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(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."
>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
"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
"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
>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.
"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
"Welcome! I'll have it ready soon so just take a seat"

| >>529672
>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.
"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.

"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"
"I think you have, Oenone isnt it?"

| >>529672

>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
"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
>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.
>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
>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

"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."
>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."
"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.
"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.


| >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.


| >>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.


>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.
>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.

| >>530845

"Umm, that was all me, actually." >Oenone reaches into her jacket, then thinks better of it and returns her hand to the counter.
"I just felt like I could be of help, you know? Plus, I did kind of want to try my smart pistols out. That didn't happen, but I managed to get everyone out without even being seen, let alone firing a shot!" >She thumps her chest, beaming proudly.

| >>530860
"... That takes a lot of skill. Hope they weren't too put out about staying holstered."
>Aikawa takes another sip of her drink and relaxes her posture a bit, putting more of her weight on the bar counter. Her gaze remains fixed on a point immediately adjacent to Oenone.
"I recall you having a favorite?"
>She winces and places her thumb firmly against her temple again, fingers splayed across her forehead. She mumbles something about 'her sinuses' to herself.

| >>530865

"A... Favorite? Oh, that was back when I had two pistols. They're still there, I just didn't bring them along. This has been... Strictly a pleasure outing, hmm?" >She tilts her head.
*But yeah, Asahina and Oogami are still there."

| >>530869
"I... don't remember those being the names you told me...? Do you collect these or something?"
>Aikawa looks a little bewildered at the mention of the phrase 'pleasure outing' in the context of packing heat.
"I mean, as long as they behave..."
>As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Unless we're talking about Caligula, of course. Whatever. Aikawa has her own... unique hobbies. Oenone is no different. She appreciates that.

| >>530871

"Oh, uh, what I mean is I didn't bring any weapons today." >She rubs the back of her head.

"But I do have something of a gun collection, yeah. Anyway, you're thinking of Nanami and Komaeda, right...?"

| >>530949
"Oh... I... thought you meant you were taking those other two out for a walk or something..."
>Aikawa screws her eyes shut for a moment and rubs the bridge of her nose, unsure of how she messed up what she heard so badly. It's starting to get hard to concentrate, and she considers ending the comm with her roomie in favor of just fucking letting loose for once, goddamnit.
"The... ones you just mentioned are the names I recognize."
>She runs a hand through her hair.

| >>530950
"Think we were informally in--"
>All of a sudden Aikawa's speech grinds to a halt and the color begins to quickly drain from her face. Her eyes widen and for a moment her expression is one of shock and sheer terror.
>She barely manages to stammer out the end of her sentence, and tenses visibly-- her body language becoming quite guarded. She continues to stare into space for a few seconds longer before she murmurs:
"Oh... oh, fuck."

| >>530954

"!!" >Oenone gasps, reaching out towards Aikawa. She'd been told to tolerate her friend acting spacey but this... Is different. She manages to refrain from all-out panic, but still, her "Are you okay?!" Comes out significantly louder than the Lilim intended.

| >Oenone's shout attract Impulse's attention
"Are you sure you are alright over there?"

| >>530966

"Y-Yeah, it's all good!" >Oenone doesn't turn to Impulse, but gives a thumbs-up anyway.
"I think it's over now... I >>>think."

| >>530968
"Well,if you say so,if anything's wrong you can tell me. I might be able to help"
>Impulse say,still a little suspicious

| >>530960
>It takes everything Aikawa has to turn her attention away from the verbal bomb her roommate just dropped in the midst of their comm. She starts to lose her dazed expression a little, and looks at --not through, this time-- Oenone.
"We... had-- t-there was a--"
>She takes a deep breath, trying hard to re-ground herself, and tries again.
"... someone... broke into my apartment... and it may have been... who I was running from."

| >>531037

"...!" >Oenone's eyes widen in surprise, and she instinctively reaches for her chest, where her smart pistols would be holstered before her... Upgrade. She doesn't find them, so she reaches for the shoulder holsters they'd normally occupy- and they're not there either, because she didn't bring any weapons.

