Same characters, different take on the same story and path. Yes, I’m rewriting it again. Take this as a sort of AU fic till I can figure out where to slot it. Blame Naoko and Sukina. Don’t look at me like that, ladies. You threw this on me. Also, I apologise for the long sentences. 1081 words.
Kamiya was running.
As she did, her senses picked up people who were disturbed by her passing, much the same as a ripple on a calm pond as a pebble skipped across it. She smiled to herself at the analogy. Like the pebble, she would have to sink sooner or later, but unlike the pebble she could choose where to sink. If she remembered the place right, the person she was looking for would be up by now. That person would also be quite annoyed, but Kamiya was certain that the news she brought was worth the pain of listening to a lecture.
She was awake and did not look pleased.
Brigadier-General Naoko Kensaku of the Interpol Youth Section, Special Division and part of the 17th Jiatian Corp disliked being awakened in the middle of the night, especially since it normally tended to give her bad news unless she was supervising the mission herself. She was generally understanding though; once she had had a cup of milk coffee in the morning. Her annoyance also stemmed partially from the fact that she was supposed to be on inactive duty. By her own request, she had more or less effectively quit both commissions; the only reason why she had agreed to remain was because of a personal request to become the unofficial liaison between Jiat and Earth.
Kamiya gave the Brigadier-General a salute as she presented herself. The Brigadier, like most others who had gone up the career ladder, had more titles and responsibilities than she knew what to do with. She tended to collect titles like how some women collected premium handbags. They were not really needed, but they were nice to have. Kamiya was glad though, that the Brigadier-General did not really stand on ceremony unlike most of her rank. Of course, with the rank she held, Kamiya hoped that the Brigadier-General would actually be able to do something about the matter.
“Sorry to disturb your sleep, Briga…” she began when the Brigadier General cut her off.
“What is it, Kamiya?”
“The Daiesthai is on the move. Colonel Juanita,” they never used family names in their line of business, “has managed to pinpoint their next target as the Lady Feliciana of Jiat. They intend to kidnap her and force the Patriarchy to acknowledge both them and the Patriarchy’s illegitimate offspring, but that is the ‘official’ reason given to the lower ranks. They’re aiming for something further, but what that is…”
“She has no idea,” The Brigadier’s voice was low and cold. It sent a shiver down her spine. “When did you discover this?”
“Colonel Juanita approached me last night,” she wanted to say more, but the look on the Brigadier’s face stopped her.
“Follow me,” she got off her bed and moved past Kamiya.
In front of her was her cupboard. Wetting her finger in her mouth, she traced out several characters that looked both like hieroglyphs and runic symbols. These characters lighted up in front of her, floating in mid-air. As she finished writing, what looked like a bolt of lightning appeared in front of her, rapidly forming to become what looked like an open door covered by a curtain of beads. She stepped through, and after a moment’s hesitation, so did Kamiya. A cold, icy wind bathed over her, while her nose registered a clean, sharp coal smell.
She opened her eyes when the icy wind disappeared and a familiar, almost-antiseptic smell assaulted her nose. They were in a long, lonely corridor, unused by the lack of human presence in it. The various door knobs had been polished till they shone, but the air was dead, undisturbed. Instead of the usual electrical, almost muted lightings, the corridor was lighted by candles. Without waiting for her, the Brigadier-General started walking ahead. Kamiya followed her quickly, stopping a moment to watch the hole in the air close with a rasp, like paper being torn.
When they reached the end of the corridor, the Brigadier-General stopped. She made a gesture in front of her face that Kamiya could not see, but there was a quick burst of light from her body that made Kamiya blink. Her eyes opened to see the back of the white uniform of the SJD, personal bodyguards of the Lady Felicity. For a moment Kamiya just stared at the back of the Brigadier-General, but the spell was broken when the Brigadier-General opened the door.
“Kamiya, come,” her voice was not as harsh. Kamiya followed her meekly.
They came to a large, round chamber. All around them were benches, raised as though they were in some archaic parliament or court. Instead of people though, there were screens. The arrangements were such that the black screens meshed well with the brown, wooden walls. What one would see were hazy, many-mirrored walls.
“Brigadier-General Naoko Kensaku of the 17th Jiatian Corp awakens the Royal Council. Lady Felicity, forgive the late hour, but I beg an audience. Lord Iranuli and Lady Milihpen, I would ask for witness. Lord Lexa, Lord Nahcdik, Lord Redel, I would ask for input. I call a session of the Higher Lords and Ladies of the Queen’s Ring.”
Instantly, three of the six screens lit up, including the largest one in the centre. A woman, with glossy, wavy deep, almost black purple hair appeared, her eyes alert, her bearing regal, her face hard. Although she was dressed in a flimsy nightgown with laces everywhere, she looked like she had been preparing for an audience. Kamiya could only follow the deep bow the Brigadier-General offered. She bowed lower actually, standing lower in rank. Two other screens beeped to life as Kamiya bowed.
“Lady, Lieutenant Kamiya here has a report from Colonel Juanita. She has confirmation of the rumours brought to your attention a few weeks ago,” the Brigadier-General did not look up.
“Does she have details?” At the Brigadier-General’s silence, Kamiya spoke up.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Look up child.” When Kamiya had raised her face to look at the Lady, she nodded for her to begin.