● Three Days After the Incident ●
Inside the Peking IPO base, Chief Chujo sat worriedly at his desk, his fingers tapping on one of the new files that had been delivered to him that morning. Apparently two newly approved members were set to come by in less than half an hour, and he was assigned to greet them. Both were the only surviving civilians of the Bashtarle Incident.
Picking the papers up and heading into the hallway, Chujo gave either of the photos a quick analysis; there was Yoh Go, eighteen-year-old engineer and assistant to the late Dr. Vogler, a fairly pretty young man. Along with him was Vogler's daughter, a known teleporter who couldn't be any older than ten years old.
"Great," he hissed to himself, already dreading having to handle two distraught children. Two of the younger agents, fifteen-year-old Tetsugyu and eighteen-year old Taisou, ran out of a nearby office and began to walk alongside Chujo.
"Hey, Chief?" Taisou asked, his hands in his pockets. "We heard about the new recruits, and—"
"They'll be here in minutes," Chujo said quickly. "They're survivors of the Bashtarle Incident, so keep yourselves out of their way."
"What are you talking about?" Tetsugyu piped up. "We're gonna be fine!"
"He's talking about you, knucklehead," Taisou said as he threw the younger boy into a headlock. Chujo took a sharp turn and headed up another hallway, pretending the two weren't shouting at this point. Kenji Murasame, a Paris agent brought in for temporary work, was talking to two servicemen. Chujo gathered himself and stopped by them.
"Murasame," he interjected, too preoccupied to check if the three were in the middle of something. "We've got two young recruits coming in, and—"
"Ah, that's just what they were telling me about," Murasame said, gesturing to the servicemen.
"Very good, you two…"
"Well, that and they're in the lobby right now," one of them said.
Within a few seconds, a panicked Chujo had assembled a group of servicemen and rushed them down to the lobby. Go and Farmelle had been seated next to the entry to the hall, a limp teddy bear in the girl's arms. Upon seeing the group streaming into the hall, the girl squirmed closer to Go.
"I'm sorry to keep you waiting," Chujo said calmly, as if he hadn't just run down a flight of stairs. He held out his hand. "I've been told everything. Yoh Go, am I right?"
"Er, yes…" Go shook his hand nervously. "This is Farmelle, my mentor's daughter…"
"I'd like you to come with me and talk," Chujo continued. "If Miss Farmelle is up for it, one of our other agents wouldn't mind showing her around."
Farmelle noted the pink-coated man standing off to the side, and grudgingly, she got up and stood beside him. Murasame's only thought was, But I hate kids! Chief, how could you?
"We'll be right back, Farmelle," Go called out, now being led into the hall. Farmelle held her bear over her face.
Murasame glanced down at his side, noting the weepy child. "What's your name?"
The bear moved out of view, revealing her face. "I'm…Farmelle Von Vogler."
All sorts of alarms seemed to go off in Murasame's head upon hearing 'Von Vogler'. Struggling to keep from saying anything about the Bashtarle incident, Murasame gestured up the hall, and Farmelle skittered to his side.
"I'm Kenji Murasame from the Paris branch." He stared up the hall, keeping his cool. "My brother Kazuma and I are Experts of Justice, and I've been working for Interpol for years."
"What are your powers?" Farmelle looked at him wearily. "Mine is teleportation, but if I use it, I get really weak."
Murasame sighed. "I have a few, but for the most part, I'm immortal."
The girl was mystified. "Really?"
"Yes, really." The two stopped by the hangar, Murasame staring out at a group of servicemen fixing the landing tires on a jet. "I've been in and out of all sorts of dangerous places."
"So you can't die at all? No matter what happens?"
"My body repairs itself. I'll probably die someday, but no one knows when that'll happen."
"That's scary," she said quietly. Kenji glanced down at her, finding she was now standing close to his side.
They remained silent for a long moment, but Murasame put his hand on her shoulder, intending to calm her down.
"It's not that bad. It's because of me that the IPO has been able to do all sorts of things. I'm sure someday you'll be a fine agent yourself." He tried smiling. He was terrible with children, but this was to be the time where he gave a bigger effort.
Farmelle seemed to relax. "I hope so."
While leading her into the main hall where Chujo's meeting room presumably was, Murasame was surprised to hear Farmelle ask, "Can I call you by your first name?"
He looked at her, startled. "Why?"
"Because you're really nice."
He grimaced in vague irritation, but then relaxed. "Yes, you can call me that."
In the evening, Chujo set up temporary lodgings for Go and Farmelle for the week, sending them both to rest there while he remained in the Peking base, pacing the halls absentmindedly. The fourth time he passed the cafeteria, he caught onto the sound of footsteps behind him and turned, finding Kenji walking behind him.
"How are the girl and Yoh doing?"
"Good," Chujo said briskly. "I haven't let anyone else see them. The girl starts training in a week, once we're certain she's emotionally stable."
"She has a lot of potential." Kenji patted down his pockets, searching for a packet of cigarettes he knew were somewhere on his person.
"Since she's so young and attached to the Bashtarle Incident, we've appointed Go as her legal guardian until further notice, and we've given her a codename."
"Hmm?" Kenji finished lighting a cigarette. "And that name is…?"
"Ginrei. It means 'silver bell'. All the other agents will know her as such, and Go is the only person authorised to address her as Farmelle." Chujo stated. "Did she mention her powers?"
"Yes, teleportation. I hardly believed her, but—"
"She is potentially the only person in the world capable of teleportation. Her brother Emmanuel could teleport, but he's been presumed dead in the Incident." Chujo held up his hand. "Unfortunately, overusing it could kill her."
Kenji went rigid. "She…she told me it made her weak."
"Go told me it draws from her life force. If she uses it once every few years, she should be fine." Chujo turned away. "But in my opinion, I don't want her using it at all."
"That's horrible," Kenji murmured. "How could such a drawback possibly exist?"
"I don't know, but the trait has appeared in her." Chujo didn't stop walking away. "The Paris airship comes for you in a few minutes, so gather your things."