"Oh no! Should... Should we head back...?" >She's very clearly confused and trying to hide it.

| >>531047
"I-- I don't... know..."
>For all of her time at work spent on intervening in crises, Aikawa has no idea of how to handle one of her own, on her own. She puts down her drink and holds her head in her hands, hair pulled tight against her scalp.
"He... he thinks that it isn't the same person, and that... I'm probably being paranoid..."
>That headache is starting to get a lot worse. Aikawa grits her teeth.
"That... doesn't change the fact that we got broken into."

| >>531049 >>530728
>Aikawa, apparently coming up with some half-baked plan of action, tries to flag down the bartender.
"Are there any regular terminals around here? I gotta take care of something-- now."
>Aikawa reaches into the breast pocket of her jacket and retrieves a rather strange looking rectangular object: a little less than the length of one's hand, and half as wide. There's a button in the center, and as she depresses it, 3 "plugs" come out of its underside.

| >>531049
>Falschen looks over to Aikawa and Oenone and taps RaIn's shoulder
>His eye narrows
"Breaking in? sounds fishy don't it"
>He mumbles

| >>531053
"Terminals? huh yeah right next to the bathrooms, huh please dont mind how old they are"
>Emily says, surprised at the sudden callout

| >>531049

"U-umm..." >For want of something to say or do to help in this situation, Oenone moves to give Aikawa a hug.

"Let's go... Assess the damage, see what's been taken, if anything...?" >She stops to think, but draws a blank.
"I'm really sorry, I wasn't really taught how to handle these situations."

| >>531053
>Where the plug prong should be, there is a hollow space that looks as though it's supposed to house something/hold something in place. Aikawa takes this object, lines up the plugs with the ports in the back of her neck, and clicks it into place-- causing her to shudder. It's not the first time she's used something like this, but the feeling is still alien to her.
"Thanks!! Shouldn't be an issue!"

| >>531057
>Aikawa turns back to Oenone to find herself getting drawn into her embrace, which she returns-- holding the lilim very tightly for a moment before sitting back and looking at her.
"... I think you should ask Hester, first. In case... he's wrong, and I'm right."
>The last thing she wants to do is put anyone else in danger. At the same time, if she is right... She and her roomie might not be able to hold their own. She silently weighs her options.

| >>531061

"But Hester's busyyyyy..." >She whines, almost like a child.
"Besides, I can hold my own. Gun or no gun." >The Lilim laughs.
"Just because I'm kind of a ditz doesn't mean I'm a pushover, you know." >With this, she performs a little flex.

| >>531062
>Aikawa bites her lip and wrings her hands, trying to figure out the right thing to do.
"...Wait here for a sec. I promise I'll be right back."
>Aikawa jumps out of her seat and makes a beeline for the area where the terminal is housed, pulling one of the QRS cables in the back of her neck out and through the hollow part of the device seated on the back of her neck.

| (question: I know settings that aren't totally public-- e.g. bars or cafes-- are kind of frowned upon; would it be inappropriate to create a setting thread for Aikawa's apartment if multiple people heading that way is the course things end up taking?)

| >>530726 >>531054
"Well, as long as you're still you and not some clone who's going to slowly kill all your friends, we'll be fine."
>It was a joke, but RaIn didn't laugh or anything. He started listening to conversations around the bar.
>When Falschen tapped his shoulder, he narrows his eyes too.
"Fishy, creepy, weird, all the same 'round here. You feel like helping them out and being a hero so soon after being AWOL?"
>He finishes his drink and looks over at the Aikawa and Oenone.

| >>531077
"I think they can handle themselves can't they? I'm just saying, there's been a lot of weird stuff around here lately, with dissapearances and all that"
>Falschen says with a shrug
"It's crazy how this town has changed, before I left the worst we got was corps fucking each other or murder bots, now we get people vanishing and all that fine stuff"

| >>531070
>About 10 minutes or so after leaving the counter, Aikawa emerges from the bathroom waiting area, having ended her dive. Her eyes and the upper parts of her cheeks are red, and she looks pretty pissed. She returns to the bar and practically throws herself into her seat, wiping her forearm across her eyes before following up with Oenone.
"Whatever data our security system had saved to it is corrupted-- and what I should be able to access, I can't! Someone changed my key."

