/====================( - Port Island - Paulownia Mall - )====================\
| Just beyond the bridge connecting the mainland to the artificial island |
| this part of town is named for, Paulownia Mall is a small but happening |
| place at nearly all times of the day. It is renowned for its convenience in |
| stark contrast to how small the mall is, and is a popular hangout spot for |
| just about everyone. |
| Circular in shape with a clean reflective floor, while the walls give off |
| the appearance of an old, humble establishment built from wood. It is bright |
| all times of the day thanks to lightning above every store entrance. The |
| Chagall Cafe appeals to those with sophisticated tastes in coffee, where the |
| Game Panic arcade, Power Records music store, and Mandragora karaoke studio |
| are all hits with the teenage crowd. Be Blue V is a very successful jewelry |
| chain. Aohige Pharmacy keeps Satomi Tadashi at bay with its Saturday sales. |
| Shinshoudo Antiques has an odd air to it, as it is rumored that it may deal |
| more than just the namesake. Club Escapade provides a more grown-up place |
| for relaxation at night. A helpful police station is on hand, but if you |
| have the right connections, it can offer arms and armor. |
| Recently, someone has been dumping a small fortune into the three fountains |
| strewn within the mall. Nobody is sure as to where all this money is coming |
| from. The fountains are so saturated with coins that it is impossible to |
| tell what the bottom of the fountains look like. |
|===============================( - Players - )================================|
| Saburo Acosta [NWO] <Raiju> Megumi Mushikabe [DS] <Carmilla> |
| Yoshiro Yoshino [SEES] <Hebe> |
|===============================( - Objects - )================================|
| Cafe Chagall <Chagall> |
|================================( - Exits - )=================================|
| Club <C>: Paulownia Mall - Club Escapade |
| Out <O>: Port Island |
Cafe Chagall is having a quiet night, which is not uncommon for the small coffee shop. There's the usual faces, many of whom come each day, as well as uncommon ones who only drop by every blue moon. Then there are faces that tend to stand out as if they were new, despite stopping by regularly.
Natasha Petrova is one such face. She goes to the cafe at least once a week, though due to being a six foot tall foriegn woman the staff can never seem to get used to seeing her. But she sits in the back and doesn't bother anyone, and fortunately she ignores any lingering stares.
Tonight she relaxes with a cup of black coffee, peering into a small laptop. It's a cheap device, clearly used for internet surfing and nothing more, but it gets the job done. Her gloved hands type slowly at the keys, stopping periodically to take a sip of her coffee.
Dr. Acosta sits at a table near the back as well. He isn't a constant regular...here now and again when he is in town, but has been known to leave for a week at a time before coming back. The man has a lot of buisnesses in many places. However, right now, the doctor sits at his labtop, looking over several things...nosey people might see several articles on things like 'apathy syndrome' and other such bizzare cases. His hands tap the mouse pad again, pulling it down to continue reading the particular article.
He himself doesn't exactly understand the phenomina either, he hasn't been able to observe anything in action, dispite his ability to exist in the Dark Hour. He hasn't bothered to see if his employers have the files either...he would rather learn it himself, with the possibility of some insight others didn't have that he could have...
Another sip, as he looked up. The foreign woman walks by, only getting a look because she was in his line of vision.
It's a quiet-ish night for most ADULTS, maybe. But for kids, especially those in high school? Exams week is in full throttle. It is mentally extremely tiring to the point that it's hard not to imagine one's brain being completely liquefied in the wake of so many test questions.
The short, long-haired boy tiredly ambles along the cafe with some really cheap coffee, still in his school uniform for having not bothered to change out of it. He takes a seat at the table right next to the table a very tall foreign woman sits at, seemingly (and actually) unaware of her presence as he has himself a sip of that coffee.
This cafe had exactly what she needed, some food to sate her hunger and coffee to sate her thirst. It was her last stop here in Port Island before she'd be heading be to the train station later. This time she'd made certain to check up on the times beforehand so that she wouldn't be too late like last time as she had no wish to be mixed in with that dark hour crap that went on here at nights. She still felt lucky over the fact that she'd barely survived the whole thing on her own at the beginning, but it had gone significantly better once she found two others. Someday she would have to repay them for their favor.
Megumi wallks up the counter and orders herself a cup of coffee and some salad. Once she's paid for it, she turns and looks around for a table that isn't occupied. Once she's found herself a table, she sits down and relaxes. When she looks around again, she notices the odd foreign woman. If she had to point out anything, it'd be the incredible height. The other thing she specifically notices is the cheap laptop, mostly because she doesn't recognize the brand.
