Logs: Placing the Pieces
Mikage-cho W - St. Hermelin???
St. Hermelin, on the surface, is identical in Mikage-cho. This notion would be discarded somewhere along the way of witnessing people not being quite what they were! Between the feared Dean Harding becoming a caring individual and a popular educator turning into a mute - among other things - it's not long until any sense of familiarity goes to the wayside.
The school appears as it was in the 2008 school year. The old gymnasium hasn't been expanded as it was early in 2009, and there's no hole in the wall. Most of the classrooms do not even see use, the school population notably smaller. The library has undergone the most peculiar change - a foreboding black doorway sits near the back, the whole room coated in butterfly markings. Nobody is sure as to its purpose, or even how to open it. A loud heartbeat can be heard if you stand close to it.
People here live in fear of a girl in black, whose influence sometimes rearranges the school into a twisted set of corridors and dead-ends full of demons. Even a trip to the bathroom, in the best of times, can spell disaster
[OOC] Midori Nakashima and Megumi are having an ordinary healthy school day here, Masumi, feel free to come in if you'd like.
Too much candy? Well some people on the school grounds had definitely had too much of something, but maybe everyone was just late? That was it right? Or did someone announce a holiday without telling her?
"Uhm I hope so. Follow me then. I'm certain there's nothing odd in the classroom." Replies and begins to make her way towards the classroom they were supposed to use today, while keeping a pace that allows Midori to follow without any problems.
"Did uhm... Did any of the students seem a bit odd to you Nakashima-san?" Asks she and casts a glance towards the girl again. She seemed fine, but some of the other students she'd met were a bit out of it...
"Why would there be anything weird in the classroom?" Midori asks. "That's silly. There isn't anything wrong at all." Or so Midori /claims/, sticking ever close to Megumi. Maybe a little too close, for whatever sort of distance should be present between a child and an adult.
"Why?" Midori asks about the students being odd - someone like herself, who is a social butterfly, should probably have had something to say about how some people she talks to on a regular basis aren't saying anything to her, yet...
"It's class time." Midori says. "Let's go to class."
"Maybe it's just my imagination then..." Yeah that had to be it. She was surely imagining the strange things that she'd seen so far. Maybe she'd still been half asleep or something! Though how she managed to drive to work if she'd been half asleep, would be anyone's best guess.
"Oh we're here." Meggy puts her hands on the doorknob and carefully opens the door. Once it's opened, it seems like the same old ordinary classroom, but with a few differences. Some of the items that produced by the students and various other things seems to be missing. Though these are things someone could've easily moved away. There is however no one inside the classroom.
"...That can't be right. Where's the teacher?" What surprises her the most is the obvious lack of the teacher she usually assists. The lack of students is also worries her since they can't all have fallen sick... right?
Midori thinks nothing of the missing teacher or the students as she goes to take her seat where she usually does. It's a real wonder she's able to sit down and then stand back up in that overly long dress of hers. Nonetheless, she occasionally tugs it down just a bit as if to hide any sight of even her socks, folding her hands on her desk and looking towards the blackboard.
"Good morning, Mushikabe-sensei!" Midori says cheerily.
"Uh thanks for the good morning but...." Megumi looks through the table where the teacher usually sits in order to see if she can find anything. Unfortunately for her there is no mention of her having to stand in for him today. There is infact not even a hint of the usual documents.
"I uh... I'm not sure there'll be school today. Not... regular school anyway... Unless you want me to give you private lessons I guess." The uncertainty in her voice is so obvious that she's noticing it herself. She didn't mind temping, but she'd usually get some warning.
There is in fact at least one person in the class room, sitting at the desk in the very back corner furthest from the door. His head is down as he focuses very intently on a sketching of some sort, obscuring his features, and he does not look up when people walk in. However, the waist-length silver hair which cascades down from the back of his head is something which both women will recognize, and that is so extremely rare that there's only one course it could be.
But...he doesn't go to this class, or even to this school. Not that it's /especially/ more strange than total lack of all the people that /should/ be here.
"I'm fine," Midori says with a smile as she looks the part - perfectly - of a student who is ready to go about their daily business of learning even in the face of so many reasons as to why something is... off. Wrong. But the overdressed girl appears to care not, for the moment.
She either missed sight of the extremely long-haired boy sitting way in the back or simply saw him as another out-of-place element to simply ignore. It's hard to say - but further attention may have to be called to him.
