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THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU [roleplay]



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Deimos

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There really wasn't much going on here. It was good to see that that big noise had fizzled out into static just like the frogs. Adagio gave Jin the proper fist bump as a sign of a plan coming together, you gotta admit this was a pretty impressive team. Bossy chick was feeling chatty finally, rather her name was Yukinoshita? Go figure, Adagio was just glad he had a mental sound in place of bossy chick to be sure. The vibration coming from his pocket, the timer also faded from his hand as he looked on relieved.

"Well look at that. That spam text number put us in a group chat together." Adagio stared at his phone for a brief moment. Only four questions huh? That should've been a no brainer, they were working on corpses worth of information, who's gonna play an unbalanced game anyway.

When Jin annunciated his means of getting here, that wasn't really hard to believe actually. Adagio stared at his skull pin, rather...his player ID as remembered being given this by what he imagined to be a reaper of sorts. A brief and he meant BRIEF explanation was provided with more holes in the information that needed specifics. An Entry fee was taken from all of the players following their untimely demise, likely something they'd each valued more than anything at the time of their death.

"Now that you mention it Jin. It isn't farfetched to assume all of us are actually dead, I don't remember in vivid detail what happened to me, but I knew I got mugged to death and asphyxiated." he pressed his fingers to his lips, all pressed to his mask. "Something was taken from all of us. Some weird person I talked to that gave me this player-pin said I had to pay a price for playing this game, called it an entry fee. The most important thing to us at the time of our death."

That grave reality started to sink in. "I'm an artist and nothing mattered more to me than color...so you're all Grayscale to me. Totally colorblind."

He scratched his head nervously. Jin went ahead and asked the first question out of the batch that Bossy, er...Yuki had given them. It wasn't a bad assortment of questions, they were pretty par for the course and it related to all of them as player participants in this game.

What is The Reaper's Game? "Sent." Adagio was content with that question.

"Team names? Bah...you're really twisting my arm here Jin." Adagio scratched his head, "Diverse Nation. None of us are from Shibuya are we? Except me it seems, i can tell by your fashion choices your mostly passerby. Just a guess, feel free to de-confirm my suspicions."

He turned to Date, "On edge? We'll try to end it as quickly as we can so you can stop worrying so much, makes you age faster." he laughed a bit.
 
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DJ couldn’t really grasp why Jin seemed so shaken up by DJ’s request to leave. This game was just a one-time event, right?

Oh, but it got worse. Jin went on to explain why she couldn’t go home, why he was here, why they were all here, and DJ just stared, eyes wide.

“...Dead?” DJ can’t be dead. She has class on Monday, she still needs to download that new fighting game from her favorite director, she still needs to say goodbye-

This had to be a joke, and her eyes glazed over as she read the response text from the mysterious Kamiya person on their even more mysterious group chat and app.

Okay Kamiya, why are DJ, Yuki, Adagio and I here? Like, us specifically.

Easy. Cuz you’re dead. Next.


Ah. So. Maybe not a joke.

What is the Reaper’s Game?

It was Adagio’s turn next, and DJ was still stuck on his explanation of his death as well. Mugging? Choked to death? Yikes, that sounded… painful. DJ wonders how painful her death was, and what exactly she had to give up. For Adagio, it was color, according to him. The young girl takes a moment to regard herself: Her clothes, her hands. She patted her pockets and fished out another pin, different from the ones she used to fight. A skull insignia was etched onto the piece. It was new, but other than that... Everything else seemed in order. Everything but her body being, like. Not physical. It was still all kinds of weird, but it'd make sense if you're no longer on the same plane of existence as the rest of the world. Oh man... they really were dead, weren't they...

Better.
It’s a game Reapers use to decide the fate of players like you four. Who stays dead and who gets another chance at life. Congrats.


DJ swallowed thickly, then tapped hesitantly on her phone her own question. Her teammates buzzed with conversation on a team name, but as DJ shrunk even deeper into his hoodie, hood up and gaze glued to her phone in her clammy hands. All she could think to ask was...

wat if we lose or quit?

You get erased. From existence. Deader than dead. Be my guest.


“I don’t care what we name ourselves. I just don’t wanna die... Again.” She looked up from her phone to regard the others, eyes a little hesitant, despite Adagio’s earlier attempt to cheer her up. “We have to… keep playing, right? But…” But for how long? How long would this last? Ugh, that should've been her first question!

“... But JAYD does sound kinda cool...”

DJ's phone pinged once more, Kamiya sending another message to the group.

You got one more question. Make it count gamers.
 

purgatory

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How do we win the game and escape?

I sent the last question. That last one was me thinking of all of us, but mainly D.J. in particular who seemed the most anxious out of all of us. Kamiya seemed rather snappy with these replies, so I wouldn't be waiting long. Chattering about some team name, truthfully I wanted to just blurt out anything. Watching DJ fidget like a nervous wreck was starting to unnerve me some. Remembering the moment that you died...it really friggin sucks, but it didn't seem like Date was able to recollect any of that event. Up until Jin and Adagio even mentioned anything, did she think she was still alive?

Man I couldn't get caught up in other peoples nerves and stress, I had enough ish to deal with at present. I was even less patient having forked over my entry fee that kept me well-balanced for as long as I could remember.

"JAYD..? You ever think the team could still expand? How on earth would we explain that to any other newbies we may or may not run into. Diverse Nation...? We're not a society or anything. The Pale-Flames? I don't know, what do you think Date?"

This had to be one of the dumbest distractions, but it was certainly taking my mind away from worrying about getting erased. The very idea rattled me, I was with her in the sense that I didn't want to die twice either. Getting chills from an electrical swat to my back was enough of a bad memory. I clutched my chest somewhat tight for a second, I was getting a beyond weird vibe...like we were being watched. You ever just felt like someone or something was undressing you with their eyes and it makes you feel really uncomfortable? Totally how I was feeling.
 

Max

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Adagio recounted his cause of death after Jin. Mugging and asphyxiation. Not only did that sound absolutely horrible, but having to remember it? Jin seemed to remember his death as pretty instantaneous as soon as his head hit the ground, but being asphyxiated would have been much slower and way more painful.

"I'm sorry, Adagio, that sounds horrible..." Jin placed his hand on Adagio's shoulder as a sign of sympathy. Adagio then went on to explain an entry fee they each had to pay before entering the game, the most important thing to them at their time of death, and he described having had the color stripped entirely from his world. Jin couldn't imagine.

Jin vaguely remembered something about an entry fee, though it was kind of hazy. "Is it weird that I'm not quite sure what my entry fee was?" He scratched his forehead and thought really hard about what might be missing, but he was drawing a blank.

DJ didn't seem to be taking the discussion of death very well. Did she really not know? Jin felt bad, wondered if he could have been more graceful about approaching the matter. But he just knew. And it seemed like everyone else was in the know as well, so why not her? Although he didn't know what his entry fee was, so maybe different things were hazy to each of them for different reasons.

The mysterious group chat was popping off. Jin got the one answer he was trying to avoid to his question: Because they were dead. "I figured that out, dammit! But why 'us?!' Unless every dead soul is here, why were we chosen?" Jin thought to himself. He felt like he'd wasted his question and felt regret towards the group for it. If only he could have asked about his entry fee, although that would have been a more selfish question.

Adagio's question was answered next, followed by DJ's. Jin was processing everything. So they were in a game to determine if they ended up "dead" dead, or if they could have another chance at life, and failing to win or refusing to play would inevitably end up in erasure. How did they win? Were they competing against other "teams" such as theirs, or was this all just a matter of the four of them winning?

Yuki sent the final question, and it was just that: how do they win and escape?

While they all waited on the answer to the final question they were allowed, the conversation of a team name continued. He was hoping to lighten the mood bringing up a team name after all the talk of death and brooding, but he wasn't sure if anyone would take to the small talk.

Adagio brought up a name based on the suggestion of each of them having different backgrounds, a deduction he made based on everyone's clothing taste. Jin looker down at his own clothes. He had some standard jeans with some rips in them, though the rips were natural, he never purchased clothes that way. He wore some default black and white converse, and one of those baseball tees that was primarily white with red sleeves running just past his elbows. He looked around at everyone else and made note of just how stylish they all were, each of them dressed different but with their own flare and self-expression. Whereas he now felt like he dressed pretty bland. The fanciest thing he had was a couple of bracelets on his left wrist and some socks with fancy print, though you couldn't see the socks because of the jeans.

Adagio called it like he saw it. Jin was not in fact from Shibuya, he was from a pretty nearby country-bumpkin town though, and he was pretty out of the loop when it came to fashion.

