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Private [M] Righteous Ghost

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Goro Akechi

Persona
Posts
798
Age
20
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Human
Height
5'10
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Chaotic Evil
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Engaged to Ren
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link
Nov. 20, 1:30pm - @Naoto Shirogane


The detective is going into disguise as a detective, and if that isn't ironic enough given his past, it's that he's taking his senpai's title for the second time.

After disengaging from the inflated parade balloon that was the orientation, they make for the Ultimate Detective's lab. Akechi spares a few glances over his shoulder as the real detective opens it inconspicuously with her eHandbook.

His own lab -- the real one that's his -- is still out there somewhere. The only ones who know of it are him and the hosts -- and they haven't said anything, so he assumes the secret is as good as his, for now.

Even senpai is blindsided to his past. It's a tricky situation to be in, because that aspect of himself can ( will) be useful to their present predicament, and he'd be an idiot to think it won't come up eventually and be used against him. His name is Akechi; Naoto can give him her title, but not her identity.

When they enter the building and Akechi flicks on the light, there is a clinical working space with rife books, weapons, and obscure gadgets only a crime-solving aficionado would have wasted his social life learning about. It's perfect, even if it feels thoroughly fake.

"This is where we'll be convening, then," he says, moving to a small window, slipping a finger between the blinds to peek outside. "we'll have to sweep the place for bugs, obviously, but if they're right and only you have access to it, we should be safe here."
 
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Naoto Shirogane

Persona
Detective Prince
Posts
384
Location
River Town
Age
18
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/them
Species
Human
Height
5'0" / 152 cm
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Lawful Good
Profile
link

The labs presented a problem for the future.

Ignoring their practical uses, they were useful for exposing the lies people made during their introduction. It just so happened that Naoto was one of those people. The Ultimate Detective claimed instead to be the Ultimate Journalist, though that was before she became aware that there would be labs that reflected the true talent of the person it belonged to. While it would be useful for seeing the truth behind everyone else's titles, that would be credibility Naoto will lose in the future if she doesn't speak up at a better moment.

For now, though, they would make this the Ultimate Erudite's lab, a place where the Erudite and the Journalist frequently settled within for reasons only known to them. Akechi covered Naoto as she unlocked the lab, and the two stepped inside. If it was anything like the dorms when she tried to unlock Ryoma's door, there was no secret function for the eHandbooks to unlock any lock.

"It certainly has its own... aesthetic," Naoto noted. It was like a hideout for a detective, even fitted with hidden weapons that a detective would carry in self-defense. For Monokuma, though, it likely meant for the sake of committing homicide. "I tried a lock with my eHandbook earlier to a dorm that wasn't mine to no avail, so I believe we won't need to worry about anyone being inside without our consent."

More precisely, it was Naoto's consent; however, they wouldn't want to act like that.

"I'll start clearing this side, you make sure there aren't any bugs on your end," The detective suggested, "After that, we should talk more explicitly." It was just like work, except under far more... pressing circumstances, but the two Detective Princes were on the case.

Shifting through the bookshelf, she took notice of the spines of the books, noting the names on them each. "...They certainly don't wish for us to forget why we're here. All of these are about murder cases."


 
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Goro Akechi

Persona
Posts
798
Age
20
Species
Human
Height
5'10
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Chaotic Evil
Relationship Status
Engaged to Ren
Profile
link

"Mm, it's almost as though they're encouraging us to simply get it over with," mumbles Akechi, sweeping his fingers under the edges of the desk. he feels something hard and plastic and retrieves a small black object. He sighs. "I've found one. And when there's one, there's more than one..." he rolls the chairs aside to get a better view of under the desk as he continues speaking, "What kinds of murder cases? Do they have anything to do with our current situation?"
 
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Naoto Shirogane

Persona
Detective Prince
Posts
384
Location
River Town
Age
18
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/them
Species
Human
Height
5'0" / 152 cm
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Lawful Good
Profile
link

"Sadly, we take our time, but we will eventually get this finished," Naoto scoffed beneath her breath. She had no inclination to give into the kill. Rise... Naoto was going to make sure she got out of this alive, and she wanted to herself, Akechi... everyone who didn't deserve this fate. The detective wanted no significant casualities on this case.

She hated bugs. They were malicious and a nuisance. "You're right... here's one more," Naoto called back over to him, managing to find one hidden within the bookshelf. Only the two of them had to know about their plans. This was for private eyes only.

"Some are cases in Pandora, and-" Her fingers trimmed across one of the books, and her breath stopped.

The Masked Circle.

