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Gryphonadmin
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"OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
 
   LAST EDITED ON Nov-01-20 AT 11:51 PM (EST)
 
[NOTE: This story takes place the day after the "testing" scene at the end of OWaW episode 20.]

Sunday, June 23, 1946
Mediterranean airspace near Marseille, Gallia

The Kawanishi H8K3 Type 2 heavy flying boat currently droning northward from its last refueling stop at Minorca was a slightly unusual example of its type. Virtually all of the Type 2s in service belonged to the Imperial Fusōnese Navy, which used them as long-range transports and maritime patrol aircraft. They were flying boats, after all. As such, it was mildly peculiar that this particular one wore the colors of the Imperial Fusōnese Army Air Service—an organization that usually didn't have much to say to its Navy counterpart, and shared virtually no other pieces of equipment with same.

For that matter, it was odd to see any IFA assets at all in the European Theater of Operations. The Army had practically no role in the Allied Expeditionary Forces, instead guarding the Fusō home islands against the occasional Neuroi probe out of far-eastern Orussia or Manchuria. Which, in a way, explained why this particular Type 2 flying boat had Army markings: no "native" Army Air Service aircraft had the endurance to make the flight halfway around the world from Fusō to Gallia, so when the Emperor suddenly chose to dispatch an officer of that force to Europe, the AAS had no choice but to go hat in hand to its hated rival, the Navy, and borrow one of their aircraft.

The aircrew may have felt some chagrin about that fact, but it mattered nothing at all to the VIP passenger. She had given the matter precisely no thought at all throughout the long, long flight from Kyōto to the edge of the Continent. If she knew about the Army/Navy rivalry at all, she considered it beneath her notice. She had bigger fish to fry. At this moment, as she had for most of her waking hours during the multi-day flight, the VIP was seated meditatively upon a tatami at the back of the cargo hold, her eyes closed, evidently indifferent to the world.

General Reimu Hakurei, Inspector-General of the Emperor's Witches, didn't look much like an army general at first glance: a Fusōnese girl of fourteen or fifteen, she was dressed in a more ornate, less abbreviated version of the red-and-white miko uniform commonly worn by IFA fighting witches, with a large, lace-trimmed red bow tied at the back of her head. She looked like she ought to be sweeping the courtyard in front of a small country shrine somewhere in the mountains of central Fusō, not flying halfway around the world aboard a four-engined transport aircraft explicitly placed at her personal disposal.

Also unusually for someone with such a grandiose title, General Hakurei did not travel with an entourage. Apart from the crew of the aircraft, there was only one other person on board, and she had no official standing as far as the Imperial Fusōnese Army was concerned. She was a girl of about the same age, but her tousled mane of wavy golden hair suggested that she was not, or at least not entirely, Fusōnese. She was dressed in old-fashioned civilian clothes, a voluminous ankle-length skirt and double-breasted vest in black over a plain white blouse and petticoats, her skirt fronted with a white waist apron, rather than any sort of uniform.

Marisa Kirisame was not meditating; she wouldn't have known how to meditate if she'd tried, despite Reimu's occasional, counterproductively exasperated attempts to teach her some sort of mental discipline over the years they'd known each other. She had nothing like that sort of patience (or endurance—how could anyone sit seiza for that long without going insane, or dying of deep vein thrombosis or something?).

Instead, since very little conversation had been forthcoming from the general for most of this very long trip, had had to occupy herself instead with books. Fortunately, she'd brought a lot of them. She knew from experience that traveling on official business with Reimu was rarely what you would call entertaining.

Just now, she was sitting on one of the metal-framed canvas benches and/or bunks that were slung along the walls of the cargo hold, a yellow tabby cat dozing in her lap, and gazing out one of the small windows at the Gallian coast, which was just passing below. She hadn't been in Europe for some time, and was vaguely surprised to find that, at least from up here, it still looked the same as always. At this altitude, whatever scars the Neuroi occupation had left on southern Gallia were too small to see.

Marisa turned to comment on that to her traveling companion, even though she knew it was pointless, but before she had the chance, she heard the aircraft's engines ramp up from cruising power to full, felt the wings tilt as the pilots put it into an unscheduled turn. A moment later, the aircraft commander's voice crackled from the intercom speaker on the forward bulkhead:

"Attention! Neuroi approaching! Taking evasive action!"

Reimu's dark eyes popped open. "Crap," she said, and then, with a note of resignation, "I suppose, realistically, we're lucky we made it this far."

Marisa, who was closer, went to the intercom panel and pressed the push-to-talk. "Any backup in sight?"

"Gallian Navy assets are scrambling from Toulon," the voice of the aircraft's first officer reported. "ETA five minutes."

"Five minutes is a long damn time with a Neuroi shooting at you," Marisa grumbled.

"Tell me something I don't know!" the first officer replied.

Marisa laughed. "Yeah, fair point," she said. "Stand by on the witch bay, willya, I'm going out."

"Roger that."

Marisa let go of the button and went back to her seat.

"I'll go with—" Reimu began, but Marisa waved her back before she could rise from her tatami.

"IFA's not supposed to get involved in this theater, yeah?"

"I doubt SHAEF would hold defending myself against me," Reimu replied.

"Well, if I need you, I'll holler," said Marisa.

Without further discussion, she picked up her hat, a large, broad-brimmed, bent-crowned conical affair—the classic witch's hat, except that it was slightly oversized and adorned with an enormous white bow—and settled it on her head, then said to her familiar,

"C'mon, Mr. Murgatroyd, we're going."

The cat rose, stretching with a yawn, then sprang onto her shoulder, and she went forward to the witch bay. Its built-in Striker bay was empty, the usual launch stage having been removed by IFN aircraftmen before the flight. Instead, there was only an old-fashioned straw broom, leaning nonchalantly against the bulkhead. Marisa picked it up and thumped the intercom.

