378/The Blue Griffin's War Room (Slot Two)

From Radiant Heart MUSH

The Blue Griffin's War Room (Slot Two)
Date of Scene: 04 September 2023
Location: Hotel Augusta - Ballroom
Synopsis: Hannah gathers yet more of those closer to her at the Hotel Augusta in order to explain why she almost ended up dead, and Tharkadian Politics come to Earth.
Cast of Characters: Hannah Steiner, Rashmi Terios, Ikiko Hisakata

Hannah Steiner has posed:
The Hotel Augusta's ballroom has quite the swanky little covered area, Hannah's schmoozing with the upper crust and using her string of summer jobs' funds wisely has resulted in enough coin and well-connected discounts to have this opulence for a second day for her war room. After all, even though she may be a pauper Countess here, how could she not throw the coin and connections she has gained towards those willing to potentially risk their lives for her own sake?

House Steiner has standards after all.

And so, at the head of that long rectangle of a fancy table with its' succulent food and overly-stuffed chairs, sits Hannah Steiner as if she owns the darned hotel! Swirling sparkling cider in a crystal goblet, she sips neatly before uncrossing her legs. She's dressed in that fancy second-hand dress she plucked from one of the many maligned stores on the cheap, but wears the thing with enough confidence that most might consider it new. She /feels/ as though she belongs amongst money, this Belkan.

Blauer Greif is used to check the time, she makes sure that all the wonderful hotel attendants are both thanked and warmly but firmly sent out of this most private meeting, and then the scion of Great Belkan House Steiner awaits her remaining freunds!

Rashmi Terios has posed:
Despite having grown up in Tokyo, Rashmi has not once set foot inside the Hotel Augusta. Though she's heard several stories of her father's days as a line cook in similar, five-star hotels, hearing about it is just... not the same as walking through the doors and suddenly feeling like you're about to be given a credit check to see if you can afford to walk on the carpet.

Thus there's a quiet *thump* on the closed door to the meeting room as Rashmi backs into it, still staring with wide-eyed wonder at the lobby, before she remembers to turn and actually open the door. Dressed in street clothes, she waves across the room to Hannah as she crossed the floor, feeling slightly self-conscious in a light red tee-shirt over sheer floral-printed camisole and a simple charcoal skirt. "Hannah-chan, hi~! Wow, this place is *amazing!*"

Ikiko Hisakata has posed:
Family obligations had sidelined Ikiko Hisakata from attending the prior war council session, but today she has more flexibility in her schedule, so she was able to make time for her friend and senpai Hannah.

While her fashion sensibilities tend much more towards workhose than clotheshorse, Ikiko did make an effort in dressing up for the occasion -- which in her case, means wearing what a Midwestern American would likely call 'her Sunday best': not formal, but definitely her Good Clothes for making a Good Impression.

"Hi, Hannah-chan, Rashmi-chan!" the young girl calls to her friends after she closes the door after herself. "Sorry I wasn't able to attend Monday!"

Hannah Steiner has posed:
"frau Terios! Mein dear freund und scholar! It pleases mein heart that Scout Lance Terra is well represented upon this night! Send herr Hanzo mein regard und eternal love!" Comes Hannah formally, even bowing in her seat, but her /voice/ is just full of sheer love for the support mage! That massive heart of the Steiner noble clearly seeks friends as kindling to a fire!

Luckily the Focus Search is...well, a bit odd in Hannah's case, and so Ikiko's Sunday Best clearly meets her own expectations, and really anyone who would otherwise object is either sitting on a pile of money or Lyra is hiss-borking at. A single hand-wave dismisses it all!

"frau Hisakata! Mein dear compatriot of four legged companions!" She greets, that thousand-watt smile hammering her dear compatriot on the head with affection!

"Acht, think naught of it all, herding mahou is as the felines, nacht?" She offers, before pulling herself up. She reaches for her glass, and drains exactly half of the sparkling cider!

There's a glass before everyone assembled.

"May this meeting begin, shrouded in the grace und sanctity of Sank Olivie, that we may all move in one purpose." Comes Hannah, before briefly dipping her chin.


