Advice and Acceptance

<Kioku> Akemi's not had all that much contact with the staff, compared to the students. Oh, certainly she's talked to her teachers, and the guards, gotten on their good sides early, but it's still far less than she'd like. So naturally, when opportunity strikes, she'll jump at it, and the woman she sees when she enters the gym today is one she knows by name and sight, but really hasn't talked to yet. "Silverlock-sensei!" Akemi exclaims in her surprise,
<Kioku> reverting to old habits for just a moment. "Err…" She blushes just a little as her mind catches up. "I didn't expect to find you here."
<LipstickThespian> Verity, a woman middle aged with far too much tone on her body, as well as a wonderful pair of white grey wings sitting on her back folded up, looks over. She sets down the mats she was carrying and puts her hands on her hips, giving the girl a once over. "Ya?" She says in a voice that doesn't seem to match her demeanor. Nice and a little friendly. "I usually am stuck in the offices
<LipstickThespian> these days. I'm sorry, do I know you?"
<Kioku> Akemi shakes her head. "No, sorry, we haven't spoken. I've just seen you at your office a few times and connected the name on the door." Akemi is, as always, the very embodiment of physical attractiveness, currently in workout-appropriate clothes. It looks like she was angled to go for the bars before noticing Verity. "Would you like help with those?"
<LipstickThespian> Verity nods her head along with the words. "Help with what?" She says as she kicks the mats behind her so they're more even in their stack. Despite her words, she does walk over towards the girl, it is her job to help after all.
<Kioku> Akemi snickers. "The mats. But I guess you're just about done with them already then." She tilts her head and walks forward to meet Verity partway. "Not that I'd mind sticking around for something else. I /have/ been meaning to talk to you in your official capacity some time too…"
<LipstickThespian> "Those stupid mats," Verity says with a small chuckle. In actuality she hated them and wanted to burn them to ashes, more than just jokingly. "Well, I'm always available for students. Let's move these mats back to the storage room and talk, alright?" She turns and heads over, picking up half the stack of them.
<Kioku> "Sure!" Akemi goes to help with the mats, she'll probably have a little more trouble carrying that many at once though. "Might I ask, do you /like/ your job here? A lot of the teachers seem not to."
<LipstickThespian> Verity isn't about to offer help, they're heavy but the girl is managing, she just has to work through the difficulty. "I love my job here," she says, "before this it was contract work. Which sucked. The safety is a big plus too, and the fact that I'm treated normal. What about you, you like being a student here?"
<Kioku> Akemi hums in consideration a few moments before nodding. "I do! It's /much/ better than how I was living before. I don't get yelled at or called crazy, or locked up in my room, and I'm allowed to talk to people outside of class time!"
<LipstickThespian> "Well," Verity was still getting used to the abuse the kids suffered. "That's good. A lot better than that, for sure." She heads into the open storage room and tosses the mats down onto an already existing pile. "You like your classes?"
<Kioku> "Mm, they're alright. I'm finally getting used to writing in English by default." Akemi sort of waddles over to place her mats down, that really was troublesome. "Plus a friend is teaching me Dutch outside of classes, which is nice!"
<LipstickThespian> "Language is a wonderful thing, breaks a lot of barriers." Verity heads outside of the storage room and stops to turn to Akemi. "So, you said you needed help with something? Not many kids here ask for help, so this is nice."
<Kioku> "Mm. I kind of do. I feel… almost stalled. Like I'm running out of room to grow with my abilities, and I'm getting short on ideas how to improve. I don't want to ever stop improving myself though…"
<LipstickThespian> "Well you're young, so I'm sure there's a lot out there you can still improve on." Verity thinks, "where are you weakest?"
<Kioku> Akemi frowns in thought. "Probably… probably in either physical toughness and strength, or in my magic affinities, my curses. Sometimes I wish my heritage had lent itself more toward other sorts of magic, something more useful, but… we use what we have."
<LipstickThespian> "Curses can be useful," Verity says with a thought, "one of the girls on my old squad specialized in those. It was fun to watch at least. Toughness? That will take a lot of training, and won't be quick ya know."
<Kioku> "Mmm, I know. Another friend is actually helping me with that too, already. Working out most mornings together. I can already run a long time, no problem, it's just things like taking a hit and managing heavy objects that's troublesome. But yeah… it doesn't seem like many people here know what to do regarding curses. Or illusions. Or /being a spirit by nature and having to figure out how to deal with all the differences between yourself and
<Kioku> humanity/"
<LipstickThespian> "If you ever get good at taking a hit," Verity says with a laugh, "then you might need to teach me." She slows down and looks at Akemi. "Hrm," she says in thought as she kneels down. The woman is large, and kneeling still leaves her almost as tall as Akemi. Valkyrie blood. "Tell me, do you feel you're still a part of humanity?"
