No Title Set

Date: 2018-08-23
Pose Count: 21
Takashi Agera 2018-08-23 00:44:34 95515
There are introductions that need to be made - quite a few of them. Lacrima has someone she wants to introduce to Takashi, and Takashi has someone that he wants Lacrima to meet. And it's efficent to do both, especially since he doesn't know if the two introductees have met.

It's a good thing Takashi had a large office in UMBRA because now there are four people standing in it - Takashi, henshined as Riventon, Lacrima, Bell, and Tarnished. There are three chairs - the usual one, one pulled from a desk, and Takashi's huge chair. Because again, Riventon is eschewing the formality of being 'boss who sits behind huge desk' and is simply sitting on the edge.

Most of UMBRA's things have been stored away by now, and so the room is reasonably bare, but since he hasn't made a new place, this is the HQ for now, still.

"Hey, everyone. I'll do introductions first; I am Riventon, Director of the Unit for Magic Based Research and Acquisitions, and with me is Tarnished, who is all but confirmed to take over my little medical-research side project since it's doing so well.
Lacrima 2018-08-23 01:06:51 95517
Lacrima walks in, in the business suit. It's something she picked up from hanging around Riventon enough in casual work environment. She has a hand in one pocket, and the other is free, at her side as she sighs and opens the door. "In here." she says to the person that should be behind her.

The first thing out of her mouth.

"WOW we suck at vacations." she says with a just a little toothy grin for a second, but it doesn't last long. This flashes her fangs for just a second.

She looks from Riventon to Tarnished. "Oh! Is this the person. You said you'd introduce me to, Riven-sama?" she asks softly. She bows. "I am La Crima." she says. "I work for Riven-sama as a field agent, but I also do Dusk Zone related research and studies- though I'm not quite what you'd call a scientist." she says. "Researcher is more apt. Field Researcher." she says. "Is probably a better job description."

This is a steady stream of genuine curiosity from her. A sense of trying to push some other feelings to the back of her mind- but they don't quite seem to be based on this situation, or Tarnished or anyone here. As if she's trying to concentrate on the here and now rather than later or tomorrow.

"This is Nightbell." she offers to the girl that's hopefully followed her. "She's apparently a sentient Belkan program that was discovered in the Dusk Zone in a displaced ruin after a very very long timeframe of being stuck in there in a dormant state."." she says. "She's brought her handler in on a conference call because a would be hero put her in the hospital." she says with a hint of annoyance. There's a ping of slight anger there- in a general sense. Her handler isn't even a magical opponent. Why hurt someone that badly?

She looks to Tarnished. "So you'll be taking over Floor 13 and a half there?" she asks softly. Inquisitive.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-23 01:17:55 95522
Nightbell is dressed in a slick gray business suit, with a laptop carrying case slung over one shoulder. She's equal parts excited and antsy as she stands behind Lacrima, but she's managing to keep it under control. Bit of worry, too, although some of it eases when she sees how casually Riventon seems to be sitting. Much like her last meeting with Tarnished, her emotions are strangely fogged, but visible.

At Lacrima's introduction, she bows. "Pleased to meet you, Riventon-sama," she says politely. "And yeah, I'm basically sort of like an artificial intelligence with a synthetic Linker Core, and my body is sort of like a mage's familiar except without a base form." She grins at Lacrima. "I don't even know that I'd call her a self-styled hero, either. The Doctor and I threatened her, and she counteracted us with ruthless efficiency. We're not even mad, that was all on the two of us."

She pauses. "Should I get the laptop out and start the call?" she says. "The Doctor's been kind of stir-crazy. She's almost more excited about working for UMBRA than I am. If we can get her back on her feet," she adds under her breath.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 01:38:49 95531
Tarnished was standing. She didn't want to sit. One might think she was standing as a power play. Unwilling to lower herself. Forcing herself to be standing so she could look down on them. Rising over them. Her calm, steady face would support this and she looked over them.

