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THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU [roleplay]



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[104 building, roof; 11:03am]

Kam sighed at the crowd below, thoughts wandering as her gaze lazily traced over the maze of painted crosswalks, the wave of people gliding below. They look like ants from all the way up here, atop 104, and Kam feels like the lord over her subjects. A bored lord. A very bored lord. She kicks her legs up and out in front of her, then rises to her feet. One step forward and she could plummet.

She hops back from the ledge, black sneakers hitting the floor. She’s gotta job to do, even if it’s a pain in the ass to be calling the shots for this day. Day--not week. Orders from the higher-ups, and she’s not in the mood to really ask the whys and hows.

Speaking of which, it’s about time. Rapidly swiping on her phone, Kam sends out the mission for the day.

Rule no. whatever-number-it-is: Reapers don’t show their faces until the final day. But this isn’t a normal game, apparently, so maybe she can afford to bend the rules a little.


-----

[shibuya crossing; 11:05am]

Head over to hachiko, dipshits. Give that good boy a pat on the head for me.
Or don’t and die idk, ur choice, ur life...
You’ve got 1 hour.


DJ reads the text. Reads it again. Scoffs. This has gotta be a joke, a troll, or something.

Spam. Definitely spam. Delete.

She pockets her phone into her hoodie and turns back to the scramble. Now.... why was she here again? Last thing she remembers is hanging out with her friends, then a boom, crash of some kind, and...

Her phone dings. DJ groans, ready to ignore it, but then a sting. Painful, like a buzzer shaking the palm of her hand. Her right hand reels back, a chill falling over her as sees numbers imprinted on her palm. A timer, ticking down, 59:54, 59:53...

Green eyes widen under the curtain of auburn hair.What the hell is going on?
 
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Max

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Jin rolled over onto his back and gazed up as the shadows of the crowd swept over him. People walked over him, past him, he knew they couldn't see him, he felt it in his oh-so-dead bones. His arms and legs sprawled out, he looked around a bit and knew exactly where he was. This was where the accident happened. It was all flashing through his head quickly. He was driving recklessly and in a hurry. His phone kept buzzing and he couldn't get the damn thing to stop. Clicking the volume buttons wasn't working, he could look down for just a second he thought, glance at the phone and swipe whoever or whatever it was away. He did so, and when he looked back up his natural reaction was to swerve around the stopped car in front of him. It was after this swerve that Jin smashed a pedestrian between his car and a pole. Jin didn't get a good look at the person as he himself was launched through the windshield and across the way, landing on his head just before everything went dark.

This was the spot. As little time as he had to look at his surroundings in the moment of the accident, he knew he was laying exactly where his head had smashed into the ground. And there was an odd sensation laying there, an odd knowing. Jin was wholly aware he was dead, and he was also aware that his spirit, if that was what he was now, didn't suffer whatever deformity his body had upon impact. Without a mirror, without reaching up to touch his face, he knew that there was no gaping split with cheek bones popping out, his face wasn't peeled off by the pavement like cheese peeled off a pizza. Both green eyes were present, and he could feel his "salt and pepper" hair as his friend called it tickling his in-tact face as the breeze blew it this way and that.

Jin craned his neck to the exact point of impact. His car was not smashed into the pole. The pole looked perfectly fine, and there was not, in fact, a poor, dead soul twisted around it.

"They must have already cleaned up after the accident," he thought to himself. "So then how long have I been dead? Why am I here now? And where was I in-between? Is there not a Heaven or Hell then? Am I doomed to wander these Shibuya streets?"

Jin's phone buzzed at the same time as he felt a shock on his hand. In his left hand he opened a message on that same phone he let himself get into trouble with before; a message, somewhat rudely he thought, instructing him to pet Hachiko or die. "But aren't I dead already?" In his right hand he saw a timer, ticking down from an hour, engraved in his palm. Confused by the text and the timer, as well as what this afterlife was exactly, Jin forced himself to his feet and let his legs start carrying him to Hachiko.
 

Ðari

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Shibuya was a pretty big place all things considered, the scramble crossing and all five lines were booming today like any other day. Horns honking, a collaboration of footsteps thumbing along right as rain. There was a separate set of footsteps that seemed to break from the passerby of the regulars. The fluttering of a wings were heard for all but a second, before he disappeared from the crossing almost as if he teleported. A blaring sound of static could be heard, sigils that floated about as a collective of thoughts, red in color.

[11:00AM - Scramble Crossing]
Hanekoma, Rien -- Reaper [Officer]
Specialty/Psyche - Paper Manipulation


Rien was a blindfolded reaper that wasn't actually blind, his senses were actually just really sharp. His silver hair and and sky-blue blazer and black jean fit was about all he had going for him. A paper crane flapped it's wings and landed on his shoulder as he sat, legs kicked over on the jumbo-tron screen in the Scramble X-ing. He could hear a buzz-buzz from his pocket, lifting his phone to his face, he peaked under the blindfold to read the text.

"Tch. Looks like some poor saps went belly up and got themselves killed, what say we go another week eh?" he grimaced at the thought.

He was mostly lackadaisical in nature, bullying kids wasn't something he took pride in. Though you had to do whatever your boss told you to do, 'specially if it means your job is on the line know what I mean? He rolled his eyes under the blindfold and snapped his fingers to agitate the noise floating around Hachiko statue, his paper crane was embedded with negative energy acting like a magnet to draw them in.

"You fools really screwed the pooch this time huh? Sicc'em boy." Rien scoffed

He had to give them a fighting chance however, a few of his paper cranes were flying around with D-class pins. Six of them, each landing on the base of the statue. These pins emblazoned with some sick ass properties.



