A Lesson In Sharing

Another nightmare. This one's ... trains versus planes? And a corrupted Dream Defender!

Date: 2017-04-08
Pose Count: 25
Ariel Theodore 2017-04-08 19:17:14 74547
    There wasn't much of a warning. It just sort of happened. Somewhere, a young girl tosses in her bed. Face scrunched in distress, sheets rumpling, a pillow goes flying and knocks over a small toy train off its tracks as it chugs along. She is not having a good night.
    In haste, Ariel grabbed the first three people she could even come across, in the night on such short notice. Needless to say she was relieved one was Seishi; Lacrima also being right there on her list of people she can count on was a nice bonuse; the other, Ikiko, by all accounts she had heard as reliable as well.
    There was probably much apologizing on just showing up with no warning in her dream and asking for help.
    Nevertheless, on to the nightmare.
    Everyone is dumped out onto the top of a moving train. The sky is bright blue and... Clearly fake. So is the train, actually, as it would seem to be a gigantic toy train chugging along, and the sky is actually a cieling painted with puffy clouds.
    It's like something out of Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
    Ariel's ears prick up while the giant toy choo-choo blows a shrill whistle and keeps on going like nothing is wrong.
Lacrima 2017-04-08 19:27:11 74548
Ariel comes into Lacrima's dream. There is smoke and fire and unpleasant things going on as an old Spanish village burns. There are other less pleasant things going on. Screaming and crying. All Lacrima can do is watch. She can't interact with her dreams. These are not technically hers. An imprint of the being who wielded her power before. She blinks when Ariel appears. This is the kind of thing she's been trying to keep Ariel from experiencing. Still. Ariel needs help. She's MORE than happy to leave this dream and follow Ariel to....

She's on top of a train. She looks to the sky. Which is a ceiling. She looks back down to the train. Are they on top of a toy train? She frowns a bit as her eyes begin scanning around. Nothing yet. Unless the train is the danger. "Mmhmmmph." she says, as she tries to extend a hand out to try to detect anything in the area that's 'dark'. It's something that at least Ariel and Seishi have seen her do once before. "Do you know what's going wrong here, Ar----" the train makes a loud whistle as she winces.

"-- Ariel." she says after it's done whistling.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-04-08 19:29:15 74549
Well, it's not like this is the first time Ikiko's been Tsukiko in a dreamlike state; there was the night she first put on the Lycan Locket, after all.

This just happens to be the first time it's been an actual dream instead of "this is so unbelievable that it has to be a dream."

Still, when the unicorn girl asked for help, the wolfgirl was glad to come along. After landing on the train, Tsukiko looks around. "So this is what it's like to be in an actual dreamscape," she murmurs, slightly tense as she warily looks for trouble.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-04-08 19:34:29 74550
At this point it's almost become commonplace for Seishi to find herself pulled into a nightmare in her sleep. Nobody could tell it to look at her at the moment, though. Automatically in the form of the red samurai, Akashimaru crouches atop the train in a defensive stance, tessen in hand, blinking at the colorful surroundings while her ponytail and sleeves whip in the wind.

"...actually," she comments aside to Ikiko, "this is kind of a new one for me."

The cheery appearance of the place is likely deceptive, but even so, nothing seems to be attacking right away. Straightening, she looks toward Ariel. "Are you all right?"
Ariel Theodore 2017-04-08 19:47:13 74551
    Well that sure was a way to find Lacrima. It was a bit stunning for Ariel. She had never seen such atrocities in other nightmares, and the young Noble's dream caught her wholly flat footed when she barged in. She's already looking a little shaken.
    "I'm fine." She manages to reply to Seishi. But it's clear she's putting on a bit of a strong face after that. There are more important things at hand.
    Because bearing in from the right side of the train, Lacrima should feel something dark on approach. "There are a lot of kinds of dreams." She murmurs to Ikiko. "This girl is young but she really likes trains so I guess that might explain it?"
    What is NOT explained is how the 'sky' darkens. And zooming in through the air is... An airplane. It's a sleek black jet, screaming across the sky at top speeds. It has shark teeth painted on it and is flanked by two other similar dark jets in formation, already on course for the train.
    In a heartbeat Ariel hops on Lucky's back and readies herself as she points for the nightmare planes on approach.
    "That's what's wrong."
Seishi Tamashige 2017-04-08 19:53:47 74552
Akashimaru's response is immediate. As her head lifts toward the nightmare jets, the shinken flashes red in her hand, spreading outwards into the arc of a bow.

