2020-06-05 - Mascot Gear Solid: Infiltration

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Mascot Gear Solid: Infiltration

Magical girls entranced; henshin items stolen; it's up to the mascots to retrieve the stolen artifacts and save the girls so they can save the day!


Citadel, Deimos, Tarte, Lion, Mokona, Ressi, Batiste, Yuuno Scrya, Fallen Stern, Mepple, Luna, Mipple, Kero-chan, Hummy, Kyuubey, Tama-chan, Butler Zakenna

GM: Luna-Pink


Desolate Mansion

OOC - IC Date:

6/5/2020 - 09-06-15

Mascot gear solid cast.PNG

<Pose Tracker> Luna-Pink [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Tarte and Chiffon - Fresh OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGhgR1jzLqs

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single mascot in possession of a magical girl, must be addicted to gossip...

The prevailing opinion among the magical girl community is that their mascots all talk to each other, and they're right. The mechanism for this has evolved over the years. In 2015, every mascot has access to (or, through surreptitious means, CAN access) a smartphone, tablet, or computer (though few mascots can handle them easily). Accordingly the current preferred mode of communication is a secret, magical app that only magical creatures can see:


(Like Signal, but for mascots.)

There have been big chats before, sometimes even for crisis coordination, but today is something special. Whole constellations of mascots are popping up who rarely do; the night sky of Tokyo is getting crowded by this immense number of stars.

Figma's video group chat looks somewhat like the Brady Bunch, if the Brady Bunch also allowed fake backgrounds (though not everyone knows how to make one). As more and more mascots enter the call (their cameras at various dubious angles, mostly a function of how easily they can maneuver them), the little squares containing their image crowd in more and more densely around a large central square that contains the current speaker.

The current speaker is Kero-chan, partially because he has mad tech skillz compared to a lot of the crew (Kero is an avid gamer, among other things), partially because although there is no official leader of Fairy United Nations, he is an extremely prominent member, despite hailing from Earth (or perhaps that's really why).

Partially because he's a motormouth, and so it's just statistically likely that if anyone would be speaking right now, it'd be him.

Kero-chan is a guy who appreciates properly setting the mood, and so his background looks like a war room. Big oak table, banks of flickering screens. He also appreciates accessorizing; somewhere or other he's gotten doll-sized mirrored shades, and flipped them down at a cool angle.

(They're a little too big. He's having Gendo Ikari problems with them.)

His voice, however, is uncharacteristically serious.

"Thank you for coming, y'all. Thank you for being here. I know today is an extraordinary day, and it means a lot to see y'all showing up like this. Listen, someone's volunteered to report out on the current situation..."

The central square is suddenly occupied by a frantic and fuzzily white and pink kitten head.

"It's terrible-nya!! They've taken all the artifacts-nya!! Nyand all the magical girls, they're trapped in some kind of trance, nya~"

Kero-chan coughs. "Thanks, Hummy, but you're not actually who I mean--"

<< Earth Date 09.06.2015. The last day of 'summer vacation' for most humans currently going through pubescence. >>

Two round, pink-red eyes fill the central square; the rest is white fur. No mouth, at this angle. Also, Kyuubey's voice does not issue from the various devices' speakers but instead injects directly into other mascots' minds, because he's a creeper.

<< The earliest recorded incident occurred at 0900 hours, when the parents of a magical girl instructed her to double-check that her summer homework was completed. When she made physical contact with the homework, some kind of magical trigger activated. >>

Smash cut to the bedroom of a blond girl who wears a big red bow. She has a scowl on her face as she bangs around her desk looking for her packet, but it melts away into unnatural neutrality as soon as her fingertips discover it, buried under three feet of laundry. She sits down at her desk, clears a space for the homework, and begins working on it with a blank expression that could be focus, but isn't.

The Venus Star Wand in her back pocket levitates out of it behind her, but she can't notice. Then it falls towards the floor, where a shadowy portal opens up for an instant, allowing it to fall through.

<< These incidents have spread throughout the day. Even magical girls who don't have people to remind them about their homework have received reminder notifications from their schools on their smartphones to give things one last check. It is now 1300 hours, and every magical schoolchild in Tokyo appears to have been affected. >>

Other smaller squares, surrounding the big one, fill with recordings of similar incidents. One or two are Puella Magi, who are unconscious (at best) across their workspaces. A HiME is seen still doggedly flipping through a textbook even as she is floated downwards through a portal.

<< There are a small handful who do not attend school, but they appear to be unreachable. It seems likely that alternative countermeasures were prepared for them. This concludes my report. >>

Kero-chan takes back over, addressing this unusual participant with some uneasiness and, accordingly, formality. "...Thanks, Mr. Kyuubey. Regardless, not only do the girls not have their items, but they're trapped doing homework as well! My Sakura-chan has been working for TWO HOURS STRAIGHT, and that's plain not natural! Even if they've done all their homework, they just start all over again! I couldn't even snap her out of it with my emergency stash of cookies, y'all!"

Hummy bursts back into central view. "We have to save them-nya!!" she declares while thrusting a heart-padded paw at the camera, her eyes closing with passionate intensity. "This is like a fate worse than death-nya!!"

The floor is open.

Figma chat mgs3.png
<Pose Tracker> Citadel [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Citadel, traditionally, does not get on Figma.

He has historically resented the role of mascot. It wasn't something forced upon him, but he embraced it in that way that only someone who pretends they do not want something of pride can. He logs on just infrequently enough to comment how it is strange that he felt like logging on today.

When he appears on Figma, he has a custom background: an animated one, showing the (silently) screaming vortex of gravitational lensing caused by a supermassive black hole. It flares red at the edges of the mind-bending three dimensional gyre, in sharp contrast to the blue runic light that emits from the runes and bands along his body.

His solid, glowing eyes, track across the screen. At Kero -- then at Hummy -- and then, finally, at Kyuubey.


He raises a paw to his chin, and Citadel looks thoughtful. "...then... Camry has not become responsible overnight. Truly, this is troubling."

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

One of those tablets is currently being manned by A LARGE CROW. Not a fairy crow, with adorable big eyes -- just, a crow. The people of Tokyo would call it a large-billed crow, and then chase it away with a broom, because crows are not cute or well-loved by many people in the city.

Phobos is the larger of the twins, and that's about the only thing setting the two apart, at a casual glance. (Of course it's not the only difference. Phobos has some headfeathers which point forwards; Deimos's sweep backwards. Obviously.) Her head cocks to the side at a wyrd angle, as Kyubey finishes speaking.

"Caw," she says, as she looks away from the screen, at something off to the side.

"Caw!" Comes another voice -- that's Deimos, can't you tell? She's a little more high-pitched and just generally louder -- slightly muffled.

(OFF SCREEN: Deimos, with a beak full of shrine maiden robes, tugs at Rei's arm. Rei continues scrawling down mathematical formulae without even looking up. It's horrible!)

"Ka-caw," Phobos summarises, hopping from talon to talon on the dresses as a second bird hops up to the tablet to shove her face in beside her sister's. (They're sisters, obviously.) "Caw."

Deimos clacks her beak, and puffs herself up, seeming to almost double in size. "KAH!"

Phobos rolls her eyes. It's pretty much impossible to tell this is happening, beyond the little lilt upwards of her face, because their eyes are scary-shiny black. Regardless, it is absolutely impossible to misplace.

Yeah, they're always like this. Let's take it as a vague affirmation that everything is bad where they are, too.

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

"My Yumi can't take much more of this," a feline voice notes, her fluffy face black with a pink nose and green eyes. She is a cat, and is another of Earth's mascots. "But the coordinates suggested attune with my senses. The Staff and likely the others are there, at this abandoned mansion."

"Ehhhh? A mansion?? Oh... We have to hurry! I can confirm Passion-han and Peach-han are both affected!"

But our hero this evening is not the fluffy black cat, but the adorable Tarte, a very, very cute fairy who is not a ferret however much he might resembled such an Earth animal. He is largely gray, with big brown-irised eyes, large ears, and a whitish front, wearing a royal blue scarf, as befits his status. He has four paws, and his eyes are currently very big where he is on the screen. His tail is all bristled! His background is a bedroom, because who has time for custom backgrounds?? Not Tarte!!

Tarte is a regular on Figma, though as per usual, he is interrupted by the sound of crying, surprisingly light this time. "Don't worry, Chiffon..." It's hard being a fairy caretaker. "We'll save them!"

Of course Chiffon's not coming. What's wrong with you??

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

The Gem Temple is always a peaceful place to be, but tonight is a bit more quiet than usual. A distrubed coffee table and a few bits of homework are all that are there. The Crystal Gems were last seen going out to try and locate their charge. He left his phone home, and hasn't been heard from.

As such, the house is quiet. Quiet except for A LION.

Many people have seen the mascot with Steven. a giant, pink lion. Mane is more kept and wavy than zoo-fare, and his eyes seem more friendly than most would expect. He has a magical air about him for certain.

Though with his attempt to set in a chair that groans under his weight, he acts like a housecat. His attention is linked to a bit of shiny stuff in a blanket on the nearby couch, and tries to paw at it frantically. It appears to be... glitter? Looks like someone was crafting something.


Lion's large snoot is poking against Steven's phone turned on. His giant face can be seen on a screen in oom. How did he turn it on? How did he download the app?!

The world may never know.

Large inhales and exhales come from the phone, though watches Kero-chan and Kyuubey with intent, large eyes blinking. He seems in! The other cats of the party may be able to read him better.

Kero-chan is a fellow lion however, so he would lend a paw for certain!

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

"I am a creature of strange matter. Of the ephemera of dying stars, of the dust of blasted worlds, of dreams of empires forever forgotten," Citadel groans, looking right at Deimos and Phobos both. "I do not speak... bird."

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

"Puuuu, puu pu puu puu puuu~"

... is what a magical girl would hear from Mokona. The Cephiran fairy's voice among fellow mascots, however, is a bit more comprehensible - especially by way of the Figma app.

"Yeah, dudes, all three Magic Knights're way outta it. Fuu'd *done* her work, she doesn't need the do-over; Umi'n'Hikaru are just full school-daze. Been tryna fix in on their ovums, closest I can get is out past the city's edge. Someone gets a better fix, think I can do a lift for summa'y'all."

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

"Hello? Can... can you see me?" A worried yet smooth voice goes along with the small green... finger? Hand? Paw?... taking up the whole camera in one of the windows, tapping it repeatedly. The fingerless hand's owner moves back and is finally in frame within a pure black void - a tiny, green, large-headed floating child covered in scales and darker stripes. Her near-glowing yellow eyes stare nervously into the camera, and her long tail swishes back and forth like a scared cat's. "You can see me, can't you? This is... not normal."

