Magical Girl Strategic Venus

Mamoru and Kunzite call in the expert on How To Work Up A Strategy To Take Hannah Down And Still Let Her Save Face But Not Let Anybody Die In The Process: Minako Aino. And then there are potential monster trucks.

Date: 2017-05-15
Pose Count: 21
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-15 01:05:21 76566
Yesterday, Mamoru and Makoto went to the farmer's market and bought yet another immense round of basically vats of honey. Some went to Mako's house, a whole lot went to the frat house because there's a lot more space there.

Today, Mamoru called Minako to ask her if she could come over for food and conspiracy. Currently, he's seated at the coffee table with a stack of magic roses in front of him, a bag holding stems on one side, and a bag he's filling with rose petals on the floor between him and the stack on the table. It's meditative. One thing that helps with the meditative state is the classical piano music playing somewhere sourcelessly in the background.

The house smells like roses and whatever Kunzite is doing in the kitchen.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-15 01:34:11 76567
What Kunzite is doing in the kitchen appears to be some combination of simmering something, productively ignoring rice, and dealing with a stir-fry. The latter has the most of his at the moment; he's just added something green and is patiently keeping it from trying to overcook itself anywhere.

This is probably an upgrade from what he was doing with a stovetop a year or so ago, since at that point he was using it to sear one of Fiore's youma to death. Makoto has apparently been continuing to work on civilizing his kitchen habits.
Minako Aino 2017-05-15 01:46:29 76568
    These are two of Minako's favorite things! Food and Conspiracy! She tiptoes onto the balcony. Well one of them, first as Sailor Venus, but then slips out of the disguise with a little flash. There's Artemis with her today on her shoulder because when conspiracy is being talked about, she likes there to be notes. This means she doesn't need her 'substitute Artemis' tape recorder.
    She sweeps past the balcony door and sings. "It's meeeee~ I'm hereeeeee~ Don't everyone stand up at onnnncccee~" o/~.
    "What she means is. Where here." Artmeis says as he removes the earplugs from his ears. Like he was expecting that opening.
    "Oh hey, I smell lots of things!" she says. A pause. "Rosey Stir Fry." she scrunches her nose at Mamoru. "Are you that hard off for food now we're eating the roses." she wags her finger at him. "Bad. Bad Mamoru-kun. Buy groceries!"
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-15 01:52:03 76569
Mamoru snorts somewhat inelegantly. "Hi Mina-P, hi Artemis. We're not eating the roses yet. I'm stripping a bunch of petals off for Mako to infuse into the giant tubs of honey so she can keep making magic anti-dickitude pastries for feeding to complete jerkwads who forgot a long time ago what happiness was. And other people too. Kunzite's making something delicious out of actual groceries."

He drops another fistful of rose petals in the bag in front of him, then drops the stem in the bag next to him, and lets his hands rest on his knees for a second, looking up. "I can get straight to business and ask you what you know about Hannah Sharpe, AKA Miss White, or I can ask you after you've eaten some food and done some Type A flirting with Kunzite. Up to you."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-15 01:57:37 76570
Apparently some of the conspiring today will be done in front of the person being conspired against. Given the alternative, Kunzite doesn't object. Instead, he reaches aside for a dish, adds the contents to the stir-fry, pays close attention to it for the seconds it takes Mamoru to explain the secret emotional-warfare purpose behind the roses, and then takes the stir-fry off the heat before he glances toward Minako and Artemis. "Also," he says, "it occurs to me that I don't know what you like to drink." ... not remotely as important as the Hannah Sharpe topic, but slightly more immediate. Possibly also more terrifying, but one lives with these things.
Minako Aino 2017-05-15 02:01:30 76571
Minako Aino wears a wry smirk. "Why, always the bussiness first! Or bussiness dinner. Or. Bussiness flirting! Or. BizDinFlirt." she says. Artemis just sighs and hops off onto the table to eye the handiwork. "Oh. I see what you're doing. That's clever." he says. "Who thought that one up? Or was it a happy accident you realized?" he asks.
    "Hannah Sharpe? Windy punchy white hair, right? Not real sure of the specifics there, except who's shes dating and the name of the company she works for. Did something happen?" she asks. "I mean I know about the attacks and all." she says.
    Artemis is keeping mental notes in the background already. Minako replies. "I will have your hardest liqour!". "She will have a Coca Cola and like it." replies Artemis.
    "He never lets me get that." she says crossing her arms in perhaps mock frustration.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-15 02:12:23 76572
"Drunk is probably not a great way to talk business," Mamoru says offhandedly, then glances over the flowery mess on the table for a second. "Oh uhh. Mako actually thought of it while I was still in the Dark Kingdom. She made some chocolates for Nephrite and she used rose honey -- it wasn't these roses, but they were magic enough that it made great inroads into knocking him out of the brainwashing. It was petals from the rosebush I'd been keeping for a while, which I left with her when I went into hiding. We figured out later that actual roses from Elysion really pack a punch."

