Two Vampires, One Expression

Lacrima and Kunzite talk about Melanite and Shiniko. This may be the only discussion ever where having close to zero social skills is an advantage.

Date: 2016-08-30
Pose Count: 21
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-30 19:22:53 53225
The texts came shortly after Lacrima's conversation with Jiaying; a brief apology for prioritizing the other girl's injury over making contact, then a suggestion of a place they both knew at a time of Lacrima's convenience. The place in question was the one they'd first encountered each other at, where Riventon had placed a tall spire of purple-black crystal overlooking Uminari City, where the white-haired youth in the cape had first defended Lunatic Charm, then spoken politely with Lacrima -- then overloaded Riventon's crystal. Not that it bothered Riventon too much; the price of doing business, and he'd already accomplished his own goals. But still.

The place is mostly recovered, given the four months that passed between, but people still have a tendency to leave the area alone; even if Riventon hadn't set the crystal high enough to be out of the way -- they could probably have met at ground level, here, and gone unnoticed.

Kunzite arrives early, and waits where she can see him: that same too-tall frame, mostly grays and whites, patient and steady as if the figure standing there were less part of the building and more an outcropping of the bedrock beneath it, that the building itself had coincidentally been constructed around.

(It might be a trap, of course. It might always be a trap. But there are contingency plans for that, and none of them involve needing to make Lacrima feel outnumbered, or under more pressure than she already is.)
Lacrima 2016-08-30 19:46:07 53226
Yes, let's meet where 'there was a big mass of dark energy' four months ago and there might be lingering effects because /that's/ good for Lacrima and will totally result in a rational discussion.

Luckily, She picks up on this and as a precaution reaches down to the Riventon-made braclet around her left hand and turns the flow down. Just in case.

It'll give her time to react and catch herself /if/ anything goes wrong.

She arrives alone. Mostly by seeping out of the Dusk Zone in some shadowy corner and gently smoothing down her dress as she locks her eyes on Kunzite and looks to the right and left of him. It seems he is alone too.


She approaches mostly at a soft pace. No hurry or run. When she's close enough. She talks.

"Why this place?" she asks curtly then followed by: "Thank you for taking care of my friend, Jiaying." she says also curtly. "I've been trying to find a place for her to heal for a while. And the resources available to me I'd rather not involve her in." she says matter of factly.

"Though it was coming close to that." she says.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-30 20:00:05 53227
Fewer lingering effects than one might think; it's mostly people's habits, now, more than anything direct. (They knew about it. They had people they could call on to purify the place. That does a great deal ... and on the other hand, that isn't necessarily comfortable for Lacrima, either. But not much is.)

Her arrival out of the Dusk Zone doesn't startle him; he's already turning as she settles into the shadows, inclining his head to her as she checks for any backup he might have. Turning that into a slight and grave bow as she approaches.

"There are four places I'm certain that we both know of and have access to," he answers her first curt question. "One is the prison. Inconvenient. One is the church. You specified privacy, to the exclusion even of Jiaying; that place is quiet, but others know to look for you there, and also, I'd prefer not to intrude on you there unless invited. One is a place that you have been only briefly, and would feel considerably outnumbered in, the rules against fighting or factional disputes aside; also, we'd be at risk of intrusion there. This one isn't perfect, but it seemed to be less trouble than the other three. If my evaluation was incorrect, or if you'd prefer somewhere else, we can certainly relocate."

The second topic at hand is met with another small nod. "With luck, she shouldn't have so much trouble again. She's been introduced to one healer now, and the place she knows to look for him can put her in touch with two others if need be. Thank you for holding off on invoking your own resources. I'm not sure how their methods would have interacted with her abilities, but it seems unlikely to have gone well for them."
Lacrima 2016-08-30 20:12:59 53228
Lacrima listens and purses her lips. "Alright then." she says softly. "Of course. I didn't want you to text me so I could thank you for those things. They're just things that happened." she says softly.

"Recently. I stumbled onto something secret in an abaonded place I felt 'pulled to' to some degree. A few stones. A ritual circle. A diary. Plenty of occult books." she says matter of factly. "References in the diary, are made to you. And I know the name of the owner of these items name is 'Melanite'." she says.

"I can't gather much from the Diary. It seems to be all 'vauge dreams' this person had, besides that-- but at some point turns into as if she's talking about current events." she says.