"Bay doors, if you please," she said.

"Roger, opening bay doors," the first officer's voice crackled back. "Good hunting!"

With that, the floor of the witch bay split and trundled open, filling the compartment with wind noise and the roar of the Kawanishi's engines. Below, the Mediterranean sparkled in the afternoon sun.

Without further ado, Marisa stepped over the threshold and fell through the witch bay doors, plummeting into the sky. She freefell for perhaps five seconds, long enough to be absolutely sure she was clear of the aircraft, then swung herself sidesaddle onto the broom and, glowing with released magic, switched from falling to flying.

The broom's bristles left a donuts-on-a-rope contrail as she pulled steeply up, barrel rolling around the flying boat, and she sought the Neuroi. It wasn't hard to spot: a Large Type, built something like one of those swimming beetles with the two legs adapted into oars, it stood maybe a half-mile off. It seemed to sense her, which wasn't a surprise—all of the action reports from the last seven years of war left little empirical doubt that the Neuroi could sense magic—and it opened fire, filling the sky all around her with narrow red plasma beams.

Marisa had to hand it to those guys flying the Kawanishi. She didn't have a dog in the whole Fusō army/navy fight anyway, but these particular navy pilots were certainly showing their quality. They were making that big flying boat do things it didn't seem like an aircraft that size should be able to do, and so far they had managed not to get tagged.

Now, as the Neuroi switched from large anti-aircraft beams to a wider spread of smaller ones, their luck ran out. They took a hit, the beam scoring down the length of the starboard wing and blowing out the number-four engine, but the self-sealing fuel tanks prevented the damage from being any worse. Trailing smoke from the wrecked engine, they peeled away to the south.

"Crap, sorry!" Marisa called over her comm earpiece. "I wasn't in position yet."

"We're OK, but number four engine is out!" the commander reported, a tad unnecessarily. "We're making for Toulon."

"OK, I'll cover you," Marisa replied, putting on more speed as she maneuvered to put herself between the Neuroi and the airplane.

It opened up again, and this time she was ready; evading some of the beams, she deployed a shield circle to intercept the ones that stood to hit the transport, then counterattacked with a barrage of energy pulses that took the form of stylized five-pointed stars. They didn't really need to look like anything, but she'd always considered that a signature style was something every witch ought to have.

The starbolts did an admirable job of stripping the outer layer of armor from the sector of the Neuroi she'd hit, but Marisa recognized immediately that it was going to take a very long time to chew a target this big to death with just that. She was going to have to try and back it into a corner, set it up for a knockout blow. This was, of course, a standard witch tactic she'd read a great deal about, but within a minute or two, she'd realized she wasn't going to be able to pull it off solo. She couldn't switch instantly from rapid fire to the Sunday punch she had in reserve, and by the time she was ready for the latter, the damage she'd inflicted with the former had regenerated.

Marisa was considering calling on Reimu to give her a hand after all when she caught a glint of movement out of the corner of her eye. Wheeling out of the path of another spread of Neuroi beams, she saw a tiny dark speck approaching from landward, speeding toward the combat zone from the general direction of Marseille. Within moments, this had come near enough to resolve into the form of another witch.

The new arrival was a fellow blonde, her hair lighter, shorter, and rather neater, even though it was being blown around in flight. In her personal style, she was as atypical for a modern combat witch as Marisa herself, but in a different way. Instead of black-and-white "classic witch" attire, she was dressed in a somewhat Victorian fashion, with a long dress, blouse, and lace-edged capelet, mostly blue with some white and a few touches of red. She wasn't using a Striker Unit either, but nor did she have a broom, instead flying as casually as a normal person would walk.

As she came nearer, Marisa could see that—as she had expected—the approaching witch was not alone. Rather, she had a couple of small wingmen: a pair of dolls, both in the form of pretty blonde girls about a foot high, visually identical apart from their dresses (one red, the other blue), flying in formation with her.

"Well, well, if it isn't the one and only Squadron Leader Alice Murgatroyd, RAF, retired," called Marisa conversationally as the newcomer came within earshot. "You're a long way from London, ain't'cha? Hiya, girls," she added to the two dolls, who both took a turn around her before returning to formation with their mistress.

"Good afternoon, Miss Kirisame," said Alice pleasantly, pulling up alongside her. "I came over to Marseille yesterday. I thought to meet you and General Hakurei, but I didn't expect you to have brought a friend," she added with a sardonic smile.

"Eh, you know what it's like when you're as popular as me," said Marisa cheerfully. "They hear I'm coming to town, and everybody wants a piece of the act—" A cluster of Neuroi beams interrupted her, forcing the two witches to scatter, and Marisa replied with a barrage of her own, shouting, "Excuse you, I am talking!" Shaking her head, she sighed. "Honestly, and people say I've got no manners."

"Perhaps we should finish this and then socialise," said Alice dryly.

Marisa reached into her apron pocket and produced an octagonal object, about seven inches across by three thick, with geometric inscriptions arrayed around a circular hole in the center of its face. It seemed to be made of wood, but the central hole glowed as if there were a fire burning inside it.

"I can strip its armor, but I can't get the ol' mini-Hakkero ready to fire before it grows back," she admitted. "You soften it up, I'll knock it down?"

"That sounds most efficient," Alice agreed. "Be ready."

"I'm always ready," said Marisa with a cocky grin. Alice spared a half-second for a vaguely affectionate eyeroll, but said nothing, before launching herself into an attack run on the Neuroi.

