2017-11-18 - Marble Madness 2

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Marble Madness 2

The Crystal Gems and allies discover a hidden control room in the depths of the Prime Kindergarten. Steven decides to start asking questions.


Steven Universe, Sourisi, Garnet, Fuu Hououji, Amethyst, Kasagami Araki, Niramo Umokeshi

GM: Hotaru Tomoe


The Prime Kindergarten

OOC - IC Date:

11-18-2017 - 03-05-2015

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


Spherical robots -- plug robonoids -- are crashing into Tokyo in the guise of shooting stars. The Crystal Gems killed them as they came in, until this latest one, which Steven convinced them to follow...

...to the Prime Kindergarden.


Pearl is a pedant and she is surrounded by children asking her for instruction. It is possibly the only thing that could brighten her mood. But between Amethyst's snark and Garnet's bluntness, she wilts before she can blossom into exposition. Reluctantly letting her nascent spear slide back into her Gem, she looks between the troubled group, and nods once, firmly.

"Garnet is right," she says, convincing herself along with the others. "This threat to the world was stopped ages ago. I suppose it is all right to proceed Steven's way... for now."

Steven's way, it transpires, is coming to an end, or at least to a middle -- the sphere starts vibrating and it's a clear and easy indicator that it's time to get off before something goes badly.

Once freed of people, it wiggles -- to the extent that metal can wiggle -- and then all at once fluidly recomposes its shape, becoming a pyramid instead of a sphere. Point down, it settles itself into an otherwise-innocent-looking hole in the ground.

And it turns bright green. With a hum of power, it starts descending more deeply into the ground, for all the world feeling like an elevator. It may just be the light, but the tunnel it's descending through seems very green as well. The color being totally absent from this area, it's a weird feeling, almost a queasy one -- especially since it doesn't seem any more alive than all the dull gray and purple stone.

It's totally unfamiliar -- totally alien. Totally mysterious.

Pearl looks at Garnet worriedly, well aware that even they don't have any idea what this is.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

"Why'd you stop, buddy?" Steven quizzically asks the robonoid.

So far, the plan has been working. To follow these orb robots out and see what they are after, rather than run ragged trying to defeat them constantly. Perhaps it would grant insight as to why they keep coming down from where he can only surmise as space. Though it has landed the group in a dark place. A spot in history that is obvious the Crystal Gems don't want to visit.

The Prime Kindergarten.

The tension in the air could be cut with a knife, it was so thick. But Steven tries to remain optimisttic. Answers will be found ahead! And of course, when the orb begins to vibrate, they must be close indeed. Steven escapes the situation with the aid of Garnet, and watches the scene unfold. "Yeeeeessss!" he says excitedly, stars in his eyes. Just what they were looking for!

And when the robot turns into some sort of inverted platform-thing and sinks into the earth, he is ready for action! "See?! I knew we would find something cool! Let's go!" he says, and takes the initiative, sliding down the tunnel after it!

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

Sourisi gives Amethyst her full attention as she explains, with more than a fair amount of snark, just what exactly the Prime Kindergarden was, but the fact that Amethyst came from here was more than a mild shock to her. The desolate wasteland that surrounded them, with the inactive machines standing like tombstones and the clinging sense of hopelessness that oozed from the landscape was not exactly what she pictured a healthy home to be. She was about to offer an apology to Amethyst, but realized she had nothing to apologize for, and sympathy doesn't seem to be what Amethyst was looking for here. So Sourisi simply nodded her head as she finished. "Thank you very much. Hopefully there isn't any painful memories for you here." She doesn't know Amethyst, Garnet or Pearl, but it seemed best to say something in the silence.

As the robonoid comes to a halt next to a hole and starts to vibrate, Sourisi quickly jumped off to stand a fair distance away. She wasn't sure if it was about to break down, or worse, explode into a fountain of goop. She was quite finished with scrubbing goop off her costume, thank you! What she wasn't expecting for it to turn into an inverted pyramid. Sourisi just states at it for a moment as it hovered to a hole and pointed a finger at it. "So...the goop bubble can change shapes now? How does it even do that?" Not really expecting an answer from anyone that heard her, Sourisi boards the robonoid platform with only a moment hesitation, since Steven still wants to follow 'the funky flow', after all!

As the platform descended into the earth, and their only illumination being the greasy, uncaring green light around them, it struck her just then how unearthy the Prime Kindergarden was. Crossing her arms across her torso in an unconscious effort to comfort herself in these surroundings, her thoughts focused onto how Pearl mentioned that this place was a threat stopped long ago. If the Prime Kindergarden actually could have destroyed the world who knows how many years ago, why was this bubble-slash-pyramid thing here now? Was it searching for a way to reactivate it? Though, Steven's excitement and attitude about the whole situation certainly helps lighten the mood!

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet for her part is stone-faced on the outside while watching the Robonoid do its thing. Her inner world however, is more a mirror of Pearl's expression, internally caught between suspicion, curiousity and anxiety.

"Steven's way, Let's go." she says, and hops in after him, supporting Steven's lead with a directive for the rest of the Gems and any of the others who may be more cautious than Steven.

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

Metal is not supposed to wiggle. The Magic Knight of Wind is pretty thoroughly sure of that. So when the robonoid 'wiggles' like that, she takes her cue to disembark. She's still kind of woried about the idea of a 'kindergarden' - even a Prime Kindergarden - being, or having been in the past, something Very Dangerous to Earth and all its people ... and perhaps to all life on it.

