Scouting for Locations

Gao and Rune look at an alley and talk of the future. (Spoiler Note: This log contains strong hints for upcoming events. Don't read it until July 15 2015 if you don't want certain surprises revealed to you!)

Date: 2015-07-13
Pose Count: 13
Gaofele Doiru 2015-07-13 04:35:31 4396
It's late enough in the evening that most of the stores are closed or will be closing soon. One by one, they turn their lights down, leaving their external signs as the only illumination helping the streetlamps.

Down this road of seeming endless twilight walks a pair of Waldians. They don't seem to be in a rush to make it into a store for last-minute shopping or closing-hour bargains; rather, their pace seems almost leisurely, like they're just window-shopping. But if that's the case...

...why are they pausing near the alleyways?

"The biggest advantage of one of these is being able to block off the entrance," Gao explains to Rune as they look down another alley. "It might not delay them long, given how well they can jump, but it should keep them off balance for a few extra moments after the ambush starts."
Runealy Waldia 2015-07-13 04:39:55 4397
In light of recent events, Rune only looks partially engaged by this topic. She knows it's important, she knows Gao is doing good work... but her thoughts keep drifting to less constructive things, or at least mixing them with insights on the task at hand, as she follows him.

He speaks of the value of alleyways, and her head lowers. Rune speaks with a very quiet, low voice. "A few key moments can matter. They did when that man attacked me. In an alley. I couldn't go through him, couldn't go directly away from him with all those walls in the way either. Had to head up, and I lost enough time doing it that... well. ...You saw the results. So,"

She nods to the alley. "It's... it's a good idea. We can do that. Should I be the one in there, and you two come up here?" She taps her foot at the alley entrance.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-07-13 04:55:05 4399
Gao nods, frowning slightly. The dark-wielder seemed more interested in causing suffering than in anything else, like someone who plucks the wings off of flies for cruel fun.

"If we're waiting on the rooftops while you're in the alley, we can keep watch for trouble and be better prepared," he agrees. "Hinote and I will undoubtedly have to come down to ground level when the fight starts, but arriving from an unexpected direction should help catch them off-guard."

He gives Rune a smile. "And if all goes well, we should have another crystal or so filled after this!" he adds encouragingly. Her earlier crystal, tucked away in its storage, was a sparkle of hope to the Waldian expedition. As far as he could tell, fighting one of their erstwhile allies, whichever one it was, was probably the cause of Rune unhappiness. Gao might not be able to help with that, but he can certainly do what he can to make their plan succeed!
Runealy Waldia 2015-07-13 05:11:35 4402
"...Okay." It's a flat answer to the strategy Gao is suggesting. "That sounds like it will work. Even if they don't fall for it, and they might not if they've heard about what happened... it's still something, we're still not all stuck in the alley. You've got a good idea. We'll do it. Just..."

She's not smiling, despite his encouragement. "I think you need to understand something. I had some idea about it ahead of time, but... actually seeing it was another. They're going to /hate/ you for this. I don't mean 'kind of angry, kind of hurt.'" Rune stares hard at Gao. "I mean 'hate.' I learned that yesterday, when I fought her. If you go forward with this, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars and a lot of other good people are going to see you as worse than demons." This is a very bold assumption about how they're going to react, and is certainly 'speaking for them' when she has no authority to, but Runealy is convinced on this point as Miss White's words and Ao's hurt reaction ring through her mind all over again. "If you do this... you need to be ready for that. You're going to see feelings you'll never forget, because they'll never forget what happened. Being more of an enemy than the actual monsters out here... is that something you're prepared for?"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-07-13 05:24:00 4404
Gao closes his eyes and takes a breath. The Sailor Senshi and the others he's fought alongside, considering him an enemy? Possibly thinking of him as a worse threat than the youma they fight?

Harsh, but not as harsh as what would happen without the energy that the Waldians intend to collect. Being hated, loathed by the locals is nothing to what it would be like if the Barrier fell.

"I am," he says as he opens his eyes. He's willing to do this, for his home, his family, and his friends.

For Waldia. For Rune.

