FHD Remix Chapter 11
Previous FHD Remix Chapter 10: Your Name Is Battle
Chapter 11: A Healing Touch
"I'm scared to move my arms," Yaiba moans as she wakes up face down on the guestroom bed.
Tatakai finishes preening her wings. After cleaning the room, Menmo returned to finish up her left wing as Tatakai moved around the bed and cleaned her right wing. Except near the roots where the skin still bleeds slightly, they are a brilliant white. "They are responding with your arms," Tatakai explains, "so you were obviously human in your previous life. Menmo and I both had full control of our wings right away, but almost every haibane has to figure out how to separate their arms and their wings."
Kurai, who has arrived with Yaiba's new halo, sighs, "Like Tatakai, your wings are a soothing, perfect white."
Shimoni says, "Yaiba, it's all uphill from here. It only takes a few days for your back to heal up, and you should also figure out how to separate the commands of your wings and arms by then, too."
Tatakai offers, "Here, let's set you up." With her wings scrunched up similarly to her arms, Yaiba gets up onto her rump with Tatakai holding her arms. To keep clothing out of the wings' way, Tatakai had replaced her cocoon robe with a halter top, the big bow of which look almost like canards above her wings.
Yaiba looks up at Tatakai's glowing halo and asks, "Do I get one of those too?"
"Right here," Kurai says, opening the mould and removing it with the tongs.
"First," Tatakai says as she crouches in front of her and takes her hands. "God has brought you here for a reason, probably something like mine."
"I'm no warrior!" she cries.
Tatakai shakes her head, "Blades do other things ... and it's clear that Glie needs only one defender with the walls and the Saviour's light at her command. Perhaps you still need to discover your purpose." With a sigh, she adds, "It took me five months."
Kurai places the halo over her head, still holding onto it, "This halo is a light to guide your walk as a Haibane."
Tatakai finishes, "Cherish your place in the Saviour's hand ... otherwise your halo won't stay."
Yaiba closes her eyes, and nods. The halo moves with her head as she does so, and pulls the tongs from Kurai's grip. Tatakai catches them. "Very good," she smiles, "I had mine land on my head."
Very loud banging on the door, and someone yells, "Emergency! Open up!"
"Joe," Menmo sighs, "from the community watch. This can't be good."
She gets it. Two of the Young Feathers (Haibane kids) are being led by the human watchmen. "They ran off into the woods, I found them next to the wall. We'll decide their punishment later," he says as he tosses them into the room, "If they need any more than the wall gives them."
"Joe!" Tatakai protests, "It's not punishment, it's sickness! It's a consequence of touching the wall."
Menmo recoils when she touches the two children.
"I feel fine, really!" one of them protests.
"Not to us," Tatakai says as she closes the door, "You two are so cold that I can feel a draft on my feet."
"Kurai, Shimoni, you know the drill," Tatakai sighs.
Kurai grabs the ring mould, "Might as well return this," and dashes out.
Tatakai pulls the dust cover off a strange device and hits its power switch. "What’s that?" Joe asks.
"A radio," she explains, "I got it from Furugia [the thrift store] ... it was no good to them after the station shut down twenty years ago."
Joe asks, "You mean that box that music comes out of? It doesn’t look a thing like it!"
"Does if you ever saw it with the back off," Tatakai says, "I’ve rebuilt it to transmit. The Communicator has one. These six oscillators represent the six fingers of the Toganese language, recreating its sixty-four basic characters. This way, I can get him a message in about two minutes."
"How does that work?" Joe asks.
"Well," Tatakai crosses her arms like a Toga, "You can bend four fingers, one thumb, and use either hand." She draws for him two characters, one left-handed and one right-handed, then signs them to show him how they work. The four horizontal strokes represent the fingers and can be bent or straight. The vertical stroke represents the thumb and which hand, bent if its wrapped over the top of the fingers, straight if it is not. Which side of the finger strokes indicates which hand.
[Author's note: This is based on Haibane Renmei Episode 11, where Rakka figures out how to sign Kuu's toganese name. I'm pretending that the characters that can't be represented with this system can either represented by multiple basic characters, like furigana represents kanji in the Japanese language, or that they don't exist at all.]
Tatakai flips a switch on and off. "About one minute for mine to power up, and one minute for his. Now, he’s probably noticing that the carrier relay has triggered, and his radio will be powering up on its own because I told it to."
"So, the Haibane Renmei already know something is up?" Joe asks.
