## Scenes From A Mall

* December 20th, 2070. A sunny, if albeit snow-covered saturday morning. And a familiar van drives up to the local domicile of the local Cherub of Lightning.

* Kid runs out the door to the van!

* Ayrie pops open the door as Kiddy runs to the van. "Hey there! Ready to go and brave the holiday crowds?"

{Kid} Uh huh! Well, unless they run over us.

{Ayrie} Better than the other way around, Kiddy. *she smiles a bit, and starts up the van, driving along and getting out into the DC traffic.*

{Kid} Good point! {buckling belt, watching the decorations as they go by...}

* There are many many decorations. There is also much much traffic. *pause* well, whatdyawant, it's 5 days before Christmas.

* Finally, though, about fourty-five from their start, Ayrie drives the van to Montgomery Mall... and is faced with the snarl of traffic surrounding its parking garages and parking lots.

## Ayrie rolled 3d6 = 14 (3 6 5).

* Ayrie mutters, starting to get stymied by the snarls of traffic. Fortunately, she knows enough of the location to at least be able to drive around the place looking for a spot... -any- spot.

## Ayrie rolled 3d6 = 14 (6 2 6).

* Ayrie AHS, smiling felinely, and with some minivan wrangling, manages a -much- closer position with some effort. ".... remind me again why we decided to come her? Oh, right, it's our job, -nevermind-..."

{Kid} Online ordering. *Why* don't people do *online* ordering...

* Ayrie hehs a little bit, parking the car and unlocking the doors. "Because even after all this time, -some- people feel that they can get a better deal actually holding the things in their hands and taking it home the next day. And can you imagine what the postal services are going through?" She looks wry as she gets out of the van.

{Kid} Yes. But I'd rather not.

* Kid hops out, locking door!

* Ayrie nods, and locks up the van, shrugging on her trenchcoat. "Goood call. Safer too. Besides, we're about to brave a mall filled with devotees to Mammon and Nybbas. Better to focuss on the here and now..." She starts heading for the entrance of Montgomery Mall proper.

* Kid tags along, looking around at people! And for any familiar faces.

* There are... a lotta people. A lot of a LOT of people. And did we mention the number of people? This... could take a while. Definitely no familiar faces as of yet. But there's definitely a lot of people! And Stuff!

* Ayrie hrms, and starts moving along a somewhat clockwise-patrol route of the mall... it's laid out like a split cross, with two levels, but with a little planning it'd be possible to cirumnavigate it without doubling-up.]

{Kid} {q} This.... will take some time.

* Ayrie nods. *q* "I'd suggest splitting up, but I have less an idea of what they look like than you do.. at least -you- recognize the daughter.... though..." She hrms, looking thoughtful.

{Kid} Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

{Ayrie} Just a sec...

* Kid nodnodnods!

* Ayrie goes, and manages to get a free and complimentary map of the mall from a mallperson who's standing by one of the map displays. She comes back, and unfolds it, showing it to Kiddy. "The daughter was interested in Nature-stuff, right?"

* Kid blinks, *grins* and nodnodnods.

* Ayrie smiles. "Let's see if those nature-stores are still open..." She examines the map, peeering at it thoughtfully.

## Ayrie rolled 3d6 = 7 (4 2 1).

* Kid looks over it too!

## Ayrie rolled 3d6 = 7 (4 1 2).

* Ayrie hrms, finding at least one likely store... and Kidumiel finds two more! A straight "Nature Company" type store, another that caters to PBS-Related merchandise, and a store that handles Educational Toys(tm).

{Ayrie} ... well, there's not three of us... cycle between them? I know if Philip and or I are trying to find -something- we try to hit all the related stores....

* Kid nodnods. "First one direction, then the other if we don't catch."

{Ayrie} Repeat as needed until they close the place... good thing we got here early. *slight smile*

{Kid} Yep. {wry grin} Soooooo let's start walkin'.

