2020-01-10 - Off To The Mountains! Camping By The Lake!

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Off To The Mountains! Camping By The Lake!

Groups of Sister Schools students are being taken to a private campground -- you get one guess which academy owns it, but you might guess wrong, because it's Infinity! -- to practice their survival skills. Well, their wilderness skills. Well, there's a bathroom, so really it's just their tent-raising, campfire-starting, and camp-cooking skills. With some hiking. And some boating, perhaps, since apparently there's a lake.

The group that just so happens to be filled with PCs is going this weekend.


Lera Camry, Setsuna Higashi, Nori Ankou, Steven Universe, Usagi Tsukino, Takeo Akamizu, Rei Hino, Niramo Umokeshi, Fuu Hououji, Tsuru


Nishitama Park District (#512)

OOC - IC Date:

1/10/2020 - 07-29-2015

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Nishitama Park District (#512) +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
  The largest, but least densely populated area of Tokyo, Nishitama is on the   
  westernmost border of the great metropolis, where city has become town,       
  which becomes forest, which finally becomes towering mountain. Consisting     
  mostly of woods and mountains, Nishitama is home to lush greenery, ample      
  wildlife, and fresh flowing water that has yet to be tainted by the city      
  below. Fishing and hiking are popular here, and in good weather,              
  city-dwellers who long to stretch their legs can camp out in the forest       
  without ever leaving Tokyo's borders.                                         
  The spiritually inclined can find a wealth of opportunity in Nishitama's      
  mountains. The nearby Mount Mitake has been regarded as sacred since time     
  beyond memory, and a Shinto shrine at its peak safeguards its considerable    
  power. Mount Mito was forbidden ground throughout the Sengoku era, a policy   
  which preserved some ancient beech trees on its hills. Finally, the           
  2000-meter Mount Kumotori is the tallest in the area, with a clear view of    
  distant Mount Fuji and much of the region from its summit.                    
  All of this natural beauty is a mere hour and a half from Shinjuku Station    
  even at the extreme end of the district.                                      
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Groups of students are being taken to a private campground over several consecutive weekends. Those who have returned, thusfar, have refused to speak of their experience, apparently sworn to some kind of secret pact, which has elevated the anticipation considerably.

Now it's YOUR turn! All you're expected to bring is yourself, your favorite hiking clothes, and your sense of ADVENTURE.


It's foggy.

It's foggy, and you're carrying supplies.

The bus held three groups of campers, and each group was given pre-packed backpacks; red for the first group, green for the second, blue for the third. (You are in GROUP BLUE.) The camping instructor had promised, back when they boarded in front of the Infinity Institute skyscraper, that these bags contained everything required for the overnight stay. That had BETTER be true, because the packs are not light, though they are also not EVEN; some are heavier than others.

After driving for a couple hours, the bus let everyone out at what's apparently a triple trailhead. With almost sublime unconcern for their charges, the teachers simply ushed each group of students a few yards down each path, then let them range ahead into the fog.

In this mist, there are no trees, only the idea of trees, invisible until they're practically a nose-length away, with a sudden, intense sense of presence, of size, of age.

There are no animals, only the sounds of animals. A little rustling in the brush here. Flapping wings there, as someone is startled into flight.

There is no water, only the scent of water, or maybe that's just the fog itself. But... no, there is something bigger and cooler and fresher behind it. What smells like rain, but isn't rain?

"You'll know when you make it to the campsite," the teachers promised.

You're not there yet.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera Camry is beyond excited. She loves hiking, so she is dressed for it: hiking boots, blue jeans, and a button-up flannel shirt. She doesn't have a jacket or anything, given that it is summer, but she knows better than to wear short-sleeved clothing and get scratched on underbrush or exposed to mosquitoes or something else!

She steps off the bus, hands on the straps of her backpack. She tugs the straps, pulling the backpack up closer to her shoulders, and then lets it fall. It bounces off her back, as she steps into the fog. Her nose wrinkles, smelling the ozone, and looking at...

...well, at more fog, mostly. There is the hint of trees -- and there is the sound and smell of water. Lera tilts her head, before she looks over her shoulder. She grins at the next ones off the bus.

"Spooky, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

While Setsuna isn't in a club for it or anything, but she's likewise dressed for the hike! ...Well, mostly. She has a light shirt for an overlayer, for a little arm protection, and nice hiking boots that seem to have a good bit of use. She has one of the packs...

She has a heavy pack, actually, and once she steps off the bus with the pack, she sighs, the breath of air practically visible as she makes a flat kind of expression.

"I think I got the wrong pack..."

Oh, well. She does step forward, and seeing Lera, smiles at her from her slouchy spot. "I guess it's not that bad. It is nice out..." Pause. "I assume it's nice out here, behind all the fog." She steps forward into the fog too, and walks what she thinks is carefully until she bumps into a tree. "Ah--" Her shoulder hits it and she hops back a step, not falling over with the backpack mostly because her athletic skills. "...Hm."

She bites her lip, then. Walking in the fog...

Shaking her head, Setsuna looks for the nearest shape of student and starts to follow again.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Nori Ankou is here as a member of -- no -- in a temporary alliance with Group Blue (it's not like she likes blue, darn it, she just wants to camp!!) and is, for one in her life, in clothing that does not look... too bespoke. The hakama-cut trousers are made of durable dark khaki, and the button up top has a reddish fade and some hemming around it. But she's just wearing off-the-rack hiking boots and her bag was the Sister Schools issue.

Her hair already looks wet. Rei Hino knows why.

"... it really kind of is," she answers Lera, with a clear timidity that may contrast with her frequent air of ethereal diffidence. "I assume that it will be safe, at least. They wouldn't bring us somewhere with..."

"A ravine..."


<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Who would like to take a guess on how long it took Steven to step out of the beach house without a military duffle bag full of preparation supplies and at least two ancient Gem weapons?

If you guess 'Until Pearl gave up enough hugs sated her', then you guessed right! Because you need a rod of blasting against a rampant wild deer, right?


Of course Steven helped lead in bus song, why wouldn't he? For better or worse, anyway. At least he didn't do the Wheels on the Bus one. The young boy plops out of the bus with his usual attire. The only change being steel-toe hiking boots. (Because there had to be at least one concession to get out of the house.)

The flip-flops were stored with his clothes though. They aren't far!

"Mmm..." the young boy hums. "This reminds me of a scary movie, where a guy stands in a corner and a girl screams. I didn't see any more of it because Dad says I was too young. But that seemed scary! And there was a foggy forest, so."

"at least we can use the fire starting training now when we make a campfire!" He begins to reach for his provided pack, though stops on touching it. "Or right, no hamburger. Lame! I couldn't bring it..." he groans. Thoug hthe provided ones are much more suited and useful than his small pack of choice.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Usagi Tsukino is still drowsy from the bus ride over. She's personally in a pair of denim shorts, an orange T-shirt with black sleeves and collar that has the print U S A on the front. A pair of dark socks just past her ankles and sneakers.

Some people carry camp supplies. And one girl is carrying camp supply. Singular. As in she's downsized her prefilled pack considerably to just one singular thing. A cooking pot.

Where did all the other supplies go? It's a mystery. Well maybe not too big of a mystery.

Right now Usagi has her arms crossed over the back of Rei's pack as she drowsily trudges forward, leaning her cheek against it. Her feet movements plodding, automatic.

Until Lera comments on the atmosphere of the surroundings of team BLUE

"What's spooky?"

Then Usagi drowsily rubs her eyes and then lifts up her surroundings, checks her surroundings one way - then the other way.

Steven's narration of what it reminds him of only implants the thoughts further into her head.

Then suddenly her crossed arms become hands holding onto Rei's pack as she ducks lower accuses her with a nervous whisper, "Rei-chan I trusted you not to lead us through places like this-!"

Then Nori comments on ravine, and Usagi's footsteps pause, while her hold on Rei's pack doesn't, possibly yanking her back for a moment.

