2018-07-12 - Loyalty To Enemies

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Title: Loyalty To Enemies

Mikoto chances upon Westar as she searches for her brother.


Westar, Mikoto Minagi


Tama Outer City - Tama River

OOC - IC Date:

2018-07-12 - 2015-04-28

.****************************** Tama Outer City *******************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Tama River +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 At the head of this river, deep in the Tama region, a dam forms Lake
 Okutama. Gazing upon its calm waters, it is difficult to imagine that
 beneath the dam, a great river erupts. In days past, the Tama River ran
 rampant, flooding frequently, often so intensely as to wash away towns or
 permanently alter its course. Today, the dam and an expensive series of
 levees have tamed this serpent of water, and its floods, while frequent,
 cause no significant damage.

 The new Tama River is a beloved location for leisure and recreation.
 Kayaking along its rapids, rock climbing and bouldering in nearby parks,
 picnicking alongside its slower sections; Tama is a long river, and has
 something for everyone. A great number of sports fields have sprung up on
 its banks, for children and adults alike, and it's not uncommon for the Tama
 River to host school games. Neighboring areas flock to the riverside at
 festival-time, erecting food stalls and fair games.

 The mouth of the river empties into Tokyo Bay in the Yamanote region of the
 city, right next to Haneda Airport.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

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

It's late in the afternoon, and gathering clouds have ushered many a bored student to indoor activities. The skies as a whole are still light, azure gleaming in the bright afternoon, but...the wind is blowing, clouds are gathering. It might not be clear for long, at this rate - and who knows if rain might decide to fall?

Better to stay inside - that's the decision of many. Shopping districts and malls are seeing quite the boom in business on a day like today.

Tama River flows leisurely, in defiance of that looming storm. It's tranquil, reminding the world that things might not be so bad after all - but in light of those skies, most of the sports fields have half-hearted practices at best, the parks growing quieter by the hour. A fair few of those wandering food stalls have just elected to give up business for the day.

So it's quiet, here. It shouldn't be - fifteen minutes ago, the kayaking docks were a flurry of activity - but business closed for the day, leaving the docks and storage buildings almost abandoned. A few vessels tied in the water bump idly against padded posts, the water gently splashes on the shore, and solitude reigns.

Solitude, for one figure remains.

A towering figure - the kind of young man who must go to a gym daily, from the muscles of his bared arms. A black and yellow outfit would stand out among the masses, even without the broad shoulderpads, even without the lavender cape that billows in the wind. He runs a hand through his mint-green hair, scowling as he surveys the scene before him.

"Not quite right...it's got to be out here somewhere. Something...fitting." With a flourish of his hand, he summons a malevolent yellow diamond, eyes flickering to the lock on an equipment shed, to those abandoned kayaks - but with a gesture, he dismisses the diamond. Not the time yet.

And then his other hand comes up, holding three yakitori skewers, and he takes a bite of his piping-hot snack. "Atatatata.... "

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

The rain comes, the rain goes. It was sunny, earlier. It never lasts. A cloud passes over that most intense star, and all points are hidden in its wake. Up above, the wind blows, brings coverage to blue and white-yellow and... ah, let's call it white, now. White and fluffy grey, colonising the cheerful colours of a late April sky.

The rain captures itself in a drowned garden; the rain floods; the rain rots rose petals to an organic slurry of despair. Ah, but what use are metaphors? It's not raining out here. Not yet.

What use are metaphors, but to explain why a girl might not go home.

Mikoto will go back eventually. She always does. She promised. She tries to be back in time to help with dinner, no matter how hard she searches for her Lord Brother now. And yet there is a grim edge to the afternoon, and there are things she does not want to involve her oldest friend in, even now.

So she gets on the train. It is loud and crowded and unpleasant. She travels through Tokyo. She searches. It is a familiar thing.

And she is alone.

She finds herself in Tama again. It's foolish, maybe, to cling to false hopes and reassurances - but this place is comfortable to her. She is a creature of nature and she prefers it to the urban forests of Tokyo's innermost areas. It is a comfort to walk along the banks of the river. It is not so difficult to think he might find it agreeable, too.

She does not run at the sign of rain. No cat enjoys getting wet - but it's hardly something which can shake her. There is rain enough in her heart already, and it's blue, blue, blue.

And so there is a grim edge to the afternoon, as she makes her way down the river's edge and spies a boy who looks so out-of-place.

Mikoto does not approach him, does not enquire.

She stands, long metres away, and sharp golden eyes watch him. She makes no secret of it. She has no reason to hide.

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

Hot hot hot hot hot - those skewers were a little too fresh, after all. Westar glares at his snack, as if it personally betrayed him, but holds onto it all the same. He is on a mission, after all, and he might need this food to stay fueled. That, and it does just need a few minutes to cool.

