Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Into The Void ❯ Fragments of Memories ( Chapter 9 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
:: Into the Void ::
Chapter 9: Fragments of Memories
By: Melissa Norvell
Sari slept soundly against the white of a futon, lying on a wooden floor. The red-headed ninja she met only moments before sat on her knees beside of her, watching her sleep and explaining things to Ryouzonia as her tired eyes opened.
"And that's what happened," she finished the long explanation.
"I see," the blue bird said calmly. "Stay here as long as you'd like. I'm sure your friends will end up here as well." After all that the two girls had gone through, she would have felt terrible about rushing them out, or putting them out as soon as Sari was alright. She wasn't that type of person regardless. Anyone was welcomed at her place for as long as they liked. There was no such thing as overstaying their welcome.
Sari sat up and looked to her. "How are you so sure?"
"You need your rest," Ryouzonia advised, "lay back down, please." When she came there, she was barely alive. Moving too suddenly would have surely caused her worse injury.
"But how do you know that?" Sari protested.
"They'll eventually get sent to me. You should try to sleep. It's surprising that you weren't severely wounded with that type of weapons…Did you say it was an Illusionary Demon Wind?"
"That's what Udo said," Yaritza noted.
"Udo?" The bird questioned in disbelief. "You mean Rouma Udo?" What affiliation did the two of them have with that man?
"Yeah!" The spunky girl perked up. "That's his name!"
"He's wanted. He's the only one to use such a weapon also." Such people were those on the wanted posters that were plastered all over the Republic. Were these two trying to pursue the man, or were they working for him? Ryouzonia was on edge from the way that the two were talking.
"That's weird. Come to think of it, I've never seen a weapon like that myself," Sari said thoughtfully. She remembered Valentino telling her about it earlier, but she never thought that she'd get to see it in action that soon.
"Me either, but he controlled it like a master," Yaritza agreed. They barely got out with their lives because of that deadly thing. She wasn't too happy about seeing it again.
"He took me down like I was nothing…" Her eyes widened in realization. "Is this the guy Valentino said could beat him?"
'Because I'd believe it!'
"Well," Yaritza looked over to Ryouzonia, "we don't have to worry about him for a while, so let's just relax."
Hisamichi, Zidane and Loreli stood in a darkened room, shadows cast on all of their forms, making them seem morbid and serious in tone. Hisamichi was sitting cross-legged on the floor, Loreli was standing and Zidane leaned against the wall and lit a cigarette. It's glow hauntingly luminescent in the dark.
"Man, I need one of these."
"From the way you acted, I agree," Hisamichi looked up to him. The bald man raised a lot of hell back there. He was so mad it scared him, that was for sure.
"I do too," Loreli agreed, "and I can't stand those cancer sticks." She waved the smoke away from herself. Honestly, why did Zidane have to smoke them around her?
Hisamichi's eyes looked to the metallic floor, sadness dripping within the depths, "I can't believe that Udo is gone."
"He's not gone completely," Zidane looked to Hisamichi, cold, beady black pupils looking to the soldier on the floor, "he'll be back." Did he honestly think that this was Udo's last sonata? Even when he was punished, he was never down for too long.
Loreli remained silent and filled with sorrow as a flashback of the days of old ran through her head.
"Hey, you must be new here," a small child who was about twelve in age asked. His eyes were closed and hair was spiky and white as the freshly fallen snow.
"Yes…I'm scared," a small girl replied with shoulder length black hair. Fear laced in her voice and painted on her young features. She appeared to be the same age as the boy she was talking to. She gasped as she could feel small arms around her, hugging her protectively.
"It's okay," the boy reassured, "Hey, let me show you around."
"Okay…" The young girl blushed. "Can I…Hold your hand? You know…Um…So I don't…Uh…Lose you."
"Sure," the white haired child took her hand and caressed it gently with his own, creating a snug but warm grip. He smiled at the young girl in assurance.
"Not as much as you'd like to think," he looked down in shame.
"Well, you're nice to me," the young girl beamed as the male child smiled back at her.
