Earth Pride

With Kyouko.

Date: 2018-01-12
Pose Count: 15
Kyouko Sakura 2018-01-12 15:52:18 88073
    Kyouko can often be found working at her job. Her schedule is variable, as most shift-jobs tend to be, but there's hardly a day when she isn't at the conbenie at least some portion of it. As time has gone on and she's earned the trust of the store's elderly owner, more and more responsibility has shifted onto Kyouko, to the point where she is quite often working alone in the store, running the thing by herself for entire shifts (though the store is hardly more than closet-sized, so it's not like there's a lot to keep an eye on.)

    Today is one such day, Kyouko behind the counter in the small shop. She's wearing what amounts to a work uniform for her, which is a black t-shirt and jeans, with the orange-and-white apron of the AM/PM Minimart tied overtop and an orange kerchief over her hair. The store is empty at the moment, as it's that period of the middle of the day when the morning rush is over and the afternoon/after work rush has yet to begin. She's idly fiddling with some of the items on display on the counter, re-arranging things purely for the sake of having something to do.
Sailor Earth 2018-01-12 16:07:17 88074
In from the cold comes an extremly tall girl with black hair and blue eyes, hands in her pockets. She'd talked to Venus and now she had come to see the she didn't remember. She steps in and looks right at Kyouko with those eyes - with Mamoru's eyes.

"You know, I only remember four of you. But now I feel like there are five. So you're number five, am I right?" she asks, pretty much just opening right into it as she picks a small candybar up, twirling it between her fingers like a shrunken baton. "That's why I don't know your name. You weren't there."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-01-12 16:11:00 88075
    As the glass automatic doors swish open, Kyouko sing-songs, "Welcome to the Am/Pm Mini Market~" in what is clearly a rote greeting, without even looking up from what she's doing. But a moment later the girl comes to stand in front of the counter, and then Kyouko does look up.. just in time for Earth to speak to her. There's a momentary freeze, as Kyouko processes what she's seeing- who exactly her visitor is. Then a tense wariness comes into her frame though, to her credit, she maintains control of herself.

    Almost casually, though still with that sense of reigned-in movement, she reaches out and plucks the candybar out of Earth's hand, returning it to the display. "Don't play with the merchandise unless you plan to buy it, ma'am." She says, her voice low- not threatening, exactly, but certainly not welcoming.

    "That's right. I wasn't there. I belong solidly in this time. So why do you even care?"
Sailor Earth 2018-01-12 16:28:43 88076
"What, I can't look at it?" She asks, regarding the candy bar. "I might buy it, I don't know." she doesn't stop, regardless. "And I mind because the other four are my people. And you feel like them, but fresher. On the other hand, I get the distinct feeling you're not my people." She puts the bar back on the shelf, puts her hands on her hips, and looks Kyouko dead in the eyes. "Do you have any idea how completly confusing you feel?"

On the subject of feelings, the girl standing in front of her - not in henshin - is much more 'like' Mamoru in energy than any of the other times Kyouko has encountered her. It's not just the eyes, the look, or the way she walks - there's something more about her soul that seems to have pulled up his qualities. "And I can tell you're nothing like them. What do you even represent?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-01-12 16:35:38 88077
    "You can look at it all you want." Says Kyouko, sounding annoyed. "But fondling the merchandise is distinctly frowned upon. So until you decide to buy it, please refrain from pawing it." She frowns, looking at the girl. She can feel the 'likeness' to Mamoru.. but at the same time, it's not the same. It both is, and isn't. Needless to say, Earth isn't the only one confused by the situation... though Kyouko, at least, is not about to let that confusion get to her.

    "You're right.. I'm not your people." She says, firmly, leaning one hand on the counter, as she peers across. "Do you wanna know what I represent? I'm Apatite, the Knight of Sincerity and Respect. I represent second chances. I represent starting over, new beginnings, and what you can do when you let go of the past. And all that put together is why I'm not your people."

