2017-07-02 - Uminari Armistice

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Title: Uminari Armistice

In which Chika Aki and Sailor Pluto exchange proper introductions


Chika Aki, Setsuna Meioh


Uminari Seaside Park

OOC - IC Date:

Fri June 30, 2017 and Sun July 02, 2017 - The day before the big Puella Magi meeting thing

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Friday evening is a glorious time, as it means the weekend has come. One of Juuban Public Schools 9th graders can be found near the Tokyo Bay. Chika is wearing her uniform, bundled up against the chill with a tuque tugged over her head and some fingerless gloves on her hands. She is walking quietly along the oceanside trails. The young Puella Magi has in her hands a glowing cyan gemstone, shot through with curling, rolling tendrils of black, thin like threads floating in a calm lake. Her other hand holds her phone, both together so that anyone looking that doesn't have awareness of the things beyond would just notice the phone. Silly kids these days, walking with their head in their hands not paying attention!

Anyone that spends more then a moment or two examining Chika would quickly realize she is more attentive then that. Despite the soul gem she watches in her hands, her eyes are actively scanning around her, flitting from place to place as if searching....

No. Hunting. She is on the prowl, keeping her territory safe.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Even if the weekend does not hold great inherent meaning for Sailor Pluto, she's spent enough time here in Tokyo -- here on Earth -- now to have gained an appreciation for it. The timeless, endless post she's tended her whole life has no weekends, not a single holiday or sick day. The idea of celebrating routine breaks from responsibility is something she finds tremendous, if secret, appeal in.

And so she does. She's adopted her own ritual, in the Here and Now, to better observe the weekend along with its more lifelong adherents. Every Friday evening Pluto takes to the city, via its treetops and rooftops and hidden twisting paths, to seek the hidden and quiet places in the bustle. It's a private joy for her, and she has come to look forward to the weekend just as much as any salaryman.

Okay, maybe not quite THAT much.

This particular Friday finds her in the seaside park, casting admiring glances at the Rainbow Bridge from time to time. She is in full senshi regalia, yet still avoids notice, through quiet observation and care and choice of path.

That observation pays off when she takes a second glance at an otherwise normal-seeming schoolgirl, whose attention to her phone seems a little... different. And there's something about the girl that tugs at her memory. That second glance strengthens the feeling. Sailor Pluto diverts to cross paths with her. She's in an unusually light mood, despite the stillness of her face, and wants her curiosity satisfied tonight.

Long evergreen hair whispers, clean white sailor suit trimmed with deep grey flares from the shadows, and the Guardian of Time steps onto the path before Chika Aki. A staff as tall as she is -- and that is tall, indeed -- gleams in one hand, the Garnet Orb atop it a deep well of latent power.

"Good evening to you." A slight nod. Her eyes match that Orb in color exactly, half-veiled and steady as she seeks the younger girl's gaze after glancing to that cyan gem. "I believe we've met." She remembers a battle or two, but the Garnet Rod is loosely grasped, no threat yet. "Though not formally. Might I ask what you seek?"

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika is a young girl, that has lived the age her body carries. This world of things that go bump in the night is one that is almost foreign to her; It hasn't even been a half a year since her wish to the impish Kyuubey, and her first foray into the world of Puella Magi. And that path has been one that has aged her weary soul far beyond that of the normal carefree girls her age. Oh how she longs to return to a day where homework was the biggest concern in her mind, or whom the pretty boys crushed on.

Its these thoughts occupying her distracted mind while the weary Puella patrols her territory, taking a detour through the Seaside park. A place of respite. One of the places she treasures most in her territory, for the peace it brings her troubled mind. Although this afternoon, it seems not to be the way for the cyan haired Puella Magi.

Her steps stop immediately when Sailor Pluto steps forth in front of her. Her attentive, expressive eyes narrow in immediate recognition as she slowly slides back one foot, adopting a more readied stance. Her phone is slipped away and her soul gem gripped tightly as her eyes watch Pluto at length, especially the way she holds that staff. While its clear Chika has very little trust for the Senshi before her, Chika also is not lashing out with a preemptive strike.

