IDW - 상자 속 고양이

At the cocktail party.

IDW Commeownder! This is super delicious! You need to try it!

IDW Wow, Commeownder! These lights are soooo shiny~

IDW Commeownder, Commeownder! Look at him! Look at him!

IDW Woooooooow, Commeownderrrrrrrr!

Commander (Interrupts) Ahem, IDW.

IDW Meow?

I feign nonchalance as I quickly look around. Thank goodness IDW's screeching hasn't caught the attention of anybody yet.

Commander (This girl is...very distinctive...in more ways than one.)

IDW is a little different from usual tonight. Despite the little tiara on her head, she does not seem very much like a noble princess, especially when she opens her mouth.

Commander (She really needs to be more attentive. Her shawl's even sliding off of her arm...)

Pivoting her head all around, IDW gawks at anything that catches her attention, paying no mind to her own inelegant behavior at all.

Commander I must say, you seem a bit too excited.

IDW Ehhh? Am I?

Commander This is your first time at a cocktail party, isn't it, IDW?

IDW Yup!
It's so much fun! Do you often come to these parties, Commeownder? I'm having a blast!

Commander Well, not that often.
Still, don't get too carried away. Don't forget, we're on a mission.

IDW But of course!
A chance like this is sooooo hard to come by! I'm gonna put my best foot forward!
So don't worry, Commeownder! I'm a professional bodyguard!☆

Commander ...Alright.
In any case, you need to behave. I'm going to look around outside for a bit, so I'll leave the party hall to you guys.

IDW Mhm mhm!

Commander (I guess she should be fine.)

Commander (But things might get...interesting...if her opponent is that Doll.)

I watch the number of guests steadily increase as I surreptitiously slip out of the party.

Half an hour later.

IDW There sure are a lot of people...
I should grab a couple more snacks before the Commeownder comes back♪
Do phantom thieves or whatever really exist? I really wonder...
Whatever, that question isn't important. Even if they do exist, I'll beat them within the snap of a--

Whoom~ whoom~

The alarm suddenly goes off.

IDW What's going on!?
I know this sound! It's...
Huh...what was it again?

Frightened by the alarm, someone within the crowd of guests yells, "There's a fire! Run!", and the hall immediately descends into chaos.

IDW Aha! That's it! It's the fire alarm! There's a fire!
No wait, now's not the time to be pleased with my acuity. I need to help evacuate the crowd!
Ah...um, everyone, don't panic!
Please exit in an orderly manner! Exit in an orderly manner! There are people outside waiting to help you!
Hey! Did you hear me? Exit in an orderly manner!

Thanks to the combined efforts of IDW and the venue staff, the guests are quickly evacuated.

IDW Whew...looks like that's all of them.
Still, I wonder, how did the fire start?

Thud! Thud!
Lost in thought, IDW does not hear the noises behind her.

IDW Speaking of which, I didn't see any fire or smoke, so why...
...!

Bang!
Suddenly, a bullet streaks past the tip of IDW's hair. IDW instinctively evades and returns fire.

Bang bang bang!

IDW You...you're...

??? Whew, you have frightening combat reflexes.
Unfortunately, your ability to multitask is nowhere as good as everyone else.

IDW You, why is it you! Just now...you you you-

IDW

SAA Yes, yes, I know what you want to say.

SAA proudly plants her hands on her hips. She is surrounded by the tranquilized bodies of the security guards.

IDW How how how come you're the phantom thief!
(Loud) Are you here to steal the jewel!?
(Really loud) Ahhhhhhh! How could this be!
(Really really loud) Where's the Commeownder? Does the Commeownder know!?

SAA Ahhh, you're so damn noisy!
I should've knocked you out with that shot just now and shut you up!

IDW Don't. Even. Think. About. It!
I have no idea what's going on, but I'm the Commeownder's ace bodyguard!
Doesn't matter who's got their eyes on the jewel - I won't let it happen!

SAA Yaho~ you talk pretty big. Stop me if you can~

Ignoring IDW, SAA begins walking toward the jewel.

IDW Wait wait wait wait!

SAA As if anyone would listen to you.

IDW I forbid you from taking the jewel!

SAA (Hums a tune) ♪

IDW A duel!
I-I challenge you to a duel!

SAA (Stops) Oh?
A duel?

