937/Where in Space/Time is Setsuna Meiou

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Where in Space/Time is Setsuna Meiou
Date of Scene: 29 December 2023
Location: Plot Room 1
Synopsis: The Senshi of Time and Space believes that she can isolate herself again. The senshi + time space administration bureau has other opinions. It's time for some permanent family leave. CW: Found family, hugs, commentary on massive truck.
Cast of Characters: Chrono Harlaown, Rashmi Terios, Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaiou, Setsuna Meiou

Chrono Harlaown has posed:
There were times in life where a soldier had to do their duty. That, despite everything that had happened, they had to buckle up their belt, check their weapon, say goodbye to their loved ones and go off to a war that may never end.

This was not that time. This was the result of scars built over countless years, the kind of thing that was ground into one's very psyche. Soldiers were, at the end of the day, people. Even if they denied it. And any mind, no matter how resilient, could break. That was when the sparkle skirts came in.

Rashmi would get the key, Chrono would get the roommates. Then the two reconvene. It had been... an experience. Going to Casa Del Outer on Christmas morning. Having *Haruka* of all people open the door. And while there had been some... minor issues (at least, to Chrono), the call was let out. 'Put some fukus on, girls. We've gotta go save Pluto. From herself.'

So now? Now the three were gathered in a nearby cleared area. Awaiting the arrival of one Rashmi Terios... to bring the key from the princess.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
It was, it turned out, rather easy to acquire the Guest Key to the Gates of Time. No quests needed to be taken, no Sphinx's riddles to solve, no gambling with souls as the buy-in... Just text an Usagi, and note what the Key was needed for.

And it turned out, Usagi Had Opinions when it comes to a Senshi's habit of self-deprivation. And those Opinions would be lodged later, but for now?

On wings of golden light -- fastened to her ankles -- she soars toward the meeting place landing with a light flutter of wings, which shatter into shards of light that flake away into nothing. "Okay!" she says, beaming at Chrono. "Got the key, have we got everyoooo--"

It's about this time that her eyes have wandered over to Haruka and Michiru, and her entire mind visibly bluescreens. There's a short pause, which point she leans down to cup Chrono's cheeks in her hands, eyes wide and slightly terrified. "You didn't say they'd be *so beautiful!!!*" she says in a panicked whisper. "How are they even *real?!*"

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    The minor issues having been Chrono Harlaown showing up on Christmas Morning to a Haruka who wasn't expecting consciousness, much less visitors, and the almost grouchy response that ensued. She's much more used to - well, Rashmi's reaction. And she was biased towards the other member of their couple, and grinned that impish grin at Rashmi.

    "Well, you've seen Setsuna so you should know it's certainly possible, right?" she asks. "You're just used to her."

    "As fantastic as we are though, we have to go get our other pretty friend before she backslides into not taking care of herself and eating bad take out while watching way too much American entertainment media."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Sailor Neptune came along easy enough. Setsuna missed Christmas, clearly something was very wrong and she needed rescuing from it. There's absolutely no way she would miss Christmas with her family if she were okay.

So when Uranus says that she shakes out her aqua hair--it cascades down over her shoulders like so many waterfalls--and looks up to her companion. "She missed Christmas. She's well past that point."

Then she offers Rashmi a smile, and says, "We're talented too." Then she winks.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Meanwhile, at the Gates of Time, Sailor Pluto sneezes.

She blinks and looks around, "...is someone talking about me?"

Chrono Harlaown has posed:
Chrono Harlaown blinked and then glanced back to them. Then back to Rashmi. Then back to them. Finally... He just shrugged. "I am literally surrounded by it all the time. I don't see how they're any prettier than you."

... Pause. Pause. Glanced back to them. Pause. Then shrugged. "... I am an alien, though. So... you know. It's not my fault everyone on this planet looks like some kind of super model goddess."

This world was, in fact, amazing/terrifying.

He held up his left arm and Fenyx came to land on it. "Now then. Shall we begin Operation: Rescue Sailor Pluto from Time?" he asked. "Rashmi, if you would be so kind as to activate the key? Now, she has been locked away in that realm for... who knows how long. So understand that when we try to take her from her duty... she may... not quite see it as a rescuing. So be ready in case she decides to turn hostile. I've seen this kind of effect on soldiers before."

