Habeas Corpus

Rules-lawyered by a build-a-bear.

Date: 2019-05-23
Pose Count: 21
Kyouko Sakura 2019-05-23 00:36:33 105304
    It is any average night at the ECFH. This means various people are probably about, lounging or socializing or perhaps some combination thereof. Some might even be working! Bottom line is, it's just a run-of-the-mill evening. Kyouko is here, as she often is, sprawled on the couch with one of her trashy shoujo mangas, still in her jeans and black t-shirt from a work shift a few hours back. She's rather engaged in reading said manga, and as such hasn't been particularly chatting with anyone the past little while, laying on her back with the book held up over her head.

    There's nothing at all unusual about this evening. That is, until a familiar, and not-often-welcome voice suddenly chirps, seemingly from nowhere, "Hello, Kyouko Sakura." And, emerging from behind a decorative vase on the table, though he clearly had not walked behind it from the other side, is Kyubey, in all his white-cat-rat-thing smugger-than-thou glory. In a moment, Kyouko is sitting up straight, eyes slightly wide, the book dropped to the side. It's not that Kyubey is any particular threat to her, it's just.. unexpected. And he's not terribly popular around here, anyway.

    "Kyubey? What the hell are you doing here? I thought you had sworn off anything to do with me. I don't think you've said a damn word to me in like.. at least a year.."

    Kyubey has sat down on the coffee table, and is washing his paw in a very unconcerned manner, cat-like. "Well, there is a very good reason for that, Kyouko Sakura. We have been debating an issue. That debate has now finished, so I have come to inform you of the outcome."
Naru Osaka 2019-05-23 00:41:33 105305
Certainly Naru could be baking downstairs in their own apartment, but where's the fun in that? Instead she's doing something that appears to be some sort of abomonation in a food processor that involves whole oranges, at least to start. The oven is pre-heating, but nothing's there yet.

The whirrrrrr of the food processor muffled Kyubey's initial greeting from being heard in the kitchen, but there's something in Kyouko's tone, and then Koob's reply that prompts Naru to peer out into the living room, eyebrow raised.
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-23 00:51:08 105306
Mamoru's been on the balcony taking notes from a textbook for the past hour, filling in blanks from a lecture he was one of three people to attend, when he hears Kyouko's voice with a distinct sound to it that's-- unfamiliar. He glances up at Kazuo, then carefully closes his book and notebook and stands up, sliding the door open the rest of the way. He stands at the threshold, to the side of the door enough that he doesn't present an immediate target; he missed whatever Kyubey said but the rat-thing has a tendency to draw the eye.

There's already a rose in his free hand.
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-23 00:54:40 105307
Kazuo has, as is not unexpected, been keeping Mamoru company on the balcony. Mostly, looking quietly out over the city. In the last few minutes, bending his head over his phone to answer a text. He might have been about to tell Mamoru something about it --

-- and then the glance to meet Mamoru's is about something absolutely different.

The door being opened means that Kazuo takes a couple of steps inside. Automatically protective, nevermind that Kyubey has never been a direct danger.
Saburo Yukimura 2019-05-23 01:03:37 105308
Saburo had been sprawled on the floor, watching a series of videos by a clay sculptor making miniature Pokemon. His homework had been sitting behind him, and it's even more thoroughly forgotten as Kyubey emerges. Now, he's sitting up and facing the coffee table, radiating 'willing to chuck phone' energy. Sure, the weird little rat hasn't ever been a direct threat, but that could change.
Kyouko Sakura 2019-05-23 01:09:49 105309
    Kyouko glances over her shoulder at the sound of the door opening, giving Mamoru and Kazuo each a glance, but remaining where she is. As previously stated, while it is generally accepted that Kyubey is a no-goodnick, he also does not represent a threat in and of himself. Unless you count high-pitched smarm a threat, which might be fair. After a moment, she looks back to the creature in question. "..and? So are you gonna enlighten us as to exactly what this 'good reason' is? I figured you were just done with me and had nothing more to say."

