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Private Desertion

Discussion in 'Otherworld' started by Yuuki Mishima, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Yuuki Mishima

    Yuuki Mishima Persona
    #1 Phanboy

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    February 1st, Year 108
    The Otherworld, Yuuki Mishima's Palace
    @Ren Amamiya @Makoto Niijima @Futaba Sakura @Shiho Suzui (and ig @Goro Akechi if he wants to come)
    ~~~

    Yuuki Mishima.
    1168 Briar St, Saenghu, Ark City.
    Army Fort.


    Candidate found. Beginning navigation.

    The... Focus of the distortion was the apartment, and the cafe below it, to be entirely fair, but the distortion itself stretched across the entire street, in a sprawling stone and steel wall that raised up several storeys. The entrance was a huge, solid metal gate that glistened ominously in the light of the Metaverse. The carvings scratched over it were indecipherable, but deep, and jagged, like whatever had been on that gate had been clawed until it was unrecognizable. Watchtowers loomed at regular intervals, swinging searchlights over the street before them like unflinching eyes. Towering above even those, however, was a huge structure shaped somewhat like the stem and bottom of a wineglass, but upside down. Even at this distance it was glowing with a soft blue light.

    The Thieves had stepped into the distorted area blocked from the sweeping searchlights, thankfully, and this Palace was easily the youngest one they'd faced -- It seemed Yuuki had developed it over the course of a month and a half at most, however it really wasn't clear if it's beginnings had been festering for longer -- and posed a challenge similar to Futaba's, if Yuuki himself was somewhere within it. It was like... A consistent calling card, at the best case scenario. He was fully aware of the Palace after all... At worst case, it would collapse on them at any moment, or... Yuuki himself might die.

    Nevertheless, a friend's Palace, at a bad time, under one of the worst possible scenarios... But when had that ever stopped the Phantom Thieves?
     
  2. Makoto Niijima

    Makoto Niijima Persona

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    This palace might have been a fort, but it reminded Makoto of a high security prison, which made her fear exactly what was being contained within the metal and concrete walls. They were currently hidden from the searchlights, but that didn't stop her from feeling as if they were constantly being watched. The sheer pressure the palace's distortion caused was disheartening, the entire area already on high alert due to its creator being within it. Well, Mishima should theoretically be within it, possibly lured in by his own Shadow.

    It was hard to not recall the night she'd brought Ren back from jail and was torn up by Mishima's words. The night this screwed up military based solidified. She wanted to turn around and go, but she promised that she'd try to be a better person. A better friend. That didn't make this any easier though. Even standing here as Queen didn't raise her enthusiasm or confidence much, and she stayed close to the back of the group, pressed a little more into the shadow of the wall as she waited for someone else to take charge. Ren's arm was still hurt, so she would assist him in battle, but she didn't consider herself much of a strategist or co-leader at the moment.
     
  3. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
    Joker

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    Joker didn't like being in a Palace of somewhere he knew this well. It...was better when it was just a name. A name with a few facts. The Phantom Thieves piecing together small bits of information, until they could solidify the information in the Nav app. They...had dealt with Mishima's Shadow before. A distorted shape in the depths of Momentos. They were able to talk him down without having to force it. He already knew what he was doing was wrong. He could already feel the distortion pulling at him, and was able to push it back with the simplest push.

    The month had been...rough. A lot of it put on Mishima's shoulders, because of Ren. Then...Flowey was entirely his fault. Makoto tried to kill him, because he missed something obvious. This Palace only existed because he did. The root of something dark finally catching, and going unnoticed by him. The signs were probably there, but he hadn't seen them until that night Makoto brought him by to pick up his stuff. He was...fiercely protective over Ren - to the extent of possible obsession. World warping around him as he told Makoto off and threatened her.

    And now he was gone. Missing, but still in Pandora. Missing, and most likely...here.

    Joker glanced over at Queen, and offered a nod. Her coming at all was...likely out of guilt. He knew he wouldn't be able to fight nearly as well as before. Right arm still in a cast; Metaverse outfit awkwardly making the sleeve of his coat shorter so it didn't overlap the cast. And...it still hurt. A dull throb that would fade in and out of existence. His concentration would be low. His ability to use his dagger would be...rough at best. Aiming his gun would be impossible.

