777/The Ties That Bind

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The Ties That Bind
Date of Scene: 09 October 2014
Location: Boston-666
Synopsis: Chrysanthemum and her mother, Kalliona, are reunited in a meeting setup by Psyber.
Cast of Characters: 101, 253, 395, 537, 591

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber had made a bet with Chrysanthemum some time ago with pretty simple terms: Come have dinner with me and some friends. If it's not the most interesting thing you've done in a long time, she gets to steal a concept from him. It was never established what Psyber will receive if he wins the bet, come to think of it. That was because he had left the decision of what she'd give up in Chrysanthemum's hands, herself. She doesn't seem like the kind to welch on a bet.

    Regardless, here we were, finally having all freed up the time to meet here. The three most important people to have were Psyber himself, Chrysanthemum, and Kalliona. Amalthea was probably invited along because he trusted her for protection and to have his back if shit went down. Aoko... probably just wants a free meal.

    So we're at the Red Lobster now. This is because when treating five people to dinner, while Psyber could definitely afford nicer, he didn't want to go with the inherent risk of this mission going pear-shaped and him getting stuck for the repair bill of the most expensive restaurant in Boston or something.

    So yeah, we're all totally crowded into a big corner table at a Red Lobster, chowing down on appetizer Cheddar Bay Biscuits and Pepsi.

Amalthea (395) has posed:
    Amalthea is a heathen and tried to order a coke.
    Nevertheless, she's here, and believe it or not the unicorn isn't dressed in her armor. There are days when casual is more appropriate; and Red Lobster is pretty casual. Which means...
    There's a rainbow unicorn in a tie-dye shirt and jean cutoffs, next to Psyber, munching on biscuits.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    The lure of a FREE MEAL, lobster no less, was enough to make a certain mooching magus get in Psyber's car and firmly root herself into place before he could object to additional presences at his dinner table.

    Excitable as she is she might have spent the entire ride there counting yellow cars encountered on the road, with startling precision and peripheral vision.

    And that's all the explanation you're getting on why there is a red-headed, blue-eyed magus sitting next to Psyber, eating whatever appetizers appear within her eyesight and immediate arm's reach. Nevermind the fact she's got this dreadful, monstrous aura strongly indicating she is either utterly inhuman or some sort of walking calamity. If Psyber can disregard it, that must be reason enough not to mind.

    She is wearing a blank white t-shirt and some jeans. Aoko has absolutely no shame in this, no, and it's basically her usual.

    "We should do this more often! This sure beats instant noodles and ramen." She used to be picky, once upon a time, about what she ate. Expensive eater. Being constantly on the move kicked that habit out.

Chrysanthemum (101) has posed:
    While Chrysanthemum doesn't need to eat, she CAN eat. And Cheddar Bay Biscuits are a good reason to eat! She's munching on one of those, still pondering the menu for now. "While excellent, these are hardly what I would call the most intersting thing to happen to me even this week," she's saying in a mildly humorous tone. She's fully aware that the 'surprise' is probably not yet revealed.

    She is ignoring the fact that Amalthea is here and one of the ones she first met. Aoko is just given a baleful eye. "Really? Instant noodles?"

Kalliona (537) has posed:
    The final chair is conspicuously empty, at least at first. It's a table for five, and only four are there? How strange! That's because it would have been even more awkward for Kalliona to be there waiting when Chrys appeared... better for her to actually walk up so that Chrysnathemum could see her more clearly.

    And this is what she does, too! The slender blonde-haired woman makes her way through the room, coming into full view just moments before walking right up to the table and pulling her chair up.

    "I'm very sorry I'm just a tad late," she says lightly. "But I think you'll all agree that being fashionably late is best." Her voice actually has a slight quaver in it... for as much as she wants to seem casual, this is a really rough situation for her. Also the first time she's directly seen her daughter in centuries isn't something she can just shrug off.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Is that your way of hinting I should take you out to dinner?" Psyber says to Aoko in a teasing tone of voice, nudging her with an elbow and saying, "Or are you just being a moocher?" He ponders to the redhead next to him, grinning at her despite the incredible aura of calamity. Psyber doesn't seem to mind it because so many peple around him have auras like that anyway.

