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Nyrath

Plastic Flowers [IC]

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Aiko had come to a conclusion, she needed to personally thank at least one of the heroes who'd thwarted Otaku back in October. A simple process of elimination had decided which of the three the gynoid would make contact with. Dark Star, wholesome, compassionate and disembodied though he was had been dropped for a reason she herself recognised as quite irrational; he was male. Phantom had followed after a bit of research; she would be maddening to find under Aiko's own resources. So Fleur de Joie was the one she'd try for, and after some research she'd decided upon a course of action.

That had been three weeks ago. Staking out a single seldom tended to park every single night for three weeks did seem pretty stupid from a certain perspective when she could just have gone to the League and arranged a meeting; Aiko had been in their care for months and Fleur was a member after all. But that would have been relying on external resources, and Karakuri was determined to do this on her own. So she'd toughed it out, stealthily waiting for the green haired heroine to make an appearance. And busying herself with the net while doing so.

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Sitting in the park every night was monotonous at best, but at least the strategy paid off. One night in the middle of July, Aiko's solitary vigil was interrupted by soft footsteps. From her secluded observation post, Aiko could see a figure clad in green and brown with a cowl covering her features, standing in the middle of the park and taking stock. After a few moments, she began to work. The neglected trees began to stretch and grow, weeds started withering, overgrown shrubbery began shrinking back. Aiko could hear a faint feminine humming, Fleur de Joie's version of whistling while she worked.

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Knowing that Fleur could be quite quick in her work Aiko shifts her attention fully from the Strawberry Panic fanfiction she'd been reading unto her surroundings. Jumping down from where she'd been nestled in the branches of one of the trees a bit of the main path the gynoid addresses the plant controller, almost tentatively so. "Ah hello, Fleur de Joie-san. May we talk?"

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Fleur jumped at suddenly being addressed, then did a visible double-take when she saw who was addressing her. For a moment, she though that one of the robots she'd been carrying around in the "junk drawer" section of her pocket dimension had activated itself and escaped, but then she remembered that there had been three, and one was sentient. "Um, hello, Ako, wasn't it?" she asked after searching her memory for a moment. "I wasn't expecting to meet anyone here tonight."

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Aiko was a little surprised at how quickly Fleur recognised her, but quickly figures that it's at least partially due to the light conditions making her alterations less meaningful. "Hmm, I've actually been waiting for when you would come around to this park. And I go by Aiko now, Aiko Karakuri. Helps me get some distance from... what I was." The gynoid looks straight at the green heroinne, deep gratitude evident in her eyes. "That's, part of what I wanted to tell you. I want to thank you, and your friends of course, for giving me that chance."

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"You're welcome," Stesha told her, "but it was something we did gladly. I had no idea you would, ah, wake up the way that you did, but I'm glad we could help you win your freedom. You look as though you're settling in well here." She looked like a normal teenage girl, in fact, so that if Stesha hadn't seen that face every time she went rummaging in her pocket, she'd not have noticed anything amiss. "Did the League help you get settled in somewhere?"

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"The League, especially Daedalus-sama, took care of me until I could manage society. It took me months to get to a stage where I could interact with people in general, but they helped me through it. Now they've helped me get a place too. I've still got a ton of issues, at least one of which kept me from getting in touch with Dark Star before looking for you. But, I've gotten this far, I just have to keep on going." Aiko looks down for a moment at her hands, currently curling up into fists and then uncurling. Looking back up after a moment she continues. "Took up heroing a while back myself, so I see what you mean Fleur-san. It's a hazzle getting busted up, but the rewards of helping others makes it worth it. And it's another blow against what that worm Takashi made me to be." As soon as she moves onto speaking of her 'father' the gynoids voice takes on a clear edge and dark tone.