"What page are we turning to today?" Midori asks, book ready and a pencil in her hand.
"I don't know. I can't find his notes anywhere." Replies Meggy while she keeps messing in the drawers until she finally finds something. Unfortunately as she discovers to her dismay, the document in question is a slightly older one.
"Oh drat. I'll check my laptop. Hang on a second." Meggy puts her bag on the table and pulls out her machine. Thankfully she had it stored on there, but she hadn't expected to need it today. Then she suddenly realizes something as the machine is booting up.
"Hey wait a second..." She turns her gaze towards the boy in the corner. How had she managed to miss him? "Who are you?"
Whether it comes naturally or supernaturally, everyone reacts differently to sudden dramatic change. Some retreat from it, others pretend that nothing is in fact wrong, others try to establish some connection to the world they left, and some others seem to have the uncanny knack for simply powering straight through it, rolling cleanly with every punch sent their way. But everyone is trying to make some sort of sense to the drastic changes that have occurred around them, yanking old lives away without warning.
Masumi continues to pointedly ignore the other two people in the room, and their words enter his perception only dimly -- though he can feel the general sense of slowly mounting panick from the one. He finds that the sketching helps him to relax, the smooth, flowing motions of the pencil upon paper allowing his mind to drift away from the impossibilities around him. He himself is not trying to retreat, but rather to establish his center so that he can move on. But meditation quickly proved fruitless, his mind far too razzled to even make a passing attempt at it.
The Inaban youth finally looks up when the intent of the words change to be directed at him, and he finally looks up. As silver hair falls gently out of his face to reveal his features, Megumi will of course recognize him as the teen that she helped out of the gutter the other day -- he does not look nearly so bad as he did that day, but his soft and delicate features are noticeably pale and drawn. Like he didn't sleep at all last night. On the flipside, his injuries are strangely gone, even though it's only been a few days.
"Hello," he says softly, the deep stress clearly evident in his deep blue eyes.
Midori smiles and waits. She is a student, an ordinary student, who loves learning and studying for the sake of being an amazing (yet ordinary) student and surely this is something so many of her other classmates will surely be missing out on for the rest of their lives, however abnormally short and sad they may be because they're skipping out on class.
Midori finally follows Megumi's eyes to look behind her and see an unfamiliar... no, this is familiar, if not in the classroom-faring crowd, who looks so tired... so disturbed. So... lost? She smiles, as if providing a bizarre, flippant contrast to the fear, desperation and uncertainty the other two express.
"Aww. You look tired." She says, as if suddenly accepting of the fact he doesn't belong here. "It's okay! We can compare notes at lunch." She faces back forward, having little else to say because you normally don't talk in class unless the teacher calls you, of course... for... what... lack of a class there actually is to be had here.
Now that she got a good look at the boys face, Megumi did indeed recognize him. While she was happy to see he was alright, she was a bit surprised that he could look so... undamaged. The way he'd looked the last time they met, she was fairly certain he'd be in the hospital for a few days.
"You? What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at the hospital where I dropped you off? For that matter... I don't even recall you being on the roster for this class. Or any of the rosters for that matter..." Replies she to his hello, sounding more surprised than anything else really.
In the meantime the laptop has finally booted up and Meggy quickly brings up the plan for the day, while setting the wireless to automatically seek out a connection, -any- kind of connection.
Masumi feels a tight shiver running down his spine when Midori turns and talks to him. While he merely found her grating last night, all he can feel now is...Wrongness. The way she acts, the way she talks, the tone in her voice and expression on her face; the manner in which she is reacting in the face of the impossible world they find themselves in. He tries to tell him that everyone has different manners of coping, but the intuitive feeling refuses to be overriden by logic. Something is just Wrong.
His troubled gaze turns back to Megumi after the younger girl turns back around. He can't deny that both of the familiar faces provide a welcome anchor in a world that has suddenly become at once extremely foreign and extremely unwelcoming -- but the girl almost seems to belong here, in this world of insanity. He would much rather focus his attention on Megumi.
"You won't find any internet connection," Masumi says simply as the TA fiddles around with the laptop. The feeling of at once knowing so little but knowing more than others is at least a familiar one, and he takes a calming breath as he feels a gentle ping of his Persona's resonance of simultaneous mystery and revelation. Even the smallest of anchors are to be clinged to in a world that has shifted so dramatically.
He doesn't immediately respond to the other questions, approaching it at his own pace.
