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PostPosted: Tue Feb 8, '11, 7:32 pm
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It's fun time: The arcade!

The day dawns and the princess wakes up only minutes after the daybreak. She looks much better than in the previous days, with no signs of tiredness and feeling no pain. She opens her eyes and sees that the braided woman is awake, staring at her. The braided woman is also breathing with difficulty, making a strong wheezing sound. Her face shows that she is suffering a great deal. Even so, she smiles at the princess. She loosens the embrace on the princess.

“Good morning... queen Marlena. Are you... feeling better... today?”
“Yes, I am. Thanks. It feels so comfortable to sleep with you here...”
“I think... just one... more... and you will... be healed...”
“That is a very good thing. I don't feel weak anymore.”
“You are not... completely... healed yet... majesty...”
“I see. You don't look well. What happened to you? Today you woke up worse than yesterday. Though you got better during the day yesterday, I'm worried about you.”
“Better... get... used to... it...”
“Why?”
“Healing... cripples the... healer's health...”
“Oh, you make me feel bad. You are sacrificing your health for me?”
“Don't... worry... it is... needed...”
“Are you sure this will end tomorrow?”
“It will... but will not... at the same time...”
“What do you mean by that?”
“It will... never end...”

The braided woman made a great effort to get out of the bed and went to the bathroom, still short of breath and wheezing loudly. She walked very slowly, almost passing out, but still she kept on moving. She took her shower and put on a long pink dress. When she exited the bathroom, she was feeling better, but still tired. Then, she went downstairs, in order to prepare the breakfast. The princess stayed in the bed, thinking about what the braided woman has just told her.
The women woke up and took turns to take a shower and have breakfast. For most of the morning, they stayed into the house, save for the braided woman who had made a short run to the market in order to buy fresh vegetables for the telemental. The purple-haired girl grew bored and started complaining about the lack of action.

“I want to have some fun!”
“Oh, I know, Nei, but I don't think queen Marlena and Anna find it suitable to go outside.”
“Your planet is not so bad as I thought, there are many exciting things. I wish I could make more of my stay here.”
“There was a nice place, a city for entertainment. Sadly it is far from here and, to be honest, I don't even know if it is still standing. I have so fond memories of there...”
“Really?”
“Yes... I remember... him...”
“Who?”
“Someone from my past. Well, there is no time to grieve for what could have been. Life is so short...”
“Specially for me. That is why I don't want to stay here, idling.”
“I know, Nei. I've walked the neighborhood these days and I didn't find anything interesting. Well, except for the telemental, maybe.”
“What did you find?”
“A men's club.”
“Ah, thanks, by I'll pass this one. Me and Anna have already had fun in a men's club in your planet before.”
“Did you?”
“Remember we told you that the telemental almost sold us?”
“Yes, I remember now. Well, we could take a walk after lunch. There is an ice-cream shop near, there is also an arcade...”
“What is that?”
“Do you mean the arcade?”
“Yeah.”
“It is a place where people go to play electronic games.”
“Sounds fun. We didn't have that in our planet. Surely there were some games, after all most of the people didn't work. But I've never heard of a specific place specially to play games.”
“Well, if the others agree, we may spend some time there.”

The lunch was better than the previous day, with everybody agreeing to eat together. The telemental seemed to be in an unusual friendly mood and not only complimented the braided woman's cooking abilities, but also tried to be engaged in conversation with the purple-haired girl, who was trying to convince the princess and the golden-haired girl to take a walk after the lunch, though he was largely ignored. The golden-haired girl was not happy with the idea, still worried about the cloaked man who tried to stab the princess the day before, but the princess considered a good idea to take a walk, just to relax a bit, for a change. She didn't invite the telemental, knowing he would refuse, but as the girls were ready to leave, he, out of a sudden, decided to join them.

“Will you come with us?” The braided woman looks surprised.
“I think it is time to change my ways with you.”
“Really? I can't believe it! He realized he was treating us in a bad way! Wow, are there any fireworks here? We must celebrate!” The golden-haired girl is pure sarcasm.
“Less, Anna, let's not make it unpleasant. Very well, let's go.”
“Marlena...” The telemental tries to talk with the princess.
“Don't ever talk to me again.”
“Marlena...”