"He means a lot to you, doesn't he Loreli?" Zidane took a drag off of his cigarette.
"Oh, it's nothing…We just grew up together…That's all…" She didn't feel like explaining it, but Udo meant a lot to her, more than she was willing to say. Besides, even if she did, they would have just poked more fun at her.
"You two have something special," Hisamichi stated kindly. He didn't know them for long, but even he could feel an aura about the both of them. Loreli and Udo were so kind to each other, like they had been dating for eons. He found it endearing.
Hazel eyes looked to him in confusion. "What do you mean?" Were the two of them really that obvious?
"You look guilty there, Loreli-sama," the red-head held a skeptical expression. Loreli should be so modest. She knew exactly what kind of relationship the two of them had.
"She loves him," the scar-faced man stated bluntly. It wasn't that much of a secret to him. If people couldn't see it, then they were blind.
"Zidane!" The girl threw her hands up to her cheeks and blushed a deep pink as Zidane chuckled to himself. Why did he have to say it in such a forward manner?
"Tell us," he proceeded. "What do you think about Udo-sama?"
"I…" She took her hands from her face, revealing her flushed cheeks. Loreli looked as if she'd been caught stealing and couldn't finish her answer.
"If you don't want me to tell him, I won't," Hisamichi teased. He could keep a secret.
"Okay, okay…But promise me, okay?"
"I promise," Hisamichi swore, putting his hand over his chest. He was good at keeping promises. Loreli wasn't going to be let down by making that choice in him.
"You too Zidane."
"Who the hell am I going to tell?" The man asked. Honestly, he could care less that she loved him, and he was far from a gossip. Like hell he wanted to rub shoulders with any of the scum he worked with enough to befriend the little backstabbers.
Pink lips curved into a playful smile, "I was just giving you a hard time."
"So…" Blue eyes went shifty.
"Okay, okay! He's…Um…" Loreli blushed. "He's good looking…"
"Good looking?" Hisamichi questioned, as if she could do better in description.
"Yes, good looking," the hazel eyed girl put her hands on her hips, "and I liked him when we were close. He has beautiful eyes and soft hair…He has…A um…." She put a finger to her lips in contemplation.
"Nice body? Nice penis? Nice face? What?" Hisamichi ran the questions past in a hurry, almost running them together. Zidane's eyes widened a little on noticing what he said.
"Um…" The short haired girl thought for a few moments before running the questions through her head a bit slower as her features turned into angry ones upon noticing Hisamichi's choice of words. "What?"
"Uh…" Hisamichi looked guilty. "I said nice pe-"
That was all he could get out of his mouth before he was tackled and pummeled with a pair of feminine fists. How dare he even mention the fact that she would take a look at his genitals.
"That's what I thought you said! For your information I've never even seen that part of him!" She fumed. What on earth possessed him to say something so perverse?
"But you want it, right?" The red-head aged on playfully.
"Well, you can't leave it behind. It comes with his body," Zidane noted. "It's a package deal. I suppose you could just cut it off and leave it, but you might need it later if you want to populate."
Twin rivers of tears ran down Loreli's face. "Zidane…" The girl whined, "not you too…"
"Just saying," the man observed, "or you could be the type of girl who doesn't like sex…"
The woman's face flushed again. "No…"
"So you do?" Hisamichi taunted. This was amusing, and the fact that it was getting somewhere made it all the more entertaining.
"It doesn't matter," Loreli said lowly and shyly, "I mean…I think if he wants to…"
"In all seriousness, I think he needs it. Ever since he was a child he just hasn't been the same. I think he's shattered and just needs someone to pick up the pieces. He has everything he could ever want, minus two things-love and freedom."
"I haven't known him for long, but he's…Hmmmm…Gives me weird feelings," Hisamichi replied, in contemplation. "He's sadistic and tough. Definitely blood thirsty…But he seems sad and people like Shigeki-sama don't really like him."