It spotted her coming—they always seemed to, despite having no obvious eyes—and concentrated its fire. This one knew an unusual trick, which both of the witches noted would make for interesting reading in the action report on this incident: by hitting some of its beams with other beams, it could redirect its fire so that the beams converged on its target from multiple directions, in spite of all having come from the same source. Seeing it in action, Marisa assumed this was intended as a countermeasure to witches' shields, which customarily only worked in one direction at a time.

Are they learning? she wondered.

Alice, showing the sort of maneuverability usually associated with fighter-type Strikers, evaded the first wave of fire, but the Neuroi seemed to sense this as well, and its second burst was denser, drawing a tangled web of crimson death in the sky.

"Shanghai! Hōrai!" Alice barked, and without needing to elaborate what she wanted them to do, her two companion dolls broke formation and began darting around, bringing their own tiny but effective shields to bear. They effectively became mobile barriers, flitting around their mistress like the electrons in a fanciful diagram of a helium atom, intercepting and deflecting the many-angled beams as they converged from all around.

That's cool, Marisa thought as she swooped down into the cleared track of sky left in their wake, as if following a minesweeper through a cleared channel. They couldn't do that the last time I saw her. She's been working hard. She smirked at her fellow witch, though Alice wasn't anything close to looking at her, and added internally, "Retired", my ass.

The next trick was even more impressive, though it was one Marisa had seen before. As she drew to within what would normally have been firing range of the Neuroi, Alice produced a handful of cards, holding them fanned out like she was about to perform a (not-actually-magic) magic trick.

"Doll Barrage!" she cried, flinging the cards out in a broad arc with a sweep of her hand. "Operation Hydra!"

As they flew, the cards glowed, then split apart into dozens of bright points of light, each of which resolved into an individual doll. Each of these was a tiny blonde girl, similar in face and feature to Shanghai and Hōrai, but all were dressed in the sheepskin clothes of RAF Bomber Command crewmen, caps, intercom headsets, and all. With grimly determined expressions on their tiny porcelain faces, they formed up and dove on the Neuroi from above, evading close-in defensive fire as they went.

A couple were hit and obliterated by the Neuroi's hastily redirected beams, but most of them got through, plunging into the alien war machine's crystalline upper hull armor—and as each one struck the surface, it (she?) exploded, pulverizing and tearing away a chunk of the structure. The wave of explosions rippled across the whole upper plate, stripping it away and revealing the incomprehensible white and grey structures within.

Marisa spotted the core, twinkling red about halfway back. Pulling some altitude so she wouldn't be shooting straight past Alice, she leaned out over the side of her broom and leveled the octagonal device. As she took aim, she chanted an incantation so well-worn in her memory, she didn't even consciously register the meaning of the words any longer:

"And I shall shed my light over darkness,
for the dark things cannot stand the light...
"

The mini-Hakkero began to glow brighter and whine like a charging capacitor, vibrating more and more violently in her hand as it concentrated and amplified the magic she was dumping into it. She hung on and kept charging for as long as she dared, watching the leading edge of the regenerating armor close in on the core, then let it loose by uttering the spell's keyphrase:

"Master Spark!"

With a noise like an incontinent and disgruntled blast furnace, the mini-Hakkero unleashed a raving beam of white light, so big and bright it could easily be seen as far away as Aix-en-Provence even in broad daylight. The beam transfixed the Neuroi, disintegrating not just its core, but everything within a radius of about 15 feet around it, leaving a circular hole big enough for a sufficiently nervy pilot to fly a small aircraft through. The rest of it hung there for a couple of seconds while the echoes of the blast died away, then burst into silvery snow with that characteristic sound all fighting witches had learned to relish.

"Phew!" Marisa declared, wiping sweat from her forehead with her free arm, and swung around to pull up in a hover alongside Alice. "Outstanding. A pleasure working with you as always, Squadron Leader Murgatroyd," she said with a grin.

Smiling, Alice held up a hand; specks of light gathered in it, converging from the vicinity of the dead Neuroi's slowly settling debris cloud, and then materialized into the handful of cards she'd deployed the Doll Barrage from.

"Are you quite certain you even needed to know where the enemy's core was?" she asked archly, putting the cards away.

"I hear they move 'em around sometimes," Marisa replied. "They're getting tricksier. And I can only do that once on an average day, so, y'know. Be a helluva note to miss."

"I suppose you've a point there. Where's Reimu, by the way?"

"Still aboard," Marisa said, nodding toward the transport, which was still just visible, trucking away at best speed to the south. "IFA personnel aren't supposed to fight in this sector."

"Ah, of course. But civilians in combat, that's perfectly fine," Alice observed with a wry little smile.

Marisa ignored that little jab with magnificent insouciance and said instead, "C'mon, the AC told me they were heading for Toulon. Let's go meet 'em."


They caught up and escorted the N8K to the Gallian Navy base at Toulon, where it landed without incident in the seaplane basin and taxiied up to one of the bigger piers. Gallian sailors turned out to help the crew tie up and make all fast, and by the time the crew and single remaining passenger disembarked, a work crew from the aircraft maintenance and repair department was already assessing the needed repairs.

"Everywhere you go, you just have to put on a show, don't you?" asked Reimu as she stepped off the pier.

"Magic ain't magic if it ain't flashy," Marisa replied with a grin. "Look who I ran into!"

"Good afternoon, General Hakurei," said Alice, giving an RAF salute (adorably mirrored by her two doll companions, the blue-clad one of whom had to leave off petting Marisa's familiar to do so). "It's been some time. You're looking well."

"Alice!" said Reimu with a smile. "Well, this is a pleasant surprise. What brings you to the far end of Gallia?"

"The same thing as the two of you," Alice replied. "The Ministry for War is quite interested in the new metamagical movement that's rumored to be developing up north—particularly since, according to the latest intelligence, Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth is a follower."

"Oh ho!" said Marisa, her eyebrows going up. "The plot thickens."

