Snakes and Stones


The sandaconda don't want none unless you got... earth powers, apparently.

Date: 2018-11-01
Pose Count: 41
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 00:38:15 99520
    'hey rashmi, call lacrima, we got another one. not hunting me this time, think its after someone else. couple blocks south of that big yakuza halloween thing, ill be on rooftops'

    True to her word, when Rashmi and Lacrima arrive, Kokoro is leaping across the rooftops of some of the taller buildings around, skirting an alleyway and seemingly following... something, that's down there at street level. Of course, it's not difficult to guess what, for those two. The unnatural stillness will seem quite familiar.

    It's an eerie, unsettling sort of stillness in the ambient magic. Like a normal, cool night in the woods, where the wind suddenly dies and all the animals go silent. Stillness like this is not normal, not in the least, and the closer one gets to Kokoro's location - or specifically, the alleyway below her location - the more disturbingly calm and quiet the atmosphere grows.

    Dengeki Shoujo, for her part, is occasionally glancing here and there, as if to try and figure out who her quarry might be hunting. But for right now, it's sticking to the alleyways and not moving much, so she doesn't have a lot to go on...
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-01 00:43:54 99522
And of course Lacrima is pinged as soon as Rashmi takes flight; one of the benefits of having friends with similar alien computers to your own; texting is a breeze when you just have to think the message and the recipient.

<< Lacchan, Kokoro says she found 'another one?' But hunting someone else now? Ping Nico for our location. >>

It's not long before Dengeki can spot a flittering golden dot in the distance, rapidly growing closer until Rashmi drops lightly to the rooftop, sun-colored wings fluttering at her back and ankles. "So wait," she says after a moment, following the line of Dengeki's sight. "There've been more since that first one that found you?"
Lacrima 2018-11-01 00:53:18 99528
< Wait, it's going for someone else this time? That's new behavior. Keep track. > relates Lacrima to Rashmi via Paige's comm line. She pushes away from the couch she was watching the 'Hammer' version of Dracula on and disappears into a puff of black mist. Before reappearing somewhere on a rooftop in the area. She isn't close enough to call out, but she can sense Dengeki over there somewhere. So she makes another misty black dusk step closer and is in her usual fancy purple dress.

"There was one a month or so back. I got samples. As far as I can figure out, they're extra-planar." she says. She frowns and looks down into an alley. "Rashmi-chan can you do a wide area search?" she asks. "These things potentially have a contagion of some sort attached." the vampire says as she sighs and shakes her head.

"Here..." she has Paige transmit the data she has on these things thus far. < Beep! >
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-01 00:58:13 99531
Who could that strange, unnatural stillness be after, anyway? It's not like those things just attack at random, right? ...right?

While a bunch of men in suits and masks hand out candy to local kids, and another in a sharp suit and feline facepaint is offering to help add a special artistic touch to any who want it, there's another figure darting along the rooftops nearby. Even with the lights of the city, it's hard to even notice, shrouded in a dark blue cloak and hood.

After leaping over an alleyway, the cloaked figure comes to rest on the edge of a rooftop, peering down into the shadows and murmuring softly to herself, "This could not have waited until tomorrow, could it? It had to be tonight..." She grumbles softly as she tosses a few... somethings? down into the alley below, where they land with soft clatters.

But who could this mysterious cloaked figure be?
Miho Kagami 2018-11-01 01:01:30 99532
Miho is currently a witch!

She's wearing a cheapo black witch hat, a black sweatshirt, a black skirt, and black pants. Somehow, they're all obviously different shades of black, and thus somehow manage to look mismatched. She was cheerfully going for a walk, just a bit of exploration in the city ...

... and, well, hmm. She frowns as she feels the unnatural stillness. This doesn't seem like the usual sort of threat, but it's certainly pinged her curiosity.

And then she catches sight of Rashmi, flying through the sky. "Hmm ..." She turns to cross the street and hopefully find a convenient alley to transform in, but then she whirls around at the sound of clattering in another alleyway nearby. She frowns, and heads over to investigate that sound instead.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 01:11:28 99535
    Nicomachea's search returns a simple enough result - the unnatural magical stillness doesn't seem to be spreading any, and it's definitely centered on the creature below. When the search passes over it, there's a brief shifting and roiling in the alleyway shadows, but it doesn't move to flee or attack.

