INTERLUDE 4: “Double Blind Survey.”
April 1st, 1619.
“I need your help with something,” Nahgi Llewellyn stated as she grabbed Mikari Yuki and pulled her over towards the wheelchair bound Kana Mayoi.
“Wait- what- what’s going on?” Mikari asked- even as a lot of background events began colliding together.
“Nahgi?” Kana asked, frowning as her friend shoved a small bag with something heavy in it into her hands. “What the hell is this?”
“Don’t open it,” Nahgi… No, Chief Llewellyn for right now. “Don’t even wonder what the hell it is.” She looked to Mikari and Kana, and ordered, “I don’t even want to know which of you takes it with you, or what either of you do with it. But this thing… it’s important. My dad told me to hide it just before-” There was a loud bang- followed by a flash of light in the distance… a few moments of song later, and then the wave of fire hit the shields above them.
But they were alive for the moment- and that was what mattered.
“If we survive this,” She continued over the roar of the fire and the furious singing of three children, “I need one of you two to hide this bag and the thing inside it. Permanently. Unless I ask for you to retrieve it again- Understood?”
The Imp and the Dragon nodded in understanding.
“Good…” And then, Chief Llewellyn turned to look over as Cah’le was lifted into the air by the ascension process. “Oh… what the fuck now!?”
And then she raced over as fast as she could to help Tyler as the girl came floating back to the ground.
Kana Mayoi looked to Mikari Yuki, and together, they waited out the blast of fire… once it was gone, the Detective sighed. “Well, Yuki, it looks like we’ve survived.”
“Yup,” Mikari nodded. “So… should you take it, or should I?”
“Yes, please,” Kana handed Mikari the bag, and it’s mysterious contents- oh who was Nahgi trying to kid, even? Kana had seen this bag and the stupid heart-stone in it before. If Nahgi really wanted a double blind situation to arise, then why bring her into it in the first place!? “I am in no way ready to take on another job like this after surviving a god-damned explosion and having my fucking wings cut off.” She grimaced. “I need a fucking vacation, is what I need.”
“Well, we might be getting one,” Mikari began, “It’s-”
“Mika’n!” The sudden use of her nick name caused the Imp girl to jump to attention. “Help me carry her somewhere safe.”
Mikari glanced over at Hecate and Hergie- when the HELL had they shown up?!- then back to Kana, who nodded from her wheelchair- and then hurried over to him with a “Sure thing, Bones!”
As she ran over, she made sure to stuff the small bag into her pocket satchel.
Kana sighed- and watched as Tyler and Mikari carried Cah’le off, much to the confusion of two of the creators of the world.
‘What the hell kind of novel are we even in anymore?’ She asked of herself as she watched everything transpire around her.
People weren’t hurt- not physically- but emotionally there was a lot of volatile feelings floating about. She herself was hurt, and being introspective, so…
‘Damn it,’ She sighed, ‘we’re in some kind of stupid epilogue chapter, aren’t we?’ Today just seemed to be the book that just wouldn’t end. By all sane logic and reasoning, they should have hit the last chapter back when Yaovi had saved them from Kyiahlnah’s two traps. The epilogue should have been her in the hospital, recovering safely…
“Hey,” And then a familiar voice spoke as a familiar hand rested on her shoulder. Kana looked over and saw her daughter smiling at her awkwardly. “You okay?”
“How long has it been since the explosion went away?” Kana asked.
“Uh, about seven minutes now?” Ayako would have shrugged, but she could sense this was a serious question.
“Damn it, I sat here for way too long just trying to figure out what kind of book we’re in right now,” Kana sighed. “I’m too tired for this shit.”
“Kaie’s talking with Chief Llewellyn right now,” Ayako said. “Tony and Tsukia are going to take Kendal and Miri to our apartment, do you want me to take you home to yours, or do you want to come with us, or…?” She trailed off, not really sure what else to offer.
“No, Aya,” Kana shook her head. “I’m not going to take up valuable space at your place. I can get home fine on my own.”
“Are you sure?” Ayako frowned.
“You ask that as if I’m not one hundred percent aware that you and Tony aren’t going to sleep the moment your heads hit the pillows,” Kana gave her daughter a slight smile- humor was the best thing to put forth in a situation like this, right?
(She ignored the subtle flare of phantom pain in her wings.)
“Eeee… Mom…!” Ayako giggled, blushing. “Alright, alright, I’ll go home. BUT!” She paused, raising a finger up dramatically, “I will come visit you in the morning to make sure everything’s alright- alright?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Kana smiled- it was a genuine one from the bottom of her heart.
And it remained there even as she watched Ayako, Tony, Kendal, Tsukia, and Miri head off towards the student apartments- following the same road Tyler and Mikari had.
As it faded, Kana Mayoi gave a sigh and looked over her wheelchair, trying to figure out how to get it to move on her own. “…I probably have to remove a parking break or something… right?”
“Yes, but it’s in the back-” And then there was her partner, Ranagi Kaie, coming up to her side. “These hospital wheelchairs insist on being two person deals. Something about safety regulations, I think,” He then muttered something under his breath as he unlocked said break on the back of the wheel chair and began pushing her forwards.
“Hey, I can make my own way home, Ranagi!” Kana protested.
“Of course you can,” her partner answered, “but Nahgi’s going to be working late sorting this whole mess out and she asked me to escort you home in her stead.”
“How chivalrous of her!” Kana scoffed. Maybe it was the stress of the day getting to her, but she certainly didn’t feel… well, much of anything right now. Certainly not the depression she’d been feeling in the hospital upon waking up and finding her wings missing.
She was just kind of numb, now… and yet, somehow she worked up the will to snark.
“Yeah, but you know she’s going to be stressed out once she comes back,” Ranagi remarked, “I don’t think I’m going to be getting much sleep tonight.”
“Neither will Aya and Tony,” Kana replied, which invoked a half-hearted scoff from behind her.
“I did not need to know that, Kana,” Ranagi tiredly protested as they started around a corner and up a hill. “Damn, these wheelchairs are not meant for off road, are they?”
“What do you mean by that?” Kana gestured at the road they were on- people were scattered about around them, walking the same paths. “We’re ON a road right now!”
“Well, I mean the Hospital floors are a lot smoother,” Ranagi explained his logic. “They don’t ever let the wheelchairs out of the hospital either, usually. So therefore, the roads exclusively traveled are the hospitals, and anything beyond those doors is off road… even if it’s a road.”
Kana laughed- she actually felt the humor reaching her and tickling at her insides. “That is so true- isn’t it?”