2018-05-10 - SPACE JAIL: Resolution

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Title: SPACE JAIL: Resolution

An obsidian monster and a dark knight find themselves rescued by none other than Steven Universe, and he shares details on the Homeworld Gems, prompting both opposing parties to realise a common enemy. He takes them to a nearby storage room, and there, they both find something precious to them. But Miroku is still missing - and after Mikoto recovers her pendant, she flees to search, strangely charging Endo with the care of Steven despite his status as a hated enemy. It means she's not there, when Fallen Stern awakes from its short slumber...


Mikoto Minagi, Steven Universe, Endo Naoki


Outer Space

OOC - IC Date:

2018-05-10 - 2015-04-17

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto and Endo, it seems, are isolated from the other prisoners in their facet. Though it's been many long hours, perhaps even an entire night, they have seen no allies in that time. No one which could help them in their quest to escape. They are isolated not only metaphorically, from each other - but also literally, from anyone else who might be imprisoned, from the escapees. They must be in a particularly confusing section.

Mikoto, for her part, has examined every inch of the cell. It is all smooth, hard, difficult to grip - impossible to break. When the sheet of ice formed in the corner, she sniffed it, tasted it, finally declared it safe to drink with the aid of her heightened senses. What she didn't say - because she has said very little to Endo which she doesn't have to say - was that it was too perfect, as if it were the Platonic ideal of water itself.

Her dry throat is not about to complain.

The addition of the toilet gave them little extra options in breaking out, as far as Mikoto could tell. She was, of course, remarkably unconcerned about the idea of using it in front of a boy, because modesty has never once bothered Mikoto.

She hasn't been totally silent, though surely she has answered some lines of dialogue with silent glares or grunts. But the things she speaks on are entirely practical, things she needs Endo to know in order for him to be an effective - if temporary - ally.

... unlike her actual allies, she doesn't even try to spare any consideration to his feelings or sensibilities.

She shares her observations on the robonoids, and the captors she has seen. The green one is flimsy, not a proper warrior by Mikoto's estimation at all, perhaps able to be overwhelmed if she is freed of her horrifying weapon. Of Jasper, all that hair - hair is a weakness, in humans. The scalp is a sensitive thing. It is not impossible that these aliens may be similar. Not certain, but not impossible. Even if it is not, it is something which will get in the way, if she is made to turn too quickly. It will obscure her vision. They can use that.

Her assessments are as chilling as the walls of their prison. Mikoto doesn't say as much, not after her comment when they first made their truce that she was 'made' to fight, but it's plainly clear she's been extensively trained. She makes no apologies. A monster's cold eyes are necessary, here. She will always be what is required of her. The difference is that, for once, she speaks her measure of her enemies' weaknesses aloud. For once, she has time to dwell on them, to develop a working theory instead of acting on her first instincts. For once, she can't rely on overwhelming force, and must retreat back to old lessons on overwhelming skill instead. Like Endo, she would much prefer a strategy of 'hit it very hard' - but without Miroku, she can't hit anything very hard. She's a well-trained warrior - but she is small and lean.

... at least measuring her enemies gives her something to do. A task to focus her mind on, to distract herself from the terror of confinement, from her unlikely companion, from the ragged edges of her obsidian heart. It's a way she can be useful, amidst all this frustrating helplessness. So, too, is it a way she can interact which doesn't taste so bitter on her tongue. To Mikoto Minagi, the worst possible fate is being alone - but she doesn't know how to be friendly with an enemy. So she tries to make him more useful to their escape, instead. This much she can justify.

Perhaps, if it were someone else, anyone else, it would be different. Perhaps Mikoto would let herself cry, let herself talk about her vulnerable feelings, let herself reach out and find comfort. She's so afraid that she won't be strong enough to get out of this - afraid she is truly too weak to survive, to get back alive to her Lord Brother, and to Mai and Eri. So afraid of Jasper's strange weapon, which wounds the very soul - afraid she is broken and may never be fixed. So afraid she will never find Miroku again - afraid she has truly failed in her most sacred duty. So afraid of closing her eyes around the horrible presence of Endo Naoki - afraid she may never open them again, having foolishly parleyed with a hated enemy. So afraid for her friends and allies she saw on the beach, surely taken by the same cruel captors who have stolen her - afraid they may already be gone.

There are so many things for a monster to be afraid of, Endo Naoki.

But she is surrounded by enemies, and she can't let her guard down, even for a moment. She cannot feel the fear in her broken heart. She cannot relax, cannot ask for help. ... it's exhausting.

