danger/u/
(Bar) The midnight drifter

| >In a tiny corner of uptown is situated a bar built in an alleyway, no signs or ads are seen on its facade, only a door with a number. That was the midnight drifter, a lonely little hangout known to the neighborhood and those who heard about it through the grapevine and tonight again it was opening its doors, the eyepatched tender Emily sitting quietly behind the counter as she watched the news
>A large figure in a red coat also watched along, a glass of whisky in hand


| >A news flash about the so called neon disappearances comes on the news, the anchor talking about it with a bored expression
>The person in the red coat sighs
"I'm telling you Emi, This town is fucked out its mind, disappearances are considered boring at this point, even the media wont cover them out of anything but necessity"
>The person, Falschen goes on
"Fucking crimmy, hate the lot more than I hate myself for buying that new Skyrim remake for holodisk"


| > Dice entered the midnight his expression downtrodden and his shoulders slumped. The Lilim sat down at the counter and wipped a pale hand across his face.
"Can I have a piano man if you don't mind?"


| >>529436
"Oh hi! One piano man coming right up"
>Emily the bartender greets dice with a smile and starts prepping his drink
>Falschen turns to the new arrival, his face covered with his signature mask, although it seems to have a large hole in it now, showing a single red eye and locks of white hair
"Yo fella, you look like shit, you aight?"
>He says with his signature gruffy voice


| >>2430b2
"Never better."
> his voice dripped sarcasm.
"I'm on day three of no sleep."
> the lilim rubbed a hand through his face again. His foreign accent was clearly Irish.
" Sorry y'don't deserve that kinda sarcasm..."


| >>529449
"Hey dont mind me fella, I'm usually the snarky one anyway"
>Falschen laughs boisterously before slapping Dice's shoulder
"So, tell ol' Fal what happened why dont you, I'm bored out of my mind here and you sound like you got a story behind that sour mood of yours"
>Emily sighs and passes the piano man to her customer
"Dont feel the need to entertain him"


| >>d48c8c
"I'm looking for my friend. My model was designed with a long battery charge so I've been abusing it."
>He immediately took a sip from the piano man and a glint shined through his dark and yellow eyes.
"Thank you"
> the lilim nodded to Emily
"My friend's gone missing and unlike me she can't redeploy so I'm pretty worried something happened."


| >>529454
"She was cut from the cloud or somethin? Or is she some old model like a D4RK-S0UL?"
>Falschen asks, intrigued, his single visible eye narrowing.
"Cant say I know too much bout y'all lilims, but I know the smart ones atleast have traces in the matrix or some defenses"


| >>fd7648
"X is a special case, there's nothing quite like her. If she dies she's as good as gone."
> He took another sip.
"Meanwhile if I die I don't know what happens....definitely being redeployed though."


| >>529469
"Really now? Thats odd for a lilim"
>Falschen says
"I thought they were all connected to the source when they were made, well apart from the older models, so any guess on what happened to her? Bet it aint as simple as wanting a change of pace isnt it?"


| >Impulse walks in,he is clearly in a very good spirit,humming along with the song he is listening to on his headset. He settle down on a stool next to Dice
"One gut punch please"


| >>529473
"Coming right up! I'm starting to see you a lot arent I"
>Emily smiles at the returning customer and then hands him his drink
"Here you go, enjoy"


| >>fd7648
"We all are connected, some of us have strange gimmicks. If I die I'm sent back to Ireland, some insurance maybe? Ireland has some strange laws when it comes to Lilim's. But that's what I mean when I say X is unique, she's not connected like the D4RK-S0L's but she's not one of them either."
>>c27348
>Dice turned his head to nod at Impulse. "Good to see you in such high spirits boss, did you take care of the cult?"


| >a boy wearing a blue jacket and strange headset walks in
"You fellows wouldn't happen to have any wine or mulan tea would you?"

>followed by a girl with black and white hair
>oh my..uh..she seems to be wearing one of those ahegao hoodies with matching skirt and thigh highs
>if one were to get the angle right, they may or may not see ...garterbelt?
"Oh!oh! A piano woman please!"

