Anger Management

A miscommunication prompts Ami to contact Rashmi. This turns out to be a good thing; Ami really needs somebody to talk to, and (non-)relationship problems give rise to metaphysics.

Date: 2017-08-08
Pose Count: 59
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-08 22:16:01 81285
<PHONE> You text Rashmi Terios: Is everything alright?
<PHONE> A text from Rashmi Terios at Tue Aug 08 14:56:56 2017: I think so? Why?
<PHONE> You text Rashmi Terios: Someone suggested to me that you're unavailable at the moment, in response to me mentioning having a kohai to assist with my research. I hadn't heard anything from you about being unavailable so I wanted to make sure you were alright.
<PHONE> A text from Rashmi Terios at Tue Aug 08 15:00:23 2017: No I'm okay, I haven't heard anything about anyone trying to get in touch. What's up?
<PHONE> You text Rashmi Terios: Just ... Riventon. Nothing important. I should ... teach you some more things about metamagical manipulation. or something.
<PHONE> A text from Rashmi Terios at Tue Aug 08 15:05:39 2017: ...Are *you* okay, Mizuno-senpai?
<PHONE> You text Rashmi Terios: Mmm.
<PHONE> A text from Rashmi Terios at Tue Aug 08 15:11:13 2017: What's happening, d'you need help? Only you've got me kind of worried now.
<PHONE> You text Rashmi Terios: He's just ... doing stupid things again. And I am finding myself more affected than I thought I would be.
<PHONE> You text Rashmi Terios: I will be fine.
<PHONE> A text from Rashmi Terios at Tue Aug 08 15:12:18 2017: I'll be right there.
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-08 23:05:18 81287
In the boundless subspace domain known as the Senshi Command Center, Sailor Mercury is busy studying the pair of dark energy power sources she's acquired recently: Ms. White's linker core, and Alexis' vampiric essence. The pair float above Ami's head, raditing cool darkness despite the stasis fields which contain them in state. Even in their stasis, both radiate a malevolent core. Tapping into these dark things can only bring sorrow and pain; they have no capacity for compassion or kindness whatsoever.

The last text from Rashmi is still blinking 'unread' on Mercury's phone, while she focuses instead on her research. The readings from her device are not promising. Unfortunately, the Senshi isn't so much studying those readings as she is staring through them, her mind wandering far from this place.

It's probably not a bad thing that Rashmi has decided to come check on her.
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-08 23:10:12 81288
Up in the Game Crown Center, Rashmi is doing her very best to be surreiptitious and sneaky about getting into the command center. ...Which is compounded by the fact that it's an arcade in the early evening, and ths packed, *and* by the fact that she doesn't actually know how to get *in.* So at the moment, she's just milling around the Sailor V game by the entrance, sending rapid-fire texts Ami's way.

*bing!* I'm here.
*bing!*Um, senpai?
*bing!* How do I get in?
*bing!*Am I being annoying?
*bing!*Kind of hope not...
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-08 23:15:41 81290
It really does take all five to draw Mercury out of her thoughts. She stares at the phone a moment, then sighs and reaches down to pick it up. A quick reply of, 'one moment' is all it takes, before she starts towards the central platform. "Nope," she mumbles to herself, then turns right back into the lab. A few button presses and she sends the two dark energy cores back into the long term storage--far more secure and safe than floating free in a simple stasis field.

Then she turns back to the staircase, and heads up. As she nears the top, the entrance through the Sailor V game opens up, and Ami--not Mercury--pokes her nose out. "Here," she says to Rashmi, allowing her in. Once the girl is inside, Ami closes the entrance again, and descends back towards the main command center.

Dressed in a pair of overall-shorts over an Applejack scratch-and-sniff shirt, Ami looks well equipped for summer comfort. She flops down on the couch, rather than returning to her laboratory, then looks up at Rashmi thoughtfully. "I'm fine," she mumbles, almost sullenly like a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-08 23:20:08 81291
Luckily, arcades are noisy places, because by the time Ami had finally poked her head out, Rashmi had turned her back... which prompts a startled squeak and a jump of a good couple feet. A moment's owlish blinking occurs, before Rashmi realizes that someone might notice an open and hollow arcade game and scurries right along afterward.

