Description: Some important discussions are had in the lovingly-appointed living spaces of the Dolls.
Cammy was feeling... well. For the most part, Cammy did not feel much at all. Lying in her chamber just for her - Cammy was the sort that left the door open pretty much all of the time. Cammy did not mind the other Dolls wandering in or out at their pleasure. But for the moment - Cammy was lying, eyes blank - in the pod that she called her bed. A soft whirring, a soft buzz by the ear, and the syringe that had injected her with some concoction withdraws back into the structure of the pod.
A rush of wooziness overtakes her.
Dressed in her sleeping pajamas, Cammy pushes... out of the bed with strain and stress, grasping at the dog-eared romance novel that was tucked into one corner of the sleeping pod. Eyes bleary, she glances towards the main room, and heads out there.
Hopefully, there was another Doll out there. Cammy could hear the buzz of the television, at least - but was that from another Doll, or Novembleu leaving the TV on again?
Sure enough, it is indeed on because someone is watching it; it's Satsuki, who has chosen to watch the television for no reason other than to pass the time. She has no ongoing missions, no real need for more tests... so all she can really do is watch the television. 'Free time' is something Satsuki has never really known what she can do with -- it wasn't part of her life before this one (not that she knows that), and it's only recently become part of /this/ life.
Insofar as Satsuki gets enthusiasm for anything, she seems enthusiastic when Cammy sits up and heads out into the main room. Her gaze tracks her for a few moments, and she reflexively shuts off the television; after a moment, she says, simply, "Killer Bee," with the tiniest hint of a smile. Just the hint, though.
Taking a few steps toward the bleary-eyed first-among-Dolls, she asks, "Do you require assistance?"
There was a shake of the Killer Bee's head - her eyes lifting up towards Satsuki's own. It was impossible to hide the softening of her features, and the return of that little smile - even if her eyes, Doll's dead eyes - remained empty. "Satsuki," says Cammy, her voice likewise soft. "Negative. I do not require assistance at this moment."
A beat, then, as she steps forward. Her arms were thinner without her gauntlets, even if the young woman was corded with muscle.
She rests her hand on the back of the chair. "I have just had my nightly administration of medication - the confusion, blurriness, and fatigue will pass momentarily - I am currently functioning at 65 percent capacity." A moment. "... are you functioning well, Satsuki?" she asks.
Another moment. "What task are you currently performing?"
Once Cammy waves off the assistance, Satsuki's expression returns entirely to neutral; like Cammy's, her eyes empty in moments. "I am... currently unassigned," she says, trying to find the words; it's an answer she's never had to give before. It's always been /something/, even if that something was something simple. This is the first time that she's been asked and had no answer.
Her breathing evens out; there's no reason to be nervous. No reason to be... anything, at that; she slips back to the carefully-managed neutral state she almost always occupies. After a moment, she adds, "I am waiting to hear from our medical personnel regarding any adjustments to be made to my medication schedule." After her last few fights, that's been a slightly contentious topic -- she's performed more than adequately, but... there are still irregularities.
"Is there something you would like to speak with me about?" she asks; she's usually not asked more than a single question unless someone /really/ wants to talk to her. It's... unfamiliar.
"Would you like an assignment?" asks Cammy, her voice soft - her eyes tracking over Satsuki's form. A handful of moments, and her lips purse together. A handful of moments more, and she glances to the television program that was currently playing, leaning a little more heavily upon the chair. A moment - and she slides into the chair properly - sitting straight up and tall in spite of every bone in her body telling her that that was a terrible idea.
"Negative," states Cammy then. Like the other, there had been... irregularities recently. Irregularities that she hoped would pass, with time.
Clutching her novel further like one might a teddy bear, she glances up to Satsuki once more. "...what program are you observing? Are you enjoying it?" Another moment. "What tasks have you accomplished recently?"
'Like' -- /that's/ a word that Satsuki is unused to hearing. Even when she was assigned to assess psychic potential in Southtown, even when she had that moment of something resembling freedom -- it's always been in service. "... I would -- like -- to see how my unassigned time develops," Satsuki eventually says, stumbling over the word as she relearns how to use it.
