The World Is Changing

Naru pays a visit to Hana Shiroi. Hana is, as ever, less than reassuring.

Date: 2018-02-20
Pose Count: 22
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 16:29:35 88910
It has been a while. There's been a lot going on. School, and life and all sorts of things. The usual excuses for not dropping by. Still, they are only excuses. The elevator ride up to the apartment is the same as always. Naru has come from school, her uniform still as neat as ever, her satchel slung over her shoulder as she watches the floors tick by.

The conversation with Madison not so long ago weighs, certainly. A heightened awareness, feeling for that sense of odd. The reality that even Madison isn't quite sure what to do with her. Friend, or foe, ally or traitor.

The elevator doors ding for the top floor, and Naru moves, thoughtfully, towards the apartment.
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 16:34:58 88911
    The fact that Hana is indeed present at the apartment is apparent within moments of entering the building. That dream-like state of half-reality, of stepping into a world that is very much like the real one, but somehow just ever-so-slightly divorced from it, permeates further down the building than Naru has experienced in the past. Just as Madison had reported- where once that aura was limited to the apartment itself, or perhaps just outside it, now the elevator carries Naru into it some distance before dinging its arrival at the top floor.

    Besides that, howver, little has changed. There is no obvious alteration to the building or its contents. And as Naru approaches the door, it unlatches and swings inwards quite on its own. Upon entering, Naru will find Hana seated in her single, red-cushioned chair. Normally facing the windows overlooking the city, it faces the door, so that Hana may observe her guest without moving. She has one elbow propped on the arm of the chair, her cheek on her hand, an almost bored-looking expression on her perfect, doll's face. "Little Bird." She greets in her low, disinterested tones. "I was unsure you would come again. It has been some time."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 16:45:22 88912
The sense of unreality is at disquieting, and familiar all at once. Not comforting, per se, but probably not nearly as disconcerting as it should be. The fact that one can sense it on the elevator does give Naru a moment of consideration, but little more than that.

The red chair never fails to make Naru smile, and that extends to the woman who sits within it. "Hana." She greets, giving a little nod to accompany that greeting. "It has been some time. I have been busy, although with wholly uncreative pursuits, much to my frustration."

Naru pauses, a few feet from that chair, a good conversational distance. "I could feel you long before I got here." She notes it casually, conversationally really. No accusation, just an observation.
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 16:48:53 88913
    "I understand busy. We have all been busy." Hana responds, as if talking about why she couldn't make the latest meeting of a group of friends, rather than being occupied by her pusuit of universe-ending power. "I am disappointed to hear your tasks have not been of the creative persuasion, however. Art is one of the few things of value, anymore."

    At the note that Naru could feel her presence earlier than expected, there is a mild, dismissive shrug. "The world is changing." That is her singular reply, without any indication that she is the one changing it- if that is even what she means, which is also unclear. A moment of silence, rainbow-hued eyes watching the young woman before her, before she says, "I would ask, then, if you are so busy, why you made the time to come and speak to me today. Surely it was not simply to express your frustration at lack of artistic expression."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 17:03:15 88914
"No. It was not simply to express my frustration." Naru agrees, although her smile is a touch rueful. "Although on some levels, I suppose it was. Our conversations are rarely dull, and often they provide fuel for artistic endeavours. On some level, a hope that a visit might fan the ember into full flame."

Naru pauses a moment. "On other levels, a curiosity on how you are. The world /is/ changing, and I expect so are you and so am I, I suppose. Our time together will not be forever. It is worth making the time."
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 18:02:17 88915
    Another moment of silent consideration. Despite whatever recent developments have been occuring around her, she has not lost her sense of neutral detatchment, as if the world really has nothing to do with her and it's only out of a mild interest that she takes note of anything at all. "I am pleased to hear that you gain some inspiration from our talks." She says, after that silence. "As an artist myself, to aid in the creation of works is a pleasing notion."