She stands much shorter then Pluto, only just reaching 5 feet at the tip of her hair. The relatively friendly greeting puts Chika off guard, her eyes resting on Plutos level gaze warily. She straightens only slightly before she speaks in a low voice, not particularily strong and one that doesn't carry well. "A-adversaries." She murmurs. An answer that is both truthful, and not very revealing. "Is that what you are going to be, this evening?"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

"I am not looking for a fight tonight." The words come easily; her voice is low, but has a carrying quality. "Nor any night, truly." She is calm and sure, but it will be up to Chika to determine whether she tells the truth.

In fact she doesn't want to fight the girl before her. Her youth, her height, her halting not-quite-challenge... Sailor Pluto's first impulse is to protect, not attack. It /is/ an impulse, and she recognizes it as such, does not let it rule her. But she feels it nonetheless.

"Unless you insist. But no..." She glances away from the Puella Magi, upward. The winter cold seems not to touch her bare arms and legs, for her easy stance. "I am simply enjoying the evening. The sky is clear, and may stay that way." She sounds pleased by that.

"In Tokyo, I have found that one hardly needs seek adversaries. They come falling from the sky if things get too quiet, too long. Why would you look for them?"

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika exhales slowly when Pluto says she is not looking for a fight. Well, her body can't absorb the adrenaline it dumped into her bloodstream back into itself, nor can her heart stop pounding in her chest. But its a start, as there is a slight bit of relaxing of her stance and her shoulders sink a little while she stands up from her readied stance.

"You don't try to k-kill anyone here, and we won't have any problems." Chika says quietly, the stammer in her voice mostly failing her effort to come across as tough. But Sailor Pluto would remember her, holding her ground quite well as a veritable wall of steel gauntlets and water against the /much/ more experienced fisty Sailor Senshi. She might be timid, but back to the wall she is a brawler.

Her eyes glance around her park, taking in the lovely day. She seems to agree with Sailor Plutos sentiment of enjoying a nice, clear day. It was her plan, before she found herself with company. "Because if I don't find them and kill them, they'll kill innocent people. I hunt witches. They are monsters, without a heart or a conscience. Its what I do." The young Puella Magi says, her voice both firm and resigned. She takes a few steps closer to Sailor Pluto, looking around before she points off towards a quieter corner of the park and starts to walk that way. She only glances behind her shoulder once to see if Sailor Pluto will follow her.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

She remembers those fists, even if she didn't experience them personally. Even if they've only fought side by side for a few short months, the Outer Senshi have been soldiers together for thousands of years. They track each others' battles closely, even when faced with their own. Even the younger and shorter of stature, Sailor Pluto muses, pack quite a wallop in the Tokyo of the Here and Now. She's remembering Vita and her hammer, too.

Don't try to kill anyone here.

It's a serious rule, and the senshi responds in a similar vein. "That is a fair condition. If I break it, I won't begrudge you your response." She makes no promise to keep it. Still, there's something forthright to that.

Pluto falls into step by Chika, letting the Garnet Rod fall to her side as they walk. "A Puella Magi, then." She'd guessed by the gem, but likes confirmation. "I have fought one witch. They are... horrible, if she was anything to go by. You do a brave thing, protecting these people from them." Maybe more than anything else, Pluto respects steadfast guardianship. "I am Sailor Pluto. Your name, I have not caught, my apologies. If I might ask... how long have you done this?" A wave of her free hand indicates Chika's protectorship.

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika leads to the back corner of the park silently, listening to the Sailor Senshi as she walks. She leads to a little outcropping of trees and bushes, with a bench tucked away inside at the end of a small dirt trail. A little oasis in the oasis of the park, Chika heads towards it and quietly sits down.

"Thank you." The young high schooler says, "I don't want to have to fight you." She adds after a moment, before nodding her head slightly at the statement of what she is. "Yes, I am." A furrow of her brow. "And yes, they are." The comment of being brave brings a little tinge to her cheeks, she isn't used to compliments. "Uhm. I am Chika Aki. I go to Juuban public school..." As if the uniform she was wearing wasn't a give away. "I've been doing this for..." She has to think, her eyes distant as she looks over the park from her little secluded perch. "Three... three months? Maybe four now... I started almost when the school year started."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

A serene nook in the bright, noisy, bustling megatropolis -- this is exactly what Sailor Pluto has been looking for, what she seeks anew weekly. By the time Chika's to the bench, there is the smallest of smiles on Sailor Pluto's face. She doesn't sit just yet, but does walk up to the other end of the bench, easy conversational distance.

