Xenogears: Rememberance Chapter 3
By Melissa McClendon
Seven years ago, Zephyr's Palace
Yui Gaspar's golden gaze remained completely neutral as she faced a very confused Queen Zephyr. Keeping her hands folded in front of her and standing at attention, Yui waited patiently for her queen's next question. Curse Jedda! This is definitely not the way to impress me!!
" Please, Lady Gaspar, explain yourself. You are not one to think irrationally and I'm sure there is a logical reason to explain your actions ." Zephyr's voice was cool and level, contrary to the anger Yui had expected.
" I believe the Solarian is a victim of treacherous intentions ."
" We are the victims of treacherous intentions ." Jedda countered.
" I believe I said you were dismissed ." Zephyr warned.
Jedda bowed. " Yes, your highness ." Yui watched with concealed amusement as he left the chamber.
" Please... Continue, Lady Gaspar ."
" Thank you, your highness ." Yui took a deep breath. " The Solarian was trying to escape and achieve freedom through us. Obviously, someone found out and tried to kill him ."
" Jedda claimed that there was a battle between you and the Solarian ."
" Yes ." Yui replied softly, glancing down at her bound wrist. " It was a facade for one of his officers. He never intended to hurt me ." She prayed all her speculation was correct and she wasn't signing her own death warrant as well.
" If what you say is true, then we have nothing to worry about ." Yui nodded, swallowing the lump that had formed in her throat. " But... he is your responsibility, Lady Gaspar ."
" Yes, your majesty ." She curtsied. " Thank you ."
Now what have I gotten myself into?...
" Your life has been spared, Mr. Ricdeau ." Yui announced solemnly as she set her cloak and sword down, well within her each if she suddenly needed to use it. " But I warn you, don't make an attempt on my queen or my people again or by god, I will kill you the next time ."
Hyuga looked at her curiously. " Thank you, Lady Gaspar. There will be no next time ."
Yui avoided the gaze of the man sitting in her bed, almost blushing. " I hope so, Mr. Ricdeau ."
" I know it was you who convinced Zephyr to spare my life and yet you do not seem to like me much, Lady Gaspar. Why ?"
Yui's gold eyes suddenly lit up and slowly rose to watch Hyuga. " You treat me as if I'm a simpleton because I had enough compassion to spare your life. There is such a thing called gratitude, Solarian, and it is a trait you obviously lack in ."
Hyuga's curiousity quickly changed to an emotionless expression. " I am sorry, Lady Gaspar, but you have definitely drawn the wrong conclusion of what I think of you."
He had to supress a devilish smile at that thought. I wonder which opinion she would like to hear?
Yui's eyebrow arched at that, her golden eyes seeming to burn into his very soul. " I wonder ." She grabbed her sword and quickly left the room before he said something else to make her blush.
Hyuga?... It's that man... Do I know him?... But... Ooh... I'm so hot... I wish the pain would stop...
Anna ran a cool washcloth over Yui's pale face and cracked lips, her pale blue eyes watching with ever increasing concern for her young friend. Its about time to change the bandages again... " Poor dear... You've faced so much and remember nothing... I only wish there was some way to help you... But I suppose it won't matter after too long..." Anna concluded sadly, gently easing her old bones up and heading towards the door at an average pace.
"... Hyuga..." Yui whispered hoarsely in her delirium, tears starting to fall and mixing with her persipiration from the fever she had been running since she collapsed over a week ago. "...Where... are..."
Anna shook her head sadly. She keeps calling for this Hyuga, but I seriously doubt she even knows who he is... If he even still exists... If he ever existed...
" Anna! Anna !!" Mary came running as fast as her little legs could carry her, nearly running into Anna.
" Mary, what is it, darling ?!" Anna grabbed Mary's tiny shoulders, trying to calm her down.
" W-We-Wels !!" She managed to gasp out, trembling all over in fear.
Anna's withered face turned ashen as she glanced over at Yui, their only defense against those blood-lusting monsters. " God help us all..."
