1331/A Light into the Abyss

From Radiant Heart MUSH

A Light into the Abyss
Date of Scene: 22 March 2024
Location: The Shed
Synopsis: A strategy session is organised, trying to determine how to best assault Gaito's castle.
Cast of Characters: Coco Kiumi, Yuuto Shiraishi, Usagi Tsukino, Haruka Tenoh, Cho Konishi, Minako Aino, Mamoru Chiba, Amanda Faust, Kureha Senkenzan, Makoto Kino, Zoisite, Madoka Kaname
Tinyplot: Usagi's Abyssal Nightmare

Coco Kiumi has posed:
Voice has been spreading through the 'sparkleskirt' community of RHA that there is going to be need of as many heroes as possible for an assault on an enemy stronghold. How has it been spreading? Coco has been telling it to those she knew and asking to spread the voice, as has Usagi. Some may have even been reached by an otter carrying a letter, in the case Coco hadn't managed to find them herself.

When people arrive to the Shed, Coco will be there as Yellow Pearl Voice, the Sealing Key already in her hand, detached from the necklace Coco usually carries it onto, waiting to see who answers the call.

Yuuto Shiraishi has posed:
Where else would Yuuto be? Always supportive of his girlfriend's efforts, in this case doubly so as it involves her home. And since he's going to be part of it himself, someday - he's already present as he is working on setting out some cups and 2Ls of juice and a big package of sandwich cookies - in case anyone wants a snack.

A fond smile offered to Yellow Voice as he comes over to offer her one of the cookies. "You're gonna do great." he offers to her in encouragement. "If anyone can raise an army with her voice, it's you." A wink and a kiss to her cheek, before he goes to sit near where she plans to speak.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Usagi arrives at the Shed with a yawn and droopy eyes. As has been usual for the last several months, despite her good cheer, she's exhausted - and seems even moreso than usual, even. She's asked her Senshi - those who were available, anyway, to join them at the Shed for something important.

No, she did not tell everyone about the evil merman sending her nightmares, because he's Coco's supervillain, so that makes it all Coco's job.

"Thanks for being able to explain," she yawns as she nears the shed.

Having already been keyed into the Shed, she tromps to the door, gives Coco a quick and exhausted hug, and then without another word, flops into the nearest chair inside the Shed.

"I'm so sleepy I could diiiiiiiiiie," she whines mournfully, voice distorted by being inside while everyone else is outside.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Pretty much the only thing needed to secure Sailor Uranus' assistance on a situation like this is to insuinate that it might turn into a fight and that Usagi wants help. It's the kind of help the second tallest of the Pretty Soldiers is especially capable of providing, that and winning races. The second one doesn't come up as often. So she's not just here, but she's here relatively early, in her full fuku, looking around the room and promptly walking right up to Usagi, taking a standing position right beside her.

    "I'm gonna guess it's not as simple as just get more sleep?" she asks the bun-haired blonde.

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cure Wukong was, of course, there. Coco was her best friend. If there was something involving beating the butt of somebody who she didn't like, then Cho had to come. And Cure Wukong was always up for helping her friends.

However, as she was currently waiting, she'd decided to fiddle with her powers while she waited... in this case? Her cloud.

Which was why, while Usagi was 'unable to sleep'.... Cure Wukong was laying on her cloud and was now sleeping. Having conked out (just for a minute!) on the soft, puffy fixture...

Okay, but can you blame her? Who WOULDN'T want to sleep on a cloud? Especially a big, pink, poofy one?

Minako Aino has posed:
"You need like...a massage, some scented candles, some soothing tea or...something," Minako offer, 'Dr Venus' perscription admittedly lame, but she was trying as she walked in with the others. To be here as Sailor V might have made her more recognizable, but even if others hadn't worked things out (which was less likely with every meeting) it would probably stand out for a Senshi to be missing.

Striding along, the best she can offer the other blonde is a little sympathetic pat on the back.

Mamoru Chiba has posed:
A quick smile for Coco! And then following Usagi, also having already been keyed in, Mamoru -- who is also not Tuxedo Mask right now -- deposits himself in the desk next to hers, folded up like a paper crane to fit in such a way as to allow him the angle to offer under his breath, "Do you want a shoulder rub or would that actually make you fall asleep in the meeting?"

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy arrives at the shed and, seeing Coco already transformed, does the same. "So um. To be clear. Is this *planning* an attack, or are we setting out *today?*"

    She gives friendly nods to those she knows, and gives Usagi a concerned and surprised look. "Jesus, what *happened* to you? I mean, I guess when I was your age I was staying up way too late to talk to online friends three or four timezones away, but... that's not it, is it?"

