A Disconnect From Conscious Reality

<gumbal1> A trail of dead ends, disappointment, and failures. Was there where Lisa's journery was to end? No. It merely meant she had been talking with the wrong people. Elspeth was a mere occultist, Kiefer a mere host. To learn the ways of the spirit, however, one needed consult a spirit. And, though Lisa had sworn numerous times that, in spite of the overwhelming existence of, in not the mainstream ones, than at least the obscure Gods, there were certain pr
<gumbal1> actices that had to be established first. So, Lisa finds herself sitting at Akemi's shrine, a plate of (freshly made) smoked salmon as an offering. Any minute now, a certain fox would come to collect. Any minute…
<gumbal1> *Gods, that she would bow to none, there

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<Kioku> It's fortunate that Akemi visits the shrine fairly often when not busy, even if just to drop by for a few minutes to relax. This wouldn't have been one of those times, but the odd tingling she feels makes her change her mind and come to check. The girl sweeps her curious gaze over the scene before her, then smiles and approaches. \I can't say I expected this… don't I know that girl?<gumbal1> They've met. Once. Lisa remembers quite well the circumstances. Lisa smiles at the Kami, though whether out of anticipation or out of habit, not even she really knows. "Akemi. Thank you for…answering my prayer, if one could call 'waiting at your shrine to request something of you' a prayer."
<gumbal1> "Smoked Salmon? It's fresh."
<Kioku> "I'd have heard if you'd said something." Akemi winks and moves to… sit next to Lisa. Huh. "But I guess the sense of that being offered was enough…" she murmurs, looking at the salmon. "Thank you~ Share it while you share what's on your mind?"
<gumbal1> "Certainly. I've been…in search of help with a problem for a while, now. See, my anomaly, as of recent, cannot work without sweeping my concious under the proverbial rug of unconciousness, and it's…rather frustrating, especially when you've developed such a bond with it. I was wondering if you could potentially help me pinpoint the exact cause of the problem."
<Kioku> \You pass out when you use your power.\ "I'll certainly try! At the very least, I'm sure we can figure out whether it's mental or physical. Tell me more about the ability that goes with this?"
<gumbal1> "My ability allows me to expel certain spirits from my body. Really nice and friendly, even if they don't quite look the part." Lisa smiles at that line. "Back when I was…smaller, I could do this with ease. However, given a few bad experiences, I've started to pass out when I do this. Now, no offense inteded, but I hear that you are…spiritual in nature."
<Kioku> Akemi raises an eyebrow and just prevents a laugh. "Why would I take offense to that?"
<gumbal1> "People are weird, unfortunately. Well, here's what I want you to do. You can enter people, correct?"
<Kioku> Akemi shrugs and nods. "I can. You want me to inhabit you and watch the process of summoning, then see if I can wake you up, perhaps?"
<gumbal1> "Perhaps. Mostly, I want you to examine what exactly happens when I do so. Does…anythign special happen that you can see once you enter someone?"
<Kioku> "Mmh. Sort of. Entering tends to give a shock, but the feeling is pleasant enough. The feeling persists at a lower level as long as I'm present, but it shouldn't be distracting unless I let it be. I know that it becomes easy to let my friends borrow my energy to enhance their own abilities, and I can sense everything that they do, and help protect their mind if need be." It feels a little odd to Akemi, explaining this - or rather having time to
<Kioku> explain all this, since usually it comes up when she's being sent out on a mission. "It does help that I can feel whatever they feel, since I'm not personally familiar with their powers, and might pick up on feelings that they're so used to that they've just learned to ignore."
<gumbal1> Oh. That's what she was suggesting…no. If Lisa was going to do this, it was on her own. "Well. Should I do anything before you get started?"
<Kioku> Akemi shakes her head. "No need, though you may want to stay sitting down. I'll watch what happens, see what sense I can get from it, and try to wake you if I can. I won't possess you or move your body or anything unless something crazy happens like there's an attack and I can't get you out of the line of fire some other way."
<gumbal1> "Of course." Lisa takes a seat and mentally preps herself.
<Kioku> Akemi lets out a breath, then touches a finger to Lisa's chest and disappears with a shimmer and a sudden jolt of pleasure that subsides over a few seconds. ~I'm here. Whenever you're ready.~
<gumbal1> ~Alright.~ Akemi may find the space slightly crowded, what with the five others connected to Lisa's soul.
<Kioku> It certainly is odd for her, having other spirits present like this as well. She does what she can to get a sense of them, but unless they're part of Lisa, all she's likely to really pick up are emotions and vague impressions.
