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File: Crescent Adventure.png (152 KB, 1067x823)
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Welcome back to Crescent Adventures, a quest based on the 90s Sailor Moon universe. Things can go as that universe went or you can derail it with your actions or ignore it completely to just focus on the problems and issues that affect your character!

Previously, after Ruka had finished her little mission of cutting some flowers at the hospital, she met a girl that makes her feel very awkward and weird. That girl's name is Aino Minako and she is a mystery that makes Ruka's heart do flipflops.... Ruka assumes she'll never meet the other again.

Moving on, strange things keep on happening. Firstly, Ruka receives an unwelcome gift and letter from her mother, a stuffed penguin. Then the Journal starts to get even weirder as more entries are entered into it. A new additional penguin is running around in the Journal too! A drawing of the stuffed penguin doll.

Finally she had a Nightmare in a strange odeon. It had some guy named Adonis reciting poetry and an audience of monsters. They tried to give chase but it was a cinch to escape! Ruka flees into a field of Red Roses where, unfortunately, it wasn't Azul who guided Ruka out. Instead, it is a living copy of the penguin doll.

It's a creepy silent bird. Also, you plucked a Red Rose!

Azul is nowhere to be found in the Waking World! And Ruka has school and FM 10 Radio to do today! A quick search shows that he isn't in the Penguin Domain. Does this mean today's mission is cancelled or Ruka will be forced to go solo or team up with the new unknown penguin?

Speaking of the silent penguin, she is a sticky handed thief. Mizuno Ami agrees with the assessment and agrees there's merit in keeping quiet about seeing the invisible penguin. The loot will be restored to their proper owners.

Lunch time isn't even over yet and it's already been pretty hectic...

Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/u/CrescentADV
Archive: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Crescent%20Adventures
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CrescentDreamA1
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Tsukino Usagi, Mizuno Ami and Houseki Ruka.

Definitely not a combination of people that students in the school would ever expect to willingly hang out. Yet here you all are, talking and walking to where the rest of your friends are waiting. Under a bright warm sun, you see countless students enjoying the spring weather. An hour-long respite before the resumption of the grinding school day.

It seems that your lunch group is big today. Naru, Umino, Tomio and Aya are all bunched together at the benches and talking. With the addition of your group, it's a total of 7.

Unusually, Tomio is willingly talking with Aya today. Or rather, he seems to be mourning and pouring out his heart to Aya in uncharacteristic sorrow.

Then again, it's easy to see why he is so miserable. His lunch seems peculiarly atrocious, an ominous cloud of greyish smoke rises from his lunch box. He must have been looking forward to those meatballs. Speaking of which, it's evident where it met its demise. On the dusty ground, roughly centered in the circle of friends, there's a messy splotch of red sauce and the occasional stray meatball. Given Usagi's announcement of the tragedy, you assume that the meatballs had been dumped on the ground and then thrown in the trash.

"I'm sorry Ruka, I wanted to give everyone an equal share but..." Umino pauses to look mournfully at the splattered remains of what had been an entire lunchbox of pork meatballs. His mournful sad face is nothing compared to the devastated looks on Tomio or Usagi though.

"It's okay man, I know you didn't mean to." You placate the other boy.

"It's because so many people wanted to try out your cooking. Kagawa was the only one who managed to eat one before bumping it out of his hands." Tomio chokes as he tries to eat his lunch.

"I'm so sorry, after I ate one; I just had to get another. But, uh, I jostled the box a bit too hard." Aya apologetically inclines her head to you.

Huh? Is it you, or did she not look very sorry at all? There's something about the way your club president is acting that's off.


Nah, you're just hungry and tired. That damn penguin.

"Wait a second, you're Mizuno Ami from class 5!" Naru is staring openly at Mizuno with surprise.

"Um, yes, I was invited by Tsukino..." The shy genius fidgets and looks worried as though she shouldn't be joining everyone but Usagi just blows away that worry with characteristic cheer.

"That's right! The more the merrier!" Usagi announces as pushes Mizuno forward to take a seat on the benches.

There's not much time left, you've got to stuff yourself with food. You begin inhaling your food with a speed that rivals Usagi at her hungriest while listening to the swirling conversation surrounding you.
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The most interesting bit is how Usagi is coaxing Ami to open up and talk about herself. It's not much of a surprise to learn the quiet girl wants to become a doctor like her mother but what's really surprising is that the genius has a special exemption from partaking in club activities.

"Wait!? You can get an exemption from joining a club!?" You can't help but feel a great deal of envy upon hearing this new found fact. Even Usagi had to join a club, she joined the 'Manga Drawing club', which was a notorious 'go home' excuse club like 'Supernatural Research'.

"My minion, I forbid you from seeking out this option." Aya scowls at the thought of losing you.

"Well, it's because I'm going to be attending a juku cram school after classes are over. It's a pretty common exemption." Mizuno explains with more details.

"So the only way to get out of club membership, is to study more after school? I don't like the sound of that." Usagi makes a funny squeak at the very thought.

Gurio brings out his black notebook when he thinks to ask his question.

"So, if I may ask Mizuno, what juku are you thinking of attending?" His pen posed over a page, ready to scribble down her answer.

"I'm still deciding between Crystal Seminar or Mikage Seminar. Both offer such high quality instructors, premises and educational resources that it's hard to choose. Though I am leaning towards Crystal Seminar." The girl smiles, excited by the thought of choosing which form of educational torture she'd inflict on herself. Crystal Seminar and Mikage Seminar are incredibly costly and famous cram schools, you can't imagine how much it would cost to attend even one of their classes. Umino is suitably impressed upon hearing Mizuno's answer.

"Amazing! I'm guessing you're getting a scholarship from both, so that means it's for free!" Gurio exclaims. His pen flies across the page as he writes down his new info tidbit on a classmate.

"Hm, so I guess I can't tempt the smartest girl in all of Tokyo to join my humble club. A shame, we could use your brainpower to investigate Sailor V and Sailor Moon. It would make things so much easier for us," Aya jokes but for some reason Usagi reacts nervously to it.

Oh that reminds you, FM 10 Radio is a place that Aya can get you in. Her parents are in the public spokesperson business and have gone on tv and radio programs. That includes places like FM 10 Radio! You could ask your dear club president to get you in for a quick tour around the place and do some preliminary scouting. Without Azul to help out, you'll be doing the legwork...

Unless you decide not to tackle FM 10 Radio and just go to sleep to enter a Dream. Your penguin partner is missing! You might want to prioritize searching for him over investigating that stupid Midnight Zero radio program.

The bell rings, it's time to go back to class.
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"Well I did tell Houseki a scary supernatural story about the hospital my mother works at. If I hear any more stories, I'll be sure to pass them on!" The blue haired girl smiles happily at you, as though she's doing you a favor.

The Thing of Juuban hospital Ward A is no mere scary story though.

"Really!? Come to the club room today after classes, I'm sure everyone in our Club would want to hear about it!" Aya commands as she gets up to leave. Everyone scatters but before entering your class, you overhear Usagi inviting Mizuno to go out and try playing games at Crown.

Wow, Usagi is great at making friends. So fast.

The afternoon classes begin, and while in class...

