The lecture theatre has emptied of everyone save Xan and Edith, as their granddaughter, Heyem, unaware that they are her grandparents, and not part of this time, struts towards them to lecture them about talking in her class.
Inajda and Alexand have followed Inajda’s childhood friend to the old apartment building which used to be their home. Alexand wants to hold back until the Haernyara leaves, but Inajda has accepted that her hideout has been compromised, and insists on following Anya inside, to whatever end. (See Issue # 300: The Unbound Box Part 5, with reference to an optical shield in Longsheng)
Alexand has been receiving letters from her family, concerned about her exposing the Amanojuko, and the latest letter arrives from her Uncle Antun. She opens it, feeling responsible and accountable, but she is now three months pregnant, and suffering severe morning sickness, her career is demanding, and she is bickering with Jarad again. She feels very alone as she opens up her uncle’s letter, and wishes that Katherine was here.
Heyem has been back lecturing for two months and has grown increasingly tired of people recognising her as the identical twin sister of the semi-famous Colonel Merek. Heyem has just about finished a two-hour lecture on women’s empowerment through media, and has been unable to avoid questions being hurled at her about her sister.
Helga Ritter has spent the past two weeks searching the world for any trace of Lord Anderson. She has visited many places, starting in India, reading the minds of humans, who are close to Alexand Merek. Family and friends and army colleagues, even Field Marshal Abouna Panak had no though in his head about the whereabouts of Lord Anderson. Helga isn’t giving up. She has learnt that Heyem Merek is back teaching at Hong Kong University, and so dressed in cognito, Helga creeps into one of Heyem’s lectures, and sits quietly at the back of the room.
In the years before the arts were put inside “The Bad Thing Box,” there were artists and dreamers, musicians and opera singers. Edith MehXian was one of those artists. From the age of seventeen she sang amongst the finest opera singers in The Chinese Hall of Excellence. She came from a poor family, but her skill was so great that she won a scholarship and became one of the most loved singers in the whole of China. This is the story of her final performance. The day her dream ended. Edith was a perfectionist. She wanted people to remember her, flawlessly. (This story is dedicated to one of my childhood heroes, Elizabeth Sladen, who will be missed by many people, some of whom didn’t even know her, but grew up loving Sarah Jane Smith.) Edith MehXian is Alexand and Heyem’s paternal grandmother. CLICK HERE for next chronological story.