Reaching over to the remote to turn the volume back up just slightly on her television program as Cammy settles in, Satsuki answers, "I am currently watching a recording of a Neo League match involving the ninja, 'Ibuki.' It contains useful information." Technically, not an answer to that second question, but...
Moving to sit down next to Cammy and settle in, Satsuki continues, "Other than an exhibition match I was assigned to compete in at a school in Southtown, I have been under monitoring recently. There have been concerns about my performance after recent encounters with 'Ibuki.'" There's a beat, before she admits, "I have frequently thought about her since our last encounter. She causes me to feel... uneasy."
Cammy always had a slightly freer hold on her spirit. One might have always considered Cammy the 'favorite' of the Dolls - at least in regards to Vega, and thusly, she always tended to be favored for something or another. So perhaps her control mechanisms were gentler than they were on the other Dolls.
Cammy lifts her eyes, looking to Satsuki. There was a smile that touches her lips at the use of the word like - a smile for Cammy was like Satsuki's - held tight, and perhaps not as brilliant as they should be.
"I wish to inform you of another development that happened in regards to Neo League," says Cammy then. A beat. "We were incorrect in our report to Lord Vega. We did not succeed in our mission to terminate that Chinese Interpol agent. She still lives." says Cammy, bringing up her hand to rest on top of Satsuki's arm. She enjoyed the contact, even if it wasn't any sort of stroking touch.
"Would you like me to terminate Ibuki?" she asks, her voice soft. It was an offer to remove the offending person, so as to help Satsuki... move on. "Or we could terminate her together."
There's a split-second where Satsuki freezes up at that touch on her arm, as small as it is; even between the two of them -- two who share Vega's dark power and influence deep inside them -- there's something about being touched, about being close, that seems alien. She doesn't pull away from it, though, and within a few moments allows herself to relax. The touch becomes part of the pleasant white noise of existing.
The Interpol agent's survival draws a frown. "We must continue to pursue her." That's all she can really say on the matter; her approach to Chun-Li is very matter-of-fact, because it is indeed just business.
Ibuki, though... that's starting to become more complex. The immediate offer of termination garners Satsuki's attention... but ultimately, she shakes her head. "It is appreciated," she says calmly, "I would like to deal with her myself." Something gnaws at her about what Ibuki had said, though... and surely she can trust Cammy enough to bring it up. "She insists that someone has put my sense of self to sleep."
It takes Satsuki a few moments to unpack that, now that she says it. Chewing at her lip as she looks to Cammy, no longer really paying attention to the television, she adds, "I do not believe I have such a thing," with clear, strong conviction.
Touch was not something Cammy enjoyed either. But it was still... something, a small part of her needed. Just every so often. With that mission accomplished, Cammy lifts her arm off of Satsuki's own, and folds it in her lap. Still bleary from her evening medication dosage, Cammy was dressed in her pajamas, seated beside Satsuki on a sofa as the television showcased a Neo League match.
"I believe she will become more disruptive if we do not terminate her. Worse, Lord Vega may become upset," says Cammy, her eyes flickering to the television.
What Satsuki says, however, brings Cammy's eyes back to her fellow Doll. "I have an inquiry," says Cammy, "Could I have clarification on what is meant by sense of self?" she pauses. A handful of moments then, as she too, mentally unpacks what was said. "We are Dolls, and we serve Lord Vega. That is a logical sense of self, isn't it?"
"Understood," is all Cammy gets from Satsuki at first, regarding the potential upset. Despite the fact that the television is on, and by rights she should /really/ be reviewing the particulars of Ibuki's style like she'd planned... she'd rather focus on Cammy. Something about this conversation with the Killer Bee feels... important. Perhaps it's the difference between their current states -- one fresh off a dose of medication, the other at peak alertness -- but something about it has Satsuki even more attentive than usual.