"Shigeki is an asshole. He's just jealous because at the age of fifteen, Udo nearly killed him," Zidane grumbled. He wished that guy would have killed him. If there was anyone that Zidane wouldn't miss, Shigeki was that guy.
"Really?" Her eyes widened upon that realization.
"Shigeki said the wrong thing and Udo nearly snapped his neck. I've never seen Shigeki so scared. He looked like he pissed himself," the bald man smiled. "Ever since then he found Udo intimidating."
"Wow…" Hisamichi was in admiration. "Udo must be awesome!"
"He is," Loreli smiled.
"You'd think so, but you're right," Zidane agreed with Loreli. "You have to remember, however, he's taken the coffin before." This wasn't Udo's first rodeo. That's why he had so much faith that he would be alive and make a recovery after this little sentence.
"I know, but it broke him," Hazel eyes looked down in sorrow and pity for her crush. She was with Udo the last time he was confined to the coffin. The whole experience was traumatizing.
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," the scar-faced man replied nonchalantly. Punishment was no stranger to him, and the many scars he had proved that point.
"Or makes you more fearful," Hisamichi added. He saw how punishment could make someone paranoid or even traumatize them into not wanting it again. If he were to ever get some kind of punishment, he could say that he wouldn't walk away from it the same.
"Udo doesn't fear anything but that coffin. I think that's because the first time he was put in it, he went crazy," Zidane closed his eyes in nostalgia.
"I know…" Loreli's dejected voice came in. "I heard him…It was painful…He was crying hysterically…I wanted to help him…and afterwards….
She recalled that day as she and Udo sat on the floor of the same room that he was trapped in the coffin in. The room wasn't dark, however, but illuminated in pale yellow light. Udo was hysterical, sheer fear and panic ran through his body as he shook with delusioned paranoia. Loreli caressed his head in her arms as he wrapped his arms around her waist as he lay on the floor and shook with fear.
"Shhh…" She hushed in a gentle voice. "It's okay…I'm here."
Widened light blue eyes looked up to her, filled with a wild paranoia and fear, his voice was scarred and ragged. It produced unstable sounds as he spoke. "I'm not going back in there. I can't go back in there. Please…Don't make me go back in there!"
"I won't…I won't," Loreli tried to calm him down. Deep feelings of sympathy for his situation and the urge to comfort him coursed through her veins as she tightened her hug. "It's okay….I won't let them do that to you again."
"It was so horrible…He wasn't the same after that…"
The room fell silent after that sentence was uttered.
"So, that's why you're here. Man, you guys really got yourselves into something big," Yaritza noted upon hearing Sari's story of what her goal was and general information about her team mates.
"No joke," she sighed, "and I don't even know what Rubio wants or who he is. He does annoy me though."
"So, Rubio is the one who started this?"
"You're acting very brave by doing this," Ryouzonia complimented. "But are you sure you're capable of such an accomplishment?"
"Dunno, but we've got to try," Sari told her.
"Well, if I can-"Yaritza's voice was cut off by the sharp knock on the door. "Hm?" She turned her gaze to the door as Ryouzonia walked over to answer it.
Outside, Vincent and the rest of the team, who had been split up, ended up at the door step at the same time.
"So, you guys were told to come here too?" Vincent asked.
"They said she'd know," Ionna looked to the bounty hunter.
"Yes," Agata agreed, "they told me that too. But why isn't Sari with us? You'd think she'd be here."
Valentino was silent as the door opened slowly with a slight creek.
"Hello? May I help you?" Ryouzonia answered the door.
"Are you Ryouzonia?" The white haired woman asked.
"Yes, I am. Come in."
Upon walking in, everyone noticed that Sari was laying in the futon on the floor. She looked as if she had been in the little house for quite some time. They wondered how she got there, and if she was waiting for them.
"Sari?" Ionna asked as both of the girls looked back to her.
"You beat us here," Vincent noted. How did she know that they were all on their way to the same place?
Yaritza blinked in confusion and cocked her head. "You were having a race?" What kind of people were these guys? Sari sure hung around some eccentric people.
"Not really," the bounty hunter replied, "I'm just surprised that she's here."