| >>531096

"...okay, yeah, we definitely need to go back and see what's going on." >Oenone's had some time to compose herself and come up with... something resembling a plan.
"I mean... there's a pretty big chance it >>>is that person you're talking about..."

| A young man with short brown hair walks in and takes a seat at the bar. He's wearing a light black jacket, zipped most of the way up, and some simple jeans. He takes a seat at the bar counter and sighs, glancing at his phone as if waiting for something.

| >>531199
>Aikawa looks at Oenone in disbelief.
"You... you really think it's them? You don't think I'm... over thinking it or being paranoid?"
>She wipes at her eyes again, then at her nose, sniffling. This is embarrassing.
"I'm not sure what to do... my roommate might be in danger if what we're thinking is true."
>She sniffles again, louder.
"Fuck, it would be really cool if my nose would stop running long enough for me to fucking think."
>It's not running.
>It's bleeding.

| >>531429

"I'm... not sure any rando would be able or willing to go as far as changing your keys and corrupting the security system, really..." >Oenone notices Aikawa's bleeding nose, and slowly reaches toward it before deciding that's not the best way to do this.

"...your nose is bleeding."

| >>531496
>Oenone makes a very good point. Early on in her confusion and desperation Aikawa had clung to her roommate's words to give her some sense of direction-- now they've been made hollow, and she struggles to balance herself again as she realizes that one of her biggest fears may have just come true.
"... You're right. That... wouldn't make sense."
>When Oenone points out Aikawa's nose is bleeding, she looks startled, and grabs a bar napkin.

| >>531525
>She dabs gingerly at her nose, trying not to worsen the bleed. After a few moments, she pulls the napkin away from her face to assess the damage, and frowns.
"Hey, what gives?"
>She looks back up at Oenone and waves the napkin back and forth slightly.
"Do I look like I'm in the mood for jokes? Maybe wearing all of that red is making you see it, too. I think I know >>>snot when I see it."
>The napkin is very clearly saturated with blood.

| >>531528
"Are ya okay lassy, thats blood any way I see it"
>Falschen cuts in with a low voice
"You got dumpshocked or somethin'?"

| >>531537
>Aikawa looks over her shoulder at Falschen, then glances back at the napkin, scowling.
"Are you in on this, too? Knock it off! I'm not colorblind, I know--"
>She holds out her hand with the napkin in it, as if presenting it to Falschen as some kind of evidence that would prove she isn't completely losing it.
"-- what red--"
>While gesturing with her outstretched arm, something bright on the paper catches her attention for a split second, then immediately disappears.

| >>531711
"So, what's that all about huh?"
>Falschen chuckles

| >>531711
"-- looks... like?"
>Her irritation is quickly replaced by confusion and a growing feeling of dread. She brings the napkin inches from her face, turning it over in her hands and examining it carefully. She is totally unaware of the fact that her hands are now being stained with the blood that's saturated the fibers of the paper.
"... wait... what...?"
>She looks up at Falschen, then Oenone, panicking.
"There's no way... it's not really-- it can't be..."

| "...?!" >Oenone's confused now. Question marks appear in her eyes, but automatically resolve once she figures out what's happening.
"Y-Yeah, like I told you... Your nose is bleeding."

| >>531752
>Aikawa, appearing slightly dazed, touches one of her fingers to her upper lip, right below one of her nostrils, and pulls her hand away to look at her fingertips.
>Her voice quavers. All of the "tough girl" attitude that Aikawa prides herself in is suddenly dropped.
"Please...? Please tell me you're fucking with me?"
>Her nose continues to bleed, and a few drops splatter onto the back of the hand that's in her lap, clenched into a tight fist around the napkin.

| >>531757
"... Because... I >>>really can't see it. All I can see is that my fingers are wet, and that the napkin is wet..."
>Blood continues to drip from her nose onto one of her pant legs. Her brow furrows and squeezes her eyes shut. Her headache is now less of an ache and more of a pickaxe to the skull.
"And if my eyes are lying to me..."
>Her breathing picks up a bit.
"... Then someone's fucked with them... which means they can fuck with everything else."

| >>531759

"...oh no." >Oenone decides to experiment with something. She changes her plating color to pitch black, then, very gingerly, daubs Aikawa's nose so that some of her friend's blood ends up on the Lilim's finger. Then she holds her finger up.