Still, they're proceeding onwards, and the Wind Knight cautiously slides down the tunnel as well. She's trying to stick relatively close to Steven, but she's also trying not to just *slide* down the tunnel - she'd rather stay on her feet rather than go tumbling down into the depths of this planetoid.

"It's alien technology. I don't think our normal conventions of technology necessarily apply here," she says with a friendly smile to Sourisi.

<Pose Tracker> Amethyst [None] has posed.

Why did the robonoid stop? "Maybe the butt-kicking I gave it finally kicked in?" Amethyst seems very unsure of herself though. This is new territory for her. She shrugs at Sourisi's comments of painful memories, more concerned at what's going on with the robonoid. Even as a Crystal Gem, she hasn't experienced anything quite like this. Especially the thing turning into a pyramid and sinking into the ground. That was definitely new to her.

"I have no idea. It isn't anything I've seen here, and I'm very familiar with this place. I think we should- oh there goes Steven. Anyw- Steven!"

Where Steven shows excitement, Amethyst's face is more of a shocked expression. What was he doing? And then Sourisi follows. "What, wait for me!" She hops onto the platform, standing close to Steven. "You know better than that! I'm the one that does the crazy dangerous stuff!"

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

The plug descends, with all aboard.

It's a little claustrophobic in this tunnel. It feels like there should be elevator music, but there isn't. Just silence, and rising tension.

The silence itself is, once processed fully, unsettling; there are no grinding gears, no vibration, not even much of a hum. Whatever technology is allowing this platform to move must be advanced, indeed, for it traverse the depths of the world with such perfect ease.

It smells like nothing, too. Not like the cool dark dampness of a cave, not like the richly dug earth of a garden. Not like a city and not like a desert. The air isn't pure like a mountaintop, it's just... empty.

The deeper the tunnel goes, the more there is to see on the walls. There's less and less bare rock, and more and more wiring. Some of it hangs almost loose, but most of it is perfectly inset, almost like engraved circuitry.

Pearl folds her arms over her chest protectively as she stares around. "What is all this?"

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

There is mystery, and familiarity here for Garnet, and she bubbles with anger, not appreciating either feeling.

She stays silent, watches, and waits for the platform to take them to where it wants to go, even if that destination may hold their doom.

It's all she can do.

Kasagami Araki is inviting you to teleport +join or +summon them.

Type: '+join Kasagami Araki' or '+summon Kasagami Araki'. Or type: '+port deny'.

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

"A giant ... computer ... ?"

That's the first thing to come to the Wind Knight's mind as they descend far enough to see the 'circuitry' lining the bare rock walls. The feel of the surroundings fits that as well, really: the dry, sterile air around them - literally sterile, she thinks; bare of even the traces of anything alive. Bare of anything that *could* be alive, save the group of mostly-Earthlings. (Or maybe not 'mostly,' she amends in the back of her mind. Didn't Amethyst say she came from here ... ?)

... and if this is where Amethyst came from ... the Wind Knight glances - more curiously than concernedly - at the other Crystal Gems. Her trust in them hasn't changed, even if the incident with Lapis Lazuli revealed that not all Gems are predisposed to benevolence ...

... and the first encounter with the robonoids led to finding that giant Warp Pad which was being repaired, and something which all of the Crystal Gems DESPERATELY wanted not to make contact with ...

Steven, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl certainly do have their own battles, their own enemies. But it's sinking in for the Wind Knight just how *little* she knows about the conflict the four of them have been facing. She doesn't draw her sword or ready her bow, or even gather her magic for a spell; at most, she adjusts her stance and her balance, and pays as much more attention to her surroundings as she *can*. Normally, Fuu loves computers - but if they're descending into the circuits of some massive mainframe, she does *not* want to go poking around, even if (by some miracle) there were a keyboard conveniently labeled in Japanese, or in English.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven skids his way down the ramped tunnel, landing safely on the back of the transformed robonoid, whose now take na more bright green hue with patterns for some reason. Freaky. The child is teeming with excitement for what lay ahead! "Hey guys! Goin' down? Heh heh." For a moment he has a rather smug look on his face. That joke was awesome. Of course as the robonoid goes deeper, his mind drifts elsewhere.

The boy replies to Fuu and Sourisi's conversation. "Gem technology is weird. Different in how it works from our tech. I've seen some strange stuff that shouldn't even be possible!" Any number of mysterious items Steven has messed with over the years can attest to that. "Oh come on, don't I at least get one crazy thing to do? We can trade places! And Garnet... can... oh."

His thought process is abruptly cut short as that strange wiring begins to jut out of the walls and slink downward. The boy seems to be struck silent for the moment, imagining what all these wires could be going to. Robots? Something to do with the Kindergarten above? Or is it just a giant robot plant?!

The answers most likely lay farther in. Even Garnet remains eerily quiet, which she usually is, but at the moment, Steven senses unease. They don't seem to know about this place at all.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami has been, thus far, basically playing 'Prime Kindergarden Tourist'. She's even snapped a few pictures, or even whipped out a pair of opera glasses to peek at some hole or other such examples of desolation. At least until the plug starts going down the tunnel.

It's Fuu's words that have her following all of those wires, tracing them ahead even as she cracks her neck to get her bruises and muscle aches out.

She smiles. "Don't you worry, Steve-kun. We're heading down into unknown, derelict depths full of inhuman technology on top of a completely untrustworthy steed. This is the sort of thing that invites danger. So don't let your guard down."

The question in Kasagami's mind, of course, is whether or not whoever or whatever built all of this is actually still down here. Or worse, can the owner of these robo-spheres reactivate any of it.

"What was this place meant to do?" She asks aloud of the Gems.

