Katarina - Discordant Memories

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Description: Still recovering from her encounter with Dizzy and Ragna, Noel receives not one but two unexpected visitors while in the hospital. Both are familiar faces but one of them might not be quite as altruistic as they claim.

South Town - North Outskirts - Novis Orbis Librarium Medical Camp
<<~The greatest wounds may be those unseen~>>

It happened not long ago. Green eyes flickering open after days of stabilization. A run in with the Command Gear, to pin them down - to assist the Sacred Order in the capture leading into a run in with the wanted man, the Grim Reaper, Ragna Bloodedge. Wounded greatly by the first, the latter only put further stress on her wounds, struggling and thrashing - but no, that didn't happen, did it? It was Hazama who had to run away, retreat, save her.

She doesn't even remember that.

Days ago, she had been brought in by a team that had identified the clash. Many of the Sacred order and NOL agents were about Southtown. The violent clash, where Hazama fought bravely to make time(?) was not in vain, though he had lead him away. Noel was found alone in a trash can, which no doubt required her to have additional decontamination added onto stabilizing and treating her wounds.

Sound of the damage even was considered mortal, if it had been an inch or two this way or that, or pierced slightly further. Yet it did not underscore how serious it was.

Now, Noel lays within a hospital gown and then-some within the bed. No mask necessary any-longer, blue beret placed on the table besides her. The damage was serious, a testament to the Command Gear and the power it holds, and it did not seem that Noel would spring back so quickly. The make-shift hospital was a sizable building, commandeered for the correct price to a failing business. Inside, the rooms were split into sections via fake-walls. Noel's was rather normal-sized, just enough to fit a few chairs in, a cabinet or two, and various medical equipment. A bed, as well, of course. Floors, heavily cleaned, were not spotless but mostly disinfected, though the rest of the building showed its age. so quickly.

Boots on the floor, the clinking of chains, Lt. Clio St. Jeanne walks down about the makeshift hospital. She could find the location quickly, it wouldn't be hard at all to just ask about and locate Noel Vermillion. However, Clio is purposefully delaying and doing it for one reason; she's afraid to see her old schoolmate. She's been around Southtown for a while now, she's gotten a good degree of information and been through a good degree of troubles for it. She's been reassigned to the town, and she's been put to a task force comprised of others from her days at the academy. And in all that time she has heard of Noel being put in the hospital and yet Clio hasn't managed the time to visit her. To Clio St. Jeanne, that's bordering on betrayal.

Clio bounces the length of chain she has that serves as a sleeve. It clinks about when she taps the metal together, a steady habit as she focuses herself and comes to think on the matter that Noel is in and some of the information she's gleaned out on the streets. "Damn it, Clio," she mutters to herself, taking her beret off and wringing it for a minute before beating it out and slipping it back over her short, dark hair. It's time to find her former classmate.

Clio just hopes she wasn't completely forgotten in the time she's been in America since the graduation. At the moment, that whole time seems like a world away from the war hanging over head. She follows the fake wall until she finds the one that should hold Noel. And she hesitates a moment before looking inside. "Noel Vermillion?" she asks, "I'm paging a Lieutenant Vermillion?"

Striding confidently amongst the long narrow hallways of the utilitarian building, a lone figure makes their way through the sea of bodies flowing up and down the passages like schools of fish moving in groups towards one task or another. She finds little difficulty in finding passage despite the clustered quarters as people seem to passively take notice of her presence and slightly alter their path so that they flow around her without forcing the young woman to play the typical game of weaving in and out of the streams of traffic to make her way forward, as if she projects some faint aura that encourages those around her to make way with a subtle nudge to their unconscious instincts.

