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Kasumi Nakano


Gold Experience scoffed openly at Alison, both at her demands and her foolishness in actually revealing her name. "You don't get to make demands of me. This isn't a negotiation, and my identity isn't for sale. If you want my name, you can earn it. For now, just call me Sakura," it said without a smidge of compromise. Kasumi could already understand thoroughly that for this woman, information was power, and she had no intention of handing any regarding herself over if and until absolutely necessary. Besides, it wasn't like this so-called "Alison" couldn't also be lying about her own name. So, an alias is what she'd be getting, and she'd just have to be happy with it. "I'll work with you, but I don't need your resources or your skills, just your pact of non-hostility." It glanced at the corpse on the table.

Gold Experience clicked its tongue at Jotaro's words but nodded. "You're not wrong. I'd say my actions speak for themselves, but skepticism is justified." Folding its arms behind its back, it stepped over to the table, not making any sudden movements and keeping an eye on Jotaro's reactions. "As much as police oversight would be a pain in the ass, I'll allow it if that's really the price to get what I need." Glancing down at the corpse that it now stood beside, its expression wrinkled at the smell. "As for what I need from the corpse... Nothing. I do not need something from the corpse. I need the entire corpse, period. Don't worry," it assured Jotaro. "My ability will not tamper with the corpse's integrity. The 'evidence' will remain exactly the same when returned as it was when I removed it."

Unfolding a hand from behind its back, Gold Experience reached out, ripples of golden light beginning to spill from its fingertips. "The ability of Gold Experience is simple in concept, yet broad in application," it explained for the benefit of its audience. "My Stand has the ability to imbue life energy into anything it touches. Upon doing so, for a non-living target, that life energy gives it life." It touched the corpse, and ripples of gold pulsated into its form. This was all quite a bit more showy than Kasumi preferred to be with her ability, but she figured it was for the best in this case. The corpse of the murder victim began to physically bulge and morph, suddenly shrinking down several feet in moments... before wriggling to life as a harmless king snake.

Gold Experience reached down and gently scooped up the reptile, which rather docilely took the treatment, its head darting around, as it slithered in Gold Experience's grasp. The Stand let it be, letting it coil around and travel up each limb in turn, before providing the other for it to climb back on, and as it did, the snake would occasionally pause and dart its head up, consistently gazing in approximately the same direction each time. "All life retains connections... bonds," Gold Experience continued. "When I create a living creature, that creature instinctively understands when it is not... 'whole' and seeks out what it's missing... the remainder of what it once was." The golden Stand smiled. "And that is where we get to the meat of my plan, because this mass murderer, fool that they are, has been taking physical trophies." It chuckled darkly. "The Cobbler's foot fetish will be their undoing, because now that I have the part of the corpse they left behind... I can use this snake to track the feet they kept."

Its grin was filled with eager teeth, as it chuckled. "And if this corpse doesn't work out? Well, all I need to do is try again with the next newest victim and so on. The fresher, the better. Eventually, that rat bastard will have nowhere to hide."

Kasumi Nakano


"Tch," Golden Experience clicked its tongue in annoyance at the voice that range out behind it. "Don't be ridiculous. Those are my lines." With the transformation on the door prepared, this room was already one step short of a death-trap if things went sour, after all, not that she was going to boldly declare as much. Perhaps it was a preemptive assumption but... "I wasn't sure before, but I think I am now." Gold Experience grinned. The invisible Stand user might have had some inhuman strength, but the fact that they resorted to ranged attacks implied they were much less threatening than she'd first feared. Even if they had the element of surprise, their range was clearly short, and they could seemingly only attack with mundane projectiles, useless against a Stand. They would have to use that strength directly in melee, and unless they could ensure their first blow was a total KO, all they would do is reveal their truest position and open themselves up for her superior speed to retaliate. Even if she had to attack blindly, she was sure she could at least make sure the score was even. And only one of them could presumably heal from the results of such gambles.

"Even if you both allied against me, I doubt you'd prevail. That I even bothered to so much as show my Stand's face is proof enough of my own... preferably amiable intentions." Its expression turned fairly dry, as it repositioned to keep in sight both the area containing Jotaro and the place the invisible Stand user's voice had rung out from. "And that I'm the only one here that hasn't attacked first -or at all- for that matter." Because like hell she was going to let that go so quickly. The kind of shitshow they had almost devolved into because of this other woman's actions...

Subtly planting dormant life energy into the floor-tiles as it walked, Gold Experience backed up until it was lounging against the door again, crossing its arms and favoring Jotaro with a huff of amusement. "Destroy the evidence? Don't be absurd. If I wanted to obstruct the investigation, I wouldn't have revealed myself. I'm no fool." It tilted its head, favoring him with a condescending sneer. "What a useless threat. Jail me? In your dreams. No mundane containment can hold me, and unless you've got other Stand users in the force, you've got to sleep sometime..." Gold Experience chuckled. "This, of course, assuming you could even get my actual body in a cell to begin with, but I digress. I will get what I want today." That this would be so whether she had approval or not was left without saying.

Shaking its head, Gold Experience rapped its fingers on its elbows. "As for what I want? A lead on the serial killer, this 'Cobbler' or whatever moniker you prefer. My ability will allow me to create a fairly reliable one, and all I need..." It pointed a finger at the slab of a table. "Is that corpse to make it."
@Lewascan2 For starters, inducing early noesis is a quick way to make manaburn barbeque out of your kid, assuming one understood the process enough to even try, and soul alteration in general rarely leads to anything positive for the one being altered. Seems like a massive risk to take for a mere ~3-4 years of extra magical training that's probably wasted on a 7 year old that won't understand any of it anyway.

The magic section is also well beyond what an 18 year old mage would be capable of; even expert necromancers have a hard time finely commanding scores of undead beyond giving vague directions to the entire shambling horde at once. Same with unraveling other mages' spells and reshaping biology, which are other schools of magic entirely and usually have a High Magic component. As for the whole ghost part, trying to pull a spirit or some semblance of a lingering essence from a dead body only works if it has freshly died, otherwise the soul would have vacated its earthly fetters by then and be unretrievable. Spirits rarely linger unless acted upon by magic designed to do so. Likewise, the rest of her skillset is way too broad and developed for a teenager, let alone one that was a child soldier. Only so many hours in a day and whatnot.

As for the items, the whole crypt is pretty much out the window in terms of enchantment complexity. It'd take a team of archmages to run something like that long-term and it definitely wouldn't be portable. The staff's fine, but the part about self-maintenance doesn't work. Luckily staves are pretty hardy and only substantially degrade after prolonged use or in absolutely massive spells that are probably worth melting a staff or two in the long run.