They would be wrong. The truth was she was just trying not to throw up and sitting down did not feel like a good idea. She had once again traveled through the dusk zone to get here. She was still struggling with the whole teleportation thing. She didn't actually keel over this time, at least. But she still felt a little... icky. On top of that, she was getting a feel for them.

Takashi was once again not... himself. So to speak. She felt nothing from him. Or maybe he had learned to shield himself. She hoped for the latter, but suspected the former. That brought her gaze to Lacrima.

A vampire? Interesting. She had nice fangs. There was something she was hiding, too. Was she nervous? No. That was... buried. She was curious. That was normal. Tarnished was curious. But mostly, she really wanted some pepto bismal and a warm water bottle. "That is good. A field researcher. I'm a chemist," she said softly. "You are a vampire. I've never met one before. It's... interesting. I would love to study you sometimes, if you wouldn't object." Wow. Just... straight to business. She reached out to take a glass of water from a convenient pitcher on the desk. She drank and... Yeah. it helped a little bit.

"Nightbell and I have met. I am... happy to see you here," she said, her voice cold and distant. "I do hope this will encourage you to take me up on my previous offer," she said before glancing back to Lacrima.

"Indeed. Riventon-sama has given me a great opportunity to advance my research and I aim to make him, and Eclipse, proud. I am still researching all the information he has given me, however. I should be ready soon."

She wondered if the magical girl outfit was too much. She idly smoothed her skirt. She'd never been in a meeting like this. And they were in business suits. She kept her face blank and controlled, though she felt just a tiny bit intimidated. Well... Easy way to fix that.

She held her right hand out for a moment as dark energy surrouned her. What...? And when it came away... She... she was in a business suit. And she just stared. What? Nothing to see here. I was always in this. You're imagining things. Just don't acknowledge it and no one will notice.
Takashi Agera 2018-08-23 01:44:55 95534
Riventon nods a bit. "I think it's fine if you call the Doctor in, since she's part of the team." And he turns to Tarnished as she transforms, and smiles a bit. Trying to fit in, good. "Really, it's Tarnished who isn't on the team directly - it's better in a lot of ways for her to not be directly part of UMBRA - but she's still likely going to work closely with us, and she's taking over my pet project. And she has my recommendation to do so - she's got a mind for chemistry like you do for studying the Zone, Lacrima. I really should promote you into a better title, on that note... as soon as I figure out where paperwork... went."

"Nightbell, you have a very interesting history already, it sounds like; do you know what it is we do here at UMBRA - I mean, what we're responsible for, all that?"
Lacrima 2018-08-23 01:58:36 95536
Lacrima raises her head at Tarnished. "I am a vampire. I am a human that had become infected with a curse, died-- then whose soul was contained within a dark energy construct." she says. "I require human energy to keep myself in a coherent, and stable state." she says. "I do not drink, nor get any sustenance from blood." she says, as if she's been through this a few times with people in the past. "My body is entirely dark energy, so it makes me suited for Dusk Zone study and research- Not that..." she motions. "Riventon-sama isn't suited to the same, but he is the actual scientist that puts things I learn into actual practical usage, and working on similar projects. I can devote more time to 'random research' than he personally can, I think." she offers.

"....You are welcome to study me. If you tell me a place to drop by. I will. Riventon has studied me extensively aswell, if you want his notes- you will have to ask him. I don't see why it wouldn't be a problem for him to give you them." she says.

Her general feelings seem to be explanatory right now. She doesn't seem annoyed over anything she said. She seems genuine when she says she's welcome to study her.

She does notice the dark energy surge and the change of garments. She doesn't comment on the garments themselves but does note something; "Oh." she says. "You're a dark energy user yourself?" she asks., curiously. "I wonder h---no nono. Impolite to ask that right now." she says as she taps her bottom chin. Feelings like she almost stepped a line. Curiosity of an extreme nature.