The floating snake fairy - Ressi, is practically shaking, but then takes a deep breath and seems to become calm. "No... not normal at all. I should either be connected to my... thing... or be invisible, even to you. Of course, the more concerning matter is that as studious as some of our charges are, this is a little more than that." She taps her chin toughtfully. "I see three problems. One, they are in a trance. Two, our artifacts are stolen, and three... this means that it is likely whatever did this knows our charge's identities or approximate identities."

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

Batiste is here... with an ottwork connection.

He is floating on his back. He is in what looks like a well landscaped indoor koi pond with a black plastic liner, a range of river rocks and some interestingly shaped objects on the pond bed, and a comfortable range of fernlike plants to one side, next to a gently sloped ramp. There is also a small ceramic plate holding shrimp tempura.

Batiste is a sleek and elegantly well fed otter, not very large. He can be taken for an Asian small-clawed otter, although his snout is a little longer and his eyes have a glimpse of white around the sides. Even so, he would fit in with an exhibit of those estimable creatures, and he can even, marginally, pass for an exotic pet in the exotic world of Tokyo.

He also has a glamorous waistcoat, visible on a tiny frame just on the edge of the space.

(EXTERIOR VIEW IN SHIBUYA 4-4-4: Batiste has an armature to allow him to get on his OtterPhone and have it plugged in while he splashes around. This is where Nori's modelling income goes. Otter accessories. (Probably.))

"An able summary of the situation, Kyubey," Batiste states. "The Ohtori Academy learning systems pushed a notification to my cousin earlier and she is, at present, working industriously upon her laptop... as she has neglected these matters for some time, other, I must say, than her French grammar!"

Batiste waits as if for applause. He continues a second later, picking up his last shrimp tempura. "Do you have the subtitles on...?"

His head turns slightly to look at the Tama window. He munches his tempura in vigor. "The Brazen Pharos is a vital legacy of ancient Melancholy, as well as being the crux of my Siren's route. Let us collate our impressions - if they are all uniform, then this suggests a unified cause...!!"

"Yes," he immediately confirms to Ressi, "We see you - yes, you're coming in great! Hello! Welcome to Figm-- alright I will spare you the new materials..."

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

Deimos clack-clack-clacks her beak at Citadel, which is its own sort of chattering. Phobos arcs her head up -- again, what are those angles, how do birds do that -- and brings it down on Figma's control panel. Peck, peck, peck.

Shortly thereafter, the two birds leave the confines of their bedroom for an actively erupting volcano!

... wait, no, that's just the background changing. Apparently Phobos is a tech wiz. What? Someone in the shrine has to be.

"Caw," she huffs.

(Is she saying that things are as bad as an erupting volcano..?)

Deimos, on hearing the Kwami's concerns, helpfully disappears from the disastrous shot. She reappears a few moments later, holding up a hand-mirror in her beak, which she angles back towards the camera. "Caw," she points out, helpfully, which might well mean: of course we can see you.

Whether the mirror actually reflects her in the expanse of the Brady Bunch is left as an exercise for individual cameras.

<Pose Tracker> Luna-Pink [Admin] has posed.

Kero-chan pumps his tiny golden fist as reports start coming in about a possible location. "Woohoo!" he cheers. "Keep it up, y'all, let's get a fix!"

Hummy gives Ressi a comforting mew. "It's okay-nya," the kitten tells her. "LAST summer someone bad STOLE all the homework without knowing who they were-nya. And there was that time Queen Beryl sent everyone magical a message-nya. They have... ways-nya? Nyof... seeking the magic... without... the girl...nya..." She rubs a paw against her heart-marked forehead, obviously succeeding at confusing herself, but she isn't wrong about the precedent.

Kyuubey, who has just demonstrated that HE at least knows who everyone is and was somehow capable of recording them all in their bedrooms, says nothing.

<Pose Tracker> Yuuno-kun [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Unlike Tarte, there is someone here who is very much a ferret! Also a boy and a mage, but let's not think too hard on that right now. For one of the participants on this call is one Yuuno Scrya.

The archeaferretologist's slightly fuzzy, sandy fur, single expressive ahoge, and beady green eyes are set wide with attention and worry as he listens. His long ferret-tail flicks and sways nervously, the mage-mascot's little fluff atop his head switching this way and that. His eyes glisten a little, shining, barely held in concern writ in those cute orbs. That sandy muzzle opens, tiny ferret nose wiggling.

"So it's the same with all of your friends? Nanoha-chan has been working so hard, she needs a break as it was. Now she's doing her work over and over..." That little line of a muzzle purses as he digests the reports. His Figma background is that of a tiny library all around him, with mixed pinks and his own iconic greens, no doubt a visual effect he's put up. In actuality he's tap-tap-tapping away with little paws at Nanoha's laptop. A tiny pair of headphones with a mic are sat around his big round ears! Around his tail is one of Nanoha's ribbons which one might spy whenever he moves his tail.

"And I'm worried about Raising Heart too. I can't use an Area Search like this, but if we have the coordinates...well it's up to us."

"Has anyone claimed responsibility? And do we know anything about the defenses of that mansion?" At least Yuuno is already thinking of how to deal with the whole situation, gears almost visibly turning behind those emerald orbs.

<Pose Tracker> Fallen Stern [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Vooom. Voommmm.

In one of the squares is a plain looking room, camera pointed at a wide and awkward angle across the empty space.

Occasionally the square jumps to life with a 'bang!' of impact. Occasionally the source of the noise appears in the background, a circular disk gliding along the carpet. The clean black exterior bounces slowly between walls, a dozen purple LEDs blinking and adjusting.


Roomba Stern reorients once again, this time heading for the door. It is shut.


Bang. Bang. Bang.

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

A moment ago, Mokona's window just showed an extreme close-up of a fluffy white face, with closed eyes and a smiling mouth, and part of a round red jewel embedded above the rest of its face.

Now, though, the camera zooms out - or Mokona moves back from the pick-up - and its surroundings are visible, as is the rest of the Cephiran fairy's body. The latter is roughly egg-shaped, with 'arms' that seem to short and stubby to do much of anything, while its feet are long and rabbit-like. So are its ears. As for the background and surroundings ... is Mokona in a flower garden?

"Feathery dude, volcanos might be kinda tiny. Someone's stalled out *all* our champions, at the same time, and swiped their items. That ain't small. Last three - or six, however many - times something like this went, the peeps behind it had *big* things going."

Mokona pauses, tromping around in a brief circle, tilting this way, then that - like headtilting, but with most if not all of its body; it might look like it's trying to get the light to reflect off its forehead jewel *just* right.

"... what was I saying? Oh, Fuu's fam knows she's a Magic Knight, no secret to break there. - Oh, hey, ferretman!" Mokona smiles wider, waving to Yuuno. "Mansion out there ... oh right, *that* one. Probably trying to keep out magical girls ... buuuuut, *we* aren't magical girls. Just gotta swoop in, nick back ovums and whatnot, swoop back out, bad guys none the wiser!"

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

Tarte's screen is busy for the next few moments, but when he returns to focus Chiffon is not in view of the camera. Luckily he has his own!! Considering that Peach and Passion's phones are also their henshin items...

"I'm sure it'll be okay, Phobos!" Tarte answers, because obviously he can tell the two apart. Duh. "But it's a good time for new arrivals," he says, "Because we're going to need to work hard!"

Pause, looking at Fallen Stern's display. "E-ehhhh???"

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

"Hey, hey, hey mepo," Mepple holds his fingerless paws up, making a little 'pushing down' gesture as if to urge calm. "This isn't all bad, is it-mepo? Your Staff and your Braised Pharaoh aren't going anywhere-mepo. I know some of you all are lucky enough to have magical girls that don't need the extra study time, but some of us have really dumb ones-mepo! Maybe we should let this go a while-mepo."

He folds his fuzzy arms primly. "It's all very good for Tama-chan and you noisy birds to tell us to hurry-mepo! Your girls can microwave curry without digging the instructions out of the trash three or four times! Why don't you think about how me and Luna feel-mepo? We should at least think about--WILL SOMEBODY MUTE STERN-MEPO?!"

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

Citadel does not make a face at Deimos because, as a rule, he doesn't make faces. His draconic-wolfish visage is not the sort to be very expressive, though. He gets quiet, and instead focuses. "If we can get a fix... then, it will fall to us to mount the rescue."

A moment passes.

"Camry has mentioned this mansion to me. She has said it is confusing and its occupants desire the forbidden dread power known as..." His eyes gleam. "...donuts. It is necessary to--"

Citadel stops in his verbal tracks. Then: "Infernal vacuuming contraption! Fallen Stern is a being of majesty and glory! You will unhand him or I will cast you unto the flames!"

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

A black cat with a yellow crescent moon mark appears on the screen, her red eyes giving her a pensive expression. A small cat sized headset is over her ears, with a mic next to her mouth.

Also her background is a picture of London at night. A silhouette of Sailor V standing atop a rooftop striking a dynamic pose, with a gallant looking white mooncat at her feet. A glow of the moon faintly alights them.

Luna is genuinely annoyed that she hasn't figured out how Artemis locked in this background right now with Minako being displayed as the patient zero example.

"Every time she waits to the last minute to do her homework. And every time something like this happens. It's almost like its connected."

Luna allows for a lengthy sigh.

"At least this time they aren't in the hands of a Dark Kingdom trap when this is happening."

Tapping away at a computer with her pawsies, she brings up a smaller view screen as if trying to confirm everything. "Alright. Let's put our heads together. This mansion can't be that abandoned if that's the site where their artifacts were sent... who's the most likely culprit in Dark Fall?" Luna says with a nod towards Yuuno, "Right... we should assume its well defended. What means do we have to bring ourselves inside... Yuuno - can you magic accomplish that?

A baby cries lightly, a bird keeps cawing. Luna's eye twitches, as she begins to join in with Mepple's attempt to bring order. "Can the language impaired among us please let the rest of us think...!"


Pause. Luna reaches to try and mute Stern. Her success is limited

"I think we'll need someone to go pick up Fallen Stern." Another pause, "I'm not volunteering for that. Citadel? Would you like to field that? Or... wait Citadel is useful. Phobos - Deimos. Do you want to pick up the Shiny thing?"

Luna enunciates it out further, "Go... get... the... SHINY Stern... while the rest of us... plan."

No she doesn't think birds can actually pick up Stern. She just thinks that it's a fine distraction for both parties.

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

Two ferrets, an otter, a crow, a roomba, a confused cat.... quite the interesting group, though not filling Ressi with confidence if what she thinks is happening is happening. "A mansion, hm. That's a pretty big location that could have plenty of traps and secret passages. Are we going to be storming it blindly, or are we going to come up with a plan?"

r Some of them did have the right idea though. "Monoka.. was it? This does seem to be a big deal, you are right. This does seem like big things are coming. They didn't just STEAL our artifacts, they NEUTRALIZED them! I'm severed from mine, but should be invisible because of it. See the problem? Whoever did this is powerful or skilled. Do you have any idea how we are going to swoop in and out unseen?"

