/========================( - TV World - The Stage - )========================\
| Those who investigate the Midnight Channel follow one very strict rule - |
| the only TV you jump through is one within the electronics department from |
| Junes. There is no telling what lies beyond the other TVs. It also neatly |
| ensures that everyone gathers together in the same place. |
| The area beyond the long, disorienting, reality-warping fall is the eerie |
| gathering point of intrepid Persona users. Surrounded by a thick yellow haze |
| that can only be seen through with the help of specially designed glasses |
| (and even then only so far), the area takes the form of a TV studio's set. |
| The appearance of a bullseye on the floor in alternating black and white |
| colors does not help make this any more inviting, especially not with the |
| outlines of bodies all around. Bright lights, ladders, and props litter the |
| outer perimeter of the stage, with a few bridge-like pathways leading |
| further out into the mysterious world. |
| There is no known way outside of the TV world by one's own volition, and it |
| becomes incredibly dangerous to hang around here after a few days of rain |
| when the fog lifts. It's a good thing that Teddie, the only known friendly |
| resident of the world, can produce the means back out to the real world... |
| unless he is in a very, very bad mood. |
|===============================( - Players - )================================|
| Shion Katsuragi [KDA] <Shadow Shion> |
|===============================( - Objects - )================================|
|================================( - Exits - )=================================|
| Out <O>: Inaba - Junes Dept. Store |
The journey through the fog is made easier by the glasses that allow most of the group to see, sure, but it still involves a bit of walking. The fog is very thick today, but the passage is smooth enough, at least for a while. The group presumably has a way to point themselves towards one Shion Katsuragi, who as at this point been missing from her home in Inaba for just over a week--but then, this group would know where she really is, wouldn't they? After all, Teddie sensed a new person in the television.
As the group gets far enough from the staging area and in the direction they needed to go, the simple walkways will give way to simple, green grass and firm ground; the sounds of a river running are audible, and up ahead looms a great maze of bushes, shrubs, and a few trees. This is the flood plain of Inaba, but it's somehow different. It may be the increase in undergrowth; it may be the fog, the oppressive atmosphere that hangs over everything here. And, of course, it may be the overcast skies, as through the clouds is visible red-and-black where there should be sky.
The entrance to the maze is just ahead, a vortex of those same two colors leading...inward. Somewhere. Who's here? Who led them? And, perhaps most importantly, how is the group going to go about entering?
Shirou grunts just a bit. He's holding his yari tightly, his new one: long black oak hilt with a single silver blade, a tuft of white furr attached to a chain near the base of the blade, letting it swing a bit in the breeze.
"At least it isn't raining yet" he says, tempting fate. He was one of the ones /really/ insisting that this gets done fast; He doesn't want his semi-mentor being in trouble more then she needs to be.
There is one good thing about working in a rather shady bar... when you ask your boss for emergency time off, no questions are asked. Thus is how Reid was able to spend most of the week lurking about Inaba, searching for clues as to the whereabouts of a certain detective. While he was unable to gather much useful information other than the obvious, at the very least he was able to meet up with the usual suspects to plan another foray into Japan's wackiest nightlife scene. Plus, it at least confirmed Shion hadn't been avoiding his calls for /other/ reasons.
Even so, the possibility of his friend's untimely demised outweighed any possible rejection, and as a result the bartender's cheerful air was oddly absent as he traveled through the fog. The ill-fitting loaner glasses certainly did not help his foul mood; he constantly had to adjust them to keep his circulation going. Keeping along with the others, the man was scarce for conversation for once, his agitation visible by the way he already had his knife drawn and was idly flipping the blade back and forth between various holding styles. 'Murder grip' seemed to be the most prevalent for the evening.
Snow didn't cause fog, did it? Thora's pretty sure it doesn't so she's hoping that would give them more time to work with. It was a good thing the weather had held out reasonably since Katsuragi was in there, during /exams/ no less. The last time Thora went in to save people during exams, the resulting consequences put her in a pretty crappy situation.
