6169/Gentle Days Vanish One By One

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Gentle Days Vanish One By One
Date of Scene: 20 November 2018
Location: Ga-Rei Japan
Synopsis: Wherein our intrepid heroes follow the strange hallucinations and save a holy guardian beast.
Cast of Characters: Yomi Isayama, 6730, Silica, 1119, Lexicon

Yomi Isayama has posed:
Those allies of the Paladins or others who have aided Yomi in the past may have recently heard about a mission she had been asking for help on. It seems that citizens have reported seeing strange visions, and all these reports have been centering around one specific neighborhood. The address of the meeting place, just outside the neighborhood in question, was sent to those who showed interest in helping out.

"Don't worry. They'll come. They aren't going to leave me hanging." Yomi is there ahead of time, holding her sheathed sword with one hand and gesturing vaguely down a poorly-lit road. Next to her is a towering mountain of a man with dark skin, marks along his face, and a very nice suit. Resting against his shoulder is a massive shotgun that looks like it could weigh as much as Yomi, if not more. "Don't be nervous, okay? They're good people."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    Android 17 had no idea what was going on.

    He was not someone who could look into the realm of the dead, he could not see spirits...he was cool under pressure, and intelligent. Well, and strong as one would expect by his name. Hands in his pocket as he approaches Yomi, who seems to be waiting for something.

    "I heard someone needed assistance with something, if you don't mind filling me in on the details, I don't mind helping you out."

Silica has posed:
    Keiko Ayano, 20-something trainee vetrenarian and AugMa User, walks along the street, tapping at the air as she walks, using the AugMa's AR facilities to send messages and put some things in order before linking up with Yomi and her companion. Once she arrives though, she offers a wave. "Hey, heard you needed some help through Syndicate channels."

    Yomi would likely recognize the young woman. She's a bit taller, a bit more filled out than her avatar, but the resemblence is uncanny, really.

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
Josuke has had neither knowledge of Yomi nor is he a Paladin. But he wanders quite a bit, and so he's heard of the trouble too. It sounds similar to what people would see when a Stand was involved. And if HE can get out of his world, then other Stand-users can. So he figured he'd go take a look.

Thus it is that there is a broad-shouldered young man with a dark-colored uniform-style outfit heading to the area. "Hi!" he greets brightly. "I heard, too. Spirits? Something similar happens in my world sometimes, so I wanted to make sure it wasn't. I'm not sure I can help out if it's not, but I'll try."

Yomi Isayama has posed:
To be honest, Yomi wasn't sure who was going to show up. She'd be comfortable going in there with her whole squad, but with only herself and Nabu... well, more backup was nice. "Oh.. hey! Glad you could make it! My name is Yomi. Isayama Yomi. This is Nabu." She gestures up at the man next to her, who lifts a hand in a quick wave and rumbles in a deep, quiet voice, "Nabu is glad to see you."

Yomi glances at him and smiles. "He's just a bit nervous. We have another scouting ahead right now, he should be back soon." Her gaze travels over the others briefly, giving them a quick nod. Two guys she doesn't know, and one.... Squinting, she peers at Keiko for a moment. "Is that..." One hand reaches out to poke at the girl's hair near the top. "Ah! It really is you! Silica!" With a grin, she gloms onto the girl, engaging in her signature Big Sister Hug. Even if Keiko is older than her. "Is this you in person, the real you? I don't think I've seen you this way before! You're just as cute as always!" There's a soft cough from Nabu, and Yomi pouts, but she does release Keiko after one more headpat. "Ahem. Anyway! People around here have been reporting some strange hallucinations lately. Seeing things that aren't there, seeing entire -landscapes- that aren't there. But nobody dead yet, so it's a bit... unusual. Most spirits that mess with people's heads try to kill them, you know?"

Yomi glances at 17 again, then Josuke. "So... keep your eyes open, mostly. We're not sure yet what this is, but the Agency's trying to at least get us a category. They'll give me a call when thy figure it out." She leans back, glancing down the street as if looking for something. "It -might- be an incursion from another world, but it might just be local weirdness. Either way, let me know if you see anything strange."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    Seventeen nods once towards Nabu. He reaches a hand out to greet the man, because he's from Ameripan. Japinca?

    Shake or not, the man speaks, "Android 17." He offers, befor elooking back towards Yomi. And then...