+++Starter Kit Pins located on Hachiko Statue courtesy of Hanekoma, Rien.++++


Pyrokinesis - Fire emblazoned pin thats single-target, can burn with a fixed damage output for a duration of roughly eight seconds. Additional effects include inflicting burn status to the desired target.
-Type: Long-range (15m max range)
-Affinity: Fire
-Duration: Roughly 8s
-Reboot: 3 seconds.

Psychokinesis - descriptor pin that lets the user move physical objects and debris across large distances for a few seconds.
Type: Long-range (15m max range)
Affinity: Kinetic
Duration: Roughly 6s
Reboot: 4 seconds

Force Rounds - Designed with neon coned arcs, this pin gives the user the power to throw weak concussive rounds in multiple directions. The damage output is low requiring multiple simultaneous hits to confirm an erasure.
Type: Mid-Range (10m max range)
Affinity: None
Duration: 24 shots before reboot.
Reboot: 3 seconds

Shockwave - An unbranded pin that gives the wielder an extended hand-blade around one of their arms. Allows them the ability to fight at close-range and initiate an 8-hit chain combo which launches the target into the air after the 8th hit. The damage output is fairly low without combo'ing.
Type: Very Short-Range (1.5m max range)
Affinity: None
Duration: 24 hits (3 combo chains of 8-hits) before reboot.
Reboot: 6 seconds

Teleportation - A Mus Rattus brand pin used for utility and a quick save/escape. It grants the psych-user a small movement buff of roughly eight meters to the location their eyes are focused on.
Type: Mid-Range (8m max range)
Affinity: None
Duration: 5 Uses before reboot.
Reboot: 6 seconds

Ice Blow - D+B branded pin that gives the wielder the ability to create a pillar of ice below their desired target. This can launch and displace a target that is even lurking under the floor/ground level.
Type: Long-Range (15m max range)
Affinity: Ice
Duration: 4 uses (requires 1.4s to charge before releasing)
Reboot: 3 seconds
 
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purgatory

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I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something was off. Me? My name's Kuromoto, Yukinoshita. I've gotten some choice nicknames or shortenings, "Yuki, Yukinon". You probably couldn't tell by looking at me, but I'm a 2nd year from the Inaba district. I come this part of Tokyo every so often to spend time with friends and to shop. Today was already a little on the weird side and thats putting it lightly, I wasn't expecting to to get swept up by a power-line that the technicians were installing, while active. Funny right, who the hell dies to something so random and chance like that...my dumb ass apparently.

I remember standing in the middle of a white expanse for a while before I was approached by someone. Called themselves "The Game Master", handed me a black and white skull pin, calling it my "player ID" and said if I wanted a second shot at life to accept this pin as an invitation to the reaper's game. I'm absolutely flabbergasted at the audacity of this offer. I got told that I couldn't refuse, and in the next instant...people were walking right through me right here in the crossing.

"What...the hell..?" I had to touch my face to make sure I was all here in one piece, nothing beating into my back like that power-line.

Opening my hand I could see the pin, so that much wasn't a weird and strange hallucination. Thought bubbles began to populate and suddenly...EVERYTHING WAS LOUD. I could hear it, I could hear it as if the streets of shibuya weren't dead after all, but how the hell do I turn it off?? Clutching the pin again, sweet, sweet silence and I couldn't be happier. My pocket buzzed and vibrated, taking my phone out I looked at my phone.

"What...I don't remember this app being here...?" could you tell I was confused, it's obvious.


Head over to hachiko, dipshits. Give that good boy a pat on the head for me.
Or don’t and die idk, ur choice, ur life...
You’ve got 1 hour.


Ugh...I groaned out of sheer irritation, no way this was accurate, some kind of prank? My mind instantly lent to the idea was getting one of those "scam likely" texts from a random company trying to sell me some bullshit I didn't need. Deleting the text, another buzz, with an identical message popped up in my phone. It was the same exact message on repeat, take two.

"Ouch!" I could feel a mild pain burning into my palm. "A timer..?...Holy shit it's actually counting down..!!"

Hachiko right? I guess for the time being I would be humoring this text message, was this part of the reaper's game? I was about five-two, with a pale scarlet hair about shoulder length. Both of my eyes were an amber-like honey-dew, you'd never find that in my immediate family, pretty rare. I wasn't a fashionista or anything, but I was pretty confident in how boldly I dressed, a big Gatto Nero fan and Mr. Mew's backpack was the easiest way to pick me out from the crowd. Hachiko wasn't really far to begin with, I was starting to think this mission was just to get us to burn carbs.

"Was this really all we had to do..." I said staring at the statue, but it felt really...weird, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. There was a lot of negativity circling about Hachiko, I could see red and at that moment I wished I didn't see anything. "The hell...?" then came the croaking...
 
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Back in Shibuya again.

A youngster decked out from head to toe in MonoCrow gear. It was nearing flu season, he was face masked up and hooded for the safety of himself as well as those around him. It was more of a style choice than anything else, kid was a brunette with a messy arrangement of his bangs that were sorta pointed at the ends. Wasn't much of a tagger, but definitely an admirer of CAT, looking to the left of the wall you could see all the other big shots leaving their mark, especially MKN.

He placed a can down and walked away, leaving a crow-esque skull painted on the wall and not signed. His name was Adachi Daigo, but he preferred "Adagio" its a term that means "the music should be played slowly". His tempo wasn't fast by any means, he was methodical, controlled, as well as not quick to anger by any means. Making his way down the steps of Ugadawa Backstreets, he felt a tug at his hoodie met with a bag being dropped on his head instantly blacking out.