Though her KNOWS ties did have some benefits. Since this was a free day, she had more freedom to travel and get into TV missions. Considering the fact that she was once again the catalyst that dragged Shion into the KDA, she does feel responsible for her. A little bit. She'd never admit this though and could easily claim she had other selfish reasons for joining the rescue.
All things considered, tonight Thora is in a rather good mood. She's lively and alert, keeping her senses open for familiar intruders. She knew both Strega and the other members of KNOWS were capable of getting into the TV world. Either could easily interfere with a mission so she took it upon herself to serve as a warning system. "I wouldn't say things like that, Shirou." Thora murmurs, trotting after the tall kid.
The weapon she carries is a bit different from her usual one. Large and silver, not with as many intricate decorations as the Black Frost hammer, something just seems ominous about it.
Pausing, Thora looks over at Fumiya, "Scooby who?"
Aigis has invited Minako to come along because they are both SHION'S FRIENDS. /Or are they/?
Nevertheless, Aigis walks across the walkway towards the green grass and ground which, of course, surprises her. This doesn't seem bad at all! Surely nothing too bad will be here!
Speaking of surprises if you haven't met her before, Aigis is presently naked. She is pretty robot.
Nevertheless, as she looks up, and then down, she frowns. "Though it seems in the end--it is still a maze." She adds to COMRADES in ARMS.
She is probably a guest star from one of those scooby episodes where they brought in people like Maxwell Smart and shit. The best scooby episodes, really.
The moment Aigis had told Minako that Shion had ended up inside the TV World, she'd made a vow then and there to help rescue her.
So she'd gone along with Aigis, perfectly innocuous duffelbag in tow. Once in, she'd assembled her polearm in quick order, and rather stubbornly pinned the SEES armband to her school uniform. Hey, she had a spare if it got trashed, she'd hate to lose clothing she liked. She'd received a cute little pair of glasses courtesy of the /cutest/ bear mascot she'd ever seen--why didn't the Dark Hour have a mascot?--which she's now wearing. Wow, these really do cut through the fog!
Naginata braced against her shoulder, her heart's racing in her chest as she stands before the portal. She flashes a quick grin to some of the others gathered here and declares, "Okay! We can do this!" Don't worry, Katsuragi-san! Minako's going to get you out of here! ...It was the least she could do, right? Shion had come all the way out there to visit her while she was sick, and she'd be darned if she wasn't going to repay the favor.
Minagi of course followed Minako and Aigis.
She is not friends with Shion, but she is pretty bent on trying to make up for a long list of shit she did, thusly, she pretty much :3ed at them until they agreed. Also, she serves awesome raid utility with her persona.
Stepping through the fog riddled land and looking around she blinked. "This looks like the river...but with a maze. Man, the real river should have a maze, it would be fun...this might be too..." She pauses, "Uh, without the shadows and trying to save someone." Minagi says, sheepishly.
Minagi also provides a passive boost to runspeed, and can be equipped as a weapon in a tight spot. However, you can not duel weild Minagi, because she is unique. "I don't really remember the last dungeon too well...kinda foggy on the memory."
Yukiko had had, in her estimation, of course, a rough last couple weeks. But she was bound and determined to go on this mission to rescue Shion. It was a relief to notice that there were such a large number of people going into the TV world today. Yukiko was wearing her usual getup - red sweater, long skirt, and shoes, an elegant fan made of peacock feathers held at the ready. Trotting along with the KDA bunch, Yukiko purses her lips tightly, glancing up towards Thora and Shirou, trailing along behind the pair.
"Well, um..." Yukiko mentions when Fumiya asks his question. "We kinda just charge all around, and try to find the person being tormented by their shadow?" Yukiko says, her tone of voice rising to make what she says sound like a question. 'Charge all around doing things' seems to be the KDA way, and by gosh, Yukiko was going to stick to the traditions.
But all in all, Yukiko seemed troubled, a frown often decorating her expression as she glances along the nightmare landscape, and the occasional glance over her shoulder towards a certain person in a green jumper may explain why.