A beat.

"Well we knew that, but apparently they do it gastronomically as well."

He makes room on his lap in the faint hope that he'll get catted by a bro for at least until Kunzite breaks out the big guns. Er, the tuna.

"That's the girl, yeah. Except-- she's a good friend of mine that's as maddening as she is affectionate. Her intentions are the best, her methods and preconceptions are the worst. She's been experimenting on her linker core -- that's basically like, uh, the magical soul of mages with Intelligent Devices? And she's been trying to amp up its power by putting bits of it in grief seeds and then jamming the now-super grief seeds into her linker core, and it's been corrupting her piece by piece from the inside out. I've been working on her a long time. I keep making progress, and then she keeps regressing, every time she thinks of something new or bigger or dumber she can try to increase her power. That's why she was stealing other people's linker cores, in a bid to fix her own, since it's all messed up now."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-15 02:17:52 76573
"Nephrite has our hardest liquor. I'm not risking his rooms for anything short of a tsunami." Hot foods are portioned out among small dishes on waiting trays, and a Coke and an orange soda fetched from the fridge. Kazuo carries them out one at a time while Mamoru is talking; he serves Minako first. Miso soup with tofu and mushrooms; rice steamed with scallops; a beef curry for an alternative choice of protein. The stir-fry turns out to be snap peas and bamboo shoots, with a touch of spice to it to differentiate it a little more from the salad. A couple of types of brightly-colored pickles and a little dish of black olives round out the colors. He is not and is never going to be Makoto's equal, but she's managed to hammer some things into his head over the months he's been assigned as her on-call kitchen lackey. Probably she did not need to use punching. Maybe she did not need to use punching.

Artemis has his own smaller tray, which is heavier on the fish and notably missing the onions, but matches the human-types where tastes overlap. Someone has been practicing cat-bribery on Luna.
Minako Aino 2017-05-15 02:25:03 76574
    Minako Aino lets the liquor thing slide. She was probably just being cheeky. Maybe. She listens to Mamoru. "Alright. So. She's doing stupid things to fix a stupid thing she did, stupidly and you want to stop her being stupid and try to get her onto a track that is on that specific track? Right?" she says. She's pretty sure they don't mean 'kill her' because she knows her friends don't mean that.
    "Ohhh thank you!" she says to Kazuo as she grins a wide smile, nice and wide. She'll start on the soup. That's what you do.
    Artemis steals Mamoru's lap because he wants bro-pets. And there's also food now and he's just gonna eat that while that happens. He's still listening and waves a paw at Minako to reinforce that as he stuffs his fat cat butt.
    "So what do you need me for, then?" she asks. "Help? Plans? Ideas?" she asks in between sips.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-15 02:38:57 76575
Mamoru balances Artemis' tray carefully on one knee, then gives up and steadies it with the hand on that side, and his own food -- tragic as it is -- will get cold until Artemis is done eating, because by god he is giving bro-pettings with his other hand.

