3515/Making Arrangements

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Making Arrangements
Date of Scene: 10 November 2018
Location: Mitakihara/Pikarigaoka - King Penguin Park
Synopsis: After the events of About Your Girlfriend, Akari and Mikoto arrange a meeting with Princess Runealy. Plans are made, both for defense and for purification.
Cast of Characters: Akari Hayabusa, Mikoto Nakajima, Runealy Waldia, Hinote Kagari, Fate T. Waldia

Akari Hayabusa has posed:
Akari has multiple sources of trouble in her life right now; Mikoto is helping with pretty much all of them. The biggest two troubles are the business with Lacrima, and the fact that Akari would really like to get purified sometime soon.

Hot on the heels of a clandestine meeting with Lacrima, Mikoto has arranged a meeting with Princess Runealy; now, a few minutes before sundown, Akari is sitting at a picnic table at the appointed spot at the Park. She's dressed in her new blue track suit, and Rubindorn is hanging around her neck in pendant form.

"I'm a little bit antsy," she murmurs to Mikoto. She's been shifting her position twice a minute since they got here. "I mean, I know there's a million ways this could all be so much worse, but ..."
Mikoto Nakajima has posed:
Mikoto is dressed just as casually, jeans and a t-shirt and a light jacket against the cool of late autumn. They're just a little bit early, but she certainly didn't want to be late for this meeting. She's brought along a picnic basket with some drinks and a few snacks, just to be hospitable, but it remains closed while they wait for Runealy and whoever she might choose to bring to the meeting.

"I know," she murmurs, sliding an arm around Akari's shoulders. "I know it could be worse. But it isn't. You're here, I'm here with you, and you're going to be allright."
Runealy Waldia has posed:
Rune is back on her feet, as it has been a few days since her encounter with... someone. Someone the princess does not recognize, but had taken to her with plants and flails. While still a little delicate, Rune is functional at least and agreed to a meeting. One of her usual hired limos dropped her off, along with Hinote, near the park.

As she paces along with her sworn friend, Rune admits in a soft tone: "I feel like I'm missing a lot of important information here. Like there's something we didn't hear about in all of this, due to being trapped on our world. What do you think of what's going on here?" She gestures at Akari and Mikoto to indicate the topic at hand; they're distant, but visible as Runealy walks toward them.
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari is following along. Both because Runealy is a friend and because something attacked her recently and he didn't feel like going out alone was a good idea. Luckily Runealy thought so, too so he's here, hanging out in his usual overdressed self, even casually.

"I'm not sure." he says softly. "I know about as much as you do." he says. "I think we outta ask Fate-chan that. She's actually been here during that time." he says. "But in this specific case it sounds like someone needs help."

He's look cautiously around. They're in the same park that Runealy and the others we're attacked right?
Akari Hayabusa has posed:
It's in broadly the same area, but the actual attack happened in the gardens.

Akari nods to Mikoto, and gives her a quick squeeze, before catches sight of Runealy and Hinote. "Well," she murmurs, "like I said to Frau Doktor on my first mission ..." She straightens up, and swallows. "Showtime."

She waits until Runealy and Hino approach, and then she gives them a faint smile. "Hello, Your Highness," she says. "Glad to see your back on your feet again after last weekend." Really, everything about her demeanor is still the exact opposite of what it was like during the incident with the horse-Zerobot.

"I ..." She laughs nervously. "Honestly, I feel kind of awkward asking you guys for favors, considering I wasn't exactly a good person until the tollbooth incident a month ago."

... Ah, irony.
Mikoto Nakajima has posed:
Mikoto had not heard of the attack except in the most vague of terms, so wouldn't even bring it up at this point. She gives Akari a quick squeeze and nods, withdrawing her arm to take Akari's hand instead.

