Chapter Nineteen: Citidale

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Luce pulled the last rope tightly, securing the portable MRI machine into the last open space in the back of Arnold's truck. Alongside the portable bio-cell, there was just enough space left to install a seat for a third passenger.

"Alright," she said, closing the door. "It's all loaded up."

She stepped back as Josh and Arnold stepped out and around the truck. With that, they had finished loading up all the necessary medical equipments for Misty's brain scans along with supplies for the journey north. Josh came up to her and gave Luce a quick hug, which she reciprocated. Next to them, Adelle made a gagging face.

Luce asked Josh, "Are you sure you don't need me to come along with you?"

"I'm fine. It's easier to travel with just two Guides and a doctor. Besides, there aren't any space left in the truck."

Arnold walked up to them. "We'll have to load up on supplies when we pass Citi. We can't take the Slopes with the equipments' weight, so we'll have to go slow and take the long way around."

"Thirty days," Luce repeated the timeline they were told during the briefing. "You'll be back in thirty days."

Arnold shrugged. "As long as everything goes well."

They finished packing the last of the smaller equipments to the front seats and bit them farewell. In the end, Luce, Adell watched as the truck drove off into the dust, leaving her behind with Adelle, Miu, and Shou. For a while, they watched in silence as the travelling party miniaturised into the distance.

"So," Shou began. "Shall we have a party? Me and my harem?"

"I'm gay," Luce stonely replied.

"I'm gay too," Adelle whiffed back.

Shou clicked his tongue. "Damn it!"

Miu added, "I'm standing right here."

"Come along, Adelle," Luce said. "Miu, do you mind if we borrowed you elecycle?"

"Go ahead. But where are you going?"

"We're going into Citidale. I want to get Adelle oriented to seeing the culture and technology here and see if we can drum up some helpful leads. We've got thirty days. Might as well use them."

"How are you going to get past the gates?"

"Have they changed the design and guard routine in the last ten years?"

"No."

Luce looked at Adelle expectantly. "Then we'll have our ways."

"Ooo!" Shou piped up. "I'll come along with you. We can sit threesies!"

Before he could even move, Miu grabbed his ears and pulled him painfully back.

"And where do you think you're going, mister?"

"To - ow! To party with the pretty girls?"

"We have work to do. And are you trying to say I'm not fun, or that I'm not pretty?"

Luce left the two to their devices. After they were done flirting, she was sure the two would begin work on preparing Reggie to receive its new - about to be stolen - part. For now though, she wanted to check out Citidale to get a feel of how much things have changed. It would also be good for Adelle to get more accustomed to the technology. It would do them no good for the elf to be confused in the heat of infiltration or battle.

Adelle asked, "I thought you couldn't drive?"

"Not a car. An elecycle's a... bike."

"I am not cycling to Citi. I've seen the maps and I know how far it is."

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