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Occult à la Carte

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Toyosatomimi no Miko, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Toyosatomimi no Miko

    Toyosatomimi no Miko Touhou Project
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    August 5th

    Miko had been gathering information about Pandora as efficiently as she could. As far as she could tell it was some kind of another world, much like Gensokyo, except it existed on its own plane of existence. The people of this world had also all been seemingly taken from their homes and placed there, much like she was. She could not find a single person who actually originated from Pandora, so the world really was like some kind of prison.

    Most bothersome, however, was that no one seemed to know who was responsible for their imprisonment, even those who had been in the world for a long time. Of course, it made sense, seeing as if they knew who it was they surely would be seeking a way of making them send them back or force them to do so if at all possible. Whatever it may be, Miko found herself only knowing more about the world, not the person responsible for it, which was useful, but meant she still had no way of getting to the culprit of this incident.

    Still, she needed to take some time off from her investigation and try enjoying herself a little. After all, she had all the time in the world for herself, even if Futo and the others might worry, they could spare an hour or two while Miko tried to make the most out of this experience that was given to her. Despite being in another land, the powers of her urban legend still worked with no ill effects. This made it a good opportunity to try a play little jokes on people, after all, it was what she had to do as someone who carried such a powerful urban legend with her.

    She descended from the skies above Pandora Town during the night, as it would be the most appropriate time for such a display, and landed gracefully on the ground, going towards the first person who came upon her line of sight with a distinct regalness to her walk.

    "Hello. Can I ask you something?" She offered them a smile, a small, carefree one.
     
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  2. Robin`

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    Be it day or night, Robin found herself wandering around aimlessly throughout the town on a regular basis. Even though it had been a month or two since she arrived here, the mechanic still hadn't gotten accustomed to simply staying inside when it got dark. The cover of night was her friend back when she needed to avoid the government's watchful eyes during illegal repairs... it was hard to stay indoors at night now. Besides, time spent walking was time she didn't spend asleep with the nightmares.

    She must have been quite the odd sight, really, what with the giant wrench strapped to her back. She wasn't going to just stop flaunting the sign of her profession everywhere now that she was in a place where she could actually practice it legally, though! That would be denying one of the only benefits granted to her by being ripped from her home and getting taken here, after all... there really weren't enough benefits. Robin was feeling homesick.

    The mechanic got a bit lost in thought about home. She hoped she'd get a chance to see it again, and maybe get a chance to make everything right again, to fix it all. But she knew that was just a childish hope. It was already too late for that, she didn't have to fix things anymore... aside from machines, anyways. She already knew that people couldn't be fixed, so she just had to try staying away from those situations... even if all she wanted was to fix everything and everyone.

    Though her head was in the clouds, she snapped back into reality when she realized what looked to be just another pedestrian, albeit an odd one, was actually approaching her. Oh no, was she doing something wrong?! She must have had something on her face or something, right? Her eyes darted around a bit.

    It was only after the woman actually spoke that she felt slightly less uncomfortable. Robin was suddenly unsure if she was being spoken to right now. Maybe someone was behind her? The mechanic pointed at herself, as if asking "You're talking to me?" before turning her head and deciding that no one else was there... assuming there wasn't anyone invisible, but what were the odds of that? It seemed like she really was being talked to.

    Not wanting to talk just yet, since it was such a mental struggle for Robin to speak a lot, she simply gave a nod to show her consent. Surely it wouldn't be some sort of weird question, right?
     
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  3. Toyosatomimi no Miko

    Toyosatomimi no Miko Touhou Project
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    The quiet type, this one. It was a little harder to tell the desires of people who didn't speak much, but this wasn't why Miko was there anyway. This girl was meant to be a mere distraction from Miko's investigation so there was little point in looking to deep into her desires. Still, she looked to be so shy that Miko almost felt bad about putting her through this, not that she was planning to do much more than just give her a little scare, but for someone like that, even something that small could have some unintended consequences.

    "Would you like a red mantle or a blue mantle?" She asked, enveloping her body in her own mantle for emphasis, it's color changing from purple to red on one side and blue on the other. She still kept a small, relaxed smile paired with a calm voice that was pretty much made to give a false sense of security.
     
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  4. Robin`

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    OK, that was a weird question. What color mantle would she want? Robin couldn't even tell if this was only a hypothetical question or if she was planning on actually giving her one. The mechanic quizzically tilted her head. It was a simple question, really, but she had a history of messing up when faced with choices that shouldn't even have a wrong answer.

