Hello Darkness, My New Friend

Miho and the others wake up in Kunzite's palace just in time for Mamoru to show up in ghost-form. Then something even more surprising happens!

Date: 2018-08-05
Pose Count: 60
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 18:12:38 93571
As the girls were falling asleep on the caracal, the world dimmed to twilight and then to early evening, where it stayed so they could sleep without the sun in their eyes.

It's still early evening even now, and the temperature is just cool enough to be comfortable on a very warm cat without needing a blanket. The stars are out, faint and clear, and the caracal yawns and wakes up slightly, and goes back to sleep.

Luna is still curled up on Mamoru's breathing, empty body.
Zoisite 2018-08-05 18:17:34 93572
Zoisite has worn himself down from aggressive pacing to a dull-eyed, hard stare at the caracal, sitting on the edge of the fountain with his elbows on his knees. He occasionally glances to his Prince's empty body, distress clear every time looks over.

Where would the fifth palace alluded to be? Zoisite is honestly unsure, but trying to turn it over in a mind that is slightly worn and in dire need of sleep, but adamantly refusing to do anything of the sort. He's survived on less sleep.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 18:22:38 93573
Miho has had a rough night. (Or ... continuous-evening.) It wasn't that the giant caracal was uncomfortable or anything, it's just ...

Well, the last thing that happened before she went to bed was that she saw someone get their soul ripped out right in front of her, she almost lost herself to her curse, and then she had to spend her remaining strength healing a dead body and then a mildly-concussed friend. Short version: she's been having nightmares.

Miho's shadow turns pitch black for a few seconds. She lets out a series of soft grunts of varying levels of femininity, and then suddenly giggles in her sleep and almost immediately blinks awake. She stretches, looks around (very squinty!), and then hops off the giant cat and goes to grab her glasses from her purse where she left it by the side of the fountain.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-08-05 18:26:33 93574
Kunzite has not been continuously present. He has been in on a regular basis, checking on people -- on Miho the exhausted healer, on Zoisite's state of mind and Usagi's state of stunned exhaustion. And on the other side, back where phones that aren't magically enhanced actually work ...

Well. Apparently he's at least been in touch with Lacrima. Since when the shadows of his teleport form and vanish (the crackling lightning within them is that odd color of pink, as always, but there is no hint of gold within them just now; no hint of silver or anything else, either), Kunzite is there, still in uniform as he has been since the Incident. And Lacrima is with him as well.
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-05 18:31:42 93575
Usagi sleeps hard. It isn't the carefree sleep of someone with no worries, as her sleep usually is, but it's more the sleep of someone trying very hard to avoid...well, just about everything involved with being awake.

There's some grunts and giggles and Usagi grumbled, one foot reaching out to nudge the noise away. Then, with a sleepy sigh, she rolls over and cuddles a giant furry paw.

It isn't really a sound that wakes her up, more a bit of pressure. Perhaps some buried part of her remembers when a cloak of darkness had been draped over her a couple years ago and isn't ready to relive that bundle of disturbances. Or maybe the caracal's stomach made an interesting noise. Either way, she jerks awake, sitting up and staring at Kunzite and Lacrima. She's still wearing chiffon and her hair is still silver, but with the dissaray of sleep-messed hair and shoulder shells all askew, it's near impossible to mistake her for anything resembling dignified.

"You woke me up." It's accusatory and not quite clear who she is blaming.
Lacrima 2018-08-05 18:40:01 93576
Lacrima, directly after the fight, went to go drain people. She ended up touching base with Alexis-niisan for a few moments, then Kunzite found her. She'd come along with as there's a crackle of pink and then they are...

She has no idea where she is, and she feels disoriented. She brushes her dress off because of course she went and got her dress because dressing elegant is one of her coping mechanisms, though not exclusively a coping mechanism.

Lacrima blinks because the first thing she hears is 'you woke me up' and there's Usagi, full Serenity, sleeping on what appears to be a big great cat of some sort.

Then she says the same thing she's been saying for the past many hours. "I'm sorry..." she mumbles. Her eyes scan the room to figure out who all is here.

"....what is this place. Why is there a giant cat." she thinks it might be a 'Luna battle form' but... Luna is right there sleeping on top of an empty Endymion.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 18:40:51 93578
    Kyouko has not been here the whole time. She left, at some point, to go back to work- farbeit for her to abandon the shop after she teleported away in the middle of a shift. Luckily the old lady wasn't too mad at her. She had made up some excuse about an emergency involving her sister, and since she's normally such a good employee, it wasn't such a big deal.

    But now she's heading back down to Kunzite's palace, after finishing her shift and stopping by home for a moment. She's in her street clothes, jeans and a black hoodie, but she has dark rings under her eyes that reflect the stress of the last half a day or so. As she enters, she passes Usagi sitting up on the Caracal, and hands over a cup of tea in a styrofoam mug from the tray she's carrying which has four or six of them. "Dishevelled is a good look for you." She says with weary humor as she moves to set the tray down on a spare ledge, glancing over towards Kunzite and Lacrima.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-08-05 18:53:07 93579
"This is my place," Kunzite says to Lacrima, as casually as if he were introducing her to a cramped little one-room apartment. "The giant cat is a punishment for my sins. And also an enforcer of hospitality, on both the guest's part and the host's. We can discuss a degree of the metaphysics later, if you like." A brief pause. "Good morning, Usagi. Good morning -- I'm afraid I missed your name. Thank you, Kyouko."
Zoisite 2018-08-05 18:55:16 93580
Zoisite looks up at Kunzite and Lacrima's entrance. He shakes his head at her apology, with a slow, tired blink. He probably should have slept at some point, but ironically, he is just too weary for that. His emotional well-being can be most politely described as 'compromised', and he's trying to ignore what's currently running through the fountain.