But Mepple... Ressi facepalms at Mepple's suggestion. "Even if my charge wasn't extremely studious or forced to be, I still would not agree with your assessment. And what if it isn't just homework the trance is doing? What if there are side-effects the longer they quote 'study' unquote? Knowledge could be power in the wrong way."

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

Deimos has since turned that mirror around with her claws and is finding endless amusement admiring herself. Head tilts one way, head tilts the other way. Why are birds? We just don't know.

Phobos has the luck of still paying attention, which means she gets to see all of Fallen Stern's struggles. A strange look passes over her face. (Can't you tell?) Her beak falls open, minutely.


No one needs a translation for that one.

That is the sound of one bird laughing raucously.

"Keh?" Deimos looks up from her mirror, and has to cant her head the other way to suggest her confusion.

"Caw," Phobos brushes her off, feathers fluffing up. Seriousness returns to her tone, as she informs them: "Ka-caw caw caw. Caw."

This would carry much more narrative weight if she hadn't just made a bunch of bird noises.

The world just isn't ready for Phobos's rallying speeches.

Finally, she fluffs herself up and hops out of frame. Shortly thereafter, she reappears, with a sheet full of maths questions.

She holds them up to the camera.

Every single answer is wrong.

"Caw," Phobos concludes, and maybe her point is that their girls aren't actually learning much from this experience.

Deimos, meanwhile, pecks at Figma until Phobos puts that homework down to help her figure out what she was actually trying to do. Shortly thereafter, the smaller bird disappears.

Did she actually take Luna's advice and look up where to pick up Fallen Stern..?

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

Batiste frowns a little at what Mepple says, but chooses to eat his feelings for now. His head turns back a little from the sheer force of Fallen Stern's Sternsonality.

"We must act, with care but also without hesitation," Batiste opines. He then finishes off the tempura and says, "I'm putting on my coat, going off cam," before doing exactly that.

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

"Ehhhhhhh??????" Tarte's voice comes in at Mepple's. "Don't talk like that! I mean, sure, Peach-han could stand to study a little harder..."

"But that's not a very heroic thing to say, y'all!"

<Pose Tracker> Fallen Stern [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.


Fallen Stern is still attempting to batter down the door. It is not going well.

<I WILL NOT BE SILENCED!> It is probably extremely easy to silence Stern.

Luna's idea seems to meet with approval, at least: <I WILL ACCEPT AVIAN AID. ACTIVATING ARIAL WARFARE MODE.> The roomba begins rotating in place. This may or may not be intentional.

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

The background behind Lion keeps shifting, and gets a little gross from time to time. He tends to grab it with his giant mouth and haul it from place to place. It is currently out on the deck on the ground, facing to the sky. Pink hair overs over the camera, and sniffing can be heard, as if Lion is hunting for tracks bloodhound style.

The beging from the enchanted Roomba gets Lion's attention, a giant eye looks through the screen.

He reacts little to the cacophonous conversation. As it is just that to a cat. Deimos and Photos actually get more of a reaction as Lion attempts to lick the screen when they speak.

<Pose Tracker> Yuuno-kun [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Yuun winces a little bit every time Stern bangs into something. He tries not to show it. He's trying to be polite! Fallen Stern is very clearly doing his best and trying.

"Please don't do anything rash." The ferret says only slightly awkwardly, futile though the statement may be. He also gives Mokona a wave right back with as much of a smile as he can dredge up underneath all the worry. He takes a deep breath. Be calm, Yuuno. He has to think.

"That's true. A place like that might have defenses against magical girls, but would they really be looking for people as small as us?" A glance to Citadel. Okay, maybe not small-small in every respect.

As Luna addresses him, the small ferret shakes his head. "I can't teleport everyone without a Device, but I can at least analyze any barriers that they might have set up. I might look like this, but I am a mage!" He promises lightly, maybe a little pleadingly.

Then he turns to Ressi. "I don't think storming in is going to be a good idea, if we're faced with someone that powerful. Maybe..." Slowly, the ferret settles on something, and nods. "Miss Snake, everyone, I think this should be a sneaking mission." Pause. More tapping of his chin. He adjusts his tiny ferret-phones.

"We go around the problem and get anything we need on-site if we don't have the resources on hand. I'm sure even a scary mansion has useful things. If nothing else, we need to find out where the artifacts are being held."

<Pose Tracker> Luna-Pink [Admin] has posed.

Kero-chan pushes his sunglasses up his tiny, tiny nose. "This will be a dangerous mission!" he declares. "And not just anyone can go -- we need a small, elite team. The best of the best! Plus, some of us will have to stay behind to monitor the situation and make sure nobody else notices that the girls are all swirly-eyed. And watch the babies. I'll stay on the line to help coordinate ch'all. And maybe we'll be able to get you more data about that dark fortress..."

He pulls another tablet into view, which has a Maps app up and a blinking location out in the countryside. (On the side of the tablet, it reads: DAIDOJI TOY CO.) Coordinates are visible.

"If you're going to go, better get out there lickety-split, this ain't something we can cover for forever. But... there's nothing we can't do if we do it together!"



Tokyo's a huge place and the Desolate Mansion is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in the countryside. Normally humans use some combination of trains and busses and human-length legs to get where they're going. Things may not be so simple for the mascots... some of the larger and more mobile ones might get stopped by alarmed people if they're seen just running around by themselves.

Challenge Outline:

Cuteness: Hitchhiking (openly)

Roughness: N/A

Swiftness: Hitchhiking (secretly)

Smartness: Getting the money and the disguise to successfully use public transportation/hire a cab

Please +roll 2d6+stat value NOW (so that we can coordinate the results into poses). If you get at least a 9, you have no problems. If you get under, you'll need help from someone who succeeded to catch a ride!

DICE: Citadel rolls 2d6+3 and gets 7!
DICE: Tarte rolls 2d6+3 and gets 11!
DICE: Luna rolls 2d6+5 and gets 11!
DICE: Yuuno-kun rolls 2d6+4 and gets 14!
DICE: Batiste rolls 2d6+4 and gets 12!
DICE: Fallen Stern rolls 2d6+2 and gets 5!
DICE: Ressi rolls 2d6+4 and gets 12!
DICE: Deimos rolls 2d6+5 and gets 11!
DICE: Lion rolls 2d6+4 and gets 7!
DICE: Mepple rolls 2d6+3 and gets 11!
<Pose Tracker> Citadel [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"I see... yes. I should have expected no less." That declaration made, Citadel turns his attention to Yuuno Scrya. "Come. Nanoha will be disappointed if we do not assist her friends. And I have determined that I cannot allow Camry and Aizawa to remain in such a behomeworked state."}

If that isn't a word, Citadel just made it one.

He doesn't remark on being useful. Of course he is useful. He certainly isn't at a fraction of his former power, aware every day that people younger than him fight, and he can do nothing.

That would just be... depressing to admit.

Thus, Citadel's eyes gleam with an unusual blue eagerness as he starts to stalk forward.

Citadel walks to the front door. He looks up at the door hand -- squints -- and then, in a most undignified manner, grabs it with his snout, and pries it open. Then, he sets out -- and steps into the street. He looks left. Then, he looks right.

"Curses. Camry's... phone is how we find anything..."

He picks a direction, and begins walking. His tail, thick and wide, swishes side to side like a reptile's.

His wanderings will, suffice to say, not be very quick. Fortunately, he walks in a particular direction by accident.

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

"Some of you don't know a lot about humans-mepo," Mepple sighs. "Do you know how big a human is mepo? What sort of side effect could hurt a human-mepo?"

"I'm worried about Honoka, mipo." Mepple's droopy-eared counterpart joins, in that already-a-soprano-but-doing-a-falsetto voice of hers. "She normally looks so peaceful when she's doing homework, mipo... we should go find the Queen Cards, mipo!"

Mepple's sticks out of Mipple's screen suddenly. Not literally. Literally? It's fairies. "You want to go together-mepo??

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


Batiste leaps up onto the countertop and carefully manuevers himself in front of the train fare machine. After a lot of squinting and calculating, he plunks in yen coins from the rather beefy change purse on the inside of his waistcoat. With a beep and a chunk, he is given tickets, which he snags.

Batiste leaps down and scampers to the turnstiles, where he kip hops upwards, slides almost off, saves himself with a scrabbling wiggle of his hindparts, and then gets the leverage he needs to put his ticket into the turnstile. When he gets the green light, he nods once, throws himself down, spins round the threefold turnstile rods a couple of times to build up the necessary momentum - chunk!

Batiste throws himself up to stand on the turnstile side in order to retrieve his punched ticket, which he duly places into his waistcoat.

He leaps down, then, and takes the escalator...

DICE: Mokona rolls 2d6+5 and gets 10!
<Pose Tracker> Tarte [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Right! I'm going! But if someone wants to come by and check on Chiffon, she's sleeping again right now!"

Tarte makes another worried look at each girl and at Chiffon, and then darts down the way and out the door, thinking...

He scurries about and sneaaaaks his way out of the house while the adults aren't looking. Then he's running!! And he thinks of a good way by which to go...


"Heeeeeey," Tarte says to Citadel, running up and standing by the... uh... 'dog.' "Let's go together!"

Now, one thing Tarte might do trying to get around town is try to find Kaoru-chan.... but at this time of day he's already where Tarte needs to be!! So instead, Tarte leads his new group to the road and--

Yep. Tarte sticks his 'thumb' out by the side of the road and waits on the side of the road for people headed further down Clover Town Street to get the rest of the way out to the park district. When a car arrives, he makes his biggest, cutest eyes without talking..

And in short order is in the back of a car with Citadel on the way over.

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

The snake slips through the shadows, sliding silently. She spies an auspicious opening, and accurately and surreptitiously strikes, sticking to the side of a speeding SUV destined in the direction of the dark domicile.

In other words, she hitched a ride on an SUV heading towards the mansion, but she would like the former description better.

It takes a couple of cars, but she eventually gets within slithering distance of the manor.

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

It takes no time for Lion to get the gist of mobilizing with Kero-chan's gusto! THe cat is already running with a phone in his mouth towards... somewhere. The call cuts off eventually as a tooth or lip presses the disconnect. He must find his charge, and he will do it with the help of his fellow Mascots.

The phone is dropped on the beach as he keeps going down the beachside.


Lion has stopped in his hunt for Steven, others, and the magical items. Because... people have baited him with chips. "Oh, look at him!" Says a young lady, late teens. She has just finished a trip to an onsen and gotten dressed, offering the cat her snacks.

This has enthralled him for a bit.

He may need help.

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

Luna light footedly hops onto the back of a delivery scooter just as the driver revs up the motor, bracing herself as it jolts into drive and merges onto incoming traffic.