"You're right, Adagio," Jin said, "I mean I can't speak for everybody else, but I'm not from here. I kinda live in the boonies outside of the city, lots of fields and some farms and stuff, not a lot of people."

Jin snapped out of that train of thought when DJ seemed to like his Team JAYD idea. He smiled, and then his smile quickly went away when Yuki shot the idea down, as well as Adagio's idea.

"Our team expanding? Explaining the name to newbies? I mean, that isn't something I thought of exactly I guess. I don't know how all of this works, I didn't even expect to end up on a team at all. Maybe we could get lucky and someone would join with just the right letters to add to JAYD, or maybe they wouldn't even care and we could just keep the name? OR- well, I don't have an or." He didn't. "I don't know, I'm not super worried about what the name ends up being, I just thought it would be a fun little thing in this whole... 'not' fun situation. I'm fine with whatever everyone decides on."

Jin pulled a skull player pin out of his own pocket. He was fidgeting it around in his hand, trying to focus on it, trying to stay calm. He waited for the next message and looked around at everyone, feeling the tension between each of them like they were connected by a four-way string.
 
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Ðari

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~10 seconds to impact~

Rien rubbed his neck, the paper trickled and rode up his back and Wings burst, scattering paper-feathers atop the footing of the building. Kam called it, loud and clear, this was an observation phase so any altercations were to be avoided. These harriers were his direct reports, his eyes trailed, somehow fixated on the 104 building. Those players would just have to squat in ignorance for a while longer.

"If Izayoi saw any of us slacking off, we'd get erased for sure."

There had to be a bit of an understanding established with reaper hierarchy in this organization that presided over the Underground of Shibuya. The ranks were simple enough.

The Composer at at the top of this pyramid, no one but the conductor's actually seen them. His sole assistant, The Conductor under him, is Izayoi...the officer's direct boss. The Officer Class of Reapers, often a single Game Master or GM is selected to run the Reapers Game for 1 week. Next in the chain are Harrier-Class Reapers, those that have the ability to directly attack players under certain conditions within the games rules. At the bottom, Support-Class Reapers, usually those reapers with special instructions to provide mini-missions or conditions to clear a blocked area of Shibuya. These reapers don't have "wings" to speak of, but they all wear red hoodies and jeans and are often within proximity of an impassable barrier.

The Composer's been making certain adjustments to the rules as of late. Allowing its original ruleset to shift over the course of the years. No longer are players bound to a single other player, that rule has been shifted to allow a minimum of two-players to a team and a max of six-players. Harrier class reapers can participate in player collisions but only on the order of the weeks current game master. With all the staff shuffling, the new conductor thought it was easier to have two direct reports per officer class reaper.

Rien's direct reports were Dexter and Vandiken.
Kamiya's...well...they were far from a "friend" more of a pest than anything else.

"We are to remain out of sight up to the final day. Officer and Harrier class specifically. You may want to go topside in the RG, i've gotten a few areas of the city I needed sanctioned with the Reaper Decal. Players will be visiting them pretty soon."

"Then why don't YOU do that...?" Van snarked

"Thats more work. We don't do that here." (insert T'Challa meme) "Besides, once you've been given an order, thats it. You know that, Mr. Rulebook!" Rien departed a laugh, and it started a chain reaction to Dexter as well.

"I swear to god I hate you both. Fiiiiine, what are the locations?"

"There a new shop opening up on the third day in Dogenzaka. And new brand is launching on Cat Street by the seventh day. Remain out of site, and just send me texts if you have any other questions. Not sure how the game's gonna play out this week, things have been getting really weird lately."

[104 building; 12:02PM]

The flapping of wings as she descended and her black sneakers touch the iron grates of the 104 building. There was an inkling of laze in the air, though it wasn't entirely different from his. It was a woman, she/her to be certain, no taller than maybe five' one''. A short hair cut that was more fit for a punk, her hair and eyes both the color lilac. A long fish-net shirt under a white shoulder-length tee. She had a black skirt that was about the length of her mid-thigh.


Kiyone, Rhys "Purplepanda1"
Specialty/Psyche - ???
Rank - Harrier


"Sorry I'm late Kam, looks like the mission's already over." Rhys leaned down to sit next to her, taking note of the guitar. "Didn't know you still had time to play even in the middle of a game."
 

Cassette-Disk

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"That...was...POGGERS!"
Spike squatted on a roof, like the majority of other Reapers were. Unlike the other reapers however, instead of locating himself on the roof of a tall building overlooking the city, Spike was hiding himself behind the navigational sign located above a subway building right next to Hachiko Square, just behind the forever-parked green train carriage. "The Green Frog" was what most people called it, but Spike had called it his next door neighbor for the past few minutes. He leaned over the waist-high sign with his phone jutting out as far as his arm would allow. "Talk about a hot start, huh Reap Creeps? It's only Day One but this week's just ripe with potential!"

Spike stood up slowly and sat on the sign, facing away from the Players. As he did so, he flipped his phone around and tapped at it so the screen faced him. He looked at himself on the live feed of the stream as various comments zipped and zoomed across the screen.

「8888888888888888」「Beginner's luck!」「They look tasty! >:3」 「Spike say my name~~!!!」 「chat is scrolling so fast no one will notice me type that I'm an idiot ttv LUL.png」 「Wait, they're all in a group? What about the pairings?!」 「you're an idiot」 「OMEGALUL」

Spike held his phone horizontally and then opened the palm of his hand. A purple glow began to emanate from the phone itself and it began to float in place, freeing Spike's hands. When he spoke, he did so loudly and almost in a boasting manner, as if he either didn't realize or care how far his voice would carry.
"What's up, Reap Creeps? It's ya boy, Spiked Hoof. We're here on DAY NUMBAH ONE in this week's Game! I'm coming at 'cha LIVE up near Hachiko Square's Green Frog to get you an EXCLUSIVE PEAK at some of this week's players--and boy oh boy did I pick the right tree to perch at! I know it's only Day One and that these guys are PROBABLY gonna get erased in another day or two's time, but I still can't help feeling excited. Say! Why don't we go say hello? Good idea? Bad idea?"

ttv monkaS.png」 「Spike...」 「Do it, you won't.」 「Yeah do it! ヾ(≧▽≦*)o」 「Have you actually checked your phone? I think there's some orders going around」 「Just erase them and get this week over with ttv Kappa.png

"It'll be fiiiiine, chat. I'm just gonna say hello and leave. No biggie." Spike flung his legs over the sign before hopping off the small structure entirely and skipped easily on top of the green train carriage. As he moved, his phone followed behind, keeping a smooth view of his steps. He used to have the phone jump and bob around with him, but that had a bad habit of giving some viewers motion sickness. As he got closer to the players, he turned back to face the stream, walking backwards. "By the way," he reached into his back pocket and somehow produced a long black aluminum can with a Reaper-like logo on it. Instead of the red menacing skull, this one had a slightly more cheerful green one. He popped the tab open and took a long sip of the energy drink. "Shout-outs to our sponsor Mon-Star. If you order a case online and use the promo code 'Spiked' at checkout, you'll get a nice 15% off your order! Hell yeah!"

Spike had reached the players and held his head low as he approached, showing only the brim of his cap to them. He clapped quickly and happily as he made himself known, his phone and energy drink floating a few meters away and to the side in order to get a better angle of the situation.
"Well well! Talk about S-ranking the tutorial!" Spike looked up at the players and flicked the bottom of his cap's brim, lifting it higher a bit so he could see better. "That's good stuff, Players! If I had achievements, you'd all get the shiniest ones! Except for you!" He pointed at the middle of the group. "Don't think I didn't notice that slip-up! Little things like that will cost you in the long run!" In actuality, he wasn't pointing to anyone in particular. The whole line was a bluff, but it made for damn good TV. Stream. Whatever.
"Name's..."

Hiro "Spike" Yataro -
- Reaper [Harrier]
Special Power: Power-Up Infusion


"...But you can call me Spike." His phone flew closer to the group and he stood and a somewhat awkward side-angle to the players. He had perfected this angle ages ago; the players were always going to be facing the camera, and Spike would make sure his face was always visible by both the stream and the players. Although having so many players together instead of the usual pairings made this a bit more awkward than usual. He took a free-handed sip of his drink before continuing. "Just ignore the phone, pretend it isn't even there." Despite his saying this, the phone showed him and the players the live feed of his stream and the chat's messages and emotes flying across it, most of them telling Spike to check his phone, but his attention was elsewhere. "So what'd you think of Day One, huh? Pretty fun, yeah? Exciting, right? You're blood's still pumping? Adrenaline's still kicking? I know mine is, and all I did was watch!"
 