When Cammy asks for clarification, Satsuki finds herself at a loss. "... No?" The monosyllabic answer is rare for Satsuki -- usually she'd give a 'negative,' and with much less confusion. After a few seconds, she tries to explain, "A sense of self causes... distortions. Distractions. It is immaterial to finding the true Way." Words she knows from 'nowhere,' thoughts that predate herself. It's... there's a jumble in Satsuki's head, suddenly, and she can't quite figure out why it's there.
She blinks a few times, trying desperately to find the words to convey what she had thought was so obvious it never needed to be. She continues, "As Dolls, we are instruments of Lord Vega's will...? ... rather than 'selves.'" Shouldn't this be as obvious to Cammy as it is to her...?
The use of 'no' was odd enough in these chambers that Cammy does cant her head to one side, looking towards the other Doll. Distortions? Distractions? Perhaps Cammy was aware enough so that her eyes could flicker to Satsuki's hands, checking those for motion, before she lifts her eyes back up towards Satsuki's own.
"You should terminate Ibuki," she says, her voice soft. "She is damaging your psychic integrity." A beat. That felt... a bit hypocritical to say after her encounter with the psychic Rose, but still...
"We can be instruments of Lord Vega's will, and be selves - that is how you live the fullest life, assisting Lord Vega with his plans - is this not so?" Another few moments. "Everyone on the Earth could be as happy as we are, if they would just so the same."
Cammy has been the most stable presence in Satsuki's life for the scant few months she can remember; accordingly, hearing her voice, soft and supportive, does a lot for her mental state. A few deep breaths, and she starts to feel... if not like a /person/ again, at the very least, like a Satsuki. Blue, empty eyes meet blue, empty eyes, and Satsuki starts to feel herself calm down.
"... affirmative," she says, focus returning. "You are correct, Killer Bee. I will terminate her." And then -- that'll be that, she tells herself. She'll have peace again. Happiness -- just as Cammy says. Absolute, total happiness.
Still... the difference between Cammy's understanding of their function as Dolls and her own gnaws at her. There's no real way to explain it... at least, not without entertaining the notion that something outside of their Doll status differentiates them. ... which is, of course, an impossibility.
... thinking about it becomes too much of a strain, and Satsuki's brain promptly escape-valves the whole train of thought. Looking for something else to discuss, she finally turns her attention to Cammy's novel. "What are you reading?" she asks, eager to discuss something less... heavy.
Cammy - well, she did not think of the other Dolls as a family in a traditional sense. For a great many years she was alone - with only Vega, her 'father', there as well. And then - over the last few years - sisters. Not just one or two, but nearly a dozen. It changed her outlook on life. It changed her life from being cold - empty - emotionless days staring at a wall to having people /like/ her.
Similar to her. She did not care if Vega's plan was different for her than the others. The other Dolls provided what Cammy did not have for years.
Cammy nods her head once, sharply, her unbraided hair falling over her shoulders and front both. "It is the most correct method to handle anyone who tries to shake our faith in Lord Vega's plan. We know that that is the best plan for the world, and our lives," says Cammy then, her blue eyes not wavering once from Satsuki's own.
What is she reading?
Cammy brings up the book. Tattered, dog-eared, jacket faded. It had the picture of a rose on the cover, and a pair of crossed rings. "It is a book that depicts a fictional extended encounter between a businesswoman and a man who has very little moral character," a beat. "It is about love."
Entering the room Juli and her shorter, blonde haired shadow Juni hardly case a stir, a routine shift change as the pair come off duty from the command centre. What little conversation they had been exchanging ends abruptly as they go separate ways after passing the threshold into the Doll Chambers. The pairing of German girl's breaks apart with the same ease they display when working together; Juni makes a beeline straight for her room. Juli however takes time to note the presence of other Dolls, Satsuki and Killer Bee. If pressed she could probably have recited the current mission conditions and location of each Doll but had no real concern with what they did when off-duty; so long as they were rested and well.
%Opening a small fridge tucked away in the corner of the room she picks out an unadorned or branded bottle of water, carrying it with her she likewise takes a seat, setting the bottle down on an adjacent table as she opens a brown pill bottle she had tucked away; with one hand shaking loose a couple of pills into her palm. Tranquilizers most likely, the downtime was necessary to keep her fresh even if the body was not likewise tired.
