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PostPosted: Fri Feb 4, '11, 5:18 pm
Memories of Love

The braided woman leads the way through the plains, while the group silently follows her. Except for the braided woman, they are still trying to organize their thoughts after the last events. They have just learned one surprising thing about the braided woman. The princess approaches the braided woman.

“Wow! I've never thought you were so good at fighting as well! I was losing my hope...”
“Oh, majesty, that was nothing... just something I've learned over the years.”
“Do you call that nothing? You even blocked Anna's slashers. I've never imagined that was possible, she is so fast.”
“Oh, she is surely a fantastic fighter, I'd be no match for her in a direct confront. But I couldn't let them be killed... they had already learned their lesson, we were not in danger anymore.”
“Well, sort of. Anna must have her reasons...”
“Even if I were to be raped... that would be a terrible thing... but would it be worthy their deaths?”
“I don't know, that question is a bit tricky...”
“To rape... steal the innocence of a woman... is a terrible crime, I know. But to kill is the biggest one... It is very hard... Many times a woman who goes through such an experience never recovers completely from the trauma, many times they accept as part of their life like all those women who are forced under influence of alcohol and drugs just in order to do things they'd never do... Many times a criminal never repents his crimes and, for the society, he is better off dead. Many times a criminal really repents from his crime, so he deserves to live and learn...”
“I see, it is really difficult...”
“There must be a way to end all this suffering. No more rapes, no more murders.”
“Where will we find the answer?”
“I'm afraid we will have to come up with the answer ourselves...”

The group keeps walking until they reach the old pier. It is a very small wooden pier where only two ships can be anchored at a time. There is no one nearby. The group stays waiting for the boat to come. The purple-haired girl and the golden-haired girl are seated, chatting.