    "It was a gorilla," Kokoro adds to what Lacrima's already explained. "I think this one's a snake. Almost didn't notice it, but I got lucky, glanced down an alleyway at just the right moment. It moves like it's hunting something, waiting for something. Noticed me pretty quick, looked like it couldn't decide which way to go, but then kept on-"

    There's a sudden, very soft rustle of sand from within the alleyway. A long, winding serpentine shape moves as if it's tracking something, its head following the cloaked figure's movements even if its line of sight is blocked. Kokoro's grip on her hammer tenses, a little arc passes across her hand. "I'm hitting it before it takes off running!"

    Aaand down she goes, leaping right off the rooftop and down into the alleyway. WHUD.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-01 01:17:28 99536
*bing!* << TIME-SPACE BARRIER >>

By now, Rashmi knows exactly what's going to happen when Dengeki Shoujo steps off a rooftop. And by the time she lands, the sky has gone from clear and dark to a roiling green-gray that washes some of the color out of the ambient light. Also much more obviously dome-like than the night sky usually is...

*bing!* << TELEPATHY >>

With only two people to connect to, and one already owning a Device, the spell is a good deal simpler, and one that Nicomachea can throw off fairly easily. << So I think the stillness is an enchantment, >> she says in the minds of Lacrima and Kokoro. << It's definitely doing its job, just... guess it didn't count on Kokochan. See if we can contain it, so I can get a closer look at it? >>
Lacrima 2018-11-01 01:24:27 99538
"Ack...! Dengeki-chan wa---!" says Lacrima as she sighs miserably. Muttering something dumb... punchy-slash-hammering... strong.. silent types. Kokoro and fricken Alexis-niisan BOTH! ARGH! She shifts into her shadowy form as she slinks down into a puddle of ichor and the puddle slides across the rooftop and down the wall into the alley.

<< Yes. >> says Lacrima over the telepathy spell.

<< Right. I want a more live sand sample. >> she says in agreement with Rashmi-chan. She sighs a bit and takes a deep breath.

<< I wonder who it's trying to hunt. >> she says off handedly. << These things don't respond to me well. Or at all. So. I'm not gonna be good for catching it's attention. At least thus far. >>
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-01 01:26:44 99539
The cloaked figure slowly reaches a hand out over the edge of the roof, watching the thing's head moving toward her direction. Whatever she threw down has stopped clattering and just lies there still, as she waits for the serpentine creature to get closer. "Only a bit more..."

And then her concentration is interrupted by an unexpected loud noise. "...wa~!" She wheels her arms back, grabbing hold of the edge of the roof, and stares down into the alley from under her hood. Just what's going on here and... "Mmm?" She glances up slightly, taking note of the change in the lights. "Some sort of strange barrier? Fine then..."

With another soft muttering, the cloaked figure glances over the edge of the rooftop into the alleyway again, and lifts her hand. She counts one... two... and then snaps her fingers.

On the ground near Kokoro, a stray pebble begins to clatter and shake... and then suddenly erupts into a spire of stone, jutting toward the silent snake creature.
Miho Kagami 2018-11-01 01:35:30 99542
Miho blinks as she catches sight of the cloaked figure, and frowns. Is this the cause of this strange stillness? A potential ally?

Her musings are interrupted by the sudden barrier. "Yep, time to go and get the fun stuff going!" Miho mutters in her kind of scratchy and somewhat androgynous voice. She rushes into the next alley over, and thrusts her right skyward in more-or-less the Saturday Night Fever pose. "Life Blessing --"

Hang on a tick.

She takes off her hat, then resumes the pose. "Life Blessing, Wake Up!"

And then a moment later, Life Mahou Joy flies out! Except she's ... also wearing a cheapo witch hat, with her usual heart-emblem-hair-ribbon tied around it.

She comes to a sudden halt in midair at the sight of the stone erupting from the ground. "Ohhhhh boy!" she say, in a clear and bright voice which only slightly sounds like her voice out-of-henshin. Is Hulda Raskoph here!? She sees Rashmi and Lacrima, and hurriedly boosts towards them, surrounded by an attention-grabbing corona of green light.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 01:40:27 99543
    As flickers of lightning dance along Kokoro's hammer and forearm, they illuminate what turns out to indeed be a large snake, made entirely out of sand. And while it may have chosen not to hunt her before, now she's right in front of it, and showing threat besides. It winds and shifts upwards, drawing up to an intimidating height, and then starts to coil and shift in agitated confusion; the sudden appearance of a barrier seems to have upset it, or at least put it on edge. There's even a very brief moment where it seems to be looking right at Lacrima.

