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Orb Foundation Week: The Parade That Never Happened


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The decision to send the black sedan heading off-course, well off the main highway where a 'short street race' was going on was a very wise idea, at least in her opinion. Traffic police is still monitoring the status of traffic at this moment, and anyone caught breaking traffic laws will be punished accordingly. That is the last thing the girl had on her mind, knowing very well that getting caught will pretty much kill the (already bad) mood of the celebration week. Rather, whatever is left to be celebrated in this week.


With the next destination already in her mind, she calmly turns the steering of the sports sedan to the left at the runabout after the interchange, aiming the direction of the Nissan Skyline GT-Turbo sedan into the road. The previously-loud turbocharger is reduced from a ear-shattering whine to a almost-mute whistle, as she slowed down at sight of a Indian-Malay restaurant. Taking a small turn to the road in front of the shops, the business is still going on like usual in some parts of Orb, even in the wake of the warning. At least the restaurant is in a safe area.


Taking an empty spot on the designated car park behind another car, it was another time she lets the timer of the car to do the job in shutting the engine of the car down. Flipping the keys, the neatly-dressed girl then walked off to the restaurant.


"Cik, makan? (Miss, what do you want to eat?)" an Indian man appeared right at the moment she stepped into the unair-conditioned restaurant, and asked in a foreign language (Malay language).


"Hm...nasi goreng kambing satu (I would like a plate of fried rice with goat meat, please)," the girl casually replied. "Dan tak mahu pedas. (And I don't want it to be spicy."


"Minum? (Would you like anything to drink?)," the Indian man asked her what else she wanted.


"Teh ais satu (One cup of iced tea please)," Sayaka then answered, and was led to her seat.


After being seated, she takes a deep breath at finally being able to take at least a short rest. Putting her hands together, she rests the hands on the table of the simple restaurant, making random expressions while looking at other people going on about their business, such as football, business deals and other minuscule matters. The restaurant here, having very simple decorations, save for menus and other associated items, isn't the upmarket ones, is short to say very unconventional; the variety foods are basically from Malaysia, a nation within the Equatorial Union that is known for it's food, as well as being one of the countries to have people from different races mixing and mingling with each other, without taking differences into account. That is something Orb have strive to at least achieve, in which the nation did a pretty good job at. Of course, there is a small amount of Malaysian Chinese blood in her, something her parents said comes from one of their ancestors who is a Malaysian Chinese. She does not learn the Malay language at school; it was something taught as home, as well as bits of Chinese and Cantonese from her parents, despite not being able to read or write in either.


Minutes later, a waitress placed a glass of iced tea, with a straw protruding from the drink, right in front of her. She quietly sips the iced tea, when she overheard the conversation from another table.


"Do you know what happened before the parade?" one of the men said. "There is word about some virus or something that was spread among the participants."


"Really?" the other man at the other table spoke.


Sayaka continued listening to the conversation, while looking at the table. The waitress quietly slipped the plate of fried rice on her table, while she continues looking at the conversation. Realizing that her meal was there, she takes a spoon and fork from a tray on the table, and begins her meal, while the waitress writes the price of the meal on a small piece of paper, and slips it underneath the glass.

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Zeru yawned, taking his time to walk to the unique foodcourt with his hands in his pockets. The taxi took awhile to reach his destination, as he was new, and wasn't really used to the roads yet. He chose to pay the fare, and walked the remainder of the way, saving some time and effort for both men.


The casually dressed Sergeant, already back to his casual, laid back attitude simply walked into the restaurant, welcomed as a regular. Without much formalities, he greeted them in their own foreign language. One in which he was very fluent in. He had worked with the Malaysians long enough during his militant years, and even during his years as a Serpant Tail operative, using his old contacts to help him out in his missions.


"Apa Khabar?"


He said to the young woman who had already been seated nearby, in a merry way. He seemed to almost float above the ground, as he walked casually towards the table, and took a seat opposite to her.

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She was finishing her meal when she noticed a man entering the restaurant, and was greeted as more of a regular than anything else. Informality is the keyword here, as this is the place anyone can let their hair down, talk about random subjects, or just sit down and hang around in general.