"...can... can you see it now...?"

| >>531759
>Impulse to join in after realising that the tapping sound was Aikawa's blood droplets from the soaked through napkin hitting the floor
"Miss,you might need another napkin. The one you are using is soaked"
>Impulse pointed out

| >>531769
>Aikawa, only now cognizant of the fact that she's starting to make a mess of her clothing-- and now apparently the floor-- grabs another napkin off the bar counter, twists one of its corners into a point, and jams it up the offending nostril.
>She startles a little bit as Oenone touches her finger to her nose-- instinct starts to overcome the shock that's got her frozen in place, and her arm jerks for a second as if she was going to sway her hand away.

| >>531837
"H-hey! You.. don't have to--"
>Out of all of the substances Aikawa is routinely exposed to at work, blood is the most dangerous one. She doesn't want her friend harmed in her attempts to do something that could potentially help keep Aikawa from freaking out anymore than she already is.
"... do that..."
>Maybe it's not as dangerous to lilim, though. She trails off as she comes to focus on Oenone's bloodied finger. She squints, scrutinizing the plating of her fingertips.

| >>531838
>Her eyes scan rapidly back and forth from her finger to the rest of her plating, trying desperately to find a difference between the two.
"I can... see something...?"
>It's definitely apparent that the top of Oenone's finger is wet with something-- however, the fluid's got a weird tint to it that it didn't have on Aikawa's hand, on the napkin, or on her pants. Despite Oenone's finger remaining still, the color (or lack there of) keeps shifting slightly.

| >>531840
"Lady, take a deep breath and calm down alright? Lets take this slowly"
>Falschen looks at Aikawa and puts his hands on her shoulders, his eye is focused on her face
"Emi, can you get me a towel or somethin'"
>The bartender nods at Falschen's request and dissapears into the backstore rapidly

| >>531840

"Okay, good. What >>>color is it...?">Oenone reverts her plating to its previous "skin" texture, though the hand with the bloody finger remains black.
"I'm trying to figure out what's changed, sorry if this looks or sounds kind of weird..."

| >>531854
>Aikawa continues to stare at Oenone's finger as the rest of her plating transitions back to it's normal color.
"I... I don't know how to describe it. It's... it's like it keeps trying to become clear but it can't seem to do it."
>As Falschen places his hands on her shoulders, she locks eyes with him and momentarily the view of Oenone's hand is limited to the periphery of her vision. Whatever she saw on the napkin earlier is now on Oenone's finger.

| >>531854
"... I think... it's normal when I'm not looking at it directly...? I-I don't know what that means..."
>She winces and puts her hand over both of her eyes, breath coming through gritted teeth in a sharp "hiss".
"This... >>>really fucking hurts..."
>She sounds like she's about to start crying-- out of frustration, anger, helplessness? She's not really sure.
"I just want to know what's happening to me!!"

| >>531902
"Any augs lass? Apart from that jack of course"
>Falschen asks calmly

| >>531947
"I mean... aside from your standard cyberbrain, I guess... my eyes and my hands? H-heightened sense of touch and improved vision. My job covered them, so... they aren't anything special or top of the line."
>She's started to breathe hard. The plug of white that is the napkin sticking out of one of her nostrils is reddening-- and so is her face. Her flushed face makes the implants on her temples appear more exaggerated.

| "Okay, so it's not a background issue..." >Oenone changes the colour of her hand, mimicking the blood on her finger to a T. She holds it up in front of Aikawa.

