#include "stddisclaimer.h"

Final Attempt IX
Skyhooks

A story by Suika Roberts, Saint of Eris Discordia Based on the work of Takahashi Rumiko, Takeuchi Naoko, Fujishima Kousuke, and others.

'Is that?' the tall, red haired woman asks Ami-chan.

'Prototype,' Ami-chan answers with a smile, and I look at the woman again, wondering what induced such a responce.

'May I?'

'Sure,' and Ami-chan hands over her sidearm.

I blink. The woman's wearing a Ctholon Militia uniform, but even so. I watch them for a little while, and the sudden smile on the woman's face when Ami-chan softly touches her hand smacks me over the head with a clue-by-four.

Ami-chan's answering smile loosens most of my remaining worries.

'So,' I ask, settling myself at Ami-chan's side, `Who's she?'

'Senior Lieutenant Clarence Cyan,' she smiles as she says the name.

'Clarence?' Ifurita asks, settling firmly against my back, her head possesive on my shoulder.

'Clarence. Big Gold, as a control measure, only allowed Cthulu born under her domination a vat number, sequence number, and line name. One of the first things done after the Ctholon recieved landing clearance was allowing all of the unnamed to claim a personal name. A few, after figuring out what they chose, changed them, but a lot of them decided that they like having strange names.'

'Ah. So that is why people just ask if I'm Ctholon, and only look confused after I tell them that I am not.'

'You could have asked me,' I tell her, shifting my hand to rest on her hip.

'It didn't bother me much.'

I turn back to the source of the gossip I came over to pursue, 'And how did you meet her?'

'She was assigned to negotiate with me on Genom building them some giant robot parts.'

Pulling teeth, 'And why did they need to do that?'

'Because I'd quoted them, Nagisa's secretary, actually, an absotively unreasonable price.'

'To drive them off?'

'To make them haggle. She just took it, and then didn't get back to me, and the next time I heard anything about it was the Delga incident in New Orleans. That kinda pissed me off, since I really had thought that Nagisa would know to try and haggle with me, or at least to ask for a few samples to prove the quality.

'So, I called her up, said to send someone over, and we'd try to figure out what to do about their giant robot situation. Prima apparently suggested Cyan, and Nagisa agreed, and a couple days later I met her.

'She just stood there for several minutes, staring, when she walked in. I thought it was really amusing, so I just sat there and smiled at her until she got herself under control,' Ami-chan smiles.

'She was all a-giggle there for a few moments, after she got done staring, going on about how she had all of my albums, all of the posters with my picture on them, a model of Betsy, and owned a low-numbered B.A.R.

'I thought that was a little much, but I didn't tell her so,' her smile twists a little, 'Instead I made her tell me what she was there for, hand over the plans, and told her that samples would be shipped within two weeks.'

Something in the set of her eyes, a twinkle maybe, clued me in, 'You made them out of DK7, didn't you.'

'DK9, actually,' she puts on a sober face, `It wouldn't do to provide inferior samples, now, would it?' and then she giggles.

'So, did you hit on her then, or when she came back after the samples were delivered?'

'Oh, I just flirted, and accepted her invite to dinner when she finally gathered her courage enough.'

'How's Betsy taking it?'

'Cyan loves her. Takes half the time to do any of the old girl's maintence now.'

I nod, glad, 'That's good. It'd be a shame if Betsy was ignored because you got yourself a new girlfriend.'

'Worst comes to worst I'm sure I could talk Keiichi and Megumi into taking her out occasionally, but this way is nice.'

'So, is this as permanent as it seems?' Ifurita asks, her hand slipping off my hip to cover my hand on hers, stopping the small circling motions.

'Probably,' Ami-chan has a strange look on her face, and it takes me a while to place it, since I've not seen it in five years. Fear.

'She really seems taken with you,' I offer.

'That just means it'll hurt more when it falls appart,' she almost whispers, staring at the table-top.

'The more you worry about how much . . . ' Ifurita trails off, `It often hurts a lot more to worry about chopping your arm off at the shoulder than it does to actually do it.'

Ami-chan blinks at her, then starts laughing, eventually calming again. 'That's a good way of looking at it, I suppose.'

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log:
2000 August 15: Started
2000 Sept 21:continued
2001 Feb 8:much continued