Papers, Please


Neil now knows about Kenji's Box of Dangerous Knowledge. And that Kazuo's been keeping it quietly. For THREE YEARS. Also, Saburo is slightly baffled by the idea that he's playing a video game, and Mamoru might be mildly cranky about the theft of his laptop. Naru clearly wins this one.

Date: 2019-08-29
Pose Count: 13
Kazuo Takeba 2019-08-29 02:16:24 106588
It is a typical day in the -- okay, well, no. It is not altogether a typical day in the ECFH. Because Kazuo has borrowed (with or without Mamoru's knowledge) a certain laptop, and is idly playing, heavens forfend, a video game.

Admittedly, it's one in which he's reviewing documents for entry to Arstotzka.
Naru Osaka 2019-08-29 02:28:43 106589
There's one way that the day is vaguely typical.. there's a Naru in the kitchen. Not with the skill and finesse of Mako, but with the oven on regardless, and a Naru standing on the counter, rifling through the stash of muffin add ins, debating on options. She picks up a small bag of chocolate chips, considering them, and then puts it back down. "Do you know, Kunzite, if there's any dried fruit other than raisins in here?"
Mamoru Chiba 2019-08-29 02:33:20 106590
It's probably hilarious to someone that Mamoru doesn't even know his laptop is not in its home; he only ever looks for it anymore when he has a paper to write.

That means he's startled when he hears the signature music coming from the living room, but on his way through the kitchen from putting a pile of things on Zoisite's bed, he postpones investigating to look over Naru's shoulder. "I have a bunch of dried pineapple and apricots stashed in the back of the top shelf of the cabinets above the fridge, want me to get them down? Kazuo might know of better though."
Nephrite 2019-08-29 02:36:03 106591
Neil skulks behind Kazuo's chair, drawn to any hint of slightly out of character -- and therefore mockable -- activity like a moth to flame. "Wait, hold that thought Naru. I think he's been replaced by some sort of clone that is not allergic to fun." He leans over Kazuo's shoulder. Well, onto Kazuo's shoulder. There is a significant amount of lean. "Unless you are still allergic and torturing yourself intentionally. In which case, do you need Mamoru to heal you? Are you getting hives?"
Kazuo Takeba 2019-08-29 02:40:32 106592
Kazuo stamps a passport in red, then tabs out as a shortcut to put the game, and the lumbering ominousness of the music, on pause. "Only from your conditioner," he replies to Neil, bracing himself with an elbow against the weight. Alas, his hair is no help with load-bearing. To Naru, he adds, "Did we run out of cranberries? There might be figs. I wouldn't advise touching Zoisite's persimmons."
Naru Osaka 2019-08-29 02:42:21 106593
There is a minor level of indignity at the reality that Mamoru can look over her shoulder while she's perched on the counter, but Naru is well familiar with that injustice of the world. "Apricots could be good." She muses and then pauses a moment and leans just a touch to peer out towards the living room. "Clones shouldn't get hives.. although they could.. no reason they wouldn't, I suppose. .. Why is Kunzite a clone, this time?" She shakes her head at Mamoru's offer. "I got it, thanks though." She hops down, to climb up on a different bit of counter, and go looking in a different stash. "The persimmons are safe, I think Zoi's the only one who likes them. I'm not contaminating muffins with them. Figs might be alright.. I didn't see any cranberries, I think you're out. I can add them to the list if you want."
Mamoru Chiba 2019-08-29 02:58:20 106594
It's even entirely possible that Mamoru does things like looking over Naru's shoulder while she's perched on the counter specifically to be irritating. Either way, though, he flashes her a thumbs-up, then pauuuuses. "Kazuo, does your dad like persimmons too? It seems like the kind of thing he'd be into." He continues on out of the kitchen to get out of Naru's way, grabbing an apple as he goes, and makes the mistake of biting it before seeing what Neil is talking about. "One damn minute--" he splutters, mouth full, and has to reach up a hand to hold it over his mouth and under his chin so he doesn't dribble apple bits in his indignation. "You're playing on my computer? You started a new game, right?"

He comes over to glare (ish) and then prods at Neph while quickly chewing and swallowing. "He's still Kunzite. It's the most depressingly oppressive videogame you can get."
Nephrite 2019-08-29 03:01:39 106595
"He willingly sat down to play a game, apparently without any prompting. Even if the game involves uh, paperwork? And oppression? You would choose something like that, I guess." The fact that Kazuo has to physically brace himself under Neil's weight is not incentive to relieve him of said weight.

"Speaking of paperwork, I hear you have a box of such stuff. Like, important stuff. About the crash. That you haven't shared."
Saburo Yukimura 2019-08-29 03:08:20 106596
"Who's playing a game with paperwork and oppression?" Saburo is passing through, one earphone stuck in his ear and the other hanging down, obviously planning to head for the kitchen, but equally obviously detailed by what sounds like the worst game ever. And then he sees it.

"Is Kazuo playing games? Are we crushing him because he's actually a bodysnatched clone?"
Kazuo Takeba 2019-08-29 03:15:07 106597
"Mamoru has already established that I am not a bodysnatched clone," Kunzite says, closing the laptop in something that might be resignation. "My father likes dried persimmons, but in the form of an exceedingly rare treat. Yes, I started a new game." That answers Naru's 'why' question, too. "Apricots sound like the easiest solution. I might have custody of a few things. Hospital records. A few photos that didn't make it into articles. An audio tape. I'm not sure that we have anything that can play an audio tape, particularly the micro format."
Mamoru Chiba 2019-08-29 03:33:24 106598
Mamoru freezes when Neph brings up the paperwork to Kazuo with him in the room, then looks down at his apple. He says, "Thanks. For starting a new game." It's quiet, and a little guilty, and then he puts his apple-juice-free hand lightly on Kazuo's other shoulder for a second. "I have a micro tape recorder from middle school. It should still work, just needs new batteries. But Neil hasn't seen the articles, either, and I'm fairly sure there were police reports in that box too." His hand moves slightly on Kazuo's shoulder, and the side of Mamoru's hand is briefly against the white-haired man's neck. The box that's in the apartment, not the one that's in your palace. Your discretion obviously, but I think Neil and Kyou can handle it.

Then he's sliding away to wave his apple at Saburo. "Neil's crushing him because it's his hobby. I'm just waiting for the inevitable backlash. He just closed my laptop so if you see him put it in a safe place then we should probably get closer to the walls."
Nephrite 2019-08-29 03:47:43 106600
Neil could have kept the topic away from Mamoru's ears, but he doubts it would have remained a secret for long. And anyway, treating it as something to tiptoe around doesn't feel right. This is his life they're discussing, that Mamoru's now decided to share with them, and Neil is not about to whisper about it behind his back. "We can start with the reading material."

Neil grins blithely. Kazuo has not yet made an effort to resist crushing, so he sees no reason to stop of his own accord. "Neil is crushing him because he's comfy, that's all."
Saburo Yukimura 2019-08-29 03:55:12 106601
Oh, it's that kind of conversation going on, more serious than teasing, if only by a hair. He diverts from the kitchen to plop next to Kazuo and put a hand on the shut laptop. "You didn't have to quit playing, I was just curious. I mean, what kind of game is about paperwork?" He's imagining Accounting Tycoon or some kind of Sims expansion that let's you live out the day job of your Sim. But he's also... considering how he wants to address this box. And mainly, he's thinking..

"When there's a chance, I'd like to see it all too. Especially the audio tape - maybe we can try and lift it from the tape to something more modern. It would at least make the listening part easier."