Orange Thread, Part 4 - Shooting Star

As Orange and Yellow celebrate their victory over Looky, an unexpected arrival complicates things.

Date: 2016-02-04
Pose Count: 24
Reiko Touyama 2016-02-04 04:55:19 26770
Prism Keeper Orange has taken off from school and is now worried and hurriedly taking off towards Mitakihara. It's strong enough that her own Prism can pick up the feeling and strength from here--it's NEVER that strong. Something bad is happening and she can feel it in the pit of her stomach.

She looks over to Yellow and frowns. "Yellow... Hoshi... nrg. Yellow. Use Yellow, okay? When... we're like this, I'm Orange.. just... you know. Secret IDs. Like anime!" she says with a series of nods.

"---it's Griselda." she says. "That's Griselda I know it!" she says with a snap!

"We need to hurry up..." she says worriedly.
Hoshi Kogane 2016-02-04 05:00:35 26775
Yellow is running behind Orange, not trusting her flying skills now that she's actually thinking about what she has to do, instead of operating on pure instinct. "Orange, got it." She hears the name Griselda, and it takes a moment to register, before. "... Griselda? Really." She sounds a little small, and a little worried. "Hurrying up!" And she jumps, trying to take off, but only managing to leap and land relatively gracefully.
Griselda 2016-02-04 05:17:44 26786
    Discretion has been the better part of valor for the Prism Keepers lately, at least for Orange. She has been fighting the good fight as best as she can; she had Red at her side for a while, but even she eventually drifted away to fight her own crusade against Griselda alone. Orange was left holding the line, trying to survive and carry the Prism Aegis banner by herself. She did what she could. She still risked herself to help people. She stopped most of the Shades, or at least she hopes so; she has missed some of them, though she's not quite sure how many. But Griselda? She tangled with her full contact once, and that fight didn't quite go her way. Griselda bared her teeth that night. She was going to kill her, and only luck and improvisation saved Orange. No storybook villain in this tale. Whoever or whatever she was, the darkness in her heart seems to have long extinguished that. So she avoided her, fighting defensively the few times they've tangled since then, running mostly.

    But tonight? There's not enough time to run. Not in the state Orange or Yellow is in. Their small butterfly wings can still carry them, but not very far or very fast, especially with Yellow having not yet mastered her flight.

    It's hard to see her, at first. She's a dark gray speck in the sky, after all, absorbing colored light, difficult to spot even on a clear night. It's only made worse by the speed she's moving at. But the Prism Keepers see her eventually, when she catches the light above, the silouette of a girl in a gothic dress briefly streaking by the backdrop of the pale white moon above. She's moving fast, faster than she has before. It's perhaps strange to Reiko; Griselda has never been in this much of a hurry before. Why now? Is she trying to capitalize on an opportunity and take them down?

    And then her path through the air decays without warning, one of her wings of black feathers faltering, and down she goes. She can't even correct for a safe landing. Her trajectory abruptly spins downward, and her body slams into the turf of the school grounds below. She slides nearly fifty meters, leaving a furrow of parted, ruined turf behind her before friction finally brings her to a halt. Her grip on the parasol in her left hand loosens, but it looks damaged, bent in places, dripping with dark energy. Dark. Not like her usual gray. That same purple-black energy drips off her seemingly-broken wing, a single flutter before it falls motionless.

    Is she still a threat? The Prism Keepers can still feel the energy inside her, even standing a fair distance away. Gray energy, concentrated inside a frame not much bigger than theirs. It feels menacing, angry, wrong. There's still power in her. But she's not moving, lying face down where she finally comes to a halt. She's like that for a while.

    She's not quite unconscious, though. It takes her some time to recover, but she eventually she slowly starts to peel herself off the ground, pain on her face. She doesn't seem to notice you yet. Why is she here?
Reiko Touyama 2016-02-04 05:25:10 26790
Prism Keeper Orange is sort of flying. She keeps a low clip to let Yellow keep speed. She looks forward and--incoming here. She is-- she stops. She raises her wand and she braces. "Nrg--do you see that?---I'm thinking that's her." she says. "Just... be ready.... just ... relax. You can't think bad thoughts.. try not to let yourself. You need to keep hopeful!" she says. Indeed, her tone is stammering, but she does have a /bit/ of confidence in her voice. There /is/ a reason she's the 'second in command' of the Prism Keepers in the story- why Red chose that role for her.