Alright, I think I've handled the designated problem areas. Forced noesis chucked and a minor age bump added with other parts of the sheet adjusted appropriately; will simply say she experienced early noesis, since that's not unheard of. Crypt is out, removed self-maintenance thing on staff, and added a different second magic item; since you mentioned the mask before and I did really get inspired at the time, decided to do something with that. Magic section reworked and slimmed enough that the whole thing can now actually fit in a single screenshot.

& Lotus Squadron

Intermission 1 Collab: "Upgrades people. Upgrades."

Participants: @Lewascan2, @Conscripts

Audience Hall, Sison Auditorium, Municipality of Lingayen - 10/11/2022, 6:30 UTC+8

By the time Rear Admiral Adrián Abasolo had returned order to the meeting and started quietly consulting with Noel, Qingshe was already heading for the door. While a part of her was glad to see the breakdown of the command structure had been nipped in the bud and no further intervention on her part necessary, she couldn't help feel some curdle of dissatisfaction.

Shooting a final glance back, slitted golden eyes narrowed at the form of Myron, before the door shut behind her.

Clucking her tongue, she mulled over what just happened, as she strode the halls of the repurposed auditorium. Again, that dissatisfaction pervaded her thoughts. The actions of the First Lieutenant... Admittedly, they made her worry. Not for herself, particularly, but for the rest of the Task Force.

She couldn't shake the feeling that Obsidian was going to be in over their head, that ASEAN, particularly the Philippines, was putting too much of their hopes on a group comprised mostly of glorified mercenaries and volunteers. Oh sure, the Task Force had mundanes among them, like the impressive Lotus Squadron, but the real meat of things was clearly the Arms Masters...


Perhaps she could do something about that.

Sending out a thin thread of her shadow with an eyeball peering from it, she quickly cast her gaze back along the way she came, navigating the barracks until she came across the Vietnamese pilots.


Casting her thread of shadow out of sight, the shadow at her feet expanded, and she dipped into the bubbling depths. Only a moment later, her head broke the surface of a spot just outside of eye-witnesses. No need to rile up observers after all.

Retracting the majority of her shadow, she turned the corner and smiled brightly, approaching the pilots with a languid, inviting stride. "Gentlemen of Lotus Squadron, a distinct pleasure~. I come with a proposition."

The Russian man was not the first one closest to the snake lady, but he was the first to approach her quite freely and openly, the one least likely to be fazed by the presence of neither Noble Arms masters nor the fact that she was inadvertently introduced as a Chinese defector. He too stepped over the presence of another individual, his squadron captain Tuan, but the man didn't put his foot down. It was good to have subordinates who took initiative.

"Ladies too. But we digress." Nikolay extended a handshake standing straight with confidence. "We're glad to be worth your attention. Let me grab my buddy first."

Nikolay briefly remembered seeing his friend speaking to this white-haired girl presumably from the Task Force, so he went back into the auditorium, seeing his black neat hair from a distance away, standing out from the very 'interesting' and exceptionally diverse hairstyles everybody sported. He made sure to wave for his attention and signalled him to come over.

"Alright, Ms. Qingshe. What do you have for us?" Nikolay said, once Cuong arrived by his side.

Smiling wider with a glint of teeth, Qingshe's eyes squinted pleasantly, as she clasped Nikolay's hand and shook firmly. "The pleasure's all mine, Mr. Phan~." She waited patiently, releasing the shake, while the Russian called over Cuong.

As soon as they returned and her intentions inquired after, her posture became a touch more business. "To be forthright, gentlemen, what happened in that briefing room wasn't pleasant to watch, and I shall admit, as much as I wish I could trust such a flub to not happen again, I can't shake the idea that it won't... in a much more high-stakes environment next time."

"Therefore, I find myself compelled to 'hope for the best and prepare for the worst'... as they say." Cupping her chin with her right palm, she asked, "What do you know of my Noble Arm?"

"Well, we're all ready to die here, aren't we?" Cuong made a sort of morbid joke, which while receiving mixed responses, everyone were relatively onboard with Qingshe's mentality, nodding along. When the question regarding Qingshe's Noble Arms came up, the rest of the squadron, including the captain and Cuong looked at Nikolay, seeming to egg him to answer, with smug looks. They knew...

"You people." Nikolay rolled his eyes before looking at Qingshe. "As far as our intelligence go, you have a tower shield, lots of sharp edges, works like hoverboards too. You control your own shadows, snatch people and create fancy stuffs with it." He said rather vague descriptions, some of them were on propaganda before it got tore down due to her defection, but some could be deduced as works of military intelligence. To which extent though is quite unknown.

Qingshe chuckled at Cuong's morbid quip. "Some more ready than others. Resigned even. Personally, I've never subscribed to such an 'it can't be helped' mentality." Fighting until the bitter end, flipping the bird to the dying light. She could honestly say she valued humanity's spite and defiance far more than she'd ever appreciate those useless louses that decided to accept the end was near before it was already upon them.

Turning her attention to Nikolay, she chuffed in amusement at the description of her ability. "Well, I suppose that's not incorrect data. Incomplete by far, but ultimately not flawed." Rapping the fingers of the hand cupping her face upon her cheek, she smiled. "While I don't feel quite at liberty to explain its every nuance, Ouroboros allows me to manage a sort of... workshop space. I can create anything I sufficiently understand, and anything I drag into my shadow's workshop space long enough becomes something I understand in due time."

The greenette gestured vaguely in the direction of where the medical area of the base had been established. "You may have seen the line provoked by my work before, but among other things, this 'understanding' allows me to heal or repair with a bit of individual study. And, more relevantly to my proposition specifically, I can modify and improve things I understand, whether they be a person or the weapons they wield."

Raising a brow, she grinned congenially. "I suppose you might have an idea where I'm headed with this, but before we go any further, I suppose I should inquire. Are you authorized to requisition Arms Master-derived equipment or modifications of either a technological or biological nature?" She chuckled. "I'd hate to think I did something too overt and caused you trouble in the long run."

Both pilots looked at each other, stroking their chin upon the idea. Their immediate response that came to mind would be yes. As weird as it sounded, Noble Arms military members weren’t this group of juggernauts completely separated from the main body of the army, at least for the Vietnamese’s. In fact, a large amount of equipment maintenance and resupply were done by one of their own Noble Arms, a surprising decision to put one of their scarce high-ranks into logistics work rather than the glamour of open-battle. But in this case, it was more dubious, as not only she had the baggage of being a defector, the QRS had not proven themselves much in terms of loyalty or even capability just yet, having barely declared their alliance to ASEAN.

