Description: When Rafferty, Nena, Edenlith and Storm visit the mall, they run into Kishimoto Hikaru, a Justice High student who makes strange claims to the elite school's curriculum. A challenge is issued, and a new mystery behind Nena's origins emerges.
"D, I can't believe I got a D!" Rafferty groans, staring at his physics paper mournfully, as if this may magically alter the grade.
Folding the offending assignment back up and slipping it in to his backpack, the blond boy eyes his girlfriend, Nena with some disdain.
"How could you do this to me, babe? How am I supposed to get through the rest of the semester now, without you doing my work for me?"
He runs a hand through his platinum locks and looks dangerously close to scowling.
"I mean, what do you think about it, Eden? She's kinda landed me in it, huh?"
As the schoolboy strolls along with his two closest school friends (three, if you count Storm the cat), his eyes come to rest on the window display of a nearby department store. The Pacific High School pupils have come to the Southtown Mall area to hang out after class, so right now the young model is still dressed in the school's red, white and blue uniform, albeit head to toe designer labels. The goods on display in the store however, are far more to his taste. It was the same store in which he'd recently purchased a splendidly superb red suit on sale. A suit that had been meant to be his a day prior, before that damn kid got in the way.
Shaking his head, as a means to rid it of unwanted thoughts, he looks towards Eden expectantly, hoping for some back up in Stewart v Washington:The Case of the Incininerated Homework.
For all the scathing rebuke that she's receiving from Rafferty, Nena appears entirely nonplussed. The brunette schoolgirl is, as ever, dressed in her blue and white Pacific High sailor-style uniform and red tie, although today, she's decided to accessorize, sporting an additional floppy wide-brimmed sun hat and opaque black aviator sunglasses.
"My ethical code prevents me from willingly acting in contradiction to the regulations of our shared academic institution, Rafferty. By failing to make known to me that your request was against Pacific High's school policy, you made me an unwitting accomplice. If I am ejected from Pacific High on the basis of academic fraud, I may be forced to relocate to another town in order to continue my high school career, or drop out, or worse: become a student of the maligned Taiyo High."
With her extended counter-argument given, Nena raises the cranberry-apple-boisenberry smoothie that she's drinking to her lips and takes a long swig.
"This crappleberry smoothie is delicious," she reports calmly.
Eden was walking, in her usual school outfit. She wears that outfit almost all the time. She fights in it, go to school with it, walks around with it. But it's always clean, so she removes it sometimes.
At Rafferty's question, Eden brings up a sign. "I understand you're not happy to have gotten the D Raff. But Nena is only looking out for you. She wants you to use you brain. Right now, you're like candy wrapped into some pretty paper, but empty inside. Empty like brainwise." She then looks at Nena, and the sign changes. "Though, you might want to help him with homeworks anyway, or he won't graduate before he's 50, and by that time he won't be a model anymore, just a has been, while you will have gone up in the world." Another sign appears beside the first "Or maybe you should just break up with him now, drop the useless weight." She grins at Nena.
Eden was different lately, she was still their friends, and having their back, but she felt... meaner in a way. Even Storm didn't really know what to say, but does end up speaking. "It might be good to do your own homeworks. One day you might need to rely on your knowledge to get through life. You only penalize yourself however, so it's up to you.
Eden then looks at Nena once more. With a sign, she asks. "Give me a taste?" About her smoothie. She was already leaning toward it. Seeing this, Storms says. "Wait until Nena answers at least Eden." Eden gives yet another sign, this time to her cat. "Shut up, or I will make you."
The dark blue Justice High uniform comes into view when Kishimoto turns the corner. His eyes are on a book in front of him, but his path puts him directly in front of Rafferty and his friends, the young man not looking like he's looking where he's going. The book he has in hand is some textbook on Justice High's absurd curriculum.
Social Engineering 3, it was called, with the subtext: Making the World Work for You. He seems like he's on a collision course with the trio (plus cat) when he stops suddenly mid-step, looking towards the same display window that Rafferty was looking at moments ago, a hand lifting to run fingers through his dark hair as he studies the mannequin.
"That looks like it'd fit me," he tells the three, interrupting the conversation and continuing, his eyes shifting to the cat...
"...Did that cat just talk?"
He's never seen anything so strange before, though his features remain perfectly stoic as he studies the cat as if trying to will it to speak again.
"Hey, it wasn't cheating. It was helping me out" Rafferty suggests to Nena, adding a charming smile for good measure.
"I get it though, if you're more worried about yourself, than my grades and I suppose it would be a real pain for me to have to visit you somewhere else. I don't really wanna add time to my commute, or go hang out at Taiyo."
He peers suspiciously at the robot girl's smoothie, taking a sip from his own more conventional Strawberry and Banana blend.