As Rune and Hino approach, she stands, giving Akari a little tug to nudge her to do the same. "It's good to see you well, Highness," she offers with a brief, respectful bow. "I do apologize for the inconvenient hour. Things have, as I'm sure you can guess, changed quite a bit for some of us, recently."
Runealy Waldia has posed:
"We can ask her when we get back," Rune suggests; speaking to Fate is a good idea, but not something to be done here and now. "I suppose for now we simply find out what we can. Thank you for coming with me, by the way... whoever or whatever that was, they called to me by name. I'm not sure why, but I seem to be their target..." Her voice trails softly, gaze lowering for a moment while thinking about that.

Then they're close enough to speak with Akari and Mikoto; the meeting is underway. Rune raises her head, facing them. "Thank you. A favor, though?"

Mikoto's remarks are met with a tiny nod. "It seems quite a bit has changed for many people, all at once... but not in the same way for everyone. Forgive me, but I might not know what circumstances either of you are speaking of. Please, tell me?"
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari blinks a little bit at this fact. "....Wasn't there something similar going on before we left?... the.. woman with the poison daggers?..." he says as she uncomfortably fidgets. Yeah okay. "...someone else from home?..." he asks as he shakes his head.

Regardless, they can discuss that later. People, friends! He looks up and gives a soft bow. "Hello, both of you." he looks over to Akari and just gives a short little smile at those words but says nothing. Runealy is asking the same questions he would, so he's waiting for a reply at the moment.
Akari Hayabusa has posed:
Akari nods, and smiles back at both of them. "I might as well start from the beginning," she says, and takes a deep breath. "... I'm not human." She shrugs. "I'm what's known as a 'living magical program.' Some conspiracy on the lost world of Ancient Belka created me, pretty much as an imitation of a legend that was going around at the time, for the purpose of taking over the world. My mind is based on a brain-scan of the knight who programmed me, my body is a magical construct, and my Linker Core -- the metaphorical 'organ' that produces usable magical energy -- was created from whole cloth. 'Nightbell' ..." She really doesn't sound comfortable saying it. "... is a translation of my designation, 'Nachtglocke'."

She fiddles with her Rubindorn-pendant. "Except, before I was ever activated ... there was an explosion, and I was blasted into the Dusk Zone," she says. "I'm pretty sure the powers-that-be caught onto the conspiracy and attacked, but I really have no way of knowing. Rubindorn's clock counted up nine hundred eighty-two years in the Dusk Zone before I was recovered by Eclipse. In that time, Rubindorn and I got ... corrupted. And now my Linker Core actually produces dark energy." She looks down at herself. "... This form was originally supposed to be my 'infiltration mode', where I would disguise myself as a human, with the other form as my real self, but ... my magic is suppressed in this form, including the darkness, so I decided it was the other way around."

She looks back up at Rune. "Right now, I have two ... 'ongoing problems'," she says. "The most important one to me right now is that I need to get rid of this corruption. I've been almost useless in the past few fights I've been in, because most of them were against creatures of darkness. I have no idea why I was halfway effective against the spirit who attacked you." She shakes her head. "But I need to find someone with purification powers and enough finesse that they can get rid of the darkness inside me."
Mikoto Nakajima has posed:
Mikoto nods quietly, letting Akari make her explanations, tell her own secrets. "I think you can see why we can't approach just anyone with this," she adds, giving Akari's hand a comforting squeeze. "But I'm going to help her. No matter what it takes. No matter who I have to fight, or owe."

She waves the arriving pair to the table, offering them the chance to sit. "I already know I'm going to have to fight Eclipse if they decide they want her back. I don't care." She smiles warmly. "But if you can help us find someone that can purify her, remove the dark energy..." Her smile widens.
Runealy Waldia has posed:
Rune has no time to immediately comment on their attacker's origins, so she simply makes a mental note to follow up on Hinote's idea later.

Akari starts things off with a very interesting point. "'Not human'?" Rune repeats this with a raised eye. "Another world, so some things I might presume aren't necessarily true... okay." She quiets down to hear the rest, but does occasionally glance over to Hinote to see what his reactions might be; she also does the same with Mikoto, hoping to get any details she can this way.