"So new to the struggles of life and death. Well... I should not assume." Magical girls have no monopoly on those, and neither do adults. The Guardian of Time has watched the world far, far too long to retain any illusions there.

And now, with that smile, comes a sadness in her eyes. It doesn't seem new, but rather very old indeed -- simply surfacing, seen where before it was unseen.

"I am just as new to Tokyo, myself. That is part of why I roam, to learn it. You have found a lovely spot here, Aki-san. I am glad we did not attack each other." She looks over to Chika. "Do you also find the city... overwhelming, at times?"

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The young girls faint smile dies a little on her face. "You'd be right." She says quietly. "It all started only a few weeks before that. Guess I got old fast." She doesn't sound it, even if she has lived a life no girl her age should... But so many, especially in Tokyo, have. Thousands of years is a concept thats strange to Chika, when she doesn't expect to make it /a/ year.

"I am too." Chika says quietly. "I'm uhm. Sorry I shot water at you before. But I couldn't let you kill that girl." Chika murmurs quietly, before nodding her head. "Yes. I'm from a smaller town, a few hours north of here. I moved to Tokyo this year, when I started school. Actually, just a few days after... this." She points idly at the soul gem in her hands. "There are so many people. So many monsters. So many things. Its hard to keep things straight."

The young girl turns her head to look at Sailor Pluto. "Like most of the Senshi I've seen, I've fought with and alongside, against monsters. I've never met a Senshi trying to kill a person before." The words might be an accusation, but her tone isn't. Its an odd mixture of confused, and saddened.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

"You don't need to apologize for protecting her."

Chika wastes no time, a bit of a surprise to the senshi, but one she can handle. She does not wince, or sigh, or flush with anger. Her chin tucks down; evergreen bangs sway with the motion. She listens.

When the other girl finishes, Pluto lifts her gaze to the sky again. There are no answers there; she already knows that. Still, she looks.

"It is the first time I have tried to kill a person. So in that, perhaps, we are equal."

Those words could be flip, were it not for their gravity. She finally looks back to Chika. "If something was going to end the lives of everyone you love... what would you do to stop it?"

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika is too young for subtle, and too tired for it. She doesn't understand a lot of the politics of the groups around her, only that the strife is a burden she doesn't have the strength to struggle through each day. There is a tiny smile on her lips however, after Sailor Plutos words.

"I'm not sorry for protecting her." She murmurs. "I'm just apologizing for blasting water at you." They are not mutually exclusive actions to the Puella Magi, apparently.

"I've never tried to kill someone before." Chika says quietly. "I don't... I don't want to hurt people. I want to help them. To protect people." Noble, but rarely is life so black and white. "I wasn't planning to kill you, or the other Senshi. I just wanted to stop you from hurting her." She says quietly.

Her reply to the question asked of her is quick, and perhaps its a sign that its not the first time that someone has asked it of her... or perhaps not the first time she has made the choice. "Anything."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Ever polite, Sailor Pluto inclines her head and murmurs an apology as Chika corrects her. "Sumimasen, Aki-san. I can appreciate the difference."

So little separates senshi from Puella Magi, as has so frequently been the case in Pluto's battles. That wears at her far more than any water blasts or knockout punches, and it shows in her eyes.

"I want... most... of those things too." She still doesn't sit, but now leans on the silvery Rod as the evening marches on. From it she draws a singular sort of solace. It has been her most faithful companion, the titanium in her unbending spine. And it is with her still. "In coming here, I've already broken--" Pluto shakes her head. "Done things I never thought possible. Much as it sounds like you have, recently. And I will continue to do them. Because I, too, will do anything.

"Would you believe me if I told you the child means disaster? That I do what I do for a reason?"

