2017-01-09 - What Lies Beneath 2

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Title: What Lies Beneath 2

Another kidnapping leads to another rescue beneath Library Island. This time, it's Yumi Ohzora's favorite nurse, Nakahara.


Usagi Tsukino, Yumi Ohzora, Fuu Hououji, Chitose Shiratori

GM: Hotaru Tomoe


Library Island

OOC - IC Date:

01-09-2017 - 12-19-2014

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Infinity Institute has a bit of a reputation as a soulless grinder of perfect students, and its staff can feel a bit faceless, as faceless as the sleek glass of the skyscraper itself.

Its students know better.

A fine example: Michiko Nakahara, one of the school's nursing staff. Bright and caring, her optimism is a palpable force. She's equally known for her gourmet bento (presumably self-made) and cheerfully thorough physical therapy regimens.

Nakahara-sensei is missing.

As per the last incident, word gets out pretty quickly, first through the Infinity student body and then, by text and tweet and more literal twittering of the avian mascot persuasion, to the rest of the magical class of 2015 (etc). A kind nurse is missing, and she was last seen embarking on a research project in Library Island.

Which brings us to the present: the staircase leading down. It's the same as last time -- ancient, somewhat musty-smelling, less like lots of old books and more like lots and lots and lots of time. When you go past the scent of dust, you get to something deeper, an aroma subtly unrecognizable because it's an air wholly unlike what inhabits a modern sky.

That is what wafts upwards, gently tousling hair, this afternoon.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

One of the side benefits of being your team's de facto medic is that you don't need to go to the nurse's office very often; however, Fuu Hououji is as acquainted with Nakahara-sensei as anyone else in her year - and even though finals aren't QUITE over, Fuu has made the time to help go look for her.

Or rather, Fuu has made the time for the Magic Knight of Wind to join the search, particularly given that word came through the magical-girl grapevine as well as the mundane gossip tree and social networks. The Wind Knight hasn't drawn out any weapons yet, but she *does* have a backpack with the usual supplies for a Library Island expedition: rope, grappling hook, first-aid supplies, flashlights, extra batteries, and so on. Not all of it is still *in* the backpack - her glove-jewel already holds a couple of things that might be needed in the event that her backpack is lost or damaged or destroyed. Not as much of it as she'd like, though.

"I wonder how much of the layout has changed since Neesan went missing," she muses, then glances around at the others to make sure everyone's ready.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yumi Ohzora knows better.

She can often be outright oblivious, missing the usual information that filters through the student body by virtue of being a noted spacer-out. This time is different, because she heard Michiko's name and jolted upright.

Unlike certain team medics, Yumi spends a /lot/ of time at the nurse's office, and she knows ths woman well.

Yumi didn't bother grabbing any supplies minus her bag and her phone, rushing through the halls and running for as much of the trip as she was able. That wasn't all of it; she arrives after Fuu, leaning on a wall and inhaling lots of that strange and ancient aroma because she's gulping for air most notably, her silver hair in disarray and her phone already in her hand.

"I'm about to find out," Yumi says between breaths to the younger girl. "Or... Not, because I wasn't here, or--whatever! I'm going, I mean!" Huff, "We have to help Nakahara-sensei, there's no way she's up for what's down there!"

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Bird-like twittering faded away from her hearing, as the recipient of the information mulled over what to do with it. "I hate to bother her when she's actually focusing for once, but this is important..." The Mooncat padded along the snow covered outer wall along the Tsukino residence, up closer to the garage. Working on her hind paws like she was on a springboard, she hopped up onto the covered garage which led to an instant jump to the second floor balcony with a parkour that came so naturally to all catkind. From there she could catch sight of her charge...

Catching sight of her sitting in front of her floor table, doodled over notebooks and textbooks in front of her- for one short perfect moment in time Luna was proud of her.

And then she noticed it, the small pale white cord dangling out of each ear, just below each perfect twintail. "Maybe she's just listening to music to help her-" Up to the windowsill, where she nudged the unlatched window open which gave her a closer view of the screen which showed a bunch of boys playing Volleyball, "-nevermind. USAGI!"

At first she didn't look up. But then rubbing one forearm, and saying- "It's getting a little drafty in-" she turned her head, and there was Luna right there. Hastily both the earbuds were torn out and the phone had pause struck on it hastily, "Oh heyyy Luna! You're back already?" She rubs the back of her neck self-consciously, "I was just- taking a study break!" The Mooncat glowered at her distrustfully, "Well if you were just going to waste time watching anime tonight then you can-"

Sailor Moon leans a little far on her current step to stare down the ancient staircase, a gloved hand on her lip as she considers it. "This place is kind of creepy." She decides, before turning to the others, and she waves that hand out of her mouth, likely raising more dust and causing her to cough a few times, "Ugh- And I doubt it's good for us to breathe all this in. Whoever's responsible for this has no consideration for anyone. What happens if we get sick from all this and have to take exams tomorrow like that? That'd be the worst!"