    "Oi, don't get distracted, your prey's right here you big- WHOA-!"

    Dengeki Shoujo has sharp combat instincts, and when those instincts scream to back up, she does. It's a half step back, just far enough to give the stone spike a healthy, respectful distance in which to work. The granite spire jabs right through the sandy serpent's body, and while it utters no noise other than the soft shifting of sand, the way it writhes away, and the way the deep wound is slow to reform, give away that the attack definitely hurt.

    "-the hell...?" the redhead growls. But there's no time to worry about it - while the sand snake is off its balance, she lunges right in, heaving her hammer around to swing a fierce, crackling blow.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-01 01:50:37 99546
Up on the rooftop, a half-dozen 'screens' have popped into being above the open book. As Miho makes her entrance, she steps off the edge of the roof, flittering above the alleyway... and perhaps a little too conveniently above the sand-snake. "Okay," she says out loud. "Joy-chan, we need to contain this thing at least for a little bit. I want to know more about what this stupid thing even is, and the more we know the more we can do to stop them!"
Lacrima 2018-11-01 01:57:48 99548
Lacrima forms back up into a mostly solid black shadowy form as she has the same reaction Miho does when she sees the Earth spike shoot up through the ground. "....Hulda!?" she sputters she looks around and frowns. Okay she's more on edge- but doubts that this is Hulda. There's no reason for her to go after Kokoro-- and 'sand creatures' aren't her style- those weird youma bots we're. These are not those.

She chases along after Kokoro, before looking upwards wait is someone up there? She just shakes her head and goes back to the creature. She raises her hand and a bolt of dark energy blasts past Dengeki to try to smash into the creature as she huffs.

<< I don't think this is Hulda. For the record. But... be on the look out just in case. >> she adds.

<< Joy-chan. Careful with the purification abilities please. If it's going to be a problem in this tight an area let me know. >>
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-01 02:09:22 99553
That seemed to work pretty well, even if it wasn't expected by the others. It was effective enough against the creature, anyway. But as more people show up, the cloaked figure lets out a soft 'tch' of annoyance. There's no way she can trigger the rest of her spires with so many around, especially down there.

Taking a moment to breathe and close her eyes, she reaches beneath her cloak and draws out a small handle, which soon extends out into a bow. She stands up on the edge of the roof and pulls her hood back, revealing.... that she's wearing a mask. A fancy one with a feather on it, and some glitter. Probably a Halloween mask! The rest of the cloak stays around her, though, as she reaches for the bowstring and pulls it back, and a shimmering black arrow forms as she draws the bow. "I did not expect this alleyway to become so active so quickly! Please do not panic or startle this creature..." She narrows her eyes slightly, sighting down the bow.. and releases the arrow.

It flies toward the serpentine sand creature, but instead of piercing, the black arrow merely sticks in place... though it soon begins to radiate a soft, calming sensation in a small radius around it.
Miho Kagami 2018-11-01 02:18:26 99561
Miho stops a safe distance away from the whole 'directly over its head' business. "Okay," she says in response to Rashmi's suggestion. "I have literally never done that kind of thing before ... hmm." She looks back down at the monster, a thoughtful expression on her face as she starts thoroughly considering how to do this.

She summons her sapphire-heart-wand in her left hand, and tosses it into the air and catches it with her right. <<No worries, Lacchan! I'm I'm gonna try boxing it in -- huh?>> She blinks in surprise at the sudden arrival of the masked mahou. Okay, apparently not Hulda! "Well, Tokyo's just lousy with magical girls, y'know?" she calls out to her, gesturing with her wand.

She peers down at the arrow and its calming energy. "... Well, that's interesting," she says.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 02:25:21 99562
    The hammer blow from Kokoro catches the serpent in the side of the head, with a hefty thud and a soft crackle, and it recoils from the blow enough to put it right in Lacrima's crosshairs. The blast of dark energy hits it in the side, opening up another injury. The sand beast coils in on itself a little, as if preparing for another strike- until the mystery figure shows herself on the rooftop.

