Saturday, May 7, 2011

TAOM: Aster - Strangely Normal

"Aster... Selene?"

Tash put the papers down on the desk. "You want to be a rookie?"

"Yes!" said the blue-haired girl. "I come representative of an author who wants to fix her mistakes. The only thing she can do about that is get back at Sues!"

"And why should I hire you, er, Miss Selene - "

"Don't call me that. 'Selene' is a title, not a last name."

"We'll need to prove you're a verifiable character. You'll take the litmus test in two hours. Until then, tell me why you want to do such a dangerous job."

Aster smiled and pointed at Tash. "Because it's fun!"

It had been a while since she'd been promoted to a full-fledged agent, and even longer since she'd applied to the Society.


Aster slowly walked out of her room, wearing a blue nightgown. Her hair was a mess and her eyes half-open.

"Hey, Aster," said Harriet, reading a newspaper. "Tired?"


Aster was normally a bubbleheaded, hyperactive girl. However, within an hour of her waking up, it was hopeless to even try to extract a coherent response from her.


"I dunno yet," said Tash. "I'm thinking of cooking - "

Suddenly, Lauren gave Tash a very, very sharp glare.

"Do you really want to risk poisoning everyone?"

Tash sighed. "Fine."

Tash went back down to the table, and Harriet put down her newspaper to start cooking.

Harriet eventually managed to cook a whole British meal and set it down. Aster, being Japanese, was used to eating like a bird, and it took her a ridiculously long time to finish her meal.


Still in a stupor, Aster slowly hobbled towards her usual manga shelf.

"Ah, Aster," said Adrian, "I forgot to tell you, I relocated all the shelves tod- "

But he couldn't finish his sentence because Aster had noticed for herself.

"Where is my manga?" said Aster, on the verge of strangling Adrian and seeming very much awake.

"That - that way," said Adrian, pointing to the shelf right next to where it once was.

Aster calmed, and walked over. Sure enough, the manga was there.

"Thank you, Adrian君," said Aster sweetly, and she immediately picked up a copy of Azumanga Daioh.

Adrian sweatdropped. Is this girl bipolar?


While most of the other agents were on missions, Aster was staying behind - it was her day to do the day-watch. Perhaps a Sue would actually be caught, given that she wasn't around.

Aster was reading Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoshitsu (The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi). There were nine Haruhi novels, given, but this one, the fourth, was her favorite because it had what she deemed to be solid YukiKyon evidence.

"Come on, Kyon, she's tugging at your sleeve, inviting you to the Literature Club, and smiling...She made this world for you, idiot..."

A phone in Aster's bag rang, and Aster shut her book. She reached into her bag and pulled out an extremely cheap phone (it wasn't even a flip phone). Because she worked mainly to have anything other than food and shelter (which was paid for by Chrys's pseudo-family), she could only afford something that cheap.

(However, Camille had made extentions to her mp3 player to make it compatible to an iPhone sans calling, so she was still happy.)

Aster stared at the caller ID for a minute, then picked up the phone. "Akaiちゃん? What is it this time?"

"GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE! HARUHI SEASON 2 IS PLAYING NOW AND YOU'RE WASTING TIME!" boomed an exceedingly loud voice from the other end.

"Kyaa~..." said Aster. "Television's on. I'll watch from here - "

"Ay, Asterちゃん, it's no fun without you," said a more high-pitched, subdued voice.

"Chrysちゃん, you there too? I'll get back to you later, I have work, kyaa~"

And Aster very rudely hung up.


"Aster get your butt over here NOW!"

Aster put down her manga and walked to Tash's office. Tash shoved Aster her paperwork that she had filled out the week before.

Aster looked at it. Nothing seemed wrong...

"It's in Japanese," said Tash. "You filled out your papers in Japanese."

"Kyaa~ is that a problem?"

"Of course it's a problem!" Tash pounded more papers on the desk. "Yes, it stops them from breeding, but nobody here can understand what you've written! Not even Adrian because you write in a style he's never heard of!"

"I filled it all out, kyaa~"

"Write it in English next time - I know you can!"

And Tash duly kicked Aster out of her office.


Aster picked up another copy of Ga-Rei and began to read.

Kagura had better get her memories back!

About five minutes into her book, Aster saw out of the corner of her eye Willie popping out of nowhere, looking very strained. Aster rarely paid attention to the other non-self-insert. She didn't know what he did for fun, and she honestly didn't care.

Aster continued reading. Marcus walked up.

"Ah~? Marcus君?"

"W-w-would you h-happen t-to k-know h-how t-to do a c-conjure s-s-spell?"

It was not Marcus who was talking, but Thought Marcus. However, Aster was rather unaware of the difference between the two - as of now she didn't even know there were two parts of him.

"Conjure spell? Like, in light? Spirits?"


Aster didn't know much about muses. Akai had recently declared herself to be Aster's personal muse, but only because she was the source of any crackish things that happened in her life.