As his blue eyes shift sideways to view Eden's sign, his expression switches to one of surprise.
"Jeez, Eden. Way to be a downer" he complains, upon not receiving the back up he desired.
"You're right about me no longer modeling at fifty though, because by the time I'm fifty, I'll be living in Malibu and will have won at least three Oscars. Daniel, I'm coming for your title, man."
He grins to himself, escaping into fantasy world for a short stay.
"As for Nena ditching me, why would she do that? She'll love it in Hollywood. She can get all the weird ass smoothies she wants and I will have a girlfriend who looks permanently young. She'll fit in wonderfully."
He taps his blond head, focusing his attention on his feline friend."I have all the knowledge I need and what I don't know, I will find out. I'm willing to bet none of it will be connected to physics homework."
The boy's speculations about his glittering future are disrupted by him noticing the good looking Justice student, gazing into the window of the department store. Finding it hard to resist commenting on a fashion choice, he nods his head with enthusiasm.
"I think you're right, man. About the outfit, I mean. In regards to the cat..." His honeyed tone trails off, replaced by a simple shrug of his broad shoulders.
It's impossible to see which way Nena's eyes go with her current eyewear, but she does turn her head a little toward the signs appearing near Eden.
"I am willing to assist him in the learning process, even if it will encroach upon our scheduled movie observation periods. I also do not wish to end our relationship. All of his weight is of value to me."
She holds the beverage out for Eden to drink as much as she wishes. "As a word of warning, when I said that it was delicious, I was only trying to fit in. I do not possess the intrinsic faculties necessary to qualify deliciousness, though I can vouch for its nutritional value."
She turns her head to face Kishimoto.
"Greetings. I am Nena, formerly erroneously classed as ordinary teenage girl Nena, now erroneously classed as killer robot Nena. To clarify, while I possess the capacity for lethal force, I do not engage it, even when my boyfriend manipulates me into illicit activities."
She turns her head slightly toward Eden and her pet.
"That is Storm. He is a special cat."
Eden simply grinds a Rafferty's response before taking a sip of Nena. Then she makes a what the fuck face, and drops it back into the cup from her mouth. A sign appears over her head. "What the fuck? Yea." yes it was nasty and rude of her. Then she looks atthe new student and another sign appears for him. "Yes the cat can talk, yo ucan talk, everyone can talk. Well except me, but I communicate well enough." Storm "Yes I talk."
Eden then rubs her tongue to get all the tastes away from that horrible smoothie. She makes one last sign. "They should call this "Garbage disposal smoothie."
Kishimoto takes a second glance at the trio -- and cat -- gathered before him. Justice High conditioning and a childhood raised by ninjas (yeah, the adolescents of Southtown are so strange) has him already assessing the social situation he's found himself in.
First, the boy in uniform. He seems to chatter a lot and do most of the speaking. He's good looking. He was the first to speak. Clearly he's the leader. He gets a brief look up and down, which could easily be misconstrued as a COOL raise of his chin in greeting. Chi signature minimal.
Next, the girl who's claiming she's a robot. No chi signature he could read. She either really is a robot or she's insane. Her declaring her capability for lethal force might indicate she's a potential threat. His eyes sweep over her briefly.
Then Eden. There's a chi signature there. Signs appears when she's communicating. His eyes take them in with stoic acceptance of this bizarre encounter. When the cat speaks, he looks at it expressionlessly, his hands slowly closing his book and tucking it under his arm.
The uniform is what gives it away, but Kishimoto still makes it sound like their school is the sole reason for their oddities -- or their oddities are the sole reason they are students of the school they attend. He says: "Ah. Pacific High. That explains it."
It doesn't sound particularly friendly, but Kishimoto doesn't really know how to make friends yet, not outside the enclave.
"I am Kishimoto Hikaru, from Justice High," he greets, with all the airs of someone expecting some kind of favorable reaction from this revelation.
Rafferty's face lights up with joy, as Nena asserts her intention to continue their previous academic arrangement.
"You're the best, babe" he beams, reaching down a hand to stroke her dark tresses.
"Don't you worry though, there will always be time for movies too. I think Goodfellas and The Departed might be next on our list."
He watches curiously as Eden bravely indulges in the dubious delights of the Crappleberry concoction. As expected, her reaction is far from positive. He can't help but stifle a laugh at the horrified look on her face. Then he's looking towards Kishimoto, wondering what he will make of his girlfriend's unusual introduction.
The other boy seems to be assessing them all in some manner. He's cool, he's calm, he's collected. Rafferty has some admiration for all these things and he is confident he won't be found wanting, should a judgement be indeed taking place. Apparently taking no offence at his words about their school, the model nods, adding in a friendly smile for good measure.
"Yeah, we go to Pacific" he confirms.