The group went to the ice-cream shop and everybody had one ice-cream, even the telemental, who was trying to act in a friendly way. Only the braided woman still talked to him in a proper way, but the golden-haired girl and the purple-haired girl were not so cold and occasionally said something to him. The purple-haired girl was very excited and wanted to eat one ice-cream of each flavor, but after the sixth, the other girls convinced her to leave the rest for their return. Then they went on to the arcade.

Arriving at the arcade, the purple-haired girl was amazed with the decorated storefront. The storefront was decorated in an exaggerated way, with images of games and other random images the store owner considered cool, but which had a terrible aesthetic value. Even so, for the purple-haired girl, these images represented new things and nothing could get her more excited than new things.

“Wow, it looks nice! I can't wait till I get inside!”
“Why are you so excited, Nei?”
“Oh, Anna, that is something we don't have in our planet.”
“I know, but they are only games...”
“I know you will change your mind. Come with me!”

The purple-haired girl pulls the golden-haired girl by the arm and both enter the arcade. They are followed by the other girls. The purple-haired girl is amazed at the sight of the colorful machines, the noises, the lights. She wants to see everything. The golden-haired girl tries to conceal her surprise as well because she doesn't like the idea of spending time playing games.

“How do we play? I can't wait for that!”
“Well, Nei, we have to buy some coins. Each time you play, you have to insert one coin in the machine.”
“I see, are they that expensive?”
“Not too much. For a millionaire.” The braided woman laughs.

The braided woman goes to the counter and buys two hundred coins. She uses her charm to get two hundred and fifty coins for the same price, flirting with the young store owner. The girls are puzzled by the way the braided woman talks with the man, showing deep interest, blinking on purpose, winking and blushing.

“Why did it take so long?”
“Well, Nei, I was getting more coins for us.”
“You were acting strangely.”
“Ah, Nei, you know, men can't resist a woman's charm, even when we are not too pretty. If it was queen Marlena there, she would get three times more coins for the same price.”
“Ha, you are a mean girl!” The purple-haired girl sticks her tongue out of her mind, in a friendly way.
“Mean? No, just smart. There are some people who want to fall for a lady's charm. Let's start playing.”
“Yeah! Do you teach me?”
“Of course. Choose one machine and I'll teach you how to play.”

The purple-haired girl runs through the arcade aisles, trying to catch a glimpse of every machine. The golden-haired girl followed her for some seconds before stopping because she was not interested, specially after realizing that the target audience for the games was composed of teenagers (though she was still in her late-teens). The princess tried to follow the purple-haired girl, curious about some of the games. The telemental was not amazed.

“Are you always flirty like that?”
“Me?”
“Yes, you.”
“What if I am? Are you my father? Even if you were, I'm already 22, I'm responsible for myself. I can flirt with any man I want.”
“Or any woman.” The golden-haired girl tries to hurt the braided woman with her sarcasm.
“Please, Anna, don't start that again.”
“What are you talking about?” The telemental seems puzzled.
“Girls talk. From girls, to girls, about girls...”
“Anna...”
“Anyway, I had another image of you. It would be better if you changed your ways, if you were a pure lady like Marlena.”
“Alright papa, your little princess doesn't wear diapers anymore. Could you stop caring about my behavior? What does it matter to you?”
“Miuch more than you can imagine.”

The braided woman leaves them and walks toward the purple-haired girl, who was still choosing the first game she would play. One machine attracts the attention of the braided woman. It is a mechanical machine, who has several sets of two platforms separated. The higher platform is smaller and move over the larger platform, through an opening. Both platforms are usually filled with coins. There were three openings in the top to insert coins. The coins, when inserted, would follow a path and land over the coins placed on the top platform. As the coins piled up on the top platform, they would hit the metal wall over the opening and fall in the lower platform. As the top platform exits the opening, it pushes the coins on the lower platform. There is a large opening in front of the lower platform where the coins may fall if pushed. When the coins fall through this opening, they can be retrieved by the player. Each set of platforms can be played by one player, making it possible for six people to play in the machine at a time.

“Nei, do you want to see something funny?”
“Yeah.”
“So come with me.”

The braided woman approaches the side of the machine where a young teenager is playing. She notices that the platforms are filled with coins near the opening that will, sooner or later, fall. When she thinks it is the right time, she gets closer to the boy, all flirty, with a sweet voice.

