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File: Miranda Styles #9.png (340 KB, 577x894)
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Hello! And welcome back, once again, to Magical Girl For Hire Quest!

You are Miranda Styles, a relatively unscrupulous magical girl currently working for Silver Eye Solutions, a umbrella corporation for magical girl mercenaries such as yourself, located in scenic The Intersection, a dimensional nowhere and everywhere where you rest and get details for your next job.

You're currently on another assignment, wherein you're tasked with putting a ragtag group of magical girls through the wringer while playing a villian as a sort of bootcamp, in order to let them get used to major threats quickly for an unspecified reason. You've begun a 'plot' in which you plan to steal several objects for them to attempt to stop you, and you first meeting after stealing a meteorite went rather...poorly, for them. You came to the conclusion that they have a lot to work on- starting with group coherency. After all, in order to be an effective team, you have to first behavelike you're part of one...which they hadn't, really. There were flashes of competency, but the question now is how to bring that front and center?

You'll need a plan to do so today, and you're currently eating breakfast, trying to develop one.

Previous thread: >>670405
General Pastebing: http://pastebin.com/u/MGFHQHandler
Character Details: http://pastebin.com/9J70gqM2
Miranda's Techniques: http://pastebin.com/eTu7U2PZ
FAQ: http://pastebin.com/8unLWUjF
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MGFHandler

Expect slow updates. At least I know now that this random-ass on call situation isn't going to last, ideally.
>>
>>700544
I think that we may need to let them eke out a victory and get the tablet so that they can get a "translation" listing the other objects we'll go after.
>>
Hey folks, trying my best.
>>
You’ve been sitting there eating oatmeal for about a half hour now. You’re still not certain how it’s all getting in, but you’re trying not to think of that as you plan for your next encounter with the Shining Hearts Squadron. You know you're going to meet them after stealing the stone tablet, but the question is how to not only convince them that they need to consider themselves a team, but how to have such a realization lead to success on their part. You're aware that there is a significant risk of them either getting too frustrated to focus, or calling in reinforcements, which wouldn't be good as it would run the risk of teaching the wrong lesson.

You have to find a way to how to convince them that being considerate of each other is important, and should they figure that out, maaaybe allow them some sort of partial victory…?

>You don't really need the tablet. Maybe allow them to take it from you? That would likely give them a morale boost, and would likely put them on the right track to stopping you. You can't help but be worried that they might consider last time a fluke however, and start slacking again...
>Maybe if you let them get a portion of it… it might galvanise them to get their act together faster. Or it just might cause more tension since they came so close…
>Don’t let them get the tablet at all. They need to learn these lessons as thoroughly as possible. Only by utilizing them all together and they stay in tune, can they stand a chance.
>Other
>>
>>700731
>Maybe if you let them get a portion of it… it might galvanise them to get their act together faster. Or it just might cause more tension since they came so close…
>>
>>700731
> let them get a portion of it
Hopefully hold off on that until they do something good.
>>
>>700731
>>Maybe if you let them get a portion of it… it might galvanise them to get their act together faster. Or it just might cause more tension since they came so close…
>>
>>700731
>Maybe if you let them get a portion of it… it might galvanise them to get their act together faster. Or it just might cause more tension since they came so close…
>>
>>700731
>Maybe if you let them get a portion of it… it might galvanise them to get their act together faster. Or it just might cause more tension since they came so close…
>>
Just a piece, then. Writing.
>>
What if we let them get the tablet... but embarrass them at the same time? It's also a move we can make against the possibility of them asking for backup, no one wants to admit that the meathead idiot beat them, or the alien stole all their pants, or that the enemy would exclusively hit them in alphabetical order while singing a song.
>>
>>700731
Hm. All things considered, letting them get a decent portion of the tablet may be for the best. As long as it’s not a tiny piece, they may end up trying to decipher it- since the language is apparently illegible, that might cause them consternation- but if they go to Lorraine...hm.

You end up calling her, and she responds with a curious “Hello? Do you need something?”

“Do you have access to translators?” you ask. Before she can confirm or deny, you explain yourself. “I intend to allow them a broken piece of the Stone Tablet should they demonstrate sufficient coherency. They may try to decipher it. Your assistance may be called on.”

“I...what? Translating the Stone Table is impossible- it’s in no known language or grammatical style, as far as most research has shown. Are you trying to fake it?” she asks.

“That is the intention. Awarding them some chance at stopping me in should provide sufficient motivation.” you confirm.

“Hm...alright, then. I...think I can make that work, so long as you tell me what you’re looking for in advance.” She doesn’t sound very confident, but you’ll take what you can get. “They tend to visit in the evening, so if you want to wait until then again, I might have time to give some last-minute advice. Might make things go smoother. That, or you could just go sooner, and you can tell me how things went before they show up so that when they come to tell me about how things went, I could better suggest things to them to improve.”

>I'll wait until the evening then. They could use some extra advice.
>I'll go during the day then. Better to have regular feedback.
>Other
>>
>>701117
Fight ASAP.

>Translating the Stone Table is impossible- it’s in no known language or grammatical style, as far as most research has shown.

How does our translation effect work?
>>
>>701117
>I'll go during the day then. Better to have regular feedback.
>>
>>701117
>>I'll go during the day then. Better to have regular feedback.
From what it sounds like, they'll stick to their normal schedules and routines, so long as they don't feel like they've been jerked around too much or are getting desperate.
>>
>>701117
> I'll go during the day
We only have a week, no time to waste! Plus if we get this done fast maybe anons will let us have FUN for once.

>>701138
nb4 it's a space shopping list
>>
>>701117
>I'll go during the day then. Better to have regular feedback.

This will insure they get the best amount of help, and they'll need it.
>>
>>701167
>nb4 it's a space shopping list

I would pay good money just to see Crystalline's face if she ever found that out.
>>
>>701117
>I'll go during the day then. Better to have regular feedback.
Be sure to let her know that the part the kids will get should lead them to the items we'll target and the way they should be used to pierce our defenses.
>>
>>701170
So we got the eggs

Our next targets will be
MILK AND BUTTER
>>
During the day, then. No time to waste!

>>701138
Babelfish Effect/Intersection Osmosis. It all sounds/looks the same to you, with very mild accents, and your hands just sort of know how to move to write in the local language.
>>
>>701295
So we can read the tablet, then.
>>
>>701117
“I'll go during the day. They might be better for the feedback,” you decide. “Be prepared for them.”

“Will do,” she promises. You hang up, and brace yourself for the day's events. Hopefully today will go better than yesterday.

About an hour or so later, your back overlooking the museum. It's from a different angle this time, since apparently the eyewitnesses from last time informed the police about your entrance. There are guards all around the perimeter in general, which prevents you from just walking in like last time. Well, not exactly preventing you, but it would be more annoying. You're not one hundred percent certain where the Stone Tablet is; although you think you recall seeing an ancient history exhibit, that's the extent of your knowledge of the area.

As far as you can tell, you could activate your Great Barrier and walk in- you'd be under a time limit, however, and you'd have to deactivate it to grab the Tablet. Not great if there’s a ton of guards waiting; but maybe if you're fast enough…

Then again, you still had those potions that Geegee made. You still aren't sure if they work, but if they do, you'd be able to slip in and get out before anyone notices, and dictate how things progress from there, similar to last time.

Another option is to simply cause a ruckus, while keeping things non-metal. Maybe your Flux Wave could come in handy here…

>Try the potions.
>Use Great Barrier.
>Use Flux Wave.
>Other
>>
>>701983
>>Use Flux Wave.
>>
>>701983
> other
Cut a hole in the roof and drop in. Or in the back wall out something.
>>
>>701983
>Try the potions.
May as well test these for future reference while it's still safe to. Otherwise they'll just be burning holes in our pockets.
>>
>>701983
>Try the potions.
Might as well give it a shot.
>>
>non-metal

Miranda likes Jazz and big band music apparently.

Autocorrect a strange beast.

That's supposed to be non-lethal.
>>
>>701983
>Try the potions.
>>
Why waste a potion, it's not as if they're unlimited. We've got like, three.
>>
>>702126
Wasn't there invisibleisng prism on our shopping list? Maybe we can forget to return that.
>>
>>701983
>Try the potions.
>>
Down the hatch.

Writing.
>>
>>701983
Well, might as well see if those potions were still viable. You’re not sure if they’d be effective in this world- but then, most consumables tended to have some shelf life to them- and it hasn’t been THAT long…

You quickly uncork one of them and down it, deciding to save the vial for later just in case. You look down at yourself- the last time you did this, you felt a tingle and a strange fuzz at the edge of your- ah, there it is. There wasn’t nearly as much ‘feedback’ as there was back then- you’re not sure if that’s due to the potion’s quality, or due to removing the potion from its home world. Still, as you hide in the alleyway, you take a look at yourself no longer present. How these potions manage to hide everything on you and not just your body is always an interesting thought- if not one that you like to entertain for too long. Headaches, dontcha know.

At any rate, high time to get this going. You slip out of the alleyway and, careful of your steps, slip into the building via one, two long jumps- landing square in front of the receptionist desk. She’s off today, but there are a variety of cops- and as you leap to the second story, you can see down the hall that they’re largely hanging around the scene of your last crime. Lovely.

Fortunately, the ancient history exhibits are down a hall perpendicular to where the space ones were. It doesn’t take you very long to find the room where a myriad of bones, pottery, and other such objects lie. And the Stone Tablet in a corner, roped off, but sitting on a podium. It’s actually a decently sized slab- you’ll have to carry it carefully- which means you’ll have to play more defense than offense to keep hold of it. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem- might even help considering the task at hand. As for getting out of here with it, it seems that the other rooms don’t have nearly as much guard presence as the space exhibits. One seems to be patrolling the entire hallway.

It’s only a few moments’ wait- you hold position until he’s gone nearly to the end of the hall- not the best position for you to be in- he’s blocking the way to a rear exit, and going back the other way means going through a hail of guards. The upper level has long windows, at least...yeah, that’ll work.

*CRASH*

And there’s the alarms…

*CRASH AGAIN*

And there’s the windows gone. Beware the haunted floating tablet! At least until you put it under your cloak- hopefully that masks it. You’re on a rooftop right next door to the Museum, now. You went East last time. Where are you going now?

>North
>South
>East
>Other
>>
>>702844
where would have the most water? might as well see what aquatica can do in her element, plus how much their leader freaks out due to aquaphobia.
>>
>>702844
>South
>>
>>702844
Ya I'm cool with popping over to the southern treatment plant for water based shenanigans.

Also keen to show them our magic this time. Like we are sitting on the roof puzzling over the tablet, the land and make demands at is, we casually blast them all away while keeping reading.

>>679661
Here be da shiddy map.
>>
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Iiiii knew I forgot something.

I tried to make it better. Slightly.
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>>702952
>>702974
south to the water treatment plant it is then. well for my vote anyway.
>>
>>702844
>>702974

Either North or South then. Let's see if having the field advantage via Water Treatment plants gives them the edge they need to improve their Group Coherency.
>>
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Well, no, you could, but it'd look weird.

Writing!
>>
>>702844
Hm. Last night’s little trip is still fresh in your head. Might as well follow your first instinct- and besides, it might give Aquatica a bit of deja vu when they find you at the treatment plant. You have to admit that you’re kinda wondering what’s going to happen now that you’re invisible- they might see you heading off in a particular direction, so...hm. Actually, it might be for the best if you take the table back out. Let them see where it’s going. Hopefully, they’ll make the connection sooner than later.

You just have to wait for them.

-------

Considering you’re not really trying to hide yourself that well, you find yourself at the plant in a matter of minutes. The invisibility should wear off soon- but in the meantime you’ll have to ignore the surprised stares and shouts of the workers outside. There’s a open, center platform on each of the water basis for observational purposes- that’ll be a nice sit-down spot, you suppose. There’s five in a pentagon shape with the sixth in the middle. That middle one looks nice. Fortunately, there’s no one on it- there are people on the surrounding ones, however, and they look with incredulity at a stone table flying out of nowhere and coming to rest casually on the platform. They probably had no clue what was going on.

Ah- that reminds you. You’re kind of curious as to what the tablet actually says- if anything. You didn’t really pay attention earlier when you stole it, but now’s as good a time as any. Lesse…

’Ah, but to resist my dearest, was something I could not stand.’
We embraced, in all ways,
And her loving touch I did greatly savor,
For each moment in that we were,
We grew greater and greater still,
Despite the savages surrounding us, with grotesque heads and little fur,
We were given to each other in the flames of passion,
And yet when our transport arrives and we are freed from this primitive place,
The depths of my want for her will-


No. Done here. Don’t even want to read the rest.

You’ll just wait patiently.

cont.
>>
>>703419
Surprisingly, it’s not that long before they show up again- this time through the doors of one of the main buildings. Dunno why they took the normal way around, but whatever.

As you expected, Crystalline looks FEROCIOUS. She’s already armored up, and she looks like she’s itching to fight as she looks around, presumably for you. Shygirl looks curious about the situation, slowly scanning the area, and Aquatica looks immensely distressed- you suppose considering the possible close proximity of her parents. Ribbit is looking around sharply as well, but you can tell she’s more guarded, like she’s expecting you to pop out any time now. Ruby’s got a determined look on her face, but you notice she’s trying to stay in front of Crystalline, who isn’t objecting, surprisingly.

“Alright, if she’s here...she’s probably got a trap waiting for us,” you can hear Ruby say. “Be caref-.” Ribbit then taps her, causing Ruby to refocus her attention on her, and then she points towards you- or the tablet, perhaps. “...careful. Very careful,” Ruby finishes.

>Say something; if only to show that you’re right there.
>Blast them now- shake them up a bit.
>Let them get closer, if they dare. You’ll repel them easily.
>Other.
>>
>>703426
>Say something; if only to show that you’re right there.
we didn't engage first last time, might as well keep that up.
>>
>"One might wonder if it will be enough." Whisper it in her ear.

>"If that sorry show you put on the last time you tried to impede me was the best your 'team' has, one wonders whether it is courage or naivete that brings you before me once more."
>>
>>703426
> Let then get closer
don't say shit, unless it's "what's a monster got to do around here to get some peace and quiet to read some ten cent smut, reeeee!"
>>
>>703426
>>Mutter "interesting" while looking at the tablet.
>>
Wrapping it up for tonight, will attempt to resume tomorrow. Or at the very least write the resolution to whatever is chosen. Night.
>>
>>703426
>>Say something; if only to show that you’re right there.

Wait until they're close enough to touch it before scaring the shit out of them.
>>
>>703426
>Say something; if only to show that you’re right there.
ehehehehehheh
>>
>>703426
Dick around.
>>
When we talk to lorraine next we totally have to tell her that tablet is disgusting and she should be ashamed to have children looking at it.
>>
>>703426
Hm. Well, the invisibility’s bound to wear off shortly. Might as well make your presence known on your terms rather than the potion’s. Besides...it’d just be plain funny spookin’ them. They seem to look at each other for a bit, silently asking a question. Ruby takes a deep breath, and motions to go forward- then Aquatica puts a hand on her shoulder. You can see Ruby shiver a bit, and turn to Aquatica, who has a shaky smile on her face. Ribbit comes up as well, and nods to her in support.

Ruby gulps, and puts a foot on the bridge-

Right there. “Interesting.”

“BWAH!” Ruby instantly jumps back, the entire lot of them getting into battle poses as they search out the source of the noise. “Where are you?!” Ruby yells, fists blazing with pink energy. “You gonna come out, or are you just gonna be a coward?”

“Cowardice would be...inadvisable for my purposes,” you state, as they finally realize that you’re, in a manner, right in front of them. “It may perhaps be more efficient for yourselves to take that course of action.” Ah, the potion’s wearing off. You can see their eyes focus on your location now in surprise and astonishment as you rise from your sitting position, still looking at the tablet, although your eyes flick up to see their reactions- Shygirl in particular seems to be vacillating between being shocked at your appearance and being..insulted? That’s certainly a frown on her face. Huh. Didn’t take her for the sort.

Crystalline’s just frustrated, and snorts at your words in a very unladylike manner. “Like hell!” She raises an arm to fire; guess it’s time to-

“WAIT!” Oh? Ribbit’s got her hand outstretched, blocking Crystalline’s aim, and she’s staring at you hard, like she’s trying to see past your mask.

For a few terse seconds, no one moves. You simply tilt your head in curiosity, but say nothing.

Ribbit takes a deep breath, and steps forward. “You don’t match any bad guy or bad girl we’ve heard of before. You don’t stick around to gloat, you haven’t even so much as threatened a civilian, and this is twice now. Normally new villains are big, flashy, try to make a name for themselves, but you just...steal and leave.” She’s looking at you like mathematician looks at a equation they need to figure out. “And judging from what Shygirl said from what she saw the other day, you could’ve been long gone, but you were just out in the open waiting for us...and if you can turn invisible like her, you could’ve vanished without a trace, or snuck attacked us like, ten times over. But you haven’t. At first I thought it was just a fluke, but now I’m thinking not...” She’s still in a battle stance, as are the others, but it seems they’re all just now coming to her conclusions as she explains it. “Just who ARE you? What’s your plan, here?!”

Inquisitive one.

> “I am nothing and no one. And my plans are my own.”
> “Someone who was lost, and I seek to find myself again.”
> Other (Name and plan)
>>
>>704799
> “Someone who was lost, and I seek to find myself again.”
>>
>>704799
>> “Someone who was lost, and I seek to find myself again.”
>>
>>704799
>“Someone who was lost, and I seek to find myself again.”
>>
>>704799

> “Someone who was lost, and I seek to find myself again.”

This could give us options and an easy way to give us the end to the story ("we find X and leave")

But I'm not sure about where this leads with us dealing with the girls.

It paints us too much in a not-a-bad-guy light, which I'm not the biggest fan of. However, it allows us to have new avenues to train them. Mainly that it appears like we're only dealing with them because it helps us somehow (or we're bored) which means we could get the ability to actually give them advice, maybe.

Don't really like either option, but I can't think of a better write-in.
>>
>>704799
>Don't answer, just start laughing your ass off in a creepy way. Then mock them for not understanding.
>>
>>704799
>Other
"I have no patience or desire to explain to those who cannot understand. Do not be obstacles, and there will be no pain."
>>
>>704852
Reasoning: Nothing is scarier than the unknown, and if they get offended it's easy to lead that into a fight.

>>704840
If they see us as a tragic figure and want to "save" us, that can still work. They'd need to beat us in a fight first anyway.
>>
>>704922
>If they see us as a tragic figure and want to "save" us, that can still work. They'd need to beat us in a fight first anyway.
Oooh that creates a nice narrative of us only gaining 'pieces' of our self back by hard won fights and now we are summoning something horrible and powerful enough to completely return all of our pieces in one fight. Meaning that the girls have to improve their teamwork enough to present us a challenge so that we wont summon the monster instead.
>>
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>>704944
>gaining 'pieces' of our self back by hard won fights
Nah, I mean that's just how befriending works.
>>
>>704984
So we want them to pierce us with their Large Pink Lances of Blasting?
>>
>>704944
I can dig it.

So our end goal: Summon Lorelei to ask her what the fuck happened the night we went drinking.


You know, with her ghost limbs ability, she could be pretty terrifying if she stacked intimidation.
>>
Searching for myself.

Writing.
>>
>>704799
Might be worthwhile to at least give them a little something about you. “Someone who was lost, and I seek to find myself again.” There. That sounded suitably mysterious, and vaguely ominous.

The girls take a step back, all except for Ribbit, who merely cocks an eyebrow in curiosity and confusion. “And you plan to do that how?” She presses. You see her glance down at the tablet, but she says nothing. You don't give her a reaction as she tries to figure you out.

“Ugh, can we just lay into her, already?!” Crystalline grouses. “I'm no one's club, and you're going to learn that real quick, you Phantom of the Opera wannabe!” The others in reflect fighting positions, but Ruby’s sweating you notice, and Aquatica’s sticking out her tongue, as if she's focusing very hard while she's staring at you…

No, not at you. Over your shoulder. Ohhhhhh, clever. If perhaps unapproved by the leader.

>Goad Crystalline into breaking ranks. “You were quite sufficient for the task.”
>Throw Aquatica off. “Interfering with your father's work? Cruel.”
>Play to Ruby’s aquaphobia. “You seem most uncomfortable, young one. Do you need a drink? There is much around here.”
>Play to tradition. Look behind you, and brace for impact.
>Prepare to dodge and engage combat.
>Other
>>
>>705231
>The others return to fighting positions.

I wonder if I can train my phone's voice to text or something...
>>
>>705231
>>Goad Crystalline into breaking ranks. “You were quite sufficient for the task.”
>>Try to get her hit with her allies attack
>>
>>705231
>Play to tradition. Look behind you, and brace for impact.
We have to let them think that they've almost got it, just with a little more work they could beat us. Otherwise they'll just ask for help from one of the stronger hero teams.
>>
>>705231
>Goad Crystalline into breaking ranks. “You were quite sufficient for the task.”
Would you like a permanent position as my club?
>>
>>705231
>Play to tradition. Look behind you, and brace for impact.
and
>>705327
>Goad Crystalline into breaking ranks. “You were quite sufficient for the task.”
Would you like a permanent position as my club?
>>
>>705351
Wait, you want to taunt then get hit? Just trying to parse those two together.
>>
>>705231
> other
Just blast aquatica, she is telegraphing her sneak attack and needs to learn not to.
>>
>>705392
Seconding, hell we can even give a lil lesson by just calling her out on being obvious
>>
>>705384
yeah.
>>
>>705231
>Goad Crystalline into breaking ranks. “You were quite sufficient for the task.”
>Prepare to dodge and engage combat.
They'll be more motivated if we show no weakness.
>>
"I shall taunt you now. Ahem..."