"How did you find this place?" Agata asked.
"I took her here," Yaritza told them.
"Who are you?" Ionna questioned. "You're obviously not from the Republic." It wasn't common to see people in the Republic. It was a little strange that someone like her would be in such a place.
"Yaritza Tamara, middle class ninja and member of the Tamara Clan," the girl introduced herself.
"Your clan doesn't live too far from here," Ryouzonia educated. Members of the Tamara clan occasionally visited the Republic, they were quite welcomed there.
"Nope," Yaritza agreed. "I was just getting a few things from the village."
"It's nice to see you around."
"I thought you didn't like humans," Ionna butted in.
"I like humans just fine, but some of the members of the Baztok Republic feel intimidated by them," the blue bird stated. It wasn't as if they hated humans, but they had their reasons for being weary of them.
"I don't blame them," Sari said, "humans are mean."
"Why are you laying in bed?" Vincent interrupted. He had been wondering that the whole time and finally felt the need to say it.
"Quit interrupting Ryouzonia! Geez!" Sari scolded. "Rude!"
The elder continued, "the Tamara clan and the Republic of Baztok are allies. We have a Peace Treaty." If there was any group of humans that they did trust, the Tamara clan would have been them.
"Well, that means you'll protect each other," Agata, stated the obvious.
"But how can you tell if they're from the Tamara Clan?" Rubio questioned.
"We all wear metal rings in our hair," Yaritza pointed to the golden rings which swung with her head movement.
"Is that like an identification tag?" Rubio questioned further.
"We're not dogs," the ninja looked annoyed. "Our clan has been doing this for years. It's how we distinguish ourselves from others."
"Do the men wear them too?" Vincent asked.
"So, how did you two meet?" Rubio inquired further.
"I don't know. I just saw her being attacked and ran over to help her. I saved her life. She would have died."
"Do you have to say it like that?" Sari asked in unamusement. She wasn't really ready to have her failures put on display, especially in front of her team mates.
"Well, you know….It's true."
"So you ran into a group of terrorists?" Agata inquired seriously.
"What happened?" Vincent asked.
"There was only one person," Sari gave them part of the story.
"His name was Udo, but he won't be bothering us. He got punished by Ibuki," the red-headed ninja told everyone as Valentino's eyes slightly widened in realization.
"Not that I care," Rubio mentioned, noticing the assassin's expression, “but are you okay?" After all, it would be a dick move of him not at least ask about his girlfriend's killer's status.
"Just…Nothing," Valentino looked down.
"I did save her from Udo. He almost killed both of us but I did a replacement and got us out of there," Yaritza explained.
"You're lucky you weren't killed. Udo can defeat Valentino and he's the strongest of our team as far as I know," Agata stated.
"Maybe he'd work for us if he gets betrayed enough. That would be awesome," the bounty hunter said wistfully. They could do a shit ton of damage with a power house like Udo working for him. It might have just been a pipe dream, but anything was possible, right?
"Don't think for a minute that he'd work for anyone but Ibuki," Agata cautiously warned. Vincent was naïve if he really thought that was a possibility.
"It was wishful thinking."
"You okay Sari?" Ionna was concerned for her team mate's condition. If she ran into Udo, no doubt he injured her in some kind of way.
"Yeah…I'm fine, thanks."
"You coming with us?"
"What do you mean?"
"Want to take these guys on with us?" Ionna inquired. "We could use another man or woman on our team."
"Sure, we have to stop by my village first. I'd like to let my parents know."
A single glass coffin rested in a room. The lid had been pried off and lay against the side. Encased within the glass box was a sleeping figure surrounded by brightly colored flowers. This male figure looked dead in every way. A female was at his side, holding one of his lifeless, cold hands with her own. Her two male comrades were also present, standing slightly behind her, peering at the sight before them.
"I came here to tell you you're a major butthead and this proves I'm right," Zidane spoke.
"Well, do you know what my motto is?" Hisamichi questioned.
"If it doesn't move, eat it?"
"That's my old motto."
