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01. (Accidental) [Video]
Deep Thought
yagyu_nasuti wrote in dramadramaduck
[The video shakily opens to a webcam framing the face of a young half-Japanese, half-Caucasian woman in her late teens. She seems to be vacantly staring through the screen, and the sound of typing keys can be faintly heard somewhere off-screen.]

[There is silence as the girl pauses, and she looks to the side and leans out of the shot, soon returning with a cup of tea brought to her lips. One hand is holding the cup, while the other can be heard typing still.]

[She lowers the cup and swallows, licking her lips as her eyes dart from one side of the screen to the other. She seems to be doing a mix of reading and typing. She has a tired expression, and her green eyes are rimmed with puffy red lids.]

[The typing stops, and she brings her hand up to her temple, scratching her fingers against her scalp thoughtfully as she sighs.]

The words are starting to blur together.

[She stands up from the desk, the camera remains stationary as it blurs and re-focuses on her hips. She sets her cup of tea down on the desk and turns to face the full-pane glass doors leading out to the balcony behind her. She walks towards the balcony until she's out of the shot.]

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[Nasuti wasn't entirely certain that Shuten would be able to navigate the metropolitan streets of Tokyo, so she waited outside the university gates. She greeted several students who passed through the gates, especially if they recognized her by merit of association with her grandfather.

The arriving students had dispersed shortly before the chimes of that familiar staff sounded in the distance. Initially Nasuti was tense. She had to bury her recollection of what happened with Badamon in the Dynasty deep inside. This Shuten hadn't known the sacrifice necessary to free Kayura--if it was necessary at all. She still questioned it, to this day...but that was not for Shuten to be privy to.]

Ah--Shuten! [Nasuti lifted her hand up to wave and grab his attention. She could feel the bright smile on her face stretching high into her cheeks.] Over here!

[Nasuti wondered if she should have called Jun to tell him that Shuten was back. It was probably for the better, as the little boy wouldn't have been able to discern what topics would...or at least should be off-limits with the warlord-turned-monk. It would be enough for Nasuti to control herself, she really didn't have it in her to keep a little boy at ease, as well.

She started walking away from the university gate to greet Shuten mid-way. It made no sense to wait for him to meet her, especially since he was well within her sight.]

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[Nasuti laughed a bit and waved a hand dismissively.]

I just needed someone to actually tell me to go to bed, it seems.

[That was one way to dodge the question. Even if she had turned off the computer, what little slumber Nasuti got was restless sleep, which only seemed to exacerbate the uneasiness she felt with Shuten once again at her side, breathing, living--]

Please, come this way...

[Nasuti extended an arm, gesturing towards the interior of the university's walls. There was some sort of twisted irony in inviting a former warlord into the bowels of her family's base of research, and it wasn't lost on Nasuti. She wondered for a moment how her grandfather would have handled such a situation.]

You seem to have blended in really well, Shuten. [Starting a walk towards the humanities department, Nasuti gave the monk an encouraging smile. Hopefully he wasn't feeling too out of place in the thick of the modern and lively college students.]

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[Nasuti nervously offers a grateful smile, unsure how exactly to take that. Sure, she was able to make sure of the technology and resources given to her, and it was just as much a service to herself to be able to contribute.]

I...well, sometimes it makes you feel better to help however you can, even if you can't fight. There's nothing worse than feeling like you're powerless against something while playing the waiting game.

[Nasuti paused at the bottom of the steps to the humanities building, a heavily-windowed, beige concrete complex with an open-air rooftop and adjoined balcony. She rested her hand on the handrail to the stairs, and glanced to Shuten over her shoulder.]

I apologize in advance for how cluttered my grandfa--my office is. I still haven't quite found a place for everything, not to mention some of Dr. Yagyu's colleagues had to come in to take over some of his classes...

[Nasuti pressed her lips together, forming a thin, tense line across her face. The wounds of Shuten's death were fresher, but still, her grandfather's untimely demise was still an unpleasant subject to bring up.]

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[Nasuti couldn't help but tense a bit at the sensation of Shuten's hand on her shoulder, but it was not one of apprehension, but more one of disbelief. It was still hard to fathom that the Shuten before her was the same Shuten who sacrificed himself for the young Kayura.]

...it was his life's work. We weren't able to have an appropriate funeral, under the circumstances. But I'm staying close by in case...

[Nasuti faded off. The lawyers had yet to read Dr. Yagyu's last will and testament. There wasn't any certainty that her grandfather left his research in her care. She could only hope.]

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[Nasuti offered Shuten another smile, and took a step up the stairway.]

It makes little sense to worry too much about it. Even if my grandfather left it in my father's name, he would give me free reign on the materials since he has little interest in it if it doesn't have any political weight.

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[Nasuti stopped in front of the doors to the building - automatic sliders that quietly hissed open to allow entry.]

Jun's doing well. He's back with his parents, where he belongs. [She smiles, and nods as she remembers.] He's actually started judo this year - I'm sure he has you boys to thank for that.

[She started down the hallway, making sure to keep at a leisurely pace. When working, she usually didn't take the time to slow down and look at the scrolls and maps adorning the walls. She always had someplace to be or something to do.]

As for Ryo and the others...they're around. They have families, though to return to.

