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[01:02] <Minaplo> Persona: A Study in Velvet, Chapter One: The Panther, the Worm and the War Criminal, Week Five. The 7th of May.
[01:02] <Minaplo> The disparate horde of schoolkids returned to Sophia Academy, a thick haze of tiredness and apathy hanging over the crowd, worn out from a four-day golden week, full of adventure, partying and relaxing. The only excitement came from friends meeting each other and swapping tales of what had occurred.
[01:02] <Minaplo> Little did they realise what kind of day remained in store for them.
[01:02] <Minaplo> It was around first lunch when the message went out, straight into every student's school email- just when most students, free from class, would start checking their phones. Most checked the message out of duty more than anything, less so to the school, and more to maintain the checklist one kept when using their phone.
[01:02] <Minaplo> It wouldn't take long into the message for that mundane reason to vanish, replaced with a sort of shock that twisted up one's guts, regardless of how distant they were from it.-
[01:12] <Minaplo> Taro Asaka. Mr. Asaka. Asaka-sensei. Mummy's little yankee bastard. Whatever name he prefers, you know who he is. For the last five weeks, this man has been on many lips, usually without consent. It's a tale as old as time. An old, ugly, lonely teacher, surrounded by impressionable students, takes his passions out on his charges. Everyone knows he's guilty. The only question is how many.-
[01:12] <Minaplo> Perhaps you're wondering how he chose his targets. Did he throw darts at a dartboard? Did he roll some dice and see which face came up? Would that be better, to think it wasn't targeted? Because of course it was. Taro Asaka grew up a baby of the War, his daddy a yankee soldier who left his mother behind. Japanese society made his mother lie to protect her reputation and give Asaka some piece of mind. Asaka, being a piece of shit, decided the problem was his mother, and not society. Imagine that! He grew up with a foreign father, ridiculed and judged for no reason, and he decided that it was better to work with society in destroying his own mother than fixing the actual problem.-
[01:12] <Minaplo> In fact, his misattribution error goes way farther than that. If the problem was his mother, then anyone else who said the same thing was a liar trying to destroy society. So this bold culture hero steps up to protect his fragile little world from those who'd threaten it- anyone who wasn't cookie cutter, neat hair, white underwear, good kids who obeyed the rules. It’s a little sad. The little kid with a foreign dad, raised by a scared mother, decided to protect the thing that was destroying his life. And you can’t do that without destroying other lives. So anyone who fell out of his narrow world were targeted. Wear pants instead of a skirt? Date a foreigner? Heaven forbid, be foreign? Then you’re in his line of sight. The worst thing of all is to be a foreign girl. Liars like his mother, evil foreigns like his father- what better way to defend his world than by targeting these, who represented everything wrong with his life?-
[01:12] <Minaplo> Taro Asaka is a war criminal in search of a war. Without one to fight, he started his own, his neat little culture war where his weapons were authority and society’s implicit nature. This ends now. We challenge you to see Taro Asaka for who he really is! We challenge you to reject the world he wants to live in! Break his world open and expose it to the truth! We’re coming for him! No matter where he runs, he cannot run from the past, and he cannot run from justice!
[01:12] <Minaplo> The Die is Cast.
[01:12] <Minaplo> - The Monster with Twenty-One Faces
[01:24] <Ai> Ai …stared at the email on her phone. Honestly, she just. Stared at it, having hidden near a wall in the cafeteria to try to make her scan of what was going on with it less obvious. Yet, she may have had her back to the wall, but her thoughts were radiating outwards, as much as she could. …Now, okay. Adrien made… A decent angry manifesto if he tried to. This almost sounded too villifying, given, given how she felt seeing some of that suffering on small-Asaka's face? But… At the same time, this was… something like what they needed to do, wasn't it? So she played her part, though left an eye glancing upwards from the phone.
[01:24] <Ai> An eye tuned to the threads of life that bound us to one another. Watching them change in real-time, quite possibly. Now, if she KNEW, she'd have done it sooner, but. …Let's watch it unfold.