But for the boots on the ground, or in this case the joysticks in the air, they knew of Qingshe’s feat in the Lingayen battle, and her efforts in tending for the army afterwards. It’s at least worth hearing what she had to say.

”Yes, but then again, you’re you. It’s a bit more complicated.” Cuong said, laying out the premise with as much neutrality as possible. ”Maybe if you can let us in further on what you want to do to our equipment, it’ll help us figure out if we can.”

Qingshe gave a tiny little patter of claps at the positive answer, before giggling mildly at Cuong pointing out, indeed, a notable hiccup. "Indeed, I am me. I won't claim I'm not, nor that I've had some dramatic heel-face turn as a person. What I did under China was not entirely under orders... but past a certain point, the lines they crossed went beyond even the idea of a greater good for humanity or even their own people. Our differences became irreconcilable, and so... here I am." She shrugged, as her grin sharpened. "Naturally, that's why I cannot condemn Agent Myron without it being frank hypocrisy. My misgivings are personal."

"As for potential modifications?" She smirked, tapping her pouting lip for a moment in contemplation. "Among others, improvements to handling, structural integrity, and a more... generous fuel supply are certainly on the board, but I figured you gentlemen would know best~!" She chuckled. "And if you're feeling like taking the biological plunge, then, personally, that's where I think we can get much more exciting. Bodies more resilient to G-Forces, vision and reflexes brought to the peak of human performance -if not beyond- and even more still if you but pose the idea. The sky's the limit really; after all, I like to think the biological is my specialty."

Slitted eyes squinting amiably, she elaborated, "Who else should I ask what could use improvement than those for whom those planes are but extensions of their bodies? For all their uniform production, I'm aware to some degree that Occult Programming Language has been used, given their performance. And with that, there are bound to be some... 'quirks'." Rapping her fingers on her cheek lightly, she asked, "So, then, I figured before all else, what would you like to see improved if you could?"

”Wow, sounds ambitious. Personally, I’m down for both, but…” Nikolay glanced over to his two colleagues, who were pretty clear from their countenance alone. ”Maybe the equipment for now, because that’s easier to get used to in such a short period of time that we’re allowed to prepare for this operation. Our high command definitely would have questions, but easier to ask for forgiveness than permissions, am I right?”

Especially if it came from the nation’s top fighter squadron, it’s a bit hard to put much disciplinary action on them without coming off looking bad.

”We’re down for all those upgrades, though if we’re going for those body upgrades, there is one thing for our aircrafts that at the very least I’m down for.”

“That would be for later though, Nikolay.” Finally the squadron captain, Tuan, spoke up. “Structural integrity, handling, fuel capacity is good yes, but also armaments too. There is a certain ratio of fuel/missiles that we maintain, so as not to use too much precious fuel reserved for our troops.”

“As for the biological upgrade, that’ll have to be consulted. Likely the high command wouldn’t refuse you, but will be sending someone to observe the work, so as not to, you know.”

Qingshe nodded easily, her smile unwavering. Any improvement at all was improvement worth celebrating. Even if Lotus Squadron's high command ended up turning down the idea of biological modifications, just upgrading their armament would be a net win in the long run.

"I can certainly help with getting used to any changes made," Qingshe replied. "I should be able to manufacture some form of simulators, so you don't need to go through the inconvenience of scheduling full drills in what limited time we have before tomorrow's operation." Humming to herself, she nodded. "Yes, I think that would do nicely. We can test-run modifications as they are considered, find what's most comfortable for you."

"As for what upgrades are practical..." Her emerald brow pinched in thought. "Well, without biological improvements to handle more extreme performance, what I can do for handling and speed will be limited. Otherwise it would just endanger you due to the aforementioned G-force stress. So, I suppose you'd rather prioritize structural integrity, fuel, and armament?" Her lips pursed, before she tacked on, "Maybe a bit more power to the thrust, just in case the other improvements add a bit more weight than preferred."

"A simulator? That's quite a convenience eh?" Nikolay remarked, glancing at Qingshe up and down. "Thrust certainly works. The less work we need to adjust, the better. But..." Cuong's eye-roll already gave hints to what crazy idea this guy had. "If we're going for biological improvements later on, I'm gonna want more of that thrust capability."

"Well, anymore of the talk would just be theoretical at this point." Tuan waved his hands to get the attention on him. "May we introduce you to the women of our dreams then? My Sukhoi is still under repair from the last fight, but it's the final steps and should be ready when the operation commences."

"I'll toss some ideas around, but I think I can cobble together something passable," Qingshe replied airily, a cheeky grin betraying the more casual nature of her confidence. Giving it some thought, perhaps if she utilized a bit of Occult Programming Language, she could simulate flight conditions inside some... pods? Booths? "Perhaps something akin to those arcade games, but a little more... elaborate." She chuckled to herself, mind still whirring with possibilities. She couldn't quite recall making something like this before specifically, so it would be a brand new project, off the cuff and with limited time to experiment, a thought that raised a bubbling of earnest anticipation in her chest.

Nodding to Tuan, she gestured broadly with a sweep of her left arm. "By all means, lead the way~! Let's get your ladies spruced up in the latest fashion, shall we? There's a party on the horizon that they can hardly afford to miss. Ah~, and..." Her lips curled impishly, eyes squinting in mirth. "I do believe I should have no trouble expediting Sukhoi's repairs should she be in timely reach of us."

Kasumi Nakano


Jotaro seemingly did not care to humor her banter. While her Stand's expression remained unchanged, Kasumi found the tense smile on her own face slipping a bit, as the officer Stand user seemingly completely ignored her opening conversation starters, while the other two mundane officers became frustrated with their lacking tools. She couldn't help but scoff internally at the fact that there weren't spare prepared in the same room. Her smile transitioned into a frown, as the officers began to head for the door.

There was no way he didn't see her, right? What the hell? She was using her Stand to talk. Why wasn't he doing the same? Her brows furrowed, before realization dawned. Jotaro's Stand was those vines, wasn't it? Was it physically unable to talk? Well, that was rather embarrassing, but she could be patient. Now, she understood why Jotaro was waiting for the officers to leave.

Fine, if it took relinquishing a bit of unsaid leverage, she'd do it... but not without taking a little more.

As the two coroners passed right by it, Gold Experience casually side-stepped into their space, letting its selective tangibility do the work of passing its ghostly body through them both while body blocking the doorway from allowing a potential third unseen individual from slipping out with them. She still didn't know the third Stand user's intentions, but she intended to find out by hook or crook... preferably level-headed conversation. Meanwhile, as the door closed behind the Stand-

Her thoughts were interrupted by a whistling noise in the air, followed by something imbedding in the wall next to her Stand's head. Throwing its senses into overdrive, her Stand's head snapped to the wall and then back in a flicker and then back again. For a moment, Kasumi could only stare at the hole in the wall in bewilderment, before her Stand reached out to feel what must have been the still invisible scalpel solidly buried there.