“Yes, Anna.”
“I feel so bad...”
“That woman... she blocked my Nei slasher with an iron rod.”
“That was impressive.”
“That was scary! That made me feel depressed. Look, I've killed enemies powerful enough to annihilate her whole planet in less than a second. How can she do something like that?”
“I don't know. She looks so frail...”
“I wonder who may have killed her...”
“Maybe it is not like that... maybe that was just luck. She wanted to much to spare the lives of those rogues...”
“That is what scares me most. She was right! I shouldn't attack these guys. They were already beaten up. They were not a threat for us anymore.”
“That is right.”
“I just hate that woman! She is making me feel the worst criminal in the world.”
“Please, don't. You are not.”
“Who is...? You?” The braided woman approaches the golden-haired girl and sits by her side.
“Please, Anna, forgive me, I don't want to make you feel bad...”
“Oh, go on, start showing how you are better than me again and I'll drown myself into this sea after realizing how smart and good you are and how I am not.”
“Please, every time you talk to me, you make me feel worse.”
“Anna... you are such a wonderful girl... Don't feel this way...”
“How can I not feel this way when all you say and do just show me how wrong I am?”
“No, Anna, I'm not trying to do that, you are better than me in many ways...”
“You are trying to be nice to me, but that is not true. You are wiser than me, you are stronger than me, you are more just than me...”
“No, no, Anna, you are stronger than me and a better fighter.”
“Who are you trying to fool? You blocked my attacks with a mere iron bar.”
“Still you are better than me. Oh, Anna, don't feel like that, sometimes... most of the times... I'm just a fool girl...”
“For example, Anna, my empathy is terrible. I'm trying to cheer you up, I'm trying to tell you good things, but I'm just making matters worse. See, it is not that I'm making you feel bad on purpose. But try as I might, I end up messing the things up. It has always been like that... I'm not good dealing with emotions. As for you, your empathy is well-known for being majestic.”
“See, Anna? I'm not perfect, I'm far from that. I've made lots of mistakes in my life.”
“If you are saying so...”
“Come on, Anna. Talk about yourself a bit... I'd like to know you better...”
“Well, you know, I've had a sad life. My parents were killed when I was very young, I had to take care of my myself since my early teens... I don't like to remember too much about my past because it is still very painful to me. I've always been a lonely person... I've always had to hide my feelings in order to survive the hardships of living in the slums, amongst the dredges of the society.”
“It is very hard to live like that. Though I had a stepmother, I lived in the slums as well and that is not easy...”
“I've always lived in contact with crime, but I always hated criminals. Many times I was offered a position in the gangs, but I've always refused. Some government agents turned out to crime, harassing entire neighborhoods and small cities, becoming gang bosses. I just couldn't stand that, I started making justice with my own hands...”
“I see...”
“I know you will give me a sermon, but there was nothing I could do other than silently eliminate these gang bosses. The innocent people did not deserve that... I just couldn't stop myself...”
“Sometimes I can't stop myself...” The golden-haired girl starts crying.
“Oh, Anna...” The braided woman hugs her.
“Then I met Rolf... He was handsome, intelligent, good, fair, kind...”
“Nei's brother?”
“Yes... he was one year younger than me, but he was so mature, so knowledgeable... he was the man who could understand me... he loved me... but now he is gone...”
“Oh, to be really loved... I wish I could have known that...”
“What can I do now? Without him, my life is without purpose again. I have no dreams, no plans for the future.”
“Oh, Anna, I'm sure he still loves you... one day you will be reunited...”
“That is all I ask for...”
“Be strong, Anna. You will be happy by his side.”
“That is the only thing I ask God for.”
“Hey, there is a ship there. Could it be our ship?” The purple-haired girl interrupts the conversation.
“I don't know, Nei, ask queen Marlena, she knows it better.”
“Hey! Here!” The purple-haired girl starts shouting and jumping, waving her arms. “Looks like our boat has come.”
“I don´t know why we are spending time in this stupid planet.” The telemental is in a bad mood.
“That man... gets on my nerves...”
“I know, Anna. You must learn to ignore him.”
“Hey! Hey! Here! Here! Marlena, there is our boat!”
“It is about time!”
“Why, majesty? Are you not feeling well?” The braided woman is worried.
“I'm a bit tired, but that is not what I'm worried about. I think I've seen some people covered to their heads lurking behind the trees.”
“Strange... well, there is nothing to worry about, soon we will be departing.”
“I do hope so.”

The sail boat approaches the pier and anchors in order to let the group get aboard. The old captain recognizes the princess.

“Hey, it is you!”
The princess understands what the old man says because of the telemental's spell, but she shyly smiles and nods.
“Sorry, I've forgotten you are deaf.”
“Deaf?” The purple-haired girl looks puzzled.
“She is not deaf. She just doesn't understand our language. Ah, here is your money. Thanks for helping my friend when she most needed your help.”
“Oh, that was nothing. She was so pretty. She looks even prettier now. By the way, you all...”
“We are all models.” The braided woman laughs. “That strange man there is our fashion designer. You know, these people are eccentric.”
“Oh yeah, I know that.” The old captain laughs too.

The boat set sail and the group moved through the calm waters of the ocean. The telemental felt motion sickness again and left for the cabin. The purple-haired girl was excited to be sailing again and stayed all the trip on deck, looking at the scenery, feeling the gentle breeze. The princess was feeling tired again and sat in a corner. The golden-haired girl joined her and they stayed together in silence for a long time, until the golden-haired girl decided to break the silence.

