>QM Twitter: https://twitter.com/SmileytheQM
>Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Blood%20Moon
>Champion info: http://pastebin.com/bNditXfG
The table is halted in awkward silence. Everyone knows that someone should say something, but no one wants to bite the bullet.
Oh... fuck it.
"Zee, you can't sit there" You say.
"But this is my spot" Zee replies.
You bow your head and laugh. "But we moved that chair so that Claire's wheelchair could go there" You say.
"But I always sit here" Zee says.
"But Claire is sitting there" You say.
"But I'm sitting here" Zee says.
"... on Claire" You say.
Zee looks back at Claire, then turns to you. "She doesn't mind" Zee says.
You look at Claire. "Do you?" You ask.
Claire looks around, like she wasn't expecting to be asked her opinion on this matter. "Huh? Uhhmm... I-I don't think I do" She says.
"See?" Zee says.
You roll your eyes.
>She's just being nice
>Well, if she says it's okay
>What does Tasha have to say about this?
"Well... if Claire says it's okay..." You say. "Tasha waht do you h-... are you taking pictures?"
Tasha has her smartphone out and pointed towards Zee and Claire. You definitely hear the distinct 'click' of pictures being taken.
"I take pictures every time my Zee does something cute" Tasha says. "Take a look"
She hands you her phone, and you begin swiping through photos.
There's one of Zee scolding Moriarty for catching butterflies earlier. There's one of Safi carrying her in the cat onesie. There's one of her stuck on top of a ladder. There's even one of her in a costume with...
"Is that Yui?" You ask.
"It is" Tasha says. "Zee was going to accompany her to this weekend's festivities"
You look the picture over again and sigh. Yui and Zee are dressed up as Suou and Yin from Darker than Black.
"She had one for you too, I think" Tasha says.
"I think she mentioned that, yeah..." You say, handing the phone back. The reminder of what you've lost having ruined your mood.
Then Safi squeezes your hand, reminding you of what you've gained.
You turn back to Zee and Claire say something, and you're surprised to see Claire hugging the little chef.
"I take it you like kids" You say.
"Love zem" Claire says. "I'm going to miss Sarah"
>Maybe we'll all go see her after this
>I'm sure she's fine
>Did I mention that she's my niece?
""Well... she is kind of family" You say. "I was thinking of going to visit her once this is all over"
"Family?" Claire asks.
"Sarah is our niece" Safi says.
Claire looks even more confused. "I didn't sink you 'ad any other siblings" She says.
"We had an older brother" You say. "He was Jessica's husband"
Claire nods, but doesn't ask anything further.
"But yeah, I was thinking of going down to California to see her and her family once this is over" You say. "Why don't you join us?"
Claire's visage breaks for a moment, and she looks sort of troubled. "But..."
Safi gives you a look, like she's scolding you for something. But when Claire speaks again, it's her turn to be surprised.
"Okay" Claire says.
"Really?" Safi asks. "I thought that-"
"Maybe... I don't know..." Claire says, hugging Zee more tightly.
The room falls into silence again, until Zee speaks up.
"I'm not dressed for this" Zee says.
"That's okay, dear" Tasha says. "For now, let's eat. We'll leave complicated questions about morals and objectives for later"
"Okay..." Claire says.
Lunch passed fairly quietly, and once it was done, Claire was forced to relinquish Zee so that she could clean up. Then you, Claire, and Safi headed back to the sitting room.
"So" You say once everyone is seated... well... placed. Claire did kind of bring her own chair. "The weapon"
"Yes" Safi says. "Anything you can tell us?"
"Not really" She says. "I'm sorry, but I didn't get a good look at it"
"What can you tell us?" You ask.
"It was big..." She says. "Zey were firing it from a van. It didn't sound like a gun, but it launched bullets like one"
"How was it able to break your reinforcement?" Safi asks. "Pure power? Enchantment?"
"Looking back on it wiz zis 'ead... I believe zey were enchanted" She says. "Made to break srough body reinforcement"
"So they brought it specifically for you" You say.