Crossing her arms, she nods vigorously at Yumi, "We've gotta find her fast. It just isn't right putting a nurse through all this! I mean who's going to take care of everyone tomorrow if we don't?" ... she literally isn't even a nurse for your school Usagi.

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

It's Chitose! Chitose Shiratori is here, some time after an incident over at Ohtori. The marks of such an incident only faintly remain-- her hair and parts of her clothing are still somewhere between 'damp' and dry. In fact as she arrives at the scene, she's actually seen wiping her glasses off, again.

She also burns with a newfound disdain for /children/.

What do you mean, no one can see that? Okay, perhaps that is true. But something akin to disdain for children is what's going through her mind right now, and it's reflected in her smouldering eyes as she looks down the staircase again.

She's not too familiar with the person who had gone missing. She's heard of Nakahara, of course, but she rarely makes the nurse's acquaintance. Which may explain why she hasn't brought anything of note. Yes, White Omen is here, but between him and her, that should be enough, right?


As usual, the University student hangs out in the back, waiting for the search to begin. It's important to find Nakahara, yes. But she's more interested in what might be going on down there.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

This time, the stairs don't turn into a surprise slide a few steps down; they remain comfortably consistent, flight after flight, spiral after spiral, turn after turn.

What doesn't behave that way are the walls. It's a gradual transformation, but the ancient stones are replaced, one at a time, a scattering here and there, then whole sections, and finally all of it -- with something that isn't stone.

The first clue is the noise -- the echoes, rather than getting louder, become softer over time. Then comes the texture; steps get smoother and smoother, though not like ice. Lines become crisper, rather. Corners are straighter.

The smell stays the same, though. Whatever transformation has been wrought here beneath Library Island, either it hasn't affected the air, or the air was already different. There are other options besides being unrecognizably old.

At the bottom, there is no chasm; instead, an endless floor of two-by-two foot tiles. They are all gray, and sparkle faintly beneath the blue radiance that trickles, like a thin-lipped exhale in a chilly parking lot, from these ahistoric walls.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has fully healed herself.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"I guess the whole thing is pretty rude," Yumi answers, but then Sailor Moon is almost on her page in an instant. ...Almost. "I just know she deserves better than being stuck down here. After..." She shakes her head, looks at the others. "Right, I won't slow you down."

She taps a few buttons on her phone and out pops a long white staff. A column of green light later, the gangly high schooler in Infinity's uniform is replaced by a tall witch in black and green, with a high hat and a black mantle along with long gloves and boots. "I'm coming," she murmurs, and holds her staff out in front of her as they move down. Her staff clicks against the stairs, and she moves in as close to the front as she can get, pink eyes darting back and forth to check for anything popping out at her.

She might have different priorities from Chitose. (She totally does.)

Once they reach te bottom, the Witch looks over it with a raised eyebrow, but gray is fine with her. "...I guess it's a pretty floor," she says, and taps a tile with her staff before starting across the floor.

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose takes this time, after a few moments, to transform herself, moving just enough out of the way of everyone's vision, and suddenly /someone else/ is there instead.

This someone else also goes zooming through the hall, Midchildan flight spells at the ready, for a few moments. However, unlike last time, the stairs do not become a ramp! So she lands a few moments later near the bottom of the stairs. "All right, so I guess that's not happening today." Chitose says after a moment.

<We wouldn't want this to be predictable, after all.>

"If /I/ was a sprawling death trap, I'd give people the same series of traps, and then suddenly change things up at the last moment to throw everyone off." Chitose looks up from her Device for a moment as she looks at the walls. "...Do the walls look different to you?"

She waits for the group as a whole to catch up and pass her before she falls in line just like before-- in the back, looking around in case of traps.

COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori transforms into Barrier Jacket!

COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora transforms into Witch Ivy!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora has fully healed herself.
COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori has fully healed herself.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has fully healed herself.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The Wind Knight bows briefly to her allies, "I'm grateful not to be venturing into the island's depths alone, as before ..."

And she heads down the stairs as well. The change in the walls, stone giving way to something more ... organic? Softer, less able to reflect echoes ... at least the stairs remain solid beneath their feet, and stable enough to rely upon. The lack of a chasm (after the last visit this deep) is a welcome surprise in one way, but disturbing in another.

"I wonder," the Wind Knight muses as she reaches the tiled floor at the bottom of the stairs, "is this something left behind by the plants that helped us leave the last time ... or something else entirely?" She's trying to match up the 'feel' of the place now against the last time she was here, and not coming up with much.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Yumi is pressing buttons on her phone and... "I don't think this place is going to get good reception-" A staff emerges and she looks impressed, "-whoa! Sugoi!" And then she transforms, adorned with a hat, "Hey are you some kind of cool witch? I guess if since you're so reliable that makes you a good witch!" Sailor Moon sure had encountered a lot of bad witches. Three of the Witches 5 as well as... horrors.

