2017-12-15 - Slipping pt 1: Kasagami Uses Her Head

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Title: Slipping pt. 1: Kasagami Uses Her Head

Rinji Sakurai has fallen prey to some unknown malady; Kasagami calls together allies and those who care to rescue her.


Rinji Sakurai, Kasagami Araki, Setsuna Meioh, Niramo Umokeshi, and Akko Kagari


The Araki Family Estate

OOC - IC Date:

Fri, Dec 15th, 2017 - Thurs, Mar 12th, 2015

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The room that Kasagami Araki has convened her friends, allies, and girlfriends in is a spacious guest room located in the eastern wing of the house. Like much of this section, it's stylings are western. Expensive vases, paintings, and other trappings of high class life are met with an overabundance of dark red roses that always seem freshly plucked and never withered.

There's also an overabundance of ceremonial armor and swords of both japanese and european design. Really, you could outfit a small army with the Araki Family's open dedication to warfare.

And Kasagami has come ready for war, at that. Her family sword is leaned against her as she waits for everyone to arrive.

The subject of this whole gathering is in a chair. A rather plush office chair. None of this would be out of the ordinary, if it wasn't for the way she's tied into it rather tightly. And then said chair tied to part of the fireplace just in case. It would take a stage magician to get out of those bonds.

Kasagami isn't letting her zombied girlfriend flee any time soon.

<Pose Tracker> Rinji Sakurai [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> The Drought https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzeGusU8z_s

And who is the guest of the hour, so graciously contained in that plush office chair?

A glassy eyed Ohtori Student, she is strikingly tall even seated in the chair. 5'10", and well on her way to adulthood. Her long black hair is behind her back, and her pretty face is untainted by the usual makeup she would use to perfect her image.

Rinji Sakurai is quiet at the best of times for those that know her, but now there is something clearly unnatural about her. First and foremost, she has been tied and bound at the hands and ankles, and about the waist. Its perhaps her reaction to her predicament that is even more unnerving. She doesn't seem perturbed, her eyes are distantly fixed on the wall and she shows no reaction to the door opening, or to whatever guests are entering. Her hands and her feet move in slow, gentle motions as permitted by her bondage, trying to extricate herself in an aimless, lazy manner. The lights are on, but there is no one behind her blank hazel eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo was lucky that she was out walking back to her classroom after using the restroom when Kasagami called her. If she had gotten the call while she was in the classroom, she has a feeling it would be taken away, with it so close to finals. That, and Takk has made her phone go off a few times as he plays a mobile game using her phone. "Araki-san? Can you call me not during cla-...well, what's so important? I mean, none of my news apps have shown anything strange...well, stranger. Huh?...Sakurai-san? O-of course. I'll be over as soon as I can!...right, the guest room next to the landscape painting. Got it!" Ending the call, she glances outside a window and looks at the cityscape with a frown. "What could have happened...?"

Classes ended, and Niramo was soon making her way to the Araki Estate thanks to the shortcut that is rooftop hopping. While Takk actually doesn't mind either way if Niramo uses his Miraculous for something as innocent as avoiding riding packed trains, she finds it as an abuse of its' power and should only travel 'as the mouse jumps' when something dangerous or deadly is going down. 'A Magical Girl should be responsible with her power', as she sees it.

A short time later saw Niramo walking up to the front door of the Araki Estate, and she was finding it hard not to stop and look around her, despite what Kasagami said about Rinji over the phone. 'Whao...her dojo covers more land than my house. Just how /rich/ is Araki-san?' Questions such as these were on the forefront of her mind as she found the guest room that Kasagami had specified in her phone call and entered without knocking. She was already in the house, after all.

"Araki-san, i'm sorry i'm so la-" She pauses in mid-greeting, mouth frozen, as she spots Rinji, bound to a chair and staring at a wall as if it was the most interesting thing in the world. Niramo shuts the guest room door behind her gently and walks up to the Ohtori student, waving a hand back and forth and as Rinji fails to even glance at the hand. Frown deepening, she glances up at Kasagami, a worried look on her face. "Uh...Araki-san? Just how long has Sakurai-san been like this?"

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Akko Kagari is, ultimately, an ally of Kasagami's. A tentative ally, perhaps -- not from any extreme discomfort, but merely from the fact that she doesn't know Kasgami that well (and, maybe, that Akko isn't sure if she likes her or is mean to her). But, she knows that Akko can use magic. She found her practicing it twice now. She looks around the eastern wing of the house, jaw hanging open, agape at the finery -- and the artifacts.

As a result, she stumbles in just behind Niramo -- and looks a little dumbfounded.

"This... is... AWESOME," Akko says, with a big grin. "Normally I'm not all that into knights and samurai and stuff, but is this stuff real!?" She asks of Kasgami as she enters, and clasps her hands together. Her maroon eyes shift, from Kasagami, to the girl who is so quiet.

Who didn't respond to her entering. Who is, for some reason, bound.

"Uuuuuh, hi," she says, looking up at Rinji. "I'm Atsuko Kagari, but you can just call me Akko! Everyone does. Araki-senpai here entrusted a super secret mission to me and--hey! Are you listening!?"

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

There are any number of ways Sailor Pluto could have made her first arrival to the Araki Estate. When the text from Kasagami comes in, though, she's already traveling rooftops. It's been a long day... but the Guardian of Time is nothing if not absolutely stoic and devoted. She will always have something left to give, when asked by those she cares about.