~~Scramble Crossing; 11AM


Like he was gasping for air his entire body jerked and he looked around confused. He held his head, touched his face, and adjusted his over-ears. Searched his memories for a bit, he got a brief intro to...well, his own death to be sure. After his black out he could only assume he'd been mugged and beaten to death in the backstreets. They definitely weren't amateurs, he couldn't even identify his assailants, how messed up is that?

He could hear a notification and simultaneous vibration from his pocket. It was a text.

"Game Master...?" Adagio was scratching his head here as he scrolled, "...looks like they want us to pet the statue, how wholesome."

'Did they really need to call me a dip shit...work on your tact at least.'

A slight shirk of pain burning into his palm. That 1 hour countdown was definitely on it's way it looked like some weird microwave timer. Adagio took a step and someone walked right through him. Followed by another and another, clearly wherever here was, wasn't the Shibuya he knew. Worrying about it now would only take away time from completing whatever the text said to do, he literally had nothing else to go off of at the moment. Adjusting his mask he resonated with a few other people moving strangely.

'Hmm? If that's not suspect I dunno what is.'
 
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She wasn’t even from here. DJ was just having a quick day trip to Ikebukuro with her nerd-friends, and then had a train to catch back home in a few hours. But the timer was still ticking, and her hand was still buzzing, and why was no else seemed phased by any of this? Was it only her?

“Okay… What to do, what do I do?” She didn’t know what to think of it, didn’t want to think about it just yet.

So she doesn’t. DJ makes a dash towards the direction of Hachiko, following the signs pointed to it. Several others seemed to have the same idea: even with the flow of the crowd pushing in one direction and another, even though not a single body made contact with her, she could see others gathering or at least heading in that direction.

Someone made it right before her - another girl. DJ stopped a beat, just a few feet behind her. Did she get the same message too? On instinct, DJ pulls up the hood of her hoodie, clutching at the ends as if to sink into the fabric like a turtle would their shell. Oh, she wasn’t really good at the whole… conversation... thing. She’s too awkward around people she doesn’t know, too not-cut-out-for-socializing. She’d much rather be playing video games, talking to online friends about her favorite cartoons and crafting new beats... Not being stuck in Shibuya playing this weird game that she never even signed up for.

There wasn’t much time to ponder when the statue seemed to growl, stamps of red peppering the stone, and then… frogs? DJ had gotten close enough to the statue to yelp back, sure to get the attention of the girl in front of her, but not caring in the slightest at the moment. One by one the stamps bulged and blended and morphed to take the appearance of a blur of static, hopping up and over DJ’s head and around the other girl to circle them in a tight ring.

The frog-like creatures advanced. They looked kinda… cute. And also other-worldly. Frogs do not have legs that look like that, all tattoo-y...

DJ begins to a glance over her shoulder to the other girl, but thinks better of meeting her eye-to-eye. Her gaze slides down. “Hey…” Oh, boy. Okay, it’s happening, she’s gonna do it, she’s gonna either talk or do something really stupid like barf.

“Uh. Uhm. D-do you, uhm. Wanna…” She pushes through the final stretch, her soft voice raising a little bit at the finish, fists clutched at her side. “Team up?”

Her gaze catches the twirl of paper at the base of the statue then--were those pins always there? DJ snatches one up, and not really knowing why, grabs the rest of them.

The frogs respond to that, or at least DJ wants to think they seem a little less restless and ready to pounce now. Their insistent hops feel less aggressive. Hesitant? Hopefully. “Uhm.” She scans the frogs, the pins, and then looks back at the girl. Her eyes are like amber, and if DJ had the time, she’d definitely, but privately, fawn over how they were the coolest color ever. She holds out her handful of pins in front of her, gloved hands quaking a little, voice still as fragile as ice. “M-maybe we... use one?”

She also thinks about reaching out to touch a passing woman’s shoulder and… Oh, right. Not going to work.

Okay, plan B.

Hands still pushed out in front of her towards the other girl, DJ looks around a little, above the ring of weird-looking frogs, trying to scan for anyone like them. “Help? Anyone?”
 

Max

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Jin ran through the crowds of people oblivious to his presence- literally right through them. It was like running through shadows, or through ghosts. "But I'm the one who's the ghost, huh?" He thought.

As Hachiko came into view, he was greeted by the sight of two girls surrounded by large frogs, and for an instant he thought he saw what appeared to be tv static around the frogs.


“Help? Anyone?” Jin heard one of the girls call out as she scanned the area. He realized they were in danger.

"Hold on, I'm coming!" Jin called out to the girls as he started pushing his leg muscles beyond their limits, running harder than he knew possible. As he closed in on the girls and the creatures, one of the frogs leapt at the girl who called out and Jin lunged forward after it. He managed to tackle it out of the way, though it seemed completely unphased and then attacked him in a hop.

"Argh!" Jin yelled as he stumbled back, his shoulder feeling like someone just threw a bowling ball at him. "What are these things?" And how do we stop them?"

Jin faced the frogs as he stepped backwards towards the girls, standing close between them and the creatures.
 

purgatory

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This was already turning into a shit show faster than I realized. Could you tell that I was on edge, I could remember a little of that conversation in the white expanse. No way in hell was I gonna survive this whole shebang alone, I needed recruit a partner. Terrified at the very idea of being stuck with a total stranger for seven days...but that was better than getting erased. The bulging of the ever growing presence of "noise" at least that's what I think she said they were.

It was then I saw it, I couldn't really tell by looking, but I tapped my player pin to scan to confirm.

#$%@**!*!***()

"Huh. Wait a minute..." as if instinctively these words left my mouth. Why can't I scan them?

