Rather Overparanoid Than Under


Kyouko and Naru report back to Rashmi, Mercury, and Kazuo about what happened when they visited the Raskoph household. Conclusion: Alexis's mom is scary.

Date: 2017-10-20
Pose Count: 32
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-20 16:33:10 85100
    It's the early evening, the sun just on the horizon painting the sky between the tall buildings a vibrant reddish-purple. Amidst the flickering on of electric lights, Apatite lands on the balcony of the ECFH in a flutter of skirts and cape. A pensive frown on her face, she walks over to the balcony door and pulls it open, stepping inside. "Nii-chan, you here?" She calls, despite the exchange of texts with Kunzite mere minutes earlier which would suggest that yes, he is.

    She appears to be alone, though a moment later she adds (to whomever is in attendance). "Naru is on her way up. She's taking the elevator." The slower, but less-screaming-panic-inducing option.
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-20 16:41:51 85101
Shortly after Apatite closes the balcony door, a fluttering of sun-colored light can be seen on the balcony. Nine times out of ten, Rashmi vastly prefers to take the normal route to the ECFH, but at the moment the urgency is far too urgent to mess around. Thus, expediency puts her in henshin, a huge armored book tucked under one arm, and the Flier Fin spell active to get here at the earliest possible moment.

She still knocks on the doorframe before opening, however.

Some things will never be trained away.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-20 16:45:43 85102
That exchange of texts wasn't limited to Apatite and Kunzite. Rashmi got one immediately thereafter, from Kazuo's number, to check if she could make it over -- it was redundant, but sent all the same. And Ami received a message more directly, over the Lunar comms that Mamoru's boys have remarkably not managed to abuse their access to in a year -- letting her know that Alexis Raskoph was missing, and that there would be a meeting shortly to talk about what a couple of the girls had learned.

(Mamoru's boys have been trying, for a year and a half now, to start making up for their mistakes. In Kunzite-Kazuo's case, that's meant directly supporting and enabling the rest of the city's magical community. So he's not often the only one Ami hears about situations from, but he's often one of them. ... Maybe someday he'll contact her with something other than bad news. It could happen.)

"Here." He's in the kitchen. Of course he's in the kitchen. Because Makoto is the one who most took it on herself to civilize the guys, and therefore there are certain things always available at meetings at Mamoru's place. In this case, it's cold enough the specifics would be tea, hot cocoa, and cookies. Some of them are even Makoto cookies, which are her secret weapons in the aforementioned civilizing. Misbehave too much and the boys get cut off.

Kazuo emerges and sets down the tray at the low table among the slightly battered couches, then regards Apatite's expression for a moment. His own, as usual, is in the 'neutral-to-barely-perceptible-frown' range. "I'm glad to see it's not that urgent," he says. "Would you let Terios in?"
Naru Osaka 2017-10-20 16:51:35 85103
There are some occupational handicaps that are distinctly challenging in the life that all of them share. Being blindingly terrified of heights is a real cramp in the 'leap from buildings' style that most of them enjoy.

And so, Naru takes the elevator. Complete with elevator music. Up to the penthouse.

There are often muffins at ECFH too, but not currently.

'Doo dee doo doo dee daah doo dah' says the elevator music.

Naru will be with you shortly.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-20 17:06:20 85104
    Apatite glances through into the kitchen, nodding to Kunzite upon seeing him in there. "Hey. Naru will be up shortly." She shakes her head as she glances back towards the balcony door, spotting Rashmi standing out there and reversing direction back towards it. "Nah, it's not like.. impending doom urgent. But urgent enough to want to spread the word before anyone blunders into something they're not expecting."