Enoha is covering all her bases as best she can. Learning from Shinjiro's dungeon, she's plunged into the archives of the local Inaba library, going into the dusty stacks to look up newspaper articles, old records, anything she could possibly grab ahold of. Her prarents provided the first clues with full names, the name of their business, among miscellanous items of knowledge. .... Her mother took a while to access that part of her memory, her mental dementia blending past and present and flattening them into a paste of compressed time. It was the first thing to really go when her disease's progress quickened, and it's been that lack of the perception of time that's made things troublesome.
Anyway. The other base? Texting Adachi about them going in, how she loves him, and how she'll text them when they get back. "... It was a cartoon show from the West," Enoha says, fiddling with the clip-on lenses on her glasses. "I never watched it, really." Looking to Fumiya, she says, "Really, it's about navigating towards ground zero. Since we're in a reality conjured by someone's mind, the rules can be changed from dungeon to dungeon, sometimes while we're inside it. So, be careful." She frowns. "... I suppose that's the easy part, there. The second part is confronting the person's shadow. And that... well. Save your energy for that. It'll be hard, both mentally and physically, since we'll be dealing with someone's inner thoughts, compressed down. Whatever you do..." She looks out towards the front. "... Don't judge her. This wasn't something she wanted any of us to see or experience."
She'll have to try hard to remember that too- Ran was especially hurt during Shinjiro's dungeon (and this, after all she went through in hers), so it may be Enoha may present herself an easy target. "I'll try to help with what I know, and, of course, help you with my own persona."
Chie Satonaka, DUTCHESS OF YOUR DEMISE, is...only kind of here.
To whit, the girl has seemed reticent in a way she almost /never/ is with regard to TV dungeons or, in fact, life in general, just kind of hanging at the back of the group with her glasses on and her hands in her skirt pockets, looking like she doesn't actually want to be here.
She doesn't like Shion. She might hate Shion. She /definitely/ wants nothing to /do/ with Shion. And she /certainly/ doesn't care what terrible truths made Shion such a tremendous bitch!!
But even as much as she might grumble, she knows she can't just allow Shion to die, either. Fortunately for everyone, Minako appears to have taken up Chie's usual supply of insane blindness to the horrors of the dark universe. Or willingness to ignore it, anyway. (in her usual way of COMPLETELY refusing to just accept that she does not know /any/ normal people, Chie gave Minako a funny look and a few seconds of flustered half-vocalizations before just hanging her head, defeated again.)
Still: They begin filtering into the staging area of the dungeon. These places are strange but they structure is pretty predictable, so when she sees the flickering red-on-black gateway, she wanders over to a section of the staging area to get comfortable and re-tie the preposterously enormous armored greaves she's wearing, taking deep breaths and trying to get her head together. She didn't really want to care. She didn't want to know what was going on in that woman's mind. She was too angry, too hurt, to want to know the truth. But she can't just let this happen, either. She has yet to actually look directly at Yukiko.
Somewhere else, Adachi read the text on his phone expressionlessly.
Then he clicked the phone shut, lifted his head, and prepared to go out--although he didn't grab his coat or shoes or anything like that.
Phantom voices begin to echo through the maze as people enter; the voices are familiar. One is Shion's; the other...is also Shion's, though she's different; more energetic, younger. The older voice speaks first, echoing through.
"I just wanted to help people..."
"You know, you could have helped people by working for your parents. When people die--that's when the people who cared about them really need help. ...But, you knew that."
"So I guess that's not why after all, huh? Funny. I think you know the real reason."
Indeed, at first that green grass that a certain naked robot has noticed is just that; soft, and pleasant, even as the group enters the maze. It's open-air, after all; the hedges only go up about eight feet in some places. Except...There's a small skittering sound from the walls, and the corridors are too tight for the group to walk side-by-side. Perhaps Shirou's statements have been tempting fate, after all. It's not a very wise thing to do, is it?
At first, the only obstacle is the maze itself; between the group, they may find a way to navigate, as the initial passageway opens up into three different branches. Which one to pick? Left, right, straight ahead? Any option at just this moment seems about the same, really. It's not easy to tell what's where. What's worse, of course, is the fact that the sounds in the walls are beginning to grow a little louder...
