Shoplifting Is Illegal


Emi is acquiring some new clothes and Alexis arrives just in time to realize she has no idea how buying things works. He's able to bail her out of a potentially sticky situation and they have a conversation about Earth's culture, including a brief rundown of how the economy works. Emi also has many new questions to ask Rashmi.

Date: 2018-05-28
Pose Count: 30
EMI v248.1 2018-05-28 17:30:28 91617
    It is a sunny spring afternoon and it just broke 27C outside, which means for many people it's time to shorten the skirts, switch to shorts, and wear tops with shorter sleeves. Lighter material and better airflow is a much better choice all around. That is not why Emi is out clothes shopping, however. She is looking for new clothes because she has nothing other than what she's currently wearing, which almost appears as if she's ready to go to the swimming pool if not for the fact the fabric isn't exactly the right material for it.

    The selection of the store she finds, literally the very first one she finds and recognizes it for what it is, does not have things that would portray her as she would prefer to be, that is somewhat more upscale and refined, perhaps a nice dress, but it has things that will be sufficient. Which is more than can be said for her unitard.

    It's thus the case that she exits the small outlet fashion shop with an armful of skirts, shorts, pants, shirts, and blouses, as well as a little pile of accessories in the middle just in case. The shop being small she didn't realize that little enclosed area was a dressing room for trying out the clothes ahead of time, so she simply took everything she thought she might want.

    Took being the operative word.

    Not very much longer after she exits the open doored storefront and begins walking off towards the ECFH, reading herself to take off and simply fly away that a hurried and aggravated employee, the only one even in the store at the time, rushes out after her.

    "Miss, miss! You have to pay for those, stop now or I'll call the police!"

    Emi, meanwhile is somewhat lost in her own mind and doesn't realize she is the one being talked to. After all, she doesn't understand anything about the two most important nouns in the woman's sentence. Instead she considers aloud, "Perhaps I overdid it. Even fully compact these will take up more space than I have been allotted. A means of clothing storage and transport will necessary."
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-28 17:48:34 91622
    Stahlritter being Stahlritter, most of the days for him these days go upon rooftops or shady alleyways. Be it just regular patrolling or gathering more intel on the massive undeground network and industrial kingdom of his parents' making.

    In this particular moment, his task falls to the former. Perched atop one of the taller buildings lining the shopping strip, the armor- and longcoat-clad Knight crouches by the edge of the rooftop, watching over the ongoings below, with magic-enhanced vision.

    ... And this eventually includes the sentient magical construct and the store employee down below.

    "... Yare, yare."

    Cue a quick leap, a descent made smoother by a magical length of chain, and-- what lands into an alleyway besides the store isn't mana-generated boots of steel, but rather very regular boots of leather.

    "Excuse me." Those two words come from just behind and besides the store employee, then, and when she turns, she finds a tall male figure in a hoodie, with the hood flipped up to partially conceal his features. And more than that-- a large hand suddenly pressing a positively *fat* stack of bills against hers. Plenty enough to cover what Emi... er, 'purchased', and more. There wasn't exactly time to figure out what the total would realistically come to.

    "Just take this and don't ask questions," the figure growls in urging, right before stomping directly past her.

    And the path of those rapid footsteps bring the young man right up to the white-haired girl.

    "Emi."

    The voice that calls that name out sounds... vaguely familiar, but... not quite? It's a rumble of a baritone, bearing hints of youth but still edging well towards adulthood.
EMI v248.1 2018-05-28 18:04:00 91623
    The employee almost jumps out of her skin as the very tall foreigner approaches, face shadowed and barely visible in the bright glaring sun to one that had just been inside. She seems to be expecting some kind of shakedown or gang involvement by the way she instinctively takes a step back. What she isn't expecting is a giant stack of bills that more than pays for the clothing that just walked out the door.

    'Just take this and don't ask questions.'

    "..." Maybe it was gang related after all. Maybe even Yakuza, with the size of that stack. But no matter, that's enough to pay for both the clothes, the headache of manually inventorying what just walked out the door, and her silence. "Right," the employee responds, walking back into the store while flicking through the bills and deciding exactly how much of the stack she's going to chock up to a very generous tip.

    For her part Emi noticed Stahlritter jumping down even if she didn't recognize him, and is looking curiously in the direction of the transaction as Alexis pays the woman off. She has no idea what any of that is about and doesn't recognize him either so she turns to leave once more, only to hear her name spoken.