It's Rinji. She makes a rooftop u-turn by kicking off of a TV antenna that serves as a spire and leaps across the city, and lets the questions chase her all the way there.

What has happened to Rinji? How can they fix it? (Because they must.) Why didn't Pluto see it coming, stop it? What kind of guardian is she that this can happen right beneath her nose?

So it is that Kasagami has a sailor senshi alighting outside the window. She raps on the glass -- polite, even when avoiding the front door -- and steps in after it's opened, tucking her tall frame through and then unfolding to her full height again once inside, Garnet Rod and all.

The martial decor makes an impression on her and she would smile, if she were alone with Kasagami and Rinji, and if things were different. As things stand... Two people in this room would have the personal experience of the Guardian of Time to see how the sorrow in her ever-sad eyes has waxed toward fullness, and one of them seems to be in no mental state for noticing much of anything. Pluto's eyes slide to Kasagami for a long moment before wincing away. She goes to Rinji.

Kneels before her where she's tied to the chair. Places her hand on one of the bound ones where it makes its thoughtless and repeated bids at freedom.

"Rinji-chan..." Pluto breathes, taking in the utter /lack/ of the girl she knows in the body before her. The absence of that dancing, smiling spirit -- the spark that is Rinji. She's abruptly angry: at herself, at Kasagami, at Ohtori and Sasuna Sakurai and everyone and everything else that seems to have failed the Muse. Keeping her face smooth, she closes her own eyes and takes a few long, deep breaths, tries to let the wrath and worry and fear leave her with each exhalation. It helps, a little. Enough.

"Don't worry, Rinji. We'll fix this." She speaks directly to that blankness, refusing to believe there is not some part of Rinji that can hear. She stands and turns to face the rest, and her sacred weapon gleams garnet across her features -- eternal, ageless, and grave. "What do we know?"

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Kasagami's smile comes as Niramo enters. Not nearly as quickly or enthusiastically as normal, but she turns to the girl like an old friend. And even reaches out, walks over, and ruffles her right on top of the head.

"Niramo! Good to see you!" The greeting is cut off quickly, and she indicates the bound Rinji.

"As far as I can tell? Four or five days, maybe a week. She'd been acting strange for a while, but..."

Akko's arrival is met with a combination smirk and /laugh/ at the girl's naked enthusiasm. "Every single one of them is real! This collection has been carefully constructed by my family over the ages! From when we took to the field in Nobunaga's armies, to defending Kyoto in the shinsengumi! And that's all /before/ the modern era, where my great-grandfather took interest in the armies of medieval Europe!"

She briefly plucks a short sword from a display case, spinning it in her hand, and then making a showy, flashy sweep of it towards a vase that she...well, never liked anyway. Two halves slide nearly away, only to smash onto the floor.

Sword replaced with a wink to the dubiously allied Witch, she'll leave the mess for a certain Rose Bride to clean up later.

Alright, she's smiling as Akko outright blurts out that she's on a 'super secret' mission. It's exactly what she needed.

"Oh yeesh, Akko-chan! Calm down, calm down! I'll explain in a min..."

The world stands still as Kasagami lets Pluto in. It's a motion that's oddly mechanical for the Duelist, lacking the life and recklessness writ into her bones. Her gaze is stuck on the youn woman. On the Garnet Rod, one she's imagined for many a night finding retribution since the battle against Northa. Her heart runs hot and cold all at once, with dread and love, and above all else?

Steel meets black, and the swirling mass of emotions is plain to see. She pauses. For a moment, Akko and everyone in the room (exceping Rinji!) is utterly ignored. Pain. Love. Shame. So many emotions mix.

She, unlike Pluto, manages a smile. Only the presence of Akko and Niramo keeps her from shedding tears openly. As it stands, both girls would hear leather gloves creaking as one hand squeezes hard enough that an astute eye might catch a trickle of blood from them.

Nor does she shy away from that fury. Rather, she soaks it in. And focuses her. Whatever their own personal tragedies, they're both here for their mutual love. With an almost military snap, she turns away.

Her voice, however, isn't melancholy or cold. It's welcoming, tinged with open rage that she finally sees no reason to hide.

"Pluto! You came, just like you said you would." There's no teasing here. Her words solidify into outright, unending respect. A sucked in breath to bottle it all up, and she flashes a grin. Confident, even if pained.

She can count on Pluto out of all of the Outer senshi, or so she tells herself.

And then she sweeps her attention to the room. She walks over behind Rinji, and leans on her obscenely tall weapon. With a visible amount of effort, she leans into her politicking show-woman tendencies that's gotten her so far into the Elections as things go.

"First of all, welcome everyone! Introductions! Niramo-chan!" Point! "Akko-chan!" Point.


And then she points to herself with flare, and taking refuge in the complete lack of tact she's known for. "And my dear beloved..." She catches herself. Awkwardly and terribly. "Friend is Rinji Sakurai! Let's dispense with the formalities. Rin-chan here is having her enthusiasm, her fire, her very DREAMS sapped by a COWARDLY youma known as...well, I think she referred to it as the 'Grey'! As you can see..." Poke poke poke, right on the cheek. Zom-Rinji.

"She's generally unresponsive. Trust me, if I'd tied her up beforehand, she'd probably find a way to stab me in the eye with a felt tip pen for the insult. As it stands? She's practically a robot."

With a particularly long sound of metal gliding out of wood, Kasagami places her nodachi across one shoulder, and actively grits her teeth.

"Normally, I would have ripped the little monster to shreds myself, but the Grey hide themselves. The last kid we saved..." A glance to Pluto.

