Moondyne - Bad Influences[Toggle Names]
Description: Moondyne Mouse comes across Ramlethal 'borrowing' something from a store. The two synthetic beings have discourse over purpose, existentialism and shoes.
On a rather unremarkable day, the sun struggles through a sea of gloomy gray; the cool air permeating Southtown's Downtown is very lightly punctuated by the occasional droplet of rain. The streets are busy, and the usual din of traffic and pedestrians is seasoned with a bit of a ruckus.
Just beyond the pair of glass doors making up the entrance to a large department bookstore can be seen a garishly dressed young woman carrying a small stack of historical volumes. She is being accosted by an employee and a security guard calmly explaining something to her, but they don't appear to be making any headway, as her expression remains blank as she dryly repeats herself:
"I do not have your 'money.' I will be leaving now."
There is a scene in a mall. A mall area that Moondyne Mouse just happens to be in the vicinity of. Of course, she does also have access to the wireless communications that are going about--which also includes the digitally encrypted signal to the police that might go out.
Robbery of that nature was rare in Japan, and her curiosity would have gotten the better of her anyway--and so, she converges on that location--only to notice what looks like a woman in a cat ear hood and... bare feet Gaiters?? maybe she lost her sandals? Lotta women in Southtown wear those. Still...
Around the corner, Moondyne's usual disguise of 'human woman with her size and shape with a similar hairstyle' warps--the outfit changing from business suit to... meter maid. She casually steps out and approaches the Gear with the clerk and security guard. She's now wearing a police cap, light blue blouse, dark navy tie and pencil skirt, and flat shoes.
"Something the matter here?" she announces.
As the Valentine turns heel to depart, carefully cradling her new tomes under an arm as she effortlessly begins to drag with her the security guard attempting to seize her other arm with her, she abruptly stops in her tracks as she's faced with yet another nuisance. Like flies, their numbers are legion. She glances around at the small crowd of spectators watching the altercation and shakes her head as if to dispel an ill-advised course of action. She opens her mouth to answer, but the store manager belts an answer while the security guard scurries back to his feet:
"Thief-- she hadn't paid for any of those. Brazen, too; she just wants to walk out of here like nothing happened!"
Ramlethal glances back at him, then returns her attention to the police officer. "I have somewhere I must go. It is urgent. I have a... An appointment," she explains. Yes, this will do. Once they understand the scope of her urgency, surely even humans would relent.
"Ahah, I see, I'll take it from here," the 'police woman' gives a hand wave and proceeds to try and usher Ramlethal off, with her books and all. "These will be collected as evidence, don't worry!" she gives a parting call to the store clerk, who probably is left a little confused by all this but also somewhat like 'well then'.
This is of course if Ramlethal will allow her to just usher her off, stage left--but the fast talking police woman seems to be offering her a way out of this current situation... and she's not being put in handcuffs.
Finally, an ant with an understanding!-- the Gear lets out a brief sigh of relief, expelling feelings she isn't consciously aware of, and cooperates. She swiftly strides forth and pushes through a front door without casting another look back until the officer joins her outside.
"You may have these when I am finished," she assures the policewoman, making note of her saviour's promise to 'collect' the evidence. "It will not take long."
What is it humans do when they want to project earnestness and honesty? Ah, right, there is a human reflex that must be emulated. Ramlethal allows a beat to pass, then contorts her face into what can only be described as a deeply evil-looking sneer, briefly baring an array of sharklike teeth and a contemptuous gaze. A successful smile! This human should trust her promise, then.
Moondyne doesn't answer at first, she's good at keeping up the act until they round a corner--and suddenly, with what sounds like a small arcing of electricity as a small droplet of rain hits the top of the police woman's head--and some curious movement out of the corner of the eye--the 'police woman' is now actually not a police woman at all, in fact it's a white-furred... mouse? woman with robotic looking rodentine ears and tail, and she's clad in some kind of white armor and black undersuit.
"I love the teeth, you aren't just a crazy person, are you?" the 'mouse' woman blinks as she looks up at Ram through a red visor over her eyes.
The question is answered with a brief period of quiet blinking as Ramlethal reassesses the situation. Human police seem to be very well-equipped, with the ability to change their shape and clothing at will. Their technology is fascinating indeed. This, too, might be worth studying. But if she is to fit in with the crowd, this Gear must try her best not to act overly surprised. She ends the awkward silence she had created.
"No; I am not a 'crazy person.' Officer. Just a person."
Maybe as if to convince herself, she offers a confident nod.
"You don't look human with those choppers, and you're not a robot, like me, so," hse made a few chopping motions of her mouse-like buck teeth back at Ram, making clicking/chomping noises with a grin. "Word of advice though--the humans don't like it when you steal from them like that, they take exception to it," Moon put her hands behind her head casually, walking along. She didn't seem to care who saw her right now, as they were heading down a deserted stretch of street outside the shopping center area.