"I swear this girls outfit gets worse and worse by the minute">the boy quietly mumbles


| >Shuffling fills the bar as a Lilim shambles in, dragging her feet on the floor with each step. She takes a seat at the bar, then leans forward, resting her upper body on the bar and her head on crossed arms. Her crimson eyes are glowing very dimly, as if she's about to shut down. Her short hair reveals a slowly pulsing "110" on the back of her neck, its red lights stark against her ice-white plating.

"One Sugar Rush, please..."


| >Following behind the shuffling Lilim and sliding in before the door closes, is none other than RaIn. Still wearing his usual glasses, but sporting a leather jacket with a few visible old scratches on it. He's twiddling a cigarette through his fingers. He flips it into his palm and closes his hand when he sees Falschen.
"Well I'll be damned, you're actually alive."
>He gives a rare but genuine smile.
"Crevice spike, please, Emily."
>He taps a fist on the bartop as he sits.


| >>529474
"Thank you"
>Impulse say before taking a sip from the glass
>>529486
"We moved a little,I also left some gifts at the old location for them to see"
>Impulse state,giggling
>His phone starts to ring,he pick it up
"Ha!They just found out what my gift was"
>Impulse say,showing his phone to Dice,there is a picture of 5 cultists stuck in some kind of slime with some runners posing various poses near them,one cultist seems to be shouting angrily


| >>529596
"Ahahah! Come on now old friend, no way I'll ever die when there's still so many things to do!"
>Falschen says with a happy tone and a genuine laugh
"How bout yerself, you been good I hope?"
>He asks
>>529486
"Oh, I do know about gimmicky lilims though, weird sorts"


| >>529498 >>529531
"Ah, welcome all of you"
>Emily welcome the new arrivals with a smile before looking at the lilim with concern
"Are you okay?"
>She asks


| >>529624

"Yeah, I'm fine... Still kinda starting up from that EMP at the park..." >Oenone sighs, raising her eyes off the counter to look at Emily.
"It's also been a while since I last saw my friend, so there's that..." >With a yawn, she returns her gaze where it was.
"Sorry I'm not as talkative as usual... The Sugar Rush should fix that, though...!"


| >>529631
"Coming right up"
>Emily says with a hint of concern before delivering the drink


| >>529634

"...thank you..." >Oenone shotguns the Sugar Rush, and immediately looks much more alive- Her hair is redder, her eyes are glowing at full strength, and the 110 on the back of her neck is maintaining a steady glow now. With another yawn, the Lilim sits up, stretching as she does.

"...that's much better! Can I have another, please? Make it large this time. And, while we're at it, I have a question."


| >>529641
"feel free to ask, I'm always here to talk with customers"
>Emily says, looking relieved


| >>529486
"Dice,since I'm in a high spirit,do you need anything?Like a weapon to defend yourself with and stuff,I won't charge you"
>Impulse say


| >>529643

"Right, so... This friend... I've been thinking about her a lot lately. Sometimes without any reason to." >The Lilim sighs, flexing her fingers.
"Like... I'd just be doing something completely unrelated, like helping Hester haul a screen or arguing with Nintendo, and then bam! She pops into my head, completely uninvited. Do you... Do you know why this might be happening...?"


| >>529647
"Huh..."
>Emily blushes
"What kind of thoughts do you have about that friend?"
>She asks


| >>529651

"Oh, no, it's nothing like... >>>that." >Oenone blushes as well.
"I just keep thinking about how much fun I have talking to her and stuff. Though the other day this one guy suggested we might like each other and..." >Oenone trails off.
"...I think I'm just worried, since it's been a while and all."


| >>529624
>they take their seats
"Im going to assume thats a yes, so a mulan tea please">says the boy

"And a piano woman">the girl repeats


| >Ikanaide, a red haired guy with an eyepatch in his right eye and two carbon fiber like arms walks in.

