Mission: Factional Investigation!

[Seifuku.GMO Active]

Warping in from the Netsquare portal, Red set down Myun and pulled out a folding fan from her bookbag and started fanning herself.

"Sure is a desert in here," Red commented, pulling her collar as she looked around. "You sure these are the coordinates?"

"No, I'm not. They're past that bunch of cacti over there," Shin said, directing his navi.

"Oh... right then, come on Myun," Red beckoned, trudging through the Netfrican savanna with her bored bunny in tow.

As Red continued her trek across the savanna, finding the scenery devoid of any interesting landmarks, she came upon a hill. At the top, she could hear what sounded like two navis bickering.

"This mission was assigned to us directly by top brass from the Department of Investigations, I'll have you know! We've got an obligation... nay, a duty to be out here!"

"Hey Jackwad, I know why you're really here! I'm you, remember?"

"Shut up! I'm trying to run a serious investigation and all you can think about is-"

"Me!? You're the one thinking it!"

As she finally finished scaling the hill, Red was surprised to see only a single navi at the top. The navi was fairly tall at about 6'0" with a lanky, robotic body composed of terribly inefficient and outdated looking boxy steel. Cables were visible in his exposed knee and elbow joints. Two long wire cables at his side held twin pistols at either side of his hips (or where they would be if his main body wasn't simply a large rectangle with no pelvis). The navi seemed more startled to see Red than she was to see him. Then his attitude quickly shifted.

The navi's strangely egg shaped head had an inanimate shaded visor for its eyes and a curled, clenched-teeth frown. He looked dissatisfied, but then, it occurred to Red that his face might be frozen that way. "Oh! Excuse me! What an adorable little girl!" the navi cooed, clamping his hands together. As he moved his arms, Red suddenly noticed that there was a second set of arms behind his own, as well as a seperate set of legs, lifted slightly up off the ground as if extending from a backpack. More disturbingly, a second head poked out from behind the navi's own. "Did the Department send you to help me with my mission? I received word from HQ that somebody had offered to help."

"What, they're going to dump a little kid on us?! Why the hell won't they take us seriously, those sons of bitches?!" the other head complained, kicking his legs furiously. Red got the idea that there was a very good reason that the department wouldn't take the guy seriously.

"Oh, don't mind him. My name is PartnerMan, and he is... er... my partner," the navi explained as best as he could with a wave of one gray-gloved hand. "It's very pleasant to meet you!"

"Yeah, pleasure is all his," the other head coughed.

PartnerMan beat his other head with his fist as he talked, leading all of his limbs to begin to rebel against each other. "The pleasure is all mine, both of me, collectively!" he cried as his other self pinched his cheeks. "Quit making me look stupid!"

"You first, Asshole!"
"Ah..." Red replied, slightly confused as she saw PartnerMan fighting with himself. It must be tough.

"Nice to meet you as well, PartnerMan," Red greeted with a curtsy. "I am Red_Riding_Hood.EXE, I hope we work well together," then she gave the brightest smile she had to PartnerMan, possibly reassuring him, or his other side, of any doubts he might have.

"This is my support unit, Myun. Say hi, Myun," Red prompted, introducing her bunny companion, who waved nonchalantly at PartnerMan.

"So... how are we going about this?" Red inquired, tilting her head curiously.
"Hello, Myun!" the navi laughed, waving whimsically at Red's pet rabbit and speaking with a giggly voice.

"Pride of the Investigations Department, right here," the other head groaned, thumbing in the frowning one's direction. "Listen up, I'm going to give you the mission briefing, Halfpint."

"Don't call Red Riding Hood 'Halfpint!',"the other voice cried, slapping his other head.

A small squabble proceeded until the second body finally managed to get enough leverage to establish a sitting position, locking the other one's legs up so he couldn't move. "So there's this group called the Neo-Shoguns, right? We've been tracking them for a while now, but it's hard to get any info on them. Recently, though, we got some good info: one of them's hiding around here," the other head of PartnerMan announced.

"I-It's not easy though!'," the original head commented, struggling to get his face out of the sand.

"Yeah. See, the one who's hiding is a girl, right? She's a militant for a fanatic organization, which seems like it'd make her easy to point out, but the group we're tracking is all girls. Like... four of em.' I have no clue which one it is,"

"Th-They're all very pretty and mfffrmrf!"

The top arms pushed the other head back into the sand. "Cool it, Chucklehead. Anyways, I need to observe them doing something I can link to Neo-Shogun activity. Your job is going to be to gather evidence; don't care what kind. Whatever it is, it's gotta be something you can take with you though... a photo, a recording, some kinda written message." He paused and stroked his chin, just beneath the wide grin that stretched across his face.