"The giant cat is also apparently a pillow."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 18:56:52 93581
The aforementioned punishment for Kunzite's sins huffs condescendingly at the statement but does not open his eyes. He shifts a little under the two waking girls, and a rumbling purr starts quietly.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 18:58:21 93582
It hasn't yet actually occurred to Miho that she just went out last night and simply never returned to her apartment in Pikarigaoka.

She looks over at Mamoru's body, and just ... sighs, then turns at Kunzite and Lacrima's arrival. "Oh ... hi, Lacchan, Takeba-san," she says; her voice sounds even more scratchy and androgynous than usual. She immediately flinches from Usagi's outburst. "Um. S-sorry ... Princess," she stammers. She's really not sure how to address her.

She takes one of Kyouko's mugs, and gingerly sips from it, then blinks at Kunzite. "It's me, Kagami Miho," she says. "We met back in April? When the Shadow Witch's familiar tried to divebomb Mamoru-kun?" She sighs and looks back over at the body. "Wow ... it almost feels like it was years ago, now ..."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 19:05:45 93583
    Kyouko leaves the tray with tea-mugs (fresh from the conbenie) on the ledge where she set it and anyone can find one if they want one. She takes one for herself, then moves to sit down on the edge of the fountain, near enough to hear people and be addressed but not on top of anybody. She looks tired, what with everything that's going on here and trying to keep up with her actual job at the same time. She sips her tea quietly, red eyes somewhat dull as she looks between the various parties around the room, but doesn't say anything, still mulling over things but feeling somewhat reassured to be back in a place she considers familiar and safe.
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-05 19:08:37 93584
She blinks at Lacrima. "Why are you sorry?" It wasn't the first time she'd be woken from a nap and it certainly won't be the last. Usagi offers the passing Kyouko a satisfied sleepy smile. "Thanks. I spent hours to look this shoveled." She's not quite coherent enough to parse large words she normally doesn't hear. She wondered if she looks like she'd been beated with a shovel. That's what that meant, right?

"Morning, Kunzi-kun." Then she gasps and leans over, hugging the giant cat's face. "Don't listen to him, you're the bestest punishment. And cuddliest pillow."

She blinks at being addressed as princess, a little more awake now. "Um." Oh, right. "Usagi's fine."

The mention of a certain college boy has her eyes immediately finding him. Oh. Right.

While he's always looked so pretty when he slept, this isn't quite what she had in mind.

(She just really hopes that only Greek myth wasn't a portent...)
Lacrima 2018-08-05 19:16:10 93585
"Well the cat does also look like a pillow, yes." Lacrima observes. "Your... palace...?" she asks. "Is this we're you live? I thought you lived in that room. Does the room lead to this pl---nevermind, I'll be quiet now." she putters out. Talking magical metaphyics later yes.

She gives Zoi and Kyouko a soft nod. She knows neither probably care too much for her. At least she knows that with Kyouko, she isn't quite as sure on the other. "Hi Miho-chan!..." she finally says.

She looks at Usagi and blinks. "For waking you up...?" she asks softly. She sighs. "Nevermind." she mutters.

She shifts a bit. "I'm not sure how to track that thing." she says. "-and I don't know where it could be." she says.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 19:17:21 93586
Suddenly the caracal's head lifts, almost bumping Princess Usagi off, and his eyes are open and alert, first looking at Mamoru's body and then looking around the room, sniffing the air. "Thank you, Princess," he says absently, not even paying attention to Kunzite. "But pardon me. I believe someone is knocking."

And then he gets up slowly so the two girls can slide off him, and once they're clear, he pads off-- and brushes his long side against Zoisite as he goes.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-08-05 19:22:16 93587
"So we did." Kunzite bows to Miho, thoughtful and precise. "My apologies. Like the rest of us, I am not at my best right now."

Kunzite inclines his head to Lacrima, after. "That room is where I live on Earth, yes. I don't spend that much of my time here unless it's necessary, for which the place's full-time guardian is undoubtedly grateful." ... at which ... the guardian in question gets up and leaves. Kunzite glances after the caracal, with a slight frown.

But he'll take another moment before pursuing that. Instead, he walks over to the fountain, and seats himself on its edge not so far from Kyouko, but directly beside Zoisite.

"There are four of these places," he says. "One for each of the earlier Shitennou, and bonded to us. The caracal mentioned that a fifth has come into existence. I'm not certain how, or where; it took a great deal of effort to create these. Timing suggests that Sailor Earth might be there. We can still perceive our connections to Mamoru; we might be able to use those to locate her, in some fashion. Or we might be able to reason out the location and nature of the fifth place like this one."
Zoisite 2018-08-05 19:25:04 93588
Zoisite squints. Knocking. Okay then. The long brush earns a raised eyebrow, and he stands up, going over to offer his hand to the now-pillowless Princess. It's something he can do other than racking his brain uselessly, especially when he can't make himself fall asleep. The other visitors get brief, distracted nods, and Zoisite eventually moves over to sit next to Kunzite, legs and arms crossed.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 19:26:10 93589
Miho blinks. "Oh, sorry," she says, shaking her head. "Usagi-san, then." She shakes her head. "Sorry, it's just, I've been having ... nightmares." She snorts. "Though, the last one had that woman looming over me, and she went 'ohhh, I'm going to say your mind is impure because I don't actually know anything about you!' and I laughed so hard I woke up, I think." Her shadow briefly flickers.

She clears her throat, and tries to bring her pitch back to something resembling its normal tone. "Wow ... too much has happened, I've become a magical girl, I accidentally named one of my abilities 'Halation' and I didn't know that it was one of Sailor Moon's, I came out as trans to a few people and then came out to Mamoru-kun in a text ..." She blinks as she realizes what she just said. "I mean, uh. Yeah. I'm a trans girl," she says dryly. She shakes her head. "Ughhhh, so much doesn't feel like it actually matters anymore after last night ..."