"... None of the other groups mentioned falling down a ravine right!? They wouldn't keep a secret about that!"

She starts walking again soon enough though. Usagi had assumed their silence meant excitement and romance, not... this.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"If there were no survivors..." Nori says, trailing off.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo's ears perk up at making a fire. He rubs his hands together in an anticipatory fashion with a slight gleam to his eyes. "We CAN make a fire. Bigger. Better. Than the one at training." He spreads his arms, his hands into a bit of a claw like formation. "And this time there will be nobody to make us put it out!" He throws his head back and laughs maniacly as he walks...

Right into a tree.

From the other side of the tree all anybody would see is two arms and one leg perpendicular to the ground. Before they fall straight backwards. He lays there spread eagle, perhaps counting the rings of Saturn as stars swirl around his vision. He lifts one hand. "Thanks memories. For reminding me too late to be aware and cautious of my surroundings in a Foggy enviroment. I am pleased my curse is good for something AFTER the fact." There is a long pause. Then an "Ow."

He begins to pick himself up after a moemnt and says to Nori, "The adults wouldn't send us off into the woods with a Ravine. Can you imagine ANY Ohtorri parent NOT sueing the crud out of the school? We'll be fine." He rubs his head. "As long as we watch for trees ... "

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Rei's hiking clothes are red, with R E I emblazoned on a logo of the shirt, because of course she would. Blue jeans to go along with it - light for the weather, but fully-legged to protect her against stray branches on the hike. And hiking boots! Good both for scaring off snakes and stomping off furiously.

Not that Rei should really do much of the latter, in the current climate.

Someone who rises at four am with some habituality isn't unused to fog - but fog this dense is still something to give her pause. At least she feels confident that the fluttering of wingbeats is a bird, and not a malevolent spirit... though it would be a mistake to say she's not paying a little attention to the latter possibility, for reasons Lera perfectly encapsulates.

"Aww - you're not scared, right?" She grins forward to the sound of Lera - and maybe that shape, vaguely, is Lera, but it could just as well be any one of them - with a teasing tone. It would have been a light tone, too, but there's a bit of puffing effort behind it, because...

Well, some people have packs, and some people have heavy packs.

And then there's Rei Hino, who has her pack and also Usagi Tsukino, who only got the briefest of complaints as she latched on because Rei would rather a tired Usagi get guided to the campsite than wander off and get utterly lost.

Usagi rowses at the mention of spookiness, though, and Rei rolls her eyes, a gesture of exasperation which will sadly go unappreciated by anyone more than a foot or two away from her. But she can hear Nori raising concerns, too, alongside Steven remembering scary movies he really shouldn't have watched, and that's enough to make her feel a little bad about starting to work people up. "It's just fog, Usagi. I think I'd know if it was something scary." Certified shrine maiden, right here. "Just don't move too fast --"

there goes takeo right into a tree

"-- and pay a little attention," she gestures in the general direction of the 'ow'. "We'll be fine!"

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

When Niramo first heard of the planned camping trip, she wasn't quite sure what she should expect. Often when trips to locations out of Tokyo were planned, there's usually a lodge or hotel or something that was a bastion of civilization to stay in for the trip. But camping brings up the mental image of truly staying outdoors, not another person in sight except for those that come with you on the same trip.

Not at all like Tokyo, then.

It sounds like a great idea, though, and the lack of stories coming from the other students, no whisper of some amazing prank or hilarious accident, only makes it sound like a great adventure. Surely this will be a great time, right?

Stepping off the bus and adjusting with the straps of the backpack to try to get it to fit right, Niramo takes in a deep breath of undisturbed nature through her nose and lets it back out with a content sigh. It certainly smelt cleaner than the air on the bus, that's for sure!

Dressed in a navy blue short-sleeved shirt, a simple pair of blue jeans and a new pair of tennis shoes, the ravenette considers herself prepared for the hike ahead!

The looming fog does put a slight damper on the whole hiking atmosphere, though...

"Uuuh...they didn't really say anything at all, let alone a ravine, Usagi-san..." Nori's suggestion of no survivors and Steven's (albeit unwatched) scary movie story makes the fog seem all that more determined to make the trip a spooky one instead of an exciting one.

Then a resounding 'thunk' is heard, and an Ohtori student is struck down!...by walking into a tree. Wincing in sympthany, Niramo nods her head and moves to catch up to the others, taking the assault of the stalker tree to heart. "I just hope the fog clears up soon. This is perfect reading weather, though."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Naw!" Lera says. "It's spooky, but spooky is fun! And I like hiking, and hiking's better if it's a little hard, y'know?" Lera answers Rei. She looks back at Setsuna, then.

"It does look a little big," she admits with a small smile to the dark-haired girl.

She watches her, amber eyes screwing up a little to try to make her out as she enters the forest. Then, Lera hurries over closer when she hears her hit the tree. She steps from the fog to fall in next to her, giving her a brief look, and then flashes a grin. "...maybe stick together, y'know?"

She looks back at Nori. She blinks at the question. "I don't think there'd be a ravine! I hope not..." She looks back at Usagi -- at least, her direction -- and Steven. "That'd be kinda mean. I think we'll be okay, y'know? It's an adventure, that's all!"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fuu's taste in hiking clothes appears, judging by the straw sunhat atop her head, to presume sunny weather rather than foggy. On the plus side, the hat seems to be keeping condensed fog from dripping *onto* her or the like. Her backpack might not be so lucky; hopefully the organizers shelled out for waterproof (or at least water-resistant) bags for the students and their camping gear.

"If by 'reading weather,' you mean 'stay home and read in comfort instead of going camping,' you're probably right, Niramo-san," Fuu says with her usual friendly smile. "But I should hope it'll clear up by the time we get there, so we can see well enough to space our tents out properly."

She pauses, trying to adjust her backpack into a more comfortable position. Being in the Library Island Exploration Club has its perks, including 'experience trekking around unknown depths with a heavy pack of supplies and equipment,' but somebody may have overestimated her comfortable carrying capacity. Just a little bit. Fuu fiddles with the straps for a few seconds before deciding she won't make it a much more comfortable fit, and continues - wincing as she hears somebody stride headlong into the unyielding solidity of a tree. "We *are* all still going in the correct direction, aren't we?" she wonders aloud, then peers at the ground - trying to discern whether they are, in fact, still on a designated path and not traipsing off the wrong way amongst the trees. "I remember hearing about one trip several years ago that wound up out in Aokigahara, just because they got lost ..."

She may or may not have heard anything of the sort.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Clothing should be beautiful, but beauty is not the same in a field as it is on a runway. Tsuru wears a simple kimono, as is her wont, but today its fabric is rougher and stronger than usual, a well-worn mouse-grey thick enough to resist the wind, but light enough for summer wear. She has tied it such that the bottom hem gathers around the top of her calves rather than the bottom of her ankles, in the manner of an Edo traveller or peasant. Rather than leave her slim calves indecently bare, she wears a pair of thigh-high gaiters from her ankles to her thighs, dyed in a faded violet. Her shoes are a pair of wooden block-style sandals, with two runners each to lengthen her already long gait.

Her long hair, she has fashioned into an updo beneath her trademark red comb.

Tsuru walks lightly, less burdened than many of her fellow students, her pack small. More than that, she has a grace that levels out stone and root, gliding her across them with a ghost's smooth progress. And yet, as Blue Group progresses, her breath grows softly audible, the labor of hiking perhaps much to ask of her delicate build.

And yet, is she not in the Advanced Ballet club?

Kimono dwell in peace with youfuku like plaids and athleisure. The older generation keeps traditional clothing a regular (if infrequent) sight in Tokyo, and there are so many small festivals that it cannot surprise a Tokyoite to walk into a whole trainful of kimono. If Tsuru's garb is odd, it is odd in an everyday way.

