519/Souls at Lunch

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Souls at Lunch
Date of Scene: 28 September 2023
Location: Cafeteria Plaza
Synopsis: Naru, Koji, Takuto and Sayaka chat about powers, souls and guns over lunch.
Cast of Characters: Naru Osaka, Koji Silvia, Sayaka Miki, Takuto Tsunashi

Naru Osaka has posed:
Between classes and 'unusual circumstances' that a segment of the school's population find themselves in on the semi-regular, there's pretty much always food available in the cafeteria. The hot tables are only at set times, but no one is about to go hungry, no matter when they turn up.

It's lunchtime right now, and there's a collection of students bustling in and bustling out. Quite a few taking food to go and enjoy the nice weather outside, as summer heat as become a gorgeous autumn. Warm enough during the day, but with a breath of reprieve at night.

Naru has not taken food to go, she's got her tray with her at a table as she nibbles and makes some notes in one of her notebooks. As one might expect, there's a cup of steaming hot coffee not far away from her hand.

Koji Silvia has posed:
"Do you mind someone here?" A voice says down to Naru as she seems to be hip-deep in her homework.

Koji stands there with a loaded tray that looks enough for two or three people, and two glasses with juice. He's dressed in the school track uniform instead of the blazer and slacks that is expected of students in class. His smile is that kind of small polite one that speaks of someone who doesn't want to bother, almost offering an out from the beginning as he waits with the plastic tray balanced in both hands out of sheer weight, "I mean..."

"Unless you're waiting for someone in particular?"

Naru Osaka has posed:
The voice above her makes Naru look up and the smile she offers to Koji is bright. "Hi Koji, pull up a chair." She closes her notebook, no subject name upon the front. No textbooks were open alongside it.

"Nice to see you all healed up. I'm not waiting for anyone in pariticular, no." Naru gestures to the other seats at the table. "How are things?"

Koji Silvia has posed:
Setting his tray down, Koji pulls out the chair to Naru's right, allowing him to see who is coming and going, and does not put his back to a window... still smiling as he shakes his head, "I'd call it more like... 95 percent. Ribs are healed, but still sore makes any working out hard, but I'm finally caught up on my missing classtime."

He takes a moment to sort some of his food out in different spots and then immediately picks up some soy sauce to drizzle over a bowl of steam veggies, "I really miss my night runs, and well... the other stuff. Once I can hang from the bars without wheezing, it's bag work and uneven bars and rings to get the rest of it back. Meantime... I'm helping out some in the special evening class with the girls. Y'know?"

Sayaka Miki has posed:
It's lunchtime, so it's time to refill yourself, and Radiant Heart conveniently has a cafeteria with good enough food, so nothing else to do besides heading there, with the bonus perk of meeting up with new people too.

The bluenette is quick to grab her own food, making her way to a table in which students have been gathering. "Hello, Miki Sayaka", she smiles energically, already introducing herself. "Would you mind if I sat here?" she asks, positioning herself nearby one of the free chairs for convenience with a yes.

Her tray has a bowl of rice and a stir fry, accompanied by a glass of water and a fruit pudding. She has her school bag almost dislodged from her shoulder, ready to place it on the ground in case of an affirmative answer.

Naru Osaka has posed:
"You know I have a t-shirt that says 'Yes, I run like a girl.. try and keep up." Naru grins to Koji at his comment about evening classes, teasing him lightly. "But I'm glad you're mostly healed. I never got the hang of night runs, I'm a morning run kinda girl."

Naru looks over to Sayaka and waves. "Nice to meet you! Pull up a seat. This is Koji and I'm Naru." She peers at Sayaka's tray and oohs. "I missed the fruit pudding, that looks good."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"And I," says a fourth voice, "am Takuto Tsunashi!" The voice belongs to a tall beanpole of a tenth grader wearing his uniform with the shirt untucked, and the orange clashes wildly with his bright red-red hair. He puts his tray down in front of the chair next to Naru on her other side, and lowers his voice a little when addressing Sayaka and Koji.

"Hi. I need to talk to Naru about some, you know, monster-fighting stuff. From... a videogame. About monster-fighting stuff. And ghosts. Ghosts are terrible. Do you guys mind?"

