Rise of Glie Chapter 10

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Previous: Rise of Glie Chapter 9: Master

FHD Remix: The Rise of Glie

Chapter 10: Back to Work

"Stanley, I'm serious!" she screams.

Aware jolts into his new world, rolling onto his slide and wincing as he feels something sensitive slip under his shoulder. Oh, yeah, wings, he remembers.

"He serves all of us by what he's doing," a man bellows just outside the window, "We need him doing what he was doing before!"

Aware remembers now, her name is Keepsie and his is George. The clock says 7:34, just over an hour from when it was supposed to sound.

"You starve with him, if I find him idle," Kasei grunts.

"On behalf of the cooks," George says.

"And farmers," Yulie interjects.

"I have to say that you are pushing your luck, Kasei," George growls.

Aware sits up in his bed, rubs his eyes and eyebrows and feels the energy of dawn seep back into his new body. The argument outside quietly disperses.

"Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to let you sleep in," Shiden says quietly from the stove on the other side of the open door.

"Oh," Aware says, "I was hoping to get the first trip of your materials for the bridge loaded by eight-thirty. I need more than eighteen minutes to get dressed, eat, and convince Jones that I'm not carting them off to Old Home or the Temple."

"Temple?" Shiden asks as Aware crawls into his coveralls.

"The humans have been calling Tower Four the Haibane Renmei Temple as though some council meets in there," Aware sighs, "Or some such ... I don't know why they call it that."

"Oh, well," Hagane smiles as he comes back inside. He slumps into his chair as though at the end of his day and not the beginning. "Thus ends the reign of Iroka Kasei," he sadly announces.

"It's my fault, isn't it?" Aware asks as he slips into a chair where a small bowl of multi-grain porridge indifferently awaits its fate.

"It's his own," Hagane says, "Being in charge is his joy, but actually leading is something he puts up with."

"Leading?" Aware asks after his first spoonful.

"What you're doing," Shiden whispers, "Leading is a service to everyone, and I've seen you gently guide, making quiet suggestions while ducking Kasei."

"Oh," Aware blushes, "Nobody listens."

"They only pretend not to," Shiden says, "I've seen only a few actually follow them."

"Well ... each has his own style," Aware says, "There is rarely a single best way to do something. Despite being whipped by Stanley and Kasei so, the humans want to rebuild the dyke as quickly as possible. They want their city back so badly, I can feel it whenever I'm near them."

"And I follow them because I want it," Keepsie says through the door, "Mind if we come in?"

"Standing room only," Hagane warns, "but sure, come on in."

Keepsie steps in, "Aware, you-" she takes a breath, "are not going to believe this."

Stanley pops his head around the doorway, "Hi."

Aware almost jumps, "Come to badger me in my place of rest, have you?" he accuses.

"No, no," Stanley says hastily, "I realized the dyke we're building ... Please, may I come in?"

"It's okay," Keepsie assures him, quickly closing the door behind Stanley as he stands just barely inside it.

"The dyke we're building is flawed," Stanley whispers, "badly flawed. I need some help to get the design fixed." Stanley unfolds a small piece of paper, "I know because somebody left this on the plan table two days ago. I was hoping you could tell me who." He sets it down on the table.

Aware stares at the paper for a few seconds, then rises from his unfinished porridge, "Excuse me."

Back still pressed against the door, Stanley seems worried, almost dejected, "I need to know."

"I need you to believe my answer," Aware says as he rummages through his bedding in the next room. He comes back and sets two similar sheets beside his first. "Please believe the numbers," Aware says, "I do my calculations in the morning dew on the window pane because we have so little paper."

"Actually," Stanley says, "You were my first guess," he puts his hand on Aware's shoulder, then whispers, "Master Aware."

Aware is pale, trembling, and petrified.

"I see you've improved it further," Stanley notes. He pulls out several pages of paper, "We're not in a big hurry, and you'll need to do it on your spare time, but please: Make a new copy, and a page of calculations."

"These things are very complex, as you doubtless know," Aware says, "My design is nowhere near finished, and I need to know more about stoneforge, including how much is available."

"One hundred, forty tonnes," Shiden says, "That's all we can get from all of-"

"Glie," Hagane offers, "Sorry, I don't know where that came from."

"As good a name as any," Stanley says. He extends a hand to Aware, "I'm glad to have you on our team as we build the city of Glie."

Next: Rise of Glie Chapter 11: Laid to Rest

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