Down they descend down the spiraling suitcase, the Spiral Moon Heart Rod tucked comfortably in her hand. Not being the most perceptive individual, she doesn't notice the changes. Though it's more likely because she's nervous and chattering the whole way, "H-Hey I don't get it. Why is Infinity so modern and it's library like something out of a horror film?" She gulps at the thought, "I'm not checking out anything from here. It's probably all cursed..."

Clasping her hands over her rod she tucks in her shoulders and looks around in paranoia. She ranges a little towards Yumi during the descent. Probably because she's tall and thus reminds her a little of Sailor Jupiter, "I bet you're an expert on cursed things right?" She whispers her way, "Soooo- if you wouldn't mind warning me if I'm about to look at something that is I'd really appreciate it!"

But once down on the floor, when Chitose mentions that, "H-Hey, don't give it any ideas alright? We don't want smarter and probably cursed death traps!" She steps along the smooth tiled before asking the Magic Knight of Wind, "Wait what's this about plants helping you?" A few moments pass and- "I mean... I may not know much about plants but it doesn't feel like there should be... any in this place? But if... there were and they did decide to be helpful again I wouldn't mind help with what's going to be on tomorrow's test..."

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

At the touch of Yumi's staff, of the others' heels, the floor begins to ring -- less like a bell with a clapper, more like the edge of a wineglass awakened by a single finger, moistened just so. It's soft at first, but starts getting steadily louder. The light in the walls seems to react, too, luminescing, then becoming searing.

In moments it's an agonizing cacophany coupled to a blinding display, and the edges of the floor, to the left and right, are starting to crack. The middle remains intact against this resonant discant, but for how long?

On the opposite side is a hallway; it has no door, and also somewhat less light, than this room itself. It is the only exit, other than the stairs themselves--

--oh wait, they're gone.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe transforms into What Lies Beneath!

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Bright Sonic Hell on Chitose Shiratori.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has fully healed herself. She is now ready to take on 4 opponents!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Bright Sonic Hell on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Bright Sonic Hell on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Bright Sonic Hell on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Bright Sonic Hell, taking 20 Fatigue damage! Blind applied to Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori narrowly dodges Hotaru Tomoe's Bright Sonic Hell, taking 10 Fatigue damage! Chitose Shiratori's Fade ability activates! Chitose Shiratori's Flash ability activates! Blind applied to Chitose Shiratori!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Bright Sonic Hell, taking 16 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly braces Hotaru Tomoe's Bright Sonic Hell, taking 3 Fatigue damage! Fuu Hououji's Block ability activates! Fuu Hououji's Parry ability activates! Blind applied to Fuu Hououji!

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

As she hears what Fuu has to say, the Witch glances away awkwardly. "I don't want to be mean or anything, but I'm not doing it for you." Then she walks on ahead, keeping to the front.

"...Uh, yeah, I'm a witch!" she answers Sailor Moon, "If I'm cool it's because of Nakahara-sensei, probably. I do my best though."

But Yumi is walking ahead further, and probably the chatter does something good for her nerves. "Actually I'm kind of an expert on curses, so if I see anything, I'll let you know!"

"I don't know about plants or anything, but--" The floor rings, and then it's suddenly so bright that she can't keep her eyes open, her knees bending as she tries to cover her ears and lean her staff against herself. "Aaah--"

She forces her eyes open, and sees the hllway. She can't turn around anyway, she doesn't have enough grace for that, but she forces herself up and starts to rush towards the hallway, glancing back to try to see the others behind her for a half-second but only that; she has enough trouble running straight otherwise.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

That's definitely not something that vines or trees grew into and left behind, the Wind Knight realizes as the light and sound resonate into incapacitating levels. Fortunately, she's able to shield herself against it to some extent - even if it's only by closing her eyes until she's practically squinting, and covering her ears against the din.

She also comes to a halt, just taking one careful step at a time, as quietly as she can proceed. Hopefully this particular 'trap' has an end to it before much further; she'll need that respite before she tries casting any healing magic on the rest of the group.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Thank Goodness- That's such a relief!" Sailor Moon looks a little calmer in the presence of someone who knows what she's doing, because most of the time she sure doesn't. She's just winging it but she can only pretend she's an expert on magic or combat or things like that.

The ringing of the floor doesn't raise any eyebrows with Sailor Moon at first- until it starts getting any louder, the brightness of the walls shining brighter. "Oh that's probably bad-"

And then the light becomes searing. The din in the room feels like it's going to blow out her eardrums with a volume that felt like 10x what Rei could reach during her angriest. With a shriek that's drowned out by the lightstorm and sonic hell, Sailor Moon presses one scepter held hand over her ear, the other hand over her other, she tucks her head, and starts to blindly run.