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How do we win the game and escape?

Play it. All 6 days. Whoever racks up the most points wins.

DJ reads and re-reads Kamiya's answer to the final question from Yuki. She sighs, ruffling her hair a little. "Guess we have no choice then?" Which means if they have any chance of getting back home to wherever they came from, they need to work together to get through this alive. A heavy feeling settles against DJ's chest at the thought of that, not sure how to process putting her life on the line for total strangers.

The claps come suddenly. Sharp to DJ's ears, a little too gleeful given the circumstances. It startled the girl and, lord, could she just go a few minutes without any more surprises? DJ tilts her head a little when a young man, appearing a little bit older than her, but not by much, suddenly made himself known to the group, pointing and giving his own review of their earlier battle. DJ fidgeted a little under the accusatory finger--was he talking about her? Most likely. She did feel like kind of a mess back there...

The guy didn't really elaborate and seemed to switch topics almost immediately after. DJ took note of the interestingly colored can that was... Yes, definitely floating off to the side. That had to be caffeinated like hell.

Had he been watching them from the start? This couldn't have been that "Kamiya" person, could it? She doesn't have to ponder long about that, as the man, Spike, introduces himself, and immediately clamors for their collective thoughts on "Day One". Really, this guy seemed to be having way too much fun over this... DJ takes a moment to search for her own thoughts, giving her teammates the opportunity to say their own piece if they truly wanted.

“...It was kinda wild. Especially the whole... 'dead' thing…” DJ paused a bit when her eyes gazed up at the hovering phone. Oh, this was clearly a stream of some kind, she recognized that interface and flood of emojis, even if her memory was a little foggy. Well, that was... kinda cool. Would be even cooler if this wasn't happening at their expense.

Ah, but! Maybe this was just what the team needed! After all, the only thing more important than figuring out a team name was figuring out how to get the hell out of here, right? DJ stepped forward, sneakers shuffling a little as she came to stand before the guy (streamer-guy? was he dead too?).

Day One, he'd said... Day One. Meaning...

“Hey! Uh, Spike? Do you… Can you help us? This Kamiya person - the one who text us? - they said we have to play this game for another 6 days... Is that true?”

.

Play it. All 6 days. Whoever racks up the most points wins.

And just as Kam pressed send and returned to her guitar, Rhys appeared on her left. Kam’s only response to her new company was to give a quick nod at her question, eyes never leaving the instrument as her fingers find the next note. “Gotta gig tonight. You’re invited. Spike too." She stopped strumming, blinked, then regarded Rhys. "Where the hell is he anyway?”

There was a commotion from down below. Something odd enough to grab Kam’s attention mid-sentence and lure her away from Rhys and her guitar to lean towards the edge of the 104's roof.

“...Oh, hell no.”

Mercy. Harriers had literally the easiest job, didn’t they? Read the rules, maybe take an order or two from a higher up, and then the rest of the day is yours, rights? So why was Spike currently harassing the gamers? And why was Kam only partially surprised?

Becoming an Officer was a mistake, 10/10 would never do again in her non-existent next, next life.

Kam begins to resign herself to the fact that she will, indeed, be doing more work than she planned today. Now she’s got to... socialize... The horror...

She circles back to her guitar, sliding it in its case and looping the strap over her shoulders in one fluid motion. She's so used to carrying the instrument wherever she goes now, the weight almost feels familiar. Calming. “Be back in a bit. Gonna try not to strangle him,” she calls out to Rhys just before leaping over the edge of 104.

Warping really does come in handy. Especially when she needs to get from one district to another quickly. Especially especially when she needs to hunt down one of her coworkers and doesn't have the luxury to take a stroll through the scramble.

As soon as Kam lands into the crowded scramble, she moves swiftly, dutifully towards Spike and the group of Players at Hachiko Square. “Dude.” Her countenance is a rare expression of confusion as she jabs two fingers at Spike's chest in a hiss. “Dude, dude, dude, dude. Dude. For real? Stand down? Lay low? Did you not get the memo? Or were you busy streaming for the 66th day straight?”

Kam jerks her head in the direction of the floating smartphone, and every question she has is immediately answered when her eye catches the for sure flicker of a screen just off to the side.

Of course. Streaming. Shocker.

She should just yoink the phone right there. Should, but she won't. Not yet. “Hiro... for the last time, my guy…" Rubbing her temples, she takes in a breath, then rests a hand inside the pocket of her jeans. Her green eyes look tired, exhausted. So done with this.
"Get a real job.”
 

Chromatic

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"Don't go!"

"Come back to us!"

"You said you could handle it!"


"Please stay alive --."



Stay alive. The last words of disjointed commentary rung through the girl's mind like a church bell. It was the only thought lingering over as she peeling her eyes open to her new surroundings.

But where was she?

When was she?

"Who in the fuck am I?" The question trailed out from thought to speech without filter. Could she seriously not remember herself? "Tch. That's no good."

Her thoughts trailed out of the foreground soon, as the labor of absorbing her environment weighed onto her mind. Obviously, she wasn't anywhere she could say she was supposed to be. Somewhere in a neighborhood of an unfamiliar city, she had found herself back in a shallow space between two buildings. Peering out, she saw the bustle of a four-way crossing; people flitting about their days, moving with decision and purpose.

Deciding she wouldn't figure anything out with her ass on the ground and her back against a wall, she climbed her way upright, stumbling on gangliness of her long legs, as if walking for the first time in years. Flinging her arms out against the wall for support, the girl slowly broke from the cover of her aclove.

At the outlet, she survailed the square until her eyes caught a nearby window, reflecting her back to herself. Slowly and shakily, she moved towards it. Two obsidian gazes met. The girl could see how messy she'd seem... strewn black hair, a weathered set of denim in the form of a green jacket and a weathered pair of jeans, and a worn pair of Chuck Taylor's, all made for a frustrated sort of look.

"Huhp." A dry heave interrupted the girl's train of thought. Awareness to a subtle, strange taste prickled on the bottom of her tongue; like an aftertaste in her saliva. She swished, feeling a small tab, not even the size of a breath mint washed around before being unceremoniously spat out. "Yuck. The Hell was that?"

Now desperate for a clue, she patted herself down. Two lumps in both of her pant pockets. One felt small, and round like a coin. The other was larger, with more of a bricky shape. She pulled out the second one first: a cell phone with a message on it. Assuming the phone to be hers, she opened the message:

"Yo girl you Trippin!"

Trippin? Was that her name? It worked as well as anything, she supposed. But there was no time to mull on it, as another text message came through:

"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."


"Hachiko? Now where the Hell is that?" She pocketed her phone, in the process finding the timer on her palm counting down... she was already lagging behind the time-frame. Death threat aside, she was in a crunch to figure out what was going on. If this Hachiko guy had those answers then it was worth the effort.

"Excuse me!" she called to a nearby walker. "Where do I find Hachiko?"
They ignored her.
She found someone else. "Do you know how to find Hachiko?"
Ignored again.
Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Even up in people's faces, no one in the crossing took notice of the raving girl asking about Hachiko; not even to tell her they didn't know what she was talking about.

"Shit. What's wrong with people? WHY WON'T ANYONE ANSWER?!"
 

Deimos

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Adagio pulled his hoody, opening the window that rest over his head. Staring up ever so briefly, he caught of a glimpse of what looked like flyers scattering about, loose pieces of paper...in a world where they could walk through people? What the hell was that about? He shook his head.

Jin expressed his condolences, they were certainly appreciated, but he was more daunted by the idea no one there could recall their "entry-fee" collected as a means to even participate. He was starting to draw really...really awkward conclusions here being the odd-man out and retaining more memory of the events leading up to here. A solitary meeting, assigned a player pin, a very brief overview, it seemed to matter little if they were all new and equally as confused, so he let it rock for the time being.

The phones were illuminating, questions were being passed between "Kamiya" and the rest in the group chat. Swiftly picking up his question, a proving ground...perfect. He could sense it, DJ's heart sank learning the gravity of actually being dead, for how brief that was. You know how it went, distract yourself from the stress for as long as you can to avoid losing your marbles and all that. Tell that to someone that wasn't colorblind and is going to struggle in darker lit areas, as if.

6 more days of this. Adagio wasn't liking Kam's half-cocked replies, it was leaving more open-ended discussion and they'd already used all four questions. That sense of dread that loomed, spiked suddenly as they were approached by someone else who was going against the crowd...but talking to them or...?

"...?" Adagio noticed the floating can, and the floating phone, angled awkwardly at them. Spike. His name, and he wasn't dead so long that he couldn't spot a live video feed and a red light. Adagio leaned over and whispered to Jin, "...How the hell is he broadcasting us...? I thought we couldn't contact the outside world...I definitely tried calling someone. Who...is even seeing this broadcast??"