Kureha Senkenzan has posed:
    Coco was one of the earliest people to fight alongside Kureha Senkenzan, and the Youkai Musume has not forgotten. She most certainly intended to be available when Yellow Pearl Voice put out a call for help, and so it is that the door to the shed opens and an oni steps in. There's exactly one step before the horned girl pauses, and... fidgets awkwardly. Not everyone is in their civvies, but most of them are, so being transformed leaves her feeling awkward, just briefly.

    But Onihime decides to push past it, stepping in and holding her hands together. There is, however, a moment where she hears something, blinks, and slowly wheels those fire-colored eyes around to stare at Amy.

    "'When I was your age'...?"

Makoto Kino has posed:
Sailor Jupiter follows in Usagi's wake alongside Venus, with a canvas tote bag slung somewhat incongruously over her arm. She gives Yellow Pearl Voice a polite nod before filing on into the Shed and looking immediately for a likely flat surface. On spotting the drinks and cookies, she brightens a little.

"Oh, good. I wasn't sure I'd have enough for everyone. I should've expected that someone else would be looking out." So saying, she heads over to where Yuuto set out the snacks and proceeds to unpack a blank white paper baker's box containing little squares of sweet bean cake.

Makoto, too, gives Amy a rather odd look at 'when I was your age'. "You mean, last year?" With a shake of her head she scoops a square of cake into a paper napkin and brings it back to offer to Usagi where she's flomped into her chair.

Zoisite has posed:
    Having arrived separately, on his own, Zoisite has decided to come in his Shitennou uniform, the lines of the light grey suit as crisp as the spring day they find themselves gathering during. He tucks a hair behind his ear but is otherwise in fine form, aiming to represent his fellows here today and support the royal pair.

    Since he's already been keyed in to the Shed he could go ahead through, but he waits outside with the general gathering to get a good view of those who have arrived first, and maybe drop a few eaves on the way. Information gathering is always a good habit to have, even when it comes to your allies.

Coco Kiumi has posed:
Coco answers back to Yuuto's kiss on her cheek with one of her own before everyone manages to gather and settle. 'Thanks for bringing all this', she adds with a smile before focusing back on everyone.

Cho is currently sleeping on her cloud, so Coco, knowing her friend would enjoy it, looks down at two of the otters that came with her. <You can go give her some company, it's very poofy>, she relays to them, followed by their nodding of confirmation.

The two otters, scurrying close to it, hop onto the cloud. Soon, the two of them are each cuddling at both of Cho's sides, resting.

After smiling back to Mamoru and waving to to those she is at least acquainted with, she starts speaking to the group of heroes that have come, starting from Amy with her question. "Hello, everyone. We are here to plan an attack against the Gaito of the Panthalassa, an enemy of the 7 mermaid kingdoms", Coco starts explaining.

"Until recently he has been content with sending his servant to try in vain to capture the 6 mermaid princesses missing for his plan of conquest. One of them, Noel, is still in Gaito's prison to this day. However, ever since the start of this year, he has been sending nightmares to Sailor Moon from the safety of his underwater castle. This to him is a punishment for destroying a precious book in his collection that allowed for the casting of many spells."

Yuuto Shiraishi has posed:
As the Steam Sentinel is brought in on the backstory of what has brought them here, Yuuto snacks on a cookie and takes a sip of juice. There's a sympathetic look cast over towards Usagi as she's mentioned, his attention on her for a moment, before returning back to Yellow Voice's information.

He does, however, reach behind him and up slightly. His hand grasps the cloud and gives it a quick shake, hand dropping hopefully before Cho is awaken. It would be terrible for her to sleep through the presentation, after all.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Usagi flaps her arm in Coco's direction as questions pile up, confident that her friend would be able to explain things. The only person who gets a real verbal response is Mamoru, who gets a mournful, "That sounds so nice, Venus-chan. Mamochan could light the candles and then get some music and then massage my shoulders... except then I would fall asleep so fast, then when I woke up, I would jump and fall out of this chair and die. Just die, right here on the floor, in front of all of you and Raccoon-kun."

It is not the ideal way to go, and yet, she is sure this is what the future would hold.

Then Makoto offers her a square of cake, and the world seems tolerable again, fresh and new and hopeful. Nothing in the world is bad, when there's cake!

The cake lasts for a good twenty seconds? And then there is again darkness and misery in the world.

"I take it back, Mamochan. I want you to give me a shoulder rub... Amy-chan, you can't say confusing things like that and then not explain," she siiighs.

When Coco does explain, she nods, and forces herself to sit up a little.