The wind is picking up, making his long cape billow all the louder. He utrns his face to the wind, to see if inspiration is due to strike from another corner, and his eyes pass over the new shadow that has trod upon these shores.

And then Westar does a double-take, locking eyes with the girl down below. His eyes are the same shade of light green as his hair, and they stare into the gold that beholds him. His jaw is set, his expression stern, because he knows who he is.

...she's still staring. A stern jaw shifts back and forth, driven by discomfort.

Still staring. This is strange, right?

As the man's face touches upon the threshold of bafflement, he looks away first. Coughing into an empty fist, he takes a moment to reconsider the situation. Dark-haired girl, staring at him, golf bag on her back, kind of weird. Okay.

He straightens up, flinging his free hand wide to spread out his cape (even as the other hand holds greedily onto those oh-so-delicious smelling yakitori skewers). A moment, standing tall, standing imperiously, and then his voice booms out.

"I am Westar! Denizen of Labyrinth, and faithful servant of Lord Mobius! Who are you, to approach so?" He nods, as if affirming what he just said to himself.

...hopefully that will make her stop staring silently.

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

There are certain rules to social engagement which Mikoto Minagi cares not a whit for, and in blatant disregard for propriety, she stares. He is a strange presence. He is struggling with his food. And then he sees her, and he is a hard thing, set against the wind.

Mikoto is not such a hard thing, the way she cants her head as she considers him, but neither does she relent. The wind whips at her braids, sends them across her face. She blinks those big, bright eyes. She does not look away.

She does not realise what she's communicating at all.

Those sharp eyes narrow, as Westar names himself. Labyrinth. Of course, there are few magical girls who have heard nothing of the place. It is dark and horrible.

It has a different association, now.

"Like Cure Passion," Mikoto replies, and her guarded voice carries on the wind. A hand grasps at the strap of that bag of - golf clubs? They must be golf clubs. She is silent, for a moment, as she considers his question. The next name is unfamiliar - her own, perhaps. "... Mikoto. Mikoto Minagi."

She considers him, a low noise in the back of her throat, gutteral like a growl. She does not move; the wind cannot move her. When did she become a hard thing?

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

Mikoto Minagi says a single name, and Westar stumbles on his perch. The roof of the shed upon which he stands was built to slough off rain, not to hold a person comfortably. He stumbles, his foot slips, and his arms windmill a moment to regain his balance.

At last, he regains it - reclaims balance with a stomp, foot denting corrugated metal to force a foothold into the world if that is what is needed. He stands again, and there is a furious furrow in his brow. "No! Not - well, yes, the same Labyrinth. But -she- isn't the same as us right now! She left-"

There's an edge to his voice now, because months upon months aren't enough to soothe what felt like a betrayal. He considers her right back, marking the name of the girl standing before her. For a moment, he takes pause - somehow, she's on edge just as much as he is, and the strangeness sits oddly.

He's been on Earth for over a year now. This isn't how Earth humans tend to behave.

"Ea- SHE used to be one of us, but she got dragged away." Accurate? No, but it's how Westar sees things. "Don't trust whatever she's saying about Labyrinth, Minagi. Whatever she's told you about Labyrinth - well, it doesn't matter."

There's a dark look in his eyes, and while it might not be aimed at the girl before him, she is the only one here...

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

Westar stumbles, and Mikoto blinks. She grunts, a wondering sound perhaps too low to carry up to an ill-suited rooftop; the way nostrils flare and lips purse out might be seen even so.

It's a sore topic. That much is obvious, even to her. The way he stumbles over his foothold and his words, the way his speech so much sharper - and a half-arrested name, as if he didn't dare to speak it.

Mikoto watches, with an assessing gaze. She is a cat sizing up a bird. It is not a comfortable expression. It is dark as his own.

There are monsters in this world. She does not react to all of them. In her mind there is the constant question: is it a threat?

"Cure Passion's my enemy," Mikoto states, with all the certainty of a judge - or, perhaps, an executioner. That hand tightens, around her bag of golf clubs. "Cure Passion doesn't matter."

The constant question -

She looks up at him and she is not moved by his imperious figure at all. "Is Westar my enemy?"

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

Doesn't matter.

Orders from Klein, not to worry about the former Eas any longer.

Reminders from Soular, that she made her choice.

That's policy. That's orders. Setsuna Higashi doesn't matter any more, and is nothing more than an enemy.

...but to hear the girl in front of him repeating that message rankles Westar, and for a moment it seems like he really does intend to be her enemy. And yet...that's -not- exactly what she said, is it? There's an idea percolating, even as Mikoto asks a question with deadly consequences.

He doesn't answer immediately, taking an angry bite off of one of his now-edible skewers, chewing as he ruminates. His stance relaxes a bit, and it's with a careful eye that he considers the dark girl before him. "Cure Passion's your enemy, huh? Interesting. She's..."

That last day of the mansion's existence, when she pretended to be rejoining them, only to turn on them once again.