Writing.
>>
>>705409
adding to this, they wouldn't be so stupid as to attack us while we have a fragile old as shit object, right? right?
>>
>>705231
Well, whatever happens, you’ll deal with it. You still have the stone tablet, and they’ll likely take care to not break it, whatever they’re doing. At least, you sincerely hope they won’t. However, maybe you could render that little issue null anyways. “You were quite sufficient for the task, tall one. You weight would serve well as my permanent club.”

“OH, YOU’RE DEAD!” Crystalline throws Ruby’s arm aside and charges you, headless of everyone’s yells, footsteps clanking across the walkway with authority. You soon hear a ‘now, NOW!’ and you’re reminded of the threat behind you as you duck to the side- and several jets of water tendrils miss you, and seem to wrap around Crystalline for a second before they quickly slough off like normal water. Crystalline for her part doesn’t seem to notice or care- she’s seeing red and is trying to best to smash your face in- despite your holding of the stone tablet in one hand. Is she really that...

"Come HERE, will you!" Crystalline yells. No, she's not really trying to punch you unless she thinks she's got a clear shot. Her palms are open the rest of the time- is she trying to grab you?

She’s surprisingly quick in melee, but still not enough to catch you as her impacts dent the steel railings- she doesn’t seem to be firing off any crystal shards, however. She seems to at least recognize the error of what she did last time.

You spare a glance over to where the others are as you avoid an attempt at grabbing you- Shygirl’s vanished yet again, Ruby’s looking like she wants desperately to help, but is hesitant, Ribbit’s saying something to her, and Aquatica’s trying to keep her eyes locked on your movements, with both hands up like she’s trying to control something yet again. Great.

Another swipe goes over your head- this little arena is starting to feel a bit cramped. You need to:

>Slip past her and take the fight to land.
>Launch a punch straight to the gut with the intention of cracking her armor.
>Keep them split, wreck the walkway.
>Fire off a potshot at the three just standing around.
>Other
>>
>>705592
>>Launch a punch straight to the gut with the intention of cracking her armor.
punishment for losing her cool, also makes it completely clear that using her as a club/shield wasn't why she cracked.
>>
>>705592
>>use crystaline as a weapon again. maybe this time they have a way to free her.
>>
>>705592
>Fire off a potshot at the three just standing around.
>>
>>705592
>Slip past her and take the fight to land.
We will infuriate them so much they commit everything into finding a way to defeat us.

Then, after everything, they will realize they could have just talked everything out.
>>
>>705592
>>Fire off a potshot at the three just standing around.
>>
>>705592

Slip past her to land seems like the best option, it'll have crystal charging her allies, it'll screw over all their plans

BUT crystal needs to be punished for her outburst.


>Launch a punch straight to the gut with the intention of cracking her armor.

Just crack it like an egg, one good punch to crack the armor, then take advantage of the weakness to rip it all straight off.
If that doesn't skin her of course, that would be bad.
>>
>>705592
>Form a barrier around her and pen her in, let the others have a turn fighting you.

Don't forget to say something snarky.
>>
>>705592
> punch crystal in the gut
> Take the fight to land
Specifically to the destructible building nearby, before ruby blows up the water tower.
>>
Seems like the majority is 'gutshot, try to get to land'.

Writing.
>>
>>705592
Slipping past, you wind up a stronger punch. This girl DEFINITELY has temper problems, and to be quite frank…

*CRACK*

Everyone goes quiet at the sound of your fist embedded in the crystal- even Crystalline freezes in shock. She looks down with wide eyes at the impact area, then back up at you in incredulity. You’re kinda shocked everyone else is. It was very hard material, yes, but you can imagine a couple things stronger than crystal. Still, the lesson to be learned here?

“You should watch your anger.” And you bury your fist in deeper, touching flesh, only to shove her away without further damage- she stumbles back in bewilderment, clutching the hole in her armor where her stomach is now revealed. She seems to be unsure what to do with you now, looking between her damage and you with now fearful eyes. You meet them for all of a second, and without a word you tense your legs, and jum- wait, what just grabbed you- FUCK

You feel a phantom pressure on your legs as you jump, a massive blast of water hits you upside the head just as you take off, and you have all of three seconds to remember that Shygirl hadn’t been accounted for -again- as you careen in a shallow, awkward, tumbling parabola and crash land into one of the outer water filters- and they’re still working, meaning that too low is a ton of gross wastewater. There’s a cacophony of sounds; splashing, yells from above, struggle- you’re not sure which way is up and there’s pressures all around you, but they soon dissipate, and you quickly manage to orient yourself upright. That didn’t go how you wanted. You need to leave.

Surfacing, you look around, and realize that you’re at the edge of one of the outer basins- and then you realize that you’re hanging onto the edge with both hands, and THAT makes you realize that you lost the tablet. Aquatica is panicking, calling out Shygirl’s name for some reason. Crystalline is still trying to get back from the center, and Ribbit is nowhere to be seen. Ruby is running off somewhere- ah! There’s the tablet. And Ruby’s making a beeline for it.

>Yeah, this didn’t quite go as expected, but that’s fine. Kinda what you wanted, really. Time to get out of here.
>Nope. You’re not done here by a long shot. Time to turn things up a bit- try and blast Ruby away from the tablet.
>They may have the tablet, but high time they checked how strong their friendships are. Get one of them as a hostage, and trade the tablet for the girl in question.
>Other
>>
>>706088
Erase that 'you need to leave' in the third paragraph. That was from an earlier version and I just kinda forgot the sentence was there.
>>
>>706088
>>Nope. You’re not done here by a long shot. Time to turn things up a bit- try and blast Ruby away from the tablet.
They need to earn it for one thing, and for another, we need to see how well the rest of them work together.

Might want to miss her a couple of times, for dramatic reasons, though.
>>
>>706088
>>They may have the tablet, but high time they checked how strong their friendships are. Get one of them as a hostage, and trade the tablet for the girl in question.
>>
>>706088
>Nope. You’re not done here by a long shot. Time to turn things up a bit- try and blast Ruby away from the tablet.
They need to learn to cover their friends going for the objective.
>>
>>706141
This. Play up the desperation. Make it seem like we really dont want them to have it.

Then, overplay our hand. Manufacture the situation so they end up getting the tablet.
>>
>>706088

>Nope. You’re not done here by a long shot. Time to turn things up a bit- try and blast Ruby away from the tablet.

We barely started with them. There hasn't really been much teamwork outside of shygirl being the only competent person here.

We have to force them to actually try to work together.

Going hostage really ain't gonna help with that.
>>
>>706088
>Nope. You’re not done here by a long shot. Time to turn things up a bit- try and blast Ruby away from the tablet.

we have to make them struggle more if they really want that tablet.
>>
>>706088
Yay, they landed a blow on us, go team! But... friendly fire again?
> Blast ruby.
>>
>>706088
>Nope. You’re not done here by a long shot. Time to turn things up a bit- try and blast Ruby away from the tablet.
>>
Time to get a bit more serious.

Writing.
>>
guys, i think we shouldn't escalate higher than this for a few days. i'm getting the vibe that they will think we're way more outta their league than they expected and will call for help.
>>
>>706088
So Shygirl fell in as well.

Ideally we end in some sort of stand-off where Ruby threatens to break the tablet, and we decide to leave.
>>
>>706389
that would be a really bad idea for them. i mean, would you hire a bodyguard that threatens to shoot you every time someone points a gun at you?
>>
>>706358
We haven't really done much though. Hell we aren't even really threatening them as we just showed we aren't really gonna hurt them.

90% of what has gone wrong here has been their fault.
>>
>>706415
What?
>>
>>706451
basically destroying the tablet is a very bad idea for them, because they would be seen as inefficient, clumsy and a unable to protect the stuff they are supposed to keep safe.
>>
>>706088
Alright, score one for them. But now it’s time to step things up, and make them realize that you’ve got a bit more under the hood than speed and strength. You stretch out your arms and fire a trio of blasts from your half-submerged position.

She never sees them coming. The first one impacts right behind her, much to her surprise. The second one is barely dodged, causing her to stumble as she continues moving forward, and the third impacts flush, throwing her off her feet and sending her skidding into the wall of a building nearby.

To everyone's credit, it doesn't distract then from their tasks, although you notice Crystalline running faster. With a quick, strong tug, you pull yourself out of the water and into the air, flipping over and landing in front of the tablet- before you can pick it up however, you're forced to dodge out of the way thanks to a hail of crystal bits courtesy of Crystalline’s long-range intervention. The evasive actions allow Ruby enough time to get back to her feet, and as she charges forward for the tablet, you hear a loud splash as Ribbit rockets out of the water with a soaked Shygirl in tow. As soon as Aquatica sees that she's safe, she quickly throws her hands up, conjuring three more tendrils of water from the basin nearby. She slings them forward, causing you to jump over them; Crystalline has you in her sights, but she's trying to keep you away from the tablet more than actually hit, despite the rage on her face. A couple of blasts are sent her way in retaliation, but they impact shoulders, and she does a game job to taking the shots with little flinching. This means Ruby's got a clean line to the tablet; you're not so fortunate.

You take a few crystals shots to the torso getting to the tablet; they sting a little bit, but they're nothing too bad. However, you wind up getting to it a half-second after Ruby, and you and her are singing locked into a deadly dance, where neither of you willing to let go of the tablet, and rubies trying to get you within Crystalline’s sights, and you're trying to stay out of them.

>Relinquish the tablet.
>Take your half and get out of here, at risk.
>They weren't good enough just yet. Flash and get out, hopefully.
>Other
>>
>>706905
>Take your half and get out of here, at risk.
>>
>>706905
>Relinquish the tablet.
They're actually working as a team. First lesson learned.
>>
>>706905
>>Relinquish the tablet.
But only after a particularly good hit, preferably one to the mask, cracking it a bit and showing a bit of our true form, for spooky mysteriousness.

oooooOOOOOOOooooo...
>>
>>706905
>Take your half and get out of here, at risk.

They didn't earn much, but we can give them a bite.

Plus if we take some fire leaving, then we can shed the disguise so they can take a glimpse of our inhuman visage before leaving.
>>
>>706905
>Take your half and get out of here, at risk.
>>
>>706953
I like this plan, maybe even deliberatley take a glancing hit if we need to.
>>
>>706905
>>Relinquish the tablet.
after they do something powerful enough to make you retreat.
>>
>>706905
>Relinquish the tablet.
once they manage to damage the mask a bit.
>>
>>706905
> Take your half of the tablet
If we can make them curious about what's under our mask, thats cool.

>>706940
I haven't seen much teamwork. Hopefully next time crystal won't charge ahead and they will have the chance to work on a set piece together.
>>
>>706905
>Relinquish the tablet.
They've done pretty good, let them have it after a good solid hit to the mask. Crystalline's learning to cool her head, so I think they should get something out of this.
>>
guys, lets not break the tablet. we took it in one piece, we return it in one piece.
>>
>>707057
Wasn't the idea originally that they would get a part of it?
>>
>>707017
Aside from Crystal breaking formation, they've been pretty good about keeping an eye on their team, and not fucking up as bad. We can't expect them to be in our league after one fight.
>>
>>707057
It is a shitty ass love poem though, it won't be missed.

And only aqua lady and shy girl have really done good. Even then aqua did some real nasty friendly fire. Improvement, yes. But nowhere near enough to deserve the whole thing.
>>
>>707082
The owners don't know that. Are you planning on going to them and telling them "Yo, your tablet is just a dude writing about how he boned some chick he dug."? Because I wouldn't. They think it's valuable, why decrease it's value?
>>
Even split at the moment.
>>
>>707100
This guy has a point.
>>
>>707100
Just tell it to our boss maybe? Why would we annouce that we need a tablet about that trash?
>>
>>707100
Because we are EVIL. At the moment we have done some theft and defended itself. That is totally not good enough. Maybe we should find some babies to eat. Oh, how about we go to a graveyard and grab some bones to decorate our HQ with?
>>
>>707100
But telling Lorraine what it said would actually be worth more than the tablet.

Hell it was on a list of things we were allowed to fuck with. She was already told that we might break it. Breaking it is 100% okay.
>>
>>706905
>Take your half and get out of here, at risk
>>
Okay I think I know a way to make sure everyone is happy

We cut the tablet in half lengthwise, so they get the front half with the shitty love poem.
We get the back half that is just blank stone, and thus arguably better than the front half.

That way everyone here gets what they want.
>>
>>707168
but why break it when its not needed? lets make this a win for the MG team, but not without making them fight for it a bit longer.
>>
>>707193
is that possible though? i'm not sure we can do that in the middle of the battle.
>>
>>706905
>Relinquish the tablet.
I'm not going to risk partial payment.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

Gonna flip. 1 give it whole
2 breaks it in two.
>>
>>707248
The dice gods want this.
>>
>>706905
You struggle with Ruby for a few moments; she's doing her level best to both punch you and keep you between her and Crystalline so that the latter can drill you full of shiny stones. You're stronger than her, but her grip helps, and she's cognizant enough that you can't simply flail her around like you did Crystalline, as she tries to take a sucker punch at you every time, and she's actually pretty good with reorienting her body in mid air.

Suddenly she growls; and rears her head back- wait she's gonna headbutt you?

Yes. Yes she is. Well...points for willing to use whatever she has, you suppose. You can let that one slide.

It doesn't really do much on impact, but you snap your head back anyway, letting yourself flow with the motion; you feel a lighter tug on the tablet; and you see her rearing back for a haymaker. It connects flush, and that's all the excuse you need to crack the tablet it two as you throw your body back as if it got a major impact. To be fair, that DID sting a bit; kid’s got some muscle for being so young, and her energy helps out well.

You quickly turn around, feeling your mask. It's cracked a bit, but…

Actually, that might be good. You quickly chip off a bit where the crack is, and turn in their direction while looking down at the half of the tablet you have. It's the bottom half. Well, that just means you have less to read. Thank goodness. “This compromise will have to be acceptable,” you must have just loud enough for them to you, as they stare at you in shock as they gather around Ruby. Ribbit in particular seems to have zeroed in onto the exposed portion of your face, around the left cheek. Without a further word you turn and then leaving away from them, and as expected you hear shouts of dismay and commands to halt as you zig zag away from Crystalline’s attempts at gunning you down.

On the whole, you'd say that this altercation went better for them than the last. That's still a lot of work for them to do… but maybe they can learn.
>>
>>707535
well, lets be sure that no one is following us and then head back to our hideout.
>>
Done for now. Today felt a lot better than yesterday. Thanks everyone for playing so far! You're all amazing.

I don't know if anyone is up for Q&A, but I'd say I am tonight.
>>
>>707567
Thanks for running!
>>
>>707567
Thanks for running MG, no particular questions right now.
>>
>>707567
i have a question though

when will you run next time?
>>
>>707877
Uggghhhh, I wish I could tell you positively. All I can say is that 'tomorrow looks likely'. When tomorrow, I'm uncertain. If work leaves me alone for a day, then it'll likely be around 1 PM CST. If not...touch and go.
>>
>>707535
They did a lot better than last time, it looks like they're smart enough to learn as long as they are given the proper situations and feedback.
>>
You take it carefully for a while as you sneak your way back to your hideout/headquarters; it’s just getting into evening, now, so there’s not just a lot of people out, there’s more than usual due to rush hour traffic. That combined with your recent excursion means that there’s likely to be a lot of people out and about looking for you in one way or another. You wind up having to take a lot of back alleys and places with ‘no entry permitted’ signs- sewers would’ve been thematically appropriate and a lot more secretive, but nope, not big enough. Could’ve at least had the stereotypical getaway.

At any rate, it’s about a half hour before you get back- and you find you have a missed call on your cell phone. Really? Lorraine called you? Hm. Wonder why…

“Oh, good, you’re back,” is the first thing you hear when you dial her. Her voice is whispered. “Look, I’m in my room at the moment, but I’m not sure what just happened. All they told me was that apparently they nearly got you this time, and said you were after the tablet. Seems like you guessed right about them wanting my help to figure out what their part of it says. I told them it might take some time, but I’d contact the best professors I could. As for the girls themselves... Crystalline’s not in the best spot, I don’t think. She was shivering when she came in, and they were crowding around her last I saw. Some of the others seemed shaken, too. I haven’t heard from them just yet; it seemed like they needed some time alone. They’re still in the reading room. What happened? And how do you think they came out of it? It sounds like things could’ve gotten bad for them...”

> General prognosis?
>>
>>710889
"Crystalline still requires more self-control. She was easily goaded into engaging me in single combat. I penetrated her armor to show her that she depends on it far too much.
"Their teamwork has improved, and Ribbit shows promise by attempting to analyze my motives.
"As they had improved, I increased my response to their attacks. There was only the illusion of danger to them."
>>
>>710923
Also, they saw a bit of our face, probably should mention that.
>>
Getting better, but still some issues.

Writing.
>>
>>711039
Getting better but they have this terrible habit of friendly fire, they almost accidentally drowned shygirl
>>
>>710889

"Crystalline still requires more self-control.” That’s the first thing that comes to mind. “She showed residual anger over the previous encounter, and due to it, was easily goaded into engaging me in single combat.”

“Oh, no…” Seems like Lorraine can guess from there. “I’m guessing the end results were what shocked her?”

“Correct. I penetrated her armor to show her that she depends on it far too much,” you confirm.

“Wait, what?!” Lorraine nearly shouts at this. “You penetrated it? How? With what?”

“Yes, with only moderate difficulty, and with my fist, in that order,” you answer. You’d thought it be somewhat obvious- but then again, you DID have that rapier. Haven’t seen a need to use it just yet, though. Maybe in the next fight- give them something else to worry about as you escalate the threat.

“...no wonder she was so shaken up,” you hear softly “You didn’t hurt her too badly, right? You said you were going to be careful about that.” She sounds nervous, and you guess that’s understandable.

“No. The bypassing of her armor proved to cause mental distress on her part, and I elected to disengage. There were complications with that course of action,” you say. “To my detrement and their boon.”

“Oh? So they caught you off-guard a bit?” You can sense some curiosity in her tone- and maybe a bit of smugness?

"Their teamwork has improved, although friendly fire remains a concern- Aquatica and Shygirl will be able to better elaborate. Ribbit shows promise by attempting to analyze my motives- and she may have noticed a portion of my visage, due to damage to the mask.” you hear a slight gasp, but you continue. “She may be one to keep an eye on,” you suggest, "but I deemed them to have improved overall. Thus, I increased my response to their attacks. You need not worry,” you preempt her, “there was only the illusion of danger to them. I inflicted no damages that could not be easily healed."

“A lot to take in,” she notes. “But I’ll do my best to remember it. Now, what are you going for next? I might be able to say that some top men looked over it and came up with a very rough approximation. Hopefully it’ll point them in the right direction.”

>Remaining List:

>Antique experimental tesla mini-engine.
>Weather Warper machine (formerly ‘Forecast’s’, can change weather in a localized area)
>Vesper Emerald (very large emerald)
>Crystal Egg (recently found in mountains, said to be of a lost civilization)
>Rainbowmaker’s Prism (can recolor objects, or render them invisible)
>Electrolyzer’s Gauntlets (low-level electricity generation)
>Ancient Clay ‘Grey Mouth’ Statue (Said to be depiction of alien)
>>
>>711243
>Rainbowmaker’s Prism (can recolor objects, or render them invisible)
>>
>>711243
>>Rainbowmaker’s Prism (can recolor objects, or render them invisible)
Or the egg, but I'd like to save the egg for last.
>>
>>711243
>Rainbowmaker's prism

THAT shit sounds useful. We should see about keeping it after the job us over.
>>
>>711243
> rainbow makers prism
And tell her that the tablet was only a cheap romance novel. Why it was carved in rock though...
>>
>>711243
>Antique experimental tesla mini-engine.
What we're doing needs a power source.
If they do well, then they can get it, forcing us to "find an alternative source of power".
>>
>>711342
Maybe if we can't get the engine, we will pretend to have to power it ourselves on the last day.
We can use a full shield with a weakness they need to figure out, to force us to fight them. Such as a single small hole in the shield that Aquatica can force water into.
>>
THE COLORS, DUKE! THE COLORS!

Writing.
>>
>>711243
“The Rainbowmaker’s Prism will be my next acquisition,” you decide. “It has potential, and would likely keep well with the theme of these thefts.”

“Then I’ll get to calling a few people, maybe tell them that one of the lines amounts to ‘something that changes the color of things’ or something like that,” she says. “But thinking about it, I don’t know if the museum still even HAS the prism or not…several of those items were deemed too dangerous to risk being left out, and were given to various facilities around the city.” Well, that might not be good. That is, you don’t mind going somewhere new, but still. “Don’t worry, I’ll get back to you by tomorrow morning about it.”

“This is acceptable,” you decide. “I will resume conversation with you then.” And so you hang up. Lorraine's been good about things so far. You trust she'll have confirmation by the time she wakes up.

You’re kinda wondering what’s going on with them now. Crystalline’s been clearly shaken, and you’re wondering what all of the others might be thinking right now. Also, considering the fact that the prism might not be in the museum...although you suppose that would be for the best right now. Back-to-back break-ins? They’re going to have that place locked down in every respect for a while.

>Head to bed, prepare for the next day.
>Head outside, do some more late night scouting. (Where?)
>Other
>>
>>711892
>Head to bed, prepare for the next day.

I really don't see what else we could do at the moment.