>You track the silent penguin the entire time...
>You focus on class, school is important after all...
>You shoot the breeze with Tomio, he lost out on eating those meatballs after all...
>You wonder what exactly Naru wanted to show earlier...
>You doodle idly, you make great drawings...
>You plot and plan about Midnight Zero...
>You wonder what exactly Naru wanted to show earlier...
>>You shoot the breeze with Tomio, he lost out on eating those meatballs after all...
>You focus on class, school is important after all...
It's been a while since Ruka studied, IIRC
>>You shoot the breeze with Tomio, he lost out on eating those meatballs after all...
>You focus on class, school is important after all...
Some talking and studying!
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That talk about cram school with Mizuno is a reminder of your own humble academic requirements in the Japanese educational system. Those cram schools probably explain stuff in a more sensible and easier to understand manner for all sorts of subjects. They just have to. You can only imagine how much better it is compared to the abominable turgid English lesson you are suffering through right this instant.

"This is a pen." The entire class recites from the English textbook. The moment the words leave everyone's mouth, it takes an extraordinary effort from everyone not to laugh upon hearing how terrible it sounded.

In the halcyon days of elementary school, English was just a subject that education obsessed parents pushed their kids to study in after school English language lessons. It isn't a compulsory subject for Japanese students until you hit junior high. However, your dad once read a couple of headlines from the newspaper about how the Japanese government might push to have it as a compulsory class for grade 5 and up one day.

You can't imagine how pushing English lessons to an earlier age is supposed to improve language skills. The teaching of English sucks and there is no opportunity to use it in daily life. It's no surprise that students aren't in the mood to really focus right now. Most are goofing off by talking to friends and the 'English' teacher barely cares since he doesn't understand the language at all.

You stare at your miserable but earnest attempt to understand the English lesson. Your comprehension is a lot better than your classmates by the singular fact that you put effort into learning it and because your grandfather made attempts to teach the language to you at one point. He even taught you some French, and particularly coarse phrases floats up from the depths of your memory that apply to the present situation.

Je m'emmerde. Vie de merde.

You've focused on your academics enough this afternoon. You did well in Math and Science class, time to knock it off and relax a bit. You turn around to face Tomio who half-heartedly follows the teacher's instructions.

"Having fun?" You jokingly ask your childhood friend.

"Soooo much fun. I can't wait until this is over. What are your plans for Golden Half-Week since the holidays are all over the place?" Tomio asks as he sprawls over his desk to rest. English class is a pretty safe lesson to goof off in, and he takes full advantage.

"Probably just sleep in for Wednesday since we're back to school for the rest of the week. As for the long weekend. I'll be hanging around Juuban since my family can't really afford to go anywhere. Heck maybe I'll go visit my grandparents at their antique shop since Asakusa isn't far. What about you?" You close your textbook, no one in class is really paying attention to the teacher who also miserably gives up trying to understand the intricacies of English grammar.
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"Not too many plans with my family either. I guess I'll be hanging up a flying koinobori for my little cousins on Children's Day. If you want, we could hang out. Heck, we could invite Yuuji and Masato too since they've got nothing on the go either."

Hm, that sounds like a good idea. You haven't been hanging out with your childhood friend lately, it'd be nice to just forget about supernatural weirdness after dealing with those stupid energy draining flowers. A long relaxing 'vacation' into normality sounds wonderful.

You promised to hang out with Tomio!

"Sure, we could even do something on Saturday after school is out!" You smile enthusiastically. The two of you begin hashing out plans, you're so into planning that you barely manage to notice that the classroom door has opened to let in a very unwelcome guest.

The Silent Penguin has entered. You twitch as she waddles about in the classroom. You're lucky that Tomio is too focused on planning out what to do during the long weekend with friends to notice your distraction. You turn to see what Usagi is doing, the poor girl can see supernatural penguins while normal folks can't. Fortunately, the short girl's attention is focused on Naru who is about show off her big surprise. You forgot that she had been wanting to show off something.

Naru holds in her hand a very small prize box that you remember seeing this morning. The girls in class are surrounding her desk to see what it is.


Oh shit!

You feel the world freeze to a standstill. After peeling back the wrapping paper, Naru holds a very familiar flower broach in her hands. The girls in class coo with admiration, impressed that Midnight Zero had awarded her the prize for submitting her love letter.

"Wow Naru!"
"How cool! So that's the flower broach!"
"Congrats on winning!"

Usagi makes a face when she sees the flower broach.

"Hey, that's the same one that Ms. Haruna had before!" Usagi points out as Naru starts to affix the energy draining supernatural flower onto her uniform.

What can you do to stop her!?

>Grab that Flower and chuck it out the window!
>Shout at Naru to stop!
>Telepathically beg the Silent Penguin to do something! roll 3d6, dc ???
>Summon Water Wall above her head and let it drop as a distraction! roll 3d6, dc 12
>Write in
Rolled 4, 4, 1 = 9 (3d6)

>Summon Water Wall above her head and let it drop as a distraction! roll 3d6, dc 12
Rolled 5, 1, 2 = 8 (3d6)

>>Summon Water Wall above her head and let it drop as a distraction! roll 3d6, dc 12
Doubt the penguin would want to help after we scolded it earlier
> Summon Water Wall above her head and let it drop as a distraction! roll 3d6, dc 12
Rolled 3, 6, 4 = 13 (3d6)

Oops, forgot my roll
Squeaked by there!
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You made a hypothesis at Juuban hospital and correspondingly went ahead to do a quick experiment. The results confirmed it for you once more.

No one ever looks up without a reason. A floating puddle of water hovering just above someone's head and letting it drop is an excellent distraction.

If you could stop Naru from making the disastrous choice of wearing that weird Flower broach, then summoning a small puddle of water above her head with Water Wall will be worth it. If you can conjure the water fast enough to accomplish that.

It is a race and it is going to be close. Naru putting that stupid Flower broach on her and getting drained or you mustering of enough water for your distraction. The Water Wall above Naru's head is at first a small bead expanding and growing far too slowly for your taste.

"So that letter "Haruna in Love" was from Ms. Haruna?" Kumiko muses.

"Yeah, that was unexpected." Usagi observes Naru open the clasp of the broach to affix it on her uniform.

Tomio is still talking, but you barely register what he's saying. His voice is like a distant echo and he noticed you aren't paying attention to him at all.

"Hey Ruka? What's with you?" Your best friend pokes you to get your attention. That single poke is enough to break your concentration on forming Water Wall and without your concentration the water you managed to conjure drops. It's fortunate that there was just enough water for it to be an effective distraction.


"AAAAAAAAH!" A surprised Naru screams as the water drops on her head, taking her completely off guard. Some of the liquid splashes into Usagi's face, which forces the short girl to scream as well and close her eyes. You made it in time, just enough water to make a sufficient distraction. With Naru wet from your little trick, she's unlikely to pin the damn broach on her and get drained. The next step now is to figure out how to get that damn Flower away from her and dispose of it.

"What the? Did the ceiling spring a leak?"
"WAAAAH! My eyes!!!"
"I don't see anything up there!"

The class is in an uproar, and it gets even more chaotic. You aren't sure if the Silent Penguin had been waiting for this moment but she has launched herself into the air somehow and is dive-bombing Naru. It reminds you of the penguins at the aquarium swimming about and getting ready to get back on to land. They dive downwards in the water and then swim upwards with incredible speed. The sheer velocity shoots them straight out of the water with such force that they are airborne for a few seconds before gravity once again pulls them down.

The Silent Penguin apparently can do the same trick without being in water because the normally flightless bird is diving beak first towards Naru with a swiftness that leaves you unable to react beyond letting your jaw drop at the audacity of the bird.
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Her beak is wide open and snaps shut on the Flower broach, Naru isn't able to hold on to the accursed thing and it is torn from her hand. The penguin's landing is completely graceless, the flightless avian bounces a few times on its stomach but keeps a firm grip on the Flower. In fact, it is chewing on the thing and the Flower is reacting negatively. The familiar dark tendrils and tentacles lash out and hit the Silent Penguin but has no effect.