    He would really need to lean on his Persona to survive this.

    "We need to get to that tower," Joker began, turning to face everyone - motioning to the looming structure with his chin, "The Palace is already on high alert because...he's likely inside. This isn't going to be a normal Palace, so let's be careful."

    His gaze shifted back to the guard-towers, pretending the place didn't remind him of a prison. With everything that was looming on the horizon for him, it set him...more on edge then he would have preferred. Chest feeling tight, despite the way the Metaverse made him feel. The relaxation that came with being here.

    "Oracle - find us a way in the side or back. Everyone? Let's steal some treasure."
     
  4. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    Mishima Yuuki. Akechi remembered the name because Kamoshida's case came out around the same time the Phantom Thieves did. However, he only knew the basics on file, nothing tangible. That was how it usually went with Akechi the heartthrob bystander.

    Sensing how important the mission was to Joker that he had to see it through while in a cast, Akechi stood at the ready. He had nothing to gain. This wasn't about how surprised he was that he even got the request, or how he would have sooner believed santa existed than to be standing once again with the phantom thieves, even on the temporary. This wasn't about Akechi.

    So Crow -- not Akechi -- stood at their flank, an equal, looking on. He nodded. "I suggest we take extreme care not to be caught by the shadows."
     
  5. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Futaba had gotten the call. Her friends- her brother- needed her help in this weird new Palace that had sprung up seemingly out of nowhere. It was.. jarring. She remembered the old days, when they'd sat down as a group, had days and even weeks to plan things out, gather supplies, come to a unanimous decision. That seemed to be gone forever and it didn't feel good. It didn't matter. Ren needed her help to help Mishima and she understood what had to happen.

    Stepping into the Metaverse she looked around carefully. Her costume was on almost before the app finished running and there was a kind of discordant, ear-ringing strain to all of this. She didn't even really know what words had led them in here; that was Ren's work. A part of her wanted to scold him for not waiting for help but he was their leader and knew best, right?

    Her readings showed so much, but not much good- except maybe Ren's determination, Makoto's stubbornness and Akechi's professionalism, odd as that was- really stood out. They were faltering and needed support- and well, that was her job, and the one thing she knew she could get right. Stuffing aside her own nervousness she scanned the gate. No, this was wrong. Frontal assaults were stupid. Think, Sakura. Ignore the landscape and see the hidden truth.

    She summoned Prometheus and went inside. Immediately the comforting glow of green screens surrounded her and she lifted into the air. There wasn't a thing to give her away, as she rose and took it all in. So many guard shadows in military uniforms and dogs on chains. Spotlights, but never looking down- of course no ground concerns for the Moonboy. Two half-circles of wall with a gap in between the overlap that was dark and shadowed, filled with boxes; and a room, so barricaded that it had to mean something. That was a start. She'd get more details later, on the move.

    She dropped fast and came to the level of the others, her voice whispering through the side of her protective Persona. "There's a side passage. Be careful and quiet; this place is in full alert. Something's triggered them to a final stage." There was no worry in her voice, just the pure confidence of an Oracle report. "The spotlights can't point straight down, so that's your cover. There's soldiers and dogs inside but first we need to get in there. Fast is better than slow. Come on."
     
  6. Shiho Suzui

    Shiho Suzui Persona

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    Shiho still could not believe that they had thought she didn't know. Had they not met Ann? She loved her, really she did, but the blonde couldn't keep a secret from random strangers, let alone Shiho, who could read her like a book. And besides, what happened with K--him, while she had been asleep was incredibly telling, as was the look on Ann's face when she had told her about it. The Phantom Thieves, making their appearance a day or two after she... fell.

    Shiho hated when people thought she was an idiot.

    But the looks on their faces as she made her declaration, her decision to go with them... honestly, she understood their concern, but Yuuki was her friend, her brother, and she would be damned if she wasn't going to help him in anyway she could, even if it was just helping interpret some of the mess that his Palace apparently was. The whole Metaverse idea was intriguing to her, but there was too much at stake here to ask the questions she wanted the answers to now. And she knew, that if a fight broke out, she would be useless, so she had promised to stay out of the way if necessary, follow any orders she was given.

