity little bitch like Kirika Kure managed to get the better of you, even spouting that crazy monkey talk direct from your nightmares. You're angry that you let a hallucination get under your skin, making you doubt the very skills that have seen you through worse. And more, still, you're angry at yourself for letting Mami get hurt.

Gritting your teeth, you lean forward, grinding your forehead into the hot tarmac, using it to support you as you reach back for the combat knife strapped to your ankle.

Funnily enough, it seems that Kirika has walked around you to face your front. Gloating long enough to mistake your awkward last attempts at setting things right for abasing yourself to her, to beg for mercy.

"No need for that, Murderface. I'm not in the business of granting you any." Kirika licks her teeth again, a rasping noise. "But I've always thought that groveling fits you."

You have ten seconds of consciousness left.

The knife comes away easily from its sheath, and you hide your smile.

You only need three.

The first is for you to spring forward with the last of what you have left. Your heels finding easy purchase on the cracked tarmac, you lunge right for Kirika, catching her immediately off-guard as you all but crash into her. The second is for you to stab your combat knife, held in a reverse grip, right in the middle of her chest - right where she stuck Mami from behind like the coward she was.

The third is for you to scream into your headset's microphone - as Kirika stumbles backward, stunned from the knife sticking out of her sternum, right into her spine, making it difficult for her to breath - for Misaka to take the shot, just as you fall back onto the floor.

You hear Misaka crying out your name over the channel just as the Anzio's thunderous discharge blots out everything. A moment later, you hear the exact same report - only this time, it's followed with a wet, crunching explosion, and the sensation of a warm sticky mist settling onto your skin.

Propping yourself up by your one remaining arm, you open your eyes. Seeing nothing but rivulets of blood misting your glasses.

Oh, and the bottom half of Kirika's corpse, standing for just a moment before falling back onto the tarmac.

"Nice shot." You murmur into your headset, before closing your eyes as you lie back down.

You are Chiaki Matsuda, and you're very tired.
It certainly didn't feel like you closed your eyes for longer than a few seconds, but when you open them, you notice that you're looking up at the star-filled night sky.

Well. You would be, if it weren't for Kyuubey's stupid face blocking your view. In fact, he's almost nose to nose with you, as if trying to peer into your soul.

"Ah, good. You're finally awake." His irritating voice stabbing into your mind is...well, irritating. "I should remind you, Matsuda, that sleeping on the job is not all that professional. But I'll look the other way this instance, considering the circumstances."

Stupid asshole bastard cat, you ought to -- wait, what's this? What the hell is he doing here? And why does it feel like your head is resting on something really soft and warm, just like your favorite chair?

You look around as well as you could, and you realize that you're not alone in the Helipad any longer. A rescue helicopter is cooling its rotors a few ways from you. You spy Kyoko fussing over Sayaka, the latter peppered with bandages and gauze. Misaka is the same thing, but she seems to be talking animatedly about things exploding. You see Mami lying strapped onto a stretcher, seemingly conscious, but hooked up to an oxygen mask. She sees you looking at her, and she turns away.

This is...all well and good, but it doesn't explain--

You hear sniffling and sobbing above you, and you crane your neck upwards, as painful as it felt.

You manage to see no one else but Iori looking down at you, dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief. Your head, it seems, is pillowed on your thighs.

You try to frame the obvious questions, but you can't seem to bring them into words at the moment.

"She insisted. And yes, she can see me, for some reason." Kyuubey glances down at you, before shaking its head. "Nearly kicked me into oncoming traffic when she heard me talk. Anyway, congratulations on your assignment. Kirika Kure has been retired from this agency." The mutant cat nods, satisfied. "We'll have your arm reattached in a few days. In the meantime, your bonus has been wired to your account."

"This...this is what you really do?" Iori murmurs down at you, still tearful. "Being...a magical girl?"

Kyuubey stares at Iori, before shaking his head and turning away. "I'll...see about Kirika Kure's remains. Stay right here. Minase Iori, make sure Matsuda doesn't move around too much, or she'll tear her bandages open."

The Incubator leaves in a huff, leaving you alone with Iori.

How do you respond?
Completely straight-faced: "This is why you never talk to mutant cats."

Then crack a small grin and continue, "Got a smoke?"

"How's the Mami, Misaka and Sayaka doing?"
"I guess there's no hiding it, is there? Fine.

"Yes, that is what I've been doing all this time."
So you took my advice on what to do if you saw that little shit, good girl.

I think she would know about it in this setting. We have had things like Emi turning up after all
>>19723432 >>19723429 >>19723421

It's only after a few moments of silence - and of you realizing that you've been generously dosed with painkillers, seeing as you're not even feeling the stump where your right arm should be - that you reply to Iori, a small, sheepish smile on your face. You admit it to her, slowly, about what you really do. She knows the sort of things you get up to, but she didn't exactly know about the Magical Girl part.

"I...I never knew Magical Girls were real. I thought...um..." You see her glance down at your hand, and you lift it up to your face, looking at it. Your Soul Gem, in its diamond form, is affixed to your left hand now. Kyuubey must've placed it there for you, for convenience's sake.

You ask if she thought that you were just a bodyguard with a cosplay fetish.

"N-no! Of course not!" Iori shakes her head furiously, trying her best to look offended. "Nothing of the sort! That's patently ridiculous, I..." Her cheeks turning pink, she looks away. "I...I thought it was just a cute uniform your agency makes you wear..."

You would have laughed, if Kyuubey hadn't come around again. Kirika's sword, back in its sheathe, gripped between his teeth. He drops it beside you.

"Your salvage, Matsuda. Before the other girls get designs on it." Kyuubey smacks its feline lips a few times, as if trying to get the taste of something out of its mouth. "I've placed your pistol back in your inventory too, at that. You can thank me later."

You glance down quickly at the blade, expecting it to suddenly come to life and finish the job Kirika started, but it just stays there, just like an inanimate object.

"I told you, don't move around too much." The incubator seems to frown, before shaking its head. "Now, about that leak, Matsuda...did you find out who it is?"

You blink, and then look at Mami, who seems to be crying again.

[]Tell Kyuubey about Mami.
[]Don't tell Kyuubey.
We say NOTHING about Mami. This is information that is of no benefit to him and will only get her killed. We instead bring up Pinky; it's a good segue and will keep us all alive longer
Don't tell.
This is something that is between magical girls not for him to know

Mention that Kirika seemed to go off the deep end and blabbered shit about the flesh of fallen angels. Nothing more
>[]Don't tell Kyuubey.

I don't care if Mami hates us, but goddamn we cannot have her die. Think of the pancakes!
>>19723707 >>19723688 >>19723680

"Matsuda?" Kyuubey tries again. "Can you hear me, or did the paramedics give you too high a dose of painkillers?"

You shake your head, looking away from Mami, before murmuring to the Incubator that no, you have no idea who the leak is. As deadpan as you can, you posit that Kirika may have known right from the start. You give him the Disney version of the events - that Kirika had gone completely fucking insane and tried to gut you every step of the way as soon as you talked to her.

Kyuubey stares at you for a few moments too long, before slowly nodding. "...I see. I suppose we may have jumped to conclusions about a possible...leak, as you say. She could have simply arrived at that conclusion when you approached her because of her paranoia and coincidentally turned out to be right." He turns slightly to glance at Mami, before back at you. "It sounds logical enough."

You couldn't agree more. You open your mouth to breach the subject about Pinky and her golden toys, but somehow this doesn't seem to be the right moment to.

"I'll give you a few days to rest, and then you can report to the office for your debriefing. I mean it, Matsuda. The office. Don't make me commute to your apartment again." Kyuubey reminds you, and you nod. Seemingly satisfied at this, he goes off again, this time to talk to the helicopter staff.
You reach out with your one remaining hand to grab the sword by its sheath.

It...doesn't feel that bad. Feels nice in your grip, actually.

You think you'll keep it, for a bit. You're scared of the thing, but what's the alternative - Sayaka getting her hands on it?

You turn to Iori, and ask her to give you a hand getting up. You have to thank the people who helped you.

Iori giggles slightly, before helping you get back to your feet.

Who do you talk to first?

[]Sayaka []Misaka []Kyoko []Mami
No we did not
I say we talk to Mami after getting away from Kyuubey
In that order

We'll have to soon or later.
>>19723898 >>19723887 >>19723889

Walking is a bit hard to do - you're not too used with the sudden change in balance, what with your right arm gone and everything. Iori's there to help you out, though, and with her assistance, you manage to slowly make your way towards Mami's gurney, where the blonde girl is pretending to be asleep.

You get the idea. She's not...ready to talk to you now. Not just yet. Still, it means something if you make the first move, right?

You murmur to her that you're sorry, and reach out with your one remaining hand to squeeze her own, briefly.

She doesn't squeeze back, and you leave it at that. You ask Iori to help you towards the other three girls in the vicinity - the ones loudly chatting their heads off.

"Ah, heeey! Is Murderface! Murderface, heey!" Misaka, sporting her own bruises and bandages, but surprisingly less injured than Sayaka, beams at your arrival. "Not too bad way to end assignment, eh? BANG! YOU ARE DEAD!" She giggles. "Ah, that one felt good! Wish I could have taken picture of Kirika-san's face just before impact!"

She blinks at your stump of a right arm, seemingly disturbed, before grinning up at you. "Ah! Is just flesh wound! Cannot hurt Murderface that easily, eh?" She jumps up and pokes at you. "Misaka can make you augmetic arm, good as new! With it Murderface can be as strong as TEN gorillas!"

You smile at this and thank her for her assistance. You mention something about her getting the power armor ready.

"Ah, of course! Of course! Soon as Misaka gets back, work resumes!"

You pat her on the head - she's a good few inches shorter than you - and it's then that you walk a bit farther to get at the two lovebirds, Kyoko and Sayaka. Kyoko is unharmed for the most part - Sayaka's the one who looks the worst for wear, even with your lack of a right hand. Her cape is bloody and torn, one arm is bandaged from shoulder to wrist, and one eye seems to be swollen shut. She is still holding what looks to be a broken sword of hers, most of the blade seemingly having been broken off in someone's spine, or something.

Kyoko seems to brighten up at your arrival, while Sayaka merely smirks. That's....a good sign, you think. At least she's not rambling about how this is all your fault because Mami got hurt.

"Hey, Murderface--" Kyoko starts.

You remind her to call you Chiaki.

"Fine, whatever. Grats on the assignment, seriously! I mean, retiring a stone cold bitch like Kirika? That takes a lot - and in your case, your entire frickin' right arm, haha!" Kyoko seems not that surprised with the news, even deigning to laugh about it. "I'd give you a hand, but I kinda need both for our new resident pigsticker here!" She slaps Sayaka on the back, who hisses in pain.

"Watch it! Bastard Yaks got me there!"

"Sorry, sorry!"

You nod at Kyoko, and turn to Sayaka, who seems to be glancing at Iori, and then at you. You thank her for helping you out by protecting Misaka at her sniper's nest.

"Nah, s'alright. No need to thank me." Sayaka says after a moment, cheeks turning pink as she looks away. "Wasn't that hard, anyhow. And I got to see you get nearly murdered, so that's sort of a plus for me."

You laugh and call her an asshole, and she returns the favor. It's then, though, that you see her looking at the sword you have tucked underneath your arm.

"Hey, that's Kirika's, right? Can I see it?"

[]Show her the sword.
[]How about not showing her the sword?
You're not too hot in letting someone else get a hold of something so dangerous, and especially not someone who is more or less just as talented with a blade as Kirika was. So you decide to take Sayaka's request literally by letting the sword drop to your hand, before biting the handle gently and then pulling on the sheath - revealing a couple of inches of the golden blade itself.

"Yep, that's Kirika's all right." Kyoko remarks, just as Sayaka frowns at you - she seems to have been expecting you to hand it to her. "Solid gold. Is that a thing nowadays, really? Making your main weapon gold? I mean, sure it looks good, but it's got to be a bother sometimes, right?"

You shrug and sheathe the weapon fully once more, tucking it back in your arm. You think it's just a passing fad, you say. Nothing really important.

Kyuubey walks up to your group. "Well, that's all settled. Kirika Kure's remains are disposed of, her Soul Gem confirmed destroyed. Everyone, let's try and move on from this unfortunate event, and strive to do better in the future."


"In any case, let's thank Matsuda for a job well done, and both Misaka and Sayaka for providing support. Oh, speaking of which, Matsuda, would you want a lift to your apartment? I assume you'd want to recuperate there before we reattach your arm?"

You nod. You're still tired, but having Iori by your side helps. You can't wait to get home, get back into your chair, and drink.

"I made you dinner," Iori murmurs after a moment.

...And dinner. Yes. Maybe that, too.
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And I think we can put a period on Kirika's retirement right here.

Sorry for the massive delays, storm season is here and the network is a bit intermittent. Thank you for everyone who participated! It's a pleasure running this for you guys.

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You are a Magical Girl, and you're starting to think that you are, in fact, playing the game with a few cards short of a full deck. You've always known that you weren't all there to begin with - the gaps in your memory, the nightmares, the hallucinations and everything else clued you in - but you're starting to think that there may be something really, really wrong with you.

You've also lost your favorite drinking arm, but that'll be remedied soon enough.

It's been approximately twelve hours since you retired Kirika Kure. With the help of your personal arms dealer and backup sniper Misaka, you managed to reduce the entire upper half of her body into bloody mist. Sure, you had to play patsy for a while and get your arm hacked off, but all's well that ends well.

Dinner with Iori was something...awkward. You had apologized in advance that you may make a mess of yourself, what with having just your non-dominant hand to handle food with - but she didn't mind at all, and fed you herself, the idol sitting primly on the arm rest of your favorite chair while both of you watched Justice Dick reruns. The food itself was surprising, mashed potatoes with vegetables mixed in, and some sort of spicy steak.

It's a shame you threw up most of it hours after. Half a bottle of whisky doesn't really help with digesting real food besides painkillers, as you just learned.

It is now late morning, and you're out and about, in the backseat of a cab. Since Kyoko is out on assigment and Sayaka's not available, you've taken Iori along with you for your debriefing, the idol sitting beside you. The stump where your right arm once was is properly dressed, and your empty sleeve pinned up so as not to dangle too much.

You're a bit glad Kyoko won't be around to bump into. She'd say something like how you look like one half of that girl from that cripple fucker game.

The trip is a bit of a way, and you feel Iori leaning onto your shoulder. Must be falling asleep - you had a late night last night, after all, and you don't know if she slept well after dinner. You're sure you didn't wake her up with your being sick, though.

You let her sleep. There's still some time before you get there, and she is pretty warm. It's a really cold morning, in any case.

[]Check your inventory.
[]Wake Iori up and have her move back a bit to recover personal space.
[X]Check your inventory.
No need to wake Iori if she's comfortable
Check inventory, do we still have that damned deagle?
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You check your inventory.

You still have your two emergency canisters of painkillers, which gives you two doses each, a total of four. Sadly, you are all out of cigarettes. You need to buy another pack.

You have also lost your pink cellphone, as it was skewered by none other than Kirika herself. You never did find out what was in that diary function. Oh, well.

And surprise! Not only do you have the golden Desert Eagle with you, but also Murasame, Kirika's former main weapon. It's a heavy thing, but you can easily draw it and use it one-handed. The sheathe is pretty elaborate, made of heavy ebony and embossed with gold relief depicting dragons and stuff. The blade is solid gold, and has the roman numeral XX inscribed on the blade itself.

Oh, you also have your debit card. Kyuubey gave it to you just before sending it off. You have four thousand dollars in it. He told you specifically to not spend it all in one place.

[]Examine Desert Eagle.
[]Examine Muramasa.
[]Exit inventory and wait to arrive in destination.
[x] Exit, try not to fall asleep.
Put the damn things away. They be dangerous.

Pet Iori in a non-creepy manner.
[x] Exit inventory and wait to arrive at destination.

Try to doze off a bit in the car while you're at it.
[x]Exit inventory and wait to arrive in destination.
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>>19746969 >>19746964 >>19746946

You leave your inventory alone. No need to tinker with it right now, especially with the gaudy weapons. Iori's much too close to you to do anything useful with them, anyhow, and you're not exactly comfortable with the idea of going berserk with her in near proximity.

You forget to mention, of course, the Soul Gem you took from Midori - you've been using it for a whisky warmer for so long that it actually smells of the stuff, now. You take it out momentarily, rather tempted with the idea of seeing if you can crush it with one hand.

You put it back. You should probably start her interrogation after your debriefing.

Messing with your Inventory done with, you lean back and close your eyes. Things are a bit quiet at the moment, so you take your time to enjoy it. Having a soft-bodied idol settling warmly against your side, her breath tickling your ear, seems to help.

You doze off for twenty minutes before you arrive at your destination. Iori is the one who wakes you up, and she apologizes for drooling on your shoulder, flushing all the while. You shake your head at the apology, and you both step out of the car after paying the driver.

Your destination is, in fact, a tall office building at the very heart of Mitakihara. It's certainly no Tower One, but it qualifies as a skyscraper. Officially called the QB Heavy Industries Tower and unofficially called The Officio Assassinorum by those in the know, it's a fifty-story building that could easily pass for a hotel building, if not for the usual flood of salarymen and women flooding in and out of it in an hourly basis.

What started out as a measly front to a hired magical girl organization had swelled into a legitimate business involving military hardware. You get your own freebies from it, sure, but with Misaka being the head of R&D, you've long since found out that befriending her was the key to getting the real goods, especially the illegal ones.

You've seen the recruitment posters, the printed propaganda to lure graduates and working men and women to manage the legal side of his company. In a rather human-like cunning, he had used his own appearance as a mascot of sorts, and from his current employee headcount, it's a massive success, especially when you consider that 80 percent of his employees are women.

It's a bit hilarious when you consider that these people will never find out that they've been working for the mascot all along.

Iori is holding onto your empty sleeve as you lead the way amidst the rush of employees working out their pitiful lifespans for money.

You get in easily enough - the guards posted outside salute you as you step past them, none of them giving you or Iori a second look. The employees give you quite the berth as well, and you head towards the elevator that leads only to one floor - the penthouse, and the Officio Assassinorum proper.

Iori seems to be intimidated with all this, and has switched sides to grasp at your own hand as you both wait for the elevator to get to its destination.

You don't mind, you suppose. It's just her holding your hand. No one thinks badly about girls holding hands with other girls.

The doors slide open, and you're treated to a room that's completely white. White furniture, white walls, white everything - making each splash of color garish and blinding, almost. This is the room that reminds you that you're working for an alien mutant cat from God knows where. There's a receptionist's area, and the wall at the far corner has a grand double door that leads to Kyuubey's room.

Surprisingly, Mami is manning the receptionist desk. She's wearing rather tasteful office lady clothes, with a black armband pinned at her left sleeve.

She glances up at your arrival, no emotion on her ace. "Vindicare Murderface," She greets you politely, stiffly. Her expression darkens just a bit at Iori holding your hand. "Kyuubey will see you in a moment."

It's...yeah, you're in trouble. She's never really used your rank to refer to you.

Iori murmurs a reluctant greeting, trying to smile. "G-good morning, Mami-san."

How do you greet her?
"Morning, Mami. How're you doing?" ... "Why are you manning the front desk?"

What's with the black armband?

We're just that good. Or not, since we did lose our arm.
This. She's frosty, but we are not.
"Hello Mami.
Glad to see you recuperated fine."

Look at her black armband and mutter:
Good morning Mami.
Nice to see you are recovered from your injury
>>19747290 >>19747259 >>19747264

While you consider yourself not at all that given to emotion, it does sting a little bit to be addressed in a manner by the person you once considered to be the only really good thing in your life. Still, you manage to work up what would pass off for you as a sincere if awkward smile, and you greet her good morning, as well as saying how you're glad that she's healed up just fine.

Mami glances at you for a moment, before nodding slightly, before
averting her gaze and going back to the laptop in front of her.

The meaning of her black armband isn't all that lost to you, and you mumble an apology. Sure, you lost your arm, and it was your job, but somehow you feel guilty about the entire thing.

This she seems to ignore, and you stand there unable to say anything else, when the intercom beside Mami's computer crackles slightly.

"Mami, please send Matsuda into my office. Alone, if she's got Minase Iori with her."

"Yes, sir." Mami replies quickly, before nodding up at you and gesturing towards the doors. Iori looks at you, gripping your hand tighter, as if loathe to let go.

You shake your head at the idol and gently pull your hand from hers. You'll only be a moment, you say, and you head towards the doors. You fail to see her glance at you, then at Mami, before making her way to one of the waiting seats at the other side of the room itself.

You make a note to try and speak to Mami again after your debriefing.

As you enter Kyuubey's office, you are momentarily disoriented as the doors close behind you. In contrast to the white environment outside, Kyuubey's office is...well, you know it's a room-wide hologram thing where the floors, walls and ceiling are displaying a chunk of space, the wall across from you showing what appears to be a strange planet in orbit, completely black with spikes jutting out from all over the surface.

The spikes seem to be sprouting from underneath the planet's crust, by the way they're forming large cracks and fissures on its surface, revealing what looks to be blazing pink light from within.

Kyuubey is sitting, perched on a rather luxurious high-backed chair, in front of many LCD screens scrolling data written in a rather unknown language. Photographs flicker past as the data scrolls - of you, Mami, Kirika and Kyoko, as well as a host of other known agents.

You...you're pretty sure you saw the girl with pink hair in there, somewhere, but you're not too sure. The one you saw doesn't have black eyes, and looks normal.