"I explained that we're basically Skunkworks." she says. "It's a little more involved than that, but it's a good layman's explanation I think. I'll let you give her the full rundown Riventon-sama." she says softly.

She purses her lips. "I visited Riven-sama in that hospital wing not too long ago. It seemed like an interested place, with interesting goals." she says. Genuine 'I was impressed' feelings there.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-23 02:08:32 95539
Bell glances at Tarnished. "I wouldn't call it much of a 'history', Riventon-sama," she says. "To my knowledge, I was created on Ancient Belka by some conspiracy, the lab was blasted into the Dusk Zone when the powers-that-be attacked, and then I sat there for the petter part of a thousand years until four months ago, when the Doctor activated me and Professor Tomoe assigned her as my handler."

She smiles. "As for what you do here ..." She chuckles. "Well, I was gonna put it more politely than that, Lacrima-san. I understand that you're at the cutting-edge of magical research and development. And that you collectively know Dark Energy better than I or the Doctor do, considering I'm partly made out of it as a result of being in the Dusk Zone." Her worries briefly come to the surface, with a side-order of guilt, but she doesn't remark on it.

She gets out the laptop and pokes at the track pad a bit. "Ready?" she says.

"Of course," says a woman's voice. Nightbell turns the laptop around in her lap, revealing a maximized chat-video showing a severe-looking woman lying in a hospital bed; both of her arms are in casts, but her right hand unhurt and is resting on a large round bell made out of black metal. "Hello, Riventon-sama," she says. "I ... well, I don't have any sort of codename or anything like that. I'm Dr. Yuki Murano, one of Eclipse's more ... independent scientists, with ambitions of joining UMBRA."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 02:14:25 95540
Tarnished blinked. And then her eyes widened. She looked... surprised. "I... see. You... died. Your entire body is... made of dark..." She closed her eyes. Deep breaths. Deeeeeep breaths. Calm. Calllllllm. Ke--

Screw it. Suddenly she was on the poor vampire, holding her hand. "You have to let us perform tests! A body of dark energy?! Imagine what we could learn! Imagine the lives we could save! More importantly, we could learn ways to take it PAST that! Possibly find a way to REVERSE the process! Imagine the damage that could be undone! The hurt, the wounded, the dying!"Her eyes were practically shimmering with barely restrained excitement.

She coughed and pulled back. "A-ah. Yes. I am a dark energy user as well... it is why I wear these gloves when I am not... bound properly." She held out her right hand and... The limb began to shift and... Turn to blackness. Revealing nothing under it before it reformed.

"My body is not fully dark energy like yourself. But I am no longer fully human, either. Something all four of us share in common, I think. An experiment with dark energy that... unfortunately I didn't... have as many safeties as I should have," she mumbled a little sadly.

As the hand reformed, a business card formed with it. She held it out to her. "Please come to this address. Show this card and the people there will take care of the rest. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or nervous, you can stop or put off the experiments," she said firmly. "But I ask you to stick through them, if for no other reason than the lives that your aid could save. Subjects such as yourselves are... Incredibly rare as far as I know." Welp. She managed to calm herself again at least.
Takashi Agera 2018-08-23 02:23:14 95541
Riventon can't help but smile at Tarnished's actions. There is something to be said for that kind of enthusiasm. "And now you see why I want her to lead the medical research team." He grinned before turning to the laptop.

"Well, I can generally push transfers through pretty easily for someone who would rather work with us. And Lacrima isn't wrong. We do a lot of testing for things that end up being distributed out later; or end up failing out. And we're still the number one place to explore magical phenomena."

