Devil Survivor 2, post Daichi's Perfect Ending New Game Plus. Because Hiro isn't the only one who remembers what happened in that ending, after all.
The whiteboard at the front of the room had 'Operation Polaris II' on it in black marker and impeccable handwriting, underlined twice. That looked businesslike, but much of the rest… didn't.
The first point under it, written in brown marker with jagged handwriting, said, 'Don't hoard supplies while all those people starve to death,-' Even though whatever was after the comma had been erased by someone else, the brown smudge left behind indicated that it had been rather forceful and underlined three times, just to outdo whoever had written the header. Despite that, it was followed by almost a dozen checkmarks, Ys and other indications of agreement.
A dark blue note under that subheading was, 'Start assembling JPs stockpiles now, so we don't have to seize as much of preexisting stockpiles.' A second one in the same black as the header said, 'Get it through your head that it is simply not possible to feed all the inhabitants of those cities for a week on this little notice, fool. Do you know how much food is brought into these cities every day? Stop wasting everyone's time and start looking for alternatives.'
Someone had replied to that with, 'Maybe we could evacuate ahead of time, or at least keep workers from coming into the city in the morning?' in feminine handwriting with a light brown marker. The elegant black answered with this, 'And have them be devoured by the void instead of starving or eaten by demons? More efficient & less painful. Approved.'
The brown's answer to this was, 'Now wait a…" but the rest was erased, the remainder circled and followed by text in dark blue, all-caps, with an arrow pointing to the circle, 'THIS IS A PLAN OUTLINE AND LIST OF ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST CERTAIN OPTIONS, NOT AN ARGUMENT. ANYONE CAUGHT SNEAKING IN TO ADD THIS KIND OF COMMENT TO THE WHITEBOARD WILL BE DEALT WITH – MAKOTO.'
'We'll at least need to evacuate Sapporo,' a mid-blue marker put under that. There was a black checkmark after it and a note on the same line saying, 'Hiro is right: Not enough JPs staff to bother keeping order.'
'Fumi, can we get the system up and running to let us move civilians from Sapporo to the other cities?' Yellow asked.
'Y, provided I'm not kidnapped again,' messy black scrawled. 'Can test it on them.'
At that point they'd moved on to the next whiteboard for the next point in Makoto's dark blue, which was, 'Replace JPs summon program with summon app right away and train JPs staff in its use.' 'Approved,' said elegant black that had to be Yamato's. Next, in the same dark blue was, 'Form JPs staff into teams to train ahead of time, and to sweep cities for demons to reduce civilian casualties & to avoid having to divide attention between demon and septentrione threats during operations.' That one was check marked. Third was, 'Consider training civilian demon tamers, after the effectiveness of Hiro and our other volunteers? To avoid spreading JPs staff too thin, assign this to Rolando and Dera-deka, having them train first cops and then civilian volunteers? Cops with the summon program could maintain civil order, reducing attacks on JPs facilities, also keep down demon population.' That one was followed by a, 'Sure,' in pink, 'You'd better,' in brown and 'Approved' in both elegant black and blue in a student's handwriting. Light grey insisted that, 'You'd better put me on demon-killing duty!'
But, 'How will we pick those worth training out of the,' it looked like Yamato himself had erased what he initially put next, replacing it with, 'civilians? Even that thing's summon app can only be used by those with potential.'
No one seemed to have an answer to that yet.
On the next wideboard in yellow, was, 'Lay in more stockpiles of food and medical supplies!' The part in italics was also underlined. 'Send summon app to hospitals with healing spells pre-loaded to reduce their reliance on JPs staff and supplies.' The second part of that looked like it had been added in afterwards, as a justification for the first part.
Dark grey had added, 'Hey, I can find out what my gf's hospital goes through in a day. Lemme give you a hand, Otome.'
Under that, on the same board in black marker but messy handwriting indicating someone who almost never wrote by hand was, 'Need more laptops. Also, memory. Also durable test subjects. BRB, shopping.'
Under that in Hiro's blue was, 'Save Alcor – Can he replace Polaris? Let's not have to do this a third time.'
It was followed with a rainbow of enthusiastic agreements and Yamato's grudging, 'Fine,' that really meant, 'If you say so, Hiro.'
Another whiteboard had, 'Armaments and Tactical Options' in Yamato's elegant handwriting.
Dubhe was first, but the only note so far was, Makoto's 'Let's see if we can take it out earlier, before it destroys all the helicopters. If civilians still have cars and the streets aren't filled with rubble, they can be more mobile and not get trapped in dangerous areas where they're in our way.'
