2017-11-10 - A Doll's House 1

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A Doll's House 1

It's Girls' Day, and the hinamatsuri dolls throughout Tokyo have disappeared. It's up to the magical girls to find them...


Takeo Akamizu, Fuu Hououji, Makoto Kino, Setsuna Higashi, Inori Yamabuki, Nori Ankou, Niramo Umokeshi, Endo Naoki, Lera Camry

GM: Hotaru Tomoe



OOC - IC Date:

11-10-2017 - 03-03-2015

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

The hinamatsuri dolls have been out for a week or more in many homes. Like a Christmas tree display in the United States, they are set up early and adorn their season -- in this case, late winter. There's a certain classic form to be upheld here: tiers of dolls, the emperor and empress at the top and the rest of the court consecutively downwards. Often there are tiny accessories, like doll-sized furniture, vases with miniature bouquets of seasonal peach blossoms, little food displays (real or fake), miniature lanterns.

Most every home with a daughter has a set of these dolls, and different girls grow out of the tradition at different times. Parents often drag out the dolls long after their daughters are a little dismayed by the fuss, though the reverse can also be true. But even those young ladies far too mature to still set up Girls' Day dolls can see displays all around the neighborhood, because this is a community-wide celebration of the health and happiness of girls. Brothers get into the act, too. This day may not be for them, but many a lad has quietly admired the elegant and intricate dolls from afar.

Which is why, no matter who you are, it is inescapably obvious that all the dolls are gone. Vanished, without a trace. The many tiny courts of the Empire all stand empty.

Reasonably enough, the truly little girls are the most upset, but this jarring absence has cast a pall on all of Tokyo.

But perhaps all hope is not lost. Girls' Day isn't quite over yet, after all. It's afternoon, but not sunset. There's a little time left.

Because as you -- yes, you -- walk past whichever doll display means the most to you, personally, be it the one in your house or the one at your school or even the one at the depaato, there's something that catches your eye.

The little cakes on one of the doll-sized trays -- the furniture is all intact, it's just the dolls who are missing -- are steaming. They smell marvelously of peaches.

And there's a tiny, beautifully calligraphed note perched on the edge of the plate.

It suggests: EAT ME.

OOC: Please include, in your sceneset, your current location (in front of the doll display that means the most to you, even if
that just means 'the one you see every year because it happens to be set up in your favorite restaurant whose owner has
daughters') and a little something about your favorite, now missing, doll.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The hopital where Mika stays has plenty of dolls on display, and while Takeo isn't in to the thing itself, he has always been in to keeping his sister happy. One of those ways was helping her decorate her own little court. Mika being who she is belives strongly in having a court of her own, and while she might have started life with only ONE of these dolls, she has an Emperor, an Empress, and their advisors. All of whom Takeo had helped set up at the hospital for her since she is currently in a coma.

Takeo stares first angry that somebody would DARE to take this display he had meticulously set up for his sister, but then confused as the waft of peaches assails. He closes on the "throne room" he had set up for Mika and looks the place over. The suggestion hits Takeo and he narrows his eyes in confussion. Well. Of course you'd eat Peaches. That's what you DO to peaches. He studies the scene of the crime a bit more, noting that only the dolls are gone and briefly considers contacting Merlin. The rabbit should be out form under the Kotatsu by now. Likely undulging himself in some Carrot and Celery flavored Tea (Gross). Dismissing the idea, Takeo thinks to the last few months trying instead to put where and why peaches come into Doll Day Celebrations.

"I wonder if I should call Mai on this one?" Then he cringes. Was he supposed to get somethign for Mai on this? Do guys get girls things for Doll Day? Is he about to get in trouble? The answer is unknown. "Best to not call her then." He sas under his breath and makes his way to the window to look out at the city from Mika's window. To think.

He's not used to having to think, and he doesn't have his electric green thinking juice to help him through this ....

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

"I'm home," Fuu Hououji calls out as she steps out of her shoes in the entryway of her family's house. No archery team or other clubs today, no errands to go out of her way for - just homework and studying, all the excuse she needed to head straight home. As if the disappearance of the family's Hinamatsuri display wasn't enough of a concern by itself, that is ... and to be fair, it kind of was.

Her parents are out - father still at work, mother probably shopping - and while Fuu recognizes big sister Kuu's shoes in the entryway, of Kuu herself there is little sign. Perhaps she's in her room; it doesn't really matter. For now, Fuu steps into her slippers and makes her way into the living room, slowing to a stop in front of the tiered pedestal where the dolls had been set up until just last night. Her gaze starts at the top and slowly sweeps downwards, taking in the full length of each tier; from the Emperor to the lowliest pages, not a doll is to be seen. "If this were a massive theft," Fuu remarks under her breath, "surely the market for used dolls will be booming after today ..."

