Turn 3: The False Classmate
The dust and smoke from the battlefield was settling. Prince Clovis had ordered it all to stop.
“Why the hell are we letting the 11’s go? What about the poison gas they stole!” Jeremiah asked demanding answers.
“But, we were ordered by Prince Clovis.”
“What about Bartley. I want to ask the general staff about this.”
“They’re not at their posts!”
“Are you telling me Prince Clovis is alone in Conduit Floor!?”
I stood and walked over to him, my gun aimed at his head.
“I…I’m over joyed Luca! They said you died during the capture of America. What good news that you’re alive! Why don’t you come back to the homeland with me?”
“You intend to use me as a tool of diplomacy again? It seems you’ve forgotten why we were used as tools in the first place.” His eyes opened wide when he remembered. “Right. Because my mother was killed. Mother held the title of Knight Of Honor. But she was originally a commoner No doubt the other empresses held her in contempt. Even so. Even though you made it look like the work of terrorists…You people killed my mother!”
“It wasn’t me! I swear, it wasn’t!”
“Then tell me everything you know. No one can lie to me now! By whose hand was she slain?” My Aeon took hold of him and made him give me my answer.
“Schneizel, the second prince, and Cornelia, the second princess. They know.”
“They’re the ringleaders? That’s all that you know isn’t it, huh?” I released him from my Aeon. He shook his head and returned to stuttering for his life.
“It…It wasn’t me, I swear! I didn’t kill her! I didn’t have her killed!”
I lowered my gun briefly to answer him. “ I believe you. However…” I raised my gun and aimed it at his forehead.
“No, don’t! We may have different mothers, but I am still your brother!”
“You can’t change the world without getting your hands dirty.” I pulled my finger back on the trigger.
“Wake up Luca!”
Milly went back to hitting me over the head with a rolled handful of flyers.
“I know you were sleeping your hand stopped moving!”
“Well you don’t have to beat me up over it!”
“Well it serves you right for ditching me like that!” Rivalz said at the other side of the table.
“Yeah that’s right what were you up to yesterday?” Sherry asked me.
“Uh…oh nothing.” I answered her getting back to work.
“All right, all right, all right! I won’t allow you to change the subject! If we don’t review the club activity budget now, there won’t be a budget for anything, will there?” Milly said unrolling the flyers.
“And if it comes to that point…” Nina said looking up from her computer.
“The Equestrian Club will be pissed off at us. They’ll come busting in here like last time” Rivalz said leaning back in his chair, nearly falling out.
“Rivalz can’t you be a more serious student council member?” Milly asked giving him her evil glare.
“You know you should have reminded us about the deadline days ago!” Sherry stated
“I’d say a day later, then we could have given up.” Rivalz said climbing off the ground back into his chair.
“Good idea, we can still do that!” I said pointing my pen at him.
“GUTS!” Milly shouted at the top of her lungs. We all cringed at how impressively loud she was.
“Are you trying that guts spell again?” Rivalz said uncovering his ears.
“Yup! Don’t you want to work harder now?” Milly said pointing her finger at everyone while she leaned over the table.
“I really don;t think your fake magic is going to do a whole lot.” I told her.
I’ll pretend it worked on me, prez!” Sherry said raising her hand.
“Subtle and willing that’s what I like!” Milly said cheering. The only thing that she was missing was a pair of pom poms and a cheerleader outfit.
“I trained hard in the gymnastics club!” Sherry said flexing her arm muscles.
“That’s not what I was getting at. You’re a 10. from what I’ve seen in the girl’s locker room anyways. You’ve been filling out in all the right places huh?” Milly said making Sherry incredibly uncomfortable.
“W-WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT YOU PERV!!”
******2 hours later*****
“Jeez, the prez is just a dirty old man on the inside! Sullying the meeting with her filthy mind!” Sherry said cringing at Milly’s behavior
“Yeah, well…that’s Milly for you.” Nina said nervous as ever.
“hehehe, well look at the bright side. We got the budget balanced didn’t we.” Rivalz said as he walked into the classroom.
“The terrorists used poison gas?!” I was just outside the door when I heard the conversation from within.
“Man that’s scary, Bismark is only thirty minutes from here.” “Omg I saw smoke rising over in Bismark! It must have been the gas!”