She blinks and hops off the caracal as it starts ambling off. "Do what-now?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 19:30:35 93590
    Kyouko glances towards Kunzite as he sits down near to her and Zoisite. She frowns a little bit as she listens to him, and all this talk of a fifth palace that may or may not have recently come into being. She hesitates from making the obvious connection, because maybe it would seem kind of gauche, so instead she just says, "Also I teleported? But I don't know how I did it, and I don't know how to do it again so.. I mean, maybe once we figure this crap out and have some time one of you guys can give me lessons or something." A wry smile. She sips from her tea again.

    Then she looks to Miho. "Thanks for healing Mamoru, as much as you did." She says, sincerely.
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-05 19:38:23 93591
"It's okay, Lacrima. Luna's done worse to wake me up."

The cat in question cracks open an eye only to tumble off Mamoru's body as the much larger cat walks past. She hisses in indignation.

Usagi sighs from her spot on the floor. The caracal was so comfy, too... She brushes herself off after Zoisite helps her up, and her 'thank you' smile is an automatic thing.

"You accidentally name things, too? Does it just sort of tumble out? For the longest time I thought I was saying 'elation.'" She isn't fussed about sharing magical move names, so long as it isn't verbatim! Although moon movements might cause her to get a little jealous.

A fifth palace. Not Mamoru's new oasis. A part of her hopes it's really just Kyouko getting her own new shiny place, but the grumpy part of her wonders if things are really that easy.

She should thank her, too. But that would mean--

"Come here, Luna." The small cat darts across laps and feet and leaps into her princess' arms. Usagi cuddles her close. The cat's purrs and the girl's scritching are more to distract themselves than anything.
Lacrima 2018-08-05 19:39:13 93592
Lacrima blinks. "Shouldn't there be five then, /anyway/?" she asks. She means Kyouko of course. There's five Shitennou, right? She draws her hands up and starts counting in her head thoughtfully. Yeah. Five. "Yeah there's five of you right?" She looks as the carcal meanders off. Knocking?

Okay. She looks back to Miho and listens to her laundry list. That /one/ does stick out, but she merely raises her brow at this, rather than anything else. Maybe she'll ask Miho more later. Now isn't the time for that. With a bunch of people around.

She walks up to Miho and sighs a bit. "I still feel horrible. I mean. I'm sure. We all do. I just..." she shifts. "Should had figured it out sooner."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-08-05 19:48:49 93593
"There were four when we made these places," Kunzite says. There's a faint little curve at the corner of his mouth when he adds, "Apatite's new." Sober again: "And we used things to make them then that we don't have access to now." Things. Places. A place that the palaces were gateways to, that's been sealed off since things went ... so very wrong. A pause, and he adds to Lacrima, "Mercury did figure it out sooner. She, and we, were hoping she was wrong."

Granted, Mercury didn't figure out the Jewel Seed part. That one's a very big problem.

He distracts himself, in turn, by nodding to Kyouko. Teleportation is new. They'll have to figure out how that works for her. Details. Endless details. Speaking of. "I trust you've been able to find sufficient medical support?" he says to Miho. "If not, let me know. We researched options for a friend not so long ago, and our notes should be somewhere."

Somewhere in all of this, when Zoisite sits back down, Kunzite puts an arm around him. This may or may not get Kunzite stabbed or set on fire, either metaphorically or literally. Apparently he's all right with those possibilities.
Zoisite 2018-08-05 19:51:40 93594
"I mean, that makes sense... but..." He dislikes the implication that Kyouko's Palace is where Earth is hiding out. "It doesn't tell us where that is, but it might give us a hint on how to get there." Teaching Kyouko to teleport may not be unrelated. Or it may be.

Zoisite's transformation fades away, exhaustion getting the better of him for the moment. He leans against Kunzite, gripping Kunzite's coat as he closes his eyes. Not asleep, but at least acknowledging that he needs sleep.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 19:57:04 93595
Miho shoots Usagi a lopsided smile. "Sort of!" she says. "I have a sort of ... legacy of Life Mahous before me, I think. I, uh, dunno how you guys work, but I've sort of been getting ... memories, sort of. And other times I'm just figuring things out as I go."

She nods to Kyouko. "No problem!" she says. "I mean, I'll ..." She blinks. "Ohhhhh crap, I am going to be in so much trouble when I get home, just disappearing for the whole night." She laughs weakly. "But, I mean, like you said, this is just ... a potential world-ending threat, y'know? I ... won't be able to help in the fight, because I'm inexperienced enough that I'd be a liability, and Lacchan told me I should be worried about what my Curse would do if I killed someone, but ..." Her shadow flickers again. "... I'm sure as hell not gonna sit down for what I can do."

She blinks at Lacrima, and then hesitantly and carefully gives her a big hug. "It's not your fault, Norie-chan," she says softly. "I mean ... if you didn't figure it out, then, then that just means he was just trying really hard to keep it secret ... right?" She hesitates, then looks Lacrima in the eye. "... Can I tell my parents that I needed to help my friend Maria Hanazawa through a depression episode?" she says more seriously. "As my cover story, kinda thing."

She blinks, and nods to Kunzite. "Oh, uh, yeah," she says. "We ... My parents just pulled out all the stops ... doing research and everything. Even before we moved to Tokyo. And, I mean, I did stuff too, but. Uh. Yeah." She really isn't used to talking about it so openly. "Been ... presenting myself as a girl full time almost the entire time I was in middle school. So, like, over two years now? Yeah ..."
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-05 20:05:08 93596
She wonders how best to describe it, how it had been before. She hums in thought. "I used to live on the moon."