The reason for this strange behavior has many sources but the most obviously visible to anyone who might take notice of this phenomenon is the black uniform that she wears. Covered from neck to ankle in a massive flared greatcoat, the outfit stands out like a dark smudge against the off-whites and robin's egg blues of the walls and uniforms of the various orderlies going about their tasks. Even the other NOL soldiers are mostly clad in the recognizable bright blue of the standard military uniform and they too take notice of the dark colors she proudly wears, leaving sidelong glances and soft mutters in her wake.

Katarina ignores these things, her expression a soft mask of quiet serenity as always, her lips quirked up in a faint smile as if she is privy to some private joke or amusing tidbit of knowledge that those around her fail to grasp. A curtain of shimmering white hair flares out dramatically behind her as she rounds the bend of a hall, her steps quick and with purpose, but hardly what could be described as hurried. She appears to know exactly where she is going and makes for her destination without letting any form of distraction slow her down.

Much like Clio, she has come, in part, to check up on a former class mate. Though she herself is two years the woman's younger, her own accomplishments combined with a bit of political clout had seen her graduate at the same time as Noel and the others. She had moved on to the engineering corps and thus broken contact with most of the others but this was not a particular issue as she was always something of a loner thanks to her enigmatic personality. The other reason for being here was to perform a favor to the Intelligence division and try to see if her rather unique talents could get any more information out of the injured lieutenant on the sly.

Katarina's booted footfalls on the hard floors announce her presence as she comes to a halt behind another person who happens to be obstructing her path. She tilts her head to the side slightly as Clio calls out for the lieutenant, annoucing her own desire to meet with Vermillion. Well, well, isn't she popular? Her eyes shift to the rank insignia on this mystery guest's uniform, noting the bars of a 2nd Lieutenant. That makes this easy enough.

"Lieutenant." The voice she projects is soft, almost whisper-like, but projects with a strange ease as if she were speaking through an amplifier. "If you don't mind, I have business with Vermillion as well."

It was hard for Noel to remember many a thing, lately. Most of her time in Southtown has been deliberated to her by second and third hand reports. Long periods of space and time simply vanishing into the abyss. First hand knowledge that just ceases to exist. No. Not entirely. A picture in her mind, a snapshot that seems completely foreign, as if it was from a dream. A single memory in a sea, so alien, that is simply seems impossible.

Yet it matches the reports, either verbal or filed, that Noel has read.

That is - up until the fight with... Di...? The command Gear. Noel sits up, pain in her right shoulder and chest spreading near immediately. A hand rests atop her forehead as she tries to picture them. On the ground - pleading. They didn't want to fight. Then what? ... Then what!?

Not a single memory.

The more that she thinks, the less that comes to her - frustration building in tandem with fear before the words 'Noel Vermillion' are spoken. That is something that she can remember. Following it her gaze rises, long hair twisting with it. Clio is not immediately recognized. "Ah? Y..yest! I'm Noel Vermillio-" Clio's face and voice recognized in a delay, "...Clio?" Noel asks, "Clio!" The woman beams, "It's been so long... It's so good to see you agai-" The woman winces, "n!" But does not let it stop her greeting. Though what she does is the appearance of Katarina, like a shadow, behind Clio. Despite such a soft voice Noel can make it out over in her bed. Ah.. another? It doesn't seem like one of the orderlies, nurses, or doctors that she knows of. The voice is familiar, but distant. Something that brings back memories of older, warmer times. However trying they were, it was still fun. It was still something she remembers fondly.

Proof that her memory was still fine.

"Please, come in, both of you." Vermillion requests, though her request wasn't necessary. Not for Katarina especially. She'd make that decision with or without Noel's help. Bandages litter her body here and there, placed almost haphazardly from the damage. Perplexing as it was, the woman had suffered burns, frostbite, frostburn, lacerations, blunt trauma, ... the foot of the bed had a novel hanging onto it for the various threats to her life that even now remain relevant until she fully recovered.

Yet with two old friends, a bright smile seeps through, even then.