"And here I thought Lunarvale was kinda unique in this aspect..." Says she to herself while thinking of the amount of foreigners she'd seen outside of Lunarvale. Granted she didn't get out of the place that often and thus she had little experience with it, but she'd thought Lunarvale had a monopoly on foreign visitors.
When Yoshiro drops by, she notices the kids school uniform and eyes him curiously. If she wasn't too mistaken, that was the uniform used by the school here in Port Island. Only one way to really find out however. "Excuse me, but is that a Gekkoukan High School uniform?" She offers the teen a bright smile.
Being six foot tall is not terribly uncommon for caucasians. It is slightly less common to see women that tall, but compared to the natives of this country Natasha must be something of a giant. Not that this bothers her, it's just another bit of intimidation.
The display on Natasha's laptop shows an occult website, for anyone who manages a glance. It looks cheaply-made and unreliable, though it certainly has an awful lot of text. Whether she's reading it for amusement, or genuine interest, is anyone's guess.
As Yoshiro waltzes in and takes a seat at the adjacent table, Natasha glances his way, though she doesn't linger. Hmph, children. What do children know about appreciating a place like this? Shouldn't he be at the Starbucks? Or Japanese equivalent.
Taking another sip of her coffee, her eyes wander to Megumi, who takes abrupt interest in Yoshiro. Then they wander back to the laptop. Though she keeps staring at the screen she speaks to herself, apparently not caring if anyone hears.
"Students should be working hard and not wasting time." She says, taking another sip of her coffee. "They have many responsibilities in this country, do they not?"
Saburo's eyes look up...
"My dear, what would you understand of the many responsibilities of children in this country?" The voice was slightly whimsical for the moment, his eyes focused on her, and then both on Megumi and Yoshiro. His hands fold infront of his lap, and those that look at his labtop will note is is possibly one of the best ones on the market. It is also somewhat bigger than normal, like a labtop that could be taken into slightly hazardous places.
"He is entitled to rest here and enjoy the fruits of his labor than anyone else is...perhaps more so than yourself." He points out, and takes his coffee into his hands again, taking a sip. The man's eyes finally rest back on his labtop's screen.
Yoshiro's cup is lowered from his lips as he is harshly reprimanded - it's not the first time he's heard those words, looking over his shoulder as if ready to respond but-- she looks pretty intimidating, probably for her size. He lowers the cup as if to take the sight in.
Up until some guy over there stands up for him. "Y-Yeah, what he said," Yoshiro echoes tiredly. It's not like she's ever had to worry about anything like this, he bets as he turns back to deal with his own business. His business of drinking from his coffee cup... until someone else asks him something. It's as though everyone has a comment to say about him tonight when he really just wants to drink in peace!
"Huh?" Yoshiro barely even looks up from his coffee as he is addressed by that brown-haired woman who's smiling at him for whatever reason - from what he can see by the corner of his eye. "Yeah... why do you ask?" Yoshiro's tone of voice doesn't suggest any real interest in knowing why.
Meggy manages to catch a glance of what is displayed on the caucasian womans laptop, but the website that is displayed isn't one that she knows of. In the end she can't see enough to make much more out of it than that. When the other one brings up his laptop as well, she can't help but notice that it looks like it's one of those really expensive one's. At least it meant she wasn't the only one who carried one with her everywhere.
"Oh yes they have a lot of responsibilities here. It varies a bit of course. Still they do deserve some time off every now and then." Replies she when the woman starts talking about students and their responsibilities. There were the clubs, homework, exams and more than a few had to take part time jobs after school. She'd probably forgotten something too.
"As for why I asked, I know someone from the school, but I didn't quite remember how the uniform looked like." Says she, but that wasn't the entire truth. The uniform had also been rather ruined by dirt and what not.
"And who might you two be then?" She looks at the foreign woman and then the unknown man with the laptop.
Natasha displays an amused smile, and waves Saburo off with a chuckle. "Nothing, of course. Do not mind me..." Though when he pushes the matter, suggesting he might be more entitled to be here than her, her smile falters a bit. "If I am not mistaken, this is still a Capitalist country, yes?" She doesn't carry a visible purse, but she pats one of the pockets of her burgandy leather trenchcoat lightly, which makes a jingling sound. "I believe I am as entitled as I wish to be." Her eyes linger on Saburo for just a moment longer than would be considered polite in this country, and turns back to her screen.