Then he plunks himself down; his tray is full of delightful things to eat. And a lot of croquettes. And he looks sidelong at Naru and smiles crookedly. "AND I wanted to apologize for not coming along on the thing with the stuff, I had a couple ribs go crunch from something that REALLY could have used a giant robot. But I did get my loan-sword back, and I'm sorry you didn't get to use it."

Koji Silvia has posed:

If the diametrically opposed elements of the two boys at the table were any more glaring, it would go beyond mere anime levels and into something more akin to a Spanish Telenovela. The calm, glasses wearing, subtle student who always seems to have everything together, and the flame-haired disaster who puts everything at 11.

So instead, he pivots IMMEDIATELY to Sayaka, blatantly ignoring Takuto's entrance and says to the young girl with a smile, "I am Koji Silvia, 10th Year. A pleasure to meet you, Sayaka-chan. I hope you've been enjoying the school experience here. It is really quite different from any other in Japan it feels like. But if you need help with where anything is located, or working with the school's computer network, feel free to ask. It's our job as senpai to help you out where we can."

He even stands up and pulls out the chair for the young lady to take her seat in, once more still keeping Takuto MARGINALLY in his peripheral.

Sayaka Miki has posed:
Sayaka doesn't need to have it repeated, lowering the tray to the table and sitting down. No sooner has she done that that Kyubey walks in, as if he had waited to see where she would settle before coming up to her.

'Oh, hey, Kyubey', communicates the bluenette as soon as the white cat jumps up next to her tray. 'Hello, Sayaka', he is quick to reply in kind. 'Planning to visit Kyousuke again later?' he asks.

'Yes, that's right. And you are coming too, right?', she replies, which is followed by a nod of his. 'As always, it's wiser if I stay close to you', the white cat explains.

"Great to meet you, Naru-san", Sayaka says. "I could share if you want, there is always more there", she says, nodding towards the cafeteria service.

"What kind of videogame is that?", Sayaka asks Takuto, more out of curiosity than courtesy. In the meantime she starts tackling her bowl of rice, a bit of steam still rising from it.

"Hello, Silvia-san", she smiles widely at Koji. "I have been a bit on my own these past months, lost of things going on", she looks at Kyubey furtively, "so, I mostly know the school layout already. I am starting to have things under control now, and I wouldn't mind taking part in group activities here. Anybody doing soccer here?" the explanation darts out of her mouth with tranquility.

Naru Osaka has posed:
"Ribs going crunch /sucks/." Naru concurs as she offers a grin to Takuto. "I can recommend travelling with a good healer next time, just /saying/."

It's clear that Naru is well familiar with Takuto, there's not even a hint of startle as he appears and plunks down next to her. "I have questions for your girlfriend, by the by. Not sure if it's wholly in her wheelhouse, but I'm hoping between the pair of us and some others, we can come up with some ideas against the current flavour of boss monster attack." Video games. Clearly it's still video games, right?

Naru watches Koji pivot and Very Carefully chat with Sayaka and she just smiles a bit, managing not to giggle softly.

And then life gets a little harder for Koji's sanity as Kyubey joins them all, because mascots and other magical critters in the cafeteria just is normal as all get out. Naru watches Kyubey a few moments and then smiles a little as it chats with Sayaka. She nods a little. "A relatively new game." Naru explains. "Or at least there's a new twist to the game, one that's pretty concerning, all things considered."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
Takuto blinks as Koji flat out vehemently ignores him, and then pulls his head back to look at him like 'wow, what's up with you?' before cheerfully turning his attention to Sayaka and her... whatever that is. "I have no idea," he laughs, "I don't really have time to play videogames." A beat. "Naru is great at them though." He looks at Kyubey thoughtfully, but since he wasn't addressed and no introductions took place, he doesn't have to say anything either.

Instead, he chomps a croquette as he listens to Naru, and he frowns a little, considering. "Well I mean I'll let her know, but you have her number, right? I'm generally okay with getting pulled along to stuff, Inai-sensei calls me boyfriend-kun. Are you talking about the *ghost* boss monster? Because that was absolutely zero fun. Ghosts are scary! And this one had prehensile hair!"