Thus far Tsuru walks near Nori, a duo of raven-haired girls who look as though they'd sunburn in April. "Step where you are stepping," Tsuru advises placidly, to all this talk about ravines. "If you walk ahead of your own steps, that is when you may place a foot wrongly."

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Details gradually begin to emerge, like what happens when you look at a watercolor or an impressionist painting too close, and then back away, back away, back away. Colors, like the intense green of an overhead canopy, and a brilliant blotch of blue up ahead. Sharper sounds, like snapping twigs beneath your feet, and the peeping chatter of tiny birds.

And then it happens: the fog is drawn back like a lifting curtain. The whole world seems to have been holding its breath, waiting for this moment. Now it exhales, long and soft and slow, the summer breeze warm and gentle, and the sense of space... vast.

<SoundTracker> BGM Start! Lake Motosu Campsite Theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lukbo9CtE_Y

The lake spreads out before the group like a grand carpet, the sky above its twin. The forest, left behind enshrouded in fog, has yielded to a gentle green flat that slopes towards the water's edge.

And reflected in that water is the mountain, the mountain on the horizon. It's late enough in the day already that the sun approaches it; they aren't touching quite yet, but it's ALMOST a kiss, between that great burning ball in the sky, and Mt. Fuji. Its slopes are stark and brown, its peak gloriously white. Proud and glorious even from a considerable distance -- there are other forests and hills between the group and the peak... nevertheless, it seems to smile, benevolently if distantly, over this enterprise.

But there's one more piece to this picture, one more part of the story: interrupting the perfection of the liquid mirror is an island, a friendly-looking hump of rock and dirt and trees.

And, at the lake's edge, only a hundred or so yards down the slope from the group's position, a fleet of shiny varnished wooden rowboats await. They are small -- each has space, barely, for two kids and their gear. A rower, and a... moral supporter.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo might possibly glare in Rei's direction. One might to be able to tell given the fog. But he also might mutter under his breath, "Pay a little attention." in a mocking voice that might sounds remarkably close, if more masculine, to Rei's own. He adjusts the ballcap on his head, that reads simply "Ninja" on a neon green square patch on a Black cap. He stops to take in the view as it presents himself and tilts his head (Which may sport a rather tree shaped red impact mark) "Huh. Pretty."

He stretches his arms as he sees the Row Boats. Because he KNOWS where this is going. And he KNOWS exactly what part of the boat he'll be stuck doing. He looks to the assembled others and shrugs a shoulder while he stretches. "At least there's no more Fog. You'd think they'd have like motorboats so we could zoom around. Or people to row for us. Or cabins. With internet and a Playstation and a lot of Mt Dew."

He has his priorities.

"I just hope we don't have to CATCH our dinner." He shrugs and begins to walk forward toward what is obviously meant to be the method to the Island and the Camping spot. "If there's a Red one I call dibs." He stops as he notices Tsuru and tilts his head. "Kimono. Nice touch." He nods once and then says to Lera and Nori, "I bet the Island is Haunted." He winks to them.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Step where you are stepping... Setsuna tilts her head, thinking of that, and finds herself a little relaxed in the moment. So she speaks up, "They wouldn't put us in that kind of danger." SHe doesn't explain any further than that. That's all it is, really. But scared? Hmmmm. Rei doesn't follow up, so Setsuna doesn't chime in about it. Instead...

"Thank you," Setsuna says, vindicated about her pack, but... she scoots closer to Lera anyway. "Yes."

...But the details emerge. Setsuna is walking with the others, closest to Lera but pleasantly surrounder by the chatter of friends, when she sees the colors come. Like a watercolor; details, yes, but all stretched out as if on canvas. The sounds seem clearer, the air soft... The space, wide open, promising a world before them.

Her eyes open wider as if to take in more of it as she looks up; the green flat, the mountain ahead, and the water before. Setsuna doesn't quite realize at first that she opens her mouth until she finds herself saying, "It's so pretty..."

But--Oh!! An island. Setsuna tilts her head as she spots it. "Ah!" she says. "Look! That's fun, isn't it?"

She takes Lera's hand and immediately moves for one of the rowboats.

"It's probably not haunted!" she says, and then looks to the taller girl, "Let's go!"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera blinks at Tsuru as she walks. She glances back at her -- through the mist, it's more like a shape of a girl in kimono that she sees. "But... how can I step where someone else is stepping?"

Lera isn't the best with metaphors.

The mist parts, and there's a great lake stretching out and a mountain towering over them. Lera makes a long, high-pitched noise; she's excited the moment she sees the scenery, and it comes out as something that almost becomes a squeal.

Then she finds words: "Aaaah, Setsuna!"

She makes a surprised noise when Setsuna grabs her hand. She has the same thought, though; she laughs, before she starts to follow her at a jog. "It is!" she calls out. "And look, there's boats!"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The words of Takeo Akamizu make Nori look momentarily and profoundly mournful.

It is not terribly easy to tell, especially in the fog. She kind of looks like that a lot anyway, especially when she's not in makeup. She tilts her head back and looks towards the heavens, saying as she does, "Are you familiar with Aokigahara, Hououji...? I didn't know that you would have interest in... things like that."

But Tsuru speaks wisdom, and Nori attends her, and they move forth. The sun warms the air like one of those not-so-recently-novel photographs. The fog lifts - the colors come in. And then before them is revealed the vast majesty of the lake, serene and glistening.

"Ohh-h!" Nori exclaims. There is little more to say. It is a vision of beauty, and all those little fears of being this far up the mountain fade away in a moment of pure aesthetics.

The aesthetics fade - but only slightly, by the igneous intrusion of Practicality into the gem-studded tear-sediments of time and beauty - when Nori sees the boats. Her eyes turn towards Tsuru, and she says, "Shall we? If you'll guide me, I'll take you wherever you'd like," in a rather quiet tone, smiling as she does.

She looks towards Lera and Setsuna. Her hand comes up to veil her lips and a smile, as she moves towards one of the boats. "You should put your bags in first," Nori calls, "because you'll want to keep your balance!"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

'You'll know the campsite when you see it,' they were told.

Fuu looks around the grassy terrain nearby, then out across the lake at the island, which probably isn't *actually* halfway to Mount Fuji, in spite of the incredibly scenic vista which the mountain helps to frame. Then Fuu looks at the boats.

"I suppose it's preferable to walking all the way," Fuu says gamely, going to look some of the boats over. She doesn't know enough to specifically pick the 'best' one, but any obvious holes or cracks or flaws should be visible enough. Hopefully. Beyond that, she's more or less trusting her gut.

"Hmmm ... this one should suffice, I think. Steven-san?" She looks around for the younger boy. He's from beach terrain back home, right? Not to mention living on the shore of Tokyo Bay. "How well do you know boats, and would you care to share the ride over with me?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

As Steven walks, he listens to the natural sounds of the forest. The swaying of the branches in the quiet wind. The occasional bird chirp. THe majestic highschooler connecting with a tree-- Wait, okay, maybe not that last one so much. "Oof. That sounded painful."

"It's fiiiine," the boy says toward Usagi. "There's only animals out here!" THere is a sharp inhale from him afterward.

He hopes, anyway. In his line of duty? Questionable. But it was literally out in the middle of nowhere. He would stake it is fine. Besides, everyone else came back fine, except for that creepy bit they wont talk about what happened out here.

It is probably nothing.

Fog begins to clear, and reveals the destination. "Oh this can't be the spot guys, they said I would know it when we got there, and this isn't it," he says sarcastically. He then begins to hustle down to the water's edge. "Boat boat boat boat boooooaaat!" He just piles into the one Fuu looks into and just starts to bounce up and down excitedly! "This one works just fine! Oh uh, is this the front or the back of the boat?" The boy scratches his little chin for a second. "I always forget the boat names for sides. I can only remember one is called port."