    She shifts, one slender eyebrow arching slightly at the question of 'how she is'. "I am quite well, Little Bird. Or perhaps I should say, I am as well as ever. An existence such as mine struggles to define itself as 'well' or 'healthy'. Such terms indicate a normality I find I do not posess. But I am not in distress, if that is what you are inquiring about. Quite the opposite."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 18:17:43 88916
"A lack of distress. Accomplishments, creative or otherwise." Naru shakes her head a little. "Enquiries do not extend merely to distress. They are far more inclusive than that." She flickers a little half smile. "How much normality can any of us honestly claim to posess? Truly? Normal by whose measure?"
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 18:24:30 88917
    "A truly inclusive mind would define 'normal' as 'the most common state of being for any particular person or entity." Hana replies, without the slightest hint of humor in her own voice. "However, in this case I tend to define it as 'an unchanging state', or perhaps 'a baseline state to which one returns again and again'. I am not sure I posess such a state any long. I am in flux." A brief incline of her head. "But not, I repeat, distress."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 18:38:09 88918
Naru considers that thoughtfully. "In flux. It is a good phrase, and I think fewer people are truly in a baseline state quite as much as they might wish to me. Magical people at least. We are always changing, shifting, evolving if you will."

There is another pause and then Naru quirks her head. "Forgive me if this is a personal question, but I have failed to come up with a polite way to broach the topic beyond simply spitting it out. What are you willing to tell me about labrynths?"
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 18:52:42 88919
    "Perhaps. But the undeniable truth remains that for most beings, the extent of that evolution is finite." Hana replies, her cheek still resting on her hand, her expression still more bored-appearing than anything else, though she does not dismiss Naru or her words. "Though people may change, they are, for better or worse, limited in the scope of that change. This is less true for people in the magical world, but still holds at a basic level. There are limits."

    "Such limits do not apply to me. What I am now is not what I was when I was born. What I am becoming is not what I am now. I can change. Ironically, by wishing not to change, I have become the ultimate agent of change." Now a faint smirk does tug at the corner of her lips. "Yet another irony I am sure utterly escapes the Incubators, whose lack of vision is directly responsible for my present circumstance."

    At Naru's question, she looks vaugely interested. "I trust you do not mean a maze inhabited by a minotaur."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 18:59:47 88920
"Is an end that is beyond one's ability to reach it not effectively infinite?" Naru asks, settling into philosophy in ways not covered in high school. "What I am not is what what I was when I was born. I have not yet found the edges of my skills, magical nor mundane. But those are pedantic arguements, it is true." She flickers her own small smile at the irony of the incubators and falling outside their purview by means of their own wishes.

"It would not surprise me if someone's contains some interpretation of a minotaur." Naru replies but there's a little shake of her head. "But no, that is not what I mean." She pauses, gathering her thoughts, and what she wishes to add, settling on simply "They are fascinating."
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 19:04:24 88921
    "The unattainable is often a worthy goal." Hana agrees. "Pursuing it pushes people to excellence. But there are still limits. There are always limits. Even 'magic', as we so pedantically call it, is a natural system which obeys laws and has structure, even if we do not percieve or understand that structure. Even so-called miracles must fall within the definitions of 'possible' set by some unknown universal arbiter. There are always limits. The unattainable is called such because it is exactly that. Acknowledging it, and striving for it anyway, can be a strength. Failure to realize something is out of your reach is almost always a weakness."

    On the topic of Labyrinths, she shrugs. "What is a Witch? The distorted soul of a girl, overcome by grief and despair. A Labyrinth is merely the physical.. magical ,if you will, but physical in the sense that it has taken on form.. expression of that grief and despair. It is the world through the eyes of a creature that can no longer stand reality, and so creates its own reality. In most cases an expression of madness, though I have known exceptions."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 19:11:49 88922
Naru mms, raising her chin only slightly at the almost, but not quite agreement over limits, and unattainable goals.

It is the descriptor of labyrinths that brings a furrow of thoughtfulness to her brow. "Is it durable?" She asks and then pauses, giving a tiny shake of her head as if that is not quite the word she might wish. "I have always viewed it as a flash.. like the burst of light when a lightbulb is burning out. I get the sense from your description that I am wrong, that is a steady light, rather than a transient thing."
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 19:15:15 88923
    "A Labyrinth will exists for as long as the Witch does." Hana says, with a mild shrug. "Most Witches do not, cannot, exist in the physical world. They have left it behind, and lack the strength to return. The Labyrinth is literally the world they have created for themselves to dwell in, to escape the world which filled them with such anger and despair. They can still effect the world- most do so unconsciously, their aura seeping into the physical realm. But they do not dwell within it. They dwell within their Labyrinth and would not leave even if they could. This is why Puella must enter Lanyrinths to slay Witches. It is also why the Labyrinth vanishes when the Witch is destroyed."