If the Stand could sweat, it would have. It wasn't all that durable, and that sort of attack would have been... bad if it had been a Stand-based damage effect, especially given she hadn't been able to see it coming. Honestly, Kasumi couldn't even be sure the attack had missed on purpose! Terrible precision combined with inhuman strength wasn't an uncommon thing after all. More than that, this absolute buffoon was super lucky! If they had attacked while she had active transformed life forms at her back (as she had considered leading with), that attack would have just been reflected back with a brutal and automatic lack of hesitance. Still... this could work in her favor.

"Okay, rude. Honestly, you don't understand the bullet you just-" Gold Experience's mildly tense joviality was interrupted yet again by Jotaro's impassivity suddenly being clearly wiped from the map by that invisible little shit's impulsivity.

The officer hurled a pencil, sparking yellow, at the golden Stand, and the friendly expression disappeared from its face entirely. Not wanting to gamble on this projectile also being safe to touch, Kasumi refused to underestimate the innocuous nature of the attack. Gold Experience casually side-stepped it, its vastly inhuman speed far outstripping any chance of the human-thrown pencil making contact with it, and just to be safe, it twisted so it could pay attention to where the pencil's flight ended up in the corner of its insectoid vision, just in case it had any more annoying surprises to offer.

Now standing a bit closer to the autopsy table, Gold Experience's tone was flat, as it addressed Jotaro, paying his words to "halt" or whatever about as much respect as he had clearly shown Kasumi's. "Are you about finished... with this." It gestured vaguely in a rather derogatory manner, annoyance oozing from its aura. It's pupilless purple eyes made the fact that it was thoughtfully eyeing a nearby lab coat on a wall rack impossible to discern. "Muda muda... That was so pointless, so useless. I despise putting up with useless things. Are we really doing this right now?" Sure, she was aware the average Stand user was rather trigger happy, but after she'd clearly come in peace, this was a bit much, right? Nonetheless, Gold Experience subtly ensured the repositioning from its side step left itself so that what was behind it from Jotaro's direction was the door to the room.

Kasumi Nakano

As the autopsy progressed, Kasumi found her brows furrowing in growing frustration. Admittedly, she hadn't expected this whole affair to be quite so... lengthy. Then again, she'd never attended an autopsy before, and in hindsight, it was pretty obvious it was never going to be a quick or casual thing by any means. Although... she found herself getting annoyed.

Half the things Jotaro was saying must have been nonsense. The injury could have only come from above? How in the fuck could he tell that? A ridiculous assertion, given the variety of angles an attack could be directed from, combined with the victim's positioning being unknown as of the time they received the wound. Something as simple as an overhead swing with a melee weapon could explain it, never mind whether the victim had been standing or not. The idea that the killer had attacked from a fire escape or the like was pure speculation. Sure, she didn't want to recklessly dismiss the possibility out of hand, but the surety they spoke with in regard to it was strange.

Similarly, the conclusions regarding the largest wound were ridiculous. Honestly, sure, most of these officers didn't have much to go on as those presumably unaware of Stand Users, but a blowtorch? Really? There was no way it would have been able to cauterize the wound fast enough to stop the victim's innards from spilling everywhere. The fact that this wasn't messier was a miracle. No, cauterization via blowtorch would have been very little like this. The lightsaber suggestion, by comparison, was somehow more reasonable. And yet, that had the issue of, well...

There were no actual burns.

The wounds may have appeared cauterized in a sense, perhaps, but the flesh wasn't cooked. Even without getting closer, Kasumi could say that for sure. There was no blackening, no heat-scarring, no old smell of cooked meat. This wasn't the damage of a flame or heat-based attack. Never mind considering why the hell there was no sign of the rest of the remains. That wasn't something that happened just because something "cut good". So any serious suggestions about a "superheated blade" or "blowtorch" were patently ridiculous in her mind. Sure, she was certain Jotaro was trying to not give up the Stand game to his fellow officers, but she couldn't believe they were seriously considering buying the speculations he was throwing out. What the hell was this? Some FBI crime show? At least try to produce excuses that make sense!

Jotaro was loitering around the room, seemingly with no particular purpose, and Kasumi's brows furrowed in growing frustration. Honestly, was he even supposed to be here? Hadn't the autopsy already started before he arrived? Had he just invited himself in and the other officers just shrugged their shoulders? What exactly was he supposed to be offering to this autopsy investigation that a pair of trained coroners wouldn't? If anything, he was actively sabotaging it. Honestly, what was the poi-

One of the officers found a scalpel missing.

Oh, now this is getting interesting.

It must have happened when the utensil tray was knocked over, Kasumi figured, scouring the room for a sign of the missing tools. Unfortunately, it seemed her Stand's aerial position wasn't going to reveal anything, especially if it had actually slid underneath something like Officer Jotaro had suggested. The other intruder might even have taken it, and judging by the way there wasn't a random knife floating through the air right now, that would mean they could potentially actively absorb new targets into their stealth ability.

Kasumi's lips pursed in consideration. Should she capitalize on this in some manner? She'd long since learned that preparation time and an advantageous environment were precious things for her Stand, for most Stands really. If a fight became inevitable, perhaps it was better to at least have taken some precautions...

But why overplay her hand? Given Jotaro's fairly subtle attempt to get the other officers to vacate the premises, she quite imagined she shared with him the less than enthused thought of having anyone witness a potential clash. There were things she wanted to do, but she couldn't risk doing them until she was sure there would be no unintended collateral... assuming she wanted to let her impatience get the better of her to begin with.

She started considering her own position, which, she thought, was fairly secure, but she could think of a couple ways the potential foes in the room might compromise it, even with her tube of living wood to act as a reflector for attacks if they somehow sussed out her position. It made her gut curdle in frustration to not be the one taking the initiative when she was clearly in the most advantageous position of those present, but there was no way she could act first without making herself out to be the bad guy here! She had to wait for the preexisting tension to boil over before she took her shot. Otherwise, she'd be the instigator in the court of Stand User etiquette, which -in her experience- tended to be a rather poor position to have.

