Let's Stop And Talk For A Moment

Masu and Homura meet in a library and almost immediately identify with each other.

Date: 2018-09-05
Pose Count: 35
Homura Akemi 2018-09-05 23:34:30 97078
    Homura Akemi is the kind of student who vexes at least some of her teachers. On the one hand, she is a model Infinity student, having already been the effective CEO of her own private company. Her knowledge is well ahead of her grade, and on more than one occasion she has been offered a chance to skip a grade or take an advanced placement courses. On the other hand, she keeps refusing those offers, and most of the faculty know why: She doesn't want to leave Madoka behind.

    Still, she's always had an interest in Chemistry, especially different forms of combustion, an interest that Infinity has encouraged perhaps a bit more than any responsible school should. She isn't exactly famous for being smart, not when people like Ami Mizuno and Takashi Agera exist, but occasionally there are rumors about her.

    That's why no one is particularly surprised to see her sitting at a table, looking up various chemistry books, and taking copious notes.

    No, those are more than notes. She is attempting to derive formulas. Some of them seem like attempts to extract Hydrogen from water. Sulfur, carbon, and potassium nitrate are not absent from the list.

    Whatever her reasons for collecting such notes are, one might suspect that she has an intimate knowledge of both explosive chemicals and a little bit stronger math background than a 9th grader should have.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-05 23:44:46 97082
Masu Yogoshi was... not so well known. She worked very, very, VERY hard to not be well known.

Because when people knew you, they had feelings for you. Drawing attention was... not the best experience for a young empath and, while she had developed to grow her shields, they were still disturbingly delicate when she was un-hensioned. An encounter with Madoka had nearly killed her. nd if she drew too much attention... It was truly better if everyone focused all of their emoitions on others. She was fine letting the emotions go through her. Especially now that she was discovering there were... well... People like her. Different. Like Madoka. And Mamoru. However, today she had to do some studying. More personal, to be honest. And she was surprised to find that the book she was looking for was... already in use. She stared at the empty book slot, as if expecting it to appear. Who in the world would want that? It was supposed to be here... which meant somebody here was reading it, but not checking it out.

So she began the hunt. And then her eyes fell on the woman. Slowly she inched forward. Dare she enact a confrontation? Just a simple ask when she'll be done. A quick...

And then she almost tripped over a chair, her eyes going wide. She felt it, then. The girl was frustrated.... but it was that same, strange sensation she got from Madoka. As if it was... off kilter.

Slowly, quietly, she inched forward behind the girl. Finally.... she cleared her throat.

"You should be careful if you're going to try and make those. The results could be quite explosive. Please don't make them in the chemistry lab, it's where I do most of my tests," she said. The words... seemed like they were a joke? But her face was deadly serious.

Also, if Homura recognized the girl at all, she might remember she'd literally been in the hospital about 3 or 4 months prior.... from an explosion. So maybe she was serious?
Homura Akemi 2018-09-05 23:57:12 97085
    Homura's start is almost imperceptible for someone who isn't a literal empath. There is a flash of guilt, perhaps a fear of being caught, but after a moment she settles down.

    Her purple eyes turn towards the woman. She isn't sure she knows this person, but she vaguely remembers a rumor about an explosion or something. Homura's mind scans over her recent memory as she tries to figure out who this person is.

    "This isn't for lab work," she says, almost tersely, "This is just a curiosity for me. I've no intention of actually doing anything like this on school grounds." She waves her hand dismissively. If it was a joke, she's a bit too off-balanced for the moment to realize it. "Still, even here, there aren't too many people who would know that at a glance. I take it you have an interest in Chemistry?"

    After a moment, Homura adds, perhaps somewhat jokingly, "You wouldn't be the kind of girl who secretly makes pipebombs in a hotel room, would you?"

    Because that would be totally crazy, of course! Who would do such a thing? Not Homura! She's totally innocent.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 00:10:05 97087
Masu Yogoshi stared at... No. She wasn't looking at Homura. She was looking at her ring. As if she was talking to it. She idly wondered if the person... saw out of their eyes. Did they really see out of their ring? If the ring was covered, would their vision stop? How did it work?

".... Masu Yogoshi. Yes. I'm studying to become a medical chemist," she said flatly. "I... like chemistry. It's fun. Though I've never made a pipe bomb. The explosives I've made tend to be less destructive. My brother likes the fire works I make." She eyed the paper again. "I... imagine making a pipe bomb wouldn't be that difficult, however. Why would you need such a thing?" she asked, before taking a seat and... Why did she keep glancing to the ring?

"You don't strike me as the mass murdering type." Then she glanced up, meeting Homura's eyes for the first time. She.... had a blank face. A very, very practiced blank face. She seemed to be looking for something... Looking for something...

Then she glanced down to the book again. "It's... an interesting idea. Removing hydrogen from water is commonly done in the medical field... or perhaps you're trying to make a hydrogen fuel cell?" she offered. "I tried that once." She then shrugged. "It didn't work. Not even a little bit. But it was fun."
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 00:17:30 97089
    "I used to own a construction company," blurts out Homura. She notices the medical chemist's eyes on her ring, but she acts like she doesn't pay it any mind. Mentally, she's wondering whether or not the magic in her ring has been noticed. This is Infinity, after all, and Homura is far from the only magical girl here.