    She pulls the door open to allow Rashmi to enter, tilting her head in a brief nod. "Hey." She's met the other girl a handful of times but not often or in-depth enough for a more enthusiastic greeting. She steps back from the door, moving over towards the kitchen again to lean an elbow on the counter.
Ami Mizuno 2017-10-20 17:08:28 85105
Sailor Mercury appears in the kitchen, teleporting in quietly. She nods to Kazuo. "How bad is it?" No greeting, a frown creasing her forehead. She nods to Apatite and Rashmi, blue eyes dark with worry. Stepping over to the table, she settles in and fixes herself tea. "I guess it's not awful if there's tea," she says softly, and sips. But her eyes are still dark with worry.
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-20 17:13:58 85107
"Oh hey thanks!" Rashmi chirps, glancing down at her armored boots for a moment. Flaring up briefly, they shatter into quickly-dissipating shards of mana, and only then does she enter the apartment. Apatite gets a beaming smile and a nod, and Mercury's entrance turns up the wattage of her smile. "Senpai, hi! It's been awhile, how've you been?"

Wait.... pause..... reel back the conversation. "...Um," she says, clearing her throat. "Naru-san got hold of me just after the visit, yeah. We're pretty much in agreement, we need to call in dedicated surveillance."
Naru Osaka 2017-10-20 17:29:00 85108
DING!

Naru emerges from the elevator and heads for the apartment, pushing the door open as she arrives. She's also still in henshin, in spite of the elevator ride.

Her sketchbook is still in her hands, closed for the moment, but her frown is deeper than Apatite's, with an edge of 'really rather ticked off' coming along with it.

"Well THAT was unexpected." She declares as she heads into the kitchen where others are already gathered, glancing for if there's coffee as well as tea.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-20 17:33:58 85109
There is not coffee out in the seating area. That does not mean that there is not coffee in the kitchen. (Odds of coffee in Kazuo's vicinity: generally high.)

"I don't know about Mercury," to whom he bows by way of greeting as well as indication, "but I haven't had a full explanation of what happened yet," Kazuo notes. "Other than 'Raskoph's mother is probably magical' and 'Raskoph's mother may or may not be Raskoph's mother,' and something interesting and possibly dire happening with the drone experiment. I don't doubt the need for a watch. But I'd be interested to know the reasons."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-20 17:50:35 85110
    Kyouko turns her back to the counter, resting both elbows on it and crossing her legs at the ankle as her thoughtful frown persists. She nods when Sailor Mercury appears in the kitchen, not questioning her presence but merely nodding to her. "Mercury." She glances back at Rashmi, then over towards the door as Hyalite makes her way into the room.

    Then, at Kunzite's prodding, she launches into the full explanation without much in the way of preamble. "So, Alex often comes to train with Mako-chan and I at the gym on Thursdays. Not every week, but often enough that it's pretty regular. On top of that, I usually run into him while out and about once or twice a week. He hadn't stopped by the gym in a while, and I haven't seen him- for long enough that I got a little worried. Ya'll know how he is. Prone to get himself hurt."

    "Spoke to Naru about it and she confirmed that she'd been texting him, but he'd stopped responding, which is out of character. Come to find out, apparently he was last seen Friday and.. something about puking up blood before hurrying away." She glances at Rashmi for confirmation, before going on.

    "Anyway. Enough weird crap going on that Naru and I decided to go by his house. Just to check, right? If we could lay eyes on him, make sure he's not dead, that'd be all we wanted. So we get there, and I jump up on the roof to see if he's in his room." No explanation is offered as to why 'knocking on the door' wasn't considered.

    "His room was dark. Nothing suspicious, just like, nobody home. Empty. But his bike was there. Anyway, was we were discussin' this, a bunch of cars pulled up and into the driveway. A bunch of dudes in dark suits, generic goon types, and a woman with strawberry-blonde hair. Mighta been his mom? But we're not sure since neither of us has seen his mom, so it might not have been. Anyway, looks like way more security than you'd need just at your own house."

    "Apparently Koji-kun showed Naru how to make a camera-drone, so she drew one and sent it into the house after the lady," Kyouko nods towards Hyalite. "I was gonna try to sneak in too, but couldn't find an opportunity. So.. it's a magic drone, and it's tiny and fast. Not the sort of thing a mundane person would even notice, let alone be able to deal with. So it flies in the door.. and literally two seconds later, this lady knocks it out of the air. Which means she not only saw it, she was fast enough to hit it and somehow disable it. Then she looked right into the camera and.. said somethin'. But we're not sure what, 'cause the drone didn't transmit sound. Then she crushed it."