“Excuse me, this game seems to be interesting, but I didn´t understand it yet. Could you show me how it works?”
The guy is impressed by the beautiful woman flirting with him and becomes excited. “Yes, yes, of course. Look, you insert a coin in one of the three paths and it will fall on the upper platform. As the platform moves, it pulls the coins down, so you win them.”
“Can you show me how it works?”
“Yes, look. Wait for the open platform to be totally open and let your coin fall.” The boy puts the coin on the machine. Now, you wait for it to fall. Look! Oh, it almost fell.”
“What happens if I put the coin when the upper platform is hidden?”
“You will certainly lose it, because it will only pile up in the lower platform.”
“I see, may I try, honey?” The braided woman says so very close to the boy ear. The purple-haired girl can´t hold the laughter at the sight of the scene.
“Yes, please.” The boy is trembling. He stares at the braided woman's eyes and start slowly looking down, trying to catch the glimpse of some flesh not covered by the braided woman's long dress.
“Thanks, baby. Let´s see... I´m feeling lucky, the cuttest boy in this place has shown me how to play this game...”
The purple-haired girl laughs even further at the reaction of the boy, who carefully examines the braided woman´s body while she is playing.
“Hmmm, here. Cross your fingers! Cross your fingers! It will fall! It will fall! Aha!” Dozens of coins fall through the opening. “I´m so lucky!” She jumps in the air, kisses the boy in the cheek and collects the coins. “You gave me lucky, cute boy, thanks.”

She kisses the boy on the cheek and leaves him again. The boy stays looking at the braided woman, infatuated. Then, he returns to the machine and realizes that all the easy coins have fallen. “Damn! She fooled me! But she is so hot... I'd give all the coins in this world to her...” The purple-haired girl can´t stop laughing. The braided woman arrives where she is and hands her all the coins.

“Now you can have fun, Nei, courtesy of that cute boy there.”
“Oh, how could you do that? It was so funny. You should have seen his face when you were playing and then when you kissed him.”
“These teenagers are so easy to fool. Poor boy, must be trying to find me again.”
“I don´t doubt that. He will follow you the whole afternoon.”
“Well, until he lays his eyes on you, Anna or queen Marlena.”
“You are so funny! Let´s play?”
“Yes, after all that is what we came for.”

Two people didn´t find it funny. The telemental saw the braided woman flirting with the boy and got jealous. He remembered of the magazine and his eyes grew redder. The golden-haired girl didn´t consider it funny, she considered it a cruel thing and her suspicions about the braided woman increased. The suspicion that she was using her charms to do something harmful to another person.

The braided woman helps the purple-haired girl to play some games. She starts with easier pinball machines.

“For a beginner, I think this is the easiest game. You can see these machines look less advanced than the others, being mostly mechanical. That means the game mechanics are easier for a beginner. You pull this lever to shoot the steel ball through that ramp. The ball will run through the play field and fall through the opening. Your task is to prevent the ball from falling, using these levers. These levers are activated by these buttons. When the ball hits the objects in the play field, you score some points. The objective is to score the maximum points possible. When the ball falls through this opening, you lose it. You have three balls each game. As you play, you will learn the tricks of hitting the ball with the levers at the right time, to direct it to the best targets. You may even get an extra ball or an extra game. Do you want to try, Nei?”
“Yes! Yes! Of course!”
“Keep in mind this is a fast-paced game it will last less than a minute of you don´t concentrate. As soon as you learn the tricks, you will enjoy it even more.”
“Don´t make me wait!”
“So, insert this coin into that opening and be ready for some fun!”
“Wow, let´s start!”
The purple-haired girl inserts the coin and the game starts. “Wow, what do I do?”
“Pull the lever and then hit the ball, don´t let it fall!”
“Ahhhh! That is too fast! Ahhhh!” The purple-haired girl pushes the buttons like mad.
“Calm down, Nei, you don´t need to do that.”
“Ahhhhhh!”
“Oh, Nei, you are so funny playing!” The princess laughs.
“No! No! Noooo!!!!” The ball is lost. The purple-haired girl crosses her arms and looks infuriated, like a child. “Stupid game!”
“Come on, Nei, you still have two balls left.”
“Really?” Let´s go again!”

Excitedly, the purple-haired girl pulls the lever and resumes playing like mad. She has a bit of beginners’ lucky and manage to keep the game going for about five minutes, when the last ball falls through the opening.