    Still, it's also just an unusual ring, and Homura doesn't want to jump to that conclusion right away.

    "Technically I still do, but in reality my father runs it now. Sometimes we need a safe, cheap and reliable way to blow things up. As dangerous as explosions are, controlled explosions are one of the safest ways to bring a building down."

    None of that is particularly untrue. She's not being any more of a liar than Kyubey is.

    Homura can recognize a blank poker face. She used to wear one all the time. Currently, she still is. Her nerves seem to be calming, or at least her ring's nerves seem to be, when she gets the feeling that Masu is looking for something.

    "Yeah. I suppose you could say that I wanted to find a cheaper way to get access to Hydrogen. Electrolysis technically works, but it's pretty expensive."

    After a moment, it occurs to her that Masu introduced herself but Homura did not. "Homura Akemi. I suppose you could say I'm studying for a business degree, though physics and chemistry have both been interests of mine."

    Finally a little more relaxed, Homura reaches up to flip her hair, "I don't suppose I've claimed a book you need? Far be it from me to get in the way of medicine."

    She's half joking, but only half.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 00:29:20 97091
Masu Yogoshi blinked and... "Wait, you owned your own construction company?! That's incredible!" And there it was. That blank expression, it broke. Revealing the rather... Excitable, happy, bubbly personality beneath. "How did you do it? Did you inherit it? Win the lottery? Did you--"

And then the look of alarm, the momentary glimpse of... fear? Letting an emotion in... Letting her excitement out had started to let other people's excitement in. She pinched her nose as she worked to block them out. Down the hall, a girl had gotten a high score on a test she had worked on. Upstairs, a guy had asked a girl out and she said yes. Downstairs, one of the teachers had finally been engaged to. She didn't know this, of course. But their emotions flooded in, and those emotions brought friends. She plugged the hole for about ten seconds, before her eyes opened. "I'm... sorry. that sounds absolutely fascinating. And of course. Explosives are just a tool. Running a company such as that, I imagine you have a lot of reasons to know how they function."

She nodded. "Definitely, I've heard in america they're doing experiments with non-noble metals. I'd love to try such a thing myself," she said, giving a small, controlled smile.

"And yes, I was looking for that book. But I think you seem far more interesting." Then blinked, the smile disappearing. "I am not flirting with you. I am merely appreciating the fact you seem quite intelligent and knowledgable of my field, more than I've come to expect." then she sighed. "And now I sound condescending... my apologies."
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 00:47:12 97094
    Homura is, in a way, glad that she is not the only one here who seems a little flustered. She doesn't know why the woman seems so... troubled, but for some reason it just makes her seem a little less threatening.

    When told that she is not being flirted with, Homura actually smirks and holds up her hand. "You'd be disappointed if you were. I'm... somewhat engaged, and I don't think it's that condescending. It's not an interest that everyone has."

    Homura, for the moment, seems pretty calm. She's used to people wanting to talk to her. She's also used to blowing them off, but this time she decides to stay and chat.

    "Well, a few years back, during..." Homura has to stop herself from saying 'Walpurgisnacht', "... the storm of early '16, there was a lot of people's personal property chucked into the ocean. That's not all, but there are also sunken ships and so on. I started pulling ships and buildings from the bottom of the sea and... you know, either returned them to the owners, or sold them as scrap depending upon whether or not they were wanted. A lot of my pay came from insurance companies."

    She reaches up to scratch the back of her head, "Honestly that wasn't always profitable. Sometimes people couldn't pay but I ended up giving them their stuff anyways because..." Because Madoka would sadface at her if Homura didn't. "... because reasons."

    "The first few salvages were actually pretty easy. After them I had enough money to hire help and the rest snowballed from there. Property damage meant that construction was a valuable field, so I took my chances and wormed my way in."

    Non-noble metals. Homura considers that, and in truth there's some formulas in her notes that seem to illustrate how rust happens. "I had considered using some kind of metal to pull the oxygen out, because you know... rust, but I wasn't really sure that could work. It never occured to me that someone else might be looking into something similar."

    Homura taps her chin while tilting her head to the side. "I'm curious. What was that called, again?"
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 01:02:35 97099
Masu Yogoshi blinked. "The storm? Ugh... I..." She trailed off. "The.... air pressure shift hit me bad and I was hospitalized for over a month during it. I can't remember much about it, I'm afraid." She had... Memories. Thoughts. It had been over whelming. The pain, the grief, the despair. It had hit her like a blast. They said it was the air pressure, but she knew it was something... else. Not that anyone believed her.

"Engaged? That is good. I hope he is good for you." Then stared. A small smile appeared on her lips. "Pulled them from the sea? Buildings and boats?" There was just a hint of mild, very controlled amusement on her face when she said that. As if she didn't buy it. At all. "My mother and father were very busy at the time, they volunteered to help with the Eclipse aid operations," she said. "With all the help you were offering, perhaps you three had run into each other at some time."