"I would like a Suplex please"


| >>529659
"Then shouldnt you meet up with them again? Is there anything preventing you from doing so?"
>Emily sighs in relief, if anything she was bad at giving love advice.
>>529665
"I'll have those prepared soon... Huh yeah"
>Emily does a double take after seeing the Girl's hoodie but shakes her head and prepares their drinks
>>529666
"Welcome! I'll have it ready soon so just take a seat"


| >>529672
"Thanks"
"Yey"
>the boy gives you a look that says 'i know right?'

>despite her strange apparel, the girl seems to be extremely innocent


| >>529672

"Well, to be honest, I don't actually have any way to contact Aikawa- not even on /u/ -outside of actually talking in realspace. I kinda like it that way, but, well, you get this sort of thing." >The Lilim pauses.

"...but enough about that. I can always gripe to Wren if I feel like I have to. How are you doing...?"


| >>fd7648
"Well it's a quirk really. In my case I have to get In touch with some Glitch city servers."
>Dice took one last sip of his Piano man. And for that his spirits seemed to get better.
>>c27348
"Well if you insist, a new gun-arm would suit me fine. Though I was also thinking of slapping some armour plates on the truck."
>The Lilim grinned at the idea of having an armored truck.


| >>529689
"I'm Emily Derringer, and I'm doing fine, buisness is booming and all that"
>Emily had looked like she wanted to add something, but instead went along with the flow of the conversation.

>>529702
"Damn it, you just had to talk about armored trucks didnt you fella, I almost forgot I lost mine for an instant. Goddamnit"
>Falschen sheds a fake tear
"Ya know metal-working boy?"
>He asks Impulse with a cocked eyebrow


| >>1bd55c
"My truck really is just for delivery and transportation. But with bombs being set and all...well can't be too careful."


| >>529623
"Well, still smoking, and drinking, but keeping bills paid and myself out of the hospital."
>He waits for his crevice spike, shooting a fake face of impatience to Emily. He too would've been distracted with all the colorful people.
"I'm actually dating again. I started getting real lonely after the third year without *her*."
>Falschen would know who 'she' was, she was in pictures with RaIn all over his apartment. In fond memory of her.
"How's your kid?"


| >>529705

"Oh, that's a nice name. I'm... I think I've told you my name before... Right...?" >Oenone tilts her head, little question marks forming in her eyes.


| >>529790
>Falschen cocks an eyebrow, he didnt expect what RaIn had said, yet it wasnt hard to noctice how happy he was
"Well, I sure am glad you're doing well old friend"
>He places his arm around RaIn's shoulders
"As for my kid, yeah she's doing good... I had to put her somewhere safer for now though"
>He says, you can easily assume the face behind that mask is a smile

>Emily gives Rain his drink with a small smile
"Sorry, busy night"
>>529792
"I think you have, Oenone isnt it?"


| >>529672

"Okay"
>Ikanaide proceeds to sit next to the others but not too close. Starts to play with his knife while waiting the drink to be prepared.
"It's nice here"


| >>529702
"A gun arm? I can make that,shotgun,assualt rifles or grenade launcher?"
>Impulse say
>>529705
"I'm not much of a metal-worker myself,but I'm into weaponsmithing,conventional non-energy weapon that is. I'm pretty good with body armor,but not armored plate for vehicles,sorry"


| >>529878
"I'm glad you like it, Its certainly not as big or rowdy as other bars, but isnt it much more lovely?"
>Emily smiles and hands Ikanaide his drink


| >>6b9b66
"A rifle sounds good, how compact can they be?"
> The lilim waves a hand towards Emily.
"Excuse me miss? Can I have an Irish coffee if you guys have any?"


| >A woman stumbles into the bar, forehead beaded with sweat and breath coming in ragged gasps. As she nearly keels over-- a hand on her knee being the only thing keeping her upright enough to stay standing-- she wipes at her face with the back of her forearm and repeatedly tugs at the collar of her windbreaker, desperate for air.
"H... h... hey..."
>She pants hoarsely. Talking hurts. She rakes a hand through her unkempt hair, trembling.


