Alchemilia Corporation moves into Silivia to apprehend the fugitives. Atticus Anoethite, Chris Wellington, and Marshall Rooke must avoid their approach. Melissa Devlin learns more of her forgotten past.
Interrupting a quiet day, a familiar green "A" popped up on devices across all of Silivia. After a moment of silence, the logo faded away and opened onto a scene of a group of men dressed in Alchemilia Corporation outfits. The leader of the group began to address the viewers.
"Good evening, my name is Baptiste Rousseau, Director of Robotics at Alchemilia Corporation. After getting in contact with your local officials, we have been given permission to broadcast our mission to all of you. We do not intend to take up too much of your time, so I'll get to the point.
"If anyone is able to identify 'Chris Wellington' — a young male, short, brown hair, blue eyes, and light skin — we'd appreciate it if you would report him to us. There will be a large reward for any information leading to his capture. As we continue our search, I'm sure many of you will see us patrolling the streets. Please don't mind us. With your help, our task should be completed very soon."
"It's me, Steven," the man said. "Your brother...?"
"My brother?" Melissa asked, confused.
Walking outside of the building, Melissa was relieved. It had been a long day at school and she was more than ready to return home. She noticed a blonde boy standing ahead of her, dressed in a gray uniform and sitting on a small bike. He was young — perhaps ten or eleven.
"Are you ready, Melissa?"
The memory was gone as quickly as it came and Melissa snapped out of her thoughts. Surprised, she continued speaking. "I think I remember you a bit, but I'm not sure. This is all really confusing."
"She isn't well. According to her friend here, she's suffering from amnesia," Richard answered.
"What? What happened?" Steven looked towards Melissa and Savannah.
"What happened?" Melissa repeated the question. "I woke up in a barn and I didn't even recognize myself. And on top of that, we ran into some trouble and then the friend that started all of the problems killed one of my other friends - if I can even call them that! I don't know any of them, I don't know any of you."
"Melissa, try to calm down," Savannah started, placing her hand on Melissa's arm. "We're safe now, things are better."
Suddenly, Steven hugged Melissa tightly, and this time, she let him. "Don't worry, she's right. you're safe here. Just tell me everything that happened, okay?"
Richard led the group upstairs, to the living quarters. Melissa sat in front of a circular table, with Savannah and Steven across from her. As the three sat in silence, she watched Richard place three cups of hot chocolate on the table.
"There you go," the man nodded as he turned and headed back downstairs.
"Wonderful!" Savannah exclaimed, taking her cup and drinking from it eagerly. "I hope this place has some good food. I'm so hungry."
"We do," Steven stated. "The fridge is over there, across the room."
"Okay, so before I begin, I have some questions," Melissa started.
"Yeah?" Steven asked, taking a sip from his cup.
"So we're really twins? How old are we?"
"Fraternal, but yes, we are," Steven nodded. "And we're eighteen."
"Ah, I see..." Melissa looked away, taking a sip.
"I never told Uncle Richard, by the way."
"Told him what?" Melissa asked, placing her drink on the table. Savannah did the same.
"About the Ackerman Militia. I know you don't remember, but about a year ago we had an argument before you left. Due to the demons and angels making gains in the war, you wanted to leave here and join the militia in Skipton. I tried to stop you and you got angry. After Uncle Richard asked you to go to the store and get some candles, you never returned. I didn't tell him why you left, I didn't think you'd want him to know."
"Wait," Melissa spoke up. "Militia? Demons? Angels? A war? We ran into demons in Gladea, I think, but I'd like an explanation now."
The realization hit Steven hard. He was already coming to terms with how little Melissa remembered, but the fact Melissa did not know about some of the planet's most important aspects disappointed him.
"You didn't tell her?" Steven turned to face Savannah.
"Uh, I didn't think I should. At least, not right now. She was going through a lot already and I didn't want to overwhelm her further."
"I understand," Steven replied. "Well, Melissa, to keep it brief — a few centuries ago demons and angels invaded Euclid and the entire planet has been at war ever since. As part of our work here, this laboratory researches these species. Not just research on weapons for the war — but their history, religion, biology, all sorts of things. Due to the importance of this research, our lab is funded by Silivia."
As Melissa continued to listen to her brother's explanation, a girl approached Steven. She appeared to be slightly older than the both of them, taller than Melissa, and had long dark red hair, which contrasted against her pastel clothing. She softly spoke to Steven. "Hey, Steven, do you have a moment?"
Steven looked up from his seat. "Oh, Beth? What is it?"
"Alchemilia Corporation is making an announcement, it seems to be pretty important."
Though he had only been in Silivia for a brief time, Chris Wellington wanted to rest. He slowly trudged through the city and stopped when a shop caught his attention. Outside of it, various TVs were displayed. A news broadcast was being shown as the leader of a group of uniformed men gave a speech. To his shock, Chris discovered it was about himself. Terrified, Chris quickly glanced around and pulled his hoodie over his head, pulling the strings tightly. Pushing his way through the small crowd that had gathered, he darted between two buildings.
Pausing to calm down, Chris came to the conclusion he was in an alleyway. This isn't good, there's no telling how many people spotted me exploring the city today. I need to find somewhere proper to hide.