"It's liken Voice-chan says," she yawns, "The big dumb jerk has been giving me all kinds of nightmares, and I was kind of, not like, okay with it, but whatever about it for a while, but Mamochan and Voice-chan and Naru-chan and everyone said I was being dumb. So, please help kick an evil underwater guy's but so I can sleep!"

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    To say that this annoys Sailor Uranus is... to put it very mildly. "Well, maybe if he wasn't being an evil jerk nothing would have happened to his precious book, but I guess we're gonna have to re-teach him a lesson. So what's the plan, we apply... percussive maintenance to the guy till he stops annoying our friend."

    She punctuates the question by punching her fist into her other hand. "Although the last time I tried to fight in water it went... less well, than I would have wanted."

Makoto Kino has posed:
Cake delivered, Sailor Jupiter finds herself something to lean on and folds her arms loosely across her chest while she listens to Yellow Pearl Voice's explanation and Usagi's additions. "My power doesn't exactly mix well with water, either," she notes wryly aside to Sailor Uranus, before her attention returns to the main topic at hand.

"So... if he's hiding out in an underwater castle, how do we get to him to make him stop? Is there a plan, or is that what we're here to figure out now?"

Mamoru Chiba has posed:
"Do you have a way to get us all underwater to fight him in a way that we won't, um..." Mamoru starts, hands resting lightly on Usagi's shoulders, "...drown?"

He dutifully starts giving Usagi a shoulder-rub, though every time she seems like she's going to actually fall asleep, he pauses. He doesn't want her to fall out of her chair and then die. "And once we're underwater, do we just pound on his fortress until it breaks? Does it have magical shields?"

Kureha Senkenzan has posed:
    "So," Onihime summarizes, "He opens hostilities, then gets upset when his targets retaliate." Casually, she reaches up, giving her two-colored hair an almost contemptuous flip. "I am certainly willing to lend my strength to such a contemptible foe's defeat. Do we have a plan?"

    There's a pause. A glance at the table. A glance at Sailor Jupiter. Another pause.

    "...is... is that anko?"

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cure Wukong groggily opened her eyes at the approach of the otters and the light shake. Truly, truly they were perfect. Otterly perfect.

She picked one up and gaveit an affectionate squeeze. "S-sorry," she mumbled softly. "Studying. Hmm?" and then she saw Usagi.

"W-wow..." she whispered softly. Before she could say much, though, Coco went into the explanation! She gasped. "Rude! Attacking someone's sleep, that's like. A form of torture! We're gonna pound this dweeb into the ground. Trust us, Usagi-chan, you've got all of us on your side, we can't lose." Pause. "Even the otters are here for you!" She then looked down at the pair of otters, her cloud inching over to float by the exhausted girl and... she held one out. "I think you need this more than me..." It was fine, she still had one to snuggle. "Voice lets me hug the otters all the time. It's awesome..." she whispered to her. "And once we deal with this, I'll lend you my cloud and you can have a long nap on it, okay?"

Minako Aino has posed:
"If that is what takes Sailor Moon down..." Venus mock-deadpans, but she too is happily distracted by the treasure that is Makoto's treats before topics shift and she's back to the explaination. Evil-doer? Check. Messing with her friends? They were going to get a butt-kicking.

Buuuut Uranus makes a point that has her frowning a little. "True. We're not mermaids, so breathing, let-alone fighting is going to be a problem."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy looks back neutrally at Jupiter. "No, last year I made sure not to stay up too late because I had to come to my job at the University every morning." She takes a breath. "Several of you have memories of past lives as some kind of Royal Court on the moon, right? I'm not sure having been an adult before I became a magical is weirder than that, actually..."

    She strokes her chin. "Although, maybe it is. After all, there's several of you, but I've met no one else who was older, or who used to be a--" She pauses and sighs. "Anyway... Come to think of it, I used to sleep like crap and it's been way better since this happened..."

    Coco sends otters to Cho. "Oh my god that's adorable." If there are spare otters she is absolutely trying to pick one up and cuddle it.

    And then Coco explains that Gaito has been sending Usagi nightmares. "Oh my god... wait, every night for months?!" She turns and stares at Usagi. "Oh my gosh... how are you... how are you even functioning?" She runs over to offer Usagi a hug, and nods. "Yeah, yeah. It's totally fine to ask for help with that, geeze! I'm sorry you were made to feel like you couldn't..."

Zoisite has posed:
    Arms folded over his chest, Zoisite takes this information in silently, though the wheels are turning in his mind. The explanation of why Usagi had been cursed prompts him to let out a quiet exhalation, not quite a sigh, just a small sharing of his displeasure. Not at Usagi, but at someone so bumbling as to have lost his spell book. Hopefully this makes whoever this enemy is an easier target.