But--- then things don't feel right.. something feels off and then things happen and Griselda--- goes down?...

"Huh...?" she says softly. "What..."

She begins scooting towards that direction and moves to land in front of Griselda and raises her wand. "Griselda!...." she snaps- authoritize, demanding tone. No attack because they haven't been attacked. But--- you have to keep ready.

Then she realizes she doesn't know what else to say. Whoops...

Maybe Yellow has the words or questions.
Hoshi Kogane 2016-02-04 05:43:44 26798
Yellow follows behind, and stays behind, Orange as they head closer towards the impact zone. She can sense how wrong Griselda feels, definitely, and no Starpals appear to show emotion. She keeps them locked up inside to force herself to stay calm. "She seems hurt... should we..." She looks towards her wand, then to Griselda. "... but that wouldn't be fair." She's more thinking aloud than trying to communicate, really.
Griselda 2016-02-04 06:14:12 26818
    There's no love gained from Griselda, even with Yellow's moment of mercy and moral questioning. It doesn't quite seem like she's the type to extend similar favors to others. The gray girl finally lifts herself from the ground, a moment of unsteady teetering as she steadies herself on her parasol. And then she directs her gaze at the two girls in front of her, her stare baleful and unflinching. She hates them. It's not really clear why, but the feeling is instantly obvious from the look in her eyes.

    "Orange," she says, her voice dripping with condescending sarcasm. "And you. You're new. Lets see if you last longer than your predecessor." Predecessor? "It's so nice of you two to present yourself before me." Does she even have enough power to fight them, in her current state? She lifts her parasol, leveling it at Orange, but neither of them sense an attack coming. Bravado? "That will make it a lot easier to--" She's cut off midsentence by some feeling inside herself, doubling over momentarily in pain. The sound she makes is pathetic and all-too-human, just like the expression on her face that briefly shines through. But it's brief. She just as quickly suppresses it, returning to her usual tall posture, the buttoned-down look on her expression saying a little more. She doesn't like looking weak either.
Reiko Touyama 2016-02-04 07:01:04 26831
Prism Keeper Orange keeps her wand levied at Griselda, that voice dripping with sarcase. Orange is weakened-- Griselda can sense it. But she isn't so weak as to be doubling over in pain. She feels... tired. And sleepy and she's probably going to sleep forever when this is done. When Yellow looks at her, she looks back and loosk abck to Griselda, she frowns. No-- no healing for Griselda.

No matter how 'wounded' she looks like now. That sense is stil there. danger. Is this a trap? To try to illicit sympathy!?

Though... Orange finds it wrong to attack someone who--- isn't attacking them. Or attacking others. She's just raising that parasol towards them- no attack.

"Yeah well, it doesn't look like you're in too much of a place to do anything about it!" she snaps back!

"What are you up to, is this a tri----"

And then she doubles over and she purses her lips even harder as her teeth clench behind them.

What does she do..? Is she actually hurt?

SHOULD they help her if she is?

She tried to /kill her/!!!

"What are you doing here." is all she finally finishes, perhaps a little coldly in her own way.

Hoshi is so much better at this talking thing.
Hoshi Kogane 2016-02-04 07:11:14 26835
Yellow is generally better at this talking thing, yes, but she's also not in her element tonight. "I'm Prism Keeper Yellow, and you are Griselda." She sounds calm, and then adds on a quiet, "And you're wounded." She looks at her wand, then back at Griselda. "Can you tell me why you're doing what you do? What do you want out of draining colour?" She sounds genuinely confused, but also genuinely curious.
Griselda 2016-02-04 07:43:03 26845
    Griselda turns toward Yellow, the moment of vulnerability on her face passing. Her expression twists into a "polite" smile dropping with smug superiority and condescendion, though her facade isn't quite perfect. It might not show to girls her age, but there's a moment of real hesitation there. She just stares at the Prism Keeper opposite her.