Loreli gently stroked Udo's lifeless hand, which was on the verge of blue in coloration. "It's cold," she murmured in grief.
"Man, he looks creepy there," Hisamichi acknowledged. "He looks dead."
"At least it doesn't smell in here. You know he's still alive," Zidane pointed out an aspect that wasn't so grim. It felt like they were at a funeral and the guy wasn't even dead.
"At least it doesn't smell like the one room, the training room," Hisamichi told him.
"That smells worse than the training room bathroom."
"Oh man, now that smells bad!"
"Udo-sama," a hand ran through a forest of white spikes, trailing down the soft, pale features of the undead's face. She could feel the ice cold texture of his skin beneath her fingertips. Blue eyes looked to the woman, who was caressing the carcass below as she leaned in to him, her face growing nearer and nearer.
"Um…Someone's getting lonely," Hisamichi said to himself. At this rate, he wondered if he should have just left the room all together and let the two of them have their private time.
"Hm?" Zidane looked over his shoulder, his cigarette smoke fading off into the darkness.
"After all that…I'm still here…Udo-sempai…." Hazel eyes held a surreal look to them as she lowered her head and gently brushed her lips against his, warming them with the touch and kissing him sweetly for a length of five minutes before pulling back and sitting him up, gazing into his features as he slept peacefully, "and I'll always be here." Her arms wrapped securely about his waist in a gentle and longing hug. "I wish you knew," she gently caressed his face once more as she leaned in for another kiss.
A gasp was heard at the unfamiliar voice and she, out of surprise threw the carcass back into the coffin in disbelief as Zidane chuckled to himself. Angry hazel eyes turned to Hisamichi, who had imitated Udo's voice, and poorly at that. The boy was laughing very hard at her as well, but he wasn't laughing anymore when he was beaten to a pulp by an angry Loreli.
"What do you know about Kayukus Mountain?" Ionna questioned.
"Many have advanced to the top, but as of recently, we've not allowed anyone to venture up Mount Kayukus," Ryouzonia advised.
"Why?" Agata asked.
"Because no one's ever returned."
"Do you think the terrorists have anything to do with it?" Valentino said lowly.
"More than likely. Maybe they have a base up there," the elder answered. That was the only thing that she could think of that would be a plausible answer to why they were witnessing so many mountain abductions.
"That means they've been taking hostages," Yaritza's voice was stern and serious. Who knew how many innocent travelers they had up there. They had to do something about it.
"We send search parties but they don't come back, so we've banned our village from the mountain."
"Let's go up there tomorrow and investigate," Sari said with determination. It was about time they had some action. She couldn't wait to kick some Ibuki troop ass.
"Sounds like a good idea," Vincent agreed. If there was any way that they could help, he was more than willing to lend a hand.
"We've got permission, right?" Agata looked to the elder in question.
Ryouzonia looked down, "sure, but I'll go with you." She didn't want the group to end up as hostages themselves. Going with them was the only way to ensure what really would befall them, and find the answer of what had befallen the others.
"Right," Yaritza nodded, "but do you have any extra futons?"
Nightfall came and the sky turned to a midnight blue as the diamond stars cut through the dark of night like beacons of hope. Each small star was white in coloration and shone of the purest of light; the moon was full and bathed the Republic below in luminescence.
"We wake up at five, be ready," Ryouzonia stood in the doorway in a shadowy silhouette. Shortly after she said the sentence, she left everyone in one room resting in futons that littered the floor.
"Man," the bounty hunter complained. "Why five? Why can't it be six or seven or eight?"
"Shut up and stop whining," Sari grumbled. She could already tell that she wasn't going to have good night's sleep tonight. Why did they have to find her so soon?
"Have I ever told you how beautiful you were?" Vincent asked.
"Me?" Her gaze went to the bounty hunter, who had sat up in his futon, the cover draped lightly across his hips.
"What?" The red-head turned her gaze to Vincent, blushing slightly.
"Grr…" Sari's anger began to grow as she growled under her breath.
"You're beautiful," Vincent told her slyly.