By the time they're back in the command center, Rashmi's gotten her mental footing back underneat her, and upon Ami's sullen mumble, just gives the bluenette a Look. Followed by a sigh, and a takeout box pulled from her bookbag, and pair of chopsticks. "I've half a mind to march you up to the Frat House and have you tell them that, senpai... Seriously though. What are you doing down here, anyway?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-08 23:33:37 81294
"As long as Makoto's not there, you won't accomplish your goals like that," Ami observes gently. "I was studying the linker core, and the vampiric essence," she replies to the question, then hesitates a moment before noting, "Or at least, that was the idea. I didn't get a lot of studying done." She looks at the box of takeout curiously, then observes, "I really was just concerned about your health, you know. I suppose it was a miscommunication or something."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-08 23:35:50 81295
The takeout is handed over, a mild frown on her face. "Well I was too," she notes, as the scent of spices, lentils, and cauliflower drift toward Ami's nose. I mean it probably was a mistake somewhere, but, you're not usually this distracted-sounding even on the phone, senpai. And what's this about Riventon?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-08 23:38:59 81296
"He attacked some people in the park," Ami replies, staring at the food even more confusedly now that it's been handed over. "Rather, he made a youma do so, and Kunzite said something about controlling unreliable youma with pets ... I wasn't paying close enough attention to get the details." A frown, as she pokes at the food, then asks, "Are you hungry?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-08 23:43:10 81297
"....This is for you...?" Rashmi says slowly, tilting her head. "I figured if nothing else you've been headfirst in the lab for hours on end, and Mami thought this would help get your brain out of its rut. And if you weren't listening hard to something Riventon's up to, that's.... probably pretty accurate, senpai."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-08 23:49:23 81299
"Actually I've only been here about thirty minutes," Ami admits quietly as she considers the food thoughtfully. "I texted you as I left the park where I found out about all of this," she explains, then pokes at the food with the offered chopsticks. "And came straight here after. It's not that I don't appreciate the gesture, I just ... I'm fine. Really. I'm just more upset than I expected to be."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-08 23:50:15 81300
"Because it's Riventon?" Rashmi asks, settling down on another nearby couch.
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-08 23:50:58 81301
"Because I hoped I had gotten through to him," Ami replies with a grumble.
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-08 23:52:32 81303
"Maybe you had," Rashmi says, lifting a shoulder in a shrug. "But that's not always the only thing someone needs to turn around, y'know? You can tell a kid 'hey, stealing is wrong, don't do it' but if the kid gets hungry and can't get food any other way...?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 00:15:45 81305
Ami gives Rashmi's response serious consideration, then nods her head slowly. "Maybe, but it still feels like a betrayal. It's not. I'm being irrational. But I can't control my rationality. It upset me. A lot more than it should have. But I am not forgetting to eat, or sleep, over this. I might fail to do one or the other, but it won't be due to absentmindedness, this time. I'll be fine," she attempts to reassure Rashmi. "I'm just upset."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 01:45:33 81310
"Okay," Rashmi says gently, nodding. "Then just, um... do me a favor? If you're upset... maybe *don't* do research on corrupted Linker Cores until you've had a few breaths? Only, well... It feels kind of like purposefully driving into traffic jams after you get really, really mad, y'know?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 21:14:49 81329
"Recognizing that I am upset is still something I'm working on," Ami observes thoughtfully. "It isn't an experience I'm terrifically familiar with, even now. Moreover, when I am upset, conducting research tends to help calm me down. Besides, it's not like I was actively attempting to harness their power. That would be foolish even if I weren't upset."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 21:20:18 81330
"It's true!" Rashmi agrees, bobbing her head. "Just, well... part of what you want me to do is look out for you, senpai, and..." The redhead shrugs. "I just worry that that much concentrated Dark energy's it's own kind of radioactive, y'know?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 21:35:52 81331
"It ... is," Ami agrees quietly. "I mean, not radioactive; that's entirely the wrong description. But it is toxic, and harmful, to be in contact with dark energy. That's why I ensure they remain in stasis, or a controlled environment. I don't directly interact with the dark energy. It wouldn't be safe."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 21:43:29 81332
Rashmi Terios nods. "All right... I won't stop worrying," she says, fiddling with the sunburst charm of her Device, "but I'll leave you alone about it for now."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 21:45:47 81333
"You know," Ami says, amusedly, "this conversation started because I was worried about you. Don't you think it's a little unfair for you to fuss so much over me for being concerned about you?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 21:46:46 81334
"No?" Rashmi chuckles. "I mean, I was just doing my homework and you sounded *really worried,* like Riventon was coming after me or something, but then it turned out to be nothing. So yeah, I'm gonna worry, senpai."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 21:47:47 81335
"Hmf," Ami replies, oh so delicately. She sticks her tongue out at Rashmi--just a little--then observes, "You and Makoto would get along well."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 21:50:49 81336