She makes it part of the way, bounding off into the grassy walk by the Hot Springs.

"Okay - this cross street will have a lot of traffic going that direction..."

Luna runs into the paw of a pink lion. And looks way up.

And blurts out, "You got distracted by snacks!?" Luna pauses as she remembers there's someone feeding him. "I mean. Meow."


"Go go go!" Luna rushes for the back of the empty delivery truck as the driver takes away the last load.

Lion lumbers over, as Luna leaps into the back. Lion looks up at her. "Come on! We don't have much time!" His forepaws grasping the edge of the trailer as he flails trying to get in.

Luna rushes up and grips his cottony mane in her cat like jaws, tugging, despite the fact that he's so much larger and it's doubtful she can do a thing.

Eventually Lion pulls himself up and dumps itself inside, on top of Luna.

Luna flattens, decidedly more squishy.

"Off! Off... Ugh! Why do I get stuck helping out the big one..."

The two take cover behind some boxes, as the trailer door is dropped and the engine starts to run.

The truck pulls out onto Clover Town Street... big letters on the side...


"Don't scratch up anything - it's suspicious."

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

%r DID YOU KNOW: crows can operate doors?

They kind of latch onto the doorknob with their talons and flapflapflapflapflap to avoid toppling over and eventually the door opens.

That's how Deimos frees Fallen Stern from his eternal torment.

Once they get outside -- well, that's a process, let's not gloss over that. There are stairs, but Deimos helpfully fashions the tool of a ramp, by going back into Fallen Stern's boy's room and acquiring a clipboard from his school supplies and setting it up. He might need to roomba down the stairs carefully while she keeps setting it up for the next stair, but that's fine. They can make this work.

They totally make this work, by the way. That's a thing.

UNTIL THEY GET TO THE GRAND OUTSIDE WORLD, with its many cars and a bus stop and just, a ridiculous amount of curbs.

Deimos seems distracted for a moment.

This is because, in that bird brain...

'Is this working, Deimos?'

'Uh, yeah, Phobos? It always does.'

'Great. Welcome to the Coronis-Rei Observation and War room Discussion Enabling Contrivance.'

'The Coronis-Rei Observation and War room Discussion Enabling Contrivance..?'

'That's right, Deimos. I call it the "CROWDEC call".'

'Wait, we're renaming our empathic link?'

Why do you always have to make fun of my improv?!'

'Come on, you know I'm just giving you a hard time.'


'Anyway, quiet down, I have to figure out how to get to the mansion and I'm pretty sure I can't actually ride Fallen Stern into battle. He's not coping well with... you know... angles.'

Once Deimos is done zoning out thinking about whatever it is birds think about, she gives Fallen Stern a break by helpfully hopping in front of him and pointing out with one broad wing: a four-wheel drive, which the owners are presently loading up for A CAMPING TRIP, presumably in Nishitama, where everyone goes for their camping trips.

She pecks at his sensors for a moment, grabs at it with a claw, only to hop back and decide, "Caw."

THAT MIGHT MEAN: he's very heavy. So how are they supposed to get him up there?!

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


Being the mascot companion to not one but *three* magical girls means Mokona has a fair bit of experience at getting around Tokyo by various means. The trains, the subways, the occasional buses, cars, trucks, everything is fair game for Mokona when it's in a hurry.

And doubly so when it's not ... but fortunately, the Cephiran fairy *is* in something resembling a hurry at this point, in spite (or because) of its worry about the Magic Knights. It is, in point of fact, a fluffball with a mission.

But that doesn't rule out having a little fun in the getting-there. Why ride *inside* a bus when you can perch on the roof, ears flapping in the breeze, enjoying the afternoon sun, or the splendor of the sunset if you're still in transit as evening draws on?

Getting closer to the mansion means it's harder to find a ride in the right direction, but if necessary, Mokona just bounds along, taking advantage of its jumps peaking above the greenery to scout the surroundings.

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

"Some of you don't know a lot about humans-mepo," Mepple sighs. "Do you know how big a human is mepo? What sort of side effect could hurt a human-mepo?"

"I'm worried about Honoka, mipo." Mepple's droopy-eared counterpart joins, in that already-a-soprano-but-doing-a-falsetto voice of hers. "She normally looks so peaceful when she's doing homework, mipo... we should go find the Queen Cards, mipo!"

Mepple's sticks out of Mipple's screen suddenly. Not literally. Literally? It's fairies. "You want to go together-mepo??"


Kiss - I Was Made for Lovin' You - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b89j6IacN0

Mepple's eyes bulge into two giant pink hearts. "Then it can't be helped, mepo!" Mepple decides. "You wait right there and I'll pick you up mepo!"

"Really, mipo?"

"Of course! Just wait right there!"

The Figma call cuts off. Time to go to work.

Mepple's little legs tremble as he labors under the weight of a cordless phone. Paw by paw he carries the huge burden over to the laptop. "Meeee..." He dumps it on the table like a powerlifter dropping the bar after a record-breaking lift. "PO!"

Plopping his hands all over the keyboard, he googles a number.

"Yes hello mepo! I mean, hellommm..." He grinds his teeth around, trying not to say it. "Please send a human right awaymmmee..." He shakes his head. "That's right mm! An urgent deliveryyyymm..." Hitting the OFF button, he wipes sweat off his fuzzy forehead.

As Nagisa listlessly does homework, a large envelope is wobbling around on her bed. Papers start spitting out of it at random, some slightly torn. Once the envelope is empty, Mepple crawls out if it, grabs its corner, and hops off the bed. The big envelope fills with air, popping taut and turning into a parachute to let Mepple down gently to the ground.

When he hauls himself onto the table in front of Nagisa, the envelope is dangling from his other paw. Panting, Mepple walks onto Nagisa's homework, which causes the listless, orange-haired girl to pause. Hopping up in the air, Mepple hooks her lower lip with a paw and drags her face down almost to the level of the table. "Bleh-mepo!" Mepple complains as he reaches into her mouth. Fishing out Nagisa's tongue, he uses it to scrub the glue on the envelope, wetting it all down.

Rie Misumi, Nagisa's mother, is walking past her daughter's room when she hears a knock from inside the door. "Nagisa?" she calls distractedly. There is another knock. Reaching towards the door, Rie pauses when she hears a noisy crinkling of paper from inside, and a thwip noise like it being folded. Frowning, she pushes the door open. Inside, a sealed envelope is on the ground. Nagisa is at her table, just working.

"Nagisa? What's this?" Rie bends her knees and picks up the envelope quizzically. There's something soft inside, like a stuffed animal. "If you want me to mail this, it's coming out of your allowance."

In marker on the envelope is written: mOm pleeZ gib 2 delibber mepO

frOm nAggiSa mepO

Rie sighs. "Nagi-sa! You're in high school now! Can you please work on your handwriting?" Turning to go, Rie hears a snigger.

"It's not funny!" she calls back.

When the TA-Q-BIN employee arrives, she accepts the package from a cranky-looking woman in an upper story apartment. "This needs a..." she realizes belatedly, but the door is already shut. Sighing, she examines what information IS on the manifest label. There's a good address anyway. And special instructions...

pleeZ pikkup Mipple frum hOnOkAs houz

"Who is Honoka?" the frustrated teen employee calls at the closed door.

Inside the dark envelope, Mepple feels himself tossed into some sort of bin. A few moments later, the envelope starts to rumble along with whatever human vehicle is bearing it to its destination.

"Mippuruuu~" a squashed but cheerful Mepple sings to himself. "Your Hero is on the way!"

"What's this?" the man at the routing station asks, indicating the special instruction on the envelope. "Honoka?"

"Just ignore it," the delivery girl sighs.

<Pose Tracker> Fallen Stern [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Several more minutes pass in Endo Naoki's room, every few seconds punctuated by a bang on the exit door.

And then--freedom!

BGM Change: Ooaaah ooo ooo - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EV9IdeU3D0

Fallen Stern rolls out the door once Deimos and Phobos manage the handle, slowly descending the stairs to the street below. There's a lot of banging and clattering on the way, several near-flips, and eventually roomba stern escapes onto the street!

Which presents its own set of challenges. Namely that its difficult to get traction on all the bumps and ridges. Also that he's nearly stepped on at least twice by people hurrying by on the busy streets of Tokyo.

Still, the journey continues. Until the bird points out the car ahead, and a possible shortcut.


Fallen Stern voooms forward, right up until it falls off the sidewalk curb and half-lodges itself in a grate.

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

Glowing yellow eyes peer out from the grass at the mansion a good distance away. Ressi was ready to get into position. She just had to make it from point B to point C. "Ah... no more cars, no more avoiding civilians, just got to sneak close enough to rendezvous with everyone else. Just need to..."

Wait, where were they supposed to meet? "Ugh... some genius the Kwami of Mystery is. It's a mystery I manage to find my own tail when it is curled around me." She glances back and forth, then sighs. "Well... I'll have to make this up to myself and remind myself of my intellect actually existing."

<Pose Tracker> Yuuno-kun [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Yuuno ends the call with a swift and determined nod to Citadel. "Of course, Citadel-san. I won't fail Nanoha. And we won't fail our friends." A super-serious ferret look, and his screen blinks out. In passing, stops to get in one last worried glance to Nanoha.

"Believe in me, Nanoha-chan! We'll do this for you!"

And then he skitters his way stealthily down the hallway, barely making it past Nanoha's big sister on the way out. A duck against a wall, leean out, and then he slips out the door.

It's not terribly difficult for a swift ferret to navigate the streets. He manages to duck any children that know him as Nanoha's pet ferret, slip past two animal control workers when he was spotted by a salaryman, and rode on the back of a vespa in order to get just a little closer to where he can hitch a real ride. Case in point?

A family packing their bags for a camping trip. The little ferret is already sizing up a perfectly Yuuno-shaped (in not-an-actual-guy form) backpack, when he spies one crow as well as one monstrous belkan device shoved into a vacuume cleaner.

Yuuno...well, he's never been one for Devices that specialize in tearing things down. He never fully clicked with Raising Heart, and he has about zero chance of being able to properly use Fallen Stern even if he were in his human form. He still feels sorry for the artifact though. And so rubbing a paw against a cheek, he hops down from the curb he was about to use to leap into the bag with, and sneak-sneaks over to Deimos and Fallen while keeping low as he can. He's a walking slinky, to that's pretty easy to do.

"Deimos-san, Stern-san! Um, I can help a little. I can't teleport. But I am an aerial mage." Mage, not familiar! Even Yuuno has some pride. He peers over to the family as they load a cooler. Then he looks back. CRASH.

"...Let's go." His smile is a little twitchy as he watches the disaster that is Fallen Roombstern. Eyes close, and he concentrates! A squared, emerald-green magical circle emerges just under the Ferret. And then he's going for one of the now grate-stuck Device's sides!

