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Wanted Poster

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         It was important to carefully go through the files and handwritten notes that Bonku had accumulated over his years as ruler of the Realm; while using the Plant as it had been in the past was out of the question, the progress he had made for Anima usage was indisputable.

That was how Anne found herself sitting in the workshop of the Tower, reading over stacks of papers and helping Fig and the former Rebels comb through what seemed like mountains of writings he had left behind. Apparently, Bonku had never thrown out any of his records, which meant that, after cabinets were emptied, hidden cabinets were found, and folders upon folders were retrieved, the work stretched out for several days.

By now, it had grown dark outside, and Anne rubbed her eyes, fighting back a yawn. Sitting across from her on the floor, Fig paused what he was reading to give her a sympathetic smile.

         “How are you doing, Anne?”

         “I’m alright,” She lost the battle and hid her yawn behind one hand, “But I think if I read one more status report on Anima emissions, I’m going to lose my mind.”

         “Hardly the most riveting reading material, I’ll agree.” He closed the file in his hands and set it aside, then picked up another to flip open, “And I’ll admit, it’s getting a bit grating to me as well.”

         “It’s gotten pretty late,” She pointed out, stretching her arms above her head, “There should still be a train running back to the city… Maybe its time to call it a day here and come back tomorrow.”

         “I couldn’t agree more…” Even so, he sounded distracted and trailed off, making her glance over curiously as she stood, feeling her legs protest after sitting on the floor for so long.

         “Fig? Did you find something?”

         “Look at this! What is this?!” In an instant, he had leapt to his feet, dropping the rest of the file to hold out a single page to her, “I don’t look like this at all!”

She was frozen for a moment in surprise, hesitantly lowering her gaze to the page in his outstretched hand to see what had been so horrifying to him.

It was a wanted poster, somewhat old and apparently a draft that ended up never being printed and distributed. Anne was quite sure of the latter part of that thought, because she knew that she would not be able to forget this sort of image of Fig. The artist’s rendition had given him spiky wings, claw-like hands, and a sinister grin full of sharp teeth. She raised an eyebrow at the overly dramatic image, and then looked back at him.

         “It’s… something, alright.”

         “What sort of Forgotling did they think I was?!” He was gesturing with both hands, and Anne had to bite her lip to stop her amusement from showing.

         “I’m sure they only did it to make you look threatening… And I don’t think this poster ever got officially printed…” Taking it from him, she studied it closer, and had to bite her lip again to stop a giggle from escaping, “This is probably the only copy of it.”

         “It’s over the top and quite ridiculous… We’ve been working longer than I thought if something like that can get to me.”

Carefully folding it up, she stowed it away in her bag, “Then let’s take it as a sign to stop and head back. I doubt all these papers will go anywhere overnight.”

         “Certainly!” He stepped over the stacks to walk beside her, “So we can prepare ourselves for another fruitful day of reading Anima transportation records.”

Any more conversation on the train ride was quiet, and Anne found herself dozing, absently leaning on Fig next to her. The walk to where they were staying wasn’t much better, and when she fell back on the bed, she had to sluggishly remind herself to pull off her boots. After a moment, she took off her bag as well, and shuffled through its contents to retrieve the folded up wanted poster. Slipping it into her journal, she finally let herself giggle a tiny bit as it joined the rest of the odd and ends she collected. When Fig joined her after a moment, she was fast asleep.