| >>6a8090
>Dice got up from his stool and stepped briskly towards the woman. The Lilim produced a phone in his hand just as quickly.
"Hey are you okay? Need me to call an ambulance?"


| >>529933
"Miss,are you alright,let me help you,I know first aids"
>Impulse run over,taking out his IFAK


| >>529933
>the boy walks over
>the strange headset begins to glow and a beam emerges...
>its...scanning you?
"Alright then lets see the damage...are you able to talk?
Were you chased?"


| >>529935 >>529946 >>529952
>She holds up a hand in polite protest, and waves it back and forth weakly. It takes her about half a minute to catch her breath enough to respond.
"No... no need... I'm okay."
>She sighs deeply, trying to get her breathing restarted at a normal rate-- this only succeeds in making her cough. It sounds pretty nasty.
"If... you call... they'll--"
>She coughs again rather violently, feeling herself start to wheeze.
>Fuck. I really gotta quit smoking.


| >>529957
>he nods and returns to his drink


| >>9f11ba
>Dice nodded and put his phone away.
"Let's get you a seat and a glass of water at least."
> He turned around and motioned to Emily again.
"One Irish coffee and a tall glass of water please?"


| >>529850

"Yeah, I'm Oenone." >She nods, flashing Emily a thumbs-up-- Which she quickly drops once she takes note of the coughing woman. She turns to face her- seeing Dice already taking care of the lady drives the red-haired Lilim to conclude she doesn't need to get up -and calls out.

"Everything okay over there...?!"


| (Conditions met. [50+ posts] initiating scenario)
>the boy finishes his drink
"Alright that was a nice break"

>he says while unholstering a gun
"Come at me you tentacle fuck!"
>He yells
>immediately a long thick tendril comes in from the door and pulls him out of the building
>leaving the girl with a confused face as conflict can be hear in the distance


| >>529957
"Okay,then"
>Impulse go back to his gut punch,also start working on Dice's arm


| >>529966 >>529967
>She nods, still coughing-- but very grateful that Dice cancelled that call. Any ambulance or 911 calls are going to be commed right to her cyberbrain anyways. No need for dispatch to learn what she's been up to.
"Thanks."
>She unzips her jacket a little and rubs her throat. Staggering over to the bar with Dice, she finds a stool and slumps into it. She rests her head on the counter, her breathing still quite labored. She says something, but it's muffled.


| >>529986

>Now that the woman is seated, Oenone moves over to sit next to her.
"Do you... Do you feel any better now...? Is there anything I can do to help...?" >The question marks appear in Oenone's eyes again. She tilts her head, concerned for the newcomer's well-being.


| >>529994
>She unburies her head from her arms to look to the side at Oenone. In between breaths, a wan smile spreads over her face. It's been a while.
"Hey... red this time?"
>She sighs, raising her eyebrows. Wonder if Hester suggested this one.


| >>530004

"I...?" >Oenone pauses, then blushes bright red as she realizes who exactly she's talking to.

"...oh my god, Aikawa!!" >She cries out, giving her friend a tight but brief hug.

"Y-Yeah, I decided I'd go with red for now... What do you think?"


| >>530008
>Aikawa's grin widens a little, and she relaxes into the hug in spite of the fact that it forces her breath out of her again.
"It's... a bold color."
>She manages to prop her head up with one of her hands, her elbow anchored not so firmly to the table. She looks the lilim over before she finishes her statement.
"... my favorite. Looks good on you."
>She manages a weak chuckle before losing her composure to another brief coughing fit.


| >>529966
>Impulse finishes with the arm in an hour
"Alright,Dice!Try it on"
>Impulse hand the arm to Dice
"5.56x45mm,full and semi-automatic. High fire,might be a little hard to control. I also put on an integrated laser sight,so you know where your bullets are going"


| (*High fire rate,my bad)


| >>529966
"Right"
>Emily gives you an irish coffee and a tall glass of water to Aikawa
"You were coughing a lot there miss, Id advise you quit smoking of you do"
>She nods to herself