    A wave of her hand. "She also looked right at us as they were driving in, clearly noticed us, which considering we were both in henshin, she shouldn't have done since we were standing out of the way." She pauses, then looks around, holding up a hand to tick off points. "Which leads us to the conclusion: Alex is missing. There was no evidence of him being at his house, but his bike was there. He mysteriously vomited blood the last time he was seen. A lady, who may or may not be his mother, was at his house with way too much security. She's probably magical, because she both saw us in henshin and was able to detect and disable a magical device quickly and easily. And she might be evil. Also she probably knows who we are, or at least could recognize us if she saw us again."

    A pause and she glances to Hyalite. "I think that's everything. Anything you wanna add?"
Naru Osaka 2017-10-20 18:12:17 85111
"She didn't just disable it." Hyalite adds, with an edge of righteous irritation. "She erased it from my /book/, and the recording it was making in said book."

Because Alexis being missing under mysterious circumstances is bad enough, but the woman /destroyed art/.

"I have a sketch of her, and what I thought she said to the drone in animation." Because of course Naru can draw a gif in her sketchbook, duh. "But I don't read lips, and it might not be entirely accurate."

Hyalite sets her sketchbook down on the table, the gif of said strawberry blond woman playing on the page as she stalks into the kitchen to find coffee.
Ami Mizuno 2017-10-20 18:13:29 85112
Sailor Mercury nods her agreement with Kazuo, gracing him with a smile. Rashmi also gets a smile, warm and friendly, if tinged by worry. "I'm well, thank you. How are you, present situation aside?" Hyalite gets a nod and a smile as well. "Apatite, hi," she murmurs, with a bit less warmth but still a surprising amount.

Listening, her frown slowly deepens, and she taps her fingernails on the table. She doesn't say anything right away, just thinks. Her finger taps on the table, and she looks at each of them in turn--surprised by Hyalite stalking into the kitchen briefly, before turning back and looking at the sketchbook closely.
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-20 18:21:00 85113
"Pretty well, considering," Rashmi says, lifting a shoulder. But that's as far as she can get out, before the explanations begin, and the redhead nods along. Creeping around the table to study the sketch, she frowns, holding the great red cabochon on the front of her book to the pad. "Nicomachea, record this please? We'll need it to spread around until we get workable video."

*bing!* << ACKNOWLEDGED, MASTER. >>

Rashmi keeps the book where it is for a few cycles, then tucks it back under her arm. "So yeah... that's what's gotten me most worried. If she saw the Bit and smacked it, that'd be one thing. But whatever she hit it with, it managed to disrupt the magic storing the images, too. Even considering Naru-chan's magic doesn't work like mine, I can't imagine that's something a mundane could do with a backhand." Looking at Mercury, the redhead shrugs. "Which is why Naru-chan and I think that whatever happens, first we need to step up surveillance, big-time."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-20 18:26:32 85114
"We can contribute some time," Kazuo says, "but not full-time; we're a little busier these days, now that I'm keeping the others company in classes."

(Last school year, the other boys were accompanying Mamoru through his final year at Infinity, helping make sure the place that two of them had infiltrated as staffmembers while evil didn't catch Mamoru with any other evil infiltrations. Even looking twenty instead of his actual age, though, Kazuo was too old to pass; it left him free to move around during school days. This school year, that's not so much the case.)

He glances between the others, then adds, "I talked to Lacrima. She says she was unaware of Raskoph's mother having any magical capability. She's still intending on going to talk with her."

Whether this is an argument for more surveillance, for starting surveillance after the meeting to avoid the perhaps-mother being on further alert, or for A LOT more surveillance... he leaves that one up to the girls to decide.
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-20 18:31:26 85115
    "Surveillance is all well an' good," Apatite says, her frown directed at Rashmi but not for the girl, rather the situation. "But if Alex is in there in some kinda trouble, like the pukin' blood sort of trouble, we can't afford to just sit around and watch. Like.. I'm all before looking before leaping. But my instincts are tellin' me that we shouldn't wait too long."