    Amalthea gets a disdainful shake of his head for ordering Coke and the table gets a general, "Order what you want. It's on me. I can bill it as a business expense anyway." He ruminates. Technically it counts, after all. He then looks over to Chrysanthemum, giving her a laugh, "Soon! Soon! I had to let you settle in," He assures.

    And then when Kalliona appears, Psyber waves at her, "Kall! Glad you could make it! Sit, sit! Order food, chow down! It's a big night!" Psyber says, trying to make all this seem SUPER way more casual than it probably actually is.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "I wouldn't mind," Aoko responds, evidently in for the free food all the way. In fact, she has no qualms about saying outright: "Your wallet's pretty cute, I could see us going far together."

    You could take that in whatever way you want.

    She nods towards Chrysanthemum. "Yeah. I don't like staying at any given place longer than a couple of days, and I don't really have a home so much as a place that used to be my home and sometimes I go back for a bit to see my cat. All my money goes into plane and bus tickets! Food's like, I'll figure something out when I stop moving."

    And there's the last guest! Now, Psyber probably did warn her this was an important family matter, so she's going to mind her manners and stay polite.

    "So you two are related?"

    ... for a given definition of manners.

Amalthea (395) has posed:
    There's the Guest of Honor, huh. Amalthea shrugs off the half-angel's INTENSE DISAPPROVAL of her choice in drink, and Chrysanthemum ignoring her means whenever the half-muse looks away there's a flash of black tongue, or a dumb horse-face fired at her whenever Amalthea can get away with it.
    Kalliona showing up, however makes lippy ears prick up, and then her eyes follows them, before darting between mother and daughter- then to Psyber, then back to the two.
    "Yo." Cool as a cucumber.

Chrysanthemum (101) has posed:
    Chrysanthemum's reaction may not be what was expected. Oh, she does stop eating, swallowing her bite after a very long moment. The rest of the biscuit is placed upon the plate, and she narrows her eyes at Kalliona as the woman takes a seat so casually.

    Finally, she turns to speak to Psyber and the others in a very, very cool voice that has an undertone of anger and threat to it. "If this is your idea of a joke, I do not find it amusing at all. You had best explain where you even found that likeness, or I will... I will be very, very displeased."

    She can't even think of an appropriate threat, but now it's not just Aoko who has that threatening aura in the room. It's the first time that Chrys has actually attempted to project any sort of danger from her presence.

Kalliona (537) has posed:
    Kalliona lightly clears her throat, folding her hands into her lap. "Hello," she says to Amalthea and Aoko... though Aoko's question gets her fidgeting a little more. "Eheh... yes, we are, though it has been a long, long time since I've seen her. There was a bit of a difficulty a long while ago."

    She turns her head to stare at Chrys again. "It isn't a joke, nor a trick. It's really me. I know it's been a long time... and you've grown quite a lot. That's really very hard for me to grasp. I wish that I could at least remember your real name to tell you properly, but you know why I can't, don't you, Chrysanthemum?"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Well, if you can learn to live with and adore the Psyber-shaped growth on the front of my wallet, I think we could work something out," Psyber says in equal response to Aoko, before he turns back to the matter at hand. When Chrys starts to turn on the Aura, Psyber puts his hands up in a defensive position.

    "Woah, woah, let's not get hostile," Psyber says to her, trying to show that he's not antagonizing her, "Kalli wanted to see you again. Felt she owed you that. I promised you the most interesting meal you've had in a long time. Haven't I delivered?" Mostly placations while Kalliona addresses the matter more directly. Psyber just wants to avoid a fight.