“How do you feel?”
“Huh? Oh, Anna. I'm not feeling well...”
“Are you sick?”
“I don't know. I was not feeling well yesterday and I'm afraid the bad feeling is coming again.”
“What are you feeling?”
“Yesterday I started to feel tired, then breathing became difficult and I started feeling a sharp pain in my heart. She had to heal me again when she returned from the village. Now I'm feeling tired again.”
“The healer? Has she healed you?”
“Yes. She has bought me some medicine.”
“I see. I'm worried about your health.”
“Me too.”
“I'm also worried about other things...”
“Such as?”
“Our future. The telemental. That woman. There are so many things going on. We are trapped in this strange planet. Who knows if we will leave it again? If we leave it, who knows where the telemental will take us?”
“In the past I'd demand him to carry me home immediately after reviving that woman, but now that I don't have a home anymore, I think I'll stick with you and Nei, wherever you are. It has been only weeks since I met you, but I feel a great friendship uniting us.”
“Thanks, Marlena. I'm so glad to have known such a person like you. Well, we don't have a home too, but I'd like to return to Motavia, if possible.”
“Let's see. If we can, we may resume our lives there.”
“That would be something. What about that woman?”
“Well, to me, she is always sweet and kind.”
“I know. I'm not having a good time with her, but it looks like she doesn't put me down on purpose. She confessed some of her weakness to me and she looked like a common girl-next-door, but she still have something on her I can't explain. I'd rather keep a wary eye on her.”
“Do you really think she may be dangerous?”
“I don't know, I could not decipher her yet. She is not like me and you.”
“Oh well, I hope that, when we know her better, we can dismiss all those suspicions.”
“Me too. Talking about suspicions, I think your suspicions about the telemental were right.”
“Which ones?”
“His purpose on reviving us.”
“Do you mean he wanted to revive you just because you are pretty?”
“You didn't see him when you were trying to revive that woman. He was out of his mind. I had almost fought him.”
“He kept threatening me if I was not able to revive that woman. What do you think this man has in his mind?”
“I don't know, but I'd say that we would be better off without him.”
“If he is hiding something, he will soon show his true colors.”

The trip is uneventful. After some time, the braided woman notices a newspaper on a corner and asks the old captain.

“Can I take a look on that newspaper?”
“Sorry, dear, it is from the last week.”
“That will do. I've been for a long time in the north and I lost the contact with the south.”
“Oh, if you don't mind, you can take a look.”
The braided woman takes the newspaper and immediately looks for the date. “January 14th, 55... It has been almost fifty years...”
“Excuse me, captain, would you mind answering some questions?”
“No, I love chatting with an interesting girl like you. Sailing alone is boring. Besides, nobody has time to spend some time with an old man.”
“I can imagine... well, how are the things going down south?”
“I'm not much in contact with the big things and I don't really want to be. I've become a fisher to have a peaceful life. Of course I always read some things in the news, but looks like there is nothing really remarkable going on these days.”
“Were you alive when... tragedy stuck the planet?”
“Oh, that big event, yeah, I remember it very well. I was really afraid we all would die. I used to work in a big company at that time and I didn't believe such a thing could happen to our planet. I was very young. I used to be an apprentice technician there, but I dreamed of eventually building a successful career in that company. The company was so big and powerful, everybody sought jobs there. After all those traumatic events, I started questioning my wishes for the future and decided to abandon the big city life. It is nice to have money and leave surrounded by advanced tech devices, but no money can buy my peace of mind.”
“I see, those times were really scary. I'm glad the planet could overcome the difficulties.”
“Yeah, something holy saved the planet from being annihilated.”
“So true.”
“Unfortunately things didn't change that much. I mean, it is slowly progressing, we are not at the hands of tyrants, but there are still big companies doing things not so nice and people not caring about the future.”
“That is sad, but we all are slow learners. Everybody seems to want to change the world when a sad event like that, or a global war happens. After some decades, people settle down again. In fact, people want to live comfortably, without worrying too much about life's big questions.”
“How are the things in the Capital? I intend to pay a visit there.”
“Well, it is getting better. It is still partly in ruins from the old capital, but last time I went there, I was happy with the results. They are rebuilding it in a more environmental friendly way.”
“That is a great thing to hear!”
“I don´t know how people could live in those slums, always dark, piles of trash everywhere...”
“Don't tell me. That was terrible, but people there didn't have a better alternative. Once you have a life there, it is difficult to abandon everything.”
“So true. That is funny, you talk as you have lived on them.”
“Me? Well... no...” The braided woman blushes. “But my relatives did...”
“I see. Tell me something, girl, you girls are very pretty, but I know you are not models. When I helped your blue eyed friend, she was in a sad state, with her dress in rags, looking sick.”
“I was just joking about the model thing. My friend, poor girl, she was sick indeed. She and my friends came to the north to help me because I was more sick than her, but my friends were attacked by rogues. They managed to escape, but she got lost in the woods.”
“Well, I'm sorry. I'm glad to see you are better now.”
“Thanks. We are almost there, aren't we?”
“Oh yeah, I estimate it will take us just fifteen minutes more.”
“Good. If you excuse me, I'll have a chat with my friends.”
“Don´t worry, just go on. Thanks for spending your time with an old man.”

