Dark Ecology

Takashi and Norie spend some time in the Dusk Zone, discussing the differences between being there and on Earth. Only one of the two feels like home.

Date: 2017-05-14
Pose Count: 23
Takashi Agera 2017-05-14 06:03:57 76521
Takashi and Norie are sitting, in what passes for one of the trees around here. It's a strange, purple thing with shimmering leaves, twisted and gnarled, growing in spirals and twists and looming over the landscape. It has strange fruit that grow in different sizes and groups, running in rainbows of color. The sky above is purple streaked with blue, and a black fog seems to coat the whole place.

Nyubey is on another branch, on his back, tossing one of the smaller sized fruits up and down in his paws.

"I haven't really spent any long periods time here in a while." Takashi notes, raising his hand and letting the fog-like dark energy flow between his finger tips. "It feels... like an artist who gets to live in their canvass for a bit, I guess. Or really, their paint palette."
Lacrima 2017-05-14 06:16:35 76522
The tree is of no interest to Norie. She's catalogued it. It's common enough that she already has extensive notes on it. It'd be like trying to research an oak tree back at home. The fruits are nothing special. They're dark energy laden of course. She likes them. But then again, Norie is also a horrible dark abomination. She can't speak for Riventon's taste. This is also why she has her own in her hand. Smaller. It has a bite out of it already. It kind of bubbles inside. It's awful.

Norie finds it just /great/.

She head tilts a little. "That's apt." she says. "Way of saying it. I spend a lot of time here. But you already know that~" she sings in her labcoat.

She looks down at her little pad as she takes another bite. Siiiizzzzzllleee.

"Are we just observing today. Or are we seeking something."

She's looking at readings on the pad. Mainly, there's this little portable dish next to Nyubey.

Maybe she conned Nyubey up there with dark (dark) chocolate to set it up for her.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-14 06:32:52 76523
Takashi doesn't have one of the fruits in his hand. It's not that he can't eat them, it's that he already ate his. He's leaning forward, looking into that smokey distance. "Well, there's a lot of reasons. I'd like to say that it's just because we don't spend enough time out of the office, but that's not the only reason."

"I've been thinking about a lot of things, but... you've been here a lot more than me." He shrugs. "So you know how if you get enough negative energy in a room you start to build up youma and while they're not people-smart, they're at least like... hungry animal smart, right? And there's the locals here, that seem to come right out of the mists. Do you think... the place itself, the world here, might have a sort of intelligence too?"

"Like a bad Mother Nature trying to come into our world?"
Lacrima 2017-05-14 06:46:53 76524
Norie Okana is looking down at her pad. She swallows her fruit and she puts it down and then she seems deep in thought. She is obviously not /ignoring/ Takashi. She does acknowledge that question but looking up at him and then her eyes look left and right, before she looks back forth.

"The Dusk Zone is. Alive. For. cases of 'alive'. In that. There is life here. There is a tree here. I am eating one of it's fruit. I could do this on Earth." she motions over to those rocks.

"There's a small colony of these little five eyed, three clawed crab like creatures in those rocks if you wanted to go dig your hand into one of the holes and I do not actually suggest you do that if you have an elbow length glove on." she states.

"If I were in a park on Earth, those would probably just be squirrels in a tree." she says.

"There's atmosphere here. Creatures. It's 'alive' and there is a 'nature' here." she says. "You can probably assume that many worlds that have 'life' would have similar qualities." she says.

"Of course. That's a theory. But let's assume that's true." she says.

"If I were a world. That thrived on the consumption of 'human' energy or 'energy' and my own world was an anti-thesis to that in a few ways... BUT... I was very close and practically rubbed up to... another world." she says. "I would try to reach into that cupboard to see what's there." she says. "That's my assumption that many of the creatures that do end up breaching that wall are 'thinking' for lack of a better word."

"Does that make sense to you? You probably have a better actual understanding. I mean. I can sit here and theorize all day." she shrugs. "But that's what I think is all."
Takashi Agera 2017-05-14 06:56:30 76525
Takashi pauses. "Well, a lot of what I know, I know from reading your notes." he admits. "I don't have the sort of time to get the sort of... in depth ecological studies of this place like you. I wish I did. I guess in a way though it's... like... this place almost feels like home to me, and kinda like home it can be easy to overlook. I don't feel wierded out here. I just feel like I should be, though - if you get that."