The Fall of Shevat
" Midori !!" Yui called in relief when she finally caught sight of her daughter and Dan. " Come one, honey! We have to take cover before--" Yui was knocked back against the wall with bone breaking force as the room began to collapse and break away from the rest of Shevat.
" Yui !!" Dan screamed in fear as he and Midori began sliding back away from her.
Momma !! Midori panicked, her voice echoing throughout Yui's mind.
Yui wiped the blood from her cut forehead and quickly jumped back up, fear for her daughter's life swelling in her throat as Shevat's fall gained velocity. Fear and determination burned in Yui's gold eyes, she knew she had to hurry. " Hold on, Midori !" Pacing herself, she ran towards them and dropped halfway there to slide the rest of the way down the unlevel floor. She placed her feet in front of her to brace her landing against the wall, mere inches from Dan's head. Gasping for air, she glanced back up to discover she had very little time to get them back up to safety. " Alright, come here, sweetheart ." Midori practically lept into her mother's arms at the command, giving Yui the split second to hold her daughter close. " Okay, Midori, I'm going to slide you up to the top. I need you to grab onto something and pull yourself up ."
Midori nodded and Yui quickly began to push her daughter back up the increasingly steep downgrade. Once she had pulled herself up to safety, Yui began the task again with Dan. Once she managed to push him up far enough for him to pull himself up, she began seaching for a way to reach safety herself.
" Yui !!" Dan panicked, the situation was looking more bleak with every second.
" Both of you get out of here! Don't worry about me !" She began to remove her shoes, hoping her feet would provide enough traction to run up far enough to pull herself up. " Get back, you two !" Not a second to lose, Yui rushed up the downgrade, grabbing a hold of the ever growing crack in the middle of the floor.
" Go..." Yui rasped out, already halfway up.
Dan hesitantly obeyed and ran from the room to seek shelter; but Midori remained, refusing to leave unless it was with her mother. Yui finally managed to sit up, smiling at her daughter despite the current situation. Midori nodded and began to follow Dan's lead when there was a sudden crash and a muffled scream. She shot back around to find her mother rendered unconscious and crashing back to the other side of the room. " Momma !!" She screamed, diving after Yui only to be pulled back by Dan as that half of the room finally broke away.
Dan struggled to get himself and Midori to safety even as she continued to kick and scream for her now presumed dead mother.
Midori sniffled against her pillow and slowly opened her dark eyes. She was alone now, her father had undoubtedly already left for the Ethos Headquarters in search of her mother. Momma... Why did you have to die? Its all my fault... Now I'm going to lose Daddy as well... No, I can't lose him too. I have to make him realize she's gone.... As much as I miss her... Glancing around to make sure she was alone, Midori crawled out of bed and prepared for the long journey ahead of her.
Maria's dark green eyes glanced around the corner of the hall in the Yggdrasil, biting her lower lip nervously as she started walking down it. Midori... Midori Uzuki, where are you?!... Citan is going to kill me...
" Maria ?" Billy whispered from behind, smiling despite himself. Maria gasped in fright, twirling around with tiny fists swinging. " Wow! Hey !" Billy grabbed her wrists, pulling her close to him without even realizing it, causing Maria to blush. " Why would you want to go and hit me for ?" He flashed her a teasing smile, gently brushing the back of his hand against her angelic face.
" Billy... I... You scared me ." She trembled at his touch. Why and how does he make me feel this way?...
" I'm sorry... I didn't mean to ."
Maria smiled warmly. " Its okay... I just assumed you'd stay on the bridge until we received word from Citan and the others. Oh no !!" God... I'm with him three seconds and I already forgot why I'm down here...
Billy let go in alarm, resting his hand on the handle of his pistol. " What is it ?"
" Before they left, Citan laid down with Midori so she'd be asleep when he left and now I can't find her... Oh God..." Maria panicked, glancing around in hopes that little Midori Uzuki would just magically appear.
Billy instantly grasped Maria's tiny shoulders in order to calm her down. " Relax, Maria, we'll find her. She couldn't have gotten too far ."