    Other people speak up with concerns he had, specifically regarding fighting underwater. It's certainly not his specialty either, and as he looks around at those assembled, Zoi can hazard a guess that it's the same for most of them too.

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope Blossom, exasperated and out of breath, suddenly pushes the door open and charges into the room. "Sorry I'm late! I got lost... Did I miss much?"

    Trailing behind her is the tiny fairy Brai. "What do you mean you got lost? It's the Shed! Everyone knows where the Shed is."

    Madoka points her surprised gaze at Brai and whines, "You mean you knew about this place and never told me?!"

    Brai starts to respond, but Gretchen moves in behind Madoka and interrupts the other fairy, "If Doka's gonna be running that hard there better either be snacks or a fire--" The dark fairy looks around at the sheer number of mahou present and suddenly gets hesitant. "O-oh..."

    Madoka offers an awkward laugh and an apologetic bow before shuffling her two fairies into the room.

Coco Kiumi has posed:
There is an otter moving around for Amy to pick up, and the redhead may find she only needs a little bit of coaxing before she lets herself be picked up. When Madoka comes in, Coco waves to her and smiles "Thanks for coming, Hope Blossom, we have just started!"

"Yes, I do have a way to solve that issue, Mamoru", Coco confirms with a smile. "That is one of the reasons we have been unable to do anything until now. The others being that his castle is constantly moving along the seafloor, making it hard to track down, and that we would be stopped anyway if we tried to enter."

Fixing a fugitive strand of hair back into place, the yellow mermaid adds. "Through circumstances unknown to me, the Sealing Key, Aqua Regina's relic that originally completely blocked Gaito's castle, has found its way into Sailor Moon's hand, who then gave it back to me. The Sealing Key has the power to solve all of those issues."

At this point, Coco shows everyone the seahorse key she has been holding, it ending in a tail curved into a spiral rather than the typical blade of a key. Then the key grows larger, turning into a staff at Coco's command. "Those are things it can do even in the smaller form you have seen earlier, but in this form, it will allow us to use our magic inside Gaito's castle, since otherwise only Dark Energy would work there."

"As for what we are bound to face apart from Gaito himself, there is his leviathan, although if we are lucky it will be away feeding. Then the Dark Lovers, whose magic is respectively about water, shadows, ice and piano music. Then there are the the duo of mercenaries known as the Black Beauty Sisters, whose song is capable of hurting you. And lastly, there is Sara", Coco slightly grimaces here, "who can do the same thing as the Black Beauty Sisters, create lasers and stretch time. This is all you need to know before we start planning."

Yuuto Shiraishi has posed:
As Yellow Voice gets into the meat of the discussion, the Steam Sentinel offers a nod of his head. "While Yellow Voice can counter most of the songs that the Dark Lovers offer, with that many possible avenues for attack of a sonic variety, we should be prepared for that." he offers up.

But after that, he returns his attention to the key turned staff, the teenager settling back to prepare for the meat of the planning session.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus nods. "Yeah I've dealt with the battle singing recently. Is it... hearing the song that hurts, or is it more sonic and it doesn't matter if we can hear it? I'm just tryin' to figure out if I need to bring some really good earplugs."

    Uranus pauses. "Oh, or really LOUD music. This doesn't sound like a stealth thing anyways, right?" she asks as she steps away from the other Senshi to grab one of Sailor Jupiter's treats.

    Upon walking back to the senshi, she whispers to Jupiter "I see where all the cooking skill none of the Outers got went..."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"I mean," Usagi shrugs, "I guess I'm just built different? I've been doing a lot of catnapping. A lot of catnapping. And it started like... right after we had to be a bunch of other stuff," stop the Midnight Tokyo Project, save the Shitennou, and then whoops everywhere you turn around there's a Rainbow Crystal -

"I mean... I guess sleep deprivation is a kind of torture and I have definitely had enough nightmares for a lifetime, but... I didn't really like, want to bother anyone? For a while? I mean, it wasn't about not asking for help, cause I know everyone would help me," Usagi Tsukino has Such Healthy Self-Esteem, You Guys. "But I didn't really want to give him the satisfaction? Like, whatever guy, the worst you can do is give me bad dreams because you lost a book?"

She sticks her tongue out, and then sighs a little, leaning back into Mamoru's hands, enjoying the massage.

"But now it kind of sucks a lot, so I'm asking for help. And Voice-chan says we can fight underwater, and that does sound pretty cool, even if it's probably going to actually be scary and awful and evolve things no one was ever meant to see because it's underwater."

Minako Aino has posed:
She'd lecture Usagi, but honestly Venus was fairly sure that Mamoru could do that for all of them, so she folds her arms and considers. Under water battles did sound cool and the need was clearly there, however she does glance a little towards Coco and then Usagi.

