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Mollisol

Subterranean Rose
Original poster
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Speed of Light
  2. Multiple posts per day
  3. 1-3 posts per day
  4. One post per day
  5. Multiple posts per week
  6. 1-3 posts per week
Online Availability
6 - 10 PM, Eastern Standard Time
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Magical girl, action, science fiction

Umbra's center was a city of pearlescence, neon lights reflected off of the shiny pastel bricks of skyscrapers. Cars drove down the deep blue roads, and the sun was purple in the light sky. People walked the streets as well, chatting, laughing, drinking tea, in their colorful clothing. Not a single Henzai advertisement flashed above them, only many images of painted still lives, soft light photographs, and the occasional chalk landscape.

The girls who had just faded into this reality weren't here to sightsee, though. Or at least, not the ones known as Onyx, White, and Sangria Shadow. They had arrived outside the datamancer's headquarters, which appeared as a fortune teller's shop, with a sun-purple neon sign outside that read "Eri's Forecast". Inside was a lush rug beneath a card-covered table, cloth-draped chairs, and Eri the datamancer herself, whose avatar was a fluffy white cat. It was time for the girls to meet at the fortune teller's shop - they'd experienced a few battles on their own, but now they would come together under the datamancer's watchful eye.

Of course, those weren't the only girls visiting Umbra. The girls known as Urukawa Mikan and Sakura Kawamura had been drawn here as well, the former by way of a message in a shrine's wish, and the latter by a communication from Eri herself. The datamancer cat was giving them time to wander the city and experience color, art, and the freedom to do what they wanted, but she'd reach out to them and bring them to the shop when that time was up.

In the gray world, the meat world, Henzai's world, the surveillance drones didn't suspect that any of these girls were up to anything. The drones saw some harmless enjoyment of HARP (Henzai Accordance Role Play), and besides, their attention was focused elsewhere. They were searching for openings in a less-legal network, the Umbra network, that they had recently found. The watchful eyes of Eri's security butterflies were on that search, but that confrontation would not happen immediately. Now was the time for the Shadows (current and soon-to-be) to meet.
 
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daird

Edgesquire
Sakura looked at the virtual cityscape with wonder. It was her first time in the Umbra program, and the sights dazzled her. So much art, light and color- the furthest thing from the dull gray cityscape Henzai had created in the real world. This was what Japan should be. What the world should be.

Meet me in the fortune-teller's shop. That's what Eri said. She glanced around, finally finding the shop and heading inside. She rolled her eyes at seeing a cat in the fortune-teller's chair, and the several other girls surprised her as well. "So good to see you at last, Emi, but I have to admit to being surprised to see you like this. I also assumed we were going to be alone."
 
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Boo Girlie BoomBoom

⭐Warning⭐ If Boo like it Unicorns will vomit🏳️‍🌈
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy of all kinds★★!! Here's a list: modern/urban, magic and swords, otherworldly/fish out of water, faeries and unicorns, sometimes dark, sometimes superhero-ish, sometimes mixed with sci-fi. The Boo Girlie's always down for weird, wild or whimsical! Yayuh!! :3 Oh! And Sky Pirates too~~!!
~The Sangria Shadow~

a267b72f78810f86944c5411b919a909_dark_warrior_warrior_angel_20170825022022761_20170905134000570.jpg


<~~~<★>~~~>

It winked into existence from the digital heavens above and came hurtling down. Just like a comet it went, streaking high above a staccatoed and unhindered city skyline.

From flickering light pinks at the end of the comet tail, all the way to the deepened, pulsating glow of red-violets at the source, the comet was the antithesis of the monochrome existence of its origin. A sigil burned bright gold from the comet's centre now. Then several more winked into existence, birthed from the central sigil. The radiant glowing emblems surrounded the comet's source in a ring of swirling and dancing patterns. Soft and slow, yet soon errupting loud and clear, an ethereal song broke away, unleashed in perfect time and rhythm to said patterns.

The trajectory of the comet shifted from a downward arc to a sudden and neck-breaking vertical turn. It now streaked upwards back into the digital heavens above. As the crescendo of sound and light reached fever pitch, the comet exploded. Digital shockwaves chased away from the explosion, leaving but fading tracers of gradient pinks and red-violets.

In the wake of the explosion was a tall and sinewy form in repose. The golden sigils remained and were now spirialling as swirling around said form. Like shrouds made of chromed feathers, a set of cyber-metal wings wrapped up the form. Suddenly, eyes snapped open, glowing bright red from a source of intense digital energies within.