    That gets her complete attention and she turns to look at the young man. But something, something has her suddenly very perturbed. "Voice analysis 95% match with-- Unknown. Voice alteration effects suggest a 99% probability of an identity match with-- Unknown." Internally error after error crops up. "You know my name and that knowledge should be limited." She doesn't look upset, merely very frustrated as she completely, utterly fails to recognize the person in front of her despite being absolutely certain she should. "My systems do not show as malfunctioning, but an impassable exception has occurred."

    For the next several moments Emi simply stares blankly up at Alexis.
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-28 18:10:45 91624
    And for the part of Alexis, his bright green eye pierces from underneath the shade of the hood *right* at Emi. He does not seem particularly amused.

    "Walk with me," he urges, with just the faintest hint of frustration. "And stop talking like a robot out loud. You're going to make people stare. And probably someone you *really* do not want staring." He even wraps his arm around the girl's own, tugging her just gently by it and... well. Pretending to be the male entourage, more or less. All the while trying very, very hard not to look exasperated by the inevitable looks of 'aww' from the old japanese folk who for some reason seem to think young couples are SO ADORABLE.

    So damned saccharine, some of these people.

    "Maybe you'd recognize me better," he offers before she has opportunity to protest, however, with his voice remaining decidedly *low*. Because effectively *nothing* he has said is something he wants random passerby hearing, much less some hiding-in-plain-sight observer the Raskophs or Eclipse might have set along. "If I was wearing armor. I thought Rashmi and the other folk back at the penthouse would have taken care of your clothing issue or at least *explained how bartering her works*."
EMI v248.1 2018-05-28 18:32:35 91628
    Emi does so and follows along despite, or perhaps because of her bewilderment. His taking of her arm pulls her ever so slightly off balance, but she very stable and nimble, easily coping with this and keeping her load from being spilled. Her movements are though are somewhat stiff, even more than usual. As for the old Japanese folk watching after them, she is completely oblivious.

    She is not oblivious to the words being spoken to her, however. "I will talk in the manner of my own choosing. It is not for others to decide how I am or am not supposed to speak." This one appears to have something of an individualistic streak.

    When he mentions she might recognize him in his armor things immediately click into place and the confusion immediately falls from her face. A quick self analysis shows there is absolutely no reason at all she shouldn't have been able to recognize him and yet her memory clearly shows that she did. "I see. You are Alexis." Her posture actually relaxes in general from this realization, "They have taught me much, but there is even more to learn. This society and culture are very complex."

    Then after a moment she asks the obvious question, "An exchange of goods and services. Alexis, how does bartering work here?"
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-28 18:41:52 91630
    "At the very least," the german boy mutters. "Take some survival instinct into account when you choose how you act and talk in public. Remember what I told you about people you *don't* want finding out about what you are?"

    He winces faintly when she says his name, however. "..Guh. Rashmi's the one who told you, I'm guessing? Sheesh." He shakes his head with that observation. ":.. Thank you, at least, I suppose... for not calling me by my 'true name' here." Wait, isn't Alexis supposed to be his real name?"

    His free hand comes up to smack against his face when that particular question comes, however, sloooowly sliding downwards after. "...Ugh. Alright. Those things you just got from the shop? You can't just *take* things from shops. You pay for goods and services with a specific amount of a certain monetary currency specified by the one providing the good or service as being of equal value. Every region on this planet has their own currency-- in here, the currency is called 'yen'."

    "... And for the record." His voice edges back towards exasperation, briefly. "What you just almost did, had I not paid for all those things for you, is called 'stealing'. Taking them without permission. In other words, it is *incredibly* illegal. The 'police' the woman mentioned are... a form of authority enforcing the local laws. You *really* do not want to have to explain yourself to them."
EMI v248.1 2018-05-28 19:01:28 91634
    "I am sorry of my manner of speaking upsets you, but this is the way I was made. I do not yet have enough linguistic or social knowledge to adopt speech patterns other than my own." After a moment Emi asks, "Would you like me to attempt to adopt your own linguistics? There is a reasonable probability that that might succeed."

    She simply nods in reply to the comment about Rashmi, thinking that perhaps nonverbal communication would be less disruptive in his eyes. "You are welcome."

    As he explains about how shopping actually works her head turns to look back at the shop she just exited, luckily not so far to be impossible for an ordinary person, and then down to the pile in her arms. "They were expecting some form of compensation for this clothing? One I did not provide." After a moment of pause, "You were able to provide this compensation adequately. I will need to acquire some of this 'Yen'."