    And Yuu-kun's Palace... it was horrible. But she understood it, she thought. "What if we knock?" Shiho said hesitantly, well aware that she was new to this. "I mean... what if I knock?" It was hard to put her finger on why, but this was still Yuu-kun, right? He'd never hurt her, just like she'd never hurt him.
     
  7. Makoto Niijima

    Makoto Niijima Persona

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    There was a "clear" path after all, then. There always seemed to be at least one weakness in a Palace. They had never run into a person that had completely closed their heart off to change, and that manifested as a break in their defenses. A solvable puzzle. An open window or key for a door.

    A few weeks ago Makoto would have bristled at the thought of going into another Palace with Goro Akechi, but somehow his presence here was like a rock they sorely needed to keep their focus. He was another Wildcard, and he could fill in the strategic gaps that Ren had at the moment. She was about to confirm their plan when Shiho spoke up. Makoto watched her, and then quietly shifted her weight in the shadows.

    "...That isn't a bad strategy, just not one that we usually try first," Makoto said to her, against her gut instinct to stay quiet. "Some Palaces do react different to certain people, but... it could trigger every Shadow nearby if it's done wrong."
     
  8. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
    Joker

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    Joker silently watched as Oracle got into Prometheus - glancing over at Crow as he mentioned avoiding shadows. It wasn't even a question that their fighting power would be at a low. The more fights they avoided, the better.

    "I agree," he offered him a nod, still...somewhat surprised he came at all. While their relationship was better than it had been, Crow's thoughts on the other Thieves and the reverse was...complicated at best. Yet when Joker contacted him, he came. He was likely the strongest one there at the moment. Queen was...off, likely blaming herself for the Palace. Joker's arm was broken on top of many other things. Shiho was present, and without a Persona. But she had an advantage none of them had; she was the closest with Mishima for the longest time. And that...might be critical in this. Oracle was likely fine, if not slightly off from everything that happened. They...would definitely need her support.

    At the Oracle's path, he nodded - glancing back over his shoulder at the Palace. This place...had a different feel then the other Palaces, but he couldn't put his finger on it. He knew things were slightly different in Pandora, but even for that...something was wrong. Mishima missing, the Palace already acting as if it had seen a Calling Card. He didn't like going in blind like this; not when the Palace was actively looking for them. It was fine when they already knew the layout and could head straight for the treasure.

    But this...was a lot working against them.

    At Shiho's suggestion, Joker's gaze dropped as Queen explained the risks. It...could work. Literally asking his heart to open up. That's...how they did it the first time. Just asked. No violence needed, nothing had to be stolen. Joker's jaw clenched as he half-crossed his arms as best as he could with a cast, churning the thoughts around in the back of his head.

    "Do it," his voice low, before his gaze rose to meet the others, "We all know that this isn't the first time that his cognition of reality has become distorted. Last time...we were just able to talk to him," I was just able to talk him down, "I think...trying that again might be helpful. The Palace is on high alert so just asking his Shadow is likely out of the question...but knocking on the front door is asking his heart if it wants to change."

    Or it would bring every enemy in the area on them.

    But...they had to try.
     
  9. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    As soon as this 'knocking on the gate' plan came into being Futaba felt this dread settle in her chest. Something about it seemed wrong but not in any way she could have explained to the others at this exact moment. Instead she started to punch it into Prometheus's systems, reading over the data as it came to her and was then translated by the Persona's internal systems, and while it did those calculations she kept her eyes on the group. The feeling of foreboding kept sitting there. Everyone except her seemed to like this plan- and maybe Akechi, but he was being really quiet right now.

    The readings weren't good. The statistics of this working were- slim. But Ren wanted to do it, and she wanted to trust Ren beyond most other things, like her logic or weird Palaces. But she couldn't ignore that desperate, tired, worried readings she was getting, or how it showed in his features and eyes. Her brother wasn't himself. Everyone was so stressed out. She was so scared about questioning this and being wrong.

    In the end, though, she was more scared of not saying anything and seeing the worst happen.