Clio remembers all too well the fights she's had. Moreover she remembers all too well how much it's shown that being back home in Metro City has done little to help her genuine skills compared to the world she walks in. Jack-O proved that all too well. The troubles of the past several days have opened Clio's eyes to a vast amount of training she is in need of to get herself back to a place of comfort.

But for now she is going to spend some time with an old friend. When Noel recognizes her, Clio's usual half-lidded expression of wry ennui falls away to a bright smile and a little laugh. And then holding her hands up when Noel excites herself into pain. Some things do not change. "It's okay, it's okay. Don't stress, Noel," she says, entering the room with a nervous laugh and a pulled smile.

Both of? Clio turns around at the second woman's voice and looks up. The black uniform is considered and Noel looks quite pleased. "Oh, okay, sure," she says. Intelligence being here would make things much easier to get word to Captain Hazama. Despite being positioned to work in his task force, and being sent to rescue him in the first place, Hazama has proven damnedably elusive to give information to.

Giving Katarina room, she slips into a spot by the bed. "The mummy costume is great, Noel, but it's a bit early to plan for Halloween," she jokes. "But it's real good to see you again. It's been too long since school." Probably not technically, but it can certainly feel that way now that the Academy days are behind.

Katarina's faint ever-present smile grows slightly upon being 'allowed' into the room but she says nothing as she files into the small space behind the other soldier. Taking up a spot near the end of the bed, she falls into relaxed parade-rest stance, her hands clasped loosely together behind her back. Clio is given the floor first so that they can get her pleasantries and joking out of the way before she dives into the actual work.

She allows her eyes to drift slowly closed and listens intently to the sound of the two women's voices as they share greeting, taking in the faint musical tones that underline the articulated words as if in accompanyment to their speech. Ofcourse, only she can hear this subtle music, the soft crescendos and swells of energetic emotion rising as the joy of reunion fills their souls with happiness. But there is something slightly off to the tune, some underlying corruption that turns what should be a pleasant melody into a dischordant imperfection. This is not the fault of either of the two of them, though she can feel the turbulence of Noel's mind as the lingering struggle of her ordeal warbles the air around her.

As if suddenly struck by inspiration, Katarina lifts a hand to snap her fingers, the sound somewhat strange through her metal gauntlets. Opening her deep red eyes, she turns to look at Clio, nodding to herself.

"Ah, I remember you now. Jeanne, was it not? If I recall, you were stationed abroad in the West. I assume the recent troubles have brought you back into the fold?"

Noel can't help it, though, which Clio might remember. Friends are everything to her - and her kindness is something the sharper edge of a double edged blade. Not that it ever usually bites her. Not like this. With a nod, the woman still smiling at Clio accepts it. She won't stress. She'll relax somewhat. The nod is her bond. Of course. With Intelligence here... Oh, of course Noel knows intelligence. Working under Major Kisaragi, Noel has been familiar with some of the more negative aspects of the Librarium.

There's no real choice but to accept them, for her, though.

Leaning a bit forwards, pain shooting through her frame, Noel freezes so that Clio wouldn't worry. Waving a little and laughing, Noel shakes her head. "Can't ever be too prepared, Clio." Noel answers playfully. It puts her heart at ease, her head at rest, to see her - and Katarina as well. "It has been. I'm so glad to see you again!" She agrees, nodding. To see anyone again. As Katarina speaks up, noting that she remembers Clio, Vermillion's green eyes rise to Katarina's face - resting upon it as she thinks once more, rather deeply. Oh. OH. It begins to come back as well, slowly and surely. She was a class-mate, but ... she wasn't ever as close as Makoto, or Tsubaki, or Mai. Noel doesn't have a perfect memory, after all. "Oh! Y-yes, you were there, too... Ah! I'm so sorry!" She declares to Miss Katarina, bowing her head and ... freezing.

THAT jolt of pain she wasn't ready for, eyes tearing up and muscles tensing as she takes a moment to compose herself, wiping away the slight bit of water from her eyes and inching herself up with careful breaths. It took time getting used to ... not hurting yourself.