"Let's just say it took someone more in tune with the less physical side of magic. So our objective today, is to gather as much information as we can on the particular Grey that's haunting Rinji, and then figure out where they are."

Her gaze rounds to Akko with a grin that's utterly savage.

"And that, is where you come in Akko Kagari. You have magic that the likes of us can't perform. We'll be needing your skills to figure out what's cursed Rinji, and where the wretch is hiding."

Then back to Pluto. "And we'll need the cunning and intelligence of a Sailor Scout to know when to strike something so slippery and to support Akko-chan in her endeavors with your...unique insight."

And finally, to Niramo, then everyone. The grip on her sword's hilt is tight enough to make knuckle go white. Her sword shakes. Anger is in her eyes.

"And then we're all going to corner it, and I'm going to slice, cut, crush, and /erase/ the little soul-sucking dream-draining DEVIL out of existance for touching someone I care for!" Howls Kasagami with an edge of eagerness that might be worrying for some here.

<Pose Tracker> Rinji Sakurai [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The silent, bound Rinji's hazel eyes are still so distantly fixed, ignoring the arrivals as her calm and placid expression doesn't flinch. She ignores (rude!) Akkos introduction, and its evident in fairly short order that no, Rinji does not seem to be hearing her.

The touch to her gently squirming pale hand garners no response to the Guardian of Time. If Rinji is still within the automaton tied in the chair, she gives no outwards sign of it at her breathed name, or the spoken promise. The calm former-Muse just ever so gently attempts to free her hands, with no real goal in mind of weakening the bindings.

The poke to her cheek has her head roll away from them, ungainly leaning over to one side before her head rights itself ever so slowly.

Deep within the automaton that has become the shell of Rinji Sakurai, the remnants of the Muse slumbers in a peacefully still cloud of grey. A droning buzz silences the outside world, and stills the pain of thinking through the headache that had clouded her mind for weeks.

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Akko, tragically, doesn't do so well in history. At the name 'Nobunaga,' she blinks and silently mouths the name like it may help her remember. At the term 'shinsengumi,' she actually tilts her head to the side. Fortunately, she is saved from saying such aloud when Kasagami picks up the sword and does a short spin -- and slashes a vase in half. She leaps back, hands outstretched, and gasps.

"Whoa! Y-You don't play around, huh?" She lets out a sigh. And, as told, she backs away from Rinji -- but gives her a look. She looks sideways to Pluto as she enters, a soft gasp caught in her mouth. A Sailor Senshi!? She heard about them. A little.

She is pretty new to being a magical girl.

So she listens with surprising intensity -- and doesn't /quite/ catch the undertones and the subtext to Kasagami's interactions with Pluto and Rin both. Instead, she looks sideways at Niramo, before she shrugs her shoulders once. Her attention on Kasagami's explanation is rapt, though, and quite responsive. Eyes widen when they should; gasps are gasped when it is appropriate. "Oh, no!" she says. "So she's been turned into... into one of the living dead! Right!"

Akko snaps her fingers, then looks up at Rinji. "Don't worry, uh, Rin-chan!" She puts her hands on her hips and walks closer. "I'll get to the bottom of this! And then she can appreciate my introduction. Now, let me just get the Shiny Rod!"

She pats her hip on one side. Then, she pats her hip on the other. "Um. Just a second!" She swings her backpack off, unzips it, and fishes around. Wedged between books, a binder, and a grocery bag still filled with snacks, is a wooden rod with seven glimmering jewels in it. Akko fishes it out, then holds it up over her head. "The Shiny Rod! Yay!"

Then, she turns, and looks at Rinji. "Now, Shiny Rod... solve all of our problems right away!"

Nothing happens.

"...w-well, I knew it wasn't gonna quite be that easy..."

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo jumps as Akko speaks up behind her. She didn't even realize that Akko followed in right behind he-...wait, why was Akko here? While it was great to see the cheerful Infinity student, she couldn't see why she would be showing up to Kasagami's estate without a reason, and the fact that she entered the same room on purpose made it obvious Akko was here for the same reason as Niramo. Her memory goes back to their meeting at the Starbooks inside Infinity Institute, and Akko's attempt to use a wand to clean up spilled tea in broad daylight stood out clearly. Could this sweet girl actually know how to cast magic? That thought brought a slight smile to her face, despite Rinji's zombified state. 'If anyone can use magic like a fairytale wizard, it should be her!'

The appearence of the Guardian of Time, stepping through a window as if she makes house calls by rooftop on a daily basis, made Niramo lose her breath for a moment. Despite wearing a similar, short-skirted uniform that reminds Niramo much of her Magical Girl senpai. She carried herself like a soldier, and her Rod was held like a weapon that she is intimately familiar with. The familiar way she calls out to Rinji, and the deep breaths she took after gazing upon the mute girl made it clear this magical woman cared for Rinji. Niramo gives Pluto room without needing to be asked, but freezes as that garnet gaze lands upon her.

"A-araki-san knows more than me. I came here as soon as she told me to meet up with her. Araki-san?" Niramo looks up at Kasagami, failing to catch the importance of the look Araki and Pluto shared, listening to her plan, but becomes all too aware of Pluto and Akko being in the same room as Kasagami casually mentions they all knew how to use magic, in one form or another. She could hear the annoyed mumbles coming from her bookbag, and Niramo rubs the back of her neck sheepishly. But if Kasagami trusts everyone here enough to announcing they were all in the 'magic' crowd, as it were, they she can trust them too!