    Her eyes scan the area and, unable to point, she makes a motion with her head towards a man withdrawing money from an ATM just outside a bank. "I have located a Yen repository. I would suggest acquiring some so no more of this stealing occurs." As for the police she seems to pick that up quickly, at least. "They are the authority I mistook you to be a member of. Enforcment members of 'The Government'."

    A brief look of excitement shows in her eyes and she looks up to Alexis hopefully, "Is their moniker The Men In Black'?"
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-28 19:15:54 91637
    "Please at least be mindful of *what* you say," Alexis requests of Emi. "Non-magical folk, at least, are... well. Their minds deal with things of magic sort in a different way around here, so you *might* not be getting in trouble with police or government or whatever else getting too interested in you, but... But. There is the matter of some *magical* parties being able to get a wiff of your identity. Ones that would actively exploit you. Just... please. I am actually trying to worry about you here."

    HE can't help but chuckle faintly at her initial suggestion on that matter, though. "... I mean. You could? But I am not sure you would, ah... like that."

    When her attention sets on the bank - and more specifically the ATM - some gears click together and he halts his step. "Oh, no, no, no," he immediately mumbles. "I think I know what you are thinking and *just no*." His free hand goes waving defensively besides him. "You can't just *take* money, either. It's... usually earned. But you can't just go grab some out of the bank or the machine over there or whatever either. That is *super illegal*. Most people have to work to earn money. I mean..." He coughs. "You can... probably ask for some help on that manner from the people at the penthouse, you know? But... yeah. You follow?"

    He tugs lightly at her arm then, to try and bring her walking along the street with him again, and *away* from the bank. "...Er... Not for the police, no. For like... intelligence agency and whatever other shadowy folk employed by the government? Yeah. Sort of. Let's... let's just hope we never have to worry about those guys, yeah?"
EMI v248.1 2018-05-28 19:34:19 91641
    "Taking necessities without compensation is wrong, but you wish for me to lie about my nature to the extreme majority of the population. I do not understand, but it is clear I have much to learn about this culture." Culture being the word she's decided to use because it gets the point across and, as Alexis himself has been adamantly expressing, does not give away that it's the entire planet that's unfamiliar to her. At least not on a cursory level.

    "I do not believe I would, but it may put you more at ease. This seems to be something I will have to get used to." That is said with a somewhat annoyed look.

    The stop is sudden but Emi is able to halt in a single step as well, tilting her arms upward to keep her armfuls of clothing from spilling onto the ground. She waits until he's done explaining in full before responding this time, and her eyes quarter lid so that she's giving him a decidedly dubious stare. "This Yen must be earned, but it is required for me to clothe myself. Are you trying to tell me that this society does not meet the basic life necessities of it's members? I require far fewer necessities than a-" she is about to say biological, but pauses for a moment instead. "Than an ordinary member would. What would happen to them if they did not have the necessary Yen? Would they go unclothed?"

    Emi stops looking at Alexis and starts looking around the city with a more discerning eye. Someone down the street is exchanging Yen for a snack at a food stand. Another is handing some bills to a taxi driver before exiting. A scan is made of many visible Yen bills and coins, and then a large number of prominently displayed signage. "The signage on the place of residence fifteen buildings to the east and three floors up suggest a pricing equivalent to around two hundred meals for a living unit. Tell me, Alexis, what else is this 'Yen' required for?"

    The reply about police and intelligence agencies is noted but not responded to. Instead Emi is busy glaring at Alexis as if he's solely responsible for all of societies woes. Or at least responsible for explaining them. As he tries to get her to move again it seems all but impossible, Emi unmovable and as heavy and hard as steel.
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-28 19:58:17 91642
    "You.... You don't have to do *that* just to put me at ease," Alexis insists in a lower, more sheepish murmur. "Just... one dya at a time, okay? You don't have to learn everything all at once, but... that kind of comes with the caveat, too, that you have to... be kind of careful about how you much you express yourself in public, for your own good."

    "And... people in general are kind of weird, too. Something everyone sort of has to get used to."

