School Days 1

A certain school in a certain part of a certain city-state is unusually quiet for its second week. That is, as soon as the first of a certain few someones step onto campus. (It was Night. This is hardly unusual for her on her path to the library. For the others? Well…)
9:53 PM
People stop chatting, texting, typing, kissing (they were going to get in serious trouble, anyway) and generally breathing as Michael or Shousei enter the scene…and the whispering starts as soon as they're 'probably' out of earshot.
9:55 PM Michael_Lin
just keeps his head down, listening as best as he can, and pretends to not pay attention to anyone around him.
9:56 PM Jaito
9:59 PM Michael_Lin
10:00 PM Jaito
"…did you hear that Yamazaki and the Witch blew up a school?!" "Yeah, I hear that Lin was there, too…" "Who?" "Nevermind who, but I hear the three of them are part of a pagan cult! They blew up the school as a sacrifice to the chaos gods!" "…like in that game? You play, don't you?" "…n-n-no?"
10:01 PM
"Seriously, WHO is this Lin kid?" I think he's cute!" "I think he's into guys!" "Then /I/ THINK he's cute!" "But I hear he's a pagan!" "So? You're Shinto. That's East Pagan!" "Dude, don't make me kick your Catholic ass!" "Watch out. I hear the Witch is Eastern Orthodox and tortures sinners!"
10:03 PM Michael_Lin
…just going to keep walking and pretend like he didn't hear anything. It's easy. That game was really more trouble than it's worth…
10:03 PM Greenling
Meanwhile, Shousei really doesn't tend to notice other people and presumes they're talking about him anyway. Did you know there are hearing aids with iPod jacks? Shousei does.
10:04 PM Jaito
They also part like Shousei is the coming of the Chosen One.
10:04 PM
It's more "oh, it's HIM" and general skittering about for Lin. He manages to surprise people until someone in the crowd shares classes.
10:04 PM Greenling
…Yeah, /that/ makes him uncomfortable.
10:05 PM Jaito
That is, until Michael finds himself with a roadblock between his first class…and more people covering the area behind him. All six of them, four boys and two girls, wear prominent crosses of steel or silver. Basically, whatever they could find.
10:06 PM Michael_Lin

10:06 PM Jaito
Their spokeswoman, a girl in a skirt modest enough to look like a thug in Japan (oh, Japan) holds out a hand. "Michael Lin?"
10:08 PM Michael_Lin
"Y-yes?" pretty firmly staring at the floor, eyes darting around nervously, trying to find a way out. He doesn't take the hand: he's busy clutching his books so tightly that his knuckles are white.
10:09 PM Jaito
Something flickers across her eyes and the hand turns to a pointing finger. Her entire personality shifts - from soft-eyed curiosity to the hard edge of a soldier. "Misha Nakaia?"
10:10 PM Michael_Lin
just jerks back - there isn't anywhere to go but the wall near him and it's a bad place to be with so many people around, but instinct is instinct.
10:11 PM Jaito
"Ah…" Her eyes narrow and flash with steel. "Then, Misha Nikaia…you are hereby under arrest!"
10:12 PM
She adjusts her glasses and the glint pure white under the fluorescent lights…but for just a moment, Michael sees the flash of golden wings behind her.
10:12 PM Michael_Lin