Akko brandishing a bejeweled wand, one much different than the one Akko had tried cleaning up a puddle with, and the immediate aftermath of absolutely nothing changing drew a nervous giggle from the Juuban student. Before she could say any words of encouragment, however, a floating mouse phases out of Niramo's bookbag and hovers closer towards Akko, seeing how Kasagami already let the cat out of the bag and not wanting Niramo to try to cover things up with a terrible lie. Besides, the brandishing of a magical artifact that was making his tail twitch was too much to ignore. "The magical condensation rate upon this rod is quite impressive, and the gems within resonate, but with what? The wielder, perhaps? No, she swings it around like a toy sword, but maybe she'll grow into it. Maybe if I were to removes the ge-"

The floating mouse's mumbling thoughts would be cut short as Niramo grabs Takk by the tail and pulls him away from the Shiny Rod. "Takk, no. You already take apart my phone more times than I like, there's no need to mess with her stuff too!" She lets go of Takk's tail and motions to him with a hand. "One more introduction, since /someone/ didn't want to stay put. Pluto-san, Akko-san, Araki-san, this is Takk. Takk, everyone. And no poking other people's stuff!" Niramo points a finger and an annoyed look at the floating Kwami, one that was promtly ignored as he simply nods his head towards the three. He does give the Garnet Rod a curious looks, and promptly decides it's much safer to just examine the Garnet Rod from a distance.

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

Eyes meet; leather creaks; two young women hurt. Sailor Pluto has experience (one might say, too much) at sublimating her own sorrows. The hurt is in her eyes, but not on her face or in her voice or the way that she moves. She locks it down, keeps it inside, and focuses on Rinji instead. It may even seem cold to Kasagami, but she's seen that stone-like surface and what's beneath it before, and may also recognize it for the protection of self that it is.

"Always," is her reply, when Kasagami says she came like she said she would. Pluto orients herself to the bound Muse, and keeps looking her way when people aren't speaking.

She turns her attention, though, to the other two in the room, and lets Kasagami make the introductions -- notes names to faces, each in turn. Niramo has an air of innocence to her that the senshi finds endearing, and Akko... Akko? The witch gets a quick second look; Pluto remembers that name as it once applied to another witch. Hmm.

"We have a plan of sorts then. Good." The concluding howl of anger does not worry Pluto so much as hearten her.

"Thank you both for coming," she says, although she arrived after them and this is not her estate -- a little odd, but her actions definitely suggest she's close to Rinji, which might explain it. "Anything and anyone that can help Rinji-chan..." She worries, beneath that welcoming assurance, whether she is exposing herself and the Muse to further danger by the simple act of allowing others to see her here. She hopes not. The Guardian of Time has a great many enemies.

Kasagami Araki might even be one, someday. At least Pluto can trust that day is not today. With a pang she shoves that away, too, and steps aside to give Akko space to work.

And with effort keeps her brow smooth and wrinkle-free at that work. "Kagari-san, what sort of support do you need to do your best work?" Then a magical mouse appears from Niramo and starts commenting on the wand, and Pluto just gives a single long bliiiink.

"Nice to meet you too, Takk-san." The Orb atop the Garnet Rod glows. It was already doing that, though.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

A glance to Rinji. Frustration grows in Kasagami's eyes, but she doesn't linger long. Just long enough that she knows Rinji isn't going anywhere. Part of her /knows/ the muse is inside the shell, the robot she's become.

Kasagami rubs the back of her head at Akko's amazement. "A King knows when to impress with her martial skill, and when to use her skill at oratory Akko-chan!"

Fingers snap. "That's the long and short of it. We either need to turn the thing that's causing this into sashimi, or break it's hold on her. Either way works. I'd say I don't care which way but ..." Her brow visibly twitches. Those who know her already know which way she wants it. The low snarl might cue in those who already don't.

Really, for all she's trying to project a warm demeanor for Akko's sake, she looks like a lion ready to pounce. Thankfully not at the Witchling.

Her gaze snaps onto the girl though, as she pulls out the Shiny Rod. She leans in, and inspects the thing for a moment with an openly curious gaze.

Still, for all the glitz and Akko's enthusiasm, Kasagami actually finds herself sighing. And smiling. Smiling desperately. Help. Mistakes might have been made.

A glance to Pluto that might as well scream 'Don't judge me'.

"I of all people appreciate grand gestures, but start small. Do you have any kind of spell that can enhance people? Their sight, their hearing, their senses? I'd become a bloodhound if it'd sniff out whatever has a hold of Rinji." Offers Kasagami to Akko. So maybe she's not as competent as, say, Sucy. But something in this enthusiastic girl has Kasagami not giving up hope that she can help.

Sourisi, once clad, has Kasagami thumbs upping the girl. But it's Takk that gets her attention. She turns to the little mouse as he notes the magic in the shiney rod.

"Hey, Takk-kun. What about you? Can you sense anything wrong with that girl?" She points to Rinji. Maybe the little mascot can help out matters!

Kasagami accepts that cold gaze. The exact kind of look she's promised herself to rid of the righteous, dutiful Guardian of Time. It stings to have it leveled on her once again. But, deep down, she feels she deserves it. If anything, it only strengthens her desire to see the world made whole, and Setsuna's unending sorrow destroyed.

Still, peeking from Akko to Pluto, she decides it's time to really step in. A nod to Pluto, silent and needing no words. A call to action, and utter faith even now in the Senshi.