Too much is out of our hands at the moment. Might as well just rest abd prepare for shit to go wrong.

Wait fuck, we didn't tell lorraine what we said to the kids. We need her to know so the narrative the doesn't experience any hiccups.

Plus if I was shy girl I'd be keeping clobed about now to try and see us when we go out to try and understand what is going on, so actually going out could be somewhat detrimental to our training plans if we accidentally give her any leads as to what is really going on.
>>
>>711892
>>Other

Check the news and any other information media. we need to make sure we aren't riling up anybody else but the girls.
>>
>>711892
Kinda wondering why highwing and knockout are on the map.

Going to the school and using flux wave to make everyone nauseous would be fun. But grinch anons would vote against so unless you have any exposition to dump on us via the computer
> Timeskip until next theft time
>>
>>711996

Will explain later.
>>
And so the third day comes...

Writing.
>>
>>711892
I'd like to check in on the girls to see how they are doing, especially Crystalline, but it would be a bit messy to figure out how to listen in.

>Head to bed, prepare for the next day.

We can start hunting down THE COLORS tomorrow.
>>
Wait, are we doing 3 thefts in 3 days?

I don't see how they're gonna get anything from that last one without a lil bit of time to recuperate and talk, since it wasn't as much of a humbling experience this time.

Wont we kind of burn them down?
>>
>>712268
You can call it off, if you like. The curriculum is up to you.

I feel I should mention I AM open to 'interrupts' (such as the one last time) in terms of entries so long as a majority agrees on it and doesn't mind the adjustment. You only get the one per writing entry, though- can't keep doing it over and over.
>>
>>712268
we could cut down the number of objects we'll steal. maybe give them tomorrow free while we see the whereabouts of the prism stone(and see how easy it will be to take it away)
>>
>>712305
yeah, today be a mix of recon on both our pupils and the stone like people want.

We could get info on the stone, find what's up with crystalline, shygirl, and the likes.

Just prep so we are prepared to give our next lesson.
>>
>>712346
sounds like a good plan, supposing the other anons want to go with it.
>>
>>712346
yeah this sounds good.
>>
>>712346
In favor of this.
>>
Interrupt permitted- this day will be a recon day.

Rewriting.

Random tidbit: Lorelei's magic hands were inspired by Shun'ei from King of Fighters 14. I'm not the biggest fan of the character, but I like his shtick.
>>
>>712346
I'm against checking on the girls ourselves. Let Lorraine handle that.
And she's going to tell us where the Prism is going to be anyway.

No, better to check the news and make sure that other hero teams aren't taking notice, and plan our next fight better.
>>
Today, as you wake up, you have to admit you’re feeling rather rested. You wonder if the girls are as rested...actually, that does put a bit of a concern in your head. Although you haven’t messed them up TOO badly, you have given them several bumps and bruises, and more than a couple of things to chew on mentally. Perhaps today might be a good day for a breather, let them rest and recuperate.

After you mull on it a bit, you decide that yeah, that’s the best course of action, you think. While getting breakfast, you make to call Lorraine before she can say anything out of order towards the girls. It’s not long before she answers, and she sounds like she’s been up for a bit. “Oh, good morning- uh, something wrong?”

“I have decided to revise my curriculum slightly.” you state.

“Oh? R-really? Are you sure, because, well, the contract did state you were only here for the week- I mean, I can’t really say against it- I think you’ve been doing well so far, so I can’t really blame you if you think things need to slow down, but I’m just concerned, I mean, I’ve thought about extending it, sure, but if you weren’t then I’m-” she’s rambling.

“Cease.” She stops instantly. “I will utilize this day for reconnaissance and further tactical planning. They will utilize it for rest and recuperation. This is acceptable?” You phrase it as a not-a-question.

“Y-yes it is acceptable, yeah, yes!” she answers quickly. “Er, did you still want information on the prism’s wereabouts?” You quickly confirm so, and she continues. “It’s not at the museum, like I thought. Apparently the North Water Treatment Plant wanted it for a bit- wanted to run some experiments on the thing, I’m not sure why. They requisitioned it earlier in the week- slipped my mind, though. It’ll be returned in two days.” Huh. Well, that worked out fine. “As it happens, I took another look at a few requisitions, and it seems like the museum’s loaned out a few of those objects along with some others as of yesterday. I guess they don’t see the museum as safe anymore, or maybe it was just good timing, or something.”

“Locations?” you ask.

“Ah, right.” There’s some rustling of papers. “Uhh...the weather machine is being held by Highwing Aeronautics, the Vesper Emerald was purchased by some rich man, the Grey Mouth statue is being borrowed by Valour High School, and Electrolyzer’s gauntlets are being used by the Steelworks. As for the Crystal Egg...they, uhh...it’s currently in my possession.” She sounds embarrassed by that last bit. “Apparently, I’m to keep it in a secure area since I’m used to taking care of fine art. I put it in a hardened safe.”

“Noted. This will factor into my planning,” you state.

“Aha, r-right...anything else you need right now?” she asks.

>Ask if she knows’ the girls’ daily routines besides their afternoon/evening visits.
>Ask if she can set things up so that the Crystal Egg is easy/harder to get to.
>Nothing else.
>Other
>>
>>712626
>Ask if she knows’ the girls’ daily routines besides their afternoon/evening visits.
>>
>>712626

>Ask if she knows’ the girls’ daily routines besides their afternoon/evening visits.

I imagine doing recon would be part of recon day.
>>
>>712626
>Ask if she knows’ the girls’ daily routines besides their afternoon/evening visits.

All I'm seeing is that this is megaman now.

Who we going after?
Clonewoman?
Diamondette?
>>
>>712680
...damn, you're right. Ha.


Also I'll admit that sometimes I have trouble coming up with good prompts. I need to get better at this.
>>
>>712626
>>Ask if she knows’ the girls’ daily routines besides their afternoon/evening visits.

Crystalline needs the most work and has the most room to grow!
>>
>>712626
>Ask if she knows’ the girls’ daily routines besides their afternoon/evening visits.
>>
Schedules. Writing!
>>
>>712626
>Apparently the North Water Treatment Plant wanted it for a bit- wanted to run some experiments on the thing, I’m not sure why.

Wait a second- isn't that near the place where we discovered Jackknife's crew planning something?

>Instantly suspicious
>>
>>712689
We did kind of just send the next segment of the quest straight off the rails, so a bumpy ride is to be expected.
>>
>>712833
suspicious, but not our problem, unless they have the prism, then its our problem.
>>
>>712914
if they have it well...
perfect chance to show off a super move.
>>
>>712914
Or if they try to steal the prism from us. I mean, yeah, it's unlikely that they'd get very far, but still, you don't have to be powerful to get lucky, or even just early.
>>
>>712626

“Their schedules,” you say. “Are you aware of what they do beyond your daily visits?”

“Oh, uh…” she seems to take a bit to think. “I can’t really say, sorry. They’re in school until the afternoon, barring an emergency situation, so after then...hm...well, I know Ribbit enjoys reading and nature, I know she’s mentioned going to the library a few times, and she likes going to the city park a lot. Swimming, too. Aquatica’s gone with her a couple of times to take pictures; she used to show me a few. Crystalline likes shopping and...well, being a popular powered person- try and say that five times fast. Ruby’s mentioned acting in plays, and I know she does have practice, but I don’t think that’s an all the time thing. No clue on Shygirl, either, I just know that her and Aquatica are close.”

Well, it’s not a ton, but it might work. Gives you a couple of options at the very least. “That is sufficient.”

---------

The remainder of the morning is spent idly checking something things on the bedroom television; the daily news is mostly about your thefts of the past two days. They’re calling you the ‘Ghost Thief’, for lack of any specific identification on your part, and apparently you’re considered potentially dangerous, but surprisingly non-confrontational. As the news would frame it, your thefts are currently seen as more of a kleptomaniac spree than anything truly sinister, and you’re already being considered the latest of the city’s rogues. Well. That’s...something.

Enough of that. You check the time- it’s a bit past noon. You’re not entirely certain when their school lets out, so it’s probably better for you to get a move on now. Your plan for the moment, should they split up, is to try to tail:

>Ruby
>Aquatica
>Shygirl
>Crystalline
>Ribbit

And see what they do in their off-time, possibly learn something about them that may be a source of either weakness or strength that you can utilize.
>>
Oh, that's supposed to be a 'pick one' option, sorry.
>>
>>713255
Sure shygirl is the competent one that with some work could be a real gem, and sure it's a 2 for 1 stalking since she's probaby with aquaria, and sure it has the possibility for neat things to happen because she is actively suspicious of us,

But crystalline is the real problem child that needs the most work.
>Crystalline
>>
>>713255
>>Crystalline
>>
>>713255
>>Ribbit
She strikes me as the real gem in this crowd. A little extra pressure on her might result in something amazing
>>
>>713331
How is following her supposed to help her though?
>>
>>713255
>Ribbit
>>
>>713255
>Crystalline
>>
>>713255
>Shygirl
>>
Our interest seems to be a real gem of the new crop of heroines, Crystalline!
>>
>>713255
>Crystalline
yup. I want to maker sure how she's feeling after what happened.
>>
>>713255
As usual, it takes a bit of time to sneak around the city- most villains tend to do their dirty work brazenly or at night. You, not so much.

Eventually, though, you do arrive at the school- or near it, rather. You’re currently sequestered away in a half-complete building nearby- you’re not sure if it’s an add-on to the school or what, but it’s stable, and there’s no one in it or even nearby at the moment, which is pretty much exactly what you need. Valour City High School is a big place- three stories, with various buildings around the area for a myriad of educationally related reasons. There’s a blue and gold color scheme as well.

It’s about an hour or so before you hear the bell ring, and the throng of students spill forth from the entryway. You have little trouble picking out your quarry from the mass- she’s actually a bit taller than the average number of students- and so it’s easy to see her face. She’s walking with the other Shining Hearts- and there seems to be a bit of a circle of people around them? Well well. Popular indeed. Crystalline- or Layla right now- turns to Ruby- Jody- and gives her a bit of a pat on the shoulder. She says something quickly, grins, winks, and Ruby and the rest nod as they split off from each other for now- Ruby’s going one way, Shygirl and Aquatica are going another, Ribbit’s going a third, and Crystalline’s by her lonesome as well. You do notice that as soon as she turns away from them, her face drops into a deep frown.

You eventually see her walk into a very fancy car- she’s got her own chauffeur, it seems.

Time to go.

cont.
>>
>>714180
She winds up at the mall- you half expected that. You’re unsure how you’ll follow her into there, however, as it’s an indoor mall.

Fine. You can stake out. You’re on the roof of a nearby building, and have a decent view of the entryway.

Much to your surprise, however, it’s only about a half-hour before she comes back out- you’re honestly surprised the trip was so quick. And moreover, she doesn’t have much- just two bags. You were expecting something else.

She continues on her way, and winds up at the residential district up north, as you do your best to follow her along rooftops and alleyways- you nearly lose her once or twice, but eventually you see the car pull into a rather large house- it’s no mansion like Lorraine’s, but it’s certainly in a similar vein. You can even see what appears to be an officer nearby. Is this really hers? You’re currently situated on a high tree near the mansion. You’re not sure what kind of security, if any, it has, should you try to get closer.

Strangely, when she gets out of the car, she looks...contrite? Scared? Embarrassed, even, perhaps. She knocks(?) at the door, and the person who answers looks straight out of a fifty’s film- large glasses, fur shawl, long cocktail dress, impressive hat- and her arms seem to be solid diamond. You’re SURE that’s not any kind of arm covering or anything.

Crystalline has her head down as she sullenly gives over both bags to the lady- whom you can see has a deep frown on her face. She takes a look inside the bags and nods, then points inside. She glumly walks in, the driver following. You can see the lady’s head follow Crystalline’s slow walk. She barks something at the girl, who flinches and walks faster. After the driver is in as well, you see her sigh, put her hand to her forehead as if she has a headache, and shake her head- in what you presume is disappointment or frustration. She follows them in, and closes the door.

>Try to get closer- see if you can look through one of the windows.
>Stay here, use your hearing boost to see if you can listen in on things.
>Do both.
>Other
>>
>>714192
> hearing boost
If that don't work
> get closer
Fucking washed up heroes ragging in the younger ones to make themselves feel better.
>>
>hearing boost

If we cant, get closer, vut look out for security systems.
>>
>>714192
>Stay here, use your hearing boost to see if you can listen in on things.
as much as I want to do both they probably have security. don't want to risk it, unless we can use threat detection to close in?
>>
>>714192
>Stay here, use your hearing boost to see if you can listen in on things.
>>
>>714192
>Stay here, use your hearing boost to see if you can listen in on things.
>>
>>714192
Hearing boost.

She may act popular at school, but she's really a lonely girl with troubles at home?
>>
I'm actually most interested in Shygirl, she seems to be the Sailor Mercury of the group, without the confidence.
>>
>>714260
Oh, she's going to lie of the old gems for help. She went shopping to get her a gift.
>>
>>714192
>use the hearing boost
>>
>>714192
>Stay here, use your hearing boost to see if you can listen in on things.

>>714233
This is Crystalline's teacher and the one that taught her the entire crystal armor schtick. She's got a right to be frustrated when her student got overconfident because she's been beating up on level 0 mooks and suddenly has trouble dealing with a boss fight.
>>
Better than trying to plant a bug somewhere. Also probably the last one for the night.

Writing!

>>714274
I don't remember much of Sailor Moon. Wazzat mean?
>>
>>714353
The blue haired intellectual of the group. Acted mature.
>>
>>714413
Shy and quiet and smart.
>>
>>714192
Might as well try and see if you can hear things from here. You’re unsure how how much security a superhero- or possibly ex-superheroine in this case- might have. Sure there’s only the one guy, but for all you know that’s just a decoy or someone to convince would-be thieves that there’s not much security, when there might be a complicated security system around the premises. Best not to risk it. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

You activate your boosted hearing quickly, and do your best to listen in- fortunately, the house’s outer walls don’t seem to be soundproofed or anything- you have to admit that was a concern of yours. You can hear them somewhat clearly...made easier because the lady seems to have something of a naturally loud voice.

“...and so what did you do?” you hear the lady ask.

You can hear Crystalline haltingly speak. “I...sorta…lost my...tem-”

“-you lost your temper, yes,” the lady interrupts. “And when I released you from my apprenticeship, when I gave you my blessings, what were the VERY LAST words of advice I gave you?”

“You said...to never let anyone ruin my face.” She responds.

“And I trusted that you knew what I meant by that. It certainly wasn’t referring to your aesthetics,” the lady quips. “DID you understand what I meant? Come, tell me if you did.”

“You...meant ‘never let anyone frustrate me’,” the girl answers back sadly. “I’m sorry, it’s just she was-”

“It doesn’t MATTER,” the lady says sharply. “You’ve been goaded and made a fool of twice now because somehow you got it in your little head that just because I said you’d learned enough to START being a hero you’re suddenly a big deal!” The lady’s voice is sharp, and strong, but you’d be hard pressed to call it overly vindictive or vicious. “And one random, silver tongued thief comes along- and yes, I’ve seen the news reports- and suddenly you’re risking your friends’ necks in random bullish charges! It’s disgraceful!”

There’s silence for a brief period of time, then she resumes.

“...but you’re at least wise enough to come asking for help. I’ve known some wannabes that refused to even do that.”

“I...don’t want what happened the other day to happen again, Ms. Shimmer. She...she could’ve killed me if she wanted to.” Well, she’s not wrong.

cont.
>>
>>714770
“And yet you’re still here,” Shimmer says, and her voice is clearly more gentle. “So let’s make sure she doesn’t get the chance to change her mind next time. You’ve a great deal of potential, Layla. You just need to get OVER yourself and realize it. I’m absolutely fabulous, but you know as well as I do that I was never one to fight on the front lines; I supported my teammates as best I could. You can take a bit more of a punch, that’s true. But in situations like this- and there WILL be more of them in the future- you need to stop relying on these... and start relying more on this.” You’re not sure what’s happening, but you can get a pretty good idea. “I know I’ve told you this before.” She finishes.

“Y-yeah...I remember. I just...I guess she’s just so much TOUGHER than what we’ve been used to. I-I’m sorry.” You wonder if she’ll change her tune or not later on.

Shimmer chuckles. “It’ll be fine. Remember, chin up, show that dazzling smile, and remember that pretty is as pretty does. ‘Pretty on the inside and pretty on the outside-’ ”

“-means ALL the guys stop and stare!” they both finish, and laugh together. Egh. You’re not really that sort. And then they suddenly get quiet, and you can just head a phone ringing. “Hello?” Crystalline answers.

There’s nothing from inside for a few more seconds- but suddenly the door slams open, and both Shimmer and Crystalline race out, the chauffeur quickly getting them into the car and racing off. Huh. Wonder what that was- and now you’re phone’s ringing. Dollars to donuts that’s not a coincidence.

“Hello?!” Yup, it’s Lorraine. “Uhh..." And suddenly you hear a LOUD screeching- and that wasn't over the phone. You turn back towards the center of the city. "We have a problem.”

Of course you do.
>>
Aaaand done for tonight. Miracle of miracles, work didn't call me in on an off day. Sorry about the boringness, though.
>>
>>714781
Hmmm, the monster maker guy made some new monsters? Not our problem lady.

>>714798
Thanks for running. I wasn't bored. I do think we overused the word "sufficient" though, I laughed when she referred to us as silver tongued.
>>
>>714781
>And suddenly you hear a LOUD screeching- and that wasn't over the phone. You turn back towards the center of the city

Side-pay ho?
Time for the girls to really team up?
Time to be the hero the city needs, but doesn't deserve?

Thanks for running Handler
>>
>>714850

I was going for 'sufficient' to be the 'gimmick' word for her.
>>
>>714850
>Not our problem
unless she decides to pay us. then we'll gladly take it as our problem.
>>
>>714781
oh hoh hoh, things are getting interesting.
too bad it had to be a cliffhanger though.
>>
Is anyone still thinking about pulling off a kidnapping? I just had an idea we could use to justify it, and our staged battles. We grab crystalline because "the crystal in her armour is a potent reagent perfect for our purposes." And we found out about this from fragments we took when we punched the hole. The wording can be better but the gist is that it if something they have, something we cannot steal, so we steal the person instead.
She will have to keep her cool to oppose and prevent us from making her transform and the rest of the team needs to come up with a solid plan and execute it to save her.
>>
>On an entirely different planet in an entirely different dimension...

>Another three bugs fell to pieces as she shook the ichor off, and sheathed her blade. Another room cleared, with minimal fuss. Really, as scary as the four legged crawlers could be to some, she'd faced far worse. She wasn't sure how many that made now, but the number was surely immense- she'd have a story to tell Miranda when she made it back...although knowing her she'd just ask if she got paid worth the time.

>She'd say she did, if the grateful smiles of the soldiers and the civilians planetside meant anything when she'd first arrived. It was only the one city being accosted, and the one nest, but it WAS a big nest. And the military hadn't the spare resources, but the way these things bred...not too surprised they were willing to shell out for specialized help.

>She was better than that, though. A couple of days clearing out a swarm topside, and couple of days in a bug nest to finish them off was nothing.

>"Izumi! Status!" Ah. That's Capston. Or Agent Redbow, to anyone who'd ask.

>"West end clear!" Her new allies were capable, too- even if they weren't quite what she was used to. They may not have been as...energetic as she'd liked, but she couldn't deny their efficiency and skill. Maybe Miranda wasn't entirely off the mark...

>"Get back over here, we're moving ahead!" Shame they weren't much for banter, though. Maybe they missed their sick friend. When this was over she'd have to see what she could do for them...

>"Roger! On my way!" But, that was later. Right now, there was a job to finish up.


And now I'm going to try and sleep again.
>>
>>715641
is it necessary though
>>
>>715696
dammit she's too kind
>>
>>715641
That doesn't really help though
She needs to keep her cool and get a victory off it to really learn her lesson. If we just continually treat her like a toy and deny any feeling of victory, all we'll do is break her spirit.

>>714781
SHE has a problem.
We have an opportunity to make more money.
I think it is time we discuss the extended service package. For only 8 more motes we are willing to beat the absolute stuffing/life out whoever is causing this ruckus. We will even throw in a nice package of "we will not destroy the entire city while doing so"

I hope she pays us to do this, we haven't actually gotten to really let loose since ever. Even against the iron golem the closest we got was countering that special attack.
I wanna crush this guy like a bug.
Though it would have the side effect of if the girls see that then they might call in the big guns or something, because they'd see how horrifically outgunned they are.

Maybe we could squash him like a bug very, very quickly?
>>
>>714781
>"Pretty on the inside and pretty on the outside means ALL the guys stop and stare!" They both finish, and laugh together.

Not gonna lie, that's pretty endearing.


I'm happy taking on the job, at least for recon purposes. If they get injured in this fight they won't be able to take us on properly for a while. We can make up some shit about using the monsters corpse as a reagent for our purposes if it looks like they'll get hurt so we can "save" them, while also playing up the villainous confidence "you're all so far beneath me I don't care if I help you" thing. Maybe. It's just an idea.
>>
>>715908
> "you're all so far beneath me I don't care if I help you"
That is the most Tsundere line i have ever seen.
>>
>>715917
in practice it'd be more of a "I want to kill this thing, you want to kill this thing, but you're taking too long to do it and I want it's corpse."

It's really hard not to do the "villain helping the heroes" thing without seeming tsundere, but I am proud of how tsun that line is... it kinda makes me wanna actually use it.

>"You're all so far beneath me I don't care if I end up helping you."
>"Holy shit Crystal she's exactly like you!"
>>
>>715917
My mind meltingly terrifying eldritch being can't be this cute?