She's not trying to sound bitter about it. She's not trying to *be* bitter about it. ... There might be some bitterness anyway, but the scent of peaches distracts her rather nicely from it -

Wait. Peaches? And warm. Fuu looks again, her gaze resting on where the court sorceror should have been sitting, a fox cub curled in his lap like a familiar. And seated on the 'table' which should hold a miniature but marvelously detailed star chart, a plate with a perfect-if-miniscule peach cake.

Fuu hesitates, glancing around the living room. No sign of trespassers, nothing out of place, no evidence that anyone's been here who shouldn't be. She bends down a little to look more closely at the cake. 'Eat Me,' it invites, just like in that children's book ...

Admittedly, following that instruction didn't go terribly well for Alice - but without, there would have been far less of a story. And given the curiousness of the missing dolls to begin with, a similarly-curious delicacy seems like a suitable lead.

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Makoto Kino is, at age fifteen, far too old for Girls' Day. But, and this is true especially of the past couple of years, she is all about celebrating her fellow girls. Besides... when she was little, just a wee three-year-old, her parents got for her a wonderful, beautiful doll. They all celebrated together when she was three, and again when she was five... but when she turned seven, only that doll was left to comfort her, because her parents had already gone. It was a beautiful doll, and is beautiful still, with its long, sleek, black hair tied up in a ponytail, clad in a rich green kimono with pink obi sash. She'd named it Hinayo, because she was three and not very imaginative, and she usually doesn't think about it, but when this time of year rolls around, Makoto can't help but take the doll and a small, compact, apartment-sized version of the Hinamatsuri display out, dust them off, clean them up, and set them up.

She did that yesterday, and gave the stand a good scrubbing and Hinayo a good hair-brushing. Her smile was fond as she tied up Hinayo's ponytail again, high up, like Makoto wears hers, and placed it on the stand. She yawned, left a small offering, and went to bed.

And now, getting up early as she usually does to make her breakfast and lunch, she finds Hinayo missing.

Makoto hadn't seen the peach cake at first. She'd just seen that Hinayo and the other dolls were missing, and promptly went on a panic, practically tearing apart her apartment, searching the windows and the streets all around, for the missing dolls, only to find that everyone *else's* dolls have been similarly stolen. When she returns back, haggard and upset, it's then that she smells the beautiful, warm, delectable smell of peaches.

Makoto furrows her brows. That smell... Slowly, she approaches the Hinamatsuri stand and kneels down. She picks up the cake from its plate, and reads the writing therein.

Then her expression steels with resolve, and she eats the whole thing in one bite.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The display in the Momozono home is actually something of an accident. ...Oh, it's intentional that it's set up, for certain, but it might have been let go this year, as Love prepares to enter high school. Maybe, maybe not. What made it definite was...

...Setsuna Higashi has been staring at the displays while they were out, thoughtful, curious, a little wistful, and her overlong looks prompted her foster parents to make sure to have things ready for a foster daughter who moved in with no dolls of her own. It is for much younger girls than Setsuna is, of course...

But regardless she was surprised, and touched, getting the message quickly from her new family's rather unsubtle nature, and has done her best to take meticulous care that the entire display is neat, just as it should be, and stared t a beautiful doll in an intricate, brilliant red kimono, new now to the home. Maybe the display is humble compared to some...

But it's precious, and when Setsuna today arrives home early, the only one in the home, she sets her things down and walks over to find them all gone. She blinks; dismayed, for an instant she wonders if this is part of the tradition that she doesn't understand...

But there is something on the tray, fresh here, with a note. She blinks, and hesitates, and...

"...You've got me," Tarte chimes in, looking up at her with big ferrety eyes. "But maybe..."

Setsuna Higashi does not know Alice's story. THere are many stories she does not know. But she reaches out nonetheless, still addened, shoulders a little down, and quietly takes the cake, letting it pass her lips with a comforting scent of peach.

<Pose Tracker> Inori Yamabuki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The Yamabuki animal hospital shouldn't have enough room for their display. They make do anyhow by keeping it in the lobby, locked up in a glass case normally used to advertise pet products as they know the wisdom of keeping them away from snuffling nose and curious paws. Each tier had been lovingly set up to look like steps, though it's an illusion in this case of each layer being held up by transparent glass.

She always saw it as an imperial court, held to watch over the animals... but today...

"I'm home!" 'buki calls out as she enters the lobby and sliding off her shoes, and is answered by a a chorus of barks and mews in the back that drown out possible parental response. Smiling warmly, she starts to walk towards the back where she'd change into her tech uniform...

Walking past the case... she double takes, "Ha- HUH!?" Dropping her overfilled bag to the ground, she whirls on the case. "Where did they..."

Reaching down past her bag she fumbles with her keyring, she slides it into the lock to find it quite locked. Unlocking it quickly to find... it was just as empty. She rushes towards the receptionist's window and calls back- "Okaasan! You didn't take down the display right?" "I didn't!" Came the reply voice in the back, though it was again drowned out by the barking chorus. "Is something wrong?"