Today was just the busiest day. He was caught between the screams breaking through the crowd of the crossing from what sounded like a new player, and a fellow strumming through with a guitar attached to them like a backpack prodding their finger into Spike's chest like he was in trouble. That feeling of desperately wanting to go home however was starting to well up and he was certainly more than ready to see it through.

"Hey." Adagio took a step in front just to Date's left, "You sure as hell aren't acting like players, how about you both give us proper introductions. Mission's over today yeah? Lets talk shop. You with the guitar, whats your deal?"

Adagio was trying to get to the point, by the looks of it, the timer was gone and the pressure was off but the Day had yet to end. The group definitely had time to bother these two about the game, he couldn't be satisfied with those half-assed answers. He was with Date in being inquisitive here, best to take full-advantage while they had the time to do so.
 

purgatory

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There it is, that looming sense of dread that makes you groan. I'd officially obtained all I needed to know about this "Kamiya" from these short fractional replies. They meant to do us in, screw giving us anything sustainable that didn't serve to do anymore other than set my blood to boil. Steam was teaming off my palm as it was bright red from how tight my fist was clenched, super annoying.

Speaking of annoying, we were graced by...the weirdest shit I think any of us had seen today. Oh no, i was not having any of it, not one more second.

"Hey jack ass. Don't you know it's against the law to record other people without their consent, turn that shit off!"

I was talking with my Gatto Nero bookbag in front of the camera, really, really this close to the edge. My middle finger was up and it wasn't going anywhere until he layed off of them. Today's been stress in layers, I was over all of it. Seriously what was with today, it kept getting stranger and stranger. Caught glimpse of a woman with guitar strapped to her back casually thumb through them, badgering the annoying guy...by being even more annoying than he was already. I already knew I was about to make a mistake here, but for the sake proving something I said to hell with it.

"Listen Adagio, whatever it is your trying to get out of them don't waste your breath." I was literally rubbing my temples right now, "Kamiya blows us off by being short with us and now two more randos show up looking far from confused, those aren't players! Why the fuck is he filming us?! That shit isn't funny!"


I was feeling unreasonably bold here, "I don't see why we shouldn't whoop both of their asses right now! Won't make me feel less lost about this game, but the distraction will sure as hell make me feel better!"

I raised my gloved fists and clutched them tight. To hell with this, I was in rare form, ready to beat actual answers out of both their asses and resolving some anxiety while I was at it.
 

Max

"There's always money in the banana stand."
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Adagio made a great point. This... "Spike" character, where was he streaming this to? "Adagio, do you think, like, he's streaming this to other dead people? Or, I don't know... There's no way this is being streamed online to normal people, we would have heard of this before, or someone would try to help us." Jin reached his arm past Adagio's head to try and guide his attention to the phone. "There's a chat log on there, it's been moving this whole time. SOMEONE is watching this."

DJ asked Spike how much merit there was to the "6 more days" thing, and then another odd character showed up seeming annoyed with the Spike. Jin was trying to follow it, and before he knew it Adagio was calling them out for more answers and Yuki was getting all fired up. Yuki was tired of this bullshit, that much was clear, and she raised her hands and called everyone to arms, ready to fight.

"Yuki, wait!" Jin said as he ran up to Yuki. "Listen, we don't know who these people are, and I know that's part of your point here. Clearly they arent the same as us, but..." He turned back to the two strangers ahead of them and made note of the floating screen and can. "but in some ways they are like us. If he can make those levitate, who knows what other powers he has, and I'm not gonna sit down and buy into the idea that she doesn't have any powers going on over there."

Jin fiddled with his player pin in his right hand, then he returned it to his pocket and pulled out the one he'd grabbed earlier that gave him some form of telekinesis. He pinned it to his shirt down near his pocket towards the waist, ready to draw on it if necessary.


"If you're going to do this, well- we're a team. And we aren't going watch you do this alone." He looked back to DJ and Adagio, hoping they were on the same wavelength, hoping everyone was ready to back Yuki up if things went south. He was getting tense. His knees, ever so slightly bent, feet apart, hands at the ready. In this world, here and now, he had no idea what could pop off at any minute. "I just hope we can reevaluate here though, I don't think any of us want to risk kicking it 'again' here on day 1..."

-----------

There it was. This was it, what The Coach had been waiting for. This was the team. Mind you, he always picked out one team every Reaper's Game that he thought was the team and they never were, but nonetheless he kept on with it everytime.

The team looked confused coming across Spike's stream, some covering their faces, others flustered.

"Code 'Spiked,' hell yeah, brother! Good stuff Spike!" The Coach typed into the stream. He got his code, but he kept watching. This is where he would normally shut off the stream and go order his Mon-Star that he tried to convince himself was for energy and wasn't unhealthy for him, but he was enamoured. That was when Kam showed up.

The Coach got serious. He swiped off the screen and opened his messaging app. He started a group chat between himself, Spike, and Kam.

"Don't go getting any funny ideas you guys, I thought it was hands off right now! You don't get to go scouting early, I call it right now, that team is mine! They're 'the team' this time, I can feel it, and I'm gonna coach them like no one ever has before! See, the bond between coach and player..."

The Coach's
motivational text to Spike and Kam went on. And on, and on. Once he reached the character limit, he grunted and started trying to shorten it, which just wasn't working. It was all important. He hit send and then just decided to wrap it up in a separate text.

"...and listen, you know I love you both and you'll always be a part of my team, this is just tough love. Go, be your best you and go and find 'your' team, and may the best Reaper win. Also, P.S. Kam, am I good to make a group chat with my players, my team? I need to make sure to stay on them throughout the week, can't have them slacking, thanks. Touchdown 🏈"

With that he cracked open a Mon-Star and switched back to the stream. He was already making plans for how to coach his harriers into helping co-coach his players this round. He would make them all champions, he would be their Philoctetes.
 
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Cassette-Disk

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Grabbing his perpetually-floating energy drink, Spike took another nice long smooth as he heard one of the girls--DJ--answer how a surprise it was to find out they were dead. Spike himself shouldn't have been surprised by some of their lack of knowledge, but there were always at least a few players who were clueless. Still, it wasn't his job to sort them out.

“Hey! Uh, Spike? Do you… Can you help us? This Kamiya person - the one who text us? - they said we have to play this game for another 6 days... Is that true?”

"Kamiya...?" He muttered to himself. That probably wasn't good. She usually didn't like to do her work, but when she did it it was like the force of the sun was backing her up. And he had a bad habit of getting sunburned. "Sorry!" He said aloud, "But I'm the one hosting this lil Q&A session, so I'll be asking question. Though I will say that if someone's giving you answers you should pay attention, even if they're probably one-worded ones. You'll know everything you need by the end of the week, assuming you don't get erased." ...I should prooobably get out of here soon, He thought. He wasn't one for details, but somewhere in the back of his mind, just past the part of his brain that still housed GTA cheat codes from two decades ago, he remembered Kam was...something...more important this time around? He was sure that was true in some capacity, but he couldn't put his finger on it. While his thoughts idled, another one of the players broke through his thick hollow molasses of a brain.

"Hey jack ass. Don't you know it's against the law to record other people without their consent, turn that shit off!"

Spike couldn't help the grin that formed over his mouth. "I don't take orders from dead people," he told Yuki as he casually crushed the now empty Mons-Star can in his hand. "Besides, who are you gonna call? The cops? Anyone watching this stream probably already knows who you are anyway, with or without my help. Must be nice to get famous so quick! That being said, I only came here to say hello. I should get out of here before--"

“Dude.”
Aw crap. It was moments like these that he wished he had taken the time to learn how to warp like Kam did. He would still get chewed out, but at least he would have been able to push it back for a bit, like a kid running out to the backyard as soon as mom found the cookie jar completely empty. Kam had appeared like a bat that had swooped in from the dark sky. And she didn't look too happy to see him.
"Oh hey boss," he said happily, putting on his bravest face, "what brings you here? Have you done something with your hair? Your guitar looks extra shiny today! Really I--"
“Dude, dude, dude, dude. Dude. For real? Stand down? Lay low? Did you not get the memo? Or were you busy streaming for the 66th day straight?”

"It's either 67 or 68, actually. And in a row too! I got something great planned for day 69. All kosher, of course. More important though..."
Memo? Spike whirled around to his still floating phone. Chat was going wild.