This could be the perfect time to shed our disguise as well, if we facetank the junkman's monster monstertruck (like small kaiju, but made scrapped cars)

It'd also be a great way to transition into the 'things get real' 2nd half of hell training week.

>>715920
Think about it
both use brute force
both have colorful, shiny bodies
We're like twins!
>>
>>715920
"Its existence runs counter to my objectives. You were not ending it with sufficient speed."

And then they ask us why we didn't hit them with an equally massive energy blast, to which we simply reply:
"Why should I engage children with my full power?"
>>
>>715920
Ooh, good point. We could steal it's heart for alchemy
>>
So

> "you're all so far beneath me I don't care if I help you"
> "I'm just doing this to further my plans, you don't factor in at all."
> "I hold myself back because you're not worth hurting/using my full power on"

And we deliver it all 100% deadpan, because it Tsundere isn't something that would really click with Miranda.

All the while the girls are just staring as they watch their animes play out before them.
And Sal records it all with our PDA for use in getting more deals and better prices in animu worlds.
I can see it now "I need you to do exactly what you did in the last world, but with your hair styled into drills, they're willing to pay 15 extra motes for this"
>>
>>715961
>"And that's the story of how i went from magical mercenary to interplanar superstar".
>>
Honestly we need to come up with a better narrative for why we're always holding back.
Since we need to let the girls have a victory or two to keep them motivated, holding back because we need to conserve power in case we have to power the Device ourselves is more believable.
>>
>>716034
Maybe we can pretend we need them for something? If they prevent us from getting one of the devices we can kidnap one of them as a replacement for the devices power.
Maybe they remind us of our friends that we miss?
>>
>>716034
I was thinking we go along the lines of what one anon said back we were trying to find ourself via conflict, and that we were gathering everything to summon something powerful enough to get all our memories back/yadda yadda.

That way we'd be going low power to make the fights help us as well.

Problem is that we we need an excuse for why we didn't just straight up grind them into dust as we've proven with cystalline that we could utterly annihilate them even when holding back immensely. Or with the invisibility that we could've taken them out for free any number of times.

Our excuse has to not just be why we're holding back powerwise, but why we aren't trying to hurt them but are still picking fights with them.

Our excuse has to cover
1: Why the lower power
2: Why we are so soft against them
3: Why we keep picking fights with them
>>
>>716086
Couldn't the solution to all of that just be we were part of a squad like theirs once, we don't quite remember it, but continued fighting/contact is revealing very scattered memories about it?

Bonus points if the group was actually a criminal/evil thing, so us reviving our old companions would be 100% can't happen, but we would still present something of a moral challenge as well, and underline the importance of teamwork and friendship, make the girls closer as they realize they're lucky to have what they do.

And maybe we'll get paid more for the compelling narrative, which is the important part in all this.
>>
>>716122
I like it, especially the getting paid extra part.


Then a year or so after the fact Izumi, Lorelei, and Miranda do some cross-dimensional bar hopping and stop by here for a little bit, causing a massive panic as the gang has finally been reassembled.
>>
>>716134
>Spoiler
And now you've convinced me.
>>
>>714781
You’re already on the way to there as she’s explaining the situation- apparently it’s some giant mechanical...tiger truck... thing. That screeching had been kind of metallic, you recall- but as for what’s going on, it’s apparently causing wanton destruction, at a surprisingly rapid pace.

“I can’t believe something like this slipped past- it’s too large to just miss!” Lorraine’s yelling as you head over to get a decent look. “And to think Jackknife suddenly got this many resources! He’s usually just a small-time gang leader, but with this…” Soon you hear a wild cackling as several smaller vehicles right out of a post-apocalypse movie roar past. “Ugh, nevermind! He’s going to cause untold mayhem with this mechanical monster!” She says this as you land on a nearby building, and finally get a decent look at the thing.

It’s like a monster truck with additions gone wrong. The whole thing looks like a giant lion on wheels, and is painted russet gold, with a mane made of sharpened steel. The front of it is a open, roaring mouth with giant headlight eyes, sharp teeth, and you can see some sort of nozzle in its depths. There’s even a tail addition with was looks to be several buzzsaws on the tip- overall, the whole thing reminds you of a heavy metal album cover...which was probably the entire intention. The whole thing is giant, easily reaching above several small buildings, and it’s indeed causing chaos as it rumbles down the street, crushing cars without care and smashing aside various small objects like guardrails and streetsigns.

“The girls are on their way, but I don’t know how they’ll hold up to this! The Lovely Hearts are...I don’t like the idea of them getting involved as old as they are so...do you think you can find it in you to help? I did say I’d be willing to pay you earlier!” She sounds in a rush.

> “...One for free.” They’d ruin your contract if the girls got too hurt, and a freebie might endear her to you a bit.
> “Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended.” Time to get to work.
> “That cost will be…” You might be able to squeeze some extra out of her, depending on how much you haggle.
> Other
>>
>>716893
>> “Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended.” Time to get to work.
>>
>>716893
>“Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended.” Time to get to work.
We're not a charity worker here, and i'm sure she can afford it.
>>
>>716893
>> “Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended.” Time to get to work.
>>
>>716893
>> “Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended.” Time to get to work.

We ain't no charity. If we're trying to keep the shining hearts out of Harm's way, shouldn't we incapacitate them? Or (question for handler) would it be possible to finish off the tank before they got there?

I guess I wouldn't be against doing the side job for free, but I can't possibly see any upside to that
>>
>>716893
> “Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended.” Time to get to work.
>>
>>716927
Theoretically possible.

That so? Shame.
>>
>>716893
>Other
"Since this technically affects whether the primary contract objective can be completed, I'm willing to discuss a discount on this secondary objective. 15% reduction of my normal fee for such a thing."
And we charge a Primary Objective fee for this, not a Secondary Objective fee.
>>
>>716893

> “Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended.” Time to get to work.

I think it's time to utterly destroy something.

So wait, where is this occuring on the map?
Are we nearby acceptably destroyable buildings?
Basically are we allowed to just go ham and utterly annihilate him or would it be better be more targeted with our annihilation.
>>
>>716893
>> “Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended.” Time to get to work.
maybe we could keep that rainbow prism thing as payment, that is if it gives us a consistent invisibility effect
>>
>>716969
If we fight without limiters, then how will we explain why we go so easy on the kids? One of the stipulations of the contract was that the kids don't find out that this is essentially a training day for them.

>>716971
It's magic, it'll depend on the world we go to whether it'll work or not.
>>
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>>716969

Level of destruction of the target is up to you. Minimal Collateral Damage rider is still in effect. Current target does not qualify as 'collateral'. But you'll have to deal with the end result of whatever you do, of course.
>>
>>716995
If we pretend that using our power like that drains us more than it actually does, we can probably still get away with it. We just need to imply that they weren't threatening enough to drain our mana pool like this. We might be able to work this into our defeat narrative as well.
>>
That check better be ready.

Writing!
>>
>>716995
That's already a problem, and while "it's alreayd a problem, so making it worse isn't an issue" isn't a good answer, but eh.

Couple things
1: They aren't here yet, so we could possibly finish this before they arrive Yeah I don't really believe it either
2: Lorraine doesn't want them involved, fact is this is a captial D Dangerous situation, which if they were to get involved in, they would likely get seriously hurt. That would fuck up our job. We want this dealt with ASAP because of that, as if they get hurt then the job will probably be cancelled and we probably won't get full payment cause unfinished job.
3: We have never gotten to go ham and this is a prime opportunity to do so.


>>717034
However looking at the map that's a bit too close to Lorraine's mansion for comfort if we go all out. I think she would be unhappy if we damaged it.
>>
>>717052
>I think she would be unhappy if we damaged it.
She could invoke the Minimal Collateral Damage rider and we'd be exposed to punitive damages.
>>
>>716893
Hm. Well. It WASN’T your problem, but if she’s paying, then yeah, sure, you’ll make it your problem. “Payment will be rendered immediately after the threat is ended. Is this understood?”

“Agreed!” she says quickly, and you can hear some sort of rumble on the other line- just as you hear it in real life. Wow, that engine is LOUD- so it’s time to silence it.

It’s a few streets over, which doesn’t take very long to cross- and you can’t see who’s driving the thing, but you can certainly HEAR a loud whooping holler from inside the craft. Seems like there’s a speaker of some sort installed. “YEEEAAAAAAHHH, BABY! TOO MUCH! IT’S JUST TOO MUCH!” Geez, the guy sounds like a real piece of work. “COME ON, BOYS, WE’RE JUST GETTIN’ STARTED! OOOH...ACTUALLY. IT’S PRETTY HOT OUT, AM I RIGHT? I’M THINKIN’ ‘BOUT A NICE FROSTY TREAT!” ...Yeah, he’s crazy. His followers seem to get the idea, though, as three cars immediately veer off in their smaller cars down the street. You’re near the thing, just behind and to the right of it as it revs on towards downtown- and it starts blasting heavy metal. Ugh. It's not even halfway good, either- it's the screamo crap.

>Try to get its attention before you attack; draw it away from Lorraine’s Mansion so you can have a bit more destructive leeway.
>Sneak attack it- it hasn't noticed you. (How?)
>Eliminate the smaller ones from a distance as a show of force. If he's smart, he'll give up. If not...oh well.
>Other
>>
If other anon's in the thread are willing to hear me out, since we haven't actually gotten paid yet I think it might be worth it to consider giving the job for free to Lorraine anyways.

Since we haven't been following Miranda for more that long so far, it might be worth it to consider continued business in the long run; being popular with clients will probably lead to them becoming "regulars" of our service. We currently don't have a good grasp on where Miranda stands in the power hierarchy of Outgoers as a whole, so marketing her as an overwhelming powerhouse might not be as fruitful as impressing upon potential customers that we're worth it for our thoroughness and amicability when it comes to compensation.

I also just like the idea of getting jobs in the same setting, and I don't think being ultimate powerlady is the best way of doing so
>>
>>717135
>sneak attack it

Just get this shit done as fast as possible, nebula blast the fuck into oblivion (aim it upwards from underneath to avoid destroying the city).
>>
>>717135
>Sneak attack it- it hasn't noticed you. (How?)
can we just fry it with a nebula buster?
>>
>>717145
also yeah, crotch shotting it with nebular buster from below seems best.
>>
>>717145
also for the sake of not demoralizing the fuck out of the shining hearts, act like it drains the everloving shit out of us to do so.
>>
>>717137

...Now I'm struggling with whether to just tell you or not what her standing is since I feel that information is one of those 'the character knows this well already, there's no reason to save the information' deals, but being on the other end of it...hm.
>>
>>717135
>>>Sneak attack it- it hasn't noticed you. (How?)

NEBURA BUSTAAAAAAAAH

If it's far enough away that we don't accidentally trash anything of importance with it, or aim it like >>717145 said if possible.

Hell Miranda might even be able to get away with shouting the technique name due to the screamo music.


Seeing as Sal seems to market us as someone who goes and fixes things but doesn't really seem to say we are godly powerful, just really freaking strong, I've assumed that Miranda falls a fair bit stronger than your average mg in terms of destructive capabilities, but is nowhere near the highend.

Like we'd be in the top 30% or something in terms of power.
>>
>>717135
>Sneak attack it- it hasn't noticed you. (How?)
Jump on top of it, and Nebula Buster at 3/4 power straight down through the driver's cabin.
No explosion, just a straight beam down.
>>
>>717161
we don't even have to act, it takes 4000 of our 9999 mana, being winded afterward is expected.

also it's ok for us to come off as super powerful as the plan was for them to figure out a weakness of ours as part of the narrative, so we can be strong now, then act like superman exposed to kryptonite at the end of the narrative where they "beat" us.
>>
>>717175
Bad idea, lots of city infrastructure below ground.

That can easily kill sewers, power, water mains, lots of important stuff that can really count as collateral damage that we could get penalized for.
>>
>>717137
I'll go with this if we somehow knock this thing out in around two or three turns and beat the shit out of Jackknife on the fourth.
>>
Also I just realized that with Nebula Buster, we are doing a kill shot here.

I do not really see Jacknife surviving a point blank Nebula Buster.

I don't personally have a problem with this, especially since this shit he's doing can easily/will kill people. A mad max style villain in a crowded city really is something that should be stopped, permanently.

But just putting it out there that if we successfully get this shot off, he is probably dead or at least horrifically wounded.
>>
>>717219
well, were playing villain aren't we... I think we can make it fit the narrative and I'm pretty sure Miranda's killed people before.
>>
>>717219
I made the suggestion under the assumption that Jacknife would in fact get merc'd, keeping the shinig hearts from conflict.(switched to phoneposting so my tag changed)
>>
The Nebula Blaster might be a bit excessive for the situation. Why don't we just blast or cut out the back of Truckzilla's legs or something?
>>
oh, if we're going with the Nebular buster from below... should we angle it so any debris from the truck thing gets tossed outside the city limits via the blast?
cause if we shoot straight up the debris is likely to just land all over the area.
>>
>>717272
because the point of this as a side job was to keep our charges from entering the fight, so finishing it as fast as possible makes sure the hearts won't fight regardless of when they show up.
>>
>>717273
This.
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>>717273
Nebula Blaster is a giant fuck off laser that the goes vacuum explosion

Now if we can do what we want, we hit it with laser part and the explosion part doesn't it app en cause it disappeared high in the sky instead.

Now if we're dealing just the laser, then I don't think we'll be dealing with an explosion. We're looking at vaporizing or slaging most of the machine with this blast. What is left is more likely to fall apart than explode. However if export is a factor than we should be going for a shot that goes more in front of it, so a cockpit shot, as there is nothing of importance behind us, all destructible.
>>
>>717284
Yeah, but it's completely at odds with the narrative that we have been building. At the very least, we should try to steal something important from Truckzilla so we can stay in line with our stated motive. If we randomly blow up the big thing in a heroic gesture, it throws our motivation into question. The last thing we want to do is give the Shining Hearts any reason to think that we were here to keep them out of trouble.
>>
'Damnit...if this stupid 'Death Nebula' keeps expanding, it'll rot the entire city! Hell, the world!'

'I'm not entirely sure how to stop it, though- we can't get to the core, not with that thick miasma surrounding it...if we could just find a way to thin it out all at once, then maybe we could break it before it got too big!'

'Hm...it's expanding at regular intervals, right?'

'Huh? Yeah, it seems to expand on an exponential time frame. My hypothesis is that it needs some time to charge celestial energy before it can expand the misama. I've noticed the center glows right before it does it.'

'...Well, if it needs to charge, I wonder what happens if we speed that timetable up a bit...If I can maybe trick it, then...!'

'Uh...'Meda, what are you- 'Meda!'

'Cover me, Sparkles!'

'What are you doing!?'

'I'm about to try somethin' REALLY stupid!'

Writing.
>>
>>717316
It really isn't a heroic gesture though, he is gonna rampage and wreck the city, which contains things we want. We destroy him to keep him from destroying things we want to take.
>>
>>717316
I though we were just going to imply another villain type would interfere with whatever our plan was. Miranda currently comes of as mysterious AF, so currently anything goes.
>>
Been thinkin on the 'why are you going so easy on us?' Bit, what if we made up a backstpry that we were part of a now defunct super team? Urely there's ay least one super with a vague and inconclusive death whose identity we could steal. Or just make up a team from fuckoff, nowhere. Doctor a picture of non-eldritch us, tear it in a seemingly meaningful way, let em find it, drop a 'you remind me of me' line, and boom.
>>
>>717427
Holy shit, posting on your phone sucks
>>
>>717427
Saying that we were conserving our energy is far more practical and easier to believe.
>>
>>717427
...we could also just say the items weve recovered have restored some of pur power.
>>
>>717316
If they ask why we saved the city we could just say that we thought the challenge would be sufficient.
>>
>>717442
>>717437
>>717427
We mentioned something about remembering who we were in our last confrontation, right?

We'll just mention remembering how to do a nebula blast.
>>
>>717464
Oh! Maybe we still keep forgetting things, and that's why we're trying to stabilize it so we remember EVERYTHING.
>>
>>717464
We did not. We said we seek to find ourselves again, which could mean literally anything.

Inserting complex motive and backstory makes the deception researchable, which in turn makes it easy to tear down. They have someone who can and would look into that shit.
>>
>>717135
He doesn’t seem to see you. Good. That means you can end this quickly and easily. As you jump down from the building's roof, you're already charging the blast as you try to get beneath him. The most efficient way to deal with this, was to annihilate him completely, and you had just the tool for that. Fortunately, he's more focused on tearing up buildings and causing mayhem rather than checking his rearview mirror. Not that he could likely see you anyway; the front end of his vehicle is far too big.

He nearly crashes into a building as he goes about his one-man destruction derby, and instead of being any type of concerned, he merely laughs it off as he begins to back up and correct himself. That's your chance.

Sliding under him, you put up both hands this time, as opposed to just the one that you had previously; this one needed a bit more punch to it in order reduce everything down into bits that wouldn't risk harming anyone. The first part of the Nebula Buster was moderately avoidable. The second part? Not so much. But you could control that to an extent. And as tiring as it was, that's what you need to do right now.

But maybe you can at least have a little fun.

“NEBULAAAA…” Ahhhhh, there's the old power echo. Kind of surprised you can still pull it off. And now…

“HEY, WHO THE-!” Yup.

“BUSTER!” Right on cue.

The next thing you here is Jackknife’s confused and horrified scream as the giant blue-green blast goes off underneath him, the entirety of it filling his entire undercarriage and then some as it carries into the sky at an angle. You still have your hands outstretched- the Buster’s second part generally goes off automatically, but you can hold it for a couple of seconds, and that's all you need. If you let go, you can see the compression take its toll, although you can't really see the effects at this distance- merely the ball forming that indicates the compression is happening; all that metal and the man inside smashed down into a ball a fraction of its original size- the detonation that happens however is immense; the bright lights from the mana explosion spreading to cover a significant portion of the local sky, and you can feel the shock waves from here. You're almost certain at least a few windows got shattered from that. If it had been much closer, the vacuum might have pick up a few unwanted objects as well. Like cars. That wouldn't have been pleasant.

As soon as you're sure that everything's clear, you let yourself go a little bit. That always took it out of you, even if you did hold back a little bit. Nothing too serious yet, but you certainly are breathing hard, and you can't help but hunch over a little bit.

Cont.
>>
>>717524
“What on earth…” you hear a voice say. Of course. You turn around, and sure enough the Shining Hearts Squadron is there, with Ms. Shimmer in tow. Seems she had offered herself as backup, at least that's your guess for her being here. She was the one who spoke, her hand to her mouth in astonishment. The rest of them have varying surprise on their face, save for Ribbit, I was just looking at you accusingly. Crystalline, you can't help but notice, is as white as a sheet, despite being armored. She doesn't shake, she doesn't run. But she's clearly scared out of her wits.

Ruby looks baffled, and afraid. “What did you do…?” she asks, still in shock. Ribbit give her a bit of a side eye, and starts to say something, but stops and simply looks back to you, apparently expecting you to explain.

>How do you explain this?
>>
>>717527
>Act exhausted
>Grab something "weird" or "Shiny" that looks like it could be interesting from the wreckage.
>Run

Let's try and give off the impression that that's something we can only do once, like ever, but if we get back to full strength...
>>
>>717527
>breathe heavily, show you are tired

In a strained voice, say "I cant let anyone else kill you...until you've given me back my tablet. WHERE IS IT?"

Then job and flee when and if the intimidation fails.
>>
>>717527
>how to explain this?

Something along the lines of "huh, guess that was overkill" in character though.

And then we fuck off as hard as possible.
>>
>>717543
I'd add "look scared when you notice them", but with the mask and our inhuman visage I don't think there's a chance of it coming across.
>>
>>717527
>He was a threat. Threats are to be eliminated with proportionate response. He threatened my artifacts, so I destroyed him.
>>
>>717527
>>"His conduct was counter productive to my objectives and so I had to remove him in accordance to his threat level." While breathing heavily.
>>
>>717527
>Play up our tiredness
>Take something valuable looking from the wreckage, say "mine" or the likes
>leave

Actually I think this is the best time to step something up.
I think we should take off the mask as we pretend to breath hard/whatever. That will turn this from a double whammy (Jack Knife, us brutally murdering Jacknife) into a triple whammy (what the fuck are we)

We information overload them so there are too many problems occurring at once for them to try and solve any of them.
>>
>>717527
>"Stopped him.. couldn't let it be destroyed before ... "Clutch our head and stagger away, if they make a move feign a last ditch effort and jump away and hide.
>>
>>717557
Actually I like this response more, I'll support it from our verbal excuse.
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>>717557
This is fine, given how little they know of our supposed motives. Arbitrarily stealing something from the wreckage seems too contrived.
>>
>>717557
Seconding if we act tired as well.
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>>717527
Act winded.
"An unfortunate over expenditure, but still acceptable than to allow harm to befall any more of the pieces."
Fall back for now. Shit, if Shimmer is here and saw that, she might bring the old team out of retirement and that would fail the mission.
>>
>>717557
This is good
>>
>>717589
>>717592
We ARE breathing hard and visibly hunched over slightly.
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>>717559
Yeah let's drop the mask now. Perfect time for it.

We really blew this when the people so vehement against hamming it up made us go mysterious instead of standard.
Dunno how we are going to make them even entertain the notion of opposing us again. Should we collapse and let them capture us?
>>
>>717559
If we overload them while one of the old team is here, then that might bring the original team out of retirement.
>>
>>717605
True. If Ms Shimmer saw the need to accompany them against Jackknife, and we're obviously a fair deal more powerful than him, it's not unlikely that she'll insist on opposing us personally to protect the Hearts.
>>
Giving you guys a little bit to hash this out because I got called in to do a few things. Also I have to say.