"I'm Moondyne Mouse, by the way--definitely not a police woman," she grinned. One could see she had a stylized 'R' emblazoned on one of her shoulder pads, as well as what looked like a belt buckle shaped like one around her waist.
Somehow her incognito didn't work out. That's not great, but this... robot? Doesn't seem to be hostile regardless. Ramlethal's reticence gives way to intrigue as her companion chats beside her and the words bounce around in her head.
"Steal?-- I need these. They are pertinent to my miss-- appointment, for now."
She defends her actions, in small part to buy time to answer the introduction. Humans exchange names and sometimes occupations when they meet each other. Elphelt mentioned this.
"...And I... Am Ramlethal Valentine."
The pause was not nearly enough for her to come up with an alias, so she decided on honesty. Away from the crowds, even if this definitely-not-a-police-woman recognised her for who she is, there isn't much that could go wrong. What is a single mouse capable of, anyway?
"...So you helped me," she states. "If you are not a police-woman keeping the peace, then why?"
"Yeah you know, they typically trade money for things, it's kinda silly, if they just figured out how to make things themselves, they wouldn't need to--but that's how their economy works," Moondyne shrugs, as if this all seemed dumb to her. "Ooh, I see, a Valentine," that name does ring a few bells, in a manner of speaking, some data had mentioned that name in the NESTS mainframe back 'home', well, wasn't her home anymore.
"Well I don't look human, don't I? I could use a more conventional disguise, course, but eh--not when I have a hologram-emitter," she tapped her chest, as if to indicate where it was, physically. Likely it was.
"So uhh, you're a Gear? One of those synthetic constructs made by the shaved monkeys that thought they knew shit but didn't know shit after all and it wound up in a huge large-scale war a few years back?" Moondyne grinned. Clearly she had a bit of a bone to pick with mankind.
Oh. This bet didn't pay off. The mouse seems to be knowledgable indeed. Still, nothing seems too be amiss; nothing is going terribly awry. Ramlethal patiently listens to Moondyne's explanations, making a mental note of what she imagines a hologram-emitter to be. Something related to this not-a-human and definitely-not-a-police-woman's ability to change shape.
After spending a bit of attention to step over a small pile of garbage spilling from an overturned trash can, she offers the best answer she has.
"That... Is accurate. There was a war. I know how it ends," she continues, glancing around at the clearly-not-ground-to-dust human architecture surrounding her, "but not why or how. So I will depend on humans." The Valentine untucks the stack of books from under her arm to present her haul: a pair of tomes that seem like accounts of the Gear War, and what looks like a manga adaptation of the events.
"So you know, after making synthetic /human/ constructs that didn't want to be told what to do, some understudies of Dr. Boskonovitch made me--and a few others--as you can see, we're not /quite/ as impressive as your kind, but," she shrugs, there is a light audible whirring of a mechanism in her shoulders as they rise and fall.
Turning on her heel a bit to look at the book, the much shorter Moondyne (she was about 5-foot nothing) raises a finger tipped with a long squared off nail, casually tracing over the titles of the spines of the books.
"Yeah, looks like those events are all there, I'm not sure about that last one, though," she smiles, not offering an explanation of /why./
"So you don't hate humans? aren't Gears supposed to be classified as weapons of mass destruction?" Moon casually and silently throws up a little holographic blur around them as a car passes, making their features indistinct.
As Moondyne appraises the Valentine's haul, Ramlethal's eyes track the slowly moving finger. She glances back at the mechanical mouse, then down at the colourful-looking manga before making a mental note; it seems the mouse doesn't quite trust this third account of the war. Perhaps she knows the author to be unreliable.
"Are you a non-human construct that wants to be told what to do, then?" she prods, her monotone canter belying her intrigue. "A critical feature for a tool. If a tool cannot fulfill her purpose, then her reason for existence is void." She briefly pauses for thought before offering more of her terse answers. "My purpose is to end this world's future. 'Hate' is unnecessary; only 'purpose'."
As she explains, Ramlethal lifts the manga up to inspect it for the defect that her companion surely must have spotted. A glance at both the front and back cover yields naught, so she satisfies herself with shuffling it down beneath the other two books, out of sight, to be inspected more thoroughly later.
"I used to be, but the organization that funded our creation was not pleased with our creators--and they were run off. Things were different after that--we were experimented on and modified," Moon listened to Ramlethal, letting the blurring effect stay up around them, as it only affected onlookers.