    Well, there might not even be any trick to this, right? Some people just... wanted to desperately know what color clothes you wanted... not really. The point was, she couldn't just walk away now because that would be pretty rude. Taking a single breath to calm herself down so that she could actually bear to let a few words out, Robin made a choice. "Red... I think I'd like that better?" She said, the uncertainty obvious in her voice. Still, an answer was an answer.
     
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  5. Toyosatomimi no Miko

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    People never really thought outside the box did they? Well, perhaps this girl wasn't familiar with the legend, but still, it was odd how people were so eager to completely follow the instructions of a stranger randomly offering them something. Oh well, with the color chosen, Miko's cape turned completely red and she unwrapped herself dramatically.

    "I see. Red is a powerful color, the color of blood, the prime material I need." Miko kept smiling peacefully, lightly tapping her shaku on the palm of her free hand. "Now, how shall I extract the blood that will decorate your body like a mantle?"
     
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  6. Robin`

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    OK, this was getting uncomfortably familiar. The way she was saying such scary things so calmly... it felt very unsafe. What type of a trick question was this? "I... don't think I want a mantle of blood," Robin said slowly, backing up a few steps. "And... I think I'd die." Another few steps back.

    Alright, she needed to get away from this person. It suddenly struck her that the stranger didn't seem to be around until a few seconds before she approached Robin. That was somewhat ominous. Her left hand reached down to her stun gun. She deftly changed it's firing mode to the usurper gun and then quickly pointed it right at Miko. "D-Don't come any closer, please," she said, trying to sound intimidating but failing on so many levels.
     
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  7. Toyosatomimi no Miko

    Toyosatomimi no Miko Touhou Project
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    You would usually die from having enough of your blood drawn out of you that it could be used to make a whole mantle. The response Miko got was such a silly one that she couldn't help but be amused by it, even more so when the girl pulled out a weapon and pointed it at her, expecting a confrontation. Did she really think she would be able to accomplish anything with such a measly weapon?

    "It was just a joke." Miko smiled, looking satisfied as she kept tapping her shaku on the palm of her other hand. "Nothing more than a common urban legend, although it looks like you're unfamiliar with it, unsurprisingly." She shrugged.
     
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  8. Robin`

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    She had her escape plan all thought out, even if there were a lot of ways for it to fail. Robin would use the usurper gun to swap locations with this mysterious woman and then take advantage of the probable confusion to charge up her electric wrench. After that, she'd attempt to use the wrench to ride the power lines to safety. Taking a breath to steady herself, she began to hold down the trigger to charge up the gun.

    A moment before firing at this strange individual, she declared that... this was all a joke? Robin pointed the gun down and released the trigger, harmlessly firing a bright blue and orange laser at the ground. "Joke?" she repeated, sounding unsure. Why was she acting so smug about this?

    Robin's face grew red with anger and frustration as she stomped on the ground with her foot a few times. It was a mini tantrum. The mechanic couldn't speak so well, so such displays of emotion were often her best bet to get her feelings across. It was only brief, though, and the outburst ended after a few seconds. It was just so... stupid! Clearly she wasn't expected to know about this urban legend, so there was no point in even trying to fake it!

    "Why?" Robin asked. A simple question, but the intent clear. What was the purpose? "Scared me..." she added, sounding a lot more bashful. "Thought it was my punishment..." It really did seem like what she deserved, a karmic retribution for what she had done. After being the only person back home to avoid getting killed by the results of her decisions, it made sense that a proper punishment would be making a choice on how she'd die. She really didn't deserve to be so happy here in Pandora while everyone else rotted because of her, after all.
     
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  9. Toyosatomimi no Miko

    Toyosatomimi no Miko Touhou Project
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    To see that child throw a tantrum over a mere prank, even as brief as it was, did bring some satisfaction to Miko, immature as that may have been. There was just something nice about getting such a strong reaction from people and, since there was no harm done other than a little scare, she had little reason to feel guilty about this. That girl would only remember what happened for a day or two before they were buried in the back of her mind anyway.

    "The purpose of the joke was precisely to scare you. A harmless little scare that should keep you on your toes for future cases of actual danger coming your way." Miko shrugged and then raised her eyebrow in confusion and also curiosity regarding the last statement that was made. "And why would I be here to punish you? It's not not like we have met before. I haven't been here long enough to know of any noteworthy criminals." She then smirked. "Unless you're planning on outing yourself."
     
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  10. Robin`

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    Admittedly, Robin was a bit embarrassed by how she had acted. It wasn't really normal to assume random people would be serious about casually wanting to kill her, right? But that was what she had learned to expect back home. The wildlife, the government, even the actual planet... all of them were trying to rip her apart in various ways. So a bit of a nerve was struck.