But if she didn't do anything, this stalemate might persist in perpetuity. The longer this standoff went on, the greater the odds she would lose her chance, that some mishap would deprive her of the opportunity to attain the corpse. Jotaro might never relinquish his guard, or worse, might have some method of guarding the corpse even if not present. And worse still, his Stand clearly had dangerous information-gathering potential. The longer she stayed like this, the more likely he might chance upon the right line of thinking and find a way to reveal her position. And on top of that, there was the wild card of the hidden Stand User and their unknown intentions, an unknown factor and all the more dangerous for it. The more she thought about it, the more Kasumi began to believe that this state of affairs persisting favored her overall endgame the least.


Retracting her Stand, she had it begin moving through the overhead area within the ceiling of the autopsy room, spreading its golden life force as it went. Slowly and methodically, she began to create an interconnected hollow of hardwood flora, carefully avoiding anything that looked involved in the electrical system. Her Stand helped her scoot over until she was crouching low atop what would be the edge of the top of one side of the room if the room were a box. Gaping tunnels surrounded her, providing her a network of mobility in her excavated hiding place.

Her brows pinched, hesitating, before she exhaled slowly and committed to her gamble with confidence. Shuffling over to the ideal position, she closed her eyes and shifted her mindset to one she'd not used in a while, shaking cobwebs off those annoying necessities to getting and maintaining working relationship with peers, bosses and customers.

Time to change the game.

Her Stand passed down into the hallway, making a brief misleading detour, before shamelessly phasing through the wall beside the autopsy room's door, straight into what she was sure would be in plain sight of both the visible and hidden Stand Users. Throwing on a shit-eating grin, the golden Stand seemingly took its sweet time observing the room's contents, before leaning back against the wall with one shoulder in a casual manner, arms crossed. It spoke, confident in the fact that only those that mattered would hear it.

"Well now, little Western standoff we got here."

With a glint in its purple, insectoid eyes, its right elbow lightly bumped the door, a small ripple of gold flickering in and fading out seemingly without effect, as it imbued the door with a delayed transformation. Instead, Kasumi played off the act with her Stand tilting its head in faux confusion, clearly eyeing each of the police officers in turn as if counting off in its head, before adding:

"All three of us."

Chinami Nadakai

"Liliya Montoya"


Reverio would quickly find that this pale girl was even more than meets the eye. Though his grip successfully clasped around her wrist, it did not slow her for a moment. It was like trying to halt an unstoppable object. For all his physical strength, her pace continued unhindered, either wrenching her from his grip or dragging him along if he persisted. Cloaked in the invisible Spirit projection only she could perceive, she gave off the impression of an untouchable juggernaut.

"Liliya" approached the humming barrier that lay over the Tome of the Trium Throne, her expression placid and unconcerned.

"Raise thine palm forth and emplace thine appendage afore the barrier. This One shalt handle the rest," the voice from within rumbled.

"Un..." was the girl's only outward whispery response, as her hand that may or may not still be clasped by Reverio slowly rose towards the barrier. Closer and closer it crept, until mere centimeters separated her from potential retaliation.


Her movement stopped.

Unbeknownst to Liliya, hidden from all present eyes by the miniscule distance between her hand and the barrier, a razor-sharp edge of pitch black began to slide smoothly from her palm, from within her very soul and Spirit. Hungry green mist hissed forth, alongst what little was exposed of its length... as it made contact with the barrier.

Immediately, a howling shriek thundered through the air, as the area around Liliya was struck with a force that crackled with ozone, the floor scorched. Yet, the girl remained unphased, her small flinch hidden beneath the flash of light. The barrier began to glow violently, thrumming with a force that could be felt in one's bones, as spell matrixes began to flicker into visibility within and outside it. Old and defiant defenses whirred to life with holy purpose, to preserve all that was-

A harsh crack with an intone like a dolorous bell struck the air.

All of a sudden, the barrier seemed to shudder, as putrid, black fissures began to spread out visibly from the area around Liliya's palm. Along the fissures, there spread in their wake a roiling green mist, bubbling and hissing like something was dissolving with chemical virulence. The air grew heavy, as two completing magical forces began to fill the area with their presence. One was holy, righteous and just, a monument of order layered with countless works for a right purpose... And swelling up from within the girl, billowing outward, there was only H U N G E R. A bottomless pit of blackness, a black hole from which no magic could escape, seeking only to consume. For a moment, it almost seemed like a battle of equals...

But only for a moment.

The barrier shuddered, spell matrices shaking and collapsing in sequence, one after the other with pops and cracks like shattering glass. The barrier's glow intensified and waned in desperate spurts, much like a flickering lightbulb, as the hungry mist consumed more and more of its form. Bolt after weakening bolt struck the girl, who remained unbothered throughout. Fire, acid, frost and even something that might have been a temporal effect came and went, as the mist hissing around the girl utterly nullified it all, swallowing everything mystical that dared to touch it. Three-quarters of the barrier's mass were submerged now, but it persisted defiantly.

Feebly, it struck, again and again, as it could, as it must. If it were possible for such an unliving thing as a mere spell to exude desperation, it did so here and now... but it was all for nought.

A low rumble rippled through the air, akin to a hum of satisfaction, as the black fissures and sickly-green mist slid down the remains of the barrier. Before the girl, all the remained was a gradually contracting done of mist, humming with energy and unceasing hunger, as it began to draw back towards her palm, collapsing, compressing and then... slipping away.

"It is finished," the demon chuckled lowly, a growl to its voice dripping with satisfaction. "'Twas an excellent appetizer for what is to come..."

The tip of the blade withdrew, and the girl's arm fell slack to her side. Before her, a large circle of scorched and boiled stone remained, hissing from the forces that had just been exerted not moments prior. The ground looked corroded and chewed away, and yet for all that had just happened... Her gaze trailed up to the pedestal, where the Tome of the Trium Throne sat resplendent... untouched... and now vulnerable.

Outwardly, her reaction to what had just happened was tepid. Inwardly though, she struggled to process the implications... That sort of power... What in the actual infernal pits was this thing living inside her? It was all she could do to swallow silently, as Liliya took two long strides forward, standing over the tome silently. Her brows pinched together, as she hesitated. She could take the book, but that ran the risk of it being tracked somehow. Or worse, stolen. The last thing she needed was to be caught red-handed with this. Besides...

Wasn't the goal to ensure Reverio succeeded and failed in the same breath? If she didn't take this... then someone else could use it. With the ward broken, shouldn't that provide some glimmer of a clue as to the intruder's intensions?

'No, I don't need this book. I just need what's inside it...'

Unseen, her Spirit's arms reached for the pedestal, flipping open the Tome of the Trium Throne. Spectral eyes joined her own in burning the opening pages into her memory. A page was flipped... and then another... and another... and yet another. Soon enough, the pages were flashing by in flickers of movement, the flittering sound of parchment filling the air.

