The ship, drifts ever closer to the hierarchical city, and panicked citizens run as they notice the out of control ship coming toward their port. As the ship crashes into the port, everything on the ship lurches forward, moving plenty of the cargo on the ship into several different spots. When the ship finally grinds to a halt, the ship somehow had managed safely to land, without too much damage to it. Inside, Alexandria, Kei, and Serenity remain unscathed thanks to Serenity.
Kei: Everyone alright?
Alexandria: I’m okay.
Serenity: Yes, and if the two of you are well enough I suggest trying to find the cause of the crash before people here disperse to much.
Kei: I’ll check it out. Alexandria, stay with Serenity.
She nods. Kei, releasing himself from his secure bonds, cautiously moves toward the back of the ship. As he moves, he notices that a lot of the cargo on the ship had been crushed. Some fruits, some papers, a lot of what Kei expected. He moves past bigger cargo, using them to move forward to the back of the ship. With the back of the ship at an angle, it was hard to move toward the back of the ship. He finally reaches the door, noticing that it was open, he’s able to grab on to the handle of the inside of it. He takes notice as he looks inside, that the engine of the ship had seemingly been chopped up. Marks of where the engine had been struck could visibly be seen. What had been used, he couldn’t tell.
Kei: (Thinking) This wasn’t accidental.
Kei, letting go of the door’s handle, lets himself slide back toward where Serenity and Alexandria were located.
Kei: I’ve found out what happened. I’ll tell you when we’re safely off the ship.
Serenity: (Stands) Ok, (Glances at Alexandria) do you need some help?
Alexandria: (shakes her head) Nope! I’m good! I’m right behind both of you!
Kei: Follow me.
The three quietly and carefully move toward the exit to the ship. All that was in front of them were empty seats. It was simple enough for them to get down to the entrance as it was just as simple as sliding carefully toward it. Thankfully for them, the ship’s entrance was near the ground. The three easily exit the ship and head toward the nearby forest. When they were safely out of sight, Kei breathes more easily.
Kei: Everyone alright?
Serenity: I’m assuming you found something considering your insistence on leaving.
Kei: (nodding) The ship didn’t crash on accident. The engine was sabotaged.
Serenity: MOR I’d assume, they must have made it in before the launch.
Kei: I don’t know, not enough information. I sincerely doubt it though. Why would the NOS want to sabotage one of their own ships that they’ve taken over?
Serenity: An assassination disguised as an accident maybe?
Kei: I can’t rule it out. For now let’s keep moving, keep as much space between what could be our assassin and us.
Serenity: First things, do you know where we are?
Kei: Judging by where we crashed and the metal and wood everywhere, I gotta imagine we crashed near or at the port docking for the city. So somehow we managed to make it to Kagutsuchi safely, well, mostly.
Serenity: It’s been quite a while since I’ve set foot in the city, lot’s of memories.
Inside the ship, the man from the branch simply lies on his back.
???: How boring, the ship couldn’t even crash the way I wanted it to.
He scratches his head.
???: This whole thing is boring.
A voice pops on from his watch.
???: Number fifteen.
He bring the wrist with his watch up to his face and looks into it.
???: Honestly, number one, couldn’t you just call me by name? Its Jiro.
???: Number fifteen. Did you accomplish your goal?
Jiro: I crashed the ship, but they survived.
???: That is unacceptable.
Jiro: I don’t really care.
???: Number fifteen, pursue them.
Jiro: Do I have to?
???: NUMBER FIFTEEN
Jiro: Alright, I got it already. I’ll follow them on foot.
???: I want you to eliminate them entirely.
Jiro: I really don’t care.
???: You will do as I say.
Jiro: Fine. Number Fifteen out.
He clicks the watch and the communication ceases.
Jiro: Geez, so bossy. I really don’t care about those three at all. But orders are orders I guess.
Meanwhile, Kei, Serenity, and Alexandria walk up the hill through the forest. Kei was deep in thought.
Kei: Gotta thank you again, Serenity, if it wasn’t for those chains, we would’ve been thrown around like rag dolls.
Serenity: Happy to help, there was probably a better way but everyone survived i believe.
Kei: Agreed. Most of the time those ships only carry cargo, they’re not usually equipped well for passengers.
Serenity: hopefully it wasn’t carrying anything to important cargo wise.
Kei: We have all of our stuff. All I really saw was fruit and papers. Nothing big. All the same we should be careful going forward. That ship was sabotaged.
Serenity: And we’re likely being followed by the same people responsible.
Kei: We’ll simply have to continue on foot.
Alexandria: Nothing new there.
Kei: And this is why we jog every morning, Alexandria. You never know when you’re going to need to walk up a mountain.
The three begin working their way slowly up the mountain. They each keep a sharp eye out for anyone following them for the sake of being careful.
Kei: We at least landed in Kagutsuchi, but its still going to be some time before we reach the cauldron since we landed on the other side.
Serenity: (sweating heavily) true, but with the time we’re making it’s a lot better than it could have been.
As the trio make their way, they soon find their way into the city of Kagutsuchi. The city doesn’t seem to be missing a beat. An audible growl of hunger can be heard from Kei’s stomach.
Kei: (Embarrassed) Heh, um, anyone hungry?
Serenity: I wouldn’t mind a break.
The three enter a shop and quietly order some food. For Kei, simply a bowl of ramen. For Alexandria, she orders some sweet and sour chicken. For Serenity, Garlic Chicken and rice. After the brief stop, Kei quietly pays for the meal, and they begin to head out back into the city. Only to encounter someone standing there.
Jiro: You, You’re Kei, right?
Kei: Um, yes?
Jiro: Could you and that other woman just die so I can take Alexandria?
Kei: (Confused) Um, no.
Serenity: (turns, a bow appearing in her hands) You either have a bad sense of humor or your the guy who’s been very poorly trying to kill us.
Jiro: I’ll admit, my attempts have been half-hearted.
Serenity: Well then you shouldn’t mind turning around and leaving too terribly much.
Jiro: Sorry, but I have to follow orders, but it would make my life incredibly easy if you would just hand her over.
Kei: Do you honestly think we’re that stupid?
Jiro: No, I thought if I asked nicely…
Serenity: We’d tell you something other than screw off (draws back the arrow).
Jiro: (sighs, exasperated) I really don’t want to use force.
Jiro draws his sword and places it above his face.
Jiro: Timer Bubbles.
A large bubble appear around each one of them. The bubbles would pop automatically when the timer ran out, but not before or after.
Kei: The hell?!
Alexandria: What’s going on?!
Serenity: (The bow molds itself into razors which she uses to strike at the bubble a slightly panicked look on her face)
Jiro: Sorry, but nothing on Earth can pop those bubbles. He goes up and grabs the bubble containing Alexandria and picks it up.
Jiro: Sorry about all of this.
Alexandria: Let go of me you jerk!
The two quietly leave as Kei and Serenity struggle with the bubbles.
Kei: Urgh, Stupid Bubble! Of all the stupid things…
Serenity: Can’t panic, focus (she closes her eyes as metallic spikes shoot out and attempt to break the bubble)
Serenity’s spikes pop the bubble entirely, freeing her. Kei, meanwhile has no luck.
Kei: I guess he was serious when he said ‘nothing on earth’. Do you mind letting me out of here?
Serenity: of course (does the same to the bubble surrounding Kei) we’d best get looking for them, they can’t have gone far.
Kei: Yeah let’s get after him!