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

Sourisi returns the smile, glad that she had another familiar face here during their gloomy descent. "Aliens and magic, huh? I have a friend who would be freaking out right now if she saw this robot change shapes like it did. She's more familiar about technology than anyone I know, and this would likely blow her mind."

Only once she stopped speaking did she fully understand just how bizarre this place was. The only sound being their breathing and small talk, and the fact that no air was moving despite their descent was even more strange. If it wasn't for the fact that the walls were changing as they descended, she would have thought they were simply standing still. And the fact that Pearl, who seems to have the most knowledge of the Prime Kindergarden, was clueless as to why they were here was worrisome.

<Pose Tracker> Amethyst [None] has posed.

Amethyst groans at Steven's bad joke. "I think we're gonna need 'serious Steven' on this one. This isn't like watching TV or walking through the park, or jumping off a cliff, or eating a firecracker to see what happens, this could be dangerous!" She then realizes how much more serious and stern she is being than usual, and her expression softens. "Sorry Steven, its just... this place, you know? I'm not really proud of what it stands for, but even more so the fact that I came from here and never knew anything like this. "

The topic switches to Gem technology and what this place actually is. "I'm not so sure about the fancy computer stuff we're in right now," Amethyst shrugs. "But... the Kindergarten is where Gems are...well.. 'born' I guess you'd call it. Machines dig into the ground and pull out all the good stuff to make us. It... is kinda a bummer for the planet to say the least." But if this is being reactivated, does that mean more Gems, possibly friend but more likely foe? Does that mean the earth is going to be hollowed out? Is everything they fought for now for nothing? "I'm sorry... I mean, I didn't do this myself, but I kiiinda feel responsible since Gems did do this, and I did come from this specific Kindergarten... b-but now I'm fighting to protect the planet against stuff like this!"

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

The ride ends as abruptly as it began, without so much as a disquieting lurch; all is smooth, all is controlled.

All is dark. There's a sense of space -- it's possible to jump off the platform, to get down, if needed.

But a sound is finally infecting the air -- it's vaguely liquid. It sounds, a little, like the last time the robot altered its shape, from sphere to pyramid.

  • drip*

Something glows. The ground! No, it's still the top of the plug robonoid, and a greenish diamond shape is projecting a beam of light across the surface of the floor into a curious, hexagonal chamber. The light moves from edge to edge, corner to corner of this prism, finally terminating in the back wall. With this greenish radiation, it's possible to see that far more wires, some of them in huge bundles, are entering this room from all directions.

Especially the back wall where they seem to all be connected to what is instinctively obviously the heart of the chamber, a multi-pointed crystal shard. It's gigantic, taller than Garnet even.

And it's dark, quiescent. For now.

There's a skittering sound, and a soft grinding, too, as two things happen at once: a bit of the robot, now separated from itself and turned into the shape of a hand, leaps up and into the chamber, where a pillar that terminates in the shape of a hand is rising. It stops at roughly man-height.

There's no time to stop it -- the hand is bounding upwards to give the pillar an ominous high five -- whatever's about to happen, there are only seconds to prepare!

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

"Oh, I won't! I am excited to find out about secret Gem stuff! Plus, we might stop these things from finally showing up!" Steven says toward Kasagami. He is actually rather glad she is here. He is glad everyone is here. "Totally! There is someone I wish I could show this too, but I feel like he would just freak out and post more things on his conspiracy website." Oh Ronaldo. What weird things await you in Tokyo. Though Sourisi's friend may be more trustworthy with the info.

"Awh," he says toward Amethyst, before patting her on the back. "I understand. Maybe being a little more serious is in order. This place could be causing us some serious issues, after all." The fact that she is worried is freaky. She is never worried.

The platform ends at some sort of center for the wires, a strange hexagonal affair with some sort of central crystal. "Oooh." Drip. "Uh, what's that sound?" he says, peeking over the side of the platform. It was one of the small robonoids! He watches it quietly head toward a pedestal that has appeared in the center of the room!

Steven seems content at watching this play out! That might not be a good idea. His first bad idea for the night.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

This is where Garnet would erupt with a "Steven!" before she reaches out to grab him, but in this situation, in this strange place, with mysterious technology all around them, that is absent, and she remains silent, but not still. She sprints in a blur to grab Steven and quiickly pulls him back to the group, and the Gems.


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

As the elevator halted, Sourisi expected to stumble to at least shift in place due to the change in momentium, but nothing happened. Maybe the Wind Knight is right, that this really was alien technology more advanced than anything else she has seen before.

Squinting as light flooded the room after so long in the darkness, Sourisi jumps down off the pyramid platform, assuming that this was the end of the ride. She was still half-expecting it to spit more goop at them all in farewell, but thankfully that wasn't happening. But their destination was just as odd and foreboding as the landscape above. Countless wires that snake into a crystal shard from who knows where was a big clue that whatever this shard was, it was an important part of the Prime Kindergarden.

Being distracted by looking around at their surroundings was a good reason why she wasn't looking behind her. It was the skittering sound, the only new sound in this noiseless void, of the robonoid that made Sourisi's tonfa spring to her hands and turn around, bracing for an sudden goopening from their platform. She only managed to catch a glimps of the matter, a hand?, as it flies above her to charge into the crystal shard in the center. "Quick, stop that blob!"

Twisting around, she almost charges into the room after the hand, but the fact that is was going incredibly fast for an disembodied robot hand makes her doubt she could catch up in time. She doubt she could even hit it with her tonfas, and that was worrisome. "Uh...maybe not. I hope that isn't some sort of power button..."