Must be one of the regulars. She thinks for a moment, when the man started speaking to her, as she sees the other guy sitting on the opposite of her at the table.


"Agak baik...tapi banyak kerja... (Quite good...but a lot of work," she immediately replied to the casually dressed person...but it was funny to find out that she was telling that to a man, who seemed to look a lot older than she was, about twice her age.


She does not really know to deal with this man, but it seems that neither of them seem to know who are they. And because of that, she don't really know if this is the right way to start a conversation.


"And you are...?" she politely asks the man.

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He playfully pouted, as he dug into his wallet once again, and produced his ID as a FREE forces officer. With a tint of pseudo, yet playful sadness, he pointed at the part of the card that indicated his rank, and started to speak, in a way that implied he was on the verge of crying.


"Now... If only I'd joined the FREE forces back when I was younger than I was...


He grinned for awhile, and kept his wallet where it belonged; Safely in his wallet. He gestured at the indian man for a cup of his "usual beverage". Most probably, a cup of warm, sweet milk tea. Turning around to face Sayaka, he then started to explain more about himself.


"Just call me Zeru. I'm just on covert patrol for the Parade. But I guess thats off for now. Especially after that fiasco about ZAFT's commander who got poisoned... I did check around the records on all the officers who would be dispatched for the parade... And your face seems to be one of them..."


He thoughtfully looked at her, humming a playful tune as he tried to remember her name.


"Ah, Sayaka, was it?"

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Sayaka slightly chuckled at the remarks of that Sergeant-ranked man, who expressed his 'sadness' at being slightly older than the girl. It is no surprise for the younger girl, since there are basically just about anyone in any range of age in the FREE forces.


She takes a nice sip from the cup of iced tea, cooling down her throat, all while listening to the man's explanation about the events that happened at the parade that would have happened...before news of the virus came.


"Yeah, Nakano Sayaka," she replied to that man with her name, on the Japanese order of family name, then the given name. She then proceeds to give her version of the events. "Well...from the start our team were dispatched by Representative Kamakura to look after the Princess' float all the way from the start of the route to the end of the route of the parade, which is somewhere near the beaches," she started on what they would have done.


"I am to at least scout around the route through the backstreet in my car in advance," she said, pointing at the black sports sedan parked outside. "And suddenly all the thing about the ZAFT representative being poisoned and the spread of the virus among the participants led to this," she continued, referring to the postponement of the parade.


"I heard the ZAFT commander caused quite a commotion around here."

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The older Sergeant continued to playfully hum, as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully. He was brought out of his so called "daydream" when the Indian man had greeted him with his cup of tea. He was all smiles then, as the indian man stated that this particular meal between Sayaka and him were on the house. Obvious that the man was teasing him, he gave him a stout, yet playful glare. And yet to his dispair, the Indian man patted his back, grinned, and walked off.


He sighed and shrugged, pretending as if nothing had really happened, and proceeded to thoroughly stir the cup, a rich, light-brown mixture with a sweet scent. To his surprise, a little bit of tonic was inside. He sighed under his breath, not wanting Sayaka to notice it, as he sipped the tea from its warm, glass mug.


"Yeah, I was one of the officers who personally sent her to the hospital... Messy business I tell you. Them ZAFT people are never on their two feet, always hopping around wanting to go to a safer place.... But I guess thats natural eh?... Er. Pun unintended."

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Sayaka continued to listening to the older man's story. She was listening too attentively until she didn't realize what is going on around her. She have observed the ZAFT commander from her post in the morning, and she already sense that the commander does indeed - in her words, totally - cause THAT level of commotion. Exhausting the sup of iced tea, she puts the cup aside, and leans comfortably on the chair.


"Seems like 'natural' is a funny word to be used in your context, Mr. Zeru," Sayaka covered her mouth and chuckled like a typical teenage girl (which is obvious, given her age), at what the man have said about what happened to the ZAFT commander. "We can't blame them, they just want to feel safe in anywhere out of their own homes...even we ourselves do feel the same right?" the girl then commented, and asked a question related to the matter.


Of course, she was mentioning that because she shifted homes, to thousands of kilometers away, to Orb.


[OOC: Want to join the people at the Shooting Range?]