    "You /are/ new, aren't you?" Another pause. "And I'm draining the world because it's better that way. When I'm done, the Gray Kingdom can take its rightful place ruling this world." Really? There's a hint of childish petulance in her voice, though it sounds a little strange mixed with what's obviously real malice. How old is she, anyway? Griselda was always a little older than the Prism Keepers in their stories, and that seems to be true now too. She looks like she couldn't be older than thirteen, though.
Reiko Touyama 2016-02-04 08:15:15 26851
Prism Keeper Orange frowns. "....same rehtoric..." she sighs. Big word for a ten a year old, but she is kinda nerdy and smarter than average. She takes a deep breath and frowns. She isn't attacking. Why? Is she weak? Wait-- why /is/ Griselda weak? Yeah Grisleda's always been a tad older in the stories, but...

"Color is what help makes everything in the world beautiful... and I won't let you drain it as you please!" she says. Right now though-- Griselda isn't doing that right now. So.. well. But then she asks.

"So--- what attacked you, huh!? Did you tick off someone bigger and bad than you?" she asks with an almost cloyish tone to it--- indeed. She's trying to seemingly illicit a response from Griselda, get her to talk.
Hoshi Kogane 2016-02-04 08:22:02 26854
Yellow wisely keeps quiet on whether or not she is new, she doesn't even show a reaction to the question. "A world without colour is a worse world, and you don't get to rule this world, Griselda-chan." She says firmly, confident in her belief that she is right here. "Who should we thank?"
Griselda 2016-02-04 08:53:58 26858
    Griselda isn't used to playing this role, it seems. She's not usually on the defensive, after all. Is this the first time she has lost a fight? Is that even what happened? Whatever transpired, though, rubbing salt in this wound certainly does seem to get a rise out of her. "You stupid girls don't know anything!" she screams, though her voice is as much frustration as rage. She's losing it. Someone has poked the bear, though it's not clear if she has any bite left. She raises her parasol again. She doesn't seem to care anymore. It's hard to gauge how much power she has left, but win or lose, she's fighting.

    Gray energy starts to gather at the silver tip of her parasol. This should be dangerous, shouldn't it? And for a moment, the Prism Keepers can sense that power. There's a hint of what she usually commands, concentrated gray energy much fierce than what they sensed from even the Shade before. But quickly enough, that sense of threat passes, and unceremoniously, her blast of gray energy sputters out and dissipates before she can even fire. She can't quite keep it together.

    "Why?" she whispers to herself. And then she looks at the two girls who are looking at her, staring at their faces. Something about their expressions seems to drive her just a little crazy. Her face, usually possessed of a doll-like beauty, loses its usual expression of smug composure; no more superiority from her. Now it's twisted in rage, even as her voice drops quieter. "Don't look at me that way. You . . . " What does she see that makes her so angry? Her voice grows colder then and quieter still, the emotion seeming to drain from her increasingly flat tone. "You . . ." Above, the clouds start to gather. Rainy days. That was her power, wasn't it? Yellow can probably remember that now.

    And then it happens again. Another moment of pain as she clutches at her chest again, fingers closing over the gray crystal that hangs around her neck. There's thunder in the distance, though one can't quite tell from where. There was a huge storm forecast to hit the city in a few days? Is this part of it? Or is it her?
Reiko Touyama 2016-02-04 09:02:56 26860
Prism Keeper Orange looks at Griselda and blinks. Oh-- dear. She did, didn't she? It wouldn't surprise her. But she's looking around doesn't sense anything else or see anyone else. Whoever fought Griselda obviously didn't /purify/ her. It'd be worse if that was the case- right? And---

It wasn't another Prism Keeper. She has all the Chroma Prisms and they are all accounted for.

And then she yells and she looks upwards towards the sky and back down at Griselda. She takes a deep breath.

"If you need help... just say so." she finally says coldly. "Instead of trying to act all tough and mean!" she snaps. "--and--- this better not be a trick because I'll never forgive you!" she finally says.