He looks towards the alleyway again. "Got a preference for how much space you want in the alleyway?" he inquires. "They do vary somewhat, and I want to make sure you're comfortable with the one we use."
Runealy Waldia 2015-07-13 05:27:13 4406
"...Sorry. I just wanted you to understand that. I 'knew' it, but didn't really get it, until I saw it first hand." Rune calms down, and walks in to the alley as Gao gazes through it. "I'm going to be about half-way in. That way, I have some space to run back," she indicates the wall at the end of the alley. "And Hino can start pretty close to being right behind them." She's assuming he'd want that, since he favors a sword. "That would just leave figuring out what you want to do, wouldn't it?"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-07-13 05:40:07 4407
Gao carefully backs up towards the street while looking up towards the roofs, then walks into the alley and looks towards the roofline of the alley's entrance. "I have an idea or two, but I'll have to practice to see which will work best," he admits. "I will definitely be using a Forest Wall to close off the alleyway, and I'll do my best to keep the group split up."

He walks back to the sidewalk, then looks both ways down the street. "I'll double-check the rooftops tonight to make sure the objects make for good hiding places, but I recall that this alley has good cover nearby," he nods.
Runealy Waldia 2015-07-13 05:43:33 4409
"Probably won't stop them for more than a few seconds, but... that might be enough, and you said as much anyway. It's... it's good." Rune nods over to Gao. "Do it. Do it however you think is best. I'm not going to manage every little detail about how we do this... better to just trust that you know what you're doing. Because you do. Listen,"

She walks out to follow him. "Did you ever get a chance to talk to any of them? Sailor Mercury or Mars or any of the others? I'm not looking for battle plans here. I mean whether you got to see much about them as people."
Gaofele Doiru 2015-07-13 05:51:23 4410
"Not really," Gao admits. "Usually we all had to scatter whenever the common threat had passed. Makes it kind of hard to get to know someone." Of course, given what they were going to have to do...

Maybe it was for the best this way.

"We'll just have to be more aware of how we approach sudden magical troubles that might be monster-related," he muses. "Strike the monsters from hiding, so the others don't see us before then."
Runealy Waldia 2015-07-13 05:58:20 4412
"Don't think we'll get that chance. Monsters don't exactly line up politely and let us take the exact positions we want. As far as I'm concerned, that part of what we're doing here hasn't changed. If they protest... we can tell them exactly why they should wait before they attack us, if the choice is between us or a Witch." Runealy speaks in a very serious, quiet tone. "We care if they die. The Witch probably doesn't."

She paces around, but keeps her gaze on Gao the whole time. "The reason I asked about that is... history. History will hate us forever for doing this, I know that. That's okay. People need to hear about the others, though. I don't want Sailor Mercury or those two we met in the park when you helped Mistpaw, or any of the others to be just 'the people from the Unknown World.'" Rune is very caught up in this line of thought, carrying on with barely a pause. "So I've been collecting names, getting artists at school to draw people based on my descriptions, and writing down what I remember about them. So that when we go home, our historians can see that. They can tell everyone about the people we met, the people who provided the energy we needed to survive. I want them to be names and faces. Identities! So... what I'm asking is..."

Runealy sighs, gaze lowering to the ground. "Could you help with that? Can you help make sure they're not just faceless victims, but admired heroes when it comes time to tell their story to everyone back home?"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-07-13 06:07:04 4413
Gao nods. "That, I can do," he agrees, a small smile on his face. It's a fitting way for them to be remembered in Waldian history... and who knows? Maybe it can inspire others with their bravery and dedication.

Of course, this means that Gao and the others need to succeed so that there will be a future for this history to be read in.

He gives Rune a hug. "We can do this. We /will/ do this. Together, we'll save our world, and protect this world while we're at it."
Runealy Waldia 2015-07-13 06:11:25 4415
As has happened many times since they arrived, Rune finds herself leaning in to that support Gao provides. "Yeah... we've already come this far. All that's left is to see it through to the end. Thank you for being here... I've said it before, but it's still true: You're a huge part of why we have any chance at all to get through this. Please don't ever forget that!"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-07-13 06:25:40 4417
Gao smiles gently. "I won't," he murmurs, glad to have raises Rune's spirits, even for a bit. "Let's head back to the store -- Mistpaw is probably wondering where dinner is by now!"

The two of them wander off, just a pair of people travelling a street of dim twilight street lights. For tonight, the alleyway remains a place of calm.

But soon, that will change.