The wings unfurled and the golden sigils found home along its upper ridges. The form began to spin round and round now, and as it did, dusky purple chromed armour pieces winked into existence and covered its being. A reflective red-violet battle skirt wrapped around its waist and a shiny, black metal tiara formed upon its head. A heartbeat later, the spinning ceased and the form held still.

A great gale force struck and the form's head tossed back, silvery hair whipping about in the wind gusts. The lithe body arched backwards, arms outstreched, shining wings extended and fully fanned out. The sigils lining the form's wings blazed away, bright as a phoenix reborn, cutting away into the digital dark. And just like the sight of a newly blossomed flower floating in mid air, the pose was held and savoured till the very last moment.

The Sangria Shadow was reborn into the Umbra once more.
<~<★>~>
An exhuberant and brilliant grin held between her lips as she made her descent towards the Fortune Teller's shop. Upon landing, a final gust of wind puffed upwards sending her red-violet battle skirt swirling and silvery hair clearing away from her face. The enormous pair of cyber-metal wings folded neatly and compactly upon her back. As she entered the Datamancer's shop, the sigils upon those wings glowed warmly, fading in and out slowly timed to her contented digital signature.

As she passed through the main entrance, the numerous bits and baubles that lined the curtain made of softly glowing strings, clicked and clacked together sending out a strange tinkling musical snippet. A slight nod in acknowledgement she gave; it was as if the music had sung out her name. Sangria loved such a welcome whenever she entered Eri's abode. Whilst taking a quick glance at all the strange and eccentric furnishings and accessories, the tall and lithe Shadow let out a contented sigh that turned into a small laugh. It truly was nice to return here. Red eyes immediately brightened up as soon as she saw the fluffy white cat.

"Hail and hearts, Eri-san," Sangria's voice was musical in nature and reverberated appropriately depending upon mood; here she was happy and such was the music in her voice, "Good to see you once again, for certain."

A slow and respectful bow she gave the fluffy, white cat. Sangria was always set at ease once she saw Eri; the datamancer was the shining beacon of hope she had always, always seeked in her alter-ego's monochromatic existence from her place of origin. With hands now clasped together, she turned and gave a quick look over at the stranger beside her. Obviously, this blue haired and blue robed female was to be a Shadow as well. A small smirk unfurled from the towering archangellic female's face and a polite bow she gave to the other.

"I do not believe we have met. I am Sangria. Pleased to meet you." a beaming smile she offered the blue-headed female, but within those red eyes dwelled a pained truth she tried to hide in a shroud of darkness.

Like those others she had met in the Umbra, Sangria did not know for how long they would remain together before they never saw each other ever again.

<~~~<★>~~~>
 
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Blighted_Agent

Guest
The first time she had visited Umbra by accident, Mikan's experience had been so surreal that she'd initially dismissed it as some sort of dream or hallucination, including the encounter with the talking cat. She certainly hadn't expected the wish she'd found in the shrine's collection plate to lead to that. Maybe she should have been more suspicious about the VR headset she had acquired as a result of that - what was its name? Amus-something?

Now that she had returned, Mikan was not really sure what to think. That something so, so different and colorful could exist was hard to accept. She wasn't sure she wanted to contemplate whether this Umbra actually existed or not, what with it being virtual rather, than well, solid? Real? Something...

She liked her avatar in Umbra - a girl much like herself, but wearing a non-skimpy school uniform for once. It made her feel at ease even as she was uncomfortable with the overwhelming color and sound and everything in general about Umbra to be honest. This time she had wanted to explore and see what she found and who she could interact with. Even if Mikan could understand that something like this would be illegal, the fact that she was there made her think that not taking advantage of it all would be such a waste.

Curiosity could do that, and so had she looked around for a while. Eventually, Mikan approached a fortune teller shop that she'd seen at the beginning, and had filled her with a sense of foreboding that she couldn't really describe. When she got there, she took a deep breath and went in. She was very surprised to see the talking cat again, and to find that she was not alone there.

At a loss as to what to do, she simply bowed a little and shifted in place, without going further inside. "Well met." was all she said, appraising the others. She'd have more to say in time.
 
