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[IC][Story][Arc 1] Reach for the Moon
RE: [IC][Story][Arc 1] Reach for the Moon
#15
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
November 7, 2016
11:57 am


Rob and Mamoru were waiting for the ladies just inside the easternmost door to the shopping mall. They were chatting as they watched the traffic go by on Bank Street.

"You're sure you don't want Skuld to give you a phone?"

"I'm sure. Pink isn't my colour, even as an accent. Besides, I've heard that Blackberry makes some good phones, and we are in Canada."

"They used to, but they're getting out of the hardware business. Please don't get me started on how the new corporate management ... Oh, there's the ladies." Rob opened the door so that Jacky, Jemi, and Kate could come in.

"I hope you haven't been waiting too long," Kate said as she walked in.

"No, we just got here ourselves." They all went through the inner door and started making their way into the mall. "Do you mind if I get some cash while we're here? I don't see a lineup at the bank."

"No lineup at the bank? At lunch time? And what's that?" Jacky was puzzled twice over.

Rob walked over to the bank machine. "It's an Automated Teller Machine, or ATM for short. Nobody talks to a human for 99% of their banking any more."

"How does it work?" Kate asked.

"First, you enter your password. Please don't look. Then you..."

A few minutes later, the ladies had seen for the first time an ATM dispense cash. "What's that?" Jemi asked.

"Money."

"It can't be. Money is made of paper."

"Not any more."

Jemi looked at Kate and Jacky. "We have some catching up to do."



12:33 pm


They all had phones, guaranteed by Rob's corporate credit card (until such time as they got their own cards, and Rob insisted they do that quickly, preferably before Lord Phantomhive found out). Since nobody needed internet access - yet - they had gone with one of the discount carriers.

Jemi had the next-to-latest iPhone, for the music. (She couldn't afford the latest model.) Kate and Jacky went with Android phones in the cutest colours they could find, and Mamoru went with an Android in flat black. They were assured that their numbers would be activated before the end of the day.

"Let's go get some lunch," Jacky suggested. "Does Ogilvy's still have their lunch counter?"

Rob sighed deeply.

"Oh, no. What happened to the lunch counter?"

"Ogilvy's was bought out and run into the ground by its new owners. It was replaced by a Zellers, and that chain's gone, too. Then Target came in and closed the lunch counter, before pulling out of Canada altogether a year later. Now, there's a Wal-Mart where Ogilvy's used to be."

"Is Wal-Mart any good?" Jacky asked.

"It's a discount chain."

"Oh, no!"

"Let's head down the road. There's still a Fat Albert's near Heron Road."

"I was wondering why you brought the car for such a short trip," Mamoru commented.



12:55 pm


"The menu's grown a bit in the last three decades."

"The quality's still the same, though."

Everybody ordered footlongs, and they sipped at their drinks while they were waiting.

"I've got a problem."

"What's wrong, Jemi? Is there something you can't figure out on your phone?"

"No. Well, yes, but that's not the problem. I can't find Henk."

"What's a henk?" Mamoru asked.

"Who, not what. He's the local Fiddle Wit. The leader of our rede."

Rob took over. "He's a mortal who plays the... not the violin, but that's not important right now."

"The concertina. It's best if a mortal lead the sidhe's monthly rede so that we can gather as much luck and magic from the moon as we can for the next month."

"Thanks, Jemi. If the sidhe don't have a rede on the night of the full moon, then they don't get their luck for the next month, and they're weakened." Rob turned to Jemi. "But I thought the Pook could lead the rede if there isn't a Fiddle Wit."

"Humans are the best to lead the rede. I could do it, but even though I'm a halfling, I'm not as good as a fully-mortal Fiddle Wit would be. And I can't do it this month. AKT's got a gig booked at Carleton U."

"A halfling?"

"I'm half mortal, Mamoru."

"Ah!" Everyone turned to Rob. "That's why Washuu-chan said she'd found human DNA last Friday. If the faerie and humans can crossbreed, then biologically the faerie are human."

"That's nice to know," Kate replied, "but it doesn't help us now. When's the next full moon?"

"Next Sunday." Jemi sighed. "Maybe we'll have to cancel the concert."

The waitress chose that moment to bring everybody's subs. A couple of minutes later, Mamoru asked, "Why not ask Mikoto to play for the rede?"

"Who?" all three women asked as one.