Rashmi Terios has posed:
Rashmi looks from Chrono, to the Outer Couple, and back again, cheeks utterly flame, and in fact she makes a noise akin to a teakettle when Michiru speaks to the pair's 'talented' status.

Then the full meaning of Chrono's words sinks in, and she pauses a moment to lay a proper smooch on Chrono, before straightening. "Ahem. Um. Sorry about that. Yes. Setsuchan. Rescue. Let's go. ... Right, I have the key. ...Yes."

The large armored book floating at her shoulder, drifts down to allow Rashmi to tap his central gem, the hand coming away with a crystal key. And then the *other hand repeats the motion, coming away with a pair of small, wrapped packages. "...Because she left something *awesome* in my room but *isn't making herself available to give back,*' she says with no small amount of heat. "Anyway... I'm not sure if we need to hold hands or if there's a radius or something, so... Hands on shoulders?"

Once that's done, she holds the key up high, and proclaims;

    'O Guardian of Time, tear apart the heavens and open wide for me the door of space and time! I summon thee by thy true name, the almighty god of time father of the guardian, Chronos! Guide us on our journey protect these travellers grant us the path of light!'

There is a flash of white.

Then, the light fades, but the white remains.

They have arrived at the white void that houses the Gates of Time.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus gives Sailor Neptune a look out of the corner of her eyes, but it's not a truly specific one. She says nothing, however, and just puts her hand on the appropriate shoulder in addition to Neptune's to complete the circle and jump through the gate.

    Sailor Uranus is not really foreign to the void. She'd been spending some time there on her own in case the Wicked Jerk Queen decided to send some pawns or show up herself while they were waiting for the Prince and his guardians to sort their brains out. Or at least do as much as they could in a world of endless white and MREs. But maybe when you worked in a world of darkness for so long, bright white was just what the doctor ordered.

    Still, though... "I think it's brighter than when I was last here." she says, squinting. "I think that's a good thing, though. Maybe."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Sailor Neptune just smirks, and puts her hands on Uranus' shoulder, and whomever else's shoulder she needs to in order to ensure everyone catches the ride. When they arrive she looks around. Glances to Uranus at her comment about it seeming brighter, and says, "Could easily just be because she's here." A fact they all knew. That's why they were here too.

Then she looks to Chrono. "So, what was your plan, then?"

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
As ever, the area around the Gates of Time is a formless expanse of unending white void, with no distinguishing fetures to let the eye know where the land ends and the sky begins. And the 'land' itself is pretty nondescript as well.

At first glance, there isn't anything to break the endless nothing...until one turns around enough to spot the Gates of Time a short distance from where the Lesser Key deposits users.

Said Gates are at least 50 feet tall and about half that wide...though marks and smudges all across the sides from hidden panels indicate they've seen better days.

Turning around a little more reveals an assemblage of random bits of furniture, chairs, bookshelves and the like. It's all in a cluster arranged as if it were decorating a series of rooms...but without that intrinsic sense of room-ness.

As the group teleports in, at first they don't see anyone...until a few moments later, Sailor Pluto walks around from the other side of the Gates with the Garnet Rod held in the crook of her arm as she absently examines a pair of large plastic MRE packages.

Chrono Harlaown has posed:
Chrono Harlaown tensed slightly at the kiss, his cheeks going a little red. He allllmost scolded her. They were on duty. Almost. Instead, he just smiled. He reached out, hovering up, putting one hand on Rashmi's shoulder, the other arm holding Fenyx. One of the outers would need to hold his. And--

... Wait, Chronos? Huh. He guessed they had... Midchildian names here as well. He was sure it didn't mean anything.

"... Huh. An endless white void. Haven't seen one of these in a while. Yeah, if she spent a few centuries here alone... well, that'd do a number on anyone's psyche. As for my plan?"

"My plan is to speak with her and get her to come back with us willingly. On that note, my assistant is better at the socializing aspects and she will be taking point. Hopefully the presence of her family will help."

