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Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Toki and Ina, continued)</b></center> Izaya presses his hands together in a mock pleading manner. <i>Oh woe is my poor friend. This package is important for his well being, but I couldn't just trust it to any regular old person that came along. A lot of people want it so I needed people like you that can take a punch or two. Help me deliver this precious cargo to my friend and you will get the info you want from me.</i> When Izaya is done speaking, Mikado finally moves over to check Anri's pulse as if suddenly released from Izaya's spell. If you check the back of the make shift throne for Izaya's cargo well you will be felling something all right. Behind the throne is a medical tube filled with gelatin-like liquid and a human head. The human head is beautiful in a scandavian beauty kind of way with closed eyes and a taut mouth. Its pale skin is complemented by regular brown hair. Additionally, the bottom of the neck is a clean circular cut as if someone perfectly sliced off the head from its body. <center><b>(Cait and Alphinaud)</b></center> Kida is annoyed at how his idea is rebuffed, but with does mention with a sigh. <i>Well if Shizuo joins us then we won't need anyone else to take on the gangs. He is strong enough to take out two gangs like its nothing.</i> Kida pointedly glares at Shizuo. Whom then ignores him by pulling out another cigarette from the breastpocket of his uniform. Erika does all the explaining for him. <i>Kidaaa you know Shizuo doesn't like fighting unless its really necessary. You should be more considerate. If we need more back up for the upcoming war then we could just call Dotachin or Walker. Dotachin is probably already at the scene, knowing him.</i> Kida snaps back. <i>Dotachin was recently in the hospital. He can't fight! and Walker ...</i> Kida involuntarily shivers at the suggestion.
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Pancake Knight)</b></center> The train dumps you, Aoba, and the rest of the gang off in an abandoned industrial park. Crumbled down buildings loom over you like decaying phantoms of plaster and paint. Rusted constructions tools occasionally block your path forcing you and the rest to go around. Stray cats mewl from dark crevices in the damaged wall. Well you pretty much get the gist. The area is inhospitable to the max and the inky blackness over head makes the place more similar to an apocalyptic wasteland then metropolitan Tokyo. Your trip though this minor hellscape is thankfully short since the place the boys want is right in the center of it. An empty warehouse in the middle of the industrial park. The warehouse is currently on fire with smoke funneling out of it's open windows and doors. The doors are so rusted that they look about ready to snap at the slightest movement. Aoba picks up a rusted pipe from nearby and smashes it against the rusted doors. Unleashing a racket that pierces everyone's ears. <i>Come out you inhuman beasts. We just want to chat with you before we do anything too crazy ~</i> Aoba has his mischievous face on and is obviously ready to go. A few of his lackeys surround the empty warehouse from the sides and prime the c4 in their bags. A crash can be heard from the inside of the warehouse, but none of the shark masks seem to mind. <i>Come out monsters!</i> They chant. Every noise within the building makes them chant louder until they are in a frenzy. Marching about the front of the buildings with their shark masks looking increasingly red under the light of the fire. It's a monster burning. However, one of the occupants of the warehouse, a short expressionless girl with a dinosaur mask on her head, crawls out on her forelimbs and is picked up by Aoba's gang. The girl is pallid from clear signs of smoke inhalation, but the gang members toss her anyway toward Aoba's feet. <i> The first monster to slay.</i> Aoba smirks. <center><b>(Niko)</b></center> You follow your friend and the shark gang without being noticed. They are too excited to notice some weird kid in the subway car. You follow them all the way to the empty warehouse. Then you watch as they work themselves up into a frenzy and capture a barely conscious girl. You are still a distance away from them hidden from view by a rusted gate, but close enough to easily approach. <i>Izaya is this what you wanted?</i> You hear a girl in a cat hoodie whimper from nearby. The girl was a part of the group in front of you until now. It appears that the upcoming bloodbath wasn't to her taste. <center><b>(Sam)</b></center> The carbuncle takes the hint and scampers off to find its next intended target. <i>Awww ...</i> The blonde is sad to see the cute little creature go and then quickly springs back to her erratic happiness. She explains all to you with a huge smile. <i>Okay so our new friends are kind of weird wearing all black and red all the time unless they are pretending to be wizards with their robes. I kind of forgot their group name by now but they said that they wanted to make everyone happy which works for me! They taught all these kids how to sing and said they were gonna reunite the kids with their parents someday and Issac said that this meant they were heroes of the people so I was sooo glad to have met them but now I lost Issac and - </i> The blonde rambles on and on about her new friends plus Issac. She can possibly continue on rambling forever if you let her. <center><b>(Toki and Ina)</b></center> Izaya grins and motions over to the back of the makeshift throne. <i>Recently, I lost my favorite courier to some unforseen circumstances. This was a terrible tragedy since that left me unable to send a package of great importance to a dear old friend of mine. Oh my poor friend unable to get this super special package that I prepared for him ~ </i>