>>529970
"Huh, have a fun time?"
>Emily is confused but still, this isnt the weirdest thing she saw in this city


| >>530088

"Oh, thank you-- Oh my god I'm sorry!" >Oenone panics once Aikawa starts coughing again, and covers her face with her hands.


| >Ikanaide starts smoking then proceeds to keep playing with his knife and thinks "The drink is taking its time huh?".


| >>530141
>Aikawa grunts in response and holds up her fist to her mouth, trying desperately to stifle another spasm. She succeeds. No one at the bar wants to listen to some poor sucker hacking up a lung. She gladly takes the water from Emily, downing about half of it in a matter of seconds.
"Yeah... that's just what I was thinking."
>>530146
>She turns back to Oenone, not wanting to cause her friend further distress. She splutters:
"I'm okay, Oenone. Really."


| >>529966
>She turns to Dice, waiting on a break in his conversation with Impulse.
"Thanks for your help. I appreciate it."
>Not often do total strangers step in to assist someone in trouble-- much easier to mind your business. This bar seems to be frequented by some decent people.
"Welcome. Your coffee's on me, if that's alright."
>>530146
"Your drink too, Oenone. Sorry to worry both of you."
>Best to drink to forget after today.


| >>530195

"...alright, just as long as you're fine." >She uncovers her face, giving Aikawa a quick thumbs up.

"So... How have you been? Aside from, you know, that...?" >Oenone awaits her drink, resting her chin on her hands.


| >>530206
>Aikawa clears her throat, trying to figure out how to answer Oenone's query. It's been a while since she's been around. That should probably be explained... somehow.
"Oh, uh, busy. I've... been picking up a lot at work...?"
>Real convincing, Aikawa.
"Gotta hustle sometimes, y'know?"
>She rubs the back of her head, further messing up her hair.


| >>530280

"Oh, that's understandable." >Oenone nods, reaching out to give Aikawa a pat on the back. She reconsiders this, however, and pulls her hand back.
"It's been... a really weird past while. More than enough trouble to go around for everyone..." >The Lilim sighs.
"...but hey, at least I got an upgrade or two out of all this." >Oenone gestures to her chest, highlighting that it's... quite a bit larger than last time.
"...it's, uh, mostly battery and style-changer stuff..."


| >>530286
>Emily looks at Oenone... and then looks down at herself
>'Lilims are unfair' She thought in her heart as she sighs


| >>529850
"Thanks Em."
>He takes a sip and makes a slightly disgusted face.
"I never really got used to those things. But that's another story; What'd you do? Hand your kid over to the Geekboy foster care?"
>RaIn glances over at the girl on the floor but she had more than enough help, not that he would've done anything.
"Also what's up with the one eye'd mask there? Did you get in the Akatsuki or something?"
>He gives another smile. Still a little suprised his friend lived.


| >>530286
>Aikawa shrugs, as if to say "it can't be helped."
"They say misfortune comes in threes... I'm guessing fate didn't follow the rules this time around?"
>She grimaces slightly, turning her attention to her glass and idly swirling the water in it around as she thinks. The lilim's
mention of an upgrade breaks her out of her daze.
"Good to hear that you got off well, though--"
>Her gaze follows Oenone's hands, and she suddenly finds her mouth has gone pretty dry.


| >>530286 >>530354
"Mostly... battery stuff, huh? I see..."
>Aikawa's face colors slightly, and she turns her attention back to her glass of water-- which in her embarrassment has suddenly become a lot more interesting. For someone who routinely sees a lot of different anatomy, she's awfully easy to fluster outside of work.
"This, uh... this was... Hester's idea...?"
>This upgrade in and of itself could probably be considered a "style changer". Whew.


| >>530359

"Umm... No, actually! The idea was mine..." >Oenone pauses then, dropping her voice so only Aikawa can hear, continues.
"...to be honest part of it was me being jealous of that Cat Boomer from the other day..."