Since it's a blind and panicked run she swerves all over, and trips once, sending her into a dizzied sprawl where she impacts hard. Picking herself up with bruised elbows and skinned knees, the clumsy heroine keeps going for the door... she's going to keep going as best as she can through all that dizziness, but right now she just has to get away. Eventually she'd start rubbing away tears and spots from her eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose continues to walk along, only barely keeping up with conversation. When Fuu mentions the plants, she does kind of smile for a moment, as she remembers her last foray down here. "Oh, yes, I remember those plants."

<We also bypassed those plants.>

"Look, after all of what happened, do you blame me?"

White Omen almost responds, only blocked out by the ever growing ringing sounds. Oh, and also the light. Blinding light fills the area to match the ringing. On the bright(?) side, there's somethig strapped to Chitose's arm, so she can hold White Omen up to prevent some of the light. It at least blocks the light that's pouring directly into her eyes. It doesn't, however, protect against the light reflecting off of White Omen, though.

She doesn't have much for the sound, however. With one arm occupied, she can only really cover one ear, sound blaring into the other. Squinting to try and reduce the light, Chitose can only really grunt as she heads towards what she thinks is the way out. The light is going to make it difficult, though, to keep up with the rest of the group.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

When the floor shatters, it is in little blocks, like a car windshield. It sizzles, a carpet of sound -- if no longer of support. But by then Chitose, bringing up the rear, just barely manages to make it to the hallway, and if one or two of her final footsteps are across air like a cartoon coyote, well -- she's got the magic to manage that.

Also, /there's/ the chasm. Familiar, no?

The chunks of glass, or whatever they are, do not fall with the clean and graceful curves of gravity. They jerk downwards, while others start moving upwards at intervals instead. The whole room is shortly filled with an intricate, if very staccato, dance. There's not enough space to cross, at least if the edges are sharp. And they sound sharp, whizzing through the air with soft, sharp twings.

Let us consider the hallway instead.

It's lacking for light -- not that the girls can't solve that in a myriad of ways and hues -- but there are occasional glitters, slender snakes of sapphire blue that cut up a few squares, then over, then vanish. Lots of little Ls. Vs are also popular.

It's mesmerizing, relaxing after the terrifying explosion that the last room became.

There is a strong risk of becoming too bewitched and bewildered, that one won't notice the twings coming from behind, at deadly speed.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Snake Show on Sailor Moon.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Snake Show on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Snake Show on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Snake Show on Chitose Shiratori.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly braces Hotaru Tomoe's Snake Show, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora narrowly braces Hotaru Tomoe's Snake Show, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Yumi Ohzora's Block ability activates! Yumi Ohzora's Parry ability activates! Diversion applied to Yumi Ohzora!
COMBAT: Chitose Shiratori fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Snake Show, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Diversion applied to Chitose Shiratori!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Snake Show, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Diversion applied to Fuu Hououji!

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Witch Ivy might have tried to say something else about plants--they're kind of an interest of hers--but there was the whole blinding light and deafening sound tht showed no real signs of going away. Instead she is running, and she isn't last. She almost can't tell the floor is shattering, except tht once she looks back she can see it.

"That's..." She stares a little and winces at how sharp those edges look to her. She looks instead to the hallway. Leaning on her staff, she peers close at the shapes it's making, trying to puzzle out some meaning to the lights, and then just /looking/ at the lights. It's the sort of thing she could stare at for a while. It gets right past her defenses.

As assuredly will whatever's behind her unnoticed. The tall Witch makes for a good target.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

She's probably been studying too much.

The Wind Knight's attention is drawn in by the pieces of 'glass' flitting around; their shapes and movements are strikingly reminiscent of a puzzle game, if not Tetris then another block-fitting game, and between the actual exigency of trying to make a path through it and a slightly whimsical desire to sort out the pattern, the Wind Knight's attention is sucked into the 'barrier' of flying pieces of clear, sparkling mineral. Possibly she's been studying so much that her brain, starved for recreation, seizes upon the distraction ...

To the exclusion of whatever's flying at the group from behind.

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose's feet actually don't meet the ground for a split seconds, though inertia does kind of glide her way to solid ground moments before she falls to her knees. "Ow!" She says after the impact, but she doesn't say much else as she gets back up to her feet.

And that's when she notices... the lights. They definately weren't there before, and something just draws her to them. "Huh. I wonder what all these lights are here for, anyway."