    And then the hard questions come. And he visibly winces on account of it. "I... nnh. It's... complicated. The world... has a lot of resources, but the way society works, it is incapable of providing equal amounts to everyone. 'Money' is given to most citizens by way of them working a... profession, and then being paid in return for it. It's... supposed to ensure a proper distribution of wealth and resources what not? But not everyone is able to work, so... lot of regions have their governments provide sort of... support, to ensure that they have at least minimum resources to allow them to sustain themselves. But... the world is unfair. So sometimes, some people get into hard enough times that they won't manage to get even that. And some regions won't even provide that, because the people leading those regions made laws that don't support them on account of being... selfish, I guess. And even countries that have those, people manipulate the flow of resources in an unfair manner to get more at the expense of others and..."

    Eventually, he shakes his head and groans out in frustration. "IT's... much too complicated for me to explain, honestly. Just.... things are not very fair, no matter how much people might try to make it so."

    ANd oh god no she is refusing to move. Granted, with a channeling of mana with Kriegsfauste's help, he could work enough strength to force it, but that would be a bit... unsubtle.

    "... Any other goods and services, really," he mutters. "There's very little that is actually *free*. People need to pay for places of residence, food, most materialistics goods and... uh. Some stuff we'd best not be talking about."
EMI v248.1 2018-05-28 20:21:01 91646
    "Very well. I will make a greater attempt at subtlety in your presence," Emi replies. It's probably far from the response he was hoping for, but it's likely better than nothing. Besides, if there truly are nefarious types around that would use her to the detriment of others she is keen on avoiding them.

    People are weird. "I have noticed."

    The stare continues as Alexis explains, and her expression remains dubious as he tells her about how people have to work to ensure their necessities. There is some easing as he mentions that some governments have support networks, but then she looks disappointed as she's informed of the ones that refuse to help those that are unable to help themselves. For their own personal material gain, even. Her glasses once more send out a short ping of active scanning, though this time it's entirely unfocused. "The facility I retrieved these clothes from is but one of many. There are enough clothes available for barter to cloth the entire population of this city, several times over."

    Pulling her along would very much be within Alexis' ability were he to use magic for it, but luckily his explanation seems to have satisfied her need for information enough to get her moving again, even if it was far from the answer she wanted to hear. "Nearly all goods and services are to be bartered for with monetary units gained through working a profession. I understand now. I will be sure to perform appropriate transactions from this moment forward."

    Almost as an aside she says to herself, "This must have been what Rashmi by 'treat'. I will thank her further." The fact that she's walking with Alexis, her arm being held onto, barely seems to register, though she remains entirely easily to direct. "I do not like the methods of this society." Very blunt. "I will require a profession." Just as blunt.
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-28 20:28:05 91647
    "... Not just in my presence, I would hope," Alexis sighs out. "It's not just about my comfort, you know?"

    His free hand comes up to rubbing at the back of his head when they're in motion again. "I know there is," he murmurs. "People are... not so big on charity. But. People can have stuff in excess of what they strictly *need* just for... well. Making themselves feel good. THat's the learm of 'luxury', you see? And a lot of people make their profession... well. Providing that luxury to others.

    And then, that very last statement from her. That draws out an akward bit of laughter. "...Yeah, about that. Your... exterior, is cosmetically of the appearance that would make most people think you are... about the same age as me. A bit younger, perhaps. And people my age usually don't so much have a profession as they... are undergoing a curriculum in an educational facility, to prepare them for working in society."

    Beat. "...Though, really, considering your situation, I am not sure you would need *that*. And for the time being, people can help provide for you, too."
EMI v248.1 2018-05-28 22:09:46 91648
    "You do not wish my words and actions to bring harm upon me. I understand. My conflict with this is the desire to represent myself as I am." Emi would stop again if she didn't realize the annoyance it would cause Alexis. What she wants to say isn't something she has words for yet. "It... frustrates me to think of having to conceal my identity and personality." Her voice quiets, giving a little so the chance of being overheard is lessened, "I do not remember who made me, why I was made, or for what purpose. I am who I am despite this and I... struggle to not express this. I do not wish to be bound by such restraints."

    Emi turns her head and looks up to Alexis, red eyes meeting green, "All I have left is who I feel I am. Do you understand?"

    Simple as anything she looks forward once more and picks up the other topic of conversation, "I would disagree. Those that I have met so far have been very charitable towards me. Including you." Now that she realizes what is being done for her is in fact charity it puts a different light on things. "I do not object to the concept of exchanging labor for goods and services in the context of luxury. I object to them in the context of necessities. I fail to understand how such a system could arise for people whose living requirements are so much higher than my own."