With a few quick bobs of her head and some determined chewing, the Flower is devoured. The monochrome penguin looks incredibly satisfied by her meal and flaps her flippers with happiness. Then she spits out the golden broach pin from her beak and examines it very closely before triumphantly picking it up as a prize.


Well, the Flower is gone, so that's a good thing? Should you be glad? Azul ate the dead creepy Eye thing from the Nightmare you tore up into pieces when you first met him and it didn't affect him negatively at all. Do Penguins regularly eat supernatural stuff, so it's not a big deal?

You have questions but quite frankly, you aren't sure you care to know the answer. You feel a great deal of relief though, the Flower has been neutralized without your intervention.

"Whoa, what happened? Where the heck did that water come from? Did you see anything Ruka?" Tomio is agog by the inexplicable events that had just happened. It's a good thing the Penguin is invisible to mundane sight, the class would be even louder seeing it eating a supernatural Flower.

"PENGUIN!!!!" Usagi high pitch scream reminds you that there is in fact someone who can see the Silent Penguin. She points at the avian who gives what you think is a dismissive look at Usagi before ambling out of the classroom with its shiny prize.

"Huh? What's this about a penguin?"
"Are you okay Tsukino!?"

Naru and the rest of the girls in class look at Usagi with concern. They can't see what Usagi sees, they must think she was crazy. You better intervene before it gets out of hand.

"Hey, Usagi got a towel or something? Naru needs one." You start asking the poor girl before she said or did anything else. It works, since Usagi is naturally inclined to be helpful and compassionate to others first. The 'English' teacher puts his foot down and gets the focus back on studying.

"Huh? Did anyone see my prize?" Naru asks when she realizes it had gone missing. No matter how hard the other girls in class look with her, the Flower broach is nowhere to be seen. The red haired girl is incredibly disappointed.

School ends at last. You're on the classroom cleaning roster today, so after you're done that Aya wants you report to the Club and talk about the weird story Mizuno Ami told you about Ward A at Juuban Hospital but first....
>Ignore cleaning duties and grab the penguin, can't let it wander around...
>Finalize plans with Tomio about the long weekend while cleaning...
>Chat with a fellow classmate while cleaning. Who will it be?...
>Just finish classroom cleaning duties and go to see Aya...
>write in
>Finalize plans with Tomio about the long weekend while cleaning...
>>Finalize plans with Tomio about the long weekend while cleaning...
Well, we got plans!
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It's time to clean the classroom before going home. The dustpans, brooms, cleaning clothes and buckets are out. But no vacuum cleaner or mop because the Japanese educational system demands genuine physical effort from students when cleaning. Even in winter, you have to dip the cleaning clothes into a bucket of cold water to wash by hand. It's absurd but Japanese adults spew lies and say it builds character.

You and Tomio are in charge of stacking the desks and chairs to clear space for the students responsible for cleaning the floor. It's not a particularly strenuous task, but stacking desks is tedious because you have to carry them in a certain way to not spill the contents left inside. Too many of your classmates just leave things inside the desk compartment since cleaning the classroom is a daily task. It's not a very fun task.

The chairs are a different manner. It's a bit of a game, one is the 'pitcher' and the other is the 'catcher'. Today, Tomio is 'pitching' the chairs clear across the classroom while you are 'catching' them to stack. So far no accidents have happened in the school year though your teacher has scolded you numerous times for the reckless game.

"Right, next chair. Ready? GO!" In a demonstration of immense physical strength, Tomio pitches the chair straight at you in one quick underarm swing. The innocent chair is a blur, it reaches you in a flash but your reflexes are sharp and swift too. With deceptive ease and gentleness, you catch the flying missile and stack it with the other chairs.

"And that's the last of them." You state with satisfaction.

"Man, you two are going to knock someone's head off one day." Yuuji comments as he soaks a cleaning cloth to wipe the window.

"Until that actually happens, we'll keep on doing it." Tomio says as he stretches and relaxes.

"We're still on for Saturday and Sunday right?" It's a good idea to confirm with your friends. It's not often that you get hangout all together. So you just want to make sure everything is firmed up.

"Yeah, I can definitely make it to Sunday. Masato said he wants to come too." Yuuji nods.

Sunday plans confirmed with your old elementary school friend group: You, Tomio, Yuuji and Masato.

"I guess it'll be just you and me at Crown Games Saturday after school then. The rest are too weak and cowardly to face me in Street Fighter." You lightly joke to Tomio. You can't wait to start playing that arcade game again, it's been awhile.

"Pfft, you got mad when I cheesed into victory last time with Chun-li. Like horrible sore loser level." Yuuji snickers at the memory of a less than graceful concession to losing a few weeks ago. It's good to see he's mostly recovered his good cheer after that weirdness with the spooky Fortune Teller lady.
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Throughout this entire conversation, Naru is looking in all the corners of the classroom. It's a vain attempt to find her lost Flower broach prize. Usagi is trying without much success to convince her best friend to forgot about it.

After all, the Silent Penguin ate it.

Hm, you should probably give that bird a name too. Why not? After all, you named Nausicaa and Adamant since it was too troublesome to call them "Azul's sister" or "Azul's brother" all the time. Or maybe it has a name already? Well, the following days of vacation will give you more than enough free time to do stuff.

The classroom cleaning duty is over. You have to go and see Aya and your club members. However, you are surprised that Supernatural Research Club decided to do an impromptu meeting. Monday and Thursday are the typical days.

You depart from friends to go up to the third floor where the Clubroom is. The door is open and when you look in you see all the executives are attending. Club President Aya, Vice President Akira, Treasurer Miya and Denda Arika. Your position in the Club is simply Club Officer which is basically a glorified member of the club who does whatever the Club executives orders you to do or just scutwork.

You weren't expecting Arika to be honest. She is a very new member of the club and a previous victim at Osaka Jewelry with that creepy monster who tried to choke Naru to death. She's been working closely with the Vice President and Treasurer lately now that you think about it.

"Excellent, everyone's all here. But first, we need to induct our latest Club Secretary!" Aya claps her hand with happiness.

"Club secretary?" You ask in confusion at first but it becomes obvious whom they are talking about. Arika blushes from your attention.

"That's right, we just need to get everyone's signature on the paperwork and we have a full Executive team for Supernatural Research Club for the first time in almost 5 years of the Club's existence." Vice President Akira beams with pleasure as he brings out the pens and documents.

"It's so exciting, monsters attacking, strange supernatural warriors appearing and evidence of magic!" Treasurer Miya looks absolutely ecstatic at the thought of spells and magic. It is after all her pet obsession.

"I will do my best for our Club!" Arika proclaims as she watches each Executive confirm her appointment.

Well, if everyone thinks that Arika would be a fine addition to the Club, then you'll put your signature on the document too.

"Now that that's over with. Club Officer Ruka has an interesting story she heard from Mizuno Ami of class 2 - 5!" Aya announces. Arika is already ready with her pen and club notebook to write down your story.

Hm, should you tell them you snuck into Ward A and personally experienced likely evidence of 'It' existing? You don't want to incriminate yourself and your deeds at the hospital though. No, no, it's too risky. Ward A is where all the victims of the Flower broach were located.
Giving unnecessary information about your activities at the hospital is stupid.