" Billy... She's the daughter of Citan and Yui, for all we know she could be half-way in the Ethos Headquarters right now ."
" Oh damn! Citan's gonna kill us if we don't find her !"
" This is the proximity where I ran into her the last time..." Citan announced to Jessie, Sigurd, and Ramsus before stopping to examine the area.
" Damnit, this place makes me jittery... I thought we'd helped most of the Wels..." Jessie trailed off, tapping his gun for his own security.
Sigurd glanced over at his former commander with his one good eye, hardly believing he'd actually admit to feeling a little uneasy even though all of the former Elements were. Like Jessie, Sigurd kept his hand beside the optical whip attached to his belt, ready for anything.
" We couldn't even begin to presume we've helped even half the Wels, Jessie ." Ramsus quickly replied.
" Indeed ," Citan agreed absent-mindedly. " There is just too many variables to assume we have helped all of them. This area alone serves as a prime example ."
Four pairs of eyes shot up in unison, followed by the drawing of weapons. " Yui!!"
Citan yelled in fear as he ran down the hall with his katana in hand.
" Hyuga! Damnit !!" Jessie chased after him.
" I think he's lost his blasted mind ." Sigurd mumbled, glancing at Ramsus.
" We better take the other hall just in case..." Ramsus gave his sword a twirl before he and Sigurd went running down the other hall.
Daddy's afraid... He's afraid about Momma... I can't feel her here... I can't feel her thoughts... She... Truly is dead... Midori closed her dark brown eyes as tears threatened to fall, collapsing against a decrepit chair in exhaustion, her little legs couldn't carry her any further. I need to get back... Sister Maria and Billy will be worried and tell Daddy.
**I'm so hungry... So... Hungry..**. Midori's eyes shot open in fear as another's thoughts invaded her mind. She remained completely silent when she realized there was a Wel staring down at her not ten feet away. Her mouth dropped open as it seemed to lick its lips and grin ferally.
Yui shot bolt upright when that simple scream echoed throughout her mind. Her trembling hands reached her head as pain shot through it, trying to shut it out as she gasped for air that didn't seem to be there. Through a haze of tears, Yui's golden eyes opened for the first time in weeks to see she was completely alone. "...Anna?..." She whispered, fighting to stay conscious. " Ahhh..." She groaned, falling back in pain as that same soft voice echoed through her mind in fear.
**Daddy... Daddy, help me!! M-momma!!**
I know that voice... Yui struggled to remember as blood began to seep through her bandages. I know that voice... As everything began to cloud her vision and fade to black, she uttered one word. "...Midori?..."
" Damnit to hell !!" Jessie hissed in pain as he dropped back, clutching his arm where the Wel had cut him. Citan continued to push his way forward, his eyes as cold as steel, as he sliced through another Wel. " Hyuga, pull back! You're gonna get us both killed and I'm not done raising hell yet !"
" I have already lost her once, I am not going to lose her again !" Citan shouted as he ran to the next flight of stairs.
" Damnit, Hyuga, wait !" Jessie quickly began reloading his guns, realizing that Citan wasn't about to listen to reason.
" Yui !!" Citan called, silently praying that he wasn't already too late as he kicked in the door at the bottom of the stairs. He quickly jumped back in alarm when there was several child-like screams in fear. He looked down to find several children hidden in the tiny room, holding each other in fear. The children Yui spoke of before? " Do not worry, I am here to help you ." Citan spoke in the same voice he would use with Midori when she would have a nightmare.
" What the-" Jessie trailed off when he saw the children, all staring wide-eyed at him.
" Jessiah !!" They all yelled in unison.
Citan looked to his former commander for an explaination.
" These are the children from the orphanage... How did they end up here ?"
Citan shook his head, trying not to despair. " Where is Yui ?"
All of the children looked at each in confusion, not sure of the answer to the stranger's question. Finally, a tiny girl, not much bigger than Midori, stood up nervously.
" You know Sister Yui ?"