“Damn! Do I have any balls left?”
“No, Nei, it is game over for you.”
“Ahhhh, you can´t be serious!”
“Calm down, Nei, we have hundreds of coins, you can play over and over again. You just need to cool down a bit, otherwise you will destroy the machines.”
“Yes, Nei, calm down a bit, it is just a game.”
“Oh, Marlena, you know, I´m very competitive. Well, how much I scored?”
“Five million and a half.”
“Wow! Isn´t it something?”
“Let´s wait for the high scores. Let me see... a hundred and sixty five billion points.”
“Damn! How can it be possible?”
“There are boys who spend all their days here, Nei. It was a good score for a first time.”
“I want to play again! Give me some coins!”
“Yeah. Don´t you want to try another pinball machine? Then we move to the other games.”
“Alright, I´ll find a fair one, this machine robbed me!”
“Oh, Nei, you make me laugh. And you, majesty, don´t you want to try?”
“I´m a bit afraid of machines. Electricity, machines, all these things are new to me.”
“Really? But don´t worry, they won´t bite you.”
“I know. I´ll see Nei playing a bit more, then I try.”
The telemental taps the braided woman in the shoulder. “Could you... lend me... some coins, please?”
“Why don´t you use your powers to milk that gambling machine there?” The braided woman grins.
“What? Me?” The telemental looks confused.
“Oh, man, I´m just kidding.” The braided woman pushes the telemental´s shoulder, in a friendly way. “Take it and have fun. You are always so serious, it will do you good.” The braided woman puts a dozen coins and a fifty bucks bill in his hand.
“Oh... thanks...”

The telemental left to another corner of the arcade. The braided woman escorted the princess and the purple-haired girl through the arcade, showing them different games and teaching them how to play some, which required reading instructions. The purple-haired girl seemed to be having the time of her life, so amused she was with the variety of the games. The princess was amused with the new world presented to her. She was not so fond of gaming, but she realized they were an interesting entertainment for relaxing. Only the golden-haired girl was not interested. For her, games were a fool thing to spend one´s time on. Besides, she was very worried about what both the telemental and the braided woman would be doing, so she kept an eye on both.

After some time, the purple-haired girl sees a strange game. The machine has a cabin, but unlike the simulators, it is just to make the player at ease. At the panel, there are lots of instructions written.

“Hey, look at this machine! How weird, it is written in our Palmian language. How can this be possible?”
“I don´t know. I wonder how they have got this machine here.” The braided woman is surprised.
“Let me see... Phantasy Star II. They say here something like embark in a phantastic journey that will take you to a wonderful world. 100 hours of play guaranteed! Who would play a 100-hour game?”
“Anyone would die from exhaustion before being able to complete half of this game.” The princess looks baffled.
“Let´s see... here they say you´ll get a card every hour of game completed, so you can resume later. Even so, it would be too expensive to finish the game. I wonder what they had in mind when they made this game.” The braided woman is still puzzled.
“Won´t you try, Nei? It is in Palmian.” The princess tries to encourage the purple-haired girl.
“No, thanks. Even if the game is good, I´d never have patience enough to play that.”
“I see. I wonder what kind of person would play a game like this one...”
“Someone sick, Marlena. Only a mad man could play and enjoy a game like that.”
“Like the telemental? Look, he is coming from a machine similar to this one.”
“I´ve just seen the most stupid game of this world!” The telemental arrives where the girls are. The princess looks down, ignoring him.
“Why?”
“Oh, it is a game who promised hundreds of hours of fun, a deep story, a mental and strategic challenge. I thought it was worthy trying, but it is the most ridicule thing I´ve ever seen.”
“Really?”
“Yeah. That game, Fantasy something... I inserted one coin there and a low quality video, with squared people started showing up. It lasted for so long that I exited to buy me a soda. I returned and the game had not started.Then the game started and apart from silly battles, the characters kept talking over and over about blowing up a reactor, blowing up a reactor, awgh, blowing up, can't stop blowing them, yikes, they blew up my patience! I´ve played for one hour and received a card to resume it later, but I hope to never play it again!”
“Yeah, this game really sounds strange.”
“Well, Nei, don´t play it, don´t lose your valuable time with that garbage. I´ll look for other interesting games. See you later, girls.”
“See you.”

The group resumes playing. After some minutes, the braided woman is stopped by a little girl.

“It is you! It is you! Take a picture with me, please!”
“Me?”
“Yes, you! Daddy! Daddy! Come here!”
A middle-aged man comes near. “What do you want, dear?”
“Take a picture of me with her! She is my heroine!”
“Me?”
“Oh, dear, she is just a woman dressed as her...”
“It is her. She even has her weapon! Please, daddy!”
“Alright. Forgive me, lady, could you take a snapshot with my daughter?”
“Of course!”