<Kioku> Akemi bites her lip and looks worried, this is a painful subject for her. "I thought I was for so long… and then I find out… I don't know anymore. I want to, I want to belong and live life like normal, but my instincts have been making me think of myself differently, a separate group. And I know that.. that I'll have to watch all of my friends age and die while I linger on. I do like that I'll get to meet lots of people with this gift of
<Kioku> staying around for so many lifetimes, but… it hurts so much to know there's nothing I can do to keep my love by my side for more than just a century or so…"
<LipstickThespian> Verity set a hand on the girl's shoulder and gave her as reassuring a smile as a women who has seen the worst of humanity could offer. "I think you'll find that no matter how much time you get with people you care about, it's never enough. So make the most of the time you do have, and make memories that will last forever. I don't regret how little time I got to spend with the people
<LipstickThespian> in my life, I only cherish the memories I have of them." She blinks away the thought and gives a half laugh, "I know it's not much to hear from an old woman. I was never good with words."
<Kioku> Akemi swallows and nods. She wants to follow the advice, but that doesn't stop it from hurting. At least her earlier years will hopefully /feel/ longer than the later ones, so she'll have a lot of relative time with Suzy. "Yeah," she breathes out. "No, it… it's good to hear. Truth doesn't need you to be 'good with words', and that, well… it sounds about right I think."
<LipstickThespian> "Plus," Verity says as she takes her hand off the girl's shoulder. "There's so much about this world, about these anomolies we don't know. Whose to say you outlive them? This is all new to a lot of us, we're still learning."
<Kioku> "I /do/ have a couple friends who should be constants… or at least who I'll be able to keep in touch with. At least I'll have plenty of time to explore the world, right? Maybe I'll get lucky and find a way to…" Akemi trails off. She did have a plan once, a plan to make someone last as long as her, by changing them, turning them into something else with a long natural lifespan so that reapers wouldn't come after them for using artificial means.
<Kioku> Maybe that doesn't have to be as abandoned a plan as she thought.
<LipstickThespian> "Look," Verity says with a glance behind the girl and around the empty gym, as if to make sure it was still empty. "Who told you that you were going to live forever?" She glances down at the girl with inquiry in her eyes and a hand on her hip.
<Kioku> Akemi looks down. "Warren… he knows other spirits, I think, and it's something we all have in common. No cellular degredation, so no ill effects of aging. And, I don't know, /something/ inside me just…" she trails off. \Asami thinks we'll stop aging around 25… mostly because we can't really imagine ourselves much older than that, and our form is based on self image…<LipstickThespian> "Warren?" Verity says as a look washes over her face. "That blowhard," she mutters as she closes her eyes and takes a breath to stop cursing. "You shouldn't base your entire journey in life off of the words of a man who, and I'm not really exagerrating here, finds pleasure only in his toying with others."
<Kioku> Akemi lets out a laugh. "Mm, I'd still like to be able to travel the world though, learn every language, meet as many people as possible. A long life /would/ help a lot with that, and it does make logical sense. I just wish I could meet another of my kind, to ask them. It'd be almost perfect if I didn't get so attached to people… but I wouldn't have it any other way. I think I'd be happy with a short life, as long as it was fulfilling and I
<Kioku> got to spend it with someone I love."
<LipstickThespian> "Well, traveling the world is worth the effort. I'd reccomend it to anyone. Learning all the languages, not so much." Verity says with a laugh of her own. "A fufilling life is hard, but worth every effort."
<Kioku> "More languages means more people I can befriend." Akemi sticks her tongue out. "But, perhaps only a few of the most widely used ones at first… if I do indeed have the time, I'll get around to all the rest eventually, but I think French, Arabic and Spanish will end up being enough for now, plus whatever comes up as a good opportunity. That'll cover most parts of the world, after all."
<LipstickThespian> "Arabic and not Farsi? Might also want to get Chinese on that list, Hindi as well. That covers a lot of the population." Verity says as she gives what advice she can. "Luckily you can learn as you go, especially if you are spending time in these places and not just going through on short vacations."
<Kioku> Akemi tilts her head. "Spoken Chinese is a bit… I think I'll try to learn the written form, which knowing kanji should hopefully already help with, before trying to tackle any of the spoken forms, even the more widely used ones." \I hadn't considered Farsi, but it's in the same language group with Arabic and Hindi, so learning one should help with the others, just like knowing English is helping with Dutch… hmm…\ "I don't know how long I'll
<Kioku> be in any given place, it's more of… probably letting the wind take me where it goes. Or letting my girlfriend guide our travel plans, but I think we'll both be happy as long as we're with each other, no matter where we end up. I know she wants to go to Japan at some point, so at least that's a safe starting point!"