[01:36] <Sachiko> Sachiko was halfway through her second reading of the letter when the anger started showing through in her expression. A few people were looking her way - one of the incidents cited was clearly hers, and it'd been no secret. She left her food behind and headed for an exit without returning any of the stares. She needed to take a walk before she made any decisions.
[01:55] <Hideki> The hallways were buzzing - both figuratively and literally - as phone notifications gave way to conversations. Hideki had lingered by one of the school's stairwells, waiting for a certain someone to emerge from class so that they could eat their homemade lunches together, absently scratching a few of the itchy bandages that were hidden underneath his shirt. Now his attention was elsewhere. He panned reactions, peered down at his own phone again, and panned some more. The atmosphere was… excited. Uncomfortable, he scuffed at the floor a bit with his shoes and leaned against the wall with a sigh.
[02:18] <Dinah> Just what the hell did he think he was doing? Dinah squinted some as she read the message on her phone, letting out a sigh and shaking her head once she had been through it. A hand went to the bridge of her nose, pinching it slightly to ease her aggravation that seemed pretty normal to just about anyone who might be looking at her. Though depending on the where and the when, she was either the focus of attention or the person everyone avoided looking at all together. Distracted from doodling idly - Tarzan swinging right into a tree for obvious reasons - she flicked the message away on her phone and looked at it for a few moments more before simply pocketing it. On the outside, she was unaffected and why would she be? Sure, Asaka had given her crap but she didn't really care too much one way or another. That's how it looked, at least. Inside, though, well….whatever it took. It was a complicated mess, that was for sure. Dinah just wanted to take the simple route through it all. At least this was a step forward.
[02:32] <Minaplo> As the four Evokers considered their inner reactions, seeing the world around them through the lens of privileged information, things became chaotic. Students were talk-shouting everywhere; teachers went completely ignored; low-ranking council members forgot themselves and gave over to speculation.
[02:32] <Minaplo> Ai would see, through the bondsight, threads flaring- one thread for each specific person, pointing directly at who she guessed was Asaka. The bond became more intense, and darker- as people's opinions were influenced by this new bombshell.
[02:32] <Minaplo> Sachiko would see, as she marched past, people rushing to and fro, spreading rumours and theories like wildfire.
[02:32] <Minaplo> Hideki would be greeted with Ji-hu's presence before long, her eyes narrow in an uneasy mix of satisfaction and dread.
[02:32] <Minaplo> And Dinah would be, like the eye of the storm, in her own little bubble of space, seemingly untouched by the chaos outside- even though she'd helped make it.-
[02:33] <Minaplo> Teachers, all of them, were everywhere were trying to maintain order, to no avail. Almost all of them.
[02:33] <Minaplo> The man of the hour, himself, Mr. Taro Asaka, emerged into the same hallway where Hideki and Ji-Hu stood. At his presence, a hush fell on those nearest, whilst those farthest away slipped into nearby rooms to continue gossip. Some failed to meet Asaka's eyes. Others boldly stared at him, trying to suss out his secret heritage.-
[02:34] <Minaplo> But Asaka ignored them all.
[02:34] <Minaplo> He stared at Ji-Hu with cold, narrow eyes of icy rage.
[02:34] <Minaplo> Ji-Hu stared back.
[02:34] <Minaplo> His gaze shifted to Hideki.
[02:34] <Minaplo> At that moment, Ai, Dinah, Hideki and Sachiko would be hit with a sudden vision, taking them right out of their bodies.-
[02:51] <Minaplo> They were in Asaka's Dream Theatre, the sky heavy with red and stinking of blood and sweat. Above them loomed Asaka's fortress, his ugly cross between a Japanese castle and a fortified bunker. Standing atop the gate was General Asaka, replete in his uniform. He had his scabbard in his hands, and slowly pulled the blade free.
[02:51] <Minaplo> He pointed it at them.-
[02:52] <Minaplo> "This is my world! Mine, not yours! What gives you the right to meddle with my inner reality?!"-
[02:55] <Minaplo> But their point of vision was growing more distant. Pulling away from him. He receded against the top of the ramparts, a tiny figure in a tiny castle.
