Carpathia III: Episode 63 - Interrogation
Unassumed Lands, Vayhama House
Kaoru sat on his bed, distressed by his new morning routine. Every day, he waited and listened carefully as those in the Vayhama household went about their morning business, eating breakfast and discussing the day's planned activities. Every day, Kaoru waited until the last voice faded away and he heard the front door close. That was his cue to leave his room and quickly find something to eat before going out to work in his vegetable garden.
Working in the fields gave Kaoru a lot of time to ponder what his next move was going to be. Staying in the Vayhama house was out of the question. Avoiding everybody as much as possible was nightmarishly difficult and he was tired of sneaking around. He figured the best decision was to speak with Zet. He had a home all to himself and Kaoru figured there was a good possibility that he would welcome a roommate. If everything went well, Kaoru thought, he could still date Quilyon without the awkwardness of living with her parents at the same time.
Kaoru was, once again, waiting in his room for the last of the family to leave. He was dressed and ready to head into the fields. He just needed to hear the front door close one more time. Finally, he heard some heavy footsteps and the door slam. It all seemed strangely more exaggerated than usual, as though the last person to leave was stomping instead of walking. It was, however, the fourth close of the door, so Kaoru expected that it was safe to leave, even though he thought he heard another creak of the old, wooden floor. Surely it was his imagination, he thought. Anyone walking around the house would make a lot more noise than one singular creak of the floorboards.
Kaoru tentatively opened the door, its dirty hinges squeaking as he peeked out. He had a partial view of the kitchen and dining room and he could see no activity. Oppressive silence hung in the air like wet sackcloth. He stepped through the door and around the corner for a better view of the dining and living rooms. Nothing. Feeling he was in the clear, he walked briskly towards the front door.
Ixon: Haven't seen you in awhile.
In that moment, Kaoru was sure his heart stopped for at least a few seconds. Quickly, he spun around just as Ixon turned on a light in the corner of the room which Kaoru overlooked before.
Ixon stood, looking much more serious than his usual, jovial self, and pointed to a chair at the dining room table.
Kaoru stood where he was, frozen, and began to stammer.
Kaoru: I... I... I...
It was the only word he could say and he kept repeating it over and over. Ixon took a seat opposite of the chair that he indicated before.
Ixon: Go ahead and sit. I can wait all day.
Kaoru slowly reached for the chair and slid it out from the table. He was sure he knew what the topic of conversation was going to be and his only thought was that he would definitely have to speak with Zet today. Kaoru slowly sat down in the chair as Ixon glared at him.
Ixon: I'm going to ask you some questions and you're going to answer them honestly. Got it?
Kaoru slid down in his chair, trying to make himself as small and invisible as possible.
Kaoru: Yes sir.
Ixon knew. Kaoru was sure of this, and he vowed to himself not to lie to any of his questions so as not to make the situation worse than it already was.
Ixon: First question. Have you had sex with my daughter?
Kaoru's eyes grew wide for a moment, stunned by the bluntness of the first question. Then, he looked down and sheepishly gave his answer.
Ixon's expression did not change as he went straight to his next question.
Ixon: Would you fight for her?
Kaoru took some time to think about that one. Fight who, he wondered. Ixon? He didn't like the thought, but, if he were to be honest, there was only one answer he could give.
Kaoru: If Quilyon wanted me, yes, I would.
This time, Kaoru had no idea if Ixon was keeping the same expression. He did his best to avoid looking at him.
Ixon: Last question, which has two parts. Did Tarja take you downstairs and show you her abattoir?
Again, Kaoru was surprised by the question and, without thinking, he looked at Ixon, who maintained his gaze.
Kaoru: Actually, yes, she did.
Ixon leaned in close, listening very intently.
Ixon: And did she scare the hell out of you with all of her butchering instruments?
Kaoru: Very much, yes.
Finally, Ixon broke his serious demeanor as he threw his head back in laughter.
Ixon: Ha ha ha ha! I knew it! I knew it! Tarja's mother did exactly the same thing to me when I was courting her! I very nearly lost control of my sphincter, you know.
Too confused to understand whether or not he was in trouble, Kaoru remained silent. Just when he thought the situation couldn't get more awkward, Ixon called out.
Ixon: Quilyon! You can come out now!
Again, Kaoru's stomach tightened as he felt as though he were in an ambush. The front door of the house swung open and there stood Quilyon, sporting a very pronounced frown.
Quilyon: I knew Mother had something to do with this! I've never been so embarrassed!
Quilyon stomped quickly across the floor to Kaoru. She still looked angry and he couldn't tell if any of that was directed at him. He braced himself as she threw his arms around him and squeezed tightly.
Quilyon: Oh, Kaoru! I'm so sorry my family is completely nuts!
Relief was now settling firmly upon Kaoru's shoulders.
Kaoru: It's okay. I'm just glad everything is sorted out now.
Ixon: So, Kaoru, you said you would fight for Quilyon. What was your plan?
Quilyon maintained her squeeze around Kaoru's chest. Very quickly, his chest began to relax. Until now, he hadn't realized how much it tightened. Kaoru reached up and put his hand on top of hers and leaned his head into her arms.
Kaoru: Nothing fancy. I was going to ask Zet if I could live with him and then find out if Quilyon was still interested in dating me.
Ixon: Not a bad plan, really. Luckily, that won't be necessary. We all like you. Tarja likes you.
Quilyon: She has a strange way of showing it!
Ixon: She'd have kicked Kaoru out immediately if she didn't. She just wanted to know how serious you were.
Quilyon: Well, she could have picked some other way of doing it!
Timidly, Kaoru raised his hand as though he were a schoolboy in class.
Kaoru: Can I ask a question?
Ixon raised his eyebrow.
Ixon: Go right ahead.
Kaoru: You mentioned Tarja's mother before. I think this is the first time I've heard anything about any of Quilyon's grandparents. Are they nearby or somewhere else?
Ixon: Hmmm... Probably should have told you sooner. Unfortunately, they're no longer with us. Of course, you remember when I told you Zet's parents died in an accident?
Kaoru: I do.
Ixon: We lost a lot of people that day. To put it simply, everyone was out doing some repairs on one of the bridges that crosses the canyon past the waterfall. A section of the cliff gave way. My parents, Tarja's parents, Zet's parents, and eleven other people went down with it.
Kaoru looked down, regretting having asked the question.
Kaoru: I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought it up.
Ixon shook his head.
Ixon: It's okay. You should know. Always remember, Kaoru, that life isn't safe. You can stay in your room forever with the lights off, but that's not living. You have to get out and enjoy life while you can.
Kaoru nodded slowly, now grateful that his life was not about to be upended again.
Ixon started fishing around in his pocket until he finally pulled out a key.
Ixon: Speaking of enjoying life, you two could use a break. Take the truck, if you want, and go do something fun, okay?
Quilyon immediately reached over and snatched the key from Ixon.
Quilyon: I'll drive!
Quilyon turned her attention to Kaoru as she rubbed his chest.
Quilyon: I know a great spot that I don't think you've seen yet. I think you'll find the view is very nice.
Ixon smiled broadly as he leaned back in his chair.
Ixon: You kids have fun!
All city pictures from SimCity 4