A wave of depression hits her as she says quietly, "... the koi court is gone..." It's like a piece of her childhood was missing. She'd named it that after the standing court lady on the second tier. It was because she had a lovingly crafted kimono of orange and white, and a matching comb. She'd declared she was as cute as a koi fish in preschool. And suddenly to her it was just the koi court standing around that one piece.

Even if she wasn't the Empress, and only one of the back up sake bearers she was the most important to her...

Walking back over to the case on socked feet... she gives it a second look. And sniffs. "What's... that smell?"

Then again, the notices a wisp of steam coming from a tray of cakes... and the note. "... eat me?" She stands in indecision for a moment, as if working up the courage to make a choice. Finally however she picks up a small cake from the plate, and takes the smallest bite.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Nori Ankou...

Doesn't know about her dolls. They're back in Sapporo's suburbs. Were they set out at all this year? Her parents live set in, towards the coast. They might not have bothered.

Now she's a year older. It happened yesterday. It snuck up on her. And so perhaps she should not be so worried about childish things. But even so, you can't forget everything...

CAFE TRUSSARDI, a small Italian coffee shop that Nori often frequents when going from school into Shibuya for her AkaMira duties, is her frequent stop when coming or going. They have pasta dishes including several featuring clams and sardines, which, of course, win favor from a certain smaller figure. Today her plan was wholly to get an espresso and a little biscotti since she was flagging after school was finished.

But on her way in - she pauses, dead.

"... But where...?" Nori Ankou says.

Batiste peeks up from her ditty bag, like a furry periscope. "Oh no! The dolls... Did someone steal them?? How low can you get!"

"It doesn't seem... pillaged, ransacked," Nori says, fumbling for words. "Do you think they -"

She stops when she sees that plate, with its little cake, and that note. She reaches forwards and picks the note up, holding it for Batiste to read as well. The two share a glance afterwards.

Nori sets her bag down before she reaches for the cake. "I can't remember; but if I grow huge, or small, please take care of things for me."

"Give me a piece, cousin; we're in this together," Batiste says. "This is not my first trip."

Nori pauses, puzzled for a moment, but breaks the cake into a 70/30 split, giving the latter part to Batiste before putting the peach cake into her mouth, savoring, swallowing...

I hope it isn't poison, Batiste thinks. He watches Nori for a few seconds before doing much the same.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Girls' Day was a holiday that Niramo always looked forward to, even after she entered middle school. It was one of the few times that her father, Isozaki, takes off work early so he can to be home when his only child leaves school, and not returning to his home in the dead of night. His hectic and constantly busy work schedule leaves him little time to spend with the his favorite, and only, daughter, but the two still remain close despite how often they don't see each other. The disappearance of the dolls being carefully displayed in homes, hospitals, and even in a local restaurant, however, has caused quite the disruption to those plans. With the disappearance of the dolls, seemingly gone overnight and with no motive, has led the detective to be called in despite his approved leave.

Niramo sighs heavily as she looks down on the text on her phone from her father, letting her know about the change in plans, and causing the middle schooler to drag her feet as she left her desk. After all, she has been looking forward to this day for weeks now, and now she will have to wait weeks more to have another chance to enjoy a dinner with her mother and father at the same time. "Why did the dolls have to disappear today, of all days?" Frowning as she reached the ground floor, she decided to make a detour, and started to walk towards the gymasium instead. She haven't seen the dolls at Juuban since she helped set the display up, and she had to make sure...

Walking into the gym and seeing the empty platforms in the center of the room, the Juuban grumbled as her eyes landed on a certain cushin, and finding it empty. The samurai doll that she had so painstakingly made when she was younger wasn't there. Not a single trace of it's chipped blue kimono or the tiny katana she included from a toy model. She almost turned back around to return to her locker, and that is when the smell hit her, stopping Niramo in her tracks and lifting her nose up to take a deep breath. The smell of peaches, and it seemed to be coming from somewhere nearby...that's odd. As Niramo walked closer to the doll-less stands, the smell only became stronger, until Niramo was able to spy the tiny, steaming cakes on one of the display plates.

"Eat me...? That's...very odd." Niramo looks around, trying to see if anyone was nearly and were the source of the tiny cakes. The short young lady has never read a certain story about following directions such as these, so she carefully picked up one of the cakes with her right hand and proceed to take a bite, letting the smell of peaches in.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

"It's gone!"

"Yaaa...did you put it somewhere? If you moved it we can go find it..."

"I DIDN'T MOVE IT! YOU MOVED IT!" Tiny fists beat furiously at an older cousins chest.

"Why would I-Ah, key, why are you like this? Stop! Stop, I'll find it!"

And so, Endo is on the case. Once steps are taken to detach his small relative from himself, and to shoo her away to search where she can't cause as much damage.

He remembers the dolls well enough. In the late winter months they appear, sitting in the window of his relatives home. Ever since his cousin's birth. They started out somewhat meager, the dolls, sloppily decorated by a child's hand. They've grown neater over time-though Eriko is still really just a child--, and they've grown familiar. He knows his cousins favorite, a long-haired woman in a blue-gold kimono, and he's well aware how distraught the disappearance makes her.

