2020-03-14 - Heart-Pounding Pie-Eating Contest

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Heart-Pounding Pie-Eating Contest!

Southern Cross Port Town holds a pie-eating contest to boost summer vacation tourism. Hijincks ensue.


Rei Hino, Usagi Tsukino, Sucy Manbavaran, Niramo Umokeshi, Steven Universe, Fuu Hououji, Shizuru Fujino, Haruka Tenoh


Southern Cross Port Town

OOC - IC Date:

3/14/2020 - 08-14-2015

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

Southern Cross Port Town is basically a bustling main street with a few blocks worth of outbuildings climbing into the hills, away from the beach; its whimsical, sometimes pseudo-tropical designs make it seem much further removed from the rest of Tokyo than just the bridge to the island.

In the summer, when the population of the island is drastically reduced because Ohtori Academy's dorms have (mostly) emptied, one could call it Southern Cross Ghost Town and not be wrong. Which is a shame; it's a beautiful town, and summertime is the most beautiful time to enjoy it.


To drum up some business, the local shops have pooled their resources to sponsor The First Annual Southern Cross Port Town Pie-Eating Contest. Pie enthusiasts of any age and appetite have been invited to participate. The winner gets gift certificates to every shop on main street! The losers get to eat a bunch of free pie!

A curious crowd has turned out. It's an exceedingly hot August day and the main street shops have tripled all their prices on iced sodas, popsicles, etc -- they'll probably, at the very least, recoup their losses on the pie, while raising visibility on the shopping district's existence, so everyone running the event is in an exceedingly good mood.

Front and center is old, Hawaiian-shirted Mr. Yamada, whose hair has escaped his head entirely but for a scruffy gray goatee. His black eyes sparkle as he ushers the contestants onto the makeshift stage (which is broken out each year for festivals, student concerts, and other such things).

Waves crash in the background -- this is directly on the boardwalk. One such crests and descends dramatically behind him as he cries, with impeccable timing gained from a long, long lifetime of running this place: "WELCOME TO OUR LITTLE TOWN! CONTESTANTS -- TO YOUR TABLES!"

The tables are card tables normally used by senior citizens of the neighborhood to play bridge, but today they strain beneath heavy burdens hidden beneath silver-domed trays, if the silver was wicker and the domes were baskets. Nevertheless, there is the promise of pie, beneath. Each table contains a plate, a fork, a knife, and a FLAG, which displays the insignia of the local shop that sponsored that table. And each table has a simple gray folding chair, just waiting for someone to take a seat.

The crowd cheers as would-be pie-eaters march forward, into battle.

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

Like most students of Ohtori, Rei Hino has been compelled to visit Southern Cross Town now and then - though less often, to be fair, than students who live on-campus. It's still a lovely little place, surprisingly secret to the rest of Tokyo, and when Rei hears about their push for publicity --

Well, of course she's there. There's pie. And a contest. But really, she would have shown up anyway. She can admire this sort of drive!

"I hope you're ready to lose," she whispers, sly, to Usagi, before she strides forward to take her place at her rightful throne.

At her rightful throne (it's just a table) flies the local flag of SHE SELLS PASTELS, Southern Cross Town's local art shop, known both for the high-quality equipment it sells to local status-obsessed students... and for the budget range it keeps for townsfolk who aren't so high and mighty. The proprietor, a middle-aged woman who is going grey regardless, is the fearsome Naomi-san: tall and large enough that no one is sure whether maybe she's a foreigner, but so well-suited to Southern Cross Town that no one is willing to raise the issue. She has a sharp tongue for loiterers, but the students say she's been drawing for twice as long as some of them have been alive. No one has ever seen her work.

(She says, to anyone who asks, that mystery is its own masterpiece.)

Rei's gone in there now and then for sign-painting materials, when she needs to make a point about something or another. Now she finds a microphone right in her face, and she presses a hand to her chest, self-assured. "I'm the wonderful Rei-chan, in the first year of Ohtori Academy's high school, and I'll be taking home first prize today! Of course, if anyone thinks they have a chance to beat me... they're welcome to try!" The way she laughs, she must be very sure of her victory.

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

Usagi mills about in the crowd of contestants for a time, all smiles and humming as she watches waves crash against the boardwalk. She's wearing a green sleeveless blouse with pink ribbons lining down the center. A pair of white shorts, and two toned sandal flats of white and orange.

As Rei says that though, Usagi's state of Pievana is briefly broken, as she crosses her arms in a harumph and turns away. "One of us is going to have pie all over their face when this is over! And it's going to be me!"

... ... She's probably got mixed up there. Maybe. It's hard to tell. It's possible she associates that with victory.

As the announcer calls she gleefully waves on her way to the table to the crowd, gesticulating it far too excitedly for the scale of the event. On her way she even puts both her hands to her mouth, and spreads them out as she blows a kiss to those watching.

Promptly taking a seat with a happy smile, she hums to herself, with hands crossed, on occasion uttering lines of impromptu lyrics as they pop in her head.

"Pie~Pie~Pie~All that I want~My~Oh~My~Gonna Win me a Prize~Pie~Pie~Pie~"

Again this is broken by Rei introducing herself as Usagi mouths to herself, as she snaps a hand together in mid-air like a shadow puppet, 'Wonderful Rei-chan!' She snickers, before continuing to mutter to herself. "She always gets like this when she addresses a crowd. Who does she think she is? Oh right it's the 'wonderful Rei-chan'."

Eventually Mr. Yamada thrusts a mic in her face, and she stands up excitedly to make her address.

"Tsukino, Usagi! First Year Juuban Public High. Representing 'Thank you Very Mochi!'"

She puts a hand up on the opposite side of her face while conspiratorially sharing a secret with the announcer. "They have the best cherry pie. It's my favorite. Luna prefers the Chess pie and I think that is also a valid choice!"

