Chapter 16:

Patchwork souvenirs ( 1/2 )

Chaos' Game

Night is a pure delight. A kingdom shaped of dreams, silence and mischiefs. It is merely parted between the ones who sleep and the ones who don't, each of them having an important role to play.

     Woodle Bomme, obviously, was this night again part of those who stayed awaken. He wandered through the city, seemingly not fearing a possible encounter with police officers, nor to be reported by any of the rare passers-by. Whenever someone would recognize him in the missing light, then dare. Dare to report! He would once more have the opportunity to acknowledge how elusive he is.

     Whilst he was lost in his thoughts, he remarked a salary man walking in the opposite direction, a few meters away. Wearing a two-piece black suit, he was a forty-years-old man probably on way home after working overtime. The Players's leader displayed a malicious smile as they walked on the same level. Nice opportunity! That would entertain him for a while to frighten this poor man. Maybe policemen would even be prompt enough to show up so that he will drive them crazy after a stimulating chase. And what better way to warm up on the way to his mission?

     Alas, his grin was soon blown away. Indeed, as he drew closer and closer to the tough worker, he realized that not once the latter lifted his eyes of the digital screen projected by his phone. Apparently more preoccupied by the announcement of the intended characters to be released on his RPG game than one of the currently most wanted criminals in the whole Asperia.

“Tchh.” the young fellow grumbled rolling his eyes.

     At the moment he passed him, Woodle stretched a hand along displaying an utter disgusted face. The next moment he held a leather portfolio. A mere compensation for the vain joy he got.

     The salary man kept on his way as if nothing.

     Not even accelerating his pace, the thief opened the portfolio, checking the value of his booty. Paying cards, banknotes, a fidelity card from a library… He neglectfully passed everything in review, though nothing caught his interest. Even if having banknotes was rather a curiosity nowadays. But as he was inspecting the wallet, a lightweight piece of paper fell outside, whirling to the pavement.

     Intrigued, the green-haired Player knelt forwards to grab and unfold it. The piece of paper occurred to be a child's drawing, representing three stick men. Well, as one of them had long hair, he assumed it was the one most likely to be the mother. It represented a happy family. At least the father should cherish them as he kept this …. masterpiece in his portfolio.

     Oddly, Woodle took a glare at it, his face casting a glow over.

     Then, a few seconds later he folded the paper and put it back in the portfolio, flinging it scornfully over his shoulder as he resumed his march.

     Lifting up his head, he wore an indecipherable expression while gazing at the moon.


Echoes of coughing. A child sat on the floor, with mid-long apple-green hair. He was completing a huge puzzle whilst keeping a hand before his mouth. Astonishingly, although the puzzle counted 5 000 pieces he did not seem lost.

     At this time, a young man approached in his back. Hearing his steps, the child turned to him with a beaming smile as he was only a few steps away.

Big brother! You're back!”

I am, I am.” the elder fellow mildly replied.

     A thick hair strand veiling his left eye, his hair was of the same colour as the child's, though a bit shorter. He leant forward, taking in front of him something he had kept in his back until now. A violet tissue. The little boy glanced at it, wondering what it was.

You are coughing a lot, lately.”

     At these words he gently placed around his brother neck the tissue which was none other than a warm scarf.

Keep this, so that you'll soon recover.”

     As he softly touched the scarf, the child looked a bit surprised before he hugged his brother for the present.


The young fellow grasped his patchwork scarf, many pieces of various colours tissues sewn on a purple background.

     However, there was no time for raving tonight.

     As he resumed his walk, Woodle went straight to his destination. Merlish's house.

     Despite the security system, the youthful hacker managed to infiltrate into the mayor's place. She used to live here together with her mother, Donna Merlish, and her husband. Kiseki being at the hospital for now, watched by the police. Albeit this was his first time in there, Woodle oriented himself thanks to plans he had obtained and headed to the office.

     Numerous bookshelves and drawers, her computer… And hooked on the wall behind the desk, a silver key in a golden frame.

     Woodle smiled. This would be way to easy. Deceiving to some extent, he should admit. Therefore, before completing his task, he decided to sit at the desk and inspect Lucy Merlish's computer. He broke through passwords and analysed data. At first sight, there was nothing about the experiences she sponsored but at any case he pasted all he found on an external storage.

     Afterwards, he stood up and approached the framed key. This was the city's key. Handed over the mayor on the day of her investiture, it was rather a symbolic relic. It conveyed people's trust in their ruler since it was created and transmitted upon generations by the first mayor of Asperia, Norbert Mobelius.

     Extending a hand, Woodle snatched it from the wall. However, at the exact instant he withdrew the key, an alarm roared all along the room, the house, and a metallic barrier fell in a sharp blow, condemning the door.

     His eyes widening, the leader couldn't forbear to display a wry smile.

“Oops. Sounds like I've been neglectful after all.”

     Hastening steps in the hallway, enclosing the office. Orders yelled by gruff voices.

“I had better not drag it out.”

     Not panicking for even a while, he looked all around for a way to escape. No windows, no ajar doors… Though he discerned something even better! A ventilation hatch.

     Without wasting a while, he climbed on the shelves so he could reach it. Alas! It was solidly fixed to the ceiling.

     Going back down, he searched in his bag until he suddenly threw explosive spheres on the hatch. Falling to shatter on the floor, the grid obstructing hitherto the exit way couldn't hold Woodle into the office any longer.

     As he was about to climb up there, he abruptly moved back to the mayor's desk.

“I almost forget it!”

     As he left a paper on the desk, the metallic barrier opened enough so that gunshots irrupted in the office, bullets racing with the green-haired thief. He threw himself into the ground, rolling onward before climbing promptly on the shelves, escaping Merlish's office by the ventilation hatch.

     Bodyguards barged in the office the next seconds, but they couldn't find the intruder anymore.

     After he had vanished, the mayor finally stepped in turn into her devastated office. An already furious expression on her face, she came to her desk and discovered a sheet of paper signed by Woodle. As soon as she read it, she took a glare on the wall where she couldn't but acknowledge the disappearance of Asperia's key, becoming ever more pale.

     If you wish to retrieve your precious key, join us on the following evening at 8:00 p.m. in the wasteland behind the ancient Brewie's Bakery. Come alone, unless you wish your dear citizens to uncover that their mayor, not content with your spouse being a traitor, has lost the city's key. What do you think you would lose, next?

The Players


Haru Yumera