<LipstickThespian> "Just make sure to stick with Mandarin. Whenever we get forms from our Chinese Branches, it's always in Mandarin." Verity says as she gives a little bit of shop talk. "So, I do have some questions," the woman says as she starts to walk off. "But we're not going to stand around idle. Let's grab a bar and lift." She motions to a benchpress that she'
<LipstickThespian> s heading to.
<Kioku> Akemi blinks and nods. She'd been putting more consideration on Cantonese than Mandarin, but she'll take the advice either way. She follows and seems a mite confused about how the whole contraption works, but she's a smart girl - she'll figure it out.
<LipstickThespian> Verity is there to help, moving the girl to lay down on the benchpress as she goes about pulling off weights to take it to a more maneagable level. Then going to spot for her. "Alright, forty pounts. Lift it u-" she goes on to describe the procress in detail so that safety is taken into consideration. Then, she spots her. "So, why do you call them curses?"
<Kioku> Akemi focuses more on her breathing than much else while she starts going through the unexpected sort of workout. Good thing she worked on lower body with Mads that morning rather than upper. "Mostly because none of them do anything /good/ for who they're used on. Every single one is… malicious in some way, and I always feel a bit of a dark mood come on when I draw the magic together." She shudders a little between lifts. "It probably
<Kioku> shouldn't feel so good, make me feel giddy to do that sort of thing, but… maybe it's a side effect."
<LipstickThespian> Verity is there to help her with form and to make sure nothing goes wrong. It's one of her favorite excercises. "Maybe it is," she says to the girl as she helps her through some reps. "So tell me, how did you learn these curses? Have you learned more since you found out about them?"
<Kioku> "I… they just came to me. I don't know why, but Asami knew the spell formulae and… maybe it's something I learned and then forgot, or… it's one of the weirdest, scariest things because I just don't know where they came from. I wish I did, but every time I try to find out…" Akemi sighs. "They came to me one at a time, not all at once. It was always when I was in that sort of mood, something just took over and cast it, and then I knew it.
<Kioku> Maybe I picked them up from…" she trails off and frowns.
<LipstickThespian> "Rest," Verity says to her as she helps re-rack the weights and stands straight. "Well that is quite the interesting turn of events," she ponders the thought with a hand in her pocket as she thinks. "So they come to you in moods, and all of the ones that have come to you have always been negetive. What about during moods of joy and excitement, does anything come to you then?"
<Kioku> "Not so much…" Akemi breathes out. "Well, that's not true. It's a little harder to keep myself suppressed when I'm feeling /any/ strong emotion besides despair, but it feels a lot better, more pure when the mood is positive."
<LipstickThespian> "Have you tried channeling that? Making, well, not curses but something better. Spells, or something like that?" Verity says as she goes to rack some more weight.
<Kioku> "I don't think I could mentally hold on to more formulae as I am right now, but… that /is/ something I'd like to try to do. I like that idea. I wouldn't mind losing some of these if it meant being able to do something better, more helpful and productive instead."
<LipstickThespian> "I think you should make that a goal. Set some time aside for yourself, channel those emotions into something better. I'm sure all the brightness you have and the joy you find could do a lot of good things. Which in turn might help out your outlook. And others. Students here need positive friends like you."
<Kioku> Akemi smiles. "It's hard to find enough time to reach out to everyone, but I do want to anyway, I try to. I'll definitely see if I can manage to do that… it's worth a try, and I… I /really/ don't like what some of these do… I'd be glad to be rid of one or two if I could."
<LipstickThespian> "Being comfortable with these gifts is something a lot of us struggle with. Honestly, it took me a while to ever be comfortable in my skin. Now, lay back down, I'm going to build some muscle mass on you yet."
<Kioku> Akemi giggles and nods, laying back down. "I'm one of the lucky ones, I'm pretty happy with what and who I am for the /most/ part."
<LipstickThespian> "Which is a very good thing. The sooner we accept that we are something special, the sooner the world can accept us as well. Now, fifty pounds, let's see if you can manage." Verity heads over to spot.
<Kioku> Akemi is preeeetty much average in strength for a teenage girl, even if she gets tired less quickly due to her unusual status of using a constructed physiology. She'll try lifting, and if she can, then she can!
<LipstickThespian> And Verity will make sure she doesn't die by the bar crushing her. "How in tune with your powers do you think you are? Symbiotic, or do you have control over them completely?"
<Kioku> "The curses feel like… something I do, rather than something I am. And my illusions are still just a little out of touch, but I think I'm starting to understand that better. But everything else, it feels like a wholely intrinsic part of me, something I understand and can direct and don't have to worry about at all. It's practically effortless, I feel like I'm… one with them."
