A Certain Moral Razor

Rashmi transfers knowledge to Ami from Lacrima, and a discussion about ethics and limits ensues.

Date: 2017-07-05
Pose Count: 23
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 03:45:32 80016
Although the crisis with Hannah is passed, there's no reason for Rashmi and Ami not to continue studying together. After all, their approach to magic isn't all that dissimilar: Ami just has the upper leg in terms of two years of personal experience, plus an eternity of past-life experience on which to draw.

Yet still, Ami can learn more, and she's certain if anything is going to give her that opportunity, it's going to be helping Rashmi refine her own powers.

But of course, Rashmi does have other responsibilities, and so too does Ami, which means they haven't had a lot of time to get together, since Hannah's intervention. Today, however, is an opportunity.

After school, Ami waits for Rashmi at the playground again, and when the girl joins her, she once again leads her to a private space before hopping them across the city and into the private subspace pocket that is the command center of the Senshi.

"Hi," says Ami, once they're in that private subspace, a bit of a smile on her features. "Sorry I've been absent. There's been a lot on my plate."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 03:49:45 80017
"No it's okay!" Rashmi says, beaming. "I figured, thinks have been crazy enough there's probably a whole lot more I've been missing. Really thanks for still being willing to keep tutoring me though, I do appreciate it."

She trails off, a thought nagging at her, but it's a couple moments before she can catch it and connect it to context. "...Oh! That's right! Um, Norie-chan's been having... some... um... difficulty, but she said she's been meaning to give this to you?" Digging about in her bookbag, she extracts the sunburst charm of Nicomachea's standby form, and what is like, but not entirely, a purple SD card. The latter gets handed out. "She says it's her collected Dusk Zone research?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 03:54:03 80018
Ami's eyes widen in surprise at that bit of news. "Did you review it?" she asks curiously, as she takes the card from Rashmi curiously. With a little flick of her wrist, Ami pulls the sky blue tablet with Mercury's logo on the back out of thin air. She sticks the device in, and lets her computer start analyzing the contents.

"I was supposed to gather this data myself," Ami notes quietly, with a sigh. "My ... then boyfriend and I made a deal, that he would take me into the dusk zone so that I could see what was there. And in exchange, he was going to give me ethical oversight on his research." A faint frown, then she says, "We never got to the point that either of us felt comfortable with me going in, though. And now ... I don't think he's interested in my oversight anymore."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 03:58:57 80020
"I um.... no, I didn't want to look at it until you had, since it was between you two," Rashmi says. "I, um... I'm sorry to hear that too, Mizuno-senpai. Norie-chan says it's like the yin to this world's yang, but that it's toxic to people from here unless they're full enough of Dark Energy on their own?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 04:01:18 80021
"Or otherwise protected from it," Ami agrees, as she skims over the contents. She frowns a little, then notes, "There's a lot here," she observes quietly. "It's going to take me a few weeks to really read through and understand it all." Looking up, she asks, "Nichomachea, please interface with the Mercury Computer. You should be able to form a common connection. Clone the information on this disk into your own memory."

To Rashmi, Ami explains, "There's no reason you shouldn't be able to learn about it, too. And who knows, maybe you'll find something I missed," she says with a sigh, then sinks back into a seat. Toeing her shoes off, Ami puts her socked feet up on the command center console, then sighs. "So much information, so much knowledge ... and it's still not going to be enough, I think."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 04:13:11 80024
*bing!* << ACKNOWLEDGED, GUEST INSTRUCTOR MIZUNO. >> The 'glass' cabochon at the center of Nicomachea's charm shines, then begins to stutter as the information is downloaded.

"Wait.... not enough for what, Mizuno-senpai?" Rashmi asks, tilting her head. "Did you have a goal in mind with this, or...?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 04:16:08 80025
Ami glances at Rashmi, then looks back at the tablet. "Well, kindof," she admits softly. There's a moment's hesitation, then she puts the tablet down to look at Rashmi uncertainly. "I guess if you're going to help me, I shouldn't keep secrets from you. Do you know who my b--" Beat, headshake, "ex-boyfriend is? Or anything about him?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 04:21:19 80027
"Well um.... I'm guessing it had something to do with that guy you were yelling at, down at the factory?" Rashmi says clearing her throat. "Which means he probably has more to do with the Dusk Zone than is probably healthy for anyone..."
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 04:26:44 80029
"... right," Ami says with a faint blush of embarassment, "you were there for that fight. I forgot." She sighs, then admits, "His name is Takashi Agera, and he's as much a genius as I am. Maybe moreso," she admits uncertainly. "But there's a catch: he's not fully human. Agera's parents were scientists working for Eclipse. His mother, I think, legitimately wanted to try and make the world a better place, and wasn't aware of the true nature of the organization. His father merely saw a means to personal power.

"Anyways," Ami refocuses, "Takashi is partly a creature of the Dusk Zone. He has a natural affinity for dark energy, and can manipulate it as easily as you or I can breathe. But because he's human, he's not immune to its influences either. He has a good heart," she notes quietly. "But his desire to do good is tempered by the manipulations of that dark energy, which twist his emotions towards the selfish and the suspicious."