"Would you care to boat with me this fine day, Fuu?" Steven says in an attempt to soudn regal.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"N-Nori-chan don't say things so scary!" She whines, "And easy for you to say Lera - you're a professional adventurer!"

Takeo impacts the tree and Usagi has a sympathetic wince from being in that scenario one too many times.

"I'm standing behind you - I can only go as fast as you're going." She points out back about it in their little squabble, "You're the one who has to pay attention."

And then as the fog parts. Usagi is hearing Fuu's story of Aokigahara, and there's this low whine out of her throat.

Which seems to be strangled and cut short by the wonder of what she sees as the curtain lifts.

"It's beautiful..." The girl says, awed, letting go of Rei. Out comes a phone, and Usagi pivots around to snap a picture.

Then a few more of the group on that backdrop. Takeo's insistence that it's haunted gives her pause. And then she shrugs and simply says, "Nah! It's definitely too pretty to be haunted-"

Usagi snaps one more picture of Tsuru in her kimono, showing it to Rei, a palm against her cheek with her other hand as she whispers, "Can you believe she's wearing a kimono on a camping trip?" Usagi never misses an opportunity to talk about a pretty girl after all, much less a beautiful fashion designer, "...I still have to have mine put on in a store for special occasions. I couldn't imagine wearing it out here..."

Finally crossing that stretch, Usagi listens to Nori's call and drops her pack in another boat. She then picks up an oar...

...and leans over to whisper at Rei Hino, "You can handle all the rowing - right Rei-chan? You see..." She confides as she begins to hold out the oar to her, flapping her opposite phone holding hand dismissively, "...I'm much too delicate a lady for something like this."

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Wet sneakers continue to take step after step into the fog, and Niramo was starting to wish that she was wearing a long sleeved shirt instead of the short-sleeved one she was sporting today. The fog was just enough to give her exposed skin goosebumps, a far cry from the bright sunlight she was expecting.

Fuu's agreement on the ideal place to read lets Niramo forget the imagined spooky stalkers hiding in the mist, just out of sight. "I hope so! Never really gone camping before, but I don't think setting tents right next to each other would be ideal..."

Is everyone going to get their own tent, or are they going to share? The novels she read always seem to suggest just one tent for a whole group...

Niramo does give Fuu a side-eyed stare at her last audible comment, hoping the Infinity student didn't just jinx everyone here.

At first, Niramo just thinks that the colors and clearer sounds are just a trick of the forest, the surreal gray giving an illusion of a time before the mist. But with a sudden parting, the wonders of the landscape before the blue group spring forth into view, gracing the students with a sight normally hidden from most others. The abrupt reveal is enough to have the ravenette just stare in amazement for a few seconds, before she finally recognizes the island in the middle of the lake, and the rowboats waiting on the shores.

The logical outcome of this is enough to have her smile grow even wider.

"Wait...seriously? I thought we were going to camp in the middle of the forest. This is so much better!" But she's never been in a rowboat before...maybe she can team up with someone?

The teams are forming up quick, though! Steven and Fuu are already starting to get a boat picked out, and several other students are making their own pairs, either with an agreement or simply dragging off their chosen partner. One student is going off by himself though, and no partner means an empty seat!

Staggering into a jog with her backpack, Niramo chases after Takeo and waves a hand to catch his attention. "Mind if I catch a ride with you? I'm, uh...not exactly piloted a boat before, but I won't rock us or anything, promise!"

"I'm sure there's some food in the backpacks for us. I didn't see any fishing poles...at least, ones that don't fold up." Now that would be a mean joke, having all the students carry all these supplies and except them to forage for themselves.

The tree-shaped impact is noticed, but Niramo's too polite to mention it now. No need to make fun of the person who's going to be rowing her.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Rubbing the back of his neck, Takeo grins to Niramo, "Oh. Yeah sure. I can row us." He gestures to the boats and sets off beside Niramo, keeping pace beside the younger student. He offers a hand, "I'm Takeo Akamizu. Pleased to meetcha." He says with a friendly grin. At the mention of Food, Takeo doesn't quite drool, bit it is apparent it's a near thing.

Mastering his desire to eat anything and everything he clears his throat. "How about we get on the water and you can hunt through the packs while I row? If there's like some chips or some Trail mix or something we can snack out on the Rowing out there!" He nods once and stops at the Boats. "Need help getting into the Boat?" He offers extending a hand as he steadies the boat with his other.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"That's the spirit, Lera-chan," Rei grins back, to the Lera-shaped foggy space. Of course she'd turn around and praise effort as a factor of fun, so of course Rei changes course in an instant from trying to scare her to encouraging her.

She doesn't say anything else about it, but she does turn back to Usagi with a 'see? See???' expression which says all she needs to, really. It transforms to skepticism as Usagi returns fire. "Oh, please. Of course I --"

This is about when she trips over a rock she wasn't looking at because she was too busy with her friend-slash-hanger-on. She staggers for a step before she catches herself, with a little 'yeep!' she at least manages to mostly suppress. "Not a word," she grumbles back to Usagi, quietly, as she gets them back on track. "Not. A. Word."

Hopefully Takeo didn't see that.

She reaches back to pat Usagi's hand on her pack when she whines over Aokigahara, at least.

Lera puzzles over the metaphor, and Rei helpfully interjects: "Think of it like taking one step at a time!" That's... one way to interpret her advice. Maybe she's trying to boil it down for certain parties who may or may not be latched onto her right now. (Maybe it's not just useful for her.)

Mind, she says it with such confidence, but Rei can't actually see too far in front of her...

... until...

The fog parts, and Rei gasps in delight as the lake reveals itself to them. "How wonderful," she chimes up, and her delight is picturesque, too. There's no mockery at all to that line. The scenery is brilliant, and, as Setsuna notes, probably not haunted.

And boat. Boat boat boat boat boat, as Steven helpfully clarifies. "They wouldn't have put these here if not for our use," Rei justifies their path forward, not in the least because she wants to go and see the island. If the view of the lake is magnificent here, imagine what it's like out there?

Whisper whisper whisper, and Rei whispers back to Usagi, not a little star-struck: "Tsuru-san is so glamourous. Even on a hiking trip like this..! She really is a proper lady!" There's no end to her admiration for that sort of style. A kimono for hiking!

Nori helpfully instructs them on Proper Boating Balance, which means that when Rei reaches one of the boats, she disentangles herself from her bag and slings it down onto the floor of the rowboat. It's a bit heavy, but, well... Usagi's discarded gear had to go somewhere.

One of them has to be responsible here.

But Rei's whispers of ladyhood might have come back to bite her, as Usagi immediately invokes the excuse. And what an excuse to throw at the vain Rei Hino..! "Excuse you?" She whispers back, though this one might be audible for its sharpness rather than its excitement. "I am the very picture of ladylike! Don't you know we're all princesses at Ohtori?" She invokes this without a shred of irony. "We are delicate flowers who must be cherished..!"

And so, she shoves the oar back in towards her friend. "You've been lazy this whole way through, Usagi! You row!"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Yes!" Setsuna answers Lera's excitement, as if that's a perfectly normal way to say 'I understand that you're excited and I, also, am excited.' Maybe it is! "I like the water," Setsuna says of the boat, and at Nori's called advice Setsuna pauses, and then nods once. "Yes, that's the smartest way to do this." So, Setsuna moves to put her pack in the canoe, and waits for Lera to do the same--oh, who's kidding, they probably help each other with each--and then steps inside. The ambient excitement is nice.

"Oh, only one side can reach the oars..." Setsuna sat on this side. "It looks like you'll be rowing, Lera." Her pack, naturally, is also very heavy.... But... She says this in utter, total calm. Pleasantly. It's just how it is.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"I'm still an amateur!" Lera calls back to Usagi, as she makes her way to the boat that her and Setsuna are sharing. Her footsteps slow, though, at Nori's warning. "Aaah--right, right!"