Chitose doesn't see or hear the onrush of glass coming for her. And like Yumi, she's probably a pretty large target for all that glass, being one of the taller girls at Infinity. Hopefully she won't get a lot of glass-catching practice.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The floor is cracking behind them. She couldn't even tell. She's just instinctively running in that blind panic. "WOW THAT WAS LOUD! HEY! I'M NOT YELLING AM I? I CAN'T TELL! HEY CAN YOU CHECK IF MY EARS ARE CURSED?" But then as she's trying to clear the spots from her eyes. It sets a rhythmic pattern with the spots that's just- mesmerizing. "Hehe- pretty..."

Relaxing. Like the calm and gentle presence of Sailor Mercury. In that hypnotic thrall for less than a split second, she catches the glimmer of reflected light, and looks back- seeing the staccato dance of deadly shards behind them. The different ways they move, and how they're- "NOT FALLING-OH COMING RIGHT AT US! WITCH-SENPAI, EVERYONE BEHIND!"

Her instinctive reaction would be to grab them and bowl them over but- she looks really out of it. A quick glance to the others. They /all/ look really out of it! They're not responding to her warning and she can't just knock down all three of them! She only had moments to act-

The Spiral Moon Heart Rod becomes a spinning whorl of light as she desperately stands her ground in the middle of the hallway, facing backwards, "MOON TWILIGHT-" The energy of the spells gathers as the rod is pointed in that direction. "-FLASH!" It erupts forth into orbs of incandescent power. And while it seems like it's far too narrow a spell to meet the deadly waltz of glass, upon making contact with the first shard it erupts into an explosion of twilit light that's brilliant enough to make all four girls appear briefly as only dark silhouettes in the hallway.

Hopefully it consumes all that glass or a few of them might still be in trouble though!

Whatever the case once the immediate danger is out of the way, Sailor Moon would go to each of them, wave a hand in their face, and flick the tips of her nose with a gloved finger. After all, she had to snap them out of it quick!

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Rock beats scissors, and apparently, twilight beats glass. There's nothing left but surprisingly soft sand, afterwards, to lap against the girls' toes.

There's no more twinging.

Indeed, other than the single soft tones that peal each time a snake of light appears or disappears, there's no sound at all. The catacombs almost feel lonely without all the glass' song.


Regardless, more hallway lies ahead.

And then more still.

After that: more hallway.

What were you doing after five minutes?

What were you doing after fifty?

Five hours?

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Ivy of course is too fixated to answer Sailor Moon's question about whether she's yelling. She doesn't even notice the shouting, despite being called 'Witch-senpai' and everything. She also doesn't notice the brilliant magic.

...Not until there's sand on her boots and Sailor Moon's hand is in her face. "Waah--" She holds her nose with a green-gloved hand. "Hey! What was... Huh. What was I doing?"

She shoots up. "I don't have time to stare into space! She glances back with some embarrassment at the others, and starts right along.

So she walks. ...And walks. ...And walks some more. She uses her magic staff as a walking stick, huffs a little. "...See?" she says, glancing back at Sailor Moon, "No curses!"

"...I think."

It gets to be about five minutes and she looks around the hallway again. "It's--It's probably just about done! There can't be much more hallway!"

COIN FLIP: Chitose Shiratori flips a coin. It lands on heads!

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose continues staring at the lights, only really returning to the world of the living when she gets her nose flicked by Sailor Moon. "Huh?" She blinks, and then shakes her head. "Ah, thank you." And then she looks over and down to the sand. "I... guess I missed something." She shrugs. "Oh, well. Let's continue, should we?" And so, like the others, she walks.

...And walks...

And walks...

Yumi's comment draws another ray of sunshine from the University student. "I bet there's probably more hallway."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The Wind Knight is jostled awake, and she takes a moment to shake her head to clear it, removing her glasses long enough to rub her eyes. "Ugh ... what happened?" She looks down at the 'sand' around her booted feet ...

Pauses to take one boot off, shaking it to make sure none of that sand got inside it. (It didn't.) Then put sher boot back on. "My apologies, Sailor Moon-san. Yes, we should continue onwards ..." She pulls her other foot out of the 'sand' and continues walking, pulling out a flashlight and playing it about the walls and floor and ceiling. "At least the traps are more distracting than dangerous this time?" she suggests, clearly attempting to look on the bright side of things.

Of course, she didn't see the trap that Sailor Moon blasted before it could hit them at full damaging force, so she's kind of *wrong* about that last observation.

"... it really is quite a long hallway, but it can't go on forever - we're not so far down that we'd be under the lakebed, so unless it's magical ..."

She pauses. "Everyone, stand off to the side for a moment?" Her bow and quiver materialize; she nocks an arrow, letting her allies get up against the wall, then draws back and looses. No magic, no special techniques, just launching the arrow ahead of them and watching/listening for it to clatter to the floor. Or to fly through a space warp and shoot herself in the back or something - good thing her back is as well-armored as her front, if THAT happens, but if it DOES then at least they'll know.