"But you, you were fully human, no Dark Energy for a while. So maybe you have a different perspective."

"But being able to be here is something I'd have to give up if I ever wanted to make a go of it without Dark Energy, and there's someone who thinks I should."

"Not that I think it's even possible. I've just been thinking about it." He pauses. "And then there's the fact that... it seems like this place has been building a better monster. You know, the really really big ones you noticed for the first time recently? I've never seen them before at all either."
Lacrima 2017-05-14 07:13:27 76526
Norie Okana shakes her head.

"Let me tell you about my experiences." she says.

"When I got some. Sort of stability." she says. "I realized I didn't.. really..."

"Feel. Like. Earth was home?" she asks. "I can't feel the sun on my face. I don't have a feel to the connection beneath my feet. The wind feels wrong." she says."

She motions. "But here? I feel that mist. I always feel like I know where I am despite the odd physics-- where I'm situated. The darkness feels like the sun used to. In a way." she says. "This also feels like home." she says. A pause.

"Ah those." she says. "I'm not trying to poke those with a stick too hard yet. Those things reek of... big strong alpha predator. I'm not exactly weak, Takashi-sama- enough of the creatures know to leave me alone based on sense alone. Those things? Those things make me feel like those creatures when they avoid me. Not that it's going to stop me from examining them still." she says. "I am not an instinct driven creature."

"They do feel different than the other things here." she says. "But I think I can figure them out once I can figure out how to approach them without looking like I'm a dark energy twinkie." she says. She looks up.

"Nybey do I look like a dark energy twinkie?" she asks.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-14 07:33:56 76527
Takashi listens to Norie's explanation, and adds a little fluff of his own. "You know, though. If it wasn't for whatever that amulet did to you, this world would be an experience you'd never have. But I guess on the other hand you'd feel all that in the other one."

"It's still different for me, then." Takashi shrugs and catches Nyubey's fruit in his hands, dangling it, and the strange ferret-devil-clone bats at it like a cat. "They both feel like home in a way. Like this is the place I grew up and Tokyo is also home but... not as much. Like, I don't have as much control there, and I have to import home. Gah. It's complicated."

Nyubey looks over to Norie. "You don't look like one to me, but you're much bigger and I pretty much don't have any powers." the grey-eyed Kyubey clone responds mostly matter-of-factly, while still play-attacking the fruit. It seems to have settled into its role. "But I'm also logical, unlike those things."
Lacrima 2017-05-18 13:38:32 76696
Norie Okana head tilts and purses her lips. "I think it has to do with both of our unique make ups." she says. "You have dark energy. But you're still.... human." she says. "....meanwhile I don't have any 'human' parts left. Just the dark energy." she says. "So we probably feel different ways..." she ponders as she taps her bottom lip in deeper thought.

She purses her lips at Kyubey with a thoughtful look as she looks back down.

She ponders on Takashi's first statement though. "I dunno if this is an experience that I would had wanted, honestly. But that's just kind of thinking about past things I can't really change?" she says.

"I try not to think about that too hard." she says. "All it does is frustrate me which just leads to making me angry at nothing." she says.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-18 13:52:13 76697
Takashi nods. "Didn't mean to bring up any negative feelings." An odd thing for one Dark Energy powered being to say to another made up of the same stuff, while sitting on a twisted tree in the Dusk Zone - but he means it. "I know your situation was forced on you while I've never known anything different."

"I'm trying to decide if that means it was forced on me, too - just without the benefit of knowing any better." he notes honestly, then shrugs.

"I'm still working on a new version of your bracelet, I've just got a lot on my plate, but I haven't forgotten or neglected my part of the deal, and you've been a highly effective employee. And, frankly, it's nice to have someone to talk to who understands being of this nature?"
Lacrima 2017-05-18 14:09:36 76698
Norie Okana mmmms and nods. "Oh I know you didn't do it on purpose." she says frankly. "And I understand. It's busy and there's a lot going on right now." she says. "The current version works well. It could use fine tuning. I don't mess with it. It'd be my luck to figure out how to make it work in reverse." she says deadpan.

She looks over to Takashi. "I'm not quite sure about your circumstances." she says. "Something about... your mother?" she asks. She scratches the back of her head a bit.