It will just be the story: Ward A has unwritten rules regarding... a something. They're quite simple. If you see 'it' when walking through the hallways in there, then you must never acknowledge 'it', you must never speak to 'it' and you must never ever hug 'it'.

"Wow. That's a pretty scary story if you think about it. And it's all located at the hospital." The horror film fan Akira savors the idea a bit too much.

"I don't like the sound of that story at all. You can't talk about 'it' even if you see 'it'?" Arika shivers at the rules.

"Hm, maybe we should do a research trip to Juuban hospital to investigate. If we could Mizuno Ami to help us out, that would be wonderful! We might be able to recruit her if we did." Aya still won't let go of the idea of personally recruiting the girl genius it seems.

"Given the nature of the story though... that doesn't sound like a good idea." Miya muses on the information.

It is a productive but short meeting. They update you on Club activities from Monday. Nothing particularly new discussed beyond complaining about the Haunted House ban for upcoming Culture Fest. That didn't go over too well.

The other item surprises you.

"The Supernatural Research Club has voted that Club Officer Houseki Ruka make contact with Kakutani Moromi of Daily Report regarding information on Sailor V soon. It has voted that travel funds be provided to you for this purpose." Aya announces. Arika passes a prepaid transit card to you.

Received a Tokyo Transit Pass, enough to travel to all over Tokyo a few times!

"Huh, you want me to go back to Daily Report in Shinjuku? When do you want me to go?" It's a good question to ask, you don't know the deadline.

"We hope that you can accomplish this in about 2 weeks. That reporter Kakutani is the expert on Sailor V." Aya grumbles, it's clear from her attitude she would prefer to confront the reporter herself rather than you.

With that, the Club meeting is over. But you have time to talk a little with your fellow club members before they leave!

>Congratulate Arika on her promotion and ask a bit about herself...
>Pick Miya's brain on magic and stuff, she's the expert...
>Ask Akira about the Club, there might be tasks that need to be done...
>Speak with Aya about FM 10, you want to get a tour...
>Don't talk with anyone, just go home...
So this will be the post for the next 2 days. I have work, so voting will open the entire time!
>Pick Miya's brain on magic and stuff, she's the expert...
>>Congratulate Arika on her promotion and ask a bit about herself...
It’s polite and it’s better to do it now then way later so for now I’ll keep my vote on this under the assumption that we can call Aya later
>Speak with Aya about FM 10, you want to get a tour...
Hm, I decided to check in though I can't write tonight to see how the vote is going. It seems we're all over place.

As for the assumption that you can call Aya latter to get into a quick tour of FM 10 Radio after school today, hm.... you might be the protagonist of your story but remember that your friends are protagonist of their own!
Changing vote to
>>Speak with Aya about FM 10, you want to get a tour...
>Speak with Aya about FM 10, you want to get a tour...
Ruka has an objective after all
We're back at it, time to ask for a personal tour of FM 10 Radio courtesy of Aya
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An amazing change in the fortune for this Club. On paper, people just join to go home quickly after school. Now it actually has a full slate of club executives and members are regularly attending meetings to hear the latest on the supernatural shenanigans affecting Juuban. Best of all, Arika looks happy to join!

It's not often you smile, you feel a small one form.

"Congrats!" You give the first year girl a hearty slap on the back. She squeaks at your boisterousness and nods politely in thanks.

Denda Arika is a first year student and a victim of the attack at Osaka Jewelry. That is all you literally know about her, but that's okay. You will be working with her running Supernatural Research Club with everyone else. Plenty of time to get to know someone!

The cleanup of the clubroom is up to you since it's your responsibility as 'the minion' or rather Club Officer. Just stacking some chairs and putting away the paperwork while everyone goes home. Better make sure the president sticks around, you've got business to do.

"Hey Aya, I have a favor to ask of you. Could you stay behind with me?"

Aya looks at you curiously; in her hand is the club paperwork she has to pass on to the club advisor, Mr. Yamada.

"A favor? Oh my, whatever could it be?"

Hm? What a weird reaction. Was that sarcasm? The other executives perk up with curiosity; they pause at the door to listen.

"I'm a little curious about the radio business. You're allowed into FM 10 Radio, right? I was wondering if I could go see a real life radio station in action." It's a lie, you don't like telling Aya a lie but the truth would sound crazy. The truth would be 'I think there's something going on at FM 10 Radio involving energy draining Flowers, be a buddy and let me scope the place out'.

Aya looks surprised by your sudden interest in the media business. Then looks a bit suspicious.

"I'm going to have to be very blunt Ruka, you're lying. There's another reason behind your request, I just know it!" Her eyes shine with the fires of conviction that she has caught on to something.

Oh crap, you actually freeze up a little. How did she figure out that you were lying? Did your vaunted poker face fail? The other Club executives are now listening with full attention to the exchange.

"Lying about what?" You play innocent but it's pointless, Aya has seen your reaction.

"The real reason! You want to know more about Midnight Zero!" Aya dramatically points at you with fiery conviction.

Astounding. You can't help but look a bit shocked. How did she know? The look on your face only causes Aya to look incredibly smug and she continues.

"You want to know the owner of the dreamy voice from the program. The sexy sounding radio announcer, J. Daito. Oh Ruka, just because the voice of a man is smooth and soothing, it doesn't mean he's handsome. Trust me, gorgeous looking media workers like my dad are rare. There's a reason why the saying 'a face made for radio' exists."
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Okay, never mind, she got the wrong idea completely.

"Ooooh, you listen to Midnight Zero too? Did you send in a love letter as well sempai?" Arika asks you with interest. She shares a smile with Miya who looks very amused too.

"Ah, so even the infamously uninterested Houseki Ruka can feel the pricks of passion." The pale Treasurer snickers.

Akira looks rather bored at the proclamation. It was likely he was hoping for something more interesting as a reason. Too bad you can't tell everyone the truth, he'd be over the moon to hear the real reason why.

"Uh, so I guess going to FM10 Radio is out of the picture?" You try to push on with your request, it's important after all.

"Of course not! I can get you in, I'm also super curious about this J. Daito too. I want to hand in my love letter entry personally." With that, Aya flourishes a letter envelope she has been hiding in the paperwork.

Well, it seems you're going to get your tour but... is it worth the misunderstanding? You sigh tiredly and let Aya lead you to the radio station. It's a short walk, you let your Penguin radar track the weirdo penguin during it. She's following after you to the radio station which is odd. Could she track you in the same manner as you do with her?

Aya keeps talking to you throughout the walk. You politely listen and make the necessary comments but the most interesting part of the conversation is when she...

>Asks for the recipe for the meatballs and cooking lessons...
>Asks for your assistance to strongarm Mizuno Ami into join the Club...
>Asks how far you've gotten with Chiba Mamoru...
>Recites the contents of her love letter and asks for your opinion...
>Asks about your visit to the hospital and if you went to investigate Ward A...
>Asks about your visit to the hospital and if you went to investigate Ward A...
> Asks how far you've gotten with Chiba Mamoru...
>Recites the contents of her love letter and asks for your opinion...
>>Recites the contents of her love letter and asks for your opinion...
>>Recites the contents of her love letter and asks for your opinion...
>Asks for the recipe for the meatballs and cooking lessons...
Aya thinks the way to Tomio's heart is through food when it's actually just being a bro
>Asks for the recipe for the meatballs and cooking lessons...
>Asks for the recipe for the meatballs and cooking lessons...
Changing to
>Asks for your assistance to strongarm Mizuno Ami into join the Club...
Seems that Aya is going subject Ruka to the contents of the love letter she wants to submit to Midnight Zero.
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Hearing Aya talk about the love letter she slaved over to write is interesting. It is a testament to your friendship with your older friend that you can force yourself to listen and pay attention to the reams and reams of words she's put on paper.