"Failing that, the plan is to drag her out, even against her will if need be. Her time of being alone and isolated while the world passes by is *over*."

"... If that still fails, then we go an grab the artillery mage and Sailor Moon. But, hopefully, it won't come to that. Additionally, ensuring someone else has one of her keys so she can't hide away without a way for us to drag her out the next time she does this."

"... Would you believe that there is actual TSAB protocal for situations like this? Specifically guardians of white, empty voids?"

Rashmi Terios has posed:
"...Y'know," Rashmi says of Chrono's question, "I would indeed believe that, Chrono," she says fondly. "And yeah... hopefully we can talk her out."

Her smile grows a bit brittle at talk of artillery mages, because for a moment she's actively unsure if the White Void could *survive* a Nanoha at full blast.

But then Setsuna rounds the gates, and Rashmi simply waves with the hand holding the Key. "Hiiii, Setsuchaaaan~!" she chirps, bounding on the balls of her feet, then hoising her packages up in her other hand. "D'you know how *hard* it is to find you to give you your presents?"

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    "Also you know, you missed Christmas morning. I thought we were gonna do the whole sit down as a family and eat food thing. You were really excited." Sailor Uranus adds. "...And I was really looking forward to it too, you know. It's not the family without you there too."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
"She's right," Neptune agrees. "The house feels empty when we're not all there together." She's following behind Rashmi, hand in hand with Uranus.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
As she sees Chrono and Rashmi and Uranus and Neptune, Pluto stops and blinks a few times in obvious surprise.

She felt the key being used, after all, but she figured that it was the Prince coming to get something he left behind.

And then Rashmi, Uranus and Neptune all have their says...and her apparent embarrasment quite obviously deepens as she says, "...uhm...I'm really sorry about that...I really DID want to have a Christmas with you guys...but...well..."

She pauses and shrugs, "...you know, that whole thing at the Shrine happened and now we have a Serenity again...and it's my Duty."

She sighs, "...I don't like it either, but I have to respect the Taboos Serenity set for me...I was able to work around them when we didn't have a Serenity, but now we do."

Chrono Harlaown has posed:
Chrono Harlaown was smiling up until she mentioned taboos. And then, slowly, the smile wavered on his lips. "And it looks like the plans may have just changed. Sailor Pluto, could you share with me what exactly you mean by taboos? Are they of a magical nature, or is it more of some rules you were told to never break?"

"... And what are the exact specifications of your duty?"

He then, finally, looked directly at the gate and... "Oh for the love of... that thing even *existing* right now violates *so many* TSAB restrictions and the amount of paperwork I will need to file back on Midchilda if I ever get home tripled... at least."

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus shakes her head. "Uh. How about... No." she says, flatly. "I know what it feels like, to have all of that Duty and focus creep back into your mind. Maybe not what it feels like for you, because my duties are different and this body isn't the same. But yeah, when we had a Serenity, I turned into a guard dog for a little bit. But that's not what this Serenity wants for us." she says. "Who do you think gave us the key to come get you? We didn't steal it from her."

    "But... I'm not going to let anything break up the family we've built. Not even this Duty stuff. If Serenity wanted to make you guard this place all alone, I'd fight her about it too." she says. "So it's a good thing she doesn't. And if she did? And I couldn't beat her? I think Neptune is with me when I say that I would at worst stay here with you, if you can't stay there with us." she says, firmly. "One way or another I'm not going to let you be alone like that again."

    "But like I said, the good news is, I don't have to. So don't make me put you in a burlap sack and walk out of here with you in a bag with your astrological sign painted on the side of it like a cartoon robber, cause I will."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Sailor Neptune looks up at Uranus as she says all the things Michiru has to say, almost like she's lifting the words right out of her depths and carrying them away on the wind. Well. Almost everything she had to say.

She speaks with a calm certainty, as if she knows what she says to be true. "If we want a different outcome, we must adopt different taboos. We've discussed this. Serenity revealing herself doesn't change this. You don't have to be here. You must not be here. We need to be together."