The braided woman poses to the picture with the girl. The man takes the picture in an instant machine. The little girl takes the picture and keeps shaking it waiting for the image to be revealed.

“Forgive me, my daughter is crazy about that game, she collects dolls, books, everything.”
“Oh, nevermind, your daughter is lovely.”
“Please, please, sign this photograph for me!”
“Let´s go, dear, you are bothering the woman!”
“Please, daddy...”
“Alright, but stop bothering her. Forgive me, could you please sign the picture?”
“But... what am I supposed to sign?”
“I think you want to sign the name of the character you are representing...”
“But I'm not representing...”
“Daddy, she is not representing, it is her! Sign your name!”
“My name? That doesn´t make sense. I´m not a heroine...”
“You are! Please!”
“Well, alright...”
The braided woman signs the photograph and gives it back to the girl. The girl looks at the signature and goes mad. She starts running and screaming! “Ahhhh! I can´t believe it! I have a picture with her, with her signature! Can´t wait to show it to my friends! They won't believe it! I can´t believe it I'm so lucky!”
“Forgive me, you know how girls are.”
“Don´t worry, that was nothing.”
“What was that?” The princess turns to the braided woman.
“Something very awkward, majesty. A little girl came saying I was n heroine and wanted to take a picture with me. From what I understood, it is a heroine from a game.”
“Very strange, but maybe you looked like her.”
“The weirdest part is that she asked me to sign the picture. I signed my own name on it and she went mad!”
“That is really strange. And scary. As if I had not seem scary things enough these days...”

The girls keep amusing themselves in the arcade. The braided woman takes an hilarious attempt at a dancing machine that almost causes her to fall on the floor many times. Her performance provides many minutes of laughing to the purple-haired girl, who takes her chances in the dancing machine and does much better, specially because her inhuman agility. The braided woman didn´t notice, but she has an increased audience. The boy who she fooled at the gambling machine can´t take his eyes out of her. The golden-haired girl is always checking to see if she is doing something suspicious.

The telemental taps the golden-haired girl´s shoulder.

“Won´t you play?”
“No, these games are stupid. You are just wasting your time and your money. We should be doing something useful instead.”
“Can´t you just relax a bit? Don´t you want to come and have a drink with me?”
“You must be out of your mind! Are you flirting with me?”
“No, Anna...”
“I know you´d love the company of a pretty woman like me, after all isn´t it what your quest is all about? But why don´t you ask your sweetheart for a date? Or your second sweetheart? Maybe because your sweetheart is stealing your second sweetheart from you.”
“I don´t know what you are talking about Anna.”
“If you have seen them... well, as you are a stupid man, you´d enjoy it.”
”Could you please talk in an understandable way?”
“You seem changed. What happened to that guy who wanted to kill us all?”
“Anna... I don´t know what happened to me, I was very anxious. Can't you forget that? Well, if you don´t want to come with me, just say so.”
“I don´t want to go with you. Are you happy, now?”
“Not happy because I´d really enjoy your company. You know, you have been revived after being dead for too long, you don´t know many people... I just thought I should be nice to you... be like a friend...”
“You don´t need to lie to me, I know exactly what you have in your mind. But I don´t want to have anything with you, forget about that.”
“Oh, well, what can I do? At least you went right to the spot and that is enough for me.”

The golden-haired girl leaves the telemental and spots the braided woman moving towards the boy she has fooled at the gambling machine. The boy is clearly infatuated with her, he can´t take his eyes from her. Expecting to hear something that might expose her, she came near enough to read the conversation.

“Oh, boy, forgive me, I was cruel to you.”
“No... no...”
“Listen, I was joking with you, but it is not fair, the coins would be yours. Take here.” The braided woman hands a hundred bill to him.
“Why?”
“Take that.”
“I shouldn´t accept...”
“Please, do. And another thing, don´t play on that machine anymore. It is nice to have fun with the games, but that machine is not a game, it is gambling. It is not providing you entertainment. It is stealing your money, selling an illusion.”
“Yes... yes...”
“Nice boy. Forgive me for using you as a target for my joke. I was feeling guilty all the time.”
“Yes... yes...”
“Well... see you around.”
“I hope so...”

