Xenogears: Rememberance Chapter 2
By Melissa McClendon
Aphel Aura, Third Invasion Force of Shevat, seven years ago
"I'll have the door open in a minute, Commander Ricdeau," Lt. Amyra Lambert announced quietly as she began accessing the override command to the shield generator doors.
Hyuga Ricdeau nodded, already contemplating their next move. The explosives were set at all four gate generators. Once they detonated, all of Shevat would be left vulnerable to the awaited strike force. An easy victory for Solaris...
Amyra reached Hyuga's side as the doors opened, ready to storm Aphel Aura and Zephyr's Palace. Neither one of them was expecting to see a lone warrior waiting for them. The warrior was small and slender with a face shrouded by a golden mask and a dark blue hooded-cloak. Although her size wasn't very intimidating, her deadly looking sword was, especially if she knew how to use it.
"Go home before you get hurt," Hyuga commanded with little emotion.
"I was about to tell you the same thing," she replied coldly.
"This is not the place for a young woman to be," he tried again.
"Nor for a Solarian officer," she countered.
Hyuga sighed, drawing his katana. "Return to the ship, Amyra. I will handle her myself."
"She isn't worth it, commander."
"Leave us, Amyra. Someone needs to teach this young fool a lesson." Hyuga waited until the doors shut behind him, watching the gold-masked warrior curiously. "There is still time to avoid this... go home to your family and live... there is no need for our conflict."
Her golden eyes flickered, a smile crossing her shrouded face. Chivalry from a Solarian... something I never expected... "Aphel Aura is my home... the Shevites are my family... and as long as you attack my home and family, I will stand here to defend them to the death... if that's what it takes."
"Very well... your acceptance of our circumstances will not weigh on my conscience as heavily as before." Hyuga raised his sword up in a salute of honor towards the warrior as she returned it.
"The same applies to you, Solarian."
In the blink of an eye, their swords met with a fierce clash. They pushed each other back, neither one losing their balance. The warrior dashed forward, preparing to do a low sweep with her sword. Hyuga dodged and grabbed her wrist, disarming her. Twisting her wrist back, he drop kicked her and got far enough away to evade any counterattack she may have had.
She jumped up with lightning reflexes, eyeing her sword laying behind Hyuga. He lunged forward with his sword, the woman twirled past him, knocking it from his hands and kicking him back as she went into a backflip. Landing with angelic grace, she picked up her sword.
Hyuga kept his eyes fixed on Shevat's golden guardian as he picked up his own sword. "You're good, little one."
"So are you," she replied, her tone as masked as her face.
"Under different circumstances, I would almost enjoy meeting my equal."
" Indeed," she agreed calmly. "Under different circumstances."
"I regret having to hurt you." Hyuga brought his sword up.
Hyuga thrust forward again, the woman jumped back and then gracefully twirled past him, slicing open his arm. He quickly counterattacked by bringing his leg out and knocking her to the floor. She rolled past him, reaching for her fallen sword as she jumped up.
White ether began to glow around the woman. She sheathed her sword and thrust her hands out as Hyuga charged at her. "Ring of Fire!!" Hyuga was knocked back near the shield generator by three rings of fire. Her eyes grew wide when she saw debris flying from the generator as the bomb went off. "Oh no!!" She dropped down, shielding herself. An explosion?! Did it take the generator?
Yui slowly got up, rubbing her bruised wrist tenderly. I can't see because of that blood smoke... She pulled her mask off and ran to the computer terminal and began pulling up the system status. Yui let out a sigh of relief when everything checked out normal. That bomb wasn't intended to destroy the generator... the woman with him...? Her golden eyes shot up when she remembered the Solarian, finding him collapsed on the floor and covered in blood. Without so much as a second thought, Yui ran to Hyuga, finding him rendered unconscious.
She collapsed beside his fallen body, checking his vitals. Dear god, what have I done...? No, he's alive... thank you... She began wiping away the blood around his face and eyes. I'm sorry... I'm sorry... Her golden eyes shot up when she heard snickering in the background, the silhoette of a woman in the smoke.
"You're a young, foolish woman... saving your enemy..."
Yui started to get up and confront the woman, but her enemy/patient mumbled something incoherently and she instantly began treating him again. She glanced up as she began tearing off a piece of her cloak to cover his eyes. The woman had vanished without a trace. Whoever you are... you were set up by that woman... maybe even by your people...
"Yui, what the hell are you doing?!"
"Jedda! Thank god..." Yui rose up. "I need your help."
"Need my help?"
"He's wounded, help me--"
"You're wounded, too. He's a Solarian, Yui."
"Solarian, Shevite... it doesn't matter, Jedda. I must--" Yui tried to kneel back down but Jedda jerked her back up by the arm.
"Have you lost your ever-lovin' mind?!" Jedda demanded.
"No..." Yui's eyes grew dark as she pulled away from him. "But everyone else in this god-forsaken world has!!"
"Zephyr will imprison him... the council will demand it."
