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Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

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Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Shiroki on Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:45 am

There was caution, and then there was caution. Shiroki Sakanade always felt it better to err on the side of the latter. It said a great deal about the kind of person somebody was if their whole entire life was largely smoke and mirrors. To date, there were still a surprisingly large number of people under the impression that the Lieutenant position in Squad Two was vacant. Of the remainder, fewer still were aware of that individual's name or could successfully match it to its owner. Not a bad accomplishment, given how his kind tended to stand out. Nor could it be attributed to anything as mundane as simple coincidence. He had gone to much trouble to make sure things stayed that way.

It had required a careful balancing act between intent and execution, one requiring decades to establish. Nothing as straightforward as locking oneself away in the division barracks and becoming a reclusive hermit--doing so would only foster curiosity at such behavior and encourage attempts from others to unravel the mystery. Far better to hide in plain sight, be overlooked and underestimated among the rank-and-file. Even before enrollment into the Academy, he had a natural penchant for being a single face in the crowd--all the better for an aspiring amateur pickpocket. Send a thief to catch a thief. For anybody who remained aware of the cub's past that saying wasn't without a certain irony.

Being on the side of law enforcement still felt 'wrong', a sensation that wasn't likely to change after the first couple centuries. At the end of the day, it boiled down to that. When out on patrols and retrieval assignments he didn't think like an enforcer--he thought like a thief. Onlookers would make the forgivable mistake of assuming that he led his unit in hounding fugitives to ground. The truth could not be more different. He wasn't leading the unit as an alpha would; they were chasing him. Omega; not Alpha. Not hunter, but prey. The distinction could not be more startling, but that was how it was regardless. It had been hard explaining this to newcomers in Retrieval's cozy family: Keep pace with me. Drive me into a corner. And if you get an open shot, take it--together, those tenets had been accompanied with the highest rate of consistent retrievals the 2nd had seen in years, which meant they were probably doing something right. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Fine words to live by.

And here he was; doing exactly the opposite.

Here upon the threshold of the notorious 12th, the diminutive Shinigami considered his options. It went without saying that most people would be leery of the science-oriented division even in normal circumstances, given certain...misunderstandings that had occurred over the years. The 2nd and the 12th had always had a certain understanding however; perhaps born from little more than mutual acknowledgement of equals prepared to get their hands dirty so others wouldn't have to. Evidence for that came in the form of the sentry hardly raising an eye at their visitor's approach--it hardly was Shiro's first visit after all. Perhaps Captain Oshi's extensive video collection had something to do with that.

"Another playdate? Go right in,"

Where a lesser man would've brindled; Shiro chose to make the most of it and affixed sentry-san with a full measure of puppy-eyes for the prospect of random treats. No point in turning down free sweets after all, even if he didn't care for them. Somebody else would.

Those hard-won gains quickly found a home in the white bundle he bore; wherein lay the true reason for today's visit. Familiar patterns marked that bundle of cloth--most strikingly the kanji for '2' half hidden in its folds. A treasured keepsake which had once belonged to his old Captain; Shiro doubted that anybody would miss it. He had come to that conclusion after having 'borrowed' Captain Pekku's spare haori and used it as a makeshift blanket for months now; burying himself in the familiar scent still lingering in its comfy folds. And he knew he'd insist on wearing it, even if the Commander offered to assign one with a better fit.

Not because he missed Monkey or anything, though. No. More convenient this way, that's all. Yes--right.

On thoroughly examining the possibilities however, it was clear that certain changes had to be made. Captaincy was not going to be as straightforward as being a seated officer had been. There would be extra responsibilities and paperwork. More alarmingly, he might even have to become a public figure--one that people actually paid attention and looked up to. Not really the desired effect for an assassin.

--or did he?

That any squad Captain would be well known and recognized wasn't a point of debate. If he actually became one, he would have to attend meetings and be formally introduced. All eyes would certainly be on new Captain Sakanade when he joined the ranks, so it was unlikely he could withdraw from being the focus of attention. Yet, in all that attention...who would recall Shiro?