Oh god, I could already tell this wasn't someone off the street, it was another player. I was overjoyed, yet simultaneously worried at the same damn time, how the hell does that happen? I usually got a good vibe on my peers, and she was struggling, while the noise was just getting louder. I'm pretty sure that explanation said it loud and clear, we can't do jack shit without a partner and there was no forcing a pact, those had to be mutual right? Requesting a team up, it was like gripping at her soul to get the words out, yet their was an odd sense of relief when she said it and I couldn't help but crack a smile.

When she returned holding out her hand there were multiple pins in her hand.

"It'll be my pleasure, sorry if I'm being a little pushy here, but introductions after we get the hell outta here, sound fair?" my voice lingered, a small pillar of white light forged around us and the pins she held in her hand. "Maybe you can use those pins now, I'm gonna try something myself."

The hoops of my two bracelets lit up, activating what looked to be some weird vibrations clattering around my hands. This recoil was totally bogus, I could feel my hand going numb from the vibrations and I hadn't even done anything. How exactly was I supposed to get this damn thing to work, do I just wave my hand or something? One of the frogs moved in to attack us both and I was shit out of luck trying to make heads or tails of these bracelets when yet another player tackled the single frog that attacked to no effect.

It was probably rude to say, but I couldn't worry about them. I pressed my back to hers and concentrated really hard forming a tiny blue wave-like sphere between my hand no bigger than a grapefruit, and it left my hands to move slowly. When I crushed my fist the small ball released vibrations rippling outward that disrupted the noise, didn't do any damage, but they stopped moving almost as if they were in a snare of some kind. I still wasn't entirely sure how this worked, but I'd pick it up along with the rest of this game.

"I don't know how I hell I did that, but nows a great time to erase these things if you got any firepower!"
 
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She honestly feels like a kid out of her element in the midst of these strangers, even though DJ couldn’t have looked any older than her newfound female ally. Looked around the girl’s same age, in fact. She seemed so confident out there, doing what she could with her own power to keep the frogs at bay. Just like the newcomer, the one who had come sprinting into the fray just in time to throw a frog out the way of DJ. She really should thank the guy for that.

No time for introductions, the other girl had said, but really, if DJ didn’t at least give her name before all of this was over, then she’d never find another chance to do it. Knowing her, she’d lose her nerve and slide off to the side somewhere and never interact again. Abandoning all the confidence she'd built up in asking for a team up to get through this craziness together, an alliance that seemed to be official in a stream of white light when she made physical contact with the other girl… What was that even about? Game mechanics? This was all getting a little too... real. Even the frogs didn't look so cute anymore, not after seeming to inflict some pain onto that guy's shoulder.

The unanswered questions would have to stay that way for a while longer. Her new ally calls back to them, urging, and DJ snaps back to attention. She nudges the guy in front of her just as he asks a few questions of his own. She holds out her hand full of pins in answer. “Maybe... these help? I dunno, try one. Y-you can pick first.”

If DJ saw someone else try their hand at it, maybe she could learn and BS her way through it well enough to actually get some type of favorable result... Hopefully.

“...T-thanks for the assist, by the way. I-I’m Junko. Date Junko. Or just… call me DJ..." She averts her eyes and shrinks into her hoodie, force of habit overcoming her yet again. "If you want… to team up with us, you can...” But you don’t have to! was on the tip of her tongue as a follow-up, but a lunging frog instead made her yelp in surprise, narrowly missing it with a quick side-step off to the side.
 

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It didn't take very long as he thumbed along watching other bodies moving irregularly against the crowd. His eyes were sharp and not easily fooled, normally slow and methodical after all. Adagio dug into his pocket and pulled out what looked to be a pin with a skull decal. Thumbing the back, it was nothing special really, he tossed it and caught it. Weaving through what felt like an endless ocean of thoughts, he got a bead on three people four people he couldn't scan, one was...above him?

Turning the dial on his headphones, he decided to speed things a long just a bit. Weird things were happening, he could see the spawning of those weird symbols taking on a physical form. They started to even move towards him and he was just thumbing a long all by his lonesome.

Raising his arm, he was nearly blinded by the light the circled about just outside of Hachiko. Moving over, he slid under a frog jumping right over his head. Cupping the ground to brake himself, his hood dropped and he found himself in the middle of a circle of what looked to be other players. There was acknowledgement that he could be seen by where their eyes were moving, and a pretty bossy-sounding chick by the looks of it.

"Guessing you all are players too huh. I take it you all got the debriefed about pacts and teams?"

Like a poof the noise stopped moving for a second, almost as if they'd gotten stunned or frozen. "Well thats one hell of a psyche. Whats say we be friends?"

He extended his hand down to the young man and picked him up while the noise where down. "Adachi Daigo, but Adagio is fine."

Adagio was nodding his head, holding his phones close, his psyche was tempo control. He'd need regular pins to implement any kind of actual attacks, but he could however augment his teammates. Musical notes lingered from him as he nodded his head, a red aura like rising light started to bead off the four of them like heat.

"It's either we erase'm or get erased. We all on the same page?"
 

Max

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So much was happening so fast, people and events and... frogs, all swirling around Jin in a blink. The girl further away from him slowed the frogs down, the other girl, DJ, offered her hand, pins, and the fantastic idea of teaming up and sticking together to get through this mess. And finally the newest addition to the scene, the boy who prefers to be called Adagio, helped make sure Jin was stable before also making a call to arms for everyone to work together and nodding his head, music notes emanating from him as a red aura enveloped the four.

"I'm Jin... Alright everyone, let's kick some frog ass then," Jin said with an exhale, trying to focus and stop the adrenaline of the whole situation from making his hands shake.