"Well, I called all of you here for a reason. As much as it pains me to admit, I can't do this alone. So let's work together, huh? Takk-kun, Niramo-chan, Pluto-chan, keep an eye out for anything odd."

There's a shine of light along her Rose Signet Ring, and a garden of roses blooms across her coat. Her hair takes on deep red streaks, and all in the room float petals of roses and shining light and warmth bordering on the hot. A hand comes down on the shorter magical girl's shoulder, and shakes rather gently for such an athletic young woman.

Those roses pause in the air, growing more rigid with a force of her will.

She leans in, and whispers to Akko.

"That girl means a lot to me. There's a spark in your eyes, Akko-chan. Concentrate. ...Please, help us. I know you're more than an ordinary person. No one has that much fire in their heart and is simply /normal/." Her words are confident, and imploring of the girl. She looks to Rinji.

And lets herself show the terror for the girl that she's feeling for just a moment.

"Why don't you really show what magic can do? I don't care what it takes, let's rescue Rinji!" Finally offers Kasagami, an elbow bonking Akko on the head.

<Pose Tracker> Rinji Sakurai [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Sadly, the brandished Shiny Rod has no effect on the automaton stuck in her chair. Squirm squirm squirm. Rinjis wrists would be reddened, if she was putting any real effort into escaping. But it seems like she is barely trying.

The floating mouse goes as unnoticed as the rest within the room, as the former-Muse' calm figure hasn't adjusted at all to those present. Nope... just a dull, grey Rinji sitting silently in her chair, despite all the magical talk around her!

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Akko sighs down at the Shiny Rod -- though the moment Takk suggests he might do something to it, she gives him such a /look/. But, she realizes that Takk is there, then and stares for a moment at him. Then, she looks up at Niramo. "That's... that's really cool!" she says. "That must be your magic, Niramo-chan! You should have said!"

She looks ahead, then. She /almost/ wilts underneath the gaze of Sailor Pluto, because who wouldn't? But, Akko is hard to keep down. She looks back at Rinji, and she focuses. She is about ready to try the same thing -- in true Akko Kagari style, smashing her head against something until it works (or she falls unconscious).

But, then, Kasagami leans in.

Akko isn't the most observant person in the world. Nor, really, is she the most clever. She can see, though, that something else is there; that she really cares for Rinji. The fear in Kasagami's eyes is impossible to ignore, and the screwed up, determined expression fades into something softer. "Kasagami-senpai..." She trails off, then looks back at Rinji, and nods.

A different person with Akko's ability would say they can't do it. Perhaps, it is pridefulness that keeps her from admitting the truth: she has no idea what to do. As Akko so often does, in times of stress, she thinks back to her friends.

"Lotte..." She starts to speak. "That's one of my best friends. Me and Sucy's other roommate. She can summon spirits. I've seen her cast the spell before." She looks up at Sailor Pluto, then, and her nose wrinkles. "I think... try to, um, think about what Rinji is like! A believing heart is your magic. So, if you think about Rinji--because I've never met her--that feeling should help! And I can cast the spell to summon a spirit, and maybe that'll make it, um."

She tries to think of the technical term.

"Pop out?"

That isn't the technical term.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wsysh9VWEv0 Halestorm - Shatter Me

The senshi catches that 'Don't judge me' look and meets it with a certain wryness and the hint of an upturn at the corner of her mouth. Garnet eyes skate away again soon enough, and return to Rinji -- she catches the flare of roses and magic from the corner of her eye and it's hard not to look that way. She listens as Kasagami and Akko discuss.

Akko talks of summoning Rinji as if she were a spirit.

"Music!" Sailor Pluto blurts out the moment the thought occurs, half-formed -- uncharacteristically hasty of her, a sign of strain. Still, she clears her throat and makes another attempt, sounding far more like herself.

"If we want to summon Rinji-chan, we need music." Pluto addresses Kasagami with an upraised eyebrow. She pulls out an iPhone in a smooth garnet-colored case (of course) and swipes and taps at its screen.

A cranking and a music-box like intro begin to play.

"It's her favorite," Sailor Pluto adds in a more quiet voice. She walks up and kneels again in front of Rinji, and carefully places the phone face-up on the girl's lap so the song can better reach her. Pluto hopes. A woman's voice begins to sing from the phone's speaker, and a violin joins her.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo smiles up at Kasagami and gives a thumbs up of her own, understanding the Student Council member's fustrations and trying to reassure her the best way she can. "Don't worry, Araki-san. I only met Sakurai-san once, and she's a sweet girl. A Magical Girl helps those in need, and gives it their all." These words, said calmly, was also Niramo trying to convince herself that she could help save Rinji. After all, she's used to beating up bad guys who have physical forms, not one that turns people into the living dead, like Akko described.

Hearing Akko describing Takk as 'her magic' made the girl grin at the Witch, thankful for the praise, however misguided. "Ooh, uh...y-yeah. I can do a few more things, but i'm sure you know loads more than me. I don't have a rod like you do, and I barely have any talent like that!" She rubs sheepishly at the back of her neck, hopeful that Akko wouldn't notice the terrible lie amonst the praise she was giving onto Akko, since she had to be learning from actual teachers for what she could do...well, whatever magic she was.

Akko describing her friend, Lotte, and how she can summon spirits from elsewhere seems to be the spark of inspiration needed for Sailor Pluto, but Niramo couldn't help but look a little jealous as Pluto pulls out a phone and starts to play music out of it's small speakers. When she was transformed as Sourisi, she didn't even have a small pocket to carry anything, and having her phone could be useful in the future. Niramo is going to have a major talking to with Takk, yet again, about adding a pocket or utility belt to her bodysuit somehow!

