Nara, Nara Prefecture – Japan
Bethany Anne stood, waiting for her team to leave the ship. The noise in the stadium was loud. Very, very loud.
>>Yuko has hugged her father. This is good, right?<<
Yes Adam, that is an excellent sign. She wondered why he was asking her to confirm something he certainly could look up himself. She added another mental mark in the ‘becoming human’ column.
There had been a significant amount of conversations related to what Bethany Anne should wear for this event. Once the women got involved, what they were thinking bordered on the ridiculous.
While the women knew that Bethany Anne would very rarely read minds, they failed to realize that Barnabas did it as a matter of course. Therefore, when Bethany Anne happened to have Barnabas join them during one of the talks, the ladies weren’t guarding their minds, and he quickly discerned they were having fun at her expense.
Bethany Anne simply told the women that they would be required to wear whatever she did. Even if it was, perhaps, in an annoying canary yellow or cloying pink color. Their suggestions suddenly became practical very quickly.
Bethany Anne had put a stop to the talks after a few more minutes, “I am a very reasonable person. I’m not going to go into meetings without weapons, even if they might be hidden. I prefer black or darker colors. If you try to dress me up in bright pastels, I’ll consider tying you upside down and using you for shark bait. If you want me in high heels, I better not have sore feet because of them.”
The team ended up choosing an outfit with a tailored jacket and pants instead of a dress. She might have pants with hems that ended above her ankles showing off her shoes, or some that almost hit the floor hiding the shoes. Today, her outfit was comprised of lighter fabrics, but she had similar outfits that had more leather.
All in all, she liked the general style. With her hair up as it was, the silver hair pins added a nice touch. Jean Dukes was working on some individual small rods she could use to spit out tungsten slugs, yet didn’t look like pistols.
Bethany Anne loved Jean’s devious mind. The lady was truly a master of kinetic destruction. Her team, probably already working on their team name, came to work with a purpose every morning.
“Looks good, TW,” John vocalized. She pressed her lips together. That damned audio recording was all over the ship before she got back. John told her he considered it a penalty for leaving without her guards. She should take her punishment in grace. She about tore another strip off of him until he reminded her to think about what he felt when he thought she had died in the blast.
She stopped her arguing, thought about it, kissed him on the cheek and told him, “I’m sorry for making you fret. You get seventy-two hours,” and that was the last of it. She wasn’t allowed to say anything about the jokes for three days.
Three. Long. Assed. Days. Bethany Anne was going to kill someone, maybe herself, if this kept up. The grapevine on the ship had it that it was open season on the boss for three days. She noticed a countdown clock in the forward cafeteria on the ship.
Oh yes, she was now a firm believer in praying to Saint-Payback-is-a-Bitch.
She started walking out on the stadium floor, and the noise was moderately deafening.
She concentrated to reduce the impact, and the pain, from the audio overload until she could handle it better.
It took only a few seconds of walking before she was heading up the stage behind John and Eric with Darryl and Scott trailing them. She could hear a few ladies call out the guy’s names from the audience.
Bethany Anne started shaking hands until she got to where Yuko was standing with her parents. Yuko bowed to her as well as her parents and Bethany Anne bowed slightly back. “Anata wa utsukushiku, interijentona musume ga imasu. Kanojo wa watashi no kojin-tekina chīmu no kichōna menbādesu. Anata ga hokori ni suru hitsuyō ga arimasu.”
She left the family, Yuko’s father’s mouth open and a tear on Yuko’s face. For a few minutes, Bethany Anne was introduced to the local and national political representatives on stage. Then, she was shown the microphone and asked to speak to the crowd.
ADAM, I want you to connect in with the stadium sound system. Translate my English into Japanese, let me know if you have any questions on the translation or not.
As Bethany Anne spoke, she would pause a moment and allow Adam to translate and interject the audio through the sound system. The first couple of times Bethany Anne did this, there was a murmur behind her on the stage as those VIPs realized she wasn’t using an interpreter and they did not know who was doing this for her.
“Hello, to those here in the stadium and those that are watching the television or this video on the Internet. I am Her Royal Highness Queen Bethany Anne. I am also known as the CEO of TQB Enterprises, among other roles. As you can see,” she gracefully waved to both the ship in the middle of the stadium and then up to point to the ArchAngel in the sky.
Bethany Anne continued, “We have advanced our technology to a point where even space is achievable. We have wanted to connect with your country, and your people, as many of our employees and my personal retinue love you as a people, love your culture, and admire your resilience in the challenging times our world faces right now. We hope to be able to increase our official diplomatic relations with countries around the world, and we wish to start with Japan.”
She had to pause as the audience in the stadium roared their approval.
She finished by speaking in Japanese, “O jikan o itadaki, arigatōgozaimasu go shien ni kansha shi, migi koko neru shō kara Yūko no yōna kyōryokuna musume ga, watashitachiha sekai o yori anzen’na basho o tsukuru tasukeru koto ga dekiru kunidearu koto o onegaiitashimasu.”
She had to dampen her hearing another fifty percent. The noise was complete bedlam from the younger people in the crowd.
Bethany Anne turned away from the podium, noticing the tears streaming down Yuko’s parent’s faces.
FROM MICHAEL >>> The other night (Wednesday) I needed a break from writing so I twiddled something up in a graphics program to announce the date of the release of the first book in The Second Dark Ages (The Dark Messiah).
HE IS COMING