Chapter III: Allegra
"Hello Elsa," Bianchi greeted. "Are you ready for your checkup?" The blonde haired cyborg nodded slowly. "First off, I need to ask, have you noticed anything unusual with yourself since we last spoke?"
"Not that I know of Sir," she responded. "Everything seems fine."
"That's good." He jotted down some notes on his note pad. "Have you been making friends?"
Elsa hesitated. "It's not that I need any friends, but Giovanni wants me to make some." She held her head low. "Friends aren't important."
"I see." He continued making notes. "Remember that you will have to work with these girls in the future. You would do well to establish a good relationship with them. I've heard that you've been spending time with Triela. Is that true?"
"We're just acquaintances. She's been showing me around. That's all." Part of her cringed at her choice of words. It's true, they weren't on friendship terms yet, but she found herself wanting to be friends with her anyway, no matter what she had said to herself or anyone else.
Bianchi leaned back in his chair. "Aside from your handler and Triela, who else have you been spending time with?"
"I've met Claes a few times, and I've seen Angelica around," she replied. The memory of the girl from the park came back to her. Elise, she mused. I wonder who she is. She had said she wasn't a cyborg. But how did she know who I was?
"Elsa," Bianchi called, snapping her out of her daze. "You seemed out of it for a moment? Is anything wrong?" He had a look of concern on his face.
"No, nothing. I was just thinking about the field training," she responded.
Bianchi leaned forward and laced his fingers together. "Did something happen when you went out?" he asked with concern.
"No. It was a successful mission," she replied, going against her better judgment. After all, it wasn't as if she were lying. The mission was a success.
"I see. Would you like to talk about it?"
She shook her head. "Not particularly. I killed the thugs and made Giovanni happy. That's all that matters."
Elsa sat at her table in her room unpacking her oboe. She thought back to how she had felt when Bianchi brought up Triela. She didn't really understand what it was she had felt. Something akin to heartache was the best she could describe it.
Coming to a decision, she packed up her oboe and made her way out of the room. Walking down the hall a short ways, she stopped in front of the door Triela had pointed out as her own and Claes's room. Her hand hovered in front of the door as she hesitated. Throwing away her doubts, she knocked on the door.
Claes opened the door and looked at her questioningly. "Yes?" the bespectacled girl asked. "May I help you?"
"Is Triela here?" she inquired, avoiding the dark haired girl's gaze.
Claes shook her head. "She just stepped out. She should be back soon though. You can wait here if you would like."
A small smile crept across Elsa's face. "Thank you, I'd like that."
While stepping aside to allow Elsa entry, Claes motioned to a teapon sitting on the table. "I just made tea if you would like some. It's the last of the Earl Grey."
Elsa nodded as she sat down at the table. "Sure."
Elsa plopped down onto her bed when she had finally returned to her room after hanging out with Triela and Claes all day. She couldn't understand it. After her declarations of not needing friends, she had gone out and spent the entire rest of the day making them.
True, now that she could say that she had friends, it wasn't such a bad thing, but the idea that she was the one to approach Triela and Claes was something she couldn't make sense of. "Sigh, I've been feeling so strange today. Maybe I'm sick," she wondered. "I should be better if I sleep it off."
She pulled herself up off the bed and slipped into her nightwear before lying back down and drifting off to a peaceful sleep.
It had been a few days after her last meeting with Bianchi and her befriending of Triela and Claes. Bianchi had given her a good review and Giovanni had scheduled to take her into Rome in celebration of the past week.
Elsa was still feeling strange and had come to the decision to let her handler know. "Um, Giovanni, I haven't been feeling well for the past few days," she stated on the ride into Rome.
Her handler glanced over at her with concern. "How so? Are you sick? Did you catch a cold? Is it the flu? Can cyborgs get the flu?" he rambled on.
She shook her head. "It's nothing like that," she replied thinking it over for a minute. "I just feel strange. I don't know how else to explain it. I just feel, I don't know, happier."
Giovanni laughed. "That's nothing to worry about Elsa, you just feel good about having friends." He reached over and ruffled her hair as best as he could with it in the braids. "You'll be fine."
The day had gone smoothly so far. Elsa had picked out several outfits including a few dresses and an ensemble that just called out to her. The blue blouse just screamed to Elsa "Buy me" and the tan skirt she picked out went along really well. She had to admit, it was probably her favorite outfit.
After the shopping spree he had allowed Elsa to go hog-wild on, Giovanni decided a break was in order and took Elsa to a nice restaurant for a bite to eat. Elsa had ordered the cannelloni while Giovanni went with the ravioli.
Having finished her meal, Elsa excused herself to use the restroom. Upon opening the door, she was surprised to see someone already at the sink. The girl looked to be about 13 with bright red hair that hung just above her shoulders. her brown eyes held a deep sorrow as she gazed at her reflection in the mirror. Not wanting to interrupt the girl, Elsa turned to leave the restroom.
"Wait," the girl called, stopping Elsa in her tracks. "It's okay. I'm fine now." The red head had instantly cheered up and was waving Elsa over. "I'm just going through some things right now, and I was sorting through everything." She flashed Elsa a grin and gave her a thumbs up. "I'm fine, really."
Is she trying to talk to me in a restroom? Elsa thought dully. "Its fine, I just didn't want to interrupt."
The girl smiled widely. "It's no problem, honestly. I'm Allegra Scatena. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Elsa stared at her for a minute or so. "Elsa de Sica," she replied.
Allegra laughed. "You seem pretty serious. You should lighten up. It would do you a world of good."
Elsa frowned. "You too? Does everyone think they can meddle with my life?"
"Sorry. I'm just trying to help. You don't want to have any regrets do you? Look at those people who were killed in the subway bombing. They don't have another chance to make up for their regrets, not like you." Allegra sighed. "Well I should be going. It was nice to meet you Elsa. Until we meet again," she flashed Elsa another grin, "take care."
Watching her leave the restroom, Elsa shook her head. "What a strange girl."
"She is ready to be given a room, correct?" Lorenzo asked Bianchi and a black haired man.
"I feel she is quite ready to start living in the dorm and start her training," Bianchi responded.
"And how do you feel about this Antonio?"
The black haired man tensed up a bit. "I feel Adrie's ready sir."
Lorenzo nodded briefly. "Alright, we'll put her in Elsa's room. I'll make the preparations."