Her fingers hook in the air and a red string shimmers into being. A heavy black arrow settles against it from nowhere as she draws it back, training the point upwards - it's the picture of futility, a bow and arrow against a formation of fighter jets, but it's with no hesitation whatsoever that Akashimaru draws back as far as the string will go - and then lets loose.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-04-08 20:02:20 74553
Cute Wolf Tsukiko narrows her eyes at the approaching planes. "Yeah, those really look out of place," she agrees. Glancing over at Akashimaru's archer stance, the wolfgirl takes a few steps back, then runs forward and leaps as high as she can, aiming to land on one of the jets. Probably not the safest move, but it gets her within range of her main combat style.

Besides, with Lacrima fighting on her side, her Howl might cause more problems than it'd solve.
Lacrima 2017-04-08 20:04:10 74554
Lacrima lowers her hand. "There's something here." she says before the jets appear. "Even if it may not be evi----" and then suddenly there are fighter jets. Fighter jets give her pause a moment. She remembers there was jets in the last place they were. Are these connected. Probably. They had to leave that boy with that 'Prince'. And the prince alluded to some sort of brainwashing or control.

She frowns a bit as she holds out a small black crystal, which spins and then rockets off into the sky towards one of the 'main jet's' wingmen. It'll explode into a crystalline blast if it connects, or gets close enough.

She looks over to. Ikiko and blinks. "Oh. Ikiko-chan." she says. "Hello." she says. She wants to ask how Ayana is. But. Not the time or place.
Ariel Theodore 2017-04-08 20:12:26 74555
    It looks futile. In the real world it would be laughable. But in a dream a lot more is possible as Akashimaru looses her arrow. The jets scream in, unwavering on their course until she fires, two swerving aside at breakneck speed, while the arrow slams home into the third. Stabbing into one of the powerful under-wing turbines it bursts into black flame, making it veer wildly.
    Which actually puts it at a great disadvantage when Tsukiko lands upon it. It swerves and sways, trying to shake the magical wolf-girl off, but can bring none of its weapons to bear.
    Not like the other two. Though the flight leader returns to course, the other wingman now has to contend with the exploding crystal, resulting in a spiralling barrel spin as it loses altitude fast. It doesn't get shot down completely though, pulling up at the last second for all three to unleash a hail of...
    Those are nerf darts.
    But they are missile sized nerf darts, each trailing inky blackness behind them as they provide cover for the flight leader. A look of concentration on Ariel's face sprouts a layer of shielding around the train, but some of the darts do bypass this as the flight leader... Lands his jet on top of the train.
    There's a ratcheting sound, plastic clicking on plastic as it transforms from from plane to... A mecha. A toy mecha. And the pilot indeed looks familiar, save for the snarling leer plastered on his face as gatlings cannons start trying to belt everyone at close range with those dark nerf darts. It's the Dream Defender that the Prince had captured before.
Lacrima 2017-04-08 20:22:35 74556
Lacrima frowns. She doesn't feel a pit in her stomach when her internal logic seems correct but there isn't much she can do here. She could try many things, but the Prince would be too powerful for her to try to 'assume direct control' here. There's no trying to get into that pilot's mind right now. Though. A transforming jet that is also a mecha is pretty cool. Even by her standards.

She raises her hand and throws a bolt of dark energy- not terrible strong- she's trying to gauge this things reaction to it first. The black bolt with a twingle of purple aura flies out.

She looks to Akashimaru. "Do you think we can disable it somehow? You're very accurate with that bow." she says. "This is a dream. But maybe hindering the things movement will help." she offers.

She looks to Ariel as she projects a shield. Lacrima can't project shields that'd help. She feels bad she can't help with this.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-04-08 20:24:45 74557
Akashimaru's bow bursts in a flurry of red sparks, reverting to a tessen in her grasp. She snaps the metal fan open with a flick of her wrist, and as the nerf missiles streak towards them she steps forward to sweep the Shinken in a broad arc before her. "San-kyo-sen!"

A gust of wind that is more than wind surges out from the motion, battering at the dark nerf darts that make it past Ariel's shield, blunting their trajectories.

Her mouth tightens as she faces the corrupted pilot in his toy mecha. She remembers the fallen Dream Defender that they had to leave behind at the castle, too.

"I'm sorry we couldn't help before," she says in a clipped tone. "But we're here to help you now."

Lacrima's suggestion draws her gaze to slant that way. "I can try," she says. A quick flick of her wrist snaps the tessen closed, and as the curve of the bow once more shimmers into being, her dark eyes fix on the mecha again. "Looks like we're gonna have to get a little rough."

