Shallow Tears

From the Story Arc: A Lust for Vengence

Previous Story in the Arc: The Back Alley Showdown! Part II by Jaguar 7 (Saturday, September 11, 2004)

Next Story in the Arc: The Brawl at Uncle Chen's by Jaguar 7 (Friday, October 01, 2004)

(posted Thursday, September 30, 2004)

Cyriss lounged in his chair; Pencil in one hand, and a notepad in the other. Without changing the half frowning, half laughing expression on his face, he brought the notepad close to his mouth and tried to turn the page with his teeth. A buzz came from his apartment door startling him.

The pencil fell from his hand and began rolling away. He grinned and reached for the pencil snatching it, before it found refuge under the table in front of him. The same buzz resounded and he yelled at the door, “Alright I’m coming! Can’t a man think in peace?” He let the pad fall on the couch and dropped the pencil onto the pad. Jogging to the door, he heard something bounce and turned to see the pencil roll under the table.

Frowning he unlocked the door and pulled it open, “How may I help you, oh disturber of tranquili…”

In front of him, stood a young woman drenched in water. Wiping her eyes, she picked up her head, still trying her best to conceal the tears.

Cyriss gasped in amazement, “Isis! What happened to you!”

She wiped a few pockets of water from her new jacket, and laughed, “Well, you said if I ever needed help, you’d be around.” Isis smiled again, pulling her hands into her jacket sleeve, “I need some advice…”

Cyriss turned away, smiling and laughing, until finally shaking his head in anguish.

He stepped aside and bowed, “Make yourself at home, I’ll get you a towel, and some coffee.”

Isis slowly walked through the door, putting one hand up to her mouth to nibble on her thumb. She glanced around the room, noting how neat everything was arranged. Looking down at her skirt she let out a soft cry. Cyriss peered into the room to see what was wrong, but Isis just shook her head pointing at the trail of water. Cyriss laughed and told her to sit.

***

Cyriss watched her carefully as she sat bundled in the towel, sipping the coffee. She continued to flip through one of his notebooks of sketches. “Wow, your quite the avid artist? These are beautiful!” She said as she thumbed through more sketches of animals, trees, and landscapes. Cyriss brought the coffee close to his mouth and laughed, “That’s the second time you’ve said that, you know.”

Isis slowly put down the book and picked her head up, “What?”

He waved at her and answered, “Just kidding, you need to relax…now why did you need advice?”

She shook her head, trying to pat her hair and manually fix it with her hands. After a few seconds, she frowned and gave up. “Ok…You recently joined the Red Brigade right? And from what I hear, you came from Crey…”

Cyriss choked back a bit, and blamed the coffee for being to hot, “Yea, I used to work for Crey, but they took something away from me, and I can’t have it back.” Isis tilted her head, “What do you mean?” Stuttering, Cyriss asked if she wanted more coffee or sugar. She shook her head refusing, and moved on, “Alright…well, how did the RB accept you? I mean…as an outsider.”

Cyriss stood up and walked to the window, the rain still drizzling down the darkened window. Night had settled in hours ago and the street was teaming with activity. Lost in thought, Cyriss shook his head and answered Isis, “Yea, it was hard at first, they didn’t think I had what it took…and not to mention, my inability to follow orders. Did you know I tricked the General and Bestla into stealing a machine part for me?”

Isis put down her coffee and suppressed a giggle, “I’m sorry what did you say?” Cyriss grinned and sat back down, “Yea, I mean, I tricked the Sky Raiders into attacking a Portal Corp lab. Then…oh I was trying to steal a Stealth Generator from them, but since they didn’t have one, I was out of luck. But the Portal Corp…they had one, heh. Oh sorry, anyway, the Portal Corp hired me to stop the Sky Raiders from destroying the lab, so I went, and I asked People’s Blade and Bestla to help.”

Isis laughed softly and sipped her coffee again. Cyriss continued, “So we went through and stopped the Sky Raiders, while I secretly looked for that generator. So then, the Sky Raider set a bomb on one of the warp gates the Portal Corp was working on, and we only had 45 minutes left to live. We couldn’t figure out where the damn thing was, and I thought for sure we were going to die! But the General and Bestla, they’re slicing and punching their way through working to the warp gate, while I’m searching though crates for that generator. Oh wow, you should have seen the look on our faces when the bomb hit the 5 minute timer, I was defiantly sure that we were going to die!”