"I have reason to belive this person is very dead." she says.

"I'm wondering, what you can tell me about this 'Melanite'." she says softly.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-30 20:22:48 53229
There are small motions, habitual to the point at which most of the meaning has gone out of them. Kunzite folds his arms neatly; his frown is directed not at Lacrima herself, but at a point just far enough in front of her for the difference to be visible.

"More than is comfortable, less than would be ideal," he says. "She is dead, as far as I know. When she lived, she was for a few months apprentice to a sorceress-queen powerful enough, and mad enough, that Riventon fought beside the Sailor Senshi -- under an alias, but beside them nonetheless -- to oppose her. Be careful of what you take from her studies; she was attempting to recreate magics she'd known in a former life, but doing so imperfectly. The time she managed to drain her own energy would be particularly dangerous to you." He pauses for a moment, expressionless as he is so often, gray eyes nearly unreadable. "What in particular do you want to know?"
Lacrima 2016-08-30 20:41:11 53230
Lacrima nods. "The diary mentions that much." she says softly as she purses her lips. "Being an apprentenice to someone. But like I said. It's vauge." she says.

"--and that's what having an affiliation with a research group is good for. So I know what does what before I do it." she says frankly.

"I want to know what this person was like. And a little about this 'Dark Kingdom'." she says softly.

"Most of this seems connected to both things. Also other things.

She head tilts. "Right now it's my intention to study these things. They seem to react easily to me. But that may just be my affinity for 'Dark Energy'- which these things seem to use and be tied into."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-30 20:58:35 53231
Vague. That word wins a fractional nod. "Her memories of her previous life were imperfect. The events in her life in this time were dangerous to record."

About the research group, he says nothing. About the other -- "I knew Melanite in this life only slightly. She prized power for its own sake, though whether she also sought it toward some end I can't be sure. Some of her late reactions suggest that she might have. She spent a great deal of time convinced that she was in more control of situations than events proved her to be. But that's a common problem for those who deal in dark energy. She attempted to negotiate a truce or a surrender, at the end. If she'd begun by calling back her own forces instead of allowing them to kill while she tried to save herself, it would probably have worked. As for the Dark Kingdom -- that's dead, too, along with its queen."

He does not tell her not to study these things. The words would do no good. And there might be things that would serve her in better ways than they served Melanite, as easily as there might be things that would seal her fate. Probably they're the same things.

"I don't know what you'd want to know of it. But if you have questions, ask; some of the answers I may in conscience be able to give."
Lacrima 2016-08-30 21:23:18 53232
Lacrima frowns, but she frowns a lot anyways. "That's where I differ. I know I have aboulstely little or no control." she says frankly. "I'm learning. I'm getting better. but stupid things set me off I hate it. You saw that at the church." she says matter of factly.

"Most of what I'm finding seems to be... gem. or crystal based." she says matter of factly. "What's the signifigance of that?" she asks.

"It intrests, primarily, because my own condition was caused by such a 'gem' or a 'stone'." she says. "I do not belive the magics are related. But studying this could lead me to figure some things out. Gaps I have my own understanding of what I am." she says.

She muses a bit. "'Power' is just a side-effect of what I am. I didn't ask for this. Or seek it out. Or want it." she says matter of factly. "But I am stuck with it. So. I might aswell hone it and control it." she says flatly.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-30 21:37:33 53233
Much of what Lacrima says, this time, does not gain her a direct response. What it does accomplish is that Kunzite actually moves; turning half away from her, taking a couple of steps, looking out past the building's edge for a moment. In a direction other than the one in which the fight occurred before. The long rains that will be coming in in a couple of days haven't affected the atmosphere yet; his cape flows easily with the motion, makes its own quiet sounds to accent the sudden turn back toward her a moment later.

"Presume, for the sake of discussion," Kunzite says, "that nearly all things carry some form of energy. Stone, then, carries energy; the minerals that make it up carry energy. Some of them influence the energy they carry in different ways, or are particularly sorted to particular forms of energy, or particular manipulations. We see the distorted shadows of this in popular media. Divination through crystal balls. New Age stores exhorting people to buy based on some power of rose quartz to mend friendships, or hematite to absorb troubles.

"Presume the possibility of a previous iteration of society, lost in history, that studied these uses of minerals and energy; that turned them into an art, a method of understanding and wielding certain magics.