「Kam's here ttv monkaS.png」「I can't believe we're gonna get to watch an execution live on-stream.」 「Queen Kam~!」 「Well, the whole 'being alive' thing was nice while it lasted, huh Spike? ttv Kappa.png」「ttv crab-rave-twitch.gif Dead Streamer walking ttv crab-rave-twitch.gif」 「I just got back, are mom and dad fighting again? ttv feelsbadman.png

"CHAAAAAT," he bellowed. "Was there something going on? Why didn't you warn me?"

「We tried to tell you, dude」「ILLITERATE STREAMER ttv LUL.png」「Maybe you should have a separate phone for streaming instead of streaming with this one in Do Not Disturb mode」「If I donate enough, will you introduce me to Kam pls?」

"Stop simping!" he hissed quietly, hoping no one caught that last message or his answer. He grabbed the phone and ran through his messages. There were...more than a few unread ones. Christ, Coach had written him a whole-ass essay. Spike had turned around again to face Kam. "So, funny story, you'll get a kick out of it, I'm sure..." But she wasn't having any of it.

“Hiro... for the last time, my guy…Get a real job.”

Hiro Yataro gripped the area of his chest where his heart was and visibly flinched.

「F」「pwn'd」 「ttv LUL.png」「she got your ass」 「our streamer...(;´д`)ゞ」 「F」 「F's in the chat」 「blown the f*** out」 「dude, hard F」 「RIP in peace」 「LMAO GET F***ED」 「F」

"I... Uh... It's..." Hiro was going to humble-brag about his sponsorship, but he was well aware of the hole he had dug himself and didn't feel like digging any deeper.

"I don't see why we shouldn't whoop both of their asses right now! Won't make me feel less lost about this game, but the distraction will sure as hell make me feel better!"

The players. They had been long-forgotten but this brought Spike back, and despite his previous dour expression and feelings, another grin forced its way onto his face. Then a laugh, a genuine short but hearty laugh. It was as if someone had pulled a lever inside of him.
"Hot damn, that's good stuff," he had managed to regain himself quickly. "Hear that, boss? They're gonna whoop both our asses." Spike tossed the crumbled Mon-Star can into a nearby bin cooly, mostly back into his streamer persona. "Don't think you're hot shit just cuz you beat up a big frog, newbies! You're still level 2 at best and level 0 at worst!" Spike didn't really want to fight the players anyway. In a way he wanted them to succeed...though maybe not as much as Coach. An underdog story was always great for the viewers, and players that won? That was always exciting. He disregarded the players and turned his attention to Kam again. "In all seriousness, sorry for the hassle, man. I'm sure I got you out of a comfy perch somewhere. If you need help with paperwork or whatever lemme know since it'll be my fault. I'm also ready to accept any punishment, as crappy as it might be."

"You sure as hell aren't acting like players, how about you both give us proper introductions. Mission's over today yeah? Lets talk shop. You with the guitar, whats your deal?"

Well at least some of them were sensible.
"This ain't really my show anymore, but I think it's safe to say we're mostly done for the day. Sorry for making you work extra, boss.
 

Ðari

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"Are Shibuya Reapers always this strange...?" Dex was looking down at the complex, they'd already broken the first order within seconds of it issuing.

"Your really gonna say that after dealing with Silver AND R.3.M? Don't even." Van rolled his eyes, "They've got you know who on their team, should we really be standing here doing nothing?"

"YEP." Rien said stretching his arms and letting them all have at it on the ground floor. "Days already over. Rules say reapers can't even harass players after the objective is clear. Convincing them to do something on their own however, is NOT against the rules."

Leering eyes penetrated the side of Rien's head. He could feel it. Rage. Tilting himself to the left he couldn't help but keep staring off at the 104 building almost like clockwork. She was definitely over there, still pissed about what happened in the negative district to her buddy that literally said "screw the rules". He had flashes to having to reduce a fragment to static, but that was one for the books. All he had to say was the same thing every time she lashed out in anger, his answer never changed.

"She nearly killed you and she was willing to be a complete sellout just survive."

Hanekawa, Tsugumi. That was Rhys' best friend's name, the very same that was willing to sell out Rhys in order to become a collector. At the helm of the current R.3.M's will at that time, he soured at that very notion of surivival, and ordered for Tsugumi's execution, and Rien had to carry it out. In desperation that fool tried to protect her, and she even took advantage of her heightened emotional state at an attempt to use her as a human-shield. That had to of been beyond traumatic, but through even that disgusting display of inhumanity, that fool still clung to the idea of a friend after the rest of her team got wiped out by the other collectors.


Still, Rhys was an Aquarius...and vengeful and satanic as all heck at that. Vowing to behead him (he can literally become paper, what?) crush his skull. Rien was getting Lucifer vibes from that, whole deal but Rhys herself only showed this kind of animosity towards him exclusively. His survival instincts were so sharp, he put the blindfold on to anticipate danger instinctively. It took some getting used to on this plane but the senses operate differently, if he really needed to raise his vibe, he could do that at any time.

"Head to the RG and take the decals. Kill time for now, it's not looking like you'll be running interference too heavy this week. Kam's GM, her squad's getting the shine this week."

"Thats a lot of words just to tell us we're on vacation!"

"Ah, dah dah dah, I didn't say that! I implied it, shhhhhhhhhh, you're still getting paid yeah? Aren't I such a good boss? Outta here."

"Sir."
"Sir."

Finally some professionalism, and he sent them away. He folded his arm and scanned the area, catching a noise that looked like a ferret doing some security camera nonsense watching the players. None of his, it was acting passively, and that insignia was Kamiya's. 'I know your not the stalking type, why are you...spying?' Rien sat and kicked his legs over the jumbotron. Pulling out his phone, he decided to call her.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~



The was a sword attached to a braided thread, embedded into the sheathe. She leaned over, hearing a few strings plucked before Kamiya had to, and in a rather irked motion, "assist" her paired Harrier Hiro, who was un-ironically nowhere to be found. She thought it was weird that he suddenly disappeared on his way over here, that guy was some kind of free-spirit.

"The guys probably fishing for donations from chat..." She mumbled to herself releasing a sigh, the groan from Kamiya was too loud to miss.

If there was nothing else that Rhys was, it was loyal...if not a downright killing machine, you could ask her what her psyche was, but it was...extremely complicated to explain. Instead of actually using it, she preferred the blade she carried with her everywhere. That was much easier to explain, you see it's quite interesting. It was a fine tempered steel, with a hilt having a built in propulsion system for quick bursts of movement. The same heat could be transferred in small waves into the blade's sharpened grooves, changing the make-up of the steel to make it sharper as well as cut through several different types of material.

Waving at Kamiya as she took one step off the edge, that breath left her and she released a menacing aura that could choke out an infant with how suffocating it was.

"That sonuvabichisgonnafuckingrotinthepitsofhellimgonnafuckingripouteverylastboneforwhathedidtoherfrigginbastard!" if you could translate that pure rage, gold star awarded. Come to think of it, Rien was likely the only one to every experience it full-force...it's actually quite terrifying.

"Ireallyhatethatievenhavetobeherewaitingandnotmakingsurehisheadisonagoddamnpikeforwhathedidtoher!" the fidgeting was really starting to get to her.

She was literally staring at him from across buildings, and this goddamn fool was IGNORING HER, the actual nerve! Rules here were different, she couldn't just up and go after him, any non-sanctioned reaper v reaper activity under Izayoi's watch, you're almost sure to get erased. Her phone was vibrating in her pocket. Some random number...wait, random number...in the UG? She answered.

You gonna stop staring at me from over there, you're giving me the creeps.

Her eyes shrank and her jaw dropped.

"AreyouseriouslytryingtomakemeevenmoreupsetrightnowthanIalreadyamyoujerk!"

You using talk to text on a phone call? Google can't even translate what the hell you're saying either.

"yourabsolutescumthelowestofthelowgodieinaholealoneandwithnoonetomournyou!"

Yeaaaaaah, no. Anyway, whats say we make a bet. Pick a team this week thats going to collect the most points. Winner gets to request something of the other, for me? A truce. Listen, I ain't got the energy or the nerve to be doing this die die die shit week over week ok?

"YoureallythinkIgiveashitaboutthisgameortheseplayerstheycanallkickrocksforallIcare!"

Japanese mothafucka do you speak it! Sorry, had to quote Samuel J real quick. Your duel is coming, if you'll actually talk like normal maybe you can enjoy the game before your personal vendetta ruins the rest of your afterlife. Theres nothing I can do about Tsugumi...I keep telling you and you don't listen, maybe when you have to erase a player this week, you'll understand...I seriously hope that happens to you, so you can stop saying all this shit about me being so terrible for doing my job...sometimes it sucks, but thats what you have to do in order to survive Rhys.