"And.... I believe it is a variant of electrolysis. But it uses far easier to gain resources, being quite a bit cheaper. I am not sure what it was called. I only saw it in passing and... I remember it was using... something that looked like a metal sponge. It was.... unique, I imagine. The tests in it, so far, were minor. But getting a hold of the notes on it would likely be easy enough. Though... Using it may be expensive to get through their copy rights and the like."

She was quiet for a moment and.... "Would you like to try to make it?" she offered, giving a small smile.
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 01:15:05 97102
    Homura knows far more about that storm than she is willing to admit to a complete stranger. She doesn't seem all that surprised to hear that someone was hurt by it, but the 'air pressure' story seems a little strange to her. "Oh. Are you susceptible to that? I've never heard of that before."

    There are a few things about this girl that don't add up, but she seems friendly enough.

    "She," she corrects, "and we are quite happy together. She goes to school here, actually."

    She frowns a little at the comment about pulling buildings and boats up. "Well not with my bare hands, obviously. There are balloons that you can put inside a sunken ship's hull, or tie them to the ship. Enough of that and it'll float, and the rest can be handled by its own motor if it still works, and tug boats if it doesn't."

    Thaaat part actually was a lie, though one could never tell by looking at her face. The truth, however, is... not convenient to say right now. She can't very well just say that she can magically pull ships up from the ocean floor.

    "If they interacted with Salamander Construction or Salamander Salvage at all, they probably either met me or someone working for me."

    Homura considers the offer to try and help make such a thing, a process for extracting hydrogen more cheaply.

    "Well... if it works, I think we could both benefit from it. Copyrights notwithstanding, they couldn't possibly hope to sell that process unless it was competitively priced."

    Homura shrugs, then glances down to her books. "If nothing else, it'd give us something to do. We're here to learn, right? I don't see the harm."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 01:27:54 97107
Masu Yogoshi shook her head. "No. Never happened again, or before. But that's what the doctor's said it was. I wasn't struck by lightning or hit by a truck, at least. So I at least was better off that some people out there," she said, before nodding. Then blinked. And stared. "Honestly, I feel there may have been something else that happened. As odd as that sounds."

Then nodded. "She? Quite... happy together? Oh? Is it Madoka, by any chance? You two have matching rings." Was that why she kept staring?

"Oh? That sounds like quite the setup, then. I guess you must have been quite wealthy already then, I suspect?" she asked. "I'm surprised your parents didn't object to you taking on such a project. Or you were able to get the resources, considering the damage I imagine buying such things at the time must have been quite expensive, especially with importing. Or had it already been a hobby of yours, some good fortune, so to speak?"

She nodded, and... was this smile actually genuine? "That sounds delightful! Its been so long since I've had a chemistry partner who... well... wasn't my mother or little brother. I think it will be quite fun to play with, don't you? And who knows, maybe we'll help you make money you need."
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 01:45:30 97112
    Something else...? Homura frowns slightly. Evidence is mounting. She looks away at the moment. "Yeah, well, a lot of strange things happen in Tokyo." At least this time she's being honest, if somewhat mysterious.

    Homura looks down at her ring again. Well, it's certainly plausible that she was only staring because Madoka was wearing a similar ring. Maybe evidence isn't that strong after all?

    "That's right," she says with a genuine smile. For perhaps the first time in this conversation, that little ring is pulsating happiness, and perhaps a bit of pride. "Madoka's my cuddly little ball of happiness." She doesn't say anything more, but there's a feeling of holding back, as if she could brag about and gush over Madoka Kaname all day.

    Wealth, yeah... "Well my parents didn't live in Tokyo at the time. I was living by myself and, aside from some money they gave me, fending for myself. I have to say I was pretty spoiled rich, though. I used to have a TV screen that spanned the wall of my apartment... but then an office building landed on it. 2016 was pretty bad."

    She skips over the details of how she managed to afford all of the equipment.

    "I mean, I was really into war relics before then, so I had already been thinking about how to salvage one."

    Homura actually seems genuinely interested in this little project, because if nothing else it sounds like it could further both her own ends and medical science to boot. "I don't think I've ever had a chemistry partner before. I tend to work alone." At the mention of money, she slightly smirks, "If nothing else it'll help my bottom line."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 01:54:57 97116
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "Oh yes. A lot of weird things are happening in tokyo," she said with a small smile. She was suspicious herself. Then blinked.

"Oh. Yes. She's definitely a bundle of... something," she said. She sounded... Wary? A little... worried? Though her smile seemed genuine. she could feel the love that spilled off the girl when she spoke of Madoka... "she's very generous, however. Protective, too. She gave me a lot of useful information for dealing with... different... problems in tokyo. Things I wasn't aware of. She's a little over whelming but... she's a lot smarter than she seems. I would have been entering certain things blind if not for her." Okay, she was certain of it. This girl was 'special'. She had to be. it was too many coincidences! But... She couldn't just call her out. That was rude. If she didn't want to admit what she was... Masu wouldn't call her out.