"It's a really good school and the food in the cafeteria is excellent. I've heard some interesting things about Justice."
He doesn't state what these are, but his tone doesn't sound hostile. It also however doesn't sound particularly impressed.
"I'm Rafferty Lawrence Stewart and you totally need to buy that outfit. It will be perfect with your frame and coloring."
Nena takes her smoothie back, returning the straw to her lips for another quiet sip. After a moment, she says, "This garbage disposal smoothie is not delicious, but I find it refreshing."
She turns her attention back to the newcomer - or at least, it looks like she does. Her expression is remarkably difficult to read with those sunglasses on - almost like a certain character in certain science fiction movies of the past three or more decades played by a well-known Austrian actor.
"As you are a student of Justice High, and not Taiyo, it is good to meet you, Kishimoto Hikaru. Are you also a competitor in the Rising Star Tournament?"
If Kishimoto can actually feel powers, there is rather psy energy coming from her, if it's just a guess, chi is as good of a guess as any.
She still rubs her tongue a moment more, which Storm takes the time to talk to the newcomer. "I am Storm. Nice to meet you. I am Eden's cat, at least for now. She can be pretty cool, when she's not... Well she's just eccentric and peculiar." It was a nice way to put it, not exactly right.
Finally, having rubbed her tongue enough, with a hand that has some saliva on it, which she extends to Kishimoto, a sign coming beside her head as she does so. "I am Eden, nice to meet you." She also shows a sign to Nena. "You need some taste detector, maybe. I am amused you're still drinking it, but not surprised. I suppose you wouldn't have any reference to such a situation. It's awesome." She ends up grinning.
"I have not yet heard interesting things about Pacific High," Kishimoto observes to Rafferty, but then he allows, "Until now."
His eyes drift to the smoothie in Nena's hand, and despite his collected expression, his brow rises at her review of it. "I haven't heard any interesting things about Taiyo High yet either," he states. "No doubt a less interesting school than your own."
Then Eden's offering that hand out to him, that saliva-covered hand, and he stares at it for a moment before looking up at her face. He ends up not taking the hand, instead lifting his own to brush through his hair again.
"Yes. It is good to meet you all. I haven't joined the Rising Star tournament, I'm afraid. I was instructed to instead join the Neo League, as they apparently accept people our age. It is also part of my grade."
"I don't think garbage disposal is gonna quite catch on as a flavor option" Rafferty laughs, sipping some more on his own delicious drink. He apparently hasn't noticed that Nena is now drinking Eden's backwash. At the mention of The Rising Star Tournament, he bristles slightly.
"Yeah, sorry again that I missed you beating the bear, babe. Simon says it was quite the display."
His piercing blue eyes flit curiously, between Eden and Storm, as the duo deliver their greetings to Kishimoto, settling on the dark haired boy again, to observe his reaction to the whole display.
"I'm glad we could make the reputation of our school more interesting to you" he responds, the corners of his lips curling up with amusement, as the jibe towards Taiyo is delivered.
"You have a lot of rich kids at your school, right?"
The Justice student's rejection of Edenlith's hand is met with a nod of approval.
"Wise choice, man. You don't know where those hands have been."
His blue haired buddy gets a wink to follow, proving he is mostly joking.
Nena lowers the straw of her smoothie away from her lips and considers Eden's comment.
"I do not know if it is possible to create an accurate method of assigning taste. It is possible to assess the contents of food items and judge the inherent value or danger in consuming them, and perhaps to assign positive or negative reinforcement based on those criteria. However, it would appear that flavour is largely an arbitrary construct of the human brain and olfactory systems, for which I possess only an artificial analogue."
She turns to Kishimoto in turn. It is quite a turning point in the conversation.
"What is the purpose of the Neo League? Is it a political organisation, or a competition?"
She doesn't look aside to Rafferty when she speaks to him - or at least, she doesn't turn. Her eyes may perhaps shift, but this is unobservable at present.
"My encounter with Mr. Kuma was very enlightening. I find his language more efficient than English, though not as efficient as communicating in my first language, streaming binary."
She does finally turn her head slightly in her boyfriend's direction.
"Perhaps next time you could attend my match while completing your homework, Rafferty. That would be efficient."
Eden is not really surprised at the refusal of touching, but it's also not amusing, compare to Nena going on with her drink. She just smiles at Kishimoto..
Then she seems to ponder a moment, before she hears of Rafferty's comment. He's joking of course, and she winks back, and pats her back. She showed she understood. Understood it so much, she patted his back with her saliva coated in. Though when she's done, her hand is no longer coated in saliva.
She then proceeds to look at Nena, before making a sign. "Could you have not have a random base of what you love and hate, and then go on based on that? Humans seem to work pretty much that same way in taste."
