2019-06-03: You'll Never Be Alone, No Muitter Where You Go

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  • Log: You'll Never Be Alone, No Muitter Where You Go
  • Cast: Kamui, Marivel Armitage, Acacia Saitani
  • Where: Luca
  • Date: 3rd June 2019
  • Summary: Kamui and Acacia return to Luca following their trip to Macalania, and Kamui brings up the courage to thank Marivel...

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

Kamui spent a really lovely afternoon sunbathing in Macalania Forest with Clarine and Acacia, which really helped cheer her up after the events at Operation Mi'ihen and Odessa's subsequent ambush which she didn't quite endure a lot of damage but was forced to really shuffle her mindset to war-like for a moment.

But now she's back in Luca, and the Reploid is looking for her... surrogate mom? Other mom. She's carrying a big paper bag with something in it, as she pops into ARMS' hideout (which is probably still in a hotel isn't it, because hotels are comfy).

"Mari? It's Mui..."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel has yet to say directly what she thinks of Kamui. She may have in the past! But since Kamui's return? No. She has approached it before but always pulls back from outright saying it. For one reason or another.

Unfortunately, Marivel is in a tough spot. She never really wanted to be in this position of 'Commander (temp)' but with Irving on literally another planet someone has to keep the group on tasks. Trying to escape. Something.

Then of course an ACTUAL war may be starting. A well-meaning war full of hope turned out terrible, what would one inspired by hate and spite turn out? She would rather not find out. But she imagines she will.

She is writing on parchment when Kamui steps inside. Marivel sets down the pen and turns around her chair to smile at her surrogate daughter, the ancient child she has promised to watch over to the best of the ability in spite of her doubts that she is suitable for such a duty.

"Kamui, what is it you have there?" Marivel asks.

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

"Kamui went to Macalania with Clarine and Master!" Kamui reports, full of child-like energy. "It was dangerous, but with Master's help... this is the way!" She poses as if gesturing towards an empty spot where an imagined danger is occurring, and flinches while... someone else goes 'pew pew' and defeats it.

"In the end, we had a wonderful picnic.

While we were leaving, I found a food stall hosted by bird-men! 
I opened the tray with faith..."

She hands one over to Marivel. It contains...

"Macalania Macaroni-a and Cheese!"

Kamui pumps her hands up full of energy.

"It's delicious, Mari! I bought some home for you! This is the way!"

She looks to Acacia, as if expecting a grand follow-up.

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

Acacia is not all that good at providing grand follow-ups, at least not in Kamui's rather meandering tradition. In fact, she looks more than happy to let the Reploid take centre stage, watching with quiet but amused pride as Kamui recounts their tale, and only speaking up when the other girl looks her way.

There's a second bag in her hands as well, and she holds it up as she walks to Kamui's side with her usual lopsided smile on her face. "We tried to find you beforehand, but didn't have much luck. So, Kamui insisted we save you some instead so we could have a little version here," she reports, rummaging through it to pull out a couple of bread rolls and a slightly squished slice of cake. The smile upgrades to a smirk. "A lot of restraint was involved, in some cases."

She seems in brighter spirits, like the rest has given her a chance to throw off some of her immediate worries and stresses. The way her eyes search Marivel's, it's obvious that she's aware of the recent news - but she's gained some distance, and reminded herself of what exactly she's doing on Spira, and reassured herself that she's not about to toss Kamui into a war, whether one based on hope or hatred.

Saving people, she can do. Making people's lives hell afterwards when she reports on it as publicly as possible, she can do. Those are her weapons. And that's for another time, anyways.

"So, I hope you haven't eaten," she adds from over Kamui's head, a hand at her mouth to turn it into a very-mock-whisper. "I don't think Kamui's gonna move 'til you've cleared your plate."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Macalania Macaroni! And cheese!" Marivel exclaims as she takes some of the To-Go Maceroni (from Macalania) ((Brilliant marketing strat, Marivel thinks)). She crouches a bit, and gives Kamui a hug. "Thank you," She tells her. "It sounds lovely."

She pulls back to take the tray. In truth she was hoping to tell Kamui about what was coming among other things but as usual Kamui tends to throw out her carefully laid plans and force her to start improvising on the fly. Looking up towards Acacia she says, "I would never dream of leaving a meal unfinished! After all..." Doesn't she do that all the time technically speaking when she drinks blood? Well let's not encourage her to finish off those meals okay.

