2015-06-26 - A Small Wish

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Title: A Small Wish

Precia has all the Jewel Seeds, and Chrono as a hostage at the Garden of Time. Lindy meets Nanoha for the first time and begs for her help. Nanoha rises to the occasion with an unexpectedly perfect suggestion. A rescue operation is planned... for Fate


Nanoha Takamachi, Lindy Harlaown (NPCed by Madoka Kaname)


A traditional teahouse, Asakusa Traditional District, Shitamachi Low City

OOC - IC Date:

06/26/2016 - 07/28/2014

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

<< Nanoha-chan, it's past time for us to meet and talk about the Jewel Seeds and everything else going on. Might you have time to join me for tea? >>

It's the morning after the Fireworks Festival, and Asakusa still smells like gunpowder. Not all of it is from the official display. Within the 100-year-old tea house, however, all such scents are banished. A bamboo shaft collects trickling water and plunks periodically.

An alien sits on a tatami mat, her knees folded underneath her, and awaits her company. She's not in uniform -- not any more. Possibly never again, a thought that saddens her beyond belief, lends gravity she didn't need to her mien, to the cast of her eyes.

But compared to what she faces, considering the possible loss of Chrono... it's nothing at all.

Lindy Harlaown looks haggard -- not old, but drained. Not someone who has totally lost hope... but definitely someone who could use inspiration to light the way.

<Pose Tracker> Nanoha Takamachi [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

An alien. An honest to goodness alien. ... And Nanoha is... Not as surprised as most girls her age would be. The fact that Lindy is human-just-from-another-planet is a little easier to digest, having met other such folk from Mid-Childa like Alyce Ducati, and Lera Camry.

But a tea house seems like such an odd place to meet, and the trickle-doink-doink of the deer chaser only makes it an even weirder experience for the pigtailed redhead. "Um."

So it's finally time to meet, then. Let it not be said Nanoha is not a polite girl, because the child is, verymuchso, a polite girl; dipping forward in a somewhat awkward bow. "I-it's nice to meet you?"

Poor thing looks like she's still looking for something out of place. Like maybe fairy wings or something, as she sits herself down properly on her knees.

The prior night's chaos wasn't lost on her, even if she didn't get to be present, just barely arriving after everything was said and done.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Lindy returns the bow with more dignity, but the surface of the water glass cupped in her palms is trembling. She is under intense stress.

But not too much stress to not be immediately charmed by the girl's demeanor -- not to mention her results.

"The pleasure is all mine, Nanoha-chan," she says warmly. "Please, be seated. Would you like a snack?"

Once the tea is poured and the little, excessively traditional Japanese sweets are served, she clears her throat. "I confess, I'm desperately curious about how you got involved in all of this in the first place. You're a very impressive young mage, you know. Would you mind awfully, telling me your story?"

<Pose Tracker> Nanoha Takamachi [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

The tremble and quake to Lindy's hands is not something an observant girl like Nanoha would miss. And her lips purse briefly as though musing on whether or not to ask about it, as she folds her hands together on her lap. It's something she mentally pens to ask in a moment.

"Well..." Truth be told, Nanoha isn't feeling too hungry by the time the tea and snacks arrive, but she accepts them anyway, but waits for the older woman to consume first, before partaking. "I was born here on Earth. A few months ago I met... A talking ferret named Yuuno Scrya who said he needed help collecting the Jewel Seeds because they were dangerous and needed to be sealed and put away safely. Then I met that girl, Fate, who was also looking for them... And then all this happened."

the clear cut story of a girl thrust into something WAY over her head, and for the most part coping with it all fairly amazingly.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Lindy takes a polite nibble of a red bean paste-filled cookie. Then, floating like spiderwebs on the breeze, her hands make for the teacup. She takes a brief, brief sip, then puts it back down.

All this time she's been leaning forward, listening not just passively but very actively to every word coming out of Nanoha's mouth.

"Yes... Fate Testarossa. Fate-chan. It seems that she loves her mother very much. What she's involved in is incredibly dangerous, though. For you as well."

Before anything else can be said, she holds up a finger, gesturing for patience. "I'm not saying you shouldn't be involved. You've both obviously made your choices with clear eyes and hearts. Not lightly at all."

Sitting back a bit on her feet, she exhales. "I'm afraid we're in a very bad position, Nanoha-chan. You worked so hard to collect Jewel Seeds, and you've saved Tokyo from great calamity, but if Precia Testarossa is allowed to activate them all... it could be the end of everything. Your world... my world... all the worlds."

Her jaw stiffens with resolve.

"She has to be stopped. Would you... would you lend me your strength?"

<Pose Tracker> Nanoha Takamachi [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

Once Lidy has had first bite of cookie and sip of tea, only then does Nanoha reach for hers. Just a small nibble, followed by a sip of bitter tea before returning to the topic at hand.

Fate loves her mother a little TOO much.

Though Nanoha kepes her opinion on that matter to herself. "My friends and I have done... A lot of work looking into that. ... Fate's mother doesn't treat her well. The opposite actually. And I'm really worried about her and don't know where she is..."

And speaking of worry. "And um. That boy. Chrono. He went to Infinity for a while. Is he..." She finally addresses that, before trailing off.

Her hands ball into fists, knuckles clenching white as she grasps the hem of her skirt. "--Yes. Of course. If it means helping Fate too, then I don't need to be asked twice." Comes her instant reply, expression hardening to one of a steel will of her own.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Lindy's hands have been busy while her mouth has been silent -- adjusting the tea /just/ so. It was bitter! Now it is full of cream and sugar.

She sips it and her eyes close with true pleasure, her lashes aflutter.

"Chrono is my son," she acknowledges fairly steadily. "In a way, I guess you could say I'm like Precia. After all, we both allow our children to go into harm's way in order to get what we want."

