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File 153032571705.png - (287.52KB , 600x600 , Cover2.png )
890533 No. 890533 ID: bd5c42

Sentinel Key is a magical girl action/slice of life quest. It may contain blood, gore, body horror, and mild sexual content. Catch up on the ill-fated beginning here: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/graveyard/res/851282.html
64 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 898576 ID: 4f1cbc

>>898498
Car crash. I'd say it was the other driver's fault, but it's not as if I was in a position to stick around and hear who the cops and the insurance companies decided was at fault. An ignoble end for a Land Rover kept running past it's prime, at least. So it goes.

If you wanna keep talking about my life, I'm glad to, but we should probably take it to spirit private messaging since it doesn't have anything to do with Petra.
>>
No. 899341 ID: bd5c42
File 153543192524.png - (104.78KB , 600x600 , 36.png )
899341

>Is Brigid alright? You seem to handle that relationship pressure alright but does she? If not, get your aunt to lay off this with her.

>rescue brigid from your aunt. possibly make something up about sentinels not being allowed to date and wait for that to bite you later

I'm gonna be honest. I don't know if Aunt Elena even knows about uh. The whole Sentinel thing. It never really...came up.

"Aunt Elena," I say softly, eye-gesturing in Brigid's direction.

Brigid mumbles something that sounds like "don'tlikebeingtouched" and Aunt Elena drops her like a hot coal. And now that that's dealt with.

"Can...I ask you something about Mom?" I continue. Bringing this up is...weird to me. We never really talked about what happened to my mom. I brought it up once or twice when I was a kid, but it always seemed like she was kind of an...off-limits topic.

Aunt Elena remains very, very quiet. I take that as a signal to continue.

"Did...Mom know anyone named Hinata? Hinata, uh...Koizumi, maybe?" Still silence. "I know you don't like to talk about her, but this is important. I...I don't know how much I can tell you. But I'm in some trouble, and I think it might be related to her. Or, uh, her daughter anyway. So if you know something..."
>>
No. 899343 ID: bd5c42
File 153543197834.png - (263.43KB , 600x600 , 37.png )
899343

Aunt Elena sighs.

"Hinata Koizumi was your mother's best friend when she was about your age," she says. "They started this stupid band in the 80's. Prismatic, I think they were calling it. They weren't good, but they had fun. It was Natalie, Hinata, Brigid's father, and one of their other friends. Emma Russel. I was never really involved with their friend group or anything, so I don't know much about it."

I frown. I'm not sure which of Brigid's dads Aunt Elena is talking about, but I know them both. Her papa was a Sentinel. He clued us in when our powers first showed up.

"I used to joke about them being secret superheroes," Aunt Elena continues. "They used to vanish at weird hours of the day, show up inexplicably late to work or family engagements. That sort of thing. I don't know. All I know is Hinata and Natalie had a falling out around the time you were born, and the band broke up. Hinata moved out to the West coast, and it wasn't that long after that that your parents passed away."

She sighs and sits down on the edge of my bed, which is officially two too many people sitting on my bed.

"Petra," she says gravely. "If you're in trouble, if there's something putting you in danger, you know you can tell me. Even if you think you've done something wrong. I can get you out of this, but you need to tell me what's going on."
>>
No. 899344 ID: bd5c42
File 153543202350.png - (132.99KB , 600x600 , 38.png )
899344

...
>>
No. 899346 ID: 70df1e

why are we asking your aunt when we could be asking brigids dad? ask brigid to text him?

also tell your aunt a Safe amount of information. that hinata moved in nearby and started making trouble over this beef that both of your moms had. make it sound like a normal beef though, not a supernatural magical girl one
>>
No. 899348 ID: 094652

Things to tell your aunt:

- Yes, you (and your parents) do some vigilante work, mostly against these sick cultist pricks who blatantly kidnap entire buildings of people in broad daylight. No, you are not superheroes. (You're magical girls, there's a difference.)
- You found some evidence that Hinata shot your mother in the face. Or was that just a dream? If it was, how did you know Hinata was your mother's friend?
- What you know for certain is that Kimiko came out of nowhere and shot you in the arm with a @#$%ing HAND CANNON. Hence the injury.

So to answer your aunt's question, please murderhobo the Koizumis until they can't move their arms.
>>
No. 899367 ID: dbf422

>>899346
Because we didn't know that he would know Hinata until she told us? Because she's right here?

Well anyway, tell your aunt that whatever happened with your mom and Hinata sins of the mother'd to you. Her daughter is the one that hurt you, and it's probably going to be on going. She doesn't need to know about the super powers, yet at least, but she should know enough that she can support you if you need that. Describe Kimiko, too.
>>
No. 899382 ID: c1eaac

>>899346

seconding this! say something along the lines of 'hinata's kid showed up and dragged me into a fight at school' but insist that your aunt not get involved. also, let's definitely ask brigid's dad about hinata when we get a chance.
>>
No. 899651 ID: bd5c42
File 153566443552.png - (127.74KB , 600x600 , 39.png )
899651

>So to answer your aunt's question, please murderhobo the Koizumis until they can't move their arms.

As...tempting as it is to clue Aunt Elena in and have her take care of my problems for me, I'm an adult. And I just don't know how good an idea it is to let a human get involved in Sentinel affairs.

I think she'd just get hurt.

>also tell your aunt a Safe amount of information. that hinata moved in nearby and started making trouble over this beef that both of your moms had. make it sound like a normal beef though, not a supernatural magical girl one

>numerous other suggestions to the same effect

"It's really not a big deal," I lie. "It's just. I ran into her daughter, Kimiko, and she seemed like she was really mad about something that happened between Hinata and Mom. So there was, uh, a little bit of a scuffle. I promise I'm okay."
>>
No. 899652 ID: bd5c42
File 153566448292.png - (145.92KB , 600x600 , 40.png )
899652

"Okay?" Aunt Elena replies. "Is that how you got a piece of rebar through your shoulder?"

My eyebrow shoots up at Brigid. She gives me a helpless shrug.

The fire department was going to be there, and you were out cold! It wasn't like they were going to believe you got shot with a magic hand cannon.

"Uh," Brigid says out loud, "That was actually sort of incidental to the fight...Petra passed out in the street and a truck sorta, uh, ran over a piece of building debris and slingshotted it into her shoulder."

My eyebrow shoots up further.

"The police are, uh, saying there was a gas leak in the library," she continues. "A lot of students passed out or had mild hallucinations, but everyone's pretty much okay. It's just good someone pulled the fire alarm is all."

I guess that's a CHOICE as far as cover stories go. I shake my head.

"Uhhh, anyway," I say, "I can handle it on my own, I just figured you might...know something. Brigid, would it be okay if I asked you to text your papa? I think we should maybe talk to him about this."

Brigid nods, already tapping at her phone.

On it. I have some QUESTIONS for him, too.

The atmosphere in the room is weird. I feel bad for sandwiching Brigid into my extremely awkward family drama, and I ALSO feel bad for bringing up something my aunt always seemed so intent on not talking about. But...it's WEIRD, right? My aunt and, apparently, Brigid's papa both knew my mom really well, so why is nobody willing to talk about her? Something here doesn't sit right, and I'm sure my aunt knows more than she's saying, but I don't think I'm getting anything else out of her while she's leaned over my hospital bed.