"What about Mars-Chan? Fire magic plus water seems...tricky. Or Jupiter? Lightning and water..." She trails off. Magic was magic, but still...it payed to be careful.

Makoto Kino has posed:
Sailor Jupiter blinks, taken rather visibly aback by Amy's response, and there's a quick adjustment of her manner and language when she replies. "I apologize. I didn't know." Awwwkward. She looks away quickly toward Onihime, to whom she offers a smile and a nod. "It is," she confirms. "You're welcome to have some."

Back to the business at hand! Makoto's eyes widen a little, and she turns a sidelong look towards Usagi to observe, "Geez. You've been busy, huh?" As she looks back up, she's frowning faintly, tallying up everything Yellow Pearl Voice has laid out. "That kind of sounds like a lot. Then again, there's a lot of us here." Her gaze tracks around the room slowly. "Still, if we're actually going to be underwater underwater and not, like, in a dry castle with air in it that happens to be on the bottom of the ocean, I might be more of a problem than a help."

She might've said more but then Uranus whispers to her while passing by, and Jupiter colors just a little and ducks her head, scrubbing her fingers over the back of her neck with a mumbled thanks.

Mamoru Chiba has posed:
Okay, that's a somewhat arch and very faintly judgemental look Mamoru gives Amy at her sharp address of Makoto, but he files 'is an adult' away without comment. That'll change some things in their interactions, that's for sure.

"Maybe the scary parts will be kind of cool, though, because it's underwater," he suggests to Usagi mildly, having already done all the lecturing he'll do on the subject of how bad nightmares are for you.

Then he looks back to Yellow Pearl Voice -- then to Venus, and he nods. "Not sure how much of a help I'll be, either. I can buff people's attacks, but any roses I'll have to get up close and personal with. Or I can hand them out -- they can break through magical shields, but they're only one-use, and they're only so strong."

Kureha Senkenzan has posed:
    There is a faint, tiny nod from the horned girl towards Sailor Jupiter. "Thank you." A grab, a nom, and a blink. "...this is very well-made." She proceeds to absolutely devour her treat... gracefuly. Somehow.

    But the meeting does go on, and both Coco and provide further information regarding the situation. She has no particular words about Usagi's failure to inform anyone about her sleep issues, but something in what Coco said is sticking in her mind. "If I may, Yellow Pearl Voice. I come from a family of schemers. Manipulators. I disdain such tactics, but I've had to learn to understand them."

    The hand moves back down, and she clasps both hands together in front of herself. "When you say that this Sealing Key fell into her hand through 'circumstances unknown to you', that concerns me. A particularly cunning foe might allow such a key to fall into your possession on purpose, knowing that you would use it to attack. Bait to lure out his greatest opposition, and eliminate them at once. And if they have held back some of their forces, they could spring a very effective trap with enemies whose power we know nothing about."

    Just what kind of family does she have to be thinking along those lines?

    "Can you tell us more about how the key came into your possession?" she asks Usagi.

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cure Wukong had gotten herself distracted by the most amazing sweet bean cake she'd ever had. "H-holy crud..." she whispered, having floated over on her cloud by the treat table.

"I like... can be really annoying and make a whole lot of me to be even more annoying. Oh, and I can turn into a mermaid. Kind of. It's a pretty cure thing." She took another bite of the little bean cake slice.

"And I'm like, immortal. Mostly. Kind of. Unless I die a whole lot. But underwater it should be fine, I can just withdrawal and hide. But I'll probably serve best as a distraction. Oh, and I got a stick! It's a really cool stick. Okay, seriously. Can you give me the recipe for this?" she asked, taking another bite of the cake piece and breaking off a piece to feed the otter.

She then glanced to Usagi and... "You know, she has a point. This guy is harassing you, only for you to miraculously come upon the key you need to stop him? Sure it's not a trap? Trying to add to his mermaid collection?"

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope cradles Brai and Gretchen into her arms to stop them from running off or doing something mischievous. Fortunately they share certain aspects of her nature and are therefore easily distracted by cuddles. As she settles in for the meeting she listens more than she talks, trying to guess from context clues where they are in the discussion.

    Fortunately she's not completely in the dark about such topics, with Coco being one of her earliest magical friends. It's probably a good thing that she got magical swimming practice when she did, since it looks like they'll be needing it.

    Usagi gets a sympathetic glance. She looks tired. "Constant nightmares are awful. Especially magically caused ones. Of course people would want to help," says Hope. Gretchen looks vaguely guilty and pouty for a moment for some mysterious reason.