"Okay, how's this?"

| >>532021
>Aikawa manages to force her eyes open long enough to take a quick look at Oenone's hand.
"... Can't see it... Can't even tell it's wet-- nothing..."
>She clutches at her chest and yanks at her collar with her index finger. Her pulse is beating in her ears like a drum-- loud enough that she's starting to have trouble hearing anything else.
"Hey... I think my blood pressure's up... like, a >>>lot."
>And she's now at the point where she'd do anything to bring it down.

| >>532126

"...oh, okay!" >A look of comprehension dawns on Oenone's face, and she reverts her hand to match the rest of her body.
"You just can't perceive the specific color of blood! Unfortunately I don't know much about fixing cyberware so I can't really fix that..."

>The Lilim decides she's done giving advice, and hugs Aikawa again in an attempt to calm her down somewhat.

| >>532135
"Good... to have that cleared up..."
>Aikawa is happy to have some kind of answer to whatever problem is going on with her eyes-- this is overshadowed, however, by the fact that she feels like either her heart or her head is going to explode. She has abandoned all rational thought at this point, and decides to do something that under normal circumstances she would think is extremely reckless.
"... Does anyone in this bar have some fucking >>>nitroglycerin?!!"

| >>532136

"So... Some >>>what?!" >Oenone has no idea what the hell her friend is planning, and is actually kind of afraid to find out. Her curiosity overtakes her fear, though, and she manages to avoid panicking.

| >>532152
>Aikawa makes kind of a strangled growling noise and tries to keep herself from shrieking her response.
"I need something that's... going to bring my pressure down... before I have a fucking aneurysm...!!"
>15 million people in the US have some kind of heart disease-- there has to be some old geezer in here who's had a coronary or two... or maybe angina... or--
"A med kit, I need a med kit, there has to be some in there!"

| "Did someone say nitroglycerin?"
>Impulse say,taking out his IFAK
>He open the IFAK up and take a plastic bottle out,then hand it to Aikawa

| >>532157
>Aikawa fumbles with the tiny bottle, rushing to twist off the cap. Hands trembling, she shakes one tablet out of the bottle-- hesitates for a second-- then shakes out another. She mumbles to herself, starting to sound a little crazed:
"If you can take... 3 of these in the span of 15 minutes without bottoming out completely... 2 at once... probably won't kill you..."
>She pops the tablets under her tongue, and waits.

| >>532159
"Miss,do I need to call an ambulance?"
>Impulse say,worried

| >>532163 >>532159
>After about a minute and a half, Aikawa's face begins to look less and less flushed. Her breathing is no longer extremely labored and rapid, and she's stopped shoving the palm of her hand into her sternum. She murmurs a response, slurring her words.
"No... 'm the am-blansse..."
>At first it seems like she's just exhausted from the whole ordeal. Then... the rest of the nitro kicks in.

| >>532165
>Aikawa's eyes roll back in her head, her skin becoming pale enough to match the whites. She goes completely limp and collapses, sliding off of her seat without the slightest hint of resistance as her body struggles against a rapid transition between two opposing extremes (and loses). That headache that was troubling her so much? When-- or if-- she wakes up, it's probably going to be a lot worse.

| "?!" >Oenone lunges to catch Aikawa before she hits the floor. She turns to Impulse- and recognition immediately dawns on her face.

"Oh, hey Laser Sight Guy! Could... Could you call an ambulance for us...? My hands are kinda full at the moment..."

| >Its a this moment Emily comes back with a towel
"What the hell! What happened to her?"
>She throws the towel away and picks up a box from under the counter, its labled "Premier Soins" along with a bunch of heart stickers, they look old.
>She moves towards Aikawa and opens the box, taking out a small syringe within a metal injector, foreign writting covers it along with a bold logo of the ACRAS corporation
"Move away from her and call an Ambulance! Ill keep her stable"
>Emily says

| >>532204 >>532249
>Impulse take out his phone and call the ambulance

| >>532204 >>532249
>Now that she's closer to being horizontal, it's a bit easier for that much needed blood and oxygen to make it to Aikawa's cyberbrain... but unfortunately, it's not at all enough to rouse her. Very briefly her eyelids flutter, one eye opening about half a second after the other before they close again and she lapses back into unconsciousness. Her breathing is very off.