She is resting, now, as she has done so often when they aren't planning. She can feel herself getting hungry - her stomach growls, now and then - and she needs to conserve her strength, because she can't afford to collapse here. But though she's lying on that uncomfortable floor, curled up to try and conserve her warmth, black bangs playing over her arm and makeshift pillow, those terrible catlike eyes cautiously closed... she's still listening attentively to all the echoing sounds. She can still expend that much.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

A distant noise comes into focus. The clattering of some type of spongy material on... whatever the floors in here are made of. It closely resembles metal, but seems to be something more.

It stops. the noise halts for a good thirty seconds before it picks back up. This time, the sound is easier to ascertain what is is coming from.

clap clap clap clap clap clap clap.

Not applause, but something connecting, almost slapping the floor. It stops again, and those astute at heart might hear a far-off voice.

"...Had to run off. She's gonna get caught! All the noise Ruby is making..."

It is definitely a young person. A Boy, for sure. It might sound familiar. The footstep-like sound picks back up, increasing in volume. Whoever it is, is definitely approaching the cell quite quickly. The voice speaks again. It sounds like it is right down this section of hall. "Nope, nope, nuh-uh, neeewp, nah, nope, nope..."

Between speaking is about a second of silence, as though someone is stopping repeatedly for only a few moments, as if checking something. Eventually, a boy runs past the cell. "Nope WAIT." They back it. It is little Steven Universe! Somehow outside his cell. He looks around inside the occupied unit. "Hey guys!" An eye dart to the left and right. No patrol yet. No telling what the timer is on this one. Pluto isn't around, or anyone with a cellphone.

"I'ma get you two out!"

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo has spent his time studying the wall, and attempting to traverse it by various means. None of which have worked, because more of them have been him sticking various parts of himself through. Fingers, toes, a few chunks of ice. Not much success has been had thus far.

In the meantime, he's at least gotten some ice to chew on. Which doesn't do much for his rumbling stomach, but it will at least keep him alive for the time being.

He's still not entirely happy with his cellmate, but in the intervening time since their alliance was formed she hasn't tried to kill him, so he's at ease enough to turn his back to her on occasion, or speak shortly about their strategy...or lack thereof.

But there seems to be no feasible way out of the cell, and it's wearing on him. He's tired and sunken, slumped in a corner as his eyes regard the yellow gateway ahead. He only perks up slightly when he hears sound outside, assuming it at first to be another robonoid-

Until Steven pokes around the corner. Endo scrambles to his feet in surprise, not helping at all with any attempts at stealth or hiding as he exclaims: "Steven!"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto's golden eyes open and narrow, as her sensitive ears pick up a clap-clap-clap vibrating across the floor, in that way this place seems to bounce and carry sounds so effortlessly.

"Someone coming," she says, in her uniquely clipped manner. "Maybe not alien. Sounds like..." A moment's pause. A hint of confusion: "... flip... flops." Sniff, sniff. "Smells like..." She hesitates as she realises. It smells like something, unlike the absence of scent she associates with Gems. Mikoto isn't familiar enough with Steven to identify what, exactly, but...

Wait a second. Smells like something, wears flip-flops - not scents or sounds their captors have at all. Mikoto's standing in a moment. "Here!" She yells, going as close to the force-field as recent memory will allow. "We're here!"

They're here, obsidian monster and dark knight both, and somehow - somehow - they have managed not to slay each other. They've even managed to share a few words, though they're purely focused on practical matters. He's managed to turn his back; she's managed to close her eyes. Each single concession is a miracle.

And when that boy reveals himself, Mikoto gasps, as recognition dawns on her. All her harsh edges soften in a moment as relief floods her face. "Steven!" She reaches out - stops herself, remembering the pain of the light barrier. She sounds so happy. It must seem so foreign, to her cellmate, to whom she has growled so often. "Steven's okay!"

It is that same concern she showed Endo - before she figured out who Endo really was. But it is a little less awkward, here, less unsure, because she has some measure of Steven, and she knows he is good.

He's going to get them out, he says, and Mikoto breathes a sigh of relief. She doesn't question how Steven managed to get outside his cell while they were so unsuccessful; they are, after all, warriors, and she is designed for the fight, not for locked-room puzzles. Endo, perhaps, is not so perfectly-tuned to destruction, but he plays at the same role.

It makes perfect sense that someone like Steven would be able to get out. Maybe he asked nicely. She'll never know, because she's not about to ask. Instead, she says: "Hurry, Steven. Patrol's soon."