She sets the bag down nearby, taking her time to open up the mac'n'cheese and take a forkful and--

--wait she's turning around and when she's turned around, she reveals that her fangs have a piece of maceroni stuck to them each.

"My thirst cannot me satisfied by two maceronis...!"

She can be a bit playful herself it seems. She grins goofily for a moment before closing her mouth shut.

She looks up at Acacia, smiling. "I had to run an errand in Killika. Considering everything, I felt it could not wait."

Marivel shifts everything to the table, keeping her hands busy. Acacia's good mood helps lift Marivel's own spirits. She appreciates the teasing and the sass but this is good too, she reasons. As enjoyable as complaining is, it's nice to know that Acacia has these moments too. "I believe we have enough time to enjoy this."

The situation can't be put off forever but it can at least wait until the table is set. "You seem to both be in excellent spirits. How did you like Macalania?"

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

There's a bit of sweating when Acacia doesn't follow up in the way that Kamui imagines her to. (This probably involves feats of theatre and acrobatics that are more in tandem with what Ammy is capable of, not Acacia.) But she does get a hug from Marivel and lights up as she angles for another headpat from Acacia. It's been like, an hour since the last headpat, Master!

"Ooh... Mari also is... finishing her meals! Kamui will also... finish hers. Even the vegetables," Kamui sounds daunted, but wants to rise up to the challenge.

She had an errand in Kilika? Kamui hadn't gone there yet. There was talk of a fabled boy who wanted to be a blitzball, and Kamui felt an innate kinship with him given her time as Tony and Scott's soccer ball.

"We had a nice picnic with Clarine and Master. Macalania Forest had incredible sunbathing spots, once you get over the crystal canopy! Also, we had a fun time chasing after butterflies and getting to know the local bird-men!" Kamui reports, though... the Reploid's spirits sober up a little as she hesitates for a moment. She waits until Marivel's a little of the way into her meal--

As she stares and realises Marivel has macaroni on her teeth.

"Um... Mari..."

She bobs her head, hesitantly, looking at Master. She tries to puff up her spirits again, but it's clear it's a bit more emotional of a subject!

"Thank you for talking to Clarine. I was... too scared to."

She's not being absolutely clear, but it's easy enough to infer it's about her joining and working through her feelings about joining given her relatively pacifistic nature.

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

Acacia continues to watch Marivel, trusting in her own powers of observation. They're not supernatural or anything - exactly the opposite, in the end - but she's spent enough time around the vampire to be able to pick up a few things. It isn't about what she says, it's more the speed she talks and the amount she fusses in misdirection.

Not to mention, it's extremely obvious something like this would concern her. Acacia's fast learning that for all the vampire enjoys blood, she can be a bit of a bleeding heart herself. Well, sort of. She's yet to really pick out whether Marivel's interest in human affairs is care and concern or pique and promises. Maybe both, she thinks to herself.

The reporter falls for puppy eyes in an instant, letting out an amused sigh as she headpats Kamui on the way to sitting down at the table. "You'd better. I'll check, you know. I saw you try to nudge that broccoli off the light bridge," she teases the Reploid as she rests her chin on her arm. "You're so lucky I didn't tell Clarine."

She snorts at the sight of the vampire playing with her food; that mostly keeps her expression and her thoughts light even as Marivel mentions Kilika. There's a flash of concern - but the Crimson Noble is whole and well in front of them, so it can't have gone too badly. "... that makes sense, yeah," is as close as she dares come to thoughts of the place right now.

Instead, she puffs up. "To be honest, doesn't Spira feel like a children's book sometimes?" she adds as she plants her hands on her hips. "Giant glassy forests with glowing paths, beaches that are full of white sand rather than muddy silt, those crazy stadiums?"

She stops herself when Kamui speaks, quiet and serious; such times are rare enough she's learnt to lend an ear to them.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"And morality plays waiting to happen." Marivel quips on the nature of Spira. The maceroni on her fangs is gone. One time joke! You didn't photograph it and now there's plausible deniability! The witness is biased! Fake bouletin!

"She's keeping you sharp." Marivel adds. "A proper journalist should always be able to detect if someone is trying to hide their brocolli from prying eyes."

