Author: Moerae PM
[Clover] A prequel to the manga. Lured away from her office by a nagging curiosity, General Ko discovers a little girl that might bring chaos to the nation's security. [finished]Rated: Fiction K - English - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,337 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 3 - Updated: 06-15-04 - Published: 05-07-04 - Status: Complete - id: 1851106
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Clover, CLAMP does... don't sue me.
General Ko watched in mild curiosity at the crowds of people chattering and bustling within the large confines of the central administration hall. It was already one month into the Clover Leaf Project, and they (the government) had already tested and branded several hundred children as sorcerers, and still there were more.
She shook her head in amazement. It was interesting to see just how many children populated the city. Turning away from the mass of people, she walked towards the stairs that led down to the main area.
As soon as her feet touched the shiny tiles of the hall, a hushed silence settled. She smiled inwardly. It was uncommon for the five High Wizards of the council to oversee such a simple procedure, let alone have one of them show up. So she took the opportunity to bask in the people's surprise – even the workers were shocked.
She allowed herself a small benign smile and motioned for them to carry on. Usually making a public appearance was only for the media and other important announcements for the general public to take notice of (like an upcoming war with the Azaiean army for example) but today she felt a strange pull. She didn't know if it could be classified as a pull of power or just her curiosity getting the better of her, but nonetheless, it did lure her out of her office and into the unfamiliar hall. One thing she knew about this strange feeling was that it wasn't dangerous per se, just something new and interesting and should be explored. If one of the other High Wizards had heard her say that she was sure they would warn her about being cautious.
Pushing those thoughts away, she concentrated on making her way to the far end of the ornate room without drawing much attention to herself. Her thick cloak whispered softly over the smooth black tiles and she had to smile at the awed expressions painted on the small children's upturned faces.
They tugged at their mother's clothing, frantically saying 'Look mummy. It's one of the Wizards!' with their little hands pointing and proud joy glimmering from their eyes as if they had discovered the most fantastic creature of all time. And then the flustered mothers hushed their children and huddled protectively over their brood trying to block them from view – scared that she, an old woman would, somehow snatch one of their young and feast on their warm flesh. It was absurd, but she somehow liked the fear they held. It was both reassuring and disconcerting.
She stood near one of the tall pillars at a far corner and observed, unobstructed, the restless crowd once more. She had only been watching for no more than five minutes when something caught her attention. Standing not ten metres away, behind another nearby pillar, was a small child peering quizzically at her. She would have easily disregarded the little girl as another awestruck child, if the fey-like child hadn't stared at her with unblinking evergreen eyes.
Briefly studying the little girl, General Ko guessed her age to be around four years old. Fine silver hair fell short of small frail looking shoulders. The worn off-white sundress looked several sizes too big and the thin feet encased in dirty sandals looked as if the child had walked through a puddle of mud. There was nothing out of the ordinary except for the too green eyes staring ceaselessly and unafraid at her and the barely contained energy thrumming like an invisible barrier around the small form. It was obvious the child was one of the sorcerer children the government was searching for, and she wondered distantly whether this little girl had been tested or not.
General Ko smiled and glided closer. "Where is your mother, child?" she asked softly.
The image she and the little girl made would have been bizarre. One of the all-powerful High Wizards communicating with a small girl child. An odd couple indeed, she thought and those thoughts made her smile widen.
The young girl stared up at the person towering over her, no sign of understanding showing on her face. General Ko waited a few moments and was about to conclude that the child didn't understand what she was asking when a chubby hand pointed at a tall slender woman talking to an administrator off to the side.
Occasionally, the woman would turn her eyes slightly to where the child stood and the look of disdain and fear would pass quickly over her face. General Ko frowned and watched the whole exchange. The male administrator ended the conversation by giving the woman a small slip of paper, and the woman walked out without a second glance at the little girl. Was the child sure that was her mother?
General Ko looked over to her side and found the little girl looking surprised, saddened and afraid as she reached out for her now gone mother.
Movement caught her attention and she turned away from the forlorn child to look at the young man walking nervously towards her. There was a slight tug to her cloak and she turned back around to find one large green eye peering at the man. The frown was quickly gone with the upturn of lips as she watched the child's antics.
"Uh, General Ko," the young man bowed formally in front of her. "I must take that child to the testing chambers."
"Was that woman her mother?" she asked.
"Yes." He blinked in confusion.
"Why did she leave without her daughter?" she asked, feeling slight anger starting to rise.
"She did not wish to – "
General Ko stopped him with a sharp look. Turning back to the little girl, she spoke gently, "Stay here, child." She received a small nod of obedience and small hands released the thick fabric.
Moving just out of earshot, General Ko turned to the administrator and began to fire her questions.
"Did you not tell her that she could take her home if she was found to be a One or Two-leaf?"
"Yes, General Ko, but she didn't want to take the girl back. She told me herself that she feared the girl's powers and was hoping the government would just take her instead."
She nodded at the explanation. "General, I must take her to the chambers."
"No, it is all right. I will take her."
He seemed shocked at what she said and she couldn't really blame him. She didn't understand it herself. Why was she feeling such responsibility towards a small child she had just met? She didn't know. She guessed it was just another mystery of the world. Waving the young man off, she made her way back to the patiently waiting child and offered the most reassuring smile she could manage.
"What is your name?"
"Suu." The little girl's voice was small and soft and suited the solemn child.
Holding out her hand, General Ko waited for Suu to take it and the two made their way into the large labyrinth.