Usagi huffs a little and shakes her head. She wonders how many ways she can make a certain someone hurt without turning to the dark side of the force. Or whatever it is.

Her fingers suddenly still and her head jerks toward the prone body on the floor. It's almost as though her ears had just popped. Well, if her ears were really a smug college boy.

And she's very happy for the popping, because the figurative ears had been clogged for far too long. A lot longer than just...whenever this happened. (Yesterday? Today? Last year?)

She gasps, indignant, and stomps her foot. It's a nice counterbalance to the sudden flutter in her chest. "You jerk! Being clever somewhere and I don't get to watch!"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 20:10:26 93599
"Well," comes a quiet voice that doesn't echo off the courtyard and the fortress wall behind it; it sounds flat, like it's not actually aloud. But god damn is it a familiar voice. "Most of us are reincarnated, this is our second time around. As far as we remember, anyway."

The caracal comes padding back first, looking like he ate the giant raven guardian of Zoisite's palace.

Walking behind him is Mamoru in a white tie and tails, gloves, and the long black red-lined cape-- no mask, no hat, and no sound of footsteps or evidence of footprints in his wake. He is translucent and light doesn't reflect off him-- in fact, he's faintly glowing in the early evening air. "I can tell you straight up, Mi-chan, everyone wants the healers out of the line of fire." He sounds wry. "Who's here? I'm guessing this is Kunzite's palace because of the caracal..."

And then he gives Usagi a wide-eyed slow blink. "Nobody could see it anyway. It was invisible. I just figured out how to block her from using me to find you."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 20:12:09 93600
    Kyouko gives Kunzite a bit of a dry look, but is too tired for snide comments, sipping again from the tea as she considers what each person has said. She never expected to have a Palace- to her knowledge, these places were purposefully constructed ages ago, they didn't just pop into being because the Shitennou did, and so why would one suddenly appear for her? But when the sudden existence of a fifth palace is revealed, well it's easy to jump to conclusions. She isn't sure how she feels about that, exactly- she's never really been a fan of destiny, as a concept, or of things being out of her control. But it's hard to really be displeased by the concept of a personal palace.

    Then her head snaps around at nearly the same instant that Usagi's does, peering at Mamoru. And then she blinks as that familiar voice echoes around the place, and her eyes re-orient to the transluscent ghost-Mamo walking into the room. She looks startled for a few moments, then can't help but grin a little bit in relief- not that Mamoru is supposed to be transluscent, but if he's here and he's talking and not like, weeping and inconsolate than it clearly means things aren't as bad as they might be. She gets to her feet. "I didn't realize this was a formal occasion," Tired humor still in her voice.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-08-05 20:24:13 93601
Zoisite's leaning against Kunzite prompts Kunzite to disengage a little further from the rest of the conversation, his attention turning to stroking Izumi's hair gently with his free hand. Listening to the others, certainly. But the girls have things handled; he nods to Miho when she talks about her parents having things handled, and again at the 'over two years now,' but for the most part they certainly don't need his input.

Then his hand stills at the same moment that Usagi starts to protest at the unconscious body. And he pulls his hand out of the way entirely, just in case Izumi is prompted toward similar demonstrations.

And then comes the quiet voice.

"Usagi and Izumi and Kyouko and myself, I think you know," he says to Mamoru. "Miho, who has your body stabilized for the time being. And Lacrima."

Then he cocks his head a little toward Kyouko, letting an eyebrow twitch upward. "Have you met Mamoru? Curry rice can be a formal occasion."
Lacrima 2018-08-05 20:29:20 93602
A pause. "I don't think what I did with Alexis-niisan will help Mamoru right now. And I'm not sure you'd want anyways for him." she says quietly. "Just. Saying, now that I'm reminded." she says. She sighs. "If I knew. I'd had said something." she does add. "For his own good. Because everytime Riventon tries to make a Nullheart copy for this coy infiltration crap it just blows up into a huge issue." she says. "-and I'm surprised he didn't actually learn from the last time and actually doubled down on this f***king one."

"I know a Nullheart is mostly dark energy. In theory. Things that hit dark should work but... the Jewel Seed in it, changes things. Those things might aswell give a middle finger to any all concept of physics." she mutters.

Then there is Mamoru....wait. Mamoru?

She shakes her head. "Um. Hi." she says sheepishly. A pause. "...Right...Rein..carnation..."

"Right. I.. probably. Not the time but..." she says. "If you meet a dumb knight in white armor , with a red cross and a spear- that's my dumb blood brother and apparently he's a reincarnation of St. George and he's more or less trying to murder Lamya, Me and Rashmi-chan and now Ari-chan right now. I think his definition of 'monster' is skewed."

"Because it turns out the myth is wrong and St. George is a hilarous asshole."
Zoisite 2018-08-05 20:34:31 93603
Izumi sits up like someone dumped ice water down his spine, glaring at Mamoru's body briefly before glaring at Mamoru's incorporeal form. "Smug..."

He leans all the harder against Kunzite. Right. Prince is... relatively okay for now, for a given value and in comparison to previous assumptions. He is exhausted, and knows now that things aren't as bad as he previously assumed. Therefore, he can take a nap, and if anyone has desperate need of him, there are people on the short list of those he considers acceptable to wake him nearby.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 20:36:11 93604
Miho's shadow flickers once more at Usagi's outburst. "Jewel Seed?" she murmurs at Lacrima ...

... and then she blinks, eyes widening, and breaks into a smile as she lets go of Lacrima. "Oh, wow," she says. "Okay, awesome!" She shakes her head. "Wow. I mean, speaking as one of those healers, it's good to hear your voice again, Mamoru-kun!" Now that she's out of henshin, she looks ... well, probably not all that different from the timid fourteen-year-old he met at the Frozen Beach Ice Cream Shop. But she definitely isn't shrinking back from anyone now. Bit of haggardness there, though ...
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-05 20:42:13 93605
"You mean noone could see it? That's just selfish." And Mamoru might not be weeping and inconsolate, but Usagi's being argumentative just so people won't notice her sniffling and not-so-subtle (but trying to be) wrist rubbing at her eyes. "Shut up, I'm allergic to cats."