[02:55] <Minaplo> Their point of vision rose into the air, higher and higher, revealing his inner world for what it really was: a diorama, the edges of which terminated in mid-air, suspended above a pit of chaotic nothing.
[02:55] <Minaplo> Then something tumbled to the diorama from above. The sun? No- it was a cellphone, the screen of which had been illuminating it all. As it tumbled, its glare shot through the chaos around the diorama, revealing rows upon rows upon rows of shadowy figures, indistinguishable except for their white eyes and white mouths. So not a diorama- a stage, and this the audience.-
[02:57] <Minaplo> The cellphone struck the great statue of Asaka that they had seen before. It split open down the middle, revealing clockwork insides like a great orrery- a celestial model of the world, with the cellphone at the very top. Around it floated a village, aircraft, a castle, and small statues of other individuals. Every few seconds its pieces tried to rotate, but the clockwork was broken, and it shuddered and twitched to a stop. Each time it tried to move forward, the shock of its pieces jamming pushed it backwards, so that it was behind where it had started.
[02:57] <Minaplo> The orrery grew, larger and larger, until it was larger than the castle itself.-
[03:00] <Minaplo> "Am I not safe even in my own head? Must you all take everything from me? Then come! Twist and corrupt all you want, but it is STILL MY HEAD!"
[03:00] <Minaplo> Shadow Asaka burst into blue flames, and his world began to change. No longer was it a paranoid, dangerous playground of ideas and threats- now all of it was geared towards hostility, towards destroying the intruders.
[03:00] <Minaplo> The castle began to rise up out of the earth, the walls dropping as well. The castle went deep, as it turned out, deep into the ground. It split the very earth in front of it and behind it, a deep, murky shape emerging from the bleeding soil…-
[03:01] <Minaplo> The superstructure of a Japanese battleship.
[03:01] <Minaplo> [https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D_CpbJrXsAEj8Yf.jpg Total war had come to Asaka's world, and it had been transformed, all of it, into a great and terrible war machine.
[03:07] <Minaplo> A moment later the vision faded, leaving them in the Waking World yet again.
[03:24] <Hideki> Hideki started and threw a panicked look around. He'd been gone. Now he was back, with the afterimages of what he had just seen still whirling about in his brain. Had anyone noticed? Had anyone else seen it? What even-?
[03:25] <Hideki> He made a grab for Ji-Hu's arm. Tried to usher her - and himself - away somewhere.
[03:25] <Minaplo> "Oop-" Ji-Hu was startled, but let him steal her away.
[03:29] <Ai> When Ai returned to herself, she… actually briefly just froze in place. She couldn't tell what… No. She could tell what, very easily. Shuddering with the feeling of Shadow Asaka's anger right upon her still in memory? She started to shuffle out of the cafeteria, holding out her phone and. …Letting the magical part of it being her smarttome do the work for her. Opened the Team message group and just started braintyping.
[03:29] <Ai> ["That. What. …We need to meet. Really fast. Please! @group Oh oh and Roy did you see anything with the theatre? @roy"]
[03:33] <Minaplo> ["I did. We did it- we revealed the Heed."]
[03:36] <Sachiko> The vision had caught her unprepared, and when Sachiko was unceremoniously booted back to the real world (Had time passed?) she found she'd stumbled. She glanced around, trying to get her bearings and when she realised how shaky her breaths were she took a moment to force them back under control. She'd made good headway when she felt the tomephone in her pocket buzz.-
[03:36] <Sachiko> [So it was everyone. Thought it might've been a Nav thing. Where do we meet?]
[03:44] <Hideki> Hideki and Ji-Hu went up the stairs and into the first empty classroom - an abandoned science lab. He finally released her arm and sucked in a deep breath, sinking onto one of the stools at one of the counter-height tables. "Hoo. Did you catch that?"
[03:45] <Minaplo> "The email?" Asked Ji-Hu, her eyebrows knotted in concern.
[03:47] <Hideki> "Ah…" his bag buzzed, and he hastily went for the magic phone he had left inside of it. "A weird… vision. When Asaka looked at us just now. I guess not, huh?"
