[Warning: This chapter contains spoilers for the game.]
Fang felt a tingling creep up the back of her neck as she walked through the crowded streets of the shopping mall in Bodhum. Was it because she was right in the middle of enemy territory? No, that didn’t seem quite right. Perhaps it was because she was being followed? No, that wasn’t right either. She had already shaken off pursuit.
There had been more soldiers after her than she would have expected, but luckily for her Euride was situated between the ocean and a range of mountains. There had been plenty of places for her to hide, and the terrain aided her in making strikes against the enemy before fading back into the wilderness.
She had gotten lucky and found an airbike that had been left unattended. It made it much easier for her to move quickly. Fang had never ridden a Cocoon vehicle, but she somehow managed to learn how to drive it by watching others.
It was easy enough to get from Euride back to Bodhum. A road stretched in-between them, and it allowed her to follow it even under the cover of night. Before she reached the city she tossed the airbike to the side of the road, and walked the rest of the way. It was morning when she returned to the temple.
But Vanille was not there. The food they had brought back to the temple lay untouched. She must not have returned to Bodhum. Or perhaps she was still hiding from the enemy.
”Don’t worry. No matter where you run to, I’ll find you...” It was a promise she had made, long ago. She had to find her as soon as possible. Vanille was probably lonely. Crying in her sleep, like always.
“That girl is always crying...” She whispered. Her voice rasped. She had forgotten she spent all night running, not being able to eat or drink. Her throat was parched.
She walked over to a square machine on the side of the street, and taking her card out, held it against the machine. Pressing buttons at random, she was rewarded as the sound of a drink-filled can fell into the little opening in the front.
Fang had already gotten used to opening this sort of can. It was a little different from the cans they had on Gran Pulse, but not too different. She hated to admit it, but once she got used to it the Cocoon cans were actually easier to open.
As she drank down the liquid, she thought of Vanille. Right now she might not be able to get any food, and was hungry. They had stolen two of these cards, and Vanille had the other one. But they had never tried to see if it would work. The only one they had been using was this one.
A bird flapped overhead, and Fang stiffened. A white bird flew passed and away. Again? Fang thought. It was that strange, human-looking bird they had seen a few days ago. Strange looking it might be, but so far it seemed to have brought her luck. They had seen it when they had gotten these cards, after all. She had seen it too, when escaping from Euride. That time she had found the airbike and managed to throw off her pursuers. If it were true, then maybe something good will happen this time. Like maybe she’ll find Vanille...
Fang looked into the crowd, hoping to see her. She looked at the entrances of all the stores, watching the people leaving.
“I guess not...” She sighed. She wasn’t at the shopping mall, but perhaps she went to the beach. There were girls there who wore similar clothing, maybe she went there so she wouldn’t stand out. Placing the empty can down on the ground beside her, she stood up and tried to get her bearings. Now where was that beach...
“Hey, you could at least pick that up.”
She ignored the voice behind her. It was better not to get involved with anyone from Cocoon. That, and she knew she had no need to fear attack even if she turned her back to them. Everything was so peaceful and safe here in Cocoon, she could hardly credit it. Even the soldiers she had seen yesterday in Euride had barely any experience with fighting. Sure they had training, but no real experience.
“Just wait a minute Miss Rude Girl...”
This time the voice came from right behind her. She hadn’t even noticed. How careless of her. She stopped, and looked at the speaker over her shoulder. She made as if to turn around, then dodged to the side into the crowd. No one would shoot at her in a large group of people like this. These people were soft.
She hadn’t seen that blue uniform in Euride, but she knew he was a soldier. He had gotten close to her without even her noticing. He was well trained, it would take skill to run from him.
Fang ran outside of the shopping mall, but that was as far as she could go. Any further would take her outside of the crowd, and that would be dangerous. Running into a narrow alleyway, she turned several corners before coming to a dead end, which was easy enough for her to leap over.
Fang ran and ran, until finally she no longer knew where she had run to. But there was no one behind her, she was no longer being followed. Fang sighed in relief. She winced, her chest hurt. She must have run farther than she had thought, she had to catch her breath before continuing on.
Then the world rocked, and she felt a blow to her back. Someone had jumped out behind her, but by the time she realized it, it was too late.
“You bastard!” She put all the strength she could into her arms to try and break free, but no... she was trapped. He had her arms pinned, she couldn’t move.
“Quiet! We aren’t your enemy.” He took his hands off her. “I’m sorry I had to do that to you. My name is Rygdea. I’m in the cavalry... er, not that you’d know anything about that.”
A kind looking, but unshaven man stood in front of her. Kind looking he may be, but he was the one who had trapped her. He was careful and efficient, she knew she wouldn’t be able to get free of him. He was probably far stronger than any of the soldiers she had met during her escape.
“There is someone I’d like you to meet. Please come with me.”
She only stood because she was already surrounded, each soldier pointing his gun straight at her. But the only one to stand within close-range fighting distance was Rygdea, all the others stood as far away from her as possible. Pathetic.
They handcuffed and blindfolded her. Rygdea put a gentle hand against her shoulder to point her the way. There was nothing else she could do but follow their orders.
“If we don’t do this we know you’d never come quietly. But it’s not too far, don’t worry.”
Friday, February 19, 2010
[Warning: This chapter contains spoilers for the game.]