    Swallowing back her fear she and Prometheus moved to a spot in front of the gate- not crashing into it, and there was room to scoot around, but she was definitely in the way. "Wait, stop. This feels wrong," she said, not yelling but a sort of pressing insistence in her voice. Feeling; it was a pretty lame line of reasoning, but yet what else could you trust around here when everything was so cloudy and weird? "We have to think about this. I know a lot of people are really worried, and I am too. Knocking on the door just seems off. If this happens the gate will open, the readings say so, but is his heart opening the real point of this distortion? I don't even feel him inside, and I got everything on the top level. Doesn't that mean something else is going on?"

    She hesitated for a moment, shaking her head and biting her lower lip for a moment. Logic. There was logic for this too. Maybe that would help. "Rationally, we don't know why the gates will even open. What if they retreat and take Mishima deeper, or have a trap planned? There's a lot of variables if we try a head-on assault. If we die here, how's that saving him?" There wasn't any anger in her voice, but there was some frustration, and the words had a plea in them- but she also knew that they were a team, and Ren was the leader- and he cared about Mishima a lot. Maybe that was why she felt she had to check. Everything was too tenuous. "I'm sorry. If Joker wants to do a frontal assault, I'll get ready. I just thought- maybe we should think about why."
     
    #9 Futaba Sakura, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  10. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    Well, that's an idea, Akechi didn't say. Oracle might as well say they weren't thinking at all, and she would have been right. "Joker, Shiho-san. I understand how much you want to help your friend, but this is still a palace with all the dangers of one. Friendly ties matter very, very little here." He looked over to Queen, but didn't point out the example. It was probably too early still to mention that one palace where he'd betrayed them, ha ha. Was he making things any better? Who knows. What he did know was that he wasn't quite ready to put his life on the line just get on someone's sentimental side. "As Oracle said, we have the element of surprise at our advantage. Let us not waste it."
     
  11. Shiho Suzui

    Shiho Suzui Persona

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    Shiho sighed. Stepping forward to the gate, she raised her fist to knock, before pausing. Now they were arguing over the best decision, the best course of action. She could hear the barely disguised exasperation, the barely disguised derision. She sighed again, turning around. It was a slightly painful movement, annoyingly unnatural, and she winced as she did so. "I don't care what we do," Shiho said, and her voice was low, and angry. "But the person I love like a brother is in there, so we can't afford to stand around debating."

    She looked around, and up at the fort. "Why don't Ren and I knock?" she suggested. "We're the closest to him... I think. He wouldn't hurt me. I know that, down to my core. The rest of you can use the distraction to sneak around." She wasn't being entirely altruistic here, Shiho knew. Crutches were not good for sneaking, and her legs were already sore. But also, if Yuu-kun stood a chance, they had to move now.
     
  12. Makoto Niijima

    Makoto Niijima Persona

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    The group was evenly split, trying to decide on the front entrance or staying in cover and working their way in from the side path, away from the spotlights. Makoto was extremely wary of letting Shiho walk up to the gate completely unarmed, but she also wasn't about to position herself for or against anything at this point. She didn't move to stop Shiho from approaching, but she did wince at the new plan being offered. Letting Joker open the gate too was...risky. He wasn't at full strength either. But he was leading and she was supposed to back his decisions up and that was how things worked for now. And Shiho was upset and making her even more upset by rejecting this strategy felt like it personally wasn't an option. Makoto decided to stare at the ground instead of at anyone in particular.

    "...We could do that." She, Futaba, and Goro could use the gate as a distraction and try to enter through the passage to map out some of the interior better. But how would Joker and Shiho escape? She almost volunteered to stay here in case they needed help retreating, but then realized that her own presence would possibly aggravate the entire situation and someone would get even more hurt. "Can you show us the side passage, Oracle?"
     
  13. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
    Joker

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    Joker's eyes dropped in idle irritation as the group split into an argument about the tactic. He understood why they were concerned, he understood the risks, he understood why it was a bad idea. But honestly...he was just tired. Tired of things happening, tired of always having to fight for just a moment of peace. Even then there wasn't any left, was there?

    A trial that would end it all not far off.
    And he couldn't even enjoy what time he had because Mishima was gone.
    Because of him.
    Because of Queen.