Storm has to bring his voice in again, when he hears Nena talking to Rafferty about his homeworks. "She got a point there. You would be encouraging your love, while still helping yourself. It's a win win situation. Unless bullets start flying around!"
Eden attention goes back to Kishimoto, asking him a question this time, of course with her sign. "Are you a good fighter Kishimoto, or do you only think you are? Nena is an awesome one, Rafferty is... Rafferty. He's an awesome model, and general eye candy for the girls." She doesn't say about herself however.
"I do not know if the number of rich kids is any greater than the number that attend Pacific High, though I'm sure there are more Japanese students there," Kishimoto muses to Rafferty. "However, there is some in the student body who didn't pay tuition, but rather received a scholarship. Justice High is the most elite school in the world," he makes this bold claim with a casual shrug, as if this was an objective observation.
"The Neo League is a competition," Kishimoto explains patiently. "Fighters challenge each other and rise in the ranks, scoring points based on the score of their opponent. The fights are televised. Due to the host of the league being a Southtown native this year, all Neo League fights should take place here in Southtown." His eyes drift along to encompass this mall with this information.
Eden's question is read by Kishimoto, and his expression shifts ever so slightly, the corners of his mouth twitching.
"The fighters of Justice High are the most capable fighters of our age group," Kishimoto claims. His chin raises up slowly. "I count myself among their number, yes," he tells her.
Rafferty appears confused by Nena's suggestion.
"No, because we decided you're gonna be doing my homework again, didn't we?" he questions, though the way he asks it, sounds more like a statement.
"Anyway, Simon agrees with me that I'm not cut out for watching fighting. It's on account of my sensitive nature. I'm meant to observe beauty, not violence. Unless it's in a movie" he quickly adds, glancing towards Storm too.
He visibly cringes as Eden pats his back with her saliva smothered skin.
"More dry cleaning for the load" he mutters, though he can't stay mad at her, when she sends a compliment his way.
"Well, thank you for noticing my modeling skills" he smiles, smoothing back a stray lock from his smooth forehead.
"As for being eye candy for the girls, I'm sure Kishimoto here knows how that feels. Am I right?" he asks, with a grin towards the dark haired boy.
"I'm sure he's a big hit over at Justice, whether or not he can hit big."
As the boy in question explains about his own and his school's part in the Neo League, Rafferty remains silent, not having any fighting prowess of his own to brag about, getting babies to punch themselves aside. He does appear interested in the demographic of Justice's students though.
"Wow, you must be very smart to attend there then" he remarks sincerely.
"I'm lucky that I have my fees paid for me, though not by my parents, there's no way they could afford a school like Pacific. I think my roomie, Ryan is pretty rich though. At least his dad is always sending him cool stuff from London and he has a really sweet set of wheels."
Nena appears to consider Eden's suggestion, her floppy hat flopping as her head tilts slightly to the side. It's something of an unusual tic for an android - perhaps one picked up from observing others in thought.
"I suppose. Alternatively, I can simply make arbitrary declarations regarding the flavour of my food and drink."
She turns her head toward Kishimoto.
"It is my understanding that Pacific High is superior to all other schools in Southtown. However, I cannot provide academic or performance-based evidence to substantiate this claim. Anecdotally, my grades are perfect, but I am an android, and therefore a superior repository of academic data to my fellow students."
She turns to Eden once more.
"Perhaps we may participate in the Neo-League. I must first see my participation in the Rising Star tournament to its conclusion. My next opponent will be the one by whom you were defeated."
She turns to Rafferty.
"Perhaps we will clarify the nature of my continuing assistance in your academic pursuits at a more convenient time."
Eden smiles at Rafferty, almost a smirk. "I respect your modeling" Truth be told, as mean or nasty sometimes she can be, she never went to the face.
Eden then listens to the answer of Kishimoto and smiles at him. "Great, but not cool. I can't do Neo. I might have to do an ambush one day." She shrugs her shoulders, then hugs Rafferty out of blue, quite a bit after the modeling. Another sign. "Thank you for being you." She seems to actually mean it, whatever she actually meant. She eventually let go however.
She ponders Nena's answer, before a sign pops up. "Well you're the best Android I know." She grins, but then later ends up perking up when she says they may participate in the neo league, another sign popping. "Oh yea? I will have to participate one day. I did not know that. When I have some free time. I am participating in something else... Soonish." Storm adds. "Yea, she had to participate into that... it seems horror based or something. ugh." The cat wasn't happy about it at all.
"There are girls who seem interested in me," Kishimoto admits to Rafferty's praise. He was right, too. There were at least three girls who had made a Kishimoto fan club, and some of the shenanigans he was forced to go through at Justice High was avoiding the fan club at all costs.