She slings her pack off her shoulder, then she deposits it in the back of the boat. She sets foot into the boat, feeling it rock a little -- but Lera's sure on her feet. Her hobby is mountain climbing; she has an excellent sense of balance, and quickly finds that balance.

She sits down -- and looks at Setsuna. She doesn't argue, and then rolls her sleeves up to the elbow. "Sure, I can handle that."

She grabs the oars, then gives the first push of them, sending their boat out onto the lake.

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Campsite Theme: Fumoto (Extended) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVelH1JyV78

The lake is not icy cold. Why would it be? It's late July -- this is, in fact, the last school event before summer vacation starts, and it might as well be starting early, considering where the group is and why. The water is almost SOFT to the touch, rather than smooth, a pleasant temperature. Dip a hand too far in, though, and the bones of the earth will remind you that still waters run deep, and so do CHILL waters.

It does not just smell like water. There is a modest amount of algae, a loamy underlying aroma. It's very faintly fishy, too. Out on the open water, the last whiff of the trees fades, and it's almost as though their absence is its own smell, a freshness, a clarity.

The rowers discover that the oars are skillfully made things, which cut with satisfying sharpness through the water. It's easy and fun to accelerate. It is somewhat less easy to turn effectively, but that's its own kind of fun, too. In case of collision, it turns out that the boats are sturdy enough to not splinter on accidental impact. (Someone could probably sink their enemies into the deep if they tried hard enough, but it would take real effort.)

The... rowees... discover that despite the weather it quickly gets a bit nippy, out on the lake, between the velocity-wind and the fact that they aren't getting a workout like their boatmates. But they also get to see things their partners do not, over the side of the craft, like a flash of silver fins; a glint of something gold in the depths; or even just their own reflection, mountain directly behind, as though they are of a size, and they might kiss it before the sun gets its chance.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Tsuru tilts her head quizzically at Takeo. To her it's like being told that wearing a shirt today was a nice touch; such a low bar for praise. A compliment is a compliment though, and she dips her shoulders briefly in a bow as he passes.

The more subtle compliment, that of being photographed, escapes her notice.

Pausing as the vista unfolds before them, Tsuru stares at it a moment, her lips lilting. She glances at Nori's reaction. When Nori makes to move, Tsuru is a bit quicker. With a light sissonne, Tsuru leaps down the slope, her sandal clacking sharply against a stone some few yards out and down. Wood grinds against stone as Tsuru, resting all her weight on a single runner of a single sandal, rotates smoothly around to face Nori again. She has a look of contentment on her delicate features for a moment, and perhaps, more distantly, of mischief. The memory of her voice is even softer than the voice she has in truth.

I feel it all, and I know not what to do but dance.

For just a second or two, Tsuru smiles a real smile.

Then she hops off the rock, turns her back on Nori, and continues down the slope with her usual weightless stride, her usual glisten of inky hair combed smooth as riverstone. Her little cloth pack bobs on her shoulderblade.

On the shore, Tsuru turns her large eyes on Rei and Usagi, in their dissonance. She watches for a few seconds, then looks instead to the harmony of Setsuna and Lera, and how Lera accepts the oars, and the duty of laboring for the other girl. When Nori catches up, Tsuru looks to her last.

"Yes," she agrees. "I like that way best." She briefly touches Nori's knuckles with her finger as she steps past, the way a child might drag a stick along a picket fence.

Then, facing one of the empty boats, she gathers up her kimono and takes a tall, careful step inside. Once she has that foot planted, she clomps noisily along the bottom of the boat to the rear bench, a ripple-emitting vibration the only disturbance she causes the hull in her well-balanced travel down its innards. Stifling a small cough in her sleeve, she plops down primly, looking over at Lera and Setsuna while she waits.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"I would be most grateful for the pleasure of your company, Steven-san," Fuu replies, as good-natured as ever.

Shortly thereafter, the two of them are on their way across to the island - with Fuu rowing, of course; her arms are longer than Steven's, if nothing else. She's dependent on him to help make sure they steer correctly towards the island, though; she doesn't want to become the subject of future generations' stories about camping trips who got lost in Aokigahara.

"I do wonder," Fuu remarks between oarstrokes, "if we'll have ... to fish for our supper ... What do you think ... Steven-san?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

"Huh. If we are here at this lake with an island... are the other students like, at other shores? Or did they go to other landmarks?" Steven stands up in the boat and quickly peers out across the waters to see if he can spy any other shores with students.

"Hey!" he calls to Rei and Usagi. "One of you can row there ,the one can row back, I bet! Thought you might have to rock paper scissors for right now...!"

He wants to ask Tsuru what her kimono is made of when he gets the chance. From afar he ponders if it is made out of denim or some other hiking friendly material, and a master tailor made it look super chic!

"I don't think I have ever been on an island like this before," Steven says toward Fuu. "Its always oceans and beaches."

Once they get underway, it gets difficult to watch everything at once. "Uh, if you get tired, let me know! I can help! I did small canoes once. They were cool, they had see through bottoms!"

A small, plump hand reaches over the boatside to touch the water, a giggly laugh accompanies the gesture. "I mean, I like sea food, it's okay! Or I guess this is lakefood, huh?" A pause for a mindscape rimshot. "Did they provide fishing supplies? I dont remember seeing any offhand." Then again due to his size some stuff wasn't added to his bag. "I am sure the planners thought of everything!"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The scent, so... Earth-y, fills Setsuna's nose, and she indeed dips her left hand into the water when Lera pushes off. "It's nice," Setsuna says, still quite at peace; at first she just sits where she is and quietly soaks up the environment, looking up into the sky and then back at Lera again. There's a very quiet contentment in her expression, easy to miss but knowable to those who know how to look. She notices only after some of this that it's getting chilly.

Only after a glint of reflected light, her own reflection broken by a ripple in the water. She could've dressed much more warmly, but she didn't, though she's adapted somewhat to Tokyo's changing temperatures over time.

"I'm glad that we get to go across. I wonder if we'll get any more time to walk around...?" She tilts her head, thinking, "At least the way back, but given the time we have..."

She doesn't have to say again how beautiful it is, because that's clear in her eyes. Instead, she catches sight of Tsuru watching them, and regards her curiously before returning a wave and a small, closed-eyed smile.

That the purple-haired girl finds herself chilly is something she lets herself feel, too; the tingle of skin, the little goosebumps that come of it... "It's nice."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Nori observes Usagi and Rei with a soft and faint smile. Niramo is also given a warm look, and to her Nori says, "Isn't it?" Niramo is moving with Takeo, and that seems just. She looks back towards Tsuru, and a finger runs over the pale curve of her knuckles.

Nori steps forwards - confident, silent - and unshoulders her bag to place it in the boat. She steps in casually, moving past Tsuru with one great cautious step. She does not pirouette, but there is a certain emphasis to the motion, and when she puts her weight in the central seat, facing towards Tsuru, it comes with enough of an emphatic landing to jar the boat. Just a tiny bit.

Enough. Enough for it to float from the shore...

Nori raises the oars.

She pulls! And pulls! And pulls again - she puts her back into it. It takes her a moment to find the rhythm but it is not the first time Nori Ankou has piloted a rowboat. Nor will it be the last, no doubt. "Shall we circle round, or stay with the others?" Nori asks Tsuru, a hint of sweat dawning on her pale brow. "I'm fine, either way."

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"... Of course I knew that about Ohtori girls Rei-chan!" Usagi agrees, agreeably, "But then I met you and found out that's not always true!"

Okay that's less agreeable.

"Excuse you-! I'm way more delicate." She holds up her noodly arms, "If we just compare P.E. grades I think everyone will agree that you're better off rowing!" She says, utterly shameless about being at the bottom of her class in such things. "Laziness has nothing to do with that!"

Usagi stares down Rei and insists, "I am NOT doing this Rei-chan! No way - absolutely not!"


Usagi is rowing.