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"It doesn't matter what he made you to be," Stesha told her with perfect confidence. "You've already transcended that. Now you only need to worry about what you want to be. And it looks like you're doing a good job figuring that out. I'm happy to have had a part in helping you along your way." Fleur took a handful of seeds from the pouch at her belt, tossing them into a sad-looking flowerbed. They immediately sprang up into flowers, even as the blooms already present seemed to revive.

"And that reminds me," she continued, working her way through the garden as she kept talking, "I still have the other two, ah, your compatriots. I never really knew what to do with them, so I've just been keeping them in storage. I think they're as much yours as anyone else's at this point. Do you want them?"

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"It doesn't matter what he made you to be," Stesha told her with perfect confidence. "You've already transcended that. Now you only need to worry about what you want to be. And it looks like you're doing a good job figuring that out. I'm happy to have had a part in helping you along your way."

"It helps to hear that. I mean, I knew it intellectually already, but knowing it on an emtional level is something different." Aiko sighed, a subconscious action on her part which showed just how much detail the aptly named Doctor Otaku had put into her design.

"And that reminds me," she continued, working her way through the garden as she kept talking, "I still have the other two, ah, your compatriots. I never really knew what to do with them, so I've just been keeping them in storage. I think they're as much yours as anyone else's at this point. Do you want them?"

Whu, whe what?" For a moment the gynoid is honestly flabbergasted, and even with her processors working as fast as they did it was a lot to work through as Fleur dropped that metaphorical bombshell. After a moment Karakuri collects herself and delivers an answer, bowing deeply as she does so. "I would be most grateful if you would see fit to grant me custody of my two deactivated sisters Fleur-san. I likely can't manage to free their minds as my own has been liberated, but at least I can try."

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"It would be great if you could, and at least they're out of Doc Otaku's hands, right?" Fleur agreed. "And surely some super-scientists would be willing to help you if you need it. I could give them to you now, but you'd have to haul them home with you. Is there somewhere I could take you that would be better for storing them? I travel through plants," she explained easily, "so there aren't too many places in the city I can't at least get near."

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"It would be great if you could, and at least they're out of Doc Otaku's hands, right?"

"The slimy bastard can and will simply replace them, and me. It's not like it's bothered him to do so before."

"And surely some super-scientists would be willing to help you if you need it. I could give them to you now, but you'd have to haul them home with you. Is there somewhere I could take you that would be better for storing them? I travel through plants," she explained easily, "so there aren't too many places in the city I can't at least get near."

The gynoid seemed to barely take a moment to think before answering, but that was simply due to her being able to process it all at such high speed. What looks like a few seconds of deliberation while Fleur spoke was actually several minutes worth of mulling it over. "Claremont is probably the best option at the moment, Summers-sama will quite probably be understanding, if he does not already know about or at least anticipate this. And there are sufficient facilities and expertise there to help."

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"All right, not a problem at all." Fleur said cheerfully. "Just give me your hand and I can take you there now." She waited for Aiko to gather her things if needs be, then took the robot girl's hand and teleported. There was a quick rush of overwhelming green and the smell of fresh-cut grass, and then they were on the lawn outside Claremont's administrative building. A moment later, one of the flowers in a nearby bed started to grow. It sprouted up to six feet tall with a six foot bloom, then bowed over to the ground and gently regurgitated Aiko's deactivated "sisters." They looked a little pollen-dusted, but otherwise none the worse for wear for their long storage.

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Not having anything to gather up Aiko takes the offered hand as soon as it is offered. Upon arrival the gynoid's optical sensors sweep over the area in heartbeat identifying the location, then linger on the sight of her sisters being procured. After assessing, such as was possible purely visually, that they're basically fine, though perhaps in need of a wipedown, she turns to the green haired lady. "Thank you again Fleur-san. She says bowing deeply. "I wish you good fortune in the future." After moving over and picking up the pair of deactivated gynoids Karakuri continued. "Now I shall need to speak with Summers-sama, so I bid you good night. I hope we will meet again sometime."

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