"Ah, Matsuda." The chair turns to face you, and you see Kyuubey's bright crimson eyes focus on yours. "Ten minutes late. I'll dock that from your pay. How is the arm, and how is staying with Minase Iori turning out for you?"

How do you respond?
Cut the small talk. Let's get this over with.

Also, notice the blazing pink light...could be all the souls he's gathered or something much worse...

And only you, Mami, Kyoko and Kirika are mentioned...perhaps candidates for the golden weapons? Pay attention to who appears in the photos. This may be important.
"The arm's as absent as it was last night.
The Girl's useful. She cooks, keeps the bed warm and doesn't complain about anything. "

You reply in a neutral, deadpan fashion, as you are usually wont to do. When you answer his question about Iori, it's then that you let out a bit more than you want to - that is, you're alright with her staying, and you're finding her useful to be around.

"Intriguing. And here I thought you'd have driven the girl away in an hour with your dreadful habits and the horrible way you treat guests. I'll have to make note of that."

You're slightly relieved that Iori's outside, in any case. You stay silent, waiting for him to continue. You've learned long ago to just let the Incubator continue on his own pace and shut up.

"...In any case, let's begin your debriefing. You will report to me, with as much detail as you can provide, how you came to retire Kirika Kure." The screens behind Kyuubey begin to flicker, and then show Kirika's record in full - and you spot the bright crimson text at the bottom of her mugshot. 'Retired'. What a sad footnote to an otherwise sterling record.

"Please remember that the information you provide helps this company, so ensure that the information itself is complete, precise, correct and accurate." Kyuubey's voice gets that strangely human tone whenever someone recites from rote memory. "Still, before we begin, is there anything you would like to say about the leak or what we perceive to be a leak, Matsuda? Anything you want to add or change from your statement?"

[]Reveal the truth about Mami.
[]Say no, and recount your version of the events.
>but that it seems to have a corrupting effect.

Let's leave that bit out.
Don't out Mami. Make sure to mention the Golden weapons, the flesh of fallen angels and the fact that Kirika mentioned a "her" who gave her the weapon and said that the one who killed her would have a golden weapon with an VII will kill her. This suggests that there is a third party around handing these out. Say that we retrieved the Deagle from our shield but don't know its actual origin or what powers it has, but that it seems to have a corrupting effect.

"My understanding of the leak situation hasn't changed since last night, no."

[x] Give report
>>19747725 >>19747711 >>19747709

You shake your head. Your understanding of the leak situation, if there ever was one, hasn't changed since last night, you say. Kyuubey tilts his head slightly to the side, as if studying you carefully, before nodding.

"If you say so, Matsuda. Now, please give me your report."

And you do so. You tell him a 'complete' version of the events as it played out. Your attempt to get in contact with Kirika to feel her out, and possibly make an attempt there, which failed due to her paranoia. Your approaching Misaka for new equipment and sniping assistance. Sayaka's contribution to the effort, and how it all played out on the helipad of Tower One.

After your recounting of the events, it's then that you finally broach the subject of the Golden Weapons. It's here that Kyuubey seems to take more interest at what you're saying. You pull out the sword from your inventory, and tell him about what Kirika had revealed about it - the number on its blade, and how the 'girl' who had given it to her had told her that the person carrying a golden gun with the number VIII would be responsible for Kirika's death. You also mention here that ever since Kirika had received the blade, she'd been unstable, which would explain her recent trend of killing principals.

"Interesting. And you say that the firearm you now have at the moment is the same one in this 'prophecy'? May I see it?"

You oblige him, placing both weapons on the transparent orange desk that manifested in front of him a mere few moments ago.

"You simply got this Desert Eagle from your shield when you tried to cycle it for a new firearm, I see. Do you know about this 'girl' who gave Kirika her gun? Have you met her before, and if you have, can you provide me with a description?"

[]Tell him about Pinky.
[]Deny any knowledge of Pinky.
[x]Tell him about Pinky.
Hold onto your butts, we're about to get some fucking plot.
Or killed.
Either way, super fun happy times!
[x]Tell him about Pinky.
Tell him that she seemed to know about us, and she is possibly a Magical Girl in the employ of another Incubator. That's the only logical explanation for her ability to project images of herself.
Also say that no, we don't know who she is.
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>>19747959 >>19747956

You take a deep breath and reveal what little you know about the girl with the pink hair and black eyes. You tell him, carefully, about your encounters of her, but confining it to merely seeing her in your dreams, nothing to incriminate you or throw you into suspicion. You also mention how, during your usage of your Time-stopping abilities, she seems to pop up every now and then, but only as a vision, and not something you can actually interact with.

You give him what you think is an accurate description, and it's then that the Incubator blinks at you. He turns slightly in his seat, and taps one of the screens beside him with a paw.

And the smiling face of the mysterious girl with the sunless eyes are displayed from the entire series of screens, a large portrait of her looming up at Kyuubey from behind.

"I'd have figured as much. Thank you for coming forward with this information, Matsuda." Kyuubey says after a moment, turning to face you. "Am I correct to say that this is the girl you've been seeing, and the one who gave Kirika her sword?"

You nod, unable to take your eyes off the digital portrait.
It's then that Kyuubey sighs, and gestures towards the wall behind him, displaying that strange planet.

"It's strange, isn't it, Matsuda? How this particular rock in space looks. What you're looking at isn't a planet or an asteroid - it's actually a grief seed. We found it hiding in the shadow of this planet's moon. It's invisible to everything else - NASA has yet to even discover it - but we have enough technology with us to actually see what it is."

He hops off his seat and onto his desk, placing one foot on Muramasa's handle. "We believe it belongs to a Witch unlike any other. A Witch who retains her presence of mind, thought, and has untold amounts of power - to the point that we believe that she is more of a concept than an actual being. Not something you can easily kill, at that."

Kyuubey looks up at you.

"We call this Witch Faust, and we believe that she is preying upon Magical Girls. I've already received reports from other agencies of their agents encountering her too, and being found murdered days later. This is the first time I've heard about her visiting someone's dreams or giving them weaponry, however."

Kyuubey looks down at the weapons, and then looks up at you again.

"Have you been experiencing anything strange besides these visions, Matsuda? Any sudden, unexplained bursts of anger, frustration, madness? How is your amnesia?"

It seems you've begun your OWN interrogation, here.

How do you respond?
I think we should tell him that we were mad at Sayaka and we pulled the gun on her, though. Sayaka and Misaka were there, they saw our eyes change, and since they were part of this mission I fully expect QB to debrief them as well. If our story doesn't line up with theirs, then that'd be an even faster route to getting retired.
I really can't give you an answer on the amnesia front, if I forgot something then there is no way for me to know if I forgot it or not. I don't have a good point of reference for it.

I did really want to kill Kirika but I find that difficult to attribute to any outside force as I hated that bitch, it may be connected but nothing verifiable.

I have felt slightly less apathy and hate for everything other than booze, nicotine and pancakes, which is rather strange.

Also my shield is a bit buggy, didn't properly work when fighting Kirika, but given that it has a massive gash in it and that Kirika is connected to this "Faust" and had time related powers of her own, we once again can't draw anything conclusive from it.

Also I am suffering from nicotine withdrawal and severely want a pack of cancer sticks.
"Amnesia's the same as it was when I woke up. Had one burst of anger when I was holding the gun, so that's why I'm staying the fuck away from it. I've got enough problems with a swiss-cheese memory without someone going inside my head."
"Nothing too out of the ordinary, I think, aside from suddenly giving more shits about people."
>>19748410 >>19748348 >>19748342

You tell Kyuubey about what's been happening to you for the past few days or so, emotion-wise. Besides feeling relatively normal and just a little more positive about things than before (which doesn't really amount to much), there was that one time where you pulled the gun on Sayaka. Of course, that time both of you were considerably stressed due to the circumstances, and you thought that she was the leak.

You also tell him about how Sayaka saw your eyes going black during this altercation.

"Ah." Kyuubey nods at you. "Yes, Sayaka did mention that in her own debriefing. She said you nearly made her pee herself, at that." The incubator's tail swishes back and forth. "Idly, she asked me if it meant that you would be retiring soon."

Silence, between the two of you. Behind him, the screens making up Pinky's portrait seems to flicker - and it's then that the portrait itself seems to move. Its black eyes blinking, before focusing on you.

Her smile widening, showing bloody teeth, Pinky gives you an almost cheeky wink.

The screens flicker again, and the portrait reappears, frozen in time just like before.

"I know what you're thinking, Matsuda, and let me assure one of my more...able employees that your retirement, should I choose to have it processed, will not be anytime soon." Kyuubey closes his eyes as he nods, seemingly satisfied.

"Kirika Kure, as you've noted, was unstable - but despite her record, I've noted that she had been on the verge of going rogue. A few of my contacts have seen her talking with other Incubators, Incubators that are not affiliated with this agency. So, for the moment, rest assured, at least, that I will not be ordering Sayaka to kill you in the near future just because of a few harmless outbursts here and there."

You feel better already.

"Now, about these weapons. Would you mind if I kept them for a while? I will have some of my staff see just what they are. If my suspicions are correct, they have some sort of influence on their wielders. Your eyes turning black - that may just be an effect of your frustration, but please tell me should any other symptoms appear. It may give us clues on this Witch and what she's doing, and how we can put her down before she kills any more Magical Girls."

You nod in assent, quiet as always.

"Do you have anything else to say, then, Matsuda? Oh, by the way, please collect your smartphone from Mami. From now on, all your future dossiers will be sent to it. As a precaution, I sent Sayaka to purge our courier service, just to remove the possibility of a leak from that avenue." Kyuubey reopens his eyes. "If there is nothing else, then do not let me detain you."

Do you have anything else to mention?
Ask him to look into our shield and its powers. The damage to it appears to be catching up to it and it needs repairs.

Also ask if we can get our arm back today; it's kind of inconvenient without it.

On the way out, try to stay nice to Mami. She's put up with our shit in the past, and I'd like to mend our friendship when she's sorted her feelings out.
Lodgings, our old place may be compromised due to Kirika's Yakuza associates.

Interrogation of Midori, we're here so we may as well get it dealt with, see if there is any information in specific that he wants us to look for.

Our shield being a bit buggy, see if he knows anything about magical girl equipment maintenance and repair.
>As a precaution, I sent Sayaka to purge our courier service
Serves them right for handing the dossier to Mami.
"Gonna go interrogate a bitch now. You can watch if you like, I know you're into that sort of thing."
Is there any chance I could be moved to another apartment. While yakuza are not a threat to me I am supposed to be looking after Iori still it would be inconvenient if they turned up while I was out and she was harmed
>>19748892 >>19748826 >>19748802

"Ah, yes, of course. The question of your arm." Kyuubey blinks at you, before sitting back down on its haunches. "Unfortunately the one that was severed was much too damaged for us to try and salvage it, so I'll have to make you a new one. Please hand over your Soul Gem."

You acquiesce immediately, taking your Soul Gem off the back of your left hand by biting at the edge and pulling away. You place it on the table in front of Kyuubey, who then places a forepaw on the very center of the purple diamond.

"As for a new place to stay, I'll see if I can't get you a place somewhere a bit more secure. Somewhere closer to Headquarters would be preferable. Give me a few days."

It's then that your Soul Gem seems to spark, and you grunt slightly as you feel as if something is driving a hot spike into the stump of your right arm. Hastily, you undo the pin that keeps your sleeve folded up - just in time, too, as a newly-made arm, of flesh and bone, fills it. All fingers working, ability to grasp objects fine, ability to make rude gestures good.

"Stop being immature and listen, Matsuda." There's a chiding tone in Kyuubey's voice as he nudges your Soul Gem back to you, which you take and place back in its rightful position on your right hand. "Your Shield malfunctioning is regrettable, but I'm afraid I'm not at all qualified to look at it. I doubt anybody else in my staff is, either. Give it a few days, maybe not abuse it for a while, and see what happens. You can have Misaka look at it if the problems persist."
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The Incubator's chair swivels around to face the monitors fully. "As for the Magical Girl you captured, see if you can reveal who she's working for, like I told you before. If she's too stubborn, you can dispose of her any way you want, just don't make too much of a mess."

You thank him. Only seems proper, after all. He just gave you back your arm.

"No need to thank me, Matsuda. Always here to give a hand to my agents if they need one."

Ha ha. Very funny. Yes, that is a fake laugh, you mutant cat bastard jerk.

"Mami will lead you to the Silent Room for the interrogation. Until then, keep up the good work, Matsuda."

You bow slightly to him, before walking out of the room, the doors automatically opening at your approach and closing behind you.

At the receptionist's area, you see Iori studiously looking at her phone, and trying to ignore what seems to be someone sobbing loudly. At the desk, you see Mami is comforting what looks to be a young woman with long, pale brown hair and startlingly-clear green eyes. She is wearing a black armband too, and is crying into Mami's shoulder, who looks ready to cry herself.

"A-ah. Chiaki-san--" Mami's cold shoulder act seems to be put off a bit as she glances at your way, and it's then that the girl stops crying, glaring at your direction.

"W-wait, Oriko-san!" Mami tries.

You see the slap coming, but you let it happen. It's weak, but it took your glasses right off, sending them clattering on the polished marble tile floor.

"Y-You...you killed Kirika! You killed her like an ANIMAL!"

Iori is stunned at this development, her eyes wide and speechless. Mami looks about the same, too.

How do you respond?

This. Just let the poor girl vent. We're strong enough to take it.

Wondering about that last part too.
Just let her vent on you
Don't retaliate. Stare at her until she leaves. Let her vent.

It's likely that she'll never forgive us.
Nothing I say will change what has happened. I regret that it came to this.

Pick up your glasses, turn to Mami and ask her to take you to the Silent Room.
>>19749585 >>19749562 >>19749557

You turn to stare silently at the girl just as she slaps you again, even harder, at the very same cheek - and this one is hard enough to make you turn the other way, the blow stinging your cheek quite solidly. It seems that it took all she had left, however, as she suddenly stumbles forward, beating her fists weakly and ineffectively into your chest as she sobs brokenly.

"S-she was my only friend! The only friend I had! A-and now she's gone because of you...you took her away from me, and...and I have no one left! No one...!"

She grabs at your collar with both hands as she cries into the front of your Magical Girl costume. Both your hands slack at your sides, you look down at her without a word. It's easier this way, you think. If she hates you, then at least she found something to hold onto. Nothing you say will change anything. No apology will heal a wound like that.

You glance at Mami, and she nods, wiping at her own eyes. She walks forward and gently pulls Oriko off of you by the shoulders. Thankfully, Oriko allows herself to be led away, Mami murmuring gently to her, no doubt to calm her down.

You turn around to pick up your glasses, when you see that Iori herself has picked it up and was dutifully waiting for a chance to give it back to you. You smile slightly and hold out your hand, and she places it on top of your palm. You thank her.

"Chiaki-san, who was that?" Iori asks in hushed tones. "That girl Mami-san is with. Was she a friend of that girl who kidnapped Mami-san?"

You don't really know her, but it's a good chance she is, you reply.

"Ah, I see." Iori nods. "So, um, are we leaving now...?" Iori seems to be eager to get away from this place, and you don't blame her. The office has too much of an alien vibe to it, off-putting and unnerving.

You tell her that she'll have to wait for you a bit more, as there's something you need to take care of first. You say that you will try not to be too long with it.

"A-ah, alright, Chiaki-san. I'll wait here."

After a few moments, Mami joins you, with Oriko sitting by the receptionist's desk, clutching a glass of water in her shaking hands.

"The elevator then, Chiaki-san." Mami says after a moment, and you follow her back into the elevator that brought you to this floor. As the doors close behind you, she presses the button for the subterranean levels - where Magical Girls trained, lived temporarily as recruits, and also where prisoners such as Midori were held.

A moment, and Mami breaches the silence between you.

"Chiaki-san, I'm...sorry about Kirika-san. And I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll be able to forgive you just yet."

She's not looking at you as she says this, rather, at the floor. Her eyes still shining wetly with tears.

How do you reply?
"I'm sorry it had to come to that, too.
"I'll be waiting, for when you're ready."

Honestly, even with hating Kirika that much, I think Chiaki is honestly sorry it had to come to that.
Because we just got our arm cut off (though it got better), we lost our phone (with its diary!), and our favorite chair (don't care about the apartment, but the chair is the real loss there).
It had to be done.

Nod in acknowledgement.

Make a mental note to get more booze later.

>less is more

"i understand."

we're going to need some liquor pretty soon.
>>19750174 >>19750110 >>19750117

You glance at her just as she looks at you, and you give her a silent nod before turning away. That should be enough. She knows you the best, after all. It's not like you to be overly affectionate or cravenly apologetic - you take things in stride, do what's needed, and leave it at that. It's certainly gotten you your fair share of enemies, it's gotten you called some very creative slurs, and it does not help with your ever-shrinking social circle.

But this, of course, is Mami, and a bit of extra effort should be necessary.

You reach out and gently take her hand, lacing your fingers through hers, and giving it a soft squeeze. You hear her gasp at this, a sharply-drawn breath bordering on a sob, and it's then that you let go.

The elevator proceeds in silence the rest of the way, and it soon opens at the Officio Assassinorum floor - ten stories below ground level.

You tell Mami to keep Iori occupied while you're down here, and she murmurs her assent. She tells you to take care just as the doors close on her.
The floor you're on looks more of a typical office setting than anything - cubicles are aplenty, with your fellow magical girls in formal office uniform, clicking away at laptops. Contrary to knee-jerk assumptions, not all Magical Girls under Kyuubey's employ are field agents like you, Sayaka and Kyoko - there are others who perform other tasks that are just as crucial. Mission support, logistics, medical officers, research, even legal. You hear that there's even a PR department, although you're not quite sure how that works. What do they do, make posters and action figures of you or something?

The mild level of chatter from the cubicles suddenly die out at your arrival, only to resurface again. This time, you hear the word "Murderface" being whispered quite often.

You shrug at this, and make your way to the Silent Room - one of many holding cells for prisoners. This one is made especially for Magical Girls, in that it nullifies the magical powers of those occupying it.

The guard posted there is a Magical Girl that you yourself have trained. With long black hair tied into twintails, a costume that looks more like a black schoolgirl outfit than anything else - and her soul gem a red crimson orb glaring from the center of a rather bulky metal belt buckle that's a bit oblong in shape, she brightens at your arrival and snaps you an eager salute.

"V-Vindicare in the premises! Murderface-sempai, g-good morning! The prisoner awaits!"

Murderface-sempai. That sounds so horrible.

You give her a small smile and ask her to put down her hand. Seniority doesn't require saluting.

"B-but of course they do! Seniority demands respect, and I don't know anyone else who deserves it more, Murderface-sempai!" The girl, who you remember is named Kumatora, replies, her crimson eyes shining with an inner fire. You give a small sigh, and pull down her hand for her.

Kids will be kids.

You tell her that you'll won't be long in the Silent Room. She nods, twintails wagging back and forth, before pulling the iron-cast door open for you.

You thank her and step inside - immediately feeling the chill of the Anti-Magic Barrier Kyuubey himself has personally developed and placed to encompass the room. Shaking your hands to ward off the sudden chill, you step forward - and see Midori in her legless self, strapped to a gurney, her wounds bandaged and taken care of, but lifeless.

You take her Soul Gem out of your inventory and give it a small jumpstart by tapping it against your own - and it's then that the body tied onto the gurney with thick leather straps start to breathe again. Long, gasping breaths.

But something's weird. As the color and life returns to her face, Midori seems to be a bit...satisfied. Her cheeks blossoming red, her eyes glazed over. As soon as she starts breathing normally, it's then that she starts to giggle drunkenly.

Drunkenly. How the hell did that happen--

Wait. Weren't you using her Soul Gem as a whisky warmer for a while?

...Yes, you have. Which will make this interrogation all the more interesting.

"You...you bitch. Why didn't you...j-just kill me?" Midori drawls, slurring her words. "Could've been professional with me toooo..."

Wonderful. How do you begin this interrogation?
"Is that how you thank me for the quality liquor I *coughforcefullycough* gave you?"

"Either way, I'll be the one asking the questions here. If you answer them fully and honestly, I might just go easy on the torture to come."

Seconding breaking her thumb before that though. That's going easy.

...Well. Physically coercing her is probably out of the question, but that rarely elicits productive cooperation anyway. However, her being sloshed out of her gourd may make talking much easier. Let's begin by taking a seat nearby, and get straight to the point. Ask her what she possibly saw in the company of a bunch of otaku commandos (who, we might remark, she ended up far better off than). If we ask the right questions and show enough restraint, we may get her whiskeyed tongue to slip more than simply intimidating her.
No need to get physical right away. She's totally hammered, so I doubt physical pain would really affect her anyways. Start off of the standard "who are you and who do you work for" spiel and see if we can't get her to reveal something while her judgement is impaired.
Morning. Haven't seen you in a while. how's life been treating you?
>>19750689 >>19750670 >>19750665

You take the folding metal chair from the corner of the silent room - a rather dented and slightly chipped one, by the looks of it it's been used in many an interrogation - and unfold it beside Midori's gurney. You sit down, still holding her Soul Gem.

You've...never really interrogated someone drunk before, unless you count looking at the bathroom mirror after you've puked yourself and questioning your life decisions.

You start by asking her name, rank, and Incubator.

"S-Sakamoto Midori...Callidus." She murmurs after a moment. "And...and I can't tell you who I'm working for. N-not...can't, but won't. That's...that's a secret. Nuh-uh."

