The Story so far: http://pastebin.com/p073wazjThe Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaoShanLong--- “...are bad. But we can't possibly take this!” “Nonsense. You are family. Family must help each other in times of great need!” “And those families gave you that money for the Academy! They rely on you to train their children and keep them safe, not...spend it on personal affairs!” “You are being unreasonable. It is but a small portion of that money! Take it!” “No!” The thud of a slammed fist echoes through the small apartment, scaring a small child peering in on the proceedings. Her well-kept brown hair falls down below her shoulders, hazel eyes gleaming with dim, reflected light as she watches nervously. She'd never heard her papa so angry before. Mama was acting weird, too, standing quietly in the corner. Mama isn't supposed to be so quiet and timid! Her brother, Tom, looked away from the table. He never handled these sorts of situations well. “...You are a stubborn old mule. Helma, please, convince your husband-” “I cannot convince him of anything. He is right, Katelijn. That is not your money to give to us.” Auntie. She had taught the girl a lot since they came here to America. Much in the way of magic, though not in the usual classes. Auntie often took her aside and let her mind go wherever it wanted, helping along the way. The girl was fond of her Auntie. But...they were all fighting.
>>31606874 “You are as stubborn as he is. Fine, keep your pride! But when you have put yourselves and poor Cleona and Tom out on the streets, I will not be so prideful. I will take you in without a word.” She turns to leave, freezing as she spots the girl. “Cleona,” she says softly, suddenly changing her tone. “What are you doing up? You have classes tomorrow.” The girl shakes her head. She's not a girl anymore. “I heard everyone shouting.” “My dear, we were not shouting-” “You were shouting, Auntie. And Papa too.” “...” Her parents look away, guilty. Auntie doesn't know what to say. Tom...he nods at her, agreeing. “...The landlord was talking about needing help around the building,” the girl begins. “He said he couldn't pay, but...maybe...” “Cleo, no!” Mama bursts out. “You can't work, you have to-!” “I don't want to go if we have to leave here! You need to work, Papa needs to work, Tom needs to work! I want to help too!” “Cleona, don't be silly, listen to your mother,” Auntie says. “No! I can help a lot, right? I've already learned a lot from you, Auntie. I can stop for a little while!” The girl stomps her foot, crossing her arms. “Jakob, please, talk to your daughter!” Papa doesn't move. “Jakob! You can't possibly-!” “...We'll talk about this in the morning. Cleona, Tom, go to bed,” he says. “Jakob!” “I said, tomorrow! There's still...”
>>31606907 His voice fades away as the scene swirls, dimming and disappearing. It's just a memory, after all. Not even a memory. A dream, twisted around fragments of the past. The girl never returned to the Academy. She kept working, her effort and guts making up for her partial education in the ways of the Witch. Some years later she joined the Navy. And still later, she risked her life for people she barely knew. And on this particular day, she awoke in a bed.... “...eo...Cleo....Mmm....zzzz....” A loud snore awakens you. You groan softly, reaching for your head. What the hell did you do last night? You feel like you got hit by a truck...one with a hatred of witches. Your fingers find not hair, but a bandage. Huh. Maybe you did get hit by a truck...Wait a second. You sit up suddenly, opening your eyes. The assault. The raiders. Ogawa. The last thing you remember is... “Eddie.” That bastard, smooth and suave as always, looking absurdly calm for a marine in the middle of a raid. For someone holding such a husk of a human as that...thing Harumi Ogawa became. But he's not here either. If you had to guess...You groan. This is a hospital or a clinic or some damned thing. Probably a big one back in Brisbane; the bed feels too much like a bed to be one of the smaller outfits. Damn, how long were you out?