10:13 PM Jaito
The others murmur. "C-captain…I think you're scaring him," one of the boys offers.
10:13 PM
"SILENCE. Solidarity is key!" They all snap to attention. "Do you wish to know your charges, Mister Nikaia…or shall we proceed directly to interrogation?"
10:14 PM Michael_Lin
tries to press himself back against the wall even more, as if he can pass right through the material. He can't, he knows, but he's trying anyway. "W-what…?"
10:15 PM Michael_Lin
he isn't Nikaia who can be brave, he's not /here/ any more or anywhere that can be reached, just him who isn't brave at all and just wants to disappear.
10:18 PM Jaito
"You are charged with the greatest crime - disrupting the social order in such a way as to reflect poorly upon the gaming community." She says this entirely seriously, and the others nod along. "How do you plead?"
10:18 PM
A boy offers, "Ma'am, that's for the tria-" "SILENCE."
10:20 PM
They square off, looming rather ominously as a crowd starts to gather around the staircase which forms the only escape.
10:21 PM Michael_Lin
He can't take this any more - too many people, being backed into a corner, even being the focus of their attention, and he does the only thing that comes to mind. Try to bolt for the stairs.
10:24 PM Greenling
…Why is there a giant crowd of oh hey, there's Lin.
10:24 PM Jaito
(Give me a quick, easy Fists or Might to brush the crowd aside?)
10:32 PM Michael_Lin
10:34 PM Jaito
Michael pushes, but the crowd startles and shoves him back. He lands on the ground painfully, but not with any lasting harm. The rather-impressive heeled boot of the Captain appears next to his head. "An escape attempt! So you ARE guilty…" "Ma'am-" "SILENCE."
10:34 PM
Oh, Shousei, hey look! A lynching.
10:36 PM Greenling
…Shousei is not normally someone to interact with other people. Most people don't really like him, either. But there are certainly things that will force his hand.
10:36 PM
Shousei's eyes flare. "What in god's name are you idiots /doing/?" he snaps.
10:37 PM Michael_Lin
just curls up, not even caring if the girl steps on him or anything. It doesn't matter. It doesn't.
10:37 PM Greenling
"How /dare/ you shove another student around like that!!"
10:38 PM Jaito
"Ah, so the Devil Prince himself dares to face us!" POINT goes the Captain's fingers. "Yamazaki Shousei, explain yourself!"
10:38 PM
…the rest of her troops give Michael a little space. The crowd…eats this up like prime theatre.
10:39 PM Greenling
Shousei looks over the other boy with contempt. "/I/ am walking to school like a normal human being. What are /you/, some kind of violent cult?"
10:39 PM
10:41 PM Jaito
(Give me some sort of social roll. Rapport or Intimidation would be best!)
10:41 PM Greenling
10:43 PM Jaito
The heel takes a snapping step back. Somewhat AGHAST (hint, hint), she points her imperious finger at Shousei again. "WE are the representatives of order, sanity, and friendship in the local gaming community! We're taking a stand against your tyranny!"
10:44 PM
Murmurmurmur "Is she crazy?" "Is HE crazy?" "Who IS that kid on the ground?" "…I want a kitten." "Dude, shut up!"
10:45 PM
ATTACK: 6 vs…
10:45 PM Michael_Lin
But even while he's laying on the floor, longing to just fall right through the floor and disappear, something that whispers with his voice but with the calm of flowing water - the same part drawn from in the game, the same in the blinking visions at the edge of his eyes, whispers: /why should /you/ be the one to disappear?/ before it's gone.
10:46 PM Jaito
…when she points, even Shousei feels a terrible presence. Golden wings almost seem to outline her back in his vision before he blinks. The….fuck?
10:50 PM
Murakami SOCIAL: [X] [ ] [ ]
10:50 PM
(Alertness, all around!)
10:50 PM Greenling
"Gaming… this is about the /game/?" Shousei advances slightly until he's between her and Michael, his voice almost unbelieving. Wings… am I hallucinating? "You came here and decided to form a lynch mob over a game? We just started playing the other day!"
"And I'll point out that you blew up a SCHOOL in the process! Or did you think you'd get away with it?!" Her subordinate adds. "Actually, no charges-" "SILENCE. Yamazaki, you owe it to the community to EXPLAIN yourself!"
10:54 PM
Michael: …can you make out the low notes of a piano?
10:54 PM Michael_Lin
….but the music room wasn't anywhere near here…
10:58 PM Greenling
Shousei puffs. "I do /not/ owe some self-appointed harpy an explanation, but if you /insist/ on questioning us- as far as I was told, there was some kind of bug in the tutorial instance that led us to the wrong location. We were already contacted, after getting out of the /hospital/, by people with /actual/ authority who have a far better idea of what happened than you do. Take it up with…
10:58 PM
…them rather than assaulting people!"
10:59 PM
"Really. I know you don't pay much attention to logic, but no one here would blow up a school and get themselves injured on /purpose/." He meets her eyes, wings or no.
10:59 PM Jaito
(School her like she deserves! Roll away!)
10:59 PM Greenling
11:00 PM Jaito
Not only is she AGHAST, but TREMBLING WITH INDIGNATION. "You-" At this point, half of the light fixtures in the hallway explode.
11:00 PM
(Quick Endurance or Alertness not to panic?)
11:01 PM Greenling
Shousei jumps.
11:01 PM Jaito
Everyone who doesn't have a sheet may just damn well panic
11:01 PM Greenling
11:02 PM Michael_Lin
11:02 PM Jaito
(You're both fine!)
11:02 PM
The piano music raises to a bleak Crescendo!
11:03 PM
And hopping from the top rail of the stairway come five boys in floor-length class jackets, shades, and surgical masks. Proper hooligans, through and through.
11:03 PM
"Stop right there, Captain Klutz…this is a SCHOOL. You can't just go threatening people!" says their leader, a blonde, handsome boy under the mask.
11:04 PM Jaito
raises a fist to the side…then gives Shousei at his back a thumbs-up.
11:05 PM Greenling
…Shousei really has no idea whether to feel like this is a good thing or not.
11:05 PM [fuudmari] is now known as Night_Misaki
11:07 PM Jaito
He tucks a screwdriver and his blatant hypocrisy into his pocket. "We're here for Nikaia. We're makin' him part of our gang. Everybody else can do what they want."
11:07 PM
The Captain blinks. "…wait, what?!"
11:07 PM Greenling
"…" He decides to split his bets. "Like hell you are."
11:08 PM Michael_Lin
11:08 PM Greenling
"You-" he points to wings girl, "gather your followers so there isn't a riot. Can't you see someone might get stepped on? You-" he looks at the large… mildly disappointing-looking man, "please step back and allow him to get up. He isn't even /playing/ the stupid game anymore."
11:09 PM
Oh god when did I become traffic cop when is this where is Night
11:09 PM Jaito
(Lay down the orders, Greeny?)
11:09 PM Greenling
…Never thought I would ever think that.
11:10 PM Jaito
The two groups have squared off, one on one, glaring at each other. A history, it isthere.
11:12 PM
Misha: ….under the mask…there are TEETH under the maks. No, not human teeth.
11:13 PM Night_Misaki
At about this time, the is a cracking noise. It comes from a girl slamming a door open so hard it splinters on it's hinges, before Night stalks forward, reaching out and grabbing each leader by the collar before slamming their heads together with a godawful thunk. "Just what is the meaning of this bullshit?"
11:13 PM Michael_Lin
11:13 PM Night_Misaki
Night is very, very unhappy.
11:13 PM Michael_Lin
….and now Night is here, too. Oh /no/.
11:14 PM Jaito
Both of them look rather dazed. Michael sees feathers flutter and the mask falls…to show a normal, boyishly pretty face.
11:14 PM
The Captain moans. "…it's…the Witch…."
11:14 PM
The Dark Prince grumbles. "It's the Flat Terror…"
11:15 PM Greenling
"…It's like the world just inverted itself." That was so cool. Shousei is… stunned.
11:16 PM Michael_Lin
didn't see it, but he peers up, sees the hole in the ranks that Night's entry and slamming heads together has caused, and decides to try to make a run for it.
11:16 PM Night_Misaki
Night smiles, crescent shape and absolutely ghastly, before slamming the heel of her foot into the Dark Prince's boot. "It's Witch-sama to you, idiots. You better have a really fucking good explanation for this."
11:16 PM Jaito
Michael's face rams into a powerful chest…all 5'4 of it…
11:17 PM
A hand goes on his shoulder and gently sets him aside. "You're safe now…"
11:17 PM
11:17 PM
The Captain adjusts her glasses and winces. "I have an excellent explanation, 'Witch-sama', if you'll be so kind as to-"
11:17 PM Night_Misaki
"That does not sound like explaining. Should I start on the fingers next?"
11:17 PM Jaito
"NAITO MISAKI!!!!!!!!!"
11:18 PM Night_Misaki
"…Oh for fuck's sake."
11:18 PM Greenling
Shousei's eye twitches.
11:18 PM Michael_Lin
shakes his head to clear it.
11:18 PM Night_Misaki
Night turns to glare back over her shoulder. Who the hell is bothering her now?"
11:18 PM
How many bones does she have to break today?
11:19 PM Jaito
11:19 PM
A fist goes flying…into the Dark Prince…who, if Night doesn't let go, is about to go flying down the hallway.
11:19 PM Night_Misaki
Off he goes.
11:19 PM
That better not have been towards her library.
11:20 PM Jaito
Standing in a boxer's pose (nah, it was the infirmary. The door opened…sort of!) is a young man in a simple school's uniform…with BLAZING RED hair despite his obviously Asian features. And despite his size, he veritably ripples at the shoulder with power.
11:20 PM
"Naito…Misaki…." A grin just as wide as hers is on his face.
11:21 PM Night_Misaki
"…Have we met?"
11:22 PM
Night looks him up and down, clearly…judging. Mostly that hair. Dear god, that hair. She needs to start imagining people with fashion sense, what the hell is that?
11:23 PM Jaito
Slowly, he lets his fist loosen as he stands…and then bows deeply. Wild hair aside (god, it's four straight inches of SPIKES), he's actually rather handsome in a fighter's broken-nosed way. "WILL YOU MARRY ME?"
11:23 PM
His voice is loud enough to crackle the speakers.
11:23 PM Greenling