    The girl hugging the other girl. The Android seems to give no emotion while watching this. There is just that blank, piercing gauge for a moment. Then when it is all said and done, he says with a wry smile, "Oh so you're THAT type of person."

    Okay, eyes open, something about halucinations...He wasn't sure if he'd be affected or not, these things always seem to be fifty-fifty for him. So either other world invasion, shennanigans, or local versions of the last two things...yeah, sounds about right. "So where do we start?"

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
"Pleased to meet you too. My name is Josuke," Josuke replies as he bows to Nabu politely. He's only half Japanese too, but he was raised 100% Japanese, and he's surprisingly polite for looking like a delinquent. And he grins brightly at Yomi's hugging of Keiko. That's cute.

Though when Yomi starts explaining the problem, he nods. "That does sound familiar," he observes. "There are people who use the same abilities as I do -- or, well... not the same abilities, but they come from the same place. And that's all stuff that can happen with them. I'll be careful, though," he promises.

Silica has posed:
    Keiko blinks at the poke, then nods. "This is my real bo--EEK!" the Big Sister hug makes her squirm and writhes about a bit, pouting and gently trying to prise herself away from the Occultist. "I-I'm not cute! S-Stop calling me that.." once the hug is released, she smooths herself out, blushing brightly, then gets her serious face back once the briefing comes. "Weird stuff that isn't there... okay, I think I get it. Give me a sec to put on my war face." she says, stepping back from the others, striking a pose and speaking two words in an imperative tone. "LINK. START!"

    The AugMa erupts into a wireframe that covers the woman's body, following quickly by the outer texture maps filling in over top in much the same manner. Did she even get smaller? Hard to tell really. Once the texture maps are in place, she moves and gives a whistle, summoning a group of small monsters around her, the felinoid ears on the sides of her head perking and panning, while her menagerie settles on or around their mistress.

Yomi Isayama has posed:
"You're totally cute! Just like Kagura!" ...who doesn't like Yomi hugging on her in public either, but big sister types are immune to embarrassment like that. But then Keiko transforms, and Yomi reaches out to touch the girl's shoulder, to see if those textures are really there. "Oh, wow. That's so cool!" Turning a bit, Yomi glances back up at 17. "And what kind of person would that be, hm?" She smiles thinly at him, and Nabu seems to get a shiver up his spine. He's seen that look before.

But before he can say anything, Yomi gestures down the street. "We start down this way. Like I said, I sent a scout ahead. He should be back soon. And he's got a couple sets of goggles for seeing spirits if you're not able to, courtesy of some soldiers we saved a few weeks back. Sounds like you probably can already, Josuke." She pauses a moment and looks him up and down. "Just warn me if your powers do anything weird so I know not to attack it. Let's get going."

As she leads the way down the street, Nabu following behind her, another figure steps out from around a poorly-lit corner. It's... Nabu? But he's right here already.

Yomi and Nabu don't seem too startled, though, and the one behind her steps forward to grab the new one's shoulder. "Nabu was worried you took so long." "Nabu was toobuubuu."

"This is Nabu's brother, Nabu," explains Yomi, as if there's nothing strange about this.

Lexicon has posed:
    "That doesn't sound complicated at all," a soft voice murmurs in a dry tone.

    Bringing up the rear of the group is a brunette in a plaid-skirted school uniform, complete with blazer and beret. Some might know her as Lexicon, others present might not, but she's familiar with Yomi most of all and that's who she addresses directly first: "Sorry I'm late. The bus was running behind and it didn't feel right to fly without permission."

    A polite nod is offered to Josuke, who she's heard of helping her fellow DCCs. Silica's attendent nod comes with a little smile. A smile that's gone by the time she's acknowledging Android 17-- who she doesn't know at all. But he still gets a nod.

    "I only got the gist of it," Lexicon admits, "So let's hear the recon."

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
Josuke follows Yomi as she starts down the street. Though he blinks a little as the copy of Nabu -- who also seems to be named Nabu -- appears. "Eh? But..." He looks at Nabu the 1st. Then at Nabu the 2nd. "...How do we tell them apart?" he wonders.

Oh right. As for seeing spirits? He shakes his head. "No, I can't. Not unless they're what mine is." He pauses a moment, and a purple aura appears around him. And then he manifests his Stand behind him. His Stand is head and shoulders taller, though that might be because the Stand in question is floating a couple inches off the ground. Though still... it's a pretty big entity.