    Emi considers her visual appearance and the relative age it would put her at. "Individuals in this society have a high degree of cosmetic morphism. My appearance could be explained as deceptive in ways that are closer perceptions than the truth, were that required." Then, on a slightly more cynical note she adds, "Given what you have told me I do not expect my apparent age alter my need for Yen to acquire a place of residence or further clothing." And god forbid food, which she can do entirely without but very much would like to try more of.

    "I would still need either a profession or charity." The idea of undergoing a curriculum in an educational facility isn't entirely unattractive to her, given how very much she clearly needs to learn about the society she's found herself in, but Alexis seems to wave it off without further thought.

    Offhand she remarks, "I do not expect it would be difficult to find a profession. I am vastly more capable of performing most tasks than the people I have seen so far. The only areas where I am inferior are socially and-" she pauses briefly, "and ways you expressed I not speak of openly."
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 08:06:01 91650
    Alexis visibly winces at Emi's words, and when she looks up to him? He is the one to stop,this time around.

tFor a good moment, he remains silent, and staring back into her eyes. As much shade as his hood might provide, she can likely see his green eyes clearly regardless; and while otherwise bright, there's... something there. Fatigue, or stress, perhaps?

    whatever it is, the answer he gives is given somberly enought to match: "I understand all too well." And that is when his gaze seperates from hers, to peer at the window of the store they are standing next to. But... the reflection that stares back at him isn't that of a green-eyed, hooded teenager.

    It is, instead, the t-shaped golden visor of an armored helmey.

    "More than you might think."

    A quiet sigj, and then a light tug to her arm to signal movement once more. "Please understand I do not mean to chain you," he murmurs, with a fsintly apologetic tone. "Your situation is just... fragile. Who you are is what you make of yourself in these coming days, but... there will be a learning process, for certain."
    A slow shrug, then. "Some people are," he says. "Charitable. But most... aren't. Many are selfish and cruel. It is... in part, why this world worjs the way it does. It runs on emotion, rather than industrial precision and calculus. And because of that... it is unfair. I am sorry. I cannot explain it in any less cynical manner. ... Perhaps, you should ask Kazuo, if you see him in the penthouse. He tends to see things objectively enough to explain them well."

    "You should not worry about a profession for *now* is what i am saying, however," he points out promptly. "You are still acclimating to... our culture, and you have plenty people willing to support you during it all."
EMI v248.1 2018-05-29 08:27:20 91651
    Emi stops when Alexis does, able to see past the shadow of his hood just as he might expect. She can even see him looking into his own reflection in the glass after he speaks, though what exactly he sees is unknown to her.

    'More than you might think.'

    "You are very cautious about exposing yourself unduly. Both when we first met and now." Her eyes follow the outline of his hooded jacket, something that is likely not the most comfortable thing to be wearing so close to summer.

    "You are hiding from something," Emi concludes, though she does not press the immediate questions anyone would be asking: why and from whom.

    Then she's walking beside him once more, as easy as anything. She listens to his explanation about how some people are more charitable than others, and then his reasoning and explanation for the unfairness of the world. But the message she takes is not the one he intended to impart, "I, too, run on emotion. If I lacked emotion I would cease to function. Precision and emotion are not exclusive from one another."

    She glances towards Alexis out of the corner of her eye, "Rashmi said that helping me be safe from those that might harm me or use me to harm others was enough thanks for her. I believe that too is something born from emotion. I do not agree with the monetary policy of this culture, but it is not without aspects I admire."

    "I am not in a hurry to find one," she replies about professions, though the comment about acclimating to their culture strikes something of a chord in her. "Yes. That is what I hoped to explain. I will learn and adapt, but I must do so at my own pace. But I will do so at a pace of my own choosing, and will not allow myself to be altered unless it is by my own intent."
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 08:38:24 91652
    The asseasment she makes of her draws out merely one word as answer: "Yes." Blunt, to the point, and explaining nothing more than necessary.

    "Trying to alter you would be highly hypocritical," he admits, then. "But I hope you understand my wish for you to be careful, for now."

    He falls silent for a while, after that. Neglectimg even to cment any further on the way Earth society runs.

    "How about we go back?" He suggestd eventually, to break that silence. "To the penthouse. So you can see hoe those clothes suit you and which you like
EMI v248.1 2018-05-29 08:48:37 91653
    Her conclusion being confirmed does not garner additional response from Emi. There is a certain simplicity to speaking bluntly with Alexis on less complex subjects that is not altogether unpleasant.