    She glances at Kunzite, before sharing a look with Hyalite, some private communication between them, before continuing. "I said to Naru when we were there.. we should talk and work out a plan. But we might need to go in in force." She curls the corner of her lip slightly, hands coming together so she can crack her knuckles. "Been a while since I got to proper-stab somebody." She pauses, then adds, "However, Alex is my friend and it's possibly his mom we're talkin' about here, so I would like to confirm that stabbing is required beforehand."
Naru Osaka 2017-10-20 18:48:58 85116
"I have also never met his mother!" Hyalite calls from the kitchen as she doctors up a coffee. "The potential of being possessed or replaced is rarely far from my mind. I /expect/ she is who she is supposed to be, but I would rather overshoot the paranoid levels a little here than under."
Ami Mizuno 2017-10-20 19:06:27 85117
Sailor Mercury frowns. "I'm with Hyalite. I'd rather be sure, or overparanoid, than under," she says. Glancing to the group en masse, she says, "I've never met Alex's mother either. I'd like to see if I go in, untransformed, and she recognizes me, perhaps." She squares her shoulders. "With backup nearby, of course."
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-20 19:10:52 85118
"Same here," Rashmi says after a moment. "...Though I don't really have an excuse to be there, and lying's not really my strong suit... Two things, though; if Lacchan's going to try and make contact, I'd definitely like to wait and see what happened there first. ...Also I know someone who'd at least have an excuse to visit him, since they go to the same school and know each other. ....Double also, I want to talk to Ariel-chan and whoever among the dream-samurai-people I can get ahold of, maybe they can hunt him down in the dream world?"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-20 19:16:23 85119
"Akashimaru is usually my point of contact there," Kazuo says to Rashmi. "She can spread word to the others. Do you have a contact method for her or for Ariel, or shall I put the two of you in touch?"

He finds a piece of wall to lean against, shoulder to Naru's mural, and studies the group, Apatite in particular. "We need to locate Alex, or at least find a lead to follow, before we can go in," he reminds her -- not roughly. "But you're right. Anyone on watch needs to have a quick way to get word out if something happens. And a quick way to tell if they've vanished. We'll work something out for them."

Kazuo being inclined to overshoot the paranoia levels alongside Naru is, of course, rarely a surprise to anyone.

His attention slides back to Mercury and to Rashmi. "There's also the bioscan suggestion that Silvia came up with; have either you or he," or Tyrfing for all Kazuo knows, "spoken to Sailor Mercury about that yet?"
Naru Osaka 2017-10-20 19:18:23 85120
"I mean.. it's not utterly unreasoanble for me to visit." Hyalite points out as she settles in the kitchen doorway. "Having one's ex turn up is only moderately odd, but not idea. Lacrima turning up.. they're pretty close.. Lacrima and Alexis, but I do wonder what Alex's Mom will do with /her/."

Hyalite takes a sip of her coffee and then points out. "We did send a drone into her house, her being pissed was not entirely unwarrented. Best intentions and all that, but we didn't tell her that." There is another pause. "And where is Alex's Dad? Which might be a super simple answer, but we didn't actually see him either."
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-20 19:21:04 85121
    "Checking with the dream-peeps ain't a bad idea but if he's not sleeping or in some kind of dream-prison it might not do us any good." Apatite points out, before adding to Mercury, "If you've never met her, why would she recognize you anyway? I'm not against gettin' eyes on the inside, but even if she was magical, if you're not in henshin I don't think she'd recognize you. That said, I definitely want to know what's goin' on in that house, so I'm not against.. visiting."

    "I don't trust Lacrima," She says, to probably no-one's surprise, "But if she's goin' in anyway then we should wait and see what she says before sending any of us in. I agree with that." Better to let the dark creature she doesn't trust get potentially hurt than one of her friends after all. "And that includes you, Naru." A bit of a sharp look, as if to say, 'you don't get to play the martyr here, ex or not'.