What I really need is some space.

"Well," Brigid says, awkwardly standing. She's already one step ahead of me, looks like. "I think...maybe we should let Petra sleep, Ms. Shein. She's had a long day."

Aunt Elena looks like she wants to argue, but the two of them slip out of the door and it closes behind me, leaving me in total silence.
>>
No. 899653 ID: bd5c42
File 153566452891.png - (111.58KB , 600x600 , 41.png )
899653

For about two fucking seconds before there's a crash as someone tumbles in through my window.

God dammit. Fuckin hospitals. Can't get a moment's peace.

I can hardly see who it is for a moment, before I get a glimpse at a very familiar pair of brown eyes.

"You," I hiss.

"Me," mumbles Kimiko Koizumi.
>>
No. 899654 ID: 70df1e

>scream

they literally just shut the door behind you if brigid and your aunt didnt hear the glass theyll sure as hell hear you. also i think most hospitals have like, an emergency button you can push to summon a nurse? push that like a lot
>>
No. 899658 ID: 4f1cbc

>>899653
So... you wanna tell me what's going on? I've got cryptic dreams and forgetful spirits and rather less than a full picture.

Our moms fucked each other over, clearly, but it looked like yours got the last shot in. So if she got her revenge, why are you picking a fight with me now? Why isn't whatever happened over?
>>
No. 899659 ID: 0e2ebe

>>899654
It would be useful to see if this visit is social, but you can't risk it. I agree that you need to alert as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

Dangerous or not for the civilians, maybe Kimiko isn't willing to do anything with people watching. And if she does... Well that's something you deal with if necessary. Either way it'll say exactly what she's willing to do.
>>
No. 899663 ID: 094652

Based on previous experience:

YANK THE LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS OUT OF YOUR WRIST AND ROLL OFF THE BED AND HUNKER DOWN!

Okey?
>>
No. 899666 ID: 92766e

telepathically ask brigid to find a reason to double back and join you, without alerting your aunt to the fact that something's up. it'd be good to have backup.
>>
No. 899716 ID: 2202fb

The other two probably arent even five feet away from the door yet, just throw something at the door really hard, make some noise, push the damn nurse call button.
>>
No. 899852 ID: bd5c42
File 153576730421.png - (97.25KB , 600x600 , 42.png )
899852

"UHHHHHHH, BRIGID?" I call out loud, slamming the nurse call button repeatedly. I wish I could just shoot my thoughts into her head, but unfortunately, that road only goes one way. "BRIGID? TROUBLE."

"Shit," Kimiko hisses. "No don't bother- fuck it."
>>
No. 899853 ID: bd5c42
File 153576733496.png - (137.11KB , 600x600 , 43.png )
899853

Brigid all but knocks down the door getting back into the hotel room, Aunt Elena at her heels, and a nurse following shortly after. I nearly startle out of bed at the noise

"What's wrong?" she demands, glance shooting around the room, but seeing nothing.

"Um," I reply, perplexed. "What do you mean, what's wrong? I'm fine."

The nurse pushes his way into the room, brow furrowed.

"You pushed the call button."

"No, I didn't," I say.

I really have no idea what he's talking about.

"I'm okay," I repeat slowly. "What's going on?"

The nurse frowns and turns to leave.

"You should only push that button if you actually need help," he explains in a tone far too patronizing for my liking. "We have a lot of patients to attend to."

Aunt Elena shakes her head and quietly slips out of the room. Brigid stays.

"Petra," says Brigid flatly. "You shouted for me. What the hell happened?"

Good question.
>>
No. 899855 ID: bd5c42
File 153576739598.png - (155.45KB , 600x600 , 44.png )
899855

Apropos of nothing, now seems like a good time to talk about Sentinel colors, powers, and weapons. Because I'm thinking this has something to do with that.

From what I've come to understand, mostly from Mr. Lane, Sentinels usually don't have the same weapon as their predecessors, and they don't even necessarily need to be the same TYPE of weapon. What is consistent, though, is their role in a combat situation. For instance: Brigid has a pair of crystal brass knuckles, while her father had a blunt baton, but both of them are the tanks of the group. Cyan is always a DPS type, but doesn't always have a precision melee weapon, and Magenta is always a healer, but doesn't always have a blunt melee weapon. I didn't know Sentinel Key existed until literally tonight, but. I have to guess based on what you've given me and what I've seen that she's supposed to be a sniper.

But that doesn't seem particularly well-adapted for solo work.

In addition, Sentinels usually have two powers that, near as I can tell, are the same in every generation. Brigid has classified these into "elemental" powers and "psychic powers," built for use in and outside of battle, respectively. Here's a quick mental chart, if that makes this easier.

Color--------------Element-------------Psychic
Magenta------Heart (healing/buffs)-----Spirit contact
Cyan----------------Water--------------Demon sense (type and location)
Yellow--------------Fire---------------Telepathy (broadcast only)

I have no idea what Key's powers are, but I have to hazard that they have something to do with what happened to the demon at the library, right?
>>
No. 899857 ID: 70df1e

if key is a sniper, maybe it's a power that helps her keep hidden? some sort of invisibility and memory erasure? or something that masks or erases her presence entirely. that could explain why she popped up so suddenly, but why she broke in through the window.

also sentinel key is in your room right now, and broke the window. is that window still broken? maybe have brigid use her telepathic powers to broadcast a message to key?
>>
No. 899858 ID: 4f1cbc

>"Petra," says Brigid flatly. "You shouted for me. What the hell happened?"
>Good question.
Key showed up as soon as you were alone. You pressed the call button and called for Brigid.

...and then you forgot it happened and she disappeared. I guess we know one of her powers. Some kind of selective amnesia or preternatural stealth. Or teleportation. Or some kind of retcon power so she was never here, but I'd really hope the sniper with a grudge can't roll back time when it's convenient for her.

Since she bugged out instead of shooting you my guess is she was here to talk instead of finishing the job.
>>
No. 899875 ID: c1eaac

gonna go out on a limb here and say that key's element is shadow, and she's got stealth powers. seconding checking out the window, and asking brigid to try and telepathically ping anyone who could be hidden in the room.
>>
No. 899920 ID: dbf422

>>899858
Yeah, and check the window, she busted in through there. If it's whole, she's got a ranged mulligan and that's pretty fucking scary. Unless it's some sort of illusion, though even that's pretty bad if it's this convincing. I hope she's leaving your mind alone, even if the alternative is time travel.

Anyway, it's a fair guess by her reaction Kimiko was there to talk, but if it just ended with that I'd be very surprised.

So what's the chance Brigid would believe all that? Or you for that matter? It's a lot.
>>
No. 900161 ID: bd5c42
File 153593680390.png - (153.88KB , 600x600 , 45.png )
900161

>A lot of messages to the effect of "Sentinel Key was here and you forgot her."

>Yeah, and check the window, she busted in through there. If it's whole, she's got a ranged mulligan and that's pretty fucking scar

What, no, the window's f-

fine.

Oh, what the FUCK.

I take a moment to collect myself.

