Stray Puppy

Kunzite reaches out to Miku about Alexis's condition and her ability to find them.

Date: 2017-04-23
Pose Count: 22
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-23 23:20:42 75069
The message on HeartNET comes not long after Miku's meeting with Sayaka. It's a private message; the sending address is one Miku might have seen before, if she's scanned the past few months' public postings.

No, it's not Sky Jack's.

    Kohinata-san: I am uncertain if others with closer contact with you might have already informed you, but it seemed better to make certain. Alexis Raskoph has been returned to temporary control of himself. A preliminary test has been made of a mechanism to try to do better than temporary control, and the researcher working with him believes that an improved version should be available before his condition can again spiral out of control. If you remain able to find him, however, that will remain valuable; Raskoph was rarely willing to undergo medical treatment without protest even before he acquired his current condition. If you would be willing to discuss that, or if you have questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

The name attached to the sending address is Kunzite.

Hopefully, if she read back, she didn't read more than a year back.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-23 23:35:31 75075
Since her meeting with Sayaka, Miku has spent a lot of time in thought. Knowing Alexis is alive was a relief, but she was even more certain now than before that her feelings for him were entirely platonic. She'd be very upset if he died, but better that he dies than kills someone.

Especially someone who couldn't evend efend themself.

Still, the message from Kunzite comes as something of a surprise. Unfortunately for him, she has read most of the history of HeartNet. When your job is coordination and control, figuring out who's who is an important task. Luckily for him, however, she's also not the type to be highly judgemental.

Sipping her coffee, Miku debates how best to reply to the message. It is, perhaps, nearly fifteen minutes before she finally decides what to say.

    Kunzite-sama: Miki Sayaka contacted me with information regarding Raskoph's condition. She said that he was taken to an 'ECFH', which I believe has something to do with yourself and Tuxedo Kamen. I admit, I'm not entirely aware of all of the safehouses we maintain, but I am grateful to you for taking Raskoph in and seeing to it that he is cared for.

    The method I spoke of to find him worked as expected. I was able to direct Miki-san and Kinomoto Sakura to his location, where Miki was able to fight him down from his rage.

    It was a close fight, and I was very concerned for the safety of Kinomoto-chan and Miki-san both. I am glad nothing worse happened.

    As to my means of location, I do still have it for now. It is not limited to finding Raskoph, but there are several severe limits on what it can and cannot do. One of those limits is that I am not certain how much longer its magic will last. But if you ever do need to find him, I will do my best to help.

She signs the message with her name, then sends it and sighs as she looks back out the win dow of her dorm.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-23 23:53:34 75080
It takes time for her to receive a response. About fifteen minutes, which may or may not be long enough that she's through with staring out the window.

    Your mystery acronym represents not so much a safehouse, but Tuxedo Kamen's residence, and that of his Four including myself; since his identity is generally known in Virtue these days, a general open invitation is in effect, and a number of its members find it useful. (Subject to certain house rules, which we can provide if you are curious.) Others find it less useful or avoid it entirely, since his identity is also known to certain parties with whom Virtue is frequently at odds, and the house rules include 'no fighting.' It is sometimes serviceable as a place to hold negotiations, or to deal with matters like Raskoph's that are of interest to both Virtue and its enemies.

    It is also, of course, useful for matters in which having an unknown number of brawlers on hand as reinforcements makes a difference. And it hurts nothing that we have one healer in residence and another occasionally visiting.

    I am pleased to hear, if I understand it correctly, that Miki-san was not damaged beyond her own capacity to repair; she is frequently reticent about accepting assistance. And it sounds as if you and the young girl are both in good condition. If that is untrue, please do inform us; we can take steps to correct that.

    As for your means of locating him: the researcher believes that it will take her no more than a week or two from the fight to make the proper adjustments. I will hope both that she is correct and that Raskoph will not have further trouble; but it is something of a relief to know that there is a potential method of locating him to cover at least part of the mean time. Tuxedo Kamen is distinctly opposed to detaining houseguests unless absolutely necessary.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-23 23:59:20 75081
Miku sniffs amusedly as she reads the concerns about Alexis getting away. She rolls her eyes, then mumbles, "Idiot." She's not talking about Kunzite, here. Leaning forward, she types in another reply to Kunzite.

    I would appreciate knowing more about the place, although I doubt I will visit much. My capacity in Virtue is as liaison to the Section 2 specialist group, but most of Section 2 is away at this point, which leaves me largely as just an observer and liability. I am not a Magical Girl.

She pauses in typing and frowns at those words. "And I'm still not convinced I wish I were," she says aloud, then glances down at a picture of Hibiki nearby. "Except that maybe I'd know where you are," she concludes softly. With a shake of her head, the grunette goes back to her response.