"We can do this together, Deimos-san. Please..." He gives a big, wide-eyed look to Deimos, full of hope and just a little ferret cuteness.

"Nnn...Levitation!" He casts a spell as best his linker core can in this small form. Suddenly, that long tail and paws of his glow green! He lifts off gently from the ground. Slowly, slowly.

"Ah, why does this have to be so heavy...we need more lift!"

His fluffy face scrunches in concentration, and his tail begins to rotate like a fuzzy helicopter blade, struck through with emerald! The littlest Blackhawk, he magic-tailspins up while those paw cling to Stern as he tries to add ferret-powered lift with Deimos' help! Even his ahoge spins, as if it were a pinwheel on a hat, adding that last crucial bit of upwards power!

<Pose Tracker> Luna-Pink [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Evil's Mansion - FWPC OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya9kpqHAvDU

It's easy to meet up as a group without attracting any attention; the property is huge. But it isn't ONLY huge.

The Desolate Mansion is palpably evil, which most humans -- even most magical girls -- can't easily notice, but sets the average mascot's hair on end. The whole place radiates chill, and not the fun kind.

Despite that, it seems sort of... better-kept than usual?

There's a reason.


The marks on their foreheads -- and their color -- clearly label these guys as Zakenna, minions of the dark forces that destroyed Mepple's home, the Garden of Light. But normally they're either possessing some object, or scattered by Marble Screw into a million apologetic stars... the two butlers who are gamely trying to rake up the yard seem sort of... different.

In more than one way. Apologies aside, Zakenna can be terrifying opponents, monstrously aggressive and viciously ruthless. But the butlers (who are obviously so, in their well-pressed getups, with their well-used cleaning implements) seem like... pretty normal guys. The tall one is slow to speak. The short one never stops talking.

"And after we do this, we should get the leaves out of the pool-zakenna! And after we do THAT, we should see about making dinner-zakenna!"

"...okay-zakenna," the tall one drawls, agreeably. Eventually.

The mansion is huge, sprawling; multiple floors, multiple wings, even. It has many points of entry, but one of them is OPEN: the butlers have carelessly, or perhaps just casually, left the FRONT DOOR AJAR. (It IS a very nice afternoon.)

There is also a cellar door around the side that mascots might be able to force or jimmy open, but it's a stout and ancient thing and potentially quite difficult to manage. There's also no particular guarantee that whatever storeroom it leads into connects to the rest of the house. There's ALSO no particular guarantee that entering at dungeon-level is an especially safe idea compared to (presumably) the foyer...


MASCOT GEAR SOLID CHALLENGE 2: Enter The Dragon-- Uh, Dungeon

The Butler Zakenna have left the front door open, and can be snuck and/or doe-eyed past.

There is also a cellar door that can be broken into one way or another.

This challenge has TWO ROUTES FORWARD!


Challenge Outline:

Cuteness: Create a distraction to help others sneak in the front. DIFF 10. (Butler)

Roughness: Break down the cellar door. DIFF 12. (Cellar)

Quickness: Sneak in the front. DIFF 10. (Butler)

Smartness: Defeat the lock on the cellar door. DIFF 12. (Cellar)

NOTE: if the whole group doesn't all do cuteness/quickness or else roughness/smartness, they will SPLIT THE PARTY for at least one challenge. You may wish to select one direction or another as a group. As usual, as long as more mascots succeed than fail, you'll be able to help each other through it, either (or both) way(s).

However, if the group doing the BUTLER challenge fails it (whether or not they're all or some of the overall team), they will be CAPTURED. (This will not end the plot; just ask Bond, it can be an okay strategy.)

After deciding how to proceed, and declaring any relevant traits or special abilities, please say which stat you're using, and +roll 2d6+stat value.

DICE: Citadel rolls 2d6+5 and gets 11!
DICE: Luna rolls 2d6+4 and gets 10!
DICE: Ressi rolls 2d6+5 and gets 12!
DICE: Mokona rolls 2d6+4 and gets 15!
DICE: Yuuno-kun rolls 2d6+5 and gets 10!
DICE: Mepple rolls 2d6+3 and gets 8!
DICE: Fallen Stern rolls 2d6+5 and gets 9!
DICE: Deimos rolls 2d6+3 and gets 12!
<Pose Tracker> Citadel [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"I am in your debt, Tarte," Citadel says, as he rides in the back of the car.

He glances about -- out the window, and he looks like he wants to sniff outside of it. However, he refrains; after all, Citadel is aware that he is not a dog. He will insist, even, that he is not a dog.

After awhile, though, they arrive.

It requires walking through the woods. He slows to a stop, as he reaches the edge of the woods, and spots the mansion. He looks over the Zakenna -- and then he looks to the side, at where the cellar lay. Citadel considers for a moment.

"The most certain way into a fortress... is to bypass its defenses." He begins to pad towards the cellar door. He looks down at the lock -- and his eyes flash blue, as he begins to scan it, in some way.

He assumes that Tarte has followed him. He likely assumes wrong. "Tarte! I have need of tiny ferret hands. Undo this lock and we shall advance!" A moment, then: "...Tarte?"

DICE: Batiste rolls 2d6+4 and gets 12!
DICE: Lion rolls 2d6+4 and gets 15!
DICE: Tarte rolls 2d6+4 and gets 12!
<Pose Tracker> Ressi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Guards. Or cleaners, but likely also guards." Ressi distrusts those two clearly evil groundskeepers. "How are we going to get pas-"

Then she spots it.

"A cellar!" She whisper-exclaims quiet-excitedly. "Perfect!" She sneaks around to the cellar door, examining its lock. "I think I can work something... if... if I had the tools..." She looks at her stubby nubs for hands, then at her tail. "Maybe the tip of my tail... no... to thick. My fang? No... that would hurt." She glances at anyone else around. "Anyone able to supply something I can pick a lock with, or have their own experience on it that may surpass my own?"

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

"Aw, it's fine!" Tarte tells Citadel casually. "We got to stick together!" He then says under his breath, "People can be really helpful around here, huh?"

But they arrive. Tarte, of course, considers the door, watches the butlers carefully, and thinks about going. But Citadel starts towards the cellar door, and Tarte blinks. "E-ehh? Well that's true..."

He frowns though. He frowns very cutely, but nevertheless frowns. "Citadel-han, I am not a ferret, I am a cute-cute fairy! But I'll forgive you for not recognizing me this time!"

He makes his way the rest of the way up, having heard from behind, and gets to looking over the lock. "Hrmmmm," Tarte says of it, and nods to Ressi. "With this kind of lock..." Tarte gets up reaaaaaal close and puts one adorable ear to the surface of the lock. "I'll help listen for the mechanism too!"

<Pose Tracker> Fallen Stern [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

<GOING BEHIND ENEMY LINES.> Fallen Stern warbles. The roomba vooms to the side, beginning to cut a slow path toward the cellar in the back.

<I AM PREPARED.> warbles Stern to Ressi's request. Roomba Stern, however, does not happen to have a lockpick. Instead, the disk revs up and smashes into the lock. It works about as well as the previous door that Stern contested with.


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

FUN CROW FACTS: Deimos's wingspan is something around the range of 115cm, or 45 inches. With sufficient flapping, and a little magic...

They're going camping.

A short jaunt later and they're not going camping, actually: they're going somewhere much worse. Deimos flaps along under the treeline, which means dodging branches, but at least lets her keep a better eye on Yuuno and Fallen Stern as they approach.

Somehow she manages to avoid stopping to peck at dead things on the way. What? It's a forest. She's a bird. Carrion-eaters are valid???

Something worse than the smell of a dead mouse, though, is the stench of evil. It's not a smell, not really; in fact, the mansion seems surprisingly well-kept. "Caw," she lands, and gestures to the cellar with a wing. "Ka-caw!"

Roughly translated: why don't we break down that door, there are less people watching that one.

In her mind are echoes of birds:

'Are you about to do something astoundingly dumb?'


'I'm getting that distinct feeling from you right now.'

'I was just going to smash a door open??'

'How big is the door.'

'Like... human sized?'

'For the love of Mars, use your head.'

This time it's Deimos rolling her eyes, and it's just as impossible to tell and equally impossible to miss.

And so, instead of slamming herself bodily into the door, Deimos hops over to the garden in an unsupervised moment, and digs out...

A length of metal, which once might have been wrapped around a trellis.

The trellis is long-gone, and the bit of metal has been forgotten, but that shiny glint didn't escape her. Up to the cellar door she hops, hop-hop-hop, because crows are not good at walking. Crows are good at tools, though, and she inserts the bit of metal, just as Ressi's asked. She does this after Fallen Stern has done what she definitely wasn't going to do, of course.

Jiggering it about with her beak for a moment, she finally hops back with a huffy, 'Caw!'

And looks at the other mascots.

Someone here must have hands.

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

Lion accepts another chip with a giant tongue. Nom. A familiar voice calls from a ride, but he doesn't truly take notice until he hears a 'Meow'. This causes Lion to snap-turn his head like a swivel, hie mane swishing through the air and coating the kind girl with it for a moment. She spits and sputters, leaning back.

He remembers seeing Luna in the conference call. And so! Lion trundles over and climbs up in the car, accidentally flattening Luna in the process. The giant pink cat gets up and off them quickly enough.

The vehicle's suspension may squeak with his weight. Naturally unresponsive, he does watch Luna intently, sitting up proper when they talk.

They eventually arrive at somewhere that makes Lion's man bristle. A low rumble can be heard AND felt by others around. While the front door is open, Lion cants his head to the side, and sees another entrance, somewhere they might keep a chubby kid if they caught them.

At the cellar, Lion sees other Mascots attempting to enter, including a small moving black disc thing. Stern gets a sniff or two, retracting when they speak. It too, seems to want inside this door. So Lion lifts a giant paw, and will try to bring his weight down on this odd door.

Phobos and Deimos get big eyes cast toward them. Just what is he thinking...?

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

A single, marshmallow-white, fluffy, bunny-like ear pokes slowly above the hedge as the Zakenna butlers tidy up the yard ... followed by a slightly leafy Mokona, rising up just far enough from the shrubbery for its eyes to alight upon the door which stands so invitingly open.

"Puuuu~ puu puu pupupu puuu~!!" <And there's our way in!>

Cue Mokona darting out of hiding without a care in the world, zigging and zagging and darting back and forth. The so carefully, painstakingly tended yard might not keep all of its nice tidy appearance after the fairy's passing, but it's not like Mokona is actively *malicious*, heavens no! Just exuberant, and curious, and fun-loving within the bounds of its current purposes.