Takk, during all this commotion, was now examining Rinji closely, though he couldn't help but make a remark. "Takk is perfectly fine, Kasagami Araki. I'm far older than you, i'm sure, so don't treat me so casually." Takk pauses for a moment, considering. "You can call me sensei, if you so desire."

Niramo would be mouthing 'don't listen to him' towards Kasagami while Takk's back was turned.

As Pluto pulled out her communication device and started to play a classical musical box from within, Takk positions himself closer to Rinji, a rounded ear twitching as he stares at one of her eyes. "As for Rinji Sakurai, there is a mental manipulation field of sorts, that much is certain, but how it is attached to her, or the source of it's mana, I can't say. A shock, applied just so, might be enough to displace the effects temporary. Atsuko Kagari might have the right idea, but let us see if Pluto's attempt generates any results for us."

Niramo, once again, would be pulling Takk away from Rinji. A floating mouse being seen in front of you isn't something a normal person should see after waking up from a youma-induced daze.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

For all that Akko might appear to be an incompetent fool, she /tries/. And tries in way that has Kasagami outright nodding. Despite the odds, despite appearances, she comes up with a plan. Even if it's all thanks to her friends, it puts a wolfish grin on Kasagami's face.

A brief memory of far younger days, stood before a desk and a tall man before her that may as well be a titan. Note cards before her, eyes glancing down, and back again. A speech given. Falter. The seemingly giant man drills it through her, forces her to continue, even if she has no idea how to say the words more clearly.

So the little girl tried, and tried, until she dropped the cards and howled the feelings in her heart, inarticulate as they were. And the titan smiled, leaning down, and hugged his furious daughter close.

Shaking her head, she snaps out of the memory, and pays attention. Silence, and eyes close. They open, and she turns to Akko.

"A believing heart, huh?" She whispers, mostly to herself.

Niramo gets a glance, and she smirks. The naieve girl somehow still manages to lift her spirits just enough. She doesn't cut down the girl's beliefs. That would be cruel even for her. Well, maybe not.

It'd be rude, at least.

And then she sends Takk a look that could melt the sun itself.

"Call YOU sensei!?" Oops.

She points to herself! "Come on and show me that you're more skilled, then we can figure out who's 'Sensei'!" Rages the fiery magical girl, pointing hard back at the tiny mouse! Luckily, she's not about to slash up an ally who's giving such good information.

It all lines up. But /how/ to disrupt it all?

Both eyes open, and Takk is forgotten in an instant as Pluto roundly speaks up, surprising even the Duelist, and kicks on some music. Pulling up her jaw, she turns about, and Kasagami slumps for just one second.

Her smile is outright joyous. There's no hint of darker emotions as she rides that wave. "Pluto, you beautiful genius! Of /course/! How could I be so stu...nevermind!"

She lets the music take her, and thinks back on Akko's words. Shatter. Cut. And most of all, make her feel alive.

The music strikes Kasagami suddenly. Slowly, she sings along. Harder and harder, and finally? A knife flicks from her coat, and hits a button on the wall. Cue some bluetooth shenanigans, and music is pumping through emerging speakers in the walls. Her arms tremble, and suddenly a thought hits her.

Why isn't the Muse rocking along with the music? Why isn't her beautiful girlfriend up and banging her head, equally at home in belting out Mozart and Metallica? That purely /alive/ and driving soul, not up and showing her strength?

It makes her angry, utterly renewed. At herself. At the Grey. At Pluto and even her own school. Inwardly, she knows what Pluto is feeling even if she doesn't fully realize it.

Hands tremble, and she slams the butt of her weapon into the floor, and stalks up to Rinji. Without hesitation, she hauls Rinji up from both chair and bonds. And pulls her close!

"You're right, Akko-chan! The Rinji Sakurai I know wouldn't /DARE/ miss a concert! Wouldn't ever stop rocking, stop DANCING with those she loves! Rin-chan! What are you even thinking right now!? Don't you know how much I...how much /WE/ care for you!? Now shake off this malaise, you're acting like a member of a /POP BAND/!" She offers the worst insult she can imagine to the rocker Muse!

"Because nobody's going to shatter you, but we're all going to cut you from this line! LET'S ROCK!"

And then, Kasagami tries to lead Rinji into a proper headbang, more than a little out of tune with this particular beloved song. She thinks of Rinji's love, her passion for those with dreams, and for inspiring others with music! Her dedication and skill!

And for good measure, crashes her notoriously hard forehead right towards the taller girl's own. She eases up on the magic. It's just a human skull-crash.

But it's a /Kasagami/ headbutt we're talking about.

<Pose Tracker> Rinji Sakurai [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Rinjis body slowly and ineffectually continues its escape efforts. A for effort, F for effect. But it doesn't mean the captured former-Muse gives up, she has been gamely attempting her elaborate escape ever since Kasagami bound her down.

The discussions of how to rescue her from her predicament soar dramatically over hear head, as the played music fills the air around the muse. But still, Rinji doesn't react save for that gentle, lazy motion of her hands. Akko might have had a good idea going, with an effort to draw the Grey out with summoning a spirit... But Niramos advice being taken to heart by Kasagami came first.

Rinji is hauled up, chair and all. Its an ungainly sight thats for sure but she isn't resisting the /much/ stronger swordswoman.