| >>532312
>Emily taps the syringe and then moves aside Aikawa's shirt, aiming for the heart
"This should bring her back, but it isnt a miracle cure, just enough to stop Overdose and wake her up"
>She stabs the syringe lightly and pushes the button on the injector, a small burst of air is heard as the medicine leaves the tube
>Emily lets out a sigh of relief
"El, get me 'That'"

>Falschen sighs
"Dont use my name lightly lass, and yeah I heard you"

| >>532331
>Aikawa moans feebly as the needle pierces her skin, which in and of itself isn't a bad sign-- she's at least with it enough to recognize pain and respond correctly. A little over 30 seconds after the auto injector fires, her breathing starts to even out, and the faintest bit of color comes back into her face. People's voices start to become audible again, although they're mostly overshadowed by the ringing in her ears.

| >>532342
>Her eyelids part ever so slightly, but as before they close almost as quickly as they opened. The light and the sight of a bunch of people crowding her-- and Emily kneeling over her with a big fucking syringe in her hand-- are too much to even start processing. In this moment, she simply exists. She is alive, she knows that she's alive, and that's all that matters to her.

| "Alright we got her back!"
>Emily smiles and calls out to Aikawa
"Are you okay? Take it slowly"

| >>532382
>As Emily had said before, whatever Aikawa just had injected through her chest wall is no miracle drug-- most likely something that's enough to keep her from going back into an almost fatal arrhythmia, but not enough to get her feeling well enough to sit upright. The old saying "physician, heal thyself" seems to have bit her in the ass this time. It's a good thing the ambulance is on its way. She whimpers, clearly uncomfortable.

| >John makes is way in to the bar, looking at the various patrons in the bar, before settling at the bar. His outfit for once normal, bearing a camo parka and and combat boots. He waves his hand to get the attention of the bartender.

| >>532487
>The bartender seems really concerned with the lady on the floor right now

>Falschen errupts from the backstore holding a box with a sim jack connected to it and looks at john
"I got your stuff Emi- Wait a goddamn second"
>He almost drops the box
"John? What the fuck I thought you died!"
>He passes the box to Emily and then takes back his seat next to RaIn

>Emily Grabs the box and plugs the jack into Aikawa, pressing the large red button on top of the device.

| "Well, you know, some things went down, had to leave town, or well, this hemisphere, considering the trouble. But yeah, it's great to see you too."
>John says, non-nonchalantly.

| >>532515
>Falschen nods and closes his eye, he probably has a smile on his face right now, you can just tell
"I'm glad you're back Fella, dont scare the lot of us like that again eh?"
>He chuckles

| "Well, you know how it can be in my line of work."
>John chuckles along.
"How about a drink, on me. For old time's sake."

| >>532519
"Well, I'll take it, for old time's sake"
>Falschen laughs and taps his fist on the counter
"Oh yeah, I'm sure you met RaIn before right?"
>He points to the person in question

| >>532509
>Aikawa feels her head being turned sideways and something being clicked into her data ports. She manages to weakly murmur an unclear inquiry before Emily hits the button and presumably activates some process that stops whatever--or whomever-- is fucking with Aikawa's eyes and brainstem from doing just that. The whole thing produces a really jarring sensation that leaves Aikawa feeling really nauseated. She retches and gags for a few seconds, trying hard not to puke.

| >A man with a baseball cap sticks his head through the doorway-- the front of the cap bearing the Neo SF Medical Center insignia.
"Hey, emergency services! We got a call to this location for someone with sudden collapse and loss of consciousness?"
>He proceeds through the door into the bar, followed by another EMT with a stretcher in tow.

| >>532553
>Both EMTs move towards where Emily is situated next to Aikawa. The one with the stretcher lifts a rectangular object the size of a toaster off the back of the gurney by its handle, and sets it on the floor. He turns a knob on the front, and the device comes to life a little-- its display changes and it beeps a few times.
"Ma'am, is this the person you called about?"
>They want to make sure they've got the right person before getting to work.

