The Virtual Timepiece (ch 27)"Fire! Fire! Ishyama-sama, get up!"
Yumi's eyes flew open and she sat up with a gasp. "What..." Her mind spun and she stumbled out of her small cot. Her feet hit smooth tatami mats, and a faint orange light shown through the round windows in the sliding door next to her.
Had it all been a dream? She wondered, staggering to the door. She was home, in Japan. With her family. It had all been a dream, all that...madness. She shook her head, and pushed open the door.
Fire burned everywhere in front of her, snaking through the narrow streets of Kyoto. Faces were blurred as people raced by, crying for help. In the distance, she could hear the sound of battle.
Fear and dread, she took a step back. Nothing had changed.
She wasn't in her bedroom anymore. The fires, the streets, the crowds had gone. Now the smell of old wood and horses met her nose. The stable? She blinked. What on earth?
"Yumi-san!" Someone grabbed her hand, and she spun, her hands out to fight off who ever had her.
The MusicboxThere's a doll
A box of music
Sitting there in it's dust
Little happy hands wound the key
And let the music play
The doll dancing
Now...these older hands
Why am I so afraid
Of this little thing
The sound it makes is still clear
The clicks and spins of it's heart
Make no difference
Yet now the music brings relief
The music is still there
And the doll
Dusty from it's years
As if time has reversed
And stands still
The Virtual Timepiece (ch 26)"I do believe we've seen this corner before."
Not for the first time, Jeremie looked sidelong over at Aelita with a mix of frustration, admiration and disbelief. The pink haired girl next to him continued to mutter softly, and either to him or her own self, he couldn't tell.
"Now, if the automatons all came from this direction, that means we're getting close. In theory."
"We're going towards the ones sending those at us?" Jeremie tried not to gulp. "Are you sure that's-"
Aelita held a finger to her lips, and Jeremie shushed.
"It would make sense," she whispered, after a moment. It was like she had never even heard what he had said. "They obviously know someone's escaped." She bit her lip thoughtfully. "Unless they just let those things wander about the building."
Finally Aelita paused, glancing around a corner. "We need to be careful now. The paths are all sloping downward." She frowned. "A strange factory indeed, without stairways."
"Perhaps we're descending into hell its