Carpathia III: Episode 89: Reunion

Yseri, Zhail Falls

Kaoru rubbed his eyes, and blinked several times, worried that he was merely imagining what he was seeing.

Kaoru: A... Adell? You're Adell, aren't you?

Quilyon looked back and forth between Kaoru and Adell, unsure of what was happening. Adell scratched the back of his head, feigning confusion.

Adell: Well, I hope so. Otherwise, I'm wearing the wrong underwear.

Adell waited for a response, expecting Kaoru to laugh. Instead, he saw a tear slide down Kaoru's cheek.

Adell: You alright, Kaoru?

Suddenly, Kaoru lunged at Adell and threw his arms around him.

Kaoru: Adell!

Kaoru squeezed a very bemused Adell tightly.

Adell: Woah there, Kaoru. It's good to see you too.

Kaoru loosened his grip and stepped backwards. Letting out a small chortle, he sniffed and rubbed his eyes.

Kaoru: Sorry. I'd given up hope of finding any of you.

Kaoru glanced at the rooftop and noticed that Jonas and Reuli had stopped playing. He gave them an exaggerated wave, beckoning Reuli to come down and join them. He then turned his attention to Quilyon.

Kaoru: This is Quilyon, my fiancé. Quilyon, this is Adell. He's one of my friends from Carpathia.

Quilyon: About time you got around to introducing us. I was about to say something.

Adell and Quilyon exchanged handshakes.

Kaoru: Heh. Sorry, I got caught up in the moment. Adell, have you found anyone else?

Adell looked over his shoulder before answering and then pointed in the same direction.

Adell: Just one.

Kaoru leaned over and looked past Kaoru. Behind him, he could just make out a short, skinny nekohuman rapidly approaching them.

Kaoru: Artemis!

Kaoru waved heartily to Artemis, who picked up his pace and joined the rest.

Artemis: Kaoru! I'm glad to see you again!

After another round of introductions, Adell looked around, as though he were trying to find someone.

Adell: I'm sure Azrael is around here somewhere. He's probably spying on us from behind a bush or something. Azrael!

Sure enough, they heard a rustling from the bushes near the lake and Azrael appeared. At the same time, Reuli trotted down the hillside towards them, followed by Zet and Wolfram.

Therein followed yet another round of introductions, followed by Adell making sure that everyone was now present.

Adell: So, it's five of you, then?

Kaoru: That's all of us. Is this all of you?

Adell: That's it.

Adell then turned his attention to Azrael.

Adell: Azrael, would you mind asking Jonas to change to dinner for eight?

Azrael: As you wish.

Right away, Azrael trotted off towards the way station.

Kaoru: So, Adell, still got a crazy love life?

Adell scratched his head nervously and looked to Artemis for approval.

Artemis: Go ahead.

Adell giggled as he put his arm around Artemis.

Adell: Not anymore. He's my boyfriend.

If it were possible, Adell was sure that Kaoru's mouth would drop straight to the ground.

Kaoru: Okay, I sure as hell did not see that coming!

Adell: Heh. That's a long story.

Artemis: What about you? How did you two meet?

Kaoru and Quilyon looked at each other and grinned.

Quilyon: I shot him.

Kaoru: Yup. Right in the leg. That's a long story too.

Both Adell and Artemis looked at Kaoru, wide-eyed.

Kaoru: Heh, I suppose we all have stories to tell.

Zet: Maybe we should make a campfire and then we can all tell our stories during dinner.

Everyone looked at each other and nodded in agreement.

It didn't take long to gather the stones and wood for the fire. Spread all around the area were holes in the ground where previous guests had built their own fires. The group chose one of the larger holes and Quilyon and Zet went to work getting everything set up. While they were doing that, Jonas appeared with a large, dead animal thrown over his shoulder and some metal rods in his hand.

The metal rods were for a spit, it seemed, and after setting everything up, they started the fire and each took turns rotating the spit to cook the meat. Everyone took a seat on the ground where their faces were all illuminated by the light of the fire.

Adell: Before we get started with our stories, Kaoru, you trust everyone here, right?

Kaoru quickly glanced around at everyone, a little taken aback by the question.

Kaoru: Um... Yes, of course. I trust them with my life.

Adell eyed Artemis and nodded. Artemis seemed to get the idea and grabbed his backpack. He placed it in front of him and unzipped it. Right away, two litle heads popped out.

Deimos: Dad, you really need to wash this.

Phobos: Yeah, it stinks in there.

Artemis: You two could just switch off your scent receptors, you know.

Everyone was so transfixed on Phobos and Deimos that nobody noticed that Quilyon, wide-eyed, was pointing a very shaky finger at them.

Quilyon: What is that!?

Kaoru smiled heartily and patted Quilyon's back reassuringly.

Kaoru: Don't worry. I remember them. The blue one is Phobos and the green one is Deimos. Artemis built them.

Quilyon: Built... them...? How is that even possible?

Before anyone could respond, Reuli chimed in.

Reuli: Aw! They look like toys! Can I hold one?

Not waiting for a response, Reuli plucked Phobos from the bag. Phobos didn't struggle and allowed himself to be taken. Wolfram proceeded behind Reuli and took Deimos. Right away, both began to examine every inch of the two little androids.

Quilyon: Is it okay for them to hold those?

Artemis: No worries. They're built to withstand a lot more than them.

Reuli and Wolfram continued playing with Phobos and Deimos, both of whom very generously allowed all the poking, prodding, and examining. Wolfram was eyeballing Phobos the entire time.

Wolfram: Wanna trade?

Reuli glanced at Deimos and thought only for a moment.

Reuli: Sure!

Azrael stopped rotating the spit.

Azrael: So, they were not dolls after all.

Adell: No. Sorry for lying before, Azrael.

Azrael: You two are very curious indeed.

Without another word, Azrael continued rotating the spit.

Adell: So... stories. Who should go first?

Everyone glanced around at each other, trying to read each others' faces. Finally, Kaoru meekly raised his hand as he looked at Quilyon.

Kaoru: I guess we can go first?

Quilyon nodded. Kaoru took a deep breath and started from the moment he arrived on Yseri. The story was long and circuitous. Once he got to the point where he met Quilyon, the two of them started to complete each others' sentences with Reuli offering his own, occasional, insights.

They took a break in the middle when the meat was finished. Everyone took a helping and munched on their dinner as Kaoru continued. Quilyon, especially, vacilated between happy recollections of her memories and sadness, though Adell and Artemis weren't sure why until they got to the end. Once Kaoru got to the kidnapping, Quilyon became silent and Kaoru sped through that part much more quickly than the others.

When they were finished, Adell and Artemis glanced at Quilyon, Reuli, and Wolfram in turn, and then to each other, knowingly.

Adell: We know why you were targeted.

Suddenly, everyone was silent as they stared at Adell and Artemis. Quilyon, most of all, stared at them, wide-eyed and in rapt attention.

Quilyon: You do?

Adell and Artemis started telling their story from the conversation they heard from the King. Throughout the story, Quilyon gritted her teeth more and more until she finally stood up.

Quilyon: I'm going to get some paper. I have to write to Kaut! Everyone in town needs to know this!

Quilyon sprinted towards the way station. From that point, Adell and Artemis started telling their story from the beginning, conversing long into the night.

Commissioned art in this episode from:
Atomic Clover

All city pictures from SimCity 4

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