Yoshiro gets a neutral look as he accepts Saburo's defense, but she doesn't push the matter any further. True, she has not had to worry about the burden of Japanese exams, but there are many kinds of burdens in the world.
Natasha responds to Megumi's question with an innocent shrug. "I am just something of a tourist." She leans back in her chair slightly, looking over the three involved in the conversation. "Forgive me if I seem rude, I am just not used to the customs here." Like the customs of not chewing out teenagers you don't know. Totally not used to it!
"Doctor Saburo Acosta." The man says, with a polite nod of his head.
He turned his head back to his screen and didn't bother looking up towards the foreigner again as she spoke.
"You westerners and your misconceptions of how a country like ours works because we both have the same economic system. You think that your government allows things because of the freedom of buisness."
"While even a person like you can find a place to eat and drink and sleep without being acosted, you will find yourself no friends...less than normal, mind you, if you continue to berrate someone based on your perceptions, or missperceptions of our society and their meanings."
"Besides the boy looks absolutely famished. He certainly can not afford to skip another meal."
"Ahh." Yoshiro mentally shrugs the question off as he sips the coffee. It really does have a nice fragrance to it. Not enough of a nice fragrance to cease from putting sweeteners in it, like any young child probably would in order to make it match their palate.
That lady there's some kind of tourist, he wonders to himself? Guess it's good she came here, Port Island's pretty great, outside of... that whole Dark Hour thing. But then again he's lived here all his life, so his opinion is probably a little biased on that front. He's sure she can find all the good stuff on her own, though.
Yoshiro's posture slumps a little at mention about how famished he looks. This is true - Yoshiro is a very thin and short effeminate-looking boy who probably could afford to eat like five steaks right about now. "I'm just thirsty," he replies to the good doctor's observations as he has himself another sip of the coffee.
"A tourist? I hope you enjoy your stay then and don't worry about it. I'm from Lunarvale so I'm somewhat aware of how foreigners can be." Given how americanized the city was, she was a bit used to people not being quite as polite as her countrymen. Then again that could simply have been her meeting the wrong crowd. "What brought you here though?"
"Oh! I apologize, I forgot to introduce myself as well. I am Megumi Mushikabe, a simple teacher from Lunarvale." She was definitely nothing as fancy as a doctor of any sort. Given the current way of things, she didn't have much faith in ever reaching such a degree in her current studies either.
When the doctor points out that the boy looks famished, she eyes the teen again and does notice that he looks rather... girly. Wether it was a natural trait or a sign of him being starved was a different matter.
Natasha's eyes narrow into tiny slits as Saburo goes on his tirade. Not willing to leave it alone? Alright.
"I will take your advice into consideration, Doctor Acosta." Natasha says, her voice turning icy. "But I would also like to warn you against berrating someone based on your own perceptions or missperceptions of something they said. Assumptions are... dangerous things to make about people. I would think a doctor would understand this."
Her expression warms up again, as she takes another sip of her coffee. "So far, yes. This is a nice city." She says to Megumi. When asked of what brought her there, she laughs lightly. "I have friends who visited Japan a few years ago, they insisted I should go too. They fell in love with the country. We were going to come together this year, but they had to cancel." She shrugs. "Such is life. It happens."
Lunarvale, ah! There was an interesting place. "Yes, I remember hearing of this Lunarvale. You teach there? It is hard to forget a city that nearly had countries at each other's throats. That was nasty business." She pauses, rubbing the rim of her coffee cup with her gloved finger. "It is good things were resolved..."
"My perceptions are only missconceptions if they are wrong, until then they are insight, no?" The doctor says, calm as he always was. That whimsical tone was there again, as he continued to work on something important. He overhead the teacher, looking up for a moment.
"Ah a teacher. A very important job...but Lunarvale is a bit of a ways off. Were you caught inside during the incident? It was dreadfully exciting." He comments, thinking back to a few of his more interesting experiments.
"From Lunarvale?" Yoshiro turns in his seat again. "Ahh... it's exam time, isn't it?" Yoshiro should know because he's caught in it! He's just curious what a teacher is supposedly doing out of town at a time like this? Then again... he considers his own conclusions on the matter, illogical as they may be, and just brushes it off.
What really does get his interest now, though, is how people are talking about the Lunarvale incident when it just seems like it's... completely glazed over almost everyone else. He can't really connect the dots as to what talking about it might indicate about all involved here.