    On the topic of the environment, Madoka adds, "I wouldn't worry about actually surviving underwater, though. I was actually worried about things like breathing and pressure, but those weren't really issues for me. I trust Yellow's magic to handle that much." Madoka doesn't really comment on things like fire or lightning magic because, well, she didn't have a chance to test those. Same with thrown roses.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy shrugs to Jupiter. "No problem. How *could* you?" have known, she means. "Sorry if I came off a little snippy, this... whole situation is weird. Like, I'm back in high school, but this time, I get to help people and be magical... But also, I have to do high school over again and save the world at the same time... I've read a lot of manga like this..." she slumps a little.

    Amy looks between the 'key' and Coco. "That's a good point. It lets us *use* our magic, but... I haven't swum in *ages*. And isn't the ocean really cold? And I might not, technically, need to breathe anymore, but I dunno how much magic that will cost, and what about everyone else?"

    Amy considers. "Hmm, I'm gonna have to learn how to fight with explosives underwater too..."

    Cho reminds them she's immortal. "Oh, right! Like, how does that actually *work*, like, do you need your body left to regenerate, or do you just... respawn like you have an extra life in a videogame, or what?"

Coco Kiumi has posed:
"It is hearing the song that hurts", Coco confirms to Uranus, " so, yes, you could potentially avoid the effects of their songs that way, although it will also turn you deaf to your surroundings, and they have other means to hurt you, so you need to be careful with how you use them."

Then she comes to address everyone's concerns regarding how they will be able to function. "Aqua Regina is the goddess of the seas, and she personally created this key, so the gist of what I meant is her blessing will be to acclimatise you fully to the waters, and lets you use fire, lightning and any other magic without any worry. This also extends to swimming and the differences in the environment like pressure and temperature."

Coco turns to Kureha. "If they wanted to bait me into coming close to their grasp, there were better ways to do that didn't involve losing the Sealing Key, so I am not very worried about this being a trap." One of those ways being Sara, but she is not mentioning their personal history unless directly asked.

"Our objective is find Sailor Moon's possession Gaito is using to send the nightmares and recover it. To do this, I feel there are two main things we have to discuss, although if people find more, please suggest them. The first being whether we want to drag them outside or find them inside their castle, and the second being whether we want to split into groups to deal with all the different threats." Ok, all good so far, Coco thinks.

"Regarding the first subject, dragging them outside will involve using me as bait, with all the risks and without the guarantee they will fall for it, and fighting them inside of course means that they will be fighting them in the place they know best."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Usagi hisses through her teeth at the question, not because it's a bad one, but because well,,,

"It was not the evil merman. It was someone else, who owed me a favor, and they repaid me with the key, because I did them a pretty big favor." Saving someone's life is a pretty big favor, right? "I can be really, very confident that they're not working with Gaitou, because they hate him. But that's all I can say."

She cannot share anymore, and what she did share might already be too much, so that's all she's willing to give.

"I don't have any attacks that should be messed up by being underwater, except maybe my tiara will be slower?"

Amy's explanation just gets a little sigh from Usagi, who has heard it before, and thinks - "Real life isn't really like a manga, though. Except for the part where we're going to fight an underwater merguy. That's like a manga, I guess."

She scrubs her face a little more, yawning, and, "It's good that everyone will be able to fight, but... I don't think we should try to use you as bait. Even if they have the home advantage, I think we should fight in the castle, because even if we get them outside, we'd still have to get inside eventually right? To get whatever they stole from me?"

Yuuto Shiraishi has posed:
Wait. This is the first time that Coco has told Yuuto that she was going to be the bait! The Steam Sentinel is suddenly sitting upright, ready to protest, but Usagi is there before he is. He nods in agreement with her comment and a frown appears on his face.

"If we can hit them hard and fast, maybe we can even be in the castle before they realize we're there." he adds in, worry finding his voice, as he tries to shore up some flagging confidence - he's sure Coco can help. He's just not sure this is the best way.

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cure Wukong gave a shrug to Amy. "I don't know. Basically I'm really durable. Can really hurt sometimes, but I think instead of dying I just... don't. Can't really explain it better than that. It's... I try not to question it, honestly."

She then glanced to Voice and frowned. "I'll trust your judgment on this, but... honestly? I think using you as a bait is a bad idea. Buuuut... if we go that route, I'm not leaving your side." Pause. "Sorry, Usagi-chan, but like. She's my bestie."

Then tapped her chin. "That and like. I can mayyyyyybe swarm them with enough of me that they can't get to you? Hopefully? Do we have anyone who's even really... sneaky to get in there and get it if we do distract and lure them out?"