"You sink so?" Claire asks.
"You're the only one I can think of who can resist being shot like that..." You say.
"You seem to manage" Claire says.
"We have a trick" Safi says. "Slowing ourselves in ti-"
You cut Safi off with a squeeze of her hand. As much as you'd like to trust Claire, you aren't sure if you should be telling her this stuff...
But then, she did tell you about her affinity...
"What's up?" Safi asks.
>Nevermind, go on
>I'd rather not tell her this stuff
"Sorry, nevermind" You say. "Continue"
"Like I was saying, we slow ourselves in time. It makes our bodies more solid, and much harder to penetrate" Safi says.
"I knew it" Claire says.
"Knew what?" Safi asks.
Claire continues, seeming quite happy with herself. "After ze first night in ze Arena, when Saif and I fought, I was trying to figure out what 'is affinity might be" She says. "I sought it might be simple reinforcement, but zat didn't explain how 'e was able to slow 'is descent when 'e jumped from ze window"
"So you guessed..." You say. "That explains why Jess lent your mom her book on time magic"
"Dangit... I was hoping to read that book too" You say.
"I wouldn't get your 'opes up" She says. "It is mostly conjecture and theory, and most of it appears to be wrong"
"Was it the one written by that Austrian dude?" Safi asks.
"Uhh... Ze author's name sounded Austrian... I sink" She says.
"Yeah, don't get too down Saif" Safi says. "That book was pretty much useless"
"It still might have been an interesting read" You say. "What was so wrong about it?"
"The author assumed that a time mage would have much more freedom to externalize than we do" Safi says. "He thought a time mage would be able to turn things to dust, or freeze them, or travel through time freely"
You snort. "I wish" You say.
"Yes, I did not sink zat it was very close wiz it's assumptions either" Claire says. "If anysing 'e said was true, zis Blood Moon would likely be over already"
"I'm workin' on it, okay?" You ask. "Speaking of that..."
>How do we beat the Judge/Muse
>How can we use the Arena to our advantage?
>Do you think they can bring that weapon in with them?
Saif killed Gambler, Claire killed Puppeteer, Sacred Mountain ONLY NOW attacks them in their homes, they come up with a Claire-killer, and somehow don't get ground into dust by The Coven.
Keeper is government, and has a secret teleporting room.
>"He thought a time mage would be able to turn things to dust, or freeze them, or travel through time freely"
That theory about Saif and Safi being the first REAL Time Mages seems to be gaining a little ground...
"Do yo think they can bring that weapon in with them?" You ask.
"It's much too big" Claire says. "Maybe if zey 'ad somesing like ze Archive or ze..."
"Or the Keeper's room" You say.
"Oui" Claire says. "Perhaps it is wise to sink of ze keeper as an enemy. I don't sink zat Sacred Mountain would be rolling out a weapon like zat if zey could not use it where it counted"
"So they have 2 weapons that don't give a damn how well reinforced you are..." You say.
"We 'ave one of our own" Claire says.
"We do?" You ask.
"You might not like it, but Julia is on our team" Claire says.
"Oh... right" You say.
"So how do we beat these guys?" Safi asks.
"The usual way?" You ask.
"I was hoping for more of a strategy..." Safi says.
"Well, we can sense where they are if they use their invisibility" You say. "But even then, neither of us are attuned enough to tell exactly where they are. If they decide to remain invisible during a melee, we may have some trouble"
"I may be able to help" Claire says, as the giant stone hand you're so accustomed to seeing the other her wear appears on her lap.
In comparison to 'weak but smart' Claire, it seems almost comically large.
"Ze golems do not 'ave eyes to be fooled by such sings" Claire says. "If I know what direction zey are in..."
"That could work" Safi says.
"How do we deal with their items?" Safi asks.
"Stop that" Safi says.
"Sorry" You say.
"I would like to say zat ze best way would be stop zem from being used..." Claire says.