Jin reached out to DJ to take one of the pins, he was pretty sure he understood, just like he understood he was dead, he just knew. As his hand touched hers whilst he plucked a pin from her palm, another circle of light flashed, his hair whipping around. He looked at Adagio, as well as DJ and the other girl, and he could feel it in his core, this was it, his fate and his lifeline was now connected to these three strangers and he was going to do everything he could to keep them alive, the same way he hoped they'd do the same for him.

As the light faded, the frogs simultaneously broke out of their stunned state and Jin heard their croaks as they began hopping around again. Jin scanned the area, and grasping the pin DJ gave him in one hand, he used his other and focused his palm out towards a car.

"It's like real life Frogger." Bad joke made and car levitating at Jin's will, Jin waved his arm through the air quickly, guiding the car and smashing it into a group of frogs. The group and the car disintegrated into static and Jin looked at his palm and the pin in awe before looking around at everyone else. More frogs incoming, he reached out and levitated a bike to the ready, prepared to defend his new teammates.
 

Ðari

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"Of course you'd be up here doing absolutely nothing!" a voice penetrated Rien's ears and he turned his head.

Looking on a figure with skull face-paint and a beyond unusual fit. You could pick him out of even a Shibuya crowd in the RG thats for sure. He'd gone a little postal with the assortment of different brands that began to populate the city a few years ago. Still, to be graced by this work-a-holic was everything but a fun experience for Hanekoma who was trying to relax at present.

Soujin, Vandiken. -- Reaper (Harrier)

Specialty/Psyche - Red Luminous (Red Light Control)

"You seen Dexter today?"

"What? No dude, i'm just here doing the bare minimum, anymore is just a pain." Rien rubbed his neck and groaned

A vein pulsed near Van's temple, "Don't give me that crap you slacker! Aren't you impressed theres more places than just the UG and RG? I'm surprised Shibuya's GM even let us rock out as reapers here!"

"You sayin' you're in a rush to get owned by that chick Courtney again, what were we on that plane...Collectors?"

"Sh-shut up! We don't talk about that life anymore, we're reapers man! ANYWAY, have you seen Dexter today?"

"Dude, do i gotta start calling you by your username here too? Irukanji?" Rien rolled his eyes under the blindfold, "Our old boss was...weird as hell giving us AOL-type usernames."

A bright medium turquoise pole dropped down in between the two of them from straight up, and a girl slide down the pole like she was a dancer of some sort. It admittedly looked pretty elegant all things considered. Ripped jeans, and a belly exposed top with ribbed design over the left shoulder.

"Van why the hell are you yelling at Rien again...it's only the first day."

Landers, Dexter "Dex" -- Reaper (Harrier)

Specialty/Psyche - Ganju Ganju Pole (Elastic, Extendable Rod)

She whacked both of their skulls with a hit at each end from her elastic extendable pole. "Check your vibes idiots. You trying to alert the players, let alone the noise to our spot?"

"I'll take the scolding in good faith. Whats the word Dex, GM say anything about the plan for the week?"

"Making it up as she goes a long, what even is this first mission. You check the roster out? Who's the introvert-cutie with all that dormant soul? I say we hype her up this week, I'd love a partner with that kind of potential."

"How you guys even survived the Negative District and everything up until now...still amazes me. Take this shit seriously please."

"Dude lighten up."
"Dude lighten up."

They said at virtually the same exact time. Whether it was a shockwave or invisible arrowing, Van clutched his chest like he'd been wounded. There was a grimace that appeared on his face and he rubbed his nose before adjusting his hat, annoyed. The three of them checked their phones, going through "player profiles." They were reapers, and per the game rules they had to get creative with their means of testing them to be sure.
 
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Oh, nice, now the kids had pins. Groaning, Kam flips out her phone and begins to tap a text to her fellow reaper officer (but who knows if he’d take off his blindfold to actually read it).

Rien.
Ri-ri.

What'd you do. We could've had game over by now.

Rien is the only one she knew who had the ability to craft paper like that, guiding the players to their psychs and effectively ending any dream Kam had of napping the rest of her week. An easy, quiet week was within her grasp, all the kids had to do was go up to the damn dog and find themselves getting walloped by noise without any help or clue.

Now I have to work this week.
Boo.


A flash of light pulls her gaze from her phone back to the concrete rumble. Kam’s eyes light up a little, dreadful and bored as they usually were. Oh, gross. Something new. And nothing’s ever new in this godforsaken game, so of course, seeing the partner dynamic go from two to three, then four, was about as weird as another sight in this game.

“Somethin’s off about her,” Kam mutters under the cover of her hand, eyeing the hooded girl who still looked to be deciding what to do and how to do it. Way off. “Head hurts just thinking about it...”

So much for a quiet week. She needed to clear her head. Pronto. And with a flick of her gaze, and an outstretched hand off to the side, she pulls the solution into her lap: her guitar case.

The tune from the guitar is far from anything resembling a complete melody. Just random notes strung together, but it was something to take her mind off everything. Drift off. Kam keeps one eye on the fray, and as she strums another note, on cue a static rips The static takes shape, and the noise at Kam’s feet is that of a crimson ferret adorned in the signature tattoos.

“Clever lil rat.” But the softness in her tone and the small smile on her face suggest the noise is anything but an annoyance. Kam runs a hand down the familiar ferret’s body, and the noise leans into the touch with a chirp. “Keep an eye on her, Lucy. ‘Kay?” The ferret follows his owner’s gaze down to the concrete street, and it’s off in a purposeful leap off the side of the building. Understanding its priority and leaving Kam to work out a few more melodies atop the ledge of the 104 building.

