Chapter 59:

Anna abducted?

The Y-files [GL]

Belgian Trivia

BOZAR: A cultural center and the most renowned theater venue, when it comes to theater, opera and classical music in Belgium. Their largest hall is 2100 seats, so still small in comparison to what other countries have. There are bigger venues in Belgium, but they are mostly used for big concerts of rock bands and the like.Bookmark here

BOZAR is a phonetic allusion to Beaux arts (Fine arts) and used to be called the Palais des Beaux Arts (fine arts palace)Bookmark here here

Nid d'oiseauxBookmark here

Nid d'oiseaux or vogelnestjes in dutch (both translate to bird's nests) is a dish that was created to be eaten at easter. It was a way to preserve eggs in the middle ages because it was forbidden to eat eggs during the fasting period before Easter for Christians (everyone was christian in these regions in the Middle ages, either that, or you faced the inquisition).Bookmark here

Chapter 38 Anna abducted?Bookmark here

They are large meatballs with a boiled egg in the middle that get deep fried.. When the balls are cut in two they look arguably just like a bird's nest. Children are really crazy about it especially when served with tomato sauce and pink mashed potatoes.Bookmark here

The only ones that decided not to come were Elsa, Therese and Eve. They decided to go and visit Tina. Which I could understand, but I was a bit surprised to see Therese and Eve were already acting so friendly with Tina and Elsa. I could see from a glance that both couples were doing really well because the three of them were acting so jovial.Bookmark here

Since we were in such a large group we decided to walk to the Brasserie. Only Anna drove by car. Otherwise she would have to go back to school alone, on foot, at night.Bookmark here

Mom was a bit surprised when she saw the large group enter. She walked over to us, welcomed us, and asked if it was okay for us to look after Emma while we did our work. Fien immediately jumped up and said “Leave Emma to my experienced babysitter skills!”Bookmark here

Mom suppressed her laugh and said “I will count on you then.” Mia then said “And I will make sure to watch both of them.” Mom gave Mia a quick glance and mostly ignored Mia. Seems she didn’t want to get too close to Elizabeth’s family. She gave me a little shoulder tap and a look that clearly implied that I was the one really in charge of Emma.Bookmark here

We sat down and got to work. Gazette and Elodie were already making big news of the fact that Narcy Stick was our director, and Thea Tralic would be designing the costumes. Apparently she had taken many pictures of them together. I had not seen her do that. She really must have some sort of stealth mode. A lot of comments were flowing in to say they had also spotted the yuri Jeanne D'Arc, and they wanted to know if I was going to be in the play too. So we had to do another announcement that I was appointed as Narcy Stick's assistant.Bookmark here

The people in the comments seemed to agree that it was a wise choice for me, to get such an eloquent teacher. Was Narcy Stick really that big of a deal? It was hard to believe since I had never heard of her...Bookmark here

Valerie and Mia were working on the layout of the program leaflets that would be distributed before the play. It was clear that we would have to make pictures of everyone as soon as the costumes were ready.Bookmark here

Anna and I were working on the stage sets. Making a plan, and drawing out how we could change the layouts quickly between scenes. There was a lot to theater that I did not know about, and google was not being very helpful. We decided to contact the BOZAR to see if we could make a school outing of it for everyone that was helping with the play. When we said that our director was Narcy Stick, they immediately arranged for us to visit this Friday. It seemed the name Narcy Stick really opened doors in the world of theater.Bookmark here

I gave a quick call to Ms. Lourdes, who reprimanded me that I should ask these things before arranging them, but on the other hand, she was rather impressed that I managed to sway BOZAR. I wanted to put the phone down, but Ms. Lourdes asked if my mom was around, so I quickly ran to the brasserie via the kitchen and gave my mom my phone.Bookmark here

I avoided the brasserie itself because people would always want to talk to me and ask me for autographs, and I imagined that would be even worse after my TV appearance.Bookmark here

Mom got a huge smile when she heard who was on the other line. “They really are such good friends.” I thought to myself.Bookmark here

I took a quick peek inside the brasserie and there were a lot of people again. I overheard a conversation about the fact that I lived here, and that sometimes I came by, and even helped in the kitchen from time to time. I had clearly decided wisely to enter via the kitchen.Bookmark here

I decided to go back to the apartment. Fien was playing very wildly with Emma. Emma was laughing like crazy so I guess everything was fine.Bookmark here