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[Persistent? Her? She wasn't the one chasing after the Troopers--well, maybe she was just a bit.]

I imagine he'd love to have you see one. Or maybe a little embarrassed, I'm not sure which.

[Nasuti waved a hand to dissuade Shuten's concern.] No, the boys definitely keep in touch! Most of them, anyway. They're best friends, after all. It's a lot easier with technology and cell phones and the like.

[When Shuten drew the attention onto her, she wasn't sure how to answer initially. She certainly didn't miss the fretting for her life aspect of Arago's coup on Tokyo. On the other hand, she never imagined she would come in contact with the warriors of legend.]

I miss the company the troopers kept. It made the research my grandfather did feel like it really mattered. Now that I'm back here, everything's back to theory, theory, theory...

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[Nasuti slowed her footing a bit in order to allow Shuten to walk alongside her, in case she needed to comment on anything they walked by. Of course, come to think of it, the artifacts on the wall were probably more familiar to him than anything else in the building.]

To be honest, the thought hadn't initially occurred to me. All I was thinking of at the time was making sure Jun was safe.

[At least, that's how it started.] Honestly, thrusting myself into the thick of it was more a result of my thoughtless outburst upon first encountering them. Everything else seemed to unravel after that.

[Nasuti wasn't trying to sound modest. But she wasn't some sort of tactical mastermind, nor was she a necessarily inspirational leader.]

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[Nasuti pressed her lips together in thought, unsure how to answer that. She hadn't given it much thought, honestly. One doesn't often try to decipher the motivation behind those after you.]

Ah. Here we are. [Nasuti stopped at the door to her office, resting her hand on the knob.] Unless you'd like a tour of the facilities, first...? [She assumed there were things throughout the building that would captivate Shuten's attention, and she sensitive to the fact that he might find comfort in seeing what was there.]

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[Nasuti nods and opens the door to her grandfather's office. True to her previous warning, the small desk kitty-cornered in the far-right corner of the office has little surface area to show, as it was bearing the weight of several large stacks of papers nestled between various manila folders and over-stuffed binders. A small electric water boiler stands on a flimsy-looking tray-stand to the right of the wheeled desk-chair. Nasuti goes over to the water boiler and plugs it into the outlet peeking out between two dark-wooded bookshelves.]

Please, make yourself comfortable...[Nasuti looked over her shoulder and saw how that may be easier said than done. Taking the wheeled desk chair by its back, she wheeled it out from under the desk and spun it on its pivot so the seat faced Shuten.] Please have a seat? [Nasuti looked down and saw there were two hardbound books already resting there. She picked them up and slid them onto the edge of the desk.]

My grandfather had been studying the Segoku period for what was most of his life. At one point several years ago--and I was a child at the time, so all of this is hearsay--he decided to trace the family trees of the various samurai clans to see if any descendants were still alive. [Nasuti looked to Shuten with an oddly serious expression.] I think you can imagine how that turned out.

[Nasuti opened a desk drawer and pulled out an elaborate foil pouch of sen-cha, pulling open the zip-locked bag and tossing around the leaves a bit idly.] The first family he found was the Date family. They were the easiest to find, as they are quite adherent to the traditional Japanese lifestyle, and Seiji's parents are both somewhat affluent.

[Nasuti checked the teapot on her desk to make sure it was clean and empty. With a nod, she poured some of the dried tea into the filter, taking the pot by its bamboo handle and carrying it over to the water boiler, which rumbled softly to indicate the water's activity within.]

Then he found the Mouri's, the Hashiba's...the Rei Fang's were a bit of a challenge, and then there were the Sanada's. [Nasuti furrowed her brow as she recalled what her grandfather told her. She pressed the top of the water boiler to release the steaming water into the tea pot.]

I don't know if the boys knew about my grandfather's involvement with their families, though. But it was during the research of their families, their histories from then leading up to now...when he discovered the link that tied them all together...

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[Nasuti set the lid back on the teapot, and set it on the desk. She pulled a still-sealed cardboard box filled with books across the floor to sit across from Shuten, and placed a thin pillow on it to better support her weight.]

Well, there are only so many surviving descendants in this day and age, but I don't think that was all grandfather had.

[Nasuti sat down on the box, and rested her elbows on her knees as she gave some thought to what her grandfather told her. She looked momentarily to the teapot, picking it up to pour a bit into a tea cup. It was a vibrant chartreuse shade - perfect. Nasuti hadn't over-steeped it, for once.]

There wasn't a lot...I'm still amazed that he stumbled across it all by coincidence. [She held the cup out to Shuten with both hands, placing a thin wooden saucer beneath it.]

Though there was one particular artifact he had in his possession prior to the interviews...[Nasuti looked off to the side in thought, but was brought back to the conversation when Shuten mentioned the second question--the one about the warlords.]

The wa...[Nasuti caught herself mid-question. To be honest, she hadn't thought to look into Dr. Yagyu's research for information on the warlords. Nasuti gave Shuten an apologetic look, and shook her head.] I'm sorry. I haven't gotten that far into his files. I didn't think to even look...

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[Nasuti held her chin in thought at the information Shuten had just given her.] ...your pasts became non-existent? Is Arago even capable of altering history?

[Nasuti develops a look of concern on her face.] I can't even begin to consider the implications of that...surely there's some trace of you in history, then?

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