"Officially, that's nothing to do with me," Reimu said. "His Majesty the Emperor sent me here to officiate at the wedding of his most decorated combat witch next month." With an affectedly nonchalant air, she added, "Whether I choose to spend the preliminary time investigating strange things that are afoot at the base where she's wing commander is entirely up to me."

"Convenient," said Marisa. "I suppose that's even a step beyond my I-was-never-here clearance."

"General," said the H8K's aircraft commander, hustling toward them from a consultation with the Gallian ground crew. "Looks like we'll be stuck here for a few days waiting for parts before they can start on the repairs."

"Well, it's not really surprising that they wouldn't have engine parts for a Kawanishi flying boat here, I suppose. Never mind, Captain, do as you must. I'm sure we can find our own transport up to Ribeauvillé from here."

"Aye aye, General. When our repairs are complete, should we wait for you here or head north?"

"You might as well stay here," said Reimu. "We don't know where our investigation may take us. Stand by here if the Gallians don't mind, and I'll send for you when you're needed."

"Roger that, ma'am." The pilot saluted, then turned and went back to his aircraft.

"Well, I dunno about you two, but I'm starving," said Marisa. "What do you say we see if we can score some chow before we line up a flight out of here?"

"Have you considered just occasionally not throwing your entire available stock of energy into a single blast?" asked Alice dryly as the three of them began walking toward the nearby clusters of base buildings.

Marisa grinned. "Go big or go home, that's my philosophy."

"How very Liberion."

"Hey, if you'd'a had us over here in '41, the Neuroi never would'a taken Gallia."

"And whose fault is it that you didn't show up until the middle of '42?"

"Don't look at me, I wasn't old enough to vote then."

"You're still not old enough to vote now," Reimu pointed out.

"Details. Details," said Marisa dismissively. Then, corraling a passing Gallian sailor, she asked, "Hey buddy, which way to the mess?"

The sailor gave her a perplexed look. "Comment?"

Speaking slowly and loudly, but no more Gallicly, Marisa repeated the question: "Which. Way. To. The. Mess?"

Alice sighed. "Are you quite certain your parents are diplomats?" she said, then spoke to the sailor in apologetic Gallic.

Reimu, who understood a little bit of that language, stifled a giggle, as she picked up just enough to know that, in addition to repeating the question in a form intelligible to him, she had also asked him to please excuse Marisa on the grounds that she was very stupid.

"What?" asked Marisa, eyeing her two fellow witches suspiciously.

"Nothing," Reimu said unconvincingly.

"The officers' mess is this way," said Alice serenely. "They may even let us in despite your tragic hat."

"There's nothing tragic about my hat!" Marisa insisted.

"Exeunt, bickering," Reimu quipped, and they all laughed as they made their way toward a belated lunch.

"The Pros from Dover" - an Our Witches at War Mini-Story by Benjamin D. Hutchins
special to the Eyrie Productions Discussion Forum
© 2020 Eyrie Productions, Unlimited


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Peter Eng Nov-01-20 1
     RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Gryphonadmin Nov-01-20 2
         RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover goldenfire Nov-02-20 4
         RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Peter Eng Nov-02-20 14
  notes Gryphonadmin Nov-02-20 3
     RE: notes goldenfire Nov-02-20 5
         RE: notes Gryphonadmin Nov-02-20 6
             RE: notes MuninsFire Nov-02-20 7
                 RE: notes Zemyla Nov-02-20 10
                     RE: notes MuninsFire Nov-02-20 11
                         RE: notes Astynax Nov-02-20 12
                             RE: notes MuninsFire Nov-02-20 13
                         RE: notes Gryphonadmin Nov-02-20 17
                             RE: notes MuninsFire Nov-02-20 21
             RE: notes goldenfire Nov-02-20 9
                 RE: notes ImpulsiveAlexia Nov-02-20 15
                     RE: notes Gryphonadmin Nov-02-20 16
                         RE: notes ImpulsiveAlexia Nov-03-20 25
                 RE: notes Gryphonadmin Nov-02-20 18
     RE: notes SpottedKitty Nov-02-20 20
         RE: notes Gryphonadmin Nov-02-20 22
     RE: notes Terminus Est Nov-03-20 23
         RE: notes Gryphonadmin Nov-03-20 24
  RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover ImpulsiveAlexia Nov-02-20 8
     RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Gryphonadmin Nov-02-20 19
         RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover ImpulsiveAlexia Nov-03-20 26
         RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Nova Floresca Nov-03-20 27
  RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Astynax Nov-03-20 28
  RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Nathan Nov-04-20 29
     RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Gryphonadmin Nov-04-20 30
         RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover Nathan Nov-04-20 31
         RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover ImpulsiveAlexia Nov-06-20 32

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Peter Eng
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Nov-01-20, 11:37 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #0
 
   And so the response to Zauberschule appears. At least we now know that spell cards are not totally forgotten.

Also, I think this quote is relevant: "The problem with casting Tenryū is that you start getting about a phone call an hour from Tatsuta's agent."

Peter Eng
--
Insert humorous comment here.


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-01-20, 11:42 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #1
 
   >Also, I think this quote is relevant: "The problem with casting
>Tenryū is that you start getting about a phone call an hour from
>Tatsuta's agent."

Sort of? I mean, I needed somebody to fill that role anyway, and they were right there. In fact, I'm tempted to wonder if the next bit of OWaW's planned plot hasn't hung as long as it has because it was waiting for me to run across the right characters to put in those slots. You may scoff, but this has happened before.

Alice is, to date, the only character from outside Embodiment of Scarlet Devil to come in, primarily because she is in a million-billion doujins with Marisa and/or Patchouli (and, by extension, Sakuya), so if you research EoSD characters, you'll inevitably meet her.