As if anticipating what he was thinking about, the other head interjected: "We can't get close because they already caught us peeking once."

"Shut the hell up, Crap-for-Brains! We weren't peeking, we were investigating!" he growled, punching his other head. "Anyways, if they caught me again, I could be in some trouble. If you're caught, however, probably won't be so bad. I mean, you're a little girl and it's a lot harder to see that you're a Netpolice operative."

It would not be far-fetched for Red to think that she looked more like a Netpolice operative herself than the navi who was burying his own face in the sand and leg-locking himself. "Anyways, you gonna do it for us? I'll be here to back you up if you need it, of course."
Suddenly Red felt very uncomfortable.

Shin also felt very uncomfortable.

"Is this fate or something?" Red whispered to Shin, sweating bullets.

"I don't know, but it's a pretty cruel fate if you ask me. Did they just say they were peeking?" Shin replied, sweating for a different reason entirely.

"What do we do? I mean, they have codes of respect or anything, but I didn't think I'd encounter them so soon," Red whined, flailing her arms miserably.

"Well... we can't back out now, I mean, just look at these guys," Shin started, gesturing at the navi that fought himself. "If Investigations needs info on these guys... then I guess we'll use our connection with them, little as it may be, to get what they want."

"No choice then, huh?" Red sighed, shrugging her shoulders before turning back to PartnerMan and beaming at him, raising her hand high as she spoke. "Actually! I've encountered the people you've been looking for before! But... there are four of them? I've met three, a green one, a yellow one, and a red one. I think they're.... Yasu, Vee, and Lee," Red commented, counting them off on fingers, "but I haven't heard of a fourth one... huh... Oh well! As long as we're working together, I'm sure things will turn out just fine! Two heads are better than one, right? Or maybe it's 3 heads better than 2 in this case," Red said, giggling cheerfully before tugging on PartnerMan's arm.

"So let's go PartnerMan! We're on the case!" the crimson crusader prompted, giving him a big smile.

Myun just kind of stayed back until they were ready to go.
"You know their names? Wow! Looks like we've already gotten a huge advantage!" the first head laughed, briefly wrestling its head up from the sand and waving both arms playfully. "Yeah, let's get em together, Red Riding Hood!"

"Shut up, Fathead," the other grumbled, pushing the first head back down. "Anyways, I've sent your op a recorder program and a camera program. You can use these for any kind of evidence, or just bring what you find back to us. We'll rendezvous here later. If enough evidence is collected, we'll call it a successful day. If nothing's collected, we're gonna have to call it a failure, cause I know at least ONE of those girls is a Neo-Shogun."

"But be careful! I don't want anything to happen to you... But oh! Bring me some pictures too if you want mrffarfrarg!" the other gasped, then was shoved back down.

"We'll be investigating from cover, so send us some kind of signal if you need us or just escape. If we're doing it right, you won't see us, so don't look for us. Remember, though, if you escape with no evidence, it's mission failure. We can't guarantee they're not gonna move on while we're gone."

Giving Red a signal by pointing forward with two of his four hands, PartnerMan urged his ally forward and got back up onto his feet. As he did so, he pulled his other half up like a backpack, causing the body to retract so that only one head, two arms, and two legs were visible. "Once we spot the camp, we gotta break up, me left and you right. You'll have to find your own point of entry after that."

Unfortunately, that point came all too soon. It seemed that PartnerMan had really been hiding out dangerously close to the camp to begin with. The "camp" amounted to a facility surrounded by a wooden fence, so it was hard to tell what was inside. "Good luck," her ally grunted, then ran for the left side on surprisingly quiet feet. If Red took his orders, she should head right, but there was also a gate right in front of her with a door. The fence wasn't that high either, so with a little effort she could probably climb over.

((Red got Recorder.DAT and Camera.DAT))
((To use either of these items, put them in a turn summary; each has infinite uses))
"Oh my, you can actually call me Red if you want. My name's a bit too long, huh?" Red giggled as they reached the point and PartnerMan dashed away.

"Well he said go to the right, but I'm not sure if he's the brightest guy on the block," Red mused, examining the gate and fence before her. "Maybe we'll get better info if we enter with a friendly disposition!"

"Good thinking, try the very probably locked gate," Shin suggested, sipping his lemonade out of sudden boredom.

"Righty-o!" Red replied, humming to herself as she knocked on the gate twice, "Excuse me!"