"I know you went to South America in recent history for something related to that." she says. "What exactly happened there?"
Takashi Agera 2017-05-18 14:28:57 76699
Takashi shakes his head. "No, no. There's inhibitors for tha - oh you're joking. I think?" he leans back. "Sorry, hard to tell sometimes."

"Yeah, my mother... sacrificed a lot to put me where I am. She did some of the pioneering research into Dark Energy, a lot of what put Eclipse where it is today, and she made sure I could utilize that strength to become great." And he unconsciously clutches at something, a necklace maybe, under his clothes before letting it go.

"Yeah, my mother did work there. Eclipse lab, way deep in the jungle. Hot." he notes, but then shrugs. "We got a lot of information but even back then Eclipse was really tight-fisted so it's ciphered and I'm still making sense out of it, but it kinda slowed down because I upset the person who was helping me."
Lacrima 2017-05-18 14:47:45 76700
Norie Okana thinks. "You mean Ami-chan." she says softly. "She misunderstands a lot of basic things. Did you know she I thought I was 'the other woman'? It was kind of silly. I've not clue where that came from." she says.

"Though that has nothing to do with what happened." she taps her chin again.

"I'd offer to help but ciphers aren't even a specialty of mine. I think I have trouble doing those puzzles on the back of cereal boxes sometimes." she admits.

"But it's not like I don't have time to learn." she says with a huff.

"I'm also assuming that she's the one that wants you to foresake your connection to this place." she says as she looks down to the pad.

"Are you considering it?" she asks.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-18 14:54:36 76701
Takashi nods. "Yeah, Ami. She's smart, but she has a different view on a lot of things. And that's funny. I'm not sure if I should tease you or her more about that." Then he pauses. "I mean, no offense, but I don't think I'm your type. I dated a girl who was bad at puzzles once, it ended up being a bad sign."

"She thinks it pollutes my judgement. The issue is, I don't know if that's right. I don't know if there's a me outside of this me, like there's a Norie before Lacrima. I mean, this is who I've always been. So maybe she's right, maybe she's wrong. I don't know. I don't like the idea of forsaking my mother's hard work to look, though."
Lacrima 2017-05-18 15:17:30 76702
Norie Okana purses her lips again. "Ohhhh, Takashi-sama. That wouldn't work out for a variety of reasons. Mainly that, I can't really feel. Those things very well. And you need someone who can, admittedly." she says. "It's silly she thinks so."

"I will give you my honest opinion. This is not based on what Ami Mizuno thinks, but what I think." she says.

"Dark energy does cloud your judgement. Now. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up to you. But the fact of the matter is 'dark energy' clouds a lot of choices I make." she says. "I recognize that and I also recognize it's not always a bad thing. Without that urging, I probably wouldn't feed like I need to." she offers.

"But that's a good point. There was a 'Norie' before 'Lacrima' who was normal. While you were born that way." she says. "Which I'm not sure how'd it change things except my inital theory would be that you're more 'stable' when you compare yourself to someone who just gets 'infused' or something..." she says. "It's had to time to mature and settle itself and it's not like you're tried to talk over the world or steal a princess that you think belongs to you for reasons." she says flatly.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-18 15:31:15 76703
Takashi nods. "I mean, I'm not delusional - I know it affects me on some level. I see the way it affects other people, I do experiments with it, I've been to this place..." he sweeps with one hand across the strange terrain of the Dusk Zone. "... and I've seen the creatures Dark Energy creates denovo."

"But I've been very hesitant to give up who I am, the person I've known myself to be, the power. I think for good reasons. But there's always that question, the unknown, of who I'd be without the influence and if I'd still think what I was doing was the best plan - and I'm also hesitant to never know the answers."
Lacrima 2017-05-18 15:55:37 76704
Norie Okana nods. "That's fair." she says as she looks down to the pad. "There's certain questions I don't want the answer to about myself." she says quietly. "But there are others I am seeking answers to." she says. "Which is why I research here and looking into that crystal magic." she says.

"Not the best at it mind you. But probably better than nothing." she says. "A lot of what I do is observation and reading and trying to learn how to interrupt the results." she says.