Then straightening back up, she waves again to the audience, "Please cheer me on everyone!"

Lera Camry arrives from Tokyo.

<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.


Sucy has been sponsored by "CAFE TROPICANA," a place that has a range of vaguely tropical delights. Fried shrimp and chicken balls, pineapple and mango juice drinks... if it wasn't so close to a school, one might think that some of the carafes of fruity iced drinks that they can provide could be mixed with... no, though, it's just a healthy but sweet tropical treat!

And the snack skewers, of course, are completely legitimate.

Sucy Manbavaran sidles up to the pie tables, wearing her usual draping mauve dress (no uniform right now) along with a big broad sunhat that veils her pallor from the cheerful sun, to which she glances, with mild disdain.

A microphone is presented to her.

"Hey," she says. "I'm Sucy Manbavaran, and I'm going to eat til I'm stuffed."

Her stomach growls.

"I've been preparing for this day all of my life. I'm in it for the love of the game," Sucy continues, "and I want to take a moment to tell you all about how important f-"

The microphone is removed from her face.

Sucy grins to herself as she palms the little bottle of DELAYED SHRINKING POTION -- guaranteed safe for internal use! (yeah sure, safe*.) "Once I put this in the glass of water I'll be able to murder an enormous amount of pie, and I'll enjoy each and every bite... eheheheheh... This is going to pay off, big time!"


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

The Port Town of Southern Cross is normally just sometthing there to announce visitors to Ohtori that they have successfully reached the island, background noise that isn't generally the focus of visitors. With whole districts and mainstream shops spread throughout Tokyo for everyday needs, Port Town isn't normally the focus of a shopping trip.

Which is a shame. For what the town may lack in size, it clearly makes up for in heart.

Shopping isn't the plan of the day either, but it's the unique occasion that the town is bringing that has Niramo Umokeshi's attention. Trying to use several friends' suggestion about fashion, the ravenette is dressed in a sea green open tee shirt over a white spagetti top, a pair of faded jeans shorts and open toe sandles. Clothing fit to deal with the August heat yet inexpensive enough to not ruin her meager savings, it's clothing fit for a day of fun in the sun. Or a dessert feast that is just begging to be eaten by a sweet-toothed champion.

Signing up for the pie-eating contest was easy enough, and it seems like a perfect way to draw tourism to the sleepy summertime town. A sip of chilled lemonaid is the last that she gets before Niramo offers the souvenir bottle of a sunglass-toating dolphin to Yuhira Ena. "Wish me luck, Yuhira-chan!"

Smiling softly as she takes the bottle from her friend, the viridescent-haired teen gives her friend a playful shove towards the tables. "Just make sure not to fill up so quickly, shorty. If you win, we got to drag Wakatsuki out of her cave and come here!"

The comment on her height is worthy of a glare, but not one with much heat. Yuhira likes messing around with her friends.

Running up the small stage and taking her place at one of the tables, Niramo takes a quick breath at being a focus of the crowd to calm her nerves. Right, nothing to worry about. Just her, the hidden pie and...a microphone in her face? "Oh! I'm Niramo Umokeshi, a third year of Juuban Middle School, and sponsered by...Seasational Books!"

No, she didn't have to glance at the flag behind her. That's silly.

Taking a seat, Niramo stretches her arms before having her hands hovering over the waiting fork and knife. Rei gets a cautious glance, but rumors are still being told of Usagi's appetite. Time to see if the legends are true after all.

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

Sneaking out of the house unseen by what is basically a violet-colored sibling was very difficult. Hiding school flyers sent home even harder. Both placated with a different kind of pie (a pizza) and given a controller purple as her, a young boy sneaks out of his house hoping they become none the wiser of what was planned this day.


Steven has arrived via transport cat, one who mills about the crowd and stands among them like a person, just watching and being very supporting of his best fr-- oh wait no, there he goes, walking off. ANYWAY.

Wearing his usual cute beachgoer attire, he steps forward when the microphone is placed in front of him by an amped up Mr. Yamada! "Oh, uh, my name is Steven! I come from Juuban! I'm here for some piiiiie!" The boy runs to his table as if going to the sideline of a sports game! This is kind of a sport! He takes his seat and snatches up the fork! "Uh, do we get to pick what kinds we get or is this a pre-selected choice of pie? Just curious."

He would NEVER turn down such a treat! But there IS a tier list. He wonders who is sponsoring his table? Cute waves get thrown to friends seen nearby!

However today they are not friends. They are ENEMIES.

And something a friend once said works here.

Enemies... must be defeated.

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

Fuu Hououji is not here to kick butts, or eat pies. But she's going to have to do at least one of those, through no fault of her own, in spite of protesting that she wasn't here to enter the contest and didn't mean to wander into the entrants' registration area. Then again, she *did* want to meet with the proprietor (or proprietress, whichever) of a local store specializing in yarn and knitting needles, which *also* offers a side service in customized business cards and name cards - in fact, Fuu had an order in for some more of the latter.

And it is, as luck would have it, that same store's sponsored table at which Fuu comes to be seated. But before she can sit down, one more stroke of potential embarassment: a microphone.

"Fuu Hououji, first-year at Infinity Institute's high-school programs," the bespectacled blonde introduces herself. "I'll do my best today, on my own behalf and that of - er - my sponsors, the lovely people at Calling Cardigan."

She bows politely, once she can do so without bumping her head on a microphone, and takes her seat, glancing back and forth along the row of tables, half-bowing to Steven as she sees him waving.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

It is quite lovely here. Shizuru Fujino could spend entire days just wandering the idyllic cityscape, enjoying the island and its beautiful sunsets. Perhaps she could take a car.

...She doesn't today, though.

