[It was a while after the inspector's announcement and much of the information was still sinking in. For some it was a time to plan for the future, for others it was a time to discuss the new information that may or may not have rocked views on the very world itself. For Peola and a few security staff and mechanics? It was a time to try manually open a hatch on the giant robot horse.]

Okay! I think we've almost got it! Just one more pull-!

[There was a loud mechanical thunk as they let go of the hatch and quickly move back as it falls. There was silence for a while before the sound of something heavy meeting metal in a steady rhythm made its way outwards to the hangar. Lo and behold a truly titanic horse made its way out with a mighty neigh before cantering over to Peola and snorting loudly, letting a breath all over her.]

Ah! I know I shouldn't have been reckless, but what was I supposed to do? One of her friends was going to get hurt!

[A nicker and another snort and the horse was soon gumming at her hair.]

Quit it! Ack! Somebody help me out here!

[The people assembled in front of the hatch glanced at each other... and then figured it was far too much trouble to get involved and dispersed.]

[So... the giant robot horse had a huge horse in it... huh.]

Heroes and then their enemies.  Dark Lords, evil guilds, cults...  They all come in different shapes and sizes, don't they?

[The talk about the Lady and her stories, and Unification as well has stirred a sense of nostalgia in Mizuki.  An array of children and YA book, the type she and Sara read as a child are spread all over a table.  Her own favorites had been the less serious ones wherein the hero and the Demon Lord would somehow end up as companions, be it romantic or otherwise.  Sometimes there were misunderstandings, sometimes greater threats, and sometimes both of them still had a lot of growing up to do.  And in one case...]

Even ones when the author doesn't realize the hero's worse than any of the villains.

[But then-]

I'll say, but Mizuki, quickly!  Make room!

Dad?!?  What are you-

Mizuki, please!  Oh we were hoping to show you and you even have a table set up but then you had to just cover it up with so many books!

[So says her mother, coming in with a humongous wheelbarrow stuffed with "how to" books and DVDs and audio players about parenting and families in general.]

We got here as soon as we can... and the news... it's just so wonderful!  Everyone in Solaris is overjoyed!

News?  News about what?
The not-so-Earthshaking news )