Fine. You'll get back to that. You ask her why she went along with the otaku rapists.

"Why are you asking me thaaat? What...what kinda Magical Girl are you then, Murderfaaaaace?" Midori giggles again. "D-d'you ask yourself why you....you do things for that mutant cat of yours, just like I do mine? For the paycheck, of course! Didn't...agree with 'em where they got their kicks, f'course, but I...I needed the money!"

She hiccups as if to punctuate her answer. Right now, she reminds you a lot about yourself, although you're not really that giggly when you're drunk...right?

"L-look, I know...I know I'm in a bad place, here. I'm drunk, but I'm not shtupid." Midori reaches out with a hand, and you unconsciously grab it. "Y-y'can kill me whenever you want, right? Do whatever you want with me, and no one will care. I get that." She hiccups, again. "I don't...even mind when you blew my legs off. Part of the job, yeah?"

She gives your hand a squeeze.

"Can you at least give my body back...t-to my folks when you do it? T-that's all I ask of you, Murderface."

Huh. That's...unexpected.

How do you proceed from here?
I haven't killed you yet. Maybe you'll see them yourself?

Now, how did you know my name?
Midori, if you cooperate you aren't going to die. You can go see them and make up some excuse.

For that I need some things from you though, if you can't tell me who your incubator is then maybe we can talk about other things. Do you know about a pink haired girl with black eyes?
"You don't need to die and make your parents cry. So let's just talk."
Ask her why she "needed the money." That may give us a clue as to what's going on.
>>19751020 >>19750994 >>19750977

You reassure the drunken Magical Girl that her being killed isn't on the table yet, and if she cooperates, she may be able to see her parents again. This is strangely out of character for you - your interrogations tend to do with a lot of screaming and beating.

Times are changing, you suppose.

She seems to brighten up slightly at the prospect of seeing her parents once more, and it's then that you ask her what she needs the money for, as well as how she learned of your name.

"Are...are you kiddin' me? Who hasn't heard of the legendary Vindicare Murderface?" Midori seems genuinely amused at the question. "You're...you're a goddamn legend! Th'only magical girl with the perfect time stop ability, with a kill tally rivaling that of Eversor Kure's...a-and the only one who managed to kill a clusterfuck of high-level Witches on her own! Y-you're like a fucking celebrity, Murderface! If I wasn't...a-all fucked up and tied down and shit, I'd ask for an autograph!"

You never really pay much attention to other Magical Girls besides the one you're acquainted with, but this comes as a strange surprise. You're not too sure if this infamy is at all useful, either.
"A-as for the money, I...uh..." Midori hiccups again. "We're...not exactly well off. My mom and dad, we run a ramen joint. Mom makes the best noodles, but the shop's...not doing all that good. S-so I take what jobs I can get." She shakes her head. "I'm...not gonna apologize for what I did. I would have, a long time ago, but...I gotta do what I can, otherwise we end up on the street."

You're silent at that. Sadly, that fact you're aware of. Many Magical Girls come from poor families - those who want to earn money the quickest way possible to help their family income. Of course, there are other faster, less savory ways, but you can certainly do better than contracting your life to a mutant cat.

How do you react? What question do you ask next?
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Sorry to cut this short, but I have work in the morning, so I have to pause for now.

Once again, thank you for participating! Sorry for this not being as exciting as the other threads.

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You are a Magical Girl, and you could use a drink right now. Maybe two, really. No, make that three. Know what, you probably should just take the bottle with you.

You are currently interrogating a Magical Girl you yourself had taken prisoner after a previous assignment. She'd been working with otakus with a real hard-on for professional military hardware and raping young idols on camera. You cut her career off at the knees when you blew them off with a golden Desert Eagle that makes you crazy, somehow.

You're awake and rested, but you're still sore from going fifteen rounds with a crazed mutant alligator ninja named Kirika Kure. At least, she fought like one, hacking your right arm off and basically mopping the floor with you. You managed to keep her still long enough for your sniper support to reduce her to hamburger.

Going back to your interrogation. The Magical Girl in question, Sakamoto Midori, is sloshed out of her gourd, so much that you're actually the tiniest bit jealous. She's been quite forthcoming about your questions, even revealing why she took the job. She doesn't seem to want to tell you who she's working for, however.

Overall, the questioning is going swimmingly. You didn't even have to break out the rusty nails hooked up to a car battery.

"H-hey, hey, Murderface," Midori calls out at you, a goofy grin on her face. "You're actually pretty cute, you know? I bet you clean up real nice."

You're...not too sure how to take that.

[]Ignore the compliment and ask her another question.
[]Thank her for the compliment, and return the favor. Awkwardly.
[]Have Kumatora get you a carton of cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey before proceeding.

"I'll bet you say that to all the girls who shoot your legs off," droningly. Pop a painkiller to soothe over the little bumps and repetitions we're likely to have in questioning her. At least she's talking, it's getting her to talk about the right things that'll require patience. "I might be inclined to be a bit more social if you tell me something about who's been paying you."
>[x]Thank her for the compliment, and return the favor. Awkwardly.
Then ask her how she became a Magical Girl. She already told us why (the thing with parents and ramen store), but let's hear the whole story... partially out of sheer curiosity, partially because she's kinda buzzed and might slip who is her boss (which she refused to tell when asked directly).

"W-what?" Midori's brow furrows at your murmured reply, her glazed crimson eyes squinting at you as you take out one of your painkiller canisters, shaking it a bit to hear the rattle of the pills against plastic before twisting the cap off. You pop one into your mouth and crunch away at it, letting the bitter taste of the relaxing medicine blossom on your tongue.

"I...I don't!" Midori finally exclaims, as if the alcohol permeating her body had slowed her comprehension down to a crawl, and she's just catching up. "I'm not that kinda girl...b-besides, no one's interested'n a loser like me." Her voice drops to a pathetic murmur, and she turns away briefly. "All th' other girls in my agency, they're...they're all pretty an' popular. They don't need to be like us, they're just in it for the extra sparkle and glitter and that stuff." She sniffs a bit. "So they're not interested. Pretty sure you aren't, either."

You place the cap back on your painkiller canister and stash it back into your inventory. Waiting for her to continue.

"A-anyway, uh..." Midori turns back to you, seemingly disturbed by your silence. "I became a...Magical Girl when I got hit by a car. Was on my way to make a delivery downtown, when this sportscar just smashed into my bike. Broke both of my legs, my spine, left arm. Cried my eyes out and just waited to die. Then my Incubator came around, and he...he was really cute, y'know. I mean, when you see 'em for the first time, they're all mascot-like an' shit."

She smiles at the memory. "Tried to pet him, but it hurt even to breathe. He asked me if I wanted to die, because he'd leave me in peace if I did. Told him I didn't, I was scared of what was gonna happen to my mom and pop if I did. So he asked me what I really wanted, and he gave it to me."

You ask her, then, what her Incubator looked like.

"I...I can't forget it. He was like a black cat, but from his neck up, he was white, you know? A-and he looked like he was wearin' ruffles. And he had this strange French accent to him, all gentlemanly an' refined. He also had this circle mark thing on his forehead, I always wondered about that..."

This...is going easier than you expected. Really. Can all interrogations be like this, forever?

You try to ask her for her Incubator's name again.

"N-noope! Nope! Not gonna tell you, Murderface. Nuh-uh. Not even for your autograph. I...It's not like I don't want to tell you or give you a hard time or anythin', but I gotta stick by what I believe in, you know...?"

Yes. You know all about that.

[]Stop the interrogation. You think you've got enough.
[]Continue the interrogation. What do you ask?
[x]Continue the interrogation. What do you ask?
Well, what DOES she believe in? Protecting your client is one thing, but you have to tell us who your contracting agency is, so that we can get into negotiations about prisoner exchange and such.
And honestly? Does she like working for her own Incubator? Has she considered a possible change in employer?
So who are the other girls you worked with? It seems that you were quite powerful to get me trapped in your illusion so I guess you were one of their higher ranked agents
She is gonna tell us the name of the blackwhite incubator. And I dont care if we do this the easy way, or the fun way.

>nolockso dispenses
Not dispensing any lickings? But captcha, we need to lick that soul gem for drunk!
>>19762095 >>19762088 >>19762074

"The...the other girls?" Midori seems to take a while to process this question. "I...I know some of 'em, but it's not like they really know me. They're...a bit of an uppity bunch, y'know? Like some sorta clique in school or something. Calls themselves P-Play...date Saints, or something? I can't remember too good..." She shakes her head from side to side, feebly.

At the mention of switching employers, she shakes her head. "I've...I've thought about it, but I don't know if anyone else'll take me on. I mean, us Callidus, we're not really that important, right? Who needs illusions and camouflage if y'can get a Vindicare in a nice sniping position, or a couple'a Eversors to smash the place up. We don't suck as much as the Culexus, but...yeah. Not much demand for us." She sighs. "If I get an offer though, I mean....sure, I'd jump at it. Maybe stop getting the assignments that get me into this sorta crap."

You let her continue as you take her Soul Gem out of your inventory and give it a sniff. It smells exactly like Kong Whisky, your favorite. "And the heck kind of question is that, what do I believe in? I...I believe in upholdin' the contract I signed, y'know! That includes a Non-Disclosure Agreement!" It's then that she sighs once more. "A-although, I do find it kinda weird...my Incubator's secretive about a whole lotta stuff. The other girls I know who work for other Incubators, they're all right, they don't have the same stuff we got. H-hey...what're you doin'?"

You blink through your glasses as you slowly put down Midori's Soul Gem. Were you just about to lick it? Are you that jonesing for some whiskey?

Stop embarrassing yourself. At least ask Kumatora to get you your damn liquor instead of trying to get drunk off an alcohol-saturated phylactery.

In any case, it seems that Midori is trying her best to keep the name of her Incubator a secret. Which is a bit strange. But you have a description, and you have a name (sort of).

How do you proceed from here?
Tell her we'll be right back, and go to QB with what we have. Get him to run the check on her parents.
Also, an illusionist might not be useful on her own, but as backup to a shooter or stabber she might come in handy.
We've got the information we need. Enough for QB's intel network to figure out who the Incubator is, at any rate.

Also, illusion support would be really nice for once. It would make jobs a hell of a lot easier, especially since our Time Stop is broken.

Tell her that's all for now, and we'll talk with our boss.

Inform QB, tell him there's a chance to flip Midori and we'll work on it, and let's look into the girl's parents ourselves (asking QB to do it will only mean that he'll have her parents killed and frame Jyuubei so that Midori will defect).
> P-Play...date Saints

Prod her for info about the organization, total strength, equipment, courier services, older contracts, limits of her powers, etc.

Otherwise, ask QB if he'll let her join the Offico Assasinorium. Or just hire her for ourselves. She did manage to fool us until we had help from Pinky, right?

If nothing else works, idly threaten her with more booze.
>>19762342 >>19762336 >>19762335

You stand up from the seat, shivering slightly at the chill of the room. The Anti Magic Barrier always had that effect on you - making you feel as if you're standing in a walk-in freezer with nothing on except your underwear. It's not as bad now, but the longer you stay here, the colder it'll get.

You have enough information to go on anyway, you think. A description of an Incubator, a sample of his rather unorthodox business practices, a name of a group (or at least something close to it) - it's certainly more than what you might have gotten if you started with the thumb-breaking and the face-shooting early.

"M-Murderface? Where are you goin'? Are you gonna leave?" Midori's voice is startlingly weak now, feeble, as if she's getting weaker by the second. "I'm...I'm not afraid to die, if you really have t'kill me, y'know. Just...remember what I asked for, please?"

You walk over to her, and reaching down, awkwardly pat her hand, her fingers cold and clammy. The alcohol must be wearing off.

You murmur that you'll just be a moment, that you need a drink of your own. She nods at this, and closes her eyes, as if to try and sleep.

"Come back, okay? If...if you just wanna talk, or somethin'." She murmurs.

It's funny how things turn out, you think as you step out of the Silent Room. The first time you met her, you were much too willing to shoot her full of holes.

Now you're not too sure.

As soon as you close the door behind you, you're greeted by your former trainee, Kumatora - and what appears to be Kyuubey, being cradled against the young girl's jacket-clad chest like some sort of plushie or a pet. You frown slightly at this as Kyuubey glances up at you.

"Ah. Matsuda. How did the interrogation go? Did you get the information we need?" Kyuubey seems a bit too satisfied with itself in its current position. "Kumatora, please call Housekeeping to clean the Silent Room. Knowing her, she's probably used the prisoner's intestines as drapes by now, and her flayed skin as the carpet."

How do you report your findings to Kyuubey?
This. >>19762547
But open with "Yeah, fuck you too."
And makes sure to ask for a check on her parents.
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Her Illusion-Ability seems useful to me. Instead of turning her into a red stain on the wall we should actually talk to QB about taking her in.
Please keep in miny, that without Pinky, we probably only would have left that Illusion of hers after Iori`s private Parts would be all over the Internet.

Also: Yes. She worked together with Rapists. It was a Job her Incubator gave her, so? Would you seriously refuse to do what some fucked up Spacecat tells you to do in his creepy happy voice?

I'm not teling to trust her. I'm just asking to ask QB to let her switch agencies, if this Illusionary Schtick worked against us it should doubly so against Muscleheads similiar to Sayaka and Kyoko. Also despite being a scheming little Bastard, QB is not retarded, after Interogation ask him what he thinks of her and how much he thinks she is trustworthy or useful to begin with.

Stop being triggerhappy Chucklefucks, this is not the path of Homu.
Tell QB what you've found out. Mention that the girl was pretty much cooperating and that it might have something to do with you soaking her gem in booze for ... a while.
Ask him whether he would be willing / able to take girl into his emplyoment. Because she'd be totally willing to go for a new master, her current boss sounds like a horrible "person". Even by Incubator standards.
Tell him that, actually, no, we didn't kill her yet.
We're keeping her alive because, through our talking with her, and her Incubator's choice of missions to give her, she may be amenable to being flipped.
Provide QB with the information we've got, and that it would be more advantageous to turn Midori and use her as an asset.
Tell him everything, mention she may be flipped and used as a source of information on a rival incubator and his team. Say that she seems to be relatively low in her organisation but has picked up a fair amount of usable intel
>>19762565 >>19762553 >>19762551
>>19762550 >>19762540

"W-what?" Kumatora, who has once again brightened up at the sight of 'Murderface-sempai' - suddenly pales at the command from the Incubator. "N-no, surely Murderface-sempai didn't...! She couldn't--!"

You narrow your eyes at Kyuubey, and shake your head, grumbling epithets at the smug mutant cat looking so comfortable being nestled against a neophyte's chest.

You tell him what you've found out. You don't exactly clue him in on how you did it - not with your impressionable former trainee around - but you tell him about the description she gave you, the group name that she misheard, as well as her being amenable to a contract recruitment. Kyuubey seems to grow thoughtful at this, blinking every so often as you talk.

"Ah. I see. That's surprising. I was quite sure you were going to town with your prisoner. You've always been quick to use violence. I suppose this is a good thing." He glances beyond you, towards the door leading into the Silent Room. "The description rings a few bells, as do the group name, but I'll have to confirm it, first. As for her working in this agency as a double agent...I can, most probably, overwrite her original contract, but that's not without risks. Are you willing to take responsibility if the worst happens?"

You nod silently after a moment. The worst, of course, would be Midori dying because of the process.

"Very well. It'd be actually good for this Officio Assassinorum to get another Callidus, if anything. No one seems to appreciate the finer act of espionage and subterfuge anymore." He lets out a sigh. "I'll let you know if the contract process is a success."

You then give Kyuubey a last-moment warning about the Golden Weapons currently under his custody. You tell him that they may suddenly disappear from his possession - the Shield may 'take' them from him and give them to you the moment you cycle the damn thing for weapons. Kyuubey seems to consider it, before nodding.

"Thank you for telling me, Matsuda. Also, please do not take this the wrong way, but I'm rather pleasantly surprised that you're cooperating so much, now. Keep it up, and perhaps you'll make it to Warmaster soon enough." He leans back on his comfortable perch, making Kumatora squirm a bit. "Now, do you have anything else you wish to say? I do have to remind you that Minase Iori is waiting for you at the lobby of the ground floor. You've kept her here for long enough, I think."

Do you have anything else to say to Kyuubey before you leave?
>Do you have anything else to say to Kyuubey before you leave?
Give him the drained Grief Seed (the one we used when chilling off when we flipped on Sayaka).
Ask what's ETA of the next assignment. (and emphasise that he doesn't have to rush it, we could use a few days off).
optional: Ask for permission to take Iori to the company's shooting range. When she's gonna live in the gunstore, she might as well know how to handle a gun.
Just that getting protection to Midori's parents from reprisals from this rival Incubator may help turn Midori. Maybe leave with a quip that maybe Mami's finally rubbing off on us.
Let's get our new smartphone from Mami, and go home with Iori.

Also, Deculture, do we have the ability to do a magic scan? Or is it limited to only detecting witches?
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Don't just leave. We told Midori we'd come back.
Get back in here, tell her what happened (don't forget the part about use taking responsibility). Then tell her we have to leave now, but we'll see her later.

Time to pick up Iori and get the fuck out of here.
And we need to get our new phone also,

>affair overtaly
No captcha we are not cheating on Iori
Is he going to check on Midori's parents?
Otherwise, nope. Grab him by the neck and go back into the room. We did tell Midori that we were coming back, after all.
Tell him about the parents. Hide them in a fucking vault. Give them better jobs.

Ask if putting our soulgem in whiskey is bad for it.

Bat his fucking ears.
>>19762921 >>19762904 >>19762886
>>19762890 >>19762884

You take out the Grief Seed you had used trying to calm yourself down after your altercation with Sayaka - and Kyuubey's eyes immediately light up at the sight up of it, the perfectly-round crimson orbs following its every movement. You take this opportunity to tell him about Midori's parents, and how they may be in danger with their daughter being compromised and all.

"As a rule, we Incubators try not to involve the immediate family of our employees in such matters. But since this Incubator is a bit unorthodox, I'm certainly not going to take my chances. I'll see what I can do, Matsuda."

If dealing with the devil was only this easy and this reasonable. For an asshole bastard cat, Kyuubey isn't the worst. He's certainly up there, but he's just like any other boss. All you needed to watch out for was him being an alien and stuff.

You toss the Grief Seed at his direction, and both his prehensile ears catch it in their grasp. You nod at Kumatora, who seems to be itching to salute you once more, except that she has both her hands full of Incubator and it's no really polite to drop your boss while he's feeding.

"Oh, yes. Matsuda, the assignment that's lined up for you this time involves Minase Iori. In fact, she asked that you take this personally. If you have the time, you can ask her for the details, I'm sure it'll be better than waiting for the dossier."

You make a note of that as you leave, stalking past cubicles and quickly-hushed magical girls in office lady clothing.

You never really liked offices to begin with. At the very least, the debriefing and interrogation went smoothly enough for your liking.

The elevator ride is a short one, now that you're not moving between fifty or so floors. You step out at the ground floor lobby, and you see Mami and Iori waiting patiently by the revolving doors. They seem to have been talking quietly about something just before you came into view - and it's obvious from Mami's flushed face and Iori's pink cheeks that they were once more up to no good.

At least Mami seems to be recovering slowly. Maybe given enough time, she'll like you enough again that she'll make you pancakes once more, eh?

"Chiaki-san." Iori calls, waving to you, and you nod as you approach the both of them, Mami staying behind quietly, a white box in her hands. "Are you finished with your affairs here?"

You say yes. There isn't really anything else to do, here.

"I see. Um, this is a bit short notice, but Mami-san is going to show me around the Shopping District. Would it be alright?"

You blink at this, and nod after a moment. You don't really have any reason to object now that you think about it, and the assignment can wait. Kyuubey never said it was urgent.

"Great!" Iori smiles. "She'll get me back to the apartment later tonight, and I promise not to stay out too late. Mami-san will see to that."

You glance over at the blonde, and she nods, a small smile on her face.

That...should be enough for you, really. You turn back to Iori and remind her never to stray from Mami's company.

"I won't. In the meantime, here--" The idol takes the white box in Mami's hands and places it on yours. "Your new smartphone! I activated it myself. It's got my number in it already, along with Mami-san's and the rest. "

Well. That's convenient. You start to thank her, but she'd already gone, taking Mami by the arm, the both of them eager to get somewhere. You're a bit annoyed at this development at first, but you realize that if Iori could improve your mood by the tiniest bit by simply giving you company, imagine what she could do with Mami.

You glance down at the box in your hands, and open it carefully. In it lies your new phone - a smartphone of all things, the sort without buttons, the entire device just one flat piece of glass welded to steel (or so you think). The display picture, funnily enough, is a picture of both Mami and Iori, smiling at the camera. Probably had someone take the photo for them.

As you glance through the app menu, it's then that you see a diary app. That's...strange. You tap its icon with a finger - and it's then that you get the same kind of dialog you did with your first cellphone. Password, five letters.

And this was supposed to be a brand new model.

You frown at it, before shoving it back into your inventory. No need to fiddle around with doodads right about now. You've got...well, most probably the entire day to yourself.

What do you do?
Visit Misaka. Experiment with soulgem vodka dunking. Get completely smashed.
Gun Vodka Party Time
Also this. Organize after them shopping.

