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Full Version: [IC][Story][Arc 1] Thermal, er, Culture Shock
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OOC: Rob's sidestory #4, set after "It's All Relative" and before "Reach for the Moon"
OOC: Yes, it really was snowing in Ottawa at 4pm on October 27th, 2016. Just a few flakes, and it melted as soon as it hit the ground, but still.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
October 27th, 2016
4:00 pm

"Why is it snowing?"

Rob was puzzled for a moment at Ruiko's question. "Why wouldn't it be snowing?"

"It's October!"

Rob sighed. "This is Canada. For us, this is Thursday."

"I want to go home."

Kuroko followed Ruiko in, taking off her coat as soon as she was past the building's vestibule. "Saten-san, until that whole mess that Washuu-chan caused with the various universes is cleaned up, we are home."

Ruiko looked over at Kuroko. "That isn't helping, Shirai-san."

"I'm sorry." She turned to Rob. "But I do have to agree about the snow. Is this some freak of nature?"

"I'm afraid not - this is the right time of year for the first snowfall of the year. But the ground won't be cold enough for snow to stay around for a couple of weeks yet. Before you ask: no, the air will probably not warm up again until next spring."

"I'm going to freeze out there."

Rob remembered that Kuroko had bought the least of all the girls when they first went clothes shopping, nearly two months ago. "Didn't you buy any slacks when the five of you bought new wardrobes back in September?"

"Slacks are not ladylike." (Rei nodded in agreement with Kuroko.)

"Perhaps. However, they help keep your body warmth near your body when you're outdoors in the winter." Rob thought quickly. "Come to think of it, perhaps you all need some long underwear."


"Kuroko-san, 'never' is a long time ... and in a month or so, the daily high temperatures will be below freezing."

All of the girls looked horrified - excepting Ami (who merely looked upset at that news) and Kazari (who at first didn't seem to care, then put on a dismayed face).

Kuroko's only reply was, "Perhaps I was hasty with my words."

5:21 pm

Mii had confirmed all of the girls' sizes and placed an online order with a company that Rob knew of in Nova Scotia - one that he thought made the best winter underwear in Canada.

Minako, Rei, Kuroko, and Kazari were all at the mall a few minutes' walk from the apartment, buying unladylike-but-practical winter clothing. More accurately, they were sitting at a food court table and grousing about buying unladylike-but-practical winter clothing (except for Kazari, who was using the mall's free wi-fi).

"Is nobody here familiar with the word fashion?" Minako groused.

"Indeed," sighed Kuroko. "Not a single thing here would attract anyone's gaze, even in the adults' sizes."

"Rob warned us that this was a small mall, before the five of you arrived." Kazari tapped at her laptop, then smiled. "How about we go on a little trip?"

Rei held up one hand, in a "stop" gesture. "How little?"

"Montreal is only two hours away by train."

"Each way?" After seeing Kazari nod, Minako continued, "I'd say that isn't little, but I heard about the trip Makoto and Ruiko-san took. We have school tomorrow. As soon as we get there, we'd have to come back."

"Right. Kuroko-san, you and I are going to buy a pair of jeans each." Before she could reply, Rei continued, "I don't care how ugly they are. Wear them tomorrow. Saturday, we go shopping some place where they've heard of fashion."

Between Ottawa, Ontario, and Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
10:22 am

"What're you looking at, Mina-chan?"


Rei sighed. "Want to play cards?"

"Might as well."

The cabin attendant stopped at the girls' seats and asked, "Would you like to see today's lunch choices?"

The girls looked at the menus and smiled. "Now I see why Rob-san insisted we travel in business class," Minako commented.

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
12:25 pm

"What's a RÉSO?"

Kazari sighed. "It's the underground mall, Minako-san."

"So we don't need to go outside to shop? That's even better than I hoped!"

"That depends on how large this mall is," Kuroko pointed out.

"According to this Wikipedia page," Kazari replied, "there's 32 kilometers of tunnels and over 1600 stores."

"Finally! A decent-sized mall!"

Even Rei gave Minako a wondering look at that comment.

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
1:07 pm

"Oh, I like her style." Minako nodded in the direction of a girl who appeared to be about their age.

"Whose style?"

