In Alsace – by QDesjardin
Somewhere, someone beweeps their fate, troubling deaf Heaven with bootless cries, having fallen into disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes.
SCENE 1 – Old Town
There is the classical architecture of Petite-France, medieval half-timbered houses and baroque sandstone offices. The morning sky is overcast, sunlight diffused through the dense clouds – a couple waltzes by upon the lavish pavement, weaving by other travellers, lost to their own tune.
Utena Tenjou, aged 16, in her tan trenchcoat, calmly surveys her surroundings for any sign of Das Menchen's approaching. Her partner, Robin, is still inside the comforts of the Chevalier Hotel, likely searching up facets about the region on her finicky jeejah. As far as they're concerned, savouring the delights isn't their biggest priority, but the swift execution of whatever the fuck Timothy IV (their boss) needs them to do, which they don't know yet. Das Menchen will be telling them that shortly – the good German guy, as Timothy described him: rough and grizzly and cold-blooded vigour under his skin. He should be arriving around 8 minutes.
Utena ought to be learning Humanities in school, but her job's much more hands-on and it pays better than bagging groceries. In spite of her sultry demeanour, she doesn't think herself the cheerleader type. “Yawwwnn--!” She must confess though, this sort of life can get quite demanding. But as long as she gets her footsies and backsies afterward.. when they rub that tender spot it is bliss.
Robin Sena emerges from the hotel, aged 15, stoic as usual and walks over to where Utena's standing. She leans on the balustrade, where behind the blue roses bloom, and pulls out her pocket book of Daemonology. It's not just about Daemons, it also has Gothic romances, and Robin has been falling in love secretly with those tragic gentlemen who've tried to endure the allure of Succubi. It is something of a guilty pleasure for her. Shhh.
“Sheesh, you're bookwormy,” Utena goes, tapping feet. “You should get out more.”
“Hm.” Robin nudges her chin, holding book one-handed by the spine.
“You wanna know what I think, this is just so Timmy could get kicks out of us blowing off his enemies' asses. What, we've.. bumped two off this week, so far?”
“And this will make three.. or is he making us fetch his Sauerkraut takeout now?”
“Hm..” Robin licks her finger and turns a page.
“That is, if we don't nab some of the sausages in-between, hehe. I dunno. I think I'll like the food here, if our breakfast was anything to go by.”
“I liked the bread.”
“Yeah. Crunchy. Irresistibly so with the garlic flavouring, and once you've added the meat inside. Oh-- he's here. Robin!” Utena snaps her fingers.
Robin snaps to reality as she pockets away her book. A white van has arrived, with the label Plumbing Inc. on the sides, the driver's door open and Das Menchen slumbering towards them. It's almost surprising how the guy seems mundane as any other in his utilitywear, until you really catch the intensity in his eyes.
When they can just smell the Turkish Delight on his breath, he says to them, “You are Utena? You are Robin?” He has his hand out – Utena shakes it. “You may call me Monsieur Valken. Come in my van, I drive you to a good place.”
M. Valken slides the side door open, where inside you can see the seats by the sides, tangled nets enmeshed over the windows, surrounding the empty space in the middle – save for three worn toolboxes awaiting their duty. Once Utena and Robin seat themselves the best they could (it seems holding onto the nets must suffice as seatbelts), M. Valken ignites the van.
The ride is rough. Those pangs of acceleration M. Valken gives makes it feel like entering warp drive at every stop, and the rattling below – *titttuttititttutt*-- Robin realises she's clutching onto Utena.
“So how do you know Tim?” Utena asks, half-shouting over the noise.
“We've good friends,” M. Valken goes. “I met him during a fishing trip, I was throwing my speciality hook in the waters when it caught on one of the albatross birds – right in the eyes, and I said to one of my friends, 'Damn! That cocksucking scoundrel try to swindle me from my 200-pound tuna!' I nickname her Fishy.”