Today she is walking, and she is walking near the stage arm in arm with one Mamoru Chiba. She is in lavender and white, colors that would be terribly unfortunate for a pie-eating contest if in fact she were here to eat pie. Perhaps more worryingly to someone on the stage, though, the Ohtori High alumna has something in her other hand as well: a microphone. Once Mamoru escorts her to her position, she smiles, hand lingering on his arm a moment longer before she turns to begin... commenting.

"Two distinct approaches already--confidence, and a wish for the support of you, our crowd." Shizuru smiles at Rei Hino and Usagi Tsukino both in sequence. "Isn't it lovely to see friendship among competitors?"

"I think we all can appreciate how very much there is to say about any of the pies on display here," she remarks warmly as she proceeds to talk right over Sucy's conclusion. "But Juuban certainly has quite the presence out here," she remarks of Niramo and Steven and Usagi all. "Perhaps there's still time for manners at this early stage of the contest, but will it last? The passion on display towards pastry is all but palpable." Shizuru's head tilts, her eyes closing in another pleasant expression.

<Pose Tracker> Haruka Tenoh [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

The hot sky beats down on the crowd. But there's a hot sky down there too.

Haruka Tenoh is casual today in a sleeveless blue-jean jacket and grey jeans. His button-down shirt is buttoned-down a ways. A pair of blue-gradient sunglasses is an all but necessary accessory in this heat, at least by the seaside. At least for those who have trouble not looking at the ocean when it's around.

But though the ocean is right here, Michiru is not. Haruka's motorcycle is parked a few blocks from here. His ice cream scoop has suffered some damage already, licked down to a neat sphere, like a microphone now. And those Juuban kids are here doing something interesting, as ever. Haruka parks himself against a lamppost and settles himself. He'll pinch a wink at Rei or Usagi if they notice him; he's not picky. But though the shades make it tough to tell, he seems to be watching Shizuru the most at the moment.

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

An employee from each shop is on hand at each table to assist. They have a few jobs, and the first of them is to, simultaneously, at the bell, lift the baskets so that the contestants can have at--


"The first pie," Mr. Yamada announces, butting in on Shizuru's personal space a little in order to thrust his face at her microphone, "Is pumpkin..."

Savory steam erupts from the baskets as they're drawn away to reveal thick crusts topped with the shape of a fish. Perhaps mercifully, they aren't full-size. They aren't individual servings either, though. Something a little bigger than that, but all but the most delicate stomachs ought to be able to finish with ease.

It looks filling, and smells... interesting. Not necessarily bad; mostly just highly unusual.

"...and herring! A local specialty!! Ahahaha! Now dig in, everyone!"

OOC: Three-pose rule hereby enacted to maximize trash-talk.

OOC: Pumpkin and herring pie reference shot: https://36eggsdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/baked-pie.jpeg

OOC: Minimum two poses before you finish your first pie.

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

Fuu's eyebrows raise as the scent and sight of the pie reach her senses. Pumpkin and herring ... an interesting combination indeed, and one she needs little encouragement to begin sampling. It's not like these recipes would have been cooked up (so to speak) just to inflict on the contestants; therefore, it stands to reason that these pies have been made and eaten before. From that, it follows that the recipe has been around for a while, at least long enough for *somebody* to enjoy it.

Also, it would be simple and blatant rudeness to turn her nose up at the food put in front of her, whether or not Fuu wanted to be in this contest to begin with.

There's the faintest murmur of, "Itadakimasu," as Fuu starts eating.

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

They've attracted a crowd..! Including Haruka, and Mamoru, and that means...

They stand in judgement of Shizuru Fujino.

But that's fine. For an expert like Rei Hino, there's nothing to worry about in the slightest. After all, her competition is sing-songing.

Rei feels very smug about her composure in comparison.

No one bring up the way she was humming on her way to the contest.

No, Rei is the picture of confidence, as the introductions ring out. She remains confident as Mr. Yamada declares the first pie to be pumpkin. She is confident right up until her brain goes, 'hey, wait, that's not what pumpkin smells like.'

This is about the moment Mr. Yamada finishes declaring the ingredients of the pie.

Pumpkin and herring.

Slooowly, Rei's smile stretches just a little more taut.

"What an interesting combination..."

But a glance to the crowd tells her that Haruka and Mamoru are out there, and Rei can't be seen to give in just because she doesn't come out here to eat that much.

"For the sake of She Sells Pastels, this is Rei Hino, digging in!" Rei declares, loudly, as she picks up her pie. A little more quietly, she asides to another table: "So," she smirks to Sucy, "you've been preparing to eat pumpkin and herring pie your whole life, huh? That's really some astounding persistence, Sucy-san! Maybe I'll be able to live up to your example..!"

Her first assault volleyed out, Rei bravely takes her first bite of pie.

Maybe she should have spent less time talking and more time chomping.

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

The little stout child bounces up and down in his chair, eager to take on a challenge he may actually be able to win! Unlike the fifty other in the back of his mind, which worry him to no end. Oh his sleep schedule...

Back to fun though! That other stuff can wait. "Pumpkin! Outside Thanksgiving?! Ooooh..." Wait, is that a curse to eat outside of that holiday?! Uh, uh...! No time to look, pie time is now! "That smells odd. Is it a mix?" he asks nicely. The answer comes quickly.

There is A FISH in the pie. "...Huh." Steven looks at the slice offered by those operating the table. "Well, I like fish, and I like pumpkin pie! Maybe I will like both?"

"Reeeeiiii, Usaaagiiii! Have you had this before?" he calls over.

Time to take a fork to it and find out!

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

Eagerness is in the air, and Usagi listens to every single other contestant's greeting with glee, waving to some of them form her place at the table. And then Shizuru Fujino walks up on the stage.

Usagi's eyes would ordinarily be on the elegant former Vice President of the Ohtori Student Council. Ordinarily, but right now they're on the figure beside her.

There's a sharp little intake of breath, and Usagi's enthusiastic wave becomes a shy, subdued one.