The braided woman walks towards the purple-haired girl, who is with her eyes close and arms open, delighted with the light breeze.

“You surely like sailing, Nei.”
“Well, I like sailing, but it is not that I love it. It is just that I try to enjoy all my moments. The gentle touch of the breeze, the beautiful scenery... everything is for free. Maybe that is because I'm condemned to a short life, so I try to enjoy all those small pleasant moments.”
“You are right, Nei, we should enjoy more the greatest show on our planet, being aired everyday, for free, courtesy of mother nature.”
“Yes. When you think you will live forever, you miss such beautiful things. I feel sad for those people who can't even recognize all those small pleasures available for us.”
“Well, Nei, I've never asked you anything about that because I think you may consider it a touchy subject, but why do you think you will not live a long life?”
“Well, you can guess by looking at me that I'm not a normal person. By the way, I'm glad you have never said a word about that.”
“For me you are as normal as a person can be.”
“Thanks, you are so kind. But I was a result of a bioengineering experiment.”
“Oh no, bioengineering... sorry, Nei, that is not about you, it is just because bioengineering brings me back sad memories.”
“Hmmm, so I guess there is some degree of bioengineering in your planet.”
“Yeah, there was, but don't worry about that, tell me your story.”
“I have human and animal cells. My organism doesn't work as the organism of a normal woman. I'm just two and I'm almost an adult.”
“Really? Well, this is really a new concept for me. I've heard about bioengineering experiments, but not to such a degree.”
“Well, I was made by an accident in an experiment. People in my planet wanted me dead. One scientist took pity on me and adopted me. One day a mob tried to kill me and set my foster parents’ house on fire, killing them. I managed to escape, but had to live in hiding. Rolf saved me from another man who wanted to kill me, took pity on me and adopted me as his sister. Only then I could have a regular life, though people still didn't like me. Now, I'm back again, but I think I'm doomed to a short life. I don't have hopes of settling down, marrying... you know, nobody would want to marry a biomonster, but even if someone did, what hopes could I have? I don't think I'll live past 10.”
“Oh, Nei, you really deserve a better fate. I'll see what I can do about it.”
“Haven't we arrived yet?” The telemental screams from inside the cabin.
“Hey, what is it with you?”
“I'm feeling seasick.”
“Why didn't you tell me before. Come here.”
“I'm dizzy...”
“Just come here.”

The telemental exits the cabin, feeling dizzy. He leans on the cabin wall to not lose balance. The braided woman places her hand in his forehead and closes her eyes. After one minute, she takes her hand back.

“How do you feel?”
“I don't know, I think I'm feeling worse...”
“Stop fooling with me.”
“Oh... looks like I'm a bit better.”
“Why can´t you just say you are not feeling seasick anymore?”
“Alright, I'm not feeling sick anymore...”
“Good. Too bad you didn't tell me before. Now we are close to the shore.”

The ship approaches the shore. In a couple of minutes, the old captain drives his sail boat to the docks. He lowers the sail and releases the anchor.