    Kyubey, for all that the room is filled with additional people, seems to only care about Kyouko. He sits on the table before her, calmly washing his paw, and does not acknowledge anyone else in the room whatsoever. "I am. That is the purpose of my visit." He says. "You see, Kyouko Sakura, you have given us a hitherfore-unencountered issue to deal with. In all the millenia that we Incubators have been creating Puella, we have never had one break her contract before. At least, not in the way you have done. We have been debating what we should do about it. There were many potential solutions debating, amongst our kind. But at last we have arrived at a solution that the majority of our collective feels is the most effective resolution of this situation. I have not been speaking to you because I did not want to address you until we had reached a decision."

    Kyouko has a rather wary look on her face now, as she regards the cute, unnerving alien sitting on the coffee table. "Well, I mean, I didn't technically break it but.. um.. so.."

    As if she hadn't spoken, Kyubey goes on, "We have decided that, since our end of the contract was fulfilled when we granted your Wish, but your end was not fulfilled because you exited the arrangement prematurely, that it is our right and indeed, our duty, to repossess your soul and direct its energy towards staving off entropy, as was the original intent. In this form it will provide much less energy than we had intended, had your service gone to its intended end, but it's really more about the principle of the thing."

    Kyouko blinks at Kyubey. "..excuse me?"
Naru Osaka 2019-05-23 01:14:17 105310
The continued conversation from Kyubey has Naru collecting up a dishtowel, wiping her hands and coming to stand in the kitchen doorway to squint at the critter more directly. She listens. The whole way through.

"What are the ramifications for Kyouko on having her soul repossessed?" Naru asks with a certain level of calm that is probably wholly and entirely a facade.
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-23 01:19:35 105311
Mamoru clears his throat from the doorway and steps in, still partly behind Kazuo, He puts his book and notebook down on the end table and straightens, twirling the rose pointedly. "Kyubey, you have no jurisdiction over Kyouko Sakura. I do. She is one of my Shitennou, sworn to me and the Earth, and her soul is connected to mine. As the Senshi of Earth and heir of Elysion, the heart of the Earth's own magic, I dismiss your claim."
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-23 01:26:05 105312
Kazuo shifts his weight as Mamoru steps in, a relaxed signal of Mamoru's authority; he comes forward a step or two to give him room, as well. Physically relaxed, anyhow. Alert in a number of ways. Oddly unconcerned -- on the surface.

It's possible that the only entity in the room that can't interpret that as a danger sign is Kyubey. And that includes the rosebush.
Saburo Yukimura 2019-05-23 01:42:03 105313
"How does it actually help you to steal Kyouko's soul anyway?" Saburo asks. From his position he's pretty sure he could lunge and drop on top of Kyubey before he could use his long dishrag ears (or other body parts) to try and touch Kyouko, but he shuffles closer anyway. It never hurts to be sure.

"I mean, forget using it to stave off the heat death of the universe, isn't fighting monsters and assholes that would try and kill everything in sight more proactive and I don't know, useful?"
Kyouko Sakura 2019-05-23 01:43:07 105314
    "Well, Naru Osaka," Kyubey says, addressing the question from the other girl, "I imagine it would kill her, although I suppose I can't really say for sure. It seems very likely, however."

    "...excuse me??" Kyouko says, more forcefully, "Don't I get a say in-"

    Before she can say any more, Mamoru is putting forth his claim- or at least, his right to say who does or does not have a claim. The distinction is one Kyouko is appreciative of, although it might not occur to her to be so until later, given the circumstances. Kyubey, in his turn, cants his head towards the Prince, displaying no outward sign of rufflement. "She signed a contract with us years before you met her, Prince Endymion. Furthermore, our jurisdiction is universal. Literally. You may be the heir of this particular planet, as you say, but what is that to us? A contract is a contract. If we began letting anyone who found some local potentate to offer them service out of their contract, well, we'd be up to our ears in ex-Puella, I imagine. It simply sets a bad precedent. An example must be made." Paw-lick. Ear-comb.