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Wolfsbane706

Everything's better with figure skaters.
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
All fuckin' day.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Modern, futuristic, magical girl
It didn't take much cyber magic to turn Anna's skates into proper boots for walking. Of course she was in full Shadow regalia tonight; any chance to flaunt her rebellion to her father, she'd take. She was, likely, the only Shadow in this more for personal reasons than for any moral reasons. Yeah, she still wanted to take down Henzai and basically free the region of their control, but more than that, she wanted to piss off her father. Her father who "missed" the days when Germany was "racially pure", despite not even having born yet. Her father was a nutcase, to be sure, but he was also a skilled VR programmer. That was the only reason he was in Henzai to begin with.

Anna herself, she wasn't here by choice. At 16, she hadn't yet been old enough to be on her own, so she was forced to come with her father, something she ironically didn't regret. She'd been a Shadow for a year, now, and was very familiar with Eri's style of introducing new recruits. Rather than up front greeting everyone, Anna was strangely hanging back, letting everyone else chat with each other before Eri chimed up.
 
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Mollisol

Subterranean Rose
Original poster
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Speed of Light
  2. Multiple posts per day
  3. 1-3 posts per day
  4. One post per day
  5. Multiple posts per week
  6. 1-3 posts per week
Online Availability
6 - 10 PM, Eastern Standard Time
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Magical girl, action, science fiction
It took a bit of time before Eri fully took in the five girls in her shop. A few seconds after Sangria finished bowing to her - how Eri loved the way those wings were rendered - the cat flicked her tail and said in her wine-warm contralto, "Welcome, girls. Sangria, Onyx, White - it's a joy to see all of you again. And to meet you up close, Mikan and Sakura! I knew the blue flames of rebellion couldn't be quieted by Henzai, and Mikan, I think I can convince you to stay by these girls' sides, and so can they.

"This is the first time the five of you have met, yes? I have three purposes for gathering you here - an upgrade for you three, an awakening for you two, and of course, so you can get familiar with your team. The current Shadows will get new powers, and Sakura and Mikan, I'll ask you that question I was teasing in my messages to you." She was sure a look of surprise would follow, so she added, "The first two will take a bit of... time. Not only from you, but from my supporting datamancers. Who haven't logged in yet," she said pointedly. "But the third - I need you all to know each others' names. And I want you to each tell the others the place you want to keep safe the most."

There wouldn't be time for more than the answers, besides a few moments for Mikan and Sakura to accept their powers and charges after Eri quickly explained. The butterflies were watching Henzai's programs pry open Umra's well-locked proverbial door with increasing readiness. There was no reason for alarm, though, if the girls trusted one another.
 

daird

Edgesquire
"Yes! Yes!" Sakura gave Emi a nod of pure joy. "I'm sick and tired of standing in the shadows. I want to hit back, and hit hard!" She looked at the datamancer expectantly. "How we gonna do this? Do I have to download the powers or something?" The bluette sat back, waiting for a response.
 

Boo Girlie BoomBoom

⭐Warning⭐ If Boo like it Unicorns will vomit🏳️‍🌈
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy of all kinds★★!! Here's a list: modern/urban, magic and swords, otherworldly/fish out of water, faeries and unicorns, sometimes dark, sometimes superhero-ish, sometimes mixed with sci-fi. The Boo Girlie's always down for weird, wild or whimsical! Yayuh!! :3 Oh! And Sky Pirates too~~!!
~The Sangria Shadow~

a267b72f78810f86944c5411b919a909_dark_warrior_warrior_angel_20170825022022761_20170905134000570.jpg


<~~~<★>~~~>

A scoff, an upturned nose, and an indignant pressing of lips together was supposed to be Sangria's reaction when Sakura completely ignored Sangria's personal introduction towards the blue-headed teen. Had she been herself as Ayami, most definitely there would have even been some cattiness and teenie girl whining. But she was not Ayami right now. Instead, the archangellic avatar had merely sighed and crossed her arms. Perhaps those red eyes did roll just a bit, but without malice for certain.

As Eri spoke the names of the others, Sangria followed the cat's gaze and took in each of the other's faces and connected them with the spoken names. Ever so slight, a smirk pulled up at the corner of her mouth as the other Shadows were introduced. Sooooo... that's the Magma Witch and the Ice Queen. Ooooohhh nice...! Oh, but this being the online world, of course, there were the other nastier names given to them by haters, but these were the nick names she had heard the most. The teen looked heavenbound momentarily, ...hmmm and what nick am I called out here I wonder...?

At any rate, Sangria nodded after Eri made requests to the girls. Then after Sakura's ethusiastic words were spoken, again she nodded, and a single solid step forward she took and a level gaze shr cast at the rest of the girls.

