222/Park Penguinanigans

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Park Penguinanigans
Date of Scene: 09 August 2023
Location: Penguin Park
Synopsis: Miho has a momentary accident with her bike. Fortunately, she meets a couple of other people in the bargain!
Cast of Characters: Miho Aiuchi, Miya Sakamoto, Greta Legend

Miho Aiuchi has posed:
    It's a relatively nice summer afternoon in Penguin Park. Birds are singing, there's a nice breeze ... and an androgynous, bespectacled young woman with short hair is biking through, looking like she has a Plan, or at least a Destination.

    At least, she has one until she comes to a stop near a thick circle of trees. Miho gets off, starts walking her bike along, and the pedal promptly slams into the back of her leg. She lets out a yelp and jumps away, which causes her bike to fall over, and she trips over her own feet and falls onto her backside. "Ow, what!?" she exclaims; her voice is kind of scratchy, and possibly on the wrong side of androgynous.

Miya Sakamoto has posed:
This sounds like a job for... Bicycle Repair Man!

Except that this is not a Monty Python sketch, so there is no such thing in the vicinity. C'mon, superpowered mechanical-work based beings? That's just silly.

What there is, instead, is a teen girl with brown hair and a ponytail, jogging in a tracksuit.

She is easy to miss, really. Not exactly imposing, quiet, at a distance, she looks like many others. In fact, if there is a thing she stands out for is her ability to blend in a crowd.

Yes, it's paradoxical.

When there is commotion, though, something changes. She turns towards the source of the noise. She hesitates for a moment. She looks left and right, as if considering whether to flee or help. And decides for the latter.

"Is- is everything alright?", she asks, scrambling over. But not too close. Her glance jumps between the rider and the bike.

Greta Legend has posed:
<That person is in trouble, Little Red.> <You can help!> <Now is your chance.>

"No, she's not in trouble... She's just clumsy, and that has nothing to do with me. That is not how this is going to go, so just shut it."

<You're not going to make friends very fast that way.>

"There was no plans to make friends... Not really."

This was an ongoing conversation that the blonde girl in the glasses and the red blazer was having with... Herself? To anyone actually observing Greta Legend, they would only see her half of the conversation, which is going on in English at the moment, as the other half was presently going on in her head. She was just going on a walk on her own, for *reasons*, and had stopped at Penguin Park to grab a bite to eat. Takoyaki. She wanted to learn to replicate that at home...

The little cyclist incident was catching her attention, if only because it was loud, but she wasn't that much further than like ten feet away... But it's not her business.

... Maybe if there were monsters around...

Miho Aiuchi has posed:
    Miho appears to be checking the jade bangle around her left wrist when Miya approaches. "Wah! Uh." She looks up at Miya as if she was caught with her hand in the cookie jar. "I'm ... fine I guess ..." She looks down at her leg, frowning. The pedal left a mark, but there's no bleeding. "... doesn't even look like I'll need bandages and stuff, either." She laughs nervously, looking back up at Miya. "I've, uh, I've had worse. Like, bigger accidents, kind of thing."

    She glances around, and catches sight of Greta speaking English, and furrows her brow. Her first thought: well, okay then. Her second thought: is there some kind of magic stuff going on? Kyubey did mention that her ability to see him was unusual. Her third thought: no, no, that's not important right now, can't get paranoid or Anxiety about that.

Miya Sakamoto has posed:
"Wah!", replies Miya, startled by Miho in turn. But quieter.

"Oh. Good that you are fine," Miya says with a sigh of relief. "In that case-"

Her first instinct is to turn and slip away, back to the crowd. But she stops after just the barest hint of that motion.

. o O ( You're not going to make friends very fast that way, Miya! ) O o , the brunette suddenly scolds herself in the privacy of her own perfectly human thoughts. o O ( There were specific plans to make friends. Now go and -make friends-! ) O o .

Committing with Shounen levels of determination to an interaction with Miho, she adds, once again in speech, "...and yes, bandages would be useless. The adhesive, these days, is not appropriate for structural joining of mechanical parts. Would do a terrible job at fixing any issue your bike might have. Issues which your bike... well, seems completely free of," she comments, walking around it. "The pedals seem to not have sustained any damage from the impact with your leg, and- Hm. Actually-" She squints down at the back wheel. She squats, and stares intently, forearms resting on her bent knees, as her nose inches closer to some specific point. "Hmmmmmmmmm,"

She looks up to Miho. "Looks like the chain is thiiis close to coming loose due to the impact," Miya remarks, holding her index and thumb just apart enough to fit a hair in between. "Mind if I set it back properly? You certainly don't want it to play any tricks while you're pedaling."