And then, there's something else. There is, very suddenly, a feeling of being /watched/. There are a few shadows here and there, meanwhile, roaming about the maze. They aren't terribly powerful this close to the exit; a few strange hableries, and a few others that resemble stringy-haired girls in pots.
"Under any /normal/ universe, if you just follow the left hand wall, you will eventually find your way out of a maze. But we all know that the Universe doesn't particularly care for us, especially here." And especially him, he muses in his head as he moves forward. Move forward man... never back.
"If you guys want to split up, now's the time. I don't expect cellphones to work. I'm heading left." He says declarivitely, heading that way. Right now, the danger isn't too bad.
He listens a bit to Shion's little monologue... her parents? Now that he thinks about it, he didn't know much about her past...
Oh hey, new babe alert. Fumiya probably spends a few seconds more than he really should have eyeing Minako over, and gives her a mental 'thumbs up' before moving on. In fact, he moves to the front of the group as if he decided just now that he was going to be the leader. Because the guy who's never rescued anyone in the TV World before is the best choice, clerly.
Of course if anyone shoves him aside comically he's not going to push the matter. But hey, there has to be some levity here.
Though any upbeat atmosphere Fumiya was trying to foster probably crumbles away when Shion's dialogue with herself kicks in. "Geez... is it always that.. um... direct?" He doesn't quite remember his own dungeon that well.. /should/ he?
Oops! No time to reflect on his own dungeon, please don't offer any answers folks, there's shadows drawing near! Fumiya doesn't hesitate to sic Murugan on them, blasting the group with a hail of arrows. He likes fighting shadows, Fumiya realizes. There's no feeling guilty.
As was the case during TV missions that Thora has attended, her attention is eventually drawn to the one person in the group who she /doesn't/ recognize: Minako. Who on earth was that extroverted girl? Well, other than a SEES member, that much was easy to tell. If Aigis is okay with bringing her in, then everything's fine. Thora personally prefers making sure people have some non-live dungeon training in the TV first but lately she hasn't had the time to give people that kind of experience.
"Yukiko-san's pretty much got it, Watanabe." Thora says in a nonchalant manner, casting a wary glance in Enoha's direction. Blast, did they know each other? Reid's presence is less than a surprise, given what Thora knew about their ~relationship~. Thora can actually relate a little to the position he's in, what with having pursued Shirou at one point. After the exchange between victim and Shadow, she speaks up again. "We follow those voices. Sometimes the shadow pops up to taunt us."
Squeezing through the hedges is a little bit more uncomfortable for Thora give her wide frame. As she hears those noises, the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. A lady-in-a-pot, a shadow that Thora's actually never seen before, gets soundly smacked away by the hammer, which seems to make an unusual crackling noise when it strikes.
"Scooby Doo?" Of all things, that actually brings a hint of a smile to Reid's face. Tipping his hat toward Fumiya, he snickers, "I've been sayin' that all along. Too bad these ghosts aren't just dudes in masks, though."
A quick glance around the group brings a bit of reassurance to the man; several of these kids he had worked with before, and knew what they were capable of... even if Shirou did sort of destroy existence the last time they hung out. Still, it was good to know there were some other folks he could depend on when things got weird... and if his previous experience was any indication, this was not going to stay a pleasant nature hike for long.
As his eyes fall upon Aigis, the bartender does a double take. "What the hell...? That..." he mutters under his breath, amazed. Sure, he had met the robot several times. He had even said she acted like a robot. But she really /was/ a robot? That-- "makes perfect sense, actually."
The disembodied voices catch him off-guard, but only for a moment. Narrowing his eyes to the corridors, he marches along while peering about his surroundings. That sensation of being monitored was disturbing, but what could he do? Weren't they /always/ being watched in this place, after all? It was... well, a TV. "I don't think splitting up in this place is a good idea, really. It never is... Man, maybe you kids /do/ need to watch Scooby Doo. And Koinose-san," Reid looks back to the only other adult present, "did you manage to find out anything? I really should have thought to ask you earlier." He fails at investigatings.