"The dark-haired girl leaving the jewelry store over there, with the same hairdo as you, Shirai-san." Everyone else glanced her way.

"Not quite the same - we both have twin tails, but her hair's a bit longer."

Minako sighed. "Her hairdo isn't important, except that she's got colour coordination going for her - those ribbons are the same shade as her skirt and hose."

Kuroko gave Minako an annoyed look. "Just because the name of that colour nearly matches my given name doesn't mean you can't say the word. Trust me, nobody will be confused."

"Rob-san said that I had to be more careful with my words."

"Donaldson-san isn't here," Rei pointed out.

"True. Do you think I could get away with wearing something the same shade of red as her top?"

"With your hair and eyes, you could wear anything," Kuroko replied somewhat jealously.

Kazari just watched in envy as the girl left, thinking she could never pull off that look. Then she noticed the girl's skirt didn't cover the top of her hose... and realized where she'd seen the girl before. "I-gotta-go-see-you-at-the-train-station!"

As Minako watched Kazari take off after the girl, she said, "Uiharu-san didn't need to go ask her where she shops."

To be continued...
OOC: Nobody's asking who she is? Either I made her description too easy, or nobody's reading the story... and I see 22 people have looked at the thread. <sigh>

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
1:11 pm

She casually turned a corner and walked a short way down a corridor that lead to an office building. Sure enough, the girl with flowers in her hair turned the same corner. She'd had enough. Turning on her heel, she asked angrily, "Why are you following me?"

The girl gasped in surprise, but recovered quickly. "Excuse me if I'm wrong, but I think you're somebody like me."

She narrowed her eyes. "Why would you think that?"

"Have you ever read a book with a character who looks like me? I know there's at least one out there. And I've played a video game with a character who looks like you."

"Oh, really? You might be mistaken. Besides, my landlord hasn't supplied very many books for me to read."

"You can find them on the web. If I'm right, your landlord is Chambly-san; Donaldson-san said to contact him if we really needed help here. I'm living in Ottawa."

She relaxed - slightly. "So you know who my landlord is and you think you know who I am. Who are you?"

"Oh, I'm sorry! My name is Uiharu Kazari, and I'm from Academy City."

That cleared up the mystery; this girl - Uhiharu-san - had been scooped out of her homeworld, too. "Tohsaka Rin, from Fuyuki City."


"Now what?"

"Is there a Grail War going on right now?"

Rin sighed. "Why is that always the first question people ask? No, we've put that on hold while we're here. Velthandi-sama insisted."

"You've actually met Belldandy-sama? We haven't seen any of the megami yet in Ottawa."

"Well, yes - they are busy with the current situation. I could tell you about her if you want."

Kazari just nodded, eyes wide.

"But not here. Let's go get a cup of tea."

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
1:58 pm

"I never knew that there was so much information available on computers, Uiharu-san."

Kazari smiled at Rin's comment. "You don't have very much experience with using the Internet, do you, Tohsaka-san?"

"The Internet? Is that another computer service, like this Web?"

"The Internet is the network that the World-Wide Web runs on. Most people use both names to refer to the same thing."

"They really should be more precise." After a moment, Rin continued, "Would you show me how to find information about myself?"

"All right!" Kazari moved her laptop so that she should type while Rin watched, opened a new browser window, and connected to Google, turning on Safe Search.

"What is the purpose of that movement?"

"Oh, that turns off searching for the Rule 34 stuff - things that people our age really shouldn't see."

"What sort of things?" asked Rin.

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
2:07 pm

"If I ever meet anyone who drew any such pictures of me, they will die."

"It's one of the perils of being famous, I'm afraid." Kazari sighed. "Besides, until a couple of months ago, everybody in this universe thought we were fictional. I can't blame them for projecting that sort of desire onto a fictional person instead of a real person."

"I feel real."

"So do I. But as long as we're keeping our abilities secret ..."

"... there's nothing we can do about it." Rin sighed deeply.

Kazari sipped her tea. "I need to learn how to make tea this well."

Rin glowered at her. "You are changing the topic."

She nodded brightly. "Yes, I am! Please let me change the topic!"

"Oh, very well."

Kazari relaxed. She really didn't want to tell Rin what sort of game she had been in, the first time around. "How do I learn to make tea that's this good? I've tried looking for advice on the Web, but my tea never gets any better."

