2014-12-11 - Modern Art Mishaps

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Title: Modern Art Mishaps

Suspicions about a recent art installation bring a few interested individuals out for a look. Modern art is far from a unifying interest, though - and they really don't get along.


Sailor Mars, Jadeite


Dream Land Amusement Park

OOC - IC Date:

24 April 2014 - 12/11/2014

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Rei Hino wears a yellow sundress and a big floppy hat. The sun hasn't just started to peek out in earnest again, but to her it feels like springtime is starting to come into full steam, the last flashback to winter's chill behind her. The lights and sounds of rides and revelers are all around. Much less noisy and busy than on a weekend, but far from empty.

It was the second time that Rei found herself here within the week, actually. She'd come just last Saturday with friends. Now she's come alone, but not for cotton candy or bumper cars or carnival games. Instead she's come to examine, in closer detail, something that had..stood out..to her.

A circular bench had stood here until recently, on this little side path amidst the booths and the bustle. Now instead an odd sculpture stood..an eight-sided mirror. It stood out, looking unlike anything one would expect from an amusement park. Nothing particularly wacky or whimsical about it. If it is a piece of art, then it isn't a particularly attractive or interesting one.

But there's a quality to it that Rei knows all too well, like the whiff of a familiar smell. Last Saturday she hadn't gotten close, none of the others had any interest in the thing..nor many of the other park-goers, it seems. Today she walks straight towards it while eating some cotton candy from a paper cone.

<Pose Tracker> Jadeite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

In spite of its recent renovations, the middle of the week is far from the busiest time for Dream Land. Far from empty, but most of the customers are young and easily excited. Mascots handing out balloons and roller coasters running non-stop are far better uses of a child's time than paying attention to a boring piece of modern art. As such, the area around the sculpture is akin to an island of quiet. The noise of the park is...less, here.

Hard shoes clack loudly against the pavement of the path, as one truant blond-haired guest makes his own way to the sculpture. He's far from casual in his dress - rather, he's wearing what appears to be some kind of military uniform, albeit one not from any easily named country. Cold blue-grey eyes take in the area, sheer confidence and annoyance practically emanating from him.

The 'DJ Dite' persona was a lost cause after the radio station, and if commoners happen to recognize him - it's not as if any of them can do anything to Jadeite, of the Four Heavenly Kings.

There's sounds of laughter, as a trio of children come running down another path, balloons blowing in their wake. Jadeite's steps come to a sharp halt as he glares at the youths - they freeze in their tracks, one of the balloon pops of its own voalition, and two start wailing. From them, he turns - and spies the teenage girl approaching. He doesn't say anything - just puts a hand on one hip, and gives the impression of sheer disdain.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Her stride hadn't exactly been quick before, but it slows down as she recognizes a familiar face. The pop she'd just heard suddenly makes sense. Tilting her hat back, she steps into the little clearing, and calls out to the wailing children, slipping a hand into her purse to fish out some yen coins.

"Come here kids! Go get another balloon and some cotton candy."

They'd probably been raised not to take gifts from strangers, but Rei has no doubt that she's an attractive alternative to the strange and glaring man standing by the strange little monolith. She doesn't look back as they accept what they're offered, her level gaze held fast to the Heavenly King's. As they run off somewhere behind her, she continues her slow stride forward, and offers a falsely sweet smile as she comes to stop next to Jadeite, stroking the side of the mirror.

"Such an interesting piece, isn't it? So unusual. I like it when places do something unexpected. Like your uniform! Is that a new employee outfit or something? Are you dressed up like an anime character? It kinda looks like it..but I don't really follow that stuff so well, so I can't tell for sure."

<Pose Tracker> Jadeite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

Jadeite's eyes don't even flicker as the children run off - partly happy to have a chance to get candy, mostly relieved to be getting away from the cruel-eyed man. His gaze only wavers when Rei comments on the mirror; the eight-sided sculpture was a part of his purpose in coming here in the first place.

The rest? Finding an...opportune situation. The theme park? A possible candidate, but perhaps too easily escaped.

The comparison to an anime character, of all things, shifts his face from dispassionate disdain; now, he openly sneers at this obvious civilian's folly. "This outfit is mine alone; the significance, along with that of this sculpture, are almost certainly beyond you."

Were he still wasting time on his disguise, he might try to be polite; as it stands, every one of these fools wandering through will only throw off his examination. He turns to Rei, and lays his own hand on the sculpture. "Move along, and waste your day; what happens here is none of your concern."

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Rei makes an exaggerated yawn, and doesn't bother to cover her mouth. Lifting a foot off of the ground, she adjusts her shoe, pulling it a little tighter, before resting her back against the sculpture, slouching a little with crossed arms.