| >>530345
"I actually left her with an acquaintance of mine, we arent on the best terms, but I trust her"
>Falschen clarifies and then puts his hand over the hole in the mask
"Yeah... I look like a chuuni asshole now, the damn thing shattered after I collapsed apparently, for some reason I was still wearing it when I woke up"
>His red eye showing through the mask narrows, around it are flowing some locks of white hair, Falschen seems to be an albino apparently.


| >>530376
>There are... /so/ many ways to respond to this statement, and Aikawa is totally unsure of what the right thing to say would be. It would be easier to just shut up--
"Ah, uh..."
> But of course, she can't. Aikawa fumbles with her words, eyes casting about the room as if she were looking for them hanging in the air in front of her.
"Well... A-as long as you're happy, that's what matters."
>She shifts uncomfortably in her seat.


| >>530376 >>530526
"F-for what it's worth, though... you looked good then, too."
>The spreading warmth makes its way to her ears. Anyone passing by would have thought she was trying to compete with Oenone over who's look contained the most red.
"Uh, Emily? Think I'm ready for a drink."


| >>530530
"Just give me the word"
>Emily winks at Oenone


| "...oh yeah, I think I'll have another Sugar Rush too..." >Oenone doesn't understand the meaning of Emily's wink, and sets a part of her CPU to work on figuring out what exactly it might mean. She processes Aikawa's compliment a bit late as a result, but when she does it becomes apparent- A wide smile crosses her face.
"Oh, thanks! You look pretty good yourself, Aikawa!"


| >>530538
"R-right. Could I get a Cobalt Velvet-- a large one?"
>She downs the remainder of her water and moves the glass aside. Soon the bartop in front of her is going to be full of them; might as well try to stay tidy while it's still possible.
>>530543
"Haha, if I look good >>>now, I wonder what I'm like when I actually have my shit together."
>Shitty at giving compliments, shitty at taking them. Aikawa pulls her phone out of her pocket and lays it on the counter.


| >>530551

"...actually, I wanna see how you look once you've got your act together." >Oenone replies, curiosity evident in her voice.

"Actually, speaking of different appearances, do you wanna see one of the style-changer upgrades I got?"


| >>530555
>Not actually expecting a reply to that statement, Aikawa turns to Oenone, surprised. She isn't used to hearing her be direct.
"H-huh? Uh, well... guess I'll try not to rush in here so out of sorts next time, haha..."
>She grins sheepishly, making a mental note to stop wandering into bars when in trouble.
"But, y-yeah! Let's see that new hardware in action."


| >>530579
>Her phone buzzes, but she turns it face down on the counter, silencing it. This is something that she definitely doesn't want interrupted.


| >>530579

"O-Oh!" >She seems to have been caught off-guard by Aikawa's evident enthusiasm.

"I-It's not that big of a change, Hester's holding back until the..." >She shakes her head.
"Nevermind!" >She fiddles with her Style-Changer, eschewing her ice-white plating in favor of a more human-like complexion.

>The texture this time is far, *far* more humanlike than last time, and the style-changer has hidden all of the seams that make Oenone's robotic nature obvious.

"...Dojyaaa~n!"


| >The door opens and a lanky figure wearing an orange motorcycle jacket fills the frame.
???:"Is this the Midnight Drifter?"
Hearing voices within, he walks in and looks around. He takes a seat next to Oenone.


| >The Rider glances at Oenone a few times while thinking of what to get.
???:"Uh, I'll take a Beer" >he says to the bartender.


| >>530597

>Oenone is at first oblivious to the rider, but his repeated glances catch her eye. For want of something to do while she awaits Aikawa's response, she decides to engage.

"...umm, may I help you...?"


| >The rider looks a little startled at Oenone's question.
???:"Sorry, I was just... if ya don't mind me askin, are you a Lilim?" >He scans the rest of the room, paying attention to all the faces.


| >>530641
"...yeah?" >Oenone reverts her "skin" to its normal, ice-white color, rendering her seams visible again. She holds this state for a few moments, then reverts to the "skin" from earlier.