<gumbal1> ~3, 2, 1…~ And as the connection to one is clumsily severed, an otherwordly static, sounding much like that of a thousand voices chanting "Hem Hessum" in unison, seems to fill Lisa. Appearing outside her, however, is a girl of around Lisa's age, shorter, wearing an approximation of a 1960's era Japanese high school uniform, bandaged in places and gangrenous in others, looking around for any sign of what she might have been brought out for.
<Kioku> Akemi winces, as much as a girl without a body can. \That seems like it must have been unpleasant, cutting it off like that…<gumbal1> Something besides Lisa thoughtspeaks this time. ~Is there a new one among us?~ It has a…well, if souls can have accents, this one's a Cali girl.
<Kioku> ~Only briefly. I'm trying to understand, and help Lisa understand why she falls unconcious when one of you are manifested.~ \The only conclusion I can draw so far relates to the shock of that severance… she did say she used to be alright, so maybe she either did it another way or… or at the very least, the cut off was cleaner. Then again, the static and chanting might give anyone a headache, if loud enough.<gumbal1> ~Well, firstly, you could start with how stressful severance is. I dread the idea that I summoned Sister Lisa for parties back in my youth. Though, Ayame, the current Lisa you're in, has an unfortunate condition wherein the stress seems to be magnified by…something. I'm not quite sure.~
<Kioku> ~I imagine it would be very stressful,~ Akemi agrees. ~Both for her and for you…~ \Sister Lisa? They're both- no, she said 'current,' as if…\ ~She said that this didn't happen when she was younger. Could you provide any insight into what changed?~ \Assuming she meant 'younger' the way I took it, and not…<gumbal1> ~Well, Ayame's mother, one Doctor Agatha Drummond, happened to come home at about the time I was summoned, and smacked me across the head with an umbrella, knocking both I and Lisa out cold.~
<Kioku> ~… Ouch. So it carried through the connection, possibly impacted it? Was the 'severance' always so… rough?"
<Kioku> ~
<gumbal1> ~Not nearly. Something went…wrong, I think, with how Ayame began to view her condition.~
<Kioku> ~Self-image /seems/ to be what provides the basis for my form, when I manifest. I wouldn't be surprised if her view of her power could affect it, since it's also tied with spirits.~ \Could be a place to start. I don't want to think it's a matter of confidence, or something, but if it is, and every time she passes out it reinforces the notion that she's bound to do something wrong, then…\ ~How quickly does she wake, after one of you 'comes
<Kioku> back'?~
<gumbal1> ~Immediately. Without fail, she has always woken up the second we merge back into her form.~
<gumbal1> The expelled spirit takes a seat on a nearby bench, thoroughly confused. Usually Ayame leaves a note!
<Kioku> ~Interesting. That… it fits with matters of self-image, stress, and connection damage all. And probably other notions of possible causes. I… have a few ideas, I'd like to run them by her, try them, but I'd appreciate any insights you could offer still. We did this so that I could observe the process and help her find a way to stay awake through it, like I said.~
<gumbal1> ~Well, firstly, if you find any internal dents, you could maybe try to smoothe them out. Secondly, you could try and connect this to the weird vampire thing Ayame has, she seems pretty happy about that. Thirdly, if Ayame's speech starts interrupting with what is essentially verbal radio static, I suggest dialing back. I don't want her to end up there.~
<Kioku> \Dents? I might be able to help her associate this with another power on some level, but… hrm.\ ~I'll be careful. Static bad, got it.~ \What are these 'dents' she's talking about? Probably something I'd see another way… I'll have to ask persmission to familiarize myself with her more, in order to see what I can do. Maybe the rejuvenation charm will help, since half its function is to soothe and heal the mind…<gumbal1> ~Emotional dents. Dents in the psyche. Things that would imply stress.~
<gumbal1> (redact)
<gumbal1> ~It is more than bad. The moment she starts spouting it is the moment she is lost, and with October 25th coming up so soon, I fear this may be the year something goes wrong for Ayame.~
<Kioku> ~October 25th…? Nnm, I'll try doing what good I can to help her, and avoid anything that carries that much risk. She'll be alright.~ \She has to be. She called on me for help, so I'm going to make sure she gets by!<gumbal1> ~Please do. I miss talking with her, for the worth talking carries when one's jaw never seems to apparate attatched to one's body.~
<Kioku> ~Wake her, please? I'll keep my attention on how the connection re-forms.~
<Kioku> \I want to try waking her myself, as she is like this, but… it seems risky until we understand more.<gumbal1> ~That's Sister Lisa's choice, though I believe she will be making it in three, two…~ The spirit, bored, finally heads back into Lisa, and Lisa awakens. ~Find anything of note?~
<Kioku> ~A bit, I think. Enough to form a few theories, and perhaps help in a way… would it be alright if I took a deeper look? More importantly, would it be alright if I were to… address any issues that might be causing this?"