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"I believe that you do what you do for a reason." Chika says, her voice quiet. "I've never doubted that of anyone. Not of the witches I've destroyed, nor their familiars, nor the monsters that take on the guise of humans I've fought throughout Tokyo. I am sure that everyone has a reason for their actions. I just so rarely know what it is."

She shifts a bit, turning to look at Sailor Pluto where she stands beside the bench Chika is resting on. "I don't know if I believe you saying that child is disaster. She was terrified. She-" Chikas eyes flash to the way the fear, the terror, the resignation in the face of death she'd seen on the helpless girl that the Senshi was trying to end. The Puella Magi flashes back to standing between her and death, and to a time when Chika herself was on her back. Beaten, bruised, and helpless. Staring her own death in the face at the hands of another. The Puella Magi had trailed off and its a few moments before her eyes blink and she stirs in her seat again. "She was terrified." Chika finishes finally. "She didn't defend herself. I don't know if she even knew what was happening. /That/ is a disaster to you?"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Both gloved hands clasp the Garnet Rod now as Sailor Pluto turns the full of her attention on Chika, attending as she speaks about reasons. The regard of the Soldier of the Afterlife is no small thing, unwavering and encompassing. She misses nothing and remembers all. Deep garnet wells meet Chika's gaze, sorrow full and clear in them.

Normally Sailor Pluto stands steadfast against such accusations. She accepts tragedies as her due, endures fresh ones and quietly metabolizes them into her emotional ecosystem of personal pain. This time she can't quite manage to keep it from her demeanor, not with Chika's earnest reminder of the look in that child's eyes.

She too saw the absolute terror, the acceptance of death, extremities that have no place on a face that young. Put there, in part, by /her/ actions.

With a swallow, Sailor Pluto looks away from Chika Aki, unable to respond immediately. She forces the reel of her memory forward, to when Hotaru Tomoe's midnight eyes reopened, unveiling... what? "All of those things can be true, and yet she can still end everything. She has done so before." The same calm surety fills her tone that has all night, no flutter or hesitation: this is something Sailor Pluto believes utterly, whether Chika believes or not. "There is nothing in me that relishes this task. We did not--"

A hitch. Her eyes widen a bit, and she speaks the next more softly, like she's feeling the words out as they go.

"...I... did not ask for it. It is a terrible thing to be faced with. Terrible. But it... still must be done. If it falls to me, then I accepted that long ago." She finally looks back up to the Puella Magi on the bench. "With all that said, I cannot and will not fault you for opposing us. But I'm sorry for our conflict."

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika listens but she listens without turning her bright blue eyes to Sailor Pluto. No, Chika is holding her gem in her palms, rolling it between her soft and innocent hands while she watches the crashing waves of the bay against the sands, and on the concrete barriers that form the walkways around the ocean. She listens to everything Pluto has to say, with little expression on her face. She doesn't want to think about Hotaru anymore. There won't be common ground found on that.

When the other magical girl finishes, Chikas lips form into just a small, sad smile. "You are not the first person I've fought because something said it must be so." The cyan haired girl says quietly. "It seems a common trend, that we did not ask for the burdens we carry. But we shoulder them and do what we have to do." Chika sighs softly, and her hands drop to her lap as she looks down at the glowing gem with its thin tendrils of black.

"Can... Can I ask you something?" She doesn't wait for an answer, her attentive eyes turning towards Pluto. "What did you get?" She realizes after saying it that it might not be an easy line of thought to follow, so she gestures lightly at Pluto. "To be... you. To be Sailor Pluto. How did that come about?"

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

She will gladly accept that thoughtful quiet from the other girl. It's a softer reaction than the Outer Senshi have endured from others, some allies rather than adversaries. "We do what we must," she agrees. "Some of us just face that more squarely than others." It's an oblique reference to the Chevaliers, perhaps; maybe something else. "You've learned much, quickly, in a few short months. Another thing many of us share."

In the gathering dark the senshi shifts her weight from foot to foot, her turn to listen. She nods her assent. When the question is out in its entirety, the Guardian of Time is a long while in answering.

Finally, a musing repetition: "What did I... get."