The entity is pink with crystal blue armor. One wouldn't think someone in pink and baby blue could look THAT serious, but... it does. The Stand has a serious, 'don't screw with me' expression on its face. "Unless they're a Stand, like this guy--" He hooks a thumb back at the entity behind him "--Then I won't be able to see them. If it's an actual spirit, I won't be able to see it normally."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "The kind that tries to be everybody's elder sister," Seventeen says, without flinching. He's not afraid of her, because he had to grow up with Eighteen.

    Shrugging as the situation is explained a bit more, he seems to make a mental note of these things. Finally, with a nod, he moves on. Until there are two Nabu's, and they each talk to each other strangely. Ok, this is weird, but he is sure he almost knows what is going on here. Maybe.

    "Twins?" Because he is a twin too.

    "Unless they leave any standard trace of themselves, or make noises that I can follow, I don't have any special 'ghost' sensors either." He reguards the transformation of Silica. Not sure what to make of this, but he's learning a whole LOT today. His eyes move towards Lexicon, who nods at him and he returns it respectfully. They don't know each other, but he's not going to be rude.

    Of course, the stand that appears gets his attention next. Huh, things are getting all sorts of interesting now. "That is pretty cool." He says towards Josuke.

Silica has posed:
    Silica is pretty solid to the touch, without any of the displacement one might expect from a shift in size. That's some WEIRD TECH stuff that CARDINAL made. Anyway, she whistles and her flock disperses a bit, Pina, Hibiki and Kobayashi taking wing, while Nana scurries off ahead, snorting and looking around. "My pets have some built in 'threat detection' code, so they'll start to act up if anything weird starts affecting them or the area nearby." she says, using her pets as a perimeter alarm.

    Lexicon's arrival gets a smile and a wave from the Cait Sith, her tail swishing happily at seeing the DCC.

Yomi Isayama has posed:
"Not -everyone's- sister. Only the cute ones." Yomi smirks and gestures to Keiko and her wagging tail. "...besides, my cousin has always been like a big sister to me. I'm just passing on the love." She pauses, nodding to the question. "Where they're from, people believe twins are the same person, so they get the same name. They're the only survivors from an attack on their village, so they're pretty close anyway."

The exorcist takes a step back as Crazy Diamond manifests. "...huh. He looks a little grumpy. Not that I can talk with how Ranguren looks to most people... Ah." She taps her sword with a finger. "I'll warn you if I have to summon him. Don't want to show you now, because he's... not very subtle. Lexicon has seen him before. Anyway, Nabu has the goggles if they're needed, but since normal people have been reporting the hallucinations, it might not be something invisible."

Nabu and Nabu seem done talking to each other, and both turn to face the group. The question of how to tell them apart may soon become a moot point, considering the way they talk. "Nabu saw the hallucinations" "just like people reported. It was a big field of stars that" "replaced the nearby buildings then" "turned into fireworks." Both of them lift a hand and spread their fingers. "..paaaa~!" Then they fall quiet again, gesturing around the corner.

"Looks like the source of our problem is this way. Keep your eyes peeled." Yomi walks around the corner and.. promptly vanishes. Though her voice trails back, a little distorted, "You guys have to come see this."

The Nabu brothers follow, likewise disappearing. Anyone else who walks around the corner will seem to vanish, then be greeted by a strange sight: an underwater coral reef, with brightly-colored fish swimming around. Yomi is about ten feet down the road, her hair floating up in the 'water' as she reaches to poke at a nearby fish... and that fish reacts by swimming away. "It's like we're underwater but not..."

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
"Oh, that would explain it," Josuke notes, of the similarity between the two Nabus. "Two bodies sharing the same soul? That kind of thing?" He can respect the belief, anyway. "So it doesn't really matter which one is which, if they're the same person?" That'll be handy for telling people apart. Or not telling them apart, as the case may be.

As for Crazy Diamond looking grumpy? Josuke grins. "He's just very serious. <Crazy Diamond> wouldn't hurt anybody unless they deserved it." A pause then. "Oh right. If something important gets broken, or anybody gets hurt, let me know. <Crazy Diamond> can fix things and heal people. I can't bring back the dead though, so tell me before it gets that bad." The switch from 'he can/can't' to 'I can/can't' might be a bit telling, too.

