2020-12-13 - Preliminary Disruption

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: Preliminary Disruption

Mikoto stumbles on a minor Labyrinth plot, and now it's her turn to give Westar some advice.


Hayato Nishi, Mikoto Minagi


Taiyou Ramen Stand

OOC - IC Date:

2020-12-13 - 2015-10-18

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

It's a somewhat noisy evening on this particular street of Tokyo. Offices are officially done for the day, and those who worked late are out looking for a bite to eat. But there's small commotions, scattered arguments, and a general sense of irritation in the air as salarymen flock to food stalls.

The subject of the hour is the day's specials, and which ones are actually available. The menus written in chalk on slate boards offer enticing deals, and yet the chefs asked for them seem to know nothing - leading to one argument after another, one disappointment after the next.

The only one really enjoying himself right now is a university student with a nice bowl of tonkatsu ramen, relaxed with midterms firmly behind him, and occasionally admiring his belt buckle of all things. After a moment's thought, he tosses a small white cylinder into a cigarette ashtray, and ignores the clatter as he digs into umami broth and crispy pork cutlets.

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

No one's having a good time in this corner of Asakusa, are they..?

Mikoto, of course, has little knowledge of the great and terrible world of ADULT RESPONSIBILITIES. The hundreds of salarymen who file through Tokyo are as alien to her as she is to - well, let's be frank, any one of them, if they actually opened their eyes to look. She has no father to look up to and know the frustrations of adulthood, after all.

But equally Mikoto has some experience communicating with things which aren't much like her; she's very good with cats. And so she feels the discontent of the necktie collars, more than she comprehends precisely why they're all so fussed about 'the budget', or 'that jackass in accounting', or...

Well, 'why does everything go wrong?!' is a fairly easy utterance for her to comprehend. 'Just give me something to eat!' is easier, still.

Mikoto shrugs the shoulder where Miroku's sword-case rests, and sighs.

She's been good about sending for help when Tokyo is in peril. Ever since Fate inspired her not to fight alone, Mikoto has been doing her best to uphold that ideal. But this sort of scheme...

No, she hasn't called in the cavalry as she slips under the cloth of the ramen stand. She unshoulders Miroku, leans it against the counter, raises two fingers to indicate the second special to the chef. Pork ramen, just as she's smelling.

Though, she doesn't glance to her other side, not immediately.

"Thought I'd find you here," she says, instead.

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

There's no immediate response to Mikoto's plain comment. Her fellow ramen diner seems to be listening for something, even as he slurps down a couple of noodles. The general grumbling, the groans of resignation, that pervasive irritation that almost, almost verges on true misery - and then, at last, a distant cry of outrage as the changes to a sign are discovered. Satisfied, he takes a bite out of one slice of pork cutlet.

"It's good food, Minagi. That's something worth enjoying, right?" Hayato finishes the slice, setting his chopsticks aside for a moment to just...bask in the flavour, the aroma, and everything else going on. And, perhaps, more subtle senses - whether dangerous powers lurk nearby, discounting whatever darkness sits just a few seats over.

But she hasn't called in the cavalry, and her sword is still in its sheath.

"I thought I'd try being quiet for a change. Testarossa's idea, once - draw things out. Heart wasn't really in it, though - I didn't even bring in backup for this one." He glances over. "And besides, you wound up being here after all. What's that about, anyway?"

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

The ramen arrives; Mikoto gathers up a heaping chopstick-ful. "... it's good!" She chirps, and there's a brightness to her which was never there before, when she was snacking between grim tasks.

It's not like the food changed. Maybe she did.

She quiets down a little after that, though, shaking her head and finally looking over. "I can't just let you make them sad... Westar-senpai. That's who I'd rather be. But, food first." Mikoto tilts her head, braids tumbling over her cheek as she regards her ramen again.

Another mouthful. Nomph.

"It's not like I came out here for that, anyway," she says, a little shrug of her shoulders. "I guess I was just thinking, 'cause of midterms and everything..." 'Nostalgia' might be a better word, but it also might be too much of a word for Mikoto's vocabulary.

All a sudden she looks back to him, with wide gold eyes which have only just begun contemplating the nature of academic rigour instead of skipping every hard class. "Did Westar's exams go okay?!" THAT--

-- might not be the question which seems most suitable to ask a General in the midst of an active dark plot, low-key and untransformed though it is.

And yet, Mikoto seems absolutely sincere in her concern for his cover story.

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

The food remains, the company remains; perhaps what has changed is the context. Allies no longer, but at least one of them is in a place where she can laugh honestly; by such measures, a mood is improved.

The commotion in the area is growing louder, and there's more spikes of anger - but it's a precise irritation, and the sum of the whole is diminishing as one stall after another discovers and corrects the deception. Things are nowhere near calm, particularly as entitled patrons demand that fictitious deals be honoured - but the rumblings are beginning to diffuse.

More to the point, Hayato has a bowl of ramen, and the vegetables are delicious.

"You've got your job, I've got mine." Slurp. "Whether that's where we'd rather be or not, that's where we are. I see what I can manage to gather, your group shows up to make sure that doesn't keep happening. Looks like tonight's little try is falling apart anyway." Slurp.