And so, chair falling on the floor behind her, she is led by Kasagami into a bit of an awkward headbang. Her head is mostly flopping one way then the other, unable to keep up with the boisterous swordswoman. And then...


Kasagamis forehead colliding with Rinjis own actually earns a reaction. Her knees buckle completely as a noise of extreme displeasure sounds in the Muse' throat, half a groan and half a whimper.

Rinjis dull eyes squeeze shut, and when they crack open ever so slightly its with tears in the corners of them, and a confused and pained light in them as she squints uncomfortably forwards. Rinji is... lost. Thoughts race through her head.

Music. She likes this song! But her head feels like a ship at sea, with its cargo adrift and sloshing around, banging against the walls. Is that a floating mouse? Oh, its Pluto. Why is Kassie /flailing/ me?! Who are these people?

Rinjis feet find the floor, and her hands move to clasp Kasagami lightly, for support as she tries to keep from getting knocked right off her feet. Her eyes are owlishly blinking, trying to focus against the dizzying suddenness of being in a very unfamiliar place, with a lot of sights and sounds all around her.

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Akko turns to Takk and blinks -- but, she accepts this. After all, she has met some strange ones at Infinity. She knows, by now, that not all teachers look human. She tilts her head, before she beams, and nods.

And then she blinks at Kasagami's rather strong reaction. Though, the way she looks away, eyebrow twitching a little -- suffice to say, Akko may understand it. She looks to Sailor Pluto, though, and blinks. Then, she grins. "Oh! So, she likes music? Yay! That should really help, then! Good idea, Sailor Pluto!"

She sways, as the music starts up a beat. Akko has a good pair of dancer's legs, and she can keep a rhythm without much trouble -- even when Kasagami starts singing along. That only adds to it. She hoists the Shiny Rod up, and her red eyes light uo as she looks at Rinji and--

  • KA-BONG*

"Uh. I don't know about that, but... here we go! Shiny Rod! Channel my power! Turuto... ESTIDA!"

Motes of teal light form, swirling about the Shiny Rod as Akko twirls it through the air. They go flying -- towards the thing that caught her attention. The thing, perhaps, at the heart of thise. The music.

The motes of light swirl into that iPhone, rather than into Rinji. Akko turns, eyebrow twitching, and stares for a moment at Sailor Pluto's iPhone.

"I-I-I'm not sure what happened, I can fix it, I can fix--"

Which is when a trio of shimmering figures appear from the phone: little glowing, golden young ladies that look somewhat like the silhouette of idol singers. They move as one, arms moving and folding, and open their mouths -- and then it's as if /three/ voices join Kasagami's singing in unison with it.

And they motion, pointing towards Rinji -- or, perhaps, to the Grey.

Pluto's iPhone bobs along with it, seemingly of its own accord. Akko stares at it, then stares at Pluto, and then stares at the phone.

"Did I do that?"

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Niramo is giving Takk a heavy-lidded stare as Kasagami breaks out into a small rant about the injustice of calling the Kwami 'sensei'. Takk was calmly looking back between Kasa and Niramo, an eyebrow raised. "I fail to see what is the issue here. It's only an option she can take part in, if she wishes to use one of your honorifics so, and I am merely stating the obvious fact that I have far more experience when it comes to the magical field than her, so it only seems logical to call me a teacher. I have gifted her knowledge, have I not?" Niramo just sighs and makes the mental note that Takk and Kasagami are going to be oil and water to each other.

The flicker of moment out of the corner of her eye has Niramo instinctively turning her head, and she just blinks at Kasagami's knife sticking out of what used to be a perfectly good button. 'Another note: Never ask Araki-san to turn on the lights for me.' The musical mixture of classical and heavy metal makes Niramo wince a little from the unpleasant combo. While either song might be perfectly good on their own, the fact that she's not a fan of either genre wasn't helping the unpleasant combination.

Takk, meanwhile, is covering up his ears in an attempt to block out the music. Heavy metal is not at all his style, and its much too loud!

As Kasagami tries to get the comatose Rinji to dance to the music, Niramo was starting to wonder if they were going about this the right way. "Araki-san, are you sure about this? At this rate you might-"


Flailing skull meets flailing skull, and Niramo covers up her eyes a second too late, half-expecting to see blood flowing freely down both of the 'dancers' noggins from that impact when she looks back. However, the rapidly blinking eyes and Rinji's feet trying desperately to find a balance draws a gasp from Niramo, unheard in the musical din. Kasagami's unpredictable plan manages to cause Rinji to react, and Akko was now calling forth blue light, likely to 'summon' the source of the mental affliction.

The phantasmal trio of singers, raising from Sailor Pluto's phone, was amazing in itself, and the fact they were pointing in the direction of Rinji looks like a success to her! "Alright! Great job, Akko-san! That's a lot more impressive than drying up a puddle!" Grabbing Takk, Niramo has to yell in his ear to get him to pay attention. "Takk, I think it's about time we give this Gray ghost of Sakurai-san's an expulsion. Let's get ready!"

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

Kasagami challenges the magical mouse over an honorific and Sailor Pluto mostly doesn't react. Well... one of her eyebrows twitches juuust a bit. That joyous smile, though, she nods back to. Not quite smiling, but there's an easing of subtle tensions that the duelist can read as hopeful.

Then she's moving, acting. Pluto stills herself as the Muse is dragged up from her bonds -- the phone in its case dumps off of Rinji's lap and clatters to the floor, but the tunes never skip, now pumped through the robust house speakers rather than the heroically-trying-but-ultimately-tinny phone speakers. It's in full swing now, with bass drops and a thumping beat.