In the meantime we get drunk and awesome with Misaka.
>>19763211 >>19763205 >>19763200

You step out of the QB Heavy Industries building after a few moment's worth of letting everything sink in. It's been a frenetic twenty-four hours for you, and while the painkiller you took was certainly helping, there was no denying the fact that you had your ass kicked by Kirika. You could've easily died if she went for your neck first rather than your favorite drinking arm.

You flex your new arm again, wiggling your fingers - and it's then that you flick your wrist, the Shield immediately manifesting out of thin air and solidly clamping onto your arm. The comforting weight of your time-stopping device there once more, letting you know that no matter how bad it get, you could always make it worse.

It's then that you settle on what to do, and you hail another cab with your left hand. A smile on your face as you do so.

It was time, at least, to give credit where it's due. You didn't kill Kirika, not really - you only helped. Misaka did her in.

You could only hope she was old enough to drink Stolichnaya.
Deculture, one thing.

If you're going to do a two part post, label them 1/2 2/2 please.

otherwise you're awesome
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Ah, sorry about that! I'll try to add that next time.

Guys, sorry about cutting this one short, I found out that I'm being called to work again tomorrow. So I can't stay up as late as I should be able to tonight.

Thank you for all your kind words and support, however! I'll do my best to make it up for you guys next thread.
but... but... but...


sleep well, you weakling.
Thanks for the thread.
Dude you run a fucking awesome quest, you make it up to us just by posting.
Alright, thanks Deculture.

Before you go, could you please answer a question?
Do we have a magic scan ability, or does it only work against witches?
Thanks for the quest, bro.

My apologies.


No need to thank me, without you guys there would not be a thread past the first one!


I should've been able to make more posts this thread, though. And I do apologize for posting slow, I'm not the fastest of typists.


Chiaki can sense Witches. But being a Vindicare, she can't track or sense Magical Girls too effectively. You need a Culexus for that.


Thank you for participating in the thread! It's always great to see people discussing what to do next as Chiaki's action. Although sometimes the arguments get a bit heated!
I keep wondering what or who is Chikuwa?
Thanks as always dude.

For once I guess I am going to sleep before 4am when you normally finish
Well, thanks, as always, for the fun quest, Deculture.
One of the best things on /tg/.
I'm looking forward to the next part and some more of your art!

Chikuwa is a fish sausage. It's my favorite snack.


Hah! Me too. Although it's worth it for you guys.


Ah, there are lots of better quests than this, though!


Ah, before I forget. Please expect a bit more art next thread. Hopefully I can make illustrations of the current characters.

Thank you for your support!
Stop tip toeing around it like a bitch.

Could we have scanned lori's fake friend and knew she was fake?

Not to give everything away, but as a Callidus, Midori is pretty good at her job. Callidus focus on undetectable subterfuge and espionage. There was a way for you to detect if she was fake, but you would have scanned the wrong person.

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You are a Magical Girl, and you are currently doing a vodka run for a very good friend who helped you reduce a sword-wielding psycho killer into so much mulch. You're not exactly sure if she's even legal enough to drink - as if you are, either, come to that - but you know that's there little else in the way of celebration that you know of that she'd probably enjoy.

Well, besides Space Mountain, of course. You've heard her gush about the damn ride forever - ever since that one time Mami made the mistake of taking her to Disneyland during a slow day. No, you didn't go, because you were too busy nursing a hangover then.

Space Mountain.

Yeah. That's awesome.

But, as it is, you're set on that vodka party. You've already got two bottles of Stolichnaya clinking about in a paper bag, along with a bottle of blackcurrant juice. Just in case Misaka ends up disliking the taste.

The cab you hired drops you off right in front of Warehouse #0069. You tip the driver and step out with your current bounty of contraband - the old man behind the wheel giving you a strange look before driving off.

You pay this no mind. Hasn't he seen a Magical Girl walk around with a bag of alcohol before?

You step up in front of the rusty metal gate and give it a few knocks. Reassuringly, there are voices talking inside, as well as the mechanical grind of servo joints and heavy metal limbs generally clanking around. You take this as a good sign, and push the gate to the side, the wheels creaking.
What you see is Misaka - or rather, her lower half, jutting out from the gaping chest of the powered armor you've seen her tromp around on. As she is currently wearing what looks like a school uniform with a short skirt, you're treated to a not very flattering view of the arms dealer from behind.

You avert your eyes. Blue and white striped isn't your thing, anyway.

The second thing you see is Sakura Kyoko. she seems to be back from her assignment. While it's only been hours since you last saw her, you're not at all surprised that she'd quickly accomplished her task - it was, after all, a cut-and-dried kill request, and if there's anything an Eversor is good at it's reducing a room full of dudes into a charnel house. There would have been nothing left to bury.

She seems to be in a good mood, at least, as she always is after the simple assignments. Enough that she's still standing and putting what looks to be a golden spear - or rather a halberd, topped with a brutal knife-like spearpoint - through its paces. There's a gun barrel jutting out from underneath the blade, and what you think looks like a slot for a magazine. That's as much as you can tell, since its wielder is currently making it spin and twirl fast enough for the damn thing to blur.

Kyoko notices your arrival first, and grins at you. "Hey, Murderface! I see you got your arm back! I guess we've..." She pauses, her grin going wider, showing off her canines. "...got to give you a hand for that!"

Yeah. Hand gags. Very funny, Cyclops.

"Haw! I was only jokin'!"

[]Ask her about her assignment.
[]Ask her about her new toy.
[]Ignore her and call Misaka's attention, who's currently ass-deep in her new garage experiment.
>>Shit, party's cancelled guys.

Could be a double celebration: Post-retirement celebration inebriation and Kyouko can join in too cause of completing her assignment or something.

[]Ask her about her new toy.
Share the Vodka around, ask about the golden gunspear.
[]Ask her about her new toy.
Oh God. Oh God why.

Shit, party's cancelled guys.

[X] Ask her about her new toy.


[X] Ask her about her assignment.

"Nice to see you still have an eye for comedic timing, Kyoko." Set the bottles out on a nearby table to invite her into the spirit of celebration.
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>>19789282 >>19789269 >>19789263

You give the whirling golden spear another glance, your eyes narrowing behind your glasses. Things shouldn't really be happening that fast, should it? Can't the bitch with the pink hair and black eyes give you a little break once in a while?

You shake your head at Kyoko, before moving to a nearby work table, its surface covered with what appears to be hastily-drawn schematics of the armor Misaka is working on. You push some out of the way and place the paper back of happy drinks on the space you've made.

You ask Kyoko about her new spear as you take the bottles out, one by one. You hear the spear's blade scrape the floor as she steps up behind you.

"Oh, this thing?" Kyoko blinks, before tapping the brilliant golden haft with a hand. "Sweet, isn't it? I saw your Desert Eagle, an' Kirika's sword - thought I'd hop on the bandwagon and get this thing prettied up, too! I had Misaka-chan do the detailing for me! Check it!" She holds out the spear to you, one-handedly, and you pass. The things tend to be heavier than they looked, and if you're bad with knives, you're even worse with spears.

So she didn't get it from any strange girl or anything? You ask her this, just as Misaka seems to jolt up from her position inside the armor - a solid thunk indicating that she'd just acquainted her brow against something metal. You hear her cutely swearing in Russian.

"Huh? Naw, I got this from Misaka-chan! Well...I guess you could consider her strange, haha, so probably. But I comissioned this one from her, long ago! Had her give it a gun attachment too, just in case I get a couple'a wiseguys trying to ping me out with guns!"

Well. At least it's not what you thought it was. You let out a small inward sigh of relief, before twisting off the cap of one of the Stolichnayas, giving its contents a sniff.

"Hey, uh, Murderface, are we gonna make her drink that? I mean...she's underage, isn't she?" Kyoko whispers, having moved uncomfortably closer, her one eye wide.

So are the both of you, but you haven't let that stop you before, you reply, before capping the bottle again. It's then that you call out to the arms dealer - and you hear her curse once more as another thunk sounds from inside the suit.

A moment later, and she'd already wormed her way out of the black steel hulk - the armor looking more like a disemboweled giant standing in place, frozen in death. Her face bedewed with sweat, her cheeks flushed pink, Misaka walks up to you, a searching expression on her face. Looking up at you curiously, before reaching up and grabbing your cheeks, staring into your eyes.

"Should...I leave the both of you alone, or something...?" Kyoko asks, lamely.

"Ah! Violet eyes again, Murderface! Not black eyes anymore, that's good, that's good!" Misaka suddenly cheers, all smiles. "Was worried for a moment, Misaka thought she saw black again! But is violet, so is good!"

You don't know whether to be relieved or to be horrified.

"Why is Murderface here, though?" Misaka asks, tilting her head to the side. "Should not be with idol girlfriend at this time of day? Hrm...is curious! Is mystery!"

"What the..." Kyoko snaps in. "...Did she just say idol girlfriend? What the hell, Murderface?"

How do you react?
Start laughing our ass off.

These people think that we are emotionally capable of anything even vaguely resembling a romantic relationship.

Then light up come cigarettes and pour out some vodka.

She's out shopping with Mami.

She's not my girlfriend, we just live together, sleep in the same bed, she seems attached to me and tries to take care of me.

My god, she might think we're girlfriends. Give me more alcohol.
Iori isn't my girlfriend Misaka.

She is. Still the principal under my protection
First, she's not my girlfriend. Second, she's off with Mami doing something they wouldn't tell me about. Probably shopping for girly-things, I dunno.
>>19789598 >>19789588 >>19789579

You've never been one to laugh all-out at anything. Maybe a chuckle or two at the best if you see something as funny as a target managing to knock himself out by running right into a wall in an attempt to get away. But two of the ever-shrinking handful of people you're in speaking terms with, actually suggesting that you're fit to be in a relationship, and with an idol no less? A girl, no less?

You laugh, hard. It feels like you haven't laughed in forever, but you're doing so, now. You're thankful you didn't sneak a sip of vodka before the party itself started, otherwise you'd be snorting it out of your nose.

Both Kyoko and Misaka glance at each other, dumbstruck at what they're seeing, and it's a good while before you manage to compose yourself. You cough a few times, catching your breath, before wheezing out that Iori is definitely NOT your girlfriend. To you, she was just a principal from an assignment, and now she's just...slumming it up with you in concern for her own hide.

"Ah, but idol-san was really worried about Murderface, though," Misaka pipes up as Kyoko seems to recover from the shock and investigate the vodka bottles, taking a sniff of the stuff - and blinking. "Crying all the while! Is like something out of romantic comedy!"

You didn't know about that. Huh. Well, it's probably just the shock of seeing someone without a frickin' arm.

"Yes, but--" Misaka tries again, and you pat her on the head and ask her to get the three of you glasses, and probably a bucket of ice while she's at it. She frowns, grumbling something at you, before moving deeper into the back of the warehouse, where her living quarters are.

"Murderface, this is pretty strong stuff. What if she gets drunk?"

You'll deal with it, you say. What's the worst that can happen?
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"I guess..." Kyoko says, uncertainly, before leaning her new golden pig-sticker against a nearby weapons rack. "It's not like she's somewhere dangerous anyway, isn't it? I mean, she's home right now, and if she gets wasted, we can just tuck her into bed after she throws everything up."

You nod at this, before taking your new pack of cigarettes from your inventory - you purchased it on the way to the liquor store - and you stick one between your lips before offering the pack itself to Kyoko. She takes one, nodding in thanks, and you light up yours before lighting hers.

"It's a bit crazy that we're doing this, eh, Murderface?" Kyoko says after a moment. "I mean, girls our age, we're supposed to be studyin' and thinking about guys and stuff...what happened to us? Why do we have to do the dirty work?"

You grunt your usual answer to this question - which is of course nothing. It's a bit too early in this vodka party to get philosophical.

Misaka returns with the glasses and a Hello Kitty mini-thermos' worth of cube ice. "Do not usually drink vodka, you know. Dulls the voices in head, cannot focus on them talking to me when I work!" She chides as she hands you and Kyoko your glasses.

Funny, because that's the entire point of you drinking.

You pour them each a half glassful, letting Misaka drink hers with ice, spiked with the blackcurrant juice. You take out your own Soul Gem, and to their surprise, dunk it in your glass before sipping the clear liquid.

"That's...uh...is that a thing to do, now?" Kyouko asks, eye wide.

You shrug. It's worth a try.

And so the vodka party gets underway. Misaka was kind enough to pull up cushions - clean ones, at least - for all three of you to sit on instead of the dusty, rust-powdered ground, and the vodka seems to be kicking in for both Kyoko and Misaka. Surprisingly, you feel just a bit more buzzed than before. Maybe there is something to dunking your soul gem in the drink as you're drinking it, eh?

For a while, you talk about work. At least the funnier aspects of it,not the soul-crushingly bad parts. Kyoko opened it up by sharing a couple of memories, one of which involving Kyoko stabbing her spear through two guys at once. You laugh at that. Misaka, on the other hand, shared about how one of the guns she was working on suddenly fired right in her hands, nearly taking her head of, but instead takes the head off a prospective burglar sneaking in by the windows.

So that's why she boarded them up.

Soon enough, Misaka is pillowing her head on your stocking-clad thighs, singing off-key, while Kyoko seems to be busy blushing and giggling about how she likes the smell of Sayaka's hair.

What do you do? You can talk to either Kyoko or Misaka. You can pose a question to them that you think may be pertinent to what you want to know, or simply a question you think would be fun to ask while they're drunk.
Ask Misaka if she thinks she could fix our shield if it was broken.
Nyet. We can deal with her on our own.
Let's just ask Misaka if she thinks she could fix our shield.
And I'd like to ask Kyoko to bring Sayaka to our little Magical Girls Against Gold Weapons meeting later.
Pet Miska's hair and thank her for saving our ass. We haven't really done that yet.

Perhaps ask the two of them if there's one thing above all else they wish or hope to be able to do before they die.
Thirding, but we should also thank Misaka for being awesome and saving our asses.
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>>19789925>>19790053 >>19790063

You refill your glass to the point where your soul gem is bobbing slightly up and down in the drink, suspended by the alcohol, before placing it down on the floor and then patting Misaka on the head, ruffling her hair a bit. She giggles at the sensation, seemingly liking it.

After a moment, you quietly give her your thanks for saving your life back at the Helipad. She squirms slightly on your lap, before turning to face you, a pleased smile on her face.

"Was waiting for you to thank Misaka. Misaka is happy now that Murderface remembers." She lets out a sigh, before reaching up with both hands, fumbling for your own. She then presses your hand tightly against the top of her head.

"Do it more. Say Misaka is a good girl."

You laugh lightly at this, before indulging her, making sure to look like you mean it. And you do.

"Misaka is happy. This is nice once in a while, Misaka thinks."

Yeah. Once in a while.

Before you can ask her about your shield and if she could fix it, though, Kyoko pipes up, having noticed that you're not really listening.

"Hey. HEEEY! Murderfaaace!" The red-haired Eversor frowns at you, brandishing her half-empty glass. "We've been talking all this time, and you're just quiet! How about you, eh? What kinda girl do you like, huh?"

How do you respond?
Pancakes. We'd do anything for pancakes.
I'd like a girl who isn't involved in a giant political scandal, or maybe someone who doesn't try to kill me. Or maybe just one who canhold her liquor. So nobody really.
Pretty much.

Well, lets say we ignore the fact that I am far too fucked up in the head for a relationship.

Someone who is willing to put up with my myriad flaws. Who takes care of me even when I don't take care of myself. Who makes me feel like I could be a good person instead of what I am.
"Dunno, never gave it much thought.
"Nice girl, pancake cooking a definite plus, and...wait, why is it girl instead of guy?"
>>19790228 >>19790215 >>19790252

"M-Man, you got some high standards there, huh, Murderface? Make you feel all good and toasty about yourself inside AND make pancakes!" Kyoko giggles, her cheeks flushed crimson as she drains her drink, before exhaling heatedly and holding her glass out for more. You refill her as best you could, your grip on the bottle a bit shaky. Wow, you're getting really fucked up from the soul gem dunking thing, and you haven't even opened up the second bottle yet!

"But pancakes? Why it gotta be pancakes? Why is it a prerequisite to get into yer panties, Murderface? Is it because you got a fetish for sugary breakfast food or somethin? Some kinda ritual involving pancake batter, or what?"

You frown at this, before reaching over and taking Misaka's left shoe off of her foot and then tossing it at Kyoko's head. Or at least, try to. You're too drunk to aim properly, and you end up htting the armor instead.

You just really like pancakes, that's all, you grumble. If you're going to end up with someone - girl OR boy - they'd better be able to cook up a mean stack.

"Fine, fine. But ya got Mami for that already, though. She really likes you, although I'll be damned if I know why." Kyoko shrugs, reaching up to clumsily re-adjust her eyepatch. "Gah, fucking thing. I hate having to wear this." A moment more, and she gives up. "Anyway, as I was sayin'. You got a thing going with Mami. I know you're a hardass an' all, but try not to screw it up, okay? The rest of us like Mami, an' we don't like seein' her getting torn up about some stupid shit you pulled."

You could have done with the warning, but Kyoko's drunk. Sure. Whatever.

It's then that your smartphone rings. You clumsily take it out of your inventory and blink at the screen.

It's an incoming call from Iori.

"The hell is that?" Kyoko frowns. Misaka seems to be fast asleep, nuzzling your thighs.
"Oh, wait. It's the girlfriend, isn't it? Hahaha!"

You frown at the Eversor, then back at the phone.

[]Answer the call.
[]Drop the call. It can wait.
Answer the call and take our Soul Gem out of the vodka.

You look up at Kyoko before putting a finger to your lips. The red-haired girl nods, waving a hand, sipping at her glass while you yourself quickly drain your own glass of the vodka currently soaking your Soul Gem. The bright purple bauble clinks against crystal as you put down your glass, and it's then that you answer the call, lifting the phone up to your ear.

You clear your throat a few times, and greet the caller with what you hoped was a steady, sober-sounding voice.

"Ah, Chiaki-san. I'm...I'm sorry to call you on short notice, but may I ask what your three sizes are?"

What? What, is that a thing idols ask their acquaintances now? Really?

"Don't worry, it isn't for anything...bad. I just need them. Do you know what they are, or at can you at least give me a size approximation?"

The expression of confused outrage on your face must be hilarious enough that Kyoko, in mid-sip, spits out her drink to the side and snorts, erupting into laughter. Cackling about vodka shooting up her nose.

You...remember getting measured for something, long ago. You haltingly recite the numbers back to Iori, with the reluctant disclaimer that one or two of them might be a bit increased at the moment. Alcoholism certainly doesn't help.

"This should be fine, Chiaki-san. You're actually pretty close to my sizes! I can use these! Thank you! We'll see you back at the apartment this evening!"

The line goes dead before you can even ask what the hell she needed it for.

All you can hear now is Kyoko laughing the laughter of thirsting gods.
"So? What'd she want, then?" Kyoko is sneering now, and you remember right away why you drink alone. "Something about yer three sizes, right?" The crimson-haired Eversor giggles. "Ahaha! Oh, the look on your face! It sure wasn't murder at all!"

Yeah, yeah. You're getting faintly annoyed at this, when you feel something fiddling with your shield. You look down and you realize that Misaka seems to have woken up, her eyes hooded as she pulls your right arm onto her own lap as she sits beside you. Fingers tracing the gash on the shield.

"It's broken," Misaka murmurs. "The machine spirit of this device is broken. It is not whole. It is crying because it is not whole, and it cannot work as it should." Misaka's voice is mournful, quiet, and almost tearful - which is strange, considering she's almost always upbeat. "This unworthy one wants to fix it, but...cannot. Only Akemi Homura can."

Wait. That name. But how could--

It's then that she looks up at you, and you feel sobriety washing over you like a cold bucket of ice water.

Misaka's eyes had gone completely black.

"The Machine Spirit cries out for its missing pieces. You have two, Homura. Get the others. Right this wrong. End this world before she does."

Before you can react, Misaka closes her eyes and flops forward, against you, drooling into the collar of your suit. Snoring again. Sleeping deeply.

How do you react?
Open Misaka's eyes and check if they're still all black.

Tell Kyoko to ring up Sayaka while we call Mami. The meeting to tell them about the Golden Weapons happens now.

OP, do all these:
>>19790728 >>19790705

You are frozen for a moment as what Misaka had just said to you sinks in. Something about your shield's spirit being broken, and how you yourself must fix it? And some more about ending this world before 'she' could? You glance at Kyoko, checking to see if she herself heard Misaka - and to your chagrin, the Eversor seemingly isn't all that worried, refilling her own glass with the second bottle.

"Ah, what're ya lookin' at me like that for, Murderface?" Kyoko asks after a moment, grumbling. "What, you're going to take what she said seriously? Look at her, she's passed out! I bet it was some sorta...drunken...talking and stuff! She does science, you know how sciencey folk can get!"

You're not that optimistic. You gently lay Misaka down on the cushion, resting her head on your thighs, and you carefully peel her eyes open, one after the other.

They're not black. Normal color. Brown iris, white sclera. Definitely not the sort you've seen on Pinky or on Kirika.

But still...

It's then that you take off Misaka's other shoe and throw it at Kyoko, knocking the glass out of her hand. Kyoko blinks at this, and opens her mouth to yell at you - but you immediately tell her to shut up and listen.

You're sober. Painfully so. And it's then that you tell her, in clipped tones, about the Golden Weapons and what you think they do.

"W-what? Those...those things? You mean, your Desert Eagle, a-and Kirika's sword? Those things drive you crazy, like...mass murderer crazy, that sort?"