I walked in only to have Sherry questioning me about yesterday. “I heard about it from a friend IRL. That’s why I called you about it. This is strange….why would they hide the news about it?” I felt a sudden turn in my stomach and ran off to the boys bathroom. Rinsing off my face from the unpleasant shock. “Are they hiding Clovis’ death to prevent chaos? But if they do that, when they announce it…I guess I’m a lot more sensitive than I thought I was.”
“That Ex-Bureaucrat’s response is tepid at best.” Jeremiah said to Violetta.
“Are you referring to Gen. Bartley?”
“The murderer has breached high security areas twice. Such a perfunctory inspection won’t find him.”
“Margrave Jeremiah, now that prince Clovis, is dead. We pure-bloods can…”
“Let me make that call. We still need to woo everyone onto our side.”
I walked back to class from the bathroom in time to hear a girl screaming someones name.
“Collin! It’s been ages! Are you OK? Sophie’s been worried sick about you!”
“I’m fine now. I just have to go easy for awhile.”
I looked at a desk to see a girl with red hair. She looked familiar until it hit me. She was the woman who was piloting the Glasko. “Of course. I thought she looked familiar.”
“Anyways if I stay home any longer I’ll never catch up.”
I sat down in my desk staring at her, when Rivalz walked behind me.
“What’s up buddy? See something you like? You’ve got a thing for her don’t ya!” He whispered into my ear.
“Just thinking this is a rare event. She hasn’t been here since the semester started.” My day went by as normal as it could. First P.E. Then to English class. Collin was in both of these classes but she just sat on the sidelines.
“Collin Stadtfeld. They say she’s sick or something. She barely even showed up at school last year either. Even so her grades are top of the class. She’s also a member of the Stadtfeld family, so she’s super loaded and rolling in money. Man you sure know how to pick em’.”
That was Rivalz description of her.
An hour had passed before the lunch bell rang. Collin went out to the courtyard and sat with two other girls. Moments later the girls started screaming.
“OMG Collin run there’s a bee after you.”
She just casually ran to the corridor not a care in the world. She hid behind a bush and I could hear what she was saying.
“I don’t get it why is a bee after me. Maybe there’s a hive nearby.”
She raised her hand and quickly swat at the bee. The insect fell to the ground and…fell into pieces. The girl had sliced the bee into pieces just by swatting at it. She stood up and held her sandwich in her hand.
“God, I hate this! I hate having to act like I’m some invalid!”
I walked up to her as she took a bit out her sandwich.
“C-can I help you with something.” She swallowed her sandwich and stood up.
“There’s no question. It’s her. I want you to answer all of my questions.”
“Were you the one piloting the Glasko in Bismark?”
“Because I’m American. Though technically I’m half Brittanian.”
“A half-blood! But why go so far?” The bell tower rang and I wasn’t able to hear her answer. The power released her and she just stared at me.
“Um…Did you want something?”
“No, I got what I needed here.” I started to walk off to get to class before stopping on my heel. “Oh, wait. Just to be sure. Don’t tell anyone about Bismark.”
“Hmm. What do you mean about Bismark? Why would you say that?”
“Go back to class.”
“As soon as I get an answer to my question I will!”
“It’s not working?! What’s going on here?” I slowly started walking backwards towards the door.
“Hey, Lulu, Collin!”
I looked up behind me to see Sherry waving at us from a window two stories up.
“You know it’s time to head over to the chem lab. You better hurry you don’t wanna be late!”
“Ah, crap it’s my turn to set up for class!” I ran towards the door leaving Collin there. “It didn’t work? But…”
*****Irrione Living Quarters*****
Classes had ended for the day and already the sun was starting to go down. I headed home to the living area the Ashford family was letting us live in. The electric door slid open, and I saw my little sister Anna Lee, along with Miss Cynthia The Japanese woman who had volunteered to look after and help my sister with her disabilities. Seven years ago, Anna Lee witnessed our mothers murder. She was only 5 years old so it traumatized her. She had been blinded and crippled, the doctors said that she would be in the wheelchair for the rest of her life. The chances of her seeing again were one in a million. The event had left frail and tiny, she had long blonde hair that would stretch down to her waist. Cynthia always made sure that it was well taken care of though.“Sorry I’m so late…” There were little paper action figures on the table that they were sitting at.
“Hi Luca, welcome home!”
“Welcome home my lord.”