"Why?"


| >>c4554d
"Oh, uh, have ya heard about the Illiad Hall thing goin on?" >He pulls a small silver box out of a jacket pocket and sets it down on the counter.


| >>530644

"...Um... no." >Oenone raises a brow, trying her best not to let her suspicion show on her face.
"What's that?"


| >>530595 >>530642
>To Aikawa, the transition in Oenone's appearance is so seamless and quick that if she were to shift her gaze --even for a fraction of a second-- she might miss it. She can't help but let her mouth fall open in surprise a bit, her stare intensifying when Oenone switches "forms" for a moment while speaking to the newcomer at the bar.
"H... h-how do you feel? Does... does it-- do you... feel different?"



| >>530648

"Hmm?" >Oenone turns her head back to her friend.

"What exactly do you mean...? Like, the texture, or...?"


| >>530648
>Impulsively she goes to reach for Oenone's shoulder, or her hand-- but the impulse she's acting on is unclear, and in the middle of the motion her indecisiveness outweighs her curiosity and she falters, hand returning to the counter.
"... I... I don't... know?"
>For some reason this is hitting kind of hard.
"I... have some fully cyberized friends who have re-shelled once or twice... I didn't know if this was... anything like that."


| >>c4554d
"Oh, alright. Sorry if I offended you, I'm looking for a person, see? And I don't who they look like, just that they're a Lilim. Sorry 'bout that."


| >>530655

"It's fine, don't worry." >She waves her hand dismissively, returning her attention to Aikawa.

"Well, about the texture... I couldn't really tell you since I can't feel any change, but..." >On her own, the Lilim reaches out to take the hand Aikawa has placed on the counter so as to demonstrate.

>The "skin" is soft, but its softness is closer to that of cloth- likely intentionally so, as aside from the color and surface texture it's still, fundamentally, a Lilim's hand.


| >>530660
>Aikawa feels herself getting goosebumps as her fingertips move over Oenone's hand. She's speechless for another few seconds, still processing what she's experiencing.
"Wow... this is... really high fidelity. "
>Her eyes move upward to meet Oenone's, taking a moment to observe the features of her face. Still distinctly Oenone, but at the same time markedly different. Her look of awe then becomes one of concern.


| >>530665

"Is... Is everything okay?" >The Lilim also develops a look of concern on her face, and she gently pats it with her free hand.
"There isn't something on my face, is there...?"


| >>530666
>She lowers her voice a little, hoping that her next query won't make Oenone feel guilty or self conscious. Given some of her... emotionally charged past experiences with the bioroids (somewhat similar to lilim) of Newport City, she has to know:
"... Did... did you want this? Like, was this something >>>you wanted to be able to do?"
>Her brows furrow.
"Or... did someone else push for this?"
>It's an invasive line of questioning. She knows that, and bites her lip anxiously.


| >>530667

"Oh, that's it?" >She raises her brow.

"Nah, this was all my idea. It makes playing dress-up a lot more fun!" >She smiles, displaying little hearts on her jacket that quickly vanish. "Plus, it never gets old seeing people react to it~"

I'll concede though, the style-changer as it originally was >>>was Hester's idea, as something to distinguish my frame from a mass-production one, but all these upgrades were things I personally asked for."


| >>530668
>Having learned that her display of concern was admittedly excessive and for the most part unwarranted, Aikawa looks away from Oenone, embarrassed.
"Haha, well... that's good! Hope at least my initial reaction was amusing."
>Doubt it. Way to let your mind run away with things, Aikawa. She fidgets, looking for something else to say.
"Touching on what you said earlier, though... >>>this is 'holding back'? I can't imagine what's on the agenda for your next upgrade..."


| >>530671
>Aikawa's phone vibrates again. She turns it over to look at the screen, and whatever message is displayed there makes her very visibly apprehensive and uneasy. She types a very short reply, only to get an immediate response that prompts her to shake her head, put down her phone, and look around with a slightly distressed expression. She eyes the door, then mutters to herself.
"I can't... not now..."
>The phone is then angrily and defiantly shoved in her pocket.