Rashmi Terios has posed:
"Chrono," Rashmi says soothingly, keeping her eyes on Pluto. Or the furniture. Or the Gate. Or anything that doesn't allow her eyes to slip to the infinite whiteness in search of a horizon that will never show itself because up down near far all are optional all are suggestions space is a lie but time is a rock--

Clearing her throat, she pats her boyfriend's shoulder. "Don't worry about it. It's broken, anyway."

Because *that* makes it better?!

"Setsuchan... I'm gonna agree with your... family? Friends? Teammates? about what we think of you ever being alone, anymore. But I *do* also wanna know about what these taboos are, because uh... I can *probably* text the person who has authority over them right now and get them amended?"

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Sailor Pluto glances around for a few moments, then bends over and sets the two MREs in her hands down next to the Gates before standing up again.

At Chrono's question, she looks over...then takes a deep breath and speaks in a slightly higer pitch than her normal voice as she quotes, "Pluto, you are the Time Door's Guardian. You are the Soldier of Time and Space. There are some parts of your job that are Taboo if you commit. You Must Not Travel Through Time. You Must Not Abandon Your Post at the Gates. You Must Never Cause Time to Stop. If you Violate the Taboo, you Will Die.'"

After a moment, she takes another breath, then sags in place a bit, "Leaving the Gates when they weren't working and there wasn't a Serenity around was bending the rules but not breaking them. Kind of like traveling through time the same way everyone else does."

Then she looks at the four people who have come all this way for her...and by the expression on her face, it's obvious she WANTS to cry, but just CAN'T, "I really WANTED to finally have a Christmas with family."

Implying that she never HAS.

And if one thinks about it, it's likely she actually HASN'T.

Then she shrugs, "...Serenity laid these Taboos upon me...only Serenity can change them."

Chrono Harlaown has posed:
Chrono Harlaown stared at her and... his eye twitched. Slightly. "Alone. She set you to do this... alone."

"... And by travel through time 'normally'... you mean going forward. On a time of 1:1, correct?" Slight eye twitch. That smile. That soldier's smile. "So... are you, normally, to remain here outside of... time... and causality? Alone?"

<< Boss... >> Fenyx said.

"Fenyx," Chrono said before resting his staff on the ground. "Rashmi, call... The new princess Serenity. Please tell her of these taboos and to lift them. However... Sailor Pluto?" Deep breath. "I am a time space administrative bureau enforcer. This is *literally* the very thing I do. The TSAB is an entire organization, composed of multiple planets, multiple civilizations, spanning multiple dimensions and timelines."

"Whoever assigned you to this task subjected you to a *hell* that were they under the jurisdiction of a TSAB court would have had *them* stripped of their authority and you put through at least a decade, possibly centuries, of psychological recovery. The TSAB isn't here. I do not know a lot of things about what the you sailor guardians do. In fact, a lot of what you do makes no real sense to me and the readings are... impossible."

"... But this? This I know. This is something I *will not* let stand. And I'm not the only one. This is why we're here. You're coming with us regardless. You're having your christmas with your family. You aren't abandoning your post."

"Soldier, you are being *relieved of duty*."

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Uranus stamps her foot on the not-ground. "Well. It's Christmas, and your family is here. I don't care if I have to cart the entire table into here along with all of the food in order to make sure you get a Christmas with your family. One way or another you're getting one with your family." she says. "But I'm pretty sure - assuming you get cell signal in here - these stupid rules are about to be rescinded. Princess Serenity is not her mother. She's not as afraid of the rest of the universe as her mother was. And she has far more allies than her mother did. And more love."

Rashmi Terios has posed:
Rashmi frowns, upon hearing the taboos enumerated, eyes lowering to her feet, and flicking back and forth as Chrono... gives his unvarnished and iconically zero-chill opinion of Setsuna's orders. Upon Chrono stating Pluto to be 'relieved of duty,' Rashmi settles a hand on her boyfriend's shoulder.

"Setsuchan," she says, a good deal more gently. "There wasn't always just one Guardian before, was there? There *had* to be a watch schedule, nobody leaves something *this* important in the hands of *one* person, all the time. So... I have an idea," she says, looking around at Pluto's fellow Outers for support... then barrels on whether it's there or not.