<Pose Tracker> Amethyst [None] has posed.

Amethyst gazes at Steven with guilt and worry. She doesn't WANT to freak Steven out, but... this seems... wrong here. At least steven is going to take things more seriously. But what about the rest of them? She glances around at Kasagami and Sourisi. They seem to be taking it calmloh Sourisi just shouted and almost charged off. "Wait- okay. So... I'm normally all for screaming wildly and recklessly charging in but... I don't know about all this. I hate to say it but... we might need to..." she sighs... "be quiet and careful..."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami finally favors Steve with a grin. "That's the spirit! We'll crush whatever's controlling them, and show them why you don't trespass on Earth!" Amethyst's reluctance doesn't seem to phase Kasagami. Instead, though, as the two hands reach to meet one another she realizes she can't get there in time: at least without being caught in whatever strange Gem technological reaction is about to happen.

She's reckless, but not an idiot. Instead, steps towards the front of the group somewhat near Sourisi and settles into a tense drawing stance. One hand on sheath, the other on the relaxed blade's hilt, her muscles are taut and she looks like a tigress ready to spring. Rose petals flutter about her back and even about what inch or so of steel can be seen of her blade. Her good eye is narrowed, as she waits to see what happens.

A smirk to Amethyst. "The way I see it, if that thing becomes some kind of robot, we'll just have the element of surprise." Her mind, it seems, is still assuming hostility out of the odd acting robo-spheres. Is Kassie paranoid of robots!? Or was it the goop earlier that soured her disposition?

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

"What if nothing *is* controlling them, though?"

By contrast to Steven's and Kasagami's robust good spirits, the Wind Knight is quiet, partly thoughtful, partly trying not to be too obvious. "We have so many stories on Earth about artificial intelligences, computers and robots that turn against their masters. And it's not like anything controls Garnet-san, Amethyst-san, or Pearl-san, even if they came from a place like this to begin with. What if ... what if whatever's here *is* a guiding intelligence in its own right? What if their 'chain of command' starts here?"

There's a brief glimmer of light from her glove-jewel - or maybe it just caught the ambient illumination at just the right angle to be noticeable among her allies. She quickly covers it with her other hand, though, as if to keep anything - or anyone - hostile from taking note of further reflections or refractions.

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

Amethyst is quoting Pearl and she can't even get smug about it, because she's too busy feeling relieved that Garnet has plucked Steven out of harm's way. Gesturing for the others to follow her, she hops down off the elevator platform and into full darkness next to Garnet, where they can watch safely without much threat of being seen.

They escape from line-of-sight in just the nick of time, because as soon as the palm of the little hand robot touches the matching palm of the pedastal, there's an electric hummm. The crystals on the far wall of the chamber blaze to life and light up the space far more brightly than before.

A moment later, with just a hiss of static, an image is projected onto the air in the middle of the room. It's flat, like a screen, except that there is no screen -- so more like a hologram maybe? Or maybe more like something humanity hasn't thought of yet, so there is no proper word to describe it.

There are words to describe the Gem onscreen, though, because Steven and his family -- and some of his friends -- have seen her once before, at the Galaxy Warp. She is green, green like the technology here, with a more yellowish visor over her eyes. This is a better chance for anyone to get a nice zoomed in look at her face, which is possessed of brilliantly intelligent eyes and a cute little nose. Oh, and a mouth, which is currently smirking in satisfaction and relief, after briefly looking left and right as though she can see right through the screen to survey the chamber.

Peridot speaks, as is her wont, making an oral record of her work. Her voice is clinical and crisp.

"Established Gem Projection Link with control room. Plug Robonoid has successfully landed on Planet Earth and entered Prime Kindergarten Control Room in Facet Five. Will proceed to perform status check of Kindergarten... now accounting for all operational Injectors, checking for aberrations in perimeter... ugh, this Gem Tech is simply archaic."

That last comment was made around the same time that two spots on the floor glowed white, and two huge green hand constructs emerged from them. Like the hand on the control panel itself, they appear to be under Peridot's control. Unlike the little hand, they drift upwards to the ceiling, there to start activating more panels.

She performs these tasks with all the efficient professionalism of a plumber. Just going about her routine.

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

That definitely sounds like technological-culture talk, thinks the Wind Knight to herself. Granted, the Western writer Clarke is still renowned for his observation about 'sufficiently advanced technology' - and if any technology is 'sufficiently advanced' to seem like magic, the Crystal Gems ... or, indeed, the Gems *period*, judging by the greenish figure ... are certainly up there to claim the slot.

As for 'projection' ... does that mean she isn't actually here? But the 'interface' requires her to interact as if she *were* here physically. Interesting ... perhaps a limitation of the 'hardware' itself.

She stays in the hiding-place which Pearl led them to; she watches; in particular, she listens, trying to pick out words or phrases that might be relevant, now or in the future.

... and as advanced as this place is, the green figure considers it 'archaic'?

That's kind of frightening in its own right, really.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

"Ok - here's the plan..." Garnet begins, whispering to everyone within earshot, but especially the Gems: "We can't let her see us, so we wait for an opening. When she's distracted, we destroy the power source on the far wall. Steven stays here..."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven watches in wonderment as the pedestal begins to react to the hand's presence. "Oof!" the boy lets out reactively as he is whisked to a spot below the platform, out of sight. The boy looks to both Sourisi and Amethyst. He understands Amethyst's hesitation and Sourisi's willingness to stop the process... but it is better it just plays out! The answers are almost here! He can feel it!

