A Clan for Momo
By: Robert Szkotak
It was spring in Windia. A spring so beautiful
that its like had not been seen in a hundred years. The flowers bloomed
early, and they were full of color now that the spring rains had passed.
At the Biologics Plant, people worked with a renewed sense of energy, fueled
by the beauty of yet another sunny day. Everybody was outside digging
holes to put the new 7A-Alpha strain of chrism crops in, so they could
grow and multiply. The chrism crop business had taken off, as almost
three years ago, after the fiasco with their previous Chief, the taste
of the altered crops suddenly became a lot better. Everybody figured
that it was his weird experiments with animating the dead that made the
crops taste bad.
Momo laughed as she stood on a hill overlooking
the Plant, watching the workers below transplant the new strain.
They "figured" a lot of things. When she had returned to the main
continent two years ago, the people at the Plant had asked her to become
their new Chief of Operations. They wanted her to carry on her father's
work, insisting that she would have time to work on her gadgets.
Of course that was a bald-faced lie - Momo accepted the position even knowing
that she would have to devote most of her time to the Plant. She
needed to carry on her father's legacy - there was no one else left that
would be able to do so. Besides, her work at the Plant was helping
a lot of people - already there was enough of a food supply to feed everyone
in Windia. But still she resented the fact that there was no time
for her to do what she wanted to do - decipher the mysteries of the machines
of the Lost Continent across the ocean.
A man's yelling brought her out of her reverie.
The man, a Windian, complete with the moth-like wings that came with all
of their species, was running up the now inactive conveyor belt, panting
like a dog as he lost his breath. He jogged the last few yards to
where Momo was standing, and then began to say some unintelligible words.
Momo sighed and turned toward the man.
"Now Tyros, calm down a second, catch your breath.
You're no help to me if you hyperventilate and pass out on me. Just
slow down, and when your ready..."
Tyros stopped sputtering to catch his breath, and
then began to yell again. "Chief! Chief! There's a huge
tiger-man thing down by the entrance, demanding to see you now! He's
huge, ten feet tall at least, with glowing red eyes and fangs that could
bite off my head! He..."
Momo interrupted the man, already having a clue
as to what was going on. It was just like Tyros and the other workers
to exaggerate what was going on - they hadn't ever seen the things she
had seen. Momo took a deep breath and then started talking.
"Tyros, did the "thing" give a name?"
Tyros stared at Momo for a second, then began his
hysterics once more. "I think it gave a name. Roy or something
like that. I couldn't tell, it was growling at us like it was going
to eat us. It's fangs were dripping saliva!"
Momo sighed again and stopped the man from carrying
on. "Show the man, Rei, to the lounge. Tell him I'll
be there in a moment - I have some things I need to take care of.
The man gaped. "But... but... it's got fangs,
and claws, and..."
"Yes, Chief." the man muttered, clearly unhappy
with the situation. He left much more slowly than he had some, not
as eager to accept Rei as a person as he was to accept him as a monster.
"Idiot." Momo muttered, and turned back to
overlook the Plant. The took a lot for granted, Momo knew.
Like the Onions, which continued to pop up every so often. They assumed
that they were more genetic freaks. But Momo knew the truth - they
were extensions of Yaggdrasil's will, sent out into the world to be his
eyes and ears and to do his bidding. And the crop's sudden increase
in taste - she knew that it wasn't her father's mad assistant, but was
due to the replenishing of the land, both through Yaggdrasil's methods
and through some she developed on her own. And they all still believed
that there was nothing across the ocean, even though Momo knew of the Lost
Continent. And most of all, they assumed they would always have a
Momo started walking down toward the lounge, where
her old friend Rei was waiting. Here was another like herself - a
person without a Clan, and yet not one of the "Normals", as Momo called
them. The Normals were what every clan eventually degenerated into
- the Windians for instance. They once had wings that would let them
soar through the clouds with the birds. But over many years without flying,
they lost their wings, and their flight. But Rei had one thing that
she didn't - he had a history. One night, as they were crossing the
Desert of Death, so aptly named by the locals, Momo had told Rei of the
last great hero of his clan, the Tiger Clan, a woman named Katt who along
with seven others helped to defeat an angry goddess, much as they were
doing. Momo had read through all the histories in her father's library,
hoping to find out what Clan she was, but she couldn't find anything.