    "I understand and accept your motives, but I can only partially comply." It might not look like it but she is complying to some degree. After all it would have been so much faster to fly than it was to walk.

    "That was my indented destination. I am too burdened to seriously consider further acquisitions." Maybe if said acquisition was luggage, but her arms are full of various types of clothing. Still, she picks up speed to what should be a brisk walk for Alexis. Hopefully managing not to spill anything while walking at high speed won't give her away, but she is rather interested in trying some of this on.
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 09:00:55 91654
    "Oh, for-- stop, stop," Alex urges almost immediately when the speeding up happens, and he's detaching himself from her. "Let me carry some of those. You look like a jenga tower that's about to collapse. You know, if you would have gotten those legitimately, you probably would have been given a bag or three to maje transporting them easier."
EMI v248.1 2018-05-29 09:06:27 91655
    "This load is neither too heavy nor unwieldy for me to handle. But if it pleases you." Emi slows and stops at a reasonable pace, turning towards Alexis and tilting the pile of clothes towards him that the top two thirds of it spills out towards him. Luckily they're all marginally folded, if not in any particularly normal manner, and are easily caught so long as he doesn't fumble them. The way Emi was carrying them was more akin to an armful of firewood than clothes.

    It also happens that the accessories she picked out are now at the top of her own pile. Various bracelets and hair accessories mostly, along with some simple clip on ear rings. "Is this arrangement more to your liking?" Emi asks.
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 09:12:43 91656
    Alex didn't, perhaps, expect for the workload to be divided thay quickly, so he is nearly unprepared for the tipping of clothes. The threat of the fumble is just barrly avoided, thankfully, with the boy's arms reaching out below the pile of clothes and wrapping them about the clothes.

    Her question idn't so much responded to, as it is reacted to. Alex lets out a deeeep sigh and mutters, "I really don't know how to deal with you... Come on. Let's get going before someone else thinks I am a Yakuza on a date or something stupid like that."
EMI v248.1 2018-05-29 09:18:29 91657
    "I moved no quicker than your reflexes could allow." If perhaps a bit quicker than most people could mage managed. But Emi has, after all, seen him swinging through the skyscrapers via magical chains. That can't be done without a certain level of quick thinking and reaction.

    Unfortuantely for Alex he's put himself in a precarious position with his words yet again. "I am unfamiliar with the term Yakuza and your use of the word date. Please explain."

    Barring any further interruptions she sets off once more towards the ECFH, though takes a slower pace than she had before given how he reacted moments earlier.
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 09:24:30 91658
    "It's not about wether or not I could keep up," Alex mutters. "I jyst want to make sure all the stuff you 'bought' doesn't topple over like BAMF! and get ruined on the ground, eh?" Alex huffs with those words, and as if to prove his point, he speeds up the pace of his own steps again.

    Oh good. More questions. "... Yakuza are what members of a certain form of organized crime specific to japan are called," he explains. "People say I sometimes come off lile one."

    As for date? Well. While most migjt not be able to perceive the reaction in his face past the shade of the hiod, Emi would most certainly observe the odd phenomenon of red color lighting up his skin.

    "Ask Rashmi instead!"
EMI v248.1 2018-05-29 09:32:43 91659
    "You underestimate us both. Everything is under control." Of course it would be a lie to say Emi wasn't testing him, or at least needling him a little with the speed and volume with which she gave him the greater proportion of the clothes to carry. It seems that's what happens when you pester an alien android.

    "Are you very similar to members of organized crime?" she asks, looking him over again for a moment. She will have to find out what it means to look like and be a Yakuza member at some point. Maybe that, like dating, is something she will have to inquire about to Rashmi later. Perhaps at the same time.

    As for the blushing, Alex is luckily spared the indignity of Emi pointing it out. He would not be so lucky if she understood the physical characteristics associated with embarrassment, but as of yet she does not. "Very well. Rashmi has been very informative."
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 10:09:05 91660
    "... According to some people," Alex provides in simewhat uncertain answer. "I mean. I guess I kind of act rough enough to come across as... a street thug or something." He sounds vaguely regretful over that, at least.

    And as they pass by a grouping of street vendors where they set up their tables, one old female mervhant decided to peddle her accessories by calling towards Alexis specifically, "Hey,mister! Wouldn't your girlfriend like some of these jewels?"