She's doing it unevenly, out of rhythm. Which causes the boat to wobble one way, then the other. Taking a path to the island that's anywhere but straight.

"I'm missing so many picture opportunities... and my arms hurt..."

Usagi is not used to physical labor, which means her arms are already aching. Eventually she switches to just a listless rowing of one oar. Then the other. Causing the boat to keep jerking from side to side rather than moving straight.

Usagi then loses hold of one oar in the back and forth rhythm, suddenly leaning over to grab it as the boat jerks. The opposite oar causing the boat to jerk suddenly to the side and causes her to nearly collide with Fuu and Steven's boat as the bow spins precariously near them. "Ah-! Sorry!"

Usagi grips the oar firmly and tries to row the boat back straight again - the two trailing behind the other rowboats.

Already she's starting to feel cold. Like the act of rowing was exposing her more to the cold rather than actually warming her up from the physical labor.

"If only Mako-chan were in our group..."

Usagi sighs to herself as she sees the other groups heading towards the island, as she imagines Mako working out on one of those rowing machines in a gym.

"... she can do anything."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"I like it out here, y'know?" Lera says, as she falls into a rhythm with the oars. She hasn't rowed many boats before -- this is the first one that she's done on a lake, outside of a more structured school activity -- but it's well within her comfort zone. It does involve more hard work than she expected.

But, in a way, that's nice.

"I hope we can walk around some," she adds. She glances to the side -- peering at the island they're heading to. "Maybe on the island. I wouldn't mind if there's some trails and things to look at," she says. "It's really pretty out here..."

She sighs, as she feels the wind blow through her hair. "And it's a little cooler on the lake, which I like too."

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Finally getting a name to the older student, it takes a moment for Niramo to realize that she might have made a slight mistake in her excitement. "Ooh, right! I'm Niramo Umokeshi, from Juuban. It's a pleasure to meet you too, Takeo-san!" He seems like a pretty relaxed person, and he mentioned a Playstation, so he's a gamer too...

Setting the bulky bag in the center with some difficulty, the ravenette shakes her head in the negative. "It shouldn't be any issue getting aboard, but thank you for the offer. And i'll get started on ration provision, sir!" Climbing aboard the sturdy craft and scrambling to the far end, Niramo leans over to start digging in her backpack, tugging stubborn zippers to peer at the goods inside.

It takes several minutes of searching and shuffling aside supplies in such a packed bag before the Juubanite finds a large bag of trail mix and pull it free. Various nuts, dried fruit and generic brand chocolate can be seen inside, and Niramo carefully does her best to open the package without sending the precious cargo everywhere. The fish might enjoy it, but nobody else would!

After taking a handful of the trail mix (noticeably picking out the nuts), she sets the bag over so Takeo can help himself inbetween rowing...strokes? "I didn't really see much else in my bag, but i'm curious to see what we have for food, so I can try cooking something later. Cooking on a campfire has to be simpler than a stove, so shouldn't be too difficult!"

The seculded wilderness around the rowers is breathtaking to look at, far better in person than what a picture would show of it. Even still, the lack of constant background noise that one would hear in Tokyo is noticably lacking in the great outdoors, and it's not enough to distract from the creeping chill in the air despite the late July sun only starting to set. "I doubt we're going to get any signal this far out from a town...Takeo-san, have you ever been camping before? Anything a newbie should watch out for?"

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Laziness has everything to do with that!" Rei insists, hotly. "And with those grades, too! If you didn't call in sick during that P.E. test so you could sleep in, you might have actually gotten somewhere!" Maybe not far, as far as Rei is concerned, but somewhere.

She huffs, folding her arms. "Well I'm not doing it either, so I guess we're stuck here forever, Usagi!"

This is about when a voice pipes up from the distance, and Steven suggests a contest to secure victory.

Armageddon is averted for one more day.


Wobble, wobble, wobble. "So am I," Rei points out, her phone out, "because you can't keep this thing steady!" To her credit, she is still at least trying to capture all the snaps Usagi can't quite manage right now.

They're a little blurry, but she's doing her best.

Usagi will get them all sent to her at the end of this anyway.

She has to catch herself as the boat jerks to the side, and yelps again as she sees themselves very almost running into disaster with Fuu and Steven. "Sorry, sorry!" Rei apologises, too, a hand rising flat against her cheek in a gesture of contrition.

"Ah," she muses, as she looks back to Usagi on their rocky journey, "if Mako-chan were here, we'd have no problems..." She could save the both of them..!

In this tiny boat.


Mako-chan is very, very powerful.

"At least it must be warm rowing, ne? It's so chilly out here," she gathers her light jacket around herself - designed to avoid tree scratches, not for warmth. "I wonder if it's warmer on the island..."

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo rows decently. It's not the practiced smooth strokes of somebody who has done this often, or even somebody who might have muscle memory from doing it often as previously mentioned. It is instead smooth, even strokes made by somebody who somehow knows what he's doing. How he knows is simple memories from a Knight long since dead having to Row, or choosing to Row, on lakes or rivers for pleasure or war.

"Ooo Trail Mix!" He exclaims at Niramo's find. He dips a hand into the back and noms real fast so he can Row effectively. Once he finishes chewing he nods to Niramo. "I've been camping before. With my parents and sister, but we usually didn't have to row out to the site. We usually drove to a spot, unloaded and set up tents. Mostly, I just try to keep the mosquitos off me and roast marshmallows and play on a hand held game system." He shrugs. "I imagine for a school trip they'll try to educate us on the various ways to survive out here, and such. We already learned how to build a fire. Tonight I bet we'll have to build a fire and then cook on it." He grins at her. "I look forward to trying it! I love eating cooking."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Yes," Setsuna answers Lera about liking it out here. She peers to the island a moment after Lera does, and then looks back to her girlfriend. "That would be nice. But there is the mountain view already. It looks so big from here."

"Ah, I've noticed the cool, too. It's a little colder just sitting here, but I don't really mind." She brings up a hand and brushes some hair out of her face that the breeze jostled into the way, hand lingering at her shoulder mostly because her shoulder is a little warmer than empty space; it's not an intentional thing so much as an idle motion. In the process--

"...Usagi-chan and Rei-chan seem to be having a little more trouble..." She grins to Lera, "I wonder which one of them started it this time?"

"I think, even if there isn't a structured plan, that we might get enough free time to take a walk. Though I wonder what the teachers are planning. It was a nice surprise, the boats..."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"It might be a little difficult to swap positions while we're out on the water," Fuu points out to Steven - actually taking a moment's break from rowing, letting their boat coast for a bit. "But I do appreciate the offer." She resumes rowing, grunting softly with the exertion. "How much rowing - have *you* done, on - that note? How big - were those canoes?"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Mm-hm. I'm not sure if it's close enough to climb... uh, and there's rules and stuff about climbing Mt. Fuji, I bet," Lera says, her nose wrinkling as she talks. "But it looks amazing! It's really one of the prettiest mountains out there."

She looks up, then she nods. She thinks the wind feels nice -- it's cold, and she's working up a sweat with the rowing. She isn't lacking in awareness that their boat has pulled out ahead. Lera looks back at Setsuna -- and she cracks a smile. "It could be either. Or both, y'know?"

She bobs her head -- and then glances at the island. She is close enough to start lining up docking the boat. Or, maybe, beaching it, if there isn't a pier. She does, though, turn her attention back to Setsuna.

"I'm really curious, now! This is impressive, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

The gliding water is so mesmerising to stare at! "It is so nice just to watch water move. Its so cool! Being all liquid and stuff." The boy continues to enjoy looking at it. Until a shadow quickly shows up on it. "Whoah!" the boy says, snapping to attention, and bouncing back a bit in the boat proper. "Careful! Don't wanna go in the water. I mean, it looks great, but your clothes will get wet." Same for them, too...!

"What'cha think is on that island?" He asks Fuu. "Anything crazy, like monkeys or giant birds?"