Minagi has become very good at ignoring people that she has to interact with directly. This case it is Thora, they simply /do not talk/ to the other, and apparently this might be something both sides can agree on. Minagi herself stopped asking questions, because she wasn't getting them answered (directly) anyway. Instead, she listens, the voices from nowhere don't bug her. Hearing both her shadow and a portion of death speak directly into her head kinda jaded her to these kinds of things. She really didn't understand what they were saying, but this is mostly because she didn't really know Shion.
However, she does know about smashing Shadows. Minagi dives forward, using her fists to help lead the way, diving into shadows, and punching them until they stop moving, or punching them until they stop resisting being used as a weapon to club other larger shadows.
"So...which way are we going? I don't think we should split up either. That is just askin' for a giant bullman shadow!"
Chie follows everyone in, continuing the trend - hanging back, hands not in her usual casual position.
She looks up at the dueling voices, staring unfocusedly into space. ...familiar, huh. She walks along with the others; even /usually/ she never makes these calls, so she's comfortable enough letting Teddie or really whoever is in the mood direct their path.
She stops, foot failing to quite hit the ground. A...resonance? Or maybe just a knowledge, fundamental and frightful, that something terrifying is in the shadows.
The Shadows are no problem, of course. Chie lets Tomoe out to clobber them.
There was always something about TV dungeons that kinda put Yukiko on edge. Disturbing, just subtly so, usually - and this one was no different. Part of her knew that whatever secrets that were shared were likely very personal, and the person probably didn't want them know, but like someone staring at a train wreck, Yukiko could not help but strain to listen to the sounds. Brow furrowing with thought, Yukiko takes a glance over her shoulder towards Chie, her expression twisting somewhat - the frown becoming deeper and stronger. With a shake of her head, Yukiko gains a new focus in her demeanor, her eyes darting forward as she clutches the fan of feathers.
What was happening was far too important for Chie's drama, and Yukiko would have none of it! (Nevermind the fact that Yukiko probably seriously contributed to the drama, herself, but then again, Chie's, um... love for Shion was pretty well known among a certain circle.) As people attack the shadows, Yukiko joins in, the dance of Konohana Sakuya generally shooting balls of fire at the poor, weird little shadows. Yukiko would certainly stick with the group.
Huh, voices? "Katsuragi-san?" Minako calls out, pausing to tilt her head to one side at the sound. "Hey, we're coming! Hold on!"
Oh wait. Is that what's going on? She grins over at Thora a little sheepishly. Well, that was a little embarassing! Oh well.
So much for the ants go marching two by two, huh? This hedgemaze is venturing just a little bit on claustrophobic. Racing now to keep pace, she follows the rest of the group, only coming to a stop when that branching pathway is reached. "You're right," she says, glancing over at Shirou, "We should split up! We'll cover more ground that way." It was better than checking each one as a large group; there was just /no time/ for that. "I'll taaaaaake..." she drawls out, resting the butt of her polearm against the ground as she stops to think. Which one?
Minako's red-eyed gaze flickers from one to the next, and just barely, her lips move. "Kagome, Kagome, the bird in the cage..." she murmurs, the children's song barely audible. Finally, she nods, and points with her free hand. "This one!" It's the one the right. "Come on!" Without further ado, /she is off/, naginata at the ready.
Minagi Shimizu says, "Why don't people listen to me?!"
Aigis is pretty cool with Minako coming. And Enoha too for that matter--Enoha also asked if she could come along. SHe pauses, briefly, as she hears voices, but she frowns briefly wondering which is the best way to go. It's a very important decision that she never has to make, however, because Minako runs off--to the right!
Aigis looks up, blinks twice, and then runs after her without further ado.
Seems like Shion has a jerky shadow after all. How sad, Aigis thinks, but she'll try not to hold shadow jerkiness against Shion. Sometimes it can be difficult, if a shadow is particularly jerky.