Leaning over, she tries to study his face, as if looking for a singular hint of recognition - hoping for interest instead.

One moment all she can think of is the simple pleasure of eating pie, the next, wholly focused on hoping he will glance her way so she could decide how she feels.

Shizuru's microphone announcement snaps her out of this study.

Blinking her big blue eyes in a way that bespeaks a lack of comprehension, it seems to dawn on her just moments later.

Looking at Rei to the side, she titters nervously, suddenly looking the opposite to Rei's confidence.

It's then that her gaze rakes across Haruka, and as he winks, suddenly she finds herself flushed from what is certainly the summer heat. Even at this distance, she's imagining what that wink means, what he'd say to her...

The Gong suddenly startles her out of it with a yelp of, "Ah-ah!"

There's nothing to do now but eat. To win the contest, and Usagi Tsukino can certainly focus on what is her favorite thing pretty quickly.

Clapping her hands together as if praying, she declares. "I'm going to clear out this place! Just everyone watch!"

'Pumpkin!' is announced, to her delight as she stares at the basket that had been placed. Steam erupts as its open and Usagi psyches herself up with a further declaration of-

"Time to binge-!"

And then the steam clears enough for her gaze to adjust.


Usagi suddenly pauses as the scent registers in her nostrils, and a sight not unlike Taiyaki catches her eye.

"How weird... both flavors together?"

It looks like she's too grossed out to start. For the space of one heartbeat, two.

Then she suddenly explodes into motion, grabbing at the pie with both hands, tearing apart the pastry, rending the crust asunder as she takes a piece in each hand.

One hand goes up into her mouth as she devours it, giggling just after she stomachs it. It has an interesting taste. So interesting that she coughs once... "Ak-eheh-heh!" Then immediately stuffs the next in her face, proving exactly what Shizuru stated.

There are no manners for her at this point. With pumpkin filling dabbed upon her mouth, orange blurring into the pink of her lips, she declares as she digs both her hands back into the crust.

"I think the wonderful Rei-chan is warming up her mouth too much and her stomach not enough - she's barely even started!" Usagi notes with a glance as she lifts up two more handfulls of pie. "If I finish this first-"

Nomf. Chomp!

"-you're a herring!"

... Noone ever said that Usagi was any good at trash talk.

Steven asks a question though. And that gets an answer of her waving a handful of pie Steven's way.

"I have now!"

Perhaps this contest is a double edged sword in that sense that now... she has tried, Pumpkin and Herring.

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

Juuban does has a surprising presence out here on Ohtori's home turf, as noted by Shizuru. Usagi and Steven are here and willing to win just as much as she wants to, and Fuu's presence is worthy of a raised eyebrow. She didn't expect the archery captain to be willing to throw down on delicious pie like this! There's quite a few challengers today, but the promise of delicious pies is its' own reward. As the baskets are removed, Niramo's fingers clasps the western eating utiensils and brings them downwards--

--only to pause for a split moment as the unique crust is revealed and the twin flavors lurking inside is revealed. Dark green eyes look up to catch Yuhira's reaction from her place in the crowd, a face torn between amusement and disgust.

It doesn't matter if it's a local specialty, this is inhumane! What kind of person would combine a sweet gourd with that of fish?!

Steeling herself, Niramo continues with the motion of fork and knife into the crust to get her first bite, but still a bit of time to talk while doing so. "Persistence is going to be needed when it comes to this contest, Rei-san. Good luck, you're going to need it more than anyone else here!" Hey, Sucy may be a little...odd, but it's not nice to trash talk someone like that. What goes around comes around!

Now to hope that the pumpkin and herring pie doesn't come right back around...

<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.


The basket rises, and Sucy's fate is revealed to her. Pumpkin and...

"Herring? Huh," Sucy says, before frowning and picking up her fork and looking around for - no drink?

Sucy feels a moment of horrible tension. For once, and perhaps uniquely, it is not because she is attending to the gorgeous slice of lean beef that is currently savoring a glistening ice cream cone -- Sucy didn't look that way, YET -- no; it is because she doesn't have a drink to put the potion into and thus discreetly veil her crimes.

So she is, first thing, stuffing her mouth. She's chewing and such a little, but she's intensely focusing on eating as much as she can without swallowing. Her eyes periodically cut towards the competitors, even as she lowers her hand to slip the potion bottle into it.

This isn't sweet at all!! Sucy thinks. (She would say so aloud, but -- well --)

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

Shizuru is entirely content to make Mr. Yamada lean her way to get to the microphone. She holds it in place to be sure his words go through--and this hides any reaction she might have to the announcement of the first flavor.

...It might be for the best.

She doesn't seem to look back out away from the audience and the contestants just now, not even to Haruka. Instead, she 'hmms' a little. "And so we're off; a diligent girl here is already starting, while our dear Rei-chan herself is already trying to enccourage the younger girls!"

Yes. Yes, that is what she's doing. "Try it and find out!" she suggests to Steven next, all magnanamity for the moment. A beat, "Perhaps all of us could be herring, if we really believed!"

If there were a laugh track it might be going off. "Yes, a lively competition," as Niramo fires back and Sucy... Well.

Shizuru happens to be watching Sucy very closely at the moment! She is working awfully hard.

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

Rei puts another bite in her mouth, which is about when Usagi points out how much she's talking. Gulp. "Who's the herring, Usagi?! You are what you eat, and you're eating that sooo fast!" IT'S A SLAM DUNK FOR REI HINO.

She moves on from that sub-par burn to answer Steven. "O... of course I've had this before!" Rei laughs, perhaps just a little too forcefully. "I go to Ohtori, after all! We're close friends with Southern Cross Town!"

(Editor's note: Rei has definitely never had pumpkin and herring pie before.)