"W....What brings you two here? I'm so happy to see you both, for whatever reason it might be for." Probably more of Katarina's liking! Speaking of, the young woman would certainly feel the uncertainty, but it would lessen the more friendly things became. Certain questions would cause other spikes, though!

Clio can't help but laugh quietly at what Noel puts herself through. She shakes her head, puts her hand on the side of the bed and keeps smiling at Noel. She's there for her friend and she's not entirely ashamed to note that she's almost forgotten the other woman in the room until she herself is remembered. Even then, Clio has to look at Katarina for a moment before inclining her head with a sudden realization.

"It's St. Jeanne, actually, but you can just call me Clio. We all went to school together," she says with a smile. This girl gave off the same vibes as the officers stationed over in America. It was a bit discomforting. "That's exactly why I'm here. Transferred to Kagura Mutsuki's co-," Clio stops and moves quickly, nearly putting a hand on Noel's shoulder when Noel freezes up. "Easy," she mutters quietly with a pained hope. Being sarcastic around Noel is normally fun by Clio's memory, but a wounded one is like kicking a puppy. Kicking puppies is not a past time Clio endorses.

"I'm here for you, Noel, wanted to say hi, I've been real busy though. Had a few run ins and trying to get a word to Captain Hazama's a real pain. Sorry it's taken me so long."

Katarina inclines her head slightly in apology when she is corrected on the name. She listens patiently for the woman to elaborate, ready to file away whatever information she might offer, only to be interrupted by the patient's sudden bout of pain as she moves too much and too suddenly.

With Clio moving quickly to offer her aid and Noel being slumped over with the agony of her foolishness, neither of them would likely take notice of the strange ripple of emotion that flows through the black-clad girl in response. Her lips part in a slight and silent gasp of pleasure, her eyes becoming half-lidded like a junkie who has just had a hit of their favorite drug. She relaxes briefly, her hand hovering lightly in the air as her fingers twitch in the faint movements of a conductor leading a grand orchestra through a particularly passionate piece. Then the moment passes and she snaps back to normal, her hand moving to rest behind her back once more and she watches Clio ease the injured lieutenant back into a more restful position with that faint smile once more in place.

"Do take care, lieutenant," she says, her voice filled with concern. "It would be rather unfortunate for your wounds to reopen in such a...careless manner."

'Making the medical staff look bad on top of the shame you've already heaped on the rest of us certainly won't help your reputation either,' she thinks. 'To have the Bloodedge within your grasp and let him slip away. And to be found discarded like a piece of trash! Disgraceful.'

None of that disgust shows on Katarina's face, her visible emotions kept carefully in check behind the mask of gentleness. Despite the uneasiness that her presence in an official capacity brings to the room, she seems to radiate a sense of soothing calm in counterpoint to her dark attire, balancing out her function with personality in a harmonious yin and yang.

"As much as I would like to say I have come to catch up on old times, I am afraid I have been sent for more official reasons. Your memory continues to be one of our best sources of information regarding the encounter with the rebel Ragna the Bloodedge and this reported second 'Command Gear'."

Katarina shifts sideways and takes a seat on the edge of the bed, making sure not to disturb Noel's body in any way as she lightly settles down. Her smile becomes more pronounced and friendly as she reaches out to rest a hand atop Noel's shoulder, gripping it lightly in a reassuring manner.

"So... why don't you try and tell me what you remember, hmm? Start from the beginning, see if you can't recall a little more."

Oh yes. ST. Jeanne. Noel would have likely gotten that one slightly wrong as well, but with Clio correcting Katarina and Noel (unknowingly) she helps her out so much! Noel doesn't catch that Clio is under Kagura - but she does catch the hand that rests on her shoulder afterwards, a muffled and silent 'thank you' slipping out before she asks the two of them. Noel would be glad that Clio does not like to kick puppies!