“Our trip is finished!”
“Thanks, captain. Have a nice day.”
“It was a pleasure to have the company of such lovely ladies as you and your friends.”
“I hope you have enjoyed because you will never find four ladies lovely as us again.” The braided woman laughs.
“My heart would not resist another lovely group like yours.” The old captain laughs too.
“Take care. Bye.”

The group disembarks in the shore and starts moving towards the grassy plains. It is possible to see the faint outlines of buildings near the line of the horizon. The princess notices some strange people covered to their heads with a gray cloak wandering through the docks. As they pass beside the last warehouse before they reach the small rocky road who will take them to the grass plains, one cloaked person suddenly whispers near the princess' ear.

“Do you think you can do what you have done and go unpunished?”
“What? Me?”
“You! You!”
“What happened, Marlena?” The purple-haired girl turns back to see with whom the princess was talking.
“I... I... don't know... didn't you see her?”
“The cloaked woman.”
“No, I didn't. Did you see anybody, Anna?”
“There was a cloaked woman behind the warehouse. She whispered some words at me, angrily. I'm afraid...”
“We can chase her if you want.”
“No, Anna, leave that as it is. I'm scared.”
“Let's move on, majesty. The Capital is near. Look there, we can see its skyline from here.”
“Oh, let'´s move on.”

The group moved through the rocky path and them through the grass plains. The weather was cool and the terrain was easy to walk through. The princess was still uneasy, looking back all the time to see if they were not being followed by the cloaked men.

As they advanced, the outlines of the city became more and more defined. The Capital was very large, with majestic skyscrapers, but the eastern part of it seemed to be abandoned. The western part didn't have large buildings as the eastern part, but it looked better than the eastern part, with preserved buildings. On their way to the city, there were some dry marshes among the large grass fields.

“Wow, I'm impressed! The Capital used to be surrounded by a desert, with no natural life. Now the environment is much better. The city seems to be partly abandoned, though.”
“This city looks larger and much more advanced than the towns we have been before.” The purple-haired girl examines the big outlines of the buildings.
“Oh, it was like that when I was alive. I used to live there, in the slums. Looks like my former neighborhood was destroyed. Anyway, let's check it out.”

The group finally reaches the city. There are large gates surrounding parts of the city, but they seem to be abandoned. They walk towards the western part of the city, where people seem to be living. After some minutes they find a gate from where they can freely access the city.

The view of the Capital surprised everyone. High buildings, lots of people wandering around, high technology devices everywhere, people with cellphones and other electronic devices, cars, motorcycles, many things they had not seen in any other city from that planet. The purple-haired girl and the golden-haired girl were not surprised by the technology itself or the metropolis feel of the city because their former home had much more advanced technology, but they were somewhat surprised to learn that the decadent planet had places like that. The braided woman was somewhat shocked because, though she knew her people had technology for something like that, she was surprised to see how fast the old capital was rebuilt into a larger and better city, using some environmental-friendly technology. The braided woman stopped one passerby and asked him for directions. Then they headed to the train station.

