Oh By The Way

Date: 2018-08-06
Pose Count: 26
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 05:49:44 93696
A lot of people haven't been around since Saturday. Magical people. Some frequent customers-- regulars, even. But sometimes it's like that.

This is a busy evening, and it's hot as hell outside, even after the sun's gone down-- the air conditioning probably helps the business.

Nobody seems to notice the extraordinarily tall college boy in a white tie and tails, gloves, and a cape. Nor the fact that he's faintly glowing. Nor the fact that he's-- is it a trick of the light or is he actually kind of translucent?

Someone walks through him, and *he* doesn't notice *that*.

Instead, he's looking kind of blankly around as he walks slowly through the restaurant, clearly not seeing the actual restaurant because yo he just walked through a crowded table.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 05:53:21 93697
Upstairs, Rashmi studies fervently with a cup of cold cinnamon tea at her elbow; looming magical crises of every conceivable flavor are no excuse for failing World History, no matter how far ahead she's gotten of the rest of her class in English.

But magical senses are no respector of Roman civilization, and a strange, faint tug at the back of her brain has her head snapping up, then turning to and fro as she tries to suss out the source -- or at least the direction -- of the strange tickle, utterly unlike Dark-detecting flare-ups, that interrupted her train of thought.

Weird mahou stuff, ahoy.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 06:07:35 93699
What Mamoru is actually doing?

Sorting threads and impressions of life, looking for a specific familiar one. He got the location to focus on the same way he used to: sending his senses out into the Earth through stone and dirt, maybe ley lines, he's never actually researched that. Note to self: research that. The *things* aren't alive, the walls and floor and tables and chairs and food-- but there are nine million people in Tokyo, and nearly seventy crammed into this particular restaurant, so there's a lot of aura sorting to do.

Rashmi's taking notice from upstairs is helpful: noticing him, even if it's as weird random mahou stuff, is something he notices-- it's the opposite of what he used to do as a younger teenager, making a Somebody Else's Problem field all around him so people wouldn't look at him.

Maybe just the flip side.

Either way, he sees that and focuses in on it, and there's the familiar life energy of a girl whose mind touched his, of a girl who he Trusts, of a girl who he's healed--

--and he follows the thread as soon as it clicks into place.

Which means that Tuxedo Mamoru comes up through the floor.

He whispers, "Ra-chan? You're awake, right?" His voice doesn't have the qualities an audible voice should have: it doesn't fit the dimensions of the room, it's flat and soundproofed and very close. Similar to telepathy, but with the sensation of actually being heard.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 06:15:09 93700
The moment her name is spoken from apparently right behind her head, Rashmi jumps in her chair and actually looses a startled squeak, spinning around to look with wide eyes.

Well if she wasn't awake before, she is now.

If Mamoru takes the time to look around her small bedroom, it would appear to be an....interesting.... mix of styles. The walls aren't so much painted, or papered, but covered in pleated red muslin fabric, that at the ceiling falls in slightly before gathering around a brass ceiling lamp. The warm summery-cave-ness of the room contrasts rather sharply with yellow and white IKEA-style furniture, and one wall seems to be serving as a collection point for Lord of the Rings posters, pinned rather than taped up. Someone evidently does much sighing over Viggo Mortensen when she has the time...

"Wh-- Mamoru-kun...?" As Rashmi tries to make sense of the literal apparition in front of her, a creature that looks very much like a blond-furred monkey -- but not quite -- scampers in from the fire escape, giving GhostMamo a Very Stern Look.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 06:20:09 93701
Sadly enough, he can't actually *see* the room he's in. There are probably ways to make it possible, but he hasn't figured them out yet. He aligns himself more or less with the floor, given Rashmi's gut physical knowledge of where it is, and looks very apologetic. No mask, no, but he's not quite looking at her. More like through her. "I'm sorry I startled you. I wasn't sure if anyone had had the chance to tell you what happened yet."

There's a pause, and he turns to look in Chandra's direction. "Is there someone else here?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 06:22:46 93702
"I-- It's... Chandra, my Familiar," Rashmi says hesitantly. "It's okay, Chandra... Here. Go play Fruit Ninja, I'll call if I need your help okay?" Passing her smartphone to the monkey, Rashmi gathers the animal up into a brief hug, then lets him go, allowing him to scamper back out the window.

