Rise of Glie Epilogue
Previous: Rise of Glie Chapter 55: They Aren't Crows
FHD Remix: The Rise of Glie
The harsh times came again after seventeen generations of Wire Factory haibane. Seeking the humans' help, Aya let them take over Wire Factory's production leadership, and it was well, with both haibane and humans working in the same nest. The haibane would come, be mysterious to the humans, and mysteriously Leave the Nest again after just a few years. The humans became the continuity of Wire Factory, and only four generations of those passed before what was remembered for a long time as "The Siege."
The demands for production increased, and with them came inextricable complaints about the quality of Wire Factory's products, which did not change much at all during this time. Both wings were built up and producing the same final generation, "Series Three" 90nm microchips. As yields increased from 5% to 20% and eventually even as high as 90%, the complaints from the Toga also increased. No one could make sense of it, but everyone got the feeling that the Communicator and other wingless members of the Haibane Renmei knew what was going on.
Suddenly, they vanished. The Toga didn't show up one Tuesday morning. Those inside the wall were just as baffled as the humans and the haibane.
A few days later, in the summer, all mouths fell silent as the wall glowed with the light usually reserved for the Bell Nut Festival. No one knew what it meant.
With no more sales of the microchips through the Toga, Glie's economy collapsed, and the haibane were blamed. They were driven to the Temple, from which they Flew, one by one, until they were all gone.
The Toga were also driven away, but know one knows where they went. The humans never noticed that the crows were to be seen less often inside the wall.
Wire Factory, now useless, was abandoned, raided for anything that was useful, especially the air conditioning units that kept the human houses cool as the summers got hotter and hotter.
Years passed. It always seemed to be the same Communicator, the only one let out of the Temple, to stand at the gate and wait for the Toga every Tuesday while the community watch impatiently waited for him to give it up and go home.
One day, on schedule, to everyone's astonishment, the gate opened. Trade was reestablished.
Eventually, the Communicator revealed that there were new haibane in the Temple of the Haibane Renmei. Always, they would offer sage advice. Never were they trusted, but few noticed, never were they wrong. Those that did, like the clockmaster who occupied the workshop in the middle of Glie's main courtyard, at the lowest point in Glie, and also its tallest building, still far short of being able to see over the mute, unrevealing wall, had their reputations damaged for doing so.
Eventually, haibane who revealed their faces emerged. They were allowed to work. Menial jobs usually, but they did their work well, and often had remarkable ideas for how to do things. Sometimes they were appreciated, sometimes they were fired. They always had their nest to go back to. It never seemed like the haibane ever needed the humans, after all.
The clock tower in Glie is at the very middle of town, the tallest building, but far shorter than what you'd need to see outside the wall, and the tops of the wind turbines on the Hill of Winds peek above the horizon of the wall if you look really close in that direction from the clock tower's gallery.
Inside, the clockmaster is one of the few humans in Glie who believe in the potential of haibane. He's harsh on the one he hired because, "You have potential." It takes this boy a couple of years to appreciate this.
After five years of marriage, including almost nightly attempts, the clockmaster and his wife satisfy their desire to have children by purchasing the almost forgotten campus in the western suburbs called Old Home, and turning it into an orphanage. Since there were only five orphans in Glie, it was almost ideal for them.
While cleaning it up, the clockmaster's wife, affectionately called the "housemaster" by the children, is sweeping up one of the rooms with them, to teach them a good work ethic. To her surprise, the floor is damaged by a small blue plant, about the size, shape, and hardness of a coconut (although she wouldn't have described it that way since she had never seen a coconut.) After telling her husband about it, they decide to keep this "hard melon" a secret.
It grew, and grew, and grew, and the housemother and children moved the furniture out of the way and pulled up the beautiful green tiles to save them. They guessed what sort of fruit it would bear, if it would ever bear fruit. Would it take over the building? No one knew, but it eventually reached the ceiling, and even put roots into it.