11:23 PM Jaito
…at this point, both gangs (sans the poor Captain, who is still trapped) run the hell away.
11:23 PM Greenling
Shousei backs up slowly. He doesn't want to get blood on his clothes.
11:23 PM Michael_Lin
11:24 PM Night_Misaki
Night stares. And continues staring. What just. What even. "…You know drugs are illegal, right?"
11:24 PM Jaito
His sincerity is remarkable.
11:24 PM
11:25 PM Michael_Lin
….going to keep backing up.
11:25 PM Jaito
"You! A vision in broken glass, concrete ruins, and terror! You!" He steps back and points. "The dark princess of the academy! I am in LOVE WITH YOUR ELEGANT DESTRUCTION!"
11:26 PM
….the entire audience is stunned.
11:26 PM
Someone takes a photo.
11:26 PM Michael_Lin
…this is like something out of a book…
11:26 PM
Straight out of a fairy tale.
11:27 PM Night_Misaki
He's serious. Freud would have a fucking field day with this. Night…stares for a while longer, before cracking her knuckles. "As a matter of course, I don't agree to proposals from strange men I've never met before, particularly when they're all figments of my imagination."
11:27 PM Jaito

11:27 PM Night_Misaki
"And don't you have class right now?"
11:28 PM Jaito
He goes to a knee. "Then let me be the beautiful dream from which you awaken warm. My power surpasses any reality. And my power is drawn to your fantasy!"
11:28 PM
…gods, he's serious.
11:29 PM Night_Misaki
"No." Night doesn't even hesitate. "And kneel before me again and I'll kick in your teeth."
11:29 PM Greenling
Eugh. Shousei straightens his school jacket. "Thank you, Night-san," he says, not wanting to interrupt too much, then turns to head to class and possibly collect Lin if he's injured or has been kidnapped by Singaporean biker gangs or something.
11:29 PM Michael_Lin
11:29 PM Michael_Lin
has not been kidnapped by Singaporean biker gangs. For now.
11:29 PM Jaito
The Captain adjusts her glasses again, dazed. "Can I…go, please? This is all reflecting very poorly on the gaming community, and I'm going to be late to calculus…"
11:29 PM Greenling
Because that's a good point. We /do/ have class.
11:30 PM Night_Misaki
"I'll have words with you later." Night shoots the captain a look. "And if any of you pull this shit on these grounds again, you'll be breathing through a tube, mark my words."

11:30 PM Jaito
He stands up, nodding. "I understand, Misaki-hime! I, Anthony Wen, promise my protection to you and to your servants, Yamazaki and Lin."
11:30 PM Greenling
11:31 PM Jaito
He raises a fist. "It is a pale thing to your terror. I can only destroy the world."
11:31 PM Michael_Lin
is going to make himself scarce.
11:31 PM Michael_Lin
Right now.
11:31 PM Greenling
/What is wrong with you/
11:31 PM
11:31 PM Night_Misaki
"…" Night looks at him as if he's grown a third head. But…"I'm not promising you anything, but if you want to keep Lin safe, then do so."
11:31 PM Greenling


11:31 PM Night_Misaki
If he's making himself a tool, she'll make use of him.
And maybe Lin's trouble will keep him out of her hair.
11:32 PM Jaito
He nods. "I will TRAIN them both to be exquisite knights in your army, oujosama."
11:32 PM Michael_Lin
is not going to get himself into any more trouble :(
…Sure, that'll work. "…Right. And what class are you skipping right now, Wen?"
11:33 PM Jaito
"Classical Literature. But it's fine, oujosama. I'm already failing."
11:33 PM Night_Misaki
"…" Night levels a glare at him that would make most of the school run for cover. "Is that supposed to impress me?"
11:33 PM
"Get your ass back to class."