He twirls a slice of pork in his chopsticks, contemplating the least important question. "As for exams? Nothing too bad. University-level courses are...harder and easier, if that makes sense. No 'next stage' that cares what grade you get - so it's about learning, or at least being in the room. I'm just trying to pay attention in case anything useful comes up."

A pause. "And so I can let Soular know which books people are going to need from the library to study. He likes causing that kind of trouble."

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

Given Mikoto has made her statement, the remainder is clear even to her.

She wonders: is this sadness what they felt, talking to her in places much like this?

"It wasn't a bad idea," she says, "but Westar didn't think about how much people want any food at the end of the day. Even if it's not the food they wanted, food still makes people happy." Grasping a slice of pork in her chopsticks, the food here certainly looks like it's making Mikoto happy.

She pauses, once she's done chewing, and adds: "... but I guess I don't have to tell Westar that. It's about opportunities, right? Even if they're not perfect."

Tilting her gaze up to the lanterns lighting the stand, her voice gains the remove of wondering, for a moment.

"Yeah... sometimes you gotta take opportunities."

But she's not going to push it. It's just advice, couched in advice, with all the leave of deniability. She picked up a couple of things from him, after all.

She does look to Westar, utterly relieved, when he says his exams weren't too bad. "Good!" She says, bright as day in the shade of the evening. "I was worried... 'cause I made so much trouble when they were going on. But, Westar was okay!" She smiles, brightly, and takes another big bite. Omph nomph.

"Caring about school... isn't that bad!" She declares, once that's down. "But," she goes on, with a little wrinkle of her nose, "it is harder."

Harder than causing trouble in broad daylight like she always used to do..?

Well, that's what she learned to do, after all.

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

Hayato swallows the last bite of pork cutlet, only a smattering of noodles and vegetables left in his bowl. He considers the advice, considers the joy a simple bowl of ramen brings, and simply nods to himself as he sets to fishing out those straggling bits of food.

This is, admittedly, a celebratory meal on his part. Exams are done, and it is admittedly easier to relax without that spectre looming behind him. (Only the actual spectres of Labyrinth loom now.)

"There is that. It's a different...culture in university, too. Less on the school clubs, more on studying. It helps when you get to...choose what you're learning." The verb sounds awkward, coming out of a Labyrinth denizen's mouth, and an odd expression flits over his face. It is mostly just a cover, but he did actually pick a field of study. It wasn't chosen for him.


Eventually, he shakes his head. "So yeah. Opportunities - at school, and at 'work'. Like tonight, a...what do you call it, low-cost trial. Didn't work out great - because all the stalls around here make great food regardless - but it didn't take a lot of effort to find that out."

He lifts the bowl, to slurp that oh-so-tasty broth. "So maybe that's what you do. Find what you...want to try, and give it a shot."


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

Getting to choose...

Mikoto nods, encouragingly. "Yup," her agreement is more chipper, this time. "It sounds fun!" She might not entirely mean the school and the learning, there, but there's something about that freedom which is absolutely enjoyable.

She doesn't point out how nice it is to be able to choose things. She doesn't ask Westar if he'd like to choose more things. She just... expresses her enthusiasm for the potential. Westar needn't involve himself in her excitement at all; it is supremely self-centred.

But maybe Mikoto knows not to push too hard, too overtly. Every time someone tried to tell her she wasn't happy - she just became more grimly set on enjoying her awful tasks.

Maybe she's not just thinking of herself.

Shlurrrrp. Mikoto vacuums in her broth, too.

"It was good advice," she remarks, when she puts the empty bowl down. "Not fighting to the end. Sometimes it's okay to try things and see if they work. Not everything's gotta be to the death." She recalls old advice; she evidently still values it, even knowing where it came from, what it was meant for.

"So... what thing do you want to try, Westar?" Mikoto asks, as she puts the bowl down, alongside some coins to cover the cost. "Or... what things?"

Like there can be more than one thing to try. Opportunities at school and at work. There's an 'and', in there.

"Maybe Westar can tell me, later," she goes on, because Mikoto has no illusions about him telling her what he wants right here when the thought has evidently just entered his mind. "Right now, I gotta go make sure none of those men got into trouble. I don't think I need to call help for this, right..? It's not like Westar brought backup, and starting a fight here would just get lots of normal people wrapped up." She grins, as she shoulders Miroku back onto her back. "... so we can just call it done, right?"

She waves, as she turns. "It was a good try, Westar-senpai!"

And then she's off, to go make sure there are no lasting ill-effects to the lingering power of an Executive's influence.

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

...it is fun.

Not just the classes. Management theory isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but it's about how to organize people to work - which seems like a skill an Executive of Labyrinth should have. (A skill Mobius should have already given them, even.)

But trying out all the foods of Earth is fun. Going to festivals and sports matches is fun. Talking with a...former colleague is fun.

It's supposed to be a mission.

But Minagi doesn't push beyond that, save for a question - what else might he choose. Setting the empty bowl before him, he considers the words - but Minagi is already getting up to leave. They could start a fight - transform up, start destroying peoples' livelihoods, throw a giant monster into the mix -

"Yeah, we're done." But he's not in the mood right now - he made his effort.

"And it wasn't that good a try, really. See you around, Minagi." He tosses a handful of coins on the counter - more than the price, he can afford it - and slouches off on his own.

To contemplate what one might choose to do beyond orders. What a terrifying thing.