The thunk of the cover closing the tome once more sounded out.

Liliya allowed a small passive smirk to upturn her lips, as she flipped the book back over, leaving it laying right where it had been in the first place. Her thoughts felt heavy, churning with expanses of white and black, as she began mentally compartmentalizing what she'd just seen. She'd always been pretty good at memorization, and her Spirit's ability to subconsciously burn whatever it saw into her mind certainly helped no small amount. Some of it felt a little jumbled, but that's because the language it was written in was hardly completely modern. Thankfully, for someone with her background of "archeology", she was plenty familiar with outdated languages and linguistics, and this one was nothing radical. She ignored the inquisitive and approving hum of the demon inside her, as she turned back to meet Reverio's gaze.

Her expression was placid and impassive, yet exuded a certain smugness, as her crimson eyes trailed down to glance at the tome clutched in Reverio's own hands. Her voice came as a whispery monotone, "Objective complete. Leave now?"

Kasumi Nakano

It was mid-evening when she had finally left her domicile, as Kasumi navigated the controlled chaos of New York's bus network. She took her time, pacing herself, not making any indication of her nerves, as she disembarked on the last stop in her mapped bus chain and set off down the sidewalk. The hustle and bustle of rush hour thrummed around her, as she slipped through the crowds of mostly home-goers with practiced ease. She was merely another face in the crowd, hands in her pockets and long coat tugged tight against her frame against the northern evening temperature drop.

The police station was not more than a block from her position now, and her unhurried pace and far from direct route had combined to leave the hour hanging heavy over the 5 o' clock mark in the afternoon. The colors of the sky were starting to shift away from blue, and Kasumi knew nightfall would be swifter to come than many might expect, the looming forest of skyscrapers darkening the streets sooner than later with every degree of elevation the sun relinquished.

Which suited her just fine.

She mentally ear-marked the direction of the police station, as she entered a relatively nearby alley that was nonetheless out of sight of the precinct.

Spectral, golden fingers crept from her skin to touch the alley wall, as she leaned back against it casually, hands in her pockets. On que, her muddled awareness of the life the constantly swarmed and clustered around her sharpened, as the alley was inspected by a far more focused gaze. Glancing both ways and consulting the negative reading upon her senses again (save for several miniscule signatures that could only belong to rodents or insects), Kasumi smiled slightly, satisfied at the lack of witnesses.

A moment later, the alley was empty, as a small hole in the pavement quickly sealed up, writhing plants slowing and fusing, before morphing back into cold, hard stone.

Hands splayed out before her, encased in gold, Kasumi strode forward steadily without a moment's pause, soil, stone and brickwork parting around her with every step. Golden light rippled from her body into her surroundings, which obediently shuddered and writhed, assuming forms far more pleasant to an environmentalist's eye, growing in shapes according to Kasumi's designs. Sturdy and thick reddish-hued hickory wood formed a massive tunnel, large enough to walk through without ducking. The smell of sap intensified every moment, as Kasumi crafted a titan of a tree, fit to rival the greatest in the world, from the inside out... horizontally. A sturdy structure not dissimilar to a well-supported mineshaft, there was no real concern of a collapse unless some truly egregious force happened to impact from above, and even then, as a creation of her life-force, there was a high chance that force would be nullified entirely anyway.

The plan was simple. Rather than entering the station where just any shmuck could see her, she would create an infiltration and exfiltration route in one simultaneous fell swoop. The life energy she was imbuing into this area should be plenty sufficient to hold until she was ready to leave, and then she could revert all of it, totally erasing any sign of how she'd gotten in... assuming she was noticed entering at all.

Every couple steps, she counted off another meter in her head, subtracting from the distance she would need to walk to reach her destination until she was relatively certain she should be standing right underneath an area just outside the building. Briefly halting, the golden humanoid figure she had long-since come to appreciate -even in spite of the trouble it seemed to draw to her- phased from Kasumi's back and ghosted into the "ceiling" of her tunnel, cautiously poking a finger up above ground.

Pinching her brows, Kasumi focused on the double vision that always resulted from doing this, as she reached for her Stand's senses, holding steady, until a light breeze and grass tickled across its fingertips. Nodding, she had the being slowly, carefully feel around. A pulse of focused life sensing confirmed there were no humanoid life signatures close enough to likely see the Stand's fingers, but it always paid to be doubly sure. Anyone could be a Stand User, after all. Just using herself as an example, she'd never know it if she walked past herself on the road. Recklessly showing off her ability would just get her noticed by people she'd not noticed in return.

As such, it was only after long, painstaking deliberation that she retracted her Stand's fingers and "hefted" its face up, poking an insectoid eye above the surface, flickering its sight around in a search that thankfully proved ultimately fruitless. Kasumi felt a small note of tension ease from her shoulders as her Stand's vision caught sight of the side of a building she'd already burned into her memory, currently looming overhead and casting shadows from the waning height of the sun.

Yatta, I've made it.

Step one was complete.

Now began the more delicate part.

She extended her tunnel just that little bit more, just far enough to let her Stand reach the building with its optimal operation range of 2 meters. Laying its hand on the wall, Kasumi's lips pursed tightly at the more focused bloom of bustling life within the building, masses of human-sized life forms churning to and fro. As expected. The forensic police station was bustling at this time of day.

She had good reason to believe that it would make little difference when she decided to infiltrate. The police weren't like some regular business institution; they worked around the clock on multiple shifts to uphold law and order. If anything, given the infamy of the Cobbler at large, the police would only be getting even more active at night, not less, as they went on the hunt for the perpetrator of such gruesome murders. Therefore, for Kasumi, the only good time to infiltrate would be during the overall shift change from day to night. And while she unfortunately didn't have details on that, she could make a... relatively educated guess. It probably would have been better to target the night-to-day shift, as there would be that extra combination of demoralization that the Cobbler hadn't been caught for another night and relief that the Cobbler's hunting hours were over. But Kasumi had accidentally slept in, and admittedly, she was feeling… impatient to get this done. For her particular plan, time was likely very much of the essence.

All that's to say, of course, that the building was "lively".

She would have to play this carefully.

She narrowed the focus of her life sensing until it encompassed only about a single hallway and waited until the number of life forms within dropped to two to risk sticking her Stand's face through. More specifically, as she had done with the earth before, a single eye. Her Stand peered through the wall and scanned both ways, eying the retreating backs of a pair of officers. Though she couldn't see her target from this position, her Stand did not risk extending further, as she again repeated a mantra she'd come to hold close to her heart: Anyone could be a Stand user, and any belief to the contrary is arrogance. It's not paranoia if you're a living example.