He laughed and looked down at Isis. She was on the edge of her seat, staring up at him with her mouth half open. Her azure eyes stared deeply into his, making him move uneasily. “Well, anyway…we found the bomb, and got out in once piece.”

She set the mug down and begged, “What do you mean you found the bomb? I mean, where was it? Was it guarded? What about your generator thing?”

Surprised, Cyriss laughed, “The bomb was sitting right outside the control room for the warp gate, yes the bomb was guarded by so many soldiers it made you wonder how they fit them into the room…comfortably. But it was nothing Bestla and the General could handle. As for my generator… the General forced me to give it to her. Believe me, if she says give it, you really can’t say no. But I got it back, eventually.”

Isis laughed and sipped her coffee again, “Yea, People’s Blade is a great person isn’t she.” Cyriss sensed the sorrow in her voice and leaned toward her, “Now what’s all this about again, I think I can help you.”

She turned to Cyriss, a look of deep despair and sadness filled her striking crystal blue eyes, “Its kind of stupid really, but…I figured since you and I have similar backgrounds, you might have run into this situation. But…Kostyak and Bestla…they accused me of being a traitor…”

Cyriss picked his head up and looked at the ceiling muttering, “Basterds! Why didn’t they wait for me!”

Isis, tried to keep from crying again, “I shouldn’t be taking it so hard, but its…I’ve always loved fighting with them, I’ve always looked forward to our patrols together. I loved them like a family, and I thought they felt the same way…”

She couldn’t hold back anymore and cried a quiet stream of tears. “I thought they felt the same way, but they don’t…they think I’m a traitor.” Cyriss sat beside Isis and held her, “Of course your not…” he whispered. He let go of Isis and walked to the window again; it was still raining outside.

“Of course you’re not a traitor,” he said as he tightened his hands, “calm down” Cyriss consoled her, “Here. Look through more of the pictures, they’re really relaxing. Now, do you mind if I ask you something? It’s about your past.”

Isis flipped through more of the sketches and nodded. A tear fell onto one of the pages and she tried to wipe off, but smudged it instead. Cyriss flipped the page for her and told her not worry. “Can you remember anything about your past? What if I told you that we’ve met before?”

Isis quietly laughed again, “Doubt it, but you do seem familiar.” Cyriss began to pace back and forth, “Now Isis, you need to realize something, and you need to trust me. Crey isn’t a very good corporation, as you know, I used to work for them, and they killed all of my…colleagues.”

Isis frowned, “That’s impossible, they’ve taken care of my like a mother, they couldn’t do something like that.” Cyriss glanced at Isis and shook his head, “Look, You have met me before, We used to be, ummm…colleagues, can’t you remember anything?” Isis began to thumb faster through the pages, only vaguely listening to Cyriss. “Please you have to try and remember!” Cyriss shouted, “Crey is deceiving you! You can’t trust them!”

Isis let out a shriek, and dropped the notebook; she stood up and slowly backed away. Cyriss stopped his speech and asked what was wrong. He stepped closer to Isis, but she backed off quickly. Cyriss, still not sure what was wrong, looked down at his notebook, and let out a gasp as well. The notebook was open to the last page, a picture of a young woman wearing a dress. She hand one hand blocking her hair from covering her face, the other rested at her side.


Isis, covered her mouth and slowly lowered her hand, “Who…is that?” Cyriss picked up the notebook, and held it out, “Don’t you remember? Isis, that’s you…”

Tears welled in her eyes again, and she walked backward to the door. Cyriss made a motion to go after her, but stopped and stared out the window again, whispering, “I lost you once…please not a second time.”

Isis ran for the door and stumbled out. Staring at Cyriss with a strange expression, she slowly closed the door. Cyriss sat back in his chair and buried his head into his hands. Wiping his face, he picked up the notebook and searched for a pencil. Leaning down, he grabbed the one he had before from under the table instead. Quickly he jotted down something and threw both objects into the chair. He ran for his communicator and turned to a private frequency.

“Kostyak, you there? Its me Jag!” There was static and then a click, “Kostyak here, what is it kid? I’m suppose to meet someone in an hour.” Cyriss bit his lip, and shouted, “We need to talk, NOW!”

Kostyak sighed and screamed back into the radio, “Damnit kid, you’re a real pain in the ass! Get over to my coordinates then, you have 45 minutes to explain to me why you’re so pissed off again.”

Without a reply, Cyriss checked his helmet’s map screen and found Kostyak. He strapped on his armor and took his sword, leaping out his apartment window.