"But, yes I won't think less of you if you're not wanting to answer certain questions about yourself." she says. "Just be careful and make sure you check yourself out for any changes. I do that once a month. Nothing really changes with me though unless there's something awful happening to me." she says.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-18 15:58:16 76705
Takashi nods. "I don't know if I am going to go through with it. I just wanted to talk to someone about it, and.." Takashi points to one of the big, looming, semi-humanoid shapes in the distance, towering over the terrain as it lumbers aimlessly around the twisted landscape. "... the locals are usually not forthcoming, or if they are intelligent, they're hard to find or cryptic."

"So enough about me, though. I'm monopolizing the trip. Do you think those new forms have a purpose, or do you think it's just as madly chaotic as the Zone always has been?"
Lacrima 2017-05-18 16:31:13 76706
Norie Okana gently shakes her head. "Anything that big has a purpose." she says. "Which makes me wonder what it is." she says. "I need more observation time. If they can talk I imagine it won't be very interesting or yeah, cryptic." she says.

"I have theories. The one that seems the most likely is that it's a result of the upswing of 'magical girl' activity in Tokyo in the last year or so. Sort of. The threat gets bigger so it's responding in accord." she says.

"Not that it's correct. It'd be nice if I could observe one developing." she says. "Figure out what they use as a genesis." she says.

"I'm sure I can find one." she says.

"I just need to be willing to be a little daring with getting closer in that direction." she says.

"Besides, not like I can die from being squished." she smirks, just a little, for a milisecond.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-18 16:53:12 76707
Takashi leans forward, picking a bit at the bark of their treetop perch. "That's what I think, too. Don't put yourself at risk of being squished, but I'd really love to know more about them. And see if they're something we can use - or something we need to stop."

"But I'd appreciate it if you didn't share these details with other people in Eclipse - they're not likely to make the best decisions, I feel..." Takashi looks at Lacrima, and Nyubey lazily crawls into her lap.

"You know though, something you said earlier - just because I'm not a cackling madman doesn't mean I don't have the similar goals. When I look around at Eclipse, at the others, I don't see anyone who is capable enough to run the world without running it into the ground, but I see something different in the mirror."

"Throughout history the weak find thesmelves consolidated and lead by the strong - happened in fuedal Japan and Three Kingdoms China and in many many other places. It's not abnormal, I think, to feel that you've got the strength to succeed at that."
Lacrima 2017-05-18 17:34:39 76718
Norie Okana does pet Nyubey. She looooves Nyubey. He's cuddly and stuff. Not like the other actual real one. "I can do that. That just means I keep things off the network for this one." she grates her teeth. Yeah she's still upset about the data theft.

She nods a bit. "I think you've discussed that theory before." she says.

"The major problem here is the various magical girls and their creeds." she rolls her eyes. "Tired of hearing the same spiel and so on." she says.

"Would be nice if they came and joined us instead." she says. "Some are actually... nice. When they're not being righteous." she sighs a bit.
Takashi Agera 2017-05-18 18:11:08 76724
"It would be, wouldn't it." Takashi replied a bit wistfully. "But they're just as entrenched in their views as I am in mine." There's a calm silence for a moment, and Takashi just looks out at the strange sky.

"You have to assume we're doing the right thing - or at least the best thing we can do in our situation - otherwise it all falls apart. So maybe they're just doing the same."
Lacrima 2017-05-18 18:24:59 76726
Norie Okana frowns and nods. "I think we are doing the right thing." she says. "Some of these things are dangerous and need to be kept in check that need dealt with and they rather... make friends with it." she says sourly.

"Or promise to fix it or...." okay she pauses and shakes her head. She's getting into 'it's personal' territory now.

"All I need to say is that I don't need to assume that because I know that." she says flatly. "Given that."
Takashi Agera 2017-05-18 19:02:57 76732
Takashi takes a moment to unravel everything Norie's saying, but eventually he just leans back and sighs. "Life's not as easy as they want to make it out to be, that's for sure." he muses, looking over at Nyubey and Norie.

"You know... I think I'm just going to rest in this tree for a little bit. It's been a while since I napped on this side. It helps me think clearer, doubt less." He intertwines his fingers behind his neck. "If anything tries to eat me I'll beat it up. The big ones are the only ones that worry me, and I think I'd be able to hear them coming, if not sense the energy."