    Then she sighs. "There is a certain appeal to just smashing the door down and rooting around the place." She grumbles, as if this has never gotten her into trouble in the past.
Ami Mizuno 2017-10-20 19:29:32 85122
Sailor Mercury frowns. "Might be better to let Lacrima handle this. I must've had a momentary lapse. Of course she'd be a better person to go in than I would." She nods at Hyalite, frowning a little deeper. "I don't like any of it," she admits.

She sighs. "Yeah, you're right," she says to Apatite. "but there's something--I dunno. It all stinks."
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-20 19:29:53 85123
"I trust Lacchan to be up front about things," Rashmi says. "Alex-san's important enough to her that anyone who harms him will probably be her enemy, whatever else happens." She opens her mouth, but pauses, blinking at Kazuo for a moment. "....Oh! Right! Um! No we haven't. Senpai, back before they knocked on his door, we were talking about getting the data from when you scanned Alex-san, after giving him a darkness-ectomy. It might be out of date, but it'll also be a good starting point for disseminating among the Device-Using set. There's enough sensor suites stuffed in almost every one that it'd be a pretty ideal dragnet."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-20 19:43:14 85124
"It's not impossible," Kazuo agrees to Naru, with the absent clinical tone of someone acknowledging a possibility that they don't believe is the case, "that the drone surveillance accidentally convinced her that she was being watched by the people who kidnapped her relatively helpless son. For values of 'relatively helpless' that translate to 'some problems are not soluble by punching.'"

He falls silent, then, listening to the conversation rather than participating in it for a few moments. Stepping back from the current set of decisions about who goes in, when and why, what else to do, what information to share with whom.
Naru Osaka 2017-10-20 19:48:13 85125
Hyalite holds up her hands at the sharp look from Apa. Well, a hand and a coffee. "Hey, I am not driving this bus. I can offer, but I agree that Lacrima's connections with Alex make her a better bet. I also tend to worry that sending a vampire to an already pissed and likely magical .. or at least magically aware woman is probably going to end with tears before bedtime."

"What does his parents /do/, anyhow?" Hyalite asks. "Because being filthy rich does not /usually/ warrent compound levels of security. Is that new? Can we do some digging to see who she's hired as her goons and if that's been.. say.. since Alex vanished?"
Kyouko Sakura 2017-10-20 19:51:30 85126
    Apatite shakes her head towards Mercury, "No, I'm not saying it's a bad idea. Just that we should let Lacrima do it first, if she's already planning on it. Safer for us that way. And yeah, it does stink. I wouldn't have wanted to have this meeting if I didn't think so." She nods in agreement.

    To Hyalite, she snorts absently. "I won't be shedding any tears no matter who ends up on the wrong end of that confrontation. Either way it should be.. informative, if nothin' else."

    She sighs a little bit, pushing off of the counter and pacing towards the balcony. "Look, all this planning stuff isn't really my bag, right? I wanted to talk to you guys so we could tell what we saw, and we've done that. All this conjecture makes me impatient, so I'm gonna go downstairs before I end up frustrated, if only at myself."

    She pauses to glance back into the room. "We gotta do somethin' though. And when it comes time for action, just tell me where to point the spear and I'm all in." She flashes a smile. "You all got my number. See ya in a bit, babe." This last to Naru, of course, before she exits through the balcony door.
Ami Mizuno 2017-10-20 20:38:36 85131
Sailor Mercury watches Apatite go before rubbing her hand through her short blue hair. Shaking her head to Hyalite in an 'I don't know' fashion, Mercury looks to Rashmi. "I promised not to share this information with anyone but Kunzite. I forgot." She frowns, thoughtfully. "Kazuo," she says slowly. "Can you take this information and figure out anything? I'll help as much as I can, of course, but--" She looks pained. "I want to compile a short brief, and be able to hand that out without giving any real information around." She looks to Rashmi. "Would that be an acceptable compromise? Or I can do it alone, of course, Kazuo, if you'd prefer--"
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-20 20:43:49 85132
Rashmi Terios says, "We could do some digging," Rashmi says to Naru, "but I wouldn't begin to know where to start, honestly. My family doesn't go anywhere near those kinds of social circles. Maybe one of you guys could find that out better?"