The idea in its raw state had interested him since its conception. Two personas; because...why not? Use the Captain Sakanade identity for formal occasions and public appearances when necessary (thank Kami he didn't make a habit of using his last name), and just be plain unseated Shiro when otherwise. It would require a great deal of preparation of course. He would need to find a body double or rely on kido to create the illusion they were two instead of the same person. Some sort of mannequin or automaton to permanently occupy the barracks would do nicely, provided people didn't look too closely at it. That would be where Squad 12 came in.

He just hoped he would have time to bring up the topic before both he and Captain Oshime got distracted by cartoons.
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Re: Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Oshime Baozhai on Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:31 am

The buzzing of her intercom woke the Captain from her impromptu nap, the sudden jolt knocking her work off the table. It was a crayon drawing of her and Lany, mostly completely but now a bit smudged from where she had drooled onto it from her nap. It was not actually work from her job, but it was far more important as far as she was concerned.

Oh, uh, let him in!” Oshime confidently directed to whomever it was on the other end of her intercom. She had not been expecting the Puppy today, had she forgotten that she scheduled a cartoon watching day with him or something like that? She pulled out her events calendar and took a look. Along with the boring Captain duties on the list, it eventually devolved into a bunch of crayon scribbles of various activities more suited to a toddler than an adult with a career. Still though, there was no scribble of a doggy or any mention of “Puppy” scrawled on today's date, so any mistake would be on him.

Well, either way, he was on his way up so she could ask him herself...any moment now...! In her haste to check on her own schedule, she had completely forgotten to make sure that she was ready to take any guests and she most certainly was not! She had decided to doodle her picture of Lany partway through getting dressed, so while she was wearing a shirt, her skirt remained somewhere on the floor waiting, and her lab coat was still in her closet. With much haste, she threw on the missing parts of her apparel and skidded over to her office door, opening it as she heard the skittering feet of her guest. “Hi Captain Puppy!

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Re: Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Shiroki on Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:06 am

"Captain Oshi," he darted back before the door made contact with snout. Dammit, stood too close again... You'd think that after so many visits, he'd learn. Well, whatever... He held out the sweets obtained from the sentry as a peace offering. "Sorry for coming without warning, but l can't make it on the usual day so I thought it's better to come in person. Since the messages weren't reaching you," He'd wondered a bit about that, actually. Each time the courier unit had been dispatched there had been no reply. Maybe they were shirking their duties, or maybe the letters were unfortunate victims of some strange research experiment. Either possibility was equally likely. "And I'm not a captain yet, not until the test. Which is also why I won't be able to come then. Is this a bad time?"

Frankly, it was hard to tell. The 12th squad captain's office looked the way it always did--like a small tornado had blown through it. It was an atmosphere that Shiroki considered as 'homely' though individuals such as Captain Tsuyosa were liable to disagree. Mess was synonymous with comfort to him though, so he approved. "I'm also here to buy something from you; for the den. Do you have mod gigai or...robots...or anything like that?"

They'd watched some episodes with gundams in the past so he hoped desperately she knew what he was talking about. Much of it would continue to be weird sciencey stuff to him. "And could you keep it secret from the others? That part's important,"
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Re: Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Oshime Baozhai on Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:00 am

“Yeah yeah, like I said, Captain Puppy.” Oshime said, waving off his technicalities and whatnot. “Ooooooh candy!” She greedily swiped the offered bribe, and looked it over. “Hmm, not a bad haul, Captain Hookpaw. A fine amount of pirate booty, yarrrr!” She closed one eye as she emphasized the pirate slang, as if she was wearing an eyepatch.

In her candy admirations, she had completely forgotten what it even was that the puppy had wanted in the first place. She knew he had mentioned it just a moment ago, but she had gotten distracted by candy as well as the best way to hide it from Lany, lest the Oni take it away from her like all boring Mothers do, probably to eat it all herself with all her grown-up parent friends.