“Hmm, no place like it Cynthia. Right Anna Lee?”
“As you already know, the project was a complete failure. Consequently, I am disbanding this research center. I have set up a place for you in Carolina. Move everything out there.” Gen. Bartley said to his team.
“While we may have no memory of it. The fact is that the other staff officers and I left Prince Clovis alone and on his own. I’ll be very likely recalled back to the homeland to take responsibility for this. If his majesty learns that this experiment has gone on without his knowledge about it…he’ll–”
“Understood sir! We’ll make preparations to leave immediately!” One of the scientists said, knocking over an album of pictures. Pictures of the girl with the green hair.
*****Irrione Living Quarters*****
I took Anna Lee’s steak and started cutting it up into small enough pieces for her to eat. This was our regular routine. During dinner every night, she and I would telleach other about our day and how it had been.
“Today Miss Cynthia was teaching me about the art of Origami. Fold a piece of paper the correct way and you can make just about anything. Birds, Bugs, almost anything.”
She took a sip of her chicken soup and stopped when some leaked down her chin. Taking a napkin from the table I wiped her chin for her. “Easy now, you don’t have to tell me everything at once. It’s not like I’m going anywhere.”
“You’re right. Thank you Luca.”
I smiled, although she wouldn’t be able to tell. “You’re very welcome.”
“I’m so happy! Because last night you sort of scared me.”
“Did I? I’m sorry, I just have a lot on my mind is all.”
“Hey! They say if you fold a thousand of these your wish will come true.”
She picked up a small paper crane that had been made with pink paper.
“So if there’s anything you wish for…”
“Oh no. Not me. What about you, do you wish for anything?”
“Hmm. I wish the world was a gentler place.”
“When the day comes that you can see again. I’m sure it will be.”
“I promise! The truth is…There are very few places of which our future can take. The Ashford family is sheltering us for now, but how long can that last? If our identity is exposed, even Rivalz, Sherry, and the others will abandon us. We’ll end up political tools, or a casualty of royal ambition. I have to build a world where Anna Lee can at least find happiness…” Anna Lee took my hand and raised it, wrapping her pinky around mine.
“Cynthia taught me this the other day. It’s called a Japanese promise. ‘Cross my heart, hope to die, eat a thousand needles if I lie. Pinky promise, swear’!”
She let go of my hand and laughed. “Well now I’m scarred. I may have to eat a thousand needles someday.”
“That’s right! So I better not catch you telling lies OK.”
“It’s alright. I’ll never lie, I swear. Not to you anyways…”
I stood at the bridge that connected our living quarters to the school grounds. I looked down at the water that passed underneath the bridge. In the reflection I could see my power within my left eye. My right eye remained it’s typical violet color. “This is the only weapon I have. And I don’t even know how to use it.”
I looked up too see my Social Studies teacher crossing the bridge. Our house is also next door to the teachers lounge.
“Class will be starting any minute you know. Better hurry up.”
“Oh, yes sir. Sir, could you tell me what the topics are going to be on your next exam.”
“The embarrassment of Odinburgh. The transfer of the capitol to the new world. Also the ending cause of the North-South war.”
“So, I haven’t lost the power then.”
“Sir, could you tell me what the topics are going to be on your next exam.”
“Right very funny. Maybe if you tried studying you’d do better. Now hurry up to class.”
“Yes sir! As I suspected I can only use it on a person once.”
“So, how’s campus life treating you.” Otto said over the phone.
“Stifling. I was stuck in history class yesterday. Look maybe I should just head back over there.” Collin stated.
“The army’s on a high alert right now. Stay there, let things cool off.”
“I don’t know. What about the voice we heard on the radio?” ]
“We can’t go looking for a voice. Besides….Josh would be happy to see you back in school. Forget about Bismark for now. I’ll be in touch.” Otto hung up the phone on his end.
Collin simply slouched over the railing on the rooftop.
“Bismark. I understand but…!”
“Don’t tell anyone about Bismark.”
Collin remembered the conversation she had with that student yesterday.
“No….It couldn’t have been his voice.”
*****Social Studies classroom*****
Collin spent every class period that she had with Luca, trying to remember the voice that she heard on the radio. “It could be…No, I can’t remember well enough to be sure.
I sat down after giving my statement to my Social Studies teacher. Looking over at Collin could see that I was in the reflection of her mirror.