The last thing she needed was to be caught out by a random civilian... much less a police officer with an actual chance of holding her accountable if it came down to it.

Putting thought to action, she carefully maintained that still position, providing minimal line of sight, until opportunity struck: a lone officer with several binders tucked under one arm, talking on a cell phone with the other. Distracted and alone. Perfect.

Another glance both ways to confirm a lack of witnesses, and she acted. Her Stand flashed out, faster than the human eye could see, scraping the edge of her range, as its hands dove across the officer's person intangibly. Two quick pulses of life energy, and the spectral manifestation of will retreated with its prizes, the officer walking away apparently none the wiser. The hallway was empty of crowds now, if only for a moment.

Now or never.

Within her Stand's hands wriggled two grubs, which she carefully positioned out of sight of the camera watching this hall. The footage should be too poor to see any fine details, certainly not something as small as a distant insect, as security footage tended to be mediocre quality at best by convenient necessity. Storing high quality footage would use up way more space than reasonable.

Quickly sliding the two grubs across the hall, Kasumi's Stand returned to expanding her tunnel. She took a moment to morph open and then close a small hole, so the two grubs could be funneled down into her hands and then reverted them into the officer's badge and wallet, neither of which she touched with anything but her Stand's hands, as she affixed the badge to the left side of her coat over her heart and slipped the wallet into one back pocket of her jeans, a place she never stuck her hands which should be free of any risk of leaving DNA evidence.

Sending her Stand back up, she peered into the room beyond the wall of the hallway and found herself in what appeared to be a bathroom. A quick check for a lack of men's urinals (and occupants), and she was making a hole to hoist herself out of, using her Stand as footholds and taking care not to touch anything with her hands. Ah, speaking of. She reached into her jacket pocket and withdrew a pair of form-fitting gloves she'd prepared exactly for this purpose, slipping them on and resting secure in the fact that she would no longer be leaving fingerprints if it came down to it.

Now then...

She quickly walked a circle around the bathroom's premises, phasing her Stand's vision through the walls until she finally found it.

The elevator.

Smiling victoriously, Kasumi double-checked that her entrance into the bathroom was sealed up properly and then sent her Stand at the room's ceiling. One quick but firm tap and injection of energy, and a new -if smaller- crawl tunnel of tree wood was opening above her. Grunting lightly, Kasumi hefted herself up, accepting her Stand's clasped hands as a boost, pulling herself into the smaller space. Her Stand pulled up behind her once she was fully inside, and the exit reverted to lifeless inertness behind her. She shook off the brief, irrational feeling of claustrophobia, reminding herself that she was in complete control here, as she began to shimmy forward on elbows and knees.

Contrary to what movies might portray, the sort of tunnels one might see in a spy movie infiltration didn't really exist, not anymore anyway. After all, as the movies showed, they'd be massive security risks if they did. Actual ventilation and air conditioning systems were, by contrast, far more compact and less habitable to human life or -indeed- exploration at all. However, that hardly mattered for someone like Kasumi, who could freely morph and fuse her surroundings as she pleased as long as they were sufficiently conjoined. Since her ability to change inanimate objects into living beings basically gave conservation of mass the middle finger, it was trivial for her to simply... "compact" inanimate mass into the form of much smaller plants, thereby creating more space to move. The only thing she had to be careful to do was avoid making her tunnel large enough that it would be exposed to the floors above and below her.

Thus, her infiltration continued apace, creeping quietly through her self-made tunnel and reforming the building behind her. She occasionally was forced to detour around things that looked like they might screw with the building's electricity, loathe to cause a situation worthy of alarm, but otherwise, her progress was steady, punctuated by occasional peeks down through the ceiling with her Stand's vision to ensure she was on the right track.

And before she knew it...

A rumbling vibration was passing what felt like right in front of her face. And as the final barrier peeled away into a mass of wood, she grinned.

The elevator shaft.

I've made it.

Not getting complacent, she sent another pulse of life energy down the tunnel, inspecting the reading, as the elevator below came to a stop. Two life signs- No, zero. She could hear the sounds of the elevator opening and feel the passengers disembark, as they disappeared from her focused senses. So, a trip had just concluded? She waited patiently for the life signals to be replaced with new passengers, but as the seconds stretched on, the only thing she felt instead was the rumble of the elevator doors closing again, the lift going silent in wait.

Not wasting a second, Kasumi enveloped her body in her Stand and propelled herself from her hiding place, hands encased in spectral gold clasping hold of the thick cords that suspended the elevator. She began to slide down towards the lift at a pace that would have given her truly legendary "rope" burn if her hands hadn't currently been protected by a being that was completely immune to mundane damage. With a short, solid thump, she landed atop the elevator, knees bending to bleed a little of her momentum. The impact probably wouldn't have broken her legs even if they hadn't also been reinforced supernaturally against such a mundane nuisance as "fall damage", but the precaution didn't hurt to take. It wasn't that long a fall. After all, even with a basement level, the police station wasn't all that tall a building.

Somewhere above, Kasumi heard a clanking rumble, as the elevator suddenly shuddered to life and began to rapidly ascend. Someone has clearly called for it, and she had no interest in being crushed... or going that direction in particular.

Flowing into a crouch, Kasumi wasted no time pulsing life energy into the escape hatch of the lift, rendering it into a mass of vines, which she brushed aside and slipped through, landing inside the elevator, as her entrance sealed up behind her again. Another stomp of a foot encased in gold, and energy rippled into the floor, which peeled away into bark, sending Kasumi into a short plummet. She briefly caught herself on the new hole, dangling above the rest of the shaft, before swinging herself to the side to catch hold of the thick chords trailing down from the bottom of the lift and closing the hole behind her, zipping down at a bit of a more moderate pace, as her Stand-encased hands exerted a bit of a tighter grip.

Gradually sliding down until she reached the lowest level, she finally hopped off and trotted over to the closed doorway, sending her Stand up to send a new pulse of sensory energy through the portal. As expected for this floor, however, the returns she received were few and generally far between.

The rumble of the elevator now descending from above at a worrying pace shook her from her inspection, as she began creating a new tree tunnel underneath the ground of the bottom floor, quickly slipping inside, as the elevator rumbled down into the space she had just vacated.

Huffing and shaking her head in irritation at being rushed in such a manner, Kasumi took a few moments to expand her tunnel again. On the bottom floor of the building this time with nothing below her to be concerned about, she no longer quite had to worry about how large it was and could make something sizable enough to comfortably walk inside. She proceeded to do so without hesitation. It could only make both her search and exfiltration faster in the long run.

