Where: Human Village
What: Yumemi and Suzume meet up after a while at Suzume's workshop to catch up.
Watch For: Yumemi and Suzume swapping project notes, debates around the merits of magic and science.
A fine summer's day greeted the red-clad professor as she headed into the Village. Firstly, this was yet another visit for gathering more supplies that she couldn't simply replicate back at home. However, Yumemi had been throwing herself into her more independant studies with great zeal in the last little while, devoting time to work on some more personal projects in between. A couple of these being eventual gifts for a certain 'business partner' of sorts. While she was in the area, she thought it would be best to see how that she was getting along. She recalled the location of Suzume's workshop from prior experience, keeping her list of groceries and other necessities at the back of her mind, hoping to be able to get everything done by the end of the day. Rather politely, once Yumemi found the place, she gave a little knock nearby the door to see if anyone was home. Surely she'd be around at this hour! There was much she had to ask about...
A few things falling over could be heard shortly after the knock, before someone yelped "Coming!" Shortly after, the door was opened with Suzume the freelancer starring at Yumemi. "Oh, long time no see!" She said. "Come in. I'll get some tea started." Suzume's pink hair has grown a fair bit since the two of them last met. Suzume's house was in a bit of a mess, namely a small pile of various notes and parts. "Pardon the mess. I wasn't expecting to have any guests today."
Yumemi Okazaki greeted Suzume with a small smile, honestly happy to see her. "It certainly has been a while! It looks like you've had some more success since I saw you last. Or at least more work to do."
A little curious to see how things were going, she entered. Now, she wasn't one to judge about the messiness of Suzume's abode. All the Professor did was give a noncomittal shrug in response to those worries. "Oh, and it isn't a problem, really. My lab's been completely in shambles since Spring." She laughed a little and found a spot to sit down, waiting for Suzume to bring in the tea and taking a look at a few of the notes, absentmindedly strewn about. "It's actually kind of unusual: My assistant and I tried to find some spring fairies when the season came around. A few of them got inside by mistake while we were observing them and made quite a mess." The professor tried to figure out what it was she was working on by simply having a look around. "...Oh, by the way! I hope those gifts I gave you a while back are working out for you. I've been steadily working on a few upgrades for them, if that's still an interest of yours." She sounded almost proud of herself, that time. Old habits die hard.
"I bet the fairies had a lot of fun." Suzume said from the kitchen, before walking back in. "And yeah, those gifts have been working nicely. But I guess some upgrades would be cool." Suzume made her way to her desk to pick up what she knocked over. "I've been working on a little something myself. I'm calling it Project Zeus." She pulls out a few notes and hands it to Yumemi. "In a nutshell, I'm trying to harness the power of thunder and turn it into useable electricity. It's far from complete, but I'm planning to have it done by next spring."
"Project Zeus? It sounds very grand, doesn't it?" Yumemi read through the notes and seemed rather intruigued by this notion. After all, in a land where magic was considered an energy in itself and a force of nature, it wouldn't be out of place to find a way to harness something more mundane as a power source. "This is phenomenal work, so far. Is it a personal or a public project?" Yumemi couldn't help but want to delve into this herself... "Considering that I've heard certain types of youkai can channel electricity with magic, this could be something that the people here might be able to get behind. That is, if they're willing to try something that they would find...unfamiliar to say the least." Yumemi eventually handed the notes back and added... "Then again, my recent research could be fruitful, if you don't mind letting me share it."
"This is a personal project as it currently stands." Suzume told Yumemi. "I also haven't done too much reaching out with the project just yet. You're actually the first to really hear about it, despite working on it for roughly two or three months at this point." The kettle in the kitchen starts to whistle. "Ah, let me get that." Suzume made her way into the kitchen, getting the tea ready to be served.
While Suzume made her way out of the room, Yumemi added... "Well, it would certainly be an interesting path to take your work. The possibilities of this technology's relatively common outside of Gensokyo, but, if managed well, might put you in good standing with the community, here." The professor calmly awaited the tea and still seemed rather eager to talk, as always, enjoying the sound of her own voice as much as the discoveries of her hostess. "Aside from upgrading my defenses and studying fairy migration during the seasons, I've been attempting...with varying degrees of success...to synthesize those potions you'd acquired for me.