Eyes searching for gaps in the toy mecha's joints, she draws back the scarlet bowstring and takes aim.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-04-08 20:31:47 74558
While the clawtips on Tsukiko's gloves are only as pointy as those of a wolf, they do help with keeping a fingertip grip on the flailing plane, especially in conjunction with dream-logic. When the plane steadies to make its attack run, the wolfgirl starts kicking at any joints or flaps that are within reach, trying to hinder its flight.

She stares a bit at the transformed mecha, then redoubles her attack. "Well, if you're anything like that one... then I should be aiming here!" Tsukiko growls, focusing her strikes at what would be the mecha-form's joints.
Ariel Theodore 2017-04-08 20:43:31 74559
    Things are getting very rough. Between the mecha on the train, and the two damaged planes, they still have their speed working for them. To a degree, anyway.
    Ikiko is subjected to a SUDDEN BARREL ROLL in one last ditch attempt to get her off, before she goes for the joints. It was a good call, when she puts her foot through a weak section of plastic that makes a terrible sounding CRACK before it detaches a wing entirely.
    Before it was trying on purpose to dislodge her. Now she might just want to get away before it can crash for real because that IS what's going to happen in a moment.
    This leaves the flight leader and one wingman- Ariel starting to look strained as she fends off the second jet's recurring nerf barrage while Lacrima and Akashimaru focus on the mech-pilot. Though the blast of dark energy punches a dent, warping the plastic armor, it starts to back away along the train; pointedly scowling to Seishi- especially as her next arrow catches it; resulting in a slowed limping gait while he...
    He's not trying to get away.
    "He's going for the conductor car! Stop him!" Ariel squeaks.
Lacrima 2017-04-08 20:58:33 74560
Lacrima watches as her attack has /effect/. This causes her to just smirk. Just a little. Not a smile of course. She raises her hand now as she summons up a stronger bit of dark energy, building it up in her palm. She throws the ball of energy into the ground as she waves her hands over it.

Awful looking dark tentacles explode out of dark holes that explode out around the mecha, trying to wrap around limbs--- legs or arms. She's trying to set him up for Akashimaru and Ikiko. She keeps her hands out to either side, feeding this effect energy, trying to keep the tentacles strong and solid.

She doesn't want to hurt this specific person. Maybe they can rescue him. Or maybe they can at least take him out of here and somewhere else.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-04-08 21:00:09 74561
"Oh no you don't," Akashimaru growls. She's already drawing back the bowstring again, another arrow materializing in place; with narrowed eyes, she takes aim for the joint of the mecha's other leg and fires.

As soon as the arrow flies out, the bow dissolves back into a tessen and Akashimaru is lunging into motion, charging across the traintop toward the mecha. "Come, the strength that shatters iron--"

As the distance closes, she springs, Shinken trailing an arc of red light. "--Sankonsen!"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-04-08 21:08:34 74562
The roll is hard to keep a grip in, but putting a foot through the weak plastic helps keep Tsukiko stable -- until the wing falls off.

At least the plane isn't rolling as fast now!

The attacks the others are delivering are focused enough that the wolfgirl leaves the mecha to them, and so she leaps to the remaining wingman. "No more dart barrages for you!" she shouts, landing with a mighty kick to some of the weaker joints that she had noticed while pummeling the first wingman.
Ariel Theodore 2017-04-08 21:26:18 74563
    Ikiko's jet is no more, as she takes the leap to the next, the first of the wingmen goes spiralling wildly out of control, crashing into the ground with a small explosion of dark smoke. The last anyone sees of it is a broken toy plane as the train chugs along. This leaves the wolf-girl atop the second- and though she cracks into the plastic plating it suddenly swerves upside down-- and stays that way.
    Meanwhile, back on the train, the plane-mecha was already limping, ratchety plastic gears making a nasty crack and creaking series of sounds.
    The wings swivel up- revealing much LARGER cannons in a last ditch attempt as the evil infused toy launches a large pair of dark charged foam balls.
    Ever been shot by a nerf ballzooka? It's... Well it's not that bad. Except when the ammo is roiling wit the wispy dark stuff that Nightmares are made from.
    But the plane-mech was already terribly damaged. And it can take almost no more when slammed with a return fire of dark energy and Akashimaru launching herself into action, tessen in hand... Everything seems to stop for a moment as she lands behind it.
    And then the mecha splits neatly in two, the top hald sliding smoothly off the bottom. At least before the cockpit opens and the scowling pilot is launched from the ejector seat- parachute already bringing him down slowly. He unbuckles himself and lets himself fall the rest of the way, landing atop the train, still up for a fight. He's dressed somewhere between a pilot and an dventurer.
    And there is a whip in his hand.
Lacrima 2017-04-08 21:31:39 74564
Lacrima watches as dark horrible tentacles hold onto plane parts as it's ripped in two. They drop the parts and then dissipate into nothing. That job is done. Lacrima then spreads her hands out to either side and draws up a cloak of dark energy around her. She obscures herself. Though. You can still hear her.