"ごめんなさい, Marcus君. I wouldn't know."

"O-okay. T-that's fine."

Thought Marcus walked away. Aster returned to her manga.

Not too long after, Miri walked up to Aster and said, "Have you seen Aniki or Clairey anywhere?"

Aster shook her head.

But soon after Miri departed, Aster saw Claire chasing Michael playfully. Claire eventually grabbed onto Michael and snogged him.

Aster chose to say nothing about Miri.

The next time Adrian saw Aster that afternoon, he saw her reading Pride and Prejudice.

"Oh?" said Adrian. "You're reading a classic?"

"Mm," said Aster.

"Well then," said Adrian. "You do read classics often?"

"I go to school," said Aster. "I have to read things."

Adrian was somewhat impressed...maybe Aster did have a degree of intelligence...

Then Aster said, "The plot of Hana Yori Dango was somewhat based on this book."

Adrian twitched and started to strangle the air, something he was doing more recently when he talked to Aster…



Lauren was cooking. She was quite a good cook, too. However, it had taken a lot of effort to convince Tash that it was not a good idea to risk having Society members vomiting profusely on the ground, and thus she was forced to back down from her attempts to make lunch.

Once again, Aster took an exceedingly long time to eat her meal of ham and cheese sandwiches. Not only was she eating like a bird, but she also was reading the Lucky Star manga while eating.

After lunch, Aster put her manga away and pulled an obscure Korean drama DVD off the shelf. She put it in Adrian's DVD player and watched.

As she watched, she saw Camille and Doyle walk to a nearby table and play chess against each other. It was a long game, and eventually the two departed. Aster didn't bother to find out who won.

Blake also walked idly by, looking for something. He momentarily stopped next to Aster and opened his mouth, but thought better of it, decided not to talk, and left.


After Aster had finished with her DVD, she asked Adrian to lend her a training room, which he obliged. Aster wanted to work on something: her magical girl act.

Shifting between Aster's human and fae form required actually little effort, and involved nothing more than a flash of light. However, Aster would not stand for this. She wanted to have some kind of phrase she would say before her "transformation", and some weird hazy cloud to envelope her before she was unveiled as the Moon Guardian, Aster Selene. Then, she would strike some flambuoyant pose.

This was harder than it sounded. Coming up with a phrase was extremely difficult, and conjuring a cloud was especially hard, because in Aster's human form, she could only control minor handfuls of water. Her lunar energy was especially depleted, and would require her to go into her fae form.

Eventually, Aster gave up and returned to practicing attacks. She shited into fae form and practiced using her staff, along with some flight patterns and some lunar beams. (She had to be especially careful with this one, because it could rip open potent plotholes.)


"Dinner, kyaa~"

Aster was making dinner. She wasn't the best chef in the world, but she wasn't horrifically tragic either. Tonight, it was yakitori.

"Beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, ginkgo nuts, fish..."

Aster grinned. "Let's eat!" she said in Japanese.

All of the agents dined in, except for Sumire, who wasn't present. Tyler said he would have some skewers delivered to Sumire's room (in some way or another). Aster dug into the beef, pork, and shrimp, but somewhat avoided the other ones; it wasn't a problem, however, because the other girls' voracious stomachs devoured whatever she didn't touch.


After dinner, Aster went back to her manga shelf and pulled off _Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuutsu_. After reading for a bit, she stretched and got up.

"Kyaa~, I'm going to bed."

Aster went into the bathroom and changed. Soon, the sound of running water was heard, and the sound of Aster singing "God knows..." at the top of her lungs in the shower filled the Library.

Valerie sighed. "She's not bad in pitch, but she really could work on her breathing."


After Aster had finished with her shower, she came out wrapped in a towel, another towel wrapped around her hair.

"Tashちん, have you seen my cell phone?"

Tash picked up Aster's phone. Aster took it and dashed back into the bathroom to brush her teeth. Then, she went into her bedroom.

Aster lived in a small flat in Tokyo in her own universe, and each room was separated for various, sometimes odd purposes. Since she only had one (somewhat large) room in the Library, she had taken a black marker and split the room into parts. This included one corner where the wall had been papered with anime posters, one part with a chocolate stash in case of emergencies (to be kept away from Chrys), one part with origami papers, one part with various cooking recipes, and one part containing items Aster claimed held mystical powers (although it was clearly obvious she had bought them from a flea market last Saturday due to the "MADE IN CHINA" on the back).

The time Tash had walked into her room, she had noticed a small part with wall-to-floor things written in pencil, in Japanese. When she had asked Aster for a translation, Aster had obliged, and it had turned out to be a series of rants, usually anger against certain characters from certain anime. That day, it had been on Yu-Gi-Oh...

...with a special angry section for Bakura.

Tash still shivered at the thought.

After changing into a blue nightgown, Aster got into her bed and fell asleep. She dreamed of the other Society members, the fae, her school, of Tash and Adrian, and of her friends back in Japan.

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