ASH: Shadow Girls #2 - He Sees You When You're Sleeping

Drew Nilium pwerdna at
Mon Jan 10 17:23:21 PST 2022

On 12/11/21 10:13 PM, Dave Van Domelen wrote:
>       [the cover shows a small matte black box tied in a dark red
>        ribbon.  "The Gift of POWER...or is it a CURSE?"

OMG X3 I love this theme

>       Maddie watched as a slim girl dressed in skin-tight dark red shadows

Fascinating! :o

>       The panther-furred Snow Leopard that the girl had blindsided looked to
> be getting back up, so Maddie hit him with the taser charge in her extended
> baton.  Ahhh, she'd missed the sight of all that fur going up on end.

X3 <3

>       "No, I'm the exemplar of justice, Tetra-Red!"

Oh, that's a good title

>       Tetra-Red looked around, squinting as if she could see into the darker
> parts of the alley.  "Not a good place for a talk.  Hold on tight!" she
> grabbed Maddie around the waist with one arm, and before Maddie could protest
> the two were hurled into the air, landing a bit awkwardly on the roof.


>       "I could te...wait," the voice finally clicked, "Julie?  Julie Li?"
>       Tetra-Red's eyes widened.  "Um, I...damn."

X3 Awwwww

>       "Yeah, I was hoping that looking different would be enough to protect my
> identity, but I guess it wasn't enough?" Julie sighed and literally started
> to shrink, shedding a few centimeters in height as the shadows dissipated
> like morning fog.  Julie now stood in gymnastics tights and shoes that looked
> too big for her feet.


> There was this box on my dresser, black
> with a dark red ribbon around it, and my name on a card in fancy calligraphy.
> My Chinese name, which I don't even use because I'm tired of people saying it
> wrong.

Extremely valid.

> Last thing I needed was for one of those Onyx Eye ninjagoffs

XD XD XD oh my god as a Pittsburgh resident I appreciate this so much

>       No boom, no poof.  Just this gem I've got here on my...oh, wait, lemme
> make it visible so you can see it.  I kinda reflexively make it invisible
> when I turn off the powers, since it's kinda glaringly obvious on the back of
> my hand, right?

Ooooooh, nice nice.

>       There was also a USB dongle with "READ ME" written on it in English.
> Whoever sent it knew I recognized my own name in Chinese but I'm not exactly
> literate, grandma's nagging about it not making me read any better.

Innnnnteresting. Fair.

> We're the "magnet" school, I guess they
> think we won't just KNOW they don't want to put as much effort into the
> Harlem school, since all the people coming in from outside live down in the
> Village.

Mmmmmmmm >:/

>       So, Tammy and I are pretty close.  The whole social scene is still f...
> messed up because MUSS has only been running for about a year and with the
> student body including a few paragangers who ditched their colors no one
> wants to get too close or piss off the wrong person, so we're all just kinda
> rattling around in a school way too big for how many students there are.

*Excellent* worldbuilding, and kind of familiar...

>       Also, she's a total nerd, did I say that?  Yeah.  I figured she might
> know how to read that dongle without it unleashing a cyber-demon or
> something.  And get this, she got a box too!  Same thing, but a dark blue
> ribbon.

Oh fuck yeah. :D

> So, we already were gonna work on a class project at her place
> Saturday, we decided to work on the mystery of the boxes instead.  Oh, don't
> give me that look, we did the project too.  That was easy, I just wanted an
> excuse to get out of the house on a Saturday.

X3 I like her.

>       Tammy'd picked up an ancient laptop, like from maybe ten years ago, at a
> pawn shop.  It worked, pretty much, and it was cheap enough that if we had to
> toss it in a trash compactor to stop it from turning into a killer robot...
> hey, there's still some Jollies biggie.  Out a few bucks.

Nice nice nice. <3

>       The dongle had two things on it.  A folder marked "Uncle Jess" and a
> file marked "READ ME" like on the dongle itself.  Who decided to call these
> things "dongles" anyway?  Sounds almost dirty.

Definitely tech people with dirty minds.

>       "Greetings, Tamica," and her last name, but I'll let her decide if she
> wants you to know that and maybe I shouldn't have dropped her first name

XD XD XD <3 <3 <3 I love it.