"You're going to deputize us. Then you're going to take Chrono and run a couple errands for us, while *we* spell you for a bit."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
"Pluto. Setsuna. You know I love you. You're the big sister I never had," Neptune says, her eyes just a little sad. She's very good at keeping her expression on lockdown. That mask of hers is usually flawless. "But you're being very foolish right now. Queen Serenity died, and now Princess Serenity has taken up her power. When power turns over like that, soldiers check-in. New ruler, new rules. Did you even talk to Serenity before you sequestered yourself here?"

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Pluto sighs at Chrono getting rather...clipped on her behalf, "...to be fair, during the Silver Millenium, there were people who could spell me from time to time...but then we kind of had a rather bad case of Sovereign existance failure and things went rather poorly from there."

As Uranus speaks her peace, the taller senshi opens her mouth to protest...but then closes it after a moment, "...there was a bit more to it than THAT...but...well...regarding Queen Serenity...you're...not WRONG..."

She then frowns a bit, "...and no, cell signals don't make it here...I never DID figure out how to get a repeater to work across the transition and it's not the kind of discussion I can just HAVE with a Cell Tower Engineer, you know?"

A little shrug, "That said, the communicators I gave you guys a bit ago all connect to the same network that the Inners use and they work just fine from the Gates to Realspace and back. I think that was one of the stipulations Serenity had when she got them made."

She then looks over at Neptune and looks very chagrined, "...I hadn't had a chance. She and her Prince were both very busy saving his court and denying them to the enemy. And then they left while I was using them being here to take care of some quick errands..."

She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, "...and if I'd bothered to THINK about it, you're right..."

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    And then Sailor Uranus pipes in again. "If I need to... well, the gates are already broken but if you need me to in order to leave I'm pretty sure I can break them even more. No gates no guard, right?" she asks, hands on her hips. It's... not clear if she's joking or not.

    "I will get that big freakin' truck you ordered in here somehow and drive it through 'em." Okay, probably joking.

Chrono Harlaown has posed:
Chrono Harlaown glanced back to Rashmi and then... relaxed, a little. Just a little. "In the TSAB, the closest I could think of this duty, well. That is currently in use... would be something akin to... I take it back."

"There is literally no position in the entirety of the TSAB that would be this *stupid*. Leaving a lone operative here, from a psychological view, is just idiotic to an astounding degree. I understand the one who decided such a thing, perhaps, maybe, possibly had her reasons. And I will... cease... speaking ill of the departed. But even if at the time there was a reason for it, there is not now. Fortunately, it seems there is not going to be a need because you've responded well to reason..."

Pause, glanced back at Uranus... and... "Destroying this void if necessary was going to be part of plan C. I'm glad to know you are already considering methods by which to perform such an act. Suppressing the dimensional distortion should be possible if it comes to that, though we may wish to gather a few more people in such a case."

Uranus might have been joking. Probably.

Chrono was definitely not.

"... Though, on the note of who goes with you on errands, it would likely be better if you went with your family... and had a talk with your princess. Rashmi and I can... spell? For you for now." What? It was christmas. He wanted to spend it with his girlfriend. Even if he was on duty.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
"Well, she's not doing that now, and she gave us the key to come fetch you," Neptune says, simply. "So you're to come with us. Princess's orders." Sure, it's kinda just implied orders, but still.

She steps away from Haruka, closing the distance between her and Pluto, and extends her hand, palm up, inviting the taller girl to take it. To come willingly. To have Christmas.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Sailor Pluto points at Uranus and opens her mouth to rebut the blonde...then she stops and frowns before turning around to look at the Gates.

She takes a few moments looking back and forth from one side of them to the other and doing some obvious mental math before turning back around, "...okay, while YES, it WOULD fit..."

In a quieter voice she adds, "...barely..."

Then she goes on in her normal tone again, "...if you tried to transit the Gates you'd get spaghettified and I REALLY do not want that happening to you."

She then gives Chrono a bit of a startled and concerned look, "...Chrono...this is LITERALLY the Conceptual gap between Time and Space we're standing in...right now I don't know of anything that can truly destroy a Concept...but if there is, I REALLY REALLY wouldn't want to try."