"...come to think of it, this was supposed to be a stealth mission, wasn't it?" Shin realized, deadpanning.

"Ah..." Red said, as she tried the door.

[Try to open Gate]
Luckily enough, the gate opened right up. Pretty convenient for Red, as long as it turned out that there wasn't some kind of standing army on the other side. Fortuantely, Red found the place FABULOUSLY UNOCCUPIED. It looked like she might be able to get around easily enough, but it'd probably be a bad idea to stay in the doorway for very long.

The area as a whole was smaller than it had looked from the outside. Looking further into the complex, Red found that it was less a military resort and looked more like a campground for vacations. A very cozy looking hut lay far at the back of the complex. A winding path went all the way through; to the left was another small, lit building and to the right was yet another. A surprising amount of topography also dotted the area, which might help her to stay in stealth. Alternatively, she could try edging around the fence around the buildings. The ground was all soft soil; it seemed like burrowing would be possible if she had a method for it. None of the buildings looked open-topped, so it would probably not help her to try climbing on top of one.

Suddenly, Red spotted movement! A figure wearing a black suit was walking around in the distance, having just emerged from the hut. The figure looked like it might be some kind of bodyguard.

... Red spotted, at the last second, PartnerMan. He was busy climbing over the fence to the left. Hopefully he wouldn't get caught...

((Cozy hut is four movements away))
((Figure is three movements away between
((Each other building is one movement away, two to get behind))
((Partner is two movements away behind left building))
"That was lucky," Red whispered to Shin, moving toward a tree and glancing around. Nothing she could use the camera for so far.

"Nice place, I think they relax a lot," Shin commented, observing the area along with his navi.

"Hm, maybe they draw people in with all these resorts? How do they get the funding for this anyway?" Red pondered as she moved closer to the buildings.

...suddenly a black suited figure came out of the hut in the back. Looked like a guard. On another note, PartnerMan had climbed over the wall. What would happen if he got caught? Putting such a thought out of her head, Red believed in her teammate as she kept approaching the building on the right, unconsciously tucking Myun under her arm.

"Now... let's see here..." Red mumbled to herself as she looked for a window into the building to see if anything was inside.

Turn Summary:
1. Carry Myun
2. Sneak toward right building.
3. Sneak toward right building
4. Look for windows and peek in

Myun's Actions:
All: Be carried
Carrying her fluffy animal companion in tow, Red hurried over to the right house. Luckily, there were windows, and with just a little climbing she managed to get high enough to look through a window. Inside, she was surprised to see something like a game room, featuring a table, two loveseats, and a hologram screen that was playing some sort of sappy romance story. There was also a dull, repetitive thunk coming from somewhere inside as well, but Red really couldn't tell where... it was difficult to see the entire building through just the one window.

Thankfully, the bodyguard did not seem to be headed in her direction. It did stand to reason, however, that if the bodyguard did not come to Red or to the gate, she must be going to the house that PartnerMan had decided to investigate.

From here, Red could either move on to a different building or try to figure out how to enter this one. As far as she could tell, the only possible openings were sealed glass windows or the front door. Like the gate, it might not be locked.

((PartnerMan's investigation site is two movements away across street))
((No telling where bodyguard is))
((Farthest house is now three movements away))
((One movement to enter house or go behind))
"Well that's odd, I guess I'll just go in and Investigate," Red whispered to Shin, crouching low and looking in both directions before sneaking toward the front door.

"Excuse me~" Red mumbled slowly as she turned the knob on the door and went inside. Keeping low on her knees, the crimson crusader moved toward the game table while examining the interior of the room.

Turn Summary:
5. Go inside House
6. Examine surroundings and move toward Game Table
Red found that again the door had been left unlocked. Turning the knob and creaking the door open, she crept in slowly. It was now apparent that wherever the sound was coming from, though, it wasn't the room; in that regard, she was safe. Strolling right in, Red got a look at the place's interior: the cozy white wallpaper, several fashion magazines lying about (although navis reading print magazines seemed odd) along with odd snack wrappers, and a staircase leading into the basement. Seeing nothing else of interest around, Red continued and snuck on down...

The basement was fairly dark besides one light source further in. A shadow cast against the wall revealed a female figure launching arrows from a bow and quiver. Strange, curving shapes also cast themselves against the wall, like bizarre loops of fabric coming from the person's outfit. Red could vaguely hear the person mumbling to herself, but it was hard to make out what she was saying from this distance.