    Her eyes narrow somewhat, her voice lowering in tone even further as she leans across the counter. "And let me clue you in on something else before you waste your time with me. I don't care who you are. I don't care if you're the rightful heir to the Earth Court or not. Cuz see, here's the thing- a lotta the other people involved, they have ties to the old times. They might care about right to rule, and divine mandate, and all that crap. But not me."

    "Mamoru saved me. Personally. Oh, not alone, but he played a big part. It was Mamoru who showed me that I could still have a place in this world, that prevented me from dying an early, shameful death, that gave me a place to belong. Not Endymion, Prince of the Earth. Mamoru."

    "My loyalty is to Mamoru Chiba, the person, not to some title. I don't really care if he is the usurper. He's proven his worth to me, and that's all that matters. If you're the real Earth, and he's an imposter? I'll fight for that imposter. So do us both a favor and don't waste too much time trying to convince me of anything, yeah?"
Sailor Earth 2018-01-12 16:49:17 88078
Mirai Chiba - Sailor Earth - chews on this for a little bit. She's actually quiet. "You have that air of purpose around you." she says, smirking. "It's worthy of respect. You're not mincing words. You're speaking a direct pipline from your beliefs, your spirit, with no filter."

She walks over to the counter and puts her hands flat on the surface, leaning in a bit. "Yes, there's no worry for decorum or the history in you. You are an interesting counterpoint to the Plotter, the Sneak, the Sage, and the Knight."

"I'd warn you that your strength is stolen but I think you've already informed me that you don't care. Then I will do us both a favor and be clear. I know my past. I know my truth. And if there's a reality that doesn't conform to it I'll use the strength to fix it. This is *My* second chance. This world. I will make it golden again, I will make it shine like the Kingdom I remember and the one you weren't in. And you can have a place in that world if you learn where your respect should really go."

The two of them leaning on opposite sides of the counter, Mirai's eyes don't flinch from Kyouko's - but they no longer reflect the calm ocean, but the turbulent storm of a dark and angry sea, with flecks of gold appearing and vanishing in them. "You may not have ties to the history but this world, I am just as much it's ruler as the one before time. And the power he gave you wasn't his to share. I'll be taking it back, soon."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-01-12 17:23:03 88081
    Kyouko listens to Earth talk, holding her gaze. Her eyes are crimson, a deep, unnatural red. The color of blood, with all that entails- violence, yes. But also vitality. Life. And the willingness to fight for it. She does have one thing in common with Earth, though- she appreciates, respects, someone speaking the truth. No mincing words. Words have never been Kyouko's strong point. Best to just lay it out on the table and know where you stand.

    "My strength is mine, and mine alone." She says, when Earth finishes speaking. "People support me, prop me up, Mamoru chief among them. But I earned my power, paid for it, before I ever met him. You can't take that away from me, no matter how much you try. But you're welcome to try." Those red eyes narrow slightly. "It's been too long since I had someone I could stab without feeling bad about it."

    She straightens slightly. "You're welcome to try and claim your second chance. But life ain't a charity. If your second chance, if the world you want to build, would take away the world I've fought so hard to build for myself, I'll fight you every inch of the way. I'm not interested in a place in a world where my friend and loved ones don't have a place. And I'm not interested in betraying the people who stood up for me when I didn't deserve it."

    "So you do your best, hunny. Fight for your world, the one you think you deserve. Just don't be surprised if when it comes time to find out who's standing on firmer ground, you find yourself sinking."
Sailor Earth 2018-01-12 17:26:32 88082
Earth shifts her hand up, idly twirling one of the long black strands of hair in her finger. "I had really intended on making my future the same as your world. I've wanted nothing more than to give them all a place. But the place they want and the place I want them to have seems to different. With one exception."