Yes. She's offering help. She's hurt. She obviously can't attack. She saw that attack fizzle out.
Hoshi Kogane 2016-02-04 09:08:53 26862
Yellow is inclined to agree with helping Griselda, as foolish as that may sound. "You're hurt." She says, sincerely, before looking up at the sky. "I don't know how hurt you are, but you seem like you need help." She slowly approaches Griselda, not quite convinced that the storm is Griselda's doing since that other attack just fizzled.

She kneels next to Griselda, trying to get a good look of what's wrong with their enemy, "Did you get into a fight?" She asks, gently. There's warmth instead of hostility or suspicion, "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. But if you can tell me what happened, I can help you better."
Griselda 2016-02-05 07:10:46 27046
    It's almost strange to meet her like this, given how hard this struggle had been for Orange until now. But this story did have a happy ending, didn't it? Maybe? After all this time, it's hard for her to remember what they even had planned for this story. They never did quite get to the ending. Yellow and the rest of them were long gone from their lives by then, but Mei and Reiko were working on the next chapter, and then . . . this started happening. It stopped being a story. It started being real.

    Thunder is heard again, closer now, and the first few drops of rain begin to fall. And then a familiar sound to Japanese ears: rain on concrete, not quite on top of them, but drawing closer. There is a storm coming, and that's usually a bad sign when combined with the gray girl next to them.

    Griselda doesn't respond to Yellow's inquiry as she draws close. Her face doesn't change, still pained; she seems too distracted by whatever she's feeling. All Yellow hears is something strange, something quiet that's barely audible above the sounds of the weather. It's the faint sound of cracking, like a fracture running through glass. And then she can sense it. Some ugly power surging in the girl next to her, something unfriendly and terrible. Something that wants to hurt her. That's right. This is a real fight, and Griselda really is their enemy. Is this how it was going to end all along? Was it all a ruse? Whatever the truth of this moment may be, kindness might have been a mistake.

    That feeling of rising evil affords yellow only a split second of warning, and that moment likely isn't enough. The gray girl rises, her parasol surging now with gray energy, the lacey weapon lifting in a two-handed strike meant to send Yellow reeling. It's not even her usual style of attack--her parasol was more like her wand in all of the stories--but her strike isn't any less powerful for it. Has she been lying this whole time? Even for a villain, she's recovering a little too quickly.

    "I don't need your help," she says quietly, her twisted smile returning. And then louder, more angrily, her usual rage quickly flooding back, "I don't lose!"
Hoshi Kogane 2016-02-05 07:16:44 27048
Yellow is hit, hard. She goes flying back and lands her back, although at least her instinctual flying skills help soften the landing, the initial hit still hurt, a lot, and Yellow winces. "You could've said no without that." She says, still not moving to attack. She doesn't seem to want to believe this was a trick. "I didn't mean to offend, sorry." She sounds genuinely sorry. "I'll stop you from draining colour, but I don't want to hurt you, or see you hurt. Please."
Reiko Touyama 2016-02-05 07:22:48 27049
Prism Keeper Orange hears that storm get higher and then there's a surge of power and she clenches her teeth tighter-- ugh. Right all those Shades... they weren't /here/, but. She swears if that storm starts yelling 'Stormy!' or something ridicolous like that she's probably just going to lose it. For now. She reaches forward. "Yellow, get away!" she calls out.

And then she's already sending out the attack towards Yellow!---

Well. Attack's a strong word there. Isn't it? She sort of-- shoved her with an Umbrella. Though there was still force and power behind it. Something's still /off/ about this but she can't place it.

Lose!? Of course she loses! The story was always meant to have a happy ending. A very very happy one-- well what one could consider happy--- no one really 'dies'--- they save the villians-- what one expects in an anime aimed at kids 10-14, really.

Then it occurs to her...

They never /did/ finish the story. This is a look of concern on Orange's face. Because they never finished the story.... does that mean they /can't/ defeat Griselda? Ugh- the thought is sickening. But...

They're outside the story. And while the trappings are the same--- they haven't exactly been living the story chapter by chapter.

So.. this isn't all.. following some script. At least, as far as she's been able to figure out.