The braided woman leaves the boy, who didn´t understand the situation completely, as he was still infatuated with the woman. The golden-haired girl leaves the spot angry. “Damn! How can this woman be always so perfect? I hate her!”. The purple-haired girl finds her in a corner.

“Anna, why are you like that? Come have some fun with us!”
“Playing stupid games are not what I´d call fun.”
“Please, come with me. There is an interesting game to play together, you will like it.”
“I'll never enjoy those stupid games.”
“Can't you at least try, Anna?”
“Alright, Nei, I´ll go with you. I just can´t promise I´ll enjoy it.”

The purple-haired girl takes the golden-haired girl to a set of arcade machines which resemble the cockpits of racing cars. The controls are steering wheels, pedals and gear shift, like a car. The machines are linked in a way that multiple players can play at the same time, racing one against the other.

“Come on, you will like that. You liked to drive the jet-scooter sometimes.”
“Well, let´s try. How does it work?”
“It is a race. Each of us sit in one of the machines, choose a car and we race one against the other. Let´s see which girl is better driving.”
“Most probably Marlena will not win, as she has never seen a car in her life.”
“Don't worry, Anna, most probably I'll not win any game, regardless of the theme. You hadn't seen me playing the other games.”
“Better so, I'll not feel so bad when I beat you. Let´s try.”

The four girls took the four machines and started playing. Soon it was clear that no one was a match for the golden-haired girl, as she had military training with vehicles while training to become a guardian. She was doing so well that all the other girls gave up. Other players started challenging the mysterious girl, but she proved to be a vicious driver beating them all fair and square. After one hour, no one dared to challenge her. Everybody was impressed with her skills. She had what was needed for the game: great agility, superb reflexes and a huge self-control.

“Well, it is not that bad. I have to concede that playing games is not so useless.”
“Anna, you beat the whole competition! Amazing!”
“That is my idea of having fun.”
“Oh, come on, Anna, you must learn to have fun by playing, not only by winning.”
“I know, Nei, I was just joking.”
“You look so serious when you joke that sometimes it is hard to get if you are joking or talking seriously.”
“That is part of my charm.”
“Anna, Nei, excuse me, I know you are having fun, but it is getting late.”
“Ahhh, I can't believe it!”
“Sorry, Nei. If you want to play some minutes more, I won't mind, but I don't want to get out of here too late. As it is our last day here, I promised to take mom to dine out. You know, I may never see her again anymore.”
“I understand. I wish I could have had one more dinner with mom and daddy.”
“Oh, Anna...”
“I don't want to spoil your happiness. Sorry.”
“No, Anna, I understand you. How about fifteen minutes more?”
“Thirty?” Nei looks anxious.
“Well... thirty, but not one minute more!”
“Yes! Yes! Thanks! Let's go, Anna, let's play more! I'll show you some nice games.”
“Oh, well, let's go, Nei.”

The braided woman is left alone and notices that the telemental is trying to talk with the princess, who ignores him.

“Marlena...”
The princess just stares at the floor.
“Marlena... please...”
The princess keeps staring at the floor.
“Marlena...”
The princess crosses her arms and answers, very angry. “What do you want?”
“Marlena, please...”
“How can you talk to me bare-faced after all you have said and done?”
“Forgive me, Marlena, I was out of my mind.”
“And do you think it is a valid excuse for you to killing me?”
“No, Marlena, try to understand me, I couldn't make it without her. If you think all that for her, not for me, you will see that it is not that bad.”
“She didn't press me to revive her, she didn't threaten me. She begged many times for me to leave her and save myself.”
“But, Marlena, I was afraid...”
“Afraid of what? Can't you see everything I've done since I've met you, I've done for you? I've let you take me from my home, not knowing what you really had in mind. You could be fooling me to kidnap me, to rape me, to murder me, but I trusted you. You have never given me a reason, even so I trusted you. I almost died reviving Nei, but still I trusted you. I almost died reviving Anna, but still I trusted you. You took me here to revive her, left me wandering around this dangerous planet, set an impossible task upon me, that cost my life, still I trusted you. Now, though I'm finished with my task, I'm still here with you. Can't you see that?”
“Oh, Marlena!” The telemental embraces the princess, who is surprised by this display of affection coming from him. “Marlena... forgive me...”
“Alright, I forgive you. Please, don't do that again. Keep yourself under control. You are so wise, so powerful, I trust you are doing all that for the good of the universe. But please, keep yourself under control.”
“I will, I will...”