A nod is given to Kasagami. Once they find out what is going on, they can stop this train from rolling further. "It very well could be," he comments toward the Wind Knight. It would be amazing if that was true! Anything to stop these things from constantly appearing.

The situation on that hexagon platform changes, as monitors spring to life! And upon one of them is Peridot, the gem from the Galaxy Warp! Steven's eyes grow wide. The answers are here! "We should ask her something!" he whispers. "It really sounds like a time to ask questions," he adds in.

Garnet begins to assemble a plan. A plan that involves Steven staying put. But if they smash the console to pieces, they won't find out anything! Well, time to find them out himself! While everyone else is planning out how to deal with this, the plucky child climbs back up the side on his own, observing what Peridot was up to.

"I dunno, I think it looks pretty cool! Hi! I'm Steven!" The boy says aloud on the hexagon floor, trying his best to play it cool. She was sure to know what was happening here, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Amethyst [None] has posed.

Well, there goes being careful. Amethyst summons her whips as she realizes what Steven had just done. Well, looks like there was an element of surprise. Just the wrong people were surprised. "Steven... not... cool..." Note to self: any time 'funky flow' is mentioned, tie Steven up and shove him in the closet until he decides not to doom us all.

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

Following after Amethyst and the others to the side, so they couldn't be seen, it seemed somehow wrong to not just rush in after the hand, but she trusted everyone here. Everyone here has been doing this sort of thing much more often than her, so she trusted in their experience to know the right thing to do.

Thankfully for her, trusting in their experience was the right thing to do here as a hologram screen appeared in the center of the room. Gazing around Kasagami, Sourisi got a good view of Peridot, and she blinked as she took in her appearence. The unique coloring that she has made the mouse girl glance over at Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, wondering if they were related in some fashion. After all, they all have unique color schemes you don't see too often!

Listening to Peridot's techno-babble, Sourisi tries to keep track of what Peridot was saying to herself, but the mention of Injectors certainly stands out from the rest. Not for the first time, Sourisi wishes that she could hold conversations with Takk while she was transformed. He might be a know it all, but there was times she knows a little advice would go a long way, especially when it comes to alien technology.

Hearing Garnet whisper a plan out loud, she nods at the idea of taking out the power source under the cover of stealth. If they manage to sneak by and stop the power supply before anything could happen-...where was Steven?

Looking around wildly, she hears Steven simply just introduce himself to the hologram of the green-haired woman in an attempt to learn information.

She's not sure if simply asking for information was the smartest or the silliest move that could have happened here. If it actually worked...

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Well, it's a good plan, and Kasagami doesn't give any objections. Sliding her sword back in place, her now freed hand has a throwing knife in it. Rose petals gather over the thing, as she waits and observes. She looks primed and ready to throw, whenever the odd green woman turns her attention elsewhere. Truly, she is the epitome of a warrior amidst fellow warriors, a well oiled tea...

And then Steven just walks the heck out there, leaving Kasagami's jaw to openly drop for a second. Clearly, she hasn't fought around the young man much, or maybe she'd suspect something like this. Or maybe not, as Ame's reaction is just as surprised. Steven might get to feel her glare boring into his back at the brazen move.

After all, Kasagami would never do something foolish or reckless. She'd have to bust out into the open to save him. But who knows, maybe he can create an opening. ...Or even get some information. Despite the urge to just leap in and slash that panel, she remains still, gaze half on Steven and half on her target.

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

Peridot stops dead and stares openly. In a funny way she's as surprised by this turn of events as Steven's friends; probably moreso. She never got a glimpse of them at the Galaxy Warp, after all.

Her monitor turns in midair to face him more directly, and her eyes narrow studiously as she looks him up and down.

"There appears to be an infestation of 'Stevens' in the Kindergarten," she informs her log. There's a hint of annoyance in her voice, but curiosity as well -- not the fun, full-of-wonder kind, but the checking-a-box-down-the-list kind. Professional interrogation. Professional in all things, that's Peridot.

"Tell me, have Stevens replaced humans as the dominant species on this planet?"

Down below, Pearl's eyes are massive and blue in the darkness, some of the only color easily seen. They flick to the left, to Amethyst, then to the right, to Garnet, then back up to Steven. She is trembling. It is not with excitement.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

"Steven!" Garnet whispers urgently at this unexpected term of events. Somewhat unexpected. She sighs on the inside. He thought he was grounded before...

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

The Wind Knight manages to stifle an impulse to facepalm. Somehow. Then again, the situation isn't really going to give her the leisure for it, and she knows that already. So ... watch, listen, and be ready.

Be ready for *what* ... is the biggest question. Her attention is split right now, between Peridot's console and the interplay between Peridot herself and Steven. If they have to go loud and try to rescue Steven before things go even more pear-shaped, she'd sooner be ready to move than standing by for a more elaborate, more Steven-endangering plan.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

This Gem is... very practical. Intelligent. She knows what she is doing, though Steven's presence seems to surprise her. A wildcard of sorts. He's good at being that! "Aw, I'm not so bad once you get to know me!" he says, batting a hand at her. Infestation?! He isn't a big! But that is okay. She probably doesn't know a lot about Earth. Or does she?

"Oh no!" he replies with. "There's lots of humans! There's my dad, Connie, Lars and Sadie, Kasagami, Fuu, Setsuna, Takeo, Fate, Nanoha, Onion... I think? Lots of people!" And that was jsut folks he knew in Beach City. He could be here forever stating the folks he knows in Tokyo now!

"Now I get to ask a question!" A pause as he begins to think for a moment with a smile. "What are you doing?"