-----

Back to back with the group and the other pins stashed into her pocket, DJ clutched the only promising pin she had in her palm. Here goes nothing. “Erase” the frogs. Or something like that… Should be easy, right? Jin and Adagio (everyone so cool with their cool names, and then there's DJ) seemed to make it seem so.

DJ threw out her hand like Jin, and an arc of green disc flew from her hand then rebounded back towards her hand like a yoyo, striking a few frogs in its circular path. She keeps her hand out until it’s back in her grip, the disc humming with a cackle of green electricity. It should have hurt, it shouldn’t have felt so natural to let it go again and let go of another in her other hand. Both returned in a whirr and whiz, slicing through the weird frogs in a string of static. “...woah.”

Are they… actually gonna win this? Kinda looks like they are! The swarm has thinned out from what felt like a dozen to a few. And judging from the rest of the crew, everyone still had the energy to spare - they’ll need it. Behind the diminishing wave of frogs, another static blurs from behind them. A single one, but much larger than anything DJ had seen summoned by that static, and the wolfish growl emitting from it had DJ tugging uneasily on the drawstrings of her hoodie.
 

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Could you tell that I was really digging into the vibe of everyone here. These players were pretty damn cool to be fair, a smirk formed in the corner of my mouth before I realized it. The tension eased some, feeling what felt like two more frequencies get added to my own and the girl to whom initiated a team-up scenario. The growing sense of confidence was helping our conviction more so than I thought It would. I didn't think stunning some of those weird things would've prompted such a swift reaction like "erase'm", not in a million years.

I've been wrong before, happily this time. Plucking one of the pins from Date's hands I gripped it tight and pushed my hand with a wave.

.......

"What...?" No response, not even a humorous gesture, "Is this thing busted or something?? Why won't it work?"

I grit my teeth and cupped my fist with the player pin, as it lit up punched the air in front of me in frustration. An air current pressurized and released a high pitched whistling sound. If you could see my face, my jaw was open as my face looked rather horrified at where that much power came from. I watched the remainder of the small crowd of frogs get swept away in the current, reducing themselves to static. Erased. Looking at my hand, then at the pin I took from Date, I turned and returned it.

"Looks like I can't use it, you hang onto this ok? Nice work!" I thought it was ok, but she tucked into her hoody and I could see why, "Whoa whoa...WHOA! Look at the size of that one!"

I'd think I would lose my nerve in a situation facing something that large and in charge by it's sheer size. The Jin fellow could probably bombard it with moving cars, I could stun it, Adagio could bolster our attacks, and Date could surely fell it with quick attacks. It all sounded swell in my head, but I needed to speak it into existence or we'd get nowhere.

"Lets take it out together on me. I'll stun him for a few seconds the rest of you work your magic!" I was insane, what the hell was I doing.

My body started moving as I pat Date's shoulder, the next I broke into a run and all four of limbs with a faint beige color. That ball swirled in my hand like last time, and I gave it a clean slam into the underbelly of the not-so furry friend of ours. It looked like a shock reverberated throughout it's system, trickling like a noisy static, not stunned, but definitely moving slower than normal.
 

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This was going way better than expected. Shame the bossy chick couldn't use one of the pins DJ grabbed. Suspiciously enough, they seemed like they were left there as a means of giving the group of a fighting chance. Adagio was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth and the thought perished as quickly as it came. He strolled over a plucked a pin from DJ's hands before she started moving to the tune of her own psyche which was already an improvement to the gush & blush.

"You'd think with a psyche like mine, these should work no problem." Adagio pressed two pins, two in one hand.

The press was firm, and he moved a ways towards the frogs releasing what looked like round projectiles of light from his palm. The hits felt pretty weak all things considered, but after a few hits consecutively, they fizzled out into static. Adagio wasn't too alarmed by this if anything he was growing more and more concerned as Jin, DJ, and the bossy chick felled more and more of them. You know how those situations turned out in stories, movies, and video games...you bully the grunts then all of sudden the boss shows up. He'd never allow himself to forget he was a participant of a game after all, maybe he was just vividly imagining this scenario too much.

Looking at the pupper statue, there was what appeared to be a towering shadow springing forth from it. The issuer of today's mission seemed to have delivered in kind with one hell of a monster in a boss noise.


"Well that doesn't look good!" He said whistling loud and long taking a few seconds to marvel at the size of the noise, "He's boosted by the looks of it, looks like the Hachiko pup had an unwanted guest in need of erasure."

"Hey Jin, mind grabbing a few of these?" he made note of his psychokinesis feat from before, "I'm gonna buff the team, you mind throwing these things like a major league pitcher."

Adagio extended his arm in front of Jin and adjusted the knob on his headphones to activate his psych. The rounds were hovering, and the aura floating around the team, switched from red to blue. Things were getting faster, Jin could definitely give those weak little rounds a punch with some added speed. That bossy chick had to of lost her mind, charging in head on like that at the massive noise. Striking it with a blow from that ball from earlier that stunned the surrounding noise, was she trying to do that to this thing? Now wasn't the time for what ifs


"Let'em have it!"

 

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The four of them managed to take out the frog noise successfully. So successfully, in fact, Jin thought it was as if they'd been doing this for years.

"You guys, I don't want to jinx it, but I think we-" that was when Jin heard the growl. "-did it..."

The presence of the new noise was loud, and Jin could also feel the tension amongst everybody as they came to the same realization as him.

"We don't have to pet THAT one, right?" Jin said as he pointed to the beast. He forced a grin, or at least, he thought he did. For all he knew the expression on his face was as twisted as his stomach felt faced with their new situation.