She hasn't spoken since she entered but does so after popping the pills into her mouth and taking a mouthful of water to wash them down. Her focus is mainly on the television.
"Interesting, More often than not someone is usually watching cartoons."
She was still learning, still making mental notes of the strengths and weaknesses and which Doll best fit into which situation. The Killer Bee while formidable could not be dispatched aufs Geratewohl (At random.) She continues to drink as she waits for the medication ot kick in.
"About love...?" That thought is foreign to Satsuki -- there's such tremendous focus on it in the outside world, but she hadn't expected it to come up at all here, in the Dolls' chambers. She opens her mouth to ask more questions, to try to sort through the feelings -- but the other pair of Dolls enters the room, and instantly Satsuki's attention is commanded.
Satsuki does not stand to salute... but she does address both of her fellow Dolls with a short, "Juni. Juli." The presence of more of her own kind does a lot to make her feel more at ease; it's easy to sort of nestle into the psychic emptiness that they all share, once there are more of them around.
"Are you functioning adequately?" she asks of Juli as she takes her pills; she's used to the idea of medication, but even so... The comment about cartoons gives her pause; she feels strange for watching something else, but -- no, she reminds herself, this is important. She needs to watch Ibuki's Neo League matches so she can ultimately terminate her.
Cammy herself was not certain she had a brilliant grasp on love herself. It was a force that confused her - and intrigued her overmuch. It was worthy of further research. And Cammy... well... she enjoyed the research. Even if it was a little odd, overall.
Like Satsuki, Cammy rises when the other Dolls enter. Unlike Satsuki, Cammy does bring up her hand to give them both a sharp salute. Between Dolls - it felt comfortable to Cammy, and acknowledged the other two. Even if her eyes remained wide, blue, and empty. Juni walked straight to her room, and Cammy turns her head to watch her passage with her eyes, gaze lingering on the door of her room for a good few seconds before Cammy turns her eyes back towards Juli.
Likewise, Cammy sets herself down.
"Cartoons are bright and visually appealing, but they are rarely logical. Do you prefer to observe cartoons Juli?" she asks, before her eyes swivel towards Satsuki. "And you?"
It will take a while for the tranquilizers to have their intended effect and the company is not unpleasant. Immaculately dressed in uniform, seated with legs crossed and casually drinking; possibly the eldest looking of 16 year old that made up the Dolls, the one being groomed for command if not the strongest or smartest of her 'sisters' in the programme.
Juli still falls into thoughtful reverie at the question, searching deeply as though it were a profound question, for something approximating her own opinion of cartoons even as she takes another swig from the bottle. Comparing the footage currently playing of a match of some kind to what she might gain from watching a cartoon.
"If television must be watched ... this is preferrable to cartoons in content. whichever media conveys and allows you to retain the most information."
That wasn't quite right, somehow she had missed forming her own opinion and defaulted back into a management role, it skates by her unnoticed and without bothering her deeply. It had been a long shift.
When Cammy salutes, despite her own status as 'reviewing something relevant to duty' not requiring Satsuki to, Satsuki ends up standing and saluting anyway; it's easy to go along with the flow in a situation like this. It's right back down, before too long, though -- Satsuki really does want to see how her downtime unfolds.
"... Understood," she offers Juli as regards her assessment of the media. Cammy's question, meanwhile, gives her pause. "And -- negative. I have not yet observed cartoons at any point." The idea seems ridiculous -- when would she have had the time? There was her assignment to Southtown, one would suppose, but...
It is about now that Satsuki realizes that she seems... ill-developed, compared to her peers, regarding free time. Hesitantly, she asks, "... is there something I should be doing when unassigned?" She hasn't read much, she doesn't watch much...
It might seem odd that Cammy - so favored amongst the Dolls - was not the one being groomed for command. But it was impossible for Cammy to know the truth behind what was her ultimate fate. And perhaps - for the very best. Juli did have that air of serious wisdom about her that Cammy appreciated the most.
