3 1 1

[14:59] <PersonaGM> [Sachiko would hear the footsteps for a few seconds before the door of the library swung open. Standing in the doorway, staring down at his phone, was Adrien Delacour. He only looked up after a few seconds- and then his brow furrowed, whilst his eyes somehow widened at the same time.]
[15:16] <Sachiko> Sachiko did not hear footsteps, that much was clear. Her headphones were on and her back was to the door, one hand typing something into a database on her laptop while the other rested on a label maker currently in mid-print.-
[15:16] <Sachiko> The library was a lot different to the messy, ill-stacked series of shelves Adrien would recall. A bit more than half of the shelves had been stripped clean, their contents now stacked in a neat series of piles to one side of the room. Every one bore a label attached to the spine denoting their title and… some sort of coded shorthand that Adrien wouldn't be able to work out. There
[15:16] <Sachiko> were a few more stacks on the desk beside her, some of which she was clearly working on right now.-
[15:16] <Sachiko> As he entered she picked up the next book on the stack and started to skim it.
[15:17] <PersonaGM> ["Huh." Adrien walked back to the doors and knocked on them hard.]
[15:23] <Sachiko> It took a second, but Sachiko caught on. She looked back over her shoulder, clearly a little annoyed by the interruption.-
[15:24] <Sachiko> She sighed once she caught sight of the interrupter. She didn't bother pausing her music but she did slide one can off her ear and onto her neck. "Oh," she said, turning back to her book. "Come in, I guess."
[15:25] <PersonaGM> [He jerked his head up in a backwards nod in acknowledgement. "You've made some changes."]
[15:25] <Sachiko> "Working on it."
[15:26] <PersonaGM> ["Want to give me the verbal changelogs?"]
[15:33] <Sachiko> "No," she said simply, but held out a finger towards the stacked and labeled books. "Labeled, sorted by a broad set of topics to allow us to actually find things."-
[15:33] <Sachiko> She tapped her laptop. "Titles and topics are indexed on a database here so we can search with specificity. Once we start reading books in-depth we can collectively add additional notes and topics as we go. Ideally we'll wind up with a complete archive of what information we actually have access to."-
[15:36] <PersonaGM> ["Oh, cool." Said Adrien. "Show me the database?"]
[15:39] <Sachiko> Sachiko exhaled and slid the laptop to one side to let him see. Sufficiently distracted now she stopped skimming her current tome, grabbed the freshly-printed labels and started applying them to books instead.
[16:40] <PersonaGM> ["Hmm."-
[16:41] <PersonaGM> ["How many of these texts have you read cover to cover?"]
[16:42] <Sachiko> "Half a dozen? A little more, maybe."
[16:42] <PersonaGM> ["Any of them talk about a fairy queen?"]
[16:48] <Sachiko> That prompted her to actually look at him for the first time since he'd arrived. "… No such luck."
[16:55] <PersonaGM> ["What about fairy kings?"]
[16:56] <Sachiko> And that got a very, very small laugh. "No fairy kings either."
[16:58] <PersonaGM> [Adrien smiled, a little. "What do you think it is?"]
[17:12] <Sachiko> "I'm guessing it's some kind of fairy monarch," she said, returning to her labels.
[17:12] <PersonaGM> ["Which means what, exactly, in the Sea?"]
[17:15] <Sachiko> "Hard to say. If it can keep Shadows in its service… my guess would be another Archetype, based on what we know," she said. "Which isn't much."-
[17:15] <Sachiko> "Seems like Roy knows."
[17:21] <PersonaGM> ["When were you thinking of asking him?"]
[17:22] <Sachiko> "As soon as I see him."
[17:24] <PersonaGM> ["Wanna go see him now?"]
[17:26] <Sachiko> "I can wait," she said. She picked up a freshly-labelled stack and carried them over to the larger piles.
[17:32] <PersonaGM> ["So what've you learned about archetypes?"]
[17:58] <Sachiko> "Apart from what we know? Not all that much, Archetype information seems… sparse," she said. "Which is weird, given how these operations seem to work. You'd think it'd be their primary concern."-
[17:58] <Sachiko> "Still, I did find some information about something they call the "Mask". Apparently if we beat up an Archetype enough it'll reveal its Mask, which we need access to before it can be destroyed. The hitch is that revealing it gives the Archetype a burst of extra power and a second wind."
[17:59] <PersonaGM> ["So it's a kind of desperation mode."]
[17:59] <Sachiko> "Pretty much."
[18:00] <PersonaGM> ["What about clearing up an Archetype in ethically pleasing ways?"]