Amalthea (395) has posed:
    Amalthe'a's not snacking on biscuits anymore. Her chewing slows to a halt as Chrysanthemum's mood seems to shift in a very sour direction, and that aura of menace begins to permeate. She doesn't interrupt the reunion though, oh no, not right now.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Things sure are heating up!
    Aoko'll be over there, stuffing her face and not minding too much. She doesn't really have a survival instinct to speak of, that's probably why she's done stupid things like 'taunt a True Ancestor' before. "I could probably get used to the bulge, but I might try to elope without it~," she teases Psyber, before focusing on the real matters at hand.

    "How long's a long long time?" she asks Kalliona.

    She can relate, mind, hating a relative.
    Just curious what sort of timetable of hate they're looking at here.

Chrysanthemum (101) has posed:
    Glaring, Chrysanthemum calms... somewhat. Just somewhat. Her fingers have splintered the table, but now she leans over it and slams her hands down upon it. "Three hundred years! Three hundred years I've thought you DEAD and now you walk into my life again as if it were just the other day that you-"

    The blonde snaps her head back to Amalthea and Aoko, then again to Psyber. "Where did you find her. HOW did you find her?" At least she hasn't drawn a weapon or something, but that doesn't mean much where she's concerned. Her sudden intensity cools swiftly, right after, and she straightens her hair. She looks ready to snap something at the whole group, but makes a visible effort to contain her mixed feelings.

    "It is a shock," she finally manages to force out.

Kalliona (537) has posed:
    "I was very disoriented when I last saw you," Kalliona explains quietly to Chrysanthemum. "It took some time for me to even realize what had happened. It is... not in my nature to be bound to a body and person, for long. You of all people should know that."

    The question was sent to her, but she agrees with Chrysanthemum's statement. "It has been about three centuries. I was in a human body when she was born, and died soon after. The shock of that was very disorienting..."

    She looks to Chrys again. "But it did not kill me permanently. Imagine my surprise when I returned to awareness to find the world was changing. Imagine my further surprise when I found that it was my daughter throwing the balance of the gods into disarray."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Aoko gets a light laugh from him at her masterful counter. He enjoys the banter, at least.

    Still, Chrysanthemum is soon asking him for answers. And he owes her that much, "Do you remember when rebels captured one of your bases and won a rare victory over you for the first time in a long time? That was where I met Kalliona. She reached out to me and some associates and we took action." Psyber says pretty directly. He doesn't want to tie Kalliona to the Union outright, that's Kalliona's call to reveal. So instead he phrases it very carefully. It avoids a lie, since she did contact associates of his looking for aid.

Amalthea (395) has posed:
    Amalthea fires Psyber a look briefly, but in response to Chrysanthemum's angry shift in mood, she holds her hands up, palms out when she Chrys looks to her. Psyber handles that explanation. She's got nothing. And right now she says nothing to avoid foot-in-mouthing something bad.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Three centuries? Geez."

    Aoko ponders. Unfortunately she does so out loud, as usual.
    "Is that what I'm gonna be like with big sis in three centuries? What a drag. Ah, who am I kidding, she'll probably get hit by a bus first, or I'll collapse into an awesome singularity."

    Former more credible, she surmises.
    Bus most likely hurled by her, though.

    "Sorry, sorry, go on. So you're some sort of spirit who took human form to have a daughter? What was the father like?" Impolite, maybe, but tugging for exposition never hurt her before. "You both look awesome for three centuries by the way. You gotta teach me how you do that."

Chrysanthemum (101) has posed:
    The words that come from Kalliona and Psyber get another stare from Chrys, her jaw twitching. She appears to mull this over for a long while... then she lets out a light laugh. "It appears that I've been had, hasn't it? Most interesting time indeed. Psyber wins the bet. I have to admit you managed to surprise me."

    Aoko's question is ignored for Kalliona to answer, for Chrys has something to say to her now. "Mmhmm... against the natural order, is it? Then I see why you would go against your own daughter like that! If the gods themselves dislike what I'm doing... then they can come down and stop me, yes? Why rely on you?"

