Mural of Fate
The KNOWS complex is a SEBEC-sponsored commercial centre outside of Inaba's city limits. The complex incorporates a small outdoor water park, sizeable rink and swimming pool with full sauna and spa services, and a mall inside of a three-story replica of a Scottish castle. There are obviously extensive underground tunnels, as evidenced by massive air pumps and air vents coming up all over the estate.
The castle is heavily sealed at night, appointed with guards and spotlights. The upper levels of the mall are constantly guarded, as is the basement - because they are headquarters and home for many of SEBEC's troubled youth.
Okay, let's face it - teenagers with attitude employed by the NWO or blackmailed into service are kept here under the guard of loyal NWO operatives to better dedicate them to the cause. The facility is a teenager's wet dream with something for everyone - from Hot Topic to video arcades to a McDonald's. It is sinister, but not in any way that would stand up in a court of law. It is basically in a dead race with June's to bankrupt the local market and kill all small businesses.
It's been a rough week for Fumiya Watanabe. He's not on the best of terms with several people, and his efforts to find out more about this hidden supernatural world have mostly turned up empty. He has been nearly killed on a couple of occasions, and even then he feels strung along.
Suffice to say, he needs to vent SOMEHOW. The part of him that wants to shout '**** authority!' just wants to tell everyone he can find about this stuff. Go to the news! Go to the papers! Let everyone know he knows and that they have HIM to thank. But that would probably be very stupid and inevitably painful. So Fumiya has decided on something not as direct. At least, not by his logic anyway.
He's already been at the KNOWS for a few hours. If Shirou got his call he'll soon have a witness, and with any luck someone he can ask questions to while he works. His latest spray can empty, he tosses it to the ground with a clatter and fetches another one. Taking a few steps back he looks at his work so far.
A giant mural, mostly pink in background, featuring Michael Jackson, and a horde of zombies, with the phrase 'long live the king' written in stylized letters. To anyone familiar with Paulownia Mall its signature fountain is also present for reasons only known to Fumiya.
Shaking the newest spraycan, he ponders. "Needs more details..."
"...I /honestly/ can say, I was not expecting this, Fumiya."
Shirou Sekigawa himself has had a bad couple of weeks. He's been restless in class, even been caught napping during the day, something very different for the former good student... who was in turn a former middling student. Stupid character developement.
His skin is paler and gaunter then usual, eyes a bit more sunken. He's wearing a thicker coat, a black peacoat in fact, over his school uniform. He's eyeing Fumiya with a mixture of 'Oh Gods here we go again' ...and arguably fraternal understanding for the need to stick it to the man. Especially since its the KNOWS facility.
"Jackson-san could use a little more sparkle, don't you think? Going for Thriller, right?"
Fumiya turns his head and spots Shirou when he speaks up. He just greets him with a smirk.
Finished shaking his spray can, he gives the zombie nearest Jackson some more defined shading. "That's me, Shirou, I'm all about the unexpected." He boasts, though it's mostly a bluff. "And you're mostly right. I can say I was a bit.. inspired to do this. In fact that's what I wanted to talk to you about. I figure there's no one to eavesdrop on us out here, so I want you to be square with me."
Fumiya swaps spraycans again, a much bright color this time, which he sprays in short bursts to give Jackson that sparkle Shirou suggested.
"Amagi suggested I talked to you when I brought it up. She said you've had trouble with malls lately. I'm sure no one else would believe me if I said it, but a few weeks ago I encountered a for real zombie at Paulownia. Almost got myself eaten too, if I wasn't so awesome." Despite his claims, he shivers a bit when he remembers that night, it didn't go nearly as well as he's let Shirou believe. "There's still plenty I don't know about this supernatural stuff, so why don't you help me fill in the blanks while I work a bit."
Shirou sighs slightly, reaching up to rub his forehead a bit, idly rubbing his left temple a bit. "T-that's a bit far... you know what? Yeah, fine. I won't try to bullshit ya. I've had enough of it myself really." He grunts, turning his head this way and that, trying to spot and see if security's on its way... 'cause if he knows Kandori, his nightmare beasts are already salivating at the thought of eviscerating them.