Assuming she fails to arrow herself in the back, the Wind Knight indicates to continue onwards. At this point, she's just looking for where her arrow landed - for proof that they are, in fact, making progress somewhere. She might repeat the test a couple of times; if nothing else, it's something to do every so often as she's trying to figure out where they are, and whether they missed a turn or a secret passage or a trapdoor or something. She should have brought graph paper or something for mapping ...

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Everything explodes. The glass vanishes, sprinkling her in only sand. She stands in that pose for a few moments, just breathing heavily. Then she heads towards waving her hand in people's faces and flicking. Her ears only have the faintest tinnitus at least so she's stopped yelling. She holds up that same finger and waves it at Yumi, "Oh well you may think that! But really I always have more time to do that than I know what to do with-"

Five minutes into the Hallway Marathon-

"Right I mean- come on- it can't go on forever can it?" She stops to allow Fuu to try the arrow trick but- it keeps going forward and not behind them. "See? It's just- a really long hallway." She laughs nervously, "No time warps here!"

Onward and onward-

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Well, I mean--" Yumi has a lot she can say about that pastime to Sailor Moon.

But five minutes later, "You can't just /say/ stuff like that," Ivy complains at Chitose's comment, though now the thought's in her head. She had been trying to be optimistic. It's not like she knows that much about down here.

She looks with some interest at what Fuu does with her arrows, but doesn't spot anything really happening. She doesn't look as much the next time.

Fifty minutes in, Yumi huffs and leans against a wall. "This is... So much walking. So... So much walking." She thinks she's going to fall over, though she doesn't. "I think my feet are going to fall off." She... takes a few seconds, before she goes on, leaning a little harder on her staff as she goes. "Do you go to this school?" she asks Sailor Moon, "You might've gotten to meet Nakahara-sensei. She's really just the best! I can't tell you how many times I've..."

Five /hours/ in...

"This is so cool! I've /never/ walked this far at once!" A pause, and the witch's shoulders sag. "...Which makes it that much longer she's stuck down here. Not even a little cool..."

Five hours and thirty seconds in, "It's probably beause I disappointed Mother. That's how I knew I'd end up walking this long. I didn't know, but I knew, does that make sense? Augh, it doesn't make any sense." A pause, and her walk slows a little. "I just hope she's okay..."

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose does allow Fuu to do her arrow trick, and as it sails off into the hallway, Chitose grumbles. "It could just be a really long loop, and whatever forces at work will just keep the arrow going." But she plods on regardless.

Chitose continues to walk, as the hall way continues even into fifty minutes. She's no stranger to long, boring periods. She even just recently got out of the hospital, where she spent a few days. So long and boring walks don't completely drive her insane.

Well, around the fifty minute mark, she starts speaking in tounges. Well, it's tounges for the uninitiated. Instead, she's muttering things in various languages. Only a little bit is actual Japanese, the rest is a variety of languages: English gets the most words, with a smattering of Chinese and Korean, and even some French and Polish. Though the further away the language gets from Japan, the more basic the words she uses.

Granted, she does stop and speak Japanese as Yumi talks about schools. "I do. I'm just glad the rest of the school isn't like this."

Still, her voice pitch and speed varies radically from sentence to sentence, so it's entirely possible she is going insane, as minutes turn into hours. But she's just practicing for her exams! Really. Really!


<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Fifty minutes-

Sailor Moon starts getting D-Point flashbacks of endless walking through caverns of cool purple stone, "This isn't fairrrrr, I didn't even bring my old Pokewalker... these steps are being counted for something right?" Of course she never actually used it back when she got it in grade school. It's gathering dust in some forgotten drawer somewhere-

"Like maybe they'll give me extra credit in P.E. instead-" Yumi looks disastrously tired already. "Hey don't worry!" She pats her once on the back, "I know for a fact that feet can't fall off from walking really far." She then murmurs quietly to herself, "Even if I never wanna do that again."

But then she asks if she goes to this school, "Aha- wellll- I wish I could talk about it but my school has to remain a secret!" Though maybe if she does, Luna will warp here out of nowhere with her kitty tech to save her from walking right? Well- probably not worth testing, "You understand right? But she sounds like a cool person!"

Five hours into it-

Sailor Moon has traded places and become absolutely insufferable. Imagine the crankiest preschooler after walking all day. Then imagine that in a fifteen year old body... "I'm soooo tired of walking- forget what I said about feet not falling off... mine aren't working anymore!"

Normally she'd at least try to show some dignity around non-Senshi but by now she's using the wall to prop herself up, bent over dramatically with each stooped step. "Witch-senpai you'll carry me right? I can't- I can't go on any longer." But her legs are still moving aren't they?

But disappointing her mother, "Wait, you think this happened because-?"