Chomp, chomp... "Eeeh?!" Rei demands, turning to Niramo. Yes, she's... definitely encouraging them all. "If that's your attitude, Niramo-san, you may as well cede the championship to me right now! This pie is great!" Rei shoves a bite in her mouth, demonstratively. "ISH GREAT!"

At least riposting them has taken her attention off of Sucy for the moment...

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

Usagi suddenly halts as a piece of pie has entered her mouth, her hand still attached, just staring at Shizuru.

She has an expression like she's not really certain what just happened or what was just said.

A dim light bulb dances above her head, flickering in place, and then guttering out entirely.

It's Rei that gets her started again.

As her trash talking gives her an easier route to comprehension. Chewing the pie that's already in her mouth with chipmunk like cheeks, she masticates monstrously for a short time. Then... swallows.

"It's because you don't want to eat your own kind Rei-chan! Herring! You're a herring!"

Stuffing another piece in her mouth, the taste gives her momentary pause, before she steels her stomach's considerable fortitude and chomps right back down.

"After this they'll have to change your name to the Wonderful Roe-chan!"

Usagi is closing in the end of this pie, but the decided lack of extreme deliciousness is slowing her down right at the finish of this first pie.

<Pose Tracker> Haruka Tenoh [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Haruka winces sympathetically as the competitors tuck into a pie flavor that some of them are clearly having trouble with. With a 'better you than me' shrug, he teethes off a little sweet, untroubling vanilla ice cream. Settling the cone off to the side in the crook of his other arm, he gives Usagi the planned wink, lowering his shades briefly for it.

This seems kind of unfair. Steven and Usagi are so tiny. Well, perhaps it's the size of the fight in the dog, not the size of the dog in the fight.

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

The taste and texture of the pie is...unique, to say the least, like the smell coming from the freshly baked crust. It's mostly like a pumpkin pie but with an odd aftertaste that lingers and makes you wish for something to wash it down, but unfortunately more pie will have to do.

The female announcer is keeping a friendly commentary on the challenge going underway, but Rei focusing fire on Niramo only has the ravenette narrow her eyes in response. "Who said anything about ceding to you? I'm just saying you're going to have a rougher time than anyone else here!" Though if she does think this pie is indeed great, maybe Ohtori's taste buds are busted.

A flicker of movement out of the corner of her eye while nearing the second half of the gourd and herring pie is focused upon, and Niramo gasps in shock. The rumors were true! Usagi Tsukino is just tearing right through the pie, not even bothing to use a fork?! And she's even taking the time to enjoy her lead and focus fire on Rei with a rather impressive nickname.

"You know, I been herring a lot about you at middle school, Usagi-san. If anything, the stories are underexaggerating!"

Ergh, she's getting distracted. Fishy flavor or no, she's not going to let her passion for baked desserts not be recognized. Focusing her tools of war, Niramo starts to pick up the pace...and hopes no stray bits of pie are making a mess.

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

Meanwhile, Fuu is working diligently away at her own pumpkin and herring pie. It's ...

'Interesting' is probably the best word. Certainly there are other foods which mix sweet and savory together like this, but the mild sweetness of pumpkin mixed with the slightly salty fishiness of herring? Each bite reinforces her opinion that this is, ultimately, an acquired taste - and that she's not on her way to acquiring it.

Well, she doesn't have to subscribe to Pumpkin and Herring Pie Monthly, right? She just has to finish this one, and there are only so many bites left to go. Hopefully the next one will be a little less ... esoteric ... in its appeal.

As for the trash talk, Fuu's mouth is too busy with bite after bite of pie to take any 'bites' verbally out of her competitors. She's also, typically, too polite to drop zingers on people, but she's not completely immune to doing so, either. She might just be waiting until she has a good one for a suitable target.

<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Sucy doesn't actually have filed teeth, they just kind of look that way. Sharp. It's how she holds her face. She glances over to Shizuru as if to say silently 'what' and then Usagi speaks up and calls out Hino and THAT'S HER CHANCE!

Sucy 'wipes her mouth' which is actually going to dribble a droplet of that potion into her mouth directly. This is not how you're supposed to do it, she knows, but it's gonna come out the same, right? It all goes to the same place.


Sucy swallows the pea-sized shrunken version of the pie. Beaming to herself, she aims to repeat the process several more times to demolish that pie. "This is definitely an autumn dish," Sucy says. "But the pumpkin's really working with the herring."

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

A fork goes in! A bite is raised, a but of flaky fish on the end.

Now the taste...!

. . .

"Well, its not bad," Steven starts with, going for another. "But I am not sure if I would eat it outside of the contest..." he comments toward Shizuru. "It is weird, right?" he calls back to Usagi.

"Are you guys calling each other fish? or like, a false head on a mystery? Wait no that is a red herring." A pause. "Are these red herrings?"

Monch monch. Filling! If oddly flavored. The fish repels the sweet flavor pumpkin usually has, so instead there is a... squash like flavor? it is difficult to describe.

The fork hits the table. "Done!" The boy looks over to Sucy. Her is already gone. "Are we supposed to be racing to eat it the fasted, or just eat the most?" he asks her.

"What's yalls favorite flavors, anyway? I like strawberry rhubarb the most, I think! Dad knows a wicked recipe."

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

As each person finishes their first pie, they are rewarded with a(n optional) glass of milk, while the second pie is swapped in with lightning speed -- this is a race, after all, and it wouldn't do for anyone to have less-than-continuous access to the track.

It's very, very white, and very, very fluffy.

"PLEASE ENJOY THE LOCAL CAFE SPECIALTY!" Mr. Yamada yells into Shizuru's microphone, with all the enthusiasm the competitors have lacked for herring and pumpkin pie. "COCONUT CREAM!"

There's a beat, as the crowd waits to hear the twist.

He beams at them, uncomprehendingly.

No, there's no twist.

Except that these pieces of heaven, torn down from the sky, are BIG -- basically the size of the average high-school girl's head.