Once Akari is done, this leaves the princess with a few points to confirm. "Are you telling me you're almost a millenium old? And that, in a sense, you are... 'of darkness'? We can worry about my enemy soon enough, I'm more concerned about... mm..." Her voice trails into an indistinct noise rather than a word.

Mikoto fills in a few more important gaps, though Rune reaches what might be a wrong conclusion. "If I'm hearing this right, it sounds like two different but related favors are being asked for. Are you asking us to fight them... and regardless of whether that's the case or not, are you asking me to help with the darkness inside? If so, was that a good guess... or have you heard something about me?" Her tone is soft; she's inquiring rather than being defensive or angry.
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari listens as he rests a hand against his chin. He closes his eyes a moment. "What's the 'Dusk Zone'?" he asks. "I not imagining it's a pleasant place." he says. "With a name like that." he says as he takes all this in.

"Not... human?" he asks with a blink. He leans forward. And back. "...a..living. Computer program?" he says with confusion. "....I think we outta brought Fate-chan along with us now." he says. "This sounds familiar but I don't know a lot about it. Like the 'Space German'." he says.

"There's time to consult her later though." he says. He looks to Runealy with a raised brow.

"I think they're asking about 'darkness removal', primarily. Which sounds about right." he says as he taps the side of his chin a bit in thought.
Akari Hayabusa has posed:
Akari nods to Mikoto, then to Rune. "Hino-san is correct," she says. "I don't know a whole lot about you specifically, as far as purification goes, but you're the only member of Virtue I can readily contact, and Mikoto-chan specifically brought you up when I raised the issue after I got home from last week. I'm really hoping you can find someone who'd be able to do ... 'surgically' purify my Linker Core, or whatever it takes."

She glances at Hinote, and manages a lopsided grin. "I mean, don't even ask me why Belkan is so similar to German, or why the Midchildan language is so similar to English," she says. "Technically, this means I speak five languages." She shrugs. "But yeah, that's basically accurate. I've also referred to myself as a robot before, I guess."

She sits back slightly. "But yeah ... the other problem is that ... Lacrima-san, the vice-director of UMBRA, was perfectly okay with letting me go, but the 'shadowy figure on the screen' who got me into Eclipse wants Lacrima-san to take me back in. For ... 'reprogramming.'" She shudders. "Because obviously the fact that I'm a 'program' means that I can be 'reprogrammed' just like that." She shakes her head. "Lacrima-san can't disobey an order like that, so she's just ..." She grins nervously. "... going around and asking people to defend me. From herself. Because if she's defeated via overwhelming force, she won't get into trouble with Eclipse's mysterious higher-ups, and I'll be safe, so it's win-win from her perspective."

She shrugs. "So ... the more the merrier, I suppose. But she's stalling for as long as she can to get more people, and I'd rather get purified sooner rather than later."
Mikoto Nakajima has posed:
Mikoto nods. "Frankly, I trust you more than pretty much anyone else in Virtue. I mean, there's Nanoha, but she can't do purification, last I checked." She shrugs, then reaches up to give Akari a little squeeze again. "You're not a robot, Akari-chan. You're as much a person as the rest of us."

"On that topic... please don't tell anyone that Lacrima is doing anything other than loyally fighting to bring her back. We can't afford for them to put someone else in charge of that... someone who doesn't consider her a respected friend."

That said, she opens the picnic basket, drawing out a thermos flask of tea and several cups. While she pours, she finishes, "That pretty much lays out what we're here to ask of you... and how much we're willing to offer to accomplish it, I think."
Runealy Waldia has posed:
Rune blinks several times at Hinote's conclusion, staring at him. "Somewhat like a television or cell phone, then? Yet she stands here, speaking with us far more responsively than any of those do. Even if it's a 'program' asking for help..." A few headshakes follow, "I'm not sure I can say no to that. So..."