“Wow, it impresses me that this city is so advanced, nothing like the villages we've been before!”
“I know, Nei, the sad thing was and still is that the technology doesn't spread equally all over the world.”
“It makes no sense that this city has advanced transportation while most of the other places devoid trains, cars...”
“We have airplanes and even rocket technology, but it is very limited. I hoped the things could be better now, but I see it is not as I hoped it would be. At least there are some advance. We can see the sky clearly now. In the past, it was such a mess that there were places where we could barely see it because of the skyscrapers. Well, I'll buy us four tickets. I want to see if a certain place is still standing.”
“Where are you taking us? I'm tired of following you. What do you have in mind?” The telemental is in a bad mood.
“I'm trying to save something you can't live without.”
“Why don't you tell me? Why do you keep this mystery?”
“Ha, look who is complaining about mysteries!” The golden-haired girl couldn't hold her sarcasm.
“Because you can't see anything other than your own interests. Come on, let's revisit part of my past. If the train is on time, it will arrive in three minutes. If we lose this one, we will have to wait thirty minutes.”
“Part of your past? I can't believe it! We will embark into a nostalgia tour! Give me a break!”
“Why are you so worried? Can't you wait three days more? Why don't you take your time to work on that problem you have told me you have?”
“If you don't want to come, you can stay here. There are some comfortable benches to sleep on. Maybe you can find an old newspaper to use as a blanket. Let's go, girls.”
“Yeah, stay there. Your robe already makes you look like a beggar, so you won't be bothered.” The purple-haired girl sticks her tongue out of her mouth, in a defiantly way.
“Oh... oh...”
“Are you not feeling well, majesty?”
“Hmmm.... sort of... is there a sink here? I'd like to sparkle some cool water in my face...”
“Look, there are the restrooms. Do you want me or any of the girls to go there with you, majesty?”
“No, no, that is not needed, thanks.”

The princess goes to the restroom while the braided woman buys the tickets. She is not feeling well, an awkward feeling. She washes her face and take a deep look on the mirror. She knows she is not looking well, there are hints of sickness on her face. When she turns herself to leave, she is surprised by a cloaked man.

“Why did you do that? Do you think you can play with the universe? Do you think you can act like God?”
“Why? I didn't do anything.”
“Who are you trying to fool? Why did you bring them back? You will pay for that!”
“I was only doing what that man told me...”
“You will pay with your own blood for all the consequences of your reckless acts!”

The man leaves the restroom and disappears in the train station. The princess is shocked and staggers. After some seconds, she returns to the main platform, looking pale, with her eyes frozen, staring blankly a random point.

“What happened, Marlena? Are you feeling worse?”
“The... there was a... a... man... there...”
“A man?”
“Clo... clo... cloaked...”
“He... threat... tete....tened... me...”
“Because... I... revived... you...”
“What did he say?”
“That I'll... pay with my blood... for the consequences... of my acts, Nei...”
“Oh my... what will we do now?”
“Hey, queen Marlena, you look so pale. What happened?” The braided woman returns with the tickets.
“She told me someone threatened her for reviving us.”
“A cloaked man.”
“Don't worry, majesty. Nothing will happen to you. I'll not let them harm you.”
“The train is coming. Let's go.”

The group entered the train. The braided woman was impressed with the improved quality of the trains compared to the ones she used to take at her time. She was pleased to see them cleaner, faster and powered by renewable energy sources, according to the information board. There weren't many people inside the train.

“I think I'll have to ask for directions. There may have been changes on the train stations, specially because part of the old city I knew doesn't exist anymore.”
“For sure, we don't want to get lost. Marlena doesn't look well, so it would be nice if we could reach our destination soon.” The purple-haired girl looks worried as the princess had not fully recovered from her shock.
“Well, I'll ask one of the train workers. Did you see anyone?”
“No, it looks like there are no workers in this car. Just an old man, a mother and her son and a young couple.”
“Well, I'll ask that old man, he must remember the old parts of the city.”

The braided woman stands up and starts walking toward the old man, who is reading a newspaper. Before she reaches him, she catches a glimpse of a train worker at the end of the corridor, so she changes her mind and asks the worker about directions. Then, she walks down the corridor again to return to her seat.

As she passes the old man, he was turning the pages of his newspaper. He catches a glimpse of the woman and starts following her with his blue eyes. He is shocked. “That can't be! No, I must be mad!” He takes out his glasses and rubs his hands on his eyes, as if trying to dissipate an illusion. “That can't be true! These braids, this pink dress... I must be hallucinating!”

The braided woman returns to her seat. The old man keeps staring intently at her back, as she is seated facing the other side. “That can't be her... it is impossible!” He stands up and starts slowly moving towards her. “Either I am crazy or someone is playing some trick at me. How can she be alive, looking exactly like the last time I've seen her? No, I'm crazy.”