He does not, however, know where they went. No idea. He checks the room, the corners, behind a bookshelf. He checks a closet, under a table, down the hall. He checks under the little table with the cake on it. When his eyes finally settle upon the tiny cake itself, they narrow thoughtfully.

"Can I...eat this?" He considers. "...She can't get any angrier at me anyway."

He glances over a shoulder, to make sure nobody is watching. Then, without a hint of delicacy to the motion, he pops it into his mouth.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Why are all of the dolls gone?

Lera frowns down at the plate, in one of her favorite cafes. This is one of those holidays -- not being someone who knows many little girls, nor having come from here -- that she doesn't quite understand. Her eyes are drawn down to the plate, then at the cake. The cake that smells like peaches. She noticed the missing dolls, of course.

She shrugs. In a way, she doesn't need much prodding--though if she knew of Alice, she might hesitate. She plucks the cake up with one hand, then tosses it once in her hand. Then, she tosses it higher, into the air.

<Show off.>

It falls right into her mouth, and she gobbles the little cake down in a couple of bites. Hey, she reads the label!

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


  • drip*
  • drip*
  • drip*

A steady stream of drops fall into a massive tube. They are yellow, which can be a buttercup warm color, but not in this shadowy hall, which catches every echoing impact of liquid on liquid. Here it is the yellow of fear, of anguish, of despair.

  • drip*


Homes and hospitals, schools and restaurants, the dolls were everywhere and now they're nowhere. It turns out that even just a good whiff of the peach cakes is enough to bring on the sparkles. Eating the peach cake is a transcendent experience -- the absolute essence of childhood and sping -- but the smell is enough.

And the sparkles are splendid, indeed. Are they peach petals, all in a rush, like the world's best-smelling, gentlest swarm of bees? Are they glimmers of firefly-light? Spirits rising in the form of candlelight?

All, perhaps, or none. They spiral inward, all in a rush, and when they clear... everything has changed.

BGM Switch: Gagaku https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OA8HFUNfIk

Everyone has transformed, the magic of their heart rising to meet this more mysterious power in the middle. The compromise is a shifting of uniform, from fantastical armor to a more samurai feel, from collars and skirts to courtly kimono.

And the location has changed. There's tatami underfoot now, and paper screens all around. A koto plucks through the air distantly, sweet and mournful. It smells faintly of incense, and more strongly and sharply of sake.

A little too much alcohol, actually. Something is wrong, something is off. Even those who aren't students of history can taste the bitterness and grief in the air. Like oversteeped tea, it permeates the air sharply.

There's rustling coming from the next room. And there they are: the women in blue-gold and red kimono, the handmade samurai, the sake bearer, the magician, and Hinayo. And others, too, though no emperor, no empress, or at least no one obviously of such a high station.

Everyone is all huddled together. And though they express their pain differently, some blotchy-faced and some porcelain-with-diamonds, all of them are weeping.

OOC: Please +heal/full and +transform!
COMBAT: Inori Yamabuki transforms into Cure Pine!
COMBAT: Takeo Akamizu transforms into Chevalier Knight Lancelot!
COMBAT: Nori Ankou transforms into La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: Endo Naoki transforms into Endo Naoki!
COMBAT: Endo Naoki transforms into Barrier Jacket Aufprall!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
COMBAT: Niramo Umokeshi transforms into Sourisi!
COMBAT: Setsuna Higashi transforms into Cure Passion!
COMBAT: Makoto Kino transforms into Sailor Jupiter!
COMBAT: Lera Camry transforms into Barrier Jacket Perihelion!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

It's a simple equation: leave the cake where it is and nothing will happen, the dolls will stay missing. Eat it, and *something* will happen - possibly leading to the rescue of the missing dolls. Fuu considers leaving a note, just in case somebody wonders why her shoes are there but she isn't - but she chows down on the miniature cake.

And then she is elsewhere. Her outfit feels different, and a quick glance downwards confirms it: a gi top wrapped around her torso, light green in color, contrasting with the dark green hakama which clothes her lower body. There's armor as well, lacquer and enamel, less bulky than she's used to - but she's certain it'll protect her no less than she's accustomed to.

Only time for a glance; the surroundings - the sharp mingling of scents in the air, the miasma of grief. The Magic Knight of Wind glances about briefly at her allies, but the sound of rustling is all the cue she needs to investigate the next room - and one figure in particular stands out, one whom she's imagined at life-size although his only form in reality has been a tiny figure on the display. "Abe-sensei," she says politely, bowing to the court sorcerer - and to the other figures as well, her gaze sweeping around to encompass them, although she only knows one to address by name. (To the extent that she ever named him, at least ... she should perhaps rectify that before she outgrows the custom.)