<gumbal1> ~Please do. Try not to go too deep. A girl has the right to keep certain things hidden.~
<Kioku> ~I can't see your memories or anything, only your emotions and what you intend for me. No worries.~ Indeed, emotions are by far Akemi's specialty, sensing them, telling what they are, how strong they are, what they're directed toward.. and altering or creating them. Or in this case, merely 'fixing' those that seem 'damaged' in some way that are related to her power. She doesn't want to change her feelings or anything, only find these 'dents' if
<Kioku> emotions are where they can be found.
<gumbal1> There's…well, there's a few emotions in Lisa right now. Positive, negative…overwhelming, however, is one that seems to cloud all the others, staining them. Envy. Of what? It's too generalized to tell. Dentwise, there's a few in pride, happiness, and hatred, of differing size and weight.

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<Kioku> \What happened to do this…? That's not… it shouldn't manifest this way… well, she did say I should address related issues…\ Akemi tenderly shapes, soothes, and re-forms the emotions, careful to stimulate the process naturally and heal what can be healed. She's well equipped, between magic and her inherent power, but the envy affecting the others so strongly concerns her too. Usually it would have at least some direction, or be separated
<Kioku> into many emotions with their own causes. For something like this to form, it… no, focus on the task.
<gumbal1> Some of them heal. Others merely get better. The envy stays with an almost supernatural persistance. ~Hm, well. I…nevermind that. Thank you, in any case.~
<Kioku> ~There's something here that… I don't know if it's related, but it's possible. It seems like it would have a rather large impact though, and I can't be certain that I could replace it in full if it were removed or 'detatched' and turned out to not be related. What would you have me do?~ Akemi keeps working at the emotional issues that 'merely got better', and wonders at whether the separation might be smoother if Lisa tried it now. \Probably
<Kioku> not with so little done, but there are yet other things to attempt…<gumbal1> ~What exactly is the something you are referring to?~
<Kioku> ~It's a sort of… shadow of envy that seems widespread and undirected, or maybe directed toward everything. I think it's influencing everything else. It could be a rather large impact if it were changed, but it also could help give a degree of clarity, maybe let what it covers… stabilize more. I'd like to see whether it seems to directly affect anything else when you manifest a spirit, honestly, but I don't know if it'd be good for you to go
<Kioku> through that so many times so quickly.~
<gumbal1> ~…leave it. It's not envy you've found. It's drive."
<Kioku> ~You're sure? Mm…~ \If envy is what drives her, she'd think of it that way.\ ~If you would, I'd like you to think of your power for a few moments. Just think of it, let whatever other thoughts also come when you do.~ \I'll watch the emotional associations that come with it, and keep an 'eye' on how they're linked…<gumbal1> Something rises up out of the envy cloud, at least. Joy. Satisfaction. Hope. All of them, however, seem directed towards something. A joy for something. At satisfaction at some situation. A hope for some event. Nebulous are the somethings, and yet they all seem rather…specific.
<Kioku> \Strange… even if /she/ doesn't know what they're toward, I should be able to tell… but at least she doesn't seem to think ill of the ability?\ ~Would you tell me what else you thought of?~

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<gumbal1> ~…I thought about how I'm a one of a kind, in some respects. My powers hold a rather unique set of skills, even amongst this school. Perhaps with them…well, you've risen quite far yourself. Perhaps I could…nevermind.~
<Kioku> ~Mmm? It's alright, I won't think badly of you… please tell me? I want to help you.~
<gumbal1> ~…you understand, right? You hold a rather prestigious position at this school, the resident Kami. In a way, couldn't it be said that you hold sway over everyone? No one can hurt you unless you let them. It's nice, isn't it?~
<Kioku> ~Mmm… I suppose so, in a way. The kami bit barely plays into it, but I understand how you feel.~ \Better than anyone can.\ ~You want that? To hold wide influence, to be untouchable because of the friends who would protect you and your own personal ability? Then it's worth pursuing. There's no reason why you wouldn't be able to achieve that.~
<gumbal1> ~Of course. Who wouldn't?~ A flurry of emotions suddenly surge, before undergoing a quick supression. ~Apologies. You probably felt that. It…unfortunately pops up at inopportune times, and I'd rather not talk about it.~
<Kioku> ~I did. But… I won't press. Still, nothing is holding you back. Nothing stops you from that. Though I hope if you'll be my friend, it'll be from a desire for true friendship, rather than power. Even if one goal does tend to aid the other…~ Akemi turns her attention to the other spirits, trying to see what she can about their connections to Lisa. ~I… suppose that isn't what I'm here for, in any case. I mean to help you, whether it leads
<Kioku> to that or not.~
<gumbal1> The other spirits have emotions of their own. Unease. Excitement. Bemusement. General, simple awe. And…well, that's not exactly human emotion, but it seems excitable.