".... Wow. That's... actually impressive. You must have been incredibly wealthy. War relics? Why?"

Then gave a small smile. "I'll try not to get in your way, Homura."
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 02:06:56 97119
    "Certain things in Tokyo?" Homura repeats. Then her purple eyes glance off to the side. Her lips are frowning, but it's not a sad or upset frown. It's more of a thoughtful one. Then, well...

    Everything she says about Madoka makes Homura wonder if her darling dear hasn't already said something to her. Homura closes her eyes for a moment, as if she's making a choice. Then her eyes open again. "Well, Madoka's a very reliable person. We work together a lot. She's my partner, in a lot of ways. We've always taken care of each other, and one could say there's a lot of magic in our relationship."

    Something about her indicates that she's not just being romantic when she says that.

    As for the war relics she responds. "Well, you could say there's a certain magic to them, too." A pause, then, "It's just a hobby, really. I found them fascinating."

    Homura is genuinely surprised at Masu saying that she will 'try not to get in her way'. Then she decides to take it in a different way. "I'll try not to get in yours either, Masu."

    At least, Homura hopes she can keep that promise.

    "... but if we do end up dealing with something combustible, there are a lot of safety procedures I'd like to follow."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 02:14:41 97121
Masu Yogoshi stared at her and then... "This is exhausting. You are a puella, correct?" she finally asked. "I am sorry, I just didn't want to call you out, but... well... I am an empath. I don't have the powers to fight like you and Madoka, but I can... sort of... understand it," she said with a sigh. "I've only begun to learn about... this. I've been an empath my whole life. But all of... this stuff? This is new. I did not realize there were... other people with abilities..." she mumbled.

"... Your love for her feels very nice, by the way. IT is... very sweet. I am sorry for... not outright saying it. I didn't feel it was my place."

Then... "Wait. The war relics... are you saying they have.... the same magic to them? How far back does this go? I've... how am I only learning about all this, now?"

She cringed at the combustible notion. Her hands twitched slightly. "Yes. I've... I'd like that as well. I no longer do experiments at home..."
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 02:24:38 97123
    Homura's initial reaction to being asked if she's a Puella is silence, though in her mind there's a certain feeling of 'I thought so'. She seems to relax, but at the same time grow more serious. So... an empath? Huh.

    "So... that's the story. Well, I thought something about you was..." Homura searches for a word. Strange? Weird? None of those sound right. "... not exactly mundane."

    So, someone else can feel her love for Madoka. Homura... well, if she was keeping her feelings a secret she might've been worried, but she's not exactly hiding her feelings anymore.

    "The thing I just said about war relics was just me trying to step around the subject of magic. Those old boats don't have anything in them. Well, most don't. There's no telling where a magical relic will show up. However, I used a few of them in a fight."

    Homura leans forward, and speaks a little bit lower. "That storm wasn't just a storm, so you're right about that. Also..."

    Even a little lower, "... my power revolves around stopping time, so if we're going to be open about our abilities, that's what I intend to use to keep us safe. If necessary."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 02:32:00 97126
Masu Yogoshi nods and gives a small sigh. "I am a freak, I know. I've been called far worse," she said flatly. Emotionlessly. "It is fine, however. I have seen... I have been told what happens to puella. Your fate... your... situations sound truly saddening. At least no one expects me to fight. In fact, I cannot. I imagine the... grief of your witches would kill me all on its own. I sometimes wondered if that storm was a part of it. The... fear and despair I felt then was so over whelming I... thought I would die. But a storm is a time of... fear. And my shields weren't as strong as they are now. But... Knowing it was something... else. Is a little comforting..."

Masu blinked. And stared.

And just stared.

And then shook her head. "No. I'm calling bull shit on that one, parden the language. But I can buy the... whole witches thing. And the monsters. And some teletubby running around granting wishes. Even all the other things she mentioned. But stopping time is impossible."

Then sighed. "Is what I want to say. But... growing up, I was told my empathy was impossible. So... This.... may sound... selfish but... can..." Her cheeks turned red a little. "Can... you show me?"
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 02:42:06 97130
    "Yeah well welcome to the freak club." Homura's pretty frank about it. Of all people, Homura can't deny being strange either.

    "That storm was a Witch," says Homura flatly. All of her guilt from lying is gone. She is confident and straightforward now. "It was the second worst Witch I've ever seen in my life. I... could go into more detail, but here might not be the place."

    She closes her eyes. "I wish I could say I can't imagine how that must feel, but I actually know exactly how a Witch feels. That must've been terrible for you, even moreso if you didn't understand what it was. I'm sorry you had to go through that."

    The comment about time stopping being impossible gets Homura glancing off to the side. She almost laughs at the idea of Kyubey being a teletubby, but this is a library and she keeps her mouth shut.

    Homura shrugs at the initial objection, but when Masu turns around and asks to show her, Homura nods. "Well, I'll have to show you eventually, if we intend to work together. That said, I'd have to henshin, and here might not be the best place."