Formalities done, she takes off her hat and glasses, and sighs.

"To ensure I have neither of you at disadvantage..." Starts Hannah, she stands, and then bows with one heel clacking on another. Her Device in one hand, and she dips her head formally!

"Mein true name is Countess Palatine-Apparent Hannah Emilia-Lina Araki-Steiner the XIVth, heir to the Ancient Belkan Great House of Steiner, adherent to Saint King Olivie Sagebrecht! Ruler of the planet of Tharkad!" And with that, she sits down, and her visage darkens.

"...I seek to grant Justice upon the Kinslayer und grand traitor of mein line, Count Otto Bismark von Karstein-Steiner!" her voice suddenly grows /tight/.

Teeth clack, as if trying to continue in that amiable manner, but eyes close and her face is a snarl of pure hatred and rage! A rare thing for most magical girls, but her next attempts at speaking are choked by sheer /wroth/.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
Rashmi beams as Ikiko enters, still faintly concussed by the hammer of the Belkan's friendliness. "Hi, Hisakata-san~!"

Taking up a glass of cider for herself, she raises the glass in salute when Hannah invokes the beginning of the meeting, and cannot help but chuckle inwardly at how many *names* Hannah really has. Is that a monarchy thing? (Probably) Does she trip over them when going up stairs? (Also probably)

Her good cheer dies quickly, snuffed out like a candle, when Hannah's true fury displays itself. For the moment, she says nothing, but there is *definitely* movement behind her eyes, the student-of-people working to properly understand this heart so full of rage.

Ikiko Hisakata has posed:
Ikiko's eyes dart around as she does her best to track the entire careening line of titles and full names, but she at least catches the gist of it. "Huh. I knew Radiant Heart Academy had international students, but interstellar ones as well?" she muses to herself.

A follow-up thought comes to mind, and she glances over at Lyra. "Well, that probably explains why you're not fluent at all in Earth-Canine," Ikiko giggles to the loyal, noble beast.

The mention of 'kinslayer', followed by the intense supernova-in-a-laserbeam WRATH on Hannah's face, shoves those thoughts back, and Ikiko leans back for a moment as if physically pushed.

    But only for a moment.

Standing up, albeit slightly unsteadily from the shockwave of emotion, Ikiko quietly walks up to Hannah... and gives her a big hug. Because senpai definitely needs it.

Hannah Steiner has posed:
It is, in fact, a monarchy thing! Or in this case a 'Remnants of a Warlike Empire Thing' that decided allyship is better than being rendered subserviant. Also, to be considered, the mountains of cash the House of Steiner made by turning their industrial base towards Mid-Childan interests!

For all that rancor? The shining dripping beneath Hannah's glasses are clearly tears, and the loud Steiner noble isn't particularly hard to interpret for such a student of humanity, be they Earthbound or Interstellar.

She rages in grief. Something /lost/ dear to her.

Lyra hiss-borks warmly to Ikiko! There's, again, /words/! The language barrier is then gently pushed upon, as the dino-lizard? Well, she tries in local 'canine'!

'Goose good lick'

Lyra needs lessons, clearly, but she's trying!

Hannah is suddenly wrapped in warmth, and her words falter.

Trembling, her own arms embrace her friend, and squeeze gently. She doesn't know what to say. How foolish of a ruler!

Shame rips through her, before melting into her heart with that physical cling of her dear freund.

"I..." She sobs. Sobs, and sobs, and then her hand wipes out her own tears.

She squeezes Ikiko, and then reluctantly pushes her away.

"....I am unworthy of such care." Comes Hannah, shuddering bodily.

It takes her a good minute to recover herself, and try to appear dignified.

Suddenly her back is stiffer than a blade, and she lets out a sigh. Rubbing Lyra's head, she swallows down her empathy.

"I require your strength, mein freunds. Mein Uncle deigned to kill mein parents in cold blood, und many, /many/ fair servants, freunds, und faithful knights of House Steiner all that they might depose me und claim Blauer Greif for the rulership of Tharkad. He has attempted mein own life twice. Und only because of selfless souls do I stand before both of you..." Her voice quivers.