That is when she notices Greta close by. Initiating friendship protocols with her is briefly considered, but for one, Miya does not speak English anywhere close to a level where she'd understand what Greta is saying, and for two, not only she has no access to lasers, having exactly zero exposure to magic, she is not even aware that proper friendship protocols involve lasers.

Greta Legend has posed:
And then Greta realizes that she has been noticed by the two older girls, and realizes her half of her conversation in her head has been out loud enough that the people not too much more than ten feet away from her noticed. "Bugger..." She mumbles a little more under her breath, before redirecting and switching her mental language to Japanese.

"What? I don't know anything about bikes." She explains in fluent Japanese.

Miho Aiuchi has posed:
    Miho stares at Miya, feeling slightly as though she's walked into a comedy-duo routine. "I meant my leg isn't badly hurt," she says dryly. "Uhh ..."

    She watches Miya give her bike a cursory once-over. What appears to Miho's untrained eye to be a very cursory once-over. "Wait, w ... what the heck?" she says. "It's about to break!? Uh, sure, I mean -- wait, no, you said 'come loose', ahaha. Uh. Sure?" Beat. "I'm, I'm Aiuchi ... Miho. By the way." There's an odd slight but noticeable hesitation as she says her own given name. Of course, it might not stand out with the way she's saying everything else.

    Her gaze slides over to Greta, and she narrows her eyes. "I, uh ... sorry? We weren't ... really ... asking you?" She blinks, realizing that that might have sounded worse than intended. "UH. Sorry ..."

Miya Sakamoto has posed:
"Indeed, indeed, 'come loose'. No breaking, this is sturdy stuff!", Miya reassures, with a bit of laughter, as she reaches for the chain and begins adjusting it. "It's the kind of craftmanship you'd describe as 'they don't make 'em like they used to', were it not that, well, they keep getting better every passing year.."

. o O (Miya. STOP. Stop running your mouth! You're too eager to make friends! Don't overdo it! Slow down! Baby steps! Baby steps! You must learn to walk before you can run!) O o .

Miya's grip on the mechanics is nothing but expert. Fingers reach in at just the right angle, give the wheel a well-placed rotational yank, and presto! With a snap, the chain is in a different configuration. "There! Nothing to it!"

. o O (...good, seems like you are doing nicely with this friendship thing- INTRODUCTIONS! You forgot to introduce yourself right back! ) O o .

"-Oh, right. Sakamoto, Miya. Pleased to meet you," she says, with a bow.

. o O ( ...uh-oh! A second player has entered the potential friendship field. Difficulty increases! ) O o .

"I... I am sorry, have I missed part of this conversation?", Miya asks Greta, before the former's expression shifts; she seems to realize something.

Only half of a conversation. In English. Abruptly uttering sentences that do not seem to fit the context. This... this can only have one explanation.

"Are you on the phone?", Miya asks, barely above a whisper while she makes exaggerated mouth movements. She even mimes the classic 'phone receiver' gesture, with her thumb and pinky.

Greta Legend has posed:
Greta just realizes that her own tone is BLATANTLY rude, which is not conducive to being on good terms with people even if she's not trying to make friends with them. Adjust politeness levels accordingly.<This is how you make your allies.>One of the voices in Greta's head causes her to flinch, before she replies out loud to Miho firest, "Ah, sorry, I thought you were looking for more help with the bike." She fibs her tone significantly less combative for the moment.

Then to Miya, she grits her teeth. "Yes... I'm on my phone! Earbuds and all." She grabs her phone from her bag and just waves it. "Sorry if I was sounding rude."

Another voice, <You were rude.> Causes another flinch from Greta as she tries NOT to respond.

<Super Rude>.


Miho Aiuchi has posed:
    Miho doesn't seem the slightest bit bothered by Miya running off her mouth! Perhaps because privately, she wishes she had the wherewithal to run her own mouth off when she wanted to.

    She watches intently as Miya manipulates the bike chain. "Okay, cool!" she says, smiling at Miya. "Thanks! You're, um, you're pretty good at, at all this stuff!" She sounds sincere, she's just stumbling.

    Oh. This other girl was on the phone. Well okay, then! Miho notices that Greta is speaking through gritted teeth, but she's not that great with English and presumes that it's due to the phone conversation. No need for magical explanations, even if Miho wants there to be! "I'm Aiuchi Miho," she says. "You're, um, s-sorry, what did you say your name was?"