Immediately, her hand went to her brain, all of the memories of one of her first months in Pandora came flooding back too hard. "Not this again..." She whimpered to herself. With any fortune, Akechi didn't notice it. "A-A good amount of these are related to Pandora killings, though a few seem to be in regards to otherworlds..."

Trying to forget the cult, she skimmed down to the next shelf, and she found something much more relevant.

"...These two books seem highly relevant," Naoto rose her eyebrows, grabbing them off of the shelf. One of them seemed to be in regards to a student council... a killing game that hardly even lasted ten minutes. The other one was a killing game that lasted for much longer... and from glimpsing through it, it felt far more related to their current situation than the other killing game. "These two discuss two different killing games. This one in particular," She held up the latter of the two books, "Discusses a situation similar to ours, except at a school." Was this the same one Ryoma and Tsumugi participated in?


 
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Goro Akechi

Persona
Posts
798
Age
20
Species
Human
Height
5'10
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Chaotic Evil
Relationship Status
Engaged to Ren
Profile
link
he finds 3 more devices, which he promptly stomps on the floor to shatter. when naoto seems to hesitate, he looks up, catches -- he's not sure. it's like if you remember a ghost somewhere in the room, when it should be in your past. akechi let's it go for now.

"two different killing games?" he dusts off his gloves and goes over to snag one of the books, leafing through the first few pages. "we could use these to assess our current situation, as well see how to avoid making the same mistakes." two killing games down, with documented real deaths. he doesn't want to imagine the outcome of their own run. he doesn't want to think about how he might die here, a humiliating death no one foresaw, when he'd willingly gotten himself into and trumped other, greater dangers before. there's also ren, and that...hm.

he wanders around to the book that naoto abandoned earlier, looks through that too. "ah, this case. it took place the following winter after i'd arrived to Pandora. A friend of mine had been caught up in it..." shiho was one of the brainwashed victims. But she wasn't the only one.

"Know anything of it, Senpai?"
 
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Naoto Shirogane

Persona
Detective Prince
Posts
384
Location
River Town
Age
18
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/them
Species
Human
Height
5'0" / 152 cm
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Lawful Good
Profile
link

The investigation only yielded more bugs. To each one, Naoto made sure to dispose of, making them out of commission. They certainly were thorough, with the amount that were planted... was this specifically in the Detective's lab, as some sort of 'activity'? Did it even matter for Monokuma?

Better safe than sorry.

"My thoughts exactly," Naoto agreed with her fellow detective, "Although, we should also keep in mind that this could be some sort of trap set up by Monokuma... Still, I have faith that if we analyze them closely, we should be able to logically reason what seems plausible and what does not... and if they are plausible, consider the fact that our opponent will have learned as well." Under the assumption neither of these were fabricated, surely Monokuma wouldn't blindly let any mistakes within them happen again.

Of course, he could have also placed them amidst all of these crimes that she knew would be true in a way to try and trick her that his books about the killing games must be factual, too.

When Akechi decided to go over to the book Naoto noticeably heaved upon seeing, she couldn't help but internally grimace. He was even speaking of it with her... She didn't want to think about it, she truly didn't.

The Masked Circle was one of the circles of her own personal Hell.

"...I remember the case. It was two months after I appeared in Pandora," She vaguely responded, "If you want my honest opinion, I'd rather forget that it ever happened..."

Naoto could only internally plead that Akechi wouldn't push the subject.


 
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Goro Akechi

Persona
Posts
798
Age
20
Species
Human
Height
5'10
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Chaotic Evil
Relationship Status
Engaged to Ren
Profile
link
"Alright," Akechi said reluctantly, and for a moment he did consider letting it go and moving on. But they could not afford that, could they. "...but this book was included here for a reason. Either they were trying to make some kind of point, or they were trying to rattle you. They have the power to bring it to the surface, you know. They don't care how painful, or difficult," he swallowed, "or incriminating it is. This was placed here to make a point," he repeated. "and this hesitation on your part right now is what they'll feed on."
 
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Naoto Shirogane

Persona
Detective Prince
Posts
384
Location
River Town
Age
18
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/them
Species
Human
Height
5'0" / 152 cm
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Lawful Good
Profile
link

There were many different books on the shelf. Each of them was just meant to describe a crime, mostly murders that occurred in Pandora. They didn't each necessarily correlate with Naoto herself. She knew that, and so did Akechi. But still, it looked almost as if he was trying to force her to acknowledge it after she already expressed particular discomfort from that book in particular.

Why did he have to push on this?

"...They wanted to rattle me, alright?!" Naoto blurted, clearly growing more flustered in regard to the topic. "When that group brainwashed me, I had done... so much, but I was rescued. When that news was published, my identity was kept anonymous. So either Monokuma is making the point that he knows, or this is just one of many records he has on this shelf, and if one of them rattles me, he's happy."