".............." she paused for a long time, the anger even paused momentarily. "Erase another player? Their lives don't matter to me...hers did, thats not the same thing Rien, stop making excuses and running away from the guilt of killing her. Scum."

Rhys hung up the phone and clutched it so tight it was scary. Having to erase another player, what a load of crap, more stupid ass excuses he was making to absolve himself of the guilt of taking a life close to her. So what if a few players get snuffed out by them, what did it even matter, none of them she knew and none of them where anything like Tsugumi. Sharpening her blade to axe a few scrubs was nothing, but she'd finally get some peace of mind once she found a way to erase Hanekoma within the rules of course.

"Looks like our team is running the show this weak. I better not catch those twerps on our turf. Tough it out." she cracked her knuckles and took a seat on the edge, waiting per her orders.
 
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Amidst the girl inquiring about Hachiko, a small, pink nose brushed against the heel of her sneakers. It was about 3 feet long, and took on the appearance of an oddly colored ferret. Docile and tame seeming, but it knew enough that its appearance may have shaken the Player up. It bounds a couple of paces ahead of her in a blur of pink fur before turning its head back, urging her to follow it with a flick of its tail.

.

"Hear that, boss? They're gonna whoop both our asses."

“Cute.” Kam’s smile is one of wry mirth at the Players in question, crossing her arms as she regarded them. Oh, youth. To have such passion, to have such motivation. Must be nice. Kam couldn’t relate, not these days.

Level 1 was pushing it. These newbs only finished the tutorial.

“Save it for Day 7, sis.” Kam blithely regarded the fiery outburst from the player with the same urgency as she does most everything thrown her direction: that is, very little. One of the fellow Players stepped in attempting to pacify the girl. Kam isn't the least bit fazed by any of it... mainly exhausted by it. The reaper jerks her thumb towards Spike. “Lay a hand on me or him or any of us sooner than that, and… Actually, erasing you Day 1 would make my job easier.”

"In all seriousness, sorry for the hassle, man. I'm sure I got you out of a comfy perch somewhere. If you need help with paperwork or whatever lemme know since it'll be my fault. I'm also ready to accept any punishment, as crappy as it might be."


As crappy as it may be, huh? Oh, he was probably going to regret that, considering what Kam had planned. The ends of her lips quirked up in a slight, rare smile to the other reaper. “Don’t sweat it. Just let your chat know how much you're gonna miss ‘em tomorrow.” It was an ominous statement, but Kam didn’t give much else away other than a slight toss of her shoulders before regarding the other player that began to interrogate her.

"You sure as hell aren't acting like players, how about you both give us proper introductions. Mission's over today yeah? Lets talk shop. You with the guitar, whats your deal?”

Kam looked the player up and down in a slow, methodical dress down. Really, she didn’t owe them shit since the day was done. Rehearsal started in about thirty minutes, and she’s already done more than what she intended to do today. Even as Spike made to end the conversation with one final apology to Kam, her gaze still hadn't left the Players. The timer was officially wiped from their hands, and she could just walk away right now. But...

“It’s Kam. This week’s Gamemaster. Pleasure," but her tone was anything but. Low and exasperated. Dismissive. "And look, lil dudes, I already played nice and answered your questions, yeah? Game for 7 days, die for good if you lose. Rack up points through missions. Don't piss off Reapers. There's a freebie.” Kam’s pointed look slid over to the more volatile girl as she said the last part. “Our chat’s on your phone, look it over. Modern tech’s wicked.”

She was probably showing her age with that dated slang, but Kam could care less as she dug from her pockets a few extra pins, tossing one to each player. DJ caught hers nimbly, eyeing the pin and giving a mental comparison to the 3 extras she had in her pocket. Unlike those, this one seemed more… intricate? Five, blue-ish rings circled the design to come together in a series of intertwined arcs. This one looked special. Was everyone elses’ like this?

“Here. If I give you these will all of you... please... just chill the hell out? Like good little dead kids?” She felt like a daycare attendant ankle-deep in a pen full of crying children and running out of ways to appease them. Back in her day, the GM didn’t even greet her with a hi, hello. It was every man for himself. Day 1, minute one, dog-eat-dog. Teenagers these days…

“Oh, hey, because I'm feeling extra generous, I'll even give you an early tip into tomorrow’s mission.” Kam plucks Spike’s phone from his grip with a quick ‘yoink’ to wave it before the Player’s eyes. “See this? Day 2: Go fetch. Coolio? Coolio. Now I gotta practice sesh to get to, and you Players have some Zzs to catch before tomorrow, so…” She tosses Spike’s phone back to him like a hot potato and grips the sliding strap of her guitar case, hoisting it over her shoulder more securely. “Peace.”

That would have been the end of that, Kam turning away with a hand already beginning to outstretch in preparation to warp, had her eyes not lingered over to catch one lone Player, near-ish to Hachiko. A lost latecomer. Lucy had approached her and seemed to be trying to lure her to the group. Team of four is now a team of five. There’s never been that many Players in one bunch like this.

“By the way,” She turns back to the players and tips her head back in the direction of her noise, revealing to the group the new female Player in the distance. “Catch that noise over there? That’s Lucifer. Take care of Lucifer for me, or you're all dead-dead. He'll be keeping an eye on you four… five. Along with Coach.” She shares a withering glance with Spike. Just thinking about the other Reaper gives her chills.

He's a nice guy. Spirited. Good with kids. Why is he always at an 11?

Whatever. Not her problem, at least not for another 24 hours or so. And in-between that time, she had about 15-minutes to get to rehearsal at Udagawa. So, with a quick text to Coach, letting him know that the Players were all his to train or troll, or whatever just please get them out of my hair, she turns on her heel and gestures to Spike to follow her into scramble's crowd.

“...The hell is 'simping''?" Kam begins to say to the other Reaper once they are a few paces away from the players. "And work on your flattery game, dude.” She's sure this new phrase is yet another list of internet meme slang to add to her ever-growing list to learn from… Old-fashioned? Probably. Most definitely. She still has her 3rd generation iPod nano from almost 20 years ago, and she still regrets the day she had to give up her flip phone to upgrade it to interact with RNS. If it ain’t broke... “Are you catching tonight’s show or what? I texted you and Rhys an invite, or did you miss that, too?”

.

...Coach? Who was Coach? DJ wishes she could’ve asked, but before she can she's staring at Kam's turned back, retreating deeper and deeper into the crowd. DJ checks her palm--with everything going on, she only just realizes the timer that was once there is now gone. Biting her lip with furrowed brows, she looks up at her team, then regards the new Player with the pink noise at her ankle, just a few paces away from the group. It wasn't attacking her, but seemed to be leading her.

Jin was right. They were a team, and they did need to get through this together. And while DJ sympathized with Yuki's anger, it didn't seem to do any good threatening those guys. They just seemed so... out of their league. And that started with helping out that girl over there...

“Let’s help her out, you guys…”
 

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Adagio placed his hand over Yuki's closed fist, and lowered them slowly. Lowering his head he quickly whispered in her ear, "I know. you're frustrated, but nows not the time for that." He couldn't take his eyes off Kamiya, mind you, he was hooded and wore a mask that he refused to take off at that. 'So thats what you look like.'

He raised his hand and caught Kamiya's little gift to them for completing todays mission. Pins huh? Opening his palm he looked at the rabbit insignia on the pin.

"In other words, we're off-limits from being attacked directly by Reapers til at least the 7th day. Fair to guess any objective that doesn't come from you or through someone from you, isn't something to worry ourselves over."

Wasn't it ironic how she acted, then they had the reversal happened to them when she pointed out another new player. They'd be babysitting some noise, Lucifer she called it. The information was the same, the next mission for day two was gearing up to be some lost and found or retrieval kind of deal. He could vibe with that, Jin and DJ had proven so far to want out of this afterlife meaningfully hard, Yuki...she really needed to decompress. Spike and Kam, well mostly Kamiya tugging and dragging him along, had seen themselves out, something about practice. He started to wonder if Shibuya had any night clubs or bars...it was a shopping district after all.

He realized he'd had Yuki's hand still and let go of it, swiftly giving her a nod.

"Don't go ideating the the worst now. It's just the first day, noise and missions, we'll pick it up as we go." He stretched and turned towards the scramble noting the girl standing by herself in a frazzle with that noise hooked to her ankle, "Sound good yeah?"

Adagio gave a nod to DJ's inquiry and took a couple steps forward, this time taking Jin and Yuki's hands along with him. "Sorry about this you two, lets make nice guys. Coming DJ?"

He dipped his fingers under his mask making the loudest whistling sound possible.


WYYYYYYYRRRRRRRWWWRRRRRRRRRRYT~!

