Making Nice

April 17, 2019:

Katsumi is going for some milk. Nadia arrives. So does Spoiler. A certain cat is instructed to make nice. Everyone wants to shoot the messenger.

Habitation Level - Titans Tower

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

It's not been long since an odd little intruder made his way into the Titans Tower. There was a lapse in security, and Spoiler has surely by now addressed the man who accidentally let the cat in. But since that point, it seems to've been sticking very closely underfoot to the new Japanese resident.

Or she thinks she's a resident. She isn't completely sure. She was taken here one night, wasted, and hasn't been asked to leave yet. So there's a chance the Titans Tower has not one stray, but two!

It's kind of late. The habitation level of the Tower seems quiet. Katsumi's bare feet pad through the common area, with excessively woolly calico trotting along at her ankles. "If you keep up what you were doing out there, I'm gonna lock you in the bathroom again," she admonishes whilst breezing to the refridgerator. "We really have to work on your people skills."

The fridge door is popped open, and she leans in, rear bobbing to some unheard melody. Soon, she leans back with a jug of milk and nudges the door shut again with her foot.

*

Nadia Van Dyne is also slightly unsure of her status with the Titans. Her invitation to visit when she wants seeminly extended recently into an offer to leave some things in one of the dorm rooms. And although she doesn't exactly need another home away from home it seems rude not to at least put something in there.

Which is why the Unstoppable Wasp is very carefully carrying a clear plastic box, suspiciously sized to match the Titans tower bedrooms, that appears to be filled with doll house furniture.

She's not exactly dressed to superhero though. A casual oversized sweater that hangs down to her knees, sneakers and tights that imply she's probably got a skirt on under the sweater.

*

It's certainly a degree more conservative and homey than Katsumi's 'slashed' high-crop tanktop and black short-shorts. But at least it comes with a cute belt centered with a silver feline-head buckle. And that black choker centered with a gold coin - can't forget that staple. Either way, upon spotting Nadia, the girl offers a broad grin and raises her free hand to give a broad, animated wave. "Heeeyy!," she calls, probably too loudly for this time of night. "What're you doing? Need a hand with anything?"

The calico, meanwhile, hops onto a stool to perch.

*

Nadia offers a wave in greeting, keeping her other hand perfectly level. Her Red Room ballet lessons and strict etiquette classes coming in handy for the sense of balance they imparted. "Oh nothing really," she replies. "Just thought I'd drop a few things in one of the empty rooms." Her head tilts. "Are you off out somewhere? For the… what is it called.. the gogo dancing?"

She heads into the empty room her keycard seems to open the door for and then, with great ceremony, places the little box in the middle. "Now to close the door and wait." She proclaims as she walks back out and shuts the door behind her. "For everything to unpack." Inside the room there is a very strange noise. Like something scuffing against the floor, ceiling and walls. There's also a faint flow of air out from the doorframe. As if whatever is going on is forcing the air out. "Oh! Do you have any kitchen scissors?"

*

"Packing light, huh?," Katsumi teases as she eyes the curious cube in Nadia's possession. But that tease turns into genuine curiosity as she moves into the next room. Katsumi sets the milk aside and pads closer - only to stop short when Nadia re-emerges. Why no, of course she wasn't about to be nosy. "Unpack…?" The sudden movement and push of air through the doorcracks startles the girl into a light backwards hop in recoil!

"Did you just inflate a raft in there?" She eases in close again, only to halt a second time. Scissors. She saw those once. "Um. Yeah. Sure, Doc." Turning, she moves back into the kitchen area to begin tugging open drawers as she searches. "And no, I'm not going dancing! Tried that one. Kiiiind'a went lame!," she calls over to her. "Not my best moment. Can laugh at it now, but oh my god, it's SUCH cringe. I bet it's on Youtube! Oh!"

Dramatically, she whirls to face Nadia with the scissors held out. "Gotcha covered!"

Meanwhile, the uber-woolly calico climbs up onto the countertop. Why isn't quite apparent. Cats and heights.

*

"Oh," Nadia replies with mild surprise. "I didn't expect you'd be wearing such small shorts as around the.. house wear..? Or perhaps the base is more appropriate?" A shrug. "Do they not chafe?" She accepts the scissors, beams a smile and then opens the door.

Inside the doorway there is now a thin looking clear plastic wrapper. And with great ceremony Nadia takes the scissors and stabs them through the plastic, which parts with a tearing noise and another rush of air. Although this time it has a pleasant apple scented candle smell.

The previously empty room now seems to have everything a teenage girl needs to call home. Nothing inside is fancy but there's now a wardrobe, bed, desk and chairs. Somehow posters have even been put up and there's a nice warming rug to bring the room together.