He de-manifests Crazy Diamond, pausing to listen to the Two Nabus, and Josuke blinks as they finish each other's sentences. That's definitely going to be a big help, for it not to matter which is which. But also, that's some weird account. "If it was a Stand, that would have to be a really powerful one, to affect that much of the area," he notes. He's not assuming it is, mind. He's just here in case it is.

Yomi's disappearance gets a pout of concern from Josuke. "Yomi?" he calls out. He hears her voice then, and heads to the area he heard it from. Of course, when it looks like Josuke's underwater, what's the first thing he does? Hold his breath? Test if he can breathe? If he can swim? No, it is none of these things. He reaches up to make sure his hair's in order.

Yes. When faced with the threat of drowning, his first concern is his hair.

But, thus assured that his hair's fine, he turns his attention to the atmosphere. "...OK, yeah, this is definitely weird..." He looks around, seeing if he can see a likely Stand-user around. Or if not, someone around who might be causing it. Failing that, something -- anything -- that seems out of place. A shadow that doesn't look right, a piece of the surroundings that don't look like it fits here (except the obvious) -- something that might indicate where this might be coming from.

Silica has posed:
    Silica blinks as Yomi vanishes, surging forward and skidding around the corner just after Josuke vanishes too. She blinks as she enters an 'underwater' area, her hair wafting a bit in the 'water', while her pets flit and flutter about, scampering in chase of any fish that come too close. "Okay, this is really wierd." she states, walking along to join Yomi. "Any ideas what could cause this?"

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    Seventeen looks distant for a moment, at the mention of 'the only survivors'. That part stuck with him more than the 'think they're the same person'. He knows THAT'S not true, but the second part well...


    "Only the cute ones, huh. You know, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder." He comments, but continues walking, not pushing it anymore. When the lady, and then the two twins disappear around a corner, but they could still hear her...well, that is when Seventeen starts to think that this MIGHT not just be people being delusional. Shrugging, he walks forward, following and into the sea. Litterally.

    Looking around, others stare in wonder...but Seventeen has experience with this sort of thing, and he's not afraid of drowning for some reason. He moves, looking at the fish, at the coral...he's learned a lot over the years, from being a park ranger, and tries to see if the illusion acts naturally...or if they act in a way that a normal person THINK they'd act...

    "It's not that weird, don't you guys go swimming?"

Lexicon has posed:
    Lexicon nods once, "He's big," is her clarification on Ranguren. She glances towards Crazy Diamond for a moment, before the Stand disappears. A hand raises to her chin in thought, wandering back to the oddly delivered recon from the Nabu brothers. Hallucinations and illusions, huh. After some thought, she remarks, "I think I have an idea of what to expect, now."

    She doesn't say it out loud, though. Is she wary of being wrong?

    Lexicon follows the trio into the illusiory zone, blinking when the environment quite suddenly changes. She pauses, glancing up and about. That hand lifts to her chin again with a thoughtful sound. To 17, she remarks, "It's a little weird in that there's no bouyancy. I don't have human biology, but I still float." She reaches up instinctively, but once she finds her hat isn't drifting off like everyone's hair already is, the DCC relaxes once more.

    "So the plan is to find whatever is causing this, then?"

Yomi Isayama has posed:
The water here seems to be pretty gentle on hair. Yomi's is floating a bit, but it's not exactly... wet here. "You'd be surprise how rarely I get to the beach given I live on a big island. Besides, there's nowhere in Japan like this." She reaches out for another fish off to her side. "These look tropical." There is also something a bit off, especially if 17 knows his fish. They move... pretty naturally, but there are some fish here that definitely do not live in the same place in the wild, and there are even a few deep sea fish mixed in with the tropical reef fish.

"Whatever's causing it, I don't feel any ill intent... though it could be hiding that. But if we're all seeing the same thing, that means it's not possession of any sort." She moves her hand back and forth, and it seems to move normally, not slowed like it might underwater. "We can breathe, and we're not wet, so it's not actually water..."

The Nabu brothers look both confused and interested, because they really have never seen something like this before. They do take care not to step on any of the bottom-dwelling fish as they move, though. If Silica's pets continue chasing the fish, however, one of them might soon find itself stopped by... nothing? Something flat and hard it can't run past.

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    Seventeen infact DOES know his fish, he manages no fewer than fourteen endangered species of them on his island.