You nod. You believe that the sword was the cause for Kirika going rogue, no matter how Kyuubey spins it. It's then that she glances at her newly-decorated spear, her one eye wide.

"G-goddamn. And I thought it was just being cool and stuff..."

You tell her to call Sayaka and Mami and have them come directly to the warehouse, right away. She pales at this. "B-but Sayaka's in a purging mission, I can't just call her outta the blue--!"

You repeat your order as you gently let Misaka rest on the cushion, before you yourself stand up and pace around the warehouse. Scrolling your app screen until you bring up your diary. You tap it, and it asks you for a five-letter password.

What password do you enter?

On a whim, you enter a Spanish word that suddenly pops into your head. The dialog seems to blink at this, before chiming as another dialog pops up.


The entry is then displayed, and you scroll down on the brief message.

[Armor needs customization first. Inner dimensions made for transhuman build. Have competent tech make necessary adjustments. The password for suit activation, once modifications are complete, is MALLEUS.]

The entry winks out of existence, and the ENTER PASSWORD dialog replaces it.

You key in another word, a name that's mentioned time and again despite you not knowing who it is.


[You are not who you think you are, but that doesn't matter. You can still be of use. Ignore the pointlessness of your short, pitiful existence and kill the Witch. Accept your fate just as she has accepted hers.]


The app suddenly is greyed out, unable to be accessed any longer.

Behind you, Kyoko is heatedly talking to an irate Sayaka. You can hear screaming in the background.

What do you do?
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Alright, I think this is a nice place to pause.

Thank you everyone for participating!
I have to say I love both your art style and the header pic for this Deculture.

Nice balance between detail and simplicity
I agree. Deculture's art is good stuff. Although a suggestion, if I may be so bold: since it appears we're going to be collecting those bloody golden banes, maybe a reminder of the ones we have in the photo would be nice. Chiaki is carrying the Gold Desert Eagle, but maybe a bar on the bottom of the image with little gold VIII and XX on it. Or something.

Thank you! That piece was particularly challenging to do.


I'll see what I can do with updating the starter picture to show what she currently has.

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You are a Magical Girl, and you are very sober at the moment. You were enjoying a very pleasant buzz just a few minutes earlier, though, courtesy of two bottles of vodka and your own Soul Gem swimming in the stuff.

It's always hard to deal with things when a horrific black-eyed nightmare in a pink dress suddenly decides to harsh on your buzz, just like that.

You flick away the cigarette you've smoked down to its filter, but not before using its dying embers to light another in its place. Your arms dealer and current drinking partner, a small girl named Misaka, is currently drooling into your skirt, sleeping the sleep of the blessed. Your other drinking partner, erstwhile cyclops and Eversor Sakura Kyoko, is busy screaming at her girlfriend over the phone.

You've unlocked two entries from your mysterious diary application on your new cellphone. The first entry was talking about some sort of armor, you guess that it's the one you have Misaka working on. The second is...just a bit more disturbing to recount, urging you to go on a fetchquest to end the world before someone else does. You'd like to unlock the others, but the app itself has been disabled temporarily, strangely enough.

It's times like this you wish you could say that you've been drinking a bit too much, but you're not. Not at the moment anyway.

You are now currently trying to get your fellow Magical Girls together and alert them about the dangers of the golden weapons that a certain pink-haired someone is trying to foist off you and other magical girls. You believe that these weapons, while decidedly stylish and more powerful than their non-gold versions, happen to drive their wielders completely and totally insane.
lYou've seen it happen to someone already, and you had to deal with them the only way you knew how. You've seen it happen to yourself firsthand, too, although you managed not to get carried away. With luck, it may not even happen to you as it did to Kure.

No such luck. Not for you, not in this universe. No luck at all.

By your watch, it's around four in the afternoon, approaching evening.

What do you do? Calling Mami is an option, but you're not so sure you should remind her about what happened to Kirika, even if it is just to warn her. Maybe you should give her some time to deal with it first? Kyuubey is also an option - he'd want to know what Misaka had just said. Keeping your diary's contents to yourself seems to be a good idea, though.
Telling Kyuubey about Misaka is definitely a bad idea. Although he is kinda reasonable in this setting you have to remember he is a fucking asshole that cares only about his objectives.
We don't want Misaka to become a potential liability for him.
Hold on, he may want to hold Misaka in quarantine and perhaps see just what corruption by Pinky does. We can't do that to Misaka or any of the others. At the very least, we need to discuss what happened with Mami, Kyoko, Sayaka, and Misaka. Shit, throw in Iori too, seeing as it appears you don't need to be a magical girl for Pinky to do her thing.
Continue to pet Misaka while we make some calls.

Call Kyuubey, inform him of Misaka's drunken but still rather prophetic sounding statement about the missing pieces and ending the world before she does.

Then we'll call up all the Magical Girl Gang against Golden Weapons and have us all meet and our place for an information session on what they are, what their purpose is and a vow to not fucking use weapons that turn you bugfuck crazy.

Logical leap, we already know that our shield has time powers, we could deduce that fixing it would bring them back to full force and perhaps allow options aside from time stop. Given that we were told to destroy the world it is not a leap to assume that it is through this medium that we would "destroy the world".
>>19803389 >>19803359 >>19803352

You hold off on calling Kyuubey for now, and dial Mami's number instead. By your last conversation in the Officio, you know that contact between the both of you is going to be a bit...strained. Much more when what you'll be talking to her about is what led to you retiring Kirika in the first place.

She picks up after the third ring, and you could hear both her and another voice - Iori - talking excitedly about something. You smile a little, hoping that her current mood would ease your conversation with her a bit - but her voice turns a bit subdued as she finally greets you.

"Yes? Chiaki-san, can I help you?"

...Wishful thinking.

You greet her a moment later as you glance down on the still-sleeping Misaka, running your fingers through her hair every now and then. You get what sounds like a purring sound from the somnolent arms dealer as you do so. It's then, too, that you manage to pluck up the courage to tell her about the meeting, cringing inwardly at how you imagine yourself sounding like.

"...Alright," Mami replies coolly as you finish. "Iori-chan and I are on our way back to your apartment, in any case. Let's all meet there so I can here what you have to say."

Well, at least she didn't yell at you or something, right?

You bid her goodbye, and she does so, as well. You wait for her to remind you to be careful, but it never comes, replaced instead with the buzz of a dead line.

You place the smartphone back into your inventory as you look towards Kyoko, letting out a sigh. It seems that she's just about finished talking to Sayaka as well, and she blinks her one good eye at you.

This was going to be a long night.

Exactly half an hour later, all three of you are piled inside a cab headed to your apartment. Misaka has unfortunately been asleep the entire time you carried her in your arms, letting the girl snooze as Kyoko grumbled her way through cleaning up (and locking up) the massive armory that is Warehouse #0069. Kyoko has graciously volunteered to sit shotgun while you and Misaka take the back seat, the arms dealer pillowing her head on your thighs as she stretches out.

It's still a ways to your apartment, and with dusk settling in, the rush-hour traffic will probably get you there long after night had already fallen. By then Mami, Iori and Sayaka would already be waiting for you, which suits you just fine.

Kyoko is still grumbling about her screaming match with Sayaka, angrily chomping on an unlit cigarette.

[]Ask her about her eye.
[]Close your eyes and try to get some sleep on your way back to your apartment.

Ask about the eye. She's hardly in the mood and we need sleep, but events are moving faster and faster.
[X]Ask her about her eye.

Also light her cigarette for her, she isn't doing it right, and get one ourself.

Try to phrase it in at least a vaguely polite way.
[x]Ask her about her eye.
>>19803610 >>19803602 >>19803600

You stare briefly out the passenger door window, looking at all the people living their lives out. Sometimes you wish you were just like them, in a way. Just a normal girl who should probably be worrying about boys and didn't drink like a fish just to feel relatively normal.

The funny thing is, you were probably just like that, once. You don't remember, but there's a good chance.

The horrible thing about it is that you've gotten so used to this life that you actually don't think you can adjust back.

You turn to look at your companion - or rather, the back of her head that's not obscured by her seat's headrest.

Well, any case. There's be en something that's been nagging at you ever since you saw it. You've wanted to ask questions about it, but somehow the chance always seemed to slip past, other options becoming more important.

You ask Sakura Kyoko about her eyepatch, in the crudest way possible.

"So are you just lazy about getting your eye healed, or do you just want to look cool?"

Smooth, Matsuda. Real smooth.
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"Huh?" Kyoko blinks, turning in her seat to glance at you. "What the hell are you-- oh, you mean this?" She taps the lashed tsuba covering her left eye. "Yeah, uh...um. This is just between the both of us, okay, Murderface? I mean, you know, I can trust you to keep a secret, right? Like from Sayaka and the rest?"

You nod after a moment. You've never really been close to Kyoko, but she'd always made the effort to be jovial, even friendly towards you. You haven't officially returned your feelings regarding that matter, but it seems to suit the both of you just fine, this unspoken agreement.

"Well, you remember how I got this, right? Sparring match with Kirika. Live weapons and all that. It was supposed to be a sorta exhibition for the newbies, too. I tried not to get carried away like I always do, but apparently Kirika wanted to send a message." She gesticulates with a sideways hand-chop. "Horizontal slash, eye level. The kinda cut that takes the top off your victim's skull and flings it like a frisbee. Barely managed to dodge it, and cut right through the bridge of my nose and my left eye. Bled an entire MESS on the training mats, enough that some of the newbies started faintin' and screamin'."

You remember that, all right. Right after that cut, Kirika turned towards you and pointed her blood-soaked sword - not yet golden, then - at you, in a challenge.

"But I got it healed up. The rest of the damage. But..." She pulls the tsuba up, revealing...nothing. Not even a scar, just skin where the eye should be, as if it never were. "Somethin' about the wound didn't want the magic regenerating the rest of the damage. So Kyuubey just patched things up the best he could."

Kyoko shrugs. "Would've made for a neat scar, though, but I think this is better. The patch makes me look more hardcore, anyway." She turns to grin at you, but you have the feeling that there's more to it than that.

You agree that using a tsuba as an eyepatch is pretty awesome, though. Super awesome.

You brush a few strands of hair away from Misaka's face. At least one of you seems to be getting rest.

[]Ask about something else.
[]Sleep the rest of the way.
[X]Ask about something else.

Don't worry, your secret is safe with me and the tsuba is hardcore.

Also spears are better than katanas. I prefer guns but I would take a spear over a katana any day, much more versatile.

How's everything going with you and Sayaka? I heard a lot of yelling.
Ask her why she chose a Tsuba, that is cool
Also ask why Sayaka was so angry
Wait her eyepatch is a tsuba?

That's fucking awesome.

Ask her about her screaming match with Sayaka.

See if the blue haired bitch is going to gut us when we meet up.
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>>19803851 >>19803841 >>19803830

"Y-yeah, you think so too?" Kyoko's smile turns into a grin, her cheeks flushing pink as she turns to face you again. "Ah, why the tsuba? It's...well, my grandfather on my mother's side had a really old sword, and he gave it to mom, but she never really got to take care of it. I found the sword disassembled in our family attic. Can't really do anything about the blade, so I just took this one with me instead."

Kyoko leans back on her seat, just as the first few drops of rain start to fall against the windshield - and the both of you roll up the windows as the driver switches on the air conditioning.

"After everything else that happened, I kept this tsuba with me as a good luck charm. Was planning to melt it down and make a ring or something out of it, but after Kirika cut my eye out, I thought I'd be like Yagyu Jubei and use it." She looks back at you to grin again. "Cool, huh?"

Yeah. Real cool.

You ask her another question. About Sayaka, this time. You heard the both of them screaming over the phone, earlier. Should you be worried?

"Huh? Oh, nah. That's how we usually talk. Although, well, in public, anyway. In private we do that thing where we call each other baby-talk names'n such. It'll make you sick, frankly." Kyoko laughs. "But uh, she does kinda get a bit snippy whenever she's on an assignment. Well, you can understand her, I mean, who likes getting a phone call while you're in the middle of a purge?"

You probably wouldn't appreciate it, either, you agree. You follow up this line of questioning by asking Kyoko about what they do between the sheets.

Kyoko is silent for a moment before going completely red.

"T-that's..." The Eversor mumbles. "--not something I'm entirely comfortable talking about, Murderface. Not comfortable at all. L-let's talk about something else, okay?"

You smile slightly as you gently scritch Misaka's scalp, before smoothening out her hair as she continues to sleep on your lap.

You let this questioning go. You tried, anyway.

"Well, what about you, then, Murderface? Why you gotta drink so much?" Kyoko suddenly asks. "I mean, sure, getting buzzed after a few assignment's not that bad, I do it myself, but...it's like you're tryin' to kill your liver before you're even legal enough to do so. And painkillers? You snack on 'em like candy!"

How do you respond?
It's how I cope, I need to make sure that I don't remember.

I don't even know exactly what I keep down there, but I know I need to make sure it stays buried.

I'm aware I'm a self-destructive wreck, but it's better than the alternative.
"I don't remember. Considering our line of work, might be a good idea to keep it that way, hmm?"
"It's easier to drink than it is to try and remember."
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>>19804156 >>19804142 >>19804113

"...Now who's trying to be cool?" Kyoko murmurs after a moment, turning to glance at you - but she's not grinning as she says this, only a small half-smile. Shaking her head, she turns back to recline on her seat.
"Well, Mami-san should have something to say about that, but I don't. You're a big girl, you know what you want to do, and I'm not going to stop you." It's then that you hear her sigh.

"Murderface, just...hey, if it comes to the point that you'll retire me...don't tell Sayaka, alright? Tell her I got downed in an assignment or something. Don't give her another reason to be angry."

She's looking at you now, from the reflection on the rear view mirror. Her one crimson eye staring into yours.

It seems that she's asking for reassurance. How do you respond?
Flippant humor.

"Are you kidding me? If I get to kill The Great Sakura Kyouko then I'm telling EVERYBODY!" Snorting chuckle followed by reassurance that it won't ever get to that point, but if it does, you'll agree to her request.

"What makes you say that anyway?"
I hope it doesn't come to that point. I will do what I can to stop that from happening.

If it does it will be quick, clean, professional and everyone will hear that you died a hero's death.

I would request the same thing from you. Tell Mami and Iori that I died saving a busload of orphans from the toughest witch you've ever seen.
I am not going to let it get to that point.
As much as I hated Kirika doing that was one of the most abhorrent jobs I have had, I am not going to let it happen to anyone I am on good terms with
If you'll do the same when telling Mami and/or Iori
>>19804375 >>19804346 >>19804321

"Well, uh...nowhere in particular. Just...I never thought I'd end up so close to a retirement gig, you know?" Kyoko says after a moment, and you see her look down on her hands. "I mean, you got the pick of the assignments, right? What if you picked the assignment I got instead, and I got to go up against the bitch who took my eye out? And...and supposing I won, what if I took that damn sword of hers and got driven crazy like she did? You know?"

This is the first time you've heard Kyoko talk like this. Hell, this is probably the first time the both of you had talked like this. As far as you remember, anyway.

"I know it's a bit stupid to think about things like that, but sometimes you can't help but think. And I worry sometimes about Sayaka. I mean, she's got a real hair trigger temper, an' she'll probably get into heaps of trouble if I'm not around anymore..."

You reach over and pat her shoulder, before giving it a squeeze. You try to reassure her, as best as you could given the circumstances, that you'd do as she asked. Hell, you'd even fabricate the evidence if it came to that.

"Thanks, Chiaki." Kyoko seems to relax under your grip, a sigh escaping her lips. "That...that means a lot. And yeah, I'll do the same for you, if it ever comes to that. Which I'm hoping it won't, but life is a bitch, ain't it?"

It is, indeed.

Outside, the rain continues to pour. Beating against the cab's roof, a quick stacatto beat that slowly lulls you into sleep.

"Yeah, better get some shuteye while you can, Murderface. We're still some time from your pad, anyhow." Kyoko's jovial tone is back. "I'll wake you up when you're there."

Well, at least she called you by your first name, right?

You fall asleep, and wake up for what seems to be moments later to Kyoko shaking your shoulder gently from outside. The cab seems to have already stopped right in front of your apartment building. You mumble something about paying, and Kyoko stops you, saying she already took care of it. You nod dumbly, sleep still muddling you up, and you clumsily wipe drool from the corner of your lips before reaching down with both hands and lifting the still-snoozing Misaka into your arms.

The cab is sent off as the three of you make your way to your apartment, which is at the fifth floor of this particular building. The elevator ride is uneventful enough, and the door to your apartment opens quickly as Kyoko gives it a few short raps with her knuckle, the multiple locks behind it being undone rather clumsily but speedily enough.

Mami is the first to greet you as the door swings open. She's still in the office lady clothes you've seen her in this morning at the Officio, complete with black armband - but she's in a decidedly better mood. "Ah, Kyoko-chan, Chiaki-san. Come in, you're just in time. Iori-san and I have just finished making dinner." She blinks at the sleeping girl in your arms. "...What happened to Misaka-chan? She looks a bit tired, and--" It's then that she steps closer and gives all three of you a sniff. "Have you three been drinking...?"
Both you and Kyoko glance at each other, speechless - before Kyoko pipes up, seemingly thinking quickly for the both of you. "J-just a bit! I brought some vodka coolers for Murderface and Misaka here. Western brand, tastes a bit fruity but almost no alcohol at all! Really!" She gives her widest smile, which for Kyoko doesn't look really comforting at all - but Mami seems to buy it, nodding after a moment and smiling.

"Well, I'm glad it's not another one of someone's binge drinking, but vodka coolers are still unhealthy." She glances pointedly at you, and you can't help but look down and feel just a bit ashamed. "You three had better get in. Chiaki-san, I'll take Misaka. Better for her to sleep it off in a futon."

You nod as you hand off Misaka to Mami, your hands touching briefly. Mami takes no notice of this as she hauls the arms dealer into her arms, before turning around and walking back into your apartment.

You exchange glances with Kyoko again, and bump fists quietly, before stepping inside and taking off your shoes, closing the door behind you.

"Sayaka in yet?" The red-haired Eversor asks loudly.
Mess is an understatement, you think as you glance at the wastebin near the shoe rack - it's half-full of wadded-up tissues red with blood. Probably Sayaka wiping the worst of the blood off her boots before stepping into the apartment proper.

At least Iori didn't seem to be scared of seeing a bloody magical girl ringing up in front for a visit. In fact, the idol seems to be in good spirits, fussing over what looks like two rather bulky-looking packages, wrapped in expensive paper, sitting right on your favorite chair. She smiles at you as you approach.

"Ah, welcome back, Chiaki-san." Iori positively beams at you in greeting, and you mumble something in reciprocation. You're not used to being greeted in that manner - you usually come home to an early apartment.

"I helped Mami-san make dinner today!"

That's...that's great. You're not sure how to respond to that, except ask her if she made you pancakes.

[]Ask about the packages.
[]Get this discussion started as soon as Sayaka comes back from the shower.
Get the meeting started

Start on a low note end on a high note, even if it ends up with us being humiliated
[X]Ask about the packages.
[X]Get this discussion started as soon as Sayaka comes back from the shower.

Tell her we won't try and ruin the surprise by asking what's in the package.

Ask what's for dinner.
start the meet

we have a tech priest, forget about the loli
[x]Get this discussion started as soon as Sayaka comes back from the shower.
We'll ask about the packages afterwards and let ourselves be embarrassed. We're self-destructive enough that a little bit of embarrassment and humiliation is a small price to pay for erstwhile allies to feel better about us.

Though we should have enough time before Sayaka gets out of the shower to ask what's for dinner.
>>19804861 >>19804877 >>19804882
>>19804914 >>19804919

You glance at the packages again, severely tempted to ask Iori what's inside the ominous packaging - but you focus on her smiling at you instead, working up a small one of your own. You thank her for going to the effort of making you dinner, even if she didn't have to for the second time.

"Oh, it's alright, Chiaki-san!" She smiles, seemingly quite proud of herself. "I rarely do get a chance to cook for other people, so it was quite the experience!"

You're...you're sure it's going to be delicious, you manage to decipher from Kyoko's silent hand signals, the Eversor standing a few ways behind Iori, hidden from the idol's view. She probably saw you floundering, and decided to help out.

You owe her one, you think as she gives you a triumphant thumbs up.

"A-ah, I'm...I hope you do like it, Chiaki-san. I made the dinner for you, after all." She says, cheeks faintly pink.

You open your mouth to reply when you hear a door slamming shut from somewhere within your apartment - and out comes Sayaka in nothing but a towel and a frown, scrubbing at her blue hair. "Ergh, it took a while to get all the blood out..." She blinks at you, her frown easing slightly. "Hey, Murderface. I used your bath, Mami said it was okay. Cleaned up afterwards though, so you don't complain."

You shrug at this. That is the extent of your communication with Miki Sayaka, who then turns towards Kyoko. You see it right away - she's still frowning, but she's glad to see the Eversor.

"Well, we're all here, any case." Sayaka says after a moment. "What was so important you had to call me up in the middle of a purge, Murderface?"

Everyone's eyes are on you.

How do you explain the situation?
"You're probably known about the Kirika case and why she had to be retir- killed. Well, the truth is, it wasn't entirely her fault. We know that she had been using a fancy golden katana some time ago before my assignment.

"It's linked to her insanity. Lately, I've had episodes, felt like killing people, an unnecessary urge to kill. Sayaka, you would remember me pulling a golden gun on her.