"Much has been lost in our world. Both worlds. And day by day, so much more will we lose. Every single bit we gain back, no matter how minute, we must take as another step towards victory.

In my Meat world, the Fringe Gear is the place I wish to protect the most. In this Digital world, I hail from the Brigadine Server, and I am sworn to protect that bit of online space. So much has been lost in both worlds. And I am so tired of losing."


And so as her emotions flooded forth and the oratory flowed from her mouth, the musical tone singing in her digital voice rose to crescendo, "My name is The Sangria Shadow. I swear to stand by all of you in our goal to keep Umbra safe and push back against Henzai. I swear I will protect you, fight for you, lay it all on the line for you. I welcome you and wish to be welcomed by all of you. Sisters in arms till never we meet again. I am with you, sisters, to the ends, I am with you; never will you be alone.

We are power when we are one.
"


A tightened fist she made with her right hand and solidly thumped it against her beating digital heart. A respectful bow she gave with a curt snap of the chin. She turned then and politely bowed at Eri. A final glance she gave the other girls, red eyes proud, shining and filled with emotion, she then stepped back for the next to speak up. A hint of a hopeful smile graced Sangria's face.

And in the Meat world, behind that VR Visor, warm yet salty, bittersweet tears fell from Ayami's hazel eyes.

<~~~<★>~~~>
 
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Wolfsbane706

Everything's better with figure skaters.
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
All fuckin' day.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Modern, futuristic, magical girl
Annaliece stepped forward. "'Meat World,' 'Hail from,' come on, Sangria, drop the fancy language," she said. "We're all friends here, at least I hope we are. I may be German, but even we aren't formal 100% of the time." She stepped up to Sakura and stretched out her hand. "I'm Anna Rose, the White Shadow and currently, the most experienced Shadow. I run in the Crystalla server, usually, and in the real world, I'm from the West District. Pleased to meet you." Several other Shadows had tried to get Sangria to stop being so dramatic several times over the younger girl's career, but for all their efforts, Sangria just huffed, turned away, and kept up the dramatics. Had it not for Henzai banning that sort of thing, Anna could've sworn a history in her school's Drama Club, and she'd once said as much on the hidden message boards the Shadows all shared, too.

All things considered, the new recruit looked a little overeager, in Anna's opinion. Nothing a first battle couldn't cure. Also, pranking. Every Shadow played pranks on the others at least once in their careers; even Sangria, for all her drama.
 
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Blighted_Agent

Guest
The cat's question had been simple enough, but Mikan had felt herself go numb when people started talking. What were they saying? Protection? Loss? "Meat world"? Downloading powers? Shadows? At least she'd heard about Datamancers before, but, just... None of it made sense. She felt like it was some kind of dream again. Everything was far too foreign for somebody like her who had close to no experience with virtual reality.

Still, even if this was some sort of hallucination, manners came first. So after everybody had spoken (even if she had a hard time parsing what they meant), she just cleared her throat and bowed a little, before saying

"Pleased to meet you. My name is Urukawa Mikan. My... 'm-meat world' residence is in the Inner Gear, and I don't know what server I'm from, VR is too new to me. I don't know if it needs any safekeeping but if it it could... I would like to make sure my family's shrine is protected."

She took a deep breath and just looked around, slightly embarrassed and holding her hands together, and finished by saying

"It feels like a mistake that I'm here. Maybe the kami brought us together, but I don't understand much about all of this... It's a rebellion, right? But, but to even think about that, isn't it strange!? I'm sorry, I'm just a miko, I don't know why I'm here."
 

Mollisol

Subterranean Rose
Original poster
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Speed of Light
  2. Multiple posts per day
  3. 1-3 posts per day
  4. One post per day
  5. Multiple posts per week
  6. 1-3 posts per week
Online Availability
6 - 10 PM, Eastern Standard Time
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Magical girl, action, science fiction
Eri had raised her head to speak, but her butterflies had returned to flutter close, wings flashing red. "Oh?! There's no time. Girls --"

There was a horrific shrieking noise, like shredding metal, as something tore open the sky. It was a long, gray centipede with legs at harsh angles, each as long as a house. It gnashed long mandibles as it charged through buildings, splintering pastels as it scrambled on. Screams filled the air, before it sharply went quiet as people removed themselves from Umbra. This was not even the full extent of its abilities, but Henzai knew to conserve its power for when the opposition came out.