"But that's really just work for the grunts. What we really spend time doing is acquiring energy, items, magical equipment from others, and understanding how we best use it. And since there are those who want to stop us from having it; it means we are often the tip of the spear, so to speak. We get a lot of 'field time' opposing magical people who aren't part of Eclipse. I hear you've already done a little of that, Nightbell?"
Lacrima 2018-08-23 02:36:01 95543
Lacrima blinks. "Yes." she says. "The curse killed me. It hurt a lot. I really don't sugg---" then her hand is suddenly being held and Tarnished seems to be gushing at her and she's a little taken aback. She can sense that from the vampire. It isn't heavy or strong. More... she seems used to people being scared when she says she is a vampire. Not.. being excited she is one.

"I don't know if I would wish this on anyone, though, Tarnished." she says with unease in both tone and mind. "My emotions are dulled considerably-- and even getting to feeling /dulled/ took two years of hard work and Riventon-sama working on a system for me..." she says raising her left arm and showing the odd bracer underneath the sleeve of the business suit- with it's Mid-Childian markings, before putting it back. " sort of contain that sort of blockage." she says. "Without that much work and that device--- I didn't really feel positive emotions at all. Not happiness, or humor or... anything. Like that. Not love.. or..." she shakes her head. "It was easy to tell when I SHOULD be feeling something if I had a basis for it from when I was a human. But otherwise I was a confused mess." she says quietly.

She shakes her head. Throughout that exchange she never actually tells Tarnished 'No' or 'Don't do that'.

She does nod at the card and bows, gently removing her wallet and placing it in there carefully.

She looks back over to Bell and crosses her arms. "Nightbell is also experiencing one of the earlier complications of Dark Energy usage." she says. "I've been trying to help with that." she says softly.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-23 02:47:36 95546
Nightbell rolls her glowing eyes at Tarnished's outburst, mostly amused by them, and Dr. Murano lets out a soft sigh at the antics which she can't actually see. Bell nods to Riventon and says, "Correct." She grins lopsidedly. "And I was created to be a spear. The Doctor can provide the equipment for the acquisitions, once her hands are free, and I can guard against anyone who gets in our way. And as a result of the Dark Energy coursing through my veins, I am powerful."

Dr. Murano gives a thin-lipped smile. "I'd say Nightbell is worth any two of the self-styled heroes," she says. "Her first battle was three against one. By the end, it was two against one, and I think it probable that she would have won, if not for the fact that one of her remaining opponents was a purifier."

Bell nods to Lacrima; her worries and guilt had risen to the surface again while the Doctor was talking. "Your advice has been useful so far, Lacrima-san," she says, before turning back to Riventon. "I'm not going to lie, Riventon-sam: right now, my Dark Energy is exactly as much trouble as it's worth ... but I believe that in UMBRA, we can lower the trouble and increase the worth." Her smile returns. "Who knows? By the end of this year, I might be worth three of the self-proclaimed heroes."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 02:53:21 95549
Tarnished glanced to Riventon. She... hadn't heard about that. "Ah. Acquiring... magical artifacts. I do hope we will work well together in the future, then. MAgical artifacts like that should be useful for my research as well." She prefers to be allies.

She then glanced to Lacrima. "I know. I... Ah. You are the only one who doesn't know. I am an Empath. I can sense the emotions of others. I have to keep a barrier up at all times. However, when I am fully enshrouded in dark energy, it makes it far easier to dampen the emotions of others and not be overwhelmed. I am well versed in its emotional dampening ability. And its damage."

But then pulled back. "But the important thing to remember is that dark energy, like everything else, is a tool. Something we can use. Like poisons, or acid, or gun powder. It's all a tool. It can be used for... less good things. Such as what happened to you. But... it can save lives. Your emotions are dulled, yes. But it's not better that, than death. And I am not speaking of infusing random people with dark energy... Well, at least not much. But not to those levels. But to give people the ability to survive. To replace organs. To allow them to walk, to sing, to see, to breathe. I am talking of creating things that nothing else *can* do," she said firmly. "That is what my research is."