"I didn't buy that gun, it was given to me. Some girl with pink hair and black eyes. Kyuubey calls her Faust. Sayaka, you saw me that time. My eyes were
black. I have reason this girl, Faust or Pinky, is handing out these weapons and they make people go insane. QB can back me up on this.

"They also have roman numerals marked on them. My gun was marked VIII, Kirika's katana was marked XX. That means there's 18 more. So, if you see Pinky, don't talk to her. Don't use strange golden weapons she seems to hand out."

Also mention Misaka's message, if they know about Homura Akemi and exactly how Mami found us.
Mami's here, right?

"So the golden gun I had and the golden katana that Kirika had, were given to us by some pink-haired girl with all black eyes.
"QB pretty much believes she's some kind of super-witch called Faust that he and the other Incubators are tracking. All I know is, she's bad news.
"She gives out these golden weapons, and they change a person. Use or hold one long enough, and it starts to twist you, make you crazy. We all saw it with Kirika. Hell, even happened to me a bit. Handed both of them to QB as soon as I figured out what was happening.
"Pinky's trying to get the holders of these weapons to fight and kill each other; don't know why, and don't particularly care, but I don't want anything to do with it.
"I know it sounds crazy, but ask QB if you doubt me.
"Kirika and I, we pretty much hated each other. But retiring her is one experience I don't want to feel again."
We have to go back to the incidents that each girl has been a part of when Pinky has exerted her influence. Our first meeting with her at the bar with Kyoko, the assignment with Iori and getting the golden deagle, hearing about the golden sword Kirika had and asking her about it at the yakuza bar. Things devolve from there with the flesh of fallen angels, and even Mami bore witness to what Kirika had become. Our eyes starting to go black when we threatened Sayaka, and the voice telling us to kill both Kirika and Mami, which is why we tossed the deagle aside before the fight. Then we tell them what QB has said about a grief seed the size of a planet, and how he thinks they may be connected. Then, our incident with Misaka while drinking...coolers...yeah, coolers.
>>19805319 >>19805304 >>19805258

As soon as you finish your explanation - one you felt was one of the better times you explained something, despite just how utterly unbelievable it is even to you, and you're the one saying it - silence falls over the entire apartment like a thick blanket, broken only by Misaka's even breathing, the arms dealer curled up in the middle of your double futon beside your favorite chair.

You expected Sayaka to laugh, and Mami to quietly shake her head in dismay at your trying to worm your way out of trouble with lies and deceit. Hell, if someone spun the same yarn on you you'd throw them out for wasting your time.

That hasn't happened yet, so maybe that's a good sign.

It's Mami who speaks first. She seems to be calm, but her shivering hands belie her true state at the moment.

"So...Chiaki-san, you're saying that a Witch is behind this? A powerful one preying upon
Magical Girls by turning them insane with these golden weapons?"

You nod at this, not really sure on what to say to try and press the veracity of her words.

"And...Kirika-san was the first victim? That was why you had to retire her, Chiaki-san?"

"I'd believe it." Sayaka says after a moment, her arms crossed underneath her chest. "So that's why your eyes turned black then. Had to admit, I was convinced you'd bow my brains out the back of my head when I saw that golden peashooter of yours." She shakes her head. "Christ, Murderface. You scared me then."

Kyoko blinks at this. "H-hey, what did you do? Murderface, did you point a gun at Sayaka...?"

You nod. You explain that it wasn't really your fault, but the gun's. You stopped yourself just in time, though, and that counts. Doesn't it?

"Y-yeah, but--" Kyoko is clearly torn at the discovery of this tidbit. Torn between her friendship with you, and you basically being inches away from venting her girlfriend's brains with a trigger pull. "Murderface, why didn't you--"

"It's not her fault, Kyoko-chan." Mami cuts in. "I had my suspicions about the sword when Kirika-san started favoring it, but..." She shakes her head, mournfully. "I should've known there was something strange about that thing. And now it's too late..."

You don't know what to say about that, and the entire apartment falls silent once more. Sayaka speaks up again after a while, however.

"So, wait. Just now, Misaka said something in a trance about these golden weapons? Like you have to collect them all, or something? What for?"

". . ." You don't know how to say THAT particular kind of information without appearing to be a complete and total risk to everyone, so you just shrug, saying that it was just that you had to gather them. Kyoko blinks at you, but says nothing.

"Well, I don't care what Witch it is, but if she's got designs on me or anything, she's got another thing coming." Sayaka scoffs. "I just have to make sure that I don't get into any faustian deals by accepting any golden crap, right? I mean, besides Kyuubey, of course. Same goes for Mami and Kyoko too, right?"

You nod. That's basically it.

"Alright. That seems easy enough." Sayaka smirks. "Could've just told us through text or something, Murderface. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you actually give a shit about somebody else other than yourself."

How do you respond?
"I do. And I don't want anyone else to go the way Kirika did."
>I didn't know any better, I'd say you actually give a shit about somebody else other than yourself

Alcohol and painkillers aren't working that well any more, so we've been trying new things.

And we've never given a shit about ourself, to be honest.
>>19805690 >>19805678

"I guess there really is a first time for everything." Sayaka shrugs, still smirking. "Don't think this changes anything, though. If Kyuubey asks me to punch your ticket, you won't even know what hit you until your severed head finally rolls to a stop in front of me.

It's now Kyoko's turn to frown. "Hey, Sayaka, that's a bit too much--"

Sayaka holds up a hand. "It's the same courtesy I'd extend to you, Kyoko, and the same one I'd want extended to me, too. Unlike Murderface here who had to get other people involved, but since that's over I won't mention it again." There's a flash of brilliant blue light as she transforms, her cape falling about her shoulders as her Magical Girl costume manifests on her body. She tosses Kyoko her towel. "Meet you back at the apartment. I need to be debriefed and get the payment from Kyuubey."

"A-ah...alright." Kyoko nods. "Take it easy, alright?" She calls uncertainly after Sayaka, who leaves without a word, cape billowing out behind her. You're tempted to step on the hem to try and trip her, but that'd ruin her exit.

The front door slamming close marks her departure from your apartment, leaving you, Mami, Kyoko and Iori to listen to Misaka's snoring in the most awkward silence in your life.

Kyoko looks like she's almost about to cry, but is keeping a stiff upper lip.

Quick. Do something.

[]Ask about the packages!
Nothing quite like embarrassment to lighten the mood. Ask about the packages.
Well now that Sayaka ruined the mood
It's Package time
>>19805872 >>19805862 >>19805850

You're not the touchy-feely sort, and you never will be, but you know an emergency when you see one. No thanks to Sakaya, in any case. Clasping a hand on Kyoko's shoulder and giving a squeeze, it's then that you turn to Iori (who'd been quiet all this time) about the packages sitting in your favorite chair.

"Oh, these!" Iori brightens up palpably, as if glad to be able to talk about something she actually knows. "W-well, erm...I don't know if Kyuubey-san had already told you, Chiaki-san, but I hired you for another assignment. It's...it's really nothing dangerous, since it's going to be a strictly a black tie event and there's a lot of security, but Kyuubey said if I have to go, I should go with a proper escort. He said he didn't know anyone better than you to handle it, so..." She smiles and unwraps both packages - revealing what looks to be a black butler's uniform AND a maid uniform, the formal sort with the long skirt.

"Kyuubey-san said that you didn't have any dresses and that you'd need a proper disguise to be able to escort me in person, so I had these made." You could hear Kyoko's muffled laughter beside you as you look down at the costumes. "T-they're to your exact size, so they'll definitely fit - I didn't know what you'd pick so I decided to have both made, just in case." Iori smiles uncertainly. "Chiaki-san? Um, why is your eyebrow twitching like that...?"

"Nerves, probably." Kyoko sniggers. You're glad the red-haired Eversor's recovered, but now you dearly want to punch her in the face. "Hey, Murderface, get the maid costume. You'd look good in that. Crossplay's not exactly your style, anyway."

Iori frowns at this. "I was hoping she'd pick the butler, but...Chiaki-san in a maid costume...?" You could almost hear the gears in her brain click together, concocting
visuals you have no plan of making into reality. "Hey, that isn't too bad..."

Mami nods. "Maid costume, definitely. I think Chiaki-san would look lovely in it."

Well, which one do you pick?

[]Maid Costume.
[]Butler Costume.
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Alright, I think this is a good place to pause!

I'll reveal which costume Chiaki chooses in the next thread.

Thank you for participating, everyone! I apologize once more for the lack of action in these past threads. It will be resolved soon enough.
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Tell Kyoko that's just Sayaka's coping mechanism at work. Good front and all that, right.

Also, Packages.

And speaking of, Vodka victory party pic? I know our Chiaki doesn't have the long hair, but it's the best I could do with photoshop.

Also, this is pretty awesome! Thank you for making it!

For anyone who wants updates, I made a twitter account for the quest. @magicalgirlnoir is where I'll be posting in advance.

Thank you once again for your support!

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You are a magical girl, and you don't think this is very funny. No, not funny at all.

It has been an entire week since Kirika Kure's retirement. A job messily done, but done with all of the same. You had dealt with the aftermath as best you could - taking those who helped you into a vodka victory party, and tried to help those still trying to recover from the incident by playing the costumed fool for their amusement (and to your chagrin). You even managed to deal with a certain arms dealer's confusion as to why she woke up in your apartment by sharing your morning breakfast of pancakes, your personal ambrosia baked by your personal blonde goddess of fortune and salvation.

Wounds heal. Hearts piece themselves back together. All it takes is time, and in your case, time AND a foot-high stack of feather-light, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes still hot from the pan. Just enough syrup to sweeten things, and butter to balance the flavors.

Certainly a better alternative to your usual restorative of room temperature Kong whisky and a handful of 600 mg Interfectum, or at least your body likes to think so.

The week itself had mostly been uneventful. With Iori having purchased your services, you've been taken off the duty rotation - as such, you didn't need to check in every day with Kyuubey to find out if you were to be assigned someplace else. Iori and Mami seemed to have hit it off pretty well, and they've been going out nearly every day.

A good thing, considering it helps avoid the inherent awkwardness of being in the same room as you. They've tried to drag you along, but you've always feigned a hangover or sleep whenever, or just begged off and said that you felt really tired. And sometimes you did, too - a tiredness that somehow won't go away no matter what you did.
Iori would give you her disappointed look, but she'd simply walk over and give you a hug. Mami would do the same, but you feel that her hugs felt...impersonal, somehow. Even if you two were back to talking terms. They would then leave, leaving you alone for the entire day - days you spent watching television while drinking, or being visited by Kyoko to hear the sort of antics she'd been getting to in her assignments. Near the end of the week, you visited Misaka. She's fine, no sign of the outburst she had - and busy working on the armor. She's taken to calling it Tiny Pete, which confuses you utterly.

But it will never be as confusing as you wearing an actual maid uniform.

While three members of your ever-dwindling social circle - excluding your Principal, and she was now your Principal again, of course - stand in the same room as you, Mami and Misaka fussing about every detail of your horrific costume, while Kyoko is trying her level best not to laugh.

If only Pinky could see you now.

It is currently early evening, 6:00 PM exactly. The event you are to attend with your Principal, Minase Iori, is a private gala-cum-album launch of 765 Production Studios, at a very fancy and very upscale mansion in the Upper District of Mitakihara. The very cream of the crop will be going. You haven't been there personally to scope it out because...well, because they don't allow just riffraff in, even if you tried. You'd have to play this by ear, be a reactive presence. That should annoy you, and it does, but you in this getup annoys you too much for it to be a factor.

"Now, hold still, Chiaki-san. I have to make sure your maid hairband is on straight." Mami says, smiling as she comes up behind you, hands carefully adjusting the damnable frilly thing in your hair for the tenth time.

You'll be alone with Iori in this one. You had suggested that Kyoko wear the butler costume as backup, and she'd been amenable to it - but for some strange reason, only one companion is allowed. Security reasons, Iori had given as the event holder's explanation. Well, that certainly pares down how many people you'd need to kill if this ends up ass-upwards.

It's a fine picture you make, arms akimbo in front of a full body mirror, as Misaka and Mami do their best to make you as presentable as possible. Mami had already spent most of the day getting you scrubbed clean - to the point that your entire body feels raw. She hadn't been too gentle with the scrubbing. Or the shampooing. Or the soaping. Everything else, really, and she had you crunching altoids before washing your mouth out with half a bottle of Listerine.

You are so cleaned up it hurts, and you scowl at your reflection.

Kyuubey had better pay tons for this shit.

In contrast to you, Iori seems to be having quite the easy time with her dress - well, there's not really MUCH of it that you can call a dress, really. A sheer black gown, backless, with silk black gloves reaching up above the elbow, black heels. A tasteful black lacy ribbon tying her hair into an elegant ponytail. The neckline is a bit too plunging for your taste, but...it's her choice. She's your boss. You're just here for the ride.

"Chiaki-san, I'm really sorry," Iori says, an apologetic smile on her face as she walks in with that stunning dress on. "If...if you really don't want to, I can just come alone, I'll be alright--"

You shake your head after a moment of staring at her, not noticing that you have been staring. You close your mouth and shake your head, before turning away. You're not about to abandon an assignment just because you got prissy over some clothes. You're a professional, first and foremost. You're chill. You can get through anything. You--

--are interrupted by the sound of a phone's digital simulation of a camera shutter.

You blink, and you realize that Kyoko had just taken a picture of you.

"HA! TSUNDERE MURDERFACE!" The one-eyed Eversor crows, before cackling. "GOTCHA!"

"Wah! Let Misaka see, let Misaka see!" Misaka nearly drops the flashbangs she'd been hooking up to a discreet harness under your skirt, and you scowl as they both start to giggle at Kyoko's cellphone. "Ahahaha! Is perfect! How you say, tsuntsun in a sea of jelly!"

You start to move, but Mami holds you in place. "Chiaki-san, please. I can't finish with you moving around too much." She chides, and you feel her breath on her neck. "Anyway, how does the entire thing feel?"

How do you respond?

Like sandpaper with ants crawling on it. And all of them are giggling and laughing at some joke I can't quite get.

I feel too girly. Too clean, too proper, too everything
'i feel girly...'
>>19842915 >>19842903 >>19842873

"You'll be fine." Mami replies, smoothing your lapels, picking at imaginary bits of lint from your shoulders. "Maid uniforms take a bit of getting used to. It takes a while, but after a few hours you'll learn to cope." You feel her tighten the ribbon securing your apron around your waist. "Now, remember, you're going with Iori-san as her maid. You'll speak only when spoken to, you'll fetch her drinks and finger food if she asks for it, and you always follow three steps behind her. Under no circumstances are you to take the dress off, or leave her alone - unless she's dancing with someone, of course, and then you stand quietly out of the dance floor. Understood?"

You nod. Surprisingly, Mami knows a lot about being a maid.

"Don't give me that look, Chiaki-san. I've done something similar to this. Well, part time in a maid cafe, anyway." She smiles, before blinking as she realizes she's said something that she didn't mean to say. "U-um, for the experience, of course!"

Yes. For the experience.

That's basically what you have to do, in any case. Act as guardian and servant to Minase Iori - your principal, who's currently looking at Kyoko's stolen snapshot of you, and begging the Eversor to share it with her. Misaka, on the other hand, seems to have gotten over the novelty of seeing you with such an expression on your face, and she continues to hide as much 'equipment' in your dress as she can.

"If anything happens, don't be afraid to use what we're equipping you with." Mami says after a moment as she gives Misaka a holstered MK22 tranquilizer pistol, its silencer detached and placed in its slot in the holster itself. This Misaka hooks behind your apron ribbon, which is deliberately oversized enough to conceal it. na

"Your last resort is to transform. Your first priority there is to get out with Iori-san safely. Take anyone down if they're in the way, but try and keep casualties to a minimum. Alright, Chiaki-san?"

You nod, sighing slightly. There goes some well-needed stress relief.

"Aw, I'm not so sure what you're so glum about, Murderface!" Kyoko guffaws as she gets off of your favorite chair, standing in front of you. "You look kinda cute in that getup! Kinda decent!" She grins, her canines poking out. "Hey, since you're a maid, you should try to be a bit more maid-like!" It's then that she points towards the kitchen. "Make me a sandwich!"

You open your mouth to retort when you hear a familiarly annoying voice in your head - and a familiar white mutant cat hopping into your apartment via an open window.

"Ah. Matsuda. I'm glad you're taking your role very seriously as Minase's domestic helper." Kyuubey says as it walks forward, as if the damn thing owned the place. Iori seems to shrink slightly at its appearance, but nods at Kyuubey in greeting. "Mami. Kyoko. Misaka." The last one mentioned seems to frown at Kyuubey, before reaching out and grabbing the Incubator's tail - which slips out of her grasp only a split second before her fingers could close around it, eliciting a frustrated noise from the arms dealer.

"I've news about the Golden Weapons you've loaned me." Kyuubey says after a moment, stopping directly in front of you. "Would you like to hear my analysis now or do you still wish to play costume party for a while longer?"

You glance at Iori, and she nods. "The event itself won't be for another hour or so, Chiaki-san. If you need to talk to Kyuubey-san, it's alright."

[]Alright, let me hear what you have to say.
[]No, later. I have my reputation to destroy.
[x]Alright, let me hear what you have to say.

Important info and getting out of stupid situation? You needn't ask!
Numbah one
[x]Alright, let me hear what you have to say.

Gimme dat plot, Deculture. Don't make me stab a mutant cat.
">>19843118 >>19843117 >>19843112

"Very well." Kyuubey nods as it sits down on its haunches, tail flicking from side to side - managing to avoid Misaka's multiple grasping attempts, before the arms dealer finally stomps off in annoyance, clearly fuming. "Through intensive analysis, I've come to some very interesting conclusions. This may be a bit long-winded, but please bear with me."

You'll bear with it, all right. Just as you're bearing with the uncomfortably frilly underwear you're wearing under the heavy starched skirts. Did maids really wear black frilly panties WITH garterbelts?

Kyuubey makes a small noise, akin to clearing its throat, before it starts. "As they are, the golden weapons seem to be unremarkable. Both of them can be disassembled into their component parts easily, and snap together just as easily without issues. Identified chemically, they are made up of the same material as their non-golden counterparts. Perfectly identical, down to the very last molecule. Nothing extraordinary - except, of course, when you use them."

Kyuubey places a forepaw on the floor, a circle of light etching itself on the marble, and it's then that the Golden Desert Eagle manifests in that circle itself, complete with a white snakeskin holster.

"Think of it like a...secret weapon in a videogame. Everything else is normal about it, except for a few parameters. It hits harder, it reloads faster, and it doesn't seem to jam no matter what we do. The same with the sword - it cuts with a molecule-thin edge, and it doesn't seem to dull no matter what we cut with it." Kyuubey looks at you. "We used machinery to do these tests, of course, so there's no risk of corruption."

It's then that the Incubator nods. "Which brings me to my next point. Matsuda, you're right. These things ARE dangerous, and they do corrupt. I would say, given the limited information I have now, that the golden sword itself may have corrupted Kirika. I've been looking at her Soul Gem readings for the past month. Her gem was past the point of recovery, and she had never used a grief seed ever since she registered the sword as her personal weapon. She should have expired long ago, but yet we know how she was when you retired her."

Ah. "Expired." Yet another term to soften the blow of a colleague turning into a Witch. That was part and parcel of the job, and many of your fellow magical girls have taken great pains to ensure that they don't end up that way.

Mami is silent as you gesture for Kyuubey to continue.

"But there's one thing I would like to request for you to do, Matsuda. You see, I have to know, first, how these weapons corrupt their intended wielders. I checked your Soul Gem rating at the time period when you said you had an outburst involving Sayaka, and I was surprised to see that your Soul Gem did not fluctuate at all - unlike Kirika's, whose Soul Gem purity plummeted moments after receiving the sword. As such, I am asking you to carry and use this firearm for the duration of your assignment tonight."

He pushes the holstered gun towards you, and you have the sudden compulsion to pick it up and holster it as soon as possible.

"There should be no danger if it's just one night, Matsuda. If it comes to that, I will personally supply you with enough Grief Seeds to cleanse your Soul Gem. Right now, I have a theory to test out, and if it works, we are a step closer into finding out just what are these weapons intended for."

How do you react?
Resist the compulsion, as long as we can, before very carefully picking it up while uttering a litany of curses under our breath.

"Fine. Fine, whatever."

suppress the urge to snatch it up, slowly and carefully pick it up and fasten it somewhere concealed.

we are in control, not the gun.
Okay, as long as we're treated like a ridiculously expensive prototype test machine, It's cool I guess
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>>19843325 >>19843324 >>19843317

You glance down at the holstered firearm on the floor, looking so innocent and harmless in its rather fetching white snakeskin holster. No, it's not calling out to you to pick it up. That would be weird. That would be insane. What you do feel is everyone's stares aimed directly at you, boring into you - Iori, Mami, Kyoko, Misaka, and that damn mutant cat. Watching what you would do, what you would decide to do. Examining your every move, even if what you've only done is basically breathe.

A moment, and it's then that you bend down, cursing all the while, to pick it up. It's heavy, as you remember it, and startlingly cold, even through the cotton gloves that the maid uniform came with. It's securely fitted into the holster, along with an extra magazine. What little of it peeking out from the holster is gleaming warmly - and you have to close your eyes for a moment as you realize that you've been staring a bit too much.

You open your eyes again, and you see Kyuubey looking up at you. His expression hasn't changed a bit, but you've got the funniest feeling that he's looking at you with extreme smugness.