"Mmm...gotta be an anime character. Dumb haircut, stupid clothes, incredibly boring, lazy arrogance." She giggles softly, leaning over to gently touch his forearm, speaking in a conspiratorial whisper. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude, I know you're just doing your job. I'm sure that you're perfectly nice when you aren't made to act like an insufferable buffoon."

Leaning back into place, her eyes project a sly glint. "So I guess this thing's a prop too, huh? Maybe for one of those little skits, like with the cowboys and the robbers? This is the thing that takes away all the children's candy so you can feed some hackneyed master, right?"

She glances around, left and right, just once. "Where are the other characters? The ones that kick your teeth in after every episode? I hope I'm not in the way of an upcoming performance or anything!"

<Pose Tracker> Jadeite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

He is Jadeite. One of the Four Heavenly Kings. Sovereign of a quarter of the world, subordinate only to Queen Beryl himself. The words of some petulant whelp of a human are as nothing to him - he is as far above them as they are above ants crawling on the ground.

And yet, his eyebrow twitches.

She mentions the 'other characters' - reminding him of those he has sworn to deliver to Beryl as corpses - and then, gradually, he begins to smile. A cold, harsh smile - but when he speaks again, it's with a voice like velvet. A fan of DJ Dite's radio show might do a double-take at the familiarity there.

"Well, now. Aren't you...observant. But some of those...episodes have no heroes. They exist to establish the threat, leaving only bleak despair in their wake. All the better to draw out the heroes' anger." There's a glint of teeth in that smile, and he shifts his arm to lay a hand on Rei's arm in turn. "No need for those supporting characters today - only the villain, and his victim. And as it happens - I have a volunteer."

Jade-coloured light flares up around his hand, reflected a dozen ways by the mirrored sculpture - and a sickly feeling of draining energy begins to settle. It's mild, as yet - the dark general inclined to draw this out as payback.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Rei probably should have just skipped down the path, transformed, and returned. That would have been smarter..but how many times is she ever going to get the chance to make fun of one of these vile villains to their face? She just couldn't help herself.

When his voice changed, and his lips curled up into that smile, that's when she knew to ready her move. With slow and subtle movements, she pulls a single ofuda free from her purse, never traveling without one. His glowing touch is naseauting and thoroughly unpleasant, but it's clear that he doesn't consider her a threat.

Slapping the ofuda on the back of his hand, she sharply brings up her knee between his legs, aiming for his crotch while she shoves what's left of her cotton candy into his face, attempting to cover his eyes.

Dashing away from him, she runs around the mirrored pillar, and Jadeite is briefly out of view. Clutching her pen, she doesn't shout the words this time, but instead whispers them. "Mars power: Make-up!" In her mind and her heart she urges the transformation on as quickly as can be.

She isn't sure how much time she has, but it probably isn't much. The same flames that always reveal Sailor Mars underneath don't dissipate this time. Instead, snapping her arm out like an aggressive, accusatory point, they spiral out along it and hurtle around the mirror. If Jadeite hasn't moved yet, he'll find a heated motivation to do so now.

<Pose Tracker> Jadeite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

If the glowing touch is unpleasant to Rei, the ofuda is painful to Jadeite. A simple slip of paper, charged with spirit and tasked with rejecting all that is unnatural and evil. As he is, with blessings from the Dark Kingdom, Jadeite certainly fulfils the criteria.

The girl was more than she seemed. He's already in motion when the knee comes up - his grip releasing in an instant as he makes a bit of space for himself. The cotton candy is met with his other arm - dirtying his sleeve, and compounding the insult this...shrine maiden? Must be, who else might carry such talismans.

Pursuit is delayed for a moment. The evil-sealing talisman burns at him, and it takes a bit of ginger fingerwork to peel it free, hurl it to one side. Every fiber of its existence rankles - and the girl who dared to insult him will pay. She has declared herself an enemy of the Dark Kingdom, and judgment is his to mete out.

There's a loud sizzling hiss, and steam billows. As it clears, the cause is revealed - an icy wall, summoned from the air to ward off the flames. Its worth was utterly expended - fire proving its worth in melting it - but the general now stands, unscorched, upon a nearby wastebin.

(It was the highest point convenient save the sculpture itself, and he's not that foolish.)

Anger gives way to momentary surprise - and then a pleased smile. "Well, well. Sailor Mars - I was wondering how best to draw out you Senshi - but really, the classics are best, aren't they? Torment helpless innocents, take their energy for the Dark Kingdom, and wait for you to show up."