She closes her mouth as she eats another forkful of maceroni in a more normal fashion. Food never hits her in quite the same way as blood does, but that doesn't mean it can't be delicious. And even for Crimson Nobles, a meal offered with love always tastes better than any other equivalent.

"Clarine too?" Marivel says. "She's a sweet one. I worry that she has been hurt before though I suppose nobody can live that long without accrueing hurts."

Kamui thanks her. That is also a surprise. She expected chastisement for someone who clearly did not have an easy time with battle to join what is essentially a military group. A strange one, but a military group all the same.

"I am glad she chose to join us even so. She seemed to get along so well with you two and a Crimson Noble can get too comfortable with battle when they are in the thick of it. Someone like me should be surrounded by those who hate war. Maybe even Irving--"

She is quiet for moment, cutting herself off. She raises her head to focus on Acacia for a moment before looking to Kamui. "Is that why you were scared? You were worried for her?" Marivel smiles at the child.

"I actually wanted to ask if you wanted to leave," Marivel says, setting her fork down for the moment so her focus doesn't get deflected from yumminess. "I failed in my attempts to deter the Guard from its current course. The alliance I put my hopes in has fallen to tatters. Foolishly I allowed myself to hope that this conflict was not inevitable and now that conflict is upon us. If this were a battle ARMS was obligated to participate in that would be one thing, but it is not. I must because of my responsibilities beyond ARMS, but I will not drag you into this one, Kamui. Nor you, Acacia."

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

Nooo! Kamui should've taken a picture of Macaroni Armitage! The truth is now forever lost.

                                  GAME OVER                                   

Kamui is an Iron Girl, though, if literally by what she is, so she doesn't reload her game to get 100 percent completion. She'll just have to live with that on her shoulder forever. But watching Marivel eat macaroni does still cheer her up, as she pauses--

Acacia teases her about broccoli, but then she whines, "C-Clarine will understand...!" as she gets the chin on Kamui's arm, and she limpets against Master for a moment. It's like she's got two... moms? Here. Sister? It's hard to tell, right now, with Acacia the way she is and what she means for Kamui.

"Yes. Clarine... Clarine is a really important friend," Kamui answers, perking up again.

Come to think of it, Marivel, that's 'Clarine' -- not 'Seraph Clarine' -- so Kamui clearly expended effort to remember a nickname for her...!

"And a big part of me wanted to ask her to join ARMS so we could be around together a lot more... but... also, I was scared of intruding on her. About asking things that would hurt her, make her feel scared..." She lowers her head. "Maybe even drive her off, if she felt strongly enough."

Her eyes widen a little, though, as Marivel asks her if she wants to leave.

"M...mm..." Kamui looks like she's struggling quite a bit.

"I do... hate war. I'm still really confused and struggling with it... the reason I woke up again, Mari. I don't think it's for the purpose of war, but at the beaches of Mushroom Rock Road, during the Operation..."

She lowers her head.

"It felt so easy to fall back to that. The way that I did. It almost feels -- natural, and that really scares Kamui."

She looks like she could cry, but unlike other hyper-advanced robots, she's not quite as equipped to cry as others, given her broken camera-eye.

"I made a promise to Clarine. That I wouldn't leave her alone." She looks to Acacia, then back to Marivel. "But when I did that... I felt a strong, important feeling in me. Like I..."

She furrows her brow, full of confusion. "Like I think I made that promise to you too, Mari. That I won't leave you alone, or leave you to be alone. I don't remember when or where, just that... I think I did."

The gem shimmers, as the Suffering Circuit glows further.

"No, that I feel I did."

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

Acacia's silent for a long moment when she takes in the vampire's words, her expression turning drawn; she practically holds her breath as she meets the glance the Crimson Noble throws in her direction, her expression solemn. In an instant, her gaze has become that cautious glare that seems to be her default whenever she's thinking about something particularly thorny.

Still... she's not as withdrawn as she has been in her time in Spira. Looking and feeling more centred on the whole, she accepts Kamui resting against her arm without really even thinking about it, ruffling her hair fondly as a means to encourage the Reploid to speak her mind. Perhaps 'little sister' really is appropriate, given the way she teases and fusses and then allows herself more quiet moments. "Clarine'd just let you get away with it," she breaks out of her thoughts to grumble good-naturedly. "I'll just have to step up and be the Bad Cop."

