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7 yrs ago
dissertation done. can actually post again. yay.


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Age and youth

Words: 429 +1 (+1 rapport)
Kamek: Level 13 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (84/130) (+1 bonus pending)
Rika: Level 9 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////(103/90) (+1 bonus pending)

It had been quite a while since the race began, and yet Kamek and Rika’s progress could be best described as 0. Not that they hadn’t tried, but Kamek was, unfortunately, arguably, a worse thing to be tied to than a rock. They’d tried using his a as a grappling hook, but his weak constitution meant he was hardly able to manage such a feat. They’d tried draining all his mana so he transformed into a cat demon thing, but that had a limited life span, and the process had left the mage physically drained even when his mana was back up.

Hence, they were back down at the start again.

All was not lost however. Rika had had a sit down to think, come up with a plan, and was now in the midst of executing it.

She stood atop an igloo home of one of the penguins, who’s front had been blocked up with unfortunate npcs, who’s surroundings had been stripped bare of snow. Said snow, and a bunch of snacks, had been converted into Brachydios goop by way of Rika’s digestive system, which now filled the interior of the igloo.

”I know that I've let you down RIka, but maybe this is a bit drastic?”

”Nah. Damage is off. I tested it by trying to cut off my arm earlier” she replied, and then, before Kamek could get over his horror, made a sucking sound as she gathered saliva, and then masterfully spittooned it into a little hole she’d bored into the top of the igloo.

”Oh badness, oh badness, oh badness” Kamek stammered from the baby carrier position he was tied to, while Rika just steadied herself, took a superman pose, and then.


The igloo exploded, sending ice shafts and penguins flying in all directions, while the princess and age went flying up, up, up, and away! Past the swing rope sections, past the under-hanging stalactite section, past even the entrance of the mines before slamming straight into an angled wall in the mines, before pin-balling all around it, Rike having instinctively wrapped her arms and legs around Kamek to protect him from damage he couldn’t take. After being a hazard to everyone actually doing the climb, the pair crashed down into the same pit Bowser and Blazermate had ended up in down at the bottom of it.

”Oh, uhhh, hi papa, why’s there 4 of you?” a very dizzy Rika asked as she tried and failed to stumble to her feet, while Kamek was even more out of it, eyes swirls of dizziness.
Light and Shadow

wordcount: 2684 (+3) (+3 rapport per character)
Midna: level 9 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (25/110) (+1 bonus pending)
Roxas: level 8 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (34/80)
Warp Charges: 1

Warp Charges: 1

An Ushanka and 4 climbing mitten wearing Midna looked up at the tall tall mountain and, after a moment, joked ”Hopefully this one doesn’t have a `don’t freeze to death` challenge at the top of it” before having a thought, tensing, and then the rope connected to her to find her partner, breathing out an audible sigh of relief when that man was not found at the end of it.

Instead it was Roxas, who she hadn’t exactly spent that much time with (they’d somehow managed to end up on different sub teams for every leg of Midgar) but between facing her fears earlier, and the cart racing of all things back in Twilight Town, she only had good experiences with the guy, resulting in her flashing a genuine pointy toothed grin before she asked if he ”had any experience with this kind of thing?”

”Nope.” Roxas answered. But before he could do anything else he looked down and noticed poor Scamp shivering between his legs. And so Roxas put him back in his Poke Ball for the time being so the little guy could stay warm. ”That guy said movement abilities were disabled, right?” He asked, realizing that meant he wouldn’t be able to coast through this with Flow Motion.

”Seems like it” she replied, as she watched her flygon try and fail to take off before unsummoning it.

”Wait.” Roxas realized, ”I wonder if…” He tried to use the Phantom Ruby necklace to summon a virtual cube as a test. And sure enough, it worked! Movement abilities were disabled, but summoning abilities like this one still worked just fine it seemed. And if all damage was also disabled…

”This’ll be a cinch!” Roxas exclaimed. Then he used the power of the Phantom Ruby to summon a set of cubes in a diagonal line. This made them look like a floating staircase. And it also gave them an elevated platform to use as a small head-start for the climb to come. ”I can use virtual cubes to give us extra platforms whenever we need. Normally they hurt other people, but that guy said damage is disabled so you should be able to stand on them, no problem!”

”Only one way to find out I suppose” Midna agreed, before taking a tentative step onto the first step of the stairway. And true to Ballyhoo’s word, the cube was harmless to her. At least inside of this minigame anyway.

”This is as many cubes as I can have out at a time.” Roxas explained, though admittedly he was still fairly new to this specific power. ”But I should be able to re-summon them as we go along without much limitation. So as long as we’re creative with them, they’ll give us an edge. I hope.”

”Say, how good are you at jumping?” He asked when they reached the top of his construct, ”I’m pretty good at it myself, want me to jump first and try to swing you over afterward?”

