Chapter 13:

With Open Arms

Half-Paid Heroes

This strangely didn't seem to be much of a surprise among the Kirikagura workers, because if there was Heart Hope there would have certainly been more Hearts. However, the sinister glare in Heart Wisdom's eyes meant she was almost certainly not on their side.

The former bird, levitated by her powers, zoomed towards some management workers huddled in a corner. Before they could come to any harm, Jamie intervened with a funnel of air that sent this antagonistic Heart - and pretty much everything in the office - flying backwards.

"I don't understand what's going on here, but if you're going to threaten anyone in my safe haven, you're going to have to go through me!" Jamie declared, her aggression on full display.

Chris watched on, her lips slightly ajar, her eyes wide. There had been some element her seniors had that was missing in her fighting, and she'd finally figured out what it was - a purpose. (One with more...driving force...behind it than her present one, at the very least.)

She'd only ever been training and fighting in the desperate wish she wouldn't be pushed into the management department (or even worse, fired like Ross), where her life would be threatened even more than it was now. However, fear could only take her so Kirikagura, as she already knew, was adamant she stay in the offense squad. So what exactly was it that the boss saw in her to keep her there?
Alex was sitting on the sidewalk outside the Company just before Jamie launched her attack on the antagonistic Heart, rolling the doll over and over in her hands.

As the second-in-command at the Company, she had a responsibility to be the role model to her juniors, but there was something too strange about this. This doll was dressed like Kirikagura, but looked like Ross. As if it was originally intended for the redhead.

Was the hand she'd held out to him - or to Jamie, for that matter - all for naught? Was Nadeshiko, Akihisa's older sister, in the wrong for helping her, then?

She didn't know, and the more she thought about what was seemingly a simple concept, the more it made her head pound.

The woman turned swiftly when the windows suddenly filled with white in her peripheral vision - there was paper strewn everywhere! Heart Wisdom, surrounded by the mess of office miscellany she'd just made, was visible from the window furthest away from Alex when the offense squad member stood up and peered inside the office from her position on the sidewalk.

Alex sighed and shook her head knowingly before entering the office once again, only to find Heart Wisdom, zooming right at her...

Gerry Hines