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[13:48] <PersonaGM> [There was, to put it politely, not exactly a rush of students going to Debate Club.-
[13:51] <PersonaGM> [The 'clubhouse' itself occupied a small room within a building sitting on the edge of Sophia Court. Scenic, at least.-
[13:53] <PersonaGM> [When Sachiko arrived, the only sign of life was sitting at a desk just outside the front door, half-asleep: Evripidis Andreas, a short, blonde third year with a hawkish face. He stared off into space, a dismally short roster lying on the desk in front of him.]
[14:12] <Sachiko> He would likely be roused when Sachiko gently slid the pen from underneath his hand so that she could sign the roster herself. "Keeping you busy, huh?"
[14:17] <PersonaGM> [Andreas started slightly. He stared up at her. "Oh. No, not really."-
[14:17] <PersonaGM> [He looked down at the roster. "You're Sachiko Kurata, then?"-
[14:18] <Sachiko> "No, that's an alias."
[14:18] <PersonaGM> [He frowned. "You can't use aliases."-
[14:19] <PersonaGM> [Sachiko would notice that there were only four names on the roster. Andreas's, her own, a 'Billy Heston', and finally a 'Rio Sakuma'. Rio and Andreas were already signed in.]
[14:23] <Sachiko> "Don't worry, I won't tell if you won't," she said. This was followed by a heavily exaggerated wink.
[14:27] <PersonaGM> [He stared at her. Then he rubbed his eyes.-
[14:27] <PersonaGM> ["You're having me on." Andreas muttered. "Go on through. Sakuma will be in soon with some snacks."]
[14:34] <Sachiko> "Ah, you got me," she said with a smile, palms raised in mock surrender. "I'll see you inside, then."
[14:37] <PersonaGM> [Once Sachiko was inside, Andreas returned to his stupor.-
[14:39] <PersonaGM> [The clubhouse was… Pretty dull on the inside. Some desks had been arranged into opposing benches, and someone had posted a schedule of upcoming interschool debates on the wall. There was also a yellowing poster of Phoenix Wright on the wall, for some reason.-
[14:39] <PersonaGM> [Fortunately, Sachiko wouldn't have to wait long…-
[14:40] <PersonaGM> ["I'm back!" shouted a voice. Sachiko heard Andreas squawk, seconds before the door kicked open.-
[14:40] <PersonaGM> [Standing in the doorway was a Japanese girl, around 5'1, of average build with her long auburn hair tied back into a ponytail that fell past her shoulder blades. In her arms were toffee apples.-
[14:41] <PersonaGM> ["Snacks are here! Get your snacks!"-
[14:41] <PersonaGM> [She caught sight of Sachiko and froze. Her eyes widened. "Another person! And it's a girl!"]
[14:56] <Sachiko> "… yes," Sachiko said, one hand still resting awkwardly on the Phoenix Wright poster where she'd been attempting to straighten it. "Hello."
[14:56] <PersonaGM> ["HEY! Evvey! It's a girl!"-
[14:57] <PersonaGM> [Andreas appeared in the doorway, several toffee apples clutched in his hand. "Yes! I noticed, thank you!"-
[14:57] <PersonaGM> [The girl turned on her heel to stare at him. "I bet you did!"-
[14:58] <PersonaGM> ["What's that supposed to- no, don't distract me, why toffee apples!?"-
[14:58] <PersonaGM> ["I like toffee apples." Said the girl, turning back to Sachiko. She quickly bowed, causing several toffee apples to spill out of her arms. She ignored them. "Hi! I'm Rio Sakuma. It's nice to meet you!"-
[14:59] <PersonaGM> [("Toffee apples- all over my floor-")]
[15:08] <Sachiko> "Sachiko Kurata," she said, bowing in turn before she moved to collect the scattered toffee apples.
[15:14] <PersonaGM> ["Kurata…" Sakuma nodded. "It's great to have you here. I've been wanting more girls in the debate club ever since I joined! Unlike Evvey here-"-
[15:15] <PersonaGM> ["I never said that. I just said that the chances of us having more girls than boys would be low." Said Andreas.-
[15:16] <PersonaGM> ["Always such a doubter! Attitudes like that are what drive girls away in the first place-"-
[15:16] <PersonaGM> ["It's not an attitude, it's just fact." Said Andreas, looking increasingly harried. He ran a hand through his hair. "I'm going to go wait for Billy."-
[15:17] <PersonaGM> [And with that he left, leaving Sakuma and Sachiko alone.]
[15:23] <Sachiko> "You're all getting into the debating spirit, I see," Sachiko said helpfully. She leant against a desk, shifting her weight to one leg.
[15:30] <PersonaGM> [Sakuma cackled. She settled onto a desk, sitting cross-legged, and took a crunchy bite out of a toffee apple.-
[15:31] <PersonaGM> [Then she seemed to double-take. "I hope we're not scaring you off!"]
[15:34] <Sachiko> "Pffft." She waved a hand. "I don't scare that easily."-
[15:34] <Sachiko> "… and I don't have a better idea for clubs, so you're probably stuck with me anyway."