”Not exactly something I've done a lot of. Used to be able to float after all and the royal life didn’t exactly call for leaping around rooftops” Midna replied, before her face became contemplative, before rhetorically asking ”I wonder” before her hat suddenly rose up off of her head, carried skywards on the middle finger of her shadow hand

”Now that, that is going to help make up for my lack of jumping legs a lot” she said, pointing up at the hand while it gave a thumbs up. And that prompted Roxas to vault over to a nearby natural platform. Of course he couldn’t dispel his cubes right away while Midna was still standing on them. Since he was obviously a lot more “parkour-inclined” than she was, it seemed like he would have to be the one to make some of the first jumps.

”You can try jumping, but if you drop straight down we should be able to swing you back up onto this platform.” Even if he couldn’t actively use flow motion, that didn’t mean he couldn’t still draw from his knowledge of using it to figure out their momentum and the distances it could carry them. Especially since he was able to calculate a lot of that pretty quickly in his head thanks to his Medabot spirit.

”Sounds good, but for these” Midna replied, as she simply reached up and grabbed the first thin platform she had to jump up too, before hauling herself to it ”That’s not going to be necessary”

This strategy worked for about all of the first little cliff, as after that they were presented with a jump that was longer than the rope between them, meaning that it was together or not at all. ”On the count of three?” Midna suggested after eyeing up the gap.

Roxas nodded. ”One-” he counted.


"Three!" they called together and then took a short run up and then leapt up and across the gap. There was a brief moment of panic as Midna’s lack of friction caused her to slide towards the opposite edge of the little platform they’d jumped to, but before she reached it purple dragon claws erupted from her sandal exposed toes and dug into the terrain, preventing any kind of fall.

”Phew, close” she said, before asking ”alright, what’s next” and taking a look across the gap to the other side of the little pit the platform was floating above, one that looked a little bit wider than the one they’d had to just do.

Others had had to use elaborate swinging tricks to pass this, but them? They had tricks of their own to bypass this. Roxas himself was the source of one such trick. With a gesture he was able to generate a basic bridge of virtual cubes they could simply walk across. Of course he assumed it wasn’t always going to be this simple. And he was right. The next platform was a bit elevated and too far for a bridge of cubes to reach. But there were a couple of narrow, vertical wall structures hanging down along the way. And the mittens were able to stick to vertical surfaces for short periods.

"I think we’re gonna have to do some swinging this time around." He admitted, "How do you wanna do this?"

In response to that, Midna reached out with her shadow hand and grabbed the bottom of the first overhang while she was still standing on their jumping off point before saying that ”I think we can get away with just one”

Roxas was pretty sure he had an idea of what she had in mind and nodded. "Got it. You swing us forward and I’ll give us a place to land so we can try to jump the rest of the way." He said and then grabbed her non-shadow hand as a signal that he was ready to go whenever she was.

Midna blinked once in the most miniscule moment of surprise, before flashing him a confident grin as she wrapped the remaining three of her four hands around the back of his hand for a secure grip. Then it was a ”1- 2- 3!” before she leaping off of the edge, using her shadow hand as a rope to swing both of them down under the overhangs and then tossing him forwards, bypassing the 3 underghangs others were using, and sending him towards the end in one fell swoop.

It didn’t look like they quite reached all the way. They would have barely missed the platform, but for the virtual cubes Roxas summoned on its edge in order to make it close enough for them to touch down without any problem. He was also quick to dispel the cubes afterward, to prevent any other teams from utilizing them. Climbing up onto the top of the structure they had just swung underneath was a simple affair. But the next actual platform challenge was… less simple. It started with a long jump onto a very small floating platform, in order words a target that was easy to miss or overshoot. And then three more jumps onto similarly narrow platforms that also increased in elevation followed by a long overhang that blocked anyone from being able to reach the next elevated platform.

"These just keep getting crazier, don’t they?"

”They really do” Midna agreed, before also adding ”Also if you mess up-” as she looked down and down and down at a drop that could well them take them all the way to the start ”well, it's a good thing damage is off but that is a long way to get back up”

Still, they seemed to be making good time, she spotted at least one team down below making much slower progress, but that was no reason to let up the pace. ”You can make it bigger, and even if we miss, I can make a grab for it, so it’s going to be ‘crazier’ for everyone else I think”

”Sounds good.” The Nobody agreed. They pretty much followed that plan exactly. Roxas used virtual cubes to expand the landing area of the jumps. And as for the overhang, they did have to do a bit of momentum swinging to pass underneath. But once they were on the other side, they kicked themselves off the side of the overhang in order for Roxas to instantiate another “staircase” of virtual cubes they could climb to reach the elevated platform. ”Nailed it!” he celebrated. ”Haven’t had any chances to practice with my virtual cubes much, so this climbing race was just what I needed.”

”Still getting used to not being able to levitate here too, so it’s working out for me too” Midna agreed before adding that it was a ”Shame those will only work for you out of here tough”

"What do you mean?" He asked in confusion. A split second later he realized what she meant. "Oh the cubes don’t hurt me at all. They only hurt other people who touch them." He clarified. "Anyway, where are we going next?" He looked around and the only thing he could see was some kind of cave entrance. "I guess we’re going in there next?" He asked as he pointed at the entrance to the mine.