Miya Sakamoto has posed:
"It is a pretty cool bike, yes," Miya rattles out in response to Miho's "Cool". "You don't see many of this kind here in Tokyo. Thicker tires, extra grip in the groove pattern design, a respectable bang per buck ratio. An exercise in minimalist efficiency. A no frills design, get the job done. Very Bauhaus."

At the complient, she laughs and looks away, scratching her head. "Oh, thanks. I have a passion, I do what I can", she tries to minimize. "I like tinkering." After a moment of embarrassed politeness where she seems to scramble to collect her thoughts, she offers, "Oh, uh, is there anything -you- like to do?"

"Sorry to have interrupted your call," Miya hurres to apologize to Greta; her shoulders slump in contrition, and she respectfully takes a step back. "And don't... don't worry. The bike should be fine. We will gladly accept any help you would like to offer."

Greta Legend has posed:
"It's fine--" Greta replies, again in Japanese, because she's trying to maintain etiquette and all. This was all a misunderstanding, she shouldn't have engaged in a situation that had nothing to do with her.

However, on reflex to Miho, she replies, "Greta. Greta Legend." Before realizing that she's given an in for contiunuing to converse. "Ah, don't mind me..." She steps back one, trying to find a way back out of this predicament.

>Ask them of they need a lift.< One of the voices in her head says. <Your dad will help provide one if you ask.> Said another. -Doooo it. Allies are to be made-

There's an expression on her face that's slightly contorted as she says aloud, "Anyway, do you need a lift? If the bicycle is an issue, that is, I can ask my father if help can be made to get you home."


Miho Aiuchi has posed:
    Miho nods; some of Miya's descriptions are going slightly over her head, but she does know how to respond to the fact that it's not an urban bike. "Oh, uh, it was ... I used to live in. Nishimura," she says, fiddling with her bike helmet. "Which is, uh. This ... small village ... an hour away from Kyoto." Make a wisecrack about how obscure it was, make a wisecrack about how obscure it was ...

    The wherewithal to joke about it passes when Miya asks what sort of things she likes to do. "Oh, um. I ... just sort of like to go off and do my own thing, and stuff," Miho answers. "Or sometimes. Uh. Video games. Like Sonic, and Kirby." She awkwardly adjusts her glasses.

    ... She can't say anything about her latest pastime, of course, because that involves, well, The Magic Stuff(tm).

    She blinks at Greta's offer. "Huh? Oh, um, no, I (boku) was just, I (watashi) mean, I (atashi) was just biking around the park. I-I'm fine." She tilts her head curiously. There are no Witches, she's not in an eldritch flood-dimension, there's nothing to offset her desire to help people. "Um. Are ... are you all right, Legend-san?"

Miya Sakamoto has posed:
"...a lift? As in... with... a car?", Miya asks Greta, floored by the prospect. Owning a car is not for everyone in such highly urbanized areas. It's a status symbol, not as much for the car itself, but because in order to own a vehicle, one needs to prove that they have a place to park it (and good luck owning a garage in Tokyo!). At which point, Miya's hesitation is palpable. "I... I wouldn't want to disturb, plus, well, I've been jogging and fixing bikes...", she says, hands held up, palms facing forward; she shows her fingertips which, while minimal, -do- show traces of grease from the recent repair.

But dang does she want to ride in a -car-!

"Oh, I also come from a different city. Smaller. Not quite a village, but definitely not..." She spreads her arms and spins around. "-This- big. It's definitely small and rural -by comparison-."

Her tension disappears and she lets out a liberatory laughter. "Oh, we're originally-out-of-town buddies then!"

. o O ( Oh, wow! I thought -I- was the country bumpkin who comes from the boondocks and doesn't even know how to talk to city people and is socialization-impaired, but... awww. Poor Miho. She seems more at a loss than I with deciding which level of politeness to use!)

"Video games? I've never really played them, but... I'd like to try some time or other. And I love to go off do my own stuff! Mostly shop. As in, you know, workshop."

Greta Legend has posed:
Greta of course did not even consider the fact that the car that she's dropped off to school in was considered that much of a status symbol, it was just one of those things that was part of her life, what with her dad being an executive in the company he worked at. "I mean, how else would you get around...?" She was also very obviously from Europe, the cultural difference might not have really occured to her.

She looks to Miho and just nods, "Well... I figured I would just offer... If you don't need it, then alright then. Best of luck to you."