Things like 'together we can make the world more beautiful and fresh' or 'not taking chances in love marks the beginning of loneliness' or 'my happiness cannot exist without you'.

Some of the lines she wrote are banal, others were quite touching but overall...

"What do you think?" Aya demands your immediate judgement of her writing. Her love letter is all over the place, it is clear that she isn't quite sure what would be most appealing to the radio program Midnight Zero to win a prize. Therefore, she has stuffed it with what she thought sounded romantic and grand.

It is a terrible letter. You would bet real money that Naru's or Ms. Haruna's love letter is a more sincere sounding and well written submission than your sempai's.

Do you risk telling Aya that though?

"Hm, well, you've written a love letter. That's more impressive than me, I couldn't be bothered to put pen to paper like you did."

There, that should satisfy her! But it is foolish to think that Aya would be satisfied by this weak attempt to dodge making any sort of criticism.

"I know that tone of voice. You think it's horrible. Miyuki was right when she said it's hard to write one. I spent hours trying to come up with something." Aya moans. She looks down at the envelope containing her love letter and groans with despair.

"At least you wrote one. I meant it when I said I don't have it in me to write a love letter." It is a vain attempt to salve the bruised ego of Aya and she seems greatly annoyed by it.

"Hmph that might be true but you have a way with words. It should be easy for you to come up with something! Come on Ruka! I know you can do it!" Aya wheedles; trying to extract something, you're quite sure you're incapable of. Full-throated confessions of love should be for reserved for people you truly care for. Even then, love sometimes doesn't conquer all or withers away.

Sometimes, it just dies.

"You got to be joking Aya. You just told me you spent hours agonizing over your love letter, what makes you think I could come up with anything on the spot?" You blush with mortification. Somewhere within, an echo sounds. The reverberating ring of some long forgotten memory that you dimly become aware of.

"Hmph I spent the last 15 minutes reciting this beauty of a letter of mine, only to be told it's bad. You should be able to come up with something memorable! Just try it!" The very short girl is in her sempai mode, trying to help guide her kouhai. Or maybe she wants to make fun of you.

Also, she won't stop until she gets it out of you. So you open your mouth to start lazily dishing out what could go into your 'love' letter.
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"... Within my heart, a thousand words of love but from my lips none at all. Though the words should fall so easily from them, such is the depths of my longing for you. But I heard from the winds and waves that you love another, so this humble epistle I write to forget you. To drive my heart away from the fires of joy lit by love, to let the wide abyss of remorseless time cleave me from my memories of pure happiness..."

You stop in shock as does Aya. Where did that come from? Also, that was not an attempted love letter. More like a confession of unrequited love written but not to be read or heard by anyone other than the writer. The older girl's mouth opens and shuts with amazement by your recitation; it flowed so smoothly and earnestly.

"RUKA! I demand to know who broke your heart so badly! Oh god, now I know why you're so uninterested in romance!" Your sempai is enraged, ablaze with anger quite rare, it has her hair bristling. She clasps your hand to comfort you with tears in her piteous eyes.

"No one! No one broke my heart!" You shout back in denial. Where the hell did those stream of words come from? The rest of the walk to FM 10 Radio is marred by the absolutely silly fiction you made up on the spot.

"You told me to make up something! So I did!" You feel frustration at Aya who remains utterly unconvinced.

"Was it Mamoru? Could it be Tomio? Oh god, I want him to date me so badly Ruka but I would never steal him away if you love him that much." Aya looks very vulnerable and guilty as she says this. You just want to tear your hair out in frustration.

"Look, never mind! Let's get to the station and pass in your love letter!" You howl in utter irritation. The security guard raises an amused eyebrow at the two of you. He clearly recognizes Aya since he gives a polite nod and lets both of you through without interference.

In fact, the moment you enter the building, it becomes obvious that Aya is well known. Employees stop to greet her or even wave a quick hello before moving on. Not a single person seems to think it odd that Aya would come into the place.

The place is not security heavy from the quick glance you give around the place. In fact, unlike the hospital, there's not much in the way of security cameras. The security guard at the entrance seems to be the only one, so if you can get past the guard then it should be easy enough to run around inside as long as you can fool the employees working the late night work shift or avoid them.

A disguise could help hide that you don't belong. If you change clothing to look a radio station employee or a custodian... Or just keep out of sight completely.
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Aya is a knowledgeable guide to the place; she even shows you where they do the broadcasting and describes the process. To your surprise, it is an interesting subject and quite educational. But the pleasure of the tour disrupted as you sense the Silent Penguin has arrived at the station is coming up by elevator to where you are with Aya. Perhaps it is time to stop the tour and go home.

"Thanks for tour Aya, it's a shame we can't find this J. Daito announcer. You better hand in your letter so we can go home." You nudge the other girl.

"Oh yeah, um, hm, I guess I could just leave it with the radio section chief, he'll get it to the right place for me." Aya doesn't sound very enthusiastic about submitting her letter any more.

"Oh, you want to submit a letter to Midnight Zero? I can take care of that for you." A soft feminine voice from behind surprises both of you. You turn to see a tall pale red headed woman in green wearing a Flower broach.

... How? How the hell can this lady wear the Flower broach without getting drained? You keep your face outwardly calm but within you are roiling with shock. Aya gives a professional smile to the radio station employee and hands over her letter.

"Please make sure to submit it directly to J. Daito! I hope he regards my humble submission with due seriousness." Aya says in the most polite Japanese ever. The charming diplomat at work you could say.

As this exchange is happening, the elevator door opens, and the Silent Penguin steps out from it. The avian stops, stares at the red haired woman... then steps back right into the elevator. She makes a short jump and presses the button to go back down. The door closes and you can see the bright red numbers revealing the elevator going straight down to ground level.

The bird is noping out because of this lady?

A chill goes down your back at the thought and you are relieved to get away with Aya from her. It's a good thing that she didn't see the Silent Penguin because Aya was making polite conversation and taking up her attention. When you reach the ground floor, you see that the Silent Penguin has fled outside of the building and is waiting for you. The bird looks concerned and stares up at the radio station doubtfully.

Well, I guess it goes to show that there was supernatural fuckery happening here.

You walk a quiet Aya back to her home and say good-bye.

"Ruka, remember. You shouldn't get sour on future relationships. Love is love, you'll definitely someone better than whoever hurt you!" Is the parting word from your friend.

GAAAAAH! WHY!?!?!??!?!

You can't help but scream in your head at this stupid misunderstanding.

It was time to head back to your apartment. If you plan on getting into the Radio station, then you have to get ready and plot on leaving your apartment while your dad is asleep.

You have some time before that though and you don't have to cook dinner because of all the leftovers in the fridge...