* Ayrie nods, and leads the way to the first store... as we Fork.

* Kid looooooks into the first store....

* Ayrie makes her way into the first store with Kidumiel.... wow, there's a lot of PBS stuff here...even today in the late 21st century, Sesame Street is -still- popular, though there's stuff for the many other types of programs that it offers. And of course there are customers, and merchants, and much merchandise...

* Ayrie affects the air of holiday shopper, even as she keeps an eye out for any mother-daughter pairs, or people interested in cheetahs.

* Kid starts loooooking through, affecting the air of bouncy girl looking for something specific! Okay, so it's true. It's just not an item. Details, details....

* There are people there. There are many people shopping, kids playing with some of the stuffed critters, older couples browsing or looking for Nature or "The American Experience", or "Nova" video collections, individual people looking for gifts pertaining to many of the shows that in one way or another Kiddy has helped to promote... but nobody immediately recognizeable to Kiddy as the girl from the prior night.

* Kid doesn't sigh outwardly. After all, this is only store one of three! She bounces back in the gorgeous redhead's general direction. {pause} Okay, the *more* gorgeous redhead.

* Ayrie wanders out of the store, trailed by Kidumiel, waiting a bit outside of the PBS store. Once she gets there, she murmurs to Kiddy. *q* "Any sign?"

* Ayrie mmms, and nods. "Right... onto number two, then..." She starts leading the way, applying a bit of Creativity to her walk so as not to look -obvious- that they're heading for the second store directly. Of course, given the sheer number of people IN the mall, brownian motion would have a better chance...

* Kid window-shops as they go along, looking less like she's in a hurry than that she's just bouncing all over the place! {pause} Act, or eerie reality? YOU decide.

* Maaaaan, there's a lot of stuff to window-shop. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots. *pause* Gluttonay and Greed would have a field day here... good thing there's no demons of those Words about, right?

{Kid} . o 0 ( Uh huh. Absolutely right. This place is sure clean, yeeeeeeees sir. )

* Kid thinks happy thoughts about the Brooklyn Bridge on sale to YOU for \$29.95 as she bounces along.

* Ayrie gets within range of the Nature Company store, looking at some of the items with a practiced eye, and not peering inside through the windows as she heads for the entrance.

* Kid bounces in too!

* The interior of -this- store holds similar fare to the last one, though it's got a lot more esoteric stuff geared to Nature and learning and environmental science, whereas the last one was mor varied, given the usual public television fare. And as always, there are people buying stuff and helpful sales staff.

* And... wait... there's a familiar flash of blonde hair over in one corner of the store...

* As Kiddy gets closer, she can see that... yes... it may be... the girl from last night! She's looking wistfully at a display of cheetah-cub tee-shirts, while an older woman is looking over a set of aromatherapy candles.

* Kid pauses a second, then bounces enthusiastically that direction, reaching for an item.... tripping and falling toward, really, that's accidental....

* The girl -meeps-, and tries to catch the oncoming redhead, to keep her from becomign one with the store carpet. "Oops, be careful!"

{Kid} GAH! {helps, so her full weight isn't on the girl} Thank you, thank you, I'm sorry....

* Ayrie , meanwhile, maneuvers herself so that she's Not With This Other Redhead, Really. While keeping an eye on the girl and whoever she might be associating with.

{Kid} . o 0 ( CONNECT 57600/ARQ/MNP/V42/BIS/LMNOP! *YAY!* )

* The girl blushes, smiling slighty. She's got blue-grey eyes and an open, smiling face, her blonde-hair shoulder length. "It's okay, it's okay! I know it's crowded... are you all right?"

* The older woman looks over with concern at the younger girl and the newcomer, her hair brownish with some blonde highlights, her age in the mid-40's, but attractive. It's clear at this distance there's a genetic resemblence between the two... "Bianca, are you all right? And who's this?"