She looks to Miya and nods to her as well, before turning and walking herself a little bit more of a distance away, and as she does so she growls low in ENGLISH, "Why are you like this, Dreiseelen?"

<Just trying to help you make allies.>

"I didn't ask for it, though!"

Miho Aiuchi has posed:
    Miho laughs nervously. "Uh. I moved here ... a year ago. But, uh. Yeah." She nods. "Like, nothing is as big as Tokyo!" She glances over her shoulder. "... the Academy's pretty big, too ..." She shrugs. "But I mean. It can get ... scary ... sometimes ..." She doesn't seem entirely comfortable saying that. Maybe because things got really scary ...

    She furrows her brow at the sight of Miya's grease-stained hands. "I was gonna say, you just ... reached in and grabbed the chain there, heh ..." She blinks as Greta abruptly does an about-face and goes back to talk on her 'phone.' "Uhh ..." She shakes her head -- no comment on the obvious rich foreigner's difference in culture -- and looks back to Miya. "I ... maybe we could ... exchange ... phone numbers?" she says awkwardly. "So we could. Talk again. Uh. A-and if you're ... curious about the, uh, the games. Or if you wanna show me ... other ... m-mechanic ... stuff. Yeah."

    ... Miya and Greta are nowhere near as scary as a gigantic headless bride in an eldritch dimension who could turn the air into water, which had somewhat shifted Miho's standards as far as her anxiety is concerned, but this doesn't actually fix her general awkwardness.

Miya Sakamoto has posed:
"Oh... oh. Ok. Bye. Next time I'll be glad to accept that ride! See you!", Miyo says to the departing Greta.

DANG did she want that car ride. But... politeness is politeness. You don't look overly eager.

"The Academy?", Miya perks up. "As in, Radiant Heart Academy? I'm a pupil there too!", she beams. "It's amazing! Myself, I've just arrived, but it's already blowing my mind!" If you thought Miya was excited about the bike, that's -nothing- compared to how she looks while ranting about the Academy. This poor soul has apparently never been exposed to what lies beyond the Veil. "How can such a wonderful place get scary? It's practically a palace! It's an epitome of elegance! A pinnacle of masterful craftmanship! I've never felt as safe as when I- oh, right!", she exclaims, and she gingerly reaches for a handkerchief. She wipes her hands off as well as she can, and switches items -- a cell phone this time.

Tapping at dizzying speed, she begins to enter the contact details of Miho, while rattling out her own number.

"If you are a student at Radiant Heart, I'm sure you can meet me at the workshop on the premises!" Yes. There is a shop. Yes, she can already confidently say that there is one, despite having just arrived. Yes, it was one of the very first things she made sure to inquire about.

Miho Aiuchi has posed:
    Miho smiles faintly at Miya, entering the number into her phone -- much more gingerly than Miya herself had.

    Yeah, there's no way she can her entirely mundane friends about Witches and their Labyrinths.

    "I just ... haven't been good with people," she says. "I ... guess I'm ... starting to get better, though." She shrugs, and rearranges her bike back upright. "It's ... well, it's just kinda complicated." Not ready to come out to a girl she just met. " I mean, yeah, the Academy itself is kinda nice! I'll, I'll make a point to, uh, go check out the workshop when I can, I'll bring my Switch. The, the game console," she adds.

Miya Sakamoto has posed:
"It's okay, it's okay, where I used to live, there wasn't much in the way of opportunities for socialization, either!", Miya reassures Miho. "And things seem... a bit different here in Tokyo, as far as customs go. I'm... kind of learning things as I go myself. Maybe we can trade tricks? Exchange tips? Compare notes?", she offers.

Miya, of course, has her own entierely mundane worries and insecurities involved in this; but she does a good job at pushing them away, and launching herself into this friend-making endeavour.

"Awesome!", she exclaims. "I'd love to see a Switch in action!"

This is the point where the camera would cut to a wider shot, showing Miho and Miya at a distance, while the latter keeps on talking; but it's just mouth movements, the sound can no longer be heard. The background music would probably rise in volume.

And no, Bicycle Repair Main would not jump into frame.

That would be silly.

Miho Aiuchi has posed:
    When all is said and done, Miho and Miya say their goodbyes, and part ways.

    And then Miho walks her bike into the cluster of trees, takes off her helmet, and starts staring fixedly at her bangle -- and not only with her mundane senses, either.

    She's got a lot of work to do. After all, she wants to draw upon its dark power sooner rather than later.