"There are some things you just can't learn from books, Uiharu-san. This is one of them. Buy some good tea - I'll help you learn how to do that - brew some - I'll help you learn how to do that, too - taste it, and adjust your future actions based on the results."

"I thought we were already buying good tea."

"Is it in tea bags?"

"No, Donaldson-san only buys loose tea."

"That's a good start."

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
2:41 pm

"That's a pretty gem."

"This? It's copper carbonate - barely a gemstone. You can have it if you want it." Rin slid it across the table to Kazari.

"Copper carbonate? Malachite? I'd better not."

"Oh, yes; you mentioned who your roommates are. I won't force you to take it."

"Well, now," came a gruff voice from the next table over, "if she doesn't want it, I'll take it. In fact, I'll take all the valuables you're carrying." The speaker pulled out a pistol while he stood. Raising his voice, he continued, "This is a robbery! Nobody be a hero, and you'll all live! Everybody get your wallets out, now! And get your phones out and turn them off, too!"

Rin's eyes narrowed. Kazari typed a few strokes on her laptop's keyboard, then closed the lid. "Please don't hurt me, sir," she said as she slid the computer across the table.

"You're a smart kid. Yeah, I'll probably get a couple of bucks for this. C'mon, people, I haven't got all day!"

Three minutes later, the thief was out the door, with Kazari's computer, the contents of the café's cash register, and everybody's wallets and cellphones.

As the clerk picked up the store's phone to call the police, Kazari waved at her. "Please let me take care of this." She pulled out her cellphone - not the one that Donaldson-san had given her when she first arrived in this universe and had just been stolen, but the one she had brought with her - turned it on, and tapped an icon. "He's turned left around a corner 40 meters away and is walking at a normal pace - oh, he just turned right."

"You can track him with that?" Rin's eyes were wide.

"I'm tracking my computer. As long as he has it, I know where he is."

"Then let's go."

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
2:49 pm

He'd made it to a quiet corner out of view of the average passer-by. Time to check the take. Cash, cellphones, a PC ... which didn't look like any model he was familiar with, but what did he know? He just sold the things to his fence.

Then he heard somebody clear her throat. He looked up and saw the girl who had been carrying all of his gemstones. "What the hell? How'd you find me?"

She said something - not English, not French ... maybe Latin? - and one of the gems he'd taken from her started to glow.

"What the f-"

He never had the chance to finish.

As the thief collapsed, Rin smiled. "Never try to rob a mage." She bent down to recover her property from the insensate criminal.

Kazari put her hand on Rin's shoulder, then picked up the bag with all of the stolen property. "Let's get this back to the café. We can sort it out there"

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
3:03 pm

Rin picked up the last of her gems, then turned to Kazari. "Does this sort of thing happen to you often?"

Kazari smiled thinly. "Too often for my preference. I'd rather have a desk job than be out in the field."

"You talk as if you're a police officer."

"Well, I want to be one. But I'd rather not have to explain how we got everybody's property back."

"Chambly-san knows somebody in the police. I'll ask him to explain once I'm home."

"Why not ask him now?"

Rin stared at Kazari for a brief moment, then slapped her own forehead. "I keep forgetting that I carry a telephone now." Then she turned away from Kazari for a moment, and added quietly, "You didn't remind me, either." She got out her phone, opened it, and looked at the screen for a moment - then turned to Kazari and asked "Uiharu-san, how do I make a call with this, again?"

Kazari sighed. "I knew you were old-fashioned, Tohsaka-san, but this is ridiculous."

between Montréal, Quebec, and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
October 29th, 2016
7:22 pm

"Uiharu-san, you missed some great bargains! Where were you all afternoon?"

Kazari smiled. "I was making a new friend. I invited her to come visit on Halloween, but she's busy."

OOC: Omake: Be glad that IC-Rob didn't go with the girls.

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
October 29th, 2016
12:25 pm

"What's a RÉSO?"

"Reso The Red Priest - the major villain of the first season of The Slayers."

Kazari looked sideways at Rob, then sighed. "It's the underground mall, Minako-san."
Now is that the original RÉSO, or a Copy RÉSO?

Also, who's Minkao? Tongue
Had a typo, did I? <sigh>