Rise of Glie Chapter 49

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Previous: Rise of Glie Chapter 48: A New Rule

FHD Remix: The Rise of Glie

Chapter 49: Touchy Topics

"Is there anything wrong, sir?" Taka asks the apparently preoccupied Washi seated at the desk.

She's really embarrassed at the notion that the crows have been trying to sign in Toganese with their feet for her for months and she hasn't even noticed. She finds herself glad of the mask. The crows are probably laughing their estriges off.

"No," she says at last, "Anyway, I'm not usually the talkative one in conversations-"

"Neither am I," the boy smiles. After a moment, he asks, "Are you in on the war, sir?"

"What war?" the Washi asks.

"The war," Taka says.

After a moment, the Washi nods. Jabez cut nice new wooden wings, but he doesn't have the ability to make them alive like those of a haibane.

"Kiniiri got pretty excited when he started seeing the stuff of my dreams at the gate this morning," Taka says. "We live on a planet," he explains, "The second one around the sun; it follows a circle every year. I've noticed how the stars move every night because of it. Ours used to be the third planet, but the original second planet disappeared a hundred, eleven years ago. Not long before that, the oceans were blue and the land was green. The war has been on ever since the first beings on two green planets sinned. On this one, humans ate from the tree that they were told not to: the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. On the other, haibane with wings, I mean huge wings, took from its stand, the baton of responsibility, which they were told not to touch. These acts introduced sin and death, and the two great enemies could start The War: Shaitan on this world, Maledict on the other. Both are now here on this planet, trying to wipe us out. Now both planets are red. Thirty-five years ago, a great battle happened here, where the wall was broken down and at the end of the battle, rebuilt, and the sky was sealed. The enemy has always despised that we are made in God's image, because they despise God. After the sky was sealed, they began to hate the birds who could fly where they themselves no longer could. God is bringing all the surviving birds here."

After a minute, Washi says, "Is that all?"

"No," Taka says, "I could go on for days, and I keep learning more every night."

"Anything about where the wall came from?" Washi asks.

"No," Taka says, "But perhaps the song of the wall might give you a clue."

"Song?" Washi wonders.

Taka clears his throat and starts singing:

Never once have you failed to say to us, "Oh, we thank you."
No, never once, we thank you.
We're sorry to leave you, it has been a pleasure.
We hope that you make it. Try to find us later.

And that's all he has to offer about the wall.

"Anything about something called <<Campbell?>>" Washi asks.

Taka slowly shakes his head. After a few moments, he adds, "The universe is very big. There could be many things in it."

Washi remembers that she should probably test the boy's dreams, "Anything about a man with holes in his hands?"

"Oh!" Taka seems almost surprised, "Well, yes, that was the first thing I dreamed about after the birds. The Saviour. His death gave us the power to win this war. He gave his life for us, and we lose when we don't respond in kind for his gift."

"Hmm?" Washi prompts.

"We give our lives for him," Taka finishes.

"Well," Washi says, "That's about the only thing that jibes with what I know, but hey. The universe is very big, like you said."

"What sort of things do you know?" Taka asks.

"I can't tell you much," Washi says, "and most people can't handle these sorts of things, anyway. God brings us the haibane from past lives, and of those I have a few details. I know about some of the local details of the area outside the wall, and what's attacking us."

"Where the Toga come from?" Taka asks.

"Hmm?" Washi is pretty nervous.

"Well, you asked about the Saviour," Taka smiles, "I didn't think I'd have to tell you about where the Toga come from."

"You don't," Washi says, "and you shouldn't either. It is about as touchy a subject as any you can imagine."

"The crows," Taka giggles, "I have quite the imagination."

"You do," Washi says cautiously.

"I'm going to miss my mice," Taka says out of the blue, "I'm starting to like them."

"Mice?" Washi asks, then realizes, "Oh, those smelly little fuzzy things that like to get into everything? What the heck are you raising hundreds of those little pests for, anyway? And don't let Stanley find out, either."

"More birds are coming," Taka says, "And they eat mice. Best be prepared."

"I miss Aware," Fushoku grumbles as he struggles to reassemble the prototype computer. He's just upclocked it based on Hane's stability improvements.

"So do I," Hane sighs as she nurses a used fruitbox computer to life to run the diffusion oven, "I miss you too, though, since now you're like vanishing into his paperwork."

"Yeah," he answers, "but he was really good at putting these beasts together too." He sets his screwdriver aside and then reaches for the soldering iron. He makes his connection, and then sets the soldering iron in its stand, turns on the computer, seeing a series of messages showing that he has finally gotten the replacement module installed properly.

Teisei quietly slips into the room and asks, "Hi, fellas, how are you guys doing?"

"Seventeen down, three steps to go on getting this thing up to Mod 14," Fushoku grumbles, having opened the computer up again to complete step eighteen.

Teisei sighs, "Aware would have been done over an hour ago."

"I know," Fushoku sighs, then reaches for a volt probe. After reaching into the computer and making something snap, he touches the voltmeter probe against something at the edge of the main circuit board and says, "Eighteen."

"You'll get used to it," Teisei says, "I hope we get someone as nice and as skillful as Aware again soon." He turns to Hane and says, "You're getting good at this, you probably wouldn't believe the yields we're getting. I think we can tackle five microns before we need to move to the other wing."

"Whatever we settle on will be the production model for quite a while, since it'll take Stanley's crew a whole year to finish it," Hane says, "and I wonder how long this'll last."

"How long what will last?" Teisei asks.

"Well," Hane answers, "We're fighting a radiation that damages these computers, and I have a feeling that it is building up and will eventually defeat all of our efforts to fight it. When that happens, we're out of business. Could be a few centuries, but maybe it'll be only a few years."

"Done," Fushoku announces as he closes the computer. It runs for the first time since the day before, now some 20% faster.

"Yay!" Hane cheers as it comes back up. After this, they return to their production jobs until lunch.

"I think Aware probably would have gotten it done yesterday," Fushoku sighs as he crawls out of his cleanroom bunny suit.

"I didn't want to say anything," Hane smiles as she plates up lunch at the stove, it being her turn to cook today.

"Um, hi?" Kiniiri pops his head in around the corner from outside.

"Oh," Teisei notices, "Hi, Kiniiri, come sit down."

As they do, Hane brings the food, "What brings you here?"

"Oh," he blushes, "I hadn't seen Aware in a while, and remembered that he works here. Then I remembered when I had walked more than half the distance from Old Home. I decided maybe I should try to find a job here, now that all the chickens have been adopted."

"It'll take a while to learn anything," Fushoku says, "Since it's pretty skilled work, but er..."

"Aware did all the things that didn't require a whole lot of skill," Teisei explains, "Well, except for leadership and materials ordering."

"And assembly," Fushoku grumbles, stuffing a pile of rice in his mouth with his chopsticks.

"So, yeah," Hane says, "We'll get you started on moving stuff around, today. We have a pretty ambitious production goal. Do that for a few days, and we'll start training you on something next week."

Kiniiri smiles, "Thanks."

Next: Rise of Glie Chapter 50: Over Sushi

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