[03:48] <Hideki> [Dorm lobby after school. We can wait until then, right?]
[03:48] <Ai> [Seems like a plan to me.] Ai sent back, even as she … tried to just breathe.
[03:49] <Sachiko> [Right.]
[03:51] <Minaplo> [Hey guys, I think it went really well!] Chimed in Adrien.
[03:55] <Dinah> [Oh yeah, now we just have a giant transformer to deal with. This is perfect. Everything went according to plan. Stupid.]
[03:57] <Ai> [I think this is just what HAPPENS with angry Archetypes, guys! :<]
[03:58] <Minaplo> [Yeah! Thanks for having my back, Ai!]
[04:09] <Sachiko> [We used a dude's trauma as a writing prompt. Probably not something we should be proud of.]
[04:10] <Ai> […Look, we trusted the guy who pisses people off easily to write a manifesto to piss someone off. And the reason is to end a /cosmic/ threat to the world! G… give him some slack. …Only some.]
[04:11] <Sachiko> [I'm not blaming him. I used 'we' on purpose.]
[04:12] <Sachiko> [Keep your heads down. Will see you at the dorm.]
[04:12] <Ai> […Sorry. Can do.]
[04:15] <Minaplo>
[04:17] <Minaplo> The dorm. Roy was already there, as was Adrien, who despite Sachiko's warnings, couldn't help but look a little self-satisfied.
[04:22] <Sachiko> Sachiko had looked at him as she entered, but she didn't bother starting anything. She flopped onto the lounge, pulling one earbud out and letting it dangle against her chest to faintly leak music to the nearby chairs while she waited. She looked tired.
[04:23] <Hideki> Hideki showed up before long, giving Adrien a light, congratulatory punch on the shoulder before settling in on the couch. "Saw the guy's wrath in person. If looks could kill…" He placed his bag on the floor.
[04:25] <Minaplo> Adrien beamed.
[04:25] <Minaplo> "Yeah, he was terrifying." Said Ji-Hu, settling down next to Hideki. "But man, what a rat warren. Everyone was stirred right up."
[04:31] <Ai> Ai walked in pretty late, teetering around. "Hnnn. Trying to read some thoughts about what happened, and keeping my head down. Uguuuu." And eventually flumphed on the most appropriate chair she could think of. It was no catbowl, but it'd have to do. "Of course they were. …It was loud enough to blow open the Heed, but. …This was already a powderkeg, that's how it a… all started, right? Turn up the heat and the grains start to ignite…"
[04:34] <Hideki> "But the explosion is only temporary. Right, Roy?"
[04:38] <Minaplo> "Assuming we can fix it, sure."
[04:42] <Sachiko> "Is that vision thing normal?"
[04:47] <Minaplo> Roy nodded. "Yeah. That is, essentially, the Heed acknowledging us. Of course, the Shadow can sense its control slipping, and it doesn't like that."
[04:51] <Ai> "I wanted to yell at him about the safety of the world, if I had to be honest… But it got scary too fast." Ai admitted.
[04:52] <Dinah> Dinah was outside the dorm's sitting room, leaning against the building with a cigarette in her mouth and an annoyed expression on her face. The only indication that she was there at all was the front door being cracked open to let her listen to the others. Or try, anyway. Poking her head in, she frowned, looking at them. "Is the giant robot thing something we're going to have to fight?"
[04:53] <Minaplo> "Yeah, probably." Said Roy. "We don't need to defeat it, we just need to seize the Heed. But it'll be guarding the Heed."
[04:55] <Ai> Ai frowned. "And even if I have artillery… Black Hat proved that I can't just blow EVERYTHING up with Tiro Finales." Pout, pout. "…So. … …"
[04:55] <Ai> She began to realize a thought. "We… wouldn't, say, have a chance to get our own giant robot, would we…?"
[04:55] <Ai> "It's all Sea stuff anyway…"
[04:56] <Minaplo> "You're basically asking if we're going to have a Power Rangers-style showdown, with our combined Megazord?"
