Chapter 6:

Ep 5 - To Have A Legacy?

The Girl He Used To Know - (Complete Novella Draft 3, Final Draft Now published on Amazon! - Audio Version on YouTube)

Against Pierre's better judgement, walking throughout the quieter parts of London-Town and to the small park near his home, had become a daily activity.
At first he had thought Maka would, after his initial tour of the area, be able to go on as many walks as she liked by herself - But that had proved not to be the case.Bookmark here

It was far from a question of security - Pierre had full confidence that even without her sword, Maka's Magic abilities and sheer skill in hand-to-hand combat would be more than enough to protect herself from any would-be mugger or murderer prowling the city streets.Bookmark here

No instead every day the girl would find some new reason to drag Pierre along - And for his part Pierre found he didn't really require all that much convincing.
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And so flew past the days into the better part of a week, since Maka had suddenly appeared through a portal of blinding white light in his humble study.Bookmark here

Today Maka's excuse had been wanting to see the city in dusk-light and so the two had set out a bit later in the day - This combined with the seasons beginning to change, meant it was much warmer outside and the young woman took a great interest in all the new plants beginning to think about sprouting, or the trees reclaiming their fallen leaves.Bookmark here

When Maka's overt eagerness finally started to settle they chose to sit on one of the park benches they seemed always to pass by, in order to give Pierre a breather - The one with the gravel track around its circumference, the green where children now played football in the early evening light, and where the grey Chip-Van that seemed to have permanent residence in the place was.Bookmark here

The bench they choose was on one side of the food-van. To its far side was another bench where two teenagers, a boy and girl sat speaking - But far enough away that they could not be overheard - Pierre liked to make sure people were not listening to his and Maka's bizarre conversations.
For her part Maka sat contentedly eating from a brown paper bag of chips they had bought from the van. Pierre had been glad that for all her odd similarities, Maka did not eat like an 'anime character'.

He had seen some clips of the so called 'waifu' eating, and quite bluntly the strange way they took small bites of food before smiling in pleasure, downright creeped Pierre out - Indeed he was glad Maka ate food like a normal person.

He himself had opted against getting anything, somewhat concerned that his diet had been compromised by his time with Maka - She herself did not seem to share this worry;
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"So listen....I've been... Reading your book..... And I have questions..." Maka said in-between mouthfuls, "I'm on the..... Fourth Arc--"Bookmark here

"The fourth?! Are you skim reading or something woman?" Pierre asked in true surprise.
He had been against Maka even looking at the thing until just a couple of days ago.
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Maka finished eating for a moment, "I have always been a fast reader my dear man. You can put it down to your 'engaging prose'." She smiled sweetly.Bookmark here

'Engaging prose my arse, you shouldn't even be able to speak English, nevermind binge reading it!'Bookmark here

"Any-way my question is in regards to our current circumstances. To be clear roughly thirty years ago you were taken from Our world and, errr, 'isekaied' to this Earth, yes?"
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Pierre nodded his agreement.Bookmark here

"Then almost two years ago, twenty-eight after your arrival - The earth researchers discover a way to look back into Our world which they dub 'UnderCurrent' - In much the same way one might look through a neighbouring-house's windows."Bookmark here

"Odd analogy but yes I suppose." Pierre said with another nod.

Maka smiled in self-gratification as she continued on;
"To your horror you looked through this window, only to see the world has advanced thousands of years since your departure - To a point where the horseless-carriages of this world seem like nothing.
Now your home is packed with metal-boats that fly through not just the sky, but space itself - And humanity rides atop giants that give battle against one another in the very heavens themselves!"

"So i ask you Pierre my dear fellow, could it be that you not only travelled through space but also time, to the future of both Earth and Bhaile, yes?"

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Pierre sighed, he had contemplated thoughts like these for years now but it was certainly strange hearing them coming from another person;
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"And I take what your getting at, is that if I was randomly transported through time and space, from one place to another, then you could of had the same happen too, that it?"Bookmark here

Maka took this as her turn to nod in confirmation - "Exactly, if the time and place are randomly picked then that would explain why I arrived here 30 years after you did, but know less about my history then you do.
Like when we met, you claimed I was 'Empress of the World' yet in my time I am only the Heir of a small nation, see?"Bookmark here

Pierre massaged his forehead patiently; "Yes but that's it exactly, isn't it?
When I left you were already on your merry way to conquering the known world, so how can you be here now, before you've done that? 
The version of me you claim to have left behind must, by all rights still end up here, ergo he needs to have the same memories as me - Or it becomes some sort of 'Paradox.'"Bookmark here

"Ha-ha my dear Pierre, perhaps not!
Imagine if you will that I disappear into this world, spend some time here with 'current-you' and then return again - As long as I don't tell anyone what happened, what's to say they would know any different?
Then I could still become Empress and 'younger-you' could still get sent here."Bookmark here