He glances at Kunzite, then looks back to Minako and says gravely, "Her whole issue is that she wants to be strong enough to stop all the bad things from happening. The worst thing for her, personally, is feeling weak. So we need to stage an intervention that... well, lets her feel badass and like she's strong, but where she still loses so e can sit on her and apply as many fixes as Ami can think up and Usako and I can reinforce. I was thinking distraction tactics and letting her beat a few of us up and then zerg rushing her so she doesn't even know what hit her, but I'm a tactics guy, not a strategy guy. Last time we fought her, we landed her in the hospital, but she still managed to teleport away with one of the stolen linker cores while basically bleeding out internally-- and she nearly flattened a few of us in the process, and there were-- gods, Kunzite, how many people were fighting her that time? And it wasn't a bunch of support only-- we had buffs present, but we also had Mako-chan... so we'll need a LOT of people doing combos to take her out and still not kill her."

He shifts uncomfortably, but carefully so as to avoid dislodging Artemis. "The big thing is we haven't been able to actually render her unconscious. We hit her enough she should have been out cold, immobile, but she was still running on crazy-juice. She also has the option of buffing herself with the damn super grief seeds. It's going to have to be precision work. And-- I've never--"

He takes a deep breath. "I've been in her mind before. I don't-- I don't want to do psychic attacks. It's not something I want to resort to, I'm really-- I'm really uncomfortable with it. But it's not mind control if I overload her senses. I'd have to get close enough to touch her for long enough to do it, and she has to be already weak enough that she can't just tornado-punch me off her. But it's-- in this case it's an option, because literally nothing else has worked so far. The other danger in me doing that is that-- I have a history of being unable to fight off the rage she gets filled with and bleeds out. I lose it a little myself. So if that happened, the second she was out, someone'd have to pull me off her. And that's a lot of ifs, and a lot of sketchy business, and a lot of probably Kunzite and the guys really not liking it either... but either way we need you to figure out who goes where, who does what and when, and what kind of workarounds to her... not feeling like she's weak, even though she'll have to lose the fight."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-15 02:52:05 76576
Mamoru's food getting cold was an inevitability. He's not above talking with his mouth full, but it cuts down on how much he can be understood too much for him to be doing much eating right now.

Kazuo bows gravely to Minako's thanks and smile, and goes back to ferrying trays; his own is last, and he seats himself and eats quietly. Probably not entirely to give Minako evidence that he didn't poison anything. When Mamoru consults him on the number of people present for the Hannah-hospitalization incident, he says, "The two of us, myself primed with one of Moon's attacks. Sailor Jupiter. Sky Jack, who was not particularly holding back, either. A young Device user. Amulet Heart and Hyalite -- pardon," he adds to Minako, "Hyalite is Moon's friend Naru Osaka, I'm not certain if you're aware that she developed supernatural abilities over the last year? -- were also involved, but primarily as a rescue team for Miss White's victims and keeping her summoned reinforcements busy."

He says nothing else, even to Mamoru's suggestion about his clinging to Hannah like an angry formally-dressed baby monkey. The fact that he doesn't say anything about that possibility is probably a signal of how much he dislikes it. But his liking it or not is largely irrelevant; it's Minako they're asking to consider possibilities.
Minako Aino 2017-05-15 02:57:57 76577
    "Alright. Well. Uh. I'm gonna need some people then- if it took all that, Mamoru." she says. "Who all do you have for me?" she asks. "Gimme a list. If I don't know em, tell me what they can do." she says.
    "I think I already have the basic makings of something already. Given what I know about her at the moment- and what you told me doesn't change it much..." she muses to herself.
    "Ohhhhh I know who Naru is! How'd she develop the powers?" she asks. "That's one new."
    "Anyways." she says. "Last I checked she was blind. You don't need to overload her senses. Just her hearing. I mean the other stuff helps. But the hearing is going to be the WORSE." she insists.
    Artmeis doesn't correct her at least on any of this. But this may be due to the eating and the bropets too. He is paying attention still, ears twitching.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-15 03:21:55 76578
"She's blind, but it doesn't count for much in henshin; she uses her powers for a kind of sight that does her really well as a substitute. Giving her visuals does overwhelm her, and so does giving her senses she's entirely unfamiliar with because I've never given her my perceptions before," says Mamoru, kneading Artemis' fur right above his shoulderblades and looking at his cooling plates without seeing them.