The housemother only checked up on it every few days, since it did grow rather slowly, taking eight months to reach its current size from when she first found it. This day, while sweeping the floor, she heard crying and the dripping of water. Water had flowed into the hallway under the door.
Rushing inside, she finds a girl, lying on the floor, with long reddish-brown hair and trouble seeing. She wears a white robe and seems to be about eight human years old. The cocoon had been broken open, and was plainly the source of the little deluge.
"My God, you're a mess," she gasps, "Were you inside there?"
"I don't know," the girl sobs, "The last thing I remember was being left in a forest by my parents. I was supposed to guard the camp while they checked out some noise in the trees. My little brother was crying, and I hadn't had enough to eat, so I was dizzy." She winces, "And my shoulders, they hurt."
"That's what you remember?" the clockmaster's wife, or housemother, as the orphans like to call her, asks.
"My shoulders hurt now!" she bawls, "A tugging, something's trying to get out."
"What's your name?" the housemother asks.
"I don't remember," she sobs, "Please don't leave me, ma'am. It hurts!"
"What's that!" the housemother gasps as blood appears on the back of the robe of the crying girl.
"I don't know!" the girl cries, "What's happening?" She screams, and bloody wings tear through her skin and the robe she's wearing, scattering flecks of blood all over the room.
Old Home has a new haibane, or is she really? All the haibane they'd seen in town had halos. Welcomed as one of the orphans, the housemother cleaned her up, and she was helping out in just a few days, a very productive little girl with grey wings too small to fly with. The Communicator from the Haibane Renmei Temple showed up before her wings were fully recovered and, without uttering a single word, placed a halo on her head. That day, on the basis of the girl's remarkable memories, the housemother names her Kuramori.
Note: It is rare for me to wish for the destruction of my own writing, but I feel compelled to do so this time. I invite you to replace this epilogue with another installation of FHD Remix to span the 1030 or so years between FHD Remix: The Rise of Glie and the beginning of Haibane Renmei: The Ashfeather Federation events in this world (The earliest event is Reki's emergence, depicted at the beginning of the ninth episode.) Or maybe... ...just some small, or even random part of that enormous period. Another interesting period is the 54 years between Reki's Day of Flight at the end of Haibane Renmei: The Ashfeather Federation and Tatakai's emergence in FHD Remix: Three Worlds In One, a period where Rakka becomes the first Communicator who gets to keep her wings (or does she? Could there be some between Rise of Glie and Haibane Renmei?) There is also the broadly defined period between Kikotsu no Haibi, when the Soul Cube builds its city, and Tatakai no Haibi when it is destroyed. Haibane were very different in this period: a mixture of ex-featherwings who inhabited the Soul Cube, and the cocoon hatched haibane we are used to. Yoshitoshi ABe and Matthew Costello left only the vaguest of hints as to what this society was like (considering that the former wrote Haibane Renmei and the latter wrote Doom 3 (wrote, not programmed), it is remarkable how consistent they are.) It was highly structured and aristocratic, according to the rules spoken of in Haibane Renmei, and according to the findings of Dr. Pierce Rogers in Doom 3, of the ancient culture that built the Soul Cube on Mars during the First War. Perhaps you have some insight that I don't as to what happened to poor Taka II, and might want to put something between Chapter's 54 and 55 of Rise of Glie. (I referred to him as "Taka II" because there is a Taka in Battle of Haibi who was the city's de facto mayor.)
If you choose to do so, feel free to stray from the established outlines. When I wrote FHD Remix Chapter 48: The Deployment Story on 28 November 2009, I had no clue that one little paragraph in that chapter was going to expand into not one, but two FHD Remix novels, and that Tatakai's broad outline of those events were so wrong. If you write into the period between Deployment and Battle of Haibi, and do stray from the outlines, you may need to go to Chapter 47-48 of Three Worlds In One and change Haibi's files.