"Puu puu puu?" <Knock knock?> Mokona bounds up to alight briefly on one Zakenna's head, tilting left, then right, as it looks at the other Zakenna. "Puu *puu*!" <Hi there!> And the egg-shaped, bunny-eared fairy bounds off one head and onto the other, sprawling briefly like an extraordinarily floofy and adorable hat, ears hanging down the Zakenna's back like ribbons off a school uniform beret.

"Puu pu pu puu puu, puu puu, pupupupu puu puu~!" Now it's (probably) just teasing the Zakenna, but Mokona launches away to grab a dustpan and a brush, starting to help sweep up stray fallen leaves. Never mind that its arms *should* be too short to make any real progress, it's doing it anyway and looking utterly adorable and innocent as it strives ...

... and gradually circling about the yard, away from where the mascots infiltrated, keeping the Zakennas' attention. You'd half expect it to be wearing a maid apron and headdress, if only to complement the butlers' outfits on the two monsters ...

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

Luna takes one look at the Zakenna butlers in the midst of their routine and slinks off to the back, motioning for Lion to come. "Quietly... quietly..."

Luna makes it to the back, and examines the lock. Jostling the door with a small kitty headbutt. Note to self. Store a pair of lockpicks in there next time..."

Luna then turns to the group...

"Not that anyone could use it..."

Standing up on her hindpaws, she claps her paws together twice.

"I don't hear anyone speaking up. Someone has to have a hairpin... Citadel - Lera has never dolled you up even once...?"

Suddenly something flaps in her field of vision and she watches the Crow insert it in the lock.

Luna stares at the huffy crow. "It's not very dignified... but these are desperate times. And I'm definitely more qualified at this than you Deimos."

Luna grasps the length of metal with her mouth, and inserts it into the lock - beginning to jiggle it, trying to use her paws to steady it.


She's making no headway whatsoever.

"Stupid... primitive... lock."

And then Lion brings his paw down, and the blunt end of the metal jabs up in Luna's mouth from the force. With a little muffled yowl, she falls back, paws over both of her mouth and starts rolling on the ground.

Deimos is given something to laugh about.

<Pose Tracker> Yuuno-kun [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It's a good thing that Deimos is along with her long wingspan, because ferrets have to try really flipping hard to fly. Even magic ferrets. When they finally are camping proper, he collapses into a bit of a heap. Little cartoon dust-clouds exit his muzzle as he pa-pa-pa's catching his breath. Wiping sweat from his brow, it goes remarkably chill as they approach that Desolate Mansion. He steps behind Deimos for a second. Bird feathers are warm, and his ahoge is ramrod straight an shivering uncomfortably!

Yuuno, having shown his flying (tail spinning???) prowess, has smartly decided to not try the pair of youma butlers. No, this is a sneaking mission, and he's convinced that the best place to put stolen things is in the ground. Important things end up in the ground! And he's in no mood to excavate Raising Heart in a century or two from now!

So instead he's off to the cellar! Wince. Wince! He nods to Ressi as he tries not to get a headache from Stern's proper dedication to breaking all the things.

"It looks like you all have the front covered. I'll work on the foundations. I saw a video once online from this lockpicking lawyer...something about shifting a frame?" Chin-tap. What was it? Right.

Two sets of claws shink, and then he goes at the ground near the base of the cellar with wild abandon. There's a dustcloud kicked up as he digs and digs and digs and digs. Like an insane backhoe, there's a ferret-sized pile of dirt growing at a frightening rate as he tunnels towards where he hopes is the doorframe underground. He tries to work to make the door unstable, shift the foundations by making very unstable tunnels, and generally is being a proper mahou non-combat engineer about the whole mess.

...Just don't blame him if he gets distracted down under the earth, as he notices a fossil wedged near the door frame that he's trying to also work up and out of a tiny fissure. Even Earth's underworks are fascinating! And maybe this long dead shellfish fossil will help them rescue the artifacts!?

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

"Wow this place is creepy," the TA-Q-BIN driver grimaces. His car is idling outside the gate, well away from the mansion. Hopping out with the envelope, he pokes his head against the bars. "...yeah, no," he decides. Tossing the envelope through the bars of the gate, he hurries back to his car and kicks up some dust driving away.

The envelope, just inside the gate, lies still for a few seconds, Then it starts bulging and wobbling around, stretching until the paper tears and a round fuzzy butt sticks out, with a star-shaped tail extending from it. That butt wiggles around until Mepple's body dumps out, tearful and frustrated.


"Why isn't this Honoka's house-mepo?!" Mepple kicks the envelope. "I wrote it in Japanese right on there-mepo!" Learning to write Japanese a little is one of the only difficult things Mepple has done since he got here, though he does not see it that way. Sighing, he grabs the envelope in one paw and drags it behind him as he goes to join the others.


"There's so many of us-mepo," Mepple grumps as most of the fairies head off to breach the basement. "I just want to go see Mipple... they're going to make this take so long-mepo. Well, fine mepo!" he yells after them.

"The courageous heroes will go right in the front-mepo! You two are clearly the most--"

Mepple looks at Mokona's blandly cheerful face, seeking some sign of intelligence. Just then, Mokona starts off towards the door, so openly that even Mepple is alarmed.

"Geeeh..." Mepple has his arms crossed, his eyes closed like Mokona's, but with more of a grumpy old man expression. "Well Mokona's Mokona, mepo. Well, stick with me, Batiste-mepo. I'll handle the brainy stuff and any trouble... you handle the swimming-mepo."

Climbing back in the hole he made in the envelope, Mepple hurries after Mokona. "Let's infiltrate, Batiste mepo!"

Mepple rams the envelope right into the stair leading up to the porch, crumpling it in right up to his face. Turning around dizzily, he runs a few paces the wrong way, rotates, runs again until he bonks the stairs again, then climbs up. At the top of the stairs, he trips and lands on the crumpled part of the envelope again.

His little yellow paws jogging, he starts pushing the crumpled envelope edge along on the ground like he was sweeping.

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

Batiste "Not A Scofflaw" Nolastname arrives near this mansion, scampering up amongst the shrubbery. Scampering, indeed; capering, perhaps; gamboling. He is wishing he'd taken some tempura shrimp with him because he's fixin' to hungin'.

He comes from the wrong direction relative to many of the others, meaning that his precious little black paws, so clever, so nimble, so "almost like a hand, or at least worthy of a handshake experience", only splap on the pavement.


Batiste wiggles his backside in anxiety. But then! His head lifts upwards at the sight of a round and glorious object. What a charmer, Batiste thinks, before he dives in between bushes in a zig-zag pattern, gunning it for the door with the enthusiastic and backweighted power that powerful swimming legs can bring about. It's really more of a bound... perhaps even a sproing.

Braised Pharaoh, Batiste thinks. A moment later, Mepple speaks up. Batiste ducks low and undulates nearer to the fairy, keeping low to the ground, tense, on alert. If he were a cat his ears would fold back. But he has tiny round ears. "Good plan," Batiste says: "I'll certainly overcome any, er... nautical challenges." (Maybe, he thinks, Mepple has a lot to him... a deep heart of courage and tactical...........)

Can you, dear reader, spot the part where Batiste saw Mepple's charge begin.

Batiste's jaw works up and down a couple of times as his eyes roll back in his head and in conclusion he picks up the envelope in that selfsame jaw, clenching shut and hop-hop-hopping up the stairs while striving to keep his foreparts - and thus, Mepple - on the lepple.


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


Mipple, Mepple's pinker counterpart, waits innocently for her Hero's arrival on the far side of the gate at Yukishiro House. From the porch, she rode the big golden retriever Chuutaro sidesaddle, except that she kept falling off, so eventually she accepted letting him very gently pick her up in his mouth.

He deposited her at the hole in the wall that he prefers to use to get out. Wiping off his slobber with only a low-key wail of dismay, she warbles, mostly-cheerfully:

"Hmhmhm~mipo~ someday my prince will come~mipo~"


Mipple is still waiting at the hole. Not because she's expecting Mepple to appear, coming through it; he doesn't know it exists. But because she expected him to save her from the necessity of having to meet him out on the street. And the hole is dark and dirty and the bricks are a little jagged and...

"Mepuru... where are you-mipo?"


Chuutaro wandered off long ago.

Alone, Mipple inches towards the hole.

She isn't pink anymore.

Across time and space, Mepple has an evil feeling...


<Pose Tracker> Luna-Pink [Admin] has posed.


Batiste, Mepple and Mokona enter the front door, the Butler Zakenna none-the-wiser; delighted by Mokona's appearance and helpfulness, they lavished unquestioning praise upon the fluffball.

"Wow-zakenna!" remarks the big one.

"What a helpful woodland creature-zakenna," muses the little one. "What do you think it is-kenna?"

"Hmmm," ponders the big one, his rake slowing.

"Don't stop raking-zakenna!!" complains the little one. "You don't want to get caught slacking off again, remember last time-zakenna!?!"

"Ouch-zakenna," the big one agrees.

They disappear into a debris cloud of their own industry, at which point Mokona is free to join its friends.

The foyer is large. It has a shoe rack. Somewhat ominously, many shoes are in it. Mostly DARK shoes. Black leather boots with tarnished buckles and wicked spikes. Blood-red high heels. That sort of thing.

After that, the mansion opens up into... a surprisingly normal living room. It's BIG -- vaulted multi-floor ceiling and all that -- but... couches, chairs, coffee tables. Carpet. It's... nice. The most ominous thing in here is the big fireplace; there is nothing but ash in its hearth.

There are NUMEROUS doors leading to other parts of the house. There is also a grand staircase going up... and, behind it, a somewhat more modest staircase going down.

MASCOT GEAR SOLID: NO REQUIRED CHALLENGE, but, IC decision: do you try to find your friends downstairs, or wander elsewhere looking for the missing items? If you have any TRAITS that might influence this decision, call them out! If you have some story ideas for how to figure out which way to go, you could PROPOSE a challenge using any relevant stat!


Even after Ressi, Deimos and Tarte manage to unlock the door, it still takes Lion's sheer force to open it -- it was heavy, and stuck.

Teamwork makes the dream work!

The rest of the party enters the basement. An ill wind issues up the stairs behind the door, and, once the group is at their base, it is pitch black.

It is dark.

And evil.


But not silent.

The ill wind switches direction.

Something's down here...

...something big...

<SoundTracker> Psycho Screech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfthzU3V4zo

...something BREATHING.


Roll roughness. Fear-resistance traits are relevant so call 'em out if you have 'em. After everyone rolls, I'll quickly pose again, letting you guys know who fails, and what that means...

DICE: Luna rolls 2d6+2 and gets 8!
DICE: Lion rolls 2d6+4 and gets 9!
DICE: Yuuno-kun rolls 2d6+2 and gets 13!
DICE: Tarte rolls 2d6+2 and gets 11!
DICE: Deimos rolls 2d6+9 and gets 19!
DICE: Fallen Stern rolls 2d6+5 and gets 10!
DICE: Mepple rolls 2d6+2 and gets 14!
DICE: Ressi rolls 2d6+1 and gets 13!
DICE: Citadel rolls 2d6+2 and gets 14!
<Pose Tracker> Luna-Pink [Admin] has posed.