* Bianca, the girl, looks between the older woman and Kiddy. "Um... beats me?" She sheepishly grins. "But she was about to run into the display...."

{Kid} Sorry ma'am.... {small grin} I'll be more careful. Just shopping! Your daughter's very quick.

* The older woman smiles, while Bianca looks embarrased. "Why, thank you... she does very well in gym class..."

{Bianca} Mooommmm.....

* Kid grins. "I bet!"

* The older woman nods. "Well, we'll just get out of your way then, Miss... sorry about that. They -really- ought to do something about these crowds..."

* Meanwhile, across the store, Ayrie looks at various beanie-critters, apparently not noticing the conversation going on. Really.

{Kid} It's only about one month a year, thankfully.... and I should be the one to apologize. {small grin} Thankyou! I'll be more careful.... and it's great to meet you!

{Bianca} You too! And merry Christmas!

* Bianca smiles and waves, even as she gets guided off by her mother to another direction in the store.

* Kid bounces out of the store, not noticing Ayrie. Really.

* Ayrie makes some purchases of things... a few armoatherapy candles, some beanie-snakes and other critters, and a T-shirt of a Tiger as a gift for Philip. She then heads out of the store and wends her way towards the central fountain (which also happens to have the big "Come sit on santa's lap" section in front of it.) She sits on the edge of the fountain, tosses some change into the water, and sorts through her packages.

* Kid eventually runs across her. By coincidence. Really.

* Ayrie murmurs, totally offhandedly and unhearable over the noise and press of the crowd unless you know to listen for it. *m* "So... saw the action going down... were you able to attune?"

{Kid} {q} Uh huh!

{Ayrie} *q* Gooood. I'm thinking of attuning to the mother... spread the load, keep either of us from having an attunment conflict if they get split up, and allow for triangulating too. Got a bearing on where they're headed next?

## Narnian rolled 3d6 = 11 (4 2 5).

* As Kidumiel resonates, the Symphony answers back to her, providing direction, distance, state, and bearing for Bianca. She's still within the bounds of the mall, heading southward and moving away from Kidumiel, easily still within walking distance, and she might get bumped around by inconsiderate shoppers but she'll pull through all right.

* Ayrie glances at Kidumiel, waiting for her report on her 'ping', if she got any....

* Kid *grins* and nodnods. "Got her! Should we stay closer?"

* Ayrie smiles. "Nope, just follow for now, see what shops she's heading for, and if an opportunity presents, I'll go and be helpful for the mommy unit. I don't think they got a good look at me, but they could get suspicious if they see you again nearby..."

* Kid nodnodnods. "I'll try to stay in easy range though."

{Ayrie} Coolness. I have taught you well, young one. *she winks, and gets up, gathering her packages from the one store*

{Kid} But I am not a Jedi yet! I don't have a lightsaber.

* Ayrie quirks a smile. "Stay in the buisness long enough, build up your skills, and maybe, -perhaps- one day the Lord of Lightning will allow to weild a Heavensword..." *she winks, while murmuring* "nevermind it'll be centuries before they're -cleared-..." She starts heading in the general direction that Kiddy indicated, thouigh letting her take point with the pinging.

* Kid mock-pouts, bouncing along looking through stores.

* Much much much much STUFF! One thing you gotta say about Christmas, it makes the shopkeepers enthusiastic... Ayrie chuckles as they maneuver around and through the crowd without being servitors of Theft.

* Kid's method of getting through crowds seems to be get bouncier and bouncier and bouncier until she makes people afraid she might actually explode. {pause} It works remarkably well.

* The crowds part! And Kiddy can see that the daughter and mother are heading towards one of the 'capstone' department stores of the Mall...

* Kid, again, stays nearish but not *too* near!

* Ayrie follows the Pikachu Kid, taking in the sighs of the department store... the mother and daughter appear to be maneuvering towards the woman's wear section of the store (shock, surprise).

* Kid doesn't go to the women's wear section, then! Just a few sections over.