Shirou walks closer, watching him work, hmphing. "Shoot. And you're gonna have to fill me in on the zombie... out in Port Island, right?"
Poor Fumiya really has no clue about Kandori or his beasties. His reasons for coming here were no more complicated than 'this place has gotten attention lately, thus this will be noticed'. If only he knew how ironic making THIS mural HERE was.
"You'll have to forgive me if I'm kind of vague..." Fumiya says, swapping out spraycans again for a hot pink one. Most of the background is comprised of hot pink colors. "I don't quite remember everything clearly. But from what I DO remember, I was just minding my own business at Paulownia Mall. Met a babe there too, some older foreign girl. I think her name was Newman. But right after that things went crazy."
Fumiya stops painting and frowns. He absent-mindedly shakes the spray can while he gathers his thoughts. "It was like... being sucked towards the fountain in the middle of the mall. Like there was a black hole there or something. Next thing I knew every last person in the mall vanished, and I was left alone with a zombie and no way out. Damn thing TALKED to me too..."
Remembering THAT causes a very noticable shiver to run down Fumiya's back, and he quickly resumes painting. "Anyway, I fought it. Or tried to. I didn't have much to hurt a zombie with besides a sharpened pencil."
"...the fact that you're alive now is a freaking miracle." His voice is level and even a bit approving. "THat's... a bit more proof to a pet theory I've got running. You know Takahisa Kandori? CEO of SEBEC, the guy that owns this building?"
Shirou gives a sly smile, rubbing the back of his neck slightly, before looking around quickly. "'m pretty sure that he can... manipulate reality on some level. I..."
His face falls a bit. "The reason I've been having 'mall' problems was 'cause the last time I was in one, out in Lunarville, the friggen bastard tried to send everyone there to /Hell/, and I fought him off. With a broom."
Fumiya can't help but grin at Shirou's approval. Now THAT'S what he's been waiting for. He wants more people acknowleding that, lots more. "I even got the thing to dance for a few moments." He says, being entirely truthful. "Nothing can resist the Thriller." At least for a minute or two anyway.
When Shirou starts on Kandori, Fumiya shrugs. "Not.. really. Well... I think I might've heard the name on the news." Though Shirou's follow up nearly causes Fumiya to spray a pink streak down across a couple of zombies when he drops his arm in surprise. Luckily he had the mind to take his finger off the nozzle. "You don't say?" He asks. Giving the can another shake he resumes his artistry.
"Manipulating reality, huh? That kind of sounds like what happened..." Pondering back to that night, Fumiya feels it does match up with what he experienced. Besides the whole 'being sent to hell bit'. "There were others there, I know that Shiori-babe from Port Island got sucked into something too. I talked with her earlier."
Something hits Fumiya, then, and he stops his painting, and steps back to take a look at his mural. "So... you think this Kandori guy is behind that stuff, and here I am painting a mural referencing his own stunt at Paulownia?" The 80s kid breaks out into a sudden hysterical laughter, so strong he brings his hand up to his mouth to silence himself. He doesn't want to attract any attention yet. "That's far out. And here I just wanted to get what happened there out to the public SOMEHOW. You're something else, Shirou." He turns to look him in the eyes. "So is this Kandori guy behind that Midnight Channel thing too?" He asks with an inclination in his voice which suggests he wants more info on that thing as well.
"...I actually doubt it." Shirou nods a bit, grinning slightly, part of him enjoying playing detective like this. "Doesn't match his MO, and for what I can tell, the timelines don't match up, nor do the goals. I'm... I'm gonna guess Fumiya? That you're about to prove this one way or another."
Shirou just lets him laugh it out, grunting a little. "This... this is /serious/ man. This guy was able to teleport a cellphone into my pocket without me noticing until it rang. This guy is a monster. Just... be careful, alright?"
Fumiya is spraypainting a mural on the monster's property depicting one of his secret acts of pummeling the laws of physics. He's so beyond being careful. Though in his defense he didn't know about Kandori before this.