"Sorry- I sort of learned about Aigis-san's nature this way myself, if this helps," Enoha offers to Reid. "It was the first time I was caught in the Dark Hour, so... it was a lot of surprising things. I don't know how she came to be, but she's been a great friend. And a frequent patron of the store as wel-" She blinks as the strange red-eyed girl runs off, Aigis loyally following behind. "H-hey!" She sighs, rubbing her neck worriedly. "... This could be bad... We should stick together until we know how this shadow will manifest."
At least Aigis will be with her. Aigis is one tough robot, after all. "Maybe we should try knocking down the hedges and making our own path? We should probably just test it first, in case the TVland reacts negatively..." Granted, someone just might get all Leroy Jenkins on that idea, but Enoha's throughts keep going back to Chie. She doesn't really realize Shion's reasoning, does she? The last time Enoha *did* see her was by the riverbed, and she was with Nanako. That factor kept her from really addressing her thoughts on Shion. ".... Satonaka-san..."
Then Reid asks her a question. "Yes. Sorry I didn't contact you. I... wasn't sure if I should or not." She smiles guiltily. "I looked through the stacks in the Inaba library, plus the internet. Her parents, of course, run a funeral home in Inaba- my mother did business with them when she ran a floral shop twenty years ago. Everyone was confused when Shion-san herself didn't take over the business, and... well... there was a friend of hers, in high school, that may have gotten her into trouble. I think whatever happened is something Shion-san still feels guilty about, which... I can understand."
"Here. Let me remind you. That time, here at the flood plain? Just before graduation? ...With...?"
"...Don't talk about her."
"Oh, I will. I think you really want me to, in fact. That's why we're here, after all, at this place. ...The place where she told you how she really felt."
"...I know. I...wasn't good enough.."
"That's right. You weren't. You remember what she said, don't you?"
The voices fade out, at that. With the shadows along the way disposed of in something of a mess of black goo, he way toward those branches is clear. It's hard to bring to bear the bigger weapons along the way, but Personas work just fine; in fact, it seems that fire is very effective in here. Not that surprising, for a maze made out of plants, is it?
The group has decided to split up, and each branch did, after all, look just as good. The feeling of being watched intensifies, as the groups move away. Those who went to the left, led by Shirou, will move along a pathway that grows just a little bit smaller as they walk; few shadows are on this side, simply more of the same, but they'll be delayed by one huge shadow that resembles every bad stereotype of a police officer that is standing directly in their path. After that, though, the path moves right.
The group to the right, meanwhile, going after Minako, will find a path that branches three times, eventually resulting in another left. Before they get there, however, they'll have to deal with many more shadows; more of the strange girls in pot, screeching out their protests at anyone attempting to navigate their way through his place.
The two sides, unfortunately, do /not/ come together right now in a comedic situation straight out of Scooby Doo. Quite the opposite; they can still hear one another, though, if they shout. After all, this maze is open-air. ...Both ends, however, go directly into a dead-end at the end of their route. It's just at this time that a voice calls out from 'forward' on both sides; the same voice that was talking earlier.
"Is someone there? ...I'm here!"
...Is the maze shifting, behind everyone?
"I /knew/ that the Universe hated us." Shirou mutters under his breath, panting just a bit after getting to the dead-end. He didn't like the folliage, sure, but his darkness abilities arn't all that great here: he switched to Cu Chulainn to up his spear power, stabbing the shadows, using the spear more like a pool-cue in this tight area.
He motions to the others, doubling back quickly. "Come one come one... I do /not/ want to be out here when it starts to rain. Seriously, open-aired dungeons... how do the stairs work unless we go /underground/ or something." Shirou has a big flaw in the TV World; he can't stop tempting fate. He just /loves/ to dare the powers that be to screw with him more
Minagi follows after Aigis and Minako, because she feels more comfortable with people she knows...reguardless of their running off against all logic like she tried to explain! Nobody listens to Minagi, because she was so short, her head was so tiny compared to everyone elses, and she was the master of :3. Minagi would have to come to terms that :3 made her less able to be taken serious by those that did not have :3.