"The spirits say Key was here. Broke in through the window. But I don't...I don't remember that at all. I think maybe...she has some sort of stealth power. Or memory? I don't...I don't really know."
>>
No. 900162 ID: bd5c42
File 153593684134.png - (139.80KB , 600x600 , 46.png )
900162

The door swings open AGAIN. Honestly, I'm getting pretty sick of this. Imani closes the door behind her, still rubbing her eyes. Bundled up in her arms is Zoloft. I don't even WANT to know how Imani got Zo into the hospital.

"I heard a commotion," she starts, before her eyes settle on the other side of the room. "Uh. Petra, did you break the window?"

I groan, and the two of us catch her up.

--

"Okay," Imani says slowly, when we've finished. "That seems...bad."

"Understatement of the century," mutters Brigid. "If it's even true."

"Brigid," I say, frowning. "I don't think the spirits would lie to me. They have no reason to."

"They have no reason not to," she retorts. "I mean, we don't even really know what they want out of this, anyway."

Guh. Don't listen to her. She's just stressed.

Zoloft stirs and jumps out of Imani's arms, balancing precariously on the back of my bed. Imani frowns.
>>
No. 900163 ID: bd5c42
File 153593688911.png - (79.66KB , 600x600 , 47.png )
900163

"We'd like to know with whom we have the pleasure of speaking," Zoloft says in a soft, human voice. There's a bit of an echo to it, as if she was speaking in a large, empty concert hall.

"What," I squeak.

"Not you," the voice coming from my cat continues. "Them. I do not hold conversations with people I cannot put names and colors to. Eras wouldn't hurt either."

I WOULD UH. I WOULD LIKE TO CLARIFY THAT THIS IS NOT NORMAL BEHAVIOR FOR MY COMPLETELY ORDINARY THERAPY CAT. THIS BEHAVIOR IS, IN FACT, MAKING ME CONSIDERABLY MORE STRESSED.

This is a good opportunity to develop more about your Sentinel personas, if interested! Sentinels have existed throughout human history, so the only time periods off limits are the current generation and the group functioning through the 80's and early 90's (already spoken for, whoops.) And also the 1430s, for...reasons. For anyone who wants to retcon references to modern stuff they've already made, they can do that, but there was probably also a team active from the late 90's to the 2000's before Petra and her team came of age, so that's an option too. Have fun!
>>
No. 900171 ID: c1eaac

sentinel key from the 70s checking in. not sharing my real name. i don't trust a talking cat that easily.
>>
No. 900172 ID: 270774

sentinel yellow from the 1920's, at your service! just gonna go by F, if it's all the same to you.
>>
No. 900185 ID: 70df1e

I am sentinel yellow and I hail from the land of Hellas! It has been a long time, and my memories are rather hazy. I believe my name was Calix. I remember slaying many monsters of legend with my comrades, and keeping the people of our home safe. Some people thought us demi-gods, but we are just as human as you.

I remember fighting with a hoplon and a spear, and I could summon my homelands special fire: it burnt, even upon water.

It is an honor to serve alongside the sentinels even in death! May you come back with your shield, or come back on it.
>>
No. 900186 ID: dbf422

Well, I was a Sentinel Magenta. I'm not exactly sure when but the hospitals and schools didn't look much like these. You asked for a name, so I go by Alex. Good to meet you, Zoloft? Assuming that's the name you keep for yourself.

Uh and Petra? Think this through. Magic and demons are your life. So your cat talks? Maybe it'll be cool. Like a mascot! Or at least not horrifying.
And maybe we should talk to Brigid some time. But later. Of course.
>>
No. 900191 ID: 094652

Hi I'm kome naaah, I'll play along.

This is Copernicus Nine, and I'm not a sentinel. I'm an ex-supervillain. Relax, I went legit.

I'm a cyborg with some demon-based technology to keep my body from pushing my implants out of their sockets. Most of this stuff is obsolete, but the magic broadcast thing still works.
>>
No. 900703 ID: bd5c42
File 153626459531.png - (87.28KB , 600x600 , 48.png )
900703

>Uh and Petra? Think this through. Magic and demons are your life. So your cat talks? Maybe it'll be cool. Like a mascot! Or at least not horrifying.

This is a nice thought, but usually shit getting weird in my life is followed by said shit trying to kill me. So I don't know how I feel about this.

Zoloft sits down on the headboard and licks her paw.

>Spirit Roll Call

"It's our pleasure," Zoloft says, in a way that I might have called "dry" if I didn't know any better.
>>
No. 900704 ID: bd5c42
File 153626462865.png - (158.77KB , 600x600 , 49.png )
900704

Brigid and Imani shoot each other a nervous glance. I guess this must be confusing for them, since they can't hear you.

"Zoloft?" I ask, sounding a little choked. "Uh. Could you talk this whole time, or is this, like, a new thing?"

"We are not your cat, Sentinel Magenta," she...it? replies. "We would prefer not to be called after your ridiculous human medicines."

Frankly, I resent that, but now doesn't seem the time to debate the importance of psychiatric medications.

"Okay," I mutter. "What are you, then? If you're, like, a demon, I'd really prefer it if you'd get out of my cat."

"We aren't a demon," Zoloft says, before hopping off into my lap and immediately going to sleep.
>>
No. 900705 ID: bd5c42
File 153626466553.png - (158.60KB , 600x600 , 50.png )
900705

"But you can call us Janus, if you must," says Brigid suddenly. "Is this form preferable to you, Sentinel Magenta?"

"No!" I squeak. "That's MUCH worse!"

Janus shrugs Brigid's shoulders and takes off her hat so it can straighten her hair. Seems like Janus isn't GOING anywhere, so I might as well interrogate it.
>>
No. 900723 ID: c1eaac

>>900705

yeah, this is worse. tell whatever that thing is to go back to the cat.

also, the fact that they're named after a god who's become synonymous with two-faced traitors doesn't make me inclined to trust them at all.
>>
No. 900727 ID: 094652

Can the spirit check the vitals and bacterial colonies of whatever they're possessing? Because I'm thinking we can just capture a few mice and take the one without any diseases.

So, on to the big question: Why Sentinel Key?
- Why the hell does the team use the CYMK color scheme and not, oh say, whatever dogma the magical girls are indoctrinated to respect, like their national flag?
- Why did Hinata defect / go rogue? I mean, sure the old Mag might have been a backstabbing &!+(# but that's no excuse to execute a defenseless, powerless retiree.
- Why do the Koizumis still retain their powers despite being labeled as murderers?
- And what kind of BEEF does Kimiko have that she would track down a stranger who took up the mantle and is doing the best they can to live up to their job?
>>
No. 900759 ID: 70df1e

Slay this foul beast, sentinel magenta! This foul trickster is a god of the Romans! Nothing good will come of having its fickle favor.
>>
No. 900767 ID: 4f1cbc

>"Brigid," I say, frowning. "I don't think the spirits would lie to me. They have no reason to."
>"They have no reason not to," she retorts. "I mean, we don't even really know what they want out of this, anyway."
I'll point out we're a group of people talking in your head essentially in front of you. A lie would require coordination which is sort of difficult in these circumstances. How can we lie effectively if you're going to hear us arguing about it, or any one of us could break ranks and speak their mind?

Also what we get out of it is pretty easy. Being dead is boring, life is interesting, and we've generally decided helping is a better alternative to watching things happen passively. There's value in being part of something, you know?