Her eyes return to a normal expression, calm and serious as she regards Akari and Mikoto. "I don't understand much of this 'UMBRA' matter, or 'reprogramming' or any of that. However!" She holds up a hand, trying to preemptively stall what she imagines will be a protest from at least one of them. "That doesn't mean I'm refusing to help. ...And thank you, by the way," an aside as she takes some tea and enjoys a light sip.

Her head turns, facing Hinote. "In a moment, I would like any advice you have on the matter of fighting UMBRA. What sort of threat are they, do you know? I consider that a secondary concern, but an important one. As for purification..."

She faces Akari and takes a breath. "I can try to do that for you. My mother..." Rune's throat tightens, voice lowering. "...taught me how to remove a demon's influence from someone. I don't know if what's happening with you is exactly the same, if my family's methods will work, or if I can do it properly. She taught me, but I have never actually done it... merely observed."
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari looks between Akari and Mikoto, and then taps his chin again. "Well. I mean that secret is safe with us." he says. "...So you need help with the purification and protection." he says. He looks to Runealy and goes to open his mouth then shuts it again.

"...I hate to sound. Like a broken record. But I think Fate-chan would know something about 'UMBRA', as I believe she worked for that group at another point, or she'd mentioned it in passing to me in a discussion." he says.

He looks to the others. "I'm really sorry that the person who'd be best suited for this discussion isn't here." he says with a short 'whatcha gonna do' smile about it and a shrug.

He looks over to Runealy and nods. "Of course." he says. "She still needs help. I'm just a little confused myself on this." he says.

When Runealy starts talking about her mother he falls respectfully silent and just gives Runealy a look of concern. Before looking back up to the other two.
Akari Hayabusa has posed:
Akari squeezes Mikoto's hand. "Robots can be people too," she says, smiling up at her. "It's just a shorthand that explains what I am, when I don't feel like giving a brief history of Belkan legendry."

She nods to Rune, eyes widening slightly. There's hope in her eyes. "... okay," she says. "I'm ..." She laughs nervously. "Well, I'm willing to try anything that doesn't involve just getting blasted, which didn't work the one time someone tried it on me." She nods to Hino. "Right, UMBRA is the division of Eclipse that I was attached to when I quit, and I know Fate-san used to be part of it, too. You can probably hash out defenses with her."

And then she snorts. "I just imagined Lacrima-san coming after me with another Zerobot. That would ..." She shakes her head. "Anyway, uh." She looks back at Rune. "Okay. What needs to be done to perform this ritual?" She reaches over and grasps Mikoto's hand -- just for a little bit of comfort and stability there.
Mikoto Nakajima has posed:
Mikoto sips her tea and smiles gently. "To be honest, Fate probably is the best person you could ask about UMBRA and Eclipse. She's certainly seen more of the inner workings than I have." It's no secret that she has connections there that she's not afraid to make use of.

"I do think you're right about a, mm, 'surgical' solution. It does seem more likely to succeed than more brute-force attempts." She smiles softly, cradling her cup in her hands. "Do you need any special materials or space for it? I can make arrangements for whatever you'll need... unless it's something unique to Waldia. I'm afraid my only contact there is, well, you." She smiles wryly at this, even adding a playful wink.
Runealy Waldia has posed:
"...You're right. I didn't want to bother my sister right now, but..." Rune has to relent; Hinote appears to be correct that Fate would know more. Mikoto only reinforces the point. "Forgive me, I really should have Fate here to tell us more... I will need to use my phone." She digs around in her purse a bit, retrieving her Cure Line. She doesn't use it right away, instead opting to finish responding to questions first.

"I believe the ritual can be performed here on Earth. We could bring you to our home here, and you could stay in the Safe Room while we make the attempt. As for what's needed?"

Rune allows a slight smile. "A quiet place. Somewhere that we won't be interrupted. Phones shall be turned off during the ritual, or at least set to silent and no vibration. Beyond that? Your cooperation. It will likely take a few minutes, and even if I succeed... I will likely need to rest afterward. Now, if I may... I will be calling Fate."