Perhaps the only good thing that can be said about Midori to one so perceptive, so on guard about the whole mess, is that she herself is not emitting any particular resonance of being like him. By those means, an ordinary(?) girl.
"He's fine!" Midori says to the teacher in mentioning weird things like taking him to the hospital or some such without looking back at him. She reaches down to try and cover up any of the slightest hints as to what kind of socks she might even be wearing. "It's too bad nobody else is here. It's such a good day. I like what we're studying today."
...What are they studying today?
"How do you know that?" Replies she at first, but then notices that the wireless is confirming the lack of any internet in the area. How come it was so unreliable all of a sudden? This was just weird.
Studying? Studying what? She hadn't even brought up anything yet. Maybe this was just her way of dealing with all this? Nothing wrong with that...
"What was your name again? And did you see anything strange outside?" Asks Meggy as she sits down and tries to get the wireless to work. Surely it was just her wireless that was being awful no?
"As for you Nakashima-san... Uhm... get out your books and look up on..." She quickly brings up the study plan and checks what it says. Might as well put the girl to do something while she's trying to get things to work. "Page 149."
It is a small but very potent mercy that Masumi cannot sense Midori's resonance. He already has far too much to deal with and sort through right now, and it would remind him far too much of the night in the alley when his first known encounter with a shadow-possessed was of being attacked and nearly killed. He still has no real knowledge of what happened or what caused it, and has only his intuitive sense and cognitive reasoning to aid him in figuring it out. He would certainly feel immediately threatened by her presence.
As it is, the aura of Wrongness is very well established simply by what can be experienced with merely the physical five senses. Little things, mostly, but little things that quickly add up. Masumi cannot help but to think that she seems to be experiencing a very distinct and very disturbing disconnect from reality. He can feel his skin crawling as she starts talking again.
The silver-haired youth exhales slowly, sets his pencil down on the desk, and then rises to his feet. He continues to not directly answer Megumi's questions, his own coping mechanism partially rooted in maintaining whatever little bits of control he can over his surroundings. Not answering creates a small feeling of power -- and the powerless are always ready to seize upon even the smallest of such feelings. At the very least, though, it comes off as slightly mysterious rather than power-hungry, for it expresses itself very softly and subtly.
Masumi walks over to one of the school windows and opens it, gesturely silently for the older woman to come join him. "Look," he says quietly as he gestures towards the horizon. Bizarre and unreal colors dance impossibly in the horizon, joining together in abstract shapes and patterns which do not belong in the horizon of any sane world.
"All right, sensei!" Midori opens up the book to page 149 and starts reading it. Never mind that it actually covers something in the middle of a chapter. Starting directly from it is the start of a non-sequitur. Maybe it's not even the right book? Then again, this is the book they use in Composition...
Her smile grows a little more as she utterly disregards this and starts to read it intently, following the examples of questions that start a page or two before and writing her answers on a paper. She hums a happy little song while she writes, allowing Masumi to illustrate that barrier out in the horizon to Megumi.
From this side of the school is the barrier around the town, the colorful one as opposed to the faintly glowing black barrier going through the center of the city that obscures whatever there is beyond it - if there is anything there, at all.
One can make out the faint landscape beyond the city, but it is just that - faint. Distorted. It may not entirely be because of the colorful barrier before it. Maybe there isn't even anything beyond the barrier to begin with.
For all intents and purposes, everyone here is trapped within this city turned upside down and inside out, crawling with fantastical creatures that do not exist in the world of the mundane. But yet, at least one among their number remains perfectly content to go about their daily routine without incident.
Meanwhile, Yu was wandering the school, attempting to get his bearings as best he could. This was pretty unreal, to say the least. He'd feel a bit better if he could at least establish contact with his companions, but any efforts to communicate have proven futile they all could be dead as far as he knew. He was able to maintain himself fairly unflappably, but keeping his cool was clearly wearing on him already.
Idly, he peers into a classroom and spots a few familiar faces: The boy from Moonstruck, that strange girl with an obsession with mines, and the Lunarvale native who he had investigated KNOWS with. He enters and nods politely, seating himself casually in one of the front sets, clearly not intent on treating this like a normal day if they others were.
"What in the...?" Meggy honestly couldn't say she had noticed that earlier. Then again she hadn't really looked out the window, but still! That was -NOT- your ordinary sky!