"Information about our potential enemies is vital," agrees Cammy, glancing from Juli towards Satsuki, those empty Doll eyes unblinking. "And everyone who is not approved by Lord Vega is a potential enemy," she says.
Implicit behind those words is that it was anyone who was not a Doll that was a potential enemy. That included the... contractors that Shadaloo often did business with. "Perhaps we should observe cartoons at a more appropriate date," says Cammy. "Perhaps there is meaning hidden in them that could give us information about our enemies," says Cammy. A beat.
"When unassigned, you should rest and absorb information. We never know when we will be activated next," says Cammy.
"I spend my unassigned periods training."
It went without mentioning whom she was training with, the teamwork she was building with her partner and sometimes bodyguard was absolute key to making them an effective field command unit. Brains and brawn if not an all-in-one package.
"If you are lacking in direction I can always find extra shifts to put you on or move you onto honour guard detail."
One of the most dangerous roles for the Dolls to be rotated into if perhaps the most satisfying for them. Even protecting Lord Vega personally they were seldom called on for more than a handful of them to be present or nearby. There is pause for thought, .
"Or -- if you have ideas of you own or require specialized equipment bring requests to me directly."
Juli honestly had no idea just what thoughts might linger in the heads of the women before her, perhaps one of them instead should be so groomed rather than she, and they had certainly done more field work. But she was open to at least hearing them and their ideas. It would be her job to send them into danger and possible death, any increase in efficiency and success was a welcome bonus. They were precious chess pieces, significant to lose each and every one.
Even the Emperor of Muay Thai, should he become... unruly, was an enemy -- and the Dolls had to be prepared to lay down their lives for Vega's sake at any moment. Satsuki knows that, and when those words actually come out of Cammy's mouth, she feels even more sure than ever before that her current path is the correct one.
Juli's offer of training or support gets Satsuki's attention too -- and the Doll of May smiles at the mention of ideas of her own. "I would like to terminate or capture 'Ibuki,' public combat persona 'Akemi Hino,'" she says, proudly; there's no more doubt in her mind now. The Killer Bee has set her on a stable path once again.
"I am also interested in learning more about the equipment I have been provided for public bouts," she adds, with equal sureness. This one, unlike the last, might prove... problematic; it comes dangerously close to asking about the before-time that doesn't actually exist. Or could, at least, were the request indulged.
There were only a handful of people in the world that could withstand the might of one Doll. In an honor guard as a pair or more? The Dolls themselves were nigh-unbeatable. They were exposed to more danger in the honor guard, that was certain, but to call that role dangerous?
Perhaps for lesser beings.
"I would like extra shifts. I have been sent on many assignments lately - something that does not require as much relocation would be preferable," says Cammy, lifting her chin up a bit, her brilliantly blue eyes searching Juli's own. Clutching the novel tighter, Cammy flicks her eyes from Juli to Satsuki once again. "I have acquired a cloak. Are we to wear more?" asks Cammy, whose neo league fights as Audrea Evans no doubt have been analysed in the comfort of this base by now.
Blinking when confronted by such sudden interest and taking her up on the offer, the Doll straightens and sets the bottled water down deliberately. The red backed armoured gauntlets fold together as she interweaves her fingers and begins to lean her chin against them, watching both Dolls intently and reviewing their requests.
"Satsuki! Compile everything you have /personally/ on the target and it will be reviewed."
The chances a target was interesting enough it warranted extensive information retrieval was pretty much a given if they had provoked one of the Dolls. The review of said material however would be both a review of the target and a check against Satsuki herself that it was not a purely emotional or irrational response. It's absolutely clinical, it promised nothing and everything at the same time. Weigh in, but be judged Satsuki.
"Equipment is provided based on proficiencies and demonstrated skills. If you find any of your equipment lacking, have it inspected in the armoury. No explosive devices rated higher than 'anti-personnel devices' will be released into your care while in the bases interior."