<LipstickThespian> "That's perfect," Verity says with a smile. "Becomming one with your powers, that's one of the lectures I teach you know. It's something I'm very passionate about. You say the curses don't feel like something you are, do you know why that is?"
<Kioku> "Nnm, I don't really know. Maybe it's because they're formulaic, I can copy them down on paper and anyone can use them the same way I do. They aren't part of me, they're just something external. The… the magic behind them, that feels more 'real', more like part of me, but not what I do with it."
<LipstickThespian> "So it's the magic behind them that you need to get a better grip on and focus on the things you want it to. Is that correct?"
<Kioku> "I… hmm." Akemi blinks a few times. "I… guess so? Maybe it'd feel more natural if I were doing things I wanted to with it, instead of things that… that I had to do." She murmurs the last part quietly.
<LipstickThespian> "Things that you what?" Verity asks for clarification as they go through the workout.
<Kioku> Akemi shakes her head. "It's… it's not important. Just… I mean it's probably in my file somewhere or something. And if it's not, I don't think the GWU will exactly mind. Sometimes I would sneak out of the house, since I couldn't stand being locked away like that. Go into the city, run, that sort of thing just to feel free. Ever since I was twelve, sometimes I would run into these… things. Anomalies, I guess. Often phantoms, even though
<Kioku> I didn't know the names for them back then. And the ones that I couldn't charm into submission, I would have to… that's where the curses came in."
<LipstickThespian> "Just out and about while you were running?" Verity said with a little bit of concern as she looked down at the girl. "That doesn't sound safe, having so many of those in a town you ran into them more often than not. Did they try to harm you?"
<Kioku> Akemi nods slightly from her place lying down. "I wouldn't have bothered them if they didn't bother me first. It /was/ the middle of the night, and I… wasn't as good at suppressing myself back then, since my nature was just starting to manifest and I didn't have a real grasp on it all yet, so my aura of sorts miiight have attracted them?"
<LipstickThespian> "That could have been it," Verity says, "you know. For a girl your age you have a very good grasp on your abilities. Has anyone ever told you that?"
<Kioku> Akemi smiles. "Thank you~! I had to get a grasp on them, if only to reduce the stalker count at my old school… Going on so many missions here has /probably/ helped too." \I'm kind of lucky to be what I am instead of human, since it makes so much instinctual too.<LipstickThespian> "Stalker count?" Verity looks a little worried at that term. "Missions are a mixed bag, I'm glad we have them but, well. It really is terrible that's the only time you kids can go out and just be yourselves."
<Kioku> Akemi hums in confirmation. "It's why I practiced so much at… urban navigation. So I could leave school without being followed, since they couldn't climb buildings or keep track for more than a few blocks." She's so nonchalant about it, like stalkers are a normal thing that everybody deals with. Maybe to her it is normal. "You're right though, it would be nice if we could go out more… I'd apply for a weekend pass to go somewhere if I could
<Kioku> take friends with me, but we'd /all/ need to have a good enough security rating to do that. I don't want to leave them behind, and it'd be no fun on my own." She stares up at Verity, suddenly curious. "… What was it like for you? Being 'a girl my age', when you were?"
<LipstickThespian> "Well, might be worth the pain to get them to get a good raiting." Verity says to her after she decides to talk to the school administration on this girl's past and the town she came from. She has concerns she thinks she needs to deal with. At the question she laughs and shakes her head, "it was a very different world when I was your age. If I recall correctly, Napolean was making a
<LipstickThespian> mess of my country and King Frederick was making life in my country worse than those invading armies. As long as I kept out of the way and just did my work, it was a very, boring."
<Kioku> \I think I will have to see what I can do about that…\ Akemi giggles. "I'd love to hear more some time! History and culture are two of my favorite subjects, so it'd be /wonderful/ to talk about it with someone who's lived it."
<LipstickThespian> "Let me tell you, without phones it was impossible to do anything." Verity says with a laugh. "If they didn't live in my village, they were barely friends!" She stands back. "Now. I want you to work on everything we've talked about. As well as one more rep with sixty pounds, alright? Then you can go for the day."
<Kioku> Akemi smiles and nods. "Alright, I'll try to! And… yeah. Thanks a lot. I want this to be something I can be comfortable with, something I can feel is more /right/."
<LipstickThespian> "Something your significant other can be proud of," Verity says with a warm smile as she racks the weights. "Alright, now let's do it."
<Kioku> Akemi takes a few deep breaths, muscles already sore from before, but… well, she feels like she owes it to Verity to try her best at this. And so she does.
<LipstickThespian> -Scene Break-

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