Rashmi Terios giggles, bobbing her head. "That's good to hear," she says, rising from the couch and dusting her skirt down -- more out of habit than anything, given the nature of the Command Center -- "It's nice to know I'll have something in common with one of my senpai's friends."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 21:53:13 81337
"Mmm," Ami replies with amusement. "Whenever I forget to stop researching, she mysteriously shows up with a change of clothes, a delicious home-cooked meal, and a chloroform-laced handkerchief. Anyways, we really should find a new project to work on together. I'm nervous about having you dig into the dark energy, but ... that's probably unfair of me."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 21:55:44 81338
"Iunno," Rashmi says slowly. "I mean, I'm kinda nervous about that myself... But um... it's energy, right? So, there has to be an opposite that counteracts it? I know it's not *like* light and radiation and all that, but...?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:02:10 81339
Ami considers that question a moment, clearly trying to figure out how to explain the topic. "Calling it an 'energy' is probably a misnomer to begin with. More like a 'source of power', in a way that even the sun cannot fully encompass. How well do you understand entropy?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:07:43 81340
"I'll never be a particle physicist," Rashmi admits, "but I could explain it to a five year old, maybe."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:12:54 81341
"Okay, good," Ami replies with a nod. "That's about all you need, then. I'm sure you've heard of the 'heat death of the universe'. The problem with that theory is that it assumes that there are no additional sources of energy. I'm not talking like a 'sun', which creates solar energy via nuclear fusion. I'm talking about true creativity; energy that has no source other than itself. So 'Dark Energy', at least as far as my understanding has taken me, isn't so much "a form of energy which can be counteracted" the same as, say, potential energy can be counteracted by and turned into mechanical energy. Instead, it is the metaphysical manifestation of an alien energy into our universe, from another source. Introducing dark energy to our universe is technically the antithesis of entropy. And in the universe where Dark Energy resides, as far as I can tell, the process of entropy doesn't exist. Or at least, it doesn't exist in the same way as we understannd it."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:17:31 81342
"...But our 'magic' is kind of like that, isn't it?" Rashmi says, brow furrowing. "I mean, it's 'dimensional energy,' but with the right math you can do just about anything with it... and it can be altered to *destroy* Dark Energy, but, that's not the same as counteracting so much as reacting... ow my head."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:18:55 81343
"Tech...nically," Ami says, clearly hesitating on this answer, "I think our magic comes from our home dimension. But I'm a little fuzzy on that, still. It seems to work with physics, rather than violating its laws. But this is incredibly theoretical. Anyways, the point is that if there is a direct counter to the metaphysical modifications dark energy makes on the world other than the brute force approach of writing it back the way it should be, I don't know it." A pause, then she adds, "Yet."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:20:17 81344
"....Which immediately butts up against ethics problems," Rashmi sighs. "Because the only way to really understand how Dark Energy affects something that minutely is to infect things with Dark Energy and watch it affect them and just no."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:21:13 81345
"That's what his mother was doing," Ami points out quietly. "Which is ... why I feel so sorry for her. She was so well-intentioned, but she didn't understand enough about dark energy, at the time, to understand the ethical implications of her own research. I think she'd take a different approach, if she knew what I now know."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:24:19 81346
"...That makes me really angry," Rashmi says, shaking her head. "But it's also kind of a moot point, now. I just.... wish we could get ahold of her research notes, so we can see what she did and try and make some good come out of it."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:26:04 81347
"Actually I have a lot of them," Ami notes, brows up. "We took six months in South America, together, recovering much of her notes from that installation. It's not everything; not by far. But there are a number of really fascinating experiments that I've been reading through. In fact, a good deal of my understanding comes from her notes. Unfortunately, she was less concerned with how to defeat it, and more interested in how to harness it. From what I know now, I legitimately believe that the only correct approach to dealing with it is to eradicate it. It is alien and harmful to this universe, and like any other body, we must reject it."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:28:26 81348
"Yeah but Lacrima," Rashmi points out. "Riventon himself. And I'm pretty sure they're not the only two people made even partially of Dark Energy who don't actually have anything against us, why shouldn't we welcome them as long as they're not a danger?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:32:25 81349
"Because they are a danger," Ami points out gently. "No matter how much Lacrima and Riventon try to work with us, the energy from that universe warps their morality and perceptions to the point that they are actively a danger. That is why my research is so important: I don't want to kill them. I don't want to fight them. I want to cure them."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:41:08 81350
"Yeah," Rashmi says, mouth twisting as though she'd bitten into a lemon. "And as far as Lacrima and Riventon go, I do agree they'd probably be a whole lot better off being cured. But... I mean.... Okay look."