"... if you'd told us to pick one side or the other and support them, I would have walked," she adds out of the blue, so suddenly and casually you could almost miss it, and all without looking directly at Marivel. "And I would have--" she stops just short of saying 'taken', and winces. "... encouraged Kamui to come with me."

She sucks in a breath, giving herself a moment to marshal her words. It's still difficult for her to know exactly how to talk with Marivel; different outlooks, different motivations. "Either way you look at it, Yevon and the Guard are stuck in the middle of a religious ego contest. I don't think that's something that we, as Filgaians, can really be part of - well, more like I don't think it's /worth/ being part of it," she adds, a little sour. "History bears it out. That sort of thing is how you get Aveh vs. Kislev for generations."

Hesitating again, the redhead grimaces as she draws a hand through her hair. Life seemed a lot simpler back in Meria Boule, and she can feel a pang of nostalgia. "But I know enough to trust that you're looking out for people, rather than causes. So long as you keep that in mind, I think it's alright. Same goes for you, Kamui," she adds with a puff of air, doing her best to try lightening the air. "You never /have/ to fight - but I'll be okay with it if it's to look after someone, okay?"

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"You must really care for her," Marivel says on the matter of Clarine. "To think she made such an impression. Well--she made an impression with me too." The light is harmful towards her and Clarine is afraid of the dark and yet--

--yet they are still friends, no?

She listens to Kamui's confessed fears and she looks down at her meal for a moment. Thinking to herself.

Professor, what would you say if I said I saw myself in her sometimes. All of us.

"I agree completely." Marivel says to Acacia. Despite her attitudes, she has respect for the journalist. "This is a battle of egos and pride, driven out into the open by the pain of loss, yes. I cannot fault Leo for taking umbrage with such a cruel edict, but to allow his rage to dictate his course knowing what is at risk, knowing full well of the threat hanging over our heads... t'will be very difficult for me to forgive him for that."

And harder still to forgive the apathy when she bared her heart plainly to him. Perhaps she should have approached more kindly but--no. Sometimes you have to be harsh, not because it is the better path to take but rather so you don't forget to be angry at the unjust paths taken.

"But as much as these religions disgust me, I have found the people under their rule to be kind creatures who deserve better lives than they have been provided. Indeed, the Spirans had been almost unrealistically accomodating. But we see what is neccessary to make them so kind. A world peaceful out of fear not out of love. What is blaming an entire caste of people, an entire religion compared to such peace?"

She lets the vitrol in her voice fade away with that remark. "I appreciate," Marivel says to Acacia. "That Kamui has someone like you who looks out for her foremost." Marivel can only be that person so much these days. People rely on her. In fact, if people knew the full depths of her missions, they would likely despair. Sin would appear so quaint. All enemies would compared to ... compared to 'It'.

She has some more maceroni, mulling over Kamui's words.

"Natural..." Marivel says. "It is natural. Completely natural. That side of you that is comfortable in battle--that is part of you too." Marivel smiles. "And that's okay. That part of you, Kamui, it isn't a cruel person. There isn't a cruel screw in your body. That part of you wants to protect everyone, that part of you wants to protect you too. Perhaps she is too comfortable, perhaps that comfortable state is dangerous and should be resisted--but I hope you do not forget that that you is still you, just as me you've seen from me sometimes who can be harsher and more violent is also me."

"But we should try to be the 'us' that we want to be, not the 'us' that we are. Accepting ourselves, and trying to find a better 'ourselves'. They're both important."

And then there's the promise.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9XljBWGrRQ that's right I went there.

Marivel's attempt to be the mature lady falters a bit as her cheeks tint blue faintly like anime vampires often do when they're blushing for some reason.

"You..." Marivel says haltingly, then firmly with positive confidence and that smile again. "You kept your promise, Kamui. No matter where we went, or how far apart we were, you never left me alone. Even when you forgot."

She gestures to where her heart would be if she wasn't some kind of horrormonster. "You were always here, Kamui, with me."

No matter where you go... you'll never be alone, sweet demon.

"Thank you." Marivel says. "For never leaving me alone."

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

Kamui listens intently, as she lays it clear that if Marivel had pulled them in and forced them to choose one side of the conflict that Acacia would've taken her-- encouraged her away. She's silent for a while longer. The Guard and Yevon... she doesn't feel like she can quite grasp it, yet at the same time it feels too familiar for her.