>>900705
Rude, Janus, you're cutting out one of the participants of the conversation.
>>
No. 900792 ID: dbf422

Okay having the name of the two-faced god is worrying, but less than you stealing the body of Petra's friend. Please leave it, and go back to the cat. And then please do not take over an ally's body again, unless no other option is available. At the very least.

Then could you tell us why you're here and what you want?
>>
No. 901254 ID: 7c0194

tell it to go back into the cat - also, ask it what the FUCK is it doing anyway?
>>
No. 901477 ID: ce950c
File 153678577196.png - (142.46KB , 600x600 , 51.png )
901477

>Slay this foul beast, sentinel magenta! This foul trickster is a god of the Romans! Nothing good will come of having its fickle favor.

Well, I'm not going to do that while it's in my friend OR my cat.

>tell it to go back into the cat

"We don't need to be told twice," says Janus. "We thought perhaps the face of a friend would be more comforting to you, but we can see that we misread."

Brigid stumbles, and Imani catches her fall. She looks deeply, deeply distressed.

Zoloft hops into my arms.
>>
No. 901479 ID: ce950c
File 153678581282.png - (139.20KB , 600x600 , 52.png )
901479

>also, ask it what the FUCK is it doing anyway?

"We have been observing since the Sentinels began," Janus says with Zoloft's mouth. "It hasn't been until now that the situation warrented intervention. We must take responsibility for what we created, mustn't we?"

>Why the hell does the team use the CYMK color scheme and not, oh say, whatever dogma the magical girls are indoctrinated to respect, like their national flag?

"Sentinels don't have national loyalties," says Janus with barely disguised disdain. "Petty human borders. Don't make us laugh. It makes far more sense to pattern yourselves after the fundamental nature of images, doesn't it?"

>Why did Hinata defect / go rogue? I mean, sure the old Mag might have been a backstabbing &!+(# but that's no excuse to execute a defenseless, powerless retiree.
>Why do the Koizumis still retain their powers despite being labeled as murderers?
>And what kind of BEEF does Kimiko have that she would track down a stranger who took up the mantle and is doing the best they can to live up to their job?

"We have no way of knowing what is going on in Sentinel Key's head," says Janus. "And we understand that her retaining her powers is...troubling."

"Troubling?" Brigid wheezes. "She nearly killed Petra!"

"Yes, well, as we were saying. If it helps in any way, Hinata Koizumi does not retain her powers. One can hardly have two Sentinel Keys running around. In any case, the best of our understanding is that the former Sentinels Magenta and Key had a disagreement of philosophy. The current Sentinel Key is likely following orders from her mother."

"A disagreement of philosophy hardly seems like a justification for murdering your best friend," Imani says dryly. "No offense, Petra."

"None taken," I mutter. It still seems weird. I keep getting bits and pieces from people who knew them, but none of it seems to make any goddamn sense.

"Hey," Brigid adds. "If you created the Sentinels, and you're so goddamn worried about Koizumi, why can't you just fucking take away her powers?"

Janus looks almost...uncomfortable. As far as a cat can look uncomfortable, anyway.

"We...er...no longer have that authority," it says slowly. "We lost our direct control over the powers of the Sentinels shortly after their creation."

"Convenient," Brigid mutters.

Imani sighs.

"As enlightening as this is, can we just cut to the chase? You're worried about the Koizumis, I guess? What do you want us to do about it?"

"We will not sugarcoat this," Janus replies frankly. "As long as Sentinel Key remains on the board, she is a threat to everything you fight to protect. She needs to be removed from the equation."
>>
No. 901481 ID: 7f370d

what makes a sentinel have to pass their powers on to someone else? why not find a way to make a new key and strip hinata of her powers?

also, this sounds like a good time to bring up that hinata may still be in the room.
>>
No. 901504 ID: 70df1e

I do not believe we should do anything this trickster tells us! If it wishes to see your Sentinel Key removed, then it is only to further its own agenda! I understand that you are in a disagreement with your Key, but the Key I knew was loyal and true! We need to discover this foul tricksters agenda so we may know whether or not it aligns with that of the Sentinels.

It is no easy thing to be on the wrong side of a battle. It is not a mistake I would wish on you, Sentinel Magenta. This Roman god is drawing sides. Do not feel indebted to it because it claims to have created you. Even Cronus ate his own children. The attentions of gods are fickle at best, and this Janus is not your friend.
>>
No. 901506 ID: 094652

>petty human boarders
>fundamental nature of images
You're talking about a tiny segment of an entire spectrum that represents a single perception standard across a limited number of layers, one that is invisible to specific people. That means the color scheme relates to a VERY specific target audience anyway.

>Deal with Key
Already planning on it. Non-lethal approach may be viable if we can steal her powers. Are the power sources limited by inheritance or just plain genetically inherent?

>Philosophical Differences
You sure? It sounded like Magenta Senior screwed the Koizumis over. Could you elaborate?
>>
No. 901508 ID: afdebc

>It makes far more sense to pattern yourselves after the fundamental nature of images, doesn't it?
If images and their printing blocks were something fundamental and not an artifice of human perception and biology, perhaps.

>"We will not sugarcoat this," Janus replies frankly. "As long as Sentinel Key remains on the board, she is a threat to everything you fight to protect. She needs to be removed from the equation."
No offense, but we're operating on very little information and no preestablished trust. If you want the sentinels to enact your preferred outcome (especially when that's killing someone), and not do whatever they decide is in their best interest, you're going to need to earn that trust, or start filling in more blanks.
>>
No. 901529 ID: 0e2ebe

It doesn't matter what the "disagreement" was. The last Key was a murderer, and the current Key is an attempted murderer. She would be stopped regardless of whatever the last Magenta did, as Petra is innocent.

If a non-lethal approach is possible I will not fight it, but if not, there is nothing wrong with ending Key's life. Not that I don't understand that it's not easy to kill. But self-defense is no sin.

Good to hear about not being a nationalist organization long after it started, though.
>>
No. 901552 ID: f14764

ain't that just a kick in the head. why does this here varmint want you to murder the gal insteada tryin to fix things? if 'es been a-watchin' the sentinels this whole time, he should know what done happened between your ma and her ma. why doesn't he tell y'all and help ya figure out how ta make peace with your Key?
philosophical differences my ass. why's he all intentionally vague? now i may be just a simple ole 1870 cyan but i know a real bastard when i see one.
>>
No. 901556 ID: 1e9311

>>901504
(Janus isn't a trickster god, he's a god of transition and time. He's called the 'two-faced god' because he literally has two faces; one that looks to the future, the other to the past.)

We need to gather more info about this whole situation. If you can tell any more about the situation between the parents, Janus, that'd be appreciated.

Even that aside, we should keep an eye out for her and make contingencies for her appearance. We're operating on precious little info, and I'm not a fan of making moves before I know all the details. It's how I kicked the bucket as a Sentinel Cyan (blame a moment of emotional weakness, 1889 was a rough year) and I hate risking repeating it, even now.
>>
No. 901561 ID: 70df1e

>>901556

That's what the Romans WANT you to think! Do not fall for their lies, my friend!
>>
No. 902127 ID: ce950c
File 153722504816.png - (260.10KB , 600x600 , 53.png )
902127

>Various expressions of "uh, no!"

"What," I stammer, "are you fucking kidding me? I'm not going to murder someone on the orders of someone or something I just met!"