"Well, I have an oar to paddle around on a longboard with, if that counts. As an actual canoe? They arent very big, for like, two people only. And I have done it a few times!"

A look back over to the side toward Rei and Usagi. "You two need any help? Everything okay?" That spinout was wild.

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

As it is with most everything in life, the island is bigger, taller, up close. It is roundish, but not even in its topography; most of it is a fairly sharp-sided mound, with only a singular, flatter approach. It's a little strong to call the other sides CLIFFS; one could clamber. But the flatter bit is clearly where to go: there are wide stone ledges to pull the boats up on, and posts sunk, ropes dangling from them, to secure said boats, just in case. A permanent installation.

So is the well-groomed trail, leading inland...

There isn't all that much land to in, of course. After a short, sun-dappled walk, with streams of increasingly pink-gold light lancing through gaps in the vibrantly leafy foliage, the path widens into a broad clearing. It is a charming place. The ground is grassy and soft, except inside a round ring of stones, clearly a firepit, doubly so since someone civilized has stacked a few bundles of firewood nearby. There is adequate room to pitch tents, but not so much room that any fabric tentwall will create true privacy; whispers will carry, later tonight.

It seems a good time to discover what's inside the packs. It's 50/50; some have tents, sleeping bags, air mattresses, and camping chairs, plus various random useful items like flashlights, toilet paper (though its ripe scent, mercifully, cannot be easily smelled from camp, there is a tiny outhouse off a little side-path), and bug spray.

The tents are a little musty and almost comically difficult to set up. They sag where they should billow and are crooked when they should be parallel. Improvisation may be required to get them standing straight.

The other half of the packs have food, but we'll talk about that later. It's too early and too bright and -- off the lake, now -- too warm for food or fire quite yet.

 <SoundTracker> Montage Music: Let's go camping! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WGBMdGxyfs

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Tsuru's body faces Nori, though her head is often turned to watch the reflections on he lake. As ever it is when there is asymmetry about her posture, it is measured; the way Tsuru's knees trail to one side is balanced by the way her pressed ankles cut back the other, and she expends little effort in balancing her weight in this position. Her alert profile and distant eyes contradict one another as Nori rows her out onto the lake. When she is spoken to, her eyes slide gradually from the trees and stones, to the eyes and sweat.

"Red Future," Tsuru addresses her. "I am but a seamstress. Do you trust yourself so to my whimsy? Be I not a ghost luring you to strange shores, I remain a woman made of needles."

Her mood is not so fey in the city. Nori has heard many unusual things spoken in that whispersome voice, but she has rarely been teased with it. There is some contentment that rests heavy in Tsuru's chest, anchoring her where she sits.

"The god of the lake blesses journeys. He will steal our reflections if we go about in circles."

Suddenly, one of the wooden oars clacks into the sole of Tsuru's equally wooden sandal. The two runners lock in just below Nori's hand, keeping it still, which instantly causes it to drag on the boat, stirring the prow around towards the wrong direction. Tsuru is grasping one edge of the boat to keep her balance. Her dark eyes remain on Nori's, her expression light despite the sudden burst of what may well be deemed violence.

"But you should not offer to row more," she says. "Or you might have to do it."

Shoving, Tsuru straightens her leg and rips the oar from Nori's hand, kicking upward to drag its haft out of the oarlock, screw and all. The long wooden paddle splooshes noisily into the water, bobbing round and beginning to chart its own course. Mildly, Tsuru tucks that leg back into her sidesaddle seating position, and presents Nori her profile again, turning her attention to the forest once more.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Niramo doesn't take much notice of Takeo's smooth strokes with the ore, simply beleiving that he really did know what he was doing as a professional. He doesn't seem to put much though into it, like when she works on a dish she knows by heart.

"So you do it a lot with your family, or just enough to get away from the city? My family hasn't gone camping before, but we have taken weekend trips to tourist towns when my parents get time off at the same time, so this is a first for me!" The mention of the dreaded blood sucking pest is enough to have Niramo dig through the resting bag once more, searching for bug relief in a bottle.

Unfortunatly for her, there wasn't one in her own bag to be seen, and it'll be rude to dig through Takeo's own. "I been saving up for a handheld system here, but I might have to get a summer job-oh, please no! I don't want to hear a lecture on the history of the lake. Maybe that's why everyone has been so quiet about the trip. They were bored into a stupor and don't remember anything!"

It made more sense to her than something leaking out on the previous student's return to Juuban!

Looking out of the lake, Niramo finishes off the last of her handful of fruit and chocolate as she sees how everyone else seems to be doing. For the most part everyone seems to be doing fine despite no practice with rowing for some...though Niramo thinks she sees Usagi's boat struggling, but that's an understatement...

Finally the island is close enough to make out close details, and the natural 'docks' are pointed out by Niramo just in case Takeo needs a guide. "I think that's where we're supposed to go, Takeo-san!" Once they get the boat on shore, they can go inland and find out what the campsite is like!

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"If that's the campsite we were told to go to," Fuu replies to her young boatmate, "I should hope there's nothing terribly crazy at all. But if there *were*, I doubt we'd be sent there for a camping trip."

Fuu pauses, thinking about Infinity Institute ...

About the island dedicated to a library big enough that it needs a dedicated exploration club.

About various other clubs, many of which are crazy enough to be used as cover for various magical girls' battles with monsters.

About the floor which houses a complete medieval-style fantasy village, many of whose inhabitants are animals which behave almost perfectly like humans.

"... at least," Fuu adds, "I'm *fairly* sure they wouldn't send us without sufficient warning ...."

Shortly thereafter, their boat comes up on the island's shore, and Fuu disembarks; with Steven's help, their boat is pulled up onto the ledge where they can tie a rope to secure it. The trail is sufficiently maintained to constitute a promising sign of the campsite - and soon enough, yes, they are *definitely* at the campsite in question. There's no doubt in Fuu's mind, particularly with the firepit and the supply of wood. Fuu wastes no further time in staking out a location and starting to investigate the contents of her backpack. "Getting the tent up is going to take at least two of us, maybe more," she estimates.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo is silent as he looks out at the Lake for a long moment. "Lots of history happens on or around lakes. Sometimes, great people are laid there to rest. Other times, they can hold great mysteries or hide items of legend." He takes a deep breath centering himself and banishing the other memories. "I have a hand held, but Mom found it before I left and took it. Told me it would be good for me to get Unplugged or some such Generation X nonesense." He shrugs. "Parents. Am I right?" He then smiles at the girl. "Who knows? Maybe somebody will get you one for a birthday, or some boooooy in you class will gift you his." He winks at her. "I hear some boys go for the gift way of being boyfriends." He chuckles. "As for Bug Spray, I KNOW I have some. Your welcome to use it. Unless I bathe in the stuff I won't run out anytime soon."

All in all it doesn't take long for Takeo to guide the boat into it's proper mooring. Given the boy's habits of being a speed junky it's a wonder he didn't try to be the first. Instead, he takes his time. Just ... rowing. Casually, calmly, his shoulders rising and falling with each careful stroke, his one long hair (Recently cut by a very large sword wielded by a much smaller girl) wafting slightly where it is still of medium length in the breeze. He sighs as the boat reaches the shore and then, carefully, hops out.

He Ties the boat up quickly. It's not a sailor's knot. It's not even a knot any self loving camper would call ... good ... It's more that Takeo tangles the rope in such a way that a knot sort of forms by happy accident. Then he turns, takes another handful of trail mix, and throws his pack on his shoulder. "Got your pack?" He offers Niramo offering to take it for her. "Oh. And don't forget the Trail Mix. I don't know why, I'm more of a meat guy, but like, I could eat Trail Mix all day loooooong."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Mm, yes," Setsuna agrees about the little logistical problems, but she smiles at the mountain again. "If you say so, then it must be true. You've seen so many mountains."