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

Peridot doesn't seem bothered by Steven's question. If anything, she started getting bored around the third or fourth human on his list. Humans are here, the status quo appears to be the same, ho-hum.

"Hm," she replies. "Just picking up where we left off..."

Facing the monitor away from him, she seems to busy herself with whatever panels she was tinkering with before.

But the right and left hand robonoids are doing two very different things. The right one continues to plug away pushing buttons on the ceiling.

The left floats forward, palm down, towards Steven. Then it makes a fist and slams downward!

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe transforms into Peridot's Slamming Fists!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Talk To The Hand on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Garnet covers Steven Universe for Hotaru Tomoe's attack, Talk To The Hand, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Garnet fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Talk To The Hand, taking 41 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

A blur of motion from the shadows and the giant green fist slamming down on Steven Universe is intercepted by a pair of red armored fists. It's Garnet! She groans under the strain of its force and her knees bend. This was not a blow meant to stun, it was meant to crush completely. She fights her way up to a stand and with a cry of determination, uses the momentum of her rise to throw the hand away from herself, Steven, the other Gems and the humans here.

Despite her words of caution and care all the way up to this point, she finds she doesn't particularly care for any of delicate equipment surrounding them in the heat of this moment, considering the recent Steve-ocidal actions of the being it's being utilized by.

Let the fists fall where they may.

COMBAT: Garnet has used Hand Tossed Special Delivery on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Amethyst [None] has posed.

What is Steven thinking? He's going to get himself hurt, or worse? Why would- oh no. All the times that Amethyst mimicked Pearl, she's finally actually turning into her!

Besides, Steven is a tough kid. He'll be fine, right?

Well, he is... but only because of Garnet. Amethyst practically feels the impact, wincing sharply. "Steven! Garnet! ...that's it. No more 'careful and quiet'. We need to get in there and mix it up!" She lashes out her whips in rapid slicing strikes.

COMBAT: Amethyst has used Crack The Whip on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven seems... nonplussed with that answer. What did she mean by that? Like, the Kindergarten? Working on this place? Or something else entirely? He just seems to be taken aback by all the strange goings on with the screens around him, though his focus is drawn to that raising fist, coming down toward him! Oh man, what to do?!

Thankfully Garnet is there to help save him! How could she just so casually try to crush him into pulp?! He is so confused. Then everyone leaps into action! "Ah--!"

The boy girds himself for action, but otherwise seems completely at a loss of what to do. It seems his funky flow has come to a jarring halt. He's got nothing.

COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Steven Quartz Universe!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The time for subtlety is long past, and Kasagami steps out proudly with sword across her shoulder in one hand, and a fan of knives in the other. Rose petals and metal mix as she tosses a trio of sharp pointy, deliciously scented knife towards that back control panel, only to turn about and swing her sword in a spinning and sweeping strike towards more of the machinery.

Seems she wants to try to shut everything down through copious amounts of sharp bladed objects.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used King's Blades on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Right behind you," the Wind Knight declares, her bow and quiver materializing. She doesn't nock an arrow just yet, though, instead reaching out with her magic. "Winds of Protection!" she calls out, trying to conjure a defensive wind barrier around Steven - it may not be much, but it's better than nothing. And it'll give her a bit more of a window to figure out how to approach things.

Or how to retreat. Which may yet be in order.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Protection on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Steven Universe accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Protection, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Accelerate and Withstand applied to
Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Garnet's Hand Tossed Special Delivery, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's Block
ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Kasagami Araki's King's Blades, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Amethyst's Crack The Whip, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's Block ability activates!
Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Sourisi looks back and forth between the hologram screen of Peridot and Steven, too nervous at the fact he might get hurt if Peridot decides to attack him while he was distracted to smile at the image of an infestation of Stevens. She almost expected this to work, considering Steven has a very charming smile, but saw it wasn't going to last as the left hand hovers above Steven before shifting into a fist and slamming down on top of Steven!

Before she could rush out there to Steven's defense, let alone stand upright, Garnet was there, intercepting the green fist with her own. The very same woman who knocked out a plug robonoid earlier with the shockwave of a punch was astounding, but Garnet managing to hold up the massive fist and throw it to the side and saving Steven is an amazing feat of strength and willpower. With Garnet and Amethyst leading the charge into the room, Sourisi follows in and throws her tonfa, aiming for the remaining fist. If they can smash these fists, the green-shaded hologram wouldn't be able to interact with the Prime Kindergarden, and hopefully put whatever evil plan she has to a halt!

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly dodges Sourisi's Crashing Tooth, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade ability activates!
Hotaru Tomoe's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

The fist Garnet caught and threw crashes into a wall with a monumental smash, and Peridot, in her screen, turns back around to face everyone.

"A Gem! More Gems?"

She might be mistaking Fuu for one, with her glove and all. There are, it must be said, a lot of gemstones around the typical magical girl. As for any gemless girls, well, it could be on their backs.

Pearl is also there, now, having leapt up after Amethyst. "No, this is exactly the time--" she disagrees, but stops up short as Peridot's eyes pour over her, and the others.

They narrow.

"More? But the Red Eye didn't report the presence of any Gems on this planet!"

It seems she hasn't lost control of the original fist that Garnet threw; it hovers back up, then sweeps into the area. Amethyst's whip cracks against it, and a few of Kasagami's blades sink in, though they're unable to penetrate further into the room. In retaliation it starts flicking about with great sweeps, like someone trying to brush ants frantically out of a computer.

Which is not a bad analogy here.

"And the records say that Gems were wiped out on Earth... wait a minute..."