"I, um..... I'm guessing it's pretty bad, huh...? I mean... this is kind of a new thing, and you don't look happy about it..."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 06:35:55 93703
"Sailor Earth stole my linker core," Mamoru answers matter-of-factly. "Then apparently ate it. Has it. Me. Has me. More than my linker core, actually, my whole soul. It's okay! I'm not dead, Life Mahou Joy got my heart started again and now Kunzite's caracal has my body on life support, and Kunzite told Mercury there are options. Obviously one of them involves going after her to get me back. Most of them, actually, just via different routes."

A beat.

"I can't actually see anything except life, so it took me a while to find you. It probably would have made more sense to ask someone to start making calls, but right now almost everyone is still kind of in shock." He doesn't sound happy, but he also doesn't actually sound fussed, just awkward. He also doesn't look fussed, but fairly calm. "I'm not actually dead," he emphasizes. "Just having my turn as a rock ghost. Except my rock is giving 404 errors when people look for it."

He pauses even more awkwardly, and asks in a tone that indicates that if he actually had a body he'd be blushing in growing mortification. "Wait. There's nobody else up here. Uh. Where exactly are you?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 06:42:15 93704
".....We're in my room. I was studying," Rashmi says in a small voice. Behind her glasses, her eyes dart back and forth as she processes this particularly horrible piece of exposition. Next to her teacup, Nicomachea's charm chimes, its jewel glows, and a single screen blips to life above it, containing a video of a horde of corgi puppies tumbling all over each other waiting for their food.

"....Okay," she says after a long pause. "Okay. Okay. I think I have a handle on it. You almost died but now you're like what happened to Kun-kun when Sharpe-san shot him. And Earth got your Linker Core, but it's more than a Link-- ...nope, don't got it, still kind of panicking..."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 06:47:35 93705
"... I really should have asked Kunzite to call you," Mamoru says, reflexively bringing gloved hands up to drag them down his face. "Sorry. It's a little hard to think straight. She's kind of sitting on me. I blocked off her access to my connections, and she never figured out the land sense, so I don't think she'll miss it. In other words, she can't follow my awareness or projection. So she won't come for you."

Then he holds up his hands to forestall any potential yelling. "That's not to say that's what I think you're panicking about! It's just what I'm worried about. And I am..."

...he pulls a phantasmal top hat out of nowhere, reaches into it, and pulls out a pair of sunglasses, which he puts on.

Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 06:51:25 93706
It works. It's a terrible joke and she knows it, but there's that very scrapy nasal snort that would probably be a belly laugh under any kind of circumstances. "...No... no no, I'm panicking because everything I know about Linker Cores means that this shouldn't be happening, which means it's so much more than that, which means I'm way in over my head again and I must be losing my mind but..."

She draws in a long, shuddering breath, and looks up at the apparition's face. "How can I help?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 06:57:37 93707
"I'd hug you--" starts the ghost prince, and then the corner of his mouth twitches upwards and he doesn't finish the sentence. "I'll hug you later. I don't really know. I can tell you how to get to the Palaces, which is where the group that was there when it happened is sort of congregated, since that's where the magical life support is. It's also, as far as I know, still protected from her. They're being really choosy at the moment. The genii locorum of the Palaces, I mean. And when you get there you can confer with people who have a better idea of what's going on than a soul in a jar in a Nullheart construct powered by Jewel Seed."

He really has no idea how to people right now, does he.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 07:00:34 93708
"Well that's one way we can stop her," Rashmi says without even thinking about it. "I could take away her Jewel Seed if we can get her defenses down far enough. So could Nano-chan or Fate-chan or just about any other Device User who knows how to seal Jewel Seeds."

Pausing, she blinks for a moment, then looks back up. ".....Um. Okay so.... Palaces?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 07:16:04 93709
Mamoru's ghost positively beams at Rashmi. "In over your head, riiiight. It's a Jewel Seed. You know what you're doing." Then he lifts a finger. "But there's the thing-- there's wearing her defenses down, sure, but first she needs to be found. I'm-- not much help there. The place feels familiar, but at the same time, it doesn't. All I know is that it's accessible from Earth, or I wouldn't be able to do this. Kunzite thinks they might be able to track her by them looking for me...?" He shakes his head, then blinks. "Oh, right. Also, can you tell Ami-chan that she can have Eiszapfen back? He's in charm form on a necklace I'm wearing."

