Aug-05-13, 12:47 PM (EDT)|
"(another teaser) S5M5 Taken by Storm"|
By noon, the campus of Tenjou Academy was back to something like
normal. Most of the visitors who had come for Corwin and Utena's
wedding had gone back whence they came sometime in the morning, the crew
of students detailed for cleanup and restoration of the school's normal
settings had long since completed their work, and the only major
remaining trace of the festivities was the giant hot tub in the middle
of the Quad. This, its creator having left the world without being
asked to return the area to its original state, looked like being a
permanent feature after all.
Nall Silverclaw roamed the deserted corridors of East Hall,
checking to see if there was anyone from the Midgard Duelist contingent
still at large. Most, he knew, had gone back with the Rune Knights as
guides, earlier in the morning, while he'd still been in bed. There was
always the possibility that a few others had opted to go back to sleep
rather than heed the early wakeup call, knowing that he was still around
to take them back later on.
And, indeed, there were. Nall found his two stragglers in the
common room, watching the last of the Avalon 17 Saturday-morning
cartoons on the giant holoset. They were a couple of the new generation
from Jeraddo, the tall Scottish girl and her English boyfriend, who
between them had kicked a lot of Earthforce ass and earned a lot of
Duelist cred on Tau Ceti. Having seen the way they handled that
crazyfest without batting an eye, Nall figured they'd be well up for his
little errand, and anyone who would bother figuring out how to work
Corwin's interdimensional pirate cable TV receiver just to watch My
Little Destroid had to be decent company.
"Hey, guys," he said from the doorway.
"Oh, hey, Nall," said Rory Williams from the depths of the
"Are you guys it?" Nall wondered.
"Yeah, everybody else headed back this morning," Amy Pond
confirmed from even deeper in the couch.
Nall moseyed into the room and made himself at home in one of
the armchairs to watch the rest of the show. At noon, the cartoons gave
way to the 12 o'clock news. Amy surfed the channels for a while, found
nothing of interest, and gave up in disgust, switching the set off.
"Well, whadya say, guy?" she asked, thumping Rory lightly on the
leg. "S'pose we ought to get a move on ourselves."
"You guys have any special plans for the week?" asked Nall.
"Not really," said Rory. "Why?"
"Well," Nall said, "I've got this errand to run for my boy
Corwin. Got to deliver a mysterious package to a far-off foreign land."
He grinned. "I thought maybe you guys might want a piece of that
Amy and Rory looked at each other speculatively, then got to
"Sounds better than going back to Jeraddo and taking an eight-
day nap," Amy quipped.
"Great!" said Nall, rising. "Be good to have the company.
It'll be a long train ride, but the view's nice."
Rory put up a hand in the hang-on-a-second gesture. "We're
going someplace you have to go by -train?- From here?"
"Well, no, not from -here,-" Nall admitted. "We'll take the
Rose Gate from here to Saikyo on Zipang, and from -there- we take the
train - "
Amy's green eyes went wide. "To Diqiu!" she blurted.
Nall raised an eyebrow at her. "... You guys know about Diqiu?"
"Uh... yeah," said Amy hesitantly. "We went there. Once."
"Long time ago," Rory put in.
Amy nodded. "Yeah. -Long- time."
Nall thought that over for a second - Amy and Rory were
sophomores in high school, what constituted a long time for them? - then
said, "Huh. Interesting. You speak Tongyu?"
"He does," said Amy, tilting her head at Rory.
"Sort of," Rory qualified.
"I just speak Standard more slowly," Amy added.
"And louder," supplied Rory, earning himself an elbow in the
"Huh," Nall repeated. "Well, OK. Actually you should be good
to go with Standard there these days. Go grab your gear and meet me at
Utena and Anthy's room. I've got to collect the mysterious package."
As they were leaving the common room, he remarked, "I hope I still have
admin access to the elevator. I do -not- wanna lug that thing up all
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