    "I didn't need to be taught that!" she huffed, starting to talk a bit more now that her emotions were getting ahead of her anxiety. "Just because things are better here doesn't mean I forgot how to be careful." Robin adjusted the wrench on her back slightly, making sure it was still in place. Its presence calmed her, just by being something secure and unchanging that she could rely on. She couldn't afford to not be careful, not after her mistakes messed up everything... even if she still wanted to trust everyone around her.

    And this stranger's overly smug demeanor wasn't really helping Robin's mental state much. Reminded her of Black, slightly... and that was not something she wanted any reminders of. "Not illegal here..." she muttered. She might have been a criminal for her mechanic work back home, and later for her acts of treason, but that didn't matter in Pandora. "Just thought I maybe deserved it... like karma or something." The best way to describe it was a serious case of survivor's guilt. For someone who devoted themselves to helping others, being the only person to not die because of her own mistakes was hell.
     
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  11. Toyosatomimi no Miko

    Toyosatomimi no Miko Touhou Project
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    Miko listened to the words coming out of the girl's mouth, curious about her story. Slowly, but surely, things started piecing out together in a way that made sense with her behavior. It was quite the story, Miko had to admit that much. Her strong reaction earlier made sense now and there was a certain level of guilt boiling inside the saint for having played such a prank on her.

    "They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You think you have already finished paving that road, hm?" Although her confident attitude hadn't wavered, Miko had a distinctly more gentle aura around her, even if it wasn't an entirely honest one.
     
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  12. Robin`

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    Robin didn't entirely trust this slight attitude change, even if she wanted to believe her words might have inspired kinder behavior. Just the fact that she was now trying to cryptically dig at her past implied some annoying things. Normal people would either understand that maybe a person's issues are their own business or would just ask directly, but here she was just beating around the bush.

    Well, she didn't like it! Still, Robin was far too timid to just walk away or dodge the question. "Everyone else has already!" she exclaimed angrily. "Everyone was doing what they thought was right, even if it wasn't! But only my 'right' ruined everything!" It was all just ideological opponents butting heads. Sure they were worse people than her, but that didn't change the fact that her own actions, while the most morally justifiable, ended up ushering in the apocalypse.

    "Maybe it's too late for me..." she ended lamely, having lost her will to speak forcefully again. "Don't know. But it doesn't matter now." The only person left was herself. No way to make amends anymore, no matter how much she wanted to.
     
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  13. Toyosatomimi no Miko

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    Goodness this girl was a new level of troubled. Miko couldn't tell if this was some kind of fateful meeting or if she just had bad luck to end up meeting with a girl who was overflowing with pent-up emotions that only now she was letting out. The more Miko listened to her voice, the more anguish she was hearing and the source of all of it was, admittedly, unpleasant to listen to. Even then, however, this kind of attitude was just weak-hearted.

    "Don't be such a defeatist." Miko spoke in a stern, almost annoyed tone. "It's almost arrogant to believe that your ideals and yours alone would have caused that kind of disaster. It likely would have happened one way or another, just with different catalysts." Miko then pointed her shaku at the girl and began speaking with more intensity. "If you truly believe in your ideals, then you should follow then through to the end, no matter what comes your way."

    Miko then seemed to relax, taking in the hindsight of the situation they were all in at the moment. Truly, this girl couldn't predict if things really were as bad as she thought, but whether it was or not, currently it did not matter.

    "Although there is little point in worrying over it here." Her shaku then covered her mouth, which had shifted into a smile. "Take this as your second chance, girl, even if you did something wrong back then, you can still do something productive with your life here."
     
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  14. Robin`

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    She hadn't always been this way. Only a few months ago, Robin was quite sure everything would work out as long as she did whatever seemed to be right. But that was neither here nor there at this point. The fact of the matter was, this woman was correct. It hadn't been her actions that caused the apocalypse... she had merely made it happen far earlier than it was supposed to.

    "Of course it wasn't all me..." she conceded, willing to let that undeniable truth slide. "Would have happened later. But not so soon..." It hurt a lot, to have risked everything to help out everyone around her only to end up making the most dangerous problem of all show up. Even if she knew that the current plans her enemies had wouldn't have saved anyone that mattered, that could have changed given over ten years.

    And of course she believed in her ideals! Robin never doubted for one second that she should live to help others and to always have a smile on her face... and she hadn't ever doubted that killing was something she'd never do. That last one hadn't turned out so well. They were good ideals, ones worth following to the bitter end, but she had already betrayed them. Even among the other failures she ascribed to herself, this was the one that kept her up at night. But the mechanic said nothing about that. It wasn't the type of problem she would share with anyone, not when even the thought of it reminded her of that anguished scream.