He lifts his hands to run them through his hair, then, and turns in a specific direction which looks suspiciously like the corner of the room. "The Palaces. Right. Yes. I'm sorry I'm very distracted. The address is *****, but it won't show up on google maps; it doesn't show up on regular maps, either, and it's got some kind of inherent Don't Look in place. I suggest walking the sidewalk between **** and **** with your hand on the outside wall of the buildings. When you feel it turn into a wrought-iron fence, slow down. When you feel empty space, turn and walk in. The house is at the end of a long gravel drive; the door's unlocked, so go on in, then walk to the back of the house as far as the hallway goes and make a left; that'll put you in the kitchen. Look left again; there's a completely unobtrusive basement door. Bring a light. Go down stairs for about twenty minutes and you'll hit another door that looks like it's made of stone that grew there from bent trees instead of being carved. Put your hand on the door and say the Prince sent you, and who you are, and it'll open, and Jadeite's komainu will escort you to the door of Kunzite's place. Then you'll probably be met by a desert cat the size of a Clydesdale. Don't let him sarcasm you to death; he won't actually eat you unless you attack someone or wreck the place."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 07:23:24 93710
"Mamoru-kun I am sixteen years old and about to join the planning committee to stop like the tenth apocalypse, yes I am in over my head," Rashmi answers, very carefully not raising her voice or flailing her arms around, but there's a blankness to her eyes that shows she's very much more in her head than the actual conversation. It's probably better that way; if she's thinking and perhaps planning, she's not panicking. "And this is the second maybe-apocalypse that I've been there for, two and a half if you count Fate-chan's cell donor." ....Wow someone has a serious hate-on for Precia. "Just..... Okay. THe more you talk, the less I'm panicking because if you're talking you're definitely not dead or an hallucination because I don't get prophetic dreams so an hallucination wouldn't be giving me information I can use... and I'm still babbling."

Drawing in a long, long breath, the redhead looses it in a sigh, looking back up and focusing on Mamoru again. "...So hey d'you think you could like just sponsor a Tahiti vacation for all of Eclipse, just so they'll leave us alone for a couple weeks?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 07:33:00 93711
"Plus," Mamoru adds cheerfully, "if you were hallucinating it'd all be in your head, and I dare you to tell me you can come up with jokes as bad as mine."

He looks so goddamn smug about it, too, even as he ostentatiously takes off the shades when they reappear for him to actually take them off, and puts them back in the hat that's in his hand again for all of three seconds.

And then he says more gently, "I'm sorry. You're just so much better at all of this than I was when I was sixteen. You're better at it than I am now. I have at least five people whose literal job is to make sure I don't do something stupid and get dead from it."

He pauses, then frowns. "I didn't do anything egregiously stupid this time. It very much wasn't their fault."

Precia deserves all the hate, full stop.

"...do you think they would?" he asks, interested. Then, "Do you want me to go with you? At least part of the way? I need to limit the amount of time I spend out and about, or she might notice the energy expenditure, but since I'm only paying attention to you right now it's not using much."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 07:34:56 93712
".....Would you be able to find me if I called for you?" There's a whole lot of please-say-yes behind the question, the sound of someone who would very much like the warm blanket and hot cocoa of that knowledge.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 07:44:32 93713
"...I don't know," says Mamoru after a moment. "It depends on whether I can hear you or not. I could tell you noticed me when I was downstairs, so that helped me find you, but I was already close and looking for you." He frowns, face turned toward the floor in the middle distance. There's a disturbing lack of fidget-motion, shifting of weight-- there has been, throughout the conversation, except when Mamoru remembers and deliberately does things with body language. Then he looks up at her again. "Paying attention to me gets my attention if I'm casting myself nearby. But the only way I know of to reliably call me is going to be calling Usako or one of the Shitennou and getting them to do it. I can always sense them."

For a brief moment, there's an actual look of relieved, profound joy on his face. "I can *finally* sense them again. It's been so long--"

Distracted, he's distracting himself; he shakes his head as if to clear it. "Can you use telepathy on me? Or is that a terrible idea? It might be terrible because it might go to my empty body, or it might go to *her*. Maybe if you have something of mine. Ask Usa if you can borrow my pocketwatch. Make it chime and see if that works."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 07:49:04 93714
"Hn," Rashmi says after a moment. "I was gonna ask if I could call you when I hit the gate to the Palace you're talking about, but... Yeah. I'll do that, and we'll see."