Citan couldn't hide his smile, praying this little girl knew where Yui was. " Yes, I have come here to find her ."
The little girl seemed like she was about to cry. " The Wels attacked her... She tried to save me, but she was badly hurt... She hasn't woke up since she then..."
Citan managed to conceal his raging emotions, his eyes growing even colder and refusing to meet Jessie's concerned glance. ...Yui... " Can you lead me to her ?"
Maria sighed, near tears as she and Billy reached yet another empty room, filled with nothing but the dried blood and dead remains of the people who once lived there.
" We're never going to find her... The one time Citan actually depends on me... And I let him down..." Maria buried her face in her hands, trying to hide her tears from the concerned Billy.
" Hey..." Billy wrapped an arm around Maria, offering her what little comfort he could. " Its not that bad. You didn't try to shoot his wife afterall..."
His ill-timed humor has the reverse effect, causing Maria to break down into heartbroken sobs. " But you didn't lose his daughter!! Oh god!!"
" Don't cry to God, Maria... He won't hear you because he's not there ." Billy stated solemnly, letting her go as to put some distance between them. He sighed deeply, his sky blue eyes scouring his former home almost with disgust.
Maria managed to stop crying and looked up at Billy curiously. In all the time she had known him, he had been the most faithful of the group, putting all his faith and trust in God. But now... " Billy ?..." She whispered in disbelief. What is happening to you?
Billy chuckled to himself before turning back around and facing Maria. " I wouldn't worry about it, Maria. I'm sure Midori is waiting for us back at the Yggdrasil, laughing her silly little head off. I bet she didn't even leave the ship to begin with ."
Maria wasn't one to give into wishful thinking, she'd already met with too much tragedy in her life and was fearing she had inadvertantly caused Citan more grief. " Let's just keep looking... Until I know she's safe..."
Beads of perspiration were making small trails down Yui's forehead as she braced herself against the table next to her bed for support, not caring that the blood of her recently reopened wounds was seeping through her thin chemise and down her bruised skin. She was delirious and that small child's screams echoing throughout her mind were shaking her very soul. It was almost a maternal extinct, she had to save the child. " My sword... Where is my sword?.." She rasped out, finding it increasingly difficult to breath. Her bloodshot eyes found what she had been so desperately seeking laying in the corner beside her closet. Pacing herself, Yui let go of the table and reached for the sword.
" Sister Yui !!" Mary shrieked in fright when she caught sight of Yui collapsing to the floor when she opened the door.
In a haze of pain, Yui could make out a man rushing past Mary. Citan reached her side within a heartbeat and gently took her into his arms. " Yui... Oh god..." He was brushing her hair out of her face and checking her vitals, all while lifting her onto the bed.
"... Will she be alright ?" Mary whispered, trying to hold back tears.
Citan looked back at the girl, his face emotionless but his dark eyes a gammit of emotions. " I..." He trailed off. Now that he had finally found her, was he going to lose her?...
" The girl... I have to save the girl..." Yui insisted, trying to get back up. In her confusion, she weakly resisted the man trying to hold her down on the bed.
" Sister Yui, all of the children are fine. Anna and I hid them from the Wels, we're all safe ." Mary tried to sound reassuring, for Yui's sake.
" Yui, relax ." Citan commanded softly as he attempted to hold her still.
" No... The girl... She's calling for her father... She's in trouble..." Yui's breathing was becoming more shallow by the second as her body continued to grow weaker in her struggle against Citan.
" Sister Yui, the children are all safe. I promise ." Mary insisted.
" No... She's screaming... She's hurt... She won't stop crying for her father..." Yui finally closed her eyes as she lost consciousness, leaving Mary in confusion and Citan in fear. Deep down in the pit of his stomach, a sickening feeling was developing. Something, perhaps buried deep down in his very soul, was telling him that Midori was in trouble.