”Right, but i’m going to have to unlearn that they are safe and useful is the thing” the princess clarified before nodding and agreeing that ”that it does seem like it's the only way forwards”

With that said, there was nothing to do but step inside and see what it had in store for them, which turned out to be a bunch of slow moving and fairly narrow platforms. ”So now we have to time the jumps with those? Crazier and crazier” Midna observed, before correcting ”or, well, everyone else does, you can just pop some wherever we need them”

"We gotta be careful about it though." Roxas warned. "I can only create more platforms after I’ve touched a non-cube surface. So we have to make sure we touch the natural platforms in between my virtual ones. Other than that, we should be good." Their somewhat shady tactic had gotten them ahead of most of the other teams. Well, there was one other team that was equally ahead. And that was Captain Falcon and Roland, who’d been managing to blaze through the platforming. And they didn’t even use any virtual ones or anything!

"I think I just figured out who the team to beat is going to be…"

”Look at them go” Midna commented as she stood and watched for a moment, impressed by their straight up skill, before saying ”well then, let’s not get left behind” because the two had definitely been a bit lax in that department thanks to their cheating abilities.

"On it!" Roxas said. The first moving platform was intended to be used to let a team swing their way onto an overhang they could then climb up to where a vertically moving platform awaited. At least, that was the intended way of doing this. Roxas, on the other hand, gave himself and Midna another staircase of virtual cubes that would allow them climb up directly toward the second moving platform, skipping the first one altogether.

Midna then casually reached up to grab onto and pull herself to a little rock below said second platform, only for it to shake in a worrying manner, prompting her to let go. A few moments later, it fell down, only to be replaced by another little rock.

”Nasty. Can’t trust these ones it seems” she said in reference to the rock, but, fortunately, again, they didn’t have too. That was a super easy fix for Roxas, who could just give them a few cubes in about the same spot they could safely stand on without them crumbling beneath their feet. And that also made timing the vertically moving platform easy as well so making it that far was a snap.

”Problem solved. Onto … however many more problems there are” Midna said, before commenting ”You know, I thought these were supposed to be ‘mini’ games, but this is already a lot, and I can only imagine how bad it would be if we fell” right on time for a roar of frustration to come echoing up below that sounded rather distinctly like Bowser being furious about falling who knew how far back down.

”Or maybe there’s some shorter route that we don’t know about?” Roxas suggested. Some of the next sections looked like they relied more on the falling blocks from the looks of it. On the bright side, by now Roxas had figured out that the blocks only crumble and fall when one stands on top of them. So that at least meant they could be trusted so long as the two of them were clinging to the sides. He supposed it wouldn’t matter too much so long as they could keep using his virtual cubes. But that did make him wonder if they would eventually reach a section where those alone weren’t going to cut it.


And with just a few more words and talk, they where off towards the capitol, which was certainly a step up from where presently at importance wise, though as it turned out this fact wasn’t clear to all of them, as Lewa, as it turned out, didn’t know what one of those was.

“A capital is, generally, the biggest city in a country, and it's where the leaders of that country live and do their whole, well, ruling thing thing from” she explained loosely, hoping that at least some of those concepts had a parallel in Lewa’s world, before adding that “if you need me to define any of those words, I can” because if the place he lived had didn’t have capital cities, then maybe it didn’t have nations or rulers or, well, any of those kinds of things.

She wasn’t quite sure if that would make it a better or worse place than the ones that did.

As for the plans of what to get there, well, Remilia and Anne
seemed to want to get an audience with the rulers of the place, and though Anne’s plan certainly seemed better than Remilia’s leaning on noble blood that she couldn’t prove she had, Rayne wasn’t so sure if their reporting of an attack on an outlying village would have that much weight. You’d hope so, but Rayne didn’t exactly have that much trust in authorities these days. One had destroyed most of the life on their world in the name of greed, the other had been full of propagandists who had refused to listen to her when the fate of what little life was left had been at stake.

“I mean, couldn’t we just tell them we are from another world? Assuming we can prove it anyway, that would be something noteworthy to any ruler, surely?” she pointed out. Even if it was only for the novelty factor, meeting extra-dimensional visitors was surely kind of a big deal.

She also suggested that “maybe we should ask some of the caravaners if they’ve heard of the raven heralds, or if the attack would be considered a big deal? Or even just what the leaders or like so we’re prepared for when we get there?” assuming that the well traveled merchants would probably have more of a finger on the pulse of their nation than the villagers living out on its outskirts.
The Veterans

Words: 2128 (+3 exp/rapport)
Bowser: Level 14
EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (203/140) (+1 bonus pending)
Level 13 Blazermate (Holding 5 level up) - (14/130)

”Scaling a mountain? Easy! I could do that in my sleep!” Bowser, who was dressed up like Santa, sans the beard but with a red coat and hat and all the rest (for some reason) declared.

”Why are you dressed up like Santa again?” Blazermate said, having no place to perch herself on his shell thanks to his outfit and instead walking around the big koopa, noting much like him her flight was greatly reduced with the ‘rules’ of this game.

