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Star Ocean The Second Story

2001: Another Star Odyssey (Home Again)
By Paul Beaudoin


* Chapter 11: Fight! *

"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming..." Orin shouted, responding to a knock on his door. He opened it, and found himself staring face-to-sharp-pokey-end of a sword, held by Claude. Rena, Noel, and Chisato surrounded him. "You're not here to sell encyclopedias, are you?" he asked dryly.

"We know about you, Orin," Claude said slowly. "We know what you're doing."

"I swear, it's medicinal!" Orin shouted, with a slight grin on his face.

"Wha...no!" Claude shouted. "We know about you and the Crest!"

"And let me guess...you're here to stop me from completing and invoking the Crest, aren't you?"

"Well...yes..." Claude said.

"And I'm supposed to defend myself against your attacks, to prevent you from stopping me in my plans, no?"

"Yes..."

"Well, should we start fighting now, or do you want to come in for a drink first?"

Chisato's impatience finally got the best of her. "Eat electric death, scum!" she shouted, brandishing her stun gun and thrusting it into his neck.

"Hey now, that tickles..." Orin said. Chisato was stunned, until she looked at her weapon and found she was holding not a 10,000-volt stun gun, but a joy buzzer.

"What the..." Chisato said, retreating. Noel then went on the offensive. He rushed Orin; his hand claws ready to strike. Before he could attack, though, Orin snapped his fingers and then proceeded to take a semi-brutal beating from Noel, now equipped with children's inflatable boxing gloves.

"How in the hell..." Noel said, looking at his new "weapons".

"Try this!" Claude said, swinging his sword with all his might. That, however, didn't work either. Orin plucked the sword, now a shish kabob, from his hand and began nibbling on it.

"Needs salt," he said. Suddenly, a loud cry came from behind him, and he found Chisato flying towards him with a kick plucked straight out of a martial arts movie. He grinned, caught her foot in his hand, and gently tossed her aside. Chisato rolled along the ground, dazed but unhurt.

"Well, well, well, look at the time..." Orin said, checking his watch. "It's been fun, but I really have to go now. Ta-ta." He walked into the shadow of his house, where he disappeared without a trace.

"That was surreal..." Claude said. He checked his weapon, and found it indeed was a sword again. The others' weapons had regained their normal status also.

"Did anything strike you odd about that guy?" Rena asked.

"What, you mean the fact that he changed our weapons into toys and food at will?" Claude asked.

"Well, that too, but what about his demeanor, his odd sense of humor? The fact that he almost seemed to control the situation at all times. He seemed like someone we met before..."

The four thought for a moment. Suddenly, a flash of realization went into Noel's eyes. "I've got it! He's just like..."

Before he could end the sentence, a gust of wind slapped a small sheet of paper into his face. The paper had the words "No I'm not" hastily scribbled on it.

"We can't be bothered with it now, though," Claude said. "We need to find where he's hiding the Crest and destroy it." The group walked into Orin's house. "Now, where would I hide the key element to my plans of mass destruction..."

"Found it," Rena said, walking into the kitchen.

"Very funny, now help us look," Claude said, checking under the living room couch.

"No, really, it's on the kitchen table."

"How can you be sure?"

"Because there's a half completed crest on it with the label 'Crest of Annihilation -- Do not touch!'"

"Well, now that we've found it," Noel said, "how do we destroy it?"

* * *

The four looked upon the smoldering remains of Orin's house. "You didn't have to burn the whole thing down," Chisato shouted.

"Hey, it was an accident!" Claude replied.

"How so?" Rena said.

"You really think I meant to throw my cigarette butt into that box full of oily rags?" Claude said.

"Claude, you don't even smoke!" Rena shouted. "You just took a half-finished cigarette from his ashtray, took a puff, coughed a lot, and then knowingly tossed it into that pile of rags!"

"Ummm...can I say something?" Noel asked. "This probably isn't the best place to be taking about who burned down what."

"He's right," Claude said, seizing the opportunity. "Let's get out of here..."


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