"It's after this place," Eri said, voice heavy. "Sangria, White, get out there and fight. Mikan and Sakura, come this way." She led the two girls to a back room made of shimmering crystal lit by some shifting source, swishing aside a bead curtain. There was a single altar-like table made of the same crystal, upon which sat two pitch-black ribbons. "They're pre-coded ribbons, absent of color. Each of you, touch one, and it will give you the power of a Shadow. The power to protect this world, and everything you care about, from Henzai. You've heard of the old stories about magical girls, yes?"

Her tail gestured towards the ribbons. At a single touch from Sakura or Mikan, the ribbon would turn into the color of the shadow they would become before it expanded and wrapped around them. Light would cover their bodies, they'd feel a sense of strength and fortification as the new data and power accesses uploaded into their profiles, and be fully transformed as Neon Shadows. Using their first attacks would feel like memories coming back to them, but White and Sangria would also be around to teach, and so would Eri. If they weren't too busy with the Henzaipede.
 

daird

Edgesquire
Sakura took a split second to realize the magnitude of the threat, then bolted after Emi. When the datamancer pointed out the ribbons, she grabbed one and watched as it turned a royal blue, then transformed into her Shadow persona.

"Nice!" Sakura sprinted back into the mayhem, trying to feel out her powers. Calling out, "Water Wall!" she managed to block the Henzaipede's claws from impaling her head with a watery shield. "Oh yeah, I'm going to love this!"
 
B

Blighted_Agent

Guest
Mikan froze and she could feel her jaw dropping a little, her knees shaking when she saw the Henzaipede violating the Umbra airspace and then rampage around the city. It's the end. We... I, I have to get out of here. Have to log out, have to go back to -

Her train of thought derailed when she saw the two girls exit to combat the Henzaipede. She couldn't even hear what was being said from the shock. When Eri and Sakura went deeper inside, Mikan followed more by intertia than anything, jumbled thoughts of a backdoor and a safe logout point bouncing in her mind. The fuzziness abruptly went away when after barely hearing Eri's explanation, she saw Sakura transform right in front of her. She just pointed at her, eyes wide and watched her leave.

Ribbons. Color. Shadows. Protect. Magical Girls.

It had to be a mistake of sorts. Something had to be wrong. She was just a miko, a servant of the kami, a good girl who did as her elders told her and was something of a shrine mascot. It couldn't possibly be happening that she was trusting a talking cat with her life, that she was reaching out to pick up a ribbon she could almost hear calling her own name, that her trembling hand grabbed a previously colorless object that went yellow, that her body was becoming stronger and thoughts and information not her own were spontaneously appearing in her mind.

Mikan, no, Yellow Shadow, stared at Eri for a moment, dumbfounded, then at hands and clothes and the gohei that felt warm and familiar in her hands. With clumsy, unsure movements she finally stepped outside. She didn't know how she knew what to do, but she twirled the gohei once and pointed at the Henzaipede, currently busy with the others, with intent and focus. She screamed "The light purges! Photon!" as the gohei emitted a crackling yellow laser aimed at the foul beast's midsection.
 
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Boo Girlie BoomBoom

⭐Warning⭐ If Boo like it Unicorns will vomit🏳️‍🌈
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy of all kinds★★!! Here's a list: modern/urban, magic and swords, otherworldly/fish out of water, faeries and unicorns, sometimes dark, sometimes superhero-ish, sometimes mixed with sci-fi. The Boo Girlie's always down for weird, wild or whimsical! Yayuh!! :3 Oh! And Sky Pirates too~~!!
~The Sangria Shadow~

a267b72f78810f86944c5411b919a909_dark_warrior_warrior_angel_20170825022022761_20170905134000570.jpg


<~~~<★>~~~>


Upon White's retort, Sangria gave out a small sigh and cast her gaze downwards, lest her eyes give away Ayami's thoughts. --Oh, Ughs..! 'Ice Queen?' Yeah right... more like Ice Cream Cow! What a killjoy! Mooooo! Sounds just like my brother... Ughs-- But as Sangria, calm and rather coolly, did she respond to the White Shadow.

"As, I've said before, White: day by day we are losing. You know that," her chin lifted, red eyes gazing upon the ice wielder, and music in her voice a soft bassline, "they keep telling us to stop expressing ourselves. They keep making us kneel to their control. But here? In Umbra. No way. Anything fancy here is our right. So maybe I haven't been in this fight as long as you, White, but I am so sick and tired of losing... and so as for anything fancy I do here, I will speak in defiance to anyone or anything that tries to stop me. I will not dull down and be controlled by them."