She knew of the Brood, and the Dragon Clan, and how they were one and the
same. She knew of the Windian Bird Clan, although they never used
the term anymore. She knew of the Mole Clan, and the Frog Clan, the
Horse Clan, the Ox Clan, and the Normals. But of herself she found
Momo looked up and found herself in front of the
lounge. She paused a moment before opening the door, knowing what
Rei was here for. But she couldn't help him - she had her work here
to do. Sighing once again, she opened the door to the lounge.
Inside Rei was sitting on one of the couches, flipping through a magazine
about how chrism could help to save lives. Momo smiled and spoke
"Well, long time, no see my friend! How have
Rei jumped up from the couch and gave Momo a huge
bear hug. "Hey Momo, how's it been! Haven't seen each other
in a while! How is it, working here at the Plant?"
"Oh, it's okay, I suppose. The only problem
is I don't get to a lot of tinkering now that I have to manage the Plant."
"Yeah, it seems like it would suck." Rei said.
Momo's smile turned into a scowl, and Rei quickly recovered, "No offense
of course, but don't you wish that we could be out again, adventuring.
We could go looking for Ryu, we could pick up Nina..."
Momo sighed, and turned away from Rei. "You
know I can't do that - neither can Nina. We have responsibilities
now. And Ryu told us he would have to leave with the rest of the
Brood. There's nothing we can do - the days for adventuring are over."
Rei walked behind Momo and put his hand on her shoulder.
"Momo... I know you too well. You're not happy here, are you?"
Momo took a few steps forward, head down, letting
Rei's hand fall. "It's not that simple. Not anymore."
"Look Momo, I'll be honest with you. When
me and Ryu and Teepo got separated, Ryu risked his life to find me.
He hadto deal with those Stallion brothers, with your tower, the Arena
battle, only when he was a kid. When we finally met again, and he
told me of his adventures, I made a vow to find him no matter where he
went. 'Cause me and him, we're family. At least the closest
thing to it. And whether you know it or not, you're part of that
family too." Rei wiped a tear on his face,and then laughed quietly.
"Don't that just beat all... I'm cryin'". Rei turned and walked to
the door, then stopped. "I need your help Momo, but I will go on
without it. I will find Ryu." Rei turned again to leave, and
said over his shoulder, "If you decide to help, I'll be at Rhapala.
I think I'll be able to find something at Kombinat."
Momo turned to watch Rei leave, tears streaming
down her face. She knew she had to help Rei, but she also knew she
had to stay and manage the Plant. She turned to see one of the Plant
workers running towards her with another problem, and Momo knew that she
would have to stay if the Plant would continue.
It was the middle of the night at the Plant.
Only a few people were still working, everyone else was asleep or gone
back to their homes. So nobody witnessed a giant onion sprout from
the ground and start walking around. "Ummm... it's been a while
since I've used this body." The onion walked around a little more,
and promptly tripped over a rock. "Maybe a little too long..." the
onion said, rising from the ground. "Now let me see, where was that
The onion made his way over to the main building,
the living quarters, and went to reach for the door, forgeting that he
wasn't tall enough. "Why do these bodies have to always start out
young?" the onion said, and a green aura surrounded the little onion.
Within minutes the onion had grown to the size of a normal person, with
skin as tough and thick as roots. "Much better..." the onion said,
as the glow faded away. It opened the door and made his way for the
stairs leading to the upper levels. When it reached the third floor,
the onion opened the door to the hallway. In the hall were a man
and a woman, kissing. Thankfully they didn't notice me open the
door, the onion thought, and took a deep breath. When he exhaled,
a cloud of pinkish gas came from his mouth, filling the hallway. Within
seconds, the couple was asleep on the floor, unknowing of the onion-man
that walked by them. He found the door he wanted, and tried opening
it, to no avail. The onion looked around, and then punched the door,
sending it flying backwards into the room. He walked in, expecting
it's occupant to be screaming or getting ready to cast a spell or something,
but Momo wasn't there.
Momo cursed herself for leaving in the middle of
the night, but Rei was right - Momo was part of a family, and that was
more important than any Clan.