“Oh, robots, right!” Oshime exclaimed as her memory rebooted and pulled her away from what had distracted her. “Wait what do you need a robot for? Are you planning a revolution or something because I'd probably have to tell Lany. If Mommy found out that I was helping you try and take over the world, I wouldn't be able to sit down without pain for a whole month.” Oshime warned, visions of robot apocalypses dancing in her mind.

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Re: Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Shiroki on Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:36 am

On hindsight, maybe watching all those Pinky and the Brain episodes together weren't exactly the best of ideas. If nothing else, they'd clearly had some kind of impression on the lady scientist's mind. And while it was certainly the case that particular...mannerisms contributed to people not taking the 12th Squad Captain seriously, those people who did so were idiots. Total idiots. Oshime Baozhai was shrewd--disturbingly so, in fact. She had been quick to draw suspicions regarding this unorthodox request straight off the bat...which was not something anyone would do. True, it would have been even smarter to have suspected betrayal and NOT said anything about it to avoid suspicion--but her accusations had been pretty impressive nonetheless. Even if they were somewhat far off the mark.

He did have an ulterior motive. It wasn't world domination, obviously. But the scientist had been able to notice there was something he wasn't mentioning. All in all, very smart.

"I...think there's easier ways to take over the world, Cap'n," the tiny Shinigami pointed out tactfully. "Also, that's kinda up to you--since you're the person actually making the robots. Couldn't you like...program them not to take over the world, or something?"

There. Appealing to her superior understanding of technology and abilities ought to do it.

"It doesn't actually have to be a robot, actually. We're looking for a sort of mod-gigai thing we can use for training. Y'know, soul in artificial body with some basic knowledge of fight techniques--nothing dangerous, but realistic enough to defend itself? Would be useful for the ninjas to practice with,"

"And also..." here he dropped the voice an octave so it took on a confiding aspect. "Do you have something that might make me seem...bigger? Without it being too obvious?"

That ought to arouse her curiosity at least. He wondered what the other would recommend. It was hard to tell sometimes, what with the way the head scientist appeared to alternate between genius innovator and little kid without any warning whatsoever. Not that he had a problem with that, but all the same he desperately hoped she'd suggest something a little more high-tech (and dignified) than puppets or bucket-stilts. This was supposed to be the 12th after all--notorious for doing super science and inventing stuff; not some kindergarten crafts class.

Okay, so it probably was a preschool crafts class some of the time; but not ALWAYS. Got to think positive.

Fingers crossed
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Re: Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Oshime Baozhai on Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:28 am

“That sure does sound like a boring robot.” Oshime commented, showing some odd form of disappointment at the lack of oppressive robot squads marching through the streets. “You basically just want some training dummies for them to fight. How booooooooring!” She let out an exaggerated yawn, as if her words did not so enough to get her derision at the idea across. How was she supposed to show off her superscience know-how if all she was making was a glorified mannequin! ...Unless of course she wired them with real lasers and explosives! It was, after all, for training, and what better training was there for a ninja than to learn how to avoid lasers and close range explosive force?

Oshime's laughter began as stifled bursts, but soon became a guttural, encompassing laugh at the secondary request of her guest. “Hehehehe, does the poor puppy want to ride a rollercoaster? Or maybe you want to stand amongst little kids and not get lost in their towering forms? Hehehehe!” Just the thought was hilarious to her, watching the tiny dog try to walk around on stilts like a circus performer, trying in vain to be amongst the normal heighted. It was, of course, a problem that Oshime had already solved herself long ago; sometimes Lany liked to put the cookie jar on the top shelf (and when your Mommy is thirteen feet tall, that is one high shelf), so she needed her own engineering capabilities to give her a chance at sneaking some cookies from it on the down-low. “I suppose I could work something out, shortstuff!”