Makoto Kino has posed:
Jupiter's expression at Coco's assurance can best be described as '...huh.' She nods slowly, taking a moment to wrap her brain around the magic involved. "Well," she says, "if it means I can fight without worrying about shocking the crap out of my allies, that sounds good to me."

She settles back a little, glancing toward Usagi. "They'd be pretty dumb to bring it out with them if they didn't have to," she agrees. "Even if you claimed you were there to trade yourself for whatever it is, I'm pretty sure anyone with half a brain would have to suspect a trap... especially if there's a bunch of people with you." A tip of her head acknowledges Wukong's statements. "From what you've said, it sounds like sending a group inside the castle is going to be our only real option, whether it's dangerous or not."

Kureha Senkenzan has posed:
    Kureha glances briefly between Usagi and Coco both, then offers another light nod. "I see. Then we can trust that much, at least. Though it may still behoove us to keep a backup plan in mind, whatever plan we choose."

    Straightening a little, she adds, "To assist with planning, my greatest asset is my strength. Most of you are likely faster than I am when transformed, but I have faith in my immense physical power and my ability to weather blows. I may be able to smash through walls to surprise opponents, escape traps or shorten our trip, but that depends on how durable the walls are. I am also capable of unleashing intense flame within short range, but I'm assuming I shall not be able to rely on that underwater. Unless I need to create a burst of steam or somesuch."

    She lifts up her right hand, curling and uncurling fingers. "I also have claws. But only on my right hand."

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus nods. "Either way we're fighting in an environment unfamiliar to us. Maybe taking them on their home turf will make them overconfident." She suggests. "Plus, given that we need the Sealing Key around to use our powers to their fullest underwater - or at least, some of us do - I don't like the idea of not having you with us."

    "Our greatest strength, as magical girls, is that we fight together. While our enemies fight amongst themselves. I don't think we should divide ourselves and lose some of that strength. Especially not in a situation where someone is referred to as bait. Bait describes fish, not friends." Disregard the fact Haruka would totally volunteer to be bait for a tactical advantage.

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope Blossom sits down on a desk and considers the situation as laid out. "So... Gaito has something that belongs to Usagi and is using that to curse her? Do we know what it is?" Tapping her chin, she asks, "I'm guessing it's not something she can just relinquish ownership of or give to someone else. Otherwise this would be a lot easier."

    Amy's situation doesn't get much comment from her. It's not news. Fortunately it sounds like people's attacks should work as normal. Usagi's explanation gets a side-eyed glance from Madoka, but she doesn't know the girl nearly well enough to make educated guesses on that front.

    "Scheme or not, Gaito is more or less demanding a fight by doing this. He has to know we'll be voicing our complaints one way or another. That doesn't mean we can't trick him, though." Madoka considers out loud. "I could probably use my Labyrinth to sneak in. They might not expecting that."

    Brai starts wiggling her way out of Madoka's embrace and floats upward. "Hey, if we're worried about how to fight underwater, how about a practice run? That way we can adjust our tactics if we need to. Even if our magic works, swimming is still pretty different than jumping."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    AMy nods at the explanation that they need to find Sailor Moon's possession. "Any idea what it *is*?"

    Sailor Moon reminds her life isn't a manga. Amy slumps a bit. "Except when it is, though... not that I mean... sorry." She shakes her head.

    Amy nods to Wukong. "Good to know. I don't... need to... like, mortal wounds won't necessarily kill me? But I don't want to count on that too much. It'll probably only surprise an intelligent enemy once."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy has another thought and looks back at Makoto, rubbing the back of her own head. "Um. So like. Look, to be clear... having been doing this for a few months is *more* than enough to know that like. My age doesn't mean anything here. I'm not gonna like. Expect you to respect me more, or anything like that. Honestly, I always *hated* adults who think being old alone means you have to listen to them. It's dumb, and I'm sure not gonna do that. And I don't have more experience doing this fighting than you, so... We're all on ewqual footing, ya know?"

Coco Kiumi has posed:
Coco didn't really think Usagi would part with the information of who gave her the Key, so she isn't really surprised when she in fact doesn't, but she trusts Usagi anyway. "Gaito is not a merman, by the way. He very much looks like anyone here. It's just that his Panthalassa heritage means that everything the Key does for you, he is capable of innately."

"It's just there would be less people to fight inside", Coco tells Usagi, "so we would have been able to just move through the castle with less obstacles along the way."

Passing a hand through her hair, Coco replies Yuuto "I wouldn't know if we can manage such a decisive blow, but we can certainly try."