And now the redhead begins to pace between the couches, hands moving as she talks, as if she has little idea what to actually do with them. "I don't know that treating them like a cancer is a viable long-term solution, y'know? There're so many ways that Dark beings punch their way through trying to grab Earth peoplestuff, whatever that is; energy, dreams, happiness, whatever. And that's not even factoring in how stuff goes wrong-and-bad on our side of the dimension. I just don't think that permanent shotgun antibiotics is a sustainable way of dealing with this threat, I'd so much rather figure out why they want what they want, figure out how to simulate it, and see if the synthetic version's good enough to give us a chance at peace, y'know?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:43:21 81351
"I'm not sure what you mean," Ami admits to Rashmi, tilting her head. "Are you talking about supplementing dark energy with something else? Tricking their body into thinking it is still dark energy they are receiving?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:45:16 81352
"I want to find out why they're attacking us and make that not a factor," Rashmi says, throwing up her hands. "Like you have people stealing life energy from people. Why do they do that? Why do they need life energy from our dimension? Why don't they have it there, and if they do why is it suddenly so scarce?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:49:19 81353
"The problem is, in Riventon's case, it's not about harnessing our energy or the like," Ami replies with a sigh. "Riventon's problem is he thinks he knows what's best for the world, and that involves an almost Hitler-esque devotion to eradicating people who would do harm to his grand and glorious vision. Anything that gets in his way is expendable."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:51:34 81354
"And yeah that needs to stop," Rashmi says, blowing out a breath, "but how can we stop him if we can't make him understand that doing it a different way is in his own best interests? You could blast away every one of his experiements for the rest of time, and that wouldn't do anything but annoy him more, y'know?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 22:55:17 81355
"I do know," Ami replies, "which is why I spent almost a year and a half trying to better understand what his goals are, and help him to see alternative approaches which are less harmful to others. I nearly lost myself in the process of defending him, when all of my friends just wanted to punch him in the face. The problem, kohai, is the way in which that dark energy manipulates his thought patterns. I have seen him be compassionate, but only when he has nearly purged himself of darkness. The man he should be is not the same as the one he is, and it's not due to choices he makes; it is due to alien influences on his mind."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 22:57:49 81356
"And I do understand that, senpai," Rashmi says, "I just... how're we going to be able to work well enough to find a cure if we keep having to stop what we're doing and slap his creations before they can cause too much harm? I just... it'd be nice if we could appeal to his self-interest now, so we can appeal to his compassion later."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 23:01:27 81357
Ami takes a deep breath, then lets it out very slowly. Tension is clearly creeping into her frame; her eyes are squinting just a bit, her shoulders are hunched. It's not a sudden effect; it's the slow inclination of this topic on her features.