"Melanite, then, had broken shadows of memories of that art, and that society. She pieced some of them together. Enough to draw the attention of others who remembered more. None of them perfectly, but enough to know the same art, to give her examples to work from. Does that make a degree of sense?"
Lacrima 2016-08-30 21:55:20 53234
Lacrima seems to think on this for a bit as she listens quietly. That same deadpan neutral frown expression she's worn since she's gotten here. Though that seems less at anything particular and more her normal demeanor. Or at least one of them.

"Ah. So. There was a society that used to use these minerals/stones as magic. So that's what she knew." she says flatly.


"So you're saying you're all reincarnations. Because of memories from a different time. Correct? Is that correct?" a pause, and a softer frown. "Was 'Melanite' always fated to that path? Because of that power?" she asks. "From the get go because of that? Or all of you?" she asks curiously, with a hint of concern.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-30 22:42:06 53235
Kunzite inclines his head again, that almost-imperceptible nod that confirms her statement about reincarnation. "Correct," he says in that pause before she continues. And then: "It wasn't that magic per se that put her on the path she chose to walk. Beryl, her mentor before, wanted something that neither her intelligence nor her power could provide for her: she wanted to compel someone else's love. She turned to darker sources, and made a compact with a demon. It did not win her what she wanted, in that life or in this one; it was not capable of doing so.

"As for fate -- I don't believe so. There were others who were touched by that demon in the life before, and either did not fall to it again in this life, or did not do so willingly. Melanite, though, when she reached for power in this life, chose of herself to seek both kinds of magic. One that would be a tool in her hands. And one that would use her for a tool of its own."

He draws a breath; lets it out, quietly. "The demon is gone now," he says. "I don't know whether the things she recorded drew upon it at all, or whether they'd be amenable to drawing upon your power instead of its -- or whether it would be wise to do so. Things for you to watch for, in your studies."
Lacrima 2016-08-30 23:08:16 53236
Lacrima purses her lips a bit in thought as she lets her eyes trace along upwards. Obviously thinking. "Ah..." she says silently. "See. This power. This thing I am. I am not the first. It was brought into existence by someone like that. Who did want the power- did want to renounce thier humanity and become a monster. So the power named him Poderoso. Powerful." she says.

"Sometimes I have dreams to the effect of this person's life. He was not a particularly nice being. Very cruel. Sadistic." she says. "When the power touched me, it named me 'Lacrima' or 'Tears'. Because it knew it would cause me misery and sadness and it decided it liked that." she says.

"I'd like to think I don't end up like 'him'." she says. "I try very hard not to. But it seems, every month or so. I learn something new about myself I don't like very much." she says waving a hand dissmissivly.

"Sometimes I wonder if I should just give up the pretense and build a castle and fill it with monsters because sometimes I feel like that's how it's going to end anyways." she says deadpannedly. A Joke. Not that it comes off as such.

"As for that, well. Like I said. The gems already seem to take to my power-- of sorts. I'm going to need to work with it. Make it my /own/." she says frankly. "Rather than use straight as is. I think." she says.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-30 23:32:16 53237
"That you're trying makes a difference." The statement is flat, solid. Kunzite is not cheerleading; he's stating a fact. "Besides. There's already a castle half-filled with monsters in town. I'm sure there's a quota somewhere."

These two are both amazing at jokes, aren't they.

There's another brief, sharp nod to the idea of Lacrima taking the power to herself. Making it her own. "If you use it to certain ends," he says, "it will of course cause trouble for you. Melanite was fond of compulsions. Using those to control humans will drive other people away from you, and cause your opponents to be unwilling to consider truce; no matter how convenient it seems, that kind of power is a trap. Trying to turn a substantial area of rock into a sink for dark power will draw hostile attention. Working a large-area effect that drains significant energy from those inside it will draw exceedingly hostile attention, and I'm not certain you're equipped to survive the destruction of your body the way I was. But if you are careful, and use a light hand, there's a chance it may yet serve you better than it did her."
Lacrima 2016-08-31 00:00:11 53238
Lacrima shakes her head. "I can already 'control people' without a rock's help. I don't particularly like doing it. I used to use it to lure people in school behind areas so I could drain them." she says. "Without causing suspicion."

She frowns. "I hardly like draining singular people. Why would I enjoy draining a mass of them anymore." she says. "I drain because I /need/ to." she says. "Not because I /want/ to."