Then, Yumemi sighed deeply and added, with a hint of shame... "To be honest with you, they don't exactly work the same way. They had a few unpleasant side effects. I had to test some of them on myself and learn this the hard way. After that...I decided I'd pick up that project another time." It seemed like she didn't really want to go into great detail, so the professor quickly changed the subject. "The most I've been able to do in unlocking the secrets of magic is still rather limited, as well. I recently made a machine that could theoretically be used to scope out high levels of magical disturbance, like a magical attack or the presence of an artifact. It's become slightly more effective with every version and breakthrough." It seemed that Yumemi was still preoccupying her time with building more efficient ways of understanding what made up magic itself. "I've been using it, recently, as some kind of threat detector. The fact that it works somewhat, if at all, means that magic can be quantified and studied in a meaningful way, but no matter what I do, its secrets still elude me." After pausing for a moment, she asked... "Studying magic in the view of science sounds contradictory, but do you think bringing science into a world full of magic is worth the effort? I've heard that others have tried the same...but I'm a little curious where you'll go from here."
"Who can really say?" Suzume said, some light clanking being heard from the kitchen. "It's always been the job of Science to make life easier in the long run. However, Magic is about doing all sorts of unique things forged through one's will and traditions, and is more focused on having immediate answers, rather than long term ones." Suzume then walked in with a tray holding a tea kettle and two cups. "At least that's what I've noticed." Suzume then put the tray down on the table. "You don't mind green tea, right?"
Yumemi seemed to understand things the same way, to a point, giving her a little nod... "Yes, thanks. That's fine." Taking the cup, she mused on the topic for a moment. "But, when you think a little more about it, doesn't that simply make magic a discipline that isn't unlike science to begin with? After all, there's such a thing as scientific tradition. And many discoveries were founded by people at the right place and right time who had quite strong will to search for answers themselves." She smiled, looking eager to debate her own position a little. "And if magic is studied by specific practitioners who have tried and tested methods of getting their results, it's remarkably close. The only issues I find are that magic often accomplishes what science only rarely allows. Not to mention the idea that there's the idea of magical potential, and the idea that certain people are innately born with some capacity in this place. Some more than others, as I've seen for myself, many times."
"Indeed. Magic as a Discipline isn't too much different from Science as a Disciplin." Suzume said, taking a sip of her tea. "I mean, I haven't seen anyone actually study magic, but I wouldn't be surprised if they go about the same way of creating new spells. And on the topic of magic positional, as annoying as it is that some people are just born better than others, let's not forget that most people are born better at doing some things more than others. You know, how some things just click for some people easier than others." Suzume then takes a sip of her tea. "In all honestly, I think the only thing that truly separates the two is the very core of how they work. Science relies mostly on Logic and Reasoning, where as Magic relies on the Supernatural and the Impossible."
With a small nod, Yumemi seems to already agree with most of this, taking slow and patient sips as she thought of her journey in Gensokyo so far. "...While I understand that Science and Magic's just as much similar as it is different, that's the main problem. I'd have to find someone I could gather information from. Mostly, all that I have is combat data from various Spellcard duels, and a small sampling of magical items and phenomena on record." She sighed, trying to explain herself a bit more clearly. "I haven't had a chance to come into close enough contact with an actual magic user to understand it the way they do. The last time I made a serious effort in securing a magic user for study...that's a part of the past I'd like to put behind me." Her incident years ago had been a sort of contact, at least. If you can call threats of kidnapping magical beings for study a type of 'contact'... "With regards to figuring out exactly what magic means in Gensokyo, I've been meaning to see out a magical practicioner who'd let me study their abilities. Willingly, mind you. I'd hardly want to rock the proverbial boat, here." She had an odd emphasis on 'willingly', as if she was trying to sound reassuring. "If everything works out in my favour, I'd have a way to study magical phenomena without causing as much of a fuss, basically. What do you think?"