That was when Adagio stretched his arm out in front of Jin, asking Jin to launch the floating rounds while he buffed the team. Jin noticed the aura around everybody turn blue, and his stomach felt like it untwisted a bit. Adagio's words gave Jin confidence.

"He's depending on me," Jin thought to himself as he watched the floating rounds of power.

Adagio buffed the team, DJ tugged on her drawstrings, and the other girl- well she had a plan as well. She called out her plan to stun the beast while everyone else did what they did best, or at least, whatever they had figured out how to do so far, and then without a thought she bolted towards the beast.

"This is it. Yeah! Okay Adagio, let's do this!" Jin gave Adagio a quick pat on the shoulder from behind and then he focused his attention on the rounds outstretched in front of him. "Concentrate," Jin squeezed his pin tight and clenched his jaw as he held out his other hand and managed to take hold of one of the rounds the same way he had the car earlier. It took less strength than the car he felt, but more focus.

As he levitated the round through the air, he held it outstretched above his shoulder ready to throw it. It didn't take long before he saw his opportunity: the girl managed to slam her psychic attack into the underbelly of the beast, slowing it in it's tracks and Jin threw his arm forward as fast and as hard as he could, launching the round at the noise and blasting right into it's chest. The beast was visibly hurt.


"We hit the bastard!" Jin yelled as he readied the next one Adagio had prepared. He took this one and wung it through the air again. This time he watched as it whizzed through the air, over the noise's shoulder, and blasted into a parked car. "Urgh! Sorry guys, whiffed that one..." He grabbed a third and readied it, taking a second to slow his breath this time. "I don't know how many more times I can do this, this one might be it..." The more he used the pin, the more drained he felt. Drained from using the pin specifically, it was odd, the rest of his body felt fine aside from where his shoulder had been hit by the frog noise earlier. It was as if the telekinetic ability ran on fuel and he was running out. Jin readied the round, and then he threw it through the air towards the beast one more time.
 

Ðari

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Rien was checking out the player's profiles through the RNS app and there was a vibrate and ping. Message from Kam/GM

'Oh boy, what did I do now?'

He clicked on the message while hearing those two prattle on in the background watching the players shred through the noise. "Damn, they've got some interesting prowess down there. Did anyone go over the rules this week?"

"I'll ask Kam to send us the rules. All I know is the entry fee rule is still effect. Theres also a rule about player teams that was adopted recently. Teams will be no smaller than three players and no larger than six players. If you want to translate that, it means by nature of the beast noise is inherently going to be more dangerous as the week progresses. They're basically doing our job for us."

Rien shrugged, he still hadn't read the message yet because they'd elected to bombard the officer with questions. You saw him raw his hands pantomiming Zip It to the two harriers.

"Again. I'll ask Kam about that other stuff, don't be a pain guys. Besides, it isn't about being over-eager that gets you promoted, you should know by know this game is about powerful souls with vivid imaginations being pitted against each other." Rien ended up spoiling the moment with such a safe comment that lingered off, "I prefer a deskjob honestly."


Rien.
Ri-ri.
What'd you do. We could've had game over by now.


He had a mental laugh going on in his head as he peaked under his blindfold at the message.

Now I have to work this week.
Boo.


The Composer would have our necks if we didn't give them a fighting chance.
You know my obsession with survival.
Once they got the tools they're on their own
Sorry ):


This was all pretty much said in earnest.

Can you send us the rules for this week?
Your the best :)
Keep those entry fees safe boss!


He closed his phone and tucked it away. "At the rate those rag-tags are going, we're gonna have to explain the rules sooner rather than later."

It had erupted into a full on dog fight down there. The impress of smoke and dust clouds from the noise getting pelted from their combination of pins and psyches. Rien released a yawn and stretched his arms and legs to limber up. "If you two are really bored, you might want to take the rest of the day off and work on harassing he players for Day 2. Looks like they'll be wrapping up this mission in short time."
 
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Kam tried her damndest to do the least amount of work this week, and that pretty much lasted for all but five minutes as she checked her buzzing phone for Rien’s message, her guitar still stalling her lap.

The rules for this week? Should be obvious: You wake up in the middle of Shibuya and with monsters chasing you: the obvious number one rule would be to not die.

At least that’s the way Kam started out. Players have it so easy these days, for real…

This round is weird, though. She’s never seen players in more than a pair. The boss didn’t really tell her about any of that, all they asked was for her to spice up the first week. Odd that they'd leave this tid-bit out for the GM to discover. Either there was a miscommunication between the upper management, or there’s a higher power that’s at work. And the reaper was willing to bet it’s the latter.

Regardless, she texts back her response to Rien:

rule one, for you:

no “boss” please… (ew)
we’re the same rank

just kam is good

rule two for Dex, Van & other lower ranks

hold off on killing those irregular players
I’ll try to get a read on ‘em

other than that go wild

Gonna lay low and text missions for now.


Kids are always on their phones these days, anyway. Much different generation than when Kam was around their ages.

She looks up just as the fray ends, figuring now would be the best time to give the players a formal introduction. Or formal-ish.

After all, they did beat her challenge, fair and square.

-----

“L-leave it to me,” came the small voice from behind the group. DJ readied her hands one more time, encouraged by the surge of strength Adagio gifted the team and her other teammate's relentless attacks. DJ threw out one final green disc just as Jin hurled his own attack at the wolf-like creature who had leaped towards them to attack, and she grinned when her attack nailed the creature right on the chest. It gave a wounded howl that DJ had to cover her ears for, before dissipating in a static-y fizz just as her ring circled back to her grip.

DJ held her breath as if waiting to see if any other creatures would spawn from thin air. And so far... nothing.

