10 – Waiting

Askasa, dressed in a suit, entered Tali’s home through the still-broken walls of Tali’s bedroom. He found Ismaru on the bed, and Insom still staring at the wall. Ismaru was throwing pieces of rubble at the wall nearest to him, and Insom’s body still had the gashes in it from earlier.
“I’m back,” Fortenra hmphed, as if expecting a greeting.

“Hey…” Ismaru kept throwing his rocks.

“You know, you could show a little appreciation for the guy who allows you two to eat,” Fortenra proclaimed, sitting on the bed with a hmph.

“Opal came into Dexterity today,” Insom stated blandly. Her voice was always monotone, and she was still staring at the wall.

Both Fortenra and Ismaru looked to the zombie. “How come you didn’t tell me this earlier?” Ismaru asked.
Insom gave the same reply she usually gave. “Time went by so fast…”

Askasa growled to himself. “Well, what happened with her?” Ismaru threw another rock at the wall with a sigh. Askasa continued, “Did Aine show up, too?”

Aine was a dear friend of the Pheonix group. Tali had been with Askasa when they brought in Aine. They felt almost like a family, taking care of the emotionally disturbed girl. However, they knew that whenever Aine cried, Opal would usually come out as a separate personality and kill the source of Aine’s displeasure. Ever since a year a go, both of them had disappeared, and the girl had been sorely missed.

“Aine was here, yes,” Insom answered. “But she is asleep now.”

Fortenra and Ismaru stood up with interest. “Where?” they both asked in chorus.

Insom slowly looked down to her hand, which had nothing in it. She frowned even more slowly. “…Oh…” She said to herself, as if disappointed. Everything was slow with Insom. Askasa was becoming agitated.

“Well?” he pressured.

“Inside the man with the tail,” Insom answered.

“What are you talking about?” Ismaru questioned.

“Her soul is with him. Tali’s soul will be soon…”

Askasa jumped forward, grabbing the collar of Insom’s shirt and shaking her. “What do you mean, ‘soul is with him’? How come you didn’t tell us this back when Aine disappeared?!”

Insom seemed unaffected by the shaking, and gave her famous reply, “Time passes by so fast…”

“AUGH!” Askasa shouted, punching the zombie in the face so hard the woman fell down. “You never give any real answers! You never do anything! Why are you always so damn cryptic?!” The wires began to edge out from the sleeves of his restaurant uniform, but regressed when Ismaru spoke up. “Fortenra… Calm down. I’m sure Insom is doing her best…”

The waiter struck the air with his hand and sat down on the bed once more, his back to Ismaru. “All day, I’ve been waiting and waiting, and I can’t feel Tali’s Soul anywhere. I know she hasn’t died yet, but she’s not alive, either. I wish I knew the bastard who took her so we could get her back.”

Ismaru sat on the floor, leaning his back against the bedpost. “I asked around, but I couldn’t find anything. Ninjas are supposed to be exemplary in their information gathering skills, but I guess I just suck.” He threw a pebble at the wall with a sigh of self-loathing.

Insom, who was still on the floor, gave a piece of advice. “The Pheonix is in The Castle.”

The other two looked to the zombie once more. “And you didn’t tell us this earlier WHY?!” Askasa yelled.

Insom Sighed. “Time–”

“Yeah yeah, time goes so fucking fast for you, I know!” Askasa shot up and kicked the zombie a few times.

“Fortenra…” Ismaru whispered. “Why are you hurting her…?”

“WHY AM I HURTING HER, ISMARU?” The Waiter screamed. “ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?” He lifted an arm, his wires extending in one long strain, going straight for Ismaru’s chest. Ismaru sidestepped quickly, and Askasa’s wires pummeled through the wall.

“Fortenra!” Ismaru pleaded. “Get a hold of yourself!”

“I’ll get a hold of myself when Insom stops being a douchebag!” Askasa brought his wires back, and then threw them again to Ismaru, who easily dodged.

“Now now, boys.” A new voice. Feminine. Askasa’s wires were going straight for her. Instead of making a move, she simply smiled. A wave of electricity sprung up from the ground and immediately latched onto Askasa’s wires, traveling straight up to his body. The boy seized and fell to the ground.

“That’s no way to treat eachother,” She finished. Short black hair, white goggles over her eyes, dark skin, and tan clothes – an Explorer.
As Askasa coughed, another woman walked out from behind the outside of the house’s wall. She wore a pink dress, was sickly pale, and had white hair. She was out of her element, but she seemed happy about it. “But you know, Teddy, boys will be boys.”

The girl referred to as Teddy laughed, and pushed the girl she was with, “You always disagree with me, Tootz!”

Once the dust cleared, Askasa and Ismaru turned to the two girls.. Teddy and Tootz. What a weird combination. Ismaru was the first to speak. “Who are you people?”

“Well, as if it wasn’t already stated, I’m Teddy,” the explorer stated, pointing a thumb to herself. “And this is Tootz.” She pointed over to the pale pink girl, who smiled, fangs visible.

Askasa grimaced and instead of trying to explain that their names didn’t define who they were, he took a different tactic. “Why are you here?”

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