[04:56] <Sachiko> "please"
[04:56] <Hideki> Hideki seemed to brighten slightly at that idea.
[04:57] <Minaplo> "You know," Said Adrien, shifting over next to Ai and throwing an arm around her shoulders, "I think she has the right idea. A big Persona robot would be great."
[04:57] <Ai> "…I didn't s… s-say that part…" She said, and then jumped at arms around her! "It's just, look. If he can do that, can't we. Conventions?! Tropes! …Naval personification phonegames?!"
[04:58] <Ai> Poor thing was embarrassed.
[04:59] <Minaplo> "I admire the way you think." Said Roy. "It's likely possible, but it'd require a lot of power. This is the problem with revealing the Heed- we need to focus a lot of attention on the Heed to do it. And Shadows feed on attention and trying to repress what that attention sees. You just can't reveal the Heed without giving them a super-power up."
[05:03] <Sachiko> "It's a boss fight," she sighed. "It's probably not even his final form."
[05:04] <Minaplo> "She finally gives in." Said Adrien smugly.
[05:04] <Dinah> "Can we not?!"
[05:04] <Sachiko> "Not excited about it, trust me."
[05:05] <Minaplo> "It'll start to feel good after a few tries."
[05:05] <Ai> "THE TROPES ARE THE SEA, THE SEA IS THE TROPES." Ai suddenly blurted out.
[05:05] <Ai> "…Don't threaten her with a good time, Adrien." Now with a more sulky tone. It's clear she didn't quite mean that the normal way.
[05:06] <Minaplo> "What Dinah said, jesus christ." Said Roy.
[05:06] <Sachiko> Sachiko slumped a little further down, looking like a stress headache in human form.
[05:08] <Minaplo> "There there." Said Ji-Hu, patting Sachiko gently. Before Sachiko knew what was going on, Ji-Hu had slipped a chewy sweet into her hand. "This'll make you feel better."
[05:08] <Minaplo> "… Anyway, I guess the question now is tactics." Said Roy. "Centre Stage is always an environmental nightmare, more Dali than Exxon, admittedly, but there's a few things we do know: the Heed is at the top of the orrery. The orrery itself is like a sphere with platforms on the inside. Our question is: do we make a dash for the Heed, or try to subdue Battleship Asaka first?"
[05:09] <Ai> Ai …did look guilty, before thinking. "…If we could get an idea of his capabilities…"
[05:10] <Minaplo> "If he's anything like an actual Japanese warship, then one of his capabilities is being torpedoed by Americans. Just like his mum! Haha. Up top." Said Adrien, raising his hand to Ai.
[05:12] <Ai> Ai actually sharply elbowed Adrien in the gut instead. "God, can we just go with 'gee it'd sound like American warships might be a place to look' without the your mom part?!"
[05:12] <Ai> "I'm o-only somewhat shameless! There's a line!"
[05:13] <Hideki> "Delacour…" Hideki shook his head. "Reel it back, man."
[05:13] <Dinah> "JC, can I smoke inside just to burn him a little? Box Lady gonna be cool with that?"
[05:15] <Sachiko> Sachiko gave Ji-hu a grateful look and popped the sweet into her mouth without further consideration. This… had the unintended side-effect of making her unable to react to Adrien in a hurry, though the look she gave him a look a lot like the one she'd levelled at him before that first confrontation.-
[05:15] <Sachiko> But by the time she could respond the others had stepped in.
[05:16] <Minaplo> "Fuck it, just this once it's cool, Dinah." Said Roy.
[05:16] <Minaplo> "Shame on you, Adrien!" Said Ji-hu, shaking her head ruefully. (Her sweet tasted of coconut.)
[05:16] <Minaplo> Adrien grunted. "It was just a joke!" He said loudly over the !!CHORUS OF CONDEMNATION!!.
[05:17] <Sachiko> "If we're doing this we're not making it a goddamned joke," she said sharply.
[05:17] <Ai> Ai then folded her arms firmly. "NO FIGHTING, only war plans!"