    It's not that she doesn't believe Kalliona, but the grin on her face says that she's enjoying this... somehow. "If you really are my mother, then you should prove it to me. Haven't I grown up without you? What can you offer me now?"

Kalliona (537) has posed:
    Kalliona answers Aoko first, with a faint smile. "He was an artist, and he used his magic to enhance that in ways I'd never seen before. It... attracted me more than most of those I inspire."

    The faintly sad memory is gently put aside when Chrys offers her challenge. "I don't know. I am not one who was raised as a human, I have no idea what it means to be a mother. I suppose that means that I must take responsibility for what you have done, and stop you myself. Isn't that what is right?"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber actually look surprised at Aoko asking a question he hadn't thought to ask before. Still, he squints at her a moment later for other reasons, "You have a sister?" and then looks back over towards Chrysanthemum.

    "It was never my intention to dupe or con you, Miss Chrysanthemum. But if I had told you 'your mother wants to meet', you never would have believed me. I had to play to what I've learned about you, and you're someone who enjoys twists and intrigue," He admits pretty genuinely, not seeming terribly malicious in explanation. Still, he looks over to Amalthea for confirmation that she's at least still around. He spots the hands-up gesture to indicate she's staying out, "Regardless, I won. I left my prize up to you to decide, so you can take 72 hours and get back to me, sound fair?"

    To Kalliona, Psyber offers a furrowed brow. And then he starts to speak, "That's not inaccurate, but it's unnuanced and very simplistic. As a parent, you should try to help her understand why. You don't stop her, per se, through military might. You should try to... guide her into a better person," He thinks towards Homura and Beli briefly at this line.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Sure I have a sister. Older, one year. We had a... miiiiinor disagreement something like fourteen or fifteen years ago. You know, sibling rivalry stuff! Teasing, love triangle with someone, then she killed our grandfather... we still talk! Sometimes. I mean when she's not screaming at me. Or me at her." Aoko laughs, not at all uncomfortable despite some of those things.

    "He must have been a pretty good artist. Did she get to know him? Oh! Did you keep any of his art? Why don't you two go on a family trip together to find it, if it's lost or something?"

Chrysanthemum (101) has posed:
    "I have... most of his art," Chrysanthemum admits. "And I would not be reluctant to let Mother see it, should she wish." She answers that to Aoko, but the sister stuff has no real bearing on her. "I see that we disagree... but she was still kind to me when I needed it, and gave birth to me."

    Speaking of that, Chrys shakes her head to Psyber, "Oh, it will never be a military victory. The odds are stacked against her too much for that. But she is a Muse, and I wish to see how well /she/ can create. She shouldn't be able to, but..." She gestures to herself. "That was proven wrong, wasn't it? So my challenge to you, Mother..."

    She turns and points to Kalliona. "Show me that you can go beyond being a simple spirit. Do something unexpected. Something that a Muse should not be able to do."

    Now, she turns again to the others, including Aoko. "If you would like to help her achieve this, it still counts. Name your wager."

Kalliona (537) has posed:
    Kalliona stares back at Chrysanthemum. Her answer is to Psyber, though. "I can't... really understand that. But I will try. I think she's giving me the chance to do just that." Sigh. Her shoulders slump as she shakes her head. "No, this will do for now. I can't expect three hundred years of damage to be undone all at once."

    She smiles, "I accept your challenge, daughter."

    Finally, she gives an answer to Aoko. "Neither of us are human. Your guess was correct... I am a spirit who took the form of a human. How I was able to create Chrysanthemum is baffling to anyone who knows her ancestry, I am sure. Muses inspire, they do not create."

    She smiles to Chrys. "Yet."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Another wager, so soon?" Psyber says to her rubbing his chin. He has a great deal to think about on that one. Eventually he says, "But this is not my wager to make." He says pretty seriously, shutting his eyes for a long few moments.