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He took another sip of his tea, his face looking slightly critical, but it revereted back to his usual, laidback self, as he placed the cup down on the table, and sighed. He looked at Sayaka with sad eyes, with a small smile kept on his face. The mention of the word "home" had brought back memories, too pleasent to be reminded that those moments would never come back again. He never really had home, never really had much of a family after his entire town got wiped out a long time ago. Still, he was determined to keep his mind off things


"I've been living alone for a little too long to really remmeber what 'home' would sound, smell or feel like..."


He gulped down the rest of the tea, then 'slammed' the cup down on the table, and grinned.


"Want to go let off some steam at the shooting range?

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Sometimes, mentioning a word out of the blue will at least invoke the emotions in another person, intentional, or not. As with the case of this particular Mr. Zeru, it seems that this person has been living a lonely life for an overly long period. Sayaka realized that she was lucky enough to have at least a family to support her at times when she needed them the most, as with several occasions in the past.


Little did she realize that she have been around that restaurant for an overly long time, not knowing how fast time have passed since she stepped into the restaurant for some healthy dose of meal (if an oily fried rice is 'healthy', that is) to at least make up for the energy lost in the preceding events in the morning. The man asked her a question, which she gladly replied.


"Sure, I'll do," the girl replied to the man's question. "Been wanting to release some 'stress' after what happened this morning," she continued, as she called the waitress and made her payment for both of them. "Take it as my treat, I'm paying for both of us," she said, before looking outside and then back to the man.


"My car's parked outside, wanna hop in?"

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He stood up, and dusted himself, as he kept his hands in his pockets and grinned at Sayaka's offer. He casually took a can of Iced coffee, and nodded  to the shopkeeper, signalling him to place it onto his tag, before he moved towards the exit.


"Thanks thanks. It would've taken awhile to have gotten there by foot."


He said, with a small grin. He walked past Sayaka, and squeezed her gently on her shoulder, a little gesture of friendship, as he walked towards what seemed to be her car. It somehow matched the ones that were sighted to racing earlier, but he decided to let it slide for now.

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Sayaka was not being very sure of what the gentle squeeze on the shoulder meant, but she knows for one thing, that it is not a very good thing to do on a girl. She wasn't being quite comfortable about a guy twice her age doing that to a younger girl like her. Maybe because it was her clothing, maybe because she was being treated more as a guy...maybe because she could not forget that fateful day...


I must be thinking too much about her...uh...


Without a word, she takes several steps before the Nissan Skyline sedan is in sight. Flicking out the car keys, she presses a button on the alarm, opening the locks of the car. Opening the right front door, she made her way onto the seats of the car, before putting the seat belts on, and inserting the key into the ignition. Depressing the gas pedal a little, the sedan's engine is fired up. Maybe perhaps a little too much, as the blow-off valve blows off some excess air from the piping. She remained seated there, while waiting for Zeru to step into the car so they can go off the the shooting range.

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He could almost sense the confusion, or anxiety on her face as he squeezed her shoulder. Maybe she was still a little too young for gestures like that. Maybe she felt a little insecure. Ah well, it couldn't be helped. She barely knew him anyway. Most of his older workmates knew what it meant, but she probably needed time for it.


As she started her car, he sat beside her on the front seat, and put on his seatbelt.


"Shall we?"

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[This is going to be short, since we will be heading to the Shooting Range.]


The thud of the door on the other side notified her that the other passenger of the car have entered. Whatever it is now, Sayaka knew that conditions over the warning have not subdued yet, so she knows that it is not a very good idea to start a ruckus, like what the drivers of the 2 cars did a while ago. She have realized that chasing them might not be a good idea, especially since someone or other might have seen it.


Whatever is going on her mind, she needed time to recover her focus of events. Today have been extremely hectic on her, and to a certain extent, most of the FREE people.


The additional displays light up and shows that the car is on condition green for moving. She looks around for any incoming traffic, before she goes changing the manual gears to the first, she slowly puts down the brake, and proceeds to make the drive off the parking lot in front of the row of restaurants, as soon as a random vehicle passes them. The next destination she and the Mr. Zeru have in mind at the moment is: the Shooting Range at Onogoro.


[shaft, you post first in the other thread.]

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