And then she shudders. "...I ask you both to be as lifewards und soldiers for mein goal, to bring mein Uncle to Justice und ensure those close to me are not harmed. To agree, should be to risk death by his ruthless hands. To walk away? Should any dare question your honor, I shall personally challenge for your wisdom!" Comes Hannah, most fiercely, draining the second half of her sparkling cider!

Rashmi Terios has posed:

Rashmi's voice is quiet, gentle, and *worried.* As she pushes Ikiko away, she approaches. With the Trager in full courtly battle dress, flanked by a terrifying mostly-lizard-dog, she simply walks up, wrapping an arm around Hannah's shoulders and squeezing. "It's sweet that you're giving us so many chances to walk away, but... Um... Can you honestly tell me exactly how we'd be risking our lives *less* if he wasn't here?"

It's an honest question, because after the Arthras and Clover Tower, all of the sources of 'you might die if you help me' are kind of beginning to blur together. And after the talks she's had with Chrono and Kyouka... Her answer still hasn't changed.

"Also. Hannah-chan. You're my friend. That means you *do* deserve people caring about you."

Ikiko Hisakata has posed:
Ikiko gives Lyra some skritchies while listening to Hannah and Rashmi make their points, and nods in agreement with Rashmi. "Being a magical girl means protecting what's important to you, and that usually involves going towards danger, not away from it," the young girl points out. "And friends are always worth defending."

She then gives Hannah a flanking arm-around-the-shoulders hug, giving the distressed noble bookends of mahou emotional support. "Besides, injuries of emotion are just as painful as injuries of body -- heck, possibly even more so -- and just as you'd bandage a physical wound to help it heal and protect it from infection, emotional wounds also need a 'bandage' of their own to help them heal," Ikiko adds. "And... hugs are kinda like emotional bandages, in that regard."

Hannah Steiner has posed:
Hannah just...collapses into the embrace of her freund her open intention to shove her dear friends from the battle with her Uncle easily defeated! Two hands run through that amazing locks of Rashmi's, and then finally she grips her by her shoulders in a snug!

And then shoves the young woman straight back into her seat, with pure Belkan strength, just to give herself a few moments to consider the question!

"I cannot." Comes Hannah, in all but a whisper to Rashmi.

Ikiko is equally willing to grant such a warm hug, and her own magical wisdom! The warlike Belkan is all but hammered into her seat, and once more clings to dear Ikiko as she wraps those many emotional bandage about her! Her arms fall at her side. And she 'looks' up to the sky.

Both arms reach for her friends, her gravity magic trying to embrace them both!

"By the Sankt! Just...live. Please! That is all I ask! If it is between your lives, or mein own, may it be yours! I have brought mein conflicts upon this dirtball, und I pray the Sankt defends you all from Belkan destruction!" Ends the young woman, suddenly hugging both Ikiko and Rashmi!

Rashmi Terios has posed:
"Oh for--" Rashmi cannot help a bit of frustration, being shoved back into a chair, then yoinked back up by gravity. "Hannah-chan I adore you but this is just *way* too literal! Look. As long as she *stand by each other,* all of us, *nobody* is going to die, okay? That's how this works, we all lift each other up, or we fall alone. Whether it's your uncle or a space criminal or demon or monster or ice-cream monster, or whatever! If we have each other's backs, there's nothing we *can't* overcome. Right?"

Ikiko Hisakata has posed:
"Besides, I've already taken to doing more close-range nighttime patrols around the academy to keep an eye out for trouble," Ikiko remarks, taking advantage of the localized gravity well to give Hannah extra hugs. "If a threat is small, I'll deal with it; if a threat is more than I can handle, I'll call for backup. You've seen my style: harrying my opponents, drawing attention away from those who can't fight back, and not going for a frontal attack unless my friends and allies are there to help! Because working together is much more powerful than working alone -- or even merely working alongside each other."