"See, you are new, you're the fifth, the new. But you... don't stick out like a bent nail. I can see how you fit the project. You're not wrong, just... different. But the person you have such loyalty to, such affection to... he's a bent nail. No. A termite. Undermining the whole construction. Spreading lies and untruth. And you and the others don't see that."

"It's not your defense of the world or yourself that will cause the problem, but the person holding power that isn't theirs. Using my name. Calling themselves Mamoru Chiba. I've relinquished that for now but only temporarily - I'm taking it all back."

"And you should hope my ground is more solid because if that false ruler keeps his sway everything you have fought for won't mean more than a drawer full of counterfeit bills. If I don't stand at the end of this you will all end up sinking."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-01-12 17:32:58 88083
    Kyouko's hand bangs down on the counter with a loud 'smack', as she snarls at the girl, lips pulled back to bare the sharp little fangs which are as much her trademark as her spear. "Bullshit! The world doesnt' work that way. I've seen the worst parts of it, and some of the best, and let me clue you in on something, chickie. Lies? Truth? They're different for every person. There is no absolute, unquestionable 'truth', at least when it comes to people. Belief is more powerful than truth."

    She points a finger at Earth, scowling. "Whether or not Mamoru is the true Prince of Earth doesn't matter. There's no grand plan, no destiny. We make it ourselves. You can make a world based on lies, because if enough people believe them, they stop being lies. This whole notion that if the right person isn't in charge, that the world is somehow going to fall apart? That's the most effing stupid, entitled BS I've ever heard."

    "The world doesn't give a shit about us. It'll keep right on spinning no matter who's claiming to be Prince of this or King of that. It's the people who matter. If youdon't have people who believe in you, who support your claim- then it's meaningless, bloodlines and history be damned."
Sailor Earth 2018-01-12 17:40:55 88084
Earth stands her ground, fang and terror and all. She only shifts to a more stable position with her feet. "But it DOES matter if he's been lying to you. The people matter, and if you try to take those people and make them like you because of something false or fake, you've built everything on a very, very shaky foundation. No good comes of that. It doesn't matter how many people support you - if they do so under false pretenses..."

"And there's something very real about strength that cannot be ignored. I learned that from my own history when I lost everything. The people supported me but I was unprepared for my enemy's pure raw strength. And I lost." she admits. "That's why there's no Golden Kingdom, why there's a grey world now. No Gold, no Silver. I won't let that happen again, not if I can bring the brightness back with my strength. The only reason I haven't done so is there's a leech on my back."

"He can't make himself truly royalty by stealing from me and using magic to trick people. It'll never convey the strength he wants. He may be able to trick others into working on his behalf, though..." she says, pointing a finger at Kyouko.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-01-12 17:54:01 88085
    Kyouko shakes her head. A firm, categorical denial, her short hair swirling around her jawbone. "Mamoru has not been lying to me. To us. I know lies. I've told plenty of them in my time, and had plenty more told to me. Mamoru is not lying about who he is."

    Her frown is still in place, but some of the fire has momentarily lessened, replaced by contemplative conviction. "I'm willing to admit that it's possible he's mistaken. I don't think he is, but I really don't know. But that's not the same thing. He believes in who he is, in what he does. That's all that matters. If he had been leading us along for some hidden, ulterior motive, then yeah, I agree. That would fall apart."

    "But if he believes in what he does, believes in himself and in us, then that's all that matters. He helps people. We help people. The world is a better place for the stuff that he does, and that we do with him. That is true, and that's really all that matters."

    "Like I said. My strength is my own. You're welcome to challenge it. In fact, I hope you do. I'm a fighter, and with nothin' to fight, I start getting antsy. But if you wanna fight me, then fight me, and stop spouting arguments that ain't gonna change my mind."
Sailor Earth 2018-01-12 19:30:24 88086
Earth shrugs. "Well then someone or something is lying to him. Maybe someone with bad intentions. Or good. It really doesn't matter to me. What does matter is that it gets righted."