"Please forget you heard that name." Rob turned to Mamoru. "It wouldn't work."

"Why not? She's human, and Jemi said humans are the best at this."

"It's because of the way that esper abilities work in Academy City. She's created a Personal Reality that lets her do what she can do."

He thought for a moment. "I still don't understand."

"She has rejected our reality and substituted her own - and that reality has no room for magic. No matter how well she plays her violin, she can't be both Railgun and a Fiddle Wit. And she's never going to stop being Railgun."

"Oh." Mamoru thought for a moment. "Could we hire somebody?"

Jemi shook her head as she chewed. After swallowing her bite, she said, "You can't hire somebody to lead the rede. It has to be done freely, and by somebody who we can trust to keep secret the fact that the faerie realm still exists."

"Which means we need to find somebody who plays the violin or some other portable instrument and who knows that there's magic in the world and who can use it." Mamoru took a drink of his coffee. "I can think of one person who matches that description, but I have no idea whether she's in this world yet."

Rob pulled out his Blackberry Passport. "I think I know who you're thinking of. Let me ask HAL whether he's found her yet."

"Who are you thinking of?" Jacky asked. "And Hal who?"

"HAL-9000. He's very good at searching through computer records."

"You mean like in that movie?" Kat asked.

"The very same. Don't look so surprised; we told you that fictional people have been showing up here."

Jemi looked worried. "But isn't HAL-9000 a killer?"

"Only because of a badly-written computer program. That's been fixed. All of you, eat. Don't mind me."

Five minutes later, Rob had an address. "Mamoru, I'll be missing dinner tonight."



4:41 pm


"Why do I have to come along? I have homework!"

"Do you think they'll listen to me if you don't come along?"

"Oh, yeah."



Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
November 7, 2016
5:35 pm


They were sitting at a table in the local coffee shop, Brewed Awakenings, enjoying both the drinks and the music being played by the violinist in the corner of the room farthest from them.

Rob leaned over and whispered, "Is she ...?"

"Yes."

They waited until she was finished her piece, then Rob applauded politely. He was the only one in the room who did.

The violinist stood up and walked over. "Thank you for appreciating my music, sir... Oh! Usagi!"

Rob's companion smiled. "Hello, Michiru. It's good to see you again."

"Will you join us?" Rob asked.



6:11 pm


"That's quite a lot to take in, Mr. Donaldson."

Usagi grinned. "I know! There's never a dull moment around Rob-san! Except when he drags us off to museums."

"Museums?"

"Neo-Queen Serenity here doesn't like doing homework, and she needed to learn Canadian history quickly. Thus, we visit museums."

"Mou."

Rob thought Usagi had a cute pout. He turned his attention back to Michiru. "Where's Ms. Ten'nou?"

"Haruka's busy helping some friends rebuild their car. She's going to be racing it when spring comes around."

"How long have you two been here? We've been looking all over for you!"

Michiru turned to Usagi. "We've been here for almost two months now."

"As long as we've been here." She looked at Rob, then back at Michiru. "Where are Setsuna and Hotaru?"

"I don't know. Oh, it's been more than ten minutes." Michiru stood up and started playing yet again.



6:59 pm


"Does anybody want coffee to go? You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." The woman behind the counter looked straight at Rob and Usagi as she said that - not unreasonably, since they were the last customers in the shop.

Usagi turned to Michiru. "Do you have a cellphone yet?"

"Of course I do. Here's the number." She elegantly wrote the number onto a napkin, then passed it to Usagi.

"And here's mine." She scribbled her number on a napkin, then passed it to Michiru.

Rob glanced at the notes as they were being passed, and sighed.

"I know, I know. I need to work on my penmanship."




Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
November 14, 2016
7:15 am


"I've never played for so long, or for so many different people at once, or walked while I played. I'm exhausted."

Haruka supported Michiru as they made their way from the car to their apartment. "And you're going to do this again next month?"

"Usagi insisted."

They walked in silence for a moment. Finally, Haruka broke the conversation's pause. "It was good to see them again."

"Do you want to move to Ottawa?"

"No, they're close enough to drive there if we want to see them again. Let's get you to bed."

Michiru smiled at her girlfriend. "Yes, let's."




Fin
--
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
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RE: [IC][Story][Arc 1] Reach for the Moon - by robkelk - 07-21-2018, 05:56 PM

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