"Then would you please stop using my fur as your hanky?"

"No." Because if she tackles Mamoru right now she'd just fly right through him.

Then she sniffs one last time and looks up.

And squints.

"Mamo-chan. You're beside yourself."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 20:44:49 93606
The caracal paces back to the fountain, skirting Luna entirely and giving her the hairy eyeball, then lowers himself to stretch out behind it and rest his chin on his forelegs, crossed over each other, and close his eyes again.

His eyebrows go UP at Kyouko, and he apparently has pockets in those tuxedo pants because his hands go in them. "There's no such thing as being overdressed," he says solemnly, clearly agreeing with Kunzite-- and then he nods in Kunzite's direction, but doesn't look in Lacrima's until she speaks. And then he smiles crookedly. "No, I'm not in there. I'm not entirely sure what *would* be in there if you were to turn it-- uh, me--? vampire, but it wouldn't be me, because I'm elsewhere." A beat. "I'm sorry your brother is even more of a dick than we previously thought," he adds apologetically.

Then he looks in Miho's direction again and smiles, warmly appreciative. "Thank you. For making sure I wouldn't actually have to reincarnate *again*."

He very seriously sticks his tongue out at Zoisite. "I'm entitled to a certain level of smugness. I'm very clever." But then Usagi says that, and the ghostly Mamoru stares at her for a second before cracking up almost as hard as he did at 'Sailor Flat Earth' yesterday, alternately covering his face and looking at his body over there. And that's the first full reaction any of them has seen from him yet.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-08-05 20:48:48 93607
Izumi sits up, and Kunzite braces; but his words trail off instead of redoubling in intensity, and Kunzite relaxes again, taking more of Izumi's weight. If Izumi opts to nap right here and now, he will not be permitted to fall either into or off of the fountain. Safe. Well. More or less.

"Jewel seeds," Kunzite says to Miho, "aren't something I'm entirely familiar with. My general impression is that they're magical technology, somewhat self-aware, exceedingly powerful, and highly unfortunate to deal with. They grant wishes by twisting them out of recognition. I'm not certain why Riventon expected this one to behave according to anything but its nature. In Sailor Earth's case, the Jewel Seed may be how she makes inherently incompatible energies temporarily compatible; that may be why her energy is so frequently destructively unstable the moment she releases it, without causing her to self-destruct. This presents a problem for purification: she may be able to use Mamoru's energy as a shield against it, as she used him himself last night. If we can rescue him directly, and keep her isolated from him and from the Earth proper to avoid her being able to teleport, we may be able to take the rest of her apart a piece at a time."

He pauses and glances to Lacrima. "Speaking of people with skewed definitions. Have you been able to make contact with Riventon since the incident? I presume that any backlash to him wasn't critical -- he's survived pieces of his soul that he has, like an idiot, ripped out to experiment with being destroyed before -- but it would be good to know that none of his labs exploded."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 20:53:50 93608
    Kyouko glances down at her rather ratty black hoodie and jeans and converse sneakers and snorts. "Shit, now I feel like a fool." Said with a generous dollop of self-deprecating humor. There's obvious relief in her voice, a release of tension because while Mamoru is still clearly not in the best shape he could be in, he's laughing and that makes her feel better regardless of the rest.

    But that said, she marches up to Ghost-Mamo, and pokes him in the chest with her forefinger, which of course just causes her finger to pass through him and is very unsatisfying and a little disconcerting. "So if you're here being all Ghost of Christmas Class, then can you please tell us exactly where Not-You is with Real-You inside so that we can go forcibly seperate them and make your solid again? 'Cuz honestly, I've had enough of my brothers being ghosts to last a lifetime, though I suppose it's preferable to just being regular-old-dead."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 20:57:56 93609
Mamoru's quiet while Kunzite's explaining and suggesting, and then Kyouko pokes his finger through his chest, and he looks down at that, because it's weird. Then he glances back up again and shakes his head. "I can't even see where I am while I'm riding off you guys' perceptions. It's a little hard to explain what I am perceiving. Maybe 'people and entities that you're aware of'?"
Lacrima 2018-08-05 20:58:54 93610
Lacrima nods a little. "I figured." she says. "-and I don't think it's a good idea to see if your ghost can pilot you around like a power suit in one of those action anime." she says this with that hint of dry humor. "Little cockpit in the brain... oh! and there can be cockpits in the arms and legs for the other Shitennou!" she says.

She lets this dumb idea sink away fast. It did help her mood being dry about it.

She looks towards Kunzite and looks a little ashamed as she sighs. "I... have not. To be honest. I'm trying to let this residual anger die down because if any of his labs didn't explode they could if I confront him." she says more matter of factly. A pause. "Do phones work here?" she asks.
Usagi Tsukino 2018-08-05 20:59:55 93611
Usagi beams at Mamoru, happy to pun him into such a reaction. Victory!

She blinks at Kunzite. "Away from Earth? Like on the moon?" She thinks for a moment. "Moon prison power."

If Luna could, she'd face-paw.

Suddenly she yawns. Yes, she's just woken up, but that was an avoidance sleep. She needs actual sleep. "I need to go find a bed to snuggle on." And, of course, that brings up the perfect opportunity to move Mamoru's body someplace where he won't wake up with a crick in his neck.

"I found a pillow he's mine you can't stop me~"

The still disheveled moon princess picks up a college boy about ten times her height.