”Because Santa Bowser’s gonna steal all the coins!” the king declared, retorting to criticism of the garb he didn’t even chose, before adding that ”It’s kinda my thing in a lot of these minigame parties most of the time”

”.. But the Namahage are what steal things during xmas, not Santa…” Blazermate said, confused. But then she quickly recovered. ”Wait, you’ve done this before? And multiple times? Huh… Well I guess that means I’ve got a vet on my side! Hope I can pull my weight, hehe.” she said, putting that whole thing aside.

”Ah, but then I’ll be giving them to the good little boy and girl. Or, well, big girl, but she still counts” the king replied, which almost worked out if it weren't for the fact he was competing against said kids as well. As for her praising him as a vet, he agreed that ”and yeah, you’re gonna have to give your best to keep up with this super star!” boastfully

”Don’t worry, I got this. I’m one of the scarier medabots even though I’m a healer. Funny thing, I know you haven’t seen many, but I’m actually one of the faster models hehe.” Although Blazermate, doing her own boast, left out the fact that she was also one of the few medabot models who could both heal, and keep up with the shooting bots with medaforce spam. ”Well, let's get hooked together and ready to climb! No flying for me, but I can climb.”

Although once the two got harnessed, it was almost comical how the under 5ft tall bot was tied to the ginormous koopa king. Blazermate could almost hide behind his leg, and with her lightweight frame, it was almost like Bowser was just climbing by himself.

He did not see the problem with this, and indeed his first thought was to simply too pick up the tiny bot in one claw, check that she was ”Ready for liftoff?” and then to crouch, tense and then leap into the air! Unfortunately, while he did an impressive jump by anyone else's standards, the king’s ability to jump good had also been disabled, and so rather than launch to the top of the cliff face he’d stepped up too, he just face planted right into it. Seeing this, Blazermate hopped out of his claw before he faceplanted along the wall with an ”oof”

Being unable to fly, Blazermate glided down and around Bowser to grab onto him on his side, ”We can’t really use powers, remember? But that means the others can’t as well. And uh… don’t try to squish me against a wall. I saw that happen to a metabee, it didn’t end well.” Blazermate said, almost chastising Bowser a bit after he almost smashed her into a wall with himself. She then, a bit more gracefully, jumped to the next platform. ”C’mon!”

Bowser shook his head clear and then, feeling a tug on the rope attached to him as Blazermate reached the limit of its short length, grunted and said ”Alright alright!” before leaping up alongside her with some regular jumps.

This worked for all of about 2 stories of jump throwable ledges that they could take one at a time, only for them to find a small pit with a floating platform hovering in the center. The first jump should not have been an issue, were it not for the fact that the rope was not long enough to go from one side of the other, which had predictable consequences as Blazermate, who was ahead, went ahead and attempted it first.

She thought she could make the jump, but soon found that the short rope held her back, causing her to miss the platform and glide down slowly before the rope and Bowser held her suspended in the air, the Koopa king soon reeling her back in. ”OK uh…. I guess we need some teamwork on this one. Any fun ideas?” Blazermate asked.

”Hmmmmm. Jumping while holding you didn’t work sooooo” Bowser replied, tapping his chin thoughtfully, before snapping his fingers. A moment later, Blazermate had stepped onto a lower pair of palms and tossed into the air. Naturally, she stopped about half way across the gap, but also far higher above it than she could have jumped herself, and started to slowly glide down. At this point the king leapt across himself, causing him to tug her floating form along behind him like a kite that swooped down to land beside him.

”How you like that!” ”It works, but you're making me feel like more of a toy than I already am!” Blazermate said as she floated down, more teasingly angry than actual angry, still having fun.

When they tried to do this again however, there came an issue: the king simply did not have the legs to leap across the second, longer, gap, resulting in him plummeting down into the snow and dragging Blazermate down with him, her jets stalling in mid air as she struggled to glide with the king in hand. The bot landed on her feet beside him as he pulled his head out of the snow, resulting in both of them getting a good look at the animated signpost of a penguin swinging a second penguin on a rope below the platform.

”What?” Blazermate was confused as well, until she got an idea. ”Oh, maybe we gotta have someone under the platform, someone on top, then we swing them to the next platform and do some weird… uh…. Teamwork thingy instead of both jumping or something. yeah…” Blazermate said, this place confusing her a bit much like Bowser.

”Yeah. Gotta be it” Bowser agreed, before glancing back and seeing that there was a fairly easy way back up to the start of the jump. As such, a few moments later, they were up there and ready to try it. Blazermate glided over to the platform, getting a grip on it so Bowser could swing over. The rope was super, super strong so she was sure it wouldn’t snap… right? Well, this was the best way to find out! She didn’t want Bowser to lose his grip and fall on her, that’d be uncomfortable.

”Alright, here goes!” the several times her size king declared, before leaping back the way they had come, plummeting down into the pit till the rope went taught and then Blazermate was held flat onto the platform as the king swung below her, holding onto the platform instead of the rope so Bowser wouldn’t drag her under. At least unlike before her jets were not’ stalling, but she was still blushing with effort on holding the giant koopa as he swung under her and eventually swung to the proper platform. At least once he managed to get a good jump, his weight mostly carried Blazermate’s jump with the ladybot being much more graceful than the king.