    To Saburo, he says, "It is not stealing. It is ours via the contract she signed willingly. As I stated, it's about precedent."
Naru Osaka 2019-05-23 01:48:38 105315
"Hrm." Naru accepts that matter of fact answer with a little shake of her head. "I was hoping that wasn't going to be your answer." She looks towards Mamoru and Kunzite and then to Kyouko before settlign back on Kyubey. "Everything about Kyouko is an exception, rather than the rule. This is hardly any different. It does not follow that this would be precident setting, as circumstances are unique."
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-23 01:55:06 105316
Mamoru first lifts his eyebrows at Kyouko, then nods to Naru. "It was a one-in-billions situation-- just as Kyouko herself is," he tells Kyubey. "But!" he lifts the rose. "You came into my home, and are trying to steal the soul of one of the guardians of the magical heart of Earth, and my court dismisses your claim as invalid. I do not care what you think your jurisdiction is; by removing her you would upset the balance of this planet. Additionally, you claim to only act with logic and efficiency, but if that's the case, then you would not choose to argue something like 'it's the principle of the thing'. You are not principled."
Saburo Yukimura 2019-05-23 02:06:38 105317
"If you say that Kyouko signed a contract with you, then by all means, please produce us a copy for review. Her copy, of course, with her signature, if you would so please. You say that your kind have been discussing this unique situation for some time - surely it is only reasonable to allow Kyouko's own kind an opportunity to review the claims. It's the principle of the thing "

Saburo's smile is angelic. His eyes are like ice. For his friendly, polite words, he has not reconsidered the idea of tackling the rat bastard to the floor. The fact that it wouldn't cause permanent damage is only another reason to try.

"Surely it can't be a hardship for a being such as yourself to share the evidence for your claim?"
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-23 02:11:56 105318
Kazuo settles a little more to the side, weight clearly on the foot farther from Mamoru now, and crosses his arms. There's the faintest of twitches at the corner of his mouth; but he's examining Kyubey's grooming rather than nodding to Mamoru, or standing up closer behind Saburo. Perhaps he's letting the diplomats handle things for now. Or perhaps he's starting to think he understands something about Kyubey ... which is almost always a mistake.
Kyouko Sakura 2019-05-23 02:19:06 105320
    Kyubey looks at Mamoru. It might just be wishful thinking, but he does seem to be eyeing the rose somewhat warily. "Forgive me if my choice of words was less than ideal. Precedent, as I have also said, is more appropriate. It is not logical to allow anyone to think they can withdraw from a contract with us. It hurts our endeavor, even if this exact situation is, as you say, highly unlikely to be repeated. Though there is some merit to what you say about the balance of this planet. Earth is a very productive planet for us.."

    He then directs his gaze towards Saburo, as he speaks. He is silent for a moment. "The physical copy has been with Kyouko Sakura all along. Or has no one ever wondered what is inscribed on the Soul Gem rings in our script? It is hardly our fault if you are not educated enough to read it." Another pause. "Still. You do bring up a salient point. We are, as I said, concerned with precedent. We would hardly want to set a precedent for being.. unfair. Our image is very important to us." Lick, comb.

    "Very well. We shall allow Kyouko Sakura and those close to her some time in order to review the case, and present their opinions to the collective. We very much doubt that it will change our minds, as our decision is the most logical one, but in the interest of maintaining universal order, and not appearing to be.. tyrannical, it seems like a small concession to make. Prepare your arguments as to why we should allow this transgression against our rights to be sustained. We shall give you sixty of your Earth days. If you are ready before then.. well, you know how to reach me. For now, I shall take my leave."

    And he walks back behind the vase, and doesn't come out from the other side.