A horrifying thought occurs to her. Almost as horrifying as the hallways of D-Point. Images of tests with big red thirties circled dance through her head. Ikuko Tsukino thrusting them in her face.

A whimper leaves her throat as she wonders if this accursed place is making up for lost time.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Maybe there was an infintesimal curve or decline along the way. Maybe not. Regardless: the hallway ends as abruptly as it begins, opening up into a smooth room whose smoothly artificial walls flash continuously not with one or a few strands of light, but with as many as can fit. They radiate out from a central point in the room -- less a sarcophagus and more an immersion tank, but there it is, nonetheless, an eerie futuristic echo of the previous visit to this place.

It's sterile in here, and yet airy in comparison to the increasingly claustrophobic hallway; it must be the many other hallways, each of which leads to parts unknown. But there's something else being vented in... a sense of urgency, the intimacy of danger.

Who knows when someone will arrive to check on their victim? For she's certainly in there, dimly visible through the translucent walls.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The encouragement from Sailor Moon earlier helped. But what she says after, "I can't carry you," in a subdued tone of voice. Yumi would be glad about what Chitose said earlier, but she doesn't do a lot of being glad at the moment. There's just... arrows and speaking in languages and complaining and--

"Uh?" Yumi reaches the end of the hallway and blinks, looking out towards the room ahead of them and slowing to a stop to make sure she can see it properly. There's light all over, which almost hurts her eyes after the same-y scenery. But there's that outline she thinks she can see, and any more thoughts of caution leap out the window in favor of worry for someone so important to her. "I'm going," she announces to the others, and the same way she's led through most of the trip, the Witch immediately steps right inside, her staff out before her. "Can you hear me?" she says, just loud enough that she thinks she can be heard, "Nakahara-sensei? Just hold on!"

She looks up at the tank, "Open up!" She glances down to see if there's any mechanism, already taking hold of her staff in both hands in case there isn't.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

It's quite probable that the Wind Knight is mentally reviewing for whatever exams she has tomorrow; she certainly isn't talking very much, although she does give her allies sympathetic and supportive looks now and again. Sailor Moon seems to draw more of those, for whatever reason.

And then the corridor ends, opening out onto the chamber where Nakahara-sensei is held ... or stored. She follows behind Yumi, looking around to take in the chamber's size and layout and whatnot; the 'fibers' of light are worrisome in their own right, this far underground. The fact that they seem to lead out from that central 'tank' ...

"Hmm .. Yumi-san, do you think it would harm her if I try seeing what happens if any of these light-fibers are severed?" Her bow and quiver vanish, replaced in her hand by her sword; with Yumi's go-ahead, she'll try cutting one of the fibers - by stabbing into the wall or floor, if she has to - and taking note of whether the light goes out on one side or the other of the break.

Because for all she knows, the lights might be feeding *into* the tank, not away from it. And if they're going towards the tank instead of away, who knows what purpose they're serving?

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose continues to walk, and chattering like she's gone /mad/.

Both stop as the hallway finally, finally ends and opens up in a larger area, with nice smooth artificial walls and... some holding tank? Chitose blinks as she looks at the holding tank. This was... definately not here before. Neither was the five hour hallway, either.

Then Yumi sweeps forward to investigate. Chitose doesn't stop her, and actually doesn't say anything about it. If she can help whoever is in the tanks, that's good.

Instead, the elder girl turns with a swish of jacket and braid, looking back down the hallway. "Hopefully she's okay. If this ends up like the last time we were here, we may want to move quickly."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

And just as abruptly the hallway ends in a light-filled room- "I can't believe it! We're saved!" Blink, "... Oh right we're still down here." Squinting, she puts a hand over her eyes and surveys the room. Right towards that immersion tank.

"Uh- is that- her? Creepy! Who just puts people in tanks like that!" But the feeling of relief upon entering here is leaving, replaced by that of foreboding. And as Yumi says she's going- "Right!" Sailor Moon follows, holding that scepter warily like she expects that any moment now Kunzite might just pop out of one of the dark corners of the room and attack.

I mean that what she expects right, that some villain or monster is just going to pop out. She's not used to the idea that one might not.

But once they reach the tank the Magic Knight makes a suggestion and- she's not sure. She looks back to the Witch, then to the Magic Knight, then to the Mage. She doesn't really have any ideas so she just leaves it to the Witch in the room!

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Apparently the pod -- pod? it seems like the right word, it springs to mind -- is voice-activated, because all it takes is Yumi's command for it to spring open with a hiss. Creepy but scentless steam starts pouring out of it and gushing across the floor in lazy swirls.

Nakahara-sensei's arms are crossed over her chest, like a vampire, or a queen of old on a bier. Her heart is beating, but her eyes don't open, not yet, not now.

Also, the lights have all gone out -- except for a bank of crimson ones, which start flashing like a police car's.