"And trust me. I have more than a vested interest in ensuring this is all done safely and securely, with little to no casaulties. And I believe both of your... unique physiologies will be great steps in advancement for us."
Takashi Agera 2018-08-23 03:14:20 95553
Takashi nods to Tarnished. "I always liken Dark Energy to radiation; properly applied, we can get x-rays, use it to kill cancer, power a city. But uncontrolled, it warps, it degrades... it kills. And that is a fundamental part of the energy we all use we must grapple with in our own ways." He is very serious about it in this momenmt, looking to each of them and the Doctor in turn.

"But there are people who only see the dangerous side of it and they will always be opposed to all of what we do; remaining blind to the benefits. Where we see clean power, they see only Chernobyl." He stands up while talking now, pacing. "But we would be fools to shun the power in front of us." And here he turns to Lacrima and Bell but also puts his hand to his chest. "Not that it's an option for most of us..."

And now he turns back to Tarnished and then walks to his desk and pulls out an envelope, sealed with an UMBRA logo on the flap. "Ah, this is for you to hand over when you go to the Council. It's the formal recommendation, all red tape and such. They already know I want you for the job. But I think... in the interest of keeping the seperation good and proper, I'm going to have to ask you to leave before I get into the details with UMBRA-specific things. I am glad they got to meet you." He waits to get into more detail with the other two until she takes his not-hint.
Lacrima 2018-08-23 03:18:30 95554
An... Empath. Her eyes softly trace from Tarnished to Riventon a moment. She looks back to Tarnished. Was that a... feeling of suspicion. It was. It is short lived however, replaced with dismissal. It's hard to understand what just happened in her head for Tarnished there a moment.

She takes a soft breath. "Good." she says quietly. Relief. "Safety practices are important. I left the pod on Mister Squiggles unlocked by accident one day and he got out and then he was like a giant tentacle eyeball on top of clover tower and it took really convincing someone there trying to stop him to not kill him to get him down to normal and back in his pod." she says.

"...Mister Squiggles is a youma that attached itself to me in the Dusk Zone one day. It thinks I'm it's mother." she says frankly. "...and quite frankly I'm attached to him too." she mutters.

She looks at the exchange and nods. "Be well Tarnished. I will visit in the future." she says. "The address you gave me."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 03:26:16 95555
Tarnished nodded and sighed. "People always assume the worst of things they don't understand. Witch hunters. Antivaxers. Flat earthers. Climate change deniers. People who are stupid believe that things are always bad. And then they gain others, and eventually even 'smart' people begin to believe the little hints and pieces of things being 'bad'. That is the dangers of group minds." She paused. "Though, I will admit... I do find the idea of 'purification' to be intriguing. If nothing else, I know there will always be a fail safe if I make a mistake."

She listened to Lacrima and just... stared. "I... see. I did not realize those... creatures could imprint on others. Perhaps I should try to find what makes them so... resistant to it in my research. Eventually."

She then turned to Takashi and bowed politely. "Thank you, sir," she said before taking the envelope. "I do hope our organizations can work together in the future." She then turned and walked out the door...

She let out a sigh of reli--

And paused. Her eyes narrowed as she walked through the hall. She paused as she passed a secretary and a manager. She glanced to them both for just a moment. How cute, an office romance. She wondered if they knew about the other, yet. She shook her head. Not right now. She had a letter to deliver. Think about office romances LATER.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-23 03:31:11 95557
Nightbell smiles, gesturing up at Tarnished. "See?" she says. "You got me coming and going!" She gives her a wave. "I'll see you later, then!"