Jade light fills the air again - a glowing orb held before one ofuda-injured palm. "The only question is what works best. Another little shop? An amusement park? Perhaps a local shrine again? Do voice your opinion while you can." Without further ado, he fires the orb - hurtling forth with stone-shattering force.

Oddly, he's avoiding the sculpture.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

She has to hand it to him...he's very fast. The way that he so often summons up an underling or a beast to do his dirty work, Rei has never assumed that he'd be stronger than his creatures. It would seem that that presumption was arrogantly misplaced..like, perhaps, the entire way that she's gone about this.

From his trashy perch, the mirrors no longer conceal her completely as she stands...but it still makes a very convenient barricade. Hurtling to the ground to jump out of the crackling energy's path, it occurs to her that it was..well, a little strange that he didn't simply obliterate the obstacle.

"Works best? Funny way to put it, Jadeite. You've lost every single time, regardless of your empty bluster."

Pulling herself up into a low crouch, she draws a deep breath, her muscles tensing...eight jets of flame blast out from all around her, her sides and her head, spraying out haphazardly like a barrage of rockets. Unlike her typical fire, the streams are slender, but billow with dark smoke. That black haze was the true purpose of her attack, to hide her movements for just a moment.

Her eyes scan her immediate surroundings, looking for a brick or a sizable stone..and finds something suitable about seven feet away, just off of the path. Sprinting to it and taking it in hand, she leaps back to the installation's base...and smashes the stone against the mirrored glass as hard as she can.

Running might be wise..but she first wants to see what, if anything, will happen.

<Pose Tracker> Jadeite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

Time and time again, everyone underestimates him. Mocks his 'failures'. No more, he'd declared - no more sending youma in to do his dirty work only to get struck down by the Senshi. He has promised Beryl a prize, and her enemies fallen before her is the only thing that will suit.

Once more, he is mocked. And once more, he speaks out. "Yes, yes. The brave and noble Senshi, striking down the 'vile youma'. I'm sure your proud victories are wonderful consolation to those who have 'donated' their energy to Queen Beryl - how many days does it take you to realize something has gone awry, remind me?"

Flames lash out in response, creating a literal smokescreen; he prepares to bring forth ice again, just in case. When Mars reappears, sprinting for the sculpture...he does nothing but watch. Stone strikes mirror with a mighty ring-

-but whoever built it sprang for quality, and it doesn't crack. There is a crack in short order, though - the air snapping as Jadeite unleashes a narrow burst of telekinesis at the watchful Mars. "Really, now. Such hatred for modern art."

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Her head snaps back as the concentrated burst of force smashes into her cheek, opening a small cut and drawing a bit of blood. It seemed to her to be like a flick against her forehead, a sneering taunt. For her part she's taunted enough for one day. She'd have to return to examine the sculpture..and to find out if Jadeite has erected any defenses for it. If she'd had just a few seconds she might have seen how it interacted with a prayer slip..but she's already spent more time than she has to spare.

A thin, shimmering scarlet aura surrounds her, a little layer of simmering conflagration. Glaring up at an opponent that has earned a new measure of..respect isn't the right word, but something close to it..more smoke billows out of her, as though she's a fog machine. The same trick she'd just used, but it had bought her time and cover once, and Jadeite didn't seem to have a quick counter for it. She's running the risk that he'll be better prepared now, but she doesn't exactly have a jetpack to fly away with.

Her previous haze had balanced with the flames. Now, the smog is very much the focus of her energies. There is more of it, and thicker, issuing more quickly. Although she stood at its center, the clearing is blanketed in moments. In the distance she can hear a siren's wail..if it belongs to a fire truck then some people are sure to be relieved that the park isn't burning down.

Turning on her heel, she sprints off, not along the path, but into the rougher terrain alongside it, cutting across where people aren't meant to walk to make for a less predictable excape, coming back onto the path several meters away from where she left it. Dashing past astonished kids and shocked adults, she makes a beeline for the park's exit, breathing hard and heavy.

<Pose Tracker> Jadeite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

Smoke billows - and this time, Jadeite answers quickly. In contrast to the heat of Mars's flames, Jadeite's magic is cold and cruel - spikes of ice forming in midair, glistening with the menace of impaling death. A moment's grace, and they descend swiftly into the smoke. Again and again, the ice cracks the pavement...

...but that moment was long enough for his quarry to escape. No matter - this encounter was happenstance. Vengeance against the Senshi can wait until he's fully prepared...but even in flight, Sailor Mars has earned his fury.

Sirens are beginning to sound, and Jadite lets out a disappointed sigh. Investigating this monument will have to wait for another day - the civilian police pose no threat to his mind, but too much attention would be drawn here. Without preamble, he turns to leave, striding confidently from the battleground.

His hand aches. He will not forget.