The response she had given was much more controlled and bit more mature than when she was a new Shadow. A year ago, Ayami's emotions would get the better of her and she would storm off if anyone told her to tone down. But bearing witness to terrible things here in the Digital World had made her grow up a bit; those terrible things happened to those that she had cared for. And so she never got all huffy and stormed off anymore because she never knew if she would ever see them again. What a terrible feeling. It made her feel so alone...

The Shadow cleared her throat and cleared her mind of the past. Sangria then unfolded her arms and walked over to where Mikan stood and gently rest a hand upon the shorter girl's shoulder. A slight sigh she gave before speaking, the same bass in her voice now humming with other string intrumental sounds. "Oh, please don't feel that. There is no mistake. You have been chosen because you are you, Mikan-chan. You have responded and arrived. There is no mistake. The rebellion is real. And so are your choices. And so is everything I have sworn to you, to all of you--" momentarily she paused as her red eyes swept around and landed upon all others present then she turned to face Mikan as she broke pause "--I will be more than just a friend. I am bound to you as a Sister in Umbra. You are not alone."

Maybe she did speak a bit too flowery; maybe White had spoken true about Sangria, but this was the Artist's Soul inside Ayami speaking --Mooooo! I'm fancy, huh! I'm fancy, huh! Oh but fancy that you Icy Cow-- not the emotional teen-aged brain speaking. Sangria bowed politely once at Mikan then once --moooo-- at White.

<~<★>~>

Then out from the expanse of the darkened sky it came; a swirling monstrous form ominously descending upon the buildings below.

Sangria's eyes gave out a single red flash of light in alarm and Eri directed both she and White into action. Out the door she ran, cyber-angellic wings blossoming into existence from her back. The golden sigils lining the top edge of those wings burst into life, shining in sequence from shoulder to wingtips. Several hand gestures she made, unlocking a portal in front of her. From that portal a wind funnel sung into life and into the open end Sangria reached and grasped. A heartbeat later from the wind funnel emerged her beloved sword, Escalation, the Singing Blade. (Of course, she just had to thrust the weapon heavenbound over her head, and, of course it glowed brightly when she held such a pose, frozen, as if there was some hidden audience to bear witness to such a magnificent pose and 'oooh' and 'ahhh' over said pose...)

"It's going to destroy the city!" Sangria blurted out the obvious as she pointed at the giant beast with her sword, "We have to stop it!"

She turned her head towards the ice-wielding Shadow, "White, I'll get its attention and lead it away to minimize the damage to the city! To the cliffs!"

The Sangria Shadow leapt up and she commanded winds to push at her, billowing her wings, rocketing her up, up, up and towards the snaking form of the skybound Henzaipede. Into the mess of giant legs she flew, weaving in and out of the slicing motion of sharpened clawed ends till she got to the 'head' of it. A melodic whistling sound let out from her sword as she gave a mighty swing. The tall and sinewy Shadow let the monster have it and sparks flew as her weapon, Escalation took off a small chunk of its armour. It roared out in annoyace, a sound not unllike a ship's hull rubbing up against the docks. She had its attention now. But instead of retalliating, it pulled away from Sangria and its tail swept down towards Eri's shop.

Several residences were flattened but a shimmering liquid rose up and deflected away the onslaught from the monstrous tail. A second later, a golden ray shot skyward aimed at the midsection of the spirallling form. "Well done," Sangria cried out, "well done, Shadows!!" For that is what they were, there was no going back now-- Aw yeah! We just doubled in number! Sick! Can I get a Hell Yeah?!-- A bright grin and a single wave she gave them then she flew back in for the second strike.

The giant mandibles clamped close together, looking to pinch the winged shadow and devour her, but she twisted at the last second. It shred the hem of her battle-skirt; a fair price for narrowly escaping doom. And within that same twisting motion, Sangria sung out a battlecry as she swung Escalation once more, this time at the Henzaipede's open mouth. Here, she did more damage than she did when she hit its armoured head. That same booming and terrifying shriek sounded out, but this time in pain, as bits and pieces of digital gore spilled out from the new wound. Oh, she definitely had its attention now alright.

"I think I may have found a weak point, Shadows!" Sangria sung out. Immense wings shone her signature Sangria colour, sigils burning golden hues into the sky, as she flapped away to the shore. It was a showy display; a grand attempt to lure the beast towards the cliffs overlooking the water. And trailing her words she thought, --Man, I wonder how they got that thing past early-warning sensory code...?!