11:34 PM Jaito
He bows once. "Please invite me next time you destroy a public building." The devil grin returns. "It's been weeks since I've done that." Tucking his powerful hands into his pockets, he steps aside and towards a classroom.
However, a woman stops him at the door.
11:35 PM Night_Misaki
Night…heaves out a low sigh, then turns to glare at the remaining members of the class. "Delete that photo. If it turns up on the internet, I will know who took it, and I will find you."
11:35 PM Jaito
There's a hushed conversation, and then he growls under his breath and follows her towards the school exit.
What other members of the class? They knew when to run.
On the way to his own class, Shousei catches sight of a familiar woman walking out of the principal's office - his father's lawyer. She gives a damn near sinister wink as she also leaves.
…Shousei decides to take the other way around oh god what are you doing stop interfering.
At lunch, there are three tables of note.
11:45 PM
At one, the cross-bearing club is sitting and discussing things quietly, but with passion. All of them are wearing glinty-glasses like a bunch of anime villains and/or geniuses.
11:45 PM Night_Misaki
Only three today?
11:46 PM Jaito
At another, the Devil Prince and his cadre are sitting on the tables themselves and having a good chuckle (mostly at their leader's expense, whose face is attached to a cold pack and quite a bit of gauze. There are pink hearts on the gauze.)
11:47 PM
And at the third…no one is sitting. At all. It's like they've set it aside - a quarantine zone.
11:48 PM
Sitting there is one man, red-haired and surly, reading War and Peace and clearly favoring one over the other.
11:48 PM
There is also a placard: KINGDOM OF NIGHT
11:48 PM
It is hand-drawn, English in one side, careful kanji calligraphy on the other.
11:49 PM Greenling
…Shousei is going to sit in the back. Away from everyone. Moreso than usual.
11:49 PM Michael_Lin
He can't skip lunch, can he?
11:49 PM Night_Misaki
…Note to self: wear steel-heeled boots tomorrow, it's hard to break a table with a dropkick otherwise. Night is a little calmer by lunchtime, but gives the room a sweeping look…and catches the look of the cross club. Might as well get that explanation now, hmm?
11:50 PM Jaito
The Captain sees her, adjusts her glasses, and gestures for her to come forward.
11:50 PM
One of the caped-and-masked boys sidles up to Michael. Spooky bastard, but luckily he didn't actually /surprise/ Michael. Just waited to cover the door. "Hey. Lin. You okay?"
11:50 PM Night_Misaki
Night does, in the sort of way a lion might humor a gazelle for a time. "I believe you said you could explain."
11:51 PM Michael_Lin
is startled anyway, peering up from his book abruptly, and nods, timidly.
11:53 PM Jaito
The Captain nods. "We represent the Victoria chapter of he Prisma Dei. We are…concerned about rumors that have spread about dangerous criminal behavior by players within Paradise. We just wanted to head these rumors off at the pass, I'm sure you understand? We all know how you handle the library."
11:54 PM
The hoodlum sits next to Michael. "You're part of the gang, see? Prince says so. The pretty boy and the whacko? They can take care of themselves. But…you're not like them, are ya?"
11:54 PM
"You're…scared, aren't ya?"
11:54 PM Michael_Lin
"I-I d-don't want to be part of a-anything. I-I'm s-sorry."
11:55 PM Night_Misaki
"…In which case, you were here because of the incident at the other school."
11:56 PM Jaito
He chuckles. "That's just it…we ain't anything. We're nothin'. Nobody. Losers…we just make sure nobody else hurts losers like us. You can call us the Black Brigade, but that don't mean a THING. What really matters? Is to get free of the lie."
11:56 PM
The Captain nods. "You understand that such actions are unacceptable?"
11:56 PM Night_Misaki
"I would advice you all to leave Lin out of it. He is…attempting to leave the game. It doesn't appear to be working." Night leans back, considering. "I don't care what people choose to do. However, the admin has already spoken to us; none of us were aware of what was happening."
11:57 PM Greenling
Shousei sits and happily rifles through lunch.
11:58 PM Jaito
She raises her chin, unimpressed. "There's only one admin in this city, and she's laughably neutral. She'd let people do all sorts of cruel and improper things. Bullying, player-killing, griefing, and worse. All in the name of acceptable use. The world is what we make it. Why not make it better?"
11:58 PM
Anthony Wen closes his book…and his eyes lock on Shousei.
11:59 PM Michael_Lin
just scoots back a little bit. "P-please leave m-me a-alone."
11:59 PM Night_Misaki
"The fact of the matter is, the boss fight we were engaged in in the AR actively damaged our surroundings. I'm led to believe that shouldn't be possible, so I can understand the confusion. However." She chuckles, somewhat…unamused. "If Prisma Dei is worried about making a better world, then you should understand. What you did today is no better than my own actions, and you were fully aware of what getting into
11:59 PM
fight on school grounds would result in."
12:00 AM Jaito
She looks away. "I…acted hastily. I was aware that the Brigade might be behind this, and we've had…interactions in the past." Her eyes narrow at the table of four hoodlums.
12:01 AM Night_Misaki
"I don't care. I don't even particularly care what choices you make—people should be allowed to make choices, for good or for ill. However, there are consequences for your choices."
12:01 AM Jaito
The fifth hoodlum nods. "Okay, Lin. Just…if they give you a hard time? We'll bite them all to death. Nobody ought to be afraid to be alive." With that, he takes Michael's apple and heads back to the table.
12:01 AM Greenling
Shousei is blissfully ignorant, like unto a gentle hare spied by a lynx with bad fashion sense and poor impulse control.
12:02 AM Jaito
Step. Step. Step. A 5'4" shadow looms over Shousei's table, promises discomfort, danger, and despair.
12:02 AM Greenling
Shousei is taller than this man.
12:02 AM Jaito
The Captain nods. "We're willing to make reparations. Unlike /you/, we do not take pleasure in terrorizing the school."
12:02 AM
The rest of them look downright guilty, compared to her fatal stoicism.
12:03 AM
"Shousei…Yamazaki…" The syllables growl out like the first pebbles of an avalanche.
12:03 AM Michael_Lin
doesn't know what it's like not to be afraid to be alive, except the moments he'd been Nikaia.
12:03 AM Greenling
A shadow covers his delicious juice (and less delicious chicken-based… thing). His eyes turn skywards.
12:04 AM Night_Misaki
just laughs, a crackling, haunting noise that echoes throughout the cafeteria. "I don't take any pleasure in this. Don't listen to every rumor you hear, girl. False knowledge is just as dangerous as the real thing."
12:04 AM Greenling
Normally, he might feel trepidation, possibly even fright if he were particularly intimidation. But he's seen this man, and he asked Night to marry him.
12:04 AM
So Shousei simply responds: "Yes?"
12:05 AM Night_Misaki
"You're liable to hurt someone you'd actually feel bad about damaging, if you wave that around like a sword."
12:05 AM Jaito
Anthony Wen has an impressive implied height. The hair helps. "I am going to train you to master the game. If you are going to be a companion to Princess Night, then you must be ready, oh Murakami of the Veils."
12:06 AM
The Captain fails to cover her obvious disgust. "Have you considered counseling?"
12:07 AM Night_Misaki
"Have you considered not being a condescending control-freak?" Night, all of a sudden, sounds completely mild and mildly concerned.
12:07 AM Greenling
Shousei sits up straight. "I beg your pardon?" How the hell does he even know my character's name?
12:08 AM Jaito
That's an excellent question.
12:09 AM
Michael can FEEL the finger pointed in his direction. "Him, too. Because he needs to toughen up. He isn't real."
12:09 AM
"…not like Misaki-chan…" he whispers, so that (hopefully) only Shousei can hear.
12:10 AM Greenling
He takes a slow breath and levels a cool gaze at, what's his name? Anthony? "If you'd like to sit down and discuss… whatever it is you're on about, I suppose I can't stop you."
12:10 AM Michael_Lin
shrinks under the feel of the finger pointed at him. He really isn't hungry at all, and so he's going to collect his books and attempt to leave.
12:11 AM Jaito
He nods, taking a seat. "Lin! Would you do the honor of joining us? I will leave you alone afterwards, if that is your wish."
12:11 AM
The cafeteria falls into a silent stare.
12:11 AM
…he is really bad at not being the center of attention.
12:11 AM Michael_Lin
just shakes his head, and tries to hurry away.
12:11 AM Greenling
We might have to fix that if he insists on tagging along.
12:13 AM Jaito
Wen…sighs. "I…a shame. Nikaia was different. Nikaia tried to kill you."
12:13 AM
He keeps his attention on Shousei, letting Lin fade away.
12:18 AM
The Captain shakes her head. "We can have a civil conversation, if you'll agree to use the game to further people's happiness. Can you do that? There's a place for…someone like you, within the order."
12:19 AM Greenling
"…How do you even know about that?"
12:19 AM
"And of course he's different in-game. It's called /roleplaying/."

