Rise of Glie Chapter 49
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FHD Remix: The Rise of Glie
Chapter 50: Over Sushi
She seems very content on her perch, her head on a swivel, as though expecting her prey to be as fearless of the haibane as she herself.
"What is it?" Fushoku whispers.
"I think she's what was called a Great Horned Owl," Taka whispers back, "She's more patient than I am."
"I bet," Fushoku whispers, watching her look around, "Isn't that uncomfortable?"
"She's not as heavy as she looks," Taka quietly groans, "Most of that is feathers. Still, I'm hoping she finds a better perch. My halo isn't always going to be available." Taka's standing there, looking up at the owl's talons only a few inches above his head, at the apparently very comfortable owl perched on his halo, "Maybe she's warming her feet up after the trip here. It was probably a pretty cold trip for her."
Suddenly, the owl launches into flight, setting Taka's halo wobbling.
"I'm glad the Golden Eagle didn't try that," Taka whines, "Those things are huge!"
"I was going to ask what happened to your mice," Fushoku says.
Taka smiles, "They're going out in a blaze of glory. I raised them for this, after all."
"Sounds like you are getting used to this," Fushoku smiles, "Come on, supper's getting cold."
Once inside Old Home's little dining hall, and Taka gets to see what it is, he whines at Fushoku, "Supper's getting cold? Sushi is supposed to be cold."
That gets a laugh out of Kiniiri, "Maybe you should have come in sooner, bro. That owl'd probably love sushi."
"I wouldn't count on it," Taka says as he randomly grabs a hand cone. "Who's idea was this?" he remarks with delight after a bite.
"Mine," Hane says, "We take turns cooking for everyone," she explains, "A day at a time. It's Fushoku's turn tomorrow."
"I have chicken in mind," Fushoku says, "I hope you don't mind."
"Not really," Taka says, "I'm almost in a mood for owl."
"Ahhhhh," Fushoku coos, "But what about what's going to go with it? Peas, carrots, sauteed onions, skinny noodles, and string beans."
"Not those big fat ones, I hope," Kiniiri sighs.
"Yup, the big fat string beans," Fushoku smiles, "I'll hide them under the onions, you won't even notice."
"I noticed them last time," Hane says as she sits down with another platter of sushi treats, "I just didn't say anything."
"How long do you think the computers will last?" Taka asks.
"Well, the transistors are lasting three years on the ground," Fushoku says, "None have failed under operational conditions yet. The little one we had come back that Hane's adapting to the oven had a board crack because someone out there dropped it."
"Or threw it," Hane says, "Those things are not so easy to break, you know."
"What causes them to fail?" Taka asks.
The other haibane seem rather nervous at this question.
"I know already," Taka says, "I just don't know what it's called. It's part of the environment outside the wall."
"You know the Toga actually sell Glie's air?" Kiniiri points out, "They have a compressor at their camp and sell bottles of our clean air to keep that stuff out of the computers. So, what do you call it?"
"Uh," Fushoku says, "The world out there is pretty..."
"Harsh?" Taka says, "I know. Those chickens didn't migrate over three thousand miles of arctic wasteland for nothing, you know." He leans in close, "Tell you what, you tell me what the poison that doesn't let them build their own computers is called, and I'll draw you something from my dreams."
"Bushi no Shito!" Kiniiri suggests cheerfully. *
"This isn't the sort of thing we normally discuss at supper," Fushoku points out.
"You're right," Kiniiri says, "Bushi no Shito's definitely not into sushi."
"He'd probably just pluck the fish right out of the stream and swallow it whole," Taka says quietly.
"Wait a minute," Teisei gasps, "Taka, is this thing real?"
"Well," he says slowly, "yes."
Teisei turns to Fushoku and asks, "Could it have been what you saw Washi dealing with that-"
"No," Kiniiri says, "Bushi no Shito's bigger. A lot bigger."
"So," Taka asks again, "What's that stuff called?"
Fushoku sighs, has one last bite, then whispers, "It's called delta radiation."
"Thanks," Taka says warmly, "Oh. I think you've said that once before," he blushes, "I'll still have a portrait of Bushi no Shito for you next Wednesday. Just one piece of advice though."
"Hmm?" Fushoku prompts over a sip of tea.
"Don't ever show it to Tiindare," Taka says with deadly seriousness.
"Oh," Kiniiri seems to remember why, "yeah."
"I better not show it to anyone," Fushoku says.
"Not Janice, that's for sure," Hane says quietly, "She told me about a battle that took place about thirty-five years ago. She's probably seen them in person."
Taka seems somber at the news.
Fushoku notices this and says, "Taka, you know about that?"
Taka nods, "I've seen a lot in my dreams. God showed me the whole thing. There's a city buried under downtown, most people have forgotten that it even exists."
"You should have seen the look I got from Kenny when I asked about it," Kiniiri says, "I think I scared him half to death."
"Do yourselves a big favor," Fushoku says, "Don't ever bring that up with the humans. The Haibane Renmei got into a lot of trouble over those events. We'll be a lot better off if the humans forget about it completely. And trust me, they want to."
- Author's note: "Bushi no Shito" is my translation of "Hell Knight" into Japanese. In Doom 3, you first encounter them on the nineteenth level: they are about twelve feet tall and do forty points of damage with several different types of attack on the Veteran difficulty level. I've actually killed one with a pistol (on the Veteran difficulty level), although they're brauny enough to warrant a two-point charge from a BFG if you have that. There are about twenty-five in the game. It's hard to tell, but the Kikotsu no Rittae... ...sorry... Soul Cube, only barely kills it with one hit.
Next: Rise of Glie Chapter 51: An Old Friend