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Cait)</b></center> The sky becomes an inky abyss hanging above you and everyone else in Ikebukuro. Kida doesn't notice as he voices his own volatile thoughts. <i>We should fight back! Take the territory from the blue squares and the remaning dollars to officially end the war. If we take everything they have then they will have to stop trashing our city. </i> Erika retorts. <i>Absolutely not. Haven't you learned from some of the great art pieces of our time. You don't fight the enemy at their base! That is asking to be beat! We need to do this like a psychological horror and wait to trap the enemy.</i> <center><b>(Alphinaud)</b></center> You don't use the gauze properly so Shinra distractedly has to fix it. You look like a mummy wrapped up in spongy bandages when he finishes. You hear everything that is said to your friend and also are able to listen in on Shinra worriedly muttering. <i>Celty, Celty, Celty ...</i> Over and over again at the sky like some cursed mantra. Your carbuncle jumps off the balcony and hones in on the all closest to you. <center><b>(Sam)</b></center> The blonde woman frantically nods. <i>Isaac knows everything there is to know about the world! We also got these new friends that dress in weird clothing yet their knowledge is so amazing too. They told me a lot about this creature called a Duwahan.</i> The blonde stops chattering on when she sees a tiny creature by your legs that nips at you. It's your ally's carbuncle biting at your heel for some attention. <i>Aw is that your pet~</i> <center><b>(Pancake Knight)</b></center> Aoba smirks. <i>We plan on using strength in numbers with some fun toys in our hands.</i> Aoba raises up his fist and the rest of the shark masks mimick him. Allowing you to see packaged containers of C4 explosives accompanied with firework kits. The armory of the gang is mottley, but truly a fearsome sight to behold. <i>Onward to our victory!</i> Aoba jumps off the bench and scrambles down the nearest subway station followed by his pack of mask-wearing hooligans. If you follow after them, you would be able to see them overwhelm the few insomniacs boarding the last train pulling out of Ikebukuro. The entire gang occupies the train, whooping and hollering as the train takes you and them to some other part of the city. <center><b>(Niko)</b></center> You follow after your ally from a distance, but are forced to make a split second decision in the train station. Do you jump in after him and board the train? Or Hang back and venture to some other part of the city? <center><b>(Toki and Ina)</b></center> Anri is momentarily frozen in time freeing Izaya from her constant strikes. Mikado, a bundle of nerves by now, takes the chance to pull out a tazer from his school jacket and jab it into Anri's side. It's an act of pure instinct, but is effective enough to cause Anri to immediately crumple onto the ground. <i>What have I done?</i> Mikado asks you, Izaya, and the surroundings in an eerily calm tone. <i>You just did the marvelous act of self defense ~</i> Izaya chuckles out. He kicked Anri's side for good measure to check if she is really unconscious. She is. He then gives out that freebie he promised to Mikado. <i>The third group you have identified as a potential problem is pretty interesting. I would say that they are some sort of supernatural cult doing some dark deeds in the forgotten areas of the city. If you want me to tell you more then you need to help me out~</i>
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Toki)</b></center> You check Izaya's soul and see that his soul is that of an average human. <center><b>(Toki and Ina)</b></center> Izaya scoldingly clicks his tongue. <i>I don't hate little miss Anri in particular. I hate monsters. If Anri were a human being I would easily be able to love her as much as I love the rest of humanity, but see Anri gave up her only good quality to feel special with some monsterous sword. Not to worry though~</i> Izaya motions toward Mikado. <i>My protege likes Anri so I can put up with her for a while. I did the same for my old friend Shinra and his monster wife. Now I don't know if Anri would wish to work with me after this.</i> Izaya jumps away from Mikado and you to dodge the slash of Anri's katana. Anri's tear filled eyes are now a brilliant red as she attempts over and over again to hit Izaya. <i>You'll pay for this!</i> Izaya leers at her. <i>In exchange for your help with a little job that has been bugging me recently, I can give you all the info you need on that additional group you mentioned earlier. As a show of good faith I can offer a tiny tidbit that may shock and awe all of you.</i> Izaya parries two slashes from Anri's sword with his knives. <i>Hey Mikado call off your monster girlfriend and i'll give the freebie.</i> Mikado doesn't seem to keen on getting in between Izaya and Anri. In fact, he seems to struggle choosing who to aid even as Anri looks to him and you for some help.