"But that's best case scenario" You say. "You don't plan for the best case, you plan for the worst"
"Oui" Claire says.
"We'll have to be watching the Muse" Safi says. "Keep an eye on when they use the tuner, and if they hit it..."
"If they hit it, note where they are and enter fast time" You say to Safi. "It gives us the advantage just as much as it does them"
"What if zey use it in an ambush?" Claire asks.
"Then just move" You say. "If they want to use it, they have to work off of memory. If you aren't where they remember you being, then it loses its effectiveness"
Claire nods. "And the pistol?" Claire asks.
"For us, we can probably dodge most shots that we see coming" You say. "For you..."
"Does the gun count your golems as a part of you?" Safi asks.
"I... don't know" Claire says.
"Hey! Tasha!" Safi shouts.
Tasha appears in the doorway. "Yes?" She asks.
"Would the Judge's Pistol count Claire's golems as a part of her?" Safi asks.
"The Pistol would judge each golem as a separate entity" Tasha says. "A fresh one would be nearly impenetrable"
"There you have it" Safi says. "Thank you, Tasha"
>What do we do if they get the jump on us?
>Can we work the arena to our advantage?
>How handy would the Tyrant's Cane be?
>>How handy would the Tyrant's Cane be?
Very handy, considering it can make isolated pockets of ant-grav, as well.
The REAL question is how we make use of the fucking Sketchpad?
One thing we could do, if we meet up with Claire in the Arena, is stand our ground, while Saif floats Safi into the air.
While she's in the air, she can sketch different areas of the Labyrinth, and slowly start fucking the whole place up, while Claire/Julia keep shit away from Saif (while he's using the Cane).
"And if they do get the jump on us?" You ask.
"It would be difficult to defend against that pistol if they came from behind..." Claire says.
"I hate to say this... but Saif should hold up the rear of the group" Safi says.
"Why?" Claire asks.
"I get it" You say. "The one at the back will most likely end up dead in an ambush, while the others will have time to react. So you let the person who can die take that position"
"Yeah... sorry bro" Safi says.
"No, it works" You say. "Dying might not be the most pleasant thing, but it's better that I do it than one of you"
"Anything else?" Claire asks.
>Take this time to spitball ideas. Next post will include as many of your possible plans as it can.
One thing we CAN do with the Cane is use it to (possibly) float up a few golems/explosives/whatever as high as we can, so, in the case of them showing up, we drop those fuckers right on their heads.
Everyone in the party can reinforce themselves after all.
The cane needs to remain connected to the ground for it to work. Saif knows this.
Either you or Safi would have to bring Julia into fast-time and maintain contact with her in order for that to work.
I think we dig in, and Claire just starts throwing Golems left, right, over the walls, and just having them rush through the maze, causing havoc.
Hell, maybe we can strap a few bombs to some of them.
IF we have the Cane, maybe we can make a field to help Claire throw them farther.
You spend about another hour or so hammering out the details on possible plans with Claire and Safi.
You have a few good plans mostly finished by the time Claire has to leave, as well as some semi-decent backups.
Unfortunately, you don't get to cap any of them off as there is simply too much that you don't know. Beyond their affinities and their items, the abilities of the Judge and the Muse are completely unknown.
With the backing of an organization like Sacred Mountain, they will be well armed. And since Sacred Mountain has essentially become assassins, they will likely be well trained.
Your idea that Claire could armor herself with a golem was shot down. She can make something relatively armor-like, but her control over the golems is not finite enough to be useful that way.
A few of your plans involve using the cane to set up golems on the roof of the maze for an ambush, or even to send everyone up so that they can't hide around corners.
In the end you all decide that you'd be better off having a "plan b through z", with plan A being "assess and strategize as the situation prompts".
At about 2:30, Claire decides that she should go home. Leaving you and Safi to-
You wheel Claire back to the door when it comes time for her to leave.
"Merci" She says.