"Uh... exciting?" Yoshiro seems ready to challenge that statement at a moment's notice, even with the tired tone of voice. "I dunno about... er, exciting."
"Cancel you say? Sorry to hear that. It's always nice to hear when people have good things to say about Japan." Meggy takes a sip of her coffee and doesn't seem to be overly impressed with it. To remedy this, she drops a cube of sugar into it. "I teach composition there. I'm just an assistant teacher though. As for Lunarvale itself, it's a fairly nice place to live. That nasty business aside of course, but yes it was resolved before anything came of it."
Meggy doesn't answer Saburo's questions at first and pauses for a little while before saying: "I was caught in it yes. Not sure I'd call it exciting though." Those were still the worst days of her life and she still struggled with understanding any of it.
"Yes it's exam time there as well. So I take what few chances I have for some relaxation. It makes certain that I'll do my best on my job." That was at least how she viewed it.
Natasha ignores Saburo for now, taking another sip of her coffee. He seemed arrogant, and eager to preach. Perhaps someday she'll get to shut him up.
Right now she is much more interested in the Lunarvale talk. Part of her wishes she could've seen it for herself. It may have been dangerous, perhaps, and most reports from people she trusted insisted it was more trouble than it was worth, but it seems like such a waste. Then again, apparently you can still enter its hidden side...
"My, how terrible." She finally says to Megumi when she acknowledges having been trapped there. "I don't know what went on in that town, but it must not have been pleasant. It is good that nothing happened to you." Yes, quite good. She doesn't look at Acosta when he mentions being trapped there too, but it's probably good he got out too so he could lecture her here.
"I said dreadfully exciting. The dreadfully is the qualifier here." Acosta says, with another sip of his drink. He sits back, looking at the two people, and ignoring the foreigner. "To be honest, I hid. Too many things that were dangerous in that place." he comments with a nod and looks back down.
"It also kept me from my work...I had so much time to make up during the following weeks." He said with a sigh. "Research doesn't do it's self, unless you are playing an RPG."
The player gets a @mail, from a +request he did about doing research, completely ironic of the things said.
Everyone sure wants time to relax. Being (if only barely qualifying as) a man, this ensures Yoshiro has precious little time to do any sort of thing of that nature. If it's not work, it's studying. If it's not studying... it's probably work. If it's neither, it's getting yelled at.
Coffee breaks are totally an anomaly in the space-time continuum.
He's not sure how to approach this dialogue about Lunarvale, since... he wasn't trapped there. He stayed over in Port Island and generally did very little to actually help find ways to get them out.
"Well... er, it's over now, isn't it?" Yoshiro says after another sip.
"Yeah you could say that's a good thing. It was part weird and part... horrible, but there isn't much point in discussing what exactly happened. No one would believe it." Well that wasn't entirely true. She knew that there were some who'd be bound to believe it if she told them about it. Said people would be those who'd been through it themselves granted. Meggy didn't know of anyone outside of that group which would believe stories about demons...
"I think so? I mean I've heard some things, but... No nevermind." Meggy looks towards Yoshiro when she replies and seems to be rather uncertain about what she says.
"Work was hell afterwards for a few days anyway."
The man nods.
"Strange happenings." The foreigner wasn't ignored, but rather, noted of ignoring him. Or at least, avoiding talking to him...it caused a smirk to form. "Well, the good news is that it is all over, and nothing like that could ever happen again. That and the tensions between the US and Japan are back down. So alls well that ends well, correct?" He says, this, pushing his glasses up on his nose again.
"Anyway, nothing weirder in there than in reality...people sometimes can be just as bad as what we saw inside there."
Natasha finishes her coffee, and stifles a laugh. "Over, is it? When there's been little news on what happened or why?" Certainly, the public wants it to be over, but what the public wants and what actually happens are two very different things. She quirks an eyebrow at Saburo. "Oh? I am interested to read the report that confirms that whatever happened could never happen again. I suppose I must have missed it."
With her coffee finished she closes her laptop, but doesn't move to stand up yet. Maybe she enjoys the 'company' far too much.
"There are so many wild conspiracy theories out there. It is amusing." She comments, not looking at either of the three specifically. "Especially when so many of the theorists were not even there." With a sigh, she taps the the top of her laptop. "I suppose there is just something about mysterious things such as this which bring out people's curiousity. They are irresistable."
Yoshiro does, admittedly, feel a little out of his element when two of them start talking about their experiences inside. Is it... really something that should be discussed openly, he wonders? He takes the opportunity to get in another sip or two while they all discuss the weirdness.