"Yes," Tatakai answers. With a sigh, she adds, "This is garbage compared to what I’m used to. At the end of my previous life, they could minitiarize these," she points to one of the half a dozen faintly glowing vacuum tubes, each the size of a thread spool, "to the point where they could fit a twenty sextillion of them on a piece of glass the size of your pinky fingernail."
Tatakai turns to Yaiba, "It sure beats nothing."
Yaiba asks, "What about your weapons?"
Tatakai shakes her head, "Not in front of the children, please."
Yaiba then asks, "Let me see them ... come here you two."
Yaiba touches their hands and recoils, "My God!" she gasps. "Somebody, a sewing needle, hurry!" she orders.
Tatakai grabs a pincushion and hands it to her. Yaiba selects a pin and holds the hand of the slightly larger child, about to prick his finger. He cringes.
"Tell me if this hurts," she asks. Yaiba drives the needle into his finger and pulls out, the tip slightly reddened.
"Oh!" the child smiles, "that didn’t hurt at all!"
Yaiba, rubbing the almost clear fluid onto her finger, does not smile. She sets the needle down and selects another, repeating the procedure with the other child.
"Even worse," she moans.
"What’s wrong?" Tatakai asks.
"They’ve each taken at least four thousand body units of delta radiation," Yaiba answers.
Tatakai says, "Let me try to understand ... a body unit is one ... enough to cool water by a thousandth of a degree?"
"Ah! I get it," Tatakai cheers, then slumps, "Oh ... crap!"
"You get it, don’t you?" Yaiba asks, "Even if Kurai’s gone to get units of fresh Katia factor and universal stem cells, she’s wasting her gas."
"Are we going to die?" one of the kids softly asks.
"Let’s try this," Yaiba says, "I’ll hold your hands, and we’ll pray for help from the Saviour."
She takes a hand of each of them, and then says, "Our loving Saviour, send us your light. I can’t fix this, but I know you can."
Her wings start to glow, outshining her halo. Joe runs out of the building. Tatakai is at first surprised, but then smiles at the resemblance, but even she has to retreat at the light's brilliance.
The Communicator, still waiting for his radio to warm up, suddenly sees out the window, a light. He runs outside, where three Toga stand quivering as they see it. He realizes, it is coming from Old Home itself, probably the East Tower. He jabs all three and starts to signal to them.
"We may be under attack, get to your shelter stations." The Toga literally run at his command, something you wouldn’t think they were capable of by looking at them in their masks and robes.
<Why should I be so alarmed,> the Communicator thinks, <Glie has always been at war ... the walls make it so easy to forget that.>
The impressive flash of light, that has much of the town gawking at the sky over Old Home, fades away.
"Good thing it was daytime!" Tatakai cries.
Yaiba suddenly starts giggling uncontrollably. "You’re healed," she hugs one, then the other, "You’re healed." She’s giggling and crying at the same time. "You both would have been dead before the sun went down, even with the best I had before I came to this world.
"Don't ever go near the walls again," Yaiba orders. "Only Tatakai is allowed near them, it is forbidden for everyone else," she emphasizes, "even for me."
Tatakai then says, "Go to your rooms until tomorrow morning, that will be punishment enough."
The somber Young Feathers then leave.
Tatakai smiles at Yaiba, "You were a doctor before?"
Yaiba nods, "Yes ... we still hadn’t cured cholera."
"You were asking about my weapons," Tatakai says as she sits down. "I could ask about your medical kit," she smiles, "I’m pretty sure we’d have similar answers."
"The light of the Saviour," Yaiba sighs humbly. Yaiba sighs, "They touched the wall, that guy said." Yaiba looks up at her mentor and asks, "The wall that surrounds this town? ... How much of humanity is left?"
"My sister," Tatakai sobs, "Assume the worst for now ... I'll give you the details when I get back."
Tatakai, once making sure there is someone at the radio at the Temple, cancels the alarm, then then pats her new freind on the shoulder, "I think you've found your job, now I must go do mine."
As she leaves, she goes to turn her nametag over. The Haibane nametag is black, with the name on it painted in white on one side, in red on the other. The Haibane flips her nametag so that the white name faces out while she is in Old Home, the red side while she is away.
Tatakai's nametag is missing.
"Tsunami," she asks as the little girl walks by, "do you have any idea what happened to my nametag?"
Tsunami just shrugs, flipping hers to the white side as she returns from school for lunch, "Just make another one."
Next: FHD Remix Chapter 12: The Problem With Angels