“Well, we will have to disembark in the next station. It will be less than ten minutes walking. The sector of the old city I used to live in has no train station, but they have told me it is being rebuilt, so we may find something over there.”
“Oh, this useless nostalgia trip...”
“Shut up, you don´t know what you are saying.”

The old man gets close to the group.

“To be sincere, I thought you'd be a completely different person. You have a bad temperament, almost as nasty as Marlena.”
“Can't you realize the problem is you?”
“A....errr...?” The old man shakes his head negatively and takes the seat behind the braided woman. “No, it is not her. She doesn't speak our language...”
“Why do you all hate me so much? You'd better change your minds.”
“Enough! We have arrived. Let's get out of the train.”

The old man is still shocked, but he doesn't feel courageous enough to turn his head and face the woman. “Oh, what can I do? Is it her? That is impossible. She died, I've seen her dying... she died in my arms. I put her body to rest. I buried her! That is impossible.”

The group leaves the train and stays talking for a while in the platform. The old man goes to the window and stares the braided woman intently.

“There is an old man inside the train staring at you.” The golden-haired girl notices the man.
“Really?” The braided woman turns her head to see who the man is.
“It is her! I can't believe it!” The old man is startled and shouts at the braided woman. “Hey!”.
The braided woman looks at the man and smiles, as the train starts moving again.
“How can this be true? You are.....” The train goes away and the braided woman cannot hear the last words. She shyly waves to the man, not recognizing him.
“Who was that man?” The golden-haired girl resumes the conversation.
“I don't know, I couldn't see his face very well through the window. Maybe he knew me back them. It has been almost fifty years since I've died, so he was probably young back then.”
“Oh, that is weird, to meet people knew you fifty years ago. They are old and you are still young.”
“It is really awkward.”

The old man is desperate inside the train. He tries to make it stop, but it can't be stopped once it starts moving. “It was her! How is it possible?” The old man thinks in going back to find them, but the journey would take him at least twenty minutes, so it would be difficult for him to find the group. Besides, he was not completely sure he had really seem the braided woman or if he was hallucinating, as he did in the past, so he returned home more confused than ever.

The group moved through the neighborhood, that was very peculiar. There were new environmentally friendly buildings, old high tech buildings and ruins mixed, sometimes in the same block. The view was pretty strange, but the braided woman could lead their way to her destination with ease because she could recognize parts of the ruins as buildings that existed back then when she was alive. After some minutes, they stopped in front of the decaying ruins of an old large building. The wooden gates are now small pieces of wood scattered near the entrance. Part of the ceiling has collapsed and from what they can see from outside, the inside seems to be messed up.

“I can't believe it is still standing!” The braided woman is overjoyed.
“Sadly it is partly ruined.” The purple-haired girl is curious.
“Let's get inside. If it didn't collapse in all those years, it will be such a bad luck if it collapses over our heads when we are inside.”
“Are you happy with your nostalgia tour?”
“You don't know what you are saying.”

The braided woman leads their way inside the building, followed by the purple-haired girl, who immediately starts inspecting the strange building. Behind them, the golden-haired girl is helping the princess, who is not feeling well again.

“It smell flowers. Lilies...”
“Yes, Nei. I wonder if they still grow inside it.”
“This building...” the princess looks puzzled. “I think I've already seen it.” She looks to the partly collapsed ceiling, then to the partly shattered colored windows and identify the paintings and symbols. “That is it! I've seen this building in my dreams!”
“Yes, Anna. Twice. I was there, in this building, surrounded by lilies. She was there, with me.” The princess points to the braided woman.
“Oh, majesty, do you remember that? We were here, in fact, or in the ethereal equivalent of this place.”
“Look, there are some flowers growing on the floor!”
“Really? I can't believe it! Oh, Nei, after fifty years, they are still there. I used to harvest these flowers back them.”
“They are so beautiful!”
“Back then, there weren't many flowers in this city, the soil was rocky and dry.”
“Sorry... I can't stand anymore...”
“Oh, queen Marlena, come here, near this pool.”