There's a seething undertone, there, a kernel of bitterness. It tastes of fear. Now her voice wavers.

"I do have the location of Fate Testarossa... she is being held in a very secure location, magically protected. Dark magic. We have the ability to penetrate it once, but only once... after that they will 'change the locks', I believe the Earth euphamism might be."

She inclines her head to one side, her massive, upswept length of sea-green hair falling over one shoulder. "What is Fate to you, Nanoha-chan? You seem to care for her a great deal."

<Pose Tracker> Nanoha Takamachi [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

The sheer weight of the conversation- even if done over light snacks and tea is so pressingly crushing, that for a long moment Nanoha completely misses Lindy's 'adjustments' to her tea. It takes the child the span of a few breaths before she unclenches her grasp. "... Your son... I'm so sorry." Lindy is here, talking with her, while her sone is held captive. Yet Nanoha shakes her head. "No." She seems to disagree.

"I haven't met Fate's mother, but I have a feeling the two of you are very different. She hurt Fate on purpose. ... I can tell already you wouldn't ever do a thing like that."

Of course the instant Lindy says there's a location, Nanoha sits up even straighter. "Y-you do?!" ... but it's secure. Dark Maguc. Westar and his allies at Labyrinth no doubt. The thought of that HUGE FIST-SWINGING MAN makes the girl bite on her lip. But the next question silences her. "What is... Fate to me..." Murmured in thought. "I don't... Know. I feel drawn to her though. She's not my friend, but it's like. I know I'd do anything and everything in my power to get her to be my friend."

The weight of the moment is lifted somewhat when she finally notices the changes to Lindy's tea that--


That gets the girl staring with an expression somewhere between wide eyed horror, and balking abject bewilderment.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Lindy inclines her head in grave acceptance of Nanoha's condolences, but she still seems cold -- not towards Nanoha, but towards herself -- as the girl continues to speak. There's something about this situation that's really bothering her, something beyond what's already horrible about it.

Listening to the girl ruminate on her connection to the Testarossa girl is a nice distraction. "She might be your friend already, and she just doesn't know it yet. After everything you've said and done... you are definitely hers."

A tiny and very genuinely supportive smile alights on her lips like a fairy, but it just can't stay for long. She falls back into her former gloom.

"What you just said about me was kind, Nanoha-chan... but it just isn't true. Precia says she'll hurt Chrono if I try to stop her from activating the Jewel Seeds... and I just don't see any way to prevent that. But I have to do it anyway. Chrono would want me to, I know, and I respect him for it. But..."

She takes a shot of sweetened tea, then closes her eyes, oblivious to Nanoha's expression.

"I am still his mother, choosing the universe over him. I wish there was any other way."

<Pose Tracker> Nanoha Takamachi [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

It takes Nanoha a moment to swallow her sheer horror at Lindy's complete tea heresy. Everything old fashioned in the possibly-ninja blood in her veins tells her she should correct the heinous sin she has seen this day. But there are simply much more important things at hand.

Nanoha was not simply being kind for kindness sake in her assessment, it's something she's fairly certain of, even if she's only known Lindy for the past few moments. "That's what makes you different from her. Even though you can't right now, you want to."

'Right now'. For all the misery and exhaustion of the past few days, hope still has not been extinguished in the girl's breast. "... I know it sounds selfish... And I'm really sorry for asking, but... I want to help Fate the most in all of this. Will you please tell me where she is? Even if I have to go alone, I..." She lets herself fall silent there. "It's obvious she's being used. Being hurt in all of this. And for a while I was worried what the TSAB would do, but now it's a lot bigger than just the TSAB isn't it? Please help me find Fate, and then I'll do everything I can to stop her mother, deal with the Jewel Seeds, and help Chrono."

It's not an attempt to bargain, she's not demanding nor is she saying she will not help with the grander picture of the situation. They are all issues that need to be addressed if the whole mess is to come to a close, and she knows that.

But she simply can't have come as far as she has for Fate to be taken from her.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

It was just a small wish. A 'selfish' wish.

Lindy considers it solemnly. Different parts of her feel very differently about it, and Nanoha is not privy to the welter of emotions thrumming through the older woman.

Tension rises within her -- and then, as though a string has snapped, releases. She sags, and finishes her tea.

"It's always our children who lead the way. Nanoha-chan... what you're asking isn't selfish at all. If we retrieve Fate-chan... we might be able to arrange for a hostage exchange. Certainly we would not turn Fate back over to an abuser, but simply creating the scenario of a swap opens new opportunities to retrieve Chrono. Helping you would help me and him."

She wrings her hands, swallows, and finishes, "But more importantly, it's the right thing to do."

Frowning, her steel-trap mind starts to tick through the logistics involved. "I'm not sure why Precia hasn't retrieved her yet -- she's being held by those who have acted as Precia's allies in the past. Perhaps there's something complex happening there... but it doesn't matter. I'll talk to our allies -- the TSAB's non-interference treaty with Earth has prevented us from acting in an official capacity, but the Tuner Organization has been all too happy to let us help save everyone from a massive dimensional quake."

Standing up, she bows to Nanoha politely. "Please, gather any allies you may have. Contact me when you're ready -- I will transport you to Fate's position. Remember, it's a one-way trip... you will have to escape that magical realm on your own."

<Pose Tracker> Nanoha Takamachi [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

To Nanoha, asking for something when she knows there are other things she could- even should- be helping in; to her that is selfish. But for the moment, as long a Precia hasn't tried to get Fate back, that's a good thing in Nanoha's book. But it looks like the beginnings of a plan are forming.

As Lindy rises and bows, Nanoha hurries to quickly do the same. Gather her allies. She'll have some texts to make tonight, but she can do that and have them ready. "Th- thank you! I'll do everything I can."