“...Did we win?" She regards her teammates with a slight upturn of her lips, voice wavering but hopeful. "Mission accomplished?”

A sudden buzz from her phone causes her to jump a little, nerves still on edge. Digging into her side, she fished out her phone from her hoodie, seeing one new text from... Wait a minute, was this messaging app always on her phone? Just how is it contacting her? Who is contacting her?

way to go, gamers
you're the first team to complete the mission

as your reward, since you’ve probably got a few Qs, I’ll let each of you ask one question
it’s just the five of us in this group message
shoot
(& one at a time, pls k thx)

-kamiya

...Kamiya? Who’s that?

"...So, I'm still new to this whole... event... thing." DJ looks up from her phone to her teammates, not sure how exactly to respond to the text messages. "Is this part of the game, too?" Because she had tons of questions, more than just one, but if this "Kamiya" person was the one laying out the rules, then... They had to follow them if they wanted this to end, right? "I kinda need to meet back up with my friends soon..."
 

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I'm not usually this unnaturally stupid, I don't volunteer to be this bold, what I valued more than anything has always been my fears. Feeling that this was my limit, as far as I was willing to go...but when I reflected, I wasn't scared..? What the hell, I WASN'T SCARED? I rolled under the dog and ducked behind the Hachiko Statue. It let out some weird shriek, as Adagio and Jin slammed it with a combination move. I could hardly keep up with the movement, but I noticed he whiffed and it smacked dead center into a car.

"Long as no one got hit by that, I guess it's fine." I uttered, turning around and climbing up the statue.

Holding on to Hachiko, DJ and Jin launched their final attacks as it broke into a pounce-like motion. My hand was hovering over the pup statue with a stroke, and green disc barreled through the static's chest and it let out a howl, as it fizzled out into a static. I stroked the pups head finally and slid off the statue to get reacquainted with the ground.

Noise Erased

Well that was dramatic. The Jumbotron was displaying that white-noise channel with that redundant message before resuming it's normal broadcast. 'Weird.' I thought, approaching the three of them. In the corner of my eye, I noticed the retreat of the timer on my hand and needless to say it was already gone. I'd wager anything, we handled the mission from that first text message and we could, I don't know...relax?

"Now that we've got a second to breathe, where are my manners." I took point and finally said it, "My names Kuromoto, Yukinoshita, but my friends call me Yuki or Yukinon for short."

You had to of guessed what came next, there was vibrations coming from our pockets. In the same fashion as before, I looked at my phone to see something installing itself...wait it was installing ITSELF? A little skull and crossbones icon, before swapping to a check mark swoosh, and opening a message. My name was in the log, along with Date, Adachi, Jin and...Kamiya? Who the hell is Kamiya?

"...Who the hel- I mean, who's Kamiya?" I nearly blurted out what I was thinking, embarrassing...is this what no fear is supposed to look like?

It seemed like this was the mission issuer. The first question was then obvious.

"Ask her why are we here, who is she, what was taken from us, what are the rules? If you've got any better questions, remember she said only 1 per person." I wasn't super decisive or anything, but if nothing else I wanted to know what I was getting myself into, the sooner the better.
 

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Jin looked up from Kamiya's group text and focused on DJ, feeling a sadness in his chest.

"DJ, what do you mean get back to your friends?" Jin looked around at the rest of the group, trying to gauge if there was confusion amongst them. "I don't know if we can get back, I mean, you guys are all- you know... Right?" With a second to breathe now that the noise were all gone, Jin decided to open up to his team a little bit. It seemed right, after all, without each other it didn't seem they would be able to "survive" this mess, if survive was an appropriate word all things considered. "I, um, I died in a car accident. And it was my fault." Jin's heart sunk thinking about the fact that he hit someone in the process, that he hurt another person due to his carelessness. He was having a hard time forgiving himself, this wasn't like tripping and knocking someone over. He couldn't help but wonder if the other person, who he assumed was also dead, was also playing this "game." And if they weren't, were they in heaven? Was he stuck here because of what he'd done? Jin touched his head where he knew he'd landed on it in the crash and felt his eyes welling up. Holding back tears, he decided to lay it all out. "I hit someone, someone who was walking. And I- I don't know if they lived or if they died also, but I accidentally hit them into a pole before I died and-"

Jin stopped. If he kept going he was worried the tears would definitely start flowing in front of his team. They'd all just met and he laid his heart on his sleeve, and now he was starting to feel stupid. Nobody asked for his story, but he really wanted to know if everyone was on the same page, if everyone was here for similar reasons.


After collecting himself, Jin straightened up and pointed to his phone to redirect the conversation. "I'll text her first if everyone is fine with that? Yuki, I'm gonna send one of the ideas you had, it sounds good to me and relevant to all of us."

With that Jin began typing into the group text. "Okay Kamiya, why are DJ, Yuki, Adagio and I here? Like, us specifically."

"Hopefully this will explain some things for us about this whole... situation."

While he was waiting for Kamiya's reply, he thought he might try and lighten the mood. "So, guys, this Kamiya definitely confirmed this is some kind of messed up game to them and we're a team in it, right? So what do you guys think, team name?" Jin didn't necessarily have any stellar ideas in mind already, so he just decided to start spitballing. "Okay, so we could be Hachiko's Angels! Or maybe since we're all souped up with powers, we could be like, The Psychedelic Hybrids! There's a soundtrack to this one game, it had a track called Psychedelic and another called Hybrid and I thought- well, nevermind that. We could be Jin and Friends!" That last one he was sure would be rejected. "Or we could do something like JAYD? It sounds like jade, but it's spelled using our initials? Team JAYD maybe?"
 
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