"I want to believe you but... I wish I could share my memories of you. Of that place. Of that time, that world. The bright, golden beauty that this world was. I'm sure if you've never known anything else, this world is great. But... I remember it."

"I want to bring it back. I'm going to do that. And nobody will stop me. I think... under different circumstances this could've been better for us, but I think us fighting is inevitable. I'll have to back up my conviction with my strength, and I understand that. But I'll warn you - I have all of the power of this planet, so teeming with life, and now I have all of the understanding of the Golden Kingdom behind me. I'd hoped to avoid having to use it, but you seem intent. Not here though, I don't want to mess up your shop. Or whoever's shop this is."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-01-12 19:40:00 88087
    "Being lied to isn't a crime." Kyouko says, more quietly. "Ask any Puella you ever meet. And it doesn't mean that what you fight for is a lie, just because it was started by one."

    She shakes her head, a dismissive wave of one hand. "Save your 'glorious past'. I don't need it, and I don't want it. I don't belong in a world like that. I'm a street rat. A world so 'perfect', if it ever existed.. that ain't a world I belong in. I belong in a world with shadows. A world that needs protecting, not one that's already perfect. I'd have no place there."

    "Truth is, for all it's screwed me over time and time again, I like this world. It's dirty, broken, imperfect.. but like a grubby old blanket you've had since you were a kid, it just fits. And I ain't about to sit by and let somebody replace it with a shiny new one, no matter how much better they think it is."

    She eyes Sailor Earth for a moment, then leans forward again. Her voice is low, still, calm, but full of intent. "I know you don't know who I am, sister, so let me fill you in. They used to call me the Terror of Kazamino. I spat in Queen Beryl's face moments before she died. I punched Walpurgisnacht in the face, and gutted a Xenian. I'm Kyouko Godamn Sakura, and you can bring all the strength you've got and throw it at me, and maybe I'll die, but you can be damn sure that if I do, you won't make it out of there with that pretty face of yours intact."

    Her lip curls slightly, and she turns. "But. Not here. Thank you, for that, at least. Tachibana-san, the old lady who owns this store, she's done a lot for me and this don't concern her."
Sailor Earth 2018-01-12 19:54:26 88088
Sailor Earth mirrors that smirk. "I'm sure you've got a very wide and impressive pedigree, but I'm the Ruler of the Golden Kingdom. You don't scare me because your lifetime in this world is only 70 years. My soul was alive for longer than that during the Golden Millenium. You don't have the time to match my acomplishments or my strength, and the only reason I'm slumming it down here is because someone is clumsily and inefficently stealing my powers."

"I ruled over a thousand years of peace and prosperity and as the strongest Senshi from the strongest planet I saved my world more times than we can count until all of the forces of evil knew better than to screw with me. If you killed me right now I've done more good than you and that fake boy will with your entire lives. But continue to stand in my way, you're only stopping the inevitable."

"The last time someone thought they beat me ended up with the universe reset, and maybe that has to happen ten or twenty times but I will never stop fighting to return to my rightful place."

She turned on her heel and started walking for the battlefield. "I look forward to seeing you in a place more condusive to me giving you a proper education instead of just ranting, though."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-01-12 20:06:52 88089
    "Ever hear the phrase 'the candle which burns shorter burns brighter?'" Kyouko shoots back. "Ruling a thousand years of peace ain't worth nothing. The fact that you're down here means that when shit got tough, you failed. If what you say is true, you could rule fine when nothing was going wrong, but the second shit hit the fan, you fell harder than a sack full of fail-bricks."

    "Here's another classic for you- pride comes before the fall. So you toddle back off to wherever you've been hiding out, and you come fetch me when you're ready to remember how it feels to fail, because I'm itching to teach you."

    Then, as Earth turns to walk back out through the door, she sing-songs in an overly-sweet voice, "Thank you, and come again~". Because she is on the clock, after all.