>Go and explore the Penguin Domain a bit more and mess around with the tansu chest...
>Go and read the letter from your mother and check out the stuffed penguin doll...
>Update your journal...
>Study and do some homework...
>Talk at the Silent Penguin, maybe she'll do something?...
>Call someone by phone, who will it be?...
>Call Kakutani at Daily Report and arrange a time to exchange info....
>Relax and watch TV...
>Clean up the apartment and get the mail...
>write in
>>Talk at the Silent Penguin, maybe she'll do something?...
Hopefully she’ll be more cooperative now
>Talk at the Silent Penguin, maybe she'll do something?...
> Go and read the letter from your mother and check out the stuffed penguin doll...
>>Study and do some homework...
>Go and read the letter from your mother and check out the stuffed penguin doll...
>Clean up the apartment and get the mail...
Hm, well, it's all penguin related.
Read letter/stuffed penguin doll and talk at the Silent Penguin at the same time.
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First thing to do is read the letter from your mother and see what's in it. There should be a clue as to why she would send you a stuffed penguin. Heck, you'll double check the doll too while you're at it.

The plushy penguin doll sits in the box, untouched and unmoved. It really looks quite cute which is in stark contrast to the living breathing moving carbon copy that is silently staring at you as though you owe it money. Is she still peeved that you forced the return of the stolen stuff back at the school?

"Look bird, if you want to steal shit, make sure you steal from the bad guys and not innocent people." You address it with a firm voice. Setting some ground rules for this particular penguin is necessary.

She continues to stare, in her black beady eyes there is a dim acknowledgement of your words. Perhaps the thief understands. It also seems to trigger something else too. The penguin starts coughing, a low growling push from the depths of the stomach to the throat.

You've seen this before in actual penguins on nature documentaries. The Silent Penguin is trying to regurgitate something that she had swallowed. You look on with shock and remember that it had earlier eaten the Flower at your school. Shock turns to horror at the realization.

"Oh hell no! Stop!!!" You shout but it's too late. You brace yourself to see a semi digested mess spewed onto the floor.

What comes out is small and shiny, it skitters onto the floor. At least it wasn't the remains of the flower she ate earlier today. The avian plucks it from the floor with her beak and waddles over to give it to you. But you are not willing to physically touch it, you summon Water Hands and take the pin over to the sink to wash it first. Then your real hands touch the thing.

It's the pin portion from the Flower Broach all right. It's a surprisingly heavy piece of metal for it's size. You look at it closely and note there's something about it that catches the eye. The weight, the color, and brightness... Was this gold? You bend the pin a little, it's malleable and bends easily.

The Silent Penguin continues to stare at you, she's expecting something.

"It's gold, I think. Uh, I'll put in the satchel for you. Will that satisfy you?" You ask but the Silent Penguin continues to stare and not react at all.

You sigh and put the pin in Azul's satchel. You make sure that she sees that you aren't stealing but storing it for her. Then you focus on the stuffed penguin.

You squeeze the monochrome plush penguin to see that nothing was inside it very thoroughly. The probe proves that there's only stuffing inside, nothing else. It's just a stuffed doll and has no manufacturing tag which implies it was crafted by someone rather than mass-produced and purchased. The box still has the manifest with the address and ridiculous name of the person who sent it. 'Ling Ling Ling' cannot be the real name of a real person, but the Yamato deliveryman confirmed that the address was real.
It's located somewhere in Shinagawa, the next ward over. Not very far, you could ride the train and find the place if you really felt like it. You note down the address on pieces of paper.

Next is the letter. You open it up and start reading.

"To my beloved daughter Ruka, it's been a month since I wrote. On the day you entered your second year of middle school, the sakuras must have bloomed beautifully in Tokyo. They bloomed wonderfully here at the Pure Lands, and from this sanctuary I can see Tokyo off in the far distance sometimes too. When I see the great city mired in smog and corruption, I can't help but wonder how you are doing?

Are you still growing taller? Are you still playing with your friends without a care? Are you still making your father worry?

I worry about you too. You're growing up and will face so many challenges as a young woman.

But I'm confident that you'll be able to face them head on.

That being said, I thought I'd send a friend to check up on you and help out. You always did like penguins at the aquarium, and so I know little Basalt will be of great assistance.

And remember, you can always write to me..."

You stop reading. The address is the same as what's on the manifest. It doesn't seem that your mother is in Tokyo at all. 'Pure Lands'? Where was that? Was that the crazy cult's headquarters? The other thing that catches your eye is the name of the Silent Penguin.

"Well Basalt, I know your name now and you're here to help me out..."

Basalt stares and then nods.

It's not possible to continue to your line of inquiry. The apartment door opens and you can hear dad calling out a cheery 'I'm home' as he enters.

"Hey dad, welcome home!" You call out and sweep the letter and doll back into the box.

It is time to have dinner with your dad.

What do you talk about with him?

>The upcoming holidays...
>About mom...
>What he did at work...
>Your day at school...
>Visiting your grandparents...
>write in
>The upcoming holidays...
>>What he did at work...
>Visiting your grandparents...
For the purposes of a tie breaker I'm changing my vote >>5275775 to Visiting your grandparents...
> The upcoming holidays...
>Visiting your grandparents...
I'm changing my vote to >The upcoming holidays...
if you change yours.

... It's exactly even between upcoming holidays and visiting grandparents... I'll just mash the two together.
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You reheat the day old curry and cook some fresh rice while your father showers and changes out of his work clothing. Dad the government accountant looks very different from dad the single divorced parent relaxing at home. The usual work suit removed and the casual jeans and t-shirt comes out.

"Ah, that smells so good." Dad announces as he goes to the fridge to crack open a rare beer for himself. Tomorrow is Greenery Day, meaning all of Japan is going to be on a bizarre one day holiday before returning back to the grind on Thursday. It's an extremely strange and rare quirk of the calendar. Typically, workers would ask for a few days off to make it a full week or more but your dad has used up most of his days off to care for you after that strange monster attack.

"Let's dig in!" The two of you intone the usual ritual of thanks before a meal and then start spooning hot Japanese curry into your awaiting mouths. The mild gravy-like curry with beef, potatoes, onion and carrots is delicious.

Basalt wanders about the apartment; she's not paying any attention to the food on the dining table. The lack of interest surprises you, Azul is always vibrating with keen attention to whatever you and dad eats. He will even beg for a taste of it or his own plate, but Basalt spares not one iota of effort to ask for food. Perhaps she prefers eating strange supernatural stuff?

"Golden Week this year is weird, isn't it?" You dad begins as he slows down his rapid devouring of dinner a little to talk.

"Classmates are nicknaming it Golden Half-Week because it's all over the place." You whine a little but otherwise it's not a serious complaint.

"It really is too bad that we can't go anywhere. If it was the standard Golden Week, I would have bought train tickets to go see your grandparents over in Chiba. A week by the mountains and sea rather than our apartment." Your dad seems very nostalgic at the thought of seeing his parents.

"I guess we could go and see grandpa and grandma Shioyama in Asakusa." You tenderly offer this suggestion to your dad but he frowns a little. It's not that he dislikes his ex-wife's parents but... well... It is awkward. Even though your grandparents are fighting back by helping an anti-Sun cult group.

"Hm, they're in the tourist trade in a touristy part of Tokyo. The antique shop will be busy. It won't be too relaxing, they might even put us to work. I'm not too good with face to face customer interaction; it's why I choose to become an accountant after all." With that your dad laughs a little.

Oh yes, that's true. Golden Week will probably be especially busy for Asakusa but it seems your dad is looking for an excuse to politely avoid them.

"But if you want to see them, I can call ahead of time and to send you over. Saturday morning fine with you?"


"I have school dad..." You give him a puzzled look. He should know that you'll be slaving away at school for half the day.
"Hm, oh yes, I forgot. I get Saturday off for the rest of my government career now but students don't. No more clocking in a full day's work on Saturday for me." He takes a deep satisfying swig of his beer to celebrate.

"... Could you not look so pleased?" You grind your teeth in jealousy.