She winks and notes "I'm very good at packing."

*

Katsumi Oshiro looks down at her hips in the rather immodest attire. She cocks her hips left, then right, then looks back to Nadia. "Nope!" The irony of course being that she's on her best behavior around her, yet sees absolutely nothing wrong with casually dressing in provocative attire.

Katsumi moves in closer and leans past Nadia to get a look inside. "O-oh. Wow. So you're like a science wizard," she remarks. She plays it off naturally, waiting for Nadia to give her some level of disbelief, before breaking with a playful grin. She's joking. No, she has no idea how the teen managed to do that. She's very confident she wouldn't understand the explanation anyway.

*

"If you think that is impressive from what I have read my Dad has done similar things to entire office buildings," Nadia points out with a degree of pride. "I've yet to work out exactly how he did so without ruining the foundations. Perhaps the building needs to be specially designed first."

She heads inside and begins the process of checking everything is in the proper place. Drawers get opened and checked to make sure she packed the right things. While the books are skimmed to ensure all the titles are in library perfect order. "It's just a matter of adjusting the spaces between solid matter you see. Compressing it into a much smaller volume. It's the same process I use to shrink myself but… a bit less complicated because I don't have to worry about furniture suffocating if I shrink it too quickly."

*

Katsumi Oshiro doesn't invite herself in. She lingers at the doorway, peering inside at the suddenly-occupied room. "Oh, well, sure, when you put it like that, seems obvious," she nods, still teasing along. "Sounds way above my paygrade, though. Still, super handy."

She steps back and moves to the jug of milk again. She got it out for a reason, after all! And from a cupboard, she retrieves a glass. It's set on the counter beside the feline, who gives it a sniff, then peers at Katsumi.

"…Fiiine."

She gets a saucer from the cupboard as well.

"Not that you deserve it. I'm not rewarding you!," she insists.

The cat responds with an impassive stare.

*

"Oh yes it's really not all that complicated. Especially not compared with some of the long range quantum teleportation technology I have been working on. In theory it should allow instant travel between galaxies, at least, for anyone able to safely maintain a subatomic size," Nadia rambles on as she finishes checking the instant-unpacked room. "The only downside is the trip would likely be one way. At least right now anyway. Because I can't figure out a way to transport the transporter…."

"You did not mention you'd brought a pet overseas with you?" she wonders aloud. Poking her head back out the open door. "Or is that… is that another Titan? I hope I have not mistaken a shapeshifter for a regular animal…"

*

"I doubt he's a shapeshifter," sounds that digitially modified voice from the other side of the kitchen's island counter. There stands Spoiler, setting down the things for a sandwich. Things she clearly got from the fridge and the cupboard and she's really hoping no one (except for maybe the cat) noticed that she'd collected those things. She starts assembling the midnight snack as if it were all completely normally and without saying aloud the rest of the sentence that she finishes in her head: Not that he said much more beyond a divine liason, but details. She turns her head toward Nadia, giving the woman a polite nod of her head.

*

"See you space cowboy," says Katsumi dryly, more to herself than Nadia. But it was definitely in response to Nadia's talk of sending someone across the galaxy with no way home.

"Oh no, he's- eep!" Startled by Spoiler's random appearance, Katsumi accidentally squeezes the jug of milk. It sloshes out and onto the cat-in-question's face. He… does not look super thrilled about this. But his tongue pokes out to dab about at his face. All while staring at Katsumi.

The girl is frozen for a second, staring at the wet face of the feline. But only for a second. The air is soon filled with the sound of her laughter. She turns over to lean back against the counter, still giggling, to address the others.

"Spoiler, right? Jerk, sneaking up and sh- junk." Quick edit. And then to Nadia, still grinning, "I didn't bring'em from overseas. At least, not intentionally! He followed me. So to speak."

*

"Oh! Me and my friend Ying managed to genetically engineer animals to track people. We actually created quite a few monsters growing up. Rats the size of cars and a raccoon the size of a small bus," Nadia informs brightly. Leaning back out of the doorway and giving Spoiler a wave. "I remember you. I thought you were an Avenger, but I suppose you are also a Titan as well?" She pauses. "I had my costume on last time though. The Wasp. I think I had my wings on.." She makes a vague gesture that is probably meant to indicate insect style wings. "And the samples of an extradimensional creature."

*

Spoiler turns to look at Katsumi as she confirms her 'identity', again. As least the girl laughed about it. The batling's purple lips smirk faintly as the sandwich is completed. It's picked up and bitten into, her head tilting toward Nadia.

"Hmm.. yes. I'm both," she replies. "Thank you again for your help on that," she says politley.