| >>532540
"Ive seen their name on the board before, but not in person."
>John says, as he takes a closer look, before loosing interest.
"Emily, 2 serves of the smoothest whiskey, please."

| >>532574
"HUH? Oh yes! She took a bit too much medicine after something happened to her augs"
>She points to the box connected to the jack
"This is isolating her from any form of network and running a diagnostic! please just keep it plugged in"
>She moves a few feet away from Aikawa to let the stretchers do their job and goes back to her counter with a huge sigh of relief, and then she finally notices john
"Oh! John!"
>She smiles weakly
"Sorry, had some trouble"

| "Ah, no worries, It's practically an every day thing to see an ambulance in this town."
>John frowns, thinking of his statement.
"But yeah, how's the bar?"

| >>532688
"It's been good, I've seen a lot of people, even hired a part timer, although I haven't seen her in a while"
>Emily says with a chuckle
"How about you? Anything good going on lately?"
>She serves two glasses of Irish Whiskey to John and Falschen, who goes 'Woo, now this is nice and welcome!'

| "I've uh... been busy. A few deals here and there. Just sold one of my shipping containers."
>John shrugs the question off, taking a sip of the whiskey.
"What about you Falschen?"

| >>532701
"I've been lying in a clinic for months!"
>Falschen says with a loud bout of laughter, before taking a sip under the mask
"That sure tastes good fella!"

| "Yeah, that's the Emily quality I come for."
>John takes another happy sip.
"So how did you manage to stay for months in a clinic? Did you break every bone in your body?"

| >>532724
"Well, you know about the Tungsten thingers right? I was caught in the middle of it all"
>Falschen explains with a sigh
"I spent the next few days not getting medical attention until I kinda collapsed, then I woke up in a burning clinic and had to run out, that was two days ago"

| >>532687
>The EMTs get to work hooking her up to the cardiac monitor while the module plugged into her ports continues to do its thing. After they finish applying the leads to her chest and pull her shirt back down, the two exchange some concerned looks.
"Hey... is this--"
"Yeah, it's her."
>They work together to move her carefully onto the gurney.
"... Do you think we should call Walker?"
"Can't. Don't have his phone number or commlink ID."

| >>532732
"Ma'am, how long does it take for this thing to finish running? Don't want to run off with your equipment, but we need to get her to the ER."
>The other EMT pipes up.
"Does she need to be quarantined? Does it seem like what messed with her augs could affect other people?"
>They fasten the belts that will keep Aikawa from rolling off the stretcher if the ambulance makes any tight turns.

| >>532725
"Jesus, that day was a shit show, I saw it all over the news."
>John remembers.
"What about the armour? Maybe you should get that fixed or upgraded?"

| >>532734
"Its fine, just take it along, I feel she'll need it more than I do at the moment... And no I dont think its contagious, the diagnostic should be done in about an hour, and then it'll just keep her isolated from networks for as long as needs be"
>Emily clarifies

| >>532739
>They nod and secure the module on the gurney as well. The EMT at Aikawa's head connects a mask an tubing to the oxygen tank under the stretcher, and fixes it on her face before they wheel her out the door and load her into the back of the ambulance. One of them pokes their head back into the bar before climbing into the vehicle:
"Thanks for your help! We'll take good care of her."
>He hops into the passengers seat, and they depart.

| >Impulse go back to his gut punch after taking care of Aikawa. He drink the rest of his gut punch
"Emily,can I have another gut punch?"

| >>532758
>John reaches over, and taps Impulse on the shoulder.
"Don't forget to pay for the workshop."

| >>532760
>Impulse turn to John
"You haven't checked you cred stick,have you?"

| >>532892
"Then the keys are in the sun visor."
>John leaves a folded note in front of Impulse.

>"40.446° N 79.982° W."

| "Alright then,pleasure doing business"
>Impulse take the folded note

| >John makes no reaction, as if nothing happened between them...

Total number of posts: 209, last modified on: Tue Jan 1 00:00:00 1551184537

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