As family, you work out a schedule and call your grandparents about visiting. They'll be open for the entire holidays as expected but would love to have you over any day. It seems they'll prepare special pickles and treats for the occasion. Hopefully you'll be able to find Azul in time and bring him over to try some of those treats. Basalt stares silently throughout the entirety of this and the clean up.

"Hm, if you're not busy tomorrow Ruka, we'll have to clean the apartment. It'll probably only take us half the day..." Your father looks distastefully at how dirty the kitchen sink is becoming.

"Sure thing dad."

You have some time until departing for your mission; you'll need to wait until your dad is asleep. You figure he'll go to bed a bit late because it's a holiday tomorrow. So around 10:30 pm, you'll have more than enough time to get to FM 10 Radio and begin your infiltration...


>Prep your tools, change your clothes and review your plans...
>Visit the Penguin Domain and look into the tansu chest...
>Update your journal...
>Study and do homework, midterms will happen in two weeks!...
>Talk to Basalt and see if she has any special abilities...
>Relax with dad, watch some TV...
>Fill a large plastic bottle with water and experiment...
>write in
>Update your journal...
>Relax with dad, watch some TV...
>Prep your tools, change your clothes and review your plans...
>Fill a large plastic bottle with water and experiment...
>>Relax with dad, watch some TV...
>>Prep your tools, change your clothes and review your plans...
> Prep your tools, change your clothes and review your plans...
> Study and do homework, midterms will happen in two weeks!...
It seems people want to relax with dad and then prep for the night.
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Japanese game shows and variety shows are of such abundance, that there aren't enough hours in your life to spare to watch all of them. Some were terrible excuses to see people get hurt in a variety of ridiculous challenges. Others were mind numbing quiz shows and comedy routines from hell. Then there's some truly interesting ones that you don't mind rotting your brains with. Quality shows are pretty rare. There's probably some sort of rule out there about how most things are crap.

You have a preference of physical challenge shows while your dad seems to enjoy knowledge challenge ones. So far, it is a combination not easily satisfied.

"Hm, it seems they're doing reruns of Banzuke... but I think you've seen this episode. There's Fuji TV's Naruhodo, it's a new episode..." The newspaper smoothed out on the table and opened to the TV program section is a massive black and white listing. Fuji TV, TV Tokyo, NHK and more. Both you and dad lean over the tiny newsprint to try to pick out an interesting show to watch together.

"Too bad it's not Sunday, I would have said we should watch Nobunaga as an easy choice." You run your finger down the schedule for Fuji TV without stopping.

"Well, since we aren't traveling anywhere, why not choose a travel variety show. There's one on Asahi TV in a few minutes."

There's really nothing that catches your eye. You pick up the TV remote and change the channel to Asahi TV. The episode shows some sort of Talent celebrity guy famous for a weird comedy act wandering around parts of Japan in search for UFO stories. He's near Mount Fuji and going to go some of the lakes close by in his search. You feel mildly jealous that this mediocrity gets to enjoy a trip to Lake Shoji and Lake Motosu because of his job. Yamanishi looks like so relaxing and rural.

Yet there was strange mar on the beauty of the place. Out past a particularly beautiful village, in an oddly barren field is a series of buildings that seem out of keeping. It didn't quite look like a farm or really fit into the vibe of the place.

"Now that's a nice place to go camping!" Your dad comments, he sounds increasingly sleepy. You check the clock and note it's almost 10 pm.

"You look tired dad, maybe you should turn in?" You gently suggest and get up from the coach as the annoying celebrity goes on his monologue about the area and it's alleged UFO incident.

"Strange plumes of smoke have been seen in the sky as well as strange lights. Locale note that plants will suddenly die during these odd-."

You don't hear much more, since your father turns of the television. As he does so, you note that the show was showing a number of odd people in white walking out of the strange building.


You grab the remote control and turn the TV on. Those people in white seemed oddly familiar. But it's too late, the moment has passed on since the celebrity is talking about something about the tasty treats he had been eating.
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"Hm, what is it Ruka?" Your father asks as he looks back at the TV.

"Nothing... I just thought I saw something..."

Odd looking people in white remind you of the Sun of Heavenly Truth nuts.

"Well okay, good night Ruka." Your father yawns more as he goes to his bedroom to sleep.

"Good night dad..." You have no plans to sleep tonight. It was time to prep. You immediately head to your bedroom and lock the door. Basalt had been hanging about your bedroom the entire time you had been watching TV with your dad. It seems that this entire time she had been laying out your tools on the floor, even dragged out a few items of clothing that could be used as a disguise.

Your knife, your mirror, your lock picks and clothing are laid out neatly. But there's also an odd addition, it's sparklers and a lighter. You bought some fireworks last year for summer, and didn't use it all. So they had lain forgotten in your room. Basalt has apparently decided that the time to use them was tonight and has modified it to a much deadlier form with some tape.

This crazy avian has made it into a bonafide sparkler bomb. What the hell?

"Well, didn't expect this from you. What are you doing? Trying to kill someone with that?" You ask but immediately realize that it might be just that. The bird can't talk but she just stares at you with her beady eyes as though to say 'yes, I do want to try and kill someone with it'.

You remember the strange red headed woman wearing the Flower broach without keeling over. Basalt gave that 'lady' one look and noped out.

It is a strange chilling feeling to realize that Basalt has just made a bomb. There was no evidence prior to this moment that the supernatural penguin had knowledge on making weapons like this for you to use.

"Uh... here, let me give you the satchel and you can carry that for me." You grab Azul's satchel to lend to Basalt. The bird is far too enthusiastic to shove the sparkler bomb into it with the lighter.

You strap on your tools and change. If you're lucky, at a distance in the Radio Station, you'll be mistaken for a late night working employee. To hide the lower half of your face, you grab a medical mask to wear later. Plenty of Japanese people wear one if they have a cold.

The review your simple plan to get in. You can't get past the guard without credentials, so you'll just climb over the wall and get into the building. Basalt is invisible and can distract the guard by doing something.

Unlike Azul though, you can't communicate with her telepathically while you're inside.

"Okay Basalt, here's what I want to you to do."

You go over the first half the plan to gain entrance. The second half is exploring the building to find the source of those Flowers to destroy them. There must be some sort of creepy plant thing growing them or something. You'll cut it into pieces, and need Basalt to stick close to find them.

If you're lucky, you'll also find the security room and get Basalt to remove the VHS tapes. Unfortunately, your tour with Aya didn't include any mention of where the security cameras recordings are stored. It's the best you can do. Even if you do fail to get at the tapes, as long as nothing suspicious happens, you'll be fine. It's unlikely the tapes will be reviewed because they see an 'employee' running around the station.

Basalt doesn't react at all to your explanation. Did the strange penguin understand your plan? You miss Azul, at least he would do something to acknowledge he understood.

It's 10:30 p.m. now. It is time to sneak out.

>roll 3d6+2, dc 12 not to wake up your father!
Rolled 6, 6, 5 + 2 = 19 (3d6 + 2)

Rolled 3, 5, 5 + 2 = 15 (3d6 + 2)

Rolled 4, 3, 2 + 2 = 11 (3d6 + 2)

Forgot the +
Quite the ninja!
Rolled 3, 2, 3 = 8 (3d6)

random roll for myself.
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The apartment door typically creaks; it's as loud as a bird's cry. It takes a bit of finicky and careful easing of the door to open it without a sound. The first great challenge to sneak out from your apartment. If you failed here, then you would be forced to take the much more drastic and dangerous secondary route.