The warnings Shirou gives him causes Fumiya to slow his painting a little bit. Maybe it's really sinking into him. Though he quickly shakes his head to keep himself focused. Fumiya doesn't /like/ to dwell on things, on the 'what ifs', he's already come this far so he's not going to be scared off now. Not by some boogie-man monster dude.
"I'll be as careful as I can be, bro." Fumiya finally replies with a shrug. "But I'm not done with you yet." The pink spraycan clatters to the ground, and Fumiya fetches a light blue one to start working on the giant fountain. "Even if that Kandori guy isn't behind the Midnight Channel, I /know/ there's more you know about it that I don't. That Thora won't tell me, that Amagi wouldn't tell me, that I just can't get out of anyone. So why don't you fill me in more? I never experienced any supernatural crap before I moved to this town. At least I can use it to better save my own neck."
Meanwhile at Daidara's Metalworks...
Thora sneezes then experiences the overwhelming urge to punch Fumiya in the face.
"Errrf... 'm thinking it's too late. From what I can figure out? The M.O. of this T.V. Killer is to... well, no, that's not the way to start this..." Another forehead rub, this time the right temple.
"I don't know what causes the Midnight Channel to trip. Seems to be whomever is on TV, in the news, that sorta thing..." He looks up at the mural. Feckin' A. "...that person shows up on the Midnight channel, yeah. T.V. Killer goes out for him, for whatever reason. Gets you tossed in. You're stuck in your own private hell as you're tormented by your repressed emotions. If you're lucky, we come to rescue you. If you're not, you get torn apart by shadow monsters once it becomes foggy out here." There, that's the absolute truth. Let's see how Fumiya interprets it.
Hey, kids! Guess who got his own message from Kandori today? That's right, it's Adachi! While not especially shocked by the method of transport--he kind of knows about Kandori's habit of going inside people's houses and leaving messages for them in intimate places, and yes he knows how awful that sounds--he *is* shocked by the fact that he got such a message in the first place. Most disturbing are a) the 'promotion' and b) the reference to 'potential.' He's still not sure if Kandori knows he has a Persona--if he's Kyrie--or if he just thinks that he has the Potential for a Persona, or if he's just talking about bringing out the Potential in others, or what the fuck ever. *Either way*, he's afraid of this scrutiny.
Even if apparently it got him a free all-you-can-eat food pass credit card.
It's given him reason enough to check out the KNOWS building, though, which is why he ambles up behind Fumiya and Shirou. Adachi paused, at first, /way/ back, when he saw this massive mural on the side of the building with zombies and Michael Jackson. Then he approached. He's kind of impressed with the level of detail. He'd have raised his voice to the two kids too, but they're having this fascinating conversation about murderers and he'd hate to interrupt just yet.
So, yeah. Here's an Adachi. Behind you. Watching. Waiting. He will play up the utter awkward if and when they finally notice him.
Fumiya listens as intently as he ever has to anything as Shirou finally spills the beans on the Midnight Channel. It's no lie that he has he has pretty much tried to get details out of /anyone/ he knew was involved. It's become more than a little frustrating when the best answer he has gotten is 'you just don't want to know'.
As Shirou goes on with his description Fumiya's spraypainting slows, and slows, and gradually stops. When Shirou finishes Fumiya just shakes his head and represses another snickering fit. "So I get myself on the news over this, and I could wind up on the hitlist?" True enough, news exposure was something he was hoping for. Partly to get the mural out there, partly to satisfy his own lust for attention, it would've been a good time. "Thora's gonna flip."
Suddenly his expression turns sour, and he rather violently drops his current spraycan. "Tch. No doubt she will. I've been trying to get this kind of information for /ages/, and only now AFTER I pull something like this I find out. I bet she'll think I got myself on the news on purpose too." He paces for a moment, putting up a front of looking the mural over while he fumes. "Well to hell with it. What happens will happen! Bring the killer on, I say. Maybe I'll just kick his ass when he attempts it." Or... 'her' ass, there WAS that one incident with the Goth Chick. Fumiya might have a problem fighting a babe.