The red that enthusiastically seconded that had to be Daichi.
'Will the same plan work twice?' Orange wondered.
'From what Alcor said, I think so,' Hiro replied. 'Things should happen the same way as last time – they don't really get time or change the way we do. He was amazed that we could change things.'
Alioth just had a note saying in pink, 'Can't we just use the harmonizer and a helicopter to shoot him? Stupid Kama… Nah, nevermind, I want to see him get blown up again.'
'Well, that's keep that open as an option, if we can…' was Makoto's response.
'If we can get up there, we could land on him and punch him out up there,' enthusiastic light grey which had to be Keita's had noted. 'Somebody get a bunch of flying demons together!'
Under that in light brown was Lugh's name: someone who had to be Io had written, 'Would it be safe for me to start channeling his power earlier? I already know how, and I think it should be safer to start before his essence was damaged, right? And I think I could learn to tap more of his power if I start now.'
Otome's yellow agreed, 'That should work,' and Yamato said, 'Fumi, escort her over there when you have the time.' The whole conversation had been scored through and a checkmark put in front of it, so that had succeeded.
Mizar's name was noted next, but it seemed no one had yet come up with any alternatives to the dragon stream.
After him came his companion star, Alcor, in Hiro's writing and underlined twice. 'Leave him to me, I'll talk to him,' was Hiro's opinion. 'It's kind of hard to figure out the right way to ask him some stuff, and I have the most practice.'
'Seconded. No one but Hiro is allowed to have any contact with that thing.'
'Boo,' pink said, arguing with Yamato. 'He gave us fire! And he's really lonely. We should gang up on him, he couldn't say no then.'
'Airi…' Was Makoto's response to the 'Boo' but she let it slide.
'What about the Ticos?' Fumi wondered. 'If I can hack into them they could give us information on him as well as other tamers.'
'Can we leave them alone?' Hiro asked. 'They're the tutorial, too. The better people get at using the app, the safer they'll be (and the better they can fight demons and septentriones like Mizar's parts).' The stuff in parentheses was obviously for Yamato's benefit.
'The female Tico called me a goof and is no use to anyone as a tutor. If you can figure out how to erase it, Fumi, do so," was Yamato's opinion.
Fumi's response was 'LOL Sorry boss man, using her this time.'
'I'm pretty sure they're alive, and destroying his only company won't make him likely to cooperate," Hiro said, obviously chiding Yamato. 'Even if he can't take Polaris' place, he might know some weaknesses or something we can use.'
Elegant black was skeptical. 'He's already given me information about his master's plans, but betraying him to that extent? Fumi, see what R&D can come up with in terms of a seal design in light of the new information on the enemy gathered during the previous operation. I'd prefer capturing it to having to rely on its cooperation, when it died rather than stand aside.'
'I guess so,' Hiro agreed. 'If we can capture him, we can keep him alive.'
'Yeah,' Pink agreed, followed by a sad face.
Another board was labeled 'Logistics,' immediately followed by a quick list of the main issues: vehicles, use of demons, food supplies, power & water, medical supplies, personnel deployment JPs, personnel deployment auxiliary, personnel deployment civilian volunteers.
By Power & Water, Yamato had noted, 'Both can be provided by the dragon stream without a serious decrease in its power, so don't waste thought on them.' Especially the people who didn't have many useful thoughts to spare.
Civilian Volunteers had him ask, 'Do any of you know of any useful potential candidates like Hiro?'
'More of Hiro, huh?' Joe's dark grey wondered, followed by a winking smiley. 'My gf can use the app, already taught her how.'
By Food Supplies, Keita's light grey asked once again, 'Can anyone tell me where the hell he keeps getting that stuff?'
'Magic,' was Fumi's brief response.
'Wait, seriously?' A flowing orange script wondered. 'Jungo has food magic or something? So Io has channeling magic and I have dance magic or something? Wait, do other people have food magic?'
'Will someone find Fumi or him and make them answer this?' Dark brown demanded. 'If there are people who can conjure up food, there's no excuse for not feeding the people!'
'Fumi's out shopping and Yamato's working on the towers, Rolando," Makoto wrote off to the side in very small text. 'That's why we have the boards, so people can come by and add ideas they have when they're free. I'll ask Otome: Erase this after reading.'
'Useful food magic would be rare, but we really should screen people for magical talents we need anyway,' Yellow wrote next. 'Maybe we could attach that to the food distribution? Checking for potential doesn't take as long as a full physical. It takes power to conjure things, but not at the level it does to maintain seals against Polaris or destroy a septentrione, I don't think. Have Hiro ask Yamato if we can use the dragon stream if Jungo and the others get tired out too quickly, ok?' Otome asked with a smiley face.