    It was just so surreal, when Robin took just one moment to think about what was going on. The stranger who had given her the fright of her life was now trying to give her a pep-talk... sort of. "I'm trying already," she responded sincerely. "Doing what I've always done. Hard to move on."

    The question on the mechanic's mind since this discussion got personal jumped out of her mouth unbidden. "Why do you care?"
     
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  15. Toyosatomimi no Miko

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    "I don't." Miko answered bluntly. "That kind of self-pity just annoys me."

    At least she wasn't a lost cause. She was making an attempt at starting over, even if the past events were still dragging her down. It was better than a lot would manage, especially given the kind of chaos she had accidentally unleashed upon the world. The road to hell was paved with good intentions, as they say, and it looks like this particular intent brought hell over.

    "Nothing is more maddening than a waste of potential." Miko elaborated on her feelings just a little. "Failure should only be a motivation to improve, not to give up. By letting that self-pity bring you down you're only doing a disservice to yourself and those who wanted to see you succeed."

    Miko grew in an ambient where people didn't think she was capable of much and she proved them wrong throughly even as a child. A lot of them wished for failure to come her way but it never did. Any slip-ups were just small bumps along the road that she quickly got over. She never would've allowed anyone to see her panic, to give them the pleasure of watching her struggling.

    Because doing so was admitting defeat.
     
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  16. Robin`

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    Some people needed lessons to be delivered in a tough manner in order for them to learn. Robin wasn't one of them. Just because this stranger was saying some good things didn't make the delivery any better. But it wasn't like she'd get the support she needed from this complete stranger.

    "I don't know what you want from me!" she replied while displaying a small frown on her face. "You don't care, but you're talking to me like you want me to change. I'm just finally listening to my brother. Took me too long, but he was right. I'm no one special, I can't do anything special." And she had proven her brother right that in the end it would've been better to just stay home and do nothing.

    And the fact of the matter was that Robin did make the most of her potential. She could've let herself be assigned a job and do that job loyally until the day she died. Instead she took on the wrench because it was the best way she could think of to help others. She had done so much more than anyone had expected of her, had helped kill people thought to be immortal. And in the end, it all meant nothing before the might of an angry and uncaring god.

    So what did she want from Robin? Why didn't she just leave, if it annoyed her so much? "I'm just a girl with a wrench. What kind of potential could I have?"
     
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  17. Toyosatomimi no Miko

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    This girl couldn't possibly be serious. Was she really going to listen to someone who was just trying to put her down? The fact that it was her own brother just made the fact she would even give it any thought all the more baffling. Although, if she had a brother like that, then some of her behavior made sense, even if it was still foolish.

    "That is not for me to know." Miko shrugged with indifference. "However, denying your own potential is only going to guarantee that you won't be accomplish anything, I can tell you that much."

    With that, Miko saw no point in further engaging in this pointless conversation. That girl wouldn't listen to a complete stranger like that and she could tell just from her behavior that she would rather Miko left anyway. She began walking away, giving a rather dismissive wave of goodbye as she went.

    "Whatever the case, it's up to you whether you're really going to trust the words of someone who wants nothing more than to put you down." She gave her parting words as she kept at her pace.
     
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  18. Robin`

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    "Then don't... How am I supposed to know?" she sputtered out indignantly. Telling her she could be something, but not having any words with actual substance. "I don't need to accomplish anything..." But she wanted to. Robin had always wanted to make something of herself. Maybe that was still a cog in a machine, but it was a machine of her own choice.

    Nowadays, what was she even doing with herself? Just living from day to day in a fugue state, wandering from work to home to work to home ad infinitum? Jumping at any reminders of what she used to do? Robin had really become what she had never thought herself to be: One expecting of the status quo.

    The stranger was leaving. This encounter was so bizarre, it almost felt like a dream rather than reality. "Everything he did and said was for our sake. Don't talk about him like that," she protested weakly. Everything was for the sake of Elro's family. That's how he justified the murder that ended up bringing the full might of the government down on her head. Which was what lead to her accidentally hastening the end of the world. When she thought of it like that, it really did seem like the one who couldn't act without breaking something was her brother. "Nevermind."

    She was done with this also. The mechanic would have walked away, but Miko was heading the same direction she was going to go. Would have been beyond uncomfortable to walk after her, even if it was only due to a coincidence. Instead, the mechanic waited in place for a minute. She was just thinking about what had been said. Could she change? Was it worth it to change? These weren't questions she knew the answer to, but that was certainly better than the resolute no she would have given at the start of the night.

    After a minute had passed, Robin began to head home.
     
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