”Phew, we just gotta do that… a bunch of times now I guess. ” Blazermate said, more relieved than tired.

”Then let’s get started!” the king declared, though as it turned out they had to do a bunch of tandem jumps up a set of rising cliffs first, before doing one more swing, before immediately getting stuck again when they got to an awkward overhang

As it turned out, the drop under the overhang was deceptive, as it opened up into a deep pit after they tried and failed to just jump it anyway, which forced them to redo a dozen or so jumps to get back up to said overhang.

”What kinda level design was that, yeesh” the king complained upon getting back up, before glancing at the signpost and trying to work out how they were supposed to be doing this. This one seemed to show a penguin grabbing the side of the wall for another to dangle down from and swing from.

”Someone who likes pain, I think.” Blazermate said, just as confused about the sign as Bowser. Still, they had been making good progress with Bower’s might and Blazermate able to at least help him along and not get in the way over a few others. ”Any ideas? I don’t know what this sign is asking of us either. I’m more for fighting and doing casual stuff. I fly so I don’t need to do parkour…” Blazermate said, looking confused and trying to think of what this meant for them to do.

It took a bit, but after a bit of scouting from Blazermate, she saw a bit of a platform on the other side of the wall, so what they were meant to do was jump down, one holds onto the wall while the other swings. Blazermate suggested Bowser hold the wall til she swung over, since she doubted he could hold all his awesomeness.

Of course, the problem was that after he did this, claws and mits groping the wall nicely, bot easily swung up and under to the other platform …. He now had to come after her while she held the platform and reeled him in, which was, safe to say, a fairly slow process, the little robot heaving with all her might to raise the king up an inch at a time while Bowser climbed the rope himself.

With a claw, he pulled himself up and suggested that they try ”Maybe the, uh, other way around?”

As it turned out they had to try it that way anyway, as they ended getting to some underhangs soon after, where they had to swing one another up and under to get across. Which took time.

Taking time was the best way to describe their progress, as without their supernatural/science abilities, both king and bot proved to not make the most mobile pairing. Said progress made the section involving moving platforms even more infuriating to the king, who fumed at being made to wait for the same platform for the 4th time after failing a subsequent jump and losing piles of progress because of it. Blazermate did what she could to sooth his rage, but to be honest, she was just as annoyed as he was at waiting. They were getting behind!

”Hey, everyone is passing us! We’ve gotta do something!” Blazermate said as they got back to the start of the mine after that fourth tumble.

”I know! I can see that! Stupid jumping people! Gotta be cheating somehow!” Bowser roared up at them, clearly getting very frustrated with this course not just because they were losing, but also because it offended all his own level designing sensibilities.

The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 1,120 (+2)
Bowser: Level 14 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (203/140) (+1 bonus pending)
Bowser Jr: Level 14 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (86/140) (+1 bonus pending)
Kamek: Level 13 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (83/130) (+1 bonus pending)
Rika: Level 9 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////(102/90) (+1 bonus pending)
Location: The Sandswept Sky- Garudo Town -> Carnival town

”Yup” Bowser answered straightforwardly to Pit’s question about if Ganondorf was indeed, well Ganondorf, before clarifying, that, in a way, it wasn't: ”Well except he doesn’t remember last time we had a big get together. Or how he stabbed me in the back that time. Some kind of time nonsense, I dunno” dorf

”Doesn’t remember me from the two times we ‘met’ and stabbed each other either, so very much a load ‘time nonsense’ yes” Midna agreed in passing, having easily picked out the name of that man from the chatter that had started building.

Meanwhile the words ‘food’ and ‘games’ got Bowser and his son’s attention respectively, and both were quick to agree, especially upon hearing the name of the tent

”Ballyhoo’s Big Top? As in MC Ballyhoo?” Bowser asked rhetorically ”I know that guy, he runs the Star Carnival back home. I had a good time messing with people during that one”

”Oh hey, I missed that one!” Jr added clearly excited to replace that missed experience, before adding, even more excitedly ”Do you still think he’s got a prize that’s a year's worth of candy?”

”A year’s worth?” Rika echoed, interest piqued, mouth watering, to which Jr replied ”Yeah! Papa for sure should have stolen that instead of that crummy star rod or whatever it was, all that candy sounds like a way better prize than some silly magic wand”

Kamek was rather glad his king had not stolen that candy, and also that this turned out not to be the prize anymore, as instead, once they got there, it turned out that the rewards were tokens to be used for fashion or in a gacha machine of some kind. Both kids where a fair bit disappointed by that, but the prospect of mystery prizes and candy now rather than later quickly perked them back up again

Still, before they could get any snacks, captain falcon casually blasted past them, resulting in a whole host of questions about who he was, which Pit answered some of, while Bowser filled in a bit of the rest, saying ”They’ve got kart racing at least and our guy Captain Falcon was right on top of the leaderboards. Kinda a big shot around here looks like” before adding ”Probably because I wasn’t around to take that top stop!” boastingly.