>>31606925 “Zzz....Cleo that's a....zzz...mmm...” Another snore draws your attention to the left side of your bed, right next to your pillow. Rae. Her arms make a pillow on the bed where she rests her head, sleeping. And next to her, similarly asleep, Odessa Rothrock. The poor young recruit sits slumped in her chair, teetering on the edge. With her luck, she'll probably fall out of it shortly. And next to her... [Socks.] [Cleo.] The diminutive Martian stares at you with alien eyes, unmoving. It's strange, seeing such a hated enemy so up close and peaceful. But then again, Socks is hardly someone you could hate. Minds linked, initially for simple communication, your thoughts and emotions are shared and understood completely by each other. It's an incredible form of intimacy, but...you've grown to trust Socks. And he you. [ ] Wake up the others first and say hello.[ ] Have a private moment with Socks.--As always, write-ins should always be understood as an option. I may be a little slow tonight, but things should be fine.
>>31606944>[x] Have a private moment with Socks.
>>31606944Touch witchdicks with Socks
[x] Have a private moment with Socks.See if he can tell us anything so we don't have to wake anyone up. I hate waking people up.
>>31606944>[x] Have a private moment with Socks.We should ask him how the Warmind is holding up. And how is he holding up.
Rolled 38>>31606944Take Odessa gently into your arms.[X] Have a private moment with Socks.
>>31606944>[x] Have a private moment with Socks.No lewds please. Lewds are only for humans~
>>31607579I find I must agree with this. Don't let the batwitch fall.
[How have you been?] you ask him.[It has been...interesting, Cleo.] Interesting may be an understatement. After finally settling in at the secret research base out in the middle of nowhere, you'd received a strange phone call. Socks' old friend, long since turned into a menacing, fanatical Warmind, had come calling. And incredibly more, he wanted to defect. His intel had given the Subwitch Program its targets recently, and the rescue of Harumi Ogawa was the greatest of them.But, as far as you could tell, the Warmind hadn't spoken much with Socks since.[How's your friend?] [He has been silent, as usual. I think he has been deeply affected by whatever forces brought him into the ranks of Warmind. He was...particularly affected by the news of your success, however.] His mind expresses a mixture of disappointment, exasperation, and resignation. His life as of the past few months has been nothing but stress and danger. [I am afraid he is no longer the friend I knew. In a deeper sense than I had already expected, he has...changed. He is different.]You give him a mental pat on the back. [Things change, Socks. Not much we can do about it.] You blink. Wait a second. [What are you doing here, anyway?][Ah, yes, there was an incident-]“Mmmmwaaaaah!!! Ah..zzzzz...Cleo...zzzzz!!”Rae's sleep talking gets louder. The damned girl's probably about to wake up. Not to mention Odessa's teetering... [ ]Incident?[ ]The Warmind was affected?[ ]Why am I here?[ ]Wake everyone up
>>31607696>[x]Incident?Rae gets headpats, Odessa gets gentle hugs to pull her into a better sleeping position.
>>31607696>[x]Incident?>[x]Catch Odessa before she falls.
>>31607696>[x]Operation Save Odessa From Falling>[x]Incident?
I think things are well in hand here.
inb4 we accidentally grope Odessa while picking her up
You ignore Rae's insane mutterings...though you are curious as to why your name keeps coming up. Slowly reaching over, you just barely manage to get a soft touch on Odessa. Gently, you get her to lean the other way, onto Socks. He almost seems offended, but you flash him a quick plea. He immediately relents and wraps a tentacle or two around Odessa, who quickly shifts to snuggle the Martian. You give Socks a mental chuckle. [Hard to believe we're sending people like her out to war.][It is a time of great need. Your people need to use all they can to repel our aggression. A fact I am continually apologizing for.] He tries emulating something he'd seen before, bringing a tentacle up to stroke Odessa's head. [I do my best to make up for it, as you well know.]You smile. [Yes, and I think you do a damned fine job. Thank you, Socks.] You pause. [So, what's this about an incident?]