Mikoto has never been good at maths, or keeping time beyond what she can tell from the shadows. But she knows the robonoids come regularly, and she knows one must be due to arrive soon.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

The two people in this cage were two people Steven knew, one more than the other, but both out on that field of devastation. They came to the defense of Tokyo, and the Gems. "Sorry you got trapped..." Steven grows morose. "If we weren't in Tokyo, they wouldn't have come there..." The boy perks up. "But at least we can get back at them!"

Indeed, Steven seems a-ok, except for a nasty shiner on his right eye. Looks swollen as heck. "Yeah, there are others I got free too! We're busting out! we just gotta be careful."

The boy listens for signs of a patrol before turning back to Endo and Mikoto. "We know where your items are being held, too! They are in side storage rooms. Some people have found theirs already! Lemme get you out."

And with that, the boy approaches the forcefield, and sinks a hand through it, then an arm up and over in an arching shape, as if he had an arm over someones shoulder. It leaves an untouched area in the forcefield where no dangerous light plays. "Co-o-o-ome O-o-o-on!" the boy says, looking like he is being tasered. Despite looking hella painful... it has no after-effect. Steven doesn't burst into golden flame. He is not disintegrated. There's no sickening crack coupled with a divorce from magic.

Just a boy with a goofy, twitching face. He gestures the two to come out with his spare hand.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo seems taken aback that Mikoto is equally happy to see Steven as he is. He wasn't aware they knew each other, it seems. He doesn't have too long to dwell on that, though.

The fact that Steven mentions the others makes Endo's spirits rise even higher, asking: "Is everyone else okay?" He watches as Steven interposes himself between the field, half-raising a hand to voice objection.

However, it seems like Steven has a better time of it than either he or Mikoto did. Endo casts one glance toward his cell-mate, and then moves to scoot through the gap that Steven provides. "Let's go, then." He decides. "That's where we need to be."

He does, once both he and Mikoto are through the field and Steven is done holding it, clap an appreciative hand to the other boy's shoulder. "Good job, Steven!"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

They may not know each other well, but Mikoto knows that Steven is beloved by a lion, and a cat's trust does wonders for Mikoto's own opinion of a person.

Any words she could say seem to die in her throat, and she swallows against a lump which has formed there, her eyes suddenly damp. There are others free - which means they're not dead. They know where their items are. They can get out -

"- Steven!" Mikoto yelps in alarm, as the boy sticks his hand into the forcefield, and the word is warning and fear because she has tried that, Endo has tried that, it's never worked, it's - it's okay. He's... okay. Mikoto's disbelieving glance is long enough for Endo to scoot through, and Mikoto quickly follows.

Once they're out, though, Mikoto feels she has to try and say something. Something about this kid - he can't even be out of elementary school, can he? - insisting it's his fault makes her feel so sad. She has to try to reassure him, even though her words feel so insufficient. "Not Steven's fault," she insists, her tone going serious. "Old war, right? Comes back eventually. And alien wars mean entire Earth, right? So we'd still be involved."

She puffs out another sigh. "... we know enemies, now. It's better, knowing." Not knowing your enemies means they can strike at will, means they can kill at will. Being overwhelmed is unpleasant, but now they know their enemies can tear at their souls like they do.

"Let's get artifacts back," she nods, to Endo. (Her look to him is not nearly as kind as she's ever looked at Steven, but she is at least not actively glaring.) "Now we know. Now we can fight."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

The boy stays in place only long enough to let the two out, then gets out of the cascading beam himself. Their calls of hesitation toward him are duly noted though, it shows they care, after all! But a mild magical shock isn't worth shaking a fist at compared to what it does to others.

The boy gives a good ol' fashioned thumbs up to Endo! Who woulda thought a fella who helped him to ski would turn into a space prison break partner, eh?

Steven looks toward Mikoto. She was right. The look in the boy's eyes says everything that what Mikoto tried to say struck something in the boy. Something good. "Yeah, if Homeworld gets their way, there is no telling what could happen. Everyone would be in danger! I don't know who they are working with besides names, but they can't be good people, either."

The Gem child looks to the left and right again. Recollection gleams back from the direction he came. "I think I passed one of those rooms close by back this way!" It was difficult to say if it was close or not, in truth. This place bleeds together like a flat surface hedge maze. Too much green and not enough unique markings.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

"We'll take care of them. They won't hurt anyone else." Endo assures, in a low and somber tone. At least he and Mikoto can agree on that, if nothing else. He peeks down the hall, first once side, and then the other, before he seems to decide that they're in the clear. For now, at least.

"Do you have your shield, Steven?" He asks this as he falls in behind Steven, content to let the other boy lead. "We might need it again." After all, it's because of Steven and his shield that both Endo and Mikoto are still alive. "And I hope Fate and everyone else got their stuff, if we're going to get out of here."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Homeworld..." Mikoto frowns, committing the word to memory. It seems that - much like Mikoto's words have reached Steven - there's something in Steven's answer which reaches her.