Janus tsks under its breath.

>We need to gather more info about this whole situation. If you can tell any more about the situation between the parents, Janus, that'd be appreciated.

"We've told you what we know," it says utterly unhelpfully. "We cannot be watching all the time. We have other duties to attend to that do not involve the personal business of humans and Sentinels."

"Listen up, motherfucker," Brigid growls, disentangling herself from Imani's arms. "If you're gonna come into this room and start making demands of us, you better be willing to give us more than that to go on!"

"Brigid," Imani murmurs. "It may be best not to strangle Petra's cat."

>Are the power sources limited by inheritance or just plain genetically inherent?

>what makes a sentinel have to pass their powers on to someone else? why not find a way to make a new key and strip hinata of her powers?

"Was this not told to you?" Janus complains. "Tsk. When a Sentinel perishes or willingly relinquishes their power, the power seeks out a new host, usually one around the age of eighteen. The power has a certain tendency to choose hosts with which it is already familiar; descendants, adoptive children, or children of friends are common, although it may also go for a total stranger if it cannot find anyone suitable. So, you can see that the only reliable way to strip Sentinel Key of her powers would be to kill her."

>No offense, but we're operating on very little information and no preestablished trust. If you want the sentinels to enact your preferred outcome (especially when that's killing someone), and not do whatever they decide is in their best interest, you're going to need to earn that trust, or start filling in more blanks.

Janus sighs.

"We can see that this will be a harder sell than we anticipated," it mutters. "Ah, well. You will need something to do while Sentinel Magenta recovers from her injury, in any case. I will be in contact."

"Is this a bad time to mention that Key might still be in here?" I interrupt.

"Yes," says Janus flatly. "And she is long gone. I would know if another sentinel was present, even one with her abilities."

"Her abilities?" I ask. "Wait, do you know what her powers are?"

Zoloft meows at me and goes to sleep.

"I'm going to fucking kill that thing," Brigid says.

I'm not inclined to disagree.
>>
No. 902128 ID: ce950c
File 153722509116.png - (211.58KB , 600x600 , 54.png )
902128

The hospital wants me in physical therapy for months. My aunt agrees. Neither of them know that I probably won't need it. My arm aches less every day. It takes me a week of pushing the issue before they let me check myself out of the hospital. They roll me out in a hospital-issued wheelchair, which I find a little fucking patronizing. When I get out the front door, I'm greeted to a familiar face.

"Hey, twinsies!" says Roni, beaming at me from a wheelchair of her own as I climb out of mine. Hers doesn't look hospital-issue though. Seems like it belongs to her. "I didn't know you were getting out today, too. Petra, right? I'm Roni, you know, from-"

"Temple," I finish, a little perplexed.

"Right!" she replies. "I heard you were at the library during the gas leak, too. Scary, right? I'm just really glad nobody died or anything, but I'm really sorry you got hurt!"

God, this is a weird conversation.
>>
No. 902129 ID: 70df1e

An ally from your temple of worship! A blessing from your divine, surely! We should be grateful for her company. Perhaps she has come to deliver unto us news, or a blessing?
>>
No. 902143 ID: ce950c

>>902138

This is a general notice that this kind of language for developmental disabilities is completely fucking unacceptable and I won't have it in my thread. I have a zero tolerance policy on this. I've seen you behave this way in other threads before, and you are no longer welcome in this thread.
>>
No. 902147 ID: 2c6729

....hey, talk to her about what shes seen. it could be useful!
>>
No. 902155 ID: 0e2ebe

Remember to mention the rebar. Ask what's up, I guess? Maybe if she somehow saw Kimiko? Or if she knows her? Because she's an old friend and you saw her nearby the school and hope she's alright.

Wow that plan took a lot to put together.
>>
No. 902156 ID: 270774

yeah, definitely find a way to steer the conversation towards her experience at the library, though i feel like asking straight out might come off a little ghoulish. she seems more than willing to discuss it, though!
>>
No. 902157 ID: afdebc

>So, you can see that the only reliable way to strip Sentinel Key of her powers would be to kill her.
Well, it's arguably more expedient than compelling her to surrender them... but seeking some solution to the underlying conflict could also be possible.

>"Her abilities?" I ask. "Wait, do you know what her powers are?"
>Zoloft meows at me and goes to sleep.
Hmm. Odd that Janus clammed up. If it wanted Key dead, making sure you knew her strengths and weaknesses and the exact details of her power would serve that end.

Either Janus is just being petty over our suspicion, or it's not after what it claimed.

>They roll me out in a hospital-issued wheelchair, which I find a little fucking patronizing.
If it makes you feel better, it likely wasn't person, and they probably didn't have a choice. Between liability and insurance and policy sometimes choices are limited if you don't want to leave yourself open to a lawsuit, or insurance finding an excuse to not pay up.

>God, this is a weird conversation.
You helped her, even if she can't remember the particulars, and now she's well and able to talk to you. That's a good thing overall, isn't it?

Perhaps agree that it was scary, and reassure her you'll be all right.
>>
No. 902388 ID: ce950c
File 153739518568.png - (162.13KB , 600x600 , 55.png )
902388

It's not that I don't WANT to talk to Roni. I mean, she's really nice, and kinda cute, not gonna lie, but...

I've just never had a face-to-face conversation with someone I saved before.

>Perhaps agree that it was scary, and reassure her you'll be all right.

>Remember to mention the rebar. Ask what's up, I guess? Maybe if she somehow saw Kimiko? Or if she knows her? Because she's an old friend and you saw her nearby the school and hope she's alright.

"Yeah," I agree. "It was...scary. But I'll be alright. Gonna take a lot more than a stick of rebar to keep me down. And the doc says I should get my arm function back...eventually, so you know. It's fine."

Roni chuckles.

"Well, it's good that you can joke about it!" she replies. "I'm just glad all I got was a little loss of consciousness. They only kept me this long because they wanted to make sure I didn't aggrivate my joint thing."

"Well, I'm glad you're okay," I say sincerely. "But, uh...while you were there, you didn't happen to see...there's a friend of mine, Kimiko Koizumi, and-"

"Oh, I know Kimiko!" she replies. "Kind of a space case, real sweet? I didn't know you two were friends! I don't think I saw her at the library, but it's all kind of a blur so I'm not sure I could tell you for sure. Have you not heard from her?"

Okay. That, I was not expecting.

"Um, sort of," I say. Not a lie. "She was just pretty...vague."

"Oh." Roni's brow furrows. "Well, I'll try to get in touch. But. Uhhhh. Can I ask you kind of a weird question?"

"Hit me."
>>
No. 902392 ID: ce950c
File 153739530378.png - (179.77KB , 600x600 , 56.png )
902392

Roni frowns, fidgeting with the grip tape on her wheelchair's hand rim.

"Did you see anything...weird during the gas leak?"
>>
No. 902395 ID: c1eaac

let's play it cool. weird like what? like gas leak hallucination weird, or something else?
>>
No. 902396 ID: 70df1e

If she knows what has truly occurred and is friends with the sentinel we seek, I see no reason to hide the truth from her. Tell her that you too saw strange things, and that is the reason you must get in contact with Sentinel Key! I am sure this Roni will gladly provide her assistance once she understands the nature of our plight.
>>
No. 902409 ID: afdebc

>"Oh, I know Kimiko!" she replies. "Kind of a space case, real sweet?
Well, nice to know she's not generally a jerk who shoots people, then. She's got a reason.