You make to slip your arm through the holster's shoulder straps - you'd have to carry it unconcealed - when it's then that Kyoko's voice rings out.

"H-hey, are you sure about this? Murderface?"

You stop in your tracks, and you glance at the source of voice. Kyoko.

She's obviously worried, her entire frame tense. Kyuubey turns to glance at her, and nods.

"Would you rather I give Muramasa to Miki Sayaka instead, Sakura Kyoko?" The Incubator says after a moment. "This is important. I want to find out--"

"I don't care what you want, you goddamn rat," Kyoko snaps, a rare occurence in front of the boss. "I'm asking Murderface what SHE wants. She's the one about to cart that damn thing around. I want to ask her."

"Kyoko-san..." Mami murmurs from your side.

How do you react? It seems like Kyoko's worried about you.
"Thanks, kyoko, but I can handle this."

Make sure our soul-gem is freshly purged before the start of the mission. Take a dose of something emotion-killing, like anti-depressants. We don't wanna get all agressive. If it doesn't help it won't hurt in any case.

Also bring a flask of strong drink we can dump our soulgem in so we don't have to be seen drinking. Just in case.
"It's fine, I've held it for longer than a night before without snapping.
If anyone's going to do it it might as well be me."

Then tell QB to cough up the grief seeds he promised us.

No. No, I am not. Better me than anyone else though.
>>19843559 >>19843549 >>19843522

Kyoko opens her mouth to protest, but seems to think the better of it - grudgingly nodding, but still quite worried. "I-I don't like it, but fine. It's your decision, Murderface, but if you think I'm going to let you carry some sort of demonic weapon without support, you've got another thing coming." She snarls as she walks forward, nearly stepping on Kyuubey as she goes past you - snatching the butler uniform from its box stashed beside you. "I'll be her second. On my own time." The red-haired Eversor spits at Kyuubey, as if daring him to protest. She stomps off towards the apartment bathroom, evidently to clean up and get ready.

"It's your decision, Sakura Kyoko. Just remember that you will not be reimbursed for your efforts here."

"I DON'T GIVE A SHIT." Kyoko shouts, just as you hear the shower door slam shut. Soon, the sound of flowing water breaks the silence.

"Very well. It seems Sakura Kyoko has opted to include herself in this assignment. Minase Iori, I trust this won't be too much of a hassle?"

Iori shakes her head, blinking, seemingly stunned at the turn of events. "N-no, Kyuubey-san, I think I'll be able to deal with this. Worst comes to worst, I can always say that Kyoko-san is my chauffeur. She can stay by the car until we need help - which I hope we won't." She turns to look at me and smiles, uncertainly.

You nod as you finally finish buckling the straps of the body holster. It's a rather tight fit, but the reassuring - if disturbingly comfortable - weight of the Golden Desert Eagle on your side seems to calm your nerves.

"Very well, then. I'll leave you to it." Kyuubey says, just as it creates yet another portal - this time leaving behind two grief seeds, making your disposable total into three. "This should be enough for tonight, if my calculations are correct."

You nod as you pick them up, stashing them in your inventory. Along with that hip flask of whisky you snuck in, even with Mami's express prohibition of alcohol during this assignment.

Just as Kyuubey turns to leave, though, it's then that you remember something, and you call out to it. Asking him about a certain name that's been popping up at you for a while now.

"Akemi Homura...? The name doesn't ring a bell, but I can run a search, if you like."

You say yes, and the mutant cat nods, before jumping up onto the windowsill and diving off. A typical exit.

"We should get going soon, Chiaki-san," Iori says after a moment, glancing at her expensive wristwatch as she comes close. She smells nice, of expensive perfume and soap. She offers you a smile. "Let's wait for Kyoko-san, and then we can leave."

It's then that she's elbowed to the side by Misaka, the arms dealer frowning. "Annoying white cat...anyway, Murderface!" She looks up at you, one hand grabbing a fistful of your skirt and tugging. "You are all set! HE grenades, flashbangs, five each under skirt! MK22 Silenced Tranquilizer Pistol with one extra magazine at back holster! New combat knife strapped to left boot, ankle!"
It's then that she smiles as she takes something from her lab coat pocket - she wears one now when she's out - and holds out what looks to be a golden necklace with a rather large cross pendant. "Misaka's good luck charm! Giving to you, hehehe!"

You take it, blinking through your glasses. It's...you're not a religious person, but you certainly recognize it as the Christian cross. You slip your head through the necklace and let the pendant hang down, resting against your chest. You examine the cross, and find a strange gold button inset at the very center, camouflaged to look like the rest of the bauble.

"Is secret!" Misaka seems overjoyed that you noticed. "When in trouble, pray very hard, and then press it! A big, big friend will come to rescue with a big bang!"

Okay. You're not sure what that means, but any help from Misaka is sure to be good help. You thank her and give her a few pats on the head. She giggles at this. "Say Misaka is a good--"

"You're a good girl." You say before she finishes. "Misaka is a good girl."

She's positively blushing at this praise. It's then that Kyoko bursts out of your room, already in the butler uniform. She...actually looks alright in it. Comfortable, even. Her long red hair tied into a rakish ponytail, amplifying the effect. She looks like the sort of butler you'd see in Otome games.

You glance at Mami and Iori, and they're all but gawping at Kyoko.

"W-what? Did I put it on wrong or something? What's up?" She says, momentarily discomfited by the staring.

You shake your head, chortling. You tell her that it's now obvious who wears the pants in her relationship with Sayaka.

"Oh, ha-ha. Real hilarious, Murderface."

Iori seems to snap out of it, before smiling. "W-well, I do believe we should get going. Unless you have anything you think you may have missed, Chiaki-san?"

"Make sure you've got everything you need, Chiaki." Mami says after a moment, nodding. "There's no going back after this."

Don't be so dramatic.

[]Go to the party, as planned.
[]No, I need to do something else first.
[x]No, I need to do something else first.
"Kyoko, this is extremely important. I need you to put your hands in your pockets and turn your head to one side.
If you don't do it, you might die."
Then take a photo.

>>19843943 >>19843881

"Huh? Hands in pockets? And then turn...what, this way or that...?" Kyoko seems to immediately obey your instructions despite being completely puzzled - and it's then that she blinks her one good eye as you snap your cellphone into your hand with a flick of your wrist. Two button presses later, and the image of a roguish young man with fiery crimson hair in a snappy black butler's uniform is frozen in time in your phone.

Kyoko's one eye goes wide as she hears the digitized click of the shutter.

Now you're done, you say to Iori as you slip your cellphone quickly into your inventory while Kyoko fumes at you, speechless. Mami is smiling at this, while patting down some wrinkles on your companion's clothes.

"You can't wear headsets for tonight, so if you need to contact each other, discreetly call or message each other on your cellphones," Mami says just as all three of you make to finally step out of the apartment. "Again, remember that your main objective here is to get Iori-san back home safe and sound. If anything happens, even if you're being attacked, escape is your first option."

You nod at this, quietly, while Kyoko petulantly murmurs something about spoiling your fun. Mami only smiles at this, before leaning in and giving you both a kiss on the cheek each - warm, soft, and all too brief. You feel your own cheeks burn as Kyoko's murmurs turn incoherent, reddening as well.

Misaka also gives you one. "Is for luck! O-oh, and bring me souvenir! Do not forget, Murderface!"

You smile and nod. Of course you won't.

A moment more, and you're all outside. Misaka and Mami to see you off as you pile into the black company car that Kyuubey has loaned you - a nondescript black car with tinted windows and an unremarkable brand. But secretly it's been reinforced - bulletproof windows, redundant inflating system, the works. Probably all that's missing is a function to transform into a killbot.

You blink as Kyoko squeezes behind the driver's wheel. You ask her if she can drive at all, even with her blind spot.

"Yeah, yeah. I know how to drive, Murderface. Unlike someone here who drives while she's drunk. Said someone currently being in the damn maid costume, here." She adjusts the rear view mirror to focus on both you and Iori in the back seat.

But that was an EMERGENCY, you protest. You ran out of ALCOHOL.

Kyoko's rebuttal is lost as she starts and guns the engine, easing the car out into the street and onto the main road. Heading towards the bright lights of the upper district, where danger and debauchery lay.

This was going to be an interesting night.
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I think this is a good place to pause for now.

Thank you for your participation, everyone!


Also, please don't hesitate to tell me what you think should be improved in the way I run the quest.

Thank you once more for your support!

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You are a Magical Girl. Well, specifically speaking, not right now, not at this point of time.

Now, you're a maid, under the employ of one world-renowned idol Minase Iori, one of the many successful singers in 765 Production Studios. You will shut up unless you're spoken to, you will open doors and fetch things so that your employer won't have to, and as a special service, you will hurt anyone who so much as tries to harm a hair on her head.

You will hurt them. Hard. In the face. Until the floor underneath them is as red as the carpet laid out for your employer's arrival.

Fantasies of justified violence aside, you're still a bit irritated that you have to guard Minase Iori in this getup. You hate to say it, but you feel ten kinds of naked in the maid costume - and the four layers of stiff clothing and lacy, frilly garters aren't helping any.

It's the Shield, you realize with an irritated grunt. It's the entire costume. You've never really gone this long while awake without it on. Sure, the pantyhose hitched up a bit too much and the heels were brutal to run in and the skirt was short enough that a breeze would scandalize you - but it was you. It was part of who you are. It was part of your identity that was there, something you could touch, tactile. Something that you can never forget, even if you forgot your own name and your own face in a regular basis.

Chiaki Matsuda. Your name is Chiaki Matsuda.

And you could really use a drink right now.
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You glance out the window of the car. True to her word, Kyoko's driving carefully - in fact, she's driving very well for someone with reduced depth perception. The streetlights whip by, ethereal halos of light perched on steel posts, casting a cold amber glow on the darkness. Beside you, Iori is silent, looking out her window as well - a somewhat wistful expression to her face. Her phone clasped in one hand, the other placed on the space of the backseat between you, fingers spread out at your direction.

The mansion where the gala-cum-record launch that your principal is supposed to attend is looming slowly up in the horizon. You figure you'll get there in thirty minutes or so, if Kyoko keeps her pace. You should probably use that time to ask some questions about the actual event and what you might expect.

What question do you ask Iori?
Give us the who'se who! Any people who might cause trouble? Anyone we're likely to punch and should avoid?

we need to know what we can about the guests and possibly the staff at the mansion.

does Iori know about any of those?
Great, a MG Noir quest when I'm up and about, for once!

As for the questions, one that immediately comes to mind is 'Which persons of note will attend?'
For one, that should tell us how many armed groups (of bodyguards) are likely to be around, how 'high profile' this event exactly is, and depending on who shows up, there could very well be girls from competing agencies playing babysitter around.
>>19859263 >>19859243 >>19859237

"Hm? The...other guests, Chiaki-san?" Iori blinks, seemingly snapping out of her reverie as you ask her. "Well, um...let's see. I'm pretty sure most of the other girls in 765 Production will also be attending. Some of them make it a point never to attend, but they're usually the ones too busy to do so." Iori raises her cellphone and scrolls through her contacts.

"As for non-765 Production staff, erm...there is this one guy who always comes around these events." It's then that you note Iori's distaste becoming obvious on her face, the smile from earlier now twisted into a delicate frown. "I've been telling Producer-san to not let him know, but he's a huge investor in the studio, so we can't exactly just snub him."

She taps something on the touchscreen of her cellphone to show you a dark-skinned, large, heavyset man with rubbery lips and dead, black eyes. He seems to be sneering into the camera, bulging out of an obviously expensive suit. "Lance Kilgore, owner of Kilgore Enterprises. He's...he collects girls, Chiaki-san. Idols."

What, so he's a playboy? That's typical of anyone rich enough, you say. It's then that Iori shakes her head.

"N-no. It's...something else, Chiaki-san. He collects them and marries them. He has this 'family' - which is really more of a harem than anything else." Iori places thumb and forefinger on the screen and draws them together, making the phone zoom out - showing a large group of girls crowded around the man. "We let him attend just as a courtesy, and he never fails to hit on each of us, one by one, in turn. As if he's fishing for another to add to his collection. Producer-san thinks he's making a cult, or something - and from the way the girls talk about their 'husband', it's a bit disturbing."
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You squint at the photo again, before nodding. Hitting on Iori or being a generally creepy motherfucker isn't something you should probably shoot someone over, but it's good to know, at least.

"I...I don't think there's anyone else that should be suspicious, Chiaki-san. Maybe one of the rival studios will try to gatecrash the party, but they usually end up getting thrown out before they could spoil our fun." Iori thinks. "Oh, um, and if you're going to ask, I don't really have an agenda. I just have to stick around till the very end. There's some media presence around, too, but only a few. Taking pictures and video."

It's then that she blinks, and she realizes just why you're asking. "Chiaki-san, I...I'm happy you're this concerned for my safety, but if it's alright, please try to relax, even if it's just for tonight. I'm positive nothing wrong will happen, and we'll be going back home to your apartment before you know it." It's then that you feel her hand on your own, the warmth of her hand piercing through even through the gloves the both of you are wearing.

Kyoko snorts from the driver's seat. "Sorry, Iori-chan, but that's how Murderface really is. Paranoid as fuck and twice as jumpy. Enough that I actually tried to get her to change ranks and be an Eversor instead."

You tell her to shut up. Eversors are nothing but a bunch of maniacs waving sharp sticks around.

"But that's what we're paid to do, and we're good at it," Kyoko points out, her one eye gleaming.

Just drive, you one-eyed freak.

[]Ask Iori another question. You have to prepare for everything and anything.
[]Take Iori's advice and relax. This is just a party rich people go to. It's probably going to be boring.
[x]Ask Iori another question. You have to prepare for everything and anything.
Fuck relaxing. We can relax in Russia with Misaka and some nice new bearskin rugs.
Also, we'll have to keep an eye on Kilgore. Wouldn't want him to have an accident. Like falling off a balcony.
[X]Ask Iori another question. You have to prepare for everything and anything.

How do these events usually go?

How is the room set up, what entrances and exits are there?

What is the surrounding area like? Tell me about routes to and from the building both by foot and by vehicle? How well secured are the nearby buildings?

When you are in my profession you can not be paranoid, only sufficiently prepared. Whenever someone says that nothing could go wrong is the moment you should apply Murphy's law to the your view of the situation.
Ask Kyoko what her plans are and what should he the emergency / extraction signal or code if a direct call isn't possible
>>19859571 >>19859563 >>19859526

"The mansion layout?" Iori echoes, blinking at your question. "W-well, the main event takes place in the main ballroom, and I remember that there's just one way in and out of it." She furrows her brow. "Although, the last time, I snuck out with Yayoi through the kitchen...where they wheel in all the food from, you know? It's off to the side, usually covered by decorations or curtains and such, so whoever goes in or out isn't too visible. The entire mansion, though..." Iori shakes her head. "I'm afraid I don't really know much about the entire place. Sorry, Chiaki-san."

You shake your head. Any amount of information she can give you is important.

"As for the event itself, well..." The brown-haired idol thinks. "It's really nothing special. Everyone mills around the ballroom until the MC calls for their attention, accolades and awards are handed out, the album is launched. Then everyone mingles. Food and wine is served throughout. So it's really more of an excuse for everyone to get together than something really important..." Iori shrugs. "I wish I didn't have to come around. This'll be the first time I'm attending without...without Yayoi-chan."

Her voice falls to a whisper, before glancing back out of the window. A small, sad smile on her face.

"Yayoi-chan loved these events, you know. She knew all the idols, and even if some of them didn't like her, she was genuinely excited to meet them again. We tend not to keep in contact for very long periods of time, you realize - tours and all. So it's sort of like a homecoming for us." Iori smiles at you. "That's why I'm telling you, Chiaki-san, to relax. The security there will be very intense. Our studio doesn't spare expenses when most of its idols are at risk," she adds this, somewhat bitterly.

[]Ask one last question.
[]You have what you need. No need to ruin Iori's mood further. Just wait till you get there.
Just be sure to warn her to tell us if anyone, especially anyone she knows personally, is acting strangely. We don't want a repeat of what happened with Midori. We should also consider trying to contact QB and through him talk to Midori, her group was a bunch of idols or something right? They might show up here.
[x]You have what you need. No need to ruin Iori's mood further.

But do ask Koyoko what the escape plan is.
awkwardly squeeze her hand or something and sit back and relax for the rest of the ride.
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>>19859715 >>19859708 >>19859699

You give her hand an awkward squeeze and say nothing else to her. You want to warn her if she sees anyone else acting strangely, but since you'll be by her most of the time, you can probably just ensure that they don't come too close, whoever they are.

It's then that you turn your attention to Kyoko, who now seems to be navigating the car through a sea of other cars headed towards the mansion as well, streaming through the open gates. The mansion itself is looming tall and huge in front of you, grand and elaborate with its bleached bone-white paint job with gilded windows and hand-sculpted tiles.

Rich people.

You reach out and tap at her shoulder, which earns you a grunt. "Yeah? Whaddaya want, Murderface? Kinda busy now, these assholes don't know shit about driving. ...God, I'm going to key that Ferrari so hard later. Bastard cut me off!"

You ask her what your escape plan will be if things do indeed warrant a quick getaway.

"That's easy. Just call or text if you want either an extraction or backup." She says after a moment's worth of adjusting her collar. "For simplicity's sake, let's use codewords. Red for backup, Green for immediate extraction. Tell me where you are and I'll get the car there, whatever it takes." Kyoko turns to you to grin toothily.

Alright. Red for backup, Green for extraction. Sounds easy enough.

"Also, uh..." Kyoko murmurs as she turns back to the road. "I think, if we're already deep in the shit, we probably should forget about Mami-san's directives. I mean, just stop them from pursuing and all, right? She didn't say anything about that."

You nod at this, smiling slightly. No, Mami did not say anything about that all. And escaping while preventing your enemies from pursuing is STILL escaping, right?

Kyoko smoothly stops the car at the foot of the stairs leading up to the mansion's entrance, a lavish red carpet already draped down the middle to receive the guests, velvet rope keeping the camera flash-happy paparazzi back. You take a deep breath, glance at Iori, before clicking your side door open, pushing it back and primly stepping out. A casual onlooker would see you trying to disembark from the car properly - while in actuality, you're trying to move so that the grenades and other hardware stashed under your skirt don't clink together too loudly or obviously.

After a few moments, you manage it, and you walk around the car to Iori's side, pulling the door open for her. As soon as Iori places one foot out and onto the carpet do the camera flashes start - and you blink in momentary disorientation, the effect much like looking at things under a strobe light.

You help Iori get to her feet as elegantly as possible, her hand upon your own as you gently pull her up to a standing position. She smiles at you and nods, while you relinquish your grip on her arm, step back, and bow.

You wait for her to walk ahead of you before you raise your head and push the passenger door close with a gloved hand. Iori is already on her way up the stairs, and you make to follow - throwing Kyoko one last pointed look which she returns before driving off. You turn back to the task at hand, and follow Iori up into the mansion, keeping two steps behind.

The Golden Desert Eagle feels comfortable against your side. Reassuring. Letting you breathe easy, despite what it actually was.

You ignore the flashbulbs. A long time ago, you'd have been embarrassed by them.

It's funny how amnesia made you feel old.

You immediately feel the security presence as the entrance to the mansion comes into view. These are not the gorillas you met at Iori's penthouse - these are professionals, operators operating operationally, with multi-pouched kevlar vests, headsets, night vision goggles, smokescreens and flashbangs clipped to their belts. They're even stationed at regular intervals, too, with vision overlap so that not one is isolated from the rest. You can even see some at the upper floor balconies. Sniping spots, probably, or just good vantage points.

You're impressed so far.

At the very entrance, a couple of the guards on duty seem to be verifying those trying to get in, and both you and Iori are stopped even before you could step across the threshold. It's then that Iori takes out an ID from her purse, whispering something to the guard before gesturing towards you after a moment. You stay quiet, head bowed slightly, keeping up the act of the perfect maid - and it's after a few moments that the both of you are let in. Iori at the lead, you a few steps behind.

The mansion is...it's a mansion. The people who owned it are obviously rich, obssessed about buying ostentatious, overtly-elaborate furniture and artpieces in order to distract themselves from how empty and worthless their lives were. Even the tile underneath your feet is custom-stained and carved to show luxurious, spanning patterns that spread out as you observe them.

Guests are already milling about here. No sign of Lance Kilgore, thankfully. And from what you can see, no Magical Girls here, either...but then again, you've been wrong about that, haven't you?

Looking around carefully while still keeping in respectful distance of Iori, it's then that you spot it. A glimmer of burning, intense gold, a visual spark that fills your vision before disappearing. You didn't see what it was or who was carrying it, but you're...sure that it was a Golden Weapon.

"Chiaki-san?" Iori asks after a moment, her voice low and careful. "Are you alright? You look a bit...pale, there, for a while."

You shake your head. You tell her that everything's fine, and you prove it by bowing once more. Iori seems to take a moment, before nodding and resuming her slow, deliberate walk. "We're headed towards the main ballroom, Chiaki-san, so please pay attention. Most of my friends - and that horrible man, probably - will be there. I'll have to speak in a different tone, but please don't take it personally."

You promise her you won't. It's not like being called a couple of names hurt.

Still, though...where'd that weapon come from? And who has it?