    She starts glancing around, "You know, unless we could find a quiet corner or something."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 02:48:31 97131
Masu Yogoshi nodded. Being a freak wasn't so bad, she supposed. She then sighed. "Heh. Yay. A perfectly logical, rationale, insane idea. A massive, horrifying witch of despair. Is it sad I am a little disappointed to know it was real? A part of me has really been hoping that my mind had finally snapped and all of... this was just some kind of emotional overload," she mumbled. "But the more I learn, the more it all makes sense. It explains the strange things I... thought I saw..."

"You know how a witch feels? Are you an empath as well?"

Then... She blinked. "You have to... hen...shin? I thought you were all magical magi? Do you not just cast a spell and make things happen? Or... is it something else? I am sorry, I am still learning and... unfortunately, I have no abilities or powers of my own, so I really have no point of reference on how your abilities do or do not work. But I have no problem going somewhere quieter in order to demonstrate such... well. An ability. Is there anything you would need from me?"
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 02:59:37 97132
    Homura tilts her head at Masu. "Well, frankly, it would be nice if it was in our heads, but no. This is the reality we have to live in. I'm sure you saw some very strange things that day, and I don't doubt that most of them were actually there."

    Homura shakes her head at being asked if she's an empath. "That's not quite it. I became a Witch, once. Madoka rescued me from that."

    Homura glances away from her, feeling a little embarrassed at having admitted that, and also wondering if she isn't dumping too much onto Masu at once. "Well, we have to transform in order to use our full powers. Our magic is limited out of henshin. As for what I'd need from you, well, once it starts we have to maintain physical contact or you'll be frozen just like everyone else."

    Homura glances around and turns towards a pair of bookshelves that no one seems to be in at the moment. "This will be good," she says, before heading in. Her henshin happens in a quick sparkle of purple magic and quiet pings. A shield appears on her left arm, and her ring turns into a diamond-shaped purple gem on her left hand.

    She waits for Masu to follow. The nice thing about timestopping is that it really only takes a moment.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 03:07:10 97133
Masu Yogoshi shooks her head. "Oh, gosh. No. I barely remember anything. One moment I was in the street, there were winds... Next thing I know, everything hurts, I wake up strapped to a bed and my parents were scared i had a stroke or was dying. Apparently I was screaming a lot during it."

She then blinked. "Wait, you became a witch? How? She... left out how witches were formed. Did tell me I shouldn't trust... cube-bay? It seemed... like a weird name." Then reached out and took her hand. "Huh. Henshining... I like that name..." she mumbled. Was that what it was called when she was Tarnished? Then stopped. "Madoka... mentioned you girls could die if you over exerted yourself. Would showing you this... put you in danger?" she asked softly. "Madoka mentioned... having to fight... witches to recover yourp ower? Is there any other way?"
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 03:23:54 97134
    "If you don't remember, then you're better off. I'll tell you more about it later, if you're curious." Homura figures that pretty much any magical person who was active at the time knows about Walpurgisnacht, so sharing a bit of well-known history with a new person is no big deal.

    Homura hears Masu's questions about being a Witch, but she doesn't answer them until her hand is taken. Her shield seems to turn, making a mechanical sound not unlike gears clinking together. Then, everything grows quiet. Colors become muted. Homura's free hand reaches out to take a book from the shelf, tosses it into the air, and before the book even hits its apex it... just stops.

    It's frozen there, in time, pages spread out yet still as if it were a sculpture.

    "If we're in a state like this, and something explodes, we can just safely walk away from it. Maybe even prevent it from getting worse. This is the safety measure I insist we use. I can stay like this for a very long time before having to worry about straining my magic. Well... 'time'. Time is relative."

    Homura glances around. "I'm not actually sure if this is true timestopping or if it's just an extreme form of time dilation, but I'm pretty sure that the Kyubey's magic works on a level beyond physics."

    It takes her a while to talk more about being a Witch. It's a question that makes her... regretful. It's not an easy time to think about. "There's no way to restore our soul gems that doesn't involve fighting. As for how I became a Witch, well... my soul gem was tainted by despair. I think that's the simplest way to put it."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 20:16:57 97135
Masu Yogoshi shivered. "I... Don't know. If it's as bad as i felt then, it may be best i don't remember. Something like that... I am surprised the whole city wasn't destroyed. I imagine after that almost nothing feels like a realz credible threat. Huh?" She asked with a weak, measured smile.

Time stopped. She kept one hand on Homu... The other reached out. It touched the books. The world. "This is amazing..." Homura would be an incredible threat. More dangerous than anyone else. This... Ability was something she didn't know if she could counter. She kept her eyes away from the othet girl.

She'd have to find a way to... Counter it. Think of something. Perhaps a way to nullify it. Nullify Homura. But her being a puella made her also incredibly delicate. Push her too far and... Well... There was no telling what it would do to her. Could Madoka do something similar? How about other puellas? This was already getting morr complex. Then again.... homura was smart. She sighed softly.