Ami's reveal of her confidentiality has the redhead chewing on her lip. After a moment, she simply nods. "That'd be fine, senpai. Nicomachea and I can still come up with some kind of scanning spell either way, and I definitely don't want to break a promise you made.""
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-20 20:52:28 85133
Coughing blood is a pretty major something to happen. "Not to mention the blank patches in his memory, which sometimes cover more than twenty-four hours. Or being conversant with technology and a written language he wasn't aware of learning." Kazuo confines his frown to the air in front of him: irritated with the universe again, not with anyone here.

"As for his parents. We know Raskoph avoided mentioning them. Usually avoided direct questions. We know they moved around frequently, often between countries. We know their work occupies them to the extent that they fail to appear to care when their son disappears for days on end, because we've never had unpleasant inquiries when he's been recovering here. We know he thought it was unwise to face his parents during the time he spent as a mangled half-vampire; that is probably the case as a general rule, granted. We know that he asked me and Mercury not to approach them about the half-vampire business. That also seemed likely to be a general rule. It may not have been. I don't know anything else about what they do, or who they are, or indeed their names. And our best person for fishing up more mundane information is committed elsewhere." He leans his head back. "There's a chance Masato Sanjouin might have crossed paths with them at some point. I can ask Neil."

... Neil being the latest name Nephrite is using, where Masato Sanjouin was the one the girls knew first. Apparently Neil is the one he was born under, this lifetime.

He draws another breath, and studies Mercury for a moment. "Mn. I can see what we can do. Rashmi, would you be willing to let me have a discussion with Nicomachea on the subject? For that matter, would Nicomachea be willing?"
Ami Mizuno 2017-10-20 20:57:22 85135
Sailor Mercury gives Rashmi a relieved little nod. "Thank you," she says, shoulders relaxing. She hadn't even realized she'd been hunching them in stress. She taps her lower lip with a finger and looks to Kazuo. "I'm happy to help, of course. Mother is at a conference this weekend, so later nights than usual are... acceptable, I suppose. I don't have any tests coming up, either." She thinks. "Whatever needs done that I can do," she says, finally.
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-20 21:07:41 85136
"Well it sounds good to me," Rashmi says, lifting a shoulder and holding out the book, gazing down at the cabochon. "Nicomachea?"

*bong!* << ACKNOWLEDGED, MASTER, >> the book replies, stilted and stentorian. The cabochon glows faintly, and projects a slightly curved, holographic-adjacent display in the air above the book. Rashmi sets Nicomachea down on the table, and wanders toward the kitchen to fix herself some tea. "Basically what I've found when coming up with new spells," she calls from the teapot, "is he wants to know what you want it to do, and not to do. After that it's mostly number-squishing and optimization, which takes the longest."
Kazuo Takeba 2017-10-20 21:22:35 85138
Kazuo inclines his head to Mercury, grave, and then a little less deeply to Rashmi. Then leans his head back again and concentrates. His henshin is normally quick, like most of them -- flickers of pale lightning crawling over his skin, less beautiful than the senshi's moments of twining ribbons; a flash of the gem that houses his soul at his forehead, and then settling into his caped uniform.

It is not quick. It takes time. The pink faceted jewel shows itself slowly, lingers for a long time, settles back into its place only reluctantly.

He doesn't speak to whatever's wrong; he only paces over to the table where Nicomachea is resting, seats himself on the floor beside the table, and draws up a measure of his power to shroud himself and the book in shadows. "The first question," he says quietly to Nicomachea, "is what degree of precision you need to identify a signature, and what degree of variation you consider acceptable..." The conversation lapses rapidly into showing rather than telling. It's hard for Kunzite to keep up with a Device when the Device isn't filtering through spoken language. But on a topic as narrow as this one, it's possible.

Sometimes.