They may be mostly air.

But there's a whole lot there.

Things are likely to get messy.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

"Ah, to know that we have a favorite. It would be terrible not to properly appreciate the hard work that went into this event, and our competitors clearly see that themselves. Yes, a friendly competition indeed thus far."

Over trash talk. And yet... She doesn't touch Roe-chan. Not at all. Maybe that one is just good enough to keep on its own.

"Ah, what's that? One of our competitors is picking up speed!" Shizuru says of Niramo with clear interest, finally getting her attention away from Sucy with a final smile her way (she'll never tell). "You must be confident to have time to talk to me," she opines to Steven.

As her microphone is yelled into, though, Shizuru waits. She waits.

"My, these are certainly fluffy-looking pies next. I wonder who will be the first to dig in?"

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

"Roe-chan?! Usagi, you dummy! Do I look like kazunoko?!" Of course Rei knows the particulars of herring roe. Of course she knows that.

Chomp. Chomp. "This is so easy!" Rei volleys back, one raven-haired girl to another. "If you think I'm having a rough time, Juuban's observational skills must really be going downhill!"

She says that, but she still hasn't finished her pie.

... somehow, Sucy seems to be doing much better.

Munch munch munch, Rei continues to shove pie in her mouth. Eventually, she manages to succeed...! "My favourite pie," Rei insists, "is fruit!" Japanese fruit pie, of course, involves a variety of things -- like pecans, raisins, vanilla, and coconut.

Speaking of.

Mr. Yamada announces the next specialty, and Rei waits, eagle-eyed, for him to add on the final terrible ingredient. But there's no final-act twist of the knife: just a huge slice of coconut cream pie.

Rei claps her hands together, eagerly. "Now we're talking!" She enthuses, grabbing her slice -- and looking over to Usagi, sly for a moment. "Heyyy, don't get it everywhere, Usagi! You always were the messiest eater!"

Cunningly, with great strategy, Rei calls attention to Usagi's table manners.

Her cunning strategic plan, of course...

... is to distract everyone from how messy this is going to get for her.

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

"Cherry!" Usagi says quickly to Steven, as she also finishes her final bite.

"What is that supposed to mean!?"

Usagi demands of Niramo after swallowing her next bite, apparently missing the pun. There's someone that isn't even here that can be blamed for that...

"I have a stellar reputation at our school Niramo-chan! Ask anyone! Steven - tell her!"

That's a lot of pressure for a high schooler to put on an elementary schooler to defend herself from a middle schooler... isn't it?

Usagi takes a momentary reprieve to sit back and pat her stomach, rubbing her mid-riff before counting at Rei. "I mean - sometimes you can be kind of lumpy." Usagi giggles as if a little smug at that.

And then... 'COCONUT CREAM!'

"Oh thank god-"

It comes down, and Usagi's eyes get really big.

"... it's perfect!"

In her eyes, it's just what she needs to get the herring taste out of her mouth, something extra huge and sweet. Stabbing at the pie with both hands, she retracts them like she'd just stuck her hand in a gooey marshmallow Youma, slamming it into her mouth in a way that creates an instant creamy mess, with more to come.

"Who cares about being messy?!" Usagi answers shamelessly, "It's a contest! Not a fancy party!" As she dollops more cream into her mouth with her hand, munching it down. "I'm gonna eat this coconut so fast - that its gonna be like a cyclone hit you Roe-chan!"

Another fistfull enters her mouth, and suddenly it's like she's forming a gooey white beard of Coconut Cream. No amount of wet naps is going to help her once this is done.

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

Only a few bites remain on Fuu's first plate as the first of the coconut cream pies is brought out.

Green eyes go to the heap of fluffy whiteness. They return to the pumpkin-and-herring combination on Fuu's own plate.

She takes a deep breath, and keeps going. The promise of a glass of milk isn't something to ignore, either - this first pie is making her surprisingly thirsty, maybe because of the salty undertones of the fish.

Finally, the last bite of her first pie is gone, and Fuu sits back for a moment, catching her breath and looking amongst the competitors while she can. SHe can't afford to throw the towel in *quite* yet, and honestly? She wants something that's actually sweet after going to this much trouble for it.

The second pie is placed before her; she takes up her fork, and plots her approach. That's a ... very, *very* tall pie, as these go. Technically she should make sure each bite goes from top to bottom, but those bites won't fit properly ...

Maybe taking forkfuls of it in layers, working down from top to crust?

She tries that for a start. It's going to leave her behind in a hurry, speed-wise, but *some* decorum seems to be in order.

<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

A new pie comes up just as Sucy appears to finish off her main fish pie. She is making great headway. She's worked out a thing where she stuffs like four bites into her mouth, does that mouth-wipe pass, and then - she must swallow it at some point!

But Steven asks her a question. Sucy's hand makes the forking motion as she says to Steven, "I dunno really. Usually I think meat pie when I think pie, but I really love the fruit-"

She tosses a few droplets of the potion into her mouth.

It has no food to mix with.

Sucy abruptly disappears from view. (Her fork gently clatters to the plate.)




A fly-sized Sucy says, "ones, especially cherry. I really love the taste of a really good, fresh, cherry..."

Sucy trails off.

She looks right, towards the tablecloth. Left, towards the metal struts of the seat she was in. Upwards, towards the blue sky below. She ooches over to peek over the side of the seat.

"... This isn't gonna help my odds," Sucy decides.

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

The battle is fierce, and there's more than one way to devour a pie. Usagi is demolishing her dessert in a way that makes you wonder if she's actually tasting it as it goes down. Sucy...has somehow finished off her pie and doesn't look at all for the worst for wear. Fuu, Steven and Rei seem to be in the middle of normalcy along with Niramo on how to properly eat a pie, even if the speed and technique is different for each person.