12:20 AM Night_Misaki
"I think you're misunderstanding something. I'm not here to be a part of your self-made police force, and I wouldn't have had any interest even before you failed to hide your disdain." Night eyes the captain, cold and absolutely calm. "I'm not here to take away people's choices, and they only gain happiness for themselves. You can't give it to them."
12:21 AM
"Your 'civility' is merely thinly veiled guilt trips to try and coerce me into joining you."
12:21 AM
"I'll have no part in it."
12:21 AM Jaito
Anthony grins. "Roleplaying is for people who don't know how to LIVE the story. I'm - I used to-" He scowls. "Forget it. But the point is - the guy looked like he was havin' FUN. I kinda…kinda wanted to…y'know…make friends with you three."
And with that, she stands up to leave.
The Captain calls after. "Nihilists are always the first ones to find themselves begging for something to hold onto. Remember that, Witch. We'll be watching…and we won't go down so easy if you step into our world with that attitude."
12:22 AM Night_Misaki
Night stops, and sighs. "It's not nihilism."
12:22 AM
"You're seeking control of something you don't fully understand."
12:23 AM
"Paradise isn't your world, nor is it mine…" She taps a finger to her lips, and shrugs. "It's a shared hallucination. Those don't tend to belong to anyone, even if I dreamed up all of you to begin with."
"And that's the last bit of information I give you for free."
Shousei wipes his lips with a napkin. "Really? You saw three of what I'm certain are the most socially-awkward people in school playing a game together and you decided you wanted to be friends? I suppose that explains how you thought proposing to Night was a good idea."
The Captain does a classic hair-toss. "You're right. This discussion is over. We're making our own rules, true, but at least ours are fair."
12:24 AM Greenling
"…By the way, if you want to use her name, you should at least rid yourself of the diminutive honorific…" He smirks slightly. "I don't think you have that right."
12:25 AM Jaito
Wen stands up. "You sayin' that was a BAD idea? Name one girl in this school who is capable of more beautiful devastation!"
12:25 AM
Several nearby girls wave frantically in a "oh, god in fucking hell, NOT US" way.
12:25 AM
…though one or two seem to be curious.
12:26 AM Greenling
"You realize she's perfectly capable of 'devastating' your head against a wall, right? Plus… no, nevermind." She's been hinting… but no, his brother isn't… let's not think about that.
12:27 AM
"If you want to so much as make her not hold you in /contempt/, you have quite a ways to go."
12:28 AM Night_Misaki
Night twiddles a wave over her fingers. "Your rules aren't fair in the slightest. But keep on deluding yourselves…so long as your resolve doesn't waver when you realize that, you'll make an opponent I can respect."
12:28 AM
Now then—why the hell was Shousei talking to Wen.
12:28 AM Jaito
He clenches a fist. "I accept. Besides…she doesn't have to like me." He winks. "That's the difference between people like us and people like you. We don't need something as petty as the truth, when we can MAKE the truth with our power."
12:28 AM Night_Misaki
Oh god, what the hell.
12:28 AM Jaito
"I'll keep fighting, and fighting, and fighting, until my fantasy BECOMES the truth."
12:28 AM Greenling
"I mean, for one, you look like a tiny stuffed rooster." Why am I giving a man dating advice. "Though I suppose you have the incessant pseudo-philosophical blabber in common with her."
12:29 AM Jaito
"…is it the hair? Dude, don't diss the /hair./" He pouts.
12:29 AM Night_Misaki
What the hell is he doing, telling people that outright?!
12:29 AM
"…" Night quietly, and without any fuss, wanders over towards the Dark Prince. Might as well hear their spiel too.
12:30 AM
And pretend Wen isn't…
12:30 AM
12:30 AM
12:30 AM Greenling
"Why /not/?" Shousei raises an eyebrow. "You /can't/ think it makes you look tough or something."
12:30 AM Jaito
The Prince watches her approach. "Whddywnt" His ally politely translates, "What do you want, Witch?"
12:30 AM
"It TOTALLY makes me look tough. You just don't understand /kei/ like I do. This is totally Toku Red coiffure."
12:31 AM Night_Misaki
"I've heard their spiel about flowers and rainbows and policing the whole game world." Night gestures back over towards the Girl Tyranny Squad. "So I might as well listen to yours."
12:31 AM
"I'm really hoping it's less boring."
12:31 AM Greenling
"H- …" Shousei blinks. "Oh god. This is one of those nerd fashion things."
12:32 AM Jaito
He glances to his translator, who clears his throat. "You're strong already, Witch. Fuck off. If you wanna roll with us, you'll bring us something or you'll bend a knee to the Prince. Otherwise, we'd rather be enemies."
12:33 AM Greenling
"No. You do /not/ want to look like a kid's TV show character. Oh for…" Shousei shakes his head. "Look, you wanted to teach me about the game, right? I'll accept, but only if you let me teach you how to look and act like a decent human being. You can do your kids' TV show thing in your free time if you want, but what you're doing to your hair is /frightening/, and not in the way you think."
12:33 AM Night_Misaki
"I'm not here to join, don't misunderstand. I just want to hear what you want with Lin. I owe him, so I'm keeping an eye on him, understood?"
12:34 AM Jaito
He scoffs. "Don't mock kids' TV shows. Who do you think teaches kids how to be STRONG? Effete milquetoasts who prance around like princesses or TOUGH DUDES with color, voice, and the passion of the ALLIES OF JUSTICE!"
12:34 AM
This is complete with a series of poses and flexes.
12:34 AM
It is patently ridiculous.
12:34 AM
"Kids believe in fantasy, because the real world hasn't convinced them to give up yet. That fire oughta burn, is all."
12:35 AM Greenling
Shousei looks positively offended. "The fire can very well burn somewhere else than your /head/. I'm not mocking TV shows."
12:35 AM
Effete… fuck you, was that personal?
"You're just too scared of not looking cool to people who don't even matter." He scoffs. "No wonder Night-hime thinks you're an idiot."
12:36 AM
"…and everyone. Y'know."
12:37 AM
The Prince's translator listens to a few mumbles, then nods. "We're lookin' after Lin because everyone else is gonna go after the weak one in your pack. You're too hopped up on crazy juice to be nice, so we thought we'd take him in."
12:39 AM Greenling
"…" Shousei closes his eyes and counts to ten. "At least /I/ have a concept of reality."
12:39 AM Night_Misaki
"…" Night sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. "It's not like I don't understand the sentiment. But he tried to quit the game and couldn't. He may bring more trouble to the lot of you than you know…as long as you understand that risk, I can't complain."
12:40 AM Jaito
The Prince laughs and licks his lips. His translator nods. "You wouldn't understand. You don't know how weak you are without a pack. No risk can overcome the pack. No lie can overcome the truth."