"My body seems to just be animated dark matter and I've had large portions of it missing before. I'm not sure what happens if I take something too hard." she shrugs.

"Regardless, those ideas all sound kind of silly. I am not some sort of... cackling supervillian trying to lay seige to Tokyo." she mutters.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-31 00:08:31 53239
"I agree with not finding out, personally. Even if you have a method of surviving, it's unpleasant." Kunzite doesn't speak to what Lacrima says about control, and about draining en masse -- what he did when he had access to the kind of power that Melanite's diary might or might not have pieces of was his own solution. Lacrima's will be her own. Far better that way.

And yet, there at the end, the corner of his mouth tugs upward for an instant.

"That's the difference between you and the woman Melanite took as a teacher," he says. "It sounds as if you're well equipped to make sure it stays that way."

He hopes.
Lacrima 2016-08-31 00:39:01 53240
Lacrima says. "None of those things benefit me or who I work for." she says frankly. "-and it's been easier to control myself since Riventon-san has been teaching me techniques." she says. "I'm.. not really sure. What would have happened if I never met him. Maybe I'd be that instead."

She purses her lips. "No, it isn't pleasent to have pieces of yourself missing." she says softly.

"I think that I have what I wanted to know." she says silently. "I... thank you? For coming to answer these questions." she says.

"I can't offer much for your time except that. I apologize." she says.

" you have any questions for me?" she asks curiously.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-31 00:49:46 53241
There's a sharp, brief angling of Kunzite's head to one side, as if to acknowledge the apology, or dismiss the need for it, or both at once. "Two questions, one request," he says. "The request is -- if you find any indication that Melanite had family she knew of, I'd appreciate knowing. Most of us don't. But it's always possible she might have.

"The questions are -- first. Maki-san seems likelier to go to you. If we can be of assistance with Shiniko, or if either of you are injured by her in a way we might be able to help with, would you tell us? And second --"

There's a hint of a pause, and his attention to the details of her non-expression becomes keen as a blade.

"It's been some time since we've seen signs of Riventon-san. Is he all right?"
Lacrima 2016-08-31 01:01:31 53243
Lacrima head tilts. "....Ah." she says. "I know her 'real name' as Kyra Nygaard. I do not know if that was an alias. I will look at her diary and if I find anything pertient I will pass it along." she says softly. "Via text. Is that number safe?" she asks. "That you texted me from?" she asks.

"Riventon-san is well. Last I heard he was trying to figure out a soultion to the 'missing orange'." she merely says. Nothing more.

"Shiniko..." she says quietly. "She's a friend. But she's been. Slipping. Deeper into. The dark energy stuff." she mutters. "I've been trying to get her to rethink things. I didn't have a choice when it happened to me. She does." she says silently. "Or. She used to. I'm not sure 'who's driving' anymore." she says silently.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-31 01:11:13 53244
"That number is safe," Kunzite confirms. Safe until someone or something tries to misuse it, anyhow, and even if something does, it's not guaranteed that such a thing would be Lacrima's fault. "Thank you." ... balancing that phrase out, at least. The statement about Riventon gets yet another of those sharp little nods of acknowledgment --

-- the statement about orange wins an actual blink, though no other change of expression.

"Maki-san indicated that, yes." About Shiniko's slow degeneration. "It may be necessary to remove or lessen the influence on her thoughts before she's equipped to rethink things. Which raises the question of where the influence began, with her. But I can only observe which patterns she seems to fall into from a handful of encounters, and speculate from there. The two of you know her better; you're better equipped to work out the source of the problem, and how best to deal with it."
Lacrima 2016-08-31 01:20:36 53245
Lacrima speaks up. "I'm not sure about that." she says silently. Now sounding a little depressed. "I doubt 'more dark energy'-- specfically me, is going to ease the problem. And the soultion of 'purification' or 'positive energy' isn't something I want to particularly be around since it generally can kill me." she states.

"But I am doing my best." she says quietly.

"I should. Go. Now." she says suddenly awkwardly.

"Thank you again." she says quietly.

She begins to quietly leave. Unless she's stopped in some manner-- off into the shadows- back off into the Dusk Zone.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-08-31 01:23:19 53246
"Those are the direct applications," Kunzite agrees. "But often, the indirect is more useful."

He doesn't say anything else; he bows, instead, and lets her take to her shadows unhindered. It's several seconds after she's gone before he takes to his own.