Really happy you guys decided not to mess with Jackknife that night.
>>
>>717599
Going ham or not has nothing to do with the current problem, which is that we've displayed a level of power which would make the previous hero team come out of retirement.
>>
>>717634
After you intentionally forgetting that the girls called us out on the fact that we weren't going ham earlier? Had we just fine the realm villain schtick this wouldn't even be a situation
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>>717599
Some of them are now clearly personally invested in stopping or defeating us, so them not being willing to oppose us shouldn't be a problem.

I'm also not sure what the problem with not going ham is here. It seems to have made them all the more interested in us, given how different we are from the more conventional villains.

The main problem we have now is that our display may have just convinced them that they're going to need to call in some help against us.
>>
>>717646
This would still be a problem because of the power we just displayed.
Even if we had gone full ham like some of the locals, we'd still have had to tone down our power levels in order to avoid crippling the girls. The difference between the power they've seen before and the power they just saw now is the problem.
With what we just did, they may call the old team out of retirement, especially since it seems to have shocked the one member of the old team they brought as backup.
>>
>>717634
I'm more concerned about the possibility of government intervention at this point. We've just displayed a power that probably goes well beyond 'street crime', and well into 'city threatening'. We might start seeing military intervention after this. Not a job breaker, but annoying as all hell.
>>
>>717668
Insofar as making ourself look weak is concerned, possibly the best thing we could do is make a seemingly rushed and fearful retreat without answering the question.

If we stayed to answer, that would either imply that we don't take them seriously enough to flee, even with the addition of Ms. Shimmer, or that we're too weak to do so, upon which they'll probably try to capture us with the expectation that they'll succeed.

If we flee, perhaps dropping something in apparent haste, that would imply that they're a legitimate threat against us, and likely forestall any backup they might call for, or at least limit it.
>>
>>717677
Unless we're willing to drop the Flamebringer, I don't think we have anything we could drop.
Not the least of which, because everything we brought with us seems to be flush with us in this body.

If we could do illusions better, maybe we could make it look like expending too much energy causes our form here to destabilize, and that's why we had been holding back. We might still be able to do that with judicious use of Chaos Wave. And it could give Ribbit the idea to make us over exert ourselves to defeat us.
>>
I'm thinking the best way to descalate this is to play up our tiredness to crippling levels, basically that doing so has permanently damaged us and our abilities won't be able to be like that again. We could do so by fizzling some moves while doing some analysis monologue about it before we limp away.

If we can change our colors at will, then we can shed the disguise and use that to sell it as well. Actually just ditch the disguise.
>>
>>717557
Backing this
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>>717694
problem is, doing something that cripples ourselves to destroy a threat to the city would seem heroic, which is not what were supposed to be.
>>
>>717557
this is good.
>>
On my phone without reading any other comments yet, but I don't think we need to say anything or excuse our actions, just leave.

...but if we respond then we should try and establish a motivation that doesn't set ribbit off towards the truth more than it already has.
>>
>>717700
Seriously? Won't that just get Shimmer to get the old squad back together to take us out before we escalate?
That'd miss the point of the contract.
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>>717694
I don't agree. Selfish evil villains don't perma Nerf themselves just on the chance one of their things might be damaged. It doesn't pass the common sense test.
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>>717715
Then we need to get the old squad together, beat them, then have the old squad and the new squad team up, and then both the new and the old will improve relations and teamwork.
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>>717715
We could give a vague excuse, then visibly fizzle an attack, then flee?

The alternative being fleeing without an excuse.
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>>717717
At that point they'd just kick this up to one o the regional or national superhero teams. We aren't operating in a closed system where there's this city's superhero team and no one else. If the more powerful teams get called in, it means that we fail the contract to teach the kids better teamwork and also risk getting the Collateral Damage rider getting invoked.
>>
>>717716
>>717702
It could be played off as something we didn't know or think would happen if we play off our trying to find/discover ourselves angle

But we desperately need to descalate our threat level somehow or we lose our fight rights against the girls, and that's the end of thr contract.
>>
>>717716
What about if it's a temporary debuff?
Especially if we say something about their response being faster and greater than expected?

Though that could still result in them bringing back other retired members of the old team, something that we should try to avoid.
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>>717732
>It could be played off as something we didn't know or think would happen if we play off our trying to find/discover ourselves angle
Like this was a side effect of the spells we found in the Tablet that was only detailed on the half that Ruby captured?
>>
>>717734
The thing is that our actions are entirely up to them to interpret, short of breaking out into a monologue, which would basically run counter to our established character.

Regardless of what narrative justification we might think up - or if even we think one up in the first place - our following actions need to both remain in-character and make them think that we won't be able to do what we just did again any time soon. This is all we need to do at this point.
>>
>>717734
well... if its only the old team and not the worlds justice league equivalent too... during the final battle catch them in an orbital ring but "miss" the young squad, then the oldies can still shout advice but the young squad is the one that has to fight, and we can act like maintaining the ring is massive drain on our power preventing use of nebula buster etc.
>>
>>717742
I was thinking of that as well. Maybe something we found using the tablet, and it turned out to be one use only?
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>>717744
Attempt to fire anothe Nebula Blaster at them, only for it to fizzle out.
"This...was not detailed in the Tablet."
Make it seem that we were testing a spell detailed in the Tablet but tht the aftereffects and downsides were on the side that they captured, so that we leave open the possibility that weaknesses in our attacks and defenses might be in the half of the Tablet they have.
>>
>>717762
Let's not try to fire on at them, we don't want them thinking we are trying to kill them or shit will get bad.
>>
>>717762
I like this. makes it seem we are not as powerful, unless we have relics
>>
>>717557
i like this idea, but we have to overplay the tired aspect. And of course, keep playing it over the course of the week.
>>
>>717762
Not necessarily a full Nebula Blaster, just some kind of more standard attack spell would be sufficient.

So, we open with commenting on how Jackknife's actions were counter to our plans - and getting captured here would also be counter to our plans. We seem at this point to attempt to attack them, only for nothing to happen. Then we make a comment on how this wasn't what we expected/what the tablet had said and flee?
>>
>>717768
On the contrary, I think that making it look like we're about to fire, only for it to fizzle out, is important to continue to take us seriously yet show that we are weakened enough to be something they can take on.
The threat is real and high, but not overwhelming or suicidal so long as they fight smart. So it'd be more like being a firefighter than the mall cop gig they were used to.
>>
I've got an idea, let's combine the popular ideas together

First we start with
>He was a threat. Threats are to be eliminated with proportionate response. He threatened my artifacts, so I destroyed him.

Then what we do is use a bunch of abilities in a row
First we cast a very Sun's Flare to make us flash real bright (but not blindingly, we want them to see what happens next)
Then we cast Shock Touch and overcharge it all over our body so that electricity visibly courses over our body and destroys our disguise.
Then we collapse on the ground and say something like "This...was not detailed in the Tablet."

Before we try to get away while we play up being heavily injured/exhausted.

What they will see is us flash, then seemingly have our powers go crazy on us, before we try to get away having sustained major damage.
This should hopefully make us look like it was a one-off thing done only by our gaining part of the tablet and that our power level has been massively decreased, meaning that the girls might stand a chance as compared to before. That by doing this we have weakened ourselves to the point that it is possible to be defeated. It also means that their getting half the tablet is a real victory for the girls, which should help their spirits.
>>
>>717768
We could simply shout out the name of a less threatening-sounding spell. Like, for instance, Light Trap. That sounds pretty non-lethal, and shouting out attack names seems to somewhat common within the current universe.
>>
>>717789
i don't like this. at the moment we begin to "power up" the senior hero will call for backup, even if we fall exhausted.
>>
>>717796
We're not going to look like it's a power up, but that we're suffering from backlash from casting nebular buster.
>>
>>717789
I can get behind this.

We will probably then attempt to steal the remainder of the tablet sometime soon, possibly resorting to somewhat more ruthless tactics in our desperation, even as our powers are slowly recovering themselves - thus forcing the Hearts to step it up against us.

Meanwhile, Lorraine can implore them not to call for help, for fear of drawing other villains' attentions onto this apparently dangerous tablet.
>>
>>717796
But we're not showing a "power up" sequence, we'd be showing a "powers going berserk and becoming crippled" sequence.
>>
>>717815
>for fear of drawing other villains' attentions onto this apparently dangerous tablet
You know, the tablet does detail one of the most powerful forces in a Magical Girl universe: Love
>>
>>717789
This could work. I'm curious if Ribbit will catch our bluff though. She already seems to think something is up.
>>
>>717822
The bottom half of the tablet would need to detail the side effects of "a spell of untold destructive power", that it is draining of life and energy, and it achieves this by attuning the caster with Colour. The side effects can be mitigated by use of certain materials and devices but that they also introduce weaknesses.
>>
>>717822
I'd bet 100% that she'll have shygirl trail us with clones, possibly invisible ones. At the very least she'll see this as an opportunity to get more information.

And if we're to do this right, we're gonna have to act really weakened, meaning that a clean getaway is just not on the table. We can't go back to base. We're gonna need to just run until we can't smell them anymore (we'll danger scent on during the escape sequence to counter invisibility) then pop an invisibility potion in order to get back to base without it being found out.
>>
>>717851
If at any point they find out we're in contact with Lorraine, should the story be that we're threatening or blackmailing her into helping us to get the rest of the tablet, after having lost half of it?

Meanwhile, Lorraine has realized that if she doesn't help us, a lot more people could get hurt from other methods we might use, and is stalling us as best she can while subtly advising the Hearts on how to defeat us and save her, without saying anything that might have them inadvertently tip us off and have us take drastic action.
>>
Back, mostly. It sounds like the general consensus is

>>717557
+
>Attempt an attack, fizzle it, say something about the tablet, then GTFO.

Sound about right?
>>
>>717944
I'm for it.
>>
>>717944
das it mane
>>
>>717944
Sure, what could go wrong?
>>
Meant to say writing.
>>
Damn looks like I missed a FUN discussion! Well, at least we are finally having fun and murdering people! kekekeke
>>
All at once, the severity of the situation hits you. This could prove to be a very very bad thing if Crystalline’s reaction is any barometer. If you are seen as too powerful, considering what you just did, they may consider themselves in over their heads and try to get outside assistance- and considering the witness in Ms. Shimmer, it would be all too easy to find yourself fighting people that you weren't paid to fight. Or worse, Lorraine declaring the contract void due to that. No time to put too much consideration into things now though- need to think on your feet!

You're already legitimately winded a bit, so that helps when you put a tired inflection in your voice. “He...was a threat. Threats are to be... eliminated with...proportionate response.” You make a show of attempting to stand up straight, and then doubling back over slightly. “He...threatened my artifacts... so I destroyed him.”

The collective group reel back in shock, but they are soon replaced with looks of determination, save for Crystalline, who still seems to be trying her best to not pass out, and strangely enough Ruby, who's looking at you oddly. “So, that's what you're after…” Ribbit says, half to herself.

Without warning, you stretch out a hand. Almost in the same breath, Ms. Shimmer, in one fluid motion, both yanks back Ruby, who had been standing in front of the group, and plants her hand on the ground- in the space of about a second, a shimmering, diamond wall is grown between you both. It's impressive, really; despite her physical age, she apparently can still move when the chips are down. You do see her twitch a bit violently; but that is the only thing that betrays her discomfort- the calm, collected expression on her face never wavers.

cont.
>>
>>718401
A shame that it's for nothing. You form a minor blast right at the palm of your hand, and set it off prematurely, giving the impression of a backfire- by the time she stands back up, you're looking at your hand quizzically, and so are they.

“The writings fail to mention these consequences.” Really, they didn't mention anything, but they didn't need to know that. But, as you see Ribbit’s eyes widen in what you're not sure is either shock or sudden comprehension, you know that now's the time to get going. You're going to have to play up the desperate getaway angle if you do, though… fortunately, Ms. Shimmer just gave you the perfect opportunity to get a bit of a head start.

You leap away, in your best imitation of a wounded beast, far lower and with less distance than normal- you barely make it into a nearby alley and start running.

“Oh, no you don't!” you hear from behind you. You look behind you, but surprisingly no one is there just yet. You easily vault over the wall at the end of the alley, and get a few more steps before you hear a loud thump. You turn back, and now you see Ribbit standing atop the wall, glaring at you like a dog on the hunt. Well, fine. Let's play Chase. You make another leap, throwing yourself as if you need all your energy to do this, and the race is on.

Almost immediately, you both realize that you're not going to be able to jump as well as you'd like in these cramped spaces- this results in a lot of running instead for you, and Ribbit makes due by utilizing a lot of short hops, much like a rabbit. As tired as you are supposed to be, she manages to keep up- although looking back a few times, you notice she seems to be straining a bit.

>Try to lead her in circles. Might be a bit risky if she starts to suspect your stamina, but considering her straining now...
>Try to get some distance, then just pop a potion. Don't give her any chances, and get back to base ASAP.
>Other
>>
>>718410
>Try to get some distance, then just pop a potion. Don't give her any chances, and get back to base ASAP.
>>
>>718410
>Try to get some distance, then just pop a potion. Don't give her any chances, and get back to base ASAP.
>>
>>718410
>Try to lead her in circles. Might be a bit risky if she starts to suspect your stamina, but considering her straining now...
we can pop the potion if we really need it soon. but if we run around more right now we have more opportunities to train them.
>>
>>718410
>Try to get some distance, then just pop a potion. Don't give her any chances, and get back to base ASAP.

Use our danger scent ability to make 100% sure we aren't tracked back though.
>>
>>718410
>Other
Sun's Flare and escape.
>>
>>718410
>Try to get some distance, then just pop a potion. Don't give her any chances, and get back to base ASAP.
>>
>>718410
>Try to lead her in circles. Might be a bit risky if she starts to suspect your stamina, but considering her straining now...
>>
Now you see her, now you don't.

Writing.
>>
So the big question now is how do we talk to Lorraine next, this is pretty important.
If we play up our weakness with her like the buster is effectively a one off thing and that we are super drained, at least enough to not be the cataclysmic threat we appear to be to her, then we really won't have to worry about her trying to protect her city by taking us out due to fear, but we'd lose our position of power in negotiation, albeit gaining gratitude.

If we play it off and show we are only somewhat winded from all that, then things get funny. Suddenly Lorraine know she is working with something that if she does something wrong, could easily wipe the entire city off the map in a matter of seconds and nobody could stop it from happening.
At that point any number of things could happen, depending on if fear takes over or not.

We could have her eating out of the palm of our hands, she could try to keep status quo, she could spill the beans and try to call every one together to try and take us down because too her we are basically an armed nuke inside her city.

While descalating things with Lorraine seems the smarter move, just being honest with her that our cripple act was all an act can lead to so many interesting scenarios.
>>
>>718493
I'd rather be honest. We've been credible so far, and despite what is appeared to be a eldritch entity from beyond the stars we've been pretty tame with our methods so far. especially considering how we just blew that guy to sky high.
also we should remind her that that we are still employed.
>>
>>718493
The fuck? We have shown no signs of going outside of our contract. Why would she worry about this at all?
>>
>>718547
Because we are scary and have just shown to be able to inflict catatrophic damage in very small time frames with relative ease.

Even if we have been nothing but a honest professional that has done nothing to indicate that we will ever turn on her we are still an unknown being with the ability to wipe out a significant amount of the city on a whim.

She doesn't have access to our mind so she can't see Holla holla get that dolla

All she sees is that there is someone who could easily kill hundreds if not thousands in an instant and it is her fault that everyone around her could be in mortal peril.

Basically by existing we threaten the lives of her and everyone around her and that is not something that makes people act rationally.
>>
>>718621
Dude, you must like your life curled up in a ball in the corner of the room if that's the way your mind works. Did you forget that she hired us?
>>
>>718641
She's been terrified of us in every face to face meeting with us.

In the little snippet that may or may not be canon she expressed that she was worried that she was afraid we would end her if she ever said anything wrong and that summoning us might have been a big mistake.

There is precedence for this.
>>
Sorry, job thing. Other job, actually doing animation. Got caught up in a meeting. Almost done!
>>
>>718771
>Other job, actually doing animation.
you have more than one job?
>>
>>718771
Yes. Day gig is doing delivery driving.

I also am on a freelance animation team.
>>
>>718797
oh. okie then.
>>
You're obviously not heading back directly to your hideout, you're trying to lose her. And by the angry look on her face, she realizes that. A few minutes later, as you're starting to grow concerned you can keep this up without arousing her suspicions about your stamina, she stops, kneeling close to the ground and panting in exhaustion. You take advantage of this opportunity, continuing your path around the corner, and quickly fishing a potion out of your...self...and downing it. You can feel the magic working, and you quickly resume running. Ribbit soon turns the corner, however, and her eyes widen in surprise. You stop, careful not to give anything away.

“What the- oh. Right, she did that last time…” She has a frown on her face, and then she closes her eyes, then gives a deep sigh. Then she nods. “Alright, then. I don’t know what’s up with her, but...I’ll find out sooner than later.”

And she tenses herself- then leaps as high as she can, landing on a rooftop nearby- you can see her going away.

Seems like you finally shook her. Well. Hopefully. You activate your danger scent ability just to double check. There’s the one Ribbit- she smells like grapes, above you, and she’s moving slowly...but that’s not what alarms you.

No, what concerns you is the other scene you smell nearby. It smells like pleasant daisies. But you’re nowhere near a flower shop. You’re in an alleyway near a side street.

>Walk them in circles for now. Show no suspicion.
>Call them out. Make a stand.
>Keep running. Tipped off or not, you need to leave them behind.
>Other
>>
>>718814
>>Keep running. Tipped off or not, you need to leave them behind.
>>
>>718814
>Walk them in circles for now. Show no suspicion.
Shygirl again?
>>
>>718814
>Keep running. Tipped off or not, you need to leave them behind.
>>
>>718814
>>Walk them in circles for now. Show no suspicion.
>>
>>718814
>Walk them in circles for now. Show no suspicion.


Shygirl maybe? Am I missing something? She smells weak.
>>
>>718814
>Walk them in circles for now. Show no suspicion.
shygirl is it? if it is her, then she's doing really well.
if not... well, it's only a smell of daisies.
>>
>>718814
>Walk them in circles for now. Show no suspicion.
We don't want to direct them to our HQ yet.
>>
...uhh. Gotta call it here for tonight. I'm gonna be working overnight. Back tomorrow!
>>
>>718858
Night then boss
>>
>>718858
Night mg.
>>
>>718858
Night, bossman.
>>
>>718858
goodnight!
>>
>>718858
Night, thanks for running!
>>
>>718858
Thanks for running as always Handler.
>>
>>718814
>Call them out, make a stand

It's clearly just shygirl. Since we're in a convenient alleyway setting, we can just do that Neo Vs. Agent smith thing now.
>>
>>718858
Goodnight Boss
>>
>>716086
Becuz it's fun. We need to embarrass them, make it personal. Like the first fight, we make them look like idiots. It doubles as motivation for them to beat us.
>>
>>719948
And I'm not talking lolrandum here, the 'becuz it's fun' rationale should be hidden behind the 'mysterious stranger' mask, which is honestly kind of flimsy.
>>
I'm thinking that for our next performance, we should trap the hell out of the battlefield. They were working well enough as a team to get the drop on us last time, it is time to start stacking up advantages. We rte here to teach, that means being unassailable.
>>
>>719983
So we should get into a fight when we're supposed to be running, when we're playing up the fact that were crippled, against one of the smart ones. When there is absolutely no good reason to IC or not.
no
>>
>>719983
We've already established that we're 'someone who was lost', looking to find themselves again. I'm not sure how 'because it's fun' would fit into this narrative. Because it's a challenge, maybe, but not because it's fun. That's a stupid reason to drive a narrative.

>>719996
On the contrary, now that we're ostensibly depowered, we have an excuse to pitch our fights at a level just beyond them every single time, which will let them learn far better than being so unassailable we simply annihilate them straight off the bat.
>>
>>720110
Yeah, we should start being a bit weaker now. Give them an opportunity to fight back.
>>
Well, fine. You can outlast them, if you have to; you’ll just have to be careful to not be too obvious with your actual state of health. You can hopefully walk them around for a bit if they are tailing you and convince them that it’s a lost cause. If nothing else, the massive confusion and worry going on in the main streets lends you a bit of leeway in terms of movement without getting spotted.

As you keep moving down streets, over roofs, and alleyways, you still have your danger scene enabled- it’s starting to get a bit muddled, however, with the various peoples that casually walk the streets and other various individuals. You can still smell daisies, however- and you think you can smell grapes every now and again as well.

Your travels take you in a circle around the center of the city- you’re essentially making a giant loop around Lorraine’s house. Fortunately the area, despite being the center of the city, is more residential than commercial, and it’s not quite as flooded with people to avoid. In fact, you think you’re getting kinda close to Aquatica’s place. Hm. Maybe you should-

Wait. The smell’s moving away from you. Thank goodness...although they both seem to be moving at a pretty quick clip. Wonder what drew their attention?

You get your answer when you are on your final approach to your base. Before you can even get in the door, your phone rings. Picking it up, you hear your voice before you can even say anything. “Keep quiet.”