12:41 AM Night_Misaki
"Even a dream can become reality if you have the courage." She shrugs. "And a single person can create a universe. But that's not the point."
12:41 AM
"He'll run from your help as well as anyone else's. I don't know what will happen when he can't run anymore."
12:42 AM Jaito
"He'll fight," the Prince says, tearing off his gauze. He's a bruised-up mess, but he smiles. "Just like you. How's the wall treating you? Nobody happy is that crazy."
12:42 AM Greenling
He goes back to poking his chicken-based thing around so he can get at the blessedly normal rice underneath.
12:43 AM Jaito
Wen shrugs. "You think you do. Reality's funny that way - it's never what you think until it kills you." He sits back down. "You're not bad with that sword, but you could be better. I can teach you some forms, and how to use that Persona?"
"I never claimed to be happy." Night shrugs. "I don't need to be. I know Nikaia will fight. But he'll turn his fangs on you just as well as anyone else. He tried to kill Shousei the other night, and he's his…" Night trails off…no, that's not knowledge to hand out for free. "Well, we were supposedly working together."
12:46 AM
"If you have the strength, I won't complain. Just don't damage the school again, hmm?"
12:46 AM Jaito
The Prince shrugs. "Interesting…." He smiles wide enough to crack open a split lip, then pulls his mask back on. "I hope I'm there to see those…fangs."
12:47 AM Greenling
Shousei's eye twitches a bit at the mention of the 'Persona', for some reason. "I will consider it."
12:48 AM Night_Misaki
Night smiles back, in a…actually completely pleasant and friendly fashion. Huh, who knew? "If that's what you're looking for, then just keep up with him. You'll see it."
12:48 AM
"…And put some balm on that lip when you get home. It'll sting like a son of a bitch, but it'll help."
12:48 AM Jaito
He gives Night a thumbs-up, but doesn't say anything. It probably stings like a son of a bitch already.
12:49 AM Night_Misaki
Well, with that…now to wander over to the idiots. :| Without even saying a word. Let's see how long until they notice she's there.
12:50 AM Greenling
Notice or acknowledge?
12:50 AM Jaito
Wen grunts. "That's another one of your problems. A man commits. Even Lin commits to running away."