"OVER HERE!" Adagio waved his arms to signal the lost player so she'd stop aimlessly walking through the passerby.
 

purgatory

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How utterly infuriating, I was pissed but to let it spiral out of control and get us all erased was definitely a ways away from my mind. Fuming, my fist were shaking, and only to be caressed by Adagio to lower my battle ready position. Who did he think he was, but the expression of nervousness I could vaguely trace were in his eyes as he stared at the guitar chick. She was the very same Kamiya from the group chat, good grief, I already hated this woman.

Biting my lip, I didn't say a single line more, having take a hit to my pride because at the risk of my anger sinking us into an even deeper hole. Jin was right, there wasn't much I knew about them, but jumping the gun like I was prepared to do would cause the rest of us to suffer. I didn't know them, but if DJ's fidgeting was the body language to pay attention to, dying a second time is something I think I'd want all of us to avoid.

I let my breath release and let them talk it out. "The hells with that mask...you play fallout or something'?" I whispered, jabbing at Adagio as he wouldn't let her hand go. "Someone's clingy...weirdo..."

I briefly could recall call saying something about tomorrow's mission. Fetch? Someone wanted to curse, treating us like that kind of dog, how original of her.
Yeah right. In the brief time listening, they confirmed that they were reapers...right. Reaper sure as hell didn't sound like a player, I was right in my assertion, but I didn't know what a reaper was, friendly was off the table. She didn't really seem invested in even doing the bare minimum, what kind of lackadaisical tomfoolery was she off I wondered. Our lives were being dangled in front of them, made you really think that it only mattered to the players that had to fight for them, a lesson I'd let the rest of them know once the reapers cleared out. Her palm not being held served to catch a pin Kam had tossed their way, lot of good that would do her, she couldn't use'm.

"Lucifer...Coach, wonderful. Babysitting some reapers noise or die. Play the game or die. Forfeit and die. Any actual fucking good news...??" I rolled my eyes, Whatever man...

I felt myself along with Jin getting dragged long by Adagio towards the crowd closer to the fifth player and that odd noise at her feet. I clasped my head when he finally let go of my hand, a blaring whistling sound that was loud as hell. Once he shouted out, I undressed her with my own eyes looking her up and down. "
Welcome to The Reapers Game stranger, you ain't in the Shibuya you know anymore." I said with a less than warm greeting, "Name's Kuromoto, Yukinoshita. Welcome to an awful nightmare along with the rest of it, but it ain't a dream!"
 
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Chromatic

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"Whoa!"

Distraught, confused, even a bit angry, the girl was paced to and froe. Between violent head shakes and frustrating arm flailing, droplets were beginning to fly off from her face. "No. No no no." Was she invisible? A ghost? Just not important enough to be noticed? How come no one could see or hear her? Resignation to her unseen, unheard fate began to settle...

Until a soft something brushed against her shoe. Her exclamation came with a short hop of her step, and a leaping rush in her chest. "What the...?" hand clasping over her heart, she fervently searched the ground around her until she came upon the creature. A long, animal, not unlike a ferret was standing not far from her, and, to her surprise, but strange relief, looking back at her. She cocked her head and raised and eyebrow at the animal.

"You can see me?"

Silly question! of course it can!

She observed it for a moment, pondering what it wanted with her until she noticed the purposeful flicking of its tail.

"You want me to follow you, don't you?" It was about as good a plan as any, all things considered. "Alright then... err... lead the way." She stepped after the animal, taking smaller steps as not to overtake it.
 

Max

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Yuki seemed to be able to collect her head for now. With Adagio's sensibility and her own understanding seeming to come to light, Jin could see that they didn't have to fight again. Yet.

The woman who was chastising the Spike the streamer was in fact Kam, their mystery group chat consultant. With an air of irritation and8 wanting to be done with them already, Kam flicked them each a pin while referring to them as "good little dead kids." This made Jin wince a bit. He knew he was dead from the beginning of this hell, he was even just trying to explain and reason this with DJ, but hearing someone else say it so nonchalantly stung a little. This was their new reality, and no matter how aware of it he was it was still a lot to swallow.

Jin caught his new pin, and as odd as it was to think this in this situation, he couldn't help but feel that the pin was beautiful. The pin was adorned with what looked like purple meteors and shooting stars falling through a dark sky of deep blue. He held it up close to his eye to really look over the details of the tiny thing, and then he pinned it to the waist of his shirt next to his Psychokinesis pin.

The only pin he had that he wasn't wearing was his player pin, the black pin with the Reapers skull filling the space. He liked playing with it in his hands, fidgeting with it. It was like that was something allowing him to keep his cool and his focus if his mind started to travel too fast here in this crazy Shibuya, he knew he could reach in his pocket, take out the pin, and work it over between his fingers and his palm, which he began to do at that moment.

Kam and Spike left, but only after Kam assigned them a new teammate, a team mascot in the form of a ferret-esque noise named Lucifer, and... maybe a team coach? She left that part kind of vague, but he was sure she mentioned a coach.

Adagio apologized as he grabbed both Jin's and Yuki's hands to drag them along, urging them to "make nice" with the new player. Jin noticed Yuki cover her ears as Adagio let out a sharp whistle and tried to wave the new player over. He saw the pink "ferret" trailing along at the girl's feet, or maybe it was the other way around.

Jin turned to make sure DJ was following, he didn't want her to get lost in the crowd. Even if they moved right through the crowd, it would be easy to lose sight of someone.

As the group waited for their newest teammate, Jin tried flicking his player pin in the air like a coin and catching it. The first time didn't go so smooth and he had to slap it between his two hands to keep it from falling to the ground, but subsequent flips and he was getting it. "You wanna try, Yuki?" Jin said holding his player pin out to her. He thought maybe this could help keep her mind occupied too. Then Jin started talking out loud to the group as a whole. "Pink Ferrets? The Shibuya Ferrets? Oh, maybe Dead Ferrets Society? Ah, I bet Kam would hate that, we're supposed to take care of that thing... Walking Body Bags?" Jin giggled for a sec, and then the laugh faded as he considered their situation. "Maybe that's too grim. It'd be great if our new teammate had a letter that fit in with JAYD, huh?" Jin tried keep his mind and the minds of his teammates at bay, keep them from wandering, keep them in a good place. Even if it was with a stupid distraction.


--------------


"OOF!"

"Yes!"
The Coach
shouted. He was bummed that Kam cut off Spike's stream, this meant that he would have to order more Mon-Star than he planned to get it at discount until Spike was able to usher out more codes. But what he wasn't bummed about was the fact that Kam caved, he knew his speech roused her heart and her spirit and that she knew that no one was better for this team than him, and that lifted him up high.

"GRAH!"

"I'm gonna show you all what I'm made of, bullseye! 🎯" The Coach
sent this not as a group message, but individually to every reaper participating in the game this round. He felt challenged by each of them already. They played hardball. He'd talk about the competition and bringing up the best team and a fighter's spirit, and they all pretended to not know or care what he was talking about. But he knew. This was them trying to get in his head, psych him out, pretend they don't care and they aren't trying then BAM try to sweep the rug out from underneath his feet! But he was too smart for that, he always made sure he chalked his pool stick just in case.

He considered it playing the Reaper's Game with honor. He was up front with them, a good sport, no matter how deceptive they might be. He would bring his team to the top with honor and the other Reapers would lift him on their shoulders and cheer.

"HrrrAAAAHH!" The Coach yelled as he volleyed the tennis ball back across the net. He warped to the other side and hit it back again, grunting with each full forced hit.

On a rooftop in Shibuya,
The Coach played a game of tennis against himself, warping back and forth across the net he set up. He was hitting the ball with the racket in one hand, and sending out his messages with his phone in the other.

"Your playing is shit! What are you doing looking at your phone?! Focus on the game or get the hell off the court!" The Coach screamed. No one was around to hear him. He chastised and talked down on himself as he continued to hit the ball with ferocious speed and force while still holding his phone, tears of passion and pain filling his eyes.

He started another group chat as he warped. He added everyone in the team to the chat: Date, Adachi, Yukinoshita, Jin, and even their last-second companion that Kam had just assigned to them. "Listen up," the group text started. "Today was just tryouts, and it looks like you've all made the cut. Now I ain't your daddy, and I ain't your friend, so don't go trying to bring me all your afterlife drama and start asking me for advice. I'm gonna be your Coach for this Reapers Game, and I'm gonna help you unlock your potential..." The Coach typed on. And on. He wanted to embody every great speech he'd ever heard and reach the hearts of each player. "... and if you ever need advice, don't hesitate to ask. I may merely be your Coach, but you can also look at me as something of a father figure. I'll see you all tomorrow to start your training, so bring your A-game and that winning spirit! 40-Love 🎾"

The Coach attached a video of himself warping around hitting the tennis ball back and forth and sent it with his message. He wanted it to allow them to see his own passion and commitment to the game, although he didn't think about the fact that it may be hard to make out what the video was of since he was holding the phone in his hand as he warped and recorded all at once.