>>31608170[Yes...There was a moment during your last mission...where something occurred. Simultaneously with your mission, I understand. It seems I somehow managed to demolish the laboratory I had been working in. I do not understand how; the machines and equipment in the vicinity were crushed. Dr. Wackett was...considerably distressed by this.] He seems confused and mildly irritated. [I do not understand why she thought that I might have done this on purpose; several of my effects were destroyed as well.] His irritation grows into anger. [And I do not understand why your MacArthur thought I had again switched sides.] You groan. MacArthur? The General was brilliant in his own way, leading an incredible resistance in the Philippines for some time. However, his...delusions of grandeur and superiority did not exactly endear him to you. Somehow the opposite hadn't held true, however; he chose you to lead his pet project. [Wait, then is that why you're here-] “Ahh! Cleo!!!!” Rae yells, jolting awake. She sits up, wide-eyed. Rae blinks stupidly for several seconds before noticing you. “Cleo? Cleo!” She embraces you in a sudden, tight hug. It's hard to breathe.[ ] N-Nice to see you too, Rae...[ ] Let. Me. Go.
>>31608170>Push batwitch onto SocksGODDAMNIT KOTTERS
>>31608191>[x] N-Nice to see you too, Rae...
[x] N-Nice to see you too, Rae...
>>31608198You made a choice, and this is the result.
>>31608191[x] OtherShe's clearly distressed, hug her back.
>>31608212YOU KNOW WHATAny way.>>31608191[x]n-nice to see you too, Rae
>>31608191Make gagging noises then pretend to faint.
“Nice...to see...you too....Rae...!” you struggle through her tight embrace. Did she forget she's a witch? She could crack one of your ribs if she keeps this up! “Cleo, oh god, I thought you were done for! Don't do that again, I won't follow that order ever again, I won't let you do that, god dammit Cleo...!!!” She shakes her head from side to side, tears streaming down her face. “I-I'm sorry, Rae! Don't kill me!” She blinks. “Oh my god, I'm sorry, I...!” She lets go, apologizing. “It's just...I'm happy to see you awake. You had me worried sick...” “Mmm...what's going on?” Odessa murmurs, slowly waking too. She nuzzles Socks lazily. “Oh, Cleo! Oh, hello, Socks.” “He-llo. How are you?” he asks in broken English. “Just fine. Thank you,” she says with a smile. “Cleo! You're awake!”[ ] Have some social friendly time first.[ ] Business first. What's going on?
>>31608553[x] Have some social friendly time first.Petting.
[x] Have some social friendly time first.I think these girls could use a break from Business.
>>31608553>[x] Have some social friendly time first.
>>31608553>[X] Have some social friendly time firstCOUNTER HUGS! HOW DO YA LIKE IT?!
>>31608553>[x] Have some social friendly time first.As much as Cleo is a business first kind of girl, she also knows that these two were worried about her and could use some reassurances.
>>31608553We have no time for social bullshit, what the hell is going on?Nah, I'm kidding, it's tentacle time.I mean, tribadism time.
>>31608553[x] Have some social friendly time first.Check to see how much she'd been growing. Manually.
You've a lot of questions, but you figure that—whatever the hell happened—these two deserve to have their worries settled. You smile at Odessa. “Yep! Not that Rae didn't try to knock me out again.” Rae blushes. “That's not what I was trying to do! Dammit Cleo, I'll slap you...!” “Don't do that!” Odessa interrupts. “She just woke up!” “Yeah, Rae, I just woke up.” You hug her close. “Though I am curious as to why you kept calling my name.” “W-what!?” She pulls away. “I did nothing of the sort!” You smirk. “How would you know? You were asleep.” “I...! Just you wait, Cleo. Odessa won't be around forever, and when she's not...” “Rae!” Odessa warns. “Hmph.” You laugh, amused. It's been a while since you had a time to just relax with your friends like this. It's...nice. The fact that you're having a break like this now is setting off alarms in your head, but for now...it's almost like home. “So, I can understand Rae being here, and I think I might have an idea of why Socks is here, but weren't you out on assignment, Odessa? As I recall, you were supposed to ship out a couple days after we did.” Odessa shrugs. “We were told to stay in port and wait. And then I heard you were coming back so...”