"Sonics yeah though, something messing with her balance by way of her inner ear, might be something really useful-- maybe Ami can make something like that. A directed subsonic weapon, doesn't even have to be magic, probably. Hitting as many senses as possible at the same time might actually make her pass out, instead of just putting her offbalance-- total sensory overload has, uh, a tendency to shut people down, even if they're as eminently adaptable as she is." He almost reaches up to rub the back of his neck, but that would mean letting go of either the tray or the Artemis, and he doesn't want to do either.

Mamoru'll let Kunzite answer the Naru part. He's thinking about the people part. "Cure Gull will want in, because she knows how necessary it is. She came to us for help because Hannah admitted to her that she was thinking of doing something that's stupid even for her. Her words. We'll need purifiers-- Gull is one, Tadase Hotori is one, all the Prism Keepers, Amulet Heart, obviously Usagi-- but that just addresses the dark energy she's developed on her own due to the witch energy corruption eating away at her. We'll need something to leach that out. I don't know how, or what to do about that-- since she's getting it from grief seeds, and grief seeds only draw out despair, as far as I know. Kunzite's got a lot more knowledge of that than I do. Kyouko's a seriously loose cannon when it comes to Hannah, so she might not be the best idea for this one. Ami is in. Kunzite and I are in. The power Jadeite's got that's not partially duplicated by Mercury won't be much help on Hannah since it's illusions, and I don't think her power can be fooled by those... Zoisite, probably Nephrite; Mako will want another go, and when she and Neph combo it's like getting punched in the everything by God... Rei's and Zoi's fire are both cleansing, but Zoi can fly and teleport, and Hannah's not possessed, so Rei's other abilities wouldn't be as applicable... Sky Jack might be in; Naru can pretty much buff any attack so she's really ideal for having on hand... I can see if I can rustle up some assorted Device users, Suzuki always gives her pause and might be down for keeping her focus; Gull might be able to pull in some other Pretty Cures, I don't know who's active right now aside from Cure Flora, and I know she's busy with figuring stuff out with Prince Kanata. I can't think of anyone else offhand, but I can go looking. If you give me some ideas on what sort of strengths you might be looking for, I can probably organize a little better."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-15 03:36:15 76579
The Naru part is caught, and the answer inserted in between the sonics and the people, giving Mamoru a little more time to think out his list. "Naru picked up powers the same way people used to on Earth," Kunzite says quietly. "Specifically, 'sometimes it just happens.' She started having semi-random largely-uncontrolled manifestations some time ago; it wasn't till the beginning of this year that we found her focus, and confirmed it appears to be the same sort of crystal-associated magic that would crop up now and then in the Golden Kingdom. She's the first new manifestation we're aware of. Her magic is wound in with her art; she can make drawn objects material -- she's fond of flamethrowers -- or do a handful of tricks with energy, pushing it into a piece of her artwork, or enhancing someone else's use of their own power on the fly by playing tricks with color. She's working on designing specific effects in combination with specific people, but that takes time and effort and practice space."

