Carpathia III: Epilogue 5 - Kagurain

Research Base, New Berengaria

Lord Lynx let Jaze back on the bench and sat on the floor so that he could survey the others more carefully. First, he caught the eye of Tier, who he immediately recognized.

Lord Lynx: Lieutenant Tier, isn't it? You were my helmsman on Carpathia Two during the war, right?

Tier smiled, grateful and flattered at being remembered by his former commander.

Tier: Yes sir, and it was a privilege serving with you.

Lynx returned his attention to Jaze.

Lord Lynx: Likewise. I see the tail doesn't sway far from from the parent. Jaze, you have my gratitude for bringing Kagurain back to me.

Lynx slid back and took a moment to look everyone in the eye.

Lord Lynx: You all have my gratitude. If there is anything you need, let me know. I am forever in your debt. I will, first of all, ensure that all of your refugee claims are expidited.

Lynx paused as his nosed twitched several times.

Lord Lynx: And some money for new clothes and toiletries.

Feeling a hand on his shoulder, Lynx turned to find Admiral Tora standing behind him.

Admiral Tora: Sir, the base psychologist, Sekhmet, would like to see you now.

Lynx immediately rose to his feet.

Lord Lynx: Very well. Admiral Tora, use whatever resources you need. I want this Yseri found.

Admiral Tora: Yes sir.

Admiral Tora quickly disappeared back into the room where they played the video as Lynx turned his attention to Sekhmet.

Sekhmet: Lord Lynx, my apologies for keeping you waiting. It is time to reintroduce you to Kagurain. However, he has requested for Jaze to be in the room with him first.

Jaze's eyes widened and his ears popped up. Kaoru, however, interjected before Jaze could even speak.

Kaoru: Oh, come on, Jaze. You're really surprised that he'd want you with him?

Jaze: Um...

Lynx took a step over to Jaze and put his hand on Jaze's back, gently ushering him to stand. Jaze guessed the Lynx attempted to smile, but the result was more of a tooth-filled snout than anything comforting.

Lord Lynx: It's okay. Just let me know when you are ready.

Jaze nodded and followed Sekhmet, who beckoned him near. As they made their way to her office, she whispered to him.

Sekhmet: Kagurain will be fine. This is a moment he's been fantasizing about for a long time and now that it's here, he's panicking. All you need to do is be a calming influence.

Jaze: I don't know if I'm the right choice for anyone who needs a calming influence.

Sekhmet was silent for a moment before speaking again at the office door.

Sekhmet: I understand. All you need to do is act as normally as possible around him. That should set him at ease.

Just before Sekhmet opened the door, Jaze muttered so softly that even she couldn't hear.

Jaze: "Normal..."

Sekhmet turned the doorknob and right away, Jaze heard a commotion inside, as though a large, excitable dog was knocking over chairs. Sekhmet stepped inside first, followed by Jaze. At first, Jaze didn't see Kagurain anywhere in the room, until he noticed a pair of ears poking out from behind the couch on the far wall.

Jaze: Kagurain?

Suddenly, the ears exploded into a flurry of activity and finally, the ears rose to reveal a pair of eyes accompanying them.

Kagurain: Jaze!

Kaugrian leaped from behind the couch and nearly knocked Jaze to the ground.

Sekhmet: Okay, you two, have a seat.

Jaze gently guided Kagurain to the couch where they both sat together, with Kagurain scrunched up as tightly as possible against Jaze's side. Sekhmet poked her head out of the door and called to Lord Lynx.

Sekhmet: We're ready.

Sekhmet re-entered and took a seat in the chair behind her desk. Ducking as he entered was Lord Lynx, wringing his paws together and looking far more hesitant than he had before. Jaze could feel Kagurain's body turn stiff next to him.

Sekhmet: Have a seat, Lord Lynx.

Kagurain: Mryow!

Suddenly, there was a flurry of movement as Kagurain bounced around the couch, eventually squishing his way between Jaze and the back of the couch, nearly pushing Jaze off the front end. Lynx hesitated for a moment, observing the spectacle, before slowly sitting himself in the chair that Sekhmet indicated. If the situation weren't so serious, Jaze would have giggled, for the image of massive Lord Lynx attempting to squeeze himself into a chair much too small for him was comical indeed. He looked much like an oversize stuffed toy perched upon a chair that was made for a small doll.

Jaze: Kagurain, this is the moment you've been waiting for, right?

Lord Lynx slid out of the chair and slowly planted himself on the floor with his legs crossed.

Lord Lynx: It's good to see you again, Rainy.

Though Lynx attempted to maintain his composure, Jaze was sure he could hear his voice crack a little. At the same time, Jaze felt shuffling behind his back and the pressure upon him was relieved. Kagurain crawled out from behind Jaze and to the floor, shyly approaching Lynx on all-fours as a cat would approach a strange new object.

Kagurain: Mryow?

Lynx slowly held out his arms, inviting Kagurain to come closer. Inch by inch, Kagurain closed in on his father and then, finally, stopped just in front of Lynx's crossed legs. Jaze wondered what might happen next, his guess being that Lynx would finally take the chance to scoop Kagurain into his arms. To Jaze's surprise, however, Kagurain simply flopped into Lynx's lap and curled up into a ball.

Lord Lynx: He used to sit like this on my lap when he was little.

Kagurain's tail flopped merrily up and down on Lynx's lap as Lynx stroked Kagurain's head contentedly. Jaze rose from the couch, assured that he was no longer needed, and started to tiptoe around them.

Lord Lynx: Jaze, allow me to take all of you home.

Jaze nodded.

Jaze: Thanks. I'll let the others know.

Jaze slipped out of the office quietly, leaving Lynx and Kagurain alone with Sekhmet. The others caught sight of him right away as he closed the door.

Toma: How did it go?

Jaze: Pretty well, I think.

Jaze looked behind Toma and noticed a human man and nekohuman woman fussing over Artemis and Adell. Toma noticed that Jaze was looking past him and preempted his inevitable question.

Toma: Those are Artemis's parents. I'm afraid Artemis has gone a bit catatonic since we got back, but he's responding to his parents now, at least.

Jaze: He's still pretty raw, I'm sure. I know what that's like. Anyway, lets head over to our parents. Lord Lynx wants me to tell them that he would like to take us home.

Commissioned art in this episode from:
Atomic Clover
Kurama chan

All city pictures from SimCity 4

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