> "Consider me
> a fellow believer in justice, who has sadly needed to retire from an active
> role due to age and infirmity. 

But Gramps was gettin' old
He couldn't keep up the fight

> Enclosed find a mystical gem, the Blue
> Hexahedron, which once granted me power and I believe will grant you even
> more.  It will allow you to become a perfected version of yourself and while
> I cannot say exactly what other powers it will give you, I believe you will
> make me proud.

ooooooh. <3

>       So, we copied the files, then plugged in my dongle.  Same letter, just
> addressed to me and calling the gem the Red Tetrahedron.  So, like, I'm
> Tetra-Red, and Tammy is Hexa-Blue, right?

Heck yeah. :D

> My dongle also had a folder labeled Chachi, which
> ratchets up the creepy factor just that extra little bit more.
>       Miss Chin, it's bad.  My brother's joined the Snow Leopards.
> Bathory's
> pets don't come back, do they?  My letter also had an extra line at the end,
> "If you can't save your brother, at least you can avenge him."

Aaaaaaaaa. ;.;

> apparently her powers were of the "not always on" variety, which was pretty
> unusual for paranormals, but maybe not for someone using a magic gem?  Who
> the heck knew what the rules were for magical girls in the real world?


> Fortunately, she'd upgraded the building to biometrics, so she didn't
> need to have a key that might have been left behind because she wasn't

Well. X3

>       Julie shrugged, a bit self-conscious.  "Tammy and I discovered the hard
> way that when we draw on the power, we get...bigger.  Not just stronger, but
> bigger in most ways.

Ooooo, makes sense.

> Anything close to the skin gets
> protected by the shadows, anything outside doesn't.

Ahhhh, Byrne Superman rules, got it.

>       Maddie was wincing at the thought of giving herself a wedgie right
> before going into a fight.  She had put a LOT of work into the Hellhound
> costumes to make sure that sort of thing never happened.


>       "Oh SHIT," Julie finally failed to self-censor.  "You got a BOX.  And
> it's bigger than mine."
>       Sitting on the living room table was a black box tied with a dark gray
> ribbon, with a neatly-lettered card addressed to "M. Chin."

Awwwww shit. <3

>       Maddie shook her head.  "This is a deeper game than Bathory plays.  I
> think the attack was a distraction for this, yes.  But I think they were
> being played by someone else. The kitties wanted a Black Opal, and they
> clearly thought it was a literal opal.

Ohoho, nice

>       Sliding the ribbon off, she opened the box.  Inside was a sort of big
> pendant or something on a chain, and underneath it an envelope, but no
> obvious USB dongle.
>       "Hey, it has sockets.  A triangle, a square, another triangle..."

Ohoho, nice. :3 Loving this use of the tropes.

>       "And I bet your Red Tetrahedron and the Blue Hexahedron would fit
> perfectly in the first two slots," Maddie replied.  "Five sockets total, so I
> guess that means you and Tammy still have to find three more girls."
>       "Just one more.  Oh, I forgot, we met up with Octa-Green and Icosi-Pink
> about a week after we got our boxes."

Ah yes X3 <3

> If this doesn't seem like a lot of schools for Manhattan,
> keep in mind that not only is the current population in the 100K-200K range,
> it's also very old, and heavily concentrated at the north and south ends of
> the island, with the middle having been gang territory for several years. If
> anything, the city is overserved with schools at the moment, but Umbrae's
> education secretary is planning for the future.

Yep, yep~

>       USB was in use before 1998, but "jumpdrive" and "USB Stick" were coined
> in the real world after 1998, so in the spirit of contingency things get
> named differently.

Oh makes sense.

> They don't show up as much (or at all) in ASH, because they use
> more secure and high-capacity storage systems.  Under the hood, the memory
> on a USB dongle in 2027 is probably very little like a jumpdrive in 2021 real
> life, using a 3-D holographic crystal matrix of some sort, but the form
> factor hasn't changed a whole lot since the 90s.

Hmmmmm, yesyesyes~ :>

>       IHNJIJLS "Dongle".

X3 <3 <3 <3

Drew "bwahaha" Nilium

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