So.. in theory. Griselda should still be beatable. She was intended to be eventually. That has to count for something...


She has no idea what else Mei had written notewise of course.

"Ye-ah , well, what's this then huh!?" she asks.

She raises her wand and--- nrg. Okay. She doesn't have a choice. She's attacking now, and she watches Yellow get swung out of the way and this causes her to clench her teeth relativly hard. "You leave her alone...! Yellow step back!" she spouts.

However, right now there's an advantage that she has that she normally doesn't. And that is Griselda is on the ground. On foot.

She fires a sudden hard and fast strike of an orange color beam at her right wing-- if she can wound her a little... she might be able to keep her on the ground.
Griselda 2016-02-05 07:56:47 27060
    Griselda's eyes stay on Yellow as she advances on her with slow, deliberate steps, her grip still tight around her parasol, the smug look on her face speaking volumes to the Prism Keeper about what she's thinking. /Stupid./ Whatever fragility she was showing a moment ago seems to have passed. So too have those fleeting moments of weakness, of humanity. Is that even her? Is she even human like them?

    Maybe not. Whether or not a heart beats in her chest, it doesn't seem to feel the same feelings. Hers isn't a reluctant anger, it seems. It doesn't ever seem like it fades, with how quickly it can return. Even when she smiles, that anger is only ever simmering beneath the surface, always ready to boil over.

    Orange's strike catches her off-guard, that blast of color energy knocking her reeling a half-step forward. She feels it; the self-satisfied expression on her face falters, replaced by a moment of pain. And there it is again, that rage that never quite seems to leave her. Her smile twists. "You think you're so high and mighty, Yellow? You think you're a heroine? That this is a game?" It's more than her usual mocking derision, this time. No, she hates the Prism Keepers and their world on a much deeper level. "Maybe it's time you learn how mistaken you are."

    Her follow-up attack isn't directed at Yellow. She leaves her where she is, giving her time to recover. To watch. She instead turns toward Orange in a single swift motion, feathery wings of dark gray fluttering for a brief moment before lifting her just off the ground, the gray girl then zipping toward where Orange is standing. She can fly again, apparently. It would be bad if she was back at full strength already; it's hard to tell if she is or not. She seems slower than usual, still.
Reiko Touyama 2016-02-05 08:08:29 27063
Prism Keeper Orange spits out. "She is a hero!" she says. "She came to my aid and she helped me and saved me! What do you even know about helping people you jerk!" she calls out crassly. Yes, a jerk. Griselda is a jerk. She watches her shot get absorbed. These blasts don't take a lot of energy to throw--it's a basic attack heck she isn't even calling out an attack name like a proper attack

"SHE ISN'T MISTAKEN AT ALL!" and when Griselda comes throwing herself at her-- Prism Keeper Orange throws up her wand a giant transulect, koi shaped shield appears in front of her, she's going to try to tank this upcoming hit-- not run away! How can you show your friend you're brave by running like a coward?

Maybe Yellow can heal her afterwards when this is done here....
Hoshi Kogane 2016-02-05 08:11:46 27064
"I don't think I'm better than you, I just think that what you say you want to do is wrong." Yellow responds to the claim that Yellow think she's so 'high and mighty.' She gets back up, and holds her wand firmly, and starts to walk away from Orange, and thus Griselda's trajectory. "And I don't want to fight you, but if you're going to make me, I won't hold back." She sounds sincere, on all counts.

"I don't know if that makes me a heroine, I don't care. I care about people not getting hurt, and if you make the world dour and drab, you will hurt people; even if you don't realize it, even if you don't care." She sees Griselda go for Orange, but doesn't attack. Not yet. Yellow is hoping her words will hit their mark.

Orange's support is noticeably appreciated, but Yellow just keeps talking. "So please, think about what you're doing, and why you're hurting people." She pleads with Griselda, "If it's necessary, explain why. Maybe there's another way."
Griselda 2016-02-05 08:36:32 27073
    "Stop what I'm doing?" Griselda asks, her voice higher, incredulous now. It doesn't sound like she has any interest in doing that. It doesn't even sound like she can believe someone is asking her to. "I'm just getting started!"