    I cannot promise that two weeks from now I will still be able to locate him. It may be in your best interests to have a secondary option available to you. I can probably supply a GPS chip if you think that would help. Raskoph has certainly earned the paranoid surveillance. Whatever the case, my method *is* more precise than GPS, for as long as it is available at all. It's simply a matter of reliability.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 00:09:22 75083
We have a secondary option available, if necessary, that may be more reliable than a GPS chip; relying on emission-based tracking seems suboptimal when dealing with an energy vampire. Though the image of waterproofing a tracking collar and strapping it on him like a stray puppy is one that I will cherish warmly for some time.

I admit that your position in relation to Section 2 interests me as well; nor would I classify you as a liability. Intelligent people in possession of information are not liabilities. People in possession of power and ignoring information they have access to are liabilities.

Would you prefer a realtime conversation? Telephone or at some neutral location, at your convenience. Or we can continue as we are.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 00:14:52 75085
Miku barks out laughter at the description of Alexis in such a collar. She can't help but smile at it, even if she is irritated with the boy right now. And for a moment, she even forgets the picture of Hibiki sitting beside her.

Laughter really is good medicine.

When the laughter passes, though, Miku gets to read the rest of the mail, and she bites her lip in thought as she considers what to say in response. She's not that knowledgable. She's also not sure she's that intelligent. But there's no sense arguing about it, right now, so instead she merely writes out a reply.

    If that's an offer to take me to coffee or karaoke, I won't turn either down. I wouldn't mind getting to know you a little better, in the event that Section 2 ever comes back online fully. Contacts are my favourite form of currency.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 00:27:27 75091
A quicker response this time, and correspondingly shorter.

    I leave the choice to you, though I admit my prayer that it will not involve karaoke. If you'd prefer to avoid the choice, perhaps Midori-Ya Cafe in Uminari City might be convenient. Gullwing Coffee is more tolerant of odd conversational topics, but enough people there know me by sight that it would not be quiet -- making it a better option if you'd like to make the acquaintance of others, a worse one if you'd like to remain unremarkable to some of the less pleasant others.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 00:45:53 75094
Miku hesitates for a while this time, lingering over the question for a time. Eventually, she shrugs and admits, "There's really no reason not to."

    Midori-Ya sounds preferable. What time?
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 00:51:53 75095
    Seven-thirty this evening? Or another day, if you'd prefer. Can't make it sooner short of emergency; I need to feed the ravening horde before I escape. Seven teenagers plus random guests mean that even take-out needs to be hauled on a cart.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 00:55:14 75096
    That is a lot of people. Seven-thirty's fine. Nine-thirty would be, too, if you'd prefer it to be late enough that only the thespians and weirdos are out.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 01:08:43 75099
Nine-thirty, then.

He can't pass for a thespian in conversation, but the hair prompts people to make assumptions at a distance. It'll be fine.

At the appointed hour, the school-age crowd that frequents the Midori-ya has largely thinned out, but there are (still!) commuters coming home; most of them come in and leave again, but a few in the thespians-and-weirdos crowd are in attendance, and the animated conversation about an MMO and associated anime at one table covers many sins.

There is, at present, only one person by himself there who doesn't clearly fall into the 'commuter' category. He hasn't folded himself into a booth, largely because the booths aren't made for people nearly two meters tall. The waterfall of stark white hair is gathering him a few looks, which he is firmly ignoring in favor of a close examination of an array of different varieties of chocolate cake. The phone he is holding is not light purple with a bow emblem, no. Gray metal, with a golden quartered-circle where the bow should be. But the layout's right for Virtue's issue.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 01:52:13 75106
Going out after dark for a girl Miku's age should be a terrifying prospect. Check that, it is a terrifying prospect, but Miku Kohinata gave up on giving fear a voice in her decisionmaking process the same day Hibiki Tachibana nearly died to the noise.

She is, unfortunately, still beholden to bus and train schedules, and that means when the last bus heading this direction for the evening is a few minutes late, so is she.

But she does arrive, if only a few minutes late, dressed a dull yellow dress over a pair of midnight coloured capris tights. Her hair is pulled back with a bow that matches the dress, but is large enough that the Senshi might consider it excessive for their backbow.

The girl hesitates as she enters, glancing over the gathered crowds, until she spots the white-haired man alone at his booth. She offers him a nod, then heads to the counter long enough to place an order before joining him at his table.

"Hi," Miku says as she slings her backpack down beside her. "Kohinata Miku," by way of introduction. "Sorry I'm late."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 02:04:02 75107
Sooner or later there will be a table, anyhow. When the tall one claims it, he seats himself as an angle, the better to try to avoid any untoward incidents with knees.

At her name, the phone is put away. "Takeba Kazuo," he answers. "Surely you're not late; the clocks are merely early."