Phone readied, she places a call to her sister and gets through fairly quickly. "Fate? It's not urgent, we're not being attacked... but could you please join us at the park? We're speaking with some friends, and everyone is certain you're the best one to ask about some details."
Fate T. Waldia has posed:
Fate T. Waldia was actually not doing anything of consequence. She was watching some romance anime on her laptop and taking notes. Surely this would allow her to woo Nanoha better, right? So when she gets a call, she pauses and fumbles for her phone, which is on the other side of the room. "Runealy? Oh! Yes of course. I'll be right there. That isn't far away."

Fate pauses her important note taking and steps outside into the back yard, summoning Bardiche into it's polearm form, before summoning her barrier jacket. She steps into the air, hovering for a moment before she takes off into the air like some sort of yellow streak. She arrives, not too long after Runealy made that call. This was a hop through the air almost for her. Just seconds, hardly a minute. Bardiche also makes it easier since it's used to those particular signatures, which hones Fate in faster. She lands, not too far away with a gentle slow step onto the grass as she looks at the assembled group. There's Runealy, Hinote and Mikoto. She looks at Akari. She doesn't know this person.

"Hello." she says in her usual stoic manner in front of the stranger she doesn't know. A guard she keeps up from the unknown. "Runealy said that.... there was questions to ask?" she asks with curiosity.
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari listens with a nod. "Space and quiet mostly." he says. He's about to offer to text Fate when Runealy makes the call personally. He looks at his watch, and scoffs at Fate a little mellodramatically. "You're like a half second late~." he says. "Hello Fate." he says.

"Um. Mikoto-chan here was introducing us to her friend that needs help. Um, the name was Akari right?" he says. "Basically, we want to know about Eclipse and UMBRA I think, and the best ways to tackle that, I think."

"...and well, I figured you'd probably know more about that than the rest of us." he says as he shrugs a bit. "Considering..." he trails off a moment. He looks to the others.

"Anything else... we need to ask Fate-chan?" he asks.
Akari Hayabusa has posed:
Akari nods. "Okay!" she says. "That ..." She nods. "Yes. Thank you!" She's getting a little tongue-tied. The prospect of being purified is just a big relief.

As Fate approaches, Bardiche gets a non-hostile signal from Rubindorn, and Akari smiles at Fate. She's actually met Fate in both of her forms. "Hello, Your Highness," she says. "Yes, I'm Akari Hayabusa. Formerly ... 'Nightbell.'" She grimaces, then hesitates. "Actually, I can't remember now, was my birthday party before or after the incident with the sand-gorilla?"

Her pendant pings. <<DIE SCHLACHT FAND VOR IHRER GEBURTSTAGSFEIER STATT, HERRIN.>> The battle took place before your birthday party, mistress. Its voice sounds like a more cutesy version of Akari's voice.

"Oh right!" Akari nods. "Battle was first." Her voice sounds exactly like that of Nightbell, actually, it's just that it's lacking the gruffness and at a higher register. She shakes her head. "Uh ... the short version about the UMBRA situation is that I'm quitting Eclipse, but the mysterious shadowy higher-ups want me back, and Lacrima-san doesn't want to do it so she's getting people on the hero-side to defend me. From herself." She shrugs. "And meanwhile, your sister is offering to purify my Linker Core so that I'm not full of darkness."
Mikoto Nakajima has posed:
Mikoto simply smiles and reaches into the picnic basket for a fifth cup, and pours Fate some tea. "Good evening, Fate-chan. I'm glad to see you well." She reaches up to squeeze Akari's shoulder warmly. "Runealy-hime had some questions about UMBRA and the like, and I told her you were a better person to ask since you'd seen more of its inside workings than I have. I'm sorry if we interrupted your evening plans, I didn't expect her to call you out here right this minute."