Luna and Lion PANIC, and flee uncontrollably. At least they both go in the same direction: deeper in.

Everyone else keeps their head enough to be able to adjust to the darkness a bit. The basement is full of junk; it is a veritable maze of abandoned furniture, piles of boxes, and other such knick-knacks. Much of it is creepy; statuary, pieces of black wrought-iron fence, that sort of thing.

There is, however, a dragon.

It is black, and vast, and sleeping.

It will not stay asleep if Luna and Lion do not PERFECTLY navigate the maze. Helping them do so will require something like a cross between high-speed Frogger and Tetris. They can't be restrained, but a path can be cleared ahead of them.

Assuming they make it to the stairs up, at the far side of the huge basement, they will run straight into Mepple, Batiste, and Mokona, who are on their way down.

MASCOT GEAR SOLID CHALLENGE 4A: Clearing a path for Luna and Lion will take a combination of Quickness and Smartness.

MASCOT GEAR SOLID CHALLENGE 4B: Mepple, Batiste, and Mokona can restrain/calm Luna and Lion with some combination of Cuteness and Roughness.

DICE: Ressi rolls 2d6+5 and gets 7!
DICE: Citadel rolls 2d6+5 and gets 12!
DICE: Tarte rolls 2d6+4 and gets 8!
DICE: Deimos rolls 2d6+5 and gets 10!
DICE: Fallen Stern rolls 2d6+3 and gets 11!
DICE: Yuuno-kun rolls 2d6+4 and gets 15!
DICE: Mokona rolls 2d6+4 and gets 13!
<Pose Tracker> Batiste [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Batiste runs past a pair of big chunky black boots with like spikes etc. That's normal.

He runs past a pair of red pumps. That's normal.

He runs past a conspicuous lack of fluffy soft knit slippers, and THAT is when he starts to worry, because THAT goes against his sample size of shoe collections.

After setting down the Mepplenvelope, Batiste smacks his mouth to get the taste out and then says, as he looks round, "This place... I see... it's like a conventional residence. I had worried it might be more obviously a secret base. We should search the secured areas --"

"!" Batiste points one precious little paw. "There - a quick recon of the lower level... that is the most plausible place for concealing a wicked action of fell sorcery or dire thaumaturgy."

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

"A cute-cute fairy... yes. I understand."

He watches, placidly, as others work on the lock. He lacks the means to manipulate such a thing easily. But in time, they do break the lock -- and it cracks. That gives them the path forward...

And Citadel begins to descend into the dark. He glows when he does; it seems that he can light the area up around him. He looks up, and then his eyes widen a little.

He sprints ahead. Citadel can move fast when he puts his mind to it. A blur of aquamarine light is left in his wake, a zig-zag of the stuff, as he lowers his head down.

Right for Luna's rear, to bump her forward before that panic can send her wrong way.

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

Mepple's feet start paddling in the air when he's picked up, as though he thinks he is still running. Batiste may be familiar with this sort of phenomenon, though for him it would be more associated with water.

When he's placed down safely inside, he yanks the envelope off his head, panting. "Batiste-mepo!" he hisses. "Hurry up--!" He looks up as Batiste starts talking.

"Good work, you're almost as fast as me-mepo!" he congratulates Batiste, who, technically speaking, WAS always about a pace behind Mepple the whole time. He screws up his face gravely. "Fell sorcery..." he tries that out on his tongue. "Good catch... I'll be careful-mepo. You too, Mokona mepo! Come on mepo!"

He keeps repeating it to himself thoughtfully as they plod to the staircase. Fell sorcery. Fell sorcery.

At the top of the stairs, Mepple freezes, stricken. The aura of terror (or at any rate, the fact that the light isn't on) seems to have cut through to his fuzzy core.

"Oh no..." his teeth chatter. He turns his terrified eyes up to Batiste and Mokona. "We better hurry! Mipple's probably been waiting this whole time mepo! What if she..."

He pauses. There's a noise. Something coming up the stairs.

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

"Puuuu puu puuuu~!" <Look at this place!> Mokona bounds into the mansion as if the place were all spruced up for a party, rather than desolate and vaguely menacing. The shoes are inspected, one each of several pairs lifted from its place, scrutinized quickly from random angles, and put back not quite as it had been; the ash-filled fireplace gets a quick look, and a quiet sneeze, before Mokona proceeds on its wa. The carpet is rolled around on for a bit -

And then Batiste points out the door to the basement. "Pupu puu puuuu~ puu puu puu!" <Huh, you think so? That'd fit Fuu's games, lead the way!>

The sound of footsteps rising from the basement doesn't even give Mokona pause - although the fluffy fairy *does* take a more 'braced' posture, arms curled, body hunched, forehead jewel glimmering faintly. "Puuuuuuu ..."

And then Mokona starts hopping down the stairs - not bounding straight down, but taking them one at a time, just in case something *does* come racing upstairs past them ...

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

The darkness does not scare Ressi. The feeling of pure evil permeating the area does bother her, but not quite scare her.

The Dragon?

Now THAT scares her! Big, evil dragon. This is a problem. Ressi nearly decides to flee before thinking about the one she is chosen to protect and fight together with. Her human charge. "We... need to do this. There's nothing more important. Do not give into fear, everyone. If we are quiet, we can - "

- watch a fear-rampaging couple of cats potentially wake a sleeping dragon.

Ressi scrambles to make sure that they don't alert the dragon, cartoonishly trying to keep things from falling over, trying to find ways of redirecting the kitty, before giving up and trying to play smarter. Predict where the cats are going to go. Yes... move that.... cat goes this way, lion goes there, that thing gets knocked ov- wait no!

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

The lock is quite strong on this cellar door! Lion pushing against it isn't enough alone! But with the help of fiddling with the lock, it pops open! A snort comes from the cat, and begins to paw his way in. Giant feet cause the steps down to creak and moan.

Eyes peer into the dark and see nothing in return. Too much nothingness in fact. Lion is no one to be scared i nthe dark. he is a cat, he can nearly see in it.

But the moment an unknown noise plays, he SCRAMBLES like a spooked housecat, and with high speed, takes off forward with a small baying sound!

With the current situation, he is literally a bull in a china shop, flying toward junk that could easily wake the dragon Lion didn't spot!

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

"Great! I knew I liked you, Citadel-han!"

But soon, after the lock is handled... the darkness looms. "!!!"

Tarte freezes in place a moment at the ill wind. It is dark. it is evil, it is scary... and there is something big down here. But he must keep his composure, for the sake of the others, and so while still afraid he focuses on adjusting to the darkness and keeping his head. This is lucky, because he discovers there are places to hide if needed, but...

Two are rushing out, and he himself is distracted heavily by the Dragon.

"Ah-ah, don't move that one without getting the thing on--aaah...."

He can try to point out a few things to avoid the loudest potential noises, but he spends too much time looking nervously back at the dragon to catch much.

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

Luna eventually calms down, though she looks like she just went to the vet for dental work.

"Wiiioooon..." She lisps as she creeps down into the dark...

The moment she hears the breathing, feels the ill wind shift.

That wind hits her JUST right, to make her feel like the nostrils are on the back of her neck.

She freezes momentarily, shivering. And bolts...

In a gibbering panic through the maze of boxes and junk.



"Nngh... a nature journal? I'm in high school now..."

Usagi is slumped over her room's table, but she perks up at a thought.

"Say... maybe Haruka-san would be up for a hike..."

She does have his number after all.

"Oh but I couldn't just..." She breaks into giggles, as she begins doodling in the margins of the journal, before she gives a small kitten like sneeze. Going cross-eyed.

"M-Maybe he's talking about me right now..." She says with a sort of fantastical wonder.


Luna gets bumped in the rear by something - probably a scary monster in the dark, and picks up the pace, her four legs pumping in the dark.

The good news is, she was directed the right way...

.... the bad news is the sharp turn caused her to hit a box with a wobbling bust that looks vaguely Zakenna like - that'll probably topple over into other objects, causing a chain of destruction without immediate intervention.

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

"Mokona you idiot mepo! Be careful mepo! Didn't you hear Batiste-mepo?" Mepple is about to rush down, but he hesitates, carefully turning around and grabbing the edge of the stair, dropping down cautiously with much blind groping of his rear paws, though he's fully capable of bounding down stairs.

"There's a spell that makes you fell downstairs, mepo!"

DICE: Mepple rolls 2d6+2 and gets 5!
<Pose Tracker> Deimos [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Dark and evil and scary, of course, are all accusations which have been laid at the feet of crows. Some crows might have even earned the reputation.

Not Deimos, though. Deimos is a SHINING HERO OF JUSTICE*.

(*In training.)

She might not be a soldier yet, but she's brave, and the shuddering darkness fluffs up her feathers but she stays right where she is. Hop-hop, she advances, one talon after another into the yawning black.

'Yawning' might have been a better description than first intended, though. "Ka--" She can't even get through her bird noise before Luna and Lion BOLT.


'What? What's going on?!'




Flutter-flap Deimos takes to wing, and one advantage she has over terrified felines is obvious: she doesn't have to barge through obstacles to get where she's going. She can fly. She comes to a perch on a particularly loud looking chair with boxes stacked high on it, right in Lion's path, and spreads her dark wings wide.

"Caw!" She hisses at him, flap-flap-flap, to get him to move in a direction which won't wake the sleeping dragon.

<Pose Tracker> Yuuno-kun [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Yuuno reluctantly abandons the fossil discovery of fifteen seconds ago as the door is opened-slash-cracked, leading down to a breathing, shifting horror within the darkness!

A dragon. An actual, real, proper dragon that he's heard of in his many trips to the library. Giant Scaled Horror Lizard is enough to have Yuuno, as he descends the stairs, go wide-eyed and leap back as he takes in the sheer size of the thing (relative to a tiny ferret!). He curls into a ball mid-air, there's a tiny burst of magic, and he rolls around like a very fuzzy ball of sandy fluff and emerald barrier magic. Which pops as soon as he realizes the thing is asleep.

"Everyone...ah, be calm please! As long as we don't do anything hastily...!" And then Lion is off like a shot.

He stage motions to the pile of Ominous Detritus that is in between Lion and forward progress. About all he can do is motion with his paws madly, and then charge forward with quiet, deft little paws! Kicking off of a part of Evil Grating, he swings his tail around and float-flies slowly over to a pile of cardboard boxes. He starts to nibble, and rip away at the boxes. But there's so much box, so much oncoming Lion, and so little Yuuno...