[05:18] <Ai> "…Er. But yeah really we need to think about it seriously. He probably has artillery. That can shoot the orrerer…ry."
[05:19] <Hideki> "Do we wanna go with a decoy, then? Draw Shipguy's attention, while someone grabs the heed?"
[05:19] <Minaplo> "I'm about to go fight a giant battleship robot that can kill me. I can make a joke of it if I want, fun police…"
[05:20] <Minaplo> "Ai is right- ranged attacks are pretty likely." Said Roy. "Those cannons probably aren't for show."
[05:20] <Ai> "…Can anyone fly?"
[05:25] <Sachiko> Sachiko shook her head.
[05:27] <Ai> "Ah. …Was going by historybook stuff again. Air power was a lot of why Japan took its major losses at sea…" She said, thinking. "That said, it sounds like harassment, evasion, and keeping big guns off of us is the best idea? I… I'm not sure we have the power to go head-on against it?"
[05:32] <Minaplo> "We have a few advantages." Said Roy. "Firstly, we have a Wild Card. Secondly, you other guys have your special Personas- my advice is you should go visit Igor and see if he can make them more powerful. Thirdly, don't forget that we have Okuninushi on our side- I can't stress what an edge it is to have a Conductor in our corner." He paused to scratch one of his ears.
[05:32] <Minaplo> "Every Archetype possesses… 'Facets', I think we called them. Facets are elements of power, kind of like lesser Personas. The Conductors we face are influenced by these Facets. So we already know some of its strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, Okuninushi might be able to weaken one of the Facets immediately just through his rebellion."
[05:32] <Minaplo> "We've been doing real good so far." Said Roy. "No doubt this guy is going to hurt us hard, but he's beatable. They always- well, almost always are."
[05:34] <Ai> Ai stared at Roy just for a moment. …Were she in a different mood, she'd have SUCH a comment at that last bit. Instead… "I see, see. …We'll see what Igor and Okuninushi can do, yeah."
[05:40] <Sachiko> Sachiko was watching Roy too, still chewing her sweet. She nodded when Ai spoke up. "Let's just go in clear-eyed. Black Hat proved how narrow our margin of error is against real threats."
[05:42] <Minaplo> Ji-Hu's expression darkened at the mention of Black Hat, but she remained silent.
[05:42] <Hideki> "I think we'd better meet again. After upgrades. Just to share what's new and figure out some kinda basic plan."
[05:44] <Sachiko> "Agreed. Roy, are we able to scout this place at all? Get some info before we act? I can scan, I guess…"
[05:45] <Minaplo> "Scanning is about the best we can do, although we can do some scouting- stealth is still possible in Centre Stage, it's just hard."
[05:50] <Sachiko> "Alright. Want to help me do a scanning run? We can go from there."
[05:51] <Ai> "Seems … Is he the best at helping you there, or…?" Ai said, awkwardly. "Otherwise, I guess I can keep coming up with plans and details - see what you find, too. We probably need to decide, and fast, if we can definitely take him directly or not."
[05:52] <Sachiko> "I'd go on my own, but he doesn't like that," she shrugged.
[05:56] <Ai> "Ah." Ai said sheepishly, before nodding again. "…Then yeah, I guess I'll work on trope research, figure out what Igor gives us, go over your data, plan out schemes, review capabilities, form up teams…" Mutter, mutter.
[05:56] <Ai> But then, in her position of flumph, Ai raised one finger. "Anyway, it's looking like there's basically three major ways to go: Focus on the Heed and mostly just avoid, distract, or harass Battleship Asaka; Go all-in on Asaka, beat him up, and then go back for the Heed… Or I guess pull out some shenanigan that stalls or notably disables him."
[05:57] <Ai> Her lips pursed. "So much research left, even just to bring together our options, though. Mou…"
[05:58] <Sachiko> "I'll see what I can think up, scanning aside," said Sachiko. "I've got ideas but I need more data."
[06:01] <Hideki> "Are we on any kind of firm deadline here? Seems like we should limit info-gathering to one or two days."