<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Like that Takeo is suddenly reminded of running through the grass, Kendo stick in hand, battling his best freind Ikaru on summer vacation. Id jumping in the river. Of splashing through puddles. Of racing his dirt bike and in general of being a boy out to get dirty in the grass, mud, and water of Japan. When he blinks his world shifts and he stands in full Samurai regalia. He removes the Kabuto and looks at it, the crescent that forms the horns of the helmet a glittering silver. He looks to the Soda and sees a blue and white patterm that matches the colors of the Helmet.

Even as he feels the power of Lancelot course through him he blinks again at the armor. As he puts the helmet back on he says without hesitation, "This is AWESOME!!" He looks at the hands and grins even more when he ntoices that Arondight, still full of the crackling power of Lighting is a matched pair of Daisho. "Awesome..." he says softly in a whisper.

Which is when notices the other characters and other people. He clears his throat. He eyes those before him and thinks imediately, "The Dolls?" He looks at the others summoned here and shrugs his shoulders. "Er. Hi? Peach Cake I'm guessing?"

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

Of course, Makoto's read Alice in Wonderland. It's a famous story, even in Japan. But if this is the result of magic, and dear Hinayo has gone missing as a result, then she can't not act. It's just not in Makoto's nature to sit back and do nothing. Maybe she only sees Hinayo once a year anymore, but... she has strong, bittersweet memories of all the comfort that doll gave her.

So when she appears in another land, transformed saved that her sailor fuku is more like a battle kimono, maybe something a kunoichi would wear, she looks around immediately for... well, any clue of where the dolls went. She finds it immediately, first by hearing shuffling in the next room, then in opening up a sliding paper door and finding several dolls huddled together--including her own.

"Hinayo!" Makoto--or rather, Sailor Jupiter--calls, breaking into a sprint to approach her now living doll. "What's wrong? Why are you crying? Why..." She looks up and around. *All* the dolls are crying. In fact, this entire place, beautiful as it is, stings with sadness... It looks like she's not the only one who made it here, though, and Jupiter smiles win relief to see her fellow magical girls in company.

'Peach cake?' Lancelot guesses, and Jupiter nods. "Yeah. I ate it, and... well, here I am!" She rubs the back of her neck. Then she blinks over at the Wind Knight, who is bowing to one of the dolls here. "Huh? Do you... know one of them too?"

<Pose Tracker> Cure Pine [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Delicious..." 'buki declares, and between the fragrance and the scent, she's brought back to memories of childhood. There's lights in her eyes, and memories swirling around in her mind. Acorns. A kingdom of them...

And when her vision has cleared, Cure Pine's hair falls freely down to her neck instead of in a sidetail. There's a courtly looking comb in her hair instead, adorned with dangling orange hearts.

Her usually gloriously frilly Pretty Cure henshin is an elegant court kimono of orange and white and sparkling gold. It suggests the scales of the koi fish amongst chrysanthemums. Her tabi covered feet press down into the feel of the tatami mats.

"... Maybe Cure Black's name for me stuck..." She says in wonder, wondering if she became Cure Orange here. At Lancelot's question she notes, "Ah... I did too." She echoes after Jupiter.

She finds herself looking at one arm, then the other in a little delight and awe.

The scents assault her and she finds herself thinking less of childhood and more of...


This is what she was awakened for as a Pretty Cure. To stop the gathering of sorrow for a twisted purpose...

And despite her initial disorientation at the change, Cure Pine finds herself stepping forward into the next room, to a familiar, weeping courtly lady. She doesn't hesitate approaching her.

She finds herself moving herself down to one knee, then another into seiza so she'll be more on her level.

In a way the two look like a reflection of each other. Their outfits complementing without being too similar. "Hydeko... I was worried about you..." Then she asks quietly, "What's wrong... is there anything I can do to help?"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera stares down at herself, and she isn't sure what to make of her new garb. It is positively samurai-like: the lacquered armor that samurai wear, right down to Soaring Sky being in a more katana-like fashion. Except, of course, for the red gem in the hilt and the blade still have a two-toned, silver and gold appearance. Her amber eyes widen as she looks down at him. The rush of peach petals, the sudden change, is all forgotten for a moment.

Except that she hears a voice that cuts through it. 'Hinayo!' Sailor Jupiter calls out, and then she looks up, blinking a couple of times. She starts forward, then, and slings her katana-Device over her shoulder.

The samurai movie swagger, when she walks, isn't intentional.

"Sailor Jupiter!" she calls out. "And Lancelot... this is--um. Those poor dolls... I wonder what's causing it, y'know? It smells kinda like..." She sniffs. "...Sake? It's--"

She catches another voice. She turns to look at her, and doesn't quite brighten at her friend, but she looks a little relieved just the same. "Pine!"

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The smell of spilled liquor has a familiar tang to Nori's nose. There have been many evening events, after all...

Nori opens her eyes.

Fresh from Mt. Kouhaigyou, the Siren of Diamonds is dressed like a warrior monk. Her eyes are heavily ringed and a black rich tabard over soft and fluffy white robes gleam with the ornament of prayer beads made out of fat carbonado diamonds. She has a lantern in one hand, and the Siren looks momentarily baffled.