[15:34] <PersonaGM> ["You don't have a better idea than debate club? What about drama?"]
[15:35] <Sachiko> "Ah, so you are trying to scare me off."
[15:36] <PersonaGM> ["What?! No way! If you go, we'll be disbanded!"]
[15:37] * Sachiko paused and tilted her head. "… is that right?"
[15:39] <PersonaGM> ["Yup. We need a minimum of four members to function as a club." Said Sakuma. "Billy doesn't even want to be in Debate Club. He just signed on out of a favour to Evvey. Most of the time it'll just be you, me and Evvey."-
[15:39] <PersonaGM> ["Honestly… We're probably not gonna do very well this year in interschool competition."]
[15:51] <Sachiko> "No?" she asked. "How did you do last year…?"
[15:52] <PersonaGM> ["Badly." Said Sakuma flatly.-
[15:53] <PersonaGM> ["It's all the University's fault." She said. "Ever since the university debate club started letting high schoolers 'sit in' on their practices, people've been ditching us to go watch them instead."]
[16:09] <Sachiko> "… what, they left just to watch?"
[16:10] <PersonaGM> ["Right?! It's totally stupid." Said Sakuma.-
[16:11] <PersonaGM> ["They don't just watch." Said Andreas, returning. "They help out and things too and sometimes practice. Basically, the university debate club does everything short of letting its high schoolers officially sign on."-
[16:11] <PersonaGM> ["Still, they do more watching than they would here." Said Sakuma.-
[16:11] <PersonaGM> ["That's because there's nothing to watch, they'd have to participate." Said Andreas dejectedly.-
[16:12] <PersonaGM> ["Oh. Billy came by. He signed his name." Said Andreas. "He asked if there were any cute girls in the club this year. I told him no, so he left."-
[16:12] <PersonaGM> ["Dude."]
[16:12] * Sachiko seemed delighted by this.
[16:14] <PersonaGM> ["I didn't mean it." Snapped Andreas. He turned to Kurata. "You don't really feel like being chatted up at bloody debate club of all places, do you?"-
[16:14] <PersonaGM> ["Are you sure you didn't mean it?"-
[16:14] <PersonaGM> ["This," Said Andreas haughtily, "Is a rhetorical trap."-
[16:15] <PersonaGM> ["Your face is a rhetorical trap."]
[16:23] <Sachiko> "It seems I joined the Drama Club after all."
[16:24] <PersonaGM> ["Drama nothing." Said Andreas. "Rio argues. It's what she does. If arguments were water, she would be a fish."-
[16:24] <PersonaGM> ["I'd be a whale, actually."-
[16:25] <PersonaGM> ["Oh blessed Christ, please give me strength." Muttered Andreas. He bit savagely into a toffee apple. "God, I hate toffee apples."-
[16:25] <PersonaGM> ["Have you done debate club before, Kurata?" Asked Sakuma.]
[16:27] <Sachiko> "Not officially," she said. "I'm more of an arguing hobbyist."
[16:31] <PersonaGM> [Andreas eyed her warily.]
[16:35] <Sachiko> Sachiko's smile was eeeeeeeever so slightly too wide to be reassuring… before she rolled her eyes and dropped back to seriousness.-
[16:35] <Sachiko> "Look, I work hard, I learn quickly and I suspect you have very little to lose right now. Correct?"
[16:36] <PersonaGM> [Andreas was taken visibly off guard by the change in demeanor. "U-Uh, yes."]
[16:37] <Sachiko> "Wonderful," she said crisply. "Then tell me what needs to be done."
[16:55] <PersonaGM> [Andreas considered his answer for a silent minute.-
[16:59] <PersonaGM> ["The first thing we should do is familiarise ourselves on competitive debating styles. The competitive circuit Sophia belongs to primarily uses the Australasian style, but sometimes it uses European Square too. We don't have any books on what that looks like, but we can look it up on the internet." Said Andreas.-
[16:59] <PersonaGM> ["We'll need to figure out what each of us is good and bad at." Said Sakuma. "Once we do that, we can figure out what roles each of us is best suited for in the team."-
[17:00] <PersonaGM> ["And once that's done? We can actually look at our rival teams and try'n size 'em up." She added.]
[17:10] * Sachiko nodded. "What roles have you both taken in the past?"
[17:14] <PersonaGM> ["Last year I was on point for most of it." Said Andreas. "I'm better at organising facts and presenting them than I am at rebuttal."-
[17:14] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah, but sometimes you get stage fright when you gotta go first." Said Sakuma.-
[17:14] <PersonaGM> ["Yes…"-
[17:14] <PersonaGM> ["And then sometimes you gotta do opposition anyway, so you have to start with a rebuttal. And then you go right to hell."-
[17:15] <PersonaGM> ["Yes, thank you, Rio."-
[17:16] <PersonaGM> ["As for me, they put me in anchor." Said Sakuma. "They always put me in anchor, 'cuz rebutting is what I'm best at."-
[17:16] <PersonaGM> ["… Which is Rio-speak for 'I'm bad at remembering facts but I live to poke holes in other people's arguments'." Said Andreas. "We used to call her the Baroness of Browbeating."-
[17:16] <PersonaGM> ["Used to?"-
[17:16] <PersonaGM> ["Baronesses occasionally win, Rio!"-
[17:17] <PersonaGM> ["I'm not the reason we keep losing! We've sucked ever since Fred left!"]