Sourisi's tonfa clatters into the other fist. It twists, picking it up the floor and tossing it right back. Then it, too, starts forward, trying to knock Fuu, Steven, and Sourisi back down off the ledge.

"You're the ones that have been destroying my Plug Robonoids! Are you the reason the Homeworld Warp is down again?!" She sounds aggrieved. "Is THIS your bizarre icon?" She holds up, from wherever the screen is projecting from, a report emblazoned with a picture of a Crying Breakfast Friend sticker that Steven once slapped on a warp pad to mark it as inactive.


COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Sweep Out The Bin on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Sweep Out The Bin on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Sweep Out The Bin on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Sweep Out The Bin on Amethyst.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Sweep Out The Bin on Garnet.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Toss Out The Trash on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Amethyst narrowly braces Hotaru Tomoe's Sweep Out The Bin, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Amethyst's Block ability activates!
Amethyst's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki perfectly dodges Hotaru Tomoe's Sweep Out The Bin, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!
Kasagami Araki's Fade ability activates!  Kasagami Araki's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Sweep Out The Bin, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Garnet narrowly dodges Hotaru Tomoe's Sweep Out The Bin, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Garnet's Fade ability activates!
Garnet's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Sweep Out The Bin, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Sourisi fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Toss Out The Trash, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven looks at the others mobilizing against the hands, with Peridot chastising them for doing so. They were the Gem's connection to the console after all. With them destroyed, she couldn't do her work. But it was clear she was not interested in answering any of their questions. Merely asking her own. With one of those massive hands, she bats Steven away.

THe boy blocks with a summoned shield, but he goes tumbling down the slanted hill "Oof! Some manners," he adds as he gets up, dusting himself off, and returning to the top with some effort.

He looks around at the others, still somewhat unsure as to what to do. Should he help attack the hands?! Or try to find out what is going on here more? His eyes land on the Knight of Wind. "Be careful! Okay? Play it safe! We dont know what this thin can do. Just know that I got your back!" he says to her, as he starts to look around a solution to this dilemma.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Love Like You on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Steven Universe's Love Like You, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Surge applied to Fuu Hououji!
<Pose Tracker> Amethyst [None] has posed.

Peridot seems upset. Score one for the Crystal Gems and friends. Of course, getting hit by a flailing hand and sent flying doesn't seem like a point for Amethyst. Luckily, she's able to tank the hit, backflipping out of the uncontrolled takeoff, landing on her feet and one hand. "This is our home, you donk! I may have been made in this very Kindergarten, but I'm not going to let you bring it back and destroy our planet to make more Gems! My home is more than some junk to dig up!"

Amethyst curls up on the ground as if about to have a panic attack. Instead, she summons her inner hedgehog, turning into a purple ball of blur. This ball becomes a pinball and then a cannonball, bouncing off all the walls as she tries to cause as much damage as possible. After a decent amount of smashes, she angles herself to try to end in a smash to the giant robo hand.

COMBAT: Amethyst has used Spinball on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami makes a nimble show of herself. Down sweeps the hand, and she first leaps over the thing, then ducks another errant swing, and finally does a quick series of spinning parries to ward off the assault on her person.

Peridot gets a smirk, and a laugh. This is much better than just fighting a robo-sphere alone.

"You come here, steal our resources, and have the gall to get upset over your precious toys? You're nothing more than a bandit!" Offers Kasagami disdainfully of the Gem.

And then, she aims an equally baleful kick at one of the hands with all of her might! Giving the robotic alien invader the boot!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Boot to the Head on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Sourisi stares at the hand in shock as her tonfa crashes into its target, but falls to the floor instead of attempting to return to her. Plant monsters, lightning women and robots failed to stop her flying weapons cold before, and Sourisi's hurried thoughts on just how much harder these fists must be leaves her flat footed as the hand simply scooped up her weapons and threw them back at her with much more force than needed. Catching her tonfa purely on instinct, she winces from the jolts of pain from stopping the returned weaponry before franticly leaping to the side to avoid the brushing movements of the second robonoid hand. She wasn't expecting a monster to return her own weapons back at her like that, and she now has an impression just how studry her tonfa was to deal with such abuse.

Trying to dodge the giant sweeping hands was more a matter of luck than skill, judging how she barely manages to evade yet another smack that would have sent her flying outside the room. And with how her tonfa didn't make too much of a dent into the sides of the robonoid fists, it would take too long to smash them down, but it would be difficult to slip by and break the power supply in the back of the room with how Peridot was trying to corner them all. If they could be slowed down somehow...

Eyeing the same fist she smashed her tonfa into earlier, she knew that she had to timed this perfectly. Focusing on her tail, Sourisi tapped the scaly appendage onto the floor, creating a glowing chain that was connected between the floor and her tail, then twisting to the side just in time to avoid yet another sweep of the hands. The spin was more than to just evade, as it also gathered speed for her tail to smack into the side of the hand. If her tonfa was having trouble, Sourisi doubts her tail would have any more success, but the magical chain should hopefully help slow it down and create an opening!

"Your 'stuff' has been causing lack of sleep, disruption of traffic and almost destroyed a prized playground set! And to top it all off, you tried smashing Steven just for asking a few questions while you're working. I think're we are perfectly fine to smash a few robots!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Tail Snag on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

This is not going terribly well, and for a moment, the Wind Knight is reminded of just why she disliked the Robonoids so much - as if that recollection wasn't fresh in her head from trying to deal with one of the recent trio to show up in Tokyo.