"I wish we could," Ami agrees softly. "I tried, Rashmi-chan. I tried. And maybe if I weren't so broken, it would have worked. If I'd been able to accept his physical affection ... maybe. But I failed. I failed to be the girl he wanted me to be. And because of that failure, we have to do this the hard way. I'm sorry."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 23:04:52 81358
"....Why are you apologizing, senpai?" Rashmi asks, turning to stare at Ami like she'd grown an extra, green-haired, head. Possibly with horns. "This doesn't have anything to do with you, it's what's happened to him that's screwed everything up! I mean, are you actually apologizing for not being four Stephen Hawkings to make establishing a completely new kind of science go quicker?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 23:07:23 81359
Here, Ami closes her eyes and lowers her chin, almost as though she were ashamed. "Because I got through to him for months," she explains quietly. "Because it was working. He wasn't hurting people; he was fighting against the evil, and using methods that weren't questionable. And then.. things got to the point that he thought we should be doing something I found uncomfortable. And it's stupid that I felt that way; it's not something that commonly is thought of as a problem for two people to do. But I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. I wanted to, but every time we'd get close to it I would panic and push him away."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 23:12:09 81360
At this, Rashmi goes silent, staring at Ami through wide eyes... Then explodes into motion, flailing her arms around. "That's the most ridiculous thing I've everh heard!" she shouts, her indignation actually propelling her off the ground for a moment. "He left you because you wouldn't... you.... I.... b..... AUUUUUUGH I want to find him and shake him until his teeth rattle and then give him to Kokoro-chan for a few minutes! Just..... what a jerk!"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 23:14:25 81361
"He left me because we mutually agreed it wasn't going to work," Ami replies, very smally in the face of Rashmi's anger. "Because I can't give him the physical affection he craves--and probably needs, due to his parental issues. And because his inability to understand the impact of his own actions was harming me. It was for the best, Rashmi-chan. But it wasn't entirely his fault. I am partly responsible for his return to directing harmful youma."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 23:17:09 81362
"No, you're responsible for your well-being," Rashmi insists, frowning deeply. "I kind of hope that if I was in your place, I'd be strong enough to break it off, but calling yourself responsible for him going back to doing youma stuff is like calling Dr. Nobel responsible for the concept of war."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 23:23:11 81363
"Strong enough?" Ami asks, then laughs a little at Rashmi. "Strong enough to run away from the thing I want? That ... I think makes no sense. But okay, maybe I'm not responsible for him returning to it. But I am responsible for him no longer having a reason not to. I failed to do exactly the thing you want. I had a peace with him. He was improving in his behaviour. And maybe if I'd been able to kiss him, or hold his hand, or hug him ... maybe we wouldn't be where we are today. Maybe I wouldn't have to treat it like a cancer."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 23:27:23 81364
This line of thinking gets Ami a Look. One of Infinite Patience, as if Rashmi thinks Ami is being desperately foolish, but not feeling unkind enough to voice it. "Mizuno-senpai... Ami-senpai... Stop, please. It wouldn't be any better if you had to sacrifice your wants, your principles, to maybe make Riventon content when it's literally impossible for him to be happy. That's just not right, and if you ever suggest doing that I'll thump you with Nicomachea so you know I'm serious. That's not nearly what I meant when I said appealing to his self-interest, and I'll never change my mind on that. Ugh, just no."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 23:32:02 81365
"If it were about my principles I would agree with you," Ami replies quietly. "But I think it's beautiful that Makoto-chan and Sanjouin-san are in love, and that they hold hands and kiss. I've watched Usagi-chan and Mamoru-kun kiss and it's so beautiful to see. And I want that kind of love--that kind of romance--for myself. It is not principles stopping me! It's ... something else. And that's why I feel responsible."a
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 23:35:30 81366
"....What else?" Rashmi says, raising her arms. "I mean yeah it's probably really excellent to be in love, but I mean like... there's a line, isn't there?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 23:50:09 81367
Ami shrugs a little, then sighs. "I'd rather not talk about what it is. It's something I'm working on. Not something I'm proud of. And sure, there's a line, but I don't think he would have crossed it." Probably. Maybe. Hopefully.
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 23:53:18 81368
Rashmi's face softens, and she moves in to wrap her arms around Ami in a fierce hug. "It's okay, senpai," she says gently. "We'll do our best to figure this out. I'll help however I can, okay?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-09 23:56:52 81369
Ami leans into the hug--completely opposite of how she described her feeling towards Riventon's advances. She seems to almost draw strength from it, like water for the thirsty. After a few moments, she mumbles, "Just be careful with how you trust Lacrima or Riventon. Just because they mean well doesn't mean they are in control. It feeds off of and encourages their negative emotions. Anger, fear, ego, and selfishness are all more prominent. Just ... just be careful."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-09 23:59:03 81370
A caution which is answered with a firm nod. "I will be, senpai," says the redhead. "Lacrima-chan already knows that if I catch her mesing with youma, I'm still going to stop her. ...Just I might invite her over to the Chameleon for lunch after to figure out what was up."
Ami Mizuno 2017-08-10 00:01:25 81371
"Well," Ami replies with a smile, "that I encourage. They're still people," she expresses softly, "even if they're wrong. And if we simply destroy them because of the sickness that is afflicting them, then we're no better than the evil we are trying to stop. I still love him," she tells Rashmi softly. "And if I were a better person, I would show him. But right now, I just can't."
Rashmi Terios 2017-08-10 00:02:57 81372
"I think you're a perfectly good person already, senpai," Rashmi says with a smile. "And I'm really, really proud to be your kohai."