Was she citing a regulation? A sword is a sword, but she was also not one of the Dolls who relied on their weapon expertise. In fact her own martial skills might be somewhat lacking so it seems a legitimate concern. The Killer Bees request was something more problematic, the ace in the hole is not a card readily played.
"The dress standard of uniform will be maintained on base for clear visual identification of DOLL members in amongst rank and file. There is no directive for mission attire and your best judgments may be used based upon objective. Your interest is additional duties is noted and accounted for - and appreciated."
She was weighing and measuring them for certain but appreciating input even if she seemed to be using management double-talk to walk a line between even hinting at action or denying it out of hand. She was already off duty so there was little information at her fingertips.
"Understood," is all Satsuki gives Juli; it's all that's needed. They can each be so sure that the other will follow up on their end of the proverbial bargain that there's no point in cluttering the interaction with unnecessary words. She makes a note in her head as regards the anti-personnel devices and high explosives, too; it seems faintly strange to her -- why would they need such things? ... well, an emergency could occur, one supposes.
As the fight on the television finishes up, Satsuki says, "I need to have another dose of medication administered; I was told to wait until I had finished my review of the information I was seeking, but I feel there is nothing further to learn from reviewing any more of the target's known battles."
She stays on the sofa, however, adding, "I will leave within the next few minutes, and subsequently follow this by compiling my information, and then resting." She nods firmly to both Cammy and Juli in turn, saying, "Your guidance has been appreciated."
Cammy's eyes had been drooping a bit - the young woman did struggle to stay upright and proper (perhaps especially with Juli in particular here) there was a slooping of the shoulders, and a drooping of the eyelids. One that starts to cause Cammy to list forward a little bit. A moment, and the young woman - hands bare without the benefit of her gauntlets - braces her palms against her knee and straightens.
"My assessment of my personal condition is at 35 percent of normal functioning. I believe I should return to my chambers," says Cammy, romance novel still clutched in her hands. "Your exactness and attention to protocol is so... positive, Juli," says Cammy, her tone of voice already starting to slur a touch. "I should request acquisition of an American outfit to match my American persona - the uniform is distinctive."
Another few moments, and Cammy was leaning her head back against the sofa, apparently having given up on returning to her chambers - chest already rising and falling in the slow motions that suggest sleep-breathing. But her eyes were still open - the emptiness in them a little more dim.
"Perhaps I will remain here until the morning." A beat. "Affirmative, Satsuki. I offer advisement so that we can all be stronger."
Juli observes the behaviour of the Killer Bee somewhat askance; surely returning to her bedchambers would be more restful. But she was the Killer Bee - could anything she does be diagnosed as wrong?
Juli likewise separates her fingers and rises from her own seat, a slight wobble with the tranquilizers in her system. How should she feel about receiving compliments from sources so close to her, yet they trustworthy as the other dolls? She wasn't completely unmoved by the evaluations, and likely she was not far off as tired now as Cammy was; self-administered medication had somewhat snuck up on her while her mind was elsewise engaged. Something else is her primary concern for now even beyond an impairment will obviously be affecting her faculties and decision making abilities.
"We will become much stronger. Satsuki, help me get the Killer Bee to her chambers."
They needed to safeguard the strongest; Juni was doing her part by resting earlier. These girls weren't a sisterhood, it wasn't love or even caring for one another; they were a Military Unit. Taking care of each other only made logical sense and that was surely the reason motivating her now. As she extends a gloved hand to Cammy to help her up there is no real trace of emotion in her face, just a similar weariness and the thin veneer of authority as she waited for Satsuki's help.
When the request comes to move Cammy to her chambers, Satsuki nods dutifully; all other activities can be suspended until they assist the Killer Bee back to her chambers. Besides -- she's almost certainly the most aware one here, given the other two's current medication schedules relative to hers.
Likewise moving to help the Killer Bee, Satsuki seems... content. It's only visible in her unguarded body language, though; her face is, as almost always, the empty mask of a Doll. She has a clear purpose, clear directives... and someone she can speak to about those things.
Right now, that's all she needs.
Log created on 20:09:23 12/18/2014 by Satsuki, and last modified on 03:58:25 12/19/2014.