Warped Reflections


ff_asi_icon.gif asi_icon.gif

Scene Title Warped Reflections
Synopsis Asi asks questions of a dead man, and receives a nonsequitur from the sea.
Date December 4, 2018

The Manhattan Archipelago

Asi sways back and forth with the tide as it pulls past the dock, stolen bottle held loosely by its neck. She watches the water intently, each lap of the water against the wood just as important as the last. Closing her eyes, ironically enough, is what's making her feel nauseous and like the world is spinning.

Being this painfully drunk keeps her in one place, at least. Less likely to wander. Steal a boat. Get into a fight. Do something she'd particularly regret. Her month of mourning might be over, but some impulses needing drowned out didn't ascribe to a schedule.

"«I just don't know, though.»" she murmurs to the water. It's warped just enough she can't clearly see her reflection, so she tries to see someone else instead. "«Was … all of this … coming here … even worth it?»"

"«Kaito, what did you see out here? What purpose?»"

She hiccups violently, back of her hand held to her mouth as she squints at the water, light blossoming behind her eyes.

Asi blinks, the lighting stinging her eyes. Every now and then she'd breathe slightly wrong and her ribs would ache splendidly and send a blossom of light unfurling in her vision. Her right hand is bandaged and she flexes it intermittently, the twinge and tension apparently helping her think, unlike the pain in her chest and back… and head.

It all could have gone so much worse.

But it all also could have gone better.

Jiba had provided her with the security footage of what happened, once Eizen cleared it, and she'd reviewed it twice already, making notes about the attackers, speculating how they might have clued into her presence.

This time, though, she needed to review her own behavior. What she should improve on. What she could have done different. The question needing answered most is: What else could have been done to have separated the triplets and cornered one for capture? What could they do better next time?

She lifts her hand to toggle the controls, trying to send an impulse through to the system… But there's nothing physical for her to integrate with. The photoreactive gas flickers a hologram around her fingers, waiting. Wearily, she triggers the correct hand motion for 'play' and then folds her arms while she watches impassively as she struggles her way through the encounter until after Monica arrives … and even after that, too.

"Pause." she says abruptly, right at the moment the elevator doors open with the security team. She watches herself turn in the recording before the frame freezes, and judges the distance from the car that had been her target.

Three meters, perhaps.

Asi closes her eyes.

She should have deployed Migi as a distraction long before Monica arrived. While running for the ramp, she could have produced the drone and set it to track and shine a light on the triplets' facial features with its distractingly bright bulb. If there had been enough time, Hidari too. If there had been any confusion between them to have caused them to split earlier, or even if Asi had deployed it after the structure collapse, perhaps they would have been distracted just long enough for Eizen's team to open fire.

She exhales.

She should have … No. There was no way she could have anticipated exactly where the teleporter would appear. Drawing her weapon as soon as Jiba had warned her could have left an opening to be immediately disarmed.

She opens her eyes, looking at the still image hovering in the air. Three meters of distance between her and the car.

Asi lifts her unbandaged hand from her folded arms, rubbing at the back of her neck. She looks back to her desk, to the physical interface it represents to the room's system, and slowly begins to frown. Not even a meter away.

"All right, Tetsuyama." she murmurs to herself, walking to her desk at a slow pace to help her better gather her thoughts. She lays her hand down on its surface tentatively, feels the connection … and slowly pries her fingers away, trying to hold on to that connection. An exercise tried more than once in the past, something she knows is futile. Her influence is velcroed away from the system as she breaks her physical connection with it.

Her head lifts, brow ticking up as she realizes something, and approaches it at a different angle. No — maybe she didn't need the connection. The goal was just to trigger an action, after all. What if all she did was output a command?

Hand hovering, she stills her thoughts, focusing. Asi breathes out, sharpening a single intent down into a point until she can feel it welled up behind her eyes, feel a certain weight to her hand as she holds it in the air. Play.

The lapping waves chop up the reflection, and her head swims with nausea again. Shit. Asi loses her balance and falls back, a sense of vertigo overwhelming her. She lands with a thud on the platform and blinks blearily, looking up at the stars and admiring the aurora swimming above. The world still feels like it's swaying now, but worse. What had all that been? "面白い…" she answers herself, one hand lifting to her head to cradle it at the headache that's starting to set in.

Whatever she'd seen in the waves wasn't an answer to the question she asked, or a response from who she asked it of. But it did make her think.

"花火みたいわ," she murmurs to the colorful sky, and the lights dancing inside her eyes.

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