    Boy, does the newcomer have its undivided attention now. It writhes to one side, then the other, as if trying to find a way to lunge around Dengeki Shoujo and reach the girl on the roof- until an arrow smacks right into the side of its heat, clings in place, and begins to emit... a strange, calming aura.

    The downside is that this does not seem to have had the intended effect. The snake begins to thrash about in sudden, deep agitation, blindly snapping and lashing at the air, then turning and lunging... for where Kokoro was standing a second ago? She's moved since then, but it can't seem to find her, just blindly lashing out and writhing to protect itself from unseen enemies.

    The towering girl turns to look up at the mystery figure. "The hell'd you do to it?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-01 02:29:48 99565
"What is it?" Rashmi calls from above, flittering down to the mouth of the alley as she peers at the readings scrolling across the screens above her book. "...And hang on, this should work perfectly..."

Beneath her feet, a wide, intricate magical circle spreads, lines and runes and strange geometries traced in golden light, revolving lazily beneath her. The crimson jewel at the center of her book's cover glows, once, a bell-like tone emitting from somewhere in the gem's vicinity.

*bong!* << MANA INVESTIGATION >>

Another circle shimmers into being around the calmed sand-creature, loops of rune-etched ribbons rising and falling as though doing a detailed imaging scan...

...And by the way the information scrolling across multiple magical screens changes, that's more or less exactly what it's doing.
Lacrima 2018-11-01 02:37:06 99566
"Huh...." goes Lacrima when she lowers her hand. "Paige... active mode." she says. < Yes, Mistress! > says the British accented device- in it's bracelet form as it forms into it's more active fingerless glove form. Rashmi is doing her own scan, she raises her hand and does her own scans of the creature. Hers is more quieter, a gentle flash across the gem inset in the palm of the glove as she has Paige try to send a 'pairing' request to Rashmi's device. Her scanners are just a smidge more higher resolution-- trying to supplement what she can pick up.

"It seems to be biting at nothing." she says. "In that one area." she says. She looks to Kokoro and blinks as she looks over to the cloaked figure.

"Yes, what did you do to it?" she says. "These things have been showing up in the past year or so, sporadically." she says. "As far as I can tell they're extra-planar." she adds.
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-01 02:51:01 99571
Well... that wasn't supposed to happen. The cloaked figure frowns slightly as the snake thing just begins thrashing around. "That was supposed to put it to sleep!" A pause. "...or at least pacify it!" She draws her bow again, forming another shimmering black arrow. "It looks more like it can no longer see you."

She glances briefly down to Lacrima. "I do not know where they came from, but I could.... feel it before it got here. And there are too many children just around the corner to let it approach further. I shall not allow it!" Taking aim, she releases another arrow at the creature, with the same calming effect. Maybe two will put it down?
Miho Kagami 2018-11-01 02:55:11 99573
Miho blinks, and floats higher up above the creature! That rampage is certainly kind of distressing, but ...

She nods to the newcomer. "Yeah, if I didn't know better, I'd think this thing had just gone blind!" she says. "And don't worry about bystanders, this kind of barrier filters out people who aren't magic." She looks her over. "Anyway, I'm Life Mahou Joy." She pauses, and fiddles with her cheapo witch hat. "... or, I guess at the moment I'm Life Witch Joy or whatever? But, uh, definitely Life Mahou Joy in general." She shakes her head. "Uh, what's your n... uh, your moniker? Do you have one?"

... She sort of comes to a halt with nervousness about putting her foot in her mouth, and she turns back to Rashmi. "... a-also, there's more of these things? Or ... have been more of these things?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 03:06:27 99576
    Rashmi and Lacrima will find a more concrete version of what Lacrima's initial sampling discovered; it's a creature of elemental earth, more specifically sand. And that strange, unnatural stillness of magic that it radiates seems to be some sort of outside curse or sickness, not native to the creature at all. The effect doesn't seem to be able to find purchase in the world itself, but it's definitely sunk deep into the sand serpent itself, a corruption that's affecting the thing's very essence.