Minagi proceeds to help people by kicking lady pots into other lady pots. Or headbutting lady pots.
Cut to her persona chomping down on another lady in a pot.
Then the end of the maze came. "Uh...so back up and go over t-"
Admittedly, Thora was curious what Shion's hidden sins would be. As an adult, she was liable to have more of them, piled up over the years in the back of her psyche, unresolved and festering. On the other hand, it could easily reveal something along the lines of Will Dent and how he oh-so despised those snot nosed brats. Pondering it further, she could easily see Shion developing a similar complex.
But the words she hears, which she listens to with interest, hardly indicate such. Based on the picture Yukiko brought to help Teddie, Thora had been surprised to learn that Katsuragi was an Inaba native. Yet again she was confronted with the knowege of how little she knew about the people around her. "...this is what asking no questions gets you..." Thora murmurs, dutifully following after Shirou no mater which path he decides to go down. She just follows him like a big blonde shadow.
That cop shadow, by the way? Thora attacks it a little too...enthusiastically. The cop-type shadows are actually Thora's favorite to fight for reasons not too hard to guess.
"Nah, it's a relief," Reid allows himself a laugh as the topic of Aigis' robot-ness is furthered, speaking frankly once the kid in question runs off in an opposite direction, "I once saw the girl punch out a tank, and have been terrified of her ever since. Now I'm... well, still pretty terrified, but it's cool now." As the children split up, the man simply lets out an annoyed little grunt as he continues the way he was going, following after the KDA group. Not only had he done this sort of thing with them before, but... the way Thora knocks over that shadow pretty much reaffirms his decision.
"And I understand," Reid frowns as he nods to Enoha, that knife twirling a bit faster in his hand, "it's never good to let someone go into a situation like this when they're upset. It can be hard to keep yourself in check." The barkeep was never one to listen to sound advice, even the bits he preached. Thus when that oversized mockery of a police officer manifests before them, the man snaps in a very obvious way; before he can even strike out physically, his persona manifests over his head, the twisted angel's arm thrusting forward to do something rather unpleasant to the shadow's face.
"Er, yeah," the man huffs, tugging the brim of his hat down. "Thanks for the info, though. I really didn't know that much about-- who was that?" His thoughts are derailed by the outcrying voice. So far the shadow banter was a mystery to him... Enoha's words only gave him the most basic of insights. Sure, Shion didn't mind a drink, but she never mentioned any regrets. As a bartender, he had heard his fair share, after all.
The path grows more and more narrow before her, Yukiko eventually being pushed more and more to the back as she keeps allowing those who really enjoy smashing things more room. During this transition, however, Yukiko passes Chie. Glancing up and away from her, Yukiko's lips purse tightly at the passing, Yukiko squares her jaw as she falls behind. Fireballs? Not in these tight quarters - she'd likely end up hitting one of the people whom she did not wish to. Instead, Yukiko calls on Konohana Sakuya to brush healing magic over each of the combatants...
Everyone but Chie, that is.
Hearing sounds of fighting towards one side, Yukiko glances over that way, drawing a hand up to brush her hair away from her face. "I... I can still hear the other team! But, um... the path behind us? I think it's changing. What if we can't get out?!" Yukiko asks, her voice rising with panick.
Chie more-or-less just follows. This is not so abnormal for her, not really. Chie is the bruiser, the heavy muscle. Other people think. Other people point her around. Chie leaps in with both feet and makes problems go away.
So it isn't so unusual that she lurks at the back, trading half-glares with Yukiko across the mass of people, but never quite seeming able to commit to the emotion, like just looking at her makes the bottom fall out of her thoughts.
Heals pass her by. She glances over again, but her eyes catch on the fan Yukiko's using, and then quickly turn away, to--
Stare. "Koinose...san?" she says, managing to muster some actual enthusiasm for the emotion of 'shocked, again.' "You're here, too??"
Chie has managed to pass Enoha like ships in the mist every single time the two of them have encountered the supernatural darkness together. "I," she stammers, apparently floored, and then just kind of slumps. "Man, seriously?"