He finally stopped for a breather. Wiping the sweat off of his brow, he put his jersey back on and looked over Shibuya from the high rooftop. With a cracking and fizzing noise, he popped open a Mon-Star and took a swig, his chest swelling with excitement. He waved his hand over the skyview and allowed for a bunch of dodgeballs to form in the sky. He gently waved his hand downward and allowed the balls to dance down through the Shibuya streets. He put no force behind the drop, merely letting them fall and bounce naturally all around. He couldn't wait for the real game to begin.
 
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"Sorry about this you two, lets make nice guys. Coming DJ?"

DJ nodded towards Adagio, smile forming on her lips. “Yeah… Yep!” She followed in-step with the rest of her team, meeting the new player, laughing a little under her breath when Jin still insisted on a team name.

“Oh, hey,” she bumped Jin’s arm lightly with her knuckles, “Dead Kids Club… I mean, it was harsh…” DJ recalls Kam’s slight towards the group, eyes falling a little at the thought of their demise being nothing more than a game to those--what were they?--Reapers. “But it does have a cool ring to it?” They may have been in this situation they didn’t ask to be in, but… it was kinda nice that they were going through it together. 6 more days shouldn’t be impossible, should it?

DJ’s breath suddenly hitched, a sharp pang ringing through her head, making her touch her temples. “Hey, d’you guys feel a…” Little dizzy was the last thought to cross her mind before her vision went black.

.

When she opens her eyes next, it’s to the gentle nudges of Lucifer making his rounds to rouse each player, and to the ringing of her phone, vibrating in her half clutched hand and sounding off a series of messages. Groaning, DJ's fingers work on instinct, navigating through her phone not too unlike how she used to in a half-sleep, morning daze while still in bed. Everything ached. Did she collapse?

rise n shine
as promised, Day 2 mission
find the steamer’s phone.
b4 you start crying
relax
here’s a hint
I have it. come get it


The next message is a photo. Sure enough, there Kam is: Winking, with two fingers up in a peace sign, her tongue sticking out in a little blep. There’s another person nearby her, in fishnet and lilac hair… another reaper? Gamemaster seemed to be enjoying herself a little too much. At the lower corner of the selfie, a stack of pancakes lay in the middle of what looked like a diner's table with whip cream, assorted nuts, fruits, and a drizzle of caramel piled so high on top of the thing that it was leaning. DJ’s stomach rumbles. So the dead do eat even down here...

And next to that plate of deliciousness, DJ recognizes the phone from yesterday. Spike's phone. Unlike yesterday, where it seemed to float and jitter with life from the livestream, it lay on the table, black screen facing up.

you’ve got
idk
im in no rush
the longer you take the more time I have to screw over this dude’s subscriber count
+ eat pancakes


She readied herself for the sting of the digits engraving into her palm, her stomach untangling itself only slightly when that pain never came. No timer?

With one more groan, DJ rises to her hands and looks around. Once again, smack in the middle of a street. This time not nearly as heavy in the foot traffic as Scramble Crossing. The narrow streets carried the noise over the buildings of shops, clothing stores, and even a few cafes. Where were they anyway? Up ahead, just a little ways away, the street led to another part of Shibuya that seemed barricaded by what looked like thorns.

She’s played enough games to know that direction was probably their best bet. The place Kam was in had to be that way. Maybe someone would recognize the food on the menu and even know the exact restaurant? She’s not a native here, not like she’d know.

Oh, she needed to get back home. Back to her mom, dad, to her sister, and…

Sister. Huh...

“Everyone okay?”

[day 2: cat street; 10:03am]

----

[takeshita street; 10:05am]

The inside of Cutie☆Pies shouldn’t be Kam’s idea of a good time. It’s pink and flashy and the hostess up front has a nametag with little characters that reads, Linda, in the elaborate swirls of the dainty and prim. Wireless speakers blares some J-pop tune that Kam vaguely recognizes.

It’s truly not Kam’s style… But where else could she find these absolutely-to-kill-for souffle pancakes in Shibuya? Only in between the stalls and vendors in Takeshita Street.

“Hypothetically… hypothetically.” Kam begins to say to Rhys after slumping into the booth of the cafe. Her guitar case is perched on the side of the booth, and she has Spike’s phone raised up high in her hands like she’s failing to retrieve a signal, head tipping to the side. “Say I wanna live-stream… I mean, you know how, right? I don’t go here. To streaming… school.”

Not like Spike was here to reclaim his precious. He insisted to make up for his screw-up yesterday, and since he insisted, what was Kam to do other than confiscate his phone and assign him to gate duty on Cat Street, where the Players were probably waking up to Day 2 by now? She’d return it after the mission was up.

“Shit’s locked. Boo.” After a series of unsuccessful guesses, including “password”, “password1”, and “please”, Kam flopped her arms across the table. Spike’s phone in hand and password-less to unlock it, she grumbles. “Who locks their phone?” comes the conspiratorial mutter under her breath, “No one locks their phone unless they're hiding something.”

(As if Kam would actually know the usual habits of the technologically adept. A lot of it flew over her head several decades ago, and Kam wasn’t going to start acclimating herself any time soon to this hyper-digital age. Not if she could help it. It’s all way too noisy, not the kind of noise she likes.)

Of course she forgot to pry the password out of Spike before she left. If she really wanted to, she could just ask... Kam regards her own phone, bare of any apps aside from the RNS. She twists her lips, then looks up at Rhys, souffle pancakes long-forgotten.
“Hey, Rhys. D’you know it? Spike’s password.”
 

Ðari

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[Cat Street; 9:58AM // Realground]

"You sure he wanted this on the JoTM building?" Van was applying the reaper decal to the side glass next to one of their promotional posters.

"And the Hog Fang store too...hmm?" Dex turned her head, "Those supports sure know how to eight-ball you...it's creepy." she saw a brief flash a a red hooded reaper, before he disappeared into the crowd, likely returning to the Underground.

'Some of those guys just give me the creeps..!'

"Yeah well, it doesn't even look like the stores open right now. Usually the manager is here by now getting ready to open the doors and I don't see anyone here." Van peaked into the store and sure enough it was a ghost town. "Dex! Lets go, still gotta get over to Shibuya Hikarie, double time."

She'd already broken into a run sliding every which way around the congestion of the crowd on cat street heading towards Miyashita Park. Van bolted behind her, making the jump from the RG to the UG right behind her, shuffling past a group of kids, as the two of them jumped straight through a black-thorny barrier.

"Huh." Van tilted his head for a brief second and caught a glimpse of the kids looking as though they were just now regaining consciousness.

"What is it? You're lagging behind, didn't you say double time!"

~~~
[Takeshita Street; 10:05AM]

Rhys yawned and stretched while she was in the booth. Their last session ran a little longer than expected, and yet here they were bright and early sitting inside of Cutie☆Pies. She had to be honest here, it wasn't really her thing, the pancakes may be fluffy and the best in their class, but the feel was a little bit too friendly and prim for her liking. They were pretty notorious for their shaved iced servings as well, she was totally fine with either.

Rhys paused in thought as she was looking at the menu, Kamiya had raised her phone to take a picture of their location and send it to the players. There was maybe one person in that roster that was native from what she read yesterday, but they'd have a ways to get over here since the support reapers would be staffed on Cat Street as well as Tokyu Plaza so they'd be a bit busier today clearing their objectives. Kam was darting away, as the clicking at the touch-screen number pad is what filled the booth for several minutes before a woman appeared; her name tag reading Linda, appeared with menus.

“Say I wanna live-stream… I mean, you know how, right? I don’t go here. To streaming… school.”

Rhys smiled, "Spike uses an app called Twitch, and his phone's camera to stream while he's on the street."

She could see Kam's frustration with attempting repeatedly to try and open spikes phone, but she had a bit of a life-hack in that situation.

"Theres a way to get into it without the password, let me see." she picked the phone up from Kamiya and was repeatedly hitting the Emergency Call button, repeatedly until it eventually brought her to the home screen before handing the now unlocked phone to Kam. "Its a little stupid, but these phones bug out when you try to make an emergency call multiple times, eventually it unlocks the phone for you. Sorry Spike." she wasn't really, but this would definitely make things a bit more fun.
 
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