IDW Hehe, got your attention, did I?
That's right, a duel!
If you lose, you leave right away and abandon all your plans for that jewel!

SAA And what if you lose?

IDW Uuu...
If I lose...then you can take the jewel... (Her voice trails off)

SAA That's what I would have done anyway!
How about this? If you lose, you'll have to shut up for an hour.

IDW Fine! Whatever!
But! But! I will never lose to you!

SAA You talk very big indeed~
Alright, then state the terms of the duel.

IDW Then we'll...

SAA Aha, I know!
Let's have a quick draw showdown, you know, like cowboys!

IDW Hey! Who said you can decide on that by yourself!

SAA Well, if you don't want to, then that's too bad. (Pretends to walk)

IDW Wait wait wait wait!
All right...I'll do it!
And I'm raising the stakes! One crate of cola! I'll bet one crate of cola!

SAA !
One...crate...of...cola!
Are you sure? I recorded that.

IDW Of course I'm sure!

SAA Yaho~
Bring it!

...
The battle ends.

IDW collapses between SAA and the jewel. She glares at SAA with a disgruntled expression on her face.

SAA You're a hundred years too early to even dream of beating me in a duel like this♪

IDW Uuu...
You're too mean meow...
I thought we were just going to draw our guns and shoot! You used your skill!

SAA Hmph, you didn't say I couldn't, now did you?
A duel must be treated as a life-or-death battle!
You could say that you lost because you took it too lightly.

IDW Uuu...

SAA Alright, alright, stay here and reflect on what you did wrong.
I, on the other hand, will be taking the jewel, and then helping myself to the cola in your room!
W-Wait a minute! Where's the jewel!

IDW Haha, you didn't expect that, did you?
My teammate already took the jewel while you were busy facing me!

SAA I see...
So it was just a diversion to delay me. I see, I see.

IDW Exactly ~meow!

SAA Hmph, I have to say, I didn't expect you to use your brain like that.
Did you go to some kind of personal success course to learn to promote yourself?

IDW You're too mean! I have many selling points... (Distinct lack of confidence)
But there's one thing I don't understand. Why are you stealing the jewel?

SAA ...It's just a mission.

IDW A mission? Meowmeowmeow?

SAA All you need to know is that I'm not at odds with the Commander.
In any case, I won the duel.
I'll be going back for some cola now since there's nothing else for me to do here.

IDW Are you just leaving like this, SAA?

SAA Mhm. See ya later.
Oh yes, if you don't have a crate of cola in your dorm, I'll make up the difference by ordering it through logistics.
And then I'll sign your name to it, got it?♪

IDW Uuuu! You're so mean!

SAA Ahhhh, you're so loud!
You lost fair and square, so shut up already!

An hour later.
In the corridors of the Griffin base.

IDW Ahhh, Commeownder!
Long time no see!

Commander Heh...it's only been a few hours.

IDW Uuu, you don't know how mean SAA has been to me!
It's been a very long hour!

Commander I-I see...
So how did the mission go?

IDW I lost a duel with SAA...
But I managed to delay her while Grizzly and the others moved the jewel elsewhere!
Not a bad way to complete the mission, I'd say!

Commander Oh? You seem to be in higher spirits than I expected.

IDW Meow?

Commander It was unfortunate that I couldn't let you join the party...
I mean, it's not every day that you get to wear such a beautiful dress.

Only now that I realize I hadn't praised her when I saw her earlier today.

IDW Really? Really?
Commeownder, do I really look pretty today?

Commander Yes, definitely.

IDW Ehe♪
I'm happy enough to receive your praise!
I feel super happy wearing something completely different from my usual outfit!
Say, Commeownder...

Commander Hm?

IDW Can I...keep this dress?

Commander Of course. Treat it as the payment for this mission.

IDW Wahhhhahaha! Awesome!
I'm 8127% happy today!

Commander Why that number in particular?

IDW 10000 is the max, minus 1873!
Mhm, I'll beat her next time!
(Mutters) But I still don't get what SAA meant by her mission...

Commander Hah, you're sure fired up, IDW.
Keep up the good work. You'll be able to do it someday!

IDW Yup yup!
Commeownder, Commeownder!
I will beat her someday meow!

Her spirited declaration echoes down the long corridor, reverberating through the Griffin base and the neural clouds of every T-Doll within range.

SAA Uuugh...
Just as I thought, an hour was not enough at all!