    "There." he points at a particular ugly fish, "That is a deep sea fish, you can tell because that fish normally wouldn't be able to survive in an enviornment with this much light, it's suited for darker parts of the sea. It's also far too warm for it." He points out. "This is someone who knows about fish, and maybe has even seen fish move a great deal, but not an marine biologist...or professional animal handler." He says, with a shrug.

    "Still, this is fairly realistic."

Silica has posed:

    Both Kobayashi and Hibiki find the boundary wall and kinda flail a bit as they try to right themselves, comically sliding down the 'wall' before they manage to get their limbs in order and flutter back, the Hawkbat and the Winged Serpent both looking crestfallen as they flit back to huff and pout around Silica's shoulders. "Aww, don't pout, it's okay." she coos to them, offering little snacks to cheer them up. "Seems like a Bounded Field, there's an entrance, but we might not be able to go back the way we came... this reminds me of that spirit that created the maze to protect those kids last year." she remarks. "Could it be as similar type of spirit?"

Lexicon has posed:
    Keeping her hand on her chin, Lexicon walks slowly through the aquatic environment. Things don't seem terribly out of place to her-- until 17 identifies something distinctly out of place. Her eyes follow his point to that distinctive 'i am a deep sea fish' fangly horror that so defines such dwellers in the dark. Eyes narrow with a thoughtful 'hmm'.

    Her eyes shift again to some other commotion, when Silica's pets run afoul of something invisible. She comes to a stop, then, hands dropping to her sides.

    "An aquarium."

    There's a hiss of digitized light as her hammer appears in her right hand.

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
Josuke looks to 17, and then to Lexicon, as they finally appear. The teen looks relieved. Good, they didn't get separated. Though Seventeen's words get a blink. "Sometimes. But I don't usually walk on the bottom. And it's a little harder to breathe under ACTUAL water. Also I can float, so I wouldn't be down here anyway if this was actually water." He nods to Lexicon's words. "Yeah. Also the being able to breathe is weird." He has human biology, after all.

He doesn't seem to have found anything spectacularly out of place in his perusal, so he instead resorts ot looking at the fish themselves. He doesn't know fish very well at all, to be honest. But he knows someone who would. "Man... too bad I didn't bring a camera. I know all this isn't real, but it'd have been nice to be able to take some pictures to show Jotaro, anyway..." he comments.

He looks to one of the fish swimming nearby, and has a strange idea. He takes in a breath, slowly, deeply, and then exhales. Does it again. And when he feels the warmth building in his midsection, he concentrates on moving it to his hand. And then he reaches to touch the fish, sending a tiny spark of Hamon through his finger, into the fish. Probably won't do anything, but it might rule out 'undead evil power'. Or rule it IN, depending on how the fish reacts. If it reacts at all.

He listens to Seventeen talk about the fish, and actually smiles. "Heh... I should put you in touch with Jotaro sometime. He likes to talk about fish," he notes, halfway teasing. Silica's mention of a 'Bounded Field' gets a blink. He doesn't quite know what that means, he just knows there's a boundary. It's Lexicon's mention of an aquarium that gets the frown to come out. "Oh <great>. We've been trapped in something's fishtank?" Lexicon pulls her hammer, and Josuke re-manifests Crazy Diamond. "Where's the wall? Maybe <Crazy Diamond> can punch through it?" Maybe not, but one never knows 'till one tries, right?

Yomi Isayama has posed:
"Now I'm definitely glad you came." Yomi glances back at 17 with a grin. "I've never seen any of these fish in person, just on television and pictures." She looks over at the squeaking sounds. "You mean the nurikabe? The illusion was pretty broad, but the passageways weren't. It does seem similar though..."

When the hammer is summoned, Yomi walks over and puts a hand on Lexicon's shoulder. "It... might be? Let's try to figure something out before smashing anything, though. There's no actual water here, after all."

The fish... probably does not react as expected. It only really reacts like the others did earlier, when touched, by swimming away, but there doesn't seem to be any actual life there to react. "Can someone find where the barrier wall is? We can start there."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "Hmm...See, it just moves. The anglerfish would have attempted to bite you, as they are caniverous, and may have mistaken your finger for a smaller fish." Seventeen says calmly, and stands up fully. He shrugs at the compliment, "Glad to be of assistance. Of course, this part of things is what you are better at...but find the edge huh..?" Seventeen says, and relies on his sense of hearing, which is really sharp to try and focus on areas where sound would be either muffled or reflected back at him...putting a hand forward to try and find the edge of the wall.