"... as long as it's to look after someone ..."

And Marivel chimes in too. That it's natural. That that side of her is a part of her, and it's not out of cruelty that that side of her does the things that she does.

"Maybe... I had stronger feelings when I remembered more things. Not remembering the things I do..." She bobs her head one way in thought.

Maybe that side of her is too comfortable. Maybe it does need checks and balances, but--

(the other promise starts playing here. why is it always the OTHER promise, what about this promise, or that promise)

But that's why she has other people there. Because being alone is what makes her too comfortable with it, because it means she can hide behind that excuse and not have to feel the pain of being alone.

And the Suffering Circuit gleams a bit brighter as she realises just a little more about what Marivel deals with too.

"...m-muiii... Muiriveeel... waaaah...!" Kamui's non-attempt to not burble also fails as she throws her arms around her and gives her and Acacia the biggest hug she has since awakening in this era.

At least, this time, it's not sad tears that the robot cries.

Because they're very happy tears.

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

"... I don't mean to be harsh. I mean, I don't mean to /sound/ harsh. It was pretty clear from the get-go what your motivations were on that front," Acacia puffs as she folds her arms. "And to be clear, it's not like I'm going to go seek out a fight to get myself wrapped up in, or nudge Kamui towards one-- but at the same time I'm not just going to shut my eyes to everything either. I'd be a crappy reporter if I did."

With that, she lets herself sag, frowning towards the Crimson Noble. "I dunno. I can fault the Guard a pretty fair amount. I mean, Spira's had centuries of this stuff, and then this pack of people roll in telling you your religion's all wrong? It's gonna go down like a lead balloon. I mean, I can fault Yevon as well, but that was fanning the flames."

She's silent for a long moment. Marivel's praise of her... ... it's a little bittersweet, perhaps, given how long she's been independent - what she gave up for that independence. But that just means she can accept it with a rather solemn smile. "Well. I know how to handle myself, so I know how to handle Kamui. At least, when it comes to stuff like this."

Whatever else she was about to say, she blinks and cuts herself off as Kamui suddenly starts to bawl. "Eh-- woah!" she blurts as she practically tips backwards in her surprise and in the sudden weight of the Reploid leant on her; she hangs on more for her own balance than for the hug, at least at first, and slowly lets herself settle into it.

"Jeez," she huffs the next moment, feeling a little bashful. "C'mon, it's alright."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel's first promise wasn't to Dr. Lumen or to Kamui but to another mysterious blue haired lady. Which one? Uhhh look it's not Marivel's fault that blue haired ladies tend to be mysterious okay?? Then again, maybe she has a type. Long blue hair, giant sword---Ahhh!! Nobody must know!! Well okay they can know. But they should at least pretend they don't.

"That's not the part I'm referring to," Marivel clarifies. "The part that I can't fault them is being angry on behalf of the Crusaders..." She laughs a bit before adding, "Though I must admit if they have realized most Crusaders have gone back to Yevon. I wonder if perhaps that was why they supported the attack in their own way...Because they knew such a spectacular failure would be sure to drive most of them back to their tenants. They have proof! Proof that their path is the correct path now. After all, if all these people together could not defeat Sin, how could anything but their method? If technology failed, then surely it has no other use."

Acacia says that her motivations were pretty clear--at least in this regard. That does cheer Marivel up in its own way. "Heh. Well.... I'm glad on that, at least, my aim was clear."

She pauses. "Maybe Besaid would be a good option. Tis religious, yes, but tis Yuna's home. Whatever comes, it may be something of a safe haven and we can decide our personal paths forward freely instead of under duress or based on geography."

But anything else she could say seems so unimportant compared to what comes next. Truly, she is grateful for Acacia keeping her honest (well honest in the matter of Kamui) because more time means more eccentricies. Especially with what she's pushing for, waiting for...

But Kamui, bless her heart, is hugging her and even though there isn't one of those in Marivel's chest, it still somehow manages to skip a beat.

Marivel hugs tightly. The pain, the guilt, the fear that the blood may very well be on her hands. It all washes away in a singular act of love.

Marivel would never admit it but perhaps she is more pop than boogie, and more bleeding heart than harsh reality.

"Aww." she says, pushing away that last fear that she is bad family for the moment. A good fear to have, she still reasons, for so long as she carries that terror within her maybe she can avoid hurting this precious child anymore.