The pile of pots, pans and other assorted kitchen utilities shifted, and Meagen emerged from the top, with the obligatory kitchen pot on her head covering her eyes. (Despite the fact that the pile seemed to contain a good deal of pointy objects, she was unharmed.) She pushed her tin hat up to survey the scene before her.
She was in the OCSB kitchen, probably the only place in the world where the words "food fight!" were shouted with alarm and horror. One of the stock Mihoists was stuck from the waist down in a vat of Hellfire Chilli, screaming "IT'S EATING THROUGH MY PANTS!!!!". (He was pulled out in time to be relatively undamaged by the substance, though his chibi-Ping-printed boxers caused some comment.)
Another had landed right in the middle of a rather large dish, among various garnish, to the great puzzlement of the cook (who had never seen anything that looked *this* similar to a normal creature leave his kitchen).
Though she couldn't see it from her position, a third had dropped face-first into a plate of Cataclysm Stew, prompting the predictable exchange of "Waiter, there's a deadie in my soup!" - "Quiet, sir, or everyone will want one" between an irate patron and Durden, the shapeshifting waiter(ess). A fourth had ended up right on top of Vetrinari, the giant human-shaped cobat mecha, who had been just having an electronic equivalent of a pleasant daydream about Rei "Skuld" Ayanami.
She was most concerned, however, with Ribbon Girl, who had fallen right into the grip of the Monster Calmari. And with one glance at her, Meagen ralised she had somehow slipped into Bad Hentai mode. Her eyes had grown bigger and impossibly sparkly, her chest was a size that should have given her huge lowe back problems. Despite the fact her rapier was within arm's reach, all she seem could do against the advancing tentacles was to bat at them with one hand and issue one shrill scream after another.
Now, a calmari's arms are not really a sexual organ, and it shouldn't find human females attractive anyway. But this was Megatokyo - a place where reality was shaped by the imagination of horny fanboys. There was way too much tentacle hentai out there to *not* influence any tentacled animal. And especially not one bred near a nuclear waste dump, and thus (thanks to Monster Movie logic) just about the right size to fill in for a demon of lust.
And with the Mihoist in Bad Hentai mode, this could turn very ugly, very fast.
Meagen looked around for her Stick, but quickly realised blunt weapons were not the way to go. She took the pot off her head, grabbed two knives from the pile, and twirled them with a determined look on her face.
Phydeaux and Asimov made their way across the bar, past an irate Dreadnaught, past where a Mihoist was coughing up soup and hyperventilating, into the kicthen past another Mihoist who seemed to have lost his pants, and another one still lying on a dish as the day's special.
There they stopped, and stared.
Meagen was a blur of speed, the knives in her hands twinkling in the air as she chopped up lemon after lemon, sending the slices straight against the tentacles of the Monster Calmari. The creature was shrivelling and retreating as quick as it could back into its armor-plated fridge. Meagen dropped the knives, sent one last slice of lemon to splat against a tentacle, and ran up to catch a Mihoist girl (her black clothes a bit rumpled, but still in one piece) from the creature's clutches.
As the last tentacle vanished and the fridge shut with a CLANG, Ribbon Girl stirred, then looked up at Meagen. "You... saved me", she said slowly. "Th- thank you."
"No problem!", Meagen said cheerfully.
The girl surprised her by throwing her arms around her neck, and sobbing violently. "Oh, it was so *awful*!", she cried. "That *monster*... it wanted to... oh Kami, I don't want to think about it..."
"Um... there there?", Meagen ventured, akwardly patting the Mihoists's head.
The girl looked up at her, giant round eyes sparkling. "Only one thing can make me forget that", she said, and kissed Meagen in a way that was much more than friendly.
After a split-second of shock, Meagen let her instincts take over.
She reached behind her for a frying pan, and clubbed the Mihoist on the head with it. There was a noise like a large gong, and Ribbon Girl passed out.
Shadowdancer glared. Even Meagen, who was probably the hardest person to harm in the whole of Megatokyo (second-hardest if you counted nonhuman creatures), felt nervous under that glare. Sitting in seiza opposite her on the floor of the now-empty Cave of Evil, she felt like she was being called to see the principal.
"Even if we assume you weren't behind the attack on Miho-sama", Shadowdancer admitted, though her voice made it clear she doubted it, "You still knocked out, pied or otherwise hurt ten of our Minions, caused a man-sized dent in Tokyo Tower with one, and you owe another a new pair of pants."
Dark Templar Manta leaned forward and in an undertone, said, "Don't forget, she also set back the ORAZ Rent-A-Zilla budget another few months, and crippled their ability to make most of their dishes for the next week."
Shadowdancer sighed. "Yes, I suppose there are *some* mitigating circumstances..."
Manta nodded. "There's also the matter of Miho-chan..."
Meagen looked confused. "Miho...-chan?"
"The girl you brought back", Shadowdancer explained. "Her name is Hitomi Miho, so we all call her Miho-chan. As opposed to Miho-sama." She sighed. "She was a very promising young artist, but since she returned..."
"Oh Hoturi-sama!", came a shrill scream from the direction of the CoM Clinic. "Take me! Take ne *now*!"
"Gyyyaaaah!", came the white-haired Mihoist's voice. "Put your nightshirt back *on*!"
Shadow sighed. "Manta-kun, could you go help him, please?"
"It sounds like nothing he can't handle", the High Templar mused. Before his beloved leader could glare at him, he quickly went around to the Clinic.
"How *is* Miho?", Meagen inquired. "The other one, I mean. You should bring her 'round to the Hospital, we've got the best treatments for energy drain."
"How did you know she has had her energy drained?", Shadowdancer asked quietly, but with a dangerous undertone.
Meagen shrugged. "The same thing happened to Erika-sama this morning. Plus I very nearly saw it happen", she explained patiently.
"The Darkly Cute One has lost much of her power, but I've devised a spell which will help. I will be putting it in motion now", Shadowdancer told her. After a short pause, she added: "...you may stay and observe the ritual if you wish." This was a formality which had developped soon after BGMaster's death: invite Meagen to everything. That way if she showed up, you didn't have to attempt to kick her out.
Meagen nodded thoughtfully. "I think I'll do that."
[AN: Plot's back on track! Finally.]