<~~~<★>~~~>
 
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Wolfsbane706

Everything's better with figure skaters.
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White Shadow waited patiently for Yellow and Blue to activate their powers before she stepped--no, skated out onto the battlefield to face the "Henzaipede". She watched, drawing her pistol and taking aim as Sangria struck a soft spot. "Keep hacking away at it, then!" she called after the winged Shadow declared she'd found a weak spot. "I'll work on immobilizing it!" She shifted her aim from Sangria's weak spot to one of the centipede's joints. "Crystal Shot!" she declared as she fired, converting her limitless bullets into exploding hailstones. The explosions weren't just explosions, though. As each hailstone hit the centipede, powerful digital ice expanded outwards and into every crevice it could find to lock up the joints. Once she was satisfied with her work, she'd move on to the next set of legs. Didn't take much longer than a few seconds to lock up each pair.

Something was bugging her about this, though. Most Henzai operations against Umbra weren't on such a massive scale. Not unless . . . a Black Hat? "Sangria, check that thing's code for a signature!" she called. "I think we're dealing with another hacker!'
 
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Mollisol

Subterranean Rose
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Water, wind, light and ice - the Henzaipede was rapidly overwhelmed by the girls' combined power. Its entire front half was locked in place with ice, and everything after it was bisected by a bright laser. Immobilized for the moment and light-sliced in half, as well as blocked by water and slashed by a sword, it was in no shape to continue on.

Most enemies wouldn't be this easy, but this one had come woefully unprepared. If Sangria investigated, she would notice something peculiar in its code, something that would stand out to anyone regardless of if they were a programmer or not: a top hat and monocle made entirely out of ASCII characters.

The Black Hats were a group of hackers who professed to follow their stomachs - that is, their appetite for something, anything more than the mundane life of Henzai. Rather than creating it for themselves, they would break in by force and hold a datamancer hostage until their hedonistic demands were fulfilled.

While White knew the most about these hackers, Sangria might have heard of them as a VARPer, and both certainly could be capable of appending more information. Butterflies were already fluttering around, so Eri could check the safety of the area before risking herself and coming out.
 

Boo Girlie BoomBoom

⭐Warning⭐ If Boo like it Unicorns will vomit🏳️‍🌈
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Fantasy of all kinds★★!! Here's a list: modern/urban, magic and swords, otherworldly/fish out of water, faeries and unicorns, sometimes dark, sometimes superhero-ish, sometimes mixed with sci-fi. The Boo Girlie's always down for weird, wild or whimsical! Yayuh!! :3 Oh! And Sky Pirates too~~!!
~The Sangria Shadow~

<~~~<★>~~~>
[bimg=fright | 180 | no-lightbox]https://image.ibb.co/bJSijF/a267b72f78810f86944c5411b919a909_dark_warrior_warrior_angel_20170825022022761_20170905134000570.jpg[/bimg]"I'm on it, White!" Sangria did a loop-de-loop as the Henzaipede sped after her, hot on her trail. The Shadow then dove downward at just the proper angle and towards the beast's mouth. Her sword, Escalation sung away as she pointed it towards the weak spot once more. Suddenly, her wings curled upward, nearly touching her silvery hair-- "~Flechette Blossom Overload!!~" she cried out.

The chrome coloured feathers upon her wings flashed once her signature sangria colour and then several dozen cyber-metallic feathers launched, red-violet jet trails chasing them as they flew towards their targets. The multitudes of feathers-turned-homing-missile-flechettes slammed into the joints that White had immobilized with her ice powers. Upon impact each flechette flashed bright red and continued to pulse that glowing hue. Her attack was rather dazzling but not devastating to say the least... but that was the point. This special attack by Sangria only stunned targets and lit them up with red-violet flares to increase the probablility of hitting the lit up said targets.

That same groaning and grating roar from the flailing monster sounded out as her singing blade found home in the 'upper lips.' Sangria's eyes flashed red as she whipped her body around and planted her feet upon its lips. "Okay..... okay..." in the Meat World Ayami was reading the data displayed as Escalation extracted the vital info, "Okay! OKAY!! I got it! Yellow Shadow! Hit it again where you see all the tracers along its body! Blue Shadow! Get that water to pull it away from the shore and sink it into the seas!! Got it? Wait till I'm done my extraction! On my mark... ready?!"