<gumbal1> ~Of course.~
<Kioku> \Undeniably vague, that response. I said too much at once, maybe…\ ~How many times have you summoned before, in a short timeframe? And did it get harder?~
<gumbal1> ~Many times. After the initial…incident, it simply stagnated at its current level of hardness.
<gumbal1> ~
<Kioku> ~Could you do it again? I'd like to see if we're making progress. Also, I'd like to do something to soothe and relax you while you do, so if it's stress-related, you should be able to get through it.~
<gumbal1> ~Well, alright. 3*BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT*~ The same girl from before suddenly appears. ~…did it quite work?~
<Kioku> If Akemi could, she'd frown in confusion. ~I'm not sure…~ She checks if Lisa is still concious, and checks the connections to the spirits.
<gumbal1> Contrary to the previous tries. Lisa has not slumpt over. Also contrary to the previous tries, Lisa has kept her eyes open. Contrary once more to the previous tries, Lisa eyes, rather than merely being dark, seem the have a sort of 'anti-glow' to them. "…oh. Very, very impressive, Kimura."
<Kioku> \A possession, rather than a manifestation? Or… did they combine into one?\ Naturally, she's going no further until she /finishes checking the connections./
<gumbal1> The connection's been severed. Cleanly, this time, but in an odd, jagged pattern. There's a few emotions going around the spirits, now. Chief among them, from Armstrong: Dread.
<gumbal1> "Lisa? It's been a while." The spirit, turning to Lisa, grins rather wide.
<Kioku> \Well, that's better in one way and… potentially bad in another.<gumbal1> The spirit begins speaking in rapidfire Japanese to Lisa about how muchs he's missed her, before suddenly stopping. "Sorry. I forget you don't know that language."
<gumbal1> ~Thank you very much for your help. Now, why don't you let me catch up on old times?~
<Kioku> The good news is, with an Akemi around, Japanese is 100% translatable in real time to the girl she's inhabiting!
<gumbal1> ~Hm. Did you do something? I can actually understand her, now.~
<Kioku> ~Sharing your senses, remember? I'm Japanese, after all, and we can communicate mentally, so I'm feeding you my understanding of what's said, as it's said. So… how are you feeling, though? Is everything alright?~ \And was it the calming, or the repair? And why are the other spirits feeling that way?<gumbal1> ~I am feeling far better than I have in…a year.~ Lisa and…Lisa proceed to start catching up on old times, Ayame's normal monophony seemingly replaced with a more sing-song delivery.

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<Kioku> Akemi is perfectly happy to serve as a translation relay of sorts, hoping that this was the result Lisa wanted. \I guess we'll see when she un-manifests…<gumbal1> It's a while before that happens. Lisa is too talkative, and Ayame is happy to let her talk on. Eventually, it has to end, and Lisa heads back in…and suddenly, Ayame's back to her usual self. ~…odd. I don't quite know what just happened there.~
<Kioku> ~Were you aware? Were you… you?~
<gumbal1> ~…the only me is me.~
<gumbal1> ~How could it have been anything but me?~
<Kioku> ~That could be said of us all. But are you sure the only you is you, in terms of attitudes? Demeanor, personality? Were you /acting/ like you would expect yourself to act?~
<gumbal1> ~I sensed nothing wrong with what transpired. Did you?~
<Kioku> ~Mmm… the other spirits seemed anxious, dreadful, worried perhaps. It made me concerned, but then I don't know how this should be for you. I didn't know you before. I… are you happy? Do things feel 'right'?~
<gumbal1> ~…things are as right as they should be.~ The question of happiness remains unanswered.
<Kioku> ~…~ Akemi jumps out of Lisa, forming and landing in front of her, then putting a hand on her arm. "I hope this is what you wanted… I hope you're satisfied, but more, I /really/ do hope you're happy…"
<gumbal1> Lisa smiles. "O
<gumbal1> *I'm satisfied, alright. Thank you very much for your help." And, Lisa turns to leave, leaving the smoked salmon behind.
<Kioku> Akemi lifts a hand and parts her lips, watching Lisa go, then sighs and slumps. "That's good at least," she murmurs softly to herself, scraping her tongue against the roof of her mouth in a futile attempt to clear the taste of the girl's emotions.
<gumbal1> It's easy, at least. They only cling to Lisa, after all.

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