    He looks to Kalliona and says, "I will help her any way I can, of course. In for a penny, in for a pound. And if you know anything about me, Chrys, you know I'm sentimental and sacrificial."

    "I think that you both should set the wager for this bet. Chrys says what she wants if she wins, Kall says what she wants if she wins. This is a bet between you two, not anyone on the outside."

    Aoko gets a much more serious and dire question, "Is she better looking than you, or are you the hot one?"

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "I don't think it's my business to nose into your bet! Though, it would probably be interesting to watch. I've never met a Muse, only read about them. So if you're a spirit, and she's your daughter, but you were human at the time... what is she, anyway?" She eyes Chrys, curious.

    "Full spirit? Half? Quarter? Muse or not?"

    This is probably also very impolite, but fromt he way she's stuffing her face with food between words, it seems likely Aoko is the sort of person who would mind if they were rude or unfamiliar right back at her.

    Then to Psyber: "The years have been much nicer to me~. But she cheats and makes herself new bodies wholesale, sometimes. So I guess it depends on when you ask her! Picture me with shorter hair in a ponytail with bangs, red eyes, and always looking like I'm angry and judging you harshly."

Chrysanthemum (101) has posed:
    "The game itself is my reward," Chrys states. "But should my mother forfeit, then she will come to live with me, and never again interfere with my own matters." That's a simple enough statement... "For immortals like us, that is a serious decision."

    For the wager Kalliona choses, she listens, but she also answers Aoko this time. "Half-Muse, for what it is worth. I have none of the magic of a human, but neither am I a divinity like my mother. Ironically it has left me far more normal than even a human." She considers. "You should take one of her bodies, it's not fair that only she should get new ones."

Kalliona (537) has posed:
    Kalliona's choice is simple. "Release all of the concepts you have stolen over the centuries. I don't care if you take abilities from others, but tampering with the laws of the universe must be stopped. You shouldn't play with Death and Emotion." She takes a deep breath. "And if it means I need to become something I shouldn't be, then I will gladly do that."

    Aoko gets a look. "I was in a human body at the time. Chrysanthemum is unique in our world. Nothing like her has ever existed. The closest would be a demigod born of a god's avatar and a human, but a Muse is not even that capable... normally."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Nah, nah, she hides them too well. It'd be kind of creepy anyway, like having a corpse in my closet," Aoko says, adding briefly: "Plus I can't transfer my consciousness into another body anyway. I dunno how she does it. Some creepy super complex mix of magecraft and alchemy I bet. Just the word complex is a turn off for a third-rate magus like me!" Technically completely true, she hates complex stuff, so she'd never be able to sit down and study whatever makes Touko's puppet bodies tick.

    "So, her origins are still a mystery! That's kind of cool. Maybe one day you'll find how it happened! I bet it's something cheesy like the power of true love. I hear that's a big hit."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber looks towards Aoko and makes a 'bleh' face, "No way, I have enough girls around that give me that look. You definitely win out there. I hate the judgey look. I much prefer the happy-go-lucky one." He waves a hand and then slaps Aoko on the shoulder before he turns back to the more serious matter:
    "Alright, then. I stand in arbitration of this agreement between the Muse Kalliona and Chrysanthemum. Until such time as the wager has been forfeited by one side as accomplished or failed, it will be a bound agreement, witnessed by all at this table." Psyber says firmly, placing a hand in the center of the table in a somewhat ceremonial fashion, "So it is done."

Chrysanthemum (101) has posed:
    "Oh, I always keep my bargains when it comes to this," Chrysanthemum assures. But neither is she insulted by the witness, because she's smiling lightly. "It is good to know you are alive, mother. However this ends, I will be wearing a smile more often, I think."

    "As for you," the blonde turns suddenly, looking to Aoko. "Perhaps we can come to an exchange some time. If you think you have a talent that could be useful, come and see me. I am willing to trade or offer certain compensation you may be interested in."

    She doesn't linger past that, however.