Pierre frowned as he turned this idea over in his mind;
"I suppose were it not for other inconsistencies in your appearance, that might - Theoretically atleast, be possible. However I doubt it."Bookmark here

"And why is that!" Maka returned indignantly.Bookmark here

"Look down the pathway for a moment would you." Pierre said, pointing along the gravel track a few paces in front of them - "How much time would it take to get from here to its corner?"Bookmark here

Maka frowned, "Maybe 30 seconds at a light pace, why?"Bookmark here

"Because, while you could measure the path in metres or feet or yards - Time, although more variable, is also a measurement.
Therefore I believe Bhaile, or the UnderCurrent, and Earth are two planets in this same universe - I have long held that when I was moved from one planet to this Earth, the time it would of taken to physically make that trip was added on--"

"In essences it seems to me that to get from Earth to Bhaile would be a trip thousands of miles in length - Or if we were measuring it in years, thousands of those - Hence why time had moved so much when I arrived here.
It's like, if I suddenly teleported from this bench to the corner of the footpath without walking but with thirty seconds of time still having passed."Bookmark here

Maka laid the bag of chips she had still been picking from, down on her lap and rose a hand to her chin in contemplation of these somewhat advanced concepts - Especially advanced for a woman from an age where the catapult or crossbow were the pinnacle of technology.

Her face had a habit of scrunching up slightly when in thought, her forehead wrinkling ever so minorly in a fashion Pierre couldn't help but think was a little cute.Bookmark here

"So--" She said finally breaking her ad-hoc meditation on the matter;
"--In order for a me of my current age to be here, I would of arrived a couple of years before you did..."Bookmark here

Pierre nodded but a kindly look overcame his face, absentmindedly he laid a hand atop Maka's silky white hair and ruffled it playfully;
"Good effort though, I appreciate the thought you've put in. I dare say alot of people from this world wouldn't of understood half of what I just said."Bookmark here

He finished with a surprisingly warm laugh and happy smile, which Maka reciprocated with a laugh of her own.

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"Alright then I have another question." She said smiling.
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This time Pierre didn't sigh or moan in protest, if anything seeming happy at the easy air of the conversation; "Go on?"Bookmark here

"In the book one of the characters claims his middle name is 'Havler', that the eldest child in his family is always given that name based off some ancient hero, right?" Bookmark here

Pierre's smile broke a little as Maka continued;
"Now obviously he can't be your direct descendant or anything but what if he's a really distant relative of your sister?
I mean when we first met you said there was nothing left in the UnderCurrent to prove you or your family had ever even existed but with this, in your own book is a character with your name!
If it's true, that would make him your great, great, great, well alot of greats - Nephew, a great legacy, yes!?"

My sister....yes my sister, my family. When did I last think about her?
Writing the book I guess but like, really think about her - What happened to her after I left, did she lead a good life, was she happy? could I not think about something like that more seriously, how could I forget my own family?

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"Well unless you just put it in for fun." Maka continued to muse at Pierre's side.
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"For Fun?" Pierre asked, his voice strained a little as his mind found itself preoccupied.

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Maka nodded, "Ya I read on the internet - And don't say it again, I know you think the internet is 'Haunted by Degenerates' or something but thus far it seems a most aimible place - Anyhow I read some writers like to project themselves onto their stories or include characters based on themselves."

'How many years since you really thought about them, about your family?
Remember how happy everyone was when Sis settled with that nice man?
Not a soldier like me, liable to go off to war and never come back - But instead a good man, who could protect his family and respect them, with a stable blacksmith's job.
Yes a good man for a wonderful women.
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Th-they, they were expecting a child when I got transported to Earth weren't they?
A baby I never saw, a niece or...maybe a nephew...
Father must of been so ecstatic to become a grandparent....'

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"No girl, I did not self-insert myself into my own book, what do you take me for?
It is a historical archive of a scientific study for public consumption, I simply wrote what I saw--"

"--And the Havler mentioned could be anyone, the name was common enough.
It could refer to someone who heroically saved a child from a burning building or cured a town of some deadly disease. I highly doubt it has anything to do with me, Thank you very much!!"
Pierre stated with an uncomfortable tone overcoming his voice.Bookmark here

Maka's face became coloured with concern;
"Oh, yes I suppose that could be true. I didn't mean to offend your writing, it's just.... What about the Gole--"Bookmark here

"Ha! More coincidences, that creature could of been one of thousands, it proves nothing!" Pierre shot back dismissively.Bookmark here

Maka went to lay a hand on Pierre's forehead, worry plastered across her body-language - "Are you feeling ok? You almost sound like you don't want a legacy?"Bookmark here