There is a bit of a pause while Ami allows that information to sink in before she explains, "I mean to free him of that influence, Rashmi. Much as we freed Hannah Sharpe of her own self-made darkness, I mean to give Takashi the life his parents stole from him. There is no one I would rather spend my days debating magical theory with than him. And I'm going to find a way to free him from the darkness, so that he can do all the good his heart yearns to do unfettered by those negative influences."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 04:32:47 80031
"I... huh..." Frowning, Rashmi leans back, lips pulling in as she considers the import of this tale. "So wait... I can understand what was going on with Sharpe-san, because she'd corrupted her magic, I don't expect it'd have been much different for me if she did that to me rather than herself, y'know? But like... If Agera-san's parents made him part-youma from birth... ... .........How d'you expect to clean out his DNA? And what'd be left if you did?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 04:34:26 80033
"That's the problem," Ami replies with a mumble under her breath as she wiggles her toes and goes back to reading. "If I remove the Dusk Zone from him like I did the darkness from Miss White, he will die." She shakes her head, then notes, "And no matter how many light-wells I use to sustain him, it won't be enough. I need to make him something new," she explains. "Make him a whole person again, after I've torn him asunder."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 04:36:52 80034
There is a long, long moment of silence as Rashmi wraps her brain around that concept. "....Mizuno-senpai...." She pauses, looking down a moment, then takes in a deep breath. "That... sounds horrible, senpai. Have you asked him if you can do that...?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 04:37:58 80035
Ami pauses to consider that question, then shrugs a little. "I asked Hannah if we could cleanse her soul, and she said no," she points out. "We did it anyways, because the alternative was bad for her, and for the world. If I ask Takashi if I can remove what he selfishly believes is the thing that makes him able to save the world, but is actually the thing that makes him one of the world's greatest villains, what do you think he will say?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 04:39:23 80036
"Sharpe-san was sick and you were doing something medically necessary to save her life, Mizuno-senpai," Rashmi says, eyes widening. "That's kind of different from making a new person, ripping up the old one, shoving the familiar old bits in the new one, and calling it the same person."
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 04:42:04 80037
"If you want to view it that way," Ami replies quietly, "then yes, that's true. And Takashi was born with a terminal disease. Worse, Takashi was conceived, and then horribly crippled by an illegal and unethical experiment. He was turned into a monster to satisfy the sadistic curiosity of an organization bent on world domination. And then," Ami says, bringing her feet down off the console. "Then," she continues, growing a little angry now, not with Rashmi but at the subject at hand. She puts her socked feet on the little metal stool hvoering about the chair's center, and leans forward, gripping the seat to either side of herself, "They had the temerity and the audacity to abandon him, because he wasn't good enough."

Ami's expression grows a little dark as she explains, "He is sicker than Hannah ever was. And I mean to find the cure, Rashmi."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 04:47:05 80039
"....Yeah okay that's a good point," Rashmi says in a small voice. Clearing her throat, she shakes her head. "Just, um... I don't want to be that girl, but um... the moment you add 'at any cost' to that last sentence? I'm... going to call Chiba-san and have him bonk you on the head, okay...?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 04:51:58 80040
Ami frowns just a little, and there's a deliberate tension in the air. She takes a breath, then leans back and puts her feet up once more, wrinkling her toes in her socks. "Yeah," she mumbles, "I know. Look, it's not like I want to do this," she explains. "But at some point, we run out of alternatives. He's going to kill someone, and then what do I have left? He's nearly done so already," she points out quietly.
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 04:55:19 80041
"Mizuno-senpai," Rashmi says quietly. "If he's sick like you say he is... Then he doesn't realize he still has free will. And even if he does end up killing someone... That's not the end, y'know? If he chose to do better, he'd have to pay for what he already did... but he could still make up for it."
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 04:57:14 80042
Ami sighs and shakes her head. "Maybe," she points out. "But either way, I have to find a solution. No, not 'at all costs'. His life isn't worth Sailor Moon's, or the world's. But ... there are definitely things I would give up for him," she explains quietly.

Another pause, then Ami explains, "That's why I want your help, Rashmi. Because I'm already emotionally compromised on this. It stresses me out just thinking about it. And the only other person who's actually got the knowledge needed to help me with this is him. And ... maybe. Maybe you."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 05:11:17 80044
"...I understand," Rashmi says, bobbing her head. "I'll do what I can, Mizuno-senpai. I promise."

*bing!* comes the chime from Nicomachea's charm, << DOWNLOAD COMPLETE. >>
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 05:15:51 80046
Ami startles at the noise from Nichomachea. She'd almost forgotten the device was downloading data from her own tablet. She glances at it, then back at Nichomachea, then sighs and puts her feet down again. "Look, this isn't fair to you," Ami says to Rashmi softly. "I'm sorry. None of this is. And I'm asking a lot of you. I've asked a lot of you already. But saving the world is a big responsibility, and we all share it. And if we allow someone as beautiful as Takashi to fall into darkness, then what's the point in saving the world? We save it for everyone," she says. "Even those who were born without the light of hope in them."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-05 05:24:52 80047
At this, Rashmi nods again, much more comfortable with the lay of the conversation. "No you're right, Mizuno-senpai. And if I can help, I will. It's like I said before... who else is it going to be?" Shrugging, she picks Nicomachea back up, turning the Device over in one hand. "So it's not really a question of 'fair' or 'unfair.' It's a question of who can help when help's needed, y'know?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-07-05 05:42:58 80049
Ami slips off the chair and very suddenlyw raps Rashmi in a brief, but tight hug. "Thanks," she whispers, then steps back. "Anyways, you didn't come here to hear about my problems. Let's go into the lab and do some magic," she suggests, then starts padding her way behind the staircase to do just that.