Night's Contract

A session for Misaki_Naito played on OOC date 7th April 2012.


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It's odd; the software only took a second or two to download, install, and then it was immediately user agreements and boilerplate displaying across Misaki Naito's lap. Not that anyone else could see the stack of papers - the joy of ARcitecture glowing papers - the

Joy of ARcitechture.

User agreements usually boiled down to covering their bases, and so she had no interest in reading it right now. She only had to move a stack of books off her futon so she could sit down to start this…perhaps she did need to get bookshelves for her apartment, after all?
Agree, Agree, move on, tell me what this is. If Father had left it, even in the false world he'd left behind, there was something more to this game, right? Right.

There. Finally. A registration screen comes up, more than willing to draw Naito's information from social networking…or she'd have to fill in a basic profile. Name, demographics, parental controls…and optionally, financial information.

Her information on social networks is intentionally sparse…and ignoring the parental controls, filling out the rest was easy enough. M-i-s-a-k-i N-a-i-t-o, Japanese (there was never a tickybox for the proper mix), DOB 12/21/xxxx…all real information, and in a sense it was kind of amusing to be registering for a fake world inside a fake world.

Actually, there ARE subfilters for mixed race/ethnicity.

It's surprisingly detailed.

…Interesting. Primarily Japanese, quarter English, then.

Noted! Once complete, there's a very brief loading sequence, and then a tiny woman with red-violet hair, a blue leather…we'll call it swimsuit and boots for the kids in this game, and dragonfly wings flutters before her eyes.

"Welcome~"

…Fairy-type, probably Pixie, from what she's read. Night smiles faintly, leaning back against her wall. "Good afternoon."

The pixie (quite correct!) flits around, looking over the books and poring over some of the covers. "My, but we've got an educated inquisitor this…afternoon." The hesitation is brief, but noticeable. "Do you want to walk the road to paradise~? It's very fun! <3"

"Paradise, huh? I'm game." The books are on every subject imaginable, inheritance from her father, but near her bed, it's occult. Ritual magic from ever culture she can find, blank books filled with scribbled notes and suspicious red stains on the covers, but none of that is important right now. "Let's begin."

"No, I'm game~ You're ….Naito Misaki! You can call me Pix! I'll be your guide through the start of the story. Now, first things first…have you heard about all of the terrible things that have been going on?"

"The Divers? I've heard."

Pix tilts her head. "I haven't heard of any -divers-, but I do know all about demons! I should know, I am one. A fairy, to be precise. And it seems things have gotten a little hairy! Humans playing with satellites or something~ But now so many of them are dead, I'm sure they won't do THAT again, right?"

"Us humans don't tend to learn from mistakes very well…Although I have to hope they won't do that again, I'm not exactly hopeful. I don't know enough yet to become the kind of god who could stop them, anyway." Father could have, he could have done anything, but if he was here it wouldn't have come so far, would it?

"Become…god? Oh, you're one of THOSE! Would you like to abandon the tutorial and move directly to path selection?"

"Solipsism is the term for the philosophy, and yes, I would appreciate that, thank you."

"You're a nerd! I LIKE nerds <3! So that's okay…and do you know the paths ahead of you? So far, you have access to the road of the Devil Summoner, the Atma Corrupted, the Manifest Potential, the Tech Specialist…or you can walk your own, lonely road…wouldn't that be a shame?"

"Humans are almost never strong enough to stand alone."

"I've been alone for years, I could have all the strength I ever wanted, if I wished to. But a summoner…mm. Versatile and flexible, providing the most options to adapt and take on all challenges…and easiest to tailor to suit ever-changing personal needs, even in a game…coupled with partners bound by common interest, at the very base of any contract. " Misaki looks at her ceiling for a moment, before laughing. "Yes, that sounds like it would be interesting, doesn't it ?"

Pix blanches, complete with animated sweatdrop. "…I'm so glad this job is just as a guide. I don't get paid enough for this….oh, right!" She clears her throat. "VERY WELL! Let me introduce you to the beginning of your path!"

"Don't worry, I don't think you and I have enough in common for the contract to be valid~"

There's a humming noise and then a ritual circle appears on the ground in front of Naito. Suddenly, a blue-colored hologram of an elderly, but razor-honed Japanese man rises from her floor. "Misaki Naito…I've read your profile. Are you ready to take the first step in fighting back against the darkness?"

"…Ha." Misaki stands up, still smiling. "I want to know what light cast those shadows to begin with…I'm ready." The AI was so complex, but it used a trope like that? She was kind of disappointed.

"Arrogance does not befit one about to take the heavy road. Your soul will be weighed against the depths of hell and the sharpest swords of Heaven. Do you think your childish dreams of power can withstand things older than the tongues of Man? WAKE UP!"

…There's something odd about the NPC's eyes. Something familiar.