Everyone's work was progressing nicely and I asked if they wanted to stay over for dinner. This time everyone decided to stay. Since I had to cook for such a large group including Emma, I decided to make Nid d'oiseaux with tomato sauce and pink mashed potatoes.Bookmark here

I put some eggs in the egg boiler and started working on the tomato sauce, because tomato sauce always gets better the longer it stews.Bookmark here

I sharpened my cleaver, but just as I wanted to get to my first clean chop, mom entered the apartment and called me over. She looked a bit nervous and said “You and Anna have visitors.” Anna looked surprised. Then mom said “Your parents are here.”Bookmark here

I noticed Anna getting down but then immediately getting angry.Bookmark here

Why can't they just leave me alone! They always interfere.” Mom looked a bit worried so she asked “Do you want me to send them away?”Bookmark here

I saw some anger in Anna's eyes. Something I had not yet seen before.Bookmark here

No, that is not a good idea. My father does not take no for an answer. If he calls on you, you go. But he promised me he would give me space.”Bookmark here

Anna's dad seemed like a very scary person the way Anna was describing him. Well standing around here talking wasn't going to solve anything. So I removed my apron and said, “Let's go see what they want. The faster we do that, the sooner it will be all over.” So the three of us left to go downstairs.Bookmark here

As soon as we entered the dining area I could feel everyone’s stares on me. I did my best to ignore them and nodded to the people who said hello. The place was packed with mostly lesbian couples that wanted to show support to my cause. I walked over to the table where Mr. and Mrs. Lyst sat. When she noticed me Mrs. Lyst walked up to me and greeted me with a kiss, all friendly, like we had always been the best of friends. “Ah Claire, so nice of you to join us, let me present you to my husband Vital, and do call me Kath.”Bookmark here

The man got up and gave me a kiss too. After that they greeted Anna like there never had been any issue between the three of them.Bookmark here

I was a bit perplexed by their amiability. This was like an 180° turn since yesterday. Alarm bells were ringing inside my head. They were clearly up to something.Bookmark here

We then sat down with the four of us. Mom left, but was clearly keeping an eye on things. Vital ordered us a round of drinks. When the drinks arrived he said. “First let us talk about business. Providing some “extra conditions” outside of the official deal, that we will go into later, I would like to make you the following counteroffer on your demands.” He uttered the word demands like it left a bad taste in his mouth.Bookmark here

Vital first assured me that the yuridium would not be used in weapons. They were more thinking of using yuridium in pharmaceutical applications. Then he offered me that instead of giving access to their research on yuridium we would allow our lab to become completely financed by the Lyst group, in other words, combine our labs. Ms. Odes would get a second contract and would also be their head of research for everything concerning yuridium. They would also send someone to our lab representing the Lyst group. Ms. Odes would get anything she needed as long as she reported her results to Rainbow Q too. That way we were both aware of all research. I had the impression all that was happening was not really to Kath’s wishes, because I could see how fake her nods and smiles were.Bookmark here

Frankly I could not see anything wrong with the offer. I looked at Anna and she looked a bit weary. I was wondering what the catch was too.Bookmark here

Vital then said: “I am being very generous here because it concerns my daughter. Anna can testify that I usually don't take demands so kindly.”Bookmark here

Then Anna got angry: “Don't you dare threaten us. None of this would have happened if you had kept your word. You promised you were going to leave me alone.”Bookmark here

Vital turned really serious and his aura became pressing. If I had not known, I would have thought it was a different man than earlier. “I gave you one condition, not to shame the Lyst name, and you broke that by going against your mother on national television. That agreement is void now.”Bookmark here

Anna looked shaken at those words. I felt her starting to crumble. So I took her hand to let her know she wasn't alone. I wanted to protect her so I said: “I do not know anything about the Lyst name or your agreement, but I cannot imagine you treating your daughter like that in public is very good to the Lyst name either, and it does not really make me want to make a deal with you.”Bookmark here

Kath and Anna looked shocked at me. I saw mom looking worried at our table. Was it that bad what I said? I only spoke my mind.Vital was a bit taken aback by my answer. It was clear that he wasn't used to getting a retort. Then his pressing aura disappeared and he started laughing. “It has been a long time since anyone spoke against me like that. That was refreshing. Okay, I will apologize. I am sorry, but tell me what there is to lose. This seems like a pretty good deal for you to be honest.”Bookmark here

