2018-05-26 - Unfamiliar Ceiling

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Title: Unfamiliar Ceiling

Having narrowly made off with Mikoto Minagi's magic at the cost of a thorough pummeling from her and late-arrival Lera Camry, Vita limps away to lick her wounds. But she's finally pushed herself too far this time...


Vita, Lera Camry


The Harlaown Household (mostly).

OOC - IC Date:

2018-05-26 - 2015-04-20

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Tama Outer City +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 While the the 23 wards of the Yamanote and Shitamachi zones comprise the
 core of Tokyo, an equally populous and geographically larger section of the
 city lies inland, to the west. This is the Tama region, consisting of a
 multitude of districts that, like the wards of inner Tokyo, are considered
 cities in their own right, but which combine together to form the
 megalopolis of Tokyo.

 In inner Tokyo, the government has to build and protect little squares of
 nature, but in Tama, nature is the default, and humans build squares of
 civilization. Surprisingly close to the city, one can find clean rivers,
 open fields, and, of course, great snow-capped mountains. The Shitamachi
 zone may be down-to-earth, but its residents are still thoroughly cityfolk,
 part of the "Floating World." In Tama, the urban culture intermingles with
 the rural, giving a taste for what life is like in the rest of Japan,
 outside of the big city. Buildings are low, sidewalks are wide, and cars are
 much more viable means of transportation than anywhere else in the city.
 High up in the foothills, one can even find a few tiny villages, whose
 residents technically live in Tokyo, but whose lifestyle is more akin to the
 most rural of provinces. The majority of Tama, though, is more of a suburban
 area, with modestly developed downtown districts scattered throughout.

 Life in Tama is less frantic than in Inner Tokyo, and natural beauty
 abounds. The Tama river forms the southern border of the zone, and many of
 the nearby mountains were considered sacred, and even today they are guarded
 by Shinto shrines near their peaks. Inner Tokyo's dense, churning morass of
 emotional energy holds a certain sort of power, but a more primal magic
 sleeps under Tama, and because of this, it is home to the Infinity
 Institute, which secretly trains a new generation of sorcerers away from the
 bustle (and inevitable collateral damage) of the big city.
<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Vita refuses to go home. Not back to that house. Even as her eyelids get heavy and her muscles scream and tremble for rest, she refuses. She won't stifle that place with her presence.

Won't let her memories of that place of light and happiness be scarred by the darkness that now inhabits it.

So she limped across the skyline for a while before she less landed than crashed on a rooftop out toward the outskirts of Tama, where the town and the encroaching mountains blur together. She'd hoped to hit the forest. She missed. She felt the impact; the skidding along gravel.

Her small body skipped over the ledge and fell to the street below, down into the darkness.

It was splashed with color a moment later - a shining red signalling the disappearance of Vita, the Crimson Iron Rider, and the appearance of Vita, Who Does Not Deserve The Name Yagami.

A passerby may see her easily enough; a redheaded girl with her hair in two pigtails, though one of the pigtails has been blown out, scuffed and scorched. She wears a black tee shirt with some local brand's logo splashed across it, a short and frilly skirt, plain red shoes. She looks like she's been through no kind of battle regular girls ever see, and the sort magical girls see only rarely. Her cheek is scuffed, her elbows and knees scraped and bandaged. She is slumped against the wall.

She is entirely unconscious. Perhaps ironically, the overall appearance is rather like one of her own victims.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera, since the rescue of Mikoto, has had to deal with a couple of other things. This, suffice to say, wasn't out of a lack of concern for Vita. She merely assumed that Vita would return home; that Vita would go back to whatever lair that her and the other Wolkenritter called home. She walks down the street, a bag over her shoulder, and she pauses as she catches the redheaded girl.

Her eyes widen for a moment, as she realizes this girl has seen the wrong end of a fight. She doesn't recognize her. She only sees, in the moment, a little girl who ended up on the wrong side of a battle hidden from the world usually. "Oh, no..."

She gasps and she hurries over, a jog towards the girl who landed on the street. Lera crouches down before her, checking her over quickly. "Hey--hey! Wake up! It's--oh, no..."

She frowns. Then, she scoops her up, and turns.


The door to the Harlaown household opens -- and Chrono stands there, his expression neutral, at first. "Camry," he says. "No, we're not making spaghetti today. I know you want it, but--" He stops, however, and his flat expression becomes one of concern. "...Who's that?"

"She was hurt," Lera says. She looks down at the girl in her arms, still out like a light. "We need to heal her--and find out what did this, y'know?" she asks. "And... can you really not get me any spaghetti?"

His eyebrow twitches. "...come in."

It isn't long before Vita is laid down on a sofa. Lera sits a distance away, in a chair. She has a Storage Device in hand: a long, steel rod with a trio of green gems. Each glows, softly. The Storage Devices cast a simple restorative spell: one that speeds the body's healing, rather than do it all at once. Lera looks down at the Regen Stick, thoughtfully, and then up at Vita.

Hopefully, she wakes soon.