[18:07] <Sachiko> There was a small pause in her movements as she continued to sort her books, back still turned on Adrien. "… Not yet."
[18:12] <PersonaGM> ["Maybe we'll find an answer in this 'Shadow Market' or whatever."]
[18:15] <Sachiko> "Yeah, maybe."
[18:20] <PersonaGM> ["And if there isn't an answer?"]
[18:30] <Sachiko> "No promises," she said simply. "My opinion on it hasn't changed."
[18:33] <PersonaGM> ["Remind me again, what's your actual opposition to changing him again?"]
[18:45] <Sachiko> "It's wildly unethical and I don't trust any of us to do it?" she said. She stacked one book with too much force, and the whole pile wobbled precariously.
[18:48] <PersonaGM> ["And what makes it unethical?"]
[13:26] * Sachiko sighed again, dropped her last book into place and then turned to face him. She removed and muted her headphones, trying to ward away a scowl with limited success.-
[13:26] <Sachiko> "You write. Tell me how you build a character."
[13:28] <PersonaGM> ["Er." Adrien mumbled, flustered for a moment, before he settled down.-
[13:34] <PersonaGM> ["I start by looking at the world the character's gonna exist in, I guess. Then I find a role or personality that I think would be interesting or necessary for the world and the story. Then I fill in their behaviours, their history, their, y'know, identities… What they want, what they hate, what they're good at, what they're bad at, then try to figure out how they interact with the
[13:34] <PersonaGM> world and all the other characters, and whether those interactions are interesting, unique and-or exciting. Then I often go back and rewrite them to change this or that, and later on as new characters get added, rewrite old ones to better fit the evolution."]
[13:36] <Sachiko> "And if you're doing these likes, dislikes and behaviours right… are they free-standing?" she asked. "Or do they tie back into other traits and histories?"
[13:38] <PersonaGM> ["I try to, yeah."]
[13:41] <Sachiko> "Now let's say for the sake of argument someone stole your big old story bible. Maybe they're not a very good writer," she said, taking a few steps closer. "But maybe they try rewriting your story anyway. Maybe they start rewriting your characters without understanding the - I'm sure - complex web of factors that inform them, because they want them to behave a certain way."-
[13:41] <Sachiko> "Do you think that would make for a very well-written character, Adrien?"
[13:41] <Sachiko> "Do you think they'd be the same character, for that matter?"
[13:42] <PersonaGM> [Adrien tensed. "So in this analogy, we're the people stealing my bible and rewriting the characters?"]
[13:45] <Sachiko> "Ah, I guess I was being a bit transparent," she said cheerfully. She stepped around him, and began typing something into the database.
[13:46] <PersonaGM> ["It's a fair point, and you've made it well." Said Adrien, folding his arms. "But there's a point you've overlooked."]
[13:47] <Sachiko> "Maybe."
[13:52] <PersonaGM> ["Archetype Shadows are a person's repressed side, made manifest by the public attention being focused on that part of themselves. As Roy said a few weeks back, the stronger the Shadow, the more it feeds back into its host and overwrites their personality. Eventually replacing them. Asaka is already being rewritten, just… Not by us."]
[13:59] <Sachiko> "Didn't overlook it," she said. "You asked me why I think the idea of us rewriting his personality is unethical, and I answered you."
[14:00] <PersonaGM> ["Then what are you trying to preserve, Sachiko? Asaka as he is today? Asaka as he was yesterday? A week ago? Three weeks ago?"]
[14:23] <Sachiko> "I don't care about Asaka!" she snapped, turning back around. "At all. I don't care about him or I wish the worst for him, depending on the day. The rest of you run the gamut of antipathy to terminal terror."-
[14:23] <Sachiko> "That's the problem! We're a bunch of kids with a lot of power, time pressure, and a sense of sole responsibility for a threat when that threat requires us to rewrite a man none of us care about."-
[14:24] <Sachiko> "I'm a lot more scared of that than I've ever been of him."
[14:29] <PersonaGM> ["I know you're scared!" Said Adrien. "And you're right to be so! Trust me, I get it! I'm trying to make you less scared by pulling the problem apart and figuring out where we stand."-
[14:34] <PersonaGM> ["Trust me, Sachiko, I'm pretty damn scared myself, and after reading the first few mission reports, I'm not feeling any better." He waved a hand, a little theatrically, at the bookshelves around him. "I don't have any idea what the heck we're really supposed to be doing, without fucking everything right the hell up. As far as I know, we either rewrite him or we kill him, and sometimes
[14:34] <PersonaGM> it feels like half the team would kinda be okay with the latter. We're trying to figure out what this all means and where we stand in it, and then I get told, 'You're a wild card. You're special. Your power is greater than everyone else's.' And somehow, I'm now feeling like I'm more responsible than anyone else for what goes on in this uncharted frontier we've all been dumped in,
[14:34] <PersonaGM> even though I have to re-tie my shoelaces about nine times a day because I'm so fucking bad at tying knots. I can't even keep my shoes on, how the hell am I supposed to handle any of this?"-
[14:35] <PersonaGM> ["And then I read the mission reports."]
