Chapter 9

Trying my utmost to ignore the cries of pain that come from the room I just left not long after I'm gone, I head off towards where I told Claude to meet me. I know I told him I'd be there to help him, and I was completely and utterly serious when I said it, and as his mentor there's a part of me that wants to go back and comfort him in any possible way I can. The reason why I'm not though, is because there's an equally powerful part of me, one that I don't like to admit exists, that would like to just sit back and listen to his tortured cries of pain, so I figured I might as well leave well enough alone rather then risk losing control to that side of me. I have someone I need to talk to before I have to keep a constant eye on my new companion anyways. This is my last chance to do it, because after the new limb has been integrated taking care of Gyro will no doubt prove to be a full time job and we need him to survive. Just in case Trix manages to wrap things up before I'm ready though I'll have Claude care for him; he's strong and friendly enough to do so without incident I'm sure. He doesn't know what I want of him yet though, that's what I'm on my way of doing, telling him to take care of Gyro for me for a little while.

Turning the next corner in the good doctor's laboratory, Claude's sitting right where he should be in the corner of the waiting room. I get my fair share of looks as I make my way over to him, the vast array of people who have been amplified to different degrees almost all knowing who I am. I'll have to try and hide that from Gyro for the first little while; no need to give him stage fright or anything of the sort. Claude looks up from his feet as I approach, knowing I'd be the only one to do so around in here. He smiles at me as I make my way over to him and I return the gesture, taking a seat directly across from of him.

"How was he?"

"Oh you know, the usual shock and awe effect. More shock then awe though, especially when he realized his arm was unaccounted for. Took him a good five minutes to even notice."

We laugh together at that for a bit before I get into explaining everything else that happened to him, which is pretty much the same thing that happens to all newcomers around here, and things like his name and age and social background and such. After a bit though, he asks a question that surprises me.

"Has he eaten yet?"

Taken off guard at the comment, when I think about it I realize my cruelty. Of course, how stupid am I. The poor boy was probably starving and I didn't even offer him a meal! He reads my reaction correctly, smirking slightly.

"That's weird of you, not offering him food right off the bat."

"I know, and I'm ashamed… Take him to the food court when you have the chance, give him whatever he wants, price is not an issue."

He just sort of nods for a bit, then catches on to what I'm implying.

"Wait, why am I bringing him to the food court?!"

"I have some things I need to sort out before starting to take care of him, so I'm leaving him to you for a little bit. I'd wait for a bit before going in though, I don't want you in there while he still has open wounds. I'd say he could relate a bit more easily to you too, you look to be much closer in age to him then me."

"But it's not my job to mentor him, it's yours!"

Okay then, he's taking this worse then I thought he would. He needs to calm down, he's attracting unwanted attention.

"Come now, what's with this attitude? You're more then capable of handling him for a couple hours. Calm yourself Claude, calm, there is no need to go into a rage."

With my continued hushing he begins to calm down, sinking back into his seat as I gently and soothingly rub his shoulder. It's a good thing I know how to quell his temper or he would have gone into one of his notorious frenzies. I think I know why he's so afraid of doing what I ask of him.

"I have complete and utter faith in your abilities Claude, as does he, or I wouldn't have asked this of you. I think you know that."

"Yeah…yeah I know…I'm sorry… But what if something does happen? I mean…he has interest in this guy, so if I fail then I…I…"

"It's obviously not enough for me to tell you this, but what if he told you himself? Would you have faith in yourself then?"

He doesn't say so out loud, but then again he doesn't need to as he gives me a brief, wistful look.

"Come on then, lets go somewhere more private. I'm pretty sure he had something to tell you anyways so it's not a problem."

We silently make our way through the crowd and into a nearby patient room. No one should be able to see or hear us in here, all of these spaces are more the a little insulated.

"Why do you doubt yourself Claude? You're my greatest accomplishment; if you cannot do this then nobody can."

"Th-thank you sir, it means a lot to me that you trust me so much…"

"…Be sure to keep him pure; do not let the predators at the court tempt him with flesh or anything of the sort. I need him untainted for the purpose I have in mind for him."

"Yes sir, I will not fail you… Where will you go now?"

"I must speak with the foreseer and the classifier…then I will visit the core."

"Oh…I understand… Do you want me to befriend him?"

"That is up too you, just be sure not too get too involved."

"Okay sir…is he a nice guy?"

"Relatively; just do not anger him, I sense that he is a natural berserker so try not to upset him."

"A berserker? Like me?"

"No not like you, he will be a much different class then you. I am just saying that he might be a bit more volatile then you would expect so watch yourself. If you do well I will reward you, I assure you."

"I will not fail you sir, I promise."

"I know you will not Claude."

"I'll go meet my new friend then…I'll see you later right?"

"In due time my companion, until then I bid you farewell."