A lurching feeling creeped around Pierre's body, a sickness in his stomach and dryness in his throat. His mind felt the familiar sensation of vertigo as his emotions began to swirl. Bookmark here

It was as though Maka's talk of family had hit a trigger, a switch of repressed feelings and emotions - Things he thought he had dealt with - 30 years of pent up regret and remorse.Bookmark here

'How easy is it to forget a face?
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I mean if you don't see an old friend for ten years, you might remember the standout moments, their name - Even their favourite foods, but their face?
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The subtle contortions of their smile on a happy occasion, the slight swelling of their expressions during a tear-filled funeral. The flush of their cheeks on a first date.
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How many years does it take to forget the face of your own sister man!!'Bookmark here

Pierre harshly slapped Maka's hand away from feeling his forehead, he glared into her hurt filled eyes;
"What do you care how I feel, or whether I have a legacy or not?"Bookmark here

"Pierre, I don't under--"Bookmark here

"Who Are You Women?!
A ghost, a dream? The restless spirit of someone I wronged, Hmmmm? What are you, who are you?! What right have you to turn up out of nowhere like this and pry into my so called 'legacy'!"
He spat loudly.Bookmark here

Maka laid her hands on her lap and sat up straight, trying for a calm demeanour as she spoke;
"I am the Lady Aardig, your friend, but it's ok if you don't want to call me that - We chose the name Maka together remember? I like it alot, ok?"Bookmark here

But no words seemed to reach Pierre now, all the confused emotions that boiled inside him seemed to focus on the young women before him - A focal point for unwarranted anger.

"But your not are you!?
See I started to think you were, started to believe maybe you were right!
Maybe my memories were wrong, because that's the thing - Memories, dreams, they can all change, shift, be manipulated - What if I really had imagined a perfect women in my head with you as the actual, real version of the girl?
But then I thought further and just now it clicked.
Ha I'm ashamed I didn't see it sooner!"Bookmark here

"Pierre please calm down--"Bookmark here

"No! It's your turn to be quiet and listen to me you harleton!" Pierre half-roared, loud enough for others in the park to turn and stare;
"Science, ha, Science! My memories might all be wrong but not the scientific facts of the matter. Why are your eyes not red!?"Bookmark here

Maka's face seemed to freeze for a few moments, as though everything inside her had stopped for a couple seconds.Bookmark here

"See! SEE! There it is. Your hair is white and your skin fair - All because of your magical abilities, magic you overused. But your eyes, they should be red!
I even checked my notes from writing about the UnderCurrent and nothing changed has in thousands of years!
All Magi gain a faint red tinting to their pupils, so faint you might not even see it but before your hair goes white, or skin turns pale - Your eyes always go fully red first, I even checked the notes on the UnderCurrent and nothing changed in thousands of years! - And yet YOU, with that stupid white hair and alabaster skin, have brown eyes!! - It's not my memories miss-remembering your eye colour, but that You are scientifically Impossible! Ha-HA!"Bookmark here

As his ramble ended Pierre grabbed Maka harshly by the wrist, yanking her close to his face before using his other hand to hold open his own eyelid.

"Pierre that hurts please--"Bookmark here

"Shut Up!! Look, in my eye. Faint, so very faint because I had so little Esper ability - But it's there eh?! A faint red rim!
it's been staring at me, the answer this whole time in every mirror and every dream - Red Eyes, You do not have red eyes!"Bookmark here

Reluctantly Maka nodded, you wouldn't see it without focusing but around the rim of Pierre's eyes was the trace of red.
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"And yet yours are completely brown. No messed up memories or, or - Or imaginary bloody Waifu's - Just science that you are not My Aardig!"Bookmark here

"So then who the hell are you? Why did you appear in my home, sauntering around like you own the place, breaking my best arm chair, wrecking my dining room?
Causing everyone on the street to start talking about 'Havelock's Young Mistress'?!"Bookmark here

Maka pulled her wrist free from Pierre's continued grasp, a faint red mark forming from the strength of his grip - And stood silently up from the small park bench;
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"Pierre you said once that some people like being alone. Is that what this is, do you want....want me to leave you?"Bookmark here

"I am not your plaything to tease and take advantage of. What I want is simple - Tell Me Who You Are." Was all Pierre said back.
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Maka turned her face aside, visible tears welling in her eyes, her bruised wrist clutched within her other hand, both pressed against her chest;
"I'll....I think I should go now....I'll be at the house, if it is still our house...I can find my own way back...."
And with that she began to walk away, not stopping to look back at Pierre.Bookmark here

For his part Pierre slumped back on to the bench, Maka's departure seemingly causing all the built up rage to dissipate in an instant. He stared up at the sky, at ugly grey rain clouds forming on the horizon as he evaluated his own sudden outburst - Evaluating the feelings he thought he had abandoned decades ago.Bookmark here

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