(Batiste also has a diamond prayer bead string. The diamonds are smaller.)

The Siren gives Sailor Jupiter a faintly hesitant wave, even as Batiste worries his beads. But then she hears sobs, and so she approaches, speaking towards her as she moves with careful steps. "What are your sorrows...?" she asks, voice trailing off when the scale of the problem becomes clearer.

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

As the heavenly smell of the peaches envelop her senses, Niramo couldn't help but wonder just who could have possibly made such little desserts. Just after she thought that she would need to find who made these to ask for the recipe, that is when she started to notice the sparkling lights in her vision. As they grew more numberous and became faster and faster, blurring until it was all she could see, the Juuban student thought she heard Takk call out for a moment...

With a start, Sourisi's mind came out of the daze the sparkling lights had brought about on her, and she notices before anything else that she was no longer wearing her Juuban uniform, but an outfit befitting a ninja. All tan, complete with tabi and thick hood, so that only her eyes and her braided hair could be seen. Her tonfa were looped in a woven belt around her waist, though the lack of a mouse tail was surprisingly disturbing to her.

Only once she is finished inspecting herself does she notice the change in scenery, and those around her dressed in fedual wear. "Just...what happened? Did those peach cakes do this?" Sourisi says out loud to herself, not actually expecting an answer to be forthcoming. All thoughts as to where she was and what that unfamiliar smell that was penetrating through her mask left her mind as she spotted the very likeness of the samurai doll she crafted years ago, and she ran to his side. After a moment hesitation, she knelt down and bowed her head, not sure if she should play the part of a ninja reporting to her superior, but decided it best to play on the side of caution, considering her new surroundings. "Uh...my lord, why are you all crying? Has something transpired here?"

<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Once, Setsuna listened closely to the sound of that massive tube filling, of the feeling of it.

...She never had this experience before, not really; her childhood was not springlike, was not verdant and full of mystery but quiet and orderly, perfectly organized. A small girl in a gray jumpsuit, walking from place to place on cue. This, though...

This is different. It's warm, even if it is unfamiliar, and Setsuna feels, sees the sparkles. Light, spirits, petals... Whatever they are they are there, and the they ush, and then suddenly...

Cure Passion stands here amidst scents beautiful and tragic, and she is a vision of red. Her layers build on one another, white innermost stretching from pinks into deep crimson, sleeves long and wide and sashes bound about her. Her feet are faintly visible from her stance, tabi, and her long, long pink hair stretches nearly to her ankles now. Her mantle is adorned with feathery wings in patterns, shown, white. She is pale, with deep red eyes, and she has a headpiece herself with a brilliant diamond. There is something...

She looks around, surprised, and smells the sake suddenly--before she sees them huddled together. ...Despite the layers--less elaborate than the highest-ranked, easier to move in--she shifts, kneeling down to look at a woman in red, remembering her well. The others....

"...What is wrong?" she asks simply, concern in her face, words short but no less sincere for it. She turns her eyes as she hears a voice. "Lera..." She looks slightly confused, dismayed. ...But of course Lera would be a beautiful warrior. Passion looks back to the ones here.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Eating the little cake gives Endo pause, gives him a moment of reflect. He sees an image from childhood plastered across his mind, the picture of a happy family and the first days of spring.

The feeling and the rush of light is enough to make the boy close his eyes briefly, to blink several times before he attempts to reorient himself in this new environment. His eyes go flickering left, right, taking in the elegant surroundings and the faces, some familiar, that he's surrounded by.

He notes, absently, that as the world has changed so too has he. Endo wears not the sleek and somewhat westernized armor of a Belkan knight, but instead something more traditionally Japanese. He wears do and kusazuri-the chest piece and skirt of a Samurai's armor, both in matte black. Pauldrons of the same color, and a loose purple shirt underneath. Voluminous white trousers make up the rest, along with a heavy looking pair of sandals. His weapon is still large and unwieldly, but seems to have traded in width for height; Fallen Stern is now a nodachi of abnormal length, still with an ugly purple gem at its crossguard.

"Ah, yeah, that was a weird cake." Endo offers this as his eyes turn to the dolls.

He recognizes one, the woman in blue and gold. It takes a moment to process, but when others begin to approach he does as well. He's hesitant to speak at first, but manages, after a moment: "What's going on here? Are you all dolls?"

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

The group of dolls -- and they are still dolls, despite having motion and speech and, certainly, soul -- doesn't startle all at once. The sake bearer, perhaps the most attuned to the mood of a room, is the first to look up, and her puddle-like eyes overflow. She rushes towards the group of powerful, magical strangers and doesn't recognize anyone right away. Her throat throbs with surprise and distress at the intrusion, but she's flanked by the magician and the samurai, who are at least steadier presences, if also deeply upset.