Well. That's a different tone. Before you can question it, you hear movement on the other end. And eventually you can hear several voices all talking- it's hard to differentiate from them. “Alright, terribly sorry about that. Now what were you saying about this is-?”
Before she can even get a sentence out, she stops. “Layla, dear? Are you alright? Layla? Sweetheart, do you need a- LAYLA!” suddenly, there's a rumble of noise, and you can hear a glass break. “LAYLA!” You hear a chorus of voices cry out, and there's a lot of rapid fire talking over each other. “Someone get some wat- thank you, Ren.” “Oh, geez, what- what's going on?!” “Nervous breakdown, sweetie, nervous breakdown! She needs space!”

Somehow you get the feeling that this wasn't what Lorraine intended you to hear. There's several minutes solid of gentle noises and quiet sobbing from who you can only presume is Crystalline. After some time, you can hear Ms. Shimmer speak again. “And this just solidified my stance, Lorraine. Whoever this thief is, they're far too powerful for the girls to face alone. Or at all, quite possibly.” Oh no. “I'm planning to ask the rest of the Lovelies for assistance as soon as we leave here.” This is met with a cacophony of disagreements, but she continues. “And as much as I hate to say it, I'll be taking Layla back under my wing for now. Poor dear isn't quite as ready as I had hoped she was..”

Cont.
>>
>>721935
Can't say i didn't expect it, but that's a shame...
>>
>>721935
I think we can work with this still, just bind up the old hero crew when the come for us with an orbital ring and make it really visible when we do so, so that the new squad comes to fight, since they still want to fight it seems, then fight them at a lower powerlevel due to side effects (that should have been on the tablet) from holding the ring.
>>
>>721935
I really hope this doesn't mean we failed the job.
>>
>>721935
Hahahaha, wow.

Well, everything is fucked now. I don't regret a thing though, we've done everything to right by both letter and spirit of the contract. I place all the blame on Lorraine, her idea for hiring us was a terrible idea from the start. Not willing to leave without 6 Motes for our work though, 3 for half the week, 3 for murdering jackknife.

But we just crushed the girls spirits by murdering jackknife in front of them.
I don't think they've encountered anything like that before. I do not think they'll be combat capable for some time now while they work off their trauma.
>>
>>721935
“Wait, Jeanne, please.” Lorraine sounds incredibly nervous. “I understand your concern, r-really, I do, but don't you think we should give this one more chance? I'm certain that with the half of the tablet that they recovered-”

“And risk the rest of them becoming like Layla?! Or God forbid, Jackknife!?” Shimmer sounds furious. “He was a lout, make no mistake, but my word, NO ONE deserves a fate quite like that! Age or not, we will catch her and bring her to justice!”

“Jeanne!” Lorraine is clearly trying to think of something. “B-but the-the technique she used! What if-”

“She won't use it again.” Suddenly, silence. That was Ribbit who spoke.

“...I beg your pardon?” Shimmer says.

“I've been wondering about this thief,” she starts. “And I think I've figured some things out."

A pause, then Shimmer. “...could you please elaborate, dear?”

You can hear Ribbit sigh. “I've been thinking. Remember what she said earlier? He was a threat to her artifacts. HER artifacts. First a meteorite. Then a table that no one else can read- and when we fought her at the plant, she was READING it. Even called it ‘interesting’."

Silence. Seems like no one clued in. “Guys, I think she's some kind of extraterrestrial...and I think the stuff she's stealing has to do with her somehow, specifically.”

There's a round of surprised gasps at this. “Wait, you mean that blue on her might be her skin?” Ruby asks. “I thought it might be facepaint.”

“So did I,” Ribbit admits. “But then I started thinking about it more. And the tablet is the key.”

“How?” Aquatica asks.

“Well, she said when we met her the second time that she ‘was lost, and sought to find herself again.’” Ribbit explains.

“Sooo...what, you think it's her diary or something?” Ruby asks.

“Something like that,” Ruby responds. “Before we met her, she couldn't, or didn't do anything special, she was just strong. Then we meet her again, and suddenly she can throw energy bullets like you, Ruby- right after she *read part of the tablet*.” Ribbit emphasizes the last bit. “Then the tablet gets broken, she's left with the bottom half, we're left with the top. Then the NEXT time we see her she does this GIGANTIC attack...that leaves her utterly breathless and exhausted, and says that the tablet didn't say anything about it.” She pauses, presumably to let it sink in. “Don't you think that's beginning to look like a pattern?”

“My word…” Shimmer starts.

“I think that whatever the tablet is, is telling her things that she might have forgotten. Skills, maybe history, maybe other things. I don't know. But she's bound and determined to get them back. When we broke the tablet in half, she decided to just learned what she could, but she wasn't ready for it, and it nearly cost her. If we had known that, I think we could have handled her right then and there.” Ribbit concludes.

Cont. One more.
>>
>>721990
thank you ribbit for being smart.
>>
>>721990
Ribbit best girl
>>
>>721990
Thanks for.... picking up the vibe we were trying super hard to give off? I'm not particularly impressed that it took the most observant of them to figure out that obvious story beat we were dropping.
>>
>>721990
Thank god for making an easy to follow narrative. It's pretty cool how all our actions come together.
>>
>>721990
Thank fucking god one of these girls actually has a brain. Otherwise we'd be up shit creek with no paddle.

We should probably have Lorraine encourage that type of thing in the entire team - critical thinking skills are a rarity among magical girls, and correcting that may do everyone some good.
>>
>>721990
Man, I knew Ribbit was a gem, but this is over the top!
>>
I still hold to the conviction that Nebula Busting the SOB was a poor decision. At the very least, it will mean that Lorraine won't trust us to handle any more situations like this without murder. So there goes a potential extra revenue stream. To say nothing of the bad shit that could have gone down if they'd just decided not to risk heroing anymore against us. We got lucky here folks, and even then, I'm not fully convinced that we're done dealing with the repercussions of this error.

So maybe let's hold off on Nebula Busting unless it's an emergency next time. A real emergency.
>>
>>722038
t.Ebaneezer scrooge
>>
>>722038
no
>>
>>722070
Bah humbug.
>>
>>721990
“So….you think that she won't risk such a big shot again?” Aquatica asks. “Why not?”

“Because I don't think she wants to risk the
other artifacts.” Ribbit answers. “If they were in the museum before, they probably aren't now because she stole twice from it, and so a bunch of them got distributed for safekeeping. Some got loaned out, too, right? So she probably doesn't know where they are now. If she had some kind of connection to them, she'd likely have already went for them by now. She's searching. And now so are we.” A ruffle of movement. “We have to keep the second half of the tablet from her at ALL COSTS. She doesn't get the tablet, she doesn't get her memories, she doesn't learn any other techniques like...that.” There’s a silence you can only call solemn. “Layla? Did you hear me? She can't do that again…”

There's silence. “Layla? It's up to y-”

“No.” It's a small thing that you barely hear. But you do hear it. “No.” And she gets louder. “no, No, NO, a THOUSAND TIMES NO!”

“Layla…” Shygirl sounds heartbroken.

“I REFUSE!” She crows. “I refuse to let that welp of a thief get the better of me!!”

Cheers all around. Well, except for Ms. Shimmer. “If...if you're sure, dear…” She sounds like she's about to cry.

“Alright, you're leading this show for now, Ruby says. “You figured her out, Max; you got a plan?”

“I just might,” Ribbit says smugly. “Me and Lucy tailed her for as long as we could; I think she might’ve been leading us on, but I'm pretty sure she-” suddenly the the line cuts out. Guess Lorraine figured that was the end of what you needed to hear.

It's a couple of hours before your phone rings again. “Hello? Terribly terribly sorry about earlier, I didn't mean to be rude! It was just supposed to be a warning about the Lovely Hearts getting involved; I wasn't expecting her to want to take over the situation entirely, and then the issue with Layla, and really I'm surprised that she…”

Ugh. She keeps on like this for a bit, until:

“So they all agreed to sleep over here tonight. But I still felt I needed to call. Are you still going with the prism?” Well…

>Yes.
>No, the situation has changed somewhat. You will be aiming for___
>Other
>>
>>722038
One could argue that, with how Lorraine was panicking about Jackknife, he could have been assumed to be an extremely major threat. Given that our priorities were: a) protect the girls from an unknown threat, and b) cause minimal collateral damage, precisely hitting Jackknife with an attack at full power was in fact the most efficient way of dealing with the threat.
>>
>>722097
>Yes.
>>
>>722097
The plan will continue as stated
>>
>>722097
Yes. We can hopefully let on that we can't turn invisible forever if we prioritize it.
>>
>>722097
>>No, the situation has changed somewhat. You will be aiming for___
I think it's time we invited them over to our place.

Hear me out. We've got half a tablet that they think involves our past. All we need to do is get them to come up to where we're staying with the tablet half (by claiming we can sense it if they didn't bring it), monologue for a bit about memories and our justification for blasting Jackknife, then wagering our tablet half and the meteorite on a five-on-one battle. We take a fall, they feel accomplished, we get paid and leave, bing bang boom.
>>
>>722097
>Yes.

So wait, will this be our penultimate fight then?
Basically to make the narrative go we fail to take the prism, then for the final one we do a last ditch attempt at the tablet that ends in our defeat and whatever goes with that.

We need to let them beat us here, taking the prism will upgrade our threat too much and they need the win for moral.


I do have to wonder though: How is our final defeat going to work? We can't just let them arrest us, that will cause complications. Will Sal take care of it or something, so that when we let them beat us and the contract is completed, that we will just magically vanish and go back to the intersection?
>>
>>722097
>No, the situation has changed somewhat. You will be aiming for___
Why don't we grab something that's more identifyibly alien, like the Clay Statue or the Crystal Egg. Or let's ask about the origin of the Prism before we lift it. After all, if it was man-made and they know it, it would conflict with the current narrative.
>>
>>722171
Why ever would anyone assume that their initial guess about something will be 100% accurate? They've done well to make the conclusions they've made - but they also have to learn to adapt when it turns out things aren't quite as you expected them to be.
>>
>>722097
>No, the situation has changed somewhat. You will be aiming for the Statue
We need to go after identifiably alien or alien-influenced artifacts now.
We need to remember that we have to follow the Narrative, NOT what we want or even planned.
It's in our contract.
>>
>>722130
>>722171
Given the description of the prism, it's possible we could take it as a permanent method of becoming invisible.

I don't think we somehow mess up the narrative by going after something which is potentially useful outside of the current job.
>>
Here is the information about the artifacts

>Antique experimental tesla mini-engine.
>Weather Warper machine (formerly ‘Forecast’s’, can change weather in a localized area)
>Vesper Emerald (very large emerald)
>Crystal Egg (recently found in mountains)
>Rainbowmaker’s Prism (can recolor objects, or render them invisible)
>Electrolyzer’s Gauntlets (low-level electricity generation)
>Ancient Clay ‘Grey Mouth’ Statue (Said to be depiction of alien)
>Ancient Tablet (unknown what it says, language lost to history)

So the tesla, gauntlets, and the weather machine are straight out
Emerald doesn't really fit our narrative, it's just a big jewel, nothing to link it with aliums.

We don't know if the prism was made or discovered, but seeing as we already have color changing and invisibility, it doesn't make sense to go after given what we've done. Could work if we play it as wanting to power up our invis, but iffy.

The Grey Mouth statue is right out because we almost certainly look nothing like it. That would most definitely hurt the narrative if we went after it.

I'd say the Egg would be the best then, though the prism still works if we want to go after it.
>>
>>722184
We don't have to go along with whatever they guess identity is, like >>722184 said there isn't any conformation that we're actually an alien; just wierd.
>>
>>722183
>>722211
Because if they think their guess is off and we can still fire more fuck-all lasers, they might quit. And that would fuck the job up.
>>
>>722196
While that's true, I just don't think Lorraine would quite agree with just letting us have it. More likely, she'll probably want it back, so as to throw off suspicion of our survival. I'm pretty sure we're not going to come back here for another job, especially when we decided to use Nebula Blaster to one hit KO Jackknife.
>>
>>722235
I'm not sure how they would leap from 'she's stealing something we didn't expect' to 'she isn't actually depowered' instead of 'maybe our guess about her identity was a little off', but I'm sure that we can avoid that eventuality if we simply avoid saying anything completely retarded when we face them subsequently to imply that we can still fire massive fucking lasers.
>>
>>722211
>>722183
Shimmer was one step away from pulling the girls out and therefore failing this contract.
It was only Ribbit's deductions about us no longer being as great a threat that mollified her and gave the Hearts another chance, and saved our contract.

Sure we could get partial payment, but it'd still be considered a failure and it WILL go on our record. We still have to answer not just to Sal, but to his bosses.
>>
>>722265
Because that assumption is all that's keeping us working with them right now.
We cannot let them doubt Ribbit's theory at all. Any holes appear in it and then we jump back to BIG BOY THREAT level and the girls are pulled off the case because we can freely nuke the moon and they're not ready for that.

That leaves us with only partial payment.
>>
>>722209
>but seeing as we already have color changing and invisibility, it doesn't make sense to go after given what we've done. Could work if we play it as wanting to power up our invis, but iffy.

The invisibility comes from those potions we took from our job with the Moonies. It's not a learned power.
>>
>>722327
Honestly, we should spend our next down-time learning invisibility or cloaking spells.

No matter what tack we take on a mission (except for public speaking engagements), invisibility is always useful.

So either learn how to do it with magic, or hunt down one of the engineering companies and find one from a high-tech world that can fabricate a cloaking device.
>>
>>722327
As in they know we have invisibility, and the color changing will become apparent to them the second our disguise is removed. Thus why going after something that grants those powers isn't the best idea when we've already demonstrated to the girls that we can already do that stuff.
>>
Considering all the discussion, I'm not 100% certain what the choice is.
>>
>>722373
Why not do a vote of Prism vs Egg?
>>
>>722396
...sounds fine.

Okay, time to pick.

>Prism
>Egg.
>>
>>722416
>Egg
>>
>>722416
>prism
>>
>>722416
Prism
>>
>>722416
>Egg
>>
>>722416
>Egg
>>
>>722416
>Prism
>>
>>722416
>Egg
>>
>>722416
>Egg
>>
>>722416
>Prism
>>
Looks like egg came first. Writing.
>>
“No,” you decide. “The situation has changed severely. I have decided the new target to be the Crystal Egg.” It seems sufficiently mysterious, and hopefully going after it would bolster their confidence in that they got your identity correct.

“Alright... I'll do what I can to send them in that direction.” She sounds surprisingly resigned. “Also, you uh…” she seems to want to say something, but you just hear a sigh instead. “Your check is ready. Just come by whenever you want it, I suppose…”

“Very well.” although you certainly didn't mind her being as afraid of you, you have to admit it it's slightly strange how comfortable she seems now.

“Thinking about it, if you're going after the Crystal Egg, then you'll be by tomorrow, anyway.” Oh, yeah. She's right. She currently has possession of the Crystal Egg, stored in a safe in her mansion. “I suppose that makes it a lot easier for you, depending on how you want to arrange things. Do you want me in or out of the house? Day or night? How do you want me to set this up?” Hm. Well, if she's giving you the options…

>Stay inside. It'll make the situation more urgent.
>Go out for a while. Better to not take a risk with you.
and
>Daylight.
>Nighttime.

>Other
>>
>>722629
>Stay inside. It'll make the situation more urgent.
>Daylight.
Keep up the pattern of daylight robberies.
>>
>>722629
We definitely want her out when we go there. We don't know how they'd react if they see her in danger, could go good or very badly. Its better if we dont take the risk. Daytime
>>
>>722629
>Go out for a while. Better to not take a risk with you.
>Daylight.
>>
>>722629


>Go out for a while. Better to not take a risk with you.

Too many ways things could go wrong if she was there, from collateral damage to accidental tells. Keep everyone who's in the know out of the mansion.

>Daylight.
Makes more sense if we want her out
>>
>>722629
>Go out for a while. Better to not take a risk with you.
too risky.
>Daylight.
>>
>>722629
>We need to work out a reasonable excuse for how we found out about where the egg is.

>Daylight
>Stay inside

I say we scout around a bit and fake some meditation as though we're trying to "sense" where the egg is around the mansion. See how they fare if they have a chance to prepare for us.

(I kinda wanna "hit" Crystalline again, but this time fail to break her armour to show off how that we've weakened)
>>
>>722629
>>Daylight.
>>Stay inside. It'll make the situation more urgent.
Give them some real motivation to try and stop us. Plus Lorraine won't be in any danger as long as we don't put her in any danger. Just break in, cause as little property damage as possible, and get out,
>>
>>722629
>Go out for a while. Better to not take a risk with you.
>Nighttime.

>Other
"Considering the circumstances, I shall endeavor to try to make sure your home and valuables remain intact. Still, to this matter, it would be prudent to tell them about the break in after it has been done. It would not do to damage a client's home unreasonably while on hire."
>>
>>722683
Also has the added benefit of if we give them time to prepare we can judge how well they do in VIP scenarios where they'll try to protect Lorraine as well as the egg.

We should leave a note when we leave telling Lorraine what's actually written on the tablet too just so it's not forever considered SUPER DANGEROUS artifact level.
>>
>>722726
A note might get picked up by the wrong person. Better to say it over the phone.
>>
>>722726
>We should leave a note when we leave telling Lorraine what's actually written on the tablet

Hell, let's just tell her now. I kinda want to see a scene of her getting progressively more and more embarrassed in front of her butler.
>>
>>722629
>Go out for a while. Better to not take a risk with you.
>Daylight.
>>
Take a day off, Lorraine.

Writing.
>>
Well, there’s advantages to having her present, but the pros outweigh the cons, so far. “It would be most prudent for you to be absent during the daytime, I believe.”

“Ah. Alright, then. I’ll just be out, do some shopping, then, maybe.” she decides. “The vault should be breakable. It’s behind a painting in the east wing, in the sitting room.” Well, that made things a fair bit easier, you suppose.

“Very well. My thanks. Considering the circumstances, I shall endeavor to try to make sure your home and valuables remain intact. Still, to this matter, it would be prudent to tell them about the break in after it has been done. It would not do to damage a client's home unreasonably while on hire.” Well, it was only polite.

“Appreciate that.” With nothing else relevant, you hang up. Tomorrow, hopefully, won’t be quite as hectic as today was. You’re running out of time, anyway…

cont.
>>
>>723133
>Well. Well...well.

>Well. A check. Written to Madam Vellusia, for...a lot. That’s was a lot of zeros on the end of that check. But it’s still just a check. A piece of paper. A flimsy little piece of paper.

>And that little flimsy piece of paper was, by all rights, the only thing that was, quite possible, preventing the destruction of the city. And the mental destruction of some of her favorite people.

>And she was the one who brought it.

>How could a tiny piece of paper like this hold back something that can crush a hundred tons of metal into a single small sphere in an instant? How could a tiny little thing like this stop that kind of power?

>”It’s just paper... Just a bunch of paper...pfffttthahahahahaha…”

>”Pffahahahahahahahahah!!!

>”AHAHahahahahaha...aaahhh...I...I don’t even k-know who’s the bad guy anymore…”
>>
>>723141
The second after you wake up, the phone rings. As soon as you pick up, you can hear Lorraine’s voice. “Hello! Uh, so. I’ll be out for quite some time, then- until late this evening- around six. Hopefully that’ll work for you? Just letting you know!” and she hangs up. Huh. That was...oddly direct of her. But, that’s all the information you needed anyway.

It’s a quick breakfast, then, off to Lorraine’s mansion. Best to do it while the kids are still at school away, maybe.

Then again, the question of the day now, is, how to get in? You very well can’t just walk through the front door. Well, no, you could, but it’d probably break said door, and you’re trying to avoid damaging her property too much.

>Try one of the higher floor windows. Maybe the balcony where you first showed up. It’d be ironic.
>There’s a rear entrance, through a small garage, where you left to go to your headquarters.
>Maybe you can just cause a BIT of damage- break the door lock or something. She might not mind that.
>Other.
>>
Okay something majorly amazing just came up so I'm leaving it here for now I CANNOT concentrate on this.
>>
>>723147
>There’s a rear entrance, through a small garage, where you left to go to your headquarters.
>>
>>723147
>Try one of the higher floor windows. Maybe the balcony where you first showed up. It’d be ironic.
>>
>>723141
>>723151
[worrying intensifies]

>>723147
>Try one of the higher floor windows. Maybe the balcony where you first showed up. It’d be ironic.
>>
>>723141
This is not encouraging.
A client that goes insane due to our actions will not be looked upon kindly by our bosses.
It's bad for business.
>>
>>723147
>There’s a rear entrance, through a small garage, where you left to go to your headquarters.

Lorraine, don't do something stupid. Please do not do whatever stupid things you are planning, I want my money.
>>
I really shouldn't put those little snippets in, but I can't resist sometimes.
>>
>>723147
>>Try one of the higher floor windows. Maybe the balcony where you first showed up. It’d be ironic.
>>
>>723173
I like it.
>>
>>723173
Nah, it is always nice to see how our actions affect others from an outside perspective.
Poor Lorraine really was not prepared for all this.
>>
>>723173
Can we tell Lorraine to chill out, because the contract is binding and enforced by beings greater than us?
Of course, realizing that there are truly Lovecraftian entities out there in a cold and uncaring cosmos might do her sanity more harm than good.
>>
>>723171
i'm betting fake internet money on that she becomes crazy and the hearts have to stop her. of course we're on the side of the fight, waiting for things to calms down and collect whatever valuables we seem fit.
>>
>>723212
Then I'd like to see what a Dealmaker reprimand is like.
Actions should have consequences, and failures should be punished.
>>
>>723212
I was more thinking she breaks down and confesses to the old guard heroes what she did and now how, at least according to her, the only thing stopping us from destroying the city is the money she gives us. So in effect, we are holding the city ransom.
And this occurs during one of the fights with the girls so all hell breaks loose as all the retired supes try to kill us because we are that much of a threat.