The braided woman takes some water from a small pond of water inside the building and sparkles it on the princess. She repeats the process three times.

“Are you feeling better?”
“Yes, I am. Thanks.”
“I wonder how you manage to do those things...” The golden-haired girl looks impressed.
“She is the healer. I've told you that many times before.”
“Oh, are you still with us?” The golden-haired girl answers with a voice filled with sarcasm.
“Why? Do you want to get rid of me? Do you remember who made it possible for you to be revived?”
“I don't care.”
“But I do. And if you think you will get rid of me soon, you are terrible mistaken.” The telemental sounds defiantly.
“Oh, well, let's get moving. I'm glad to return to this place. It brings me back so many memories of good times, people I've met, I've loved...” The braided woman's eyes are filled with tears. “But it is time to move on.”
“I thought this moment would never come. Can we go back to our important matters now?”
“Not yet. Let's go on, the queen is not feeling so well.”
“Where are we going? I'm not feeling very well indeed.”
“Don't worry. It is just three blocks from here. I wonder if it is still standing...”
“By the way...” The purple-haired girl whispers in the braided woman's left ear. “You have a beautiful name.”
“Thanks. How do you know it?”
“I've heard the old man shouting.”
“Yes, my hearing is better than that of a common human. There are some advantages in being partly animal.”
“I see. So that man really knows me. I wonder who he may be... I didn't recognize his face through the translucent window... maybe it was him... or it is just me wishing for that...”

The group leaves the unique building and starts moving west. They follow a rocky path, with grass growing in the cracks of the path. There are mostly ruins in this part of the city, but some sparse cottages can be seen here and there.

“Majesty, in the past there was no grass on the ground, we couldn't see the sky from here because of the skyscrapers. This placed looked worse back then than it looks now, even considering it is mostly ruined.”
“Oh, that should be terrible.”
“It was, indeed, but it was our life...”
“I see. I've always lived in luxury, I can't imagine how it is to live in such a place like this one.”
“Not bad. You must be strong and clever, specially if you are a girl. But I managed to live an interesting life here.”
“I see. Are we near our destination?”
“If it is still there, just a few yards past those collapsed steel structures.”

The group advances through the ruins. After the collapsed structures, they find a beautiful wooden house, somewhat worn out by the time, surrounded by a beautiful garden.

“It is still there! Looks like it isn't abandoned! I wonder who lives inside the house.”
“It is a very beautiful place.” The princess is happy.
“Oh, it was a safe haven in those slums. Now our gardens are blending with the growing vegetation, the way I always dreamed this city should be.”
“Why don't you risk knocking the door?” The purple-haired girl looks curious.
“Well, it is very awkward. I'm afraid of what I may find...”
“Go on! You will not lose anything by doing that!” The purple-haired girl is impatient.
“Oh, well, you are right.” The braided woman takes a deep breath. “What can I lose by doing that, anyway”.

The braided woman knocks the door. After waiting some seconds, which seemed to her as years, they could heard some noises inside the house.

“Who is it?” The voice of an old lady could be heard coming from inside the house.
“Please, I just wanted to take a look in your house.”
“It matters a lot to me.”

The old lady unlocks the door and slowly opens it. She is a woman near her nineties, with white hair and many wrinkles on her face. She looks outside and is confronted with the beautiful smile of the braided woman. She almost faints and takes her right hand to her heart.

“It can't be! It can't be!” The woman takes her hands to her eyes, which are filled with tears.
“How can this be true? God, how can this be true?”

The braided woman embraces the old lady. Both women stay in silence, crying tears of joy. The other women smile at the sight of such a beautiful scene. The embrace lasts several minutes, but to both women it is as if it contained all the love they would have shared between themselves in all those fifty years.
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