"I imagine your knowledge of explosives comes in use with this. So... You can actually stop time. I almost... Pity those 'witches' you have to fight. I imagine being your enemy must be terrifying. " she then paused. "... No. I... Suppose i pity them regardless..." She mumbled. "And i am sorry you have into despair. I... Can understand why, though. Not your reason. But... Why someone would."

She reached out, picking up a book and then tossong it... Only to watch it stop. Then she grabbed it, moved it. "It's... Like being in space..." She mumbled. "Things just... Stop. I... I had heard a little of magic but... But this is incredible. Breath taking. Even in my wildest imagination... You're incredible..." She said in awe. Then... "Interesting..." She whispered. "I can't feel anyone, either. I wonder if it's because they stopped. No emotions to feel here. It's... Quiet. Nice. Relaxing... Like in another world," she whispered.

"So the harder you fight, the more your gem recovers? "
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 20:34:30 97136
    Nothing feels like a credible threat after Walpurgisnacht? If only that were the case... Homura closes her eyes and shakes her head. "I wish that were the case, but it took the combined efforts of every magical boy or girl, including some who were my enemies at the time, to tear down that horrible creature, and even then we still had losses." Then her eyes open, and her head sidetilts as she regards Masu. "... but there have been worse battles since, and we don't always have the benefit of our enemy's help."

    Homura's abilities, unfortunately for her, do have counters. They just aren't ones that Homura is willing to share with just anyone. "Don't pity them for having to fight me. I bring an end to their despair. From having been through it, I know that most of them don't really want to cause the harm they do. They're simply hurt, and lashing out, and they aren't in control of themselves anymore."

    She frowns and turns away, hand still clasped around Masu in the frozen moment. "... at least, I prefer to think of it that way. It's easier to swallow what I'm doing when I think of it like that."

    Homura doesn't seem to respond emotionally either to Masu's pity or her amazement. There might be a slight amount of uncertainty, as if she's not sure how to respond. Despite having many friends, she is not that much of a social creature. "I have a friend who is a touch-empath. He really didn't like people touching him before he learned how to shield himself."

    Homura shakes her head. "Not quite. When we fight Witches or Wraiths, we get certain rewards. Witches drop Grief Seeds and Wraiths drop Grief Cubes. Those can be used to purify our gems. Fighting just about anyone else tends to be a waste of energy for us, unless they are a direct threat."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 20:44:17 97137
Masu Yogoshi blinked a few times. A more... Credible... Threat. A more dangerous one. Friends? And enemies? No wonder... These people really did need her. And Takashi. A fight like that, and common? No. That just made her research more and more important.

"i see. That's... Even sadder. I've seen things oddly similar. I do volunteer work with the hospital my parents work at. I've seen people who aren't at all in control of what they do. Those who are doing. Nothing but suffering.... If... Those witches are like that... Only worse... I imagine it would be as if an angel of mercy, you stopping them."

"... You shouldn't feel bad. Sometimes... You just have to do things you don't want to. For the greater good. Stopping poor souls like that... Sounds like one of those. And i am sorry you've has to go through that..." She mumbled.

"A touch empath, who can heal? I've met him. He... Uhhhh... He was unique." Her cheeks went just a smidge red. "Very interesting. I look forward to meeting this... Usagi. I expect she will be a great, calming presence like him. His skill with empathic shields is stronger than mine, i will admit. I hope i can eventually learn from him. He was... The first person i met with abilities like mine. I believed i was alone before then."

" Grief seeds... And cubes. Interesting. I am sorry you are required to live such a... Destructive life. You don't... Nobody deserves such a fate. To have to fight forever."
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 21:03:35 97138
    Homura doesn't need to be an empath to see Masu's surprise, but it's better not to give her the wrong impression.

    She smirks slightly at the mention of volunteer work, then frowns at the rest of it. "Yeah, it's kind of like that. It would be pretty fair to compare it to an alcohol or drug problem. Especially considering the... lack of awareness, and the lashing out at those around you. You could take the metaphor further when you consider people get caught in that due to depression."

    Homura thinks something along the lines of 'You're telling me'. "It's not that bad. If you're fighting for something that's worth it, then it's not bad. It's just life."

    Homura sees the light blush when Mamoru is mentioned, and she doesn't need to be an empath to know what that means, either. Or, at least, the girl can guess. "Forget about it. He's gay. I mean he has a girlfriend but she's like the sole exception." With a little bit of a playful tone, she adds, "... not that I can blame you. I had a crush on him a long time ago. He's handsome, sweet and charming... but when I saw how he looked at her I knew I was better off looking elsewhere."

    Homura shrugs at being told she doesn't deserve it. "I was living on borrowed time before I was born, so it doesn't bother me as much. As dangerous as this life is, without it I'd likely have died already."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 21:15:36 97139
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "Yes. I... I've seen...l felt most of it. Of those. How those people felt. The way they hurt those around them. The guilt. The shame. Thr regret. It's... I imagine... A... Witch version is only worse. Only more destructive. Both on the area... And them."