It really would be a big negative.

"F..for me?" Noel asks, "Awww... thank you so much Clio! Yeah...with how busy everyone is it must have been so had to find time..." She hopes she isn't causing extra worrying, too! Noel is, unsurprisingly, pretty apologetic. "Ah, a few run ins? You're okay, aren't you? I hope it hasn't been too rough." The words from Clio, and her own pain, limit Noel from noticing anything odd about Katarina's ... pleasure? from her own pain. Noel may not even think such a thing would be possible in NOL. She would be dead wrong... but though there are odd cases, how odd can they be?

"Y-Yes of course..." Noel remarks, laying back against the pillows and comfortable mattress. Which is to say, more comfortable than the floor or dumpster. "I wouldn't want that at all. That's so caring of you." Noel completely misunderstands - which goes to show Katarina's choice of words having quite the affect.

It is as if a dagger is thrust into her chest the moment that Katarina speaks on memories. Eyes do not widen all at once, but there is a sizable increase in the volume of her internal strife, a crescendo that quiets momentarily, "Of course...." Vermillion speaks. Start from the beginning.

It might do her good. The calming presence helps her speak, helps focus her. "From the start." As Katarina settles down, a hand on her shoulder, even words become easier. It's a jumble, but it's not entirely broken. "It was near the Amusement Park in Southtown, near the Harbor. It... I mean the Command Gear had escaped that way. I searched the Park for them, but the clues were how I found her. There was a ... hole in the ceiling of the haunted house. I may have seen them before I went in but..."

'Her' a voice reminds her, Noel nodding, "I found her inside. The escaped Command Gear." It may have already been reported, "She didn't want to fight. She said she wanted to be left alone. She wanted to know why we continued to chase her." The voice halts, pauses, "Then.. I ... no... then she.... the wings moved, and were ... monsters? Faces? ... She talked to ..."

"Yeah, course. What else are friends for?" Clio asks Noel. She has little else to say, really, but the honest truth. She isn't giving much attention to Katarina at the moment, what Clio has to say for intelligence's benefit can wait for the time being. So instead, Clio lets Noel lean back as Clio takes a cross armed lean against the wall.

She looks ahead, staring at the wall, yawning and clinking two links of chain held in her fingers. A steady metronomic rhythm. Clink-clink, clink-clink. Her attention on the wall but her ear is entirely pointed toward Noel and her story.

"Monsters in a haunted house," she comments, "Well, that's something to investigate." She smiles a bit and licks her teeth, eyes closing as she continues to listen aside the bed.

Her hand lowers to the side of the bed. No real words, just a quiet motion in case Noel needs a bit of reassurance to help her remember as the words get more and more spaced and halting.

Katarina's hand remains firmly in place as the story is recounted, a steady reassuring presence to help her delve into what might be painful or jumbled memories. She watches Noel's face intently as she speaks, her gaze seeming almost to encompass the wounded woman like a physical presence as she stares, unblinking and silent. Her eyes glaze over slightly during this recounting as if seeing through the material realm and into some distant etheral dimension as she concentrates on the faint music that fills the air like a haunting waltz.

She Listens, her senses heightened to levels beyond mortal power through the magic of her grimoire. Every word becomes a series of notes, each sentence a refrain in the impromptu symphony of her story. The uneasy disquiet in her voice is matched by a shuddering timbre in the notes, a faint staccato skip in the beats like that of a quavering heartbeat. Each bit of the tale is absorbed and dissected in casual passing, combed over for any unsual traces of out of place emotion or the dull sour tones of a lie.

Strangely, she finds none of this, despite the odd nature of the story's stuttered ending. She isn't lying; or atleast, she believes what she is saying. Whether or not these memories are accurate or the result of severe trauma is beyond her power to divine. Katarina releases her grip from Noel's shoulder and sits upright on the bed, her soothing smile shifting into a neutral expression of contemplation.