The telemental is deeply moved, because he knows it is not so easy for him. “How can I tell her? She is so pure, so loving, so good. How can I tell her the truth? It feels so good to be here, I wish I could be on her arms forever...” He releases the princess from his embrace and notices she is crying.

“Why are you crying, princess?”
“I can't hate you. I just can't...”
“Please, don't hate me.”
“I won't...”

The braided woman keeps watching them at distance, smiling. She is happy that the princess had forgiven the telemental, but she expected that. “After all, she is the personification of love...”

After twenty eighty minutes, the braided woman started regrouping the group. It was difficult to convince the purple-haired girl to stop playing.

“Please, just a bit more. I have two minutes more, you promised me.”
“Come on, Nei, we are getting late.”
“It is not fair, just one game more.”
“Oh, Nei, do you want to lose the pinnacle of fun?”
“Pinnacle of fun? How is that?”
“Come with me, you will see.” The braided woman winks at the purple-haired girl, who immediately follows her.
“Well, people, we are ready to leave, but I still have almost a hundred coins. I'll not retrieve the money, I'll do a charity act with the players here. Of course, it must be a fun charity act.”
“Oh, you and your fun...” The golden-haired girl is not excited at all.
“For your safety, I'd ask you to stay in the exit.”
“Safety? What do you have in mind? Is it dangerous?”
“Not dangerous at all, majesty, you don't need to worry. It is just fun.”
“What will you do then?”
“It is something people call jokingly as Hallelujah, Nei.”
“Halle-what?”
“Hallelujah. Come and see it... Wait, wait.”
“What is it?”
“There is something I think we all should try before leaving. We have many spare coins.”
“And what would be that?”
“That.” The braided woman points to a electronic machine with the drawing of a cat. “Fortunetelling.”
“I don't believe in that, it is all those non-committal sentences.” The telemental shows his despise for fortunetelling.
“Come on, it may be fun. We pick up the papers and then I read them for you later, OK?”
“Alright, alright. You are the one who is spending your money in this useless things...”

One by one, they insert a coin on the machine and receive one paper with their fortunes told. Then, the braided woman goes to the cashier and buys more lots more coins to perform her trick. She positions herself near the exit, with the rest of her group behind her. She is facing the arcade's main room, where there is an open space, free of arcade machines.

“May I have one second of your attention?”
Few people pay attention to her.
“May I have one second of your attention?” She shouts louder this time.
More people look at her, but puzzled.
“Come here, people, looks like something really interesting will happen here, now.”
“And what is that?” Some of the people inside the arcade looks puzzled.
“Come nearer, people”
Some people shrug and go the the open space. Others remain where they are, looking suspiciously to the girl.
“Look there!” The braided woman points to the ceiling and many people look at the point where she is pointing. “Hallelujah! Coins are falling from the sky!”

The braided woman starts throwing the remaining coins to the air. People on the open space try to catch them desperately. She throws more and more coins to the air, shouting “Hallelujah!”. A small riot ensues, with more and more people desperate to catch the coins being thrown. The purple-haired girl can't stop laughing. The arcade owner becomes furious with the riot.

“Time to go! Hallelujah!” The braided woman throws all the remaining coins to the air at once, making the riot grow. Even people who was playing left their games in order to try to get some coins. “Run, people, run!”

The group exits the arcade and runs through the street. The arcade owner stop at the exit, yelling at them. The purple-haired girl and the braided woman can't stop laughing. When they realize the arcade owner will not chase them, they stop running in order to let the girls who are laughing to catch their breath again.

“Ah, I've never had so much fun in my whole life!”
“You two are two devils. No wonder the universe conspired to not make you be together. Hallelujah... look at the riot you have caused.” The princess tries to be serious but is grinning.
“Ah, I was just doing a charitable act. Making everyone happy.”
“Everyone happy? Ask the arcade owner. He will hang a picture of you on the wall: Wanted for Hallelujah. Reward: 50 coins.
“Ah, majesty, imagine me being dramatically arrested, being dragged through the street by cops just because an innocent charity act.”

The girls kept laughing for a while. Even the golden-haired girl, who would usually be angry at the braided woman took the lighter side of it and, though she didn't want to admit, she couldn't hide a shy smile in her mouth. Only the telemental didn't seem to care. Not that he didn't consider it funny, but because he had other things on his mind. He was smiling because the princess had forgiven him.

Last edited by tilinelson2 on Tue Feb 8, '11, 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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