Then Madoka is the one addressed. "I think Gaito was banking on the fact that the Sealing Key would have stayed out of our reach, so someone who worked with him enough to gain access, but not enough to become part of his group must have betrayed him." That sentence gets Coco's gears turning... Because the only one who fulfilled both characteristics is... Sunbreaker. Sunbreaker did it, Coco realises as she gives the soldier of the moon a perplexed look.

And the vote is overwhelmingly against the bait idea. "Ok, so we won't use me as bait to drag them out and fight them there, so I guess that all that we have left is put through the vote whether we want to split to fight them or fight each group separately. Uranus has already said she is against splitting, what about everyone else?"

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope actually considers the idea of splitting up vs. sticking in one group. "I think... unless there's a very good reason to split up, we should avoid it. We don't really know where the item is, and we don't really know the layout of his home that well, so I think any infiltration team we send in will have a disadvantage. In as far as we can stick together, we should."

    Technically Madoka might be able to use Gretchen to sneak into places, but... she doesn't really use her powers that way, and alt-timeline experience has taught her that needless risks = Doka death = Homura resets and we have to do this all over again. So she doesn't bring it up as a serious suggestion.

    "I'd feel better about sneaking in if I had a better grasp of what their security was like... but honestly I think most of us in here are the 'direct combat' types."

    Brai crosses her arms and floats indignantly. "I bet I could sneak in."

    Gretchen objects, "You'll just get caught and we'll have to save you, too."

    "Nuh uh!"

    "Yeah huh!"

    "Shhhh!" Madoka quietly scolds her two fairies. "Behave!"

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus nods at Hope. "Also, one reason I'm against splitting up is that in my experience, the more bad guys line up against us - the more likely they are to stop fighting us and start fighting each other. Even under the same banner, being a dark energy jerk makes you bad at teamwork. They're always looking for chances to one up each other. I'm fine with giving them those chances." she says. "...in between dodging our attacks."

Makoto Kino has posed:
Sailor Jupiter kind of blinks at Amy, distracted for a moment from the job of brainstorming mission planning as she processes the puella's words to her. A beat or two passes before she replies, a little cautiously, "...okay. For right now, though, let's just focus on how to help Usagi-chan... all right?"

On that note, she checks back into the discussion just about in time for Yellow Pearl Voice to raise the question of whether or not they should split up. "They've made some pretty good points," she says, tipping her head to indicate Sailor Uranus, Steam Sentinel Propel, and Hope Blossom. "As for me, aside from lightning, I'm strong and I'm tough - also not really good for stealth. It might be different if we had a group of people who were really good at getting around without being noticed - or a really, really good plan - but with things as they are, I think we're better off staying together."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"I think we're strong together. If we're all together, we can help each other, and support each other. Mamochan is a healer and a buffer, I'm a purifer, Jupiter-chan has a ton of attack power and so does Uranus-chan, Venus-chan is really versatile - we're all better when we're together. Even if we have to take them down one by one, if we work together, we've got this!"

She looks confident. She looks exhausted to the bone.

Minako Aino has posed:
That was a compliment enough to make Venus smile, a nod of agreement to both her and Jupiter's words before the blonde lets her white-gloved hands slip to rest on her own hips.

"We stick together," she agrees, echoing the sentiment. "We're always our best when we're a team."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy nods to Jupiter, rubbing the back of her neck. "Uhh, right. Sorry." She nods at Usagi and Venus's words. "Yeah! So... do we know about if any of this will make it easier to fight underwater, or...?"

Coco Kiumi has posed:
Coco was about to mention that she didn't know what would happen to her if something went south - she really does not know very much about his powers, so there was the very real risk of her being caught away from everyone's help. Though then Madoka's Charas starts arguing, so Coco grabs two of the sandwich cookies and gives one of them each to Brai and Gretchen. "Please, let's not fight, this is just meant to be a brainstorming session", Coco asks them.

Coco nods at Uranus' comment. "That is bery much true. Even the Dark Lovers are very much like that. They care about each other so much they would sacrifice themselves for the others, but stick them in a single hotel room for 5 minutes, and prepare to say goodbye to the hotel from all the arguing."

And Coco listens intently to Jupiter. "I see, thank you for pointing it out. We really have a group of hard hitters here, so we shouldn't stray from what we can do."

Coco offers a hug to the tired but confident Usagi just in case she wants it. These nightmares are really draining her of her sleep, but she is so motivated you almost wouldn't be able to tell.

And Venus and Amy agree too, and the same applies to herself and Cho, so that's decided. "Ok, then we know what to do! Soon, we will reclaim what they stole from Usagi, and her nightmares will stop! Thank you for being here, everyone, and thanks to Patrol and Jupiter for the enticing food. You will get a notice when we are ready to strike, but for now, feel free to stay, eat and chatter or recuperate in your rooms."