She remembers the Muse bringing her to a place of music and dance and exultation, and how much a part of her it seemed to be -- how she came alive on the floor, freed from the strictures of her life to express and feel. It aches to see her like this, now.

Pluto doesn't know what Kassie's about to do, but she has vague worries and imaginings. Still, she remains where she is. Anything it takes.

Apparently, it takes an Araki-magnitude headbutt! Signs of life emerge, signs of /Rinji/, and her feet move before she thinks to tell them to. She's there in a moment, by the Muse's side -- close, not quite touching, until a gloved hand alights on one of her shoulders with the lightness of a songbird perching.

That's about when her iPhone flits up from its resting place on the floor and begins emitting small magical people who sing. Despite the circumstances, that warrants another long bliiiink.

The magic people (spirits) are singing; Kasagami is singing. Sailor Pluto... swallows. She knows exactly how much of a tune her voice can carry, and while she'd rather not air that out here and now, Pluto has concerns beyond her pride: what if a sour note ruins the magic? White-clad fingers move, and tap the beat on Rinji's shoulder, a soft percussive reminder of the song that's playing.

And she says, "Rinji... Rinji-chan, we're here. Stay with us. Please. Fight it..." The senshi looks around after that, eyes narrowed. She remembers fighting the Gray before. To Kasagami, she says in a low voice (but it carries), "I want a piece of that thing too." Niramo yells to Takk about readiness. The Garnet Rod is ready in Pluto's other hand. Pluto herself is ready.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Crack! Pain bursts in her skull, but Kasagami doesn't waver! Instead, her gaze peers into Rinji's as she comes to! There's no mercy here! She yells, even as she flails and headbangs with the woman!

"That's looking a little better you SLACKER! That thought you would ignore someone on the STUDENT COUNCIL! Rinji Sakurai, don't think just because of some meager possession you're getting out of this one!"

Let /down/ she might but, but Kasagami isn't letting go. Just in case!

Teeth grit. Tears flow down her eyes and cheeks. The pure love and relief on her face is obvious.

She covers it up with more yelling as the singing ends.

"Now speak up for yourself! No one as wonderful and skilled as you would really fall to the Grey, right!? Get up, and keep this dance going!" Implores Kasagami!

And then Akko shows her magical...calling it prowess would be doing Lotte short, but the sheer belief, and unwillingness to give up is it's own power! Kasagami's eyes go wide as she spies the little golden dancers move and shimmer and dance! They sing, toom and Kassie takes up the song again!

"You did Akko! I /KNEW/ you were special! Keep it up!"

Then she's nose-to-nose with Rinji again! "Hear that? My new friends and I and Pluto-chan are cheering you on! WAKE UP Rinji! Be the person I know you are, and show us where this filthy Grey is!"

Takk gets completely ignored, aside from a vaguely rude gesture. Niramo gets a grin. Kasagami is sporting one heck of a bruise on her forehead!

Still, she's nodding to the magical girl, encouraging readiness.

But Pluto reaches over, and adds her far softer tones to the mix. She finds herself shifting from shaking, to outright hugging Rinji! And presses the girl easily against Pluto as well, letting love and affection reign.

The glance Pluto gets is wolfish, one of an enraged warrior ready to be unleashed.

"We'll turn this thing to dust." Promises Kassie. Then her gaze is on Rinji and Akko's servants. They're the ones they have to count on, now.

<Pose Tracker> Rinji Sakurai [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

She is being yelled at! Ahhhhhh! Rinjis eyes flit about the room, her head stirring to let her gaze carry itself around those present... And... the three little motes of light around the phone, pointing at her. She doesn't exactly shy from them, but an effort is made to put Kasagami and Pluto between herself and the iphone that had been in her lap, a distrusting look in Rinjis expression. She sees those little pointing things! No trusty!

But what do they see...? How can spirits convey to one that doesn't understand them, that they see a woman possessed herself? Something within her, no longer at the forefront but not far from it. The strings of the pupeeteer have been temporarily cut, but the tie remains.

She hears a familiar voice, calling out to give her Grey ghost an expulsion. Well that doesn't make sense, /she/ is the one that does that. Her brows furrow slowly as she rests a hand on Senshi and duelist, unconciously seeking their support as she musters her strength to draw forth a soft smile to try and reassure Pluto, even if she isn't entirely sure what she is reassuring her for. Her eyes are expressive, and within the deep hazel pools is that lingering confusion but also pain, a weary draw to her expression as she processes through a thick droning buzz of a headache that throbs to life in her temples. The music soothes the headache somewhat, and for the moment it seems Rinji is able to stand on her own two feet.

It finally clicks to her, why everyone is yelling about Greys. Why her head hurts, why she is where she is, and what happened. The caboose has caught up to the train, and Rinjis eyes flicker with anger briefly as she brings one delicate, trembling hand to her neckline. She grasps at the V of her open-uniform, and her fingers scrabble on pale flesh once, then twice before she trails her fingers on her neck and looks down as if to find what she seeks. Its not there.

Pluto and Kasagami would remember the silver necklace that Rinji used to always wear, until this issue with Sasuna arose. The Muse' eyes carry some regret, and she stiffly brings herself to stand alone as her hands flash to action in front of her, dancing through their communication. Words that only Kasagami and Pluto would likely understand, unless the others learned sign language.

-My necklace. My mother has it. I need it. We need it.-