    Kokoro turns to look at the snake again, then back up at the mystery girl. "We," she corrects simply, with a glance towards the alleyway's exit. They're still in a barrier, but there's no way she's letting this thing get anywhere near the Halloween revelry. "I'm Dengeki Shoujo," she adds, prompted by Joy's own introduction to the newcomer. And hey look, she can say it without a faint cringe now. "You ever see one of these things before toni-"

    The first arrow comes loose, and suddenly, the serpent can see. It turns, it looks straight up at the rooftop girl, and it lunges, darting around that second arrow in a high-speed lunge-

    *KRAKTHOOM*

    -only to have its side slammed by a hammer alive with electrical charge. "You ain't goin' nowhe-" Immediately it lunges back around, fangs first. Dengeki Shoujo drops her hammer, and with both hands, manages to catch its jaws; but now they're in stalemate, the tall girl gritting her teeth. "Tch... this thing ain't weak... little help, maybe..."
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-01 03:18:25 99581
The sudden lunge breaks Rashmi's scanning circle, and elicits a startled yelp from the green-and-yellow mahou. "Ack! Talk later fix now!" she cries, flitting back up to rooftop-level, and her book.... answers her, its voice very like that of a literature professor, as intepereted by a badly-programmed Siri.

<< COMMAND INPUT READY, MASTER. >>

"Nicomachea, Sealing Mode! That girl was trying to pacify it, let's try and get it contained!"

<< ACKNOWLEDGED, MASTER, >> the book replies, as a circle spreads out and revolved beneath the girl's feet. << SOLAR SHIELD -- POLARITY SHIFT >>

Not knowing if the creature can feel pain is, sadly, secondary to Dengeki's safety. Which is why the glasslike sheen of light made solid forms just in front of her hands. If it can't break free from the shield, the snake will definitely lose a few inches from the front of its face.

On the other hand, this is not exactly a practiced and optimized spell, so whether the creature breaks free at all is entirely up in the air...
Lacrima 2018-11-01 03:19:08 99582
Lacrima is looking at a feed that's going by in her vision. Sort of like a HUD in lavender. She blinks a little, as she gets a more 'active' version scan of what this thing is affected by. ".....Paige.....!" < Get Set! > goes Paige. There's a lavender flash as Lacrima lets the barrier jacket form around her. Mainly-- this severely dampens her dark energy signature. She's terribly weaker but what's important is the utility...

"C..Chain Bind...!" < Chain Bind! > goes Paige as lavendar portals open up around the creature and purple chains lash out to try to wrap around it's tail.. trying to keep it at bay and stop it from pushing forward towards Kokoro.

"....J--joy! Hit it with purification. I have a theory...!" she says.

She's wincing. God damn, using this takes a lot of concentration. More so than her usual innate power set. "Nrg...---! W--well...!" she says. At least Rashmi's solder shield gives her room for error.
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-01 03:33:06 99583
"My... name?" The cloaked figure pauses for a moment, enough that she's not focused when the serpentine creature lunges up toward her. She lets out a shriek of surprise and stumbles back from the edge of the roof, but thankfully there was a Kokoro in the way! "I... I suppose..." She climbs back up to her feet and glances down at the sand creature. "Answers later, I suppose. Allow me to help for now." The bow retracts, and she tucks it back away... and then takes hold of her cloak and dramatically throws it aside, letting it flutter to the rooftop.

Beneath the cloak is a kunoichi costume, with tights covering her legs because she has too much class for some of these weird costume cuts! Besides, it kept off the night chill. "I... I am..." She pauses for a moment and takes a breath, then stands tall and places a hand on her chest. "You may call me Jishinhime, princess of the land you walk on!" Her hand comes up to her mouth, and she gives a little giggle. "Ohohoho~" It's a bit subdued, at least, because there's work to be done!

Leaping forward from the rooftop, Jishinhime flips midair and comes to land on the back of the thrashing creature. Despite its movements, however, she somehow seems perfectly capable of staying on it, one foot and one hand adhered to its sandy body. "Allow me to help restrain the beast. Earth's Embrace!" The ground in the alleyway rumbles a bit, and two crude hand-shaped protrusions erupt from beneath, grasping hold of the sand creature. With the chains and the shields holding it in place, and Dengeki Shoujo keeping the head busy, Jishinhime takes a moment to concentrate... and the hands begin slowly pulling the beast down, sinking it partway into the ground.
Miho Kagami 2018-11-01 03:39:33 99584
Miho gives Kokoro a thumbs-up, and then recoils as the monster starts rampaging again! "Yeah, okay!" she says. "Uh ..."