Koji Silvia has posed:
After settling Sayaka in with a polite push of the chair, Koji moves back to his own seat, and settles in... which puts him facing the bombastic Takuto.

His response is to pick up and sip one of his glasses of juice, and then have a few bites of his own veggie bowl, followed by some well-cooked chicken.

Putting his chopsticks down with neat precision afterwards, he tilts his head slightly, "Ghosts are hardly frightening. They have their own rules, and they have to abide by them to exist. If you remain calm in the face of something that could frighten you, even if you are scared, you will be able to use it instead of being used by it."

A little bite to his tone, and then... the Kyubey.

Rubbing the side of his head, he just mutters out, "If this all was an MMO it would be sooo much easier..."

Taking a breath, though, he then musters himself and tries to just act like Kyubey is just ONE MORE THING... and takes out his phone to bring up the school counsel website he helped with, "Here Sayaka-chan... this site has an active list of all the clubs and which ones are open for new members. If there is a football club, they'll probably show recruiting for spring right now. You can send an e-mail via the student network and it will go right to the club's current president."

Naru Osaka has posed:
"Yeah, I have her number. I just saw you before I had a chance to text her. I wanted to have some preliminary ideas together before I poked her and another friend to see if I'm completely off my rocker or not." Naru replies to Takuto as she gestures to the closed notebook by her ignored lunch tray as she reaches for her coffee. How to know that Naru doesn't use powers? She exists mostly on coffee and not actual calories.

"Wait.. ghost?" Naru blinks at Takuto. "I didnt' hear about a ghost. At the shrine?"

Naru flashes Koji a sympathetic smile. "I mean.. it kinda is? If one stretches things rather a lot and tries not to overthink it too much."

Naru turns her head back to Takuto and shakes her head. "Different boss monster, different encounter."

Sayaka Miki has posed:
Sayaka insists on the matter of the video game, since it is very much the focus of the conversation, and she didn't hear its title from any of them (leaving aside the fact Takuto doesn't know it). "What video game are we talking about here?" she asks, mostly looking at Naru, since Takuto mentioned she is the expert here. "You seem really engrossed in it. What is it like?" If only the problem that got recently introduced to her were as simple as video games, which is totally the trending subject, right?

Kyubey gazes back at Takuto with his beady red eyes, before going to address Koji. 'That is what it's like, Koji Silvia', replies Kyubey to him. 'Curses plague humanity, and somebody has to get rid of them.'

'These people have magic too?', is Sayaka's surprised question to him. 'That videogame is no videogame then', she says instinctively, not sure if that would end up involving or excluding Naru in the conversation.

"Hmm-hmm, really informative", is Sayaka's chipper reply to Koji's explanation. "Figured I would have ended up missing lots of it, between coming here in july and all the sudden matters I had to tackle. I will send them the mail, thanks, Silvia-san."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"Oh yeah, I mean, that's how I got free of her and her skeletons," Takuto says cheerfully to Koji, voice easy and light. "She had skeletons! I don't want to join the hashtag skeleton war early!" he laughs.

After another bite of croquette, he nods! firmly to Naru. "Mm! At Nezu Shrine. She was doing some kind of... of I don't know, injustice speech, talking about how we were desecrating it and she was acting for the glory of Lord Hematite or something. But she had this fan object that was boosting her power, I guess, because she didn't fight after it got taken away. Anyway which boss monster were you talking about?"

Then he nods to Sayaka, brightening. "Right, like your... friend is sort of saying, it's not actually a videogame. I'm glad," he says, pleased, "that we're on the same page. As far as magic goes, my job is being the Galactic Prettyboy. Well, when it's not scrubbing pools for pocket money. But that one's not magic."

Koji Silvia has posed:
Perhaps the only one perceptive enough to spot it is Naru. Galactic *eyebrow twitch* Prettyboy *eyebrow twitch*

Putting his phone away into his pocket, the glasses-bearing young man sweeps a lock of hair back over his shoulder in a flicking gesture of one hand, then tries to cover this with more food. Food is good. Food is life.