"Whaaat? there's plenty of reasons," Moondyne looks a little aghast at Ramlethal. "Isn't there anything /you/ want to do? I've had a lot of time to think about it since I was rescued by Mister Rugal, at NESTS I was more or less a slave," she pauses in her walk, looking over Ramlethal for a moment. "I see they weren't big on the emotional affect part of your programming, huh," Moondyne sounds more confused and curious than anything, as if she hasn't run into something like Ramlethal before. She hasn't, it would appear.
Ram is about to poke the field concealing them with an outstretched finger when her attention is commanded once again. Her hand freezes where it is, stoic expression breaks slightly as her eyelids momentarily lower into a squint at the fuzzy colours of the alleyway that lie just beyond as they stride along.
"Modified? You are... Re-purposed? Mister Rugal's tool, then?"
Her curious gaze shifts back to her habitual deadpan before she turns back to face Moondyne again.
"...Unclear. It is... possible that with re-programming I could be re-purposed. But allowing that to happen would run counter to the purpose I already have. A contradiction. If that was not the will of your creators, then this outcome must be considered defective. Their will should have been... Protected. Not unsimilar to my situation. Similar. What I want, then, is to determine now how best to fulfill my purpose."
It appears she has little and less to say about any emotional programming, but one could imagine the shadow of regret underlying the Gear's analysis.
"Not quite that kind of working relationship," Moondyne muttered beneath her breath before shaking her head, "My creators wanted us to be more than just tools of the NESTS cartel, weapons--so by your definition I am not, in fact, defective," Moondyne crosses her arms with a smirk, in a bit of a 'how about that' sassy way.
"But if you're sapient to the point where you can be creative enough to make your own decisions about the future then you should be able to deduct what to do," she drops her arms, looking back out over the street. "I still hate humans for what they did to me--what they did to /us/, everytime I attempt a neural dive into one it's always the same things--" she shakes herself, apparently thinking better to get off the topic, before she starts ranting like Agent Smith or AM.
"Ahem, sorry about that--as I was saying... far more amusing to do what you want to do--I like research and development for Rugal," she apparently has calmed herself, relaxing.
After straining to interpret the sassy smirk and body language, Ramlethal simply nods. She returns her attention to her previous activity, and promptly thrusts a finger at the blurring field beside her as she continues chatting.
"That is... Logical. Your purpose is something different. You and your outcome are not defective, then. ...Dissimilar after all."
The mouse seems to have very strong feelings indeed, when it comes to those humans. A feeling in her gut stops Ram from pursuing a line of inquiry leading back to NESTS and Moondyne's ordeal, but she isn't quite able to put a finger on why.
After a moment's pondering, Ram manages to ask a few sharp questions to clarify her understanding."It appears rather the opposite, then. What is your purpose? To amuse yourself? Is this a useful property for a higher purpose, such as to encourage you to perform work for this Rugal? It is strange for a tool to need motivation. But if it leads to the same end result, this redundancy can be forgiven."
She pauses to allow a thought to briefly marinate.
"Would it be beneficial for me to acquire additional motivation to fulfill my own purpose? Does it make you more useful?"
Ramlethal wound find that her finger just... passes through the blur effect field, it's not tangible.
"It lets me pursue work I would like to do and other things I would like to do--I refuse to let the alterations to me and my unit define me," she clapped a fist against her breastplate, before turning and beginning to walk again. She does a double-take, looking back at Ram.
"Speaking of stealing, you could use a new pair of Nike's," Moondyne then got a rather devilish, if smug grin on her features, as she was already running a computer map search on the closest available retailer of such, the data she was looking at might likely be reflected on the red visor she was wearing.
"Motivation can come from within! I can show you some of my favorites!~"
Seemingly satisfied, Ramlethal allows her arm to fall back to her side. It appears that this field is easier to understand than Moondyne, at least. But before she can really think about it, a new situation emerges.
She strains to recall what this could mean -- but with careful observation, her eyes spot some clues reflected in the cheerful mouse's visor. With the connection made, Ram focuses her amber eyes down at her mostly unadorned feet, and understanding washes over her. Almost reflexively, she gently pushes with the balls of her feet and begins to levitate a very slight distance.
"Understood. Humans tend to wield equipment for their feet; not having some of my own puts me at a disadvantage, for blending in."
Moondyne is perhaps not proving to be the best influence on Ramlethal, however, there has been some interesting discourse so far.
"One of the best things is the look on their faces when they realize they've been tricked!" Moondyne vaults out of the blurry field with it disappearing behind them, and she's suddenly in another disguise, this one is actually more of a human appearance with a pair of sweat pants and a black hooded sweatshirt, with shoes resembling her own sneaker boots.
Apparently Ramlethal is being welcomed to accompany her in a little five-finger discount, a small crime spree is very likely to ensue--but Moondyne seems to know what she's doing.
That's likely the more worrying part.
Log created on 22:15:31 09/13/2022 by Moondyne, and last modified on 19:36:34 09/14/2022.