"If you're going to do it now. Don't worry about me." she offers.

This isn't her wheelhouse. This is Ikiko's wheelhouse. She's not sure about Akashimaru-- but she's not going to let herself be a hindrance in purification and/or 'positive energy' applications- which is probably neded right now.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-04-08 21:39:39 74565
To tell the truth, Akashimaru isn't sure herself if she has the power to bring back the Dream Defender from whatever it is the nightmare prince did to him. But she knows without a doubt that they have to try.

She hears Lacrima's words and her head dips in reply, a brief nod of acknowledgment and respect before she turns fully to face off with the pilot.

"Listen to me!" Her voice rings out over the plastic rattling of the train, clear and urgent. "This is not what you are meant for. Remember! You are a guardian of dreams - you fight against the nightmares, not for them!"

She flourishes the Shinken in her hand, snapping the fan-blade open again. Dawn-red light gathers and glimmers along its slats. "Come, the wind that blows away deception--"

As she did when the nerf darts were hailing onto them, she swings the iron fan out before her, barraging the pilot with a flurry of driving wind. "--San-kyo-sen!"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-04-08 21:45:35 74566
The cracks Tsukiko put into the plastic plating of the remaining plane might not have been enough to disable it, but it certainly provides her with a handhold when the plane tries using gravity to drop her! Unfortunately, it also doesn't give her much leverage to continue attacking.

She hears Lacrima's comment, then sizes up the situation. She can't get a running start for a precise attack, and the foes give no hints as to exact feelings they're attacking, so she can't directly counter them.

But this is a dream realm, and there are ways of bolstering that.

Taking a deep breath, the wolfgirl starts a melodic howl, wordlessly singing a lullaby. The feeling that it carries is general, but clear: you are safe, rest well, and may you find happiness in dreams.
Ariel Theodore 2017-04-08 22:10:19 74567
    The plane is handled but that pilot doens't look like he wants to back down. Already cracking the whip in his hand like some kind of action hero, the maddened look of rage does not lend itself well to what he was supposed to be at one point. To some boy, at one point, this dashing man protected his dreams. Now here he is, twisted into a corrupted shade of what he once was.
    And now he's readying to throw himself into an almost suicidal attack. It doesn't happen though. His charge is halted- even reversed as the tessen's wind buffets him back, forestalling any assault he might have, for Tsukiko to howl.
    He tries again, but his steps grow labored. Weary as he staggers; the wolfish lullaby making him wobble. Before he collapses to the top of the train. The train that chugs along as though no grand battle had occurred atop it. The train that represented all of a girl's love for all things locomotion.
    Ariel sighs, hopping off Lucky and scooting to knees beside the fallen Dream Defender, to check up on him. "I think it's over." She murmurs.
    And she's right. This dream has been saved. For now.
Lacrima 2017-04-08 22:23:19 74568
Lacrima sits in her protective little dark energy bunker as she lets the pleasant tune get absorbed by the walls. Which seem to twist and turn in protest. When it's all done, Lacrima drops the shield as she sighs a bit and looks around. "We're done." she says.

"....we should go then. I'm not sure being here whenever they wake up is a good idea." she offers. "I think." she says. Given Ariel's last issue with it.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-04-08 22:29:23 74569
Akashimaru holds her stance a little longer, but it's clear that the battle is over. Slowly, she straightens, lowering her weapon as she looks to the sleeping Dream Defender and her allies.

"...You're probably right," she agrees with Lacrima. "I don't think there's much else that we can do here. Hopefully it'll be okay now."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-04-08 22:43:24 74570
When the upside-down plane passes over the train, Tsukiko drops down to land among the others. "If she thinks it's okay, then it's probably okay," the wolfgirl agrees, nodding to the unicorn girl. "Now, this is my first time in an actual dream realm, so, uh..."

"She looks around at the others, then grins sheepishly. "How do we get out?"
Seishi Tamashige 2017-04-08 22:45:35 74571
For the first time since they arrived in this dream, a smile flickers across Akashimaru's face. "Ariel and I can guide you." A beat; her smile turns slightly sheepish. "Mostly Ariel. But don't worry, we'll get you safely back to your own dream."

She slides her folded tessen into its place tucked into her belt, and then her eyes turn toward the unicorn girl. "When you're ready?"