Almost a sigh of relief as he devours half a bowl of rice without even getting a grain on his cheek before he sets it down and finally is able to speak once more, "You are quite welcome, Sayaka-..."

And there goes the voice in his head that isn't Hanzo.

At the same time he looks as annoyed as he does relieved and says, "Those are not the bosses... as you would put it. She may well have been more of... well... a mini-boss. But the real threats are going to look just like us."

He's not addressing Sayaka, but it seems a little more aimed at her and Naru, "Since everyone here, strange marshallow rabbit-cat-San included, is in 'the know'... be careful out there. I am still recovering from my injuries, and I still think the girl I was against is not their strongest."

Sayaka Miki has posed:
"A galactic pretty boy?" a chuckle escapes out of Sayaka's lips. "It's sure nice having a job that compliments you as part of the whole package. Is your girlfriend the galactic grace girl?" she asks. "What kind of abilities do you have?" Sayaka inquires after stopping the teasing.

"Wait, the bosses look just like us? That's not how Kyubey explained witches", she doubts looking at Koji. "Aren't they these weird creepy things that trap people in barrier?"

'Witches are only the enemies Puellae Magi are tasked with fighting, they aren't the only enemies polluting the planet, Sayaka.', Kyubey chimes in cheerily to correct the bluenette.

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"Galactic Maiden actually! And I'm honestly just mostly a swordfighting tank. I can fly though!" says Takuto with a bright smile, eyes briefly just happy crescents.

His affliction: genki af.

"Well, the mini-bosses are usually more fun. Though sometimes they're a little too much fun," he adds, rolling his eyes, but then he nods actually seriously to Koji. "They can get pretty rough! But more training helps a lot. My... friend, back home, he'd be horrified I'm not training every day. I'm sure he'll put a stop to my slacking when he gets here."

Naru Osaka has posed:
Naru sets her coffee down and there's an apologetic smile for Koji as he watches the Veil just surrender in the face of.. well.. everyone else at the table.

Right, so different fight nad yes, the bosses look like us." Naru agrees, clearly not wholly in need of Koji's pointed warning, but she appreciates it nonetheless.

"That being said, new threat and I want /all/ of you to be careful is a gun." She glances between all three of the magic capable types and then continues. "Yanks out souls, puts them in a crystal and while providing the advice of 'dont get shot' is not actually helpful, currently it's the best I have." Naru sighs softly. "That's the new boss fight. You can put them back at least, but just don't linger over it too long."

Naru's expression turns to Sayaka and it's sympathetic. "There's a lot more than Witches out there, I'm sorry to have to let you know. Who's Kyubey?" She glances to the little creature who provides the same information and ahhs. "You, I presume? Pleasure is mine."

Koji Silvia has posed:
Sitting back from his meal, which is somehow just vanishing in chunks despite the young man not looking like he's devouring it all with any sort of gusto, Koji gives a wan little expression in contrast to Takuto's ever-present teeth-gleaming grins.

"I've fought a couple witches... not on my own. Usually there are those girls, like yourself, who are doing what they do and then have to decide on who gets the spoils of that combat."

He turns his gaze and looks directly at Takuto for once, "Your friend is right. Even if you are going out there, training will always serve you. You can take what you see with others and try to incorporate it, or work with them and learn how to fight better. Otherwise, just charging the bad guy can get you in the way of more experienced... defenders..."

Pausing for a moment as he grapples with the right word.

"It's good you've had some guidance from your animal-friend there, Sayaka-chan. Not everyone gets that in the beginning. Some have had to struggle on their own to figure things out. Don't take it for granted, and when it's your turn, always try and share what you've learned so that others don't make the same mistakes you do."

The mention of a soul-stealing GUN does make him pause mid-drink, and he frowns a bit more, "That's something we may have to actively hunt and destroy. Those kinds of things are a direct threat... even to the regular students here."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"I haven't actually met anyone here with more experience than me yet! Then again, I only apprivoised with my Cybody for the first time a couple of years ago, so there are probably more than a few. They'd be exciting to meet," Takuto tells Koji with a crooked little smile. "Don't worry. Wako-chan and I make a wonderful team. We'd be better with Sugata-kun here too, but he's still dealing with family things and can't come to Tokyo yet. I was fighting alone before them, though, so I do all right! I'm mostly talking about the kendo drills extra after club and on Sunday mornings."