Luca: “All I did was simply mention Bismark. However…”
Collin: “ If he knows who I really am…”
Luca: “Then at the first opportunity…”
Collin: “I need to take him out of commission.”
The rest of the class period went on like any other day would. When the bell finally did ring, however…
“Hey Lulu, a bunch of us are going out for coffee’s. Wanna come along?”
Sherry came behind me and asked me. They had also asked Collin to go but she turned them down. “Sorry, maybe some other time.” I walked over to Collin’s seat where a bunch of other girls were as well. “You think you could spare a minute Collin. I need to talk to you.”
“Sure. I was wondering when you were gonna ask.”
All the girls squealed in jealousy. Every girl in this school aside from Milly and Nina, were always flirting with me. It must have been the fact that I asked Collin, that got them so wired.
Collin and I walked to the ballroom. A place we could talk in private.
“I didn’t even know this room existed.”
Collin stared up at the crystal chandelier. “It’s the clubhouse for the student council. They built it as a ballroom for various special occasions.”
“And we won’t be disturbed inside here?”
“I found it!”
Collin and I both looked up at the balcony to see Sherry standing up. She held something in between her fingers, whatever it was was too small and far away for me to spot.
“This is it right?”
“What a relief you found our lab data.” Nina walked up to Sherry, taking whatever it was she had.
“Thank god, my ass was killing me.” Rivalz stood up hunched over like an old man.
“Did you find what you were looking for? I finished up on my end!” Milly walked in with a cart full of various dishes.
“Um…Milly what is all this?”
“Hmm….Luca didn’t you know, I thought that was why you brought her. We’re letting Collin into the student council. It was my grandfather’s idea actually.” Milly went to setting the dishes onto the tables. There were salads, soups and many other various dishes.
“He thought it best with her pour health she would have a harder time with regular club activities. Oh, I’m sorry my names Milly. I’m the president of the council, pleasure to meet you!”
The rest of the council ran down the stairs to greet Collin.
“Oh, thank you the pleasures all mine.”
“Hi, I’m Rivalz the secretary. If there’s anything you need help with, just ask.”
“Hi, I’m Sherry, and I’m a member of the Swim Club welcome!”
“H- hi there, my name’s Nina.”
Everyone insisted on shaking Collin’s hand.
“Sherry, I’m sorry but do you think you could set these on the table for me?”
Anna Lee came through the doors, carrying boxes of pizza from Pizza Hut and also a plate of cupcakes.
“Oh, sure! Thanks Anna!”
“Anna Lee what are you doing here?” Milly took off her apron before walking behind Anna Lee’s wheelchair.
“This is Luca’s little sister.”
“I’m still in the middle school, so I can’t be a member of the council yet.”
“That’s alright you’re an honorary member in our book!” Rivalz said reaching underneath the cart for something.
“Hello there, it’s a pleasure to meet you Collin.”
Collin couldn’t stop from smiling at her. “Thank you, the pleasures mine.”
“Right then! Shall we kick this off with a toast!” Rivalz produced a bottle of Champagne from underneath the cart.
“B- but, we’re on the student council and we’re not allowed to drink.” Nina said backing away slowly.
“NO WAY WE’RE GONNA GET IN TROUBLE!” Sherry nearly tackled Rivalz to get the bottle away from him.
“What’s going on?” Anna Lee asked.
“Here Anna Lee you have this.”
Milly gave her a small cup of Orange soda.
Rivalz tossed me the bottle not giving me a second to react. I caught the bottle in my right hand, seconds before Sherry jumped over Rivalz.
“NO WAY, YOU’RE NOT GETTING AWAY WITH THIS EITHER LULU!”
Sherry tackled me forcing me to fall onto the ground. From all the excitement, the bottle had gotten very shook up. The cork on the bottle blew, flying towards Collin. She had hairline reflexes, swatting the cork away. However…she wasn’t able to make the Champagne go the same direction. The contents of the bottle sprayed all over her like a fountain. Soaked in the liquid already, Collin just stood there. Everyone stared at her, her ruby hair now even darker.
*****Half an hour later*****
“Do we have a change of clothes for her?” Milly asked placing Collin’s soaked clothes into the washing machine.
“Cynthia is getting her some.” Sherry answered her, sitting on the stool.
The water poured down from the shower. Steam had already fogged up the mirror.
