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[02:28] <Sachiko> The few days after the encounter with Black Hat had seen a flurry of activity in the dorm's Study. Sachiko and Ai had made steady progress on the cataloguing and of the library over the past few weeks but turning Ji-Hu loose had sped things along considerably. Refinements to their workflow had been made, and things were looking… well, a little chaotic in the short term, but Sachiko had a good feeling about it.-
[02:28] <Sachiko> And so once school had finished for the day, Sachiko dropped her bag off in her room and then headed down to the third floor to see what she could get done in the hour or so before she needed to study.
[03:08] <Minaplo> [As she opened the doors to the library, Sachiko would see that an occupant had snuck in before her. Sitting at a table with a stack of books, pamphlets and unbound essays, his hair messy with a large coffee cup to his side, was Adrien.-
[03:12] <Minaplo> He looked up at Sachiko.
[03:12] <Minaplo> He stared for a moment, his eyes wide with caution and his mouth pursed like a kid who'd been caught swiping cookies.
[03:12] <Minaplo> Then he shifted a book, behind which sat a stack of pizza slices on some grease-stained paper, as well as a bowl of spicy red soup. He plucked a slice of pizza into the soup and bit into it.
[03:12] <Minaplo> "Sup, Sachizzle?"
[03:37] <Sachiko> "Yeah, don't call me that again," Sachiko said with a small sigh. She walked over to the desk, separated the laptop from Adrien's thicket of books and opened it up to check the notes.-
[03:37] <Sachiko> "Did you intentionally pick the worst food for reading our one-of-a-kind book collection, or did you just get lucky?"
[04:01] <Minaplo> ["I was hungry. I earned it."]
[04:14] <Sachiko> "You earned…" She peered at the dark tableau before her. "… soup pizza."
[04:25] <Minaplo> ["Hawaiian pizza with a spicy curry sauce. You can buy it from Byzantine Pizza. They call it Kamehameha's Revenge."]
[07:51] <Sachiko> "… a really enticing bit of branding," Sachiko muttered.-
[07:51] <Sachiko> "What're you reading?"
[08:29] <Minaplo> ["Ji-hu's theories on persona manifestation."]
[08:33] <Sachiko> "Oh, she finished them?"
[09:00] <Minaplo> ["Nah. Work in progress. I'm actually reading her older drafts."]
[09:17] <Sachiko> "Huh, I missed the drafts. She mentioned she was going to start taking notes, but I didn't hear any more."
[11:07] <Minaplo> ["She works fast. That said, these drafts are pretty simple. It's not like she can test them."]
[03:02] <Sachiko> "Guess not. She have any useful thoughts on the subject?" she asked. The laptop got set aside and, seemingly lacking something better to do, she set about sorting the books that'd been left to one side of the main desk.
[03:30] <Minaplo> ["Is making more of us useful?"]
[03:51] <Sachiko> "More Personas? Sure. More of -us-?" She offered a very dubious hand wobble without looking back.
[03:52] <Minaplo> ["Who'd make the perfect Persona user, then?"]
[04:19] <Sachiko> "Wasn't trying to say one existed, at least not in a way that was useful to us. I suspect a perfect person wouldn't get a Persona in the first place."
[09:51] <Minaplo> ["Oh shit. That's deep as hell."]
[10:00] <Sachiko> … the sound of her sucking her teeth in annoyance carried in the otherwise quiet room. She took the hint and continued her work in silence.
[10:38] <Minaplo> [Adrien turned his gaze downward in helpless confusion, before he shrugged and looked back down at his reading. There was a slurp as he took a mouthful of pizza and sucked the soup off it before swallowing. "… sorry, I guess."]
[10:53] <Sachiko> She paused her work and glanced over her shoulder with a frown. "… wait, you were being sincere?"
[11:06] <Minaplo> ["Yes?"]
[11:18] <Sachiko> She grimaced. "Oh. I just assumed- … My mistake."
[11:31] <Minaplo> ["What, because I was praising you, you thought I was talking shit?"]
[11:39] <Sachiko> "I guess so."
[12:01] <Minaplo> "Yeah, well."
[12:01] <Minaplo> Adrien sighed. "I just thought… I dunno. It was deep, that's all. Like maybe a Persona comes from an unresolved mind."
[12:12] <Sachiko> A little nod as she regained her bearings. "The Metaverse seems to like the symbology of masks, but I see them more like… I don't know, patches? Some crack in our sense of self that's been repaired, sometimes haphazardly, and developed a design of its own."-
[12:12] <Sachiko> "It's like Jungian kintsugi or something."
[12:13] <Minaplo> ["Like how the Phantom of the Opera has a mask to cover his burns?"]
[12:17] <Sachiko> "… yeah, something like that."
[05:37] <Minaplo> ["I guess that makes sense. A person with a perfect life might not have any scars they'd need to patch up." Said Adrien. There was another sloppy slurpy bite of soggy soupy pizza. "Like we've had to harden a part of our souls, and that's what we use to defend ourselves in the Metaverse."]
[05:43] <Sachiko> "That's how my thinking goes," she shrugged. "Just a hunch."
[05:56] <Minaplo> ["It'd explain why I'm the Wild Card, I guess."]
[05:57] <Sachiko> "How's that?"
[06:01] <Minaplo> [He gave a kind of non-committal shrug and took a swig from his drink. "Eh, sorry."]
[06:58] <Sachiko> Sachiko watched him for a few seconds, nodded with something that could've been understanding and returned to her work. She stayed working for a while.-
[06:58] <Sachiko> Finally after ten minutes of silence she emerged from the stacks with another armful of books. She carried then carefully to the desk, dusting off her hands on her pants.-
[06:59] <Sachiko> "I'm sorry I hit you," she said matter-of-factly, already warming up the label maker.
[07:14] <Minaplo> ["… Huh."
[07:14] <Minaplo> There was the sound of pizza sliding down gullets for a second. "That's… Unexpected. Apology accepted."]
[07:30] <Sachiko> "Ok." She slid into a chair, grabbing the laptop as she did.
[07:46] <Minaplo> [For a few moments, Adrien seemed to wrestle with something, his lips pursing with the temptation to say something more.]
[07:46] <Minaplo> [Yet the urge passed, and he returned to his papers.]

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