A note: Perhaps one of the most overlooked Tales of Xillia character who has an interesting (and sad) back-story is Elize Lutus. I couldn't help but wonder what she would be like when she grew up. Here's an after Xilla2 story of what happens when Elize finds out she's dying from the after effects of booster research she endured at Labari Hollow; and how she receives support from a surprising source who is in fact more connected to her than any other character in Xillia. I own no rights to the characters of Xillia.

Chapter 1: A finite time

Elize watched as her undersecretary bowed politely and presented the tea tray. Chamomile and honey, just the way she liked it. She waited patiently for Driselle, with only the sound of the ticking clock nearby to accompany her thoughts.

Recalling the shocked expression on Jude's face last week when she told him she was dying confirmed to Elize that it was the last thing he expected her to say during her visit to Helioborg.

She had no desire to do that to Driselle.

"I should have properly said 'hello' first," she sighed and gave her stuffed doll Teepo a defeated smile as he sat quietly on a shelf. In the off position for a while now, Teepo grinned at her in his own encouraging way, even if he remained lifeless.

When Jude had overcome the initial shock, he sat down to go over her symptoms in his office at Helioborg Research Center. At first it seemed like a cold had settled in her chest, but when she started coughing up blood she knew it was serious. Given her history with doctors and scientists, Jude was the only one she trusted to examine her. His father, Dr. Mathis in Leronde, had written a paper on a similar type of sickness from old spyrix technology and its overuse in the past. Though Elympios had long since refined the technology and dispersed the harmful effects, in its infancy, booster research led by the insurgent tribes of Auj Oule on Rieze Maxia was very harmful to humans. They all had exposure to every aspect of the research and many test subjects did not survive.

By the third generation booster, types that were not attached directly to the body, such as the type that was installed in Teepo, the side-effects were almost non-existent, depending on the level of use.

However no research on long-term effects existed since the Labari Institute had been destroyed and abandoned. The current whereabouts of its unwilling test subjects were unknown.

All save one.

"Let me go with you," Jude had said, when she decided she would travel to Auj Oule to see if she could find the other test subjects and if necessary, direct them to Fennmont for treatment.

"No. You're still working on your thesis regarding the new spyrite you've created. We can't wait for you to lecture on it when the science summit comes to Sharilton," Elize had said firmly. "For now there isn't much you can do without data. But when I come back I definitely intend to rely on you."

Whether there was any cure was still uncertain. For days they had consulted medical texts downloaded into the Helioborg network that archived the recipe for an ancient herbal remedy used to heal respiratory symptoms. It included frozen everbloom roots as a base ingredient. Since everbloom plants were abundant in the Mon Highlands it seemed preordained that Elize would be traveling to Auj Oule once more, back to her beginnings.

Now she only had to convince Driselle, who was her older sister in all ways except by blood, to allow her go alone.

"Absolutely not," was Lady Driselle's immediate response. Her lower lip jutted out in a familiar pout and Elize almost saw her stamp a noble foot. Driselle, a blue blood through and through of the esteemed Sharil stock, was also her adopted family. Elize's name in the Sharilton registry was currently recorded as "Elize Lutus Sharil."

Now that she was finished with school and at the legal age for all things, including employment, she served as the secretary to House Sharil and participated in the day-to-day governing of the townspeople she had grown to love as if she had grown up with them all her life.

"If you're sick, you're staying home and I'll employ agents of Sharilton to go for you."
"No," said Elize resolutely. "This is my past…these are…demons I have to face alone." She took another sip of tea and looked at her reflection in the glass window. Past the pane, she could see the flower garden in full bloom. The gloomy thought that she would like her ashes spread in the garden flitted up to the surface of her mind but she forcefully pushed it down again as she swallowed a bite of scone.

"Besides, you'll have the first World Science Summit to plan. We lobbied so hard to host it in Sharilton and it's going to be a huge project. Representatives from Rieze Maxia and Elympios are all coming and there are so many details to go over. I'll only be gone for a month, maybe two, and then I promise I'll come back to help you with the rest." Elize handed her sister a leather bound notebook that was almost filled to the brim with ideas and notations and meeting cards of people who would assist Lady Driselle.

"Here are the plans I've drawn up thus far. My undersecretary will know what to do."

Driselle looked at the notebook with a wrinkled brow for a long moment before she finally exhaled.
"Oh very well. But at least take someone with you - Alvin, or maybe Leia. If I told your friends what was going on every single one of them would leap forward to assist, no doubt."

"Don't tell them," pleaded Elize. "Alvin is busy now that business is booming and Leia is still on her book signing tour. Ludger…would probably go, but his wife just gave birth to little Elle. Rowen's almost at the end of his last term as Prime Minister before he retires for good. I don't want him to focus on anything but what he was meant to do."

"Are you sure?" asked Driselle, doubtfully. Rowen was like a grandfather to them both, and if Driselle had not adopted Elize, Rowen would have offered to take her into House Ilbert. Nowadays he still sent thoughtful presents and letters to them both, doting on them even when he was so busy, as if he really was their grandfather.

"I'm positive. If anything, Rowen's taught me that we each have a finite time here and we have to make the most of it. This is something I must do." Driselle could see the resolve in Elize's eyes.

Even after several attempts of persuading her to stay, Driselle gave up, realizing there was no ground to be gained. The only thing she could do as an older sister was give Elize enough gald for travel and lodging, as well as a spare crest for the House of Sharil in case she had to borrow on credit.

She then went shopping with her little sister to make sure she had the best of everything. There was always time for shopping, and shopping always calmed Driselle's nerves.