The blue detective had gone red in the face, clearly distressed about the subject. So much for the 'cool' detective...

She hated this topic. She despised it. She never wanted to think about it again after everything that happened with it. Naoto could still remember it, but she was doing everything in her power to not remember... to try and forget how for a time, she smiled as she tore a saw into people.

She was trembling in furor... or fear.

Then, she exhaled. "...I-I'm sorry. This is... not a pleasant topic for me," Naoto replied, trying to calm down after her weakness was exploded upon her partner.


 
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Goro Akechi

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Posts
798
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20
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Human
Height
5'10
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Chaotic Evil
Relationship Status
Engaged to Ren
Profile
link

I had done...so much.

Funny. So had he. But what distinguished them was that she still had her conscience about her, and it was flogging her.

In business terms, that was an inconvenience. Anything involving heated emotion right now was an inconvenience. But she was also his partner, not some stranger he just co-conspired with. She was a friend. And he's developed a peculiar weakness for those.

He glanced away. "No, I should be the one apologizing. I pushed you to talk when you didn't want to." a pause. "Senpai, I'm...I..."

No, he shouldn't. This wasn't about him. And if he made her question his authenticity now...

"I need to know if I can trust you to defend yourself when it comes to it. I need to know you won't hesitate."
 
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Naoto Shirogane

Persona
Detective Prince
Posts
384
Location
River Town
Age
18
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/them
Species
Human
Height
5'0" / 152 cm
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Lawful Good
Profile
link

In her unorganized mental state, she had almost not noticed that Akechi almost began to say her statement by saying "I'm," but he seemed to... change what he was going to say. She couldn't tell whether he simply misspoke and wished to correct himself or if there was something more to it, and frankly, as long as Akechi was the only person she could trust, she didn't want to care.

Still, part of her did, yet Naoto kept her silence.

He asked her a question. A vital question. A question that would answer how much they were able to rely on the other to do what they have to do, as soon as they learn that they need to do it. Did she have the strength, or would she allow pressure like this to collapse her?

There was one thing Naoto knew... she wasn't a reliability. She didn't want to be a reliability. She knew how it felt to feel as if she were actually one, and her inner core hated it. The detective couldn't let this get to her now, not this early on in the game.

"...I won't hesitate," She affirmed, staring up at him as she internally tried to calm herself more. "I know... who I am, what I have done in the past. I thought it was buried, but now, there is a likely probability that somehow, they learned despite all of the information being covered up," Naoto let out a sigh,"But now I am aware they have this knowledge over me. It won't be as effective anymore to try and use it to catch me by surprise."

Her eyes stared downcast as if examining the floor below them. "After all, as your Senpai and your partner, I wouldn't think of being someone you have to drag through the mud in one sense or another."


 
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Goro Akechi

Persona
Posts
798
Age
20
Species
Human
Height
5'10
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Chaotic Evil
Relationship Status
Engaged to Ren
Profile
link
Akechi smiled, squeezing her shoulder. "Good. That's what I like to hear. And it goes without saying that you can expect the same of me. I'm no second-rate partner, after all." At the next statement, his smile faded. "Let's just keep in mind that our main objective is to survive for as long as possible, long enough get to the bottom of whatever's going on here. Within the rules or without; we must survive, no matter what."
 
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Naoto Shirogane

Persona
Detective Prince
Posts
384
Location
River Town
Age
18
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/them
Species
Human
Height
5'0" / 152 cm
Occupation
Detective
Alignment
Lawful Good
Profile
link

The squeeze felt... comforting. A reminder that Naoto had someone that she could turn to in this hell of a situation they found themselves in. Her partner detective: Goro Akechi.

She nodded her head in agreement. There was no doubt in her mind that Akechi would do well or be 'second-rate.' If anything, she sometimes questioned why he chose to call her 'senpai.' Even if, where he came from, she was older to the point someone else has taken up the title of Detective Prince and that was the Naoto Shirogane he knew, she was... different. Younger, less experienced. She wouldn't have been surprised if he had more experience and he convinced himself that she did.

Still, if that was what he chose to do, she would take up that responsibility.

"You're absolutely right," Naoto agreed, "It's imperative... No theatrics or heroics, simply what it takes for us to survive. So that we can end this." Or, if it became necessary... whatever it took to catch a culprit in a lie so they could convict them.

But Naoto didn't want to let it come to that.

"Let's finish our sweep of the room... then, we should discuss what we know and how to proceed," Naoto recommended, standing herself up as she went to finish her search of the laboratory, a renewed sense of purpose in her eye after what had happened.


 
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