She nods along with Riventon's speech; the Doctor, on the screen, also nods in approval. When he's done, Bell says, "My programmed-in purpose is to bring order to the world. Of course, 'the world' was supposed to be Belka, but when I joined Eclipse, I told Dr. Tomoe that it didn't specify what world." She smiles. "I do believe that siding with Eclipse's order is the right thing to do, for all the reasons you've just said and more. The Dark Energy inside me is an accident, but it's clearly one that worked out for the best."
Takashi Agera 2018-08-23 03:38:26 95558
Hmm. He notes the way Nightbell interacted with Tomoe, and her desire for order. A positive, a negative. He'd have to watch her. "I think Dark Energy often can, as long as you manage it. The good thing about working from within UMBRA is that we watch each other's backs; if you're good enough to handle 3, but four show up, you'll have reinforcements, either directly or indirectly. We can get more done by acting together, either in concert or just at the same time and forcing them to react in many places."

"We... are a little dormant right now, I admit, because we're in the process of moving somewhere more secure. Well... building it really; so we'll need to collect some more energy, if you both want something to do..."
Lacrima 2018-08-23 03:57:22 95561
Lacrima nods. "We take care of one another." she says. "Teamwork doesn't just work for the heroes you know." she says with a slight smug smile. Nevermind she's friends with half these heroes. She still has a priority to her friends here too.

"But Taka was right earlier about Dark Energy. While Dark Energy can darken one's emotions. It doesn't automatically make you /evil/." she says. "With understanding it and hard work it's possible to use it and still generally, you know, be a sane and functioning person." she asides casually. "As opposed to some laughing lunatic." she says.

"Besides. My f***ing brother isn't even touched with Dark Energy and somehow he's still a god damn monster." she mutters.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-23 03:59:10 95562
Nightbell smiles. "Strength in numbers is basic strategy," she says. "I mean, y'know, even aside from that, it's just great knowing that the Doctor an I aren't flying blind without support from anyone else? It's an improvement all around!"

She nods to Lacrima. "The truth is ... I briefly became a laughing monster, when I let the darkness get the better of me. Which is why the Doctor's in the hospital right now."

Dr. Murano frowns. "Well, I do credit it mostly to that witch's ruthlessness, but ..."

Bell shakes her head. "I was still letting the Darkness do the thinking. Lemme have some of the blame."

She hesitates, looking over at Lacrima, then just sort of shrugs and turns back to Riventon. "Incidentally, now that you have a need-to-know ..." She sets the laptop onto the chair where Tarnished was supposed to sit. "I have an 'infiltration mode' in which I become disguised as an ordinary human. Y'know, without glowing red eyes and skin markings," she adds dryly. "It was originally supposed to be for making me a sleeper agent, but the doctor couldn't keep me around twenty-four seven, so I became a student at Infinity named Akari Hayabusa." She smiles. "I have a whole social life, which Lacrima-san told me is a great way to stay grounded and keep the darkness out of the driver's seat. Even if it isn't strictly 'real.'"

(... Which isn't an entirely honest assessment of the situation. But she hasn't been entirely honest with herself about this, either.)
Takashi Agera 2018-08-23 04:13:45 95563
Riventon nods and sticks out his hand to shake Nightbell's. "Well then, welcome to UMBRA. It's not official until the red tape is done, but I'll hurry that along."

"Just so you know, that is very important; it's a delicate balancing act, keeping yourself grounded but not shunning any bit of you. It's harder for some of us than others, too. But friends here can help."

"And eventually there are times to let the laughing lunatic out - your emotions power the energy, and it can feed off that. But not before you can get it to go back in the box, too. We can teach you some control... but it is unstable by its nature."

And he turns to Lacrima... "You may be able to help her more than me; I've always been this way, she was designed without it. And speaking of without Dark Energy... we need to face some realities about your brother. But that's for another time. We need to finish storing this stuff - jerks above us heard I was moving and already reassigned this bit of Dimensional Space."

Back to Nightbell, he shrugs. "Sorry, but first assignment is going to be some literal heavy lifting...."
Lacrima 2018-08-23 04:16:41 95564
Lacrima scoffs. "Vultures." she says as she moves to says. "I need to go to the labs. Not. These labs. Others. I have some results to check out." she says finally. "Welcome to the team, Nightbell~" she says as she leaves.