"Don't worry about it" You say. "If anything, I should be thanking you for agreeing to team up"
"You can thank me if it works out" She says. "For all we know, we'll get blindsided and wiped out..."
"So much for keeping positive" You say, leaning over the back of her wheelchair to see her face. "This'll work. We just have to stay on the offensive'
Claire smiles and cranes her neck back to look up at you. This position... it reminds you of the last time you kissed her...
Well, not technically. It reminds you of the last time you kissed -this- her. The last time you kissed her would have been in the arena.
You step away.
"So... do you have a ride waiting?" You ask.
"Yes" She says. "Alison is outside"
"Ah" You say. "Well, uhh..."
Claire turns her wheelchair around to regard you, but something past you catches her eye. "Oh, hello" She says.
"Are you leaving already?" Zee asks.
You turn to see Zee in full comfort regalia.
"Yes" Claire says. "I take it zis is the... comfort uniform?"
"Yes" Zee says.
Zee grinds her foot into the floor for a moment, but then Claire opens her arms with a smile. Zee skips over to her.
"I may have to visit again" Claire says.
"You're probably welcome to" You say. "I'm not really the person to ask"
Claire lets Zee go. "It was nice seeing you, Saif" She says. "Until tonight"
You wave to her. "Until tonight"
"So why'd you go and get the comfort suit?" You ask.
"She was sad" Zee says.
"She looked fine to me" You say.
"Sad inside" Zee says. "And Tasha says that you're dense"
"I can be at times" You say. "So how can you tell when someone is sad inside?"
"By looking" Zee says. Then she holds her arms out to you.
You smile. "Good eye" You say, as you lift her up to receive your hug and carry her back to the sitting room.
"Claire's gone?" Safi asks. "And Zee's back in the adorable suit!"
"Comfort uniform" Zee says.
"Adorable comfort uniform" Safi says.
Zee considers this as you sit down. "Okay" She says.
Safi giggles, then turns to you. "So what now?" She asks.
"Now we go visit Abby" You say.
"I thought she was coming here" Safi says.
"Was she?" You ask.
"That's what you said the plan was earlier" She says.
"Well, either way works" You say.
"So what is the plan?"
>Go to Abigail
>Let Abigail come here
So, in the event that we get to pick the next arena: ludicrously large flat plane. Large enough that realistically no one but the wonder twins will even be able to reach another contestant.
You pull out your phone and let Abigail know that Claire is gone. Looking back on it, the plan was to have her come here, after all.
That, and you don't really look forward to having to meet her parents again... especially after you murdered a man in cold blood right in front of them.
But looking at Safi, you'd do it again. Without question.
"What's up?" Safi asks.
"Nothing, just reminiscing" You say.
"About?" Safi asks.
"Not important" You say. "You think we're ready?"
"I think we're ready" Safi says. "We've got the dream team, and the Champ with the most notches on her belt. If anything, I think it's them who need to prepare"
"Your optimism is appreciated" You say.
"You don't think we're ready?" She asks.
"I think that we'll know we were ready when we come out victorious" You say. "Even if we don't manage to take them all down, seeing their numbers dwindle a bit would be appreciated"
"I agree" Safi says. "And after that, we still have to deal with Claire..."
"She might come around" You say.
"You think so?" Safi asks.
"She's smart enough to recognize that something is wrong... at least" You say.
"Recognizing that something is wrong, and giving up what you want most in the entire world to fix it are two different things" Safi says.
"Maybe she'll come around if we give her Zee" You say.
"Nooooooooo" Safi says.
"I'm not currency" Zee says. "Or potatoes"
"Potatoes?" Safi asks.
"Don't worry about it" You say.
That's all for tonight!
Next thread may actually be tomorrow. If not, I'll notify you guys by twitter ~2 hours before it starts.
As always I'll be sticking around in case anyone has questions/suggestions.
At a certain age, she started to call him dad instead.
As for stealing Selene, Giles wouldn't be the problem as much as Selene herself. Remember: she has mastered the ancient art of nailing you in the gonads and legging it.