At that point of FUBAR we call in Sal, as we have the employer breaking the contract. God I want to see more Sal.
>>
>>723239
well...i guess our only reprimand will be something like "don't exaggerate your looks next time". i mean, we're dealing with the multiverse, one person in a possible infinite numbers of universes won't matter much.
>>
>>723249
in that moment, we activate the orbital ring, take what we want, and get out.
>>
>>723259
If it results in a broken contract and a preventable failure of a mission, the bosses will not be happy.

And it's not "don't exaggerate your looks", it'll be "why didn't you reassure the client that the contract would have protected them".
I want to be brought before a review board, be put on the carpet, and have ritual bindings and geases physically prevent us from lying as the entire mission in detail is ripped out of us.
>>
>>723280
The problem began from the moment we decided to go A+ on a mission that required at max a B. You begin to think very little of papers and legal protections when you discovered you hired an lovecraftian horror to do a training mission. Also, i don't think we will answer to a dealmaker, after all, its just a contract that isn't linked to them. On the other hand we'd have to deal with Sal instead, which i think will be quiet funnier/scarier.
>>
>>723173
It really wouldn't have been as satisfying a fallout if we didn't get to hear things like Lorraine going nuts and Layla having a nervous breakdown.

this is totally why I personally advocated using nebula burastah.though it's super a problem, we should limit displays of power to once per mission, max.
At least when we're this mismatched in powerlevel
>>
>>723307
>its just a contract that isn't linked to them
All contracts are underwritten by the top Dealmakers and they get a cut of the payout, before costs are factored in.
They're the ones that enforce punishments for breach of contract from our side.
>>
>>723319
on that case, the motes come from our own pocket because we screwed up. case closed.
>>
>>723307
>You begin to think very little of papers and legal protections when you discovered you hired an lovecraftian horror
Also, you begin to think even more of contracts and binding rituals.

Lorraine simply needs to be reminded that she can call upon forces greater than us for contract arbitration and protection from us.
>>
>>723324
Except that if Lorraine breaks the contract then it is her fault. Full payment will be collected regardless.
If she turns on us then we leave, handing it over to reclamations to get what is owed. The MG groups have to be used to employers turning on them out of fear. I doubt it's that uncommon when you are essentially leasing out gods to children.
>>
you know what I think we should do? show up at Lorraine house with two tubs of ice cream and a bottle of scotch.

put aside the Lovecraftian monster act we have going and explain were just a human form a world where people are stronger, the whole otherworldly being shtick is just a really nice costume we picked up.

If she asks why we are droping the act explain we've been in the business long enough to realize when the person sighing the checks is starting to be too afraid of you, and things tend to end in tears and unpaid contracts when that happens.
>>
>>723360
It's not at that level yet, and this is fun.
>>
>>723360
>were just a human
remove that part. everything else I can go with.
if we wanted to show that we can be empathetic or reassuring, we don't have to reveal that we are a relatively humane person.
being honest with our identity is not good. being honest with our intentions is okay. I mean, we're not going to suddenly turn and smash everything, we're on a contract here.
>>
>>723360
I can dig this, other than the "I'm actually a human" bit.
>>
>>723360
>>723393
Getting Lorraine to understand that we're in this just for the money might not help enough.
She obviously doesn't see money as importantly as we do.

We'd have to explain to her that it's not the cash so much as the emotional value attached to the cash that's important to us, and by extension, our Dealmaker masters.
They want the money, but they're also businessmen; if Lorraine annuls the contract because she's dissatisfied with our performance, they'll accept it so long as she pays their minimum due. We're not going to go on a rampage afterwards, because that would just bring our bosses wrath down on us, even more than failing a contract would.

As to why money is so important to us, it's the reason why our masters keep us alive. We've personally seen non-performing consultants be erased from existence. Making sure to maintain a positive profit margin is literally a matter of life or death for us.
>>
>>723360
Get slightly drunk with Lorraine over the success of the mission and how we accidentally made ourself too scary and didn't want to admit it was a mistake. Also tell her the tablet is just an alien love letter.
>>
>>723360
cut the "I'm a human too" bit and I'm down with it.
Only question is if we're drinking, where will we get the fruit hat and fruit sword?
>>
>>723436
best idea.

>>723408
>>723440
point, we just need to act human, we can let her keep thinking were an alien.

>>723435
we don't need to make it sound like we will be killed, just mention high living expenses and a strong desire not to starve to death.
>>
>>723472
>we don't need to make it sound like we will be killed
We don't need to because being thrown into nothingness is exactly what would happen if we didn't pay rent. We've seen it happen before.
Being a revenue stream is what keeps the Dealmakers from throwing us out of the Intersection.
>>
>>723488
unless I missed something we'd only be thrown out onto the street. I could have missed it, but I was under the impression its more there is no social safety net then we get tossed into oblivion if we have finical difficulty.
>>
>>723495
Thread 7
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/634647/

Post #648217

>“I...I've been here for over a year, and I'm still scared. L-uh...my guardian is here, but...he's busy, and we barely make payments sometimes. Even with me helping...I worry that some day we'll just get tossed away...I'm scared of that.”

>Ah. The perennial fear- getting ‘ejected’. You’d had the fortune of only actually seeing it happen once. The poor sap looked like he'd been struck by lightning, and he was rather high in the air, but you could still hear. They'd just read him some parting words, amidst his screams and begging, and...just chucked him out. There was a barrier, tall and colored a pleasant vanilla, so that people didn't just fall over by accident, but the Deal-Makers were the only ones who knew how to bypass it.

>At least there wasn't any screaming. The barrier was soundproof.
>>
>>723516
I stand corrected, and horrified.
>>
>>723495
Sorry, but we wouldn't be thrown out into the streets of the Intersection. We'd be thrown out of the bubble of reality it exists in entirely.

It's less being homeless, more "You've taken a one way trip to R'lyeh. Good luck, pal."
>>
>>723524
Yeah, so getting money isn't just to keep getting nice things, or even to get the necessities of life.
It's very much all that stands between staying alive and being erased from existence.
>>
>>723525
Except that it's not quite that bad. You just have to pay your rent to stay. What you do to earn your keep is irrelevant. Hell, iirc you have to be very, very delinquent on not paying for that shit to happen. Basically if your not paying warrants eviction then it can happen. But remember, Miranda has been at the intersection for nearly a century and has only seen this happen once. It isn't a real threat unless you're a grade A fuck up.

Intersection isn't a nice place, but it isn't the giga capitalist hell either.
>>
BEFORE I FORGET.

If you wanted to control an alternate SES employee temporarily, which would it be?

>Izumi

or

>Lorelei
>>
>>723573
>Neither is also an option.
>>
>>723563
Anon, I'm not saying that Miranda would be kicked out like a fat fedora wearing basement dweller immediately if we don't pay the higher ups. I'm just saying that if we DO get kicked out, it's not going to be fun for us.
>>
>>723573
>Other Company Girl
Someone from a different company, to see how the other MG's work.
>>
>>723573
>Izumi
JUSTICE-

>>723576
aw.

>>723472
can agree with this.
>>
>>723607
By 'neither', I just meant 'No, stick with Miranda'.

I'm trying to set up a thing, people.
>>
>>723613
Hey, not like we can force you to change narrative or something.
>>
>>723622
No, but I want your opinions.
>>
>>723613
I'm happy with just Miranda.
>>
>>723573
>Izumi
I'm very interested to see what you have in mind!
>>
>>723573
>Izumi
>>
Please stop trying to metagame people.

If we notice something actually wrong with Lorraine and have the option to do something about it we can talk about it then, but now you're just using the QM's snippets and that's bad.
>>
>>723573
I'd be interested in playing a more "new" employee, Miranda's fun, but having the chance to play someone who hasn't lost fascination with the experience would be an interesting change.

Out of those 2 though I'd go with Izumi. Lorelei's power set is pretty cool, but for now Izumi seems like fun.
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-o8pTi6vd8

This is a nice song.
>>
>>723626
My opinion is a mission with all 3 would be fun, and we can control one of the other two with Miranda being an NPC.
>>
>>723728
I don't think it's necessarily metagaming. We're just kinda in the final stretch of the mission and we have noticed repeatedly that we probably threw on way too many intimidation buffs for this. It's not OOC for Miranda to know she's scared her employer way more than she should have (also considering we overheard the 'you almost screwed up the contract' conversation), showing her that we really aren't that terrifying and don't hesitate to give Sal a call again seems reasonably professional.
>>
>>723769
Let's be honest here, if we hadn't seen that snippet, then maybe we would have reasurred her somewhat, but not near the level of what some anons are suggesting.
>>
>>723779
Eh, I guess I can agree there. I think at most the snippet gave people the idea to have a little more fun with it than just a parting "oh and really sorry about looking so terrifying and showing off a little too much power. Funny thing though, that tablet is actually an alien love letter. Call again if you need help." which I don't necessarily think is too bad. I'll admit I am kinda amused by the idea of asking for a mirror and some food so we can see how it looks when we eat, "sorry, I actually have no idea how I eat things with this body, it's been bothering me."
>>
>>723573
>>723576
Daily Life of Sal Quest never?
>>
>>723909
I'd love this. It'd also be a great way to really upon what we know about the intersection and deal-makers.

Plus Sal a great.
>>
>>723573
>>Izumi
>>
>>724073
>Hi I'm Sal...or Miranda always call me Sal
>My Job is a deal-maker doing business with various people around the dimension
>I currently have 3 people under my wing Miranda,Lorelei and Izumi
>Being a deal maker is a hard job sometimes i get many scam offers sometimes low budgets but most of the times i can net a good gig with my 3 basic rules
>Desperate, Urgency and MONEY
>But im not a big time deal maker though
>And im not intending making it big because it would be too tiresome
>Im pretty content with my girls and as long as i get to pay my bills everything is A-OK
>But what would make me edge with other dealmakers is the ability to make connections
>I mean you have to make a little favors there and then and im just the right person to ask
>So if you have concerns please talk to me and we can settle it....either with money or things
>:D
>>
This panic is a bit silly. You all messed up by voting to one-hit KO the villain, but it worked out. The over the top intimidation was a problem from the start, but we already had that vote twice and you voted to go with it. Stop metagaming.
>>
>>724148
I'm not sure how this mission was originally intended to end, but this development does open up some new possibilities for a conclusion.
>Lorraine loses her nerve as a result of the situation, confesses everything to Shimmer and the Hearts. They confront us with this knowledge, and we can finally discard all pretense to fight them frankly to test all they've learned.
>Lorraine loses her nerve, anonymously hires a fuckton of supervillains to take us out before we (in her estimation) inevitably destroy the city in an act of anger/malice/black comedy. Faced with a rampaging superpowered horde, we and the Hearts are forced to team up to prevent the destruction of the city/our artifacts, with us leading them and finally have a pretense to personally instruct them on their weak points.
>Lorraine loses her sanity, attempts to personally ascend to the role of superhero(villain?) in order to personally protect the city from the threat she unwittingly called down upon it. However, in her maddened pursuit of absolution from her guilt, her methods are more than a little genocidal and/or apocalyptic; and as we team up with the Hearts to stop her, we're left wondering who's going to pay us when this is all over.
>Lorraine decides to call in another interdimensional mercenary in the hopes we mutually annihilate each other, thus saving the city. Final boss fight against Izumi.
>>
>>724188
Her turning super villain is a bit too ridiculous but I'm with you on the other ones.

>>724148
I guess Handler should save the brief NPC IC updates for after the missions. It's a shame since I enjoy them, but it seems we share the thread with people who need to "Win"- savescummers who can only move forward if they make the best possible decision.

I'm enjoying the current situation but I do feel a little guilty since I was the one who proposed that we only buy the Third Eye Brooch to max out Otherworldliness. I wanted to save motes and was curious how we would appear.

By the end of the mission when the contract is fulfilled and we are rendered payment, /if Miranda IC/ figures out just how far off the deep end she made Lorraine fall, I think it would be in character to break character and say a quick apology like "The contract stipulated a binding narrative so I was contractually obliged to keep scaring your pants off."
If Miranda never figures it out then we have no reason for tea time or pub crawl or whatever else people are clamoring for now that they believe that we fucked up.
>>
>>724148
This is just the normal overreactions that happen in every quest.

We have no IC reason for doing anything like the Lorraine date night plan, nor is thereally any way to fit it into the schedule at the moment due to the structure of the heists. We will reap what we sowed, and it's gonna be a ride.
>>
Now that she's not as scared of us anymore, we can be less formal. That's IC.
>>
>>724244
We haven't even been formal with her. We're pretending to be an abrasive alien.
>>
>>72424
In that case, we can try to scare her more. What's the IC reaction to 'person is not as scared of me as before'?
>>
>>724253
Stop it. We have no reason to change the way we act with her IC, all you are doing is throwing out flimsy reasons to try justifying doing OOC actions to try and fix what appears to be a problem on the horizon.
>>
>>724253
In-character for Miranda, or in-character for the persona she is adopting towards Lorraine right now?

I imagine Miranda would probably attempt to check on her employer's situation if she suspected anything was terribly wrong, given that if anything happened to Lorraine, she wouldn't be able to get paid.

Madam Vellusia seems extremely task-oriented, and probably wouldn't interfere with her employer's circumstances unless directly ordered, because it might interfere with her given objectives.

However, while Miranda has explicitly noted something different about Lorraine, it was only noted as odd rather than alarming, and likely may not be enough to motivate her to break the character she's presently established.
>>
>>724219
Relationship min-maxers are the worst.

It's fun the way things are going.
>>
>>724273
Miranda noted that Lorraine had gotten calmer and accepted this. It's barely odd, more likely to be thought of as she has come to terms with everything or is at least resigned that what will happen will happen.

So you're 100% right, no reason for Miranda to break character and try to go friendship on Lorraine.
>>
>78 IPs
I wish I was as popular as Handler...
>>
>>724286
Honestly that's why I like this quest. Everything that is done is for the job and it's success. You never have the awful metaknowledge diplomancer decisions that make no sense IC and are only made in search of the mystical golden route.

Most of the big, cool things that have happened because we didn't munchained but just played and did things that had consequences. There wouldn't have been any of this huge conflict, no giant robot, no murder, no strife.
Playing the character as a normal character instead of trying for a perfect route results in a much more fun and interesting quest.
>>
>>724253
For what conceivable purpose? She is our business client, we work to achieve our goal within the mission parameters. Yeah, we accidentally turned into an eldritch horror because we underestimated what A+ actually means, but this isn't a Halloween costume and we aren't working at a haunted house, there is absolutely no profit or incentive in terrorizing the client.

>>724273
It's definitely not a change that will make Miranda think she's at fault of something. A client getting over the initial apprehension and becoming increasingly amiable is likely something that she encounters almost every job.

>>724300
Glad Handler gave us a good, established character and stuck to his guns in the writing. If you go back you can see there were times when things were going to go out of character but he framed them IC well enough that everyone really got on board with the All Business, No Nonsense character.
>>
>>724324
>Glad Handler gave us a good, established character and stuck to his guns in the writing. If you go back you can see there were times when things were going to go out of character but he framed them IC well enough that everyone really got on board with the All Business, No Nonsense character.
Do elaborate.
>>
>>724336
A couple of times where the player reason for an action was completely wild. If you're demanding links you'll get none, re-read yourself.
>>
>>724347
You are being extremely vague. Quit being evasive, and say something like 'that time we wanted to kidnap that guy' or 'when we broke into the temple'.
>>
>>724354
I can't tell you without going back, and it's not something I'm going to waste time doing because you are angry that you were told to stop suggesting dumb OOC actions, because ultimately things went well that they barely registered in the back of my mind. I don't remember any specific scenes, only that I recall it happened.
>>
>>724268
I'd imagine that the fact the job will come to an end is a fairly reasonable reason to change the way we act at least a little, considering this job started with Miranda going "oh, I'm a lot scarier to people than I thought I would be... I'll play along, but I hope this doesn't make trouble, the employer being too scared can cause problems."

Going full "job well done date night" is fun to talk and laugh about, even if it is a bit far (giving someone alcohol alongside admitting mistakes/apology/congratulations just seems like a completely normal and uninteresting thing to do to me, but I guess it's kinda "friendship"-ey?), but there's also the professionalism of at least trying to secure a repeat hire (despite the futility of the task considering how scared she was of us, and considering how rich Lorraine seems to be).
>>
>>724324
agreed.
>>
>>723573
Neither, I like miranda
>>
>>723573
I think I'm the only one who wants to try Lorelei.
>>
>>723573
>>723576
Neither.
Maybe play as Sal once, as a filler episode.
>>
A bit early for my usual stuff, but.

Choice for >>723147 seems to be to take the high road. Writing!
>>
>>728050
Hallo Handler.
With Miranda so big on irony, I'm sure she's great at golfing.
>>
Best to go high. You'd run less risk of stumbling into any security that way. Of course, it'd be weird if you just kind of went up there at random. The museum made sense for someone to strike out of sheer guesswork; but someone's home? Unless they were looking for valuables in general- which you weren't- it didn't make much sense. However, there might be a way to play it off…if there’s anyone there, at least.

You’re not sure if she has video surveillance or not, but you don’t like the idea of risking it. Problem is, there’s not a lot of places to hide- some trees, and that’s about it- Lorraine had a bit of a natural ‘wall’ around her mansion, but by and large it wasn’t much to stop people from looking in. So you try not to take too much time as you move quietly around the place in an attempt to look like you’re casing it, just in case someone gets the wise idea to check any tapes. You pause once or twice, however, to ACTUALLY do some recon- danger scent reveals nothing, and heightened hearing only results in the hustle and bustle of the city- so alright, then. Seems like they’re not in the area.

You get to the second story with little trouble, taking advantage of your natural agility and the few outcroppings the walls have thanks to the stylized windows. You’re quickly up and over the balcony, and from there it’s trivial to make it indoors. That’s when you realize.

You never ACTUALLY visited the sitting room- you don’t think. You’ve been to her dining area, here, the grand hallway...there WAS that room where you had tea. That might be it, but you don’t recall a painting in there. Then again, you didn’t pay THAT much attention.

Time to get sneaky, then.

You slip out of the bedroom and head out into the hallway. It shouldn’t be too hard to find your way to the east side of the mansion…nope, it’s all big hallways and whatnot. Fine, good, typical.
Let’s see...nope, this looks like more of a dance hall than anything else. Next.

It takes a few minutes, but you eventually hit a room that looks like a pleasant reading room- fireplace, lots of books, plush seats- and a large painting of an older woman resembling Lorraine. That might just be it...
You’ll need to-

“Lost?” Wait, what?

You turn around, and surprisingly enough, Ribbit and Crystalline are there. And it’s just those two. “If you’re looking for the Valour City Prison, I’d be happy to escort you.” Ribbit says. Crystalline is merely silent, staring at a point right above you.

Wow. How did they dodge your danger scent?

“Let me guess. You’re here for the tablet?” Ribbit says. “Or maybe something a bit more round?”

Crystalline is armored up, and she’s points both wrists out at you- they’re already primed with crystals.

“I’ve got my suspicions about you…” Ribbit starts. “So why don’t we take this outside?” Neither of us wants to wreck all this lovely work, right?”

Hah. She sounds confident.

> “Your veiled threats are amusing.”
> “...and what would you do should I agree?”
> Other
>>
>>728384
>> “Your veiled threats are amusing.”
>> “...and what would you do should I agree?”
>>
>>728384
> “...and what would you do should I agree?”
>>
>>728384
> “...and what would you do should I agree?”
>>
>>728384
>Crystalline is merely silent, starting at a point right above you.
... Is she just too scared to look at us? Is it a secret technique?

> “...and what would you do should I agree?”

admiral_ackbar.jpg

Can we challenge her to a jump off now, please~?
>>
Tell me why.

Writing.
>>
>>728421
No, someone's hiding up there in an ambush... or they're faking it.

>>728384
> "An ambush. How quaint."

I kind of want to say something to the effect of "I'm only here for my objective, the interior decoration is none of my concern, only yours." to get that smug grin off of her face but if they /actually/ start a fight in here... don't want to risk it.
>>
>>728384
>Wow. How did they dodge your danger scent?
Are they not actually there?
>>
>>728467
Maybe they're just too weak to show up when they aren't transformed?
>>
>>728384
> “...and what would you do should I agree?”
>>
>>728384
“And if I were to agree to such a request, what would you do?” you ask.

“Look,” she begins placatingly, “You're very clearly someone we don't want to mess with; yesterday showed us that much. Our goal is to protect the city, and, brutal as it was, you DID help with that. So I was thinking maybe we could come to some sort of agreement. The rest of us are outside, we’re willing to talk. You tell us what you want and why, and maybe we can see about getting them, together, peacefully. Maybe tit for tat, y’know?” She smiles oddly and shrugs, as her glasses glint, and Crystalline still doesn’t move, face calm as can be, weapons primed.

Strange. That seems...counter to what she had said earlier. Still, if this was their plan…but then why didn’t anyone register on your danger sense? Hm...

> “Very well. We will parley.” Strange turn of events, but...
> “An interesting offer...but I refuse.” Whatever this is, you won’t fall for it.
> “Why now?” This is just weird.
> Other
>>
>>728538
> “An interesting offer...but I refuse.” Whatever this is, you won’t fall for it.
>>
>>728538
>> “Why now?” This is just weird.
>>
>>728538
It's likely not the Shining Hearts. Could it be a villain with Holo tech? Or a lone Lovely Heart?