She blinks at Lacrima's sudden transformation! "... Oh, right!" she says. She was there when Riventon gave Lacrima the Device. She shoots a smile at Jishinhime. "Nice to have you with us, Jishinhime-san!"

She swoops down on the monster. "Hokay, let's see ... if we don't wanna destroy it just yet ..." She points her wand at the snake. Minty Barrage! Pellets of green light shoot from the wand, mostly mint-green but with a few jade-green mixed in as well. It's still a relatively weak attack ... unless purification is super-effective.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 03:55:40 99585
    One bind, two bind. A shield envelops the snake, chains ensnare it, and Jishinhime comes down atop the creature to entrap it with stone hands. Its form starts to come apart, an attempt to partially dissolve itself and escape, but with so much magical power holding it in place, even that isn't enough. It does at least manage to slip Dengeki Shoujo's grasp, though, and she backs away quickly, snaring her hammer but waiting to see what happens when Joy unloads her Minty Barrage.

    Good heavens, does it ever have an effect.

    The corruptive silence is deep-rooted, but against the purifying power of a specialist, it erodes away. The snake's thrashing redoubles, growing positively panicked. The air around it shimmers, a soft and rippling distortion that seems to be a more concentrated form of that strange silence, before it simply begins to disperse, to fade. As it does, the thrashing slows, becoming less frantic, and more... animal struggling to get free.

    Animal made of sand, struggling to get free, with every movement it makes accompanied by the sound of shifting sand.

    Eventually it gives up on even that, and settles down within all its binds, hissing a soft warning noise.

    Kokoro blinks. "It's... it ain't silent. Huh."
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-01 04:01:04 99586
"Um.... Good to meet you, Jishin-hime..." Rashmi says slowly, audibly puzzled.

And in the back of her mind, the first thought that bubbles up is 'We almost have enough princesses to start a convention. .....How do you theme that?'

Shaking her head, she watches, warily, as the creature begins to settle down. "L-- um. Masquerade-chan? Want to give analyzing another try? ...Pretty sure we'll get something interesting, now it seems like the corruption isn't there anymore..."

She drops down to eye level with the creature, possibly so it doesn't have to feel like there are threats all around, and tilts her head. "It looks.... scared. Um.... Jishin-hime, can you maybe tell us what happened to the poor thing, and, like.... where it's from?"
Lacrima 2018-11-01 04:13:21 99587
Masquerade has a 'little' buffer between her and purification in the barrier jacket, she just flinches a little, and nothing else. She looks uncomfortable but this doesn't feel threating to burn her. She looks to Rashmi. "I know we will. Now that we saw it live. It's clearly like an infection of some sort. These things have a default, 'normal' state and it isn't a silent killer." she says.

She eyes Jishinhime. "...I hope you mean 'earth' as in lower case e... and now 'Earth' as in uppercase E. Because the Uppercase E already has a prince." she says. She raises her hand again to take another scan.

"I'm pretty sure this thing is just an 'animal' but it's in it's right mind now." she says. "Well. Probably scared." she says a little sympathetically. She's studied enough creatures in the Dusk Zone and elsewise to have a weird empathy for 'monsters' like this.

".....I'm not sure what to do with it now though. If we let it go, will it go someplace it won't hurt anyone?" she asks. "I can always contain it in a sample tube but I don't think it'd be happy there with what it is." she says.

"But that explains a contagion at least.. still doesn't tell us where it came from..." she says. "Or why if they're infected they sought out Dengeki-chan..." she says quietly.

She looks to Miho. "Thank you." she says. "For that. By the way." she says. "I mean. Purifying." she says. She'll carefully walk over to the creature and put a hand out carefully. She isn't particularly worried about her hand being bit off. (Mainly she can just regrow it if it does.)

"Hey guy!..." she tries to say. "...I know you're scared. I dunno if you can understand me." she says, trying to keep her motions careful and understated. This is how she deals with other creatures.

Maybe it won't respond to her though..or. Well like mentioned, bite her hand off!
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-01 04:17:09 99588
When the serpentine creature begins to thrash, Jishinhime keeps her hands and feet planted firmly on its back. "Th...that appeared to have worked!" She hopes, anyway!