“This is why I hate Brittanians. For crying out loud…”
I knocked on the bathroom door. “It’s Luca. I brought you a change of clothes.”
“You can come in, I’ve drawn the curtain already.”
I walked in to see her shadowy figure, covered by the shower curtain. “Sorry about this, I know they can be a little…Lively, sometimes.”
“That’s OK. Nothing wrong with cutting loose every once in a while, you know.”
“These are some of my clothes. Hope that’s OK.” I set the clothes in the basket next to the Toilet.
“Don’t worry about it. It’s fine. That was fast, you went all the way to the boys dorm and back?”
“Actually, I live here. It would be pretty hard for my sister to live in the dorms. The principal of the school let’s us stay here as a favor.” I started walking towards the door to leave her in privacy. “Anyways–”
I turned back stopping.
“Can you hand me that pouch over there.”
She reached her arm pat the curtain to point at the sink. There was a little pink bag sitting on the sink board. “Sure.” I picked up the pouch and walked over towards the shower. Turning away, I reached my arm past the curtain holding the pouch out to her. She grabbed my wrist and made me drop the pouch into the water. “You really are a live wire aren’t you.”
“Were you the one in Bismark?”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t play dumb! You brought up Bismark the other day! Why?”
“Why do yo ask, is there something wrong with Bismark?”
“Don’t answer my question, with a question! Yes or no. That’s all I wanna hear out of you.”
She picked up her pouch and revealed a hidden knife was concealed within.
The telephone rang. I slowly reached over for it. Her grip on my wrist tightening. “If I don’t answer it, someone will come. All right?” I picked up the phone and brought it up to my face. “Hello, Ashford Academy Student Council. No…I’m, oh. It’s for you. He says he knows you.” I handed her the receiver and saw her put the knife down. She took the phone from my hand. All part of the plan.
Mysterious voice: “Glad you’re still alive Q-1.”
Collin: “Was I wrong?”
Mysterious Voice: “16:00 hours, the day after tomorrow. The observation deck at the fake Eiffel Tower. Come alone.
Collin: “Who are you!? How did you arrange that cease-fire order!? Hey don’t hang up!”
“Did you say cease-fire? Sounds like you keep dangerous company. Lemme guess. You’re talking about a game. Something online?” I told her looking away. She had pulled on the phone cord which had forced the curtain away, revealing her.
“Uhh….Yeah, you got me. Because, you know….I’ve been shut up in my house for so long.”
“That’s what I was warning you about. When I said not to bring up Bismark.” She let go of my wrist and handed back the phone. Hanging it up, I rubbed my wrist from her tight grip. “Seriously, some guys will try to show you footage of what happened and it’s pretty damn grim. By the way, you know I can see you right?” She gasped then looked down. She bent down and pulled the curtain back. “Umm…I won’t tell anyone, later.” I walked out of the bathroom and to my bedroom. Cynthia was waiting for me holding a voice recorder. I took it from her and pushed the playback button to hear what it said. ‘glad you’re still alive, Q-1.’. Cynthia was under my Aeon control and she called and played the track just like I had planned.
I joined up with Collin outside of the bathroom after her shower. We walked back to the ballroom together. Milly had put me in charge of telling her the ropes of being on the council. “The student council doesn’t require much work. Beyond the occasional paperwork we sometimes plan school events.”
“So, you mean events like the culture festival?”
“Exactly, along with the Cross-dressers ball, the Absolute Silence party, and swimsuit day.”
“What’s up with that?”
“Blame our president. You’ll be spending a lot of time with her. Hope you’re ready.” We arrived at the entrance to the ballroom. Everyone was waiting for us.
“Luca, it’s awful!”
I heard Anna Lee cry. “What is!”
“Prince Clovis has been found dead.” Milly informed me.
“They’re saying he was killed.” Rivalz enlightened.
We walked over to the TV and saw a member of the royal guard speaking to the press.
“Prince Clovis has been taken from us. He fought for peace and justice, against all of the 11’s. He died a martyr. We must all push down our sorrow and carry on his will.”
“We interrupt this broadcast with breaking news. The man suspected as the murderer has been captured. According to this report the murderer is an Honorary Brittanian.”
“Private Shawn Kagan! A former 11 and Honorary Brittanian. I repeat, Shawn Kagan, has been arrested for murder.