Beyond her own, she has three sets of enemies. Her Lord Brother is still missing; she does not know who his enemies are. But she knows that threats to the Earth are necessarily also threats to him, and in this way, world-ending menaces may be considered his enemies.

And his enemies are more important still than her enemies, or Mai's enemies, or Eri's enemies. His supersede all others.

In absence of his guidance, Mikoto must preserve the world in which he is still hidden from her.

Those sharp golden eyes say everything, where her lips say nothing: Homeworld is an enemy. She nods, to Endo and his assurance, with a wordless affirmative noise. He is her enemy - but he will not destroy the world. She can agree with him on this, if nothing else.

When they get moving, she finds that this place is a maze. It confuses Mikoto's keen senses, the way sound bounces and reverberates, the way light comes from everywhere and yet nowhere at all; it's utterly disorientating. There is nothing she expects from a vehicle, here.

Endo mentions Steven's shield, and Mikoto's breath catches in her throat as she remembers that moment of terror. She takes a steadying breath, glances over to him. "... Steven," she says, after a moment, her voice uncertain but unquestionably grateful, and her face reflects that lingering fear alongside her gratitude. "Thanks." What she's thanking him for ought to be obvious. He saved her life - and everyone else's.

But soon enough she hears the skittering of a robonoid, in the distance, and her lip curls with a warning growl. "Steven," she says, again - but her tone is guarded this time, as she glances behind them. "Are we close?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

"Yeah!" Steven replies to Endo with as they head down the hall. It feels like one of those infinite hallway illusions. The same thing just repeats for so long. "A Gem's weapon is part of them! It is made of energy and stuff! I don't think it can be taken away. Well, besides um, whatever that forcefield and Jasper's weapon is made of is." The boy recalls a mention of black crystals involved somehow. Hum.

"Oh, I will call it out if it is needed," he adds as well. "You are totally welcome!" the boy says towards Mikoto. "Saving the day... it's what the Crystal Gems do! It's our thing!" Ahead as they run, something stands out against one of the walls, something these cells sorely needed.

A door.

"There!" The boy points, heading over toward it, and pointing to the control panel. It should just be a sliding switch to pen. In here should be your stuff-- or someone else's!"

He waits for the door to be opened by someone who can reach it better. "Homeworld Gems aren't good people. They came here to hurt people, and the Earth. But the Crystal Gems turned against their own kind to stop them, 'cause they love it! So as long as we're here and got friends like you guys, we can totally do this!"

Inside the room is shelves and shelves of floating gray colored... eggs? "Inside those!" he says. There is also large containers of water situated around the room.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo doesn't have an excellent direction sense to begin with, and the blank green walls and grid of hallways isn't helping anything. He strides quickly after Steven, dark eyes moving back and forth through the corridor in search of enemies.

His body is tenser than it has been, more life than he'd had for days before. There's tension too, and anticipation. Nervousness at the thought of discovery, anticipation at being reunited with Fallen Stern and being able to do something again. It's felt so terrible, to be alone and without a way to help anyone.

He slides to a stop when Steven points out the door, wobbling and catching himself before he topples over. He takes over when it comes to opening it, fiddling for a moment before stepping inside. He makes a quick sweep of the room, examining the mass of eggs stacked inside. "Ah...inside? There's a lot." He pauses, hesitant for a moment.

And then, he reaches into the nearest sphere and fishes around for whatever might be there.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Steven calls himself a Gem, however indirectly. Mikoto's nostrils flare as she sniffs. "... but Steven's human," she points out. "Doesn't smell like nothing at all."

That Steven could be both human and Gem is a concept which is apparently eluding her. ... that it's kind of rude to point out what people smell like is also something which is eluding her, in this moment. Mai's surely told her not to do that, as part of her comprehensive cat-taming efforts, but Mikoto is tired and stressed and it's the most logical way she can think of to explain why Steven's statement makes no sense.

Mikoto is a good six inches shorter than Endo - she's tiny, even though she's wearing an Ohtori high school uniform - so she lets him handle the touchpad. Instead, she keeps her attention on Steven. "So Crystal Gems were Homeworld Gems, until betrayal... so, similar to fight."

... the Shepherds have some experience with fighting Crystal Gems, after all. But Mikoto doesn't say as much. It's obvious to her.

She slips inside, once Endo's opened the door. Her eyes scan across the eggs, and she begins walking amidst the shelves, frowning. She's searching for a... particular feeling.

