Yuni stood directly outside of Florence’s door. Completely still and silent.
“That’s kind of creepy,” Alexa whispered.
“She’s worried about the woman she loves,” Ines said. “Her reaction really isn’t that unusual.”
“All we can do right now is sit and wait,” Sirvanna said. “Hopefully, Florence will give us some good news.”
“And if it’s not?” Alexa asked.
Yuni said something, but no one could quite make it out.
“What was that?” Katelyn asked.
“I said she’s going to be fine!” Yuni shouted. She turned back towards them, her eyes red and puffy, tears still streaming down her cheeks.
“Okay, okay,” Alexa said. “She’s going to be fine. We know.”
Yuni turned back to the door and went still again.
Sirvanna gestured everyone to move closer. “If she’s not,” she whispered. “Then Yuni is going to need our support, very badly.”
They waited nearly an hour for Florence to come back out.
“You didn’t have to wait around,” she said.
“Yes,” Sirvanna said “we did. Alena is our friend and valued comrade. I don’t think any of us could have relaxed without knowing…”
“Doctor,” Yuni said. “Is she… is she…”
“Alena is fine,” Florence said. “She’ll make a full recovery and be back in action within a few days.”
“Can I see her?” Yuni asked.
“She’s sleeping right now,” Florence said.
“I… I won’t wake her,” Yuni said.
“Please,” Sirvanna said. “Yuni and Alena are very close.”
“I understand,” Florence said. “I’ll let just you in. Just don’t wake her. She’s in the third room on the left.”
Yuni hurried inside and the rest of the group dispersed quietly. Sirvanna and Ines passed Ryu on their way down the corridor.
“Oh, Ryu,” she said. “How are the little ones?”
“Fine,” he said. “What I want to know is why I was summoned to watch them.”
“Because you’re good with children,” Florence said. “Why? Do you have a problem with that?”
“I have duties to perform,” Ryu said. “In my Lord’s absence…”
“We both know that he would want them taken care of if he was here,” Florence said.
“Galea Florence,” Ryu said, his voice low. “Are you trying to manipulate me?”
“Are you denying that he would consider their safety and well-being important Miyamoto kun? Florence asked.
They stared at each other for a moment.
“Very well,” Ryu said. “Even if you are being manipulative, you are correct. My Lord would have them protected. I will guard and nurture them as though they were his own.”
“How noble of you,” Florence said. She watched him go and headed back into her miniature clinic. She quietly walked up to Alena’s door and peaked inside. Yuni had fallen asleep in the chair beside Alena’s bed. Their hands were locked together.
You may enter.
“I just…” Sirvanna began.
You want to know why I sent you to destroy that lab without mentioning the test subjects.
“Are you?” Sirvanna started asking, but she was quickly interrupted.
Reading your mind? No. But your thoughts, in this matter at least, are obvious. Your answer is less so. The reason they weren’t mentioned is that rescue efforts were deemed to risky and the sacrifice of their lives would result in no damage to our cause.
“So, you were just going to let them die,” Sirvanna said.
“It doesn’t seem like something Mr. Wagner would have approved of,” Sirvanna said.
Let him take it up with me when he… What was that?
“What?” Sirvanna asked.
For just a moment I felt something from your mind. When I mentioned him returning. Are you hiding something?
“Why don’t you just probe my mind and force it out of me?” Sirvanna asked.
You don’t think I will? Naoko took a deep breath. I suppose you’re correct. Michael will understand measures I’ve taken, sacrifices I’ve made, to safeguard the lives of you and other gifted soldiers. But… Never mind. If that’s all you wanted I am very busy.
Sirvanna walked away.