[17:23] <Sachiko> "One of the ones you lost to the University?" she said, trying to keep the conversation on-track.
[17:29] <PersonaGM> ["Fred's the reason we lose so many to the university." Said Andreas. "He led our debate team to victory after victory. When he graduated, the uni debate team pretty much rolled over for him. They changed the rules on his recommendation…"-
[17:29] <PersonaGM> ["So many people left to follow him." Said Sakuma. "Andreas has never really gotten over it."-
[17:29] <PersonaGM> ["Why should I have to? He was our leader, damnit! I looked up to him, and now I have to pick up his pieces!"]
[17:57] * Sachiko sighed. "Will focusing on that help us?"
[17:57] <PersonaGM> ["No…"]
[17:58] <Sachiko> "He's not about to come back and rescue us…?"
[18:00] <PersonaGM> ["Why would he, when he's living it up in Aoi Hall?" Muttered Sakuma.]
[18:03] <Sachiko> "…" Another sigh, a lot more annoyed this time.-
[18:03] <Sachiko> "Ok," she began again. "I'm new at this. Are we missing some crucial component here that makes working with the club as it stands impossible?"
[18:06] <PersonaGM> ["No…" Said Andreas. "Not impossible. It's simply harder than it otherwise would. If we had more members, the team would be more robust. We'd have a roster of strengths and weaknesses to play with. As it stands, we live and die on the strength of the three of us."-
[18:06] <PersonaGM> ["Also, if one of us is sick or busy, then we can't field a proper team and we'll probably have to forfeit." Said Sakuma.]
[18:12] <Sachiko> "I can't really fix that," she said with a shrug. She paused for a moment to think. "… look, I don't want to waste my time here. If you think that's what I'm going to be doing, tell me now."-
[18:12] <Sachiko> "If not then I'll work to the best of my ability. That's about all I can do, and all I can ask you to do. Ok?"
[18:14] <PersonaGM> [Andreas looked, for a moment, like he might waver.-
[18:15] <PersonaGM> [Then Sakuma slapped him upside the back of the head, crossed the floor and sat next to Sachiko. "I don't want to give up here, damnit. I don't come to debate club to waste time! I have reasons for being here, same as everyone else."-
[18:15] <PersonaGM> [("Ow.")-
[18:16] <PersonaGM> ["So come hell or high water, if you're willing to lead, Kurata-oneesama, then I'll follow!"-
[18:16] <PersonaGM> [("By the ever-Virgin you're the most embarrassing person in the world…")]
[18:19] <Sachiko> "… Wait 'lead'?" It was Sachiko's turn to look a little uncertain.
[18:20] <PersonaGM> ["Hold on, don't listen to her. I'm capable of leading." Said Andreas hastily. "Besides, you'll prefer if I handle all the paperwork, right?!"]
[18:21] <Sachiko> "Absolutely I would," she muttered, a little gratitude in her voice.
[18:24] <PersonaGM> ["Thank you." Said Andreas. "You can't just go around putting others in charge, Rio."-
[18:24] <PersonaGM> ["But paperwork aside, I bet Kurata-oneesama would love to lead." Said Sakuma. She turned toward Kurata. "You're so wise and leaderly and powerful and beautiful, it's like you're totally born to lead!"]
[18:36] <Sachiko> "… I think you're misreading me," she said carefully. She unconsciously tugged her collar a little tighter. "I just don't like wasting my time."
[18:38] <PersonaGM> ["It's okay. If we can find one extra member somewhere, we can kick Andreas out entirely."-
[18:39] <PersonaGM> [A toffee apple caught Sakuma on the side of the head. "Ow-"-
[18:39] <PersonaGM> ["I'm really grateful to have you on board, regardless, Kurata." said Andreas.-
[18:39] <PersonaGM> [("Agh! It's stuck in my hair!")-
[18:39] <PersonaGM> ["I promise not to waste your time."-
[18:40] <PersonaGM> [ Thou art I; I art thou.-
[18:40] <PersonaGM> [ Thou hast glimpsed a new path of thine heart, with which to rewrite your story.-
[18:40] <PersonaGM> [ The first draft of the Sun Arcana has been written; its refinement will bring you new power in the world to come.-
[18:41] <PersonaGM> ["Here, we may as well swap numbers." Said Andreas, taking his phone out.]
[18:58] <Sachiko> "Sure." Sachiko pulled out her own phone… she was still using her personal one out of sheer bloody-mindedness, apparently. The Tome phone was hidden away in her bag.
[18:58] <PersonaGM> [They swapped numbers.-
[18:58] <PersonaGM> ["Alright. Let's look at the basic Australasian style…"]
[19:07] * Sachiko listened closely, and true to her word Sachiko proved to be a quick learner. The rest of the afternoon passed surprisingly quickly.

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