And yes, he'll be a pillow. But she'll make sure he's nice and comfy when he isn't.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 21:04:07 93612
Mamoru's mouth opens and shuts, and he's about to start laughing again when he's completely blown away by watching the tiny princess pick him up. His eyes go *wide* and-- you know when Usagi gets hearts-in-eyes? But they're mostly metaphorical? Mostly? Yeah that's happening right here. She's /so strong/.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 21:07:33 93613
    Kyouko looks over in time to see Usagi heft Mamoru like a six-foot sack of potatoes. "Damn, hun, you should give me some pointers on dead-lifting." She says, with a smirk, before sighing and heading back to her previous seat. "Fine, so I guess we're back to the drawing board on actually figuring out how to get to Earth and by extension, you."
Ami Mizuno 2018-08-05 21:08:10 93614
Ami appears at Kunzite's palace, transformed, and she seems on edge. "What did I miss?" she says, quietly, eyes filled with concern. "What's going on?" She gets here in time to see Mamoru be carried off by a super strong ...Princess Serenity. Oh, crap. Things must've gotten awful. She moves to sit by Kyouko and goes quiet, twisting a handkerchief in her hands as she un-henshins.
Kazuo Takeba 2018-08-05 21:16:08 93615
"Normal phones don't work here," Kunzite says to Lacrima. "We're not on Earth proper, so there's no cell reception. I can take you back over if you'd like to make a call." He pauses, and glances back at Izumi leaning on him. "-- at some point."

Apparently 'making sure that Riventon did not spread weird dark alien contamination over half of Tokyo' is a lower priority in Kunzite's eyes than 'not disturbing Zoisite when he's settled down.'

He glances back up at Mercury's appearance. "Summary: Sailor Earth attempted to force the siblings of a friend of ours to work for her. In the ensuing fight, she proved that your hypothesis about her origins was at least mostly correct. She ejected the fragment of Riventon's soul that he used to create her; did not cease to exist as a result, because he also used a Jewel Seed; tore what appears to be a physical manifestation of Mamoru's soul out of his body, leaving his body mostly inanimate; and, once again, disappeared. The lady here," he nods toward Miho, "stabilized his body; Mamoru has just worked out how to project his --" he cannot say rock ghost -- "consciousness without Sailor Earth, now calling herself Empress Endymion, being able to follow him. Our and Sailor Moon's connections with Mamoru are now properly active again; that may be usable to follow her in some fashion. Also, the caracal here has informed us that a fifth place like the palaces has come into existence; given the timing, it's possible that Sailor Earth may have found a way to construct it, or that in some other fashion locating it may help us find her."

A pause.

"In short, it was a disaster, but we have options."
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 21:21:30 93616
Miho breaks into giggles at Usagi's 'beside yourself' comment, though she doesn't quite get the 'moon prism power' one. She blinks at Ami's sudden arrival, and just nods at Kazuo's summary. "Hi, I'm Kagami Miho, and also Life Mahou Joy," she says wryly with a wave.

Putting a comforting hand on Lacrima's shoulder, she turns to the others. "Well, when you do figure it out, give Her Worshipfulness a big freaking bad time for me, will ya?" she says. She grins at Ghost-Mamorus. "Wow. You know what, Mamoru-kun ... even after the nightmares I had from that woman ... this is a huge relief! Big upturn in my mood, kinda thing."

"Too late, actually!" says a voice from her shadow.

Miho jerks her head around as a black silhouette wreathed in green-black wisps of shadow rises up from her shadow. At first it looks like Miho herself, but then it shifts shape until it has a simple dress, very short ridiculously-disheveled hair, and then oversized fox-ears and a smallish tail. "Y'know, descendant of Oujino Miho, if I'd known that all it'd take was a really bad day and then a really bad night, I would've pressed my advantage after the eel-guy came after you!"
Ami Mizuno 2018-08-05 21:23:24 93617
Ami stares at Kunzite. "We... we have options," she says dully, swallowing, before her blue eyes blaze frozen fire. "We have options?!" The ice Senshi's voice rises. "Riventon?! We have OPTIONS?!" She turns to look at Lacrima. "I assume you knew nothing of this or you'd have told Minako," she says, trying to keep accusation out of her voice. "I'm--you--" Patience shattered, heartbroken, Ami gets up. It's her turn to pace, and she didn't realize it had been done before. "Riventon's really done it this time," she mutters darkly to no one in particular. "I may have to kill him with my own gloved hands."

Then there's stuff with this new person's shadow, and she glowers in rage. "What's going on here?" Tired now, put out, angry. Ami's beginning to crack. Although there may be a new target here, so she steps closer to Kunzite.
Lacrima 2018-08-05 21:32:41 93618
Lacrima goes quiet when Mercury enters. She shuffles a bit awkwardly. "Hello, Mercury." she says quietly. "I'm sorry about what happened. If you need someone to talk to about it later. I can. If it helps any. I'm super upset at him too." she says. She shifts. "I didn't. No." she says. "Sorry..." she says quietly in that same tone she's said 'sorry' in many times over the past many hours. "I feel like it's my fault. If you want to be angry at me. You can."

She then regards Kunzite. "...magical induced phones? I have... my... Eclipse phone but------" she's about to say 'probably shouldn't use a phone with potential to be tracked' here but then... that happens. She can feel the dark energy surge that isn't from her. She raises her hands, but then stops... she figures that it's probably not a good idea to go throwing dark energy in here of all places. Also she doesn't want to end up in a can labeled 'Carcal Chow'. She lowers her hands. "Identify yourself. Miho can you walk away from that being or is it attached to your shadow?" she asks.
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 21:35:32 93619
    Kyouko is just shaking her head at the summation Kunzite is giving. "Can we stop giving Riventon second chances yet? Because it seems like it keeps coming back to bite us in the.."

