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A different reason to enter the Metaverse
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He gives a contemplative hmph and looks down at his coffee for a long moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eventually, he asks, "How do you know if someone has a distortion?"

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"There's an app on my phone that takes three pieces of information - the name of the person, what real-world location they've distorted in their head, and the thing it's been distorted into, and if you have all that you can go into the world in their thoughts. I think it might tell me if a distortion - it's called a Palace - exists with less than the full three pieces, so long as I have something to give it." 

She gets her phone out and opens the Metaverse Navigator. "If you have someone you'd like me to check, I can try them by name and see if the app gives me anything."

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"Futaba Sakura."

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She closes her eyes for a moment and nods seriously. Someone Sojiro's actually related to...

She punches the name into the navigator and tries it.

The navigator blinks up a small screen. 

Destination Detected for Futaba Sakura. 

She looks at Boss. "They've got one."

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He sighs hard and looks down.

"Don't do anything with that just yet. I'm gonna have to talk to her."

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Akira nods. "Of course."

She hopes it's a more benign case than Kamoshida's was. Anyone with that distorted a worldview... must not be doing all that well.

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Just then, his phone rings.

"Hello?

"Yes, I had to check.

"Of course I didn't. Not without—

"Right. I'll be there soon."

He hangs up and scratches the back of his head.

"Gonna have to close up early today. You got things here, kid?"

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"Yeah, I think I know the basics of how to handle the kitchen by now. I'll make sure everything's put away properly, Boss."

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"Thanks. You're a good kid, Akira."

He grabs his things and heads out.

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"Wow. Who do you think this Futaba is? A relative of the Boss?"

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"He seemed more concerned than hopeful. I get the vibe it's someone he wants to protect, rather than someone who he wants to see brought to justice..."

She bites he cheek. "Wife? Daughter? I don't know. I don't know anything about Boss' family life."

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"Yeah. I hope they're okay, whoever they are. They probably aren't, though."

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"Yeah."

Nothing like the world being awful as usual to kill a good mood. 

Akira picks at her curry a bit.

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They headbutt Akira's shoulder.

"Futaba's lasted this long. We'll make things work out."

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Akira nods. 

"Guess I should clear up the kitchen." 

She gets up from her seat and starts to putter. Work will clear her head a bit.

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Things aren't too much of a mess, so it's pretty quick to clean up.

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She supposes she should actually eat her curry too. It'd be a waste to let it go uneaten.

She eats. She gets the closed sign on the door. She turns out the lights on the ground floor. She goes upstairs and flops into bed again.

Just when one thing's done, another takes its place. 

She hopes Futaba is okay, whoever she is.

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Morgana curls up on Akira's tummy and tries to purr reassuringly.

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... At least she has Morgana and the Thieves. 

She lays her head back on her pillow and tries to sleep.

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She eventually manages to drift off, and awakens once more in the nest of black pillows.

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Akira sits up, stretches, looks around. 

She's back in the club-like living room again, with its bookcase, vinyl couch, and massive plasma TV. Joker's curled up on the couch, asleep. 

It seems she's going to have access to this mindspace every time she sleeps, then... 

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And then Julie steps out of a door of black wood, one Akira hadn't noticed either of the previous times she was here.

She walks up to Akira with a big smile. "It is lovely to see you, moitié."

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Akira smiles. "It's wonderful to see you, too." 

She gets to her feet and wraps Julie up in a firm hug.

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Julie draws Akira close, hugs her tightly, and then presses a soft kiss to her lips.

"Hello, ma belle chérie," she murmurs.

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"Hello, moitié." 

Akira kisses back softly and then separates. 

"It's been an eventful few days."

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