"What happened to the sky? I don't recall Lunarvale ever having something like -that-!" And whatever it was, just blew the whole persona thing straight out of the water. Literally speaking. This was quite frankly making her freak out and it was rather obvious, even to her that she was dealing very poorly with all of this. This wasn't what she'd signed on for when she took the job.
Meggy then just covers her face with her palms, muttering stuff like 'this can't be happening' and so on. When she finally looks up again, she notices another familiar face.
"I recognize you too, but what are you doing here? Weren't you living in Inaba?" Then again nothing made any sense by this point.
Masumi already had his moment of total breakdown last night, when the white tunnel first deposited him here in this bizarre world, and so appears -- but probably only appears -- to be coping with it better than Megumi. A sympathetic frown crosses his soft features when she is first hit with the realization that Toto, We're Not In Kansas anymore. But it's not as if there was any gentler way to break it to her, and he knows for sure that the other girl has the wrong idea in simply disconnecting herself from the stark reality around them.
It is clear that we are no longer in Lunarvale," Masumi says softly after she has had a few moments for her initial freaking out. "Or rather, we are in some sort of...alternate-reality Lunarvale. While it is on the surface the city we all knew, the rules here are all different. The impossible is possible; that which should not exist has been given form."
Masumi finds that passing on what little he himself has thus far been able to figure out has a distinct calming effect on his own frayed nerves. It helps him to regain that sense of control that he so desperately needs but that was so violently ripped out of his grasp. "Though I'm afraid I do not know why or how we are here. I was simply in town for some shopping." But at the edges of his apparent poise, there are subtle but powerful hints that the strain has not at all left. That look of fear in his eyes, lines of stress and worry in his face, a certain sharpness to his movements like that of a cornered animal.
"Yes, I do, but," Yu explains. He probably figures it for the best he not mention that he was in the DVA generator room when this all happened and, as far as many were concerned, was in part responsible for this mess, "I was here looking into something and I got caught up in this. It seems a lt of people have been."
He looked around briefly to the other teenagers in the room. Masumi seemed to be even more worried than he was, but Midori was showing a disturbing display of normalcy. "We can find a way out of this, though, I'm sure," he looks to the others assuringly. At Masumi's remark, he nods. He'd explain that the DVA was some sort of thought-diving technology as far as he knew, but even knowing that would through suspicion upon him.
Midori, for the moment, is too absorbed in (likely imagined) classwork to offer anything of any substantial worth to the discussion at hand. After all, she is in class right now in spite of everyone TALKING and WALKING AROUND and NOT ACTUALLY GOING TO THIS SCHOOL. This lets them speculate about the goings-on in continued peace (...for as much peace as any can glean from this bizarre phantom of Lunarvale, some sort of... smaller phantom city).
After all, she's fine.
Chidori stomped through the halls of the school, lacy white skirts ruffling around her legs, irritation growing with every door she opened.
She /kind of/ knew what schools looked like, despite having been educated (up to a certain point in her life) in a Kirijo laboratory. Most of her impression of what schools were like came from hearsay and whatever she happened to catch in the media, so there were some gaps in her knowledge, but she was fairly sure the general topography of where doorways led was not supposed to work like this. Toilets led into the gym, the gym led into the library, the library led into-
Hm. A classroom, with people in it. Students these days were certainly hardworking, considering there was a psychadelic barrier preventing access outside city limits, and the place was crawling with monsters. Chidori would have thought studying would not be a priority in these circumstances.
Chidori focused through the haze of What Madness Is This obscuring her vision. An older woman, probably a teacher of some sort. Some guy, a male student.
And then there was Midori, happily studying a textbook, and Yu Narukami the not-Kyrie.
Chidori leaned against the doorway, covering her eyes with her hand, and let out a long, heartfelt groan.
"I see. Well... Is there any way out of this place...?" Asks Meggy and throws a glance towards the outside again. At least there wasn't anything trying to do something to them. That was just about the only relief in the whole situation.
"As for you Seta-san... Who else are trapped in this... this... whatever this is." Meggy could feel herself starting to calm down somewhat. Mostly because there were others around that she could lean on if anything were to happen. She never did like being alone. Especially not when all hell had broken loose, for the lack of a better term.
Masumi's gaze is suddenly directed to Yu when he speaks, a very distinct and abrupt sharpness to it, and he can feel his skin crawling. That makes for a third person he has met in only the last week that has showed up here. The sheer surreality of that fact is enough to cause him to reconsider the possibility that he is simply having a very vivid dream or hallucination.
