I slept next to War the entire night with the hope that he'd stir to consciousness, but he remained in his comatose state.
I relished the brighter side in seeing his skin showing some youth and his body fleshing out due to the running saline and liquid protein that flowed from a drip Forneas had connected to his arms.
There were more surprises I learned of the lantern room, which I would never have fathomed had Forneas not mentioned them. An example was the purpose of the bronze night table.
I saw Forneas kneeling motionless before it one time and wondered why he was transfixed. To my surprise, I saw the patterned surface of the night table cycling subtle colours every time the blue stream of light from this diamond eye ran over the intertwining lines. Upon closer inspection, the lines were etched grooves filled up with some silver and glass-like substance.
He later described the substance as organisms identified as dermaleeches; demonic parasites, apparently harmless to other living creatures provided they were bound to a non-organic surface. This detail didn't deter my wariness from placing my hand on that thing.
It seemed these demon critters were intelligent enough to collect and preserve other non-organic things in their prime condition. Information was also included, which Forneas would absorb through his scanning.
It led me to wonder what materials made an animachine. Especially the diamond eye that allowed him to retrieve information and recall it upon will.
The whole thing did my head in.
So, I left explanations at that and was comfortable with the fact that both the night table and Forneas were constantly monitoring the health of War and making sure he recovered to an optimal condition.
Forneas helped me dress in my new clothes, which fitted my body better than I had imagined.
The long-sleeved butterfly collar blouse had enough length to be tucked, neatly, into my tanned slacks of sturdy cotton. The navy-blue vest was able to hang down my torso without bunching when buttoned up.
My pants were a snug fit into the black calf-length boots, which (surprisingly) didn't weigh my feet down.
I was amazed by the actual space of the pocket-sized pouch of the double belt around my waist.
The belt pouch literally had space, yet I was easily able to see and retrieve the item I wanted.
At first, Small Cap was reluctant to place a leg in the pouch with fears that he'd never be able to come out.
When he realised that he could freely come and go as he pleased, he soon took a liking to it.
"Roomy. I keep stuff safe and clean for Freend." Small Cap promised when he had made himself comfortable and fell straight asleep.
Since the belt did the trick, I ditched the suspenders.
Of all the clothing items, I was most impressed with the red bow tie affixed to the spread area of my shirt collar.
I felt suave. A word Death had once described stylishly clothed men we saw in pictures of Bulldog's secret Velvet Rose books.
"I look cool, right Forneas?" I asked the animachine as I adjusted my soft flat cap firmly to my head and open finger gloves over my hands.
He gave me an uninspiring affirmative. I wondered if I should trust the opinion of a machine to confirm fashion sense.
I could hear Jensen and Wilfred's loud banter coming from up the corridor outside and figured it would be a moment of truth.
"Right. I'll know for sure if I look decent enough for this Apocalypse," I said with smug satisfaction.
"Morning Fam-" Jensen paused his greeting when he got a good look at me upon entry.
"Pfft! Going on a fox-bot hunt, are we?' He laughed, obviously finding my outfit rather funny.
"Don't mind the unrefined one; you look fabulous," Wilfred reassured me. "I love the bow tie; very snazzy."
"Aah yeah, guess we'll have to thank Saku for your new-look later," Jensen said after he had calmed down from his laughing fit.
The men got down to business afterwards and advised they were here to take me out on a date to the theater.
"The instructions from our Captain with his own words." Jensen smirked.
I sighed. Why did I get the feeling the captain and his men were enjoying some more mockery at my expense?
"Because you're fun," Jensen answered in my mind.
"Not to mention cute like a black kitty-bot." Wilfred tacked on.
"We should start calling him Kuro-chan!" Jensen's voice rang excitedly around my head.
"Ugh! Please stay out of my head!" I shouted, highly annoyed, and received hearty laughter for a response.
I released a weary sigh and went to check War's condition, reluctant to leave his side, having gone through so much to be next to him again.
"I don't want to leave him." I held onto the War's hand.
"I'll be here to keep him safe Master Famine, and will await your return," Forneas reassured me.
"Famine. The nikiaku ball your brother held is likely to hold information he wants you to see since it was released in your care," Wilfred said with a serious voice.
I met his eyes that were unwavering with sober intent. I see, so the marble was more than it seemed. After learning about the night table and Forneas, I wasn't surprised by the fact.
"So, this theater is a way to see this information?" I asked as I pulled the marble from my pouch and held in the palm of my hand.
I peered at its smoky, cloudy, texture with the hope that this thing held answers to my questions.
I closed my hand around the marble and returned it to the pouch. Small Cap mistook it for a pillow and wrapped his spindly legs around it to snuggle it in his sleep. The sight brought a smile to my face.
"Forneas, would you let me know straight away if anything happens with War?"
"Straight away Master Famine," Forneas agreed.
I nodded and allowed the Captain's men to lead the way.
YOU ARE READING
"I'll find a way to save my brother. Do whatever the hell you want. I'm stealing your guns." Famine is a man determined to save his three brothers after they were tragically separated when a magical fire destroyed their monastery home. He finds him...