    "There are Witches who can and do dwell in the physical world. They tend to be the more powerful of their kind as well as the most intelligent and least mad, although that is a relative scale. Walpurgisnacht is one such. There are others, but not many."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 19:22:38 88924
"Do you think of yourself as a Witch?" Naru asks, the question popping forth almost impulsively. "Or do you think of yourself as being out of gradient?" She gives her head a little shake at the mention of Walpurgisnacht. "I was not yet aware when Walpurgisnacht was around. I know nothing of her save the name."

Naru's expression continues thoughtful, musing still on the details of Labyrinths, slowly nodding as it seems to confirm her own suspicions.
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 19:27:44 88925
    "Walpurgisnacht is what results when a particularly powerful, driven, and/or intelligent young woman becomes a Witch. While she might seem incomprehensible to most humans, I can assure you that she still thinks, still reasons, though the workings of her mind are vastly different now to the likes of you and yours. I do not know her story in detail, but I can assume she survived for years as a Witch within a Labyrinth, no doubt killing all those who came to kill her, until she grew in power to the point where she did not need its shelter anymore and so left to re-enter the physical world. She roams the planet now, appearing as a natural disaster to humans without magical sight." Hana lifts her shoulders. "I do not know her aim, if she even has one aside from destruction. I have communicated with her only briefly. She was not interested in me. She views herself beyond me, no doubt. I do not agree, but I can see how it must seem that way to her.. for now."

    As for that impulsive question from Naru, Hana merely shrugs. "I am not a Witch. Nor am I human. Nor am I a Puella. I am part of all those things, assembled into something new. Much the way one takes wood, glass, and steel and constructs a building from them- that building continues to both be the things it is made of, while also being a greater whole. That is how I think of myself."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 19:40:57 88926
"I wonder what she appears as to those with magical sight." Naru muses thoughtfully and then shrugs. "Her views are, as you said, vastly different than mine.. or yours, I dare say." She quirks a brow at the 'for now', tacked on the end of Hana's statement, but there is no comment beyond that.

Naru nods at the building analogy. "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, if you'll forgive the overused expression."
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 19:56:23 88927
    "As I understand it, there are plenty of people in this city who saw her not so long ago." Hana points out. "I am sure one of them could enlighten you as to her appearance."

    "Correct." Hana says, shrugging. "I have a certain kinship to Witches. A relationship to them. But I am not one of them, just as I am not human. I was one. Perhaps I was the other, too. No longer. I feel that gives me a unique perspective.. although not one which most people seem to value."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 20:10:42 88928
"I'm certain, yes." Naru doesn't seem unduly concerned about how others might find the appearance of Walpurgisnacht. Perhaps it is not precisely her physical appearance that Naru is curious about.

"I do not think that any would argue that you are unique." Naru comments and then gestures. "I suspect your desire to reshape the world tends to put people off from social calls, however.."
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 20:15:59 88929
    "Doubtful." Hana says. "I think that, truth be told, if more people were aware of my ambitions I would have a never-ending parade of would-be conquorers to fend off. This is why I do so little grandstanding. What is the use in grandly declaring ones intent to destroy others while rubbing one's hands together atop a building, or some such? All it does is inspire those selfsame people to seek to destroy you, first. Much better to simply do your work, and deny them the knowledge required to appreciate or halt it."

    Another mild shrug. "I do not do what I do for the acknowledgement of others. It is.. personal. I neither need, nor care about, the acclaim of the world."
Naru Osaka 2018-02-20 20:56:43 88930
Naru mmms thoughtfully and nods. "You're probably right." She laughs softly. "Rub hands together, and laugh manically. The cackle really makes it." She speaks with the authority of one who was kidnapped and/or victimized enough to make a study of it.

"Much like art." Naru comments thoughtfully. "It is personal. It is what one does for oneself. Although I do appreciate sharing my art with others."
Hana Shiroi 2018-02-20 20:58:47 88931
    "Such is the scale of my art," Hana says simply, "That soon there will be no choice but to notice it. But not yet. Like all things worth doing, it requires time, and labor. The mistake many make is thinking to achieve great works with shortcuts. That will always result in failure."