And then he gets an idea! He wedges himself in between two of the boxes, eyes up Lion's bulk, and prays he has this quickly-eyeballed measurements done. He shoves and pushes and nibbles away anything that is between him and shoving over this box! He ignores the label on the side. 'Evil???' An archaelogist must not be worried about danger.

Still shivering from the fright of the dragon, he stretches out like the slinky he is, shoving a box over. The flaps pop open perfectly. It's even a large box!

Hopefully out of the way. Yuuno climbs up...and motions inside the box!

Yuuno Scrya is hoping that Lion will both Fit as well as Sit! It's a property of felines, right!?

<Pose Tracker> Fallen Stern [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Fallen Stern is getting better at stairs. Which means that it can tip down them without flipping over. The rhoomba goes down in a woosh, bumping into a convenient stack of boxes to cushion its fall.

<ENEMY DETECTED.> says Stern of the hulking shape of the dragon. <EXERCISE CAUTION.>

This request, however, is immediately unheeded. The cats are loose!


Stern rumbles forward, sucking up dust and debris scattered over the cellar floor and leaving a spherical trail in its wake. The roomba begins to help direct the fleeing cats, carving out a path away from the dragon. Boxes and debris are pushed to the sides as tunnels are former in the mess, providing clear pathways that don't lead to dragon disaster.

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

Even with its eyes closed, Mokona gives Mepple a sidelong look - and then a cheery thumbs-up (it has thumbs?!) "Puu puu -" And then *leaps*, "- Puuuuu!!"

The fluffball comes dangerously close to either hitting the basement ceiling, or missing its landing and plummeting into the maze itself, but instead, the Cephiran fairy alights tidily on a wall ahead of the terrified cats, posing ... nnnnnot dramatically; given Mokona's proportions, it's more goofy than anything. "Puuuuu puu puu puuu pupupuuuu pupu puuu puupuu!!" <Hang in there, you two! Nothing's so scary we can't deal with it, just get yourselves together!>

.... is Mokona actually *sparkling* now?! (Probably just a trick of the light. Or maybe a container of glitter that got rocked slightly en passant.)

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

"Mipple's here?" Batiste says to a dotted outline that used to containe Mepple. His mouth hangs open again. His eyes turn upwards towards Mokona, and moves to start undulating down the stairs BEFORE





Batiste squeeps and ends up tumbling forwards, tumbling down at the same time. Yet all does not return to nothing; he lands on Lion's voluminous back, clinging onto his pink-tinged fur with those same agile, tiny handlike paws that might well have held lockpicks earlier. "w-w-w-waaaaahhhhhhwhat is going OOONNNN did you run into the sorceror or - oh - oh no! WAGH!"

Terror fills Batiste's heart. Confusion! Chaos!

AND EVEN SO. His little jaw sets. I shan't go down without fighting, he thinks with resolve. He raises himself upright and digs his toes (the hindleg ones) into Lion's pelt, straightening upwards. "Lion, heed me! Please, take a breath! I'm trying to -"

And mid-twist, from above, Batiste's paws are filled with an elegant shape from another world. A dark and glamorous form. A long-suffering feline friend; a fellow peer, one who has walked across worlds and stars. Batiste's eyes turn down.

INSERT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx178XZ7_gA

"Luna," Batiste says.

"It's been a long journey, hasn't it? We've never really had the chance to talk before now..."

"... But I'm afraid that if we can't gather ourselves... that chance may never come..."

At this point Batiste topples forwards and whatever moment there was is broken, because Batiste and Luna are about the same size. A relief, perhaps, to everyone. Even so, he starts to work his hind paws to try and soothe the great beast he stands atop of, and he briefly clasps one of Luna's paws in his own.

"Let's take this moment, and gather our forces. There were the staff out in the front yard - Mokona distracted them, but we cannot hope they will be wholly blind. We must plan." His legs keep working, a steady scritch-scritch-scritch and he calls up: "See, there, Lion! Let's take a seat! Compare our notes!"

Batiste smiles then. There is a gentle and bookish wisdom, for a moment, in the air.


("... is that a Roomba?")

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

The sounds that are striking Luna's ears are no longer so frightening. Instead her high powered ears are getting caught up in a frenzy of puus.

Her first reaction is What Chibi-Usa is here? then that's not her voice then a little marshmallow fluff fairy leaps into her vision and her mind superimposes Chibi-Usa's hair onto Mokona marshmallowy fairy form.

PuuPuu - I was Mokona all along - Puupuupuu!

The sudden dissonance of imagery causes her to slow down, yet with the stairs looming, she launches herself aerial up the stairs. However, suddenly, she's caught up in Batiste's paws and braced to a stop.

"Batiste! I should have come with you-!" Luna sobs. "There was something breathing down my neck! And... and..."

His suggestions, slowly sink in. And she plops down on Lion. Putting a paw up to her mouth and coughing.

"Yes. Please tell me all that you've learned and I know we'll manage to come up with something... together."

Luna is just staring at that bookish smile. He's not some handsome blonde Prince but his quiet wisdom...


"(I don't want to talk about it.)"

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

One wouldn't expect such a large creature to freak out as he is, but boy oh boy, is he bucking and flailing! Two close calls already with an old-looking vase and a garden gnome that looks a little too creepy.

Looking behind him, Lion keeps the pace, hauling despite friends in the way! Batiste accidentally gets barreled over as he follows Fallen Stern's path. In such a small area, Lion is starting to feel a bit trapped. But he hears a voice above, on him! Fur gets gently wrenched under small hands. He doesn't understand what they say, but they give the sense of worry, of caution. They too are scared.

But a plea is actually heard, one that breaks the barrier of understanding.

Stop. The Lion screeches to a halt as Batiste reconciles with Luna. Lion's head looks to the side. He sees Yuuno. He sees it.

One step. Two. A huff. And then regardless of those riding him--


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

"Are you crazy-mepo?!" Mepple cries, half-hushed. "The fell sorcery mepo! The Zakenna mepo!"

Mepple had not thought to comment on the enemy being such a familiar type of dark being. He's just so used to them.

"Oh no you DON'T mepo!" Mepple crouches, and when Lion hits him, he grabs his big pink leg. And off he goes, tossed off instantly, sailing back up the stairs. This was not as reckless as it seems; there are certain types of injury his fuzzy, nearly weightless body is quite resilient to. It doesn't really hurt a stuffed animal to be thrown, not much anyway.

"Mepo..." Mepple rubs his head with his little paw, squinting. Startled, he witnesses the otter and the cat in a saxophone-y moment. Narrowing his eyes, he dusts off his round rear with a paw and starts back towards the two animals. Doop doop doop go his little feet. He doesn't cut in too quick, but he doesn't wait long either.

"Excuse me, Luna mepo," Mepple says with unusual politeness. Never a good sign from him. "I need to have a word with a fellow gentleman-mepo..." Leaning onto just one foot and straining as hard as he can, he can't put an arm around Batiste's shoulder, so he gives up and grabs his collar instead, guiding him a few steps away.

"Hey, isn't Artemis Luna's Hero mepo?" he asks suspiciously. "I'm not sure what's going on there but... you're not the sort of fairy who steals other guy's girlfriends, are you, Batiste-mepo?"

One of Mepple's eyes goes super wide and big as he leans in and examines Batiste's face from the side.

"Hmmmmmepo?" he inquires.

<Pose Tracker> Yuuno-kun [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Yuuno gives a warm smile as Lion looks to him, then to the box. He motions harder! His tail even waves a flaily flag of fuzzy importance! Yes, into the box Lion! Into the box!!!

And then Lion crashes in like a ton of pink bricks! The ferret-mage isn't fast enough to just leap off of his perch. Instead, mildly distracted by Batiste being the most sweet otter in the universe (he may be taking notes here!), he's tossed into the air! Straight up goes the vaguely aerial mage-mascot, his ferrety form of flying backfiring as he's briefly caught in a magic-enhanced spinny feedback loop of trying to right himself then spin then right himself with magic.

Eventually he just summons a barrier, face directly swatting into it, and he just sliiiides off of his own barrier with a quiet squeegee sound.

Then he just kind of patter-patters up the stairs to the living room, cheeks vaguely flushed in embarassment and ahoge still spinning from Lion impact!

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

Perhaps Ressi need not have worried. All this chaos... seems to have worked itself out? A strange order in discord. Cats understanding each other and each otter, and the allure of a box, everyone somehow avoided waking the dragon, and are making their way to success and glory. Or at least Ressi hopes so.

"Okay," she whispers to nobody specifically, "where do you think we should be going? In a normal room, behind paintings for safes, bookshelves for secret passages, or..." Her mind begins overcomplicating things, too many ideas entering at once as she paces in a circle and mumbles to herself. After a while, after incomprehensible ramblings, she asks, "what do you think?"

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

Once everything is safely handled, Tarte scurries up the stairs with the others, putting on smile as he gets up that's a little nervous. He notices the others though, particularly Batiste and Luna for a moment. But he is not privy to the... special moment, just to Mepple wanting to pull Batiste away for some reason. Instead, he walks by the ominous shoes...

"Aaah, that was stressful..." Tarte siiiighs quietly as he walks up to the group, past Lion. "I'm glad y'all are here and okay..."

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

Thanks to some quick thinking and well-placed therapy, they make it up the stairs.


It's actually pretty funny watching birds ascend stairs. It's kind of a hop-flap-hop occasion, all perched on the edge for precarious moments. Bird legs... are not adapted... to human geometry.

Once she's up there, she perches on the arm of one of those chairs. Her claws will leave little holes in the upholstery. This is an effect well-known to the Hino household, where ripped holes in everything where crows have gotten a grip are just part of everyday living. It may well spell doom for the Zakenna-butlers. This is distinctly Not Deimos's Problem.

FUN CROW FACTS: it is basically physically impossible for the raspy, gravelly voice of a crow to be in any way soothing, so Deimos just tries for 'quieter,' instead. "Caw," she offers back to Tarte, fluffing up her feathers and grooming under a wing.

That's probably something like, 'it's okay.'

Or maybe, 'it's going to be okay.'

They are still in the very extremely evil mansion, after all.

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

"I understand. We'll make a plan now that we know more," Batiste soothes Luna, even as they dismount the power-sliding Lion. "We had to move - but we have moved - and now, we'll prepare - that's the way."

His collar is yanked. "Excuse me," he says, before half-staggering over with Mepple, looking downwards with several big, slow blinks.

His paw comes to his chest. "Mepple, my friend," he says to the hero, "I only sought to give her comfort in this moment of terror. The anxiety, the agony of the unknown is difficult, and I know her charge is no doubt suffering this very moment. The secondhand terror is the worst of all..."

A beat passes. A beat and a moment of SCRUTINY.

"I am not that kind of fairy at all," says the otter.

("I think it is my accent? Do I have much of an accent...??")