The Garnet Orb gleams, and with natural light fading its violet-red glow catches at the angles of her face. Sailor Pluto looks as eternal as she is, in the moment. There's the faintest of sing-song qualities to her voice, as if she recounts a fable rather than memory.

"My Queen chose me for this task, this life of mine. Perhaps before I was born. I'm not sure when..." Her gaze is as distant as the stars. "I was young. Younger than you are now. This Rod, twice as tall as I when she gave its guardianship to me. It was a very long time ago."

The lightest of sighs returns her to the Tokyo of Here and Now, to Chika and this beautiful oasis they currently share. "So long ago, yet on my mind of late. I hope that satisfies your question, Aki-san. Would it be rude of me to ask the same of you, in turn?"

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chikas gaze lingers on Pluto this time, "Everyone does what they think they must." Chika agrees quietly, "I just wonder if they really have to. Or if they've just convinced themselves they have to." She shakes her head at the comment of learning much, looking down at her hands again. "I've had some good teachers. And some hard one." She murmurs in a low voice. It'd be hard to hear if Pluto wasn't just on the end of the bench from her.

"You were chosen to do what you do..." She asks, a little frown on her lips as she considers. "Did... you have any choice? Or was it just your destiny?"

When Sailor Pluto turns the question around, Chika goes silent briefly. She seems to be thinking, and the thoughts bring her eyes to well and shimmer as she looks at the ocean. Its just for a moment, before she looks away from it to the ground between her feet. Like the ocean stung her. "To save someone." She says quietly. "I didn't... I didn't know what I was getting into."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

The question of whether little Setsuna Meioh had any choice in the matter of choosing a thousand lifetimes of lonely guardianship is one that has only arisen in Sailor Pluto's mind recently. It feels... private, delicate, like there is tissue paper surrounding her heart that threatens to tear and loose her life's blood at any moment. Finally she shakes her head. An essentially honest person, she will not lie, but neither will she share this.

"I cannot answer that."

Instead she listens for Chika's answer, trying not to look relieved as the focus turns. She feels especially bad for that when she hears it, sees the look on the younger girl's face.

"To save someone," she echoes. "As a newcomer to... Tokyo," she leaves the Here and Now silent, "I'm only now learning about the workings of Puella Magi. Witches, familiars... There is an exchange of power there. But how does it begin? If that is too close a question, Aki-san, please feel free to leave it unanswered." After all, she just did the same.

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"With a wish." Chika murmurs softly, before she swallows and reaches up to scrub at her eyes with her sleeves. She doesn't pry any further when Sailor Pluto makes it clear that she doesn't want to talk about it. "Thats how it begins. With a wish. I... I probably shouldn't talk about how it happens anymore then that. There are others more experienced that... that you should ask." She says, worried about overstepping her bounds and earning any of their ire.

"But.. y-yeah. We fight witches. Its what we do. They are monsters. They kill people, and make familiars and those familiars kill people, and they feed on the anguish and create more witches. If we don't kill them, if we weren't here to cull them, they'd... they'd take over, and destroy the world. Its why we have to fight them." The uncertainty slips out of Chikas voice when the conversation turns to witches. She is iron-clad confident in her answers there, and not at all afraid to stand on that point.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Sailor Pluto is as respectful as promised when Chika sets boundaries to what she can share, with a nod and a swish of dark bangs. "A wish." She has borne witness to some of this magical world's establishing miracles. Wishes are not so hard to believe. "I may ask them. Thank you for telling what you can, Aki-san."

She's glad to see the Puella Magi regain her confidence, even as the conversation turns to darker things. "Witches are one of many plights on this city... but certainly one of the most horrifying I've yet crossed paths with." She doesn't wonder where they come from, despite her natural curiosity. Having fought many very strange things out at the edge of the Solar System, the Guardian of Time makes the general assumption that they hail from the same general foe all of them face, regardless of political allegiance: the clawing, howling forces of entropy that oppose the light. Their many names do not differentiate them so very much, to her eyes.

It's a dark conversation, and a glance upward reveals the faintest twinkle of stars. Too dark, too heavy for her heart this night. "May I join you, Aki-san?" The invitation had been implicit when they arrived, but she does not like to assume.