Shirou grunts a bit, eyeing Fumiya. "See... /this/ is why I didn't want to tell you this. 'cause I can tell you'd try and get yourself into danger... but now that 'm pretty sure you're gonna be targetted next..."
He rubs his face, rubbing his forehead. "This is bad. But... err, this could work. But for this to work, Fumiya... I /need/ your help on this."
Bring on the killer, huh?
Adachi does a fantastic job of not going :> behind the two boys, though he does rub the back of his head. Awkwardly. You know. 'cuz he's an awkward kinda guy.
Fumiya stares at Shirou when he suggests he use him for some plan. As /bait/, seriously? That's awfully brazen of you. "What, you think you have some sort of grand plan, huh Shirou?" He frowns, he doesn't like being used.
But, it's not so different as Fumiya has been acting lately. Maybe he could agree to this to make them even. And if it works out he can try and take as much credit as possible. It's only fair, right? "What did you have in mind, exactly?"
"I /don't know/, g-give me a minute." He grunts, rubbing both temples with both hands now, moving to walk around a bit and get away from this building and Kandori and oh Gods it's Adachi /right there/ and it takes /every/ bit of self-control Shirou has to avoid yelling out 'PERSONA' and sending Charon to take his payment from Fumbles.
As it happens though Shirou yelps out loudly and nearly jumps, before recovering a bit as he fans himself off. "O-oh geeze... d-didn't expect someone to be watching us... err... y-you're Thora's friend, right? Adachi-san, we've met once or twice..."
His heart is racing, his palms are instantly sweaty, and he feels vomit building up in the back of his throat. Like some sort of preditory animal was going to leap from the shadows at any moment.
When Shirou turns around and shrieks and jumps, Adachi does likewise, then clutches at his chest. "G-geez, d-don't scare me like that! Er... right, Sekigawa-kun, I remember you from the bookstore..." Adachi looks incredibly embarrassed, almost like he's walked in on a couple of boys reading hardcore porn mags, and he dips his head in greeting to Fumiya. "Er... hi."
Awwwwkwaaaaaard. "Um. I actually came to talk to you kids about this." He points up at the mural. "Uh. Do you have permission to do this?"
Another long pause.
"Also, um, I overheard what you kids were saying just now," he adds, rubbing the back of his head. "Look... Everything else aside, I don't think you kids should be going out of your way to bait a murderer. It's way too dangerous."
"Hmph, making stuff up on the fly are ya?" Fumiya shrugs. It's not entirely different from how he does things, he supposes. There's nothing wrong with flying by the seat of your pants.
He spins around as well when Shirou does, fists clenched. "Wha..." He blinks, almost raising his sunglasses up over his eyes to get a better look. "Oh... wait, I know him." For some reason cabbage comes to mind. "Detective Adachi, right?" Fumiya shrugs, and nods back to him.
A smile spreads on Fumiya's face when Adachi inquires into the mural. "Gonna bring me in for defacing private property?" Is his answer, which kind of implies that no, he doesn't. As Adachi continues Fumiya's grin fades and he looks the detective over. "So, what, is he a cop in the know? I guess it makes sense there'd be a few. They'd be pretty clueless against the supernatural otherwise." Shaking his head Fumiya's grin returns, if only half as strong as before. "Yeah, I guess you have to say that. Officially anyway, it's your job. But like I said earlier, what's going to happen now will happen."
Fumiya snaps the cover back on his final spraycan. "Well, I think it's finished either way now. So what's the word Detective? You bringing me in or what?"
"...of for the sake of the Gods Fumiya..." Shirou curses under his breath, hand moving to just... cover his eyes as his head tilts down, he's just so freaking stunned. "I-in my defense Officer, I only got here after it was mostly done..." And he suggested the sparkles, but.
"And... I dunno, Fumiya. I /guess he is now/." His tone is barely constrained as he shoots Watanabe his best Death Glare. It's been coming along well ever since he got his Persona.
Orange You Glad To Escape Cabbage?