“Well don't you get all the luck. Looks like things have turned around for you, Odessa. Glad to see it.” Odessa'd had a huge streak of incredible bad luck. Strikers spontaneously catching fire or exploding, seals leaking and nearly drowning her, crashing into objects like a super klutz...the list goes on. You think you figured it out—her familiar's a bat, so it seems working at night fixes it all—but the idea that no one in several generations of her family figured it out before you seems...off. But in any case... Odessa shines brightly. “I guess so! It's even daytime, you know!” Not that you could tell; the room has no windows. Rae shifts in her seat uncomfortably.[ ] Business time.[ ] What's up, Rae?
>>31609005>[x] Business time.How are the Ogawa sisters?
>>31609005>[x] What's up, Rae?Cock head to the right, stare questionly.
>>31609005>[x] What's up, Rae?Hug her too, we can be generous with our love~
[x] What's up, Rae?
>>31609005>[x] What's up, Rae?
>>31609005[x] "What's the business, Rae?"
“What's up, Rae?” She's been a good friend, but also pretty carefree. You're not really used to seeing her contain herself like this. “Nothing,” she answers quickly. It's nothing. Right. “C'mon, Rae. You don't have much of a poker face.” “W-well, I...” The door creaks open. A young nurse pokes her head in. “Oh, you're awake! Perfect. If I could ask your visitors to leave....” She eyes the trio, flinching, to her credit, only slightly when she spots Socks. “...I'll have the doctor here in just a moment.” She gestures. Odessa looks like a sad puppy. “Aww....Well, I'll talk to you later, Cookie!” Socks nods. [I will be around for a while. You know how to speak with me.] “I'll see you two in a bit,” you say, waving as they exit the room. The nurse coughs, looking at Rae. “Just...a minute, please.” “Alright. But she needs to leave soon.” The nurse closes the door, leaving the two of you alone.[ ] Well?[ ] Let the silence do the talking.
>>31609325[ ] Let the silence do the talking.Just sit there smiling and looking so goddam innocent.
>>31609325[x] Well? Talk to me, Rae.
>>31609325[x] Well?Get up and sit by her. lol personal space.
>>31609325Say nothing. Let her doom herself.
“Well?” you ask. Rae shifts again. “I...well...” “Rae?” You slide closer on your bed. “C'mon.” “I'm...not good at stuff like this,” she explains. “But...just...I guess...” You try to be patient. “You guess?” “I...you really did scare me, Cleo. I didn't know what to do.” She looks at her hands, clenching each other. “And...you saved my life. You saved all our lives. And you've done a lot for us.” She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. “I don't want to see you get hurt. I don't want to be told to stay behind.” You give her a look. “Rae, you know that sometimes the mission requires things like splitting up...” “I know...but...just...don't. Please.”[ ] I'll do my best.[ ] I can't promise you anything, Rae.---Sorry, Cosmos is on.
>>31609931>[ ] I'll do my best but I can't promise you anything, Rae.
[x] I'll do my best.
>>31609931[x] I'll do my best.Hug. Her!
>>31609931>[ ] I can't promise you anything, Rae.I want to vote for the other, but I can't seem to do it.
>>31609931>[x] I'll do my best.But no promises.
“I'll...do my best,” you manage. You wrap an arm around her, drawing her close. “I don't want to get hurt either, Rae. And I don't want to see you hurt, either.” You give her a good hug as she reciprocates, wrapping her arms around you too. “I don't want anyone hurt during all this.” She sniffles. “Thanks, Cleo. I...appreciate it.” She spends some time just hugging you. “Ahem.” The doctor peers in. “Ah, sorry...” You and Rae break apart as he enters the room. “I'll go now...” Rae gathers her things and heads for the door. She pauses in the doorway. “Thank you, Cleo.” She leaves. The doc gives you a look.[ ] ...We're friends.[ ] What're you looking at?[ ] ...
>>31610648>[x] ...We're friends.>[x] What're you looking at?>[x] ...
>>31610648>[x] What're you looking at?>>31610687Jesus, pick one you faggot.