Once it has settled down somewhat, she carefully rises to her feet and takes a few steps along its back, closer to its head. "Shhh... There, there..." Reaching out, she places a hand as close to its head as she can, giving it a few gentle pets. The giant stone hands holding it begin to radiate the same calming aura as before, as she softly coos to it. "Come now, just rest..."

Glancing up, but never taking her hand off the beast, Jishinhime tilts her head slightly. "I am sure I do not know. It seems more scared than violent right now, though, do you not agree?" She pauses and looks at Masquerade. "Of course I do. Though I was not aware there was a prince here..." For a moment, she looks thoughtful, but then she watches the contact attempt curiously. Her own way of communicating with wild creatures involves pets and soothing voices, though she can't really.... talk to it.
Miho Kagami 2018-11-01 04:28:40 99589
Miho blinks in surprise at that reaction. "What in the world!?" she says. "I didn't even sense any kind of darkness or curse there -- waaait a minute." She frowns, peering down at it. "Okay, yeah, now I sense the curse." She shakes her head. "These things are just plain weird."

She nods to Rashmi, and hums softly, watching Masquerade and Jishinhime attempt to pacify it. "It ... feels ... a little more like other people and animals I've uncursed, as opposed to creatures of pure darkness I've encountered before," she says slowly. "If the curse isn't what's causing it to be alive, I've got a complete curse-removal ability in the Life Blessing ..." She doesn't sound entirely enthusiastic about using it, however. "And, uh, you'd definitely want to stand way back, Masquerade-chan."
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 04:38:29 99590
    And indeed, as Masquerade predicted, it now appears to be nothing more than a beast - a snake, in fact, by the way it coils defensively in on itself. And lashes at anyone who gets too close, hissing angrily. Like Lacrima.

    Scans will be able to determine that it's already completely clean of that shimmering silence, and other than that, it is a simple elemental creature, animated entirely by the earth energies flowing through it. There doesn't appear to be any of the directed magical enchantment that would mark it as something 'created', either.

    But now, now that the eerie silence is gone? Jishinhime's calming effect works. Slowly, steadily, the tension in the creature's form begins to release. It uncoils, just a little, and turns its head (as much as it's able within the bonds) to regard her, with a soft rustle of sand.

    Dengeki Shoujo grunts, bringing her hammer around to rest against the ground and setting her palms on the pommel. "So I was gonna ask, uh... Jishin? You ever seen one of these things before? This is my third one, and the past two were hunting me. I think this one was hunting you."
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-01 04:56:02 99591
As the creature begins to calm, Rashmi gives a nervous look to Masquerade, then Dengeki, then Jishinhime, and takes a deep breath. "Okay.... I'm going to let down my shield. Masquerade, if you think it's under control.... probably want to unchain it. Joy-chan, that was really good work."

Her book chimes, once, and the bubble of golden light-made-glass glows, then shatters into tiny flakes of mana that drift away, gradually eroding into nothingness.
Lacrima 2018-11-01 05:00:10 99592
Lacrima mmphhsss. "It's a natural creature. At least. No one made this thing, it just is." she says. "It's fine now." she says to Miho. "No need to blast it again." she says. "I'll be fine. This thing can't kill me I don't think, unless it suddenly busts forth with a purifying dust cloud. Which seems unlikely." she says quietly.

She looks to Jishinhime. "Good." she says as she stands back up. "My name is La Crima. There's this other name of 'Masquerade'." she says. "Too." she offers. She nods. "I am La Vampira. Vampire." she says.

"These things have been hunting Dengeki Shoujo for a long while." she says as she looks over to Rashmi and nods. She raises her hand and a small mage circle forms and the chain spell disbands.

"So if you know anything..." she says. "That'd help." she says.
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-01 05:03:25 99593
Standing on its back as she is, Jishinhime can feel the tension releasing from the creature. "I am not sure where this creature came from or how to get it back to its home..." She pauses and can't help but smile as it turns its head toward her. That earns it a scritch underneath its head and another pet on the top. A princess must be good with cute animals, after all! It's a requirement!

"Regardless, I am not sure why it was hunting me, but I could feel its approach when it was." She gives the creature a few more reassuring pats as the barrier disappears, then glances at Masquerade. "A... vampire? I did not know they were real..." She looks thoughtful for a moment, then shrugs. "I suppose I have learned quite a lot tonight, then! It is very nice to meet you... and you. And you as well." One by one, she turns and smiles to the others, dipping her head slightly. "I only wish I knew more about how to send this one home. I only remember... stories, perhaps. Old ones. But nothing clear."
Miho Kagami 2018-11-01 05:09:06 99594
Miho sighs softly, and dispels her wand. "Okay, skip that then," she murmurs. "Glad just a minty barrage was enough to get rid of the curse, then.