Being seen again wasn't a risk that Chris wanted to take, so the only viable option was the dumpster in front of him with its pungent odor or a trash can elsewhere in the city. As he walked towards the dumpster and grabbed the lid, he noticed two dark-haired boys arriving at the backdoor of a shop towards the end of the alley.
Trying to hear their conversation, he could barely make the words out, but he thought he recognized their voices. If he was correct, it was Atticus Anoethite and Token Jin.
After failing to get a response, Chris inched away from the dumpster, clueless on what to do. On one hand, he was a wanted man, but on the other, he had seen his companions, though they paid no attention to him.
Maybe reuniting shouldn't be my priority right now. I have to escape this city.
Confident in his new decision, Chris took off running. Due to being an android, he was capable of running at speeds that could easily outmatch any human. Using this to his advantage, he pushed his way through crowds and darted through any traffic he found.
Eventually he flew past a small gate marking the city limits. Coming out in a different area than he had entered, he was shocked at the difference in the landscape. Instead of forest, the area was hilly and cozy, with small houses lined by each other in a row, leading downwards. A road snaked between the scene, heading outwards.
Walking down the road, Chris noticed a man outside his house. The man was holding a pair of garden clippers and was tending to the various cherry trees lining his yard.
This is crazy, but I need to do it. I don't have a choice, Alchemilia gave me these clothes after all.
Bending down, Chris snuck behind some bushes and waited until the man was near him. Springing out of hiding, he grabbed the man from behind and kicked him in the back. The man let out a surprised scream and began thrashing around, trying to get his assailant off.
"Stop fighting this!" Chris yelled.
He placed his arm around the man's neck and continued his hold on him, ignoring the man's struggle as Chris kept his arm in place until he felt the man grow limp and into unconsciousness.
Quickly, Chris dragged the man behind the house and exchanged clothes. Walking out from behind the house once finished, he looked around the scene and continued running down the road.
As the man's face disappeared from screens across the city, Marshall turned to Atticus. "We're screwed."
The two were travelling across Silivia, making sure to take back roads and stay in alleyways. Various times their progress was interrupted by people rushing through the streets in a panic. After pausing to take a break, the two noticed that a shop across the street had various large TVs on display outside. This allowed the boys to realize the causation of all the panic - the Alchemilia broadcast.
"But this means Chris is here, he escaped from Alchemilia Corporation. Do you think we should try to find him?" While the broadcast was certainly not good, Atticus was relieved to hear the name of one of his companions again.
"The police are probably already looking for us. We'd be sitting ducks," Marshall looked down the alleyway and noticed a backdoor was open. Inside of the building, he could make out a barber pole. "Let's check that shop out."
"But we have to find Chris. We can't just leave him to be captured by Alchemilia again," Atticus responded as he noticed Marshall heading towards the backdoor and started to follow. "Damn it, listen to what I'm saying instead of running off after some nonsense."
Marshall entered the backdoor of the barbershop and looked around to see if anyone was there. The room was small and consisted of a counter with a cash register, and several chairs lined up in front. No lights were on, but it was illuminated by the large glass windows at the front of the building. Across from Marshall, another door stood, presumably leading to an office.
"Lucky us," Marshall stated, heading towards the register. He quickly grabbed hold of it and pulled the till outwards.
"Marshall, did you hear that?" Atticus asked, pausing at the entrance. "I thought I heard my name called again."
"Are you hearing voices again?"
"It called out for you too — well, it called for Token."
"Uh, tell your voices not to mention me."
"No, listen! It has to be Chr — what are you doing? Are you robbing this place?"
"I'm doing what I need to do, we need this money!"
"Marshall, stop. Wasn't stealing from the café enough? Do we have to face more trouble from the law? What if an employee walks in?"
"Relax. We should be fine as long as we're quick," Marshall started pulling coins and dollar bills from the till, stuffing his pockets.
Baffled, Atticus walked up to Marshall and grabbed his wrist in an attempt to prevent him from continuing. "Stop!"
Marshall tried to break free from Atticus' grip. "We need the money. I'll only take as much as we need. Besides, we can't stay on the run forever."
"We can't stay on the run forever, sure. But robbing stores will only lead us towards more trouble. We need to leave before the shop owners come back." Atticus began to walk back towards the door, pulling Marshall with him.
As they exited the pastry store, Baptiste surveyed the scene. A few people were eyeing the troop warily and others were walking away, frantically trying to avoid the men.
"Here we go again. Let's go."
Silivia could be described as panicked. The tension from the broadcast had only continued to grow. Traffic was speeding by, cars honking loudly. Multiple reports of violence had been reported as crowds continuously turned to chaos. Employees from Alchemilia Silivia were steadily walking the streets, giving out photographs of Chris Wellington.
Walking down the street, the troop of nine passed a barbershop. As they passed, Baptiste took a moment to scan the inside.
"Well," Baptiste announced. "We're killing two birds with one stone today. Looks like those kids survived their little run-in with the 18-wheeler."
|Season One:||Catching Smoke • White Room • Bare Trees • One Night in Gladea • Ceasefire • Hide & Seek • The Hounds • Reunion • In Somnis Veritas • Carpe Diem • Primo Victoria • Don't Fear the Reaper|
|Season Two:||Crumbling Castle • Roaming King • Safe Haven • Marked Map • The Less I Know the Better • Riding the Wave • Centuries of Damnation • House of the Rising Sun • The Master • Everybody Plays the Fool • Loyalty|