    He could also try and overpower it, but it was requested that they DIDN'T do that...

    That and Seventeen feels like playing along. After all it's an adventure to him.

Silica has posed:
    "In my studies to become a vet, I've learned that a lot of species of animal have some similarities between different subspecies that can be used. Like breeds of dog and wolves, domestic cats and large predator ones, that kind of thing. Some basics are common amongst them with the differences only layed on top." replies Silica as she coos gently to her pets, who are seeming to perk back up after that little escapade. "It might not be a Nurikabe, but another spirit with a similar powerset." she walks over to where the pets came from, ears perking toward the location. Cait Sith hearing is pretty sensitive too, so she approaches slowly, making little 'click' sounds with her tongue against the roof of her mouth, ears perked directly forwards like big, fluffy radar dishes.

Lexicon has posed:
    When Yomi touches her shoulder, Lexicon...remains tense. Her eyes shift to eye the exorcist for a moment, before they close and she lets out a tired sigh. The hammer is lifted, tossed, and disappears back into her inventory, "Fine. But if whatever it is has peaceful intentions, actually communicating with us would be a lot less likely to be misinterpreted than some illusion."

    She pauses, then, "Unless it /is/ just an illusion..." Her head turns towards Silica and 17 sonaring for the borders, "Could it have been one of the buildings or a fence, obscured by the hologram?"

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
"Aha." Josuke watches the 'fish' swim away. "I thought so. It's like zapping an inanimate object." 'Zapping'? What did he do to that fish? Well, it doesn't seem to have affected it, either way, so there's that. That makes it easier for Josuke to accept that what he's seeing isn't real.

He nods to Seventeen's observation. "That and I used Hamon -- life energy," he points out. "It wouldn't have hurt the fish either way, even if it HAD been a real fish, but there would have been some reaction to that little infusion of life energy. Nothin'."

Yomi's words about finding the wall get an affirmative sound; though he keeps Crazy Diamond out, Josuke doesn't intend to immediately bash anything. It's really more for self-defense, in case whoever or whatever's doing this takes exception to them trying to get out.

"Yeah," he agrees with Lexicon. "Maybe it doesn't know how to communicate?" he suggests. "I dunno if we ought to immediately assume hostile intent, but... we'd probably better keep alert."

Yomi Isayama has posed:
Adorable sonar cat ears can tell there is definitely a wall there, though it only goes up about twice Silica's height. And about twenty steps ahead, there's a cap before the wall begins again. Seventeen can find the wall by touch as well, once he's reaching in the right direction. That's definintely not the feeling of aquarium glass, though. It's more like... stone? Or brick, by the spacing between parts. "Well, people were experiencing hallucinations but not being hurt, so..." Yomi glances over to Josuke and blinks slowly. "You'll have to show me that trick sometime I can actually get a better look. Sounds interesting."

After a few more steps forward, most of the fish begin to.... smear is the closest word. They slow down, their colors spreading out, then fading. The entire oceanscape does the same, until everyone is left standing on a normal street. There's a brick wall on one side, with a gate a short ways down leading to someone's front porch. "Right. So, illusion it is." Yomi takes another step forward, and the real world blurs again, fading to a new landscape. This one is bleak and desolate like a desert, covered in strange arrows of various colors that point in seemingly random directions. Some of the arrows blink and flicker, fading out and showing arrow-shaped pieces of the street. "Seems you were right, Lexi.. wait." She holds a hand up, and as soon as there's quiet, the sound of a heartbeat can be heard thudding over the landscape. "The arrows can't be coincidence. Not with that heartbeat."

Silica has posed:
    Silica really wasn't expecting that to work, but is happy to hear it did. "I'll have to let the other Cait Sith know so they can train. Might even be a new Skill!" she says excitedly, blinking and frowning as the illusion fades and a new one takes its place. She furrows her brow, listening to that heartbeat, ears flicking to and fro to try and isolate the source. "I might be able to zero in on it, if it has a single source and isn't being generated by the arrows." she supplies helpfully. "Or, if it's a living thing, some of the others might be able to pick out that." She looks to Josuke for that one, but has a half-glance at 17 as well.

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    Seventeen nods, once, and starts trying to listen.