From here, Red figured her options were either backing up or proceeding further into the darkness. She thought she spotted some barrels that she might be able to use for cover if she moved quickly, or alternatively, she could just try to crouch in the darkness instead. She could also try a more direct approach with the navi.

((Nothing inside this small room will be counted any number of movements away))
Red noticed, for the moment, that the coast was clear. She reached to pick up a fashion magazine, but Myun quickly did the deed for her.

"Good thinking, don't want to leave prints," Red giggled quietly as she browsed through them, seeing nothing out of the ordinary before setting them back down.

She noticed a staircase leading downward and tiptoed quietly toward it. Gulping, she whispered back to Shin. "I'm going down, Ace. You might as well turn that recorder on."

"Roger that," Shin mused, readying the applications on another holoscreen. He hadn't turned them on just yet, he had to wait for the right moment.

Going down the stairs, she discovered the source of the *thunk*ing as someone doing archery practice. It seemed she was muttering to herself. It might be a good chance to get some info.

Her two options, at the moment, were to hide with the barrels somehow, or go under the stairs. Thinking carefully, Red slung Myun over her back, the bunny holding on tight as the crimson crusader got on her hands and knees and slowly moved down the staircase.

Crawling quickly over to the barrels once she reached the end of the stairs, Myun and Red hid themselves as best they could as they tried observing the female archer while Shin turned on the Recorder.

Turn Summary:
1. Sling Myun over back
2. Crawl toward barrels.
3. Hide and Observe Female Archer
4. Turn Recorder.DAT on

Myun's Actions:
*Run Myun Run: Hide amongst barrels
It didn't seem that the navi had noticed Red or her pet bunny slip into the barrels; she went right on shooting whatever wooden target she was practicing on with slow, steady thunks. Yup, everything was going fine...

...Until Red got a peek at what the wooden targets were. The navi had several strange brown-gold metal arcs set up in a system of spinning parts that was moving new barrels into place after time and filtering out old ones. The barrels were apparently empty wine barrels that were now being used for target practice.

From here, Red could hear the navi but not see her clearly. An intelligent sounding voice whispered in a somewhat worried tone, but the constant arrow noises were making it somewhat difficult to hear her. "There's no way that I could- thunk -she asked. I mean, in the end- thunk -the ones who got themselves into this mess. Even if she's my friend, I can't- thunk -to Neo-ShogunMan's army...

It sounded like useful information. There might be more on the way, but the barrel situation was dangerous! Would Red stay to listen to more or would she try to make her escape? Was the information what PartnerMan needed, or would it simply be dismissed as irrelevant?

(("Archer's Mutterings".DAT recorded!))
Red winced as she noticed how the archer was getting target for target practice, but frowned slightly as her words were getting fragmented by her own arrow shots. They were self-mutterings anyway, so it wasn't like she was supposed to hear them.

"Myun, run," Red commanded her bunny, who didn't need the slightest bit of prompting as she moved back toward the stairs, trying to make as little noise as possible.

"This'll make do," Red snickered to herself as a giant top hat covered her body as she warped back to the shadowy area underneath the staircase. Crouching down and focusing her attention on the archer once again, Red prompted her operator to use the Recorder again.

"That was close. Though the hat might be a little obvious," Shin mused, activating the Recorder once again.

Turn Summary:
5. Magic Trick [Decoy + Teleport (underneath staircase)]
6. Use Recorder.DAT

Myun's Actions:
1-2. Sneak back up stairwell
Red managed to get out of the basement okay using her teleportation, but the scampering of Myun alerted the acute senses of the practicing navi. While she was too late to see Red, she did see a tremendous hat sitting amidst her barrels. "Who's there? Are you playing a trick on me, Myst? You know I don't like it when you interrupt my training," the voice sighed impatiently. Red got the idea that she'd better get moving with GREAT SPEED. On the other hand, if she decided to dash back out of the house, she might end up running into more of the navis she was supposed to be avoiding.

Shin happened to notice the Recorder had picked up the archer's voice just then, even though nothing of particular use was said.

(("Archer to Myst".DAT acquired))
Ah crud, that wasn't good. "Myun! Doll Form!" Red whispered over the PeT comm-link. Myun nodded and plopped down on the stairs, looking just like a stuffed animal.

"Phew, now... how do I get out of here?" Red muttered to herself, before remembering the barrels. "Shin, give me the IceSeed!"

"Ah... that'll be a good idea," Shin mused, as he sent the terrain generator down.

Here goes nothing, Red thought, opening up her bookbag and digging around to find... a blue eraser? Well, it would do. Hurling the eraser at the barrel wheels, Red scrambled up the stairs, picking Myun up with her and heading upward.