    She falls silent as the shadow-wrapped figure comes out of Miho's shadow and starts talking. Her eyes narrow, and she tenses though she doesn't move from where she's sitting just yet. "You picked a really bad time and a really bad place to show your face if you're an enemy." She says, in a low tone, towards the figure. "Because my patience is just about worn out, and my mercy and my patience are intrinsically linked, and I'm kinda in a 'stab-first, ask questions later' kind of mood."
Kazuo Takeba 2018-08-05 21:40:18 93621
Kunzite inclines his head to Ami; there is a brief silvery shine to his eyes, one that is not entirely natural. Not the fierce cold glow they might have shown in the Dark Kingdom. One that's far more reminiscent of Usagi's power. "We have options," he says. "We have courses we can pursue. Things we can try. That's better than we've had in some time."

And then there's ... the shadow.

The caracal lifted its immense head, first, to regard Ami with interest; then Miho's shadow; then Lacrima. "I should've known," it rumbles. "The princess always remembers to bring me lunch."

Kunzite exhales, then says conversationally to WHAT IS THAT THING, "As long as no-one attacks anyone else, or this place, without first being attacked, this place's guardian is bound from trying to eat you. Break that, and it's not. I would recommend politeness and courtesy for the duration."

But people are getting loud. He rises and gathers up Izumi gently, pacing the way Usagi went.
Ami Mizuno 2018-08-05 21:42:07 93622
Ami Mizuno sighs and walks over to Lacrima, on the other side of Kunzite, behind the two. "We'll talk about this later." The bluenette's eyes are on Miho's shadow now, waiting to see what happens next. Although Kyouko is getting a big nod; seems even she's done with Riventon. But her eyes never leave Miho's shadow, and she agrees with Miho in a soft, low voice. "You aren't going to be a happy enemy if you attack, that's for sure," she agrees quietly, blue eyes dark with feelings. Mostly anger. Angry Mercury is dangerous. But she holds her attacks, as recommended by Kunzite, and takes a slow breath, trying to calm herself down.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 22:00:14 93626
The shadowy fox opens jade-green eyes, and a white smile appears. A smile which is a little too wide for a human mouth. "Pleased to make your acquaintance!" she says. "I'm Liquid Miho! Or Liquid Joy, if you aren't supposed to know her name, or possibly Liquid Malice!" She lets out a giggle. "So anyway, the name's Noroiko." She eyes Kyouko and Kunzite, then tries waving her hand through Miho's arm; it passes right through. "... heh. I'm not actually solid enough for either of us to attack each other, I think! Unless ..."

She looks straight up and thrusts her hand up skyward as if she was firing an attack out of her hand -- making it clear enough that she isn't trying to fire it at anyone -- but nothing happens. "Nope!" She grins nastily. "Unless you wanted to kill the girl here, buuuut ..." She smirks at Lacrima. "I mean. If I was solid, though, a nice good blast of darkness would just hit the spot, y'know?"

Miho nods to Lacrima. She's clearly as tense as everyone else. "Let's see ..." She moves to the side, perpendicular to the direction of her shadow, which moves out from under Noroiko.

Noroiko nods. "Okay, there's that answered, too! I don't think I can go beyond a certain distance, though. Like ..." She rises off the ground and flies away from Miho, but quickly slows down a few meters away, as if she was bound to Miho by an invisible tether. "Yep, there we go!"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 22:04:25 93628
Mamoru's rock ghost had begun to give Miho a royal smirk over 'give her a big freaking bad time', but then that thing manifests and he can't see it properly, even though everyone else's attention is suddenly on it and Ami's here and Ami's yelling about it and being accusatory at Lacrima, and there's explaining and the caracal being the caracal and Kunzite carrying Zoisite out, and though Mamoru's attention is now very very split, he clears his throat.


It sounds like it's right in everyone's ears; there is no echo.

"Ami-chan," his flat, psychically projected voice says calmly, "If it weren't for Lacchan, Kukai's brothers would have been very bad off indeed, and worse might have happened to me. She didn't know, and feels more than guilty enough. So please, though I know you're under a great amount of stress, keep your mad on for Agera and Sailor Flat Earth."

Then he turns his attention to the dark energy being attached to Miho, and he just Raises His Eyebrows. "I've also had enough of rude non-human intelligences that decent people are stuck having to deal with. So if you can't say anything nice, shut up."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 22:10:07 93629
    Kyouko gives a firm nod in agreement with Ami, her eyes tracking the shadow-girl as she flies around and continues to chatter on. "I'm with the boss on this one," She says, her voice still tense, jerking her thumb towards mamoru where he stands nearby. "Like I said, my patience is just about shot right now, and I find myself with limited patience to deal with nattering evil beings of any sort. So kindly shut your hole, before I put my foot in it."

    She then looks to Miho, with a frown. "Can't you make that shut up? It came out of your shadow, so it belongs to you, yeah? I know its rude to tell someone else what to do with their pets, but.."
Ami Mizuno 2018-08-05 22:11:15 93630
Ami Mizuno blushes. "Yes, Mamoru-kun," she mutters, abashed. She touches Lacchan's arm gently, or tries to--a bit of solidarity she was going to try for before Mamoru explained things. "I'm sorry." Her tone is sincere. "I'm just so mad at myself I can't stand it. We should get milkshakes some time, and talk."

But her eyes only leave Noroiko briefly while she touches Lacrima's arm, and she tracks shadow-girl's flying with that ginormous brain of hers. She says nothing, just thinks, trying to cool her rage into something less Mars-like, more Mercurial. It works, and soon she is cool and collected, much like normal.
Lacrima 2018-08-05 22:19:32 93632
Lacrima tsks. "So you're a terrible dark thing. But you don't have the power to escape yet. Oh how scared I am." she says dripping with sarcasm. "Go back to that shadow for now- and shut up and maybe my first priority when this emergency is over won't be trying to find a way to shove you into a box." she spits angrily. "And I sure know how to shove things like you into boxes." she says.