At that last, he's pretty much drooping visibly in his chair. "Sunday mornings! That should be time off unless there's an actual attack!" he complains, then picks up his drink and makes a brief obnoxious sound with his straw before wincing at it and carefully setting it down with an apologetic sort of cringe. "Sorry. At any rate-- Witches sound terrible, and agreed on the guns." He glances Naru-wards. "Are they otherwise just sort of physical guns? They don't have any kind of... I don't know... they're not rocket launchers, are they?" he asks, alarmed. "I mean... people can see them right? Do they look like Nerf or what?"

Sayaka Miki has posed:
"Flying sounds really cool", exclaims the bluenette. "How far up can you go?" she asks energically.

Her next reaction is completely different, though. "Absolutely despicable", Sayaka comments at Naru's warning. "I don't know if they actually die or not, but stealing a soul from someone's body has to be one of the worst things somebody could do, especially if they have to actually live." The bluenette glances at Naru. "What would happen to the body without its soul? Would it live on like a zombie?"

Sayaka sneaks a few gazes around, before moving to pet Kyubey's head. "Yes, Naru-san, he is Kyubey. Only we can see him, so I would be careful with looking directly at him in public. That's also why we usually communicate telepathically."

Sayaka is quick to turn towards Koji as she perceives a misunderstanding. "Actually, I am not a Puella Magi yet! I have to consider some things first, but I hope to start rescuing people soon too!"

She switches to her stir-fry now. "Yes, Kyubey has been really helpful. He even pointed me towards some Puellae that could explain a bit more." Meanwhile, the white cat has stayed completely put the whole time.

Naru Osaka has posed:
"Yes, it needs to be destroyed." Naru agrees with Koji, nodding quietly. "Probably harder than it sounds, but a good goal."

Naru mmms and nods to Takuto. "I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to the gun itself, I was more focused on putting the guy's soul back in his body before the chick who was trying to steal it.. y'know.. actually stole it." Naru mmms softly. "But yes, I could see it, I just didn't get a very good look at it."

Naru might be a mundane, but she's clearly not exactly uninvolved in these things.

"And no zombie, Sayaka. They'd die. So don't linger about putting it back in, if you happen upon this happening. He was fine after a few minutes without a soul, but I wouldnt linger too long. An hour is too long."

Naru chuckles softly. "There are so many random critters around this place that do random amounts of talking, one more isn't going to freak out the world any more than our conversation already is." Naru pauses a moment. "Sorry Koji."

Koji Silvia has posed:
There's this look on Koji's face when he has his eyes on Sayaka, and she's gushing about flying and how she wants to rescue people. It's like he wants to try and make her see the cost of it... at least the kinds of costs it's had for him. But, he instead doesn't speak up.

Finishing his food off, he stands, and takes up his tray, "Naru, can you do me a favor and write up everything you know or saw, and send it to my phone? I'd like to get Hanzo to look it over. Also... the location of the attack. Sometimes cameras get something through whatever causes these things to look like blurry messes. Anything I can do to help. I've been doing a lot of searching around the city via computer since I've been recovering. A project for someone else, but it doesn't mean I can't spare some time to try and help us get ahead of this latest thing."

He sighs, "Pardon. I need to go track down my roommate so he can help me change my bandage. Should be tomorrow or Sunday and I won't have to worry about that anymore."

Bowing his head towards Sayaka, he says, "Good to meet you and your little friend. Stay safe."

No such warning is needed for Naru who gets a smile and another headbow.


And that's IT... as he turns to take his things and organize them through the trays, plates, bowls, and glasses instead of just dumping them into the general bin to be sorted by students and staff at work here.

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"Oh flying! I haven't tried to see how high up I could go without my giant robot, but with Tauburn I've been in orbit," Takuto says cheerily. "I don't think I'd want to go too high on my own, it gets cold up there even before the air gets thin..."