Shizuru gets a quick nod as she nears the end of the first pie. Focus on the milk waiting for her...

Finishing off the last of the bizarre pie, Niramo drinks some of the offered glass of milk to wash some of the savory herring aftertaste out of her mouth. If it really was a local specialty, maybe there's a reason it has stayed local for so long. But Steven brings up a good question, and she offers him a kind smile. Enemy or no in the great pie war, he's much too kind to talk trash with. "Never had strawberry rhubarb myself, but my personal favorite is cherry. There's honestly not a bad pie out there."

Just some pies that are only decent...

The next pie is delivered and it's...a wonderfully fluffy masterpiece of coconut cream pie! No fish lurking in those depths? No horns hidden away hinting at a beef filling? Now this is much more like what she expected when she signed up. But...there's a lot of cream.

Taking a precious moment to disarm, Niramo quickly unties her ribbon and pulls back her bangs. Retying the green ribbon into place, Niramo's hair is still in a style showing all of her forehead. Her clothes are going to get sullied, there's no doubt, but there's no way she's going to get sugar in her hair this early in the day.

"Oh no, it actually has improved lately. We can just see the clear outcome better than others, that's all." Oh, now she's bringing Juuban into this? Time to turn up the heat. "And there were a few stories about you too, Roe-san. Your table manners aren't exactly the ideal Ohtori standards from what I heard at the last ball!"

She has to admit, Usagi did come up with a perfect nickname.

Speaking of whom- "It's a great reputation, not one that's going to be beaten anytime soon! I'm just hoping I can go the distance today." A little bit of friendly trash talking is all fair and fun, right?

The coconut cream pie, though...there's no hidden flavor, but the staff had to have intentionally fluff the cream more than needed for this. Taking in a breath to steady herself before the breach, Niramo starts using her fork to start eating that wonderful coconut dessert, with the knife having the important duty of warding off any large splats of cream away from her clothes. A face can always be washed cleaned, but clothes need to be handwashed if it gets too much.

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

The next plate begins to be brought up. "Oh goodie!" he says. "I dunno if I have been more excited for food before outside the time I learned I could grill hot dogs instead of boiling them!"

And then the reveal. "And?" he asks curiously. He thought this mighta been a crazy contest with weird pies. No response, though he doesn't like Mr. Yamada's smile. Could be something in it...!

Everyone has some good picks for pies! But there is a good pie in front of him. "Oooooh! Coconut Cream!!!" Probably his second favorite. The boy nearly forgoes the fork and is practically inhaling this pie. But there is a ton of it to work with.... will he have the room for it?!

A face covered in topping looks up toward Niramo at Usagi's behest. "Its true, shes really cool!"

He would probably say that about anyone though. But Usagi doesn't need to know that! She probably is actually cool, though.

The fork hitting the table gets Steven's attention. "Wh-- Where'd Sucy go?!" Was she abducted? Oh wait, no, she is jsut really tiny. "Need some help?" he offers.

COIN FLIP: Sucy Manbavaran flips a coin. It lands on tails!
<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

"And a vote for Cherry," Shizuru announces at Usagi's words. "The debate on table manners in pie-eating is heating up, too. Is it really appropriate get anything less than messy in such a situation? It would appear that reputations are at stake..."

"What strategy is in play this time?" she wonders over at Fuu. Before--Where'd Sucy go?

"What a mystery!" A beat, "Ah, but here we have a whole stance devoted to the next pie, as well as a philosophy of pastry." She direccts attention to Niramo just in time for her wholesome wish right after Roe-chan. And right in time for the compliments to add up.

"We almost have to wonder if our contestants are as sweet as the pies they're eating. ...Or if they'll stay so sweet as they find the next layer..."

"So, let's watch the competition of careful fork and abandon in action!" A beat, "Though one of them might have a point about a cyclone here..."

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

"If you get your pie on me, you'll never hear the end of it, Usagi!" So swears the vengeance of Rei Hino, between mouthfuls of pie.

The problem with telling whether Usagi got pie on her, of course...

It's not like Rei isn't using a fork; she's not an animal. It's just that her forkfuls of pie are heaped, cream all a-falling from the sides, and sometimes they slip out and she has to catch them and -- look, it's normal for pie, especially eating pie quickly, okay?

If Sucy happens to have disappeared under her table from the pressure or whatever she just did, Roe-chan could really care less. She has pieorities.

... that is, Rei-chan has priorities!!

"Oh," she sneers from around a forkful of pie, "Juuban students go to balls? I thought you were all about the family fun fairs!" The fact that she's often socialised with Juuban students at fancy balls apparently goes entirely uncommented, just like Shizuru's lack of commentary on her.

But there's one person who has thus far evaded Rei's sharp tongue, and she can't help but notice her fellow archer's progress. So, of course, Rei issues to Fuu: "Such a dainty strategy! If you want to take your time and enjoy the pie, we'll see you at the finish line, Fuu-chan..!"

<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Sucy looks up towards Steven and starts talking to him.


Is... she saying something?


"--if you can't EAT MY PIE FOR ME, I need you to PICK ME UP! So I can TALK to you! Or -" Sucy tries to indicate a broom so she can ride it.

This gesture would probably make perfect sense to Lotte or Akko or really anyone from the same class as her, but you can't expect everything to carry over.

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

Is it really much of a 'debate' when actions are being permitted to speak louder than words - by dint of not even *trying* for words? The sound of a fork clattering to rest on a plate provides a slight distraction ...

And Rei's verbal shot across Fuu's metaphorical bow is much more than a *slight* distraction. "I didn't realize you were so frequent a visitor to this part of Yamanote, Rei-san, as to be an expert in pie-eating. Certainly one would never know it to look upon you ..."