>>31610648>[ ] ...Twiddle your thumbs and look to the side.
>>31610648>[ ] ...We're friends.
“...And what are you looking at, Doc?” You glare daggers at the man, who hurriedly turns around. “N-nothing, I'm sorry. I...my...your files...Hmm...” He clears his throat several times as he shuffles through some papers in a folder he brought along. “Ah, yes, here we are. Lt. Cmdr. Cleona Wilhelmina Kuykendall. Witch.” You nod slowly. “Yeah. What am I here for, Doc?” “Ah, yes, well, um, on your last mission, you seem to have suffered a few injuries, particularly ones to the head.” He clears his throat again, flustered. Oh, you forgot to scale down your glare. You give him some breathing room. Just a little. “And?” “Yes, well, it seems you've suffered a concussion, numerous scrapes and bruises, and...some excessive fatigue. As well as something...Hmm...I...that's interesting.” He rubs his chin as he reads carefully. “Yes...wait, no...I don't understand this.”
>>31611432 That worries you. “What do you mean you don't understand? You're the doctor, right?” He shakes his head. “Not the one that added this to the file. Something about...psionic trauma? Signed by a Dr. Alice Wackett. I haven't heard the name before...” You groan. Alice. She's not even a medical doctor. You think. What's she a doctor of, anyway? “Then don't worry about that, Doc. What about the other stuff? Am I fine?” “Oh, yes. We had a healer come in, fix up the minor stuff and give your head a nice bit of attention. You should be fine, although it seems that you're to remain here by order of Gen. MacArthur. A shame, the Japanese woman you were with could use some company.”[ ] I...see.[ ] Don't let MacArthur boss you around.
>>31611459Fuck MacArthur, gieb Ogawa
>>31611459>[ ] Don't let MacArthur boss you around.
>>31611459>[x] Don't let MacArthur boss you around.
>>31611459>[X] Don't let MacArthur boss you around.WomAn? Don't you mean WomEn? Why aren't they together? Their mental health depends on it!
>>31611459>[x] I...see.MacArthur, as much of a pompous jackass that would make an IJA officer look like a humble monk in comparison, is still a general and directly above us in command.Instead, just ask for Victor to get this cleared up.At least get Ogawa in here.
>>31611640raises a good point, thoughso does >>31611645
“...Japanese woman?” you ask, plotting. “Oh, yes,” the nameless doctor says. “More a girl, really. Leg wound. A fracture and flesh wound, luckily. Scrapes and bruises here and there. Seemed rather cold, however. She's been awake for a lot longer than you.” “What room is she in?” “...The one next door. I was attending to her just a moment ago.” He raises an eyebrow. “Why?” “No reason.” You sigh. “So I'm fine? I can get up and move around?” “Yes, completely fine now. They kept you under for god knows what reason, but you're good. Except for the order, of course.” “Huh. Interesting.” The doctor stares at you. “...What's interesting?”[ ] Knock him out and head over.[ ] Wait for him to leave and sneak out.
[x] Wait for him to leave and sneak out.
>>31611866Tell him to drill a fucking window through the wall so you can talk to your subordinate for being GODDAM STUPID. Also, where is her sister? ITS IMPORTANT.
>>31611866>[x] Wait for him to leave and sneak out.No need to do anything to the doc, he's just doing his job.
>>31611866>[ ] Wait for him to leave and sneak out.patience
>>31611866[x] Ask the Doctor to call for Victor and to get a carpenter; we want a window sawn to Ogawa's room. We ORDER him to do that; WE OFFICER NOW!
>>31611866>[x] Wait for him to leave and sneak out.
>>31611943>>31611984Yeah property damage!