--G.
in the interest of full disclosure, there are two others who are likely to at some point, but not in OWaW, and my interest in borrowing them doesn't have much to do with the actual game they're from
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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goldenfire
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Nov-02-20, 00:06 AM (EST)
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4. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #2
 
   >Sort of? I mean, I needed somebody to fill that role anyway, and they
>were right there. In fact, I'm tempted to wonder if the next bit of
>OWaW's planned plot hasn't hung as long as it has because it was
>waiting for me to run across the right characters to put in those
>slots. You may scoff, but this has happened before.

You've said before that the characters often rewrite the story on you, this is just the...next logical step -- preventing you from writing the story until the characters have arrived in the green room (that cross-town traffic is MURDER),

>Alice is, to date, the only character from outside Embodiment of
>Scarlet Devil
to come in, primarily because she is in a
>million-billion doujins with Marisa and/or Patchouli (and, by
>extension, Sakuya), so if you research EoSD characters, you'll
>inevitably meet her.

I'm going to love seeing all the interactions here, just to see how it all shakes out. Very cool stuff.



==Jeremy
And who exactly is this diabolical 'they' to which we keep referring? If there's some grand conspiracy going on, the right hand doesn't appear to know what the left is doing. --Raziel (Soul Reaver II)


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Peter Eng
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Nov-02-20, 02:21 PM (EST)
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14. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #2
 
   >>Also, I think this quote is relevant: "The problem with casting
>>Tenryū is that you start getting about a phone call an hour from
>>Tatsuta's agent."
>
>Sort of? I mean, I needed somebody to fill that role anyway, and they
>were right there. In fact, I'm tempted to wonder if the next bit of
>OWaW's planned plot hasn't hung as long as it has because it was
>waiting for me to run across the right characters to put in those
>slots. You may scoff, but this has happened before.
>

Hm. So in this case, it's less about agents and more a riff on the old myth of being discovered while drinking a chocolate malted at the soda fountain. :)

Peter Eng
--
Insert humorous comment here.


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-02-20, 00:04 AM (EST)
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3. "notes"
In response to message #0
 
   Kawanishi H8K3 Type 2 heavy flying boat - A version of this aircraft adapted for carrying witches can be seen in the first couple episodes of Strike Witches 2, in which it transports Mio and Yoshika back to Europe from Fusō. That one has a retractable launch stage for a Striker that deploys through the top, whereas the model we see here has a belly hatch adapted from a bomb bay (abaft the part of the fuselage that serves as the boat hull).

In real life, the H8K series served as transports and maritime patrol aircraft, in the latter of which capacities it commonly carried torpedoes. Its Allied reporting name was "Emily".

its hated rival, the Navy - It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that the only organizations the two main arms of the Imperial Japanese armed forces hated more than the enemy were each other. This is true to the extent that the IJA had its own ships and submarines, rather than rely on the Navy for supplies and amphibious operations support, and the IJN had its own land-based air force, in addition to the aircraft that operated off carriers.

Squadron Leader Alice Murgatroyd - The traditional romanization of this character's surname in Touhou circles is "Margatroid", but as that strikes me as a classic "transcribed to kana and then back to romaji" error in the vein of "Belldandy", I've taken the liberty of switching it back for OWaW purposes. (The canonical version is obviously not an RAF officer, either. :)

Doll Barrage: Operation Hydra - In the real World War II, Operation Hydra was the codename of a 1943 RAF Bomber Command attack on the German V-weapon development complex at Peenemünde in northeastern Germany.

Alice's exploding dolls - It's not clear in the original whether these are really expended, like Scrubbing Bubbles in the old "suicide mission" TV commercials, or magically re-manifest back at "base" (as is commonly accepted to happen with carrier-based aircraft that are shot down in Kantai Collection fan works). Since I'm not going for the grimdarque here, I opt for the latter interpretation.

the mini-Hakkero - Exactly what this thing is is also not entirely clear, although its name comes from a magical furnace that features in the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West. Marisa basically uses it as a pocket Reflex furnace.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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goldenfire
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Nov-02-20, 00:08 AM (EST)
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5. "RE: notes"
In response to message #3
 
   >the mini-Hakkero - Exactly what this thing is is also not
>entirely clear, although its name comes from a magical furnace that
>features in the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West.
> Marisa basically uses it as a pocket Reflex furnace.

can she also use it as afterburner for her broom? Hopefully at a lower energy setting than 'all of it, right now' like she does when it's serving as a reflex _cannon_...



==Jeremy
And who exactly is this diabolical 'they' to which we keep referring? If there's some grand conspiracy going on, the right hand doesn't appear to know what the left is doing. --Raziel (Soul Reaver II)


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Gryphonadmin
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6. "RE: notes"
In response to message #5
 
   >can she also use it as afterburner for her broom? Hopefully at a
>lower energy setting than 'all of it, right now' like she does when
>it's serving as a reflex _cannon_...

Probably, if she had somewhere to mount it. In doujinshi, she's occasionally shown using it as a more general source of heat (e.g., using it as a field-expedient camp stove to boil water for tea). In one I've read, she even uses it as a hair dryer, much to Reimu's discomfiture (since it's her hair Marisa is drying with one of the most dangerous weapons in their world). :)

She doesn't really need to do that, though, since even without it she's one of the fastest fliers in the game setting (supposedly only Aya Shameimaru, who is a crow tengu, and Remilia Scarlet can fly faster). Funnily enough, the broom doesn't actually do anything! It's just there for style points.