Lifting up her glasses, the redhead rubs the bridge of her nose for a moment. "...I'm really, really, really glad you're not dead, Mamoru-kun. Sorry I'm not more with it right now... I'm flailing in my brain and I'm gonna keep doing that until I meet up with everyone I think."

It's at this moment she blinks, and looks back up, shocked. "Wait. I thought all the Jewel Seeds got sucked in with Testarossa?!"

Yeah, that's what's finally occured to her.
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 07:55:15 93715
Mamoru just looks at Rashmi for a second, and then says reasonably, "I can just wait for you at the gate if you give me a general timeframe." But then he definitely looks apologetic again. "I'm really sorry to have dumped all this on you so inconsiderately. I seem to do that a lot. Someday I'll actually bring you good news, I promise."

At her outburst, the ghost looks startled. "Well-- yeah, we thought so, but we were wrong. There was one that was too stuck, I guess. Agera had stuck some of my energy and a sliver of his own linker core in her when he made her, I'm... guessing? to mitigate the Jewel Seed? From the conversation that was going on. But she apparently took his soul-bit out and smashed it when she ate mine." A beat. "Oh, and last week she ate a grief seed."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 07:57:21 93716
"...Oh." The response you give when you haven't the faintest clue what to do with the information you're given. "That's.... um....... I may end up jumping the line to punch him in the mouth. Just, y'know, saying."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 08:04:59 93717
"Honestly I'm just hoping he didn't get my energy off another goddamned rose I carelessly left somewhere. If he did I'll never hear the end of it. That was how the Dark Kingdom ganked me," Mamoru mutters, then flickers. He sighs, returning his attention to Rashmi. "There's already a giant line, yeah. Pretty sure you'll have to cede first spot to Ami-chan, though, since ... girlfriend."

A moment's silence, and then he prompts, "Can you give me a timeframe for when you expect you'll be at the gate? Tonight, or tomorrow, or--?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 08:10:36 93718
"....Sorry, yeah, um... I'll go after school," Rashmi says after a moment, shaking her head. "And no I definitely want to get my shot in before Mizuno-senpai, if only because I don't want to ask her to leave him okay enough it'd be worth it, y'know?"
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 08:21:00 93719
Mamoru's eyes widen, and he immediately lifts his hand to cover his mouth. To his credit-- or possibly the credit of being a rock ghost-- he manages to keep it from turning into laughter. His hand drops, and he says, "Fair. But I would explain that beforehand if I were you. Probably well beforehand."

Then he deliberately smooths his jacket down and straightens. "Okay. See you after school. And if you can't raise any mobiles you try and call about this, their owners are probably in the Palaces and there's no reception there." A beat, and he suddenly looks worried. "Can Nicomachea see me? To confirm for you this wasn't a dream?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 08:22:51 93720
"Um..." Furrowing her brow, Rashmi looks over at the charm... and the otters blip away, replaced with scrolling not-quite-English text. "...Well he took down the directions you gave me, so... yeah I don't think that'll be a problem. And I'll keep that in mind... curious if Virtue phones work, though. Hm. Might be worth testing..."
Mamoru Chiba 2018-08-06 08:29:54 93721
Relief is writ large on the face of the apparition, and he nods. And then he brightens. "Yes, actually, Virtue phones work. And if you're there for a while, Usa did actually bring a rechargeable giant battery for phones and tablets and kindles and stuff, they're in Jadeite's place. But-- yes, you can call Kunzite, Zoisite, Nephrite, or the Senshi."

He flickers harder this time, attention drawn decidedly elsewhere, and then inclines his head with a little smile. "Have to go. See you tomorrow--"

Then he's just gone.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-06 08:33:53 93722
For about five minutes, Rashmi sits in her chair, staring silently into the open air that once contained the 'ghost' of Mamoru. Then, she sucks in a long, shuddery breath, as the blond-furred monkey nips in from her open window, swarming into her lap. Curling herself around Chandra, Rashmi closes her eyes, gathering her wits with the aid of her pet-brother-Familiar's warm, concerned presence.

Then, she swallows, turns in her chair, asks Nicomachea to set a reminder to take her Virtue phone to school...

...And bends back to her schoolwork. As much as she may wish it, the world never stops moving.