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Re: Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Shiroki on Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:22 am

"If it's not too much trouble, Cap'n," being laughed at didn't bother him of course. Why should it? As long as things went according to plan. "As for the other thing--how boring the mod-gigai is would be your choice. I'm sure a famous scientist like the Captain could think of a way to make it...interesting? It just has to move around and be...lifelike. How you do that's up to you,"

And by happy coincidence, it would seem that their conversation had granted an opening. "Also, it's lucky you mentioned rollercoasters. That's...also kinda a reason I wanted a mod-gigai. Can't exactly go on 'em with this body, but if I had a spare training gigai and soul candy when the squad aren't using them for training..." the tiny Shinigami looked both ways and let his response trail into a whisper. "Don't tell Cap'n Ryoka--I mean, the new Kenpachi. I'm thinkin' she won't be happy about it," Also...there was something about that Kenpachi he couldn't quite put his claw on. That one would have to be watched closely. And not because she had utterly thrashed both him and Captain-whose-name-we-don't-bring-up-anymore at that Academy fiasco. Certainly not that, because he wasn't the type to hold grudges was he? No. Definitely not.

Moving along... "Anyways, if y'could spare the time to help us out I'll totally make it worth your while--in kan or whatever other payment you like," reaching into a voluminous sleeve, he produced a single glossy brochure: one that on closer inspection would turn out to be an advertising catalogue for a candy store from the world of the living, with checkboxes where a buyer could indicate the type and quantity of confections they wished to order. That document was swiftly passed from paw to hand. "Usual arrangement? Just...keep it a secret from everyone, and try not to ask for too many toffees or sticky things this time? Those things are really hard to get outta my fur,"

Shiroki wondered if he ought to feel bad that he was essentially bribing a member of the nobility and buying their silence with candy. Oh well, it wasn't as though he was doing anything illegal (as far as he knew, candy wasn't on the list of prohibited contraband); and what the Commander didn't know wouldn't hurt her, surely? So Captain Baozhai had access to a secret source of sweets her mum wouldn't know about--where was the harm in that? All the same, better keep this meeting on the down-low. Just in case.

"I'd like to collect the custom gigai and...big-suit after the Captain test, if it's ready by then. As for the suit, I've brought this haori so you can see how big it should be? You can make it look like it's natural, right? Because if they can see it's fake, then what's the point?"

Throughout this short exchange, the canine's large ears had been twitching nonstop, alert for any indications that the pair were not alone. Enlisting the aid of an accomplice was a necessity, but not without its risks. The understanding that this part of the conversation was done filled him with no small relief. Back to our regular scheduled programming.

"That's all I wanted to ask you about, so I won't waste anymore of the Cap'n's time," he indicated the colorful calendar and discarded doodles with a paw. "I'm sure you're very busy...unless you want to watch cartoons or somethin'?" There had been movie posters featuring some new animal film in the theaters that looked really realistic...apparently humans had come a long way since Mickey Mouse. Couldn't actually remember the name...Zoo-something. Zootopia? Zootropolis? That looked like something worth watching.

Maybe the 12th squad Captain had access to an *ahem* unauthorized copy. While not explicitly illegal; acquiring non-foodstuffs like trinkets or technology from the world of the living was not exactly encouraged. There was a grey area there, but it happened from time to time. Hadn't some idiot managed to smuggle in something called a motorbike not long back? Strictly speaking, 2nd squad was supposed to keep an eye out on such activity. But what was the point of being Lieutenant if you couldn't enjoy the perks?

If the Captain did turn out to have a bootleg copy, he supposed he could close one eye. This time.
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Re: Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Oshime Baozhai on Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:52 am

“Ugggh, fine, I'll make your dumb boring training doll.” Oshime whined, slumping in her seat. “No one ever has any fun creations for me to make, always these boring, practical ones.” Was it so much to ask to just once get to make a weapon of significant destructive capability, armed with fancy lasers and high tech gubbins? But nooooo, all anyone ever wanted was the equivalent of a toaster or something to be used for boring and practical means. Ugh, simpletons, the lot of them.