--G.
"Be careful you don't blow my head off!"
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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MuninsFire
Member since Mar-27-07
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Nov-02-20, 01:31 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: notes"
In response to message #6
 
   The thought 'miniature fold drive' came to mind followed by 'wait they don't have computers yet do they'

--
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome
decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river,
ran
Through caverns measureless to
man
Down to a sunless sea


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Zemyla
Member since Mar-26-08
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Nov-02-20, 09:39 AM (EST)
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10. "RE: notes"
In response to message #7
 
   >The thought 'miniature fold drive' came to mind followed by 'wait they
>don't have computers yet do they'

Caroline Norden is disappointed in you for not remembering her work. Analog computers with sights and dials and cams inside to do the calculations are perfectly in idiom.

Allie Turing is also disappointed, but she's more understanding. The Neuroi don't use any known form of encryption, so Bletchley Park is probably up to something different right now. Also, most witches can't carry supercomputers.

She does appreciate not having to worry about her gayness being discovered in this timeline, though.


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MuninsFire
Member since Mar-27-07
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Nov-02-20, 10:45 AM (EST)
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11. "RE: notes"
In response to message #10
 
   >>The thought 'miniature fold drive' came to mind followed by 'wait they
>>don't have computers yet do they'
>
>Caroline Norden is
>disappointed in you for not remembering her work. Analog computers
>with sights and dials and cams inside to do the calculations are
>perfectly in idiom.
>
>Allie Turing is also disappointed,
>but she's more understanding. The Neuroi don't use any known form of
>encryption, so Bletchley Park is probably up to something different
>right now. Also, most witches can't carry supercomputers.
>
>She does appreciate not having to worry about her gayness being
>discovered in this timeline, though.

Ok, yes, my terminology could've used some cleaning up.

However, it was always my impression that for some reason fold calculations were fantastically complex and required substantial - by overtech standards! - computing resources to complete successfully, and that while the bombsight is a -marvel- of analog computing it's still just doing ballistics calcs.

But then I got to thinking about how to make it work and remembered we have an overtech...well, PDA, I guess, and a time machine (The World) so theoretically if we took Gryphon's omnitool, The World, and the portable reflex furnace as mentioned, using The World to extend the time available to make the calculations...well, maybe it'd work?

--
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome
decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river,
ran
Through caverns measureless to
man
Down to a sunless sea


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Astynax
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Nov-02-20, 11:30 AM (EST)
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12. "RE: notes"
In response to message #11
 
   >Ok, yes, my terminology could've used some cleaning up.
>
>However, it was always my impression that for some reason fold
>calculations were fantastically complex and required substantial - by
>overtech standards! - computing resources to complete successfully,
>and that while the bombsight is a -marvel- of analog computing it's
>still just doing ballistics calcs.
>

I believe some of the complexity is due to the mind bending distances involved, plus various gravitational forces and other physics fun. More local jumps would be comparatively less painful, though still probably beyond an analog computer.

>But then I got to thinking about how to make it work and remembered we
>have an overtech...well, PDA, I guess, and a time machine (The World)
>so theoretically if we took Gryphon's omnitool, The World, and the
>portable reflex furnace as mentioned, using The World to extend the
>time available to make the calculations...well, maybe it'd work?
>

I'm not sure any sane being, or even most insane beings, would want to mess around with Rube Goldberg's Portable Fold Drive.


-={(Astynax)}=-
"This Space For Rent."


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MuninsFire
Member since Mar-27-07
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Nov-02-20, 11:52 AM (EST)
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13. "RE: notes"
In response to message #12
 
   >>Ok, yes, my terminology could've used some cleaning up.
>>
>>However, it was always my impression that for some reason fold
>>calculations were fantastically complex and required substantial - by
>>overtech standards! - computing resources to complete successfully,
>>and that while the bombsight is a -marvel- of analog computing it's
>>still just doing ballistics calcs.
>>
>
>I believe some of the complexity is due to the mind bending distances
>involved, plus various gravitational forces and other physics fun.
>More local jumps would be comparatively less painful, though still
>probably beyond an analog computer.
>

Hm, point - so if it's a jump pinned to a local frame of reference then maaaaybe you could eliminate most of the math in favor of some pre-built tables - which'd be clumsy as hell but that -might- knock it down into analog computer range, albeit the time-to-calculate might still require a bit of extra pep to make it work in a reasonable fashion.

>>But then I got to thinking about how to make it work and remembered we
>>have an overtech...well, PDA, I guess, and a time machine (The World)
>>so theoretically if we took Gryphon's omnitool, The World, and the
>>portable reflex furnace as mentioned, using The World to extend the
>>time available to make the calculations...well, maybe it'd work?
>>
>
>I'm not sure any sane being, or even most insane beings, would want to
>mess around with Rube Goldberg's Portable Fold Drive.
>

I mean....if it's a truly desperate situation with incredibly high stakes...? but yeah I'd prrrrobably want a few safety measures in place. Y'know, at least a space suit, locator beacon, and some form of comms.

--
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome
decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river,
ran
Through caverns measureless to
man
Down to a sunless sea


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-02-20, 06:25 PM (EST)
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17. "RE: notes"
In response to message #11
 
   >But then I got to thinking about how to make it work and remembered we
>have an overtech...well, PDA, I guess, and a time machine (The World)
>so theoretically if we took Gryphon's omnitool, The World, and the
>portable reflex furnace as mentioned, using The World to extend the
>time available to make the calculations...well, maybe it'd work?

For the record, the phrase "portable Reflex furnace" is a riff on the fact that it can be used to make a great honking energy beam, not a literal description. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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MuninsFire
Member since Mar-27-07
404 posts
Nov-02-20, 07:07 PM (EST)
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21. "RE: notes"
In response to message #17
 
   Well shucks. And her I was hoping for completely epic triple-tech combos in utterly dire circumstances ;-)

--
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome
decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river,
ran
Through caverns measureless to
man
Down to a sunless sea


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goldenfire
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Nov-02-20, 08:55 AM (EST)
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9. "RE: notes"
In response to message #6
 
   >>can she also use it as afterburner for her broom? Hopefully at a
>>lower energy setting than 'all of it, right now' like she does when
>>it's serving as a reflex _cannon_...
>
>Probably, if she had somewhere to mount it.