And then his eyes trail to Nena, when she makes her mechanical observation, and his lips press. School pride was part of the high school experience, and he wasn't going to be outdone by a robot. "If you believe Pacific High is superior to Justice High, then your programming is faulty. One hundred percent of all alumni from Justice High have moved on to do great things."
Eden's reasons to not wanting to join Neo make sense to the Justice High student. He was raised a ninja after all. /What if he has to do an ambush someday?/ He brushed the thought out of his mind. He was supposed to bring glory to the Kishimoto ninja clan, to make their name mean something again. The league will have t do.
Still, it makes him wonder. "Do you find yourself ambushing people often?" When the cat speaks, he gives it another glance. It makes him uncomfortable, really, that the cat could talk, but he keeps his cool -- of course he does. He's Kishimoto.
"Sure thing, babe" Rafferty nods at Nena. "Though I'm not really sure what's left to clarify."
He's blindsided by Eden's affectionate outburst and his posture initially stiffens, but soon softens as he starts to trust the girl only means to hug him.
He returns the gesture, patting her back, as she did with his earlier, though his hand is free of any fluids, bodily or otherwise. He's done with his drink now and disposes of the empty cup in a nearby trash can, before smiling warmly towards her.
"I don't really find it difficult to be myself, but you're welcome."
His dark eyebrows raise, at Storm's mention of horror, but he decides not to enquire about it further. It's probably best he doesn't know.
Nodding knowingly towards Kishimoto, as the other boy confirms his suspicions, he then shifts his gaze between he and Nena, curious as to what her comeback may be. Although he himself is mostly happy at Pacific High, unpleasant incidents aside, he doesn't feel the same sense of pride and passion for it's reputation as the Justice student seems to do for his own school.
"I appreciate your positive comparison in relation to other electronic devices such as smart phones, Eden," Nena replies to Eden's remark in the same tone - her voice isn't strictly monotonous, but the meter of her speech is stilted in an unusual way. "I hope that you find your endeavour satisfying, as well."
Kishimoto receives what seems like an almost chilling scrutiny from the girl - all the more so for the fact that the robot's eyes are hidden.
"If my programming contains faults, then it is a matter of human participation in its creation, and not my own modifications. Perhaps in the future you will be able to provide evidence for your claim with greater clarification, without bias, and by citing verifiable sources. For now, I will flag your entry in my databanks as 'disputed.'"
She finishes her rebuttal by slurping the last contents of the crappleberry garbage disposal smoothie, crumpling the cup in her grip, and bank-shotting the detritus into a nearby garbage bin without taking her sunglasses off of Kishimoto.
Eden seems to enjoy the pat from Rafferty and might have pressed more than she needed during the hug. She ends up giving a smile. It was hard to tell if it was a genuine or fake one, as her smiles tend to be grins or more... meaner smiles.
Then Eden looks at Kishimodo, straight face, as a sign appears beside her head "Only when I have to kill someone. Otherwise, it's really messy, as they tend to defend themselves a lot more. If I Ambush them right ,nobody ever know I was there." She smiles. Another sign, beside the first says. "Thank you for asking Kishimoto. You think anyone would put a contract on you?"
She listens to Nena after that and as the two previous signs disappears, another one comes to show. "Pacific is the best because the three of us go there and they have a talking cat too. Before you say Justice has you. We have our own pretty boy as you know." Meaning Rafferty of course. It's probably the most compliments in one day she did about him.
Despite Kishimoto's school pride, the knowing look from Rafferty has the other boy nodding back stoically, sharing that moment of having to deal with the burden of good looks. His hand even lifts to smooth a stray strand back into his artfully mussed up hairdo, before he looks at Nena.
"Very well. The next time we meet, I will bring evidence of Justice High's superiority," he promises the robot, raising his chin. "If Pacific High has any hope of catching up, then updating their on-campus artificial intelligence will be the first step." It's important to note that Kishimoto has not smiled at all, himself, his features nearly as expressionless as Nena's own.
Nearly. When Edenlith's signs come up, there's a bare twitch at the corner of his mouth, his lip tugging briefly downward. "Justice High does," he says, instead of answering the question directly. "I have Advanced Assassination Defense at third period," he explains flippantly. He shakes his head. "I do not believe I have yet to contribute to the superiority of Justice High over all other schools," he informs her afterwards. "However, I am confident my performance in the League will change that."
"She's gonna need sources" Rafferty agrees knowingly. It seems likely he's encountered a similar experience in his communications with the robotic teen.
If he notices Eden pressing herself against him, he doesn't comment on it, she does get a rather alarmed look from him though, when she starts to talk of contracts and killing.
"Eden, you kinda sound like you're threatening the guy" he laughs, trying to add some lightness to the mood.
Turning to look at the dark haired boy, he adds "Don't take it personally, she was like this with me at first. She still is sometimes."