"I see. A rather... difficult tale to swallow, I must admit. Are you sure this is all you can remember?"

The clink clink clink isn't a bother to Noel, just like Clio's presence it is reassuring as she continues. "I don't know if they are still there, or what became of them..." Is the response Noel has for Clio's notes, "Yes... I mean n-no!" Noel protests, "I ... there's more I know it..!" Her eyes close as she grasps the bed-sheets about her, teeth gritting somewhat. "There's a few memories... they're sporadic, but... I'm sure something will help." She leans back, glancing up towards Katarina - who takes in her words, one by one. "Her name... was ... was it... Dizzy?" The woman thinks - bits and pieces eluding her, calling her to question every little bit of information. Eyes close as she lays back, casting one glance towards Clio before doing so, as she recounts. "The wings... they're .. alive. They protect her and fight... I remember, at the end... the roof against my knees. An angel... and a devil." From her eyes, at least.

"I don't remember the fight itself... I remember... cold. Everything was cold. Then blistering hot... I think... they had a chance to kill me, but didn't."

Noel isn't certain. Her voice wavers.

"I woke up in Hazama's arms - he was taking me back, I think, to safety. He must have done something to help..."

It breaks. Katarina would be able to tell something was off immediately.

"Then the Grim Reaper arrived. I'm not sure how he found us, but he ..." The thoughts before were muddled. The thoughts here - simply gone. "I..." An uneasy feeling permeates her voice, but there are no words that call for it. "The Grim reaper attacked, and the Captain had to put me aside while... he...?" The words. There were words. "I ... don't .. remember..." The woman remarks, eyes opening. "I don't remember anything at all after he showed up..." Only Captain Hazama, the Grim Reaper. Then nothing.

Not the cries for help to a stranger. Not the resemblance of the man.

Noel grows more distressed, "I .. I'm sorry, I don't remember anything more! I saw everything and..."

There's a slight disturbance. Though Noel doesn't remember anything greatly, the Azure does. A sense of uneasiness that reverberates, a terrible feeling in her gut - but no understanding why. Nothing at all.

Clio listens, she frowns. The words are difficult to listen to, they carry pain of a deep degree. Her eyes are still closed. She starts to clink her chains again as the thoughts go on, the moment in time spread out before the three in the room. "Captain Hazama is looking into thing, Noel," Clio says quietly and with a certain degree of hope. There are people that look out for the others in the NOL, that's as much as Clio wants to get across to her friend.

"It's Makoto, Tsubaki and me. I still need to go meet up with them about it, but we're looking into something about a chain wielder that fought the Bloodedge. That's probably why I'm on it. There's only so many people that proficient." She laughs quietly. "Wish it could've been me to be that skilled." She opens her eyes and takes a tep off the wall. "I'm sure Hazama has plenty of information that he's seen. Shouldn't be too hard for Intelligence to put things together from those accounts. I mean, they're Intelligence, right?" she gives a look toward Katarina at that moment.

"It's a good thing you're so accident prone sometimes, I think a lesser woman wouldn't have been carried away from something that sounds as bad as that." She returns to her spot by the wall and Noel's bed. "There anything else you need?" she asks Katarina. "Don't know if pushing Noel's going to do a whole lot more now."

Katarina closes her eyes as Noel surges forth with more memories, once more sifting through the musical discord to find the anomalies within. While normally this would help her to cut through the nonsensical ramblings of this sort with greater ease, she finds that the music makes even less sense than the woman's words, which is an absolute first.

Demons and angels. Chilling fire and burning cold. Living wings and Grim Reapers. So little of it makes sense that she's almost compelled to simply quit listening and dismiss it as the ravings of a delusional mind. And yet, there is something that keeps her riveted in place; a faint tune that she had never heard before. The music is, for lack of a better phrase, at odds with itself, as if her soul itself is unable to decide which direction is up or down. Or perhaps unwilling to admit the truth. The sound is incredible in its uniqueness and it takes an concentrated effort of will for her to tune it out enough that she can interact with the reality outside of the World-Song.