Cue a sunny, almost beatific smile before Fuu reapplies herself to working through the Massively Fluffy Coconut Cream Pie which constitutes Round Two of the pie-eating contest. Bold words notwithstanding, though, the Infinity student *is* starting to flag. It's not that the pie doesn't taste good (although it may seem *too* sweet, after the more-savory pumpkin/herring concoction which commenced the contest), but -

Put it this way: Fuu wasn't planning to enter a pie-eating contest, and as such, she didn't *prepare* for it the way some people do when they take these kinds of contests seriously.

But she's still trying.

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

"Steven thinks I'm cool!"

Usagi chirps, before letting it slide since Niramo seems to back off, or at least she thinks Niramo backed off.

Usagi stabs more fistfulls of cream, inserting them into her mouth, getting a little bit messy.

However as Rei protests... then follows up with an insult of Juuban. And Shizuru's seeming validation of her cyclone remark.

Usagi suddenly flicks her wrist a little, sending a globule of cream to splatter on Rei's table in a sudden escalation.

"As if I didn't know that! It's not like you ever let anything go!"

Usagi begins shoveling more and more of the cream in her mouth in an effort to clear her pie tin out of the enormous out of its cream filled volume.

<Pose Tracker> Haruka Tenoh [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Taking the luxury of time and making good use of it, Haruka has only just finished most of the ice cream, with a small hemisphere hiding in the cone still. Not a drop of it is on his mouth, as compared to some of the others here. Usagi in particular looks like a two year old at her birthday party. Inner and Outer, good and evil: many have wondered over the years how that girl is the legendary Sailor Moon.

Rei is showing a more honest side of herself in this competition. Haruka is used to her bashfully flirting, or at a distance, showing a cool unapproachable demeanor. Is this a priestess or a viking, berating Fuu for her maidenly eating while snarfingly displaying the proper method?

Sucy's underhanded methods go unnoticed compared to Shizuru calling them out. Haruka is too busy musing about why Shizuru is here, and why with her fiance? Crunching a bite off the end of his cone, he wishes she wasn't so occupied by the podium. He'd like to see what they act like together.

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

Steven finishes this particular pie lightning fast. Like it was made for him, or a boy with messy eating habits. Some contenders might be able to argue more got on him than in his stomach. "Good...!" he says, satisfied. A look down to Sucy. He can hear something... but can't tell what she is saying. But the boy does clean his hands off with some napkins and wet naps, and helps get Sucy up near her pie as CAREFULLY AS POSSIBLE. She is tiny now after all!

He helps her up to the table to reach her pie. "There's a lot of it there! Do you need some help or something? Uh, we should get you a megaphone or something so you can be heard..." A look around

Eyes fall to Shizuru. "Oh! Miss, can we borrow your mic! We have a tiny contestant that can't be heard well!"


"Definitely cool!" he replies with. To Rei: "I love ballroom shindigs! I have a cool suit to go with the occasions! Family stuff is fun too!"

It cost a lot to get it cleaned after the last incident though...

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

It's a weird balancing act to protect oneself from any excess pie coming her way. A heaping forkful of coconut creamy goodness will get most of its' contents delivered to Niramo's mouth, and the knife is held ready to help balance the contents on the way over. It also works as a handy barrier to deflect any falling splatters...well, the ones she can see, anyways.

A philosophy of pastry? Nothing like that, she's just going for the optimal way of devouring what she can, speed and clothes cleaniness! This announcer is trying to make her sound like some sort of pastry kung-fu monk...which actually sounds really cool!

Wait a minute...is Sucy missing? Maybe that pumpkin and herring pie didn't agree with her. There's little doubt as to why...

Usagi's appreciation of being cool is undermined by the amount of cream on her face, giving her the look of a blonde Santa in August. Then again, Niramo was only marginally better, and so were those facing the Coconut creation before them all. Oh well, she was already in for a pound of jibing already.

"Usagi-san, you're letting quite a lot of that cream out of the pie already. I didn't know you specialized in comestible costumes!" And a quick point towards Rei gives a clear indincation to the crowd who she's directing this next bit to. "I don't know, the last 'ball' at Ohtori I went to turned out to be a dodgeball catastrophe. Did you have a hand in the planning process for that?"

A classroom kitchen did turn out to be a wonderful shelter during that chaos, even if her dress did get torn up in the end.

Finally the fork is starting to hit actual crust now, showing the end is near for the current opponent. Her card table is covered in dropped and deflected cream and Niramo's face could be mistaken for a snowman from a distance, but now the ravenette is starting to have a new problem during this war. She was starting to get full.


From her spot in the crowd, Yuhira Ena sips the last of the lemonaid through her straw with an intentionally noisy vacuum of noise. "If Niramo-chan thinks i'm sitting next to her on the train back, she's mistaken..."

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

There's a cart that comes rolling up along the edge of the crowd (which has been hooting and hollaring for their favorites, and just cheering for mess in general; the coconut cream is big hit for this reason).

It has the next round of basket-covered plates upon it. The wicker just makes shushing sounds, as it bounces along, but the plates clatter, loudly enough to announce the cart's imminence towards anyone in the way.

"AND NOW," Mr. Yamada crows, as the coconut cream plates start to clear, "FOR THOSE WHO CAN CONTINUE! IN HONOR OF OUR NEIGHBORS, SOUTHERN CROSS' SIGNATURE PIE..."

The first plate is put in front of Usagi, the first basket lifted:


The crowd gasps, no one louder than the employee who lifted the basket. Frantically, she returns to the cart and lifts the next dome.

Then the next, and the next.





How to capture something that you only see for an instant? It was... green, definitely green. It had a real big mouth for a real small critter, with crumbs all around.

  • belch*

Then it launches itself off the cart and into a blur.

And then it's gone.

"...new plan!" Mr. Yamada shouts into the mic. "Whoever catches that thing is the winner!"

Pandemonium erupts...

...the entire storeroom of pies is discovered to be empty...

...the whole little town is turned upside down...

...but the varmint is never found.