Straightening his red school tie, he smiles to himself "Now Eden, this isn't a competition. I'm sure both schools have their upsides and downsides. It's not worth fighting about. Especially when the school is one that has Advanced Assassinsation Defence as a subject. Do you have Advanced Assassination as one too?" he wonders of Kishimoto, looking a little ill at ease.
Something stirs within Nena at Eden's words, and at the first available opportunity to interject without interrupting the conversation, she calmly makes an announcement.
"Ultratech does not accept or offer contracts for unlawful termination."
With that out of the way, she adds to Kishimoto, "There are currently no known artificial intelligences on campus at Pacific High, and I do not currently require any firmware or software updates. However, I will await the substantiation of your assertions with bated breath. Fortunately, as an artificial humanoid, respiration is not one of my essential functions."
She turns her head slightly toward Rafferty's direction.
"This is a competition, Rafferty, and I calculate the odds of victory as 'probable.'"
Eden smiles at Kishimoto, which quickly turns into a grin. Another sign, so many signs. "Advance assassination defense main advice. Don't die." She then ends up winking, before looking at Rafferty, the sign fo Kishimoto disappearing, and one for Rafferty appears. "It is a threat, so I can see how he responds under pressure, as neither you or Nena will do it. Someone has to." Storm now has to speak again. "She's kidding." But he seems unsure about that, both in his tone, and in his cattish confused face.
The sign changes after. "As for the schools, it is a competition. I intend to not fight about it, but since the subject of assassination came up. Hmmmm... Now I am kidding. I won't assassinate anybody. I am just an ordinary teenage girl." She smiles sweety, but not convincingly to prove her point.
"No. Advanced Assassination is no longer available as a subject," Kishimoto says in a reassuring tone to Rafferty. "The administration of Justice High no longer uses such extreme methods." His eyes shift to Nena at her interjection, watching her with his brow knitting ever so slightly. Ultratech? He's heard of them before, but he makes no effort to say that aloud, instead letting his eyes drift over to Eden and subsequently Storm.
"Have you ever killed anyone before?" He asks the silent girl with a tilt of his head to the side. And then, raising his chin, he assures all parties present with no small amount of confidence, "I did not feel threatened."
"Who is Ultratech?" Rafferty wonders, as his eyes dart between the three other teens.
There's a certain tension in the air, that he's not comfortable with and he's fighting the urge to run away. Instead he continues with his mission to add some joviality to the conversation.
"I can confirm that Nena is both perfectly firm and soft."
His remark is followed by him wrapping an arm around his girlfriend and giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze.
"As for victory, the way I see it, is we're all having a nice chat here, so everyone is a winner. There's no need for tests or threats of any kind. Storm agrees with me, don't you, buddy?"
He seems somewhat comforted by Kishimoto's response.
"I'm glad you don't feel threatened and about your school becoming less extreme. I mean, there's no need for highschool students to be going around murdering people is there?"
Then Eden has his attention, as he swallows hard, awaiting her response.
Nena's head cants ever-so-slightly to the side, tilting her hat.
"I believe that the subject of ambush and assassination was originally broached by yourself, Eden," she points out to the other schoolgirl, before looking at Rafferty. "I do not appear to have any information regarding Ultratech in my databanks. I will check online files for more information."
She stands still for about five seconds, then adds, "According to the information available, Ultratech was founded in nineteen fourty-eight as Ultrafine Atomic Technologies company. It has many diverse interests in scientific study and -"
Suddenly, the schoolgirl seems to experience a spasm through her frame. She's still for a moment once more, then looks around.
"Booting. Running diagnostics. Entering silent diagnostic mode." She turns to Rafferty. "Hello, Rafferty. How are you today?"
Eden grins "I confirm Nena is perfectly firm and soft as well." She giggles silently, unable to help it.
When Rafferty asks Storm, Storm nods his head. "We're all friends here... or at least not mortal enemies?" He looks at Kishimoto when he says that, then at Eden. Eden simply shrugs, and then winks at her cat.
She only has one sign for Nena. "I did bring up the subject. I did not apply the subject however. You are welcome."
After Kishimoto asks if she has ever killed anyone. She seems to ponder a moment, then she brings a cryptic sign. "Not in this body. Not yet." She doesn't elaborate further, personally she didn't feel the need to.
After all of this, she looks in her backpack, she was hungry again apparently. She finds a sandwich that has been crushed by whatever else is in there. It didn't seem to bother her however. At first glance, it looks like a turkey mayo sandwich.She takes a big bite out of it, making a bit of mayo fall to the floor, not that she seems to care. It's only when Nena boots that she actually seems to care, a sign appears. "Are you ok Nena?" She even frowns.