    It's crude and probably not a particularly efficient use of her energy, but she again brings her parasol to bear, striking the shield head-on now. The two collide, sparks of orange and gray flying. She has never attacked quite like this. "If you want to pretend like you're above the fight . . . " The brilliant display of color energy only itensifies as Griselda drives her attack further. The shield starts to crack. ". . . then be ready to accept the consequences."
Reiko Touyama 2016-02-05 08:50:38 27077
Prism Keeper Orange is straining hard against the force---trying to push back. Were she at full power-- she might be able to force more power into the shield-- repair it's cracks-- but she can't- not from all she's been through this night. She doesn't have the full power to do it. It cracks further and she winces-- and she begins to worry but she doesn't move- she doesn't relent.

And then the shield breaks and Griselda breaks through---shattering into sparkles. She gets rushed into--and she gets shoved back by Grisleda--- she falls backwards to her back and gets shoved down into the ground even--- as she tries her best to push back...

"Won't.. let you..." she mutters incoherently.
Hoshi Kogane 2016-02-05 08:52:46 27078
"You seem to have missed the part where I said that I wouldn't hold back if you made me fight." Yellow says sadly, but loud enough that Griselda should easily be able to hear it. "And I know you're smart enough to realize that if you keep attacking my friends I will have to defend them."

As Orange's shield breaks, Yellow leads credence to her words by aiming her wand at Griselda, sending a beam of Yellow Energy flying at this mean girl, "I'm sorry, but you're giving me no choice." The sadness in her voice is sincere, but the beam she's sending is too. She's fighting now, and in earnest.
Griselda 2016-02-05 09:40:28 27085
    Griselda raises her parasol again. She doesn't respond to Yellow's words; she seems too intent on striking Orange, on proving whatever point she's trying to make. As gray energy begins to twist around her weapon, though, Yellow's attack lands, interrupting her strike. The impact is visible this time, her arm dropping and body turning with the blow, though she doesn't lose her footing. Does it hurt? Probably. There's a look on her face that only Orange can see, one that says she certainly felt it. But it doesn't seem like it's enough to stop her; she's still on her feet and moving.

    She doesn't look at Yellow as she speaks, her voice quieter now. "No, Yellow. You're going to have to try a little more seriously than that to stop me. But do what you want. If you want to act like a child and hope for a storybook ending, it'll only make it easier for me to pick off your friends while you're giving speeches."

    Her eyes stay on Orange in front of her. "Now, Orange. Shall we finish what we started?" She lifts her parasol, pointing it at her. The two of them have been in this position before, just like this, months ago. And the look in Griselda's eyes isn't any different tonight: all violence and ill intentions and an utter lack of compassion.

    But it happens again, one final time, that sudden pain in her chest that doubles her over. More than that, she's exhausted, as much as the Prism Keepers around her. And as she hits her limit, it finally becomes obvious where Griselda's second wind came from: she was just forcing herself to keep moving, energy or not. Maybe that's a comfort; she's not invincible. But just how much does she hate their sympathy to push herself this hard? Just how much does she want to look strong?

    As she clutches her chest, that same palpable dark energy again rises in her, but Griselda doesn't seem any stronger for it. She's still weak, wounded from whatever battle came before this. And finally, she seems ready to accept that she's done. "This isn't over." Her voice is all anger and spite. "You got lucky tonight. Next time, I'll be at full strength, and I will finish both of you off." Bravado? Or a promise she's actually capable of keeping?

    Just like that, it's over. The gray girl lifts up into the sky and is gone; even this weak, she's fast enough tonight that pursuit is pointless. Above the Prism Keepers, another meteor streaks across the sky. The shower starts in earnest. Hoshi didn't miss it, after all.

    Their Prism Keeper duties might be over for the night, though. Yellow's friends in the astronomy club are likely waking up now. She should probably be there when they wake up, if she doesn't want to cause a stir. And Orange? Her father might be checking in on her soon with worry, with the now approaching sirens in the distance.

    They have enough time to say good night, but the long conversations to come? Those will have to wait until tomorrow.