"Let them try, Jedda..." she warned.
"Yui-- you're going against your own people to save a man who tried to kill you-- you can't do this--"
"Watch me..." Yui whispered absentmindedly.
"If you're not going to help me, just leave." Yui continued treating his most drastic wounds as Jedda left her in dead silence. Have I lost my mind...? I don't know and I don't care... Let the council try something... I'll explain myself to Zephyr... only if I knew my reasoning...
"Midori, would you like to come with me to get something to eat?" Maria inquired cheerfully. "Chu-chu and Emeralda will come too..." Her pale blue eyes watched Midori lay back down beside her father, allowing no expression to cross her angelic face. Gaspar rested his hand on her shoulder, shaking his head with a frown. "Well, we'll save you something." Maria left the room, her failure weighing heavily on her shoulders.
"Midori... Citan will be fine if you leave for a few minutes..." Midori didn't even acknowledge her grandfather, but wrapped her tiny body around Citan's arm, grasping his limp hand.
Gaspar was familiar with this scenario all too well. Yui had lost both her parents when she was no older than Midori, and it had taken months to reach her. Now Midori was having to deal with her mother's death and her father dying... Gaspar's train of thought was broken when Sigurd, Jessie, and Ramsus entered the room.
"How's he doin'?" Jessie inquired.
"I-- fine. Taura assured me he'll be up to his usual, mischievious ways in no time."
Sigurd and Ramsus passed each other knowing looks. It was a lie told for Midori's benefit, but were they really fooling the daughter of Hyuga Ricdeau --Citan Uzuki-- with Fei's outbursts and their quiet conversations, Midori knew her father wasn't fine. Even Taura wasn't sure... his wounds had healed thanks to the nanoreactor, but Citan himself obviously hadn't recovered, and Midori refused to leave his side until otherwise.
"Midori... do you know what Hyuga's thinking?" Ramsus suddenly spoke. "Do you know why your father won't wake up?"
Midori hesitantly shook her head yes, remaining firmly attached to Citan's arm.
"Midori... maybe we can help him if you tell us," Sigurd suggested.
"You can't," she replied coldly. "No one can."
"Are you sure?"
Midori passed them an emotionless glance with her dark brown eyes, the same one Citan would flash if someone ever doubted him.
"Midori..." Gaspar began, almost in a pleading tone.
"Daddy is sad..." she finally whispered. "He is thinking about Mommy... that is why he will not wake up."
"The Shevite girl he left Solaris with?" Ramsus spoke up.
"My granddaughter, Yui," Gaspar replied solemnly.
"Perhaps now isn't a good time to discuss this," Sigurd cut in.
Gaspar nodded, slowly getting up. "Midori, I'll be back in a moment."
Midori watched as the four men left her alone with her father, silently waiting for the door to close. Daddy... why are you forgetting me? Silent tears began to make streams down her cheeks. Daddy... do not leave me... please do not leave me... She began stroking his black hair and kissed his cheek. "I will take care of you..."
Aphel Aura, seven years ago, home of Lady Yui Gaspar
Hyuga's heavy-leaden eyes slowly fluttered open when the delicious smell of a rich stew cooking in the other room hit his nostrils, the aroma making him realize how hungry he was. Where was he? A woman humming in the distance suddenly caught his attention, her footfalls coming closer to him with every beat in her song. Hyuga waited patiently as she approached, closing his eyes and not moving a muscle. As soon as she reached his side, his hand shot out and grabbed her wrist in a deathlike grip. She yelped in pain, but didn't try to jerk away. "Where am I?" he demanded coldly.
"Aphel Aura," she replied calmly, not meeting his gaze.
"Why am I here?" Hyuga's tone returned to neutral.
Her eyes suddenly shot up, locking with his. Hyuga was captivated by those beautiful golden orbs... the same eyes of that warrior... This small, beautiful angel defeated me in battle...? Impossible... For the first time in a long time, Hyuga felt guilt and hesitantly let go. She slowly withdrew, tearing away from his intense gaze and rubbing her wrist tenderly. "Your men left you to die..." she replied softly, keeping her eyes downcast.
Although better judgement told him not to, Hyuga accepted her answer. The woman sat down in a nearby chair, wiping away a few rogue tears. "Forgive me, miss. I did not mean to hurt you."
"It's okay," she whispered back. "You had no idea."
Hyuga recognized that voice, although it was a great deal softer now. It was her, the woman he'd fought near the shield generator. Why did she save me? Any normal person would have killed me... "Am I in the prison?"
"No... you're in my home..." Her cheeks flushed, as if this fact embarrassed her.
Hyuga suppressed a grin at that thought. I wonder why she's embarrassed... is it because her enemy is residing in her house, more than likely in her bed... Or is it just the fact that a man was residing in her house... it obviously makes her uneasy... Heh, heh... perhaps we should play a little game, my lady...
"May I ask what the name of my guardian angel is?" He flashed her a sensual smile.