She shrugs. What's done is done. "Please don't mention the bit about Lacrima. To anyone. It could put her in real danger... and put someone who actually wants to succeed in charge of bringing Akari-chan back."
Runealy Waldia has posed:
Rune blinks as Fate arrives. "Even though I've seen it several times, I'm still impressed by your speed... to think you got here that quickly! Though... yes. We're trying to help her," a nod to Akari, "And I know so very little about these things. 'UMBRA', 'Eclipse'... once we help her, I've no idea what kind of threat they pose to us. Though, there is one important clarification... I will be attempting to offer that help."

Rune puts her phone away in the meantime. "I must stress I've never done this before. I know the lessons, I know how it works and how it should happen... but this will be the first time I've actually put it to use. As for keeping secrets, however..."

A smile returns. It's faint, but present. "Who would I tell? Beyond my family and sworn friends, nobody would know and I'd have no reason to tell them. If you have some way of arriving at our home 'covertly', I think you would be secure there."
Fate T. Waldia has posed:
Fate T. Waldia looks between all the people. "Akari..." her gaze hardens a bit. "I know about this already. Lacrima-san texted me to meet her someplace out of the way the other night." she says. "She said that, she needed my help-- as you say. Keeping her away from you." she says. "She also told me to keep it to myself. Which I agreed to already." she says.

"...Oh, we're you one of the fighters there at the fight with that sand creature?" she asks. She looks away a moment then back.

"...I can't tell you... why. I haven't spoken to Runealy about it yet, and she deserves to know first out of the people here... as my sister." she says quietly. "But I understand what you must be going through." she says quieter.

"UMBRA uses dark energy weapons and similar constructs. So you'll want people that can purify. I would not... use purification against Lacrima-san. She's trying to help as I understand it- and that could kill her."

"I can help devise tactics, if that's the issue at hand." she says more seriously.

"-and don't worry about bothering me. I was watching romance anime and taking notes." she says.
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari smiles at Fate. He nods. "I'm not that kind of energy. Fire. So. No need to worry on that end." he says. He looks to Akari and Mikoto. "Right, if you need help 'smuggling' Akari to our place-- we have a safe room. No windows. In the middle of our rooms." he says.

"We'll do our best to help as we're able." he says with a reaffirmation.
Akari Hayabusa has posed:
Akari nods. "All right," she says. "I'll ... try to figure something out as far as covert movement goes." She grins at Mikoto. "... That suddenly gave me an idea, but I think it's more involved than it needs to be. We can just sneak in, probably. Or do whatever you did to meet Lacrima-san today."

She blinks in mild surprise at Fate's little speech, and then just nods. "We can talk about it once we're at your place," she says. "And yeah. I don't know exactly what she's going to send at me, but ..." She shrugs. "Like I said before, the more the merrier. By which I guess I mean the more overwhelming the counter-force, the bigger the excuse she has."

She smiles at each of the Waldians in turn. "I really hope this does work for the purification, though!" she says. "And if not ..." She shrugs. "We can find other ways. You can put out the word that I need purification without mentioning the situation with Lacrima-san."
Mikoto Nakajima has posed:
Mikoto nods. "I believe stealth can be arranged," she agrees. "It's not something I'm unfamiliar with." She grins impishly and winks again, then refills her tea. "We are in your hands, highness. You have our trust, and our confidence."
Runealy Waldia has posed:
"'Tactics' isn't quite the issue I was thinking of... but the fact you're even pointing it out," Rune comments in a lower, pondering tone, "tells me we'll be getting involved with a significant threat, and that is what I needed to know. Thank you, Fate."

This still leaves many important details unknown to the elder princess, but she nonetheless offers a nod to Akari. "I have two opinions on this. The first of them is that fighting this... 'UMBRA' is better done on Earth than on our homeworld. We'll face them."

"The second is that you are hereby invited into our home. You may stay in the Safe Room," which is a secure location, though one with rather colorful and warm decor to it, "and I will attempt the ritual. If it fails, I will reach out to others who can help you."

Then her eyes fix on Mikoto. "And if you need to stay with her, the Safe Room can probably be host to you as well. I imagine you'll find my friends and family will live up to both that trust, and confidence."