Mamoru talks about what people will need, and Kazuo frowns markedly. "There's two people I know of who have been able to confine and control Witch energies," he says, "but Riventon isn't the sort of person we really want to consult on this one. Not unless he comes to us, without knowing we're working on this. And Hana Shiroi is a spectacularly worse option than Riventon, since she'd reasonably be more inclined to enhance them. The one time I did it, it was secondhand, and what I used to insulate it is ... not a particularly good option. It could probably be done if necessary, given the number of purifiers on hand for the occasion, but I suspect that's not a precedent Mamoru's inclined to set."
Minako Aino 2017-05-15 03:43:43 76580
    Minako Aino pulls out a notebook out of her jacket's pocket and begins taking notes. "Gully... Tadase... Prism Keepers... Amulet Heart... Usa-cha..." she says. "The boys...." she writes as full. She knows what that is. "The girls. Sky Jack... Naru-chan." she says. "Okay. That's a good spread. I'm only missing.... onnnne thing in that list that starts off the little proto idea I have. Otherwise. That's a big nice dream team there. She writes the note on what she's missing. "I need someone who can create one of those little barrier worlds...? Device user thing." she says. "That's gonna stop her from summoning help if that's what she did last time- if it isn't hers." she says. "Unless she knows some trick. It's possible, but unlikely. We can also do it without it, it just means I need to also plan for 'summons'." she says as she taps her bottom lip with the pencil.
    "Anyways. We need to get her to somewhere where her wind will be mitigated. No clear shots, that's also remote enough she can't run easily or call on help easily. My first thought is a dense forest. Lots of trees. Lots of things to buffet wind and use as cover from punches and blasts. Good places to hide and ambush and keep things close." she says.
    She blinks at Kunzite. "Woah. Really? That's kind of hopeful for stuff you know." she smiles a bit. "If there's one manifestation there can be others." she says. "I mean, besides the whole, 'suggest things to me that we don't want thing that we already know would be bad ideas.'" she notes. "That's good to hear!"
    Artemis has finished. Minako has eaten a lot but she's currently writing on the notepad. "I need to desginate roles, too." she says. "Like I said. Proto idea. I may come up with something better." she says thoughtful as eyes drift back over to Kunzite.
    "Are things calming down any for you?" she asks sweetly. "I know Unmei-chan got that thing she was wanting. Me and Usa-chan gave it to her."
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-15 04:22:23 76586
"It's a thought about as comfortable as me mind-whammying her," Mamoru admits to Kunzite. "But if it comes to it, it's an option on the table... unless I'm remembering wrong and it's worse than I'm thinking." He removes Artemis' tray from his knee and unashamedly lifts the big white cat up carefully, and buries his face in fluffy fur for a second, and if his face screws up in a configuration that might reveal how upset he is right now, only Artemis will know.

By the time he settles Artemis back down, to go or stay if he wants, and leans carefully to pick his soup up from his tray, he's visibly Just Fine. "Yeah, Device users-- mages. I know a bunch, I'll try and rustle some up. I don't think they can block teleports, though. That may be something you and Ami need to sort out -- she has a Device, and sometimes uses it instead of her Senshi powers, and she might be able to figure something scrambly so teleports don't work. And she didn't summon help last time, she just summoned a getaway portal."

Mamoru sighs a little. "I'm also going to talk to Hannah's Familiar, Boris, because he doesn't want her destroying herself any more than we do, and he's been willing to work with me to help her not die before. Also: worse comes to worst on the witch energy, we can keep her unconscious for a little while while we scramble, but I'd like some better ideas on the table before we even get started, because that's-- that's kind of integral to fixing her current major problem. We don't have to think of them right this second, but it's a big question mark in the cunning proto-plan."
He runs a hand through his hair, still holding the soup in the other, and makes an unimpressed-with-himself little frown. "There are a lot of dense-tree places we could use, but keep in mind she also might be able to just uproot them and throw them at people with wind. She kept me in a tornado bubble once, self-contained. She's got really fine control. One option for wind-break trees she can't uproot is Neph's palace, but I really don't like the idea of taking the fight there, even though she's been in the Palaces before."