He nods a smiling goodbye to Koji, and waves. "Good to meet you, Koji!"

Then his attention's on Naru again and he taps his chin. "I wonder if they'd just get swords if they shot me with it... ehh. I'll crunch them if I can as often as I see them, unless there's just the one. But if there's one there's rarely ever only one."

Sayaka Miki has posed:
"Thank you, Silvia-san. Be safe yourself", Sayaka says as he goes his own way.

"Oh, a robot, impressive, but where do you hide it? Is there some sort of hangar around here for it?" She questions the new information. The bluenette has gotten to her fruit pudding next, dividing it in half into a cup she has gone quickly to grab, passing one part to Naru.

"I think I am too privileged for this wish I would get, but I really want to help people, so I need to really consider what I want to do with it", she says to Takuto and Naru.

Naru Osaka has posed:
"Take care, Koji!" Naru offers after him. "I'll send you an update." There's absolutely something to be said for having multiple people's eyes upon it.

Naru turns back to the table and shakes her head. "I don't mind balconies, or something with a railing, but I'm not in a rush to /fly/. You guys can keep that to yourselves.

"Naru has to snicker at Takuto. "It seems like a terrible place to store swords, personally, but if you could not find out, that would be /spiff/." She awwws softly as Sayaka offers her half the pudding. "That's so sweet, thank you!"

Naru apparently is having pudding for lunch, not that she's bothered to eat anything else beyond coffee at least. "So you get powers from a wish, Sayaka? That's interesting."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"I don't get to have Tauburn -- that's my Cybody, my robot -- here full-size," says Takuto, all of a sudden disconsolate. "He's back on the island with Wawna and all the other Cybodies. But there's a little version that I can ask him to manifest here with me when I'm apprivoised. Otherwise he just talks in my head."

He finishes off his tray of delicious (mostly croquettes because nobody is keeping track of what he's eating) and starts on his drink. "You wouldn't hit me if I happened to catch you id you happened to fall off a balcony or something, though, right? I'm a precious smol flower and would be sad," he says to Naru, eyes wide and shiny and lip wobbling. For like half a second before he starts to have trouble maintaining it.

Then he cracks up and shakes his head. "Don't worry, I don't intend to find out," he says as he pushes his chair out and stands up. "I do, however, have to go meet Wako before class. Nice to meet you, Sayaka! See you later, Naru."

Sayaka Miki has posed:
"See you another, Tsunashi-san", Sayaka waves, raising her eyes off her pudding. She still has a few more questions about his robot, but those will have to wait another time, it seems.

"Hold on, they do?" Sayaka asks, looking at Kyubey. 'Yes, the wish you want granted will impact the nature of your powers. If you get to asking that your friend Kyousuke is healed instead of relying on hospital care, you would get something related to healing yourself', he clarifies her doubt.

"Oh, apparently that's actually true. What I was saying it that most people would have already thought of something if presented with a wish. The fact I have to actually think deeply about it to find something means I don't have a need for it, you know?" Sayaka goes back to talking to Naru.

Naru Osaka has posed:
"If you could not push me off a building to find out how I'd react to falling, I'd appreciate it." Naru shakes her head, giving a little laugh. "So you're a precious smol flower and I'm a delicate flower, we've got the start of a bouquet going here."

"I need to get to class myself." Naru comments as she deftly eats the pudding. It /is/ as good as it looks. "Later Takuto. Tell Wako I'll text her later."

"It is a big decision." Naru agrees with Sayaka with a slow and thoughful look. "Wishes have, throughout history, been troublesome things. Even when used for good. I hope yours goes well for you, Sayaka."

Sayaka Miki has posed:
"Thank you Naru-san, I will take that to heart", she nods in appreciation. "I will make a truly meaningful wish and do my best at helping people" Sayaka exclaims, her tone way more chipper and determined.

"I should go back to class myself, she says, getting up from her seat and grabbing both her tray and her schoolbag. Kyubey takes this opportunity to execute a quick jump onto her shoulder.

"See you later, Osaka-san", Sayaka waves at her and exiting the cafeteria after dumping the the garbage in the bin.