Reaching the first floor, Red turned her head back and forth before knocking the door open, then diving behind a loveseat to conceal her presence as much as she could.

Shin readied the camera in case the Archer came into view.

Turn Summary:
Myun 1: Act like a doll
Red 1: Throw IceSeed at Barrels [10 DMG + Ice Panel or Medium Ice Terrain]
Red 2. Dash up stairs and grab Myun
Red 3. Knock open door
Red 4. Hide behind loveseat
Red 5. Use Camera.DAT if Archer comes into view.
"Aha! Now I know it's you! My whole training's ruined, you jerk!" the navi cried out in shock as the ice caused her spinning arc system to fail and barrels to start rolling around the basement. "When I get up there I'm going to- ack!"

The navi came flying up the stairs, struggling to keep on her feet as a large portion of the cellar and stairs were now iced. With a heavy metal clank, she tripped and landed on her face at the top of the stairs.

Click! Red's camera went off. Might not have been such a good idea.

The navi, with a figure that seemed much more lent to being in a graceful upright posture, was now collapsed face-first on the ground with her golden armor sprawled around her. Various yellow ribbons wrapped around the armor, holding in large arcs at her hips, knees, and elbows. Her helmet also bore a tremendous golden arc, but had fallen off just now, revealing short, sandy blond hair held away from her forehead with a clip. Slowly, the navi lifted up her head, revealing her face, still red from smacking into the floor. Her eyes were intelligent looking and brown; she looked highly unamused. Most importantly, Red noticed that despite the fact that most of her body was armored (chest, gauntlets, boots, helmet), she wore a very long, modest skirt over her legs. Ordinarily modest might be the better term; tripping had caused the skirt to bunch up around the woman's body, revealing SHINING GOLDEN PANTIES over her ample bottom that Red was now in the process of photographing.

The navi's hands gripped her bow so tightly that Red thought she could hear the sound of the golden metal weapon's hilt cracking. "So, I see that pervert from earlier has recruited little girls to do his dirty work...? Well, I won't be as forgiving this time!" she cried, bolting to her feet enraged. Unfortunately, the camera flash had left little possibility of Red not being discovered. "Little girl, please, tell me where the metal man who hired you is hiding. I promise that I won't hurt you," she asked in a friendly way, pressing one hand against her breastplate as she walked forward. As nice as she was acting, Red could only imagine what the navi planned to do to PartnerMan if Red led her to him...

Worse, looking behind her, Red spotted PartnerMan's legs kicking at one side of the house. It seemed like he'd tried to look through the tall windows of the other house and was either entering or going back out now, but was having problems getting down... Luckily, the archer navi didn't seem to notice him yet, but she probably would if Red didn't do something.

((Red acquired "Golden Panties".IMG))


Red covered her face with her hands as Shin abruptly closed the viewing holoscreen, but it was too late, the image was saved on Shin's PeT.

"Fffffuuuuu-" Shin muttered in a low breath as he opened the image, then closed it immediately. "Plan J."

"Right," Red responded, with a small text as she got up and dusted herself off and smiled cheerfully at archer. "Hello, nice to meet you! I'm Turquoise.EXE and a new Neo-Shogunate recruit! Myst was the one who actually put me up to this, so I'm really sorry about disturbing your training!" Red said, bowing formally. "S-she said it was to prove my worth as a member but now..." Red started to sniffle, tears welling up. "I've done a horrible thing and ruined your training equipment and embarrassed you with my camera going off at the wrong time and... and..." Red's lips started to tremble.

"WAAAAAH! I'M SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME!" the crimson crusader bawled, going on her knees. Hopefully this would distract the archer from any thoughts of PartnerMan even being around.

Turn Summary:
1-6. BLUFF
The navi's eyebrow raised. Unfortunately, it didn't seem like she would be as easy to dupe as the run-of-the-mill Neo-Shogunate. However, fortunately for Red, it turned out that whoever Myst was, this sort of thing seemed to be in-character for her. Sighing as her face grew slightly flushed, the navi pulled back on her helmet. "Forgive me if I upset you, I'm very sorry. I misread the situation. This is just the sort of thing that Myst would do," she spoke quietly, patting Red's hair to calm her down. "Turquoise, was it? Let's go see Myst together and we'll get it all sorted out."

Out of the frying pan and into the fire! What would Red do now? If Myst revealed she'd never seen Red, that would certainly be a problem, but the bigger problem was the possibility of PartnerMan being seen as he desperately struggled to get out of the window he was caught in.