Then Mamoru comes up short and gets an expression that's basically 'I want to look unhappy but it would be impolitic'. "Unmei... really needs to live somewhere else now. She's on a good track. I'm helping her out with the long-term version. She's having some other trouble with Eclipse being an even bigger bastard to her than before, but staying here isn't helping with that. Ideally, we could get her a place near where her girlfriend lives, but I kind of dropped the ball on that one."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-15 04:31:38 76589
"If we're working with a Device user to segregate the fight, I might be able to make it so teleports don't work," Kazuo notes. "Though I doubt I'd be able to participate actively at the same time. Still, working with a Device to adjust the barrier ought to be considerably more energy-efficient than taking control of one was. So it's a possible alternative, to spare Mercury's time; she hasn't broken her overcommitment habit yet, so her attention will be at a premium." More material for Minako's notes. Presuming she's actually taking notes instead of sketching commentary about boy bands. Kunzite will never check, in part because for all he knows the commentary about boy bands might be a clever encoding.

As for Unmei -- "I suspect she's at least technically capable of taking care of herself and her own place, now," Kazuo says. "She'll need financial support, and some assistance and monitoring, but we can take care of that. Which will take us down to one long-term guest, and that one isn't nearly so intrusive. I've been handed a different significant project, but that one's also long-term." And doesn't want him to watch television with it. "So on the whole, things are beginning to calm down somewhat. One may hope." If nothing else explodes.
Minako Aino 2017-05-15 04:44:25 76592
    Minako Aino nods a bit. "Hrmmm. That's where Gully might come in handy. She may be able to help me find a place with suitably strong trees, since her powers are similar- or at least test other locales for wind resistence." she says. "I can always just find a place with strong nooks and crannies or cover." she thinks. "I mean nothings unbreakable, really. But we need something close to that." she thinks.
    She's thinking and tapping her pen against the pad. "I'll figure the basics out and talk to Ami about what she may be able to do. That device bit may be useful..." she says as she adds a note right next to 'the girls' about it.
    "Oh, well. I can't really help with the Unmei thing unless she needs another pep talk but I'm not giving another justice speech about boobs." she insists.
    Artmeis places a paw to his face and shakes it as he sighs.
    She eyes Kunzite with a gleam. Wether that's evil or not remains to be seen. Also, her notes are definitly encoded in a way that only she'd understand them. Probably boy bands. Maybe in the form of a takeout menu for a fast food place down the road. WHO KNOWS!
    "Thennnn we should make a plan to go out somewhere then!" she says. "Soon! If all the stuff you have on your plate is long term like that." she says.
Mamoru Chiba 2017-05-15 04:52:14 76593
"Okay, go make plans in another room, I'm gonna eat dinner and hang out with Artemis and pull roses apart and watch a monster truck rally or something," Mamoru says gravely, and slurps his soup noisily to emphasize his point.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-05-15 04:59:22 76595
Neither of the guys blinks about Unmei having required a justice speech about boobs. They may possibly have met her in the last couple of months, or something.

"Short-term right now is limited to emergencies and homework," Kazuo assures Minako solemnly. It's even mostly correct. Leaving out 'and family' is probably just a matter of tact. He gives Mamoru a sharp askance look, at that last, then says to Minako, "If I try to claim that he's bluffing, he'll find one just to prove me wrong. Even if he has to improvise a time machine to pull one across continents and decades. Shall we?"
Minako Aino 2017-05-15 05:07:41 76599
    "Okay then, Mamoru. I'll get this sorted out." she says with a grin. "Artemis. No gambling." Artmeis frowns. "I'm an adult I can do what I want!" Minako grins. "But you're still my kitty~" she sings. She's being silly of course. She knows about the secret poker stuff. With Mamoru and also Mascot Poker.
    She stands up and huffs. "Come on Kazuo. Let's very loudly go to the other room." she says as she picks up her plate and huffs and makes a big loud racous series of stomps to the next room.
    PROBABLY just to busy Mamoru's balls. Look. It's fun sometimes!