If Steven asked, she couldn't describe it. If Endo asked, she wouldn't. But it is a feeling like night dew on the grass, sweet-smelling things, comfort and love - and duty above all else. Something so essential to her, something which ought be wrapped around her, missing, crying out...

Even muted by the pods, Mikoto is an expert listener. She hears the skittering of a robonoid as it passes. And she hears things which don't have sounds at all.

She is drawn to one pod, one pod in particular, and when she cracks it open... there she finds her Lord Brother's pendant, obsidian bead and golden crescent and crimson tassel, kept in place with a fine red cord. Tears well in Mikoto's eyes as she snatches it up, her grip gentle but unwavering. She holds it to her chest, just under her neck, hugging it to herself, chin over hands. "It's okay," she whispers, to herself, and it is gratitude and relief and love, "it's okay..."

She hasn't lost it. She can still find her Lord Brother. All is not lost.

"It's... precious, to me," Mikoto explains, a moment later, blinking away her tears as she places the red cord back around her neck, where it ought to be. "It's reminder." She tucks the bead safely back under her clothes. Perhaps if she weren't so overwhelmed, she wouldn't share such intimate details in front of Endo, but the night of strain and terror has worn her terribly and the truth slips from her lips unabated, because Steven at least is good, a person she can speak freely with.

Her bright yellow eyes scan the storage-room, the grey eggs which remain - and she knows, in a moment, that Miroku cannot be here. Nothing here is large enough.

Mikoto takes a steadying breath, calming her beating heart. She clasps a hand at her chest, over that bead below. She looks over the boys, and the eggs they're still searching. She doesn't know how long they'll take. Any amount of time, she knows, is too long. "... I must find Miroku," she says, an edge of desperation in her voice. "I'm trained. I'll work better on my own. Endo..." Mikoto's lip curls upward as she says his name, the hatred impossible to hide, but her look to him is serious. "... take care of Steven."

They're words which say a lot, in the little space they have.

She turns a little too sharply - hisses, grasps at her side with a wince. This time she does glare to Endo, reproachful and bitter, but she doesn't stop to complain. She opens the doors, runs out - and anyone who steps out to follow her will find she's disappeared down a hall.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Steven enters the room proper, looking around the dozens of containers of some kind, holding items and creatures and who knows what. He turns to Mikoto, and lifts up his shirt slightly. "Half human." He points to his navel. Or more properly. Where a navel should be. Instead of an innie or outie, theres a Gem. A lustrous pink affair, it appears to be some sort of round cut gemstone. It actually appears to be seamlessly connected to the flesh around it. "My mom was a Gem."

He watches the others sift through the eggs, their hands passing in and out harmlessly, though the contents of the eggs are invisible from the outside until pulled out or cracked open. "Hey! Cool necklace." Then Mikoto edges towards the door. "Are you...? Wait!" Ah, she is gone. "Well, hope she is okay. Wonder if she will run into that other lady running around."

He looks back to Endo. "Do you two not get along very well?" the boy asks, sifting into another egg. A bunch of little things that resemble bipedal ants crawl up his arm, and Steven vigorously shakes them off, and they scatter. "Your thing has to be in here, or in a nearby room!"

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

"The crystal gems are brave," Endo notes, "If the Homeworld ones want to take over earth, they'll have a hard time." They've done pretty sell so far, but Endo's intent on changing that. He pulls is hand back abruptly when he finds something, raising it up to the light.

It's a candy-cane colored snake, which uncurls and then slithers through the air and into a corner. Endo frowns, flexing his fingers before a second before he moves on to the next egg.

He's briefly distracted by Mikoto's discovery, his head tilting toward her. It's strange, to have seen her go through so many emotions, so fast. He doesn't understand the significance of her pendant, but when she explains he gets an inkling of it.

And then she's gone, off down the hall and on her own. He doesn't stop her, but he does hear her request. He doesn't have time to nod, or show any other sort of assent, but taking care of Steven was one of the first things on his list regardless.

Steven's question sets his lips in a thin line. "No." He replies. "She's a bad person, Steven." He would explain further, if they had more time. More important is cracking up another egg, and another, until he finds what he's looking for.

His hands close shut around a purple gem, uneven and dark. Steven, if he's looking, will see the purple light pulse between his finger tips as knight and sword are reunited, the ancient device awakening from its brief slumber.


"Stern." There's a palpable sense of relief in Endo's voice, as if he's shirking off a terrible weight. To people not as invested in rocks the quake in his voice might seem strange, as is the reverence with which he bows his head to place that clenched fist against his forehead. It's like he found an old friend. A part of him that was missing.

"Steven--thank you."