The opportunity to try and talk to her as civilians at some point is tempting but there's also the risk it could escalate. Might be possible to maneuver her into a situation where neither of you is willing to bust out powers, but that would amount to implicitly holding civilians hostage or similar.

>"Did you see anything...weird during the gas leak?"
Weird like... what?

Important question: what happens to muggles if they becomes aware of what's really going on? Does knowing about demons make you more vulnerable?
>>
No. 902434 ID: 0e2ebe

Okay so she's probably going to let Kimiko know you're looking for info on her, but she'd probably assume that anyway. That's fine. Maybe that'll work out somehow.

I mean, of course you saw something weird. Everyone did, because of the gas leak. Though I'd let her lead the talk about it. You can help her come to terms with it however you like, just avoid volunteering anything she doesn't bring up first. She probably just wants to be told what she saw wasn't real.
>>
No. 902436 ID: 270774

i’m assuming she saw something Substantial, so if it doesn’t seem like you know what she’s talking about she’ll probably assume you didn’t see anything at all and she’ll just clam up immediately because she doesn’t want to sound ridiculous. for the sake of information on what’s been seen, allow yourself to look as uneasy as you probably actually feel when you say “weird like what?”
worst case scenario, we can brush it off with “well, it was all weird” and something about hallucinating because of the..... gas
>>
No. 902485 ID: 977456

"I saw lots of weird stuff, but it sounds like you had something specific in mind? I didn't notice any looters or whatever taking advantage..."
>>
No. 902509 ID: c557a9

"yeah, i did. it was...pretty fucked up. what'd you see?"
>>
No. 903477 ID: ce950c
File 153801638021.png - (218.12KB , 600x600 , 57.png )
903477

I frown. It could be that Roni saw something significant, or it could just be a dream or something. Only...there wasn't actually a gas leak. Nobody should have been hallucinating.

>Important question: what happens to muggles if they becomes aware of what's really going on? Does knowing about demons make you more vulnerable?

Uh. I really don't know. As far as I know, it's never happened. Humans can't see demons, so usually they wouldn't believe anything we told them about the truth. But knowing about this shit has never done anything good for MY life, and if Roni is nosy, it could be dangerous for her to know.

Trouble is, I really don't know her that well.

"I dunno, maybe," I say finally. It's not hard to act perturbed, like I maybe saw something. "Weird like how?"

Roni sighs.

"This is going to sound completely absurd," she admits. "And I don't know. Maybe it was just a gas leak hallucination, but it was really...REALLY vivid. Concrete, I guess."

"I won't judge," I promise. Frankly, her saying this has me more convinced she saw what really happened.

"Haha, okay. Well...I didn't get a good look because I had the mother of all migraines, but I remember, uh. Okay, so like. What if human flesh was like, taffy? And you had like, a big fuckin...tree? Made out of flesh taffy, with big heads and arms and shit. And the heads were like, leaking brain matter? And I remember being really high up?"

Well. She definitely saw the demon.

"Well-" I start.
>>
No. 903478 ID: ce950c
File 153801641193.png - (155.71KB , 600x600 , 58.png )
903478

"Wait," she interrupts me. "So there was that, which I could take or leave, but what I definitely remember is that there was this girl, who grabbed me and dragged me out of the building. And apparently the EMTs found me outside the building, where I definitely didn't walk because they found my cane inside and I wouldn't have just left it. I don't remember her face very well, but she had this like...bright pink hair. And she was, you know, the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, no biggie. She probably saved my life, so."

Hm, well, shit.
>>
No. 903479 ID: 70df1e

Her heart is fond of you, good sentinel magenta! You should tell her of your great deeds and of her magnificent beauty, and be merrily wed at once!
>>
No. 903481 ID: c1eaac

>>903478

let's not blow our cover, here. tell her that maybe a student with pink hair got her out, and the hallucinations from the gas leak embellished the rest. sounds wild though. and that pink-haired student sounds pretty cool.
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No. 903516 ID: dbf422

Think very deeply about the concept of gratitude and how she clearly doesn't recognize you. Then think about how that's a lot less important than the fact that she's apparently innately magical.

Since you don't have a precedent, it's up to you to decide if you tell her. I would, I take pride in open honesty, and if she can see demons she should know what she's dealing with. Though, given your response regarding telling your aunt, I imagine you might not agree. Or is Roni's sight enough to change your mind?
>>
No. 904827 ID: afdebc

>And she was, you know, the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, no biggie
Gosh dang don't you wish you could take credit for that now.

I'm tempted to say screw maintaining the masquerade for the masquerade's sake. But of course if you flip to telling the truth you have to come clean about the lies you already told. And there's the whole enemy you apparently just inherited mess (who she apparently knows).

I guess it comes down to- do you want to take a risk on someone who thinks your beautiful?
>>
No. 907114 ID: ce950c
File 153966751433.png - (330.67KB , 600x600 , 59.png )
907114

>Think very deeply about the concept of gratitude and how she clearly doesn't recognize you. Then think about how that's a lot less important than the fact that she's apparently innately magical.

>Though, given your response regarding telling your aunt, I imagine you might not agree. Or is Roni's sight enough to change your mind?

>I guess it comes down to- do you want to take a risk on someone who thinks your beautiful?

Oh great, I love it when a problem has nuance.

I just...I dunno. I don't think it would be fair or right to put Roni in what could be real danger just because she thinks I'm pretty. Just. That would be pretty vapid of me, wouldn't it? I think that...for now, I can't be sure telling Roni is a good idea until I get a better idea of what's going on, and who she IS.

> And there's the whole enemy you apparently just inherited mess (who she apparently knows).

And then there's this. I know it probably sounds paranoid but...if I start telling Roni things, I can't be sure that information won't make it to Kimiko. I mean, Kimiko knows who I am already, but I don't want to give her an in with the Sentinels, even by proxy.

"Uh, Petra?" Roni asks, shifting nervously in her chair. I snap back to reality.

"Yeah," I say, blinking furiously. Man, I gotta stop zoning out listening to you guys in the middle of a conversation. "Yeah, sorry. I was just...hoping to hear something else, I guess. We all saw some pretty crazy things in there."

Roni looks...disappointed. I almost feel bad.

"But, uh, maybe a pink-haired girl really did pull you out of the library," I say quickly. "I mean, it seems like SOMEONE did, and there are a lot of people with weird hair in the art majors?"

"Yeah, maybe," Roni says, frowning.

I can't tell if she's just disappointed, or if she doesn't believe me. I'm going to have to keep an eye on her for a while, I think. Make sure she doesn't stumble into anything she shouldn't.

Just then, a loud BEEP startles me from behind as a blue minivan pulls up to the curb next to us.
>>
No. 907115 ID: ce950c
File 153966754497.png - (370.43KB , 600x600 , 60.png )
907115

"Get in, Petra" says Imani, leaning out the driver's side window. "We're going shopping."
"Shopping?" I ask.

Imani glances over and makes brief eye contact with Roni. She clears her throat.

"I'll explain on the ride there. C'mon."

"Sorry, Roni," I say, already circling around to the passenger seat. "We'll pick this up later, alright?"