Her cheeks eent red and she rapidly shook her head. "No. No no. No no no. No. Nooooo. I do not do... That. Ever. At all. I mean, i may... Admire. Fine... Specimens. But i have no interest in romance. Of any sort. With anyone. Romance leads to feelings. Which spill out. Which makes other people's emotions flow in. Which then brings morr emotions and... Trust me. Any kind of relationship like that would just be asking for a headache, or worse. Emotional overloads that are too powerful can almost kill me if i don't keep proper counters nearby." She said with a shudder.

However... Of all the things homura said, that one struck home. "Living... On borrowed..." She felt tears welling up in her eyes and suddenly looked st the flying book, her back to homura. "I... See. That's fortunate. That's... Wonderful. Magic like this SHOULD be used for... That. Saving lives. Preventing them from dying. Suffering..."

Getting hurt... Funny... A part of her felt like she wws almost... Talking to her copy. Albeit... Their powers came from different places... But... This chemist... She hoped they'd be good, long friends.
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 21:34:23 97140
    Homura cocks an eyebrow at her reaction, and while at first she was smiling after a moment she starts worrying that she actually made her uncomfortable. "Well, fair enough. I can't imagine what it must feel like, having your mind intruded by such strong emotions. Especially when they aren't yours." Homura does feel a bit of pity for her, though also maybe a little bit of envy. Only a little, because while it might be amazing for a moment to actually know what people think, such power seems to come at significant cost. She's learned the hard way not to covet the grass on the other side of the fence.

    "Well, I hope one day your powers aren't so rough on you. It's easy for me to expound upon the virtues of being in love when my relationship is so nice, but it's not something I'd wish upon someone who'd be hurt by it."

    Homura is actively trying not to think about Madoka at the moment. There are flashes of love here and there, but if anyone knows how to repress strong feelings it's Homura.

    Homura is also trying not to look at the tears in Masu's life, even knowing that they are for her. It's a little different, coming from Masu, and hearing her story. To have such awareness and yet not know what it means, it must drive one crazy.

    If nothing else, they both seem to have their practicality in common, and maybe some vulnerabilities.

    "You sound like an optimist. Still, I have to agree. If magic can't be used to make things better, then what good is it?"
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 21:44:48 97141
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "It... sucks. To be honest. It really sucks. Emotions are nice, but everyone should only have their own for good reason." She motioned around. "In most situations, it is like having a hundred yelling children biting at your ear, looking for a little attention. Some are quieter, some are louder, but the feelings are always... there." Her cheeks turned a little red. "And feeling the sensations of our school body during... puberty... Well... I am QUITE thankful I can block out the worst of it in most cases."

She then nodded and smiled. "No. Your love is beautiful. I believe love is beautiful. And only from one or two people at a time, it is wonderful. You don't need to hide your feelings, it's fine. You're not as over whelming a presence as you may worry."

She then wiped her eyes and looked back to her. "An optomist? That... is a new one. I don't think anyone has ever called me that. I have been called a great many things. And many more felt towards me. But... optomist. That is a new one," she said with a small chuckle. "I appreciate it, though. I'm not sure it's accurate, however... but..." She trailed off. "I think... I am just more of a realist. I... understand. I accept. There are things I cannot change. Horrible, awful things. But... that just means I should focus my energy on the things I can. Otherwise, I am merely wasting time and... well... in MOST situations, I can't stop it to gain more. And no one can have a second try if they waste the first, no?" she said with a smile.
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 22:01:52 97142
    Homura stares wide-eyed at Masu and blinks, then laughs somewhat nervously. "Oh my god, that had to be gross. Wow, I'm really sorry you had to go through that! Still, it must've given you a pretty strong incentive to shore up your defenses." However that works, Homura has only the slightest amount of an idea.

    She relaxes a bit on her feelings, after what Masu has told her. She does let her feelings flow a little more freely, though love might very well be the only feeling that Homura has with any amount of power associated with it. It's a sweet feeling, and it brings with it a kind of drive that would lead someone to stop at nothing.

    "Well, that's good to know. I used to actually be a little terrified of my own feelings. I try to be kind, but love has a way of making me a bit more dangerous."

    Masu doesn't seem sure how to take a compliment either. Another thing they might have in common. On the mention of second tries... Homura looks a little unsure. "I used to have that privilege, but someone took that away from me. Well, I don't think it was a true reversal of time, maybe it was more like jumping to an alternate reality, but ever since I jumped into this world I haven't been able to leave."

    After a moment, she adds, "Not that I'd want to, mind you, but... Well, accepting reality can be really difficult for most. I used to get so frustrated by that, but in the end I realized that I was the same. I skipped from one timeline to the next until I could find a reality that I could accept, because the others were intolerable."