"You think so," the ninja continued to blush. Yaritza was flattered by his compliments.
"I sure do," he inched himself up beside of her, moving in closer before he was pulled away by his ponytail. "Ah! Ouch!"
"Stop being perverted," Ionna sneered, her face marred with disgust. Why did that perverted bounty hunter see fit to hit on every girl who was newly introduced into the party? Besides, didn't he like Agata? What a disgusting player!
"Did I ever mention how beautiful you were?" He put on his best flashy smile.
"Spare me, I'm surprised you haven't hit on the bird women," she scoffed as he sighed.
"You should write a book Vincent: How To Offend Women in Five Syllables or Less," Sari smirked.
"Hmpf," Agata lay down in her futon, pulling the covers over herself. She just wished that they would all shut up so she could get some shut eye. Vincent's perverted escapades didn't interest her in the slightest.
"You people are retarded," Rubio murmured. He was getting tired of the charade as well.
The red-clad assassin casually leaned up against the wall, silently monitoring the childish antics of his team mates. His sister walked over and sat by Rubio.
"So, what's your deal anyway?" She asked.
"What do you mean?" Rubio asked, looking at her.
Valentino sat on the other side of him. "You might as well tell them…"
"Why don't you tell them about yourself?" Rubio glared back over to Valentino, who had no response. "Not that easy, is it?"
Their conversation was interrupted by a large earthquake. Everything in the small house shook. Valentino's body lunged forward with the trembling of the ground and he fell atop of Rubio, who flew back and landed on the floor.
"What the hell was that?" Yaritza yelled, looking around the room.
"An explosion maybe?" Ionna stood.
Agata arose and ran out of the room without a word.
"Agata! Wait!" Vincent cried. Ionna got up and grabbed her weapon, heading out after her. Sari arose, and then looked at the two men in their compromising position.
"Come on, gay wads!" She instructed.
A slight blush came to Rubio's cheeks. "Uh…" His voice held faint irritation. "Get off."
Valentino blushed as well. "Sorry…" The assassin said casually as he arose.
"I'll kill you…" Rubio threatened, lunging for the red-clad man. As he did, another earthquake shook the floor and he fell into Valentino, his head landing in his chest as the blush on the assassin's cheeks turned from barely noticeable to noticeable.
"Would you quit doing that!?" Rubio yelled, finding himself on the ground, on top of the man, hands on either side of his head.
"You fell on me," the stoic man noted.
"We're going to be the last ones out of the door then Vincent will call me gay," he scowled. Having someone make another homosexual joke about him was hardly his forte.
Red eyes narrowed. "Is that all you care about?"
The irritated man tried to look angry and stern, but came off looking quite pathetic and miserable, like a small puppy that had been beaten on and was silently trying to defend itself. Red eyes burnt into blue for a few moments of silence as an ungloved hand was sat on his shoulder. They didn't move, giving each other some sort of silent understanding before Rubio spoke up.
"Let's go," he said in a tone uncharacteristic of speaking to Valentino in. This foreign tone was kind and gentle.
"Right," the other man responded, calmly and with a bit of emotion to it, which was also uncharacteristic for Valentino.
The assassin managed to get out from under the darkly clad man, arising, and then offering a hand for assistance. Rubio took his offer and was pulled up, their faces coming dangerously close. They remained still, Valentino holding his hand, their gazes burnt into each other's. Finally, they parted ways.
"I'd better go outside," the man exited, leaving the assassin standing there alone, holding out his hand, which he looked at with a hint of unhappiness.
"So cold now…"
Outside, everyone stood, assembled into a small group. They were beginning to assess the new situation at hand.
"What's going on?" Yaritza asked.
"It's Mount Kayukus. We have to get up there. Something's happening and it's not good," Ryouzonia had a serious tone to her voice.
"Let's go!" Sari replied.
"It's going to be dangerous, but we've got to go."
"Right. Let's go," Ionna nodded as they all began to take off running, headed straight for the dangerous mountains, unaware of what perils awaited them.