*

Katsumi Oshiro blinks at Nadia. "He's not genetically engineered." Her head turns to look back at the cat, finishing up the self-cleansing. "He just looks that way." Calico cats were not meant to be this woolly.

She turns around again and lifts the jug, then pauses. "Wait. Go make nice with the girl," she instructs. "You do that, you get the milk."

The cat stops licking at his face and stares at Katsumi for a moment. His jade eyes seem to narrow. And then he's hopping down onto a stool, then padding indignantly across the floor to come to sit in front of Nadia's feet. His expression is somewhere between annoyed and bland. But he's a cat. That should be expected.

*

Oddly the Red Room is not known for it's vast numbers of pet animals. So outside of lab conditions animals are really not something Nadia has much experience with. "You have trained it?" she wonders. "Or did you develop an animal control power?" She glances down at the cat and offers an awkward wave. "Did you know cats are considered one of the only animals it is impossible to experiment properly upon? They seem to refuse to be studied." She gives Spoiler another grin. "Oh that work was a pleasure. No trouble at all. I only wish I could have had more time to study that extradimensional space. Perhaps build a research base there. Oh well. There is always the next time."

*

Has Kat trained the feline? Spoiler watches as the wrestler successfully gets the cat to do what she wants.

"Maybe she has," notes the batling, eating on her sandwich.

"Next time? I'm not sure I'm eager for a repeart of the events that led to us needing to do that," she comments conversationally, eyes on the calico 'working' for his milk.

*

<Ours is a dignity beyond measure,> reports the calico cat in Japanese, at Nadia's feet. His voice is masculine, imperious, with dramatic gravitas the likes of which often found in orators or traditional storytellers. He then lifts his head more fully to regard the teenager. He raises a paw, stubby digits flexing as if to return the wave.

Katsumi, meanwhile, sips on her glass of milk while watching in expectant silence.

*

Nadia Van Dyne tilts her head. "Your cat speaks Japanese," she notes. "That /is/ impressive. Unless this is a very elaborate practical joke?" She looks between Katsumi and Spoiler, in the hope they also heard the talking cat. She switches to Japanese, still faintly Russian accented, to add <It would be a priviledge if you would consent to being studied at some point in the future.>

"Oh. No Spoiler, I did not mean the exact same spatial dimension. But I assume there must be /other/ places of a very similar nature to explore. The universe is filled with a functionally infinite amount of wonders after all. Not even including those found in the microverse."

*

"The cat also speaks English," Spoiler notes, but since Nadia also speaks Japanese, that is where she leaves it. With her sandwich finished, Spoiler begins cleaning up.

"… That …actually does sound… a rather bit interesting," is admitted of the alternte dimensions.

*

Katsumi Oshiro blinks at what seems, at least to her, to be a completely chill reaction to what's been put before her. "Wh- hey! What the heck is this!?" She sets the glass aside to properly fume without risk of spillage. "Am I the only sane person left!? No one else is freaked out that a cat can talk!?"

Completely unfased by Katsumi's perplexity, the feline continues to watch Nadia. <Is that a Slavic tongue, I detect?,> asks the feline, switching to an older dialect of Russian. "Or do you prefer the barbarian language of the far west?," concludes the feline, in noticeably British English. As it's been considered before, the deep and resonant sound is not unlike James Earl Jones reprising Darth Vader. "Either way, I may accommodate you. If you'll give me the same curtesy."

Katsumi, at a loss, just tosses her slender hands and turns to snatch the glass of milk again. It's kicked back to take a heavy swig, in visual lieu of alcohol.

*

Nadia Van Dyne can't help but giggle. "Did you learn English by watching the episodes of Downton Abbey as well?" she muses. Slipping into her 'English' spy accent. Which sounds a lot like she's auditioning for the Titans production of Mary Poppins. Not that Nadia has seen Mary Poppins. Or Darth Vader for that matter. "I think that was how the Red R… erm. My old boarding school. Figured out I was unusually smart."

*

"Because Duo Lingo wasn't a thing yet," quips Spoiler from the sink, drying her gloves after washing up before turning to redo her dark purple lipstick and putting the unused sandwich things in the fridge. Of course, as she's eyeing her handiwork in the selfie camera on her black work phone, she comments flatly at Katsumi.

"Probably? It's hard to find a talking cat freak-out-material after dealing with demon invasions, time-travel, alternate universes, and rifts in reality," is all Spoiler says.

*

Katsumi Oshiro sputters into her milk at the laundry list of world-breaking horrors Spoiler is apparently accustomed to. The look on her face as she lowers the glass is one of shock, disbelief, and in no uncertain terms, anxiety. Babysteps!

"I am a spirit given purpose by a god," replies the feline humorlessly to Nadia. "A kami. I speak all languages." To his knowledge. But not really. He's been sealed since the early 1600's.