* Ayrie , however, does! (after she hands off her own Nature-Company bags to Kiddy). As Bianca and her mother start appearing to go through the formal-wear dresses (well, the mother does, Bianca looks a tad bored at this), Ayrie starts going through the same selection from the other end.

{Kid} . o 0 ( da-DUM.... )

* And, of course, eventually, the two of them meet, hands touching as they reach for the same dress hanger...

{Ayrie} Oh! I'm sorry...

* Ayrie looks sheepish as she draws her hand away, and apologetic...

* Bianca's mother reacts much the same way, apologizing and looking at Ayrie with surprise. "Oh, no, I wasn't watching where my hand was going..."

* Ayrie hehs a bit. "Call it even?" She then considers, glancing at the dress. She glances at the mother, and then at the dress again. "You know... pardon me for suggesting this... but I think -this- dress would work a lot better for your figure." She smiles slightly, indicating one a few racks over.

* Bianca's mother blinks, and moves over to glance at the second dress, momentarily thrown by the change of conversation to not notice that she's getting fasion advice from a total stranger. "You think?"

* Kid is watching through way too many racks to see what's happening well, but makes out the gist. . o 0 ( And here I had to go practically fall on the girl. Watch and learn, Kid, watch and learn. )

* Ayrie nodnods, pulling it off the rack and holding it up for the mother to see. "If you're going for something, say, attractive-yet-flattering, -this- is what you want to go with... it sets off your eyes and hair -very- well." She checks the tag, and then whistles. "Good price, too..." She hands it over to the mother, whose hand touches hers -again- as they exchange the hanger.

* Ayrie Attunes while the hand-touch happens!

* Bianca's mother accepts the dress, runs her hands along the cloth, hrrmming thoughtfully. "You know... I think you're right. This'll be -wonderful- for the party next week..." She looks up, and smiles at Ayrie. "-Thank you-, Miss..."

* Ayrie waves off the mother's questioning look with a smile. "Don't mention it. Just wanted to make up for bumping you like that." She looks wry, and collects another dress for herself, a blue shimmering one that'll go WELL with her figure. "Merry Christmas!"

* Bianca's mother smiles, and waves back. "You too!"

* Ayrie smiles to herself as she heads over towards the lingerie section, tangental to where Kidumiel is. Bianca and her mom, however, head towards the young-misses section of the store.

* Kid, again, stays nearby but out of (their) sight!

* Ayrie picks approprate lingerie for the dress she's just chosen, reasonable and flattering and not likely to show any unsightly lines, and heads for a register away from the Tivoli's continued shopping. This also gives Kiddy a chance to get back into range.

* Kid.... does so again!

* Ayrie makes her purchases, and heads for the exit. "I got a lock on her, Kiddy... we're good to go."

* Ayrie pings her resonance while she's at it.

## Ayrie rolled 3d6 = 10 (4 2 4).

* Ayrie nods with satisfaction as her resonance gives distance, state, and direction.

* Ayrie then hrms, looking thoughtful.

{Kid} Hmmmmm?

{Ayrie} When we were chatting, she mentioned a party next week that she'd be going to... *she continues looking thoughtful* Perhaps if Gillian manages to get to her "husband's" records, we can find out when it is...

{Kid} Oooooo I *like* the way you're thinking.

* Ayrie grins. "Thank you. This'll all depend on where and when it is, of course... but we've got at least a -little- time before it happens to figure out what we'll do, Lord willing."

{Kid} Don't saaaaaaaaay things like that....

* Ayrie meeps, and bows her head. "Gomen, Gomen, Gomen!"

* Kid pats her on the back. "It'sokay!"

* Ayrie grins, standing up. "Thanks. And hm... before we head out, want to hit the food court?"

{Kid} *Yes!*

* Ayrie grins, and leads the way to the wilds of the mall food court, much munchies, and a fade-out.

In Nomine 2070