Citan let go of Yui for a second and closed his eyes, praying he could mentally speak with Midori from this distance. He himself hadn't been blessed with the gift of telepathy like Yui and Midori, but he had discovered he could reach them at times and speak with them mentally, especially Midori. He just prayed it was one of those times. **Midori. Sweetheart, its daddy, answer me. Midori?** The deafening silence he was greeted with was enough to make him regurgitate. Perhaps he was too far underground to be able to speak with Midori back on the Yggdrasil. Maybe she was still taking her nap back where he left her. Maybe, just maybe, Yui was hallucinating. He was now faced with a dillema, either leave and see if Midori was alright, or stay and treat Yui's wounds before it was too late. He trusted Maria and Billy, they wouldn't allow something to happen to Midori. After a heart-rendering inner debate, Citan opened his eyes and began searching for the supplies to dress Yui's wounds, the whole time hoping and praying his trust in Maria and Billy was great enough to protect Midori.
" I hope she's okay..." Maria whispered from behind Billy as the entered yet another room.
" Hoping isn't going to find her, Maria. We've just got to keep looking. Midori can take care of herself ." Billy stated flatly.
Maria's dark green eyes narrowed at Billy briefly before he could see her expression. " You're right, Billy. Good intentions never got anybody anywhere, did they?" Maria replied solemnly.
Billy sighed. " I didn't mean to sound so cold, Maria. Its just--"
They were both taken aback by suprise when they heard the slightest whimper of a young child. Maria pushed past Billy as she rushed toward the source of that minute sound, her heart pounding in her ears. " Midori? Midori, is that you ?"
" Maria, wait ! You don't know what's in there !" Billy shouted as Maria ran into the next room. Gun in hand, he chased after her almost in fear. But fear of what?
Maria dropped dead in her tracks when she caught sight of Midori hiding under an old, decrepit chair; her emotionless brown eyes fixated on something none existant, her small legs drawn up to her chest protectively. Maria recognized this scene all too well. Seeing Midori in this trance brought back memories of her own tragic past. Mother... Father... No! Maria shook her head, now was not the time to be dwelling on what could not be changed. The only thing Maria could hope for was that she could help Midori get through this like Citan and Yui had got her through it so many years ago. " Midori? Midori, its me, Sister Maria ."
Billy reached Maria's side as she bent down beside the chair. " What's wrong with her ?" He whispered in disbelief.
Maria waved her hand to silence him. " Midori... Come here, baby. I'm going to take you--"
" NOOO!!!" Midori screamed when Maria reached out to touch her. " Don't touch me !!" She kicked at Maria until she backed away into Billy's feet. " Just leave me alone!! Leave me alone !!"
" Midori--" Maria began but was quickly cut off when Billy pushed her against the wall and knelt down beside her to cover her.
Billy and Maria's eyes lit up in suprise as Sigurd and Ramsus were both falling back into the room, caught up in the heat of battle. Sigurd cracked his optical whip at the feet of an incoming Wel as Ramsus took a defensive stance against the wall. Ascertaining the newest situation, Billy jumped up and quickly fired off a single round. The Wel fell down dead. Ramsus and Sigurd quickly shot around to face their former commander's son first in suprise, then in relief. " Billy, as glad as I am to see you, what are you doing down here ?" Sigurd inquired as he and Ramsus sheathed their weapons.
Billy scratched his head in thought. " Well, Siggy..."
Maria quietly stood up beside him, her green eyes full of grief. " Its Midori..." They both stood aside as Sigurd and Ramsus approached them to Midori back in her trance under the chair. " She was like this when we found her. She snuck off from the Yggdrasil and we went after her ."
" Maria tried to pick her up so we could get out of here, but she just went ballistic, I've never seen her like this ." Billy added solemnly.
Sigurd took a deep breath and knelt down beside her. He momentarilly closed his eye, while the others, minus Midori, waited patiently. " She isn't going to budge from the spot unless Hyuga is the one that moves her. She'll refuse to acknowledge anyone else ."
" Okay... But where the hell's Hyuga ?" Ramsus inquired.
Billy and Maria both groaned in unison, realizing Citan was going to find out about their little mishap afterall.
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