No, he tells himself forcefully. There is no taking backwards steps here. You have already established without any doubt that this is not a dream, that this is reality -- as impossible of a reality as it is. You cannot confuse the truth in order to fit your perceptions and desires. You have to keep taking steps forward.
His mind begins to swim as a dozen questions bombard his thoughts all at once, and he suddenly puts a hand forward against the wall to avoid losing his balance. What does it mean that he knows all three of these people? The chances of it being merely coincidence are so high as to be well beyond the territory of ludicrous. It means something.
But what? What is the connection that ties them all together? He followed a group of other humans to this school that all appeared in the same general area and all or at least most seemed equally confused. What is the pattern that dictated who arrived here, and when and how and why?
For now, the answers stubbornly refuse to come. His mind and nerves are still far too frayed to try and fit the pieces together. "I suppose --" he begins, righting himself and swallowing dryly. He needs to calm down, needs to put it all into perspective. "I suppose the first thing to try would be simply walking out. It's...possible the light is a portal of sorts." He's trying to think back to the fantasy and sci-fi literature he's read that dealt with imagined alternate realities. He knows he's reaching, but right now can't think of any other source of inspiration.
Midori is still lost in classwork. She may or may not be lost in other things but she is especially lost in classwork even as she overhears a familiar sigh she has probably been witness to numerous times just today alone. She pauses for a moment as she looks at the book, a gloved finger going over the paper.
"Why would you want to walk out?" Midori asks without looking up. "We're in class. The bell hasn't rung yet." Clearly she is the only person here who is being a good, normal, wholesome student.
"I'm not quite sure," Yu shakes his head as he answers Megumi. This was hardly a normal situation, but he couldn't help but appreciate the irony of the teacher asking so many questions in classroom. Managing a calm expression via this, if only for the sake of keeping others calm, he explains, "I was with a good number of others, but I don't know where they are and I can't reach them. The people I appeared with have already taken shelter here, for the most part."
His silver eyes turn quite sharply to Chidori as she stands by the door. He stares at her for a moment with an ieffable expression that could be fear, suspicion, anger, or any reasonable combination of the three. What was -she- doing here and what was she going to do now?
Decided to not pay her too much mind yet, he looks back to the others, his attention resting primarily on Midori in shock. That was one -hell- of a defense mechanism she had going for het.
Chidori stalked into the classroom, pointedly ignoring everyone else until she flumped down onto an empty seat. (Which was, oddly enough, just beside Midori's.) Having done that, she very carefully and deliberately thumped her head down onto her pillowed arms.
"Don't bother, Yu," she said, voice slightly muffled. "I'm not in the mood to do anything to you. Not with..." A hand emerged to wave vaguely at the windows. "All of that going on outside."
Her shoulders heaved as she took a deep breath. Having made the token attempt to calm down, Chidori looked up, and leaned back in her seat.
"So," she said, glaring at everyone else in the room. "Does anyone even know what is going on?"
"I suppose that's possible..." Replies Megumi, but refrains from commenting on how it sounds like something one would only find in a fantasy or sci fi story. Then again one could probably say exactly the same about the situation they were currently in.
"I'm not so sure this is anything close to normal Nakashima-san..." That girls defense mechanisms were truly something out of the ordinary. She couldn't blame her though. People reacted differently after all.
"I see Seta-san. You know I had hoped we'd meet under better circumstances than this..." When Yu suddenly turns his eyes towards the door, she does too, wondering what he was staring at. What she then see's is a girl in a white dress of some kind. Or at least she thinks it is a dress. Fashion had never been her strong side.
"Who are you? You know her Seta-san?" Meggy tilts her head and eyes the girl curiously. Not someone she'd ever seen and definitely not a St Hermelin student.
Yu looks between those gathered. Of them, only two he knew as Persona users. Then again, with demons wandering the streets he figured anything he could say at this point would not be too shocking or incredible. With a sigh, he begins to speak, "It's Takahisa Kandori. The SEBEC building had some sort of device that could...warp space and time with the power of the mind." Wondering if his explanation was even correct himself, he adds, "That's what one of their scientists said, anyhow. I don't know if this was supposed to happen of if something went wrong, but the machine Kandori used last night is what did this."