"I... guess?" He offers non-helpfully to all the commentary.
"I'd say so yeah. Until the next time anyway." Assuming of course that there would be a next time, but hopefully not. She didn't like Mikage-Cho that much, but at least the monsters there were friendlier than the Dark Hour one's! Why that was so, she didn't quite understand though.
"That there's conspiracy theories around it doesn't really surprise me. Stuff like this is good growing ground for such things." In her opinion, plenty of those things often got out of hand and became ridiculous pretty quickly. Meggy was only surprised that she hadn't seen a single 'ALIENS DID IT!' theory yet. Probably for the best when one thought about it.
"I don't know the why's or how's of the incident though. Not sure I want to know either."
"I say so because the incident was stopped...if it could happen again, then the first incident wouldn't have ended and we'd still be there." The doctor reasons. However incorrectly this might be, nobody here knows (Well, he himself did...) that it was completely wrong. The doctor does not pause, slowly starting to lose interest in the conversation for whatever was on his screen.
"I am with you on that last part...but it is over. Time to focus on the more important things, like our own lives."
Natasha, of course, doesn't care much about discussing things like Mikage-cho openly. She wasn't even there, so she can't be traced to any of it, so what does she care if a few faceless civilians overhear her? But, she just shrugs as Yoshiro also shrugs off the topic. For a teenager he certainly seems uninclined to talk about something so significant. Hm, maybe these /poor/ teenager's lives were more stressful than she gave them credit for.
Tilting her head slightly at Megumi, there's a slight twinkle in her eyes. "But does that not make it all the more inticing? Perhaps this is just me..." She shrugs, and gathering her laptop in her hands she's stopped by Saburo's comment.
Blinking, almost like a deer in headlights, there's a moment of silence before she breaks out into a sharp, whimsical laugher. "Yes! Of course... And whenever the police stop a murderer, they stop any other murder from happening. Ever. Oh..." She lets out a sigh, shaking her head slowly, before her voice suddenly takes on a surprising edge. "If only we lived in such a /simple/ world." She may have misunderstood something in the way Saburo put it, but despite the finality of his statement irritated her. If it could happen again then it wouldn't have ended? Foolishness. If only something could not happen again after ending once.
Restraining some of her more impulsive thoughts, she manages an awkward smile, grabbing her cup as she stands. "Perhaps I have overstayed my welcome. I will leave this space for the people /entitled/ to it." She doesn't suffer another glare at Saburo but nods to the other two before leaving silently, the only other sound being the clatter of her cup in the trash.
Perhaps his hesitance to engage the subject may be more telling than their willingness to - but either way in the equation, Yoshiro is ignorant of the underlying meaning of the subject outside of it being brought up at all.
His eyes widen as Natasha breaks into laughter as coffee gets in his nostrils. He gasps and covers his mouth. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch! It'd be nice to discuss conspiracies and all but HIS NOSE FEELS LIKE IT'S ON FIRE ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch (it hurts, much like the name of the king but this alone isn't enough to know it).
"Gah!" Yoshiro grunts as he picks up what's left of his coffee and starts to amble off towards wherever the napkins are.
"I suppose it does in a sense. Still..." Meggy wasn't entirely too sure, but it was true that an explanation would definitely answer some of her questions. Then again was it worth it to find out? Maybe, maybe not. Who could say.
"Oh? Uhm goodbye then." Says she when the foreign woman walks away after laughing in a somewhat creepy manner. At least she thought it was creepy and with everyone seemingly going back to focus on their own business, she gets back to finish eating her food and drinking up her coffee.
"Huh... I guess you meet interesting people everyday in this place." Mumbles she to herself.
"Uh huh.." The doctor says, and then speaks as she leaves, "Oh yes, you do that. It'll be good for you." As if he were only half listening.
Once she is gone, he looks up. "Foreigners. I swear." He says a bit more seriously. "It is sad that they get to talk about hard working kids like yourself." He says towards Yoshiro. Turning back to the teacher he nods.
"So what do you teach Hushikabe-san?"
"Huh? Oh I teach composition at St Hermelin." Replies she and offers Saburo a friendly smile. Then she takes another sip of her coffee, which now tasted quite a lot better since she'd put some sugar into it. Unlike others, she couldn't quite take coffee when it hadn't been somewhat diluted somehow, be it with milk or sugar. "It's a nice place! For the most part anyway."