It must be around that time again, huh? Yeah, here’s chapter seven of Seren’s tale. But first, pointless chatter.
Man, I’ve been playing a lot of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate lately. It’s kind of tough to come up with a 3DS Game of the Month for March due to that… However, it seems the eShop will provide just the thing for that, so keep an eye out for that later on in the week.
In PreCure news, I finished watching HeartCatch! PreCure the other day. Currently, I’m a bit over a quarter of the way through Suite PreCure, and I have to say that the yuri subtext between the two leads, Hibiki and Kanade, is glorious.
Wait… Monster Hunter and Pretty Cure? I can’t help but think I got into the latter because of the manga series Shinozaki-san Ki o Ota Shika ni!, which does feature both of those as Shinozaki is sucked into otaku culture. Well, technically it’s “PrePure” in the manga, but we all know what they mean. Also, I recommend reading the manga if you can.
One final point, I should be reviewing the winter anime shows soon. Some I’m looking forward to writing about, whilst I think others will provide a challenge. Still, as a writer, I look forward to taking those challenges on.
Anyway, enough pointless chatter for now. Turns out there’s consequences for Seren’s actions in the previous chapter, and if you want to find out what those are, read on…
Chapter Seven: ITF HQ
Seren awoke to the sound of her alarm. After getting out of bed and carrying out her usual morning routine, she knew she would have to deal with the consequences of the events from the previous day. As a result, she called her workplace and informed them that she had fallen ill.
As she had expected, someone knocked on her front door later that morning. Seren was fully prepared to talk to a police officer, so when she saw Kalla was the one who knocked, she was quite shocked.
‘Kalla? What are you doing here?’ Seren asked.
‘Come on, surely you’re aware of the reason I’m here. Seren Lux, I am arresting you for the charge of assault. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?’
‘But- the police… they should be the ones…’
Kalla sighed. ‘Seren, I’ve told you before that all magical girls fall under the jurisdiction of the ITF. If you offer up any resistance, I will not hesitate to use force.’
‘I won’t resist! I will go with you.’
‘Glad to hear it. Put your arms out, please.’
Seren did as she instructed. Kalla placed a pair of handcuffs on her. Right away, Seren could feel that the handcuffs weren’t standard police-issue fare. The moment they were on, she could feel that they were nullifying her magic powers. ‘Huh, I hadn’t been fully aware of them before now…’
‘Oh, your powers? Yeah, they’re a natural part of you, so you don’t notice them until they’re gone,’ Kalla explained. ‘Let’s go.’
Before they could walk very far, Phoebe came sprinting up from around the corner. ‘What’s going on?!’
‘Phoebe! Wait, I can explain-‘ Seren tried to explain, but Phoebe wasn’t listening.
‘Get your hands off my sister!’ Phoebe grabbed Kalla and shoved her aside. ‘That creep said he won’t press charges!’
‘That may be the case, but I still have a duty to perform,’ Kalla said calmly. ‘I assure you, I am perfectly within my right to arrest Seren. If you intend to obstruct me, I will not hesitate to use force.’
‘Kalla, please don’t hurt her,’ Seren begged.
‘I doubt there’s anything you can do to harm me!’ Phoebe declared.
Kalla sighed. ‘It seems I have no choice.’ She raised her palm towards Kalla. In an instant, Phoebe fell backwards, completely stunned by Kalla’s magic.
‘What did you do?!’ Seren asked.
‘Relax, she’s just stunned.’
‘Dammit, Kalla! I’ll-‘
‘You can’t do anything as you are at the moment. Now, just come with me.’
After travelling to a wide open area outside, Kalla informed Seren that they would be travelling to the ITF HQ. Before Seren could ask how exactly they would be going about doing that, the pair of them were engulfed in a bright light. A few seconds passed, and then the light faded to reveal that their surroundings had completely changed.
Seren was unable to take any of this in, as she was far more occupied throwing up. Kalla was an unfortunate victim of this; she was covered by the vomit. Seren felt there was no need to apologise.
‘I’ll place you in a cell whilst I get changed. I’ll be back quickly,’ Kalla said nonchalantly.
True to her word, a vomit-covered Kalla took Seren along to the prison cells. She ushered her into one, locked the door and left.
Seren listened to Kalla’s retreating footsteps as she took in the décor of the cell – of which there was very little. It was a plain white room with a bench against one wall. A small window let in some light, though Seren had no idea whether the HQ was located in space or on another planet. With no other choice but to become accustomed to her temporary quarters, Seren laid back on the bench and reflected on the events that had brought her to that very moment.
Seren sat bolt upright when she heard the cell door being unlocked. Kalla entered, dressed in a very formal white suit jacket and skirt.
‘You have been given leave to freely wander the ITF HQ, as long as you are under supervision,’ Kalla said.
‘That’ll be me. Please try to refrain from ruining my clothes this time, all right?’
‘Does that mean I get to take these handcuffs off?’
‘Nice try, but no. Your crime isn’t a major one, so I doubt you’ll be indisposed for long. The higher ups decided it would be best for you to get acquainted with the place.’
‘Never mind… I’m happy that I get to spend some more time with you, Kalla.’ Seren blushed when she realised what she had just said, but Kalla was oblivious to it.
‘First, we’ll stop off at the crew’s quarters, since they are the nearest place. This guided tour will start there.’
It only took a couple of minutes of walking down a long, white corridor for Seren and Kalla to arrive at the crew quarters. The pair entered Kalla’s quarters together, where she invited Seren to sit down on her bed.
‘Er… what are you going to do…?’ Seren asked.
‘Seren, I’m sorry about dragging you into this mess,’ Kalla said.
‘The other day, I overheard some… well, let’s call it information. It doesn’t bode well if it is true, but I haven’t had the opportunity to delve further into it.’
‘Information? What exactly did you hear?’
‘Again, I’m sorry, Seren. It may turn out to be nothing in the end, but it’s not something I intend to share with anybody else unless absolutely necessary. If not treated carefully, I could end up throwing HQ into chaos.’
‘Nobody is listening in, right? You can tell me, you know.’
‘Seren, you’re already in trouble as it is. I don’t intend to have your sentence worsened because of something that should only involve me. However, I will need your cooperation on this matter.’
Seren sighed. ‘Kalla, my brain is telling me to refuse. My heart, though, believes you to be a trustworthy person.’
‘Which is it? I’ll understand if you don’t want to cooperate.’
‘I’m going with my heart. However, there is a favour I would like to ask first.’
‘I’ll try to accommodate as best I can.’
‘OK. In that case, I would like to see Symphony again,’ Seren requested.
‘Ah, Symphony’s trial is going on as we speak,’ Kalla said.
‘So, is that a no?’
‘No, actually. The ITF encourages its members to view courtroom proceedings, so there is a public gallery. The fact that you are due to be tried there serves as a good reason for us to go, too.’
Before anyone could do anything else, Kalla’s phone rang. She answered it, only occasionally saying ‘yes’ or something similar. After the call, she turned to Seren. ‘Well, that’s a stroke of luck.’
‘You have been summoned as a witness in Symphony’s trial. They’ll want to know more about the day you received your abilities from her.’
‘Aren’t you supposed to prepare me first? Just appearing out of the blue seems a bit…’
‘Oh, that happens all the time here. Just go in there, tell the truth and everything should work out for the best.’
With those words of encouragement, Kalla guided Seren to the courtroom.