“Yeah yeah, you'll be able to go on your precious rollercoaster.” The vivid-haired Captain said with a roll of her eyes. “My work is only used for the most important tasks, of cou-” Her words died on her tongue as she saw the candy brochure that the Doggo had held out in front of her. It was a wonderful cornucopia of flavored sugar and she was being given the go ahead to order basically anything that they sold. It was like she was a kid being given the key to the candy store...okay maybe that was a little closer to literal than the intended simile but candy sure was good. This was far from the first time that the canid captain had offered her candy in lieu of a payment of money, but her childish sweet-tooth always made it feel like the first time, every time she stared at that brochure in wide-eyed wonderment. Sure, she would have to hide it all from Lany but that was the easy part, the hard part was not eating too much at once so she would be bouncing off the wall in the way that would make Lany realize that she had engorged herself on sugary treats.

“Cartoons! Cartoons! Cartoons!” Came the response from the overgrown child. Somewhere inside her, she knew that the shrewd Captain was leading her to what he had wanted while pretending it was just a casual idea, but the toddler that was grasping control of her mind certainly did not care. Shirking work in order to watch childish cartoons was basically her goal everyday. “I even got a new movie about animals pretendin' they're people!” Oshime exclaimed as she pulled the DVD out of her drawer. The TV swiveled up from a panel on the floor, a large flat screen that was supposed to be for work stuff and not cartoon watching, but what Mommy didn't know, didn't hurt her.

She slid her chair over to the side of the desk and pressed the red button that was connected to what seemed to be a speaker. “Lieutenant! Me and the puppy are gonna watch cartoons so bring us two tubs of popcorn and a bowl of water for him and...my afternoon sippy of apple juice...” She gave her own drink order in a whisper compared to the excited exclamation of the rest of her orders, as if some vestige of her ashamed, adult self was managing to hold her back at least a small amount.

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Re: Of Wishes and Wardrobes (Open)

Post by Shiroki on Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:06 am

He empathized, he really did. Lasers were the height of cool. Then again...they weren't in a very good position right now, especially after a sudden surge of squad members deciding to simultaneously transfer to different divisions following a certain--practice session--that went wrong. That resulting exodus hadn't exactly improved morale for those remaining behind either, Hanzo included. The less said about that, the better. "Weeelll...just do what you think's best, 'kay?" Worst-case scenario, they'd get a weapon of mass destruction that he would use sparingly if at all. But just to be on the safe side... "If Commander says it's ok,"

While the sudden shift of conversation topics hadn't phased him, the Captain's unexpected generosity--assuming that was what it was--certainly did. Unless she was planning on eating all the popcorn herself? Not that it would matter much, water was fine. Re-folding Taiyo's old haori made it into a pretty comfy cushion to sit on while watching the big screen. "Thanks, Captain,"

Nor did he need to fake interest. "A new one? Which one is it?" Research Head Baozhai somehow always had access to the coolest toys. Shiro half-wondered who her supplier was. Well...her supplier besides him. Might be worthwhile to get in touch with that person, form a cartel or something and present a united wholesale front instead of vying with each other for monopoly of the black market. He could offer that they join forces for the good of the economy...or; if he was feeling less charitable, arrange to have that dealer spend a vacation in the Nest while interrogating them to learn the source of their products. Either one.

Then the program started and those musings suddenly became less important to his mind--engrossed in the antics and storyline involving those strangely-realistic characters on screen. Cartoons--if there ever was a crowning achievement for humanity; this was it. Stuff like these were small reminders of why protecting ungrateful mortals from the supernatural were still worthwhile.

He'd noticed what appeared to be some kind of internal conflict troubling the scientist, but felt it wasn't the time to pry. Probably feeling awkward or something that they were engaged in this activity. Humans and their strange age-related norms. If something was enjoyable, why not allow it? Why should age, of all things, determine what sort of things people liked? Did somebody just decide all of a sudden that grown up's couldn't like kid's stuff?

Good thing he wasn't a grown up then. The jackal settled in to enjoy the show
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