The other question was, absurdly (to the troop sans Rika anyway) what a minigame even was.

”Yeesh, really? No one else? Fine fine fine” Bowser sighed, before trying to explain it ”It’s like, well, like a short competition kinda thing, where you race to do a little task or, uh, hmmm” before foundering a bit because really, they were so diverse, how did you narrow it down. It didn’t help that he was often on the other end of the arrangement, forcing people to play his unfair minigames rather than playing them himself.

Jr, who’d played in a few more parties than his papa, jumped in to explain that ”it’s like a party game, or a carnival game, but with way more effort put into making it big and epic. So you could be just skating candy out of a jar, or dodging fuzzies in a plane, or looking for a heart, or racing to be the first to the middle of a platform covered in banana peels, or riding trikes or nabbing pancakes or catching falling fruit, or herding penguins, or copying poses or, or, or,” before running out of breath

The panting prince was handed a cup with straw and lid by his sister, which he slurped upon noisily to parch his throat, finding a tasty non-brand cola drink within, and then before he could start up all over again wondered where she’d got it from. Glancing back, he found that the princess had taken an unsupervised moment to purchase five grab bags worth of snacks and drinks which were now hanging from a finger each on one of her oversized gauntlet hands. She had, it seemed, made little distinction between healthy and unhealthy options, as she had to finish crunching on half a carrot stick before commenting that all that ”Sounds neat!”

”Yeah, that’s coz it is neat” Jr agreed, before reaching up a grabby hand and demanding ”Now gimmy” and receiving a bag dropped into his hands by a little flick of his sister’s finger.

”I got some for everyone, and two for papa” Rika said as she did the drop, before artfully flicking the other bags over to the two elder koopas, who replied ”This might be a little much?” and ”good thinking kid” in an entirely predictable manner to her casual clandestine food shopping.

Kamek sighed, accepted that what was done was done, and said ”Let me at least reimburse you for all the rest, so you aren't using your funds for us” as he reached for his pocket to get her some cash, only for Rika to shake her head and reply ”I wanted to buy this stuff for you, so it's something I wanted to buy for me, i guess?”

”Oh? So a gift then? How very kind of you Rika” the mage replied with a smile of encouragement, realizing that it was not really a concept she’d have been directly introduced to, and then feeling a little bad about that.

”Is that what it is?” Rika asked with a head tilt, before nodding and agreeing that ”Then yeah, its a gift” which put a smile back on Kamek’s face.

It dipped a little when Jr complained that ”Aw ew what’s this squishy fruit thing” complaining about an apricot, and then returned along with a little snort of a laugh when Rika to lean in and said ”oh, I wanted to try those, can I have them? I’ll trade you something I tried already” to Jr, the mage realized what was going on.

A quick glance at what was on offer and a rough guess at the size of the bags in comparison confirmed his suspicion that she’d bought one of everything, and was now engaging in what was a recurring trend of food trading so she could sample each and every thing on offer.

At that point, everyone was heading inside, and so Bowser swallowed the mass of treats he was chewing and declared ”Let’s not get left behind, Troop! First we trounce everyone at those minigames, then we Mc Ballyhoo dry of prizes, and after we’ll go out, have some more fun, and get Rika a gift of her own!” which got a cheer of excitement from Jr, and ”oh is that how gifts work?” from RIka, and a proud smile from Kamek, who hadn’t even had to suggest that last idea.

wordcount: 2,180 (+3) (+2 rapport per character)
Midna: level 9 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (22/110) (+1 bonus pending)
Primrose @Yankee
Level: 10 - Total EXP: 215/100

Level 11 Sectonia (holding 5 level up) - (108/110)
Warp Charges: 1

Warp Charges: 1

Once the general introduction had finished up, and a plan of action set into course (minigames, whatever those were) Midna intentionally slipped her way between the various sized turtles in order to seek out two familiar faces among the other team: Primrose and Sectonia.

Her own was mostly the same, a little more average perhaps, but a lot else had changed. For one she looked almost human, and had gone from imp to giant of a woman, had actual clothes on that were a rather edgy mix of reds and blacks, and her helm and mask’s combined visage was now that of a snarling demon. It was certainly a look. As where the two extra glowing orange arms she was sporting, which she used to wave and get both of their attention before she said ”Hello you two, long time no see”

Primrose had been intending to seek the Twilight Princess out herself in order to catch up. Therion had already split up from the dancer in order to give the ladies some space to talk, so it was fortunate Midna had the same idea. She smiled lightly at Midna even as she raised one elegant eyebrow at the extra set of limbs.

"I wouldn't have recognized you if you hadn't introduced yourself," she said. How very different Midna looked now than when she and Primrose had started out across the desert. Or even since last they saw each other. Even her distinctive helmet, though by far still the most recognizable part of the former imp, had changed. She looked strange for sure, but any stranger than some of the other Seekers? Primrose didn't really think so.