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika takes a breath and lets it out, nodding her head as the wish is repeated. "You are welcome." She says in her usual softer voice. Though this is not timid, she just is not the loudest individual around.

"They are monsters, in the simplest term. They are... so black. There is nothing redeemable about them. They don't have... they don't have ulterior motives, because they are so honest with you. They just kill, and take, and kill, and take." Chiks says, speaking plainly. "They are so simple, its... its almost a relief. That they are so black and white. That I don't have to worry, I don't have to feel bad, I can just fight them and beat them and feel better that I am helping the world."

She stirs from her thoughts of witches to look at Sailor Pluto when she asks to join her. "Oh. Uhm, yes. Sure." She slides over a bit on the bench to give room for Sailor Pluto to sit down next to her.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

That elaboration makes sense. While she's no battleglad berserker -- unlike some people she knows -- Sailor Pluto has always found something clean and essentially satisfying about fighting the forces of evil. A good thing, too, as she's done so much of it. "A goodness to defeating them, with any hope in measure to the horror they cause." It seems this Guardian of Time is an optimist. What does that say about the arc of history? The future? Maybe nothing; maybe that is just the girl beneath the senshi suit.

The Garnet Rod shifts to her far hand, and Sailor Pluto lets it lean against the bench as she takes a seat next to Chika. The dim red glow of its Orb lets her expression be seen, but does nothing to ruin nightvision, a function of the color of its light. She gestures upward, to the distant points that begin to show themselves at day's last ebb. It's a struggle, through the constant light pollution Tokyo radiates, but the stars are brave tonight.

"What is your favorite part of this beautiful place you've found? That view is mine." It truly is not a bad place to stargaze, for being in the heart of the city. "But there is much to admire about it, and I'd like to know what keeps you coming back."

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"That its mine." Chika says finally. She doesn't know that the peace and sanctity of this very place would be destroyed the very next day by a clash between the Puella Magi. But she for the moment is confident in her words. "This... this is my territory. For a Puella Magi, it means this is where I protect. I hunt the witches here and kill the familiars as I find them. I've been protecting it since I moved to the city..." A slow pause, "At the beginning of the school year." Unlike the thousand year old Senshi beside her, Chika has been doing this for a time better measured with thousands of hours.

She gestures around. "Its quiet here... Its peaceful, and not many know about this bench. I can come here and sit and listen. I can watch. I can see people live their normal lives... have picnics, play with their dogs, walk with their family." She has on a soft smile, haunted just slightly by the knowledge she won't ever get to be one of those normal people. "I can see that the effort I put in is appreciated, even if just a little, by those that come here and enjoy it."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Sailor Pluto has learned about territories before -- they're critical to the war she's engaged in, the one that neither girl knows is about to blow wide open. Still, she welcomes new details, new perspectives, being an avid gatherer of knowledge. If nothing else, she learns about Chika herself, the Puella Magi's own unique view on things.

"Your investment in this places pays off personally. You protect it, and it is in turn your refuge. There is beauty in that, too, Aki-san. A balance that you shepherd." Conscious word choice? Hard to say. "We've more in common than not. I have a proposition for you."

A small smile, first up to her old friends the stars, then down to this no-longer-stranger on the bench beside her. The sadness is still in garnet eyes, but it is restive, hard to see in the crimson light of the Orb. "Regardless of sides in wars, I've enjoyed coming across you here, having this conversation. And I am especially grateful for this place you've shared.

"Might it be a spot of truce between us? Perhaps out there we will face off over things neither of us have much choice over. But here, only words, and with any hope, friendly ones."

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika nods her head quietly, and she smiles a little bit as she looks around her park. /Her/ park. "This is one of the only places I really feel at home." She admits softly. "Tokyo Bay is mine, but it never... seemed that way, until recently."