Maybe it was just a MinusT thing (I can't actually recall where I saw it), but I seem to recall seeing her just sort of...nestling it into the bristles of the broom.

> In doujinshi, she's
>occasionally shown using it as a more general source of heat (e.g.,
>using it as a field-expedient camp stove to boil water for tea). In
>one I've read, she even uses it as a hair dryer, much to Reimu's
>discomfiture (since it's her hair Marisa is drying with one of the
>most dangerous weapons in their world). :)

I would say that nervousness is....understandable, yes.

>She doesn't really need to do that, though, since even without it
>she's one of the fastest fliers in the game setting (supposedly only
>Aya Shameimaru, who is a crow tengu, and Remilia Scarlet can fly
>faster). Funnily enough, the broom doesn't actually do anything!
>It's just there for style points.

I somehow missed that fact entirely. I wonder if the combat witches will be confused by the fact that she uses a broom but doesn't actually need it (or are they familiar with her, if not personally, since she seems like a vaguely-famous person)


I also have this feeling, now, that when these 3 actually meet the Scarlet Devil crew, they will all end up friends in the end, but the process is likely to be...Nanoha-style.



==Jeremy
And who exactly is this diabolical 'they' to which we keep referring? If there's some grand conspiracy going on, the right hand doesn't appear to know what the left is doing. --Raziel (Soul Reaver II)


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ImpulsiveAlexia
Member since Oct-22-20
8 posts
Nov-02-20, 02:45 PM (EST)
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15. "RE: notes"
In response to message #9
 
   Wait, I think I'm confused. Is "Marisa doesn't need a broom to fly" a thing about Marisa here, or is it Touhou canon that's inherited here, or what? Because if it's Touhou canon, that's definitely something I missed. (Or could have come in after I stopped paying close attention, I guess.)

I know I've seen one fanfic that ran with "Marisa needed the broom to fly to start with, but later she learned how to fly without it (which is why she's still alive), but keeps using the broom anyway for style". But it's Touhou fanfic, so you can never tell what came from where.

-IA.

(received information not interpretable)


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-02-20, 06:23 PM (EST)
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16. "RE: notes"
In response to message #15
 
   >Wait, I think I'm confused. Is "Marisa doesn't need a broom to fly" a
>thing about Marisa here, or is it Touhou canon that's inherited here,
>or what? Because if it's Touhou canon, that's definitely something I
>missed.

I thought it said so on her character page in the Touhou wikia, but I just looked again and now it says that particular datum is "unconfirmed", though it notes that the broom's appearance isn't consistent within the games themselves.

So I guess it's a thing about her here. (shrug)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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ImpulsiveAlexia
Member since Oct-22-20
8 posts
Nov-03-20, 02:16 AM (EST)
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25. "RE: notes"
In response to message #16
 
   Hmmm. I thought I remembered it being pretty consistent within the shooting games, but Marisa definitely pulls off some air maneuverability without the broom in the fighting games. Of course, the game is balanced around everyone being able to do that stuff, so it'd be a problem if she couldn't.

(Which isn't to say she never flies on her broom in those; in particular she leaps on it and tries to ram the opponent on a regular basis in Immaterial and Missing Power.)

-IA.

(received information not interpretable)


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-02-20, 06:36 PM (EST)
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18. "RE: notes"
In response to message #9
 
   >I wonder if the combat witches
>will be confused by the fact that she uses a broom but doesn't
>actually need it (or are they familiar with her, if not personally,
>since she seems like a vaguely-famous person)

She just has that kind of personality—she's not actually very well-known, but she often gives new acquaintances the impression that they should have known of her already. :)

As for witches who can fly without some form of assistance, they're rare, but not unheard-of. "Conventional" witches who have been taught to fly brooms (as, e.g., Yoshika and Perrine were at one point in the TV series) usually recognize, on some level, that the broom itself is just a prop, and thus that it would be theoretically possible to transcend that limitation and fly without them, but in the Striker era, there's not much incentive for actually bothering.

(Alice is cheating slightly in that she's descended on her mother's side from the fey folk once endemic to the Britannic Isles, so her flight magic is innate. Like a Kryptonian, she doesn't even really have to think about it; it's like walking, only in three dimensions.)

>I also have this feeling, now, that when these 3 actually meet the
>Scarlet Devil crew, they will all end up friends in the end, but the
>process is likely to be...Nanoha-style.

Well, I gather that is often the way of friendships in their own source material, too.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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SpottedKitty
Member since Jun-15-04
599 posts
Nov-02-20, 07:02 PM (EST)
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20. "RE: notes"
In response to message #3
 
   >Kawanishi H8K3 Type 2 heavy flying boat - A version of this
>aircraft adapted for carrying witches can be seen in the first couple
>episodes of Strike Witches 2, in which it transports Mio and
>Yoshika back to Europe from Fusō. That one has a retractable
>launch stage for a Striker that deploys through the top, whereas the
>model we see here has a belly hatch adapted from a bomb bay (abaft the
>part of the fuselage that serves as the boat hull).

Another blast from the past; looks a bit like a slimmed-down version of the Sunderland, right down to the shape and position of some parts.

Interesting to see flying witches who don't use Strikers. I'd almost forgotten that "training montage" bit in the original anime. Now I'm wondering if there's any dusty old boxes in a storeroom back at Château Saint-Ulrich labelled "Broom: Not For Use By Cleaning Staff"...

--
Unable to save the day: File is read-only.