But her appearance wasn't as important as the fact that she had appeared. With all of the casualties the purple team had gone through, and the fate of some on the other team that Midna mentioned in passing, it was just nice to see friends and familiar faces still around. And Primrose said as much. "Regardless, it's good to see you."

”I’m a bit of a mess, but better this than that cursed little form so I’ll take it” Midna replied. If she could, she’d have tinkered with the combination before now, but with Peach as she was, that wasn’t an option she was aware she had.

"Cursed...?" the dancer asked, thinking back on if the princess had suffered some kind of curse or if she'd become afflicted with it recently.

”Oh, of course, right” Midna replied, realizing that they didn’t have context, before briefly explaining that ”It's a long story, but I wasn’t always an imp, I just keep being cursed into the form of one. Well by keep I mean twice, but still, that is two times to many” and then elaborating that ”I am usually, well, around this tall and this human shape, though with the coloration of my imp form rather than all this” she gestured vaguely at her very human tan skin ”So, getting there, even if the journey has been a bit, well, messy”

So Midna had been cursed since the beginning? That was unfortunate. Primrose nodded her understanding, not sure how to reply. At least it didn’t seem like a big deal to the princess.

”You meanwhile are looking a lot more, well coherent, by comparison” more so that when they had left, she almost thought, before agreeing that ”it’s good to see you too”

At the coherency comment, Primrose gestured down to her dress and exaggerated her walk a little so that the fabric would swish and sparkle pleasantly. She was quite pleased with the garment after all, so had no qualms about showing it off more. "That would be courtesy of a professional tailor."

”Now there’s something we should get for the ship” Midan replied, briefly fantasizing about the benefits of having proper royal staff again, before asking ”So did the, what was it, Under, have those? It doesn’t exactly sound like the place that would”

"You'd be right. We stopped by Gerudo Town earlier this morning."

”Looks like I should have gone in when we visited the first time then” Midna sighed, though finding this latest penitence for Urbosa more amusing than galling, before asking ”So what was the Under like then?”

”It was difficult keeping any kind of grace in such a disgusting place. It was so bad, that even the Guardian hid itself in a separate realm to keep its beauty.” Sectonia said, looking over Midna. Primrose hummed an agreement. "Most of its inhabitants were bugs or monsters, and there was an infection rampant among them. Though... it almost sounds like you had it just as bad in the city. "

”We’ll need to fix you up.” Sectonia mentioned; Midna’s dark aspect acting strangely with Sectonia’s new spirit. Perhaps once Midna was presentable again, this would recede.

”Well when you put it like that” Midna replied, squinting as she met the queen’s sunlit gaze, reminded now of how to the point the other royal could be. Still, she wasn’t exactly disagreeing either, she could very much go for a look that involved a lot less red, and so replied that ”Maybe we can look into that after these ‘minigame’ things”

As it turned out, doing so would be very convenient, as the group arrived at the big top and were filled in about the prizes said games could offer, including, of all things, stylizing and outfitting services.

”Huh, well there we go then” Midna said, as the explanation came to an end, briefly pausing to blink at confusion at the appearance of the very chipper racer (who, according to a convenient bark of recognition from Bowser, was Captain Falcon), asked ”anything stand out as worth competing for? Or eating? I think I burned all the energy I got from lunch already so a little something wouldn’t hurt” referring to the snacks on sale.

”The Bowser clan needs some new fashion. They look very disheveled from their adventure in the Under. Considering how much Bowser himself gets into brawls, its going to have to be something… easier to manage. Ugh, making a simple fashion thing for him is going to be a challenge.” Sectonia said with her displeasure of the situation clear. ”Plus it would be best to see what accessories they have. Perhaps they have something worthwhile, I’ve come to learn that this place is a random grab bag of what you will and will not or even what is and isn’t in a specific spot. I ate a pepper and now I can breath fire, for example..” Sectonia said, blowing a small spiral of fire.

”That... Goddesses really?” Midna replied, blinking in surprise, having not run into any of those kinds of power-ups as of yet, before asking ”is that… has that kind of thing happened more than once?” before peering at the confectionery on offer with a bit more suspicion than was really warranted. It wasn’t like she knew what most of it was after all.

Sectonia nodded and summoned a golden Antler, which was bigger than herself and way bigger than Midna and Primrose. She then pointed at it casually as it began to flex. ”Not only did an item upgrade my ability to summon Antlers, but another one greatly increased their size and strength. The red ones are as big as I am now, which does lead to quite the intimidating army I must admit.” Sectonia said.

”I can only imagine” Midna replied, briefly mentally picturing the titanic force, before skeptical asking ”But what are the down sides to this?” simply assuming that other methods of acquiring power in this new world were just as temperamental as spirits.

”From what I can tell, they are only cosmetic or inflict a bit of suffering before giving you the power. Eating a pepper that lets you breathe fire is… unpleasant. ” Sectonia said. She then remembered something since Midna wasn’t part of the previous team. ”I also got this item, which has been very useful.” Sectonia said, pulling out the Trinket smelter. ”This powerful item allows us to absorb the power of items, turning all items into the previous things I mentioned, however only passive effects are transferred, not active ones.”