She fought the urge to slap him soundly acrossed the face. He's just playing mind games... well... I'll play along for the time being... until it gets too dangerous...
"...Yui... Yui Gaspar..." Why does he make me feel so... different...? Is it because he's handsome and dangerous? What a fool I am.... Grandpa and Nicolai would be ashamed of me...
"I am honored, Lady Gaspar." Gaspar... I recognize that name... is she related to the wiseman? How ironic... His Majesty will like this... "My name is Hyuga Ricdeau."
Yui started to say something, but paused when she heard a knock coming from the other room. Her golden eyes instantly met his. "Excuse me... I'll be right back..."
Hyuga watched her get up and step into the other room. So young... and so beautiful... It is almost a pity she is a Shevite... and a Gaspar... Maybe it's for the better... for both of us... He sighed in disappointment and closed his eyes. Oh well...
Citan's eyes slowly fluttered open, seeing nothing but a bright blur. "Midori..." he whispered hoarsely. "Is that you?"
Midori's head popped up, eyes wide with surprise. "Daddy?"
"I cannot see you, dear." Midori giggled and reached for his glasses, placing them gently on him. "Ahh... there you are!" He smiled, tickling his daughter tenderly.
She reached forward and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Daddy... you are okay?"
"Yes, I am fine. Did they leave you alone to take care of me?"
Midori shook her head. "I made them leave."
"My little baby... already as overbearing as her mother. What will I do with you?" Citan smiled when she scrunched her tiny nose at him. "I always liked that quality in your mother, Midori."
Midori lept into her father's arms when he opened the door, fully-dressed. "Where is everyone, dear?" She just shrugged her shoulders and lay her head on his shoulder. Citan just smiled and patted her back, walking into the dining room.
Fei glanced up absent-mindedly while taking in a mouthful of his food. "D-doc!" Food spewed out of his mouth and he went into a coughing fit. Elly began patting his back while the others stood up to greet their friend.
"Hyuga, decide to join the world of the living?" Ramsus inquired teasingly.
"Indeed I have, Kahr. One cannot idle their life away in the world of dreams and long-forgotten memories, can they?"
"Of course not."
"I believe you have something to say to Hyuga. Don't you, Billy?" Jessie spoke up, his tone dark.
"Uh... yeah..." Billy stammered. "Citan... I'm sorry... when I opened fire on you, I thought--"
"Do not worry about it, Billy. It was just a slight misjudgement on your part. Now, where is she?"
"My wife. Where is my wife?" Midori's head popped up.
"Hyuga..." Sigurd began.
"Doc, maybe you should rest a bit longer," Fei suggested.
"Yui's--" Maria trailed off sadly.
"You left her?!" His eyes grew dark. "How could you leave my wife in that--" He sat Midori down. "Damnation!!" He stormed out of the room in a blind rage. Midori looked at them with her usual emotionless gaze before trailing after her enraged father.
"Daddy?" Midori whispered in the doorway, watching her father tear their room apart in search of something.
"Where is my sword?"
"You are leaving me again?"
"I have to, Midori."
"Your mother is out there. I have to find her."
You don't know that... you don't know...
"Midori... do you not miss your mother?"
"Is it Mommy?"
"I believe so."
"I want to go too."
"No... it is too dangerous."
"Then you can't go."
"Hyuga... what are you doing?" Sigurd inquired.
"What's gotten into you?" Jessie demanded.
"I am going to save my wife."
"How do you even know it is her?"
Citan sighed. "Yui once told me that I cannot always think things through with logic... because some things are matters of the heart, which require no logic at all."
Jessie and Sigurd just glanced at each other, knowing they had lost this argument before it had even begun. "All right... but we're coming with you."
Midori pulled on Citan's pant leg, alerting him to her earnest desire to go. Citan was about to tell her she still couldn't go until Maria and Emeralda stepped into the room. "We can watch over and protect her if you allow her to go," Maria offered. "Like you and sister Yui watched over me when Grandpa brought me to Shevat."
Citan suppressed a smile at that remembrance. Ol' man Bal had brought Maria to Shevat back when Yui was still pregnant with Midori. Yui had instantly volunteered to care for the young girl. Nicolai had been like a brother to her. Yui had been heartbroken when we had to leave Shevat without her. "Very well... keep her in the Yggdrasil until I come for you." Citan picked Midori up and gently tickled her stomach. "I cannot lose my little Midori."
Author's Notes: H-hey! Wake up! Its over now! Atleast this chapter is...
not to worry! I'm not going to be lazy anymore. I'm going to be very serious
about updating this fic and my other one. I believe this one is about to
get very interesting, at least with Citan going after **Yui**. I suppose
we'll find out soon enough what's going on and what happened in their past...
as if you haven't figured it out already! Hey... I still have a few surprises
up my sleeve. ^_~ As always, I'm open for any criticism on either one of
my fics or any ideas you might have. You know where to e-mail me. I hope
to hear from you soon!
~Melissa "Dei" McClendon
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