[06:03] <Ai> "…It's gotta be pretty fast, right? Battleship Asaka is pissed and the miasma's always leaking. Roy, the attention is probably making all this worse with the sea-miasma stuff, isn't it?" She said, frowning. "Two days, maybe three if something goes terribly wrong in prep, I think. We can't mess this up but … no. It's not looking good. And to think."
[06:03] <Ai> Ai said, not nearly mirthful enough for the type of comment. "This is only Stage 1 of this go-around."
[06:05] <Sachiko> "Also, we've pissed off real Asaka and he's going to retaliate. Tomorrow, probably."
[06:05] <Ai> "…Damn, you're right. I can't imagine how much he might already realize it's any of us." Ai said with a DEEP frown.
[06:06] <Minaplo> "You're both right." Said Roy. "More miasma is going to leak, and if we wait too long, Asaka is going to retain control of the Heed, and things start getting bad."
[06:06] <Sachiko> "He might not know it's us, but our cases were called out in the letter. We're easy targets if he doesn't have a better one."
[06:07] <Minaplo> Adrien did not look ashamed.
[06:07] <Hideki> "We could always just skip class for a day or two."
[06:08] <Minaplo> "Asahina won't like that." Said Roy.
[06:08] <Sachiko> "We could. But that anger's going to find its level, and I'd rather he target me than some poor kid who had nothing to do with it."
[06:09] <Ai> "…I considered it, but it'd make it look reallll shady that all of 5 Soejima just happens to be out of school after the email hit."
[06:09] <Sachiko> "That too."
[06:12] <Ai> Ai nodded. "I'm… too scared to just be a shield or a martyr, but I won't just back down, no." And she pursed her lips. "I can hit the shadows, get students ready. Or… something."
[06:12] <Minaplo> "Oh, don't worry too much." Said Adrien. "Asaka probably won't even be at school tomorrow."
[06:12] <Ai> "I just. Wanna be able to hold on long enough to do this… operation, I guess. And if Asaka goes after me, or hurts a friend, o-" …Blink.
[06:14] <Hideki> "Yeah. The administration did pull him out for a couple of days when this mess first started, right? So now that everything's hit the fan…"
[06:14] <Minaplo> "Especially if… A certain thing… Were to happen." Said Adrien smugly.
[06:15] <Sachiko> "… what did you do?" Sachiko asked. She sounded concerningly calm.
[06:15] <Ai> …Ai started to raise her arm as if to elbow.
[06:16] <Minaplo> "I didn't do anything." Said Adrien hastily. "I just wanted to sound cool and reassure Ai."
[06:17] <Ai> "…Ah." That was all she COULD say.
[06:19] <Sachiko> Sachiko stared at him for a while, then sighed and shook her head. "Maybe they'll pull him out. But at a certain point damage control stops being a useful strategy."-
[06:19] <Sachiko> "… And I'm sorry, I'm not trying to freak out Ai. I just think we should be ready for the possibility."
[06:19] <Minaplo> "No, I agree." Said Roy.
[06:19] <Ai> "I'm. I'm just trying to be ready too!"
[06:20] <Sachiko> "I know," she said. And then a moment later: "You're doing good, don't mind me."
[06:23] <Minaplo> "Alright, I lied. I did a thing." Said Adrien.
[06:25] <Sachiko> "Fucking hell."
[06:27] <Minaplo> "I figured that since this is our first splash as the Monster with Twenty-One Faces, I'd go and shout us some catering. Have a dorm party tonight!"
[06:28] <Ai> "I'm going to hope I don't need to start talking about opsec…"
[06:31] <Minaplo> "We have sushi, and omurice, and fried chicken, and tamagoyaki, and poutine, and hotpot!"
[06:34] <Sachiko> She sighed. "… food sounds good, I admit."
[06:36] <Hideki> "So let's adjourn this meeting and party!"
[06:45] <Dinah> Dropping her smoke and stepping it out, Dinah finally entered the room and sniffed, looking none too pleased but not ready to murder Adrien, which was something. "Sounds like a plan."
[12:08] <Minaplo> ED

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