She DOES collect Dusk Zone specimens after all for study!

She looks to Miho. "Can you do anything to that?" she asks Miho. "I'm not talking to that thing right now. For the record." she says.

"If you don't think you can. Relax. Deep breath." she says. "And keep trying to will it as hard as you can."

She does eye Ami. "Yeah." she says. "...don't apologize." she says softly. "This is stressful for everyone. I think."
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 22:22:09 93635
Noroiko meets Ghost-Mamoru's gaze. For a second, it looks like she's going to argue the point ... but then she shrugs. "Fine then, I'll keep this quick," she says. She settles back to the ground, and turns to Miho. "Kagekumo was supposed to sacrifice your ancestor to the Shadow Jade in order to release my seal and free me. That obviously didn't work out." She then jabs her finger at Miho. "But your days are now numbered, Life Mage Joy, and if Kagekumo doesn't get you in the end --"

Miho just bursts out laughing; Noroiko is startled, and her shadowy form starts to waver.

Then Miho thrusts her hand into the air. "Life Blessing, awaken!" A minty-green glow spirals around her hand, expands into a column, and then it's Life Mahou Joy sanding there. "There are so many reasons why your threats are empty," says Joy in that bright and clear voice that sounds almost nothing like her scratchy-and-fairly-androgynous out-of-henshin voice. "You can just buzz off!"

Noroiko blinks, and then seems to disintegrate. "Fine, then," says her rapidly fading voice. "But if you ever decide to wield the power of the Dea--" Her voice and form fade out completely.

Joy groans, then giggles. "I am not going to try to wield the power of the Death Curse!"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-05 22:27:06 93637
"Not for me!" Mamoru says cheerfully after wincing at Ami's 'yes, Mamoru-kun'-- he's leaping on a change of subject, as it were. "I'm not stressed at all! I think I finally understand why Kunzite was so chill when he was a rock."

And my god, then Kyouko's amazing at the pet monster, and he wins a staring contest, and then--

--Miho banishes it.

The now-somewhat-flickery ghost lets out a low whistle. "Nicely done," he approves. "My apologies, everyone, it's getting harder to maintain perception of the whole group. I'm going to go ceaselessly pick at Flat Earth and make fun of her for not being me. Or maybe something slightly less dangerous. If you need to talk to me, Usako and my Shitennou all know how to get my attention."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-08-05 22:33:40 93639
    Kyouko keeps her eyes on Miho as the girl henshins.. but then she manages to banish the shadow-version without too much trouble, and Kyouko visibly relaxes, letting out a sigh. "Thanks." She says to Miho, as if it was specifically in response to her request that she did so. She slumps back slightly on the edge of the fountain, supporting herself on her hands. "I mean, we've all got issues and I ain't one to nitpick about stuff like that, I just don't have the energy for it right now."

    She eyes flicker-Mamo, but her connection to him feels as strong as it did before. She nods slightly at his explanation. "Try to get her to mention where you're at so that we can come kick the door down. But like.. not if it's dangerous? Or too dangerous." A slightly dejected sigh. "The 'to-be-stabbed' list keeps getting longer and I haven't been able to cross a name off in a long time.."
Ami Mizuno 2018-08-05 22:34:55 93640
Ami Mizuno smiles softly at Mamoru-kun. "No hard feelings, Mamoru-kun," she says, before smiling again, this time at Life Mahou Joy. "Well done. That was really brilliant," she praises, before nodding to Kyouko. Then her smile falls on Lacchan. "It's okay. I think we both need to, uh, discuss things in a less stressful environment. Meaning... you know... here, after things chill out a bit." Her smile turns wry, and she stretches. "Should we work on planning something, or just recouperate for a while here?" she asks of the group as a whole.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 22:54:58 93646
Life Mahou Joy just exhales, and ... kind of deflates. "The trick is getting control of my emotions," she says softly. "My Death Curse has always gotten more active with negative emotions. I guess last night was just first time it got bad enough that Noroiko could get to the surface."

She hesitates. "... Speaking of which, uh, is there any ... readily-available means of changing my appearance? Between that woman demonstrating why she needs to get pounded into the pavement until she becomes Sailor Flat Earth, and this new fox news, I'm gonna need all the help I can get in that department, and ..." Her eyes flit to Ami, but she's out to everyone else in this room at this point. "... gender dysphoria actually just gets weirder when you have a special magical transformation that's actually the correct gender, and you have to spend most of your time in your original form." She blinks. "Or ... other form. My out-of-henshin shape is not my original form." She grins at that, at least.

She looks around. "... also, I need to get taken back to the ECFH, call my parents who are probably worried sick and really angry, have breakfast, and then ... text my friend Hokuto-chan about some new keywords for her to look up, and probably file a report on ... Virtue's network, in approximately that order."
Ami Mizuno 2018-08-05 23:03:33 93648
Ami smiles softly at Miho. "Your gender is valid. You are important as YOU, not whoever someone else thinks you are. I don't judge people. I just get mad when they stab me in the back." She leans into Lacchan softly. There's a new bond there--at least on Ami's end--in their betrayal by Agera. "But. I can get you back to the ECFH, if you'd like. I won't offer to cook, because Mako's the chef of all of us, but--" She smiles softly. "I'm happy to meet you. I'm Ami Mizuno."
Miho Kagami 2018-08-05 23:08:49 93650
Joy smiles and nods. "Yeah, I know," she says cheerfully in response to Ami's reassurances. "Okay, then ..." She blinks. "You know, I've never actually eaten a meal in henshin before. This'll be a new experience ..."