"Alright," she says.
>>
No. 907116 ID: ce950c
File 153966758231.png - (439.69KB , 600x600 , 61.png )
907116

[IMG]
The car door closes behind me and Imani starts driving away. I sigh and recline my seat a few clicks.

"Okay, what's the deal?" I ask.

"Janus got back in contact," Imani replies. I groan. "It says there's going to be a demon attack this weekend at the Rices' charity gala."

Elizabeth and Karolis Rice. Wealthy old money folks. Their lumber business has been running in New England since the 1800s. They've been planning this gala for nearly a year, and only the fanciest, upper-crustiest jerks in the Northeast are invited.

"How the hell are we going to get into the Rice's charity gala?" I ask.

"We're going to have invitations," Imani replies. "Janus can forge like nobody's business."

"So we're out here shopping for gala gowns?" I continue, frowning. "God, I feel like I passed out in the hospital and woke up in Ocean's Eight."

Imani chuckles.

"Yeah," she says. "So. Anyway, I was just wondering if I could talk to you a bit. You know, while we're driving."

I frown.

"That question never starts a good conversation," I point out. "But yeah. Hit me."
>>
No. 907117 ID: ce950c
File 153966761640.png - (306.17KB , 600x600 , 62.png )
907117

"It's about Janus, actually. I know it's...kinda chronically untrustworthy. And it creeps me out too, I understand. I just...I think you might be jumping the gun a little on its advice. And I don't think we can commit 100% to not killing Kimiko Koizumi, at least- I mean, if she presents a clear threat to your safety, I-"

"We are not killing Koizumi," I interrupt firmly. "God, Imani. We're Sentinels. We exist to protect people, not extrajudicially execute them."

"We exist to protect humans," Imani corrects me. "And as you keep reminding us, we're not human. And neither is Kimiko Koizumi. I'm not saying we should leap before looking, or kill her on the spot before we have all the facts, but I just. I want you to promise me that when we do know the whole truth, you'll consider EVERY option available to you. Not just the ones you find...palatable."
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No. 907123 ID: 977456

You might want to rethink that. Judicial is not an option for you. If she is flinging around lethal attacks, then refusing to reciprocate is a huge risk. What if you believe that she is about to kill someone? Killing her is a bad outcome. Disabling would be preferable. Redemption is the goal. Sometimes the best result isn't possible. Don't aim to kill her, but consider that holding back could be worse than the alternative, and if something tragic happens, try not to be too hard on the responsible parties.
>>
No. 907142 ID: 1872dc

It'll be important to keep in touch with Roni. It wouldn't be right to both keep the truth away and also ignore her. It would be very easy for someone in that situation to feel isolated and scared.

Strange that Janus would suddenly appear and direct your actions. Stranger that it's for such a notable family. Could certainly be coincidence, but Imani has a point about trustworthiness.

We've discussed killing already, and I will not badger you about it. But I will remind you that it's more than just you at stake. If Kimiko had hurt you worse, a lot of humans could have died. What if that becomes a pattern? I will leave the method to you, but she must be stopped permanently somehow.
But we don't know her intentions yet. She may not even actually be trying to kill you. Maybe she wanted a captive audience. Or to torment you.

Be careful, Petra.
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No. 907154 ID: 5f3f48

>>907114
>Just. That would be pretty vapid of me, wouldn't it?
Would depends on your motive, really. It's hard to justify putting people at risk for petty or temporary acknowledgement, but real human connections and relationships? That can be worth taking risks, sometimes.

>I want you to promise me that when we do know the whole truth, you'll consider EVERY option available to you. Not just the ones you find...palatable.
That's fair. You have every reason to not trust Janus and be afraid it's offering you a quick or easy solution, or one that serves its interests. But you can promise yourself to think things over again when you have all the facts.

In the worst case, someone with sentinel powers, seriously killing or hurting innocent people, and there's no way to contain her or deny her access to those powers? Death might be the only solution. (Not that I'm advocating killing her, just acknowledging the scenario is conceivable. But coming to terms with her, or perhaps cornering her and pressuring her to surrender her powers are possible. Maybe other things too).
>>
No. 907185 ID: 1872dc

>>907142
oh yeah, I had a different id for that. suffice it to say I was all "killing a killer ain't bad, and probably smart, but I get that Petra isn't necessarily down for that"
>>
No. 907200 ID: 70df1e

As much as it pains me to endorse the death of a fellow Sentinel, your Imani is right. If Sentinel Key is fighting to kill, you must be prepared to respond in kind. It is always better when such measures are not necessary, but it is not always a luxury we sentinels can afford.

Our duty comes first. It must always come first.
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No. 909252 ID: 986b2d
File 154117697842.png - (199.51KB , 600x600 , 63.png )
909252

"Sounds like the spirits agree with you," I mutter.

"Of course they do," Imani jokes, although you'd never know it from her face. "I'm always right."

"Fine," I say. "If it's in the heat of battle, and she's shooting to kill, I'm not gonna hold back. But NONE of us are going to be executing someone in cold blood. Pretty sure that would be a hard sell to my rabbi."

Rabbi Jacobson doesn't know about the Sentinels, obviously, but I have the feeling that if she did, she'd have some STRONG feelings about putting a girl who isn't even any older than I am in front of a firing squad.

"Mmm," Imani hums, eyes firmly on the road. "Yeah. That's a very 'you' answer."

I open my mouth to respond.

"Don't get me wrong, that's not a bad thing," she says before I can say anything. "I get it. You're the kind of person who believes that because you're given power, you have a moral obligation to use it to do the most good possible, right? That's what you believe in. Obligation and rules."

"And you don't?" I reply.

"I believe in consequences," she says. "Cause and effect. It's simple stuff, really. Sometimes to do the most good in the world, you have to make certain choices. And a lot of the time, that lines up with your rules. But sometimes you make the calculation and the thing you have to do is the ugly thing, the 'wrong' thing, you know? And I know you're not that person, who needs to make the calculation and do what's necessary at all costs, you don't have to be. You're not a sword, you're a shield."

"Uh huh," I murmur. "Righhht. And what does that make you?"

Imani is quiet for a moment. She takes a right turn off of the main road. There's a shop here, with a small parking lot.
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No. 909253 ID: 986b2d
File 154117704447.png - (131.03KB , 600x600 , 64.png )
909253

"A scalpel," she says firmly.

The car pulls into a spot and Imani puts on the parking break. I grab her gently by the shoulder.

"Imani," I say quietly. "Promise me. Nobody dies. Not if we can help it."

The wind escapes her lungs in a short gust, whistling through gritted teeth. She doesn't look happy, but she doesn't have a "plotting mutiny" face either.

"You're the leader," she says, and opens the car door.
>>
No. 909254 ID: 986b2d
File 154117708281.png - (149.30KB , 600x600 , 65.png )
909254

Now that we're out of the car, I can read the sign above the shop. It says just: Dianne's. I recognize this place, but I've never actually....been.

Standing just outside the door is Brigid. She's hard to miss, waving this wildly. We make our way over to her.

"Hey," I say. "Does someone want to explain to me why we're at the fancy costume shop and not, say, Macy's?"

"Oh, did Imani not tell you?" Brigid asks. "The gala's themed. We're meant to be going as the characters of Shakespeare."