Setsuna's gaze tilts down a moment, to her feet, but also to the little boat and the way it pushes through the water. It's a curious sensation, watching the world move around you. She doesn't stick with it long. Instead, she looks to Lera again, "Haha. Probably both..."

But as they get close she looks to the island and to Lera in more or less unison. "Mm! There's a lot out here. I think I see why it was kept as a surprise." Her guess, anyway; the fact that she's willing to guess at it at all of course is proof of her own interest. So she steps out of the boat, shoulders the heavier pack again despite her earlier complaints, and looks brightly towards the clatter bit. A permanent installation, indeed; after making sure with Lera that the boat is secure, she starts off, stepping a little more lightly.

The walk helps warm her back up. The broad clearing she sees charms her immediately. "Ah! That's nice; there's a place for the fire already... Oh, I guess we won't have to gather it." She steps forward and looks around, and takes a moment to think about where they could set places--as it turns out, Setsuna's pack is one of those with a number of larger things all folded up in it, and she finds a tent. "HEre! ...Hmmm, it's not like the models..."

But she is eager to set up the tent. She's warming up with the exertion, and in short order--

She has three of the poles together, in what looks like a likely formation... that falls over as soon as she stops holding it.

The pole that was supposed to connect these other two has gone missing. Setsuna peers down at it with a frown, as if she can simply will the thing into reappearing.

A sudden breeze billows the tent in process into her, and she tips right over towards Lera in surprise!

...It definitely takes something of an adventure, but by the third mishap among progress (and the first time she has to take something apart), she's gotten stubborn, and she hasn't even gotten to hammering in the pegs yet! ...Naturally, of course, none of this is something she does alone...

And it's nice to watch others working at the same time. ...Even if she and Rei inevitably end up in a race over it.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

The island closes in proximity in the distance, and it isn't long before the two have made landfall! "People seemed normal, jsut secretive when they got back. THat's fine, right? Is that how odler students act?"

Maybe the ones at Ohtori.

With a little effort, the boat is beached on the shore, and they disembark! "Okay, let's find that spot! I assume they had an area in mind for us to camp at." Couldn't just be 'go to the island, good luck' could it?

It doesn't take logn to find signs of previous inhabitants in a nearby clearing. "Ooooh! Should we ready the fire? Like build the pit up and everything again, so when we are ready we can just light it."

He sees everyone poking around i ntheir pre-prepared bags, and finds...! "I gots some flashlights and toilet paper! And some foodstuffs I think."

"Oh, I can help wit hthe tent!" he offers quickly toward Fuu's idea.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Eventually, even Rei and Usagi make it ashore, with a "We're okay!!" -- issued from Rei to the concern expressed to them, with Rei's typical self-reliance.

At least Rei is the one who'll tie the boat up. She can give her friend that much of a break. She claims it's just because she thinks Usagi wouldn't tie it up right, but she's fooling no one.

(She was a bit too caught up in her personal boat misadventures to catch Nori's. Perhaps that's for the best.)

And when they get to the clearing, well -- it looks like Rei's pack is the only one with tent supplies in it, between them. (They might have been Usagi's supplies, at one point.) This time, Rei loses the inevitable second argument, return of the bickering: this time it's personal.

This is not the first time Rei has set up a tent for Usagi lately, and this tent is harder to wrangle, but, well --

Rei has a different secret weapon, this time.

Last time, she was showing off to Usagi and Chibi-Usa. (Mostly Chibi-Usa, let's be honest.)

This time... she cannot lose to Setsuna Higashi!!

THEIR CONTEST WILL DETERMINE THE FATE OF -- well, the fate of their tent's construction, but those are still pretty high stakes when they have to sleep in them.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Tsuru's movements present her in profile, in glimpses. Nori feels at times as if she is a little out of step with her world, as if she was born to live under other stars. Tsuru has been an icon of elegance, stepped out of the pages of a beauty magazine from another realm, since the first moment Nori met her. Even now she admires her, though the admiration has gained in depth and resonance, like aging wine.

Fortunately Nori has time to think about beauty and such things, because her job is to make a boat go in one direction, more or less, for some distance. There are no obstacles in this lake, hopefully, and if the creature of the lake should rise, why then she will deal with it then. So when she is called by another name, Nori smiles.

"It would be troublesome not to have a reflection. I'd have such trouble arranging my hair, and I bet it would get up to -" clack



The oar rises and topples in the air -


The red future's cheeks match her sunset and she makes a tight little face, cheeks puffing out, as she gazes at Tsuru. She brings the other oar up on trained reflex, and looks over to where the thrown oar drifts, surrounded by the sparkling ripples of the water droplets Tsuru's actions created.

And Nori thinks. Her eyes narrow a little as she does it.

For a moment she considers...

To use the other oar as a paddle; but this would be wasteful, to say nothing of unelegant. Though she wouldn't be rowing any more, would she? But it would be tedious and exhausting. There would be no joy in it.

For a moment longer, she considers...

To strip off her blouse and kick off her shoes and dive into the water after the oar! That might work... but would it be elegant? Gracious? And would she manage to do anything but put herself deeper in Tsuru's debt - to panic the others, to embarrass herself?


Her cheeks puff out again and Nori raises the remaining oar again, sculling lightly to orient the boat to go cattycorner to the dropped oar. Then she raises the oar, allowing momentum to sail them forwards. Which does not, immediately, help anything. The cool breeze blows.

The water laps faintly at the wood.

Nori's face stays the way it is. She doesn't speak for a few seconds. Then a few seconds longer. This might look peculiar, of course, to the other members of Blue Group, but perhaps this is how a red future runs aground in the face of color incompatibility. The sky is reflected in the lake as the boat floats... still... seemingly still.

After perhaps a minute, Nori - who has kept an eye on the oar, and who thus shows Tsuru her profile in turn, though it is a little sharper, perhaps less poised in this moment - speaks. "We're going to be late... but maybe that's not such a bad thing."

Nori does nothing more for another twenty seconds... and then she leans over, ALL the way over, enough to rock the boat although not quite enough to ship water in (or at least, no more than a tiny splash) as she reaches out to snatch the side of the oar. Her fingers wriggle - it's a near thing, and she even falters, but the touch on the wood put enough motion on it that the second grasp is successful. Nori raises the oar in salute, letting the water sluice into the lake, and then sets the oar's pivot back in its lock.

Then she laughs, and says nothing more, and rows her way to shore.


"Steven-kun," Nori says, presently, after a tie-up and a leisurely walk and an unpacking of...

Of a purple nylon fabric structure with snap-out poles that have gotten tangled...

"I give up. Can you help me with this d- um - darned, thing?"

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Takeo seems to hold history close to his heart, but instead of his lecture seeming dull or boring like it would have been from a teacher, this was filled with a quiet passion that captured her attention. The short ravenette nods her head slowly as she gave it some though. "Sounds like you have a romanticized view on history. Maybe I should try to see things your way when it comes to class. It just blends together for me."

And then Takeo had to ruin it by mentioning boyfriends.

Niramo quickly blushes and waves a hand in denial. "What?! N-no, there's nobody that likes me like that! I just try to be friends with everyone, that's all!" Ugh, why was she so bothered by this anyways? Though a handheld given out of love *did* have charm in this day and age...

Finally, the rowbow reaches the rocky shore and as Takeo knots a 'knot', Niramo is quick to re-secure her cumbersome pack back onto her back, bag of trail mix in hand. He already did all the rowing to get them here, and it wasn't that heavy! "I got it, and meat is great! Not the biggest fan of beef, but chicken and fish are my go-to for meals. Hopefully we can get some fish tonight..."

The tent, in it's prime, must have been a very serviceable tent to keep campers safe from storms. Unfortunately for the current users, that time is long gone. Several rips and tears have been patched haphazardedly over the years, two of the securing stakes were nowhere to be found, and a pole for the structure was snapped in half. "...this is actually exactly how I expected my tent to be like."