    Predictably, this causes Alex's blush to return, with him barking out "I AM A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT! I DON'T HAVE MONEY FOR THAT KIND OF CRAP!!!"

    This is kind of a lie, but it's much easier to do that than have to explain *that* whole mess of social conventions on the spot.

    "Aaaaah, let's just get outta here! My people quota is way past full for today!"
EMI v248.1 2018-05-29 10:17:57 91661
    "Politeness and manners are an important aspect of Japanese culture. That is one thing Rashmi told me. I can understand how being rough would not come across as polite." After a few moments Emi adds, "I wonder if I would be mistaken for Yakuza as well." She tends to be more direct than polite herself, after all.

    As the vendor calls out to the Alexis Emi looks over towards the pretty, sparkly jewels. They have their appeal, of course. She looks over to him as he shouts his response, once more noticing the heightened blood flow to his face. "You had enough money for all this," Emi notes in a deadpan tone.

    Thankfully she does not seem to actually expect him to pay for anything else for her today, and continues walking along. Unthankfully this brings the topic brushed aside earlier right back up. "What is a girlfriend?"

    A half beat later she asks. "Are you sufficiently irritated to change forms of locomotion? I could return us in under a minute, if you agreed."
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 10:31:05 91662
    "Don't tell *her* that!" Alexis complains under his breath and noticably speeds up the pace of his steps in an effort to grt *elsewhere* before the peddler realizes bettet.

    And... Oh no. Oh no. Of course she had to ask that! "A-.. Ask Rashmi!" he instructs her thus, in an effort to deflect the question. This is so not what he prepared for when he got out of bed this morning!

    "And no that's... That's fine. We can walk. It's not that far. You can learn what the streers look like while you're at it."
EMI v248.1 2018-05-29 10:39:56 91663
    "I did not. I told you." Emi replies simply, pleased with the brisker pace he takes. A way to speed Alexis up and get him to exit a situation more quickly appears to be mentioning girlfriends. An important bit of information to file away for later.

    "Rashmi again. Very well. I see there are some things she is better suited to explaining to me than you are." It's intended as another mild teasing, but is it, really?

    There is mild disappointment that she cannot simply take off and fly to her destination. It seems rather a shame when it's high enough to be a very efficient route, especially as they near it on foot. "The streets are full of what I now recognize to be retailers seeking to exchange goods for money. This appears to be a common profession in Tokyo. Is it like this in every city?"
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 10:51:32 91664
    "So she is, what of it?" Alex mumbles akwardly on the matter of Rashmi, though he seems just as happy he doesn't have to explain Earth and Human courting rituals to the artificial construct. Especially since he's been trying to keep himself away from all that lately.

    The new question she presents calms him down somewhat at least-- this he can handle much easier. "It is, actually," he confirms. "Most goods that arr sold to regular consumers tend to be sold on street-level properties people can freely walk into and immediatelt exchange money for products they wish to purchase. And all these properties require employees to keep them functioning and to help service their customers and... well. There's a lot of personnel involved otherwise. Thefe are some goods and services you can't get as easily, however-- certain services or higher-cost things you need to make appointments or other arrangements for in order to make the exchange even if you are able to afford them. And some businesses only cater to the needs of other businesses in some eay or another. Does that make sense?"
EMI v248.1 2018-05-29 10:59:50 91665
    "It is not unexpected. If one person could explain everything I would not need to ask these questions at all." Because Emi herself would be the one that could do so, obviously.

    The explanation of how the storefronts work makes sense to her and she nods, "It is not the most efficient model, but it allows for a wide selection to be chosen from. If I must exchange valuable resources for everything I obtain, I would want to ensure I knew I was getting the things I was most sure I would appreciate."

    It is probably best for Alexis to let Rashmi, or anyone else, explain the concept of a sale to Emi. Shopping around seems to be something she understands and that intrinsically appeals to her. She'd have second thoughts about the volume and semi-haphazard nature of her current 'purchases', except she didn't have to pay for them. Funny how that works.
Alexis Raskoph 2018-05-29 11:59:28 91666
    "There... are businesses that sell things and arrange deliveries over the internet too," Alexis points out. "For whatever it's worth. ... Before you ask, I am *extremely* not the right person to be asked for an explanation on what precisely the internet is." Alex is perhaps starting to learn to predict when Emi is bound to be asking some manner of question.

    "Comr on, let's pick it up-- We're almost there."