12:53 AM Greenling
"…I am fully willing to commit to the idea that you may be capable of teaching me how to play the game better, despite being an idiot. It really depends on my schedule."
12:53 AM
"I have homework and clubs to deal with, and I have to tutor my little sister in Chinese."
"Hey, I AM Chinese. I can help! And I'm good at…" He looks away, then back and whispers still too loud. "Science 'n stuff."
12:55 AM
"Well, half."
12:56 AM
"And I…I'm pretty good at the whole Paradise racket. Don't get me wrong, you're not BAD, but that Cerberus would've smoked you if you hadn't cheated."
12:57 AM Greenling
"…Cheated? We didn't /cheat/." He raises an eyebrow. "And you're not going anywhere near my sister. No offense."
12:59 AM Jaito
"You're just mad because she'd think I'm cooler than you." He grins like a hyena. "Well, I've seen that scenario a dozen times and the Cerberus never loses. Even messing with the tubes just helps you get to the end of the scene. Then the whole place goes up when the Cerbie goes berserk."
12:59 AM
"You Kobayashi-Maru'd it, somehow."
1:01 AM Night_Misaki
1:01 AM Greenling
"You are completely delusional." Shousei sighs. "No, the scenario was /bugged/."
1:01 AM
"Or is that what Kobayashi-Maru means?"
1:02 AM Jaito
"It means that someone HACKED it to…wait, you've never seen Star Trek?"

1:02 AM
"…you are the biggest loser on Earth."
"The Kobayashi-Maru was a test required to become a Captain. It was rigged so that it was a no-win scenario. Kirk hacked the scenario to force a total win."
1:03 AM Jaito
"Demonstrating the will a true captain needs to shine." If Win could smile any brighter, he'd need reflector plates.
1:04 AM Greenling
"Why… would-" He looks to Night, then shakes his head. "Thank you, but that's not remotely what the hell happened, and… frankly, that's a stupid tutorial battle. You're meant to lose?"
1:05 AM Night_Misaki
"No. At our level, we shouldn't have even been facing something like that. I believe he's attempting to refer to the anomalies in the game at that time."
1:05 AM Greenling
"Oh." Shouse finishes his juice.
1:05 AM
1:06 AM Jaito
"You win and get experience and gear (which you left behind, seriously guys…), but you lose later in dramatic mode. There's a buncha flashing lights and you have to escape. It's…tutorial stuff."
1:06 AM
"…yeah, anomalies. For one thing, that Angel was just creepy."
1:06 AM
"Dude, are you set to Adult Content mode?"

1:06 AM Night_Misaki
1:06 AM Jaito
glances over at Night. "This man is a pervert."
1:06 AM Night_Misaki
How does Night even know that?
1:06 AM Greenling
"…Oh. What gear were we supposed to get while we were literally in real life being blown up?" he says drily.
"I don't think he'd know how to find sexuality with both his hands." Night shrugs.
Shousei growls. "It's password-protected! If you can find a way to fix it so I can turn it off, feel free!"
turns suddenly rather red. "W-w-w-was that a euphe…."
1:08 AM Night_Misaki
…Night facepalms. "Moving right along."
He gulps. "Umm…Night-hime. You're, of course, right. The scenario was modified…but by who? And I have the rewards. It's just a few macca and couple Custom Boxes."
1:09 AM Night_Misaki
She mutters something in Japanese that sounds vaguely like "grow the hell /up/" in…what the hell is that accent?
1:09 AM Greenling
"Oh. H- how did you?" He raises an eyebrow. "You collected our things?"
1:09 AM
"Well… thank you." That was useful, holy crap.
1:09 AM Jaito
He blinks. "Oh…uh…y'see…I was…in the neighborhood…and the AR was still…running….so…I…kinda know a thing're two…so…Ikindacollectedalog."
1:09 AM
"And your loot!"
1:10 AM Night_Misaki
"…You collected a /what/."
1:10 AM Jaito
You know…it's odd how people seem to have such specific knowledge of a late-night explosion.
1:10 AM
"Your loot, Princess?"
It really is!
1:11 AM
Shousei shakes his head. "Is there really a recording out there of us, or what happened?"
1:11 AM Jaito
"I….cannot say for certain." Wow.
1:11 AM
He is remarkably insincere.
1:11 AM Night_Misaki
1:11 AM
Night smiles.
1:11 AM Greenling
Shousei glares.
1:12 AM Night_Misaki
It is the sort of smile one gets before eating a busload of children.
1:12 AM Jaito
"There are…factors outside of my immediate attention and control."
1:12 AM Greenling
"You know, last I checked, we didn't even know each others' character names until the friend thing, but you called me Murakami."
1:12 AM
1:13 AM Jaito
"Oh…well…y'see…it came up in the log file!" He grins amiably. "And…y'know…there were anomalies…and I lost a lot of my account contacts recently…so…I kinda had to post…somewhere they could see it."
1:14 AM
Somewhere, on a prominent gaming forum: HEY GUYS - WEIRD FAERIE WAR - DO NOT LOOK IF YOU ARE NOT MY GUYS is a trending thread.
1:15 AM Greenling
"…So you 'borrowed' a log file and posted it on the open internet and nearly got Lin lynched for it. I see."
1:15 AM Night_Misaki
"…You're not very familiar with how the internet works, are you?"
1:15 AM Greenling
"You are the worst stalker in this history of mankind."
1:15 AM Jaito
"I'm not allowed to use it at home, except for home- STALKING IS FOR CREEPS!"
1:15 AM
"I'm direct, honest, and awesome!"
1:17 AM
Anyone with a Scholarship of 2 or better: How'd he gather a log file if he's too tech-illiterate to use a private site?
1:18 AM Greenling
"…You are obnoxious, delusional, and have a brain like some kind of aged swiss, and how did you get a log file if you don't even know how to email people something?"
1:18 AM Night_Misaki
"…" Night narrows her eyes sharply. "How the hell did you get that log file?"
1:19 AM Jaito
He winces. "A man of honor never betrays his allies." He sighs. "All you need to know is that I know some people. Smart people. People who keep quiet."
1:19 AM
"In exchange for the log file, I gave my opinions on the game side of things. Totally harmless."
1:21 AM Greenling
"…One of those people wasn't associated with a Miss Hersheys, were they?"
1:21 AM Night_Misaki
"…" Night tilts her head, just listening for now.
1:22 AM Jaito
"Eheheh….you know Kisses? She helped me out a lot when I moved here a while back. So, sometimes I moonlight for her, looking into odd stuff."
1:23 AM
He runs a hand through that hair of his. "Harmless, otherwise I would have warned Night-hime."
1:23 AM Greenling
"We've met." That glare could cut diamonds.