Well as far as I could tell, he was right, this all sounded really good. But I am only 16 years old. I wished Ms. Lourdes was here to help. I looked at Anna, she still looked a bit scared. But then she gave a light nod. I interpreted that as to go with the deal, so I said. “I will agree to your deal if Ms. Lourdes and Ms. Odes agree too.Bookmark here

Kath then answered “I will deal with Cath, but we will leave Ms. Lourdes to the two of you. I , uhm... did not leave the best impression on her.”Bookmark here

Vital then clapped his hands. “Okay, seems like we settled this part of the deal, now on to my conditions.” He then waved to mom. She walked over. “Please sit down Lisa, I think you belong in the next part of our discussion as Claire's mother.”Bookmark here

I started feeling bad. Mom was busy working, could he not see that? Yet again I was being a bother to mom. Mom patted my head to let me know it was okay as she sat down.Bookmark here

Then Vital continued “Am I right to assume that you and Anna are in a relationship at the moment?”Bookmark here

He looked at us with a penetrating gaze. I could feel Anna's hand shaking. She was freezing just like she did during the TV show. Mom reacted immediately to that “ You aren't going to suggest they break up are you? I know your family is against this sort of relationship. Kath here made that all too clear on many occasions.”Bookmark here

I noticed Vital gave a sign to back off, and I looked in the direction of where he had given the sign, and saw two men and a woman dressed in black putting something back in their pockets. They were now surveying the brasserie. Come on really? Was this not a little over the top for a visit too Femme Fatale?Bookmark here

Kath turned red and looked a lot smaller now. Vital looked at his wife and started laughing again “I can see that Claire takes after you.”Bookmark here

He then continued “I cannot have my daughter in this kind of an illicit relationship. That part is true.”Bookmark here

Now it was Anna who was about to explode but before she could speak he continued “So I want the two of you to get officially engaged right now, or break it off forever.”Bookmark here

Wait what did he say? We only got together yesterday and he wants us to get engaged? This was getting a bit much for me.Bookmark here

Anna started crying and shouted “Why do you always have to ruin everything for me! Of course the answer is no! If Claire had asked me someday without this stupid deal it would have been a different matter. But I will not be sold off like a piece of cattle as part of a deal under pressure. Yuri is supposed to be light and beautiful and now you have stained it!”Bookmark here

She released my hand and said “Sorry Claire this is not about you, but I will not be a puppet to my parents. I am leaving.” Anna got up and left the table. I saw Vital give a sign to his men and noticed they left following Anna.Bookmark here

I wanted to go after Anna, but mom held me back. “We have to deal with them first.” I saw that Kath seemed to be having trouble biting her tongue.Bookmark here

Mom turned to Vital and said “I do not know what you are playing at. But you did that on purpose. You knew exactly how Anna would react to those words, didn’t you?”Bookmark here

His demeanor became pressing again and he answered “I have no idea what you mean. Anna gave you her own answer out of her free will, so I think for now, this discussion is over.” Vital and Kath got up and got ready to leave.Bookmark here

Suddenly the girls from upstairs rushed in. Gazette shouted “STOP!”Bookmark here

Everyone looked up to her. Vital and Kath looked really surprised.Bookmark here

You just kidnapped Anna, I will not let you destroy all our hard work!”Bookmark here

Kidnapped Anna? What the hell? And what work were they talking about? I felt myself starting to panic. I was happy mom was with me.Bookmark here

Vital got an evil grin and said. “My daughter will just be staying at her family home. Why would that be kidnapping? I'm sure that when you ask her she will say the same thing.” He looked very sure of himself.Bookmark here

Mia replied: “Only because you are threatening her. I know a bully when I see one...” She said that with quite the load of resentment in her tone. That was a bit hypocritical of Mia... But I guess the best poachers are the best foresters...Bookmark here

I noticed that Kath was getting more and more uncomfortable with the situation. On top of that there were a lot of public stares in our direction. Plenty of people were filming this whole scene. This could be detrimental for her political career. Vital kept his pressuring glare and said: “Try proving it. Until then, adieu.”Bookmark here

Vital and Kath's security detail was back in the meantime so there was really no way to try to stop them.Bookmark here

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