Those bright red eyes stare at Noel as she opens them once more, a new sparkle of genuine interest shimmering at their edges. Though each person has their own unique 'sound', no one has ever managed to have one so... pure before. It was almost as if, for a few wonderful moments, the corruption had been washed away and the true Song was able to reach her ears yet again. Like always, in its wake she was left feeling hollow and dull, and she instinctively leaned forward to grasp hold of it again, to squeeze yet more of that precious turbulence from the wounded lieutenant.

Clio's voice stops her cold, her hand hovering a few inches away from the surface of her leg. Her fingers collapse into a soft fist in frustration but she quickly hides it by folding her other hand atop it in her lap in a demure gesture. Closing her eyes, Katarina takes a deep breath and huffs it out softly, the wistfulness in her voice completely genuine.

"No, I suppose not." When she turns to Noel once more, her kind smile returns and all traces of the hungry gleam in her eyes is gone. She reaches out to pat her encouragingly on the leg before rising to her feet. "Thank you for your report, Lieutenant. I'll report these new details immediately. I'm sure they'll prove to be...quite interesting."

Inclining her head to Noel and the Clio, the younger girl turns on her heels and marches out of the room smartly, the sound of her footsteps quickly vanishing into the soft din of activity in the halls.

The words that Clio provide to Noel are supposed to bring comfort. Yet there is a deep unease despite that. That Captain Hazama is looking into it. "Ah... you're all looking into the Grim Reaper? Please be careful. He's ..." What is he? "... so very dangerous." Yes. It must be Ragna the Bloodedge. That is the unease. His very presence.

It must be. The man that attacked her and Hazama? ... It must be because of him. She decides that is where it comes from, tying the two together.

"I know you'll all figure it out." She remarks, smiling once more as her hands rest on her own lap. The woman nods her head, bobbing it up and down enthusiastically - and another sharp gasp of pain is elicted. "Y-yes." She tries to play it off. "I'm sure he has a lot of information. I hope he's doing well. I'll have to thank him in the future..." There's a slight pulse once more, as if a warning, but Noel pauses only momentarily. "... Ah?" ... And then she laughs, cheerfully. "Oh! Clio, thank you! It did turn out alright. I'm still here, and even if he got away, there's a hero, or someone looking out for everyone in Southtown...." The Azure is as much as part of Noel as her hair, or arms - something she doesn't even know, or understand.

Noel wasn't supposed to 'live' through the encounter with Dizzy - yet such a thing happened. Green eyes turn to Katarina after Clio speaks, a sad gaze upon her - but somehow not upon the arm that reaches out. "I ... apologize that I didn't have more information. If I remember anything, I ..." - Her head rises up, gaze rising instead of staring at knees and legs, surprised. "Ah? Oh! Of course, ma'am!" She responds, "It's my duty." An honest pure response - even if there is a bit of sadness behind it..

"I hope it helps someone else, however it might!" She adds, smiling to Katarina as she leaves.

That is, before laying entirely back once more, rolling slightly on her side to gaze at Clio. "...I was so scared." She admits. "I'm not sure how I stayed to fight her... I almost want to believe it was a nightmare."

"Hey, we're nothing but careful," Clio says. "We just throw Makoto at it. If it doesn't break, we run." She's making light of the seriousness of the issue, but it's that defense mechanism that keeps Clio moving along.

And Clio is fine just sitting near the wall, arms crossed and waiting, watching Katarina finally finish her piece before moving on and leaving. Clio's chains clink in time with Katarina's paces, jostled by a twitching middle and index fingers. "I'm sure what you have will help someone," Clio says afterwards. "I'm glad I got the chance to see you. The past few days I've seen a lot. Ran into one of the gears. Not near like the one you did, but, I think in a way she let me go without as much as she could've done," she admits to Noel, turning and sitting at the far end of the bed.