It is not flirting. The tone is absolutely matter-of-fact; there's no accompanying lean toward her, not even a fractional one; while he's studying her, and the gray eyes are steady, there's as much attention to her backpack or her bow as there is to her face, and there's no pointed eye contact. It's remarkably reminiscent of speaking with a masculine version of Tsubasa.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 02:18:25 75113
Miku settles herself in to wait for her coffee, then turns her attention to Kunzite. While he is an aggressive, standoffish predator, she is all business and self-confidence. That she's a sixteen-year-old girl talking to a rather tall and imposing individual doesn't even seem to register in her eyes. "Nice to meet you," she says. The matter-of-fact not-at-all-a-flirt line doesn't earn a smile, but it does get a faint nod of agreement.

Her eyes are focused sharply on his expression. She's not watching for danger. She's not studying him to try and glean his secrets. She's simply accepting him at face value, and not bothering with the details.

Then, after a few moments of studying him, she realizes she doesn't have anything else to say, and the confident mask falters just a little. "Errm. Sorry. I'm not that good at this part. You're ... one of Tuxedo Kamen's generals, right? Formerly a member of the Court of Darkness, but liberated when Queen Beryl was defeated?" She keeps her voice pitched low, so as not to draw too much attention. On the other hand, given the late hour, maybe someone will think they're just larping.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 02:35:57 75118
Considering that the other table is currently having an animated discussion about whether the Weeping Duchess in the Ebon Tower of the Sea Captor Keep is or is not eventually going to be revealed as what became of the Winter Mountain Angel after she fell at the hands of the Witchbreakers, they're probably fine.

"Former generals," Kazuo says, more an admission than a correction. "Guardians might be more accurate these days, but that seems a little elaborate still for a gang of half-delinquent university students. Yes. We watch his back, and remind him that eating and sleeping are things human beings need to do, but he's the one who sets policy for us." He considers her for a moment, then adds, "And you're a liaison to the people who address Noise complaints, yes? Presumably among other things."
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 02:40:53 75121
Miku takes that information in with a curious expression. Delinquent teens? That's ... actually probably apt for most magical girls and boys, if they've reached teenaged years. She smilse a little and glances towards the nerd table, then looks back to Kunzite. "Yes, that's correct. We're a subsection within Virtue, due partially to our specific focus. But I know that one of our members has been highly active dealing with problems other than the Noise, too, when she has the time to spare. The other is ... presently unavailable, however."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 02:54:43 75124
("I'm telling you, what we're going to need to do first is obviously collect sun devil tears from the Blasted Coast, then find the Luminous Sorceress and get her to sanctify them --")

"I've met the sword," he says. "Heard of another, but I wasn't in condition to be social when she was act--"

The word is cut off there, sharp, and he tilts his head to one side and examines Miku a trifle more closely still.

"I've seen you before."
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 03:03:55 75127
A faint smirk from Miku's lips, then she shrugs just faintly. "Walpurgisnacht," she replies. "I was there trying to cover support while Hibiki was busy facing off against the uh ... Witch. I saw you and the others help defend Tokyo against her, and then turn around and continue fighting against Virtue only a week later."

Maybe he meant something else.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 03:12:53 75130
"That would fall under the heading of 'don't irritate the mind-controlling evil sorceress.'" Who was presumably not luminous. There has been coffee lurking on the table. Kazuo proves it's his by reaching for it and taking a drink. "You took care of one of the girls who fell. Thank you."

Then he reaches for his phone, thumbs it awake and does a few moments of work. Not long.

Miku will have another private message on HeartNET, but whether she deals with it now or later is up to her.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 03:16:41 75131
Miku's eyes glance towards the phone, but she doesn't reach for it right now. If it were an emergency it would have made a different sound. "Mmm, well, I was also in the building that was following, so it wasn't entirely altruistic," Miku replies with a faintly self-conscious grin. "But ... someone has to make sure everyone gets out safe. That day it was me. Any of the magical girls there would have done it better and faster, too." A pause, then her eyes widen as she considers, "Oh. I guess there was also that other girl ... I don't think I ever learned her name."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-04-24 03:23:02 75134
"They didn't," Kazuo says, matter-of-fact. "They rarely do; it's an everything-looks-like-a-nail problem. If someone is specialized in hitting things hard, they look for the problems that are solved by hitting things hard. Not for the problems that are solved by pulling people out of the way. Often that's a good thing. We came close to not being able to take Walpurgisnacht down at all; losing one more might have made the difference. But in any case: they didn't; you did. That matters."
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-24 03:28:03 75135
Miku shuffles her feet uncomfortably, then reaches for her coffee. She hides her discomfort at the compliments by drinking the overly caffeinated stuff. She's going to regret it come school hour tomorrow, but right now she's just happy to have a distraction.

After a few sips, she says, "Well. Thanks. You're welcome? One of those. I think. I'm glad I was able to help." That's probably the one she wants.