“That MacArthur's treating me like a toy again, that's what,” you say calmly. The doctor blinks. “What?” “Oh, uh, nothing. Well then. Stay here. Now that you're awake, I suppose they'll be posting guards shortly. MacArthur likes his shows...In any case, I've another patient to attend to. Have a nice day, Lt. Cmdr.” The doctor gives you a nod and leaves, taking his folder and files with him. You sigh. This is ridiculous. You've been leading MacArthur's crazy little pet project (or rather, Alice's project; the man hijacked it for his own purposes) and risking your life and the lives of several young fuck-ups that honestly shouldn't even be in the field, and now he doesn't want to let you visit a...a...well, friend might be stretching it, but dammit, she's part of your team. [Socks, where are you?] He takes a moment to set aside his thoughts. [I am down the hall in a waiting room, Cleo. What do you need?] [Are there guards next to my room yet?] [….No.] [Let me know if they show up. I'm going to take a stroll.] [Ah. Very well. Be careful, Cleo. I understand that this is breaking an order.] [Thanks.] You hop out of bed, peeling off your bandage and lamenting the hospital getup you've been dressed in. The floor is cold beneath your feet; you could really use some damned slippers. You slip out the door and knock on the one next to you. No response. “Ogawa? You there?” you ask.
>>31612510 Nothing. You sigh and slip inside anyway. You're greeted by a sleeping Ogawa...and the cold, harsh stare of Boser. What a wonderful room this is, bright and cheery. You personally fucked up Boser's head during training; she's been a robot ever since. ...It's not like you volunteered for this job. Boser raises an eyebrow. “...You're not supposed to be here, Lt. Cmdr.” “Sorry for showing some concern,” you retort. “...Concern,” she repeats. She says nothing more.[ ] Converse with Boser.[ ] Wake Ogawa.
>>31612543>[X] Converse with Boser.I'm sorry Boser, are you getting better?
>>31612543>[x] Converse with Boser.It's not like she didn't deserve it at the time, though.
>>31612543>[ ] Converse with Boser.May as well let Ogawa rest.
>>31612577I can't tell if this is sarcastic or not
>>31612543>[x] Converse with Boser.
>>31612836Let's go with 'not sarcastic'. Cleo isn't really the sarcastic type.
>>31612836I meant it not sarcastically.
>>31612892>>31612921Given that it's Bozer, it'll probably be just as bad than if it was sarcastic.
You take a seat next to Boser. “Hey.” She nods at you. “So...how did the mission go for you guys? I mean, back in the water.” “We retreated without any complications,” she says flatly. “Ah...good, good. And...how was Natsumi? I was unconscious, so...” Boser blinks as you say Ogawa's name. “She was successfully extracted by the Marine Raider team, as were you. Though in pain, she managed to keep her composure. She is strong.” You try not to look taken aback. That's about the most you've gotten out of Boser in weeks. “And...her sister?” “I don't know. I have not seen her since the rescue.” “Ah, good, good...” An awkward silence falls as Boser regards a small book in her hand, not volunteering any conversation. She used to be lively, once, even if she was a bit...irritating. What even was it that she did? You can't remember. But you shut her down. And you've felt bad ever since. “So...um, Boser...” You wait for her to respond; she simply looks at you. “You know, I've...felt...bad...about what happened between us...and...”
>>31613140 “You were the instructor. You had situational authority over the entire class and conducted yourself in a manner necessary to achieve your goals. There is nothing to be sorry for.” She returns to her book. “Ah...of course.” This is exactly the sort of thing that got you into this mess. You've never been good with words, with dealing with people so screwed up. But you've always wanted to help. Maybe that's your fatal flaw; you can't help but get involved even when you'll only make a mess. You sigh, staring at your thumbs. If only everyone could see inside your head like Socks can... “But thank you,” Boser says quietly, turning a page. You blink, and then crack a smile. Well, eventually something has to go right.---Thank you for participating tonight. I'm sorry, but I have to cut this short. I'm low on sleep and have an assignment due tomorrow. I'd like to run next week, but classes might prevent it. Keep an eye on the twitter for more info! Thank you, everyone!
>>31613166>You blink, and then crack a smile. Well, eventually something has to go right.Shh, you'll jinx it, Cookie.Good thread, Kotato.
>>31613166Thanks! Hope you do well in class!
>>31613253Aye, good show, kudders