She thinks back to Jack-O, the talk of choices, and of what is a weapon. "Something about them feels wrong. She was actually pretty cool until she tried to attack this coffee shop for, well, seemed like no reason. She acted like she had one but I think she was just making it up as she went along." She laughs and takes off her beret to run her hand through her short hair. "And I think Captain Hazama did something to piss off some mercenaries known as the Ikari. Had a run in with one of them, too. Gave me a drawing to go off." She tosses the chain's spiked end from one hand to the other.

"This place is a lot more than America right now. But now that I'm transferred here, it'll be good to see you girls again." A smile comes to her and she stands up. "And, uh, I may have forgotten this until this moment, but I ran into someone strange. Called himself Jaeger or Naoto, he could heal himself, also threw around the word Bloodedge. Hits like a truck, too. Brown haired kid a little younger than us. That sound like anything you know?"

It's far healthier than Noel's coping mechanism. Clio, Makoto, Tsubaki and Mai may have noticed it in passing, but it's almost a reverse coping mechanism, guaranteed to make things worse. It's not their problems, though, so Noel doesn't tend to make her problems public. So many things that she doesn't understand. So many things that she doesn't know. To talk to Clio about blanking out in mid-battle. To admit to Katarina that this has happened multiple times before. To note the unease that comes with Hazama nd Ragna...

No. It is better unmentioned. Better left unsaid, and held close to her heart.

Clio's note that it would help someone brings a smile to Noel's face. "I think so too." Vermillion responds, and nods once more. "O-Oh? Phew... I'm so glad you're alright, Clio. If something had happened and I didn't even know you were nearby..." It's left unsaid as she nods to Clio's words, shifting a bit under the covers to be more comfortable. Only slightly, and slowly. "They did? That's nothing like the one I met..." How weird, "Did he? The Captain... really?" How interesting! It leaves Noel with many a question... she dare not ask. "I wonder what he must have done..." E-Eh?!

"It's great to see you around as well, but you'll have to visit me a bit longer." She laughs, cheerfully, "I may be spending my Birthday here... but I might be able to instead be transferred back home to visit family, as long as I recover soon enough!" There's a pause, however, as Clio adds another player into the mix. "...Eh? .. N-No, not at all. I haven't seen him around. I'm sorry, I've met a few odd people in Southtown, but none of them fit that description..." Makai, for example. "Ah... I'm sorry Clio but..." A nurse and doctor stand at the entrance, "I think the bandages need to be changed...I'm really sorry..." More apologies.

It's a lot to take in and Clio St. Jeanne needed to get it out and into the open. There's a lot of trouble out there, and she felt someone needed to know and who else but an old friend that had maybe a little too much care inside of her. "Hey, we're knights, remember? It's in the oath and everything. And knights get hurt so other people don't have to."

She starts to make her way around the edge of the bed and shakes her head with a grin. "Bird watching, is what Captain Hazama said. But I think it's pretty clear he has some suspicion about these Ikaris. Not sure what, though. Probably looking into the war going on. Since apparently these guys brand us enemy combatants."

Edging close to the door still, Clio is slow to leave one of the first familiar faces she's seen in Japan. "When you get out, I want to show you a spot I found where it's still pretty quiet and you can get a good look at the stars. You know, to not have to always think about fighting." And then comes the medical staff. "Oh, yeah, sorry about that. I just haven't run into too many people that have been up to talking. And, yeah. Stop apologizing or people might think you've actually done something bad in your life." She heads to the door and slips past the medics. IT's a bright day, and normally Clio hates those and wants to spend them away and napping, but now, now she feels good as she walks out of the makeshift field hospital and back into the breach.

Log created on 16:20:39 12/10/2017 by Katarina, and last modified on 21:33:47 12/10/2017.