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Alphinaud)</b></center> <i>Be careful! Your injuries aren't completely healed yet.</i> Shinra momentarily sheds his airheaded tendencies to express his concern for you. He follows right after you to the balcony and shoves a whole bunch of gauze in your face. <i>Take this and try to wrap it around your remaining wounds. I don't want you bleeding out all over Celty and I's love nest.</i> <center><b>(Alpinaud and Cait)</b></center> Erika makes a disgusted face at Shinra's comment without the accompaniment of everyone else. Shizuo is too busy attempting to call someone on his phone as Kida watches the smoke in the horizon. Kida explains. <i>Ikebukuro has been sitting on a powder keg of tension between the color gangs and monster for a while so this sort of thing was bound to happen. The usual one side trying to one up the other. But, this is bigger than the usual spat between both groups. The use of an explosion reeks of color gang tactics with a greater mastermind behind it.</i> Shizuo immediately grits his teeth upon hearing Kida's opinion. <i>So you think the flea bastard came back to Ikebukuro.</i> Kida nods. <i>This has Izaya written all over it.</i> Shizuo pounds the balcony railing with both his wrists leaving indents where his hands connected. <i>Damn it the flea bastard should have stayed down after the stabbing incident in Yamanome.</i> Kida points out. <i>This is only a guess on my part so I might be wrong. Honestly I hope i'm wrong about this. If Izaya is involved then a war is about to start between both groups for that bastard's sick pleasure.</i> <center><b>(Sam)</b></center> You move to the residential end of the street that isn't blocked off by towering buildings. From there you can see the dark curling of smoke followed by a growth of inky black tendrils reaching toward the sky. The smoke wafts out in the dark of the night, but the inky black tendrils turn the sky it reaches into a pitch black pool. The pure black tint then extends to other portion of the space above slowly enroaching toward where you are and blocking out the light of the stars. The residents of Ikebukuro pour out around you to watch this unusual event. An eerie awe seems to have robbed them of their voice for now. Also the blonde woman followed after you. The sky is of little concern to her. Instead she is right now testing the ground by stamping her feet a bit. After a few good stamps, she is satisfied by your explanation and watches the inky black tendrils with a smile. <i>Is that some noveu art thing up there. Artsits these days are so amazing!</i> Nothing seems to phase this woman. <center><b>(Niko)</b></center> You make it to the meeting sport after some resistance from the mobs of people outside, but no one is there. All you see are tons of random strangers peering up at the unusual happenings in the sky and a few doomsayers claiming that this is the end of the world. <center><b>(Pancake Knight)</b></center> The remaining fitting room opens and a highschool girl with a cat hoodie walks out. <i>Aoba you made me wait too long.</i> The girl states in a deadpan tone. Aoba shrugs off the girl's complaint. <i>I'm sorry Kururi. I got pretty distracted by that old man in a mask over there and I think your brother just started the next great Ikebukuro war.</i> Kururi sticks out her tongue. <i>Bleh. I still hate my brother so could you not mention him.</i> Aoba puts on his shark mask and Kururi grabs onto his upper arm waiting on him to lead. <i>Beak mask keep up or I'll leave you behind.</i> Aoba runs ahead with Kururi holding on tightly to him. If you manage to keep up with Aoba then you soon make it out of the mall and see an entire group of shark masked people waiting at the center of the street. Aoba jumps on a bench for some gravitas and announces. <i>Today we hunt the monsters that have ruined Ikebukuro for the rest of us!</i> All the shark masks cheer with gusto.