"…You're…" She watches him, momentarily wary, but—it's false. It's false, it's a lie, it's an illusion, it wasn't time to wake up yet. "…It's too early for that…knowledge is the original power forbidden to us humans, wasn't it? A power that can break the entire world…or make it whole again, correct?"

"Correct. Knowledge is our first and deadliest weapon. Which is what we've discovered - the way to bind and control these digital demons. But the path is not without dangers. Your soul will have to measure up to the challenge." That light in its eyes fades a bit. "Are you ready to test yourself?"

"There is always a price for any endeavor…wasn't it you who taught me that?" No, wait, it was her father, wasn't it…? Ah, now wasn't the time to be distracted. She nods, adjusting the glasses to sit more securely on her face. "I'm ready."

"Then, I hereby give you the rank of Devil Summoner, Misaki Naito, and may God have mercy on your soul." He tosses a parcel in her direction, which melds into her avatar. Words flash across screen: STARTING PACK acquired.

"Now pick your poison." He flicks a hand and four displays appear in the air around Naito, painting her in the artificial glow. "Pixie. Pyro Jack. Jack Frost. Angel…these common devils are on stock for raw materials, but one of these shouldn't over-burden you."

/God…? I only recognized one, and he doesn't exist in this world…// Misaki shakes her head, before examining the screens. Angel is a contract that would always fail, for her, and Pixie she already ruled out…leaving only the Jack brothers….Hmmm. It was careful to consider all aspects carefully, even in a digital contract. For a demon's power, she would have to pay the appropriate tally. "…Fire and Ice, hmm? Ah, never my favorite of his poems…"

"Pyro Jack, then."

"Frost. Appropriate, considering." The old man nods. "Pyro Jack, it is…now, let the process begin." The room goes unnaturally dark and the FLASHES red as a Pyro Jack appears before Naito. "HEE-AR me! I AM THE PUMPKIN KING! I WILL DEVOUR YOUR SOUL, MORTAL!!!!"

Alarms start to blare.

"…Jack Skellington, now?" Misaki can't help laughing some. "Please don't set off the fire alarms."

"Hey, instead of eating me, isn't more interesting to see what I can do with your power?"

"…HEY! DON'T USE COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS! NOW, I WILL COOK YOUR SOUL BEFORE EATING IT! HEE-HEE-HEE!"

"…wait, what? Use my power? Why would I let you use me?! I'm FREEEEE-HEE-HEE-HEE…right?"

"You were the one calling yourself the pumpkin king…and it's a contract. Your power for my knowledge…even demons are stronger when they're not alone, right?" A smile curves her lips again, but it's unpleasant this time. Bladed and sharp as the crescent moon.

"…I….um…are….are you sure you're human?" Pyro Jack floats back a few paces. "…and…and you want a contract with ME?!"

Misaki smiles /sharper/, stepping forward to match Pyro Jack. "Being human is what makes me scary. And I chose you, didn't I? There's no one else here. So what do you say?"

"It'd be a shame if you were wasting my time after all that…"

"N-n-no! Ahem…boss! Boss, right? Do you like boss? I, PYRO JACK, offer my flame and charms to your cause! Let's go kick some butt! HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE!"

A menu prompts Naito. "Do you Accept? Yes/No"

"Awwwright! Then…since you're…a little different. Maybe you can help me? Would you like to start our first adventure on a…" It conjures a tiny fireball…"Hot note?"

"I look forward to working with you, Pyro-san." She blinks, head tilting to the side…well, it's not too late that being out would look suspicious, and it's not like she hasn't already finished her homework…"A partnership is defined by helping each other…what is it you need help with?"

"The war, of course! You see, we fairies aren't involved in the big, ugly fight between the demon clans…well, YET. But me and a few buddies want to raise some hell, so to speak…but we're way outnumbered. I've got a plan, though…I was just in a huge tank with TONS of PYROS, hee-hee-hee…see where I'm goin'?"

"You want me to help release the stored Pyro Jacks kept for beginner use to create an army, is that the gist of it?"

"…wait, we could make an ARMY, too? I was just thinkin' about starting fires!"

"If all of you banded together, it would constitute an army. Of course, they would need to cultivate allies…only fire isn't any good when you're going up against rock, right?"

"…I….um…y'know, if you don't WANT to…" It shies away a little. "You…you don't do things halfway!"

"It's not about that, it's about long term-planning." Night smiles, perfectly cheerful. "I'm fine setting fires, or creating an army, or whichever…I'd expect a favor in return, of course, something nonspecified…I don't want to lead an army, not yet, it's way too early to see if something like that is necessary, I don't even have any particular plans yet."

"….well, let's get going, then, hee-hee-hee! We'll show those cold Jacks what-for!" And just like that, the worst possible alliance in demonic history began….

This could only end fantastically.

"….well, let's get going, then, hee-hee-hee! We'll show those cold Jacks what-for!" And just like that, the worst possible alliance in demonic history began….

~To be continued

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Session Notes: One of the first three scenes played out.