| >>530507
"Well I can try and fix it. No guarantees though, as per usual."
>He takes another sip of his drink, snickering when he finally noticed Falschen's red eye.
"Good god you really are an Akatsuki member."
>He was going to play this up sometime, not right now.
"So, let's cut to the chase, where the hell were you? Your place got Tungsten'd, then a few months later here you are? Hell, you were on /u/ after the rods dropped. So what's the deal here?"


| >>530684
>Falschen shakes his head
"I have no idea, my memory is like a sinking hole, the only thing past the rods starting to drop I remember is me waking up in a clinic that caught fire"
>His voice seems honest, its even shaking a little.
"Its a weird feeling friend, I have no idea, not a single clue and frankly its fucking terrifying, the one and only thing I can say for sure though is that I'm still me"


| >>530543 >>530551
"Right up!"
>Emily givws both girls their drinm and salutes the new arrival with a smile
"Welcome this is indeed the midnight drifter!"


| >>530671

"...It's a surprise." >With a wink, Oenone takes the served drink, nodding her head toward Emily in thanks.

>>530678

>When she turns back, it's just in time to notice Aikawa's distressed expression and subsequent shoving of the phone in her pocket.
"Hey, is everything okay?"


| >>530728
"Oh... thanks, Emily."
>Aikawa is so lost in her moment of panic that at first she isn't aware she's being spoken to. There's a delay before she answers Emily-- but just because she's a little slower in thanking the bartender doesn't mean she's any less grateful.
>>530735
"..."
>Why lie?
"... I have someone who's been trying to get ahold of me. Guess they aren't happy that I put my head in 'airplane mode' for a while."
>You could have just said you went silent, you moron.


| >>530739

"Is... Is this person important..?" >Oenone begins to fret that she's holding Aikawa from something important, and it damps the smile on her face a little.


| >>530779
>Aikawa sighs deeply and hangs her head a little, clearly not pleased with how things are going right now. She takes a sip of her drink and gazes into the glass.
"It's just my roommate. He prefers to talk or comm me rather than text. Normally I don't mind, but..."
>The phone continues to buzz away in her pocket. She gives Oenone a defeated look, and holds her hand to one of her temples, massaging gently.
"Forgive me if I act kinda spacey for a few minutes."


| >>530819
>Aikawa puts both elbows on the counter and rests her forehead on her palms, aggravated. For the moment, on the outside it doesn't look like anything different is happening, and her comment about 'being spacey' goes unexplained.
"Don't know if it was all the coughing I did, but I've got pretty decent headache right now..."
>Maybe a little 'hair of the dog' will help. She sits up and takes another --larger-- sip of her drink, then turns back to Oenone.


| >>530820
>Once facing Oenone, it's apparent that something is off. Aikawa seems to be looking at her, but not... actually at her. Several times she begins to grimace, but before any major changes in her expression happen, her face returns to being carefully blank. Your average person might think this was some kind of tic.
"Sorry. I'm not very good at this."
>In spite of it all she grins, just happy to be able to keep spending time with Oenone.
"How's Wren?"


| >>530822

"It's okay, don't worry." >Oenone returns Aikawa's smile. "Wren's fine, by the way. Everyone is, really. I've basically been given free rein to do whatever I want since nobody's really doing anything that requires assistance from me. It's kinda boring but Hester did say she's working on getting me a place of my own. Says it's time I left the nest, maybe."


| >>530836
>There's about a 3 second delay as Aikawa's cyberbrain (now beginning to experience the effects of the karmotrine) races to keep up with both of the conversations she's engaged in. Juggling digital and analogue input simultaneously has never been her strong suit.
"... who exactly required your assistance when you rescued those hostages back when I first met you? Other than the hostages, I mean."
>She leans in, curious.

Total number of posts: 111, last modified on: Mon Jan 1 00:00:00 1550418948

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