She looks to Sailor Pluto curiously at the offer of a proposition. At the walk of a peace, there is a faint smile from Chika. She nods her head quietly, before she adds in a soft voice. "I'm not fighting in any wars." She says gently. "I've already told that to the Chevaliers... If they ever are fighting a witch they need my help with, or something else that threatens the city... Let me know. I will always have their backs. But when it comes to... to the others?" She shakes her head slightly. Her hands slide along her belly, hugging herself unconciously as she leans forwards a bit into her own arms. "I'm done hurting magical girls. I don't want to do it. I don't want to be forced to do it. I'm not going to hurt anyone that comes here, Sailor Pluto. Of course we can have a truce... Just... just remember my rule. No killing anyone here, and we won't need to worry. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I can make this promise."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

"No killing is a good rule." There is nothing in Sailor Pluto which can argue, there. "And staying out of the war... a good path. Given choice, you're wise to choose it." She's not really the recruiter some of her Shepherd fellows are, it's not in her to convince people. Pluto is more of a drop-quiet-wisdom-from-the-corner type. And she has no love for war.

But, she reflects grimly, she does have a use for it.

A sweeping look around this small, lovely hollow in the park, the oasis in the oasis, before she's back to Chika. "Thank you, Aki-san. It's an honor to share this place with you, and I appreciate that this is your territory. That was forward of me, to propose such a thing."

Elbows on knees she leans forward on the bench, an easy stance. "What do you study? Have you chosen something?" She seeks lighter topics yet. And Pluto is a big fan of academics...

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika nods her head to Pluto's words, still with her arms around her belly. The thought of fighting magical girls invokes not a single good memory in the Puella Magi, and that is shown easily in the lines of her face. But the conversation turns back to her park, and she relaxes a little as she nods her head. "Its okay." She murmurs. "You didn't know until I told you. And everyone deserves to be able to relax." She says with a soft smile.

At the surprise question about academics, she turns her head to look to Pluto. "Uhm... I'm... still in the 9th grade..." She says quietly. "I don't get to pick many electives, its... its kinda the normal stuff. I did get to pick culinary classes though. I like to cook." She adds. Of course she does. Anything to help people, and a nice warm meal is helping people. "I haven't really thought of what I'm going to take later." She leaves off the reason; She doesn't know if she'll even be alive this time next year, at the rate things are going.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

It's a real challenge, to pick a topic of conversation that is not somehow bittersweet for a Puella Magi, and Pluto has not yet learned all of those nuances. Chika does her a kindness by taking the question at its lightest, surface value. "You're right, it's a bit early to be choosing that." She says it with no visible sense of irony for both of their early starts on the battles of good and evil.

"Still... not too early to be /thinking/ about it." Now the lean forward gets a bit avid. She is a BIG fan of academics, and now that things are more relaxed, the inner nerd shines through. "Cooking is a noble choice, if it is the choice for you. But is there anything else, anything that you can't stop thinking about, even after class is out? There's no commitment to chasing one's interests, and it is never to soon to discover new ones." She's a fan of thinking ahead, too. Bit of a busyhead, that Pluto.

<Pose Tracker> Chika Aki [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Chika smiles ever so faintly, and she gestures around her at the park, before holding up her gem. "... Maybe I could get a job curating parks. Like lawncare." She mumbles softly. "I... I used to have things I cared for, outside of school. Comics I liked to follow, and music. I was kinda wondering if some day I could be a musician." She admits, before looking back at the gem.

"But I can't now. I don't really get to take days off from... this. Its every night. So I don't know how I'd ever manage to hold a job... I don't know any Puella Magi that uhm, actually works for a living... Shimanouichi-san has her gardens... Mami-sempai has... ... tea...." It strikes Chika suddenly how little she /really/ knows about Mami, and less so about Sayaka. She frowns slightly.

Poor Pluto. Its a field of landmines anytime someone talks to a Puella Magi, but Chika is perhaps the glummest around.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Ask an earnest question, get an earnest answer. The excitement sags a bit, though Pluto does her best to not reflect that back to Chika. Clearly the girl has enough to shoulder without taking on Pluto's reaction to it, too. Still, she doesn't shy away from it. That is not her way.

"That was an insensitive thing to ask, Aki-san. My sincere apologies." That noble profile inclines for two long seconds before she looks back up. "Would you like to lead our conversation?" Sailor Pluto is an odd mix of forthright and overly polite, and it shows in how she addresses this. "That would make me content."