"I know nothing about Ultratech," Kishimoto lies smoothly. He doesn't know TOO much about it, but speaking of assassins, the ninja village he grew up in -- yes, he's that kind of Japanese boy -- the older, more experienced ninjas would talk about it in hushed whispers.
To be fair, Kishimoto thought to himself, they always spoke in hushed whispers.
"I do believe, however, if there was any mystery to the origins of Nena here," he proposes in a patient manner to the other two, "You, her closest associates, have just been given a clue."
When Storm talks, Kishimoto takes another moment to study the cat. The ominous reply Edenlith gives has his eyes lifting to the sign first, and then her face, but other than a faint press of his lips, he remains as COOL as ever.
Rafferty listens raptly, as Nena starts to inform him about the mysterious Ultratech. He still has his arm around her shoulder, so when she starts to spasm, he feels it too.
"Nena! What's wrong?" he asks with alarm. "Do I need to call Simon?"
The blond boy takes out his silver cellphone and starts to key in his passcode, stopped only by Nena's familiar greeting. He breathes out a sigh of relief and smiles warmly at her.
"I am good now. Though you didn't call me by an anagram of my name. Are you sure you're feeling okay?"
Eden's answer to Kishimoto's question earns her a look that seems to be somewhere between amusement and fear. She's obviously joking though, right? As she gets to work on her sandwich, he tries to shrug off the bad feeling, but now the Justice student has him wondering about other things.
"I haven't given Nena's origins too much thought, truth be told" Rafferty admits.
"I'm just glad she exists really."
His eyes look over Nena, as if contemplating her for the first time.
"I'm sure if there's anything I need to be informed about, I'll be told by her or Simon."
Perhaps due to her apparent robotic brain wave, Nena doesn't seem to catch onto what Eden said in regards to having previously killed anyone or the implication that she would have done so in a previous body. Either that, or she accepts it at face value.
"I am operating at standard capacity, though I appear to have suffered a recent unlogged system error. During my diagnostics, no systems returned warnings. My apologies, Farty Fear. My anagram subroutine was bypassed by the aforementioned diagnostics."
It's a strange word game usually played by Nena the first time that she greets Rafferty in a day.
She looks to Kishimoto.
"Hikaru Kishimoto, hello. Have you obtained the promised evidence for presentation yet?"
Eden after being amused by Farty Fear continues to eat her sandwich as Nena seems to be ok, but gears turn in her head, either that or her turkey sandwich has is a mystery needing to be solved. She nods at Kishimoto as he speaks of clues, agreeing with him, but no signs come out this time.
The speaking cat, Storm from what could gather, belongs to Eden, cares most about Eden, but seems to get along the best with Rafferty, even if Storm doesn't always agree with him.
Then she looks at Kishimoto again, and communicate once more. "Did you need someone killed? We could come to an agreement. Maybe someone at your school is pushing you a little bit out of the sun. Who would like that..." Another sign appears. "I was kidding, I don't really take contracts. There is one reason to would push me to kill free though. If someone thought it would be cool to Kill Rafferty, or destroy Nena. Both are off limit." She glares , and rather heavily, and a third sign beside the other two appears. "I am not kidding about that." Then after a moment all signs disappears, and she goes back to eating her sandwich, until it's fully eaten.
"The difference in our upbringing, no doubt," Kishimoto speculates at Rafferty's confession, studying Nena thoughtfully. "Were I you, I would talk to whomever this Simon is you trust with Nena's wellbeing, and ask /him/ about Ultratech. His reaction alone would be valuable intelligence," he tells the other boy.
When she looks at him, he's still looking at her, though he blinks when she doesn't -- not that he'd be able to see if she was or not with those dark sunglasses. "I have not yet retrieved the promised evidence," he says apologetically. "Not enough time has yet passed. Perhaps I should go and do that."
His eyes trail over to Edenlith's signs, and after reading them he looks at her face, then at the mayo that's dripped on the ground. "I have no interest in killing or destruction," he promises her. "However, if you ever feel the need to kill me, it would be good practice for Advanced Assassination Defense. I believe we'd both learn a lot from the experience, should I survive the encounter."
Despite the less than flattering name by which Nena calls him, Rafferty seems encouraged by her usual habit being resumed.
"No problem at all, Anne" he responds, joining in her own game, though in a far less imaginative fashion.
As talk drifts once again to killing, Rafferty sighs, his eyes drifting briefly to focus on the clothing in the department store window, but his attention is captured again by Eden saying his name.
"My concerns about being murdered have lessened, since I started hanging out with you two" he grins, looking between the two females.
"It would take someone very brave or very dumb to try and get past you both. As for the difference in our upbringing, I guess it could be that" Rafferty nods towards Kishimoto.
"Or it could be that I prefer not to know things that make me uncomfortable." He laughs a little, to show he's perhaps joking, but the expression in his eyes suggests some truth in his statement.