[14:43] <Sachiko> Sachiko watched all of this with folded arms, not bothering to hide her scowl now. "What does that mean?"
[14:45] <PersonaGM> ["It took a few reports until I could be sure, Sachiko, but the old team? Roy's team? They had two Wild Cards. Not one."]
[14:53] <Sachiko> Her eyes narrowed. "That's… definitely weird, but what does it matter?"
[14:54] <PersonaGM> ["Because… Because it puts more pressure on me!"]
[15:07] <Sachiko> "Does it? There were more of them…" she said with a shrug.-
[15:07] <Sachiko> "You're not somehow more responsible for this than the rest of us because your power works differently. At least I hope you're not."
[15:10] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah, I get it, I'm a fuckup." Said Adrien. "But I don't know if that's true. It might very well be that I am more responsible."]
[15:12] * Sachiko rolled her eyes. "My powers work differently too, Adrien. That was the point."
[15:14] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah, I guess that's true." He muttered, falling down into one of the seats at the main desk. He eyed the computer with disinterest.]
[15:23] <Sachiko> "There's no telling whether you are or aren't more responsible for this than everyone else," she said, walking over to one of the intact bookshelves. "Best not to jump to that conclusion."
[15:25] <PersonaGM> ["I guess. Still, I wonder why we don't have a second wild card."-
[15:26] <PersonaGM> [He sighed. "It'd be nice, at least."]
[15:37] <Sachiko> "One of you would definitely turn out to be evil."
[15:39] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah, prob."-
[15:39] <PersonaGM> [He poked at the laptop. "So are you any good at computers?"]
[15:51] <Sachiko> "I'm ok with them. Why?"
[15:54] <PersonaGM> ["Did you backup your index files?"]
[16:00] <Sachiko> "Yes, Adrien."
[16:02] <PersonaGM> ["I don't really know how your index works yet, or how you put it together." Said Adrien. "But if it got corrupted, even I could fix it if I had the index files, right?"]
[16:05] <Sachiko> "I guess…?"
[16:06] <PersonaGM> ["Right." He said, smirking.]
[16:07] <Sachiko> The busywork at the shelves had stopped entirely at this point, and she was frowning at him. "What?"
[16:11] <PersonaGM> ["Oh my. I guess I was being too subtle." Said Adrien. "Look, you've spent all this time looking for an alternative to the Archetype rewrite thing. But we don't even know what we're looking for, only 'alternatives'. But that is a really broad idea to investigate. It's not really even a goal. But I sort of had an idea, thinking about what you said with all the notes. If someone took my
[16:11] <PersonaGM> bible and rewrote a character recklessly, that's one thing. But how do you go about restoring that? For writing, I'd have an earlier version of the character, or rough drafts. Or in computer terms…?"]
[16:21] <Sachiko> "… Backup," she said tersely, once she'd managed to stop grinding her teeth. "Explain."
[16:23] <PersonaGM> ["Errrrr. That was kind of the thing." Said Adrien, his grin faltering. "I don't really know what it'd look like. But what if an individual kept, I dunno, backups or something of who they were or who they used to be? Couldn't we direct the Heed to empower that backup instead of the Archetype? Because the backup isn't repressed, I guess, it wouldn't be a Shadow. It'd be the same person… Just, rebooted. I think."]
[16:26] <Sachiko> "That…" The scowl collapsed into a much less aggressive frown. "That might work. Maybe."
[16:28] <PersonaGM> ["Right?!" Adrien grinned, leapt from his chair and held out a hand for her to high five.]
[17:23] * Sachiko gave the hand a sour look, sighed and gave it a very limp high-five.
[17:28] <@PersonaGM> ["Aww yiss."-
[17:29] * Sachiko looked like she was regretting every decision she'd ever made.
[17:30] <@PersonaGM> [He stared down at his hand for a moment, a goofy grin on his face, before something clicked behind his eyes. "Ooh right, I actually had a thing I was here to do." He began punching search strings into the laptop. "I won't be very talkative during it, though, and it's more about my curiosity than anything else."]
[18:20] <Sachiko> "Yep," she said. She dropped a couple of books on the table, picked up the one she'd been reading when Adrien entered and headed for the door.

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