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Sam)</b></center> You hear a distant explosive noise and the ground beneath you slightly shakes. Enough to shift a few pebbles beneath your feet around. The blonde woman exclaims. <i>Wow the streets of Japan are really made of rubber just like Issac said! This must be one of the great modern wonders of the 21st century. Amazing!!!</i> The blonde woman squeal with excitement and jumps around on the supposedly rubber street. The street doesn't shift again eventually disappointing the woman. <i>I can't make it work.</i> The woman momentarily pouts before ricocheting back to a happy go lucky mood. <i>Oh well there are still a lot of other wonders to try. Like tokyo tower. Or fighting one of those special bears that live around here.</i>
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Ina and Toki)</b></center> <i>This is why I love humanity so much.</i> A fragile-looking, handsome man bellows this from a low run of steel hanging above the makeshift throne. The man starts nimbly leaping from rung to rung until his feet touch upon the same ground you occupy. <i>You lot are charming yet tedious enough to recognize when you need to beg for help.</i> The man pulls out a switchbalde from his black coat with brown fur lining to theatrically point at Anri. The man smiles as his words take on a hint of venom when addressing her. <i>Shame that this wonderful group has a monster in its ranks.</i> The man raises a placating before Anri or Mikado can retort. <i>Ah Ah Mi-chan I'm not planning to do anything to your monster girlfriend. I respect true love when I see it and if you love this thing then perhaps I can come to tolerate her too. I have more of an interest in the new blood in Ikebukuro.</i> The man approaches you, flicking his switchblade in and out as he tooks a good look at you plus your companion. He nods with apparent satisfaction after his uncomfortably close study. His eyes flickered so much toward different parts of your body that you could often see the whites of them. His switchblade didn't come close to your person, but you can tell that the man would have enjoyed prodding your with it. The man finally introduces himself after the sudden inspection. <i>I'm the famous info broker that Mi-chan wanted to call on ~</i> Izaya winks at Mikado as he strolls around the perimeter of the concrete circle. <i>Surprise I was listening in all along yet nothing of any value whatsoever was said. So none of you have to worry. I do have some info that is of interest to you ...</i> Izaya drags out the you while fumbling with the interior pockets of his coat. He finds what he is looking for with a satisfying click to accompany it and in a matter of seconds an explosion is heard. In the distance you see a plume of smoke rising from an area at the outskirts of Ikebukuro. Anri falls to her knees when she recognizes where the explosion had taken place and screams. <i>Nooooo!</i> Mikado blanky stares at the towering plume of smoke and Izaya laughs. <i>Fireworks look so pretty from this vantage point.</i> Izaya pats Mikado on the back as he jovially looks to you. <center><b>(Cait and Alphinaud)</b></center> Erika solemnly nods to whatever you say adding in. <i>After we find Celty then we can help you get back at the truck, deity, or writer that iskei'd you here in the first place!</i> Kida shove Erika's face down toward the table with an annoyed huff. <i>Stop believing everything these people tell you! We still don't know if they are legit or -</i> A loud boom outside cuts off Kida's tirade and Shinra quickly runs onto the balcony of the apartment to check things out. <i>This is really bad.</i> Shinra obviously states. You can see smoke rising toward the sky of Ikebukuro and the boom was definitely heard by those with sensitive ears. If you join Shinra on the balcony then you will see the reddish hue of fire past the many apartment buildings in front accompanied by the faint smell of smoke. Kida gravely notes. <i>I think this is a declaration of war.</i> <center><b>(Niko and Pancake Knight)</b></center> The fabric of the hood is easily sliced open by the glass shard. However, it cuts too well and also slices into the flesh of the one using it. There are more pressing concerns then some cut skin. Like the slight tremor of the entire building and a explosive noise in the distance. A few of the remaining shoppers in the store scream upon hearing the catastrophic boom, but Aoba laughs. <i>If you want in then now would be a great time to join us oldie and furry. Our group just smoked out some monsters from their lair and the great war is about to commence.</i> A whine comes from a fitting room. <i>Aoba let's go.</i><div class='edited'>(edited by Raconteur)</div>