"Simon is my uncle, but not my real uncle," Nena supplies helpfully to Kishimoto as the subject arises. "And I would be compelled to intervene in the event of an unlawful termination attempt, regardless of affiliations. Therefore, I request that all extant murderous primate urges be temporarily suspended, though I understand that, as I am only approximately sixteen percent artificial primate, I may find this social norm easier to accept than others."
After her request has been delivered, she turns to Kishimoto.
"I will consider your guarantee postponed until further notice. If you are departing, then I will bid you farewell and a pleasant day."
She turns to Rafferty.
"While I cannot guarantee safety in the event of deployment of cloaking and long-range weaponry, I will endeavour to preserve your functional status as best I can. I predict my odds of success as greater than eighty percent."
Eden looks at Kishimoto, and after a moment of pondering, she brings up a sign. "I do not wish to assassinate you at the moment. You have done nothing to warrant it, and I do not feel like it would bring lots of pleasure or entertainment doing so. I shall let you live. I might look forward to fighting with you one day however, that has the potential to be interesting. Or perhaps I am only saying this so you will lower your defense." She shrugs
She looks at Rafferty, her previous sign fading as she brings another one for him. "Two female bodyguards. You're really safe, but not really shown in a manly light however" She grins and another sign shows up beside the first. "Instagram. "Rafferty in the center of another controversy, as he has proved if it's not a baby he has to defend against, he needs two women to take care of danger." She winks at him.
She then looks at Nena, her two previous signs fading to leave place for this new one. "You, you will be someone fun to fight one day. We have to meet in a fighting competition or just do it for fun. We really do." Her eyes shows she really wants it.
"If you ever change your mind, let me know. Or don't, so that the chances of your ambush's success increase," Kishimoto replies to Eden's newest signs after reading them, before looking between Nena and Rafferty. With that, the Justice League high student gives them a formal bow. "It was interesting meeting the four of you," he says genuinely, including the cat. "I look forward to our next interaction, and surely will have the evidence I've promised by then."
He turns to leave, before doing the ever so COOL (cliche or not) pause mid-step, to look over his shoulder at Rafferty. "Your friends are right, you know. This is a competition. If I am to claim Justice High is superior to Pacific High, I must prove it in all areas. I have not seen such well-taken care of skin on another boy in a long time. If you think you are safe from a rivalry because you are no fighter..."
His hand reaches up to smooth back his hair. "I look forward to proving you wrong as well," he challenges. When a couple passes the Justice High boy and breaks the Pacific High students' line of sight of him, he vanishes altogether.
"Eighty per cent ain't bad odds" Rafferty decides. "I'm still happy with my choice of personal bodyguard."
"Make that bodyguards" he amends, as Eden pledges her support too. Albeit with a side of insult.
He seems pretty good natured about the teasing, or perhaps he's just building up immunity.
"It would be very interesting to see you two fight each other" the model muses, as he glances between the other Pacific High pupils.
When Kishimoto bids them goodbye, Rafferty gifts the other boy a dazzling toothpaste commercial smile.
"It was really good to meet you, man. It will be cool to hang out again."
He offers a hand up to wave the Justice student off, before he's hit with the challenge from him.
The blond's hand shifts to brush against the silky smooth pale skin on his face.
"I wish you luck with it, my friend" he calls out to where Kishimoto had been standing.
"I moisturise twice a day!"
This is the kind of challenge that Rafferty is up to meeting.
The sign directed at her draws Nena's attention.
"Yes, though I would prefer to defer extracurricular combat until after the conclusion of the Rising Star tournament, in order to minimize repairs necessitated."
She turns back to Kishimoto, adding, "It was interesting to meet you, as well."
Finally, she slips an artificial hand toward one of Rafferty's.
"Shall we continue our commercial expedition, Rafferty, Eden, and Storm?"
Eden simply nods to Kishimoto. She doesn't say it, but that thought he had some smart to him. She waves at him as he takes his leave. Storm also says. "Goodbye Kishimoto-san. Interesting meeting you as well.
She then looks at Rafferty, a sign for him. "Wouldn't it, wouldn't it? The Robot versus the bitch from the east, or the west. One of the two anyway." She shrugs
Then she looks at Nena as she also agreed, she's more excited now, the sign for Rafferty fading and another one taking its place. "Yea, no fighting during the tournament. I want you to win. So I won't get in the way. Especially since I want you to kick that Ghost's ass!!!"
When Nena asks if they shall continue what they were doing, it's Storm that answers. "Let before Eden goes on a tirade against her last opponent, before we start moving." Eden glares a little at Storm, but she follows her friends along the mall.
Log created on 19:56:45 05/04/2021 by Kishimoto, and last modified on 09:06:48 05/07/2021.