"...our enemy right now too. I want to see her come to her senses, get away from those people she's calling 'friend', and stop being Cure Passion." He folds his arms, considering her. "What do you say to that, Minagi? Enemy or ally?"

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

He is angered; in a motion Mikoto drops her schoolbag from her other shoulder to the dirt beside the river. It slumps against the sandy earth, gravity revealing the shape of books, a bento box.

But he does not answer, yet. And she does not bring her other bag to bear, yet.

Westar attacks his food, instead, and Mikoto watches. Watches, as he relaxes from his ready posture. She does not follow suit, but she listens, and perhaps that is enough.

He speaks about Cure Passion, and it is clear he cares about her.

There is a thin set to the line of Mikoto's lips, and for a long moment she does not speak at all.

She snorts, air puffing through flared nostrils, and perhaps it is too far away to hear. "Cure Passion doesn't matter," she repeats, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Don't care what Cure Passion is called, who Cure Passion is with. Cure Passion's my enemy. Enemies must be defeated."

She makes it sound so easy.

And those catlike eyes are so cold. "Westar's talking like you want to help a friend... not an enemy."

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

Those catlike eyes are cold.

Westar recoils, like he's been stabbed.

It's strange, that this girl can be so much colder than he. Westar, executive of Labyrinth, denizen of a realm where emotion has been prohibited...is outdone in ruthlessness so readily. For a fleeting moment, Westar wonders which of the other dreadful denizens of the Dark Realms this girl might serve...

But maybe that's just normal for Earth humans. Caring more about others, being more willing to murder?

(Or maybe #WT-4029858 is damaged in some way.)

The answer to that accusation is in movement. Westar jumps, abruptly, clearing his own height readily before plummeting to the soft earth before the shed. He lands on both feet, crouching like a frog to absorb the shock, and then he stands up straight. Now on the same level as Minagi, it's plain that he really is taller...for what little that matters.

"She was our comrade." His voice is bitter, furious. "The most loyal of all of us, until this weird planet did something to her. She turned on us, betrayed us again and again, took up the name of our worst enemies. So she's our enemy, and I plan on dragging her back to Labyrinth by force if I have to."

Furious as he might be, he doesn't deny the accusation.

Westar stands still - muscles tense as he regards the girl before him - and he meets her gaze again. "Is that a problem, Minagi?"

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

In a distant part of her mind, Mikoto recognises the way Westar recoils, and wonders how harsh she must be that a dark denizen of Labyrinth is so much more affected by his enemies than she is.

But she is not damaged. She is working exactly as intended.

Perhaps he is not a threat after all.

As if he could hear her thoughts, he leaps, and Mikoto stiffens at the motion. He is large; he is strong. These things are so obvious, the way the soft earth gives underneath his feet, the way he lands with practiced motions.

In this, yes - perhaps he is a threat.

It's an unanswered question.

Mikoto does not much like unanswered questions.

He speaks in his fury, and Mikoto, silently, swings that golf-case about, to rest in front of her. She considers him, from around it, as if the black pillar could hide her. Perhaps it could - it is certainly longer than she is tall. But it's too thin to provide much cover.

'I grew up fighting. I grew up single-minded, with nothing but missions. And I won't go back to what I was.'

"It's Westar's problem," Mikoto replies, tone guarded but not aggressive. "'Cause Cure Passion won't come."

Cure Passion doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if Cure Passion is taken back. She's an enemy. It doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter, except that Labyrinth is a horrible place, and Westar serves its purposes.

Mikoto's hands tighten, around the dark bag. "Westar's just like Cure Passion," she growls, irritation showing plain as day. "Both think I'm the same. Westar thinks I wouldn't have a problem with dragging girls to Labyrinth? Westar thinks I'd help?" The word is jagged in its accusation.

Her lips curl in a snarl. "I'm not good... but I'm not like Westar!" And there is hatred, now, in those eyes, unveiled and fierce. "Yes, it's a problem!!"

It's a decision made in inches, a conclusion reached in parts: a bag laying against the ground, a case before her, tight grip and terrible eyes. And practiced motions, as Mikoto smoothly withdraws something which is so clearly not a golf club from the case. It is a claymore, black as sin, gold about its red-thread hilt.

As she charges forward with it, she screams, and it is a bestial sound. Bestial, in the end, is the correct word to use - she is a berserker, relentless and terrible and fighting like a wild animal uncaged.

And Westar, surely, can recognise one terrifying thing about her: she is not fighting to weaken him or tire him or chase him off. She is not fighting to try to make him understand or hear her words; she does not speak at all. She is not fighting the way a magical girl should.

She is fighting to kill him.

Perhaps that's why, in the end - shed split in twain by obsidian swing, kayaks lain in pieces - she finds herself without an enemy to fight.

She does not give chase.

Cure Passion doesn't matter that much.