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Regardless, Amy's not participating to squint ominously at it when Vita groans loudly after only a minute's work from the restorative spell. The girl stirs. Her eyes flutter. "Ugh," she mutters, shifting her elbows under her and flinching. "Aches..." She's still muttering, mostly to herself. "Been a while since--"

Reality crashes in on her and she jolts, eyes snapping wide. She tries to move in ways that would be impressive, except it's not a bed or good old ground under her but a sofa with soft, catchable cushions. She tries to shove her feet under her and fails and ends up throwing herself entirely off the sofa and onto her face on the floor.

She makes a sound somewhere between a whine and a groan.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"C-Careful!" Lera cries out in surprise, as Vita suddenly jolts up. The talking in her sleep didn't surprise her so much -- but the way she tries to stand, and the sofa gives. Lera's cry comes too late, and she isn't able to close the distance in time. Vita slams into the carpeted floor. Lera drops the rod she held; it hits the carpet with a soft thud, and rolls to a stop.

She kneels down next to Vita, looking down at her. Her eyes are wide, too. "It's okay," she says. "You're somewhere safe. You were hurt--um, I'm not sure by what--but I found you, and I got you to where we could tend your wounds, y'know? So..."

Her voice quiets, for a moment.

"Just take it slow," she says. "Want me to help you get back on the sofa?"

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

She shuts her eyes tight, forcing herself to take longer breathes. After a long few seconds they slide slowly open again, though there's still something scared in those eyes. Worried. "Yeah," she whispers. "I fell unconscious out there..."

She tries to force herself up, but her legs are still jelly, and she slumps back down immediately. She tries a second time, and has only slightly better luck, forcing one leg under her. It's impressively stubborn.

She doesn't look like she's going to ask for help, but without it this is going to take roughly forever. Fate Testarossa walks over to World Tree Plaza.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

One day, Lera might find it ironic and humorous, in a way, that she rescued Vita after she was the one that put her in this state. She blinks, her eyes dropping down to the chain necklace with the charm. The significance never meets her eyes. It is, in a way, rather different to see Lera in this circumstance: not facing down an opponent, steely-eyed and determined, with a blade in hand. Her amber eyes are soft, and she has a smile that's almost gentle.

"It's nothing to panic over," she says, carefully. "It... happens. There's--I don't know how much you know. There's a lot of monsters out there, sometimes. They drain people's emotions and magic, sometimes, y'know? And... attack them, too."

She doesn't move to help, at first. Then she approaches -- that requires standing up -- and extends a hand down to Vita. "Here," she says. "Let me help. My name's Lera Camry. Second year high schooler at Infinity Institute."

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Well, perhaps not that alike, then. Still, even exhausted, even still in a lot of pain, that face says she is dead set on getting up under her own power, with no assistance, and then presumably flying out the door and suplexing a tornado.

She is fortunately not given the chance to do most of this. She stares up at Lera's offered hand, then slowly up toward the girl herself. "...yeah," she mutters, to Lera's kind words. "Yeah. There are monsters out there, aren't there," she says, quieter. She takes the hand, accepting the leverage up, and then probably has to thump into Lera's side because her legs are useless right now. "...Vita," she says. The magic here protects her identity. She's never understood how it worked. She never asked. "I, uhm. I haven't been enrolled...I'm only here to help my m--" ... "Cousin," she says, though the lie tastes like poison.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Oh, you're not from Tokyo?" Lera asks. She tilts her head to the side, then she smiles. There is something a little guarded in that smile, but it doesn't come from suspicion. She helps Vita the rest of the way up -- and then gives a nudge with her hand to help her sit back down onto the same sofa she fell off. She shakes her head. "Me neither. I'm from, uh, America! But I've lived here for about a year now..."

She tilts her head to the side. "Your cousin lives out here?" she asks. "It's, uh, it's really nice of you to come out here and help her! You must like her a lot, y'know?"

She glances up at the ceiling, then. There is a little rustling in the next room -- a couple of voices, as Chrono and Amy talk -- but they barely carry over into the room. "I'm sorry that you got attacked," she adds. "That's... some rough luck."

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Lera's words about her 'cousin' make Vita stare down, grimacing. "Yeah," she says, quietly. "She's really sick, so me and the others came to....help her." She hates the lie. It flares in her like a sun, the gall and disgust at lying about her master. Her stomach twists in anger at herself. Say it. Sing it. Shout it at the sky!

She can't. Not here. Blasting her way out won't help anyone. Might even hurt Hayate. But she hates that single lie so much. Her eyes slide shut to try and force the circle of these thoughts to break. "She's been great. I hope we can make her better." In context, perhaps it sounds like the innocent wish of a child regarding deathly illness.

Rough luck, though. Vita grunts. "I barely saw it," she murmurs. "Just hit me out of nowhere." Not entirely a lie. She doesn't look at Lera for this; she's not sure how well she can lie while looking the girl in the eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Ah... I'm sorry," Lera says, a little quieter than before. Her brow furrows, and she frowns. She doesn't know what that is like; she never had a sick relative. Even when she lost her father, it was one of those random, terrible accidents rather than a slow illness. She looks up, and her head tilts. She nods. "I hope so, y'know?"