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-02-20, 07:33 PM (EST)
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22. "RE: notes"
In response to message #20
 
   >Another blast from the past; looks a bit like a slimmed-down version
>of the Sunderland, right down to the shape and position of some parts.

That makes sense--Kawanishi had a business relationship with Short Brothers in the 1930s. The H8K's ancestor the H3K was developed under license from the Short Rangoon, the H6K (the H8K's immediate predecessor) was designed with some input from Short engineers as well.

>Now I'm wondering if there's any dusty old boxes in a storeroom back
>at Château Saint-Ulrich labelled "Broom: Not For Use By Cleaning
>Staff"...

Device, Flight Assist, Witch, Non-Powered, No. 1 Mk I*

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Terminus Est
Member since Nov-5-04
510 posts
Nov-03-20, 00:47 AM (EST)
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23. "RE: notes"
In response to message #3
 
   Hmm... In-universe, maybe the Hakkero came from the same source as The World? Possibly a charging device intended for same, adapted Long, Long Ago by Oriental mages to do things that were very definitely not in the original handbook? (I say Oriental because I thiiiink the markings on it are from the I-Cheng trigram.)


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-03-20, 01:25 AM (EST)
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24. "RE: notes"
In response to message #23
 
   >Hmm... In-universe, maybe the Hakkero came from the same source as
>The World? Possibly a charging device intended for same, adapted
>Long, Long Ago by Oriental mages to do things that were very
>definitely not in the original handbook?

Nah, The World charges off USB-C.

... that's a lie. It's probably powered by the Vortex itself. :)

>(I say Oriental because I
>thiiiink the markings on it are from the I-Cheng trigram.)

They are indeed. Whatever it is, it seems to be of Cathayan origin, or at least was there long enough to pick up the local style.

Semi-relatedly, I have this whole capsule history of these three characters and where they know each other from, which, given the role they play in their appearance in OWaW, there's not likely to be an un-clunky place to relate within the narrative, which is annoying. Maybe I should write up FD dossiers for them or something once their story arc wraps up.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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ImpulsiveAlexia
Member since Oct-22-20
8 posts
Nov-02-20, 03:43 AM (EST)
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8. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #0
 
   I am simultaneously disappointed to not see Marisa using a striker unit here, and tickled to see her using a broom here.

Of course, that did not stop me from imagining Marisa using a striker unit. Or looking for fanart of same. (I didn't find any. But I did find some of Mystia in one. Fanartists, sometimes I don't understand you.)

-IA.

(And it's not that I don't like Mystia, just...)


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-02-20, 06:38 PM (EST)
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19. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #8
 
   >(I didn't find any. But I did
>find some of Mystia in one. Fanartists, sometimes I don't understand
>you.)

Isn't she a bird anyway? That seems redundant. Like giving Okuu a jetpack. ... Although that would look pretty cool teamed up with her atomic arm cannon. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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ImpulsiveAlexia
Member since Oct-22-20
8 posts
Nov-03-20, 02:56 AM (EST)
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26. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #19
 
   >Isn't she a bird anyway? That seems redundant.

I dunno, I just work here elsewhere.

You could probably say that she can go faster with a striker, but you could probably play that card for just about anyone in Touhou, since flight seems to be a standard ability for just about anyone whether they've got wings or not.

I did also find one of Nazrin, but I was a bit more hesitant to mention that one, since it pushes the envelope a lot more RE: worksafeness. ("They are panties, and I'm embarrassed.")

-IA.

(I had a CoH character with the little bat wings that I said needed the extra thrust from the jetpack to fly, and I liked the way it looked, but originally it was just to save a power slot.)


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Nova Floresca
Member since Sep-13-13
393 posts
Nov-03-20, 02:54 PM (EST)
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27. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #19
 
   >Like giving Okuu a jetpack

"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Project Pluto!"

"This is probably a stupid question, but . . ."


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Astynax
Charter Member
932 posts
Nov-03-20, 11:15 PM (EST)
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28. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #0
 
   This seems like a fun trio. Given that my only exposure to Touhou is here and fanart, I'm still getting a read on them, but I'm looking forward to where they'll go. So far Marisa is off to an early lead as far as who is the most fun to watch, and I have to agree with her that her hat is not tragic.


-={(Astynax)}=-
"This Space For Rent."


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Nathan
Charter Member
1361 posts
Nov-04-20, 01:59 AM (EST)
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29. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #0
 
   >"And I shall shed my light over darkness,
>for the dark things cannot stand the light...
"

Laser...

>The mini-Hakkero began to glow brighter and whine like a charging
>capacitor, vibrating more and more violently in her hand as it
>concentrated and amplified the magic she was dumping into it. She
>hung on and kept charging for as long as she dared, watching the
>leading edge of the regenerating armor close in on the core, then let
>it loose by uttering the spell's keyphrase:
>
>"Master Spark!"

...Is not difficult.

-----
Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!


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Gryphonadmin
Charter Member
20720 posts
Nov-04-20, 02:02 AM (EST)
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30. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #29
 
   Isn't that a different spell card? Not that the title of it makes any sense. Lasers are by their very nature directional. "Non-Directional Laser" is a nonsense phrase. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Nathan
Charter Member
1361 posts
Nov-04-20, 03:27 PM (EST)
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31. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #30
 
   >Isn't that a different spell card? Not that the title of it makes any
>sense. Lasers are by their very nature directional. "Non-Directional
>Laser" is a nonsense phrase. :)

Don't ask me, Boss, I just report the memes, I don't make 'em.

-----
Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!


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ImpulsiveAlexia
Member since Oct-22-20
8 posts
Nov-06-20, 04:36 AM (EST)
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32. "RE: OWaW: The Pros from Dover"
In response to message #30
 
   The versions of this meme that I've seen have definitely been about Master Spark, or one of it's close variations.

-IA.

(received information not interpretable)


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