"We'll be masked, obviously," says Imani, "but it might be a good idea to be transformed while we're there, anyway? In the interests of not being caught crashing a high society party with our civilian faces."

Brigid pushes the door open, ringing a little bell as we make our way into the store. The woman at the register is engrossed in a phone call, and gives us little more than a passing glance as we file in.

"Okay!" Brigid says, clapping her hands together. "Petra, you first! Pop on into the dressing room and we'll bring you whatever you want. They have, like, eeeeverything here!"
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No. 909255 ID: 986b2d
File 154117720220.png - (137.11KB , 600x600 , 66.png )
909255

(Content warning: Not NSFW strictly speaking, but Petra IS in her underwear)

I do as I'm told.

Shakespere, huh? This is gonna be one hell of a party.

This is a dress-up update! I'll keep this post open for a good couple days at least. Feel free to suggest by drawing over the paper doll, using a dress up doll game online, or describing the kind of outfit you want to suggest! Have fun!
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No. 909264 ID: 1872dc

The problem with Imani's line of thinking is that it leads one to believe that they always know what the correct solution is. That there always is a correct solution. I know exactly how badly that can go.

Go as Hamlet with a more subtle tragic mask. Or a skull mask if you're feeling spooky.
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No. 909267 ID: 05ebc7

She's not entirely WRONG, but she's not entirely RIGHT, either. Similar to how >>909264 said, that line of thinking tends to make people think in absolutes- or worse, that there ALWAYS needs to be a sacrifice. That there ALWAYS needs to be some exchange. Even if she said 'most of the time', that's usually less sincere from my experience- a smokescreen to make themselves comfortable with the atrocities they commit, convinced that 'if no one else, then it falls to me'- because their life has been pain enough for them to accept that they'll always hurt. Problem is, that's a fallacy. There's nothing more that I hate than a senseless sacrifice because someone wasn't aware of all the possibilities available to them.

...In fairness, however, I DID say she's not entirely WRONG either. Sometimes it really is for the best that the hard choices need be made. There may be a day when you have to pick between a 'bad' result and a 'worse' result. Should that day ever come- and I hope it never does- I'd hope you'd be able to make that decision and understand that it was the best you could do with what you had. That some rare days, the good of the many really DOES outweigh the good of a few.

But it doesn't mean it's a choice to be taken lightly, OR regularly with so-called grit teeth and squared back. Eventually, that weight DOES get to be too much. Beware staring too long into the abyss, and all that.

Oh, and go with a Titania theme from A Midsummer Night's Dream. That'll be funny to me.
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No. 909842 ID: c1eaac
File 154154687402.png - (127.96KB , 600x600 , dressup.png )
909842

if we're going to be transformed, might as well be fairies, and wear something easy to fight in. let's go as puck.
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No. 909846 ID: 9125e0
File 154154893364.png - (151.24KB , 600x600 , Sorry had to do it.png )
909846

Hey you forgot something
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No. 910365 ID: 70df1e

>>909842
OOHH IM DIGGING THIS
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No. 912926 ID: 986b2d
File 154388741408.png - (482.42KB , 600x600 , 67.png )
912926

I go through a few outfits. There are a lot of things to think about. I DO want something I can fight in, for sure, but I also have to be fancy enough to fit in.

Ultimately, I end up following the Hamlet concept. It's not my usual style, but...I have to admit that it flatters me.

Brigid wolf whistles when I come out the door. I take a deep bow.

It seems like in the time I took to decide on my outfit, Imani and Brigid have already pulled theirs together. They seem to have gone the matching route: Imani in a dress with a high-low train and an exposed midriff and Brigid in a very fancy suit. Both have flowers in their hair.

"And what are you two supposed to be?" I ask.

"Oberon and Titania, obviously," says Brigid, grinning.

I glance between the two of them, eyebrows raised, but say nothing.

"How are we even paying for this, anyway?" I ask, changing the subject. "This place is kinda....a lot."

"Don't worry about that," Imani replies, already pulling out a credit card. "My dad's treating us."

"Would, uh. Would he even be okay with that?" asks Brigid.

"He will be," Imani grumbles. "It's the least he can do."

That seems like a topic I...also should not probe, but I do offer Imani a brief pat on the back.

"Anyway," Imani says. "We should probably just focus on being ready for the gala."
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No. 912927 ID: 986b2d
File 154388747061.png - (467.59KB , 600x600 , 68.png )
912927

God, it's freezing.

Most of the gala guests show up in stretch limos or luxury cars. Imani, Brigid and I take the train (and get some WEIRD looks). My coat isn't as nice as I'd like it to be, but the moment I get inside, it's immediately whisked away from me and stored in some coat room, so I guess it doesn't really matter.

"Now, you'll be aware that the party has a dress code," says the doorman as he takes my invitation. "Mr. and Mrs. Rice have requested that everyone remain anonymous, and refer to one another by their character names. Enjoy the party."

The ballroom is...enormous. I'm serious, I've never seen a room this big, or this dripping in gold. The ostentatiousness of it is actually starting to give me a migraine. And it's absolutely packed with rich people, all masked and dressed to the nines.

"So," I mumble. "What are we looking at, here?"

Imani closes her eyes.

"There's definitely a demon here," she murmurs. "The energy is....powerful. Even a human should be able to see something this strong, but I don't....see anything."

"Class D," Brigid says, gritting her teeth. "Visible to the human eye. The demon is disguised as one of the guests."

Fuck. My life is never allowed to be easy, is it?

"I can't sense which one is the demon," Imani says, rubbing her temple. "There's too much ambient energy in here. We're going to have to investigate in person."

"Excuse me," says a soft voice from behind me.
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No. 912928 ID: 986b2d
File 154388751121.png - (334.06KB , 600x600 , 69.png )
912928

I turn. The speaker is not, as I'd feared, the doorman here to kick me out of the party, but a stranger. It's hard to tell what they're supposed to be dressed as, but their costume is heavy on the rose motifs, complete with an ornate silver domino mask. Their hair is long and silver, but it's clear that they're not nearly old enough for it to be natural. By their side is a silver and red cane.

"Pardon me," they say, offering a short bow. "I didn't mean to interrupt. I just saw you from across the room and was wondering if you would do me the honor of this dance."
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No. 912935 ID: e0ca8d

>>912928
Well it would get you onto the dance floor for some investigating. It's also really strange and suspicious. Considering you have someone actually after you, this could be dangerous.

You're supposed to be more careful, but for now, I don't actually think this is going to be anything more than a little uncomfortable.
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No. 912952 ID: e0ca8d

>>912935
Ugh I wish my IP address was fixed so my ID would stop changing. Especially for a quest where I've got an oc. Sorry if that ever causes problems.
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No. 912975 ID: 986b2d

>>912952
Don't worry about it too much! It might help a bit if you chose a name to post under when you suggest, but I'm not gonna be accusing you of identity theft, lol.
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No. 913062 ID: afdebc

>>912928
Might as well, you have to blend to look around the party and try to find the demon.

Be careful, since they could be the demon, of course.

Introduce yourself (in character) and find out who their costume is supposed to be.
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No. 913079 ID: e0ca8d

>>912975
Alright, I'll give that a go. Starting now, because I have to see if I can do it right.
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