And the giant fist that comes sweeping in at the group nearly scatters her thoughts to the wind in a far too literal sense (never mind the relative LACK of wind in here); she's still recovering her balance when Steven addresses her. She accepts his advice with a friendly, even cheerful smile, and nods seriously in reply to him before turning her attention back to the fray, and to her allies - her friends.

'Be careful,' 'play it safe' .. that seems like the most immediately useful opton, doesn't it? But everyone else is going on the attack, and ...


Everyone else is fighting those giant hands, but those are just PART of what they're up against. The most immediately dangerous part, it's true - but it's like a boss battle, the attack comes from one set of objects on the screen, and even if you have a way to disable or immobilize the boss's offensive portions, you have to damage its weak point to win.

So the core in this case - the Gem woman who's controlling the fists? ... maybe not, she mentioned a projection of some kind. But in that case ...

The Wind Knight rises to her feet, side-stepping to try and get a better angle as the breeze rises around her, stirring her hair and clothes. "Gale Arrow!" she calls out, and as she looses her shaft, the conjured wind wraps around it to accelerate it towards that invitingly big screen ...

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gale Arrow on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Between the fatigue of fighting the Robonoids over the last week on top of her normal magical "obligations" and the impact of the giant fist, Garnet's fatigue is beginning to affect her reactions: When the fist moves to sweep her away, her leap to dodge is later than she'd hoped and though she misses being bowled over completely, it catches her by the legs and her landing isn't so much a landing as a skidding.

Garnet drags herself to her feet and sends disembodied fist to fight disembodied fist, enlarging one of her gauntlets with a gleam of transformative light and rocket-propelling it off of her arm at Peridot's Remote Controlled Touch Stump Object Manipulation Device. (Hand)

COMBAT: Garnet has used Rocket Gauntlet Buster on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Kasagami Araki's Boot to the Head, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Kasagami Araki is Psyched!
Hotaru Tomoe's Block ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly dodges Sourisi's Tail Snag, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade ability
activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Flash ability activates!  Trap applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Amethyst's Spinball, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Amethyst is Psyched!  Hotaru
Tomoe's Block ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Fuu Hououji's Gale Arrow, taking 40 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly braces Garnet's Rocket Gauntlet Buster, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Brace!  Hotaru Tomoe's
Block ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Peridot only has two hands (well, okay, she has at least five, if you count the two onscreen, the one on the control panel, and the two gigantic ones) and there are far more pests infesting her space.

She doesn't seem terribly impressed by their various claims to her wrongdoing and their own rightful claim to the Earth. "What? This isn't -- we aren't -- ugh. How dare you? I'm doing this one way or another. You're just..." Garnet's gauntlet slams into a hand, "...making it..." Kasagami lands a big kick, "...really..." Fuu's arrow passes straight through the light of the screen and thuds ominously into the wall behind it, right next to the glowing crystal cluster there, "...difficult!"

"What's going on?" asks another, imperious, voice, offscreen.

Peridot's eyes, behind her visor, widen, and she swallows.

"It's just -- I mean -- it's nothing --"

A moment later, Amethyst spins straight into one of the giant hands, held in place by Sourisi's gambit -- which is propelled by her immense momentum straight into the back wall, in turn, taking out the crystal power source.

The last thing anyone hears from Peridot, as her screen fizzes out, are two words that are a blend of deferential, timid, and very slightly sulky.

"--My Emerald!"

And then everything goes dark.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe transforms into Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The fighting dies down, and Peridot's denials ring in her ears. She almost sounded...well, afraid and frustrated of that second voice. Then the lights click off.

"You Gems...have some very weird friends." Adds Kassie with a sigh, as she flicks on a pen light from her key ring.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Everyone gives if their best to defeat Peridot's mecha hands. When it comes to a climax, Steven can only stand there, with sweat on his brow, stiff as a board in a position ready to dodge attacks. "Uh."

"Okay, I might have gone a little too far that time." Welp, he's probably in trouble.

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

Well, if the screen had been the correct target, it would have been a beautiful shot ... but that's little consolation to the Magic Knight of Wind as she dismisses her bow and her quiver. Kasagami's keyring-light is a welcome interruption to the darkness, in any case.

"We should probably be on our way before either of them have a chance to look in on the state of things here," she suggests. "I'm not sure if going straight back to the Temple is wise - can Warp Pad transits be tracked?" she asks.

<Pose Tracker> Amethyst [None] has posed.

Amethyst wipes nonexisant sweat off her brow. "Whew. We sure wrecked the place!" She looks around between everyone, with an 'excited' smile that seemed a bit forced. "Peridot will think twice before coming back, am I right? ...right?" The words that echoed through her own head were the last two Peridot uttered. 'My Emerald.' Another, bigger threat? They can handle her. They can probably handle her. "...who is Emerald?"

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

Sourisi lets out a sigh of relief as her gambit worked, and she smiles at everyone there as the power crystal shatters from their improptu teamwork!

Then the lights go out, and she lets out a giggle as Kasagami brought out a pen light for illumination.

"Okay, we managed to stop...er, whatever she was doing, at least, and maybe she'll stop sending so many of those goop machines for now! And, whoever Emerald is, we just need to be prepared for her, right?" Glancing around to take in the destruction that they all managed to cause inside, it would take some serious repair work to get everything working again. "Hopefully we won't have to worry about the Prime Kindergarden being used for a while..."

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

"Well, Steven you weren't completely wrong. We learned something new because of your decisions..." Garnet says in the aftermath, surveying the situation with the others: "But yeah, this was a pretty bad idea."

She turns away and motions to lead the group out, away from this place.