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Niko)</b></center> The mirror breaks releasing an array of sharp crystalline glass that blend in with the carpet. The biggest shards are seeable, but the smaller pieces are buried in the carpet around you. Might want to be careful where you step. <center><b>(Ina and Toki)</b></center> <i>If I knew that people were coming I would have clean this place ...</i> Mikado tries to explain. He thinks better for it though and continues with what had just been asked. <i>I want to help return the peace to Ikebukuro so I was gonna ask Izaya to help me fight back against the evil gangs.</i> Anri shouts. <i>Izaya!</i> She is really bothered with MIkado's plan. <i>You can't trust him Mikado. He will use you to fulfill anything he already had him in mind.</i> Mikado retorts. <i>Izaya is actually a good person once you get to know him. He only does what is necessary to gather info and he normally sells his info to good people.</i> Anri stares at Mikado with disbelief. <i>If we need someone to help us take out the gangs then we might as well call on Celty.</i> Now it's Mikado's turn to stare at Anri. <i>Celty went on a rampage that nearly killed a lot of people. How can you trust that monster?</i> <center><b>(Pancake Knight)</b></center> Aoba follows trails after you and laughs once the two of you are back in the changing room. <i>Magic doesn't exist. Don't tell me you actually believe in fairy tales oldie~</i> Aoba sticks out his tongue at you, explaining. <i>We are dealing with monsters and if you have ever actually met one then you would know that they are easily dealt with. If it bleeds then it can die. That is the mantra and sharks are great at sniffing out some blood.</i> You hear the sound of glass shattering in the fitting room that your companion entered. <i>Oh?</i> <center><b>(Sam)</b></center> You sit on the curb and wait for your companions. No trace of them yet. The blonde woman from the theiving couple you met earlier sits next to you. <i>Howdy stranger you look pretty lonely sitting here.</i> <center><b>(Cait and Alphinaud)</b></center> <i>Wait wait wait ... You are a real life cat boy!?</i> The entire apartment seems to quake with Erika's shout. Shinra's head instantly pops up and Kida peers out of the bedroom. The front door bangs with Shizuo's annoyed fist. <i>I'm trying to have a quiet smoke. Erika shut up!</i> Shizuo yells just as loud. Erika isn't the least bothered. <i>Tell me which laboratory did you and your friend come from so that I can be turned into a cat girl too! If you are an alien instead then please take me to your home planet! or or tell me more about your unique human gene that made cat features possible! Ahhhh I can't believe this a real life cat person ~</i> Shinra watches you and your companion with barely concealed interest as Kida retreat back into the bedroom. You can hear Kida mutter. <i>I must be dreaming.</i>
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Sam)</b></center> Erika rips out a slip of paper from a new journal in her bag and writes an address on it. She then scurries hands the paper to you. <i>Don't be a stranger. Come by later to show us more of your cool powers!</i> She winks at you as she leaves with her friends and your companions. Now you are alone awaiting the rest of your group. <center><b>(Cait)</b></center> You are taken to a very nice apartment nestled in the residential area of Ikebukuro. You don't have much time to study it as everyone spills into place quick to get to work. Shinra guides Shizuo to gently place your companion on a kitchen table. Kida gathers an arm full of medical supplies from Shinra's bedroom. Erika places a towel beneath your companion's head and starts making some tea. It's almost like clockwork how efficient these people are. Shinra gracefully cleans and stitches the wound as everyone else relaxes after finishing their task. Erika is the first to sit on a chair after she is done. <i>Cait come sit. I'm dying to know how you made your costume.</i> Erika has a mischevious gleam in her eyes as she pats the chair next to her. Meanwhile, Shizuo steps out of the apartment for a smoke and Kida hangs around in Shinra's room. <center><b>(Ina and Toki)</b></center> Mikado leads your party of three to a local construction site near Ikebukuro's park. Industrial lights illuminate the dangerous playground of hanging steel beams. Jagged pieces of concrete form an uneven ring around a central seat made out of cardboard boxes. The seat is shadowed by a still overhead crane. It's an unusual room made for an odd leader. As Mikado directs you and the others to take a seat on one of the concrete pieces you can also see how there are littered soda bottles around with the occasional light novel nearby. Mikado surreptitiously kicks something behind the cardboard box before taking a seat on it. <i>So this is it.</i> Mikado uncomfortably states. He raises his head high, but observes you to guage your reaction. Anri follows his instructions and takes a seat on the piece of concrete nearest to him. She is put off by this place as indicated by her nervous expression yet awaits passing any judgement. <center><b>(Niko)</b></center> The changing room doesn't offer an obvious solution to your dilemma. It only has a single stool inside of it plus a full body mirror. There is a hanger on the beige carpet. The intercom systme chimes in again. <i>Dear customers our store will be closing in five minutes. Please being anything you want to buy to the front register.</i> <center><b>(Pancake Knight)</b></center> Aoba chortles. <i>You sounds like a creepy old geezer trying to get with a young girl.</i> He tugs the mask out of his hoodie pocket and raises it up so you can see. The mask has a crudely drawn image of a shark on it with the white teeth of the creature painted with red. <i>This is the pride of the local blue square gang. Usually I don't add anything else cuz those that aren't ready to play with sharks get ripped apart in the sea. But seeing as you are an extra special civilian ... </i> Aoba leans forward and mock whisper to you. <i>We extort money from the evil, keep up public morality, and drive away freaks like you. All for the peace of Ikebukuro.</i> <center><b>(Alphinaud)</b></center> You should be slowlly waking up after Shinra placed the final stitch over your wound,.
Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Tokai and Ina)</b></center> <i>Mikado is the one I wanted to help ... </i> Anri bashfully mutters. Mikado awkwardly returns a smile upon hearing this. Their lovesick shennanigans would have continued had you not further interrupted. <i>I know a safe place.</i> Mikado mentions. <i>But It's away from central Ikebukuro.</i> Mikado walks to the opening of the ally and waits to see what you decide to do next. Anri adds. <i>It is really late. Maybe we should follow Mikado ... for now I mean!</i> <center><b>(Niko)</b></center> You find that the only clean fitting room is one of the ones near the very end of the area. You occupy that fitting room. Soon enough you hear a girl, in the fitting room next to yours, humming the notes to some peppy song. <center><b>(Cait)</b></center> The metallic smell of your companion's blood is too overpowering for you to catch any whiff of the attackers. <center><b>(Sam and Cait)</b></center> You are able to carry your companion over to a stylish steet bench. Your companion's wounds are momentarily covered, but he is still bleeding all over the wooden bench. <i>I could help your poor fallen comerade if i had my tools. Alas I lack them all. </i> Shinra wails as he follows right behind you. He carefully studies your comapnion's body from afar with his trained eyes yet makes no outright moves to help. Erika slaps him on his back to quiet him. <i>You can't just let a cute elf die in a shady place like this! Think of all the curses that could bring on all of us! Shizuo help us carry the elf.</i> Shizuo grunts in annoyance and does as Erika says. He picks up your companion with one of his arms as if your companion were a pillow. Erika then says to you. <i>So we can take your elf with us and help him at Shinra's place or leave him to you. What do you want to do?</i> <center><b>(Pancake Knight)</b></center> Your diahan knits Aoba's hand back together in a matter of seconds. Aoba watches this with barely concealed wonder, but once his hand is once again whole he is quick to get back to business. <i>Fine you win.</i> Aoba stands and bows after his defeat. <i>What could a freak of nature want with an innocent teenager shopping with his darling?</i>

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Chapter Three: Once a Commotion
<center><b>(Toki)</b></center> You are casually pulled through the semi-existent door then dumped in the center of a bustling commercial and entertainment district. The door dwindles away as quickly as it came, revealing several department stores, restuarants, and entertainment spots that are housed within tall, multi-tiered buildings. According to many of the massive signs alongside the buildings, the busy scramble intersection in front of you pedestrians is the only thing keeping you from the latest in pop culture and dining. But, among all these buildings one dominates the skyline with &quot;Sunshine City&quot; emblazoned on its front. You have arrived at a true metropolis that claims both directions with more buildings, more people, and more cafes then you can possibly count. If you look behind you will see, Ikebukuro Station, the normal entrance to this urban beast. Empty-handed passengers stream out of the station while package laden passengers stream into the station. Behind the station is even more city with faint hints of green that can be picked up from where you are. You may have wanted to choose where to go first, but before you are given a choice you are dragged into the chaos that reigns in Ikebukuro. <i>Ceeeeeelllltyyyyy!</i> A tall young man wearing a bartender suit and blue sunglasses yells this as he breaks through the wall of one of the buildings across the street. The man furiously huffs while carrying a vending machine with only one hand and stopping an incoming car with his other free hand. He makes no additional moves to hurt anyone, but the once peaceful pedestrians around him instantly run for cover or pull out their phones to record the scene. It is not obvious at first what the man is chasing, but as he looks around you spy a few black tendrils comprised of a shadow-like substance crawling toward him. As the tendrils grab around the man's ankles the body of a woman forms on top of another car. The body manifests from the same material the tendrils are comprised of and the body is equipped with black medieval armor. Most unusual though is the body's lack of a head above its neck. Instead of a head there is only shadow-like substance dripping from the body's open neck. The body should by all counts be dead, but instead it readies itself from attack by forming a scythe between both its hands. Before the man and the body can fight in the scramble intersection one final challenger arrives in a speeding car. This new mystery person drives the car into the one that the man stopped and quickly jumps out as his own car lights on fire. You can see the third challenger is a young boy seemingly ten years old in a casual brown suit. By all accounts, the boy looks like any normal child, but if you pay close attention you would see that the boy is uninjured after crashing the car. With the man, the living body, and the boy together in the same space all time in the scramble intersection seems to have gone still. The three size each other up as the intersection empties of any normal life save only for the thrill seekers that want some quick fame.