*

Nadia Van Dyne looks blankly at Spoiler. "What is a duo lingo?" she wonders. "We did not even have internet access in Siberia. Lots of books though." She gives the talking cat further consideration. "I can only speak seven languages. Unless you count programming languages. Of which I know several more." Another shrug. "It is a pleasure to meet you anyway talking cat. Do you.. have a proper name?" She looks up and hrms at Katsumi. "I take it you have an idea where your abilities come from now? And you did not even have to locate a wizard… I did try look up suitable candidates but had very little luck. Although I /do/ know how the spoon bending trick works now."

*

"A language learning app. You can download it for your phone. Too many ads for me on the free version. Cracked, it's not bad," Spoiler replies to Nadia. And even though this is the first she's heard of exactly what the cat is, she doesn't react at all. Not really.

*

The cat stares blankly up at Nadia at the mention of computer languages. The word 'computer' doesn't even make sense to him. Few things of the modern world do. Solid ground beneath his paws is sufficient for him to navigate the world. "I am Herukage, Emissary of Maika-no-Yomorinushi, Lord Protector of the Night, god of beasts and monsters, shepherd of animalkind and father of yokai."

"Kind of a mouthful, ain't it?," chides Katsumi, who then clears her throat. "Yeah. I found out all about it. Apparently I'm a monster. Or a not-monster. The gist is, I did a ritual by accident and now this god-of-monsters expects me to fulfil a bargain made some four hundred years ago."

She motions towards the calico. "Care to tell'er what that is?"

Herukage looks back to Katsumi, then again to Nadia. "Having performed the sacred ritual, she has stepped forward as Maika-no-Yomorinushi's divine avatar of wrath. His holy vengeance against mankind. She is his champion - the bearer of the Yokai Soul."

Katsumi, currently sipping milk, twiddles a hand in the air.

*

Nadia Van Dyne ahhhs. "I don't really use my phone for much," she muses as she pops back into the room and tucks the chair back under the desk. "It makes annoying noise while I'm trying to work. And you can't trust any of the sources you find online anyway. So I only keep it around for emergencies."

She considers the response from the talking cat very solemnly. Then, slipping into Mandarin in the hope only she and the cat will understand, conspiratorially asks <Is that why she keeps walking about in her undergarments?> Switching back to English she adds "I hope that doesn't mean you are expecting her to kill people? Because that sounds very much like a supervillain thing to make someone do. And if so we'll have to find a magician or.. a priest? Anyway find someone to exorcise you."

*

Nadia switches languages and Spoiler's HUD attempts to translate the Mandarin, leaving the batling with a cryptic seeming: Why keep underwear?

…Nope. Not touching that one.

"Monsters aren't always a terrible thing," murmurs Spoiler, heading out in the direction she presumably came in from. Snack was had. Make up is back on point. Time to prowl the night and brood about Things.

*

<No. That, she does to wear on my nerves and dishonor her gift,> replies the feline in seamless Mandarin. His head turns to look back at Katsumi judgmentally. <It is deliberate. I am sure of it.>

Back to Nadia, Herukage lifts onto all fours again, tail perked upright in the air. "My expectations are irrelevant. It is not I to whom she owes fealty, but to the Lord Protector of the Night. You may attack me how you will. It changes nothing. His decree is absolute, regardless of me. I am only the messenger." He hops up onto a bar stool again. "Super.. villain?," he asks, for once giving a look other than baseline annoyance: confusion. "There is nothing villainous about a god's justice."

Katsumi watches Spoiler skulk away with a cryptic murmur, frowning. Monsters aren't bad? She then looks to Nadia. "See, he says crap like this. Doesn't actually say if he expects me to go on a crazy killing spree, or just harass the ancestors of whoever stepped on a turtle."

"My will is irrele-"

"I KNOW! God."

"Yes."

"Shut it!"

*

From inside Nadia's room her phone, speak of the devil, decides to blurt out an alarm. "Well… It doesn't sound very just expecting someone to perform a task when they have no idea what that entails. Does it?" she points out, heading out the room and locking the door behind her. "Anyway, I am very glad you have a better understanding of your abilities! At least compared with before. Unfortunately I've just got an emergency to deal with back at my lab."

"And if I don't get back quickly we might have an every so slightly tiny problem with an anti-matter leak. Nothing to worry about unless…" Nadia frowns as she does some math in her head. "Well possibly something to worry about. But you should be outside the blast radius here and you don't own any property in the city." She flashes another smile and a wave then, slightly more briskly, heads for the door. "Just stay away from windows facing the city!"

*

With the two kats arguing and Nadia getting distracted by her phone, Spoiler slips away silently and without another word. One moment there, one moment gone.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License