The ear-splitting screech of a siren comes a moment later, with all the inevitability of a tsunami. It loomed, and now it crashes down.

Which way to go? With pitch black hallways occasionally shot blood-red by the alarm light, it's hard to tell even which way they came from.

But there is a seed of hope -- literally. With a soft sound of gently parting stone, a single shoot unfurls tender leaves in front of one of the hallways. The little plant is less than a foot high, but it seems friendly... if urgent, as it sways in an unseen wind down the path it stands in front of.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yumi stands before the pod with staff in hand, and blinks, stepping bak as it starts to spring open. The steam gathers around her feet and she doesn't give it a second look, her attention instead entirely on the woman in the pod.

She agrees that the idea is pretty creepy, sends a chill down her spine even without the strange funerary pose. But she doesn't answer Fuu's request with more than a shake of her head, hears her hope echoed by Chitose as the lights go out.

...And start to flash.

"Ugh--" Yumi gits her teeth against the sudden sound, and hops forward, reaching into the pod and taking hold of the woman in it, awkwardly holding staff and woman both.

"Which--" The plant. Well, plants have never let her down since she gained the Staff of Lost Ivy. "Aaah you don't have to be so /loud/--"

She bolts towards the path with the plant, careful not to step on it as she carries Nakahara-sensei out. She's not letting her go until they're out of here if she can help it.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

With Yumi shaking her head like that, the Wind Knight refrains from trying to mess with those lights. She doesn't dismiss her sword until Yumi manages to open the tank by verbal command ...

And then the alarms go off, abruptly enough to make the Magic Knight of Wind yelp at the top of her lungs and jump about a meter into the air, flailing her arms briefly before her brain collects itself again. This really isn't her night, is it?

No need for weapons right now; it is the hour of scampering, not of combat. Or at least, she hopes nothing pops up to try and beat them down and put Nakahara-sensei back in that tank. Running like crazy is probably the best way to avoid a fight, and given how helpful the plants were last time, the Wind Knight follows the florally-highlighted hallway, careful as she passes NOT to step on those delicate leaves or the stem that supports them.

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose continues looking down the way, only looking towards the group when she hears the hissing steam of the pod open. She watches the woman in the pod and Yumi for a few moments, and she smiles.

Then all the lights go out, replaced by the flashing red lights. Both girl and her Device says roughly the same thing, with a depressing sense of dejection. "<Yes, of course.>"

She turns back to the room and looks around, scanning the area for the group and which way they decide to go, and she sees the plant, again similar to the small plant from the last trip. "Ah. I still think it and its lot are leading us into a trap."

<But we don't have a choice.>

"I suppose."

And so Chitose follows the group down the path with the plant.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

It really opened!? Just when she told it to. Why don't thinks do what she wants them to? She can barely even get her smart phone to do what she wants it to!

But that's not important right now, what's important is saving the person inside. Yumi grabs her and while she's out, she's probably safe? She hopes so. but the lights go out, replaced by an array of flashing crimson. "What'd we set off-Aah!"

Another ear-splitting screech. With all this exposure it's becoming like going to a particularly loud concert... only worse. There are so many hallways and they all look the same, lit up by that crimson light, "Which way!? I'm no good at multiple choice!"

But Yumi starts to run, and since she has Nakahara with her, she runs after her, adrenaline working out the numbing exhaustion in her legs. It's only when she's about to pass the diminutive plant that she notices it. "Oh!" Friendly helpful plants. She'll have to tell Jupiter all about it later...

... if she makes it out of here.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Nakahara's a full-grown woman, and no small burden, but the Witch of Lost Ivy is magic and adrenaline is too, in times like these.

It does /not/ take five hours to get to the end of this hallway; it feels like seconds. It's somewhere in between, on the shorter end of the spectrum, which is a good descriptor of the hallway in general -- exceptionally tall girls have to hunch. Everyone else might want to anyway; that alarm does not let up, nor does an overwhelming sense of being chased.

And then the end -- a dead end.

The plants make a second appearance all at once, outlining a patch of wall with little white blossoms. A moment later, it slides open, and gloriously fresh, agonizingly cold winter air knifes unsuspecting lungs all at once.

There's time enough to escape through the passage and out onto what reveals itself to be a stairwell in a train station. No sooner has everyone exited, however, does the door reseal.

A frustrated sounding and quite inhuman shriek echoes dully through the hallway they just vacated -- it's only barely audible from the other side. But that's it; they must have escaped, because the feeling of danger recedes.

Leaving the party of magical girls on a flight of stairs, along with the nurse, who clutches Yumi's arm as her eyes flutter open. Perhaps the cold has shocked her awake -- or perhaps the nurse was nursed in turn by something that passed between the two of them during their flight.

"What--" Nakahara murmurs, before falling into a true sleep as wholly unlike her former coma as summer is to winter.