    "Hey, I thought the illusion was pretty good. If you want, I can show you how to make it better." he says soothingly to the source of this. "But we should talk first. You know, nobody wants anyone to get the wrong idea." %

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
Josuke offers a grin and a thumbsup at the mention of showing that 'trick' to Yomi sometime, figuring she meant the Hamon. "Sure thing! It's something an ancestor taught me." That's about all he says about it right now. Now's not the time for a lengthy explanation. Particularly because the illusions seem to be turning into something out of a bad acid trip! "Wha? What's going on?" Josuke comments, keeping alert for whatever's to happen next.

However, Silica's glance gets a shake of his head. "Sorry. I didn't get any cool detection abilities with mine. Jotaro's <Star Platinum> has super-accurate vision at really stupidly long distances, and my... uh, Mr. Joestar's can make spirit photos. But <Crazy Diamond> just restores things." And people, obviously.

He'll wait, going quiet as Seventeen starts trying to be diplomatic at the source of the illusion. Meanwhile he's also trying to see if he can tell where the heartbeat is coming from. He doesn't have radar ears, but he can hear well enough. Maybe he can help with that.

Lexicon has posed:
    When shapes begin smearing together, Lexicon squints in a sort of half-wince. Sort of like how one would respond when they see something gross for the first time. Probably because the effect has a resemblance to video 'tearing', a thing she's familiar with and rather unpleasant. Reality re-asserts itself, and she shakes her head with a brief recovery.

    "Nnn... Did it break because it was found out?" Eyes close with another thoughtful noise when the new landscape asserts itself. To Josuke, the DCC nods once, "...Or it's trying to tell us something the only way it knows how."

    17 starts trying to communicate with it. Silica's already turned to him and Josuke for their unique talents. Lexicon kinda...doesn't have much for searching a locale. All she can bring to the table is an ability to follow directions.

    So Lexicon's going to do that. She folds her arms behind her back, following the arrows with her eyes and, at a slower pace, with her feet.

Yomi Isayama has posed:
Whatever is out there doesn't respond to the compliments. Maybe it can't speak? The hearbeat sound seems to be getting a bit louder as Lexicon mentally follows the twisted pathway of the arrows, however. Before long, the arrows that she's already 'used' begin to smear and fade away, leaving more holes in the illusion. But with each arrow that fades... all the people here begin to change.

The Nabu brothers are first, their shapes becoming strange, stylized clouds or smoke. Next is Yomi, whose appearance becomes that of a rhinoceros. "...I don't know what illusion is on me now, but it looks like I'm watching from inside a box with eye holes. Nothing feels weird, though..."

Before long, the others seem to take animal forms as well. Lexicon becomes a tiger, Keiko a bear, 17 an ox, and Josuke an elephant.

Those illusions only really hold for a few seconds before they flicker and fade out. "....oh. Yeah, that makes sense." Yomi shakes her head. "I'm glad we found this and not the PDCH. Josuke... you can detect life, right? Work with Lexicon to find which arrow is actually alive. I think she's got a path. Silica... or do you prefer Keiko? I think we'll need whatever you know about animals. You too, Seventeen."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    Seventeen was not ready for today. Luckily it wasn't actually BECOMING an animal...of course it wasn't all that bad for him.

    Seventeen closes his eyes as they get closer, trying to block out all other senses but his hearing, so he can try and pinpoint the sound of the heartbeat.

    This is so weird, but also exciting.

Silica has posed:
    Silica looks over to Yomi, "I'm still learning, but I'll do my best.... and, when I'm logged in, I prefer Silica." she replies, tail frizzing up when she gets that illusion plastered over her. "Wait, what is..." the illusion breaks, but she looks at the others before theirs do and she frowns. "I guess it's trying to tell us something... but I can't figure out what."

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
The knowledge that this is an illusion makes the vision of himself as an elephant a little easier, yes. Enough that he mentally rejects it, but not violently. However, he shakes his head to Yomi's words. "I can't detect life, no," he replies. "Sorry. My Stand doesn't have any ability like that." He pauses a moment at Silica's words. "I'd almost want to say it has something to do with the Chinese zodiac... but I didn't think bear or elephant made it in, so..." He shrugs.

About all he can do is follow Lexicon as she starts following the arrows. Hopefully they'll be the right ones, and they'll figure something else out. His steps don't sound like an elephant's, thankfully, so there's that.

Lexicon has posed:
    Lexicon stops when something obscures her vision. Like wearing a mask, if only for a moment. She turns, glancing back from whence she came. Amimals and shadows-- and then the people she'd arrived with. The changes on the ground are noted too, and the brunette turns back to the arrow trail she's facing.