    Homura's eyes rest upon the open book, still floating and frozen in time. Her point has been made, she's sure, so she reaches up and grabs it, closing it and placing it back on the bookshelf.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 22:09:43 97143
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "Oh gosh yes. Fortunately, my defenses only break every so often now, and I can usually close them again. Your fiance, in fact, managed to shatter them. When she's upset... well. I imagine she can move mountains. I do not envy the one who has to help her, as she very much seemed the type to want to help everyone," she said with a small chuckle. "But... I imagine that's the pleasure of real love, not caring about the difficulty."

She blinked. Then sighed. "Ah. So time stopping, now alternate realities exist? Truly there is still so much for me to learn. I merely hope I live long enough to experience it all," she said with a shake of her head. "Do you want..." Then stopped, and smiled. "I'm happy you're somewhere you want to be, then. I... would not want to be somewhere I could not stand. I've been in that situation. It was horrible." Then blinked. "Elementary school," she added to clarify.

"You can end this, though. How about..." She trailed off for a moment, then nodded. "I'll get the information on how this project of ours will work, then I'll text you the information, and you get the resources? With access to a company like that, I imagine they'd be far easier to get. And I've always had a flair for getting information." She then paused. "I use google. Google is awesome."
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 22:28:24 97144
    "When she's at the peak of her power, Madoka's hope can be felt by everyone around. It's enough to make even the most pessimistic person believe in miracles, and sometimes those miracles come true." Homura's smiling a little more widely, and her love shines a little brighter. "It's true, I really don't care. We're bound, so her problems are mine, and vice versa."

    Elementary school... "Wow, you talk about clawing children, so being around actual children has to be worse. Also yeah, on top of everything else, there's also alternate realities. I have to warn you though, most of them are terrible." After a moment's consideration, she adds, "That said, that doesn't mean they aren't worth helping out, too. I just wouldn't consider them to be suitable places to move to."

    Upon being told that the timestop can end, Homura nods, and upon hearing the reference to google she giggles. "If only magical topics could be googled. I think that's suitable. I'm sure I can get the resources, though I will have to know what those are. I'll start looking into it, and I'm pretty sure I can also find us a safe place to run our experiments."

    Then Homura's shield turns, color returns to the world, and suddenly there is noise. Not a loud noise, as this is a library, but there's still the shuffling of feet, someone clearing their throat, and a few whispered conversations. Homura's henshin, also, fades away to show her Infinity Middle uniform.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 22:39:05 97146
Masu Yogoshi blinked. "Her hope is already felt? Ugh. I imagine that would be a bit rough. Though, I believe it. Her sadness was... painful. So it makes sense. Light shines brightest in the dark."

She nodded. "I see. All of you have such problems to deal with. Dimensions, times..." she mumbled. "I... perhaps in the future I can help," she mumbled. "though with my abilities, I doubt I could do much more than be a ear to talk to."

She nodded. "I'll get the information, you get the resources. That way, we're both contributing," she said with a small smile. "It's... only fair, correct? I don't want to use you, after all. After all, I'd love to experiment with you frequently. It's very rare to meet someone who shares my passion."

Then time resumed and... Homura would get an up close view of it. Masu reached out and gripped the shelf. Her body shook for a few moments. "One... two..." she whispered to herself, focusing on th numbers as her walls quickly came up. Finally, she stood up straight. Only about six seconds, but it looked... intense for her. Deep breath, then a smile. "I... think I should head out, though. I am... happy I got to meet you, Homura. I do hope you don't find it... rude of me, if I was t o consider you a friend from now on."
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 22:43:18 97147
    "That's especially true with Puella Magi," adds Homura, in regards to light shining in the dark.

    "When I first started, I had nothing but the power to stop time and a golf club. It took me a long time to find a way to even fight. Don't worry about it. Even as just an ear to listen to, you can help a lot, and I wouldn't be surprised if you started finding more ways."

    With a small smile, Homura says, "If only all group projects could be like that, but I don't see it as one of us using the other. We both have a stake in it, and even if we fail we'll have learned something."

    Homura feels sorry for Masu when the emotions hit her, and she crosses her arms as she waits it out. She isn't sure what she can do to help aside from watch and make sure that Masu doesn't fall over. "I'm happy to meet you, too. I'll be glad to be your friend. As for that book you needed to look at, feel free to take it. I think I'm done with it for now."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-09-06 22:47:27 97148
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "Thank you.... really. I... think I will. I have some side projects of my own I need to work on. I look forward to our experiments," she said before stoping.

"And I really hope that's true. I... know it's not always obvious. But I really do want to one day help everyone." Even those who don't want or accept her help. "And yes. I try to avoid group projects whenever I can."

She picked up the book and started walking, a smile on her lips. Pipe bombs?

OH, of course not. What she was working on was so much more useful than explosives. But maybe.... a bit of destruction mixed with dark energy would be a useful addition to her repetoire...
Homura Akemi 2018-09-06 22:50:13 97149
    Homura watches Masu's back as she leaves, before going back to the remainder of her gathered books. She looks down at her notes, decides that she is done studying for today, and starts to gather up the various odds and ends she's scattered around. She's not checking any of these books out, so she's going to put them up instead.

    She doesn't know what Masu is going to be working on, but it sounds like it'll be a real blast.