>Other
Say nothing, resume activity. Ignore until physical interraction
>>
>>728538
So, working off of our persona, we want the artifacts and it's reasonable to think that they have the tablet and the egg since they got here before us.

We don't have any motivation to kill or hurt them except to get to the tablet. Judging from the last few encounters even if we can't beat them we can run away. Negotiating might end up helping.

On the other hand if we tell them our story and they decide to give us the artifacts they won't learn much apart from negotiation. Try to negotiate, but don't accept.
THe whole negotiation is probably cover to get more information out of us. The egg is not here anymore anyway.

> “Very well. We will parley.” Strange turn of events, but...
>>
>>728538
>“Very well. We will parley.” Strange turn of events, but...
If they're setting up an ambush, then it shows that they've started using their heads. We can break out of it.
If it's Lorraine trying to get rid of us, we can tell her that we're disappointed, and we will renegotiate the contract or put it on hold while we go through arbitration.

If it's a Lovely Heart, then we'll have to improvise.
>>
>>728538
> “An interesting offer...but I refuse.” Whatever this is, you won’t fall for it.

Shouldn't they be in school?
>>
>>728538
C'mon folks.

>>728609
They should indeed. They are probably still there too.
>>
Waiting 5 more minutes, then flipping the old digital coin.
>>
>>728538
>“Why now?” This is just weird.
"I would not have thought your goal to have been such, given how poorly you are performing at it. Why prevent me from retrieving what is mine, rather than deal with others like that one from yesterday, who clearly do the city more harm?"
>>
>>728538
> “An interesting offer...but I refuse.” Whatever this is, you won’t fall for it.
>>
>>728538
> no thanks
Something something insufficient.
>>
"Nah."

Writing.
>>
I feel bad dodging their trap. They probably worked hard on it.
>>
>>728578
>It's likely not the Shining Hearts. Could it be a villain with Holo tech? Or a lone Lovely Heart?

It's the water girl, she's made copies and is controlling them from afar. Maybe they put microphones in them?
>>
>>728684
To elaborate, it could explain the odd behavior of Crystalline. They misjudged our height and they sprung the trap right in front of the safe where they knew we would have to be, but the calibration is off.
The smug attitude is odd, too. Consider our power level you'd have to be all kinds of stupid to meet when your group is not at full strength, and bringing attitude when you don't know the other party's real temperament or disposition. And besides, Jeanne would never allow such a dangerous gambit.
>>
>>728684
I feel that she doesn't have enough control to pull that off. Even then, Miranda would likely still smell Aquatica's energy signature in those simulacra.
>>
Whatever their trick is, it seems to involve getting us outside on their terms.
>>
>>728538
Whatever it is, you’re not interested. Smells like some kind of ambush- which is clever, but a bit too simple. “Curious. But I will refuse this offer.”

Ribbit doesn’t seem to be very dismayed by the decision, but she nods. “Alright, alright. I suppose you have every right to be suspicious, but the offer WAS genuine. Then again, I suppose that if you’re not willing to come with us peacefully…we’ll just have to convince you.” Okay, no. Her voice just dropped like, two octaves- and suddenly she opens her mouth- and from it billows a strange white smoke, fiercely and in high volume as the room starts to fill.

‘Your mind is MY mind. MY will is your desire…

You can’t help but blink owlishly. Whatever this stuff was, it was more getting you buzzed than anything else. Ha...that’s actually kinda cool...kinda like a living smoke factory…fooooooosssshh

>Whatcha doin? Do...doooo dooo doot doot doot do do doot…
>Why’s he got his mouth open? Is he hungry? You should find something to feed him…
>Gaaaaahhhh, he’s just gonna ruin everything. Cut him down. Like french fries. Or chopped ham. Gah, you’re hungry.
>Other thing that you’re not sure what.
>>
>>728711
>Well, looks like I was wrong.

>>728761
Just pummel the sucker into submission
>>
>>728761
>>Other thing that you’re not sure what.
>>"Yeah, not getting possessed or controlled."
>fuck the thing up
>>
>>728761
>Why’s he got his mouth open? Is he hungry? You should find something to feed him…
>>
>>728761
>Other thing that you’re not sure what.
>Yeah, just, just, nah man, nah. You're not paid to deal with this kinda weird shit. You're outta here.
Nice to see that they're thinking, and probably have recruited someone else to help them out. In any case, we don't have any in-character incentive to stay here, given that we're pretty sure the thing we're looking for isn't here.
>>
>>728761
>Other thing that you’re not sure what.
Chaos Wave.
Remember that we've got to adhere to the Minimal Collateral Damage rider.
>>
>>728797
We should still check the safe to make sure, let's not get sloppy because things got weird.
>>
Could we use any of our spells for a blast of air to scatter the smoke, windows are expendable.
>>
>>728812
Anything that displaces matter could do it to a degree- so magi-blast, magi-wave, barriers, flux wave, etc.
>>
>>728830
Imagine double flux-wave right now. Oh man.
>>
>>728830
If flux wasnt so powerfull it would be exelent, but lets just crush a magi-blast to add ventilation and clean the air
>>728845
its fucking two city blocks wide
>>
"Duuuuude, your face is the ultimate harshness. Nah, can't...nah, not working out. It's not- it's not working out. It's not working out, gotta fix this."

Writing.
>>
>>728830
How about Megaphone? If we shout loud enough.
>>
Detonate a few magiblasts to clear the air. We're gonna need tp actually shut down this shit ASAP though, because oh god it's dangerous.
>>
>>728845
Remember that we're supposed to be weakened.

Well, at least we know we can calibrate the strength of our magical attacks. I do hope we can avoid damaging any of Lorraine's stuff.

I wonder if Energy Channel would work here?
>>
>>728873
Since we are supposed to be weakened, If we take these guys out, then it'll be evidence that the Shining hearts won't be able to deal with us, and if we lose... we've lost. In a bit of a difficult predicament here actually.
>>
Just a reminder, we don't need to win or even collect all the artifacts, we need to train the girls to work well as a team.
>>
>>728898
Which I why I suggested retreating.

Since we're attacking, though, using the weakest-seeming attack we can that clears the smoke would be a good idea.

Though it's entirely possible that the attack is fully mental, and the smoke isn't even physically there in the first place, and we should be prepared for this eventuality.
>>
>>728909
Problem is mind control/drunk gas is something we need to stop, now. We need to be lucid to prevent anything bad from happening. We lose fine control and things can easily become very, very bad.
>>
>>728919
Well we had three options to slightly control things.
>Shutdown
>Wander around
>Attack and F?E? M?
>Other
>>
>>728916
Retreating might be best, it would show that we aren't too willing to fight, and might make this/these guys (who I assume are the lovely hearts) go "oh, it really is depowered, I guess we can leave it to the shining hearts after all". That's if we're lucky though.
>>
Other thing is that Ribbit's using something that ain't in her dossier. These types of capes don't develop new powers, especially ones so different from their base.

Now while I don't think Lorraine was holding out on us when she gave us the girl's info, I doubt she is not in the know for whatever is happening now.
We need to confront her about this afterwards. You do not put the help in a mind control situation without telling them about it. Not only is it rude as fuck, it is insanely dangerous for the job. We need to talk to her about this shit, it's not acceptable.
>>
>>728865
>>728936
Retreating, yes, but not outside. Gotta make them think we wnt for another exit.

>>728952
Tech of psychic Villain, m8. The girls are at school
>>
>>728988
Yes they're most likely not here due to no scent, but the fact is something is screwy here in a completely unknown way.

Lorraine cut us off the second the girls got into their strategy meeting.
So fact is she either knows what the fuck the girls are planning/doing and decided to keep us in the dark for some reason (taking us out doesn't really make much sense given that her breakdown was after hanging up on us) or she is doing this on her own and is using villain/super tech in her house on us for some reason.

Fact is we are being put in a situation that puts both us and the contract at risk because of Lorraine. She kept us in the dark about mind control powers/tech that would be used against us and that is not fucking okay.
>>
>>729011
She might be a prisoner.
>>
>>728988
If I had to guess, I'd say that Crystalline isn't at school right now.

Not that she's all here right now either, but I strongly suspect she hasn't been seen at school at all today.
>>
>>729011
You're right. On the other hand we are pretty much exceedingly dangerous, and I wouldn't be surprised if she just thought "oh she'll be able to handle it, she's an eldritch thingy".

I also wouldn't be surprised if Lorraine didn't know about it, this seems surprisingly well thought out, and I've got a hunch it's the loveley hearts doing a bit of vigilante work to protect their protege's after Ms. Shimmer wanted to call them in for help.
>>
>>728761
Uggggghhhhhhh, wow that’s...no, it’s funny, but it’s also kinda annoying? And that mouth is suuuuper creepy- not, yeah, you gotta shut that down now. Did you- yeah, wait, no, you had something you were doing, too. You did. Absolutely did. Ugh, and you can’t see. This smoke is nuts. Nuts to it...hm. Ugh, you weren’t a big fan of cashews.

Ugh, and everything’s wavy, too, the smoke is just whipping everywhere...what is this upness whaaat…?

“....uggAH CUTITOUT!” You whip your arm forward- launching a magi-blast that curls and dissipates the smoke in front of you only a bit- but has the residual effect of knocking the Ribbit-impersonator clear off their feet as she gets thrown back into the door- they’d closed it at one point, and apparently you hadn’t noticed. Another shot in frustration shatters a window, and you can already feel your mental faculties clearing up- and remember that there’s another person in the room. Crystalline’s off to the other side, near a chair, her arms now folded. She simply looks back at the groaning man- you just now noticed that she seems to have a sort of transparent facial mask on, made of crystal, and pockmarked with very, very small holes- and makes a face of disgust. You can see the figure melting away into something else- a thin boy with a sickly countenance, dressed in tight fitting leather.

“Seriously? I told him not to go with that line. Ugh, that’s just creepy as all get out.” She looks towards you with a mix of fear and residual resignation as the rest of the smoke clears. “He...he can’t ACTUALLY mind control anyone. His smoke just makes you loopy.” She glances back at him. “And he’s a creeper, apparently. Ugh. At least he did his part, even if he had to be ultra creepy about it.” She shrugs, her arms STILL folded, then looks back at you. “Go figure. But by the way, you’re donezo.” You can hear her whisper a faint 'I hope' under her breath.

> What the actual hell…? Enough of this. You ARE done here. Time to leave.
> “I doubt that.” Time to do something.
> “Do explain.” If anything you want to know HOW THE HELL they escaped your danger scent. That should've tipped you off from word go.
> Other
>>
>>729023
>> What the actual hell…? Enough of this. You ARE done here. Time to leave.

It's a setup.
There is no reason to fight randos, we leave, we call Lorraine, we get this shit sorted out. This is probably contract nulling if she's turning against us.
>>
>>729028
>“Do explain.” If anything you want to know HOW THE HELL they escaped your danger scent. That should've tipped you off from word go.
If random mooks are targeting us, this may be a problem.
>>
>>729028
>What the actual Hell...? Enough of this. You ARE done here. Time to leave.

Gotta tick in-character with our weakened state. We even have a convenient window/hole to escape through.
Also NOT COOL convincing someone you're mind controlling them, he's lucky he got off as lightly as he did, that's the kinda thing people usually respond with lethal force to.
>>
>>729028
>> “I doubt that.” Time to do something.
Something being do what we came here for. Don't just leave, look for the egg. Demand to know where it is, it's ours!

>>729033
Anon, be professional about this, they recruited one of their friends. That's a normal thing for these types to do. We can't waste a day just because something we didn't expect happened.
>>
>>729028
>“Do explain.” If anything you want to know HOW THE HELL they escaped your danger scent. That should've tipped you off from word go.
I want to know who this person is, and what they think they're doing by interfering with our job.
If she says she was hired by Lorraine, then we can go to our client for breach of contract.
But we need to know whether this was orchestrated by Lorraine or if this is just a bunch of random local villains that we need to neutralize.
The former is a breach of contract, the latter is an annoyance but was raised to us as a potential problem at the beginning of the contract.
>>
>>729028
Mid-powered vertical magi-wave at her face, then
> What the actual hell…? Enough of this. You ARE done here. Time to leave.
>>
>>729028
No time for questions. We need to leave ASAP. Lets jump out that window we smashed earlier
>>
>>729043
Good point on them just recruiting one of their friends... not confident that the shining hearts aren't actually at school and this is someone else (who can apparently use illusions).

Changing my vote >>729042 to
>"Do explain." If anything you want to know HOW THE HELL they escaped your danger scent. That should've tipped you off from word go.
>move towards the window, we want to be able to make a quick getaway on an instant basis we spot anything else out of the ordinary.
>>
>>729028
>And he’s a creeper, apparently

She has known him, they know eachother. He isn't a summon. He's a kid.
Come on guys...
>>
>>729043
We were not put in the know about this, that is not acceptable. Lorraine was at the strategy meeting, she would know if they were gonna get help, we were not informed about it.

Thing is we don't know if this is the only kid they got to help, there are too many unknowns, too many ways for this shit to go wrong. We cannot train them when we have at least two major unknowns with them, stipulations for keeping collateral damage down and keeping the masquerade up. Shit will go wrong.
>>
I'm somehow doubtful this gaz is powerful enough to penetrate Miranda's Power Boost and act as intended.

Or I don't fully understand that technique.
>>
>>729057
Crystalline has done really well with dealing with the psychological damage we've dealt her. So I'm going to re-propose the idea for giving her another punch but this time not breaking her cyrstal in order to re-inflame some of her confidence of the fact that we've been weakened if the opportunity comes up (on account of me probably not being around much today).
>>
>>729028
>Open the safe, make sure that the egg is actually there or not.

After that we get out and contact lorraine. Might be prudent to go and have her within sight when we do.
>>
>>729076
It's. Not. Crystalline.
>>
>>729028
I wonder if expelling what's left of the gaz from our lungs via a high-powered megaphone or juicing up Power Booost would help.
>>
>>729094
I'm 80% in agreeance with you, but we still saw her get riled up and want to fight us again after having a nervous breakdown, so that was mostly a when we actually see her again.

That 20% that thinks it might actually be her is that she's pointedly avoiding looking at us, and her mask seems to be made to distort her view so she can't see us clearly, which seems like reasonable precautions to take if she's worried about having a breakdown again and being useless.
>>
>>729094
Well we don't know it's not Crystalline.

It's highly likely it's not, but we don't have confirmation yet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think she normally just went full body crystal armor. This one is using a crystal gas mask. This is highly suspect and does make me think it's not Crystalline, as why would she use a gas mask instead of the full head covering?
>>
>>729069
This is important, we must know if Lorraine knew about this. If she did, she is endangering the mission, our lives and any number of civilians if our mind got completely toked out or controlled by someone else.

And since we don't know she's going crazy, she's getting a real stern talking to.
>>
>>729094
The other point in favour of this being the actual shining hearts is that they recruited some kid to help deal with us. If it was anybody else we've seen, they wouldn't risk some kid with a "makes you loopy" power in a fight against us. She also called him creepy, which isn't really something Shimmer (the only other person we know of that has crystal-like powers) would say (unless she was super professional, and not willing to break character).
>>
Work calls. Sorry. Will absolutely resume later tonight.
>>
>>729028
>“Do explain.” If anything you want to know HOW THE HELL they escaped your danger scent. That should've tipped you off from word go.
>>
>>729028
> What the actual hell…? Enough of this. You ARE done here. Time to leave.

We can get explanations from Lorraine afterwards. Things are too weird right now.
>>
>>729028
On reflection, changing from >>729039 to:
>What the actual hell…? Enough of this. You ARE done here. Time to leave.
Given that the kid could clearly not possibly have impaired us for long, it's likely he's only here to stall for time while a trap was sprung around us. At the very least, we'll want to get clear of that - we're not actually invincible, and as we have to act in a weakened state to remain in character, we might not actually be able to fight our way out of whatever it is.
>>
>>729028
>> What the actual hell…? Enough of this. You ARE done here. Time to leave.
>>
I'm back, and Miranda is about to try and GTFO.

Writing.
>>
>>729028

How is…? No, no. Something’s off. You’re not sure what, exactly, but all your instincts are yelling at you. You need to escape and regroup. You move to jump out of the hole you made-

And Crystalline quickly unfolds her arms, raising them high as if she’s yanking on some- strings, those are strings. Nearly invisible, you had barely noticed them with the smoke taking up your attention. You can see them glinting in the light now at certain angles- they’d been resting on the floor. She pulls her arms back once the wires are in midair, tugging on something- you’re not sure what at first, but a quick look behind you reveals small, coin sized crystal bits. They’re yanked out of the wall, and you instinctively leap upwards before they can wrap around you.

Crystalline’s eyes widen, and she immediately tries to tug upwards as you narrowly escape the trap- you can feel one or two slice your legs, and you know that that was a close call. Her attempts mean nothing, however, and she desperately tries to swing the bejewled wires around at you again, only for you to dodge, slipping under the attack, and leap out the window, landing a couple stories below on all fours. As you look back up, you see Crystalline not giving chase or firing at you as expected, but quickly on her phone, clearly agitated once again. You tap your hearing as you leave.

“No- NO, Ribbit, s-she’s running and- no! Like heck I’m going after her! I barely got though this, and Dennis is just now getting…”

Whatever composure she had, it seemed to be fleeting.

For now, though, you need to rest and regroup. And figure out where to go from here. Them calling in allies? Hm. You’re not sure about this one.

>Actions?
>>
>>730837
Well, since Ribbit mentioned that she and Shygirl have been spying on us, let's avoid the base for now and head over to one of the condemned buildings listed on the map. Something tells me that Shygirl's been to our base.
>>
>>730837
> go to our hideout and contact lorraine. congratulate the girls on making smart moves.
>>
>>730875
>>730837
This
>>
>>730837
This
>>730875

We need to have a nice, long chat with Lorraine. This was not on the menu at all.
If she wants us to do good work she needs to give us good information. This is a give and take, she's not allowed to just take.
>>
>>730837
Thirding this>>730875
Looks like Crystalline is the real deal, at least.
>>
>>730837
Regroup at one of the further out condemned buildings. Assume that our base has been compromised.
We need to check our leg to see if actual damage was done by the crystal (monomolecular?) wires.

Then we need to call Lorraine.
The girls setting up the trap was a good plan; it had some problems with them not working as a group in a single fight, but it showed that they can coordinate as a team to fulfill an objective; likely Ribbit stationed one/two members of the squad at each likely artifact.
And the fact that we ran rather than try to get our target when we always powered through before will reinforce her assessment that we've been seriously depowered.
>>
>>730837
Slink away to lick our wounded pride >>730875
And wonder about why we couldn't "smell" them. I'm guessing the other girls were lying in wait at other locations.

>>730919
Pretty sure she wanted to give ribbits pan a chance of working, which is totally reasonable.
>>
>>730919
>This was not on the menu at all.
Her not warning us about mind-control gas is probably from the assumption that as an eldritch monstrosity we should have been unaffected.
As it is, this is the kids using their heads. They knew we were after the artifacts moved out of the museum and so they set up stakeouts on each one.
This is them fighting smart, and if we couldn't see that coming, we have no right to call ourselves an experienced professional if we got blindsided by a basic move from the superhero manual.
>>
>>730837
Oh, we should at least attempt to check our battle scent while we're heading back. Don't want them to overhear the phone call, especially Shygirl.
>>
>>730935
It's them fighting smart and it's why we shouldn't be privy to their plan, yes. But at the same time it's bringing in outsiders and powers into the fight where we are already toeing a fine line between keeping the masquerade up and training the girls.

All she needed to do was give us the rundown that they were bringing in some outside help and not to be worried/surprised if anything odd happens. Just that and their plan isn't touched but we don't have this problem of fucking mind control and unknown squishies ruining a training day.
>>
It's entirely possible that Lorraine was not privy to Ribbit's plan. Either way, their ambush plan was quite praiseworthy, although we really should try to figure out how they managed to bypass our danger sense.
>>
Time to hide out somewhere not the usual hideout.

Writing.
>>
>>730935
>>730952
>>“Seriously? I told him not to go with that line. Ugh, that’s just creepy as all get out.” She looks towards you with a mix of fear and residual resignation as the rest of the smoke clears. “He...he can’t ACTUALLY mind control anyone. His smoke just makes you loopy.”
>>
>>730965
It's very unlikely.
Lorraine hung up on us as they began planning and then told us that they were staying the night with her when she called us later that night.
She was around them the entire time and is their sponsor of sorts. It is hard to believe they did not tell her of the plan or thst she was not around when they discussed it.
>>
Okay, that was a bit new. And you’re not feeling the most confident about going immediately back to your hideout- best to try and retreat to somewhere they aren’t expecting. You’re wondering where the rest of them were- if only Crystalline was here, were the others elsewhere? Could they mask themselves from your scent same as those two?

Ugh, your leg isn’t too bad, but it’s- wait, no. Damnit, that’s blood. It’s coming out as a black ichor, but it’s yours. It’s not bad, though, merely a couple of scratches. You can either let it heal naturally or use your healing ability- either way would be fine.

There were a lot of questions, and you’re going to have to get the answers somehow if you really want to keep this training up for them. But for now you really needed to find somewhere to hide out in. Preferably one of the buildings slated for destruction. Still, the question here is where are you going to hide out at?

>Near the North Treatment Plant
>Near the South Treatment Plant
>Near Headquarters
>Near the School
>Other
>>
>>731092
>>Near the South Treatment Plant
>>
>>731092
>Near the South Treatment Plant

We've scouted the ar