"Yeah, that's me," Adachi tells Fumiya, giving him an awkward little smile. "You're... Watanabe-kun, right? I remember you from Junes." It's kind of hard to forget a kid who dresses like *that*. When Fumiya pretty much all but admits to not having permission, Adachi doesn't reply at first in lieu of rubbing the back of his head. "Yeah, I am," he admits. "I kind of got caught up into this whole mess a while back. Kobayashi-san, Souji-kun and Hanamura-kun helped me get in the know."
What will happen will happen. Yes, it sure will. "I believe you, Sekigawa-kun," Adachi adds his way. The mural obviously took hours, after all, and Shirou doesn't have any paint on him. Whereas Fumiya is... well, his hands at the very least must be smeared with it. This kind of observation, however simple, is probably too astute for good ol' Fumbles, though. "I guess you're free to go if you want, but..."
He looks back at Fumiya with the best apologetic look he can fake. "Yeah, I kind of have to. If you come in quietly, we can at least maybe just get you off with a few hours in detention and a fine. We'll have to call your parents, too."
A chuckle escapes Fumiya at Shirou's irritation. Truthfully, he DOES feel a little sorry for bringing Shirou into this, but it's worked out so well. At least, he THINKS it's worked out well. He's not even entirely sure, but SOMETHING sure happened tonight at least.
"Yeah, he only got here he's clean." Figuratively and literally. "Hey no sweat, Detective. I can be quiet sometimes."
He haphazardly tosses his final spray can into the box he used to carry his supply there, and turns back to Shirou. "Thanks anyway man. I'm sure we'll be in touch over the next few days. If you can, be a pal and tell Thora for me." So Shirou can be the one to bear the brunt of the intial rage, of course.
He then turns back to Adachi. "My folks are in Port Island, I'm under the care of my Grandparents here in Inaba." They're good people, Fumiya feels a pang of guilt over the headache this will cause them. But just a small one.
"Oh no. 'm a pal, but not that big of one. /You/ tell Thora." He smirks a bit, nodding. "I'll... yeah, tell it through the grapevine and all that." Even though Adachi just name dropped his girlfriend and his mentor in fail, Shirou just doesn't want to talk about anything around here... Kandori still has him on edge.
He gives a few quick bows before heading out as fast as he can, to where he left his bike... he /hopes/ it's still there at least. "Err... s-see you both later, Adachi-san, Fumiya..."
Adachi looks relieved. "Well... That's good. That'll at least get you out faster. Sheesh, it's almost nice for once having an easy, simple case..." He sobers when he looks back over at Shirou, nodding once. "Yeah, I'll talk to you later, Sekigawa-kun. C'mon, Watanabe-kun, just follow me." And off they go!
================================== IC News ===================================
Message: 19/31 Posted Author
KNOWS Center Vandalized Mon Mar 29 Fumiya Watanabe
[Inaba News! The News From Inaba!]
The KNOWS Center outside of the Inaba City Limits has one more thing to worry about: repainting the outer wall. On the evening of the 27th, a teenage student from Yasogami High spent a few hours on this wall painting up an odd mural.
*The camera pans over a lengthy mural, comprised largely of neon colors. The mural depicts Michael Jackson doing the Thriller with a group of zombies. There's a caption that says 'The King of Pop Lives on'. Anyone familiar with the Paulownia Mall would notice its fountain conspicuously painted in the center of the image.*
We caught up with the youth responsible for this as he was being released from the Inaba Police Station. Here is what he had to say.
The camera cuts to Fumiya, grinning like someone who just won the lottery. "Well, you know, I just didn't want the world to forget about the king of pop. He's done so much he deserves much more recognition, and I figured /I/ would be the one to do it. Me, Fumiya Watanabe! And this isn't the last you'll expect to hear of me! You'll all know my name! I..."
The picture cuts out, and back to the original reporter, who briefly looks a bit confused by Watanabe's abrupt shift from it being about Michael Jackson to it being about himself. "Well, there you have it. One of the pop star's many heartbroken fans lashing out over his death. We'll be sure to update this story if we recieve an official statement from the KNOWS Center. Good night."