It is Hinayo who speaks at last, once the flood of questions have ebbed. She has to sniff her throat clear first. "It's terrible," she croaks. "Her Highness is gone."

"Yes," says another voice, this one richer, more self-possessed, which is no insult to Hinayo, for who could be more composed than an empress? She slips into the room accompanied by enough rustling silk to flap a thousand swallows' wings. Layers and layers of kimono adorn her, metallics and chromatics and patterns of leaves and flowers and clouds, and yet she adorns them far more, the perfection of her face and form and most of all her spirit outshining even the finest luxury.

She is everyone's empress doll, and no one's. The essence of the queen.

"They have taken Our baby," she murmurs, her eyes so low as to be entirely hidden by extravagantly long eyelashes. Even this is too much for her to show, and she demurely snaps a fan in front of her face. "All the court has come to attend Us in Our grief. We are truly grateful for their comfort... but..."

She trembles, slightly, then steels herself visibly and looks up, gazes steadily at the group at last.

"Please, brave warriors," she pleads, every syllable sweeter than the sweetest peach, and sadder than the saddest song. "Please save the princess."

"She was taken by strange soldiers," Sourisi's samurai elaborates, curtly.

"They were no dolls," agrees Hydeko, and Hinayo nods fervently.

"Dark magic animated them," Abe-sensei concludes. "And they took Her Highness to the northeast."

He points -- out the window is the palace gate, and beyond it, a forest. A massive forest. A massive, dark forest, which crawls and clings and spirals into the sky. It is as much tower as forest.

It is no place for a baby.

"Please," the empress repeats. She bows low, and the entire court immediately follows suit, prostrating themselves to the group.

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

Jupiter looks up when she hears her name called. "Lera!" she calls back, smiling and waving to her II friend. "Glad to see you!" She gives Sirene a warm smile too in return for that wave. Cures Passion and Pine are here, and Jupiter gives them a wink and a thumbs up, and then a nod to Endo and... huh. Sourisi's new! She gives her an extra-encouraging nod of greeting. "Yeah, it does smell funny here," she agrees to Lera. Some of the others are playing the costumes straight, though, and Makoto decides this isn't a bad idea, kneeling down while she waits for the answer.

Like Hinayo, Jupiter's kimono is green with a pink obi--but unlike Hinayo, her sleeves are pulled back with a white ribbon, revealing her buff arms and white leather hand gloves with a green lining. The kimono itself has a beautiful leaf pattern that makes Jupiter look like an oak at the height of summer, while a white cord knots the pink obi at her waist in place, which terminates in a large pink bow at her back. The 'skirt' of her kimono is longer than her usual fuku's mini-skirt, but much, much shorter than a normal kimono's, cutting several inches above her knees; after all, she needs the space to be able to kick and run. A white leather brace attaches to one leg, as if to hold a kunoichi's kunai, and laces down towards matching tabi socks and green sandals. Her pink rose earrings seem to be unaffected, as is the tiara on her forehead--but the baubles that hold up her ponytail are instead peach blossoms.

"Her Highness?" Jupiter echoes, furrowing her brows at Hinayo and the other dolls in concern. She turns her head once the empress enters, and her green eyes widen. What a beautiful doll...! Truly this is the empress of empresses. She feels suddenly glad that she got down on one knee. It feels only respectful this way. But... her baby was taken...? A lump rises in her throat, and her eyes harden. That poor doll--no wonder the air is filled with grief! It must feel awful, having your baby kidnapped... Jupiter looks to the northeast where indicated, towards the dark and gnarled forest, then nods back to the Empress and the others.

"We will," Jupiter declares, and her words have the steel of a promise. "I swear we'll find your baby and bring her back home safe and sound!"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Passion!" Lera says, turning to look at the other Cure. Her eyes widen -- it's quite a costume. She stares for a moment, before she nods, and looks down at the dolls. Her eyes widen for a moment -- though she looks sideways at Endo, and nods once to her friend.

She quiets down, though, as Hinayo explains. Her eyes widen throughout the explanation. It's terrible -- as much as she doesn't grasp some of the finer points here, of the myths and legends that these dolls call upon, she can understand the simpler things. Things like a daughter gone missing--no, a daughter stolen away.

By something that wasn't dolls. She swallows, then sets her jaws.

"We'll go right away!" she adds after Jupiter.

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

"Then you weren't stolen away from us, but answered a summons," the Wind Knight says in quiet realization. "And the cakes were meant to draw us to assist?"

There are plenty of familiar faces gathered here, as so often happens when a supernatural crisis arises in Tokyo, and the Wind Knight is pleased and reassured to see them. Lancelot's query about peach cakes draws a quick answering nod from the green-clad Magic Knight, and she glances around briefly at the others before she turns back to the Empress -

And does not execute her normal standing bow, but quickly descends to a kneeling position before bowing, touching her forehead briefly to the floor. "We shall do all that is in our power, Your Majesty. By your leave, then ..."