    A moment later, Kyouko says into the brief silence, "Well. Fuck me."
Naru Osaka 2019-05-23 02:25:00 105321
"Hunh." Naru comments again as she listens to Kyubey make his offer, and there's a frown as she turns back towards the kitchen. "That was.. surprisingly reasonable from what I have come to expect out of Kyubey." She notes, her voice raised a little to be heard from another room. "Not quite fucked yet, dear." She notes and then there's a little hrm, as she considers further, not /quite/ sharing what's going through her head. Not quite yet.
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-23 02:33:02 105323
It is at this point that the phone in Kazuo's hand chirps for attention. He glances at it in slight but visible surprise, then tucks it into a pocket and paces toward the couch. To set a hand on Kyouko's shoulder.

"If he were ultimately after you," he says quietly, "he'd have found a way to weasel out. No. He wants something else. If nothing else works, we can find out what that is."

And possibly then explode it in his face. But that's a problem for later.
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-23 02:40:25 105324
"What a little shit," says Mamoru, scowling, and then he puts the rose on the end-table and, not for the first time, sort of half-wishes he could put them *back*. He starts to say something, scowls again, shakes his head. "I honestly wish I could lecture him on SO MANY THINGS and it would actually *take*. For the record," he adds quickly, "I'm not actually worried; I'm more indignant than anything else. I have zero doubt that we've got this. What's the script on your ring look like? And is it completely and totally illegibly small like we need a microscope to read it?"
Saburo Yukimura 2019-05-23 02:55:18 105325
"I hope it's illegally small. Easier to throw their case out that way," Saburo adds. He's frowning as he considers - "Do you think any of the other Puella would let us get a look at their soul gem? The more of the script we can look at the better for understanding it, even if most of it might be the same."

The contract between different Puella couldn't be that different, could it?

"There's no way we're going to let some knock-off Pokemon walk out of here with your soul. All he's doing is setting up Ace Attorney: Earth Court Edition." The frown vanishes as he says the words, replaced with a more reassuringly confident smile. There's just no way that Kyouko's made it through all of this to be rules-lawyered by a Build-A-Bear.
Kyouko Sakura 2019-05-23 03:02:27 105326
    For her part, Kyouko just seems a bit befuddled by the whole encounter. She's still sitting on the couch, chewing her lower lip with a mildly concerned look on her face that, frankly, seems a bit of an under-reaction considering she was just told that she conceivably has sixty days left to live. She shoots a loot towards Naru, meeting her gaze for a moment, but part of that communication seems to be "we'll talk later", becaues she then looks to Kazuo without actually saying anything.

    She reaches up to put her hand over the one on her shoulder, and offers a slightly wan smile. "Well, obviously, I mean.. I can't be that important, can I? That's just silly." A brief pause, before she looks at Mamoru. "I mean.. would it really throw the balance of the whole planet out of whack if I died? Because I uh.. I'm not actually sure I realized that, if so.."

    A brief shake of her head. "I um.. I'm not sure if I'm worried or not. I don't think this has actually sunk into my brain yet? I mean, I've been basically expecting to die any time for so much of my life it doesn't.. actually feel all that different in this situation. But y'know, if anybody can help me wriggle out of a stupid agreement I made when I was ten, I totally trust it would be you guys.."

    She pulls the silver ring off of her middle finger, and passes it to Mamoru. "I dunno why I even wear the thing anymore. Habit, I guess. I um.. didn't actually realize that was writing on there." She sounds a bit sheepish, one hand going to the back of her head. "I thought it was just like, some kinda fancy decoration or something." It looks like a bunch of swirls and dots engraved into the silver. It is definitely not a human language, although looking at it with the knowledge that it is language, the patterns can be seen.

    To Saburo, she then adds, "Um. We could ask, but it is kind of sensitive thing, so I'm not sure. But I guess there's no harm trying." A pause. Then a snort of amusement. "Fine, but if anybody shows up in cosplay, I'm going to object."