"What are you talking about, sensei?" Midori asks. "It's only empty because everyone stayed home... ooh. Maybe today was the class trip." She puts the tip of her pencil eraser up against her chin as she looks up away from her work. "Yeah. That's fun! I wish I went. It's okay. I'm sure you all wish you went here."
She doesn't turn her head to face Chidori, but she doesn't seem disturbed or even... affected, in the presence of someone very clearly not wearing a school uniform of any stretch of the imagination in the least.
Is this a coping mechanism, or just... something... more? Other than being an honor student in a place where such a thing may very well no longer exist.
"I shouldn't talk in class." She chides herself, being a good student, and continues writing away to her heart's content. Her heart must be very content.
Masumi pointedly ignores the girl that keeps acting like everything is normal, like everything is fine. The more he actually listens to her, the more disturing it becomes. He does not need anymore distractions or sources of stress. It is best to simply pretend that she is not here -- and her lack of real input also means she's entirely useless to the very important conversation at hand, anyway.
As she walks in and flumps down in one of the chairs, Masumi notes that he does not know her. But it appears Yu does? The animosity coming off of Yu is impossible to miss, but it's equally not nearly as important as the puzzle piece itself. Now that he thinks back to the hazy memories of last night, he vaguely remembers getting the impression that many in the group he followed here knew each other as well.
A web of connections. But of what kind? What tied them all together? He slowly clenches and unclenches a fist in a mixture of consternation and exasperation as the fog in his mind continues to stymie his efforts to do anything other than ask more questions.
"We...we seem to have been pulled into an alternate-reality Lunarvale," Masumi says Chidori, trying very hard to reassert his sense of poise. "Beyond that -- I'm not entirely sure anyone knows. Have you learned anything from outside?" he asks without even bothering with introductions. It's important to keep the flow of information moving freely. Every tiny detail they can discover is a detail they didn't know before.
"Monsters," Chidori said shortly. "Roaming outside. Probably eating people. Killed a few getting here." Did she mean that she killed a few monsters, or killed a few people? Clarifications did not seem forthcoming.
She gestured to the windows. "And there's that big barrier outside. Can't get out. I tried, believe me. The subway stations are full of monsters."
Some sort of alternate dimension, caused by Kandori and SEBEC, according to what the others were saying. "So if we find this Kandori person and kill him, everything goes back to normal, right?" Chidori glanced at Midori, still absorbed in classwork. "Well, mostly normal, anyway."
"So that's why... At this point it wouldn't surprise me if it was true." It was as likely as any theory at this point. At least as far as she could see.
"And no today wasn't class trip Nakashima-san. Just uh... think of class today as cancelled... or something along those lines." Meggy honestly was starting to wonder if this place had messed with the poor girls head. No one could have a coping mechanism like that... right?
"Killed a few what...? Wait kill Kandori? Are you honestly suggesting we should kill someone?" Meggy sounds like she doesn't quite believe that she heard what Chidori just said. After all did she really suggest that they'd kill someone? What sort of person does that so casually?
"Really, Mushikabe-sensei?" Midori asks, as if... unsure? There is only the faintest hint of discomfort... no, it's more like a faint hint of disagreement. "That's too bad." She puts away the paper and book. Oh well, class is over already? Then again everyone is happy when class is over, so maybe she should be happy? It is a normal student thing, isn't it.
She decides to join the conversation and theories being bandied about as she somehow manages to stand outside of her seat in spite of that all that clothing she's wearing.
"Everyone's still trick or treating today. I guess they do it over a lot of days." Midori declares. "I've never seen so many kids at once before. It's really fun! I've been sharing with them my kompeito. I got a lot yesterday."
That was what she had in her bag when she spoke with Masumi the last evening. "Some of them really liked it! Maybe I should see if there's any outside around the school."
"I'm not sure if killing him will fix anything at this point," Yu shakes his head, " he honestly seems just as trapped as the rest of us. Yes, he appeared with us. No clue where he is now. Hopefully, he doesn't care where we are either."
Masumi breathes in deeply, letting the cleansing air move through his body. He can feel his mind slowly starting to unwind itself as the presence of other people -- three of them familiar -- provides an anchor of reality in a surreal existance. Opening up the flow of information also helps to slowly begin putting things in better perspective, giving his mind something productive to focus on instead of stressing over the impossible suddenly becoming possible.