She grins at Jishinhime. "Aha, yeah, there's all kinds of magical stuff," she says. "Glad to see this wasn't your everyday youma." She hesitates. "... which is the generic term for most of the monsters that rampage through this city, basically." She shakes her head. "Anyway, yeah, I'm Life Mahou Joy ..."

She pauses, takes off her witch hat, and then unties the ribbon and puts it back in her hair. "... and my powers are made of purification, so I'm kinda reluctant to even just stand too close to Lacchan when I'm transforming." She grins. "And like, she's my closest friend in Tokyo, I made friends with her before I even knew I was magic. So yeah."
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 05:18:35 99595
    One thing, above all, catches Kokoro's attention. 'Old stories'. Violet eyes narrow thoughtfully. "...Might have to ask you about those. If you know anything that might help us figure out what these things are, and why they're hunting you and me, we oughta sort that out. But later."

    It's rare to see Dengeki Shoujo 'take charge', but her next words are surprisingly thought-out for one who normally just dives in hammer-first. "If we can purify these things... hn. Lacrima. Might have to ask you to hold onto it for now, we ain't got any better options and I don't think letting a great big sand snake wander around is a real good idea. We oughta see if we can figure out a better solution, though." Her head tilts to look Joy's way next. "And, uh... Rashmi's got your number, right? Might need your help with these more often, now we know they can be purified. If I gotta smash another one, I will, but I ain't gonna if there's another option."

    Lastly, a look at Jishinhime. "You..." She starts on a question, then stops, and shakes her head. "No, later. I'll come looking for you next week, same place, same time." That way it won't be Halloween, and they can plan ahead, and they won't also be dealing with an angry desert noodle.
Rashmi Terios 2018-11-01 05:23:18 99596
"Oh that's going to be fun," Rashmi murmurs. "I think I'll need to talk to some people... If we keep packing these poor things off to Lacchan's manor, she's gonna have to swim through sand just to get a donut before long..." Shaking her head, she looks up at Dengeki. "Anything you need me for, Dengeki-chan?"
Lacrima 2018-11-01 05:28:19 99597
Lacrima nods. "As long as it keeps calm long enough for me to get it into a sample tube... it'll be fine. I'll try to keep it happy as best as I can. If you figure out a way to return it, I'd like to know so we can do that." she says quietly.

"I don't have infinite tubes. I have three and one is a permanent home for my Mister Squigglebutt." she huffs.

"This'll give me time to study it. Maybe I can trace it's dimensional signature. If I can do that, It may be dusk-steppable for me." she offers.

"For now..." she looks down and go about getting the creature ready for a hurried transport home!
Rikuko Ishii 2018-11-01 05:33:11 99598
"Next week?" Though Jishinhime looks unsure at first, she does eventually nod. "I will be here next week. It would be nice if I could meet with you all again." She absently pets the sand snake, turning to look straight at the vampire. "If you are tto take it in, you must of course take good care of it!" Her face is quite serious, even as her tone gets extremely formal. "...it likes to be pet right here." She demonstrates where she's been petting and scritching the creature, apparently a sudden expert on sand snakes despite not having seen one before tonight.
Miho Kagami 2018-11-01 05:34:25 99599
Miho nods to Kokoro. "She does," she says. "Anyone with purification powers should be able to do that, though, at least if they can do it without hurting 'em." She grimaces. "... I also have a curse of my own, and my best curse-removal ability also hurts me, so ... it's painful."

She smiles at Jishinhime, then ... peers at Lacrima. "... Did you just say 'Mister Squigglebutt'?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-11-01 05:39:16 99600
    Dengeki Shoujo hefts that hammer up, resting it over her shoulder and turning; it's a body language that clearly indicates 'yeah I'm outta here'. "Alright," she replies to Joy, with a simple nod. Then there's a brief glance at Rashmi, before the tall girl looks away with faint embarrassment.

    "...I was headed to dinner when I saw the snake, so I, uh. I ain't- I haven't eaten yet." 'plz feed hungry mahou'