She doesn't really know what she can do, besides hope. She opens her mouth, and then she looks down at Vita, looking her over for a moment. "That's... how it happens, sometimes," she concludes. "Sometimes they sneak up on you. You, um... you don't feel weakened or anything, right? Some of them--some of them can drain your energy."

Or worse, she thinks.

There is a little more noise from deeper in the house. A third voice; it is indistinct, at present, though a few footsteps can be heard. It seems that they may have company in a moment.

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

She's had to keep her thoughts this tamed before. She chaffs at using those memories, that old, deadened self. But it's for Hayate, she tells herself. "Yeah," she rasps, instead. "I hope so too."

The topic moves again. Vita chews on her lip with worry. "Just come out of nowhere...I guess that makes sense." Lera's talking about her, Vita realizes grimly. She tries not to let it show. "I...do," she says. It's truthful, in its way; she feels exhausted, depleted. She was running on desperation and magic, and with the magic finally falling out, her arms and legs and head feel leaden. She's not sure she could properly hide a telepathic call to Shamal yet, even. She wants to be sure before she tries.

On the other hand, that also implies that she's been drained by those devils in the Wolkenritter, which is not the greatest thought in the world. Maybe it's best for Lera to think that for now, though. "I feel really tired..." She tries to remember how she's heard it described, by some of her old victims. "Like I'm...sick...?" she says, testing the word.

Humans get sick, of course. Vita's got no experience with such things.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera frowns, looking down -- and she hesitates, a moment more. There isn't, really, a way to offer help or support. Nothing she says will make someone well again. She could ask Lindy what can be done, but she knows well enough that their resources are limited -- they don't have access to the full range of hospitals and medical technology of Midchilda.

She looks up, though, and blinks. "That's..." She hesitates, for a moment, when she gets a look at Vita. Was she drained by the Wolkenritter? Or, worse, attacked by a Protodaimon? She realizes she isn't sure. "You could be--um. It can be similar. Do you remember what attacked you? Maybe--oh!"

She hears the footsteps behind her, approaching the doorway, before someone approaches. Lera turns, and flashes a smile, first at the empty doorway... and then down at Vita. "Don't worry," she says. "Miss Harlaown is here. She'll know what to do!"

She turns back, and the tall, aqua-haired figure of Lindy Harlaown steps around the corner. Her teal eyes look at Lera, and then at Vita. She has a tray in hand, with a tea kettle, a trio of cups, and a bowl of sugar.

"Good afternoon!" she says. "I heard you had a tumble. I thought you might want a hot drink?"

Lera's head snaps back towards Vita. Her eyebrow twitches, but then she mouths: 'Do not let her sugar your tea for you under any circumstances.'

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

And then Vita looks up, and...oh. It's....this....adult...?

Some half-formed engram tells her she should know who this is, but the sparkling, happy lady does not bring anything specific to mind. "Ah....that, would be nice," Vita murmurs. Her eyes slide to Lera's mouthed words, and she tilts her head quizzically.

THen she slowly shakes her head - less contextually and more just trying to clear her head a bit. She closes her eyes for a moment, as if thinking. Then she reaches out, quietly testing...

   <<Keine Störung wird festgestellt.>> rings in her thoughts.
   <<No interference? Good.>> And then, mentally shifting the direction, she reaches out - further, much further. But she knows she can reach if she tries. <<Shamal. It's Vita. Can you hear me?>>

That conversation begins silently. But in the present, she finds herself looking between the tea and the sugar with the interest of a small child.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Red hair--and one with black..." Lera trails off, her brow furrowed. She tries to think of who it might be -- almost reaches the conclusion that it could be Eri Shimanouchi and Kyouko Sakura, but that doesn't sound like the modus operandi of the Shepherds. In the end, she has to shake her head once. She doesn't know it, really.

When Vita reaches out telepathically, Lera doesn't even notice.

She worries, instead, as Lindy sets the teaset down -- and she sees that look on Vita's face. For Lera, it is a mounting horror, and Lindy does a spoonful of sugar into Vita's tea. And another.

And another.

And another.

The tea that is slid over has enough sugar that lumps of it are visible on the bottom. It is discolored. Lindy gently pushes it to Vita, and then smiles at her. "Here you are! Please, drink up. I find this can help get you back on your feet in no time!"

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Other than Lera Camry and Mikoto Minagi, that is. That's definitely not who it was.

Vita receives a warm presence back, and a few quick words. She keeps it brief. On some level she worries that this has been detected. If nothing else, they can't be sure of anything. A few quick words. A brief warning. <<Stay safe. You've needed a rest for a while anyway. No arguments! Just...lie low for a while. Stay there until we come for you. OK?>>

Vita's eyes refocus just as a cup of tea slides in front of her. She looks up at Lera, then back at it. She tips her head a little.

She picks it up and takes a sip. Her eyes widen and she looks down it, then back at Lera, then up at Lindy.

Then upends the entire cup of tea-based simple syrup directly into her mouth.