He consciously opens his clenched hands and wills himself to relax. The knots in the pit of his stomach are starting to unwind themselves, and the blood isn't rushing quite so loudly in his head. He coaxes himself to relax further, knowing that if he calm enough to properly meditate, he will be able to refind and reestablish his center. It's so very critical that he does.
"I saw the monsters last night," he corroborates with Chidori's story. But then a name is dropped that he does not recognize, possibly as the cause of the world shifting. "Who is Kandori?" he asks softly. "Are you saying he's the...center of the dimensional disturbance?" He does not seem overtly considered with the idea of killing someone if it would solve their issues, but that is likely only be because he's currently more concerned with trying to piece everything together.
He has never actually killed anyone after all, but that is a bridge to be crossed if and when they get there. Somehow it doesn't seem like it could possibly be that simple -- unless he's somehow actively maintaining a sort of bubble around Lunarvale that is warping reality, and they have not travelled to another dimension at all. His brows furrow in concentration. It's at least a possibility, given the new girl's discovery that the colors are in fact an impenetrable barrier.
"Yes," Chidori said dryly. "Today's class is cancelled due to demons and monsters invading the city. Please stay home for self-study."
Chidori seemed strangely more irritated than normal, which was a significant feat. It was an irritation that didn't seem to have much to do with the presence of Yu or Midori, but appeared tied to...
Chidori snapped her head back forward as Midori put away her books. It had just been a /coincidence/ that Chidori had found herself leaning over ever so slightly, glancing at the contents of the textbook out of the corner of her eye. It wasn't even a subject Chidori was interested in; the Kirijo education had been accelerated, but focused more on the sciences. What use was Composition?
Why was she even thinking about this in the first place?
"Kill Kandori," Chidori confirmed to Megumi. "If he caused all of this, then he might be-"
But Yu expressed his doubts, and Chidori shot an annoyed glance at him. "Fine. So how do you propose we get out of here? I'm not planning on staying for the rest of my life. Which is about two weeks, if there's no way out." She steepled her fingers. "Might as well take everyone else with me."
"I'm not sure going around on your own is such a wise idea right. Especially not if what we were just told is true." Demons wandering in the streets? Not that it really surprised her that demons existed, but that made it sound like they'd been dragged down into some sort of hell.
"I don't think killing will solve anything. If that was the case then our world wouldn't have has many issues as it does." Meggy can't help but wonder what she's done to deserve all this. She hadn't ever hurt anyone or anything like that.
"Besides even all of you decided to do that, you'd have to find him first. How do you propose we'd do that?" Not like any of them had bloodhounds or some such up their sleeves.
"Well," Yu looks between the others, his eyes resting nervously upon Chidori. Would she REALLY do such a thing? His fight with her during the Dark Hour indicated yes. yes, she would.
"Sitting around isn't going to get us anywhere, that much is true," he says as firmly as he can manage, "but we need some manner of clues before we go rushing about recklessly and do something that could further screw us all over.
Turning his eyes between them once more, he proposes a course of action, "Mushikabe-san is right as well. We cannot go out there alone. That's why I'm going to get an investigation party together later today. Maybe we can find out -something- about what's going on here."
"You people are bored." Midori declares in this discussion that, ultimately, determines all their fates. They could be stuck here forever. They might not even last two weeks, if Chidori's predictions are accurate at all to begin with. Surely, there is someone responsible behind all this that they will have to step up and defeat to set everything right again, right...? Everyone should stick together, form a party in case of demon attack. These all sound perfectly reasonable.
"I'm fine." Midori declares as she cradles her stuff around her arms. "I'll see you all later!" She smiles and bows to the lot of them like they are not caught in the middle of a hellish dimension of dangerous creatures that seek to utterly end their lives, starting to walk towards the door out of the classroom.
Take slow, steady breaths, Masumi mentally reminds himself. Allow the body's own natural processes to take the first steps in manipulating the same for the desired result. Begin to assert control over the physiological reactions and impulses which are clouding your mind and generating the unwanted emotions. It must be the mind over the body and never the body over the mind. Breathe slowly and deeply. Convince the body of your own calm.
His thoughts begin to explore the hypothesis just raised, even though Yu brings some compelling reasons to why it is incorrect -- one must never rule out the possibility of elaborate deception on the part of any human when trying to fit the pieces together. Though he still does not know who this Kandori actually is, anyone with the power and motivation to warp reality itself would surely have some sort of elaborate plan in mind.