A pulse of life scanning rippled into the hallway above, as the retreating elevator again provided backdrop with the rumbles of its passage. Nodding when she received no returns of note, Kasumi maneuvered herself underground into a position to extend her Stand's face into the area above, glancing about to be met with cold, clinical halls. An acrid, medicinal scent assaulted its senses, accompanied by an unpleasant lingering tang of death.

Yeah, I'm in the right place.

The Pathology wing of the Forensic Investigation building yawned above her, as Kasumi settled in for a search, moving as quickly as she dared. She navigated the floor, until she finally located the morgue proper. A scan for life energy, and she could see that three residents currently lingered within the room beyond. Without poking her Stand out to get a visual, she could only guess what was going on, but it looked like she'd be settling in for a stakeout. In the meantime, she'd acquire a better position.

Tunneling underneath and around, Kasumi began forming up a mostly featureless tube of wood that she navigated by using her Stand for footholds, clambering quietly up until she was above the morgue room. She pulsed her life sense again; three returns still. Only now that she had a position humans were infamously inclined not to look at -that is, a higher one, she risked peeking her Stand's eye out from the upper corner of the room located where the door would swing open, partially obstructed behind a security camera it could easily slip behind if any looked that way.

Inside, two forensic officers moved around a slab, where a gruesome sight lay. They were actually about to start an autopsy on the latest victim! What luck! Speaking of which... Kasumi listened with half an ear, as the officers began. Now that she had seen one of the victims with her own eyes, she knew which of the internet's rumors were the ones she should be paying attention to. It was clear now why every victim that was released from police custody so far had been given a closed-casket funeral. This was just... messy.

The corpse looked to have had a chunk taken out of it. Not like it was carved, ripped or even ground away, but like part of the body had just ceased to exist, an impression that wasn't hurt by the fact that this was all they had actually managed to retrieve of the corpse. It was like one, giant conjoined wound, slightly curved, enough so that it took out roughly half the woman's head, torso and left leg without actually severing either the head at the neck or leg. The remaining flesh seemed sufficient to barely hold on, despite the irregular wound. There was basically no blood, which wasn't surprising. Given they had only found her after an approximated three days, with that sort of monstrous wound, she'd have long since bled out and the blood dried up. The officers noted that the wound didn't appear to be the result of a bladed weapon, but for something this clean... What else could it be but something insanely sharp?

Kasumi's brows furrowed, as the door to the morgue opened, retracting her Stand's sight, mulling over what she'd learned. This was obviously a Stand User. There was essentially no question at this point. Such an irregular wound, nothing else could be responsible... The officer claimed the wound wasn't made by a sharp object, so... could that be true? And if so, what the hell sort of power could cause this?!

Shaking her head, Kasumi pulsed her life sense again. Four readings, as-


Hold on.

She pulsed her sense again. No, that wasn't her imagination. Hadn't she detected three returns before the third officer entered the room? But the only ones she'd seen before that had been the pair of forensic specialists... and the corpse. A chill crawled up her spine, as Kasumi chanced another flicker of a glance into the room. Three officers -one significantly more... "built" than the other two- filtered into her gaze. The new officer -identified by his comrades as "Jotaro"- was doing something with a small television, and Kasumi stiffened at the machine suddenly going wild, purple tendrils creeping from Jotaro's hand.

Stand User... No, two.

There's someone else hiding in this room.

She restrained a swallow at the words that trickled messily from the television, a stream of mostly nonsense that sounded like a grocery list. Only... "help me" and... Stand? The words were spoken from... the woman's perspective somehow... maybe? Was this officer's Stand ability one that let him look into the past? Was his ability actually narrating things the woman had said and/or just using others as a scrying medium? And assuming the former... had this woman been another Stand User? For her to have known that term, that seemed the most likely. Had she been another independent investigator of this case that had met her end in the chase? And what the hell were the rest of those words supposed to mean?!

A new sort of cold chill crept down Kasumi's spine. It was tempered by the fury she nursed even now, but she couldn't help it. This investigation was looking even more dangerous by the moment. With that wound on the corpse and how conjoined it was, Kasumi unfortunately had to posit that -discounting the act that severed her feet, the woman had died in a single blow of monstrous power. Kasumi knew her Stand, put up against another, was hardly very resilient. If that kind of attack was aimed her way, unless she could dodge or be certain her reflection ability would work on it, she'd face the same fate.

But conflicts with the monster behind the murders could wait for later. For now, her immediate issue was being able to find them at all, and to do that, she'd need to overcome this trial first. Before anything else, she needed to obtain that corpse for herself!


Her Stand's eye snapped to the sight of an object clattering to the floor. Jotaro too appeared startled, glancing over his shoulder in brief alarm, before momentarily settling down and reassuring his fellow officers that nothing was wrong. Naturally, this was a blatant lie. Given what she knew, Kasumi was certain that, for a brief moment at least, that had been where the other intruder was hiding. She couldn't be certain they hadn't moved, but Jotaro hadn't seen fit to step over there to feel around... So, they might have just frozen in place and avoided making further disturbances… Or they could be relocating unseen at this very moment.

Kasumi swallowed again with nerves, doing her best to steel herself and not act irrationally. Two Stand Users... this was far from ideal but not yet a wholesale deal-breaker for her plan. With Jotaro's hackles clearly raised, he was unlikely to leave until the autopsy was entirely finished, not with the risk that an unknown Stand User -assuming he reached the same conclusion as her- was loitering around to potentially steal the evidence away or otherwise meddle with it. There was no telling how far that Stand User's concealment ability went, what areas it covered. Clearly sight was obscured, but they could still cause physical disturbances. They could also be detected by her life sensing. Beyond that, however? A concerning mystery. More concerning still was their unknowable motives. They could be anyone, chasing any goal. It could be as benign as another independent investigator... or as malevolent as a collaborator of the killer... even the killer themselves in the worst case.

Shaking her head lightly, Kasumi calmed herself. She wasn't looking for a fight. In the most ideal circumstance, the autopsy concludes without further incident. The officers leave. Jotaro leaves. The other infiltrator leaves. And then Kasumi could swiftly slip in to snag her prize and exfiltrate. There was no need to act yet, no need to even try to expose the other infiltrator and set them against the Stand User officer as a diversion. All she had to do was exercise patience and hope for the best. She despised relying on good fortune over a rationally stacked deck, but that seemed to be the way the cookie was going to crumble today.

Unwilling to be the first to rock the boat... just yet anyway, Kasumi settled back in preparation for what could very well be a lengthy stakeout. And all the while, she mulled over her options, preparing for the unfortunate potentiality of this devolving into something markedly less civilized.
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