Intermission Two
<center><b>(Everyone minus Toki)</b></center> You are back in the velvet hotel room with your friends and Walton. Time to recuperate, train, sleep, buy up bitcoin, or make conspiracy theories. The amenities you have already been used to are readily available with a helpful addition. A spa! Now you too can look as chill and relaxed as the enemies that have pummeled you. The spa is located at the very end of the room wing. It is European style with open pools of various temperatures from burning to nordic ice bath. Past the immediate pools is a grandiose lake with seats near the water and brilliant sunshine overhead. If you aren't a pool person then there are resources available for facials, acupuncture, and messages. Throw your cares away!
Chapter Two: A White Century
You are abruptly dropped with your companions at the center of a large gathering of people. Gone is the pretty spacious elevator from which you entered, now replaced with a high profile antechamber decorated in the finest of luxuries. From where you have fallen you can see ostentatious couches, marble animal statues, and paintings dating back to a classical era. The calm melody of a fine German piece of music waft in accompanied with a wiff of orchid and rose. The soft peals of water from a fountain within the room sometimes overpowers the music, but both sounds never become too overpowering. Laughter and light bits of conversation are also sprinkled about from the mouths of people wearing vibrant, decorative masks. Upon your arrival some of the people had filtered around you and your companions in a circle and are now discussing this random occurrence in harsh whispers. Their masks occasionally leaping up with their facial movements and their fancy, frivolous style of dress putting what you are wearing to shame. These people don't even bother to help you get up as they chat on and on around you. At the furthest end of the antechamber is a regular sized door decorated with perfect white orchids. It would have been easy to reach on a different day, but the circle of people and the rest walking about could easily slow you down.
Intermission One
<center><b>(Toki, Alphinaud, Cait, Pancake Knight, Niko)</b></center> You fall out of the elevator you originally entered and land on a heap of your own comrades. A pomegranate rolls away from the pile and lies within arms reach. If you were to look around you would see the faces of the people you previously left behind. In front of you stands Walton with an unreadable expression on his face. Around you is the lobby from which you started your journey. The only object left from the trip is the lone pomegranate on the floor. <center><b>(Everyone Else)</b></center> You are able to see your formerly gone companions drop out from the elevator. They seem intact and what they started with is there, but one companion is missing. The screens that let you observe the journey shut off for now.
Chapter One: The Philosopher King
<b>(Pancake Knight, Cait, Sam, and Toki have arrived)</b> You materialize along with three others in the middle of a crowded marketplace. There are no traces of the elevator left and the surrounding mobs remain blissfully unaware of your sudden appearance. The general pushing of the crowd indicates that you are tangible, but no one raises a fuss. If you were to look around you would see plenty of happy people with impossible shades of hair going about their day. Each person strolling from one wooden stall to the next and checking out the available wares. There is also an apparent trend among the people of wearing simple or elaborate robes paired with sandals. Some of the robes are equipped with various symbols or items of jewelry making you and the others stand out like sore thumbs. Overhead the sun casts an oppressive heat on the place making the sea of white tarps above the stalls almost glow. While the brown adobe buildings behind the stalls look paled in the morning light. The sun has the most effect on a tall, glass tower in the distance which is almost painful to gaze directly at. Not that anyone does so already preoccupied in the mundane rituals of the day. At the end of the marketplace are a flight of stairs heading up from between the buildings. However, the stairs are occupied by a swath of men decorated in scaled armor with rapiers at their sides and a tall humanoid dragon-like man.
Restoration
You are stumbling ... Dropping ... Falling from high above. With no clear recollection of where you had been or where you will be going. You feel lightheaded as if freed from all restraint. Though what feelings this sensation could cause is best left up to the one experiencing it. Meanwhile, around you are cascades of words, letters, and random phrases tumbling to the unknown. You follow the same path but at a slower less rushed pace. Plummeting calmly enough to make out meaningful words or details that should jog your mind a little. Pray tell what could you be seeing in the maelstrom of words? <b>(All your actions and choices will be etched in stone)</b>
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