Which of course raises the question of it being possible at all. But why not? If people possess Persona which can manipulate fire and ice, mind and body, is it entirely unreasonable to think that someone possesses a Persona which can manipulate time and space? But for killing him to accomplish anything, it would have to be a local disturbance that warped reality instead of a portal which shunted them to another dimension, and it would have to be something which required active maintanence.
Which also is not entirely unreasonable, he reflects. Surely such a disturbance would require incredible amounts of energy to exist -- unless it had become self-maintaining, of course. That thought sent a chill running through his veins.
But of course Yu is correct in noting that further speculation is useless without more information. Hypothesis accomplish nothing if one does not possess the facts to advance them to theories and then to working models. "Indeed," he agrees, his natural poise and confidence beginning to return fully. "We need to know who else is here from our Lunarvale, or if in fact everyone is, and then what patterns connect us if it is only certain people. Determining the nature of the disturbance or portal, or whatever it is precisely, will also determine how we attempt to return home."
He pauses for a moment. "But I must ask again -- who is Kandori, and what is his relation to this? It is important we share information freely if we are to learn anything substantial."
"Investigation party? With whom?" Did Yu have allies he could call upon here? On the one hand, it would help Chidori get out of this nightmare place sooner. On the other hand, once they /were/ out of there, his allies could cause trouble for Strega's plans...
"Kandori is the head of SEBEC," Chidori stated. "Big boss. Head honcho. Whatever. He's got some sort of interest in people with Personas and Shadows." Considering that masquerade ball thing he held. Strega did manage to profit from that. "Like he's running some sort of..."
Chidori's fists clenched. "Some sort of experiment. I don't know what else he's doing." Up until now, Chidori hadn't much cared. "If this is another of his /experiments/..."
Chidori watched as Midori, the idiot, skipped her way out of the classroom like Everything Was Fine. "You can do your investigating on your own time," she said, standing up. "Just don't get in my way."
Chidori wasn't /exactly/ going to follow Midori. She was, quite coincidentally, just happening to walk in the same general direction as Midori was.
"Sounds like an idea Seta-san. Better than just sitting here at any rate." Megumi wasn't sure if it was a particularly good idea, but she, the girly looking boy and Yu possessed the ability to summon persona's. That was most certainly something that'd count in their favor out there. Especially if demons were stalking the streets.
"Hey Nakashima-san. You shouldn't wander out on your own. At least take someone with you if you intend to go out." Says Megumi as she notices Midori going out of the classroom, but given the girls speed, she doubts she even heard what she said. As her teacher however, she couldn't let her wander around.
"Nakashima-san!" Says she loudly and tries to get the girls attention as she stands up and walks after her, forgetting about her laptop. Not like it'd do her any good anyway. Then she notices that other girl. She can't help but look at her, perhaps even stare a bit.
Yu grimaced. Chidori was right. Most of his allies -were- separated from him and he'd have to muster the support of near-complete strangers. He supposes he can count on the aid of the SEES sisters, maybe even Anise too with enough goading. There was that Arisa woman, as well. She knew the place better than anyone else currently, it seemed.
"She's right, I'm going to have a hard time getting help," he admits to the others, "but I'm certainly going to make the attempt."
"With those of us here, with any others which also find themselves trapped here," Masumi interjects softly when the girl asks with whom an investigation party would be formed. "It appears we are all in this together for one reason or another, and unity would be beneficial to everyone involved," he adds with a hint of emphasis when she further makes it clear she's going to go a separate way.
He is of course blissfully unware of the existance of terrible magical conspiracies to end the world, let alone Chidori's involvement in one.
And then Masumi blinks several times rapidly in surprise when the girl so casually mentions the existance of Personas and...Shadows? What are Shadows? More importantly, why is she obviously so aware of them, yet he feels absolutely no resonance or spark of power coming from her? He supposes it's not entirely impossible for someone to have been exposed to the hidden powers of the psyche without having yet tapped into it themselves.
Which raises other questions. He /can/ feel the Resonance from Yu and Megumi -- is that what ties them together? The one girl, the one so disturbingly disconnected from reality, would still be an anomaly in that hypothesis, but perhaps she's the same as the other one? Exposed to the power of Persona without necessarily possessing it? So many possibilities.
His attention finally returns back to Yu. "It is in everyone's best interest to join efforts, even if we do not know each other very well. We are facing something that far transcends what we once considered possible. We are powerless alone, but together perhaps we stand some chance."