"Yeah, definitely Hiro," Hinako's orange agreed with another smiley face, followed by one of Fumi's.
'Only if this bread line contributes enough to civil order and our efficiency to make up for wasting the time of JPs staff including our head medical officer,' was Yamato's response, slightly sloppier than normal. 'I'm drawing a chain of command to the left of the door.'
That board, obviously labeled Chain of Command, had Yamato at the top. 'Overall command, veto power, dragon stream, tower protection, septentrione and other mission-critical issues.'
Four were directly under him:
Makoto: 'Report to her for all JPs staff management and allocation issues, including housing and supply distribution.'
Hiro: 'In charge of offensive & combat operations, relations with civilians and civilian personnel.'
Fumi: 'Intelligence/magical knowledge, research and application that doesn't require me.'
Otome: 'Has veto power over health of essential staff. Otherwise, reports to Makoto.'
He'd left space under each header and a note in the upper left corner saying, 'The rest of you report to one of them, and don't bother me with every little thing! Last time I had weeks to prepare, this time I have only six hours left to make major changes to the original plan and dragon stream arrangement before Dubhe arrives! As for you, Fumi, get the secure cell phone network up! I shouldn't have had to come down here personally!'
'Wow, yeah. Someone needs a nap. Dude, has anyone seen Fumi?' Joe asked under Yamato's rant. 'I guess I'm under Hiro, XD. Jealous?'
'Fumi has vanished from her lab,' Makoto reported. 'Everyone is advised to stay with someone else at all times, although since the other septentriones don't appear to have that ability and it doesn't seem as though Alcor kidnapped anyone else last time, I don't think there's much to worry about. Where was she first seen last time?'
'At the 'Valgate,' Hiro told her. 'I'm just not sure when exactly: ask Io since she remembered that was where we saw her & where the photo was. And JPs arrived just after we did, so I don't know if she was there long.'
He'd also put Ronaldo under Makoto's name with the assignment of, 'Coordinating police and SDF response – how do we authorize him for that?' and put Joe's name under Otome's with a, 'Sorry.' Io's name was written by Yamato's with, 'Bodyguard, and she should stay close anyway since you need Lugh for the dragon stream, so don't argue.'
Daichi was assigned to, 'Planning and coordinating food distribution/disaster relief – can he contact police or someone else for help with that, Rolando?'
Daichi's response was, 'Thanks, man! Jungo, you're with me!'
'Ok,' Jungo wrote in green.
Hiro filled up the lower half of that board with a big message saying to, 'Since we're all split up now and using the cell phones to talk about this might cause a panic if some other nation intercepts something, when you come in, put where you're going to be for the next two hours or so on the board to the right of the door so we know where you are!'
On that board, Hiro had put, 'Hiro Kageyama – When I'm not here, the bedroom I was assigned last time, since everyone comes there anyway.'
In light brown Io wrote: 'Io Nitta: the room under the Diet Building where the Dragon Stream summoning circle is, since I can't find Yamato anywhere else, sorry. I'll try your room first after this place when I get back if I don't find him there, Hiro.'
Under that, Fumi's name was written in orange: 'It looks like she put herself into a warded circle to try to keep from getting kidnapped. It didn't work.'
Hinako wrote her own name next, with: 'Hiro's room, of course! Since he's so popular, even with a certain prickly someone and septentriones, he needs a bodyguard too.'
'Airi & Rolando' was written in pink: they were, 'With my dad, talking to the cops at Tokyo HQ after Makoto gave us letters.' She also wrote Makoto's name next, and she was, 'In her office.'
Those weren't the only whiteboards in the room: all the walls of the conference room were covered in them and they were covered in all sorts of notes, from a list of demons the summoning app could summon and some of the better fusions to, 'Does anywhere know somewhere it would be safe for doctors to go in order to crack dia, amrita and up?'
When Joe ran in, there were only a couple of JPs cats in there, checking their duty rosters and updating who they'd been able to get in contact with among Japan's devil summoners. He'd just come in to write that he was heading to the special subway station to pick up his girlfriend, but after he pulled his special marker out of his pocket, he paused.
Under Otome's, the last name on the 'where everyone is' board, someone had scratched (or maybe melted?) an unreadable symbol followed by, 'With the Shining One, of course. The human ability to change their destinies really is amazing, isn't it?'
Deciding that eh, the cat in the red clothes was pretty okay, Joe just updated his own listing, ending it with a little heart, and skipped out of the room humming to himself.