1:24 AM Jaito
"…did I mention she's got some sort of backwards Asperger's?"
1:24 AM Greenling
"You wouldn't need to."
1:24 AM Night_Misaki
"I'd noticed, yes."
1:24 AM
"Did she mention any of my relatives?
1:25 AM Jaito
"Relatives? Nah. She went on about the Magus or some crap, but that's Khakham nonsense. There's no such thing as some creepy old pedo-hacker dropping things into the game code."
"…" Night stares at him for a long time.
1:28 AM Jaito
"They're always going on about that. Linguistic code, people jumping off buildings - total conspiracy theory stuff. The game is a STORY, not some sort of lab experiment. They don't understand the power of a story at ALL. They need to add secrets to it."
1:29 AM
He nods. "Only cowards and villains need secrets. A real man comes clean…so, y'know, no hard feelings?"
1:32 AM Greenling
Shousei's eye twitches for the third time in this conversation.
1:32 AM Night_Misaki
…Useless, he had no more information. Night sighs, and turns. "I may have to pay them a visit anyway."

1:34 AM Jaito
Wen nods. "So focused. That's what I like about you." He leans back. "Train with me, Murakami. Because there's one thing I CAN promise. Those two clubs won't come within a hundred yards of me."
1:35 AM Greenling
Neither would anyone with any sense.
Ugh… but he has a point, and Shousei has to acknowledge, he isn't someone with that many options. "…Fine."

1:36 AM
"But next time you go taking a log of our exploits, take responsibility. Don't put it up on the internet. Michael could've been hurt by those idiots."
He nods. "Why do you think I put Chauncey-boy through a door? You guys belong to ME until I'm done with you."
1:37 AM
He looks at Night. "Even you…you're mine to lose."
"I do not /belong/ to anyone." Shousei's tone is low and icy. "You keep that in mind, Rooster Boy."
1:38 AM Night_Misaki
"I don't belong to anyone, Wen. The world is all mine, not the other way around."
1:38 AM Greenling
"And we might just get along."
1:39 AM Jaito
He just grins back. "Sure, sure, think what you want. But in my world? People are owned by their obstacles."

1:39 AM
"Whatever's in your way…those are your chains. Whatever you want…those are your walls. That's why…." He chuckles. "That's why the only good thing we mortals can do is destroy. Elegant destruction of our obstacles, to take back our world."
1:39 AM Greenling
Shousei looks forward to learning how to nonlethally kick this person's butt.
"…" Night pauses, debating correcting Wen…no. No, it's not worth it.
1:41 AM Greenling
He shakes his head. "You're not in my way. You're just annoying. And I have everything I want."
She may have to turn up to beat the shit out of him later.
1:42 AM Jaito
At that, he laughs for quite a while, before standing up. "If you have everything you want, Yamazaki…how come you don't MOVE the same way in this world as in the game."
1:42 AM
And with that, he turns to stride away.
1:43 AM Greenling
1:46 AM Night_Misaki

1:46 AM
"Aim for his balls."
"For once, we agree."
1:47 AM Night_Misaki
"He's right. You could use the help."
1:48 AM Greenling
"I certainly wouldn't mind some tips on the game."
1:49 AM Night_Misaki
Night sort of eyes him for a moment. "…Yes. Yes you could."
1:49 AM
"Did you even read the manual?"
1:49 AM Greenling
He raises an eyebrow. "I skimmed it. I haven't had much time to actually internalize it."
1:51 AM Night_Misaki
"It shows."
1:52 AM Greenling
"It doesn't help that I had a damned succubus as a helper." He looks sour.
1:58 AM Jaito
From their tables, both of the clubs watch Shousei and Night, but don't say a word.
1:58 AM Greenling
"…" Shousei sighs. "Do we need to work on the project again after school?" His lunch is basically finished.
1:59 AM Night_Misaki
"I think Lin's trying to do it himself to avoid further interaction, so you may want to stop him for the sake of your academic integrity."
2:00 AM
And with that, she's headed out, having totally failed to actually eat anything.
2:00 AM Greenling
He frowns. "I suppose I will have to."
2:00 AM
…Hmm. Strange girl.