Star Ocean The Second Story

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

* Chapter 13: Unlike Architects, I'm Not Superstitious *

"Nice shiner..." Chisato said as Claude and Rena walked into the bottom floor lobby of Central City's city hall. Beside her was Noel.

"Shaddup..." Claude said, fuming and holding an ice bag to his blackened eye.

"So, are we going to tell Narl about what's been happening?" Chisato asked.

"I suppose we have to," Rena said. "I don't see any other way to go..."

The four ascended to the top floor, plugged their ears when they saw the secretary, and then made their way into Narl's office.

"How can I help you?" Narl asked the four.

"Bad news, mayor," Claude said. "Someone wants to destroy the Universe..."

"Really? How?" Narl asked, intrigued.

"Using the Crest of Annihilation, of course!" Rena exclaimed.

"What's that?"

"Guys, you've really outdone yourselves this time..." Claude grumbled to their old friends. Then, speaking aloud, he said, "Let's see, how can I explain this? It's a crest that'll cause the universe to collapse on itself if invoked."

"That's horrible!" Narl shouted, rising from his chair. "We've got to do something about this!"

"We've already tried fighting the guy on our own," Noel said. "That's why we've come to you. We were thinking that you could get Mirage to make some new weapons for us..."

"Sounds good," Narl said. "Shall we go?"

* * *

The five entered Mirage's house in the city of Armlock. "Mirage? You there?" Narl called out.

"I'm in the lab!" she called from the back. The group walked into the back laboratory, and found her already slaving over a project.

"Done at last!" she said, wiping the sweat from her brow. "A weapon combining the best aspects of a sword and a handgun!" she shouted, raising the weapon high above her head.

"A gunblade? It's been done before," Claude said.

"So how can I help you?" Mirage said to Narl.

"It's an emergency..." Narl said. "They'll explain it to you..."

Author's Note: You know the explanation. Do I really need to write the entire thing out again? And now, back to the story.

"Hmmm, so you say you need me to create weapons for you that will resist the changes that Orin can create?" Mirage said.

"Yup," Claude said. "We really need your help."

"That shouldn't be all that hard," Mirage said. "But first, I'll need..."

"Special metal that's only found within the recesses of a deep cavern?" Rena interrupted.

"No, I'll need you..."

"To go to the Heraldry Weapons Research Facility to get plans for as-of-yet unmade weapons?" Claude asked.

"No, I'll need you to..." Mirage said.

"To what? Tell us!" Noel shouted impatiently.

"I was just about to! I just need you guys to do some grocery shopping for me!" Mirage yelled, agitated.

"Grocery shopping?" Claude asked. "What's that got to do with weapons?"

"Nothing, directly. It's just that I'm so backlogged with work that I haven't had much of a chance to do anything else," Mirage said. "If you do that for me, I might be able to put your weapons at the back of 'Urgent! Must Finish Now!' just ahead of 'Sort of Urgent, But Can Be Finished At A Later Date If Need Be.' It'd still be about a month before I could get to them, though."

The four heroes conversed for a short while. "All right," Claude said at last. "We'll take you up on your offer."

"Great!" Mirage said. "The shopping list is on the table in the kitchen, and I'll repay you when you get back."

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