    "Do you want me to follow this or not? Stop fuckin' with me. I'm already taking a big leap in trust, here."

    Yes she's talking to whatever's producing the imagery, try not to think too hard about it. She then stops, "Wait a second."

    Turning again, she ticks off fingers, "Rhinoceros, elephant, tiger..." She looks down at her hands, projecting a screen and scrolling through data, "These are all endangered animals. There's an endangered species of oxen too. And even a bear that looks kinda like that."

    Glancing up at 17, she asks, "Were any of those fish endangered or extinct?"

Yomi Isayama has posed:
"It's not trying to mess with you, Lexi. It's hurt. Look. I think you found the end." Yomi points to some of the nearby arrows as they fade away, and soon there's only one left at the end of the trail, pointing to a bush at the side of the road. The desert landscape and the arrows all smear and fade away, returning the road to normalcy... except for a strange blue-green rope dangling out from beneath the bush, making a puffing sound.

Wait, it's not a rope. It's a trunk. "Don't worry, these ones are harmless. Here." Yomi reaches forward and pushes aside the branches of the bush to show the rest of it: body of a bear, head of an elephant, legs of a tiger, tail of an ox, eyes and ears of a rhinoceros. The wounded baku wheezes, puffing out small clouds that flicker into various images before fading again.

Silica has posed:
    Silica sees the spirit as it's revealed, and rushes over to it. "Hold on, I think I can help." she says, gently placing a hand on the wounded youkai and beginning to chant in the off-Norse of ALO magic. "Soo firra heiragooru ausutoru, burotto subahru bahni!" the words surrounding her, locking into place as they're spoken, before a soft blue-green aura of 'water' surrounds the wounded Baku, attempting to restore its stamina and heal any physical wounds.

Josuke Higashikata (1119) has posed:
Josuke blinks at the creature once it's revealed. "That makes sense... someone needed to know where it was, but it probably didn't want to just lead ANYBODY to it," he notes. "Someone might have found it that would have tried to kill it."

He'd been about to approach to try to help the creature, but Silica pre-empts him, and he nods. He stays where he is, then, not wanting to spook the creature at having more than one person approach. He's not sure how much the creature is cognizant, after all.

Lexicon has posed:
    The images disappear, and Lexicon hrnfs in a mix of frustration and relief, "I'm not good with this stuff, okay?" She takes a step back when Yomi steps up to the revealed creature, rubbing the back of her head, "Even Index and Codex were born able to talk. I'm not great with symbolism, of course I'm gonna mess up the meaning when it's vague like that."

    She turns her head towards Josuke's comment, "...I guess that makes sense. And arrows are pretty damn obvious, but that chicanry at the end was all kinds of cryptic."

    Turning back to the Baku as Silica's spell gets to work, Lexicon leans down, "Let that be a lesson to you! If you find some people you trust and want to show them what you look like, just show us a tapir next time."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "Actually it makes sense...it was hurt, and wanted to know if people nearby were going to help it. So it was trying to ascertain if those people were good with things like it. Or trying to communicate about itself." Seventeen says, or at least theorizes. He leans down near the creature. He's got a lot of training in helping wild animals with injuries, even as magic works. He works on practical, trying to ID the wound, how it was made...if anything more serious was hit, while also studying the creature.

    "Hey there guy, stay calm, I am going to help you, ok?" He says, with a soothing voice...the cold hard to read Seventeen is gone and the animal lover beneath that shows.

Yomi Isayama has posed:
As the healing magic does its job, the baku lets out a soft trumpet. From appearances, it probably got hit by a car when it was too dark to see. "I think if the PDCH found it, they probably would have just shot it. And it would have taken me hours to track it down. Thanks, everyone." Yomi smiles, reaching over to playfully poke Lexicon in the shoulder. "It's a creature that lives on dreams. I don't think it could be direct if it tried. But it's also a holy guardian spirit like Ranguren, so it's good we were able to help it. Maybe we'll all even get some good luck coming our way."

Yomi puts a hand on her hip as she watches Silica and 17 take care of the baku. "All the hallucinations were its only way of calling out that it could do safely. I'm glad I had help from you guys, I really am." She lets out a breath and leans against the wall. "Nabu, can you call up Iwahata and tell him to bring the car by? We can clear out before drawing too much more attention."