Dropping down floor by floor, balcony by balcony through your bedroom window.

You did that once, just to see if it was possible. It is but the price of the knowledge was your dad being so furious he spanked you despite being 12 years old. He had caught you just as you had dropped to the ground after a torturous and exhausting descent.

Though if you were caught at this stage, you'd likely give up and not bother trying infiltrate the radio station tonight. It'd be an automatic mission fail.

But the door yields to your careful ministration and with the stealth of a cat, you are out the door without waking up dad. The corridors of the apartment is empty and lonely, no one is around to witness your exit. You hurry down the stairs to the street with Basalt following after you.

Basalt is a far more physically adroit avian that Azul. It takes her no effort to keep up as you jog to FM 10 Radio station. As an experiment, you even sprint for a few seconds to see if she could up and discover she could easily sustain the pace.

It's 11 p.m. by the time you arrive.

The guard is sitting in his security office by the gate, he's oblivious and concentrating on something. Perhaps it is a security camera feed? Well that's Basalt's job, distract the guard and remove any camera recordings if there were any in the security post.

"Well Basalt, I hope you're ready. I'm going to get into position in the back, wait 30 seconds and then make your distraction... and don't hurt the guard, he's just doing his job."

Hopefully, the distraction that Basalt makes will give you enough time to clear the wall and get out of sight. The guard won't reconnoiter that far from the entrance, it's too far from the source of the distraction Basalt will make... unless the guard gets it into his head to patrol the grounds because of it. There's no way to account for all possibilities and counter them.

The monochrome penguin doesn't make a sound or react, she just waddles off to her task. Alone, you rush to a part of the wall where it is particularly lonesome. No cars or pedestrians are in sight as you count slowly the seconds and ready yourself to scale the wall. You put on the flimsy paper medical mask to disguise your features, it's better than nothing.

"Who goes there!!!" A loud male voice cries in the distance. The distraction must be in progress and it is time to get over the wall. You heave over it without difficulty and double check while on top to see if there's anyone around to witness it. The coast is clear.
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Now to get inside the building, the front entrance is impossible with the guard investigating the disturbance Basalt made. You aren't sure what she did, but you hope it's effective

A window is your best bet to enter and the fact that they're all closed means absolutely nothing to you. The room you wish to enter is empty; it appears to be an office. It's a tilt window that is fully secured, closed without any means to open it from the outside. Typically, to enter through a closed window, you'd have to force it open by breaking it but you have an advantage that no other criminal has.

Water Hands...

You concentrate fully to summon the strange hands and begin manipulating the pivot locks on the inside of the room. It's an odd sensation, your other supernatural pair of hands can feel every groove inside while you are standing outside. They feel the proper locks and latches and you mimic slowly the opening of the window. It works so smoothly, it opens just enough to squeeze in.

Silent and swift, a complete success. You're inside and Basalt should have entered through the front entrance after checking the security booth. Next step is rendezvousing with her and proceeding with the next step of the infiltration which is to get to the source of those Flowers and destroy them. That is... if there are more of those damn things. It's hard to know for sure if you should focus solely on your original plan.

What will you do?

>Find the security office; you want to get rid of those tapes first...
>Last time at House of Fortune, you smashed some weird glowing crystals, see if there's some here?...
>Stick with your plan, search for the source of those Flowers...
>Go up to the studio where Midnight Zero is aired, they're the ones responsible for this...
> You should take this opportunity to steal things...
>Look for the red headed spooky lady, she's up to something...
>write in
>You should take this opportunity to steal things...
>Find the security office; you want to get rid of those tapes first...
>>Find the security office; you want to get rid of those tapes first...
> Find the security office; you want to get rid of those tapes first...
Seems we really want to leave no trace!
Sorry folks, slight delay in the post tonight. Will post tomorrow.
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For a brief wild moment, the thought of stealing enters your mind. There are laptops carelessly left on the desks in this officer, pagers of all sorts to grab and more. If you kept the satchel on you, and began stuffing it with loot...

Damn, that crazy kleptomaniac penguin is a bad influence.

You turn your thoughts to more serious matters. The security cameras that dot certain areas in the building and where the footage is stored. Unlike certain supernaturally powered heroes and heroines, you don't have the magical ability to hide your identity or make people forget about you. If someone sees you, they'll remember it or question you.

You're here to trim some Flowers but you don't want to be found out while doing it.

Where could those recordings be stored? The hospital had a room with a bank of TV monitors and recorders in it. It's likely this radio station has a similar set up.

It is an exercise in logic and elimination to narrow down the likely location of the security office. It will have a guard in it, it would be silly to place that guard far away from the ground floor where intruders enter or from assisting fellow guards.

Aya had given you a tour of the 3rd and 4th floor in its entirety. It was all offices and recording studios on that floor, which eliminates them from contention.

Therefore, the 2nd or ground floor is the most like locations. The hospital had squeezed their security control room in a particularly tight space if you recall the image Azul had sent you. Could it be that the security room here at the station will be also very small?

Then there's the amount of cabling needed to hook the system up. There's not a lot of cameras here compared to the hospital but they had enough that a thick bundle of wires would need to be installed.

A small cramped room, one guard, extensive cabling, somewhere on the ground floor or 2nd floor.

Time to get Basalt and search out the room together.

You leave the safety of the darkened office and peek out into the hallway. The coast is clear but you can hear the sound of people walking about. The radio station is operational at all hours, if another person sees you then your only hope is that they mistake you for another radio station employee and ignore you.

It takes a lot of out of you to walk down the hallway with confidence that you belong to the station. No one ever told you that breaking in would require so much steely determination and calm nerves. It's a relief to see that Basalt is following instructions perfectly, she moves to you the moment you appear.

"Change of plans, we're going to go after the security camera recordings first instead. That means, finding the security room. Once we find it, you're job is to get in and start grabbing the video tapes."

Basalt looks very interested in your instructions. There's a gleam in her eyes.

".... Only steal the VHS tapes in the recorders, I'm not giving you permission to rob whatever you want from the security room."
The clarification causes the penguin to give you a glare.

"Give me a break, we're here to cut up the source of the weird Flowers. Unless the bad guys are like videogame monsters and in the habit of dropping valuable stuff to steal from them, this is not going to be a profitable looting expedition for you."

Were all the Penguins greedy birds? Azul was absurdly efficient gathering the money when he robbed the House of Fortune and wouldn't stop until he got it all. Basalt just steals whatever catches her eye, like a magpie attracted to shiny things. Did Nausicaa and Adamant have similar inclinations?

The search for the security room is a nerve-wracking task. You check in several rooms but none of them is the security room. By now, you passed a few security cameras without exciting suspicion but feel an intense urgency of finding those recordings now. There's video record of you wandering about in the hallways. So far you haven't run into any employees or security guards. But your luck is bound to run out soon.

Eventually, you pass by a break room and notice something. It's a small room with everything needed to make tea and coffee for employees. The place contains a few small tables and chairs scattered about and an overflowing trashcan filled with discarded paper cups. Inside a security guard is nursing an empty cup and sitting very still. You heart leaps up into your mouth but you realize something.

The guard's eyes are staring into nothing, there's no light of reason in them. His wide open eyes doesn't see you at all, despite standing just outside the break room door. He is also unnaturally still...

What is wrong with him?

>Check up on the security guard?
>Ignore him, keep searching for the security room...
>Ignore him, keep searching for the security room...
>Check up on the security guard?
>>Check up on the security guard?

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