She should wait for permission to rise, but time is likely of the essence. But the direction Abe-sensei stated - the northeast, classically the direction from which all manner of Bad Things come. The forest has the *look* of being such a danger; if they didn't already know where the princess had been taken, it would be almost obvious where they should look.

"Will our own feet bear us thence swiftly enough," she asks, "or is some other conveyance prepared for our travel?" It's worth inquiring - the forest doesn't SEEM that far away, but you never know.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Lera," Passion greets back, unaware or un-selfconscious about the way Lera lingers on her outfit. After all, she finds herself noting Sky's appearance, Lea's armor...

Passion does not know well the woman in red near her., She does not know any of them well. But they are rushed, and they speak, and... They...

Herassion's eyes widen slightly, almost imperceptibly, at the talk. She like proper manners here shows little on her face, though she has no fan to hide it. The grief... The request... It's so sad, and so sweet.

Passion stares out towards the tower, and looks to Pine, her ally, her companion here. "Pine..." She dips her head, "I want to help them."

<Pose Tracker> Cure Pine [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Oh! Passion! Jupiter! Lera!" She gives this slightly shyer wave, it may be because of how she's dressed right now.

Seeing so many dolls, wishing for her aid would be adorable in any other circumstance. But as the Empress declares what happens, "... that's so horrible..." Her eyes follow out into the massive dark forest, like claws raking the sky. "Strange soldiers?" She says in wonder to Hydeko... wondering what sort of soldiers they were - animated by dark forces - "Could it be Labyrinth?" She wonders, though she definitely doubts that.

After all... animated dolls didn't sound like Labyrinth? Unless Soular threw a data diamond at a whole display at a festival.

"Don't worry, your majesty." She vows. "We'll bring the princess back safely."

She sounded rather confident, but rather than getting up immediately, she has one last word for her little doll- whispering, "... You've been with me for so long. So you must know how I... usually am..."

She allows herself a light smile, "...this seems like it won't be easy, but I'll just have to try to believe in myself. If you could believe in me too... I know I'll be able to help bring the Princess back safely."

Then standing up, she walks forward side by side with Passion, to say quietly, "We absolutely will."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo's eyes move between the dolls, to the empress when she arrives. His movement is almost instinctual, hardly a thought given as he sinks down to his knees when the beautiful doll makes her presence known. It is, after all, the proper posture for one being addressed by an empress.

"Ah, that's not good." He listens to her lament, to the plight of the dolls and their request for aid. He meets it with a firm bow of his head. "Yeah, of course we'll help." He echoes the sentiments already given as he returns to his feet.

"We'll definitely find her." He turns his head to the other warriors gathered, his head bobbing toward each. There's a quick smile for friends Lera and Passion, a little raise of his fist in acknowledge at Takeo. Other familiar faces get nods, and for the unfamiliar, namely Sasori, a hopeful smile.

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Sourisi kept her head knelt down at first, not caring that she may seem a little silly for bowing to an fake samurai, but as the empress's speech carried on, she couldn't help but raise her head in wonder and dismay. The depth of sorrow she has hiding behing her fan wasn't a simple act, but the emotions of a person struggling to hold on despite the fears and doubts she has. Hearing the strong voice of her samurai, a voice that she had pictured in her head when she was a child, made it clear to Sourisi that this wasn't something they could just ignore.

"Your daughter, she was taken into those woods?" As the ninja girl stood, she turned to give the distant forest her full attention, the forest that seems to defy reality as much as physics. A memory of another forest, one she had fallen into while in a dream and the nightmare that awaited her, made Sourisi's skin crawl for a moment, and her right hand rubbed her left arm subconsciously before she pushed the memory aside. Just because one trip to the woods had almost turned into disaster doesn't mean this one would.

Sourisi looks towards Jupiter and the others as the kimono-clad Sailor Scout answered for them all, and despite just how different everyone looks in their fedual costumes, she nods her head towards the Wind Knight and La Sirene de Diamant in greetings. She'll give a proper greeting once she's not in the presence of an empress, doll or not. Though, Sourisi couldn't help feeling like she was cheated when it came to the costumes the other wore. But then again, it wasn't a ninja's job to stand out.

"Your Highness, of course we will help! No mother or father should feel fear as their only child is in danger. We shall do our best to return her safely to your loving arms!"

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The Siren of Mt. Kouhaigyou blinks slowly at the pleas from the dolls, the empress, and the sweet sorrow of their words moves her inwardly, a profound shivering chill, ripe with the cold damp of early spring.

She bows deeply at the waist as the dolls prostrate themselves before them. Batiste does so as well, and then she rises upwards. "No forest will stop truth. I will find your princess and return her to you."

"You honor us with your pleas," Batiste squeaks.

That may be an odd way to put it, but thus is life. The Siren shuffles back, not wanting to turn her back on an Empress, and moves a little closer to the Cures, the Magic Knight, the queen of propane. "Did all of you find the message, too?" she asks them, voice very quietly.

She frowns thoughtfully at Pine's theory.