Suzume thinks for a brief moment. "Well, it's a great idea, but good idea getting anyone under your scalpel long enough to make significant progress." Suzume said with doubt in her voice. "I mean, if I was a grand master of magic, I wouldn't want to be studied for some unknown thing called Science."
Yumemi took another sip and sighed a little, shaking her head... "I'm not intending to put them under any scalpels...and I seriously hope that was a joke. But you've got a point. But it's the same way that people a more scientific realm would scoff at magic and grow a little suspicious if they heard of it." She tilted her head a little and added, with a little hope still left in her voice... "It's all a matter of perspective about whether this is actually harmful to their lifestyle or not. While not everyone agrees with me, I'm only working in the interest of the common good and the will to understand what exactly makes magic so mysterious and powerful to people like us." With yet another sip as she thought, Yumemi clarified. "I don't want to harm anyone, and I don't want to bother anyone if I can't help it. I'm so passionate about it because it's the whole reason why I'm here. If not for wanting to objectively study magic, I wouldn't be here to begin with..." She gave Suzume a shrug. "Just like you, I'm afraid I can only try my best and hope for the best to occur."
"Well, I'm not asking you to give up, I'm just saying that you're in for one hard sell." Suzume said, then taking a sip of tea. "If there's anything I could help out with, let me know, and I'll do what I can."
The redhead laughed a little. "...Who said anything about giving up? I already know that it's going to be pretty difficult to accomplish, and I'd be happy to accept whatever help I can get on this front. But really, if someone isn't working this kind of thing out, who else will?" Relaxing a little bit, she seemed to regain certainty in her goals, not having lost her zeal for learning from something so simple as these kind of obvious setbacks. "Look at your project, for instance. If you wanted, you could do any number of things with that kind of knowledge at your disposal. You might be able to popularize it, sell it to the more technologically inclined, like the Kappa. Or show it off to anyone who's curious about your discovery. Alternatively, you /could/ keep it for yourself as a unique oddity of yours. But the fact remains that it's your choice to take advantage of a particular set of skills to bring some kind of change to people's lives." She seemed oddly happy, now, slowly taking another sip of tea. "...Are you following me, at least?"
Suzume was about to take another sip of her tea, only to find it empty. "Yeah, I can see where you're going." She said while refilling her cup. "My goal with Project Zeus is to use the electricity gained from it to start making a series of devices that would hopefully make me able to compete with at least a handful of locals in various fields. Basically, use Science as a replacement for Magic. So I guess you could say I plan on using it to make myself Unique." After all, she's just a powerless human with a knack for science and punching things.
Yumemi, likewise, finishes up her tea, but doesn't feel like particularily having a second cup of it, politely putting it aside. "That's some kind of goal, at least. But that's really one of the reasons why I'm so interested in seeing where this takes you. Our ideas aren't quite exactly the same, but I'm sure we'll run into similar difficulties at some point. If there's anything else I can do for you, don't hesitate to let me know." She stood up a little and held out her hand for a shake, looking as if her determination was already brimming again. "I'll be looking forward to seeing your Project Zeus in action, someday, and I wish you all the best, as always." She added, with a small smile crossing her youthful face. "And thanks for the hospitality."
Suzume stood up. "Someday you will see Zeus in action. Let me walk you out." The freelancer said, walking Yumemi out. "Good luck with your studies."
The unusual redhead stated rather matter of factly, but still quite friendly... "Thank you!" Her gratitude and enthusiasm was almost palpable. "It's been wonderful catching up with you, Suzume, but there's still much for me to do here. And so little time...I hope to see you again, soon!" Following the freelancing girl out and setting off into the crowded streets and markets of the village, the departing professor gave her a final wave before taking out her list and heading into the crowd! The march of progress would not be halted, and the Professor at least felt some pride for her scientific aquaintance. Perhaps, she thought, there would be some hope left to understand Science and Magic as one and the same. As long as there were more people like these.