”Well, I’ll have to keep an eye out for those then” Midna said, not at all one to turn down options to acquire more power.

While the two of them talked at the counter, Primrose had briefly stepped away to actually place an order. The food selection in the circus tent was mostly snacks, and it featured healthier options like apple slices, to what basically amounted to sugar on a stick. A multi-colored variety of rock candy claimed to increase the luck of whomever consumed it, justifying its higher price tag. Ultimately though, the dancer went for something simple, cheap, and shareable: a bucket of popcorn.

"There were some other things we learned in the Under that you'll want to know," she said, effortlessly slipping back into the conversation. She was thinking of what Asgore had told them, and about the Confessor’s ability. But the information from the former was quite a lot to learn, and neither quite the topic for a colorful, upbeat place like this to say the least. "It's important, though not pressing. In the meantime, here."

She presented the popcorn to the other two for them to take. Each little kernel had a tasty, salty, buttery flavor.

”We’ve learned some things to. It-” Midna replied, pausing to sigh as the fate of their home base and the age of the world pressed themselves to the forefront of her thoughts, only to then lightly shake her head and decided to follow Primrose’s lead, saying ”-it can wait. Better to have fun when we can than dwell on things.” Then, in the spirit of that, move to pick up, briefly examine, and then pop a piece of popcorn in her mouth. There was a little crunch, a sound of mild enjoyment, and then the princess found her hand going for more without even thinking about it.

”Huh. Pretty good, very, um, more-ish?” she concluded before consuming another singular kernel.

Sectonia eyed the candy, being the sweet tooth bug she was, especially the magic candy. Although she lost interest the moment she saw the buff was temporary. Grabbing her own thing of popcorn, since her size would cause her to probably go through the other lady’s bucket far too fast, Sectonia joined the two in a bit of munching. ”Well, if what the ‘ringmaster’ said was true, I suppose we will need to form teams at times. I just wonder what these ‘minigames’ will entail. Hopefully nothing too disgusting or unbecoming.” Sectonia said.

Given the rather clean looking prize and salon areas and the general upbeat feel of the place, Primrose couldn't imagine they'd be put through anything heinous. Well, actually she could imagine it, but she didn't think it would happen. It did sound like both she, Midna, and Sectonia weren't didn't quite know what "minigames" were. Primrose was envisioning small, quick games like those played by children, but she also expected that some of the Seekers were more familiar and would loudly explain things before everyone went in, if the hosts didn't do so themselves.

”I’m going to go out on a limb and guess silly, but there’s really only one way to find out” Midna replied, Sectonia chiming in, ”Watch the koopa clan boast they’ve done tons of minigames, like they do about everything.” While Midna was gesturing towards the curtain with two out of 4 limbs and asking ”shall we?”

Why not? Primrose thought. It was what they were all here for anyway, some fun after the ordeals they'd all gone through. Primrose hadn't played any real games, mini or otherwise, since she herself was a child. And with so many people playing, this would be amusing if nothing else.

"We shall. After you, ladies."


“Well, I’m glad that’s resolved at least” Rayne said once the guard captain gave tacit agreement for them to come along with the caravan. With what had just happened, it seemed like very much a secondary compared to what had just happened regarding the appearance and disappearance of someone from Sanae (and co)’s world.

The witch knight had been patient, but she very much leaned in with great interest as the explanation to what had happened was given, only to tilt back in the air and give an exasperated groan once it had been delivered.

“So what’s needed for a connection back home is a link to a goddess. A thing I had up until about 5 seconds before being pulled here by another one who has just the worst timing” she said as she righted herself, explaining her frustration before it could be taken the wrong way, before sighing, and conceding that “Well, she wasn’t exactly the interventionist type anyway” unlike the one that had brought them here. Plus, thinking about it a bit more, if she didn’t have her Link to the people of her world any more, which was a thing she was optimistically assuming was a world hoping thing and not a ‘they were all dead due to there being no goddess of life and death any more’ thing, would she have still had one to Gaia?

“At least it means we have someone else working on this and, I suppose, that we now know this world hopping power isn’t something exclusive to the goddess who brought us here. So… options! Options are good, right?” she suggested, mostly trying to bring some optimism back to herself rather than dwelling on the unknown fate of everyone back home.
Hope has been updated to match the requested and suggested changes

when i say fleet i was mostly just thinking of it being not much larger than the 4 ships belonging to the AIs listed. Probably a better word for it. Flotilla maybe? Either way, most of the guardians are on the ground, so my own assumption was it would be more likely that ground mission failures followed by consul boarding actions would be what did them in

interesting question that on the specifics of who contributed what to the child Ai, hmmmm.

Karan S'jet, technically being a brain in a jar plugged into a ship more than an Ai, provided a base human mind upload to work as a baseline template, Adam much of it's encouraging demeanor, ROB it's ability to act in sync with other's commands, and EDI the em warfare and ability to control no ship things.
lost number app: possible pilot, mainly there because I like ship AIs

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