With the last of the data extracted, Sangria timed the moment to pull out her blade from the beasts mouth and went with the flinging motion of its head. Wind pushed at her against the grain of the motion as she gripped the sword handle tight. As she was flung way, she looked back; she had effectively cut the upper jaw of the Henzaipede in half. Twisting and turning her body, Sangria managed to dodge the writhing immense body as she fell towards shore. Suddenly, her wings burst open, halting her descent. "Now, Shadows!!," she cried, golden sigils upon her wings blazing up for emphasis, " Show what you got!! Finish it!!"

<~<★>~>

In the aftermath of their victory, Sangria patted each girl upon the shoulder and made especial accolade for her 2 new sister Shadows. "Well done, Yellow Shadow and Blue Shadow! And even more... welcome to the world of retalliation and rebellion. Congratulations... and much thanks, sisters. You're colours are most flattering and dare I say, inspiring. And of course, to you White Shadow, well done and well met...!"

Once again Sanria thumped a fist upon where her digital heart beat, honouring and giving grattitude to all Shadows present. The grin upon her face slowly melted away as she removed her crystal black tiara. It was time to get down to business now. A red-violet ray beamed out from her headwear to each of her sisters as she transmitted and revealed the data she extracted from the Henzaipede.

"You were right, White," she said, the musical tone in her voice, dulled and back to the low bassline thrum, "there are black hats involved. But not just any black hat hackers. These are The Black Hats..."

She cleared her throat and her red eyes glanced up to take in the expression of the senior Shadow here, "...and if they're being forced to work for Henzai, then we have a really big problem. But. If they are working for Henzai out of their own free choice... then we really do have a really, really, really big problem."

Red eyes slid away from White and gazed now at her other sister Shadows. Sangria took in their expressions then cleared her throat. "I don't know if you know who we're talking about here, sisters, but you need to know; now that you know about The Black Hats, you are in too deep. Dark of the dark web, Shadows. There is no turning back now."

<~~~<★>~~~>
 
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Blighted_Agent

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The initial blast from Photon had surprised Yellow Shadow. In spite of having done it herself, she looked incredulously at the gohei as the others continued their battle efforts, with Sangria Shadow and White Shadow taking the lead, eagerly followed by the newly ascended Blue Shadow. She barely managed to respond to Sangria's commands to shoot the markers with smaller bursts of Photon.

When the battle was finally over, Yellow Shadow collapsed, falling on her butt, simply dazed at everything that had happened. She had done it. She had fought, and won, against... something that decidedly should not be, and that was apparently commanded by Henzai, the ultimate manifestation of the kami. There was no time for a crisis of faith, however -she'd have to deal with that as Mikan back in the 'meat world'-, because the information just kept coming.

She listened to Sangria speaking and tried to take in what she meant, repeating the words in her mind,

Congratulations. Rebellion. Sisterhood


They were all words Yellow Shadow knew yet still felt apart from her. And yet here they were, being freely given by somebody who had already taken the time to welcome and reassure her. They also came with a warning about how the lowest of the low may be involved, and it was now too late to escape. Yellow Shadow needed answers, and thus, in spite of her fear and confusion and ignorance, she stood up from the ground and, gohei clutched in both hands, nervously surveyed the others before asking,

"Thank you, everyone. For the help and words and guidance. I'm new at this, ignorant to a fault about these things. 'Black Hats', you call those responsible for this... atrocity. Who or what are they? Why do this, why? And to even know about them, why is that bad too?"
 
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daird

Edgesquire
"I'm no expert on the situation, but like Emi said, there are two possibilities," Sakura commented. "Possibility 1: Henzai somehow captured them, and they're working for the machine, but not of their own free will. This isn't actually as bad as it sounds, because there's a decent chance they'll be doing something to sabotage Henzai. It's what I'd do, anyway. Possibility 2: The Black Hats have thrown in with Henzai, and are actively working for it. This is a disaster in the making, because as we've seen, they can whip up some nasty virtual monsters, and it stands to reason they'll only get better at it." Either way, this was a worrying development.
 
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Wolfsbane706

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Anna sighs. "I gotta admit, I was hoping for just regular black hat hackers," she said. "But to deal with the Black Hats is just, well, beyond verruckt." She trailed off here, muttering a variety of curses in German and shaking her head. "Regular black hats are simple. Anarchists, thieves, etc, easy to deal with, easy to get rid of. These Black Hats, they just want the next high, and nothing gets them going more than taking out a Shadow. So, they're not necessarily on Henzai's payroll, but they are a threat, and a significant one to boot."
 
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