She then pauses again, closes her eyes before opening them again with a stern look on her face.

It's almost certain she's about to resist further...but right then, Michiru uses the golden phrase 'Princess' Orders'.

Oh, on some level she KNOWS that specific orders were not ACTUALLY given, merely IMPLIED...

...but as that phrase is spoken, the tension flows right out of Pluto's shoulders and she VISIBLY relaxes.

It's not much...but it's enough wiggle room that she's able to fight off the constructs of magic and habit in her mind.

At least for a day.

And by then...well...those Orders can be made real.

Once more, it looks like she REALLY wants to cry...but then she reaches out, and instead of taking Neptune's hand, she grabs it and pulls the shorter woman into a hug.

Very softly she whispers, "...thank you..."

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus doesn't cry either. She might equally look like she wants too, albeit in a different way than Pluto does. She comes in from behind and hugs both girls maybe a little-too-tightly.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
Uranus and Chrono think concerningly alike, and in this case? That's probably for the better. It's even more relieving to know she and Neptune are of the same mind, and gives her more confidence in her plan. "Princess' orders," she echoes. "And if you let Chrono and I take over your post for long enough to go do things... I have presents for you, Setsuchan, I'm sure everyone else does too, and if you got your projector stuff we could have a movie marathon! If there's not a dinner to make, then... If you let us hang on to this key, I can pop out really quick, text Papi and ask them to hold over some stuff from the dinner they make for employees. I'll tell him a friend has a lonely job and got stuck away from her family today.

Unspoken, that she intends to update Usagi on WTAF, but telepathic texting is literally her superpower, now.

"But for right now? Go out with your family. The Shinjuku lights are *amazing* this year, I hear."

Her arm slips around Chrono's waist, and she gives a bright, cheery grin. "We got this."

At Pluto's whispered thanks, she tilts her head to one side, looses a quiet 'awwwww,' and glances back at Uranus, about to say something upos seeing the hesitation--

--okay she's going for the hug too, all is well.

"Y'know," she murmurs to Chrono, "this *is* kind of ending up like a Western Christmas movie...."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Sailor Neptune steps into that hug the moment she feels the slightest tug. Her arms wrap around Pluto and she hugs her tightly. Then there's Uranus, because of course she's there. Neptune speaks, only really loud enough for the other two senshi to hear under normal circumstances, but sound carries funny in liminal spaces. She says, "We're never supposed to be alone again."

Chrono Harlaown has posed:
Chrono Harlaown didn't even hesitate. "Do you think I've never had to destroy a concept before? There's a reason I call this entire world a Lost Logia." He managed to say that with the same tone as any soldier so tired of this BS. And he was. Especially when it hurt his friends.

And they were all hugging... And he sighed. Fine... fiiiiiine....

He moved over and... very quickly hugged. Just for a second. His cheeks red.

But when he pulled away, Haruka would feel two pieces of metal in her hand... And Michiru would have one.

"For the time being, while Sailor Pluto is being relieved of duty and others are attending the gate... Can you give that key to Sailor Moon? Rashmi and I will hold onto the last one."

He'd then look Pluto straight in the eye. "Just so there's no confusion, Senshi of Time and Space. Neptune and Uranus have spoken on the Senshi side. I am speaking on the Time and Space side."

"You're never going to be alone again."

Then, he took Rashmi's hand. "We do have this. And of course... ...... But I'm not sure I've seen many of them." Or any of them, really.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Pluto takes a moment to just lean into the group hug...like a drowning woman holding onto a lifeline.

Finally, she takes a deep breath and looks over at Chrono and Rashmi, "...no...if the Princess has given orders that let me leave my post, they don't need to be guarded."

She looks around, "...you all came here for me...so let's all go back to our house and have Christmas all together."

She then smiles, "...and that means I'll actually get a chance to share the treat I got with everyone."

She looks around, "...the contact I have who gets me stuff down in Yokosuka asked me for help figuring out gifts for his daughters...and in return, he gave me five GALLONS of the gumbo he apparently makes every year for the holidays. I've never had any, but it smelled AMAZING when he gave it to me...so let's go eat and watch movies and be with those we love."