    None of this would have happened if they just were able to talk things out. If they could have just had a rational conversation instead of what happened in early January. He blamed himself for that, more than Queen. If he had just listened, looked...he would have noticed the signs.

    But he hadn't.

    "Go," his voice low, annoyed, "Queen, Crow, Oracle; you take the side passage. I'll keep her safe," he made eye-contact with Shiho, and offered a nod.

    Walking over to Shiho's side, he took a deep breath, "We'll knock as soon as they're out of range."
     
  14. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Ren was definitely not happy with any of this and his annoyance was clear enough. She shouldn't have said anything at all, should she? It wasn't her place. Maybe she'd forgotten too much about being a Phantom Thief while she'd been here; forgotten what her place on the team was, stretched herself too far. He was their leader for a reason, right? Trusting him to know what was best was one of her duties as a member of the team and maybe if she did this part right he'd forgive her later.

    Inside the dome she sighed and nodded, though nothing showed through on Prometheus's exterior. "Alright Joker. Sorry," she replied, rising from the spot she'd taken in front of the door and starting back over toward the secret passage she'd told them about, pausing before getting there to wait for Makoto and Akechi to catch up to her. This wouldn't be hard, and the passage was small but obscured with boxes and the lights there were as obvious as anything. True, she was still wary about it, and who knew what else was hiding in that space too- but she could keep an eye out with her scans and warn them ahead of time.

    She needed to put her mistake out of her mind for now and concentrate on what Joker wanted Oracle to do for the sake of the mission. The mapping process began in earnest, popping up on her panel, so she could direct them through the passage.
     
  15. Shiho Suzui

    Shiho Suzui Persona

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    Shiho nodded back to Ren. She watched out of the corner of her eye as the others vanished into the passage, and then, raising her hand, knocked three times on the fort's doors.
     
  16. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    crow tagged with the tunnel group. if joker believed that he would be fine confronting the wild heart of the palace, accompanied only by one other person, crow had to believe he knew what he was doing. because to believe that joker was instead acting on irrational grounds would reflect the image of someone un-leader-like, which crow knew joker not to be. this was the very mastermind who took him down, after all; it would be an insult to fail the crow now.

    well, he wasnt about to ask anything to his circumstancial partners. crow had no sentimental preoccupancies here. "do you sense any enemies in range, oracle?" contrary to his asking, he didnt doubt her abilities at all. he knew she would speak up if she did see enemies. however, he needed her checked and focused, in case what happened back there accumulated a distracting amount of awkwardness between the group members.
     
    #16 Goro Akechi, Apr 10, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  17. Yuuki Mishima

    Yuuki Mishima Persona
    #1 Phanboy

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    The searchlights stopped abruptly in their scanning over the side entryway, allowing the side group to pass laughably easily.

    The doors creaked and ached with a sound that was ungreased hinges, but resembled more of a scream. They swung outward to a semicircle of Shadow guards, all with weapons trained on the two figures at the front door. Floodlights illuminated the two and wiped the silhouettes from detailed view.

    One soldier stepped forwards, and as the floodlights relaxed, his form, visible, was the Shadow. Yuuki Mishima in face and form, dressed full out in army regalia, yellow eyes hard and cold, and... Confused.

    "Why are you two out here?"
     
  18. Shiho Suzui

    Shiho Suzui Persona

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    Shiho moved to cover her ears as the door screamed open, then realised that she couldn't. Not without dropping her crutches, which would be a problem. So she simply recoiled slightly, from the noise, and then even more from the weapons that were pointed at her face. She breathed in, deeply, scared for her life but refusing to back down. Yuu-kun was at stake here. His life, his...mind. And she had demanded to come, and she wouldn't back down now, wouldn't let him, let them, down.

    She refused.

    Then Yuu-kun appeared, and she wanted to run, to hug him, cry out in relief that he was here, hale and whole. Except it wasn't him. She could see it in the cold, detached, yellow eyes, the uniform that he wore, the way he held himself, so certain and proud. None of that was like Yuu-kun. This... this was his Shadow. Shiho took a single step forward, mustering up an excuse. "Ren and I... were just going for a walk. I was starting to feel claustrophobic, and he offered to escort me around, so I wouldn't get lost."

    Did that sound believable?

    Hopefully it sounded believable.