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Of course, not everything can be solved with brutality, and the finesse of Reisen is perfectly suited for such situations. Another “sufferer” from the Aurora, her ability to control illusions took a bit to make itself known. What didn’t wait, however, were the brand new rabbit ears and tail that came to many women and girls after the event (including Yue). However, Reisen was affixed with the rarer crumpled-looking ears rather than the far more common floppy ears. Why? Nobody knows (Isn’t that wild?). All Casey really knows about them is they feel like soft, fuzzy leather and grabbing them apparently feels like having someone scratch a hard-to-reach place on one’s back. As for the tail, as Bog (Or God) as his witness he will one day grab it (And, you know, not get slapped for it). Though, knowing her, she’d likely just yell, get huffy, and stop talking to him. Really, it’s a shock such a sweet girl got into the army in the first place, let alone be a soldier on the front lines.
It was pure chance that they met, really. Both being “Augmented Citizens,” they were assigned to the same company to fight in the Great War. While trench warfare reigned supreme at the beginning, as the nations began to use their mages, witches, and wizards more the trenches became largely abandoned in favor of guarding the spell-slingers as they did their thing. Reisen, still getting a handle on controlling her powers, and Casey, not able to use his in a combat setting, were soon assigned to the guard platoon of a sickly witch able to use spells according to the elements. She had tried to lecture the pair, whom she had taken as her personal guards, on the subject, but broke down in a fit of sickness before she could make it halfway.
As a team the two worked wonderfully with Reisen as the sharpshooter hiding at a good vantage point and Casey as a more traditional bodyguard to take care of any threats that got too close (A scattergun is a wonderful thing). This, combined with the rest of the soldiers keeping the enemy distracted, led to an almost perfect combat record and the witch suffering no damage. All in all, a real bang up job. Since Casey and Reisen worked in such proximity to each other, they would often seek one another’s company during the off times. They shared things like family members, interests, and such things with one prominent thing in common: the rations were horrible.
Okay, two prominent things: the rations were horrible and first chance they got they were going home. While neither of them had any great love for war, Reisen was especially bothered by it, seeming depressed and distant even to Casey. This culminated on the day of victory when Casey, noticing she was absent from the celebration, went looking for her. He eventually found Miss Patricia Cottontail completely zonked out in the barracks staring at the wall.
“Hey, Reisen.” He called to her.
“Rei~sen, the war is ov~er.” He tried again, standing before her.
Still no response. Fed up, he saw an errant bullet lying about and took it. In a fit of whimsy, he stuck the round in her left nostril, capturing her attention.
“Gah, what the hell, Casey?! A bullet? Really?”
“What’d you expect me to do?”
“Shake me or something, don’t shove a damn bullet in my nose!”
“It worked, didn’t it? So, why are you moping around like someone just ate your new puppy? The war is over, you know. We can go home.”
“Home…” She trailed off.
“Yes, home. You know friends, family, and a bunch of other people you don’t really care about, but, hey, at least they aren’t trying to kill you.”
“You know I wanted to be a medic when this all started?”
“Huh? Uh, yeah, you’ve mentioned that before.”
“Save lives, help those who needed it…”
“That’s generally what they do.”
“And yet because of this damn body I was forced to be a regular soldier. Do you think my family would like that their oldest daughter is a murderer?” Oh Christ, he thought.
“They’d probably be too happy that you came back alive to even care. Besides, I don’t think shooting someone who wants to kill you and yours really counts.”
“…Yeah, I guess.”
“Hey, cheer up! At least now we’ll never have to do this again.”
“True, very true. You know, I’m glad we were assigned together.” She smiled at him as she said this.
“Me too.” He smiled back.
“So, you’re going back to Arkham, right?” She quickly changed the subject.
“Yeah, figure I may as well. It’s becoming such a big city thanks to all those mages that it’d be the perfect place to set up shop. How about you? Got any grand plans?”
“No, not really. I’ll probably try for med school, but from there I have no idea.”
“Well, if all else fails, you can always hop over to Arkham and get into business with me. I have no idea what to make of it, but Poor Leno’s will become a reality.” She laughed with him at that, having no idea that was exactly what would eventually happen.
It’s funny, Casey thinks to himself, how close he’s become to those two. They really make a good team and he can honestly say he loves both of them. Like sisters? Maybe. Like lovers? He has no idea, but as long as they work together he doubts anything in space and time can get in their way.
Space and time…time…clock…he takes a gander at the grandfather clock in the corner, the hands pointing to five after three. Since it’s far too dark to be afternoon (and he remembers eating a delicious sandwich at one p.m. for lunch), he curses and frantically gets back to making “Lost Cat” posters. Black fur, small size, two tails (what kind of cat has two tails?!)…
Poor Leno’s Episode 1: Meet the Team.
Will now return to your regularly scheduled CUtMaS.