You decide to dwell upon those questions later as both you and Iori finally enter the main ballroom. And true to the idols promise, you see that there are a LOT of people here. A cursory scan reveals more than a handful of idols - and you can see how they're the center of attention in the small islands of investors and non-production staff around them. Some of the idols are telling jokes, others dispensing advice, and others are simply goofing around with their circle of friends.

"Well, here we are, Chiaki-san." Iori murmurs, so that only you could hear. "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." It's then that she smiles. "Present company and her friends excluded, of course. We'll be here for the majority of..." She glances at her pocketwatch. "Six hours, at the most. These events tend to drag on."

You make to gruffly retort when you spot something miraculous nearby.

An open bar, at the side of the hall itself, beside the punch and the finger food.

Free flowing drinks, it seems. You can even see a few maids already sitting on the stools, slumped over the bar, nursing a drink.

Oh boy.

What do you do? There doesn't seem to be a threat at the moment, and Iori looks like she'll be fine if you leave her alone for a bit. In fact, two of her friends seem to be making her way towards her - one with long blue hair, and the other with long silver hair.

Maybe you should relax, eh?
stay with Iori until she dismisses us.

we are trying to look the part here after all and the more we act like someone who isn't murderface the better chance we have of nothing going tits up

not that I believe for a minute they wont anyway
Wait until we're dismissed. We're still playing the part of the perfect maid.
Still, it might be good to wander over to the bar anyway, just to chat with the other maids. Maybe we can get an idea of 'important' people before we are forced to meet them? Servants always chat about their masters, especially when in they are what is clearly as 'servant zone'
>>19860400 >>19860402 >>19860356

You stand your ground, drawing your eyes away from the vile temptations of the free-flowing open bar - and you step back slowly, carefully, focusing your gaze on the floor as you hear the two idols walk up to Iori. The blue-haired one has a sort of melancholic air underneath her smiling facade, her purple eyes somewhat similar to yours but definitely sombre, even as they crinkle up at the corners as she smiles. The other girl, the one with the long silver hair and crimson eyes, has a strange air about her. She seems nice enough despite how her thick, luxurious curls make her look imperious - in fact, you could almost see her as somewhat similar to Mami, in terms of that big sister quality to her.

You would swear that the comparison isn't just because of her breasts, too.

They immediately greet Iori as they come to a stop in front of her, and your principal herself seems to be overjoyed to meet them, surprising the two by giving them a hug each. You learn that the first girl's name is Chihaya, the other Takane, and they've been rather worried about Iori when they heard what had happened.

You hear Iori downplay the traumatic event, saying that she had someone trustworthy to protect her. She leaves it at that, and you supress a smile as you keep your head bowed.

After a few minutes of the inane matters girls usually discuss whenever meeting, you hear the conversation taking a slightly different turn.
"And who is this, Iori-chan?" Chihaya asks, her voice having a curious tone to it. "I thought you disliked the idea of having a maid follow you around like a lovesick puppy? Why start now?"

"Silly." Takane cuts in. "She's not just her maid. She's her protector, obviously. One only needs to catch a glimmer of what she's carrying to protect Iori." Takane seems to 'hmmph' in satisfaction. "A golden firearm. Certain a bit...ostentatious, but perhaps as a mark of superiority, it does make sense." She clears her throat, before speaking again.

"Maid. Tell me, what is your name?"

You look up.

It seems you're being asked to introduce yourself.

How do you do so?
wait for Iori to give the go ahead and introduce ourself as Chiaki Matsuda. do the whole curtsy bit but make sure our weaponry doesn't clink too much while doing so
Be polite and only give name and job. Don't volunteer any other information unless specifically asked for it and Ioir clears it.
As Chiaki Matsuda.
>>19860574 >>19860573 >>19860571

You glance questioningly at Iori, keeping your face carefully emotionless as you do so - and she gives you a surprised but firm nod, her own gaze slightly imperious. You bow slightly at her, before turning to Takane and Chikane. Bending slightly at the waist and at the knees, lowering your head even further as you spread your skirt in a careful, textbook curtsy. One foot in front of the other.

"Chiaki Matsuda," you reply in a soft, deadpan voice, hoping they'd mistake it for humility and shyness instead. You hold the curtsy for a few moments before straightening up.

"Chiaki...Matsuda-san, then, is it?" Takane smiles, before reaching out with a soft hand to cup your chin, making you look up at her instead of the bit of floor you've been focusing on.

"A beautiful name. I refuse to believe that you're only a maid, Matsuda-san." Her face moves just a bit closer to yours, and you manage to stop yourself from blinking as you feel her own breath on your lips. "If you are, then it is a regrettable waste."

Iori coughs at this, before suddenly pulling Takane away from you. "Oi, oi. Chiaki-chan's new at the job, Takane! Stop messing about with her, or you'll make her cry!"

Takane blinks at this, before giggling. "I was simply introducing myself in a better way, Iori-chan. What's so wrong about that?"

Chihaya cuts in, shaking her head. "Takane, you do realize there's media around? Don't make another scandal! Producer's going to rip his hair out because of you!"

Iori glances at you apologetically, before hooking her other arm around Chihaya's. "Come on, let's go round up the others! Ergh, look, Makoto-chan needs help! Let's go!" She turns towards you. "Chiaki-chan, please help yourself if you're thirsty. I'll be alright!"

You nod at this just as they go further into the crowd. You have just been dismissed.

What do you do?
One small, weak drink. Approach the other maids. Sigh wearily.
Try to keep our eyes on Iori.
[x] Drink, check out the other Maids at the bar.
sit at bar for a bit, sip at ONE drink

try to spot that golden weapon and keep an eye on the cultist
We shall have one drink. ONE.

You bow at the direction Iori and her friends disappeared off to, holding it until they're well and out of view - before you straighten up and make a careful and deliberate beeline towards the open bar. It's a sorry sight, really - only a few more of the stools at the bar are occupied, with the maids there either gossiping with each other or slumped onto the bar themselves, staring into their glasses in glazed-eye desolation. You slide onto an empty stool, careful to consider your heavy starched skirt and its contents, and it's with a carefully polite voice that you order a double whisky from the bartender.

"Too stiff. Too polite." Comes the voice beside you - and you blink through your glasses as you behold a maid, around your age and height, black hair tied a bit messily into a curly ponytail, nursing what looks to be a Shirley Temple. "But you're...familiar, somehow. You're almost like the Head Maid, in a way, down to the glasses. Shame about your hair, though. If it was longer and braided, then you'd be a spitting image."

You're not sure if that's a compliment or an insult, so you shrug as your ordered drink is placed in front of you.

"You're not a real maid, that much is clear." The girl says again, her bright green eyes peeking from her mop of black hair. "You're just someone pretending to be one." It's then that she giggles. "I won't say anything, though. Your secret's safe with me."

Good to know, you murmur, before sipping at your drink. No, you're not gulping it down. Take your time to taste it. Sip, not gulp.

"Nice gun. Did you plate that yourself or is it an online job sort of thing?" She asks again, and you murmur something along the lines of 'it was a gift'. The maid nods at this, before sipping her own drink through a straw. "One of the Master's friends has something like that, you know. Not a gun, but something else."

You don't say. You glance at her fully, now, and you realize that she's, in fact, foreign. Not Japanese. Italian, probably, or something similar. She's quite pretty, for a maid.

"And now you're checking me out." The maid smiles at you. "Fabiola Iglesias. Just another maid, just like you." She gives you a wink.

How do you respond?
Take the hint that she's also a combat maid.
"Chiaki Matsuda. And a maid, just like yourself."

So is the girl with the golden weapon here? We saw a flash of gold before.
Introduce ourselves and ask her who she's guarding. Skirt the question if she asks us.
"The master?"

give our fake name

keep an eye on the cultist
>>19861289 >>19861280 >>19861258

Fabiola sits up straighter in her seat, but only, it seems, to stretch her arms over her head, like a cat would - and it's then that she slumps onto the bar yet again. "My Master? That's easy. Young blonde man in the corner, your eight o' clock. See him?"

You turn around slightly, looking out with the corner of your eye. You spot him. He's a nondescript looking young man, probably just started his first year of high school. Clean-cut, blonde, rather naive looking. He seems to be working up the courage to talk to Iori, who is busy chatting it up with Takane and Chihaya.

"He has a crush on yours, poor thing." Fabiola says as she sips on her Shirley Temple yet again. "He has all her albums, all her singles, and I do believe a girly magazine featuring your principal exclusively. He thinks I don't know about it, but underneath the bed is the first place anyone looks, really."

You turn back to your drink. It's already been half-drained. You look at it mournfully, before waving at the bartender to restore it to its former glory.

As the bartender does so, you ask her which friend of the Master's is she talking about.

"That thing. Your six." Fabiola isn't even looking, her gaze locked into the bottom of her murky mixed drink. It's then that you catch a full glimpse of Lance Kilgore - and his entourage of slim-bodied, glassy-eyed 'family'. All of them wearing clothes that would make a street walker blush.

"Not a friend. No, not a friend. Just an acquaintance." Fabiola repeats. "Look at both of his hands. See those strange bangles on his wrists? The ones with the lion heads looking to bite each other?"

You nod, not taking your eyes off the laughing, quivering, grinning mountain of meat.

"Same gold. Same luster. At least, that's what I think." The maid beside you says. "Rumor has it he's killed twenty men alone with those. I don't know how." She finishes her drink, pushing it to the side. "He then took the fiancees of those twenty men and added them to his 'family'. Look at their eyes - they've given up hope. They're no longer alive, just toys for him."

Well. It seems that you finally have a visual on the Golden Weapon. Or a lead, at least.

"Be careful. He has been trying to get one of the idols here added to his collection." Fabiola warns. "I would've gutted him like a fish years ago, but Master implored not to. He says we are just misunderstanding him, or rot like that." She sighs. "Master is too believing in the good in people."

She shrugs. "What I'm trying to say is that not many people will mourn the death of Lance Kilgore. If you are catching my drift."

How do you reply?
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Good place. Pause.

Thank you. Participation. Support!

Feedback good!
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Wait, Kilgore is a big black guy with golden bracelets. Is he this guy?
If so, we totally have to fight him with a golden chainsaw.

Get out of my head, Anonymous.


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You are a Magical Girl, and you are currently being coerced into justifiable homicide.

Not really coerced. More like persuaded. Actually there isn't really much persuading to be done. You'd do it yourself in a heartbeat, just by principle. You won't even charge for the effort, and you'd gladly volunteer for the cleanup of the mess and the eventual witnesses if need be.

Some people just really need to die, and Lance Kilgore is one of those people. And as the slightly-intoxicated young woman in the fetching maid uniform sitting beside you on the open bar had so helpfully suggested, no one will mourn him having an accident.

A .50 Action Express accident to the face. Multiple accidents in point blank range.

You blink slightly at yourself and wonder if it's the Golden Desert Eagle strapped to your side talking, or just your natural predeliction to aggression.

But no one came blame you, really. Standing seven feet high and musclebound to the point that he seems more mountain than man, Lance Kilgore is a beast, almost transhuman. His clothes, infested with sequins, glitter, lined with what looks like fur from some unfortunate, recently-extinct animal, seems tailored specifically to show off his sculpted chest and abdominals, and also show the entire room just how much of a preening bastard he is. The parachute pants that seem to have come directly from some bygone century swishes against the floor, held secure with a jewelled belt buckle with his initials written out in diamonds.

His teeth are grotesquely grilled - diamonds drilled directly into the enamel securing a network of silver and titanium, gilding each edge, giving him a gleaming sneer that spells SWAG when he's clenching his jaw. His eyes, covered in star-shaped shades, the frames dazzling with sequins.
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And finally, to top off the douche ensemble, the douche cherry to this douche sundae - a pimp hat, velvet in hue and in material, with a jaunty feather bobbing from the headband.

But even with all these, not one of them are what catches your attention the most.

It's the golden bangles, on his wrists. Thick, heavy ones, gleaming, an icon of a double-headed eagle with its wings sculpted into the metal, the likeness captured in mid-flight. On him, they look to be the circumference of car tires, encasing his thick wrists.

It would be reasonable to assume that it's simply part of his wardrobe, in Lance's effort to make himself look as tough and as flashy as he felt. Typical gold jewelry, ostentatious and garish, like the necklace with the massive diamond-encrusted pendant shaped like the silhouette of a woman spreading her legs hanging from his neck. But you know, as sure as you're ignoring the double whisky in front of you, that the Desert Eagle holstered by your side and those bangles came from only one origin. An origin with pink hair and sunless eyes.

"A piece of work, him." Fabiola murmurs after a moment. "They say he is quite the monster on the battlefield, and much more so in the bedchamber. But those tales, of course, are spread by his fans." The maid laughs slightly at this. "Still, I would say a few shots, point-blank between his eyes, should do the trick and easily enough. Do the world a favor, Pretend Maid, and I will make it worth your while."

She winks at you again, and you can't help but wonder if rich people actually spend their spare time going to these kind of events.

How do you respond?
"I'm not running a charity here Iglesias."


Also, while we all might all love our lovable fellow operator reference, we have to assume that she doesn't have our best intrest in mind. I mean, we were ALREADY going to get into conflict with another golden weapon user. So, why push us? There's something we're missing.

As terrible as it is, I think we really NEED to try to talk to Mr. Pimp-Named-BB. We need to find out what we can about Pinky, here.
>>19875197 >>19875235

The maid blinks at this, before frowning slightly. "Of course I know you are not doing this for free. Do you think I would even consider offering this job to someone else when I myself want to be the one to pull the trigger that ends his life?" Fabiola glares at you, her emerald eyes narrowing, before she shakes her head - a sigh escaping her lips. "Like I have said, my hands - and that of the Head Maid's - are tied. Master does not wish for us to kill, nor do we wish him to see us kill."

She smiles up at you, wistfully. "Master, he is naive. Young and naive, and believes in the good in people. The Head Maid and I, we are far from that, but we are willing to stay our hands if it means him being able to sleep soundly at night. We prefer the sincere lie to the begrudging truth, if only for him."

It's then that Fabiola slides off of her stool, smoothing down her skirt with both gloved hands. "It is your decision, Pretend Maid. I cannot force you. But if you do change your mind, then I will be ready to recompense you. In any shape or form that you would wish me to."

She reaches up to carefully brush some strands of hair from her eyes, before taking a step back and bowing formally to the bartender and to you. When she straightens, the jovial look on her face is gone, replaced with a carefully blank expression. She turns around elegantly, before walking forward with measured steps, towards the young man she pointed out (who was now trying to catch Iori's attention (and being unsuccessful at it).

You pull out your cellphone. You have a few calls to make. With any luck, it'd distract you from the glass of whisky sitting in front of you, just begging to be drained.

Who do you call, and what do you tell them?
QB first.
Tactical report
Call QB, inform him that Lance may have a Golden Weapon, ask if it'd be possible to arrange a contract on his life.

This isn't something that we'd try to do ourselves. I can just imagine trying to get him alone, and then being overpowered. Not fun.

Idea: Maybe if we let Lance get a good look at our gun (nothing obvious, just walk by and stretch or something) he'll come to us and comment on the similarity of our weapons. It'd be interesting to see if Faust is trying to put together a conspiracy beyond her direct management.
We call QB, we need intel on this Kilgore personage.
>>19875496 >>19875499 >>19875497

You select Kyuubey's number from the contact list and tap it twice - the smartphone showing a close-up of the mutant cat's face as it connects the call. You wait for the other end of the line to pick up before you place the device against your ear. It takes him three rings to do so, and when he does, he has a rather smug tone to his voice when he greets you.

"Ah, Matsuda. I suppose you're calling about a certain Lance Kilgore, of Kilgore Enterprises?"

...You haven't even said a word, and he already pre-empts you. How the hell did he know?

"I have my ways. But let's not chat about it too much, you'll blow your cover if other people see you talking on the phone for much too long. Now, what do you want to know about him?"

You immediately ask about anything Kyuubey can dig up on him. If this bastard's been in business for a long time, then anything Kyuubey could find may give you a hint on how to take him out quietly.

"There's not much known about Kilgore. American background, Detroit. Criminal record's not much of a help here, just the usual B&E, Robbery, Homicide. It says here he came to Japan trying to box professionally in the amateur divisions, but he suffered defeat early on." You hear the faint tap of a keyboard. "He disappeared for awhile, before coming back two weeks later and literally punching someone's head off in a sparring match. He was seen wearing strange bangles on his arm when he reappeared. A month later, the gym owner's daughter married him and placing all her assets in his name. A week after that, a popular voice actress did the same exact thing. And the next. Ad nauseam. He amassed such a fortune that he started his own company, which deals primarily in escort services."

A moment of silence. And then-- "Matsuda, you're not planning on killing him, are you?" Kyuubey replies, seemingly shocked. "You do realize you're planning on killing the CEO of a very important company and a well-known celebrity as that?"

You tell him immediately about the bangles just before taking the smallest sip from your double. It takes all your willpower to place it back down on the shiny varnished bar top, and even more to let go of it.

"...I see. Very well, then. I'll leave it up to your discretion on how you deal with this situation. I would ask that you try and keep the casualties confined to just him, but I think I needn't bother. Just...try and think about our PR, Matsuda."

The line goes dead, and you end the call. You take another sip before making another one, this time to the one-eyed butler you left stewing in the company car.

"FINALLY. RED? GREEN?" Kyoko's voice comes much too loud and much too clear from the smartphone's speaker, enough that you automatically flinch away from it. "I'M READY. I'M READY ANYTIME, MURDERFACE. SAY THE WORD AND I'M THERE. 1.81 JIGGAWATTS, MURDY, LET'S GO BACK TO THE FUCKING FUTURE."

You snap at her to quiet down, and then let her down easily by telling her about the situation. You're not asking for backup or extraction just yet, but simply giving her a heads up that you may need it sooner than later.

"Oh. Seriously? Tch." The disappointment is clear in Kyoko's voice. "You could've just texted, Murderface, y'know. Got me all excited for nothing! That's what you're good at, just killing buzzes everywhere. Buzzkillface!"

You tell her to shut up and just get the limo (and herself) ready. Just in case.

"Fine, fine. You got it. I'll warm the car up for you just in case I need to bail your ass."

You end the call right after that, and shove the smartphone back into your inventory as you mull over what had just been said. Kyuubey didn't really tell you much, other than confirm that the bangles do have something to do with how he's been getting a lot of attention lately - elevating their status from gaudy jewelry to actual threat.

You turn slightly to look at Fabiola, who seems to be quietly standing behind her Master. She notices you looking, and gives you a small nod - and a wink. Well, maybe she blinked, but you got the spirit of it.

Maybe you'll be taking up her offer after all. Now you just have to clear up just how she's going to pay for it. After all, you're not running a charity here.

You make to leave the bar, before blinking as you notice the tall, gaudy Lance - standing heads and shoulders above his horde of glassy-eyed concubines - start to make his way towards Iori. Iori seems to have caught wind of what was about to happen, and seems to be trying not to pay attention - instead talking a bit more loudly to both Takane and Chihaya, who also seems to be dreading the inevitable contact.

How do you handle this?

[]Run interference as a clumsy maid.
[]Run interference as a diligent maid.
[]Get a running start and dropkick Lance in the face.
[]Let it happen and see what Lance does.
>[]Run interference as a diligent maid.

Being clumsy would probably just piss Lance off and we're trying to avoid a conflict here.
[x] Run interference as a diligent maid.
Diligent maid time.
>>19876071 >>19876058 >>19876057

Running interference shouldn't be hard at all. You already have an idea on how you should do it. The proper way. The professional way. Even though you'd just as take a running start, jump, and smash both your heels into his face.

You slide off of your stool, before blinking as you realize you're actually leaving a half-empty glass of whisky alone.

It's a crazy world we live in, you muse.

You make your way towards Chiaki, in that same deliberate, composed manner you'd seen Fabiola walk to her Master with. You try not to make it obvious that you're keeping tabs on Lance himself - it seems, for the moment, that he's simply chatting Iori up, his hands around two of his blank-eyed groupies. You hear Iori's nervous giggle joining Lance's loud braying - he must've cracked a joke he thought was hilarious - and you force yourself to focus your gaze on Iori instead, quickening your step just a bit more.

"It begins. Do not say I did not warn you." You hear Fabiola whisper as you pass by her. This you ignore - you don't need to be told twice about what was happening. The important here is to deny this image-obsessed pimp the chance to get his hands all over your idol.

...Well, no. Not YOUR idol.

Your Principal. Client. Stakeholder.

Get it together, dammit.

A few more steps and you finally make it to Iori's side, who seems thankful enough to fly into your arms and give you a hug - but fortunately, she also has the wits not to, and instead look surprised that you're there. You bow to her, feeling not only Iori's and her friends' eyes upon you, but also Lance's - and it's then that you speak.

"My apologies, Mistress, but you have an urgent call to receive." You murmur, deadpan, keeping your head low.

You straighten after a few moments, and it's here that you play your gamble as you bring your arms behind you, clasping both your hands together. If Lance was truly the image-obsessed brute that he was, he would note the now highly-visible Golden Desert Eagle holstered to your side as something he'd like to add to his collection of mundane golden things. If he was the warp-touched beast that you fervently hoped he is, then he would recognize the veiled challenge for what it is, and react accordingly.

"A-ah. I see." Iori nods after a moment, before glancing towards her friends. "I'm sorry, Chihaya-chan, Takane-chan--" And then she glances up at the behemoth in front of her. "A-and Sir Lance, but I do have to take this call. Please excuse me."

You both make to leave the ballroom floor, when it's th